How many times have I listened to one, single story of a people group or a country or a family or a person and that one, single story became everything that I know about them? I judged and believed and repeated that judgement all too often. All based on one, single story.
I am ashamed. I am ashamed of being so narrow minded and ignorant. For a person who has a passion for justice and a passion for all to be heard and not judged I can be so closed.
The following video is life changing. I literally wept when I heard this woman speak. We need to listen. To everyone. No more labels or judgements. I know, as humans, we so easily fall back into that pattern. I know I do. I am a constant work in progress. 🙂
May this woman speak to your heart as she did mine:
I have a Christmas Tree story. Many years ago, when the kids were quite young, we lived in a mountain town in California. The town and outlying neighborhoods rested at about 3500 feet in elevation. We were in a valley, of sorts, and the higher peaks went up to about 6,000 to 8,000 feet. They say the elusive California Condor nested up in the higher heights. I never saw one while we lived there, but a friend of mine did.
Back to the Christmas tree. A family we knew asked our family to join them in cutting down our Christmas trees. The man’s parents owned a cabin and land higher up the mountain and we could go up and each get a free Christmas tree – and a very fresh one at that. Of course we said yes!
Our family piled into our gigantic four-wheel drive, older model, Chevy Blazer and their family into their four wheel drive pick up truck.
It had been snowing in the higher elevations -really snowing. When we got to the road, that led us to the cabin, the man got out and unchained the gate. The snow was deep. We both set our vehicles into four wheel drive and up we went. Our friends truck slid into a rather deep ditch. Thankfully, we did not.
We tried pulling them out, etc., but realized he was very stuck and we all piled into our vehicle. He assured us his dad could help him get the truck out the next day – and they did.
Here we were in a real live Winter Wonderland. Kids were running around and playing in the snow. Our friend was putting on some belts and such and wielding a hand saw. I was wondering which trees do we pick? All seemed very tall and I couldn’t find those cute ones on ground level.
With those thoughts running through my head I turned, and saw our friend halfway up a very tall pine tree. He had his belt around the trunk and off he went – much like a phone repair man on a telephone pole. Boy did he go high! I had to ask his wife what the heck he was doing!?! She calmly, and proudly, told me that he does this every year. He saws the top of the pine off and there you have a beautiful tree.
I was wrapping my mind around that one, when I heard a cry and a tree came tumbling down from the sky. He then proceeded to climb another tree for ours. Amazing. I had no idea that someone actually did that.
Here is a pic (not mine) of one climbing a tree:
Here is my previous experience, and what I saw in my head – commercial Christmas Tree Farm:
Well, we strapped the trees on top of our vehicle and loaded two families (total of seven children) into the vehicle and down the mountain we went. We loved it.
Now, for the best part. That tree was so fresh, and by fresh it was FULL OF OOZING SAP, that when we placed it into the metal tree stand, well, it flattened the stand. Totally. The legs rendered useless. So, we had to build a stand out of wood, like an X.
We decorated it and kept wiping the sap off of our hands. It was beautiful and perfect and fresh.
One evening, as we were finishing our dinner, a friend came by, as he often did. He made himself comfortable on the couch right next to our beautiful, ever so fresh, Christmas tree.
That was when we heard a creeeeeek, and our friend say, “Oh no!”
We looked, and there was Brian, buried under our ever so fresh Christmas tree! It was so heavy from the sap that it could not stand on it’s own. I had visions of us going to the lot down the street and buying a not so fresh tree to replace this one.
No worries, we dug out Brian and he went to his truck and screwed an eyelet in the wall and we tied the tree to the wall. Yes we did!
That experience has left us with a wonderful memory of a Christmas past.
I was using an old pair of glasses for the last six months or more. I was using them because my most recent prescription glasses broke – really broke and were very scratched.
Now I need to tell you about the prescription. I have been wearing progressive lens for several years now. They help me to both see distance and read up close with no lines as in bifocals. I adjusted quickly to them when I first started wearing them.
Well, about five years ago I got a new pair – the ones that are now scratched and broken. Yes, five years ago. THAT IS BAD. I do not know why I waited this long. I came to the place that the burning eyes, when on the computer, were unbearable.
So, head down, I walked into the local Target Optical, where I bought the last pair, and had an eye exam. Thankfully, they did not yell at me or shame me. I did enough of that to myself. They did, however, already make me an oppointment for next year – without asking me. I took that as the “yelling”.
After handing over a minor fortune – on sale, mind you – I waited for the day they came into the shop. I sent my husband to pick them up, thinking I would go in for an adjustment when this “bug” of a cold finally left my body. Well, a week later, bug and all, I went in to say I can’t use my iPhone or laptop – I cannot adjust my eyesight. Haven’t posted a blog in a while .
Well, after sitting there with a lovely, young lady for about twenty minute, she realized that the original measurements taken for my eyesight to work with progressive lens, was wrong. She re-measured and ordered new lens! I CAN SEE! I CAN SEE!
Moral of the story is ——- do not neglect your health in any way. Get those eye exams regularly.
This is a post of my experience in writing and my goals. By no means do I think everyone is to do it just like me.
I started blogging a few years ago. I spent little time at it until I found a subject I wanted to talk about. It all started with the fact that I believed I should write a book. I was lost about how to do it until I read a blog by someone who was going to collect his blogging posts and form them into a book. What a great idea.
So I did a series called Prisoner of Hope https://wingedprisms.com/2012/07/22/our-darkest-day/ with the intent of turning it into a book. Well, I ended the series and now I am slowly going over the posts to see what and how this will come together. It will. I’m realizing it takes time – for me. As time goes by I’m finding new words and thoughts pop up in my head that I want to add to this writing. I’m excited.
In the mean time, I blog on things that come up. I’m finding as I write it becomes more clearly what I should write about. Does that even make sense? What I’m trying to say is that we all have something to say. Learn what your passions are. Do your research and learn how to clearly put those passions on paper. You will find who your target audience is through time. I’m still finding mine. I don’t have a lot of followers but they have increased over the last six months when I’ve discovered my passions and what flows freely through my heart and fingers. Get to know fellow bloggers on WordPress or elsewhere. Find those posts that speak some of your heart and get to know these marvelous comrades. There is encouragement in others.
At the beginning of 2011 I saw several people posting a “Photo a Day” or other such projects on the internet. I like that.
So, now that it’s almost half way through the year I feel strongly that I NEED and WANT to post “A Testimony a Day”.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines testimony as: an open acknowledgment; a public profession of religious experience; a divine decree attested in the scriptures.
I think this will be harder than I thought and that is probably the biggest reason I want to do it. It’s hard to be thankful when we all live a life so involved with circumstances. Circumstances that most of the time are not good or appear to be hard. But on the other hand, I believe there is something to attest to in every circumstance no matter how hard things look. We are surrounded by “stories” waiting to be told. I want to find them.
God has a different view of our lives then we do. I want His perspective more. I’ve changed my whole approach to prayer over the last year. Instead of asking all the time for something from Him I spend more time being thankful to Him and meditating on His goodness and love and more time looking back on situations and seeing how He got me through it and where He was when certain things happened. It’s life changing.
I recently went to a local art museum to see Monet’s Water Lilies. All 3 panels were on display (normally they are in separate locations). Seeing such a magnificent work of art in person is eye opening. You can enter the room and look at it and see it one way. But as you approach the work every few feet the scene in front of you changes. You get a different perspective the closer you get. A different depth, a different opinion even.
So, I want these simple “testimonies” to do that for whoever reads them. May they change your perspective on your life. I am counting on them to change mine – to open my eyes wider to the things around me. To have a story no matter how simple or complex each day. Enjoy.
Today I attended a church 20 minutes from my home. I had only been there once before and liked it. So, 2 months later, my husband and I went again. I am thankful for people who gather in the name of their Lord with happy hearts and have the freedom to worship Him together and individually with confidence and freedom in who they are and who they were made to be. It was truly an uplifting experience full of peace and strength. It was a room FULL of creative people who gathered together to celebrate the most creative person they know – The Creator.