Thursday, November 14, 2019

Being Fake on Facebook

Hi everyone!
I haven't posted in quite some time but what's funny is that I have searched through my archives to share posts with people every now and again.  I love what a treasure of memories this online journal has become for me, never mind the fact that I love to write (aka brain dump).  

Every now and again I get ideas for a post and let the moment pass but today I was rather inspired.  I wanted to share about one of my favorite topics... social media!  ha!  People have strong opinions about it don't they?  ...Don't you?  I hear people complain a lot about Facebook and how "fake" people are.  How people make their lives look so much better than everyone else's.  After a quick Google search I found these "funny" ecards.  


What do you think about that?
How do you think you're perceived on Facebook?

On Facebook, I recently shared this beautiful picture of a rose from my front yard.  I moved to Arizona last year and the change in climate and what grows at different times of year still amazes me.  It's mid-November...


What was interesting is that someone commented on my picture and said how healthy it looked.  And it make me realize that by my posting that zoomed in rose, I misrepresented reality.  I mean look at the bush zoomed out!


Far from healthy!  Dead blooms all over.  It needs to be pruned desperately.  I have no knowledge on how to do this so have to google it and it's low on my list priorities right now.

But that wasn't why I posted it.  I didn't post it to pretend to be an amazing gardener.  I posted it because I admire the absolutely gorgeous bloom on such an overgrown mess!  I appreciate beauty.  Does that make me fake?

It got me thinking about all my other posts.  I do a lot with my family.  We love exploring and doing things together, especially living in a new part of the country.
But what I DO is not how I FEEL.
I'm not posting my feelings all over Facebook.
I save those for those who take time to talk to me in real life.  {Or those who read my blog. *wink*}
Why do we as a society think that people are being fake when they share things they do?
Or why would people think that people like me are trying to be better than everyone by posting pictures of our adventures?

Anyway, that rose bush is pretty symbolic of my life right now.  My kids are 14, 12 and 9... nuff said - ha!  I have been away from home in the Northeast for a year and a half.  I miss my besties more than ever.  I haven't been to my hometown in 2 years and miss family more than you could know.  My husband works shift work so I'm a single mom a lot.  I have culture shock.  I've had some minor medical issues.  And the list goes on....  BUT I choose to focus on the ONE GORGEOUS bloom in my overgrown garden of life.  It's Jesus.  The one consistent, beautiful, steadfast, loving, never-changing, wise, example for me Jesus.  Like the rose's aroma drifts beyond the bloom, His love spreads over my life.  Through Him, I can see and appreciate the new friendships, my cozy home, the time we do have together as a family among other blessing blooms.  This doesn't make me fake; it makes me grateful.

So there ya go.  Perhaps a reality check for the insecure.  Facebook isn't necessarily people being fake.  It's people sharing what they're doing.  If you want to get to know what they're feeling, call, get together and TALK.  The only fake thing I see is people who never reach out but call you a friend.

Thanks for swinging by,
Mary

Monday, January 7, 2019

My inspiring great-great aunt Grace Wilson

On January 5th, my great-great Aunt Grace passed away.  She was 100!  The last time I saw her was at my cousin's wedding in October 2014.  Here she is with me, her brother Warren, my mom and my kids:

She was my grandmother's aunt and sister to my great-grandfather who I blogged about here.
I was named after her. (Mary Grace) 
And she is the one who planted the seed for my love of cards, stickers & sending love in the mail.

Every year I would check my mailbox the week before my birthday because she always sent me a card.  I always got excited because that card was an indicator that my birthday was really coming!  The envelope had stickers on it and was festive plus there was money in that card.  Nowadays, I really love stickers and love to decorate envelopes too - passing it on!  I remember how it felt to see that envelope!  Definitely a happy memory to think about.  
(I might still have my childhood sticker book.  And I might still have stickers she sent me.)

I am sentimental about SOME things! #packrat

The other thing that was great about Grace is that she'd take the time to write a note in her cards, often writing on the back.  I always appreciated the extra time she took to do that.  I want to share one here for anyone who knew her... she mentions her brother, and her husband Stan in this note who passed away years prior.  She had no kids.  (Marlene is my grandmother who will be 80 next month.)


I have moved a lot and got rid of many cards and notes but did save these two.  I suspect they were the last she sent me.  Above was a birthday card.  In 2010, I had my third child and sent her a birth announcement.  She replied and told me about moving into the assisted living facility where she lived til her last day.  I love that she played the piano and seemed so grateful for her care!



I left my hometown when I was 15 and was never really close to Grace but I just love who she was and always wished I spent more time with her.  She was thoughtful, kindhearted and oh so chatty!  I'm so glad that I was able to receive a little piece of her generosity through her cards.  And I love that we share the love of them and writing notes.  

She lived life well to the end. She will be missed.  Here is her obituary from the Telegraph Journal:

Source
Thanks for swinging by,
Mary


Monday, November 26, 2018

Christmas stressing you out?


I listened to a really great Podcast I wanted to pass on called Loving My Actual Christmas with Alexandra Kuykendall.  It was on the Focus On The Family broadcast.  Here is the link:

This is an excellent Podcast to listen to if you are stressed about Christmas in any way at all!  I definitely related to the guest, author Alexandra Kuykendall because there have been years that I too have been anxious to the point of being resentful.  As she says, we women are often the orchestrators of the holiday and our task lists are lengthy.  This conversation was filled with great insight and reminders to shift my focus back to what is good.

My first take-away was that Christmas is messy and imperfect and it was that way since the day Jesus was born!  Mary probably didn’t want to travel pregnant or give birth in a barn!  

Alexandra: “So Christmas entered humanity’s story when things weren’t perfect. And the holiday enters our lives every year when life isn’t perfect.”

My second take-away is that Christmas accentuates the struggles of our lives that we feel all year.  If we’re lonely, we’re lonelier at Christmas.  If money is tight all year, it’s even more so at Christmas.  Family struggles peak during the holidays.  So I think that perspective was something so good to point out!  

They talked about expectations and opinions (including the kids’) and traditions and how we want them to look.  She wrote a book where she looks at hope, love, joy and peace and what those words really mean.  They are often just words decorated on pillows but they have a deep meaning especially this time of year.  It was a really thought-provoking conversation and I would encourage you to listen to it (and probably read the book if this all hits a nerve.)

Here is the last bit I really liked.  Rather than risk losing its meaning with my paraphrase, here is what Alexandra said:

Alexandra: “Well, the good news is that we have good news, right? So the Christmas story is God entering in the middle of grief. He enters the world for us, especially for us that are grieving. He came for the brokenhearted. He didn’t come for the people who already had a joy-filled heart. He came for the brokenhearted. So that - if you think about the characters in the Christmas story, there was a lot of grief in there, a lot of disappointment, a lot of unmet expectations…”

And later she says:  “You know, this is a crazy time for me, too. I’ve got all the same to-do lists that you do. But I am living under this umbrella of peace because my heart knows that I am loved and because I remember that the reason we do this whole crazy making in the first place is because God changed the trajectory of humanity when He stepped on to Earth as a baby, and we celebrate that now. And that is what gives me peace, even though I’ve got a lot of wrapping still to do.”


Thrilled to learn that she also has a Podcast called "Open Door Sisterhood".  I subscribed to it because I like how she words and packages things.  

Anywho... just wanted to pass this on in case anyone else is feel anxious about the upcoming holiday!

Thanks for swinging by,
Mary

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Roses and thorns


I’ve been attending a moms group and we played Rose and Thorn.  It’s a game where you share something good and something bad from your week.  I really liked that idea!  Great to share a little good and get a little real too about the hard parts of the week.
I am also attending a weekly bible study.  We’re studying 2 Corinthians and today in chapter 12, we read where Paul talks about having a thorn in his side. 
With roses on my mind, it got me thinking how they are a good representation for life.  We all live among a garden of roses.  Some days we dwell on the thorns and are sad.  Some days the thorns prick us and we bleed.  Some days we see the buds of hope.  And other days the bloom is open and fragrant.
I think we need to be careful to not get too down because of the thorns.  It can be hard to not focus solely on them, especially when we’ve been hurt.  It’s hard to look up and see the soft petals that bring us so much joy. 
To add… we receive flowers from people as a way to know they love us.  Blooms sooth our souls and brighten our day.  Roses are a gift, even with their thorns attached.  We see the whole of them and they’re beautiful.  I think our lives are like that.  A gift from God even when painful and we get hurt. 
Roses are the most romantic and well known flower.  Just think about the occasions we give them… The ones where people’s love are at an all-time high… proposals, weddings, Valentine’s Day yet they are the ones that hurt us if we don’t handle them carefully.  Same with our lives.  They’ll hurt us too if we don’t handle things right.  If we dwell on the negative, play victim and sit in our misery.
So today I’m thinking about my rose and thorn of the week.  I want to be sure to always think about both parts and not just the thorns.  My prayer this week is that I’d focus on the big picture of what’s going on in my life and not get hung up on the snags or thorns that can really frustrate me.  
haha... I want to stop and "smell the roses".  
How about you?  What are your rose and thorns this week?  
Thanks for swinging by,
Mary