Human Rights Day 2017 is history, yet its importance is a gentle reminder that one day of recognition is not enough–every day must be a human rights day. Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world December 10 and “was created to honor the United Nations General Assembly’s … first global enunciation of human rights. It was one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.” This year I’m encouraging you to do your part (yes, you have a part). Make and be the difference:
“Count your blessings, name them one by one…and see what the Lord has done…” John Oatman Jr.
It’s November and as usual, our minds turn to Thanksgiving, family gatherings, and my 62nd birthday (November 20)! I am so excited, proud and thankful to have reached this milestone—many of my friends and loved ones did not—but there’s so much more to be thankful for. After the devastating mass shootings, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, confusion, hatred, strife, death and destruction, we are still here, strong, and still standing. As we prepare for this season of thankfulness, slow your roll and be grateful for things we take for granted. Like…
We Are Not Afraid, We Are Not Afraid Today…
I promise you my middle name is not Pollyanna,* but today I pledge to not just imagine a world where there is no hatred and strife, I’m pledging to work toward it. I also encourage you to remember the words of diarist Anne Frank and repeat them often: “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
Sunday’s massacre in Las Vegas where 59 people died and more than 500 were injured took my breath away. The Sunday before that a lone gunman opened fire at a church near Nashville killing one person and injuring several more–the rowdies who wreak havoc and loot instead of peacefully marching to protest violence—add the catastrophic storms, earthquakes, fires, floods and droughts–I don’t know about you, but I’m simply overwhelmed.
October 5 is officially National Teachers Day but if you can read this, every day is cause to celebrate these amazing people who give their lives and talents to open the world to/for us. When I was growing up, I was pretty sure teachers were superhuman – now I know it for a fact!
Unsung and Oprah Winfrey’s Master Class have become my two favorite television shows. Both are centered around the personal lives of entertainers we’ve all grown up with and admired. The more I watch, the more I’m inspired so I always keep a pad to jot down gems like these:
Any week that has Positive Thinking Day, Follow your Dreams Day, National Women’s Friendship Day, AND Respect Day has to be about as wonderful as real mashed potatoes and gravy, yellow cake with chocolate frosting, hot chocolate chip cookies, chilled Sprite, and Rice Krispy treats (just a few of my favorite things) all at once!*This is absolutely one of the most amazing weeks of the year, so let’s celebrate!
Please pause a moment and choose at least two things from the official
Awesome, Magnificent, Super-Duper, Very Fine Week To Do List:
This week is our perfect opportunity to spread some kindness, peace, joy, love, and civility and show the world what we’re made of. Yes, I’m asking you to add one more thing to your To Do list this week —trust me, if you choose even one thing off the list below, it will tickle God’s heart.
Either I’m going to trust you or I may as well walk away
‘Cause stressing… don’t make it better, no way.”
Lyrics from Yesterday by Erica Atkins-Campbell
I didn’t write the lyrics to Erica Campbell’s hit song “Yesterday,” but I (a) could have because last month I was overwhelmed and unsettled in every phase and place (b) should have since I had poignant illustrations that would have made a perfect country song, (3) didn’t need to write a song because I was over half finished eating an elephant* for lunch (with mustard, pickles and onions) yesterday when I finally realized why I had a stomachache the size of Texas! I had bitten off a lot more than I could chew and there was nowhere to spit it out!
What on earth is it and what do you do with it?
I have been packing boxes and bins feverishly and here’s what I know now: TOO MUCH STUFF! Entirely too much.
I know you’re thinking what do I know about your stuff when I have so much of my own to sort through? It’s true, I don’t know how much stuff you have swirling around you, and I have not opened your overstuffed hall closets, or moved at least half of your furniture into the garage. I have, however, rolled my eyes after stepping on the 24th Barbie Doll shoe that blended into the carpet and got caught between my toes. Maybe it was the shoes that helped me conclude that we, meaning you and I, have too much stuff and we ought to do something about it. Use my handy checklist to get rid of some of yours before your next move. Not moving? Pretend!
Everyone on earth should have a fan club president like my dads provided me!* I know that is impossible and unrealistic but like the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, “I’m keeping hope alive” because these two phenomenal men made all the difference.
This Father’s Day, as we celebrate the precious men who made us possible, here are three qualities I believe make daddies heroes and living, breathing symbols of God’s finest work: