Me: I really don't want you to wear that to school tomorrow, Savanna. I believe your classmates will laugh at you.
Savanna: [batting her big blue eyes at me] I don't care if they laugh at me, Momma.
Me: Oooookay. [gulp]
I will confess that in the beginning, I feared for her. I thought at some point, she would get off the school bus, run home crying and throw herself down. Grieved by her classmates taunting. I had visions of bullying.
But it didn't work that way.
She became the trend setter. The one who stands out.
People are driven to do one of those two things.
I've always been driven to stand out. Sadly, I feared when my children went this direction. All of them went the stand out route, in one way or another. Like me, Dustin isn't someone you would describe as caring a lot about fashion. But, he is a creative type -- a communicator who stands out. He stands out with his words. Jo…
And they just keep coming.
And there's nothing I can do about it.
Lord knows I've tried.
And like most other things in life, it's out of my control. (And that's probably a good thing, most times.)
At least he's turned out perfectly wonderful.
The best a parent could ask for.
I'm talking about one, Dustin Michael Shrodes, if you didn't know by now.
He's our youth pastor now, by the way. Just in case you crawled out from under a rock and didn't know. Or you are reading my blog for the first time and have no idea who the main characters in this real life scenario are. Please meet my absolutely perfect first born son:
You can read some day-to-day happenings of his early years in a hand written blog I kept and shared here a while ago. You'll love it, I promise, if you have any sentimental bone in your body whatsoeve…
Today is Fun Friday, which means...it's my day off! I love Fridays. Adore them. Crave them. What could be better than a day to do what we want to do? (To have more time to do what you want to do, vs. what you have to do, go here, where I'm helping lots of people.)
I am blogging today at Lost Daughters, one of my favorite places to be. I enjoy blogging there on occasion when I get brave enough to do so. :) More than that, I enjoy the sisterhood I've found there, with my adult adoptee friends who understand on a level that is impossible for others. Today at Lost Daughters, I'm sharing specifically about what I'm doing to help orphans. Here's my post, if you're interested in following me there today.
Stigma: a distinguishing mark of social disgrace.
Who decides what they are, anyway?
What I hate about them is that because they are established by some, many don't get the help they need.
I know so many people who hold back in pursuing support or wholeness because a social stigma is attached to whatever they deal with. Whether you have a physical condition or experienced some type of trauma, if you don't pursue help because of a stigma it makes what you go through even worse.
I am part of a support group. Sometimes I help others, and at other times I'm the one in need.
The help I receive doesn't just make things bearable, it makes walking in true victory possible.
Victory is not pasting on a smile and acting like nothing is wrong. Victory is acknowledging and facing the battle, and reaching out for the help you need to win it.
I beg you, my friend, don't let a social stigma about anything hold you back from reaching for the help you need.
Recently I attended a writer's conference in California. I had new business cards printed just prior to the conference, to take with me. Although I knew I would need cards, I gave no thought to a card holder.
Soon after arriving I was smack dab in the midst of groups of writers who were networking and exchanging cards. Most of them had fancy little black or silver card holders. I had nothing. Each time someone said, "do you have a card?" I was left to stand there digging in my purse, pulling cards out of a little ziploc bag I had hastily stuffed them in prior to leaving for the airport.
Ugh. How embarrassing. Everyone else had fancy schmancy...I had ziploc.
I thought, "hhhmmmmm....what can I do? I am totally out-classed here..."
So, I stepped into the ladies room and started going through the black hole that is my purse, rummaging for anything that might be a suitable business card holder.
We talked about stuff some people are never brave enough to speak of. We tackled the tough issues.
We were strengthened.
"Can we do this all the time, PD? Like everyday?" they said.
"Ummmm....everyday? Can we gather in person with this group every single day at the church?" I said..."In person...realistically, probably no. But can we get together on a regular basis in person? YES. Absolutely. Yes!!!" (And we can get together every day, on Facebook in between times!)
Last night I gave each of the young ladies a stack of small papers and a pen as they came in. We sat in a circle. A bucket was placed in the center. I told them at any time during the evening they could get up and put a question in the bucket that they didn't feel comfortable to ask out loud.
A lot of questions were asked out loud, but probably a dozen of them…
I've been away a few weekends in a row at conferences, so this weekend I've been catching up on a lot of house and yard work. So much that my leg muscles ache with each move! I might just take some ibuprofen to get through all my responsibilities today...
The best part of my weekend so far was connecting with my support system at Lost Daughters. The writers group there provides something for me that I've never had before and I'm so grateful. I don't post blogs there all the time, yet. Just a few. I have a lot of them sitting in draft that I'm just not ready to publish. A few times I've even set them to publish and then moved them back to draft. When dealing with issues that aren't ready for public consumption, I'm able to process them privately with the writer's group. I've gone to counseling before but I must say, this is better because I'm actually talking to people who share the same experience. It's the missing ingredient I…
"Depression hung over me like a black cloud...and it was hard to find my way out at the time..."
These were my words during a sermon a few years ago and afterwards a lady rushed up to me and said, "you mean YOU were actually depressed? Because I can't even imagine that. You seem so...together... "
Truth be told, all of us go through hard times. And all of us have rotten days. Me included.
I happen to be having a good day today. But a while back I was having an absolutely horrible day. And because so many people seem to think people like me never have bad days like they do, I got the brilliant idea, "I'm going to video record my bad day!!!"
Yes, I know that's kind of bizarre but I have a passion to share transparently with people.That's why this blog is about transparently leading and relating from a faith perspective.
So I did what was for me, a courageous thing. I recorded scenes during 24 hours...even waking up in the morning with no ma…
I was recently in a regional leaders meeting where we discussed the fact that today's people want events, seminars, workshops, mentorship and coaching. More than anything they seem to crave a leader's personal investment of time and interest. However, it was also noted that when any of that hits home and puts the finger of truth on areas of their life that need change, they back off. Scores of leaders affirm that people want them to pour into their lives but only to the degree that it doesn't mess with their desires, habits, goals and plans.