Monday, January 16, 2017

No Greater Love


Today is the day we recognize this one man.
 
A great leader. 
A Christ follower.
A Son.
A Brother. 
 

"I still believe that love is the most durable power in the world. Over the centuries men have sought to discover the highest good. This has been the chief quest of ethical philosophy. This has been one of the big questions of Greek philosophy. The Epicureans and the Stoics sought to answer it; Plato and Aristotle sought to answer it. What is the summum bonum of life? I think I have discovered the highest good. It is love. This principle stands at the center of the cosmos. As John says, “God is love.” He who loves is a participant in the being of God. He who hates does not know God."


A Father. 
A Husband.
A Preacher.
A Servant to all of Humanity.

"Always be sure that you struggle with Christian methods and Christian weapons. Never succumb to the temptation of becoming bitter. As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos."

A Poet.
A Philosopher. 
A Teacher.
A Student. 

A man whose only mission was to promote LOVE.

“There is no greater love than this: that a person would lay down his life for the sake of his friends.” John 15:13

Because of Hate and Fear 
He never got to see his grandchildren.
He didn't get to witness the first Black President.
He never even saw his 40's. 

Despite his short time here, he was A world changer.
His words carry weight because he backed them with the actions that eventually killed him.
His voice is still heard today.
And hopefully will be heard for many more years to come. 

I'm beyond thankful that I live in a country that recognizes men just like Martin Luther King jr.
It is my hope and prayer on this day that we won't silence the voice of love. 
That all of us will work together to be love promoters and in doing so become world changers in our own right. 






Monday, January 09, 2017

Storms, Songs, and Some Food for Thought

This blog written today has a bit of the children's book 
If you give a Mouse a Cookie feel to it.

If you give a girl a day off due to a recent storm....
she's going to want to blog about it.
And when she blogs about it....
she's going to want to listen to music while she types.

Join me now beloved reader as I process out loud with you 
THIS DAY.






I'm sitting here the day after a major storm has almost swept downtown Reno away.
My children are home from school because of this storm and we are pausing from everyday life.

Somehow the recent weather has brought all kinds of storms in my heart, mind and in my soul.

I will admit I was on the doubtful side that this storm would be as bad as predicted. I couldn't believe that they cancelled school on Saturday before the storm had really even come to town.
This same doubtful side of life kind of reminds me of the doubts I had before November 11th.
 
As I read the news reports yesterday though, I began to pray for all the families and businesses that this great storm would affect. I realized that once again the path of indifference is so easy to take, and comes with terrible regret. I'm glad that others didn't take my nonchalant attitude toward this predicted terrible storm.

There were many preparations made for this expected storm.

Days before the storm was really here, the Reno community prepared for what was to come. There were all kinds of people that came together and helped in anyway they could so that houses and business wouldn't be flooded.
Many sand bags were laid down.
People posted on Facebook their cries for help and their neighbors came to their rescue.

Strangers united for the purpose of helping their neighbors here.

This got me thinking about my neighbors and "We The People" who have recently weathered a political storm of sorts.

With only a few weeks before the Presidential inauguration is about to take place, I'm thinking about what the world will look like now.
I'm thinking about what preparations "we the people" should be taking.
And by sitting here writing this blog post I'm taking a different path, and I don't feel indifference will be one of the streets names.
 
I feel it in my bones. 

My heart is swept away with sadness as we say goodbye to the Obamas and try to prepare for the Trumps.

As I sat in the comfort of my home yesterday when the sky was grey and the earth was wet, I enjoyed the sound of the rain.
Those that know me well know that I LOVE THE RAIN!
Rain brings life and green and green is my favorite color. 

(that's your one light hearted side note beloved reader)

Now, I'm thinking about how water is life and at the same time how powerfully destructive it can be.

The same could be said about music.

Music brings life.

"Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music."

Today here in Reno there is much talk of levee's and bridges.
I somehow feel like the life giving water levee of the White House will be left dry after January 20th when it once was so full.

The sun came out for only a few hours today and already so much of the water is dry. In a matter of 24hrs it all looks so different now and will again look different tomorrow as predictions of more snow are headed our way.

But when I think of levee's and them being dry, musically speaking, Don Mclean's song American Pie comes to my mind of course.

(in my life there is a song for everything and everything is a song)
Okay, so maybe you get two light hearted side notes...

When asked to interpret the meaning of this classic song Don left it up to we the listeners and never really gave a clear description for it all. 
In the interview that you can listen to below he talks about how it started with the death of Buddy Holly, but then morphed into something so much greater.

He says;

"Politics and music flow in the same channel because music is created by the society that is under it."

Somehow, I feel as though this could be a theme song for this present moment we find our country in. 

Will the music die?

Will "WE THE PEOPLE" no longer sing the songs of freedom and grace or 
Will we prepare our hearts, our minds, our voices to continue to sing out that great song that brings us all together as the United States of America?
Will we silently sit by and let the music of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness die
or
Will we come together again for one great purpose?

Will we stop the commentary and personal opinions if only for a moment to hear what our neighbors are crying out?




It's funny how whats happening in the natural can affect the super natural.

What happened here yesterday in the natural can be a new beginning for our biggest little city.

What happened on November 11th was the beginning of a song, a cry that we thought was buried here, but so painfully has come to life for our immediate attention.
It has brought about a political storm of record proportions.

Next Monday my children will be home from school again, this time not because of any storm, for I have no doubt that like it did today the sun will be out and the land will be dry again.

No, my teenagers will be home to celebrate and remember a man named Martin Luther King jr. I will remind them that this is a holiday that all states recognize but one, and we will once again pause from everyday life.

I find it so interesting that it comes the Monday before the week ends with a very sad inauguration day.

What happens in Washington on January 20th will also be a new beginning that "We The People" get to decide what the ending will look like. 

How can one voice speak to so many people?

How can one song can capture so many emotions? 

I'm convinced that The music will NOT die and thankfully in the super natural a mortal man does not fill the levee's of our hearts.
Although the levee's here in Reno will be dry in the natural the super natural state of this girls heart will be full.

Full of Love.
Full of Prayers.
Full of Song.

You know what song I'll be singing on January 20th?


Wednesday, January 04, 2017

My New Years Word for 2017

(above picture taken circa 10 years ago)

The day after Christmas this year, my word for 2017 came like a gentle nudge from an old friend.
PURPOSEFUL

I'm not talking about finding my life's purpose because I have known for many years what that is.
It's not wrapped up in a career or even a role I fulfill like wife, mother, sister, friend. 
That's not to say that those don't give me purpose or reason to get up and get moving, but they are not my sole purpose on this planet. 
I know my gifts, my strengths and weaknesses.
 I know who my creator is so I have that source of constant fulfillment and purpose like a river running through my veins on the daily. 
Knowing the Lover of my Soul and pursuing Him in all things = My one small life's purpose.
"The meaning of life is to find your gift.
The purpose of life is to give it away."

I feel content in those areas.
I think the word that has come my way for 2017 came about because the older I'm getting the more I'm realizing that unless I prioritize something or someone then those gifts I want to give don't get given. 
(Say that 5 times fast) 
I think it might have something to do with how fast time seems to keep going.
The older I get the faster the arms on that life clock get spinning. 
Faster and faster,
And so it goes.
I know I'm not alone in feeling this way about Father Time.
You want to catch up to him and YELL, Slow the Hell Down!!
But he is like the Gingerbread man just taunting you to try and catch him if you can.
We all know we can't catch Father time and make him slow down or even stop so you can catch your breath, but I have moments where I sit straight up and think I am going to carpe the hell out of this diem!
I think it was a moment like that where this word for 2017 was birthed from.
As I was sitting in my bed the day after Christmas, I was thinking about the amazing weekend of fun with my Fab 4 kids and My Giant who spoiled me beyond belief this year.
I thought about the time I spent with my mom and dad and brothers and sisters.
 I thought about how grateful I am for this one small life. 
I thought about all the people I wanted to thank for my amazing 42nd Birthday that had just happened the week before.
I remembered how once upon a time I used to be so organized and good at writing thank you cards for moments just like this. 
So I sat up with coffee in hand and started writing them all thank you cards.
In that moment I realized I want to be more purposeful with my days ahead.
I want to make lists and check them twice. 
I want to stop procrastinating.
I want to show up with this one small life. 
I want to give away what I've been given and be purposeful in doing so.
I realize that as I head into 2017 I won't completely be able to accomplish all of these wants, intentions, and desires because time limits us to only 24 hours. 
I will try with every ounce of my being though to continue to give away what God has given me. 
I will wake up each day and pray this prayer;
"Use me God.
Show me how to take who I am,
Who I want to be, 
And what I can do, 
and use it for a PURPOSE greater than myself." 
This above photograph is one of my all time favorites of Poppa Tom with his buddy Isaiah, many moons ago. When I see this picture I'm reminded that as I head into a new year, with new ideas, and new priorities I don't walk alone. 
I'm grateful for moments just like this one so long ago that so fully captures what it looks like to walk out life with our buddies by our sides and hearts full of adventure, and purpose. 
Wish me God speed beloved reader and I wish you the Happiest and Most Purposeful of New Years!
 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Catholic School Girl Memories and Turning 42



                
                                            (The big red sock I started my life out in)

As I approach the day of my birth, I can't help but become a tad bit nostalgic. Please indulge me beloved reader as I head down memory lane a bit. 
Most of my life I have known there is more than what we see here on this earth. When you are born only a week before Christmas and named Noël you can't help but seek out why that name is so special. You wonder at a very young age why your name is Sung out with such sweetness, and why it is all over town in bright lights. Right from the very beginning of my small life I was taught about someone bigger than myself. That was the greatest gift my parents could have ever given me.

I was told that originally I was to be named Natalie(now the name of one of my beloved friends) after Natalie Wood, but because my due date was on Christmas day the vote changed to Noël. My very European grandparents argued that it should be spelled Noelle, but my mom insisted it would be spelled the way people see it all over the world and the compromise was to put an umlaut over the E ... that's the dots you see over my E for those of you who don't know what an umlaut is. Don't feel left out if you are just now learning what an umlaut is. I didn't really know that's what it was officially called until much later in life. I also didn't know how to put it on any typed email, text, or blog so I would sign off as No..el, hence the nick name No Dots for short! You're welcome ... you now know what an umlaut is and should feel very European hence forth. Ha ha giggle.

I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't being taught about the big man in the sky or a time that the month of December wasn't so special, and I think some of this might be because I came home in a stocking. I mean not many people get to say that they started out their life coming home in a big red sock. Maybe it is because from a very young age until this present day my birthday that was almost shared with the day we celebrate baby Jesus coming to earth has been so closely linked that it's no wonder why I'm always talking about him. 
Is it because we were almost birthday buddies or possibly because I started learning about him from such a young age?
I'm not really sure but bare with me as we head down the road of Noël's Christmas past, present, and future. 


             (My niece Savanah Rae in the Peanut Cracker as a toy soldier)


I started my education in a private Catholic school called St. Teresa's, and  for the first years of my academic life I had to wear a uniform, call some strange man Father, and go to confession weekly. 

I have some very fond memories of those days, but I also had a lot of confusion about those days as well.


I remember as a young Catholic girl that there were a few things about this whole God business that I didn't really understand.

I didn't understand how believing in God correlated to having to wear a uniform and look like everyone else. I was a girly girl who wanted to dress in all kinds of style and fashion, but instead I was limited to a white dress shirt, a plaid pleated green and blue skirt every day, oh and plain navy blue pants in the winter. Bleh!!
Maybe this is what happens when you come home in a big red sock, dunno?!
Needless to say, the moment I went to public school all the girly girl came out in full splendor!

I also didn't understand why we had to go to confession. I was a young girl whose only sins at the time (that I knew of anyways) were being irritated by my little kid brother, calling him a bad name or two,(which back then would have been something like doo doo head) and ...yea that was it! I would often times go into confession on Saturday and or Sunday which ever day we went, and I would make up stuff. Which then of course was lying so I would confess to lying while I was currently doing it!!  LOL ... now that there is some funny shit or I mean doo doo!

And finally, I didn't understand why I had to call this man I didn't really know my Father and be very, very well behaved around him especially because he was really important and special. I was always timid and shy around the priests, and I never, not once walked boldly up to them because they were in my young mind untouchable and beyond holy.  


I don't in any way want to sound as though my time as a young Catholic girl wasn't for the most part a wonderful experience. My childhood memories there are for the most part sweet, and full of a lot of laughter and love, except for maybe having Ms. Janet as a teacher. That's a story for another day ;)


I'm thankful for the nun at St. Teresa's that was kind and loved animals. We would walk the school yard together with her cute white poodle, and sometimes she would give me some of his snacks...Ew! Ha ha ....just kidding not about eating dog snacks, but the Ew part because they were real beef jerky treats...(at least I think they were,  ((insert wide eyed emoticon face here)) either way, I loved them and her!

I think about that young kindergarten  girl who ran around St. Teresa's with her best friend Julie(that I'm still friends with today) and I think about what a good life this has been.


I'm grateful for the beginning of  my spiritual journey that did indeed start at a very young age, but I also know that this journey isn't over until the day I stand before my maker and my time here on earth is done. I will continue to try and fully know and understand more about this "God Business" (yes I did just quote myself)and how I can better serve him all the days of my life. 

It wasn't until later in life when I came to know Christ in a completely different way that some of that confusion started to make sense. Some of the things I was told to do there were in fact NOT biblical and other aspects of my early days as a young Catholic school girl still have molded me today.


14 Since then we have da great high priest ewho has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, flet us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest gwho is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been dtempted as we are, hyet without sin. 16 iLet us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


 I'm glad that I now know my High Priest, Jesus. I know him and he knows me. I know that he knows my weaknesses and sins before I even say a word and he sympathizes with me because he knows I'm human and prone to make mistakes. I know he loves me and that there is nothing that can ever separate me from his love. There is no sin, no earthly mistake that I could make that would stop him from loving me and that gives me the ability to come to him daily with confidence and security. 



A throne of grace is where I humbly bend my knee now. I gladly bend my knee now, not because I'm told it's what I should do, or because Jesus and I were almost birthday buddies, but because I know the King to which I give my allegiance. He is a good king full of mercy and unending love for me. 

I'm thankful that although my mom and dad were both raised very Catholic they came to have an understanding about Jesus that is outside of the four walls that a church building would provide. They love people genuinely and not just on Sundays. They have loved each other sincerely and without reproach for over 45 years now and they have shown me what it looks like to follow after Christ in a way that doesn't seem hypocritical or arrogant. They are real, and their devotion to Jesus is real. 

 I have had 42 years of goodness and I choose to give glory to God for this one small life. 


          I never knew that life could be this good.






 I'm beyond grateful that my eyes have been opened to a world outside of this very temporary one. I think that every year I'm given here on this planet is a gift not to be taken for granted. I don't fear this aging body because I know that my soul continues to grow bigger every year as I love more people and learn to love God more fully. 


I'm glad that I now understand things about God and his relationships toward men and women that I didn't then. I know without a doubt that his love for me, for all of us, is unfailing and that he always wants us all to know of this love that has the capacity to make every day feel like Christmas. 


      He is all that makes sense in this temporary life. 

He is a very GOOD GOD and the greatest gift this life has EVER known is the gift of my salvation.

I'm grateful that I just don't have to exist here on this planet until my time here is done, but that He makes every day "fresh with no mistakes in it".(Thank you Anne of Green Gables for that quote) He makes life full of hope and it doesn't fade after the Christmas lights come down and the fun Songs stop being sung.


He is the reason I have a song in my heart, a smile on my face, and a soul that knows it's worth! My Christmas wish or prayer would be that you too, beloved reader know your worth and that once the lights come down and the big day is over next week you will have this gift that keeps on giving.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Spirit of Christmas

Emmanuel - God With Us
I was talking to my youngest son Isaiah the other day about the "Spirit of Christmas" and why this time of year is so special and magical.
We were driving in the car when this conversation about Christmas took place.
This is where most great conversations take place with my kids. 
When we are on the go, out and about in the world.
We passed by this corner in our neighborhood that is always decorated with lights at Christmas time. This corner has stood out to us since we moved here over 3 years ago now, and I will tell you why.

This corner lot is a community corner. 
This corner isn't in someones front yard.
It doesn't belong to anyone really, but every year a couple comes out after Thanksgiving and puts out a beautiful light display for the world to enjoy every Holiday season.
They work hard every year to bring a little holiday cheer by bringing a little light to the world that gets so dark every winter. 
Emmanuel - God With Us
Isaiah is 12 years old and loves people.
He has been a people lover from the day he was born.
I have said that Isaiah has never met a stranger because he makes friends wherever he goes.
When he realized that this couple goes out to put a light in the world simply because they have the "Christmas Spirit" we got talking about what that really means.
We talked about how people love to give this time of year.
We sing songs, wear silly hats and overall just seem happier.
He wondered, Why is that?
Emmanuel - God With Us
I mentioned that the true heart of God is that we would all be like this all year round and that the true "Spirit of Christmas" might in fact just be God's Holy Spirit that we have in us all year, but we just don't pour it out like a cold drink offered on a hot day. 
We talked about what the world would look like if we all started thinking about how we can make another life a little brighter and their load in life they have to carry a little lighter. 
Would if we were givers rather than takers all year long?
Would if we greeted one another with a smile and genuine love in our hearts?
Would if we sang praise to God all year long like we do at Christmas?
It was a great conversation that got me thinking about one of the names we call God;
Emmanuel- God With Us. 
It made me realize how grateful I am to have God's spirit within me, changing me, helping me to see the world through the eyes of faith, hope and most importantly love. 
It reminded me to have hope for others because this is what life should look like here. 
It is only a prayer away that would keep this life of love and cheer, of light and hope going strong all year long. 
The prayer is a simple one... it goes something like this ;
Creator of the Universe
Emmanuel 
HELP ME!
Help me to see the good.
Help me to be the good.
Help me to live in a way that makes life easier, not harder for others.
Help me to give and not take.
Help me to sing and smile and hug freely.
Help me to love.
Help me to accept.
Help me to forgive. 
HELP ME!
"And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever- the Spirit of TRUTH, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but YOU know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."
 John 14:16-17

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Moving Forward


I've been writing here for many years now. 
Some seasons provide more time for me to write and share my thoughts with you beloved reader and other seasons I am quiet because my thoughts shouldn't be shared.
One thing I hope I have conveyed over all these years is that when you come to spend a moment with me here you will walk away from this spot knowing that you are loved and that my life's goal is to love. 
I end every blog post with the signature "Nothing But Love" because that is the only message  I have to express that I feel is of any value to repeat over and over. 
And maybe I've become redundant in this message, but I'd prefer to think of it as being consistent in my life's message. 


I know many people who are feeling a deep sense of loss and sadness this advent season.

They are looking around at the present state of our world and more specifically our nation, and they are still shaking their heads in disbelief. 
Some have shaken the dust off and moved on, but there are still so many that no longer feel secure in this country. 
They wonder every time they walk out their door if they will be safe to walk their streets and wear their clothes, and have a different color of skin.

I will never truly know as a white, suburban married, mother of 4 what it feels like to move forward for them at this present moment, so I won't presume to know what to make of all of this for them.

But, as a mother of 4 who has had many conversations with my adult and almost adult children I can tell you that my sole purpose has been renewed. 

"LOVE WINS"

I have come to realize that so long as we keep our heads, and more specifically our eyes on people and humanity our discouragement might continue.
If you look for the negative you will find it, but I challenge us all to look for the good because it is there.

This man and his sign inspired me to write this post ;

This Was About Washing My Brothers Feet

Maybe it will inspire you too and remind us all that we are one as we remain walking out a life in love. 

"LOVE WINS"

In times like these it's crucial that we look up and remember this is not our home. 
That's not to say that we shouldn't pay attention to the world we live in right now, and that we shouldn't spend every last breath we have trying to the best of our ability to make it better, but we have to remember that this place is not eternal. 

The earth and all that is in it is passing away. 

The souls that inhabit this place are however eternal and the only thing that will last in them is the love that is shared. 

Love is eternal, because God is love. 

"LOVE WINS"

"But God can restore vision where it has been lost. 
He can give hope to dream again.
He can bring His truth to bear upon the lies of discouragement.
He can give assurance to a promising future.
Prayer is the avenue through which He can accomplish it. "


So in moving forward for me and my house I am remembering what my determined purpose is here on this planet while I'm here and it's not to declare my allegiance to any particular party line, but to continually point upward and onward. 
It is to continue to shout from the snowy mountain tops that; 

"LOVE WINS"

To let love reign and rule and truly be a light that shines in this dark place. 
Im not capable of this kind of love that crosses so many divides in my own strength. 
There is only one that I know who can reach out across all borders and extend grace and acceptance and it's in His footsteps that I want to spend my life's energy to follow after. 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Only LOVE is eternal





Monday, November 14, 2016

This Moment post Election Day






written  on November 7th
I've been working really hard this year on being present in the moment. 
For me to not dwell on the past or think too far ahead in the future is a real challenge.
I was born with what some would call a sentimental heart. 
This kind of heart doesn't recover quickly from past events or feel safe enough with the constant change and upcoming events.
I'm working on having peace in whatever moment I find myself in, and fully embracing what that looks like.
At the beginning of last year I remember feeling a distinct nudge to stay fully present in the moment.
Last January I had ALOT of change ahead of me with a graduate and my first adult child taking flight from my nest and I knew I could no longer just go hide under the covers and hope that nothing would ever change.
And so because of that impending change coming down the tracks at the beginning of 2016 I chose a word like I do every year to remind me to stay focused.
My word for the New Year was to "Embrace" all that is happening in the present moment. 
I have come to realize this year that... 
this is easier said than done.
I have to say though, that recently with all the political hype that's going on I have never wanted a day to be over sooner than I want tomorrow to be over and done with.
November 8th is almost here and I find myself thinking... Can we just call it a day already?!
I know there are SO many blogs, articles, radio shows, podcasts, interviews etc about this upcoming election and all of them seemingly more negative than the last.
As a parent of a daughter who is finally old enough to vote for the first time in her life I feel so saddened by the current political conversation.
Early on in this election she told me that she didn't even think she would vote, and she will tell you that when she said that I let loose with a conversation about how important it is that we not take for granted our right to vote, especially as women who were once denied this right.
But, as I sit here and type these words this morning... One day before D-day I feel her discouragement, and for the first time in all the years that I have been of legal age to vote I am seriously considering taking that route.
It saddens me to even admit that to you beloved reader... but it is the truth. 
I honestly cannot and will NOT stomach my hand voting for either of these candidates.
Neither one deserves the honor of being called The President of the United States.
Neither one of them deserves our defense of why they did this, or how that isn't as bad as this, that, or the other thing that the other one did.
Neither one of them has United this country and before either one of them has even been given that great honor they have caused SO much unrest and discord that I can't imagine it getting any better in the next 4 years or God forbid 8 years of them being in office.
I won't give up voting on the local level and I hope other people who are feeling just like me will realize that to not vote on the local level is even more important than those two "ding- bats" ahem sorry I mean either of the two candidates before us now , but if you ask me who I voted for after November 8th I will tell you some local names of people I hope can make a difference and I will work really hard to embrace whatever may happen after November 8th. 
But if I could just suggest one thing to all of you who may have taken the time to read this, remember that these two people who are standing before you asking for your vote of confidence in them are not where our faith should be placed. 
----------
written in THIS present MOMENT , November 14th
Sigh...
Well the day came and went and I am happy to report to you beloved reader that I did indeed vote. 
The day I wanted so badly to just be over with is over and NOW in this moment in time I'm trying to be present and embrace what the outcome of that day has brought about.
I voted for;  none of the above.
That is my right to not choose one or the other of the candidates that were placed before me.
 
I would gladly tell you why I chose to go that route, but for the sake of this blog I share my vote with you only to let you know that I'm not going to defend or discount either of the choices that were put before us on that historic November 8th 2016.
And now here I am in the middle ground of what I see happening in this country.
Here's the thing I want to say post November 8th 2016 ;
No matter who you voted for, no matter how shocked you may be by the outcome remember this election should NOT change the fact that like it or not we are in this together. 
If you want to continue to be the UNITED States of America then work toward unification.
"You act out what you want to see in reality"
I have been given the fortunate blessing of travel in my lifetime.
I have traveled outside of these four walls or borders called the UNITED STATES for many years.
 I think from my very young teen years until now,  from all of these travels I have learned SO much. 
I truly loved every trip and there have been many, but at the end of every one of them I felt this sentiment; 
"Be it ever so humble there's no place like home"

I'm grateful beyond measure to have been born here.
There are SO many reasons why I love this country, but I think one of the greatest reasons is because of our diversity. 
To the native americans who were here first, to all the rest of us immigrants that discovered this beautiful land we are ALL so diverse and amazing and fascinating. 
As we approach a holiday that is truly america at it's finest , Thanksgiving let's not forget to be thankful for this moment.
 
Our diversity IS what makes us a great nation and we should never forget that. 

I have family members and very close friends who voted for Trump, and I love them ... deeply LOVE them beyond any vote they may have cast on November 8th,  I LOVE THEM.
I have family members and very close friends who voted for Clinton, and I love them... deeply LOVE them beyond any vote they may have cast on November 8th,  I LOVE THEM.
And I have family members and very close friends who voted for the VERY first time in their VERY long lives for none of the above like I did, and I LOVE THEM.
This is what we all have to remember now ... 
Whatever the reason for your vote don't forget to keep LOVE for your fellow man or woman at the forefront of everything you do and say right NOW!
If you are so discouraged by Trump becoming President because of the awful things he has said and done don't forget that in order to conquer hate and fear your ONLY weapon of choice is LOVE!
Remember that Trump is only one man and his wife only one woman. 
Remember that this country is and always has been GREAT, because of YOU!
If you are giddy over the fact that Clinton isn't the president that you are now coming out of the closet and defending Trump remember to season your victory with grace, and peace, and LOVE!!
Remember that this country is also flawed and has done some atrocious things because of YOU!
Your words, your actions, your vote means something.
Remember that to agree to disagree, agreeably is WISDOM at it's finest.
Remember that YOU can make a difference no matter where you live or where you work you are what changes the world we ALL live in.
Remember that LOVE casts out ALL fear.
Remember that LOVE always wins.
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