Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The One Afternoon I Actually Enjoyed Baseball

I quite honestly detest most sports. I mean, it's okay and everything but watching most sports makes me want to gouge my eyes out. True story. However, if one of our children is in a sporting event, I will between talking or people watching, of course.

Our family actually plopped down some hard earned cash one Sunday afternoon and watched the movie 42. Yes, in an actual the-ater. All of us. Very seldom do we go to a movie theater if you couldn't tell.

42 is the story of Jackie Robinson. The story does center around baseball but it is so much more than a baseball movie. It is a story of humans. Humans who get things wrong. Humans who fight for the rights of others. Humans who grow up thinking they are better than others only to learn otherwise. Humans who change and want to see change. Humans who preserver when the world is saying you're wrong and you'll never change how others perceive you because of a color. Humans who go to bat for strangers.

Jackie and his wife were pioneers in sticking it out when both could have said, "I'm done. Let someone else fight this fight." However, I learned to admire President of the then Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey. He was a fighter for mankind. All of mankind, no matter the color of ones skin. He took a risk. A huge risk by signing the first African-American into major league baseball when, at that time, there was a league for whites and a Negro league for blacks.

I loved some of the movie lines of Harrison Ford who played Branch Rickey in the movie. I haven't researched to find out if they were actual quotes of Mr. Rickey or just some great writing for the movie. For example: "The world’s not so simple anymore, I guess it never was. We ignored it, now we can’t." How applicable for today.

There is one line in which I would have loved to have stood and clapped. It was the part in the movie where one team didn't want to play the Dodgers because of Jackie being part of the team. Mr. Rickey not so gently reminded the owner or manager of that particular team that when he [that other team] gets to Heaven and has to account for this [not wanting to play a team with a black player] that he'll just say he didn't want whites and black together and that will surely get him past St Peter. I'm doing a poor job at remembering the quote and cannot find it on the Internet so I think you should just go watch the movie and listen for this quote. ;)

As typical of Hollywood, there are words thrown around. Words in which I always, no matter how old our children get, remind them not to use. There are some racial slurs but I felt those were appropriate in the movie since it depicted what some of the country was like during this time frame. But, I cringed every time the slur was spoken. Just so you know, I would never use those slurs and would never remain quiet if someone used those around me.

What really saddened me was one scene where a little boy was sitting beside his dad. The little boy was so excited to see one particular player who grew up by the city the Dodgers were playing in that night. Out trots Jackie and the crowd instantly boos and calls out racial slurs. The dad joins in. The boy looks confused and unfortunately, like his father, he starts yelling the same slurs. It is a great commentary on parenting at its worst and how little eyes and ears are watching.


In other news. Today is my dad and aunt's (twins) 86th birthday. Even though neither has a computer, I felt I needed to let you know. Plus they'll never know I just spilled their ages to the entire world. ;)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

There Is Something About You

You are more beautiful than you think.

Take 6 minutes out of your busy day to watch this very powerful video by Dove. You may or may not need a tissue as you watch this important video.

YOU are beautiful. Don't ever forget that. Get those ugly voices out of your head.
Look for that inner beauty which is shining through to others! Be brave. Believe
and stand tall. You are God's beloved daughter and he doesn't make junk!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Because We Want Puppies, Rainbows and Happy Clouds

Puppies. The smell, the energy, the tail wagging, the licking and running.
Rainbows. The promise God made and perhaps there really is a pot-o-gold at the end.
Happy Clouds. Well, I just threw that in there because it reminds me of the painter who painted "happy clouds" and "happy trees" said in a relaxed "happy" voice.

Yesterday, most of our family participated in the End It movement. Click on this link to find out why. We started the day off positive, energized and ready to answer if anyone asked about the red 'x' on our hands. And, if the bloggy world readers react the same way those persons our real life acted, I won't "cram" this down your throat again.....well, until perhaps next year if End It has an awareness day again. ;)

If you did not participate in this movement, that is fine and dandy. We all have passions for certain things and this is becoming one of mine. I do not judge you. (This is just a commentary on the responses I received yesterday.)

We didn't cram anything down any one's throat. Perhaps when people asked us why there was a red 'x' on our hands they just didn't know how to respond. Most of the time it seemed like people were making a joke about the 'x'.

"What did you do last night that you have an 'x'?" To which I responded, "Today is a day to raise awareness and shine a light on slavery." Chirp, chirp, chirp and no more eye contact from the person who had just asked. In fact, I felt dismissed.

"What's the 'x' for?" asked another. So, I tried a different response. "It's to shine a light on slavery. You know, like bonded labor, forced labor and human trafficking." This person's response? "How is that {the red 'x'} going to help?" "To raise awareness that slavery still exists. If you go to it will give you a ton of information." I say in a non-confrontational way. Person's response, "You know you shouldn't put ink on your skin."

The conversation in my head as I walked away: How is the red 'x' going to help? Well, how is a little pink pin going to help breast cancer? Or a red dress for women's heart disease month? Or wearing a blue shirt for abuse awareness? Or a puzzle piece for autism? I shouldn't wear ink on my skin? 27 million people should not have to be slaves.

Yet another asked if I went to a party the night before and when I said what it was for that person just walked away and said nothing.

And, another just kept looking at my hand but didn't say a thing.

Only one person, who said she wrote a paper for a school project on human trafficking in a large city about an hour away, had anything positive to say. We actually had a real conversation until we were interrupted.

My conclusion after a day of disappointment in responses (except for one)? People just want happy things like puppies, rainbows, butterflies, sunshine, happy clouds and trees, and blue skies forever and ever amen. We, humans, like to stick our heads in the sand when life gets ugly. I'm like that as well. If I don't know something terrible is going on then I don't have the responsibility to change it.

What is one red 'x' on my hand going to do? It reminded me to pray for those millions. It reminded me that this world is bigger than ME. It gave me a glimpse at how we, humans, like to look only as far as the end of our nose at times so we can live in a world of happy.

To be honest, when I went to End It movement's facebook page last night to see if they had an updated status, I made the mistake of reading some comments. It was sad the amount of negative comments ranging anywhere from 'there aren't slaves in the US' (false) to 'the red x is already been used so bartenders can know if you're underage' and 'how is this going to stop slavery'.

I lost a little bit of faith in mankind last night. I won't lie.

How did Martin Luther King Jr change the US? It was a movement. It was a gathering of people just like you and me wanting to make and see a change.

Today is a new day. No, the sun isn't shining. In fact we just had our first thunderstorm of the season. Today is a day of new perspective for me. Slavery still exists. Negativity will run rampant when others do not know the facts. But, I'm not going to let that get me down. I am still going to pray. I am still going to donate money when I can. I am still going to follow God's leading. The end.

(annnnddd, end of rant. you're welcome. these opinions are only mine and I'm not looking for a "blog fight" in the comment section. thanks!)

Saturday, April 6, 2013


Life isn't always pretty and filled with sunsets and roses. Life gets messy. Messy bits are often worth going through for in the end you'll be stronger. More courageous. Changed. Messy isn't fun but often necessary.

"...your life can’t sing unless you play. And you can’t really play unless you know how to play through the hard parts." Holy Experience

My life was moving along just fine until I learned more of what Dancer Daughter would experience on outreach in during her season with Youth With A Mission. As I delved deeper into the subject of women and children at risk, I learned more than I ever wanted to know about human trafficking. Slavery still exists today. It wasn't completely abolished during Lincoln's era contrary to popular belief.

I have this knowledge. Now, what do I do with it. I've always had a passion to 'be there' for young adult women. I know what it is like as one enters the last few years of high school wondering what to do when it seems everyone around already knows and has it all together. Then, as one enters life after high school and you're still wondering, seeking, questioning.

But, human trafficking (aka slavery). Wow, that is an entirely different ball game. I'm still seeking the Lord on what to do with this knowledge of what is happening around the world (including the US). Children in brick factories, farms or other factories, women forced to sell their bodies, children of prostitutes not knowing there is a different life. How does that all go away so every child can have a life of play and not worry, and every women knows her worth is more than pleasing men who might abuse her if she says no? How do we stop the selling of people?

END IT is a movement. A movement to bring awareness. On Tuesday, April 9th help shine a light on slavery by wearing a red "X".

A movement that is joined by seven coalition partners who deal with slavery. (100% of money donated-minus transaction costs..example: paypal, credit card fees etc-goes directly to the partners).

Take some time today to visit END IT 's website and learn. Knowledge is a beautiful thing.


Help bring awareness by sharing your knowledge. And, pray. Pray.