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Do What's Right

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Have you ever known someone else was going to do harm or damage and turned a blind eye because possibly

  • You didn’t want them to think you were a nerd (spoiled sport/tattle tale in my day)
  • Be thought less of and not included in the popular crowd (a thought that comes at any age)
  • Worried ramifications would come to you if you interfered
  • Hoped it would just go away if you turned a blind eye
  • There are many reasons as human beings we don’t do what we know we should





 
In my novel ‘A Mother’s Shadow’ the main character has this situation come up and she does what we too often do – nothing and bad things come of it.  I wanted to address this topic in the book, and here, because it is so common and will rear it’s ugly head over and over again in our life.
Why is it so hard to have the courage to stand up for the things we, individually, believe are true and hold as important and even sacred?
May I suggest that it is habitually due to our own ideas, our own agendas, our own fears and our own prejudices.  These combined with creating a story in our  mind of what we want, or hope, the outcome will be, if we do, or do not, become involved.
Let me give you an example:  When I was a very young girl a few of us were playing at neighbors house.  We would take turns jumping off a wall while tossing a rock into the air (I know, incredibly stupid…).  One of my rocks happened to hit a boy in the head.  The only thing I can remember about the incident was him coming to kindergarten or first grade with a bandage on his head.  I felt terrible about it, yet I mentally distanced myself from the situation.  I do not remember taking a card, apologizing or doing anything to make amends or any sort.  I am so grateful he was not hurt more, but I never did anything either to recover the confidence of friendship of the boy or the other kids who were there.  Yes, I was young; however, it was a life lesson.
Here are some questions to ask before making a choice*

  1. Could someone be hurt? 
  2. Could I be hurt?
  3. Is it just and fair for all involved?
  4. Would it violate The Golden Rule?  How Would I feel if someone did it to me?
  5. Have I been taught or told it is wrong?
  6. Honestly, deep down, how do I feel about it?
  7. How will I feel about myself later if I do it?
  8. What would others I respect say about it?
  9. What does my conscience say?
  10. What would God say?





 There are times when we think we are smarter or know more than those who are giving us counsel.
Many, many years ago, my dad took my two sisters and me to Hawaii for a few weeks in the summer for a vacation.  I am the oldest and my next youngest sister is Jody. 
There was a blocked off area in the ocean to swim in, and I told dad that Jody and I were going to be in that swimming pool.  Neither of us were strong swimmers and maybe twelve and ten years old at the time.
We took off past the signs that warned:

  • No lifeguard on duty
  • Do not swim close to the wall
  • Caution of under tow
  • Swim at own risk

Of course we paid not attention, running into the water with our blown up mats to splash and play.
We floated lazily around when Jody started to scream!
I grabbed onto her as she was being sucked over the wall and into the oceans current – the under tow the sign has warned us of.  No life guard came to help.  We were all alone and I was so frightened I was not going to be able to save her!
The force pulling her under was strong.  I had a firm grasp on her hands, but they slipped and then I only had her fingers. 
I prayed with all the fervency I could muster in the situation.
I braced my feet against the wall, gripping her fingers with all my might, called out to God and yanked back with all my weight.  We both landed on the shallow side of the wall. Jody was scrapped up and bleeding, but alive.




I learned many lessons from that experience as I have looked back:

  • We did not go into the situation with bad intent, but were foolish and reckless nonetheless
  • It is so much better and wiser to look to those with experience and wisdom (the signs in this case) to avoid possible catastrophic consequences
  • It is NEVER, EVER to late to call on God for help.  He cannot take away consequences, but He is there waiting for our appeal for His help.

 Hopefully we can listen to our conscience a bit more intently, be more courageous in doing the right thing – though the outcome may be harsh, and stand for all that is good when making choices and interacting with others.  First and foremost, always ask God, He will never, ever lead us astray.  That is the way we can leave a legacy for others to follow that is trustworthy.
*Adapted from GoodCharacter.com
For more on this topic:
A Mother’s Shadow Novel, click HERE
To Forgive or Not, click HERE
Consequences ARE Necessary, click HERE
Are YOU A Super Hero, click HERE
A Pinch of Salt, click HERE
ALL Gloves Are BEAUTIFUL, click HERE
Copy­right Car­rie Grone­man,  A Mother’s Shadow, 2015
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today
 



Did You Survive Yourself Ok?

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Airport 1

Have you every pondered on the choices in daily life and how it can bring gloom and discouragement OR happiness and liberty to live the life we choose? 

I have an analogy about an airplane ride that might help us in our decisions and actions.



Did You Survive Yourself OK?

Some years ago Stan and I were able to take a trip with a group of people in the company he was employed at. We had a great vacation, and as always is the case, the time came to return home.

It was a long flight and was the usual flight until we were about half an hour out from our destination airport where we were landing. Suddenly turbulence came up tossing the plane side to side, as well as to bounce the aircraft as if it were a toy.

There are three common reasons for airplane turbulence:

  • Thunderstorms are the major source, yet these are readily identified with modern technology and then avoided whenever possible.
  • Large mountains are also a cause of turbulence because of the surrounding air patterns; again, these are usually not an issue as they can be circumvented.
  • The last reason for turbulence comes from the interaction between the slower air patterns that are around the globe, coming into contact with the fast moving jet stream from the airplane itself. This kind of turbulence can happen at any time, and without any warning, because the jet stream is unpredictable and so it cannot be avoided.

As our plane continued to pitch and be thrown about, passengers were quite nervous.  Actually some of the people on board become physically ill due to the lurching motion.

Finally our aircraft approached the runway, but I just could not bear to look out the small window to my side.

Why?

I did not know if the pilot would be able to land the plane safely or not and I could not bare to see it come closer and closer without any lack of momentum.  As the plane approached the ground,  the wheels sporadically touched the asphalt, then bounced us up into the air again with great force.  It was such a drastic bump that sent us back off the runway that it truly caused some of the buckled in passengers to hit their heads on the overhead compartments.

Blessedly, after several attempts, the plane did land safe and intact.

After the plane had stopped moving, there was complete silence for at least one full minute or more. I’m sure I was not the only one saying a very sincere and heartfelt ‘Thank Thee Lord for preserving our life this day’.

In the silence, a young boy who was seated in the front of the plane, unbuckled his seat-belt, turned around and knelt up on the chair, his eyes just peering over the top of the seat.  Looking towards the rear of the plane, I suppose to a family member who was sitting in the very back. In a young voice he asked loudly, “Did you survive yourself OK?”


I have thought of that innocent, yet profound question for years now.

[Tweet “Did you survive yourself OK the young boy on the plane asked? @AMothersshadow”]

We all have thunderstorms in our life. We may see the clouds darken, feel the air shift and the temperature drop. With these signs we are able to run for shelter, or for an umbrella at the very least.

Difficulties and turbulence will come to each and every person. When the mountain looms in front of us, sometime we have to prepare and hike to the top and over the other side, and other times we go around the massive land form.

Yet, just like the pilot who cannot see the invisible air, nor its shifting patterns, we cannot always see, nor choose our trials and hardships.

These are there to help us grow individually, and as a family. The question is, when these difficulties come, as they surely will, do we lean on our God who knows us and loves us better than anyone else possibly could? Do we live His commandments the best we can so that we are sure to be victorious? To survive OUR SELF OK is completely and totally our choice, as well as the root of our misery or happiness.

Life really is wonderful. Daily there are countless small, and large miracles given because He loves us.

I hope we search, and make it a point to find those simple and tiny blessings; that is how we will have joy, happiness.  And then to be able to confidently say, I ‘survived MYSELF OK’.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2016

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

For More Posts On This Topic:

A Mother’s Shadow’ a novel by Carrie Groneman

AMS Cover Small

 

 

 

 

 

My Purpose Is –

My Purpose Is -

Is There Enough

 




mother9 (3)

Let's Talk About This!

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mother9 (3)

In the end, what really does matter?

LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS!

One afternoon I was watching my two oldest grandsons; we played and had a great time together.

Late in the afternoon my son Derek came to pick up his boy. We visited for a bit, then he called to his son that is was time to leave.

My other grandson did not want his cousin to go and started hanging on one arm of the boy, while Derek was pulling on his sons other arm. They were basically in a tug-of-war with the younger of the two boys in the middle.

Derek finally just picked up his boy and said they really had to go. My other grandson ran after him calling his cousins name and saying repeatedly, ‘Wait, let’s talk about this!’ Of course his cousin had no choice in the matter and it was quite comical for my grandson, to even be trying to reason his point with a force much larger than himself.

I attended a funeral recently of an elderly neighbor, which caused me to ponder my own choices and life. I believe that we all live beyond this life and what we do, and how we act, weighs heavily on our level of happiness after we die. We all know we cannot take physical objects with us, but we do take our relationships, in my opinion.

Consider for a moment that if we were all the same after we die; the accolades and status were not important, only our thoughts, the sincere desires of our heart, and if/how we overcame our own unique human weaknesses made the difference, how would we live?

If we could not reason our way into, or out of, righteous judgment, such as my grandson was trying to have his way with ‘Let’s Talk About This’, would we adjust our priorities?

My blogs name is A Mother’s Shadow. Have you ever wondered why I chose that as the title for my header?

Consider a shadow for a moment.

  • Shadows can loom with impending danger. They can cause a lack of direction and even stifle progress with fear.
  • On the other hand, a shadow can be a refuge in the heat of a long difficult day in the battle of life. It can be a place to rest, find courage and a route for delight and joy that are deep and lasting.
  • As we go through our daily life, are we casting a shadow of darkness, dread and discouragement OR one of light, gladness and contentment?

My belief is that no one will not be able to justify, or make excuses, for bad behavior any more than my grandson was able to stop his cousin from leaving him.

The good news is that we can make changes, we can improve

  • We can learn
  • We can practice being better
  • and We can become a person ,who earns what I believe we all want, a calm assurance deep in our souls that we are living in a way that is commendable, as well as being a tremendous influence for good to all around us.

I marvel at the good, I see and hear, of so many wonderful people.  I applaud YOU for the countless ways you sacrifice for your family, and those in need – even a simple smile and a kind word.  Though they seem small, these are the very acts that resonate to help others change, and that speak for good for generations to come. 

I appreciate how you have changed me for the better, by your comments and that you would take a moment of your busy day to pay me a little visit.  Thank You and realize the good we do, the positive changes we make – do count.

 Copyright by Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




You knew what I was….

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Many years ago I heard a fable which has stayed with me as a guide in many instances for myself, as well as a powerful teaching tool for my children.

 I have retold this parable in my own words for you, illustrating the crucial decisions that should be taken into account when making choices; particularly those that have the potential to alter our life – markedly in a detrimental way.

 A few ideas are worth our consideration before we begin our metaphor:

• Do I ever feel superior, unique and that nothing can harm me that will/does others.

• Do I allow myself to be influenced even when I know it is not sensible or reasonable in order to be accepted (peer pressure is not just for the young, it rears its ugly head continually until we are no longer on this earth).

• Is it an easier path, emotionally or physically then to resist, even though that path could (and most likely will) lead to an uphill climb, possibly for the rest of my life?

Do I allow, or even promote some people or a certain person to be intimately or too personally involved in my life, simply to avoid loneliness or fear of being alone? Maybe I am anxious that a desired relationship will not come, though I know, deep down inside, that this one is not in my best interest.  In honest moments, I realize that my potential, and the mission I am on this planet to accomplish, will not happen if I continue the association.

• Curiosity, pride, boredom, insecurity, life’s monotony, feelings of low self worth, the idea that others do not appreciate me, the opinion I have little, or nothing to offer – all of these can tease and entice for vices such as drugs, alcohol, subtle and stark pornography, infidelity, dishonesty, abuse in all its insidious forms; actually any behavior in action or thought, that would tempt me toward immoral and corrupt behavior.

I hope this little tale I fashioned for you, will be of a benefit and help when  faced with a decision that could affect you, or your loved ones, as it has me countless times along the way.


You Knew What I Was

Long ago, a young man named woke with a start. He sat up, wide awake now. The long awaited time was finally here. There had been many changes of seasons and much training for this very special and highly anticipated day.

“Mapuche, Mapuche, come for breakfast”. He smiled when he heard his mother’s voice.

“Coming”, he said as he stuffed his blanket, food, knife, extra pair of moccasins and a few other supplies in his pouch.

The family sat looking at Mapuche, marveling how quickly he could eat when their food seemed to stick in their throats, refusing to move, though mother had prepared delicious food.

Mapuche didn’t seem to notice and in between bites, he told of the wonderful adventures he was going to have. This was the day that he would leave his family, his friends, all he knew in order to demonstrate his maturity and ability to sit with the elders of the tribe. He must go miles from home, alone, with few supplies and climb the high mountain. In order to prove his manhood, he had to bring back a branch from the tree that only grew at such lofty heights.

“Mapuche” mother softly said.

“Yes” he answered.

“Your name means ‘burning torch’. You are to be a light, a guide, a leader to all who watch you now and will follow your steps in life. Remember your noble character, your ability and do not go after foolishness.” Her eyes seemed to penetrate to his very soul, as well as pleading that he would remember her words.

“I won’t forget and I will be careful. I will see you before the moon has set five times.” He embraced his family and turned to being his journey.

As he walked he smiled at the ease of the journey. The meadow with its bright flowers seemed to sing with the birds in the trees for joy of their own beauty.

That night he camped. Feeling free and almost liberated he knew this would be an easy journey for such a strong, well-liked young man as he was.

The next day he had to begin the climb up the summit of the mountain. The air was chill and snow drifts even poked their heads from spots that the sun could not reach them due to the denseness of the trees.

Walking on, the air was a bit thinner, causing him to breathe heavy and with more effort.

No matter, it was nothing for such a prepared man as he. He would be praised for how quickly he was making the journey. What was that noise?

“Over here”.

“Who is there?” asked Mapuche, wondering who else would be so far from any village.

“I am over here” replied the voice.

Mapuche left the path, though he had been warned multiple times in the past few weeks as he prepared for this journey; actually all his life he had been told to stay on the true path, but he would be fine and he was curious of what, or who, was calling to him.

“Here I am”

“Why you are a snake!” Mapuche could hardly believe his eyes, or his ears.


“I am so cold here in the shade and I can barely move. I am very hungry and surely about to die. Will you please carry me with you to a sunny rock so I may revive myself?”

“But you are a deadly and poisonous snake. Why ever would I touch you?”

“I promise not to harm you. I just need you to carry me with you to the crest on the other side of this hill top.”

“But, you have surely bitten others and they have died. Why wouldn’t you hurt me?”

“Do I look deadly to you? I promise not to hurt YOU in any way” pleaded the snake.

“Well, your skin is of such beauty that how could you be dangerous. I am sure that my parents and the old ones were mistaken when they called you a threat.” Mapuche thought to himself, they could not know of his generation, they are old fashioned in their ways. I will put the snake down before he can warm too much to be risk to my safety. I can handle myself.

Mapuche gingerly picked up the snake and put it in his shirt to warm the creature; he did feel some empathy as it was a living thing.

They traveled together all that day, to which Mapuche found the serpent quite good company and easy to talk to, interesting actually.

Night fell. He made camp, ate his dried meat and went to sleep with the snake coiled next to his warm body.

Dawn came and Mapuche was up at the first rays of the sun. This was his glory day. He would be to the designated tree, cut off a branch and be able to start for home before the sun raised high in the sky.

The snake still where they had slept, began to stretch as the beams of light came through the sky.

“Well my friend, it is time for us to part and I will travel home today.” He happily said as he bent down to retrieve his pouch.

Without a word, without warning, the snake coiled, rattled and seemed to fly . . . biting him on the neck.

Mapuche knew in an instant it was deadly. Desperately he asked, “Why did you do that? Why do you want to destroy me? You said you were my friend. I helped you and asked for nothing. Now I will die alone, without loved ones, why did you do this to me?”

The snake, very calmly and without concern replied, “You knew what I was when you picked me up” and slithered away.

Mapuche’s fearful mother, family and friends waited, prayed and hoped. After twelve moons, the braves of the village went to the mountain only to find his lifeless body.

The tale is still told of how close he had come to the desired tree, which would have secured his praise, earned him proper respect and set him the right  direction for a truly happy life.

 

My dear friends, we have a conscience.  A God-given gift to guide each one of us through dangers and hazards that could harm us, our family, our loved ones and even generations of our own posterity. Whether it be a person, a circumstance, a habit, really anything that will take us off the true path is dangerous and playing with fire.  Remember, we each have the innate tools to avoid tragedy, as well as the help needed to change for the better.

Remember the words, “You knew what I was when you picked me up.”

Copyright by Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.