My Morning Do . . . “Grief”

~~ by tkbrown

16 September 2020 — The world’s anticipation of the year 2020 was something of a phenomenon. The 1920s were known as “The Roaring Twenties.” Perhaps we were wondering if the 2020s would be remembered in similar fashion. As the year began, we were looking at a world where economic recovery seemed to take hold, then it began to grow. Hopping a flight to the other side of the world was as commonplace as a trip to the next state was in the Twentieth Century. The concept of the end of the year being less was not one the world could grasp. There was no anticipation for the grief that lay ahead.

Today, six months into the coronavirus pandemic, the United States is groaning with grief. The country is coping with grief from losses no one could have dreamed of as the New Year took hold nine months ago. Now there is loss of loved ones, loss of work, loss of family gatherings, loss of in person worship services, loss of businesses, loss of seeing school friends, . . . the loss of life as we knew it. The United states is not alone in these losses. In many ways, the world is groaning too.

There is also anticipatory grief for the loss possibilities which lie ahead. The questions are just under the surface in most minds: “What next? Will I lose a loved one? Will I get sick and lose my life as I know it? Will I die too?” Everyone is thinking these things, but few will admit it. According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler, the anticipation of future loss is a grieving process in itself.

Are you grieving a loss? Are you anticipating future loss? Both forms of loss create the need to grieve, but few will acknowledge the fact. “Hold your chin up!” “You will survive!” “Suck it up and go on!” “No one wants to hear you whine!” One or more of these statements–and others–are heard by most as the struggle to get through the death and dying around us goes on. People are exhibiting every stage of the grieving process, but few feel free to let it show. Grief is discussed so very little–even though it is happening all around. Most probably do not even recognize the symptoms.

I am not going to discuss the various stages of grief in this writing, but over the next weeks I will describe the stages and some of the societal symptoms of those stages. Even the violence seen in this country, and in others, is a symptom of societal grief. I believe it is time for us to look at the multiple sources of grief around us and begin to embrace the associated needs–in society and in our own lives. It is time to truly begin the grieving process for all of the losses we are trying so hard to pretend do not matter. They do matter! Our societal ills are saying if we do not allow ourselves to admit the reality of it all, human behavior will regress even more.

Yes, we must go on, but we must also stop and take some time to grieve the loss of a close family member and of other losses. The losses in areas of daily living as we once knew it need to be waded through. It is important to remember, “We must go on!” Somehow, we must pick up the pieces and patch them back together. We must, and we will, survive! This is ‘the scraps’ life gives us sometimes. So, feel it and move on.

Have a Blessed Day!

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Photo Above: by Dylan Nolte @Unsplash.com.

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Source: Kubler-Ross, M.D. and D Kessler. (August 2014). “On grief & grieving: Finding the meaning of grief through the five stages of loss.” Scribner. New York. (16 September 2020).

‘Old Souls’

~~ a Sonnet ~~

~~ by tkbrown
All of us are 'old souls' at heart--sometimes
--when we tire of tuning out mem'ry chimes
from days gone by when hearts and souls were young
with dreams where 'old souls' upon hopes were hung.
Our drift in night mist yields fleeting coup d'oeil.
Fetching rumination: "What is the deal?"
These souls--now old--wafting solo concept
of youthful observance fleetingly kept.
Just when we think we have accepted age,
up canters a grandchild--modern-day sage--
strumming and singing on our private stage;
reviving mem'ries from 'young souls' of yore
as magical wings proffer buoyant core
envisioning dreams, aspirations soar.

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Photo Above: freeimages.com

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My Morning Do . . . “Logical Reasoning”

~~ by tkbrown

15 September 2020 — While social distancing, by design, necessitates families spending more time together, time spent playing board games and other games strengthen a number of skills needed throughout life. Card games, checkers, Monopoly, Dominoes, Scrabble, and myriad others available for purchase online and in stores require players to look, listen communicate, and act. Decision making plays a large role in winning and losing.

In order to win at a game and in life, rules must be followed. It is necessary to pay attention to what is being done by all players. Math skills are needed in Dominoes, cards, Monopoly, Yahtzee, and others. Thus, when daily chores are completed, sit down together and play games. Communication skills improve because individuals discuss more when sitting together than when each is off doing his or her own thing.

It is imperative to be able to go out and function solo, but success also requires the ability to interact with others in a productive manner. Family mealtimes is an ideal time to increase discussion about the day’s events and any lingering concerns. Even when not spending so much time together, it is important to try and have one meal each day together. Sometimes this may require getting up a bit earlier, making breakfast for everyone so this can occur with all family members sitting around a table or in the same room eating and talking with no distractions.

When the pandemic is over, it will be important to continue these activities with family. Thus, you will be able to influence patterns of behavior with regard to decision making, problem resolution, communication skills, working–and playing–together. Television time and individual computer time can be adjusted to make time for these activities thereby teaching time management. All activities taken together as a family improve abilities to function in activities away from family. So, do not just work together at home, play together too!

Have a Blessed Day!

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Photo Above: by Tai’s Captures @Unsplash.com.

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My Morning Do . . . “Pleasant Words”

~~ by tkbrown

12 September 2020 — Soft words spoken, when harsh words are expected, are often visibly appreciated. The look of surprise alone can be fuel to continue using soft words rather than berating the offender. I have always been one to readily forgive an offence. It just was not typically worth the effort or the time it took to argue the issue. Now, I am not always the best of persons when it comes to my words of offense. There have been times when I argued the point to the nth degree, but mostly I have always tended to allow the other person his or her view on the topic.

One day, I was reading in Proverbs and came across some scripture to support this approach. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger,” (NKJV). It is so true. I thought on the times when I had argued the point. Either I or the other person left the discussion upset. Untended anger can be a detriment to health. It can cause elevated blood pressure, which in turn can cause myriad other problems if it is a frequent occurrence.

On the other hand, Proverbs 16:24 says, “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones,” (NKJV). When I read these scriptures, I began making a conscious effort to not get angry without a truly just reason, and I began checking myself to ensure I replied with pleasant words. This scripture prompted a more in-depth study of problems associated with off-the-cuff comments and the unbridled tongue in general. One can create so many problems for self and others simply because the tongue is left unchecked. If a wholesome tongue is “a tree of life,” I wonder that this lesson is not taught more often.

Needless to say, these and other scriptures have taught me the importance of “thinking before I speak.” The good news is I do not have to make amends by apologizing for an errant tongue as often as before. This is a “major blessing” because I am so ashamed when I have to atone for this or that pain caused by my mouth. Also, others are not angry with me when I speak with pleasant words. Earlier in the week, I wrote about “gossip” and the harm done by it. Have you ever dealt with this in yourself or someone else? If so, would you please comment below and let us know how you approached the situation?

Just some food for thought as social distancing continues, and we are inside with family more.

Have a Blessed Day!

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Scriptures above are from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

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Photo Above: by kangbch @ pixabay.com.

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My Morning Do . . . “Acceptance of Others”

~~ by tkbrown

10 September 2020 — Acceptance seems to be shunned in this day and time. The “going thing” seems to be disagreement, protests, and persecution. There seems to be a tendency to equate acceptance with agreement. This perception is not reality based. Acceptance does not necessarily mean agreement.

The news today is filled with disagreement. From domestic disputes to world organizations, disagreement seems to be the norm. While some disagreement is a part of everyday life, and while harmful values are never to be condoned, we–as Christians–are to accept the right of others to be different from us and to believe differently from us. During His life here on earth, Jesus encountered many who were different from Him, but He never ridiculed, persecuted, or punished anyone for being on a different path. He did express rage toward the moneychangers and the merchants in the temple because they were defiling His Father’s house. He did not disagree with “what” they were doing. He disagreed with “where” they were engaging that activity (John 2:13-16 — NKJV).

When He met the Samaritan woman at the well, He discussed aspects of her life–apparently in depth–but He never once ridiculed or persecuted her because of who she was. If He had gone off on a tangent, ranting, raving, and destroying her property, would He have made a positive impression upon her? Would He have made a positive impression upon any of her acquaintances whom she brought back to the well to meet Him? Through the entire event, no one fought anyone to get a point across. Jesus impressed the Samaritan woman and her acquaintances with His acceptance of who they were, not with anger and malice toward them. John 4:39 says, “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all that I ever did.'” (NKJV) Jesus impressed upon her that He did not agree with or condone her way of life, but He never harmed her in any way.

My mother frequently referenced the old saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” — Anonymous. She was right! That is what Jesus was impressing upon the multitudes as He delivered the Sermon on the Mount. He said, “‘Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets,'” (Matthew 7:12 — NKJV). During His time here on earth, Jesus had many differences of opinion and fact with others, but He never once addressed the issue in a harmful, ridiculing, or disrespectful manner. His responses were always short, kind, and to the point.

In today’s world, there are many different cultures–much the same as the world was in Jesus’ time. As Christians, what is the best way to lead someone to Christ: By lashing out, ranting, and raving at the difference with which we do not agree, or by quietly discussing the difference in what we believe and what the other person(s) believe? Christianity is a program of attraction, not of repulsion. Violence, ranting, and raving does not attract those who love God. We, as Christians, are instructed never to treat someone differently than we would want to be treated if the situation was reversed (John 2:13-16 — NKJV). We are also instructed to love our enemies. Again, in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “‘But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,'” (Matthew 5:44 — NKJV). The news today is filled with difference being addressed in many ways. The question we, as Christians, hold in our heart is: How would I want someone else to deal with me in this same situation? Food for thought in today’s world.

Have a Blessed Day!

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Scripture References are from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

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My Morning Do . . . “Coffee and Gossip”

~~ by tkbrown

9 September 2020 — Good Morning, I hope you had a Blessed and Peaceful day since our last communication. I was reading a peer blogger’s site this morning and the three words below popped out! So, let’s look at them and see what this is about.

“Coffee and Gossip. . . . “

. . . coffee break
a haiku ~~ by tkbrown

Morning coffee break,
water fountain milieu crowd
gossip and banter.
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“Coffee and Gossip. . . . “ said a blogging peer, and I knew what the topic of “My Morning Do . . . ” must be. I had already debated whether to write about this and was still unsure. After reading the comment, I knew–Yes, this is today’s topic!

In my haiku, I mention the water fountain, but coffee and gossip can be brought together in most any place and in most any time. The effect and the affect are still the same. Medical science has now shown that coffee is good for the health in some persons–so long as you do not partake of more than four cups per day. (Always check with your doctor before you imbibe.) When I was told to increase from one to two cups a day. I rejoiced because there was a time, I drank much more coffee per day than that, but I had been advised to cut it out completely. I did cease consumption for a few years, but eventually added one cup per day back. The gossip part–I tried not to engage; however, I am human and must enter the guilty plea for occasional infraction.

Today, I would like us to think on gossip a bit. I would like to engage your minds a bit with some questions about gossip and you:

  • Do you enjoy the thought of being the subject of someone’s gossip?
    • I once thought long and hard on this question. The answer: No, I do not enjoy the thought of being the subject of someone’s gossip. If they cannot–or will not–say it to me, I believe they should not say it. So, I should not engage in gossip about someone–anyone–else. Jesus said, “‘Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets,'” Matthew 7:12. Personally, I believe gossip is a form of bullying. Gossip is never of the positive nature; thus it is always harmful to someone.
  • Do you ever engage in idle gossip about others?
    • While it is easy to say a particular negative behavior is never engaged, in all likelihood, it is engaged at some point–simply because we are human. We can never get it right one hundred percent of the time. I try extremely hard not to talk about others if I am not talking to that person. It is exceedingly difficult to maintain. I sometimes do not even realize I am gossiping about someone, then I catch myself–and I am so ashamed. I have prayed and asked God to help me not do this. So, I am sure it is He who shows me what I am doing–so I can learn to stop.
  • Do you believe your gossip has ever been harmful to another?
    • For much of my life, I never thought about this. Although I was never one to talk about others intentionally, I did engage this behavior from time to time. I am sad to say on this day: Looking back, my discussions about others–that I do remember–were never of the positive nature; so, yes, they were harmful to others. Regardless of how innocently we engage the behavior, it harms another because gossip is never in the positive or affirmative realm of discussion.
  • Do you know what God says about “gossip”?
    • Gossip is a topic rarely discussed in church settings. I wonder why. As Christians, it should always be foremost in our mind as a behavior to avoid. It is never pleasing to God.
      • Firstly, it does not please God because it is not what we would want others to do regarding us.
      • Secondly, Proverbs 17:9 says, “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.” Thus, any repeat of a transgression to another is harmful. I am separating myself from a friend when I do this. In many instances, the friendship will be no more.

I want to leave you with this thought: If you truly want to act as a Christian, ask yourself–“What would Jesus do?”–and ask God to show you how often you talk “about” others rather than “to” them. You might be surprised! I was!

A few other scriptures for your perusal at your own pace:

  • Proverbs 18:18 — “The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.”
  • Proverbs 18:21 — “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
  • James 1:26 — “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”
All scripture above is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

I hope all who are reading have a wonderful and blessed day! Be safe!

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