Day 1023 Are you listening?

Today is Sunday. Today, I am often reminded how we as people do not actively listen. I would say most people fall into this category. Listening is an art that must be developed and practiced.
My lobby group calls it resonating. I like that. When you are listening to someone else’s conversation, ideas, narrative, you tell him or her what you have just heard. This is active on your part.  It’s not just a matter of hearing.  Then you give that person the opportunity to clarify, correct, or simply agree. This reduces the chances of there being any miscommunication.
We miss out on so much of the real communication when dealing with others through social media, email or texting. You don’t get to hear the verbal cues, see the body language, look into the other person’s eyes. I have found that people who spend most of their time looking at a screen lack the skills to communicate and to listen.
They typically avoid having any in depth discussions unless it is venting about something. And again, this is usually online.
You know, when we go visit Matt, we spend hours talking. People are floored and ask what in the world do we talk about during the 2 or 3 days we spend with him. We talk about everything; history, books, world events, prison reform, personal things, our faith, the future, what’s happening in the lives of others whom we care about.

I think that’s why racism, hatred, and brutality exist. We don’t really know each other because we are not truly listening. I know that sounds simplistic; but, it has to be a start.

peace my dear friends

Day 1022 words deserve an action

Today is Saturday. Today, Matt called. He is sick. I told him to take care of himself. I gave him some suggestions like gargling with salt water and increasing good fluids.
We set a plate for Matt when Paul and I eat. We are hoping this coming year that he will be sitting at our table.
I will be contacting Sen. Rand Paul’s office just after the new year. He rails against injustice and the prison system; yet, he has not answered 3 letters from Matt. The issue of Matt’s time being taken away is unprecedented I’ve been told. Why no response?
If you would like to send a polite email to him/his staffer; let me know. I will announce when my letter is emailed.
You can reach me through this blog or on twitter at @Leann02

Peace my friends💞

Day 1020 keep the Christmas spirit

Today is Thursday.  Today, I cleaned for 3 people who still had their live trees up.  One of them told me that Christmas is her favourite holiday and she loves to keep the decorations up as long as possible.

I got to thinking about that.  What if we could maintain the Christmas spirit all year long?  What if we could continue a giving attitude; greet strangers like we do at Christmas; donate to the poor continually instead of just for the season with bell ringers?

Can we take the best of Christmas, the giving, the love, the sharing, children’s smiles, peace and goodwill; hope and keep these things all year long?

Merry Christmas my dear friends.💞

Day 1019 the day after

Today is Wednesday. Today is Boxing Day for Canada and the UK. Today is just the day after Christmas here.0 Today, I sent out lots of cards to my peeps; those who can receive cards.
I sent sci-fi books to Matt. He enjoys space operas.
Today is almost 4 months since Matt’s original release date. The judge in Kentucky has yet to return a judgement.
Disrespect. It is one of the hallmarks of this country’s “justice system.”
I believe in prayer. Please lift this situation up in your prayers.

Gosh, I am really hoping for some wins for my peeps this coming new year.

Peace💞

Day 1018 Christmas

Today is Tuesday. Today is Christmas. Today, I am hoping is the last Christmas that finds Julian confined to a tiny room in an embassy, many sitting unjustly in prison to include my son Matt, Reality, Marty, Jeremy, and Joe.
Today, I am hoping is the last Christmas that I hear about children dying in the custody of ICE.
Today, I hope this is the last Christmas that I have to hear about a stupid wall.

No fearmongering, no warmongering, no racist nazi agendas. Just peace and goodwill toward all people.

Merry Christmas and all the beautiful, positive and sweet things associated with it.💞

Day 2017 Christmas Eve

Today is Monday. This is Christmas Eve. This is the time of season when one might reflect on peace and goodwill toward all people. It is a happy time for many, especially children who dream about presents. It is also a very difficult and sad time for those who have lost a loved one, those struggling, the homeless, the incarcerated, those who live in war zones.

The world has not changed much in 2000 years since Jesus was born. There have been wars, disasters, evil tyrants, evil governments and insatiable greed and violence. History will continue to repeat itself because most of us have very short attention spans.

Today, I am just going to share a story about love. It is something I will never forget and it made a huge impact on me and contributed to my being generous to others.

When Paul and I were in college at Angelo State University in Texas, we were part of a local church group. Several people would make trips to Mexico to visit and encourage the Huastecan Indian people who were Christians. The Huastecan people were pre-Aztec and some claimed descent from the Aztec and Mayan cultures.

Paul and I decided one semester to make the trip to Mexico and meet some of our brethren. I will never forget the graciousness and kindness we were shown. These people lived in grass huts and lacked for nothing of great import. Orange and lemon trees grew in abundance. They farmed and made their own clothing. We had an interpreter, so it was a treat to be able to speak with the native men and women.

I remember sitting down to a meal with the small tribe who lived atop a mountainside. We were fed like royalty. Fruits, vegetables, burritos filled with beans and peppers, and other foods covered a handmade table. We sat on long log benches. It was simple, beautiful and idyllic. That is until we went into a town.

We white people stayed in a hotel and there was restaurant located inside. The evening before we left for home, we wanted to treat our native brethren to a meal and found out that they were not welcome because they were Indians. Indians were not allowed into Mexican businesses. Sound familiar? It reminded me of the nasty white racist guys who lived above us in an apartment complex and would viciously insult these 3 or 4 Mexican girls who went to school with us. Paul and I would always stand up for them.

The next morning as we made ready to board our bus and return to the comforts of the US, one of the native men showed up to see us off carrying sugar cane on his back. He cut several stalks and handed them to me. I was told that he walked 22 miles round trip to make sure I received some cane for which I had made a comment about a few days back saying I would love to bring some cane home.

Of course, the US officials would not allow that. I cried the entire trip back to think that someone would make that kind of sacrifice for me. I, who could go into any restaurant with out fear of being thrown out. I, who had more as a struggling student than any of those people could ever hope to have. I, a stranger, was important to this man because we followed the same Jesus.

So, this time of year, when I hear people say, “I wish others would see Christmas for what it really means.”

I say, “Live like it’s Christmas every day. Love without measure. Give to a stranger and if you truly follow Jesus, then work for peace and goodwill toward all people.

peace…and goodwill..:)