School Shootings

I wish there was an easy solution to the school shootings that keep happening.  I’ve spent many sleepless nights thinking about the many ideas I have read or heard.  There seems some good ideas and yet there isn’t a GREAT idea that stands out.

We will never end bullying.  It is part of human nature.  For as long as time is we have bullied others to move ourselves up that ladder we imagine raises us to a better place in life.  I was bullied in school.  I also bullied in school. I battle with mental health issues that stem from an abusive childhood, but I never blamed the school or my classmates. I did have some classmates I fervently disliked but I never wanted to cause any of them bodily harm.

I do understand being put down and misrepresented by everyone in my life.  I also understand what it feels like to not be heard.  When I attempt to say anything that is important for me to say and the receiver doesn’t listen, it always causes me to stumble in my journey to stay healthy while battling mental illness.  Unlike the mass shooters we have heard about I don’t want to harm others- my issues are that I want to be heard but I don’t feel worthy.

Possibly increasing mental health counselors in schools is one of the tools we can utilize.  I do believe we will have to use many tools to overcome these mass shootings.  I think sadly the doors need to be locked once the bells ring.  While locked doors can be shot open it does send off warnings and gives authorities time.

I think our teachers and administrators are overworked and need their work load lessened.  It used to be (in the good old days)  classes were not allowed to be over 10 students.  Currently if you are a daycare provider you are not allowed to have over 6 or 7 children in your daycare.  Why do we think teachers can do more?  I have no idea how to fund these changes but we must cut down class room sizes so that teachers can be more effective not only in teaching, but in identifying problems that can be treated instead of expelled.

We’ve all known soldiers who return from service and struggle finding work.  Maybe it is time to make a security entrance guarded with veterans.  They have combat training and need work.  I do not see that arming teachers is viable.  While I am not against any teacher who feels he/she is capable of handling firearms.  I have enough relatives who are teachers that would never carry a gun, to recognize that this is not a good option.  I don’t like stereotyping people but honestly most people that go into the teaching profession choose this career because they want to nurture, educate and guide children.  I do not think it is fair or right to ask them to be armed and ready to kill any one of these children.

Nearly 4 decades ago we as a society decided that teachers could not discipline our children.  While I did not agree with that decision back then I recognize that we are not going to change it.  So I ask you – as part of society that does NOT allow teachers to discipline your children- why do you think it is appropriate to ask them to arm themselves and make combat decisions to kill one of those children?

I don’t think there is any ONE solution to our problem.  But maybe if we join our brilliant minds we can find some working solutions so our children are not being gunned down while attending classes.

 

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8 years is too long

I had a heart wrenching conversation last week.  I try to be a shoulder for those who need to talk.  I’ve always been at a loss for words and learned years ago most people are wanting to talk things out- not have me offer wisdom, which is great because I am always at a loss of what I should say.

I felt the hurt that he felt in what he told me.  I felt the loss that he felt in his words.  There is no way to heal that hurt or fill that loss.  I know this person always believes the best in every one.  Sometimes he believes blindly which usually is a blessing to those he believes in.

This time it was not a blessing to a little girl.  This time he left one person drowning while he was trying to save another.  I am glad that my words failed me again.  I have spent many nights without rest trying to understand his choice.  I am grateful that he made what I consider the right choice at the end of his eight years, but I am sick to my stomach that it took him eight years to throw a life line to a little girl.

I don’t understand how anyone makes the choice to stand by an adult and leave a little girl drowning with no one to lift her out of her hurt, her loss.  Eight years is too long to leave a child without hope.

I know he has spent many sleepless nights and countless hours in prayer looking for wisdom and guidance on all of his decisions.  He is human and will make mistakes.  His judgment is not always accurate.  I am working hard at finding the path to forgiveness of his mistake.

But I was that little girl that no one helped.  I was the little girl victimized by grown men from the time I was 6 years old.  I was never thrown a life line.  I grew up as a victim and lived as a victim for many years.  I battle Mental Health issues daily from what was done to me.  I pray no one ever goes through what I went through- yet here is another little girl left alone with trusted adults who knew and didn’t help!

Left to drown for 8 years before someone finally did something.  Too little too late.  I pray for her daily.  I pray that God holds her close everyday and never allows anyone to harm her ever again.

World please wake up!  There are evil people doing evil things.  When you know someone is being harmed you MUST stand up for the victim!  Quit standing up for the bully!  Why do you think by helping the bully you help the victim?  You DON’T.  When you help the bully you tell the bully he/she is okay and keep doing what it is that is destroying their victim!  If you help the victim, you tell the victim they are worthy, you tell the bully NO!  I don’t understand why this is so hard for you to understand.

I am going to end this blog with a prayer for all of us.

Dear Heavenly Father,

We need you.  We plead that you help each of us recognize and call out bullies.  Teach us to help victims and strengthen our faith to serve you well.  Teach us to stop helping the bullies and to start helping the victims, daily.

I love you, God.  Please help me be the change I want to see in our world.  Thank you for blessing me with live, love and laughter.

In the name of your precious Son, Jesus Christ

AMEN

 

Old Friends – Good Memories

I read a post on Facebook yesterday that broke my heart.  An old friend that I have not heard from in a few years is battling cancer.  The detested diagnosis that we all hope and pray to never receive.

I tossed and turned all night long.  I wanted to go see her.  I wanted to call her.  I understand that our paths in changed and she probably never wanted to hear from me again.  But if the roles were reversed- I would want to know that she cared.

I thought, I will send flowers or maybe a card.  Maybe I will do both.  That would be nice.  Yes I think that is a good idea.  I checked with a dear friend whom’s advice I trust.  He said it would be a good thing to do.  As I worked I planned on making a stop and sending off the flowers and card before the day was over.  And then finally the fog lifted and I knew exactly what I should do.

My friend and I didn’t send each other flowers.  We didn’t write each other cards.  We talked.  Usually on the phone, but lots in person too.  So I would reach out to her, just like in the old days.  I dialed her phone number.

She answered.  I told her how sorry I was that she was battling cancer.  We talked like the old days.  It is so hard to believe how sick she is.  Our phone call encouraged me.  I am grateful for a God that forgives.  I want to forgive like God forgives.  I want to love like God loves.  I am beyond thankful today that God showed my old friend and myself grace to share memories and enjoy each other again.

God moves mountains in my life daily.  I am not always aware enough to see those mountains moving- but I saw this one move today.

Something Is Wrong

Recently one of my grandchildren was the victim of bullying.  The school handling the situation did a very poor job.  We attempted to offer positive solutions to the principal, the superintendent and the school board.  Our suggestions were stonewalled.  We continued to press for changes and it seems as though the school board is making changes.

I made a few deliveries of packages to some of our local schools.  I commented to my dispatcher that there were a lot of police cars at each school.  My dispatcher stated that the schools in our area had increased the police presence for safety.

This bothers me in many ways.  Many years ago when my youngest daughter was attending high school, there was a resource officer assigned to her school.  I did not think it was a good thing.  I felt it was probably going to end up in our civil rights being violated in multiple ways.

My daughter built a relationship with that resource officer.  He changed her perspective on police, on crime and criminals in numerous ways.  While I did not agree with police at school it ended up being an absolute blessing in our family.  In our modern society we find it difficult to connect with police officers, fire fighters or emt’s.  I do believe that having personal relationships with the professionals that protect and serve us- we have a stronger community as a whole.

I am grateful that we are able to offer police within the schools for protection.  But I feel this is a bad band-aid and not a solution to the problem.  While I have to agree that we have horrible problem with people shooting up schools, students and faculty, why?  Lots of the cases in the media have been traced back to bullying issues that were never taken care of.

This tells me that my grandsons case is not the only one handled poorly.  We as a society are not repairing the damage done by bullies.  I was bullied in school.  I was also a bully.  When I was a bully I was reprimanded for my behavior.  When I was bullied I was given retribution, in the form of my bully had to apologize to me in the principal’s office.   I am not an expert but I recognize that both ends brought the issue to a closure.  I did not contemplate revenge because there was closure for me.

How can we bring our youth closure when they battle these issues?  How do we bring an end to these young people being accosted through social media, texting and so forth?  How do we help our youth learn empathy for one another?

Many people state we learn our behavior from our parents.  Other believe the responsibility belongs to the schools.   I believe it takes a village to raise a child.  We must speak up when we see wrongs being done.   We must correct our children when they are mean to others.  We must also set the example to be kind to others.  And we have to find a way to help our children find closure when they have been accosted.  If we do not we will continue to lose these babies to suicide or to mass shootings.

Our schools are being attacked and we are using the police as a band-aid.  We need to fix the problem of why our schools are being attacked.  Part of the problem is that the administrators treat everyone as a second class citizen.  Children and parents are intentionally excused from conversations as though they are dumb.  When you attempt to file a grievance it is ignored.

While it is not my desire to lay all the blame onto schools- that is where the problems are happening.  It makes sense to me that is where we begin making changes.  I do not think we will ever stop bullying.  We need to learn proactive ways to deal with it.  We need to give our youth closure when they are faced with bullying.  Allow them to receive apologies from their bullies.  Give them the chance to heal from being attacked.

When an adult is found guilty of computer hacking one of the common sentences is no computer privileges ever again.  Is there a way to implement no access to cell phones, social media and such if a youth is found guilty of cyber bullying? While schools need internet it needs to be guarded much better than it is.  Today’s youth are running a muck with the free internet access they have at school.  Yes it needs to be managed at home, too.  But I listen to the youth today and most of them have free access to the internet while at school.

Schools this is for you- you are doing something VERY wrong!  If you were doing things so right, people would not want to attack you!  You would not need police for protection.  I pray this begins a revolution in how to do things right!  Let’s heal these youth.  Let’s strengthen our education system.  Let’s be the change we want to see in the world!

 

Really? Please just read the road signs!

Today was Day 1 of 95 days without the main bridge that delivers commuters across the Colorado River and the Rio Grande Railroad tracks to and from Aspen and all towns in between!

There has been at least one YEAR of heavy advertising preparing us for today.  I’ve seen it in the local newspapers, heard in on the Radio Stations and it has been on all of my social media feeds.  I recognize that since my occupation is DRIVING, I tend to stay informed about road closures and such.  It would seem to me that as a commuter you would stay informed too- but apparently not!

I witnessed people driving OVER the white plastic mounted lane dividers making the right lane of Interstate 70 an exit only lane.  People just decided they didn’t care and drove over them.  I saw driver after driver STOP and ask the flaggers for directions of how to get where they wanted to go.  Excuse me- why do the rest of us have to wait for you?  The flaggers are there to keep everyone moving in an orderly fashion- NOT for your personal map service.

I may sound a bit agitated and I apologize.  I knew it would make my day longer and harder.  I just didn’t expect to see the level of selfishness from drivers who somehow missed the MANY MEMOS that were put out about this detour.  It will improve- we are like sheep and once we learn our ‘NEW’ route it will go quicker.

I appreciate that RFTA is offering FREE bus services from Parachute to Glenwood during this time.  I urge anyone who can to please utilize this amazing service.  I know using a bus takes a little more time, but it does remove more cars from the road and it gives you the opportunity to relax to and from work.  I know, I know- what gives me the right to ask you to take the bus and not do it myself?  I am a courier.  What that means is that I am carpooling- with packages instead of passengers.  Most days I am carrying packages from 15 or more different clients.  I pick up and drop off all the way to Aspen and all the way back down from Aspen.

By sending your packages with me or calling and having me run your errands you are reducing the amount of cars trying to make it through this detour!  We take most packages for only $13.00.  My morning commute took 1 hr 45 minutes to get from Canyon Creek to McDonald’s.  I believe everyone’s time is worth more than $13 for nearly 2 hours ?!?!  By having multiple packages going to and from is how we keep our prices low.  Consider saving yourself some time and money!

And in the meantime- STOP TRYING TO TALK TO THE FLAGGERS!  Here is the official explanation of what a flagger is doing:

Flaggers are the people on construction sites who control traffic. They are the men and women along roads and highways who help traffic keep flowing through a construction zone, despite a shutdown of lanes. Flaggers often work in teams, with each person controlling the flow of traffic in a certain direction.   (NOTICE IT DOES NOT SAY GIVE DIRECTIONS TO EACH DRIVER THAT REFUSED TO LOOK INTO THE ROAD CLOSURE).

Mom’s make mistakes- It is OKAY!!

I’ve pondered many things posted in my last blog and keep coming back to why didn’t I help my oldest daughter when she was floundering?  Why didn’t I help my youngest daughter overcome the discomfort of being in our home?  There were many reasons that lead up to my failure to help my children.  I am sharing my personal insights in hopes that it will help someone struggling and make their life a little more simple.

When God blessed me with these beautiful baby girls I was certain God picked the wrong person.  They were so perfect.  I was so inadequate.  How could I ever be good enough to be their Mother.  I believed that I was evil and undeserving of anything good.  While I wasn’t diagnosed with mental illness until many years later I believe my mental illness began when I was forced to have an abortion when I was only 16 years old.

It is interesting as I write this blog- I have believed as long as I can remember that each and every child born is a gift from God.  I believe that God blesses the unions of people with a child.  But in my own life I thought God made a mistake.  He didn’t bless me- he cursed these babies by placing them with me.  That is one of the things I learned thru my mental health counseling.  I do not know if others who suffer from mental illness turn things around like that, but I do.  When my mind begins to degrade me, I’ve finally learned to grab that thought and rebuke it.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)

 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

From 1985 through 1999 I felt as thought I was a fake.  I didn’t know how to be a Mom.  Most of everything I did was best guessing at what I thought a good parent would do.  I did not have an example in my life to mimic and improve on.  I did the opposite of what I had done to me as I grew up and without having my identity in Christ I didn’t know if I was doing anything right.  So I felt I was a fraud.

We were arrested on Nov 19, 1999.  I have blogged and written lots about this so I urge you to look through my blog for the details on the arrest if you are interested in that.  What I figured out while pondering my last blog was that with FELON written in neon lights over my head I no longer could pretend anymore.  Now everyone knew how bad and evil I was.

So I gave up my job of being the mother of two beautiful perfect daughters.  They deserved better than me.  They are better than I am.  I have no right to tell them what to do.  I was arrested in front of them.  I had to plan on them living with someone other than me.  I was by own judge, jury and executioner.

It is the biggest mistake I made.  I let them down.  No one ever told me, Mothers make mistakes.  Bad things happen in life.  God doesn’t give up on us.  He chose us.  We are valuable to God- every single one of us is valuable.

Luke 12:7 KVJ  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

It was through this devastating event that I began to find my identity in Christ.  I wish I had found my identity before I became a mother.  I would have done a much better job.  More importantly I would have not given up.  To my daughters, I apologize for quitting when you needed me the most.  I am so proud of each of you.  You’ve grown up to be amazing young mothers, ladies, sisters, friends, daughters, Christians, business owners and more.  I pray for your strength and wisdom every day.

Satan is working hard every minute of every day to destroy people, families and life as we know it.  He knows our weaknesses and he uses every trick possible to break each and every one of us.  He succeeded in my life for a little while.

I am grateful for the angels in our lives.  There were so many seen and unseen that helped in numerous ways.  Some brought food.  Some brought encouragement.  Others brought bibles and insisted on studies.  Others brought our family into a church and held our hands through countless emergencies.  There were many people who dropped us like hot potatoes but God brought better people into our lives and helped us.  God I apologize to you and ask for your forgiveness that I didn’t recognize it sooner.  Thank you God for loving this weird little family so much you didn’t give up even when I did.

So to you Mothers and Fathers out there, brothers, sisters, friends, okay- to EVERYONE!!  Life gets rough sometimes- but don’t give up.  Keep reaching for the stars until you find God and then keep reaching so that you will have your own relationship with the Creator of this amazing world!  Even when you get knocked down- don’t give up.  If you can’t fight back, let someone fight for you.  Angels, keep up the good work.

Matthew 25:23  New International Version
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’