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Monday, May 30, 2011

"Clown White"

Clown White makeup
A painted smile

Cover your misery
Just for awhile

Spotlight turns
It's all your show

Fear inside
Nobody will know

They laugh as your carry on your routine
Night after night same old scene

The crowd is now gone as they dim the last light
You turn away and walk into the night

Wash your face take a bow
Look in the mirror, dear.

Who are you now?

It's a weird little poem that won't win any awards but it describes the person I was several years ago.  I came to place in life realizing that keeping up an image is so much more work than just being who I am.

Are you ready to wash your face?  When you are I pray that there will be those who believe in you close at hand.  I don't even have to know your name to know that your "image" is not near as beautiful as what lies beneath.

Thanks for stopping by....

Amy Lynn

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Don't Want To Care When... earthquake across the ocean takes the lives of many
...I read about a car accident that took the life of a young man
...a stranger is diagnosed with cancer
...I see a man holding a sign that says "will work for food"
...the person who drives me crazy is hurting
...a woman is selling her body on a street corner
...I read about the casualties of war
...the front page of the paper is filled with images 
of death and destruction from storms
...I read about the senseless murder of a child 
whose face and name I never  knew

But I do care.  I care because I know that if it were... country shaken life taken in an accident diagnosed with a terminal illness holding the sign for food hurting selling my body fighting for my country home destroyed by storms child murdered

that someone, somewhere, who doesn't even know my name would pray for me and hold out hope for me.

It hurts deeply to care sometimes because it takes patience, unconditional love and vulnerability.  But I have to believe that regret hurts more and so I will go on caring for those whose faces I may never see and whose names I may never know.

It's a simple post this week, but the storms around me and the tragedies I read about in the paper are troublesome.

Care and love deeply while you can and as often as you can.  Life really is fragile

Amy Lynn

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Women are Liars

Saturday was coming and the new Olive Garden had opened in Sioux City, Iowa a few weeks prior.  A group of ladies decided this would be a good day to have lunch and go shopping.  I’m not a fan of shopping, but I do enjoy sharing conversation and a meal with friends, so I accepted the invitation.  Being absolutely crazy for Italian cuisine, I was already aware that the Olive Garden’s offerings would not compare fully to the wonderful restaurants owned by any Caniglia family in Omaha.  But, none-the-less it was the best we had available to us in rural Iowa, so I would make the most of it.  I have two rules when I eat at a good Italian restaurant; creamy alfredo sauce on anything, bread and tiramisu. Um, make that three.  Italian food is rich, tasty and meant to be enjoyed to the point of exhaustion.  The pasta, bread and sauces are why we seek out these wonderful eateries, after all.

The excitement of the day was building.  I didn’t eat my typical breakfast that day because I wanted to be hungry for lunch and a delightful serving of tiramisu.  I finished my morning routine of cleaning, reading and entertaining my dog.  I jumped in the shower to get cleaned up and ready for this outing.  Now typically on a day off work, I would be found wearing jeans, t-shirt and a baseball cap.  This day was different though, I would be in the presence of “church ladies”, so I decided to clean up my raggedy mug and present myself as feminine as possible, while remaining true to myself.  I left the baseball cap at home and wore a “blouse” with my jeans.  I even put make-up on my face that day. 

I arrived at the restaurant anticipating the lively conversation with my friends and of course, a hearty lunch.  I was starving!  One by one the ladies began to arrive and eventually we were all seated.  With the pleasantries all said, it was time to get serious about the menu.  Everybody had commented on how hungry they were and how amazing the menu appeared.  “Oh, the lasagna looks wonderful”, our party organizer exclaimed, while another was salivating to the thought of chicken parmigiana.  I pretty much knew what I was having, when I heard the biggest lie of the century.  “This all looks wonderful but I think I’m going to stick with a side salad and a cup of soup”.  I was in shock!  The lady who made this claim was after all, the one who gathered us together in the first place.  I knew she didn’t really want a salad.  She wanted the biggest, richest, fattest plate of pasta in the place!  Seriously, who goes to an Italian restaurant and orders a salad, a side salad even?!  Well as is typical in a group of women, nearly everyone at the table began to lay aside their appetites, and suddenly all eyes were focused on the salad menu.  I almost surrendered too, but no!  I was in a pseudo-Italian restaurant and I have standards that I live by.  When the waitress came to our table, I listened carefully as the other five women ordered their salads with some lousy light dressing, (on the side).  When the waitress came to me, I proudly and hungrily ordered pasta with chicken to be smothered in alfredo sauce with extra parmesan cheese, not on the side.  We visited and shared the complimentary bread that was given us to enjoy while we waited for our meals.  Finally our food was brought to us.  Each of the salads delicately placed before the others and then came my meal to which the others said, “I wish I had ordered that, it looks wonderful.”  When I asked the lady who invited us there and whose mind was set on the lasagna why she didn’t order it, she simply responded, “because I need to watch what I eat”.  I couldn't help but think to myself, now you can watch what I eat too. 

This experience and many like it have convinced me that women are liars.  Nobody really goes to an Italian restaurant because of their salad menu.  I enjoy a good salad and if I want to eat healthy and according to a “diet” I cook for myself and stay at home.

The next time I’m asked to join a group of ladies at an Italian restaurant, I’m going to order for everyone at the table and ask for extra cheese on everything.  And…I’m going to wear my baseball cap!  Anybody want to join me?

Thanks for humoring me.

Amy Lynn

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Where Christians Divide

“Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.”  Mahatma Gandhi

When I think of Christians I want to think of a group of people who care for the needs of other people out of love and concern for their “brothers and sisters”.  I want to believe that if I fall down someone will be there to pick me up physically and spiritually.  I want to believe that the unconditional love modeled for those who identify themselves with Christ, would be offered to me no matter the circumstance.  I want to believe this, but frankly I’ve seen and experienced too much of the opposite.

Each time an election year approaches I brace myself for dissention among the ranks.  There are expected ads pitting Democrats against Republicans, this community leader against the other one.  This is expected as candidates jockey for position and to get our votes.  The media battle is frustrating and the battle between politicians is certainly annoying at best.  But the dissention that I am most concerned with is the war that rages among Christians during times of major political decisions. 

Time and people have taught me two things.  There are Christians who wouldn’t cross the street to help our Nation’s president if he were in harms way simply because they disagree with his politics. In fact this group of people would later post on social networks prideful statements of how they were unwilling to compromise their convictions by aiding such a “liberal”.  But there is another kind of Christian.

There is the Christian who no matter where you’ve come from, no matter how you may have gone against their ideals would stand beside you in your pain.  I want to be this kind of Christian.  I want my Republican and Democratic friends alike to know without hesitation that I will be at their side to pick them up should they fall.  I want to be the kind of person who no matter who our President is, I would support him or her in prayer.  I want to be the kind of Christian that no matter who you are and where you have come from, I will simply listen to understand your view so not to offend you when we differ.  I want to do these things, but I fear I too fall short at times.

Today I want to take a deep look inside myself and ask the question: Is there anyone in my life who I have pushed away simply because of political differences?  If there is then I want to find the humility and courage to make right the damage I may have already done.

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference

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