Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bloggy Book Club

So, our very first book was...

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

I wished I could say I enjoyed this book but the story was too disturbing ( I said I like happy endings and there wasn't one to be found.) However, I have thought of very little else since finishing the book. The story has stayed with me.

Before you blog you may wish to go the the Reading Group Guides Link and find the reading group guide for A Thousand Splendid Suns.

It has some very helpful in depth questions to get you pondering!

As I have said earlier, I didn't realize this was contemporary novel and once I did, I had to keep reminding myself of that because the events in the book kept making me think it was a civilization of long ago. I couldn't grasp those disturbing events in a contemporary world of my understanding and I realize how little I understand that culture or religion.

Mariam's entire life as portrayed in the book just broke my is like her mother created a self fulfilling prophecy when she said "Women like us. We endure. It's all we have."

How sad to leave that to your daughter as her legacy but really her mother had nothing else to give her.

So...what do you think?

Thursday, June 26, 2008


That was my hubby's response when I said I wanted to get a tattoo for my 50th Birthday, which was last month by the way. He made the word "why" have eight syllables as he asked the question. I had thought about it for a long time but this was really my first time talking to him, or anyone else really about it. When my daughter was 21 she got a tattoo and I am sure I said "Why" exactly the way the hubby did! She said that she wanted to and that she got a tattoo of an ichtus. "Okay, what the heck is that?" and her smarty pants reply "Mom, it's the Greek word for the Christian Fish symbol." It's hard to argue with that and also she was 21 and not seeking my approval as it was already done. I stupidly asked if she had been drinking...picture this if you will my drunken daughter asking a guy to tattoo a Christian symbol on her foot. Too funny! "Moooommmm" "They won't do it if you have been drinking!" Then I thought ..."She can never deny who she belongs to." You see now a days, everyone pretty much knows about the Christian Fish Symbol because you see it on car bumpers and anything labeled Christian but in the early days only fellow Christians understood the symbolism. The fish would not have been an obvious symbol to people who would persecute Christians. But to believers they would know that Jesus asked several fisherman to be his disciples, declaring to make them "fishers of men."

It's said that when a Christian would meet someone new he would draw an arc in the sand. If the other person were a Christian they would finish with a second arc. If the second person were not a Christian they would not complete the symbol with the second arc and the half symbol would not reveal or endanger the first person.

We obviously live in a country where I don't have to worry about any real persecution but the idea of me permanently labeled as a Christian seems really important to me. I want to stand for my faith and I hope in a positive way. I am a Christian. I do not pretend to agree with all those who label themselves as Christians, I just know who I belong to. I know I don't need a tattoo to show that I am Christian but next Saturday, I am getting a tattoo on my foot, just like my daughter's!

I am a little afraid of needles... but not persecution.
I want others to know I follow Him.

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, as they were fisherman. "Come follow me" Jesus said "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.

Mark 1 16:18

We Made The Grid

Photo taken by Bob Baer
Tadpoles to Frogs


If your an artist you can join too. Daydream Art Studios recently started The Grid and she describes it as:

"This is a fun experiment for artists of all genres to join together and see what happens. Get in on the ground floor of this project and have fun watching it grow!! I am compiling a database of mini images of artist works from around the globe. My goal is a grid of 100 images."

The Grid

And again...This picture is called Decorated by Brother!
Photo by Rachel Baer

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It started with Riley, the wonder dog!

When our our daughter left home for college, I was about as sad as anyone could be. My hubby decided we needed another dog or rather I needed another dog. It's hard to believe but that was seven years ago.We still had two cats at the time left at home from "children's pets" but I only tolerate cats while, I love dogs. I am sorry all you cat lovers out there but while I take good care of those cats, my heart belongs to the dogs. Riley is our Golden Retriever and she gets along with everyone and everything, even those cats, which is a real testimony to Riley because those cats hate even each other! My hubby and I have love her so much and for awhile she was our one and only. But, we noticed she doesn't get to see Charlie or Lady much anymore, they are our oldest son's dogs. She also doesn't get to see Jake much anymore, that's our youngest son and his fiance's dog and our only daughter and her husband's dogs Harley and Rocky don't come by much anymore either. We are all so busy and we thought Riley seemed we adopted a Chocolate Labrador who happens to be named Miley ( I am not making this up!) So we have Riley and Miley and our home is full. Miley is two and her family couldn't afford to keep her and now after seeing her eat, I can understand why. Riley, still gets along with everyone and everything and no one is sad here anymore. We are busy, busy, busy but never sad. We all love dogs and I am grandmother to 5 granddoggies as well as Gigi to two beautiful grandchildren who happen to love dogs as well!

Miley and Jake

Miley and Jake took to each other right away!

More Dog Days of Summer

"Rock Star" Rocky, the baby of the bunch.
Harley, an early wedding present to the young couple.
The brothers, grim!!

From left to right...

Charlie and Riley and Harley.

Charlie and Riley at play.

Riley and Charlie

Charlie and Riley with tennis ball.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

As you climb, enjoy the view!

I took my love, I took it down. Climbed a mountain and I turned around.

And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills 'til the landslide brought it down.

Oh mirror in the sky. What is love?

Can the child within my heart rise above?

Can I sail through the changin' ocean tides?

Can I handle the seasons of my life? I don't know....

Well I've been afraid of changin''cause I've built my life around you.

But time makes you bolder.

Even children get older.

And I'm getting older, too.

Oh, take my love, take it down. Climb a mountain and turn around-

and if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills.

Well, the landslide will bring it down-

and if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills.

Well, the landslide will bring it down. The landslide will bring it down.

Landslide- Stevie Nicks

Monday, June 23, 2008

Check out my Slide Show!

It's time for a vacation but...I'll be walking there!!!

It's called Ronda's Rants because their mine.

Okay, a disclaimer of sort's is necessary, actually it was necessary awhile ago but....
These are my thoughts and opinions hence the title Ronda's Rants not Hubby's Rants or Adult Children's Rants or even my Church Family's Rants and Oh, especially not my Parents' Rants. They are mine and other's may or may not agree, probably not... but again to make perfectly clear these thoughts are all mine!
Mouth stops here!
I just want to say that drilling for oil off our coast will not lower your gas prices anytime at all. Making the big oil companies pay taxes on their huge windfall profits will not lower you gas bill either and taxing them at a higher rate won't either. Because for all of the above, they will further the cost of said exploration and raised taxes to you the consumer! That's how business is supposed to work here in America and I think it should otherwise you are living in a country like Venezuela! If you want to lower gas prices, invest your money in alternative energy and buy energy efficient vehicles and MOST importantly drastically reduce your usage of gas! This is based on supply and demand and that does not mean we demand you supply us with gas! That only puts us between a rock and an oil barrel!
So stop using this product drastically and watch the prices go down. You will have to sacrifice and change the way you do things for this to happen!
Also, stop forwarding those emails that tell you to stop using oil from certain oil companies on certain days and then your gas prices will go down. No they won't!
Please do everyone a favor and check those out at before you hit forward!

Okay, I think I will walk somewhere now.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

What breaks my heart...

There is a time for everything,and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance...
Ecclesiastes 3

What breaks my heart is when people treat the poor with contempt or utter disdain. When they judge them as responsible for their situation when this question should be asked of themselves..." How am I going to respond?" It makes me so sad to see so-called Christians with so much, and then be so critical of those with so little. We are all being made perfect by his love and I do know that our God uses every tear and every heartache for his plans and purpose and ultimate good.

"He will reply, ' I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me.'

Matthew 25:45

I'll have another cup...

Two things I and fair trade. I have added another link I like (boy, are they growing!) it's called Saint's Coffee. Check out their site, you can get coffee, (good) at a fair trade price, (good) and you will help out an orphan (what could be better!)

Well, I'll tell you what I wish every church in this country would do...stop using plastic and Styrofoam cups and those God awful plastic stirrers! Have everyone bring their own mug from home or the church could offer reusable mugs with that cup of coffee to people who come to church.

Coffee...good, Styrofoam cups and plastic stirrers...bad!

Enjoy your hubby is coming home!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Who is the unwelcome visitor?

This monster was recently found walking the neighborhood, but considering a housing development was built in his neighborhood, can you blame him for being lost?
Maybe, saving wetlands are important for him and us...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Families come in many different shapes and sizes.

My hubby and I went hiking with our friend and his three children and his son took this picture. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful memory.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Don't Waste It

On this day:
Mend a quarrel.
Search out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss a suspicion and replace it with trust.
Encourage someone who has lost faith.
Keep a promise.
Forget an old grudge.
Examine your demands on others and reduce them.
Fight for a principle.
Express your gratitude.
Overcome and old fear.
Take two minutes to appreciate nature.
Tell someone love love him.
Tell him again. And again. And again.
Author Unknown

I love you, Hubby.

How do you explain extreme poverty to your kids?

My husband and I wanted to make sure that our children understood that sometimes people struggle and that God sends each one of us to make a difference in that person's life. Our family volunteered at Metropolitan Ministries, we shopped as a family for families at Christmas who needed help, we traveled as a family to Honduras and worked at a school there and helped build a church. We have every year rang Salvation Army bells at Christmas. We traveled to Pearlington, Mississippi and New Orleans to help rebuild homes after the flood damage. We work with Habitat for Humanity as a family. Our children grew up feeling that helping out was a response of our faith. There is poverty everywhere if you have eyes to see it and talk about it. We discuss as a family...What we could do about it...Can we make a difference?
We feel God has called us to help those who have less than we do and our children have grown up knowing the joy of letting God use them. It is important that your children grow up thinking that with God's help they can make a difference in another person's life.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy First Birthday to the Only Grand-daughter!

She is sugar and spice and everything nice,
and much, much, more...
she's a little girl we adore!

Bloggy Book Club

So...I finished the book...and I can't wait to blog about it. This wasn't what I was expecting. First, it is contemporary and it was unsettling for me to read particulars in the book and then read aspects in the newspaper the following day. I wish I could say I thoroughly enjoyed it but that wouldn't be true.I am glad I read it as I feel it has changed me in a tangible way. Hurry up and let's blog already!
Blog June 29th about A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Special Note: Bloggy Book Club is a part of Reading Group Guides and the link and blog are listed under my favorites. You may search for a discussion guide under their link before you blog your entry.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Don't waste it!

Americans are wasteful; We weren't always like this. Somewhere between the "Greatest Generation" and this one we have become consumers and gluttons who fill landfills up with the old only to purchase the "stuff of now" to later become the "landfill of tomorrow." We want our lives to look like glossy magazines and a sixty second commercials. Friends of ours recently rented a U-haul and threw away most of their possessions and replaced them with new possessions because they could, meaning they had the financial resources to do this. My friends know of my opinion of this...long ago my friends have labeled me a bleeding heart liberal. One friend who liked the coffee I gave him one evening asked where I got it and I said "Starbucks and it was their fair trade brand"...he smiled at me and shook his head and said "You're funny, Ronda." Another friend owns more cars than they have family members and they are not a car dealer.

While I love them all, my feelings over this...our country's culture of wastefulness seem ready to make me scream! These first mentioned friends could have called any charitable organization and they would have probably picked up these items gladly as they were still fairly new...just not "new to the minute." Sadly, my friends are not alone in their behavior and at times in my live I have shared in this mindset. As I have said earlier in a blog our business is in construction...there is a considerable amount of waste happening on any given construction site everyday. Corporations and individuals buy homes all the time with just the thought of the land beneath them and they have these homes or buildings torn down and these structures become part of a landfill. How wasteful!

If everyone would just stop and ask"Do I really need a new whatever?" or "Could I just have this repaired or repainted?"

And if after that you decide I just have to have this latest and greatest whatever, could you ask yourself "Who could I give this whatever to so that it might stretch the live of this whatever so it doesn't end up in a landfill today?"
Our culture of consumerism is choking the air we breathe, poisoning our water and top soil. Yet, still we buy, buy, buy.

I was in banking for ten years and I learned this from my customers...
The wealthy looking aren't the ones with money and a rich life has nothing to do with money or possessions.

I have found an organization called and it is a non-profit and their mission is about re-using stuff and keeping it out of landfills. You may list items you have to give away or items you are seeking. Check it out over at my favorite links.

Want not? Waste not!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day with much gratitude!

Where would we all be without our Dads? Those of us who are fortunate enough to have had a loving and present father feel joyful about today's honoring of Father's Day. I do, but some others may have had a different experience and for whatever reason may not feel like celebrating this day maybe you have even lost your Dad; and today will be sad for you. Today, this Father's Day, I urge you to acknowledge a male who has been a mentor to you and thank him for his role in your life. It will make his day and you will feel a sense of gratitude all day. Happy Father's Day to my Dad...he is the greatest! He has always been a part of my life and my family's... also Happy Father's Day to my hubby...he is and was a great Dad to our children.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Really, really, good looking...but God is that man funny!

I read yesterday and again today in the St. Pete Times about a woman who was fired from her job at a bar in St. Pete for laughing too loud and too often. Can you believe it?
I thought about our family business and how much we laugh, often and very loud and usually over silly things. But, it is fun to work with people who find the humor in things.
From the get-go I was attracted to my husband because of his sense of humor, he is funny and very quick witted and I love that about him. Our children take after him, so we laugh a good many times a day and we would all be fired if we worked for that bar owner! I have a very distinct (okay loud) laugh and people know when I think something is funny. When the only daughter was 12 and embarrassed that she had parents she asked me very seriously "Must you laugh that way?" "Yes, I think I must." I countered.
Our humor has got us through some tough economic times lately, as well as our faith in God. We now have plenty of work and hopefully... we will be laughing all the way to the bank!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Walking...a great way to use less gas and lose weight!

Almost everyone I know is either dieting or wanting to lose weight myself included. I have gained ten pounds over these last ten years, they just came and never went away. Magic, right? I have decided to not focus on the weight any longer but rather if I am honest with myself I would have to admit, I am eating quick, less than healthful meals and getting less exercise and much less sleep. All the ingredients to put on weight. So, I am going to focus on being more active and getting plenty of rest and I am going to eat healthy but also enjoy my food as well. I saw on CNN that most Americans do not get enough sleep at night for a variety of reasons and this contributes to weight gain. If you walk for thirty minutes every will lose weight, sleep better and have a lot of money. Okay, the last one was a lie but the others are true. Walking is also a great green tip. So...I am back to walking, not just on my treadmill but also in the great outdoors... tell me..What are you doing to be more active?

Special Note: Walk more than two hours before your bed time otherwise it will not help you with restful sleep. You will need an adequate cool down time.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Not a fear factor...

So, I looked up the meaning of fearless...I am wondering if that really is what I want to be...fearless I mean. It says ...without fear; bold or brave; intrepid. I'm not sure I want to be bold or brave or even intrepid. I would settle for not "shaking in my boots." I would like to be able to conquer some things that I am scared to do...not things that I am scared of and do not enjoy doing but rather things that I do enjoy, or may enjoy if I wasn't too frightened to try them.
A friend who happens to be a nudist suggested that I be fearless about being naked...I see no reason to do that. I barely take my clothes off to shower. Same friend suggested I learn to fly a plane...again I hate this isn't something I want to do...I fly when I have to which I think is very reason for the pilot's license. I don't need to eat bugs or drink disgusting concoctions of other gross things. Rather, I would like to be not crippled with fear over mundane things that my children and my grandson can do. He is two, almost three now and he loves to ride the flume ride at Busch Gardens and I am not ready for him to know what a 'fraidy cat his Gigi really I ride the flume ride. He screams with joy and I just scream. He wants to walk across the two story high rope ladder so we do but I crawl on my hands and knees behind him...mumbling "We can do it!"
I am truly amazed by him.
So, I wanted to start a blog and I have...Go Me!
I want to get a Tattoo, just like my daughter's...haven't yet...( hubby not happy about that choice) but I will.
I want to learn to scuba dive.
I want to build a "green" home on our property in Virginia...okay it's not fear but rather fear of lack of money that is holding me back on that one.
I would like to hike down to the bottom of the grand canyon.
I would like to keep up with the grandson...'cause he is fearless.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Not Oprah's Book's Ronda's Bloggy Book Club

I have decided to start a "blogging book club." The rules are simple, read the book and then the last Sunday of each month blog to me about it. No cheese balls, no wasting gas driving to each others' house, just read the book and blog about it. My daughter gave me this book awhile ago and I have started it twice so obviously I have commitment issues however it seems very interesting. I am determined to finish this book and I have now put it out there for everyone to here is (drum roll please) A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. This is the same author who wrote The Kite Runner.

So get reading...I am ahead of you...I am on page 13.

Nothing here but us, mice...

The best laid schemes
o' mice and men
often go astray.

Robert Burns

"Life is no straight and easy corridor along
which we travel free and unhampered,
but a maze of passages,
through which we must seek our way,
lost and confused, now and again
checked in a blind alley.

But always, if we have faith,
a door will open for us,
not perhaps one that we ourselves
would have ever thought of,
but one that will ultimately
prove good for us."

A. J. Cronin

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Gather no more.

Kindred spirit...I have found a couple of people in my life who I just immediately clicked with, granted they are usually irreverently funny and it helps if they are a liberal democrat but that is not always a prerequisite. But, lately my love of shopping and gift giving has made me feel badly about the effects of all the consumerism on our planet. I haven't found many people who feel as I do about shopping much, much less and passing up on all the latest fashion trends. Not until this morning, that is, when I opened the St. Pete Times and read the article by Justin George titled "The stuff of irony no more" then I knew I had found a kindred spirit in Barbara Rhode, a person I didn't even know. She is also doing something to control and rethink her ideas of shopping as am I. Her words were my thoughts and feelings and so after reading the article, I decided to check out her blog named Grandma goes green (she is even a grandmother, just like me.) I have listed it in the section "Blogs I like." If you have a minute check her out...she seems like a smart woman! Who doesn't love a smart woman?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Blessings in Obstacles...

As I have said in an earlier blog my hubby is having to travel out of town for work. We are "throwing our nets out into the deeper water" or in other words, traveling to Jacksonville. We have a family business so most of the men folk are away, all but the wounded, he was left behind.

I remember when I was young and my Dad, who was in the Navy, would have to leave for long stretches of time. When he did leave, almost always some kid got hurt or something got broke; and my Mom would have to deal with it as best as she could. I am not great at living without my hubby but I am trying to do a good job as it helps no one by my not coping well. So, we are trying to make the best of it. We have set goals we would like to achieve while we are apart, so as not to waste this time that God has given us. We are trying to look for blessings in each obstacle as we believe that they are there even if as we struggle to see them. I think of all the military families that are serving and I pray God gives them his strength...they have such long deployments to contend with and hubby and I can barely make five nights. Our dog is sick, our son is sick, we have had a flat tire and God help me the coffee maker broke! Here's my sad picture...hubby talking with me on the phone.

God Bless all of our service people! We are thankful for your sacrifices.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Big Day... November 14, 2009

Our youngest son is engaged almost a year now. We love LoLo and are so glad she will be officially a part of our family. She and the youngest son are perfect for one another and we can't wait for the big day, but wait we will. There really isn't a day that goes by that someone doesn't ask when is the big day? They really are the kind a couple who just seem so right for each other. But the big day is still awhile LoLo wants to finish her degree and we all support their decision but just like "Christmas morning"... it seems far away. They were high school sweethearts and now two people who are deeply in love and deeply committed to each other. I don't think there is anything a mother or father wants other than for their children to be happy( and out of the house...kidding!) I thank you LoLo for making my son so happy and I can't wait until the big day!

Gotta Match?

Recently I was taking a friend's mother to the doctor when I passed a bill board displayed proudly along the road where many doctors' offices and the local hospital are located. This bill board caused me to ask two questions to no one in particular; First.."Why hasn't someone burned this sucker to the ground?" and secondly "I bet they could never advertise this product to a male customer!" The bill board in question had a picture of a shapely Grecian goddess (armless I think) and asked the question "Unhappy with your body?" and then answered it's own stupid question with "Try breast augmentation!" Let me tell you if I had even a second to spare...I would have dialed that number to have a very detailed conversation with the unscrupulous plastic brained surgeon that put that bill board up. There isn't a male alive that would buy into that bill board so...ladies "Why do we?" Can you imagine a bill board with a naked Roman guy asking "Unhappy with your body?" and then answering "Try "whatever" augmentation!" I don't know why some of us feel this way and I do acknowledge that I too struggle with the changes in my body but surgery isn't going to fix what is broken with me or you and I don't think we should allow these so called Doctors to imply that it will. I am sick of seeing tabloids that criticize women's bodies and magazines that label some women "unsexy". I won't buy any of those magazines and I am weary of the "Brittany's and Paris'" of this world being built up only to tear them down because it sells magazines. Ladies, please if you want to feel better about your body...augment your brain. If that bill board mysteriously burns to the ground..."it wasn't me!"

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
Genesis 1:31

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Lion sleeps tonight....

Yesterday, I spoke with three different women, ( four if you count the conversation I had with myself ) all in varying stages of their lives and all at perplexing times in their lives. Sometimes we all struggle to understand "the happenings" of our lives and we don't see God working in it because "the happening" seems so big and strong and mighty. We forget who is really so big and strong and so mighty. We may look at the problems of others and think "You'll be fine" "Don't worry" and they may look at our problems and think the very same thought but when you are in the Lion's Den, the Lion is very real indeed. But God protected Daniel from the Lions as he protects us even now and there was a purpose to Daniel's evening with the Lions as there is for us. I love all three of you and I see God working in your lives everyday as I hope He works in mine...
"For he is the living God
and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
and his dominion will never end.
He rescues and he saves;
he performs signs and wonders
in the heaven and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions."
Daniel 6:26-27

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ode to Bobby Joe

This morning dawned bright and early and the panting of hot air in my face was not my beloved "hubby" but rather our Miley, the Chocolate Lab wanting to go tinkle at 6:00 am. Riley, our Golden Retriever didn't even move. There was no coffee brought to me. No newspaper waiting on the table. I had to feed the zoo all by myself. Hubby is out of town and I miss my husband. Anyone who knows us should find this mildly amusing as we squabble most of the time. Just the other night he said I would argue with a brick and I replied "The saying is brick wall, not a brick!" But, I miss him even if he just wanted to argue "with a brick." I posted the picture so he would laugh...Oh and honey...I missed the trash!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Don't forget to play

It's important as we get older to remember to play...sometimes just to laugh and play as hard as we work.
If you have forgotten how, watch a child.
They aren't concerned with what we think of them but only about the "fun" we are having with them.
They laugh so hard they can barely breathe and they run so fast that they could fall but they don't worry about that.
They dance because they know they can and they sing because what's dancing without music.
Have fun and enjoy the world around you. It's your gift of today.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tadpoles to frogs.

We were at the playground which sits right by the lake where we live and my grand-son caught sight of something hopping near the water's edge. We walked over and saw hundreds of baby frogs jumping everywhere and in the water more tadpoles with varying degrees of frog"ness." It was a marine biology class in the making and why questions abounded. "Why are they jumping?" "Why are the tadpoles still in the water?" "Why aren't they frogs yet?" It was really interesting and it took me back to my childhood with me and my Dad. We found tadpoles and we brought them home and put them in our aquarium and I got to see up close and personal the changes from Tadpoles to frogs. Life is good.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

It is what it is...Or is it?

My Grand-daughter at the park.

My friend Karyn has heard me say a hundred or so times "It is what it is." So many times in fact she bought me a sign that hangs in my office and it says just that. The little phrase helps me accept the reality of situations otherwise I will entertain ideas of make- believe. I have always had trouble accepting no for an answer, really ask my mother. I don't like dead ends, or bad movie endings, or unresolved arguments. I truly like happy endings, I love a good fight if it is productive, meaning a better understanding of each other. I have always looked at conflict as an opportunity to hear and to be heard. But, I have had to accept some others would rather not argue at any cost, even if it is the relationship. I have also had to accept that for them the cost is too great and they would rather walk away from discord. Thankfully, I haven't had many of those people in my life but a few none-the-less and the phrase "It is what it is" is a helpful mantra to recite in my frustration. It has also helped in our current work situation but I have added an extra phrase to it that makes it more meaningful..."It is what it is, until God says it isn't." It reminds me that God is in control and while I may resign myself to my current situation, I still know that God is working in all things.