Yes, indeed, I am one fortunate woman, sharing my story and my joy with y’all. Nine years ago today was Easter Sunday 2006; my visiting daughters stuffed me into my truck and headed to the small, local hospital, where doctors were stunned by what they found. A fairly large mass in my head, so big that the ER doc explaining it, said, “I can’t believe you can walk with the size of that thing growing in your head.”  I was shipped off to Green Bay, interrupting everyone’s Easter dinners. Two days later, a neurosurgeon and his team took a buzz saw to my skull and a scalpel to my brain. Later he visited me in the night and delivered the news that the tumor they removed was malignant and I had the most aggressive form of brain cancer. Waiting daughters, family and friends had already been given the word; stats were not great. But the clinical world leaves out a huge piece and that piece is a fairly major game-changer. My Father had plans and as He says in His Book, (Jeremiah 29:11)  “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Those plans included handling that horrible cancer and nine years  later, despite enormous odds, severe statistics (my favorite doc says a study currently under review says only 12% are still breathing five years out ), and side effect challenges, I surely do have hope and a future and am on a mission to share the blessings and the joy!  

Today is also bittersweet; two years ago this day, I attended the funeral of a friend who lost his five and-a-half-year battle with the same cancer I had. Yet here I am, well and most content. During my friend’s ordeal with this ugly disease, I pondered life, asking the perennial questions about the mind of God when He wrote the story so long ago. Why are some folks here for longer or shorter durations than others? Why me? What’s the plan? Those are unanswerable questions in this temporal world, but I still believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful Creator God, that did, indeed, write the story before the world began, as we first discussed nine years ago when I was diagnosed.  

We talked about this last week around our Easter dinner table, shared grins at the memories and reminisced about events of those confusing days. Today on this beautiful, sunny morning, I am celebrating  that I am here, despite all side effects and odds, just four weeks shy of completing my first Master’s degree and that, for whatever reason, God’s still got me on my feet. I am most grateful to be here with loved ones and friends, to play my part in the story, hopefully with grace and dignity.  

As I say often in these pages, hold your loved ones close; tell them regularly and often how very valuable they are to you and share with me, please, my joy that nine years later I am alive and well!  Be blessed†



Bunnies With No Heads – A Tale of Hope and Encouragement – 2014 Edition

Tonight’s post is a rerun and  a favorite Easter story of ours.  We shared it with a new group of friends today; told by Meghan Lee and me together, it was even funnier and our audience seemed to enjoy hearing it almost as much as we enjoyed telling and reliving it with much laughter

Do not be dismayed by the title,  this post will give you hope and encouragement,  I promise :)  As is often mentioned in these pages, I’m a traditionalist;  I believe tradition is the glue that binds us together.  Today I’ll tell a quick story about a mother who used to buy solid chocolate Easter bunnies, the big ones, $16 each, back in the day, the best for her daughters, year after year.  Tradition was that early Easter morning, the mother would hide the colored eggs and then the baskets.  While the girls were hunting for eggs and baskets, the mother was cooking a special breakfast, one for each of her daughters as they had different favorites.

This particular year, the night before Easter as the mother was preparing the baskets, the temptation of those fabulous bunnies overcame her.  Just one little nibble, the mother thought, who’ll notice?  Y’all know how this goes – the edges had to be evened out and smooth so one nibble followed another and all of a sudden one ear was gone – Horror!  What could the mother do?  She had to do the same to the other bunny; it would never work to give one daughter an intact bunny and the other, one with a missing ear.  On with the “evening-up” process.  Now two bunnies without ears, very uneven, more work to do;

Holy cats, what now?  May as well even things up, you know, neaten it up a bit.  One head gone, on to the next – gotta be fair.   Enough already.  So the mother tucked each bunny back into its little bag and tied them shut with the original ribbons, pink and purple.  It’s Saturday night, Easter eve, no replacing these special bunnies.  Early Easter morning, the mother went about her business, then woke the daughters to begin their hunt, while the mother went into the kitchen to begin cooking those special breakfasts, didn’t miss a beat….

All of a sudden – horrified screams!!  The girls had discovered their headless bunnies in their otherwise beautiful baskets.  And they had no doubt as to the culprit.  Good thing they were of the age to know that the Easter Bunny really was the mother.  The thing that I remember most clearly was Meghan Lee’s absolute indignation that there were teeth marks in her bunny – eeeuuuu!! To use FDR’s words spoken years ago, this was a day that ” will live in infamy.”  And it has; brought up every Easter and shared as it was today, with love and much laughter.

I promised encouragement?  You bet.  My friends, regardless what you may be thinking about your shortcomings, faults or misses, remember the mother who ate the heads off the bunnies and laugh!  You haven’t done that yet, have you?  There is HOPE and there is GRACE.  My daughters love me, forgave me and we share another precious memory.

Easter is a special day, not a present-giving holiday, at least not in our home, but without it, we would all be hopeless.  Remember, because of what occurred on that first Easter morning, there is abundant hope and grace for all of us.  I hope you’ve found or find yours in our risen Lord.  My prayer is that all the blessings of Easter – life, forgiveness, grace and joy – live within each and every one of you!  Be blessed…


Here We Go Again…

That may well be what some of you think about this post and frankly, my response is, it’s my blog, the subjects about which I write are important to me and I believe some of them are important in the larger scheme of life.  That said, there are three reasons leading up to my choice of topic today.  First of all, another woman in another nearby county is dead and her “boyfriend” is in jail awaiting charges.  Interestingly, a law enforcement officer commented on the “irony” of the situation because the murdered woman was recently publicly lauded for “her tireless advocacy on behalf of victims of domestic violence.”  Ironic?  Really?  That’s reason one.  The second reason is a conversation with a young woman I know, mother of two children under age three, whose significant other was arrested on a DV charge after punching holes in the walls and grabbing the woman by the throat.  Is this true?  I looked it up in the state court records just to be able to answer the doubters; yes the arrest occurred based on evidence.  Third, this issue has become personal.  In discussions this week I received comments like “Get over it,”  (from a woman, no less) and “Well, I didn’t see it,” from a male relative.  Really?  Not seeing an abuser in action means abuse didn’t take place and one should sit down and share a meal with said abuser, basically demeaning the experience of three victimized women, two of them children or at least under age during their experience?    

Do I need more reasons?  Are three enough?  I know this isn’t a pretty post; there’s no humor, nothing funny like chocolate bunnies without heads, but there’s very little humor in me as I write this.  I’m discouraged and disgusted and it’s once again time to stand up and speak out with all its ugliness.  Disregard, disrespect, dismissal, those darned D words that women experience all the time.  It’s even worse when life-altering occurrences have the D words applied.  

If you care enough to help, what can you do?  First of all, do NOT dismiss the experiences or minimize the effects even years later. It’s now known that women who’ve been mistreated – intimidated, called ugly names, had their possessions broken, walls and doors kicked in, pets abused – all these events leave their mark and many women experience symptoms of PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, triggered by something as simple as a spring breeze causing a door to slam shut, or observing a young couple in a grocery store and he calls her a vile name.  These incidents can bring back the ugliness in a heartbeat and are not easily gotten over; flashbacks are not something over which a person has control.  

Educate yourself so you don’t make hurtful comments or display a dismissive attitude.  And be willing to stand up and be counted; it’s not okay to condone abusive behavior through silence.  And pretending something ugly didn’t occur does not make it disappear.   It’s not a matter of lack of forgiveness or dwelling on past events.  Do you think people who’ve experienced this kind of ugliness really want to relive it?  Not on your life.  There are those of us who’ve chosen to turn ugliness into benefit for others.  Help me do that, please – support your local women’s shelters, donate your old cell phones and printer cartridges, volunteer at shelter events, advocate for victims whenever the opportunity presents itself, open your mouth, take a stand.  Thanks for listening with an open mind and heart…






Happy Anniversary to ME!! 2013 Edition

Yes, indeed, I’m one fortunate woman, sharing my story and my joy with y’all. Seven years ago today, Easter Sunday that year, my visiting daughters stuffed me into my truck and headed to the small, local hospital, where doctors were stunned by what they found.  A fairly large mass in my head, so big that the doc, in explaining it, said, “I cannot believe you can walk with the size of that thing growing in your head.”  I was shipped off to Green Bay, interrupted everybody’s Easter dinners and two days later, a neurosurgeon and his team took a buzz saw to my skull and  a scalpel to my brain.  Later he visited me in the night and delivered the news that the tumor they removed was malignant and I had a fairly aggressive form of brain cancer.  Waiting daughters, family and friends had already been given information and the stats were not great; but the clinical world leaves out a huge piece and that piece is a fairly major game-changer. My Father had plans and as He says in His Book, (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)  “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Those plans included handling that tumor and seven years  later, despite enormous odds and severe statistics, I surely do have hope and a future and I’m on a mission to share the blessings and the joy!  This is most bittersweet today because in in a couple hours I will head to the funeral of a friend who lost his five and-a-half-year battle with the same cancer I had, just a week ago. Yet here I am well and  most content

I’ve wondered, sometimes aloud, during my friend’s ordeal, asked the perennial questions about the mind of God when He wrote the story so long ago. Why are some folks here for longer or shorter durations than others? What’s the plan?  Those are unanswerable questions in this temporal world, but I still believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful Creator God, that did, indeed, write the story before the world began, as we first talked about seven years ago when I was diagnosed.  

So my friend is gone and his family mourns. Yet I know on this cold, gloomy, April morning that my Heavenly Father has the plan firmly in hand and that despite another family’s loss, they would not begrudge me the celebration of this anniversary in my life.  In a few hours I’ll attend the funeral, but in this pre-dawn moment and later in conversations with friends and family, I will celebrate that I am here, that for whatever reason, God’s still got me on my feet. I am most grateful to be here with loved ones and to play my part in the story, hopefully with grace and dignity.  

As I say often in these pages, hold your loved ones close; tell them regularly and often how very valuable they are to you and share with me, please, my joy that seven years later I am alive and well!  Be blessed….




Do You Know Who You Are? Conversation with Kat…

Regular readers know I favor TA DA moments and Special Days.  On a special day recently, I called my sister-in-law, Kathy, to wish her a happy birthday.  Kat’s an encourager, always one to cheer you on and she’s been solidly in my corner for quite some time.  So on her birthday, I reached out via phone and we had a marvelous conversation, which is the basis for this post.  I’m not sure how the conversation started, but pretty soon we were on one of my favorite subjects – the uplifting and encouragement of women,  these days especially younger women.  We talked  about my daughters and how I had determined early on that I was going to parent them in a way that they knew unconditionally that they were of immense value and loved, not for what they did, but for the sheer fact that God created them and put them on this earth and thankfully, into my arms. 

Kat and I had been talking about their birthdays and how I posted a blog for each of them as a Special Day post.  That led to many other things and we ended up talking about younger women in general, the choices they’re making and for what reasons.  I firmly believe that if today’s generation had a better grasp of their personal worth and value, they would make far better choices.  And not just the younger generation, though it’s much more in-your-face, if you will; this applies to women of all ages.

I ended up telling some stories from the days of  facilitating women’s recovery groups.   Those ladies heard my “speech” as they called it, regularly and every so often, one brought a woman whom she introduced by saying, “This is —-, she needs your speech.”  We’d laugh together and at the appropriate moment I’d segue into the speech that usually begins with Do you know who you are?  Do you really know?  You’ve got some guy calling you names and disrespecting you?  Do you know who you are?  And better, does that guy know with whom he’s messing? 

The answer and today’s lesson – you knew one was coming – is You Are the Daughter of a King – a princess, if you will.  But not just any king, the almighty Creator King of the universe!!  And do you know what?  That means something!

That means that you have incredible worth and value, that you are most worthy of being respected, loved, treated well!  Let that thought permeate your being, your mind, your heart and your soul.  Disrespect yourself with bad choices?  Not as likely if you have a solid sense of your value.  Accept disrespect or worse from others in your life?  Not as likely if you have a solid sense of your worth. 

Do you know who you are?  Head up high, friend, confident and comfortable, standing your ground on the Solid Rock, knowing that you are indeed unique, special, worthy and of incredible value to your loved ones and to a hurting world all around you.  You have a legacy of grace, dignity, value and you have much to give. 

Follow the Solid Rock link, turn up your speakers and sing as you dance around your kitchen with joy and peace in your heart.  Do You Know Who You Are?  You bet, no doubt about it:   Worthy, Valuable and full of Grace – go on out and make a difference in the life of a woman, young or old, that you know!  

In closing I’ll share a favorite verse that closed my Conversation with Kat,  given to me by a woman in one of those aforementioned recovery groups.  Zephaniah 3:17 says that not only does the Lord take great delight in me, He’s singing with joy about me!!  Check it out for yourself then follow the Solid Rock link above; sing out loud as you dance around your kitchen reveling in the knowledge that you are most worthy!!!


What’s One Degree?

That depends on the subject. I can tell you, having just gotten unbundled, when it comes to outside temperature, one degree is pretty darn cold, but it is north of zero, which makes a difference, at least psychologically. I took the time to go through the dress-for-cold routine this morning before heading out with dogs, trash and recycling; it’s one of those things that makes winter in the country more work.  I walked around the kitchen last night looking for a spot to move the coat rack in from the back porch so when I go for my outside clothes they’d at least be as warm as the kitchen, including my ski bibs (can’t bring myself to call them snow pants) and despite the enormity of this old farmhouse kitchen, I’m not seeing a spot that will work for a coat tree loaded with water-proof gear, two ski jackets, bibs, the Ugly Coat, you bet, that one has a name of its own and is loaded with family humor.  Accompanying the coat tree are the baskets of mittens, hats and scarves, including that fun face-mask hat, you know, the kind bank robbers wear.  Then there are the serious boots, which along with the Ugly Coat, do not go into town; maybe the boots on occasion, but the coat, not one time in the eight years I’ve lived out here; its name is most accurate, but it has its place in life here at the Homestead.

  Yes, folks, mid-January and we’re finally entering what’s supposed to be a cold spell.  It might be that temperature is relative at times – what’s cold for me in church has other women fanning with their bulletins and men shrugging off their jackets. When my South Carolina daughter complains about cold, we’re talking about 50 degrees – absolutely balmy compared to this.  

Back to one degree; looking at the night sky through my telescope, a one-degree correction isn’t necessarily all that much.  Ask a ship captain and a one-degree course correction might just prevent a mishap, though I’m not a sailor so that’s speculation. 

Just as in life, sometimes it’s a small thing – a low number, that will sink us if we let it. One degree above zero is unpleasant, but manageable and there is a positive; it’s not 30 below and the sun is shining bright and skies are beautifully blue.  It is more work, everything seems more challenging, but look around.  I had luncheon plans for today and woke up dreading having to get dogs out and trash up to the road early, and then thought about what I was going to wear to my lunch so I wouldn’t freeze.  Lunch is cancelled because my friend’s father, confined to a nursing home, is causing concern and she was heading to see him.  So I’m spared from going back out, which I don’t mind at all, but I’m missing time with a special friend and know my friend is traveling a couple hours in vicious cold to see an ailing parent.  Kind of puts my complaint of one degree into perspective, doesn’t it?

Be blessed and when feeling challenged, try to bless others – you will feel better for reaching outside yourself, I promise.  And with what regular readers will recognize as a theme comes the admonishment to please, let those you love know for sure you love them, speak it often, cherish the times and memories as you never know when just one degree in time or space could change your world for a lifetime.  Be blessed, stay warm!!


Post-Thanksgiving 2011

I didn’t do the usual O Give Thanks essay last night and in the bright sunlight of the day after Thanksgiving, it seems inappropriate.  So a new direction for this day.  Am I out shopping?  Not on your life; I have never done the Black Friday thing and Lord help me, I have no intention of starting any year in the future.  So if you’re easily offended, you may want to tune this one out because I’m about to speak my mind.  Why? Because I can; this is my site. 

I will venture out today, but no further than the hardware store and only to pick up pellets for the water softener so my cousin, Dan, can add them when he comes by later to change the furnace filter, which I’ve determined may be the cause of my allergy challenges these last couple of weeks.  I’ll say right out of the gate, I do not get this mad frenzy to camp out in parking lots in the cold, to battle other folks to get a “deal.”  Not only do I not get it, I’m fairly appalled by the whole idea.  This year it’s even worse.  Stores that used to open at 5:00 a.m. on Friday were open ALL DAY on Thanksgiving so folks can be grabby and pushy and rude  in pursuit of  stuff to show how much they love others!  I do not get it.

Why do I care?  Why not just quietly not participate?  Because I don’t have to be quiet; this is the place I can speak my truth.  It hurts my heart to see and hear the level of greed and want to which this nation has fallen.  Late last night, while knitting a Christmas gift for someone special, yep, I said knitting, a good old-fashioned hand-made gift, I turned on the BBC news on Wisconsin Public Television (WPT).  That’s a clue – I don’t have cable.  A guest in the US was asked his opinion of what he was seeing.  His comments were enlightening – first he was shocked that people were in tents with small children to be first in line at an electronics store. It actually got funny as his amazement continued.  It was Thanksgiving, an American holiday, and he didn’t see a whole lot of giving thanks; he saw a whole lot of scrambling for stuff, stuff that doesn’t make a bit of difference in the big picture and I don’t mean televisions. 

On the other hand, I spent a fair amount of time yesterday on the phone with a very special 15-1/2 year old who doesn’t have a place to live, no home, right here in Shawano County on Thanksgiving Day 2011, because of an abusive, alcoholic parent, a mother, no less!  It breaks my heart.  This young woman, a former student of mine, is very intelligent, motivated, an A student involved in lots of activities.  Additionally, she is musical, funny, loves to read and had just begun her first job to save money for a car so she could continue to get to work and not be at the mercy of her mother’s sobriety or lack thereof.  

We spent a good deal of time trying to come up with a plan, nothing big or grandiose, just a plan that would get her through the next six months, allow her to finish the school year and get that driver’s license in safety and some semblance of sanity without the constant stress jeopardizing her ability to continue to do well.  Thanksgiving?  She initially wasn’t very thankful – she’s angry, understandably so.  Two parents and no parental stability or guidance; one not very available and the other physically, emotionally and spiritually very ill, resulting in a barrage of venom, hateful name-calling and constant battering of this 15-1/2 year old spirit.  

What does this young woman want for Christmas?  Not another gadget, that’s for sure.  She wants her mother to be sober and to quit calling her names and provide a home.  Is that too much to ask?  Is this all true, you might wonder.  Yes, it is.  I’ve seen this mother in action going back five+ years.  I’ve had this young woman sit down on the piano bench and when I asked the standard, “How was your week?” have her burst into tears because of a ruined 13th birthday party. 

I’ve seen this coming, observing her recent comments on Facebook and receiving a plea for help via Facebook message in the last two weeks.  Yesterday we talked about the reality of her life, what IS, not what she dreams. We brainstormed practical solutions and a six-month plan.  We talked about alcoholism,  rehab and relapse and the odds of her Christmas wish coming true in the next four weeks and how to persevere through broken dreams.  O Give Thanks, I thought to myself and sighed a prayer that my Lord remembers this young woman, which I believe He does. 

Our conversation ended with a shared chuckle.  I haven’t mentioned that she loves to write.  I told her to think about the story she’s got inside and being able to tell it to the benefit of others.  She laughed that wonderful laugh of hers at the thought of being a published author someday and speaking from a stage to a group of young people.  We hung up the phone with a bit of hope for better days to come.  This young woman is a survivor and I believe she will triumph, and in the scheme of things, that big picture, again, there’s not enough stuff on the planet to fill the holes in our souls. 

Going into this  Christmas season, look around, find a way to share yourself and your blessings with someone in need.  They’re everywhere and I believe the best way to lift your own spirits is to help or encourage someone else.  Lets truly be thankful during this season and demonstrate the sentiment by sharing it!  Happy Thanksgiving and looking ahead, Merry Christmas, too, and yes, it is Christmas with a capital C!


Happy Birthday, Hattie! 2012 update

Today’s post is a rerun, first posted several years ago in honor of my paternal grandmother. On top of that, it’s a day late 🙁  From what I remember of her, she would be happy to have the greetings and tardiness would be overlooked with that smile I remember so well.  Her birthday was November 10, same as Martin Luther.  This year I decided to purposefully post on November 11, and will likely continue this into the future.  One day late every year and I’m sure she’s smiling.  Ninety-five years ago, today, the day after her birthday, she gave birth to twin sons – Elmer and Alfred, my dad’s brothers.  Uncle Elm went on to marry my Auntie Arlene, spoken of often in these pages and together they raised their family here at The Homestead.

Hattie – a name you don’t hear too much anymore, in this case short for Henrietta, my Grandma Buelow who, if she was still with us, would have been 123 years old yesterday.  She passed away at age 85 and played an important role here at Her Father’s Homestead. She came as a young bride in 1907, when she married my grandfather, Henry Buelow. That’s right, Henrietta Jantz married Henry Buelow, as you can see in their wedding invitation

                                                          Hattie’s wedding invitation

That’s where I first saw her referred to as Hattie. She came to the Homestead and built a life here, raised ten children, seven boys and three girls, all born in this wonderful old house I call home. She lived here until she passed away, cared for in her later years by her son, my Uncle Elmer and his wife, my favorite Auntie Arlene, well known to readers of this blog.

We saw Grandma often, as on any given Sunday we’d drive to what my Dad called The Farm, the place he grew up along with his brothers and sisters, the children of Her Father’s Homestead, and the place we visited with those aunts, uncles and cousins, because this was where Grandma lived. So many memories… A white-haired Grandma, saying grace in German and smiling; I remember her smile just like you see in the picture in the barnyard with my Grandpa, who passed away long before I was born.

  •              Hattie’s happy!

That photo is a bit unusual for its time in that it shows what’s today called a public display of affection – Grandpa has his arm around her, she’s snuggled into him and is holding his hand and she’s smiling. In the background of that photo, you see her brother-in-law, the gentleman with the hat, and also her son, my Uncle Elmer, hatchet in hand if you look closely, whom I remember with a great smile and quick to laugh, who’d be 95, today, if he was still with us.

The last photo, again a smiling Grandma, in front of what may be the old lilac tree at the corner of the house where I live.My smiling Grandma Buelow

I said a long time ago that this old Homestead of mine would tell a story, herstory, I called it. And that it has, the story of Her Father’s Homestead told through my eyes with gratitude for the women who came before me – the great grandmother I didn’t know, Grandma Buelow, Auntie Arlene and now me. Happy belated birthday, Hattie! So many memories…






Another TA DA!!

Readers know I’m a fan of TA DA moments, have written about them here before, but just what does it mean?  I think it’s something I picked up from a nephew, Colby, years ago.  When Col was young, he was fascinated by magic and eager to show anyone and everyone his latest trick.  He had put together a show complete with magician’s hat and cape and a very fun routine.  At the end of each trick, he’d say, “Ta da;”  it was too cute.  I don’t remember ever using the words before then, but since then I’ve made them mine.  A TA DA moment can be anything from a fabulous sunset to getting a well-deserved A in a tough class, to something that just absolutely makes you smile or laugh out loud. 

Yesterday was such a day.  I’ve been out here at the Homestead now for just about eight years and in that time I’ve become closer to a special woman y’all have heard about, my favorite Auntie Arlene.  I wrote about her most recently in July, commemorating her 93rd birthday.  I posted one of my all-time favorite photos, Auntie Arlene and me on the front steps of the Homestead, taken approximately 54 years ago. 

We’ve talked, she and I, about re-staging that old photo and one day recently at a get-together with her daughters, she said, “Should we do it today?”  That didn’t work out, but yesterday, a beautiful, sunny day, my cousin, Janice, called, said she was in town at her mom’s and how about we take that picture.  What a fabulous idea and within a couple hours, Janice, her twin sister, Jane, and Auntie Arlene, all 93 years of her, were here.  And TA DA time had begun. 

Below you’ll see  that old photo, taken when I was about two, along with a brand-new one taken yesterday!  I didn’t sit on her lap, for obvious reasons, but we did choose the same spot and amid all kinds of laughter, we took that photo.

 We  shared hugs and smiles and just reveled in the relationship.  And that, my friends, is a quintessential TA DA.   Is it important in the scheme of world events?  You bet it is in my world. I’ve said it before and will likely say it again – where we come from is important and tradition is the glue that binds us together.  And survivor that I am, the oft -repeated message here is cherish your loved ones and never miss the opportunity to let them know they are loved and cherishedLook for  those TA DA moments, create them whenever you’re able and tuck them deep into your heart!!   Blessings!!

Arlene and LeeAnn 54 years ago

Auntie Arlene & LeeAnn today

Auntie Arlene & LeeAnn today






Readers know that I came of age in the late ’60s and early ’70s and that while my beliefs have matured, I still love rock’n’roll, now in the “oldies” category. One song written by Bowie and released by Mott the Hoople in ’72 called for All the Young Dudes to Carry the News. I didn’t start this cold, but sunny Saturday morning with the intent to put up another post. However, one of the habits I have yet to break is morning news. One of the features on the show I watch resulted in this change of plan. I will not grace this post with the name of the offending retailer, will not give them credence by mentioning their name. You can Google the topic and find out for yourself. The purpose here is not to call for rebellion or a boycott as I may have in my younger days. The point here is simple and direct – a message for moms, grandmothers, aunties (men, too, but I believe most of my readers are women) – carry the news to your daughters, granddaughters, nieces, girls of all ages within your sphere of influence.

What is the news? First, the news is that the eight year-old girls in your lives do not need the latest – a push-up swimsuit top to give the illusion of assets not yet developed. That’s what got my attention – the latest trend being marketed to hit the beach in 2011 is a padded, push-up bikini top, aimed at the eight-year-old market. Not 18, not teenagers or adolescents, but little girls, pushing sexuality on innocence.

The concern for me here at the Homestead is the message that as women of all ages, child to aged, you’re not okay, you’re not good enough the way you are. It’s about how you look, how you present yourself and it better be sexy and attention -getting or you’re just not good enough for this culture.

The message is awful, but the NEWS to embed in young women of all ages, wherever you encounter them, is YES YOU ARE! You are good enough, you are valuable and you have great worth!! It’s not about how the world perceives you, what the boys in your class may talk about, what you see in the media at-large – it’s about you, a female of whatever age, and your immense worth and value!

Readers also know my worldview and belief system as distinctly Christian. You don’t come back here often if expressions of God offend you. The concept is central to the subject at hand. Among the women with whom I work, I’m famous for the question – Do you know who you are?? Answer? You are the daughter of a king, not just any king, but the mighty Creator King of the universe – He is your Father and you are His treasured daughter and that, my friends, means something!

Carry the news, repeat it often, loud and proud – You ARE Worthy and of IMMENSE VALUE. Hold this deep in your heart, believe it and share it with those you love. I believe that women of all ages would make better choices if they were grounded in the belief of their innate value to an all-wise and loving Creator Father. Thanks for listening and have a beautiful day!