My PERSONAL PRAYER

My Personal Prayer:

Dear Lord,
I pray that You will help me to be …

… fearless, not foolish …

… intimate, not intimidating …

… tougher, not harder …

… softer, not destructible …

… more resilient, not more rigid …

…more peaceful, less stressed …

… more discerning, not less trusting …

… more aware, but less judgmental …

… more protective of my heart, but more vulnerable to real love …

… more empowered, but less authoritative …

… willing to lose something in order to gain something better, but not willing to lose everything for what matters not …

… unbound by the chains of past mistakes, and unwilling to become fettered by new ones …

… able to acknowledge my own flaws, but also able to use them towards personal improvement …

… accepting of other’ choices, yet unafraid to offer alternatives if needed …

… open to constructive criticism from friends, but immune  to the destructive lies of enemies …

… courageous, but not dangerous… 

… stronger from heavy lifting, not bulkier from piling on more baggage …

… persistent in faith, yet resigned in submission …

… patient, but not immovable…

… forward thinking, not stuck in memories that are no longer realities …

… realistic, but not cynical …

… idealistic, but not unrealistic …

… a survivor, but not arrogant …

… humble, yet not underconfident …

… confident, not prideful …

… tenacious, but not unrelenting …

… assertive, but not aggressive …

… sweet, without being saccharine …

… persuasive, without being insincere …

… charismatic, yet not disingenuine …

… malleable, but not putty in the wrong hands …

… tender, but not a pushover …

… an encourager, not a complainer …

… sympathetic, but not swept away by emotions …

… hopeful, not helpless …

… charitable, yet not at the loss of my self …

… respectful of others, but not at the cost of my own self respect …

… insightful, not inciting …

… evocative,  not provocative …

… a warrior, yet not a dictator …

… a sanctuary, not a pit of destruction …

… a balm, not a poison …

… a refresher, not a sponge …

… a nourisher, but not an enabler …

… a helper, not a codependent … 

… fierce enough to do battle, but gentle enough to make peace …

… wise, but not a know-it-all …

… a defender, but not indefensible …

… honorable, yet successful in a world filled with dishonor …

… loving, & able to accept love in return …

… smart enough to play the cards I am dealt, yet not foolish enough to risk it all on one hand …

… vivacious enough to entertain, but reserved enough to engage …

… fearless, yet focused …

… unashamed, yet cognizant of my mistakes …

… cheerful, but sober …

… vigilant, yet carefree …

… steadfast, but spontaneous.

Lord, help me to offer the sweetest fruits of my spirit to all those whom I encounter, and throw the bitter roots away, so none will have to taste them. Help me to be the very best me that I can possibly be, so that one day I will leave others with a sweet memory. May others see the beauty in my soul.

Amen

“Do not be anxious about anything,

but in every situation, pray, with

thanksgiving …” – Phil. 4:6

Advertisements

ACROSS THE STREET AT THE FUNERAL HOME

ACROSS THE STREET AT THE FUNERAL HOME

The parking lot at the funeral home was jam-packed, and I counted myself doubly lucky to have not only commandeered one of the last few remaining parking spaces, but also that it was beneath the shade of a very small tree. It was a sizzling hot day in the sunny South, and I was hoping that minuscule amount of shade would help my car to be a tad bit cooler when I returned to it after the service I was about to attend.

Normally I am seldom at a loss for words, but I said a silent prayer as I walked across asphalt that was practically gooey from the intense Alabama Summer Sun, that I would have some small words of comfort to offer my sweet friend who was grieving the unexpected passing of her daughter.

Inside, when I reached my turn in the receiving line, I did not have any real words of wisdom, except to offer her my love, prayers, and condolences. As I hugged her, I whispered in her ear that I knew that her faith would get her through. Feeling inadequate, I once again lifted a silent prayer for strength for the family to make it through this service. And it was indeed a lovely service! Although it wrenched at my heart to hear of the vibrant woman in her early forties being called home a little too soon, at least by modern societies standards. Watching the slideshow which was filled with a myriad of photographs from this woman’s life, depicting her as a small baby, up through more recent days, I was struck by what a good life she seemed to have had! Now she was in perfect peace. I knew that she was at rest now, and that the grieving process was for the family.

Immediately upon exiting the funeral home, I began sweating due to the excessively blistering heat and exceedingly high humidity. Normally I used the term glistening instead, but this was outright sweating. The humidity was at or near 90%. In my mind I was already planning how I would go to my office and freshen up while I awaited delivery of steak tips from Steak Out. That would give me an enjoyable lunch prior to my next appointment.

I got into my car and pushed the starter button, and although the engine did not turn over, the thermometer and dashboard lit up, and I saw that the thermometer read 104 degrees. Sweat began trickling down my back as I realized with a sinking feeling that the buzzing sound I was hearing each time I tried to start the car meant that it was not going to start at all! A single woman whose son lives 700 miles away, and whose son in law was overseas, I felt dismay that I knew not whom I could call in to come to my rescue. I have many friends, but they were all pretty much at work. I could call a tow truck, but that would mean calling to reschedule my appointment, and since I was showing my own listing, I did not want to do that.

I thought of the co-worker who had sat in the same pew with me for the funeral service and decided to dial him to see if he was still there. Fortunately, this extremely nice guy had just left the parking lot and immediately agreed to return. In spite of the sweltering heat, this true Southern gentleman, dressed in long-sleeve shirt, tie, and dress pants, endured, and jumped off my car battery without complaint.

As he was doing this, I noticed an auto parts store located directly across the street. I bid him goodbye, thanked him profusely, and prayed that I only needed a new battery as I drove across the street. Sure enough, when the employees tested my battery, they determined that I did need a new one. I elected to wait inside the air-conditioned lobby of the store while the young man installed it. My throat was parched and I was feeling a little dehydrated and much dismayed when I realized that I had no cash to purchase a bottle of water from their vending machine. Realizing that things could always be worse, I took a deep breath and prayed that he would hurry with the replacement so that I could go and find something cold to drink.

About that time, I saw a lady approach the sales desk and begin complaining loudly. She, too, was very frustrated that her car had decided to quit in the miserable heat. But she was complaining a little too loudly about it for my liking. I glanced over at her and saw that she was wearing a boot that one would wear if they had a broken foot or leg. As my eyes met hers, I saw intense sadness in them. So I resisted my impulse to turn away and decided to offer her words of encouragement instead.

“Things could be worse,” I tentatively offered. She looked over at me and proferred a tiny little wry smile. “We could be over at the funeral home across the street, you know?” I offered this to try to engage her. She nodded at this, and replied, “You are right.” I told her that I had just left the funeral of a woman who had passed in her mid-40s.

What she said next took me by surprise: “ I was just there 3 weeks ago myself.” I offered her my condolences and she explained to me that she had suddenly lost her 36 year old son. She then proceeded to tell me that everything in her life seemed to be going wrong all at one time. After her son’s death, her finances were taking a hit, she had been sick, had broken her foot, and now her car had died on one of the hottest days of the year. I nodded. Life’s like that. Sometimes tsunami waves wash over us such that we find it hard & almost impossible to focus on putting one broken foot in front of the other.

Suddenly, my own irritation at having to spend my lunch break getting a new battery dissipated completely. I lifted yet another silent prayer and asked God to please give me a few words of comfort for this stranger.

I told her about the verse in Isaiah, the one which I can never recall exactly where it is located, that speaks about people dying young and how we don’t understand why the good ones are taken away. The verse declares that it is because they are being saved from evil. I tried to assure her that perhaps God knew that if her son remained here on Earth longer he would have unbearable trials and tribulations. She appeared to take some small comfort in this, but told me that it was all just so overwhelming to her. Like me, she is a single woman without a family to turn to in times like that. But instead of her son being many miles away, he had departed this life time. And in that moment I felt so very lucky.

I told her that the devil is attacking her in every area of her life and that the devil never wins. She must take heart because things would get better. Her grief and sadness would never go away, but she was left here on this Earth for a reason. I asked her if I could pray with her, and right there in the middle of this store I grabbed her hands and prayed for her to have strength, peace, and the comfort of fond memories. I prayed for healing for her body. And I prayed for God’s Provisions for her.

Those who know me best will attest to the fact that I have been known to hug total strangers from time to time, if I thought it was appropriate. But I was surprised when this woman reached out and grabbed me and wrapped her arms around me and gave me a huge hug. I asked her name, which she supplied, and then she asked me mine. And I looked into her eyes, & told her that her faith would get her through.

About that time the young man came in and told me my car was ready to go. I apologized to her for having to leave, but explained that I needed to go show a house and she looked at me with a funny look and said, “You are a real estate agent?”

“Yes, ma’am, I’ve been selling real estate here for a very long time,” I answered. She then told me that her daughter is looking for a real estate agent to help her buy a house, and she asked me for my card. She told me that she knew I would take good care of her daughter!

I gave her my card before I left the store, satisfied in knowing that regardless as to whether or not I ever hear from her or her daughter again, perhaps my little delay was a Divine appointment.

I received a text from a friend who lives in Atlanta that I was supposed to meet in Chattanooga for dinner that evening as I pulled out of the parking lot. He had to cancel on me earlier in the day due to an unforeseen work issue. To paraphrase his words, he was saying that perhaps the reason we had to cancel our plans was to spare one of us from getting into an accident or something enroute.

With no time left to order my steak tips, I visited the drive through of a local burger place. That sweet tea they serve has never been my favorite, but boy, was it delicious & thirst quenching!!As I hurriedly choked down my 2 Krystal cheeseburgers, minus mustard, plus ketchup, I thought more about the way the day had unfolded. I was very thankful my battery had not died during rush hour traffic on the interstate on my way to dinner. Or, worse yet, somewhere along the long stretch of uninhabited roadway that I would have had to traverse on my way back home later that evening.

Instead of an upscale Italian dinner in the arts district, I later had my favorite guacamole salad at a local Mexican restaurant while listening to the sound of the hail that was a result of a pop up thunderstorm. What if, I have been on the road during a hailstorm, out in the darkness alone with a broken car battery?

It was definitely a day that did not go exactly as planned. But if having to replace my car battery meant that I could make a small difference in someone else’s day, then it was most definitely worth it.

I pray for peace & comfort & strength for the families mentioned who lost loved ones. Hoping that they will realize that their loved ones are now blessed with perfect peace far from the turmoil of this life. They no longer have to worry about car repairs or money or sickness or relationships, or anything at all. I pray that they understand that they still have a purpose here. I pray for the woman who lost her son, that she will recognize that she is never really alone.

I’m sharing this to encourage you to take an opportunity to offer words of hope when you see the sadness in a stranger’s eyes. To remind you to be thankful for the interruptions in our daily lives that may possibly be designed to keep us from even more unpleasant circumstances. To suggest that you pick up the phone and let someone in your family know that you are thinking of them today,
because you never know when they could suddenly be taken away from this Earth. And to let you know that, though they are frustrating, most of life’s daily annoyances should be treated as just that: nothing more than annoyances. After all, you could always be across the street at the funeral home instead…

– Lou Lehman Sams

CHOICES

CHOICES

*** DISCLAIMER: This post is not about pointing fingers at anyone for past  mistakes. It is about life lessons. And integrity. If anyone happens to recognize any of the people involved, please refrain from commenting. This happened a very long time ago and it is just an example. All of the people concerned are people who, I’m sure, mean well. ***

Many years ago, I was in charge of all of the Wednesday night classes for the children at what was then my church. The Sunday School department was a separate department. My elementary school aged daughter came home from Sunday school one day and was excited to report that her teacher, who I will call Miss Lisa (not her real name) was going to host a class party in a few weeks, I am out on an upcoming Saturday. After granting her permission to go, she RSVPed to this teacher, who is new to that congregation, and I wrote the event down in my daily planner.

A week or so later, my daughter came home with the news that her Wednesday night teacher, who I will call Miss Sandra, (not her real name), had planned a class party on the exact same day and time. Sandra’s home was much more beautiful and bigger than the other woman’s modest house was, and my daughter reported to me that all of the girls at church in her age group we’re going to go to that party instead. Sandra was a long time member of the church, her husband was a deacon, so she was very well-known and respected in the community. She was also of the reputation of having an extraordinarily kind heart.

As the Director of the Wednesday night programs, which Sandra’s class fell under, I Felt compelled to approach her and ask her nicely if she would move her party to the following week or later in the summer. I did not hesitate, because I knew she had a spirit of cooperation. I was sure that she would understand my concern, that the other woman, a relatively new church member, might get her feelings hurt if all of the class members went to the other party.

Unfortunately, Sandra did not see it that way. She informed me that she had plans the next few weeks that would conflict with her throwing a party and she insisted on giving it the exact same day as Lisa’s party. So my daughter told me that she wanted to go to Sandra’s party with her friends instead of honoring her original commitment. I was in a quandary. My heart felt for my daughter.  

I wanted her to be able to go to the bigger party and enjoy pool time with her friends. But I also decided to use this as a teaching moment to try to instill into her a life lesson. So we sat down and I asked her if she thought that was the right thing to do? Unhesitatingly she said yes, because that is what all of her friends were doing. Then I asked her how she thought she wouldfeel if no one showed up at her party? I then talked to her about the importance of honoring her word. I asked her how she would feel, if someone canceled plans with her, just because something better came up?

We did not debate this for long. My daughter has the ability to empathize with others, and though I had presented the case in such a manner that I hopedthat she would do the right thing, I left the decision as to which party to attend entirely up to her, though she was only about nine years old at the time. She said to me this, “Momma, I am going to go to Miss Lisa’s party. I don’t want to hurt her feelings.”

When the day of the do parties arrived, I dropped my daughter off at the very modest home of Lisa, and said a prayer as I was leaving that someone else would show up, because my daughter was the only one there at that time, other than a handful of Lisa’s family members. On the ride home after the party, my daughter told me that she was so glad that she had gone to Lisa’s party, because only one other person from church had attended. It was just my daughter, another student, and the teacher’s family. The other party had been jampacked with almost every other class member. I was very proud of my daughter and hoped that this would be a life lesson that would stick with her throughout her lifetime. As an unexpected bonus, because my daughter and the other young lady were the only two students there, they got a lot of attention and one on one personal time with the teacher that they would not have gotten that the other party.

Fast forward many years, to when I was going through my divorce. My ex-husband and I had long since left that particular church and had started attending a different one. Lisa no longer went to church anywhere. But I ran into her at some functions with friends, and she said that she was also going through a bad divorce. We then met together for dinner a few times to compare notes and commiserate. I had known Lisa for many years, but had  never been good friends with her. Nonetheless, I was hurt, disappointed, and shocked when she betrayed my confidencesto some of our mutual friends and literally stabbed me in the back to boot. Instantly, my mind flashed back to that incident so long ago when I have persuaded my daughter to go to her party instead of the other one. I wanted to scream at her and fling that in her face. That is the human side of me.

But I did not do so. Instead I held my tongue. I simply cut ties with her and started avoiding her altogether. For she had also confided in me, and I knew that she was also suffering. It would’ve been so easy for me to turn around and breach her  confidences, as she had done to me. But I do not have a vengeful nature. So I did no such thing. And while we all sit around and laugh about the possibilities of revenge at some point or another in our lives,that is something I leave to God. I don’t know if He will ever enlighten Lisa as to the fact that breaching confidentiality is not a good thing to do. But that is between her and God.

Instead, I simply walked away with my head held high. If I had it to do over again, knowing that she would betray me on down the road, would I still have gently persuaded my daughter to go to her party, rather than the other woman’s party? Absolutely! I do not hesitate in saying that. For my grandmother instilled into me the importance of honoring one’s word. Even if it is it is inconvenient. Even if it is uncomfortable. Even if something better comes along. She taught me the value of looking at things from the other person’s perspective. From being considerate to making sacrifices, to donating her time and resources, the way she lived was a witness to me that reminds me every day of my life to this day, though she has been long gone from this earth for many years.

To me, honor is of utmost importance. There is no substitute for integrity. But having a tender heart, I know what it’s like to have my own feelings hurt, and I try never to intentionally do that to someone else. Please don’t misunderstand: I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I can sit around and plot revenge with the best of them, then sit around and laugh about those things with friends over dinner. Like when my friends used to tell me I should put Ex-Lax in my soon to be ex-husband’s food supply. We had many laughs over that – though I never did any such thing – it was great comedic relief from the pain of divorce to consider it. I recognize that this is sinful behavior, and I’ve had many long talks with God about it. For though I didn’t act upon it, it is probably not the best witness. I’m pretty sure everyone knows that I would never do such a thing. And I’m sure hoping that if my ex-husband had any gastrointestinal distress during our divorce process, that he knows I would never do that. 

The point is, that we don’t have to act upon every thought or impulse. Life is about choices! We get to choose whether or not to honor our word. We get to choose whether or not to be spiteful or execute revenge. We get to choose whether or not to consider someone else’s feelings. We get to choose to be considerate or inconsiderate. 

I hope and pray that, with God’s help, I will continue to make good choices. I am an imperfect human being, and I have made my fair share of mistakes. But I do always try to honor my word.

When I was in the seventh grade, my English teacher gave us an assignment of making a slogan out of our last names.  I remember a young man whom I did not think was particularly attractive in terms of the boy girl crush thing, whose last name was bond. He came up with, or borrowed, the slogan, “My word is my bond!” I just love that! After I heard him say that, he suddenly became much more attractive to me, because he said it was such sincerity.And though it is not my last name, I have tried to adopt that slogan, as well.

I am quite sure that I will mess up again soon. I will make a mistake. I will inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings. I will miss the time on an appointment. I will think up a way of getting back at someone who has been unkind to me. I will do something that is not right. It is guaranteed, because I am, like the other women in this story, a human being. I may even do one of those things later today, though I pray I will have the presence of mind not to do so. But I am sharing this story as a reminder that every choice we make does count, somehow, someway, to someone. Let’s try to make them good ones!

“But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Him.”

 – I John 2:5

– Lou Lehman Sams

TUNNELS

TUNNELS

I’ve never been a fan of tunnels, but I especially used to dislike bridges. I guess that time when I was a little girl, & my Pa-pa Lehman somehow stopped on the wrong side of the arm that used to come down when they raised the old drawbridge heading into Decatur may have had something to do with that. I doubt that we were in any real danger, but my childish mind somehow thought that little caution arm would save us from plummeting into the icy cold river, which is also probably untrue. 

In later years, I’ve overcome my fear of bridges over water, & was so proud of myself for calmly driving across Mobile Bay a couple of days ago, enjoying the scenery & singing along to the radio instead of coasting across it in fear. Instead of fearing the worst, I sailed along & admired the view. No need to agonize over something that may never happen. 

But last night was a different story!! An intense thunderstorm hit as I was approaching the bridge. Extremely heavy rain & blinding lightning strikes caused me, along with the other hapless travellers, to slow to a turtle’s pace as I placed a white-knuckked death grip upon the steering wheel & prayed for safe passage.

When a lightning strike hit much too close for comfort, I saw the sign indicating the tunnel was just ahead. Now, I’m no claustrophobic, & don’t have a fear of caves or tunnels – I just prefer to see the sunsets, clouds, birds & seashore by being above ground. Yet, oh, how very thankful I was in that dark & terrifying storm, to enter that tunnel, whose end was not visible from its beginning, because it offered me a break & a temporary reprieve. Inside that tunnel, it was all that I could see – the tunnel itself. Yet it insulated me from worse things outside that I could not see. I wasn’t happy in the tunnel, because I wanted to see the moon, the stars, & the city lights reflecting off of the brackish bay waters. But I was safe. I could breathe, & temporarily release my death grip. 

All that I had to do was focus on the road which spread out directly in front of me. And I thought about the figurative tunnels I’ve found myself in over the years. Times when I couldn’t see the light at the other end. When I desperately wanted to break free, so I could do & see & be with the rest of the world. When I desperately wanted to escape isolation. Perhaps, just maybe, in those dark nights of my soul God provided me those tunnels to escape the raging storms. 

Do you feel confined & constricted in your life? As if you’re in a tunnel, which seems endless? Hold fast to your faith, for you will make it out. Just keep your eyes focused on the stretch of road immediately ahead of you. Give thanks for the tunnel, for it may be an unknown refuge, protecting you from a bigger storm. 

– Lou Lehman Sams

QUICKSAND

QUICKSAND 

She had crashed and burned, but somehow she didn’t die.

For a while she could only just sit there, and wonder why?

One day she had an epiphany, though, about that man.

He was like an ostrich with his head buried in quicksand.

So immersed he was in the days of his past

He couldn’t see that quicksand foundations just don’t last.

For her, she was born to soar above and yes, to fly!

She didn’t just want to hover, she wanted to fly high.

Would she, rising from the ashes of what was once love

Stay in that empty nest, or would she rise up above?

Would she be like that azure feathered blue bird,

And sing aloud the sweetest songs ever to be heard?

Would she be more like the little hummingbird

Whose faith knows impossible is nothing but a word?

Or would she be like the noblest bird, a majestic eagle,

Whose attributes can only be best described as simply regal?

No, she’d be no ostrich, bluebird, eagle or hummer,

For she longed to march to the beat of another drummer.

Her survival had left her with feathers like a peacock,

Beauty from the ashes, and strength as hard as a rock.

As she took flight, she saw him struggling, way down below,

And down, down, farther into the quicksand did he go.

He could not escape, though he had definitely tried 

But she had to leave behind the buckets of tears she’d cried.

It was a gorgeous day, favoring a new adventure,

And no more would she be tied to his tragic indenture.

The warm Winds of Change began to blow in her direction,

And with it they carried a change of her affection.

In the best epiphany she had ever received

She recognized that her heart was now relieved. 

She was free to do and be and see and become anything

All she was leaving behind a bittersweet memory thing.

Up, up, up, she climbed, higher and higher still

And glanced back once as she reached the crest of the hill.

What was that she saw sinking in QUICKSAND?

Was it an ostrich or someone who didn’t understand? 

Sighing, she shook her head in one last poignant goodbye,

And with that, the indomitable Phoenix really began to fly!

– Lou Lehman Sams

SINGLE BECAUSE

SINGLE BECAUSE

I have written about this rather annoying but constant question before: “WHY are you still single?!?” Whether one has never been married, or is single again, that is what everyone wants to know, as if we singles have nothing else in our brains about which to converse. You can almost visualize the little mental tallying process going on behind their foreheads, as they secretly work their gray matter, right in your presence, trying to ascertain what it is that is “wrong” with you. For there MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH ANYBODY over the age of 30 years old who does not have a mate.

Are they insane? Abusive? Sociopath? Addict? Cheater? Mentally ill? Secretly involved in an illicit affair? Gay, but afraid to come out? “WHAT is wrong with you”, their eyes seem to scream.

Becoming single again is a time when many of your married or coupled friends drop you off of their guest lists. I mean, what woman in her right mind wants a divorcee around their man, for all divorced women are desperate for a hook up, right? Or they do not want to mess up the seating arrangements at the dinner party, or try to find that “extra” to balance it out. For some, it is as simple as they no longer know how to relate to you.


There is even a local church that asks people to join hands during the offering if you are married, and who says they come into agreement with you if you are single. I’m sorry, but in my Bible it says there is no marriage in heaven. And that we are to be the bride of Christ. So by calling out the single people in the audience, to me is a discrimination that does not need to happen. It is awkward and uncomfortable for some of us. A Christian is a Christian, married or single. Period.


And the fact is, though, that singles need their friends even more than others, for we have no significant other off of which to bounce our ideas, soothe our souls, or with which to just enjoy mealtimes. SIngle​ ​people​ ​still​ ​have​ ​a​ ​plethora​ ​of​ ​topics​ ​about​ ​which​ ​to​ ​converse:​ ​we​ ​still​ ​care​ ​about​ ​the weather,​ ​politics,​ ​religion,​ ​health​ ​issues,​ ​the​ ​economy,​ ​our​ ​workplaces,​ ​etc.


Some singles, like myself, are lucky enough to have married friends that they see on a regular basis. Not so much the dinner parties, but brunches, lunches & such are always enjoyable. But many of the singles I know just give up trying to be with their coupled up friends, & find one or more other singles to hang out with from time to time. Some just become semi-reclusive instead, sadly.

All of this being said, it hit me after a recent conversation with a group of single friends about “WHY we are single” that they were, each of them in that group, some of the very BEST all around people that I know. Could it really be true, do nice people just finish last? Is the nice guy who chivalrously opens doors setting himself up to be relegated to the Friend Zone?

After much pondering, combined with reflection on my personal experiences over the past 4-½ years, I have arrived at my own conclusions: The answer is that yes, indeed, SOME people remain single because they are O.C.D. or addicted to drugs or have other characteristics that are off putting to potential mates. But as for most of the singles I know, they do not fit into that category. I know men & women alike who are the salt of the earth – caring individuals with a lot to offer the right person – yet they remain single. WHY??


That is what I am here to tell you!

SINGLE BECAUSE …

… too KIND to lead people on when there is no true connection.

… too SMART to be led on, cheated on, or lied to themselves.

… too LOVING to settle for less than their heart’s desire.

… too STRONG to need someone to carry their weight.

… too much FUN to sit around with couch potatoes all day.

… too ENERGETIC to waste their lives.

… too BEAUTIFUL to allow someone else’s ugly inside.

… too POSITIVE to settle for negativity.

… too ADVENTUROUS to stop seeking.

… too INDEPENDENT to be owned.
… too GENEROUS to take advantage of generosity.


The long list goes on. If you are single, I am here to tell you, there are some really good men & women out there, waiting on someone just like you! If you are not single, I ask that you not judge us for preferring to spend our time walking our dogs or snapping photographs than pretending to care about someone so we can get a free meal, have our bills paid, or a roof over our heads. Though there are indeed single people who do the latter, they are not amongst my close friends, for we are definitely not kindred spirits!!

But just because we are single or single again, that does not change the essence of who we are – one does not suddenly become promiscuous because they sign divorce papers. If we were upstanding, trustworthy citizens prior to divorce, chances are we still are the same. Do not get me wrong – divorce does change people, often in less than becoming ways. However, it does not negate character.

The single people I know are often the very first ones to step up & offer assistance to those in need, or lend a helping hand to their neighbors. They do not care whether that friend or neighbor is married or single. So why should you???


I’m single. By choice. Don’t think I couldn’t find a man to pay my bills or be my meal ticket, if that’s all I wanted? But like many of my single friends, I want that relationship that actually is about more than money or sex. I want a soul connection, & I won’t settle for less than a gentleman with a heart like mine, who values love & loyalty far above luxury & lust. Someone that loves God, family & country. A man’s man that is secure enough  in himself that he does not need to prove his masculinity  by sleeping with every woman  aged 19 to 90 that he can find. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a human being with human desires. Being a lady does not mean that one is a prude. But being single does not mean that one is less the lady.


Cheers to all my single friends who value themselves enough to wait for the right relationship. And kudos to my friends who are couples that are supportive of all of us.


We are single because there is something right with us, not because there is something wrong with us! And those nice guys? They sometimes get a bad rap because they don’t play games that happen to be the same games that people supposedly don’t want to play. But I will let you in on a little secret: While we women do like to be chased, I’m pretty sure it is the bad boy, not the good guy who will finish last. The good guy will stay focused on his prize, valuing her as such, whereas the other guy will be so scattered chasing every little squirrel tail that comes by that he may end up never crossing the finish line and receiving a real trophy.

As for me? Boys, you can open my doors anytime! While I’m a true southern belle, which means that while I am strong enough and perfectly capable of doing it for myself, I do so appreciate a true Southern gentleman who knows that manners do matter! And I am always grateful when my guy goes the extra mile for me, and I am willing to do the same for him. I am from pioneering stock, and as most everybody knows, prima donnas and pioneers don’t belong in the same sentence! Just call me an old fashioned Bama Belle who knows the difference between a gentle man who is in touch with his inner scoundrel, and a bad boy who cannot be reformed. 

I’m Single, Because …!

  • Lou Lehman Sams 

COPY AND PASTE

COPY AND PASTE

So let me get this straight here … 

In the past few months on social media I have scrolled through:

* 987,675,432 political posts, many of which had zero point, & quite a few which could possibly be classified as hate-filled diatribes against the other parties,

* 321,456,877 pictures of puppies in various cute poses,

* 123,432,567 posts of people whining over the common cold, or getting caught at a traffic light,

* 2,908 rude or vulgar crass comments,

* 3,400 pictures of drooling babies with half chewed food strewn down their bibs,

* 986,655 posts disparaging others for their religious beliefs,

* 352 pictures of romantic Valentine’s dates,

* 221 posts about the Grammy awards,

* 899,543,211 pitches to buy mascara or creams that will keep me from ever aging,

And 

Countless posts about what is for dinner, vacation, wardrobe, etc.

Now, admittedly, I have pretty much posted something in almost every category above, including my never ending stream of sunset pictures. (With the exception of being hate-filled or disparaging towards others with differing religious or political beliefs. I do not believe in that.)

But some of you are upset that I, along with others, have copied & pasted a post to raise awareness for the ravages of cancer? Seriously, not much on social media ticks me off, but this one does. Cancer is a dreadful disaster that pretty much affects every single family in the United States. I once had a family member tell me that they would rather die than go through the ravages of chemotherapy again. (Although they did choose to do that very thing when their cancer returned.)

The post that I copied & pasted was not threatening a curse if you chose not to participate. It was not promising money or blessings if you chose to do so. It was originally written by a cancer survivor to raise awareness. And note that I posted it on my own wall, without peppering people’s private inboxes. 

By raising awareness, many things are accomplished in the battle, such as the propensity for the opening of pocketbooks to help fund research to eradicate the disease & save lives increases, as well as the opening of hearts to have more compassion & sympathy towards its victims, which should hopefully entail more personal support services to help them win their victories.

I am proud to call each of you on my Friend’s list my friend, whether I know you in person or only via social media. If you unfriend me over this post or the one that prompted it, I will be disappointed, but it will not hurt my feelings. I will not apologize for the post I copied & pasted. Flooding the newsfeed with it in order to raise awareness is much better than 99% of the posts I see floating by, including my own feeble attempts at inspiration. 

If you are a cancer survivor, know that I stand beside you, praising God for your victory. If you are currently battling any form of cancer now, I pray for peace, healing, strength, courage, & ultimately victory. 

If you have never had to face this beast called Cancer in your own life, I ask you this, have you ever done any of the following?

Watched an acquaintances posts showing her child, sick, month after month, until finally she loses the battle? 

Held the hands of one of the bravest women you know & prayed with her as her eyes filled with tears because she was facing a second cancer surgery?

Listened to a childhood friend tell how she elected to have a preventative mastectomy on her second breast at the same time she had the necessary mastectomy of the other one, because of her genetic predisposition to recurrence?

Sat beside a friend at BUNCO who told you, in the midst of a female conversation about cup sizes, that, “I have no breasts. Mine were cut off (due to cancer)”?

Attended the funeral of a family member who lost their lives to cancer?

Had a total stranger break down into tears of joy & hug you for raising money at a Relay for Life booth at a festival?

Visited sick children in the hospital who were bald from radiation & chemo therapy?

Tried to comfort a young mother whose child had been diagnosed with leukemia?

Had a woman who was dying with liver cancer look you straight in the eyes & tell you that she was not ready to die yet, a few weeks before she succumbed to that disease?

Reunited with a high school friend on Facebook, only to learn of his passing a couple of weeks after he posted a prayer request for his upcoming liver scans?

Walked into the Clearview Cancer Institute & had them take your photograph so they can make sure that they give the right treatments to you when you come back?      

Watched a TV documentary showing a young 9 year old boy’s battle & loss of his life to leukemia?

I have done all of these things, and much more! I have had precancerous cells, but never had cancer. I have had five legit cancer scares. I have seen family members suffer with cancer, & the effects of treatment. I have seen business colleagues lives totally redefined from it all. 

Yes, the fact that people have complained about a copy & paste social media post written by a cancer survivor to raise awareness for cancer makes me mad. Fighting mad!! I will stand beside you, pray for you, raise money with you, run errands for you, walk in the Relay for a life with you, or whatever it takes to help you through, should you fall victim. 

As for the rest of you, I hope & pray you will find something else to complain about, because this is one complaint that my logical & reasonable mind will not tolerate. If you need to unfollow or unfriend me as a result, so be it. But I pray that you nor your family members never have to face this disease. Unfortunately, the odds do not support that, as one in four people gets cancer. May God bless you, whether you are a victim, a survivor, a family member, or just a complainer. Whatever the case, save your complaints for your own page, I ain’t interested. 

And setting aside the cancer for just one brief moment, think about what good you might could accomplish in the time that you are wasting in complaining about someone else’s posts? Whether they are writing about puppies, politics, or posting pics of their personal stuff, they are entitled to write whatever they please on their own pages, as long as they are not breaking the law. In case you don’t know, there are nifty little features called scrolling, deleting, & unfollowing these days.

I wish I could say that I feel much better now that I have written this. But I don’t. I am just hoping that the time I took to write this post will somehow make it to the hands of one of those whose calloused hearts need revelation. Thank you.

– Lou Lehman Sams