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Dear Bob You Need Help

Racism is more than hurt feelingsI received this comment over the weekend on my post about the Confederate flags, from someone named Bob:

…not a clever way to hide your support for racism…

I’m not going to post his whole comment there or here, because this part alone was more than ridiculous enough.

But I have a few things I feel I need to say to him! Since it seems that more than a few people in our country are struggling with similar issues, I decided to make this an open letter.


Dear Bob,

Like so many people in our country today, you seem to be very confused about that word, “racism.”

For my part, I’m getting really sick and tired of people throwing that word around!

I don’t think most people, including you, really grasp what that word means any more!

Racism is about more than just getting your feelings hurt, or running up against an opinion that doesn’t agree with your view of the way things are.

While I’m quite certain we don’t see the world in the same way, that I hold different views and opinions from yours does NOT make me racist.

Allow me to educate you!

My (ahemnon-racist credentials:

  • I have many friends of all shades of skin color, some darker, some lighter, and many different ethnicities. I could care less what color their skin is or what race they are, except as it impresses me with how God made us all gloriously unique! I think they’re beautiful, wonderful people just the way God made them.
  • I have African American family members whom I love and cherish. My kids also have Korean aunts and a Korean uncle, and Korean cousins. I think they’re also all wonderful individuals just as they are, too. They would not be more wonderful (or less!) if they were any other skin color or ethnicity.
  • I am all in favor of each of my friends, family, and acquaintances exercising and claiming the freedom and opportunity that they have as American citizens and legal visitors in this country regardless of their color or ethnicity.
  • I tan pretty darkly. I have been emphatically told that I am not quite white enough (so I sort of know how that feels, but I really couldn’t care less what anyone thinks of my skin color. That is their problem.)
  • I’ve experienced discrimination as a minority and a female in another country. I’ve also been the target of stupid racial remarks in the South just because I’m white. (again, that was their problem, not mine!)
  • Newsflash: being white doesn’t mean you never get discriminated against!
  • Another Newsflash: being a person of color doesn’t mean you get a free pass on your own racism!
Perfect Peace Scripture Country Church Night Light

God’s peace in our hearts protects us from other people’s anger and friction.

My personal encounters with racism:

I witnessed racism overseas where I grew up, and also in the South where I lived for nine years.

I had friends on both ends of the skin color spectrum who came to me in great humiliation recounting incidents of racial discrimination that made me pretty angry on their behalf. I understand the feeling of helplessness and anger racism can create.

I was aware of other incidents, especially overseas, that would likely make your hair stand on end.

But I don’t really want to get into all of that.

More personally…sometimes people behave very stupidly because of they’re carrying around bitter baggage they need to ditch!

While in the South, I was verbally attacked by an African American woman who completely lost it over wanting to use a copying machine at work. She assigned racist motives to me as a white person that were very offensive and completely uncalled for–because she found me already using the copier when she needed it–instead of just letting me know that her job was urgent, and asking me if I would be so kind as to let her run her job first!

(she apparently had a history of outbursts like this–she’d even been sent to anger management classes)

Ironically, right up until she lost it, I had been under the mistaken impression that she and I were pretty good friends as well as co-workers. I would have been more than happy to give her precedence at the copier if she’d asked nicely.

I still let her go first despite her tantrum, but–

Her racially motivated outburst gave me an unfortunate insight into the friction and misunderstandings that blacks sometimes perpetuate for themselves because they are not learning to be secure in their identity as American citizens with equal opportunities and rights as everyone else.

That whole outburst had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with her own issues. Again, not my problem. I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. (I backed off some on being friendly with her. I didn’t need or want that drama!)

Later, when I managed a mobile home park, I was made the unhappy recipient of an even greater realization:

Thanks to liberal teachers in our local public schools, young African Americans had their noses rubbed daily in the notion that “all white people were against them” except naturally, their foolish teachers, so they tended to assume ever after that “everyone white” was against them, even when we went out of our way to show them that we, personally, wished to be friendly and helpful, and get along well with them.

And they acted out in anger on that victim mentality.

Trying to sort out the friction created by angry black children acting out because of what they were taught in school by irresponsible teachers–in a mobile home park where blacks and whites resided as near neighbors–became at times a total nightmare for their parents and me, as well as everyone else, complete with many tears of frustration.

It was hard work trying to keep some of those kids from totally messing up their lives and going to jail.

I’ve since been witness to similar incidents of misplaced anger and bitterness directed at other people who only meant well toward the angry people in question.

Here is what I have to say about that now:

Anger and bitter outbursts can only create friction, fear, and distrust.

Thinking, calm people create solutions and build bridges of trust.

Peace Dove on Sapphire Blue Round Ornament

Give others the gift of peace

So…are you going to be a thinking calm person who is secure enough to be gracious, forgive, communicate well, and build friendships, or are you going to be the kind of bitter, angry, ugly person who carries a chip around on your shoulder and makes everyone sorry to know you?

Are you going to perpetuate the problem or contribute to the solution?

Given that people are flawed and sinful, anger and misunderstandings will likely continue on some level between races the world over until God softens everyone’s hearts and opens their arms to each other in forgiveness and understanding.

Getting rid of a few historical flags is not going to change that.

The only thing that will change fear and distrust to friendship and cooperation is each person recognizing that they need to put aside their anger, seek and extend forgiveness, and seek to build bridges of trust with other people who are willing to do the same.

I believe this is already happening in many places in America.

During my years living in the South, I was privileged to watch many successful efforts to create bridges of communication, friendship, healing, and forgiveness in the community I lived in, and to hear accounts of this also happening in other communities.

Every time, it was a beautiful thing.

While there are still many communities that desperately need more of these efforts at understanding, seeing the work of forgiveness and peace that has already been accomplished is encouraging!

I also tried to do my part to facilitate peace and understanding in the mobile home park without further aggravating the raw edges that years of anger and misunderstanding had already created for some of the people who lived there.

It was my eventual understanding that I had been successful.

When the time came for me to move away from the South, there were African Americans in my community who said they were sad I was moving because I had made a positive difference in their lives. They said I had been fair to them. This was very high praise!

For my part, I was privileged to have had them as neighbors, and sad I had to leave them behind. Together, we had forged a community that was greater than anyone’s race.

So, as I hope you can see, racism is NOT what the post about the flags was about.

I wrote about the Confederate battle flags because I am concerned at the misguided attempts to bury or rewrite our nation’s history.

In my experience, and going by historical records of similar attempts in other countries (see especially the history of the U.S.S.R. and other countries formerly behind the Iron Curtain), burying parts of a nation’s past and trying to rewrite history is a REALLY BAD IDEA leading to terrible consequences for every nation that tries it.

I don’t want those consequences for our nation!

We need to recognize and teach the truth about our nation’s past. We do not need to sugarcoat that history, but neither do we need to use it as a sledge-hammer with which to beat our neighbors over the head.

Our neighbors weren’t alive during the time of slavery, and most of them weren’t alive during the time of segregation either.

Neither were we!

While we certainly shouldn’t want to repeat those mistakes, nor should we–if we are wise–wish to stir up so much anger, fear, and distrust among our neighbors that we commit worse mistakes.

We should learn from our nation’s past and seek always to live in better harmony and peace with our neighbors.

If we pursue peace and harmony, mere historical artifacts, like Civil War flags, will become the non-issue for all of us that they should already be.

So there you have it, Bob.

Just because someone has a different opinion from yours doesn’t make them racist. I hope you can now recognize and accept that.

Being angry at and hating someone from another race just because they’re that other race–now, that’s another story.

Garnet Hearts: A Polyvore Special

I didn’t make very many products today on Zazzle. In fact, I only made four, but there’s a story behind each product I created! I created them all for this Polyvore set:

Win Sweater by SheIn - Red Garnets Set



Garnet Hearts Butterfly Kairos Gold Metal Watch The first design I created was the gold watch face on this watch, set with small garnet hearts for the hours and tiny gold dots for the minutes. Three little gold butterflies flit around the base of the hands.

I decided to make this a “Kairos” design. I like to put Kairos on my wall clocks, because it means, “in God’s time.” I think that’s such a beautiful sentiment, both as a blessing and as a guarantee that God is working good in our lives that we will see, as each moment unfolds, in God’s time!

I’ve also provided a name monogram that can be changed to any woman’s name. If the name is too long, use the Customize It button at the bottom of image on the product page, and set the font to a smaller size.

garnet hearts rose gold black leather watch
The gold design up above, while beautiful, wasn’t quite what I wanted to match to the rose gold setting of the garnet ring and earrings in my Polyvore set, so I changed the design a little, giving it a rose gold-tone background, and swapping out the gold butterflies for three larger garnet hearts.

I think the new design looks fantastic on this round watch face with black leather straps. What about you? Do you like it?

I think it has more of a vintage feel while the first design has more of a ‘new’ feel. I think both are going to become long-time favorites.

This is also a Kairos watch with a customizable name below the hearts.

Gold Bling Butterflies Garnet Hearts Nail Wraps After creating two gorgeous watches, it seemed only natural that I would add some matching nail wraps in a coordinating design. It’s hard to see the garnet hearts from the angle of the image, but they do look fantastic against the slightly lighter hue of these garnet nail wraps. Here’s a thumbnail image (pun intended) for comparison:Gold Bling Butterflies Garnet Hearts Nail Wraps






Garnet Hearts Faux Gold Bling Butterflies Wristlet After making the nail wraps, a wristlet, or clutch bag seemed a reasonable addition. While it is the exact same shade and hue as the color of the nail wraps, for whatever reason, this clutch didn’t look in the set, so I used the rose wristlet shown instead.

Sometimes that happens! While it’s fun to pull together matching items to create sets on Polyvore, I suspect that some of my choices wouldn’t work together in real life under proper lighting!

Still, it’s fun to play around with Polyvore.

If you like to create on Polyvore, I hope you’ll drop by to visit me. Like some some sets, follow me and leave a message, and I’ll drop by your sets, too!

How Do You Celebrate Baby’s 1st Christmas?

1st Christmas Ornaments Monogrammed TeeHow do you commemorate milestones for your family?

Some families I know like to buy or create special tshirts to wear for a special holiday or occasion. I thought of them while was designing this “My 1st Christmas” baby tee (at left) with all these pretty Christmas ornaments.

Believe it or not, that name in the fun teal blue “candy” font is customizable! Just change the name to your baby’s name, and edit the date (top right in the design), and you have created a beautiful tee for your baby’s 1st Christmas!

Now, all that’s left to do is to buy it!

Red My 1st Christmas Ornaments Monogram Baby Tee
But what if you have twins?

Oh, great news! I’ve made a second tee, with lovely red text instead of the teal, which can also be personalized for your baby.

If you need more than two custom shirt designs in this pattern, I recommend clicking on the blue Customize It! button (shown at the bottom of the image on the product page), and playing with the font colors until you find a few more that you like.

If you like, before checking out, you might want to check on the Zazzle Coupons page to get a great deal on your purchases.

T-Rex Dinosaur My 1st Christmas Red Round Ornament One of our family traditions is creating or buying special commemorative Christmas ornaments to put on our Christmas tree. I thought of my son’s love of dinosaurs while I created this special T-rex 1st Christmas ornament.

This friendly little t-rex will make your little guy smile every time he helps to decorate the tree as he grows older.

Again, customize the name and date. T-rex also appears on the back of this ornament, making it double-sided.

How do you feel about photo ornaments? We’ve always enjoyed them at our house, and Zazzle’s are excellent quality!

Pink Heart Gold Frame My 1st Christmas Ornament I created the photo ornament at right using a faux 3D gold frame embellished with a tiny pink ribbon design and a pink heart. To customize, replace the photo placeholder with your baby’s photo.

A square photo will work best, but if you need to use a rectangular photo instead, Click on the blue Customize It button (at the bottom of the ornament image), and move your image around with your mouse until it’s in the right position. The plus and minus buttons in the design module will allow you to make your image larger, or you can drag the corners.

Hopefully, these design tips will be of help! If you have any questions, or would like some professional help, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I’d also love to hear how you like to celebrate your baby’s first Christmas!