Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I Am, I'm Not

   I'm a list maker. There's nothing quite like making a list of things to do and checking them all off the list when you are done!

   I currently have the following lists on sticky notes in my desk or in one of my journals at home: to-do list, bucket list, birthday list, grocery list,  plans for the future list and so on. I even have a few "pros" and "cons" lists on various topics stuffed in the pages of my journal.

   I read an article a month or so ago about how therapeutic it was to write a list of things you do well and a list of things you don't do so well. I was intrigued by the article and thought I would give it a try. Seems one side filled up much faster than the other, but I actually came away feeling more relaxed at a time I was pretty stressed. Crazy!

   Being the list happy person I am, here's my "I Am" and "I'm Not" list.

I Am
1. Passionate. Especially when it comes to sports...namely...Bobcat sports.
2. Thin-skinned at times. No matter how tough I act, things people say about me hurts.
3. A dreamer. There's so much I want to do and be before my time on earth is done.
4. A worrier. It does me no good and is a horrible waste of time.
5. Hopeful. The best is yet to come!
6. Conservative. I vote Republican, but won't shove my views down your throat. 
7. Dependable. If I say I'm going to do it, I'll do it. No matter what it takes, I'll get it done.

I Am Not
1. Perfect. Not. Even. Close. I make numerous mistakes every single day.
2. Fearful of the future. One person is in control. He's got this!
3. Afraid of failure. I've failed many times in life. You just have to keep on keeping on.
4. Good to myself. Working on it, but there are times I'm pretty mean to me.
5. Always a great wife, mom, daughter or friend. Sometimes I check out. Sometimes I just stink at being there when someone needs me.
6. A thrill seeker. In fact, I'm a chicken when it comes to doing anything daring.
7. Finished. I have a lot of room for improvement. I can be better and do better. One day at a time!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Just stop...

   Perspective. It's funny how we roll through our daily lives without a true perspective on the importance of what we are doing. Perspective almost always comes to us when we least expect it.
   Three days ago, my perspective on life changed. I really didn't understand why at first, but I now know it was meant to change on that day.
   I began thinking about my purpose. Once you start thinking about that, you can have some really deep thoughts! I thought about things I've done in/with my life. I thought about the relationships that have come and gone, the kind words said, the not-so-kind words said, the happy things, the not-so-happy things and how no matter how much time I spend worrying, I will not add a single hour to my life.
  So...I've decided to stop. Stop wasting time worrying when I know I'm not the one in control. Stop wasting time holding grudges...stop wasting time wishing for this or that...there's a whole long list!
   I hope you all can find the importance of each day without it taking something tragic to show it to you. There are so many things we need to STOP doing so we can START living the life we are supposed to.
  • STOP being so concerned with what others do. It's not our business where someone goes on vacation, what kind of car they drive, what kind of house they live in or what brand of clothes they wear. Unless they are personally asking you to pay for it, then STOP. One of the statements I'm blown away by the most is, "I wonder how they paid for that?" Guess what? It's not now, nor will it ever be your business. Does it really matter? Does it change your life? Why waste one minute thinking about it? It's a joy robber, people!
  • STOP being mad about every...little...thing. The world is not out to get you. This one is a tough one because sometimes being mad just seems to be the first and most logical choice. If getting the wrong order at the drive-through is the absolute worse thing that happens to you in the course of a day...count your blessings. There are a lot of people who would happily trade their day for yours.
  • STOP making fun of people. I know junior high kids who act more mature than some adults. Last time I looked in the mirror, I was no where near a Supermodel. What an amazing God we serve who made us all different! Wouldn't life be boring if we all looked, acted and talked alike? What's pretty to you may not be pretty to someone else. What's ugly to you might be beautiful to someone else. Perspective....
  • STOP gossiping. STOP listening to gossip. (YES, I'm talking to me as well...GUILTY! If you say you've never gossiped or listened to gossip...well...STOP kidding yourself!) "Well, I heard...." should be removed from our vocabulary. Why are we so obsessed with being the first one to tell someone something that is "big" news when about 95% of the time (and I'm being very generous) it's not true. Here's a great little test to see if gossip would bother you...take the latest, greatest, juiciest news you've heard about someone and replace their name with yours...or your child's name...or your spouse's name...Tastes a bit different, doesn't it?
  • STOP holding grudges. Let it go....
  • STOP "vaguebooking" about people you don't like. Why in the world would you spend a single minute of your day ranting and raving about someone you don't like just to look big in front of your "closest" social media friends? Here's a suggestion...if someone has done something to you...CALL it out face to face. Don't blast them on social media. If you don't have the guts to call them and work it out like an adult, don't be a coward and hide behind a vague post on social media. 
  • STOP thinking everyone in the world has to like you. Guess what? There are days I don't much like myself, so I'm sure there are some people who don't like me and it's okay. 
  • STOP thinking your job, your car, your house, and your life make you a better person. I've known people who didn't have much who had a lot more character than people who had it all. Don't belittle people or talk down to them. How you speak about others says a whole lot about you and people are watching....
  • STOP thinking the world owes you. It owes us NOTHING. Nada. Zilch. So, you want to be the CEO of a company one day? Well, you are probably going to have to start at the don't just get to jump to the front of the line. 
  • STOP wasting so  much of your precious time with your head stuck in your phone! (MYSELF INCLUDED!) Every time you get on your phone...set a timer....look and see how many minutes or hours you spend on your phone doing absolutely nothing. No wonder we have teenagers and young adults who lack communication skills. It's hard to gain communication skills when there is nobody to communicate with because everyone has their face in their phones. Smart phones are making us a dumb society. If your phone gets more attention than your family...STOP!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Resolutions, the Cowboys and a birthday, oh my!

 *The following is from my weekly column, published in The Red River Sun newspaper.

   My New Year's resolution is simple. I will not make any New Year's resolutions! Personally, I cannot think of a more stressful way to begin a new year than to stare at a list of things I need to do.
   Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things I would like to do or would like to improve about myself in the coming year. If I begin writing them all down, I could be here a while.
   However, writing them down as "must accomplish" tasks will only set me up for failure. Chances are, I won't keep them all, if any. Who needs that kind of disappointment!
   Instead of resolutions, I've decided to use all 365 days to become a better me…one day at a time.
   If I drop a bad habit along the way, forgive, forget, exercise more, stress less, and love more, I'm sure I'll be quite pleased with the outcome come December 31, 2016.
   As you face the dawning of a new year, face it with enthusiasm and excitement! Staring down a new year is like an artist looking at a blank canvas. It's up to each one of us to create something wonderful. 
   In thinking about the new year ahead, I'm always reminded of a quote from the movie, Forrest Gump. "Don't you just love New Years? You get to start all over. Everybody gets a second chance."
   In September, my hopes of seeing the Dallas Cowboys make it to their first Super Bowl since 1995 came crashing down when Tony Romo broke his collar bone.
   At that point, I began just hoping for a playoff appearance.
   My hopes came back in force when they defeated the Redskins 19-16 on Monday night football on the leg of Dan "The Man" Bailey. Someone needs to tell Jerry Jones to give Bailey a huge raise!          When your kicker is your MVP, you might need some reorganization!
   After the next week's 28-7 loss to the Packers, I still held on to a tiny bit of hope…a small glimmer…a miracle…anything that would get them to the playoffs!
   I've come to realize I might need to get another hobby. I get more wound up watching the Cowboys play than I do on press day around The Sun office, which by the way can be pretty crazy!
   Maybe I should make one resolution…to stop watching NFL football. Yeah, that one would only last until the first game played in the new year. Not gonna happen!
   I'll continue to live by the mantra, "Next year is their year!" and one day hope to see "The Boys" win another Super Bowl. I hope they appreciate my loyalty!
   Where has time gone? On Saturday, my youngest will celebrate her 19th birthday! I've watched her grow into a determined young lady who has a huge heart for little kids. There is no doubt in my mind she will be an amazing kindergarten teacher one day. She has filled our lives with so much joy, pride and laughter.
   Wishing you a wonderful birthday, Madie girl! Love you big!

Ginger Wilson is the Childress editor of The Red River Sun and can be reached by emailing or you can follow her on Twitter @gingwilson

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Keep calm, it's just a cup!

Social media erupted this past weekend when Starbucks unveiled their new cup design for the holiday season. Former evangelist Joshua Feuerstein was appalled the cup lacked the traditional snowflakes and ornaments and encouraged Christians everywhere to boycott the company.

Feuerstein claims Starbucks is waging a "War on Christmas" and is trying to take Christ out of Christmas. As a Christian, I find Feuerstein's outrage to be petty, misguided and ludicrous.

Last time I checked, Christmas is not about snowflakes or coffee. I find Donald Trump leading in polls as the Republican presidential candidate, the Dallas Cowboys' six game losing streak, and the gray hairs that show up in force each day to be much more disturbing than Starbucks decision to go sans snowflakes on their red cups.

Suppose Christians across the nation actually listened to Feuerstein and boycotted Starbucks, causing the company to lose money and close stores. What about all the employees making minimum wage who would lose their jobs? What would their view of Christians be then? Think about it…

As conservatives and Christians, we often rant and rave about how the "left" get so offended about every little thing. Isn't this the same? C'mon, people…it's a red cup. Christ is not a red coffee cup!

Christmas is about the birth of Christ, who was sent to this world to save people from their sin. He paid the ultimate price so one day, we could be saved of those sins and spend eternity in heaven. He didn't do it so we could spend eternity at Starbucks and I feel quite sure He loves the powers that be at Starbucks, snowflakes or not.

How about sharing our love for Him with everyone we know instead of spewing hate for a company who might not believe as we do. I don't inquire as to the religious or political preference of every single company before I do business with them, nor do I encourage others to boycott those whose beliefs differ from mine.

If you are truly upset about the Starbucks cup, then by all means, stop spending your money with them. But, before you criticize the company for taking the "Christ" out of Christmas, you might think of all the things that distract us all from the true meaning of the season.

Standing in line for hours, fighting crowds and spending massive amounts of money on Black Friday to buy the latest and greatest gifts for everyone on your shopping list, doesn't reflect the meaning of the season, but millions of Christians do it every single year.

Kind of pales in comparison to a snowflakeless cup, doesn't it?

We should pick our battles and this is one I think we should avoid. Waging a war during the season we celebrate the greatest gift we've ever been given is a bit hypocritical.

This Christmas season, choose to love. Choose kindness and choose to reach out to those who don't know Christ.

I think you'll find the blessings you receive will overflow all the red Starbucks cups in the world.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A letter to Cowboy haters

Okay. I get it. You hate the Dallas Cowboys. It is evident by the repeated posts on social media throughout the week leading up to Sunday. You post anti-Cowboy memes and share hate filled posts from other Cowboy haters. You post more anti-Cowboy photos than you do of your family. 

When the Cowboys win, you are suddenly missing in action from social media. You are nowhere to be found. Silence. Nada. When the Cowboys lose, you are happier than a kid on Christmas morning and begin your obnoxious posts all over again. 

You don’t like Romo and have come up with some pretty lame nicknames for him. It's surprising people of your age actually call people names, but one would think you'd be a bit more creative. You dislike Jason Garrett and curse Jerry Jones. You call the Cowboys washed up, overrated, overpaid and crybabies. If "you" were the quarterback, you'd be able to suck it up and play with a broken collar bone. 

So, here’s my question for all you Cowboy haters out there. Why don’t you talk about your favorite team? It seems more logical to me to talk about the team you love more than the team you hate. Maybe, just maybe, deep down inside you were once a Cowboys fan. Maybe they “let you down” when you expected them to win and they didn't.  Maybe you lost a bet and had to shave your head or wear something ridiculous to work one day. Maybe Santa forgot to bring you a Dallas Cowboy suit when you were little and you’ve held it against them all these years. Maybe one of the DC Cheerleaders turned you down when you asked her out on a date. Maybe you have DCED (Dallas Cowboy Envy Disease) and it's not covered under your health care plan. 

Maybe you hate the Cowboys because they have an allegiance of fans like no other. Fans who stick it out in the good and not-so-good years. Fans who refuse to hop on the bandwagon and like the team with the best record. Fans who don’t have 10 different team jerseys in their closets. Fans who don't have to pledge their hate to their least favorite team weekly, but fans who pledge their loyalty to their favorite team. 

Hate 'em all you want, but just remember...the Dallas Cowboys were, are and will forever be...America's team. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

It's about time

   Seven weeks ago today, we pulled away from our daughter's college campus. As we drove away, my husband rolled down the window and hollered, "We love you" in a cracking voice. As we left the parking lot, my emotions got the best of me. I felt like someone had punched me in the gut.
   Two hours later, we arrived at home and walked into the house for the first time as official empty nesters. The silence was deafening. 
  The next week was a blur. I would cry going to work, cry on the way home and break down crying before going to bed. Although I know my job as a mother will never be complete, I felt like I had been fired from being in charge of her life. She was on her own. She would be making her own decisions. She would need me, but not as much as before. 
   My emotions were all over the place. I was sad, but I was thrilled she was starting a new journey in her life. I stalked her Twitter and Facebook to see what time she was posting. Was she staying out late? Was she doing her homework? Was she making smart decisions? Was she making friends? Was she lonely? Did she miss me? 
   I quickly realized she was having the time of her life and was happy.
   Since I was 17, I've been a mom. In less than a month, I will be 43 and for the first time in 26 years, I don't have a child to take care of at home. 
   For those 26 years, I've considered myself Jeff's wife and Chase and Madie's mom. Somewhere along the way, I forgot all about me and put my dreams and plans on the back burner. I loved having kids in the house. The activities, the recitals, games, skinned knees, broken bones, broken hearts, homework folders, reading books, helping study for tests and whole laundry list of things moms just do. I began to wonder if I was really good at anything other than being a mom. 
   The past seven weeks, I've been focusing on my relationship with my husband. For the first time in all those years, it is just the two of us. We didn't always do a good job of making time for one another when our kids were younger. We made everything about them and you could tell we had a lot of catching up to do.
   Earlier in the week, I pulled out an old journal I wrote in several years ago. As I began reading some of the entries, I found a list of things I wanted to accomplish "one day." You know that magical phrase that we use to make us feel better about putting something off until tomorrow. I'll get around to it "one day." There were eight things on the list and "one day" had yet to come for every single one of them. 
   It wasn't because the opportunity was never there. It was because I put things off to be a mom. I put things off to be a wife. I put things off to be an employee. I put things off because they required time and let's be real, I didn't really have a whole lot of time. Who has time to do anything when you are raising kids? The stark reality is...we all do. We make time for the things we want to do and put off those things that are not crucial to living our everyday life. 
   My daughter started a new chapter in her life, which makes it the perfect time for me to do the same. I just have to take that first step. Before long, those "one days" I have will turn into "no days."

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A fool in need of an attitude change

   I am in desperate need of an attitude change. STAT! For the past couple of weeks, I have developed a sour attitude to several things and let me tell you...I DO NOT LIKE MYSELF!
   I find this very disturbing for a number of reasons.

1. It's not like me to just be mad at the world.
2. It's my favorite season of all...Fall and football! How can I be upset at anything?!
3. My sour attitude is like poison and it's not good on those around me.

   I think it all started when I was offended by something someone said to me and it went south from there. They apologized and I said I let it go, but I found it slowly creeping into the back of my mind. I think the enemy loves when he sees us filled with frustration, aggravation and anger. As long as we are filled with those raw emotions, we are unable to find true forgiveness and happiness.
   Other little things got under my skin, that usually don't. Someone driving slow in front of me, the red light taking too long, idiotic comments on social media and to top it all off, I spent 1 hour and 3 minutes on the phone with Dish Network tonight. I talked to four different people, two of whom I had a difficult time understanding. When I got off the phone, I was wishing I had a real phone that I could slam down with all my might.
   After the marathon phone call with Dish, I snapped at my husband, gripped and complained for about 10 minutes about everything and headed back to my room. As I sat down on the bed, I looked on my bedside table at my Bible.
   I'm ashamed to admit reading it was not something I wanted to do at the moment. I was angry. I was upset. I was mad. I was frustrated and there was absolutely nothing that could make it better. I was going to wallow in my toxic attitude.
   It's times like these I'm thankful for the gentle nudge God gives us. You know the look your parent gives you when you disappoint them? Yeah, I felt it. I knew I was behaving in a way that was far from pleasing to God. I picked up my Bible and turned it to Proverbs. I've always liked the book of Proverbs. Reading this book of the Bible is like sitting with a good friend. It's chock full of great advice for life.
   I recalled a scripture about anger in Proverbs and I looked until I found it. Proverbs 29:11 says, "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control." about slapping you in the face. I read this scripture a few times hoping I could read it in a way that would give me some justification for my sorry attitude the past couple of weeks, but convicted me.  Good, 'ole in your face conviction.
   I started thinking about the things that have been under my skin the past couple of weeks and I realized I wasted a whole lot of time being upset about things that are out of my control! Life is way too short to spend it holding on to little things.
   I will always struggle with being a control freak. It's just part of who I am. I just have to realize the things I can and cannot control. I cannot control the red light, customer service, statements I don't like on social media, or people who offend me. What I can control is my reaction to those things.
  So, I did what I should have been doing for the past couple of weeks when my attitude was less than becoming. I prayed. I asked God to rid my heart of the bad attitude and to bring me back to the Ginger I know is in there somewhere. I asked Him to help me control my reactions and to forgive me for the times I did not behave in a way that was pleasing to Him. Luckily, very few people have been a witness to my bad attitude. I've been successful in letting it only come out when I am at home, which hasn't been great for my marriage. I'm sure my husband wants as far away from here as possible.
   Prayer not only changes things, it changes people. I'm looking forward to waking up with a new attitude.