Monday, November 3, 2014

Dona Nobis Pacem ~ Words In The Hands of Love

Welcome to the 2014 BlogBlast For Peace! We hope you are finding inspiration and joy all over the blogosphere today. Please leave your link in the Mr.Linky below so that others may find your work. You can even post your Facebook links below in the comment section too. Many people are using Facebook and Twitter instead of blogs this year. Go to our Fan Page and see over 25,000 on the peace page today. You may post your link there as well. Thank you for being here. This is my story for peace day.

Come To The River ~ Words in The Hands of Love

He was hobbling along on the side of the road with a long brown cane in his left hand and a gray plastic bag in the other. Trying to stay on the shoulder and out of traffic. I rounded the curve just in time to see him wobble a bit and just in time to make a split second decision. I pulled into the abandoned parking lot and drove directly toward him as he stepped onto the asphalt left behind by the once thriving and now out-of-business restaurant.  When my car met his left foot, he stopped with a wide-eyed startled jolt. 
(Really, Mimi, said the voice of my mother...what are you doing?)

 Never mind that picking up strangers on the side of the road is on my NEVER-TO-DO list. Never mind that I am known as the resident Suzie Safety wherever I go. Never mind that. I didn't plan this ya know. I was just following the muse. And the muse said clear as day this morning, "Go to the river and write."  That's why I was in my car in the first place on the eve of Dona nobis pacem day. Are you following me? It is all the Muse's fault.  Never in all my years of peace blogging has she said go anywhere but my own backyard. But this year was different.  And here I am with a strange elderly man in an abandoned parking lot in the middle of town. What's he gonna do? Hit me with a cane? I sized him up. I can take him, I thought. He can't run. If worse comes to worse, I'll grab the cane and jump in my car.  I've got this. 
(Really Mimi, said the voice of my mother....are you insane?)

"Do you need a ride home?" I asked. He looked confused. "Is your house near here? I will take you home if you'd like."  Confusing stare. Then the arm-waving started (mine, not his) Maybe he's hard of hearing. "DO. YOU. NEED. A. RIDE.....?" 
"Espanol. Espanol."
Oh. 
"No speak English?"
"No." Thank goodness for that Italian arm-waving gene of mine. Singing "Noche de Pas" was out of the question so I threw out all the Spanish words I knew that I could string along into a sentence-  yo gracias amigo trabajar siempre amiga amigas por favor padre madre adios bueno ninito Jesus si no gracias todo duerme casa maestra escuela otro usted si no coremos (that was unlikely) canta (!) plus anunciando sietete and hola! That's about all I could think of at the moment. Does that make sense to you? No wonder it took five minutes for me to explain that I didn't want to harm him. I didn't know the word for kidnap.  I was only offering a ride.  My mind was aflutter and so were my arms. That way? Far? Left right? Why, oh why, did I fall asleep in Spanish class?

 Aha! Donde! Donde casa? Qui?
"Si! Si!"
He waved his cane in an easterly direction and I opened the car door.  Finally. Communication. I was exhausted


I looked in the backseat as he buckled up. He looked scared. 
 He was still firmly holding the cane and clutching his grocery bag straight through the first light.  I said, "I will drive des-pa-cio (like I thought he couldn't understand it?) des.pa.ci.o!" (I was so proud of myself for remembering the word for slowly.) He nodded in agreement.  I drove despacio through the second light.
I heard "No. Condominium." 
Oh, you live in the condominiums??!
 "Si!" he nodded with a smile. I turned left into the complex. 
"NO!" I heard from the backseat. "C.o.n.d.o.m.i.n.i.u.m.s" and gestured that I should turn around.  Wrong complex. I backed into the highway as he looked warily into oncoming traffic.  
"Rapido! Rapido!" I screamed. 
We laughed. Luckily, no one died. 
  Another right turn, lots more arm-waving and two dead stops in the middle of the road only to hear Yours Truly brilliantly slaughter Spanish with a nice man who probably wished by now that he'd just hit me with his cane.  I finally understood that he lived across from the condominiums in a cute little white house with a lovely wooden porch. We had driven a couple of miles by now. I pulled in and he got out.  He looked happy (and relieved) to be home. It would have taken him another hour walking with that cane.  Smiling from the backseat "Gracias! Gracias!"
"God bless you, Sir. Mucho blessings. Adios!"

And I thought that was the end of it really. Just a short little ride and he's gone. Right? 
No. (Did you know that "no" is the same in Spanish and English?)
The car door slammed and I waited for him to shuffle out of the way. Why don't I do this more often? It took 15 minutes out of my day. Why don't I? What a wonderful feeling. What is wrong with me? This is the most awesome day ever!! 

 Then I heard a knock knock on the passenger window. He was waving with his cane-free hand in a kind of salute-wave from the forehead, almost military-style and nodding vigorously.  "Muuuuchas Muuuchas gracias. Mucho mucho mucho gracias!"

 And because this was a muse-inspired moment I did what any proper pencil skirt would do; I blew an air kiss (universal languages I know). It wasn't about the muchos muchos so much as the look I saw in his beautiful dark-brown eyes. I didn't need a dictionary for that.  
That I understood. 
 
And that is the look we all know. Deep down in the waters of our souls, we know it.  There is no barrier strong enough to unravel connections that happen in the most ordained of haphazard days. They aren't haphazard at all. 
 I want more of those days...when I am in the driver's seat. Making conscious decisions to go out of my way for the important things. Stopping for him was the most important thing I did all day. Imagine how much richer my life would be if I multiplied that fifteen minute detour even three times a day? I have to remind myself to be open and aware. To stop the car, get out, and open the door. Grace will fly right in the backseat and take up residence with a cane if you just remember to des.pa.ci.o instead of rapido. It is something my grandfather would have done. It was the way he lived his life. 
Come to the river, said the muse...
 

I drove through my town and looked around. Really looked around. Pockets of poverty everywhere. Houses about to fall down. I have never seen my town the way my eyes saw it today. 

 But I was not about to argue with the muse. I went on down to the river because the muse said go.  

 "Peace is not a final destination. Peace is the road too," whispered the muse.



But sometimes we face situations when our words matter so deeply to the people we love that they can even mean the difference between life and death. Rewind.
One night not long ago, a young man asked me a question, "I don't know what to do anymore. I feel like giving up."

We sat outside on a crisp fall night. The moon was shining and the stars twinkled above us.  Around the tenth perpetual disappointment in his life, he was ready to give in. So he looked to me on this night.  I felt woefully inadequate when he said, "Tell me. What should I do?"
 He needed an answer. I needed one too.
Come to the river said the muse. There's something about that water....
The longest twenty seconds ticked by as he peered into my eyes awaiting my response. On the inside of me I tried to conjure the right answer, praying for help myself, because this answer had to be right. Although I knew his decisions had to be his and his alone, this answer had to be right.
And so I said the lamest thing.
"You just have to wake up again tomorrow morning and put one foot in front of the other." (really, Mimi? That's all you've got?) You have to remember that each morning the slate is clean. You get up and try again. Even if the way is dark and you don't know where you're going. You keep doing that. Just walk."
I went home and cried for him. My heart was full of fear. I needed to know that my words mattered. 


Later that same night I got a strange text from a number I didn't recognize. It said, "I need to thank you for something you did for me many years ago that has now come full circle in my life. Can I call you?"
Before I could type 'Who is this?'...I read  "Oh! This is your brother! LOL"

The last time I really talked to my little brother was at my dad's funeral five years ago. It was not what I would call a good conversation. I dialed.
"Hi Sis! It's so good to hear your voice. I've been thinking a lot about you lately and I want to tell you some things."
And then he went into how his life had settled down, how he'd found his spiritual center, become a Christian, and was finding meaning and purpose in a small country church where he lived and wanted to tell me that his baptism would be next week.  
"I finally know what it means to have a relationship with God," he said. "I am so happy. I've never felt so peaceful before."  
  Did I mention that he bears Papa's middle name?
Papa's hymnal


 "About twenty-five years ago you gave me a Bible. Do you remember?"
"Mmmaybe....kind of....well, I suppose I did, yes."

"How could you forget? You put stickie notes all in it! You gave me a brand new Bible full of stickie notes, Sis."  
"Ohhh...." (yep. That sounds like me)

 "The preacher started talking about the book of Acts and directed us to read a certain verse. I felt a chill because I'd read it before. It was one of your stickie note verses. I just want to thank you and tell you how much I love you."
"Ohhh...." (see how lame my responses are lately, my Bloggy People?)

And then I remembered how much I needed peace myself on this night. How I needed to know things would be alright. That full-circle moments are sent by the hand of God. That what I'd just told that young man under the stars was the truth and not lame at all.

 That somehow words you forgot you wrote make their way into the hands that need them. And back to your own.

Sometimes grace stops on the side of the road in a split-second. 
Sometimes it waits twenty-five years.


Words you see...words in the hands of love. He held my words for twenty-five years. Those words came back to me in the very moment I needed them most.  Words.
So, you see...words are powerful. Our words. My words. Your words. Words. Connections are made with words. Through broken English and rolled-up car windows. Hearts are healed with words. Hearts can be broken and hurt with words. Hearts are again healed with words.
 Measure them with the yardstick of love.
If it takes baptism in your Holy of Holies, then baptize yourself in whatever water you choose. But don't expect to rise up out of the dirty water you left without a care in the world.
 Care. 

Even if you can't see the way. Just walk.
  There is always someone there to guide you.


 Know what love would say. 
Then go do what love would do.



 Si?

  come to the river said the muse....


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Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Eve of Dona Nobis Pacem ~ Queen Calls For Globes

Somewhere in the world tonight, Dona Nobis Pacem in the blogosphere is dawning. 

This is Annelisa's sunrise photography from her East Sussex neighborhood. She took a photograph of what the dawn of peace globe day looked like from her part of the world.
The year was 2006 and we'd just begun to peace blog.  It is important to me that I post it each year on the Eve of Blog4Peace. It reminds me where we came from. It reminds me how a world came together for the very first time to say the same thing. It reminds me not to lose sight of the original premise: Dona nobis pacem ~ Grant us peace.

It needs to be said. Again. And again. And again. Until the day comes when we no longer need to say it. Perhaps then we can simply be grateful for peace. What a world that would be...to wake up and hear news of happiness happening on the globe instead of endless violence and hopelessness.

The longer I live the more I detest the cycle of war on our planet. The way hatred seeps into the womb of society until we've manifests nothing but more hatred. I wonder sometimes if the struggle between good and evil will ever cease to exist, or will we be perpetually locked into battle with ourselves and those who seek power instead of peace.

So, I'll say it. Until it no longer needs to be said.
Dona nobis pacem
Grant us peace.

Will you?







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Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Doll Box and Way of The Pansy

 I bought pansies today. 
Yellow ones. Just like the ones my Grandmother used to plant. And this afternoon I'll find a spot in the woods of Bloggingham....somewhere near a rock and an oak tree I think...not on the porch for decoration. No. I want them in the earth. Near a tree. Because if there's anything I've learned about love in the memories that flow around this time of year, it's that nothing as delicate as pansy leaves can withstand the cold in the artificial womb of man-made pots.  They need the warmth of the earth and the tether of trees.
Love is like that too. 
It is bold. It is delicate. It is all. 
But it needs lots and lots of protection. Love needs to live along roots you see.



We talk a lot about my Papa in this movement and how he gave me his unconditional love. But this story, The Doll Box, was really inspired by my grandmother's pansies. I started to plant and Papa showed up.
I hope he visits me this afternoon. I want to hear a new peace story. 
If you need to catch up, here's The Doll Box (2007). I'm going to put my pansy-planting boots on. 

See you soon.

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Five Days Until BlogBlast For Peace

 Critical care nurse, caregiver, mother, grandmother, writer, grieving spouse, peace blogger...Paula is a woman on a mission. Her peace globe bears this year's Blog4Peace theme. Her website is a loving testament to her late husband, Richard, and full of heartwarming tales and personal adventures. Please read her "Letters To Richard" series. I am proud to display her globe early (with her permission) and can't wait to read what she has to say on Nov 4th.
Don't you love it?
What will you talk about on Blog4Peace day?
Whatever it is, I know it will be inspiring.


Her blog is called Smidgens, Snippets & Bits




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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How The Blog4Peace Movement Began

Papa's marbles
 Who Are We? 

How did this whole thing begin? It's well-documented in the history of the blogosphere. Since 2006 (light years away in blog years!) we've been setting aside at least one day a year to blog for the cause of peace. The first year there were about 300 of us. Today there are thousands of peace bloggers all over the globe. We are on all seven continents and 209 countries/territories. The goal is for all bloggers everywhere to say the same thing on the same day - in a blog post, a Facebook status, a tweet, ANYWHERE online - Dona nobis pacem (Grant us peace).
Just write those three words as your post title and send it out to the world. 
Grab a complimentary blank template (HERE) and make your own "peace globe."  Post on Nov 4. 

All you need is a blog and 3 words.
You can do this.


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Sunday, October 26, 2014

This Is Why I Blog For Peace

 

Peace time is upon us.
It is a time when we 
turn our thoughts to the possibility of ending the madness of war, the suffering of people and the crippling of nations and populations. While it is a time to reflect on the world at large and the challenges that face us, it is also a time to look inward, finding those crevices that allow harm and damage our souls, permeating our minds with negativity and weakness. We weren't made for such thoughts. Man was created for richer things, purer things and powerful possibilities. Can we bring tangible peace to a world in turmoil with our thoughts and intentions? With our words?
Perhaps not in a day.
 
 But in the culmination of such days and on a continuum of positive change and forward movement, in the process of  powerful and honest conversations across the tables of war that haunt our planet, we can bring about the hope of such a day.

  The desire for freedom and to live at peace with our brothers on this globe we call Earth, must become a spoken word - because in the realm of unspoken intent, peace dies.  It cannot abide in the hearts of men forever locked away with keys of fear and pride. It must be talked about courageously and spoken of with reverence. Freedom. Peace. Prosperity. Purity. Hope. Goodness. Kindness. Love. Men who possess these traits are the most courageous men of all.  

 We see it in abundance in our world, but we place a greater premium on the pursuit of power. This must stop. Not just on the grand stages of war, but behind the doors of our homes. You know that place. It is the place where parents love children, where the young minister to the old, the temporarily weak rely on the generosity of the strong and where sacrifices become tethered and unbreakable bonds of unconditional love.
 Because that's what love does.
And that is who we are.
 

 In a world where people serve one another without expectation of reward or self-promotion, we can live in peace. In a world where the touch of a stranger's hand in the middle of a storm becomes a well of gratitude in someone's soul, we can live in peace.  It is the reassuring warmth of other humans in times of great difficulty that cause men to experience a glimmer of grace. When men no longer feel like strangers in a divided world, but one whole of humanity, we can live in peace.
   

Nov 4th is a day to illuminate the part of you that reaches out to other people when you feel there is no reaching left. Even when people don't reach back - still reach. It only takes one touch to heal your world. And it only takes a world of people willing to touch to heal the whole world.
Are you ready?
I am.
 
Blog that peace, People. Say it from a heart of courageous and worthy intention. Work it in your families. Walk it behind closed doors. Then take it out the front door to the world and be a light that knows no darkness.
Our theme is "Words in the hands of love."
You've got this.

 
 
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Friday, October 24, 2014

How To Blog For Peace on Social Media

 The annual peace day in the blogosphere known as BlogBlast For Peace (Blog4Peace) is November 4! Even if you don't have a blog, YOU can blog for peace. Here's how:


 On Nov 4 Change your status to Dona Nobis Pacem (Latin for Grant Us Peace).
Put up a peace graphic.  Post and Share!  Anywhere you are online. It's that simple.


 Need more explanation? New to the movement?
If you want to be a peace blogger, you'll need a peace globe
and one of these:
a blog or website
Facebook profile
Twitter account
Google+
Instagram Pinterest Tumblr BlogHer ...anywhere you are online.

You can simply post "Dona nobis pacem" as your post title/status OR you can do the really cool thing and make a peace globe as well. We'll even make one for you. Just tell us what you want on it and one of our volunteers will assist you. Message me and I'll connect you with a volunteer designer.

1. Choose a template.
Go to the Official Site of Blog4Peace @blog4peace.com to find blank templates. Click HERE. There are many colors and choices. All are free to use. Choose your favorite. Decorate as you wish with a message of peace. People put all kinds of things on their peace globes: pet pics, website urls, peace quotes, original poems, song lyrics, nature photos, family pics, anything that inspires and brings them peace! See thousands of examples on the site for inspiration. There are pre-made globes for you as well. Just grab one.  Even easier? Simply choose one from within this note.  Right click and Save. Voila. You have a peace globe of your very own to post.

2. Post it anywhere online November 4.
Title your post/status update Dona Nobis Pacem (Latin for Grant us Peace). You can even make it your profile pic. The goal is for all to say the same thing on the same day in the title. Then go do what peace bloggers do best. Write. Write powerful powerful words of peace. Peace prose. Peace poems. Peace songs. Peace art. Peace prayers. Use your unique voice and share it with people all over the world. We are in 202+ countries.  It is your chance to be a voice for peace. It is our chance to make positive change. Words are powerful. This matters.
Post it on your Facebook page and on the Fan page timeline for all to see

3. TAG me @ facebook.com/MimiLenox and send your peace globe to blog4peace@yahoo.com, so that it may be counted and added to the gallery of peace globes on the Official Site.  Visit each other. Wherever you see a peace globe, share it. It's empowering to see so much positive energy floating through the blogosphere in a world where so much peace is needed.

See you November 4
We believe that words are powerful....this matters.
Let's make this day count.

Mimi Lenox
Founder, Blog4Peace/BlogBlast4Peace
blog4peace.com 

Find us here:
Official Site (Home of The Peace Globes) blog4peace.com
Fan Page 
Tweet   
PIN 
Tumblr 
Google+ 
Google+ Peace Bloggers Community

Helpful links:
Templates
Who We Are 
What We Do 
Get Your Own Peace Globe 
Globe Sightings 
Visit Our Store 


© 2006 All rights reserved


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Monday, October 20, 2014

Currently Cooking In The Peace Globe Pot!

Blog4Peace is just a couple of weeks away! Nov 4th is the day we blog for peace. I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with and how you represent your homes, communities, and world. Our theme this year is "words in the hands of love." 
Be the peace. Walk in love. Tell us your story.
Designed by Nanna Aldrich Murakami in Hawaii
Here are few new and enhanced peace globes for you to use this year. Lots here as well! 




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Sunday, October 5, 2014

30 Days Until BlogBlast For Peace (Blog4Peace) ~ Join In

BlogBlast For Peace is Nov 4, 2014. Thirty days from today you will see little blue peace globes flying across the blogosphere. Writers and bloggers from most every nation will write in a similar vein, renewing a commitment to speak peace, love peace, be peace, honor peace. Our planet needs people like that. And its people need peace. 
 It's time to announce this year's theme. 
It's called Words In the Hands of Love

Let me explain. The motto for BlogBlast for Peace has always been, "If words are powerful..then this matters." Peace bloggers who write on Nov 4 and then visit other peace bloggers around the world to read what they've written know what that means. Sharing our words has been the core of this project since the beginning. The stories, pictures, peace globes, videos, art work...all play a part in a much bigger role. They are a virtual handshake that inevitably blossoms into lasting friendships across miles of land and sea; some posts you never forget and the people who write them and blog for peace are very special people. We bind our thoughts together with the same post title each year - "Dona nobis pacem" (Grant us Peace) like a prayer of affirmation for the planet, all in unison, and all in. We are peace bloggers. We know what the days leading up to Nov 4th means. Our view of the world is quite different in the Fall and that feeling of commitment to peace resonates in our writing and contributions. 
We are famous for writing powerful words in this movement
Just visit the official blog and see for yourself.

 My question this year is this - What will we do with them in our hands? Will they maintain their power when we attempt to act in peace? Words in the hands of love. What does that look like? We have to add love to our words or none of it means a thing.  We have to add love to our walk or we all stumble in darkness. Adding love to your words means to step off the blog page, the Facebook timeline, the Twitter feed, the webpage, and prove your words carry weight in your personal life. In your family. In your community. 
In your world. 
And to your own destiny. 
By peace blogger Cate in New Zealand

Do you know how to create peace in your everyday world?
You can begin by creating a peace globe. Find one here. Make it your very own and then post it Nov. 4 along with all of us. 


http://goodnightgram.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/dona-nobis-pacem-peace-treaties/
So this year's launch is dedicated to those peace bloggers who strive to turn peace blogging into peace living. Those like Goodnight Gram ....who just last year baked these peace cookies to distribute in her neighborhood and school on BlogBlast For Peace day. She called them "Peace Treaties." How brilliant is that? Then she made peace scarves and matching jewelry with her granddaughter who now has a impressionable memory of making peace with her grandmother. Tangible and real. Off the blog page and walking it out. THAT is the goal here. SHE is a peace blogger in action. Those are not just cookies. 
Those are words in the hands of love.

I could give you tons of examples of 

peace bloggers doing similar things.
There are thousands of us in the world today. We come from six continents and 202 countries and territories.  Every post, status update, tweet, and peace globe is different. But the message is the same.
Dona nobis pacem ~ Grant us peace

So begin by writing. And allow those words to flow from your heart into the universe. Let's make a powerful noise. Continue the tiny revolution we've started. Join in the sobering sound of people all over the world making peace. 

 Remember this: You can't unsay words. They either bring life or death to the soul. They prophesy peace or proliferate unrest. Words carry energy and intent into the world. Your words will burden you or bless you. Choose them with careful deliberation before they ever leave your lips. Shalom.
Now go and do. 


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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Day 12 ~ 60 Ways 2 Peace ~ If You Could Only See Me

Life is a busy mad dash. Most days we rush around in an endless circle of tasks completed/ tasks-to-do mode as if our very lives depended on checking things off the sainted To-Do list. Accomplishing tasks makes us feel important, successful, even worthy of praise. But does it help us feel connected? No.  We miss what's important while we're trying to be important. I've been working on this lately and it's really keeping me in touch with the people I work and play with each day. When you pass someone in the hallways today, don't just look at the floor and nod. Look at them. People won't always remember what you taught them or how you contributed in the day-to-day, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

 Day 12 ~ Look people in the eyes when you talk to them.
Souls need connecting on this planet.



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Monday Mimisms ~ Bumpety Boo Strikes Again

Sunday ~ Five Things I Am Grateful For Today

made by Mimi's Baby Boy
made by Baby Boy
1. A surprise visit from my Baby Boy! How did he know I needed that today?
2. That his new love is reading
3. That he loves school and his teacher
4. That after all these years he STILL remembers how we laughed at the Bumpety Boo movie when he was three
5. That he took it home to watch again (smile)




That boy is something else.


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