Showing posts with label sunday food for thought. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sunday food for thought. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sunday food for thought. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sunday food for thought. Show all posts

Brand Me: Lora Langston aka Adubahwha?

Sunday Food for Thought: BRANDING YOU and me

Hey, if you came here from a search, can you tell me what got you here? This is an old post. I'm not sure what is driving traffic. Brand me. Brand youBranding for BloggersSunday Food for Thought? I used to write those every Sunday and then I decided they were too personal for what the blog has become. So, leave a comment and let me know. Enjoy!

Sunday Food for Thought: BRANDING YOU and me
Sunday Food for Thought: 

I've been reading up on professional blogging through posts sent to my inbox by Problogger. For the most part, I am doing everything wrong. I'm a disaster. For example, did you miss me? I was MIA for about two months. Apparently, I'm not supposed to ask, as it is a sure sign of an unprofessional.

And then, there are the theories on 'to post or not to post', to whichever theory you subscribe (posting every day or every other day or once a week) you should maintain a schedule. 

That is, you shouldn't post sporadically- every day one week, once the next week, none the next, and then a few times a day the next, just because you have something to say, like I do.

I can say, based on my absence and the noticeable drop in stats, okay the DRAMATIC drop in stats, posting at least once a week is important. 

Someone pointed out that posting everyday might annoy my subscribers. Ahem... I would have to have subscribers to annoy them.

Another common mistake the naive, unprofessional blogger makes is not focusing on a particular subject matter. Specialization is best, know your readership, find your niche. 

My niche? 

Mommy Bloggers? Nope. Aspiring authors? Nope. Nutty people? Noooo. People interested in Dramatic Arts? No. Crafters? No. Freelance writers? Humor? Overweight Moms? Nope, nope, and more nope. Maybe a Blogger's Club for Midwestern Mommy Creative Types? Uh that's a big, fat, no. (10 followers) My very own .com just for my rambling mind? Apparently not. (20 followers)

Update: I have found my niche. Education Bloggers. Afterschool, Summer Camp, Teachers, Homeschoolers, and Daycare Workers. Things are going quite nicely now.

Don't use slang, vernacular, incorrect grammar. Don't get excited and post with spelling errors, your reader's will lose respekt for you. (See what I did there?) 

Puffalump! Cheese and rice! Bleep, I ain't got no chance of becoming a professional, branded blogger. Or do I?

UpdateI didn't even realize I was making mistakes back then. I still make mistakes today. Probably for the same reasons.

Content is Key and the Perfect Title is Golden.

Update: Okay, I used to write cute titles all the time. Now, before I even think of content to write I do an SEO search for the BEST keywords to put in my title. Downside, it won't attract my Facebook family and friends to read my blog. Upside, it is evergreen. The gift that keeps on giving. Titles and keywords used this way can take awhile to stick. Sometimes, posts don't get SEO juice for up to two years!! Then, they just take off. That is why, I want to know... what brought you here?

You see, I have found my niche. It's Kid Bloggers, who are mostly moms like me or Early Childhood Teachers looking for new twists on old ideas. I work for them, but I like to mingle with aspiring or published authors too. I love reading posts that flow, engage, and make me laugh or cry. 

I don't want to scare off my niche group with posts about my fatness, laziness, or craziness. Or my my core Christian readers with my liberal take on Christianity. Or my Non-Christian readers with my Jesus talk. Or worse yet, bore everyone with my obsession with ancestry and historical fiction.

So... I tried to split my personality with my various blogs and Facebook pages. Know what I found out? People seem to like me despite my ramblings, outspoken political views, or overall reckless blog behavior. 

Hey, fellow writers: I just learned how to spell reckless. Are you kidding me? All of these years, I thought it was Wreckless. I guess that is my Indiana upbringing... he is such a wreckless driver. Then again, that was dumb. If he was a wreckless driver rather than a reckless driver, he'd probably be a good driver minus the wrecks.


That's what I, Lora Langston, do best and you don't have to hop over to STOP THE PRESSES THIS LEADS ME TO A THOUGHT WITHIN A THOUGHT ( was a nice thing to own until I didn't and then they raised the little renewal price of ten dollars to sixty, meanies) or or or on  Facebook or Lora Langston on even Kids Creative Chaos on Facebook

Nope, because when I wasn't paying attention or even trying I discovered Lora Langston is my brand even if you have to work through my split-personality to find me on Facebook (Lora Langston) or Twitter (@playconnection) or Pinterest/kidschaos:   (we do the scavenger hunt).

I'm gonna continue to ramble, write in my Indiana vernacular, post when I feel like it, and go off topic sometimes 'cuz that is what my subscribers seem to enjoy about me, my unpredictability. I'm a train wreck or is it reck?

My dry sense of humor lends to a few things: Some find me stupid and annoying but can't resist reading... and others aren't quite sure if they should laugh or run. The rest, well, they get me.

Whichever category you fall into, I hope you'll stick around! There are many more ramblings to come and lots of creative, crafty fun for kids.

Subscribe to Lora Langston on Facebook, and Check me out on Twitter and PinterestThis is where my branding is best with over 180,000 followers.

Okay, I won't be mad if you like me here too because this is the brand that didn't go but inspired this post. Kids Creative Chaos on FB (hoping for 500 Likes, for now).

Update: I have over 11,000 Facebook likes as of 12/2015.

Cheers to a happy 'You' Brand too.

Update: I'll pop back in and update this post as things continue to improve. 

Adubahwha? That's what people used to say to me in college, when they had no idea what I just said...


Welcome and About Me

Branding for Bloggers*

ADS DISCLOSURE: We've partnered with some wonderful advertisers who may sponsor blog posts or send us samples to test. Some companies pay us to review their products.

*We also use affiliate links, if you make a purchase we get a tiny commission. Kids Creative Chaos participates in the Amazon LLC Associates Program*, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for blogs to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon properties, including, but not limited to,,,,, or We also offer Tapinfluence, Google Adsense, SoFab, and Izea ads here. Thanks so much for helping us keep the lights on! :)

Sunday Food for Thought Weight 2011

What have I learned from a year ago today?  Things don't change you nor do resolutions, other people, or guilt. Only the right mind set can you change you. Focus on what you can do and will stick to, not what you probably won't do and can't stick to, filter out everyone else's fodder. Once you start changing that mind set everything else will fall into place.

I'm updating my blogs and my life.
Here is a fun, personal post from a year ago, Weight Loss Saga of an Overweight Food Hater
Do you do the Dew?  Even a vanishing rat won't stop me.  It's my drug of choice.  It improves my mood, cuts the flim-flam from my cough, and seems to keep everything flowing properly.  My teeth and my weight are it's nemesis. I'm gonna be that lady from this old post too.  Chaos (Scroll down and you'll see her, the future me, with her cart and no teeth.)

I gotta run. It is getting late and I haven't had my morning Dew yet.

Read more

Sunday Food for Thought: What Would You Do? The Flight or Fight Instinct

What Would You Do: The Flight of Fight Instinct

So, you think you're perfect, do you?  Me too.  At least, I try. I used to work very hard at it; until, one day, I realized perfect is a lot of trouble.  Since then, I just try to do my best. WWJD and all that jazz.  My teenager was learning about flight or fight.  She was describing how it's human instinct to run away from danger.  If a building is burning, most people run away to protect themselves, maybe they run to safety and then call 911. 

Disney's Tinkerbell often practice Fight or Flight.

"Are you crazy", I ask.  "Is that what you would do?" 
"Umm, yes, hello, I'm no hero.  I'm human."
"Really?  Is that what most people would do?" 
"Yes!  That's what separates us from the heroes. Natural instinct."
"I'm flipping out here.  What if someone is in the building?"
"You hope someone else saves them.  You call 911."
"No way!  I'm counting my kids. I'm making sure we're all safe, and I'm going back in to save whoever I can. What if there is a helpless animal inside?"
"Hope.  Pray."

No way!  I'm going in.  I did that once.  Well, I tried to.  People wouldn't let me.  A house was burning. I called 911.  I thought they were gone.  I knew they had dogs inside.  I ran to the house. It was only smoking. I looked in the windows.  I tried to open the sliding glass doors.  Only the garage was burning at the time.  The owner of the home was working in the garage.  He got out safely.  He never tried to save the dogs.  I couldn't get anything open.  Bystanders made me stop trying.  By the time the firemen arrived it was too late. They died of smoke inhalation.

I'm not a hero.  As I often say, maybe I'm just insane.

Turns out, I'm not perfect either.  Not even close.

Once, I worked in a restaurant, it was a small part of a larger organization. I helped seat people between checking on my special catered events. 

The restaurant manager had been at the hostess stand with another employee.  A dishwasher.  He should have been in the kitchen. He was a seasonal employee.  In the summer he came from Mexico to work for a few months. I later found out that he had a fake social security card.

After they left the hostess stand, I went to greet some customers.  Looking down, I noticed a tiny baggie of white powder on the floor.  I quickly scooped it up and put it in my pocket.  I didn't want a customer or their child to pick it up.

I seated the guests and went out into the corridor to gather my thoughts.  I leaned over the counter of the security desk and looked at the stream of videos coming from all parts of the grounds. Nothing seemed unusual.  I considered telling the security guard.  I considered asking him to call the police.

We'd had some trouble. The restaurant manager was on rocky ground.  He was on the verge of being fired. I felt like he had something to do with the package.  I asked the security guard if he knew where the PIC (person in charge) was.  "I think he's in his office."

I went to his office and told him a 'what if' scenario.  'He'd call the police.'  I knew I would too, but I didn't feel like I could. I had to work with these people.  I was dating the manager.  Worse than that, I had moved in with him. Where would I sleep?  What would I do?

"How about you call the police since you're the PIC and all?" He gazed at me with a quizzical grin.
"How about you call the police since you're the one who found it and all?"

Anyway, immediately upon moving in with the manager, I'd become aware of my mistake.  It was a dreadful decision that will haunt me for the rest of my life. But I couldn't tell anyone.  What would they think of me?

The truth is, I felt quite certain, said manager had something to do with the drugs.  The PIC agreed.


I went back to the security desk and hung out for awhile. I saw a policeman patrolling the parking lot. I wondered what would happen if he caught me with the drugs in my pocket?  I felt like a criminal.

It's a restaurant, right?  Maybe it's just a packet of low-cal sweetener?

It could be cocaine, crack, crystal meth; I don't know. 

I've never even taken a puff of a cigarette. Once a group of my friends dared me to try 'Skoal Bandits'. I did.  Can you believe that? I can't. But my Dad had once suggested my Aunt purchase tobacco for her abscessed tooth.  It was a home remedy and it worked!  Plus, they were legal at the time, no matter your age.  But, I digress.

What I do know is that my fingerprints are all over the bag.

I decided to ask the manager/boyfriend. I wanted to see how he'd react.

He grabbed it from my hand and looked at it.  "This is heroin!  Where'd you get it?"

I told him the story. 

"You better get rid of it.   The police are outside."

"Why don't you get rid of it for me?"

"Are you crazy?  No way, I'm not going to get caught with that!  My fingerprints are all over it now."

Well... at least he didn't take it and use it.

I didn't want to throw it in the trash.  Someone might dig it out. I told the boyfriend that I was going to flush it.  "Don't do that!  It might not go down. They might trace it back to you.  Take it home and flush it."

So, I decided to do exactly that.  Don't ask me why I thought that was a good idea.  I just don't know what came over me.  I was scared.  I was afraid of losing my job, going to jail, losing my home, my boyfriend, my life...  Just failing in general, I guess.

On the five minute drive home, I became increasingly paranoid. I was terrified I'd be stopped and the police would search the car.  The rain was pelting my windshield.  My heart pounded.  I panicked.

I threw the baggie out the window.

I did. Me, an intelligent, thirty-year-old, goody two-shoes, with nothing to hide.

Immediately I realized my faux pas, more panic.

I wanted to turn around and try to retrieve it.  What if a bird picked it up and ate it?   Or a raccoon?  What if that spot was a bus stop?  What if the kids found it in the morning?  But...

What if I went back, in the dark, in the falling rain and started scrambling on the ground looking for a bag of drugs?  I'd look like an addict! My prints were on the bag. What if a cop came by and found me?

I never went back. I went home.  I stayed with this guy for nearly three more years.  We never discussed the baggie again.

Later, I told my Dad the story.  He had just one question.  "How did the guy know it was heroin?  Who would know that heroin came in a white powder like that?  Who, but a druggie or drug dealer?"

Good question, Dad.  I hadn't thought of that.  So, my instincts were accurate.  The guy had something to do with it.  Why hadn't I turned it in?  I could have saved myself from three, long years of Hell on Earth. Why?

About a year later, after said manager/boyfriend had lost his job and I ended up quitting also, the PIC and I went out to dinner.  "Whatever happened with those drugs you found?"  I told him. I could see the disappointment in his eyes. He'd tried to get me to do the right thing.  Why hadn't I?

I just don't know.  I deeply regret it.  I am not perfect.  I am not a hero.  Apparently, I am not a goody-two shoes either.  If I had it all to do over again, I would take the risk of losing my place to live, my job, and my boyfriend.

Likely, I would have ended up with the other man. Two goody two-shoes together, in the right place at the right time.

I don't know, would I? 

All of those events brought me to my life today. To my beautiful family, (I never thought I'd have) to my life as I now know it- where I can sit on my high-horse and contemplate doing the right thing... next time I get the chance. 

So... How can we blame our kids for impulsive actions when we can't even be sure of ourselves?

Did you read "Hall Pass Thief"?

Sunday Food for Thought on Teen Angst and Parenting

To Lie or not to Lie that is the Question What is a Parent to do?

What would you do? Parenting is hard. Kids don't come with instructions. Just because you can raise a baby to a teen, doesn't mean you can successfully raise a teenager. We all make mistakes. We learn together. Lying is the hardest part. Looking for advice on raising teens? Yeah... we don't have any. Enjoy!

To Lie or not to Lie that is the question what is a parent to do? Teens
My Musings on Teens and Lying.

What Would You Do?


You haven't been feeling well and you got sick during passing period at school. You stay in the bathroom for several minutes to recover.  You don't want to walk into class late - you'll feel embarrassed.

I'd go to the school nurse, tell her what happened, and ask for a pass.

Reasoning for not:  Didn't want to get sent home, wanted to go to the other classes.

Here's the kicker (s).

"When I came out of the bathroom I looked down and saw a blank hall pass in front of the lockers. I picked it up and used it to get back in class."

What? Do I look like I was born yesterday?

"It's the truth."

So... you expect me to believe that you are incredibly lucky?

"That's what happened."

Wow.  So, why do you think that happened? God is watching over you and just decided to help you skip class?

"I don't know."

Hmm... stuff like that only happens in the movies. Unless... maybe the Devil's been watching you and thinks he can get you on his team, you know?  Maybe it was a test and you passed with flying colors. Or did you fail? Anyway, if you're that lucky, we better go buy a lottery ticket.

"Okay! I saw some passes on a shelf a few weeks ago. When I came out of the bathroom, I remembered them, went back and got one."

Hmm... So, you saw these passes just lying around waiting to be taken and nobody else took them over a two-week period?

"That's right. I was surprised too."

Hmm... I bet you were.   You know, about now, your Dad would be saying something like, 'it's getting really deep in here' or 'that's a load of crap. So, what really happened?

Silence.  Anger rages.  Evil glares.

"I saw the passes a few weeks ago, I picked them up really fast, because I didn't want any STUPID people to take them and try to use them."

Hmm... Really? Why didn't you throw them away or flush them to protect the stupid?

More evil glares.

"I was in a hurry! I dropped them in a basket in my band locker.  Some of my friends walked by and saw them. They said, 'Whooo, you could use those to cut class'. That's where I got the idea."

Pfft! I want to laugh. I'm trying not to cry. My emotions are boiling over.

Am I insane? Hmm... So you're friends gave you the idea?

"Yes! I've seen STUPID people passing bogus hall passes to the teachers. The teacher look at them, say, 'this looks phony' and nothing happens. They get away with it!"

As far as you know.


As far as you know, they get away with it. The teacher probably turns it in to the office as 'bogus'.

So, let me tell you what I think happened. I think you saw the passes a few weeks ago, picked them up and put them in your locker waiting for an opportunity to use them.

Silence. Hands over face. Squinty eyes and rage ensues.

"Fine! I saw the passes and saved them to use them the NEXT time I cut class."

What? The next time?

"Yeah, I've skipped a bunch of times. I got  away with it. The teacher caught me twice but it was last period and I told her I went home early. She said if she caught me again she'd turn me in for all three times. I hate that class; it is full of STUPID people."

Hmm...  Stupid people who skip class, flunk class, and have to take learning recovery to fix their grades?


And you're different from them because...?

"I'm not STUPID!"

I bet they aren't all stupid. I bet some of them come from broken homes, or they don't have homes, or their parents are drug dealers, or they have to work to help the family and don't have time for homework, or their parents fight all night long and they don't get any sleep, or...  you get the idea. 

Don't judge. You have no idea what goes on at their house. Maybe they have a learning disability and they are doing the best they can. 

Remind me why you are in that class?

"Because, I didn't turn in my essays!"

That's right; the essay the teacher called about the first week of school to let us know you needed to turn in. The essay that was a series of essays you had already turned in. The essay she emailed me about a week later. The essay she called me about at the end of the grading period. The essay that was just a couple of paragraphs on Martin Luther King or Cesar Chavez. 

The essay, you told me you completed when I got your progress report. The essay your father and I made you do in your room.
The one you bounced down the stairs smiling saying, "It's done." 

Thank God. "That wasn't so bad," said your Dad. "Aren't you glad it's over?"

The essay your teacher called me about a week before the end of the semester. She pleaded with me to have you turn it in so you didn't fail her class. She couldn't promise more than a 'D', but she'd see what she could do because the rest of your work was on par. 

You are one of her favorite students.

The essay you told me she lost. I relayed that message and she laughed, "Unlikely, I can't believe she'd say that. They go in a basket right by the door. I'll look again but..."

The essay, you finally promised you finished and handed in, and when the grades came out and you failed AP English, you said, "She lied. I knew she'd flunk me. I knew it didn't matter!" 

What? No. She wouldn't, she couldn't... she promised. We've got to call her and talk to her about this! "We can't; she's on maternity leave." 

Hmm...  Well, that's convenient; isn't it? Please help me understand; I know you didn't turn it in.

"I'm tired of getting low scores when everyone around me cries about missing one point!"

Hmm...  So, you'd rather flunk the entire class rather than earning a 'B'?

"Yep; at least people won't think I'm stupid. I'll just tell them I flunked because I didn't turn in my homework!"

Really? Let me consult with your Dad. It's unanimous, we both agree. He says,"It's stupid to flunk a class over one stupid essay. I think that's stupid." 

Right. The grade on the essay didn't even matter. Points were received (or not) for turning in all of the essays.

Five English classes in a row. Five teachers, "You're daughter is very intelligent. Brilliant. A joy to have in class." 

Five F's. Bored, you say? The first one was regular English. We decided she could fail AP English just as easily. So, she did.  Apparently, the teacher's are stupid and the work is 'unecessary busy work'.

Are there magic words that we can use to help her understand that brilliant, intelligent people can also do stupid things that make them appear stupid?

She's got guts. I can't imagine. She signed her name to the hall pass and turned it into the librarian who asked her who wrote it. She couldn't answer. The librarian asked what classes she was coming from. The librarian called the teacher who said, "Well, she's a good kid. If she skipped class she must have had a good reason." The librarian turned it into the Dean. 

How'd I find out? Innocently, "How was school today?"

"Oh, did they call you? I knew they would. Here's what happened..."

Shock. No one called, ever. I called the counselor. She has no record of any class cutting or other things we have dealt with at school. Neither the Librarian nor the Dean contacted her. Did it really get to the Dean?I don't know.  The Dean is also her volleyball coach- who knows what a fantastic citizen she is- 'a joy to have on the team'. 

If we are never punished for our actions, won't we keep repeating them, perhaps with more intensity and boldness each time?

After all, if she is getting away with this over and over again, isn't she really smarter than the rest of us "STUPID people"?

I'm a goody two-shoes; I would have done exactly what she said, 'picked that pass up before anyone else could take it and get into trouble', but I would have thrown it away immediately.

How about you? 

Are you sure about that? What would you do?

You might also like: I've got a confession to make involving hard-core drugs. I think you'll find it very interesting.

You might like our Pinterest Board for Teens too.

ADS DISCLOSURE: We've partnered with some wonderful advertisers who may sponsor blog posts or send us samples to test. Some companies pay us to review their products.

*We also use affiliate links, if you make a purchase we get a tiny commission. Kids Creative Chaos participates in the Amazon LLC Associates Program*, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for blogs to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon properties, including, but not limited to,,,,, or We also offer Tapinfluence, Google Adsense, SoFab, and Izea ads here. Thanks so much for helping us keep the lights on! :)

Be Prepared the Boy Scout Motto and My Musings on the Universe Talking to You.

The universe is talking to you.  Are you listening? Be Prepared.

Be Prepared - My Musings on the Universe talking to you - Boy Scout's Motto
Be Prepared - My Musings on the Universe talking to you.

A few weeks ago my son watched 'Hoodwinked' over and over again.  He loves the goat.  For days he sang, "Be Prepared" and chuckled to himself.

Over the weekend, we attended The Boy Scout's Blue and Gold Banquet.  I was surprised to hear that the Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared." 

We watched a bridge ceremony presented by a high school scout troop. They wore full indian regalia and passed on their wisdom to inspire the new recruits.  It was surprisingly touching and thought provoking.

For various reasons, we hadn't made it to church in awhile.  On Sunday the lesson was Matthew 6:24-34.

Whether you are a Christian or not, I think you'll find Jesus', "Bobby McFerrin",  philosophy thought provoking in this passage.

24 'No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

25 'Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31Therefore do not worry, saying, "What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or "What will we wear?" 32For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34 'So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.

The Reverend then spoke about the difference between worry and preparation. Basically, she said, 'Don't worry, be happy, but plan well.'  

To me it all translates to "Be prepared"!

When the universe hits me in the head with a brick, I try to listen.  Have you noticed similar patterns in your life?

More About the good things Scout's do:

Scout's and Community Service

"On This Day in Christian History" by Robert J. Morgan Book Review

Here is my first review for Book Sneeze, but it wasn't my first choice. T

he book I had hoped to review wasn't available. So, because I find history intriguing, I decided to give this one a shot, fully expecting to find it too preachy for my liking.

"On This Day in Christian History" is a day by day devotional. Each day an historical event in Christianity is listed under the date it took place. It's easy to read the entire book in a weekend but for those with busy lives it makes a great start to everyday. Events are summed up neatly on one page.

Book Sneeze Book Review On This Day in Christian History
Book review for Book Sneeze.

Although the book is about Christianity, it is in no way preachy, denominational, or exclusive. The stories are about inspiring saints, martyrs, and heroes who went above and beyond after facing difficult choices. A-ha moments abound as we learn about amazing facts that we often take for granted. For Example, Isaac Watts, a small child, liked to rhyme:  "There was a mouse for want of stairs/Ran up a rope to say his prayers".

Later, young Isaac grumbled about the songs at church. His father basically said, 'If you think you can do better than King James- write your own songs'. And, that is exactly what Isaac Watts did. Perhaps you recognize some of them: "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross", "O God Our Help in Ages Past", and "Joy to the World".

At the bottom of each page is a passage from the Bible that relates to the narrative. Isaac's page lists (Colossians 3:16-17)  With thankful hearts, sing psalms,hymns, and spiritual songs to God. Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Each day is a neatly pre-packaged history lesson, a prepared hot topic to discuss with homeschoolers, debate in classes, or discuss at the dinner table. Christian or not, if you like history, you will enjoy "On This Day".

Book Sneeze provided me with this copy for review. I'd be happy to share the love. Become a follower here, at, and comment on this post to be entered into a drawing. The lucky winner gets my copy!

Join Book Sneeze to enjoy a beautiful, unread book of your choosing.

Or Click here to purchase this book at Amazon. 

Step on a Crack Break Your Mother's Back Dealing with OCD

Dealing with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) ~ "Step on a crack break your mother's back"

Living with OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Step on a crack...
My musings on life and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Sunday Food for Thought

I write with the human spirit in mind - Christians, Agnostics, Atheists, and Others:

This Sunday, I take a moment to reflect on the eccentricities of me.  Please be gracious and ignore any typos or grammatical errors today.  I will edit them later after I've had a break from writing.  Read on to learn why-

Last week my little ones and myself were baptized.  We are four, six, and forty-one.  The other members of  our family were baptized as infants in the Catholic church long before we met. They stood up for us.

I am not a religious person.  I am, however, extremely spiritual.

You might be wondering, Why?  Why haven't we been baptized yet.  Or why do it at all?

I have some peculiar answers to those questions and I have decided to share the deepest interworkings of my brain on OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I am a recovering Obsessive Compulsive. These days, it has become a popular turn of phrase.  So many people joke about it- maybe they joke because they fear it.

I expect Tom Cruise has an opinion on OCD and religion, but I digress.

Most of us can find something about ourselves that is compulsive or even obsessive.  It may be embarassing but it is unlikely that it greatly reduces the quality of your life or well-being.  My brain on OCD stifled my quality of life in many ways.

For example, as a child I had been an avid reader.  I read most of the classics by the fourth grade.  I.E.  Jane Eyre,  Wuthering Heights, Tom Sawyer, Pollyanna, Of Mice and Men, etc.  I read the Communist Manifesto in sixth grade, you get the picture. 

In college, I became incapable of reading.  I could not read the Bible, a text book, a script, or even a newspaper.  My life had changed.  I sat in class and struggled to stay awake taking explicit notes that I would not be able to study later.  I had hoped writing the information down would help my brain retain it for the test.

Before this particular OCD trait afflicted me, I made the Dean's List with a 4.0.  I was accepted into the College of Architecture and Planning.  My future looked bright.

One day, I woke up with numerous health concerns all of which grew worse with stress.  Suddenly, I could no longer read.  As I read, the words would mock me and block me from reading any further.  A simple word like 'but' was impossible to get past.  In my head, the word didn't read correctly and I'd have to read it again until it fit the right pace. 

This is difficult to explain.  It makes no sense.  As I type, I can akin it to my typing issues.

I type a sentence. I type a sentne   I type a I type a sen   I type a senten   I type a sentence.  If I catch a typo, I must immediately correct it.  I do not erase only to the misspelling.  I must erase the entire word or sentence depending on my level of stress.   Currently, that level is low.  I misspelled level like this levle.  I deleted only the last l and completed the word lev- level.  Are you with me?

This type of compulsion is frustrating.  It slows me down and takes up time, but it does not affect the quality of my life- at this time.  If I were to become obessesed with writing this post perfectly and completing it quickly, conceivably I could sit here for hours without eating lunch or dinner or cleaning the house.

Luckily, I have learned to work around these blips in my brain.  Sharing the affliction with others helps too.  Family and friends can hold me accountable.  Jokes work but shame just aggravates the disorder.  It's a very fine line.

Remember in grade school when you said, (Yes, I am talking to YOU) "Step on a crack, break your Mother's back?"  Did you step on cracks?  I remember kids jumping over them on the sidewalk, I remember other kids stomping on the cracks, still others just walked across them without thinking anything of it at all.

What did I do? I struggled.  I didn't want people to stare at me.  I didn't believe if I stepped on a crack my mother's back would immediately break.  I shut my eyes.  Sometimes, I held my breath.  I had to step over the crack to get to class.  I couldn't draw attention to myself. 

When people teased me or even just looked at me funny, I turned pomegranate.  So, I developed a pace.  Walking with my stride paced perfectly I could avoid all pre-planned cracks. If the sidewalk had cracked from the elements I could not avoid jumping or bumping into my neighbor.

As a teenager, I tried switching off my bedroom light and jumping into my bed from across the room before the light went out.  Of course, I knew this was impossible. I hoped to avoid walking on the floor in the dark.  Apparently, the monsters under my bed stayed idle until the lights were off. 

Luckily, I was a smart cookie.  I would go to bed early and read until my brother or parents came to bed then I would holler at them, "Can you please turn my light off?"  Problem solved.

OCD has nothing to do with intelligence or the ability to tell right from wrong or sanity from insanity.

Intellectually, I knew the act of stepping on a crack would not break my mother's back.  Spiritually, I believed God was watching over me.  I could pray to save her back.

But there is always that 'What if?'  What if a coincidence occured and something bad happened after I stepped on a crack?  What if something bad happened if I stepped on my floor in the dark?  Perhaps, I'd step on a spider or a mouse?  What if I read the word wrong and I failed the test?  What if I made a mistake and someone I loved died.  What if...

Coincidences are grueling.  Oprah says there are no coincidences.  Don't tell that to an OCD.  The strand of logic is broken.  If this = that, then that caused this with no relative cause to rhyme or reason.

In fourth grade, (I've discussed this before) we were given a card to fill out.  One of the questions asked for religious affiliation.  My parents never went to church, occasionally I went with an Aunt.  Distraught over the question I took it home and asked my mother what to say.  I didn't want to write n/a.  What would people think? 

"We're Christians, write that."
"We don't go to church!"
"We believe in Jesus.  That makes us Christians."
"They want to know what church we go to!  I go to different churches."
"Just, put Protestant on the line.  It will be fine."
"I don't want them to know I'm Protestant!"
"We are not Catholic.  We believe in Jesus.  You are Protestant."

I didn't exactly understand.

"I haven't been baptized. I'm not Christian."
"You've been baptized."
"Oh, I don't know, but you've been baptized."
"Were you there?"  "How come I don't remember?"
"It was a long time ago."  "Just drop it.  I'll fill out your card."

After that, I went to church as much as I could. I had several offers to be baptized. I wanted to be baptized.  I didn't want to be a sinner.  I  had heard the stories.  But I felt my family should be there with me. I was also filled with fear.

I saw kids slammed in the head, and people immersed in creeks, and holy water splashed in faces, and hands hovered over heads...  Pastors, Preachers, Priests, Ministers, Reverends.  The only thing I didn't see was a Rabbi.

I didn't want to do something so important without my family there. 

They weren't coming.  People, asking me to persuade them to come, only stressed me out more and kicked in my fears that something bad would happen.  I couldn't think about that- it would greatly reduce my quality of life. 

Besides, what if I did get baptized and some ironic twist of fate took my life.  I know, I know, I know...   Christian friends.  Nothing to fear.  But I had something to fear, losing my family forever.
To believe or not to believe- That IS the question.

OCD was mostly controllable throughout my life; afflictions came and went.  If you'd like to learn more about them or share some of your own drop me a note and we'll swap odd stories.

In college and after, I did a bunch of Catholic stuff.  Marriage classes, counseling, and etc.  Not only must you have documentation of baptism but you must be confirmed and generally a member to take part in communion.  I'd sit in the pew as everyone filed past me.  Singled out as a sinner, oh the humiliation, oh the OCD reactions it would bring.

A twist of fate, a project  to design a church, introduced me to the Episcopalian Church.  The bridge between Catholics and Protestants.  Although I frequented many churches since the initial introduction, this version of Christianity had struck a chord of acceptance in me.

My mother once told me that she did not want to baptize me into a particular religion.  It would be my choice and not a label that someone else had imposed.

I grappled with this idea when my children were born.  I also feared death.  What if they die without being baptized.  Do I care?  Does it matter? 

The  twenty-minute ride home from the hospital after their birth was the longest drive of my life and the lowpoint of my OCD.  I am surprised that I lived through it without suffering a nervous breakdown.

I guess, I didn't.  It was insane. Totally insane... and I did it twice.

I couldn't breathe, I couldn't sit still, I couldn't look out the windows, I couldn't look away from my child, I couldn't live and enjoy the moment.  OCD had taken its toll and sheer panic had taken hold.  I didn't sleep for four years.  I had to make sure the children kept breathing throughout the night.  You laugh, you think surely I jest.  I can assure you this is no joke.

When the unreligious/unchurched die my mother often says, "Don't worry a preacher was there."  "They were baptized before they died."  Who is worrying me or you?  I suppose it matters somewhere to someone but does it matter to me?  I've heard a lot of people say, "Well, it can't hurt."  That's true, isn't it?

Forget about me, I wanted to baptized the children.  No matter what they decide later on they will be saved as long as they believe in their hearts, right?  But, OCD kept blocking me.  What if I baptize them and they get killed in a car accident on the way home?

Yeah, yeah, yeah - God and such.  BUT what IF?
Oh, the irony.  Oh, the dread, how could I live with myself?

Either way, I live in fear.  I live in shame.  What if they get sick and die before they've been baptized? 

Can you feel the stress building?  It's been six long years with very little sleep.

At the height of my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I lived with an alcoholic.  I attended AA meetings. I took away the best lessons ever, "Let go and let God" and "Live and let Live".

Choose a phrase that best fits you - it works.

I am a recovering Obsessive Compulsive.  I lived in a funk.  A fog of worry hovered over my life.

I let it go for too long.  The biggest fear I had  last week, while getting baptized at the age of forty-one, "What would the congregation think of me?"  I have become an active member of the church.  I was embarassed and ashamed that I had waited for so long.

Irony is to blame but there is something else too -

My family and friends.  What if something happens to them before they get the chance?  Do I care?  Do they?  Does it matter?  The problem is, I just don't have an answer.

I don't care what you believe or where you go or where you don't go, but I want to go with the people I love and I want them to go with me.  Wherever.

I know some people don't like church.  I know some people fear it.  I know some people feel ashamed. I know some people don't care.  I know lots of those people have Jesus in their hearts and lots of them don't but most of them are good people, either way.  What I don't know is if any of it matters.

Some people need more.  I needed more.  A heavy weight has been lifted from my back.

Now, I can not only live and let live but also let go and let God.

If my children choose something different, that's okay. 
If they go astray and come back another day, that's okay too.

I no longer have to worry about the What if's.  For me, no matter how many cracks I step on, it's in God's hands now.  I can't change fate.

Years of habits will take years to break- don't be surprised if you catch me pacing my steps to avoid the cracks.

And what did the congregation say?  "Congratulations on your baptisms." 

That was that, so simple, so easy, and so many fears washed away with a simple splash.

This Sunday, I breathe easier than last. 

What's on your list?  Keep moving forward!