Have you ever had a day filled with problems only to realize that if the problems didn't happen, you might be dead?
     Picture it.  I am younger, 23 or 24, and I am working all the time.  I have a job that I tend to come in a few minutes early for and leave a few minutes late, and I don't take breaks.  Not a problem, normally, until this place is put on notice that they have to pay overtime if someone goes over 40 hours a week.  It normally added up to only about 5 hours extra a check, but it was good for me because it allowed me to get Deavan little extras.  Needless to say I was called into the office one day and sent home that Friday, 5 hours early and told I couldn't do that anymore.  I must say I was very upset, crying on the inside, but I complied and left early.  I got into my car and sighed, but thought, hey, I have some time to myself.  WOW.  I decide I will get some food. 
     I have to go a different way home to get this food. 
     This is the important part.
     As I pull into the place I am going to get food, my Steering Column breaks.  I cannot steer my car.  I am lucky that I am almost stationary because I can easily put on the brake and call a tow-truck...Which was even MORE money.
     At first I am a bit angry, my luck seems so bad, but then I start thinking.  As I am waiting for a tow-truck to pay the 50.00, I don't have, and just lost from work as well, I calculate the miles I have driven.   I also envision where I would be if I had left work at my normal time which would not allow me to stop and get some food.
     IF I had not been let off work early, I would have been on the highway, about 1 mile from my exit.  This stretch of land has a huge curve, and in theory, I could have been turning my wheel at 65 m.p.h. when my steering column went out.  I would have smashed into the bridge, or flown off the side of the road and smashed into cement barricades.  After figuring this out, I was so emotional I had a friend drive with me to confirm the calculations.  I was right.  I would have been on the turn when the steering wheel went out.
     In the end, did this save my life?  I can't be sure, but I think it did or at least prevented me from a horrific accident.  After that I saw life a little bit differently.  I didn't instantly get mad over "bad luck" because I started to think that sometimes, bad luck happens to prevent something even worse. 
     Thanks for stopping by!!!  I shall catch you on the FLIP SIDE.  xoxox  Elicia

If you read my books, you may be familiar with the scene, only difference, it is not dramatized and it ends in peace.
     Scene: Elicia, age 15, sophomore year.
     I know you may not realize this, but I am a big girl.  I am 5'8" and at the time weighed about 138.  I was also strong, am strong.  This may not seem tall now, what with models everywhere, but it was tall, add into the fact that I walk strong and full of confidence.
    Story:  I walk into the girls bathroom at lunchtime.  It is full of girls doing the normal societal circle when a fight is about to begin.  I am still surprised that I didn't hear the all too familiar chant: "Fight, Fight, Fight."
 A girl, sophomore, was very tiny, a cute little blonde girl of about 5 feet and weighing no more than 80 pounds.  She is crying as another girl, about 5'5" weighing, I would guess, 120 is being prompted by other bullies to beat the girl to teach her a lesson.  The girl's supposed crime: calling the other girl a slut.  While I don't know if this is true, it didn't matter.  What mattered was a child, in my eyes, even though we were the same age, was crying and scared and ALONE.  (I hate when someone is scared and alone)
     I step into the middle of it all, like a superstar I might add, and say, "What is going on?"
     The bully, who I don't think really wanted to be a bully, but had fallen prey to her "crew" said:  "She called me a slut."
     I turned to the little girl, she profusely denied it, but again, it didn't matter, words hurt, yes, but this was really scary.  She was surrounded by no less than 30 girls and about to take a beating.  (I ask: have you ever been beaten so badly you ended up in the hospital, if not, please refrain from psychobabble and lasting scars)
     I said that the girl didn't say it, the bully argued, her friends egged her on, and as she was about to charge, and after she let me know that it didn't concern me, I had no other choice.  I said: "Well I called you a slut too, and I am sure this girl got it from me, so I guess your fight is with me."
     The little girl stopped crying, the room went silent.  This was it.  The girl had to make a decision.  She knew me, knew of me, and her friends did what was right, finally, and they said this was stupid, and they walked away.
     Not as glamours as my stories portray it, but it was something.  The little girl nearly collapsed into a ball of thankfulness and the bully herself was happy.  (She didn't want to fight, she didn't want to hurt someone, and was simply caught up in the all to familiar trap of peer pressure, she told me this later in the day in period 6, yes, we really did know each other.)
     Now you may be wondering, how is it that I, little ol'Elicia, could do what I did.  I took a stand.  It didn't matter to me if I got my ass kicked, I knew I was doing the right thing.  Now of course, I could have tried something more peaceful, which would have worked as well...But this is not about Elicia the Peacekeeper, this is about Elicia the person willing to take a stand.
     If I could go back in time: I would want to try something more diplomatic and save the threat of force as a last resort, but this is life.  We are all flying by the seat of our pants.  We can think about what we did, we can regret, we can rejoices, and we can become better.
     Be brave, be bold, but also, be kind.
     Peace out.  I hope to catch you on the flip side.  XOXOX  Elicia.

The Lover, the Warrior, the Peacekeeper, and the day of Solid Control.  Today we talk about the Peacekeeper.  Have you ever met someone that was born to keep the peace?  It is rare, and though we all strive for peace, some special souls really mean it, it is in their nature.

Imagine, Raven in public school, grade 1, age 7.
I volunteered all the time at the Public School.  The kids knew me well, and I can honestly say, I loved all of them, I can see why teachers do what they do.  In first grade I began volunteering every day at the school, I came right after lunch for language arts and helped the kids with reading and to catch up on their assignments.  For privacy, let us call the girl in the story Jade and the boy in the story George.
     I was in my group when Jade came up to me.  She proceeded to tell me that George, at lunch recesses, called Raven fat.  Jade told me that she told him that Raven was not fat and Raven was nice and she loved Raven.  I thanked Jade, but of course, because I love Raven so much, I was mad.  Very mad.  How dare this little boy do that to my daughter?
     In this class there were different table groups that represented the children's learning level.  There was usually five per group.  I switched groups and went to Raven and asked her what happened.  She told me the story, and she could see that I was mad.  I told her I could tell the teacher and do something, but she told me no.  She said her feelings weren't hurt......BESIDES....He was probably just having a bad day.  She told me that she forgave him and that I should forgive him...because again...he was just having a bad day.
     Well, I listened to her, and I didn't do anything, but I thought, I am going to tell his mother, that little boy needs to learn that it is not okay to bully. 
     The school bell rang, my time was up.  When the last bell rang I went to talk to the boy's mother.  I waited outside with Raven, holding her hand, and wondering how I was going to talk to this boy's mom without her knowing, because she, unlike me, had moved past it, she had even smiled at him and said good-bye.  That is when I saw it.  The boy was being picked up by his older brothers who were...yes you guessed it..picking on him.  I took pause in this moment.  I felt bad for him, and though I was fired up, I walked home with Raven and reflected on what it was I had just watched.
     The next few days at school were strange.  My daughter and her friend were nicer to the boy and I saw a real change in him and I understood that my daughter, though young, knew that this boy was hurting and he only lashed out on her because so many people liked her. 
     Now is all this true?  Yes.  Is my interpretation of the events correct?  Maybe.  What I took away from this was:  Listen to my child, sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong, but you will  never know if you don't listen.  I also learned that sometimes assholes are assholes for no reason, but sometimes, just sometimes they are just acting like the way they are taught.
     WARNING:  This does not mean that you should bend over backwards to be nice to bullies.  This does not mean that you should give and give and give until you are broken, because let's face it...most bullies will leave you broken.  This means that you should try to think about everything.  You can be nice...but know that being nice also means you must be on your guard.  That is why Raven and I balance each other out.  She allows me to take pause, to think, and to hope for the best...and I am there in case the best does not happen.  ;-)  We are better as a team. 
     As always, thanks for joining me.  I will catch you on the flip side.