Reflections on Life

Five Really Short Stories 1. While I waited for a friend, I sat at a tiny bistro table, with a cup of cinnamon-plum tea. Two women sitting close to me were talking. One of them said to the other, “you really have a servant heart.” It was expressed so simply. She didn’t say, “you give so […]

Peace Train

Have you ever spontaneously boarded a shiny railroad car (encouraged by people yelling “come on, join us, it’s going to be fun!”), thinking, “this will be a great adventure” only to learn, too late, that the final destination isn’t anywhere near where you thought you’d end up? When that happens, you have choices: 1. jump off at […]

Failure & Grace

she tries to ignore it, but the desolation demands attention. it won’t let her wander outside its constrictive boundaries; to simply be. it taunts her, saying, “you’ve failed in so many ways”, “do you know how often you’ve screwed up?”, “listen to me tell you about your weaknesses, your shortcomings, your pain”, “let me hold […]

Singing, Pain, Tolerance, Dust

Singing   As the sun rose, I sat facing the garden. The trunk of the majestic locust tree was on the right, the branches of the stately pines, heavy with newly fallen snow were on the left. Nature was singing. I felt small—not only physically. I felt my incorporeal smallness. I thought about an evening when […]

The Pendulum

hurrier and hurrier i run, racing through daylight, before twilight dances on our earth the pendulum swings… i used to try to give the right answers now i remember to ask the right questions fueled by the knowledge that the light will fade, that the dark will come, that my days will be numbered, i […]

Storytelling

During a flight to Florida, I sat between two women. The one on my left was 77 years old. She and her husband were traveling from Quebec. She asked to borrow my wrap because she was cold (she also had her right arm pretty much on my lap the entire time) and she told me about her […]

Clouds

Clouds are amazing, but we often miss them, caught up in our fast-paced (often frenzied) lives. We see only what’s right in front of us—myopia blocking out all else. Last week, I was driving down the road and just had to pull into the parking lot of “closed for the season” ice cream parlor because […]

Fear

I light the candles as dusk envelopes the space. I don’t like the dark. I see things in the shadows that I don’t see in the light. I hear things that are silenced in the day. I’m afraid of the dark. Fear can freeze us in place; it can bring us to our knees in […]

Hearts, Flowers & Valentine’s Day

It’s widely held that Valentine’s Day honors a third-century, Roman priest named (you guessed it) Valentine. According to one account, he performed secret weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. Another narrative asserts that an imprisoned Saint Valentine sent a letter to the woman he loved, signed “from your Valentine.” Either way, the lore surrounding […]

Courage

When I think of courage, the first thing that comes to mind is bravery—military personnel in war zones protecting our freedom; firefighters running into burning buildings carrying out those who are trapped; donors giving a kidney or bone marrow to someone they’ve never met; teenagers standing up to bullies who, once again, are going to terrorize […]

Cup of Life

What if you fill your cup of life? Not overfill it with boring or uninspiring activities or meaningless possessions. (Do you ever fill your life with tangible stuff to drown out the lack of real stuff?) Not overload it with placeholders that scream “my cup’s full!”. But, rather, fill it to the brim with the wholeness of […]

Drive-Thru Lives

The first “drive-thru” was at a St. Louis bank in 1930, and since that time we do a lot more than make deposits without ever leaving our cars. We can “drive-thru” to buy postage, meals, and coffee; to drop off books, dry cleaning, and movies; to get a flu shot or, even, to get married. […]

Core Beliefs, Expectations & Sleep Talking

Core Beliefs reflect the essence of self—what we consider absolute truths about ourselves, others and the world. (They’re very different from “on the surface” thoughts that change depending on what’s going on in your life.) Life/World Core Beliefs sound like: the world is a dangerous place (-) honesty is always best (+) people are fundamentally self-serving […]

Falling Down—Literally & Proverbially

I’ve mentioned vestibular neuritis before, but what’s interesting is that as I live with this condition, that isn’t life-threatening but is lifestyle-threatening, I think about how blessed I am to have this as my most serious physical disadvantage. Vestibular Neuritis Information about motion, equilibrium, and spatial orientation is provided by the vestibular system which detects gravity […]

Broken

This isn’t a “happy” story about lasagna, green sweaters or cloth napkins. It’s a story about humanness and brokenness. I’m not talking about broken hearts but, rather, broken spirits— when you know you have worth, but can’t count it, when it feels like life has been sucked out of you, when you’ve lost, given up, or […]

Winds of Change

Do you ever wonder what you could do to bring more peace and joy into your home and world? Do you have lists (in your head, on your phone, on little scraps of paper) of what you’d like to change? I watch the ripples change their size but never leave the stream… and so the […]

Building Blocks

“Peaceful” doesn’t just happen—not with relationships, careers and definitely not with homes. There are people who always seem frantic and stressed (and I’ve been there more often than I like to admit) and I know people who seem to actually “float” through life buoyed by an endless stream of good luck (hmmmm….maybe it’s them, right?). […]

Beginning Anew (every day if necessary)

In January, many of us evaluate the past year and make resolutions—resolving to find a different way of living; to do something like lose weight, eat healthier or get organized (love this one), or not do something like smoke, overspend or procrastinate. We forget, however, that each day is an opportunity to begin anew—a chance to begin to create different realities. I’m […]

Joyful Presence

Like every year, the week before Christmas was a whirlwind of activity. Before the 25th, there were presents to still be wrapped (not part of my typical reality since I like having things done ahead of time), groceries to be bought, a table for sixteen to be set, music selections to be chosen (yep, just a […]

Imminent (Moment By Moment) Behavior

imminent—forthcoming, impending behavior—the manner of conducting ourselves Imminent Behavior—how you’re going to respond, in the time immediately in front of you. It’s different from future thinking that sounds like: “Next year (month, week) I’m going to do things like: be kinder (find God, give back)”, or “When I have the right job (relationship, home) then, I’ll become happy”. In […]

‘Twas The Day After Christmas

As I sat drinking a tea, from a cup I gave my Mom before she died, I thought about my twist on “Twas The Night Before Christmas” from a few years ago. May the end of this calendar year bring you peace, blessings and joy. Kay ‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the place, […]

Sight Lines

Have you ever set your sight on a very specific destination—a job, a relationship, a lifestyle, an adventure—and never arrived there at all, or got there in an obscure, circuitous way? • How did that make you feel? In your attempt to reach that destination were there times when you found yourself “off the beaten path” […]

The Present of Presence

This post was originally published in 2014. I had it on my calendar to post again today (8 days before Christmas 2018) and coincidentally (or not, since things like this happen all the time), it was the topic at church yesterday. It’s eight days before Christmas! Emails regarding last-minute presents flood our inboxes. Anyone we’ve […]

Truth and Dare

I’ve never played the game “Truth or Dare”, and it’s not something I’d ever want to do. I’ve heard too many horror stories of young people (and, sometimes not-so-young people) divulging information that should have been theirs alone, or performing a “dare” that was dangerous, humiliating or out of their comfort zone. (It’s sad what […]

Unpacking Christmas

I’ve been unpacking boxes of Christmas ornaments. In the boxes, there are the little drummer boys that Sara and Erin made with their grandmother thirty years ago, fragile glass ornaments and precious works of art that say, “best Nana ever”. There are gifts from friends and special pieces Mom gave me. Some are many decades […]