Preparation

For contemporary Christians, Advent is a time of readiness, an anticipation-filled awaiting of the birth of Jesus. But, what used to be a time of reflection and prayer is often replaced by a season of buying. The “bringing into total perfection” has morphed into bringing in more possessions. Road and internet-weary consumers choose something, anything, […]

Thanksgiving Blessings

Last night, I went to bed hungry. It was by choice, not by necessity. There were moments while lying in the darkened room that I thought about getting up, going into the kitchen, opening a pantry or refrigerator door, and choosing something to eat. But I didn’t. Instead, I thought about the 800 million people on our […]

Buddha Wisdom

I recently did some research on Siddhartha Gautama, often simply called, The Buddha. I’m not very familiar with Buddhism, but a conversation with someone important to me regarding whether the human experience requires significant (maybe continual) suffering. created the desire to learn more.  Gautama was raised in a life of wealth but left opulence behind […]

The Twelve

Twelve —often considered the “perfect” number.  In the Judeo-Christian tradition, twelve is symbolic of God’s authority and perfection. Biblically, there are 187 references, including Jacob’s twelve sons and the ancestors of Israel’s twelve tribes.  In ancient Greece, twelve gods of Olympus were worshiped. In Buddhism, there are twelve stages of existence (Nidanas).  Twelve lines create […]

Expansiveness

Tears—big, fat tears, the kind that makes some men uncomfortable, and many women sigh—rolled down his cheeks. He laid on a hospital bed, his life nearing the end, spending precious moments with the daughter who sat next to him—this daughter who wasn’t his and was always his. He was only in his sixties. He talked about his beloved wife. […]

Thinking, Being Human & Keeping The Glass Half-Full

I often wonder what I’m “supposed” to be doing in this life.  I think a lot, not necessarily a good thing, mind you. Overthinking makes it hard to be successful at meditating and sleeping, and the downside of over-analyzation. In the journey of attempting to “slow my brain down,” I’ve realized that we can over-think things so much that […]

Tuesday Morning (5:20 am)

It’s 5:20 on a Tuesday morning. I tossed and turned for a while before recognizing that I wasn’t going to quiet my brain—that’s decided to run a marathon—so I got up. The air outside is still, almost too still. I sit at my desk with my tea and type away as if the world’s on […]

Exhausted

A thirty-something woman confided that she’s perpetually exhausted—stressful career, young children, constant hamster wheel. It’s tough to manage “Super Mom,” “Stellar Business Person,” and “Amazing Homemaker” at the same time! Of course, she’s tired. Something’s gotta give. I often forget to practice conscious breathing instead, endeavoring to physically and mentally “do everything.” I actually catch myself holding my breath sometimes! Talk about going so […]

What Matters Most

When my granddaughter, Lauren, was ten, she read a story to me about a family with three young children that survived the devastating Joplin, Missouri tornado of 2011. I’m sure that life has never been quite the same for them. The recognition of “what they could have lost” probably still dances through their minds every […]

A Matter of Life or Death

My brother, Bob, diagnosed with his first brain tumor at sixteen, died when he was forty. He beat insurmountable odds. In the last years of his life, he was wheelchair-bound, and his brain lived in the past. Incredibly, through all the surgeries and pain, he never once complained or uttered, “why me?” A life that blessed many […]

Abundance

Abundance:bounty, thriving, plentiful, overflowing Last night, I had two very unusual dreams unlike most of what I usually conjure up (dark or violent, which has never made sense since I don’t read or watch anything with violence). When I woke, the only word that came to mind was “abundance.” What is good, positive, uplifting in […]

Perfect Imperfection

I sat at my desk, in the still darkness of pre-dawn, remembering the past twenty-four hours. Yesterday, I was part of “She Nailed It,” Habitat For Humanity of the Lehigh Valley’s “all women, nail-hammering, relay competition,” which raises funds for affordable housing.  In 2012, when my friend, Betsy, invited me to join the HFH volunteer […]

Life Lessons

• Walk outside whenever you’re able—without music pounding in your ear or eyes glued to the blacktop—listen to the birds and the swaying trees; notice, fully, what’s right around you. • Life is a series of takes and miss-takes. It’s baby-stepping, learning as we go, and taking giant leaps of faith that, sometimes, seem so monumental that […]

Swan Song

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a very dear friend. Miriam, a beautiful woman, lived a beautiful ninety-three years. The funeral home was filled with those of us who love her. Three pastors officiated at the service. All four of her children, and two of her grandchildren, told stories of their life experiences with this […]

Mourning Losses/Morning Losses

One early morning, I sat at my desk, a notebook in front of me, a stack of books on my left, and big, hot tears running down my face. I was thinking about how fast the decades have flown by, aware of how our perception of time changes as we age. Years ago, my granddaughter […]

Peer Pressure

As children, your peers were likely close to your age, but as adults, they’re usually people who have similar backgrounds, social statuses, lifestyles, or abilities, regardless of age.  Peer pressure occurs when you’re influenced to adopt views, goals, or behaviors matching your peer group.  We often think of teenagers when we hear “peer pressure” because […]

Life and Awareness

IIn the winter, when I was very young, I would curl up, as small as I could, next to the bathtub as it filled with water. There wasn’t yet central heat in our home, and the little bathroom was a room without that luxury. The house was heated by coal delivered down a chute and […]

Hope

We need hope—a reservoir of spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental strength. Without it, we wrestle more with the challenges of this world. Hope acknowledges dreams and desires for something “better.” Hope leads to expectations that become birthed into reality. Hope champions optimism, fans flames of faith and silences gongs of hatred. Hope is Rosa Parks […]

Wisdom Words

There have been decades when I moved through life at warp speed, by necessity. Now, cognizant of the fleeting nature of time, “where am I rushing to?” is a question I often ask myself. Although COVID-19 has changed realities significantly for many of us, dashing through life still seems like an embedded part of our […]

The Fabric of You

A while ago, I made pillow covers from delicate fabric with silk fibers of amazing colors. These different threads, woven together, make gorgeous patterns of free form flowers and leaves. The non-selvage edge of this fabric unravels easily and really looking at each strand, I was surprised by how much movement and beauty they had, […]

Bridges & Life, Crossing Troubled Water

Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”➀ was one of the most performed songs of the twentieth century. I’ve always loved the simplicity and significance of these words: “When you’re weary, feeling small,when tears are in your eyes,I will dry them all.I’m on your sideoh, when times get rough,and friends just can’t be found,like a bridge […]

Hatred, Violence, Pain, How Do We Move Forward? (Part 2)

Today, I intended to share the answers I collected from questions regarding the impact of COVID-19. However, responses are still pouring in from: “With all the hatred, violence, anger, pain, and sadness going on right now, how do you think we move forward; how do we make a difference?” This is a big picture life question—a […]

Hatred, Violence, Pain, How Do We Move Forward?

Dear Readers, Yesterday, I reached out to a dozen fellow humans➀ with three questions. COVID-19 was the topic of two of them. I’ll post those answers tomorrow. The third question was one I never imagined asking: “With all the hatred, violence, anger, and pain our country is experiencing, how do we move forward and make a difference?”  […]

I love you, but….

When my grandson Ethan was young, a friend gave him the book, “How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?”. It’s about dinosaurs (children) who do all sorts of kid-like things that make parents frazzled, but then turn around and do something sweet that touches their hearts. The last sentence in the book is “…that’s when […]

Closed Minds

Pre, COVID-19, I parked next to a car with this bumper sticker: “A Closed Mind is a wonderful thing to lose.” When I went back, two women were in the car, so I knocked on the driver’s window and shared how much I love that message, which led to a short conversation about life. Closed-mindedness, unreceptive to […]