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 […]

Soul Searching

This post is dedicated to the people who bravely share their vulnerabilities, pain, and feelings of not being enough; the people who believe they don’t fit in or matter or make a difference; the honest and genuine people who speak their truth. The night was calm, almost apathetic, just like her mind and body and, […]

Rambling Thoughts on The Journey

I open my eyes to the darkness that envelops the room. There are times when I’m fearful of what lurks unseen. I’ve had too many nightmares to feel comfortable in the anonymity of the dark. I take a breath. It’s often in these moments, after sleep free of demons, that I am most in touch […]

Morning Mourning

Last week, I woke up one morning with an appreciation of abundance because of a dream I had. However, today I awoke aware of a feeling of mourning.    Like many (or most) of you, I’ve experienced significant heartbreak, having lost the earthly presence of my parents, brother, and a few dear friends. Those heartbreaking times often […]

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 […]

Perennials and Weeds

Weeding is an ongoing task during spring, beginning with the area next to our neighbor’s home. Then, the front beds, vegetable garden, and underneath the blossoming pear tree where the shrubs I planted almost two decades ago (thinking, “they’re so pretty and just the right color”) have become much too large. Sometimes, I don’t research the “will […]

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 […]

Mistakes and Forgiveness; Forgiveness of Mistakes

Mistakes…Miss Takes I’m not a movie-making expert, but I know some basics. Actors do “table reads” during rehearsals going through each scene. They “block” to make sure they’re in the right place with the right equipment. There are “takes” when they’re in front of the cameras—sometimes they get everything right the first time. Often, however, […]

White Cloth Napkins

Like many of you, I try to make everything “perfect” when entertaining guests. I want them to know that their presence is important; that I care enough to “pull out all the stops.” And, when hosting an event, I want it to be as seamless as possible so everyone can relax, laugh, talk, and know […]

Winds of Change

Have you ever wondered what you could do to birth more peace, joy, and harmony into your life?  Are the cycles of your reality playing over and over each day like a skipping record?   Does your life ebb and flow but never really evolve despite fervent prayers and petitions for change?  Has COVID-19 impacted your […]

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb?

March coming “in like a lion and going out like a lamb“ ❶ is an unambiguous proverb. The weather’s unpredictability is typical; it can be 10˚and snowing one day and 50˚ three days later. We vacillate between standing in the sun’s warmth and shoveling snow!  These two animals seem very different: ferocious vs. gentle, intimidating vs. docile. But, Jesus […]

Seeking Joy

Joy!   What does it “look” like, where do you find it, why does it often seem so elusive? But before we answer those questions, it’s essential to understand that “Joy” and “Happy” aren’t the same experiences. Happy is a response to something external, dependent on circumstances and emotions; an “in the moment,” state of mind, outward reaction. It […]

Living With Intention

Sometimes we humans fly through our days, pretending we have it all together when, in reality, we’re merely going through the motions. Many of us have perfected the “my life is amazing” dance but never figured out who we truly are, maintaining the status quo—no matter how poorly it reflects what our hearts truly desire. Sadly, many […]

A Hope-Filled New Year

“Happy New Year!” These words—maybe this year more than ever—hold so much hope as we pray for freedom from the ravages of a virus, an opportunity to heal a hurting nation, and awareness of the value of each human. A fresh start and the ability to look forward is beautiful—it’s like stepping into a new, […]

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 […]

Peace During the Holidays

The antonym for “peaceful” is “unpeaceful.” Okay, that’s fair, but I was thinking of something a little more descriptive like: “chaotic,” “tense,” exhausting,” or “stressful.” What emotions do you experience when you don’t feel at peace? Countless situations can be responsible for creating the opposite of a calm and tranquil home:• full-time caregiving for someone with a debilitating physical […]

Thankful—Full of Thanks

THANKFULconscious of benefits received, relieved that something has (or hasn’t) happened, contented, appreciative, grateful благодарно, reconnaissant, אסיר תודה, grato, 감사한, riconoscente, agradecido, 感謝している, dankbaar, ευγνώμων, 感激 “Thankful” is expressed and felt differently. Many of us have the privilege of being grateful for people who love us, health, a career (or retirement), a roof over our heads. In […]

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 […]

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 […]

Awareness, Pain, Movement, Grace

Death Awareness In earlier posts, I’ve written about Maraṇasati—recognizing that as we’re living, we’re dying. I always hold the fragility of life somewhere in my frame of consciousness, but, right now, it takes center stage even more often. Rampant Pain racism hopelessness stress judgment being unseen fear shame hate with big capital letters psychological abuse marginalization brutality […]

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 […]

Gratitude, Even in the Chaos

Gratitude is an “Amen, Thank You!” to our world. When we only see what we don’t have, we close the door to the joy that comes from acknowledging what we do have. Many people wish they could walk in someone else’s shoes. Sometimes, that’s jealousy-based, but more often, it’s the result of wanting lives more like what they presume (the […]

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?”  […]

In Memoriam

Memorial Day—a time for formally remembering the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces—began after The American Civil War to honor the over 625,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who died in that war. The sheer enormity of memorializing and burial took on immense significance. Originally called “Decoration Day,” because decorated graves […]