Today

The house is quiet except for the dehumidifier running in the background. We had the rainiest summer since 2011 and the rainiest September on record, in 117 years. It reminds me a lot of Portland, Oregon, where I’d visit my daughter, Erin, who lived there for a while. My prayer list is really long right […]

Beautiful Exclamation Points

Rain is pouring down as the Bride walks to the two-hundred-year-old church. Four men, wearing yellow rain jackets, carry a canopy over her (and the beautifully embellished wedding gown with an eight-foot train). Her sister—the Matron of Honor—and her parents are all squeezed under the canopy as well. Horns blow, and people wave, as well-wishers watch the […]

Weeds

One early morning, with the ground soaked from the previous night’s downpour, I walked to the garden and started pulling weeds. As I worked, I realized how many similarities there are between removing undesirable plants from our gardens, and removing non-plant “weeds”—people, situations, painful memories, hurtful experiences—from our lives. Both kinds of weed removal require […]

Reality Check

The garbage truck came rolling down the street around 6:40, as I sat with my tea and my book, at the end of my twenty minutes of quality time with God (something I am trying to be much better at starting every day with). I watched as two men jumped off. One turned the trash […]

Expansiveness

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

God Time

Last week, I was helping a client—who has a special place in my heart—get into the rhythm of starting the day with “God Time”. The morning after our time together I sent a note with these reminders: make a cup of tea or coffee; don’t do any “chore like” tasks other than this one—the things […]

The Folder

You’re a third-grade child and you decide that you’re going to save your “special”, “important” papers in a plain folder. You write your name on it and start carrying that folder around with you wherever you go. One day you’re walking down the street and a couple of pages blow out of The Folder. You […]

Intentional Living/Blocks of Time, Week 3

During the past two weeks, we’ve been working on creating intentional living by understanding exactly how we spend our time. Today, we’ll finish the series that started with Intentional Living and Blocks of Time and Blocks of Time, Week 2. So far, we’ve covered: • creating awareness of what you do each week, thereby • allowing yourself to […]

Character Development

In a well-written novel, or drama series, we learn about the characters’ personalities as they’re slowly revealed to us. As we go more “in-depth” with them, we observe how they walk through life and begin to understand what makes them tick—what causes them to act the way they do. Their “characters” are being developed right […]

thoughts

words that give life words that kill one thought, turned to action, that makes someone’s day better one thought, turned to action, that causes someone pain fragile moments where futures are built fragile moments where fates are decided hearts bleeding profusely, spilling over the joy of others hearts hardened, unable to move at all whispered […]

Making Time For What Truly Matters

Seven years ago a devastating tornado struck Joplin, Missouri. I read about a family of five who lived through that twister—the deadliest one that our country had seen in over sixty years. One of the children was separated from the rest of the family when the tornado set down. I cannot begin to imagine the […]

Being In the Dark to Find the Light

One morning, I woke up long before the sun was rising. I walked into the bathroom, closed the door and flipped the light switch. Nothing happened. Then I realized there were no lights anywhere. The programmed lights outside weren’t on. The little light on the electric toothbrush wasn’t flashing. Hmmmm….no instant gratification light going on here this morning.  […]

9/11/2001 and Maranasati

On September 9th, 2001, the cruise ship pulled out of the harbor, while passengers looked back and took photographs as the vessel left the port. The day was crisp and beautiful as the New York shoreline, and the majesty of The World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, disappeared from view. A man stood next to one of […]

Finding Grace and Peace in Giving Up

There are lines (sometimes very fine) between embracing fully, accepting, settling and giving up.   Today, let’s talk about giving up. It’s easy to imagine abandoning hope when you: feel scared or vulnerable, hide in the shadows, don’t have the support of those who are “supposed” to love you, are victimized or minimized or give […]

Love Letters

In early 2016, I wrote a letter to my then ten-year-old granddaughter with ten specific thoughts. It was a spur-of-the-moment sharing, hand-written on simple lined “school” paper with holes in the margin, around which I drew little flowers. She asked me to hang onto it for her and I took it out, and reread it, […]

Wellness and Choices, Part 2

Last week we talked about environmental wellness. This week let’s move on to how choices we make impact our emotional, social and spiritual wellness. Eight Areas of Wellness 1. physical wellness 2. occupational wellness 3. financial wellness 4. intellectual wellness 5. environmental wellness 6. emotional wellness—taking care of yourself from a “feeling” perspective; living as stress […]

Ubuntu, Leaves & The Source

Ubuntu is the South African concept of lifting others up, affirming their value, and being genuinely joyful that their lives are good. It means “humanity”—being aware that we are part of a bigger picture; knowing that we all suffer when others are oppressed. We are not isolated but, rather, joined in our humanness. It does not […]

Letting It Be

How often do we give ourselves permission to “be”— to walk past the “to do” list, to ignore the insistent demands of technology, to take the time to be fully with others, or ourselves or God, to be okay, to simply be? One day, when I had no scheduled client appointments, I chose to let the […]

Premeditated Kindness

We often have a myopic view of the world, which limits us from “seeing” outside our own—frequently very limited—life. This narrow perspective leads to behavior that can be anything from inconsiderate to downright mean. We get so caught up in our reality that we don’t “see” how we sometimes behave. I truly believe that “nice” is underrated. I also believe […]