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, […]

Home Week, Thursday: Spaces

Welcome to home week!  We all experience peace differently. For some of us, “peaceful” is quiet and serene, while, for others, it’s loud and fun. We’ll also react positively to different colors, items and experiences because (of course) we’re different. Some specifics relate to almost everyone, but creating your peaceful home is as unique as […]

Home Week, Tuesday: Peace-Filled Bedrooms

“I’m so glad I’m home!” That’s the sense of relief I want you to experience every time you walk into your house. Think about it like moving from driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic, with blaring horns, and level ten stress level, to pulling onto a beautiful tree-lined street with birds chirping and the smell of honeysuckle […]

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 […]

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, […]

Life In Color

Insight is critical. It’s the ability to understand humans and situations—deeply and intuitively—seeing through the lens of discernment and awareness, opening not only our minds but also our larger world consciousness. When we view life—both the minutiae and the giant, loud “can’t miss” thing—and then harness our awareness to see inward, our sensitivities are altered. […]

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 […]

The Building Blocks of a Peaceful Home

Peaceful doesn’t just happen—not with relationships, careers, day-to-day life, and, definitely, not with homes. Some relationships seem so tumultuous that I wonder how those folks get through the day, and I know those who always seem to be “in the right place” with those they love.  I imagine most people would leave their jobs without hesitation if they could swing it financially, but there are the blessed few […]

Forging Ahead

Life’s current reality can be incredibly burdensome, making it challenging to get past that long enough to believe in fresh starts. Have you ever wished you could rewrite the script? There have been times when (with the luxury of days passed) I’ve thought, “I wish I would have done things differently.” Perhaps I would have […]

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 […]

Christmas Lights and Silent Nights

Yesterday, I went to an appointment, then did some online shopping, caught up in the secular Christmas that it seems most people “celebrate.” I, possibly like others, sometimes forget what really matters. silent night, holy night It’s a cold December—but not yet officially winter—morning. I take off my glasses and write with a pen propelled […]

The Perfect Christmas Tree

Stories about Christmas abound. Some of them are filled with the sadness of missing a loved one. Others recall times when we were far from home, or Christmas didn’t turn out how we painted it in our Currier and Ives imaginations. Mostly, however, the stories we share are the happy ones. This is one of […]

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 […]

Unbalanced and Running on Empty

Balance is a state of equilibrium: stability, calmness, harmony, serenity. But, for many, that equilibrium is missing. My life has been unbalanced. I’ve often not spent as much time honoring and caring for the core of me as I’ve spent dealing with body and mind matters. (Have you experienced that?) Professional jugglers know the importance of balance in […]

Truth & Dare

“Truth or Dare” is something I’ve never played, having heard too many stories of young (and not-so-young) people divulging personal information or performing dangerous, humiliating, or out of their comfort zone “dares.” (What we sometimes do to others, or allow them to make us do, is heartbreaking.) Unlike the game “truth or dare,” I’m talking about truth and dare. […]

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 […]

Tree People

This idea started with a simple concept: “Love songs aren’t just for others. Love songs are for you too.” But, as I thought about the number of people who don’t truly experience love or struggle with trusting love, I realized that, for many, it’s often really tough just to get to the place of self-love. Sadly, some […]

Greener Grass and Rosier Glasses

When “the grass seems greener on the other side,” you look over the “fence”—literally or proverbially—and see your neighbor’s “lawn” as healthier than yours. But, just like us worn-down mortals with eroded and less-than-perfect parts of us, you’re often not close enough to recognize the crabgrass, brown patches, or bare places. As humans, we often have a bias […]

Rainbows and Wizards and Yellow Brick Roads

The chorus to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”➀ has been taking up space in my mind. The background to Dorothy’s adventures, its lyrics, both haunting and hopeful, also spoke to the world as it was in 1939. Then, as I was going through old, hand-written pages of notes, I found this analogy, between The Wizard of Oz (the movie) […]