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, […]

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. […]

Introspective Tuesday

I’m acutely aware of how years seem to slip through my fingers like grains of sand. Do you ever feel that way? The fragility of life, and how I spend my precious hours, is never far from my awareness.   Today, in a contemplative frame of mind, I’d like to share a piece of poetry. __________ The Library ceiling […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Perspective

Often, true happiness is borne out of understanding what unhappy is. When young, you, likely, didn’t have a myriad of choices, but, as you “came of age,” you may have been able to turn the lens, culling joy from relationships, choosing where to share your heart, knowing when to run from pain, creating (at least to some […]

Moving From Overwhelmed to Serene and Peaceful, Part II

(continued from “Moving From Overwhelmed to Serene and Peaceful, Part I”) When you’re overwhelmed, and life is exhausting, you need to “step aside” for a while by moving away from environments or relationships that impede you from living into your highest self. There are also things you may have to “set aside” like fear, anger, […]

Whole

The waves crash onto the shore as I walk on the deserted beach not long after the sun has decided to grace us, once again, with her morning majesty. Litter—empty plastic cups, a beat-up cooler, two broken chairs, a few beer bottles—carelessly left behind by fellow humans, stands out hideously in the otherwise perfection of […]

Two Short Poems on Hope & Love

For those who feel despair and those who offer hope;  for those who are scared and those who show love, and for those who are lost and those who guide the way, these poems are for you. FINDING HOPE worlds collide the past and the present slamming into each other— painfully, without regard for the […]

Peace & “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

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.” Are there words you’d add to that list? When you’re stuck, in a place in life, where the world feels loud and tumultuous you need to find shelter from the […]

Monday Pondering

PONDERING he has a keen knowing that there is more, but there are times when he feels ill-equipped to change the tide sometimes he stays anchored to the shoreline; afraid to wade out a little deeper, but sometimes he takes a chance and jumps into the ocean and, so, his evolution continues…. sometimes baby-stepping all […]

“What Is Love?” (a really short poem)

“What Is Love?” a t-shirt that proclaims, “super grandpa”, that’s love a note that shares the belief in another’s value, that’s love a perfect apple, left on the kitchen counter on a teacher’s first day of class, that can be love a blanket made for a little girl (and one for her tiny doll), that’s […]

Taking Sides

The guy in a designer suit strolled right past the man sitting on the frayed, and very dirty, piece of blanket on a street corner. It wasn’t as if he didn’t visually see him, it was just that he believed that man wasn’t worth truly seeing. After all, he must be a loser or a drunk […]

The Kindness Challenge, Part II

It’s often easy to get so caught up in our realities that we don’t stop to look at the world through another’s eyes. And, when we don’t take the time to see outside our own little universe, our narrow perspective can lead to behavior that can be anything from inconsiderate to downright mean. Yesterday, I offered up […]

The Kindness Challenge, Part I

I truly believe that “nice” is underrated. I also believe we could use a little more civility, care, and concern, so I’m offering “The Kindness Challenge” hoping that we can, individually and collectively, create a kinder, gentler world” by seeing day-to-day life differently. We’ll look at the first 25 today and finish with the next 25 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Splendor

The waves crash onto the shore as I walk on the beach not long after the sun has decided to grace us, again, with her majesty. I don’t get too far before I see litter-—a few empty plastic bottles, a beaten up cooler, some remnants of a late-night party; all carelessly left by humans. They’re […]

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 […]

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 […]