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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Slow down Just A Little!

I sat to chat with the father of a 14 months old and listened to him tell me about the wonderful linguistics program he was enrolling his daughter in.
 “Can you believe she can learn up to 5 languages in no time if she goes to this program!” 
I saw how excited he was and I wondered if he would welcome my unsolicited advice. I offered it anyway.
She will only be little for a short while. Before you know it she will be off to elementary school where learning facts will be the rule of the day. 
The best gift you can give her is your time. Leave work sooner than later so you can enjoy  family dinners. Read bed time stories, enjoy milk and cookies, visit an animal shelter, go to the park, run in the grass, dip your feet into a stream and look for frogs, plant trees and gardens, watch the tomatoes grow. All this will teacher her to respect the natural world. As she gets older show her how to care for others by taking up a cause and visit nursing homes.
Remember the world is her classroom.
You are raising a global citizen and this takes nurturing. The kind that no text book can give and no course can instill. It must come from an investment on your part to be PRESENT in her life.
Too many parents are rushing from one activity to another hoping to raise the next great one yet all the while forgetting the most important foundations must be nurtured by parents and teachers in the early years. 
All is lost if we do not raise our children to be good people!
Show her compassion and she will learn to empathy.
Demonstrate acts of kindness so she will pay it forward.
Teach her tolerance and acceptance so she will respect differences.
Value her so she will learn that she matters.

This can’t be done if you’re rushing from one structured activity to another.
This is not to say that organized sports, dance and art classes have nothing to offer. They do just at the right time and not all at the same time!

So slow down just a little. 

Friday, February 10, 2017


I woke up this morning a better version of myself and simply grateful to be alive; watching the snowflakes dance their way to the ground made me feel nostalgic.
How did I get here, to 56?
Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was a child, much like the ones who fill my schools; free, abundant, hopeful, and innocent?
She is still with me,watching and hoping.
Most everyone lives for tomorrow but the past year has taught me to live for now, this moment.
 It’s such a waste of precious time to keep aiming for the prize-what prize I wonder?
The next moment belongs to no man; people die, friends are lost, health fails and greed consumes.
I’ve learned that advice is best served lightly and only when requested.
I give no council unless I’m asked and even then what right do I have to influence another’s journey.
Perception is everything. No two people see circumstances in the same way.
 Acceptance of our short comings, living the truth, gratitude and love give us the best version of ourselves.
Ego is destructive on so many levels and shaded eyes and lies blind us to the true nature of the people we walk with.
Good people and bad people are placed in our path for a reason. Sometimes it’s not always obvious why.
Life has a way of revealing.
We have all lost and loved, laughed and cried, triumphed and failed.
This is our journey.
Blessed is to be surrounded by family and friends-past and present-many or few.
They are part of the story we’ve written and the one yet to come.

And if we are here to see the sun rise one more day then we are the richest of men.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Time to Say Goodbye

It isn't easy to let go of people, especially ones that have been part of your life story for more years than you care to remember.
I've found letting go of a woman I called my best friend challenging.
No matter how the journey ended, I'd be lying if I said that many of  my memories of her were not filled with laughter, adventure, tears and challenges. 
They were!
We survived so much together.
Our friendship was not perfect but then neither were we.
You think after 30 years we would have figured it out: how to be true to one another.
She taught me to laugh and for that I will always be grateful.
I'm not certain how we ended up here. Two women that began a friendship when they were barely into their twenties.
Maybe I do know, but those thoughts I will keep to myself.
I can only say that I am filled with regret and sadness-the loss has been profound.
Too many things were left unsaid.
I thought we would be Ethel and Lucy forever, full of our crazy antics,
 but God had a different plan for us.
We only have each other to blame for this tragic ending; God handed us a gift and we squandered it. 
Beyond the bitterness and anger of the she did this, she forgot this, this is mine... are the memories.
I will never forget her.
You go, I go!
I guess we forgot that promise.
I bless her journey and hope God fills her life with abundance.

Cherish your friendships.
This life is but a brief spec in time.
Do not waste it with pride and vanity.
They make a lonely brew.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Fork in the Road

I'm certain most everyone wonders what life might have been had they chosen a different path.
One decision alters our course and the effect of that choice ripples, impacting not only the people we know, but the universe.
It's strange to think that one person in seven billion could have that kind of power.
 We are all interconnected, a singular voice of humanity.

Each act we commit, knowingly or not, echoes through time.

Let's imagine you give a homeless person a hundred dollars and he uses it to clean up and go to a job interview. Had you ignored him he may not have lived another day.
Your phone rings, it's an old friend who weighs heavily on you. In that moment you decide not to answer. What happens?
You let someone into the line of heavy traffic and you save them from an accident.
You drive by an elderly person struggling with grocery bags. Do you stop to help, or not.

You meet two new people, decide to date the first one instead of the second. You later discover the one you passed on went on to become a famous novelist. 

If we could map our lives, we would see the thousands of forked roads we've encountered, the number of times we chose one path instead of the other.

At the end of it all we can have no regrets. Each choice defined and refined us and we must believe that we are meant to be exactly where we are.

If our lives are enriched by the love of family and friends, if our careers are driven by passion then our roads have been well chosen.

“It's the ride of life the journey from here to there living and loving every moment like we have none to spare.” 
― Jess "Chief" BrynjulsonHighway Writings

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Beautiful

The dictionary defines beautiful as possessing qualities that give great pleasure or 
  satisfaction to see, hear, think about; delighting the senses or mind.

Do we all perceive beauty in the same way? Is one person's perception of that which is beautiful the same as another's?

I believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and beauty is seen in different ways by us all. 
Yet there are those who reside in an elite class who are beautiful to everyone. They possess a uniqueness, a perfection, an aura that captivates all beholders. It is to these people that doors open wide.
Many years ago I came across a book that addressed the topic of how human beings, even as infants, respond to beautiful faces.
Beautiful people, many times unknowingly on the part of the other, incite 
more smiles,
better service,
kinder responses,
more attention.
are given more opportunities.

To know this type of beauty is a gift. To see it fade with age is a burden. 
Time is the master who gives no quarter.

Physical beauty does not last forever. Even the beautiful wrinkle and the attention born of their beauty pales and they become invisible.
The new beautiful are born.

It is best to remember that
it is the beauty of the soul that transcends time.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Find Joy in the Ordinary

Most of our time is spent in a state of the ordinary; doing those things we have to do to get by.
It is here in this place that we should find our deepest joy. Living for extraordinary moments to come to find that joy would be such a waste of life.
Yesterday morning as I drove to work along a hilly, isolated road, enveloped by the predawn darkness, brisk cold and falling snowflakes, I thought, "how beautiful is this moment?"
I was alone yet so connected to life.
A smile from a student, a greeting from a coworker, a hug from your children, a cup of coffee waiting at your desk, these are moments of joy.
Knowing that you are where you were meant to be, pursuing a dream, 
being loved by others, all moments of joy.
Joy comes from knowing that somehow, even in the smallest measure, you have made someone's life richer.

Perhaps the greatest joy comes simply from being alive and being connected to that which makes you you, your spirit.
May your journey be blessed as you find your joy!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tell Me Something Good!

Wouldn't it be wonderful if a more that a fleeting segment of the news was dedicated to uplifting human stories?
Mankind needs that.
Every time I watch the news I'm bombarded with atrocities, devastation, natural disasters, the depravity of men.
Surely there is so  much more to the human condition than this.
Tell us good things, show us images of God's landscape, infuse our minds with hope.
If not then what is the purpose of life.
We should not live in fear but in grace, appreciating that the majority of people are good.