The Eve Of New Year

As we close out 2009 we all go through a time of reflection. What kind of year did I have?

In 2009:

I got married
I published my first book
I watched my children blossom in new directions
I mourned the loss of loved ones
I preached my first sermon
I was reminded of the precious qualities of family
It was a tremendous year!

I don’t look back for too long though. Time has taught me that this can be hazardous to my heath. It reminds me of trying to drive a car while looking in the rearview mirror. Probably wouldn’t be a good idea to do this for a long time. You never know where it might land you.

In looking forward, I have more aspirations;

I want to start taking piano lessons
Publish book #2
Encourage my children to focus on all of the goodness they have to offer – grow baby grow!
Be a wonderful wife, friend and partner

Spend more time doing nothing

Contribute to a greater good
Continued growth and passion in my Faith

It is going to be a Wonderous year.

Tomorrow I will also start another great adventure for 2010 and you can track the progress! 

Wishing you a safe New Years Eve.  The spirit of celebration comes from the heart!

There is Snow place like Home!

Have you ever heard the term let it snow?

Well after the Christmas Blizzard of 2009 we may want to rethink this whole white Christmas idea?  Yes, it snowed and snowed and snowed.  Then when it was all done (or so we thought) the winds kicked in just to remind us of how fast and far this fluffy stuff can travel.  The snow drifted over fences, signs, cars anything vertical was covered. 

What a winter wonderland indeed.  The snow provided a blanket of white icing across the landscape.  The reflection of the Christmas lights at night made the horizon especially bright and beautiful.  The other blessings of a blanket of white is how fresh, clean and new everything appears.  

I also have a new appreciation for people with jobs that place them outside.  All of the delivery people and drivers.  They are bringing good tidings to people and gifts from afar in the midst of all of the white fluff.

Did I mention how cold the snow is?  I was shoveling today and there is no feeling like the one you get when you are coming in from the cold.  My cheeks and nose had lost most feeling and the minute my face was inside I could feel the thaw begin and the feeling returned.  What an interesting sensation.

While this blizzard has been an inconvenience in some shape for most of us it has also been entertaining, bright and beautiful.  I hope to hang on to these visions as I continue to make a path through snow drift after snow drift.  Another miracle of nature!

Blessings to you as the New Year is one day closer.

A Few Thoughts

The sounds of the holidays illuminate all of our senses;

The lights dazzle our eyes

The songs touch our hearts in praise and thanksgiving

Our faith is SO strong this time of year.

Let our vision of the coming year be filled with HOPE, JOY, LOVE & GRACE!!

I am grateful for the ALL of the blessings of the season….most of which are unseen but felt!

Anatomy of a Winner

Does anyone ever remember who came in second? 

Who lost the last Super Bowl?  Who won the silver medal?  Do we pay attention to these competitors?  Perhaps reading this frustrates you?  The focus of our attention is usually on the winner.  The entity that completes their mission of victory.

Recently, I watched a team of over 80 students come in second.  You read that right, 80 students, one team.  Actually in this case they are all part of the cast of the One Act Play “Anatomy of Gray.”  This was performed by Gretna High School with a cast and crew of over 80 students.  Gretna High School has a tradition spanning the last 15 years for either being in the top running for One Act Competitions.  This year’s production was especially good and the setting was midwest Indiana in the 1800’s.  The play deals with death, sickness and ultimately hope.

Beyond the storyline of the play, imagine how challenging it was to get 80+ high school students to collaborate to pull together an amazing production such as this.  In a word= AMAZING.  However coming in second at the State Competition still stings.  Many of the parents, friends and fans made the 2 hour trek to watch the State performance.  The awards were announced 2 hours after the final performance and the Gretna crowd sat in shock.  This was their finest performance and to come in second just wasn’t satisfying.

So, this is where the gratitude lesson begins.  Reframing and changing the focus of the situation is necessary to FULLY CELEBRATE the reality of the situation.  I began to touch on this earlier in this blog.  What can we celebrate?  In a day and age when the press is quick to publish headlines about the latest teenage shooting, robbery or drunk driving incident, we have a group of over 80 students woven together to create a magical moment.  What an accomplishment.  These students were focused and dedicated to something much bigger than themselves.  Collectively they created a believable and amazing story.  They took us on an adventure and reminded us of the power of the human spirit.

We can ALL be grateful for this experience.

This production is a WINNER.  It is a Champion of Spirit, Hope, Teamwork and more.

It is with Gratitude that we close out the 2009 One Act Season.

Thank you Gretna High School One Act.  There is a silver lining to all things GRAY.

Mr. Winter

As I type this entry I can hear the howl of the wind as it blows more than a foot of snow around outside.  To say it is a blizzard seems to be an understatement.  Mr. Winter has made his entrance with a <pow>.  I guess he wanted to make sure we didn’t forget how very white, wet and relentless winter can be.

In the midst of this storm I am humbled with the gift of heat and warmth.  I am grateful for all of the blankets I will dive under and sleep between this evening.  I am also grateful for the flames that flicker and dance in my fireplace.  They are mesmerizing as I listen to the sound of the swirling wind outside.  The action of the flames and the sounds of the wind develop in to a complete show which astonishes the senses.

During the day the sounds of children frolicking in the snow reminded me of the magic of this season; winter.  The joy of building a snowman, sledding and exploring all of the possibilities with the white stuff – it’s all reflected in the snow.  This white blanket is fresh an clean. 

It gives the horizon a whole new complexion. 

For now I will enjoy watching the change on the horizon safely tucked in flannel and slippers with a cup of hot cocoa. 

Perhaps I will venture out when the wind stops…pass me a marshmallow?