Change

Today the news was pelted with another story about a shooting at a high school.  As I listened to the news I was driving between the grocery store and home.  I noticed that I drove past 4 schools, 1 high school, 1 middle school and 2 elementary schools.  I imagined all of the children nestled in their classrooms.  Earlier in the day parents rushed through their Monday routine to get their week off to a great start.

As the parents said good-bye to their children I am sure they all envisioned the safety of classrooms, classmates and faculty.  How could a world like this be shattered with senseless violence?  I cannot imagine the agony of everyone involved in such a senseless act. 

Our future is swaying in the balance right now.  Our children deserve a childhood filled with love and laughter.  Safety should not be a preoccupation for their active minds.  We have to be a better society.  Have electronics separated us from our children?  Do you know what your kids are thinking?  feeling?  Who are their friends?  If they are hurting inside, would you know?  Would you know what to do?

I want to strongly encourage all of us to reach out to ALL of the young people around us.  They need us.  Children need role models.  Children need love.  Children need the safety to blossom and grow.  Please take a moment and think about the young minds you encounter.  We can all make a difference…reach out.

Children are a blessing from God.  They are our future.  We can do this.

Valentines Day Everyday?

Last week we celebrated Valentines Day.  The day when we exchange cards, sweets, flowers and messages of love and devotion.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to celebrate the attribute of love everyday? 

Isn’t this what we are called to do? 

It goes beyond the romantic love we read about in novels and greeting cards.  There is the love of family, the love of friends and so many other channels of love.

Christianity calls us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Now, there’s a challenge. 

How would the world change if we behaved with this Golden Rule in mind? 

I am still working on my resolutions for 2012 and they are going well however I am going to add one, celebrate love every day.  It surrounds us if we will simply look for it.  It can be found in the smile from a family member or the kind gesture from a friend.  If you look at life through the eyes of love the world becomes a warmer and beautiful place.  Sounds like an oasis, doesn’t it?  It can be our reality with a change of perspective.

I am grateful for the gift of LOVE!

Happy Valentines Day.

Ready for Game Day and Update

Well…..I am 11 days in to my 30 day challenge.
I have to say I have not been faithful in reading the book on this topic however I have been faithful in actions which reflect living in the moment.
I have had a few unexpected events surface this year. They include; a dear friend with a tough health issue, greater insight on a family relocation as well as news of financial strife being suffered by someone very close to me.
Like most of us, I have been watching the weather more than usual. Some days the forecast makes me laugh, other days it makes me sigh. I am glad to share the blustery cold with more of the country.

Usually Nebraska and the Midwest are the central location for bad weather. This may come in the form of tornadoes or this time of year – snow and ice storms. We have had plenty of both this year as well as a few days of sub-zero temps….
In summary – the weather has provided frigid fireworks throughout the country this year.
I share all of these data points as potential points of light for my 30 days of living challenge. All of these points present me with opportunities to give and to help. Make a contribution.

I will share a few things that I have done in hopes of stoking just a little inspiration for YOU.
Right now the stores are clearing out their winter clothing. It’s a great time to purchase coats and blankets inexpensively. ALL of the shelters are in need right now and I know they would greatly appreciate anything you would bring in.
Have you ever adopted an animal cage at your local animal shelter? I didn’t know this was possible until 2 weeks ago. Again, this is a nice way to support a worthy cause. If you don’t want to do this solo, perhaps you could entice co-workers or members of your church family to join you?
Lastly, I am going to embark on a project to help others who are living in squalor….yes, I am talking about Haiti. I heard about ladies making dresses from pillowcases to send to the children of Haiti and I am going to join this cause. I am not exactly sure how this will take shape…I am in the planning phase – the fact that I am not a seamstress will also make this interesting.
I will keep you posted on progress….

As I close out this entry let me encourage you to send a card, call a friend, take cookies to a neighbor…..do something to show others you care. It’s just the RX you need during these cold winter months!

Just a Giggle

I walked by a playground today and was touched by the laughter I heard. It was the greatest melody I have heard in quite some time. The kids were playing and chasing with such energy and enthusiasm. They were smiling and swinging. Little girls in pigtails and little boys with baseball caps running around without a care.
I was grateful for the moment. I wanted to take it in and savor it. If I had had a tape recorder with me, this would have been the best wake up song.
When was the last time you stopped and just listened to kids giggling? Take a moment, listen and perhaps you will find a reason to smile.
School is back in session and there are plenty of kids running around laughing….enjoy!

Thank goodness for tiny voices who produce amazing sounds.

Laughter, Tenacity & Gratitude

I love long weekends.

It gives us just enough time to unwind and laugh. I did a lot of laughing this past Labor Day weekend. All of our kids met us at the lake and they all brought friends. It is amazing to watch them grow and develop in to adults.  We had a small army for the weekend.

These young adults form unique opinions on everything from politics to parenthood.  They aren’t afraid to express themselves either.  I had to cover my mouth and resist laughing on many occasions. Life is indeed an adventure.

We also played games. This proved to be most interesting. The competitive spirit came out in everyone.

I am also proud to tell you we all survived and laughed – a bunch.
The weather was cool and the smell of autumn was in the air. It was a terrific weekend. It also stirred gratitude in regards to family, friends and the blessings of a good laugh.

There is not a better stress-buster – laughter is fantastic.

Recently actor Henry Winkler was interviewed about Tenacity and Gratitude. In this interview he said: “As virtues, tenacity and gratitude are nice to have; as behaviors they are a strong combination found in many successful individuals.”

It is my wish that everyone I was blessed to spend time with during the weekend understands the virtues of tenacity and gratitude. May the memories created during the long weekend sustain the laughter and the smiles we shared.

Thank you!

Sky High Faith

Inspiration….
Wow you just never know when it’s going to hit you.
Someone very close to me recently went skydiving. I was nervous and excited for her. It also called my faith to the frontlines. Faith in her judgement. Faith in the people helping her. Faith in the tools being used for the jump.
Faith.

I never thought about it much outside of the context of day-to-day areas like health & well-being. I realize well-being and skydiving may not seem like obvious twins but in this case they both challenged my depth of faith.
As my baby flew in to the horizon for her great adventure, my faith was called out. I had to give it all up to God.  This wasn’t easy.  The situation was completely out of my hands – literally.  I decided to envision God was with her holding her in the palm of his hand gently guiding her moves and ultimately her landing.  Sounds a bit like everyday life doesn’t it?
I am happy to report, the jump was a huge success and my daughter is back on the ground.
She was exhilarated and I was blessed.

My children head to college this week and it gives me yet another opportunity to have faith.

Children present us with many gifts. I am grateful for their presence in my life and relish all of the lessons they bring.

I Do!

I attended a family wedding this weekend and relished in watching a young couple pledge their eternal love.  Isn’t it amazing how powerful 2 simple words can be – I Do.

It was also a living reminder of what is truly important.  I flew home late Friday and knew I was looking at a long car ride on Saturday to get to the wedding.  To say I was jet-lagged was an understatement.  I had a thousand reasons to not go and contemplated not attending.  As I looked at the piles of laundry and mail I felt defeated.  Where would I even begin to dig-out? 

Well after my 30 minutes of self-pity I packed my bag, put a smile on my face and got in the car.  The car ride was a bit tense and thank goodness I have a patient husband.  We arrived at our hotel.  It was beautiful.  My disposition started to shift and in one fell swoop I finally got my head around the basis of the event.  We had the honor in sharing in the celebration of love.  The fragile union of two souls witnessed by friends and family. 

I was teary-eyed as I watch to two young hearts profess their love and exchange vows.  I met new family members and felt such a warmth from the dinner and reception. 

It was a perfect night.  Their perfect night.  Mr. and Mrs. Adam Ahern. 

I was honored to be a part of their celebration and all of my concerns from earlier in the day simply faded in to the sunset. 

Dancing, laughing, smiling ~> it was the perfect medicine for my ailments.

If you have the opportunity to celebrate love – take it…no matter how large or how small – CELEBRATE.  In the end….it is the most important thing we have.