Archive | December 2012

2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

A New Year’s Theme


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Here we stand on the brink of 2013 – the year that many thought would not exist. But really, it is a wonderful year to be approaching. For me, 13 is my favorite number. My birthday is August 13. I turned 13 on Friday the 13th, and 13 has always come as a lucky number for me. I’m excited to enter 2013!

I am not one to make broad sweeping resolutions – those do not seem to work for anyone I know. But I do have a New Year’s practice. As many do, I reflect on the year that is passing and try to take in the parts that have changed me or altered my life. But I don’t concentrate on that very long – the past is gone. A lesson, an experience, a fleeting set of moments that have moved me forward.

What I like to do is focus on what energy and spiritual theme seems to be drawing me into the new year. I’ve had various themes throughout the years – I’ve had years focused on freedom (and finding mine), learning/exploration, empowerment, etc. Each year I have been able to reflect back at the end and see the theme as it weaved its way throughout my days, weeks, and months and actually come alive.

82964818106098376_3LmOcdCX_b2012 was about VALUING MYSELF (and my gifts). It wasn’t about ego but rather about trying to see what others see as the value that I bring to relationships and situations. It was about quelling the self-doubt and self-criticizing and allowing my gifts to be appreciated by me. It wasn’t  just about identifying them, but using them and seeing what I uniquely bring into the world. It has been both liberating and an awesome responsibility. It has been a year of growth for me. It has been a year full of “I AM” statements that have turned into “I DO” actions. It has been a fulfilling year and one that has strengthened my soul.

So what is next? This year – 2013, is a big one for me! It’s the year I turn 50. I’m starting a new job in my company. My son is getting married in July. My daughter will be away at a co-op for 9 out of the 12 months while planning her wedding for 2014. Big changes and shifts are at play and I must take that into consideration. But the theme of my year is never really about the changes others are living through, but rather, what my spiritual journey is taking me through.

549456_337409909654335_1145065317_nNow it is time for me to declare my new year’s theme. This year, for 2013, my theme is DISCIPLINE. Believe me when I say that this is not the word that I “want” to be drawn to. But I know, in this moment of my life, this is the right theme for me. It will help me prepare for the changes on a physical, financial, emotional, spiritual and intellectual level. And so I prepare over the next couple of days to fully appreciate my gifts at the close of 2013 and align my heart and actions toward discipline in 2013. I’m excited to see what comes alive for me on this new year’s  journey.

Choose your New Year theme and be blessed!

A Special, Precious Moment …


Jesus-Mary-Joseph-manger-sceneWe live all year for these moments – these special Christmas moments. Whether in the hearts of children looking forward to Christmas plays, cookies, and visits from Santa to load the tree and stockings. Or whether in the hearts of compassionate adults looking forward to time with family and friends, special songs, and thoughtful giving to those who are less fortunate. These longings, traditions, and special celebrations are what we measure a year by sometimes. The waiting makes them both fleeting and precious. Sharing a smile and a surprise is the fun part. We spend time in labors of love by baking, shopping, wrapping, decorating, and random acts of kindness.

All this joy, and yet it is not enough.

Because Christmas, while it is celebrated in these and many other ways, is not complete until we reflect on the TRUTH. Take a moment or two as you hustle and bustle about your day to remember why we even have this holiday at all. That tiny baby, born so long ago with one purpose – to redeem and save the souls of mankind. With reverence for the season, I share with you 2 great songs – from a parent’s perspective.

With all you are and with all you do and believe, I pray that you be blessed. Merry Christmas!

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I collect beauty …


rose-garden-9-bo-liI am a collector of sorts. No, not the expensive art or priceless jewels, although I appreciate those things as well. What I collect is simply described as …. beauty.

I see the beauty in the smiles and laughter of my loved ones so I collect joy.

I see beauty in the intelligence of teachers and mentors so I collect thoughts.

I see beauty in the hearts of those who forgive so I collect compassion.

I see beauty in the product of artists and crafters so I collect talent.

I see beauty in nature and the created world so I collect inspiration.

I see beauty in the hands of volunteers and those that serve so I collect mercy.

I see beauty in the acceptance of friends and loved ones so I collect appreciation.

I see beauty in the passion of those who create change so I collect motivation.

I see beauty in you so I collect friendship.

These are just a few of the things that I see and collect every day. I am enriched by the beauty in this world. Life is infinitely more precious because of the beauty that surrounds me.

Find your beauty and be blessed!

Keep moving …


helping-handThere are so many days and so many ways that I need reminded that I’m on the right path. I know what I believe, what I feel, and what I desire. And yet those things seem to find ways of falling short of what others expect or want from me. And sometimes, they fall short of what I believe God calls me to do and be.

And so, I stand humbly reaching out my hand in love, in friendship, and in faith. I seek to balance the spiritual life I live with the physical life I’m leading. What I know for sure is that is not an easy task. It stretches me to places I don’t expect.  I sometimes need to choose something that is greater than the things I want. I must choose the things that align with a greater purpose.

To those I disappoint or hurt, I apologize.

To those I inspire, I pray it is enough to encourage you to keep moving on your positive path.

And for me, I will pray more, listen harder, and continue to seek to move in the “right” direction.

Pray for me, pray with me, and be blessed!

Mourning on the morning after …


Why-do-women-cryThe morning after the tragedy in a Connecticut elementary school and I find myself, as many others in our society, mesmerized by the question “why?”

I see commentaries on the gun laws and I know there are valid points on both sides. Isn’t that true of most polarizing issues? Guns in our society are too easy to get and yet they also have prevented other tragedies because someone used them to stop additional harm. No matter which side of the debate one sits, in the end, it isn’t the weapon but rather the hand that it’s in that matters.

And so I look at the hands and hearts of those who create such terror in this world. I notice it’s often not the one that people suspect would do such a thing. They are quiet or intelligent or otherwise anonymous people who turn in some moment of madness to a violence that not only shatters their life but the lives of innocent people existing within their reach.

If we peel the onion a little deeper I’m sure we will find that once again this is a person who suffered a life where they didn’t fit in. Their heart wasn’t raised to hate but rather learned to hate by the subtle ways that people were cruel to them or shunned them. And the why becomes clearer. Not the why of the choice of victims – that we will never know. But the why of the hatred and destruction of their soul to a point that slashing the love of anyone else seems like the only way to fight back.

Our society doesn’t seem to care about why until the tragedy strikes. In spite of the previous tragedies, we still tolerate bullying. We still applaud reality shows that egg on fighting and ridicule. We fill movie theaters and game stores to flood more and more violence into our daily lives. We become callous to the violence that we let in until the unthinkable, massive violence finally hits our consciousness. And for a time we step back and love more and forgive more as a momentary way to soothe our pain.

The why isn’t that some madman hated children. The why is that he felt hated.

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And what do I think we can do about it? Love. Love is always the answer. Love the children who are different. Love the people who create positive role models and positive toys, and positive consequences. Love enough to accept differences vs. fighting against them. Love people so that they see a different answer to how to end their sorrow. We haven’t arrived at this morning after quickly. We have arrived here over years of degrading the support systems of love in our way of living. We take love of neighbor out of our way of living – heck many of us don’t even know our neighbors anymore. We teach intolerance of religions vs. acceptance of religions. We tolerate the hatred of symbols of love instead of sharing any and all symbols of love. We tolerate the degrading of our societies support systems. We value the dollar more than we value the help for those who are sick – mentally or physically. We choose to punish vs. forgive. We choose to strike vs. listen. We find ourselves here today because a little at a time we loosened our grip on values that put people first. We stopped loving in order to do what? Own more? Not offend? Compete? I don’t know why we let this happen but I know that our society has.

If that man had known that he was loved, in my heart and soul I believe this morning would have been very different. And now his heinous act makes it intolerable to think we, as a society, could have played any part.

And so I pray that love returns. I pray that we finally get it. I pray that I remember in my day to day life to no just love those I choose but those that I see who appear unlovable. May my conscious choice to love in some way ripple into the world to save someone else from creating or living a personal day of mourning on the morning after.

Let us pray. Let us love. Let us be blessed!

Heartbreak in Newtown, CT


jesus-holding-girlHeartbreak abounds today … again, as we hear news of the school shooting in Newtown, CT at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The evil that overtook the heart, mind, and soul of the person (or persons) who perpetrated this horrific crime is so complete that it is unfathomable to most. I cannot stop tears from welling up at just the thought of the horrific scene and the terror that was in the hearts of those children and adults on the scene. And my heart aches even more when I think of the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and extended family and friends who are finding out that their unimaginable loss is real.

What must we do to heal this nation of this blight of violence? We must join together to love and to heal. We must surround these families with prayers and acts of compassionate comfort. The world needs those of us who carry the light of love to shine – brighter, bigger, and with more power. We must hug our children and loved ones even tighter. We must let no parting go by without saying “I love you.” We must love completely in this moment because we have no promise for tomorrow.

I feel so utterly crushed by the knowledge that this level of hatred and evil exists in the world, and even more so that it exists in this country. This pain is magnified by the timing – just 10 days before Christmas when we celebrate the joy and innocence in the eyes of children. There is no time of the year that loss of children is felt more deeply.

I fall on my knees in prayer. Join me … and be blessed!