Archive | July 2012

Double Dog Dare

Ahh the joys of doggie ownership. This weekend I doubled my joy with a second little one. My 3 1/2 year old Bichon, Gracie, has been a gracious and patient new friend. And Bella, my 8 month old new Yorkiepoo is frisky and as her previous owner described her, a “close talker”. She’s always up in Gracie’s face sniffing away and it’s funny to watch them. They settled in together with zero issues. No struggle over toys or territory. Bella even slept with us last night with no accidents or incidents. To see them you’d think they had been together for quite a while now.  Now, if only I could get a good picture of them together.

I’m feeling blessed with my “double dog” dare in puppydom. Meet Bella and be blessed!

Keeping it real!

It never ceases to amaze me how thoroughly my human imperfections can raise their head to humble me. Even with my complete understanding of the situation, my best efforts, and deliberate focused energy,  errors can (and do) creep in. Today, my humanness is highlighted by yet another simple mathematical error. Well more like validation from one chart to another. I can count (most days anyway). Apparently my struggle comes from comparing a written paper to a huge and complex computer screen representation. How could I possibly miss a simple thing like that! Yowza!

And yet, with my speedy confession and appropriate remorse  when admitting my error, I find the graciousness of others as well. No judgement, no laughing (well, not to my face anyway). But genuine collaboration to make sure the error gets fixed in all the cascading documents as well. And for that … I am grateful.

So today I remember to keep my head held high, but at an appropriately humble angle. Remember – count it a 4th time, just in case. Admit the mistake early and spend energy in fixing it not fretting about it. And, next time I find an error of someone else’s data, remember today and be gracious.

Keeping it real folks. Be blessed!

My Manifesto!

I am weary from hearing of the hatred and evil in the world. I don’t want to focus on it, that’s for sure. And I no longer wish to hear the rantings and ravings of madmen. I am not interested in hearing their manifestos of hate. My knowing the depths of the darkness in their souls does nothing to help me conquer its effect on the world.

So … I’ve decided to create my own manifesto. But mine is a Manifesto of Love! It’s really a simple articulation of what I believe and a picture of the world I wish to create into existence. It is neither all-encompassing, nor is it complete. Each day and every circumstance generates new possibilities. Oh, yeah, and I’m not perfect at it yet. But I recognize that the lessons in my life, and the people who I know provide me chances to draw closer and closer.  So, here goes:



1.   Remember who you are. Indeed, you are a spiritual being having a physical experience. It is definitely NOT the other way around.

2.   Remember where you came from. You are created in the image of God and God is 100% LOVE.

3.   Remember what your power is. Your words have the power to create or destroy. Create abundance of love and destroy hate.

4.   Make the world better. You have influence and insights that can make this world better because you are here. You exist in this time and this place with these people because that is your journey. Don’t waste it, degrade it or abuse it.

5.   Lend a hand. Remember, sometimes the other person doesn’t have one, theirs are too full, or they are weary from their load. We travel this journey together so that no-one has to carry the load alone. Oh yeah, that means you should let them help you too.

6.   Encourage others and build them up. You will find yourself lifted to the level that you lift others. Imagine how far we can soar!

7.   Forgive others – every time. Not because they deserve it but because you do. You deserve to not carry that burden, which will decay your joy. And in the end we will be judged against the measure we use for others anyway. So forgive them.

8.   Appreciate the goodness.  Everyone else was also created in the image of God. There is good in all people – even in the darkness there is hidden glory. Look for it! You may be the only one who can help them find it in themselves as well. And that can change them.

9.   Be grateful. Every blessing deserves a “Thank You!” Every lesson holds a chance for a different approach and a brighter tomorrow. Every suffering creates a strength. Be grateful!

10. Listen. Listen with the intensity that you seek to be heard. It’s a gift.

11.  Trust. Trust that God is on your side. Don’t ever think he will abandon you because he won’t! God promised so trust him!

12. Love. It is the only thing that conquers hate, depression, loneliness, distrust, despair or sin. It really is just that simple.

13. Create blessings. There are some blessings that only you can do or be in this world. You are here for a purpose – find it or create it but don’t ignore it.

Join me – with my manifesto of love. There’s so much more that’s possible to add. Or create your own, even better … and be blessed!



Praying …

I believe that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. Because I believe that, I am often able to step back and look for the spiritual lessons that life is presenting me. Not always in the moment, but usually sooner rather than later.

And that is where I stand today – wondering what lesson is showing up right now. I am infinitely aware that I am hearing of so very many people around me and connected to me in some way, even if only by a once-removed relationship, who are gravely ill or dying. The pace and quantity seem to be picking up at a severe rate. So does the pace of evil in the world. I’m sure this isn’t just happening to me, but I am ever so aware.

I vow that I will not let my mind wander and conjure up scary or silly scenarios. I will not allow superstition to cloud my view. I have faith in an all loving Creator and I will look to him to calm my trepidation. And I will pray. I pray for my friends who are battling cancer, and strange afflictions. I pray for those I know who have fallen to accidents. I pray for those I know who are facing the horrors of battle and war.

And I will pray for peace – the peace that surpasses all understanding. I invite you to pray with me and be blessed!

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

~ Matthew 18:20

Words of faith that moved me …

Much has been written and said about the tragedy that struck in the night as families and friends went to the movies in Colorado.  And I was surprised at the numbness I felt in the wake of the tragedy. I have prayed for those who have been taken and for the loved ones that are left behind, but I have not let the sadness sink into my heart. That is  so not like me.

And then, today, it struck me. It isn’t the evil in the heart of that demented gunman that moves me most – it is the spirit of love in God that moves me. Today I read a blog from a woman who was in that theater and survived. Her words of faith moved me and so I share it with you. There is nothing I could say that would be better.

Read here and be blessed, utterly, completely, and astoundingly blessed!

I have witnessed a coup!

The World Choir Games have come to the U.S. for the first time in their history. And lucky for us, they came to Cincinnati. What a cultural coup!! Cincinnati is already a wonderful city from an arts and culture standpoint. The influx of international musical talent has taken it to another level. Affectionately now known as the “City that Sings”, we have been fortunate to host over 200 events, with 23 categories. Choirs ranged from very young to seniors and came to our fair town from all corners of the globe.

I was fortunate to attend 2 of the events – the first was one of the free Friendship concerts where I got to see the talents from my alma mater, McAuley High School and my son’s alma mater, LaSalle High School. That was a fun way to support the local talent and get a “dip” into the World Choir Games festivities. Congratulations for winning the Silver in your category McAuley & LaSalle!

Today I was thrilled to see the Champion’s Concert featuring this week’s winners.  I enjoyed the humor of our MC, Drew Lachey, former singer in the boy band 98 Degrees, and winner of season 2 of Dancing with the Stars. Drew and his brother Nick, who is one of the Masters of Ceremonies for the entire event, are local singing talent that add a modern musical touch to our city. And the performances we saw today – all I can say is WOW!!!! It was so apparent why each of these groups was judged to be the best of their category. I was brought to tears a couple of times as the groups laid their talents and their voices on the stage for the sold-out crowd to appreciate. I was honored to see all of these performers of the 2012 World Choir Games! The ending was especially grand with the Kearsney College Choir of South Africa who won the Folk category. The power, passion, dance, and voices made a spectacular end to the day. STUNNING!

Only the closing ceremonies are left and I wish I could be there to see it.

Yes, indeed, the World Choir Games was a positive coup that allowed us to build bridges between cultures and create a positive musical atmosphere for all who participated.

Sing a song, make a joyful noise, and be blessed!

Catching up ….

Ahhh, I have been missing the joys of blogging with you, my friends. Work has gotten the best of my schedule and my energy the last few days. I took a couple of days off, had some fun in Indianapolis and then hit the ground running at work again. I have made a few attempts to get online and write incredibly inspirational things … well, that was my intention. What really happened was that I stared at the monitor and my mind was blank. Just like the static filled  TV screens of days-gone-by.  I did not want to subject you to the crickets chirping in my rather uninspired head, so I let myself rest.

These last few days I find myself doing work that is stretching my brain. Like all exercise, it is both pain and pleasure. Keeping all the balls in the air and checking, double checking, correcting, and then checking and checking again all the numbers and data is, well, not my most enjoyable job task. Can I do it – yes. Do I wanna – not usually. Will it end – yes, but dear GOD, when???  But it doesn’t really matter – it is critical for the work at hand. So I stretch that muscle and find that thankfully, it stretches but doesn’t snap. Yes, I have a few more bleary-eyed evenings in front of the computer screen, and perhaps an extra head-ache or two but that’s really just fatigue. The beauty is that I am reconfirming the strength of my knowledge and the agility of my mind to focus and expand, focus and expand.

And along the way I am connecting with family and friends, wallowing in the excitement of future wedding plans for my son, and missing my daughter with all my heart.

I hope that you are able to manage having a balance of relaxation and excitement in your summer. Hopefully no data filled, bleary-eyed nights for you!

Stay cool and be blessed!

Farewell to a Friend – Andy Griffith

Today the world says good-bye to an icon of my generation. I remember watching Andy Griffith, the widowed sheriff as he raised his young son Opey among friends in The Andy Griffith Show. He was a role model of patience with the wacky residence of his little town. I loved the slow-paced sleepy NC town that was portrayed. There wasn’t a stranger amongst them and Andy was the level-headed leader. He was a great role model.

And as he got older I also enjoyed his portrayal of Matlock, the cranky older lawyer who never lost a case. In spite of his curmudgeonly moods, you could still see the gentle, kind spirit of the man behind the character.

And he was a champion for the community he lived in. On one of my vacations I remember doing some sightseeing in NC and heard so much about all that he did for this home town and the surrounding areas. As a matter of fact, I don’t recall ever hearing a bad word about him. He was a loyal husband and friend to those he came in contact with. He was an actor, a singer, a role mode, strong and faithful Christian, and friend (if only in my active TV-based imagination).

Farewell Andy – you left a good and positive mark on my generation and the people who actually knew you. I hope you have a grand time on the other side hanging out with Barney, Gomer, Goober and the gang just whistling a tune or two.

Be blessed!

Summer Dance of the Moon – original poem


Ambling slowly in the path of my puppy

I follow in the heavy, humid night air.

Greeted by the golden orb of a full moon

The sight brings a settled feeling to my soul.

Just beyond is the sprinkling of colorful fire works

Ushering in the celebration of freedom.

In silence I stand with the companionship of

Only a small family friend, no other sound for a moment.

Silence broken in the distance with the laugh of a child

Followed by the splashing of the refreshing pool.

With every step, the moon appears to grow larger

And I am aware of the cosmic twirling.

Summer sun and brilliant moon dancing in the season.

And for a moment I know that all is well.

~ Barbara Bernard Miller