Posts Tagged With: Life

Connecting

Have you ever looked at the internet tab as you are waiting for a site to download? Did you notice it says connecting and swirls until it connects to where you want to go?

Day 5 - Lunch at Panera Bread

Photo credit: ohdearbarb)

Connecting…

Sometimes the internet connects quickly and we are so happy we did not have to wait and wait. Sometimes is seems to take forever to connect.

Are we like that too? Do we connect quickly with others or is it hard for us to connect to others? Can we slow down our lives to make time for others? This past few weeks I have spent so much time connecting and reconnecting with friends. The visits and talks we have had over tea, lunch or dinner have been amazing. And the meals delicious!

My best friend from grade school and I had lunch last week after years of a Christmas card friendship as our children were growing. Even though we only lived twenty minutes apart our life path took us in different directions. Thank goodness for the connection of Christmas cards each year. She picked me up and I don’t think we stop talking and catching up for the three hours we visiting and ate Panera’s soup and sandwich.

What about Facebook? Sometimes a “friend” uses FB as an outreach for help through a rough time, sometimes it to share good news or daily moods, and sometimes it reconnects relationships. Summer of 2010 was a high school reunion year for me. The committee posted the reunion event on Facebook for all the classmates to respond. It was so good to see so many classmates at the reunion and then to keep connected with them through their posts and pictures. I love celebrating the pictures of some that are already grandparents (unbelievable, since I don’t feel old enough to be a grandparent) and some that have children graduating. I enjoy FB for the way it connects me to near and far away friends.

Connect through calls, visits, and cards. Share a comment on how you connect with those in your life.

So now the next time you look at the internet tab that is swirling around waiting to connect, pause and realize how many connections you have in your life and how you can foster those connections each day.

Call a friend and have a Panera lunch…
Embrace life and laugh with someone…and CONNECT!

Connecting..

 

 

 

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Categories: Balance, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hold my hand

holding hands - age 10, and age 8

holding hands – age 10, and age 8 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IntimacyI remember someone asking my husband and I during the first few years of our marriage what is Intimacy? The definition we both first conjured up in our minds was mostly physical. But as we matured and grew, our understanding of intimacy grew also. Our relationship has grown throughout our 27 years of marriage. Like most couples we began with a physical attraction that grows into a deep love that was never imagined when the “I do’s” were exchanged.

We have raised babies, bought homes, owned a business together. We have survived arguments, financial challenges, unemployment, loss of our fathers, and much more in our years together.

We have learned to communicate

We have learned to listen

We have learned when to hold each other

We have learned to just “be” with each other

My children think we are too affectionate towards each other, because we truly enjoy each others company (and like to kiss and hold hands). But when you get either of them alone, they admit they like the fact that their parents are still attracted to each other and still are in love with each other. My expressive Italian husband is very passionate about life. When he laughs, its genuine and heartfelt. When he enjoys a good meal, he soaks it all in, from the smells to the presentation to the taste. He is passionate about his family – giving, kind and loving. Passionate is the word I would use to describe him.

He is not perfect, but he is perfect for me.

I love the way he holds my hand in his, I feel so safe, so loved.  I can spend all day just hand in hand with him.

I pray every person could experience the trueness of love from someone else. I know there is a lot of hardship in the world, but sometime we just need someone to reach out and hold our hand. Recently, I received some hard news, and the person who explained everything to me, sat next to me and held my hand. I remember looking at her hands and thinking, it’s exactly what I needed, I needed human touch as I was told this. Then I prayed for all the people who live days, weeks, months and even longer without human touch, without the intimacy of someone knowing them and being present for them. I felt sad, but not for me, for all those without another presence in their life.

My life is blessed in so many ways. I will survive my hardship no matter how thin the rope I’m hanging on to becomes…because I have a loving family always ready below to catch me and carry me until I can walk upright again.

As a youth minister, I have helped many people through churches, retreats and worktours. But when this caregiver held my hand, I realized the importance of always, continually, without ceasing, reaching out to touch others.

May your day open your eyes to the opportunities to hold the hand of another and know the true meaning of intimacy.

Categories: Balance | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kind…Smart…Important

You is kind.
You is smart.
You is important.

Aibileen may have been just the lowly black servant of the house, but she forever positively influenced the lives of the children’s ears she whispered those words into.
I watched “The Help” and then read the book recently. A wonderful story with touching characters and harsh realities of our world.

Aibileen was treated as unimportant, but she made sure the children in her care felt elevated.
Aibileens kindness and intelligence went unnoticed because of her skin color, but she was one of the most perceptive and giving characters in the story.
She saw the prejudice around her and the prejudice directed at her, but she rose above it and lived in truth.

Prejudice still exists today. Sometimes it not the color of the skin, but the address of their home or the intelligence of their being. Hate comes masked in all different forms. Evil comes masked behind pretentious smiles just as often as hatred is visually noticeable in others body language.

We need love, we need acceptance, we need purpose.
We need to be told we are kind, smart and important. People do not realize we feel that way unless we tell them. Can you imagine if every child was told each day how important they are to the world around them…what a world this would be…just stop and imagine…now help that become a reality!

Those three little sentences in a movie about so many life lessons may have been the most profound for me.

Do we tell those around us how important they are to us? Do we reach out in kindness to others? Life brings us many challenges, depression can come so easily if we feel that we have no purpose. The funny thing is, you may never know how one small act can impact another. Consider Mark and Bill…a true story…

Mark was walking home from school one day when he noticed the boy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all of the books he was carrying, along with two sweaters, a baseball bat, a glove and a small tape recorder. Mark knelt down and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles. Since they were going the same way, he helped to carry part of the burden. As they walked Mark discovered the boy’s name was Bill, that he loved video games, baseball and history, and that he was having lots of trouble with his other subjects and that he had just broken up with his girlfriend. They arrived at Bill’s home first and Mark was invited in for a Coke and to watch some television. The afternoon passed pleasantly with a few laughs and some shared small talk, then Mark went home. They continued to see each other around school, had lunch together once or twice, then both graduated from junior high school. They ended up in the same high school where they had brief contacts over the years. Finally the long awaited senior year came and three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark if they could talk.

Bill reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met. “Did you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?” asked Bill. “You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn’t want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mothers sleeping pills and I was going home to commit suicide. But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized that if I had killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow. So you see, Mark, when you picked up those books that day, you did a lot more, you saved my life.”

-John W. Schlatter

You may have read or heard of a similar story on the internet about Kyle, but that story exploded from this simple one. But this story is not simple, it was important to Bill. It is a story that needs to be shared.

You can make a difference too!
You can be a Mark to someone else and turn a simple momentary act into life altering action!
You can be Aibileen and build up someone’s confidence by using only the power of your words!

How will you be Kind, Smart and Important to someone else today?

Categories: Balance, Family, God | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bring me balance

The turbulence of life can plummet at us in an instance.
Our lives can be turned upside down without notice.
Normal today is not normal tomorrow, change is inevitable.
How do we balance all the pain, suffering, heartaches with all the joy, happiness and love through the transitions of life?

The past two weeks have been a roller coaster ride for my family. If ever there was a time that we are out of balance and flooded with uncertainty it’s now. Often when we feel most comfortable and content is when we are called to reach deep into our hearts and deal with the storms of life.

Last week started with my husband being called in Monday morning to cutbacks and his job eliminated. Devastating to any family, especially in this job market. We discovered by the end of the week the unemployment will not cover our losses – less than 20% of his income, since our children are not dependents the rate drops rapidly. Friday we left for Phoenix to move our daughter into her apartment where she is teaching with heavy hearts, the reality that she will no longer lives with us sinking into our consciousness. Our baby girl has grown up. As we returned home we discovered messages from the doctor wanting to see my husband for follow-up to his blood work. The dark thoughts began to seep in.

BALANCE – TRUST – GRACE – GIFT – PRAYER

People get pulled into darkness and despair and believe me, I could see the black hole spiraling next to us.
But we looked upward and saw the light.
This world can be seen through a negative lens if you choose to.

What do you choose?
I choose GOODNESS,  I choose LIGHT,  I choose LIFE,  I choose FAITH!!

But we are so blessed with a loving family, supportive friends and a faithful Father that will never leave us.

“He will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you.
So do not fear or be dismayed” Deut 31:8

GOD IS GOOD!!
The doctor’s visit was fine, some improvements in his counts…good news
Friends and colleagues writing letters of recommendations and getting the word out for open positions…grace
Learning that although unemployment is over 9% now, in the technology job market, it’s only 3%…hope
Seeing our daughter in a safe, secure, lovely apartment; meeting her students and seeing how she is living her dream…delight

BLESSINGS in the storms…GOD’S GRACE in time of trouble…

After experiencing this initial period of storms and understanding there are most likely more still to come, I can understand how people can fall into despair and depression. It’s an effort every day to see the goodness and love that is in front of you.

We have a choice to balance our lows with our highs…or we can sink into loneliness and fear.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I found myself sinking with the onset of so much evil so quickly sent our way. But I sank to my knees in prayer.

I looked to someone who could actually do something to help me. And I find peace in my moments of doubt in His love.

Years ago, we decided to close our retail shop and although we both had jobs waiting for us it was still a transition. A loss. A change.
I was constantly drawn to Proverbs 3:5 through out that period

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
on your own intelligence do not rely;
In all your ways be mindful of him,
and he will make straight your path.

We survived that transition and we will survive this too.

I have always prayed for those unemployed and under-employed, but now I pray in unison with them.

The mantra I am drawn to find balance and peace with today is in knowing that: “Jesus I trust in You!”

Can I get an AMEN!!

Categories: Balance, Family, God, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tourist in my home town

It was an amazing  day in Chicago today.

We love to spend Father’s Day in the city and today was no exception. Our family of four become tourists in a place we have been visiting for twenty years. Last year we hopped on the double decker bus for an hour tour around the city. Even though I can’t imagine how many time we have gone into Chicago for museums, shows, dinners and parks, we discovered places and history we did not know. So this year we did the same, we were tourist again today and had a lot of laughs.

Today was a Segway day. We have never been on these two wheeled personal transportation systems, but we figured that balancing and edging for years skiing may be to our advantage. And is was! After a short intro, we were off and moving. Traveling from Navy Pier to the Museum Campus, we saw the sites and snapped some pics. The Yacht Club, Buckingham Fountain, the Skyline, all the city has to offer. It was a beautiful day.

Then after dinner at Navy Pier, we were walking back to our car we saw Vietnam Veterans under a small tent answering questions and selling t-shirts. Then we realized that behind where they stood was the “Moving Wall”. The replica of the Vietnam Memorial in DC that travels the country bringing awareness and honor to those that have served, are serving and will serve. It was a great way to end a perfect day…Remembering all the fathers, brothers, and sons, honoring their memories.
Right in our backyard…and we would have never seen it if we were not tourists for the day.

Sometimes we become so busy in our lives we forget all the wonders we have around us.
What wonders are in your neighborhood?
When was the last time you spent a day discovering them?
Families spend time in front of screens all day.
Our televisions, our computers, our laptops in front of the televisions…our smartphones, our tablets, our ereaders…

Discover the wonders just outside your door.
Drive into the city, explore the normal, and find new discoveries in familiar places.

We love to stop into a restaurant off the beaten path. A mom and pop diner with delicious food.
A farmer’s market with delicious fresh fruit. An art show on the streets and alleys.
Maybe even music in the park.
What can you discover in the ordinary places you know.

So get up…get out of your comfort zone…and be a tourist in your home town!

Categories: America, Balance, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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