Some of my favorite people in the world lost their father today. I guess lost is the wrong word, they know where he is, but he has passed on from earth. I'm not sure why this has impacted me so much, why I sit here with tears streaming down my face, but the more I think about it, the more I realize the impact this man had.

I didn't know him well, but I know most of his kids and grandkids. They are amazing people. This man has left behind a legacy of people who are impacting the world wherever they are. They have those family bonds that make other families jealous. They are making movies, being creative, being musical, adopting high needs children, affecting whatever community they live in and in general, leaving the world a better place than they found it. 

These friends of mine are truly amazing, not that they don't have flaws and struggles and challenges, but they rise to the challenge, they face their struggles and they work on their flaws better than most people I know. These are broad strokes I'm taking to describe them, but truly they are beautiful people.

And my thoughts are for legacy and what we leave behind. If my legacy is half as amazing as his was, I'll have a good thing. And you know, the thing is, they're all just following their dreams because they were told that they could. Because a father & mother supported them and cheered them on. They poured into their children and their grandchildren and they have a living legacy to show for it.

Maybe I'm trying to be too deep about this, but as my heart grieves with my friends, it also rejoices for what is still here. It's difficult to express in words the love I feel for my extended family, and how I grieve with them, but there it is.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39


Sometimes the Process Stinks

I went to the gym today. It was awesome to go to the gym and chat with the owner who's a friend of mine, but some days I really don't enjoy the process of working out. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't find a workout that's more fun and completely suited to me. In fact I go to a place called 30 Minute Hit and they're awesome. It's a kickboxing circuit and you can go at your own pace and do what you need to do for you at each station. Anyway, not the point. Some days you just don't wanna go through the process, you know?

To be all philosophical about it, that really applies to my life in general more frequently than I'd like to admit. The process may absolutely stink. Sweat, tears (and sometimes vomit - tmi - I know) the energy it takes to get through it all. Job hunting and having to go through interviews. Dating and having to go through what feels like a thousand terrible first dates before you find someone worth keeping. The junk-room/"office"/place-you-throw-all-that-crap-you-have-to-go-through. There are a million things that require process. Oh! How about becoming patient, or persevering or disciplined - those all take process too.

I don't quite know what my point is, other than sometimes the process totally sucks and still we do it. Why? Because the end result is worth it. Being able to keep up when a bunch of friends go for a bike ride and because I stuck it out in the gym I can actually breathe when I'm out with all the athletes (which I am so not!). Or looking in the office which is supposed to double as a spare room and actually being able to let someone stay there (I'm not there yet). Or going through the interviews and getting better each time until you actually have more than one offer on the table and you get to choose the better job for you.

Anyway... keep going. I'm going to do my best. Though it certainly helps that I have someone bugging me to make sure I go (accountability is annoying - but it helps).

Maybe tomorrow I'll go to the gym again. And maybe I'll even like it.


Remnants of Seasons Past

The dried leaves, brown and crispy, swirled around in front of me being swept up by the wind. Across the road, a yard still has a few piles of snow, hanging on, refusing to melt. And yet the green is starting to become visible in the lawns, on trees tiny buds are beginning to emerge.

While the calendar states "Spring" is here, there are remnants of seasons past visible, apparent.

In January, the beginning of 2012, I knew this was to be a year of change. My spirit could feel something shifting, not entirely sure what all was to change, I kept speaking out "this is the year of change". And the first quarter, things were changing quite a bit. Lots was happening and I could see it. But then there was a brief pause, and it seemed to snow once more even though it's supposed to be spring already. Now, I feel it again, the change, the shift that's the theme of this year.

While there is change, in my life and around me, there are still remnants of the last seasons hanging on. I am accepted in my church and making good friends already (after a long time of being the "outsider"), but many days I still struggle with thoughts of rejection and loneliness. The leadership has brought me onto one of the lead teams, and onto a counsel, and I still struggle with wondering if I'm "qualified" to be there. Did I happen to mention that logic isn't exactly playing into my thoughts? It's not all bad, in fact it's mostly good! My friends are wonderful and varied; the teams I am on, I have actually trained for. But there are still remnants of seasons past, hanging on, not quite ready to leave yet.

It is a new season. This is the year of change. Sometimes I'm a little slow with all of it, but I'll get there. And before I know it, summer will be here in all its glory.

So the leaves blow, and the remaining snow slowly melts away, and I work through the remnants of seasons past with hope for the coming change. The growth may not be immediately apparent, but it's coming.


Stress & Peace

I don’t recall a time when I’ve ever dealt well with stress. When I was younger, it looked like laughing when getting in trouble, walking away in the middle of a tough conversation, avoiding people when in conflict, and the list goes on. Now I handle myself better externally in those tough situations, but I still end up internalizing pretty much everything. While the outside may appear to be calm and in control, inside... not so much.

Stress comes in so many ways, and for me, a lot of it is not being in control (that’s a whole other post); stress comes with conflict, death, relationships, loneliness, everyday challenges (flat tires, messy roommates and whatnot). But if instead of internalizing my feelings, instead of pretending nothing affects me, if I allowed myself to grieve and feel and process life, perhaps the stress would not be so great.

And who am I kidding anyway. It’s not like the stress magically disappears when I internalize it. Rather, it comes out in migraines or aches and pains, or a weakened immune system because of lack of sleep. We were created to rid ourselves of stress, whether it’s by going through the process emotionally or ignoring it and forcing our bodies to expell it physically. One way or another…

Peace is not pretending life is ok when it’s not, or walking away from conflict instead of dealing with it. I think peace is trusting in something greater. Peace is giving up control to God, choosing to rest in Him instead of fighting.

Today I choose to start practicing peace again. The other way sucks.

Something to think about… do you ignore stress & hope it will magically disappear or do you choose peace?


Fear & Adventure

Most days I find it extremely challenging to take my thoughts and turn them into something coherent. For a very, very long time, people have been telling me that I should write a book, or they could see me writing, or asking if I’ve written stuff, music, whatever. But, when I sit down to actually write something it feels like I have nothing of importance to say, or at least, nothing that hasn’t already been said. There are countless blogs, books, articles, essays and more that have expressed similar thoughts and ideas already.

What makes my story different? What makes this special?

So far, nothing, in fact there’s almost nothing here. Fear has kept me from putting (so-called) pen to paper. Fear of failure. What if? What if after all the encouragement and expectation and hope other people have put into me… what if it isn’t good? What if I fail to meet my own (unreasonable) expectations for myself? What if I succeed?

A recurring theme in my life is this: If you never try, you cannot fail. It is not true, but it feels true. What a waste, to never try. That used to hold me back from trying new things, meeting new people and generally experiencing life. It seems so much easier to cave in to the fear; but truly, life will be rich when we actually begin to live, to experience.

As Win Borden said, “If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.”

So what am I waiting for? I need to start the adventure & stop being afraid.

Writing. It seems that this is an area I’m going to try to step out in more frequently. It doesn’t really matter if anyone ever reads this. But, I’m going to write and see where it takes me.

There are probably going to be times where I fail miserably, but there may also be times when it’s really great. Who knows? But going on the adventure is where all the fun is. It is not waiting at home, looking through someone else’s pictures & hearing someone else’s stories of the adventure you wish you had taken.

At least that’s what I’m telling myself.



by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!


There's hope.

Slowly as the day progresses, the sun begins to shine again. My tightly clenched fist starts to relax ever so slightly and peace trickles in.

It isn't that emotions are bad, though I do struggle with that. But it can be so easy to forget how blessed I am. A friend who stands by me as I fight the urge to block them out, another who just had to call right now, bringing encouragement and wisdom. Money aside, I am wealthy in friends, family and a God who loves me through it all.

It’s gonna be alright.