Showing posts from 2020

Bring it to the table - a different Thanksgiving

Things are different. As Thanksgiving approaches, typically our thoughts might revolve around family and friends. Of gathering together, of food, food, more food and yes, thankfulness. Thanksgiving, the holiday that helps us push the pause button and reflect on what we are thankful for is hovering in our midst and we’re not sure what to do.   Every November, we immerse ourselves in traditions. Often, these traditions help us reflect and bring to the surface the things we are thankful for. Yet, we have been told to shrink this holiday into a small number, a computer screen, or whatever.   I don’t even know. Is it that simple? Not really. During this usual time, I wonder what I can contribute to the family gathering besides a hearty appetite. Usually, it’s a dish to bring to the table where we gather to break bread and together celebrate the welcomed pause with a bit more intentionality. The pause happens at the table. It's when all the preparation is presented for everyone to

Inside Out Transformations

The email was from retail icon, Lord + Taylor. The subject line simply said, “All Stores Closing…”. For most, this will not be a big deal. For me, it was a startling read because this is the place my father diligently worked as a tailor for over twenty years.   This is where our family's bread and butter came from.   And even though my father has been retired now for many years, it’s really an end of so many things that symbolize the work of his hands. From an early age, I was surrounded by fabric. Physical fabric, but more importantly the fabric of hard work, the fabric of dedication, and the fabric of learning what quality looks like.   So, when I saw the email from Lord + Taylor, my heart sank. I took his skills for granted. When I shopped, I could buy an article of clothing that didn’t fit me properly, knowing with confidence he could transform it. Magically.   And it did seem like magic because he would measure and fit me and within a few days, the altered garment was read

Sticks and stones

Something terrible had just happened.  It was in a note that a “friend” passed along to me from another “friend”. In the note, was written a word. A word I'd never seen before. My instinct also told me it was a name. A bad name. This friend had just called me a name. Whoever came up with the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was a liar. Even though I wasn’t familiar with the word, I knew it was meant to hurt me. And that word was a stone. That happened when I was in the seventh grade and I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the beginning of a career of bullying from this so-called friend and it lasted throughout all my following school years until I graduated high school. I cringe even now as I type this.  The girl who bullied me, stalked me, harassed me, and called me names, made my life miserable by casting stones my way. I’m not writing this to make you feel sorry for me. I’m writing this because it has made me aware of how words

Finding Life Among the Living

I recently clipped a flowering branch off a tree in our yard.   I thought I could keep it blooming so that I could take a photo of it.   Within minutes, cut away from the branch and without water, it wilted.   The photo opportunity faded. The beauty of the branch was gone as the life it held evaporated.   And so, it is with us.   Can we truly live if we are cut off from the vine?   If we are separated from God, where do we go to get life?   Where do we go to stay alive?   To have breath and to live in the splendor and truth of how we’ve been created ?    The blooms on the branch looked radiant while attached to the tree.   The collective display was grand, a picture of its purpose.   It reflected beauty, grace and God’s glory in nature. Then I looked at the wilted branch I had collected and the flowers on it. They were dead. In Luke 24:1-7, we read about the women who went to Jesus’ tomb and when they arrived, found the tomb empty. … very early on Sunday morning t

Are you living an interrupted life, or an inspired life?

Our lives have been interrupted. This interruption has taken my eyes off the things that give me life.   The countless emotions keep me distracted just enough to keep me stuck in a space where I feel unmotivated and frozen much of the time. I’d call it loss of focus, but it’s more than that. Sunday mornings are filled with hope as I sit comfortably in my home and attend virtual church services through my laptop. I listen and hope I can retain eloquently revealed truths. In need these truths and I want them to replace the mindless thoughts I so often entertain these days. Will they carry me through the week? Sadly, my retention rate is pretty low. But this past Sunday, I decided to take in a second message cast through my daughter’s church in Oklahoma.  The message title seemed a little odd, considering all we're experiencing these days, but I tuned in intently.   Moving from interrupted to inspired. I’ve listed to many great messages about finding your “why”.

Words that bring life

Happy New Year, mighty woman of God. A friend sent me this text message and it took my breath away.   I don’t think she had any idea of the impact of her words.   Big words that swept through my heart and mind making me shrink and soar at the same time.   Shrinking at the thought of how far-fetched it sounded, soaring at the possibility of it.   Refusing it and embracing it.   I could wrestle with that forever.   I locked the message in my phone so I wouldn't inadvertently delete it.   This message was special because of one powerful thing.   Encouragement.   It held a blessing in it that covered my soul with something simple, yet extraordinary.   A virtual tattoo that brought life to my heart. Words of encouragement are sometimes easy to miss.   I could have deleted that message in a flash.   I could have simply dismissed it as a nice comment and gone about my business.   But there was something in those words.   Something good and divinely impactful.   Words so beau