Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of Passage? His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man! Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone. Even when we don't know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

Let's be more aware of all the choices, situations, twists and turns that brought us to this place right here and now. They May Be Miracles.

Monday, October 3, 2011


If you're having trouble forgiving someone, you might want to consider that whatever it is they supposedly did to you had nothing to do with you at all. Hatred, bullying, and acts unbecoming of a human usually come from a selfish place - a place where a person is trying to prove that what they believe is true. They really don't care about what you think or what your feelings are - they don't care that you're angry, or sad, or hurt - they don't EVEN KNOW that they've offended you. Stop the cycle of hatred and instead return love and forgiveness. When you choose to return a grudge or walk around with sadness, burden and a hardened heart, you too are coming from an equally selfish place. Contrary, love is the only unselfish existence you can choose. To love means to forgive and understand that you may be right, or they may be right, but ultimately it doesn't matter...what matters is that you live a life of gratitude and servitude. People who care more about their beliefs or their truth more than the people around them will find themselves standing alone in their is enough.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saving the World

The other morning I was rudely awakened from a really good dream.  It was the kind of dream that normally would put you in a good mood for the rest of the know, like you won the lottery, you were surrounded by all your loved ones and you were helping the world become a better place...all good things...that kind of dream.  But mine was interrupted by 2 of my children fighting over who got to cuddle next to me.

This fight kept going on and on and neither one was going to give in.  I was so frustrated because I just wanted to go back to sleep and keep dreaming about saving the world!  After about twenty minutes of me trying to go back to sleep and them kicking and pushing each other and yelling their case that they should get to cuddle with me I finally sat up, glared at them, pointed my finger, and calmly with teeth clenched told them to go downstairs and watch t.v. "NOW."

Not the greatest way to start a day - for any of us.  Their goal was to snuggle.  Mine was to sleep.  Both should have been a good thing.  But because they were so frustrated, especially as children, they couldn't find any other solution besides fighting for what they wanted.  Because I was rudely awakened and taken off guard I couldn't see or think of my normal solution to the same situation which has happened many times before.  Normally, I would just roll over to the center of the bed and take one each side of me so both could snuggle with me.  This time, however, I was so bothered by their argument and that they woke me from a good dream - and I wanted to go back to sleep so badly, that I couldn't think clearly or rationally.  I only got caught up in the drama and ended the problem with my authority instead of with love and patience.  Not a shining moment in my life as a mother.

After I had some time to cool down and consider this situation it occurred to me that so many times in our lives we can't see obvious solutions because we are too caught up the drama of the moment.  Sometimes it's anger, sometimes emotional, but often all we can see is what we want instead of what the journey is presenting to us in that moment.  No doubt the best thing to do is to stop motion of the e-motion, consider smiling, and look into the magic or miracle of the moment.  When it comes to children we only have such a short time to enjoy them as children.  Life in general isn't much longer - we may as well take the time to figure out the easier and more joyful solution, right?  Probably that will end up being how we save the world...not through the bold, exciting, heroic dreams we have - shame on me for a missed opportunity - and may we all work harder to do better and be better to one another!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just Jump

Have you ever stood on the edge of something - a platform, a cliff, a bridge - to bungee jump or zip line down or jump/dive into water?  How does that feel, standing on the edge deciding to just jump?  A little scary?  Scared that maybe the harnesses won't catch or hold you - afraid you'll crash to the ground - afraid that you'll get hurt somehow?  And yet, with all those physical threats, you still choose to just jump anyway because your faith in the process is much greater than your fear of injury or death.  You decide that many people have done it before you and they all came out ok, right?  And you do it - you jump!  And it's amazing and exciting and more fun than you imagined and you can't wait to do it again!  Wow!

I was thinking about this as my 7 year old zip lined for the first time this weekend.  I thought about how easy it is for us to take physical risks even at an early age because we trust that it's safe regardless of how scary it looks.  Then I thought about the scary things we face throughout our lives - not the physical things - but the emotional, the day-to-day, the risks to rise above or advance, the ambitious moves we need to make.  Sometimes we stay planted in a safe place because we are too afraid to go for something.  The "what-if's" can consume us.  We don't trust the process or that someone around is going to keep us safe - or that even we ourselves have what it takes to accomplish the unusual or ambitious idea.  Why is it so much easier to risk our physical lives by jumping off of cliffs and platforms than it is for us to risk embarrassment or failure or possibly even success in daily lives?  It all comes from the same place - it's all a decision.  Either way probably the most thrilling choice is to JUST JUMP.