Our family has a tradition each night, just before bedtime, where we share what we are grateful for from the day that was just lived. As we recount our many blessings, it often leads to great sharing with one another and connecting in ways that multiply those blessings. One thing that is beautiful to experience in this process is the expectation that we will indeed find blessings in every day. There is always something for which we can be grateful. In fact, often it’s the case that there is much more we…Read more
Songs. Stories. Soul.
Songs. Stories. Soul.
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Several years ago a wise member of my extended family recommended I participate in an international program called Al-Anon. This is because someone we mutually love was dealing with the disease of alcoholism, and Al-Anon offers support for people whose lives have been affected by another’s drinking. Thankfully our loved one is in recovery these days, yet I continue to attend Al-Anon regularly because I have found it to be such a helpful program in general. With a spiritual (not religious) undertone, this…Read more
Recently I was reminded of a church program my mother attended and told me about years ago. As she sat in a circle with other participants, the leader asked each person to anonymously write down the toughest problems facing them right now. Then they were instructed to fold up their paper and put it in a bowl. The leader mixed up the papers and passed the bowl around the circle. Each person was to select a paper and privately read the problems on it. Then the leader asked, “Would you rather have these…Read more
The word “holiness” means to be set apart, in other words truly distinct and special. I wrote the song, “Set Apart,” in response to observing some people I care about having what I would call disposable relationships. It’s painful when something held sacred by one is treated as less than precious by another.
A broader view of these lyrics is that when we make our values expendable, when we betray our own good senses to make self-destructive choices, we enter into an emptiness that risks sliding into…Read more
For the past many weeks I have been going to the gym to walk the track while my daughters participate in a volleyball class there. When circling around, I often notice a mother doing laps with her two daughters, one of them disabled. I marvel at the mom’s determination to get this child moving, despite the challenge it looks to be to guide her along the track. I also admire the support the sibling offers her mother in this process. You can tell that together they have a single focus, to offer the disabled…Read more
This week my husband had a surgery. In anticipation of it, I was thinking of all the people involved who would make it happen, such as the administrative staff, the nurses, the anesthesiologist team, the plastic surgeon, assisting doctor, and more. I thought about how nicely things come together when each person does their part to offer their speciality. I’m grateful for that for obvious reasons, and also because I could never see myself in many of those roles. I’m not inclined to to be a surgeon, for…Read more
Like most human beings, I have my share of patterns in thought and behavior. Plenty are favorable, and many are not. Some seem intrinsic, as in a default setting. Others can be traced back to life experience that conditioned me, influences that stuck with me for better or worse. Whether nature or nurture, the positive patterns form a wonderful blueprint I can count on for living well…
…But then there are those patterns that I’d rather not have, such as letting paperwork pile up (again)… or foregoing…Read more
It’s taken me a while to understand this, and still I resist occasionally, but I’ve come to believe that when illness or injury knocks me down for the count it means a time has come for me to listen. Listen to what? To the needs of not only my body, but of my mind and soul as well. Listen to that which has been trying to reach me; that which I have neglected, avoided, or ignored. When I am in a state of utter vulnerability, Spirit has my attention in a way like no other. It is in these powerless moments…Read more
The concert crowd pleaser, “Yellow Wood,” is this month’s featured song. In this tune, I play off of the famous Robert Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken,” and add to that a pun for good measure. The choice before the subject is about how to process a relationship that has been misleading and confusing. The realization is that the road of disappointment need not be inevitable. At any point, one can return to the decision spot to regroup, reboot, stand tall, and choose instead the road which beckons a deeper…Read more
This week I’ve been made acutely aware (again) of how just one moment can alter so much so fast. Sometimes it’s for the better, sometimes it's for the worse, and maybe sometimes it’s just transformational.
This past weekend my family encountered such a moment of change, the bad kind. My husband, an elite runner, endured a traumatic injury that will keep him away from his passion for a while. We’re not sure what kind of comeback he might make; we only know it is our aim that he does. And, in the midst…Read more