Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm working on it

I have a new beginnings kind of feeling. Not sure why. I've been evaluating and reevaluating. Planning and prioritizing.

Here are a few things I want to work on.

I want to be present. I observed this in Nancy Rue at Glen Eyrie. When she is talking to someone, she is with them. She is completely engaged with that person. When it was me, I knew I had all of her attention and that she really heard me.
I'm pretty sure that people don't feel that way when they talk to me. I know that my eyes wander and often my thoughts do too. I tend to think about what wisdom I can share, what I will contribute to the conversation, rather than listening.

I want to have a more teachable spirit. I love to learn, but I hate to be wrong. These two often collide. I've been working on this one for a while. Again, I need to listen. I need to stop thinking about "when can I tell you what I know, because I know ever so much, and you will be so glad to hear what I know and be changed forever." Ugh.

I want to simplify. In lots of areas and lots of ways. Prioritize better. Learn how to manage my energy.

I'm still working on lots of old stuff, too. Like, wondering why I have to always be working on stuff. Does everyone else try this hard? Or is it perfectionism driving me?
See, I need to work on over-thinking, too.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


This is a repost from a couple of years ago. It's been on my mind lately. I'm wondering how my heart has changed since then. I think it has. Not by might, that's for sure. But by the grace of God at work in me.

People have a tendency to get under my skin.

I often avoid people.

I'm talking big crowds and the like.

People are rude and pushy and selfish and they get under my skin.

Today we went to the Aquarium and it was fairly crowded. I did pretty well, though.

Except for the part where we were in the restaurant.

And some man spit.

On the floor.

In the restaurant.

Right next to our table.

People bug me.

Tonight our deer friend is lying in our backyard chewing bubble gum or something.

I was admiring him.

Shining a flashlight out there so I can see him.

I love admiring the deer and rabbits and sky and sunsets and stars and foliage, etc.

It's dark though.

So without my flashlight all I can see is the lights of the city in the distance.

As I was looking at them and thinking about how I'd much rather be looking at the creation, it occurred to me -- That Is The Creation.

Not the lights.

The people represented by the lights.

Not only that. They are the pinnacle of creation.

God's most favorite part.

The part God loves so much He sent His only son to die for it.

Those people.

God's magnificent creation.

My heart needs some help.

Friday, June 26, 2009

good news

I have the BBC set up as my home page. And I tell ya, some days it's almost more than I can take. This world is a mess.
Today's news: a fifteen year old boy brutally beat to death a two year old girl who was in his care for 90 minutes.
Women are burned alive in Kenya, accused of witchcraft.
Always there are headlines about the struggles in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, North Korea, various African nations. It can be overwhelming.

So, today I found this news site. It's all good news stories. A homeless girl got into Harvard. A Colorado family found a millionaire's wallet and returned it. This site isn't free. I think it's $2 per month.

This one is free. A nine year old Utah boy got lost in the wilderness. He used knowledge gained from the TV show Man vs. Wild to survive the nineteen hours and to help searchers find him.

A couple more good news sites here and here.

You know they say that it takes ten positive comments to balance a criticism. I think the same is true for this stuff. The good news isn't as good as the bad news is bad. But if we read several of these stories, or at least the headlines, maybe it will help us keep some perspective.

And the best news of all. God is on the throne. He is good and loving and He is in control. He has a plan and it's a good one.

Monday, June 22, 2009

monday movie meme

I found this over at The Bumbles Blog and thought it would be fun to talk about.

This weeks theme is "Movies you'd most like to hang out in."

Movie worlds draw us in and sometimes it's sad to leave. So my picks:

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, because who wouldn't want to hang out in Narnia?

Toy Story, as long as I can be a toy.

Monsters Inc because I like scaring people.

Big Fish because it's whimsical and beautiful.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory because CHOCOLATE river! Duh!

Camelot because it would be so cool to see Camelot and meet Arthur and it is so heartbreaking, devastating, and sad.

What about you? Which movies would you like to spend some time in?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

daddy memories

Dad teaching me how to cast a fishing line in the front yard.
Dad buying me pipe cleaners to play with when I was sick.
Dad driving us over treacherous mountain roads.
Dad singing "My Boyfriends Back" as he scrambled eggs.
Dad laughing.
Dad taking me with him on his trips to the dump.
Dad buying us ice cream cones.
Dad teaching me to shoot, letting me shoot his Magnum which was quite a kick.
Dad coming home in the mornings, tired from a long night at work.
Dad taking me for a ride on the back of his motorcycle.
Dad rescuing me from many a high place that I couldn't get down from.
Dad taking me fishing, teaching me to skip stones, (I never got it) and teaching me to walk loudly to scare away snakes.
Dad giving me fatherly advice.
Dad teasing.
Dad telling me that boys could not be trusted.
Dad teaching me to drive in a stick shift.
Dad rocking me when I was little.
Dad kicking the smoking habit.

Thank you dad, for all you've taught me, all you've given me.
I love you.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Glen Eyrie Writer's Summit

I just returned from Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs where I joined fifty or so other writers. We were there to learn from great mentors: Angie Hunt, Nancy Rue, Al Gansky, and Kathy Mackel.
We learned how to write. Or at least how to go on from where we are. How to write better.

But it was about so much more than writing.

People from across the country and beyond joined together to laugh, sing, cry, and laugh some more.
People shared their deepest pain, their fears, frustrations, joys, dreams, and doubts.
People listened. People prayed. Love was there. Love for a shared passion, love for our Father, love for one another.

Wells were filled. Spirits were encouraged.

God was there. I was blessed.

Friday, June 12, 2009

friday fill-ins

1. I grew up thinking _painful things that happened to me were the only painful things that really mattered__.

2. _Facebook__ was the last website I was at before coming here.

3. Why don't you _bake me a peach cobbler, with real butter, please, not nasty shortening__?

4. _A hot tub__ helps me relax.

5. Thanks for the _memories. No, really, I mean it!__

6. _People who are always on their cell phones are___ very off-putting.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _doing some birthday shopping___, tomorrow my plans include _birthday presents for the boy, picking up my friend at the airport, and yarn shopping___ and Sunday, I want to _go to my old church and begin the fun of Glen Eyrie Writer's Summit____!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

post about nothing

I'm at a loss what to talk about. But I want you all to know I'm still here.

We have been having tremendous weather here. Since Sunday there has been a tornado warning every day somewhere in the Denver area. Today the warning was right over our house.
Not a tornado, just a warning.

Saturday my friend Accidental Poet will be here and then Sunday we are driving to Glen Eyrie for a Writer's Summit. It will be great if it's anything like the past two years.

Also next week you will find my book in bookstores. Okay, so it's not my book, but I'm in it. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Time, Tough People will be released next week. My story, "Lifeline of Hope" is on page 247.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

more thoughts on Buzz

In my previous post I talked about Buzz Lightyear, dreams, and limitations.

I've been pondering.

I pondered American Idol, (I haven't watched in years) where the dreams are big, but so are the limitations in many cases. If you can't sing, you can't be the next AI. You can take lessons, but if the underlying talent isn't there, perhaps another dream is in order.

I pondered my lack of ability in athletics. No matter how hard I may train, I will never be a track star or a gymnast. Definitely not the dream for me.

Then I thought again of Buzz. You know, at the end, he did fly. When the rocket shot him and Woody into the sky, they got loose and Woody said, "Buzz! You're flying!"

Buzz knew his limitations and said, "This isn't flying, it's falling--with style."
Yet, flying or falling, he sailed through the sky with grace and control.

So, as MoneyHoney said in the comments, God may not tell us we can't fly, but He may tell us not to take certain flights. I think we need to know whether we can sing, whether we can do a perfect cartwheel, or run a mile in less than an hour. Be sure we're dreaming the right dream.

But how do we know if we're dreaming the right dream?

God gives us our dreams, knowing our limitations. All of us have something, placed in us at our creation, that we are to aim for, dream about, pursue. Then, when we know what that is, I think we have to light that rocket and soar.

But how do we know what that is?

Buzz had it in his heart to fly, and he did. He had it in his heart to be a hero, and he was (Toy Story 2). So I could say that the dream that is deep in our hearts is the dream we should pursue, but what about all those American Idol people?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

thinking about buzz

When my son was very young his first hero was Buzz Lightyear. We loved Buzz for a long time. I still, in fact, love Buzz.
Toy Story is one of my favorite movies of all time.
We can all relate to Woody. The pain of feeling your position has been usurped. Jealousy. We get that.

But today I was thinking about Buzz. Buzz was a dreamer. He had big goals."To Infinity and Beyond!" was his motto. Infinity was in his grasp and was not enough for him. No-siree.

We are all told to dream big, aim high, shoot for the stars.

But then there is the scene I love for it's heartbreak. Buzz sees an advertisement for a Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Action Figure and hears the words that change his life: "This is not a flying toy."

Randy Newman sings a melancholy song as Buzz absorbs this news. Buzz decides to disbelieve what he heard. He climbs the banister, "If I believe I can fly..... I can flyyyyy." He jumps, soars, dives. He crashes to the floor, his arm falls off and Randy finishes with, "Clearly I will go sailing no more."

Heartbreaking. The dreamer crashed.

How do we reconcile dreams and limits? We are all finite. We all have inabilities. I can't fly, no matter how hard I believe it, I can't. I will crash.

Dream big. But how do we avoid the crash? Or do we just go for it and reconstruct ourselves the best we can after we fall apart?

Buzz made it. He had to go through some soul searching and depression, but he was a better toy in the end for it.

What to you think? Leap and risk falling? Or do we believe it when we hear "This is not a flying toy" and alter our dreams to fit within the realm of infinity?

Perhaps it has to do with who's voice is telling us our limitations. There are plenty of people who want to hamper dreams. Lot's of wet blankets. But what if the voice comes from the company that manufactured us? Perhaps that's when we need to consider heeding the warning.

Dream big. Reach for the stars. But heed the voice of your maker.

What do you think?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

living like Jesus

When I was at Liberty University my New Testament professor was Dr. Ed Dobson. I loved his class. Loved when he would preach in chapel. He was a Dean and a favorite amongst my friends.
After he left LU, he pastored a huge church in Michigan.
In 2001 he was diagnosed with ALS. He continued to pastor, but eventually retired.
He decided to spend a year living just like Jesus. And then he wrote a book about it, soon to be released by Zondervan.
You can read an article in USA Today and watch an interview on ABC.
I know that I could not do it. But I'd like to try. Not the beard, or eating Kosher, but I'd like to be more aware of obeying His teaching. I'd like to really love my neighbor and forgive and bless and give.
I'd like to live like Jesus. I'm interested to read his book and see just what that looks like.