Hope & Perspective

On the Eve of this New Year, I am reflective and incredibly grateful for a year that brought me more than I ever could have planned and prepared for. Though I consistently write goals for each new year, and take pleasure in checking them off at completion, this year quickly proved that it would be an anomaly from everything that was “normal” or “consistent” in my life.

firework1

As the summer began, I gained a sure realization that growth is measured by much more than check marks and task lists; my very organized and structured self learned that there is very little that we have control over, and I became a walking testament that our reaction to a situation actually has power to change ANY situation!

I live not far from the cities that were recently hit by a wild and devastating tornado.

An aerial image taken Sunday, December 27, 2015 shows the path of a tornado in Rowlett, Texas. Violent storms ripped through the North Texas area late Saturday, spawning tornados that killed 11 people. (G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News)
An aerial image taken Sunday, December 27, 2015 shows the path of a tornado in Rowlett, Texas. Violent storms ripped through the North Texas area late Saturday, spawning tornados that killed 11 people. (G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News)

The sentiments of my cousin, a resident of one of the towns, has clung to my heart this week…

     “Today, while we were out delivering supplies I saw some amazing things: As we walked through my friend’s demolished neighborhood there were people from Animal Rescue actively locating lost pets with their chip identifier, an elderly lady walking with a wagon full of drinks and snacks and coffee, people on foot passing out donuts, and cases of water on the curb next to every single house! The elementary school was housing the disaster relief teams and there were people with a big smoker BBQ feeding them, Every church parking lot is filled with stations for anyone needing anything you could imagine. People were parked at gas stations and walking in supplies to neighborhoods that are locked down. The high school parking lot is home to every insurance company imaginable ready to help. Tide mobile laundry trucks, Duracell battery trucks, and hundreds of Oncor workers and trucks are working non-stop. Police officers from all counties are helping to keep unwanted visitors out and residents safe. There are people offering to stand watch outside of homes to deter looters while families search tirelessly for their cherished belongings. This town has suffered damage beyond comprehension but wow…, the way everyone is working together is priceless. There have been no riots, or chaos and looters I believe are minimal due to the fact that Texans just really don’t put up with that kind of crap. If you loot, you will get shot. I’m sure of it. Seeing our little city right now would definitely restore your faith in humanity.

We often dread these types of events occurring in our own lives, and from the safety and warmth of our own homes, we can easily view nature’s storms as catastrophic- but when confronted with the unexpected and tumultuous, we are able to see a beauty that is otherwise hidden from our comprehension- we can try to imagine the goodness of human nature- but to feast on the goodness that lies deep within, we might find that we first spend time in the eye of a storm. Though I would never suggest seeking out life’s storms, I merely suggest that trials and turmoils are less gloom and doom than we fear and more hope and beauty than we can imagine.”

I have pondered, prayed, studied, experimented, questioned, challenged, and tried many new things this year. I have had many life changing and life altering experiences that I count among the most treasured of my 46 years in this life. My relationships have more meaning, my purpose seems more clear, and my resolute to reach higher has never been more sure…

But when it boils down to goals set and reached- I have only one with which I can report a completion! It was a goal set on November 1 and completed just this morning at 7:10 a.m. and just like everything else from this year, it changed my life in ways I could never have measured.

I’m not sure what my 2016 goals will be quite yet;  I am a believer that January 1 is the WORST time to set a goal if there is to be any hope of success! But this morning, as I sat quietly pondering my ONE completed goal of the year, I set my intention for 2016-

Progress Through Time…

the intention that will be my measuring stick by which all other goals and endeavors will be aligned. It feels good to welcome 2016 in less than 12 hours with this sense of peace, perspective, and resolve that I couldn’t have comprehended only a few months ago. I have come to understand that whenever we are brought to a restoration time, we are restored, not only to our previous state of being, but we are upgraded- reinforced with all the new and improved knowledge that comes through experience and wisdom. I don’t believe I am completely done being refined, but I have learned that wherever I am, to be grateful in and FOR IT!

 

 

 

 

I have come into contact with several mothers over the past few weeks, each one sharing a story of personal trial or concern over a struggling child- struggles that change lives and alter the very breath that is breathed.  The youth of today are struggling in ways like we’ve never seen before. As a result, […]

Continue Reading

IMG_9726

A few months ago, I was asked to speak to a group of parents in my area. The topic I was asked to emphasize was “Successful Parenting” If that wasn’t intimidating enough, the gentleman who asked me said, “Now what we are really looking for is practical tips and ideas that can be taken home and implemented immediately into the homes of […]

Continue Reading

IMGP5177

A few years ago, I suggested to my family that we choose one of the attributes of Christ and use that as a starting point for our personal study. These attributes, I felt, would help us understand ourselves better as we sought to be better children, parents, siblings, friends, and neighbors.  Some of the attributes […]

Continue Reading

A few months ago, I taught a class on sitting through the difficult postures. We held CHAIR posture for an insane amount of time and then I asked the class to come out S-L-O-W-L-Y!! Very, very S—L—O—W—L—Y……………………………………….. This is tough, because all you really want to do is get out of the posture by bending forward […]

Continue Reading