Monday, May 26, 2014

Remembering...those who served, like my Dad

          Be sure you
          put your feet
          in the right
          place, then 
          stand firm.
                -Abraham Lincoln

My Mom told the story often. It was part of her history
with my Dad. They had only been engaged a short time and
were having breakfast at a diner in Seattle, Washington.
The radio was on and suddenly the whole world stopped.
My Mom described the eggs on her plate. She never forgot
what they looked like. 

It was December 7, 1941 and Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor. 
Suddenly the US was thrust into World War II. My parents 
married on December 22nd and were sent to Texas before my 
Father left for three years overseas.

Three years.
Three long and hard years.

Yet in all the times of reliving those days in a tent, the days
he saw combat, all of the enormous loss of life, what I will
always remember is that my Father never complained. 

Not once. Not ever.

Both of my parents lost so many friends who were serving this country.
The entire football team from Montana State University, never 
came back. They were all my Mom's dear friends.

Not one of them came home.

My Dad once said, "I was too old to go, (he was 28) but I told them there
was no way I wasn't going to serve my country. So they let me in."

No Complaining.
Not once. Not ever.

All over the United States today we are celebrating Memorial Day.
We are celebrating the lives of old soldiers long gone....
We are remembering those who didn't come home after recent service.
We are celebrating the freedom we have because of the gift they gave.

Flags are flying
We are remembering

I've seen the pictures of my Dad in his uniform
His sacrifice of time and care and devotion and love
Makes him a hero in my eyes.
He wasn't the same after those three years.
It changed him to be in a war.
But he loved this country, and proudly served it.
He lost many good friends who never came home.

I love you Daddy, and I won't ever forget!

You and countless other brave Americans
Put your feet in the right place,
and then stood firm!

Tonight, Memorial Day night, we watched an amazing movie on WWII.
Don't miss The Monuments Men

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CreneTs7sGs

God Bless!
Love, Linda


Saturday, May 24, 2014

I Always Thought...Reflections on an Unsettled Heart

Bring me your mind for rest and renewal.
Let me infuse My presence into your thoughts.
As your mind stops racing, your body relaxes,
and you regain awareness of Me. This awareness
is vital to your spiritual well-being; it is your
life-line.
                                 -  Jesus Calling for May 24th

I always thought that by the time I reached my sixties that all of life would fall into place, that I would have more answers than questions.

I always thought that wisdom would settle in like 
sinking into an old, familiar couch, where you were immediately comfortable and at home. 

I always thought.

I always thought that with aging came comfort, came peace, 
came tranquility. Like the puzzle pieces coming together
effortlessly. Sliding in, fitting nicely, with a sigh of contentment.
I saw aging as well-earned rest and reward. A mind and heart at peace.

I always thought.

Instead, it seems, at sixty seven, that life has so many new learnings at every turn. That some of what once filled my heart and took my attention may not make much sense any longer.

Usually I am oh. so. comfortable in my own skin, but that just
isn't true these days. While some things still feel like constants,
and I am where I am supposed to be, more often than not  I am re-thinking and re-examining who God wants me to be. I am nudged and pulled and twisted to look at life through a new lens.

His lens. 

I am acutely aware that there are more days behind me than in front of me. I want every day to count, to mean something, to be tapped into His agenda for me, not my own. His open- 
hearted living for me. His deep gratitude for me. His sense of
purpose for me. 

I have always had a heart for social justice and hurt people,
His people, no matter where they are. No matter  the color of their skin, no matter how much education they have or how rich or poor they are. They are all His children. All of them. 
Every. single. one.

Sometimes it's easier to close my eyes. Pretend I don't see.
Or feel my plate is too full to make a difference. But He has my
eyes wide open these days.

What I know for sure is that when His children hurt, 
He hurts.
What I also know for sure is that when they hurt, 
I hurt too.

I can't stand to see people be hungry. It breaks my heart every time. That's why I bring food every day into my classroom...
oranges, always oranges, and cookies and muffins and apples.
If the bellies of my beloved students are full, so can their minds be full. That's why I carry apples in my car. I can't drive by someone on a corner, holding a sign-asking for help, without my heart breaking.

Some years back my precious Grandson, Jacob, taught me a huge life-lesson. A God-lesson. Jacob was starting to read and would sound out the words on the hand-held signs, held by the homeless and hurting on almost every corner. 

His small voice in the back seat would say..."I am hungry and anything will help." And then he would look at me. 
His Nana.
And he would whisper..."What are we going to do?"

And that's when the apples in the car began. Hand out an apple or a bag of apples, or a happy meal. Began. Keep food in the car to give away. Began.

And the children shall lead them.

I can't do much, I can't fix everything...but I can give them food.
That's why, at a recent food drive at the college where I teach, I kept filling up grocery cart after grocery cart at the store. I can't stand that many of my students and their precious babies are worrying about putting food on the table.

The lyrics to a song at Church keep pulsing
through my mind....
        " Break my heart for what breaks Yours."

In truth, this time of life that I thought would be infused with
great comfort, instead has my skin itching, my mind racing and my heart breaking. 

Yet I know He wants me to breathe and rest in Him. I know He wants me to infuse His presence into my thoughts. He wants to calm my racing mind and relax and trust in Him.

And I also know that He wants me to shed some parts of my life that take up time and space. Parts that no longer have meaning for me or for Him. Those "That was then and this is NOW!" parts.

He is my life-line and my fortress and my strength. He
will direct my steps. He is my lens and I will focus on His
goals for me.

My unsettled heart will be settled as I give myself fully to the God I know and love and serve. And while I am still here, I will do His work.

Sometimes children show us the way in doing God's work-
don't miss this. It may change your day. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bH8G93wLCs

Amen and Amen!
God Bless!
Love you to the moon and back!
Linda 








'

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saturday's Saying...A Moment Together In Our Garden...


.         .         .                 .          .       .       .
         .          .     until          .       .           .
       .       .          further         .   .
.    .    .      .       notice            .      .     .
         .      .         celebrate              .     .
.        .      .         every          .     .            .
  .          .            thing!              .
         .                      .                             .

I am so grateful to be alive. This week has
not been easy, but it is Saturday and I can
take a much needed moment to reflect on all that has gone on. 
just breathe
just pray
just be grateful

Last night, before dinner, Bert and I sat in
our old, much-loved swing in the back yard, 
lulled by the rocking motion.
back and forth
back and forth
it soothed my weary soul. 

We watched the eagles way up high in the sky,
circling on their way to a more isolated destination.

We gazed at the stone path Bert had built 
to two old, beat up chairs in our garden, 
a masterpiece of simplicity.
a place to unwind for
two old friends
two old lovers.

We saw new growth on an old plant Bert just wouldn't give up on.
He's like that, you know.
He never gives up on struggling plants 
He never gives up on struggling people.

We talked about good news 
My friend Vicky Westra's brain scan..
stable
Never has the word "stable" meant so much to me.

We whispered prayers of Thanksgiving
we are still here to see His glory
His creation
His miracles.

We heard giggling next door
Children on their play set.
Music to our ears
Wistful memories of days gone by 
Our own babes when they were young.

We held hands, 
His dirty from hard work in the garden.
Mine tight from a challenging day.
just us
right there
in our garden.

Quietly celebrating everything that God created.
All of the small gifts that often go unnoticed.
my breathing calmed
my heart felt peaceful
at last...I was home.

This song captures what our time was like-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2VCwBzGdPM
Have a wonderful weekend!
God Bless!
Love, Linda


Friday, May 16, 2014

Sitting stunned...saying prayers...

Choose life! Only that and always!
At whatever risk. To let life leak out,
to let it wear away by the mere passage of time, to withhold giving
and spending it is to choose nothing.
                                   -Sister Helen Kelly

Life is so precious. It is so short. Most of us only have 30,000 mornings during our lives. 

I was able to make it home before the tears started to flow. 
I was and am in disbelief. Two of my colleagues, one a very dear friend, had family members commit suicide yesterday. Another staff member who works in that area had a close loved one attempt suicide. Ending their life. Forever by choice, when there were other options. 

These dear family members must have been in so much pain and unthinkable despair that they couldn't conceive of a way out. They couldn't imagine things getting better. Everyone who loves them is left with so much hurt, and pain and questions, and deep, deep grief, and anger. And guilt. Enormous guilt.

Suicide is a tragic, preventable cause of death. According the the Washington State Department of Health, suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals 
10-24 years of age and the 8th leading cause of death for all individuals in my state of Washington.

What is so scary to me, in looking at all of this and trying to learn something from these
recent deaths, is that this report suggests that 80% of the people who complete suicide have exhibited warning signs. 

What are a few of these warning signs?
the person may:
*talk about hurting themselves, sometimes in vague terms.
*seek access to ways to do this like a firearm or pills
*have increased substance abuse
*feel they have no purpose for living
*experience deep anxiety and with that a loss of sleep
*have mood changes
*feel trapped and hopeless
*exhibit excessive rage and act reckless

Elder depression may bring a 50% higher risk for suicide than in young people.
Both of the relatives who committed suicide yesterday were older family members.

It seems so important, especially since I teach college courses in communication, to know what these warning signs really are. We often miss these signs for several reasons. We aren't educated in this area of human behavior so we aren't listening for these cues. Also, we may be so uncomfortable with a topic like this so we don't ask a very direct question when we are concerned. The question is this: Are you thinking about hurting yourself?

Yet even if we do know these warning signs, we cannot control the choices that another person makes.

Also, according to this study, at times there may also not be "warning signs." At least with 20% of the cases, there was no way to tell. It seems to me that it's important to give ourselves grace in all of these situations and not heap guilt on ourselves that we somehow should have "known." 

My own family suffered a loss from suicide. My Mom's father, very early in her life, took his own life after a serious car accident left him depressed and hurting. I never knew my Grandfather, but I knew the lasting scars his suicide left on my Mom. Those were the days when suicide was wrapped in shame and secrecy. Those were the days when you had a "stiff upper lip" and were not supposed to complain or whine...about anything. Those were the days when even talking about breast cancer or addiction was a complete taboo, let alone a topic as off limits as suicide.

 My sweet mom didn't talk about hard topics anyway, and I never knew how her Dad died until after my own father passed away from heart disease. My Mom, at a friend's request, went to a Hospice Grief Group. There she made a timeline of the greatest hurts in her life, including her Dad's death, and she started to talk about some of these "hard topics" for the very first time. She learned more about suicide from the group leader and group members. She learned it wasn't her fault and that eased some of the grief and guilt she had carried for 60 years.

My husband, Bert, is a counselor who works with individuals, marriages and families.
He is an amazing listener and a skilled psychotherapist and when I talked about yesterday's events with him, he wasn't shocked. In his work with hurting people for over thirty years, he is often a resource for helping others to find hope when everything seems so hopeless.
He is a respite in the storm for those who might consider taking their own life. He observes strict confidentiality and never talks to me about a patient, but I can often see when he comes home the weight and responsibility he feels in helping people choose life. He can also refer someone to a medical doctor, when medication might be the answer to depression. He is one of countless helpers out there who can be a beacon of hope for the hurting.

When we suspect that something is seriously wrong with someone we care for, and we feel like their issues are too grave and serious for our own skill sets, we can also find a skilled counselor or doctor to be a resource for our hurting loved one. 

There is help out there. Things that seem so dark can get better. Yet we have to increase our knowledge on this very hard topic of conversation and at times go outside our comfort zone to have some tough conversations. Taking the risk to ask will be worth it. Having eyes and ears wide open, to pick up warning signs, will be worth it. Helping someone to choose life, is always worth it.

Please, when you are saying your prayers, include my two friends. Their hearts are broken. 

God Bless!
Love Linda



Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's day...Here's to the strong, the mighty...and one son says thanks!

It may just be my age, but I am brought to tears easily these days. When something touches my heart or seems to hit the nail on the head in telling the truth, the tears just flow. I love being older.
I absolutely adore the wisdom that is available at this age, if only I open my eyes, ears and heart to take it all in. Life lessons can come in many packages, and some are gift wrapped with a big red blow.
Most days I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude for it all. The blessings and the uphill battles.
It is all fodder for strength, fuel for the fire,  muscle-building exercises that stimulate me to stretch and find out who I really am. And I am all about growing and soaking in who I really am and who He means for me to be. What He has for me to learn. And today is a day of learnings, filled to the brim...overflowing.

Today is Mother's day. Today small children may be gripping pencils and carving messages on paper and into their mother's hearts...messages so dear, so simple that they are "keepers," reminders to revisit when things get tough. Messages from the purest souls. I love you Mommy! You're a good Mommy!

Adolescent children may, with some small sense of obligation, be looking for cards. Trying to find a message that fits their own individuation while simultaneously expressing a caring that goes deep into their bones. Older children, who are now parents themselves, may be nodding with a new sense of understanding and are looking for deeper messages as they are starting to "get" what it really means to be a Mommy... the mighty force, the constant vigilance, the love that knows no bounds. The job description no one tells you about when you first hold that sweet baby in your arms.

Mother's day is joyous for some and deeply anguishing for others. Yesterday I spent time calling some of my soul sisters whose Moms have gone "home". Today, for them, is a mix of memories, some laced with abundant joy, others entwined with wistfulness and loss. Words unspoken... I wish I could tell her how glad I am she was my Mom.

Other Moms have lost a child and the hole in their heart seems to never fully heal. It.is.just.there.
Each child has your heart and part of their heart is missing. Other women have longed to be Moms.
It didn't work out for a multitude of reasons. Or they may have lost babies with a miscarriage. They were a Mommy for an instant, but that child is still theirs, an ever present ache. They are still a Mommy, longing for someone who cares enough to listen to their story. Other mothers are estranged from their children or there is an uneasiness and lack of comfort in the relationships that strains
their hearts. A palpable tension between Mommy and child. This day may be full of "I wish I had", "I wish I could go back and do it over" moments.

Mother's Day isn't as simple as a Hallmark card might lead you to believe.

I often think about Mary, the Mother of Jesus on Mother's Day. I imagine what it was like for her
to hear the news she was with child, to know that Joseph might leave her, to undergo scrutiny and stares that as an unmarried young woman, she was pregnant. I often wonder about her journey on a donkey and giving birth in a stable, being homeless. I often wonder what it must have been like to raise Jesus, mentor Jesus, make meals for Jesus, worry about Jesus. I wonder what it was like when she started to see His holy gifts be revealed, the pride she had, the wonder that overtook her on occasion. I wonder what it felt like to hear His lessons and see His disciples do acts of mercy.

* I wonder what it was like for Mary when she saw her son care for the unlovable, the outcasts,
and spread messages so deep, so profound that you could see God the Father through His words.
* I wonder what it was like for Mary to see her son persecuted and misunderstood, carrying a cross through the streets with thorns dug into his head, the same head she had kissed so tenderly.
* I wonder what it was like for Mary to see Him on a cross, nails through the same hands and feet she had gently caressed when Jesus was a small and tender infant.
* I wonder what it was like for Mary to hear the words of her son, asking his disciple, to take care of His mother. Even then, from a cross dying, Jesus knew His mother needed caring for. That her heart was breaking at the loss of her child.
* I have always wondered what it was like for Mary to be a Mommy.

I love the prayer that starts with...

"Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee..."

She was grace personified. Grace in action. Strong, mighty, amazing, enduring grace.
Mary, a Mommy behind the scenes.
Mary who loved Jesus with all her heart and soul.
Mary knew what it meant to be a Mommy and feel profound grief at the loss of her child.

Today is Mother's Day. And just as Jesus loved his Mommy, Mary, I am touched beyond words to see another son reach out and care for the Mommy who raised him. A Mommy who was young and pregnant and alone and homeless and poor economically.

This son's name is Kevin Durant. Yes, Kevin Durant the basketball player for Oklahoma.
The Kevin Durant  who used to play for the Seattle Super Sonics. The Kevin Durant, if you follow
sports, who just became the MVP for pro basketball. His message to his Mommy, in some small way,
reminds me of how Jesus may have felt toward Mary. His message has gone viral and Moms all over are wheeping at his touching words...at the acknowledgement of the sacrifice his Mommy made for him.

DO NOT MISS THIS...It is a soul-restorer!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrL-LYJ9afQ

To all the strong, mighty, wonderful, unselfish, caring, ever-loving, diligent,
hard-working Mommas who read this-
God Bless You!
Have a great Mother's day!
Linda






Monday, May 05, 2014

Mother's Day Is Around the Corner...a Letter to My Daughters

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide to have your heart walking around outside your body.
                                                                             -Elizabeth Stone

A Letter to My Daughters Who Have Children of Their Own:

Dearest Jessi and Amy,
I have barely touched the keyboard of this computer and already tears are streaming down my face.
I am sitting here with my first cup of coffee, listening to the rain fall. Mother's day is almost here. It is right around the corner, and I want to write you a letter. There is so much I want you to know. So much I want to share from my heart-of-hearts. It's all about my Mommy, being your Mommy, and watching the two of you be a mommy to my precious grandbabies.

Just the thought of Mother's Day, without having my own Mom here, leaves me being one.hot.mess.
I can't imagine not hearing her voice ever again or listening to her wisdom. Or knowing that she has my back, no matter what. I miss her every day. I never knew that when she was gone, the hole that was left would seem impossible for anyone else to fill.

I had no idea, since she and I were so different, that I would miss every "different" thing about her that used to make me so irritated at times that I thought my head would surely spin off.

She and I didn't always have an easy or comfortable relationship, but every single day I knew that she loved me more than anything else in the world. How she expressed it wasn't always my love language, but we didn't even know what "love languages' were back then. She carried her mottled copy of Dr. Spock's Guide to Raising Children everywhere. He was the wisdom in her corner when all else failed. So even though from time to time we missed each other as meanings flew by and connections sometimes weren't made, we both tried. We were "cut out of different cloth," she and I.

Yet, in spite of every difference...she was my anchor, my supporter, the one I would call when everything fell apart. She found it difficult to share emotions and I was usually a puddle of every emotion conceivable.

Yet I learned everything I know about mothering from her. What did I learn? As a Mommy...You are always there. You are always someone to count on. You love me when I don't love myself. You believe in me when everyone else has given up on me. That's the kind of Mommy she was. A present Mommy. A visible Mommy. A "drive you to horseback riding" Mommy. A "I'll ride the chair lift to see you at your first ski race (even though I am TERRIFIED of heights)" Mommy. A worrying Mommy. An "I can tell you are unhappy, even if you won't tell me" Mommy. An "I'm so proud of you I can't stand it!" Mommy. A make a great meal Mommy. An unbelievably unselfish Mommy.

You only get one Mommy, and she was mine.

She tried to be the best Mommy she could be, even though her own Mom's parenting style left her feeling invisible and unworthy. She and her Mom didn't always get along or agree on how much suppport and love was needed. Yet I was so cherished that she dug deep to leave old role models behind and forge a new path of parenting with love. She wanted me desperately, just like I wanted the two of you. I never really got how deep and wide and tall and strong her love for me really was until I had you. After all..

We never know the love of a parent until we become parents ourselves.
                                                     -Henry Ward Beecher

When I look back at the old photographs of when I was preganant with you both, my face glistens with great joy and pure terror. I wanted you so badly, but I also felt so unsure about how to
love you in a way you would both feel deeply loved, unconditionally loved...just as you are. It is not an understatement to say that you two are very different. You were different as babies, different as little girls, different as teenagers and young women and different as adult young women. And while in some ways you are both like me, you are also both your own unique blend of your father as well.

What I know for sure is that I love, love, LOVE your differences. I love that you are uniquely yourselves. I truly believe that you are each God's miracle and He made you for a plan that would be truly your own.

Where you are both so similar is how much you love and adore and are there for your own children. You love them with a passion you never knew you had. You love them and adore them and would give your life for them in a second, because they are your heart. You know what it is to love unselfishly because of them.

What you couldn't know when you were little but perhaps know now more clearly, since you are both Mommies, is that I love you both the same way you love your children. Jessi, when you were born, I loved you with my whole heart. Amy, when you were born, God grew a whole new heart inside me to love you equally. Having you both has been life's greatest blessing and I cannot for one instant imagine my life without you.

I loved having your friends over to our home to play. I loved reading you stories at night. I loved listening endlessly to the "programs" you put on and the plays you concocted. I loved decorating your lunch bags and putting notes in them or decorating where you ate your breakfast and leaving you cards. I loved the thousands and thousands and thousands of miles I logged carting you to and from activities you were in. I loved sitting at those activities and watching you shine. I loved listening to your chatter in the car since I learned so much about you in those times when I was the invisible driver. I loved putting a cold compress on your forehead when you were sick and holding you when your heart was broken. I loved sending you care packages at Camp Reed so you would have some fun treats while you were there. I loved watching your friends like a hawk to see who was healthy for you to be around. I loved saying "Yes, you can!" and I even loved saying "no, you can't"...even when it might make you cry or be mad at me. I loved watching how smart you were in school and meeting with your teachers at parent conferences. I loved standing up for you and being there for you...no matter what. I loved telling you I loved you and telling you how important it was for you to love yourself. I loved helping you when you were in a jam. I loved not giving up on you when times got tough. I didn't give up on you then and I will never, ever give up on you now. Not ever. I loved teaching you manners and how to treat people in a loving way, with respect, no matter what. I loved showing you that every person is God's child and that being "different" is okay, and that differences were to be loved and appreciated. I loved telling you that God loved you and would always be with you, no matter what.

I loved every minute of being your Mommy THEN, and I love every minute of being your Mommy NOW.

I cannot believe that in a blink of an eye, you are both grown up, both amazing and giving people, both great daughters and family members, both so smart, both wonderful teachers and both have the beloved title of being a Mommy yourself.

I wanted you to hear how important this role is from someone besides me. Kelly Corrigan does an amazing job talking about parenthood being the great adventure:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYmQs8bs1cY

(Thank you to my dear friend Vicky Westra for sharing this with me! :) )

But this journey to parenthood has not always been easy. While you have both had great JOYS in your life, I also know that life has not always been easy for either of you. That's how life is, a mixture of great joy and also great pain. Yet as hard as it has been for me to watch these "toughest times," what I know for sure is that some of your most important learnings come when things fall apart, when there are shipwreck moments in your life. Moments that things are torn apart, the very fabric of your being. Moments that what you thought would always be there would be gone. Moments when you could feel your heart breaking. Moments when you would want to give up. Moments when you wondered if there was a God and where the heck was He. If you had not had some of these moments yourself, you could never understand or empathize with your children when they have these moments. Your  great pain is a teaching tool for when they have great pain, and they have and they will.

One of the hardest parts of being a Mommy, for me, has been when what I have said or done caused
pain for each of you. Moments when you were so mad at me you wanted to cover your ears when I told you what the truth looked like to me. When I told you what was on my heart. When I put conflicts out on the table with each of you.

As your Mom, I have tried to be authentic and real even though I wasn't parented that way. While I have told you thousands of times that I love you, I have also told you some things that have been hard to hear. It was never my goal to hurt you, rather to help you grow into who God meant you to be.

We are all broken. We are all imperfect. I certainly am. As I look back at being your Mom, there are some things I would do differently. But what I wouldn't change for a minute is how much I love you.

I am in awe of the kind of Mommy you each are. While at times your parenting styles are as different as you are, what remains the same is the deep, deep connection you have with your children. You are their safe place to fall. They feel so loved by you, adored by you, seen by you. You have real heart-to-heart talks with them. You listen to them. You are there for them. You have fun with them. You role model a deep kind of courage that will sustain them in their own shipwreck moments.

How blessed I was to have a Mommy who loved me. How blessed I am to be your Mommy and love you. And what a blessing it is to see you be a Mommy and love your sweet children, with your whole heart. I am so proud of you for the kind of women you are, and for the kind of Mommy you are to each of your babies.

Happy Mother's Day, Jessi and Amy. I will love you forever. I will like you for always. For as long as I'm living (and beyond) my babies you'll be.

Love you to the moon and back!
Your Momma

Friday, May 02, 2014

Fridays' Favorite Quote...Purpose and Passion

Finding your real purpose or passion 
is like searching all over the house for your car keys, only to discover that they were in your hand the whole time.

I find, as I get older, that there are more moments where what I am looking for is right on me or right in front of me. It makes my family chuckle when I say, after frantically digging through my purse like a squirrel diving for long-lost nuts, "I'm looking for my glasses." One of my precious grandchildren may comment, ever so sweetly, "Nana, they're on your head"...and then we all have a good laugh.

Right there.
Right in front of me
On my head the whole time.

I met a man named James yesterday at the college where I teach. He's an African American man who is probably in his 
mid to late seventies. He exudes wisdom, although he is far too humble to imagine that his words are so powerful. He told me he was back in school because after working hard his whole life, and retiring from three jobs, he was bored. He said he had learned early in life that what makes you happy and brings passion to your life may be what you do every day. 
But the "take home" was this...you are so busy doing it that you forget to enjoy it. You don't even realize you are doing your passion..the thing that makes your heart sing, that brings you an unending well of joy.

James said he lost his purpose and lost this passion staying home. "You can only catch so many fish, before you'll start to lose your mind," he said with a grin that enchanted everyone, old and young, sitting at our table.

So James said to himself, "Self, go do somethin' about this. Get it back!" He said his passion had been his job, but he didn't appreciate it until it was gone. Now learning and being a college student was his passion. 

But he said he had a confession to make. He just didn't understand us "college folks". He talked about how busy
everyone was here at the college, how we all seemed to rush so fast and do so much. He wondered, with the innocent wondering of a child, if maybe we were missing the point of being alive...

It's possible to be so busy doing life, that we miss really living life.

It's Friday and I have a long "to-do" list. Yet the weather forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures around 70. Perhaps today I'll set that list aside, if only momentarily. Friday, May 2nd might be better spent with experiencing my passion and purpose.... to love and enjoy this day, and all the people in it,  as if it was my last day on earth. To relish that which is in front of me. No need to search high and low. It's right there in plain sight.

Thanks for the reminder, James!

Have a great and glorious day. Let's all slow down and enjoy with every fiber of our being all the good things that are right in front of us.

God Bless!
Love Linda

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