Prepare to Fly

Prepare to Fly

It held such a wonderful view from high above—until it crashed.

Out of hundreds of acres of surrounding farmland, the brand new and quite expensive drone of one of our family members bee-lined toward the only body of water on the property. The small aircraft had lost its ability to maneuver, and on Thanksgiving Day, 2014, it went down, plunging to the bottom of a one acre lake.

And there it spent the entire year of 2015, buried alive, in the mud. Continue reading “Prepare to Fly”

It’s A Wonderful Life

It’s A Wonderful Life

When you read those words you are likely either nodding in agreement or shaking your head. It’s a wonderful life. Yes, it is. Or, no, it isn’t.

If you haven’t seen the Hollywood classic, you might presume it’s the image of the picture perfect family. Dad grinning wide at his children in front of the Christmas tree. Mom gazing with love and admiration into his eyes. Children who can do no wrong. It’s what we want everyone to see. It’s how we wish life would be. And life is… Continue reading “It’s A Wonderful Life”

Green Leaf Bug

Green Leaf Bug

I was sipping coffee outside when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a leaf stuck between the deck slats, waving with the morning breeze. It was colored an extraordinarily rich green, a contrast from the spectrum of autumn browns, yellows, and oranges. A closer look revealed a True Katydid, a.k.a., a green leaf bug.

I figured it was dead. Temperatures had dropped into the 40’s that night. With my slippered feet I tapped it onto its side. It’s legs pedaled slowly into empty air.

I picked it up. It’s tiny eyes stared at me with helpless abandon. Continue reading “Green Leaf Bug”

Prescription for Doing (Life) Part 3 – See Another

Prescription for Doing (Life) Part 3 – See Another

Keep the earth below my feet
For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn

— Mumford & Sons, “Below My Feet

As each small bag passed through my hands to the next volunteer, I thought of each man, woman, and child, in some other country, who will open these packages. They will be happy because it’s one more day they can eat. I am happy because I can help. Continue reading “Prescription for Doing (Life) Part 3 – See Another”

Prescription for Doing (Life) Part 1 – Something You Enjoy

Prescription for Doing (Life) Part 1 – Something You Enjoy

I had to take a little time off from blogging the past few weeks to make extra time for life. We have to do that sometimes—take time off, from activities we’d like to be doing for those commitments we need to be doing (and those can be one and the same). But that’s not a bad thing. When we’re feeling wound up (or wound down), it’s an invitation. Not to live less, but more.

I’m writing this from the San Diego International Airport as I’m nearing the end of several strenuous weeks. High school graduation parties. Youth baseball games. College application work for our oldest son. My daughter’s dance recital. A full work schedule including a week of travel. Writing a book. And then some.

Life at digital speed. But the problem is we are not wired to run like computers. This past week in San Diego reminded me of that. It had nothing to do with the location, but it had everything to do with a break in my routine. Continue reading “Prescription for Doing (Life) Part 1 – Something You Enjoy”

Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You – Part 2

Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You – Part 2

In my last post, Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You – Part 1, I asked the question, “Do you consider your life frontier?” We looked at how your life is confronted with many unfamiliar territories over its course. And although countless people before you may have encountered similar frontiers, these challenges are still unique to you.

Now comes the question, “What do you do with this?” How do you rustle up the courage to step into the unknown and find the gumption to keep going? (If you haven’t read Part 1, I encourage you to read that first.)

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Continue reading “Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You – Part 2”

Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You – Part 1

Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You – Part 1

Frontier. The word itself evokes thoughts of majestic landscapes, high plains prairies, mountain ranges untouched by human presence. Wagon trains heading into the Wild West, modern pioneers exploring the reaches of space and diving the depths of our oceans. We rarely use the word in the lexicon of our own lives—instead we use words like season or journey—but your life today is very much frontier.

Seasons come and go. Like moving to a new area, changing jobs, switching churches, going from football to basketball season. If our team doesn’t do so well, we say: there’s always next season. We weather through these cycles, and we learn what to expect when the next comes around. And so we become seasoned.

A journey is more a long, steady course over a lifetime. Ups and downs. Wide roads and narrow ones. Easy times and hard ones. A beginning and an end. We are taught to appreciate the journey as much as the destination. Others have gone before us on this road, and we learn from their experiences to improve our own chances at a successful life.

But what of a frontier? Does it sound more risky? Untamed? Ballsy, even? Continue reading “Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You – Part 1”

The Waking Dead

The Waking Dead

You have a zombie in your Easter basket, and it’s eating your chocolate eggs. Not exactly what you were expecting to hear going into Resurrection Sunday weekend. More like Halloween.

One of my favorite television series right now is The Walking Dead. If you’re already thinking, Great, another post about zombies, don’t leave just yet. Instead of walking dead things, let’s talk about waking dead things, about resurrecting and restoring the vibrancy that has died in us. For dead places are eating away at the sweetness of life.

Continue reading “The Waking Dead”

The Art of Understanding the Artist in All of Us

The Art of Understanding the Artist in All of Us

Novelist James Scott Bell calls writers “The Fellowship of the Weird.” Cecil Murphey, co-author of the popular 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Life and Death, shares in his recent newsletter, “Because I like who I am, I like being alone with myself” (after he explains his struggle with loneliness).

Run a Google search on “artists are weird” or “artists are misunderstood,” or my favorite, “artists are crazy,” and you’ll get millions of results.

I posed a question on my Facebook page asking, “If you’re an artist, do you feel lonely or misunderstood around non-artists?” The overall answer was yes (mostly the misunderstood part). But where does that leave the non-artist? Continue reading “The Art of Understanding the Artist in All of Us”