WAITING IN THE IN-BETWEEN PLACE

I hate waiting. I am more of the instant-gratification type. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always march to my drumbeat. Can you relate? Whether it’s waiting to find love, start a family, buy a house, get a degree, land the perfect job, or finally retire, most of us have had to wait at an in-between place for our hopes and dreams to materialize. As a matter of fact, I’ve done time in each of those in-between places – and I know I’ve seen more than a few of you there! It’s easy to get discouraged in an in-between place. Our faith may even be challenged when God doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers in ways – or as promptly – as we think He should. The trick is to learn to wait gracefully in the in-between places. Here are a few suggestions that...

AT A LOSS FOR WORDS

I was at a loss for words. Those who know me can appreciate the weight of that statement. I am a wordsmith by trade. As a writer and a public speaker, words are my medium of choice. Normally, putting words onto paper is like falling off a log for me. However, this past year was anything but normal for me. As a result, I have found myself struggling to string words together in a meaningful fashion – my last blog post was August 5, 2014. Some days, just writing a grocery list was a challenge. Multiple layers of change and loss in 2014 caused major tectonic shifts in my life that left me feeling as if I’d been hit in the head with a baseball bat. If you’ve ever taken a significant blow to your head, you know what I’m talking about. It takes awhile to realize...

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT UNTIL IT’S GONE

It’s amazing what we take for granted. We have all been guilty at times of taking loved ones, the air we breathe and the water we drink (and bathe in!) for granted. It’s no wonder we say, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” Residents of the City of Toledo, Ohio know this all too well. They woke up this past Saturday, August 2 to this Urgent Warning (LINK) on their television screens: Do not drink or bathe in city water. Do not boil it. Do not give it to your pets. Do not wash dishes in it. Consuming water can result in nausea, stomach cramps and diarrhea; it may cause liver damage. Bathing in city water may cause skin irritation and rashes. A large algal bloom (LINK) on Lake Erie near the city’s intake station caused a toxic level of microcystin to...

ACCEPTING THE “NEW NORMAL”

There are defining moments that forever change the course of our lives. A choice we – or others – make, a phone call received or a diagnosis in a doctor’s office can alter our lives in ways we could never have imagined. Some defining moments are wonderful: You marry the love of your life; you land your first big job or buy your first house; you become a parent – or grandparent. Life is never the same. Other defining moments hit our lives like a train, sometimes without warning. We are left to figure out how to accept and live with the difficult “new normal” imposed on us. I was hit by what felt like a runaway train when I sat with my husband in a doctor’s office and heard his diagnosis: Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. Jon died less than two years later;...

DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING

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FACING YOUR FEARS

I was frozen with fear. I was sweating and the room was spinning. In the distance I heard people shouting, “Jump! Jump! Jump!” I wasn’t on the second-story of a burning building – I was at the end of the diving board in my college swim class. I would never have taken the class if I knew the final exam involved a jump off the high-dive platform! Just call me acrophobic. Heights have a tendency to paralyze me. I would have done the crawl of shame off the diving board if I wasn’t afraid that any movement would cause me to plummet into the abyss below. Other swimmers grew impatient behind me. My classmates below continued their chant, “Jump! Jump! Jump!” When  reality hit that the only way down was off the end of the board, I screamed, “Cow-a-bunga!” and...