Tag Archives: heart

Notes to My Sisters

January 19, 2017

Spiritual sisters, career sisters, traveling sisters, biological sisters, sisters I have yet to meet . . . to the ladies I love, respect, appreciate and admire, I have a few words for you.

Deepest gratitude for the off-hours texts and just-because calls. You never cease to amaze me with your heart, your wit and your ways of knowing where my heart drifts. Every prayer and every sweet hug are fathomless in my book of life.

Never, ever, ever give anyone the power to degrade you. Your joy, your trajectory and your very breath are for you and the Lord to command. Knock down the harsh words, judgmental stares and doubting intentions that may mar your path. Sweep it away swiftly.

Embrace your roots, smile forward and be present now. The past is a lingering lesson not a tether. The future is a glimmer of hope not a destination. Now is your gift and everything it should be. Love it, celebrate it, learn it and sink into it fully.

Resist measurement. Your eyes will break you down, piece by piece. Your worries will hold you captive. Your presumed obligations and expectations will throw you off balance. Accept the glory of you and the gift of exactly how you are wired, created and forged in faith.

Laugh as much as your cheeks and belly allow. Humor is grace let out. It lightens heavy burdens. It quells arguments. It puts thoughts into perspective. When paired with compassion, childlike curiosity and bubbly effervescence, it is the answer to oogley moments.

I welcome your wisdom below in the comments. May hope, love and light be yours today!

10 Posts for 10 Years: #6

January 27, 2014

Today, I feel called to share a deep and flowing tribute that I wrote not long after my father’s passing. See if you can find the heart and hope tucked in between the words.

A Titan of Humble Scale

My father is the summer breeze
warmly cradling my cheek,
brushing back my hair.

My dad is my humble confidant
keeping me racing forward,
readying a dreamsicle parachute.

My daddy is beyond compare
offering airplane rides,
stealing good-night kisses.

My friend is keeper of smiles
teasing me into smirks,
laughing at his own jokes.

My mentor is a steady rock
guiding me on an upward climb,
holding me as I search for stability.

My world is built from him
meshing man with hero,
giving all to his princess.

A Humble Heart

December 5, 2013

Humility is defined as a modest view of one’s own importance. It also seems like a natural blend of the words human and ability. It has been floating around my mind a lot recently, after having a thought-provoking conversation with someone close to me about confident vs. cocky and humble vs. insecure.

I believe confidence is a highly attractive quality, so long as you can back it up with action. It inspires a sense that someone has things covered, is not codependent and can be trusted with key tasks. However, I also believe that humility is the true path to greatness, so long as you don’t volunteer to be trampled on.

I find men are labeled cocky more often than women. Likewise, women are often deemed insecure in lieu of humble. I think the assumptions made of both sexes are flawed. And, in an ironic twist, if a woman displays confidence, she is often perceived as overbearing . . . similarly, if a man shows human insecurity, he is considered weak. What a silly mess. Time to clear the slate.

hand heart

Here’s how it all ties into hope . . . if you are an egoist or overly assured, you likely don’t see the need for hope as a daily exercise. And, if you are insecure and withdrawn, you may not feel yourself worthy of hope. Such an odd line between balance and imbalance.

So, what I recommend is simple (and trust me, I’m taking this to heart for myself too):

  • Acknowledge your skills and talents without downplaying or inflating
  • Recognize your tendencies to boast or to put yourself down, and correct as needed
  • Honor the confidence in yourself and others in simple, genuine ways
  • Encourage the humility in yourself and others in nurturing, kind ways

I believe that having a humble heart and a confident spirit is the goal. It’s possible to be real, gracious, helpful, warm and inviting, while also being capable, likable, steady and persuasive. So, proceed with confidence and guard against cockiness, as you put aside insecurities and share a humble love of life. Hope lives in that sweet spot.

Hope is Where the Heart is

May 16, 2013

I had someone at a cafe ask (challenge) me the other day, “Why does the world ‘need’ hope? Isn’t that a negative perspective?” I tilted my head, replied with heartfelt tales of hope and dabbled in a few hopeful examples from my own life. Still, as this blog grows, the question bears answering here.

Why need? Well, imagine a world of apathy, a world of numb souls who have given up, a world where no one thinks of the sunrise to come or the rainbow about to peek out from behind a cloud. Some of you may feel it’s that way already. I passionately resist that notion with every shred of my being. I am not alone in this belief, this knowledge of the power of hope and what it takes to choose hope over darkness. Needing something is not bad—we need air, we need love (deny it, if you wish) and we need water. Hope is fuel for the soul.

“The World Needs Hope” is not an indicting statement of the state of things, like a trite or linear solution to a perplexing problem. It is a testament to the awareness that we cannot thrive, dream or persevere without choosing to hope. If you live by three things, I pray they are faith, love and hope.

Want me to tell you a secret? I felt adrift recently. I held on to my hope but still felt like I wasn’t doing enough, inspiring enough or giving enough to others. It’s a funny thing, how we are programmed. At least in the culture I have known for 30+ years, you undermine your own needs, you work until you get blurry vision and you push yourself to succeed. So, when I found myself breathing without checking in, walking on a beach with zero idea what my next hour held and not tied to the electronic expectations pulsing through my email . . . I was, well, a little lost as to how to measure my worth.

I’m even hesitant to post the following photos because (as far as I’ve always been told), this isn’t work, especially working hard.

Stairway to Oneroa Bay

Stairway to Oneroa Bay

IMG_5865

Reflecting on the journey so far

IMG_5864

My seaside office

It’s as if we want to see others toiling, suffering and having a rough go of things in order to value their contributions. Where in the universe did that mixed up notion come from? Is it based on a feeling of commiseration, envy, judgment? For instance, studies have shown that people won’t value anything “free,” but you ask them to pay $1 and it suddenly jumps in value. Is our worth really tied to a financial tag? Is our output truly metered by the hours ticked away on a clock? I’m rebelling against this insanity.

Wisdom. Mercy. Empathy. Compassion. Grace. None of these have price tags, hours or metrics to analyze. They exist in their own sphere of value. Your life and its efforts should be the same. I’m waking up and I’m shaking you, friends. There is hope for more than the punch in, punch out pattern we’ve been taught.

Let’s applaud those who live. Let’s support the beauty in acts of humility. Let’s exchange a currency of hope.

I find that my clarity flows in when I volunteer. So, I went to the Waiheke Red Cross and explored their facility. It was dappled with all ages and all walks of life—all people of worth.

Waiheke Red Cross

Waiheke Red Cross

Outreach to those in need

“Change is possible. It takes courage . . .”

So, as I wandered the island. Yes, wandered. I met more amazing people. It’s funny how that keeps happening, when I smile, pay attention and live in the moment. I believe God puts them in my path, or vice versa, for a hopeful exchange.

Two delightful women in particular became my afternoon companions and, now, friends. Carol and Miriam (daughter and mother) were on vacation visiting wineries. I decided to see one myself, to take in the rolling hills and renowned New Zealand vines. Spiritually and physically beautiful . . .

Vines creeping up the hill

Vines creeping up the hill

The winery I hiked up to see

The winery I hiked up to see

A nook of peaceful trees

A nook of peaceful trees

The tasting room

The tasting room

A view from the patio

A view from the patio

I tried a wonderful local red

I tried a wonderful local red

Nature woven overhead

Nature woven overhead

“Was this a selfish indulgence?” I asked myself. The answer came to me as I stood arm to arm with charming Miriam. You see, this spunky, inspiring woman next to me was battling cancer. She shared her story and her boundless love of family. Figuratively, she kicked me into a state of appreciation and certainty. Hope is living not stagnating. Hope is choosing to keep fighting, to keep being true to yourself. I hope to see her and Carol again. They are now happily tucked into my prayers.

Hope is where the heart is. It is a choice. It can be an act. It is how we face (or embrace) every moment. It is the hand of a loved one at your bedside. It is a photo from your sister of your niece’s recent accomplishment. It is the sound of a toddler saying your name. It is a bus ride with new friends. It is seeing Aurora on a ship at the harbor and smiling to yourself. It is a big pink semi truck that makes you think of a big pink hat your best friend wore at a shop on the East Coast. It is letting your wishes wander to your dear soon-to-be-a-mom friend. It is being authentic to your needs and the needs of others. It is setting a righteous example. It is the joy you put in and, hopefully, the reward you take away.