Browsing Category

Just Because

Just Because

THE BEST birthday week ever.

June 27, 2015

This was the best birthday week I have ever had. Full stop. It’s true.

Best Birthday Ever

Best Birthday Ever

 

Not because of presents, birthday dinners, snuggles with my son, Facebook messages, sweet texts or emails. But because my 36th year marks some serious advancement for our people.

On June 26, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love. I have sobbed every time I’ve read an article, seen posts on social networks from friends or strangers or watched news clips.

The White House is illuminated in rainbow colors after today's historic Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in Washington June 26, 2015 (Reuters / Gary Cameron)

The White House is illuminated in rainbow colors after today’s historic Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in Washington June 26, 2015 (Reuters / Gary Cameron)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The news brings such joy to my heart. It has been said, over and over again, but love really is winning, you guys. It’s taking a while, but yesterday wasn’t just a glimmer of hope, it was a fireworks display!  If that doesn’t fill your heart with overwhelming joy, then well…. I’ll just leave it at that.

But as if THAT wasn’t enough love and bravery for one week, Bree Newsome, took a stand against what is considered by many of our fellow citizens as a symbol of racism and slavery and removed the Confederate flag from the capital grounds in South Carolina. This woman is AMAZING. I just want to hug her. People like this are catalysts for change.

(Bree Newsome takes down the flag. Reuters Media Express/Adam Anderson Photos)

(Bree Newsome takes down the flag. Reuters Media Express/Adam Anderson Photos)

The Confederate flag has been at the center of a debate in Columbia the past week in the wake of the massacre of nine African Americans in a Charleston church by a white supremacist. My heart aches just thinking about it. But if you have been keeping up with the story, you will also learn how the church and the victim’s families have responded with three simply powerful words: “I forgive you“. Hate will absolutely not win. Love’s streak continues. Yes!

Meanwhile, not far from Bree, President Obama was giving the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was gunned down in that terrible massacre. Closing what was already an incredibly rousing and pointed speech on race in our country he led everyone in the singing of Amazing Grace. If you haven’t had a chance to hear that speech and the song, then you should. (Like right now.)

President Obama Sings ‘Amazing Grace’ During Emotional Charleston Eulogy (Getty)

President Obama Sings ‘Amazing Grace’ During Emotional Charleston Eulogy (Getty)

And so that has been my birthday week. Really how could it get much better? People being kind to each other, even strangers. Freedom and equality extended – granting others the liberties that they deserve. Hate losing over and over again.

You may not see God in this. I do. I see it everywhere.

But, whether you have a faith, or you don’t. There is no doubt the goodness that radiates from theses scenes across the country this week. There can be no doubt the unity that has been formed between neighbors, friends and strangers alike. We are building bridges. One by one by one.

And there is definitely no doubt that my heart has expanded 3x over. What a happy, happy birthday indeed.

 

 

A Day in the MS Life Just Because

We’re breaking up.

June 9, 2015

Perception is everything. And our perception of reality has been forever changed…for the simpler.

So, we’re taken this living thing to the next level. But first, we’re breaking up with conventional norms. At 35, we’re downsizing. (Yes, you read that correctly.) We are intentionally promoting the things we value most and the removing everything that distracts us from it.

We are putting the house on the market soon and looking for a smaller, more intimate, and more cost-effective home. The reaction by most people when I tell them our plans is comical. The majority of the folks I know are constantly seeking bigger, better, faster, etc. I was one of those folks. I get it.

“Well, what about your mother?”, “Well, you don’t plan on having any more kids do you?”, “Well you can’t live further from the city. How will you get to work?”, “Well, what about the school system?”, “Well, I can’t imagine you living there…Are you sure?”

Well-intentioned and equally hilarious.

But we are not stopping there. We are going to blow minds a little more and chase down dreams that we’ve always had and been too scared to chance. My husband is throwing all caution to the wind and starting a new business that will stretch his creative spirit. I am going to continue to do some internal house cleaning until it hits me. I don’t know precisely what’s next yet, but it’s definitely not golden handcuffs.

My son doesn’t understand now, but I like to think that someday he will. Someday, he will know about the decision his parents made to be true to themselves and honor their authentic selves. And I hope he sees that as a shining example of bravery and an invitation to do the same*.

We only live once. Live it like you mean it and don’t believe the hype.

They tried to bury us. They didn't know were were seeds.

*Or he will blame us for not keeping up with the Jones’. But a mom can dream, right?

Just Because

Where will you place the talent you’re given?

May 21, 2015

This past week has been AWEsome. Stars have seem to align, signs are landing square in my lap and I have been feeling full of life. But nothing prepared me for Sunday.

After all my introspection of late, I was floored when this was in our church bulletin as words for meditation. 

Where will you place the talent you have been given?… Where will you focus the potential for creative action that is yours? Those are the questions before the man and woman of our time. I think we do not improve on the answer given by Isaiah twenty-five hundred years ago, “Here I am, Lord, send me.” – Dwight Judy

Prior to my diagnosis, I always asked myself this question. During some periods of my life I desperately clawed for the answer, others I wandered aimlessly in search of it, sometimes I simply ignored the burning question and most recently I am deeply aware of it but experiencing commitment issues and quite frankly, looking for the answer in the wrong places.

Then my angels doubled down to be sure I was paying attention and our call to worship read, 

God wants our lives – not Sunday morning shiny, but all the fragments of our failures, the shards of our struggles and the sins that we’ve gathered and hidden away…our pains become gifts to be used for others. Our weakness becomes the dwelling place for the Spirit’s strength. Our broken-open lives become bearer’s of God’s grace.

And in that moment I really began to let go of the shame of all the messy, crazy, unpretty stuff of the past and present and clear some space to allow me to receive. I got really, really still. Silence in a room full of people. And for the first time, I understood what this advice from my dear friend, Amy D, really meant. (Thank you, Amy.)

But, just to drive the message home, our unison prayer went in part like this, 

Grant me the awareness of all I have been given – the courage to give back in full measure – and the wisdom to see both of these as blessings.

Grant me the awareness of all I have been given – the courage to give back in full measure – and the wisdom to be grateful for both of these blessings

Grant me the awareness of all I have been given – the courage to give back in full measure – and the wisdom to gratefully acknowledge gifts given and blessings received.

Amen.

There I sat. In awe of the words being spoken to me. I am not any closer to knowing where I will place the talent I have been given, but I know exactly where to place my trust. And that’s all I need to know. The rest will be shown to me when it should and I’ll be ready to receive it.

So, where will you place the talent you’ve been given? If you’re not sure what that talent is, maybe you just need to make some space in your heart for it. Who knows? It’s at least worth a try.

Be well.

Just Because

My yo-yo spirtituality

May 12, 2015

I hit a wall these last fews weeks and fell victim to some old self-defeating ways also know as my “overachiever” complex. I took some time and listened to the wise, sage advice of my dear friend, Amy and “got quiet” for a bit.

Then tonight I received a gentle reminder from Molly Hamill to get back on track and accept the little step backward as a fresh opportunity to start anew. It struck a chord. I hope it does for you too!

Check it out: Break the cycle of yo-yo spirituality with these 3 steps

10387547_820576321357818_237653967991284127_n

Just Because Simply Wholly Living

I wish you enough

April 26, 2015
I wish you enough...

I wish you enough…

This was originally posted by Kindspring in 2007  but it is timeless and too true not to share.

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Good-bye.”

I wish you enough too…

A Day in the MS Life Just Because What's on my plate

Happy Easter!

April 5, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen, I call this piece of art made by my mother-in-law, “I am human”.

And yes, I ate one. And I loved it. Every last bite of it.

 

Easter cupcake

Just Because

$13,825,400: The amount pharmaceutical companies paid MS doctors who prescribe their drugs

March 11, 2015

And that was only in 5 months! If you’re wondering why those numbers matter, check out this awesome article from Wheelchair Kamikaze:

National MS Society Decision Makers Take Big Bucks from Big Pharma

Just Because Simply Wholly Living

Perspectacles

March 11, 2015

Today I’m wearing my perspectacles as I sit at Dana Farber Cancer Center. My diagnosis pales in comparison to the many beautiful adults and children that are fighting for their lives here.

That includes my mom who has been battling Stage IV Melanoma for the last 4 years!  That alone has been its own miracle.

While her cancer is terminal, we come in for scans every three months to monitor the disease’s progression. So far, it’s been “stable”.

Hopeful for another “stable” report today and continued health. She doesn’t have a single ache or pain yet although cancer has invaded her whole body.

And because life can’t help itself but to throw more at you, when we walked in my phone rang and I learned that my beloved Godfather (her brother) was just diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The journey begins for another.

So whenever you are feeling low, remember to put on your perspectacles. Life can be so harsh but is much, much more beautiful if you stop and absorb each and every moment.