Poodle Roo

poodle roo

“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.”
Helen Keller

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
Maya Angelou

 

Sometimes the greatest lessons can be found in the most unlikely places.  Meet my new hero Poodle Roo from Apricot Lane Farms. Continue reading

In the Waiting Room

Waiting room Red Chair

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psalm 27:14

“You usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for.”
Craig Bruce

“Make space in your life for the inevitable arrival of what you want.”
Danielle LaPorte

How am I at waiting?  Let’s just say I have had puh-lenty of experience, am still not a fan of waiting for what I want (who is?), but I have finally learned to re-frame the waiting periods in a new way.

Inactive Waiting is Torture
Inactive waiting is torture! You’ve heard the expression, “A watched pot never boils.” It never seems to boil because you are inactively waiting for it to happen. Inactivity is a sure way to get stuck and let your creativity get all sloppy.  You put on the brakes.  You see things through gray One Day Some Day lenses.  You start complaining.  Everything around you doesn’t quite match the dream.

Inactive waiting is the direct route to Slumpville.  Trust me, you don’t want to go there.

As one who has spent so much time in the Waiting Room that they’re about ready to give me my own executive corner office, believe me when I say that there is a better way!  An active, empowering way. Continue reading

But If Not

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the Furnace

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the Furnace

When thou passest
though the waters,
I will be with thee;
and through the rivers,
they shall not overflow thee:
when thou walkest
through the fire,
thou shalt not be burned;
neither shall the flame
kindle upon thee.

Isaiah 43:2

“It is not strength of the body that counts, but the strength of the spirit.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

Taken Captive
Our story begins in the Kingdom of Judah around 597 BC when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon laid siege (again) on Jerusalem.  But this time, he sacked the temple, rounded up the Jews – Hunger Games style – and brought them back to Babylon (2 Kings 24:8-14; Daniel 1:1-6).

Taken CaptiveAmong those taken to Babylon were four teenagers: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Daniel 1:6-7). You already know Daniel (who would later survive the Lion’s den), but his friends you might better recognize by their Babylonian names: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.

That’s right, Babylonian names. Attempting to strip all Jews of their identity, Nebuchadnezzar removed them from homeland and changed their Hebrew names to pagan ones (Daniel’s name was changed to Belteshazzar, but the Bible text sticks with his Hebrew name).

Home-Sweet-Babylon-Home
Once situated in their new home, the king selected only the smartest and fittest Israelite young men to train for his court. From thousands of captives, guess who was among the best of the pickins?  Yep, our four friends.  Now enlisted in Babylon boot camp for a three-year training program, our boys brained and brawned their way up, ranking at the top of their class.

But real success came with a little test of integrity: to eat or not to eat of the king’s banquet. Continue reading

The Nasty Truth

Caricature of Boss Tweed by Thomas Nast

Caricature of Boss Tweed by Thomas Nast

.
“Your assumptions are
your windows on the world.
Scrub them off every once in a while
or the light won’t come in.”
Isaac Asimov

“Don’t judge a man
by his opinions,
but what his opinions
have made of him.”
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

“Day by day, your choices,
your thoughts, your actions
fashion the person you become.”
Heraclitus

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Okay.  Recent events have elicited public debate on a variety of issues, and quite frankly the preaching, I mean, comments from some have been disappointing.

Now, a good healthy debate never hurt anyone.  In fact, in my home we encourage opinions and open discussion on any and all topics.  However, there is a difference between explaining your position, and shoving it down someone’s throat.  One promotes healthy discussion and inspires change, while the latter does nothing more than leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

Normally, I do not like talking politics…with anyone.  Talking politics generally gets people riled-up and they begin to turn.  They turn into something ugly.  Have you noticed?  Certainly, you’ve seen some of the comments I have lately (on both sides of the issues).  And when some engage in overly opinionated talk of teams or parties or divisions and who’s better than whom or which one is right vs. who is wrong, it can escalate from warm conversation to Armageddon argument in nano-seconds.

When confrontations flare, people change and morph into caricatures of themselves.  And it’s not pretty.

Caricature is defined as the following:

  1. picture or description exaggerating the peculiarities or defects of persons or things.
  2. Any imitation or copy so distorted or inferior as to be ludicrous.

When people argue positions and politics, exaggerated defects within themselves begin to emerge.  They become mean, condescending, high-minded, holier-than-thou, and ludicrous (that’s a good word).  They become something Thomas Nast would have a hay-day with. Continue reading

Gratitude: Appreciating the Scenic Route

LaurenNef-MontanaThe week before finals this semester was interesting, to say the least.

Usually, in my vernacular, interesting does not necessarily connote enjoyment.

Wednesday, my lymph nodes swelled to the size of ping-pong balls. The same night, I started to feel ultra sick. What made things worse was that I had to go on field trip for my natural disasters class the very next day, and I was not happy.

That night, a combination of pain, insomnia, and homework only allowed me to get 3 hours of sleep. I awoke early the next morning, got ready, and drug myself to the field trip.

Then I was stuck on an overheated, over-crowded bus for 7 hours seated in front of a girl with the voice of an annoying 12 year old who would. Not. Shut. Up. Continue reading

The Power of a Seed

photo: sdhydroponics.com

 

Those who…plant seeds of peace [will] reap a harvest of goodness.
James 3:18

Something incredible happens when you take a tiny seed, put it under several inches of dirt, give it enough water, light, and nutrients, and – Boom – the earth will be moved. It doesn’t matter that the ground is a zillion times the weight of the seed. The seed will push and grow right through it. It’s a miracle, really. There is amazing power in a seed.

As far as I know, the prophet Alma wasn’t a farmer, but in his great discourse on Faith, he compared the word of God to a seed. Continue reading