Who doesn’t love the film “Finding Nemo?” My favorite scene occurs when Dory encourages Nemo (whom she dubs “Mr. Grumpy Gils”) by singing: “When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do: Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, What do we do? We swim, swim, swim!”
Allergy season must have started early this year. Or maybe that’s not the real reason behind all of the red-eyed parents that I’ve seen recently. Yes, the red eyes are the symptom of a changing season…just a season of life, not the weather.
Think about the best fathers you know. What do they have in common? The predominant thread is not net worth, good looks or athletic prowess. Nor is it professional success, pedigree or academic achievements.
One consistent quality is woven through the character fabric of every exemplary father I know: he is intentional about investing in his children. Intentional with his time; intentional with building character; intentional with authentically living out the faith he is teaching.
I’m not sure why I picked up pen and paper that day. I think it was because my heart was so full of love, I felt like it could burst. I needed an outlet to express my wonder. There I sat, in a bed in Piedmont Hospital, and my life had just changed forever.
A few hours earlier, I had given birth to my first (and only) child. 5 pounds, 13 ounces of a precious baby girl. She was born quickly, just 30 minutes after our arrival at the hospital. (Please, don’t hate me.)
Many of us were not able to have closure with a loved one before they died. We did leave things unsaid, and they did too. We might have a wide range of unexpressed emotions running the gamut from gratitude, love, regrets, guilt and even anger. So what do we do with all of those emotions? How do we release the things that are still bubbling under the surface and how do we move forward?
Simply put, my mission in life is to "encourage people to encourage people." And when I lead a letter writing workshop, I love to inspire participants with simple examples of ways to be encouraging and affirming in addition to writing letters.
Recently, I was sharing a "Word Cloud" that I had created for my daughter's 21st birthday. I recounted how I had asked friends and family for one word to describe my daughter, and then assembled the collage of words into my own little work of art. The hostess of the event enthusiastically snapped a few photos of my illustration.
No, I don’t mean you should pursue a new career tailing wayward spouses to document infidelity. Sadly, that is a much-too-oft-needed profession, but it’s not one that most of us could stomach for very long.
My encouragement is for you to pursue something much more uplifting. I want you to become a private detective in your own life and begin a daily and diligent search for reasons for gratitude. Not only do I want you to search, I want you to write down what you find. EVERY SINGLE DAY!
Have you ever had the rare and sacred opportunity of stepping onto Holy Ground? Of knowing that what you are seeing or experiencing has a level of purity and beauty that could only be a reflection of God's love?
For me, those awe-inspiring moments have happened most when I’ve had the privilege of helping someone nearing the end of their earthly life write letters to loved ones.
Any fellow Baby Boomers out there remember the "Bozo the Clown Bop Bag?"
When I was a kid, Bozo was quite the rage. He was an inflatable, life-sized boxing toy. (Well, at that point, 4 feet in height was life sized!) Bozo’s base was filled with sand, and both his nose and hair were squeaky. You could punch smiling Bozo with all your might, and down he would go. And voila, within seconds, he would bounce right back up! Still smiling.