It was a peculiar evening. Rarely did she find herself outdoors after dusk, but there she was standing alone. Alone, but for the moon and the sounds that night brings.
The glow of the Moon seemed to be magnetic and the stillness that it attracted surrounded her. Enveloped in its beams, her tired mind seemed content to just soak in its milky gleam. There was something comforting about the slowness of its ascent and the darkness that accompanied.
Without realizing it, she found herself treading across the cool blades of grass. There was an intense need to follow the pale path as it radiated across the smooth, damp blades. Not sure where she was headed, the trail of light shined with reassurance that this was where she needed to go.
The only sounds that could be heard were those of her soft steps on the foliage and an occasional breeze. None of these sounds could disturb the tranquility within her.
Once deep in the woods the terrain grew steeper and at the highest point a clearing was revealed. Here the moon shone so brightly she felt that it was within her reach to touch the brilliant orb.
After a few moments of unhampered silence, a voice came to her.
“You have asked for peace, quiet, and freedom. I have come to give you these.”
With a slight shake of her head, she replied, “Who are you? Where are you?”
The voice spoke with a slow, confident drawl. “Is it not easy to see? Am I not shining right before you? Late each night as your little one fails to sleep or worry races through your mind I hear you ask for stillness, freedom, simplicity.”
Continue reading “To the Moon and Back”
The door in our basement squeaks. It is a loud and angry squeak. Each time my husband comes home from the farm, he enters through this door. That hinged “hello” is how we know he is home.
I could easily spray some grease on the whiny hinges but there is something comforting about hearing that squeak followed by his footsteps coming up the stairs. It’s a squeak I probably won’t grease any time soon.
This past weekend a friend of mine came to me with a problem. She has another friend who is going through a divorce. The divorce, as many divorces are, is not a pretty one. Unfortunately, the couple has some young children. The divorcing couple have not only pushed one another away but they have checked out on caring for their kids. My friend has helped care for the little sweeties a number of days each week for about 6 months and the weight of it is taking a toll on her own homelife. Each time the phone rings with a call for her to watch the other kiddos, it is a “squeak” that makes her cringe. Continue reading “Squeaks We Don’t Need to Grease”
Humanity is a colorful lot; not just in skin tones but in the relationships we build, the actions we take, and the habits we form. Within each realm of humanity there are always those assigned to protect and supervise the masses. Who better to observe the practices of other humans than someone who is responsible for keeping them safe?
Through my blogging exploits I have made some tremendous writing friends. One of the individuals who I am proud to call my friend is Lucy Brazier. While Lucy and I have never met in person, we have exchanged comments and compliments via our sites and I am excitedly close to finishing her first book A Portergirl Novel: First Lady of the Keys.
As the book points out, we Americans believe porters are just people who carry bags, but in England porters are guards of a sort and protect and manage the safety and security of properties as keepers of the keys. Through the adventures of Deputy Head Porter, the first ever female porter at Old College, the idiosyncrasies and interactions of those in a most unusual academic setting are brought to light. It is in her chapter “Suited and Booted” that I found an exceptionally powerful statement about the importance of understanding and being an active part of humanity.
“People are important. They make the world what it is. They have made me what I am. Never forget the importance of humanity; without it, we are nothing.” (pg. 31) Continue reading “The Importance of Humanity – Wise Words Wednesday”
As the school year races our way, planning for new student orientations are revving up. By some lucky star I have been selected to speak at the Power Up for new students at my college in August. The theme is the “Ultimate Guide to Success.” (Not sure how I feel about being ‘ultimate’ yet, but I am going to try.)
After I received the email inviting me to give the speech, I lay awake in bed hoping some earth-shattering ideas would come to me for the presentation. The one thing I fear most is to give a “typical” start-of-the-year speech. Instead of flashes of inspiration my 7 year-old appeared. Apparently, he couldn’t sleep either. So I asked him what I should say to help students start the year. (Why would’t we ask a 7 year-old?)
He gave it some serious thought and said,
“Tell them to do their best and forget the rest.” (Thank you, Paw Patrol.)
Then he went on to say, “Tell them to ask questions.”
Wait a second.
That was pretty good advice. Isn’t asking questions the scariest part of learning?
Third, my budding genius said, “Tell them it’s okay to fail.” Continue reading “Ultimate Advice to Give???”
About a month ago my children discovered the movie The Greatest Showman. It is a musical based on the life story of P.T. Barnum (played by Hugh Jackman). In the film Barnum invites individuals who are considered “freaks” to become part of his show. Some of Barnum’s “freaks” include the bearded lady, the world’s tallest man, the world’s fattest man, wolf boy, and acrobats. As far as musical movies go, it was an alright show.
Of course the cruelty shown to the “freaks” in the film led to questions from my kids, and they wanted to know, “What’s a freak?”
I explained to them that the term “freak” comes from “freak of nature” meaning that sometimes things occur in our world that make humans or animals freaks of nature. In their infinite innocence they understood that being different makes someone or something special but also makes the abnormality a target for cruelty and ostracism.
With true indignation all of my kids ranted about the the mean things done in the film by citizens who were afraid of or hated the “freaks” in Barnum’s show. I just reminded them that, in real life, they should be kind and accepting of others who are different. Continue reading “What’s a “Freak”?”
Whatever your stance on tattoos, the power of self-expression through ink cannot be denied. Just as writers have put words to paper for centuries, tattoo artists have given power to the markings on their human palletes.
Recently our friend Evan experienced a very dramatic change in his life. Like most, he was angry and confused at first, but after time to think things through, Evan has started the task of moving past the hurt and letting the emotional wounds become battle scars.
As part of his healing process Evan chose a way to make God’s word a permanent reminder that the plan for us is bigger than we can ever understand. He chose the simple scriptural emblem of “Isaiah 14:27.”
Nothing can stop God’s plan for your life.
Continue reading “Inking God’s Plan”
Do you ever worry about kids listening to the lyrics of contemporary music? I do, but sometimes the translations of lyrics by kids makes life worth living.
Luke Bryan is questioning my intents with this post
Our county fair was this week and each of my children invited a friend to go with us. As we drove to the fair, my kids requested Luke Bryan’s “Shake It For Me.” Granted this song is not really controversial but may not necessarily be okay for little kids, as it suggests that the shaking of one’s behind is the way to a man’s heart.
(I still love you, Luke Bryan.)
As the song was winding down, our 7 year-old friend Noah asked, “What’s she shakin’?” Continue reading “What’s She Shakin’? – Funny Friday”
“You need a ‘safe’ word for when someone is doing things or saying something that hurts your heart,” – Kim Borgmeyer
As all parents do, some friends of mine and I were discussing school and the upcoming school year. Some were concerned about the amount of “just kidding” that the kids were doing and how uncertain we were that most would consider their jibes or insults as “jokes.” In addition there were some comments made about when teachers “joke” and the words do not come across as “funny” to the students.
My friend Kim suggested that each classroom have a “safe” word. A word that any student could use to the teacher or other students to signify that what was being said or done was hurtful to them. It could be anything from “rotten apples” to “pink giraffe,” but whatever the word was it would always show that the other’s behavior was not okay.
I thought, “Man, that’s brilliant.” Using a “safe” word is a terrific way to signify the impact of the moment and keep everyone aware of the power of their words and actions.
Of course everyone would need to understand that the “safe” word should only be used in real instances of bullying or disrespect. It should not be a word or phrase to be used lightly or in joking situations and everyone would have to abide by the understanding that it really was a “safe” way to say, “Hey, that’s not okay.”
This reminded me of a time when I gave a nickname to a student. All of my yearbook students had nicknames. It was our tradition. The nickname given to this particular young man was awarded completely out of comradery and friendly ribbing but, as things sometimes do, the nickname evolved to become something that was negative in my student’s life. It was not until after the spring awards banquet that I learned he thought the nickname meant I didn’t think he was smart.
Continue reading ““Safe” Words – Wise Words Wednesday”
Will Schwalbe is one of my writing heroes.
Will Schwalbe & me
Will has written: SEND: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do it Better (2010), The End Of Your Life Book Club (2012), Books for Living (2016). He does a terrific job of making connections with his readers because of his writing style and powerful messages.
It is Will’s practice to ask everyone he meets, “What are you reading?”
This question never fails to elicit amazing responses or conversations from those who are asked. Even if the person being asked isn’t a big reader, there are always books or stories from the past that seem to create connections for those in the conversation.
Recently our family took a trip to a state park. During a few of my MANY trips trips to our cabin, I noticed a gentleman reading outside his lodging. After the second day, I stopped and asked him, “What are you reading?”
“Oh,” he said, “nothing that would probably interest you.”
I said, “Try me.”
He was reading a Western novel by William Johnstone.
As an avid reader, former bookstore employee, and proud possessor of a soft spot for Westerns, I began to list off some of the series and books that I happened to know were written by William Johnstone. He was tickled by my knowledge and appreciation for the genre. Continue reading “So What Are You Reading?… (Read this even if you don’t like to read.)”