Sacred gifts

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.


Quote: John O'Donohue
Image: Linda Hannum

Families come in all shapes


We live in a world that struggles with accepting anything that looks different from an undefined ‘normal’. Staying within our comfort zones, we seldom look beyond with any curiously or imagination. As
the conversation continues concerning marriage equality and equality in general, I thought this trailer for a new British film would be appreciated.

BoxTrolls

An Open Letter to the Church from My Generation

All are seeking a place to belong and share their faith. This is a great reflection on how the church is losing young adults–it is straight talk from someone with strong faith. Thank you for sharing this Sharon!

 

Rows of Sharon

candlelightA blog post from “I said I don’t know” that points to how the church is failing young adults . . .

I’m writing this because I’m worried about the safety of the Church. The Church keeps scratching its head, wondering why 70% of 23-30 year-olds who were brought up in church leave. I’m going to offer a pretty candid answer, and it’s going to make some people upset, but I care about the Church too much to be quiet. We’re scared of change. We always have been. When scientists proposed that the Earth could be moving through space, church bishops condemned the teaching, citing Psalm 104:5 to say that God “set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.” But the scientific theory continued, and the Church still exists. I’m saying this: we cannot keep pitting the church against humanity, or progress. DON’T hear me saying that…

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Time to give thanks…

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There are times when the smallest blessing can be easily overlooked. With the rush to find the perfect gift, set a fine table and present a welcoming home, we often forget the reason we gather for these seasons. The pressure to prepare and open one’s home – often leaves one breathless, unable to stir the feeling of gratitude.

So I wonder – could it be that expressing gratitude and being thankful may have nothing to do with elaborate words or complicated actions? A simple walk, a quiet afternoon or a listening ear (even when the story has been told over and again) – these actions strengthen the bonds of love and appreciation between those we love.

This answer may seem obvious. Yet our own expectation and society’s pressure to create a perfect holiday setting can get in the way of making these important celebrations simple. After all, is it not our hope to experience the blessings that surround us at this time of year?

We have numerous opportunities to practice ‘the intent of simplicity’ during this season. But we have to think about it, to plan for it – even with the many distractions. Surrounded by the confusion of the holiday bustle, may you be blessed with time – time to take a moment and look up to the heavens, filled with its own twinkling light. And then share the beauty of the heavens with those you love – young and young at heart.

Words with meaning

During these days of political posturing, words have been thrown around – intended to distract, stir anger and dismantle trust. My ears and heart were weary until this man shared his conviction and offered light to a dark and ugly time.
I share this to remind all of us — our words and presence in this world affect everyone.
Thank you, John.

The World of Special Olympics

The following is a guest post in the form of an open letter from Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter after this tweet during last night’s Presidential debate.

Dear Ann Coulter,

Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow.  So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?

I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow.  I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you.  In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.

I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child…

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A Birthday – celebrating a dog’s life

20120401-052849.jpgBorn on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2003, today is the birthday of my assist dog, Lilly. Placed in my lap at 8 weeks, by her breeder with the comment, ‘this one would rather be loved than eat.’, I held her close against me all the way home. It would be the first of only a few times I would be able to hold her as she grew quickly in size and height.
There has never been a doubt that she loved attention and wanted to work (even though she can challenge who should set the rules). My companion through the best and worst times of these last nine years, she knows me by heart. Her response to the sound of an object hitting the floor is swift. As she was taught, her work to retrieve the object for me is strategic – placing it higher into my arms until she is certain I can once again hold it safely. Her response to the sound of sadness is immediate. She knows to stay near and offer comfort blessed with intuition.
Our journey has been filled with unexpected turns. She has helped in the work of re-making home as we have moved four times in her nine years (though she is never fond of the sight of boxes and packing tape!). We are just now settling into our newest home and share the hope that boxes will not be needed again for a very long time.
Nine years are considered a long time in the world of relationships. I give thanks this day for Lilly. That we found one another is a miracle! That we can bring one another comfort and strength is a gift. She has worked hard to figure out my next need and this continues.
With much gratitude I celebrate Lilly’s ninth birthday, may God grant her many years!

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