▪️DON'T QUIT

Label it what you please, coincidence or divine intervention

You know that ‘thing’ that happens. When you get pregnant and suddenly you can see every pregnant woman in your line of sight; as if all other humans have faded into the background of errand running and to do lists. Or when you’re car shopping and you slowly find yourself teetering between the vision of yourself driving that prize every time one passes you; while wondering why it now appears that you see that same set of wheels at every other stop light. You know that ‘thing.’ When what you’re paying attention to seems to pop up around every corner.

Well, I collided with that ‘thing’ when I shattered my wrist. That is, when it came to advice. Believe it or not, in the several weeks following my surgery I met at least a dozen other women who had suffered a similar injury.

Label it what you please, coincidence or divine intervention, but these messengers where all packing the same advice. “Don’t quit the rehab.”

Rehab has a lifecycle of its own. Mine began with a first session that was so painful, after having completed my exercises, I had to promptly alert the therapist that I needed something cold and to sit, as I was on the verge of fainting. This was much to her surprise as I had steadily endured all of her cues without so much as a flinch. After tending to me she gave me a firm rebuke and chastised my ability to mentally block out the pain my body was experiencing. I know, I need counseling. A day did come, before I was released, where I had healed enough and had pressed through the pain with feeling. This was the day when my natural inclination would have been to throw in the towel early on PT, sign my own discharge paperwork, and rush back into my old life; had it not been for all those messengers repeating; “Don’t quit the rehab.”

It takes courage to see it through to the end.

I don’t think any of us starts something and declares “I will do this right up to the point that I’m almost successful and then I will quit.” I don’t think any of those women who earnestly advised me planned on quitting rehab before they were given a clean bill of health. Yet, ALL of them did, they ALL quit.

It was as if they had returned from the vast abyss of regret to warn me, “don’t quit.” They were ALL left short of complete healing. Limited mobility, chronic pain, and physical disfigurement reminded them daily. I’m thankful that against all odds, measured by my previous behavior, I chose to heed their advice. Today I have full mobility, no pain, and no disfigurement other that the scar that reminds me of what could have been. All because I didn’t quit.

Friend, I can’t guarantee if you finish that the outcome will be 100% successful, I can however guarantee that if you quit it there is 100% chance that it won’t. Whatever your “it” is right now, see it through to the end. Don’t quit.

Be strong and courageous,

▪️COMFORTABLE WITH UNCOMFORTABLE

Yoga experience or not, I was in

She had sent me a text mid February extending an invitation to an all day retreat at her home. A Yoga retreat. She lives not far from my home on a beautiful oasis that marries the uncommon combination of equestrian life nestled beneath an umbrella of palm trees. I wanted to be spoiled, but a full Saturday I did not have to give. This is the season of life that I should have my Saturdays to myself again – right now however, my life has taken an unexpected detour. My response was intentionally honest and needy.

“I don’t have a Saturday to give, please let me know when you host your next retreat.” I texted her. Not but a day or so later I watched in envy when her pics from the day showed up on my Facebook feed. I knew I had missed out.

That was until recently, when she invited me to a morning of Yoga at our local beach. Yoga experience or not, I was in.

The day was windy, unlike the weather just two days earlier on my regular morning beach walk. It’s a perfect illustration of the unpredictable nature of life.

To a novice Yogi (I googled it, it’s a word) getting it all wrong within the privacy of someone’s personal compound is one level of getting uncomfortable, to do it on a public beach, would undeniably require some courage.

You know me well enough by now, I’m committed to cultivating more courage, therefore it wasn’t even a decision to make. This was an everyday ordinary moment to put my commitment into practice.

Being flexible requires courage.

The more comfortable we become with being uncomfortable, the more flexible we will be. Flexibility reveals a certain inner storehouse of courage.

Fear governs our desire for control, it builds an invisible cage around our life and traps us in a belief that what we know is all there is to be known. This is a dangerous mindset, the reality is we know very little and have control over even less.

I am 43 and here is the expansive list of what I truly have control over; my thoughts, my attitude, and maybe my calorie intake for the day. Meanwhile, no sarcasm necessary, there is a list of what I cannot control; my schedule, how much love my husband shows me today, the choices my teenagers will make, if we will all eat a meal together today, if I will ever be a grandmother, who my kids will marry, if they marry, if I will see any of that come to pass, and so on…you get the point.

Flexible people live with an awareness that each day holds a bit of the unexpected; which leads me back to my morning of Yoga at the beach. I came for Yoga (and personal discomfort) and left with something completely unexpected.

It must have been a solid five minutes into deep breathing, aligning my heartbeat to the roll of the ocean, and cleaning my mind of all its mental sticky notes, when it happened.

God spoke.

Today I choose to end the story here for you with this bit of encouragement; practice this attribute as often as possible – make it not just a habit but a sacrament. If the all knowing, all creating, all loving God goes before us then we can expect to encounter Him as we stretch our life into the great unknown.

Be strong and courageous,

▪️PURSUE YOUR PASSION

Finally she paints a portrait

I just finished a Hallmark Channel movie that was a bit odd. At one point during the storyline the main character, a female (of course) painter, paints a vision board where the vision she paints begins to take shape in her life.

The mysterious guy in her painting, her “Mr. Right” in the future, becomes the real life object of her vision. Then she realizes even though he’s real and has everything she wants, she has no feelings for him.

Then she paints a new board with a new guy and he breaks her heart. This causes her to ruin her painting and subsequently ruin her chances at her big career break. (Don’t worry, it’s a Hallmark Channel movie.)

Then finally, she paints a portrait of herself.

She follows that up with some other life decisions, salvages her opportunity to show her painting in an art show, which bails her out of destroying her chance at a big career break (remember this is a Hallmark Channel movie), and ultimately gets together with guy #2 who does end up being her “Mr. Right.” The movie ends with a Hallmark Channel movie kiss, which always gets delivered in the last 5 minutes, guaranteed!

Why am I bringing this up you ask? Well let’s go back to painting number three, the self portrait.

Pursuing our passion is like adding brushstrokes to our self portrait. It gives others something to look at that helps them know what we love. Living our lives full of colorful passions gives inspiration to those who may be staring at a blank canvas.

It takes courage to show the world what you love.

The lead in the movie needed to learn that someone else couldn’t fill the void of an unrealized dream. That could only be done by pursuing her own passion. If you’re not pursuing your passion friends, try some things, slap some paint on the canvas of your life, who knows you may end up with a Jackson Pollock.

You owe it to all of us to be strong and courageous.

▪️PICK YOUR BATTLES

What if our realities collide?

You would think since we now live in the same neighborhood that we would be spending more time together, sadly it hasn’t turned out that way. Last week there were close encounters as we played tag via text, and another day as I was rounding the street to return home from my walk I caught a glimpse of her jogging the other way. Friend-ships in the night I guess. We finally accepted our lot and settled for a phone call while we tried to multitask some of our routine responsibilities.

We never quite get through our list of “life stuff to discuss with _______” I think we both keep a running mental account with one another’s names included.

We were gracious and allowed each other a fair share of the talk time to catch up and cover most of our agendas before she interjected “new business” to our meeting.

Question, have you ever felt like you had investigated something thoroughly and are ready to pull the trigger on the decision, only to discover, just after you were certain, “Houston, we have a problem?”

Well, that’s exactly where she found herself. This can be unnerving. How can we be so certain we are moving forward in the right direction only to realize that we’ve hit a headwind straight into a danger.

After she neatly unpacked all the details of her quandary, we began to analyze.

Of course we were both able to take our seats up in the clouds, as we pulled apart the situation attempting to see it all from God’s point of view, no judgement of course. I can honestly say that we were fair and kind, even though we did not agree with the actions that had transpired. However, there would still be danger ahead for my friend so I advised she launch some preemptive counter measures.

“Call her back” I said.

She had just given a verbal “yes” to a year long commitment. However, with this new information now in play she was dismayed. “It took courage for me to go in and tell her I would commit in the first place” she said, “now I have to call her and bring up these issues.” She knew she had to do it.

It takes courage to seek the truth.

Whether we like it or not, all of our perspectives are building toward a future reality. What if our realities collide? Some of us will like the new reality and some of us won’t. Seeking the truth of someone else’s perspective can help us know which battles are worth fighting.

I’m betting that if someone else’s perspective is going to impact my future reality, that I better fight for my perspective to be considered.

Isn’t that how most conflict occurs anyway – opposing perspectives?

She’s one of us. She’s full of courage. I have no doubt that the next pocket of time we have to debrief on life, I’ll get the rest of the story.

Maybe so will you.

Until then, be strong and courageous friends,

▪️PAIN HAS A PURPOSE

Relying on the boy who’s bottom I used to clean

My husband said I looked like a pro athlete limping off the field as he watched me shuttle through our front door. I was in pain.

First the pain was physical, as days then weeks unfolded it was the emotional pain that swept in like a tidal wave.

I’ve had fits and spurts of exercise habits. In this particular season it was roller blading that was keeping my body in motion. I had been chastised more than a handful of times for not wearing ALL of the protective garb.

Helmet check.

Knee pads check.

Wrist guards…well there was my demise.

I knew it was bad even before my eyes connected to where I had braced my fall. It’s an incredible truth that our instinct to protect ourselves takes action without the direction of a thought from our minds. Human nature is real.

In the split second that it took my eyes to lock onto the elephant sized bulge that was once my wrist, the shock had already sedated my pain.

There are baskets full of moments that I collected from this pain that still continue to teach me various lessons. It was a season where I felt I lived outside of time, each painful turn of the saga seemed to last an eternity. What was the story being told? If you’ve experienced acute pain of any kind, physical or emotional, I hope you’ve found its purpose. A pragmatic acceptance of pain will keep you in kindergarten.

It takes courage to glean life lessons from our pain.


One of those lessons for me was humility. It’s an interesting exercise to survey the definition of humility from those you know. I was of the camp that humility was the absence of pride at the time, that was until I gleaned from the classroom of life.

Now having incapacitated my right arm from my fingers to elbow, daily chores had me in tears. I loathed my need for help. That was until I really needed it.

I can’t recall the circumstances exactly that put me in this bind, what I do recall was the need for a bath and washing of my hair. I must have been in dyer need for a good scrub to ask for his help. And by his I’m referring to my son who was 12 years old at the time. I thought I could do it myself, only to find out midway that I needed some help. So there I was, in all of my naked frailty, relying on the boy, who’s bottom I used to clean, to help me wash my hair.

Now I possess a new definition of humility. An experienced definition.

I define humility as our humanness exposed with dignity. A human who’s suffering is wrapped with dignity is humble. Humility is our strength controlled for meaning and purpose.

Suffering is a part of life, why not winnow our suffering for courage and allow our pain to have purpose?

For those of you who are in pain, don’t let it go to waste.

Be strong and courageous.