A New Season

I can feel a slight coolness to the air as the slow speed of summer gears up to the frantic frenzy of fall. A new season approaches and the plethora of activities and commitments beckon for my time and energy. I remind myself that life is a school. What am I supposed to learn this fall? How am I supposed to grow and where should I focus my energies?

Before I succumb to the many choices that come my way, I will spend time reconfirming my priorities and values. I value a balanced life: a life of peace and service to others, but above all I must maintain my health and well-being. I must learn to leave room for margin in my life if I am to make it in the long haul. Can I and will I lower the expectations I have for myself?

Am I alone in this struggle? I think not. From what I hear from others, many of us are already anxious, feeling the pressure of activity closing in on us. Let us not grow weary in this new season. There is a time for everything under the sun. It all hinges on making conscious, wise choices. Join me in making time to choose this season and let’s enjoy it together in peace and in balance.

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A New Season

I can feel a slight coolness to the air as the slow speed of summer gears up to the frantic frenzy of fall. A new season approaches and the plethora of activities and commitments beckon for my time and energy. I remind myself that life is a school. What am I supposed to learn this fall? How am I supposed to grow and where should I focus my energies?

Before I succumb to the many choices that come my way, I will spend time reconfirming my priorities and values. I value a balanced life: a life of peace and service to others, but above all I must maintain my health and well-being. I must learn to leave room for margin in my life if I am to make it in the long haul. Can I and will I lower the expectations I have for myself?

Am I alone in this struggle? I think not. From what I hear from others, many of us are already anxious, feeling the pressure of activity closing in on us. Let us not grow weary in this new season. There is a time for everything under the sun. It all hinges on making conscious, wise choices. Join me in making time to choose this season and let’s enjoy it together in peace and in balance.

Back to School

It’s almost the end of August and many kids are headed back to school. It’s a yearly time of transition that can be both stressful and exciting for students and parents alike. Each has their own set of concerns to deal with as a new school year approaches.

As a working parent, the beginning of a new school year was always hectic for me. I loved shopping for school supplies, new shoes, soccer cleats, lunchboxes. Then there were the back-to-school nights where parents meet the teachers and go over the curriculum. New routines, schedules, and sports practices all made for a very busy fall season.

Now that both my sons are older and have graduated from school, I kind of miss those days. I can’t believe mine are in the job market and one is in graduate school. This is the first semester in many years that I won’t be dealing with these issues.

As a word of encouragement to those of you going through these times, hang in there. You, too, will get through the school years. Yes, it is busy, yes it is hectic, and yes, it was lonely sometimes as a single parent, but I am so thankful I to have had the experience of those years. Not only did my sons grow, but I did as well.

Life is like school, I have always said and isn’t that so true?

Back to School

It’s almost the end of August and many kids are headed back to school. It’s a yearly time of transition that can be both stressful and exciting for students and parents alike. Each has their own set of concerns to deal with as a new school year approaches.

As a working parent, the beginning of a new school year was always hectic for me. I loved shopping for school supplies, new shoes, soccer cleats, lunchboxes. Then there were the back-to-school nights where parents meet the teachers and go over the curriculum. New routines, schedules, and sports practices all made for a very busy fall season.

Now that both my sons are older and have graduated from school, I kind of miss those days. I can’t believe mine are in the job market and one is in graduate school. This is the first semester in many years that I won’t be dealing with these issues.

As a word of encouragement to those of you going through these times, hang in there. You, too, will get through the school years. Yes, it is busy, yes it is hectic, and yes, it was lonely sometimes as a single parent, but I am so thankful I to have had the experience of those years. Not only did my sons grow, but I did as well.

Life is like school, I have always said and isn’t that so true?

A Sweet Kiss

Ever wonder why some people have so much heartache and suffering in their lives and yet continue on to be great successes? Could it be that God has a plan and a purpose for our pain?

This weekend I visited Hershey, Pa: a quaint little town named after Milton Hershey the famous chocolatier. While visiting the museum bookstore, I did a little reading to learn about this famous american businessman.

After perfecting his Hershey chocolate recipe and becoming quite wealthy, Milton married at age 40 to Catherine “Kitty” Sweeney. The couple was deeply in love. But a paralyzing illness struck Catherine only three years into their marriage. The couple could not have children so they decided to build a school for orphan boys, which today is the largest residential pre-k through 12 school in the United States. Kitty died several years later, and Milton donated his entire 60 million dollar fortune to the school. Milton never remarried.

Milton continued his efforts toward philanthropy. During the Great Depression, Hershey kept the business operating and he continued to employ the town’s residents in the development of the town, including the construction of community buildings and a sports arena. Today thousands of visitors come to Hershey Park Amusement Center to enjoy the rides, the fun, and, of course, the chocolate.

Despite his personal pain and loss, Milton Hershey was a man who did much to help other people and his generosity continues to be enjoyed by thousands to this day. So next time you eat a Hershey kiss or chocolate bar, think of Milton and how he turned his pain into something very sweet indeed.

A Sweet Kiss

Ever wonder why some people have so much heartache and suffering in their lives and yet continue on to be great successes? Could it be that God has a plan and a purpose for our pain?

This weekend I visited Hershey, Pa: a quaint little town named after Milton Hershey the famous chocolatier. While visiting the museum bookstore, I did a little reading to learn about this famous american businessman.

After perfecting his Hershey chocolate recipe and becoming quite wealthy, Milton married at age 40 to Catherine “Kitty” Sweeney. The couple was deeply in love. But a paralyzing illness struck Catherine only three years into their marriage. The couple could not have children so they decided to build a school for orphan boys, which today is the largest residential pre-k through 12 school in the United States. Kitty died several years later, and Milton donated his entire 60 million dollar fortune to the school. Milton never remarried.

Milton continued his efforts toward philanthropy. During the Great Depression, Hershey kept the business operating and he continued to employ the town’s residents in the development of the town, including the construction of community buildings and a sports arena. Today thousands of visitors come to Hershey Park Amusement Center to enjoy the rides, the fun, and, of course, the chocolate.

Despite his personal pain and loss, Milton Hershey was a man who did much to help other people and his generosity continues to be enjoyed by thousands to this day. So next time you eat a Hershey kiss or chocolate bar, think of Milton and how he turned his pain into something very sweet indeed.

What’s Your Dream?

Do you have a dream? A vision for your life? How do you see your life in five years? In ten?

God wants us to dream. In fact, He wants us to dream big! Have you asked God for a vision for your life? The Bible says “my people perish for lack of vision”. We all need a dream, a goal, a vision for our lives. Life can become humdrum and boring, doing the same old thing day in and day out.

Having a dream motivates me. It is something to put my energies toward. In fact, having a dream gives me energy. I get excited when I work on things to make my dream come true.

I want to encourage you to think about a dream for your life. What do you really want for your life? What would make you really happy? Then think about the steps you can take to make that dream a reality. Make a plan. Ask God to give you direction and then step out in faith. You will be amazed as you see the doors open.

Drop me a note and let me know what dream God has put in your heart.

What’s Your Dream?

Do you have a dream? A vision for your life? How do you see your life in five years? In ten?

God wants us to dream. In fact, He wants us to dream big! Have you asked God for a vision for your life? The Bible says “my people perish for lack of vision”. We all need a dream, a goal, a vision for our lives. Life can become humdrum and boring, doing the same old thing day in and day out.

Having a dream motivates me. It is something to put my energies toward. In fact, having a dream gives me energy. I get excited when I work on things to make my dream come true.

I want to encourage you to think about a dream for your life. What do you really want for your life? What would make you really happy? Then think about the steps you can take to make that dream a reality. Make a plan. Ask God to give you direction and then step out in faith. You will be amazed as you see the doors open.

Drop me a note and let me know what dream God has put in your heart.

Life is a Bike Ride

While I was riding on the trail by my house this weekend, it occured to me that life is like a bike ride. Some people are walking, some jogging, some strolling with their kids and dogs. Some racing along on their bikes. Although we were all on the same path, everyone was going at their own speed. Isn’t that how life is? We are all on a path and all going at different speeds.

There are bumps along the trail and in some parts it’s hard to see clearly because of the shadows. So too like life. As I pedalled my bike, I remembered a friend telling me I shouldn’t have to work too hard to move forward. I decided that should be true in life as well. I shouldn’t have to struggle so much. Put effort yes, but not struggle so much. Most of my life has been a struggle and I’m not quite sure why that is, but I don’t think it was meant to be that way at all.

On my nice bike, I set my gears at a comfortable speed and then just go. I love the feel of the breeze on my face and the smell of the trees along the way. I stop to admire the calmness of the river flowing to my left. Life is like a river too, isn’t it? Flowing, sometimes over rocks, sometimes not.

At the end of my ride, I felt good. I had reached my goal of 12 miles and made it back safe and sound. I had exercised my body and rejuvenated my spirit from the quiet solitude of a bike ride. Life is like a bike ride in many ways. I am learning to enjoy the ride. How about you?

Life is a Bike Ride

While I was riding on the trail by my house this weekend, it occured to me that life is like a bike ride. Some people are walking, some jogging, some strolling with their kids and dogs. Some racing along on their bikes. Although we were all on the same path, everyone was going at their own speed. Isn’t that how life is? We are all on a path and all going at different speeds.

There are bumps along the trail and in some parts it’s hard to see clearly because of the shadows. So too like life. As I pedalled my bike, I remembered a friend telling me I shouldn’t have to work too hard to move forward. I decided that should be true in life as well. I shouldn’t have to struggle so much. Put effort yes, but not struggle so much. Most of my life has been a struggle and I’m not quite sure why that is, but I don’t think it was meant to be that way at all.

On my nice bike, I set my gears at a comfortable speed and then just go. I love the feel of the breeze on my face and the smell of the trees along the way. I stop to admire the calmness of the river flowing to my left. Life is like a river too, isn’t it? Flowing, sometimes over rocks, sometimes not.

At the end of my ride, I felt good. I had reached my goal of 12 miles and made it back safe and sound. I had exercised my body and rejuvenated my spirit from the quiet solitude of a bike ride. Life is like a bike ride in many ways. I am learning to enjoy the ride. How about you?