“I Give Up Too.”

I can feel the air leaving my body as I stretch to tie the laces of my shoes. Keeping the laces straight is the priority because the sideway-sitting bow is a signature of the overweight. This morning ritual is just one of many where my breathing is labored, the chest heavies, and mortality whispers its goodbye.

I seem to lack the strength to sustain the changes needed to build towards a longer life. I cling to the refuge of faith to keep me safe, hiding and ignoring my responsibilities to honor a body that, through 40 years of abuse is finally saying, “Fuck you! I give up too.”

If a stroke did not motivate, what will?



The Magic of Ordinary Days

Following the celebratory offerings of the holidays, the habitual seems muted and dull. I am beginning to appreciate these ordinary days filled with opportunities to deepen faith and practice behaviors that come easily during the holidays.

  • There is the chance for newness in every waking morning.
  • There is an opportunity for peace while navigating the crush of traffic, tasks, and people.
  • Every interaction has the potential to ease someone else’s suffering.
  • In moments of worry or strife, there is an option to trust and acquiesce, allowing for grace.

My true nature is revealed in the routine of these ordinary days.

Inspiration: The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World

tutslamaThe Book of Joy is a discussion between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama on what creates joy. How do we obtain and keep joy while enveloped by a “me, me, me” world? Beyond being spiritual leaders, both men share personal suffering experienced on a global scale (apartheid in South Africa and Chinese occupation/exile of Tibet).

Their stories and many others illustrate joy being obtained through forgiveness, compassion, and generosity. Offering concepts of joy from both a religious perspective and a secular, more human interpretation, the dialogue is complimentary yet stark. It matters not what religion or spirituality governs one’s actions, to both men, and the science provided, humans are innately generous and compassionate when the material, the competitiveness, and the fear of this world is overcome.

“People are seeking joy in the wrong places.”

They are generous in their estimation of today’s world, more so than I, but I am just discovering the power of letting go of self and seeing outwards. Experiencing the respect and kindness between the other’s words illustrates that a world connected by a universal desire to heal can overcome many obstacles.

It is a grand book to mark a new year and a new way of looking at our place and purpose in the world.

“Oh Shit” Bag Facebook Friend Challenge

A few Christmases ago my friend Jeff and his wife Lisa presented me my very own “Oh Shit” bag. My “Oh Shit” bag is for the car should I break down in the middle of nowhere and GPS and On Star not give a…well, you know, shit; equipped with high-beam flashlights, rain gear, tarp, ninja knife, waterproof matches, etc.

I thought of the “Oh Shit” bag while serving at a homeless shelter. The mission attempts to house everyone but sometimes it can’t. I thought:

“If there is ever a time to need an “Oh Shit” bag, being homeless is one of them.”

That is why I am asking my Facebook friends to join a challenge as part of your New Year’s resolutions.

The Challenge: Fill an “Oh Shit” bag for the homeless in 2018.

Here is how it will work if you are so moved:

  1. Those accepting this challenge will comment on this post.
  2. I will create a Facebook page for our challenge.
  3. A commitment is assumed when, during January, you post a picture of yourself and/or family with your empty “Oh Shit’ bag/s (gender- neutral backpack/s) to the page created during step 2.
  4. Each month we will add to the bag in something of this order (specifics to follow):
    • February – Ski caps or ear muffs
    •  March – Gloves (should be on sale by this time)
    •  April – Toiletries & Deodorant
    • May – Gift card to eating establishment
    • June – Sleeping bag (waterproof) and it won’t fit in the bag 🙂
    • July – Rain poncho
    • August – Flashlight, and batteries
    • September – Socks
    • October – Snacks and water
    • November – something personal to motivate or let them know they are not alone + a note for the bag and for Wheeler Mission
  5. November, mail your “Oh Shit” bag/s to me, and I will get them to the Wheeler Mission for distribution.

An “Oh Shit” bag is more than a survival kit, it shows that someone cares – so thank you, Lisa and Jeff, for being the brains, and the love, behind this effort.

I hope you join the challenge. Still not convinced, I “triple dog dare” you to say no after watching the video.

Memorial held for homeless who died in Indianapolis in 2017


Mr. Controlly Pants

I know the moment I become a verb, Mr. Controlly Pants, and it usually finds me seething over the vast incorrectness of my opponent and plotting for dominion over my kingdom. This I know to be wrong and ineffective. I drive myself crazy and ultimately show little respect for the other person.

If I am to live as God would have me live, I must escape my self-centeredness. Today I acknowledged someone’s effort without judgment then contributed to making a better experience for all – not controlling a thing – and leaving two people better partners than when we last spoke.

Pants Off!


Christmas​ is New Life

As I light the final Advent candle, a peace settles in me.

Christmas is new life. The birth of light and love – Jesus – and the new life offered through Him. In this new life, we become lights of the world. We have an opportunity to pierce the darkness suffocating our lives.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. ~ Matt 5:14

Christmas is a celebration of life, light, and love. No matter what it’s called, how it’s celebrated, or anyone’s opinion about either, embrace new life and shine.

Merry Christmas.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. ~ John 8:12



O Me! O Life! ~ Walt Whitman

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

Uncertain, but Happy

Our lives are like layers, moments of time peeled back to reveal a new truth and a clearer understanding of who we are and our future. If we paid attention, were honest with our discovery, then at some point, we must arrive at that final layer protecting that last truth.

At 48, I am at that final layer. The visage beneath is not unfamiliar to me, its existence ignored through changes in homes, jobs, friends, and faith.

Now, two choices remain, continue to ignore, or reveal and embrace the future. I pick at the layer like a scab, uncertain, but happy.

Sweet Surprises​


There are moments so small and so unexpected that their occurrence startles me with a warmth that epitomizes joy and love. These activities are random, personal, and filled with meaning for everyone involved.

In the last few days I experienced several small surprises:

  • A man in front of me paid for my soup. “I like the singing, Merry Christmas.”
  • Scatted on lawns of a few homes a sign simply stating, “Be Kind.”
  • A shift worker brought each staff member in my office a bag of candy.

There is no reason we/ I can’t enjoy/give sweet surprises beyond the holiday season.