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Mar 25

Detours

Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

395px-Korean_Traffic_sign_(Detour_P-Turn).svg“I don’t know why I’m telling you this…” and the story continues.

Don’t get me wrong, I love their trust. I love your trust.

I’m honored to share your joys and your sorrows. To hear the details of the journey you’re on complete with proud smiles and guilty smirks, pain-filled glances or a losing fight to hold back the tears. Or, sadly, the flat affect from being so worn down by the long list of past pains.

I just wish there weren’t so many detours.

Detours

Mar 12

Don’t Settle

Posted on Thursday, March 12, 2015 in Emotional, Intellectual, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

25 years“Don’t settle…Don’t settle…Don’t settle.” That’s my self-talk. It’s easy for me to get lazy, give in and grab junk and eat it.

I wrestle with responsibility. I assume you do too.

Note: Today’s my 25th anniversary at TreeHouse, and this is the final post of the “10 for 25″ series on ten important lessons I’ve learned at TreeHouse.

Don’t Settle, Wrestle

I hate when I mess up.
I hate when I let down my guard.

I hate when I lower my standards.
I hate when I try to wiggle out.

Mar 11

Care Is A Verb

Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

IMG_4778As you may know, when I was younger one of my best friends said to me, “common sense is not common to you,” and he was right. He didn’t know the whole story, I was young and even more reckless than he realized

These days I’m learning not to do stupid things. I knew I was supposed to do good things, but I didn’t really think about why I should.

Then, years ago I read in my Bible, “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” 1

Mar 10

H.A.L.T.

Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values

2008 - 103295-R1-028-12AMy parents have taught dog obedience training classes for forty years. They are well-respected for their expertise throughout Chicagoland.

When they are teaching their students (human and canine) they say “halt” whenever they want progress stopped. At that point the human stops and the canine stops and sits.

Halt as you know, means to stop or pause.  H.A.L.T. is also an acronym that relates to an important decision-making principle.

This is part-8 of the “10 for 25″ series on important lessons I’ve learned at TreeHouse.

H.A.L.T.

Mar 9

Life Is Short

Posted on Monday, March 9, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

001_1This is a picture of my friends Tiffany and Barry. I’ll see Barry next month. I last saw Tif in 1991.

Tiffany, Kris, Jenny, Eric, Rajjon, Adam, John, Beng, and Tyler, all TreeHouse teens. All gone. Way too soon.

Life Is Short

This is post is part of a series entitled “10 for 25.” It’s about ten lessons – most of them hard lessons to learn – that I’ve learned over my twenty-five years at TreeHouse.

Life is short. Our time with loved ones is never guaranteed.

Mar 7

Why Am I Here?

Posted on Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

MichelleIf you felt overwhelmednot good enough and unqualified you might wonder, “Why am I here?”  That struggle, and the other lessons I’ve learned over the past twenty-five years at TreeHouse are part of this series called “10 for 25.”

Why Am I Here?

When we feel out of place, it helps to find out what we are qualified to contribute. My StrengthsQuest assessment explained, “Your Individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities of each person.” Yes, I am.

“You are impatient with generalizations or “types” because you don’t want to obscure what is special and distinct about each person.” So true!

Mar 6

Over My Head

Posted on Friday, March 6, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

AnnMariePookieI took a left turn into an unfamiliar parking lot. I pulled into an open parking spot. With some uncertainty I stepped out of our car.

I walked around the landscaped wall. Turning right I entered what appeared to be the backyard with a very well designed wood deck positioned to my left. Seeing a door into the building I turned the corner.

Smiling in front of me was fourteen year old AnnMarie. (Pictured on the left next to Rachel)

AnnMarie  walked directly up to me and asked, “Hi! Who the @#$% are you?” That was my introduction to TreeHouse.

Mar 4

Be Yourself

Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values

Untitled-TrueColor-47In the movie Batman Begins, Henri Ducard tells Bruce Wayne: You traveled the world now you must journey inwards to what you really fear; it’s inside you there is no turning back…If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, you become something else entirely. Are you ready to begin?

Beginnings are important. Yesterday I began a series called “10 for 25.” It’s a series of ten lessons I have learned in my twenty-five years at TreeHouse.

B…

Mar 3

Expect the Unexpected

Posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 in Education, Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

Untitled-TrueColor-23I’m in the midst of a ten-month curriculum re-write and most of my writing time and energy has been focused on that project rather than #mysilentscream. That said, when TreeHouse graciously offered to throw me an “open house” to celebrate my 25th anniversary at TreeHouse I began to think beyond the present and reflect on the past.

In the past twenty-five years I’ve learned an incredible amount about myself, my family, my friends, the staff I serve alongside and the teens and parents that we serve. As I thought about it I decided to think through ten important lessons I learned in those twenty five years. This series is called “10 in 25.”

Jan 16

Headlines You’ll Never Hear

Posted on Friday, January 16, 2015 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

TooDelighted By The Disappointing Silence Of An Absent Dad

Buoyed By The Blessings Of Being Bullied

Encouraged And Empowered By An Eating Disorder

Today if we turn to CNN, Fox News, Yahoo or Reuters, those are three headlines we will never read. And, if we did, they would only be news because of the absurd unlikeliness of the headline being true.

Last night some friends gathered and shared their stories. Our friends Kyle, Emma and Ellie stepped forward, up from the darkened rows of their seats and into the spotlight. In the glow of the stage lights surrounded by friends, fans and flawed people like them they spoke.