I 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.
Tuesday 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. Today: Who do I want to become?
As a child I wanted to be heroic. When I played super-heroes with some of my neighborhood friends. I wanted to be bold like Hawkeye, fly like Nighthawk and have the courage of Captain America. I still love the Avengers, in fact I’m reading issue 150 (see photo) today.
As heroic as I fantasized becoming, I’ve learned that it’s more important to Be Yourself rather than try to be someone you’re not.
Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2015
in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values
In 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.
I’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.”
Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2015
in Emotional, Relational, Values
I love my job. I love being employed. I hope that you have satisfying and meaningful work. This is not an essay for simplicity nor against having a job. This is a tribute to a friend giving up a great job for a great woman.
Awww if you want, it’s true.
It’s a risk.
It’s a sacrifice.
No job is “perfect”; hence without problems.
No relationship is “perfect” nor problem-free.
But, if you have the chance to build a lifelong love with someone while working a mundane job OR work a great job to return home lonely or to a contentious home, which would you choose?
Delighted 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.
Posted on Monday, January 12, 2015
in Emotional, Music, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values
I’ve found myself dissatisfied with my house recently. My wife and I have been watching HGTV home remodeling shows streaming on Netflix.
I usually love my house, but when I see some of the marvelous modifications the designers and artisans create I wonder, “why not me too”?
I wonder, why not me? Is it…
And, that’s just my house.
Those same questions apply to my level of fitness, my clutter, my incomplete projects and my unfulfilled dreams. If I settle for what I have – without working for what could be – I’ll never improve on what is.
Posted on Wednesday, December 31, 2014
in Emotional, Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values
2014 has been a busy year. Sometimes it’s felt like this picture, a pile of rubble that caution-tape couldn’t hold back.
That said, I feel very blessed; #mysilentscream was again blessed by thousands of readers in more than eighty countries.
I had no idea what 2014 would contain. At the dawn of 2014 I’d never…
– heard of ISIS
– expected $2 a gallon gas prices
Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2014
in Relational, TreeHouse, Values
Professional sports leagues have a new player draft to give teams an opportunity to refresh their roster, and bring new skills, abilities and opportunities to their team and prospective players.
When teams and their draft choices are a great fit championships are built. When they are not, writers and fans relish the opportunity to vent in articles like, “10 worst No. 1 picks in NFL draft history.”
Careful research, interviews and thoughtful analysis are essential.
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2014
in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values
Almost every week I hear someone say, “she made me…” or “he made me…” as if they could.
Without a doubt we influence one another, but far too often we justify bad attitudes and hurtful responses because of the attitudes and decisions of others.
This week when tempers flare during your holiday gatherings here are three strategies to drop the drama:
1. Choose to use a soft voice.
“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.“ 1
Regardless what the other person chooses you can chose a soft and kind tone in your voice.