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Mar 26

Her Journey, Our Journey

Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

We all make decisions; some wise, some not. Each new decision we make cuts a path through the unknown.  As we continue to choose similar choices the path to repeated decisions becomes easier. A difficult fresh-cut path now becomes a leisurely stroll through familiar territory.

Eventually once we continue walking the same path over and over and it becomes well-worn path, a road and eventually a four-lane highway with speedy travel to the same destination.

All that sounds fine, unless our path is destructive.

Mar 6

Listening is NOT a waste of time!

Posted on Thursday, March 6, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

listen file9991303336088Last night I sat with a group of men, young and old; a forty-year spread among them. Teens, college students and, as I like to call them, “grownups” sat together.

I told them the story of “my crossroad.” I then asked them, “When was a time when things didn’t work out the way wanted them to?”

After a moment, one brave guy replied, “When I went to college. It was much different than high school. All my friends were gone.” Another guy listened, and added, “My first day as a teacher I almost threw up. Literally I almost threw up. I was so anxious.”

Mar 5

Listen Before Speaking

Posted on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Sucking toads“Sometimes I just wanna choke somebody,” he said.

Exasperated with his friend, he was beside himself. “Why does he do such stupid things?” he asked no one. “What’s he thinking?” he continued.

I imagine the friends of this young man may have thought the same thing.

Somethings just don’t seem to make sense but all we wanna hear is something that does make sense. Unfortunately, too often we’re not really listening.

Listening Before Speaking

Mar 4

Listen For Their Cries

Posted on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

alone-61043_640Yesterday I introduced you to the woman who cried alone.

She wept alone.
She didn’t choose to be alone.
She simply was alone.

The grocery store was full of alone people. Most did not choose to be alone. Some did.

Some were not alone; they were with family, friends, co-workers and colleagues.
They were with people in person.
And “with” people on their phones.

But that woman cried alone.
Until people stopped being alone.
And they started being together.

Together, No Longer Alone

Mar 3

She Wept Alone

Posted on Monday, March 3, 2014 in Beyond Whatever Promos, Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

sad-eyes-966603-mShe wept alone.

She cried.
Quietly.
Her cries muffled.
Muffled, but not muted.
Restricted, but not restrained.

She Wept Alone

There between the snack crackers and the cookies, she wept.

I heard her.
She heard her.
And, she heard her too.

A guy looked back and walked on.
Another woman peered over her shoulder. She barely hesitated.

Countless people in the grocery aisles, on their phones, passed by – without a glance – as she wept. Maybe they couldn’t hear? Maybe they couldn’t stop? Maybe they couldn’t care!

She Wept, Alone

Jan 27

Frigid Temps Frozen Hearts

Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Values

frozen_heart_by_ttojA tank of gas
A charged battery
Approaching the car
With a silent plea

A capable driver
Determined as could be
Key in the ignition
Cranked one-two-three

A pause to regather
A second attempt
A hope and a prayer
Discouragement tempt

Barely a flicker
Not even a purr
The car didn’t start
A frozen heart.

Frozen Heart

I have TWO hearts!
One warmed by love.
One frozen in the freezer.

Too often the frozen heart has been more obvious.
I’m so busy caring about my wants, I forget to care about their needs.

Mar 1

Wrecks On The Road

Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

auto car accident crash injury fender grungeIf you’re like me when I want to get to my destination delays annoy me.

I feel embarrassed how often I’ve heartlessly passed wrecks on the road and felt annoyed.

People had their lives altered, perhaps injured or worse, and I’m just glad I can move on with my day.

God challenges us to “be kind and merciful to one another.” 1

God challenges me to be less self-centered!

Wrecks On Our Road

We might not have a chance to stop for a motorist, but will we stop to listen?

Jan 9

Our Dream for TreeHouse Support Groups

Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

While it’s true that love can happen anywhere, there are standards and expectations that provide an environment in which a healthy community grows.

As I wrote yesterday, “every week as I sit in our TreeHouse support groups I am in awe. Teens find hope amid their hurt, faith amid their fears, and love despite their pangs of loneliness…I wish everyone had a community like that.”

I Wish We Did Too

As my friend Hudson pointed out tonight, the following list is a wish list — Imagine If… — based on hopes and dreams. While some of them are possible, and others are measurable, there are on the list that are almost fantasies; but, still we reach and stretch for more.

Jul 27

7 Reasons To Avoid Giving Advice

Posted on Friday, July 27, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Values

In my fourth in a series on helping our child, lover or friend open up today we’re examining our tendency to give advice.

Maybe it’s just my problem,

Maybe I’m the only one reading these words who thinks “I know” better, who knows “what’s going on”, who can “see more clearly” than anyone else can, and who realized “what this is going to lead to”, but, probably not.

Jul 26

Parents, Lovers and Friends, Ask Questions!

Posted on Thursday, July 26, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Intellectual, Relational, Social, Values

Monday I warned you about 9 Consequences Of Not Listening.

Yesterday I introduced you to 8 Benefits Of Asking Questions Instead Of Demanding To Be Heard.

Today let me expand on those 8 benefits for parents, lovers and friends.

Note – While I color-coded for parents, lovers and friends, the suggestions are not exclusively for those groups.

Questions help us understand the problem from another perspective.
Parents – You’ll take a step back from your worry-place.
Lovers – You’ll maintain your commitment to togetherness.
Friends – You’ll contribute to the brainstorming.