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Aug 12

Captivated by Hope

Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have a friend learning to overcome her addiction. She’s at Hazelden looking for hope and skills. Last month Robin Williams was doing the same thing.

Sadly, yesterday the news spread that he’d given up his search.

Hope-less

Without hope
…parents give up
…the tempted give in
…spouses give up
…students drop out
…employers lessen expectations
…lovers give in
…lonely people lower standards
…people give up.

Too often people
…feel all alone
…feel unheard
…feel disconnected
…feel hopeless

In my experience people feel hope-less far more often than they need to.

Jul 23

Inspire

Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Social, TreeHouse

BiancaRamirezandfriendTo paraphrase a great quote: “Good people inspire themselves; great people inspire others.” 

I love that my life is filled with people like my friend Bianca. Her courage, determination and resolve inspires me to be better at what I do.

Thanks to Bianca, and all the rest of you who don’t settle and want more

You can read more about Bianca’s courage and TreeHouse’s contribution to her life here.

Jul 4

Mid-Year Freedom Message

Posted on Friday, July 4, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Spiritual, Values

fireworks1375076Today is Independence Day.

Could This Be Your Independence Day?

Excursus: This day is special for another reason, it’s Amy & Phil Hatcher’s wedding anniversary.  Congrats you two!

Independence is on my mind.

Independence for youIndependence for me.

True independence

True independence.  As my friend Jenny Dwyer said, is “Nothing missing.  Nothing broken.”

My prayers are for you who, like me, need some more independence from our baggage:

- My friends who are trapped in their time-wasters.

- My friends who are caught in the trap of coping by cutting.

Jun 15

The Red Sea Rules 10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times By Robert J. Morgan

Posted on Sunday, June 15, 2014 in Reviews, Spiritual, Values

_240_360_Book.1203.coverI had been interested in reading The Red Sea Rules by Robert J. Morgan for quite some time. Subtitled, “10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times” I was looking for helpful help.

The author suggests, “take a deep breath and recall this deeper secret of the Christian life: when you are in a difficult place, realize that the Lord either placed you there or allowed you to be there, for reasons perhaps known for now only to Himself. The same God who led you in will lead you out.”

Jun 13

(Mostly) Happlily Ever After

Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Amy & ME“Love you gorgeous, I’ll be in there in ten minutes.”

It’s 2:00 A.M.  I just said that as Amy woke from her late night nap and staggered off to bed. I’ve said similar things hundreds of times.

Quirks

Schedules: Since we were married 27 years ago today I have gone to sleep second 98% of the time. Often times I am last to sleep and first one awake. We have almost always had different schedules.

May 21

Life’s NOT fair. What are they doing about it?

Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 in Education, Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

CryingIt was Easter Sunday. It’s was probably a gorgeous sunny day.

Picture it.

Sunshine and sun dresses. Pretty hats and ironed clothes. Easter Sunday brings out the people who might have set church aside for a time. It’s a time to celebrate. It’s a time to remember the greatest event in human history. It’s a time for spiritual renewal and remembrance. Families reunite. Friends renew friendships. Songs fill their mouths. Joy fills their hearts. Smiles fill the air. Souls sail.

Unless…

May 2

An Instrument Of Peace

Posted on Friday, May 2, 2014 in Music, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

photo(1)Last night The Tenors enjoyed time with both TreeHouse teens and TreeHouse supporters. During the time with the teens they shared some stories, took some questions, and listened to teens. They also offered two suggestions.

“Listen…compassionately to others;” it’s what helps the band to overcome the tensions that arise spending 300 days a year together on the road.

Their second piece of advice echoed their own story of rising from obscurity in Canada to become international favorites: “Find something you’re passionate about and put your heart into it (even when others doubt you).”

May 1

Aspire To Reach Higher

Posted on Thursday, May 1, 2014 in Emotional, Music, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

TH-Gala-Aspire-Web-Banner-1.21.14

Today is the TreeHouse Gala. It’s a celebration of TreeHouse’s 30-year legacy of Love – Hope – Transformation.

This year our Gala theme is “Aspire: It’s Time To Reach Higher.” It’s a wonderful invitation and a challenge. It’s also an indication of the legacy TreeHouse is building on.

Legacy

Here is what we have been learning about the impact of TreeHouse from Wilder Research.

Key findings for our four goals for teens:

98% of TreeHouse teens* report a decrease in at-risk behavior since coming to TreeHouse

Apr 16

You Are Always …

Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

DollarAs my friend Mandy reminded us yesterday, like a dollar that’s seen better days, you’re value never changes.

Though this dollar has been folded and crumpled up, stomped down, torn off and snotted-on, it’s still just as valuable; it’s a dollar.

Even though you may have been unplanned, felt unwanted, been abused or discarded, felt unprotected or abandoned, misrepresented or misunderstood, you’re still just as valuable; you’re a unique, irreplaceable, invaluable, never-gonna-be-repeated human being.

No one could ever offer your unique perspective, you’re unique history, your unique combination of gifts and talents; you are absolutely irreplaceable.

Apr 9

Pray for Punka

Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 in Emotional, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

ShannonMysilentscream is here for you most days. Today #mysilentscream is for YOU to help me.

Today my daughter leaves for the Philippines. By the time many of you read this Shannon will be half a planet away.  I’m blessed, thrilled and a little jealous of her. I’m also Shannon’s (“Punka’s”) anxious, unsettled, and already-lonely-for-her dad.

If you’re a praying person please pray for Shannon, her colleagues and her parents who were both just teary-eyed in the living room.

I’ll let Shannon explain more via her supportshannon.com website.

Hello my name is Shannon Volltrauer.