Buds full of promise

First, let me tell you I do not have a green thumb of any kind. I spend almost no time in my yard and yet I have an odd love and admiration for my Clematis.

There is something wild and beautiful to my Clematis plant. I have 3 different trellises for it to climb and yet it seems to grow bushier every year. I often find myself pondering in the fall if it might be the last year that it blooms so many beautiful flowers. I hardly dare hope for the beauty to surface again come spring.

As the snow melted, I noticed the dead branches and I was somewhat convinced that if life returned to this amazing clematis, I would be shocked and delighted.

Tonight I snapped this picture, and I am shocked and delighted. I find myself wondering when I will trust the process that life returns every year.

thumb_IMG_4509_1024.jpg

As I spent some time tonight just admiring all the buds that will soon burst into color, I am grateful for the miracle of this crazy, bushy, climbing Clematis.

I am grateful for the lessons this plant teaches me about how the cycle of dying actually allows for life to return. I am grateful for the lesson that even when directed and coached to climb, it still has a way of doing its own thing. I am grateful that somehow this crazy plant reminds me my own life and God’s plan for me.

May I never forget that God’s plan is to restore and bring beauty, hope, and promise through every season of my life.

Going to bed shocked and delighted and eager to check every day for the promise of the beautiful purple flowers.

The power of YES

YES.jpg

I will admit that I went into the day wondering if I was going to be able to accomplish the task at hand. One of the greatest challenges of owning a home care company is balancing the number of new clients compared to our Caregivers availability. Our reputation is only as good as the caregivers we send into the homes.

I know when we receive a call from someone needing care, there is a great relief in their voice when we are quick to say YES, we would welcome the opportunity to assist you! And as soon as we say YES, we are keenly aware that we are now dependent on the YES of others.

When I went into the office today, I was aware that we needed to hear a lot of YES answers today. We have an abundance of new clients with a critical need for care. Sometimes care may be housekeeping and we can tweak and adjust to make things fit, but today the needs were all about 24-hour care, so we must provide care without interruption.

As Laura and I were strategizing about how to make it all come together, we were both very aware that all of our strategies are only effective if each person we call says YES. Laura said to me, you call and I will pray.

There is something about being dependent on another person’s YES answer that reminds me of the goodness of the people I am so very fortunate to employ. It seems like each day we begin calling or texting through our list of caregivers and lead into the conversation with a sense of honest appeal, letting them know we need them.

At about 440 pm today, it came together and we now have caregivers in place for all of tomorrow’s visits. As I consider tomorrow and what it will hold, I know that Thursday has a list of available shifts that we will need to fill. I am aware again that as I move through the day tomorrow, I will be very grateful for those who say YES.

We live in a world of self-protection and boundaries. So often we are talking about the freedom to say no and the importance of self-preservation. Tonight I just want to give a shout out to all of the caregivers at Visiting Angels of West Michigan. Each and every day your YES answers bring us hope and encouragement that we will continue to provide excellent care to the seniors in our community.

I invite you to consider where you might say YES when you’re inclined to say No.

I encourage you to consider how your day turned out for the better because of your willingness to say YES

Remember that each and every day we are invited to make the day the best it can be. I hope your world can be filled with moments when you say YES. YES to an ice cream cone, YES to a trip to the park, YES to meeting a friend for coffee, YES to a generous gift to a good cause, YES to serving at Church or in your community, YES to assist at work, Yes to a family member, friend and enemy. Allow your YES to change your world and the world of others.

Distracted Driving….

distracted-driving-23x.jpg

I heard on the news the other day that the Cops have taken on a new strategy. They are now using unmarked cars to ride alongside traffic and identify distracted drivers. They then radio ahead to a marked car to pull over the driver.

I have been thinking about that as I drive. I wonder why I feel more aware when I might get busted. I wish all cops were unmarked so I would be reminded that it is not about following speed limits and safety guidelines only when I know the cop might be around the bend. I find myself curious about this and am aware I want to live the same regardless of how the Cop might present themselves.

Now as I type that I am aware that feels rebellious. I would call myself a frequent offender of distracted driving or speeding. I  somehow have myself believing that I do those things in a safe way.  I find myself convicted about this and am aware I want to live the same regardless of if there is a cop present, in either a marked or unmarked car.

I make some kind of commitment to myself every time I hear of a tragedy of distracted driving. I am weary of the places in my own life where I am aware and do not change my actions. The decision lies fully within me. Tomorrow may be too late. I am clear that it is a matter of what is best for me and for those around me.

And so perhaps this blog is simply an insight into my thoughts tonight. I wonder if you are aware how distracted you are when you drive? Perhaps it is time to return to 10 and 2 on the steering wheel and keeping my eyes on the road 100% of the time.

As I did some research I found this on the DMV page.

Pledge to End Distracted Driving

The catastrophic consequences of distracted driving grow higher each year. Consider the following:

  • 9 people die every day in the United States from driving distracted.
  • 11% of car accidents leading to fatalities are related to distracted driving.
  • When texting, your eyes are off the road for 5 seconds. That’s the length of a football field when driving at 55 MPH.
  • You are 3 times more likely to crash when performing a visual or manual activity—such as reaching for a phone or the radio.

Pledge to Take Back Your Focus Today

I pledge today, not only to myself but to those I care about, that I will:

One Distraction Can Steal Your Reaction

 

Writing a bio…

Tonight I have been working on writing my bio. I am going to begin seeing some clients at a local counseling center, and this bio will be posted on their website. I love to write, I find that when I stop my mind and let my fingers just type, words come quickly and I enjoy the process of fine tuning the words, reading and rereading to ensure that the words I am speaking are the words of my heart.

But tonight feels different. Writing my Bio to share who I am with others is difficult in a way I am surprised by. I live pretty honestly and am aware of my strengths and struggles. The journey of my life never ceases to amaze me, especially how I can now recongnize that each season was preparing me something yet to come.

I am pretty clear about my faith and live it in a heartfelt way, much more than an articulated theology. I am proud to be a part of the Christian Reformed Church and love serving in my local congregation as we strive to become a vibrant community of Faith.

I believe in this season of my life, I am aware that as a believer of Jesus, I stand firmly in loving all people. All people means people of all colors and all nations. It means married, single, same sex relationship or celibate. It means people of all abilities, stories, and faiths or those with no faith.  I believe that Gods’ command to love your neighbor is an invitation from God to me to plant love everywhere I go. (See last night’s blog)

And let me also say, that my loving others is not about me bringing good to them, it is also about how I am changed through the relationships I pursue, develop and embrace. I believe God created us to be in relationship. I long for a community that is filled with the diversity and variety of God’s created design.

Now, back to writing my bio.

I struggled tonight to find the words to put on paper, and I wondered how to communicate both the confidence of who I am and what I believe and the honesty in the struggle that life is complicated, hard and sometimes just plain exhausting. I struggled to communicate in the words I was writing that I consider it a privilege to journey with others and hear about where hearts were broken and wounded, life was planned but did not happen the way it was supposed to, or where dreams were inspired and birthed. I love to ask about the faces of those who communicated worth and value or the words spoken at some point in life that felt life-giving and released some kind of freedom in your soul. I love journeying with people. I write it here, on this blog, and my fingers take it straight from my heart. And yet, when I write a bio, somewhere the words get mixed up when they get processed through too much thought.

I wonder what you would experience if you were going to write your bio about who you are and what you have to offer to others. It is a good exercise to practice, and as you can tell, it is cathartic in some ways.

I better get back to finishing my bio. I am going to allow the process to continue to flow from my heart and not get caught in too much thinking of mind.

Perhaps this quote on my office wall says it best. It is a simplified summary of my bio…bio picture

planting love

letyourheartcrumble

I wonder what happens in your heart as you read Anita Krizzan’s quote above.

I saw this early in my day and have thought about it often throughout the day,  I had a few conversations today that fit right into the words of this quote. There is something so freeing to think about leaving love everywhere I go.  There is something beautiful about planting tiny precious seeds.

I began to consider the faces of people who have planted love everywhere they went and how my life has been changed because of them.  I am grateful for those faces in my story. Who do you envision when you think of a seed planter of love seeds?

I want to live this and invite you to join me. Let your heart crumble into an infinite amount of tiny, precious seeds. Then plant love everywhere you go. It is my hope that your face will be named and remembered by others around you, because of your commitment to plant seeds of love in this wild adventure of life.

 

 

My Dad….

Today is my Dad’s 77th birthday.IMG_0062

I find myself full of gratitude today.

Grateful for his health and ability to be actively involved in my life.

Grateful for his leadership and his willingness to share all he has experienced with me. I have a greater level of
confidence in the spaces I lead because I  know I can seek his input and guidance.

Grateful for his wisdom and how he speaks with truth and conviction and grace.

Grateful for how he has modeled to us that the world is a place to explore, travel is an opportunity and people of all colors, faith and experiences will enrich our lives if we take the time to know them. I so enjoy watching his facebook comments grow with wishes truly from all over the world.

banketmakingThere is so much to be grateful for!  I love the memories we create through annual winter travels, summer golf games, banket making, cottage renting, and living together and sharing life as a growing family of 20+.

It is sheer joy for me to watch their grandchildren papaandthekidsappreciate, admire and interact with him as they are growing into influential young adults. I am delighted that both of my parents are blessed with good health and able to watch how their lives and their stories continue to shape the decisions of future generations.

I could write a book about my Dad. I believe his life would teach you about calling, conviction, leadership, action, laughter, honesty,  family, work ethic, commitment, and grace.

I love you Dad and hope this year will be another year of embracing God’s goodness and provision in so many ways.

 

 

The day after…

Today I have struggled to find words.

I have started many responses to friends FB posts and erased them. Somehow my words don’t feel clear, or helpful, or able to communicate what I really want to say.

I just typed it and I believe this is it. And because I blog so in many many years my nieces and nephews and their kids can remember what Aunt Trish was like and what I longed for, I share it now in this format.

On this day, the day after Donald Trump was elected president I want to say this. I say this not because of how I feel personally about the outcome, I say this because I believe that to be a great nation it will have less to do with the president and more to do with the people.

May we be people who live honestly and with great courage. Full of kindness and finding ways to lift each other up, encourage one another and stand united, even when we don’t all agree.

That is all for now!