We are All Commissioned

“Ultimately, all are commissioned. All are called. All to the holy order of God’s beloved. The hands that pass the peace can pass a meal to the man on the street. The hands More »

A Thousand Paper Cranes

I love the story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.  The story is about a little girl who survives Hiroshima only to be diagnosed with cancer as a result of the More »

Mother’s Day Reflection

Mother’s Day is possibly one of the most bizarre holidays.  As a mother of two, I get it, mom’s should be celebrated.  I would like to be celebrated by the simple act of More »

Public Space is Sacred Space

I have a project in mind.  One from which I cannot seem to move on.  I wonder what our world would look like if we took a step back and reconnected with More »

Learning to Fly

Last weekend my youngest son found a fledgling sparrow. The poor bird had attempted his first flight only to find that the sky he was flying toward was a mere reflection from More »

 

That time I was afraid I would run into the Soggy Bottom Boys

Fear is something I struggle with.  Not in an everything scares me sort of way.  I have more of an unnatural aversion to fear that I suppose you get when something that you think you won’t survive happens and you are still alive.

There are a few things that still scare me.  Anything that relates to the safety of my children and  mice in my house are two at the top of my list.  One thing that rarely scares me that I notice seems to frighten other people are strangers.  I have a constant running story in my mind about most everyone I encounter, I think this helps.  It also helps that I have worked with such a variety of people in my life from the very poor to the extremely wealthy and most of the time no one is any more or less dangerous than another.

I guess is why I didn’t think twice when an electrician who was fixing some light fixtures at my house told me about a new running trail I should try, I didn’t think twice.  I did ask if he thought it was safe for a woman to run alone…..that seemed like and appropriate question.  He told me a specific parking lot to park in and said if I started there, I should be fine.  I parked where he suggested and only then did I realize I never asked which way I should go to avoid the urban campsites he warned me about.

I just guessed and went west….it seems like since civilization developed from east to west, this would be the safest route.  About a mile into my run, I realized that this was exactly the terrain he described when telling me where to avoid.  I began to get a funny feeling but I kept on going.  I was fine.  What kind of crazy person did I really think was hiding out there just to see me run by and snatch me?

Finally, I did see someone approaching who brought me comfort.  A man bicycled by me and I laughed out loud at the thought that a strange man dressed in head to toe spandex could bring me such comfort in the middle of nowhere.  I carried on and finished my run in the 40 mile an hour Oklahoma wind only have expecting to see the Soggy Bottom Boys down by the Oklahoma river I ran beside.  I figured the worst that could happen is they would offer me some whisky and try to seduce me……because that is a thing, right?

When I returned to the safety of my care, I realized a few take-a-ways.

  1. It may not be the best idea to ask a young single man if a particular place would make a woman feel uncomfortable.  The answer always seems to be no unless they are a father or a husband and then it is an emphatic yes.
  2. I feel more safe in a crowded city I am unfamiliar with than the middle of nowhere in my own city.
  3. Fear makes you very creative.
  4. O Brother Where Art Thou is a darn good movie.
  5. Sometimes it is good to feel a little fear, it makes you feel alive like jumping into a cold pool.
  6. I will go back, but I think I will run the other direction.

Abundance

I have noticed lately that the word ‘abundance’ keeps coming up in a lot of my conversations.  It is a word that has come to represent an understanding I am testing out in many facets of my life.  Friendships. Fundraising. Faith. And, of course, the quest for meaningful work.

At first, I was very unsure about how I felt about this word that kept coming up.  It brought about feelings within me similar to the way ‘entitlement’ does.  A concept that could be understood only by those of privilege.  Naïveté.  In fear that ‘my privilege’ might not just be showing but was jading the way I saw the rest of the world, I pushed back and tried to find another way to think about things.

Now, almost a year later, I find ‘abundance’ still steeping in my daily thoughts and conversations.  If there are people who live their life in fear that there is never enough…..we all know someone, then isn’t there room for people who live out their lives seeking to prove that there is not only enough (food, friends, meaningful jobs, understanding of God, time, etc.) but there is an abundance and we just have to seek out our dreams and support others doing the same knowing that there is plenty to go around?  Even if this is just ‘crazy talk’, I think it is worth looking into some more so plan to hear more about this particular quest for understanding.

And, for the record, I am coming to understand ‘entitlement’ in a very different and very apolitical way.  More on that to come too.

Give and Take

Dillon had a grandfather who was very influential to both of us.  One thing, above all else, I always remember him saying is, 

“There are two kinds of people in this world, there are givers and there are takers.”

It was always apparent which was good and which was bad.  

I am reading a book that challenges this black and white notion of givers and takers.  It does not reverse it….clearly, givers are good.  But, it does look deeper into group dynamics and makes some very intersting points. 

The dichotomy is complicated from the very beginning with the addition of a third type of person.  One who the author argues is most common.  The ‘maintainer’.  These are people who do not contribute nor do they deplete energy or resouces.  They maintain the status quo.   

This makes me wonder.  Am I the giver I have always thought I was?  Or am I a takers?  (Surely no one goes through this world thinking they are a taker.)  Or am I a maintain?  I have more thoughts on this than I have time tonight.  But, I think somewhere in here might be another key to finding meaningful work.  

I wonder what Papa John would think about that!

Random Post Ideas

I continue to struggle for direction with this daily posting thing.  There is a fine line between sharing my journey to meaningful work and boring you with every little detail.  I will say, it is some of the more mundane things are those that seem the most compelling.  Here is a brief list of a few posts I may have to write.

  • How to create a LinkedIn profile to find Meaningful Work
  • Top 10 things that have changed in the work force in the past 9 years
  • Akward unsolicited advice when you tell a currently working parent you are thinking about finding a job.
  • Getting Paid for Meaningful Work
  • Including your children in the going back to work process
  • Why I like to be told “No”….sometimes.
  • How Boards can benefit from mothers.
  • How Mother’s can stay engaged by joining a board.

Getting My Feet Back Under Me

Life has a way of tripping even the best of intentions up.  I missed my post yesterday when I could not focus on any one thing to write about after two days of jury duty and only a couple of hour break before I went to the Stevie Wonder concert.  This is not a complaint per say.  Not on either account.

The Stevie Wonder concert was AMAZING!  That man has more energy at whatever age he is than I had in my 20’s.  He sang and played his heart out for almost 4 hours.

I can also say that my time on jury duty was not a complaint.  It created a lot of complicated feelings but most of them are feelings of the kindness and humanity of everyone involved…..lawyers, jurors, defendants, reporters.  I happen to share a hometown with the primary defendant.  The on who brought in at least 400 possible jurors and inconvenienced over 100 of us for two-day without even being seated on a jury. I also happen to know one of the 12 who were selected to sort out the heinous series of events that led to arrest and trial.

I really can’t speak specifically about either of these situations.  However, I can say that I was inspired by the system that I am usually so cynical about.  I personally witnessed so many people trying to be patient, helpful, honest, and kind.  I may forever look at jury trials in a different way.  Thoughts and prayers to all of those who were selected to sort out this debacle.  Prayers for the families on both sides.  And, as Stevie Wonder said last night, “Let’s just cut out all of the shit.”