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I think we fear that word.

If you’ve lived long enough and loved hard enough, then your story will undoubtedly reflect most.  Then there will be a moment when you said goodbye to someone and never thought it would be the last words you’d speak.

My family is still dealing with the shock of an unexpected goodbye.

Donald Miller in his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years says, “My uncle told a good story with his life, but I think there was such a sadness at his funeral because his story wasn’t finished.  If you aren’t telling a good story, nobody thinks you died too soon; they just think you died.  But my uncle died too soon.”

Unexpected goodbyes, losing a loved one whose story wasn’t finished rearranges your life, it change your perspective.  If the pain is deep enough our view of the world can be so impacted that we begin to fear saying goodbye.  We become so aware of the fact that loving caused the pain that we try to minimize that risk.  We close our hearts. We stop loving.  We decide that the pain was so intense we’d rather live our lives slowly dying inside because we no longer allow anyone in, than open ourselves up to feeling that loss again.  And a beautiful life full of color begins to fade.

We protect ourselves, we guard our hearts from all pain.  We shut out the risk and because of that, we shut out life, we stop our story.


Goodbyes aren’t easy because they remind us that life can change unexpectedly, painfully, achingly.  We forget that goodbye must follow hello, and it almost always precedes the next hello.  If mankind never said goodbye Lewis and Clark would never have pushed west, America would never have been discovered, man would never have set foot on the moon, and I would never have met the lifelong friends I have here in Texas.

Goodbyes may never be easy, but they can be beautiful.  When that goodbye is said to someone you love immensely, there is beauty if you know that this person is following her dreams, if you know she is passionately pursuing the next chapter in her story and is stepping out in faith in spite of the questions and the doubt.  It will be beautiful because you know that this goodbye will be followed by new hello’s, new stories and new beauty.  This goodbye will be followed by pages and pages of a life’s story being written, pages that would never be written otherwise.

When the person you’re saying goodbye to has a beautiful heart and you realize that this goodbye is a necessary part of the creativity that will result in a beautiful life; when you can see the hands of the Master sculptor forming her into a Proverbs 31 woman, goodbye may not be easier, but you see the beauty.

You know that this goodbye may increase the distance between you, and it may be hard.  But you know it will deepen your roots and strengthen the bonds between you.  You know that for this eagle to soar, she must leave the nest.  And because you want her to soar, to become all she can be, because you want the world to see in her what you already do, you say goodbye.

It isn’t easy.  It may never be.  But it will be worth it.

Choosing love will open spaces of immense beauty and joy for you, but you will be hurt. You already know this. You have retreated from love countless times in your life because of it. We all have. We have been and will be hurt by the loss of loved ones, by what they have done to us and we to them. Even in the bliss of love there is a certain exquisite pain: the pain of too much beauty, of overwhelming magnificence.  Further, no matter how perfect a love may be, it is never really satisfied . . . In both joy and pain, love is boundless.

-Gerald May, The Awakened Heart


Sarah – your story is beautiful.  Your heart is beautiful.  You are beautiful.  Go!  Step out into your future.  Embrace your life.  Fill it with love, passion, and creativity.  Change the world and be changed in the process.  Live a life worthy of the dreams in your heart!  Benjamin Franklin said, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”  Go, do just that!

I love you!

Future of Forestry – Set Your Sails:

i know, i know – i’ve slacked in my quest with thirty days of thankfulness.  to be honest, it’s not because i’m not thankful.  it’s not.  some of it is forgetfulness on my part, and some of it is sheer willpower, or the lack thereof.  either way, i’m not quiting.  and i’m contemplating extending this to fourty days.

we’ll see:-).

i will tell you that as we draw so close to the end of this journey (as today is day 29), i know there is still a work to be done in me.  i know that i’m far from complete and that the roads i’ve been asked to walk as are as much for me to be changed as they are for me to impact change.

today, i am thankful for

mistakes.  for making them.  and realizing that i’m making them while i’m doing it.  i’m thankful that i live under Grace.  and that even in the midst of stupid, self centered decisions, there is mercy.  there may not be excuses, and i need to own up to the decisions i make, but there is mercy.  thank God for mercy.

answered prayers.  be it a 6 month review that puts a lot of my concerns to rest, or surgery on a loved one that went much better than it could have, i am thankful for answered prayers.

challenges. i dont know if i’ve mentioned that before, but i am thankful for challenges.  although, when you’re walking through them, it’s not always something you look at and express thankfulness about:-).  i’m currently reading who moved my cheese and it’s opening my eyes to the proper way to handle change.

kate.  if you’ve not had the pleasure to know kate, you’re missing out.  i remember the first time i met her; she was goofy, fun, vibrant, beautiful and full of life.  not to mention the smart glasses…. those were what won me over:-).  in the years i’ve been blessed to know her, she has challenged, blessed, inspired, encouraged and been a light to my life in more ways than i could possibly mention.  our stories are somewhat similar.  and knowing that there is someone out there who has walked some of the roads i too must walk…. well, sometimes it just means everything.  i am thankful for her, and to her.  and i am thrilled for her and her super lucky man:-).

worries. i’m not exactly thankful for my worries as much as i am thankful for the chances to learn, and relearn to trust in the One who has called me by His name.  who has called me, called us all to not worry about our life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!  And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.   But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

family. because they simply rock.

second chances.  i think that speaks for itself.

today i am thankful for answered prayers.

for big issues not being so big.  for mercy and grace, and for people who let you fail.  not because they want you to fail, but because they want you to try….

for friends new puppas (hello tanka!)

and for knowing that next steps will be needed.

most of all, today i am thankful just to be alive.

i mean, seriously?

from the NYT via the consumerist:  Wal-Mart employee trampled to death as mob tears door off hinges

God be with his family.

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures

-Thorton Wilder

Happy Thanksgiving

what am i doing?

that is the question ive been pondering tonight. what am i doing? with my life? with my talents?

what im doing with who i am? with the gifts given? with this breath, right here, right now. with the 100,000 beats of my heart that happened today? what am i doing?

its been said that if you throw a frog into a pot of hot water, he will jump for all he is worth to save himself. he will react. it is programmed into his core, his soul, from the time that he is a tadpole. he cannot help but jump.

but its also said that if you put a frog into a pot of lukewarm water, and slowly apply heat… the frog will never notice it. why? its built into his brain. he doesnt notice the slow temperature changes. he doesnt see his life fading… he doesnt see the fact that the water he is surrounded by, which was at one time inviting, is now killing him.

he doesnt see it. he doesnt see death coming.

there was once a time where i could tell you i was healing. where i could say that i was wounded, and needed the time, in the background of life, to rest, find help and healing… there was a time when that was truth. and, in many ways, its still truth.

but its not the whole truth. not anymore. now, saying that im wounded, is hiding behind my pain. saying that i need to rest is running from life. now, not ‘doing’, or to put it in better perspective, not living simply because i need something…. is a lie.

what am i doing?

there is a part of me that knows, and has known for some time, that im not where i need to be. ive lost passion. ive lost dreams.

do i feel the water around me? can i still, easily sense the temperature of what surrounds me? or have i dulled, have i become, senseless. have i lost my ability to see what is right in front of me?

what happened to the passion that was in my soul? the passion that would cause me to jump, for all i was worth, to save my self. to see dreams fulfilled? to see healing brought to those my heart beats for?

there is a story told of a time long ago. where, in a distant land, it had not rained for hundreds of days. famine and death were rampant. and answers were nowhere to be found.

mankind had lost its sensitivity to life. it had lost its ability to sense the water around it, and it was dying.

and its said that there was one man. one man, who knew what needed to be done. who heard the whisperings in his soul. who could still see, who still had a vision…who could still dream. one man who could still sense in his soul, the temperature of the water around him.

and when he prayed… he saw a cloud.

i want that. i want that passion. that drive. that dream that sees the dust of the desert, as a fertile valley. that sees passion in the passionless. hope in the hopeless. and healing for those who hurt.

i may not be done fighting my own demons. i may have more that i need to deal with inside of my own life…. but there is another calling now. there is something deeper. something that echos even louder, inside my soul. louder, just since i started writing.

there is a hope to be found. there is a peace that passes all understanding. this generation, MY generation, is a broken generation… but we will learn to dance.

lifted up
ive climbed with the strength i have
right to this mountain top
looking out
the clouds getting bigger now
its time to get ready now

cuz all i want
is all you have
come to me
rescue me
fall on me
with your love

and all you want
is all i have
come to me
rescue me
fall on me
with your love

i’ve been reading through the old testament for the past few weeks. and something struck me. stories. the entire old testament is made up of stories. stories of mankind’s attempts, and failures. stories of desperation, of loss, of survival. stories that always, always had an undercurrent.


david, moses, joseph, miriam, joshua… the list goes on. hope.

God is in love with stories. with communicating to us the value of living your life. of not giving up. of being sold out. of never looking back. of singing your song, dancing your dance, writing your book… stories of living your life.

imagine if david simply gave up and ran when the bear charged him. the book of psalms would never have been written. or what would have happened if joseph would have quit when he was sold as a slave? where would the nation of Israel be?

hope. hope in times of desperation.

when it comes to My people, stories of survival, stories of victory, stories of deliverance are the fuel that keeps them going. this is the answer, when they question their own ability to take the next step. these stories are the answer..

with My people, there will always be stories. stories that bring hope. stories that bring vision. stories that open our eyes to what is possible, and help us see beyond the world that simply is.

with My people, hardships will always exist, tears will fall. brokenness will always have a place… but victory will follow. joy will come.

stories will be the air they breathe. so record your story. record your hope. share your hope.

share hope.

with My people, there will always be stories. but beyond that, when the stories fade… there will always be hope.

choose to keep walking. choose to keep fighting. choose to be who you were destined to be.

because you need to live out your story. you need to see the hope in store. you need to see the final chapter in the book of you.

so live your life. write your book. because someone is dying to read it.

you give me hope. you do.  and i dont even think you realize it.

the above sentence could be written to any number of people in my life.  and to that, a goal is forming in my heart; to publicly thank  these precious people for the times, the ways in which they imparted hope into my soul.  because most of the time, they didn’t even know they were doing it.

tonight however, this post is for you beth b.
you bring me hope. you do.

you’ve walked through the fire of relationships that didnt end in happily ever after and yet you chose to continue to trust, and to look for love.

you work your tail off at a job most people wouldn’t be able to handle, and now, you’re taking on even more.  and yet still, you find time for those most important to you.  you find time for love.

i know i cannot understand all of the ways in which someones heart has been broken, but i can say i know enough to understand that the past few years havent been easy on you.  yet you still, you still let love in.

you give me hope.   and you give me strength.

you chose to follow the One.  when He asked for your heart, you gave it.  and you’re all the better for it.

i know ive been on the sidelines for so much of the life your living… but if im constrained to the sidelines, it only means im supposed to cheer you on.

because the life your leading beth, is worth cheering for.

you’re not perfect, no one is.  but you have an amazing person in your life.  a person who loves you more than anything.  and you love him just the same.  you stand at the beginning of the most amazing voyage of your life and im so happy for you… because you’re doing it right.

you’re sticking to what you believe.  and youre finding your happily ever after.

thank you.

because i question if happily ever after is really worth fighting for.

you answer that question, simply by the way you live.  you give me hope.

things need to change.

they need to change in my life. and they need to change in my generation. i know im not the only one. the only one crying out for hope. the only one putting on a brave face. the only one working the 8-5 and just hoping that, well, hope will come if we just work harder. that if we just get that bonus, or this promotion, we’ll finally be happy.

i cannot be the only one unhappy. unfulfilled. wondering. wounded and searching.

i cant be.

because i believe that in each of us, exists a need for hope. a need to believe in something more. a need, a desire, an emptiness that makes itself known when hope is missing.

we were made to hope.

ive been pondering for months now starting another blog. everyone is familiar with postsecret. you can check them out here. they serve a tremendous need. the need for people to get secrets off their chest. i love that website. i love that idea.

i need a place like that. a place i can go where i can be real. real with my struggles, real with my weaknesses and my scars. and i find healing. i find that im not alone.

i find hope.

a website that would allow anyone to post. anyone who had found hope. or anyone who was still searching.

requests for prayer, cries for help… or whispers of there is hope. keep going. there is hope.

whispers of hope.



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