Happy Easter

Christ is risen!

May the grace of God go with you today as we begin this Easter season together, celebrating His resurrection. All of creation rejoices in a reflection of the new birth He has promised to those who believe in Him and are faithful to the end.

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Postaday: Generations

pearl-harbour-535743_1920Today’s daily prompt is “Generation“.

I’m the child of Baby Boomers and when my parents talked about remembering where they were when JFK was assassinated, it didn’t resonate with me how one moment could imprint itself so indelibly upon the mind and soul as to never be forgotten.

My grandparents spoke of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in that same context. These were both historical moments that deeply impacted our nation and left no-one untouched, save perhaps the generations that followed, the ones that didn’t live through it.

And then came 9/11.

There’s a new generation growing up, teenagers now, that didn’t witness 9/11. In a few years, they’ll be graduating high school and in time, they’ll be the ones making decisions and leading our country. It’s hard for me to imagine, having lived through the horrific events of that tragic day, how it could be possible that anyone did not live during that period, and I realize, I have switched perspectives. Now, I understand my parents and my grandparents, and to an extent, the generations before them that had a “pivotal moment in time” — in their lifetime — that could never be forgotten.

After all of these musings, I’m left somewhat with a thought echoing in the back of my mind…

With this next generation growing up, what will the event be that they will “never forget” and how will we as a nation respond?

Good is the enemy of best

Vintage teacup on stack of old books

Author’s note: When I have appropriate content, I’m going to be trying to post on Tuesdays about my favorite tea I’m drinking and about subjects that I am finding worth discussing — whatever is topical at the moment, or maybe a life lesson that I’ve recently come to learn.  

I’m definitely not trying to be preachy with any of this but I do believe in lifelong learning and so, wanted to use this platform to share some of my experiences with you all. If it helps one person, it’s worth it.

Did you ever try out for a sport you thought you might be good at and discovered it wasn’t really your thing?  Growing up, I was rarely in the same school for two years straight and I remember trying out for various sports at the urging of my parents:

  • Gymnastics.
  • Soccer.
  • Cheerleading.
  • Basketball.
  • Football.
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Me on the balancing beam.

I actually did okay in gymnastics, if a bit too chubby in build, and that somehow gave folks the idea that I was athletic (ha!). But, as the post title suggests, good isn’t necessarily great.  I’m paraphrasing  Oswald Chambers (I think) who was switching around around a quote by Voltaire. But I digress.

So when soccer came around and my older brother signed up, I of course was trudged down to the field to give it a go.

We all discovered, to my parents’ eternal shame, that I can’t kick a ball to save my life.

Later came cheerleading (just as physical, more feminine) and I learned that I don’t have rhythm.

Basketball, I couldn’t quite nail the hand-eye coordination and the concept of dribbling instead of just carrying the ball and running very fast (I mean, dribbling is just a waste of time…)

That inevitably lead to football, and I was assigned in P.E.  as (and I’m about to get VERY technical here), “someone whose job it is to run really hard and fast against the opposing team, and never carry the ball”. Football fans, help me out, is this a linebacker?  Generally this ought to have kept me out of trouble in practices until a fateful day when I accidentally made an interception (go me!) and ran a touchdown… for the opposing side. Ahem.

No more football after that!

That embarrassing childhood story aside, leads me to my point:

“You have to try a lot of things sometimes before you find your perfect fit.”

Put another way, an expression about kissing a lot of frogs springs to mind.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with experimenting. It doesn’t make you a bad person or mean that you’ve necessarily failed either. It’s just not your thing. And being okay at something doesn’t necessarily make it God’s best for your life either.

A more recent case in point…

Recently, I made a decision to turn down an opportunity that just wasn’t the right fit for me, at this point in my life.  It could have been amazing, and it will be, for the right person. After spending several weeks giving it a go, I came to the regrettable conclusion that it just wasn’t my thing.

Now, in that sphere, I’m sure that people may wonder how I could turn down a great opportunity but I do genuinely believe that seeking a great fit means acknowledging when it isn’t you.  Sometimes, to get back to my sport illustration, where there’s natural talent and interest, you can grow into a better fit from where you start. And if that’s you, by all means, keep at it!  Let me know in the comments below if that’s you and I’ll be right beside you, cheering you on.

But if the talent isn’t there, or if your heart just really isn’t into it, I’m here to tell you, it’s okay to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”  In my opinion, it can take as much courage to admit when something isn’t working than pressing onwards, desperate to make something work when any number of factors may be screaming at you, mutely, trying to get your attention.

Be open to listening.

Be open to being brave and sometimes, saying no.

And if you happen to be in the reverse situation, where you’re facing a mountain and you are determined to climb it, keep at it!

And for all of you looking for a little uplift, here is a recent song I found by Moriah Peters that I hope encourages you. It’s aptly called, Brave.

For more on Oswald Chambers and a related article on trust and decisions, see The Good or The Best? devotional entry.

The phrase “Perfect is the enemy of good” was popularized in Voltaire’s poem, “La Bégueule”  (1772), in which he references an older Italian expression: “Il meglio è nemico del bene” (1603), translated as “The best/better is enemy of the good” (Wikipedia).

Lauren's List (New Feature!)

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Lauren’s List is inspired by digest and lifestyle posts.  I ♥ lists! This periodic meme is my opportunity to talk about what’s going in my life lately and highlights what I’m currently digging or find inspiring.

Hey guys,

I’m starting a new feature on my blog called “Lauren’s List” which I’d like to try to publish at least bi-weekly, possibly more frequently depending on how much time I have available.

blue journalAnybody who knows me knows I ♥ lists. I’ve always got one going — usually several!  What kind? Well, what I want to read, listen to, watch, to-do’s, what’s inspiring me, and much, much more!

I’ve been inspired in the past by weekend digest posts like In My Mailbox, Showcase Sunday, The Sunday Post, and lifestyle update posts like Sitting at Starbucks, but I wanted to try to come up with a meme that represents me. (Apologies if you’re a blogger named Lauren and already have some sort of list — I don’t claim exclusive ownership to the name, but yay you! We’re twins!)

So in these occasional posts, I’d like to share snippets from my list of:

  • what inspires me
  • what I’m reading
  • what I’m enjoying listening to
  • what I’m watching
  • what I’m playing (yeah, gamer geek alert!!)
  • other miscellaneous lists.

I don’t want to limit myself at this point since it’s a brand-new thing I’m trying out so let’s play with it and have fun!

Leave a comment below and tell me what kinds of things you’re interested in me sharing and maybe it’ll end up on the list! I look forward to hearing from you.

2014 Year-End Review (Overview)

 For the past few years, I’ve been an avid follower of Chris Guillebeau’s blog and probably more interested in his annual reviews than in some of his travel adventures. I first heard about the concept of doing regular reviews from Michael Hyatt, who has a few great posts on weekly reviews and quarterly reviews. If you’re a spreadsheet kind of girl, I recommend both Chris and Michael’s spreadsheets on time management (Chris: annual review tool), Michael: annual time block tool).
Thinking ahead to the possibility of doing a review on my own website, I asked friends/followers on social media whether they’d like to see more transparency/vulnerability from bloggers and the answer was a resounding “Yes”.
I’ve spent a few weeks pondering everything that’s happened this past year and I’ve decided to break my ‘Year-End Review’ into two posts — a “Writer’s Edition” and a “Reader’s Edition”.
Check this space later this week for both posts — if the writing edition gets to be too long, I may break it into multiple posts (we’ll see!). Have a great weekend all!

What I Learned From Ben Stiller (as Walter Mitty) About Life

Name your favorite Ben Stiller movie.

That Zoolander movie? Classic. That’s one of my favorites.

Ben Stiller is a pretty funny guy. Recently a copy of one of his newer films, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, passed through my hands. I missed the original version but thought I’d give this remake a try. A quick sum-up of the plot for those of you unfamiliar with the original or the remake:

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) is a quiet guy who has a big imagination and an office job who’s never really been anywhere or done anything. When his job is threatened, he has to take extraordinary measures/lengths to try to save his job, opening him up to the world beyond the corporate world. And there’s a romantic thread too.

What surprised me most about the film was that it took me to a place beyond a romantic comedy and touched me as a person, and as a writer. Continue reading

What Are You Grateful For?

Well, I haven’t posted yet this week (sorry!) but I am now.  This was a short work week for me in terms of my day job and my spare time, I confess, has been spent mostly in a Lionhead Studio universe.  Oh, and cooking sides for thanksgiving.  A big (belated) Happy Thanksgiving to you, my readers.  I hope the holiday season finds you in good health, warm shelter, and surrounded by people that you love.

Here in my corner of Missouri, they’re talking about snow on Sunday.  Snow. In November.  Looking around the neighborhood, I can tell who the ‘Jones’ are — they’re the ones who have all the Christmas lights up the day after Thanksgiving.  I spent yesterday tearing down all the Thanksgiving decor and this morning, pulling out the Christmas stuff to sort later.  I promise I’m going somewhere with this.

Thinking about Thanksgiving, I thought it’d be nice to resurrect a thread I began two years ago, a list of my favorite things. What are your favorite things?  What are you grateful for this time of year?  As my husband says, we can be grateful year-round, not just one day out of 365.  I’d love to hear from you, tell me about it.

In the meantime, here’s my list of gratitudes, circa 2011:

  1. Of course, my top thing is being grateful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Without Him, I would still be lost in darkness.  My life has been transformed and I am continually striving to show my gratitude for so great a gift as death, even death on a cross.
  2. My husband, Dennis. We’ve been married less than a year and he is so incredibly supportive of me, my writing and helping my dreams come true.  If you’re reading this Dennis, I love you dearly.  Thank you!
  3. Most people would put their family in their top 3.  Family. ‘Nuff said.
  4. 2011. Such an incredible year.  One for the books. I am grateful for all the nameless people who contributed to educational funds that enabled me, a late-bloomer, to return back to school and finish my degree this past May.
  5. I’m grateful for my lovely house that God provided (and all that comes with having shelter from the elements, food on the table, etc).  2011 was a year of dreams coming true for this Cinderella.
And finally, my list of favorite things from 2011:
  • cuddling up with a good book and a knit blanket
  • admiring the change of the seasons
  • spending time around old or rare books and enjoying the musty, dusty, leathery smell of the books
  • living in a historic community that celebrates life and family
  • the precision and measurement required in cooking and baking — it gives me a confidence boost each time I learn something new!
  • I love discovering new things growing in my yard this year that prior owners planted
  • unexpected small blessings, like a horse carriage passing by a coffee shop window while sipping a pumpkin latte
  • spending time with animals, ANY animals
  • borrowed swing sets
  • sorbet (yum!)
  • frozen pizza after a long day at work
  • that ONE favorite color that makes your day seem cheerier just by wearing it
  • and finally, my writing and the opportunity to create my own website and blog.

I look forward to the promise of 2012 and all the writing still to be produced.  I promise an update on my writing soon!  In the meantime, safe travels and peace to you all.

Happy Holidays!