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Spiritual deadheading

December 18, 2010

Even though it's the middle of winter, my mind drifted to gardening today.  Specifically I found myself thinking about deadheading flowers.  Go figure.  
Perhaps it's the approaching New Year that has been contemplating what I need to leave behind as I enter into the New Year.  

Whatever the reason, I just posted an article on the parallels between the deadheading I due in my garden to help my flowers and shrubs be as beautiful and as healthy as they can be and the spiritual deadheading that I believe God calls each of us to do in our lives.  

An open letter to boomers

December 5, 2010

I wish I'd written this post, but I didn't.  I found it today on LinkedIn, posted by David on the Aspiring Writers Group board.  He says he didn't write it either, but he doesn't think that the original author would mind if others shared it.  I tend to agree, so here it is, reposted in its entirety as I found it.

No matter what our kids and the new generation think about us, 
OUR Lives are LIVING PROOF !!! 
To Those of Us Born between 1925 - 1970 : 
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930s, '40s, '50s, '60s and '70s!! 
First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. 
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then, after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummiesin baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets, and, when we rode our bikes,we had baseball caps,not helmets, on our heads.As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes..Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren't overweight. WHY?Because we were always outside playing...that's why! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.No one was able to reach us all day.--And, we were OKAY. 
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem..We did not have Play Stations, Nintendos and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound or CDs, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from those accidents. We would get spankings with wooden spoons, switches, belt, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, and no one would call child services to report abuse. We ate worms, and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and -although we were told it would happen- we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers,problem solvers, and inventors ever. The past 50 to 85 years have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas...We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. If YOU are one of those born between 1925-1970, CONGRATULATIONS! 
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good. While you are at it, forward it to your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were. Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ?

Giving great gifts doesn't have to break the bank

December 4, 2010

Today I started a series of articles for on gift ideas in time for the holiday shopping season.  If you're looking for creative, unusual and inexpensive give ideas, check out Inexpensive Gift Basket Ideas Using Dollar Store Items6 Easy and Inexpensive DIY Gardening Gift Ideas, and Inexpensive Gift Ideas for All Types of Gardeners

Revelations from the road

December 1, 2010

My recent road trip held even more revelations than I'd anticipated in my previous post.  I started my journey with my GPS, but also with printed directions from MapQuest.  Even though I knew the GPS would get me there turn by turn, the ability to see the "big picture" was an extra measure of security for me.

As it turned out, my parents were on a road trip of their own, traveling north as I was, about an hour or so ahead of me.  Not long into my journey my Mom called me to give me her version of the real-time traffic reports.  She strongly suggested that I avoid I-95 at all costs because of extremely heavy holiday traffic.  So, as it turned out, my big picture directions which had me traveling on I-95 for much of the way were suddenly useless.  I had to laugh at the irony of having to rely on my GPS after all.

As I reached the DC area, something unexpected happened.  Even though I was driving east towards Annapolis to avoid I-95, my GPS refused to recalibrate for the new route and for about 30 miles it insisted on telling me to turn at every conceivable exit in order to make my way towards Baltimore to connect with I-95.  While trying to ignore the directions coming from the GPS, I started thinking about the voices of often well-meaning friends and others who try to convince us to go in the direction they think we should be going, even if we know the path that we're supposed to be taking.  While their directions may still get us where we need to go, there may be a better path for us to take.  After all, God can see those obstacles and challenges ahead that we and others can't see.

After I crossed the Bay Bridge and got past the exits to Baltimore, I noticed another interesting pattern.  The GPS stopped talking altogether.  For about 40-50 miles there was complete silence.  At some point I realized that the reason the GPS wasn't giving me directions was because there weren't any.  I was on the road I was supposed to be on, so there was nothing more to say.  At that point I realized there's another reason why God is sometimes silent.  When we're doing what we're supposed to be doing, we simply need to keep at it until God tells us to do otherwise.

I'd say this was a pretty productive trip!

2009 ·New Calling by TNB