People We Would Rather Ignore

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On a cross country flight, I glanced up to see a man walking down the airplane aisle.

The man who if we were honest, we’d admit that we all hope didn’t sit by us.

Disheveled, smiling around at no one in particular as he unintentionally knocked his bag around. When he stopped at my row, I felt guilty for these thoughts and looked up to smile at him.

I do not want to judge people, strangers I know nothing about, just put off a bit by their appearance. That is not who I want to be. So, I smiled. (Tweetable)

That committed me for the flight.

He opened his bag and took out piles, I mean PILES of papers. Sections of newspapers he’d meant to read. Folded and added to the piles. Some were years old I noticed. He plopped a large pile next to me which immediately slid around and to the floor.

Giggling, he picked them up, holding up the line behind him. He offered his aisle seat to the man behind him and slid next to me.

Imagine this–to have for a seat mate, a companion with a slightly musty odor, very dirty nails that were long and unkept,  hair that rivaled Einstein for complexity, and a need to talk frequently forces a person to do one of two things. Look at…or look away.

The man was quite frankly a mess. And if I chose to look away, I would be a mess as well. Who am I to judge this person, based on these inconsequential peripheral distractions? Does not God love us equally?

Humbled, I helped him settle in, grasping loose papers as we took off. I knew much of his life story within the first 15 minutes.

A 97-year-old mother he’d been taking care of for 5 weeks.  A complete sonnet, eloquently recited to me… written by his late father (also 97, who taught Biblical Comparative Religion), how his brother thinks he should not save so many articles, the names of his dogs and how they received said names, why he loves to fly West to East in the evening sky…

We politely chatted ( I listened) and then I settled in to read my book. He laughed at his papers, laughed some more and then nudged me. Offering me his papers to read, that I “just had to read”, he insisted because they were so funny. About nuns.

It was funny.

He took my chuckles to mean that I’d like more informative articles, which  he just happened to have in his pile about nuns. Setting my book aside, I read with interest his carefully chosen pieces. We discussed several things that we read, and the flight passed by more quickly.

He had notes too. Remember the computer paper that used to come connected with the holes along the side? Haven’t seen that in years, but he made fine use of the remnants. The man was highly intelligent, no matter my questions, he had plenty of insight.

Why do I share this with you? Because we all see people everyday we make choices about. Others make choices about us. But, regard those choices with care. someone might need us to see them, really see them as people.

And conversely, we might be that person to someone else. And you know what? When we landed he hurriedly scribbled his name, address, email ,cell number and the name of a book  to give me. A book he’d be happy to send me to regarding a previous conversation.

I saw Daniel that night when clearly his company wasn’t in high demand.  And I will not forget him.

(From the archives)

When You Almost Lose Your Child…

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8 ½ years ago marked the worst day of my life. Or, the best day.

I’m choosing the second option, mentally, but my heart struggles to let go of the “worst” feeling.

Worst day, worst fear almost realized.

We had just moved to the Portland area, and a new acquaintance offered to take us to the city and show us around. Portland has a mass transit system called the Max. The kids were ecstatic to ride this train, and it was a special day.

Until my daughter was gone. [Read more...]

Simplify and Save Money With Monthly Meal Planning

A few years ago I started reading about monthly meal planning. It sounded way too complicated so it kept getting put off, but finally I took the plunge.

It was amazing. What a load off my overloaded mind, to just have this one thing already planned out…

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Along life’s journey, I got derailed and went back to my old ways.

Problem is, it made me a bit crazy and cost more money than I wanted to spend.

Every night, dinner rolls around again. And again. Without being prepared in advance it felt unnecessarily stressful, trying to come up with meals at 6 o’clock when everyone is hungry and nothing is defrosted. [Read more...]

Texts Gone Wrong

The time has come to publicly address a personal, ahem, problem.

My texting.

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It has come to my attention that everyone I know struggles with my texting.

I really don’t see the problem.

You may find this hard to believe, but countless friends- concerned friends, have taken me aside to let me know I need help.

They mock me, saving texts to show each other (and me) how they get worse instead of improving over the years.

The irony is that I am an excellent speller in real life. I proipjmise.

If only you could see me, struggling to get the words correct. Yelling frustrated modified curse words through the house.

No, I mean frustrated, not futon. No,not friendship… frustrated. No, FRUSTRATED!

My kids told me this, so I know it must happen. I seem to have a defect that auto-fills my immediately upon pressing the SEND button. Internal flaw, and people rave about iPhones. Hmphh.

Upon further review, I just don’t see what the problem is.

This clearly states, “Husband, please pick up my prescription at Walmart on the way home. We can grab you pants.”

Perhaps I am ahead of my time…

If this made you chuckle, how about sharing with a friend?

10 Practical Tools To Battle Depression

*** (Sharing fave posts from the archives this week while I am ALLUME.  I’ll resume fresh material next week. This one started a storm of response!)

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This question came to me via email, by someone who came across my blog. She was looking for help-

My question for you, and what I find myself struggling with, is how exactly do I let God deal with it? This is what people say in the Christian community, and I’ve prayed over and over and He hasn’t dealt with it. Am I doing something wrong? How did you really give Him your depression so it could be healed?

I am humbled that you felt safe to ask me for some guidance here. I hope the words that come will offer at least a little comfort. I have no formal training, no professional background-to be clear. Just one woman’s story. This is WAY too long for a blog post, please excuse that this time in lieu of this offering

Depression makes people feel desperate. Alone. Failing. Defective.  [Read more...]

Some Surprising Benefits Of Being Broke

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Are you strapped financially?

That has always been us too. A change is happening that for the first time gives us hope for a small cushion, a tool to combat debt.

But, money really can’t buy happiness. Not in the ways that matter..

There might be a few surprising benefits to being broke.

Hear me out… few of us would CHOOSE broke, but when we are there? [Read more...]

Tell Me You Don’t Have “It” All Together, Please

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Uh-oh.

I received a very disturbing comment from a friend today. She told me it always looks like I have it all altogether.  Apparently she doesn’t read my blog, or she would know how untrue that is.

She hasn’t asked my kids what it is like to live with someone who nearly every days asks, “What day is this? Where are we going? Does anyone know why I came in this room? Did I happen to say out loud who I was going to call when I picked up the phone?”

She doesn’t see the piles of unfiled papers or unused planners or me falling to my knees crying out , “Oh the humanity!”

Ok, maybe I haven’t done that yet but you certainly understand that desperate feeling of behind. [Read more...]

We Are Beautiful, Scattered Puzzles

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If you look at puzzle pieces, they don’t make much sense at first. Oddly shaped, patterns that are random.

We are incapable of seeing how they will work together.

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We are like that, we humans.

Odd and beautiful, all at once.

We start with one piece, maybe our quirky sense of fashion, and add a few more pieces. Our kind heart and love toward the helpless. [Read more...]

Photography {Vintage Polaroid Camera}

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Part of my Wabi Sabi journey is finding vintage cameras.

It delights me to hold a piece of history, that connects me to another person who looked at life through a lens. This Polaroid Speedliner was found at a barn sale, in the middle of nowhere, on a beautiful fall day. What was once advanced technology, today would be considered cumbersome and outdated. Used and discarded–perfect. The bulbs are especially detailed…

It is beautiful, it is Wabi Sabi.

If you’d like to read more of my posts about exploring Wabi Sabi through Art, click here.  You can follow along with my #31daysofwabisabi on Instagram here. If you’d like to see more of my Vintage Camera collection, click here.

Check out the details of this beauty below. Do you collect treasures? What appeals to you and why?

[Read more...]

An Open Letter To My Younger Self: Dance On Your Wedding Day

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If I had to do things over again, I wish I had danced more.

[Read more...]