Holiday Colors

One of the beautiful indicators of change are the colors of leaves all around us. The vividness are a constant reminder that if there is anything consistent, it is change.

Why do we capture pictures of these changing hues year after year? After all, they will reappear this same time next year (assuming the trees survive the environmental changes). We have a fascination for these wonderful displays of coloration but I wonder if there is a deeper meaning that is aroused within us when we are reminded of the changing seasons?

The holiday season brings our own colors within our hearts and minds. What do I mean by this? Let me share my insights with you….

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Back To The Future Wedding

We had the honor and privilege of attending our second wedding in two weekends. The venue was perfect for an outdoor ceremony followed by an indoor reception.

Driving on the beautiful back roads of Vacaville, California, we turned into a gravel road and were instructed to park in the open fields of this spacious ranch. Neither of us have been here before though we have driven by this location several times in the past years.

As we walked towards the crowd, we found our seats under some shade as the sun was beginning its descent. The gazebo was the focal point of the proceedings. The ceremony was concise and I am sure the family members in the first couple of rows were very thankful for that as they sat in the hot sun.

The Newlyweds!!!

As we turned our attention to the reception, I saw an old friend standing in the shadows. She was a volunteer and I knew that I would catch up with her soon. During a break before the bride and groom reappeared, I stepped outside and bumped into my friend.

Then she told me some amazing facts about the Joyful Ranch.

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Beautiful Bride

The day was perfect in all ways!

Recently, the weather in our local region had been unpredictable. Temperatures into the high-90’s were sometimes replaced with blustery afternoons. Planning an outdoor wedding would stress any couple during this time of year.

It was my honor to witness a very special wedding this past weekend. Who says that a large wedding is reserved only for the younger people. Why not a loving couple who cultivated a long-standing friendship for twenty-plus years and surrounded by friends and family who have been a part of their lives and long-term relationship?

Well, that is exactly what happened this past Saturday afternoon.

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Overwhelmed By Cold, Temporary Problems

Have you ever felt buried by problems and circumstances in your life?

Just like this tree overwhelmed by the copious amounts of snow at Lake Tahoe last month, I can identify with this crown. Problems seem to pile up at times and just like this tree, I struggle to keep my head above water (so to speak).

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The good news is that when the snow melts in the spring or early summer, it will be standing tall to provide shade and a safe haven for nature as in past seasons.

Have you thought about how the base of the tree reacts to the freezing temperature of the packed snow? Do you ever feel that your problems seem to freeze you in a position that disables you from moving forward?

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Resilience

Is that word in your vocabulary?

Lately, I have been reading many stories of life struggles. Some are my friends and others I have never met. We all have, are, and will experience life-changing events that will shape who we will become for the betterment of those around us.

That’s counterintuitive to say the least. Many ask the question, “How can something good come out of this?” Have you ever asked that question while in the midst of your challenge or struggle?

Sure, we have heard those phrases such as “When you hit rock bottom, there is no where else to go but up”. Resilient people, however, have a different mindset…. Continue reading “Resilience”

What’s In Your Arc?

I was invited to submit an article for an upcoming book, a collection of stories focused on the topic of joy.

In this world of negativity, selfishness, and public media reporting on stories that stir up drama, I was honored to be selected as a contributing author. However, as with all articles of submission, the option for editing my story was highly suggested. The coordinators wanted each story to be well-written.

An email notification arrived a few weeks after the deadline. The instructions were clear – editing would be required for all submissions.

I was unsure at first because this was “my story” – why would I have someone potentially change “my” words at all? Would it change the intent of my story? Would my voice be changed by an unknown editor?

Then my cellphone notified me of an incoming call. It was the editor…

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This Year I Will…

I had an amazingly inspirational time at my company’s annual convention last weekend. The lessons learned, trainings taught, and encounters with like-minded individuals gave me plenty to think about.

For example, I have been through a lot of tragedies in life yet somehow, by the grace of God, I was able to rise above the ashes and thrive. Some have put their proverbial arms around me at the right moments in my life to walk with me through the valleys that would hold anyone down for good. I appreciated their love and concern because without them, I would not be where I am today.

Now it is my turn to give back… Continue reading “This Year I Will…”