Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Love Where You Live

It is common for teens to want to leave their hometown.  It is understandable to want to encounter new places and challenges.  But waiting for the future can cause unhappiness now.  Finding ways to love and enjoy home in the present is key.

August is a great time to put my proposal to the test.  In this desert it is hot as Hades, dry as straw, and a constant haboob in the making.  Nasty.  It would be really, really, easy to hate this place and pine for someplace cool, wet, and storm-free.  Yet, with a little imagination and the habit of gratitude, there is much to love here.  Swimming pools and water parks abound offering relief and fun.  Museums and restaurants offer new experiences.  Malls and libraries have free air-conditioning.  The Arizona Diamondbacks are winning!  Lines are short at most places.  Coupons and great deals are everywhere.  Plus, in just a few weeks, we'll be back to paradise.

I've learned how to love tough-to-love places; the remote town that was thrilled to get a Walmart, the quirky town that built tunnels for toads, and a city closely linked to the sitcom, The Office.  It is a real confidence builder to know I can love challenging places.  Reminds me of the New York, New York song lyric, "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere."  You can make it here, there, or anywhere when you learn how to love where you live.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happy Birthday!

When one of us in the family celebrates a birthday, we have a sweet and corny tradition of telling the birthday celebrant all the things we love about them. That's a lot of love to tell you on your birthday, son.

You are...

smart, especially people smart.
handsome, and some day you'll be grateful for your youthful good looks:)
happy, always ready with a smile.
funny, lifting the spirits of others.
confident, doing what you know is right.
athletic, working crazy hard to meet your goals.
generous, giving to others in need.
manly, truly, no need for false props like foul language.
fun, able to layer and layer a good time.
hard-working, in sports, academics, relationships, life.
strong, having suffered seriously in your young life.
humble, in spite of the accolades you receive.
trustworthy, having earned it.
faithful, a natural witness to God's joy.

You will show me the path to life,

abounding joy in your presence,

the delights at your right hand forever.

Psalm 16:11

Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear son, happy birthday to you! And many more.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Recovering from Shock

As a young woman, it can be shocking when a young man is forward, bold, and aggressive. A woman can freeze in her shoes from shock when this behavior is physical.

Some boys and men do really stupid, insensitive, and even criminal acts against women. Most women experience some situation where they are on the receiving end of unwanted advances. I wish this wasn't true. But here are a few things I've learned that might help move from shock to wisdom.

No one gets a free pass. Each person must earn your trust over time. This doesn't mean to be cynical, fearful, or harsh. It means it is OK to be cautious and street smart as you grow in experience and wisdom.

Time takes care of even the biggest hurts. You'll feel out of sorts for a while but, in general, God helps heal our hearts within a year of shocking events. Be patient with yourself. Keep talking and processing this event with your loved ones.

Bad behavior is shocking. But your ability to recover is ASTONISHING!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Vacation Love

Vacations are one of the glues that hold a full and sometimes difficult life together.  These extended breaks from routine offer many opportunities to have fun, build relationships, and rest.  Vacations are also for doing favorite things like eating delicious food and eating more delicious food. 

I have so enjoyed vacationing with you over the years.  When you were little, you mainly enjoyed having the undivided attention of me and your dad.  It didn't really matter where we were as long as you could play in dirt and water.  As you've grown in sophistication, so have our vacations.  Now the dirt is beach sand and the water is the Pacific Ocean or resort giant water slides and lazy rivers. 

This year was special.  We were able to gorge ourselves on the Major League Baseball All Star Game and many related events.  Knowing this may be a once in a lifetime experience, we slid into home at Fan Fest, hurt our necks watching home run after home run at the Home Run Derby, and cheered the National League onto victory.  I smile whenever I think about the fans in from Montana, the balls we retrieved (and just missed), and the full house in our home away from home, Chase Field.

Thanks for being such great company during these special times.  I look forward to our next vacation.  And the one after that.  And the one after that...