I adopted another dog

You may or may not have noticed that since my beloved dog Ziggy passed away last August, I’ve barely been writing on this blog. I’m not sure if the two correlate but their timing matches up.

Earlier this year, I wrote about how we really ought to be forming new year habits rather than new year resolutions. Well, one of my new year habits is to write more.

Back in November, I adopted another dog. His name is Capone. He resembles Ziggy in his stature and coloring, but his personality is quiet different.

Capone is fearless. He spent the first few months of his life transferring hands from adopters to shelter employees to foster families, before finally arriving to me. He loves all people. At the adoption events, he became used to many different sounds and smells, all sorts of other animals, and humans both young and old. He’s a joy to take out in public because he makes everyone he meets feel like the most important person in the world, smothering them with hugs and kisses.

He doesn’t require much exercise at all or even training. For one, he’s a low energy dog and much prefers snuggling to running. For two, he’s extremely sensitive to commands and thus picks up quickly whenever I’m teaching him new ones.

In short, Capone is everything I could have ever hoped for in a dog. He’s perfect for me. And when I look at him, I can’t help but be reminded of God’s grace and goodness. That no matter how devastating a loss, God turns all things for good. And often, for better than we could have even imagined.

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Inspiration is Like a Butterfly

Have you ever noticed how inspiration often comes at the most inopportune times?

When a million other things are vying for our attention. Or when we’re right in the middle of something else. Like a shower. Or a run. Or when we’re simply not in the mood to write. Because we’re tired. Or hungry.

Have you ever had a brilliant idea come to you out of nowhere? A sudden flash of insight that you promise to write down later.

But when later comes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t recall what is you were supposed to write down. Maybe you remember the general idea, but the words are no longer fully formed, waiting to flow effortlessly from mind to paper. The inspiration is no longer a sudden flash, but rather a struggle to be grasped. And it’s brilliance is lost.

I think inspiration is purposefully inconvenient.

Because, you see, inspiration is ultimately a gift that wants to be shared. It’s constantly searching for the right receiver.

Inspiration demands attention. And it determines who’s rightfully worthy of it by arriving at the wrong time.

If we’re not willing to put time on hold, stop what we’re doing and fully receive the inspiration in the exact moment it arrives, then like a butterfly, inspiration simply flutters off to find another mind somewhere else. It wants to be with a person who recognizes its worth.

What It’s Like to Be a Writer

A funny description of what it’s like to be a writer by fellow author Donald Miller.

writer-working

“Writers don’t make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again we don’t work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel terribly guilty about throwing the schmuck’s book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness. We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another man’s stupid words. And for this, as I said, we are paid a dollar. We are worth so much more.”

Dragonfly (A Poem)

Dragonfly.
He says, “I hope you’re doing better
then the day the good Lord called me up.
You’ll be alright.
I’m at peace. I’ve joined forever.
You’re gonna love it here.

dragonfly

I never left you.
No, you were never left behind.
See, now I’m always by your side.”
Love,
Dragonfly.

The Only Thanksgiving Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving to all of you!

I know many people are busy preparing recipes for their Thanksgiving feast but today, I want to offer you the opportunity to make a more meaningful Thanksgiving Recipe. This recipe is not about food that you eat, but rather it’s about food for your soul. Its ingredients consist not of turkey and gravy but of joy and meaning.

If you have five minutes, I encourage you to try this out. I recently completed my own Thanksgiving Recipe with my personal Ingredients for Joy and Meaning and I think that it has immense benefits. I’ll explain more later on…

Are you ready? Here we go…

Grab a pen and paper and make a list that answers this question: “When things are going really well in your life, what does it look like?”

Call the list “My Thanksgiving Recipe: Ingredients for Joy and Meaning.” This is your personal Thanksgiving Recipe and I promise you it will be more fulfilling than any other dish you feast upon this holiday season.

Here is a sample with some of the items from my personal Thanksgiving Recipe: Ingredients for Joy and Meaning (to give you some ideas):

– Eating Healthy
– Exercising regularly
– Plenty of sleep
– Lots of time spent in the company of friends
– Meaningful work that doesn’t consume me
– Time spent reading and writing
– Going to church regularly
– Plenty of time to spend with my dog
– Time for singing, dancing, and performing
– Creating and regularing sharing my work with other people
– Not being overly concerned or consumed by family affairs and/or drama
– Time spent outside/exploring
– Adventures and new experiences
– Someone to go on adventures and share these new experiences with who equally enjoys them
– Connecting deeply and spiritually with at least one other person
– Romance
– Progressing towards an established and realistic goal

Once you have finished your Thanksgiving Recipe: Ingredients for Joy and Meaning, now I want you to write a “Dream List” consisting of all of the things that you want to accomplish and/or acquire in your lifetime.

After you’ve completed both lists, compare the two.

I think you may be surprised to find, as I was, that nothing on my “Dream List” in any way enhances or changes my “Thanksgiving Recipe: Ingredients for Joy and Meaning” list.

In other words, if we can simply let go of our “Dream List” and begin to embrace our “Ingredients for Joy and Meaning” list, we’ll realize that we’re already living out our dreams, right now. What more could we possibly have to be thankful for?!

As you go about your Thanksgiving holiday, feel free to pass along this important recipe to your loved ones. And remember, gratitude and joy always go hand in hand.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I AM (A Poem)

Though I’m saddened when you make mistakes,
My heart is joyful when you seek My face.
For I did not come to help the morally right,
but the fallen and broken are dear in My sight.
The closer you come to Me,
the closer I AM.
Though distractions are plenty,
so is My hand…
Reaching out for you daily,
My peace is there for the taking
So if you’re tired of waiting
come find rest in I AM.

September 11 (A Poem)

As the towers came crashing down
and all the bodies crushed but found…
What used to be, no more is there.
It seems our perfect lives are so unfair.

America, America.
How beautiful and kind to me.
Tragedy unites. Our pride goes on.
Home of the brave and land of the free.

I’m Glad You Came (A Poem)

I’m glad you came.
Came into my life
and washed all my cares away.
Now every thing’s alright.
And I hope you’re here to stay.
Stay with me all night.

I’m glad you came.

Losing Me (A Poem)

I’m on my knees. I’m on my knees
begging, “Baby, don’t leave.”
You hear my cries. You hear me plead.
And still you want to be free.

I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid
of losing you.
I think I’m more afraid
of losing me.

Let Love Know You’re There (A Poem)

We cultivate love when we allow
our most vulnerable selves to be seen and known.
Love is not something that we give or get;
it is something that we nurture and grow.

Withholding of affection,
disrespect, betrayal and blame
damage the roots from which love grows
and hurt the place from which it came.

Love can only survive these injuries
if they’re acknowledged, healed, and rare.
So put down your ego, put in the work,
and let love know you’re there.