Tag: transitions

The Cost of Leaning Into Our Dreams

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The Cost of Leaning Into Our Dreams

The anticipation of the free-fall was almost more than I could bear.

I never was a huge fan of roller coasters.  As a child I was deathly afraid.  My friends would stand in line for hours, strap in for two and a half minutes, then chase each other to the end of the line wobbling back and forth like a candidate for an early morning DUI and then wait again.  My first experience on a roller coaster was not of my own free will.  I was tricked! 

It was an indoor roller coaster at Dollywood and I had no idea that near the end of the ride the bottom would drop out and we would be thrust into a death-defying descent into a bottomless pit (so it seemed). You know what I did,  I unstrapped myself and began a mad dash, chasing my friends to the end of the line just to wait again.    From that point forward, anytime I heard the “rachety-rachety-rachety” of the train climbing to the sky, my stomach tied itself in knots as it awaited the pending dive into breathlessness.  I hated being out of control.  But the thrill of the hill was worth the fear of not knowing.

And now I am riding another roller coaster.  One without … Continue reading

Faith Story

Lessons Learned from a Passing Friend

Every once in a while one person makes a difference.

Steve Dean was my friend. Not just the “see you around town and chat a bit” friend, but the “see you for who you are and care” friend. Steve was a pastor and two of his congregants worked for me at the little consignment shop. I noticed what a huge impact he had on these two guys and how they were living far above where they would have been without Steve. I asked them about their parents and found out that their parents had also been impacted by Steve. None of these folks had a very “churchy” air about them, but they knew God deeply. That made me very curious.

The first time I really got to know Steve was on a three-day spiritual retreat. Both of us had pastoral roles and we served together as spiritual directors at the Walk to Emmaus. I tend to be a much more reserved person in public, so I often observe what’s going on around me. I watched Steve pour himself completely out for the sake of every single man at that retreat. I watched him view each one as equal to all the others. I saw him bring himself down to earth with honesty about his struggles and hope for redemption of failure. Whenever I see someone do that well, I know they have spent some time in the pit. That kind of relating to folks only comes through personal brokenness.

And then we talked. Way into the night. About issues that you only share with a very few. It was one of those talks where he felt as impacted as I and vice-versa. Mutual care, mutual love, mutual hope.

Over the course of the next months, I connected with Steve regularly and we even collaborated on some mutual projects. He even worked in the little consignment shop for a while. We walked through life together. When he came into my… Continue reading

Navigating the Transitions of Life

Faith Gratitude Story Uncategorized

Navigating the Transitions of Life

I had never met her before.

Her son came into our consignment shop to talk to me about downsizing her estate so she could move into a 900 square foot assisted living apartment from her 3,000 square foot home of 42 years. He was a little impatient and bothered by the process, but he was so thankful to find help with the massive undertaking.

As I walked through her front door two days later, she reached out and pulled me into a huge bear hug as tears gently formed along her bottom eyelids. I hugged her back. Not with an emotional attachment, she was a complete stranger to me. But as one who understood the tearing apart of a person and the things that represented the sum of her life. Her attachment was not to the things themselves , but to the memories those things carried. … Continue reading