A thrill of hope

A thrill of hope

A thrill of hope

caught me by surprise. 

I didn’t recognize it at first. 

It was a beautiful sunset, yes, 

but I’ve seen them before. 

But this one was

unrelenting,

full of  

saturated color 

in shades of 

ochre, 

violet, 

gold, 

magenta,

crimson. 

It cycled through colors

in time with breath.

Breath in. 

Breath out. 

A new shade. 

I couldn’t look away. 

And then at one point, 

I wouldn’t look away. 

I took a detour to get

more time with the colors. 

When I arrived home

I told the kids to run upstairs

to see the show in the sky.

It’s then I remember that 

my day started with 

a gorgeous sunrise.

And now the perfect bookend:

a sunset painted 

in the sky,

with liquid color.  

Visually astounding,

but also a cacophony

of 

hope. 

Color ushers in 

wonder.

Wonder

ushers 

in

hope.

You never let me forget. 

#PermissionGranted

 

 

 

The long night ahead.

The long night ahead.

She decides between coffee or 

a small supply of the kids’ favorite cereal. 

It’s one or the other on her budget. 

The cereal wins because it is 

about more than just cereal. 

It’s a reminder of 

normalcy.

It’s a reminder to the kids

that she remembers.

It is a small way to 

introduce a bit of joy 

and she will make whatever

sacrifice is necessary

to do just that.

She doesn’t have the 

time or energy 

to keep count –

but this is a regular thing for her.

Choices.

This or that.

She would love a cup of coffee

right now to get her through 

the long night ahead

as her second job begins.

She pushes back 

the fear,

the worry,

for if she allowed it

room it would run through her

spare energy resources

in 60 minutes flat.

And then,

where would she be?

A thought creeps in but she 

speaks to it and tells it 

to go away. 

She shakes her head to 

get free of it.

There’s no time to address

the gaping wounds in her heart

that bleed so easily. 

So she chases the 

memory away.

It is what it is.

Dreams are a luxury and 

her sleep,

her awake

her sorrow

her joy

her energy 

is for her boys. 

Her every minute is

meet the needs.

Her job is survival.

She sorts through

the bills in the mail

as she logs into the

customer service website.

An envelope that isn’t a bill

sorts itself from the stack.

She rips it open to 

discover a card,

and a gift card 

to her local

grocery store. 

There’s no name.

No one to thank

or feel indebted to. 

Just provision. 

A deep breath –

just what she needs. 

And maybe, just maybe, 

some coffee. 

#PermissionGranted

 

 

Are you in the midst of a long night? Reach out – you don’t have to do it alone. Allow others to help you take up your space – to be all that you can be.

Are you in a place where you can leverage where you are to make someone else’s burden lighter? Step into that. Do it for the right reasons and be an encouragement to others.

Bravery is not a guarantee

Bravery is not a guarantee

Bravery is not a guarantee.

Bravery is not a trade for

the outcome you desire.

Bravery is just the 

next step you take. 

We don’t know what is

around the corner

but the next step

must still be taken.

It is an exercise in trust,

but don’t forget – 

you’re in good hands.

 

Bravery,

in the company of fear,

hope, and trust

is the engine to take you to 

where you are supposed to be.

Some days will be hard and you

will be tempted to believe that bravery 

has been overtaken by fear.

Fear is just the reminder 

that you can’t do life alone. 

Fear is just a warning bell 

that you are relying too much

on yourself. 

It’s time to trust and put fear in its place.

Bravery, 

is a lot of small steps – 

not giant leaps. 

Small steps forward,

are steps in the right direction

and don’t be tempted to 

even think they don’t count. 

We can celebrate the little wins

and use those to build courage. 

The fails?

Those are our guardrails

to help keep us on the 

path we are supposed to be on. 

There are no guarantees…

except that 

bravery equals growth. 

#PermissionGranted

 

Show and tell

Show and tell

Please unpack your lunch. 

Put your shoes away. 

I love you. 

Please put your clothes in the dirty clothes hamper.

Use kind words. 

Your family matters most. 

Please tie your shoes. 

Don’t mess with your sister!

Leave your brother alone!

Jesus loves you more than I do. 

These are a sampling of the

reminders I say to my kids 

a few times a day,

okay, well, maybe more than a few – 

just depends on the day!

Can I be honest?

It can be frustrating 

to have to repeat 

myself over and over 

and I can’t help but think –

If they would just listen….

 

And yet – I am like them. 

I need daily reminders.

Your words matter. 

You have a purpose.

God loves you. 

You are enough –

but you can’t do it all.

You can rest in God’s provision. 

You can let that go. 

 

I forget.

I get distracted.

I get overwhelmed. 

I get focused on what 

I wish would change. 

I need the reminders

that come through 

a song, 

a flower, 

a leaf, 

a bird, 

a friend, 

scripture, 

my family.

I’m working hard to be

a better listener but 

keep the reminders coming. 

Show and tell me 

what I forget,

what doubt taints,

and lies discolor. 

I need the reminders

of what is true. 

#PermissionGranted

Stuck on a tightrope

Stuck on a tightrope

I’ve stranded myself

in the middle of a tightrope.

Maybe that is where 

you are now…

worn out from 

maintaining the status quo,

but you are frozen in place.

Every muscle works 

at maximum capacity

to keep you

safe, steady, and stuck.

I’ve been there –

working hard

and doing what 

should be done,

but not budging an inch.

Working hard to 

keep balance

even though I can 

see what I want is 

on the other side 

of the chasm. 

There’s a lot of questions

between here and there. 

A whole lot of strenuous,

tedious, teetering steps

to be taken. 

The choice is:

stay or move forward. 

Is it more scary to stay

in a precarious place

and work so hard

to not move at all?

Or is it scarier  

to never know what 

it is like to cross

the chasm to 

dance and

take up your space 

where you belong?

Proceed with fear. 

It is time.

One step, 

then two. 

No more stuck

on a tightrope.

#PermissionGranted

 

 

What will be your one step for today?

Where we come from

Where we come from

When I am driving 

a long distance at a solid

73 miles an hour

I often wonder where the 

cars I am traveling 

beside are headed.

Where are they going?

The car with the license plate

from Maine –  

are they headed

home or are they 

just arriving to their

destination?

I had just left 

family in Charlotte 

and was headed home.

I knew where I was headed

but no one else

driving beside me

knows where I am going.

They might see my license plate

and figure I might 

be on my way home.

But there’s no way to know. 

It struck me then: 

Where we come from

doesn’t dictate

where we are going.

What you’ve been through

doesn’t determine your

destination. 

Our struggles,

trauma,

the addictions we fight, 

and past failures

are not the deciding 

factors of where 

we go in this life.

These are strong influencers 

in our lives 

but they don’t 

get to decide

the end result.

We are meant for

life to the full 

and if that means

you must drive 

in the opposite 

direction of what you’ve 

been through – 

then put the 

pedal to the metal.

Where you and I are from 

may not be 

all that we 

are meant for. 

Purpose,

possibilites, 

and 

passion

await our pursuit.

Turn up the music, 

put the windows

down,

let the wind

breathe purpose into you,

and drive on.

#PermissionGranted

 

 

 

Where are you headed, friend?

Which friends and what resources do you need to help you get to a place of purpose, passion, and possibility?