Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Complicated Thing...

I'm sitting here with a baseball in front of me...staring at me like the volleyball in Castaway. In just a few minutes, I'll be speaking to the staff at work about being a team...the importance of preparation, performance...and the biggest one of all...being able to place your trust in something or someone other than yourself.  It's not easy.

So I'm about to talk about what I know...baseball.   I'll be invoking the 1998 New York Yankees and what that team accomplished and the adversity some of its members faced.   I'll hold the baseball and hope they get the metaphor of a pitcher letting the ball go and trusting the team behind him.  In spite of all your training and preparation, you've still got to let the ball go and trust the team behind you.  Such is life.  We'll see how this goes.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  Sometimes you never know with people.  Trust is a complicated thing.

There's a Maya Angelo quote that says, "when people show you who they are, believe them the first time."  I've always loved that.  I've got a ton of acquaintances, but only a handful of people I consider friends.  The trust that I'll talk about to the staff is a big reason why.  If you're my friend, I will trust you with ME.  I'll be honest and vulnerable and fun and you will know ME.  THAT is me trusting YOU.  That rarely happens in a work environment...but here I go.  I'm off to be an advocate of the team and the trust we need to have in the people we count on to pull off something bigger than ourselves every day.  Let's see how much they trust me...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

When was the last time...

When was the last time you saw a group of kids playing baseball in the backyard...all by themselves...with no adults in the middle of it all?  I can't remember the last time I saw that.  Actually, the last time I remember it at all was when I was a kid and playing myself.  And that was a long time ago.
Every generation probably says it, but kids today are missing out. Not only are they missing out on the fun, they're missing out on the things that playing together, without an adult, teaches.  It's no wonder young adults today can't settle a conflict, that they don't know how to handle losing...or winning, that they don't understand why someone's not always around to help them or tell them what to do.   Playing baseball, or football, or basketball or soccer with my group of friends taught me a lot of those things.  We called balls and strikes, in bounds and out of bounds, fouls, outs, home runs, ground rules doubles--all of it, all by ourselves. Oh, and we cheered each other on. We encouraged each other.  Of course there were disputes, but if something couldn't be resolved, we had a do-over.  We didn't get mad, take our ball and go home.  I get that very rarely are there do-overs in real life, but you get the point. No one else had to tell us what to do our how to get the game going again.  We picked teams, played hard and when it was all over shook hands...really, even when we were little kids...and went on to the next things. It's sad to me that everyday I see people who need someone to tell them what to do or how to do.  It's sad that we don't play hard and then shake hands when the day is done.  But maybe most of all, it's sad to me that we don't cheer each other on every day.  But maybe it's not hopeless.  Cheer someone on today.  You'll feel good.  They'll feel great.  Maybe our kids will take the cue.

Monday, May 20, 2013

An Open Letter To My High School Friends

The bonds we form as kids are stronger than we probably thought at the time.  Recently, our high school class found out about the deaths of two of our classmates.  Most of us found out via Facebook.

Now say what you want about FB, but because of it, we're connected again...some of us for the first time.  It's sort of amazing to me that even people we barely looked at in high school, we're friends with on Facebook.  We share with, we console, we celebrate.  We comment, we like, we encourage.  No matter where you sat in the mall, we're all the same now....whether you were on the cake, on a bench, in the library or the smoking lounge.  We care about each other now, whether we did back then or not.  You see,we share the common bond of a common experience--even though our perspectives were very, very different.  Seems now we're not that different at all.  Whether we're caring for children or parents, grieving or celebrating...now we care.  I wish we could prove to the class of 2015 that they'd all be friends someday.  Maybe the bullying would stop. Maybe the fighting would stop.  Maybe they'd lift each other up instead of stepping on each other so they could rise to the top.  Maybe what they look like wouldn't matter so much.  Maybe the jocks and the potheads would realize that none of the labels matter in adulthood.

No doubt we all have a close friend or two that we still keep in touch with from those days.  I'm so very fortunate to have one of those...we've gone through LIFE together.  For the rest of my high school class, it's great to have found you again on Facebook.  It's nice to see we've grown up...and somehow we've grown together even though we've been apart.  Keep in touch, keep caring, keep sharing and keep encouraging.  If you didn't know me...or like me then...let's give each other a chance now.  We're finding out now, maybe way too early or way too late, that life is way too short.  North Hunterdon class of 1984:  I really do love you all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Where Did the Time Go?

I don’t know how it happened. Another birthday is here and sometimes I just wonder where all the time went.  Facebook has made it worse.  All the birthday wishes on my wall are so very much appreciated…yet, my facebook friends span such a huge chunk of time, that it really makes me wonder where it all went.  It seems like only yesterday when so many of them were singing happy birthday to me as we sat at our desks with cupcakes in front of us and the teacher leading the song.  It also seems like yesterday when some of them helped me celebrate my 21st birthday…and my 30th….and my 40th at a huge party at my house, my very own house. 
Sometimes I miss those days, but most of all, I love where I am.  I’ve grown up, but my husband says I’m still only 3.  I love life.  I love the simple, cute things that make my smile, sometimes loudly.  I love where God put me….the family he placed me in, the husband he had me wait until I was in my 30s to find.  I love the people, pets and things He put in my life. 
Thank God, I still feel like I’m young, but I’ve crossed that “middle-aged” line.  It really is true…youth is wasted on the young.  They’ll never learn.  But I have.  Happy Birthday to me…and thanks to everyone who makes getting older=getting better.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's Never the End of the Story

On Easter weekend, we probably heard that the Crucifixion wasn’t the end of the story and then we celebrated the Resurrection.  But happily, the Resurrection wasn’t the end of the story either. 
While the disciples were locked in a room, Jesus appeared to them and said, “Peace be with you.” But that wasn’t the end of the story…Thomas wasn’t with them.  Thomas said he would not believe unless he examined the nail marks and put his hand in Jesus’ side.
Not the end of the story.  A week later, Jesus came to the disciples again, only this time Thomas was there.  After seeing Jesus, Thomas said to him, “My Lord and My God.  Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20: 28-29)
But that’s not the end of the story.  Jesus was talking about US!  We have not seen, but yet we believe.  Over 2000 years later, here we are.  No matter where you are in your journey, no matter what you’re facing... it’s not the end of the story. Because you believe in Jesus Christ, it’s never the end of the story.  God is with you, leading you, loving you and encouraging you to continue in His story.  Believe.  This is a story that will never end.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Super Day

Super Bowl Sunday takes on a whole different meaning when your team is in it.  I've been a Giants fan since I was a little kid.  The memories run deep.  To non sports fans, it really is hard to explain.  The attachment to a team must seem ridiculous to those who have no team...or interest in sports.  But to me, there's nothing like a Giants Super Bowl win.  I've experienced four of them in the past 25 years and they all come with their own set of crazy stories, unlikely heroes and fantastic finishes.
This latest victory had a lot of similarities to the last one....me with a pillow over my head unable to watch...me with that feeling in my stomach that is universally known by Giants' fans....me on my knees during the final minute of play...Eli Manning hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy and winning the MVP....and the most important thing of all....the phone call from my dad immediately after the game's final play.  Of all the things that happened during the game, the phone call with my dad, however brief it might've been, is the things that means the most.  The Giants are the one team that we agree on, the one team we both root for...the one team that we have no arguments about....the one team that brings to mind the other whenever it's mentioned.  So as time expired, I knew as I was in mid jump and mid scream and beginning my celebration, my phone was going to ring and it would be my dad.  That's what a sports team can do...it can create a bond between people...related or not...that runs through a life and creates memories that will never be forgotten.
I loved that game...because I loved the outcome.  It was an unbelievable game. Again. Right, Dad?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What Jesus wants for Christmas

Sunday, Christmas Day, someone wants to be with you.  His name is Jesus.  Jesus wants to be with you as he was with all of us on that 1st Christmas Day…when he became human, like us. That’s what Jesus wanted for Christmas.  He loved us so much that he could not bear to be separated from us or for us to be separated from him…so he became like us, not only to be with us then and now…but to take us to himself for all eternity so that where he is, we also might be. 

Because Jesus wanted to be with us for Christmas, he united himself with each of us to share with us his divinity.  He assumed our humanity so that we might become like him, not as slaves or servants, but that we could share in his life and power.  When Jesus became like us…we could become like him.

Because Jesus wanted to be with us and one of us on that 1st Christmas day, he reconciled us to each other and with God, our Father, he began a life as one of us and through his life, his teaching, his suffering, his death and resurrection…we were set free.  We were rescued.  And…all of this came about because Jesus wanted to be with us, to be one of us, on that 1st Christmas Day.

How special are we, we have been made new, whole, rich…sons and daughters of our God and Father because Jesus wanted to be with us, one of us on that 1st Christmas day.  As we approach Christmas, we should be gald…rejoice…because Jesus, who shares his life with us, who delights in us…wanted to be with us…for Christmas.