Build with Love

Sometimes I complain too much about the difficult things life requires me to do. If I am smart, I will see what others can easily see; I need the re-construction, remodel, and renovation that occurs when I am doing a work of love for others, even if I can’t see a positive outcome.

Acknowledging the mystery of this often prevents me from tearing down valuable work with my own hands.

Running from the Rain?

We often prevent our own flowering by running from the rain, or by moving so fast that our roots never have time to go down deep enough into substance, or by refusing to sit still in the light. I have done all three, but am an expert at running from the rain.

It takes so little for me to become discouraged with, and complain about, the rain; the inconvenience, discomfort, or the unexpected pain that is necessary for my flowering.

We can live without flowering, but oh, what we will miss…and what the world will miss.only species on earth














The stem is a marvel in itself, but the flower is breathtaking.


Got Tedious Tasks…or People?

I have little patience with tasks (or people) that seem inefficient, repetitive, or uninteresting. My children told me that my actions seemed to indicate I loved efficiency more than I loved them. Ouch.

After I quit defending myself, I began learning to:

  • see love (not productivity) as the most important thing I can bring to a moment
  • treat all moments (pain and joy) the same, with passion and purpose
  • accept people (especially those who irritate me) without trying to change them

As a result, I don’t have to roll my eyes, sigh, be bored,or dread certain tasks or people. I am only responsible for one thing. Love.

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Passionate, out-spoken people have a hard time with this.

I can’t count the number of times that I have gone off in a rage or rushed in with my opinion only to damage a long term outcome with my short term reaction. Or the number of times that I have given up too soon because I couldn’t wait.

Frank Partnoy’s book Wait reminded me to “exercise my waiting muscles. ” He retold the “Post-it Note Story” in it’s entirety, this time, (all twelve years of it!) with the reminder that good things take a long time…sometimes a lifetime…to create.

For those of us who are still waiting, this is a healing balm.


When Angels Stand in My Way

It is for my own good.


On the days when technology is trouble

Or when I misplace or forget my phone

Or when I say the wrong thing

Or mess up an opportunity

Or when my body (or my car) refuses to be reliable

Or when I can’t find my keys

Or when traffic is brutal

Or the weather (or a relative) won’t cooperate

It is on those days

When I am forced to let go

Of the illusion of my control

And give honor to the Angel standing in my way

Slowing me down

For my own good.


As in the biblical story of Balaam, the donkey is not the problem.


She’s trying to tell us something.

Talking donkey

(see Numbers 22:21-35 in the Old Testament)




Two-Minute Tune-Up 1.10.13 When Your Talent Is Ignored, Don’t Worry

violin player

No one knew this, but the violinist in this photo, playing in the NY subway, virtually ignored by everyone, was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

I can’t begin to describe the hope this experiment gave me!

When I feel anonymous, mediocre, or invisible, I can take heart.  Just because no one is paying attention doesn’t mean my work is not worthwhile, valuable, or even exquisite.

Keep hoping. Keep putting your work out there. Keep doing what you were born to do. You are valuable.

Two-Minute Tune-Up 4.28.12 Adjustment Before Judgment

It occurs to me today, while lying flat on my back, that I am actually privileged to be here. I am able to completely concentrate on writing without any other responsibilities tugging at my consciousness… simply because I am unable to complete any other task.


I have been forced to become aware of  my fundamental need for patience when I am faced with change. How important it is for me to reserve judgment of my circumstances until I have had critical time for psychological adjustment! What agony this buffer zone would mitigate if I only had the patience to wait.

A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else. – George Savile  

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. – Emerson
Stop the madness.


Two-Minute Tune-up 1.11.12 But Wait! There’s More…

I’m reading this book that I didn’t like in the beginning but it has gotten better and better the more I’ve read.  It made me wonder how many other books I’ve thrown aside that I shouldn’t have; how many revelations I’ve missed because I didn’t read far enough; how many miracles I’ve missed because of my impatience. But when I think of the life experiences or even the people I have written off, it’s even more scary.

Sound familiar?

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. – Will Durant

Considering this, can we make a pact to:

1) Take a minute longer before quitting

2) Give the benefit of a doubt before judging

3) Go an extra mile before stopping

4) Believe the best is yet to come?





Two Minute Tune-up 8.1.11 Live the Questions

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart

and try to love the questions themselves…

Don’t search for the answers,

they could not be given to you now,

because you would not be able to live them.

And the point is, to live everything.

Live the questions now.

Perhaps then, someday in the future,

you  will gradually, without even noticing it,

live your way into the answer.

– Rainer Maria Rilke

Whatever our challenges today, it will serve us well to live the questions, to give ourselves to everything, savoring, noticing, participating. If we get caught up in our own drama we miss so much life that is within our grasp this moment.

See it, feel it, drink it in. Joy will come.


Two Minute Tune-up 7.26.11 Hey, you Messed Up MY PICTURE!

The Calm and Poise of Dawn

I usually have an all-will-work-out for-good attitude until I am forced to wait longer than I anticipated. When I don’t get an immediate fix, see the way out of the darkness or have proof of help coming around the bend, I despair:  How dare God mess with my happiness like this! I had this picture of how my life should be. Now look at it! It’s completely whacked! 

But, if I had only waited just a little bit longer, I may have gained a certain poise that would have benefited me in years to come.

I may have grown stronger in mind, spirit and body.

I may have seen the light of dawn…

…and gotten a few less wrinkles on my face.