Over the years, I have sat with many poor mothers and fathers as they have shared their stories of surviving genocide, slavery, and abuse. The pain they describe is unfathomable—and I’m tempted to imagine that the people who endure it are somehow different from me. Maybe, somehow, they just don’t feel things like I do. Maybe they expect less, care less, hope for less, want less, or need less. But painfully, over time, I have seen that they are exactly like me. Lucila, a resident of the tiny Peruvian town of La Union, and the mom of a spunky 8-year-old little girl named Yuri, received dreadful news early one morning. “Someone on the phone said, ‘Yuri has been murdered at the party hall,’” Lucila told me, her dark eyes now beginning to swim with tears. It didn’t matter that she was poor. Like any parent, Lucila just wanted to know what happened to her daughter. The last time Yuri’s family saw her was inside a local party hall owned by a much wealthier neighbor, Pedro Ayala. One of the children had seen Yuri go upstairs to the Ayala’s residence and never come back down. Her family left that night, each [...]
Monday I wrote about why I don’t attend church regularly. I was naive to open such a sensitive conversation without expecting a backlash. I confess I was taken aback at the response. But also encouraged. I’d never confessed that before though I’ve many friends who’ve asked me to. In a way, I feel like I can be more myself now than ever.
That said, though, I was misunderstood in a number of ways so for sanity’s sake, I’ll create some clarification. So a follow-up is in order. That said, one caveat: I’ll offer camera angles on the issue because that’s how I think. I tend to see things from multiple angels and am comfortable not choosing “the right one.” I often weigh them against each other and continue to ask what camera angles I’m still not seeing.
For most of my life, I had a hard time telling the truth.
It’s ironic because my name (Allison) means “little truthful one” but truth just never came that easily to me. Instead, my imagination would run wild with fascinating details and exaggerated facts that always seemed more interesting to me than the real ones. By the time I was in high school my parents would jokingly say they should have thought of a name that meant “little bender-of-the-truth”.
I’ve a confession. I don’t connect with God by singing to Him. Not at all.
I know I’m nearly alone in this but it’s true. I was finally able to admit this recently when I attended a church service that had, perhaps, the most talented worship team I’ve ever heard. I loved the music. But I loved it more for the music than the worship. As far as connecting with God goes, I wasn’t feeling much of anything.
What if today was the last day you had to live? How would you live your life differently? Asking these type of questions can help us clarify our lives, and find deeper meaning in our everyday life. This is what happened for Ric Elias. His plane nearly crashed, but after Capt. Sully Sullenberger successfully landed flight 1549 in the Hudson River on in 2009, he walked away with more than just his life. He walked away with a new understanding of what it means to really live. He shared three important life lessons in this TED talk. If you were in his situation how would you live your life differently?
Everyone wants to have great relationships. This desire to be deeply connected to other people transcends the typical societal divides of class, culture, and status. On a recent trip overseas I was pondering what a great relationship looks like.
I took the trip with a good friend. We have known each other since we were kids navigating puberty and middle school lockers, and we have remained fairly close over the years. He was in my wedding and I was in his. We visited each other in graduate school and welcomed each other’s kids into the world. During our trip, we were reunited with other friends from our youth and we all belly laughed late into the night recounting tales of the past.
Years ago I read a little psychology book by Don Riso and Russ Hudson about personality types, a topic I geek out on, to be honest.
The book talked about the character faults of different personalities, and as I read my own, I became a bit dismayed. I wondered how I could change negative characteristics that seemed to be interwoven in my DNA. How would I change who I seemed to be in my core?
We had only been living in South Florida for a few months, but it only took a few months to realize this was one of the most wealthy places in the country—and people weren’t afraid to flaunt it. Everywhere we went, we saw luxury vehicles and fancy shoes and five-carat wedding rings and the end-result of plastic surgeries.
There were boats and boat houses and yachts with their own Wikipedia pages. There were houses the size of hotels, and other houses so big they made the hotel houses look like shacks.
In some ways, of course, this wild display of wealth was a little disconcerting for me. But at the same time, it was eye-opening.
I saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in the theater last night, and walked out lighter than air. There’s something about a movie (or any story, really) where the protagonist overcomes fear by way of ridiculous risk that makes my heart soar. I know what it’s like to be scared of risk.
But I’m not always the best at looking at risk head on and saying, “Alright. It’s go time.” I tend to turn around and bury myself somewhere safe—making tacos, letting the kids watch another cartoon, writing a post no one could disagree with, watching Friends reruns.