The past two weeks have been crazy in the news.  When tragic tragedy occurs other places and cities, we stop and pause.  It is heartwrenching and makes you wonder about life and who are these people.  Then you go on with life.

When violence comes in your own front yard, climbs on your porch – it changes you. For me it is a ripping at the fabric of my heart.  Our leaders responded quickly setting an example to us all of humility and of determination.  A gathering of hundreds in the heart of the city brought some great messages.

Mayor Mike Rawlings said “We as a city, as a state and as a nation are struggling with racial issues, they continue to divide us. We’ve got to change.”

“Is this what it takes for us to come together? Does it take tragedy? Does it take murder?” Imam Omar Suleiman asked. “Hatred is not an appropriate response to hatred.”

“We are being tested down to the core, to see not only if we will survive the atrocities of last night, but if we will rebound and become a better city,” Bishop T.D. Jakes said,  “Enough is enough. Let that which unites us be greater than that which divides us.”

We in Dallas have seen the end of the path that hate speeches and violence, and taking sides will take us and have said “NO, not in our city!”   And the biggest cry has been a call for action.  This event is unacceptable and we have to make a change.

Not just expecting someone else to do it.  Not pointing fingers, not taking sides.  While I appreciate our leaders for setting an example, I can’t expect them to do it all.  It is going to take all of us showing up each and every day.

 It is going to take me standing firm and asking, “How can I be the change I wish to see in the world?”

I have seen this in effect on the streets and in churches and organizations. Many have asked this question.  I see this in individuals at the store of all races raise their heads and make eye contact, giving smiles and greetings and hugs.  The outpouring of support for our fallen officers has been monumental as well as support for those officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.  People are taking a stand and action.

Police Chief Brown puts out an opportunity, “We are hiring, put in an application.” While a good idea for some, this would not work for this grandma, way past the hiring age.  So where does that leave me, still asking the question.  In another blog I will maybe outline my process for this discovery, but for now I will simply say, “I have  to look at what I have, who I am, what are my gifts and abilities. How can I stretch and grow and share who I am and be the change?”

Sooo. I have a blog.  I can write.  I also have some great information on communication.  Practical and down to earth.  How can we really listen to our spouses, children, neighbors, friends and enemies?  How can we listen to ourselves and respect our beliefs and open lines of communication, celebrating the differences in others?  How can we communicate our desires and needs effectively?  Very often, it is not what you say, but how you say it.

In the next few weeks, I will use my blog to speak out on some great communication strategies that will help you in all areas of life.  I would love to join with you and  discover how we can make a difference in this world. In our own way. With our own unique gifts. In our own corner of the world.

I would also love to hear your views.  How are you dealing with the current situation in our world?  We can all learn from each other as we stand together and say- “ENOUGH”

It will take us all.   Every One of us!sonja in hole at gog




How was your weekend?? It depends on your perspective!

Fun time or stressful.  The choice is mine!
Fun time or stressful. The choice is mine!

It is so easy to look at the lives of others and think about how amazing they are, and then compare our family and life to this vision.  We see our own foibles and feel somehow like we fall short of the dream life and family.  The truth is there is no perfect life or family.  The reality is that life is a roller coaster.  We can however, choose our focus and the meanings we place on events.  Care for an example from my crazy weekend trip?

Continue reading “How was your weekend?? It depends on your perspective!”

Living In The Moment!

Living in the Moment by Jason Mraz

If this life is one act

Why do we lay all these traps?

We put them right in our path

When we just want to be free

I will not waste my days

Making up all kinds of ways

To worry about all the things

That will not happen to me

So I just let go of what I know I don’t know

And I know I’ll only  do this by living in the moment

Living our life

Easy and breezy

With Peace in my heart

Peace in my soul

Wherever I’m going, I’m already home

Living in the moment

I’m letting myself off the hook for things  I’ve done

I let my past go past

And now I’m having more fun

I’m letting go  of the thoughts

That do not make me strong

And I believe this can be the same for everyone

I can’t walk through life facing backwards

I have tried

I tried more than once to make sure

And I was denied the future I’d been searching for

But I spun around and hurt no more

By living in the moment

We will not have the opportunity to live this day again!   May you embrace some great moments today!!424823_318878774821288_100000975053445_864087_1468111273_n[1]

A New Time!!

English: Half a dozen home-made cookies. Ingre...

Ahh the challenges and changes of a new school year. My youngest is 
starting at a new high school this year.
 After 26 years of homeschooling, this is quite the change for me.
 Having to meet new parents, 
teachers and friends is challenging to my personality, for I tend to 
enjoy the status quo. On top of that I have spent the last few weeks 
dreading my Grace going back to college. She thinks she is the only 
junior whose mom will cry when she’s done helping her unpack.

Enjoying the adventure of our drive together helped, aided by the rain and 
wonderfully cool temperatures. Involved in the hustle and bustle of all 
the parents and students hauling an overwhelming amount of boxes into 
the dorms and apartments was exciting. Thinking about each one of them, 
how they all have dreams and this year is part of their journey, just 
made me want to hug them all. I did hug all of Grace's roomies and 
rejoiced as they all brought cookbooks and supplies as they look 
forward to the apartment living, while learning and cooking. The day 
brought me joy and excitement thinking about all the new experiences 
this year will hold which was a very good moment for me and my 
"uncomfortable relationship" with change.

 I  continually need to remind myself 
how good change is for me. It forces me to grow in ways I might not 
otherwise choose to grow in. In the growth I fine tune old ways of 
living that really are habits that are not beneficial to me.  Hooray to 
choose new habits that work for this time in my life, bringing joy and 
purpose!  Now that is something to be thankful for.

Relationships must grow and change as well.
 While we may be comfortable 
with how they are, the more comfortable I am with letting each of us 
change and grow, becoming all we are meant to be, the better the 
relationship will become. Just because it will be different does not 
mean it is ending. I must allow it to become what it needs to be.
 This is true for everyone, but especially our kids. 
 Just as we encourage them in each stage of development,
 such as walking and learning to read, they really need encouragement into adulthood. 
 I need to find healthy ways to keep the relationship going with both these kids in this new 

Hmm I am thinking chocolate chip cookie care package!!! (and 
maybe a few cookies added into the daily lunch box as well 
or bring the football game to share with other parents and potential new friends.

What changes are you facing in your life this year and what can you do 
to embrace the change and go forward??

Update on this Post:   Day 4 of back to school and it is going really well!!
  I am loving the phone calls from my college girl.  Noticing the maturity of my youngest has been awesome.  
His attention to routines and homework is amazing!!  Yes, he makes his lunch each day!
 (Admittedly, he forgot it yesterday and I had to make an emergency drive, but I had other things to do while I was out,
And he will owe me one hour of work this weekend!)
I also made a friend and we will team up for the football luncheon and carpool to the out of town game on Friday!
Really, attitude makes such a difference!  We can choose what to hang onto and what to leave behind!

Car loaded with hay in Southern Albania


Rules we Live By – Intro

A typical urban fence.

When I was young I made long lists in my head of “When I am a parent…”. When I am a parent I will let my child practice the tightrope on the 12 foot pointed fence”.  You can imagine what event prompted that one!   While thankfully I did not let my 7 year old walk on a 12 foot fence, I did want my kids to have a sense of adventure which allowed me to be supportive of  them going  to the far reaches of the earth.

We all have events and situations that  we internalize and form what I am going to call “rules” for how life should be.  Sometimes we remember them and sometimes they are just inside and we act in ways we don’t understand.  These rules can be great guideposts for us to navigate our lives.  My husband has strong rules for fidelity and not only marriage and family, but an amazing marriage and family.  I so appreciate this quality.   Sometimes these rules do not work well in our adult lives.  It is excruciating  for me to confront others.  This comes from a rule that I need to be the peaceful, loving, supporting friend. I like these qualities in myself , however sometimes in order to be that supporting person I need to stand up and say hard things that need saying.  (In a loving, supporting way)

I asked my brother in law once if he wanted pancakes for breakfast.  His reply was he was trying to not eat sugar (in the syrup),  so no to the pancakes.  There was no way of convincing him that he could put yogurt or peanut butter on the pancake.  While not a real serious problem, this is an example of how these rules work.  If we cannot examine them and make choices with them, they continue to dictate what we can and cannot do. The great news is that as adults we can look at  these rules and decide if they are serving us in our present life – in which we want to make them more powerful, or not serving us and need to be tweaked.   Very often we pick up rules in different situations that are in conflict with each other.  This is often the case when we have trouble making a decision.

This will be a series of blogs addressing our rules and how we can choose the life we want to live. Not from an unconscious child lens and but a current reality, adult  child lens.

If this sounds like a helpful action for you, there are 2 beginning  steps.                                    

1)Hit the follow button on the top of the page.  This will have a note sent to your email when the next blog is posted.

2)   Be aware of what you do and ask yourself what rules might that indicate.  Some will be easy and some will be harder to figure out.  Don’t judge them, just write them all down.   Think about giving your self permission to choose what you will keep and what you might decide is not working for you.

I am very excited about joining with you on this journey!!pancakes front and center