Category: Life Lessons

We Are All Prodigals

I have done a fair amount of hiking and bushwhacking on trails and beaches and side roads. I have traversed nearly all the trails in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. I have hiked Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore twice and canoed it once as well. The Boundary Waters in northern […]

What I Do Know

We never really know where life is going to take us…or when. I did not know that at 5 years old I would spend over a month in the hospital because of an infection in the bone marrow of my right foot. I did not know that at […]

The Old Shack

It was great having this getaway, but with only one small window I could not see the view of the river unless I was standing right in front of it, so I decided a few modifications were in order. I gathered what tools I had – an old hammer, a can of rusty bent nails, and a hand saw – and tore the entire front of the little old shack off. I scrounged up some old lumber from some of the other out buildings we had and even found some old windows in the back of one of them. I built a platform onto the front, put walls up and extended the roof, then put all the windows that would fit into the walls and boarded up any remaining space. It looked like something a 12-year-old first time builder would build…rickety and rackety, wonky and a little wobbly – not exactly what I had envisioned but the best I could do with the three tools I had…

Shine On…

We all have a lighthouse or two in our lives. For some it is a brother or sister and for some it may be an aunt or uncle or grandparent. For many it is a parent. Though at times in our lives we seem to believe we know best and everyone else is wrong because “they just don’t understand”, somewhere we know our lighthouse still stands, and deep down we crave their guidance. They signal warning when difficult times approach, and welcome when the road has been long and we are weary from travel. They are strong and resolute and often weathered from years spent watching and waiting. They are quick to forgive and ready with aid; ever hoping and praying that those they love will be safe out on the waters of the world…

What We Know

We are given a very short-range of view. We cannot see through objects or around corners. We cannot fathom the depths of another’s thoughts or motivations. We do not have control over the weather, the seasons, or time. We are bound by our senses and even then, only by what comes near enough for them to pick up. I see light in the morning, so I know the sun is rising and day is beginning. I hear a rumble in the distance, so I know a storm is brewing. I catch a whiff of stink in the morning and I believe a skunk met its demise and possibly spring is not too far away. I have been proven wrong again and again when I think I know what a person wants to talk about, only to be taken by surprise with another big announcement or new opportunity or change of plans…

The Hidden Gift

Ribbons and bows, paper and string; packages under the tree come in all shapes and sizes and colors. Gifts that show that we care for the person receiving and that we are cared for. Some presents have a personal sentiment attached that is not so much about the object in the box but the reason behind it. Some gifts are not in a box at all, but given with a look or a hug or a snugly held hand – these are often the best kinds…

Wait, Watch, And Listen

God is far from ever silent about anything. The very rocks are crying out if we will take the time to listen. Sometimes he shouts out “Yes! Go Now!” and other times it is a simple “No..”. Often, we hear “Not yet…I’m still putting the pieces together.” It is always one of those three…there is no maybe with God. He does not need to think it over or weigh the consequences. Yes, No, Not Yet…those are his answers to all our questions.

Where All Roads Lead

When the road does end we are left to travel on foot along a well-trodden but narrow path leading to a door…with a knocking sound coming from the other side. What we do at this point is a choice that all of us will make, and we all make it alone. The path leading to the door is not wide enough for companions and the handle is only big enough for one hand to grasp…

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