Yes, Actually I Do Judge A Book By Its Cover


I’m very spontaneous, especially when it comes to reading. I am usually enticed by the title and that’s what draws me in. This is the most recent pick. People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them The Keys by Mike Brechtle. I wish I read it years ago. It is really convincing me to look at my interactions and relationships in a new way. I have a passion for self help books. It’s ridiculous yet I am constantly evolving and a little help along the way never hurts anyone. 

What is the last book you decided to pick up and read just from looking at the cover?

Are You Missing You’re Life?


I bought a book that has resonated with me on a very deep level. It’s called Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford. The book is about her discovery of how wonderful life can be without distractions. How many important conversations do you miss because you are checking Facebook or reading emails? How many times have your kids tried to tell you something important while you give them a fragment of attention while staring at a glowing screen. In fact, when is the last time you paused long enough to really look into someone’s eyes? It hurts to acknowledge the truth but one line I love from the book is “The truth hurts, but the truth heals.” If we are not willing to take an honest look at ourselves and the part we play in our relationships, there will never be an opportunity for change. I think of the countless mornings I walk out to the kitchen to see the back of my husbands head as he is lost somewhere in a sea of email. I think of each evening he comes home to find me in the same place rushing to get dinner on the table and not even pausing for a second to look at his face and say hello.

Often, I feel very much alone. Even sitting in a room full of family, there is often little if any conversation and not a single hint of eye contact. Someone is listening with their eyes glued to the tv while another is in between laughing quietly to herself at the latest snapchat. I’ve thought long and hard about having a mandatory time that everyone shuts it down. Computers get put away and phones are turned of and put out of sight. We are addicts of technology. If we add up the time I spent on my ipad, my daughter on her phone, my son playing video games and my husband on his laptop, the results would be devastating. I cannot even bring myself to realistically count because I know how disturbed it would make me feel.

My point is this. There is nothing more precious than human contact. To feel someones presence in close proximity is about what interaction should be about. Find a way to give that person at least as much time, focus and attention as you would a casual snapchat or a habitual text. In fact I challenge you and myself, to give that person so much more. It is no wonder so many people feel depressed and alone. A glowing screen cannot replace a real conversation or one on one time with someone we love. We have allowed it to happen and it is now our responsibility to make it stop.

I was telling my mother about the book and we were talking about how we’ve convinced ourselves that having a good relationship is sitting side by side with the tv on, laptops in hands. I told her how nice it would be to really connect with someone simply by holding hands. Her response? Who does that anymore? She makes a great point. If our hands are already full with so many gadgets, connecting on a real physical level will be a thing of the past. I am committed to finding my way back to simpler times. Times when I felt loved and appreciated and a bare minimum….seen. Human touch and feeling someone’s eyes staring back at yours is just what we need to become un- numb. Relationships feel so robotic anymore and I want to feel so much more. How about you? Will you join me in becoming hands free?

Lessons I Learned From The Fault In Our Stars


So, I finally found the time to finish the book and I must say I really enjoyed it. I saw it in a different light from some of the reviews I read. I did not cry for days and I will not be forever wounded by the sadness of the story. However, I believe the book addresses some very powerful lessons if the reader can see through the pain of the story and dig a little bit deeper. I would like to share some of those lessons with you.

We can view life as tragic or beautiful or we can view all life as tragically beautiful.

We have a choice. We can become a problem or a disease or a situation and let it consume us until we become it, or we can recognize it is just one part of us.

Sometimes we become so caught up in our own situation that we don’t notice what is going on with anyone else. We are not bigger or more important than the people around us. It is important to extend concern and attention to them as well, regardless of what we may be going through at the time.

Sometimes we become so wrapped up in another person, that we do not notice what is going on with ourself. We neglect what we need to do to live our best life and our healthiest life because we like to care for others and we like to please. These are great qualities but they have to apply to everyone, including yourself.

It is not the number of years that determines whether you live a full life, but how you spill life into the years.

It is better to have one person that really knows you inside and out than a room full of friends that have never scratched below your surface.

There are some situations we cannot escape. We have no power over the situation itself, but we do have the power to decide how we respond to it.

Some people have good reason to turn out vindictive and cold, but there is no reason that could ever justify it. A mean, vindictive person is still mean and vindictive regardless of the reasons why.

The span of our life is out of our control. It’s unknown. Live now and fully every day. There are some things that just can’t wait. Time can be our enemy or our best friend. Which side will yours be on?

I believe the only fault in our stars is the fault in our eyes and whether we take the time and focus to notice the stars at all. Will you live your life like a dim star barely visible in the darkest of skies or will you live so loudly that no one will miss how brightly you shine?

Have You Read Animal Farm?


Spoiler Alert! If you have not read Animal Farm by George Orwell do not read this blog because I am about to start it with the last few lines of the book.

“Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the face of the pigs, the creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

So my daughter had an assignment to read this in her 9th grade language arts class. I figured, since I bought the book, I might as well pick it up and read it myself.

The book is about animals on a farm who overtake the farmer because they believe they will run the farm better. They vow to become nothing like the farmer or other humans who lose sight of equality and respect because they become caught up in the power and greed that being in control often brings. They are going to be smarter and are going to do better.

When I finished the book I admit I was pretty depressed. The parallel to life as I see it is sad and discouraging. But today, something happened that changed my attitude. I was turning into my neighborhood and I passed a truck pulling a trailer of cows. I noticed the cows in a new way and I will confess that I broke out in laughter. I started to categorize the people I know into the categories of animals from the book. The pigs, well they stand out for themselves, and the dogs that protect them are actually pathetic really. Being a dog owner myself has taught me that dogs love and obey. No matter what you do to them, they will remain faithful and wag their tails faithfully the moment you walk in the room. And the horse, ah the horse. I married one of those. I made a great choice.

The more I compare the characters in my life to the characters in the book, the more I see the light. I think I have a whole new understanding of people and will deal with them in a whole new way.

Was this the best book I have ever read? Probably not, but it did cause me to think long after I read the words on the last page. My question is this, can a kid 15 years old see beneath the shallow story and comprehend the depth of the truth that lies beneath? But then again, does it really matter anyway? Have you read the book? What did you think?

Truth is Like A Story in a Book


I had a long talk with the school principal today as she tried to explain her way around all that has happened over the past week. The conversation made me realize something very important. Truth is hard to hear period. If we don’t want to believe something because it affects us in a negative way, we sometimes try and distort it. We convince ourselves that there must be more to the story than we’ve actually been told because we just cannot bring ourselves to face the reality that lies there screaming to be heard.

Truth is like a story in a book. Once it is written and published, it becomes permanent. We cannot use our superpowers to change the ending, a chapter or even a single word. Sometimes we have to do less distorting and see the words as they appear on the page. We cannot twist the plot for our own satisfaction and enjoyment. Like a very sad ending, if the truth leaves a scar we must find a way to make it heal, not by trying to change it but by accepting it and moving on and perhaps taking a risk to write our very own best selling book. That is where the magic lies, in the hands of the person who types the words on a page. Everyone’s truth is their own personal story, but we cannot rewrite a story that has already been written just like we do not have the right to deny someone the truth. Actions, like words are permanent and once they are out there we cannot pretend they don’t exist. Truth has a way of presenting itself in the most curious ways. Sometimes it is apparent right at the start and sometimes it becomes clear over the course of time. We can look back at it the same way we pick up a book to read for the second time, but like it or not, both truth and the story will remain the same.