Tag Archives: graduation

5 Friday Faves – St. Patrick’s Day, Beauty and the Beast Guitar Arrangement, Tenacity, Manliness, and Embracing the Life You Have

Happy Friday! Hope this week was kind to you. Here are my 5 most favorite finds of the week for you.

1) St. Patrick’s DayLá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Wearing green. Corned beef and cabbage…and my family background is Scottish. Still love celebrating this day a bit. Photo Credit: Flickr

Also planning to watch the David Kidd documentary Patrick. A friend who heard David Kidd speak recently shared the following with me via email this morning – notes from his talk on the real Patrick (legends removed):

  • He was born in 396 AD and died in 471 AD.
  • Patrick was a man brought up on a Romano British Christian home somewhere in southwest Britain (his father was a deacon and grandfather a priest).
  • He was kidnapped at 16 (he said he didn’t really know God at that time), trafficked, and taken to the West Coast of Ireland where he worked as a shepherd and learned Irish.
  • As a slave, Patrick came to see the hand of God in his troubles. God broke through his defenses, and Patrick faced his unbelief and pride. Later he described how he turned to God whom he realized had been watching over him all the time. He became aware of God’s protection, and he discovered that God loved him as a father loves his son.
  • Before this, he had ‘sinned’ – something that ‘lasted an hour’ and he believed that God punished him.
  • God spoke to him in a dream about a ship to take him home. At 22, he managed to escape slavery.
  • At home, he had another dream of the people in Ireland calling him back.
  • He was obedient to the Spirit and went back to West Ireland (the ends of the earth at that time).
  • He was beaten, harassed by thieves and robbers, admonished by his British superiors, but his work grew and he remained humble.
  • He protested against injustice, esteemed women highly, and identified himself as Irish.
  • His legacy was a vibrant Christianity which lasted hundreds of years while Britain and Europe fell into the Dark Ages.

What we can do to honor Patrick’s memory?

  • The Past: Remember a humble man who had been mistreated, heard from God, obeyed, loved his enemies, lived his life for Jesus, and made a significant difference – not just in Ireland, but much of Europe.
  • The Present: Use Patrick’s life to help people focus on what really matters.
  • The Future: Be as faithful as Patrick and live for Jesus and His Kingdom – making a difference in this world with fruit that lasts.

2) Beauty and the Beast Guitar Arrangement – Yesterday the live action Disney film Beauty and the Beast debuted in the US. Articles abound about the production – its beauty and grand scenes. Other articles raise the question of whether it is as family-friendly as the Disney animated classic by the same name. Everyone will have to decide for themselves about whether to watch this film and how often. One very easy decision would be watching the just-released classical guitar arrangement by Nathan Mills (Beyond the Guitar).

It is beautiful, even with less-grand scenes, and its own Belle and wee beast. It is definitely family-friendly and the music is lovely. Enjoy!

3) TenacityFirst Round posted the fascinating story – Lessons in Tenacity – of how entrepreneur Dennis Crowley, co-founder of Foursquare, built his business. He saw tenacity at work in the growing and thriving of his location technology company.

Tenacity is that characteristic in a person or group that keeps her/them moving forward – persistence, resolve, determination.Photo Credit: Pixabay

Read the article for examples Crowley gives, and here’s his illuminating summary:

Tenacity has many manifestations for founders and their startups. At the beginning, it’s often deeply tied to identity. Giving up one’s idea feels like giving up on oneself. After hitting early milestones, tenacity is confidence. But it’s best tempered with humility, so as to avoid flying too high on early wins. As a company scales, tenacity is focus. There will be accompanying growing pains as customers sign up, headcount grows and the market responds. Anchor and orient yourself by asking: what is this supposed to be when it grows up? When the going gets tough, tenacity is grit. Don’t look externally to others to build what you need — you’ll be waiting longer than you want. Do it yourself. Lastly, tenacity is culture and a private truth. Tenacity at scale will both involve and elude people. What guides the team isn’t always accurately reflected in the public’s perception. An informed, committed team around you is the best way to drown out the noise and to march toward achieving your biggest goals.

“These different facets of tenacity are important insofar as invoking them keeps your legs moving and charging forward. Growing a company is an impossibly hard endeavor — many wouldn’t start if they knew just how difficult it is,” Crowley says. “But the early stories of most successful companies are often those in which no one thought it could be done. In fact, if you asked them, those founders probably didn’t know if they could do it either. But if you can get there — if you stick to what you set out to do — it can put you in an amazingly powerful and defensible position.

4) Manliness – We should affirm, empower, and let loose women to fulfill their callings, giftings, and places in the world. Not being sexist, the same is true for men, of course. That’s why I appreciate the website/podcast the Art of ManlinessThe Art of Manliness aims to encourage our readers to be better husbands, fathers, brothers, citizens — a new generation of great men (the About page).

I don’t go with everything on this website but some of the content is fascinating and extremely helpful. I hope never to have to jump from a speeding car but knowing it’s possible to walk away from such a situation made me interested in reading about it.

Photo Credit: Art of Manliness

This information isn’t just for men, but some of the entries are male-specific. We women write volumes about how to be “better women”. I’m glad there are men (and women) are writing for men in this way.

10 Tests, Exercises, and games to Heighten Your Senses and Situational Awareness – Brett & Kate McKay – Art of Manliness

5) Embracing the Life You Have – We have all experienced losses. We grieve…and grieve again. As time goes by, the grief changes, but that doesn’t mean it has to change us. At least not in an unhealthy way. John Piper speaks about this so eloquently and tenderly:

Embrace the Life God Has Given You

Piper: “Occasionally, weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have.”

Posted by Desiring God on Saturday, March 11, 2017

I have in mind two kinds of losses: those who had something precious and lost it, and those who hoped for something precious and never had it. It works both ways. Sixty years go by, and forty years on you think, “I’ve come to terms with that,” and then one morning it breaks over you, and you weep about a 40-year old loss, or a 40-year “never have,” and my counsel is, yes, go ahead, embrace that moment. Weep.

But then, say to your weeping after a season, “No. You will not define me, sorrow, because my God has said, ‘No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly’ (Psalm 84:11). Therefore, even though it was good in one sense, and I miss it in one sense, I trust my God, and he has not withheld anything that is good for me.” Yes, let there be weeping in those seasons — feel the losses. Then wash your face, trust God, and embrace the life he’s given you. – John Piper

As one who struggles with waves of grief out of nowhere…thank you, Dr. Piper.

Principal Financial Group has been running a series of commercials with the theme Life Doesn’t Always Go According to Plan. Three of their commercials follow. Sweet messaging…

Be gentle with yourself and each other. Serve somebody, and be safe out there. [Oh, and please share in Comments your favorites of the week. Thanks!]

Bonuses

Who are the Refugees? Which are their Host Countries? Take a Guess.

Who hosts the most refugees?

10 countries host 50% of the world's refugees. These countries are hosting the most.

Posted by Al Jazeera English on Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Granny Pod – Ingenious and honoring idea.

What do you think of these Granny Pods?

Posted by Earthables on Sunday, May 22, 2016

Mom Truths

Mom Truths: Why moms are so tired

"You know what we do all day? EVERYTHING." Thanks, Cat & Nat, for sharing this #MomTruth Friday with us! More: http://on.today.com/2m2cNCD

Posted by Today Show on Friday, March 3, 2017

70’s Road Trips – Soaking Up America in a VW Bus

Blog - Road Trip - DebbieBlog - Road Trip - Wade

In those days, we weren’t afraid of anything. The war in Vietnam was finally winding down, and our futures loomed bright before us. I had finished graduate school and my youngest brother, Wade, had just graduated from high school. We thought it would be a great adventure to travel across the US together, celebrating both our graduations. My friend, Teresa, was planning a visit to her sister in California, so we invited her along.

BLog - Roadtrip - VW Van - 1968-Volkswagon-Bus-5-e1402496060871-1024x643My parents and siblings helped me “convert” my baby blue Volkswagen van into a camper. We extended the cargo space by pulling out the back seat. Mom made curtains for the windows, and Dad installed carpet throughout. I regret not having many pictures from those days (long before digital cameras) – just a handful of faded snapshots of Yosemite and the deserts of the Southwest. No pictures of us. So unlike now.

It’s amazing that my folks let us go on this trip, but they did. No cell phones, no GPS system, no internet (hard to imagine, I know). We did have a AAA Triptik to help us plan our travel days and when/where to stop for the night. This was a very good thing, because my head was full of the romance of the road, not the “what if’s” that could happen along the way.

[I recently found an old book (Explore America) at an estate sale. It reminded me of our trip planning back then. You can see on the map page that straight-line Interstate Highway 40 route East-West across the Southwest. So much fun.]Blog - Road Trip - Explore America BookBlog - Road Trip - AAA Road Trip Book

Traveling the interstates in the summer in those days was amazing in itself. We got lost the first time before we ever left our home county. Once we found I-40, it was clear sailing. We were surrounded by truckers and large RV’s. I had been living away from home for quite awhile, but traveling for days in that van felt more grown up than anything else I’d experienced. [This was years before any overseas travel.]

Wade and I talked recently about the trip. This is a short summary of our memories. We stayed in KOA campgrounds mostly, but every 3rd night, we “shook off the dust of the road” in economy hotels. While Teresa and I tried new food along the way, Wade ate hamburgers at least once every day. His favorite food remained unchanged. Staying at campgrounds was fascinating as the culture lent itself to conversations with strangers and making “new friends” (at least until summer’s end).

Driving through the desert was captivating. You would think it was a visually barren experience, but there is so much life and diversity in the desert. With long stretches of road, we wouldn’t always have words, just listened to the radio (rocking along to the tunes of the 70’s). Then we reached the Grand Canyon. If you’ve been, you know that words (or even pictures) can’t do justice to the beauty and expanse of that “river bed“.  We entered Las Vegas, Nevada, at night, and the bright skyline was beyond dazzling against the dark desert sky. We parked in the RV Lot of the Stardust Hotel, and between us, Wade and I lost about a dollar gambling that night. [We learned our lesson.]

To go from the heat of the Nevada desert to the snowy remains of winter in Yosemite, California was a crazy experience. Such a beautiful place. Then we pushed on to San Diego, leaving Interstate 40 for the great North-South I-5 Corridor. California is such a beautiful and funky state (then and now). So much to see and experience, and we did our best over those few days. The San Diego Zoo was so much fun. The downer of the whole road trip was also part of our time there. After our zoo visit, we returned to the van to find it vandalized. All our suitcases were gone. Sigh…

We called home. In those days, a phone booth gave privacy to the tears, and we got the counsel and confidence we needed to take the next steps. The police were kind though apologetically not helpful. We would not retrieve our belongings, as was the case for many other travelers that way. Before this trip, I may have used my Sears & Roebuck credit card once or twice. That day, after the shock of all the loss, it was like Christmas, with the refurbishing of our wardrobes with the best of California-stylized Sears duds.

On to Los Angeles, we did the Universal Studios Tour. During the tour, the friendly guide surveyed our group for where we called home. There in that sea of strangers was a couple who lived near us (in the Pleasant Hill Trailer Park, which is now a mall, a few miles from our home in Georgia). Those surprise encounters are a new anticipated part of travel.

San Francisco was a magical place. Cool weather with flower gardens and sea views at every turn. Wade doesn’t remember this but he pulled onto a one-way street the wrong way. It took a bit of maneuvering to get through that “hillbillies in the city” experience. I wasn’t very kind to him over that unfortunately (now I know that very experience myself…demands lots of grace from spectators).

We ate at Fisherman’s Wharf. A mixed seafood platter there became quite a different experience (my first taste of squid). Sitting along the Bay, we watched all the sailboats, white sails drawing the breeze, in that deep blue water. Lombard Street was a sweet find (for those of you who saw the classic car chase scene from the 1968 film Bullitt, you see a bit of this street at 2:20 of this YouTube video. The rest of the video is a gift – you can almost smell the burning rubber).Blog - Road Trip - Lombard St. San Francisco, Wikimedia.orgLombard Street, San Francisco – World’s Crookedest Street

Our friend, Teresa, left us soon after our San Francisco exploration. Then for Wade and me, the trip was on the downside. We were making a dash for home. This time, we traveled Interstate 80 into the Midwest, and then our memories blur on how exactly we got home. We did stop in to see the Mormon Tabernacle as we crossed Utah. In those days, we discovered, if you sign the visitors’ book and leave any kind of contact information, you could be assured of a visit from one of those young, missionary duos when you returned home.

The VW bus was a fine vehicle for that trip. We burned out quite a few fuses, but we became quite adept at changing out good fuses from equipment we needed less to replace bad fuses of that which we needed more. For instance, at night we needed that interior light. Unfortunately, as our fuses blew, we discovered on the trip back, we had miscalculated one fuse exchange. During the beginning of a huge rainstorm, on a rural stretch of highway, our windshield wipers went out. That and another coincidental mechanical issue sent us searching for a mechanic on a Sunday. Not a good situation.

There on that highway, in the middle of nowhere, a truckstop loomed ahead. We pulled in, and there was this tall, lanky young mechanic, all grease and grin. He had the fuses (for that little VW bus, of all things) and fixed our other problem, and back on the road we went. To this day, I’m thinking he could have been an angel from God – coming to our aid in that distant place.

My brother, Wade, and I were always close. We had our share of fighting on the road that trip, and finally learned to reach peaceful resolutions of our differences. Seeing him through others’ experiencing him opened my eyes to so many gifts he had that I had missed along the way. I also let up on the “big sister” bit, and he just seemed to grow up across that two-week time span…or maybe I did.

I wonder what a road trip would be like today. It would be so fascinating to do it again…if only. When our kids were teenagers and we’d be in the States on vacation, we would occasionally ask them to pull out their earbuds and listen all together to something on our car sound system. What a concept! Or weirder…to talk awhile together about something. I miss those road trips. So thankful that, at least for Wade and me, we had those days on the road before our futures swept us fully into our grownup lives.Blog - Road Trip - Wade & MomBlog - Road Trip - Debbie (2)

Journey – Interstate 40 Roadtrip

RoadTrip America

These maps show the optimal road trips across every state in the contiguous US

According To Science, This Is The Perfect And Best Road Trip You Can Possibly Take

Roadtrippers – Maps Built for Travelers

Soundtrack – Summer of the 70’s Road Trip List

TripAdvisor’s Hidden Gems: 19 Towns that are Diamonds in the Rough

Explore America [AAA – Tours of Discovery through Our Magnificent Country)

Daniel Norris – MLB’s Van Man

Classical Car Chase Scene Locations, in San Francisco, from film Bullitt

Photo Credits:    Map of US by www.roadtrippers.com and  VW Van by www.dustycars.com. Lombard Street, San Francisco, CA from www.wikimedia.org.   Graduation picture by Olan Mills Photography. Other photos are mine.

Blog - Road Trip - Debbie & Wade April 2015