Sunday, January 31, 2010

Again with Feeling

Remember last month, when we were all giddy about 2010? We couldn’t wait to greet January 1 with hugs and kisses. Well, February deserves the same kind of affection. Lots and lots of affection. And I plan on giving it all my love by dedicating the entire month to Ridiculous Optimism and Radical Trust.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Prayer Request

My sister just called to request immediate prayers for our friend's cousin, Rokie. Rokie is in her mid-20s and has cystic fibrosis. She has been on a waiting list to receive a lung, and her family just found out that she is going into surgery tonight. Please pray for Rokie and her doctors as well as the donor's family.

*UPDATE: Rokie did not receive the lungs. The surgery was canceled. She is still on the waiting list.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Yeah, Friday!

This day deserves cartwheels, balloons and confetti. I’m happy it’s Friday. I’m even more happy tomorrow is Saturday. Three cheers for the weekend.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Favorites of the Day

1. Heard my coworker say, “God so loved the world, he gave us coffee.”
2. Saw a license plate frame that said, “Life’s too short … to work full-time.”
3. Read this quote, from Fr. John Tauler, “The demon will leave all else, if only he can unsettle your confidence.”


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Soul Food

Tonight, love looked like a bowl of my sister’s homemade egg noodles.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Oui! Oui!

“Be calm, infinitely calm, both in soul and in body. Do not attempt too much, but what you do, do well and gently. … Forget yourself completely.”
~Dom Augustin Guillerand, a French monk, 1877-1945

I wonder how much freedom could be found in this advice. How much good it would do me to forget myself and, in addition, to forget what others think of me.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday, Monday

The voices in my head were especially loud today in an apparent attempt to drown each other out. As a result, I was getting alternating messages of, “You’re totally screwed,” and “It’s never too late or too early to live your dreams.”


Sunday, January 24, 2010


“Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our Lord. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength!” ~Nehemiah 8:10

How can we make rejoicing our strength, unless we practice?


Saturday, January 23, 2010

We’re All Crazy

“When his relatives heard of this, they set out to seize him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind.’” ~Mark 3:21

It gave me an odd sense of comfort today to think that even Jesus’ family thought he was crazy. My family happens to be very supportive, but sometimes I look in the mirror and think, “You’re nuts.”


Friday, January 22, 2010

Questions for Discernment

A good friend of ours recently decided on a major career change. When we asked him about his discernment process, he said three questions from this book guided him.
1. What are you good at?
2. What fulfills you?
3. What does God and the world need from you?


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fire & Other Hazards

The day started with our neighbor banging our door, jarring us from our sleep. Her house was on fire. Everyone was safe. But their home and belongings were destroyed. FYI: Helplessness is what you feel when your neighbor is barefoot in the rain, smoke heavy in the air, and all you can offer her are flip flops two sizes too small for her feet, a shabby coat and a bottle of water.

In other hazards, the pharmacist at my favorite store in Los Gatos had to “check the books” before selling me a box of Sudafed. Seems my one-Sudafed-a-day doctor-recommended allergy cure makes me a meth addict. Of course, after several minutes of “checking the books,” she realized I was well within the state compliance for pseudoephedrine. My allergy meds and I left feeling totally insulted.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Communication Punctuation

As my mom is talking, my dad looks puzzled. “Are you speaking words or sentences to me?” he asks his wife of nearly 36 years.
At which point, John suggests an anniversary gift.
“Hey, Jim, maybe you could get Carla some commas and periods. Buy her some punctuation. I know she and Christina are very good at speaking in exclamation points, so she doesn’t need any of those.”
(For the record, I understood everything my mom was saying.)


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Just when I was feeling weak, dumb and scared, my phone lit up with text after text after text:
“You are strong!”
“You are smart!”
“You are brave!”
I love my husband!


Monday, January 18, 2010

In Honor of King

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Night Visualizing

I heard of this practice from a friend, and it seems like the perfect way to tackle New Year’s resolutions. Instead of letting all those January 1st dreams grow distant with each passing day, think about what you want to accomplish this week. Focus only on this week. And if seven days are too many, break it down to four. How will you get closer to your goals before the week’s end?
Remember progress, not perfection, is what makes the difference.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cough & Couch: Day 2

Rarely does a cold knock me off my feet, but I’ve been one with the couch for two days. (Yes, I know, you’re jealous.) But rest is a requirement for getting better, and it’s not my fault that John spoils me with his loving care.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Home Sick

Sore throat + Cough = Couch


Thursday, January 14, 2010

No Goodbyes

I would rather every person I love live within a 5-mile radius. Since that’s not possible, I’m extremely grateful to the geniuses behind blogspot, twitter and facebook.
(Sweet Hall Family, we will miss you!)


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Kind of Radical

I trust God has a plan. That he placed my desires on my heart.
That he is guiding me even though I feel lost in the dark.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The NieNie Dialogues

If you want to be inspired, get to know Stephanie Aurora Clark Nielson. I would tell you more, but I don't want to ruin it for you. She and her family are simply amazing. 


Monday, January 11, 2010


It’s not all Ridiculous Optimism and Radical Trust. I’m also a big fan of Clean Slate and Getting It Done. So if the second Monday of the year didn’t work out for you (it kind of didn’t work out for me), don’t give up. The second Tuesday of the year is also a perfectly acceptable day for making changes (Clean Slate!).


Sunday, January 10, 2010


As we were running down the street, my 6-year-old friend declared, “My skinny legs don’t look like much, but they are much.”


Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Journey

More important than where I’m going or what I’m doing is who I am with. So much of my joy is found in the company I keep.


The Exhausted Truth

Me: “So do I look healthy because of all my healthy practices this week?”
My Coworker: “No. Actually, you look tired. I won’t lie to you. I’m sure in a few weeks you’ll look healthy, but right now you’re looking kind of sleepy.”


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Editor’s Note

In the world of re-tweeting, my fact checking is rather sloppy. Non-existent, really. So I can’t say for sure if this quote belongs to Will Smith. But I hope it does. And I hope he is right.

“Focus. There's no reason to have a Plan B. It distracts from Plan A.” ~Will Smith


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Why Optimism & Trust

So much of the drama of my life happens inside my head. I am not what you would call carefree. I am a born worrier from a long line of worriers. Ridiculous Optimism and Radical Trust are, in part, an attempt at saving myself from unnecessary panic and dread.
You’ve heard that love isn’t a feeling, it is a decision. The same is true for optimism and trust.
Of course, they are easier to embrace when you feel happy and secure. But they are even more important when you feel anxious and afraid. And that’s what I’m trying to do – overcome anxiety with optimism, fight fear with trust.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wish List

Before you can have it, you have to want it. You have to ask for it. You might even have to write it down, make a list.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Speaking of Signs …

Yesterday, I found the tiniest of treasure boxes in the midst of my New Year cleaning. A friend had painted and decorated a matchbox for me several years ago. Inside is a piece of lace, dry flower petal, a silver bead and a cookie’s fortune, which reads, “Good thoughts make life better.” With that bit of encouragement, I confidently continue down the road of ridiculous optimism and radical trust.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Signs of Wonder

“And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.” ~Matthew 2:9

What made the wise men wise? As far as I can tell, it was their willingness to act on divine inspiration. They didn’t dismiss the sign they were given, even though it was just a star in the sky. They didn’t delay or get caught up in the details. They packed their bags, left their land and traveled miles to go where God led them. Oh, Brave Magi, help me be wise like you.


Saturday, January 2, 2010


What does it take to live a dream? To take a vision from imagination to flesh and bone reality?
I’m not an expert in this. But I think it requires a combination of wishful thinking and forward momentum.


Friday, January 1, 2010


Dreams. Wishes. Goals. Plans. Schemes.
I love them all. And I always have plenty.
For 2010, I’m dedicating myself to practicing two things:
1. Ridiculous Optimism
2. Radical Trust
Here’s to the New Year!


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