Monday, October 26, 2009


Someone that I really respect says, "Character is the ability to persist with a decision long after the emotion that helped you make that decisions is gone."

My rendition of that is, "Character is not determined in the upswing."

Sometimes life can be hard. Sometimes it is easier to look at all that is wrong with the world rather than what is right. It can often seem like there are few joys to experience, enjoy and share.

The reality is that just like beauty, joy is in the eye of the beholder. Just watch a toddler. Joy is never more than a moment away. New sights, new discoveries, the smile of a loved one, the promise of candy, everything brings a new source of joy.

As I enter the holiday season, I hope I can focus on the joys it will bring rather than the sorrow and longing for mom. I hope I can see the world through her eyes as she walks along the streets of gold and waits for us to arrive. I hope that I never think joy comes from external circumstances.

Character is a funny thing. You think you have it, and then life shoots you an unexpected blow. Reality is that character is actually defined and displayed in the face of adversity. If you cannot show it there, it doesn't really exist.

I think my character needs to be formed. Maybe that is what I hear mom whispering in my ear, "This is the grit I've been telling you about for years, honey."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A New Season

I love fall. This year, however, fall seems to bring a new season into our family in many different ways.

Every change of season brings about a new beginning. Some love spring and summer, and some even love winter. I personally love fall, and yet others see it as an end to the good part of the year. Seasons remind me of the trials we face in life. And no matter what life may hand you, it is not the circumstance that defines your happiness, it is how you decide to think and feel and react to the circumstance that defines not only your contentment but also your character.

I am learning to stop and enjoy the true joys life has to offer. Lunch with an old friend, laughter that makes your side hurt, little boys laughing, my dad's smile, running into old friends. I believe that a life with purpose is one that makes others better.

That was why my mom was so great. She made others around her better. As I enter into the thankful season, I am really going to try to work on living a life of gratitude and joy. Because honestly, what better thing does this life offer us than joy?

We just returned from a weekend at a hotel so that Kaden could swim. His smile told it all. The joy of a 9 year old swimming for the first time in 4 months. The sound of his laugh and the sight of his glowing face as he plunged in over and over is one that will be with me for a long time.

It is a true reminder that the greatest things in life are free. Really and truly they are.