Posted on Leave a comment

Dedicated to a Brave Maine Coon


(Kujo, circa 2004)

It’s difficult to lose a pet.

I got that call yesterday.

When you experience it, it’s difficult to respond.

How do you respond without feeling foolish?

It was a pet. An animal.

I’m working through it, but I know it’s been even harder to lose one that had such personality.

With me throughout middle & high school, college & graduate school, work & marriage and until yesterday.

The memories of returning from trips and seeing a Maine Coon saunter out to greet us in the driveway. The van still ticking and hot to the touch from miles upon miles on I-75.

Kujo. Such an ill-suited, ironic name for so lovable a cat. But, I laugh thinking about the day my sister named him. Stephen King would be proud.

Mom called last night to confirm that he’d been sick for a while. She took him to the vet. Kidney failure & a host of other problems. The knowledge of him being sick as heavy as the absence of him on the back porch today, I’m sure.

Mom said she buried him where the plum tree once stood. He’d like that, I know. Always one to follow her out to the garden and watch her weed & water the squash and peppers. A country cat. Indoor / outdoor. Super smart and always aware of when tuna cans were being opened.

I’m happy he’s at rest. As I’m sure you’ve felt the same about pets and friends and family.

My heart goes out to those who’ve lost loved ones. (Pets or not.) It’s amazing the memories they can provide. How pets can bring warring parties together. If you told me a Maine Coon could’ve helped deter arguments fifteen years ago, I would’ve laughed. But now I know, even pets, can be agents for good.

Take this sappy entry today and use it, if you’d like. I hope it brings you closure to issues you might be wrestling with this year. God wants us all to live fully, freely, and passionately. All of us. Even pets and animals like the ones Lewis wrote about in The Chronicles of Narnia. They too serve a purpose. Even if it’s to be a daily reminder that it’s okay to let our guard down. It’s okay to love and be loved.


Posted on Leave a comment

3 Ways to Make 2015 Memorable.


3 Ways to Make 2015 Memorable–

1. Be in the PRESENT.

Simply put: Instead of looking back at 2014, 2013, and on, or, 2016-forward, STOP and take in what’s right here in May 2015 for us. It’s Tuesday. This weekend is Memorial Day. For some, there’s an extra day to bask in the sunshine. For Leah & me, we get to see my father-in-law and show him around the city! There’s plenty to relish in the here-and-now. It’s the first (and most essential) way to get one’s thoughts in-order. Today is today and won’t be tomorrow until…well, tomorrow.

2. Make INTENTIONAL strides.

Remember grade school? Walking with one foot in front of the other. Following others in the line. The teacher being sure to state over and over again that we must use a “hallway” voice. Mine did. I still recall the sounds of sneakers squeaking down the long tiled hallway of our elementary school. But, there’s something here as well. (Not the hallway voice. I recommend shouting when you feel like it.) No. The strides we took down the hallways in grade school were INTENTIONAL. We walked single-file, and we had a destination each time. LUNCH. To the auditorium for a PLAY. To RECESS for exercise. It all mattered. I recommend installing this same intentionality in your day today (and the rest of the week). See where it takes you.

3. SHOCK even yourself.

I love the phrase: Dare to be great. Don’t know who said it. And the few words in this phrase are self explanatory. You (and I) have the choice to be great. Do something great. Go somewhere with our lives that’s great. We just have to dare ourselves. Sometimes we can’t wait on others to do this. God gives us an open door, window, or just a sliver of light, but the chance is there. We can SHOCK others, and if we go all in, even ourselves. Today is as good of a time to start as any.


Posted on 2 Comments

5 (Non-)Love Languages.


We know the 5 love languages (maybe?):

  • words of affirmation
  • physical touch
  • receiving gifts
  • quality time
  • acts of service

We might even know the language our significant other prefers? (Props to you if you’re 2-for-2 thus far.)

But, have we considered the importance of avoiding the unlovable opposite of each language?

They are-

  • words of nullification
  • physical neglect
  • avoiding gifts
  • absence
  • selfishly serving self

Just like we can plan, implement, and run to others who say, do, offer, accept, and serve willingly the needs of the ones they love, we can likewise steer clear of those seeking the “unlovable opposites” of this language.

Does this mean we should never give the person a chance?


But, if they have chosen (or we have) to offer only harmful words, abuse, avoidance, not being there, and/or putting ourselves first, then, we should steer clear of that scenario.

Life will be better for all, if we adhere to loving and accepting those in-need.

Do we always have a perfect track record in the love languages?


I might go 2 -for- 5 on a good day. Sometimes I don’t get any of them right.

But, as long as we are mindful of the person we love: spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, parent, then, the unlovable actions shouldn’t be anywhere close.

It’s one thing to not be a perfect 5/5 in the love language department. It’s another to be unlovable (and intentionally so).

It’s almost impossible to do good, when the other person chooses to nullify a good thing with harmful words and actions.

So, does this mean you should give up on the person choosing to go the opposite way?

Definitely not.

But, the cohesion of having 2 people trying (key word there) to meet one anothers’ needs is so much more beautiful than 1 trying and the other refusing.

Being an unlovable opposite to these 5 love languages is actually more accurately called: hate. And, of course, there’s no room for that in a relationship.

  • To affirm someone means you’ve chosen them for who they are over what they’re not. Nullification says you’re not worth it.
  • To touch someone shows that person they are beautiful to behold. To avoid them reveals dislike (to their beloved and possibly themselves).
  • To give gifts shows extravagance and love. To withhold a gift reveals a lack of worth.
  • To be present shows a compassion for that person. To not show up showcases a lack of excitement in the relationship.
  • To serve a person’s beloved is a physical expression of love. To withhold their service indicates a lack of importance.


Luckily for all of us, God loves even the unlovable moments of our lives. He chooses us even in our lowest moments.

Choose a language to improve upon today. We’ll never be complete masters of all 5 in this lifetime, but how sweet our days will be, if we improve just the slightest in each one.