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This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...

daily direction

Every single day, we have choices to make. Some of those choices are small, and some of them are big. Regardless of the immediate impact, all choices add up to life changing motion.

My mind races to a slew of questions as I consider what choices I make and how they are mapping out my journey with every yes or no, going or staying, save or delete, etc. Where will this string of texts lead? What will happen if I cancel going to _____ and stay home? How long can I get away with working instead of socializing without negative results?

Everyone's roads look similar, but we all have an individual path that curves and heads uphill and down at different times—usually. My best friend and I have this uncanny ability to live parallel lives. It's been so strange and such a blessing all at once. Three out of four of our children have birthdays within months of each other for one example. There are many other nuances to our lives that run right alongside one another, and it used to freak me out at first, but now I'm used to it and welcome it. We seem to understand each other without even having to explain ourselves a lot of the time because of how connected we are. But this is not the case for most people. We have such distinctly different roads we travel. People learn in such individualized ways and at differing times of life. The lessons we learn through our daily decisions set us up in the future for all sorts of positive and negative consequences. It is fascinating to consider it all. It can also be maddening if you get going on too many what-ifs. I do not recommend it.

My take away from this train of thought is that we should be mindful of our decisions, but we should not overthink it. Work on being your best self each day, and keep on trying. Everyone has to put the pedal to the metal and drive, or we let the little things take over without any purposeful direction.


Not sure where I'm headed except for uphill.
The day has been long, but the night was even longer.
Shadows and storms still make their way in,
Yet the sun shines through as my heart is stronger.
Blue skies face me as hope ebbs and flows
With sorrows of the past used as stepping stones.
Though time slips by with each passing mile, I grow
In confidence and joy toward what the future owns.
The journey is more than I can bear some days
With so much sun to shoulder by myself.
Uphill battles, sidetracks, and rocky terrain
Strengthen these weary feet for something else—
The peace of home and loving care,
When this heart no longer is lain bare.


I've never considered myself a grudge holder until I watched this one TED talk, Why Forgiveness Is Worth It. With each minute that passed as I listened to what Sarah Montana had to say, I recognized in myself a need to change.

Lately, my contemplations have been focused on what am I doing that adds to the negativity in my life and how can I turn that around and be more positive. It has been a difficult exercise, looking at my contributions to the bad aspects of family and professional life. Yet in wanting to be more humble, this exercise has been just that—very humbling. I had never been able to see how I add to the struggle in particular situations. And I believe a big part of this fault is that I might think I let go and forgive, but in actuality, I am hanging onto small threads of anger and/or disappointment that ruin my new interactions in small (and sometimes big) ways. Montana said near the end of her talk, "Real forgiveness has to let go of all expectations." I consider some of those negative threads as my false expectations that need to be set free, so I can find the confidence I am lacking to move ahead with positivity.

The key to rooting out these damaging threads will be to search for ways to more fully forgive and heal and truly let go of the hurt. I'm not just talking about the hurt caused by others either. I am talking about learning to forgive myself better and let myself be the good person that I know I am. I bring up my past faults and mistakes too often to honestly say I have forgiven myself. Once I practice this for myself, I believe I will be able to more freely let go of the damage from others as I go off the idea that we are our own worst critics.

Being a dreamer and goal setter and get out there and get what you want type, I can see more clearly that forgiveness will be how I am able to more fully live the life I have imagined.  I want love to motivate and drive my thoughts, words, and actions, and it begins with clearing out the pain and letting myself be free to love myself and others unfettered by the past.

fresh water

I awoke early this morning, took a shower in the calm quiet that exists only when children are sleeping, and I had a thought: I am thankful for fresh, clean water.

Not only does this fresh, clean water exist for me, it comes out of the tap and shower-head on demand. Not all people in the world know this luxury. It is something I don't want to take for granted either. I am able to wake when I choose and get a drink, clean my body, clean my clothes, and many other tasks. It is such a modern convenience but such a blessing and even a small miracle.

I think about the quality of life this one simple blessing provides, and I am filled with gratitude for my life. I live a clean and happier existence because I live where there is fresh water teeming through the pipes under the streets and leading directly into my home for our use. Water makes all the difference really, and I am truly thankful for it.

radio silence

Lyrics and a melody, a song of a lifetime, meant for someone.
Who knows who really, but I connect with it.
And I want to hear more. I want our whole story, baby,
Written out like a song, one that keeps humming in the background.
I want to see how far two people can go
On love and trust and a lifetime of nice words
In a song that won't stop even when playing in separate directions.
The radio's buzz warms the blood, baby, keeps a girl going.

Remember, there's always time for one more slow song.
You keep pressing play on the mix tape, pulling me into your sweet heart.
When did we learn each other's song I wonder at the time gone by.
It feels like always yet a blink, forever all in one breath.
Don't let this love go quiet into the night.
Don't let the radio go silent.