That One!

There is a sea of leaves on the ground right now. Autumn is the landscape and the colors are nothing short of glorious. A short walk can avail a sea of leaves so vast counting them would be almost impossible.

Yet, while walking do you simply notice a single, a cluster, or an imprint of a leaf that catches your eye? Is it the color, the shape, or possibly the position as it dangles from a spider’s web and dances with the blowing breeze?

I am always mystified how one leaf can jump out from thousands scattered on a path. Feet crunching the leaves, my eyes trained to look for the extraordinary: the stand out. And then I see it. “That one!”

If we were to try and notice, to capture in appreciation, or to photo, sketch, or sculpt what our eyes see, we would be insane.

The other day after a hike while pondering the leaves in this manner, I saw a young man at the entrance of a fast food drive through. Eugene has a large population of homeless people, a devastating drug issue, and loose laws regarding panhandling. Driving or walking anywhere we have ample opportunities to discern how and when to help out or engage.

To give to some people is doing nothing more than buying them their next needle or bottle. Yet everyone deserves compassion. The problem is, as I had read a mom of an addict state, “Giving my daughter money may be her death. Don’t do it!”

The young man I saw caught my attention, the way one leaf out of many might stop me. I parked and walked over towards him, “Are you hungry,” I asked. He shook his head affirmatively.

Thinking like a mom, a grandma, I suggested comfort food. “Would you like biscuits and gravy?” He nodded yes. “Do you drink coffee,” I asked, since it was cold and drizzly outside.

I got his meal, found the only cash I had (five bucks), and a couple of other things and filled his bag, handing him his coffee. Our eyes connected. I hoped he could receive respect and compassion from me, as well as his meal. I said, in earnest, but gentle, “God bless you.” I meant it. “God, please bless this one you put in front of me and on my heart.”

My mind went straight back to the leaves covering the ground from the path I was just on. In photography there is always the quest for the stand out subject, light, and composition. I saw that with this young man. He was in the light of my attention.

Can we trust ourselves and God to look for the people, the projects, the things He wants us to do? I believe so.

A compassionate, empathetic heart or a go-getter personality can get stuck on seeing the sea of humanity, wanting to help, but being overwhelmed by the magnitude of needs. Partnering with God and noticing what is illuminated in front of us can give us peace and a knowing that we are where we are meant to be. God can use timing and our geographical placements to accomplish things for others and cultivate our hearts…as well as to get great photos!

Which leaf stands out in the mix?

Who is coming to mind as a standout today? Someone you know may need an encouragement, a bouquet of flowers, a listening ear, or a stranger may need an act of respect or compassion.

Watch for “that one!

Structure VS Freedom

If my thoughts on “structure” and “freedom” as opposing forces were a stage in the building process, it would be a completed frame-in.

I love structure because without it chaos ensues.

I hate structure because rigidity robs freedoms.

The great tension whereas action and reaction meet, holding the other in place is the common quandary or question with every venture, or adventure.

Room for the unforeseen, unplanned, and wild are exciting aspects of life!

I like freedom but wisdom and life has taught me I have to have structures in place to think well, to work…to live in general.

Everything hangs on structure. Simply consider nature.

Days without the structure to lead and guide us result in to much wandering, unable to start, to work (or play). to complete projects.

Yet, many of us resist it–“Don’t hem me in!”

Others are so driven by detailed structure they are uncomfortable without it. Control may be lost.

We all “tick” differently to some degree.

2020 has been a unique time whereas the ways we have done things has been disrupted–to say the least. Things have fallen, some into chaos, some in to a life retrofit. We have had to “re”build, “re”adjust, “re”align, and all the other “re” words. We are “re”thinking and “re”acting to what life should and will look like in our futures. “Re.”

I had the impetus and desire to be part of the “re”construction stage. For a few years I have thought on how to incorporate consulting and outdoor time hiking or walking. Realizing the overwhelming evidences of the benefits of motion to gain general momentum, became my empetus. The current times spoke loudly that it was time to do it.

As I started thinking through what this group would have as takeaway I became very excited! The benefits, innumerable. Yet, how structured would I need to be to see them measurable benefits I desired for participants? I new I needed a solid framework but to add too much structure seemed counter to the freedom of being out in nature. My thoughts and prayers birthed the desire for a framed in structure, yet organic and free. TRAILHEAD.

And, I wanted God to have more than a hand in things. I could connect people, inspire, encourage, equip, spur on, but not like He can! And, guess what? TRAILHEAD has worked far better than I could have imagined. The connections, momentum, renewed energy, perseverance, joy, delight, dreams, visions, wonder, clarity, and so much more has poured out and forth!

Structure, the outline of our days and notions plays well with freedom! And it provides a place to propagate new growth, new life, even.

Do you run to structure or freedom first? How can you appreciate the tension between the two to gain momentum in various areas of life?

Thank you to those who have taken the TRAILHEAD 2020 Experience with me. The weekly focuses, the understanding what we already have to work with in our hands, reading the seasons we are in (as well as have been and entering into), regarding our unique expression as an asset, as we use it all to bridge build for ourselves and others in life–yet, we have only just begun!

(For you ladies who live in the Eugene, Oregon area contact me to see if the Summer 2020 is a good fit for you!