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Archive for April, 2017

Life Wins


During my run on this Holy Thursday morning I was noticing all the daffodils alongside my favorite creek and road. I was amazed thinking that some of these bulbs were submerged in inches of water just 2 weeks ago because the creek overflowed from all the snow and rain we have had. In the midst of these thoughts and this beauty, I started to cry. Why? because I have to confess that I have a love/hate relationship with daffodils.

Love – because they are one of the first signs of Spring here in the northeast. Love – because they are pretty, hardy, vibrant, and engaging. Love – because we have hundreds to them in my family’s yard in New Jersey. Love – because my dad loved them and planted every single one in our yard.

Hate – because my father loved them and planted every single one in our yard. Hate – because they remind me of him and every Spring they make me cry my face off when I first see them. Hate – because I want him here to see how beautiful and full of life they are. Hate – because we will never talk about them again – never stand and appreciate how pretty they look – never talk again about where he can plant more for next year.


Here I am – almost 4 years since my dad died – and the life he lived, the life he loved – is still surrounding and embracing my family and me. His faith, his love of his family, his embrace of each day, his love of talking and meeting people – all this is wrapped up in these Spring daffodils. Like those bulbs that were covered in water a few weeks ago, I could have been swallowed up with loss, pain, and sorrow, but my dad would not have wanted that – he would have wanted life and love to win – he would have wanted the toughness and tenacity of these submerged daffodils to bring smiles not tears – life not death – laughter not sorrow. LIFE WINS! Happy Easter!


Exits and Entrances


This past weekend we celebrated my youngest sister’s 50th birthday – I am the oldest of 5 girls! As she exited the 40’s and entered the 50’s, I began thinking of all the exists and entrances we do during our lives.

At the beginning of our lives we exit the womb and enter the world. During our lives we exit and enter a number of relationships – some friends come into our lives for a short amount of time and leave, while others remain with us forever. We exit elementary school and enter high school, we exit college and enter the work world.


There are some exits and entrances that are more significant than others. We exit single life and enter married life – pictured aboveĀ is my first niece to be married. We exit being childless and enter parenthood. We exit being young and enter into the “golden years. “We exit being healthy, limber, and, carefree and enter into physical decline and worry about ailments, falling, etc. We exit just being a parent and enter into becoming grandparents. We exit living and enter into death.

Shayleen 001

Exits. Entrances. Change. These are part of our entire lives and I have come to realize that there are two constants throughout this whole process – my faith in Jesus Christ and my family. FAITH and FAMILY give me a sense of peace and joy even in the midst of difficult exits and entrances. FAITH and FAMILY ground me and allow me to trust the process of change, even in the midst of deep pain and suffering.

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I know I still have many exits and entrances left in my life – and I know that with my family and faith – it will be an exciting adventure until the end!

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