Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I meant to get to the business of enjoying life
But, I found I was too busy.
Busy trying to get it all just right,
Busy trying to make a living.
I couldn't tell you what roses smell like
I never stopped to take a whiff.
But, the latest viral video and sound byte
Always topped my "to-do" list.

I can't remember my children's laughter.
Most often, I hear the cries.
Cries for attention, honorable mentions
Fell on deaf ears, my eyes fixed on the prize.
And so the conversations grew shorter.
Funny, I didn't notice then.
Life transpiring right under my nose
While I was waiting for life to begin.

My timeline is filled with these strangers
From a life I forgot I wanted.
The sincere smiles, the "stay awhile"s,
Rich blessings I never counted.
Radio silence, frozen stills,
ones gone off to meet their maker.
Never once stopping to be grateful
I was barely passed by the undertaker.

I meant to get to the business of enjoying life
But, let it slip right down the drain.
Never once did I ever doubt
That I could do it all again.
Because life can hand you lemons,
Be sure to squeeze out every drop.
Leave here with the satisfaction of knowing
That you gave it all you've got.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy Holidays!!

Happy Holidays!!

It seems like everywhere I turn, people are up in arms about how holidays should be celebrated and who or what it should or shouldn’t be about…

I seriously thought it was some huge joke that I didn’t understand when I heard that people were upset about the Starbucks cup!

A. Cup.

So, I figured I’d throw my two cents in the cup.

When I was coming up, we didn’t celebrate holidays.  In fact, we spent considerable time, not only learning why we shouldn’t celebrate holidays, but were then encouraged to try convincing others not to celebrate them.

And I get it: the origins of these holidays are much different from the way that they are often celebrated today.

But, here are some conclusions that I have drawn from watching people celebrate the holidays.

           The holidays are a way to spread love and joy. 

Regardless of the practice, at the heart of the holidays is being happy and wanting others to be happy.  I guess for people who are anti-happy, that would present a problem.  But, for everyone else, what is it going to cost to say a sincere “thank you” when wished a happy Hanukkah?

.        In a world where genuine connection is rare, the holidays afford us an opportunity to connect.    
I say we take it!  I have heard some remark that the only time that they see family is on the holidays.  Of course efforts can be made to do more, but why not take advantage of a time where most are not busy since their jobs and school have given them time designated to enjoy the holidays?  Many know the pain that comes from losing family members, so it seems to me that we should get on with the business of enjoying each other where there is still time to make memories.

3     The holidays give an opportunity for reflection and recharging.

Most goal setters use this time of year as a benchmark to see where they were the previous year and where they will be going the next.  The holidays are an easy time to do this because it’s a time where we often are reminded of the things that define our value system.

This year has been an amazing journey for me, so it truly is a time of celebration of things that I have been able to push through and past and now watching everything I have ever wanted literally fall into my lap.  I am excited about what this new year will bring because I am convinced that it will look exceptionally different from the past 30!

The biggest take away for me this year is how much I value life and the people in mine.  And it motivates me to want to do all that I can to add value to the lives of others around me in small and major ways.

I’m trying to make some people cry because they did something they never thought possible or achieved a goal that they’d been unable to.

I want to help more people become free.

To me, that’s what the holidays are really about.

I believe that each person has to search his or her own soul and find and assign meaning to the things that we do.

So, there were children who cried underneath the tree because they didn’t get what they wanted and many a people were trampled at Walmart by others looking for that last deal.


But, the Collins family spent the holiday together in love, creating memories that will make our hearts smile for years to come.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Never Quit on Your Dreams!

It happened again today.

A well-meaning person looked at what they see to be my circumstances from their point-of-view and said, “Why don’t you just quit that and do something else?”

We’re going to pretend that this wasn’t a person who has a lifestyle that I’ve always viewed as sad, at best, but I digress…

This reminded me of when the Apostle Peter told Jesus, “Lord you will not suffer this fate.”
Jesus’ reply?

“Get behind me, Satan!”

When I was younger and first read that account, I thought, “Man, Jesus!  That was harsh!  Satan, though??”

Now, that I’m older and have a deeper understanding of what the account meant, I realized some things.

I started thinking about the behavior patterns of Satan as described in the Bible.

He was the ultimate hater.  His main life goal was throwing shade, tripping people up using things that they liked or felt that they needed. Just all-around negativity. 

Anything leading to death in any form.

Really, isn’t that what saying anything other than something positive would do?  Kill a dream?

But, realize that Jesus didn’t say, “Peter, you trippin’.”

He realized that this was NOT in Peter’s character, so he didn’t speak to Peter; he spoke to the force operating through Peter.

So, don’t blame your loved ones and friends for not understanding.

“They know not what they do.”

I also started thinking about how tempting Jesus should have seemed like an exercise in futility.
He was the Son of God!  Creator of the whole universe!  


Not in the Beyonce kind of way.  But, literally not a single flaw.  

Healer of everyone. 

I bet he was fine, too.

But, nonetheless, he was tried!


To test his resolve.

If ever there was someone committed to a cause, a higher purpose, a necessary evil, it was Jesus. 

So, what makes you think that you and I, with our little dream, will not be tried??

When I was tried this morning, I had an answer right away of why I will NEVER quit.

Do you have your answer readily on the tip of your tongue?

What a lot of people do is listen to and start believing the negativity.

They give up on their dreams, if not wholly, but slowly.

One less phone call made.

One less work of art created.

This is where creative blocks come from many times.

But, why should you stay with it?

Because life is about using every bit of your creativity, talents, skills, and heart to make this world better.  Some way, somehow. 

Because visionaries with follow through are few and far between.

And mostly because the very people who are saying these things are really watching you.

They are only saying what they think they are supposed to say to help you not destroy your life, be irresponsible, etc.

But, deep down, in the person that they truly are, they want you to win.

Remember that the next time someone says something contradictory to where you are going.

Use it as an opportunity to do a checkup from the neck up and be even more relentless.

I believe in you.

I mean, it’s not like you’re saving the world, but you’re saving the world.