Archive for the ‘Snow’ Tag

Christmas Memories   Leave a comment

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Image provided by

Sorry that it has been a while since I posted on here.  With the holiday last week, life became busy and hectic.  I think that I am back in control of everything and will get back to more normal regularity in posting.

This morning I was thinking a lot about the memories which I have from my past Christmas times.  Over the years I have acquired some great memories.  So I thought I would share a list of them with you today.

  • Every year when I was growing up, my sister would purchase an Advent calendar for me which had a piece of chocolate hidden behind each day’s door.  I used to eagerly anticipate that calendar, the chocolate treat each day and the countdown to Christmas.
  • We used to string popcorn and cranberries to use as garland on our real Christmas tree.  I cannot count the number of times that I poked myself with the needle.  Or the number of times that Mom would have to re-thread the string through the needle.
  • We always had a lot of candles throughout the house during the Christmas season.  I would often light the candles, turn on the Christmas lights, and listen to Christmas records.
  • Attending Christmas Eve services and walking out of the church at midnight to find a light snow falling.
  • My Dad’s relatives gathering at our house on Christmas Eve.  One Christmas Eve when I was young the adults had all of us go to my room and stay there.  Soon there was a knock on the front door and when we were allowed to come out of my room we were surprised by Santa standing there.  I still have never figured out who was behind that beard.
  • Waking up on Christmas morning and knowing that I could open anything I found in my stocking but the rest of the presents had to wait until everyone was awake and sitting in the living room.
  • Decorating my college dorm room and having enough lights that we never turned on the overhead light until after Christmas break.
  • Listening to Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas album in my dorm room with friends.

These are just a few special memories that have come to mind this morning.  What memories do you have?


Snow   Leave a comment

So today is supposed to be the first snow of the season.  I am becoming less enchanted with snow each year.  However, in view of the weather predictions, I thought I would share this music video for Music Video Friday.  Enjoy your day!

Posted November 20, 2015 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Life, Music

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Finding The Beauty   Leave a comment

Image provided by Darla Millhollin

Image provided by Darla Millhollin

This weekend we received the first  (and only, so far) significant snow storm of the winter season.  Since I was having to travel, I was less than enchanted by the snow.  In fact, as I have grown in age, I have become less and less enchanted with snow.  So I can easily do a lot of grumbling about the winter storms which hit the Midwest.  However, some of my Facebook friends have caused me to pause even briefly and appreciate the beauty that can be found in the way the snow covers the trees, bushes and ground.  As they have posted pictures of the snow in their area and made comments about its beauty, I have been forced to look at the beauty which is the landscape around me.

All of this has led me to remember that even in what appears to be difficult, frustrating, or challenging situations, we can find beauty.  We  all want our plans to work out just has we have laid them out but life does not always happen in such neatly organized ways.  I am one who can easily become frustrated when my plans do not materialize as I envision them.  However, even in those times, there can be something good, maybe even beautiful, which occurs.  I need to remember to take the time to pause and look for the beauty.

So I challenge myself and each of you, to find the beauty wherever you may find yourselves this week.

Posted February 3, 2015 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Life

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Managing the Flood   Leave a comment

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Image provided by

I do not want to say this very loud, but I think spring might actually be arriving.  The temperatures (although very cool today) are beginning to climb and remain higher than they have been over the last three months.  With all this change in temperature comes the inevitable flooding of rivers from their banks.  For me, this imagery coincides with the flooding of needs that I am feeling as a leader. Just as it seems that the water of the rivers are a bit uncontrollable during this melting of winter, the various situations which are calling upon me as a leader seem uncontrollable.   However, I can learn from the rivers and the land around those rivers some valuable lessons that I can apply to my work as a leader.

First, this situation is not permanent.  As we continue to progress through the spring, the amount of snow and ice that is melting will diminish.  With the diminishing of the snow and ice, there will be less water filling the rivers and streams so their levels will decrease.  The timing of this will depend upon the amount of snow and ice upstream, the change in temperature rates, and the amount of additional precipitation which occurs.  However, from experience, we know that the river levels will decrease and the flooding of lands will end.  This can also be said in regards to the demands for attention and involvement in situations by me as a leader.  There are many situations that are placing a large demand upon my time and energy.  I can easily feel overwhelmed by all of this.  That being said, I know from experience that this will change and the demands will reduce.  I have no idea the exact timing of this reality and like the river levels, there are many variables that will impact the timing, however it is not a permanent situation and it will subside.

Second, there are some ways to reduce the impact.  During flood situations, people establish sandbag walls and other types of levees to keep the water from overcoming areas which they wish to preserve.  While it is true that these temporary attempts do not always work, they usually at least reduce the lasting impact that the flood waters may have on the area.  This is true in my situation as a leader.  I need to create barriers or boundaries to protect the important areas of my life.  In order to do this, I need to make very conscious decisions regarding the amount of time I devote to any given situation.  It does not mean that I ignore the situation or those involved, but I make clear decisions when I am going to respond and when I am going to dig into the situation.  Every situation seems like a crisis for the individuals that are directly impacted.  I must be sure that I evaluate each situation and access priorities.  I must make clear decisions regarding the amount and type of communication that is necessary.  In this time of emails and text messages contact is almost instantaneous, however, I can choose the timing and frequency of my reading these messages and my responses.  I need to determine what are the most effective means of dealing with each situation.  By creating boundaries, I ensure my mental well-being which will make me more useful for the individuals in each of the situations.  I can mitigate the impact of the flood.

My hope is that these lessons from nature will help me be a better and wiser leader.  If that is true, I will be able to provide stronger benefits to those who look to my leadership.

Surprises   Leave a comment

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Image provided by

This morning I awoke to about two inches of snow on the ground and snow continually falling.  Now that is not completely unusual for February 14 in this part of the country.  However, the forecast when I went to bed last night was for one inch of snow.  So I had not planned on getting up in time to clean off the sidewalks and driveway.  My morning routine was significantly altered because of this snow surprise.  This has led me to ponder the surprises that come my way in life.

I am not that unusual in the case of surprises of life.  Most people experience surprises throughout a given week in their lives.  Some of these are positive and some are negative.  Some are dramatic and some are insignificant.  I am a person that struggles with surprises depending on the nature of them.  I have worked hard at overcome these struggle but I know that it is always present.  Years have helped me develop a more flexible approach to life and so surprises have not had the same impact that they once did in my life.  However, surprises can still catch me off guard and I can find myself reactive rather than accommodating.

The truth is that surprises are going to happen.  They happen in our homes, in our work environment, and in life in general.  The more adaptive and accommodating that we can be to surprises, the less stressful they can be.

That being said, I go on record asking for more positive surprises and less negative ones please.

Posted February 14, 2014 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Leadership, Life

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Icy Surfaces   Leave a comment

Icy Road

Icy Road (Photo credit: LisaW123)

Well, it is clear that winter has made its debut in the Midwest.  Over the last week, we have seen plenty of snow and ice.  While my area missed the snow last night, there are other locations that have not been so lucky.  Either way, there is still is snow on the ground and some packed snow on the streets.  I have spent most of my life in the Midwest and so snowy and icy roads are not something new to me.  I can clearly state that icy roads and sidewalks are by far my most hated aspect of winter.  Besides the obvious safety concerns that are associated to these conditions, I think the other reason that I dislike icy surfaces is because they cause me to have to slow down or even restrict my getting from place to place.

Today I feel like me whole day is filled with icy surfaces.  As I mentioned above, this is not a reality since we did not even receive the snow last night.  However, I want to use that imagery to describe how my day seems to be progressing (or not).  I feel like I have no traction today.  I have a sense that I am spinning my wheels and not making any movement forward.  In fact, it may be more accurate that I am slipping behind, or at least to the side.  Now if you have ever been on icy surfaces, you know exactly what I mean by these images.  So what to do about all of this.

When I am on an icy surface, I slow down, sparingly use the brake, and try to turn the wheels in the direction that I am sliding so that I can regain control.  As difficult as that may sound or prove to be, it is more difficult for me to regain control of the progress of a day when I feel I am slipping through the day on ice.  So I have decided to take a bold step.  I am going to turn control of this day completely over to the Lord.  I am going to let the Lord decide what gets accomplished and what is left for another day.  I am going to let the Lord decide which direction is best to go.  I am going to let the Lord decide when to use the breaks and how much.  I am going to go along for the ride since I know the Lord will keep me safe.



REALLY????   Leave a comment

Snow outside my office on May 2, 2013.

Snow outside my office on May 2, 2013.

Okay….. I am going to complain.  SNOW on May 2nd?!?  Really?!?!?

This definitely is creating a lot of conversation online and around the community.  Up until today, the latest that I remember snow in my lifetime was in Nebraska on April 30.  Guess that record is broken and I am not very happy about it.

So what does a person do with the disappointments in life?  There is no life that is void of disappointment.  Today I am disappointed that after having eighty degree weather at the start of the week, we have reverted to winter with thirty degree weather and snow.  But this is not the first disappointment I have had in my life nor will it be the last.  The question that haunts me today is what to do with the disappointments in life.

Disappointments come in a variety of manner and for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes I have my expectations set to hide in regard to my accomplishments or goals and when I fail to reach those expectations I am disappointed.  Sometimes I have expectations of other people who are unfulfilled either because they are not able to or they choose not to and again, I am disappointed.  Some of these disappointments are huge and some are minor.  My response is really what matters.

I think there are two very important things to learn from disappointments.  The first is found when we reflect on what has led to the disappointment.  Is there something that I could have done to prevent the disappointment?  Is there a better way to approach the particular situation?  Is there a way to prevent a future occurrence of the disappointment?  From the reflection on these and other questions, I am able to put the event into perspective.  I may be able to change my expectations or make adjustments to avoid a reoccurrence of the disappointment.

The second lesson learned is that I must move forward.  There is no way for me to undo what has led to the disappointment.  There may be factors that are completely outside of my control.  I can spend my time dwelling upon it or I can move forward.  Since dwelling upon the disappointment does no benefit to me or others, moving forward seems to be the best approach.

DISAPPOINTMENT (Spiritual Sticky)

DISAPPOINTMENT (Spiritual Sticky) (Photo credit: spiritualchicken)

Posted May 2, 2013 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Life

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