Category Archives: envision

Day 292: The Value of Wonder


“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the championship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.”

~Rachel Carson

I read somewhere that wonder allows us to see from a place of the heart that cannot be seen with the eyes alone. Wonder takes us to places of the unknown that can only be understood from the depths within us, internalizing what we discover.

Children are so much fun to watch as they wonder and discover things for the first time. I love seeing their eyes light up with new discoveries. But even at the age of sixty-eight, I still have the curiosity of wonder. It makes me think of the story in the Bible where Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, anyone, who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10: 13-16 The kingdom of God is here to be discovered on earth, and it is through our wonder that we discover it. Our children have a hunger today to know the wonders of God, I think more so than ever, and we can be the ones to share that wonder with them. Church, religion, and Sunday schools are not enough to help them see from the eyes of their heart and soul. We can learn as much from them as they do us.

Across the street from my house sits a church on a hill. The Way of Jesus Academia recently bought it. I never heard of it before, and I’m not sure what they do, but I see kids being dropped off for classes there from various public schools. My grandson attends a similar kind of Bible study provided through his school district, and he loves it. His curiosity for this thing we call God, and the wonders it creates in his mind is feeding his inner hunger to know more. It is also creating discussions in his family. It is as if the children are bringing the adults back to God.

Reflection: If anything keeps me feeling young and alive, it is the wonder of my heart. I can’t wait to discover what God has to show me each day.

Day 230: The Value of Humanity


Albert Einstein said, “It has become appallingly obvious that technology has exceeded our humanity.” Wow! I wonder what he would say in today’s world.

I am reading a fictional novel that brings to mind how dependent we are on technology as individuals and in the corporate world connected to all our resources, like electricity, water, gas, even our finances. It’s scary to think what life would be like if suddenly all the technology we depend on became snuffed out. It would be like going back to the dark ages when we had to do everything for ourselves to survive. Yes, what I am reading is just fiction, but it doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. Many people would die, but I do not doubt that humanity’s will for survival would once again step up to life’s challenges, especially when it comes down to what society can do when we work together.

The anniversary of 9-11 is only a few weeks away. We all remember how that crisis went to the core of our humanity. We couldn’t give enough and found so much love for our fellow Americans. Even other counties reached out to us. I needed to connect with my own humanity and ask myself if I was really living my life or just existing. Was I showing my love and doing what I could for my fellow human brothers and sisters?

Here we are living in yet another time of crisis with the covid-19 pandemic. This crisis is very different. It has shown us how vulnerable our humanness is and how a tiny disease can get out of hand and threaten our very existence. It is the worst kind of war to fight because the enemy is invisible, and its strategy is to outsmart us in any way it can. It has proven to grow stronger in those who have not been vaccinated and has less effect on those who have. They say in war a soldier stands by each other looking out for the better good of each other. We can’t win this war without fighting for our lives, and it depends on each of us being on the same side of survival. The pandemic is not a political war. It’s not a fight against our freedom. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s excellent material for a fictional novel itself. But the bottom line is that it’s really happening, and what we thought could never happen could now become even worse. Isn’t it better for the sake of our humanity to be safe than sorry in the end?

Reflection: * “The power of humanity is the strength of individual commitment and the force of collective action. Both must be mobilized to relieve suffering, ensure respect for human dignity and ultimately create a more humane society.”


Day 228: The Value of Re-evaluating


When we stop and take the time to re-evaluate the direction of our life, it gives us pause to discover what we truly value in our lives.

I am in the process of re-evaluating many things in my life right now. It’s a chance to clean up the thoughts in my head and reassess what serves my better good and what’s no longer working. I need some time to get away from all the hustle and bustle of my own making. To relax, contemplate, pray, and re-examine the direction my life is going. Sometimes I feel there is not enough time in my day to do everything I need and want to accomplish. But what can I give up? Sometimes we can’t see the very thing that’s right in front of us.

I remember a job that I loved, but the hours and the responsibilities were taking a toll on me. My doctor told me that the stress I was under was not worth any money I was making, that my health was more important. I remember thinking, but they need me there. How will they get along without me? My dad told me point blank that the one thing we learn in the work world is that somebody can always replace us. When I told my boss I had to quit and why she was mad at me. I gave her a month’s notice to find my replacement, and I was treated with disrespect. See, sometimes the things we do become tangled into something we really don’t want to do. That’s why taking the time to step back and re-evaluating what we are doing is so important. I realized what I really loved about the job initially, I was no longer doing anymore, and because I felt so needed, I couldn’t see how much I was being taken for granted.

Reflection: It cracks me up in these years of retirement that I find myself so busy I need to re-evaluate the things I’m doing. But, taking the time to re-evaluate makes me feel grateful that I still have an active mind and a life that makes me feel alive and vital.

Day 211: The Value of Routinizing


Routinize your routine. The things that aren’t important to you, whether it’s breakfast or your commute, try to do them with the least energy possible so that leaves you with more energy for other things.

~Robert Pozen

What does routinization mean? It means to discipline oneself into a routine until it becomes so much a part of us that we don’t even have to think about it. The routinization becomes so ingrained in us that it melds into our everyday life.

A friend gave me this word to write about and today seemed an appropriate time to use it because I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with things that keep getting in the way of my daily routine. I like the idea that is knowing the certain essential things I want to get done are so routinized into my life that they are like getting up and brushing my teeth every day. When things are put off like they have been for me this week, it drains my energy and sucks away at all the other positive things in my life. So I realize I have to plan a little better and not make my routine so rigid that I feel like a failure when I don’t get my walk in.

Reflection: Remembering what the value of routinization has to offer in reaching my goals is important, but being open to change allows the joyful things in my life to not be swallowed up by any of the rigidness I create.

Day 179: The Value of The Shadow


“Between the vision and the act lies the shadow.”

~T. A. Eliot

In the coolness of the early morning, I took Lucy for a walk. It seemed as if I was the only one out and about until I noticed my shadow self walking beside me. She was the vision of all I wished I could be tall, slim, and long-legged. I enjoyed the allusion for a while until I got closer to how the shadow seemed to shrink in size, revealing my huge butt; both shadows were a distortion of my true self, and I was letting my ego have fun with it.

I was recently acting irritated because I let someone talk me into something I didn’t want to do. I was angry with myself for not speaking up and saying no. It put me in a bad mood, and I was taking it out on others. I talked with my husband about it and asked him how he thought I could be a better person? He laughed and said, “That’s something you’ll have to figure out for yourself.” I knew that, but I wanted him to make the shadowy part of me disappear. But no one can do that for us. It’s our work to do, and until we do the work, that shadowy reflection will continue to distort who we really are within.

Reflection: The value of the shadow self is what it can teach us about ourselves. The actual reflection I saw today has no good or bad power over me. It’s just a reflection that stirred a reminder in me to pull myself together in heart, mind, and soul.

Day 178: The Value of Temperance


“Oh the places you’d go, the things you’d do if you let temperence lead the way in all you pursue.” CFR

Temperance is one of those words we don’t hear much about unless you study the Christian virtues. Temperance is the fourth cardinal virtue; they are hinged together on the chain of cardinal virtues like a charm bracelet, prudence, fortitude, judgment, and temperance, all complimenting the other. But how does temperance fit into this collection? What does it mean?

Temperence means to practice self-restraint with the things we do and say. To use self-control when we indulge in natural appetites or passions. Practicing moderation and balance in all we do, including the use of alcoholic liquors.

We’ve been living in a world of…it’s your thing, do-what-ya-wanna-do; called an intemperate world. But temperance isn’t about denying ourselves the things we enjoy in life; it’s about having a sense of control over the things we do. It’s using our God-given brains like Dr. Suies says in his book, Oh the places you’ll go. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” When you use temperance as your guide, it frees you up to become what you choose and pursue your passions with a healthier approach. Being around people who support your way of temperance helps too.

Reflection: I like the idea that temperance isn’t about self-denial but instead about having a sense of self-control. It doesn’t mean I can’t have chocolate kisses; it means I can enjoy a few at a time instead of eating the whole bag at one time.

Day 176: The Value of Fortitude


“Hardship, in forcing us to exercise greater patience and forbearance in daily life, actually makes us stronger and more robust. From the daily experience and hardships comes a greater capacity to accept difficulties without losing our sense of inner calm. Of course, I do not advocate seeking out hardships as a way of life, but merely wish to suggest that, if you relate to it constructively, it can bring greater inner strength and fortitude.”

~Dalai Lama

Richard J. Foster, in an article, called, What is fortitude? Says: “Fortitude actually has a double meaning, or perhaps two distinct aspects of one meaning. First, it means courage, bravery, valor, heroism. The second meaning is endurance, tenacity, perseverance. It’s that ability to stay with a task in the midst of every conceivable discouragement and setback. Courage and endurance it’s this great combination that is summed up in the virtue of fortitude.” I’d say this here points out a lot of value about having the quality of fortitude. It isn’t until we come across adversity that we can see how well we handle it. I’d venture to say that more of us than not would be surprised to see the fortitude we have when the moment merits it from us. Foster goes on to encourages us to read about those who have been great examples of fortitude, such as “Nee To-shenge (Watchman Nee) of China, Eberhard Arnold of Germany, Rosa Parks of the United States, Alexander Solzhenitsyn of Russia, Karol Wojtyla (John Paul ll) of Poland, and Dorthy Day of the United States. The variety of angles and settings of their stories serve to deepen our understanding.” you can read more from Foster’s article at

Reflection: I realize in learning more about fortitude that I have practiced it without knowing, but all situations are different across the journey of our life. I only pray that I have the grace to practice what it takes to have the fortitude I need in each situation.

Day 175: The Value of Prudence


Emotions are easier on entrance than exit, but prudence sees our way out before we venturing in.

I was going to write about fortitude but soon learned that it was part of the four Cardinal virtues prudence, fortitude, justice, and temperance. The word cardinal is derived from the Latin word cardo, meaning hinge. Each of these virtues thing upon the other. So, today I begin with prudence.

We don’t hear much about prudence these days, yet its meaning and the advantage it offers could be the ticket to how we could begin to change things for the better good for all. There is a lot to be said about what prudence is. I think it’s safe enough to say that the prudent person feels before they talk or take action. That thinking involves a loving, caring heart for others besides themselves. They are consistently considering how their actions might affect someone else—always looking for the most logical conclusion that creates a better good in the end.

An example is how easily our emotions can tempt us. It feels right, so it must be right. The prudent person looks at the whole picture and how giving in to their temptations could affect the bigger picture. A prudent person is often known for having good judgment, a positive attitude, wisdom, and consideration for others. I wonder if there is any other virtue that holds so much value.

Reflection: Now that I understand prudence a little better, it is definitely a virtue I want to practice more in my life.

Day 166: The Value of Acting with Aplomb


“Aplomb. Sometimes the sheer bravado of her actions astonished.” ~ Debbie Macomber

Aplomb is acting with assuredness, calmness, poise, and composure in difficult situations. Aplomb is sustaining grace under pressure.

I never heard of the word aplomb before, have you? It’s not a very common word or a personality trait. To pull it off with grace requires confidence in who you are, what you know and believe about yourself. But not so much confidence that you’re not open to new ideas and options. I’m sure it takes a lot of practice, tolerance, and patience to obtain on the human level, but I do believe it takes the grace, mercy, and the love of God’s spirit to perfect in us. We all know the kind of person who can calmly control a situation when things get out of hand. That is the person acting with aplomb. They can find ways of releasing any frustrations that build up from the problem later so that they can remain aplomb as needed.

Not letting the things that others do bother us and keeping our calm begins with knowing ourselves. Knowing our truth and beliefs helps us to see that what is going has nothing to do with us as much as it has to do with the way others think and believe.

C.G. Jung says, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” We can become more aplomb-like when we have a better idea of what our own truth is. Jung goes us to say that, “Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.”

* While acting with aplomb helps gain control, it is not a guarantee of success. Being confident is not the same as knowing the truth. Over-confidence can reduce the seeking of data that could be used to achieve goals and avoid failure.

Reflection: Maybe the best way to practice being more aplomb-like is to seek our vision of truth within our own hearts. Maybe knowing ourselves sets us free enough to do the better good we want for others with the grace to succeed.


Day 159: The Value of Mystery


“Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.” ~Soren Kierkegaard

In our modern world today, we have instant knowledge in the palm of our hands. Just ask Google. Google knows everything except how to explain the mysteries of life we experience. The mystery is found when we look deeper into the place of wonder. There is as much mystery in an artist’s painting as there is in the words of poetry. But I have often found the simplest mysteries in nature. The birds are carrying on songs and conversing with each other as I write this. While I don’t understand the meaning of each chirp, the mystery of it is not for me to solve, but maybe to simply enjoy. How about our senses? It’s incredible the way they work for us. I’m sure science could explain how they work. Still, I like thinking of them as part of my unique individual personality that works in a way that makes me a mystery to other people.

A mystery is as much a mystery to us as spirituality is. They are the seen but unseen things that the limited human understanding cannot prove. God’s not a man. We cannot put God on the same level of thinking as we have. So how do we prove that God exists? I don’t know. I can only attest to something that lives inside me that is greater than I am without it. So the value of mystery is what we let it bring into our lives that take us to places that enlighten us beyond our human limitation.

Reflection: Instead of wasting time trying to figure out the mysteries of life, I enjoy where the mysteries take me without questioning God’s spiritual intent. It takes practice to let go of our control so God’s mysteries can flow.