What Would You Do With No Arms and No Limits?

Have you ever seen someone whose courage just took your breath away? Well, I have; his name is Richie Parker. At the time of this writing, Richie is in his 30s, and he works as an engineer for Hendrick Motorsports. Before I share the rest of the story, though, I have to tell you that this is not the post I had planned for today. But my birthday is coming up; this week, I’ll be 29. And people keep asking if I’m worried about nearing the big 3-0. Part of me understands the anxiety. But another part of me thinks ...
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Baby, Have I Got News for You … Good News.

I'm having a hard time is a tough place to start. Walking a peaceful path. Photo Credit: Summer McCreless But alas, it was true for me a while back. I'd been trying to walk a path of love and trust, but my (metaphorical) feet kept slipping. Do you know the feeling? That feeling you get when you want to snap out of a critical mindset, but it's just really, really hard? The way you know better than to judge yourself and others, but you keep doing it anyway? It was like walking along an icy street in winter. ...
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Have You Been Imagining Those Prison Bars? (Or, Don’t Re-Enroll In High School)

I had this dream one night. In the dream, I was in my twenties. I was living with my parents in New Jersey, in the house where I grew up. Since my career had apparently stalled, a faceless, intimidating authority figure strongly recommended that I re-enroll in high school, to 'get back to basics' or something like that. Good news: you've already graduated! The thought of re-enrolling filled me with dread, but I did it anyway. I didn't think I had a choice. For weeks, I struggled to re-learn my old routines, fumbling through locker combinations, math tests, ...
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In a Dark Time, Do You Dare to Welcome the Stranger?

About a year ago, I encountered a few words that changed my life. When we first met as roommates, we weren't sure we had a thing in common. Nearly 10 years later, her friendship is a treasure. You know what I mean -- it's the moment when a lyric from a song or a verse from a poem suddenly shoots right through you. It's that AHA of recognition that comes when you read something and say, "That's it exactly." This happened to me last year when, after leaving a stunning photography exhibition featuring actors and actresses with developmental ...
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When You’re Not Sure What’s Most Important: A Course in Priorities, Courtesy of John Franklin Stephens & Tim Shriver

Reading at L'Arche I settled down at my desk to start my workday, plunging into administrative tasks. Deep down, I knew that this wasn't the best idea, but I didn't feel like writing. I didn't have any 'good' ideas. But then I started feeling guilty. Why hadn't I called my friends in the Northeast, where Hurricane Sandy hit? Granted, I knew they were safe, but I wanted to hear their voices. So I made a few calls. But then I felt guilty that I wasn't getting work done. I thought, My inner perfectionist is having a field day ...
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Instructions for Life: ‘Listen to the Rhythm. Don’t Be Scared.’

If you've never seen the movie Strictly Ballroom, I recommend that you remedy this oversight immediately. It’s hard to explain why I love the film. It has something to do with the fairy-tale feeling it evokes, with its over-the-top costumes and generalized insanity. It has something to do with the fact that it’s a family favorite, that I grew up quoting it. But it’s more than that. I love Strictly Ballroom because it’s a story about active rebellion and the gift of doing things differently, getting perspective and attending to the essentials, and celebrating and accepting people as they are. ...
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What Holds You Up? Or, the Hands that Frame Your Risks

Photo Credit: Ashley Baker I hopped on my bike and started pedaling, determined to arrive on time. I'd left home a little bit late, but I could still make it on time if I tried. Even though I was moving quickly, I savored the crisp autumn morning around me. It was a perfect day for yoga in the park, a donation-based event hosted by Shoals Yoga. As I pulled up to Wilson Park, I heard bells chiming the hour. After locking my bike, I pulled out my yoga mat and joined the other yogis on the grass. Glad ...
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Relationships Matter, Not Things: An Interview with Tammy Strobel of RowdyKittens

This week, I'm thrilled to feature an interview with Tammy Strobel of RowdyKittens! (Tagline: Go small, think big & be happy.) RowdyKittens is one of my favorite blogs, because Tammy shares stories of her everyday life and the challenges and joys inherent in her relationships. Our interview focuses on how simplicity connects with cultivating stronger relationships. Tammy talks about the ways in which simplicity played a part in her caregiving journey with her mother and her stepdad, Mahlon. (And yes, Tammy met Bootsie, AWCC's very own rowdy kitten!) We also talk about Tammy's new book, which launched this week to ...
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The Caregiver’s Paradox, Or, Treasures of the Incomplete

**Note: A Wish Come Clear will return with new posts on Monday, Sept. 17th!** We are living in an unfinished space here in Alabama, and that comes with challenges. We entered a season of renovation when we arrived in July, and we've accomplished a great deal in just a few weeks. (And by 'we', I mean my husband, who has done the lion's share of the work.) We tore out the entire kitchen, and we're finishing a new one now. Extensive plumbing and electrical work has been required. Any cooking beyond the toaster-oven variety has been impossible, which means we've ...
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The Responsibility of a Dream Realized: Welcome, Bootsie.

When I woke up last Friday, I had no idea that a dream was about to come true. It was a typical day in Alabama. I filled our truck with bags of laundry and drove to our friends Chris and Laura's house to use their (generously shared) washing machine. As I drove, I was reminded of how fast life can change. Just a few weeks ago, I despaired of learning to drive our stick-shift truck. But thanks to your encouragement and a commitment to practice, I'm driving myself around town. Amazing. While the laundry spun, I told Laura how much ...
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