Color Me Rosy

give your attitude a high-five

Taking Out The Trash

I opened the door to the garage with my arms full this evening and looked at the obstacle course that was before me; a one car garage with my car, 3 bikes, 2 sets of shelves the bike trailer, golf clubs, a skate board, tools, chairs and some other junk standing in my way. I was trying to take out the trash, and the garbage cans were on the other side. I turned sideways to pass by the car, having to lift the 30 pound bag of trash over my head to squeeze by, my other arm wrapped around some empty boxes. Half way through the obstacle course I asked myself why I had chosen to lift the heavy garbage bag over my head instead of the light empty boxes. Who knows, then BAM, my adventure to the other side of the garage became an inspirational moment.. If sometimes we choose to do hard things even when we don't have to, we become used to and even comfortable with doing hard things. Then when difficult things come our way without our choosing, they are more easily overcome. Ha, you thought I was just going to tell a story about taking out the trash didn't you. Yes there is inspiration to be found, even in taking out the trash.

Subs for Santa

Sitting near our Christmas tree this morning, before the kids woke up, looking at the mound of colorful presents spilling out from underneath, I was feeling pretty blessed. I love Christmas, the lights, the music, opening presents, food and spending time with friends and family. How could I ever complain or have want when we have the ability to spend so much money on trivial things. Sometimes I catch myself thinking of a bigger house, a bigger car, a lager paycheck or even a new bicycle - not to replace the one I have of course but you know, I need a separate one for 'commuting to work'. I'm grateful for the perspective that brings me back into focus.

Every Christmas season the company I work for searches for an opportunity to bring some unexpected happiness into the lives of families who are experiencing challenges. This year one of my co-workers learned of a program in the Las Vegas area called 'Subs for Santa'. A program similar to the United Way's Subs for Santa but in our area it is run by just a few volunteers.
The families chosen to be sponsored by our local Subs for Santa are selected through the school district; whenever a teacher or school administrator has knowledge of a student's condition they have the opportunity to forward that information to the Subs for Santa program. My company was informed of five families in need and we received a few details about their ages and number of siblings.
The majority of them resided in North Las Vegas. For those who live in this valley, we all know the type of city North Las Vegas is since it has the highest rate of... really everything bad in the state. It was up to us to find gifts, groceries and anything else we thought these families might need, and we were to deliver the gifts on December 21st. We were responsible for contacting the parents or parent (since most only had one) of these families to find an appropriate time to stop by. While sitting in a meeting at work one morning, I was pulled out by a co-worker who was trying to call a family and needed help, they only spoke Spanish. Having learned Spanish as a missionary in Venezuela, I was confident that it would be a quick conversation so I could go back to what I was doing. 15 minutes later my attitude had changed. The story that unfolded after I asked a simple question was difficult to hear, but all too common. The mother had four children in her house, her husband had left years ago and that day she had just lost her job. Through tears she explained why we might not ever be able to stop by, she was afraid. Afraid of being evicted, afraid that her children wouldn't make it through school, that her oldest son would choose the same path as his father, afraid that there would not be enough food to last another week. I said what I could, "have faith in God, we would like to help etc." but I mostly just listened. I decided to call back the next day to see if see was feeling better and to see if stopping by on Saturday would be okay. Saturday came; we attended an awesome company Christmas party, went bowling, and ate pizza, not a care in the world. In the afternoon we gathered to go deliver our gifts to the sponsored families. I knew which one I would visit. As we approached the neighborhood I was taken back to Venezuela, concrete walls, bars on everything, crumbling houses, abandoned buildings, roaming dogs, all just minutes away from the capital city of indulgence and excess. I walked up the empty cracked driveway as a dog with matted hair yapped at my ankles, knocked on the door and stepped back. A young girl peeked through a broken window fixed with duct tape. I smiled and waved and she ran away. When her mother appeared I introduced myself and asked if we could bring in a few things, tears immediately welled up in her eyes and she invited us in. An empty living room except for a tattered futon and a concrete floor was all we found. We felt very good to be able to fill it. We emptied our two vans full of groceries and gifts and made several trips to carry them inside. It was a humbling experience, it was a wonderful opportunity to help, and thinking back about it now I ask myself, "What else could we have done?" There were so many houses in that neighborhood, and so many neighborhoods just like it. I am so thankful that during Christmas we are reminded to help others, maybe we need to be reminded more often. Our help doesn't always have to come in the form of gifts purchased at the store, it can be listening to someone on the phone who has had a rough day, a smile and a wave, advice, prayers, service projects, volunteering. Feeling peace and fulfillment in life doesn’t come from what we make, or get but what we give. So we have had our reminder, let us never forget and find some way to share our blessings all year long.

Question: What is Better Than Football?

Answer: Football in the Snow.

American football, the personification of the inner struggles we feel every day, ripped out of our hearts and played upon the gridiron stage for all to see. Fighting for every inch, breath condensing like the steam from a bull's mouth before a charge. The clashing of opposing forces that unites and overcomes the differences of fanatics loyal to their nation. Where inches mean endless possibilities, deception, posturing, celebration, utter defeat. It is but a game, and yet some might some might say that about life. Do we elevate the game to our lives, or our lives to the game... Okay, this just isn't making any sense any more. Here are some awesome pictures from the Lions vs. Eagles game. They make me happy.

The Detroit Lions' Joique Bell, left, is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles' Bradley Fletcher during the first half of a snowy NFL football game in Philadelphia. 9LOVYDe