speaking of peace…

dance

so, i had a little to say this morning about peace and how we try to create a world of peace in the midst of the violence that we find everywhere. and, for me, the only thing i can come up with, as i said earlier, is that i can only make a difference in my life. i cannot make anyone else make the decision to choose peace, acceptance, and love. what i can do, though, is be an example of that to the people i meet. i can educate. and i can provide opportunities for people to meet each other. i truly believe that we are afraid of, we condemn, we accuse, we are willing to fight against those we do not know. as long as we have an “us” and a “them”, we will not have peace. so, what can i do? i can help to break down barriers and walls. i can create environments where people of different races, cultures, countries, socio-economic statuses, religions, sexualities, etc. can come together and meet each other simply as people. and then, when we strip away the prejudices and pre-judgements, we can see the human being standing in front of us as a fellow human being, not an enemy or an unknown scary thing. when we meet each other, then we realize that we have more similarities than not, and that we are connected as humans. when we are willing to be with each other, we will learn that we are more alike one another than we imagined.

warming up

it was a fabulous coincidence that tonight i had planned for my youth group to host a café evening for some refugee teenagers from afghanistan. after everything that has been occuring in the boston area, i thought it was perfect timing that i had a chance to push my teenagers to come face to face with about 20-30 teenage boys from afghanistan who have fled to sweden because they have nothing left, or because they were in danger, in their home land. these guys not only left their home country, they left it alone. they are in sweden without any family. just themselves. and we were gonna show them a good time tonight.

i know that some of my teenagers have been a little nervous about meeting with these guys, if only because not all of them speak swedish, but also because  they are are unknown guys from an unknown culture. and even though we have met with them before, it was still something a little frightening, for everyone involved. understandable.

dance

but, what happened was not frightening at all… it was amazing. after spending the first 20-30 minutes a little bit separated from each other, all the kids began to warm up to each other. someone pulled out their ipad and began to search for music, and after a few minutes, we moved tables, and everyone was up and dancing. so crazy. so much fun. i danced away like crazy as well. we all did. and we laughed. we talked. we met each other simply as people.

as i was telling the guys goodbye, one of them asked if they could call me and invite us to the next muslim celebration they have. they wanted to repay our kindness. i was blown away. afterwards, my kids talked about how much fun it was. and my heart was full.

teen peace warriors
me + my swedish kids + 20 teenage male refugees from afghanistan = one amazing evening. this is how peace is made. (and i dedicate this photo to #watertown and #boston) #GetToKnowEachOther #diversity #dance #laugh #talk #eat #cometogether #peace

you see, peace is possible. and tonight i got to witness peace in the making. what an amazing gift.

moments, people, & words that make me feel alive.

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“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt

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“You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert IMG_7335

“In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”
― Gordon B. Hinckley IMG_7333

“Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe, and love as long as you live.”
― Rachel Ann Nunes IMG_7336

“It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found. God it’s great to be alive! Thank you. Thank you.”
― Jon KrakauerInto the Wild

live it up my friends! love & peace.

dear prudence.

a little music for you: Jim Sturgess – Dear Prudence

celebrate something today. anything. whatever. even the smallest thing. drink a glass of wine. hug someone you love. share a smile. write a funny note. spread some sunshine, even if it’s raining. look around you. it’s another day. and we’re alive…

so, live it up! happy thursday, friends!

peace.