In Difficult Times Our True Character is Revealed 12/17/17

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In Difficult Times Our True Character is Revealed

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
— Helen Keller

Boy, we are exhausted and feeling pulled in so many directions.  Many of the directions are beautiful and fulfilling and many are emotionally draining and physically taxing.  We decided to take a deep breath, appreciate the blue sky, and take time to be grateful.

We are grateful for the volunteers that come every week to work on our local trails, taking time to clear and refresh them for all of us to enjoy.  The volunteers, of all ages, arrive offering their hands, time and hearts to help our local rangers.  Sitting at our local coffee shop last weekend, sharing the internet and hearing the grateful voices of displaced college students from the fires, we learned that some of our local firefighters were the ones housing these evacuees.  As we sat back in that lively, local spot, we became aware of the ripples of such wonderful acts that often go unnoticed, unless we open our eyes and hearts to see beyond our own moments of the day.


In difficult times, our true character is revealed and has an opportunity to become visible. “Character is what you’re doing when no one is looking.” The phrase was written on the backs of a high school cross country team to inspire the students who were running or walking behind. We’re so very grateful that this quote shined bright on the back of t-shirts, reminding students and adults of this important idea for as long as the t-shirts are worn or hold up. This idea was also visible in the bleachers during a recent hard-fought match-up. The opponents’ fans yelled at refs and stomped on the bleachers while our players took free throws. They cheered at missed shots. Whether or not the scoreboard favored our team, our fans remained classy, positive, modeling sports womanship, and supporting good play from both sides.


The holiday season is here and, for many, it is a time of year to reflect. This year has been beautifully complex and full of many emotionally tangled experiences- how we choose to be grateful will be personal. As parents, we have an incalculable opportunity to offer our own ripples of wisdom and create moments to guide and instill gratitude in our families (How to Overcome the Biggest Obstacle to Gratitude? GGSC, December, 2017).






Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung. “Valuable advice… Too busy to read this book? Then you really need to.” USA Today

Forest App (A tip we’re passing along, that we hope to test out… It may be a holiday gift idea that could be fun to look into for our kids and ourselves, and it’s under $2!)

What Parents Neglect to Teach About Gratitude (GGSC, November, 2017)

How Gratitude Helps Your Friendships Grow (GGSC, December, 2017)





We are grateful for all and to many. Celebrating being perfectly imperfect,