Do You Believe in Signs? (Part 2)

Have you noticed any signs lately? Here are a few more that have piqued my interest! This one to the left showed up on a back road in Michigan. I wasn’t riding a bike at the time but am familiar with “drifting sand” across my path.  I would appreciate the caution sign, say, in my office where I can get distracted or sidetracked by little stuff that slows me down.

Have you experienced “Dangerous Intersections?” We usually don’t see signposts around when we are heading for one. Would often be helpful.

I saw this one last week, do you ever feel like you need to put your voice in a closet? Give it a time-out? Listen more than talk?

Would appreciate knowing when something hard is coming?

Or when it was time to get out of the way?

This one is just fun!

What are signs saying to you these days?

Hope for the best,


Beauties and the Beast

My film companions through the past 25 years!

Let me just say I have never been a cartoon fan. Back in my girlhood, every movie opened with at least one animated short film and I wasn’t crazy about any of them. Ditto with my long Mommy-hood season, I managed to see a couple of feature animated films with my four kids but I squirmed more than they did.

Until Beauty and the Beast. I really don’t remember if we ever saw it in the theater. Probably not as the kids were quite happy to watch a rare movie on the VCR in that crazy time of life. I could dig deep in my journals and find out when it hit our home screen but I’m sure it was in 1992, twenty-five years ago.

From the first time I watched it, sitting on the my living floor with the crowd, I loved this movie. No other animated film caught my heart like this one. (I haven’t seen Frozen yet.) Over the years, when one of them wanted to watch it, I would pop in for any or all of it, especially at the end when the Beast transformed back to a prince. I usually cried through that part.

The first appetizer for the new Beauty and the Beast movie came last May right after Mother’s Day. My youngest daughter send her sister and me a trailer (I still call them previews.)

It looked so tantalizing and we put it on our calendars for “whenever it comes out.” It finally did.

After about seventeen emails, we finally found a date that worked for the three of us, last Thursday night, the evening before the official release. I may or may not have sent them an evite about it. (They are used to, shall we say, my occasional exuberance.) The day felt like Christmas Eve to me, I couldn’t wait to get there.

We bought our tickets ahead of time for the 3 D version and I arrived at the theater 90 minutes before the film started. I’m learning to make lots of room for events important to me. Crowding them squishes out some of the delight.

I had fun engaging with the other B & B devotees until the girls arrived. They scooted into the seats I carefully reserved and from the first note of the fabulous score to the last, I sat spellbound. Tears slipped out at several points and flowed at the end. Like I said, I love this movie.

I haven’t quite figured out my fascination, not that I need to, but I do wonder. Maybe I have felt like both Belle and the Beast at different points in my life. The powerful transformation scene at the end also seems like a foretaste of heaven when all creation is restored.

Or maybe it was watching it with my daughters. The first time they were little girls, enthralled with the idea of fairy tales. Later as teenagers, watching it together fuzzed the lines that sometimes separated us. Now we are all grown-ups and each have our own tales of wandering in forests and dancing at balls. Sitting between them last Thursday felt strong and solid and full of joy.

Next season, I’ll watch it with my granddaughters, we’re all the same age while the film is rolling.

The critics can say what they want, I give it a zillion stars.

The “Tale as old as Time” worked it’s magic again.

Hope for the best.


Do you Believe in Signs? (Part 1)

Don’t you just need to STOP sometimes?

I’ve always been a kind of “signs and wonders” girl with plenty of room for both in my theology and day-to-day life.

But I have run into some real road signs posted around my world that might be just the message someone’s looking for or at least will entertain you!

Check these out…

Definitely times in my life when I could have used a sign like this and turned around! Sometimes we need to climb a steep hill but not when it’s the wrong way.


Multi-tasking over-rated? One thing at a time often works best.



There are times it is important to stand out in the crowd!

Is there an area of your life where you need to “Stay On Trail?”

Signs are everywhere, look for the ones that speak to you.

More next week!

Hope for the Best,


Are You A Story Collector?

I am a collector. But no one would ever call me a pack-rat. I don’t have hoarding tendencies either. In fact, I am apparently of the “less is more” mindset as we frequently ran out of basic supplies like milk and toilet paper when our kids were young. “Why commit my cash to something I didn’t need yet” was sort of my slogan.

I tried collections when I was younger. Stamps for one. Never took. I guess you might say I collect blue and white dishes because I have a lot but that’s because I use them all the time. I wouldn’t “collect” just for the sake of “collecting.”

What I do collect are Stories.

Everyone has one. My compilation includes my story, tales from my immediate family, as well as the histories of relatives and ancestors. Sometimes scraps, sometimes a rich narrative.

In my collection are also portions of friend’s stories. Past and present. Besides the stories I keep in my heart, I have a cache of artifacts, probably thousands. Photographs, cards and letters collected over a lifetime. Then there is my account. A lovely hole to fall in when I have a free hour. Definitely more satisfying than an evening of TV.

I am slowly cataloging my collection. Sometimes mine, sometimes gathering pieces that belong to others. It feels like a mandate that I cannot ignore. Or something like a treasure hunt.

Chasing the Intentional Life includes leaving a legacy for those to come. “One generation to the next.”

Are you a story collector?

Hope for the best,


Fun Ways to Celebrate President’s Day!*

My Dad and Ronald Reagan

My Dad and Ronald Reagan

I like getting mail in my mailbox (the good kind of course like a letter from my granddaughter) but there will be no deliveries today because we are all celebrating President’s Day.

If my four children were still young and gathering at our dinner table,  I would have some activity or conversation planned to fit the occasion.  Probably a little quiz like “Who was the 9th President?  Or the 23rd?” Actually, I have no idea but will google it as soon as I finish writing this post.

Keep going… “Which President do we associate with the Emancipation Proclamation or The League of Nations or the WPA program?  Who was in the White House when the Brits burned it?  How many presidents can you name in 30 seconds?

Who was the largest President or the single one?  Whose daughters got married in the White House?  Lots of fun trivia available for the pursuing.  You don’t have to believe the story of George Washington and the cherry tree to serve cherry pie for dessert 🙂

Someone, likely my mom, gave us a little booklet with a page about each president and one winter we talked about one every night for dinner until we got through to Reagan who was president at the time.  I wonder if they remember that… I remember John Tyler’s wife was  Letitia!

My family of origin all grew up on farms or in small towns but somehow were able to meet Presidents Truman, Roosevelt, Nixon, Johnson, Reagan and get invited to Clinton’s first inauguration.  My mom and nephew ran into George W. in Austin and my daughter-in-law, granddaughter and daughter have all met Obama.  A few years ago I was finally able to cross off “Meet a President” from my life list when I shook hands with Jimmy Carter. Life List Update

If you have a free evening you might want to watch an episode of West Wing or check out ‘The Butler” or my favorite fictional president movie, “Dave.”  Much of my knowledge of the Presidency came from those sources.

As much as we might criticize from time to time, these guys in the Oval Office had the utmost courage to give it a try to change the world.  I’ll forego my mail to honor them.

Hope for the Best,


*originally posted in 2014

Rocks and Sand Planning


A few years ago, I felt the quiet yet clear words to “Put the big rocks in first.”  Of course, this message came in around 3:28 AM in between sleep cycles but I have remembered the direction and how it applied to my life at the time. Like the story lesson we are familiar with, putting the big rocks in first still allows plenty of room for sand and water to fill in the spaces.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it a lot easier to keep reaching for the sand first. Checking Facebook instead of settling in to write for instance. Researching fun places to visit when a work project is due is another sand over rocks choice. Guilty.

Early in the month, when I was writing my daily to-do list, I realized each day’s list has both “rocks and sand” on it. Rocks: write, meet with clients, plan a retreat, make a budget. Sand: pick up a library book, catch up on blogs I like, purchase tickets for an event, locate a missing book.


Some rocks are quite big!

So, for the last week or so I have been labeling each item on the daily list by assigning it an R or S. Simple but very effective for planning how to use the available time each day. I guess it is a variation of the ABC method for prioritizing but I like “rocks and sand” better!


Some sand is very fun!

Do you know what your rocks and sand are these days?

Hope for the best,


Speed Dating Claude: My 15 Minutes at the Art Institute


I really planned a lot more time than 15 minutes for my annual winter visit to the Chicago Art Institute. Only a few days were left during the weeks when free admission is available to Illinois residents so I first planned a whole day, then reduced it to a half day, then decided most of an afternoon would work, then I couldn’t find a parking place. You know how it goes.

I grabbed the only spot left on the street which gave me two hours. I convinced myself the train ride would be around 30 minutes and that would give me an hour there before turn-around time. I know that place pretty well and could quickly find my favorite galleries. A great plan.

But the train took 50 minutes.


View from the Train

I read a short book on the way down in between trying to let my mind wander to inspire creativity. 50 minutes was enough time for both. When I stepped off the train it was 20 minutes until I needed to step back on it and I had 2 blocks to hustle.

Stepping into the loveliness, I dashed into the gift shop to pick up a postcard to mail to a friend then got my free ticket. 10 minutes left after a quick bathroom stop.


Taken by my new friend

I was rushing up the stairs when I noticed her, a lovely young tourist trying to take a selfie. I think she had already made multiple attempts. “I can take that for you” I offered. She gratefully handed me her phone and I snapped a few shots. Then she offered to take my photo. We were almost-friends now. I found out she was from Morocco and this was her first visit here. We chatted a bit then parted company, both warmed from the exchange.

Three minutes left to dash through the Monet’s, drink deeply to fill up until next time and out the door I nearly ran, snapping photos all along the way.



The Customs House at Varengeville by Claude Monet

It was enough.

Sometimes a bite of chocolate, a sip of wine satisfies sufficiently. My taste of art was like that this day. Not just the sample of Monet but the small book on the train, the fascinating encounter on the steps, the preservation of my annual visit and the letter to an old friend I wrote on the trip back all filled me up like a banquet. Any more and the over-stuffing might have wiped out the delight.


The Departure of the Boats, Etretat by Claude Monet

I got back to my car one minute late but no ticket so all was well.

What can fill you up in 15 minutes?

Hope for the best,


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Letitia Suk, Author, Speaker, Life Coach

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