It took me a long time to realize my Christmas tree was invisible.
I would spend hours clearing space by the front window, putting away the pictures and non-seasonal objects, retrieving boxes from the garage, then sorting through countless ornaments collected over the years . . .
I’d stop to remember where I got that tiny flamingo with the goofy grin and holiday tie, the Santa posed like a rodeo rider on the back of a dolphin. I’d be thrilled when I opened the box containing construction-paper Rudolph, his crooked mouth penned by a fidgety preschooler. (Rudolph always gets the best spot on the tree.)
Smiling, I would carefully unwrap the crooked candle made of wire and plastic beads, and choke up every time at the tiny stocking labelled “FNU” (FBI-speak for “First Name Unknown”).
I’m one of those people who doesn’t buy boxes of glass balls to fill their tree. Every ornament has a special meaning or memory attached to it. I space them out so each one is properly visible and as I do, I let my mind drift back to when I shared this activity with ones now in Heaven, or those now just too busy.
It’s usually an entire afternoon of nostalgia and sentimentality, and for what? Despite its prominent placement in my front window, no one sees this tree. Continue reading That’s not just a Christmas tree you see
We are a law enforcement family. My great-grandfather, George L. Bryant, was a small-town sheriff who died in the line of duty in 1908 and whose name is emblazoned on the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial in Washington, DC. My older brother, my husband, and I are all retired “sheepdogs”. My sister-in-law spent her career as a police dispatcher and my younger sister began her working life as a member of this same tight-knit law enforcement community.
Perhaps you will understand, then, why this divisive climate in our country right now between the protectors and the protected deeply troubles me.
For that reason, instead of posting something pensive and timely about Christmas today, I’ve decided to revisit a post I originally published in April 2013 after the Boston Marathon bombings.
The following perspective is taken from a book by Lt. Col. (Retired) Dave Grossman, Ranger, Ph.D., and author of On Killing; the Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill. Some of the statistics may bear updating but the sentiment remains valid. I hope it’s helpful: Continue reading Please Don’t Kick the Sheepdog – a reminder
I’m guest-posting at ryanhuguley.com today. Please join me there to read “Seven Marks of Authentic Friendship” in its entirety.
Paulette and I share a unique history that goes back 30 years. Time and distance conspire now to keep us apart but when we connect, even though it necessarily involves airplanes and major schedule adjustments, it’s always worth it.
She and I chose a career in Federal law enforcement at a time when earning the respect of our peers in a male-dominated profession meant embracing an over-the-top work ethic and developing a very “thick hide”. That experience cultivated a unique bond, in and of itself.
We were pregnant together and shared the unique travails reserved for expectant mothers in that kind of job. We raised our children in a world we viewed through a particular lens of danger and did our best to make their lives “normal”.
Early on in our friendship, we discovered we had more than just our careers in common.
Click here to read the rest of this post.
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I’m honored to be guest posting on my pastor’s blog today. Ryan Huguley is lead pastor at Redemption Bible Church in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, a vibrant young congregation in the northwest suburbs of Chicago that is making a huge difference in the community.
Please click here to join me there and read “I’m at a crossroads and I’m not afraid”.
(As always, if you’d like to get an email when I publish new posts, just go to my home page here and subscribe.)
Early in my law enforcement career, I was assigned to an office in an economically depressed part of Indiana. I recall going out on one particular raid with fellow agents and police in a rundown housing project. When we barreled through the front door of this dingy apartment, there were small children sleeping on a ragged couch in the living room. The spectacle of a dozen or more police and Federal agents with guns, Continue reading The Humility of Being Replaceable