Tag Archives: Gifts Hospitality

Hope and Resilience

Hope springs...

Hope springs…

Seven days removed from the Boston Marathon bombings, we wish to extend our thoughts and prayers to those affected by the incidents.  Acts of violence are unnecessary.  They leave us empty and searching for answers.  As we committed to upon partnering to bring you this blog, Linda and I vowed to be relentlessly positive.

I saw a quote from Mr. Rogers yesterday and it read: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers.  You will always find people who are helping.’” Continue reading

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Reconnecting is just as beautiful…

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Friendship Is Just A Ball-Pit Away

My good friend Beth Gallagher hipped me to this video produced by a group called Soul Pancake.  They constructed a ball-pit in the middle of a busy city and put up a sign reading, “Take a seat, Make a friend”, and filmed interactions between people brave enough to participate.  What ensues is beautiful.

For me this video speaks to the simplicity of human interaction.  It speaks to the genesis of any relationship…the invitation.  In this video, the ball-pit acts as the invitation.  Fun, innovative, clever and probably a bit impractical.  However, we can all be fun, innovative and clever.  We all have this invitation inside of us.  We all have the capacity to invite others into our lives.  To ask someone “What’s you story?” Continue reading

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The Original Roving Listener…

This week we share an interview facilitated by Janis Foster Richardson with De’Amon Harges.  Janis Foster Richardson is the executive director of Grassroots Grantmakers, a non-profit group that strives to “strengthen and resource the work of everyday people and citizen-led groups”.  De’Amon Harges, the original Roving Listener, shares his wisdom with Janis about the work he is doing in Indianapolis with Broadway United Methodist Church, and neighborhoods across North America.  Thanks to Janis for originally posting this interview via podcast.  Thanks to De’Amon for sharing his stories…

Take the time to listen to this podcast.  You’ll find it by following the link below.  You may have to cut and paste it into your address bar. I tried embedding it into the post, but it is in a format I’m unfamiliar with embedding.  We are working on being as tech-savvy as possible.  Bear with us, but in the meantime, follow the link and enjoy the conversation between Janis and De’Amon.
http://www.grassrootsgrantmakers.org/2013/03/roving-listening-a-strategy-for-building-community/

 

 

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Building Community One Latte At A Time

The drive thru...

The drive thru…

Nestled snugly at the bottom corner of Bay Park, just off Morena, in the little Bay Ho shopping complex, is a business percolating connections.  Waiting in line for my morning coffee at Coffee Quick, a small drive-thru coffee hut, I began to notice something.  Svetla, owner and operator of Coffee Quick, seemingly always happy and ready to have a conversation, had something more than just a business brewing.  Curiosity welled up inside of me, wondering if this little hut was more than just a coffee shop.  What’s the story behind it?  So I decided to find out and extended an invitation to Svetla, to share her story.  As usual, when an invitation is extended, the storytelling unfolds along with the beauty of human connection. Continue reading

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Eliot Dawn arrives with a lesson…

Mama belly...

Mama belly…

We write in this blog about community existing everywhere.  At home, at work, in temporary locations, etc.  Our daughter arrived early, Saturday February 2nd (yes Groundhog Day got a whole lot more meaningful), at 8:48am.  She arrived at home, a decision Jody and I made about 4 weeks prior to her arrival.  A decision based on strong beliefs and values behind the way we view child birth…what unfolded was a lesson not expected.

I know...this picture was in Linda's post...but it is beautiful :)

I know…this picture was in Linda’s post…but it is beautiful 🙂

Noticeably in active labor around 2am, Eliot’s journey began.  We called our midwives, Jamin and LaShel, to inform them Eliot was on her way.  Jamin and LaShel are the owners of San Diego Midwife, a midwifery practice comprised of just the two of them.

Jamin and Eliot...

Jamin and Eliot…

LaShel weighs Eliot...

LaShel weighs Eliot…

They believe in partnering with people, in strong relationship, to help achieve the birth parents desire.  This isn’t a soap-box rant on home birth, rather, I feel compelled to share my gratitude to them, for their willingness to take us on at 35 weeks of pregnancy, and to do so with love and respect.

Eliot Dawn minutes after her birth...

Eliot Dawn minutes after her birth…

Throughout the wee hours of the morning, the gifts of doing everything at home steadily emerged.  Grandma Cass picked up our dog at 2:30am before traveling back at 5am to be here and tend to Rhiannon and Kade when they woke up.  Grandma Lorrie and Papa John, called at 6am to alert them to Eliot’s impending arrival, so they could make the 2 hour journey.  Copious amounts of friends and family, kept abreast along the way via text messaging.  Eliot’s community thoughtfully rallying in different capacities, gathering momentum, power and love all the while.

Jody and Eliot...

Jody and Eliot…

Jody, focussed and calm, realized her vision of having a natural birth, at home, with people who valued her beliefs and honored her wishes.  At 8:48am, Eliot found herself on the chest of the woman who carried her for 39 weeks.  The moment beautiful.  Love permeated the room and house.

The girls...

The girls…

Eliot, after a few moments of natural cries, gently rested with her mother.  Peaceful and alert, Eliot bonded with mom, myself and being at home, I brought Rhiannon and Kade in right away to meet their baby sister.  It made sense.  It felt right.  It felt as it should.

Family all around...

Family all around…

Papa John and Eliot...

Papa John and Eliot…

Eliot Dawn entered this world with an intentional community surrounding her.  Not born in an institution, poked and prodded by professionals, rather, with the support of whole-person-based midwives and perhaps more importantly, with the people who will comprise her circle of support beyond the days of her birth.

Uncle Jeff, Cousin Jake and Eliot...

Uncle Jeff, Cousin Jake and Eliot…

Family, friends and neighbors all able to see her on the day she was born, in her own home, in the community she will grow up in.

Best friends...

Best friends…

Community exists everywhere, and for us, Eliot’s birth was a lesson in just that.  When we are mindful of being connected with those around us, in every moment, we realize our humanity.  Thanks to everyone for the love and support on that day, in days past and days to come.  I am grateful for this latest lesson. Bravo Eliot Dawn…bravo!

Eliot Dawn

Eliot Dawn

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Thank You!

Linda and I want to thank everyone for supporting this blog, adding thoughtful comments and sharing with others.  It was a great start in 2012, and we look forward to continuing on in 2013.  Take a quick couple of minutes to watch the video posted of John McKnight, one of our wonderful teachers and inspiration for this blog, talk about making the invisible, visible.  Happy New Year!

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