The Heart Issue

Another shooting took place last week.

Friends and Family are grieving.

I am angry. I am saddened.

And social media is flooded with anger and sadness.

And what has become platitudes.

Thoughts & Prayers has become the throw away line. Something an intern can tweet out quickly when a tragedy occurs.

Following it is this is a heart issue. I don’t disagree that this a heart issue. From the accounts of Nickolas Cruz he had a history of disturbing behavior. Several times over the years tips and complaints were placed on him. Investigators from DCF cleared him.

Absolutely his heart lead him to take his gun into the school last Wednesday. Evil exists and it will rear its ugly head no matter what is done.

But by posting or saying it’s a heart issue, it then negates any examination of our own hearts. Of the things that we seek out for security. It points to the other instead of facing the truth of our own hearts and motivations.

I too am also examining my heart as I walk through this anger and sadness. It hasn’t helped watching things unfold, as details emerge from that day.

There is so much anger. Comment sections devolve into name calling and dehumanizing each other. Our words matter. The heart behind our words matter.

When it’s said this is a heart issue, I too believe we must also examine our reactions. The things we post, the comments made reveal where our own hearts stand. How we care and treat each other . What is it we want to believe about the other side? What will be lost if we learn we aren’t entirely right or wrong.

As I work through all of this I pray. I believe in a big God who can do anything. I believe in the comfort He can bring to us . In the Hope only God can bring.

I also believe in action. In calling for change in our laws. In having real discourse with each other to really understand our fears on either side. Because This doesn’t need to happen, this isn’t inevitable.

That Reading Habit

Ever since I learned to read, books have been my constant companions. Reading was the usual, constant habit in my house growing up. Books, newspapers, boxes of cereal EVERYTHING was read!

I have gone through periods of consuming books ravenously, one after another. Reading has taught me so much, exposed me to different ways of thinking and taught me how to think.

But last year I realized that my reading habit had diminished. I wasn’t reading quite as much as I once had. A lot of different factors contributed to this for me. Busyness was one, lack of interest and my diminished attention span.

Last year I decided to change this, I had to be more intentional with doing it. As with working out or eating well, this too needed to be part of my daily routine.

I have been somewhat successful. I mean after all I still haven’t finished the Alexander Hamilton biography in almost two years .

I still can get distracted by Netflix (too many good shows! I’m looking at you Stranger Things & Black Mirror). Sucked into social media or am just too lazy to engage.

A friend recommended the Hoopla app ( found on google play or the App Store). Connect with your library card and you get access for fifteen downloads a month! Audio books, E books, music and videos available for free!

Utilizing this app has helped keep me on track with reading! Audio books have become my commuting habit and I often listen as I workout or clean up the house.

Some days I have to fight harder past the distractions to read.

I also have gotten into a podcast by Levar Burton Reads where each a new shirt story is read aloud. They are usually thirty to fifty minutes long. I mean it’s Levar Burton reading a short story!

Reading helps to give me perspective. It is far more nuanced than tweets or blaring headlines. It gives me the needed break from daily stresses and allows me to rest.

This year I will finally finish that Hamilton biography.

How do you keep up your reading habits?