Author: Tom Pettijohn | SPIRIT 105.3 - Faith, Fun and Family
  • It was a soon-to-be-sunny morning. I was in Edmonds with extra time on my hands, so I headed for a driftwood bench lodged in fluffy, grey sand near the ferry dock, and took a seat. The sand was smooth and saturated at the edge of the receding tide. A heron waded in the shallows, bobbing for minnows. I breathed in the salty sea air while distant ferryboats, concealed by thick fog on the sound, honked to alert each other of their whereabouts. The breeze was cool and yet I felt the sun beginning to warm my back from behind the dissolving clouds. Waves lapped. Gulls shrieked. Children frolicked. Power walkers chatted. The water, and the activities on the shore, always help to clear my head and restore my soul.
  • Whatever we planned for Father’s Day suddenly changed when my wife sprained her ankle Saturday night. I doubled my efforts to watch our toddler daughters while Celeste stayed off her feet. But then Annaleigh and Amelia "got loose," outside when I was taking out the trash. They seemed to be having the time of their lives playing in the gravel! I thought, "might as well weed a little." The girls joined in the "fun." Soon, I was in full yard-barber mode while they played together, taking the weeds I’d just pulled, out of the yard waste can faster than I could put them in. I put down a lawn blanket and brought out a lawn chair and stool for Celeste. What fun celebrating Father’s Day together on the front lawn!
  • Some memories are made
  • The stoplights swung in the windy downpour, as I waited at a busy intersection on Highway 99. A man, with long hair, beard and an inadequate jacket, entered the empty crosswalk. Immune to the weather, he walked into one of the lanes to pick up what looked like a dark coat. No, it was a black cat, recently hit by a car. He tenderly picked it up by the nap of the neck and tail. The small creature lay limp on the wet sidewalk, as the man knelt to feel for any sign of life. I was moved by his compassion and humility.  It reminded me that my response to daily situations that appear unlovely, insignificant or disruptive can be the very way I can make the biggest impact.
  • While framing photos of my daughters for our “memory hallway,” both girls were at my feet, inviting me to read books with them on the floor.
  • How do you stick with a routine or goal? Or simply maintain your perspective? One of my favorite tips, so far, from the New Year-New You Challenge at is, “to stop and look at the stars, once in awhile.” It reminds me to “smell the roses;” to count my blessings. Like, reflecting on my fondest experiences with my mother, on the 1-year anniversary of her passing. Or seeing my wife and 2 daughters wave from the breakfast-nook window as I back out of the driveway; the youngest, straining to peer over the top of the sill. So grateful when I am present enough to notice and enjoy such things.  No doubt, there is a wealth of simple richness right in front of you to savor, too!
  • What do you do with unpleasant feelings? They always seem to catch me off guard. Sometimes I feel that if I’m not happy, comfortable, or excited, then there’s something wrong; that feeling uncomfortable is a problem I need to solve rather than a gift.  
  • Do you ever feel like God is continually circling you back to him? I do. Everyday seems to present the opportunity to be reacquainted with the same fundamental truth. I find myself looking elsewhere, looking for more, even within the pages of the Bible, for some additional message, I guess.
  • I don’t know many people whose lives have not been touched, in some way, by cancer. For me, so far, it has been through both of my parents. We lost dad in 1993 after a 2-year battle. My mother, on the other hand, outlived unique diagnoses for breast and lung cancers by over 8 years. She passed away this year due to other causes.
  • Singer, Jamie Grace, reached out not long ago sharing a GoFundMe account for her mother's medical expenses. The family has been battling various health issues for years. Mama Mona has, unfortunately, been no exception facing a very rare illness leading her to countless ER visits. 

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