Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 8, 2020 1:40:27 PM

May 21, 2020

Years ago I was introduced to the Franklin-Covey system of time management.  I used the be that guy who carried around  5 ring binder calendar system. It was marvelous!  It had a monthly calendar, and daily breakdown calendars.  Each page had a To-Do list.  Every morning I would write down my list of things to accomplish.  We call those our “big rocks” today, but back then, it was a To Do list. 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

The Love of Thousands

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 8, 2020 1:38:01 PM

May 19, 2020

When I was in middle school I somehow stumbled into the band room and found myself enrolled in the school brass ensemble.  I had no idea how to play an instrument.  My father played guitar some, but never taught me.  My grandmother played the piano at church, but I never found the keys in the right order.  So I had no idea why I was in this room full of 6th and 7th graders who’d been practicing their respective instruments for years.  But there I was, on the very last row, in the very last chair, pretending to know how to play the trumpet.  It was not pretty. 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Rainy Days and Mondays

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 9:24:20 AM

May 18, 2020

What is they say about rainy days and Mondays?  It’s so dark outside and the rain feels cold and I just want to curl up with my pups and take a long nap.  Today is not the day for naps, however.  There’s much to be done and there’s little time to do it all.  So we press on hoping that once the day’s work is complete, we can go to sleep satisfied that we’ve done our best. Tomorrow, as Annie sings, the sun will come out tomorrow! 

At least I hope it does.  The older I get the less fun rain puddles and wet shoes becomes.  In fact, I have never been much of a puddle jumper.  I hate wet socks and cold feet!  Why would anyone jump into gross muddy water?  That’s how you get trichinosis!!! Okay, maybe that’s undercooked meat products but still…I’m sure there’s something in there I don’t want touching me! 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Forgotten Joy

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 9:19:12 AM

May 14, 2020

So I fully intended on writing this yesterday.  Things got kind of hectic at my house.  Today was going to be more productive.  But still, there were many things that needed to be done before I could sit down and clearly write.  So forgive me for being late today and absent yesterday.  Sometimes life gets in the way. 

One thing I know is that life doesn’t always follow a plan.  Well, we’ve talked about that before.  Every time I have a plan come together something happens that reminds me that there are other mitigating circumstances influencing the outcome.  I’m simply not as in control as I think I am. 

Sometimes terrible and ugly things happen upon our lives.  For no reason or fault of our own, life happens. C’est la vie!  As a friend of mine recently put it, life is life and sometimes, we’re not good at it!  That’s probably the most profound thing I’ve heard in a long time. 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

The Next Right Thing

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 9:07:41 AM

May 12, 2020

I came across a Facebook challenge recently that asked people to post their senior year pictures from high school to show solidarity to graduates who are not allowed to have their graduation or commencement exercises.  I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have worked so hard to reach a goal and not be able to celebrate its accomplishment.  Graduation ceremonies are being postponed or cancelled all over the country. 

Can you imagine being an 18 year old today?  Can you imagine having to imagine your place in a world marked by pandemic?  

Can you imagine having to answer those questions like “What’s next for you?” or “Where are you going from here?”

Can you imagine trying to see the future in a time when everything is hard and nothing is clear?

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services


Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 9:03:08 AM

May 11, 2020

I hope the past weekend was kind to you.  I hope today wasn’t too much Monday for you.  I hope this evening you find rest and feel restored.  I hope something makes you laugh.  I hope something makes you take a deep breath and hold it in because it’s too wonderful to ignore.  I hope you pass a child or god or cat and smile.  I hope you see some wild thing and are reminded that you too are free to run and play.  I hope that as you gather the remnants of the day, you gather yourself gently and with kindness.  I hope you count the stars and galaxies above your head and are reminded of just how small you are and yet how incredibly enough you are for you are made of the same dust. 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services


Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 9:00:23 AM

May 8, 2020

When I was in high school, my friend invited me to a summer church youth retreat.  I’ve been to youth group with him a few times.  Everyone seemed friendly and the youth minister seemed like a nice guy.  So I decided sure, I can spend a week with you people at a water park retreat.  On the first morning of the retreat, I came face to face with one of my biggest fears.  The youth minister, whom I had hoped would be my friend, ruined everything.  At 7 a.m. Richard knocked on our hotel door, came inside, and woke us up by singing “rise and shine, give God the glory, glory” and jumping on our beds!  Richard was a morning person!  

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Stubborn Persistence

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 7:33:38 AM

May 7, 2020

I’m old enough to remember life before Common Core math.  When I was learning to add and subtract, it was all about carrying the 1 and adding columns from right to left.  Well, at least that’s what they tried to teach me.  What actually happened was that I was so bad at basic math my teacher gave me an old film canister full of buttons so I could have a visual representation of the math equations.  I’d count out my buttons.  Take away the number of buttons in the equation and count what was left.  So if the problem was 10 minus 3 I could visualize 7 buttons left over in the pile. 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Jump In Any Way

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 7:25:41 AM

May 6, 2020

When I turned 30 (no, I will not tell you how long ago that was) I made a pact with myself.  I promised to reevaluate my auto responses to things that scared me.  So, I told myself, if I come across an activity or situation that scared me, I would take time to actually consider doing it instead of automatically saying no.  My mantra was “if it scares you, do it.”  It didn’t always mean I’d muster the courage to take on new adventures but it did mean I’d take a second or third look at a situation rather than dismiss it out of hand.

Fast forward a couple of years.  I’m spending the summer of 2010 serving as a counselor for The Ulster Project, a summer long peace making program for Northern Irish teens who come to the US to experiment with building relationships and working through social difference.  Every summer the Ulster Project of East Tennessee takes the teens (half from Northern Ireland, half from the US/half Catholic, half Protestant) to Dollywood for a day of fun.  It’s the highlight of the summer!  It was for me too, until a fellow counselor said to me “ride this rollercoaster with me!!!”

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services


Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 7:21:11 AM

May 5, 2020

When I was a young my father tried, to his chagrin and deep disappointment, to teach me how to fish.  It went something like this: Ok son, the first lesson baiting your hook with these earthworms…Why are you crying?  It’s just a worm…it can’t bite you…Ok, so plastic worms it is!  Then, casting…it’s literally just flicking the wrist and moving your thumb…you can do this…ok, hang on to it…why is your pole in the lake, we’ll try again…and again…ok, now reel it in, nice and slow…don’t let it drop to the bottom…well now I have to cut the line off…Ok well, bobbers it is…wait, don’t be impatient…when it goes under pull back hard…Ok…that’s a hook in your leg, it’s ok, it’ll come out!  Let me get my plyers…see, isn’t this fun!!!!!

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

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