"Look into my eyes..."

Can you remember that saying from cartoon characters of times past?  It was usually uttered by a vampire or villain who was trying to put his victim into a trance, simply by having them look into his eyes.  It was usually followed by the victim succumbing to the villain’s commands, and then committing something dastardly that they wouldn’t have done if they hadn’t looked into the villain’s eyes and fallen into his trance.  Watching the cartoons as a kid, I often yelled out loud at times like those knowing what would happen, “No, don’t look into his eyes!”

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Sarah Gillihan
What have you been dreaming about lately?

I woke up this morning from a dream I was having.  It was a dream that made me feel frustrated, unprepared and nervous.  I dreamt that I had been drafted into the Marines and was commanded to prepare for a several day long march and I didn’t know what to take with me.  We were leaving shortly and the seasoned soldiers around me were ready to go, packs on their backs full of what they were going to need, and they weren’t being very helpful in providing me with some assistance.I felt lost and anxious, suspected that I was most likely going to mess this all up being unprepared, and as a result probably suffer for it…both verbally and physically.  I realized in my dream that I was not prepared for this march, and really had no idea of what to do.  My final memory of this dream was that all the other soldiers were taller than me, by maybe two feet.  I felt like a shrimp around these guys!  Good thing I woke up and it was just a nightmare, but I couldn’t help but think, “Where the heck did that come from?"

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Sarah Gillihan
What are your gifts, and are you using them?

Everyone has been given gifts.  I’m not talking about boxes wrapped in pretty paper with ribbons around them.  I mean gifts as a contributing member of the human race.  Each person on the planet was created with gifts within them that are waiting to be utilized for the benefit of others.  Let me give you some examples.  Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has a gift; can you guess what it is?  How about Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings?  Having a unique ability that allows you to perform a specific purpose well is what I call a gift.  Have you ever thought about what your gifts are?  If you don’t know what they are, then how can you focus on using them?If you would like to discover what your gifts are there is a simple way to do that. 

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Sarah Gillihan
Letters from the Heart - Marriage

Spring is in the air.  Hyacinth, daffodils, and tulips are all blooming with amazing colors and fragrances…and yes the grass is greening up in my yard and seems to be growing faster this spring than in years past.  With the spring flowers and warmer weather also comes romance.  Couples seem to pair up more rapidly after the long cold winter, holding hands as they take walks amidst the cherry blossoms in the drier weather.  This is also the time when recently engaged “brides to be” are busy planning their wedding.

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Sarah Gillihan
Letters from the Heart - Father's Day

Today, the eve of Father’s Day weekend, I am taking a few moments to reflect on what it means to be a father. I am a father, have been since 1983, and I am hoping to be a grandfather sometime in the future.One of our team members at work just celebrated the birth of his first child a few weeks ago, a son he named Conner. Some of us went to the hospital the next day to congratulate the new, proud parents and I even got to hold the little guy for a while. So small, so delicate, so fragile, yet so perfect. What a rush of emotions went through my mind as I held that little boy. It took me back many years to the moment I held my son in my arms for the very first time. He was just a few seconds old, and try as I may right now, I simply can’t begin to put into words what that experience felt like for me…to become a father.

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Sarah Gillihan
"It's the most wonderful time of the year" ... really, Andy?

The title of a song written by Edward Pola and George Wyle on October 14, 1963 and romantically introduced to the world by Andy Williams in his now famous The Andy Williams Christmas Album.  This song speaks of “kids jingle belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer”.  “It’s the hap-happiest season of all, with holiday greetings, parties for hosting, friends coming to call, and caroling out in the snow”.  “Hearts will be glowing”, and “much mistltoeing” are the images Andy Williams croons to his listeners as he creates a euphoric fantasy that seems to be more about, well … days gone by. This is a song that brings very strong, pleasurable feelings every time I hear it.  It’s one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time.  As I listen to the words, I find myself wishing it were actually true in our world today.  Frankly, having just celebrated Christmas a week ago, I need to say that those 48 hours or so weren’t the “hap-happiest season of all” for me.  At times, yes, I was happy and joyful, but there were also moments of just normalcy, along with some stress, high anxiety, and a little discouragement thrown in for good measure.

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Sarah Gillihan
Whose money is it anyway?

I like to give when asked, and encourage others to do the same, because I have experienced the true joy that comes with giving. In most needy circumstances, I have a tender heart and give when asked, even if it is only a small amount that I can give. I do it with a cheerful heart, most of the time, but there are times that I have caught myself being reluctant to give. These are times where the person asking for money is standing at an intersection or in the grocery store parking lot with a sign stating that they are homeless. In those circumstances, I have a voice in my heart that says, “It’s a scam, don’t give them anything.” Up until recently, I have listened to that voice and rarely given to that cause.

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Sarah Gillihan