February 2020 E-News
The Joy We Give
“Find out where joy resides, and give it a voice, far beyond singing.
For to miss the joy is to miss all."
 Robert Louis Stevenson
Who helps you to play? Who helps you be a little less serious? The answer I hear most often to this question is either children or pets. Many of us somber adults are able to loosen up a bit around younger people or animals. But sometimes there is a friend or family member that can also help us be a little less self-conscious. A relationship like that is a wonderful gift.

Did you see the movie Two Popes ? If not, I highly recommend it. There is a wonderful scene toward the end of the movie when Pope Benedict is saying goodbye to then Archbishop Bergoglio of Argentina (now Pope Francis). Pope Benedict was nothing if not a serious man. But somehow the Archbishop is able to teach him a few steps of the tango as they said goodbye. It is a beautiful scene watching this rigid man known as “God’s Rottweiler” loosening up with the help of the freer Argentine.  

Sometimes I fear that I too have become too serious. The pressures of adulthood have a way of doing that. And God knows there is plenty to worry about in the world. So today I give thanks for the friends and family members who help me to lighten up, and take myself a little less seriously. Just thinking of them makes me smile.
Doug sig

Cut from a Different Cloth

There are some people in our lives who have the innate ability to make us laugh. They untie the strings that bind us so tightly together and stop us from taking ourselves too seriously. They tease the hell out of us, tickle our funny bone, and put a smile on our face all at the same time. My friend Robin is guilty of all three.
Living in the same condominium building for over ten years, Robin and I became good friends. We’d pass each other on the stairs running to and from work, or wherever else we were headed.

Simple “Hi’s” morphed into mind blowing conversations such as the strange smell coming from apt. C2, or the downstairs neighbor whose new dog Pee Wee could pass for a small mountain bear.

Robin was the perfect bookend to my more reserved and quiet self. She hated predictability. I thrived on it. She traveled extensively for her job. I was chained to my desk. She started sweating when the temperature rose to 65. I’d look for another sweater to wear under my coat. But what I liked most about Robin was her ability to shake loose her inhibitions and embrace the moment.

It was Easter Sunday and I invited Robin to mass. But what I grew accustomed to in my church every Sunday, had taken Robin by surprise. She didn’t know that our one and only female singer was in desperate need of voice lessons. Not only did her high- pitched voice make you wish you had stuffed large cotton balls into your ears, it was impossible for her to stay on key.

As we both listened to her special rendition of “Amazing Grace”, Robin’s face turned red. Then her shoulders began to shake. She sank further down into her seat trying to bury her head into her hands hanging on to what little composure she had left. She couldn’t stop laughing.

She looked up at me with pleading eyes to somehow try and make the singing stop. Seeing that helpless look on her face, I dug my nails into my arm trying my best to keep from laughing too. But it was no use, we both succumbed to our inner child and came undone. No amount of “Amazing Grace” could save us.

Alice Barbera
Reflection Question
Who helps you lighten up? What helps you to "play"?
Keeping it Fun
The Tallapoosa Possum Drop, a New Year's Eve Tradition

That's where Bud and Jackie Jones, career taxidermists, live. They helped establish a completely different kind of New Year's Eve tradition in their small town. Bud and Jackie came to StoryCorps recently to share the love story that helped launch ...

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Chicago Area Men's Retreat
Like a Virgin
What Men Can Learn from the Mother of Jesus
March 13-15, 2020

To register: CLICK HERE
Denver Area Women's Retreat
Unleashing Your Inner Power:
Exploring Healing, Mysticism, and Creativity
June 5-7, 2020

For more information: www.lumunos.org/dwr
To register: CLICK HERE
February Blog
Prayer for Our Stumbles

I'm trying to adopt the habit of standing on one foot at a time while I brush my teeth. Because I use a toothbrush that beeps at 30-second intervals for two mi

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Doug Wysockey-Johnson   doug@lumunos.org     
Dan Quinlan   dan@lumunos.org  
Rebecca Perry-Hill becca@lumunos.org