By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Her soul is hidden and tucked away, coming out in unexpected halting intervals.
    Sylvia …
    I watch for her, listen for her, and assist her in the most aggressive manner possible, enjoying the tidbits of reality that yet compose her aging mind and body.
    She is here with me one moment and gone the next.
    Her worn hand holds readily and steadily to mine.
    Her whims, wants, and trials are articulated without a word through understood body and facial inflection.
    She is as vulnerable as a child:
    Trusting. Sincere. Simple.
    Devoted to mindless tasks and obsessed by scattered fragments of her imagination.
    She speaks of her deceased son and is consumed this day with concern over his grave marker.
    I know what will settle her and it’s mine to give.
    “Let’s take a ride, Sylvia,” I suggest.
    She is quieted immediately by the suggestion … and something akin to the face of a “child at Christmas” meets me. She enjoys the ride immensely and shares the details of faded neighborhood gossip from years gone by with me. For a moment I’m an enlightened guest welcome to privy confidences and sworn to the highest secrecies.
    And then …
    The memories of neighbors fade away and a mother’s mind is consumed with her deceased son.
    It’s a beautiful cemetery, peaceful and conducive for meditation and reflection. I help her out of the car and she leans into me, entirely invested in the sacred stone which has garnered her concern. We wipe off the marker and my presence withdraws itself by a few steps in order to respect a needed privacy. She prays silently several moments, makes the familiar Catholic “sign of the cross,” and then reaches for me.
    She points to a little naked hole in the ground and is bothered by the missing “pinwheel” that has been robbed from her son’s grave.
    The little “pinwheel” is a creative colorful reminder to her of her son;
    the wind blows through it and a mother’s eyes see her child.
    I hold her hand and suggest we replace it … and the “child face at Christmas” appears again.
    We make our way to a local Dollar Store and I pray that a pinwheel can be located in it.
    Wonder of wonders ….
    A delightful box of rainbow colored pinwheels meets my eyes and I know that it's God.
    I select a neon green one and blow on it upon my exit from the store and the beautiful face of a joyful aged mother, in the passenger seat of my car, nods an affirmative “yes” with the thumbs-up.
    “We did good,” she says.
    She holds my hand and we drive silently back together engaged in private thoughts of our own. We return to the stone and the small pleasure of a colorful pinwheel adorning her son’s grave is placed beside it.
    She asks me to blow on it and is satisfied, consoled, and quieted.
    Sylvia …
    There are things we do daily to show love …
    sometimes the cost is great and sometimes the cost is small.
    But I think the thing that’s most desirable, in the end, is a combination of time and thoughtfulness.
    When we love beautifully and not dutifully,
    creatively and not condemningly …
    the colors of a pinwheel emerge.
    Pinwheel Love.


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    He cares about the sparrow small,
    He clothes the lily sweet;
    There’s not a single care or need,
    But God alone will meet.

    Limitations don’t exist,
    And nothing does appear;
    To give the great Creator,
    Any cause for any fear.

    Nothing can alarm Him,
    Nor surprise Him ‘bout your need;
    Nothing can detract Him,
    He will always intercede.

     For He careth for the sparrow,
    And He clothes the lily sweet;
    Every need that He’s created,
    He intends to fully meet.
    “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
    Matthew 10:29-31


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Prayer is powerful.
    You can achieve more in fifteen minutes on your knees than fifteen hours on your feet.
    Prayer is the place where intimacy is exchanged with the Almighty and the flesh is permeated and dominated by the Spirit.
    Prayer is the place where the posture of the knees changes the posture of the soul.
    Prayer is the place where we quiet ourselves and recognize that we do not wield the control over our circumstances and lives that we like to believe.
    Prayer is a place where we surrender.
    Through prayer God …
    Inhabits us with His Spirit.
    Infuses us with His power.
    Instills us with His presence.
    Implants us with His desires.
    When problems persist, doubts assail, and fears threaten to derail ...
    Get on your knees and pray.
    Go nowhere else.
    Fifteen minutes in the presence of God can change your life.
    Prayer is powerful.
    “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”
    -Abraham Lincoln


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    A vision board is one of the most inexpensive and valuable investments you can make in realizing your dreams and accomplishing your goals.
    A few basic purchases are needed:
    +A white board (a 3' x 2' works great)
    +Bright colored sticky notes (the colors make a difference and a variation is helpful)
    +Black Sharpie permanent marker (fine point works best)
    Get your board up and get after it:
    1) For starters, assign yourself ONE positive tangible goal and attach a deadline date to it.
    Put it on your favorite colored sticky note and place it in the middle or top of the board.
    Would you like to earn a degree? Go back to school? Make more money? Start a business? Run a marathon? Begin an exercise program?
    Know your goal and date it.
    The more specific you are ... the more likely you are to accomplish your goal.
    +Cindy wants to run the Boston Marathon in 2020. This is specific and excellent!
    In asserting "which" marathon she desires to run, Cindy has nailed down a specific date (Monday, April 20th,) and registration deadline (it was September 9th, 2019). Cindy has to have a qualifying time now and meet specific standards in order to run the Boston. By virtue of marathon, Cindy has provided herself with a strong blueprint of definitive goals and steps to get herself there.
    Cindy's aim is "bulls-eye" clear and her target is centered.
    *The value of being specific can't be emphasized enough.
    2) Assign days of the week (Monday - Friday) on different sticky note colors and place them vertically, horizontally, or in a circle around your goal. Each day of the week should be written in large caps because the days of the week will remain permanently on the board. Enjoy utilizing a variation of color and make it work for you. Maybe the colors will mean something specific to you or maybe you just like to assign yourself vibrant eye-catching colors that energize you on specific days.
    *If you assign the sticky side to the far left, you create a "flap" and can attach goals, like dominoes, directly behind. 
    This is my method of choice and works wonderfully.
    3) Assign yourself tangible steps each day of the week toward the accomplisment of your goal. A minimum of three and a maximum of twelve should be considered. I'm an extremist so you can do the math and envision how colorful my board is.
    Assign one goal per sticky note and begin to layer and domino them behind each day. If you keep the sticky side to the left all the way through, it looks like colored dominos on your beautiful visionary board, and makes them easy to pull or check off!
    Some cringe at the amount of sticky notes gone through but I think it's delicious fun and worth a few bucks every couple weeks. I also like the suggestion that my goals are worth an investment.
    Create your own order, style, and method of organization; the important thing is to make it work for you. Try different methods and get comfortable in arranging and rearranging your sticky notes.
    4) Select two days of rest.
    Generally, the weekend days are chosen but select whatever days work best for you.
    If you didn't accomplish all of your goals Monday through Friday, utilize one of these days as a catch-up day. If you accomplished all your goals, celebrate the achievement in a tangible way that's linked to your goal!
    +A celebratory splurge for Cindy, for example, might be a pair of amazing running socks or outdoor running gloves.
    +If Allen's goal is to own a mechanic shop, his splurge might be a Mechanic's magazine or a new tool.
    The splurge item doesn't have to cost anything and might mean simply going somewhere special or taking in a special view which speaks concretely to your dream.
    The important thing is to recognize and reward your achievements and celebrate them in a tangible way that heightens your awareness of your dream and keeps you moving forward.
    *Feel free to enlist me if you need help, encouragement, or advice on your goal-setting journey. I love empowering others.
    Envision it ... and go for it!
    "Committing your goals to paper increases the likelihood of your achieving them by one thousand percent."
    -Brian Tracy


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Without effort and without trying ... we find we are each curiously good at something special.
    The more natural the thing happens to be, the less likely we are able to recognize it in ourselves as anything significant or special. Our adeptness and comfort in doing certain things well, over time, tends to get overlooked because it's like breathing ... a natural part of life.
    But the thing we do well might just turn to gold. We never can tell.
    Coins and Colors:
    +Colin worked at a meat-packing plant for fifteen years. He found the work to be boring and unsatisfying but he found the paycheck and benefits to be outstanding and supremely satisfying.
    Then something exciting happened one curious evening:
    Colin found himself seated next to a coworker's spouse at an annual company Christmas party. The gentleman, named Peter, had a great interest in coin collecting. In fact, not only did he have an interest in coin collecting, Peter happened to own a company that specialized in rare coin collections.
    Unbeknownst to him and even the other employees, Colin had been a private coin collector all of his life, and a quiet one at that.
    When Peter mentioned a rare coin through trivial conversation at the table, Colin piped in and shared his knowledge about both the coin and the fact that he, himself, was in possession of this certain treasure which Peter spoke of.
    Peter looked at him in utter astonishment,
    "Are you kidding me?"
    As a young boy, Peter learned that Colin loved the little frame collectors that housed dated pennies, nickles, and quarters. Every Christmas he was gifted with a new coin collection kit of some kind and, every year in response, he had learned more about coins. Over the years and out of love for coins, Colin had become a walking encylopedia on all areas and subjects coin related.
    One week and countless conversations later (including a personal glimpse of Colin's coin collection,) Peter offered him the vocation of a lifetime.
    Colin is now a chief employee at a rare coin and history shop in the US which does a great deal of work around the world. Not only is he having the time of his life; he's become a supremely regarded and respected Chair and "coin consultant" in the collecting business. Colin's love affair with coins translated into a lucrative, "unthought of" career with coins.
    We love it!
    +Danielle worked as a seamstress at a local alteration shop for several years. The work wasn't great but the pay was decent and Danielle liked her employer.
    A woman of wealth, who happened to frequent the business, liked the look and style of Danielle. She noted the way Danielle put clothing combinations together and then could pull them off beautifully.
    She asked Danielle if she'd be willing to be a personal clothing consultant for her, and suggested to Danielle that she had an apparent and obvious gift for eye and attire.
    Hmmm ... interesting.
    Danielle graduated from part-time to full-time clothing consultant in less than two weeks and was engaged in a 50+ hour business venture which included turning classy clientel down.
    Danielle loves her new "unthought" of vocation and is now a leading voice in the clothing and beauty industry all because she "wore her colors" and simply got noticed.
    We love it!
    It's easy to overlook and undervalue that which comes naturally and easiest, but there just may be gold in it ... and we may find ourselves surprised and delighted when we least expect it.
    Invest in your coins, wear your colors beautifully, and keep doing what you love.
    There's only one you ...
    And only you do it best.
    And all of a sudden there I was ... doing that thing which I'd always done but now being compensated so deliciously.
    It was wild and crazy good ...
    And better than a dream.



    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    All stoked up and somewhere to go.
    The word "stoke" means to stir and enflame, to intensify and aggravate a flame as it relates to fire, in order to inspire more warmth and light.
    -Darrelyn's definition.
    We're all driven by passions and desires that stoke us.
    Our attention to, and assessment of these "stokers" is invaluable in intersecting us with opportunity, change, and challenge.
    An inspiring stoking story:
    From childhood Kevin loved the scent of wood shavings and his Grandfather's woodworking shop. Kevin's first project with his Grandfather was a "stump turned stepping stool" by which Kevin carved and etched little simple cuttings into it while his Grandfather's fingers and tools worked around him.
    The project between Grandson and Grandfather was a remarkable success and the memory still remains one of Kevin's fondest.
    Kevin either stood or sat on that stool for the rest of his life while he whittled and worked side by side with his Grandfather on countless woodworking projects.
     A passion for woodworking was stoked early and wonderfully in him by his Grandfather.
    Not surprisingly, by the age of fifteen, Kevin felt himself capable of building a home. This isn't to say that he actually could, it simply implies and suggests that his Grandfather had stoked a remarkable confidence in him at an early age that translated into a very successful career of cabinetry later in life.
    Kevin took on apprenticeship roles throughout his 20's from leading cabinetry makers around the country and continued to broaden his education, wisdom, and understanding in woodworking and custom cabinetry. For this reason and in this way, Kevin became well known, well-liked, and almost revered in the end for his incredible woodworking gift.
    Kevin effectively stoked his gift of woodworking through a continual investment in it throughout his life:
    Physically. Mentally. Vocationally. Educationally. Financially.
    Kevin allowed resources around him to prod, poke, and enflame the embers already heated up inside of him for woodworking and always identified himself a "student" of woodworking.
    The rest is history.
    Mmmm ...
    Being "stoked" requires wisdom, humility, discretion, and the ability to learn.
    Being stoked is becoming a student of that thing which you love and bettering yourself throughout the rest of your life in it. It's recognizing that you never fully "arrive," you only actualize and enable yourself to dream and create more.
    This is what keeps passion moving to the fore ... and keeps a man stoked.
    How about you ...
    Are you invested in stoking your dreams, gifts, and desires?
    +Take an adventure to a place that stokes you.
    +Read a book and get educationally and mentally stoked.
    +Take on a project and fire-up the stoking process.
    +Intersect an individual who pokes and stokes you.
    But be in earnest about it, my friend.
    Stroke for stroke ... stoke for stoke.
    Get stoked!
    "I think you should just go for it."


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Two voices spoke from single face:
    One named truth, the other grace.
    Truth was stern, direct, and strong;
    Truth declared the right from wrong.

    Truth proclaimed the pure and right;
    Truth distinguished dark from light.
    Everything he spoke was true,
    Truth had perfect point of view.

    Overwhelmed by all he said,
    I sat, I wept, and bowed my head.
    And then in depths of great despair,
    Another spoke to me with care.

    The name behind the voice was grace,
    He wiped the tears upon my face;
    And gently did he speak my name,
    And comfort weary broken frame.

    “I’ve come prepared to comfort you,
    Truth has come … but I have too.
    Linked and joined as one we go,
    Our goal to aid and make to grow.

    Wherever truth should be declared,
    Grace shall also be prepared.
    Both are needed, both are good,
    And when combined be as they should.

    Wise in heart and wise in way,
    Will heed and hear what both will say.”
    And Christ, Himself, the single face,
    Behind the voice of truth and grace.
    And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
    -John 1:14


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    Leo Tolstoy is to my undoing.
    I blame him for my mind's preoccupation and fault him for his gift to write since he's the one responsible for writing ANNA KARENINA, the book which I can't lay down. His writing absorbs me entirely ... sparking creativity, curiosity, passion, and a host of emotions dormant within. He challenges my discipline to daily routine to the last degree and I've about given myself over to him.
    Leo Tolstoy has mastered me ...
    And what have I to say but that I've only 655 pages left to turn.
    Complex. Confusing. Ingenious. Intoxicating. Brilliant. Passionate. Provoking.
    Leo Tolstoy was all of these things.
    From his early childhood and into later years he experienced the raw ramifications of life and death to the extremes and intersected the ability to speak to them through pen.
    His words are graphic and colorful;
    as are his plots, climates, and characters.
    He is absolutely, definitively addicting.
     He speaks to the human condition wonderfully and applies all conditions. A man familiar with the rigors, hardships, and disappointments of life, he is true to his word and his words are true of him.
    Truths about Leo Tolstoy:
    +His relationships were tumultuous.
    +His temperament was uneven.
    +His moods were monstrous.
    +His intensity was inconsolable.
    His life was a great concoction of irrefutable questionings and questions.
    He was bred a throroughbred through trial and strain and no one could race through a pen quite like Leo.
    The temptation to feel ourselves "alone" is part of the human condition and part of life.
    And yet everytime we pick up a book and engage in the lives of others, we find an instant and mutual camaraderie which speaks to us of commonality and humanity, and brushes gently against our "aloneness" and gives us hope.
    Great and daring minds inspire.
    Honest and true souls light a fire.
    Raw and real souls dare to inquire and thereby challenge the rest.
    Questioning minds question and speak authoritatively and truthfully to the human condition and dare to say what others have never dared to say all along ... and this is why we love such authors so.
    To Leo and all the inflammatory, impassioned individuals who dare to "be" and dare to write ... may the pen press on and prevail.
    May the dot of an i and the stroke of a t be of great defining.
     I dared to write how I saw the world ... 
    and the whole world changed.
    -Darrelyn L. Tutt


    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    The ferocious rush from there to here and here to there is everywhere:
    Horns blaring.
    People glaring.
    Middle-fingers daring.
    Tempers flaring.
    Vacant staring.
    Souls despairing.
    Hmmm ...
    All it takes is more than "three" in a grocery store line and a slow response by a second at the stoplight to agitate an already agitated soul.
    Things get dark in a hurry and it's because of all the flurry.
    Don't we know?
    It's rough out there but it's warm in here ... take off your coat and sit awhile.
    Let me get you a warm cup of coffee or tea and a piece of fine chocolate because I'm crazy about it ... and a carb "indulge" is healthy for the soul every now and again.
     Put your feet up and grab the snuggly plaid blanket on the end of my couch and make yourself comfortable and at home.
    If you want your feet rubbed or your toenails polished, I'm game for that too.
    But talk to me now and tell me ...
    Tell me about the state of your soul.
    I'm listening.
     What are you reading?
    What are you thinking?
     Where are you growing?
    What are you knowing or not knowing?
    Tell me ... I want to know.
    Tell me about who you are, where you've been, and where you're going.
    Tell me about your past achievements and your upcoming goals.
    Tell me how I can be of help to you and how I can best advance you.
    Tell me about your pace and the spaces and places you've visited recently.
     Tell me where you'd like to go and with whom you'd like to go.
    Share your interests, ideals, and ideas.
    Slow down. Settle down. Sit down. 
    Stay awhile.
    Breathe ...
    The deep desires and cravings of the human soul are not diminished or satisfied through business and flurry of activity but through healthy relationship, realness, rawness, time, and shared identity.
    When the soul quits craving these necessities ... it is no longer a soul but only a mechanism or machine in very bad need of repair.
    In applying a few concrete remedies we can free ourselves and help others greatly.
    Here's a few practical suggestions I've implemented and found valuable:
    +The clock on our living room wall was removed. It looks and feels sensational. You can't believe what a difference it makes to the mind!
    When others are with me I want them to feel like time stands still and they are all that matters in the moment. 
    +Technology and social media are shut down in the presence of others.
    If absense makes the heart grow fonder ... a text or phone call can "wait" just a little bit longer. 
    The presence of others is a gift to be valued, treasured, respected, and appreciated in a tangible, audible, and visible way. 
    +Reading is encouraged and books are on hand.
    Books are a safe and healthy haven to return to; a concrete way to encourage and challenge one another back to normalcy and into relationship.
    Reading builds relationship.
    Increases intelligence.
    Fosters growth.
    What an enablement and encouragement a timely book can be.
    Indeed, this very moment I've got the new series of "Little House" books sitting here waiting for a certain soul who will soon devour them!
    What delicious fun it is to be thoughtful and kind. And what welcome fodder for conversation and relationship in the future.
    Maybe you have some ideas for me.
    I welcome them.
    But more than your ideas ... I want and welcome you.
    The craving for relationship, companionship, and growth can't be overstated; it's in all of us though some of us need reminding.
    There's nothing quite like the mess and meanderings of honest souls being real in the presence of one another to bring together and make whole.
    There's two souls on both sides of every door and both are craving more.
    We need to remember.



    By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

    The farmer tills the soil and plants the seed.
    Similarly, word furrows are lines of words plowed and burrowed into us from our childhood and to this day.
    The stronger and more emphatically words are pronounced and announced over us, the deeper the furrow and plow into the soul's soil.
    Rich deep furrows suggest a rich deep harvest ... of some kind.
    What do I hope to do through words but plant furrows of my own inside of you.
    "The best word shakers were the ones who understood the true power of words. They were the ones who could climb the highest."
    -Markus Zusak

    It ought to be suggested that at any given moment we have the power to change our lives by simply changing our vocabulary. In applying wholesome, energizing, and purposeful words to ourselves and to others we remedy almost any and every negative condition and render to ourselves a positive outcome of grace, acceptance, and success.
    Consider word furrows:
    +Shane was governed by rigid, hateful words and strict discipline from early childhood. Hate seeds planted early by both of his parents were fostered and furrowed deep into the lad's tender heart where they lay dormant and later developed.
    But not negatively as some might suppose and suggest.
    Shane explored the positive world of words through books ... of which he had access to many. He delved into the rich resource of great mens' lives and learned that many had developed success later in life by acclimating themselves to the difficulties and hardships imposed and furrowed into them in younger years of life and then utilizing them later as hopeful resources of wisdom, compassion, and resilience.
    Indeed, Shane's outlook began to be curiously and beautifully governed and bettered through thoughtfully recreating scenarios on paper and constructing hopeful outcomes. He declared himself to be a "paper-shaker," an effective writer and climber who would ultimately live to empower others and advocate possibility and potential where others saw negativity and problems.
    Shane is a hope-breeder, a life-feeder, and a positive "seeder."
    His positive words to others are bore from deep furrows of sustained and prolonged pain ... and then transformed into a great and enriching harvest empowerment whereby others are given hope.
    A positive word furrow is a very forcible thing.
      "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas change the world."
    -John Keating

    +Kara's elementary teacher enlisted a positive word furrow into Kara's life that took root and grew up into her adulthood. Cupping young Kara's drooping and tired head into her hands, Miss Trumane spoke a well entrenched life furrow:
    "I predict a life for you teeming with success, Kara. Your mind is brilliant, your writing is good, and your earnest thoughtfulness is demonstratively employed in compassion and consideration to others. You possess rare virtues at an early age and will be a woman talked about one day. Leave home at home. See beyond."
    And that's just what Kara did.
    A forceful writer and eloquent speaker, Kara advocates and champions childrens' rights today. She affects the world around her with possibility and positivity and spreads a hopeful harvest wherever she goes.
    Kara is a hope carrier and positive seed planter. She deposits and delivers bottomless, positive words into scarred and furrowed souls and she makes a beautiful difference in both the planting and harvest wherever she goes.
    A positive word furrow is a very empowering thing.
    I want good for you and to plant in you the suggestion that deep furrowed words of any kind can be supplanted and tendered with a more endearing and lasting kind.
    Speak words that empower, energize, and uplift. Speak positive words deep into the furrows of the soul's soil ...
    And then wait for the water and the sun.
    The harvest will be sweet.
    Word Furrows.
    "What do I hope to do through words but plant furrows of my own inside of you."
    -Darrelyn L. Tutt

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