Taming My Inner Raccoon

DSC08240Earlier today, I saw something that said “Keeping your mouth shut is the hardest thing in the world when you know something needs to be said.”  I could have this tattooed on my arm and still not pay any attention to it.  All of my life I have felt compelled to speak up when I shouldn’t.  Does it really matter if someone is wrong when they are never going to see the truth for themselves?  Will it truly help me or anyone in my family if I speak up when the best course of action is standing down?  Do I really think I can win an argument with someone who has no common sense or will never see the forest for the trees?  Somehow, in my mind, the answer always seems to be yes. Read more

The 6 Top Reasons Every Girl Should Go To Outdoor Camp

DSC06238It’s that time of year, the time when parents are bombarded with emails and snail mails asking them to send their children to camp.  While there are many different kinds of camps that focus on everything from making your child the next Peyton Manning to teaching them how to audition for Broadway, every child should have the opportunity to experience a good, old-fashioned outdoor camp, especially girls.

Why, you ask, is it so important to send my daughter to camp?  Simply put, there are things that your daughter will learn at camp that she might never learn at home, and I don’t mean building a fire or pitching a tent, though she may learn those skills as well.  The truth is that there are things that are much more important that she will learn to do that you can’t teach her but that she can learn on her own through experience and observation.  How do I know this?  Because after twelve years of volunteering at an all-girls camp and ten years of running the camp, I have seen it happen over and over again. Read more

Daughter, You Inspire Me

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My wonderful, beautiful daughter,

You spend your life wondering who you are, why you are here, what you are supposed to become. You ask why others don’t understand you, and you worry that it is you, and it is, and that’s okay.

You see, you are the elusive cloud they cannot touch, the raging river they cannot stop, the strong wind they cannot harness, the force they cannot control. They look at you but do not see you, hear you but do not listen, follow but cannot catch you. For you are years ahead of all of them, and wiser beyond their grandest ideas. You are the sun that lights the day, and the stars that illuminate the night. You are wind in their hair, the rain on their face, the ground beneath their feet.

Though you may not see it, you have the power to warm people’s hearts with your love and your gift of empathy. Your radiant and effusive joy sparkles even in the darkest times. You have the ability to move people and things even when they seem immovable through your compassion and gentle ways of persuasion. You help people grow with your insight and wash them of their sorrows with your sympathetic hugs and soothing words. You are a foundation upon which others will build their own future, for you provide a loyal and stable base for everyone you know.

Always remember that God did not make you half a person. You do not need a significant other to complete you, but to complement you. You will be successful whether you are alone or surrounded by others because you know who you are and what you believe.  You will find a way in the darkness and through life’s storms because your faith will always lead you to the light.  You will know love and heartache and joy and despair, and you will feel them all deeply, but you will persevere because you are the strongest of the strong, even in your weakest moments.

Do not judge yourself by what others say or how others treat you. You have weathered it all and have come out on top and will continue to do so. You are a fighter, a healer, a lover, and friend.  You are the best of everyone you know wrapped into one package. Never forget that you alone will decide your course in life, but everyone around you will need your love and support to see them through, for you are a pillar standing tall, a beacon in the night, a refuge in the storm. Most of all, you are strong, you are kind, you are love. The world is blessed because you are in it, and I am blessed because you are my daughter, and in your eyes, I see all that is good.

Amy Schisler is the author of two mystery / suspense novels. Her first book, A Place to Call Home is in its second printing and may be purchased in stores and online.  Amy’s newest mystery, Picture Me, was released in August of 2015 and is available in stores, at Amazon, and at Barnes & Noble.  Both novels are also available for Kindle, Nook, and iBooks.  Amy’s children’s book, Crabbing With Granddad, may be purchased in stores and on Amazon.

You may follow Amy on Facebook at http://facebook.com/amyschislerauthor on Twitter @AmySchislerAuth, on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/amyschisler and on her web site http://amyschislerauthor.com.

It’s All About the Giving

12294857_409592349244777_826596147234890410_nI am usually finished Christmas shopping by the first of November, except for a few stocking stuffers and perhaps an extra gift here or there.  That’s good because this month, we have incurred several unexpected expenses, and Ken asked me to tone down the gift giving.  “No problem,” I told him, “I’m pretty much done shopping.”  Then I went to my gift closet and pulled out everything I’ve bought in my travels over the past year, and guess what.  I haven’t bought nearly as many presents as I thought I had.  As Charlie Brown would say, “Good grief.”

I went through my list, checked it twice, noted that everyone on it had been nice, so what was I going to do?  I had a few small things here and a couple of unique items there, but nothing that added up to anything special for anyone.  The girls are easy.  They get one nice present, an outfit, and small stocking stuffers.  Luckily, those things were already ordered or stashed away.  But what about our parents, our siblings, and our many nephews and niece?  How can I go almost empty handed to our Christmas celebrations? Read more

Listing for Love

Ken and Amy's Wedding33-001I am a list maker.  I’ve been a list maker since I first learned to write and realized the magic that accompanies crossing off things accomplished.  Sometimes, the more I cross off, the more I add to my list. I’ve had a list on my desk for about a month now that lays out all that I want to accomplish this fall.  My Katie laughs when she reads it because one item is “Write a book.”

“You’re always writing a book, Mom, but that’s so cute.”

Yes, I’m always writing a book, but to see it on a list makes it real, makes it something that must be done and must be crossed off.  It’s a means to an end. Read more

Raising Adults

DSC07028No offense to any new moms out there, but you have it easy!  Those first few years of parenthood are both wonderful and exhausting.  Sleepless nights, changing diapers, choosing a preschool, putting them on the bus, teaching them to make friends, watching them make the wrong friends, helping with homework, cheering on the sidelines, cleaning scraped knees and wiping snotty noses and tear-stained faces are just some of the painful joys of parenthood.  But I have to be honest with you, looking back, it was actually quite easy to raise children.  It’s once they hit high school that everything changes because that’s when you realize that you are no longer raising children; you are raising adults. Read more

Be Not Afraid

My SSPP GirlsYesterday, some friends and I were talking about how hard it is raising children in today’s world.  As mothers, we all worry about our children.  Will they make the right decisions, meet the right people, find the right job, make it to school or work and back safely, be safe at school or work, survive to be an adult, a parent, a grandparent.  It’s a constant state of worry.  Read more

My Best Friend

1016935_10152444890701349_6188218071191815940_nI consider myself an extremely lucky person.  I have a wonderful husband, Ken, to whom I can talk about anything.  I have a remarkable group of women on whom I can count without question – Debbie, Anne, Ann, Julie, Linda, Angie, Alix, Kimberly, Trissy, Judy, and my sister-in-law, Lisa.  As my daughters grow and mature, we are developing that wonderful kind of friendship that I know will keep us close forever.  But above all of this, I am so lucky that my best friend truly is my mother. Read more

Letter to My Daughters’ Future Husbands

DSC04396When our youngest daughter was born, the first thing my husband said when he saw her was “she looks just like my sister.” The second thing he said was, “Oh God, we have to pay for three weddings.”  While I do agree that we will need to pay for their weddings, I’m not concerned. My mother and I have coordinated several beautiful and even lavish weddings for family and friends, both efficiently and economically. My concern is not at all the wedding but the marriage. With that in mind, here’s what I have to say. Read more

My Legacy

030This morning I attended the Baccalaureate Mass for our school’s Class of 2015.  Our Pastor asked each student to think ahead 60 years and imagine looking back on their lives.  “What will your legacy be?” he asked them.  He implored them to do more with their lives than just make money.  He told them that their legacy is important and that they should make it matter.  Each one of us will leave behind a legacy, something that we pass down to future generations, whether we are the President of the United States, a businessman, a teacher, a doctor, or a parent.  Each one of us will do or say something that will not be forgotten, good or bad. Read more