A Lighthouse in the Storm

The Inspired Life

My mother used to say that there are only two things in this world you can be sure of: DEATH and TAXES.

As I have gone along the path of life, I have discovered that there is a third unflinching item that can be added into this small select group. CHANGE.

Change will happen. Good change, bad change, the pleasant surprises along life’s little way, the minor irritations that set you off course. Yet, for a lot of us, the idea of change fills us with a sense of dread and fear that compares to very little. We fear the unknown. We fear what we can’t visualize and what we can’t control.

Even when we know that we have reached the end of a path. Even when we know that we can no longer stay on the same road because it isn’t good for our well-being, our relationships, or our health or our finances, we hesitate to jump to the next step. Change is one of the major life stresses. Even the good ones. Psychology tells us that events such as getting married, taking on a new job, or moving to a new home rank in the top five major life stresses right up there with death and divorce.

So is it any wonder that when standing on the crossroads of a decision, any decision, that many times the natural response feels like FREEZE- DON’T DO ANYTHING!!!

My experience with that response is that if you tread water long enough, you may likely find yourself blown about in a nasty storm. When we don’t react, the world reacts for us and often we pay the bitter price for not have taken the wheel of our own course.

So how do you know what’s right? What helps you to make the decisions of when to act, which road to go down, how to behave, who to trust, or why you need to make a change in the first place? Do you take each decision as it comes or do you turn to a beacon of light that is constant, unwavering and steady to set your path straight?

Ships tossed and torn in the dark stormy sea don’t have the luxury of taking their time to thoughtfully think through each carefully laid out plan. They must react, and react quickly or risk being sunk or crashed into bits of driftwood against the jagged rocky shoreline. They depend on the beam from the lighthouse to show them the way to safety and shore. They trust the wisdom of the guiding light, grateful for its perseverance and ability to stand the test of time.

Where is your lighthouse? What is your lighthouse? Do you know? Have you thought about it? What are your guiding principles, your unwavering values that keep you focused through the darkest hours, through the fears of change? How do you set your course day after day, year after year, time after time?

Change is coming to Life’s Little Inspirations. With it will come our Lighthouse. Not the one in the post today, but a brand new one that will be our guiding light for all the promises of the future here. I am very excited. I can be excited because the vision and the principles and values of what I want this community to be have become very clear over the last four months. A lot of that has to do with all of you and the part that you play in building this community, adding to the conversations, sharing your stories, lifting up each other and supporting each other.

Over the next week or so, I will be posting less than usual as I work behind the scenes and get ready for some of these changes. Then the first week of August I will take a planned week of unplugged rest and vacation with family to the beaches of Michigan.

When we return we will embrace the sands of change and head into the future with the light to guide our way. I am so excited that you will all be a part of it.

Onward…into the future.

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29 thoughts on “A Lighthouse in the Storm

  1. Thanks for writing that. Not only was it well written, but now I totally can’t wait until August!

    I wish somehow I could share in your change and see your lighthouse as well. I’m totally treading water at the moment, and I’m getting tired. Defining or finding that lighthouse is a difficult thing!

  2. I know where my lighthouse is and where to look. my lighthouse in my Heavenly Father. we talk every day.
    Hugs and God’s Blessing every where you go. Mike golch said that!

  3. Now…Wendi…you make SURE you get unplugged…totally!

    (I seem to remember a certain conference call a few months ago…when someone who was supposed to be off the grid was almost considering “cheating” and checking in now and then…) 🙂

  4. Hi Wendi,

    My faith keeps me strong during the periods of change in my life. I know HE is watching over me and as one door closes, another one opens.

    BTW: I love the photo/painting.

  5. I don;’t think taxes are certain, what if you move to a country that doesn’t have them?
    your body will die one day, and things will always change yes! In fact, things should radically change really soon!!1

  6. I look forward to what you have in store, Wendi.

    You are right – change is inevitable, we are surrounded by chaos in many forms. We have to act. If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something else. Do anything else.

    Though I agree, you need some kind of focal point, and the lighthouse is a great concept.

    And it is never too late. Unless, you are gone, of course. A friend of mine shared a nice speech with me last night. It was from one of Henry Rollins’ spoken word tours.

    In the speech, Henry talks about his friend who had been murdered. He speaks to the audience and says that though he does not know them, he knows each and every one of them is capable of great things, because they are alive, and he believes in them. His friend, he goes on to say, will never do anything again.

    It was a great speech. I could share it with you some time if you like.

    Anyway – thanks again for the words.


  7. Brett,
    I always say, if you’re breathing…it’s not too late. yes, I would love for you to share it with me, it sounds very inspirational. Thank!

    Daz, yes but would we want to live in one of those countries? ( I don’t know of anyone of them actually)


    Me too. My faith is my guiding light and the basis for my principles that I live by. Thanks about the painting too, I painted it a few months ago while my family was away and I had the time to focus on all the tiny little stones of the lighthouse.


    I won’t have a choice this time, there won’t be any internet access!. But when I get back…and we are all done with vacations….its time to revive the Round table!

  8. Janice,
    Thanks, I can’t wait…I know you will be right behind me..Those Pen Men are amazing.

    Mike…Mike Golch speaks the truth! Blessings to you too Mike.

    We have ALL been in that treading water phase of life. You are NOT alone in that feeling. I call it the gray zone. I have to tell you I hate it worse then anything. It’s like swimming in a fog. Hang in there. Pray, meditate, journal, get quiet and listen to the small voice. And keep your eyes and ears open. The answers are there, sometimes in the waiting, there is something important we are supposed to be learning before we break free. This too shall pass. And keep coming here, you are among friends. 🙂

  9. Wendi,

    Not choosing is also a choice. Thinking about it that way is one of my favorite ways to kick myself into gear. My lighthouse? Having a very, very clear vision of the end result. How I want my obituary to read, Begin With the End in Mind, or however you like to interpret it. Keeps me from spinning out in the ocean and gives me a long, long view so I don’t get frustrated if small steps take a while—they’re part of the big, happy picture.

    Looking forward to your changes!



  10. Wishing you a great project ahead and also a wonderful vacation.
    Ms. O
    See you in late August.

  11. Wendi: a little something wrong with my reader, and I came to see if you did indeed have something new. I’m glad I did!

    The painting is very lovely. You and Friar kind of remind me of each other. 🙂

    This is funny, actually, this post and me being here only now! I must have been feeling your change vibe, because we are certainly on the same page considering the stuff we’re both doing and writing!

    I really look forward to coming back from my “holidays” (camping for a week with my in-laws) and seeing what you have in store for us. Enjoy your well-deserved break, my friend!

  12. Kelly, you arer right, not choosing is a choice, once in awhile it’s the best choice, wait and see what happens…that’s hard for me…and often…I find it to be a mistake..I’m a girl of action.( maybe a control freak? Balance, balance where are ye?)

    Olivia, I won’t really be gone until August 1 I’ll still be around until then, just may not be posting AS much, but Still availaible for comments 🙂

    Steph, Yes, change is in the air all over I think! Thanks for the compliment..Wow..bing compared to the talented Friar…..I don’t know…he’s got it hands down I think, but it’s nice to hear…
    Well.. I’m looking forward to it too. I promised the Pen Men I would launch no matter what, so it will go up and build as we go..a work in progress and will evolve, but the plan and lighthouse will guide our way!

  13. Wendi, I am so thankful to have my faith as my lighthouse. Without it I would have been overtaken by the storms of life long ago! I sensed the changes brewing here and have loved watching your growth, your strength and your impact on others. You are talented, gracious and this blog is truly an inspiration. I excitedly anticipate the changes. You’re visiting Michigan? No one’s making you? LOL!

  14. Sending you a poem I wrote about a lighthouse, last summer off the San Juans.
    I hope you enjoy it. Your beautiful painting brought Her to life once more.
    Ms. O

  15. Olivia, I saw it in my e-mail. It was beautiful and I could feel the waves crashing. Would you consider posting it here for everyone to enjoy? I am sure they would love it. Please do so right here in the comments if you want to, I would be delighted and I am sure it would be loved by others as much as I did.

  16. Pines touching heaven,
    Orca black and white invasion.
    Waves, careless, wanton!
    Flirting with the rugged shoreline.
    Dedicated eyes, diligent for the
    porpoises feeding and seals bobbling.
    Otters, in quieter inlets, play.
    The majestic eagles move overhead.

    On the cliff above the point,
    further down the island,
    a lone light house now holds whale research.
    No longer does She guide
    vessels through Haro Strait.

    Dusk meets waves, as I stand transfixed.
    Fire pits are decorated with small friendly gatherings.
    Dogs on lease, walk compliant owners.
    Distant memories of a similar coastline,
    in Oregon, flood over me.
    Salt stings my eyes from within and without.
    I have come home, a second time!

    Lime Kiln Point on San Juan Island
    The Between and Beyond
    Book 3, Chapter 4
    OGD/June 28, 2007

  17. I’m a total change junkie, which is funny because I’m also a total homebody. When I don’t have enough change going on in my life, I manufacture it and unfortunately that tends to be a bit dramatic.

    With my business I tend to change too much, but I’m working on my powers of concentration and single-tasking. With the help of Men With Pens this month we’ll see some of that concentration come to light (yes I’m going through blog changes, just like you).

    I’ve learned over the years to find good ways of creating change – traveling a lot helps that.

    Writing also helps – if I can create drama for my characters then I don’t need to do so in real life. 😉

    See you over on Escaping Reality!

  18. As you get ready to embark on a well deserved vacation, I can’t help but wonder with excitement what will occur when you return! I hope you have a wonderful time and enjoy a lot of quality time with people you love! Change is inevitable and I am only beginning to learn!

    When you come back I will have changed myself as the bike-a-thon is the 10th! Hopeuflly I will come away stronger and more empowered!


  19. I have a special fondness for lighthouses and the one pictured (did you paint that?) is beautiful. My lighthouse is in my heart. That’s where I look when I’m lost and it always guides me to where I need to go.

    Wendi, I can’t wait to see these exciting new changes! Woo hoo!

  20. Nice picture! Have fun with all the change, Wendi. I know you won’t get tossed away. You have your beacon.

    I was just at Lake Michigan yesterday. Good and hot.

    Yes, I have an inner light. Sometimes I feel it gets dim but that’s an illusion we all have. It’s always there. Call it what you want.

    Take care at the beach! And don’t forget your sunscreen. E

  21. Olivia, Thanks for posting the poem here, I enjoy seeing it when I check in! IT will follow us over to the new one, just so you know!

    Hey everyone, I hope you all know I welcome your creative contributions here if you ever want to post a poem or quote or something like that in the comments. Go for it!
    If something here inspires you, well, that’s kind of part of the deal, right?

    Good luck on that Bikathon, come back and let us know how you do at the new and improved LLI, we will be waiting for the report! Hmmm maybe a guest post…


    It is SOOOOO good to see you back. May I welcome you with a cyber-hug? I look foward to checking out your blog again, I always enjoy your posts.

    Melissa, yes, I painted the Lighthouse. I love lighthouses and that painting gave me the idea to use the lighthouse concept for the blog, even though we won’t be using that one. Harry found one that I love- a perfect one. I can’t wait for you all to see it.


    Thanks. I am so looking forward to a week at the beach. I am bringing my paints and books. Leaving the Computer behind. Even with the time off of writing and blogging here, I have been still too much on the computer this week. Tonight I meet with HArry and work on stuff and hopefully by Friday Iam done so that when I come home I can give it all to you with a nice big bow.
    Thanks for the sunscreen reminder!

    Yes, going to Michigan on purpose by choice! LOL! Thank you so much for your kind words. I would say those same things about you too my dear. I look forward to many future endeavers together. 🙂

  22. Hey Alex,
    Welcome to LLI, So glad you came by! Please, do come often and be part of the gang, we would love it!

    I am also that strange combo of change/security. Tpo much drama over the course pf my lifetime has me yearing for tranquility but then when I get it, I ruffle things up! Like start a blog, a new business, write a book, join ER…anything to get real busy again. Ah well. look at all the wonderful people we are meeting along the way!

  23. Hi Wendi,

    Congratulations ! You have picked up a life topical subject. Changes affilicts us all some or other time in life. It is the theme of the book ‘Who Moved my Cheese’.

    In-experienced and untrained about how to manage ‘Changes’ we are all frightened of changes.

    Untrained and due to our anexity we manage the changes occuring in our lives successfully or disasterously. As we grow and after having negotiated a few changes of our life. we begin to accept them as inevitable and become more confident.

    We also learn that what happens when the change occurs and its aftermath have simply just to be accepted and borne.

    Lighthouse or God or who so ever we have faith in, is just a placebo we humans use to accept the change. This is not a sign of weakness but a method of management of our fear of the unknown.

    The above not withstanding your post educate all on a very essential subject; and it is very well written too. Keep it up. The painting is very good too. I will be reading your post more regularly if you promise to keep writing on such intresting subjects.

    I too have written about ‘Fear of the Unknown’ in my blog. If you have the time and inclination you may visit my blog at bharthiae.wordpress.com. I do think you will like it.


  24. Hi Vijay!

    I am so glad you have come by and why yes, I think I can safetly promise to post about more topics like this as this is what we are all about here all the time! I read “Who Moved My Cheese” The first year it came out and in fact used it as part of the basis for a training class I gave for new realtors when I was training Real Estate agents. Lots of good cheesy nuggets there! I have visited your blog in the past and enjoy it, I will be by again soon to say hello!

  25. “Change will happen. Good change, bad change, the pleasant surprises along life’s little way, the minor irritations that set you off course. Yet, for a lot of us, the idea of change fills us with a sense of dread and fear that compares to very little.”

    I don’t think we are afraid of change; we just don’t like drastic or empty change. Humans are rational beings; we like to calibrate stuff. This is why transitional change is more preferred.

  26. I really appreciate the reminder that if I don’t make my own decisions, they’ll be made for me. My lighthouse is prayer and mediation. I feel safe and guided by the universe when I take the time to align my will with what’s best for the world around me. Thanks again!

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