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I’ve now lived in Chicago longer than any place since I started my military career. I thought after 27 years of moving every two to three years, it might be difficult to stay in the same city. But not only have I been in the same city, I’ve spent these last nine (!) years in the same building.

So this last month as summer has lingered and I prepared to move into my own place, I’ve spent my mornings on the roof, enjoying the amazing view and being grateful for having a place to call home.

“Home is where you make it.” ~ Anonymous

Inhale Gratitude, Exhale Entitlement…
Inhale Peace, Exhale Chaos…
Inhale Home, Exhale Loneliness…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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My Community

I don’t usually miss the Chicago Marathon. If I’m in town, I’m usually on the east side of Michigan Ave, between 13th and 14th streets, rooting for anyone I know, calling out the runners with names pasted on their shirts, and reminding them there is less than half a mile to the finish line. I’ve seen sweet proposals, runners supporting other runners who are just trying to finish and efficient emergency response when needed.

This year I stood next to a family from Iowa as they waited patiently for their runner, pride streaming down their faces when they spotted her. I cheered for Brittney too, and for the husband who spotted his wife standing next to me and detoured to get some love.

I felt the energy of my fellow Chicagoans standing next to strangers and encouraging other strangers to FINISH…and it felt good.

“People are hard to hate close-up. Move in.” Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness

Inhale Community, Exhale Separation…
Inhale Connection, Exhale Distance…
Inhale Civility, Exhale Disinterest…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Failure to Lead

One of my favorite books about Vietnam is “Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam.” As you might surmise from the title, the book is a scathing, unflinching indictment of the leaders who prosecuted the Vietnam War. The author was particularly hard on the president who he described as having a “real propensity for lying,” an obsession with loyalty and leaks and being so narrowly focused on his political fortunes that he ignored what was best for the nation.

The author is H.R. McMaster…that’s right, the current national security adviser to #45.

And every time I see him on TV defending the indefensible, I wonder…why?

There are opportunities you should never take advantage of because they’re going to pull you away from what God has called you to. There are places you should not go just because they’re bigger and better. You’re going to get there and realize you never should have gone because they’re bigger and messier, not better.” ~ Andy Stanley

Inhale Calling, Exhale Distraction…
Inhale Legacy, Exhale Expediency…
Inhale Clarity, Exhale Chaos…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Space

My years in the military taught me there is always someone else to do what needs to be done. Just when you think NO ONE else could do it better, someone else comes alone to engage your heart, take on the impossible and raise the standard even higher. All you have to do is make space.

When you create space, you create possibility.” ~ Dr. Maryska Taylor

Inhale Open, Exhale Closed…
Inhale Clean, Exhale Cluttered…
Inhale Clear, Exhale Chaotic….
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Protected

This week, between traveling in traffic and sleeping in a hotel, I experienced insomnia. I felt like I was in a thick fog and found myself moving like the walking dead. And because I was physically tired and mentally drained, I became emotionally exhausted. With my emotional energy depleted, I started to feel sad.

It was a personal manifestation of all I know to be true about holistic health; that a glitch in one system impacts all other systems. So I thank God for spiritual protection and for guiding me to the tools and the pathway to wholeness.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Ephesians 6:13-18 MSG

Inhale Protection, Exhale Illusion…
Inhale Peace, Exhale Chaos…
Inhale Prayer, Exhale Uncertainty…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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