Category Archives: Driving away depression

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for…

StreetLights On A Saturday Night original post January 29th, 2019. I am asking unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks based on the experiences of the last year.

A few days after posting this last year, I had a heart attack. It was mild and I received two stents. However, last year’s health challenges didn’t end there. I ended up hospitalized 6 times last year for a variety of issues including the myocardial infarction, septicemia, other infections, a third stent, and neck surgery to finish out the year. I also continued to battle depression. All this to say the journey continues and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s cliche’ but true. Would it surprise you to know my faith in God, my connection to Jesus is even stronger?

This Sunday at Broadway Baptist Church, our Sr. Pastor, Ryon Price will be giving a sermon entitled, “What Are You Looking For?” As Pastor Ryon writes, “that is the title of the sermon but also the words Jesus asks to the first disciples to follow him. Oh, but the irony. The one who is asking the question is Himself its answer. He is what and who they are looking for, though they do not yet know it. All they know now is that they are looking for something, and they still haven’t found it, but they’ve been told by John to look the way of Jesus.
 
Sunday’s sermon will be about Jesus. It will be about our search and our longing for him. It will be about how, in Augustine’s words, “our hearts are restless until they find rest in [Him].”
 
I ask that you pray for Sunday. Somebody will surely show up looking for something, though they may know not what or who. Pray for me. Pray for them. Pray I can be like John the Baptist in the story and point them the way to the one who both has us asking and also is the answer.”

I would like to invite everyone to join us this Sunday at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth. We are all on this journey together. Don’t worry about the Baptist part of Broadway Baptist Church. You don’t have to be Baptist to join us and find other seekers/searchers. Come get a spiritual recharge!

http://broadwaybc.org/
305 W. Broadway, Fort Worth, Texas 76104
Service begins at 1050am. Come early and join a Sunday School group at 925am

Now for the original post. Learning of this weekend’s (January 19, 2020 at 1050am) sermon reminded me of it…

A very significant milestone quietly passed by unnoticed over the weekend. When I realized it, I reviewed my recent trips to find out, Saturday night I gave Uber/Lyft ride number 5,000.

It turns out, that 5,000th ride was given to a woman name Lauren from Chicago. She has been living in Dallas for 6 months. She was just getting back from the frigid windy city. We talked about the differences between the two cities. We talked about Chicago style pizza. We talked about movies, careers, and we talked about a shared passion for music. Perfect strangers, but connected in this grand journey of life, of humanity.
We talked about kindness. We lamented the shortfall. And, we both pledged to keep making more.

This unexpected and awe inspiring path of 2 and a half years, 150,000 miles, and 5,000 rides has changed my outlook on life, on faith, profoundly. I am forever grateful. God has certainly continued to remind me of the importance of this path, and given me the grace to survive the struggles along the way.

Even with a profound sense of purpose, I wonder, I ache, I question. Even with this incredible sense of joy and peace, I hurt, I cry. Even with God’s steady hand, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.

But I now know, that is an eternal search. And, that is how it is supposed to be.
To question, to challenge, to become more enlightened, all throughout the universe. We will forever be connected. We must, therefore live our lives in purposeful kindness, and love.

Music has been a steadfast companion all my life. I am fond of saying life is better with a soundtrack. But, music is so much more. It tells our stories. It gives us perspective. It stirs the adventure and curiosity in us all.

Bruce Springsteen introduced U2 into the Rocknroll Hall of Fame in 2005. Two musical entities that have done just that; stir emotion, curiosity, and tell our story so well.

Bono, at one the 25th Anniversary Rock&Roll Hall Of Fame concerts, said this…

“I’m thinking here in Rock&Roll’s great cathedral, that is Madison Square Garden, thinking in this moment about all the pilgrims, all the pioneers that got us all here. The saints and the heretics, the poets and the punks, that now make up the hall of fame. Its a dangerous thing, this business of building idols. But at least Rock&Roll is not, at its best, about worshiping sacred cows. It’s about the thousands of voices gathered in one great unwashed congregation, like tonight. For alot of us here, Rock&Roll just means one word, liberation; political, sexual, spiritual. Liberation.”

To which Bruce Springsteen replied, “Let’s have some fun with that!”

And they began to sing together.

I like this quote because it isn’t just relevant to musicians. It is all of us. It’s life’s journey.

Plus, U2 and The Boss together is frickin awesome!

As I prepare for whatever God has planned next for me, this song reminds me that we are all searching. Perhaps, I’ll take a drive down Thunder Road, and see what lies ahead.

Where will you go? What will you look for?

Will you be kind along your journey?

I hope so.

https://youtu.be/XJo6lN6cNm0

#kindness #purposefulkindness #Whatawonderfulworld #hope #peace #love #joy #StreetLights #TheKindnessClub #Grace

Crossroads 3 of 3 for NYE 2020

This 3rd and last installment for the last day of 2019 is all about the music. Well, it’s mostly about the music. The music is all about the theme.

WE ARE ALL CONNECTED!

I may have mentioned that one or two times before. It is this message I think we need to focus on the most, looking forward to 2020. We all share the same blood, as the song says. We can’t continue to mistreat each other. We can’t continue to live with the idea that one religion, one race, one culture is better than the other. That is the opposite of coexistence. That is the opposite of kind. We cannot continue to condone cruelty and hate. we cannot continue to make assumptions about people we do not know or people who do not look or sound like we do.

This New Year, choose love and kindness. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and get to know someone who you think is nothing like you. You will be surprised as to how much you actually have in common.

We are truly at a crossroads as a people, a species! Our nation is at a crossroads. Hell, our planet is! And, so is our humanity. For those of us who follow Christ, so is our religion. So are all religions that condone hate and exclusivity. As we ALL seem to be at these crossroads together, it is time to find a common path we can travel together. 2020 is the year kindness truly wins the day. Be a part of the movement. Be a kindness warrior.

This last song is Coldplay’s Arabesque. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Happy New Year to all! Music has tremendous power, and in the context of these lyrics about unity across the world, this means that if everyone used the power of music instead of guns, the world would be a better place. 

“Coldplay’s recent release “Arabesque” is about bringing the similarities of people into focus, regardless of language, upbringing, or race. It uses metaphor and abstract imagery to paint a picture of what human beings share with each other: the same blood.

The word “Arabesque” has several definitions, but, because of the complex and layered production of the song, the one that probably inspired the title is this one: “a passage or composition with fanciful ornamentation of the melody.” 

“We share the same blood” 

By saying that we share the same blood, the lyrics are saying that we all want the same things: to be loved, to be seen, and to be accepted. And when we don’t get those things, we are all hurt. It relates to the phrase, “We all bleed the same,” which means that regardless of race, everyone is mortal. If you cut deep enough (metaphorically as well as literally), we’re the same. Everyone’s blood is red, and everyone has emotions and hopes and dreams and a past.

Verse 1 [Chris Martin]

I could be you, you could be me
Two raindrops in the same sea
You could be me, I could be you
Two angles of the same view
And we share the same blood

The first verse uses the metaphor of water to look at humanity from an abstract perspective. Individuals, here, are seen as parts of a larger whole. Whatever a person’s experiences, Chris Martin is saying that their life stories are “two angles of the same view” of humanity and life. The statement “I could be you, you could be me” is likely representative of a belief held by some, that birth is random and that there isn’t a guiding force behind what family someone is born into. He’s likely saying that if things had been different, they could have been born into the other’s life.

Verse 2 [Stromae, Will Champion]

Comme deux gouttes d’eau
On se ressemble
Comme provenant de la même mère
Comme deux ruisseaux (You could be me)
Qui se rassemblent (I could be you)
Pour faire les grandes rivières
And we share the same blood
Yeah, we share the same blood

The majority of these lyrics are in French, so here is the English translation.

Translation:

Like two drops of water
We look alike
As from the same mother
Like two streams (You could be me)
Who gather (I could be you)
To make big rivers
And we share the same blood
Yeah, we share the same blood

Stromae continues to use forms of water as a metaphor for how similar each individual is as a member of the human race. While “two drops of water” may be seperate, they are made of the same substance, which is what “Arabesque” is telling us. Though we may come from different backgrounds, or races, in the end “we share the same blood.” We’re all human, and in that alone there is a shared understanding and equality between us. This verse talks about the separate individuals gathering “to make big rivers.” The message of this verse is that if we were to focus on what brings us together, rather than what divides us and work together, we could make a bigger and more powerful impact on the world. 

Sample [Fela Kuti]

Music is the weapon, music is the weapon of the future

This sample comes from a clip of the late Fela Kuti, a Nigerian musician and activist. (Fun fact, Fela Kuti’s son and grandson play some of the instruments on this song.) Music has tremendous power, and in the context of these lyrics about unity across the world, this means that if everyone used the power of music instead of guns, the world would be a better place. 

Deeper Meaning of “Arabesque” by Coldplay

Coldplay’s “Arabesque” is about unity in all of humanity. Deep down, people are a lot more alike than many want to believe. Even someone we dislike may have some of the same fears or hopes as us. More importantly, we are all created equal and no one is better than the other. We all have our imperfections and we all have our strengths. Though we may be created differently and choose to believe different things, those differences don’t need to divide us.”

Arabesque, Coldplay, coldplay lyrics meaning, arabesque explained, new coldplay song, the pop song professor, clifford stumme, Clifford Stumme, Arielle Anderson

Caution for sensitive ears. 1 curse word at 5 minutes into the song. Let it go! Its a great song!

Christopher Carlson
StreetLights.blog

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https://www.facebook.com/PurposefulKindness/

Crossroads part 2 of 3

As I reviewed the stories from 2019, the one that stood out the most for me, and certainly the most amazing person I met this year while driving Uber/Lyft, is Holly from Green Mountain. Holly inspired with her story and reminded me how important it is to be present, not regret, be appreciative of life. There is always someone who has a greater struggle.

For me 2019 was a crossroads. I faced some difficult challenges that could have set me back from all the progress I have made. I met Holly at a time when I most needed. I am so grateful to God for putting people in my life like Holly, right when I needed them. Holly’s message, her story inspired me to choose the right path and keep moving forward.

Holly’s simple message to all of us is, Life is Love. Anything else is a waste of time.

We are all connected!

The more we acknowledge that idea and follow Holly’s simple advice, the more we will change this world for the better through love and kindness. So if 2019 was a tough year, it only has a few hours left. It is time to reset. It is time to renew hope. For all you Kindness Warriors out there, gear up! 2020 will give us plenty of opportunities to bring peace, love, joy, and Kindness to the world.

Here is Holly’s story from August of this year. Oh, the music is here favorite John Denver song. The 2nd one is mine.

StreetLights On a Saturday Night

Holly From Green Mountain

I got the request in Grand Prairie. Uber XL. Thinking it would be a group of people and at 245am, most likely drunk and rowdy, I prepared myself for the worst. Shortly after I started working my way to the pickup address, I received a text from”H,” my rider. “Please come to the front office. I am in a wheelchair.” I was relieved it wasn’t a group of late night drinkers.

When I arrived at the semi-circle drive in front of the retirement home, two women were waving at me, smiling. Holly was my rider. She was in the wheelchair. Her 92 year old mother was standing with a walker. Holly had several bags and a small dog. I began to load the car as she said goodbye to her mother. There was some laughter mixed in with some emotion as I helped Holly into the front seat and loaded her wheel chair.
As they made their final goodbyes I began to realize this was more than just, until the next time. Once the door was shut, Holly began fumbling for the window button. I hit mine as we slowly started to move. She waved to her mother again calling out to her. I stopped. But Holly said no, let’s go, and she burst into tears.

Holly regained her composure and apologized saying “It’s just tough. I am saying goodbye to my mother for the last time. She has congestive heart failure. In the morning she will be moved into a full care facility.”

Holly comes from a big family. She has 13 brothers. Not one of them have visited their mother in these final days. Here was Holly, with serious health issues herself, bound to a wheelchair, traveled from Colorado to see her mom.

Holly returned to what seemed to be her normal disposition, cheerful and positive. She was warm and friendly, even when she spoke of tough, even tragic experiences in her life. When you look into her eyes you can see this almost childlike joy.

Holly’s mother was given something called DES when she was pregnant with Holly.

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a synthetic form of the female hormone estrogen. It was prescribed to pregnant women between 1940 and 1971 to prevent miscarriage, premature labor, and related complications of pregnancy, incuding nausea. It was determined to cause cancer in the mother, the child and could even reach as far as a grandchild genetically. Holly is known as a DES daughter because she, like many women born from exposure, developed cancer or other significant health issues.

Holly fought cancer twice. The first time she was only 9. And then again, in her late 20s. She beat it both times. But the genetic abnormality remained.

Holly and Bill married young. Bill is a disabled Vietnam War Veteran. They had a baby boy. He had a rocky start and passed away at 15 months old.

Eventually they tried again and she gave birth to a little girl. Her daughter was healthy. She grew up, got married and began having kids of her own. That’s when the cancer finally showed up. Holly’s daughter had inoperable, terminal brain cancer. Holly said after the news, her daughter freaked out, dropped everything and left. She left her 3 children and her husband. Holly never heard from her again.

Now another predicament. By this time, Holly and Bill had significant health issues and couldn’t take on the kids. Her daughter’s husband was in a car accident and suffered traumatic brain damage. So he couldn’t be a father anymore. They were forced to turn to the state. All 3 children were put into different foster homes.

In 1985 Holly and Bill, along with their daughter were living in Houston. There was a severe storm one day that had Holly concerned about the lightning. She called Bill on the phone and while expressing her concerns to him lightning struck the tree just outside the kitchen window. The strike went into the ground, splitting the tree, and found its way up the ground cable for the phone. And then, as Holly described it, the lights went out. She was cooked!

It took her over a year to learn to speak and walk again. That strike left her with a damaged nervous system, constant headaches, epileptic seizures, and a bone disorder that prevents calcium from being absorbed, making her bones weak and brittle. Calcium builds up on the outside of the bone. Apparently she has numerous surgeries to go in and essentially scrape it off. Holly jokes about a few other side effects, including a slightly tighter right side of her face that makes her look a bit like a pirate smiling. She said she can scratch her left shouldet and feel it in her right leg.

She underwent leg surgery not long ago where they used a cadaver bone for her right leg. It didn’t work, which is why she is curently in the wheelchair. Upon returning to Colorado, they will remove her leg below the knee. She joked about being mad at the doctors because she wanted to keep the leg, only to bury it. But they said no. I told her she should then at least ask for a core charge refund.

Holly’s little Terrier is named Christine. She is actually a service dog and lets Holly know when she is about to have a seizure.

Holly continued with her story. ” I am so grateful for little Christine, here. But I haven’t had a seizure in almost 2 years since we moved to Lakewood, Colorado and my doctor started me on CBD. My overall pain is lower. Apparently they fixed my voice too well, according to Bill because I won’t stop talking now.”

She had this childlike, innocent joy about her. All that pain. And her eyes are lit with joy and appreciation for life. She paused in her story long enough for me to ask how she copes. She smiled and said there are good days and bad days but everyday I am alive is a blessing.”

She commented on my music choice. Louis Armstrong and Elle Fitzgerald were singing a duet on my Spotify. What are some of your favorite music artists? I asked. She said she really liked John Denver.

Ohhhhh, like Rocky Mountain High?

She laughed a little and said ‘Well I like that song but it isn’t my favorite.”

What is?

“Annie’s song.” She said peacefully.

Her three grandchildren were found separate permanent homes. All three were adopted by wonderful families. Holly gets to communicate with all of them and occasionally gets to see them. They are all in Utah.

We got to Love field at 330 am. Nobody was there. But she insisted she would be fine to be dropped off. So, I unloaded her stuff onto a cart, got her situated in the wheel chair and we made our way into the terminal.

Holly you seem like such a happy person, I said. You have had a tough life.

Holly replied, “I have had a blessed life. I have been happily married for 39 years, traveled. I Live in a beautiful place by Green Mountain. Life has been good to me.”

I told her how much I appreciated her telling me her life journey. I told her I really admired her strength and resilience.

“You should visit Green Mountain. You should visit Colorado. You seem tired. It will rejuvenate you.” Holly said.

I told her now everytime I think of Colorado I will think of her….

With that pirate smile, hoppin’ around Green Mountain on one leg…

We both burst out laughing.

We hugged and said goodbye. I felt like I was saying goodbye to a dear friend. It was a strange moment as I walked away, while she sat with Christine and her luggage next to the check-in kiosk, smiling and waving me bye. She was happy. She was returning home to her steadfast companion of 39 years.

Oh Holly. You smile for me. I cry for you.

I played that song on the way home. I cried the whole way. I cried for Holly’s loss. I cried for the desperation I have felt. And, I cried for joy, because Holly reminded me that I am alive, still. She told me something else I am sure to never forget.

Life is love.

That’s it. Everything else is a waste of time.

Once again, God has given it. He sent a most interesting woman to deliver it. And, I have received it.

Grace.

#kindness #purposefulkindness #Whatawonderfulworld #hope #peace #love #joy #StreetLights #TheKindnessClub #Grace #drivingawaydepression #Peopleprofiles

For Holly and Bill. And, for the love of my life, who continues to lift me up, Mindy.

crossroads part 1 of 3

2019 is hours away from it’s end. For a great many, that is a welcome event. We look to renew our hopes of a better year. We look to find our footing and balance, pick ourselves up, and dust off the dirt. With another year behind us, we start to wonder if the trail we have followed is longer than the trail ahead.

As I contemplate my own path forward and make peace with my past, I have found a few things to say on the matter. So, here is the first of three installments I am writing today as I continue my convalescence. The first is looking back. The second is about being here, being present, and can be summed up with 3 simple words spoken by Holly, the woman in the story I am reposting for the 2nd installment today. Those words are, life is love. The 3rd is predictably, looking forward. I have some music I wish to share as well. After all, life is better with a soundtrack. Wouldn’t you agree?

Hello Sunshine

When you spend enough time in darkness, it becomes familiar and even comforting in a strange way, like an old blanket. The irony being in the dark fog you are cold and lonely. I have spent a lifetime hiding in my own darkness, or running from it. Two years ago I reached a moment which could have easily been my last, but God had other plans. December 5th, 2017 was ground zero. Instead of my story ending there, December 6th became my first day of clarity, true clarity.

I finally recognized the patterns of my life, the destructive patterns that I kept repeating, unknowingly. I found a way to move forward. I found the light. I felt the sunshine break in to even the darkest corners of my soul. I found a way forward and purpose. Life isn’t meant to be easy. But, that is why we have each other. That is why we have God, and God has given me a new path.

You know, moving forward isn’t any easier than it used to be. When we try to change and grow, we face instant obstacles and challenges. we grow weary. I can honestly tell you, it is worth the effort. I am weary. I still have the demons chasing me and meddling with my honest effort. They will never be gone. That’s just the way it is. In the last two years, I have learned to recognize patterns and control those demons. I have amassed an arsenal of weapons and tools to fight my way forward. I keep them in my “tool box.” And I share my story so others can learn to fight back as well; so others can create their own tool box.

Looking back on this tough year, it is easy to focus on what went wrong. It is easy to fill my head with regret and let those demons catch me, let them take over again. Na, to hell with that. This year was the year I fought back. This was the year my friends and my family helped me stand back up. This has been the year I overcame the obstacles and did the hard work of moving forward. God sure does have a sense of irony. As December 5th, 2017 was my rock bottom moment, December 5th, 2019 was the day I finally had surgery to repair a collapsed disc and arthritis in my neck that has been progressively debilitating and painful for 5 years.

2019 was yet another moment, standing at the crossroads. How about you? Did you face down some demons this year? Did you beat them? Are you feeling like its a battle you must do alone? That isn’t true.

WE ARE ALL CONNECTED.

For my fellow depressives…

We face those battles together. From my own experience, I know if you are in that dark place it is hard to ask for help. Ask me. I have been where you are. It’s time to welcome the sunshine in.

As we look forward, consider this theme, We are all connected. In that thought, be kind. Make eye contact. Give hugs. Be light. Shine your light.

As promised, here is a song and a few thoughts on the album and artist, Western Stars by Bruce Springsteen, released in June.

Bruce Springsteen has long been one of my favorite musical artists and story tellers. He has spent 31 years trying to shed the destructive demons of his soul. What he has found, keep moving. Keep living. You can never really eliminate those demons but you can sure as hell keep them locked up or behind you so they can’t cause any more trouble.

About the album, “The common thread across Western Stars probably isn’t one that 25-year-old Springsteen could have convincingly explored: it’s about the winding down of time, the moments where decades of life experience have accumulated to little more than foggy memories of things that aren’t around anymore. It’s about mortality, it’s about the fear that goes with that. And it’s about the ability to find peace, beauty, and hope in the face of it.

Goodnight 2019

Hello Sunshine

“Had enough of heartbreak and pain
I had a little sweet spot for the rain
For the rain and skies of grey
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay?

You know I always liked my walking shoes
But you can get a little too fond of the blues
You walk too far, you walk away
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay?

You know I always loved a lonely town
Those empty streets, no one around
You fall in love with lonely, you end up that way
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay?

You know I always liked that empty road
No place to be and miles to go
But miles to go is miles away
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay?

And miles to go is miles away
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay?
Hello sunshine, won’t you stay?
Hello sunshine”

Christopher Carlson
StreetLights.blog

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https://www.facebook.com/PurposefulKindness/

March 17, 2018

I heard that phrase again yesterday, “…lost in the woods.” Reposting from December. I think it is worth repeating. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day all.

“The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.”

Saint Patrick

Christopher Lloyd CarlsonDecember 29, 2017

Trees.

“Getting lost in the woods” is a phrase often associated with dark or troubled times in life.

If you are lost in the woods, take a moment. Take a deep long breath. Then look around you. The trees that surround you are not your enemy or your obstacle.

Look close and you will see, God has put those trees around you.
They are there to protect you, to give you sustainability. They help form and define your path.
Those trees are life giving and life saving. They offer you love and joy. Those trees are your friends and family, and safe spaces.

If you ever feel lost in the woods, take a breath, look around and know, you are not alone! Trust me, I’m an Oak…

March 3, 2018

#Drivingawaydepression

Sometimes you get knocked down. No matter what you do, things beyond your control can take you down. Last weekend I was knocked down with a medical issue that had me in the hospital for 3 days. I am ok, but have. Had a lingering effect that has limited my physical activity and even kept me from driving some.

Depression doesn’t reveal itself in sorrow. It would not reveal itself at low times. Why would it need to. I was already right where it wanted me to be. No, it was in the halcyonic moments that depression found me. Even now, now that I am aware of it, now that I can control it, it still attempts to damage my calm.

A great way to control depression is to keep moving. That nasty shadow then has to chase you. Spending time in a hospital bed or even my own bed is tough. It means the shadow can catch up and start meddling again.

This is also tough because my health issues are affecting other people. It becomes harder and more stressful for Mindy. Plus at times when I can’t drive, it leaves us in a tough spot financially. It becomes difficult not to take things personally and feel like a burden. I know I am not a burden. But, the situation is still stressful.

I try not to ask for prayers for myself, with so many people out there who are struggling, so many people starving or living in war or terror. But, I sure could use some prayers. Really, not for me so much as for Mindy and the kids. I am working to overcome this recent setback and will hopefully be back to full health soon.

I firmly believe in prayer. I firmly believe God has my back. So, I am telling that shadow to shove it! This too will pass. I am back on the road tonight. I hope to have a productive evening and meet some wonderful people.

Much love to all.

Christopher

I just love the calming warm effect of this song.

“When our hands hurt from healing…”

People profiles

As I begin migrating my Facebook blog content to this new site, today marks the 1 year anniversary of my inaugural blog. Reposting here…

February 23, 2018

This is my inaugural blog post for StreetLights. This page was created to share stories from the road and amazing passengers I meet in my travels as an Uber/Lyft driver. I will also be blogging about depression and recovery, love and kindness, and as always, music! I hope to shine a light for anyone going through depression or dealing with a tough time in life. Street lights guide us and help us see hazards along our journey. We all need light and we all have the ability to create light for others.

Marshall Foster
Click image for Marshall Foster Photograph
y

With that said, I have chosen as my first official blog to tell you about a very good and kind man I met yesterday, and am now honored to call my new friend. His name is Marshall Foster. He is a professional photographer. Marshall arrived at Terminal D, DFW Airport yesterday and had requested a ride to North Dallas. He was returning from a photo shoot in Uganda, where he was contracted by a humanitarian organization to photo document some of the work being done. I have included with this post a few of Marshall’s photos, with his permission. Below you will also find contact information for his website and Instagram. I encourage you to explore his work. You will clearly see his talent and his connection to every person he photographs!

Marshall believes God has called him to be a photographer, and after I had a chance to check out some of his photographs, I understand why. He is an amazing photographer. Marshall believes his work is helping make a positive difference in humanitarian efforts in places like Uganda, South Africa, Zambia and several other countries struggling with famine or dealing with natural disasters or some type of health crisis. He is a humble and kind man doing extraordinary work.

the length of the trip gave us time to discuss a great many things including God, love, kindness, and even depression. during the conversation, he mentioned something he and his girlfriend Leila do every night before going to sleep. They each tell the other three things they are grateful for. Occasionally they include one “annoy” as Marshall called it. Hey, everyone has a frustrating day from time to time. I think that is a great habit to focus on gratitude as well as form a positive, real perspective on life before falling asleep. He stated it was a great way for both of them to spend a little time every day, even if it is on the phone and they are on different continents, to have a positive and meaningful conversation. What a great practice!

I explained to Marshall, I too have felt God’s call. The Lord has given me two clear directives. The first is to support, love and be present for my family. The second is to share my experiences and struggles, to shine a light on depression, and also focus on kindness. This includes sharing stories about people just like Marshall who wake up every day challenging themselves to be kind, be helpful, and to change the world!

I hope you will like the page. I encourage everyone to join a group I created in the page called The Kindness Club. I am inviting everyone join and become ACTIVE members by finding ways to share kindness, both as an individual and as a group. The Kindness Club will be a place where we can all participate in the discussion. Everyone can share their stories of kindness and we can unite in a common goal of creating joy for others. Can you imagine meeting up somewhere as a group with a plan to bring kindness and joy to many people. We could make someone’s day. Or, we could make several people’s days. Join now and share your ideas on how we can collectively share kindness

Peace be with you.

Click on image to see Marshall’s professional photography website.
Find Marshall on Facebook


#Kindness #PurposefulKindness #Whatawonderfulworld #StreetLights #PeopleProfiles #Hope #Grace #Peace #Joy #Love #TheKindnessClub