God, Life, Writing

What Would You Say?


If you had a chance to go back in time and talk to your younger self what would you say?

What sage advice have you gained over the years that you could share?

Would you attempt to smooth the way and make life easier for yourself?

Would you give encouragement despite the hard times that are to come?

What would you tell your younger self is most important in life?

If you could go back in time and talk with your younger self would you? And what would you say? #WickedQuestions

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. ~Ecclesiastes 11:9

Again, I ask you what would you say?

Life, Poetry

Child, You Must Start Somewhere


you must start somewhere.
Or you’ll never go anywhere.

take a step and follow your own star.

you must start somewhere.
Your dreams are out there somewhere.

feel your fear and chase your own star.

you must start somewhere.
If not it will leave you nowhere.

know you are strong and reach for your own star.

you must start somewhere.
If you do not nowhere becomes your somewhere.

you are loved and made to reach the stars.

you must start somewhere.
If you hope to go anywhere.

~Mark Schutter ©2015

I wrote this from the simple line ‘Child, you must start somewhere’ as a fun sorta Dr. Seuss like, encouragement to my young daughter. After writing I had the realization and belief that this is how God feels about us as His own children. So, where are you going to start? I’d love to hear about it!


Good Enough is Good Enough

Good Enough

a lofty and high goal
at the cost of your soul

when is…
good enough, good enough

just to do your best
in meeting the test

when is…
good enough, good enough

it is not the thing
is the only thing

when is…
good enough, good enough

just for being you
is minimized and we do

when is…
good enough, good enough

against the perceptions
to be better than yesterday

good enough is good enough

~Mark Schutter ©2015

We teach our kids to apply themselves and they can do whatever they want.  Just for showing up they are rewarded and sometimes with very little effort on their parts.  We coddle and push, telling them that winning is not everything it is the only thing.  Then when they lose or fail we tell them it is okay that participating is the main thing.  As parents, can we have it both ways?  Are our expectations our of whack?

My daughter is already becoming an accomplished horse rider, winning Reserve Grand Champion for High Points in her age group in her first year of competing.  She rides a full Spanish Arabian Summer Showhorse named TaajRico and thanks to the generosity of her trainer she is half owner of. He is called Rico for short, that is him in the picture above, and yes, that is me on the quarter-horse behind her. 🙂 She competes in Walk/Trot Hunter Seat and Saddle Seat Equitation and Pleasure classes. I am so proud of her, but I do not want her to lose her joy and love of horses because she has to always be aware of what she is doing. 

  • “Watch your diagonal.”
  • “Keep your foot flat.”
  • “Lower your hands.”
  • “Sit back, you are to far forward.”
  • “Keep his head down.” …and on and on.

She has voiced even now that sometimes she just wants to be around her horse and ride for fun and not worry about all these things that might make her a champion.  I want her to be happy and yet, I watch my daughter succeed at so many things and my heart swells with pride wanting to scream to everyone within earshot, “Look at her!”  Is this a veiled reflection of my own insecurities and finding some redemption vicariously through her accomplishments?  And she is only 10 years old, what does that say about me?

She is learning so much beyond just winning and losing.  She is responsibleRibbons 2014 to take care of this living breathing animal.  Yet, when she does fall short I will minimize the loss and make excuses, justifying that it was not her but something else that made her fail.  Does this give her a false sense of reality?  The idea that we should teach our kids to not be in competition with the kid down the street, on the field or in the classroom is almost ludicrous.  Our society pits us against each other in so may ways in the name of entertainment, in business, in just getting ahead of or at least keeping up with the family down on the corner and their 3500 square foot house.

Walking Rico 2014And yet… competition and competing is good.  To better oneself and to come out stronger and wiser regardless of the real outcome.  We should strive to be better than we were yesterday, even if it is only a little, that should be our goal.  To paraphrase Matthew McConaughey, we need to have someone to chase and that someone should be ourselves ten years from now.  We will never catch them but that is okay, it pushes us to be better and see a future that is both exciting and challenging.  Sometime good enough is good enough. You can watch the short video of his 2014 Oscar acceptance speech below.


I Can Hear You!

Sharing Space – for the Poetic Diversity Project

Another poem in response to Shawn L. Bird’s Poetic Diversity Project prompt for her Masters class. For March 8th she has asked for us to please share poetry or observations about the challenges and/or joys of sharing a space with others and link it in the comments on Shawn’s blog.  Here is my contribution:

Here we sit,
in our little house.
I’m trying to think
as the ideas come and go.
The light glares from the screen and
I hope the story will unfold.
Then I hear the excited screams
of your laughter,
from the other room.

“I can hear you!”
My thoughts are derailed.
This novel will not write itself!

Then silence,
and it makes me think.
“What in the world is going on now?”

The words are fleeting,
the moments too few.
Our house is filled with joy.
And too soon you’ll be gone,
so laugh and scream
to your heart’s content.
I would not ever trade
being your daddy or
have it any other way.

~Mark Schutter ©2015

My Girls - March 2015
My Girls – March 2015