The Day After Christmas

On this day after Christmas, the house is silent—too quiet, honestly—with only Vero (our empathic little rescue dog) and me sitting in the library as the heater whirs on, staving off the winter that won’t officially end until March 20th.  The past two days were a whirlwind—leaving our home for church on Christmas Eve with […]

The Day Before Christmas & Silent Nights

Yesterday, I ran a few errands, then did some final decorating— stringing the Christmas cards we received from friends so I could hang them across the doors. After all, if we’re blessed to receive these greetings of love, shouldn’t we somehow acknowledge them? Too often, I forget what really matters, caught up in the secular […]

Two Days Before Christmas & The Perfect Tree

Stories about Christmas abound. Some of them are filled with the sadness of missing a loved one. Others recall times, when we were far from home or Christmas didn’t play out the way we painted it in our idyllic imaginations. Mostly, however, the stories we share are the happiest ones. This is one of those […]

Three Days Before Christmas & Another Lesson Learned

This morning, I woke up again with a mental Christmas “still to-do list” that rivals most of those I make. I backed out of the garage and headed down the cul-de-sac, turning left onto St. Peter’s Road. As I round the corner, I again see “The Bicycle Tree.” This isn’t a tiny faux tree adorned […]

The Maple Tree

As I sit facing the east, in my quiet time with God and my tea, I see the maple tree as the sun rises each morning. She was here before me—graceful and sturdy, a beautiful paradox. My grandchildren used to climb her branches, and each autumn, they would jump in piles of her vibrant, fallen […]

Giving Thanks

The table of Thanksgiving has been set. For many, it will be filled with laughter and reminiscing. For many, it will be a table for just one. A barely perceptible voice whispers, “you are loved.” “Thank You, God” will be followed by a list of extraordinary blessings. “Thank You, God” will be followed by “for […]

Brains, Perspectives, Life

The human brain is only three pounds but has a trillion cells and a rapidly firing hundred billion neurons. Our cerebrum’s options are practically limitless, yet we humans often get caught up in minuscule life routines, forgetting to see other pictures of life different from our norms or what’s right in front of us.  Reflecting on life this […]

The Man, The Tree, The Fire

There was a man who, long ago, created a life filled with unbridled joy and an awareness of the universe’s amazingness. Nevertheless, as in many stories, a shift took place; it started slowly but kept building into a flame consuming the truth until he didn’t recognize his value, his verve, or the pain that was […]

Dreams, Rules, Life

Part I I woke up this beautiful summer morning from a bad dream; thankfully, not a full-blown nightmare which I have too often. These sleep-state images were about being in a terrible accident and waking up paralyzed, my ability forever at the mercy of a wheelchair; my life abruptly halted.  In the dream, I was […]

Comparisons

After another night of bad dreams, I woke up tired and disoriented. I called the new day to me, trying to shake off the dark, pulling myself together (literally curling up in a fetal position), then getting myself together emotionally. I’ve never understood the calamity my brain creates as I attempt to sleep when I […]

A Different Perspective

Pain is real. I don’t know even one adult who has not experienced some heartache during this lifetime. Yet, hope continues to loom—even in the dark, even when we don’t acknowledge it—perhaps especially when we don’t acknowledge it. It’s sometimes easier to assign negativity and sorrow to our lives than it is to embrace each diamond […]

Expansiveness

Tears—big, fat tears, the kind that makes some men uncomfortable, and many women sigh—rolled down his cheeks. He laid on a hospital bed, his life nearing the end, spending precious moments with the daughter who sat next to him—this daughter who wasn’t his and was always his. He was only in his sixties. He talked about his beloved wife. […]

Greener Grass and Rosier Glasses

When “the grass seems greener on the other side,” you look over the “fence”—literally or proverbially—and see your neighbor’s “lawn” as healthier than yours. But, just like us worn-down mortals with eroded and less-than-perfect parts of us, you’re often not close enough to recognize the crabgrass, brown patches, or bare places. As humans, we often have a bias […]

Gratitude, Even in the Chaos

Gratitude is an “Amen, Thank You!” to our world. When we only see what we don’t have, we close the door to the joy that comes from acknowledging what we do have. Many people wish they could walk in someone else’s shoes. Sometimes, that’s jealousy-based, but more often, it’s the result of wanting lives more like what they presume (the […]