New Year, New Life

Part 1: Sleepless in Emmaus It was 4:40 on this last day of 2022 when I woke up. Thankfully, the early rising wasn’t because of a full-blown nightmare like I had the previous night, where it physically felt like I had a heart attack. Frantic and powerless, I was pushing back against a reality I […]

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 […]

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 […]

Four Days Before Christmas & Unpacking the Reason

A few weeks ago, I unpacked Christmas. In the boxes were fragile glass ornaments, precious works of art with”best Nana ever,” and the little drummer boys my daughters, Sara and Erin, made with their grandmother more than thirty years ago. There were gifts from friends and heartfelt pieces my Mom gave me. Some are decades […]

Pears & People

The pear tree I planted almost two decades ago is heavy with fruit. Most years, I don’t thin it out as I should, and when I walked outside this morning, I noticed the tree branches weighted down, scattered cores from the deer that feast each night at her base. A peach tree planted the same […]

Change

Headlines, primarily negative, race across my screen as I start today’s post on “Change.” It seems—more than ever—that our world is truly broken. (Perhaps it’s just me.) Change is burdensome for many humans. Pre COVID-19, it seemed as if many of us were somewhat complacent, buoyed by what we considered the rhythm of our blessed […]

Repaving the Way

One beautiful morning, I turned onto a recently repaved, free of debris road without potholes typical of many thoroughfares with scorching and freezing weather. It was a peaceful drive made better by the smoothness of the street. (It’s often the little things that make us smile.) Significant issues must be remediated before laying new asphalt, creating a pothole, ruts, […]

Texas 5/24/22

Texas’ name is derived from “thecas,” which means friends and allies. In that state, a town named Uvalde—the “Honey Capital of the World”—is in mourning. Many of us cry with her in grief and sorrow. This place that now, and perhaps for many decades to come, will not feel safety or the sweetness of honey. […]

A Home for Joy

When I ponder the word “Joy,” much comes to mind: the people I love most and all those who bring cheer (or bonafide festivity) into our world, the humans who make us smile or lift us up or make us better, the sound of laughter, the innocence of a newborn baby, the heartbeat of love, […]

Comparisons

After another night of bad dreams, I woke up tired and disoriented, trying to shake off the dark, pulling myself together, literally curling into a fetal position. I don’t understand the crazy that goes on in my mind. Sleep should be regenerating, not a fear-filled marathon. I’m amazed to hear friends say, “I lie down at […]

Clementines, Tea, Hummingbirds, God

I sat at the dining room table looking out the glass doors, my tea steaming, two clementines on my plate, conscious of how often I do myriad things—much like an automaton—without consideration or awareness of my actions. Once again, the sun had just risen for us humans who often dismiss that as a given.   […]

A Story About Love

Disclaimer: This is a longer post than is typical; thank you for reading until the end.❤︎ Chapter One:Once upon a time, there was a baby who wasn’t planned but was wanted. She was loved, and nurtured, didn’t know fear, concern, or worry, was cared for with tenderness and affection. She explored her world with natural curiosity. […]

Yesterday’s Tomorrow

“Tomorrow comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and puts itself in our hands. It hopes we learned something from yesterday.” Marion Robert Morrison (John Wayne) “Tomorrow, I’ll take better care of myself.” “Tomorrow, I’ll make smarter choices.” “Tomorrow, I’ll get enough sleep.” “Tomorrow, I’ll pursue healthier relationships.” “Tomorrow, I’ll work […]

Inside Voice, Outside Voice

Recently, I came across one of my granddaughter’s old books, titled “Inside Out.” It reminded me that we employ different inside and outside voices (and faces) depending on where we are or who we’re with. Often, we’re completely immersed in our material realities, not observing ourselves from the inside out. Sometimes we don’t even acknowledge the parts […]

Valentines & Aortas

It’s widely held that Valentine’s Day honors a priest named Saint Valentine of Terni, who lived in third-century Rome. In one of the research articles I read, Valentine was killed for performing weddings for soldiers forbidden to marry while in service. Another story relates that the imprisoned Saint Valentine sent a letter to a young […]

Commune

As a verb, the word “commune” (/kəˈmjun/) means: contemplating, reflecting on, or experiencing with others, sometimes without using words. As a noun, the term “commune” (/ˈkämyo͞on/) is a collective—a group that bonds together, creating—figuratively or literally—a “village,” supported by a common ground. You’re aware, of course—unless you’ve been in a sequestered holding pattern your entire life— […]

Forgetting to Remember, Remembering to Forget

I often say, “I forgot to remember.” Years ago, remembering wasn’t a problem, but with damage to one minuscule nerve, being able to simultaneously process all the things I want simply isn’t as easy as it used to be. So, instead of saying, “I forgot,” I say, “I forgot to remember.” It’s kinder and gentler. […]

Thanksgiving Blessings

Last night, I went to bed hungry. It was by choice, not by necessity. There were moments while lying in the darkened room that I thought about getting up, going into the kitchen, opening a pantry or refrigerator door, and choosing something to eat. But I didn’t. Instead, I thought about the 800 million people on our […]

The Twelve

Twelve —often considered the “perfect” number.  In the Judeo-Christian tradition, twelve is symbolic of God’s authority and perfection. Biblically, there are 187 references, including Jacob’s twelve sons and the ancestors of Israel’s twelve tribes.  In ancient Greece, twelve gods of Olympus were worshiped. In Buddhism, there are twelve stages of existence (Nidanas).  Twelve lines create […]

Magnificence

Awarenesses from an unusually balmy autumn day last week. I sit on the unroofed porch, listening, pondering, observing—a citizen of this world, alone; the sun shining unusually brilliant; maybe that’s just my imagination, but I don’t think so. The light illuminates the table on which I’m writing, creating flecks of green and purple never before […]

Thinking, Being Human & Keeping The Glass Half-Full

I often wonder what I’m “supposed” to be doing in this life.  I think a lot, not necessarily a good thing, mind you. Overthinking makes it hard to be successful at meditating and sleeping, and the downside of over-analyzation. In the journey of attempting to “slow my brain down,” I’ve realized that we can over-think things so much that […]

Love

Love: a noun or a verb; its etymology dates back to the 1800s “lufu” or “leubh”— desire or care. At church on Sunday, Jo talked about “love.” That simple word conjures up all kinds of feelings because we employ it to explain experiences as varied as the emotions of star-gazing lovers or buying a new […]

Exhausted

A thirty-something woman confided that she’s perpetually exhausted—stressful career, young children, constant hamster wheel. It’s tough to manage “Super Mom,” “Stellar Business Person,” and “Amazing Homemaker” at the same time! Of course, she’s tired. Something’s gotta give. I often forget to practice conscious breathing instead, endeavoring to physically and mentally “do everything.” I actually catch myself holding my breath sometimes! Talk about going so […]

What Matters Most

When my granddaughter, Lauren, was ten, she read a story to me about a family with three young children that survived the devastating Joplin, Missouri tornado of 2011. I’m sure that life has never been quite the same for them. The recognition of “what they could have lost” probably still dances through their minds every […]

Too Much?

Like most, or at least many, of the humans I know, I’ve had my fair share of pain in this life. In my three-pound brain, there are times when I feel as if I’ve experienced too much sorrow, but “too much” is incredibly nebulous. What is “too much?” Who measures that? Is there a yardstick […]