• Just Life

    And | January 2020.

    Holly and I took our first walk outside the neighborhood cul-de-sac this morning. Pink-tipped trees don’t seem like January. and yet. We were both wearing our “heavy coats” because it was freezing (literally, 32 degrees). and I didn’t plan a photo like this to open a first reflection on this year’s One Little Word. and yet. I had time with my journal a few hours before our walk: “I am not at all sure what I want to say. maybe just a little about how I am paying attention to the ANDs. thinking/noticing my own choice of words. which is impacting how I think. holding paradox. being uncomfortable.” Truly, I…

  • Just Life

    Welcome 2020 | And.

    Hello friends. Two weeks into this new year and I am finally ready to share my One Little Word. I’m going to continue exploring the “both/and” thinking that Richard Rohr introduced me to last year, first in his interview with Krista Tippett and then with his books Falling Upward and Everything Belongs. For 2020, my OLW is And. I’m still amazed at all I learned with Hope last year. I really had no idea where that word would take me and I traveled some truly marvelous – and helpful – paths. I trust this year will bring more of that same wonder and discovery, along with (sadly) more discomfort, discord…

  • Just Life

    Hope | December 2019.

    Many of y’all are sharing your 2020 words today, but I’m not quite ready to move on. A few weeks back I mentioned the 10 Things to Tell You podcast and the episode about reflecting back on 2019. In the show notes, Laura says “There are 10 questions in this episode meant to make you reflect upon on the last twelve months and get some clarity for what you want in the coming year. The prompts are a mix of light and deep, some to document a simple moment in time, others to help you grow.” As I’ve been sitting with those questions and journaling responses, many of the things…

  • Just Life

    Hope | November 2019.

    I’ve been thinking about Advent this week. Advent starts this Sunday (the dates of Advent change year to year, because it always starts the 4th Sunday before Christmas) and I am delighted it actually starts on December 1 (next year it will start in November). It marks the beginning of the church year and welcomes a season of waiting and anticipation leading up to Christmas. In many churches, we light candles each week, representing and recalling Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. At our church, different ministries are invited to light the candles each week, and as part of our Prayer Shawl Ministry, I will be lighting the first candle on…

  • Just Life

    Hope | October 2019.

    The most meaningful part of my Hope journey this past month has been the series of sermons our pastors have preached on Hope. I’m honestly not sure they intended to have a Series, but I’ve seen it that way. On October 6, the lectionary passage was Lamentations 3:24 ” ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him’.” Apparently, this is the only passage of hope in that whole book. That Sunday was World Communion Sunday and the message closed with these hopeful words: Every time we gather to worship, every time we come to the table together, we are claiming and proclaiming hope. We…

  • Just Life

    Hope | August 2019.

    I thought it would be nice to open this month’s update on Hope with a glimpse of the sunrise over the lake. Sadly, the slight drizzle that greeted me when I left the house didn’t register on my weather app. It’s hard to see a sunrise when there’s no sun. Thankfully, though, eight months into this Hope journey, I’m not seeing anything hopeless about it. While I was in England, I read Richard Rohr’s, Everything Belongs. Subtitled “The Gifts of Contemplative Prayer”, this was another meaningful step in my exploration of Rohr’s work and perfect “morning work” while I awaited numerous UPS, Royal Mail and other deliveries. I highlighted a…

  • Just Life

    Hope | July 2019.

    I sat at my desk this morning, thinking about what I was going to write, marveling once again how this OLW has been such a gift … and in unexpected ways. I added two more “HOPE quotes” to my journal this month: The power of hope is greater than greed. ~Pastor Steve’s daily meditation, July 4 Patience is hope in action. ~Fr. Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart But the message that really hit home for me comes – again – from Fr. Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward. In the last few chapters, he paints a picture of the second half of life … the half that I am working to…

  • Just Life

    Hope | June 2019.

    A summer rain storm blew through last night. I worried that our almost blooming hydrangeas might be spoiled … but no … they’re hanging tough. I snapped the photo above just after my morning walk. Love that one open bloom, washed clean, and all the others, promising a real show. It seems a fitting illustration of where I am with Hope right now. Last week (when I had a few minutes to think about it šŸ˜‰ ) I’d planned to write about Both-And Thinking. It’s a concept that I learned from Richard Rohr and became especially interested in when I listened to his interview with Krista Tippett on On BeingĀ back…

  • Just Life

    Hope | May 2019.

    Like Juliann, the “last Tuesday” snuck up on me, too. So I saved this month’s update for today. and purposefully decided on just Three Things so I could join up with Carole and friends, too. Happy Thursday! First – this visual reminder of my word* in a place where I’ll see it every day … and especially as I journal about hope, gratitude (and life). I think it fits nicely with my word from 2015Ā (and the continued gift of a calendar with the little ones who prompted that choice). Second – two of the “knitting magazines” (Laine and Pom Pom) I follow online have both come out with issues that…

  • Just Life

    Hope | April 2019.

    In spite of my very best efforts to let go of hopelessness, I’m not gonna lie, it continues to be a day-by-day thing. But most days, hope wins. The practices I’ve talked about (naming gratitudes, unplugged mornings, contemplation, stillness) are a big help. and this month, I found another one – and some new voices – that have combined to lighten my spirit. I like to think I’m strong enough to do the hard work to find hope in the dark places, but day in day out, it’s exhausting. Light helps. (so does sleep. and taking care of myself with good food and exercise. but I know I’m preaching to…