• 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…

  • Just Life

    Hope | March 2019.

    For all its claim to be another long month (31! days), March seems to have slipped through my fingers. And I am grateful for my journaling practice and this space to remind me … no, it didn’t. On the pages of my journal, I found hope in fresh starts. strong women. crossing boundaries with an open heart. choices. love. stillness. energy. inspiration. dots connecting. seeing the sunrise on my morning walk. birdsong. Queer Eye. On Being. changing my mind. contemplative practices. Spring! meetings with my confirmand mentee about drafting  her faith statement. In this space, I’ve shared bits and pieces of all that … plus those days when I found…

  • Just Life

    Hope | February 2019.

    What a difference a month makes … five of the flower stalks have bloomed! Sadly, I had to cut back three of those stalks on Monday morning; I walked into my study and their spent blooms were resting on the credenza. But two stalks are still going strong and the last one is about an inch high. I just might get three hope posts from these bulbs! But in other ways, February has been a challenging month for hope. Like showing up for a graduate-level course without any of the pre-requisites. I found courage in scripture For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare…

  • Just Life

    Hope | January 2019.

    The amaryllis still haven’t bloomed, but they are growing like mad … especially on the days when the sun shines, even for just a few hours. Days like today. Some days there seems to be little reason for hope, in our families, cities, and world. Well, except for almost everything. ~ Anne Lamott, from Almost Everything – Notes on Hope Those words begin Lamott’s closing chapter (aptly titled “Hope”) and I find myself coming back to them again and again. My Friday morning group finished up Lamott’s book this past week. I read those words aloud and then we talked about places where we’d seen Reasons for Hope. One woman…

  • Just Life

    Welcome 2019 | Hope.

    This One Little Word started stealing into my heart in early December when we lit the first candle – the candle of Hope – on the Advent wreath. and when I set out this year’s lovely amaryllis bulbs. Of course my brain countered with other options that seemed more practical, sensible and … grown-up. But then this past weekend, I read the introduction to Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark. She says “Hope is an embrace of the unknown.” She quotes Martin Luther King, Jr: We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. and Maria Popova: Critical thinking without hope is cynicism, but hope without critical thinking is…

  • Just Life

    100 Days of Finding Light.

    Back on July 12, I finished a daily series of “finding light” photos for #the100dayproject. Yep, for 100 days, I found something Light in my world, took a photo of it and shared it on Instagram. Along the way I learned that 100 days, counted one day at a time, seems to last forever. and sharing something every single day on Instagram can be a real challenge! (I’m still enjoying a bit of a break from Instagram 😌.) But I am so glad I participated. Images tell a powerful story. I have a deeper understanding of what Light means to me and how prevalent it is, if I just pay…

  • Just Life

    100 Days of Finding Light.

    Long story* short, I’m all in for this year’s #the100dayproject. I’m going to explore light – my one little word for 2017. Specifically, I’m planning to fill in this blank Monday morning today and for the next 99 days. I have three of those “I find light ____” post-it notes – one on my bathroom mirror (above), one in my planner and one on the calendar on my desk. Today, I found myself feeling lighthearted on the playground. There’s nothing like a spring day with a toddler and a playground. Tuesday morning I just checked Instagram and see a few of y’all are participating in this challenge. I look forward…

  • Just Life

    Welcome 2017 | Light.

    I didn’t intend to choose a word for 2017. In fact, I was determined not to, because I didn’t want to set myself up for another year to be disappointed about not following through. But right before Christmas, I started to feel the word light tapping on my shoulder and suggesting – ever so sweetly – that it might be a good choice. I kept seeing light pop up in things I was reading (my Advent devotion has been a collection of readings titled Watch for the Light) and seeing online. First, Brian Andreas published Your Light: Let me say this clearly because it is time to remember. You are always…

  • Just Life

    Reminders.

    …of my One Little Word. I’m really committed to following through on all this word promises for this year. Little reminders can’t hurt!First is this beautiful wood carving, a gift from my sweet friend Honore (this is our sixth year sharing the OLW journey!) It lives in front of Charlie’s photo* on my desk. and seems so appropriate since he is such a big part of why I chose the word. Thanks to Kym’s recommendation, I also have these reminders to wear. Love the tiny tinkles they make as they bump up against each other when I knit – or move my hands (as I often do!). Have to say…the…

  • Just Life

    Ten on Tuesday | Well-intended.

    …just six days into the new year and I’m already documenting intentions. Thank you, Carole – I think this is a record! I wasn’t sure I was even going to do anything (more than that One Thing) this year until Christmas. But things came together and I have a word – it’s Present. as in Be Present. Inspired almost entirely by these two images. Katie took that first photo back on December 2 and Kal Barteski posted the second one on Instagram three weeks ago. When I saw Kal’s post, I remembered a quotation I’d read on Ali Edwards’ blog years ago (it took me a few hours to track…