• 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…

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    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…

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    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 😉 ) 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 Being back…

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    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 2015 (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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…