Splash of Inspiration- 1/27/18

One of the only parts I hated about taking care of a growing family was the nightly question of “What’s for dinner?” I don’t mind shopping, carting, or emptying bags of groceries. I count the scars I gathered shopping with kids, you know the kind that happens when a child slams a cart into the back of your heels, as marks of honor. I love cooking, the smell of onions in the hot oil, the tactile pleasure of knife and board… it feels like home to me.  Continue reading “Splash of Inspiration- 1/27/18”

Making connections…

I am a connector. There is nothing I enjoy more than bringing people together. I do that around my dinner table, through small groups, scheduled meals, and impromptu gatherings. For many years, the main way I accomplish this has been through weekly gathering. We’ve opened our home for the better part of a couple decades to small groups of people who make room for each other and prioritize connection through a weekly meeting. These small groups weren’t our idea, we first were gathered up in a group that opened up the world to us as a young family. We found that we weren’t alone. We found that behind the Sunday morning smile, other families struggled to figure it out too. We found company for the fun days and friends for the hard ones. We remain deeply connected to many of the people who have done life with us through these life-giving groups. Continue reading “Making connections…”

Creating calm…

So much of the time, I feel as though I’m being pushed around by my calendar and the myriad of commitments it reminds me of daily. I tend to be a rule follower. I like to check the boxes and line my ducks up neatly in a row, but the crosswinds in my life seem to be trying to keep me off balance. I started many of the past decade’s Jaunarys with a long list of goals I intended to keep. Each year, I begin again with my list of ways I want to shape my life. Usually, they are additions to the already swollen list of commitments I hold. I’m going to write more, I’m going to make special time with family a priority, I’m going to ensure I don’t lose track of treasured friends. Continue reading “Creating calm…”

A splash of inspiration- 01/20/18

One of my favorite winter (ever) pastimes is to dive into a really great book. Since I learned to read, I’ve handled stress, adversity, chaos, and challenge by escaping into books. I feel like winter in New England incorporates all of these elements! There is no place I’d rather be when the temperature drops to unreasonable numbers (-35 is not a number I can live with) or when the winter winds whip snow and ice around my doorstep… than somewhere else.   Continue reading “A splash of inspiration- 01/20/18”

Pottery class…

I’ve been dreaming about getting my hands in clay for years. I imagined the feel of the pliant clay running through my fingers as I shaped the soft block into a useful container of my choosing. In my daydreams, I envisioned hours spent calm and centered before the wheel. I was inspired to register for a class at my local art center last fall. The first night, I walked into the unfamiliar space eyeing the wheels set up in two rows facing a center shelf. We gathered around the glazing table and quickly received the basic instruction. We needed clay, which came in 25-pound bags and we needed tools, a small sponge, wire cutter, and various wooden and metal hand tools. The smell of clay filled the space. Continue reading “Pottery class…”

Two words …

As I look at the year ahead, there are dark clouds looming. There are lots of things I cannot change at this moment, and yet there are things I can influence. So, that is where my focus has been for the past few weeks. What do I want and/or need and how will I prioritize these things in my life. It has taken years to be able to answer that question for myself. What do I want or need? Years ago, I began to ask myself three questions in my journal most mornings. The process of asking and then answering these questions has been life-giving. Continue reading “Two words …”

A look back…

The departure of 2017 has left behind a welcome calm. As I navigate the first weeks of the new year, I have spent quite a few hours tucked under my fuzzy blue blanket in my worn overstuffed chair. Usually, the week between the holidays is mine to reflect, evaluate, and plan. This year, those days were given over to people I adore, as we flew across the country to spend precious time with my Oregon family. So, I’ve redeemed slow Saturdays, a snowstorm, and quiet mornings catching up with my soul after a year of turmoil and transition. Continue reading “A look back…”

Splash of Inspiration- December 2, 2017

The most important relationship in my life is my marriage. We’ve had our ups and downs over the years. We’ve learned a lot about communication and how to tend to each other’s hearts, mostly the hard way. We went to counseling years ago, and she taught us some basic principles of communication that we’ve practiced ever since. We are not experts at marriage, but we practice all the things we know and have found that it makes a difference.  Continue reading “Splash of Inspiration- December 2, 2017”

What made life better in November?

November was a whirlwind! A business trip to Pittsburg coincided with a medical emergency for my dad. I spent tense days alone in a hotel room far from everyone who loves me. The prayers of friends and family buoyed my spirits and helped me regain my focus, but it was a tender and tense time. The tension turned into action as I booked an emergency trip home to be with my people. Seventeen days on the road, torn between work and family, my familiar home and the home of my memories took a toll. I am settling back into my life, trying to find the loose ends and tie myself back into a familiar routine. I feel a bit disconnected… jet lag and worry minus the daily and weekly rituals that connect me to my life have left me off center. Continue reading “What made life better in November?”

Managing energy…

When my kids were growing up, they played a lot of video games. My parents always ensured that the kids had the latest console, and they had games, lots of games. DDR caused the house to shift on its foundations late at night, Madden was constant background noise in our house, and the myriad of games that rolled across the screens in our home seemed endless. Of all the things, I miss about my kids growing up, this isn’t one. Continue reading “Managing energy…”