Imperfect gatherings…

Imperfect gatherings…

When my kids gather around our table these days, it is a bit of a bumpy ride. The three born to us, could not be more different. Their personalities barely fit in the room. One never knows what will spark a yelling match (politics is often the culprit), a wrestling match (a tussle over a cellphone and a mysterious Facebook friend), or mayhem of one kind or another. We’ve had good natured (mostly) water fights in the living room, blow ups that send one or another out the front door, and just a general sense of excitement that underlies both big gatherings and small.

Continue reading “Imperfect gatherings…”

Advent…

Advent…

I’ve been thinking about the way the twinkle lights on the houses on my drive home each night brighten the long winding road. Lights strung over the roof line, across the fence, or along the front porch provide cheerful relief to the dark and gloomy drive. The thirty-seven miles between my office and my house afford me the chance to appreciate the way the light brightens the darkness. I am grateful. Continue reading “Advent…”

What do you see?

What do you see?

I get lost. I get lost a lot! To Brian’s continual frustration, road trips for the football team often resulted in at least a couple moments of disorientation. I get lost in my own town, in the next town over, and it gets really hairy when I leave my familiar roaming grounds. When we travelled across the country one summer, he was terrified that I would get lost and he’d never see his father again. To help assure him that I could manage the trek, I printed out a state by state map colored in highlighter orange so he could help me keep track of our travels. On a day trip to the mall with my grandmother, I found myself lost in Western Mass. I am not sure it reassured her to hear me declare, “Yes, we’re lost, but don’t worry! I’ve been lost here before and it turned out okay.” Continue reading “What do you see?”

Holding our own…

Holding our own…

Weeks ago, when I decided to quit my job and follow my intuition (and a still small voice) into the unknown, I imagined that I would awake after my last day of work relieved and refreshed. Instead, I woke up feeling groggy and disoriented with 36 hours to plan and prepare for a bridal shower, three weeks to get a wedding under control, and two kids moving in and out of my house. When the phone rang, I had not yet seen the bottom of my first cup of coffee. Continue reading “Holding our own…”

Recreation…

Recreation…

In my mind, vacations should be more than diversions. My goal is to use time away from my ordinary life, to restore and reconnect with my best self. Our recent vacation did that beautifully. I left my job, my home, my responsibilities and entered into an alternate reality. A tropical setting, both familiar and unknown, people who have known me all of my days, and a good mix of excitement and boredom combined in a powerful way to reconnect me to myself. Continue reading “Recreation…”

How are you? Really….

How are you? Really….

I can run through days upon days exchanging small talk, without really making a connection. How are you? I’m good, and you? Every once in a while, someone I don’t expect stops and really considers the question. Maybe they aren’t working out their answer as much as weighing heart of the asker. Do I really want to know? Do I care? Continue reading “How are you? Really….”

A good funeral…

A good funeral…

The other day we gathered to say goodbye. The crisp March day blustered and weak sunshine peaked from behind puffy clouds. The church walkway was cluttered with mostly older folks. He was in his early seventies, a faithful servant, a husband, a father, a grandfather. We sang anthems of faith, about victory, about hope, about overcoming adversity and pain. We sang about Jesus. We listened to his daughters tell stories of his life, his mischief, his passion for others, and his joy. I sat with friends, tears streaming down my cheeks as we said goodbye to someone I didn’t really know. Continue reading “A good funeral…”

The unfolding…

The unfolding…

Sometimes life’s pressures push and pull at me until my soul is scrunched up in a tight fist. Often this happens slowly over time, my soul reacting to first one thing, then another, then another. I think I am doing fine, until it is quite evident that I am not. Last week this recognition came suddenly as I spoke about a difficult topic. I hate it when I realize that I am struggling at the exact same time a room full of friends do. Continue reading “The unfolding…”