A Central Organizing Principle…

“I’ve figured it out,” I declared to Keith. “I know what I need.” He raised an eyebrow at me. It had been months since the kids had left home. I was still rattling around our big old house. Sometimes, I felt like I could still hear their voices echoing off the walls. After they all left in a rush, I had sat quietly. Feeling the sadness, fearing the end. I was listless and avoided many of the things I had once poured myself out for. Evenings when Keith worked, I poured a glass of wine and retreated to my “studio,” which was newly decorated to finally declare it my own. There, I listened to audio books and knitted. Continue reading “A Central Organizing Principle…”

Gently now…

As the winds blowing through my life have calmed over the last couple of weeks, I’ve settled into some new routines. I am stunned to realize how tired, bone tired, I am. I could probably sleep for a month, but I’m of a certain age, and I don’t really sleep that well anymore… Continue reading “Gently now…”

Visitation…

The first time I sat with a Pastor in my own home, we were in our early twenties. We had just begun attending the church when the secretary called to ask us if it was okay for Pastor Ufema to come visit. Keith and I scurried around our little house on Cross Street trying to make it presentable. I made iced tea from a packet and strawberry shortcake from scratch. Continue reading “Visitation…”

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…”

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…

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…”

Be anxious for nothing…

I worry like it’s my job. I gnaw on a concern until it’s lost all of its taste. In fact, I feel like it’s irresponsible not to worry about things that matter… Like I don’t care if I don’t worry. Often, in my head, worry shows my commitment to people, to projects, or to plans. The thing is, worry doesn’t actually produce any good things in my life. Continue reading “Be anxious for nothing…”

When the road turns dark…

Recently, a friend’s family has taken a turn toward a road no one wants to walk. Terms like tumor, brain surgery, and malignancy mark this season in their lives. They have clustered together like a knot around their loved one. Tomorrow they will sit and wait while experts try and cut away, not too much, and make a way for healing. Continue reading “When the road turns dark…”

Grace whispers…

Last night, whispered prayers dripped onto my pillow as I acknowledged a familiar grief. My heart refuses to pretend to be who I want to be… strong, secure, gracious, and true. Instead, life pushes at me, tripping me up, like a playground bully. In the bump and fray of everyday life, I find myself again nursing wounds and grudges, that are inconsistent to the woman I want to be. But they are real. And so am I. Continue reading “Grace whispers…”