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…”

A matter of focus…

I’ve been fascinated by photography since I was a small girl. My grandma and grandpa Malone always had the newest technology which meant they had a super 8 camera when I was a child, were able to snap Polaroid pictures and wave them in the air, and they had every kind of “instant” camera you could imagine. Thin wide cameras with tall flash bars on the top. Thick cameras with color film and a twisting flashbulb, and eventually they had cameras with the flash built in. Even now, one of my favorite things is to look through the boxes and albums full of pictures. It’s like diving into a time machine. Continue reading “A matter of focus…”

Winter’s rest…

Most years I begin January with a neat set of goals. I like to have a clear vision and a plan for how to get there. I divide my year into nice quarters and check in on my goals near my birthday (March), at the beginning of summer (June), and at the beginning of the school year (September) to make sure I’m on track. I adapt and change goals as my life unfolds but having a sense of where I’m trying to go gives me a sense of clarity about what matters and what I want to move towards. Continue reading “Winter’s rest…”

Beautiful mess…

Not long ago, life took some unexpected turns that have had us hustling and running to catch up. We’ve spent time in hospital waiting rooms and stale cafeterias. We’ve shown up for a variety of tests, both invasive and benign. At the end of the testing we faced the verdict, which brought relief and a wait for a fix. We’ve prayed together and alone, we’ve updated everyone who cares, and we’ve had impossible conversations about what happens if the worst happens. I watched them wheel this man I adore past the swinging doors. That hour lasted a lifetime. When the procedure was done, they released us back into our lives. Continue reading “Beautiful mess…”

The quiet…

I am alone at home for the first time in weeks. Today, the silence feels like emptiness. I have planned, risked, and worked for this, and now it’s here and I’m a little afraid of the stillness. I miss structure. For two months, we’ve been in crisis mode. We’ve rushed from one thing to another, doctors appointments, family commitments, and busyness buffered me from the sound of the clock ticking, and the hum of the refrigerator. Continue reading “The quiet…”

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…”

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…”

12 people…

A year ago I hit submit on my very first blog post. My stomach churned and I felt a little unsteady, but then I assured myself only a few people would see it. And it was fine. My intended audience was 12 humans. I reasoned, this project was worth my time if 12 people read it each week. When I whined to a friend about how hard it was, how the technology is hard, how I hate that there is no response… she said, “Shut up and write. All the rest is noise.” So, I’ve tried to shut up and write. Continue reading “12 people…”