Friday, September 30, 2011

praying...when life is hard or confusing, and such

I appreciated reading Sarah's thoughts here about prayer this morning...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

what i notice

On these oh-so-rainy fall days, this is what I notice and smile about...

the look in the eyes of a six-month-old learning to eat solid food.

and the relief found in the bottle when he's tired of that strange new stuff :)

a dinosaur raincoat

savored chocolate chips, melting in the hands of a 2 1/2 yr old who's potty training.

a six-year-old who does care about the puppy he (usually) hates because now she's sick.

clean sheets on a bed.

sharing secret whispers with a toddler.

the tickle monster.

pesto made with my garden basil--delightful.

excitement shared with others about trips and travel.

puppy cuddling.

fall knitting.

boots for splashing in puddles.

an eleven-year-old who thinks she's sixteen.

browsing through Food & Wine in the late afternoons at work.

the feel of deep-down cares and concerns not lost or forgotten...but...dormant?

conversations with mom about who I am (and who I'm becoming).

vanilla chamomile tea after work.

candles burning.

small (and big) things my heart thanks God for; so much taken for granted.

and--last but not least--rain down the gutter when i'm falling asleep...

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Bucket List--of sorts

This isn't exhaustive, nor is it in any particular order. You might think some of them are strange. I'm ok with that :)

1. Take a photography class
2. Develop pictures in a dark room
3. Publish a piece of writing
4. Take a dance class
5. Participate in a bike race
6. Backpack a portion of the AT
7. Adopt
8. Really grow a garden (no more container garden crap)
9. Visit Isle Royale again
10. Tour a vineyard
11. Canoe the boundary waters
12. Learn wood stripping/refinishing
13. Work/volunteer (more) with refugees
14. Visit a refugee camp
15. Involve myself in advocacy (someway/how)
16. Take another pottery class
17. Spend several days in a monastery
18. Draw/paint something to be proud of :)
19. Make what I can
20 Always: get out more
21. Go to Finland
22. Lead (co-lead) a church small group or Sunday school class
23. Travel/backpack around South America
24. Buy a fixer upper (and all the how-to's for fixing it up!)
25. Teach
26. Keep myself teachable
27. Volunteer with relief/disaster response
28. Have a family
29. Teach my kids to love the outdoors and to adventure
30. Travel up the coast of Maine
31. Visit Pearl Harbor
32. Give of myself for others every day
33. Never forget the needy
34. Never grow indifferent to those with "more than they need"
35. Never presume I don't need
36. Learn to live simply (but deeply)
37. Read to people who can't
38. Go on a hot air balloon ride
39. Visit Africa again
40. Never forget God is a God of presence
41. See Peter Mulvey and Jeffrey Foucault perform together in concert
42. Keep gratitude and humility close
43. Keep doing things that scare me
44. Learn to white water kayak
45. Live close to the earth (without that being weird, haha)
46. Read at least three new novels a year.

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need."
-Luke 12:31

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I appreciated this short post about love and marriage this morning...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sweaters and Smartwool Socks

Yep, it's that time of year. Time for sweaters and Smartwool socks. Today I stopped in at REI before picking C up from school. This has been a bad habit started this year because I have to get there a littler earlier for parking. Arg. Well, it's fun but I'm almost always tempted to think I need things I don't. Truth is, I went in today for something I did need: a new pair of Smartwool socks. Mine from last year have holes worn in them from excessive wearing [yes, I do live in Chicago where it is winter 6 months of the year]. Needless to say, I have a few that needed retiring. SO, I went in and to my very pleasant surprise they had some on SALE. And, they also had a host of winter hats on clearance (don't know why...we're only barely beginning to move into those impending 6 months). So I got a super cute Southwestern-y looking beanie for $5.50. Steal of a deal. It will be just perfect for our Grand Canyon trek over Thanksgiving. Oh yes, did I tell you?? Mom, Dad, Luke, Jake and I will be spending three nights in the GC (Havasupai Falls area, to be exact) in November. Wahoo. I can hardly wait. It's going to be just so beautiful.

So here I am--toasty toes--sippin' on Honey Ginsing tea fighting the sniffles and sneezes, thankful for a night in. I have some things to do...a few projects, some writing, some organizing. I just got through listening to this Piper sermon and want to pass it along. It was "right-on" as far as things I needed to hear and be reminded of. Hope you're able to log away 4o min or so to listen to it sometime. Please do.

Friday, September 16, 2011

kind of fantastic

Luke and I have been on an Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros kick as of late. Found this tonight...

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Someday I hope to have a garden that produces like this one--Mom and Dad's! They've put in a lot of work and have quite the harvest to show for it. Isn't it beautiful?! Seriously. I love it. This sort of thing gets me antsy for life somewhere outside of city where there's even just a small plot of dirt to grow...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I panic, sometimes

I usually get to this time of year--the turning of summer into fall--with a bit of panic alongside. I live in the city but so much of fall happens "out there." Will I miss it? This usually depends on what kinds of trips I can plan for out-of-city adventuring while fall sets in. I don't have any planned this year. Hence, the panic. I don't want to miss it. I don't want to miss the leaves aflame and the smell of the earth turning over--air that's ripe with the smell of living things leaving for awhile.

This morning I'm thinking that I need to make sure I find places to go out of the city when fall is at it's most beautiful. Apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Fields and forests turning all my favorite shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown. The thing about fall is, it's usually gone before we know it. That's part of it's beauty. It never sticks around long enough for us to get sick of it (although who could, even if it did) like the long, dark, wet days of city winter do. They tend to stick around long past their welcome. [side note: it has come to my attention, however, that my aversion to winter is really an aversion to "city winter," which is another breed of animal altogether. i can understand that it is different than winter "out there" where there's snow to play in and woods to explore; porches for sitting and all those winter sports that still seem extremely foreign. i'm determined to snow shoe this winter...]

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"It's only prides hunger for perfection that paralyzes a heart, keeps us enslaved to fear."

-Ann Voskamp

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


The word has to do with the navigational handling of a ship--"near land using buoys, soundings, landmarks, etc..."

Luke has me listening to Josh Garrels again. I don't like all his stuff but I've been enjoying his new album this week. Pilot Me, each time it comes on, strikes a chord in me for sure: "I will arise and follow you over/Savior please, pilot me..."

I'm reading my way through Ecclesiastes. Last night before bed I was thinking about the purpose/function/gift of relationship and community. I had read 4:9-12,

"Two people are better than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided chord is not easily broken."

So I got thinking about relationship for all these things: companionship and service, growth and transformation, health and well-being, protection and safety, warmth and closeness...

I'm more and more convinced that relationship is a remarkable (might I even say, miraculous) gift.

Not to say there aren't some hideous and twisted expressions of relationship (of all kinds) out there, but that those aren't the healthy, right or true. They are perversions of the healthy, right, and true. Some look there and say, "No way, I don't want to risk that happening." And I'm that person sometimes. But its wrong, you see. And to skip out of such a remarkable and wholesome experience in life would be to...miss out in profound ways on the gift God's given. Relationship. Community.

I guess we say, "I will arise and follow you over/Savior please, pilot me..." And we keep at it...we keep building our relationships; investing, loving, serving, praying...because two and three are stronger than one...