6.23.2017

Sunshine


Digging out from a pile of unread newspapers this evening! Sometimes I get at least a week behind!

I came across this precious comic. 

May you feel the sunshine this weekend. ☀️

6.21.2017

Happy Birthday & This Week's Column



Hi there!

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! LOVE YOU!

Today was a fantastic day of family time. Loved every minute of it. 



This week's column was about the superheroes among us. 

6.15.2017

Happy to be here

Morning moments on the deck
And here begins my 34th year. Time is beautiful and mysterious, and I hear all the years keep running their ever-increasing pace. So...the best we can do is really taste them. Savor them. Eat them up. Pause for moments of gratitude and bliss.

The birds and I are singing this morning...them with their worms and tunes, me with my blueberries and words. I feel so abundantly thankful to be on this deck...in this place...fully immersed in living. 

The miracle of it all is not lost on me or the robin perched to my left. We are both very happy to be here.

6.14.2017

specks & logs


Yesterday I was doing a little sermon prep for this coming weekend and I found myself wandering around the Gospel of Matthew.

I love what he said about judgment....(basically, he said "don't do it.")

But instead of just saying, "Judgment is a bad idea, folks."

He said, "Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye."

So good. On so many levels.

Reminded me the 6-week meditation class that I took with my mom last spring. We talked a fair amount about judgment/non-judgment in that course - and why it is so beneficial to suspend judgments when possible.

This brief article makes a helpful distinction between discernment and judgment. Worth a read. Discernment is seeing things they way they really are; that's good. Judgment is "what we add to discernment when we make a comparison (implicit or explicit) between how things or people are and how we think they ought to be."

Important distinction.

May you avoid judgments today...judgments of yourself and of the rest of humanity, too. And may that courageous act...that commitment to non-judgment...free up all kinds of space in our spirit.

6.11.2017

This Week's Column

Good Sunday evening to you!

Here's a link to this week's column. It's about....politics! And how politics is not a dirty word! :)

Hope you had a good weekend. I thought this one really FLEW right by. Family bike ride. A wedding reception with Justin. And time with my brother and sister, too. We drank coffee, watched Wonder Woman, and ate pizza.

Excited to head into a new week. Birthday week (yes, I'm an adult, and I still get excited about birthdays....my own and the people I love)!






6.07.2017

Monet on Wednesday


Claude Monet (1840 - 1926), The Japanese Footbridge, 1899, oil on canvas

How is your week going? I can't believe it's already Wednesday evening! 

My week is extra swell. Golfed on Tuesday night with my mom. She's on weekly league and needed a sub, so I got to jump in. I hadn't golfed in about two years, so it took a few holes to get warmed up. Really fun to whack that ball! 

Today I biked to work for the first time...and then biked down to Methodist for my weekly blood test. The entire experience was extremely empowering. I will do that more often for sure. It's 8:30PM and I will be falling asleep any second because I am utterly exhausted. 

The rest of life and work are well. Summertime provides more walks with friends and nature time and that brings me a lot of joy! The garden is growing (though a mischievous adorable rabbit ate most of it) and I got some hanging plants earlier this week for the back deck. This house really feels like home. Grateful!

Speaking of gratitude, here's an interesting article I received in a newsletter earlier today. It's all about the power of gratitude; definitely worth a read! 

Tomorrow is set to be a big day in Washington. Take good care. Find healthy ways to direct your energies. Limit exposure to toxic news dumps. Be informed but also be well. 

6.04.2017

Happy Pentecost to you!

Hello! It's Pentecost! May you feel the winds of justice, curiosity, compassion, and courage blowing all around you and through you!

Here's this week's Post-Bulletin column (it's about Pentecost).

Here's this month's Worship Life column.

Weekend highlights....

  • trying the "War Eagle" at the Old Abe Coffee stand at the farmer's market 
  • attending the beautiful, fun wedding of Pete and Danielle at Good Earth Village
  • bean bag toss
  • karaoke!
  • hanging out with my sweetheart
  • bike ride with Mom and Justin
  • farm fresh eggs from Jerry and Nancy
  • celebrating Pentecost
  • working in the garden
  • making some green smoothies
  • Justin's introducing me to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore (and finding bunk beds for the guest room!)
  • joining the folks at Trinity & Wanamingo Lutheran Churches this morning for Pentecost worship
  • hanging out with my pals at St. Mark's Care Center for worship this afternoon

Hope you had a great weekend, too!

6.01.2017

Earth Day (every day is Earth Day)



Earth Day by Jane Yolen

I am the Earth
And the Earth is me.
Each blade of grass,
Each honey tree,
Each bit of mud,
And stick and stone
Is blood and muscle,
Skin and bone.

And just as I
Need every bit
Of me to make
My body fit,
So Earth needs
Grass and stone and tree
And things that grow here
Naturally.

That’s why we
Celebrate this day.
That’s why across
The world we say:
As long as life,
As dear, as free,
I am the Earth
And the Earth is me. 

Jane Yolen, "Earth Day" from The Three Bears Holiday Rhyme Book. Copyright © 1995 by Jane Yolen. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Source: The Three Bears Holiday Rhyme Book (Houghton Mifflin, 1995)

5.31.2017

Bloomin'


neighborhood bloom in Rochester, MN

5.30.2017

Memorial Day and Breathing


Here's my Grandma Carson's blog. She's a painter. Yesterday a bunch of family members gathered to celebrate her birthday. It was a pleasant time in rural Ackley, Iowa. My heart is thankful.  

Grandma is in the midst of significant transition from her home on the farm to a care center. Her health and memory have been declining...and have declined more rapidly in recent months. Gathering together yesterday was very special, and I am grateful that Justin, Josh, Sweta, and I could attend. 

I am thankful for my grandparents and their family tree...the branches they inherited and the seeds they sprouted. 

As time goes by, I am ever-more reminded that we all have stories.
We all have family trees.
We all have closets and skeletons.
We all have joys and sorrows.
We have triumphs and glory-chapters when it all went well.
We all have abysmal failures that we'd like to erase but can't.
And so it goes.

And so it goes for EVERYONE. 

It's not just you and your family.
It's everyone and every family. 

We're all combination platters of the things we inherit - the choices we make - and the mysteries of the universe. 

Try as we might to understand it and make sense of it all, we never can completely - because we never have access to the full panoramic view. 

Instead, we catch glimpses of grace.

Waves of healing. 

Breezes of forgiveness. 

And when we do....we breathe deep. We look not back. We look not forward. 

We just breathe and remember the only moment we really have is THIS one. 

So in this one...this very one...we breathe in, we breathe out. We breathe.