Give Yourself Time to Bloom (lessons from a young magnolia tree)

I thought I had found the perfect spot for the young magnolia tree. I planted her in our front yard at the end of the white split-rail fence underneath the old elm that had been there when we bought the property. I tucked her into the hillside right at the turn into my driveway so I could enjoy her saucy blooms everytime I came home. Springtime rolled around right on the heels of Lent as she always does. The world was waking up in the first blooms after winter. But my little magnolia only had one tiny bud that remained Continue Reading

What's Your Next Right Thing (in love)?

Making decisions are some of the hardest things we do. And we do it a million times a day. Some decisions are small: what time to get up, what to eat, what not to eat, what to make for dinner, what to wear, what to do today, what to do first, what can wait until tomorrow? The list goes on. Then there are the less frequent, yet bigger decisions: where to live, what to study in school, what job to apply for, what job to take, who to make friends with, who to marry, what church to call home, where Continue Reading

3 Things I Learned this Winter (fire and ice edition)

You don't have to have snow to learn a few things in the winter season, but sometimes it crystalizes the lessons. There are lessons to be learned in the quiet snowfall, the ice crystals, and warming your toes by the fire. Here are a few of mine this winter - just three. Icicles are formed with patience and time. When I saw the icicles, I felt like a kid again. I wanted to sit at the window and watch them form against a clear, cold sky. Drip, drip, drip. They were three, four, even five feet long, hanging in icy Continue Reading

Chapel of the Small Things

He found her in the front row, a small girl leaning shy on her Daddy's arm. In the slanting rays of late summer when the hydrangeas grow tall and leggy, the maestro played keys in a tiny white chapel. Maybe she would come to the piano and help him play a song? He showed her what he practices everyday and they played it together. He looked only at her and she at him. We knew we were witnessing something all too rare - a hushed and simple kindness, attention to the small. This winter I ran into her Daddy and Continue Reading

My Favorite Books of 2018 (5 of 50)

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” Mortimer J. Adler This is why I mark my books with squiggly lines, stars, and large ellipses so I can revisit the best parts like a converstaion with an old friend. I know their words can water my soul if I let them soak in. This year, I read more than fifty books, which is not meant as a brag, but I hope gives you context for my offering of a Continue Reading