5 Things I Learned this Summer

It was said of poet and Jesuit priest, Gerard Manley Hopkins, "As an artist, Hopkins could not be static; whenever he looked back, it was to go forward with more confidence." This is summer, fading and lingering all at once. This list is a form of Examen that I practice in community at the close of each season. Actually, I keep a disorganized list in my journal of what I am learning all thoughout the current season. Some are small, some heavy, some lighthearted, and others just plain interesting. Sometimes, I can see what I am learning captured Continue Reading

7 Everyday Ways to Being Original

The Blueberry is visiting from Atlanta. He brought along his family and favorite toys, Buzz Lightyear and Woody. They are one week into a two-week visit. Our house has looked a little different this past week. There are English peas on the floor, tiny shoes by the door, and sweet faces awake with the brewing coffee pot. But mostly there is more laughter and toddler noise, and Woody in unusual places - in the laundry basket, under the covers, on the stairs, in the library, even in the kitchen colander where at noon we drained the shells for mac and Continue Reading

What goes into a Calendar​ of Grace? (the one you were made for)

"Construct a calendar of grace, Genesis days and moon-marked months." Eugene Peterson I still can't believe I did it. I lost Mike's car key. You know, the key fob original to the car that is dumb expensive to replace. Mike was gracious. After a few days and still no key, he simply ordered a new one. But I found I was fussing at myself on the inside about it. What a dork! How could you lose his keys? How hard could it have been to put the keys in the drawer right away? Stop what you're doing right Continue Reading

4 Things I Learned this Spring (story edition)

Each of us has a tale to tell if only we would tell it. Frederick Buechner But first I must listen to my story for I am not telling it alone. My story needs reflection to understand itself, its undercurrents and flow. This is a brief pause to look back at what we've been up to (me and Jesus) and then finding any connections to what's happening right now, under my nose, in my own life. It seems as though it should be so obvious; it's so close. But life is fast moving, a blur really, so it helps me Continue Reading

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