Tag Archive - Family

Reading Allowed

A little Sabbath gift to you. From one of my favorite contemporary poets, Taylor Mali. Go ahead and blush in the beginning if you need to, but keep listening. Beautiful words about magic and joy, of receiving them and passing them on…

A Company of Women…

At my daughter’s baby shower, our friend Angela prayed words over her very like these,

“Lord, please help Kelsey to know that she is part of a company of women. Women who are praying for her. Women who have done what she is doing. Who are here if she ever has questions or just wants to talk. Women who want to walk life with her.”

It was the best gift she could have received.

A company of women.

I know this gift in my own life.

Grandmothers…my own and a few I have borrowed…who love generously and dispense wisdom acquired with years of living, and loving, and forgiving.

My mother who challenges and inspires me, and is still the person I call when I am sick.

My precious Tuesday ladies. What a privilege it is to share the journey of faith with them! To dig deep, to spur one another on to love and good deeds.

A group of beautiful young women with whom I have the honor of baring souls. A safe place to say the hard things. To tell ALL our stories. And to love…tenaciously, persistently.

Three sisters-in-love with whom I have lived enough life that we are bound by ties much stronger than blood. The sisters I always asked for when I was a little girl.

My lovely daughter who has taught me so much about loving extravagantly.

A host of young ladies..students, friends…who provoke me with their audacious dreams and their ability to think outside the box. To throw the box away. To trample the box and do a little dance on it. 🙂

And now, a tiny baby girl who is reminding me to breathe slowly, to see things as if for the first time, to give long, slow hugs, and to sing…early and often.

It was always God’s plan for us. This living together as women. Telling our stories. Bearing burdens. Laughing, and crying, and celebrating together. A knowing that is strictly feminine. A way of calling out the hidden things. An easy discipleship over laundry and coffee and crying babies.

In August, my company of women will expand. Explode, in fact. The Philips Arena in Atlanta will throb with estrogen. On August 12 and 13 I will be attending the Women of Faith: Imagine conference. I can hardly wait to hear these ladies:

Luci Swindoll is fast becoming one of my heroes. A most intriguing woman. World traveler, former opera singer, art aficionado, lover of all things beautiful, and profoundly generous spirit, she lives life full on. I really like that.

Sheila Walsh is a woman who has known both triumph and despair. I have enjoyed getting glimpses of her heart on twitter and look forward to knowing her better.

Nicole Johnson is one of those rare people that will have you laughing hysterically, all the while planting life giving truth in the deep places. I desperately need both. The laughter and the truth.

Mary Mary, Natalie Grant and Laura Story will be delivering truth wrapped in sweet tunes.

I will be hearing Lisa Harper, Angie Smith, and Steve Arterburn (the lone male presenter) for the first time.

I encourage you to join me. If Atlanta is not convenient for you, you have lots of other options. Go HERE to find a Women of Faith event near you. Keep up with the latest news by following @womenoffaith on twitter, or by visiting their facebook page. And if you are in Atlanta, give me a holler. I would love to connect with you.

So That You Will Hear Me

I give her Neruda with her milk. I read him aloud for both of us. Sometimes she stops sucking and listens. And I wonder what she hears. She is three months old. I know she does not understand all the words. But there is something. Something in the way they shape my voice. Stories under the words. My stories. The way he calls them forth with his incantations. Already she knows.

And I realize that much of what she will hear me say over our lives will not be words. It will be the story inside. The way it quickens my breath. Or clouds my eyes. That barely perceptible change in cadence. And she will hear something I did not mean to say. Some part of me that I would have hidden, laid bare. And perhaps it is better.

So That You Will Hear Me

So that you will hear me
my words
sometimes grow thin
as the tracks of the gulls on the beaches.

Necklace, drunken bell
for your hands smooth as grapes.

And I watch my words from a long way off.
They are more yours than mine.
They climb on my old suffering like ivy.

It climbs the same way on damp walls.
You are to blame for this cruel sport.
They are fleeing from my dark lair.
You fill everything, you fill everything.

Before you they peopled the solitude that you occupy,
and they are more used to my sadness than you are.

Now I want them to say what I want to say to you
to make you hear as I want you to hear me.

The wind of anguish still hauls on them as usual.
Sometimes hurricanes of dreams still knock them over.
You listen to other voices in my painful voice.

Lament of old mouths, blood of old supplications.
Love me, companion. Don’t forsake me. Follow me.
Follow me, companion, on this wave of anguish.

But my words become stained with your love.
You occupy everything, you occupy everything.

I am making them into an endless necklace
for your white hands, smooth as grapes.

~Pablo Neruda

Empty….

In each of these pots I planted……1 blue ageratum, 1 dark purple petunia, 1 variegated sweet potato vine, and 1 lavender lantana.  Tiny little things when I bought them. They have outdone themselves. Really. They are out of control. Beautiful, yes. But also needy. I am watering them EVERY day. One gallon each. If I am late in delivering their water…ie. after noon….they pout. Leaves shrivel and hang all pitiful. Blooms nod like they will drop right off. Sometimes they do. If you look closely you can see brown leaves that have not forgiven me. Their jubilant show has been costly. To both of us.

Yesterday I looked very like them. Leaves hanging all limp and lifeless. Begging for….something.

Empty

Life moves in seasons, I suppose. In some seasons we receive, and in some we give. Over a lifetime they sort themselves out and arrive at some equilibrium.

I guess.

Maybe.

I am reminded that I have a responsibility for caring for myself. I can only give that which I have. If I allow myself to be depleted…used up…I have no more to offer. The irony is that the closer I get to empty, the more I choose that which harms rather than that which satisfies.

Why is that?

I wanted to run away. To just tell my family they were on their own. To escape somewhere…anywhere….where no one would know me. Where no one would ask anything of me. It seemed like oasis. Like rest.

I avoided talking to God. Crazy, I know. I did not want His input. I did not want Him to tell me this was for my good. And, quite frankly, I was afraid He would give me another assignment. I was DONE! DONE, I tell you! Spread so thin I had become transparent. Invisible. Easy to step on. To trounce on the way to the next thing… So long as I had the laundry washed and folded, the dishes washed, everything running so smoothly no one knows where it comes from. And no one cares….

Throwing myself a pity party. With balloons. Talking out loud in my car. To NO ONE! To every one. Everyone that asked anything of me. Letting them know just how much it cost me……

Today, I begin again.

With the same people. The same expectations.

How can today be different? What will keep me on the rails?

This morning, I will begin with God. I will pray the morning prayers. I will give Him myself. I will ask Him to pray Himself in me. All day. No guarantees that anything will be easier today. Only one thing will be different. I will ask Him in. I will not hide. That’s all.

And if  He comes to pour water upon me, I will not make of my leaves spouts that deflect. I will receive. Even if the water costs me something. For I am empty.

Empty

Empty….

Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning
Lamentations 3:22-23

A Blessing Unsolicited: Part II

*Largely excerpted from a post I wrote in October of last year. With illuminations. And an addendum.

It is not at all the way I imagined it would be…in those moments…when I dreamed for my daughter…recklessly…without bounds.  It is not the way I dreamed it for myself.  I always envisioned myself as an obnoxious grandmother…of the sort who would relate, in excruciating detail, each moment of the pregnancy, birth and childhood….to my long-suffering friends, as well as to blog readers, mere acquaintances, seat mates on planes, unfortunate cashiers….   Instead, we have eased into it…with fragility, and uncertainty…timidly feeling our way…one…step…at a time.

My daughter is having a baby.  She is eighteen.  She is not married.

I grieve for her.  I grieve for the fact that sadness and regret have wrapped their murky tendrils around a moment meant to radiate white-hot with joy.  I grieve because raising children demands so much of you in the best of circumstances.  And now, it will demand more.  And I grieve for her dreams.  Dreams that must be amended…or postponed…indefinitely.

And yet…..

Life is a gift.
ALWAYS.
Unanticipated. Perhaps.
Not asked for.
But Wanted.
Oh, yes!
Most assuredly
WANTED!!

And JOY persists…nudging, warming, and sometimes erupting into glorious raptures.  Because we have made a space for it.  Because we have learned, through follies of our own, that God takes a peculiar pleasure in transforming what seem to be impossible situations into vibrant displays of His glory.

I watch my precious daughter as she becomes particular about caring for her body to protect the baby.  I watch her dream and study.  I see her unfolding…like a blossom…the sweet, fragile beauty that has been clasped so tightly…unfurling.  I see the intensity of her love for this tiny one who she has never met growing her…stretching her.  And I know this will continue to call something out in her…will help her to find things in herself…she does not even know exist…yet.

I am not naive.  I know this will demand more of her than either of us can imagine.  But I keep asking myself my friend Gail’s favorite question, “What does this make possible?”  And, I confess, I find the possibilities exhilarating.

Friends and family members have exceeded our wildest imagination in the extravagance of their grace and love.  It has been good to see the people of God walk in their roles as lovers and redeemers.  It is another lesson in the power of community and in the futility of living alone.

Addendum: Kenzie is three months old today. The hard has been every bit as hard as we imagined. But the wonderful. Well, let me just say that our capacity for delight has been stretched to dimensions completely unfathomable. We are seeing all things anew. Through deep sapphire eyes full of wonder. There is magic in the world that did not exist before. And my lovely daughter continues to grow into this role. Her love for her baby is fierce and wild. And playful and full of laughter.

It is a story that is only just beginning. A story full of hope. Of laughter, and discovery, and sweetness yet untasted. Sometimes the most beautiful gifts come in unlikely packages.

Happy 3 month birthday, little one!! I love you!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
~Jeremiah 29:11

*Photos 1-4 and 6 taken by my daughter, the mommy. Photo 5 taken by our dear friend Angela Davis.

Booklist: The Boy Books

Reluctant readers.
Sometimes.
Boys.

Unless….

…unless you introduce them to books like these. Read them aloud. On the porch. In a treehouse. In a tent. With a flashlight. Snuggled together in bed. Make gifts of them to your boys; beautiful hardcover editions that they will treasure. Here are some family favs. I can hardly wait to hear yours.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George Young Sam Gribley runs away from home and lives for a year in the Catskill Mountains. He makes his home in a hollowed out tree, trains a falcon to hunt for him, sews a suit of deerskin clothes, and wrests a living from the land. What little boy does not want to live this life? We also loved the sequels, On the Far Side of the Mountain and Frightful’s Mountain. Incidentally, George wrote a great many engaging books from a naturalist perspective, including the Newberry winner, Julie of the Wolves. We have read most of them. Marvelous all.

Rascal by Sterling North I watched Joshua’s eyes grow wide as we read about young Sterling’s collection of wild animals, at the center of which was a baby raccoon. For a few days, he was Sterling. Rascal was his very own. And when there were tough decisions to be made, those were his too. Incidentally, we bought Jake a stuffed raccoon because he loved this book so much.

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman Poems about insects. Fascinating and fun. And all told in two voices. So you and your son can read in tandem. Voices weaving over and under, into and out of one another. It is an intimate and delightful experience to breathe a poem together. Try it!!

The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques This was the first group of books Jake asked for as a gift. He devoured them. When I began reading them aloud again with Joshua, Jake sat in. Because he loved them so. Set in a middle ages landscape, peopled by animals, this is a delight for boys becoming men.

King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green Knights and armor, dragons, swords and daring deeds. So much that little boys love. And honor. You will have the opportunity to negotiate that with them. To imagine themselves in the place of these men. What would they do?  *I favor the Green edition because it is clean and uncluttered. We have read Mallory as well; beautiful but cumbersome.

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” Mole, Toad, Badger…boats, carriages, and motorcars. And questions about how we choose to live life. About fear and fury.

Black Ships Before Troy and The Wanderings of Odysseus by Rosemary Sutcliff (Homer)  Gods, heroes, monsters…all the fodder of little boy dreams. Epic stories…The Iliad and The Odyssey…made approachable by the art of Rosemary Sutcliff. Seek out the gorgeous hardcovers with illustrations by Alan Lee.  Marvelous! Sutcliff wrote wonderful historical fiction of her own, most of which is boy friendly.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater Joshua’s favorite book ever. Quirky and thoroughly delightful. Do NOT judge it by the new film. Two very different things. Mr. Popper dreams of adventure. But he is a man with responsibilities. No worries. Adventure is coming to him. Humorous and heart warming. A precious book.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien Joshua’s other favorite book ever. 🙂 “There is more to you than you know, Bilbo Baggins.” It is a message we all need to hear. We all need desperately to believe. That when push comes to shove and we are tested, there will be glory in us.

The Magician’s Nephew, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis We read and loved all the Chronicles of Narnia. But Joshua was very particular that these were the ones I should include. He would also have you know that seeing the movie does not equal reading the book. That liberties were taken, especially in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, that were not to his liking. Magic, quiet heroism, and characters who bury themselves deeply in your heart.

Homer Price by Robert McClosky A world of simple pleasures, innocent boyhood fun. Rural, small town America of almost a hundred years ago now. Misadventures. Accidental heroics. And great good humor.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls A little boy works, and saves, and schemes to buy two coon hound pups. He faithfully trains them and gives them his whole heart. And they give their hearts to him. Love. Costly love. This is a difficult book with hard things. Read it aloud with your boy. Give him a chance to talk from the heart to you. Walk into the door this book will open. It’s alright to stop reading to cry. Ask me how I know….

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett Unlikely heroes. Whimsy and absurdity. And dragons. A great first chapter book.

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare 13 year old Matt helps his father build their homestead, then must stay and protect the claim….alone….while his father goes to fetch his mother and sisters. There will be unexpected complications and what is asked of him becomes more arduous than any of them could have imagined. He will build meaningful friendships with a native tribe, and they will exchange understanding and good will. He will also have to make hard decisions about keeping impossible promises.

Also consider Speare’s The Bronze Bow, a compelling story of anger, and grace, and Jesus.

Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfield A mystery. A comedy. And a memorable romp through Ancient Rome.

 

Your turn! Tell me about the books your boys love. Please!

Sacred Honor…

It’s only a few words, really. It can be read in five minutes time. Oh, but the power they carry! The inevitable tide on which they ride. The lives given freely in a war that has raged for a year already. For a cause. A cause of shifting shape….

In the beginning, we simply implore that we, the colonies, be given fair representation…consent of the governed…a right guaranteed by the Magna Charta. But when King George arrogantly refuses our entreaties, separation becomes the only viable option. However…

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

And so they write. Words that elevate and ennoble. Words that challenge and provoke. Words that convict…for we do not always live up to them. Words that speak of hope and of glory. Of right and responsibility.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

These words will not come cheap. Each signature on this document is a death warrant. Treason. Treachery. Betrayal. What did these men see that gave them the courage to do what they did? What was the dream that was worth more than their own lives? Could I do this?

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

It is a story that is still being written. By men and women who offer their lives for the cause of freedom, here and around the world. By individuals audacious enough to believe that one person can make a difference, and that each of us has indispensable gifts to bring to the world. Today we honor their forebears. Courageous men who showed us the way.

*To read the Declaration of Independence in its entirety, click here. Painting by Brent Godfrey.

The Tree of Life

In everyday English, the word mystery implies a puzzle to be solved, a conundrum to be unraveled…In the east, on the other hand, a mystery is an area where the human mind cannot go, where the heart alone makes sense–not by knowing, but by being.  The Greek word mysterion leads you into a sense of “not knowing” or “not understanding” and leaves you there.  Having arrived, all you can do is gaze and wonder; there is nothing to solve.

~Archimandrite Meletios Webber in Bread and Water, Wine and Oil

The Tree of Life, a new film by Terrence Malick, is mysterion on steroids. It is a wrestling, a fascination, a dialogue with God….with truth…with meaning.

It is a film with vast open spaces. Open spaces in the story where the mind works furiously to interpret…to understand. Open spaces in the film itself…breathtaking images of volcanic eruptions, rushing water, cosmic clouds perfumed with dazzling light….and underneath these: silence. A guided contemplation of sorts. With only occasional whispers. Questions. The ones we speak against the night. Are you out there? Do you see me? Do you care? Where were you when….?

Jack (Sean Penn) asks God when it was that He began to speak to him… We see a baby all in white. Curtains billow in the breeze. Shafts of sunlight play on the wooden floor. And tiny, bare feet dance against the air. We look up through the branches of a great climbing tree with silvered leaves rustling in the wind. A butterfly. All the clean joy of a world brand new. A romance has begun.

This world of little boy joy is punctuated with dark, hard places. A brother dies. A father (Brad Pitt) is too often ruled by anger. In his misguided attempts at making his boys strong….and making himself a “great man”…he is sometimes harsh, brutal, unkind. Difficult to reconcile with the man who carries them on his shoulders…the man whose hands coax beautiful music from the keys of their piano and the church organ…the man who piously kneels before God and prays. Fear and love are inextricably linked in the minds of his sons. How do you learn to trust when you never quite feel safe?

Still, in and out of these places of pain are woven shivering grasses along the edge of a lake, ripple of water over stones, a heart throbbing the rhythm of life, hot red lava spilling over the edge of a crater as billows of gray and blue rise skyward, tiny sperm spirals seeking out an egg to begin life anew, water thundering over the edge of a precipice to pound against the pool below. Difficult to reconcile this grandeur with one who lets brothers die…who allows fathers to beat their children. Is it possible to hold onto wonder…always?

The Tree of Life is unlike any film I have ever seen. It is troubling and sacred. Difficult and glorious. An invitation to enter into mystery. To be saturated in it. I encourage you to plunge in.

The film is showing in limited release at present. If you live in Nashville you can catch it at the Belcourt Cinema. If not, click HERE to find a location near you.

Before They Leave…

My baby is going to school next year. My fourteen year old. We have come to the end of home-schooling. Which means, I am mostly done choosing the books he reads.

I’m panicking a little.

Because he shared much of his childhood with teenaged siblings, he and I had fewer long lazy days on the porch pouring through wonderful literature. I realize there are still a few books that we have not read that he simply must know…for the wisdom within, for the whimsy, the magic…for the common language it gives us as a family. So I am playing catch up. He has been a good sport as I drag books along on road trips. As we snatch lazy summer afternoons for a little explore. It has been sweet to see him fall in love with the same characters his brother and sister loved so well. And it has been sweet to hear the excitement in the brother’s voice when he gets to hear the story again.

Certainly we have read books over the years that were specific to a given child and his/her interests. But there are a few books I would have all of them experience before they leave home. I thought I would share some of those with you. I implore you to share yours with me. For the grandbabies, you know. 🙂

In no particular order:

The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter Each child had favorites, but we read them all. Over and over. For simple eloquence, for the delicious watercolors, for sprinkling every wild rabbit, squirrel, and duck with tiny grains of magic, this one is a must.

The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie the Pooh “Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best — ” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.

And there you have it. A cuddly contemplative with the most delightful turns of phrase, friendly adventures, and loyal pals.

The Chronicles of Narnia Magic, Honor, Courage, Grace, Loyalty, Love…all wrapped up in the most marvelous stories. If there had been fifty, we would have joyfully read them all.

The Phantom Tollbooth We just re-read this one on the way to the beach, all of us laughing out loud. Terribly clever, hysterical at times, yet subtly profound.

A Wrinkle in Time I should admit that I have an inordinate fascination with Madeleine L’Engle, her fiction and non-fiction, but truthfully this is one of my son’s favorite books ever. If your brain has gotten dusty; if you live within rigid confines of thinking; this book will blow the dust off and expand your view. And take you on the adventure of a lifetime.

My Side of the Mountain I read this story of a little boy who lives in the Adirondack Mountains for a year, by himself, providing his own shelter, food, and clothing by his cunning and hard work, and I watch my children’s eyes. I know they want to run away and do the same thing. I might want it a bit myself. I commend to you the entire trilogy.

Julie of the Wolves Another book (and series) by the same author, Jean Craighead George. Survival, again. Choices. And an intimate acquaintance with the natural world and with a way of life that is too quickly vanishing from our earth. Fascinating.

Rascal Small town America. A little boy collects a whole menagerie of animals, including one clever, mischievous and much beloved raccoon. A story about love…and about letting go.

Homer Price An automatic doughnut making machine run amok. Pet skunks who foil bank robberies.  A gigantic ball of string that leads to a marriage. Just a sampling of the good clean fun in this charmingly quirky book. (by Robert McCloskey, author of two more of our favorites, Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings)

D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths Brilliantly illustrated by Caldecott winners, Edgar and Ingri D’Aulaire, this gorgeous book provides a remarkably thorough introduction to the great legends of Ancient Greece.

The Wheel on the School A Dutch fishing village. School children who dare to dream audacious dreams. Learning that sometimes the way to find something is to look everywhere it could not possibly be. A crusade that galvanizes a community. And storks.

The House of Sixty Fathers Set in China during World War II, this is a world of Sampans, rice paddies, houseboats, hunger, fear, and kindness without bounds. (Meindert Dejong, author of this and  The Wheel on the School, is one of those authors we love so, we have checked out everything he wrote from the library. They are all wonderful.)

Black Ships Before Troy and The Wanderings of Odysseus Rosemary Sutcliff’s enchanting re-tellings of The Iliad and The Odyssey. I bought the gorgeous hardcovers with Alan Lee’s stunning illustrations for each of my children so that they can share them with their own children some day.

Where the Sidewalk Ends
If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer,
A wisher, a liar,
A hoper, a prayer,
A magic bean buyer.
If You’re a pretender,
Come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in! Come in!

No child should grow up without the whimsical wordplay of Shel Silverstein.

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiller Art, a mystery, Michelangelo, and two brave kids running away from home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. What could be better?

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Fanciful and fun, to be sure. But also deep and difficult. A book to wrestle with. Together.

This is, of course, only a smattering of the books we have read over the years. If you would like to see a few more favorites, click the Bookshelf tab above. Not all the books in any category show up at any one time, but if you click the category title, it will take you to my LibraryThing page where you can see the rest if you like.

Whatever Things Are Lovely…

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ~Philippians 4:8

In the midst of a week that has offered many opportunities for worry and for tears, I choose to nourish my heart with the grace of gratitude…

…for new mercies…

…every morning…

…for angels among us

…for vision

…and execution

…for play

…for winning, fair and square

…for going all in

…for sweet snuggles

…for strange, unexpected beauty

…and for taking cathedrals wherever you find them.

 

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