Tag Archive - Life

Waiting…

“You don’t grow anything,” he said. This after he had asked which of us were gardeners and what we grew in our gardens, to which some had replied roses and others tomatoes or herbs… It was, apparently, a trick question. “You choose the sight. You cultivate the earth. You plant, fertilize and water. Then you wait. The growing is up to God. Your job is to create conditions in which the waiting is likely to be fruitful.

Today is the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. It commemorates the day when Mary and Joseph take the 40 day old Jesus to the temple for the purification rights. There they are met by two people who have been expecting him…

Simeon

Simeon is described by Luke as righteous and devout. God had promised him he would not die til he had seen “the Lord’s Messiah”. He is moved by the Spirit to come to the temple on this very day, and he recognizes the child at once. He takes him in his arms and speaks prophetic words over him, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel…the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” He acknowledges his wait is gloriously at an end with the beautiful words that form the benediction of our vesper services:

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Anna

There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.  She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Today is a day of encouragement for all those who wait. A reminder that, though you may not see it yet, God is at work. That your job–my job–is to create conditions in which the waiting is likely to be fruitful. Perhaps we should take our cue from Anna. Worshiping, fasting, praying….

Hold on, dear ones! Spring is coming. Be on the look out for tiny shoots of promise.

*The garden illustration is borrowed and paraphrased from Father Stephen’s homily last night. The story of the presentation can be found in the second chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke, beginning with verse 22.

As a Man Thinketh…

As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. ~Proverbs 23:7

We all know that person…

She walks into the room just as everyone is celebrating someone’s good news: A job promotion, a college acceptance letter, a new baby. Her response is predictable. Something along the line of:

“That’s SO not fair! Nothing like that EVER happens to me. Must be nice…”

How is it that some of us simply cannot rejoice with those who rejoice? Why must their good be a source of jealousy and bitterness?

We all know that person…

His cancer is incurable. The pain is intense. He is a good man. A loving husband and father. He has given so much. It is not “fair“. And yet… Those who come to encourage him are encouraged by him. He radiates a renegade joy that defies explanation. His last days on earth are a continual giving of himself to those who will soon walk without him.

How does he do that?

As a man thinketh…

Maya Angelou tells of a difficult time in her life. She is a single mother, barely making ends meet. Desperate. Hopeless. She meets a man who challenges her to make a list of things she is grateful for. It seems ludicrous at first. But she is just desperate enough to try it. She pulls out a yellow legal pad, and excruciatingly digs for some small grace. She scratches the first thought across the paper. Then the next. All of a sudden, she can’t write fast enough. She is still adding to that list today. That single act was a turning point in her life. Nothing was ever the same.

In her beautiful book, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voscamp writes of a similar challenge. Grieved and embittered by life experiences that seem too much to bear, she just wants out. But she too is challenged…first by a friend…then by this: On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it.” (I Cor. 11). The challenge: to give thanks. In the middle of the hard. For ordinary, extraordinary things. Specific things. Things like…

1.  Morning shadows across old floors.
54. Moonlight on pillows.
243. Clean sheets smelling like wind.

It. Changes. Everything…

We tend to find what we are looking for. When we believe life is sacramental and that God has given us every good thing, we expect to find our days filled with gifts. And they are. When we are cynical and suspicious, and constantly on the lookout for those who will cheat us and take what is ours, we find that too.

It is easy for me to see this in others. It is more difficult to recognize when I myself am doing it.

You wanna know something crazy?

I have been doing it about this very thing.

I am grieved because someone I love often sees life through suspicious, cynical eyes. Unable to rejoice in the good gifts that have been given to her. Unable to rejoice in the good gifts given to others. My grief becomes frustration. Then anger. And suddenly I can only see her through my own bitterness and suspicion. I am blind to the best in her. Arrrggggh!

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~Philippians 4:8

Incidentally, I do not advocate some Pollyanna naivety about what is true. But all of us pass “truth” through filters. If those filters are clean, we will find the true and the beautiful even in the most agonizing situations. But if our filters are polluted by self-interest, suspicion and greed, we will be unable to see good even when it is handed to us on a silver platter. With chocolate on top.

Father, please wash my heart and my mind. Help me to see as You see. Help me to filter the atmosphere around me with the atmosphere of heaven…

The Kingdom of God creates within us an atmosphere of heaven, as opposed to the atmosphere of hell that is radiated by a person when hades abides in his heart. The role of Christians in the world is to filter the atmosphere on earth and expand the atmosphere of the Kingdom of God. ~Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

May it be so.

List of Candidates 2012

Life is too short to read bad books.

So, I pick and choose literature with the utmost care. This I do largely based on the recommendation of literary friends whose taste has proven impeccable. Sometimes I add books mentioned as favorites by a writer I respect. Or I chase down additional titles from an author whose work has captivated me.

All of these I add to a running “list of candidates”. I learned this practice in Steve Leveen’s tiny treasure of a book,  The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life. When I finish a book, I peruse the list to find a selection just right for just this moment. It is a marvelous resource.

Here are the books that are currently crowding to the front of my list. Please, PLEASE, let me know which books I MUST add. Last year was one of my favorite reading years ever, largely because of the great books you told me about. I am counting on you.

A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor *
A History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography by Egon Wellesz
Mother Gavrilia: The Ascetic of Love
by Nun Gavrilia*
Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemmingway *
Silence by Shusaku Endo
Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron*
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky*
Waiting for God by Simone Weil
The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Matsuo Basho
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson*
The Trembling of the Veil by W.B. Yeats
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh *
Davita’s Harp by Chaim Potok
The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell
The Poetry of John Keats
Story by Robert McKee
Wild Iris by Louise Gluck *
Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris
On Writing Well by William Zinsser

*List items read thus far. For a full listing of all this year’s reads (as well as past years, and favorites), click on the Bookshelf tab above.

empty

No one has to teach us to inhale. It’s instinct. So strong, in fact, that the very first act we perform on this earth is a great, frantic grasp for air.

However, exhaling is something most of us do badly. Or, at least, incompletely. Yoga instructors spend a great deal of time teaching students to slowly and completely empty their lungs. Creating space for air requires great purpose. Filling it does not.

Life looks very like that sometimes…

I am a threshold kind of girl. I love reflecting, evaluating, dreaming, setting goals. I always do this at the threshold of the New Year. But this year it has been difficult. As I have pondered new challenges and activities, they have felt like so much clutter.

Inspired by the OneWord365 project, I thought perhaps I would instead select a word to give shape to the coming months. But this too eluded me. I read posts from others who had selected their words–words like Choose, Begin, Discover. I loved them! I tried to steal borrow their words. But none of them fit.

On Monday night our priest came to bless our home. As we were talking afterward, he shared with us a concern that has been on his heart of late. He talked of how we constantly seek to fill ourselves, when what is required of us as followers of Christ is that we be emptied. In fact, it is impossible to pour into a container that is already full. But emptying is much more difficult, more unnatural, than filling.

Just like breathing.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this. And the longer I pondered, the more I knew that I had found my word. The word that tied together the random longings that have been swirling round in my heart. That bristled every time I tried to decide what I was going to add to my life this year.

empty

I am only beginning to imagine what this will look like for me over the next twelve months. But here are a few places where I hope the word will have its way with me…

To stand silent and empty before God. Without demand, without pretense, without excuse, without words. To be still. To be with. It is harder than it should be. For me. But I am learning. A little.

To empty myself of arrogance and self-sufficiency. To walk humbly with others. Most especially with my family. And close friends.

To empty my life of clutter. Frivolous pursuits (ie: the black hole of the internet, mostly), Items I no longer use (which could benefit another, and occupy space in my home), Things I might like to buy (or that might be a really good deal) but I don’t need, etc…

It scares me a little. This idea of seeking to be emptied. Quite frankly, I have always seen emptiness as something to be fixed. But I believe it is the next right step.

Here goes….

On Eating an Elephant…

“How do you eat an elephant?”

“One bite at a time.”

~African proverb

I suppose there is a certain wisdom that comes with age. Even without purposeful cultivation. A warfare wisdom born of much folly and error.

Perhaps one of the most valuable lessons is the brilliance of  “one bite”.

I fought it when I was younger…and “smarter”…than I am now.

When striving to master a piano piece, I would “warm up” by playing the portion I already knew. Then work for a bit on the despicable part that gave me trouble. Then play the part I knew well again. And again. Then play it all. And predictably train wreck at the difficult part. Then play the part I knew again to re-assure myself. Etc……..ad nauseum.

If I had applied all that time to only the prickly part, I would have mastered it.

But it overwhelmed me.

Most tasks (projects…goals…resolutions…changes…you fill in the blank) overwhelm if we persist in seeing the whole of it in one glance, when it would yield to us if we would only take on one bit at a time.

I see it in my kids:

Piano scales played badly because mediocre and fast somehow seems better than precise and slow (which would eventually become precise AND fast).

Paralysis to clean a room run amok, when tackling one corner…one shelf…just the floor…would, over time, slay the beast.

Every now and then I still see it in me.

A teenager infested house that “refuses” to be put to order.

Chaotic days…a frantic schedule…that seem out of my own control.

An inability to “find time” to write of late. Which makes me uncomfortable and ill tempered.

Today I began learning a new piece of music. An acapella vocal work with unusual harmonies. Almost without thought, I began dividing it into little bits. I rehearsed each til I knew it, then added the next little bit. Remarkable how soon I was making this very difficult work my own. One bite at a time.

It made me eager to take on another project. Just so I could practice dividing it into tiny, conquerable bits.

In this season when many of us have set audacious goals for ourselves–when attendance levels at the gym will tell the story of grand resolutions made and abandoned–when juicers, and pilates videos, and self-help books will fly off the shelves like gang busters (and show up on eBay in a few weeks)–I challenge you to stop intriguing and buying stuff  and plotting how to eat the whole elephant at once. And just make one change.

Take one step.

One bite.

Then take the next.

And the next.

And watch what happens…..

*Drawing at top of post by Sean Gallo. See more of his fine work HERE.

Top Posts of 2011

Writing is sometimes just for me. Thoughts I need to work out. The words give place to that. But, mostly, writing is about communing with another. And it is always most satisfying when it resounds in the heart of someone…or many someones. These are the posts that this year connected most deeply, based on number of visits, shares, and comments.

Thank you for reading. I would still write if you didn’t. But it would mean far less.

Godspeed  In January, our dear Father Seraphim was laid to rest. He was an artist and a man of peace. He will be much missed. Herein I write my impressions both of him and of the service which ushered him into the Presence. (This post was transferred from my previous blog without comments. You can read those HERE if you like.)

Delicious Agony  A Lenten post. Of the futility of striving to apprehend God, and the extravagant grace of receiving Him. Incidentally, the song featured in this post has become a lullaby for my granddaughter. Would that she could understand the truth of it without the folly and error I required.

Just Show Up  What if all that is required of us…to care for our friends, to live out our faith, to create…is simply our presence? Our willingness to be…

Soul Stink  A confession.

Daughter of My Daughter  An attempt to capture a crack in time. One of those moments that will live in the memory for always. The day my daughter became a mommy.

Dream Wall  A fanciful construct, inspired by David McCullough’s book, The Greater Journey, which struck an unexpected cord. For the lover of art. Or the would be lover of art. An invitation…

Pray in Me  Of the words which bury themselves inside us, if we will let them. Of the Spirit who prays Himself in us with groanings too deep for words…

Before They Leave  Of the books I would have all our children know before they leave home.

You Don’t Have to Shave Yo’ Legs  A playful look at a volatile subject. Love that loves all the time, no matter what. Love that chooses to see good. Plus, a little ditty from Keb Mo. 🙂

Book List: The Lost Books  My most popular book list EVER. If you were stranded on a deserted island, which books would you want to have with you? Be sure and read the comments. They Are GOLDEN!!

Fringe Benefits  Of perseverance and persistence. Of the unexpected gifts that come with doing the hard things.

A Blessing Unsolicited: Part II  Sometimes the most beautiful gifts come in unlikely packages…

Empty  Of a costly exuberance. Of pouring out too much.

Booklist: On Writing  My favorite authors on the crafting of words. Again, some great info in the comments.

Lord, Make Me Humble, But Not Yet  A raw, honest confession. Lord I believe. Help my unbelief.

Of Being a Grandmother  Being a grandmother is, in fact, the bombdiggity. 🙂 Here’s why.

Postcards From Atlanta  Of a spectacular weekend with Women of Faith.

If I Were Really Brave  On daring and audacity, and risking it all.

11 Films to See More Than Once  The most popular of a series of 11 posts I did in October. Films that are so rich that they bear repeating. Another one where you want to read the comments.

Christmas in Appalachia…a Remembrance

I run my fingers over the velvet cloth of my dress. Hand-stitched by my mother. Like all of my clothes. It is a wonder to me; this cloth. Like fur. So delicious under my hands. Dark blue. Too wonderful to be real.

I click my black patent leather shoes together and listen to the squishy sound they make. It will scuff them, I know. I can’t not do it.

An excited hum fills the church as everyone scoots together to make more room. So many people. Some of the men pull out folding chairs to put at the end of the pews, and I know that this night is not like others…

The fragrance of cedar mixes with a scent I can only describe as colored light and tinsel. Warm. Artificial. But good. Very good. Delicate icicles sparkle against the lights, and I know someone very like my mother (it might have been my mother) has hung them. One at a time. Draped carefully over the end of the branch. Personally I always favored the technique of throwing them against the tree and letting them find their own place. I usually got two handfuls thrown before my mother very unceremoniously put an end to that mess.

In my mind, I rehearse the words I have practiced over and over. A poem. Short. About a box. A gift box that folds out to form a cross. It is clever. I know that. But I am not really sure why.

The singing begins. My dad always fusses about the crazy harmonies of Christmas carols. They don’t behave properly. And men and women who know nothing of the shaped notes in the hymnal…who find their pitches “by ear”…will be chasing these chords all night. But I like them. These strange songs. These only ever at Christmas songs.

I couldn’t tell you what is happening inside me. I only know that it is other. A flirtation with something beyond my little world. I know it in that most important knowing…the inside knowing.

Without words.

In abject defiance of language.

The time comes for our class to mount the stage. My heart pounds. I search for the words like they are floating in the air somewhere. I feel sick at my stomach. My aunt Janice looks at me. My turn has come. Marvelously, the words find me just in time. I say the poem. Words in a pattern. Words I do not thoroughly understand. Yet they strum against something inside me. Stoking a fire of wonder…of mystery.

It is beginning.

It is more important than I could know.

I don’t remember what happens after the poem….until…brown sacks are retrieved from beneath the tree. Every person will receive one. There is an orange, an apple, several unidentifiable nuts in their shells (these I will give to my dad),  fragrant peppermint, and vanilla cream drops cloaked in chocolate.

And everything that is this night coalesces in a jumble of impression and awe. It is old-fashioned, perhaps. But it very capably says to a little girl of the mountains that this night is like no other. That everything you think you know is being undone. That the miracle of Jesus in the world has the power to transform ordinary into extraordinary.

I have worn it. I have breathed it. I have eaten it.

And the reality of this plants itself deep inside me. And I will never be content in a world without wonder. I will spend the rest of my life chasing that which I first tasted in a simple, ordinary, extraordinary Appalachian Christmas.

A gift for you. A remnant of my little girl Christmas in the mountains. A song we sang every year. One that has proper harmonies. 🙂 Enjoy.

11 Things I Might be Doing Instead of Blogging…

I just never got round to it today. I told myself that for 11 days I would blog every day. How hard could it be? Turns out, very. As you might have already concluded based on my usual output of 3-4 posts per week.  .

So, on those days when I do not write, what am I doing? Here are some possibilities. (Not all from today)

1. I might be running. Especially if the day is sunny and cool, and the trees are all aflame with color, and the air has that musky scent of fall, and my legs feel strong, and I finally have to make myself stop because I do, after all, have responsibilities. Hypothetically.

2. I might be at church. I’ll be there in the morning, so tomorrow’s post will be late. But, the fact is, some of my best writing has been born of time spent with the people of God in this most sacred and other-wordly place. And being there is so very good for my soul. So if you are missing me, I just might be there.

3. I might be making sandwiches, and helping with homework, and attending talent shows, and listening to stories of heartaches and triumphs, with my children. No apologies. I know where my priorities lie. They will always, always come first.

4. I might be cleaning my house. But that’s unlikely.

5. I might be in the garden. If so, that’s a good day. The worst day in the garden beats a really good day most other places. It is clean and true. It is life. And death. And seasons. And resting and growing and plenty.

6. There is a fairly good chance I am playing with my granddaughter. Four or five days a week I have the pleasure of spending the whole day with her. Watching the miracle of new. Of discovery and yearning. Study and mastery. Frustration and joy. When given the choice of snuggling up with the wee one or snuggling with my computer, little bit will win every time.

7. I might be doing laundry. But I hope not.

8. I might be cooking for my family or for friends. If I am, I might be having all kinds of fun. Making something beautiful, delicious, and nourishing. Trying a new recipe. Cooking with one or more of my kids. Or friends. Music playing. Candle burning. Glass of wine nearby. OR….. I might be scrounging through the pantry or the fridge trying to figure out how one comes up with a palatable meal with only black beans, chia seeds, and mustard. Those chefs on Chopped have nothing on me. 🙂

9. I might be reading. In fact, I’m probably reading. Unless I am doing one of the other things I already said. Then again…there might be a book on my ipod; Jeremy Irons whisking me away to Spain in the midst of my laundry. And next time I pull a pair of socks out of the drawer I will remember Santiago becoming the wind.

10. I might be sleeping. Which is what I should be doing now. Many blog posts have been written while I should have been sleeping. At least WordPress has the good grace not to tattle on me like Typepad used to. You don’t know if I have posted at 3:47 in the morning. Sleeping is not my strong suit. I’ve never been very good at it. But there’s still just the off chance that I might be sleeping instead of blogging.

11. I might be wasting time. Probably on the internet. Checking email, then facebook, blog stats for the blog I am not writing, looking up recipes, translating random phrases into French. Or I might be writing a blog post about why I am not writing a blog post. Or writing a post about why I’m writing a post about not writing a post. Or diagramming that last sentence.:)

What is it that keeps you from doing what you want to do?

 

11 People Who Have Made Me Me

Our utter dependence on others is so obvious and so complete that it is as invisible as oxygen and just as necessary…. Know whom you owe. Know that you owe. You’re fooling yourself if you think you made it or will ever make it on your own. ~Hugh Hewitt

My Mom I know this is a little like giving the answer “God” for any question at church. However, this is so very true that I am willing to risk allegations of sentimentality. It was my mom who sat at the piano day after day and birthed in me the dream of one day making music myself. My mom read me stories, despite my maddening tendency to ask for the same story over and over and over…  She filled my world with flowers and nourished my love for beauty before any of us even knew it was there. So very much of what is best in my life I knew first because of her.

Mrs. Lois Freels was my third grade teacher. She talked to my parents about the possibility of moving me ahead one grade in school. They elected not to, which I regretted at the time, but am glad of now. But something about her confidence in me helped me to see myself differently. As someone special. Someone smart. For a little girl…already way too tall…awkward…floundering for identity…this was an unspeakable gift!

Darryl Burgess created quite a ruckus in my little back woods Baptist church with his long hair, but he built into the lives of our little band of teenagers. He gave me my first opportunity to play in a real band. He taught us how to be part of an ensemble…what it means to compliment one another. To trade off lead and rhythm. How to be better together. Baby steps. But critical ones for the path that lay ahead of me.

Harry Fritts is a character. A most memorable personage. One of only a few teachers my parents and I had in common across generations. While Darryl was teaching me to play in a band, Mr. Fritts opened to me a different musical world. One of precision and restraint. Of elegant and exquisite harmonies. Of polish and control. This too prepared me for a future I did not even know was coming at the time.

My Husband I know, another sentimental choice. But it’s not always true. In my case, it is. Mike loves me all the time no matter what. And sometimes I have made that very hard for him. He has created a safe place for me to become. He has provided for our family so that I could raise our children, and read wonderful books, and pursue topics and endeavors that have made me richer. I could not be me if there had not been him.

Dr. Nancy Boone I loved…and feared. She was my most influential college professor, and eventually my friend. She frequently put me in situations I didn’t think I could handle. Because she believed in me. Because she saw more in me than I saw in myself. I grew exponentially under her tutelage because she stretched and pushed me. I am forever in her debt.

My Children Being a mom has taught me more about love than anything else I have ever experienced. Here I learn what it looks like to do the hard thing, the unpopular thing, when it is best. Here I come to understand what it means to be willing to give your life away for another. And here, also, is joy. Joy unspeakable. Joy over discoveries, and achievements, and triumphs. Joy when hard things have been survived and lessons learned, and grace poured out. Joy in watching God mix the same gene pool with such extravagantly diverse result. Joy in those moments and experiences that bind us together. Always.

Rhonda Kemp has been conduit to many of the very best things in my life. She was my homeschooling mentor. She opened to me a world of beautiful books, unit studies, and field trips. Ever the great matchmaker, she has introduced me to countless people who have made my life richer and more interesting. Perhaps most notably, she provided my entroit to the remarkable Tuesday Bible study that has, in many ways, saved my life. And now, we walk life as friends. Ever weaving in and out of one another’s stories.

My Bandmates at The Peoples Church Yeah, I know bundling is cheating. But hey, it’s my list. These men and women were a pivotal part of my life for a season. They provoked me, both musically and spiritually. We grieved with and interceded for one another when things were hard. And we celebrated riotously when good things happened. We shared crack of dawn rehearsals and Christmas Eve services that ran into the night. We made some amazing music. We worshiped with our hands and our voices and our hearts. And it was good.

You know who you are. Thank you. You are ever in my heart.

Kari, Jen and Jen  These three young women and I have lived life very closely for the past 5 years. We have something of a mutual mentoring society. We read books together. But mostly we live life together. And when one of us is weak, the others are strong for her and stand in the gap, and pray, and remind her who she is. And when one of us wants to take the easy way out and do something cowardly and destructive, the others bar the door and refuse to let her quit. I am ashamed to say how often that someone has been me. But the giving and the receiving are all grace, all gift. And who we are together is far better than who we are alone.

Gail Hyatt  A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure. ~Sirach 6:14 A friend who has the grace to forgive much, the courage to speak difficult truths, the vision to see in us what we cannot see in ourselves, such a friend is indeed a treasure. Such is Gail  to me. She has given me courage when mine was lacking. She has called forth from me that which I did not believe was in me. She is remarkably wise. She has been God’s provision for me in ways I am incapable of speaking. For such a time as this, to be sure. Hopefully until we are both of us old and toothless. 🙂

 

Your turn. Who has helped knit the fabric of who you are together? Tell us here. Better yet, tell them. Our lives really do matter more than we know. It is good to be reminded of that, sometimes.

 

*Second in a series of eleven posts of elevens; one for each of the first eleven days of the eleventh month of 2011.

**Special thanks to Chelsea and Bryan who inspired this post (with slight adaptation).

***Finally, my list, as you might have perceived, is in strictly chronological order based on our first meeting.

Eleven Elevens: the Concept

I am not mathy. Numbers are not my friends. Usually. But even I could not overlook the rather unusual occurrence coming up just two weeks from today. For the only time this century, the date will read 11.11.11. That’s wicked awesome! In my humble, non-mathematical opinion.

To commemorate this most auspicious occasion, I am writing eleven posts, beginning November 1st. In keeping with the theme, each will be a list of eleven….somethings. Eleven secrets to powerful procrastination, perhaps. Eleven places that have stolen my heart. Eleven great recipes for brussels sprouts. You get the picture.

Here’s where I could use your help. I have several list ideas already. But, as you can see from the whole brussels sprouts thing, not all of them are very good. Shoot me some suggestions. Sublime or ridiculous, all will be considered.

God bless you for your kindness.

May your tribe increase.

Elevenfold. 😉

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