January 16, 2015


She was always in some kind of love affair with the sun. Sunshine had a way of making her come to life.  Of reminding her that He was there; that He saw her and remembered her and heard her heart.  Whether it was setting or rising or shining bright and high in the sky or glaring off her windshield, peeking through her living room windows or turning her skin a shade of pink - any way it was, she thought it was lovely, perfect. 

But always.  Always the sun made her feel alive again.

 Melting away anything that was frozen over inside of her heart.  Calling her to play, to run, to live.

It was His "Good Morning."  His "I see you darling." His "I know this one will take your breath away."  He had a way of romancing her, wooing her with His warmth and brilliant light.  And she was like His sunflower - bending, stretching, moving towards Him as He made His way through the sky.

And on this day, this January day that came after days and days of gray and cold and wet and dreary, she found herself thankful for them. It made her love the sun and all of its glory even more.  It made this day, this light of the sun, this blue sky all the more special.  Because it meant that once again she was seen and remembered.  He sent it to her when she needed it most.  And He always did that.  Always came through. 

The Son.  Her truest of true loves.  Kissing golden sundrops onto her eyelashes.

January 9, 2015


If there is anything I enjoy about January, it's that it invites simplicity.  After nearly two months of indulgence and celebrations and full schedules, January comes with its desperate need to be quiet and still.  To slow down all that has been moving at rapid pace.  I need the calm and slow that comes with the beginning of the year, with winter.  And I am recognizing an even deeper need to simplify.

I have this tendency to fill all of me with as much as possible - whether it's stuff or activity or commitment or friends....or brownies.  And it leaves little space for the unexpected, whether the unexpected is a gift or a welcome change or a hardship or crisis.  Anything "extra" from the normal pace of life going as it is currently planned, sets me over the edge and instantly overwhelms me.  And it's terrible because once I've reached capacity and things spill over, I begin to spin and create chaos.  I'm not kind to myself or to others and I'm definitely no fun to be around.  My December made me see this over-filling that I do.  For a long time I used to do it with food, and on occasion I still can.  But now it seems as though I do it with many, many other things.

So, I've begun the uncluttering process.  I have been purging closets and cabinets and clothing and I'm well aware of how I hold on to things, or even get them in the first place because I think it will fix something that is broken inside of me.  And they never do of course.  Yet, I am still dreaming of new throw pillows for my living room because maybe that will do the trick. 

We made the decision as a family to get rid of cable for awhile.  It was becoming a place to check out, I think for all of us, and I realized how  much time any or all of us spent in front of it not engaging with each other.  Last night, with the absence of the noise coming from the TV, I sat on the couch with my boys and we played and acted silly and read books and giggled and laughed so much that Tommy declared me to be the "funniest girl he's ever known in his entire life."  It feels good to eliminate some of the distraction and noise from every day life that was adding to the fullness and leaving room for little else.

For the last four months, we have asked some friends of ours to hold us accountable in the area of our finances.  We have been foolish in making choices and spending our money and can't seem to get where we want to be.  And though I dreaded asking for help here, it is quickly becoming one of the best choices we have ever made together.  Our purchases, whether for groceries or clothes or Christmas presents are becoming more mindful and purposeful.  And as a result, I have been less stressed.  We are accomplishing things and this one choice of having someone help us here has made me curious what other places we could ask for help.  Because it seems that asking for help always provides some kind of clarity to a situation making life more simple. 

My afternoons at home, or in the evening after the boys have gone to bed, have looked like warm mugs of coffee and putting puzzles together, which has been strangely calming and therapeutic.  Next to being more present with my children, the quiet activity has been soothing for my soul somehow.  Apparently there is rest in a good jig-saw puzzle.

Currently, I am thinking about other places that take up space in my life, wondering how they might be simplified.  How the simplicity can create the room I'm needing to breathe.  In my job, in my body, in my friendships, in my current places of commitment.  What places are too full and have no room.  Where and how I can ask for help.

Perhaps simplicity will be the theme of my year.  I am hoping that I can create some room for the unexpected, so when waves of surprise come in, good or bad, I won't spill over - there will be space to carry it and walk through it all. 

On this gray, winter morning, I am hoping that some of the quiet and simpleness of my January carries on throughout the rest of 2015.  I think it's exactly what I need.

January 4, 2015


I am most certain I could not survive winter in any other place in the world. If it actually snowed where I lived, if we had blizzards or ice or any kind of frozen precipitation day after day for months on end, I am fairly certain I would not be able to endure it with any amount of sanity or grace.

It is barely winter here.  South Texas is fortunate enough to only receive the tail end of any fronts or freezes or arctic blasts.  Yet, standing outside in a windy 52 degrees today, I told my friend our conversation was over and I was getting in the car until summer came back. 

The cold despises me.  Or I despise the cold - I'm not exactly sure which statement is more accurate.  Either way, it doesn't fit or feel right and every winter, I find myself wishing it away.  January has always been the month I get through and survive.  As soon as the holidays are gone and Christmas is boxed back up into the attic, I am ready for spring and the warmth of the sunshine.  I find it rude that the newness of the year has to come with the winter.  I happen to think that the new year should be in the spring when everything is green and lovely.  And alive.

This particular season makes me want to hunker down.  To hide even.  To stay indoors, covered in blankets with a warm mug of coffee and a good book.  To isolate and retreat.  Winter makes my very social self, anti-social.  I listen to different styles of music - like soft, lyric-less compositions.  I live in my warm comfy pants and Todd's wool socks, which sadly isn't acceptable work attire.  Getting out of bed in the morning and showered and ready to take on the day is a chore - partly because it activates my Rheumatoid Arthritis and partly because staying in bed sounds more appealing than any other possible thing.  I become almost hermit-like, craving the quiet, and surrendering to the death I am surrounded by outside hoping to just get by and get through it.

Just like the seasons change and winter's arrival comes every year, I go through the same cycles and patterns within myself and even with my faith in God.  If the sun is furthest away from my part of the earth in the winter, than I also feel that God is the farthest from me then also.  That I am furthest away from the truest version of me.  Nature goes to sleep, it rests.  Likewise, I do the same, but usually in unhealthy ways that involve consuming too many warm baked goods and sitting on my couch so long I leave a permanent dent from my lethargy. 

I feel like God is distant and small in winter.  He becomes a faint memory of some fabulous summer vacation we had together.  And I wait for Him to return in all of His glory and sunshine and show off with making things new in the spring.  God isn't as show-offy in winter.  He seems to be quiet much like the winter that settles in around me in gray skies and barren trees. 

Just today I journaled the words, "I feel like you left me.  It's winter and you leave me every winter."

Tonight, as I sit here in my familiar comfy pants and Todd's wool socks and black hoodie because we refuse to turn on the heater, I am curious about what it might be like to winter well.  Where I might find God in this season if I were to look for Him.  And if I might be able to rest, really, truly rest in a season that does nothing but invite that very thing.