Sunday, November 22, 2015

to & from & me & you (toby)

In the midst of some pretty terrible tragedies, when suffering and fear took hold of the global stage once again, you arrived.

I am thrown for a second time by the magnitude of it all, this love made tangible. Is there anything more powerful than this?

Tobias Harold Joseph Kiger, born Sunday, November 15, at 2:40 AM

You kept us on our toes for over a week, but when it was finally time, you came fast and furious. Zero to 60 (or six to 10, if we're talking centimeters) in under two hours. Fifteen minutes of pushing, followed by what the midwife called a "textbook rotation," and then, somewhere in the space of my relief and disbelief: You. Tiny and perfect and dark haired and wailing. We'd waited 41 solid weeks, and yet it still felt so sudden. You cried and cried and kept right on crying. I guess you got it out of your system right then, though, because you've hardly made a peep since.

I'll admit, I was scared this time around. And it hurt. It hurt so much more than with Caleb, probably due to the quick progression. (As our midwife also said, "Faster doesn't necessarily mean easier.") I kept looking for an out, trying to find the off switch. It took everything I had to dig deep and keep faith during the brief moments of in-between. Yet somehow, we made it. You're here, I survived; there was no out to take. And despite what I may have claimed at the time, I'd do it again. Of course I would, and hopefully, eventually, I will. The ability to share my body with another human being, to be "home" for new life, is an honor and a gift.



I know so many people are walking around battered and weary right now. It feels counterintuitive and, frankly, a little bit subversive to look at the hurting world and choose to participate in this act of creation. To joyfully welcome new life in the face of pain and suffering. To choose hope and unabashed, full-throttle love. The newborn bubble offers one powerful forcefield. I look at you sleeping peacefully in my arms as your big brother gives you gentle, giddy kisses, and I think: This is it. This is all there is. At the same time, I am as aware as ever of our immense privilege.

We've been waiting for you, sweet Toby. May you always know how very loved and chosen you are. Or maybe it's you who chose us. Either way, I'm so very glad you're here, and so completely grateful.

There is nothing better than this.







Monday, October 5, 2015

monday's cup, no. 15


“Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.” 

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel


Monday, September 21, 2015

monday's cup, no. 14



"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” 
Rabindranath Tagore




Sunday, September 20, 2015

nothing i asked for, more than i wanted

These thoughts have been percolating in my head for months now, but I've been too nervous to put them out there. The message feels pretty counter-cultural, though that could just be me, renegotiating what I thought I knew. My words aren't perfect (they never are), and they didn't come easily. As always, I'm still figuring it out, and this is what I've found true, for now.

Recently I started reading Birth Matters by Ina May Gaskin, and she touches so fiercely and deeply on what I'm trying to comprehend and convey. So at the very least, I know I'm not alone. (It also doesn't hurt that Ani DiFranco, my teenage idol, wrote the book's intro.)

Deep breath. Onward.


When I was around four years old, I put together an elaborate Christmas wish list for Santa. I don't remember specifics (though the hard copy may very well be lurking in a box somewhere in my parents' basement), but I do know I didn't receive a single thing on it. "Santa" had already obtained all our presents that year, and none of them matched up with what my preschool heart desired.

Turns out, it didn't matter. On Christmas morning I woke up to a sea of beautiful dress up clothes surrounding the fireplace. They were "nothing I asked for, and everything I wanted!" 

Direct quote right there, via my mom's retelling: "I got nothing I asked for, and everything I wanted!" 

Motherhood, for me, has been a lot like that. Minus the fancy outfits.

I had no idea I could be so deeply satisfied as a wife and mom, that it was possible to find a soul-level calling in motherhood. 

I still feel like I'm not supposed to admit this. I'm not supposed to say that the thing that has taught me most about what it means to be a woman has been becoming a mom. Or that the most empowering experience I've ever had was giving birth, and I'm actually looking forward to doing it again.

I've never been very athletic or physically-inclined. My brand of feminism growing up mostly had to do with wanting to be seen and appreciated for my mind, whereas my body was best ignored entirely. Sure, I picked myself apart with the best of them (feet too big, boobs too big, thighs too big, etc.), but damn anyone else who dared objectify me. Down with the man!

In labor and delivery, though, I finally understood what I was made for, made to do and to be. For the first time, I saw my body as an incredible, powerful gift. My body was capable of successfully growing, birthing, and feeding a brand new human being, and one that I instantly loved like none other. 

Predictably, this threw my sense of self into flux. Not because I was suddenly a mom--that part actually felt unbelievably natural; but because it was utterly counterintuitive to consider my body sacred when I'd lived my whole life half-heartedly trying to accept that I had a body at all.   

It's a lesson I'm still learning: That my body and mind must work in tandem, and neither is better or more necessary than the other in this all-too-human experience. In this way, my feminism is much more rooted in an understanding of the feminine--what it means to be female, body, mind, and soul. The experience of motherhood, of mothering, is an innate part of that.

On a larger scale, I believe our society is craving a similar kind of balance. Pursuing "equality" within a patriarchal structure, where we essentially advocate for women to be treated more like men, does nothing to address or elevate the inherent gifts we bring to the table simply by being female. 

As Edith Stein said, "The world doesn't need what women have, it needs what women are."

I wholeheartedly agree.

Monday, September 14, 2015

apple picking


We spent Saturday afternoon at the orchard, enjoying the beautiful weather and picking a full peck of Gala apples. I was a little worried we'd have to get baking or give a bunch away, but Caleb has been chowing down on them like nobody's business. Although there is definitely still a warm apple crisp in our future, and I plan to grate a few into our oatmeal now that cool mornings have arrived. We went to the same place as last year--I guess that makes the family tradition official now? Crazy to look back and see what a difference a year makes! It was definitely nicer going early in the season this time around, and with a healthy, well-rested kid. Plus, he's just so much fun these days (I mean it! So far, the almost-twos? No so terrible :) ).

I'm having a little trouble sizing photos for the blog at the moment (all these fancy software updates on my new computer are throwing me!), so what you see above is it for now. Hopefully I'll get the kinks worked out soon and have a manageable system once again! I've been missing this space more than I realized.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

on kim davis

LOVE, people. Love love love love love love LOVE, with a big side of forgiveness. Grace in motion.


Today I figured out where I stand on the whole Kim Davis thing. I know, you're relieved. You can rest easy tonight, America! Or at least, I can, since I was reminded that I am not, in fact, Atlas, and the weight of the entire world is not mine to bear. (False idols, anyone?)

Here's my job: To love. 


Figuring out who is right and who is wrong and who said it better? Pass. Because a lot of times it seems like the only answer is: There is no answer. And the only question worth asking is: What would love do? 


When I'm consumed by world events and the media, I do a pretty crappy job of loving my family and neighbors. I swear at traffic and frown at strangers, which is not good for unclenching the heart.


I know these things. Yet somehow over the past few weeks I grew increasingly convinced that if I only kept reading, stayed down the information rabbit hole long enough and late enough, collecting various evidence and opinions, I'd eventually find THE TRUTH in these problems that are not mine to solve.


Frankly, I don't buy the story of Kim Davis' victimhood. What I do buy, however (given that I've never met her and have been following her story peripherally at best), is that she's lost in self-righteousness. That possibly, she's just like all the rest of us: Broken, and a little bit afraid, and a whole lot human. Do you know what feels really good when you're in that void? Making other people wrong. Making yourself better than


It's not about gay people, or God: It's about her. Her own ego and fear and insecurities and pesky human nature.


Kim Davis may want to feel better than. Maybe she just wants to feel good enough. If that's the case, then we have more in common than I thought. 


If she shows up at my church next April wanting her feet washed (doubtful, but roll with me for a second), I'm washing 'em. Same goes for any gay/transgendered/divorced/post-abortive/addicted/homeless/fill-in-the-blank person, and for Donald Trump. Also millionaires and dads who wear socks with sandals. I'm not saying we should all necessarily hang out and be friends (or that the Donald's feet wouldn't gross me out); but every single one of us is still invited to the table. I'd like to see less political rallying and more rallying around each other. It doesn't matter if I have all the answers in the world if I'm failing to love the ones in front of me. 


The other day I was listening to an old On Being interview with astrophysicist Mario Livio. He was talking about mathematics, and he said that, as with anything, we like the answers to be black or white. Most people can even live with grey. What's dang near impossible for us to accept is that something can be both black and white. This is also where he finds truth.


Both/and. 
The hardest and truest place to dwell. In math, and in life.

But WE CAN DO HARD THINGS, right? Is that not the rallying cry I've heard over and over again through certain places on the internet? And as Mama T (and, yes, Momastery) reminds us, we belong to each other


Even Kim Davis.

. . .

"Do nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but with humility consider others superior to you, as you look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others. Keep this mental attitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus." 

Philippians 2:3-5

"In the end, dear friend, it is always between us and God, not between us and them." 

Mother Teresa


Image via

Monday, September 7, 2015

monday's cup, no. 13



"Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses." 

James Oppenheim, "Bread and Roses"



Image via

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

hi.

It's been awhile, hey?

A few weeks into my blogging hiatus, Caleb helpfully bumped my arm while I was holding a cup of coffee...directly over my laptop keyboard.

It did not end well.

At the time, I decided it was kind of the perfect turn of events: No internet for Lent? Well, since I now had no computer, this would be no problem! I started setting aside a little money to buy a new one after Easter and didn't worry too much about it.

Then my car broke down, and it took my entire laptop budget to fix it.

Then Andy's car broke down, and it took a few thousand dollars more to fix it.

But! I decided to look on the bright side, namely that we could afford these repairs up front. (There's also the privilege of owning two cars in general. Maintaining them is a part of life, even when it sucks.)

Fast forward to the end of July, and I have a sparkly new gem sitting on my lap. Not that I'll be able to hold it here for much longer, because this also happened during Lent:


No, that's not taco belly.

Our second baby boy is due in early November, and I can't wait to see Caleb as a big brother. (Cue heart-eyed emojis for days.)

I have about, oh, a thousand more things I want to say. Not writing for months (but still reading and watching the news and, I don't know, BREATHING) will do that to a person. Especially if pounding it out on a keyboard is how you process the world. There is certainly some lighthearted nonsense I want to share, and the usual this-and-that, but I think I "tend towards melancholy," which is how I once heard Barbara Brown Taylor describe herself in an interview. I look around at all this stuff that's too heavy and so serious, and I want to examine it from every possible angle, and before I know it I've managed to absorb its energy into my bloodstream. If I'm not careful it eventually takes up residence in my heart and mind instead of filtering back out, and then one day I wake up and wonder why I'm barely functioning.

How do you unpack baggage like that? It's hard, unzipping the suitcase. Sometimes you just have to sit and stare at it for a few minutes, then go put on Netflix and make a snack, and come back to face it when the weather and timing and karma feels right. (It should come as no surprise that I'm terrible about putting things away in the literal sense as well, especially after a trip. It can take weeks.)

For now, my only goal is to keep getting up each and every day and loving the ones in front of me to the best of my ability. I'm only human, and sometimes? Sometimes the full suitcase gets shoved under the bed. Guess this post is like me finally taking a peek at the contents, knowing that one of these days, I'll get around to airing everything out ;)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

desert days (lent, i'm ready for you)


"But Jesus would withdraw to deserted places to pray."
Luke 5:16 

. . .

Lent is coming, and I have been dreading it. I've been diving into the questions so often and so deeply these days that I forget to come up for air. For the past few weeks I've just felt tired -- of people, of religion, of God. Over it, angry at it, and yet still in hot pursuit of.... Well, something


When I first lived in Germany (over a decade ago now) I'd spend two or three hours almost every day walking in the woods near our apartment, just thinking and noticing and being. Sometimes I'd stroll into town, maybe stop by a shop or the library at the German-American Institute, or I might walk near the water. Once in a while I'd bring a pen and my journal; usually I wouldn't bring anything at all. I didn't own a cell phone, there was no such thing as Facebook, and I checked my email once a week (and on dial-up internet at that -- I'd walk the cord from the phone jack at the front of the house, down the hall, to my room at the end, and connect it to the computer).

Lately I've been finding myself not only really missing that time, but also feeling sort of, I dunno.... assaulted by all the noise online. All these thoughts and images and ideas and opinions and articles and and and and AGGHHHH! 

I need to turn it off. 

I need to get quiet, really really quiet, and listen. To the sound of silence, and hopefully, eventually, to the still small voice I know is there, just waiting. Ready.


Growing up, our family always gave up TV for Lent, and Andy and I have honored this tradition the past few years. However, since cutting cable last year, we just don't watch that much anymore, and when we do, it's usually pretty intentional (not to mention commercial-free). Yet the ruckus and racket and TOO MUCHNESS feels more overwhelming then ever, and I believe it's coming in large part from the computer. So I'm going for it, I'm doing it: I'm giving up the internet for Lent.

I mean, pretty much. 

Here's the game plan:

NO (and I mean absolutely NO)
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Blogs (especially reading)
  • Instagram

LIMITED
  • Email (twice a day, morning and evening)
  • Searches (one thing at a time, and only with a set intention. Think: Mapping directions or booking airfare)
  • Podcasts (again, intentional is key)

I'll continue to use my online meal planner, and I may watch a show here and there. The point, for me, is to be clear about why I'm going online each time I do it, and to detox from social media and the general barrage of information that comes from mindlessly following links. I'd like to tune out other peoples' ideas for awhile and see what arises internally, in the space between each breath, in this "season of discernment." And I trust that God will meet me there.

See you on the other side. And maybe bring some water, eh? x


Images from the Liwa Desert, June 2012, taken by my friend Maria Clary. More desert reflections here, from our days in the actual desert.







Thursday, February 5, 2015

stahhhhp already!


WE ARE OVER YOU, SNOW! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Actually, Caleb pretty much loves it. He does not, however, appreciate being propped in snow banks by yours truly in order to take staged photos. I was attempting to replicate a similar pic from last year's snowpocalypse (third down here). Thankfully this winter at least took its time coming. And we've had some reasonable temps and blue skies in between all the snow, so there's that.

Still, I couldn't resist buying some tulips at the grocery store today, and it's entirely possible I've already purchased some new sandals and have been breaking them in around the house.... Sigh. So close, so far, oh well. Onward!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

songs i never thought i'd like & things i never thought i'd do


Caleb and I have started listening to this song every morning after breakfast. It's not my usual jam, but Cabey nuzzles right into my shoulder and we dance around and it. is. perfect. 

I never knew how much I wanted to be a mom until I became one. It is the very best unexpected gift I've ever been given.

In college, yoga was my saving grace. Escaping the chatter in my mind, shedding my ego-based identity, even if only for a few minutes -- it changed me. It was the closest to a cure for my depression I'd ever come across. Giving that up when I became pregnant was so hard, but between my physical state, our tight budget, and time constraints, it just wasn't as accessible. So, after years of being OK, depression came roaring back in full-force shortly after Caleb was born.

I have never been more suicidal than I was last year. I daydreamed about death regularly, and I tested out what it would be like to asphyxiate myself.

In the back of my head, though, was that still small voice I'd become so accustomed to hearing during years of yoga: This is not who you are. It will be OK. The pain will pass.

Depressed, suicidal behavior is kind of like being drunk: In the back of your mind you know you're about to do something stupid, but you can't seem to stop yourself. You are at your own mercy. The postpartum chemicals raging in my brain took hold, and it required everything I had to cling to the whispered truths of that Still Small Voice.



When depression reared it's head again a few months ago, I took more immediate action, and I found exactly the counselor I needed to help me begin reclaiming my place in the light. 
I'm hesitant to say "it's over," but I've come so stinking far in the past few months. I know how to recognize when the dominoes are starting to topple (my number one sign is not showering). I've started meal planning and created a weekly chore chart for myself. When my energy levels are high, I take steps that will help "depressed Emy" down the road -- I'll make a freezer meal or two and tackle the more labor intensive cleaning projects. Washing out the bathtub is a big one: While a shower feels dang near impossible when I'm in the downward spiral, a hot bath is one of the few things that helps relax my hurting body and mind.

I've come to realize that true marriage and motherhood are Yoga in the School of Life. They are all about surrendering the "self" in the name of Love! In Catholicism we speak of sacrificial love -- well, what exactly are you "sacrificing" but your own selfishness and ego? My EVERYDAY EXISTENCE is a yoga practice. I can take all the tidbits I learned in that incredible hot room and apply them over and over and over again right where I am.

"Live to the point of tears."

This quote, by Albert Camus, is on a magnet I've had since high school. I used to think it was about absorbing the world around you, really being "in" it, and it spoke to my overly-sensitive self. Now I see it differently though. The breathtaking beauty of surrender to a life I never thought I wanted brings me to my knees and cracks me wide open. It is an aching, overwhelming, joyous point-of-tears I never knew existed before.

I am not the same person I was before I became a mother, and you know what? Thank God. 

This is so much better.




Images top to bottom: 1 | 2 | 3



Saturday, January 24, 2015

january bits + pieces

It's been sort of slow going around here. I feel like I have SO MUCH to write about, but I can't quite wrap my brain around all-the-everything yet. Eventually. 

In the meantime, a glimpse of the everyday this & that of our 2015 so far....



We rang in the new year in our PJs...

...while eating pizza. It was the best! Definitely the start of a new tradition.

Cabey learned to drive! ;) 
Cars are definitely high on his list of favorite things.

He also carts his "duggahs" (doggies) everywhere these days and loves to love on them.

Andy: "When does he start his boy band career?"

I celebrated the return of Downton Abbey with some bubbly (but haven't had a drink since--and I feel so much better! Not exactly super well-rested, mind, as I still have to work on getting to bed at a decent time. But better.).

 
Caleb is suddenly OBSESSED with cleaning supplies.
I think they even surpass his love of cars and dogs these days.

I mean, really.

But I guess he comes by it honestly :)
(I think I'm like one of those cool moms or something?!?!) (Or something.)

Ball pit heaven at the local community center.

Hot tea & a hot bath is good for the soul.

Guard cats.

Saying our bedtime prayers. Rosaries are delicious.

"You are covered in stars."
Late night meditation on Our Lady of Guadelupe, Patroness of the Unborn. 

Excited to begin a small group series for young moms on the Ten Virtues of Mary at a local parish, inspired in part by these gals.


So there you have it. I'm getting my balance back, and it is oh-so-good.







Tuesday, January 20, 2015

big & little valentine's day tees


I'd love to get my guys these cheerful t-shirts for my for Valentine's Day. They're festive without being over-the-top.

For Andy: Friday Night Lights quote shirt by Will Bryant [Honestly, I'm inclined to get this for myself too! It's also available as an art print.]



Monday, January 19, 2015

monday's cup, no. 12


“If you can’t feed 100 people, then just feed one.” 
Mother Teresa


Image here


Saturday, January 17, 2015

what i'm reading now



Winter is my favorite time of year to read. As the days grow shorter, the stack on my nightstand gets proportionally taller, and I love it. Here's what I'm working through at the moment:


I picked this up on a whim while out Christmas shopping. Anyone endorsed by Mr. Rogers seems worth a try. Haven't started yet, but I have high hopes.

2 | A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot

This book is CHANGING MY LIFE, no joke. Punk rock atheist-turned-homeschooling Catholic mom. Feels like she can't breathe under the weight of her household duties, financial woes, and childrearing. So she creates a way out. (Spoiler: The answer is not running away or selling her children to the gypsies.) Conversion stories/doubters are my favorite these days, and keeping Pierlot's "Five P's" in mind (prayer, person, partner, parenthood, provider - in that order) has already altered the landscape of my marriage & life in beautiful ways. Her "rule" also suits my routine-oriented personality so well. 

3 | A Permeable Life: Poems and Essays by Carrie Newcomer

My godmother gave me this book for Christmas and pointed me in the direction of Newcomer's On Being interview, and I'm officially hooked. So hooked, in fact, that I'll be flying down to Georgia at the end of March to see her perform live, courtesy of the aforementioned (fairy) godmother. Simplicity, gratitude, community... It's all here, and I want to soak up as much as I can.

4 | Jesus: A Pilgrimage by James Martin, SJ

I'll be honest, it's been extremely difficult for me to get down with the whole "Jesus" thing. The call to faith has been unwanted and annoying at times, like a fly buzzing around my ears or a repeated tap on the shoulder that I can no longer brush away or ignore. For many years, I've had a practice of imagining people I don't like or find repulsive as small children, since it is impossible for me not to love and forgive a very young child. At Christmas I had a stupidly huge revelation on the Jesus front: Start with the infant. I do not need to befriend Jesus the man; my path, my way in, is to love Jesus the child. I've had Martin's Pilgrimage on my nightstand since Caleb was born, but I think now I'm finally at a place where I'm open enough to, well, open it.

5 | Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe

Because I've gotta feed my left brain too, you know? Since leaving the classroom to stay home with Caleb, I've had the opportunity to create stationary for several friends and clients. This fall I designed a custom wedding suite, along with day-of paper goods, for two lovebirds. The digital aspect was fun and necessary, but doing the lettering for their place cards reaffirmed for me how much I LOVE and NEED to create with tangible materials and my own two hands. Hoping this book will help me hone my skills. Plus, it's a fantastic way to relax.

Clearly, I'm not so big into fiction at the moment. I think I gravitate towards a juicy story more in the summer, and then I tend to zip through books in a day or two. Winter, on the other hand, lends itself to a slow pace and deep processing. I'm good at that :)

What are you reading these days?





Thursday, January 8, 2015

a bundle of nerves at the foot of the cross


"My dear friends, let us love one another, since love is from God and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. Whoever fails to love does not know God, because God is love."
John 4:7-8

. . .

I posted this on Facebook late last night and wanted to share it here as well. It, like me, is imperfect, but it is the song of my heart right now. Love and compassion, in all things, even the smallest stuff. It's not an easy way of life, and we mess it up over and over again, but I still long for a world where it doesn't take such horrific acts of violence to remind us of its necessity. Breathe. Step. Hug. Repeat.

So. Many. Thoughts. 

One week in to 2015, and here it is again: Violence, tragedy, vitriol, all mixed up with support, hope, and courage... It's a lot to take in.

Can we all please remind ourselves that religion is NOT the same thing as fundamentalism? No matter which religion we're talking about. And religion itself is not inherently evil. But it IS made up of HUMAN BEINGS. Flawed bundles of ego and nerves and free will. In this way, we're all very much the same. Evil is so good at whispering in our ears and rationalizing our choices.

Mostly I stick to a policy of one foot in front of the other, hot baths, and doing my duties as a wife and mother to the best of my ability. I am still learning forgiveness, kindness, and to remember to always always ALWAYS ask: "What would love do?" I'm starting with myself, because I'd eventually like to set aside all the navel-gazing and be a presence of mercy and light and goodness. It's hard to do that when you're full of pain and self-loathing.

I'm doing the best I can, where I'm at, with what I've got. Setting the heaviest stuff down at the foot of the cross, wrapping myself in an invisible mantle of stars, and receiving Christ through the Eucharist week after week is changing my life in mind-blowing ways. I've been too shy to actually come right out and say so, but I'm seeing the disgust for what happened in France today morph into a disgust towards religion in general, so here it is: I love my Muslim friends, and I love my Catholic faith. I love the free speech that allows me to say so without any real threat other than my own inhibition and discomfort. Truly living the teachings of the Church is the most profoundly beautiful push outside my comfort zone I've ever experienced. 

Anti-theism will not solve anything.

What would love do?
--
Art by Lucille Clerc here


Monday, January 5, 2015

monday's cup, no. 11


“And I found that I can do it, if I choose to -- I can stay awake and let the sorrows of the world tear me apart and then allow the joys to put me back together, different from before but whole once again.” 
Oriah Mountain Dreamer


Image via

Friday, January 2, 2015

the big 2-9


In honor of my last year in my twenties, I took these awkward bathroom mirror selfies. And because my word of the year is courage, I'm actually sharing them.

I generally despise having my photo taken, and I only very rarely share pictures of myself here. But I guess today I'm saying: Why not?

So that's almost-29-year-old me up there. Hair and roots both longer than ever, no makeup, in my PJs.  (Although, I actually just had my first haircut since June. I broke down and sprung for highlights, too. Blonde may no longer be my natural color, but it's still my original color. I tried to grow it out, I really did. But I felt like the uncomfortable middle school version of myself -- that's about when my hair went dark -- and I HATED middle school. Even more than getting my picture taken, which is saying something. So, for now, highlights it is!)

In those pictures up there, though? I felt happy. Caleb was fast asleep, I'd just finished cleaning the kitchen, and I caught a glimpse of my curly hair and rosy cheeks in the mirror and thought: Hey, I like that person.

It was kind of a big deal.

The older I get, the more myself I feel. Today I'm taking myself out to wander, and tonight I'm going to dinner with my husband. I'm beyond excited for both. 

I love having a fresh start to a new year, two days in a row. 29, I think we're going to be good friends.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

welcome, new year!


This is my word for 2015. I have a strong mind and a bold heart, and this year I'd like to be brave enough to use them. To let the Holy Spirit work in me and through me, without being embarrassed to let others in on the source of that light.

. . .

"You fearful saints, fresh courage take
The clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
With blessings on your head."
William Cowper

. . .

"Be strong and stand firm. Be fearless and undaunted, for go where you may, Yahweh your God is with you."
Joshua 1:9