Checking in with my word

I have struggled a bit with my word – DWELL. These last few months I have not wanted to dwell too long or too deeply. I have been thinking of dwelling as something to avoid. I’m sure I am not the only one who has been told to stop dwelling on something.

But then I noticed this beautiful image. Every morning, I pause here while the water is boiling. I stand and look out at the hummingbird feeder, the reflection of the twinkle lights in the window glass, the flowers (there are always flower these days – I make this a priority when I do my weekly shopping). I chose this word because I wanted to dwell – to stop; to linger; to remain; to stay. When I chose this word, I had no idea how much time I would have to dwell on the everyday, ordinary moments. But this is what I needed, a time to slow down and pay attention, to dwell in all the gifts and joys.

Thanks Honoré for these monthly nudges to notice how are words are showing up.

Three things or maybe four

This postcard arrived in the mailbox on Tuesday. Our mailbox has been pretty empty lately so it was fun to pull out this colorful card from a journal enthusiast I met on Instagram.

This piece from Kelly Corrigan

These words from Kate Bowler; “Hope doesn’t mean we are blind to all that is broken”

And a fourth thing, this post from Carole lifted my spirits. So happy for you Carole and Dale. The road to recovery is ahead but I can imagine you will navigate that road with grace and love.

#tinytinymoments

This happened yesterday. What could be better than a small person, on a sunny afternoon, dipping his toes into the dirt. All the memories of our girls, digging in the dirt, making forts and kitchens, using their imaginations and staying engaged for hours. It is so much fun (much needed fun) to watch him play in the same place that his mama and her sister played so many years ago. Yup, this was a much needed bit of joy.

I am grateful for the daily bits of joy I get from reading blogs. Here are a few links to places that might speak into your day:

SpiritCloth has some beautiful stitches

This lovely lady, and this one too – so sad I won’t be able to see them since our travel plans have been cancelled

This podcast – so good

Hope today holds some precious #tinytinymoments for you

Because tomorrow is Monday

And this Monday will mark a new beginning for me, or an FFT as Brené Brown says. Did you know she has a new podcast? And this article is good reading.

Last week I made the decision to work at home for at least the next six weeks. I know they said we would return to school on April 27 but we have this new tiny human entering our lives sometime around May 4th and I want to be available to step in and help. So today I am setting up a workspace because I know I will need the structure to make working at home, well, work. I have read some tips: get dressed in real clothes, create a schedule, batching the work. I will be prepping my lunch and making sure I know what we will have for dinner. Food distractions are a real thing. On Friday I brought home files for the projects that have been begging for attention. I have my laptop. All of our admin and staff meetings have already moved to online platforms. So I’m ready – or as ready as I can be.

Have you been working from home? Any tips you want to share?

Hello Sunday

Last week was a whirlwind that ended with the rainiest day in a decade. Yup – we were looking for an ark to take us home.

December is a wild card around here. Some years we get rain, some years snow, and some years the sun is shining bright as we move into winter. But darkness is a real thing up here in the Pacific Northwest. This year I have been very aware of the darkness and it has come to rest smack on top of any ideas about Christmas celebrating. I have searched for a response to the question, “Are you ready for Christmas?” that isn’t snarky. I end up just been saying yes. But I’m not sure what it means to be ready. The tree is up. There are gifts and lights and Christmas music (thanks to my husband). But there is also that sliver of darkness that comes from the losses of this past year. And I haven’t known what to do with that sliver.

On Wednesday, we had a Longest Night service at church, an evening to sit with an understanding that this season is not all jingle bells and joy for many people. I picked up the program and read this:

In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.

“The Uses of Sorrow” by Mary Oliver, from Thirst, 2007. Beacon Press.

This morning I have been reading and thinking. It’s good to recognize the darkness in this season of twinkle lights. I am looking forward to hearing our little person sing at church this morning, to Christmas Eve, probably my favorite night of the year, to a quieter Christmas day, and to a few dry days that will get me outside.

If there is a sliver of darkness lingering at the edges in your life, I just want to say, go ahead, pay attention to it. Look for the the gift.

30 days of thankful #12

Almost two weeks into this thankful practice and I have yet to mention coffee. I have switched from being an all day coffee drinker to a coffee before 10 am drinker but I am so thankful that I have not needed to completely give up coffee. I am learning to love an afternoon cuppa tea or a golden milk latte (no caffeine) and I found a mushroom mocha that makes a lovely evening drink – with Reshi which helps with sleep.

So today, and most every day, I am thankful for that first cup of coffee.