Coming Out of the Mist

I’m writing this for me, to help me grapple with what has been an uncomfortable struggle the past few weeks. If I am transparent, I’d like to pretend that I’m not struggling, that I’m simply peri-menopausal or hormonal, but deep down, I know that I’m lodged deep in a fog, and I seem to have lost my way a bit. I feel stuck and not only find it difficult to move forward, but frankly I don’t know how.

And I’m ashamed, embarrassed, angry with myself for feeling this way. I look around and see those with much greater woes gracefully moving through life with all the balls juggling effortlessly in the air with a certain artistic flair. My balls bounce around aimlessly, some darting directly into oncoming traffic, while others are lodged somewhere underneath the couch. There may be balls rolling around in the backyard that I didn’t even realize I was responsible for. I’ve forgotten how to juggle. And even if I remembered, there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to juggle anymore. I think I’d like to leave the circus and float down a lazy river somewhere under a peaceful canopy of stately oak trees. I’m supposed to be a woman of great faith, so why am I not navigating this with great faith? Why am I struggling to lean into God?

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Moving Forward

It is no secret that the past year has knocked me off my feet. I’ve written candidly about my daughter’s suicide attempt and subsequent hospitalization (here), and the far-reaching consequences of a Covid shutdown have brought our business to its knees. It is grueling to watch your daughter endure agony while your husband is deciding whether it is time to let go of a dream business and move on to a new endeavor at 45. And here’s the thing about trusting God in all circumstances….it takes an inordinate amount of faith, hence the concept. This past year hasn’t coaxed me to gently open my hand and release expectations for my life; it has wrenched open my fist and roughly yanked them from me, crushing them in the process.

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Heart of the Matter

It’s the time of year when it’s hard to walk into any store: grocery or department and not notice a host of hearts. From t-shirts to boxes, hearts adorn most every surface reminding us that Valentine’s Day is around the corner. One favorite confection certainly speaks to the heart of Valentine’s: conversation hearts. Every year eight billion, yep, that’s billion with a B, hearts tucked neatly away in heart-covered boxes line the shelves of our favorite stores. That is 100,000 pounds of sugar, and most stores sell out within six weeks of stocking the shelves. The original hearts, from over 100 years ago, heralded pleasant platitudes like “Married in Satin, Love will be Lasting” or “Married in White, Love will be Right.” The sayings got shorter as the years progressed and “Be Mine” and “Love’s Kiss” became more popular. A recent update currently leaves us with modern versions of “Tweet Me,” “Text Me,” and “Soul Mate.” It is a fun way to communicate our affection with a favorite confection.

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Fasting As a Spiritual Discipline

My journey into fasting began nine years ago with a simple prayer after a study of Nehemiah: “Lord break my heart for what breaks yours.”  What followed this simple, sincere prayer was a whirlwind of soul searching, seeking, and studying.  Not a Fan, Follow Me, Interrupted, Radical, and 7 are just a few of the books I devoured.  One book, 7, which was an invitation to practice 7 types of spiritual fasts forever changed my view on fasting, which forever changed my life.  

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