Reading

Lent Day 12

I have recently redound my love of reading. Currently reading two hard copy books at once. And have an audiobook for the car. So far 17 books consumed in 2021. #getreading

Habit

Lent: Day 11

Sometimes your habits don’t stick. Sometimes you swear to yourself that you posted today, like you said you would every day of Lent, and so you let yourself sleep. And then sometimes you wake up and realize that you didn’t post. Mea culpa. (Today’s a double day).

A good day

Lent: Day 10

Sometimes all you need to do is remember who you are, that’s the ticket. There is magic inside of you, let the spark ignite. Keep dreaming. Keep grinding. And let go. Makes me want to blare some Cat Stevens/Yusuf, y’all.

If you want to sing out, sing out…

—Cat Stevens

I won’t miss it

Lent Day 9

I refuse to miss it. Even if all I say is “I don’t want to miss anything”. And so this is what you get. Because it’s 9:30 and today was difficult and draining and I need more sleep.

Bookstagram

Lent: Day 8

One of the things that I love is a weekly Zoom call I have with other Journey Fellows on Tuesday morning. It breathes life into me each week. Though the players aren’t always the same, there is a good core that consistently shows up. I’ve connected with many outside of my own Fellowship year (shout out to 2013!!!) And I have found camaraderie with these folks. Often times we talk about the books we are currently reading, or have recently read. Throwing titles back and forth, scrambling for pen and paper to write titles and authors down; I realized there had to be a better way. And so JourneyBookRecs on Instagram was born.

Being the organization and technological “guru” that I am, I quickly made an Insta account, posted my first book rec, and made a google form where other fellows could submit their recommendations and ratings for me to post. I’m not always super diligent about it. With more time (ha) I could post one book a day from the recommendations that have been submitted. So weeks it is just one post, minutes before our Tuesday Zoom Call.

Any way, this is just one of the ways and places of community that I crave and enjoy so much. Eternally grateful to RK for recommending me, to DL for saying I could do it, and myself for being awesome.

Poetry in Motion

Lent: Day 7

I put myself into a box for you

Not a present, per se

But a box confined but what

You wanted (or what I thought you wanted)

But my realization is

No one who cares about you

Truly cares

Should try and confine you

I’m just sad you couldn’t tell me

Before you left me by the side of the road

Discarded for the landfill

Humble Servant

Lent: Day Six

There aren’t many words today. We lost one of the best today. Rev. Richard Hamilton officiated my parents’ wedding. He was there when I was baptized (though he didn’t baptize me). I remember when he retired (though I was only 9). And I can hear the cassette tapes of his sermons that we would often have playing in our home.Such a rich and vibrant voice. Such a presence.

I remember him coming over to my dad’s house to chat with us about mom’s eulogy. I remember him delivering that eulogy. I have thought over and over and over again about him officiating at my wedding. I remember being so worried when Anna Lee passed that he’d be quick to go after her, they were an iconic couple. But he lasted many years after that. He will always be someone I admire and look up to. Well done, good and faithful (and humble) servant.

Birthdays

Lent: Day 5

Two of my very favorite people in this world have birthdays close to mine. And this is me, with a bit of shame, admitting that this year I forgot them both.

Two days ago was my dear friend Steph’s birthday. She and I met through a youth worker fellowship program in 2013 and have been “inseparable” since (quotes due to the fact that we live in different cities and are in fact separated). Here are some of my favorite things about Steph:

  • She’s quirky. And goofy. And doesn’t care much what other people think.
  • She speaks her mind, and unapologetically follows what she believes.
  • She has a heart for others and giving back.
  • She is committed to her faith and her God and doesn’t let others tell her what that should look like.
  • She is an endless vessel of advice and knowledge (boy don’t I love that).
  • She loves butter.
  • She’s down to watch you stuff your face with chocolate cake.
  • She enjoys conversation (whether two or three people are involved).
  • She is always down for a sushi date.
  • She reminds me that Voldemort has no place in Ron’s life (good riddance).
  • She’s a gem of a friend, and there’s not a much better way to describe it.

My longest friend’s mama has a birthday today. Rhonda has been a main stay in my life in so, so, so many ways–and I am so thankful for how these moments live on even though her physical presence is no longer here. Many of my memories growing up include that way or another. Here are some of my favorites:

  • The crazy birthday parties: greeting cards, karaoke, make-overs, tarot readings, and more.
  • Swimming for endless hours.
  • Riding the “build your own roller coaster” ride at Chicago Disney (what was that actually called?)
  • Realizing on the same trip that her VW Bug had been broken into
  • Garage sales
  • Pull-out couch movie nights with way too much popcorn
  • Saturday morning pancakes (okay, that one was more often Bill)
  • Optometry appointments (and feeling like a celebrity any time I walked into that office)
  • Catching up
  • Show choir shenanigans
  • Sage advice

There is something really special about birthdays. And something even more special about sharing them with others.

Babies

Lent: Day Four

I feel like my world has been overtaken by babies. My childhood bestie had a baby last Fall. And our other good friend had a baby around the same time. There have been a couple of babies born at church in the last six months. My college best friend is pregnant again. My cohort bestie is pregnant. There is ongoing conversation about whether or not my sister and brother in law will adopt. I know several people who are “trying”. It’s everywhere. And it makes me incredibly happy. But also, I have to say it makes me a little sad as well.

I’ve always said that I wanted children. For as long as I can remember. But when after what I, and my sisters, went through with our mom I vowed not to have children too late in life. And each day I inch towards that cut off time. I haven’t picked something firm, it’s more of an intuitive feeling–I’ll know when we are too far gone for it to be a thing anymore. Who knows what will happen. But until then, I will keep enjoying the time with babies of friends and family. I will enjoy the interactions I get with youth and children at work and the kiddos of family friends. I will revel in the joy that I do have in my life from watching kids grow, age, and mature.

I can’t foresee what the future holds, what is in store for me, but I still have dreams. I am still content knowing not everything I dream is meant for me. But just like Alice in Wonderland reminds me, I will keep dreaming impossible things. I will keep moving. Keep moving forward.

Spoken Verse

Lent: Day Three

I love poetry. I like reading it, seeing it, and even writing it. I love slam poetry. I love spoken verse and the cadence of artist who speak it. I love the poetry of prose. And so sometimes I find myself writing and writing and writing. So I’ll share.