Saturday, December 06, 2014


Not so long ago my friend Karla Adolphe started dropping hints on her facebook page that she was headed into the studio to record a Christmas EP.  The thought of Karla’s voice singing Christmas carols made me smile, and I couldn’t wait for the result.  It didn’t disappoint. Lingering is an EP that I don’t hesitate to recommend. But more than that, I’m excited about the tone and the heart of the album and since I’m incapable of carrying a decent tune, and unqualified to comment on music, it’s the tone and heart that I want to talk about today.
I first met Karla probably ten years ago, when she played an evening of worship music at the church I was attending at the time.  We connected slowly, chatting at concerts in town once or twice a year, and becoming friends. I was delighted when she and her husband Gary announced that after several years of living in Colorado, they were coming home to Canada, and making their home base in High River, Alberta, just 40 minutes south of my own home town. Our friendship has continued to grow, and over the last few years I’ve been blessed by Karla’s wisdom, support for my journey, and the friendship she’s offered to me.
A few years ago Karla put out an album titled “Honeycomb Tombs”, written to explore the process and journey of grieving.  It quickly became one of my favorite albums for the hard days when it seemed that I was losing my ongoing battle with anxiety and depression, and one of the albums I turn to consistently for background music when I’m writing, cooking, or otherwise engaging in activities that are reflective and healing for me.
Watching as Karla and Gary and their family began to build a life in High River, and then faced devastation as their new home was severely damaged in the flood that struck Southern Alberta last year, and watching still as they fought through the process of rebuilding and setting down even deeper roots has challenged me, and taught me much about living with faith and hope in the hard and dark spaces of life.
About a week ago, Karla wrote the following on her blog about Lingering, her new Christmas EP:
Christmas is often the most wonderful time of the year, but as I learnt withHoneycomb Tombs, grief can cause even the treasury of Christmas to become challenging.  I really wanted to create an album that would extend grace and warmth to those of you who may be grieving this season and honour your kindness to me as a listener.
I hope you enjoy the songs I selected, some of these are my absolute favourite!  The songs express themes of pilgrimage, longing, hope, revelation, visitation and prophecy.
As someone who at times finds Christmas challenging, I so appreciated the grace that this album extends.  It’s quiet, contemplative, and suited for those of us who need a moment of celebration that isn’t so “happy-clappy” as the Christmas tunes traditionally played at this time of year.  As a Catholic, the mood of waiting, lingering and longing on this record fits perfectly with the mood of Advent.
As for favorites, my favorite song on this album is Karla’s rendition of “In The Bleak Midwinter”, a lovely old hymn based on a famous poem by Christina Rossetti. It’s a song perfect for the pondering of Advent, the looking forward to a savior, the recognition of that which Christ left in order to come, to truly be “God with us”.
I cannot urge you more to head over to Karla’s website and purchase Lingering.  It’s available for only $6, and is well worth your money!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 88

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a really good green smoothie
  2. reading a memoir written by a midwife
  3. curling up under a blanket and relaxing
  4. conversation on the way home from RCIA
  5. chocolate

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 87

Today's Daily 5:

  1. lazy, quiet day at home
  2. hearing my name called in little boy voices
  3. little boy kisses and hugs
  4. an awesome dinner with friends
  5. the chance to catch up and share the stuff of life with good friends

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 86

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sunshine
  2. kids laughing as they play outside
  3. a really positive career move
  4. fresh mango
  5. dinner with my family

Monday, March 17, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 85

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sunshine
  2. reading on the bus
  3. bookstore browsing (without buying - a miracle!)
  4. a coffee date with a friend
  5. getting the news that I passed my nursing licensing exam
  6. a hot bath
  7. cuddling the chubbiest blue eyed baby that I know
  8. conversation over dinner with a heart friend
  9. the encouraging and challenging words of a friend
  10. soaking in the achievement of truly having accomplished the goal of becoming a registered nurse

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 84

Today's Daily 5:

  1. the chance to be with friends
  2. raisin tea biscuits
  3. cuddling a sweet, chubby baby
  4. that I have a roof over my head
  5. that my tendency to shop deals when I wasn't broke means that I have food in the freezer now that I am broke
  6. sweet potato fries
  7. green beans
  8. reading on the bus
  9. hugs from friends
  10. crawling into a soft bed at the end of a long day

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 83

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a smooth work shift this morning
  2. a hot bath with a novel
  3. playing and cuddles with my sweet niece
  4. dinner with family
  5. green grapes
  6. blackberries
  7. my niece's facial expressions 
  8. mint tea from starbucks
  9. an afternoon nap in the sun, curled up in an armchair
  10. quiet time under a blanket, reading, writing, praying, preparing for the day and week to come

Friday, March 14, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 82

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a restful night's sleep
  2. a super lazy sleep in kind of day
  3. episodes of The Newsroom
  4. reading a book curled up under a pile of blankets
  5. grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 81

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a good shift at work
  2. a hot bubble bath with a good book
  3. cheese
  4. watching episodes of Perception on my ipad as I commuted
  5. a soul-engaging conversation with a friend on the way home from RCIA tonight

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 80

Today's Daily 5:

  1. 80 straight days of making these lists
  2. Chinook weather
  3. getting to see a friend for a bit this afternoon
  4. caramel nut granola bars
  5. a super tasty, simple dinner of souvlaki skewers, green beans, and sweet potato fries

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 79

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a really good green smoothie
  2. iphone games
  3. resting
  4. watching television for free online
  5. sweet potato fries

Monday, March 10, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Days 77 & 78

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. Sleeping in after a late night and daylight savings time
  2. puttering around the house in my pajamas
  3. crawling into freshly washed bedsheets at the end of the day
  4. tackling a few nagging household tasks
  5. resting and reading
Today's Daily 5:
  1. mint tea
  2. seeing a friend at a rather dry work event
  3. A New Liturgy: Lord Have Mercy
  4. being able to borrow a vehicle from my folks to run errands and buy groceries
  5. curling up at the end of a busy and tiring day with another cup of tea and an episode of Suits online

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Days 75 & 76

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. tackling a few nagging tasks
  2. reading a novel curled up under a blanket
  3. a good cup of tea
  4. tv on dvd
  5. watching episodes of The Newsroom
Today's Daily 5:
  1. a decent work shift with my lady this morning
  2. a long hot shower
  3. a friend who cared enough to attend my rite of call to lenten renewal tonight
  4. the ceremony itself
  5. dinner, conversation, laughter and sharing over pub food and booze

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 74

Today's Daily 5:

  1. lazy morning with netflix
  2. fresh mango
  3. peppermint tea
  4. reading in a starbucks
  5. texting with dear friends

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 73

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sunrise colors
  2. a positive career moment
  3. ash wednesday mass
  4. grilled cheese and tomato soup
  5. borrowing a car to do some errands

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 72

Today's Daily 5:

  1. some encouraging dialogue about Lent with a dear friend
  2. TV on DVD
  3. pancakes for dinner
  4. peanut butter on a banana
  5. good chocolate

Monday, March 03, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 71

Today's Daily 5:

  1. restful morning
  2. positive step in my career
  3. sitting in the sunshine for a bit
  4. potatoes - because I just happen to love them, and tonight I roasted some
  5. "Mother's Little Helper" tea from David's Tea

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 70

Today's Daily 5:

  1. being able to borrow a car
  2. multiple cups of mint tea
  3. hugs and prayers from a dear friend
  4. magic bags on sore muscles
  5. conversation about Jesus over a good meal

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Days 68 & 69

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. fresh mango
  2. skype with my Lyds
  3. doing some bible study homework that challenged me
  4. a hot shower
  5. quiet time alone
Today's Daily 5:
  1. peanut butter
  2. green smoothie
  3. more challenging bible study homework
  4. seeing Karla play in concert with Heidi
  5. cuddling with both Sterling and Hudson throughout the concert (cute kid cuddles are pretty much the best thing ever)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 67

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping restfully
  2. lazy slob day
  3. a library stop
  4. reading in a Starbucks
  5. a good conversation on my way home from an appointment tonight

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 66

Today's Daily 5:

  1. tackling a nagging task that had been hanging over my head
  2. Rick Mercer and Jann Arden rock-climbing - so many giggles!
  3. this post from Preston Yancey
  4. waking up feeling rested
  5. hot crossed buns
  6. super happy news I received
  7. simple lunch - blueberries, cheese, cucumbers
  8. a walk in the sun (and managing not to fall on the super icy sidewalks)
  9. facetime call with a dear friend - just sharing the stuff of our ordinary lives
  10. a cup of tea as I wind down for the night

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 65

Today's Daily 5:

  1. Sunshine during the time I was out and about
  2. being able to borrow a car from mom to go get some groceries
  3. hot crossed buns
  4. quiet and restful day
  5. phone date to catch up and pray with a good friend

Monday, February 24, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Days 61-64

I spent the weekend in the mountains, standing up in a wedding for a long-time friend.  As such, I didn't quite make my lists, and rather than present individual lists for the last several days, I present one composite list for all four days.

Daily 5:

  1. a sliver of moon
  2. listening to "A New Liturgy: Lord Have Mercy"
  3. feeling rested on waking
  4. glimpses of sunrise
  5. a much better work shift
  6. Vietnamese dinner
  7. a hot tub soak in the falling snow
  8. good quality chocolate
  9. watching olympics
  10. sharing a friend's last moments as a single gal
  11. the fun of having my hair and makeup professionally done
  12. the look on the groom's face as his bride walked down the aisle
  13. a truly amazing meal
  14. the beauty of the mountains in freshly fallen snow
  15. dancing a few different songs over the course of the evening
  16. watching the joy as friends and family celebrated
  17. a mountain hike
  18. time with a good friend
  19. coffee date with another friend
  20. lots of good cups of tea

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 60

Today's Daily 5:

  1. A brief, unexpected reprieve in a stressful situation
  2. watching the final minutes of the gold medal olympic woman's hockey game with my dad, and then watching as the Canadian team celebrated their win
  3. a hot shower
  4. walking home in the sunshine from mom and dad's
  5. treating myself (thanks to the starbucks card I was given) to a big cup of peppermint tea as a stop for a "treat" on my walk home
  6. a short nap
  7. episodes of White Collar on Netflix (loving this series!)
  8. reminiscing as I wrote a toast for a wedding I'm in this weekend
  9. simple, quiet time at home
  10. baking cookies

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Days 58 & 59

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. an unexpected health event that explained some irritating symptoms
  2. listening to "A New Liturgy" on my morning commute
  3. a better day than expected
  4. Skype with a dear friend
  5. the simple, calming actions of working in the kitchen
Today's Daily 5:
  1. glimpses of sunrise as I rode the bus to work
  2. a patient teacher
  3. got my first IV start!
  4. the release of tears that flowed somewhat unexpectedly
  5. a quiet evening with minimal human interaction

Monday, February 17, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 57

Today's Daily 5:

  1. pajamas until noon
  2. dessert for breakfast (a black forest croissant) in bed
  3. binge watching episodes of "White Collar" on Netflix
  4. cuddles with my niece
  5. a long bubble bath

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Days 55 & 56

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. a quiet, lazy morning
  2. a long shower
  3. a curly hair day
  4. glow bowling, dinner and then drinks and dessert to celebrate J's upcoming wedding
  5. chatting over wine and card games about forthcoming nuptials
Today's Daily 5:
  1. the beauty of the Cathedral downtown where I caught an early morning mass today
  2. sunshine
  3. cleaning and bringing order to my living space after a few crazy weeks
  4. the moment when I realized that despite being pretty much penniless, I could treat myself to Starbucks because a friend recently gifted me with a fairly substantial Starbucks gift card
  5. quiet and rest - a good way to spend a Sunday

Friday, February 14, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Days 53 & 54

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. view of sun on the mountains from the training room I spent all week in
  2. my green smoothie
  3. string cheese
  4. a yummy wrap for lunch
  5. a super early bedtime (lights out by 8:20 pm)
Today's Daily 5:
  1. a gorgeous sunrise from the hospital windows
  2. a friend who prays
  3. Chinook weather
  4. And subsequently, less required layers of clothing
  5. listening to "A New Liturgy: Lord Have Mercy" on the bus, and making it my newest morning routine
  6. chocolates for valentines from one of the educators who taught the training today
  7. mom bought my groceries!
  8. I passed my CVC module - now to get the practical experience
  9. flickering tealights across the room
  10. curling up with a mug of rooibos to watch olympic coverage from bed

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Days 51 & 52

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping until 5:30am instead of 5:00
  2. a helpful day of training (if a bit long at times)
  3. dinner at Chianti's
  4. wandering the wine market with N.
  5. hanging out with N.
Today's Daily 5:
  1. successfully making it through a very long day after a night with admittedly short and less than restful sleep
  2. free hot dog lunch at the hospital
  3. a chinook - finally!
  4. getting home and having some quiet space for the evening
  5. the smell of Thieves essential oil in a diffuser in my living space

Monday, February 10, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 50

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a coyote dashed in front of me as I walked to the bus stop this morning. (keep in mind that I live in a suburban part of a large city, and that I don't live near any major park or green space.  also that it was before 6 am and a coyote dashing across city streets is just a bit of a jolting surprise!)
  2. a good sleep overnight
  3. a view of the mountains from the room we spent all day in for training
  4. was up so early that I saw the first of two gold medals and one silver medal for Canada today happen live
  5. leftover Chinese for dinner

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 49

Today's Daily 5:

  1. frost patterns on bus stop windows
  2. a heater in the shelter at the train station
  3. someone seeking me out so I didn't have to sit alone for mass
  4. a fairly quick and painless grocery shopping trip
  5. pancakes for supper

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Days 47 & 48

Yesterday's Daily 5:
  1. lazy, restful day
  2. watching the beginnings of the olympics
  3. cuddles with my niece
  4. chinese takeout with my family
  5. watching episodes of Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee"
Today's Daily 5:
  1. a work shift that went smoothly
  2. the fun of watching a pair of Canadian sisters finish with gold and silver medals in their event (not a huge sports fan, but olympic medal ceremonies invariably make me teary)
  3. a bridesmaid dress fitting and taking care of some wedding accessorizing with a long-time friend
  4. the gravy at New York Fries
  5. settling back into my own home, after three lovely weeks of housesitting

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 46

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a curly hair day
  2. J's smile when I opened the car door to get him out of his carseat
  3. lunch with my friend Andrea and her two little guys (see #2)
  4. the feeling of cleaning and just generally bringing order to the world
  5. that the car started in the cold, after not having started it in a day or two

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 45

Today's Daily 5:

  1. the weight of my licensing exam is gone! it's over!
  2. a bubble bath and a novel that had nothing to do with either theology or nursing (and no guilt!!!)
  3. leftovers of my favorite quinoa dish
  4. skype with a dear friend
  5. texting (and "hearing" spoken truth) from another dear friend

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 44

Today's Daily 5:

  1. accomplishing the last bits of studying I really wanted done
  2. encouragement from a couple friends
  3. making the decision that instead of spending all day studying obsessively, I would accomplish what I needed, and then give myself a break and engage in self-care
  4. feeling the difference that prayers of friends and family have made in my ability to remain peaceful instead of battling anxiety these last few days
  5. a bubble bath and watching the season finale of Sherlock

Monday, February 03, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 43

Today's Daily 5:

  1. The way peace descended throughout the day, after a rather rough waking from dreams this morning
  2. cooking one of my favorite dishes to feed a friend who came over to study with me on the spur of the moment
  3. listening to "Lord Have Mercy: A New Liturgy" from Aaron Niequist and friends while I shovelled snow this morning, and relating deeply
  4. an unexpected bit of generosity that will save me some money tomorrow
  5. leaning on the knowledge that I am being held in prayer this week

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 42

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a brief moment of reflection on scripture this morning that struck me
  2. a variety of blog posts I read
  3. still going strong with the green smoothies, even though the challenge ended 3 days ago
  4. a delivery of flowers - sent from my best friend on the other side of the planet to cheer me on in the homestretch of studying for my nursing boards this week - totally made me ugly cry
  5. a bubble bath to study, and then chill out with a novel

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 41

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a smooth work shift
  2. face time audio
  3. face time audio on the spur of the moment with Sarah
  4. netflix & hulu
  5. bubble bath
  6. simple, healthy meals
  7. seeing pictures of the rest of my family enjoying their vacation
  8. brownie, ice cream, and a glass of wine
  9. written communication - love writing emails, letters, and cards to people whose hearts I love
  10. feeling just a bit more encouraged about where I'm at with studying than I have been - 3 days left.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 40

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a productive morning
  2. the therapeutic value of a long shower when the world is sort of crashing around me
  3. a nap in the armchair, wrapped in a blanket, with a BBC drama playing in the background on netflix
  4. a cup of tea
  5. good friends to text with
  6. spur of the moment drive across the city
  7. the resulting burger, fries and froyo
  8. making headway in studying for my exam
  9. some random links that made me laugh
  10. seeing cute pictures of my niece on her first American vacation

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 39

Today's Daily 5:
  1. sleeping in
  2. deciding to give myself a bit of much needed grace
  3. BBQ Spolumbo's sausages and grilled zucchini and peppers for dinner
  4. a long bubble bath with a brain candy novel to read
  5. friends who I can ask for help and lean on

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 38

Today's Daily 5:

  1. roads that weren't too bad despite snow
  2. pretty scrubs - so nice to not wear my ugly student ones anymore
  3. a challenging conversation with my spiritual director
  4. a bubble bath at the end of three very long and challenging days
  5. some great online reads as I wind down for the night

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 37

Today's Daily 5:

  1. encouragement from a shuffled playlist of worship music on my iphone
  2. a sliver of a crescent moon
  3. an afternoon that was better than my morning
  4. leaning hard on friends who are holding me in prayer
  5. a burger and fries from Harvey's for dinner - comfort at the end of what was admittedly a pretty rough day.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 36

Today's Daily 5:

  1. first day as a nurse! (because even though that feels a bit overwhelming and stressful and anxiety inducing at the moment, it's something to celebrate and remember)
  2. ninja dinosaurs
  3. knowing a few trusted friends were holding me in prayer
  4. an unexpected short visit with a good friend
  5. protein packed brownies - gluten and dairy free, and made with such goodies as avocado and almond meal - so tasty

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 35

Today's Daily 5:

  1. getting some tasks that I'd rather skip done early in the day, thus freeing up my day
  2. cooking a new recipe
  3. prepping to start work (as a nurse! crazy!) tomorrow
  4. a bubble bath
  5. driving and listening to worship music and some good teaching on my iphone

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 34

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a couple of ongoing email dialogues
  2. the kind of experience that led to sending the following text to two good friends, "You know, I continually underestimate how responsive Jesus will be if I'll just stop being pissed off at him for not making my life perfect and easy long enough to actually shut up and listen! :) "
  3. the responses that sending this sort of text invite
  4. hanging out with a good friend, doing stuff related to her wedding that I'm privileged to stand up in next month
  5. cuddles with my niece
  6. a listening ear from my brother (the gentle sympathy for what I was experiencing made me cry)
  7. really good Mexican food for dinner
  8. the lightness that comes from the kind of experience I mentioned in number 2
  9. watching an episode of Bones (I do love those characters and the growth they've experienced through all the seasons)
  10. sipping tea and reflecting on how a day that started out really crappy has ended much more peacefully

Friday, January 24, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 33

Today's Daily 5:

  1. waking up in a good way, without the crazy dreams I've been having lately
  2. green smoothie day 24
  3. the feel of my honorary nephew's body curled up against mine as I propped him on my hip
  4. the smile on both of my honorary nephew's faces
  5. great dinner and conversation with good friends

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 32

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a long hot shower
  2. I know I say this most days, but text messaging with faraway friends really is a reason to smile
  3. cuddles with my niece (now sporting a super cute pony tail right on top of her little head)
  4. dinner with my brother and sister in law
  5. a teary but helpful conversation in a parking lot tonight after a meeting I attended

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 31

Today's Daily 5:

  1. the freedom to roll over and go back to sleep when I woke up too early after a rough night of sleep and dreams
  2. knocking a particularly annoying item off my to do list
  3. texting throughout the day with various far-away friends
  4. an unexpected email in response to one I sent, that helped clarify some issues and gave me much to think about
  5. a lovely skype date with a good friend, where we actually talked about heart stuff. so good.

In Writing or In Person

After I posted my daily 5 post last night, with a little bit of an explanation of why making those lists moves and changes me, I got to thinking about how there are a number of areas in my life right now, where I'm involved with newer groups or relational settings, and how little of myself I feel like is being expressed in those settings at this point.

And then I opened my twitter account and wrote the following two successive tweets:

"I have to laugh when I publish a blog post and I realize how well you have to know me before my written self and my in person self match up"(from here)


"My in person self is reserved unless I'm comfortable. If I'm comfortable, the intellectual writer, thinker, prayer and Jesus lover emerges." (from here)

I'm still thinking about this topic this morning - about how in new relationships (with some exceptions) it tends to take a very long time for my most true self to appear and find expression.

Part of that comes from the introversion.  Often new relationships begin in group settings, and group settings have never been my forte. They intimidate me.  I don't like being the center of attention, so unless I am very, very comfortable that it is safe to expose myself in even a minor way to everyone in that group, I'll likely remain quiet, sit near the back, and tend towards preferring invisibility wherever possible.  I'm not shy, really.  If you ask directly I'll likely answer.  But I'm also comfortable with not needing to be the one who answers (the exception to this being the times in my life that I've been in a teaching or leadership role), and in fact I rather prefer it that way.

Part of it comes from that thing about safety. In the past I felt that to not immediately put everything on the table was a sort of lie of omission, and I couldn't stomach that idea.  I've exposed parts of myself in the past in settings that I knew might be less than safe, and I've paid a price for that.  As I've gotten older, and had some good therapy, I've learned about things like boundaries, and valuing myself enough to be careful with what and how I share myself, recognizing that the whole world doesn't need to know the deepest parts of my heart - that I can choose to reveal those things to a select few, and that in making that choice it is not living a falsehood, but rather seeing myself as a person who was created as a valuable child of God.

I'm remembering numerous times in the past where someone who has known me in person for quite some time discovers my writing (something that is admittedly harder to do these days, since I do far less of it in any sort of public forum) and then comes to me and asks some variation of the question "Where did this come from? Who are you????"

And so it makes me smile, and sometimes just a bit frustrated to ponder how my written self expresses the deeper parts of me that often take a very long time to emerge in person.  And it makes me smile in a bigger way to consider that several of my closest friends are those who met me in writing long before they met me in person.  Because they already knew the deep parts of me, we skipped that awkward stage, and it was and is a lovely way to begin a friendship, at least for my introverted self.

And I'm smiling because I know about myself that in person it takes me a while, and because those tweets last night sprang from a place of frustration over a number of arenas in my life right now where I feel hidden and unknown and the process of relationship building just doesn't quite seem to be clicking.  It sprang from a genuine wrestle with trusting safety, and from a place of impatience with the process of relationship building.  It sprang from a place of recognizing that there are a number of deep things going on in my heart and life right now, and feeling frustrated with knowing how and where to express those in ways that are safe, and will nurture them, rather than yanking them up by the roots.  And it sprang from a loneliness for local friends who know me in the deeper ways.

I'm the same person in person as the person who writes, but it takes a while for the two personas to catch up with each other.  And that makes me smile, and makes me impatient, and gives me hope (when I stop to consider the lovely relationships that do match).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 30

This morning started out rough - I had plans that I was quite looking forward to that fell through.  My emotions have been wonky this week, and that little thing initially hit hard.  In that moment, as I texted back and forth with several friends about various things, I began to realize again why I value the exercise of writing these daily 5 lists.  They make a difference.  In noticing the small things and finding reasons to smile and to choose to be grateful, I see a shift in the place where I've been existing for the last while.  It's becoming habit again to take note, and to give thanks, and the results are a greater ability to adapt to changes and disruptions, and a greater ability to live in the present moment with joy and peace instead of anxiety and fear.  I'm reminded of Ann Voskamp's line, "Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle."  Amen and amen.

Today's Daily 5:

  1. 30 days of consistently counting smiles and giving thanks
  2. a long shower to start my day
  3. a curly hair day
  4. wearing my favorite sweatpants and a cute, comfy tank top from Old Navy to bum around the house
  5. a quiet, simple day mostly at home, sometimes cooking (so therapeutic), sometimes reading, sometimes listening, plus, you know, the latest episode of Castle

Monday, January 20, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 29

Today's Daily 5:

  1. sleeping in after a late night spent writing and processing
  2. the joy of waking up and being able to leave my bedroom and enjoy natural light immediately - such a nice change to house sit and be outside of my basement cave dweller life
  3. using a vitamix to make my green smoothies
  4. having a day where the morning offered quiet space where I could ponder the bit of surreal feeling I had after the experiences I shared with the Lord in the last few days, and think about what comes next
  5. the blessing of dear friends to journey with - sometimes I lose how much of a blessing this is because I get too focused on how much I hate how far away they all are
  6. a surprise deal on a purchase that I really did need to make, even though money is tight - got to the cash desk and the item I was buying was half off - a little reminder that I am being cared for in this season
  7. accomplishing all of the errands on my list
  8. sipping a cup of Midsummer Night's Dream Tea from David's Tea while studying for my licensing exam
  9. talking, sharing and praying by phone with a good friend
  10. phones, texting, skype, facetime - so thankful for technology since my friends insist on living so darn far away.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 28

Today's Daily 5:

  1. chatting with a friend before mass started
  2. unpacking and settling in at my folks for another housesitting gig
  3. a bubble bath and a novel
  4. another really profound evening at the prayer conference I attended this weekend
  5. texting with my friend Sarah as I began to process what the weekend held

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 27

Today's Daily 5:

  1. waking up with complete peace over something I went to to bed last night feeling deep anxiety about
  2. a pretty fantastic teaching on listening prayer at a conference I attended all day today
  3. worship lead by Amanda Cook
  4. hearing God speak and reveal some things to my heart in ways He hasn't in a while
  5. a day of time in the presence of God that my heart just really needed

Friday, January 17, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 26

Today's Daily 5:

  1. waking up slowly this morning
  2. good chocolate
  3. flickering candles across the room
  4. baking a new recipe
  5. a lovely skype date with my bestie, Lydia

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Days 24 & 25

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. a nice quiet day at my parent's house, home alone
  2. still loving the green smoothie challenge
  3. spending time with a long time friend, eating and shopping
  4. really good mexican food
  5. a new tea from David's Tea - White Chocolate Frost - yum!
Today's Daily 5:
  1. styling my hair curly this morning
  2. spending the day (lunch, all afternoon, dinner) with a good friend from school
  3. studying with said friend for our upcoming licensing exam
  4. reading a novel on the bus
  5. chatting with a newer friend on the ride home from a church class tonight

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 23

Today's Daily 5:

  1. waking up feeling rested
  2. a trip to the library
  3. a productive time studying for my upcoming exam
  4. grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup
  5. ferrero rocher

Monday, January 13, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 22

Today's Daily 5:

  1. being able to sleep in this morning
  2. a long hot shower
  3. 13 straight days of green smoothies - now almost halfway through the 30 day challenge
  4. a really good meeting with a new spiritual director - so encouraged on my journey just now
  5. simple supper of chicken and quinoa with kale, red pepper and chickpeas. plus parmesan. always parmesan.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 21

Today's Daily 5:

  1. another very helpful day of review course for my nursing exam
  2. a simple turkey sub from subway
  3. rooibos tea
  4. a couple fascinating articles I was linked to
  5. relaxing in the living room with my mama, rewatching the season premiere of Downton Abbey

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 19 & 20

Yesterday's Daily 5:

  1. a quiet day at home
  2. making a favorite quinoa recipe with a turkey burger for dinner
  3. enjoying the luxury of a bubble bath in mom and dad's soaker tub
  4. some positive news
  5. knowing that the morning commute would be a bit easier since I crashed at mom and dad's
Today's Daily 5:
  1. a work shift that started three hours earlier than usual, but was relatively painless when it had the potential to be really bad
  2. catching up with a school friend I hadn't seen in a while
  3. a helpful (if super intense and long) first day of a review course for my nursing licensing exam
  4. eating leftover quinoa and baked chicken with mom
  5. hershey's kisses
  6. another bubble bath
  7. reading a slightly trashy novel to decompress and turn my brain off at the end of an intense day
  8. knowing that I don't have to be up at 5am tomorrow
  9. tylenol cold medicine
  10. magic bags on achy muscles

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 18

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a quiet day at home since I'm fighting yet another sinus cold
  2. kiwi fruit tango green smoothie for day 9 of the 30 day challenge
  3. amooza string cheese
  4. reading a good book on transit
  5. a decent conversation in an unexpected moment

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 17

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a good phone conversation this morning pertaining to nursing
  2. still loving the green smoothie challenge (day 8 today)
  3. a bubble bath at mom and dad's
  4. dropping birthday cards in the mail for a couple good friends
  5. peanut butter and raspberry jam on warm naan bread

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 16

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a mostly restful night of sleep
  2. a really tasty green smoothie on the 7th day of my green smoothie challenge
  3. tackling the making of vegetable stock from scratch
  4. enjoying a bit of a lazy day
  5. a long skype date with a dear friend who really gets me

Monday, January 06, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 15

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a new (natural) coconut lipbalm that was a Christmas gift from a friend
  2. commiserating with a friend via text
  3. working a list to create success on a day when it felt like life was defeating me
  4. some positive news
  5. the way exercise can help with mood (even if this reality annoys me, as someone who thinks exercise is quite awful)
  6. doing a few errands with mom - getting out of grandma's basement is helpful for my sanity these days
  7. a bacon portobello mushroom melt burger from Wendy's
  8. settling in for a cup of rooibos de provence from David's Tea and watching an episode of Downton Abbey
  9. twinkling of a tea light across the room
  10. a bit of chocolate to end the night (love me some ferrero rocher)

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 14

Today's Daily 5:

  1. accomplishing a number of needed housecleaning tasks
  2. working with my day planner and journals (such a list and organization geek!)
  3. texting with a couple good friends
  4. being able to laugh when a miscalculation in the order of household tasks this morning resulted in a cold shower for me (note to self - start laundry and dishwasher after shower is accomplished in future!)
  5. simple meals (including day 5 of the green smoothie challenge - kiwi berry punch today)
  6. a quiet moment of recognizing a truth in my life
  7. Malcom Guite's sonnet for the Feast of Epiphany
  8. tackling a task that I really didn't want to do, and knowing that now I don't have it hanging over my head
  9. freshly washed sheets on my bed
  10. sinking back against soft pillows at the end of the day

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 13

Today's Daily 5:

  1. twinkle lights against snow
  2. the perfect stillness of an early morning after a snowfall
  3. the shared camaraderie of waiting for a bus that is late
  4. the realization that however dreary, the days are finally getting longer
  5. passing my CPR for another year

Friday, January 03, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 12

Today's Daily 5:

  1. making choices that I know are good for my health
  2. sleeping relatively restfully without too many weird dreams (this combo has been a rarity lately)
  3. mango - basically anything with mango
  4. simple, healthy meals
  5. the connection of the internet that lets me share bits of the lives of the people I love

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 11

Today's Daily 5:

  1. a clean bill of health from the eye doctor
  2. a chance to go for a walk while I waited for an appointment
  3. starbucks very berry hibiscus refresher
  4. wendy's grilled chicken sandwich for lunch
  5. a brief chance to skype with one of my favorite people
  6. the accomplishment of cleaning and reorganizing
  7. hanging twinkle lights in my room
  8. a cup of tea
  9. hanging new calendars to start a new year
  10. curling up to sort, putter, and write a little

Persevere - One Word for 2014

My word for this year came later than normal.  I toyed with a few options all afternoon on December 31st, but nothing quite fit.  I headed (begrudgingly, I admit) off to mass to fulfill my New Year's Obligation, sat through mass, and still didn't have a word.  I came back to my parent's place where I've been staying for a week or so break from my own crazy living situation, had some dinner, watched the tail end of a movie with them, and still didn't have a word.

And then I sat down with my laptop and began looking up definitions.  I sat with the emerald green moleskine journal I've set aside for 2014 - the one that tucks into the pocket of the front cover of my day planner for the year - and I listed goals.  I thought about the things in my life that seem overwhelming.  I went upstairs and had a bit of a tearful conversation with my mom.  And then I looked up more definitions.

And somewhere in there, a word emerged.  It came quickly, and as it did, I copied the definitions into the moleskine.  And then three passages of scripture came, too.

My word for 2014 is Persevere.

It's a fitting word, as I wait for the culmination of a number of things in my life over the coming year. It's fitting as I look at some of the things that I'm dreaming and praying about, and it's fitting as I consider some of the things that are currently major stressors in my life, leaving me feeling overwhelmed and maybe a bit adrift.

The definitions from are as follows:

  1. to persist in anything undertaken, maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles or discouragement; continue steadfastly
  2. to persist in speech, interrogation, argument, etc; insist
  3. to bolster, sustain, or uphold
That's about right as I consider the list of goals I jotted down for the year, and as I consider the things left incomplete from 2013.

And then there are these three passages of scripture, which speak to the attitude and persona I'm sensing will be necessary for 2014:

Matthew 15:27-28 (The Message)
She was quick, "You're right, Master, but beggar dogs do get scraps from the master's table."  Jesus gave in. "Oh woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!" Right then her daughter became well.

Luke 18:7-8 (NIV)
And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.

John 2:3-5 (NIV)
When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine." "Woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

That's my prayer for this year - the strength to persevere - to live joyfully and press forward steadfastly. To persist in the face of what seems overwhelming and impossible - and to do it with the faith that the perseverance will be rewarded.  It's a big challenge - a huge prayer - I'm not actually all that good at the trusting and having faith thing - but it's what my heart feels called to for this year, so I'm going to try for it.  There is grace for when I fall short, and grace for when I push through, and that grace makes this journey worthwhile.

So, here's to 2014, my year of "persevere"!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Daily 5 Revisited - Day 10

Today's Daily 5:

  1. an unexpected gift that eased a bit of a burden
  2. enjoying a final day of rest and quiet at my parents place today, before I head home to the fray that is my own living arrangements tomorrow
  3. a bubble bath while reading a novel
  4. sitting in the aftermath of an unexpected prayer revelation from yesterday
  5. first day of a green smoothie challenge - cilantro mango detox today