Category: heart


April 21st, 2019 — 6:20am


It’s been raining. Everything is turning green and my lilacs and apple trees are right on the verge of blooming. I’m one cup of coffee into my weekend morning ritual of drinking coffee by the open window, wrapped up in the first quilt I ever made, listening to the birds chirp whenever the rain breaks, focusing on the things for which I am so very grateful.

It’s Easter. The Super Bowl of Christianity. Churches all over have hustled hard to bump up attendance so they can share crackers and grape juice with the lost souls of our communities. Yesterday was Passover and I miss that ritual. The rich history of wine and herbs and unleavened bread broken with loved ones. Why does it seem like modern-day Christianity cheapens everything that was once holy?

I feel such a complicated mixture of emotions when I think of Christianity—the tradition from which I once drew my identity. When I consider this religion, I think of guilt and foreboding, fear so strong that it prompts people to disown their loved ones, friendships where worthiness comes from bible study attendance, a bible that’s used as a weapon, and the Christian Republican Party who elected, and loves, Donald J. Trump. (Are you angry? I’m angry.)

While this all but ensures I’ll never attend church again, I also know church has nothing to do with the Divine. So I try hard to see past this religion that has caused so, so much damage. I think about this: How I’ve had to lose my life to save it. The many times I have I risen from the ashes. If there is a hell that we’re rescued from, it’s the one here on earth that we make for ourselves and each other. And whatever or whoever God is, he is the one who is always, always with us.

Maybe today, for me, is about remembering the resiliency of the human spirit—our ability to rise from the dead again and again. Isn’t that such a miracle? And maybe it should be a celebration of this one wild and beautiful life—this magnificent gift we’ve all been given and the only chance we know we’re guaranteed. So let’s take this one chance and squeeze every last drop out of it.

Happy Easter

Comments Off | church/spiritual beliefs, heart

Here’s what you should do

January 21st, 2019 — 6:18am

Here’s what you should do: you should create something. Any time your heart hurts or you’re stretched thin or you need some space, you should make. Because that’s what you were made to do.

As you’re creating, you should use that time to hold what you’re making, and your whole life, loosely.

Into your craft you should pour your hopes and fears and dreams and wishes.

Relax, be calm, trust.

Stitch your stitches or make your music or build your masterpiece. What is in your hands, however imperfect, will turn out beautifully if you just relax your grip on it. (Your life, however imperfect, will turn out beautifully too — if you just relax your grip on it.)

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To my 26 year old self

August 23rd, 2018 — 6:33pm

Ten years from now you won’t recognize yourself or the life you’re living. This thing that’s undone you becomes your superpower.

This world, this life you get to live, you’ll never stop being in awe of it. You are well acquainted with loss, but that just makes the sweetness of your life even sweeter—you know what you have. Life is such a gift.

You’re slightly horrified that you were willing to live under the shadow of a man who needed you to be small. Here’s what you know about that: You’ll never sacrifice the whole of yourself for someone else. And also, you’re so much more able to love with the whole of yourself without losing any of it.

You’ll never believe how wide your wings could spread. You are so capable. So strong. So brave. So alive. You’ll never reach the limit of where you can go, what you can do.

In the beginning, there were days where you could barely manage to just hang on, but you did hang on, you didn’t quit. And slowly, things changed. Slowly you healed. Slowly you became your true self.

So keep hanging on, so tight. Have hope. Do the work. Don’t despair. Because you won’t believe just how good it’s going to be.

Comments Off | heart


November 1st, 2017 — 10:31am

Here’s the work that I’m practicing right now:
I’m remembering that everyone is my teacher. I’m taking the longer view. I’m learning what I can from everyone, even when it’s hard. Even when they complain to me about parking.

I’m sitting down every morning before I start my day to write three things I’m thankful for about my job. I’m focusing on three things I’m thankful for about my life, too. It’s a really good life.

I’m learning how to protect my little, empathic self from feeling all of the things so I can focus on what’s important and feel what’s important.

What is the work you’re doing right now?

Comments Off | heart

Three years

June 7th, 2017 — 4:34pm


Today Josh and I celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. Many of you know that I was previously married, for 12 years. The stunning result of which is Eden and Honor plus some pretty big scars on my heart. It’s hard to fully explain the pain that I went through during the undoing of that marriage.

It’s also hard to put words to the example of redemption that I have experienced in my relationship with Josh. I am constantly awed by the gift that we have in his love, encouragement, strength, hard-working spirit, and enduring patience. It is a truly remarkable man who will take two kids and love them just like they were his own.

One thing I know about making marriage work is that it happens when two people refuse to give up. I’ve learned that the hardest thing about marriage is that you can’t force someone else to do the work, no matter how hard you yourself are willing to work. And I learned how beautiful it can be when you find someone who chooses every day to be on your team, no matter how hard they might have to work to be there.

The story of humanity is told in second chances. And I am so very grateful today, and everyday, for mine.

Comments Off | heart, Josh, marriage


February 7th, 2017 — 7:07pm

Today I lost my grandmother who I didn’t really know and here’s what I’ve been thinking:

Love is always going to cost you something. And sometimes it can be so expensive. I have scars on my heart and stretch marks on my stomach to prove how much love can cost.

But, gosh, we only have one chance to do this life. And every morning we wake up to a choice.

Love or not.

Invest or not.

Try or not.

Before you are your people, and they will surely cost you. But it will always, always be worth it.

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Uncle David

December 24th, 2016 — 9:22am

I woke up early this morning thinking about my uncle. Uncle David died very unexpectedly last Christmas. It’s been so hard on my family, missing their dad, husband, brother and uncle. What a day to lose someone.

I’ve been thinking about what is probably my favorite memory of him: When my marriage fell apart I kept it to myself for several months. We were still living together in the same house and I could keep up appearances pretty well. I think I was disillusioned enough to think there was something I could do to fix it. It was not my proudest season of life.

When I decided to tell my family about what was going on, I went over to my aunt and uncle’s house to talk with them. I remember sitting in their living room on the couch, anxious to drop the news that my marriage had fallen apart, that I had been betrayed. Every time I told someone, it made it more real.

Upon hearing the news, my uncle put his head in his hand and sobbed huge, heaving sobs, so sad for me and the kids. And when he was able to speak again, he, along with my aunt, prayed earnestly for my little family. I knew they would be there (and they were) for anything I needed in that heartbreaking season.

This is the kind of man that he was. One who loved us all so deeply. He was there for nearly every significant moment in my life and many, many insignificant ones too.

He taught me to love my people deeply and that showing up and being present counts for everything. I know that we’re all missing him so much right now. But more than anything, I am so, incredibly thankful for the mark he made on my life and the legacy he left in the people he loved.

Comments Off | heart

happy thanksgiving

November 24th, 2016 — 10:41pm

Over the past few months I’ve watched several marriages fall apart and others go through some very hard things. I’ve been thinking so much about those three years of sheer suffering I went through while I fought to keep mine together, pleading and fighting and trying everything I could to keep a ship from sinking that had long been sunk. It was hard. It was terrible. And it was terrifying.

It’s hard to watch now in someone else’s life because I know just how it feels and I wouldn’t wish that brand of pain on anyone.
I get to observe these broken marriages with a clarity that only comes from hindsight. It’s easy to see the path through when you’re not the one hurting. And it’s hard to tell someone what to do with their life because the only person who has to live with the consequences of their choices is not me, but them. Life can be so messy. And so, so hard.

Which brings me to Thanksgiving.

Today I am thankful for pain. Pain is life’s great transformer, it changes hearts that are smashed into pieces into something new and beautiful. It’s never what we want, but oftentimes the only thing we need. Pain often does God’s work.

I learned to make pain my teacher, learn what I could from it, let it wash over me and embrace it. I was determined to learn every lesson I could from my tragedy and let it make me better. Pain was my healer.

Four years ago, our relationship budding and new, I ate pie for breakfast with Josh, hiked devil’s kitchen with Josh, cooked Thanksgiving dinner with Josh, realized I was falling in love with Josh. I didn’t know then that life would look like it does now, that he was the incredible man, father and husband that he is. I barely had a glimpse of the gift I was being given.

But Josh isn’t the hero of this story, he’s just part of it. He wasn’t what saved me, I was saved before we met.

It was the pain. I allowed it to open up my eyes, to burn everything to the ground so I could rise from the ashes. I did the long and hard work that it took to become a whole person. I cried a river of tears, looked deep within myself, and I healed, at first inch by inch and finally in leaps and bounds.

And because I healed I was given this full and wonderful life for which, today, and every day, I am so incredibly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Comments Off | heart, Josh, marriage

Double taps

April 10th, 2016 — 5:20pm

Well, here’s a thing I know: I’ve been using social media to try to communicate and connect with the people around me.

It’s not working very well. 

Big life changes are getting brushed aside, lost in shuffle of Donald Trump articles and recipe videos. 

Or maybe no one cares? It’s hard to tell. 

What I’m feeling so acutely is that likes, emoji, double taps are all a counterfeit for real human connection. 

Nothing beats real words from a person to another person. And I think that’s what we all actually need. Connection. To feel like some really cares. To see a human make some effort to reach out to another human. 

Social media is my job and I like my job. But I don’t want it to infiltrate my life in the way that it is. It doesn’t feel very healthy. And it certainly doesn’t feel very authentic. It’s like watching a sunset on tv when you could just go outside and see the real thing. 

I don’t want to keep doing this, stuck in this artificial world we all experience through the screens on our phones. I want more. I want real. And I don’t want to keep feeling lost in the shuffle. 

1 comment » | daily, heart, ouch

3D printing

October 31st, 2015 — 11:38am

Sometimes I think of my heart as a 3d printer. Every message I hear, verbal or non, prints a thin, little layer on top of the other building up these castles inside me. Some are fortresses, dark and foreboding. Others are open, light, welcoming, safe.

I think we start our lives in the world whole, believing our worth, knowing deep in us that we are worthy. And message after message comes printing a thin, little layer and the printer arm passes, layer upon layer telling us you aren’t worth it. You aren’t worth it. You aren’t worth it. They keep coming, people keep saying with their actions (or inactions), their words – you aren’t worth it to me.

I think I’ve internalized so many of these words that not only are there castles built up in my heart, but there are cases built up too – against those sending the messages. I’m not worth it to you? It prints another layer.  It builds up and up and up and my pain turns into resentment and anger and hurt and there is just so much. I’ve been let down, left, just so many times that sometimes I can barely see the light. The dark fortresses are taking over. 

It’s not good. I don’t want to be like this. It seems so unfair to be the one who’s been damaged and then to be the one who has to deal with the destruction that holding onto the hurt brings.  I need to forgive. It’s very hard. And the hits just keep on coming. The cases are strong. And it hurts. That 3D printer just keeps on printing. And I need to make it stop. For my own good, I have to make it stop. 

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