Skip to main content


Thankful. People have been using that word a lot this week. As it turns out, this time of year is a good time to look at all the things you have in your life, to count your blessings, to name them all, and then to celebrate.

Lately, I've talked a lot about the emptiness that I sometimes feel. I've talked a lot about the open handed, bleeding kind of love. I've talked about my tendency to throw myself pity parties and think "Why is life so hard?" What has been missing from this narrative are the moments of deep thanks and satisfaction; the full moments, or thankful moments- if you like.

The truth is that I usually feel like one really lucky girl.

My friendships are the kind that you cross oceans for, the ones who let you cry on their shoulders, and the ones who give you pep talks but also tell it to you like it is. We celebrated friendship and life a few weeks ago when we all passed around Megan's baby. A baby! Our little friend group, our circle of love is expanding! We belly laugh with each other. We know what the other persons voice sounds like on the phone when one is crying. We want the best and cheer for each other through the victories and failures. We make space for each other in the brightest and darkest places in our hearts. We whisper pray together. These are my friends.

My family.

I mean, what else is there to say? Can I really describe to you how blessed I am with my family?  My siblings are also my friends. If I ever needed someone to fight for me, they would, but in the meantime they just invite me over when I'm sad, and give me hugs and then feed me. My parents taught us how to serve, commit, communicate and love. Their generosity continues. And even in my extended family the ties seem to grow ever stronger, the aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents are all woven into a blanket of affection that spreads out over a widening landscape and a prettier panorama.

My job means something to me. Every so often, on a difficult day, I close my eyes and remind myself that this job was unexpected, and that it popped up in front of me. I had literally been praying for a month, "God, I don't know what's next so please just bring something and put it right in front of me." And tada! This job happened. The weight of people's fear and pain is hard sometimes. I'm still sorting out how much of "each others" burdens I'm supposed to bear. I have, on average, cried once a week since I started this job. But over half of those tears were shed over Hope rather than sadness. Deep down in these difficult places I felt a sense of awe. Being there during death is BIGGER than I ever thought it would be, and it makes me believe that God is bigger than I have ever let him be.

My home is a place where rainbows light the sky after the rain, where clouds peel off of the mountains, and where the ocean changes colors and rolls onto the shore. But my home is not here, or in Peru, or really anywhere. I don't feel like I fit here anymore. That feeling never went away, even after the "culture shock" of coming back to Orange County. My friend Josh calls this a state of Holy Discontentment. The real realization that we are just square pegs trying to fit into round holes wherever we go. So, I don't feel completely "comfortable" anywhere anymore, but you know what, I think that's ok.

If I open my hands in thankfulness and celebration then it's easier to look for the ways that life is a blessing. It's easier to see possibility and growth. It's easier to appreciate the good in the people around me. I'm remembering that today. I'm remembering all the ways that I am full.


Popular posts from this blog

(Honest) Prayers of Intercession

in·ter·ces·sion /ˌin(t)ərˈseSHən/ noun
- the action of intervening on behalf of another

Last week, before flying out to California, I was awake in the middle of the night, feeling my baby move inside my growing belly bump and crying into a pillow. My friend Megan had just been told that the doctors thought her baby boy had cancer.

This precious boy has eyes that light up when he smiles at you. He is the epitome of an almost three year old; he is learning to share, he loves being in any kind of water, and would watch episodes of Dinosaur King on repeat for hours if you let him. Cancer. I can’t even process that word when it is attached to Lester, and now the diagnosis has been confirmed as Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

And so I pray, and in my prayers I invite other people to pray with me, but what those prayers look like might not be what you would expect.

What I think of as prayer has changed a lot over the past 7 years.

I used to think that prayer was saying or writing words to God, and…

Why I resemble Donald Trump’s taglines more than I would like to admit, and why that means that I will not be voting for him.

I’ve lived through a lot of change in the past year.
One year ago I moved to Massachusetts from California, nine months ago we got married, and in a little less than three months we are going to have a baby. Whew! Do you ever wish that you could press a pause button when you find yourself in the middle of a slow day and just take a break from the pace of life? I do, but this has not been that kind of year.

When I’m processing change, I usually get a little more introspective.
This is an example.

At the same time as I’ve had a year of change, full of highs and lows, we have had a year of crazy politicking and quite a few shenanigans.
And lets push the pause button here so that I can tell you- I do not consider this to be authoritative political commentary, it is a personal reflection. If you and I were having a face-to-face personal conversation about my feelings concerning the 2016 election, this is what I would hope to say to you.

It’s been very easy to sit back and look at all …

Keep Me Where the Light Is

It’s the Most Wonderful darkest time of the year over here in New England, and we have a new baby which means that when the sun goes down the dance of “will he or wont he sleep tonight?” begins.

The other day as I was walking in the evening (alone for a few precious moments!) the afterglow of the setting sun painted the sky behind dark tree branches with highlights of gold. The words from that John Mayer song filled my head “keep me where the light is” and I thought about how dark this time of year feels and how hard it is to stay in the moments of Light.

Having a new baby is amazing, but also completely disorienting. One moment you feel on the top of the world, like you have figured everything out, and the next moment you are wondering why babies don't come with owners manuals. He started smiling a few weeks ago, and now he smiles at us on purpose and makes cooing sounds when he is happy. I put him under the Christmas tree the other day and it felt like magic… for a moment. A f…