Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Oh, 2013!
You have been remarkable. Truly.

It was on this day, last year, that I chose a word for you. I was perched on the edge of a whole new chunk of days and for the first time, I chose a word with which to walk out that gift of time.


I wrote a sort of proclamation for myself, a manifesto declaring my intentions for moving forward into the new year.


-in the company of
-next to, alongside
-in the charge or keeping of
-in support of
-in spite of
-in the same direction as
-so as to be touching or joined to

It was the last line of intention that would end up cradling my entire year:

This year, when given the opportunity, I will choose touch over tension, embracing rather than rejecting, joining in place of separation. I am not an emotional island, nor are the ones I love. I will choose to move towards them, even when it is hard.
I will choose to be with those that are in front of me.Every.Day.
And so now, here I am, shaking my head at the methods of a loving God who, in His desire to be close to me, reached across the gossamer veil and planted Love outright, deep within me. My One Word was more than just letters on a page. My One Word was born in me.

This past year has been a collection of giving over and giving in, of walking into and in front of. 

It has held fear, only to be bathed in faith. 

It has stretched, first, thin and then swelled gloriously ripe. 

It has challenged my hopes, changed my trajectory, and championed my spirit.

That little preposition of a word continued to show up. 


And so, here I am again, on the cusp of a whole new chunk of days and, once again, I am choosing One Word.

-to make (cloth) by interlacing the threads of the weft and the warp on a loom.
-to interlace (threads, for example) into cloth.
-to construct by interlacing or interweaving strips or strands of material
-to interweave or combine (elements) into a complex whole
-to contrive (something complex or elaborate) in this way
-to introduce (another element) into a complex whole; work in
-to spin

This word came to me in the hushed gray of morning this past week. My little Samuel, the very answer to a question I didn't even know that I had asked, the single greatest surprise of my life, was stirring. I peeked, sleepily, at the boy miracle within arm's reach and it hit me: 

I have a crazy beautiful life. 

So much poignant beauty has wound its way into each moment. The gray and the blue woven in tight with the yellow and the orange, in and out, over and under.

Each day is cut from holy cloth, bolts of glory by the yard.

And I want to remember this, for always. Because this is no small thing. In fact, this is a very grand thing. The greatest thing, even. 

So, I am choosing WEAVE as my One Word for 2014.

I want to interlace myself with each member of my sweet little family, in and out, over and under, creating beautiful patterns of light and dark, soft and scruffy, bold and demure. I want to recognize each individual for the uniqueness they bring to our clan, all the while, remembering that they are also part of a complex whole creation that is continually emerging, growing, changing.

I want to apply this to my other relationships, as well. I want to receive those that have been planted in my life and first see, really see, all the color and texture and gifts that they bring to the table. Then, after acknowledging that who I am is such a conglomeration of these people, we can go about the business of braiding ourselves together, in and out, over and under.

And then there is the writing, whose very act is a gathering, a stringing together of thought and hope and belief. 
To write is to weave, all the while, hoping and praying that in all of this straw gathering there will be flickers of gold.

So, I am extending a warm and open "Welcome" to this new year. I know that to do so is risky. There is no guarantee that 2014 will be kind to me. If this past year has taught me anything it is that the flip side of light is dark, the opposite of health is sickness, and the antithesis of security is uncertainty. But I am not going to let fear set the tone for what is to come. Instead, I am going to join hands with the Giver of gifts and, together, we are going to take warp and weft and weave beauty.

“For last year's words belong to last year's language 
And next year's words await another voice.” 
--TS Eliot

Photo credit: Flickr

Monday, December 23, 2013

Spinning Straw Into Gold

This last week before Christmas has taken on a life of its own this year.
Right when my sweet little family was gearing up for afternoons baking cookies and evenings driving around town gazing at twinkling lights we had to, instead, quickly shift gears, rearrange plans, throw clothes in suitcases, make haste. Suddenly, it was all about hustle—a verb that I fight with a vengeance during this holy season. But rather than it being about needing a little Christmas, right this very minute, it was a pressing need to get home.
My mom is, once again, fighting a battle with her body. Cancer thinks it deserves space in her bloodstream and it is acting like a big old bully. I hate cancer.
But, I figure, the best way to fight a bully is with love so my little family has slipped on our boxing gloves and we intend to go down punching. For we want to be known as people who love. We have shown up on my parent’s doorstep, even if there is but little room in the inn, and we are ready to do business.
It is Christmas time, though, and there are children here so I am trying to figure out how you patch together something that still sings of grace and glory while not ignoring the present reality. How do we take the straw we’ve been handed and spin it into something golden and magical?
Would you like to read the rest of this post?
I am writing over at SheLoves Magazine today. Follow this link to find the rest of my words.