Still Good

When my dad died, I received so many messages and letters, but one in particular from my brother-in-law has stuck with me. It wasn’t long, but this line jumped out of the paper: “He is still good.” And every time that I return home, I remember this truth. I intermingle with a family that has unhealed wounds, old arguments, and tensions, still recovering from the aftermath, but He is still good.

On Free Surrender

Surrender has usually conjured up connotations of passiveness, of relinquishing control when there was control and discipline to be had, Surrender meant a lack of determination and decisiveness, which read like weakness to my structured mind.

Working, Resting, Playing

It’s a tension that maybe humans haven’t had to navigate as much before this day and age, maybe because we were too busy working and getting food and staying alive to worry about whether or not we were striking the balance of leisure and work. In any case, I find that I find myself worrying less about the balance of it all when I am just actually doing the things, both relaxing and working, without worrying about what I am supposed to be doing.

At Home

Entering into my grandma’s house with what would surely be the last time, I felt an overwhelming rush just in the smell of that home that greeted me with opening the door. I noticed all of the old, familiar, dear photographs on the wall and all the little trinkets of dogs and lighthouses and boats that she loved to keep. Touching her four-poster bed again, putting away all of her lockets and rings, gently packing away pots and pans and lamps and trays: it all was heavy, heavy, heavy with meaning.

On Rest and Guilt

ut when I stop the hurriedness of my life to play with Leo on the living room floor, to relax on the couch with coffee and a friend, to talk on the phone for two hours with my mom, to paint something that I have no intention of selling or photographing, it is a constant temptation for me to scold myself interiorally.

On Children and Grandeur

Being a mom and teacher has forced me to direct all of my talents and abilities for the flowering of others: to instill joy and wonder and virtue and an endless desire for the beautiful in little minds because I cannot think of anything else in the universe worth doing more.

On Discovering and the Like

I had always heard of an artistic experience in which the artist wasn’t really meticulously planning a piece, but rather, he was just discovering it with his hands and his eyes as it took shape right within the making of the thing. I had never quite understood that, though, because the “creation” of art was always some very calculated study of something that I almost fought for after hours and hours of work. The end product was always the true moment of satisfaction and joy for me: look, look what I have completed.

On Minutes Collecting

I recently read a quote that said something like “the reason time exists is because we cannot experience everything at once.” So maybe, this week, instead of getting caught behind the perpetual passing of minutes, we could try to embrace our ordinary and sluggish moments as a collection of experiences, handed to us one at a time, all for own good.

On Marie Kondo-ing My Wardrobe

It’s a good exercise in interior simplicity to say “thank you, next” to the parts of life, no matter how small and insignificant, do not spark that joy within you. For while material things cannot provide happiness, it makes more sense to me to keep only those goods that remind you of beauty and comfort and that invoke a spirit of intentional living and happiness, and to shed what does not.

Two Thousand Nineteen

In talking to a friend today, I realized all over again that having so many interests and pursuits doesn’t have to be a bad thing: to love many good things is to be alive. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all that I want to do and know and accomplish, but I think the secret to contentment in it all is to be grateful every day for the things that impart joy, and to not be afraid to seek and love those things.

On Earthly Christmases

So, for all those Christmas mornings with my dad musing how special we all were, I have such conviction that his belief in the power of love was what he really meant all along. My family’s glory and uniqueness is really all that special, because we now laugh joyfully in the face of agonizing pain, we now continue to love without measure in the midst of bitter suffering. That is special. That is great. To have incarnational hope like this is radical.

Twelve Months

Parenthood has been the most beautiful, edifying, transformative journey. It’s astounding how one tiny little human can make such a difference in our daily lives, and give us such profound opportunities to become more fully alive.

My Non-Instagrammable Life

But you know what? I kind of don’t care anymore. I used to be paranoid about blasting my sometimes bland, sometimes messy, sometimes not so glamorous life on social media. Now that I think of building memories with my kid, and making moments that will exist only in our wild mid-twenties, I have become totally okay with the fact that my life doesn’t look like inside of a Gap catalog.

Leisure and Laziness, Etc.

Is there a difference between true leisure and laziness? Yes, I think so, but sometimes what is lazy one day can be leisure the next. It takes a close attentiveness to the rhythm of our lives to discern what it is we are supposed to be doing in the present moment. My dad once said that if he was asked what he’d like to be doing when the world ended, he would answer that he’d like to be doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing, whether that was relaxing or saving the world.

On Seasons

How precious and unique is each of these, and how foolish I would be to spend all of a season wistfully dreaming of the next. How silly would it be for me to dwell upon the deary or tiresome parts of each season instead of choosing to savor the very thing I was experiencing.