Thank you notes at lap 56……

I’m headed into my next lap around the sun
this week and I’m 56 years grateful.
  Here’s a little celebration of thank you notes,
tossed random like confetti from my heart:

~ Thank you,  Mom,  for carrying me up against your bones and breath and heart.
For loving hard and caring big
and every drop of delight you’ve ever taken in me or mine.
You,  too,  Dad….thanks for your humor and hard-working heart.

~ Thank you,  music and music-makers,  for making me feel so alive.
Every. single. day.

~ Thank you,  sweet potatoes,  for replacing pasta in most every dish I felt homesick for
when my gutt began a standoff with grain.
And to all of you potatoes – thank you for being a friend.

~ Thank you,  John,  for the honest journey you’ve made me take.
For inspiring me to stop and look and re-think and re-learn and dump my hurried assumptions.
For teaching me what it means to be a human.
And for being such a kind one:)

~ Thank you,  Candace,  for being a big sister when and how I needed it most.
For your belly laughs and beauty and bounty shared generous and wise.
Your friendship healed something deep in me
and I’m cheering always wildly always in your corner.

~ Thank you,  mamas,  for being a safe place for me to learn to be a human in the church.
For letting me dart away and come back,  get spooked and mad and howl in pain
and loving me safe just the same.
For fighting with me for friendship in my hardest place.
We’ll be laughing together for ages to come:)

~ Thank you,  people who pick up trash.
You are heros.

~ Thank you,  Janet,  for being my Janet.
You alone know the words I can’t write,  the tears I pray in the night,
and the way I can’t even make the words to say how much it is to me that you are in this world.
You’re the peanut butter to my jelly:)

~ Thank you,  flowers,  for being.
Every single petal and blossom.
I just love you.

~ Thank you,  helpers,  for showing up with your open hands
and willing hearts when a being is in need.
For every act of kindness offered ever.
You make me glad to live on this planet.

~ Thank you,  Peter,  for teaching me what it is to be spirit.
For challenging my fears and leading the way and showing me how our essence
is not broken by our breaking.
For showing me how deep love goes.
And for making me brave:)

~  Thank you,  rivers,  for going where you go
in your river-ly way.
You remind me not to g0 stale.

~ Thank you,  car people,  for knowing what to do.
For fixing things that break and getting me back on the road.

Thank you,  Hannah,  for teaching me to be a mother.
For being an amazing companion as in many ways we grew up together.
I was young,  sweetie,  and you broke so much ground.
For breaking ground still wherever you go
and for being earth and fire to my wind and water
and challenging me toward change that is beautiful.

~ Thank you,  techy people,  for having a clue.
And for making it so that I don’t have to get one
and can instead go plant or paint something.
You mean the world to me.

~  Thank you,  neighborly neighbors.
For being just that.

~  Thank you,  people who transport snail mail and packages to our boxes and doors.
I don’t want to live in a world without you.

~ Thank you,  story-tellers and art-makers,  for painting the fabric of our lives.
Or something like that.
Or maybe it’s that you nudge us to really see.

~ Thank you,  Bryan,  for being my traveling companion these 35 years.
For all of the loving,  learning,  fighting,  flailing and forward-falling.
You’re still my one and only;
thanks for letting me take the long way home.

~ Thank you,  Queen City Church,  for being a harbor of truth and beauty
where my damaged stuff could mend.
Because you let creativity flow free,  my soul didn’t break always out in hives
and I could stay and let the healing happen slow.
Again and again you inspire me.

~ Thank you,  Sacred Mountain Oil,  for smelling
like the breath of God.
I diffuse you forever:)

~ Thank you, tragedy,  for the way that we think we’re strong until a ringing phone
jars us awake in the middle of the night.
For reminding us how fragile this life.  How sweet this moment.
How worthy of our finest attention
is this present joy.

~ Thank you,  uncertainty,  for being the way forward.
Go figure.

~ Thank you,  forgiveness,  for being the life-blood of my peace.
For how you heal and restore.
And that nothing is beyond you.

~ Thank you,  laughter,  for being medicine.
The very best.

~ Thank you,  Amanda, for teaching me the piercing power of a heartbeat
and how far spirit stretches.
And for living your beautiful life to the brave rhythm of your own unique song.
Thanks for singing true.

~ Thank you,  God,  for writing a stream of love songs on my palm
with every tender stroke of your love.

~ Thank you,   control,  for being an illusion.
I enjoy learning to lose you.

Thank you, waterfalls,  for showing me how to fling my heart over every
rock hard place
and let the music that happens
be what it is.

~ Thank you,  listeners.
For listening.
It’s the main thing.

~ Thank you,  honest tears,  for cleansing away the clutter
of ugly baggage left behind.
You clear the way for fresh starts.

~ Thank you,  birds,  for the way you keep on singing.
For showing us how.

~ Thank you,  dead-ends and time-sucks,  for teaching me
who I am not.

Thank you,  Manie,  for being mother to my mister
and loving our family so sweet.  Your big heart is golden.

~ Thank you,  12 steps,  for being a thing.
You are hope in hellish places.

~  Thank you,  morning dew,  for showing up every single day.
And for every other “insignificance” that mostly goes unsung.
You make all the difference.

~ Thank you,  small businesses,  for taking risks
and braving waters.
So much of what I love comes right from you.

~ Thank you,  sugar,  for being so sweet.
So dazzlingly delicious.
I still believe in you:)

~ Thank you,  Mandy Bird,  for your compassion and counsel.
For not being afraid of my grief.
You truly are a warrior poet.

~ Thank you,  Janis,  for your warm welcomes at the gate.
Your hugs have felt like home.

Thank you,  lunchtime,  for happening almost every single day
and for making this sacred space for me to hang out with friends.
You know who you are.
And I’ve loved every single stop-and-sit with you.
Going out to lunch is my favorite:)

~  Thank you,  Rivergreen,  for connecting us with so many amazing people.
For showing us the value of each piece of land and the lives lived out there.
You’ve taught me more than I may process in a lifetime.

~ Thank you,  dogs.  Elephants.  Cows.
Just for being.
And all the other animals,  too.
You make us better humans and I wouldn’t want to be one
without you.

~ Thank you,  people who give loving care
to people and animals and water and land and sky.
You are my personal favorites.

~ Thank you,  leaders,  for sticking your neck out
and offering to serve.
Hand-to-my-heart for you,  like a prayer.

~ Thank you,  my big extended family,
for being roots and connection and context and history.
I love you all so.

~ Thank you,  people who built the backroads I love to travel.
Your handiwork makes my heart soar.

Thank you,  Danielle and Lance and David.
Your love for and friendship with my children make you feel like a part of my brood
and I love what you bring to the table.
You make us a better “we” and I’m richer for each of you.

~Thank you,  crafters of good iced tea.
I mean really,  really good tea.
With lemons sliced generous and the faintest blush of sweet.
I get up most days because of you.

~ Thank you,  wood smoke,  for making cold air smell so fine.

~ Thank you,  headphones and ear buds,  for making sense out of certain places.
You save me sometimes.  You really do.

~ Thank you,  blogger friends and your blogs.
Even though we’ve never hung out in person,
you know my heart in some pretty fierce ways.
We’ve shared a lot together,  you and I.
You are mostly my favorite reads and my windows are so much wider because of you.

~ Thank you,  cell phones,  for making my brain go stretchier,
my everyday seem safer,  and my loved ones feel closer,
and my world shine brighter.
And for doing it all in color.

~ Thank you,  gratitude,  for being the one practice I can go to
anywhere at any time
for a swift perspective tweak and energy boost.
For helping me feel the abundance that surrounds me always.



“Imagine!  Imagine!
The long and wondrous journeys still to be ours.”
–   Mary Oliver

Thanks for wading through this long read,  friend.
(and thank you,  Jimmy Fallon,  for the sweet inspire)
Love to you.  Love to you always.

Whisper a little word….

It’s a new day
with a fresh batch of lines on another page
and I’m grateful for the beginnings we carve out in the long stretches of time
to mark and remember and celebrate.
Celebrate….my one little word for the last 365.
I called it a challenge from the start and it didn’t disappoint:)
I showed up to the spirit of the word most days
and gave myself a gentle pass when my heart just couldn’t dance,
knowing it would rise again soon to the rhythm of my joy still flowing.
And again and again I did.
Good enough,  dear self.  Good enough.

This year rolled in with a little word so clear that my belly jumped to a flop when I heard it.
Life whispered, “overcome” – with a twist.
And it’s the  t w i s t   that turned my heart to listen curious.

The way I’ve always heard it,
overcome feels like take the beach,
get over that wall,  run at it again,  and never accept defeat.
It feels hardbody and endurance and guts and glory and strength.
But it landed in me like a snowflake on my cheek.

Be overcome
be overtaken,
overwhelmed and in-too-deep.
Swept up by light and wonder and joy and truth,
unguarded
unmanaged,
unquenched.

Let my heart and hands fall
open
like a riverbank rushed over,
Let life flood over my defenses until I come again untamed.

I may shy to the new of coming loose from old moorings
but I want to show up to it all,
to raise my heart into the day
and wring out love like holy water

To say to the scared child of me
that you are not too small for this big world
….get on in,  hands in the air,  and grin into the windy turns.
Be overcome – this is how the best art is made.

Be brave enough to
let
go
more,
be overcome this year.

“Life shrinks or e-x-p-a-n-d-s
in proportion to one’s courage.”
– Anais Nin

I’ve been gone for two months!
Good reasons for the hush but ready to wrap some things in words
to come back here and share.
I love getting to share this journey with you.
Thanks for being here:)

 

Fast tide rising…..

Did I really disappear for this long?
I think my breath got too short in the thicket
of dear ones in pain and feeling too thin spread over jagged edges of great need.
As if there wasn’t enough oxygen left over in my life-living
to come over here and say my words.

Because I felt for awhile too small for this world,
like there was more to lift than I could heft.
And while I doggie paddled through the soupy swirl,
something hard and sharp and brilliant began to slice away at some of my false parts
until I could feel the true of me rise.
Like new wine from the press.

I’m not sure how to come back;  feels like too much story to tell short.
So for now I’ll share some gifts I’ve discovered in the unpacking.
Celebrating found gold from the road:

~ the gentle surprise that I’m better able to hold space for my dear ones in their pain
because I’m more comfortable sitting now in my own.

~ that I’m safe to make peace with whatever is in my path,
even what I can’t yet see around that scary-looking corner up ahead.

~ that I can own my mistakes and also hold it tender for myself
that I didn’t know how to do different or better
….to forgive this quick and not waste the grief.

~ for change that shakes my shaky things,
that stirs my stuck places into rock and shudder,
and the spaciousness that settles in sweet when I make some room for defeat.

~ that the sense of groaning, splintering floorboards that scared my breathing shallow,
fearing that it was the sound of my life in collapse,
was only the end of things as I knew them.
But not even close to over.
That life is made to be breakable.  And so are we.  Nothing is beyond repair

Because this storm is like a fast tide rising,
lifting the doldrums until my ship floats free.
There is meaningful motion where before were only dry-docked dreams.

~ that the birds keep singing;
(always they teach)
and so,  yes so,  can I.

“The pain that comes from loving someone who is in trouble can be profound.”

“We’re so careful to see that no one gets hurt.  No one,  that is,  but ourselves.”

“Remember the key principles:  boundaries,  letting go,
forgiveness after feeling my feelings – not before,
self-expression,  loving others,  but loving myself too.”

– All priceless gems from Melody Beattie

 

 

Hear the bones they break…..

It hurts to stay in my skin sometimes as messages blister across airwaves and page.
If I could say one word to we-the-people of this land that I hold dear,
it wouldn’t be “love” but I would mean that so big.
It would be listen.  Please listen.
Because we’re saying love a whole lot but I wonder how it is
we keep arriving at conclusions while sidestepping respectful conversation.
Love is love is love…..it extends to oppressors as well as the oppressed.
There is a distinctly different working out of it for each,
but love gets dragged up under the rails and crushed
when we don’t let it steady our speech.
Words that diminish will never move us into healing change.
They just won’t.
We need to listen and hear.

I’m breaking from making the words so I’ve gathered some quotes that I love
about listening and learning to lay down our arms….. to let love have a go.
Hope you find a nibble that you like:

“You reclaim  your power by loving what you were once taught to hate.”
– Bryant McGill

“Listen with curiosity.
The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand.
We listen to reply.  When we listen with curiosity,  we don’t listen with the intent to reply.
We listen for what’s behind the words.”
– Roy Bennett

“Being heard is so close to being loved
that for the average person they are almost indistinguishable.”
– David Augsburger

“Instead of seeing how much pain I can dish out towards those I disagree with,
or who I believe have done me wrong,
I seek to use my words and behavior to create more of what the world needs
– love,  compassion,  and connection.”
-Aspen Baker

“Listening is where love begins:  listening to ourselves
and then to our neighbors.”
– Fred Rogers

“Your lips are moving,  I cannot hear.
I’m looking through you,  and you’re nowhere.”
– Paul McCartney

Thanks for dropping by,  dear one.  I so appreciate your presence here.
My mister is having surgery in a few days and I’ll be wearing a few more hats.
He’s not ill;  just in big-time pain and must get a brand new knee.
The timing also feels painful hard as we head into our busy season so I’d appreciate
all the prayer, good juju and encouragement you might feel inclined to send:)

Of loving and leaving to the light…..

Just this.
Because I need a little break this week from working out the words.
I made this for you to sip on,  instead.

Love to you,  exactly where you are,
and to all that you carry inside.

“My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted,
until I discovered that the interruptions
were my work.”
– Henry Nouwen