When the heart thumps of longings and lanes…..

In the heat of our culture’s loud and frantic traffic right now,
it’s sometimes hard to find and hold steady to your lane.
The message is loud and the pressure real:

                      ~ you should be doing more to protect your family and community from the virus.

~  you should be doing more to end ignorance and fear,  and to dismantle racism.

~ you should doing more to connect with truth – to navigate the hype and the false
and arrive correctly on the right square.  And quickly.

~ you should be doing more of all the things and also taking more
of a pro-active role in fighting more for social justice
in every arena,  anywhere there is suffering,
(If you’re not quarantined,  say if you are running a small business,
there is a lot of extra to catch up on
once you’ve served your community so you’re just
gonna have to sleep a little faster and go a little harder,  man.)

And,  hey,  if this is all too intense to absorb and process in your 24,
you just need to pick a side.
One of the two.  Pick one wing of this big bird and devote unquestioning loyalty,
then begin to lob insult and venom at the other
(yes,  you’re all on the same bird but don’t think too hard about that
while you bloody the wing you didn’t choose – it’s easier to go with the
good vs. evil narrative.  Keeps it simple.)

Cult Tip:
If you want to keep it super sweet and simple,  just pick a side and then go with
whatever that side is saying about all the issues.  Lots less bother.
You’ll even get a script.

Either way,  the shoulds are clear:
you’re expected to weigh in and raise a flag on every issue.
In every fight.
At every moment.
And whatever work you’re learning or doing already,
you should do way more.

Are you tired already?

                                           One  option:   Succumb to inertia.   Or despair
Better option:
Find and focus on doing your work.

I believe in the work.
I believe that this season is pregnant with the call to dismantle racism,
to require justice for the marginalized, for the objectified,  for the de-humanized.
My heart burns hot for systemic change.

I also believe that we are all many parts
-you have a lane and it’s where you’re made to thrive,
where you’re most productive
and there your passion carries weight
that creates sustainable good.
In your lane,  the riffs your voice makes are not only delicious,
they also help make this planet and her people more whole.
You were born to fill that space – we need you there.

So how do you know that place?
How do you find that niche – your own true north?
Finding and filling it is maybe much of the work of being human
because we want to love wide,  yes,  but where exactly do we put our heft and hands
every single day?

The answers,  I believe,  are rumbling around down there in the deeps of your very own heart.
Always it’s in the heart connection- that God-container –
from which our truest and most satisfying life-living flows.

And what I want to say to you right now is
don’t be driven by the shoulds.
Especially in the loud of this season,
don’t lose your heart.
That still small voice in the quiet of you
– it’s your lifeline.

“There are a million creative paths through compassion work…
That thing that is bursting in your chest?  Listen to it.  Give it energy;  give it life.”
– Jen Hatmaker

My lane,  for now,  is to dive deep to listen and learn and also
to offer up process that helps turn up the quiet and cultivate the listen and know.
It’s been growing in me for years, this way, and it feels to me like
tall trees and big sky and laughing waters
and helps tug the trueness from my often overcrowded heart.
It’s been a slow and bumpy launch because of Covid, and my website is still in the works
because I’m still nose-to-the-ground like a hound dog in a tall meadow
sniffing out the path.
I’ll come back with details soon.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Nelson – I drew your name in the giveaway
and I’m honored to send you an art journal I made.  With big love!

Another giveaway this post.
This time it’s a print – a warm starry night in a Summertime garden.
15 x 20 inches
Leave a comment and you’re in the hat:)



  1. Elephants Child on July 5, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Yes. Emphatically yes.
    I have often whipped myself with the shoulds – which have more than nine tails and have drawn a lot of my blood.
    Backing away, taking time to listen and just be is healing. As is the beauty of nature for me. My true North is quiet. And unhurried.
    Huge hugs and oceans of caring are flowing your way.
    And HOW I love your painting. It is a superb illustration of your heart.

    • jennifer on July 16, 2020 at 8:25 am

      Yes. Urgency can be such a tyrant.
      Thanks for your kind words and, always, for taking the time.
      I appreciate you,

  2. Jennifer Whitmore on July 6, 2020 at 3:28 am

    You give new breath to those who are drowning. Stay in the lane you now know, it is a blessing to us. And thank you for leading in this quiet way. Joy is just around the corner.

    • jennifer on July 16, 2020 at 8:24 am

      Thanks so much for your words, Jen – touched my heart so big.
      I needed this. I appreciate the time you take to read what I write down.
      Much thanks,

  3. Suzanne McRae on July 6, 2020 at 6:14 am

    I’m so glad that I saw your post. It’s brought me comfort and to stay true to what feels right for me so I can move forward a little more easily without what has felt like the weight of the world. Thank you!

    • jennifer on July 16, 2020 at 8:23 am

      That weight! You were born to fly.
      Keep being true to your wings:)
      Big thanks for reading what I write down,

  4. Jane Brocious on July 6, 2020 at 7:38 am

    Another perfect one, Jennifer. While your juices have always flowed true and steady, these last two entries are rushing cataracts. I have been searching my heart for just this truth! Thank you!

    • jennifer on July 16, 2020 at 8:22 am

      So grateful to hear that something landed in a helpful way, Jane.
      I appreciate always that you take the time to read what I write down
      and your kind encouragement nudges me forward more than you could know.
      Much thanks for that,

  5. Julia on July 6, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    There is a lot of rinsing to do before the water runs clear. So much hatred and confusion in this dark hour of our time, Even though all seems to be lost, God is always in control and He has a plan that is nothing like our human plans. Keep the faith and pray.

    Hugs, Julia

    • jennifer on July 16, 2020 at 8:08 am

      Oh prayers for clear water. Always Love is stronger.
      Thanks for your good words:)
      I appreciate your time and kindness,

  6. melissa on July 6, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    “…you’re made to thrive.” Thinking of how we’re each put together with intent. That’s what I needed to hear today. thank you.

    • jennifer on July 16, 2020 at 8:07 am

      Yes and absolutely.
      So glad something I wrote down landed near a need:)
      You are dear and held,

  7. jeanie on July 6, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    How do you do it? How do you nail it, get so right to the essence — say the words we need to hear, answer the question that float in our souls?? How do you do it? YOu are the true north.

    • jennifer on July 16, 2020 at 7:44 am

      Smiling at your kind words – i love your ebullient heart:)
      I always appreciate that you take the time to read what I write down
      and share such kindness:)
      Big warm thanks,

  8. Susan on July 6, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    so appreciate you being part of my world and gasp at the beauty of that image!

    • jennifer on July 16, 2020 at 7:43 am

      I’m glad you’re a part of mine:)
      So very:)
      Thanks for taking the time to read what I write down:)
      I appreciate you,

  9. Maureen on July 7, 2020 at 11:14 am

    Ahhhh. Once again, your words find their home in my heart. Thank you for making melody out of muddle, and giving me a song to sing 💕

    • jennifer on July 16, 2020 at 7:42 am

      melody out of muddle:) I love that:)
      I absolutely appreciate the time you spent reading what I write down
      and your kind encouragement.
      So much:)

  10. Lisa Moreland on July 12, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    Wise words and wondrous work. I always savor your essays; read closely, hover near each beautiful metaphor. 💜

    • jennifer on July 16, 2020 at 7:41 am

      Your words make my heart smile so hard:)
      Thanks for sharing them here.
      I appreciate the time and kindness,

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