Gathering My Thoughts




I find myself:

::noticing God's glory

Nick and I were later than we’d hoped to be to goalkeeper training Monday night. We made a decision to pull over and capture the sunset. He’s been so desperately wanting to do this that I took iPhone pics and put the big camera around his neck. We’re both very pleased.

I’ve been consciously focusing on home these days, trying to hear God’s call here and to appreciate the beauty in both this time and this place. All the pictures this week were taken at places very much a part of my daily round

::listening to 

ringing in my head. Mike and I went to our high school reunion Saturday night. We got back to the hotel around 1:00. When I found myself shivering and nauseous around 2:00, I thought maybe that’s what happens when I go over my one-glass-of-wine limit (I had two glasses in the space of seven hours, but you never know). I don’t know why I didn’t remember at the time that my girls have recently had what Karoline called “the dizzy fever.” Dizzy fever indeed. Thanks for sharing with Mama. I’m still shivering and sweating and my head’s ringing.

::clothing myself in 

Yoga pants, sweatshirt, and hand knit cashmere socks sent to me by Elizabeth DeHority. The rain and the wind brought cooler temperatures to the evening. Nothing like welcoming autumn weather with a touch of cashmere.


::thinking and thinking

About this:

Unfortunately, experiences of moral failure, group meltdowns, personal pettiness, and partison harshness in congregations and ommunities make us wonder if our efforts in building community are worth the trouble. We often invest great hope in our Christian communities, and when there are serious ruptures, it feels as if part of the kingdom has been trampled. How is it that people who want closer relationships and deeper experiences of shared life sometimes find themselves in terribly difficult situations--sorting out betrayals, broken commitments, and creeping cynicism?

Growing into the likeness of Christ and into the church as it's supposed to be cannot be separated from the messiness and disappointments that are part of human relationships. We can protect ourselves from such difficulties only by cutting ourselves off from our relationships, and that is rarely a satisfactory option. Nevertheless, we can build and maintain congregations--just like we do with marriages, families, monastic communities, and businesses--in better or worse ways. Good communities and lifegiving congregations emerge at the intersection of divine grace and steady human effort.

~from Living into Community.

I have a lot of regrets about community in the last decade. Most about an online community where I invested far too much time and assumed far too much about friendship. Sadly, there has been a fair share of trial and scandal in our local church community, too. In both cases, the scars, particularly where some of my kids are concerned are deep and still painful to the touch. And yet. And yet, try as I might to deny it, I know He created us for community.

Just where? And how?

::pondering prayerfully

“How is it God, that you have given me this hectic busy life when I have so little time to enjoy your presence? Throughout the day, people are waiting to speak with me, and even at meals, I have to continue talking to people about their needs and problems. During sleep itself I am still thinking and dreaming about the multitude of concerns that surround me. I do all this not for my own sake, but for yours. I only hope that for you it is truly a sacrifice of love. I know that you are constantly beside me, yet I am usually so  busy that I ignore you. If you want me to remain so busy, please force me to think about and love you even in the midst of such hectic activity. If you do not want me so busy, please release me from it, showing other how they can take over my responsibilities.” St. Teresa of Avila

::carefully cultivating rhythm

At the beginning of a season, rhythm takes careful thought and quite a bit of discipline. Then, it sort of dissolves into a natural, easy flow. We have finally reached the flowing stage. Alleluia! Amen.

::creating by hand

I bound off on the body of a baby sweater last night. On to the sleeves! And I cut a top for Sarah today. I hope to feel well enough tomorrow to sew early in the morning.


::learning lessons in

Food again. I slacked off on the “no gluten-no dairy-no sugar” resolve. It’s always really hard during birthday week. I’m seven pounds heavier and my joints are stiff and painful. So, if I needed to learn whether food makes a difference, I just did.

::encouraging learning 

in geography. My four-year-old can look at the shape of a state and the outline of the country (with no states outlined) and put her finger on the spot where that state belongs. She can do it for all 50 states consecutively without missing one. I did nothing. Stack the States app is all kinds of amazing.

::begging prayers

for all the intentions of our prayer community.

::keeping house

I think dipping leaves in beeswax and bringing autumn to the mantel are in order this week.

::crafting in the kitchen 

Is anybody else putting pumpkin in everything? I can’t seem to help myself...






::loving the moments

when we gather with friends and family on the sidelines of a soccer match. On Friday night, we had dinner with my father and stepmother. We went to watch Patrick play. There, we met my friend Sharon and her husband. Sharon went to high school with us and she was a dear friend in my early mothering days. Sitting next to her, sharing mom hearts, it was just like old times. Even better.

::giving thanks 

for our high school reunion, old friends, and warm conversations.

living the liturgy

I’ve moved my morning Liturgy of the Hours time from the closet with my bike to the sewing room. I know I do this at the risk of not being able to squeeze the exercise in at midday, where I now have it penciled. But right now, I need to make a commitment to sewing time and sewing has naturally become a kind of prayer. So let’s see how it works there.

::planning for the week ahead

Colleen arrives tomorrow. After a whirlwind trip all over the country meeting interesting and influential people, she’s going to spend a few days resting and recovering here. I have no one influential lined up for her and nothing especially interesting. Our days will be filled with autumn walks, homemade soup, crusty bread, and the Jane Austen movie marathon Karoline has planned.

The weekend will take the boys and me to Princeton, NJ for a soccer tournament.