Five days ago at breakfast, my son was typing on his laptop as we talked about the latest notification: university commencement was canceled. ...It’s hard to know where to put those feelings when real people we love are facing a real health crisis. ... He and a friend began building their university campus in Minecraft, and found a whole grieving community eager to enroll.
This Advent, I have been thinking a lot about joy. I believe each person has a God-given, infinite supply of joy. Advent is a time when we celebrate the familiar joy of Jesus’ birth and his presence in our lives today. It’s also a time for us to anticipate the unimaginable joy we’ll experience when Jesus comes again and we are reunited—a joy greater than any joy we’ve ever known.
I am partial to handwritten letters. The kind you scribe on paper or board or photographs, and put in a stamped envelope. The kind you trust to survive the mysterious infrastructure of mail boxes, bags, bins and conveyer belts, sorters and mail carriers, and inclement weather, until it arrives at its destination, with pieces of your heart in tow.
Spring conjures images of daffodils, dandelions, tulips, and warm breezy days. But spring is also mud and dirty piles of lingering snow. Rabbit poop, uprooted trunks, and other emerging evidence of what all those critters were doing in our yard over winter. Spring will eventually bring flowers. For now, spring means cleaning up. Starting new. Letting seeds germinate. ...One of the books I’m writing is about seasons. Not so much winter to spring, but other transitions of life. Relationships. Growing old. Seasons of the heart. Planting hope. Finding faith. Growing love. What’s in your heart this season?[...]
Ten years ago today, my husband Bob died of cancer. We call it his heaven birthday. When our son, Alexander, turned 10, he wanted to begin his mountain climbing adventures, to be just like his dad. Turning 10 was a big deal. This week, Alexander (now 13) sent an email to family and friends who knew his dad, inviting them to “sign” his birthday card with “a favorite memory, something you especially miss about him, or just say hi.” Here is my letter.
In moments of joyful transition, it is easy to see blessings. But what about when we’re caught in muck? If we practiced gratefulness every day would it make a difference?...I’m three days into my challenge of 1000 blessings.
What if we could see the script of our child’s life before he was born and God gave us five minutes to erase or make changes? Would we take out the bad stuff? If you change one thing, it changes everything after that. ...We don’t always agree with the script as it’s playing out. And many, many times, we ask for the ability to revise it. If given the chance, would you revise your own life script? Would the new version be as interesting?
On most Wednesday mornings, I spend an hour with Hope learning to balance. I stand barefoot on my yoga mat, facing a mirror with a familiar set of faces as we bend and flow in tai chi, pilates, and yoga moves, and for just a moment forget about everything else that's going on in our lives. I love that my instructor's name is Hope. I love that this takes place smack in the middle of my week. The experience is literally and symbolically a balancing act. Today is Saturday and, in a rare alignment of the planets, I have the whole day and house to myself. This is both a covetable blessing and an interesting dilemma. The list is long. What should I do with my day?
Karen’s life experience is intertwined with her roles as a wife, mom, stepmom, writer, publisher, photographer, traveler, and woman of faith. All these elements tend to make their way into her blog posts.
“Writers have to write. It’s something deep inside us that pushes and pushes until we let it out. It’s part of the air we breathe, this need to make sense of the world around us and to somehow find the right words to express and influence the way we each feel and interact and love and live.”—Writing is Risky Business