"Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage." Psalm 84:5


four year old lucy, leaning over the arm of the couch this morning to get to the library book box and having a bit of a hard time - "I am getting TOO OLD for this!"


i have a few friends i call when i'm on a walk, so that i can walk farther. it's amazing what i can accomplish in the productively healthy realm when i'm distracted. i talked to a friend tonight who is in the post marsupial but still highly vigilant stage of raising her first child, currently a two year old. he's amazingly fast and infinitely curious, and has, like most two year olds i've known (including my own), way more confidence than capability. he, in fact, came crying to her with a new bump forming while we were talking about just how different we christians are here in the midwestern u.s. than some in, say, the pacific northwest, the middle east, beijing. i let her go, and called another friend who is pregnant with her first, cruising through her second trimester, dealing with her role in helping her husband raise his 11 year old from his first marriage, volunteering with high school kids who show some spiritual interest, driving home from a board meeting. we talked about marriage, and summer planning when there's an ex-wife involved, how long after the expiration date you can really use ground chuck (i said about one day), and getting together soon, before or after the barrage of family trips and visits she is about to navigate through this month.

if you know me, you know that i have a tiny hang up about my relationships with other people. i tend to get caught up in slightly negative thinking that my friendships are all mostly shallow, that i have little to no community going on in my life, that i am hard to get to know..or something. i find, though, that if i reach out past these feelings, call someone, put a letter in the mail or shoot an email through cyberspace - connect - ...inevitibly, i am blessed with varying degrees of mutuality, of sharing some human space, of getting great feedback on yes, we are all in this muck together-ness. it doesn't really take much to encourage me, but often it takes me awhile to realize that it does take me looking up and around, opening my hand, offering or asking. trusting. as i'm learning...


anne lamott, speaking of her writer father, said "i think he believed that our job, the job of a writer, is not to get up and say, "tomorrow, in battle, most of you will die..." instead, a writer must entertain the troops the night before."

i'm finding that i tend to be more of a reporter lately than a writer...if the ship is sinking, i want to blow the horn, blast the siren, swing the floodlights on the most threatened area...i haven't wanted to try to entertain the troops the night before. As much value and life as I see in storytelling, in painting beautiful and insightful and even entertaining tales, my heart has been heavier than that for much of the last few months. I'm praying for more balance, to start to see more things half filling the cup rather than all the things that are draining it dry, to grow in laughter and love, and to take the sorrow and difficulties in stride. We all encompassing hyper analysts can get a permanent deeply indented line between our eyebrows if we aren't careful...