Rain spills off the asphalt in front of our house and into the canal, drenching the last red tulips, soaking the grass, giving life to the leaves spiraling out of black cherry limbs beside my window.
I think of my favorite things, and I think of red. Red, in all its splashes of joy.
I love so many things that are red.
The tulips with black and yellow bellies, still rising in cold corners of our yard.
The barstools tucked under our kitchen counter, waiting for children to come home from school.
New rain boots, knee-high, so I can wade into the canal in search of kids who’ve explored too far. Continue reading Favorite Thing: Red
It is Holy Week. My favorite week of the year.
In 2011, just before Easter, I was talking on the phone with a friend in Virginia, who is Catholic. She is dear as my own mother. She told me about Mass on Palm Sunday and how she knelt like she usually does during the service, but at some point felt so humbled by what Christ had done for her, she didn’t want to get off her knees. Each day of the Holy Week was significant to her. She remembered each event.
I treasure my Mormon roots, but when she spoke, I longed to celebrate Holy Week with the greater Christian world. Continue reading How Do You Celebrate Holy Week?
A few Sundays ago, I sat at the back of the chapel, twisting in my seat, wondering if I should bear my testimony. For several months I’d felt a stirring to testify of Joseph Smith. But every month, as testimony meeting rolled around, I had an excuse. I wasn’t feeling well, my voice sounded raspy, surely what others had to say was more important.
Unable, however, to deny the prompting any longer, I stood and walked to the front of the chapel. I expressed my love for our wonderful ward then I testified of Joseph. Just Joseph.
I served a full-time mission in Illinois and Iowa, with special assignment to the Nauvoo Visitors’ Center. Every time I stood next to the bust of Joseph and told the story of the First Vision, my heart would kindle with knowing. I would repeat his words from memory, and something would pass between me and the hearer. God’s spirit would sweep over us, our eyes would meet, and I could not look away. Continue reading Brother Joseph
It is Christmas Eve. And I would guess a likely scenario (with some variance) is playing out in your home. Wrapping paper and scissors are scattered across our dining table, Jingle Bell Rock is lilting out of a nearby Bose speaker, breakfast dishes are piled in the sink, empty sleeping bags are crumpled in the living room after last night’s drifting off beneath the sparkle of christmas tree lights, yeast is set out for the rolls I need to bake this afternoon, and when not arguing or screeching, my kids are blindfolding each other, leading sibling after sibling around the house to play a guessing game.
So much joy in living. In family. In knowing why we celebrate.
One of my favorite essays in this Advent book was written by the great theologian and reformer, Martin Luther (1483 – 1546).
As he explains, Jesus’ birth was personal. Personal beyond our mortal comprehension.
It was a birth unto you. For you. Because of you.
And every day, it seems, we must ask for him to be born again. In all of us. Continue reading To You Christ is Born
So I’ve been driving round town listening to Brene Brown for the last month. No doubt most of you are familiar with her work, her research, her books. I can’t wait to dive into her newest release, Rising Strong. But of late I’ve been listening to her talks on vulnerability (developed from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection). I love what she has to say about wholehearted living. She offers ten guideposts to those who want to live more open, more joyful, and more fulfilled. Things like letting go of perfectionism, creativity, play, rest, and gratitude.
What she had to say about gratitude made me laugh out loud. Continue reading More Than an Attitude