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Sweet, Sad December

By Megan Wilcox Goates

I have a theory about Christmases past. It is this: most happy Christmases blend together. It’s the hard years that stand out. Somebody stitch that on a throw pillow for me. Is vinyl lettering as home decor still a thing? Stick this on the wall near the Christmas tree: Happy Christmases…meh. It reminds me of how …

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BEGINNINGS

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

I love Mondays. And New Years Day. And the first day of school. I’d like to say I feel the same about mornings, but that’s more of a love/hate relationship. What I love are Beginnings. I love pregnancy and birth. I love newly opened camellias, and puppies, and boarding the plane for a welcome journey, and snow that’s still pristinely still. What I love is the possibility inherent in newness. What can I create this year, or this day? Who might this baby grow up to be? What do I hope happens? How can I help it happen?

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A Theology of Desire

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

Like you, I’ve spent my years here on earth trying to figure out what life is all about. You will be thrilled to know I’ve finally got it, and I’m going to share it with you. Here it is: you get what you truly want.

Now, before you protest that you are getting very little of what you want, hear me out. It’s about our heart’s true desire. Very few of us know what we really want, especially in this era of strident, competing voices telling us what we need to make us happier: more money, more things, more youth or beauty, more fun, more technology, more . . . more . . . more. I am not suggesting that a minimalist lifestyle will still all the voices, though it may help. I am inviting you to question — constantly — if the way you are living is getting you what you truly want. This requires a lot of deep inner exploration, a lot of focused quiet time, a whole lot of honesty.

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The Upside of Stupid

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

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I am moving across the country in two weeks, so June, my best friend of 30 years, drove 300 miles to visit me this week. She took two unpaid vacation days to do it. We had to pack in quite a lot of memorable activity and talk in just a short day and a half, so we headed up the Columbia River Gorge to get started. The first day’s plan was:  1) hike,  2) soak in the mineral water at Carson Hot Springs,  3) eat at Skamania Lodge,  4) sit in the adirondack chairs at Skamania and talk till the moon came up over the gorge. 

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Happiness Guilt

By Ashley Dickson

Life is really good right now. And so I feel guilty. When I scan the faces in the Relief Society room or the neighborhood playgroup or the overcrowded grocery store, I see a lot of suffering. Too much heartache. An abundance of stress, anxiety, dissatisfaction. One friend struggles with both infertility and an abusive marriage. …

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your best surprises of 2014

By Michelle Lehnardt

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A few years ago, in December, I was wrapping gifts and– with the melancholy that sometimes visits during the holidays– letting tears slip down my cheeks as I mourned things that hadn’t happened that year, carefully crafted plans come to naught (primarily, a baby). I continued to wrap and cry, grumbling a bit that I wasn’t getting the gift I really wanted, when I remembered the friend who’d handed me tickets to a Christmas concert the week before. One by one, I began thinking of all the good things in the past year that happened without my planning, without my goal-setting. Joys, successes, new friends, small victories…handed to me with no effort on my part, wrapped up beautifully and tied with a bow. I ripped a piece of wrapping paper, turned it over and wrote down everything that had surprised or delighted me in the previous months.

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Letter To My Younger Self

By Julia Blue

Dear Little Blue, You don’t really need this letter, because you’ll eventually figure all these things out on your own, but if I could share a few insights with you, I’d let you know that even though it feels like there’s not a soul on earth who’d really care if you ceased to exist, in …

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Sometimes my husband tells me I live too much in the moment…

By Brooke Benton

Yesterday, as the sun waned but evening still seemed a mystery of the future, I pulled baby eggplant and perfectly sized (thank heavens I didn’t check a day/minute/second later) zucchini from the garden, and filled a mixing bowl with warm basil leaves that torn, filled the air around me with their peppery fragrance. I took …

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BRIEFLY

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

One of our brilliant Segullah editors shared a poem with our staff recently that had us all grieving for the sorrow of the world, but also brought out our collective fierce resolve to “risk delight” in the face of such sorrow.  Here is Brittney’s story and the poem. 

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JUST LIFT UP YOUR VOICE AND SING!

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

My life is messy and hard and confusing. You wouldn’t know it by looking in from the outside. I live in a nice house in a pretty part of the world. I have plenty of stuff and opportunity. I have a decent husband, assorted children and grandchildren, a cuddly cat, good health. I know I’m blessed and I’m deeply grateful. So I find it exasperating that I struggle so hard to enjoy my blessed life, as I work out what to do about my miserable marriage, parent hormonal teenagers and try to figure out how to more effectively use my fancy four-in-one office machine in my new business. I lurched into my garage today with a flat tire. A friend will likely die this week. Taxes are due. Library books are overdue. It’s snowing and the school suddenly decided to send the kids home two hours early (this, after a two-hour late start this morning) but I can’t get to the bus stop in time (12 miles away) because my tire is flat and there’s too little time to change it. Aargh!

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