Spring is finally here. I apprehensively declare that it will not snow again. Which means when I get home from work, wake up early in the morning, or finish adulting on any given Saturday, you'll find me on my front porch with a beer in one hand and a pen in the other. It didn't take long for the April porch lessons to pour in.
Give careful thought to your ways. This includes coffee, kindness, bravery, sunscreen and listening skills.
I love to present. And I used to do it a lot. On a personal level I presented to college students and fellow alumni. At my job I traveled around to small groups and big groups to lead discussions, introduce concepts and help with technology. My favorite was presenting from a stage to a roomful... Continue Reading →
My Most Recent Lessons: Sub Zero Edition... (1) Sneezing (2) Self-Doubt (3) Beer (4) Marketing and (5) Mourning
If I pause and reflect daily, I might get an inaccurate representation of how things are going. A bad day could feel like the world is falling apart. One good day could give me an inflated sense of self and delusional success. But a friend reminded me that reflecting at the end of every week... Continue Reading →
Dear Busia: I wish we could cook together and I could keep learning from you. I miss you immensely. Thank you for loving me so well and so big. Love, Your Girl
I don't want to forget that the little things are actually the big things. That sometimes love can be wrapped in a yellow box that sits in the freezer.
Yes, I am the weirdo in a lawnchair in my front yard, in 4 inches of snow, wearing a snowmobile suit and drinking a beer in front of the snowman I built. It takes bravery to put yourself out there. Do brave.
Aside from the desire to throw a non-functional device across the room, aside from the desire to procrastinate because solving a problem feels overwhelming, aside from the embarrassment of failing technology... it turns out there are lessons buried within the stressful moments of technical difficulties.
Some lessons stop you as you're walking to the parking deck and present themselves as opportunities. Other lessons come from endless scrolling and regret. While others are realizations that not everything needs to be improved upon. It's okay for some things to be fine and enough. And in case you haven't heard it lately. You are amazing. You are enough.
12 pounds of butter can teach you a few lessons... about goofy hats, being present, sprinkles and cosmopolitans.
Featuring the danger of coffee grounds and guesstimating winter, alongside the importance of power cords and reading the other side.
This week's lessons are brought to you by a bag of pants, timezones, hitting buttons and saying no to new baseboards.
Jesus... without u, there is only Jess. And she’s a mess. Imbalanced. But this week, in between the home cooked meal and the burnt frozen pizza there were sunrises, Dolly Parton, local coffee, squirrels and 90s grunge. There was balance. There was Jesus.
When the alarm clock goes off, my instinct is not to wake up. It’s to lie there and debate with myself. One morning I debated with God instead.
Today I am thankful for... windows. When it’s cold and I don’t want to miss it. For the world outside of me, that God allows me to see.
God gave us another day. Another sunrise. Another opportunity to choose better. To respond with character, integrity and a patience... that will wait for a sunrise. What will you choose?
Over the last week I learned about the unpredictable nature of green beans, braided hair, storms and chance meetings. And I also learned to look for the beauty that comes from getting lost, from practice, from buying the flowers, and from giving someone permission to try.
The sunrise exists because blue and yellow remain who they are, yet hang out together. Together they create a gradient. Go make a sunrise.
Not all lessons occur Monday-Friday. Sometimes they explode all over the counter in a cloud of orange dust on a Saturday night.
Every day God is trying to teach me something. The question is whether or not I’m paying enough attention to notice it, reflect on it, and do something with it. The past two weeks a few new things came to light: serrated knives and fingertips don’t go well together, water is more important than coffee... Continue Reading →
People say the devil is in the details. I disagree. Beauty is in the details. Insight is in the details. God is in the details. So this week I cut down my list from 20 to 9 and I went deeper.
Sometimes it is helpful to admit that being an adult is hard. Self-control is hard. Choosing to respond with kindness is hard. Choosing to be silent when the world shouts, is hard. Choosing God’s way is hard. But the hard stuff? That is often where the world needs you to be. Where God asks me to be.
If you slow down just enough, and look up you might notice a few things. Like someone turned off the light in the restroom while you were still in the restroom, the water delivery guy does not want a water, a determined child on a big wheel can keep up with the big bikes, and homemade ranch with a side of hugs are what the Midwest is made of.
This is my top 20 list of what I learned this week from observing the people and world around me. Coming in hot at #15... Pigeons do not scare easily. Especially Steve.
I quit my job. But I wasn’t unhappy. I wasn’t running away from anything. I was running toward something.
Today I am thankful for... my feet. And the grass I was able to walk on. And the memories of jumping, of grandparents, of all that has been gifted to me.
You’re the one the world has been waiting for. In the rain. In the sun. Take the chance. Make the move. God gave you a purpose. Love.
I tried writing so many times today and nothing stuck. It felt like a ramble of so many disconnected thoughts. Until one photo, with one post, from an old friend, reminded me of how powerful words can be.
Some things never seem to have an end. Work. Email. Information. It's overwhelming. So I stepped away, and remembered it's possible. I remembered it's okay. And I stayed.
Today I am thankful for a little salt shaker. A little reminder that not only should I not be salty, and not pour salt in a wound, but that we are called to something more. We are a key ingredient in every interaction in this life. We can bring out the best in each other.
We often miss how much control we have in our response. We claim "we had no choice," but it's our response to their words, no matter what those words are, that reveals our character. We have an opportunity, you and I. To receive feedback with curiosity and compassion. To choose a better way.
Meeting Notes: It's been a long time since we had a planning meeting. They were scheduled but I wasn't showing up because "I had a conflict." I was the conflict. So we met and we started at the beginning.
Thank you notes are not required. But your words are powerful and meaningful and have the ability to change someone's moment, day and even life.
It’s a weird thing to read something you’ve written and not recognize your own voice. To wonder where that person went and how to find her again.
the sun breaks through the clouds like waves the lure breaks through the water makes waves the birds break through the silence in waves how can I break through to reduce the waves --- the water can’t create a new image, it reflectswhat’s around, the outline of trees, the light of sun, it revealsa hint... Continue Reading →
most times social media ruins me. annihilates me. into a spiral of zombie behavior and destructive comparison. but sometimes it makes me cry in a good way. a healthy way. that reminds me of humanity and love and strength and compassion. That reminds me not everyone is selfish and self centered and tone deaf. Not... Continue Reading →
I don’t want to be perpetually agitated... quick to anger, easily set off by poorly timed red lights, political posts, rearranged super market aisles, incomplete reporting, the wrong kind of ranch dressing… I want to try something different. With you.
If I had a porch swing someone could sit with me, and in that moment we could be a blessing to each other. But I don't need to wait for a porch swing for that. It's my excuse. I don't know what your porch swing is. But stop waiting for it. You are enough as you are right now.
You don’t get to decide what will or won’t leave an impression on someone else. You don’t get to decide what will or won’t leave an impression on you. You do get to decide whether to care. Whether to try. Whether to be better.
The concept of an anthem, a personal musical anthem, first surfaced in college. When I had to choose what song would play when I came out on stage for the date auction. Yes, a date auction. Men and women were auctioned off to the highest bidder for one date night, and all of the proceeds... Continue Reading →
When you’re having a no good very bad day, can you still praise someone else for a job well done? When you’re having a no good very bad week? Very bad month? Very bad season? Can you still praise someone else for who they are? What they’ve done? For delivering a stellar presentation? For making a... Continue Reading →
I cried this weekend. I experienced envy. In envy I longed for the clarity of direction from God. In envy I wanted to be pursued to participate in something bigger than myself with Him at the center. In one of the moments where this shade of green took over my emotions, I did what any... Continue Reading →
I chose to sit in the dark. Sometimes darkness is not a bad thing. It slows things down. In the evening after the sun sets and the sky darkens, your body prepares for sleep. For rest. It slows down. So I chose to sit in the dark. To listen to the rain. To start slow.... Continue Reading →
I stepped back into my life. Parts of it. My head swells. My jaw aches. I clench when stressed. The rest of me doesn’t feel stressed though. But my teeth hurt. So I must be. I’m buffering. Awkwardly meandering through familiar people and places. Using phrases I stamped out years ago. Hearing them leave my... Continue Reading →
I people watch at the airport. With enough distance that I can't hear; I can only see and I write poems, imagining their stories and their lives based on body language. I. I look for you in between the pages of the novel how novel you never write back II. the secrets pile on layers... Continue Reading →
not for work or for the store or for church or dinner or date night or plans with friends not for insta or snap not for you not for them not for me If I choose. no more researching and picking and buying and returning and putting on and taking off and irritation and fading... Continue Reading →
watching them watching love they’re watching they stop to observe to capture to smell to see to be if they would stop talking for a moment they would hear the sound of the music in the background building filling the bass bass slowly rumbles in the sound of the fountain goes on without their notice... Continue Reading →