Two weeks of lessons came down to the five senses... one of them being the importance of taste, and a replacement for the overused lemon and lemonade analogy. May I humbly submit one about beer and brats.
What would I tell you about the last five years if you asked me? Dear Busia, this is my letter to you.
The last two weeks have been a whirlwind. I'm not sure how it's already mid February. But in the midst of the wind and rain and the snow and the 50 degree weather turned blizzard I took time to reflect... and there are a lot of lessons in the midst of cupcakes.
Step 1. Read the instructions. Step 2. Follow the instructions. Interestingly, something needs to happen before Step 1. Someone other than you actually has to create the instructions.And we have to actually read them... in context.
She always ordered it perfect. Lemon twist and olives. Lots of rocks. I’ve never met Rob Roy, but he was clearly her favorite.
Chipmunks don’t like stale pretzels, and I don’t like bird poop, wasps, or bugs that want to taste my beer. But there’s a lesson or two in here about observing the details, finding the memories, and appreciating the artistry. Even if it means having to throw your bible across the porch for your own safety.
We seek epic moments. We search Pinterest boards for ideas and long for Instagram worthy pictures, but what if joy is in between the layers of the mundane? Between the crosswalk, the pile of dishes, layers of laundry, and in between the cheese and meat of the sandwiches you made this week? What if joy only happens if you notice, and realized you have LOTS of chances to notice?
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 →
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.
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.
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.
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?
Font size is important, but so is the 3 second rule, the scan button on the radio, air conditioning, and the messages you choose to share.
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.
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.
It was my birthday. I wanted to hug her. We awkwardly stood 6 feet apart and smiled. It will be normal again. We will hug again. Until then, I’ll keep coming back.
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.
Actual physical printed photographs. One snuck up on me today as I was cleaning and it stopped me in my path. It was an original without filters or retakes or retouches. It was just a moment in a chair. But I recognize everything in the background. The white and gold lamp that was ceramic on... Continue Reading →
On Saturday February 25, 2017, family and friends gathered to hold hands and celebrate the life of my amazing polish grandmother, whom many of us called Busia. I was honored and privileged to give the eulogy at her funeral. What follows are the words I shared, which only give a small glimpse into the immense love... Continue Reading →
This is about focus. In spite of the bad things. In spite of the loss. In spite of lost opportunities. In spite of the things that slipped through your fingers. Because in between those “in spite of” moments, were good moments too. Moments worth recalling, worth remembering and being thankful for.
Today I am thankful for... clutter My home office had devolved into a life size junk drawer. It became the destination for random pieces of paper, bills, boxes, cards, decorations, pictures, notes, "ooh I should save this" type items I couldn't be bothered to better assess in the moment. And so the piles grew and... Continue Reading →
I printed out my calendar for work on Monday. A color coded rainbow of where I need to be and who I need to meet with. Looks daunting. Should I dread it? Is work bad? Is it the necessary evil we make it out to be? Just a decades long drudgery until we can retire? No.... Continue Reading →
I love fall. The trees go through a season of change every year. They don't freak out when their leaves fall off. The world is not ending. This change sets them up for something beautiful next year. Next year they will be taller and stronger than before. We have the opportunity to be stronger after... Continue Reading →
Being noble is not reserved for old men from the Middle Ages who conquered lands. I am called to be noble and so are you. Our character matters more than the money we make or the things that we own. Choose dignity, intelligence, virtue, graciousness... choose to take the harder road of looking at the... Continue Reading →
I see a lot of screens in my life these days. This morning I am watching leaders on a big screen, typing notes on a tablet, and tweeting on my iPhone. So at lunch I took a moment to step outside, lay in the grass and look up. And in this moment I was thankful... Continue Reading →
I am thankful. It's been a rough 2-3 weeks for me. But today I find myself looking out the window and genuinely smiling. Not much has changed in my circumstances honestly, so why the smile? I can see colors. It sounds silly, but looking at the pond and the trees and the sky I realized... Continue Reading →
I have a love hate relationship with doing the dishes. On one hand, I'm super grateful I have dishes and food and a kitchen and a home at all. On the other hand, it's a time consuming chore that leaves my hands dry and raw. I finally understand what that Palmolive lady was talking about... Continue Reading →
I sat in simple wonder this morning. Not trying to solve a problem, make a to do list, or build my schedule for the day. I took a moment to sit, and see and listen. To feel a slight breeze in my hair and the warming sun on my face. To smell the faint hint... Continue Reading →
In the London subway system there are signs posted as you enter and exit the cars that tell you to watch your step so you don’t slip and fall (or drop your cell phone) into that cavernous hole. However in London they don’t say “watch your step”, they say “Mind the Gap”. And of course... Continue Reading →
I have more than the library of congress. Different sizes and shapes. Stashed away at work, in file cabinets, random shelves, plastic bins in the garage, stacks in my overly messy home office… I am thankful for my journals because they remind me… Life is filled with millions of moments. Spots in time that don’t... Continue Reading →
When you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and you flip the switch... you hate the light. You squint. You stumble. You think to yourself, "I know my bathroom. Next time I'm going to figure this out in the dark." But I challenge you tomorrow morning when you're supposed to... Continue Reading →
it reminds me that i've grown, i've progressed. it reminds me of... people i knew who brought me joy. answered and unanswered prayers. hard lessons and easy victories. clothing mistakes i shouldn't repeat. being teased. braces. body issues. change. so today God i am thankful for #throwbackthursday because it reminds me... few things in life... Continue Reading →
Sure sometimes you have to soak them. Scrub them. Rinse. Load. Stack. Unload. Sometimes they break into a thousand pieces. Or miraculously get lost and result in a no longer matching set. They can represent hours lost cleaning instead of socializing with family. They can result in dry cracked hands. But my dishes are more... Continue Reading →
Nametags are awesome. My first nametag was wrapped around one of my teeny tiny newborn limbs so the nurses at the hospital knew to gave me to my parents. My second was likely affixed by a Sunday school teacher so they could easily wrangle me and the other spastic children running around. At some point... Continue Reading →
Truthfully I have mixed emotions about my birthday. I don’t want to be the number that I am. At breakfast this morning my husband tried to convince me age is relative. If there were only 183 days in a year I would be 66 by now. If there were 730 days in a year. I’d... Continue Reading →
I don’t use them properly. Yes I’ve seen the instructions. I have had people try and teach me. Hold it like a pencil. Nope Try your left hand. Nope.Well whatever I’m doing, this cannot-be-replicated-scissor-like-motion works for me. And each time I miraculously defy the laws of physics, gravity and simple dexterity I am thankful. I... Continue Reading →