In lieu of trying to belong to any number of societies: Chesterton, Sherlock Holmes, the Inklings, and so on: I propose and establish one of my own. Don your intelligence cap at the door; dust off your logic and imagination; did you bring your inspiration and encouragement? We are shapers, my friends; lit lamps; light-bringers. Bring quotes*; poetry should be uplifting and thoughtful, or witty and clever, (or both). Humor is encouraged; laughter is invited back. Pull up a chair. Anyone for tea?



More on than off

The day started in a very relaxing way. I was supposed to have the day off so I made the most of it, and slept in a little. Then yoga and green tea, and a good breakfast. List making, and planner notes... great schemes for my open day. And then I got called in to work. Which was not bad... it's nice to do work that your hands know how to do. But it greatly shortened the time left for studying Jeremiah, and cleaning my room. I did get some done in both of those areas though, before I left for small-group. Altogether, not as much downtime as I'd planned, but a good, solid day.

i'm gonna sing my way away from blue

Mondays are harder when you didn't really get a weekend. But they're made better by coffee, friends, cloudy skies, green tea (in fascinating glass), shopping at Target, and an evening movie set in Chicago. Plus, tomorrow I can sleep in...for the first time in a while.

Just keep me where the light is..

The sky was bright today... but I feel worn. Long hours of work this morning, a little rest, and then a lot of singing this afternoon.

There aren't enough hours in the day for all the things I want to do. Especially when I choose to do exciting things when perhaps I should rest, and choose to rest when perhaps I should clean. But I figure, it will even itself out in the end.

One day and then the next. Work, paychecks, coffee and chicken-noodle-soup. Friends, hugs, conversation and dreams.

Fighting to bring dreams into reality.

Clearing the mind even of the good fillers, in order to rest and shavasana.

Giving up what we cannot keep to gain what we cannot lose.

And then doing it again tomorrow.

"do not go gentle into that good night. rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Dylan Thomas

The sky was indigo at dawn

So yes, I'm woefully behind on blogging here. Life continues busily with much real life and good things. Extra hours of work here, extra prayer for others there. Moroccan sweet potato lentil soup in the crockpot... One long day off where I lounged and watched Veronica Mars and worked on a puzzle with hundreds of blue pieces.

Went to a wonderful worship service late last night. I love that within a few minutes, so many like-minded hearts are growing and being lifted up to God every day, every week. It's a beautiful thing.

I want to sit at your feet
Drink from the cup in your hand
Lay back against you and breathe
Feel your heartbeat
This love is so deep
It's more than I can stand
I melt in your peace
It's overwhelming

A Guide to Drinking Tea

I'm off to do yoga, shower, make fried rice, and head out dancing!

Sharing moments and lifting hearts

Head to the Heart

I open up to you
This love that makes me new
Oh may my heart receive
This love that carries me
From the head to the heart
You take me on a journey
Of letting go
And getting lost in you
From the head to the heart
You take me on a journey
Of letting go
And getting lost in you
My heart is open wide
I will receive your light
You give me faith like a child
In you my heart runs wild
Cuz there’s no shame
In looking like a fool
When I give you what I can’t keep
To take a hold of you
There’s no shame
In looking like a fool
When I give you what I can’t keep
To take a hold of you
More than words
More than good ideas
I found your love in the open fields

From the head to the heart
You take me on a journey
Of letting go
And getting lost in you
From the head to the heart
You take me on a journey
Of letting go
And getting lost in you
There’s no shame
In looking like a fool
When I give you what I can’t keep
To take a hold of you
There’s no shame
In looking like a fool
When I give you what I cant keep
To take a hold of you
And take a hold of you
{©2015 United Pursuit Music (ASCAP) and Capitol CMG Genesis (ASCAP)}

Random life and stuff

Went swing dancing again last night! Didn't get very many hours of sleep, but had a grand time. Busy days with work and such these days. Coffee and friends around the corners of days. Late night worship services. Enjoying the foggy March-like weather. I could really like it if we skipped February. Now Grace and I are visiting the parentals for a quiet partial-weekend. Excuse us while we recline.

a quote from the Magnus Chase book I finished last week


... are for early rising, and pre-dawn showers; speedy breakfasts, and moderate driving. Scrubbing pots, and pouring coffee. Generally drinking coffee and more work until midday. Afternoon coffee shopping with roommates and brother. Sherlock and late chatting with friends.

Beginning a new week...

with worship.
                  and coffee.

also reading, and some inspiring pinterest scrolling:

Twirl with me

Sorry friends, I've let my blog go two days in a row with nothing! This week has flown by, full of a great many things. It seems like I haven't had time to catch a breath. That's not strictly true of course, I'm over halfway through my book, I haven't missed a day of yoga yet, I went swing-dancing one evening (and including the lesson, danced for about seven hours). And yesterday was a peaceful coffeeshop afternoon.

Still, not much brain-space to process this week, and in a way where I'm not sure how to fix it. So I'm just plugging away. Work's been going along pretty well, though not quite normal I should say. Last week we had water troubles, and we're in the middle of a remodel now. So work is different, and sometimes challenging. We're also training in new people, which makes work-shifts more tiring and 'on'.

The weather's been bad this week too, so I managed to spin a 180 on the ice and not quite miss an oncoming car. Zero injuries, and very little car damage, but not quite what I'd hoped for the week. So that added insurance calls and adjuster meetings and what-not and so-forth.

And in the limited corners of my days there are sermons to listen to, and Jeremiah to read, and Philippians to memorize, and worship songs to practice. Needless to say, I'm just not getting to all of it. And that's okay, I'm able to let go and not worry about it. But it's difficult to know just where priority-lines lie in a life full of work and bills, fellowship and conversation, roommates and friends, devotions and worship, colds and flus.

Anyway...heading forth to sing and work. Praying my arms and heart remain open as I spin through crazy days ahead. And that through the tumult of my days and mind, God would speak.


Did I mention the new Rick Riordan book is out?
And I finally got my turn at the library book?
(pictured at yesterday's yoga sesh)
The roads are poor today, deep in slushy snow. Cars on the curb and state patrol out in earnest bear witness to the likelihood of spinning out. I didn't have much trouble myself, but had to take it easy, and crawl along at a slow pace. Indoors is welcome comfort.

I can make and eat pancakes in less than twenty minutes I have found, since getting up early for work doesn't mean that I decide I don't want pancakes. On the contrary. Pancakes are always a good way to start the day.

And onward the day went as usual, with coffee and work, training a trainee, more work and coffee. Eight hours later I head home in the snow, random sunlight blinking my eyes, and fatigue of the day settling in. Also today I'm fighting a head-cold that wants to squeeze my brain and tickle my throat. So altogether, I'm ready to settle in and be done.

Right away I changed into my yoga pants, and pulled up my Yoga With Adriene video. It was a thoughtful, slow, and easy practice today, but with strength-building muscle-awareness, and a good stretch in the shoulders. Now perhaps Rick Riordan, or perhaps pinterest, or possibly falling asleep. But definitely a shower.

Maybe a little baking with supper, and a cup of tea before heading out to evening small group.
More thoughts another day. Take good care,

Happy birthday Ben!

So glad to be able to share life with this brother
(Photo from long, long ago)

Beginning week two

sorry i didn't post yesterday, (or really today either)
busy days
today was full and good; filled with most of my favorite people
fellowship and worship, aha moments
food, laughter, and conversation


A few nights ago, a few of us decided to go to a coffeeshop around eight in the evening. So we scraped the ice off my car and drove into downtown. We found a cozy corner place, that I’d been once before. My roomies ordered coffee, and I got a Ginger Dragon: a ginger honey and lemon drink guaranteed to give anyone fire-breath. My throat felt like I was eating good Thai curry—blazing hot-- but I loved it, and I’m sure it cured all sorts of things. I must make those for myself more often…

We found a corner table. There were bookshelves behind me, and I was glad to recognize several authors and volumes. Ashley was journalling and processing, Amy was crocheting a hat with storm-troopers on it, I was working on a poem I’d been writing all afternoon. Just as we were settled in, they announced they were closed (contrary to their door sign), so we packed up, and after a little deliberation decided to find another place.

This one has a funny name, Ashley said. Let’s go there. So we drove over, and walked around the block, hunched agains the cold until we came to it. Right next door we could see through the windows, a diner. And it was a legit diner: complete with sparkly cobalt blue booths and twirly seats, and open 24 hours. Let’s go there instead! we decided, and happily trudged through the door. 

It was all we hoped it would be. The menus were extensive. You could get malts and shakes, coffee or drinks. There were breakfasts compete with red-eye sauce (and helpful employees to describe what that was), there was a burger called the Hot Mess, there was chicken and waffles. I couldn’t of course eat any of it, but it did the heart good. We sat in a booth, and talked and laughed, and grew nearly hysterical with delight over the menu. 

The diner made me remember some hole-in-the-wall place in St. Paul where we once got shakes. There were striped red and white booths I think (although it was a very long time ago) and old photos and paraphernalia on the walls, if I remember.

I thought of Gibbs of course, and all the diners incorporated into great cop-shows over the years. Coffee. Pie. Fries to steal off plates. The places one goes in the middle of the night, when hungry. Quiet talks, and loud ones. 

I had a grand time. And we were productive too. After the girls finished their burgers, they got back to their journalling and crocheting. I continued to write. And by the end of it, there was progress, visible stormtroopers, and a poem complete! I’ll remember that night awhile. And I’m definitely going back to that diner...

Sub Zero

Growing up in the Frozen North doesn't mean you don't get cold. It doesn't mean you don't feel like moving to Arizona every time January comes around. And windchill never becomes your friend. But it does mean we know cold. Yes, my brothers and I can tell you whether or not it's below 10 degrees, just by stepping outside and breathing in.

We know to start the cars early, keep our gas tanks full, and a snow shovel in the trunk. Blankets or extra coats can be found in the back seat. And there should be a coffee can, a candle and some matches hiding somewhere. Just in case. We can drive in absolutely any shoes (not to mention weather) because we learned to drive in snow-boots. And there's a. lot. of talk about weather... windchill, visibility, extended forecasts.

And long about this time of year, when the serious weather starts to set in: windchill consistently below zero, we kinda give in. Alright fine, it's time to get serious about this whole warmth thing. We heat up rice socks to take to bed (unless your room is mine, and one of the warmest in the house). And the night before work, we'll set out our warm clothes: fleece-lined leggings, the jeans that fit over them, legit wool socks, tennis shoes for work, snow-boots for just-in-case; layered tops; the real gloves, hat, scarf, and coat.

In the morning when you put all this on, you check your weather app to see if this is really necessary, and realize that the temperature has gone down to -4, and the windchill is now -25. So you start your car earlier still. Just in case the battery's dead, you need to have time for plan B. And if you need gas that morning as well, you put your visa in your glove so there's no looking for it at the last minute. Your keychain gets clipped to your pants, or the outside of your purse, again to minimize fumbling. And you find the key necessary before you leave the safety of the previous heater.

There is no way you skip breakfast. I'm not inclined to anyway, as you very well know. But there's nothing like a cold day to remind you that you need fuel. And hot drinks are the dearest friend of the Northern Adventurer. (It helps morale to give ourselves titles.) Hot coffee, hot tea. There's always some around, and you're always offering it to anyone who drops in, shivering. Even if they say no, you might hand them a cup just to warm their fingers. Hot cider and hot chocolate, after skiing or working outdoors. Mulled wine or a hot toddy for late in the evening.

If you're from the Tundra, armpit of the north, you know how to combat these negative-bazillion days. If you haven't got a fireplace, you load up on candles. (I have a drawer or two.) You get a music speaker, and take turns between Mel Torme and Florence and the Machine. Both are very good for getting the spirits up, in differing moods. You take a lot of fish oil, and do your writing in the natural window light whenever humanly possible. Some learn to crochet, because it's great for keeping the hands warm, others become more than usually helpful about washing dishes in warm water, or cooking around the stove (a personal favorite of mine, no surprise).

And you have to be a little more deliberate about fellowship and social gatherings. It takes a lot more to make those happen, but it's worth it to cheer up these cold monochromatic days. Any excuse is a good one for a party. Coffeeshops are great places to stay busy and connected at the same time. Every community connection becomes more precious as the winter creeps on. So keep reaching out; stay connected; stay warm. If you pop by my place I'll offer you a hot cup of something, or you can warm your hands in my dish water. I'll lend you a blanket and a sack of corn. We can catch up on Sherlock.
I'll give you a Hygge.


Despite the freezing temperatures today, and glare ice, today's been a good one.
Started well, with yoga with Adriene, and a great breakfast.
On to a brief coffeeshop stop with a couple roommates before work. 
Then a shift working with Ashley for one of the last times, since she's got a new job.
Good talks with the roomies.
Off to small group now. Good night my friends!


It's the New Year!
(Kensi and Deeks standing in for Ben and me)

Ah... a blank slate. Those can be tricky things. Intimidating. Easily marred.
But dizzyingly full of potential, and positively ringing with hope.
Let's ring in this New Year well, shall we?

The thing about resolutions is that usually they're either too difficult, or too ambiguous. If you can't quantifiably say that you've done them, it can be just as discouraging. On the other hand, there are some 'resolutions' worth making, even though they are ambiguous and slightly impossible: Be the most encouraging person you know. Make other people smile more. Open your heart a little wider.

I think it helps just to set your mind and eyes in the right direction.

This year I'm using the clean beginning of the new year to do a few things that I think will be good for my mental health. Sure I could have started them last week, or mid November. But its more fun to jump into brand new 2017 in a new dress, so to speak.

Mainly I want to get off of social media. Especially when life is busy, social media tends to fill in all the tiny gaps, not leaving time for thought. I get into a rut of constantly checking, and I want to get out of that. Who knows, I may get back on after a couple of months... and for now I do plan to use Facebook to post the daily link to my blogpost. But otherwise, I plan to only use blogger and pinterest. I haven't even been on pinterest much lately, so I don't think I'll get bogged down there. But it's a nice place to relax, somewhere between a magazine and an art gallery.

"Give yourself permission to say yes only to the things that lift you up"
I found that somewhere on pinterest, and it said exactly what I have been thinking.
I want to only do, read, watch, things that build up my life in multiple ways.
I don't want to read or watch things because I feel like I should, or just because I've gotten hooked on them. I don't want books or shows that are only entertaining, but not inspiring or intelligent; nor ones that have stuff to teach me, but don't brighten my days and lift my spirit.

That means I'll be focusing on books like the Mitford series, and Cadfael novels. Sayers and Chesterton; N.D. Wilson of course. And even Rick Riordan. Those books cheer me up inordinately and ready me to go get any day.

"The only way to change your life is to change something you do every day"
Another indubitable truth. 
As in every year, my list contains: prayer, bible, water, yoga.

Here are some resources I plan to use for this purpose: the common prayer app, New Morning Mercies, this 5-day reading plan. The water bottle that I procrastinated buying till now. And this, that I am very excited about: Yoga with Adriene's new free series for January!!


So Happy New Year, my dear friends! 
Go forth with joy!
Eat hearty breakfasts!
Love more!

"To love is to be selfless. To be selfless is to be fearless. To be fearless is to strip your enemies of their greatest weapon... Our goal was never to live; our goal is to love. It is the goal of all truly noble men and women. Give all that can be given. Give even your life itself." --Empire of Bones by N.D. Wilson