Easter Morning…

I can identify with just about everyone in the Easter story. Just about.

Peter’s denial rings so true that I weep.  Good intentions and desires often fall victim to my human heart and I fail.

Thomas, dear Thomas. How I, we, too often want proof…we aren’t comfortable with the mystery – would prefer certainty, thank you very much!

And Judas….oh Judas. For me, Judas is perhaps the most tragic figure in all of human history. I feel Judas in me each and every time I attempt to get ahead of God’s will…to try and nudge God into action that fits my timeline. Judas is there. My heart hurts for Judas.

I can relate to Pilate who in this unwillingness to speak up…to speak truth to his knowing and his understanding -even as an outsider. In his attempt to wash his hands of an ugly situation becomes a party to an act of murder. There is a lesson there.

And Caiphas and the high priest – their need to protect what they believe to be truth completely blinds them to the God who stands before them. They are looking for God in the temple and miss that God is instead breaking bread with the outcast, healing sinners, and listening to the broken. So convinced are they in their own understanding that they try and kill the God they profess to worship and love.

And mother Mary – my mother’s heart breaks for her. I see her at the cross and for a moment when I try and stand in her place the tears stream for the loss of a beloved child.

Mary Magdalene – John tells us she is the first to see the truth. To know that the story is not yet complete. At the intimate saying of her name, “Mary”, she is given the gift of knowing the Christ lives. I break into a large grin when I imagine her joy.

It is of course Jesus and his actions that stump me every time. I am like a voyeur reading the gospel accounts – I see myself peering around corners, listening, questioning, trying to understand. I follow behind as Jesus teaches beside lakes, in the temple, next to tax collectors. When riding a donkey into Jerusalem I walk behind maybe even adding my shouts to the chorus of followers – at once in triumph and then in accusation. But I know – we know what comes next.

Jesus is charged and sentenced by Roman law. In the violent world of the Roman Empire, he is given the cruelest and harshest of sentences – crucifixion. After turning over his life and death to God – he accepts God’s will. In the midst of his pain and suffering he choses grace and forgiveness. And in so doing, he transforms an ugly symbol of execution into a symbol of redemptive and co-suffering love. He gives us a vision of another way.

His life overcame death – physical, emotional and spiritual death. He teaches us how to awaken from our own tombs – tombs formed from disease, addiction and despair – to rise up, to come out and to follow a loving God into a hurting world.

This is a story for our time – for our world.  Because God so loved the world – because of Easter morning, there is always Hope.

Where Is God When…

Have you thought that thought ever? When sitting in a restaurant and you see a frail young girl with a scarf on her head and you know, you just know because you once wore those scarves, that she is bald and battling cancer. And it sucks! It really sucks! And it is so not fair for one so young to have to face that. Or when a beautiful soul finds themselves addicted to a substance you know could take their lives – as it has so many others. Or when a loved one chooses to take their own life. Or when you watch a once strong man fade away as Alzheimer’s ravages his mind and your heart, day-by-day, month-by-month, year by long year.

Or when you see the faces of animals neglected, abused and forgotten and you think this is not how it is supposed to be! Or when you see migrant children being taken from their parents, parents whose only crime was to try and protect them, to take them out of harms way. And you know you would do the same if your babies were at risk. And our plan is to build a wall instead of opening our arms which makes you shake your head in helplessness. Or when there is yet another mass shooting. Or when the church offers condemnation and division rather than acceptance and love.

We aren’t living in the garden are we?

Have you ever wondered if God sees all of this, hears all of this, knows all of this? Have you, with clinched fists, yelled to the heavens, “Where are YOU?” I have. It seems lately that I ask it more often than not. Maybe it is the times in which we live or maybe it is my soul seeking greater connection to my God and others with similar queries.

And maybe I’m just honestly tired and fed up with the amount of hate spewed across all media in an endless cycle of destruction. Aren’t you?

So I read, I garden, and I crochet. I walk, I weep and I visit. I embrace my love and kiss my grands. And I remain still in holy silence seeking the One. And while the questions remain, Silence did remind me of the violent world into which Jesus was born. That world and time saw the methodical killing of baby boys, of stark division within that culture between the haves and the have-nots, of racism, sexism and abuse. Living in an occupied land, Jesus must have sensed the unrest and the many threats that surrounded, that permeated the very air he breathed. Seeing his friend die we are told that he wept. Loss will do that. And then there is the ultimate violence of his brutal execution on a cross. So yeah, I guess God does know.

And in knowing, what did God do? God forgave. Wow! God chose love. Double Wow! So maybe it is that simple and that difficult – that through the darkness of disease, violence, injustice – we are to forgive and to love. I think it is our only way forward because what we are doing isn’t working out so well. So, I’m in.

“Let us see what love can do.” William Penn

Life and mismatched socks…

If you could peer beneath the tops of my shoes into what is underneath but not all the way to my feet because that would just be weird, you would see socks that don’t match. The only exception to that fact is when I purchase a pair of brand new socks – for that time between first wearing and first washing – my socks match. Both daughters, now grown, are the same way (sorry to rat you both out so publicly girls!) Now please know that we aren’t such barbarians that our socks aren’t coordinated in some way. For example, if we wear an orange polka dot sock it will likely be paired with a multi-colored striped sock that features orange or a solid orange sock or on a really daring day perhaps a lime green one will do. There is no end to the combinations of socks we now have to choose from! You are so welcome, girls!

Why, you may wonder, do you not have matching socks? Well the first reason is because clothes dryers are evil, in that there can be no doubt. They cause socks to disappear, clothes to shrink and actually wrinkle non-wrinkle fabric! So there is that.

And then there is the real reason that it all began – the not matching of socks and instead throwing clean ones into a large “sock basket” to be rummaged through at some later date – practice. It began in the early 90’s. I was a young mother to an active toddler, a baby who thought sleep was overrated, living half way across the country from family (Ok – NC to Indiana not exactly half way across the US but you get it), teaching part-time, taking graduate school classes with a spouse who was dealing with all of the same – including work and grad school (we aren’t bright people!) We were busy and often overwhelmed. Matching socks became less and less important.

Over time I came to embrace the sock basket as a symbol of my attempt to let go of unnecessary things in order to try and focus on more significant matters (or maybe that is what I told myself to avoid admitting that perhaps I just didn’t want to match socks…I continue to choose the nobler explanation – it suits me better!). It wasn’t easy this, “not matching of socks” as I was raised in a textiles family in which socks were matched and further one just didn’t do that. My goodness!

For my girls, mismatched socks became a kind of “signature”. Friends and family would often comment about their choice of footwear, thinking as they did, that it was just some fad the girls had latched on to (it wasn’t a fad then but I hear it is now. Who knew we were trendsetters!) – not knowing that their mother had not only allowed them to pick their socks from the basket but encouraged it, since they were mere babes!

This letting go of matched socks may seem small and perhaps it is but it has served me well. As life has changed and altered course over the years, as life is prone to do, I have had to learn to let go of other more significant practices, long held beliefs and understandings. After my first, second and third cancer diagnosis I had to let go of hair, and breasts and to confront my understanding of femininity, as well as the belief that I would remain a healthy adult until sometime in my 90’s. As the political landscape continues to shift I have had to reevaluate what it means to use my voice and ballot to reveal and pursue compassion and mercy. As my children have children I am faced with once again letting go of practices that don’t serve the next generation – excess, waste – plastic straws. As my parents age and face disease it requires the letting go of their permanence and has encouraged the formation of greater gratitude for the gift of them to the planet.

And so I wear my mismatched socks with gratitude for the lessons they continue to teach while looking for ways to remain open to the additional areas in my life that need letting go. And I ask, with a little help from my friends and through Divine leading, to be able to identify practices, thoughts and beliefs that could be creatively paired in ways that I have never imagined and the courage to embrace and to continue to discover the beauty of God’s topsy-turvy, mismatched world.

“Scanxiety” – It is Real People!

Post cancer treatment is a hopeful, scary, amazing, maddening, frustrating, encouraging, soul crushing and soul stretching time! For me it is spent trying to figure out how to live fully every day – not just in the space between scans. It is attempting to give myself permission to plan and schedule events, trips, concerts – to have faith that the longed for trip to Maine can be booked!

I have to admit – I’m not always very good at post cancer! In fact, I am pretty horrible! During treatment, as a cancer patient, I knew what to do – fight with everything in my arsenal – mind, body and spirit! But after treatment – after they stopped pumping poison into my body through a small hole in my chest my understanding of how to act, react and behave is left wanting. “Post-cancer–treatment-me” often looks over my shoulder to try and catch sneaky, cheating cancer before it has a chance to pounce! “Post-cancer-me” is very imaginative and not always in a good way!

Post-cancer-me uses language that non-cancer-me doesn’t typically use – OK well I sometimes do, OK I do more than I should! You know the words – the ones of the four letter variety! Let’s be real – they have a place! I have heard it said that there are times when “shit” is a perfectly acceptable theological term. I say Amen to that!! And before a scan is one of those times!

This time of post cancer makes me mad and grateful all at the same time. What if this is the time when post cancer becomes active cancer again?

This was the week of my scan…three months after my last one. During the first part of the week I was handling my fears how I imagine a healthy, mature adult would react – by remaining calm and reassuring to self that there is no need to worry or to fear. But then the voice inside my head took over – the one who screams things like, “You know it is going to be bad, right? Did you see the way your doctor looked at you while he was scheduling your scan – there was pity in his eyes? Did you notice that people are mentally removing you from their Christmas card list because they know – I mean primary peritoneal cancer twice do you think you are a miracle?!” and “Your lab keeps smelling your breath – labs can detect cancer, you know!” That voice is unreasonable – maybe I just have bad breath I want to yell back! I hate that voice! She is whiny, demanding and so very needy! But she does have something to teach – each and every time she starts screaming in my ear there is a lesson – and it is simply that you can’t control what you can’t control! Easy, right?!?

I try – each time a scan is scheduled to remember the lesson from before – to let go of my anxiety rather than to give into it. I work hard, really hard to get to a mental and spiritual place that will allow me to stand in the face of uncertainty. It is why I write – writing is how I process and cheaper than therapy!

I ALWAYS fail but maybe that is OK? Perhaps the darkness has important lessons to teach too. That only by allowing myself the opportunity to be submerged beneath the weight of all the “what-ifs” am I able to move through the fear – much like Moses and crew had to walk through the parted waters of the Red Sea. Sometimes the fear and dread are just too big to move, to go around, under or above. I have found that sometimes I just have to acknowledge those difficult emotions as I journey through the land of low light and vow to self that I won’t stay in that space. I am just passing through – it is a temporary destination – that place of darkness.

To those who love me – thank you for your willingness to give me space to do this difficult soul work. I know, or maybe I don’t, how hard it must be for you to watch – to want to fix it while knowing that you can’t. It is a solitary journey into the inner spaces of my soul but know this – I feel you lifting and carrying me and I love you for that and so much more! I am blessed with amazing family and friends!

Now for the REALLY good news – scan is clear. NED – NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE! Praise God – for continued health and the abundant lessons of darkness – but do they have to be so hard?

Who Invited Cancer To Christmas?

Before proceeding with this, I need to inform you that this is a writing from four years ago. For friends and family who read my blog, I am not in the midst of treatment at this time – I’m really doing pretty well! I ran/walked 3 miles yesterday – YAY ME! – so growing stronger by the day. And my feisty is back!! A scan in another week will provide an indication of how maintenance medications are doing and what next steps are – hopefully increasing meds because my body is now strong enough to handle that! We will see.

For me, this writing is very raw and I can remember the emotions from that time. It was written in December 2014 – after beginning chemo the first time. Thank you for allowing me to share.

This week has been spent weak, feverish and unable to do the things I love to do this time of year; bake, wrap, decorate, plan and prepare. This week  has been spent beneath blankets, regularly checking temperature for the dreaded 100.5 reading to appear – which it did several times and even more. It has been spent trying to heal and avoid a hospital stay. I missed “The Nutcracker” with my girls, mom and other members of my family. I missed a night out with dear friends. I missed multiple days of work even as I tried to keep up at home between chills. It has not been a good week.

And in exasperation and defeat I sullenly asked, “Who invited cancer to Christmas?” The question was asked as only a willful two year old can – I felt much like a two year old when asking. With full blown temper tantrum – fist clenched, feet stomping and screeching my anger – I wanted an answer. I shook with rage and disappointment.

This is not how my granddaughter’s first Christmas is supposed to be. I want to enjoy holding her and seeing the magic that begins now, even though she is too young to understand. Instead, I have to be careful around her and everyone else because I’m a cancer patient with scary low white blood counts and my body has nothing with which to fight. So, I’m careful. I’ll be careful around oldest child, her fiancee and her future step child when they come to visit. I’ll be careful around my great niece as we celebrate her birthday. I’ll be careful at Meeting on Sunday! I’ll be careful!

And then, Silence spoke. In the middle of the night after fighting fever for five days, I awakened. In the stillness and the quiet my temper tantrum eased and I lay still. It was then that I began to understand. This what Christmas is. This is what Christmas does! I had it all wrong!.What better place to face down the darkenss of disease than at the birth of Hope, the gift of Promise. So cancer, you can come to Christmas, but I warn you, what you find you may not understand. There is nothing that you can do to me here. Oh, I know, you are taking my hair, you have changed the way I live my life at the moment, you will require painful shots moving forward and you will exact your pound of flesh in the form of more surgeries, but that it is all you can do. Even if it is my life you claim, even that has no power at the foot of the manger. So, I welcome you here because here you are defeated.

But this understanding is really bigger than me and the cancer I fight. As I look around this great big bouncing ball that we all share and the mess that we have made of it – I think there is more that needs to be brought before the Christ Child and laid at the feet of Hope. The cries of grieving mothers, the rumble of empty bellies and the sounds of anguish brought about  by injustice – all and more. What if we packaged them up and laid them at God’s feet? What if collectively we acknowledged that we haven’t done such a hot job of making the world a better place and really tried to love according the message of the Prince of Peace – feed the hungry, comfort the sick, turn the other cheek, care for the outcast…and all just because they are fellow human beings – no other reason, no agenda, no litmus test, no judgement, no anything other than an understanding that that is what our God did when he walked the planet.

What would happen if we made our faith a living faith and invited hell-on-earth to Christmas because that is where it loses and Hope wins. It stands no chance against the infants gasp of air and the awakening of Light on the earth.  Can’t you see it, imagine it – the darkness shuttering and fading with the coming Light.

And so, while the Wise Men brought gold, frankincense and myrrh, I bring cancer and so much more. I humbly ask that God to show me how to stand up from the celebrations and walk out into a hurting world and act according to God’s will.  I hope you will join me.

I Broke My Own Rule…

As the old adage goes, rules are made to be broken, right? This year I intentionally violated a rule that I carved in stone many years ago through my adherence to family traditions and practices.

I now publicly confess to you all – I started listening to Christmas music at the end of October. There, I said it. Whew I feel better already!

You see, I love – ABSOLUTELY love Thanksgiving. The idea of a day set aside to offer thanks is simple yet so very important. It is a day that asks so little of us. It asks only that we come together, break bread and remember the importance of being grateful for – well for everything! Oh and football and parades…

I love the smells that permeate my home on the days and hours leading up to the meal. I love the chaos that is my kitchen as family gathers. I love the ribbing my family gives me about the difficult instructions for filling their plates. I ask you, how hard is it to go to the place where you plan to eat, pick up your plate (because the tables are already set, you are so welcome family), bring the plate back to the kitchen, spoon delicious food onto it and return to the place where you first took the plate. Come on people – do you really need written instructions and a map! But I digress!

I love the memories of my grandparents as Pap Bruce’s “Tom Turkey” plate graces the table another year. My heart’s eye can see childhood gatherings around my mother’s table with relatives long gone enjoying the day. I can see my brother seated among us.

So normally, I take time to savor Thanksgiving – vow to keep it close to my heart throughout the coming year. But I just couldn’t prolong Christmas any longer – not this year.

Maybe it is that I really don’t remember last Christmas – I finished chemo on November 29 making last fall and winter a big blur. I didn’t bake a single cookie last year – not like me at all! I am sure I watched “White Christmas” but I don’t really remember. There was no “Nutcracker” ballet for the ladies of our family. Normal traditions were just beyond my grasp a year ago.

Maybe it is that I feel deep within me the need for the birth of Peace so badly at this time. That our world is longing, hungering for Hope and Love to walk among us or rather to remind us that they are already here. For the season to nudge us toward greater compassion and remind us of the need to welcome and nurture the gift of Love in those we encounter – in each and every person, everywhere. Could it be that this Christmas we will have eyes open and hearts willing to recognize that even in its infancy the Love born at Christmas changed the world and if we allow can continue to do so. Maybe this is the year that we claim the Promise and believe that Peace can be ours and “theirs” but only if understand that Love calls to us all.

And so I listen to the songs of Christmas. And with a hopeful and joyful heart I anticipate…

Grace, Mercy, Justice and Forgiveness – We Desperatley Need You!

His eyes are growing tired after years of battling a disease that has ravaged his mind and body. He sleeps more now – more and more everyday you can see the energy leaving him. We have thought the end was here before but he rallied – met us with his great big smile the next day. So we never know – do we.

But the thing I keep coming back to as we face the possibility – if not today soon of him leaving us is what words will he take with him. Over a lifetime of words that have been spoken to him during his childhood, his adulthood, before his illness and after, what words are left – at the end what stays?

You see words do matter.

As I think about dad’s passing I am struck with an almost overwhelming sense of wanting, of needing to make sure that he knows – what an amazing father, provider, giver, friend, grandfather, uncle, co-worker, husband to mom etc.  he was to his family. I want to take back all the ridiculous words of my adolescence and leave him with words of gratitude, love and overwhelming thanks!  I want him to know.

We live in a time when words are being spoken without regard to the consequences they have on those around them – individually or communally. And we can’t just take them back – they are out there. Forever. Someone or something is changed because of a spoken word – for good or ill.

There is power in words.

I continue to learn this lesson personally as well as on a more global scale. I am very adept, when angered, to say hurtful words that wound – it is a lesson I continue to grapple with. I have hurt those I love most with wounding words. So I know that words have the gift of redemption and the curse of destruction. They can take us to a place of hope and mercy or they can drag us into the depths of despair. We need, I need to be careful with words.

This week has seen words turn into destructive, horrible action. My heart is broken into a million pieces because of the images and horror in Pittsburgh, the mail bombs sent to individuals, the school shooting in North Carolina, the vitriol around human beings fleeing harsh conditions – my heart is just broken.

My hope is that grace and forgiveness are more powerful and can transform an ill spoken word – a hurtful expression. That we can emerge from damaging, even violent encounters caused by words spoken in anger, ignorance and sometimes intent to a place of greater understanding and real authenticity. But it takes courage and it takes a willingness to say – but what if I’m wrong? And even if I’m not wrong does diminishing another through my words offer anything useful. From personal experience – that answer is no. The systematic use of language to marginalize and diminish others for political gain is destroying us from within.

And then I went to an event in our community that brought together over 2000 people of diverse faiths, backgrounds, creeds and cultures – over 2000 people who met at a local synagogue. People whose hearts like mine were broken, whose minds were struggling to understand how we are here but who chose in the midst of that, to spend a Tuesday night showing support for each other and love for all. There were words of action but more there were words of forgiveness and strength in the face of violence.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8

And so today I have hope – Light and Love will never be silenced. The dawn happens – even after the darkest night. Light will overcome.

Your Face To Shine Upon

When my girls were much smaller, younger than they are now, we had a neighborhood carpool in which the parents took turns driving the kids to school and picking them up at the end of the day. It worked well because we were all busy working families and the extra set of hands helped. It worked well because there is always that kid in the carpool who can be counted on to spill it – to really, in great detail tell you about the day, the happenings at school, who likes whom, who is mad at whom, who got in trouble again – you just have to sit quietly, act like you aren’t paying attention and file the information away. I learned a lot during those short drives! There is always that kid! Thank goodness.

As children exited the car in the morning I would silently say, “Lord, bless them and keep them. Make your face to shine upon them.” (Numbers 6 24-26) What a beautiful thought – that of our God smiling on children. I really can’t think of anything more amazing! The loving Creator of all that is blessing, keeping and shining on our children, all of our children.

While the carpool kids are all grown, moved on and moved away, I find myself returning to the practice without really thinking about it on occasion.

It happened this week. I spent 24 hours with oldest child at a beach a few hours away from where we live to have her bridal portraits taken. It has been years since we have had time – just us! It was marvelous.  I admit – I got a bit weepy! She is stunning – she is grown. She no longer says, “jampas” for pajamas. I forget how funny, strong and wise she is.  Those 24 hours gave us the opportunity to listen, share stories and be reminded of why our connection is so strong. We spent a great deal of time talking about hopes, about dreams…about her plans.

What a gift time is. A simple, profound gift that allows us to give ourselves to the person we are with in real and significant ways. To leave each other changed, altered merely through our willingness to be present and embrace the person before us. I think we have to be intentional about these moments. We are so busy and life is so loud – but the important moments, the important times often happen while sitting on a deck, beside a river sharing a meal – talking, laughing and being. I am grateful for time! I am grateful for oldest child! Love that kid!

As she pulled away that morning, unbidden the practice from her childhood popped in my head and heart, “Lord bless You and Keep You; The Lord Make His Face to Shine Upon You And Be Gracious to You!”

May it be so for all the children of God.

 

 

“You Have A Little Breast Cancer”…Four Years Later!

Four years ago today, my surgeon said the words, “You have a little breast cancer.” (that is kind of like being a little pregnant – you either are or you aren’t – unfortunate words on her behalf!) That little cancer turned into rounds of chemo, multiple surgeries, the discovery that I’m positive for the BRCA 1 gene and that I also had primary peritoneal cancer – not once but now twice.

Don’t ever allow a physician to minimize your diagnosis – no matter the size of the tumor, the type of cancer or the prognosis. It is a really scary diagnosis! Your emotions are valid!

Four years later, I wear my scars like the powerful woman that cancer has made me become! Four years later I am connected to thousands upon thousands of women and men who have stared down cancer and said, “Nope not today! Today I win!”, while looking over our shoulder to see if cancer is calling our bluff. Four years later my faith in a powerful, loving Creator is stronger than ever because I have seen, felt and experienced the love of the universe hold me tightly during some of the darkest moments I have ever felt!

Four years later, I bought myself some sunflowers, gave myself a hug and said, “Dang, Life is GRAND!”

Those who are getting a diagnosis today – I pray God’s peace. Those receiving treatment today, I pray God’s peace. Those who are called to give of themselves and love and care for those going through treatment, I pray God’s peace. Those who are providing health care – loving, caring, diagnosing, holding hands with, laughing, talking about the “Walking Dead” (Ok – that was my oncology nurses – man they ROCK!) – I thank you from the depths of my being and I pray God’s peace.

Love this life people! Love each other! Love our God – it is all we “got”!

Life’s Interesting Parallels…

In the next few weeks we, as a family, will mark the 4th birthday of a very energetic, silly, engaging grand. That sweet child, as all children do, wrapped her giggly hands around our hearts and our love and we will never be the same! Thank goodness!

There is such hope in her laugh and promise in her curiosity. The adults in her life work to nurture her spirit and honor the gift of her in each of our lives.

This same time, marks that of my first diagnosis – triple negative breast cancer. I found out on Friday, October 10, 2014 that the biopsy showed cancer. And our lives will never be the same!

Grand was born two days later – Sunday. To say that it was an emotion filled weekend is such an understatement but I really have no other words.

I do find interesting parallels…

Grand, almost four years later is this beautiful, wonderful culmination of growth and development. Her cellular expanse has resulted in language, walking, singing, drawing and adventure and exploration – in hugs and giggles. In an imagination that includes unicorns and monsters, in all kinds of games of “let’s pretend.” The multiplication of cells within her has brought belly laughs and independence in the way that only an almost four year old can express it. Whew!

The promise is in continued growth and expansion – of her mind, body and spirit continuing to become.

My cancer saw rapid growth as well. Cells that don’t know how to stop reproducing – that grow unchecked without form, purpose or thought. Their growth produces nothing of worth – of value. In their inability to die – they alter the landscape in which they began. Without intervention and sometimes even with it, these unchecked cells lead to their own death and ultimately that of their host – in this case mine. So instead of leading to promise and hope – they lead to darkness and death.

Is the lesson, in part, that when we get outside of our own God given purpose, when we expand unchecked, when it is for our own purposes – we produce a distorted view of hope. That like cancer cells, when we aren’t grounded in Love – the Love that changed and can change the world – we produce systems, institutions and connections that tear down instead of building up.

It is, for me, an interesting  place to stand – between this tension. Between the joy of new life and the realization that life ends – everyday, all the time, for each and every one of us. We don’t do such a hot job in the west of thinking and discussing that ultimate reality. And in my mind, that is a shame. There is something grounding and holy about reflecting on our temporary time here. It does make the sun shine a bit brighter, the hugs last a tad longer and the “I love you’s” that much more heartfelt!

So this October, I’m reminded of the gift of this day and I’m thankful for all the promise that it holds. May I not squander today on anything – thought or action – that does not bring Love to those I encounter.

Join me?