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Death and Harvest

 It's been a while since I've posted. A career shift and a much busier schedule has preoccupied my mind and blog posts just don't come to mind as easily. But I've been thinking about something today and wanted to share.  It's Halloween -- a day when many are dressing up and pretending to be someone they're not as a cultural game of acquiring sugary snacks and saying hi to the neighbors. It looks different this year because of the pandemic, but the holiday is the same.  I, however, am not of the trick-or-treat demographic. So, I'm at home reading and writing and thanking God for a weekend with nothing more than a small group dinner on the calendar. Aside from work, life is really simple right now and I'm okay with that.  But somedays, if I'm honest, there's a restlessness in my heart. Being in my 30's means that my peers are mostly in very active life stages with the families they've built and the careers we're growing into. I'm wa
Recent posts

The Art of Slogging

When I lived in Manila, I had a couple coworkers from commonwealth countries who would occasionally use the phrase "slogging on." It usually provoked a smile out of those listening because the word is not commonly used outside of commonwealth dialects like British or Aussie English. When asked for a definition, the reply is something along the lines of "pushing through even though it's really messy and imperfect and probably uncomfortable or frustrating." Synonyms might include trudging, plodding, walking heavily, or laboring.  We're halfway through 2020 and I can't think of a more appropriate word for how we're handing it: slogging. Absolutely slogging through 2020 -- every last one of us! Everyone on the planet has entered a reality we could hardly fathom just 6 months ago. There are no easy answers, but everyone seems to have an opinion. The stakes are high on many fronts and in a few areas like public education, there simply doesn't seem to b

Homes, Hearts, and Happiness

I've attended two funerals in the last two weeks. Not exactly happy days, but part of the life cycle nonetheless. One part of my extended family is all buried in the same cemetery and so, per usual, with every visit for another funeral, we've made a habit of tracing our steps past the other markers of our family's remains. I'm not usually alone at funerals for family members, but I was on this particular occasion, so I did my best to find the plots all over the place. On my journey, I began to notice something. All the headstones had names, a few had numbers that corresponded with names, but a majority also had a title. What titles did I see? Mom Dad Loving mother Beloved father and grandfather Papa Mama Sister Brother Mother Father Mr. and Mrs. (His name) (Family name) Loving husband Faithful wife Over and over, the titles of mom or dad came up. Sometimes grandma or grandpa, sometimes husband or wife, but all were family titles or nicknames. And it go

Full Circle

Today marks six years since I stepped off a plane and traded the title of ex-patriot missionary for all things American. In the last six years, so much growth and change has happened. I am genuinely so much happier and healthier and sure of who I am and who God is in my life. But the journey hasn't been an easy one. Over the course of the last six years, I've had more than a dozen jobs. Each of them had a purpose and while many of them were stressful in negative ways, I can say with confidence now, each of them was a necessary step. It's fair to say that for a few years, I was drifting in my career... but I struggled with whether I actually cared  if that was true. #millennial I've come to realize that the idea of a career of 30+ years in one place or one role is beyond rare, if not becoming somewhat extinct. The corporate norm is to climb ever-upward, which inherently creates instability over the long haul in favor of greater personal gain with the expected sacrifi

Lilacs in the Alley

May in Minnesota is my favorite. It's finally warm enough to put the heavy winter coat away and just keep a sweater handy. Everything turns green again and then all of the sudden, the flowers pop up everywhere declaring an end to the threat of that 4-letter "s" word we're so fond of in the northland. Today on my run was the first time this year I've seen lilac bushes opening. The tulips have been around for a while, but lilacs are the unofficial start to summer -- and they're baaaaack! But today I noticed something I hadn't before: here in MN, we tend to grow lilacs either in the alley or along a side of our property for privacy, whereas other flowers like tulips we tend to showcase in the front yard. I'm not much of a gardener, but it struck me that this parallels with the season we're in right now.  For many of us, our journey has been filled with relatively consistent sidewalks, front yards we're familiar with, and traffic signs