Changing Tides.

Here’s a thought for your weekend:
“Just because the tide is out, that doesn’t mean there’s less water in the ocean.” -Seth Godin.
So just because our economy is bad, that doesn’t mean we’re lacking resources and ideas. We just have to dig deeper, go to greater distances to find them.
Speaking of resources, the people of Japan are desperate for food, clean water, gasoline, and more. I read my friend Wakako’s post and found myself in tears for the people who are stranded there. Please consider giving to For Japan With Love, which will give all proceeds to Shelter Box, which will give supplies to the people of Japan. Every donation and prayer will help.
Have a good weekend, friends.

“Rolling in the Deep”

I don’t know about you, but my week coulda been better. It wasn’t a disaster at work, or fight with a friend that had me down. There are just some really hard life issues that I feel caught in the middle of.
I read a lot of blogs, and most of the authors, as talented and interesting as they are, don’t always admit things like that. Sometimes it makes me wonder, am I the only one that feels like life is caving in on me? Am I the only one that feels weighted down by the pressure of figuring out my career, my marriage, my gifts, my passions, my relationships, my faith?
I know that I am not alone. And so I am admitting that I feel weighted down and scared and frustrated… and inspired and blessed and loved… but not altogether happy right now. I don’t admit this so that you can throw me a pity party or beg me to tell you what’s wrong or so that you can give me pep talk. I’m admitting it so that in case you feel this way too, you can know that you’re not alone.
Sometimes, life is just messy.
Here are some things that really inspired me this week, in spite of everything:
Buy this album. No, really. BUY IT.*
Some funny, belated New Year’s Resolutions that I am totally stealing.
My friend Madison has started a healthy living blog – good recipes, and even better info about what’s good and bad for us and why. Happy, healthy eating!
Kendi and Bryan: Dream Reporters. They’re starting a business, and they’re blogging about their journey to success.
Check out Kat’s revamped blogspot! She’s also got a new product line coming soon, so keep an eye out for her woodland-inspired wonders.
My friend Hollie has started a blog: Baking with Ex-Mix. Join the conversation about gender, culture, and you.
Grace over Karma – that’s the kind of faith I can believe in.
Does it Really Matter? A good question to live by.
And finally, just a word of thanks to all the talented, loving, funny, inspiring people that I am surrounded by. You make it worth it. Every day.
*Blog title taken from the album. Did you buy it? Get on it.

Leave the Light On.

I’ve sat down several times in the last several days. My fingers poise ready at the keys, my thoughts and feelings wait breathlessly on the edge of spilling over. In my head, I’m telling you things that I’m thinking and feeling in a way that will benefit you, help you articulate and examine your own life and share that with others, make you feel better about the ample amount of things you deal with everyday.
And then this is what comes out:
This sucks. Life is hard. The End.
Don’t like that one? Me either.
Turns out it’s not easy to write when you’re sitting in the dark.
I’ve had some hard days lately, friends. They’re good, in a see-the-big-picture kind of way, in a you-know-Who-loves-you kind of way, but they’re still hard. Details spared, I’ve been thinking a lot about the things that make our fragile, sensitive human spirits rise up out of the hard, frustrating, frightening mire of everyday life. What inspires us when we’re in the dark, desolate places of our lives? And why?
I don’t have those answers yet, but I’ll leave you with a few of these, which have a brighter, clearer perspective than I do at the moment. Sometimes, when you can’t say it, feel it, see it, you just have to surround yourself with people who can in hopes that some of their light seeps into the dark spaces in your soul.
A few lights for you:
A life-affirming quote from Anais Nin.
good thought from Jon Acuff: We don’t have to finish what we don’t start.
Remember, friends: time is of the essence, so don’t waste it.
daily dose of encouragement for those who write, freelance, or can appreciate a blog that is both well written AND well designed.
The sweet, soothing lullaby of a new album from one of my all time favorites.
Song lyrics you can cling to and sing to yourself in the dark:
“I was walking far from home
But I carried your letters all the while
I saw lovers in a window
Whisper, ‘Want me like time, want me like time’
I saw sickness, bloom in fruit trees
I saw blood and a bit of it was mine…
I was walking far from home
Where the names were not burned along the wall
Saw a wet road form a circle
And it came like a call, came like a call
From the Lord.”
And a special love link to all the people in my life that make it worth it – the everyday. Dark or light, I know I’m not sitting alone. [Galatians 6:2]