Posts Tagged ‘one thousand gifts’

Season’s gifts and goals

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

[previous gifts here]

251. The space outside my window all bluster and cold.
252. Our heater vent, though hidden behind the media sideboard (off, because I’m afraid of starting a fire).
253. Blankets and slippers.
254. Coffee, though it loses all its heat before I can drink half.
255. Being wrapped tightly in two shirts, scarf and two coats this morning as I dueled wind with my umbrella.
256. Shiny new tires and new windshield wipers for long icy drives.
257. The weekend’s gorgeous glimpse of brightness…
258. …a shining ocean sunset…
259. and cozy food and drinks and games with good friends.
260. That the forecast rain didn’t show up (and we didn’t miss it).


This working home life is cozy and solitary; I amaze myself with the way I pile up snack dishes and clutter all my own.  I’ve been feeling a bit scrambled, scattered, and blurry — partly from the dark and wet, partly from the solitude, partly from the task juggling.

Next week, though, I have a plan. It consists of a gym membership and a regular schedule of writing three days a week and teaching two.

Because that list I made? I really did know that eventually the unshowered, whatever-I-want-wearing glory of working from home would fade.  I don’t quite have cabin fever yet, but I can tell that whatever a healthy home-working lifestyle may be, I want to find it. And that means I need to quit atrophying.

This year-wrapping-up time is always so nostalgic, and I tend to get reflective and very happy and very sad. I have some far-away goals I will tend to soon, but here are some of my goals for the near future:

• Begin outlining an official business plan

• Thoughtfully choose all of this winter’s birthday and Christmas gifts and do my best to send them on time. (On top of the holidays, my six-person immediate family, father-in-law, and a brother-in-law all have birthdays between October and December.

• Spend time in prayer for grace that that will enable me to interact with my family graciously and generously.

• Approach this holiday time purposefully in my marriage, building memories and traditions for our future family.

• Write as often as possible, particularly when the year’s end stirs up memory, emotion, confusion, joy, and anxiety.

Happy blustery day, friends.

Multitude Monday on a Tuesday….

holy experience


Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Dear friends —

This morning I submitted my first real, official piece of freelance copy editing.  It felt wonderful.  My days are filling quickly now that training for my new job has started, and I’m eager to settle into a routine that I set.  Blogging will be among the scheduled activities, to be sure.  Speaking of business, little photos of me by the ever-lovely Heather Terry Photography have popped up in my online world.  Sidebar and About pages feature a me that’s a little more current!

Anyway. To the real reason I’m writing.

I’ve been putting off posting this for a few days.

Partly because this book I’ve been reading is on everyone’s list, it seems, and is so blogged about and even made the New York Times bestseller list, and I just don’t know what else I can say about it.

But mostly because I want it all to myself.  Not in the “you can’t read it” kind of way — read it all you want.  But tell you about it? How could I possibly start? (Not to mention I’ve even participated in this book’s following without even knowing. Without even knowing.)


This book feels like home to me.  The way Ann Voskamp writes poems into prose; the way she switches up tenses and turns nouns into adjectives in the exact way I hope for when I tell students to “learn the rules so you can break them”; the way she delves fearlessly into her real, hard sorrow, and comes up with beauty.  I have mostly abandoned screens during evenings this week and retreated into my headphone world with pencil and journal and have read this precious book, and have written more poetry lately (and with more importance) than in the last year because of it.

I don’t want to say anything else about it.  It speaks for itself better than I ever could.  Please, please read it.

I won’t be sharing any of the poems I wrote this week, but I hope to be writing some soon that I could maybe, possibly post.

What is the most beautiful, soul-scraping book you’ve ever read?