Origin Story

I went back to physical church this past Sunday after one year and four months of watching the weekly service online. It was weird – the smaller attendance, the lack of the usual treats and coffee that were always present, and saying hello to people I had not seen since I was last inside the building. One of those people was Brenda, who is a very sweet soul and who I have helped with volunteer opportunities in the past. OnRead more

#SoCS: A Yarn Too Far

Dad was good at telling long, detailed yarns about anything. Trips he and mom took. What they ate at every meal during their trips. The relatives they would visit. Their conversations. All of them. The people I didn’t know that they would visit. Stories from his days as a grocery store manager. I remember mom getting a look of frustration on her face on several occasions and then saying, “She doesn’t know who you’re talking about. Finish your story!” IRead more

Changing…Evolving…Acclimating

“If you can’t acclimate, you disintegrate.” – Katie Kacvinsky I learned the art of acclimation working for a state government agency for many years. I often called our agency the Department of Change because we never sat still. Policy and procedures were constantly evolving and employees were expected to acclimate. We had no other choice. Monday, May 10th, was a day of change, a day I became fully vaccinated and celebrated with a walk-and-talk with one of my pastors as he willRead more

Courtesy in Three Words

“On your left!” This is a common courtesy shout-out that bicyclists are supposed to give others on the trail system rather than silently passing and scaring the crap out of the person or persons walking or biking on the right. I’ve already noticed that this courtesy has been in short supply as the weather has turned warmer. I’m not sure if bikers are embarrassed to say those three words, if they don’t know they are supposed to say those threeRead more

Visible in Love

“What if the only example of God’s love your neighbor will ever see is you?” ~Pastor Shawn Whitworth~ For Christians and non-Christians alike, loving a neighbor or another human being can be difficult at times. We are humans, after all, with egos, steadfast opinions, self-righteousness, fearfulness and unwarranted condemnation that allow us to flow along with inappropriate behavior toward others rather than love unconditionally. During Easter week, I am reminded that Christ died for our sins and gave us eternalRead more

Breathless

What do I ask that is not envisioned The heart of my own spirit fails to speak Words that leave the tongue in indecision A desire within the realm of the weak Why do I question what can be conceived By the response of the one called ruler Is boldness permitted in time of need Or possibility found peculiar A spirit groans at the lack of command Intercedes with courage in muted gaze An understanding of the mighty hand ThatRead more

#WATWB: Reparation in Evanston

Addressing and eliminating systemic racism in America has been a constant struggle for over a century and it feels that in the last year, we’ve taken a step backward while realizing the pervasiveness of racial bigotry that still exists in this country. However, there is always hope in the future. It is the Evanston, Illinois, City Council which gives this suburb of Chicago faith in action. Reparation is a positive step for the city and as it states in theRead more

Read, watch TV, nap.

“Sleep did not honor me with it’s presence.” ~Alysha Speer~ MJM’s Diary of the Tired: Monday, March 15, 2021, 3:30 am – Gibbs the cat wakes me. The change in time may be at fault here, or he may be his usual self who believes he deserves kibble upon vocal and mischievous demands. Monday, 3:35 am – I used the water spray bottle. Gibbs settled down. Monday, 4:00 am – I am awake again, but not by the paws ofRead more

#SoCS: The Days, Weeks, Month, Year of Unbelievable.

I distinctly remember the day that I packed up a laptop, numerous files, office supplies, and anything else I could think of in a rush of adrenaline. It was March 24, 2020, and I had been told I would be working from home until further notice. The offices were closing to the public and minimal staffing across our department had to be scheduled and organized. Covid-19 was on the move across America. For at least three weeks prior, we hadRead more

What Lingers Forever

When in grade and high school, I earned “nicknames” from a certain few. Twiggy, Jolly Green Giant, and variations of my last name. At the time, I was thin and tall for my age (5’9″ by 9th grade) and my last name was not a simple “Smith” that everyone knew. I also was picked on for wearing glasses and an overbite, neither of which helped with personal esteem or confidence in self. I was never self-assured in school, never partRead more

Thinking…

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” ― Dale Carnegie I think a lot when I’m on the bike. Reflective, as in a shadow’s outline. In 2020, that process was not always beneficial. Politics, pandemic and my own gloomy thoughts and self-righteous opinions stuck deep in parts of the brain while the limbs and heart were tryingRead more

Angry Birds and Coffee

Last week, roommate Natasha asked why I don’t drink coffee a bit more often. In 2019, I had to give up the daily 2-3 cup habit that was partly responsible for a bad case of GERD – the kind of in-your-face indigestion that I was willling to ignore for months because of addictive desires for a hot morning beverage. After several weeks of not drinking coffee at all and switching to tea, I returned to coffee in a limited fashion.Read more