From Thomas Merton's Contemplative Prayer (emphasis mine):

"Very often the inertia and repugnance which characterize the so-called "spiritual life" of many Christians could perhaps be cured by a simple respect for the concrete realities of every-day life, for nature, for the body, for one's work, one's friends, one's surroundings, etc.

"A false supernaturalism which imagines that "the supernatural" is a kind of realm of abstract essences (as Plato imagined) that is totally apart from and opposed to the concrete world of nature offers no real support to a genuine life of meditation and prayer. Meditation has no point unless it is firmly rooted in life."

*Photo credit here



Due to a raving review from one of our favorite people, Adam and I are currently swept up by this book--you know, the latest work from this guy who gained notoriety from this book and who recently started this project...which just makes me like him even more.

Anyway, I've been looking forward to this book for awhile now and while the beginning was slow-going, it has quickly gained momentum. So much so that each chapter's end is followed by a unanimous "How about just one more?"

And I can't really put my finger on it quite yet but there is something simply gripping about Miller's idea of story--that we are all living our own stories and that in so many words, most of us would do well to live a better story.

What does that mean exactly? Well, I'm not sure yet, but I do know that there are times in my life when it is just so easy to play the character of the victim or the worrywart frozen by fear or maybe even the cynical damsel in distress (is that even a character? Bridget Jones-esque perhaps?)...but really, it is just me allowing myself to get swept up into playing a role that, to tell the truth, I don't even want to be playing. And what's more, it's exhausting. And what's even more, it is keeping me from the story I was created for in the first place. Which is to say it's keeping me from my part of the larger Story that I believe we are all telling. Together.

And I guess that's really all I have to say about that, and maybe it doesn't seem very noteworthy at all to anyone else, but for me, today, I cannot help but think that maybe me reading this book is a bit of much-needed rising action for my very own character arc.

And that maybe ultimately, I've been selling my own story short.



I skip down the hall
Full of twelve-year-old innocence--
Floorboards creaking,
Laughter echoing,
Curiosity peaking.
I enter the room--my own room!--
And as I breathe in freshly-painted promise,
I think, So, this is home.

I spin--a giggling seventeen--
In my pink, poofy prom dress,
Spilling glitter and posing for silly photos
To post on newly-blue walls.
And when Dad peeks in with a quiet
"You look really pretty, there, kiddo"
I blush and I am home.

I drop my bags and, sighing,
Collapse in a twenty-four-year-old heap
Atop my old, squeaky bed.
I peer quizzically at four familiar walls--
Where smudged dolls smile
And strange, new trinkets shine.
Where framed photos fade
Next to my softly swaying wedding dress.

And it's mine.
And it's not.
And it's familiar.
And it's not.
And it's always-yet-no-longer home.


On repeat:

In my car:

This song by this guy...but since I can't post a video, I offer you a close second:

In my mouth:

On my mind:

p.s. Read what my friend Luke has to say about growing up, forts and Peter Pan here.

p.s.s. Read about inspiring visionaries here.


Dynamic duo.

So, I know Adam is going to kill me but I CANNOT HELP MYSELF!

We have known each other for four years and finally have some pictures to show for it--that don't consist of lazy eyes or silly faces! Oh happy day!

I've posted a few here. You can find more at our fabulous friend Megan Kapple's blog here. She teamed up with our OTHER fabulous friend Donna to snap some shots on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Seriously...could we have better (or more talented) friends? I think not. Enjoy!

And THANKS FRIENDS! We are so blessed.


Public service announcement:

When a girl wants some chocolate--
even if it's 11 a.m...
even if she's been slacking in the gym department...
even if she's getting married in the next few months and thus apparently should be trying to drop a size or two (thanks, America)...



Carry on.



"Our generation, the 18-to-34 set, tend to share a common characteristic. We are remarkably self-satisfied. We are socially aware, politically sensitive and culturally savvy, and we like this about ourselves. The question it raises, however, is if all our sensitivity, savviness and awareness has led anywhere. Certainly, social justice campaigns abound within our generation. One would be loathe to be identified within the subculture without a keen passion for grassroots, countercultural movements. However, where have these movements led? Is ours a generation that is quietly changing the world, or is social conscience just one more accoutrement of fashion for us? An accessory we wear with our Chuck Taylors and horn-rimmed glasses? It seems we’re out not just to change the world, but to impress. The question is, who exactly are we trying to impress?

...We seem so intent upon creating an impressive display of cultural and political awareness that the culture and politics we tout become secondary to the style in which we tout them. When our love of music becomes a race to beat each other with knowledge of obscure bands, we’ve lost our love of music. When our political engagement boils down to who has the best screen-printed swag, we’re not engaging politics. When our passion for social justice isn’t coupled with actual knowledge of the issues we’re fighting for, it’s just posturing. Once again, who are we trying to impress?"

-Adam Smith, from here, emphasis--and not a small amount of guilt--mine