Water runs and muffles the commotion about the house. I play music from a little bluetooth speaker my husband gave me for Christmas a year ago. I open a cupboard, leaving the door wide so the speaker can sit on a ledge, safe from stray water drops and suds. Out come songs that feel like a respite wind through the knots in my chest while I rhythmically pass dishes through the sink into the dishwasher after a light scrub.

I stand here several times a day. Every day. It is a place of decision, where I decide when I arrive to it, whether I come with a cheerful heart or a reluctant one. Or on some sad days, a bitter one. It is the same thing, again and again, over and over. Scrub, rinse, repeat. A simple task that needs doing at regular intervals or the whole kitchen goes sideways.

For all the talk about big dreams and goals and resolutions and all the desires of the heart in 2016, I wonder what would happen if I discovered other simple things I can do at regular intervals to truly nourish my soul, tend my relationships, lovingly grow my children, and intentionally take steps forward through my personal struggles and shame. More than a word for the year, or a list of goals (both of which are lovely and totally not something I mean to rag on), I have to be real with myself that standing in January and talking about what I want out of this year is a whole lot different than what it will be like to walk step-by-step–in forward motion–through every surprise and challenge that will come as the year unfolds.

I find myself wholly unsatisfied with the empty-but-lovely-sounding platitudes about a new year and what it may hold. I also find myself unable to whip out a tidy list of goals like I’ve done for so many years. All I can do is stand at the sink of January and choose to arrive with a cheerful heart, knowing that this year I will see ups and downs, and will stretch and bend, I may be surprised and delighted and discouraged and challenged at different times…and that the grace of God will carry me as it always does, while I do the simple things that He puts in front of me each day.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ― Mother Teresa

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20 

1201. unexpected encouragement in the midst of a tough day, 1202. new baby gate from a new friend, 1203. complete meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the whole month, 1204. getting the kids off to a productive start to a new term, 1205. a nice phone call from my brother, 1206. started reading lessons with an eager 3-year old, 1207. ‘big boy’ haircuts, 1208. new sara groves album, 1209. anticipating baby, 1210. new podcasts


Hidden Potential
May 1, 2013
The In-Between
January 9, 2014
Good Friday Reflections
April 3, 2015