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Today I choose to show up for my own life. To ask myself hard questions and to start mining my heart for answers even when I'm terrified of what I might find there. To think about what I want and who I want to be and to bravely go after both. To be present in my own thoughts and emotions all of them. To own my joys as well as my griefs my hopes as well as my fears. To be wholeheartedly unashamedly me. Today I choose to show up for my own life.

You guys know I love ampersands right? {I always say I live in them because everything is both/and not either/or. Grief & joy. Faith & doubt. Life & loss. Broken & whole. And of course Grit & glory.} - So when a friend surprises me with an ampersand-themed gift? I cry happy tears. - But cmon. Isnt she so perfect?!

Holding my printed words in my hands is always a rather surreal feeling. But when theyre printed alongside Gods? Surreal doesnt even begin to cut it. For reasons Im still not quite fully sure I grasp I have a mixed bag of unclear thoughts and feelings on all this. But Im choosing to be okay with that... Leaning in. Owning joy. And embracing the mystery (even of my own heart). Under all my confusing feelings is most definitely a sense of humble gratitude... What an honor to have been…

// Through the Drinking Glass // - Loss is a bittersweet companion. - He whispers in my ear all kinds of things about who I am (and am not) and what I'm worth (and not worth) and the gaping void that can never be filled (though I'm not even sure I want it to be). - He also rather wonderfully and often times unexpectedly reminds me of the simple everyday moments I tend to miss the most filled with laughter and love and contentment. - And so heart laden with both bitter and sweet I grab…

Life has certainly taught me that rare are the friends who will truly mourn with you in your grief. But I've also discovered that even rarer are those who will lean in and celebrate with you in your joys and victories as well. Thankful for the rare gems in my life who show up with true friendship regardless of the season. (And when they live far away sometimes that looks like a welcome mat unexpectedly arriving in the mail to celebrate my new house!)

Brené Brown described it best: foreboding joy. It's when we miss out on the joy of the present moment fearing that the other shoe is gonna drop. I'm the queen of doing that ever afraid to embrace my own joy. Yes my experiences and my journey have taught me how fleeting good times can be but that's no way to live... When I simply hold my breath in anticipation of the next tragedy I'm robbing myself of so much joy and gratitude. Brené nailed it (of course): "We are afraid to lean into joy…

Days like today are harder on this feeler's heart than can ever be described...

Even the smallest flame can shatter the blackest night. Thoughts on faith going to the dark places over on the blog. (Link in profile.)

I still need to unpack from my Thailand trip. Physically and metaphorically. The unzipped still-half-full suitcase on my closet floor reminds me that I still need to at least attempt to make sense of all that I saw and heard and learned and experienced. Though "make sense" isn't even accuratenot really. Because some things just cannot be made sense of. But I need to try to take these thoughts and feelings and memories and questions and clothe them in syllablesdress these intangibles with…

Four years. Four years since Ive heard your contagious laugh seen your face light up about football/family/Oreos texted with you in the middle of the night (sleeplessness used to have its perks) been lovingly slapped around by your wisdom and been impressed by your matchless potty mouth. Four years. And you remain the bravest strongest most faith-filled and joyful person I've ever known. I want to be just like you when I grow up. I'll start by swearing more... And hopefully end by…