Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness, Other, Parenting/Running/Pets, siblings

An Easter Reflection on Sacrifice and Change


As Holy Week ends, and the Easter season begins, I’m reminded of how things change over the years. Growing up, Holy Week was a quiet time. Usually, we would have Thursday and Friday off from school and prep the menu for Easter Sunday. Somewhat of a nod to Thanksgiving dinner, Easter had a few unique dishes thrown into the mix. One vivid memory is my Aunt Eugenia’s salad.

Always toting items from her Amway inventory, she was the aunt who rode a motorcycle, brought her bird “Bonita” to visit, and played the accordion for Sunday mass. I’ve been told I have the same sharp-slanted nose as her. She’d arrive carrying a big bowl and tongs likely from a recent Tupperware party. She had a knack for chopping everything in the salad super-tiny like a Cuisinart before they were a thing. There were little bits of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, and other minuscule items that even my keen 10-year-old eyes couldn’t identify. The salad dressing was made in one of those glass containers where you drop the Italian seasoning powder in and shake it up with vegetable oil. Partially hydrogenated? Who cared? It was delicious.

The salad sat alongside ham, mashed potatoes, and red chili (in lieu of gravy). Another headliner was Mom’s pineapple salad. Made with cream cheese, Cool Whip, crushed pineapple (canned – likely in the cupboard alongside several boxes of Jello), and topped with shiny maraschino cherries, it was a Dad-favorite. Maybe because it was a dessert disguised (if only by the name) as a “salad” or maybe because it was a once-a-year wonder. I’m always amazed when we stumble upon a gem of a recipe and it’s only made once a year. Perhaps that’s the formula. It always tastes good…but only once a year.

The pineapple phenomenon reminded me of one of my volunteering gigs at NPR. During a break, a talk show host named Rose with a cool, smooth voice and long dreds said, “I love your blouse!” Thrilled with my outfit choice, I told her my husband gave it to me. “Great taste!” she replied. After that day, I wore the heck out of that shirt holding on to the compliment as we do. Then one day one of my students probed, “Is that your favorite shirt ‘cause you wear it ALL the time.” And so it happened, I had worn out the beauty of the blouse. That could be the pineapple salad’s story. Better to pace the good stuff.

I digress…

The menu was ready. Then, on Holy Thursday as we loaded up the station wagon and headed to St. Anne’s Church, Dad leaned over the seat with his annual reminder: “Today’s mass is a long one!” This, coming from the man who, when Father Gallie’s sermons would go over 10 minutes would circle his hands in the air as if tying a bow on an invisible gift while whispering, “Let’s tie it up now Father.” We’d all giggle secretly praying Father got the hint.

Typically, Dad would deliver the readings as a lector, and Mom would play the organ. I had a choice to either turn pages for Mom or try to sit still with my sisters for the two hours of feet washing and the Last Supper. Up the stairs, I climbed to the choir loft for my bird’s eye view.

Under the cloudy Good Friday skies, we would attend services at 3:00 pm sharp every year. I still remember the cold, empty altar and solemn sentiment inside the Church. Mom reminded us, “This is the one day we don’t need to genuflect and we don’t call it a mass. It’s a service.” An all-knowing Catholic, she went on to explain why and I said “Ohhhh….” holding out the word as if I was listening, but knowing I wouldn’t remember. Although back then I knew I could ask her anything, anytime I needed to – – you know, that time of life when you think your parents are going to live forever and moments stand still like lighthouses shining bright. 

Saturday we buckled in for another “long one”. I really loved that mass. Maybe it was seeing a lot of babies being baptized or because I was kept busy turning pages for Mom as she switched from organ to piano. But I highly suspect it was the fact that we could officially indulge in whatever we had “given up for Lent” immediately after mass.

One Easter weekend, we visited my oldest sister at New Mexico State University. That was the year I gave up soda for Lent – I admit, it wasn’t a HUGE sacrifice, as we rarely had soda in the house except for Dad’s RC Cola and a 7Up if we had a stomach ache. But after Holy Saturday Mass that year, I remember going out for pizza right after mass and getting the coldest most delicious Shirley Temple ever. It was served in one of those big red plastic cups, a staple all pizza joints had. I even got a refill.

Over the years, my view of Lent became less soda and more sacrifice. In college, a friend of mine and I vowed to say a Rosary every day, together. During the long drive to San Diego for spring break we prayed, after going out with friends we prayed and even before watching Shamoo jump through hoops, we prayed the Rosary. Yup. I was wild and crazy then too. 

What I learned:

Today, unless kids attend a school starting with the word “Saint” it’s likely they will be in class during Holy Week. Even Good Friday. Because times are different. Holy Week just seemed holier back then. Calendars are filled with games, practices, and activities with church fitting into the gaps. 

Like anything else, age readjusts the lens on what matters. What we sacrifice, what we lack, what we share, what we just don’t need. For some, Lent might be about giving up chocolate, complaining less, serving at a homeless shelter, and maybe even blogging.

Perhaps we all need an annual reminder of what we overuse, underdo, and ignore. Something that forces us to stare sacrifice in the face and see who blinks first. 

Whatever I do, EVERY DAY, Lent or not, I pray it will make a difference.

I often think, if I could pass a little Post-It Note on to God about my writing, I would say, “Please let my stories help others realize they are not alone in this one wild and precious life you’ve given us. Help me to offer them a little chuckle, a tiny connection, and a chunk of hope when it’s just too much. And God (not yet!), but please save me a seat up there …I’ll bring you a special pineapple salad you’re just going to love!”


Thanks for joining me.

See you next week,


On justice and sacrifice:

“We want to end unfair sentences in criminal cases and stop racial bias in criminal justice…Ms. Parks leaned back smiling. ‘Ooooh, honey, all that’s going to make you tired, tired, tired.’ We all laughed. I looked down, a little embarrassed. Then Ms. Carr leaned forward and put her finger in my face and talked to me just like my grandmother used to talk to me. She said, ‘That’s why you’ve got to be brave, brave, brave.’ All three women nodded in silent agreement and for just a little while, they made me feel like a young prince.”

Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Posted in empty nest, Family, Faith and Fitness, Parenting/Running/Pets, siblings

When the nest empties…

we never forget when it was full


I said something for the first time today. 

In pursuit of a pen, I reached into the junk drawer (grumbled about cleaning it out) and picked up a mechanical pencil with no top, wrapped in tape, and the cylinder was empty. Harper, our 8-year-old neighbor was over and said, “Why does the pencil look like that?” I held up the plastic pencil remains fiddling with them in my hands and said, “Well, when my son lived here, he would recycle these and use them for projects he would build.” 

Whoa…Past tense. “…when my son lived here …” I heard it. 

Then I felt it. My heart did that sinking thing when it secretly knows the past is, well, past…and life within the walls of our home will never be the same. 

That was then…

I thought back to when the kids were little. We’d set up obstacle courses in the backyard with logs to balance on, hula hoops to maneuver through, and barriers to tackle. My husband managed the stopwatch narrating along the way, and I held the video camera–because in my mind documenting meant the moment wouldn’t (couldn’t) go away. 

Our oldest son would go first, his eyes planning the most efficient, logical, and fastest path, no ladder too tall, no tunnel too narrow, no risk too great. Our youngest son would follow, arms flailing, adding cartwheels, leaps, and spins along his path to ensure the most fun could be had on the journey. Finally, our daughter, the oldest, would lean out of the screen door, Harry Potter book in hand “What’s the fastest time?” she’d ask while slipping on any shoes that were handy and pushing her curls away from her face with the back of her hand the way she does. She’d quickly survey the course, hustle to the starting line next to her brothers and yell, “READY Papa!” Up, over, in, and out, she dashed through the course with her signature audible breathing making it clear she was working to win. Once she held the new record, the screen door closed with a bang, book, glasses, and our current winner once inside again. The boys would then clamor to surpass her time and the cycle continued.

I play the kids’ childhood moments in my mind’s Viewfinder all the time–clicking through the first days of school, family trips, awards won, races lost. I think about who leaves toothpaste in the sink, who can tolerate “all that crunching” and who will empty the top rack of the dishwasher. One common thread – as if running the backyard course, they have all become unstoppable-each blazing their own trail, no matter the obstacles. 

This is now…

We had our kids 15 and 18 months apart. Total 3. So…in the last two years, we’ve had two high school graduates and in 2024, our youngest will flip his tassel as we say farewell to all of the high school pomp and circumstance.

And as quickly as they graced our every, single day for 18 years, off they go.

As our first two started their journeys outside the context of our family, it was beyond hard. But all I could picture was our unstoppable daughter out in the world discussing the current issues and immigration policies with peers, laughing heartily at her friends’ jokes, and making Spotify song lists with her new people.

She is right where she needs to be. But boy do I miss her.

Then our oldest son who always came out to greet us, carry in the groceries, and asked SO MANY “Can I?” questions – the stamina of a cheetah, he never tired of hearing, “No.” He’s the guy to call when the car won’t start, the path needs clearing or the couch won’t fit through the awkward doorway. He follows Mark Twain’s words, “ I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” 

He too is right where he needs to be. But boy do I miss him too.

Our youngest is our mainstay. The traditionalist. He knows where the holes are in the wall to hang the birthday banner draping the kitchen window five times a year, where the angel food cake pan is kept (and how to use it), and is always clad in workout clothes as if a “sporting” emergency could spring up anytime, he’s the kid that will be there on your happiest or loneliest day and come loaded with snacks and goofy jokes. 

Soon he’ll pack up and our nest will be very empty. 

Boy, I’m going to miss that nest.

I recently read an article about a killer whale mother who, instead of having more offspring, decided to take care of her one son for over twenty years. Male orcas are massive, not as nimble as their moms, and require a lot of food. This particular orca mom would typically dive down for salmon, bring one up and split it with her son. Once the male relies on his mom to supply him with the extra food, his dependency becomes too great to survive on his own. Therefore, in these situations, it is said when an orca mother dies, her son will also die within the next couple of years. 

This story resonated with me as I thought about how much I would love for our kids to all be here, at home, together again. Playing outside, laughing, competing, and crushing obstacles. Sure, I’ve done my share of enabling by bringing the forgotten saxophone or “co-writing” an essay or two, but I’ll be damned if these kids aren’t ready for this one shot at life. Therefore, unlike the mother orca, I am NOT splitting my salmon with them anymore, I don’t care how much protein it has!

What I’ve learned:

Back in August, when packing up the kids for college, I stopped and really listened to the sounds of our morning. I held onto them with clenched fists because somehow through the cacophony of yells and stomps, blenders and constantly running water came the harmony of our home. But eventually, even the best of bands have artists who seek standalone stardom. Simon split from Garfunkel and still performs today with a little less hair and a lot of notoriety. So as they should, our family paths have split. I struggle to marvel at the space between us because letting go is really, really hard. Thankfully we have our stories, love, and of course, Facetime. 

Thanks for joining me,


“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”

Ann Landers

Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness, Parenting/Running/Pets, siblings

“WE DEEED IT!” – 5 Takeaways from 2020

When my oldest son was three and accomplished what seemed to be a herculean task, he would yell out, “I DEEEEED it!” He would then toddle out of the room carrying a self-invented toy and tinker with it for hours.

Well, we “DEEEEED it!” We made it through 2020.

We’ve wrapped our brains around puzzles, now know our dog’s favorite marking spots on walks, discovered mind-bending podcasts, maybe even learned how to draw “Tippy” from Highlights. That was just me.

Through all of the changes, bumps and scars we’ve endured this year, here are five takeaways and shoutouts from my corner of life:

  1. Applying to college is not a lark: to all those kids who go through the process of applying to college, you deserve heaps of credit just for pressing “Submit”.
  2. Voting matters: to all the newly turned 18-year-olds like my daughter who voted for the first time in the Georgia Run-off Election, thank you for showing up to vote, your voice was heard.
  3. Societal change is possible: to those of you who pulled out the Sharpies, made a poster and taught civil rights in your living rooms, thank you for helping seek justice for all.
  4. Calling your parents is gratifying : to those of you who can, call or even Face Time your parents. Sure, you might only see the top of  your dad’s head or your mom’s elbow like I do, but it is always worth it. Listen, learn and cherish their stories.
  5. Focus on goodness more than grades: to those parents, like me who ask our kids the same questions every day…How do you feel about your test? Any homework? HOW can you study on your phone? Dig deeper. Ask what they think about all day, what makes them angry, sad or joyful. Yes, give your kids another reason to think your “soooo weird”.

We can’t just shake out 2021 like a wrinkled shirt and hope it will emerge smooth and seamless. 2020 left potholes in need of repair and human connections that need mending. It’s up to us to show up and do good work that matters, together.

Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness, Parenting/Running/Pets, siblings

Be not afraid

Lenten Reflection #40

So I did it. 40 days of writing. 40 days of sharing. 40 days of memories.

And 40 days filled with unfathomable change.

Lent started out like every year. I contemplate giving up all the sugar and carbs in the world. Plan to blog every day…and vow to be kind, on-time, patient and generous.

Never did I think I would be at home watching Holy Saturday Mass streamed online. On Thursday I mentioned to my family that MAYBE we should watch Mass at the Vatican…because we COULD. I was immediately barraged with a slew of questions:

“Do you think they’ll do ALL the readings…Wait, that sounds like it’s going to be LONG…Don’t they say everything in Latin?”

Nevermind. I acquiesced and we stayed local.

We finished coloring our Easter eggs, ate dinner outside, and after every dish was washed, plopped down on the couch for Mass. I noticed each one of our kids disappear for a few minutes, returning to our living room dressed as if we were headed to church.

It seems that after weeks of living in sweats and workout clothes, our kids knew what was appropriate to wear to Easter Mass, albeit at home, and settled in for the next hour or so.

As we held hands while praying the Our Father, I looked at our little circle of faith and beamed. Our dogs roamed in and out of our legs as we gave each other a sign of peace, loving the fact that we’ve been home so much. I held each hug a little longer than usual knowing we all need extra comfort right now, including me.

Sadly, hugs, handshakes, and human contact are obsolete if we decide to cautiously step outside our front doors. This absence of togetherness is hard on all of us. Even as we listened to Father Walsh’s sermon tonight, the church echoed with a melancholy emptiness.

But his words rang true: “Be not afraid”.

At times like these, it’s hard to digest this advice, but we MUST be courageous, trust in God, do what is right, and take care of ourselves and each other.

Happy Easter and thank you for walking through the last 40 days with me.

“…do not be afraid, for I am with you; do not be alarmed, for I am your God. I give you strength, truly I help you, truly I hold you firm with my saving right hand.” -Isaiah, Chapter 41

Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness, Parenting/Running/Pets, siblings

Now that we have time, what if…

Lenten Reflection #37

Throwback Wednesday! Why not?

Given the time we’ve had in our homes lately with those we love…our kids, parents, grandparents, I thought about the “what-if” questions I always ask myself.

Now that time is abundant, I’m going to tackle some of these “what-ifs”. Here’s my Throwback Blog, I hope you enjoy.

Stay safe friends.

Ever feel like you’re constantly making mistakes as a mom, and wonder “WHAT IF I would have just done things differently?”

I do.

And every day I pray I’ll be the mom who guides with love and trust. Where God’s knock on the door is always answered, and grace soars in and ushers our kids through the messy moments of their teenage years.

Every day these “What if” questions herd my mind into a corral like an overzealous border collie with a flock of sheep. Sure, I know the right answers, yet the day flies by and I’ve botched it all again. Or have I? Maybe I did something right. As moms we have to forgive ourselves, trip, fall, grab onto something, stand up on our arthritic ankles and keep going one day at a time.

Here are my “WHAT IF’S”…

What if I went all day without saying one negative thing to anyone?

What if I didn’t complain to my kids about being on their phones?

What if I trusted more and criticized less. A lot less?

What if I admitted devices help with socialization?

What if I invested in what piques my kids’ interest or makes them laugh so crazy hard on their phones?

What if I walked by a messy-made bed and thought of it as ALMOST MADE?

What if I were able to feel their anxiety on the first day of school?

What if I didn’t complain once about my own appearance all day?

What if I focused on one task at a time?

What if I hugged my kids more?

What if I always made time for my husband?

What if I called my parents every day?

What if I walked my dogs more often?

What if I read a book, cover to cover…just because?

What if I sifted through my 42,644 digital photos and only kept my favorite 200?

What if I donated everything we haven’t used in one year?

What if I knew a magic word to rid my kids of their teenage worries?

What if I planned ahead for dinner?

What if I helped my kids learn to study and GET IT rather than memorize?

What if I reminded them more often how special they really are?

What if I told them I know being a teenager can be awful these days, but it will get better?

What if I was as proud of myself as I am of them?

What if we could have had one more baby?

What if I felt their fear every time they tried something new?

What if I listened? Really listened?

What if I counted my blessings instead of yelling at them?

Do you have any WHAT IFS? Please share yours and together we’ll conquer this mom thing.


“If you give freely, there will always be more.”

-Anne Lamott




Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness, Parenting/Running/Pets, siblings

The question I don’t get to ask my kids anymore…

Lenten Reflection #32 – My Kids’ Bedtime Stories

“How was school?” This is one line we toss to our kids nearly 180 times per year, and it boomerangs back empty or with the classic, “good”.

I’ve learned to manage this empty answer for one reason…

Because after years of the same bedtime routine with our kids, (yelling, brushing teeth, prayers, etc.) somehow when they’ve returned from practicing the sport they love, finished their homework and eaten dinner, they finally settle and are ready to share a story or two.

Here are a few examples:

My youngest son talks about the football game he played in PE when he “dove to catch the ball with one hand, jammed his thumb, and was still able to somehow, “dive into the endzone”. `

My daughter and I banter a bit, and she tells me a funny story about a classmate whose name everyone yells out daily as soon as he steps into the classroom or answers a question. She hollers the name then does a spot-on impersonation of her teacher’s reaction. I compare it to Norm’s fame on the TV series Cheers and we both crack up.

My middle guy describes the angst he feels after he asks his Honors Chemistry teacher a question, returns to his desk and forgets what to do. Thankfully, his hunger to know how to do things supersedes any apprehension to ask again. He follows up with, “Oh, and I ran a 6-minute mile in JROTC today.”

Suddenly the “good” response transforms into stories of their day at school.

I call them our kids’ bedtime stories.

One last thing I crave asking the kids again — and Kathy Radigan from the blog My Dishwasher is Possessed puts it best in her blog post: My Special Mom Talent is Annoying Teenagers:

I miss asking them if they did their homework then asking them again if they did their homework, then asking them one more time if they did their homework.

I know I sometimes only half-listen to all of their answers, and I know the kids miss their routine, sports, and friends, but this won’t last forever. (I know that because Sanjay Gupta on CNN just said so, and he knows).

Take care of yourselves and each other.

Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness, Parenting/Running/Pets, siblings

The one thing all of us need right now…

There are typically two things lately all of us can count on – – laundry and being home…but one thing has changed for all of us.

Just a few weeks ago we could chat with friends when we picked our kids up from school, share stories in the teacher’s lounge, or comment on the bargain price of blueberries at Sprouts in the checkout line.

At sporting events for our kids, we’d tell each other about our teenager’s latest drama or success…and at church, we could discuss the “longer than usual” homily.

Right now, all of that interaction has come to a screeching halt. And whether we think we crave it or not, the truth is we all need…


So pick up the phone. Don’t text. Dial a number, call someone and ask how they are and REALLY, REALLY listen to the answer.

Word for 2013 - LISTEN UP! | Mother teresa quotes, Mother teresa ...

As we wade through the same gigantic dismal swamp every day, trying to squelch the worry and focus on the positive. The therapy we need right now (and down the road) is simply someone to listen, be there for someone.

Spiritual Workout:

Here’s what I’ve been trying at home…well, me and the dogs. 

More listening, less talking.

More wags, less barking.

More giving, less taking.

More compassion, less selfishness.

More sharing, less hoarding.

More patience, less haste.

As Mother Theresa said:

Workout: Remember to pace yourself as a parent and a runner. Life is like a marathon: relish the downhills, reset on the flat road and power fiercely up those inclines. The race is shorter than you think.

Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness, Parenting/Running/Pets, siblings

Are you sitting 90% more than usual? This will help…

As humans we are social animals therefore, we naturally miss our human connections, which can make us a little cranky…and once we’re cranky, we forget to move…and then we get crankier! So, like in the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie…things go south quickly, and we can lose our focus. Together let’s stretch our bodies and stay positive.


According to Harvard Health Medical School (they know):

“Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.”

Here are some stretches to give your body and mind strength and clarity.  

Stay in each position shown for 30 seconds (static). Focus on deep breathing and you’ll get some mental stress relief as well. I used The Daily Burn as a resource.

Hip Flexor Stretch: 
Here’s how:Think that hip pain is bursitis? Think again. - Harvard Health Standing up, mimic sitting with one leg crossed over the other, or use a chair as shown for support, so you have two right angles with your legs, one resting on the other.  Sit, hold it, and then switch.


Stretching Body Nuchal Rigidity Exercise Massage PNG, Clipart ...

Side Oblique Stretch: 
Lengthen the side of your body as you stretch.
Here’s how: Stand with feet a little wider than hip-distance apart. As you lift one arm overhead with your palm facing inward, reach and lean toward the opposite side of the arm raised. Hold for 15 seconds, then switch sides.

Downward Dog: 
This stretch isDownward Dog Clipart focused on hip and shoulder mobility while stretching your hamstrings, lats (mid-back muscles) and deltoids (shoulder muscles).
Here’s how: Begin in a plank position with shoulders directly over wrists. Push your hips up toward the ceiling so you form a triangle with your body. Keep your head between your arms and straighten your legs as much as possible. Reach your heels toward the ground and spread your fingers, so your bodyweight gets distributed evenly through the hands and feet.

Back pain? This pose will encourage blood flow and increase mobility in your spine.

Here’s how: Get on your hands and knees on a carpet or mat, with wrists in line with shoulders and knees in line with hips. Round your back, tuck your pelvis and look toward the floor, as you scoop your abs upward.

What is the opposite of caHow to Do Cat-Cow Pose in Yoga – YogaOutlet.comt pose? Cow pose, of course. This will stretch your abs and chest muscles.
Here’s how: Get on your hands and knees on an exercise mat, wrists under shoulders and knees in line with hips. Arch your back, look slightly upward and stick your chest out.

Child’s Pose: 
This stretch is an incredibly calming posture and works well for recovery, too. You’ll streBalasana, child, meditation, pose, yoga icontch the low back, lats, and shoulders.
Here’show: Get on all fours on an exercise mat. From your hands and knees, push your hips back until your bottom rests on your heels. (Knees are slightly wider than hips.) Keep your arms straight out in front of you and look at the floor, stretch!


Lying Hug Stretch:
Miss all those hugs you got prior to social distancing?

Does my Back Need Cracking? [Don't Screw it Up!]Here’s the remedy and the perfect way to relieve tension in your low back. Here’s how: Lie on your back on an exercise mat or carpet. Tuck your knees toward your chest and grab your calves, as you roll your head up to meet your knees.

Along with stretching remember to keep your immune system strong and eat plenty of immune-boosting foods!

Here are my top 10 favorites: 



Bell peppers






Sunflower seeds

Green Tea

Take care of yourself and others 🙂

Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness, Parenting/Running/Pets, siblings

What challenged you today?

There’s nothing like seeing kids challenge themselves. Today the stakes were raised when our boys used the Badminton net as a hurdle. After a lot of persistence, laughs and falls, they raised the net and crushed it!Screen Shot 2020-03-28 at 9.03.31 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-03-28 at 9.05.34 PM.png

What challenged you today? Other than the obvious. workout of the day:

  1. Go for a walk…30 minutes.
  2. Take 5 deep breathes…inhale for 5 seconds through your nose and 5 seconds out of your mouth, 5 times.
  3. Call a friend.

Spiritual Workout: Celebrate Mass online.

Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness, Parenting/Running/Pets, siblings

Boredom or Solace?

#24 Lenten Reflections


In a lot of the stories I’ve shared in this space, there is typically one common denominator. TIME. More of it. More for family, health, vacations, gardening, reading, playing games, walking dogs, organizing, donating…well…now it’s here.

In fact, tonight at dinner I heard everyone say grace in unison. Five voices. Together. I’m not sure if God caught the words as there is a constant sprint to the word Amen, but nonetheless, we were all in the same place at the same time. And we have been for the last 12 days. Happy, stressed, bored, rested, lonely, alone, crowded, worried…a multitude of feelings.

This newfound time harkened back to a post I wrote regarding the chasm that lives between two heightened feelings boredom and solace…

#24: 40 days of raw reflections during the Lenten Season

I often look around our home and see the jobs others don’t. The cobwebs housing a spider “that really is going to catch the mosquitos and flies that sneak in!” Or the towels that just never make it on the hooks, the windows that are riddled with dog nose kisses, and the baseboards I spitefully glare at while I secretly decide moving to a new home would be easier than cleaning them. It’s times like these when I know seemingly mundane jobs need to be done, and I just have to delve into the task. But why go it alone, when many hands make light work? It’s all about recruitment.

There is one specific word beckoning me to pass my children a mop and the bright blue toilet cleaner…or vinegar for those who steer away from toxicity.


Said alone, it’s just one syllable that doesn’t amount to much, but when you accompany it with:

“I-I-I-I-I-I’M” (said in a whiny tone held approximately 3 seconds or more) and then BOOOORRRRED! It takes on a completely new meaning.

Where exactly does “bored” sit on life’s balance beam? Is it fighting for space next to lackadaisical and uncreative, or is it teetering on the edge with solace and quiet? It’s really our call.

Nowadays at the onset of boredom, we plop ourselves in front of a screen and detach ourselves from the emotion altogether. This escape from the now builds an emotional chain link fence in front of solace and deprives us of confronting the quiet. The act of being alone and the feelings that accompany it can be uncomfortable at first for some, or always for others.

We clamor to fill the boredom void, much like the panic and announcement of “awkward silence” when quiet wiggles its way into a conversation. Why not embrace the quiet, focus on our breathing, meditate, or pray? Life so rarely gives us the gift of calm. So when it does, much like not waking the baby or poking the bear, don’t disturb the solace. Embrace it.

Dig Deep: Meditate in a quiet space.

Lenten Challenge: Pray for the sick.