Where to Start? {A Geneva Recap}

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Where do I start? There is so much to tell between the beginning and the end of this season’s story, but I’ll go ahead and give you the punchline…we arrived safely. There and back again. Better for the journey. And there were more invitations for adventure as we stepped out of customs on our home soil once again.

In our comings and goings after that, on a road trip in late June and in time spent with out-of-town family the first two weeks of July, I’ve imagined probably fifty different ways to tell you about our writing adventures in Geneva and eastern France. But, if I wait to pick the perfect way and perfect time to type it all out just right, the weeks of silence here will turn into months. Continue reading

I Don’t Fly Lightly: How a Stay-at-Home Mom Turns back into a World Traveler

Painting by Leslie Ober

June 2003. It’s the last time customs stamped my passport. Madrid. Tangier. I take my fiance along for quite a ride, then four months later, calm and cheerful, I leave behind my love of nations for the love of my all-American guy.

December 2010. My passport expires in its quiet file folder…no fanfare.

February 2013. About to bring my third baby into the world, I have nestled myself quite deep into a life of home and family. Yet, as I shared here, for someone like me who has logged all these miles in the memory bank and had her passport stamped in a dozen faraway places, the seat of the rocking chair can sometimes feel so small. Continue reading

The Soldier and the Seed

This May has been more busy than the one I wrote about below. I’ve attended baby showers, entertained a whole host of job and ministry possibilities and helped my husband prep for interviews, driven out of town to share a talk at a women’s retreat, read three books, hot-glued a polar bear habitat for my son’s school project, written an article for the High Calling, dreamed up an easy breezy summer session for The Story Circle (I need it!), taken a day trip to the Detroit passport agency to rush renewal for a crazy opportunity that got dropped in our lap (I’ll tell you more about that soon!), stayed overnight with some of our favorite people in southern Indiana and hiked the trails of Brown County together, said farewell to friends moving out of town, celebrated half a dozen birthdays of family and friends, and somehow managed not to spontaneously combust. So, once again, we’re just now getting to the yard work. The piece below, a memorial of my soldier poet grandfather that I wrote two years back, has a lot to say to me now in our current circumstance as my husband and I try to discern what dreams must die so that the most vibrant versions of ourselves can sprout and grow to fruition. I’d love to know how my grandfather’s poem speaks to you. Continue reading

Contemplation, Creativity, and Companions by the Sea

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The first time I opened Gift from the Sea, I was pedaling barefoot on the exercise bike in the basement. It’s the story of this stage of my life, I’m circling my legs around in full stride only to realize I’m a hamster in a wheel. I stopped pedaling as Anne Morrow Lindbergh described my frenzied days in pointed poetic lines written half a century earlier. Continue reading

The Details

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Welcome to those visiting from The High Calling where I’m writing today about thriving through stress. If you like what you see here at Message in a Mason Jar, I’d love for you to join my {free!} email list to stay up on latest posts and other happenings here.

I mentioned in my most recent post that my family has been going through some tough times this spring. One night in late February, I was finishing up the introduction to my Fear:Less theme of the year. The next morning, my husband and I were blindsided with the news that we’d be losing the majority of our annual income. Talk about a reason to fear. Today, with my husband’s permission, I’m sharing the details.

What has been your experience with the stress of job loss? If you haven’t been to The High Calling yet today, please follow me over that way and take part in the conversation in the comments under my article “Discovering Your Inner Genius.”

It was ten in the morning, and he was supposed to be at the office, but the garage door quaked open and his truck rolled in nonetheless. Soon he stood in front of me in his nicest dress shirt, the one he had chosen earlier that morning for the boss’ yearly visit to the global sales division. He dropped the briefcase from his shoulder. It fell like an anvil to our hardwoods. Company-wide cutbacks. Every place had been hit, even the minimalist legal department. The boss hadn’t even shown up to tell him face to face. Just like that, we lost the majority of our income and were thrust into the next stage of our lives.

I squeezed tight and held up the man who is normally my backbone. All kinds of worries bounced through his mind. He began to pace like a mathematician working on an impossible equation. [Read more...]

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