More than Just the Monday Morning Blues

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Woke up feeling…not sure how to describe what it is that I am feeling. Tired? Sick? Depleted? Heartbroken? Anxious?

I look at the grass glistening with dew. The birds are singing. The humidity captures and accentuates the smell of lilacs. The scent is almost suffocating. I don’t recall the lilacs ever smelling that strongly.

How is it that I am surrounded by such peace and beauty and yet I still feel…Tired? Sick? Depleted? Heartbroken? Anxious? (Perhaps I am feeling all of these things?)

Two horrific shootings in our country over the weekend — yet again. Two acts of violence that capture how sick we as a people are. My prayers for those grocery shopping in Buffalo and those attending church in California feel hollow. I am numb. And yet, I need to focus. I have stories to write. I have stories to edit. There are magazine deadlines that cannot be missed.

But it is hard to get to work today. Hard because all that I do today seems trivial and silly compared to the great pain, the endless tears and the broken hearts of those grieving today.

I cannot believe we are living in a world where we risk our lives going to get groceries, going to school, going to church, going to…wherever.

I want to retreat further into the woods. Go off the grid. But that is not the solution to the world’s pain and suffering.

And so I find myself sipping my coffee with tears streaming down my face. I have deadlines to meet. I have stories to write. The world’s love of productivity prods me to get on with my day.

My reply to the world, “Really? Get on on with the day?” Is “getting on with our day” the way we heal a broken world?

When do our hearts ever have a chance to heal anymore?

There seems to be no reprieve from horrific news. And each headline, each senseless death, each act of hate, rips off the tender scab that began forming on our tender hearts.

All I have left inside of me is a tired, broken whisper: Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayers.

May God’s mercy wash over us this day and may our bitter tears flow into deep streams of grace.

My morning run included a stop alongside this little stream. I stood there entranced by the soothing sound and the simple beauty. That’s when I wondered: Would there be less hate and violence in the world if only we allowed ourselves to stop what we are doing long enough to be entranced by God’s beauty all around us?

Old Stone Well Farm

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Lenten Listening and Praying

I am entering into the Lenten wilderness today with some trepidation, sadness and joy. The world is broken. Rev, the cat, is showing signs of decline. A dear friend’s father is in critical condition having suffered a stroke. Writer’s block stresses the already-stressful deadlines on my calendar. The list goes on. Yet amid it all, I hear the birds singing. And don’t laugh, but I know spring will burst with new life soon as last night there was that pungent smell of skunk in the air! The little critters are out and about as the weather begins to warm up ever so slightly.

This Lent is beginning with a strong sense of change on the horizon. I don’t know what that change is, but I’m standing here knowing I need to put just one foot forward in complete faith in God who leads me.

So today I decided to be kind to myself — to be gentle and reevaluate my to-do list. Today I decided to begin this season with a new Lent tradition that centers my spirit and helps me to set my eyes to the hills where the psalmist proclaims our help will come. And I share it with you.

How is your Lenten journey going to begin? Pull up a chair and join me here at the farm.

Blessings!