2017, brave, dreams, gratitude, grief, hope, Joy, lent, retreats


Today feels new for many reasons –

First of all, yesterday I felt horrible. I ended up in my pajamas all day, which rarely happens. I woke up this morning feeling so much better, plus the sun is shining, which always helps. I’m grateful the sun set yesterday which provided an opportunity for the sun to rise today.

Secondly, the flowers continue to bloom and blossom, which makes every time I step outside feel new. The crocuses are done blooming and have left behind tall, skinny leaves. The daffodils continue to hold strong – they are taller and the yellow add a lovely contrast to all the green. The hyacinth came up too early and didn’t last long. But, I was happy to see them come up at all since they were from a basket I received Valentine’s Day 2016. The hostas and day lilies are providing greenery everywhere! I love the light green that comes with early spring. And finally, my tulips. We came home from vacation to see many of them blooming. They make me happy.

March 25
March 21

And to the final reason today feels new – I’m stepping out into a new and yet familiar venture today. For the first time, I’m co-facilitating a retreat with people I’ve never met. I’ve designed and facilitated retreats since the early 2000s; however, they were for the young people in my youth groups, most of whom I already knew and with whom I had a relationship. This retreat is with women I’ve never met. The best part is I’m co-facilitating with my mom! We’ve never done something like this before – I’m excited to spend time with her, learn from her and grow from this experience.

This is just the first retreat of many – I hope! I’ve decided that I want to pursue this dream of mine – a dream of designing and facilitating retreats for churches, non-profits and businesses; for small groups and large ones; for adults and young people; for women and men. I’ve contacted my mentor from the Retreat Coaches Network and my information will soon be added to the national list. I’ve already made a connection with a church in my state and will design and lead their family retreat later this fall. I even added a new page to my website advertising this new endeavor! (Feedback welcome!) I don’t know where this will lead, but I’m excited for the possibilities, for all the new-ness it brings to my life.

For as much sadness and grief I’ve experienced in the last six months, it feels good to feel good. Grief pops up occasionally and will continue to do so. However, allowing myself to be excited about something new is a real gift. This excitement doesn’t erase the grief – the two of them can be side-by-side supporting and uplifting each other. Together they are helping become stronger, more whole, something altogether new.


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