Sunday, June 21, 2015

prayer pause

Outdoor altars adorn many homes along the streets of Italy like beautiful little prayer stations. Faith, hope and love abound, they remind me, on this holy walk of life.
(Positano, summer 2014)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

happy hour

For smiles and fun, I give you the Italian Soda Bar. So refreshing, so festive, so easy-to-assemble. Just add people.
Italian Soda
• fill glass with ice
• add 3 pumps of flavored syrup
• fill with seltzer water
• top with whipped cream

Friday, June 5, 2015

backyard bouquet

Hydrangea + lamb's ear + mint + thyme = Friday morning bouquet

Thursday, June 4, 2015

what's on your heart?

I'm through with how are you? Have started asking this instead: what's on your heart? That's when faces light up, tears fall, words tumble out and things get really real, just the way I like them. This is a great question to ask yourself as well. Even if an answer doesn't materialize on the spot, an unspoken grace will linger.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June joy

June is a flower girl carrying a single peony shyly down the aisle. It is a beautiful bride with sneakers under her flowy gown and a marching band showing up at the reception, booming out the college fight song. It's is a strawberry dropped in a flute of champagne, toasts under the stars and happy tears. It's saying goodbyes, saying hellos and saying let's remember this forever. June is a deep breath, a soft rain, a nest of baby bluebirds. It's al fresco and en plein air, an impressionist painting, a hummingbird cake. June is a time to taste, sip, savor. To fill up on lovely.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

time for sale

Ray Bradbury would've loved this old shop I came across a few weeks ago in a sleepy little town in the North Carolina mountains. He would have written one of his poetical science fiction stories about it - the kind that tells us more about life and ourselves than most great literature. The place was closed, so I couldn't go in and actually buy some time at that time. But my imagination has been kicked up at the idea ever since.

Friday, May 22, 2015

who needs Tahiti?

Twelve of us have gathered for theological reflection for four years in the great tradition known as EfM. The letters stand for Education for Ministry, a theological studies program that began 40 years ago and is today administered through the seminary at The University of the South. The premise is that we are all ministers, our lives being our ministry. Besides the soul friends and an impressive-looking certificate, the most important gift I've received is a sense of intentionality around what I do and the desire to align it to my faith.

My favorite moments each week happened when we created a metaphor for the stories shared and then explored the metaphor around a theological model. An all-time favorite was "Who needs Tahiti," which captured the kind of moment in which it seems life just can't get any better and you don't need a single other thing in the world to feel happy and complete. We had a beautiful brunch last week and my fellow fourth-year graduates and I placed one of these vases at each setting. It was a faith and intention-laced, Tahiti kind of morning that I'll return to again and again in my heart. Just like EfM.    

Sunday, May 17, 2015

sweet wake up call

Suppose fog floated in while you were taking a nap. You wake up and can't see a thing. But you can feel the soft air and smell flowers, hear birds singing and the people you love talking. You might conclude you are in heaven. Which would be a funny mistake. Or would it be a mistake at all?

Friday, May 15, 2015

and on and on

Some days putting pencil to paper or fingers to keyboard feels like such a chore. Writing can be so much about timelines and deadlines and information to pound out. Then somebody you love gives you the prettiest zippered leather pouch, with a bold command to keep at it spelled out in gold letters, and you remember the glorious why of it all. You can't wait to get back to the page.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Irises are such a vivid reminder of Dr. Mac, who grew them next door in yellow, peach and every shade of purple. So when I saw these beautiful blooms Saturday morning along the Greenway, I sure did think of my beloved neighbor. It occurred to me later that maybe it's not one-sided. Maybe he was thinking of me and wanted to make sure I knew.