Daily Archives: December 28, 2017

A Year of Purpose in Review

It's time to look back on the last year and how my One Word has played out.  For 2017 that word was PURPOSE.

In anticipation, I expected I would approach things with purpose.  That I would more consciously choose what I did and choose things that had a real purpose.  A purpose of value.  That instead of running around putting out fires, which my life has so often been, I would take a breath and choose.  I would ponder, if only for a minute, what was the proper use of my time and energy.  And that did happen.  Some.

But often it played out differently.  I had something I wanted to do or needed to do and tried to find a deeper purpose in it.  I need to go to the library to pick up a book for my daughter.  But what is the greater purpose for this.  My daughter is currently house bound.  I'm going to the library as an act of service.  I am doing something for her that she can't currently do for herself.  There were many instances of that.

Or I tried to give something purpose.  I'm going for a run.  This run is to build my running base.  Or I dedicate these miles to a friend who is struggling.  Things such as this.

But most often it happened in the middle of something I was doing.  I'm on hour three of a Netflix binge.  Why?  What is my purpose for spending so much time this way?  It's an effort to avoid the struggles of my life.  It's an attempt to dull the things I'm feeling that I don't want to feel.  It's a weird way I can feel like I'm accomplishing something, as I check episodes off.  There was way more of this type of analysis than usual.

I'm big on examining my motivation for things.  But this was a bit different.  Looking for a purpose.  And asking myself if my purpose was a healthy one.  Was it good for me?  Did it serve a larger purpose?  What general direction were these choices taking me, and did that lead to my bigger purpose?  To the broader goals, the long-term goals, I have for myself.

I can honestly say I sometimes did well with this and sometimes didn't.  Finding out what my purpose for doing something was sometimes stopped me in my tracks and made me change direction.  Other times not so much.

I think this one will stick with me.  And it leads well into 2018's word.  Coming soon.

Working It Out

So I have an upper respiratory infection that is knocking me for a loop. The big girls have been a big help in draining the washing machine and the freezer and they plan to start undecorating the trees this afternoon.  WE will see how that goes.

WEnt and bought a new washing machine last night with Bob and it wont be delivered until tomorrow.  So that is the way that has to be.

i am going ot go lie back down until lunchtime and my next dose of antibiotics. Hope everyone has a good day.


Doilies and Flickers in the Dark

Our Social Justice Minister, Erin Gingrich, asked me to participate in her service a couple of weeks ago.  Her topic was “Hope Rekindled,” and she’d heard enough of my story to think some version of it might add something “powerful.”

I loved crafting a speech to fit the theme and metaphors we chose—visions of high school speech competitions made me smile as I worked.  Even better was the opportunity to pull out parts of my story that could be told in an uplifting way.  I wasn’t nervous that Sunday, just honored.

The third member of our service team that day, Martha Shen, crocheted a huge doily for Erin some time ago.  She included a poem with her gift that became our service’s central theme.

a single strand

masterfully intertwined

whose beauty is defined

as much by the empty spaces

as by the strand itself.


Here’s my Reflection.  If you’d like to hear Erin’s homily, you can click here.