Top Things I’m Glad I Read:
- Shameless by Nadia Bolz-Weber
- Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
- Love Wins by Rob Bell
- When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
- My Bright Abyss by Christian Wiman
- The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race edited by Jesmyn Ward
- Miracles and Other Reasonable Things by Sarah Bessey
- We Will Feast by Kendall Vanderslice
- You Are Your Own by Jamie Lee Finch
- Know My Name by Chanel Miller
Top Things I’m Glad I Experienced:
Last year this was a pretty exciting list of “firsts.” This year, experiences revolved around perseverance. Continued my graduate training in mental health and spirituality, continued discerning potential eventual ordination in the Episcopal Church, continued learning to take care of myself (mind-body-soul) as well as the people around me. “Love, learn, write, repeat” like the current tagline of my blog says.
So, the main new thing I’m glad I experienced in 2019 is this: I met someone wonderful this year (and his dog), someone who I’ve been happy to call “boyfriend” or, as my egalitarian tendencies prefer, “partner.” Someone who reminds me of sunflowers, art museums, slow Saturday mornings, scrambled eggs, sweet sleepy puppies, books, karaoke, laughter, kindness, curiosity, and God.
I hope to always affirm that singleness can be healthy, happy, and holy — and challenging in its own way. In 2019 I got to learn lots more about how relationships can be that way too, a complex and gracious gift. I am grateful.
From Howard Thurman, “Long Live Life!” in Meditations from the Heart:
During the passing of the twelve months, experiences have come into our lives which revealed certain things about ourselves which we had not suspected. Some new demand was made upon us which caused us to behave in a manner that was stranger to our established pattern of life, and we felt shocked, surprised, enraged, or delighted that such was possible for us. We met someone with whom we built the kind of relationship which opened up to us new worlds of wonder and magic, which were completely closed to us a year ago. It means that we are wiser by far than we were at year’s beginning. The circling series of events upon whose bosom we have been wafted cut away our pretensions, stripping us bare of much beneath which we have hidden even from ourselves; when we saw ourselves revealed, there was born a wisdom about life and its meaning that makes us say with all our hearts, this day, that life is good, not evil. It means that we have been able to watch, as if bewitched, while the illumined finger of God pointed out a path through the surrounding darkness where no path lay; exposed to our surprised gaze a door where we were sure there was only a blank wall; revealed the strong arms and assuring voices of friends when we were sure that in our plight we were alone.