Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Where I've Been & Where to Find Me (the Podcast List!)



I knew I was in trouble when I went to switch out the mugs on my beloved rack last month only to realize I had never even put the summer mugs out.  There I was, in late September, with May's mugs staring forlornly down at me. It pained me to think of the ice cream cone mug languishing unused in the drawer all summer long. (I can't even speak right now of the whale mug.)

I've grown used to letting an odd month pass me by now and then, but I had never missed an entire season.

It's November now, and I only vaguely remember October. It rushed past me in a blur of book launch and mini van miles.

I'm laughing about it on the outside, but the deep-down truth is that it bothers me a little. I don't want to play at life this way. I don't judge a fast pace and I relish my very full, quasi-chaotic life, but something needs to give, and quickly. I have a hunch November is going to be my time to figure some of this out. I'll let you know if I find any trap doors that help me along the way.

In the meantime, I did embark on an 11-day road trip last month. Eleven days! I think it's the longest I've ever been away from home. The best news ever is that my family was with me for most of it. I found myself missing my bed, my neighbors, and my broom (sweeping my floor is a vital part of my daily sanity) but I never got homesick.

Eleven days, one carry-on bag, and nine separate lodgings = A LOT. But it was fun to break free from the routine a bit.When I finally made it home after a cancelled flight (my signature travel move) and an extra night in yet another hotel room, Ruby's thumb was broken but the leaves were at their peak.

I told my kids I was never leaving again.

(They didn't believe me either.)

 First official stop: The Nest Fest!
Charlotte, NC

This wasn't my first time at Nester's house, but it was my first time at her annual festival. It was so much fun catching up with old pals (these are the authors who were there signing books) and it was super special to to be able to introduce Cory and the kids to many of the women who I consider my internet colleagues.

Silas spent his time marveling at Nester's decor (the kid has an eye) and in particular, her vast array of hand soaps. He also believed for the entire first evening that I was the literal star of the show. He believed in his 10-year old heart that the lavish cheese boards, the mini bar, the live band, the throngs of people, were all there just to see me, "because they love your book." Ha! Life hack - take the kids with you, forever and ever, amen.


A few more highlights...

I finally met my Voxer pal Lisa Whittle for the first time! I felt weirdly nonchalant when we first said hello...I think I forgot we hadn't met before. Behold, the power of the internet! It's a beautiful thing. Also, Lisa and I are both Enneagram 8's so we understand each other in a special way.

I lumber over the magnificent Bri by approximately eighteen feet, so when we went to take this picture I hunched way down. But then she hunched with me, which sort of defeated the purpose. Naturally, we cracked up and I adore this outtake.

(Can we talk about why my "crack up" face is the actual picture of straight-up lunacy and Bri's is just completely adorable and celebrity-level? GET SOME CONTROL, SHANNAN!)


I LOVED meeting the women who showed up to say hello and grab The Ministry of Ordinary Places. Thank you!!!

I went to high school with Natalie. We were in Future Homemaker's of America together!
(lololol)

When Nest Fest was all said and done, I drove to Greensboro with my dear pal, Emily Freeman. We ate Wendy's french fries and got (most of) our work talk out of the way.

We went to church with them the next day* and our families finally got to meet. The kids played an elaborate outdoor hide-and-seek game involving our vehicles (we didn't ask) while the adults stayed inside and talked about church and the Enneagram. (Adulting! It's sort of the best, except for bills and chores.)

*GUYS. After church a woman came up and introduced herself to me, saying her family had just moved to NC after reading Falling Free. They had been struggling to settle in and find a church home and this was their first time visiting Emily's church, which they instantly loved. She was out-of-her-mind confused when I walked in and sat down right in front of her. Our jaws were all on the floor by the end of her story, the very best kind of weird and awesome that we should just know to expect from God by now. 





From Greensboro, NC we headed over to Franklin and Nashville, TN, where we ate up ALL of the biscuits/cheeseburgers/hot chicken.

I also recorded something for Q Commons!

I was thrilled to be asked to talk about their theme - The Power of We. But y'all (I'm allowed to say that now because I was just in the South) talking for only 9 minutes is NO JOKE for a big mouth like me. 

I learned a ton. A ton! I'm so grateful to have been invited to be part of it.

As we were walking out the door for dinner Calvin said, "We all look nice. We should take a selfie!"

When the slightly-emo 13-year old asks for a family selfie, you stop what you're doing and oblige. But y'all (omw, I'm practically half southern!) we need help.



The next day, my fam drove home, but not before stopping at a local Tennessee Walmart for Silas to buy a souvenir. 😂

I had met my publishing team for tacos and was then picked up on a side street by my sweet friend of nearly ten years, Becky.

This is her view every day and I didn't hate it.

And...she has one of my absolute favorite decorating styles - the perfect blend of white space, color, and texture. It's cozy and collected and the woman KNOWS the importance of quirky lighting. (You can scroll through more photos over on my Instagram page.)

She fed me well, tucked me in on the couch for a chick flick, and did my laundry, all while we crammed as much catching-up as we could into 15 hours.

I didn't want to leave.


From there, I hitched a ride to the Evolving Faith conference with my brand new friend, Elizabeth Baker, and her sweet mom. They welcomed me into their rental car as a complete stranger and we rode together for six hours.

Funny how eating lunch together at Cracker Barrel can bond people for life. ;)

I will never get over the kindness of the internet or the value of taking risks and listening to new perspectives. Never! I didn't get a single photo of us together, which I regret. I blame it on the fact that I had been traveling for nine days straight at that point, and spent half of the drive dozing in the back seat, probably with mouth hanging open.

(By the way, Elizabeth has written some scorching stuff over at HuffPo. She's a talented writer with a powerful story, which is to say, she is a force.)


The ladies dropped me off at an AirBnB in Black Mountain NC and I risked my very life by showering in a stranger's house under the cover of night. (I am not a very fearful person in general, but why does showering seem like the most treacherous activity known to man? What childhood movie scarred me for life? I rarely lock the door at home but I dead-bolt it when I'm about to shower.

Anyway, on a scale from 1-10, the rental house was "No Exterior Lighting and A Gift Basket Filled with Pork Rinds and Cotton Candy."

Which is to say...it was a bit like a clown house at the fair, confusing and slightly terrifying, but mostly fun!

I stayed with my dear pals, Becca and Sarah. Over the next day or two, we heard from interesting women (and a few men) about why we shouldn't be scared when the bones of our faith start creaking a bit. There's so much more I could say about that, but this post is already 12 times longer than I anticipated.

In summary - I burned up over a third of October, but my heart stayed warm for every bit of it.And, as always, I'm thrilled to be home.

Last thing - I have recorded so many podcasts over the past two months so I thought I'd round them up right here. I'll try to update this list as I continue to make the rounds.

Each one of these conversations has been a gift and I'm not even surprised anymore by the way each conversation takes a unique turn. (On Sarah Bragg's episode that drops today, we accidentally spent several minutes talking about our heartfelt affection for chicken thighs. (shrugs))

Have a listen! Let me know which podcasts spoke to you. If you're willing, share it with a friend or online. The Ministry of Ordinary Places is finding its place in a world that's hungry to connect and neighbor and really see God's goodness because you guys y'all are talking about it.

There aren't enough thank you's in Goshen, Indiana!

Here we go! In no discernible order...


Going Scared with Jessica Honegger

Pairadocs with Dr. Jimmy Myers and Dr. Joshua Myers

Mom Struggling Well with Emily Thomas
 
Lighten Up Melanie Dale

Mama Bear Dares with Tesi and Leslie

Not Terrible with Jess Hooker and Mary Graham

Uniquely Woman with Lisa Hensley

That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs

Rising Stories with Corine Sandifer

For the Love with Jen Hatmaker

Cultivating Lovely with MacKenzie Koppa

Wonderfully Made with Rachel Brown

5 Word Prayers with Lisa Whittle

By Design with Lyndsye Feldman and Dannette Gora 

Front Porch with the Fitzes

Fierce & Lovely with Beth Bruno

Charisma Connection

The Next Right Thing with Emily P. Freeman

Facebook Live interview with Sarah Quezada (please note how I messed up the intro by taking a photo, not realizing we were already life. Profesh!)

Surviving Sarah with Sarah Bragg

Nestled with April Nicholson and Bayleigh Malone 

Nourish with Kim Bakaev


Coming soon:
Collared Chicks with Rev. Monica Reynolds

Open Door Sisterhood with Krista Gilbert and Alexandra Kuykendall

Changing the Conversation with Mocha Club
 
You're Invited with Tatum, Ashlee, Tiffany, and Whitney

Walk the Walk with Hayley Morgan
 
Honestly Adoption with Mike and Kristin Berry

(I've done my level best to link all of them. If I missed something, apologies! Please email me and let me know and I'll fix it!)

Blog Posts:

Glorious Table - Tacos & Tea (an excerpt)

Jerusalem Greer - Just Live
"I can get on board for for the Ministry of Ordinary Places and ordinary life – on the farm, in our tiny town, in our thriving church, in the life as a band mom, and morphing jobs, in feeding of the animals,  and the painting of rooms, and the fixing of the unsexy air conditioners, and the making of lunches. Over and over again."

Emily P. Freeman - The Ministry of Ordinary Places
"I have a hunch that if Shannan was a stranger to me, maybe you would trust me more when I tell you how much I loved this book. This is the right book for this moment in time and I simply cannot get over it. I either laughed or cried on almost every page. We need these lyrical, prophetic words now more than ever before."

Patheos - Let's Stop Loving on the Least of These (an excerpt)

Ann Voskamp - What We Can Offer to a World Crying Out (and It's Not What You Think) (an excerpt)

Ann Voskamp - How to Make Peace with Daily Bread (an excerpt)


XO,
Shannan


Friday, October 19, 2018

The Cure for a Big Day

A little over two years ago I woke up one September morning knowing it was the day Falling Free would, well, free-fall into the world. The moment felt big and I was sufficiently keyed up,strung like a live-wire, rattling with possibility. What was about to happen? What if people hated it? Almost scarier, but definitively better, what if a lot of people really loved it? A small part of me thought the world might change. Irrevocably. I had never expected more from a Tuesday.

My friend Lisa-Jo had wisely counseled me to not spend the day at home alone, refreshing my Amazon listing. We decided Cory would take the day off and spend it with me, his shivering (actual,) unshakable (LOL,) freshly-minted author wife. It was going to be so much fun!

I was crying before I even made it out of bed.

The internet was awake and good news was coming at me from corners far and farther. But I swept the one crumb of minimally-bad news into my palm. The day ahead was going to be more complicated than I had planned. And it probably wasn't going to change my life.

We went to the beach, searched for seaglass. I ate a steak salad under a striped patio umbrella.
And yeah, I checked my phone a thousand times.

I pretended to be happy, and at times, I was. It was surreal. I was lucky.
But we drove home and I fell into bed, away from my feelings.
Surprise, surprise, life moved on.


Two years and one month later, it was time to do it again, releasing The Ministry of Ordinary Places like a songbird from my hands.

This time, I knew things.

I knew my life wouldn't change, not really.
I knew I wouldn't shoot to the moon. There wasn't even a slim possibility that I was the next so-and-so, or that sales would effectively break Amazon.

(I didn't really think this last time either, but, you know, that one percent chance can make more racket than you might imagine.)

I also knew people wouldn't boo me off the stage en masse.

I knew some would love it, and some wouldn't. (The ones who wouldn't didn't deserve the megaphone any more than the ones who would.)

I knew, really knew, I would still be me. A hopeful skeptic. A sleepy night-owl. A wife. A mom. A neighbor. This would still be my home. I would still be loved exactly as I had been loved on Monday.

It was the best news imaginable, so I planned accordingly.




I didn't walk anyone to school like I had the last time. The routine has shifted, at least until winter when hopefully, for the first time in my life, the gut-punching air might work in my favor. For now, Silas rides his bike to school with a buddy. Not a single morning has passed when he hasn't said, "I'm sorry, Mama. I don't want to hurt your feelings, but can I ride my bike with Patrick today?"

Things change.
They change and they change.

It doesn't have to hurt our feelings and it doesn't even need to make us sad. The question is, can we move with the tide without being pulled under?

I laced up my New Balance tennis shoes, grabbed the camera, and went walking.






When life feels big, it's more important than ever to get small.

When the world feels wide and I'm here somewhere in the middle of it, vibrating from the force of the push and the pull, the only thing left to do is look up at the sky, down at the ground, into the corners of my one regular life, and out into the streets that claim me.

I spent a year writing a book about how my neighborhood has shown me God's goodness. I had read my own words over and over.

Now, as always, I get to live them, breathe them, cut a path straight through them.

God is good inside the pages, but he's so much better from my street-side view.







I planned to make myself presentable, but that didn't work out and my friend Holly planned to meet me for breakfast at the quaint French bakery in town. Neither plan worked out.

Instead, I walked myself to town with bad hair and a content heart. I crossed the busiest street in town as the big-rigs blew me sideways. Clash and rush, people making their way. The land of the living.

I listened. I watched. 

Gasoline, biscuits and eggs, the exquisite perfume of fallen leaves - the best death will ever smell. I took it all in. I served root beer floats to 3rd and 4th graders up the street at the elementary school, scoring a mid-day hug from Silas. I washed up the dishes, talked to neighbors, tried to will myself to care about dinnertime. I drove my budding concert violinist to rehearsal.






Flowers arrived at the door.

I scanned Amazon. (Again.)

And I smiled.

The book had made its way, and no, it won't be for everyone. But for the ones I wrote it for - for you - it will be good. It will mean something. It will matter. I know this because I keep on living it. This is my ordinary place, and God is so good here. What's true for me is simply true, as long as we're willing to put our shoes on and keep watch. This version of the story is told from my streets, but it belongs to all of us.





Later that night Cory and I met a couple of friends in town. They teased me about being a big-shot, the next Oprah! popping corks or tags or whatever it is people start popping once they've made it. We rolled our eyes and laughed, but the questions were worth considering. And the answers were easy.

This is my home. I'm obsessed with it.

Until I'm made to go, I will stay.
I will love it with everything I've got.

I'll keep letting God shape me through these blocks, these trees, the school, the diner, the mopeds barely making it up the street. I'll notice God in the faces around me. I'll remember I don't belong to myself. I'll keep learning to yield.

This is the ministry of my ordinary place here on 5th Street.
It's not shiny but it sure is mine.
"What I know now is that sometimes the best thing we can do for the world we're in is let our roots keep growing wit no regard to the climate around us. We sleep. We work. We bloom. We light up the world." - The Ministry of Ordinary Places


Click here to grab your copy of The Ministry of Ordinary Places: Waking Up to God's Goodness Around You.



{Cory and our oldest son, Robert. Our story wouldn't be right without his mixed in.}


{I promise, Ruby was somewhere around here, too. I'm just not sure where, and I have no proof!}



Friday, October 5, 2018

The Spoons and Forks of an Abundant Life




I was sitting at the kitchen table working one afternoon when a commotion tore through the quiet. Two frustrated parents walked down the sidewalk, trying to get where they were going, when one of their little kids suddenly realized, with alarming urgency, that he indeed did have to go potty. It couldn’t possibly have escaped my attention.

Hard at work writing my first book, Falling Free, the process was systematically stripping me of everything I thought I knew about writing. On top of that slight speedbump, I also lacked a solid grasp on the very life I was writing about—the shaky peril we seemed to be slumping toward or the perplexing gratification it brought us. All I knew was that I was hungry to get to know the people near me, and for an introvert with deep mind-my-own-business tendencies, this vast, instinctive departure from my personality was proof of God. So at least there was that.

When the young family passed by, it might as well have been Jesus himself standing with his mouth pressed against the window screen. Hello? Can you hear me? Riddled with self-doubt as always (should I just mind my own business?), I opened the door and invited these perfect strangers into my bathroom, which is to say, into my life. We didn’t trade names or numbers. The whole event felt pretty inconsequential.

Two years later, I was passing the peace with everyone else at church when a woman approached, wrapping me in a hug while I scrambled to figure out who she was and why she seemed to know me. “I’m Heather! We used your bathroom that one time!” She pointed to a blond-haired toddler clutching her leg. “This is Matthew, the baby I was holding that day.”

Just like that, she was back, like so many other Heathers who show up, wander off, and circle around again when we least expect it. We’re still here, right where they left us. They’re boomerangs, bearing the image of God. It always feels excessively lucky, like spotting an elusive yellow cardinal singing from my tree, or discovering a shard of turquoise sea glass the size of my thumb in Lake Michigan’s surf. 

This is the weird way of discipleship.

Eugene Peterson defined discipleship as “a long obedience in the same direction.” Here, discipleship hinges on enduring proximity, worshipping God, serving our community in joy, sticking around for the long haul, and walking together toward a better way. In practice, it’s guaranteed to frustrate, annoy, and inconvenience us. This is sanctification, the wrecking ball and the rebuild. Knowing all this asks of us, do we really want to play a bit role in the discipleship of those near us? Is this slow and hidden work reason enough to endure? And can we possibly begin to see ourselves as among them, modern-day versions of the scrappy, power-grabbing, greedy, disorganized brood of regular men with whom Jesus traveled through life?

White collar, blue collar, no collar at all, there was no rhyme or reason for their thick loyalty to one another. They bickered, shared meals, and probably wore each other’s tunics without asking. If their discipleship was anything like the one playing out around me, they bummed a few bucks and didn’t pay it back. They spaced birthdays and teased too hard. They cried together and pointed each other toward healing and belief. They hugged it out. They doubted and trusted and, at night, they sat around an open fire and laughed their heads off at the events of the day. They rallied together and took turns doling out the patience of Job.

We’re kidding ourselves when we think too formally about our central purpose to reflect God’s glory onto those around us. It is in the spoons and forks of everyday living, in the dinner tables and minivans, the text message confessionals and songs we can’t help but sing out loud together, that we are drawn to the heart of Christ. He is oxygen. Soil. Sun and rain. He surrounds us, and the narrative uniting us  is one in which we constantly take turns pointing. Here he is!

Growing hardy roots into the soil of Fifth Street means accepting that people will come and go, and this is neither my fault nor my concern. We will be right here when they need us, easily found. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed or how much heartbreak has been dealt. I want them to remember the little white house hugging the curb here on an unspectacular street on the wrong side of the tracks. Most of all, I want them to remember their claim on it, drawn in by the magnetic pull of a God who multiplied dregs into abundance, designed the constellations, and will do whatever it takes to heal us. A wider circle family cannot be chosen, not really. It also can’t be abandoned, not really.

Three nights ago, our rowdy crew tromped down the alley in a snowstorm for our Christmas Eve candlelight service. Before I made it into the service, Heather grabbed my arm and stopped me. “Hold on a minute. You gotta see this.” She scrolled through her phone for a few seconds, then turned it toward me. “I just had the best day of my life,” she said, beaming. There on the screen was a photo of her, her husband, and one of her seven kiddos, a two-year-old with his mama’s eyes.

Though custody hasn’t yet been returned to her, she’s doing the work. She’s fighting for their well-being by fighting for her own, clinging to sobriety one day at a time, noticing God’s presence in her tiny rental home, surrounding herself with people willing to lace up their gloves on her behalf. “This is the first time we’ve ever had a picture together with me and his dad sober. I can’t stop looking at it.” Heaven came down and the whole earth was filled with his wonder. Thousands of years later, in the city of Goshen, the manger miracle was reborn. Heather raced off to rehearse with our small church choir, where most of the members are over the age of eighty. I just stood there smiling, glad to be here for the encore.

A thrill of hope.

The weary world rejoices.

~

The above is an excerpt from my brand spankin' new book, The Ministry of Ordinary Places: Waking Up to God's Goodness Around You, which releases on Tuesday, October 9. So soon! 

This book is the personal manifesto from my last few years walking the planet. I wrote about my family (including some EPIC Silas moments!) my neighbors, our church, the jail, and I strangely ended up writing quite a bit about food. (A podcaster recently told me, "When I read your new book it always makes me hungry." Ha!)


If you order the book by October 8th, you can also cash in the freebies, including this swoony artwork by one of my favorite artists, Amanda Evanston. Just plug in your order number here and all of the bonuses (artwork, monthly calendar, discussion guide) are yours! 

You only have a few more days to get the extras. I printed my art on a gigantic canvas, as is my way, but you can print it smaller, use it as your wallpaper on your laptop or phone, or even give it as a Christmas gift. She made this just for us. (Watch her make it, and see the beautiful meaning behind it, in this quick video.) 

 
I'm so excited for these words to find the light of day and I want to thank you all for being with me every step of the way. Every time one of you pre-orders, or tells a friend about the book or my blog, every encouraging word and comment, every prayer you lift up on behalf of my family, every single bit of it means the world to me.

We've built something truly beautiful together here on the internet. We are a wider-circle family. I feel the love and I hope you feel mine coming right back atcha!




Ever yours,
Shannan


PS:

Silas Park, freshly 10


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Life Lived Ordinary


Way back in May, on a lightening-speed trip to Nashville with Cory and Calvin, I stole away for an hour to a little pea-gravel patio with this book, found on a shelf where we were staying. It was the first crack of true-spring, pop-up showers and sun on the bridge of my nose both within the same afternoon. I remember the damp grass, the trees leafed out around me and flowers pushing up through the soil around me.

It had been quite a while since I'd spent time frivolously thumbing through page after page of high-style, high-design homes. Though most images were either outside my personal taste or way outside my budget (or both,) I found myself exhaling. 

Then and there, I decided this would be my summer of freedom. I would take back the days, one leisurely afternoon at a time. I would slice stone fruits and rearrange my furniture for the joy of it. I would remember the parts of me I had forgotten along the way and make no apologies for any of them. I would let my graying hair bleach out in the sun. We would visit the farmer’s market every week, read towering stacks of library books, and ride our bikes everywhere. We would.
 
It was a nice idea that didn’t come close to touching my actual life.

What really happened was far more ordinary. In the scheme of life, my summer wasn’t an empty hour plucked at peak freshness and lingered over with a glass of iced tea. It was long stretches of long days, doing chores, mitigating sibling drama, and forgetting to water the flowers. It was also sleeping in later, staying up later, and shunning most to-do lists. (In this moment, I have no idea what my family ate all summer. I think I remember making BLT’s once, but other than that, they must have sustained themselves on fresh air, rainwater, and snark.)

What I’m trying to say is, it was a terrible, wonderful summer. The best of life tends to fall somewhere in the middle.

In just ten short weeks, my family tumbled through our share of harrowing days. There was a kid hit by a truck on his bike (Calvin, he walked away with only minor injuries but a good bit of anxiety,) a couple of kids fending off the lingering sadness and unanswered questions of adoption, and a kid on the receiving end of a stunning injustice. There was also general work stress, seventeen medical appointments (17!,) boatloads of dramatic “neighbor” minutia, and sassy attitudes (occasionally not mine.) And all the while, Cory and I managed to maintain our summertime tradition of constant gridlock over whether or not to turn on the central air. (I told him more than once, “I have to smoke the kids out of the house!”)

In so many ways, summer did not live up to my ideal. 

And yet, most days I as I stared out at my messy kitchen or my mishmash patio, a wave of gratitude crested over me. 


I was invited on three out-of-country trips, places I have always dreamed of visiting. I watched the trips play out online, a tinge of regret occasionally curling my edges, but my overwhelming thought was that there was nowhere I would rather be than right here, with my family, my neighbors, and every complicated, imperfect person I love most. 

A life rooted to our ordinary place, intentionally present and actively engaged, even on the most boring of days? It matters. Deeply. This is our solution, pals. When the world feels sideways, this is our horizon line.

A friend and neighbor wrote this in an email earlier today, paraphrasing this On Being podcast series, “We could all do something new, even one small thing, to express love and compassion for others. If enough of us do that, our nation can move beyond the goal of tolerating one another to loving one another.” 

August is winding down. My kids are already in their third week of school (so early, I know,) and I’m equal parts melancholy and relieved about falling back into my own routine. 

I'm facing this shifting season like I always do, with a little too much idealism and the understanding that life will just keep having its way. 

Here’s to fresh starts that are actually old beginnings, and the grace to remember just how precious all of this is.

*****


My newest book, The Ministry of Ordinary Places: Waking Up to God's Goodness Around You is now available for pre-order! We've put together a collection of extra-special free gifts for anyone who pre-orders, including a fine art print, a printable calendar featuring photos from my neighborhood, and a book discussion guide. You can also download the first chapter for a sneak peek. 

Pre-orders are tremendously helpful for the success of a book (they help ensure that retailers stock enough and don't run out!) and remember, when you pre-order, you don't pay until the book actually releases (Oct. 9) AND you're guaranteed the lowest price, as book prices fluctuate often online.

I'm so thrilled to share this piece of my heart with you. This book is a deeply personal look at what God continues to do around me right here, in my ordinary place, and about really being with the people near us. The world feels pretty wonky right now, and the problems are way over our heads. But this is where we can start and it matters. 


It thrills me to no end that we're still here, together, journeying through all of the surprises of life. Thank you for sticking with me and supporting me along the way. 

So much love to each of you!