I’m not prayed-up enough yet.

There’s this apocryphal story from the high school I attended, TCS, wherein our faithful and frightening (maybe just to me–her expectations and deadlines helped me through college, but were so intimidating as a 17-year-old) Senior English teacher, Mrs. Markwood, agreed to a lunchtime meeting with one of our more challenging fellow students…

According to the legend, the student darkened the classroom doorway–Mrs. Markwood’s desk being located in the opposite corner of the room–and our beloved teacher, having not quite caught her breath from the last class, exclaimed, “Oh dear… Wait there a minute–I’m not prayed up enough to meet with you yet.”  Reportedly, she returned to her desk chair, bowed her head for a solid five minutes, and then ushered the student in for their meeting.

I suspect the story was shared later that afternoon as a point of amusement on the student’s part–how could someone be so earnest as to chew up meeting time with prayer time?

Now (doesn’t that always happen when we grow up and look back?), I find myself enlisting Mrs. Markwood’s phrase–I haven’t had the courage to say it to any parishioners yet–but I have started sometimes carving out a few intentional minutes of prayer before meetings which I do not relish attending (and even meetings I *do* relish attending).

In the phrase is the admission that it is not on my own patience and strength and graciousness that I deal with people–only through power, resolve, energy that comes from somewhere else is anyone able to live and behave with patience and compassion and joy.

Prayer is truly one of the most important things I learned from my teachers at Toledo Christian; acknowledging our need for peace beyond what we can white-knuckle for ourselves, and seeking out the source of that energy, peace, patience, and joy.

how to make: berry tea loaf

They can sort of pass for quick bread, but they’re really more like cake–tea loaves are the best.  They’re the perfect thing to enjoy with an afternoon cup of tea.


Without fail, I use this recipe.


Though, this one, full of chocolate, is a major fave, too (From BAKED EXPLORATIONS).

And PUMPKIN BREAD, from a few years ago, on this blog (originally inspired by a Greek teacher of mine from college–he’d make it for us on test days).


It’s one of those simple pleasures.

How I limited screen time by offering my kids unlimited screen time.


tricking myself with this today…

Originally posted on Narrowback Slacker:

As a freelancer who makes her own hours,  I’ve learned a few things about personal momentum. I’m a morning person, and my peak productive time is before 10:00am. If I start my day by sitting at the desk at, say, 5:00am, and digging in on actual work, I’ll keep going all day. If I start the day by, say, cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry or phaffing about on the interwebs, I’m in trouble. And if,  God forbid, I sit on the couch and flip on The Today Show, all bets are off; I’m not moving until bedtime.  I think of it as Newton’s Law of Personal Momentum, for I am an object that will either stay at rest or stay in motion, based on where I am at 5:30 am. 

My kids are the same way. And because they are youth existing in the 20teens, they are drawn like…

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a muse

It’s been a quieter week here than I expected of myself.
Someone said this week that listening to & noticing our habits, our behavior, and taking time to cultivate good ones, reveals & makes up our lives, especially our relationships.

On Wednesday, I went to the mountains & was reminded through journaling, dinner, discussion, and phone call with friends (NC is full of wise people!) that work & life are hard, demanding, good.

Three cloudy days & one rainy day have made this a glorious week in my book.

Let’s cut some slack for ourselves & keep it slow. Back next week.