Little Girl Hugging

I’m out and about, and a little girl runs up to my daughter and wraps herself around one leg. She’s hugging that leg with all her might.

The little girl finally looks up at my daughter  for what I assume will become that moment of horror when she realizes she’s hugging the leg of a complete stranger. But instead, the little girl keeps hugging and then goes on her merry way back to her mother. The mother apologizes and says, “She’s a hugger!”

I watch the little girl. She’s found another leg to hug and then another. It’s this unspoken language of profound love and belonging. It’s a gesture we all feel in our hearts but rarely act upon: I’m here! You’re here! I’m holding onto you! Hello, you!



Thinking About and Praying the Names of God

This morning, our staff team with Cru talked about and prayed to God according to His various names. We looked at three resources to remind us:

The Names of God:

The Names and Titles of Jesus:

The Names and Roles of the Holy Spirit:

We can enjoy thinking about the names of the Lord and praising Him today.


My Plumcot Orchard is Coming Along

I really have no idea what I’m doing, but it’s official: I’m building my plum, apricot, and plumcot orchard. My little plumcot tree I grew from seed and planted last spring did indeed survive the winter. I pruned it yesterday, and here it is! The two different kinds of plum trees (I also grew these from seed) will go into the garden next month. In 2-4 years, I’ll see real fruit!


It’s fun to say “I’m working on my plum orchard.” It’s like something a character in a novel would say. It’s also fun to consider living a life of long-term investment. It’s good for the soul to wait a few years to reap the rewards of your work.

I’m excited to see if this tree will blossom. I’m excited to see if my orchard of three plum trees will become something grand and expansive. Someday soon, I’ll sit under the shade of the trees I planted myself.


In Search of Nests

I love finding bird nests in the springtime. It makes walking every day that much more fun. While I don’t think it’s a good idea to disturb a nest or bother the mother bird, if I come upon a nest that’s easy to view (and if there’s no bird in sight), I can snap a photo of beautiful eggs. There’s something so stunning and enchanting about eggs in their cozy little nests.

I loved this article from the Pittsburgh Gazette about searching for bird nests.

We read this:

[When] a bird chooses to nest near you, then it will easily tolerate your normal activities. You won’t need to stop using your porch just because the robin has built a nest under the eaves or the Carolina wren has made its nest in your flower basket. Those birds have been watching you the whole time, they know your routines, and they don’t consider you to be a potential predator.

A fun way to attract birds at this time of year is with a supply of nesting material, such as pet hair or five- or six-inch-long strands of string and colored yarn. The strings can simply be hung over a thin branch or even a clothesline; the fur can be placed inside a mesh bag or wire cage like those you may have used in winter to hold suet cakes. Of course, it is always a good idea to put up more bird houses, too.

I’m off to supply some nesting material for the birds!


Something Simple: Pour Out Your Heart

This morning I read this in Psalm 62:8:

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. 

I think of the simplicity of trusting in God at all times, of telling Him everything, and of taking refuge in Him—at all times. All times!

I think of David’s circumstances and what he must have poured out from his heart to the Lord. I know I would complain, worry, and live in fear. But when I’m trusting in God, I can pour out my heart differently. Instead of complaining, I can ask for what I need. Instead of worrying, I can ask for what I need. Instead of living in fear, I can ask for what I need.

I love the “all times” idea. David doesn’t say to go to God only in suffering or only in prosperity. He doesn’t tell us to go to God at only important life moments. Instead, we go to God at “all times.” All times means we trust Him for power, wisdom, joy, and peace while we are emptying the dishwasher, grocery shopping, or cooking dinner. We pour out our hearts while driving down the road, while going about our work, and while sitting there in a boring meeting.

No matter what’s happening, we think of trusting, pouring out, and taking refuge today.


Remember Hydration

A nurse tells me today how hydration makes all the difference when you receive a vaccine. We talk about electrolytes. We talk about drinking more than you think you need. Just keep drinking water and electrolyte replacement beverages. You’ll feel so much better. 

I find it fascinating how we have to remind ourselves to drink water. We treat it like a chore. We don’t naturally want to do it. I think if we committed to drinking water every time we checked our phone, we’d all be fine in terms of hydration.


Pause and Listen

I’m learning to talk less. Surprise! If you remember this gem of an essay ( about my excessive talking, you’ll know that learning to listen more stands as perhaps one my greatest challenges.

If you’re also struggling in this area, here’s a simple skill to try: We can wait 3 seconds before we jump in to share our thoughts in a conversation. Let the other person completely finish talking.