Sorry folks, it’s been 3 weeks. I’ve been pretty busy, and honestly pretty tired and worn as we head into the dormant season (ecologically-speaking). My soul needs a winter’s rest I think.

a vernal pool just off the main PHJC campus enters its long slumber, waiting for spring warm and rain, when it will come alive again with salamanders and ducks

Lately I’ve been relying on the strength of others to pull me along. I was grateful to hear in church the other week someone say that you don’t need to feel that you can always pray, or sing, or even believe. The Church can continue to pray or sing or believe around and for you, it is still there for you as a presence, even if you aren’t sure about anything. That is what community is for.

After a rough morning, a friend unexpectedly took a few minutes to make a simple bookmark for me, with a word of encouragement. I was reminded of what a special community we have and continue to build:

As long as we have breath, we can find something to be thankful for. As long as we wake up in the morning, we have a day before us. Pictured here are two reasons, for me, to be thankful:

community in the stillness


I’ve been to a couple funerals this year, memorials that came too early. I heard testimonies of community members struggling with being separated from their parents across borders, brothers and sisters dealing with a family member’s drug addiction, working mothers living in cars with their families.

Now, I’ll admit – it’s always rubbed me a little the wrong way when folks are encouraged to think about other people’s problems and use it as a benchmark for all they should be thankful for… and then proceed to just sit in a warm home with a full belly and simply “feel grateful.”

Well, just as long as we don’t stay there. “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). I have often wondered how much of our (my) charity is done “to be seen by men” (Matt. 6:1), which in reality actively prevents us from asking the very hard questions that justice demands.

But before I get on that tangent… I just want to say that I’m grateful for all you out there in internet land, and for this tiny blue orb that continues it’s wild swinging and tilting and pulsing.

a wetland boardwalk near Sturgis, MI