Showing posts from August, 2019

Called to Act with Justice: The beauty of caring for the "least of these"

Then the King will reply to them, "I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me."     - Matthew 25:40 He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.     - Micah 6:8 These are two of my favorite verses from Scripture because they remind me that social justice matters. This is the crux of what I "get" from my faith: an identity as one of God's children who is called to love and serve one another. The beauty of these passages is that you don't have to be a believer to find value in the words. When we extend dignity and kindness to "the least of these" in our community, it makes the human race stronger and more connected. When we seek to act with justice and equality, open ourselves to loving boldly, and walk with humility, we can create peace and joy in our families

Donating Memories: Clothing can bring beauty

Five years ago, I retired on disability from teaching. It was a difficult decision but ultimately the right one. As an educator, I had accumulated a closet full of professional clothes over about ten years. I initially kept them all just in case I would need to wear nice slacks and a blouse someday. Leaving my career was a major change, and I wasn't ready to completely shed that identity. However, one day I finally realized that I wasn't ever going to wear these clothes again, and that was okay. I knew I wanted to donate them, but as with most "someday" projects, I put it off, thinking, I don't have time today . Then a few weeks ago I saw a flyer for an executive clothing drive. It was sponsored by the local university's Career Services and Sigma Nu chapter in partnership with Bozeman Business and Professional Women. If I had been waiting for a sign, this was it. I arranged a Saturday afternoon time with my mom to help me clear out the closet. Sh

Healing Rest: The Beautiful Science of Sleep

Sleep is often something we take for granted... until we can't sleep, and then we wonder how others make it look so easy. Up until four years ago, I was an easy sleeper.   I fell asleep right away and for the most part, stayed asleep all night. I had heard of insomnia and other sleep disorders, but I couldn't imagine the challenges and could conjure little sympathy for those who faced them. Then I began needing nine or ten hours of sleep and sometimes an afternoon nap to get through my days. I still thought I was sleeping okay, but my doctor recognized a potential underlying issue. So, I tried oxygen at night for a while, and when that didn't help, I was scheduled for a sleep study. After a long night of testing,  I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. To treat this disorder, patients either use a CPAP or a BiPAP machine to sleep. This means wearing a mask (with tubing attached) over your nose and mouth. It's not comfortable, flattering, or convenient, but it'

Travel, Live, Explore: Finding beauty on the unknown path

Last fall, I received as a birthday gift from my sister, three cotton shirts. Each one had a different sentiment printed in a whimsical font.  Love the Journey.  Happy Camper.  Travel, Live, Explore. I grinned broadly as I held them up for a picture, and I looked forward to warmer weather so I could wear the short-sleeved tops. I was deeply touched that my sister knew me so well. She understood that not only would I love what the words said, I would act on them. Yesterday was a hot, sunny day and Shawn and I decided to go for a ride in the mountains. One of our favorite things to do when riding is to find trails we haven’t been on before. We call it “making tracks” as we add new lines on our GPS maps. I intentionally wore the shirt that declares Travel, Live, Explore because I wanted to embrace the spirit of those words. It would be a good reminder of how I wanted to frame the experience. -- We were going to Travel by going beyond our daily locations. -- We were