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Hi friend,
Whatcha been up to?
Me?
Oh, gosh. Bunches.
I could tell you about our family visit to Colonial Williamsburg,
or long conversations about life with my other half.
There’s been texts, visits, Facetime and phone calls
with friends & family that have been surprising, needed, soulful;
the routine is always there: the laundry, morning walks with Kylo (read: crazy lab)
and, of course, lots of soccer games.
There’s BOOKS;
oh, how I love words and new, crisp pages to peruse:
Thomas Moore is stretching my mind;
Dani Shapiro is – well – just honest, deep and amazing;
there’s a book called One Thing that is narrowing my focus
and helping me ask questions;
Rilke is beyond me,  but a little poetry each day adds beauty;
and then, that self-care book about anxiety and worry…
did I ever mention I worry? Well, yea;
I’ve started following Jack Black on Instagram
because of Brené Brown’s recommendation
and I’m not sorry I did, because his daily singing adds humor to my day.
I finished a ten-page paper that’s been lingering.
Oh, and there’s this piece I wrote about my spiritual walk:
the struggle, questions and joy I’ve had along the way, which was
chosen and published in a local book of winning writings;
My first official published piece (Yay!), free e-book here.

That’s all the day to day…
but you know me, I really love below the surface.

I’m still thinking about Easter
and the rising of Jesus.
I’m not much further along than my perspective last year,
about empty spaces and the action that follows.
I continue to sit in confusion wondering,
“What does Jesus’ rising mean for me in 2017?”
Am I the only one?
Anyway, if it means I have to carry on
and leave church Easter Sunday forever being happy clappy,
well, I give up! That is so. Not. Me.
But, if His rising means that a new way of living has been established —
a spirited Christlike path
where tears are welcome,
where merciful arms are wrapped around anger,
where forgiveness is extended to all,
where healing is given to anyone willing to receive it,
where community is invited to the table,
where inclusivity reigns,
where peace is sown,
all this,
because of how Christ lived;
and now we are the torch bearers who carry his flame —
well, then, sign me up!

So,
what’s been stirring for you?
No need to tell me about all the running around you are doing with your kids,
or the vacations you’re planning. I’d rather hear about
where your struggle lies and
what helps you to get out of bed in the morning?
where is your passion lit aflame?
As Oprah asks, “What is saving your life right now?”
Friends who listen? Coaching a team? Taking photos? A certain project?

I continue to
dream and scheme,
rest and renew,
ponder and listen.

I haven’t seen my art desk in weeks.
I’m giving myself space.
Dormancy.
I continue to write daily – in journals, in files, in notebooks –
sometimes a lot, sometimes a little.
Sometimes with a pen, sometimes on my computer.
I stand at a crossroads (Jer 6:16).
I’ve been here before,
in a different way.
But, yes, discernment is needed for direction.
Prayers welcome.

An old friend is revisiting me,
a friend I carry within who is telling me
I need to step back from all the doing,
and just “be.”
Be still and know that I am God. (Ps 46:10)
Beside the still waters, He restores my soul. (Ps 23:2)
Still, I rise.
Yes,
it is in this still place,
I am restored,
I am loved,
I find mystique, Spirit and grace who dance together.
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So,
I take smaller steps these days,
one thing at a time.
I give myself permission to step back and receive:
the sunshine,
the honking geese,
the arguing kids,
friends on the back deck,
chilled red wine in a stemless glass.
Ordinary life.

I give you loads of permission to do the same.
Rest. Renew. Be.

Peace and blessings
to you this day.

Go and find your happy.

Love, Ally

P.S. Feel free to comment about where you find your happy!