Church

I am blessed to live where I do. All around me are some of the most beautiful and unique natural places. Places that I find wonder and joy. Places that bring me peace. Places that lift my spirit up.

Places…that I call Church.

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I try to go to Church on a regular basis. It has become a huge part of my life and who I am. And so, you can frequently find me at Church.

It is in Church where all things seem possible. Where the stresses from every day life melt away. Where quiet contemplation and reflection remind me of what is most important in my life and where gratitude replaces fear.

It is here at Church where I feel closest to my heart and to my soul.

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It is here where I feel free. It is here where I find grace.

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And it is here where I lose and find myself.

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Over and over and over again…at Church.

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Forest Roads

Deep in the heart of Vermont lies the Green Mountain National Forest.

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Throughout this forest are dozens of roads. Forest roads. They have no names… Only numbers.

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There is something magical whenever I find myself on one. I never know what I will find or where I will end up. But it is always something that captures my heart and and my soul. There is wonder around every corner.

Lakes, ponds, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, fields, trees, and even wild blueberries.

It is a place to get lost…Completely lost.

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But what you find is miraculous.

You feel a deep sense of awe and reverence for this enchanted place.

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And you notice a connection. Life is like a series of forest roads. You never know quite where they may lead. But along the way you will enjoy the glorious scenery, surprises, adventures, and wonders…

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Around every bend in the road.

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I am on the forest roads of my life. And it is a beautiful journey.

Thrive

I’ve been thinking about the word thrive lately. Especially as the school year winds down and I feel like I’m merely surviving rather than thriving. But I think it’s more than that.

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This idea of thriving has taken root in my mind and in my heart. It is growing. I am realizing that in life we are meant to thrive. We are meant to flourish and truly live.

Yet I have begun to wonder…am I really thriving or just surviving in my life?

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Perhaps it’s because of this journey I have found myself on. A journey of uncovering and discovering who I am and what I want from this life. There is a deeper purpose and meaning that keeps whispering to me and I’m starting to hear what it’s saying. I’ve dived into the depths of my heart and my soul. I’ve healed wounds and grown in countless ways.

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And now there is a longing, a yearning for something more.

So I’ve begun a kind of transformation…and taken a turn down a mysterious and yet exciting path.

I’m not sure where it will lead. And that’s ok. I have faith in where I am heading.

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I do believe this path is where I will find what it is I am yearning for. And along the way, I will learn what it means to thrive. After all, I have seen how nature thrives…

Falling Up

I like to think that instead of falling down…I fall up.

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This life I’m living, this path I am traveling, the things I am learning show me that I am heading into a new beginning, a new place, a new world.

I am uncovering and discovering who I am and what I want.

And as I begin this journey into the unknown I can look back. And I can see that every time I fell down I was really falling upward…moving closer and closer towards the person I truly am.

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Letting down walls and opening windows and allowing life back in and myself out. Fear no longer holds me back.

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I know that falling is an opportunity to rebuild and to grow…up and up and up. Higher than I have ever been before.

With wisdom and resilience at my core, and gratitude and grace in my heart, contentment and serenity are more easily found in my day to day life. I have a solid foundation on which I can continue to build upon. By falling down I now understand how to fall up.

I’m standing on a different sort precipice. And I’m not afraid…to fall.

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Mosaic

I’ve learned a lot this past year. I’ve learned that things break. Like dreams and hopes and hearts.

Here’s the thing…

Things do break, but they come back together. Rearranged and combined in new and beautiful ways.

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Like a mosaic. The pieces are what make the masterpiece. And each piece has it’s place. Each piece part of the rich tapestry that is me, that is you. That is all of us.

I am grateful for the breaking so that I could put my pieces back together. My mosaic heart. Stronger than before. Stronger because of it. Stronger because what holds it together now, is faith and grace and love.

Works of art don’t just happen. It is through the breaking and the healing and the putting back together…

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Until the pieces all fit…and a mosaic masterpiece is born.

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A Year of Grace

This year, my word is grace. It is a word that can mean many things to different people. It means many different things to me…

All things I aspire to be, feel and experience.

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As I think about my life and where my journeys have taken me and where they may lead me, I believe that grace is the perfect word as I begin this new chapter.

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Defining grace isn’t easy though so I looked to others for help…

“Gracefulness has been defined to be the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.” ¬†William Hazlitt

And then I thought about what grace means to me. Fortunately I am surrounded by grace. Nature knows what grace is.

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The smell of the earth after a thunderstorm

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The sound of waves as they kiss the shore

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The quiet hush of snow falling

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The tender flowers blooming in the spring

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The leaves gently rustling in breeze

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The feel of the warm sun upon your face

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The enchantment of discovering magical places

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The reverence for the beauty that is all around us

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Grace is integrity and honor. It is doing the next right thing. It is moving forward and not having regrets. It is the small courageous voice that keeps us going.

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It is growth and learning and the wisdom that comes from sadness and pain. It is surrendering and letting go and turning over. Grace is crying and laughing. It is small moments and small miracles. It is open hearts and open arms.

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It is blessings and gratitude. It is faith and the deep belief that it will all be ok. It is finding serenity and peace. It is hope and optimism and truth. It is the hand of a child and the kindness of a stranger. It is friendship and compassion.

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Grace is light and love

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Most of all, I think grace is the ability to be still, take gentle breaths, and fall in love with life again.

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Here’s to my year of grace.

Holding On

In AA we often talk about how hard it is to sometimes let go. Whether it’s a person we loved. A thing we’ve lost. A place we miss. Or lingering feelings…

We try.

Like the clouds after a thunderstorm has passed…

Like the final remnants of foliage on the trees in late fall…

Like the last bits of ice on a frozen lake…

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Like the buds pushing up through the warming spring soil…

We try.

This trying is at the heart of our recovery. The heart of our healing. And the heart of our growth.

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But it isn’t easy.

So we learn to go through, not around or over or under. But sometimes we turn around and look back. It is the looking back that trips us up. We want to hold on.

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Sometimes we see the past not as it was, but so much prettier and nicer. And we begin to romance our past. We forget so easily what it was really like and we take excursions back there. Entering those bad neighborhoods in our minds that were so harmful and hurtful.

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This is the disease of alcoholism. Putting down the drink is just the first step. Recovery is a life long process. A journey of steps and progress, one day at a time.

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I’ve been visiting bad neighborhoods lately in my mind. But I know the way out today. And while the letting go is harder than the holding on…

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Letting go is about having faith that we will find better neighborhoods.

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Letting go is having the courage to accept change, and the strength to keep moving until the past no longer pulls us back.

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Letting go is walking in the present with gratitude and grace.