You fill up my senses, like a night in a forest.
Like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain.

Like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean.
You fill up my senses, come fill me again.

Come let me love you. Let me give my life to you.
Let me drown in your laughter. . . .

Let me lay down beside you.

Let me always be with you.

Come let me love you; come love me again.

Thank you, John Denver, for writing the words of my heart. Truly one of the most beautiful songs of all time. Also, you should know that sometimes I pretend like you’re still alive. I’m equally fond of imagining you in Heaven, friends with this guy. I’m fairly certain that the two of you would be a great fit.

PS. Lincoln, you were DETERMINED that I get a picture of you doing a handstand in the water. As you can see, your determination almost paid off. . . sooooo cloooooose.
PPS.Thank you for hosting us Grandma and Grandpa Great. We sure love you a million.
PPPS. Rediscovered this tonight as well. Oh my. Tears (and a standing ovation of my heart) every.single.time. So much in this world to be inspired by. Everywhere you look.

PS. Dear Instagram,
Thank you for making the life of the every day blogger infinitely. . .
well, better, in every way.

This morning, I was packing sack lunches with as much satisfaction as I’ve experienced in the entirety of my life (in sincerity).

Tears of gratitude streaked across my face as my soul joyously proclaimed, “What else matters, but lunches?!” (Yes, this description truly necessitated the ridiculousness of language like, “joyously proclaimed,” so get off my back.:))

In that messy moment, not a thing in the world mattered to my heart more than the mouths those lunches would feed. Not a thing.

“Our shadow by day” is a line from a hymn that I love. (Read the lyrics here or listen here: verse 3, where the men bust it out a capella??? Woooooooosh.)

Our shadow by day. . . I never realized the significance, until I moved to the desert. The difference between the shade and the beating heat of the sun, can very literally mean the difference between life and death.

The spiritual parallel is astonishing.

You see, I’ve felt so broken. So disoriented. So utterly small and completely overwhelmed.*

Then, I stepped into the shade. I stepped into His rest. And nothing has been the same.

As I actively seek my Father in Heaven, I find him. As I actively seek that spiritual shade, so to speak, my life is more fulfilling in every way that truly matters (and in most of the ways that don’t).

My brown paper sack at 6 in the morning . . . my shadow by day.

No matter how you slice it, God is there, and He is great.

(Psssst. You matter to Him, SO MUCH, by the way.)

*These feelings are part of the path we walk, those of us “who know.” All of these feelings are lingering symptoms of the journey through grief. That said, they are also symptoms that come as the result of other overwhelming, life shattering, circumstances faced by each of us every single day. Please don’t think that I’m EVER trying to compare battle wounds. Because I never am.

I’m deeply sorry for the lame-O post, but I simply cannot help myself. I just have to tell you!

I am absolutely, completely, unquestionably smitteny by Tide’s Pods.

The smell, the ninja-esque cleaning power, the all-in-one-ness. I die.

Amazing.

If they were a human, I’d have them over for a congratulatory BBQ to celebrate their utter awesomeness.

Buy them.

The end.

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(Seeing as I’m blogging from my phone, there is a high probability that the resolution on the above image is poor. I promise to remedy said problem, should it in fact exist, just as soon as I get home from field trippin’ it with Raleigh-Roo tomorrow at the science museum! Thank Jupiter it’s indoors. It was 107 degrees today! Somebody please remind Arizona that it is, in fact, still MAY. Good gravy!)

Post Edited to Include (at 10:02 pm the next day might I add): WHAT THE HECK PEOPLE! I knew the resolution would be bad, but THAT BAD?? How did none of you send out a search party and TELL ME?! Holy cow patty. Problem (finally) solved, no thanks to YOU. ;)

(And no, I am in no way affiliated with Tide. But thank you, all the same, for questioning the sincerity of my enthusiasm. Mwahahaha.)

When I was a teenager, my mom and I used to head up American Fork Canyon every morning to hike the trail to Timpanogos Cave. Some of the most profound spiritual experiences of my life occurred on the face of that mountain. It was there I learned to listen to my Father in Heaven (I’d always been very good at talking AT Him).

These early morning adventures are among my most treasured memories with my mother. However, one experience stands high above the rest.

I may have a stronger build than Mom, but boy does that woman have endurance. She can go and go and go and go and go. But when you’re 16 years old, you’re supposed to be faster, stronger, and more fit than your old lady mom. I was none of the above. And it was INFURIATING.

On this particular day, I was determined not to finish in her shadow. As we approached the final stretch of the trail, 3 steep switchbacks (by far the steepest of the entire climb), I opened the throttle. I literally sprinted the remaining distance to the top of the mountain.

VICTORY!

But the sense of accomplishment very quickly gave way to absolute terror. I reached for my throat, desperately gasping for air.

None came.

I panicked. I began to feel dizzy. Thankfully, I was coherent enough to lower myself to the ground in order to avoid falling over the edge. The harder I tried to gasp for breath, the more frantic I became. I could not breathe. I was horrified, certain I was going to die. A few other hikers had gathered around, but that detail is foggy. I don’t remember what they said, if anything, or what they did, if anything. I just remember them being there, and I remember sensing their sincere concern for me. The next thing I clearly remember was my mom trotting up over the top of the trail. The moment she saw me, she rushed to my side.

All she did was place her hand on my back.

Immediately, I took a long, deep breath. And another, and another. . .

I was safe. My mom was there.

________________________________________________________________________

For the last year and a half I have been heavily involved in The Making Things Happen Intensive. This is work I believe in. It is rich and fulfilling. It has made me a better person in every way.

And . . . it’s time to say goodbye.

As much as I love this work, the girls (Gina, Lara, Em) and the remarkable alum, the reality is this: God has been knocking on my heart for some time now, and just like I learned during those mornings on the trail, all those years ago, I need to remember to listen.

(Yes, I’m licking my son’s face. Believe me, the punk had it coming.)

As it relates to my professional life, this may be a big, bad business decision (and by “may be” I mean “most certainly is”).

Yes, I am afraid. There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty ahead. But I am absolutely certain that I am being called home, and I am thus absolutely certain that I will NEVER live to regret this decision. . . as difficult as it has been to make.


As much as I hate saying “goodbye” to something I love so very, very much, I am also saying “hello.” I’m saying “hello” to something I love even more.

Clearly the last 5 years haven’t exactly been easy on my family. It’s important to remember that not only did my boys lose their brother, they also lost their uncle. . . who had lived with (or very near) them for the entirety of their lives. Their sense of loss has been tremendous, beyond anything I could have ever imagined would be our reality. They still struggle daily from the remnants of this devastation. . . and though I firmly believe that they will eventually heal, I also believe that they will continue to struggle for some time to come.

They need me. Here. To wrap my arms around them and echo my mother before me.

“You’re safe. Mommy is here.”

All photos in this post courtesy of G.

PS- I love you Lara, Gina and Emily. Your response to all of this has been nothing less than as gracious and supportive as everything I have come to expect from each of you. You are remarkable. Exceptional. The best friends I ever could have dreamed up in my very wildest of imaginings. I’ll always, ALWAYS, be your biggest supporter and your number one fan.

PPS- All, happiest of Mother’s Days, by the way.

Caping, Sedona, AZ. Watching the sunset at the lookout on Airport Road.

I have been thinking.

A lot, actually.

About life. About love. About what really matters.

Not what I’m TOLD matters, but what sincerely matters to me. . . at the very core of who I am.

You know, this image is it. Nothing beyond that, nothing beyond them (all of them, pictured or no) matters a lick.

As I rest there, in THAT reality? I find peace. I find clarity. I find perfect direction. In this world, spinning at a maddening pace, I am still.

I am still.