Living in the weeds and other updates

Living in the weeds and other updates

woman-outside-a-window-staring-into-a-roomThis is just going to be a relatively quick entry – and I apologize for that. I am quite behind with a number of things (hello, unfinished Christmas cards staring me in the face) and, of course, posting here is one of those things.

I won’t attempt to fool you or myself by promising regular entries from here on out; we all know that’s a pie crust promise  – easily made, easily broken.

What I can promise: I am praying for you. Each and every one. You are dear to me – even those of you whom I’ve never met face-to-face and I dare say that’s the majority. Your patience with me as I work out with fear and trembling what I should say – what I am able to say – in this space and your acceptance when I finally get around to actually saying it has done my heart such good over the years. And for that, I am so very grateful.

May I ask a favor? If you think of it, would you please, in turn, pray for me? I could sure use it. Due to a strange mix of circumstances, I’ve been feeling rather low and quite overwhelmed since the end of November/beginning of December, and the usual remedies don’t seem to be working. Thankfully, Christmas was beautiful. For that pocket of grace, I give thanks.

But on balance, things have been hard – so very hard. Unfortuntely, I am no stranger to the vice grip that can be clinical depression, although I am not sure if I’ve ever written about it in much detail before. Whatever the case, I find myself, yet again, researching and attempting and crying and fighting and starting and stopping and trying once more. ‘Tis the human condition overall, is it not? Sometimes, however, even the normal difficulties of daily life are magnified a million times over when one is trudging through the weeds of it all.

What I know to be true is this: my faith in God continues to be the most precious gift I have and will ever possess. Even when things are at their bleakest, I believe that God is here with me, holding my hand and counting my tears and encouraging me forward one step at a time in ways both seen and unseen. I thank you for your prayers. Truly, I do. They are precious to me and mean more than I could express.

In all honesty, I didn’t plan to write this much about my struggles today, but I think I am going to hit the “publish” button anyway, if only so that any of you who struggle with depression, anxiety, loneliness, or any of the accompanying symptoms may be encouraged by knowing you are not alone.

Let me say it again: You are not alone

Also? There is no shame in seeking help, whether via professional counseling, conversation with a trusted friend or priest, or via medication as prescribed by a medical professional. A resourceful friend reminded me of this wonderful book about Catholics and depression, and I whole-heartedly recommend it to you without reservation. If, God forbid, you are struggling in the most difficult of ways, help is available 24/7 via telephone: 1-800-273-8255 or via online chat. You are unique and precious and unrepeatable, and this world needs you. I believe this with all my heart, my friend.

And now, if you’ve hung on thusfar, you will rewarded with the originally intended main topic of this post: Fr. Michael Gaitley is coming! To our state! Next month!


A little bit of history might be in order so as to explain my enthusiasm.

Fr. Gaitley’s books 33 Days to Morning Glory and Consoling the Heart of Jesus had a profound impact on my life, as well as many others’, I’d imagine. Over the past four or five years, I’ve made numerous attempts, via official and unofficial means, to lure invite Fr. Gaitley to Oregon (and even Alabama) with no luck. Thank the good LORD for the persistance of my friend Betsy at St. Cecilia Parish. At her suggestion, we both submitted two separate yet official inquiries to his office last year in an effort to gang up on convince him that the Pacific Northwest is beyond ready to receive the message he stewards. I don’t presume to know the mind of the Holy Spirit, but apparently, he agreed that the time had come. Because Fr. Gaitley is indeed coming. I believe the fruit of this retreat will be manifold for our local church, and I praise God for what He is doing in the world, in our community, in me. Seen and unseen. Weeds and all.

God bless y’all,


Photo credit: Priscilla Westra used with permission via

31 Days of Unexpected Joy: Nature (Day 12)

31 Days of Unexpected Joy: Nature (Day 12)

We are incredibly blessed to live in a gloriously beautiful place, and even if it does eventually rain about 10 months too long out of the year, I sincerely believe we do the beginning of Fall quite nicely. Here are some (amateur! amateur!) shots I took over the past couple of days. I am simply in awe of the grandeur and glory of God’s creation. How could someone see His creation and doubt He exists? #ponderous Enjoy!

Autumn leaves 2015

Autumn leaves again 2015

Fall Sky

OLP path

retreat sun

Spiderweb Fall 2015

Sunset Fall 2015

Note #1: None of the photos has been filtered or retouched in any way.

Note #2: I was both relieved and slightly terrified that I didn’t see the spider that constructed the dew-laden web I caught this morning (second-to-last-pic). Where was it??? #heebeejeebees

Until tomorrow, may God bless y’all!


31 Days of Unexpected Joy: Weather (Day 6)

31 Days of Unexpected Joy: Weather (Day 6)

Happy Tuesday, Friends!

When we lived in the South, things were hot and muggy pretty much 11/12 of the year. One of the things I looked forward to about moving back to the Pacific Northwest was knowing we’d have the seasons again. And yet – what is this? It’s October 6th – we’re nearly two weeks into Fall, y’all, and yet … it’s still warming up to short-sleeve weather around noon. It’s crazy! And beautiful.

retreat sunKolbe on the roadFall Sky

OLP path

So … unseasonably warm weather in Portland, Oregon … you fill me with joy … If only because I know the rain is coming, and I won’t see you again until 2016.

Until tomorrow, God bless y’all!