Saturday, January 25, 2014


Discover. Play. Build.

Monday night I went to a leadership meeting for Young Life. Young Life is a Christian organization that was super important to me when I was in high school. I volunteered for them all through college and for almost ten years after I graduated. Wyld Life, the middle school version of Young Life, is active at my school and I've been approached about volunteering again. I've been really hesitant, though, mostly because the average age of leaders is about 25, and I'm well, ummm, I'm a little older than that. I've been meeting with the area director and finally decided to take the plunge. I was surprised at how nervous I felt about going to the meeting. At the meeting, three leaders shared their life stories. I was struck, as always, by the power story has to bring people together.

I finished ONE THOUSAND GIFTS this week. A pretty amazing book, one of those that I need to read about ten times before I really understand it. I'm going to start all over again in the next few days.

And along that same theme, I found a new-to-me poet that I love this week.

"Learning to Say Thank You"

All day I try to say nothing but thank you,
breathe the syllables in and out with every step I
take through the rooms of my house and outside into
a profusion of shaggy-headed dandelions in the garden
where the tulips’ black stamens shake in their crimson cups.

I am saying thank you, yes, to this burgeoning spring
and to the cold wind of its changes. Gratitude comes easy
after a hot shower, when my loosened muscles work,
when eyes and mind begin to clear and even unruly
hair combs into place.

Dialogue with the invisible can go on every minute,
and with surprising gaiety I am saying thank you as I
remember who I am, a woman learning to praise
something as small as dandelion petals floating on the
steaming surface of this bowl of vegetable soup,
my happy, savoring tongue.

Jeanne Lohman

A couple of terrific articles I read this week:
New York Times article, "Reading Books Is Fundamental" by Charles Blow.
A Nerdy Book Club Post, "Top Ten Things Picture Books Taught Me." Thanks, Beth Shaum!

Finally, lunch today with a dear, dear friend.
Fajitas and rich conversation and fellowship.
Nothing better.


Linda B said...

I hope working with that group will go well, Carol! And thanks for the poet sharing again. She is really wonderful, isn't she? Glad it sounds like a very good week! I hope we can at least have a Starbucks in a couple of weeks!

Ramona said...

Love meeting a new poet. Thank you! One Thousand Gifts is on my nightstand, first recommended to me by fellow blogger, Nanc. I think it's time to read it. Wish I could join you and Linda at Starbucks. Happy weekend!

Christy Rush-Levine said...

Your post is like a comforting soup. Lots of tasty items mixed together. Good for you for taking the leap into leadership!

Jaana said...

I just ordered the book! I have read so much about it and read people's thoughts I believe it is time for me to read it as well. Just might discover something new. I will also be saving the poem. It just might need to be posted somewhere at home.

Tara said...

So much to relish and celebrate, Carol. I love the story you shared about joining the youth leadership team - hooray for you. And thanks for the poet and the links. Blow's article was excellent - it validates what we teachers do.

Nanc said...

I'm so glad that you went to Young Life. Campus life was really important to me when I was growing up also...and you aren't too old. I loved One Thousand Gifts...her journey...amazing. Are you recording your thanks? I'm trying. Interesting that some of my friends loved the book and some didn't. It was so thought provoking. xo

Becky Shillington said...

I love TAKE JOY, Carol--it is definitely a very special book. And the poem you shared is lovely, as well! = )