Contemplating God

On a recent drive, I finished listening to Love is the Way, Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times by Bishop Michael Curry. It was so comforting and got me thinking, contemplating God, religion, my church upbringing and how do I feel about all that now. I had heard Bishop Curry being interviewed on
Brene Brown’s podcast. His voice, Southern accent, Southern stories and his message of love got me interested in his book. I grew up in the Episcopal church. Even though I don’t attend church anymore, I appreciate growing up in this somewhat liberal church with rituals of communion, incense, and fellowship. 
How do I feel about all that? I appreciate the experience of the Episcopal church, although I can only remember feeling the presence of God there once. It was a Christmas Eve service at our church, St. James in Jackson, MS. My parents and my daughter attended. The church had invited the children’s choir from a local black church to join our children’s choir. As those precious faces looked out and sang Happy Birthday Jesus, I was moved to tears. This coming together of people who are not the same is where I see God. I didn’t feel him at any of my three church weddings, the obligatory Sunday morning services or in the priest office where I was sent as a middle schooler when my family was experiencing trouble. When the priest asked if I had ever masturbated and suggested I try it, I never went back for another session. Who knows where that might have gone. 

Attending a webinar with Kiese Layman and his auntie Rev. Carolyn Coleman, I witnessed love. Reverend Coleman reminds us silence is a great teacher, a great communicator. I have learned that during the past four years more than any other time in my life. She also reminds, until you learn to forgive the unforgivable, you don’t really know how to love. Recognize there are imperfect places in all of us, the grace of God covers us and calls us to still rise. With silence and forgiving myself, I am loving myself and others more and more. Someone recently said to me, “I can forgive you”. Those genuine words have brought a sense of peace and lighter heart. Although neither of us are church goers, God was felt. Ironically, some of those I know who are church goers and followers of Jesus are the ones I feel the most judgement and lack of love from. 

Krista Tippitt, On Being, Remembering Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks – Rabbi Sacks tells us we need to be enlarged by people who are different from us, not threatened. We should see that the welfare of others is linked to our own and is best for our own welfare. He wrote Dignity of Difference which is a radical proposal for reconciling hatreds. I’d like to think we can reconcile civilizations and our closest personal relationship and love will rule. 

How do I feel about all that? God shows up in all of us, in community, in nature, in silence, yes sometimes church. I believe most, if not all religions are trying to get at the same thing: love, and how to live in communion in this world. I believe our relationship with God is private. 

“Follow your dream, speak your truth” Rev. Carolyn Coleman

Art and small business gift buying

It may not be the holidays of large family gatherings this year. Who knows maybe that relieves a lot of stress for some. But we all need connection. I continue to me amazed at the connections and support I have made through writing groups and workshops online. Certainly regular phone calls and short outdoor visits with friends go a long way. Won’t it be amazing though when you can run up and give those friends a hug.
Some of my friends are amazing artists and creators. In the spirit of the holidays and connections consider supporting some these creative spirits, send a gift to that person who could really use a package showing up on their doorstep.


Annie Heron Ceramics – I have watched Annie from the beginning, creating pottery, seeing the absolute joy it brings her, and making a living for herself through her pieces. A cup of coffee or tea is sure to taste better in one of her cups.


LeBrie Rich, PenFelt Studio – be sure to check out some of her “way beyond esty” level felted art work. She has introduced some felting kits for all levels to get you through the winter.


Paul Jean’s Garden – Paula is a fellow Southern gal who made her way west to Montana. She lives in beautiful Paradise, MT. One of her woodland lavendar wreaths would make someone very happy.


Joule Art – Terry McIlrath is the artist behind Joule Art paintings, cards and prints. “Artists are the guardians of the human spirit.”


FildiDesign – cool stuff from badass brain – Joyce offers up cool stickers, apparel and more. She also has started a tile business serving Missoula, MT, JOYceof Tile


Savona’s Bitchin’ bohemian boutique – Clothing, jewelry, accessories and more. I worked for Savona years ago. She was my mentor when I opened my own vintage re-sale store, offering up her business sense and good taste.

Susan Carlson – See the world through Susan’s collage, it’s a treat.

Cry-kerchief – Taj hand embroiders kerchiefs, a place for your tears to land. Custom orders welcome. Find her on instagram.

I always have photo greeting cards available for purchase, my heart puddle is perfect for almost any occassion.


Heart puddle greeting card

Comes with envelope in clear sleeve.

$3.00