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A virus story✨We WERE afraid. I admit it. In this house, too many of us are too asthmatic and too familiar with the ways even an ordinary virus can send us to the hospital just like that. Respiratory viruses are the stuff of my nightmares.
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For ten months, we have been so careful. No visiting, no traveling, my youngest doing second grade by my side day after day. It’s true that my first thought when I knew I was sick was, “It’s not fair.”
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 It isn’t fair. For us, it has not been a nightmare, just a long, hard road. For too many others, it has brought great suffering, even death. It isn’t fair. I don’t understand. But in this house, I have seen mercy, and I have seen love, and I know those gifts aren’t given only to me.
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 Day 10. I’m still in bed, but I no longer feel as if I’ll always be here. I am grateful for the Christmas days when we celebrated. And I am—somehow—grateful for these January days of rest.
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From the @prayasyougo_official app today: “It is, as the Irish prayer says, when we are held in the palm of God’s hand, we will find rest.” In my sickness, I have felt myself held, and I have found rest.
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PS We have been very careful for ten months.  I am astonished that the pandemic found us. If you also are motivated to avoid catching this virus or passing it on, I encourage you to be even more careful this winter. 💛
Same sun, new day.
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Remembering hurts but it also heals. Thanks for remembering with me in my Stories today. 💗
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Anniversaries always circle back and find us, but we are not the same. Which is its own kind of grief and also our hope and comfort.
Remembering those not-so-long-ago days of open windows and homegrown flowers ...
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Am I the only one who finds hard things harder to handle in January? I’ve been scrolling through old photos from spring and summer and finding so much comfort. It’s as if I can feel the breeze and the sunshine again (and perhaps not surprisingly there are no mosquitoes or humidity in these memories! Ha!).
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All shall be well, friends. Spring isn’t gone for good. And, the even better news? Spring is something that invites are participation. Even now. Especially now! So plant those good seeds (of every kind).
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#botanicalpickmeup #weareplacemakers #flowersandotherstories #oldhouselove 
#cultivateglory
Some months, and some seasons, are not so easy for me to love. January is like that. But the light in January? ✨ When it shines, it is my favorite. So fresh and bright. If there’s a puddle of light, that’s where you’ll find me (and a houseplant, and the cat).
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PS Check out my stories today for the announcement about our Winter “Tables” in the Black Barn Online. There’s one just for writers!
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#homeisaplaceofwonder #aseasonalyear #thisiswinter #nothingisordinary #blackbarncollective
Epiphany ✨
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“I ask for no other light to live by than the light of the Magi’s star. It isn’t a light to carry us away from our everyday lives. It is a light by which we see them truly. By the light of the star, I can see even this place with new eyes. This is no ordinary house. This is no pile of bricks and mortar. This is an outpost of the kingdom of heaven, and a star has risen overhead.” - from my first book, Roots and Sky
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Always hoping for more snow around here, but this photo is from December. ☺️❄️
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#amaplehurstwinter #rootsandsky #weareplacemakers #thisiswinter #oldhouselove #epiphany #savourtheseasonalshift
Anyone else give themselves pep talks at the start of January? I don’t mean pep talks about reaching goals or doing more, I mean little motivational speeches about how January is still beautiful even when an icy rain is falling.
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My motivational “to-do” list for January:
1. Enjoy my indoor plants 2. Plan next year’s garden 3. Go for walks in the woods 4. Try new soup and stew recipes 5. Read by the fire 6. Light candles every evening 7. Pray for snow ☺️
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What would you add to my January list?
Anyone else feeling a little uncertain stepping into this near year? 2020 was just so ... unexpected. I feel nervous every time I try to look ahead. So, instead, I’m pulling back. I’m rooting myself in the goodness of this day. This moment. This here and now.
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#throughtheseoldwindows #homeisaplaceofwonder #daysofsmallthings #aseasonalyear #nothingisordinary #thisiswinter

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