I think it’s the only way we know how to be vulnerable; to do it sideways. — Nadia Bolz-Weber

I don’t know if it’s a winter without snow, a new (old) farmhouse without many window on its front, or just the kind of malaise that settles in when something is being unsettled. But it’s been a hard few days for me of late.

I feel disappointed, disconcerted, anxious.  I want to make big changes, which is my oft-aroused and oft-unrecognized indication that what I really need to do is sink in and settle down.

Yesterday at dinner, I told Philip I wanted to spend my days sewing.  Which is true and also not true.  The way the most true things are.

But this morning I woke determined to do better, which for me means to take life where it is, accept the invitations arrive, open myself up, and let the pain and sunbeams pour out.  (Jesus does want me for a sunbeam after all.)  And after I made this decision to seek joy, I thought of Modern Mrs. Darcy’s post yesterday about what’s saving her life right now and about how I needed to order Barbara Brown Taylor’s Leaving Church, and I thought I should make a list. So here goes:

1. Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber.  I just finished this minutes ago, so I’m still thinking.  But I’m pretty sure her words saved me a little today, especially the part about putting things in neat categories.  I do that all the time.  I need to stop.

2. Sitting by a sunny window.  Given the puppy, I am working downstairs these days, and yesterday, I moved into the dining room, where we have an east-facing window that looks out over the goat yard.  The sunshine helps.

3. Puppy breath. Even though it smells vaguely like skunk to me, Mosey’s breath brings me joy and shifts something into place inside my chest.

4. Where Women Create.  I’ve eyed this magazine over and over and finally splurged on a copy.  It’s reminding me that women do amazing things with their imagination and is fueling that creativity as I think about my office.

5. Philip. Yep, this guy.  Not to be hokey, but he gets it, even when he doesn’t get it at all.  That’s all that matters.

It occurs to me that I should also add paradox to this list because, well, the best things really are mixed up and beautiful and hard, all in one.

So as Modern Mrs. Darcy asks, what’s saving your life right now?