the quality or fact of being able to grip something firmly; grip.
When I looked up the definition of tenacity, I was surprised. I knew its connotations with perseverance, determination, and the unwillingness to give up. But I was surprised but the formal definition. How does one have a quality of gripping? My hands possess that quality, I suppose, and maybe, so does my heart. I think I was struck, however, by the positive connection to gripping here. It seems like something to strive for, right? You want to grip on tightly to all that is good, and has promise. Doesn’t our society send conflicting messages here too? We are told repeatedly, to let go, have peace, unburden yourself…..loosen that grip on all those things that are not serving you. And then, we turn around and respect and praise someone for having such strength, and the ability to hold onto hope with a gripping force.
I suppose I should back up and explain why I looked up the definition in the first place. Dylan got a full time job offer this week – hallelujah! A full time position, in his industry, moving him in a direction he wants to pursue. He has to commute, and the situation is once again, not perfect. But we move forward joyfully in this answer to prayers. I was going to praise him for his tenacity – determination, perseverance, and the grace to wait for the right position, rather than pounce on anything that could have come his way. It is nice to know God has opened a new door for him, and that we made it through this time. Thank you universe! But I found myself immediately rushing into new what ifs. WHY DO I DO THIS? What if we have to move back to Boulder and I can’t find a new job ( I do not, at this point, want a new job). What if Dylan struggles in this new position? (There are no indicators…. Katie, it’s day two). What if the commute is exhausting and the price of gas gets too high? (likely… but doesn’t God provide as exhibited by what you JUST went through?) I was annoyed at myself and my ability to quickly say, “whew, Thanks God for helping us with this one, but what about all of the other possibilities of things that could potentially be problematic”. Tell me this is human nature, help me remember to, perhaps, loosen my grip.
And so, this week, I also posted a Facebook status about my impending frustration. I posed a simple question, and got some great responses.
My status said this, ” Feeling Frustrated – tell me good things about the world, ready go!”
The responses are beautiful, and I want to share:
  • Community Cat Coordinator – a position for a non-profit here in town that works with feral cats – I hate cats, so this made me laugh and my friend knew   that it would bring a smile to my face.
  • The Elephant and the Dog that are friendsbella-dog-bubbles-elephant-1
  • Easter!
  • 5 Thoughts that will make you instantly happier  – Click on the link for the article
  • Sunshine and a light breeze off of a river
  • Summer – it’s coming
  • A friend reminded me I’m getting married in September
  • Jazz for Cows – this is a thing

  • Shamwow!
  • Double Cheese Doodles – click this link to listen to an excellent story about simple pleasures!

So thank you to my friends who can encourage me, and remind me that the world is good. I am learning, that this beauty thing, it’s a choice. Every day we can turn on the news, talk to friends, and be aware of tough, heavy situations. But too, I can ask for help, and get pleasantly reminded, that gratitude is where my roots are going to thrive. Thank you for helping me remember what it is important to hold onto, what I should be gripping on to with a force greater than myself, and what I can brush off, and let go, and rid myself of to lighten my load.

I had another conversation with a friend this week who is going through some big, exciting, maybe terrifyingly wonderful changes in her life. We were talking about our blogs, and she shared with me her own definition of beauty that she is zoning in on these days. She left me this image, a quote by Keats, and since I love books, and quotes, and tattered pages, I leave  you with this image for the week.

"What the imagination seizes as beauty must be truth"

“What the imagination seizes as beauty must be truth”

What are you gripping on to these days? What are you imagining as beautiful? How are you sharing your joys with others?

Little Luxuries

I’m having a bit of a fearful day today. But, progress has been made, because my little bit of fear seems to be floating on the surface of a lot of good things that are happening. I’m thinking about that paper marbling technique I used to do with my mom when I was little – you put the drops of paint that float on water, watch it swirl around, and dip paper into the pretty patterns to capture something more unique; the pattern is different every time.


When I googled the term “marble painting” most of the hits came back with tips and techniques for pre-schoolers. Channel my inner child. Ok. I’ll take the term and turn it into an extended metaphor. My favorite exercise. In my life right now there seems to be quite a bit swirling around. If I’m creating a marble painting of myself I think these are the things that I would be dropping onto that watery surface.

Drop one – Wedding planning is a beast – no wonder people elope. There are so many decisions to be made, and I’m being taught again and again that my tendency to want to cross things off my list, and do it NOW, is maybe more of a character flaw than an asset.  This is a process, not something to check off my list.  Drop two – my job is pleasant, but days are always full, and I continue to balance a multitude of tasks and responsibilities. I am happy here, though, because I’d rather to have too much to do then sit at a desk twiddling my thumbs. We are preparing for the biggest fundraiser of the year and are pushing relationships and promoting ourselves in good ways. Drop three – I am continuing to trust in God’s promise of provision. This is a huge area of struggle for me – maybe this drop of color would be darker, black or grey, or something not so glamorous because trusting God is hard work. I don’t like spending money, and I don’t like asking for help, and I don’t like admitting imperfection or mess – but here I am doing all of those things as I walk towards this next chapter of my life. So, I imagine that all of those swirling things are in the process of creating some beauty – a unique pattern that reflects this time in my life.

In the meantime, as I reflected back about this week, nothing stood out to me as extremely beautiful. However, there were a few ordinary moments that I am thankful for. Here are my little luxuries of the week:

1) Gumballs



I have a mason jar filled with gum balls on my desk. These little sugary bursts of color bring a lot to the interactions I have during my day. First of all, I love the way they look in that small little mason jar. Their presence is comforting aesthetically; the way those colors interact with each other bring some fun to my workspace. Too, when people come to my desk I offer one up to share – it’s a conversation starter, a reason to smile, and a little breather for those who I work with. Because let’s be honest. Who doesn’t love gum balls?

2) The Mountains


Again, I am a Colorado girl, so forgive the gushing mountain comments – but can you please appreciate that view?? It is really an amazing privilege that I can drive two hours and sit on a little chair and be at the top of a mountain with two pieces of wood strapped to my feet. It was a windy day, but I was in awe by the view at the top of A-Basin where you can see all three ski resorts in the area, and really felt “On Top of The World” – even if it was just for a minute.

3) Comforting Quotes

I surround myself with phrases and quotes and inspirational sayings. These were a few I came across this week that made me feel more grounded, and reminded myself that I am my own biggest critic.

  • “Always remember YOU are NOT what you DO, you are YOU….”
  • “The option to leap into the unknown is always present. We are never at a lack of options. It is courage we sometimes lack…. It is a battle cry before I ride into the siege of possibility, the storm of uncertainty and the dark night of transformation. I write knowing that on the other side, beyond the struggle and the stomach churning fear is everything that every one of us has been waiting for–miraculous Truth, peace, contentment, freedom. Who wants to ride with me?”  – Katrina Nilsson – Gorman
  • Matthew 6:34 – my daily mantra because I’m a pretty good worrier.
  •  Image


What would the drops be that contribute to your swirling beautiful marble painting this week? What little luxuries crossed your path?