Year of Learning

If you have followed this blog for any length of time, then you have read of my struggles to be steady and consistent in my writing habits. I can recall nearly a dozen attempts at a weekly features or ongoing series – all ideas geared toward forming a steady rhythm of posts.

The desire to write is seldom the issue. I would enjoy spending hours each day on the task. In addition, the quest for ideas to develop into posts is rarely the struggle. Every day involves a number of thoughts that might prove worthy of further development.

With those two things expressed, I suppose the writing struggle lives in the space between idea and action. Forming thoughts into words involves mental grunt work, even if you love that particular type of grunting. There is the risk that a thought you believed had value turns into a post that isn’t actually worth much at all. There’s a possibility that something important to you elicits no response from readers, silently confirming that you are further out to lunch than you feared.

But writers write all the same.

How to proceed?

LearningAs I considered what the new year might hold for me, I determined that beyond particular resolutions or specific habits, I desire 2015 to be a year of learning. I’m not speaking of a learning that might feel burdensome, accompanied by heavy expectations and heady efforts. Rather I envision a year in which I increasingly open my ears to learn from all the wisdom-sources that surround me: Books, people, stories, experiences, children, music, films, and more. Even simpler, it’s amazing what can be discovered in a stripped-down moment of tuning in to one’s own body or thoughts or emotions.

Forecasting a year of learning, I dare to dream that a few items worth sharing might arise. I would also venture to guess that those gems will be scattered among posts as mundane as a link to a video or song or site that is proven meaningful to me. Whatever the case, perhaps a simple pattern of posting things learned – from the biggest to smallest – along my wandering-and-wondering ways might provide me with a year-long framework on which to hang my blogging habits for the next calendar year.

Without further ado, I proclaim 2015 the “Year of Learning” here at Wandering & Wondering.

End of Year

It’s stunning that this is my first post of the month, but hardly surprising on the other hand. The past six weeks or so have been a blur. Days have been full, nights have been short, and plates have been full. A number of items fell off the edges, and blogging was unfortunately, but unapologetically one of them.

Among the things receiving my attention, that might be worth your attention:

Christmas Wish List: Our church’s annual project was another significant success, raising awareness within our city of those living in poverty and blessing them in practical ways at Christmas time. Volunteers and media and givers — all were wonderful parts of the process!

Advent Blog: Our church’s annual blog efforts rolled into their fifth year this holiday season. Huge thanks to every writer and to all who tuned in to read along. I submitted a few posts there as well just to prove that my writing hadn’t completely dried up.

Beyond those, the month involved first music recitals for our girls, school concerts, Advent assemblies, Christmas Eve service, church hockey, men’s mentoring group, MOPS, along with all the usual Christmas preparations, an unusually full load in conjunction with our approved home residents, a couple rounds of various sicknesses, and a broken finger that continues to mend.

Desire to write? It’s still there.

Will to write? I’m rediscovering it.

May the next year be your best yet, friends! I’ll meet you here as faithfully as I can muster. 🙂

Spring Renewal

SR2014_Logo_Black_LargeLast week’s scheduled blogging got overrun by the final details ahead of our church’s annual weekend event: Spring Renewal. The worship was rich, lessons were profound, and fellowship was sweet. If you were there, you know what I mean. If you weren’t, check out what you missed and leave some slack in April 2015 — details will form over the months ahead.

For tonight, a rest.

Later this week, back on the blogging horse!




The silence on here is likely making me crazier than anyone else. My apologies, my friends, for the lack of posting lately. This silent stretch has been due to a few unusual factors:

1) Our nearly-always-healthy home has been anything but for much of the last month. Colds and flu bugs have cycled twice through our family, and I dare to dream we are nearly done with this new experience!

2) What started with sick children quickly turned into extremely fragmented night times, which led to sleep-deprived parents, which fueled the cycle of the sickness from the little ones to the big ones. Bundled into the short nights is the disruption of my early morning routines. This led to a breakdown in reading habits, exercise habits, and… my normal blogging time.

3) With health returning and nights stabilizing, I am hopeful that my morning routine, with all of its ingredients, can be regained. That means, more steady devotional habits, a healthier body, and more blogs posted!

Thanks for all of you who love me and my family. We hope your new year is off to a wonderful start!

Meandering Mystic

For years, I’ve stumbled across quotes and concepts attributed to “the mystics”. Much of the time, these findings have come like flecks of gold brightening and en-valuing the stream in which they sit.

I confess that this discovery has evolved into a minor obsession with mysticism. In a recent post, I acknowledged that blogging was being bumped backward in my priority list to free up time and energy for larger writing projects. One of those revolves around mysticism.

At one point, I had started a second blog aimed with the intent of focusing all of its content on mysticism. Would you believe maintaining two blogs was more work than maintaining one? So I will now proceed to move those posts over to this site one at a time. Here is the first post, originally written on May 30, 2011, as introduction to soon-to-be-extinct site: Meandering Mystic.


A meandering mystic.


That might describe me.  At the least, it speaks of someone I hope to be.


The word “mysticism” planted itself in my mind years ago.  Each day, I see a few more sprigs of what has been growing ever since.


The term itself can cause confusion; the mere sound of the word sets off connections with “mystery”, translated internally as “weird” or “nutty” or “cuckoo”.


However, at its heart, mysticism speaks of experience with God, of tasting of His presence in a tangible way.  Pressed further, it can even allude to a sensed union of human with Divine.


Perhaps the phrasing of that last sentence does border on “out there”, but my soul feels a real need for more of God.  And if it isn’t real on an experiential level, then it feels like little more than intellectual consideration of concepts such as God.


And that type of spiritual life has nothing to offer this fellow, who has lived on that level for too many days already.


So I meander, with the word “mystic” to guide me.  Perhaps I’ll arrive there yet.