When You’re Feeling Lost, Walk The Beauty Way (Our Seven-Year Anniversary)

We all know how it goes. We wake up in the morning, and from the moment we open our eyes, something feels “off”. There’s a barrage of anxious thoughts about work and laundry and that text we forgot to respond to yesterday. Where did these thoughts come from? Why are they slamming us now, before our feet even touch the floor? We don’t know. We just know that there’s already a feeling of dread within, and we haven’t even looked at our email or news feed yet. We feel lost and afraid; what can we do to bring even the ...
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In My Arms: A Guest Post by Gillian Marchenko

Happy Holiday, friends! Today, we're opening our doors to a guest. It's my pleasure to introduce Gillian Marchenko. (Her tagline: "The world is full of people who seem to have it all together ... Gillian speaks for the rest of us.") She's an author and national speaker who lives in Chicago with her husband Sergei and four daughters. Gillian writes about "stumbling faith, Down syndrome, adoption, depression, motherhood, and lots of grace." I shared a guest post on Gillian's blog earlier this year ("The Most Beautiful and Terrible of Promises, Lessons Learned from my Brother with Autism"), and I'm happy ...
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How to Betray Your True Self (And Then Make Amends)

This is a tale of treachery, but it doesn't start out that way. 'Betrayed' faces, 2011. Instead, it starts with a group of direct-care assistants hanging out in the kitchen of the L'Arche home where we lived and worked in 2008. I'd just finished a strenuous workweek, and I was exhausted. Why? I'd recently said yes to becoming a Home Life Coordinator. In addition to doing caregiving routines, I wrote schedules, mentored assistants, and oversaw home life. We had a number of crises that summer, so I served in the new position while training for it and simultaneously ...
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Coming Home: The Liberation I Found at L’Arche

Happy Memorial Day, U.S. readers! This article was originally published in America, February 11, 2013, and is reprinted with the permission of America Press, Inc., americamagazine.org. I remember exactly where I was standing. It was in a small hallway at a L’Arche home in Washington, D.C., when I met my friend and housemate Pedro. At the time, I was visiting L’Arche for a series of interviews. I had not yet received an official job offer, but even so, I knew that I would be coming to live and work there. I could feel it in my bones; this was where ...
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Have You Been Imagining Those Prison Bars? (Or, Don’t Re-Enroll In High School)

I had this dream one night. In the dream, I was in my twenties. I was living with my parents in New Jersey, in the house where I grew up. Since my career had apparently stalled, a faceless, intimidating authority figure strongly recommended that I re-enroll in high school, to 'get back to basics' or something like that. Good news: you've already graduated! The thought of re-enrolling filled me with dread, but I did it anyway. I didn't think I had a choice. For weeks, I struggled to re-learn my old routines, fumbling through locker combinations, math tests, ...
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To See Beauty First: A Video

Hello and Happy Monday! Since I'm traveling this week, I'd like to share a video with you in lieu of the usual post. It's a 10 minute talk I gave as part of the Faith Inclusion Network's March 2013 "That All May Worship" conference. (I thank Karen Jackson for her wonderful work in organizing the event, and for sending me the recording as well.) A Wish Come Clear readers who receive posts via email may recall the story I sent out about my experience speaking at the conference two months ago; it's reprinted below. To make sure you don't miss ...
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For You, If You Don’t Want to Get Out of Bed in the Morning

It's a bright, beautiful day, but I'm not really seeing it. The world looks bleak. A bombing at the Boston Marathon, a city-wide manhunt, ongoing violence and terrorism the world over ... the hate seems very heavy, and the love feather-light. Part of me wishes I could be a small child again, blessedly unaware of all this. And what is the deepest wish of a child but to be safe, held, home? *** Photo Credit: Brian A. Taylor Photography And that calls a story to mind. To begin, I should tell you that I co-led the opening of ...
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2 Guest Posts + 2 New Book Formats = 4 Reasons to Smile

Hello & happy Monday! Today, I'd like to share a few exciting announcements with you. First, I have a new guest post up at MissMinimalist.com! (Longtime readers may remember my first guest post there 2 years ago as well - how time flies!) Miss Minimalist is all about “living a beautiful life with less stuff.” Author Francine Jay is a gracious, articulate writer, and her site is an excellent resource for simplicity-seekers. Today's new post is, Real Life Minimalist Update: Caroline McGraw. Welcome to A Wish Come Clear, readers from Miss Minimalist! Thank you for visiting! I'd like to invite ...
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Renovations of the Home & Heart: A Tale of Transformation

Miguel*, one of my friends from L'Arche**, was in the ICU last week. Whenever something like this happens -- and despite the wonderful, highly specialized care he receives, it happens several times a year -- my heart aches. It always seems colossally, brutally unfair, these illnesses and hospitalizations. It reminds me of truths I'd rather not remember: that I am not in control, that my friends at L'Arche are growing older, that I cannot know how much more time they -- or any of us -- have left. There's a terrible powerlessness that comes with knowing: if we choose love, ...
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Wherever I Go: An Open Letter to L’Arche

L'Arche* friends, I miss walking beside you through the world. I miss holding your hand, Cassandra**, and how your fingernails always dug into my skin. Holding on tight helped you to balance, so I'd leave them there until I had to -- ever so gently -- pry them away. We'd re-grip, but a few steps later, your nails would dig in again. I'd sigh, maybe, but mostly I wouldn't mind the crescent moons left behind. They were imprints of trust. You'd ask me to take you out ... for tea, for sweets, for a break from routine. Because life was ...
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