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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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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Why I Am Not Afraid of Having A Child with Autism

When I'm feeling out of sorts or uninspired, my favorite remedy is to go for a long walk. Such was the case this weekend, when I found myself stressed on Saturday morning. So, I headed out the door. After a mile of walking, I felt myself starting to smile. The tension within abated as I noticed the beauty around me. Blooming flowers, fluttering birds, blue skies ... all worked together to move my mind from anxiety to appreciation. As I walked through Rock Creek Park, I felt the noise within quieting down. And in the newfound quiet, I remembered a ...
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I was a Stranger to Beauty (and Who Invited Me In)

On a chilly Sunday afternoon, I pedaled downtown to see a photography exhibit. As I parked my bike and dialed the apartment number, I wondered what I was walking into. I didn't know the gallery or its owner, but a dear friend had told me I simply had to see these photographs. On the strength of her word I stood, and a voice welcomed me and buzzed me in. Charles Krause opened the door for my wind-swept self and took my cold hand into a warm handshake, and bid me to enter the gallery. There were 2 other ...
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What To Do When You Are Afraid (& Some Big News)

"Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don't open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument." - Rumi I woke up this Saturday morning feeling entirely out of sorts. I'd had a nightmare, I felt exhausted, and all I could think of were the million-and-one things on my to-do list for the month ahead. I didn't think about the sunshine and beautiful weather, or the Skype date I had scheduled with my best friends. Despite the excitement of this season of my life (*hints at the big news*), I just ...
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The Secret to Knowing When You’ve Done Enough

A few quick announcements: 1. Welcome, RowdyKittens readers! I'm thrilled that you're here, and honored to have shared a 2nd guest post on Tammy Strobel's site. Consider receiving posts via email; when you do, you'll receive a copy of my book, "Your Creed of Care:  How To Dig For Treasure In People (Without Getting Buried Alive)". 2. A Wish Come Clear community, you can find the RowdyKittens post here:  It's Not Far:  On Finding Beauty All Around Us. 3. There's a special giveaway for commenters on this post; read on! *** This week it has come to my ...
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Warning: Relational Acceptance May Lead To Surrender, Trust + Tripping Over Joy

If you've been (happily) married, you know it's practically impossible to choose a favorite photograph from your wedding day. Consider:  the people you love best, all gathered together. You and your beloved, both radiant with happiness. A beautiful location, a day of dancing, singing, laughter and celebration. That said, I won't choose a favorite...but I will share with you a photograph that definitely makes the top 10. This is a photo of me, my husband Jonathan and Leo*, our friend and former housemate. Aside from the miraculous sunshine (it had rained for days on end prior to our big day), ...
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4 Steps To A Decluttered Home And A Deepened Relationship: Guest Post At Minimalist Packrat

Hello and happy Friday! Guest post #6-in-a-row (yes, this ends the streak...I think!) comes to you via Minimalist Packrat, the site that celebrates writer Tanja Hoagland's journey from (you guessed it) packrat to minimalist. Which leads me to ponder:  if I'd employed a similar "is living into now + used to be" fusion title for this site, it might read, "Peaceful Control-Freak," or "Brave Scared" or "Bold Writer Shy Girl." That last one kind of has a ring to it... 😉 Moving on. As you know, A Wish Come Clear's mission is to help you find meaning in your most ...
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