Don’t pretend not to see hurt…

As we move into the holidays, I am reminded that I still hear the sirens; I still hear the stories of cancer and suicides, of dysfunction and brokenness. I am reminded of those having their first Christmas without a loved one and those having their 10th Christmas without someone they love.  I am thinking of those who are trying to figure out how to share custody for the first time this year and the kids who still struggle with sharing parents. There is a lot of pain in our world. May we all choose to look up and meet the eyes of those around us. May we have the courage to raise our eyes and meet the eyes of those who care.

Peace to you this holiday season, especially if your heart is hurting!

With compassion, Trish

Breathe in….Breathe out….

Today, I went on a road trip. It was the best kind of road trip. The sun was out, my friend Cathy and I talked about life and all it holds for the 10 hours we were gone, and our driving was primarily on back roads. I heard myself say, more than once, it seems so peaceful.

I am not sure it was any one thing, but it was a mix of the blue sky, the variety of fantastic cloud formations, the golden colors of the dead corn, the hay, the surprise colors of green in the field, and the gray clouds that would seem to roll in and out as the sun would always reappear…

And as we drove and witnessed this natural phenomenon of nature unfold in such powerful and beautiful ways, I found myself breathing deeper in and out and saying…it’s just so peaceful…

During the pace of the coming days and weeks, I hope you will find something to remind you that peace is an invitation to trust that the sun will appear, that beauty will surface, and that everything, even in all of the unknown, will find its place.

Keep breathing,



It takes courage to be kind

I have been thinking a lot about my village lately. Having had two total knee replacements this past year, I experienced, yet again,  the benefit and goodness of being in a village.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE: I use the phrase often, but more recently, I have started a journal entry about who the faces in my village are. It has been good for me to name the people I am grateful for and consider my privilege in giving and receiving.

Today, I came across this, and I paused again and thought more carefully about people I know and what I don’t know. I wonder who I am walking by and where I am missing an opportunity to reach out and offer encouragement or a tangible act of love.

I want to be a person who chooses to see and respond to others. This Christmas, I pray I can do this in a way that offers hope and peace!

It takes courage to be kind ~Maya Angelou.

Until tomorrow,


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Presence versus Presents





I have had a good number of conversations about this tension lately. A tension that seems more significant during the holidays, but if we are honest, it may be a tension we feel even in our regular day-to-day. How well do we show up and live in the present?

What makes it hard to be present? It may be the pace at which we live, the multi-tasking that we pride ourselves in doing, or the sheer number of distractions we use to hide behind and maybe even avoid being present.

I am recovering from a total knee replacement and participating in physical therapy 2x a week. I enjoy the conversations that unfold as a group of strangers, different people with each given day, strike up conversations.  Today’s conversation was about living present to ourselves and for our loved ones in the coming weeks. Just the conversation brings the commitment to the forefront. A few key questions to consider if you also want to commit to this with us:

Do you know the feeling when you are fully present, drifting from being present and absent in your presence? Pay attention to that in the coming days and become aware of this within yourself.

Do you know what helps to keep you present? Is it picking up a glass of water to hold (or a Diet Coke, a beer can, or a glass of wine?) Sometimes, getting up and walking around the room or engaging in a conversation can help to ground yourself in the present.

Do you know what causes you to drift from being present? For some, it is boredom, hunger, conflict, etc. There isn’t a wrong reason, but being aware of why helps to develop your strength to be present.

And so this blog feels like an invitation to join in being present this holiday season. Give the gift of what you have to offer and what you have to give back. Bring humor, kindness, insight, wisdom, tears, reflection, vision, and whatever else comes up in your shared moments.

I am confident that if you first bring your presence, you will enjoy sharing presents so much more! Developing this newfound skill during the holidays of 2023 will enhance so many of your relationships in 2024!

Believe in the goodness of your own heart,



Note to self

Do you ever have it where you read something on Facebook worth sharing, but finding it again can be a challenge? I have started taking screenshots, and my collection is growing.

This one spoke to me. I wonder if you have ever equated your purpose to goal-based achievement in so many ways that can be our default space. I like the idea of our purpose defined in our being instead of our doing.

Blessed be His name!May be an image of text

Stop and catch a glimpse

I wonder if anyone else is finding it difficult to grasp that we are heading into July. I feel like Summer is still coming. It is plenty warm, although a bit rainy, and yet it isn’t really so much about the weather.

I don’t know if it is a post covid feeling or just the reality that every day moves quickly into the next, and soon we are through one season and welcoming another.

I learned of a facility today that is on lockdown due to a few COVID cases, and I find myself caught off guard as I process that news. I hear of long-time marriages ending in divorce, and my heart aches for those who believe there is no hope. I speak with many people in a day who would like to receive care in their home, and I am stumped as to what steps to take to increase the number of caregivers we employ. In the midst of all this, I long for the freshness of summer and the time to enjoy it!

But tonight, I caught a glimpse of the most beautiful sky. I tried to capture it, but there was no way to reveal the depth of orange, purple, yellow, and pink. There was a brightness and a sense of amazingness that not even words can describe. And I thought of the rainbows this week. And the moon…

I am reminded that even when it feels like so much is out of my control in the midst of a day. There is beauty and freshness. There is a miracle in so much that surrounds us. Even in the hardships, God can and will work.

Take time to catch a glimpse of those moments that can’t be shared in pictures and only minimally described in words. I am thankful for the beauty on this summer night!

Better than a hallelujah

May be an image of text that says 'Helping hands are holier than praying lips. ~Mother Teresa'I will never forget when I first heard the lyrics to this song. It was a time when I was struggling with how some people I admired seemed to be more about the talk of faith than the action. I was transitioning into my 20’s and sorting out what it meant to be a believer who loved Jesus and loved people.

I believe that there is a space in our world for faith conversations. But I wonder where we miss the real conversations sometimes. I wonder how much often we miss the faith conversation in the “better than a hallelujah!

This song has always spoken to my heart. It speaks to how I connect with Jesus, and it speaks to how I want to join others in their walk with a loving and wild Savior!

Listen and enjoy.

It is worth the listen!

Blessed be His name!


The delight of anticipation

Last week I spent an evening with my great-niece. She is not yet two, but she is so amazingly aware of all that surrounds her. I took this series of pictures. Over her short life, she has come to anticipate and love when her Papa and Beppe move towards her with the cloth to clean her up after a meal.

I watched this unfold, her anticipation, squeals, how she awaited the predictable and yet delighted with her whole body in the fun of getting cleaned up, I began to reflect on anticipation.

I believe as we get older, we minimize or become numb to anticipation in many ways. Life is busy and somehow we lose the delight of anticipation. We just take it as it comes. There isn’t as much that captivates us anymore, it seems!

But when I saw the delight and felt the joy that sweet Frankie experienced in this straightforward and routine exchange of getting cleaned up after dinner, I committed to paying more attention to anticipation in my world.  I have noticed this week that to tune into anticipation, I am slowing down and considering what I am looking forward to and what I hope for in the events that fill my day.

Not everything feels squeal-worthy but just keeping this picture nearby reminds me that it doesn’t have to be an extra special something. Likely there is the thrill and delight of anticipation in many everyday happenings.

Thank you, sweet girl, for inspiring my soul!

Blessed be His name!

If you remember, say their name…

I started my Social Work career in 2000 as a Hospice social worker. I learned so much from those I journeyed with. I was young and new in the field. I trusted my gut, and I listened carefully. Perhaps it was a gift that went both ways, I gave them my attentive listening, and they taught me so much about walking the road of grief with someone.

Since 2000, I have walked my own road of grief, most poignantly in my brother’s death and then my father. We often spoke of how kind and supportive people are for a season in our grief groups.  That is really how it goes, and it is ok. Everyone is walking in their own story, and it is such a gift when one stops along the way to be present with someone else. But we all know that for those closest to the loss, the sorrow is an ongoing journey.

What I have heard in so many longing hearts and experienced over the years in remembering Len and my Dad is what a gift it is when someone stops and mentions their name. It may be in something they miss, a shared remembrance, sharing a funny memory that brings laughter, or even just acknowledging they remember….

I hope you have people in your life who remember your loved ones and call them by name.

This blog was birthed this morning as I read these words. Lauren, my new niece by marriage, who married Len’s oldest son last week, posted this, and I want to ensure it is forever part of my family story in this blog.

Thank you, Lauren, for naming Len (in this case with a photo) and blessing his investment while on this earth. He would have loved being your father-in-law!

happy father’s day in heaven to my father-in-law. thank you for raising such an amazing son who has now become an amazing husband. the family you helped create has held, loved, and welcomed me in such beautiful ways. I’m forever grateful for your love, light, and legacy.

May be an image of 1 person, child and standingBe courageous and creative, and remember to visit the stream of sorrow that flows in the hearts of those you like and love. It is really very simple. Start by just saying their name!

Blessed be His name!

For those who miss their Dads….

I read one of my high school classmates’ Facebook posts today. It said this: “The older you get, the more you miss your father. Happy Father’s Day in Heaven.” I hear you, David Kalman, and I agree!

This resonated with me, and for a moment, I thought I wish there was a way to reconvene with your high school classmates as we enter our 50’s. Not really a reunion kind of reconvening but a sit-in-class and talk about the real stuff that we have learned. The stuff that matters. It seems like we all understand life a little differently. It seems as if we would be able to sit and talk about the real things now.

I know many of my classmates know the ache of losing a parent. So often, at our age and our parents’ age, it isn’t tragic, but it is life-altering. There are days we wish for what was: the simplicity of a steak dinner or a game of golf.

I read this today and thought it said it well. I will share it with you, not just my classmates, but any of you who are missing your Dad on Father’s Day. I feel you, and I can relate!

To the Dads who are missing on Father’s Day,
We will say your sayings, play your favorite songs and try our very best not shy away from the beautiful memories that sting so bittersweetly.
You left a space so wide it could encompass the world some days but we strive to fill it nonetheless, with the unconditional love, you instilled within us all.
There is plenty to go around and we promise not to withhold it, you would have been sad to see that.
So, with your wise words stored deep within our hearts, your laughter the soundtrack of the day, and your smile imprinted upon our souls, we salute you and send you so much love.
You are missed.
So very very missed.
Happy Father’s Day
Donna Ashworth
Image by Joe Therasakdhi

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