A few years ago mainline churches began using Epiphany as a day to introduce “Star Words” to their congregations. The intention was that at the beginning of the new year individuals would choose a star with a word printed on it and trust in that word for the year. It was to be a point of reflection and personal growth. As social media has grown more and more people use this medium to share the impact of their word. It has become a movement of sorts, a space where we are able to witness individual and communal transformations.

Personally I have always believed in the need for guiding principles in a new year. For me I usually take the time before my birthday (since I’m a January baby) to reflect on a theme or concept to guide my year. But as 2019 begins we are awaiting the birth of our first child and I chose to take the end of 2018 to reflect on the new years possibilities.


My husband and I have moved every year for the last 5 years or so, and while I love the itinerancy as a UMC pastor I also would like to not have to pack our entire life every Spring. And praise God it looks like that won’t be the case this coming year. But I realize the last almost 2 years have felt very un-rooted, filled with uncertainty and anxiety personally and professionally. These feelings have affected me as a leader, a wife, and a friend. Yet this year I decided, enough is enough. I am reclaiming my sanity, reclaiming my authority, reclaiming me… to continually reflect on where and how I am rooted.

Rooted for me means to be deeply connected, to be firm, to be planted far down so the strongest winds only make me sway not break. My rootedness is connected to my relationships, my faith, my well-being. So step one is creating this space, something I have been toying with for a very long and needed to commit to for me.

How do you begin the new year? Do you choose a word or guiding principle? Do you perform a ritual of some sort? I would love to hear about it 🙂

To learn more about Star Words check out RevGalBlogPalsor Reformed Worship

The Simple Table Begins

A few years ago I began using “the simple table” as a hashtag on meals I posted on Instagram. There was no intention besides wanting to reclaim gathering as something that I could do, even when the rest of my world seemed to be collapsing- something simple.

I love the idea that the table is place to be fed, a place to gather, a place to be transformed, a place to create change. It has been my time gathered around tables, with and without food, that has shaped me and continues to shape me.

So it is my hope that this space is used in the same way. You will find recipes, musings, and the occasional sermon. I am still learning, still growing, still trusting and I’m glad to share this journey with you.


“Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.”

― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life