Monthly Archives: December 2014

the gift of pee

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Last week I did my final talk of 2014 up in the Bay Area. I talked about finding breathing room during this holiday season, which is—inevitably—one of the most difficult times of the year to really experience space and grace and breath and presence. (Ugghhhh.)

I basically talked about all the insane ways I make myself nuts, all the adversarial stunts I try to pull, and how we might all want to consider doing things differently. I hope I shared some useful stuff, but the thing that everyone wanted to talk to me about afterward was this:

I told them that one of the ways we can be hospitable to ourselves this holiday season is to . . . you’re gonna love this . . . freakin’ go to the bathroom.

In a room full of women, this statement more than any other I made, got the most nods and comments and—even—tears.

Because we all know what it’s like to have to pee. Really bad. But you subconsciously bargain with yourself because it feels like there just isn’t time to pee. I’ll finish folding the laundry, then I’ll go. I’ll get the lunches packed, then I’ll go. I’ll unload the dishwasher, then I’ll go.

Having to pee. Man, what a nuisance.

And the next thing you know, you’re panicked, hopping around your house, because you’re bladder is about to explode all over the kitchen floor.

We talk about this in My Group. My dear friend Erica is a dancer and a “body person.” You know, one of those people who is really in touch with taking care of her body. She says, “Go pee when you have to pee.”

Somehow, this is like the most revolutionary thing I’ve ever heard.

The real secret here is, of course, the reality that we override our body’s signals, needs, and cues so often that it just becomes habit to ignore what our body’s trying to tell us. Eat. Sleep. Sit down. Move. Stretch. Breathe. Pee.

This is like Breathing Room 101, but let me tell you I’m the gal who needs Breathing Room for Dummies because I know all this stuff and then I just flat out forget it. And I’m literally doing the river dance around the house trying to stay one step ahead of the pee.

The real truth is that no one, especially me, benefits from being in the presence of frantic lunatic gotta-go Leeana.

So, here we are, one week until Christmas, and I’m gonna go ahead and put myself on my Christmas list. My gift to me is the gift of pee.

A group of ladies in the Bay Area is joining me in this pledge. How ‘bout you?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,



the biggest mess of all.

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Slowing way down this morning. Inching my way to a bit of breathing room. Fire in the fireplace. Tree lit. Candles burning. Coffee in this darling new mug (given away to all in attendance at a fabulous Christmas Soiree I spoke at last night!).

Mainly because we had a hard start to the morning with me saying as we pulled out of the driveway on our way to school, “Man everyone’s kind of a mess this morning, huh.” To which Luke replied, “Yeah, Mommy. Especially you. You’re the biggest mess of all.”


So I’m doing myself – and everyone in my household, apparently – a favor. I’m heeding my own message and I’m finding my way to the space, the breath, the center. I’m beginning again, because soul care and self care don’t just happen. We make our way to them. We fight for them. And then we do it again. Because the time doesn’t usually get handed to us. The universe doesn’t carve out the space for us.

So other things are waiting while I breathe. Breathe and begin again.

I offer hospitality to others because I have first offered it to myself. I offer grace to others because I have first offered it to myself. I offer compassion and care and nurture to others because I have first offered all those things to myself. Here I am, practicing these truths again, just for today.

What is one thing you’re doing for yourself today that will help keep you from becoming, in the words of Luke Tankersley, the biggest mess of all?

Me? Today, as I pulled back into the driveway and took a few deep breaths, I heard God say to me in a very clear voice, “Leeana, go feed yourself.” It’s pretty simple when you get right down to it. Today, I’ll be nourishing myself. What am I hungry for? What are you hungry for? Perhaps that’s as good a place as any to start.

God bless the broken road,



the truth is . . .

. . . sometimes the holidays look a little more like this.


As you might have heard, I’ve been thinking about breathing room this holiday season. Who knew I’d have to stop by the ER to find it!

(Don’t worry. I’m completely fine. Just needed a little help from my childhood companion, the breathing treatment. One hour later = all is well.)

Hey, the truth is, this is what happens in real, human, everyday life. We have all the plans in the world. Beautiful music cued, advent readings collected, hearts tuned to the reason for the season . . . and then someone throws up (and then five more people throw up because that’s what happens when the flu is on the loose), someone won’t — no matter how many freakin’ lollipops he or she is offered — get in the Christmas picture, someone has to go to the ER for a pesky little breathing issue, and the flight home is –after everyone has boarded at 11pm and the engines on the plane are already running — cancelled.

Happy holidays (she said with a whisper of irony).

Steve and the kids and I flew to TX for Thanksgiving. My sister and her family and my mom all recently relocated there and so we decided to meet up at their new homestead. My brother and his family joined us too. For the first time in many, many years, we would ALL be together. ALL, in all caps, because it is so very exciting when the holiday stars align (and our expectations can’t help but hit fever pitch).

But when my mom wondered aloud if she could put the nail polish in the microwave real quick just to “warm it up a bit” so she could get the top unscrewed, I knew right then it was going to be a great week.

And it was. That’s the totally crazy thing.

Despite kids waking up in the middle of the night throwing up, me having to make that quick little detour to the ER, and our flight home getting cancelled, it was a great week.

How do you explain that?

Here’s what I’ll say: It wasn’t particularly reverent, but it was sacred in its own way.

That’s the only way I can describe it. And perhaps that’s what I need to take with me more than anything this holiday season . . . the reality that life can be sacred even in, maybe especially in, the down-and-dirty irreverence.

Being together. Laughing a lot. Crying some. Smothering each other’s kids with embarrassingly prolonged embraces. Late night Starbucks runs. Thanksgiving bingo. Stomp rockets. My brother singing Sandi Patty.

In the end, we finally did get a picture with all the kids and Gran . . . some clearly happier than others, some far less reverent than others . . . but, hey, we’ll take it!

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Wishing you a huge heaping helping of sacred irreverence as we enter advent . . . and the grace and sense of humor to tolerate it all!

Love in any language,