About hopesquires

I've left behind the daily grind to write full time and to figure out what my own flourishing tree looks like. I'd love to help you flourish and grow along the way, so that you, too, can cultivate a life that pleases God.

A green escape from the cares of the world

There are days I want to turn off the television, the radio, social media. Days I want to escape from the horrors of our world. Days I want to let nature enfold me and bring a sense of peace back to my soul.

If you’re visiting this blog today, maybe you’re feeling that way, too? Want to come on a virtual journey with me?

When my husband and I were in Oregon for the Olympic trials, we spent one of the competition’s off days visiting the McKenzie River in the Cascades. The drive was beautiful, and at one point, I couldn’t see anything but a sliver of road surrounded all around by tall evergreens. It was a sight for sore eyes missing the green of home.

McKenzieRiver2016_ 1FT

Trees, trees everywhere (a view from where we parked the car and got out to venture around)

Our surroundings turned magical once we got out of the car. Continue reading

Olympic-sized joys, sorrows and the race that made me cry

I’m still going through the 1,000+ photos I took during the US Olympic Track and Field Trials, but I thought you might like to see a few of my favorites.

There’s beauty in the competition, and I begin on that note today.

OlyTrials2016_ 4FT

A fluid rainbow of jerseys and shoes at the start of the women’s steeplechase semis (with a pole vaulter watching from the field)

My husband and I enjoyed the time away, and we celebrated as some of our favorites made the Olympic team. This year, though, more of our favorite athletes than usual did not make the team. So when I look back at photos of certain races, there’s heartbreak and sadness in them.

If you stopped by this space last week, you saw a photo of Reese Hoffa from last year’s US championships. Two Fridays ago, he competed again. Continue reading

Back in TrackTown USA

It’s the most wonderful time of the year …

Well, to US track and field fans it is. The US track and field Olympic trials are taking place this week in Eugene, Oregon, affectionately known as TrackTown USA. Olympic hopefuls have gathered in Eugene to achieve their dreams, to compete, to win, to represent the country in Rio.

USATFChamps2015_ 1FT

Competitors will face many hurdles this week.

Reese Hoffa acknowledges that to make the team—in what would be his fourth consecutive Olympic games—he would have to crush someone else’s dream. For all the glory and cheering that comes with these trials, there are tears and defeat, too. Continue reading

Unexpected sermons

When you think of preachers and sermons, legendary singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett may not come to mind first.

My husband and I love Lyle Lovett’s music and were thrilled to learn he and his Large Band would be kicking off their summer tour in Sacramento. We headed to the fabulous old Crest Theatre, anticipating a great show. We didn’t know there would be a sermon, too.

LyleLovett2016_FT

Lyle Lovett with Destiny Baptist Church’s choir in the background

As Lovett walked to the center of the stage for the first time, a choir assembled at the back of the stage. Together, they sang a rousing rendition of “I’m a Soldier in the Army of the Lord.” And then another song (“Church”) about long sermons and preachers who, eventually, will get as hungry as their congregants.

Lovett introduced the group as the choir from Sacramento’s Destiny Baptist Church. “Have any of you been to that church?” he asked us all.

Continue reading

My new favorite bird

I’ve always enjoyed watching birds in my backyard and the occasional hawk soaring along the highway, but the last few years have changed how I watch birds and brought a deeper appreciation for them.

You’ve been able to join me on this birding journey as I’ve chronicled a range of birds, from hummingbirds to vultures to ospreys to owls. I want to introduce you today to my new favorite. His name is Buddy, and he’s an American Kestrel.

BuddyAmericanKestrel2016_1FT

Meet Buddy, the American Kestrel.

My husband and I were on a trip with several of his co-workers and their spouses. We carved out time to mix in some fun between the work meetings and signed up for a falconry class. I was beyond excited about the class, even though none of us had any clue what to expect.

Continue reading