The Joy of Half-Assery: Day 3 of Lent

Mar 7 2014

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Today’s 15 Minute Project is a corner. 

One corner of one room. Any room you like. Because, no matter what Patrick Swayze said in Dirty Dancing, sometimes we do put baby in a corner. Baby and EVERYTHING ELSE. All the Things in corners!

I could, in fact, spend the next 40 Days of Lent purging nothing but corners, but I picked my bedroom because this pile o’ crap has been sitting between my desk and my closet since summer.

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SUMMER. And more likely the summer of 2012 than the summer of 2013, but I’ve decided to give myself a break and just say summer, pleaseandthankyou.

After 20 minutes, I managed to get it all put away, recycled, thrown away or marked for donation.

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Which reminded me what I’ve intended to do with that corner for two years but haven’t done because I couldn’t ever seem to finish all the pieces I needed.

After an additional hour – but a MUCH more enjoyable hour than cleaning – I managed to turn the corner into a reading nook, complete with our very threadbare, much-beloved Velveteen Chair

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…and the wood screen I never did manage to finish staining. Do you see that light wood bit up there? Yeah, me, too. But I decided to take myself seriously about yesterday’s lesson in HAGE; Half-Assed is Good Enough. And guess what? The feeling of being in this space is SO MUCH BETTER. Sure, the screen is incomplete. It’s not done. There’s a glaring error right there on the outside. A physical admission I can’t do All the Things. 

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And I LOVE it.

I think we should call this the Spiritual Discipline of Half-Assery, friends. And I think Jesus, and all the Wild Grace Givers like him, would approve. Because we have days when we are sure we’re incomplete. Not done. With glaring errors right there on the outside. And we know we cannot do All the Things. But we are deeply, truly worthy of Love. Exactly as we are. Even with all the messes in the corners.


ID-10057427NEW for Lent!
Environmental Living Section

Today, I’m excited to introduce my friend and cousin, Leslie Hodgdon Murray, to you.

Leslie.pngLeslie is a Quaker pastor who is pursuing her Master’s of Divinity with an emphasis in Christian Earthkeeping. Her passion in life is helping people reduce waste, simplify life and reduce their ecological footprint, and I’ve asked her to weigh in here on all matters environmental. 

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of Leslie’s easiest tips for those of us who want to live more sustainably but are just totally overwhelmed by where to start and what to do.

Since Leslie and I spend a good amount of time at each other’s houses, trading our 1st grade boys back and forth, I asked her to begin by answering a question that might give you a teeny, tiny insight into my Awesome Environmental Prowess. I mean, we live in Oregon, after all, epi-center for Herculean Ecological Feats, so I am bound to be good at this! 

My Question: On a scale of 1-10, 10 being “Environmental Master” and 1 being “Single-Handedly Ruining the Earth,” how would you rate my family and me on Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness? 

Leslie’s Answer: Um…really? You want me to answer that? Like, are you going to be hurt? Because, if so, don’t read any further. That said, I would rate your family either a 3 or 4 …so maybe a 3.5. You recycle glass bottles and cans for the most part but other than that your recycling could go up several notches. As far as I can tell (not living in your house with you for quite some time!), your family wastes a lot of food. I’m not sure about water/energy consumption (lights, screens left on, etc.) One of the reasons you weren’t a 2 is you have belonged to a Community Supported Agriculture project and sometimes buy your meat locally.

Sooo… if you’re an Environmental Novice, too, don’t worry, OK? We’re clearly going to be learning together. 


And Congrats to Melissa who cleaned her buffet for her 15 Minute Project. Melissa writes, “My project was the top of my buffet. On it were, (including but not limited to) a foam sword, a broken lamp, a working fan (not used since summer) and LOADS of kid papers…”


“…It is currently the only clean thing in my entire house! But I feel so AWESOME every time I walk by it!  (That is the permanent parking spot for the firetruck by the way, so no need to move it!)”


Nice work, Melissa!

I am randomly selecting your 15 Minute Project photos to feature in our Lenten posts. You can send yours to me at


P.S. You can see Leslie cleaning her sunglasses with her son’s red Wolverine undies here. This is one of many reasons I love her.

P.P.S. For those of you who’d like more in-depth information on sustainable living, I encourage you to check out my friend Cherice Bock’s blog, Quaker Oats Live, and, specifically, her series on Eco-Lent

“Green Leaf Lamp” image credit Meawpong3405 via