Reflections on a Year of Pleasure

My STAR word this year was Pleasure. I’ve reflected on it here and here.

my word for 2014

my word for 2014

What’s not to love about pleasure, right? It’s been a good word. I had a good life before I drew the word, but I recognize I was more intentional about noticing pleasure in random moments of my life this year. I intend to carry that with me in 2015, no matter which word chooses me.

In the past, my STAR words seemed to direct my year. Because of PRACTICE, I started being more intentional about playing my cello. Because of ADVENTURE, I started belly dancing.

with Cyndi at the most recent student salon

with Cyndi at the most recent student salon

Because of the word PLEASURE, I kept up with both of those activities and appreciated them in new ways.

My experience with PLEASURE, though, was different than the previous years. It didn’t direct my year as much as it helped me respond to what happened in my life this year.

If you’re a regular reader, you know that this was the year Washington State opened their birth records and I found my birth family. (To read about my search for my birth family, read here and here and here and here and here and here. ) It has not, uniformly, been an experience of pleasure. There was also rejection, and doors that just weren’t ready to be opened. (Perhaps when a door has been locked for 46 years, one can imagine it might stick and take a while to work loose).

But the pleasure in finally seeing pictures of my birth parents! I can’t even describe what a blessing it has been to see my face reflected in other people, and to see resemblances in my children and strangers who are now family.

Meeting my sister and some of her family was a weekend of pleasure, and laughter, and sacred silence, and all gift.

So, my STAR word didn’t lead me to discover my birth family, but when pandora’s box was opened, I’m grateful PLEASURE was my guiding word.

Reflecting back on 2014, I see pleasure in so many places.

Spring Break trip to Central Europe with Alden….

with the best worst umbrella in Prague

with the best worst umbrella in Prague

Lots of great times with good friends and colleagues at church meetings and study leave events.

IMG_2249Great time with family who gathered for Alden’s graduation and then family vacation to the lake and Glacier National Park. DSC00259

So much pleasure at church this year, especially the Sabbath services. Taking the time for fellowship and to just enjoy each other’s presence has been great. It is such a privilege to pastor this congregation.

photo of Trunk or Treat Sabbath Food Truck Fun by Carolyn Blackhurst

photo of Trunk or Treat Sabbath Food Truck Fun by Carolyn Blackhurst

And then the pleasure that came from the joy of long awaited marriage equality in Boise. Here’s a collection of images from that day. But this might be my favorite:

(I said "vested in me").

(I said “vested in me”).

Where did you find pleasure in 2014?

If you had a word this year, how has it worked in your life?

Thank you for being companions on this journey. Looking forward to seeing what 2015 has in store.

9 thoughts on “Reflections on a Year of Pleasure

  1. My 2014 STARWord was “Silence”. It did make me stop and think before I spoke….most of the time. I still feel the need to write a meditation on the impact of this word and the events of 2014 before I receive my new word….I need to re-examine silence in my life in the process and eventual death of my Dad; my son, Andy’s, continued silence with me and Steve; the promise of new adventures at our cabin; the joy of our newest baby, Bailey; the ending of silence between Steve and his oldest son, Danny; the relocation of Kate and my granddaughters to Australia; the wonderful lack of silence that occurs Wednesday nights at our shared meals with our “in-town”, adopted children and grand children; the joys of choosing silence or great conversations in our daily, married life. So many things I am grateful to reflect on at the end of this year.


  2. I read your article “The New Reality of Marriage” in Presbyterians Today and was happy to see the possibility of following your blog. Reading this post was a pleasure. I look forward to following your blog and being inspired by you.


  3. Thank you for sharing this with us. I also enjoyed being surprised by starword all year. I am curious to know if there is a way we can get one this year?


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