Remember—The Key to Finding What You’ve Been Looking For

There’s a reason this blog is called Beautiful. Ugly. Me. The last few months have been undeniably difficult, but here’s the thing. They’ve been beautiful, too…and I missed it.

I was flipping back through some of the photos from the last few weeks and am in awe of what I found. I’m overwhelmed by the fact that the inanimate lens of my iPhone picked up what I failed to see.

So I’m taking a moment to step back and remind myself, and hopefully you, that goodness is available for those with eyes to see. That if I’m patient, I’ll stop sabotaging myself and find what I’ve been looking for all along.

The view from our cottage just as the golden light bends across the horizon. There’s a reason they call this time of day the golden hour.

Continue reading “Remember—The Key to Finding What You’ve Been Looking For”

Support: A Moment to Say Thank You

Support:
A beam, a girder, something that holds something else up. It’s underneath, hidden, not always noticed, but beautiful in its own right.

Without it, the whole structure would fall—a pile of random pieces with nothing to hold it together. Continue reading “Support: A Moment to Say Thank You”

Work: A Short Story

Sam climbed the ladder, his sore back muscles protesting each hand hold. It was the last tree to trim out and he’d be done. Well, at least for this season.

Down the hill, he could hear Marie calling the cow in for the night and groaned at the gathering darkness as if he were Moses and the Almighty himself might just stop the sun in the sky.

Farm chores couldn’t compare to conquering an entire Philistine army. But they were as necessary as drawing breath…least that’s what Ma always said.

Sam hacked at an overlapping limb and corrected himself—would have always said. It’s something Ma would have said. Continue reading “Work: A Short Story”

The Water Droplet: A Poem

I hang suspended
.          Stretching away from my design
.          Wrapped tight within myself—my natural tendency
.          Clear shimmering, promising help
.          But void.

Until
.          My neighbor slips down
.          Bumping my tight skin, breaking the meniscus,
.          Binding with me, pulling, stretching

And we dance to the ground.
Splash, jumping with the others
Filter through the dirt
Nourishing, becoming.

 

_________________________

This poem is in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt: Neighbor. The rules are: write for 5 minutes and no editing (although I can’t stop myself a little. I am an editor after all). And yes, I know it isn’t Friday anymore. I was up enjoying Lake Michigan and my family and purposefully left my laptop at home. But I did take pics. If you’d like to see some, head over to my Instagram account.

Like the little water droplet in the poem, I so often fight joining with other folks. But when I do allow myself, I find a whole new purpose.

So this fall I’m back to leading a neighborhood study and hanging with my writer’s group. But I’m also presenting at two writer’s conferences and volunteering downtown at a fabulous outreach that uses art to reach the homeless population. I’m nervous and excited as I dance into this new season. Hoping to be nourishment to my fellow neighbors.

How about you? What are you tackling this season?

 

The post pic is mine.

When You’re Desperate and Afraid

It’s 3 am. And I’m awake…again. The darkness sits heavy on my chest as the sound of the air flicking on echoes hard.

It’s 3:30 am. And I’m too exhausted to function. My kids will be up in a few short hours. Ready for the day when I’m anything but.

It’s 4 am. And I’m brittle, fragile, pieces chipping off as each minute ticks away. Continue reading “When You’re Desperate and Afraid”

Guide, One Last Time: A Short Story

This story is in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt: Guide. The rules are: write for 5 minutes and no editing (although I can’t stop myself a little. I am an editor after all).

The breeze through the window whispered across Sarah’s bare arm making the hairs her skin bump up against the cold. She smiled, lifting her face to catch the warmth of the sun, wishing it was more than just a blur of light.

At her movement, Geronimo lifted his head from her lap and dropped it, heavy. Too heavy. Too weak. Continue reading “Guide, One Last Time: A Short Story”

Extraordinary Ordinary

I have a confession to make. I adore a good superhero story.

Spiderman? Love it.
Dr. Strange? Down with it.
Frodo? Absolutely, completely in love.

And I can’t stop at story characters.

There’s something about real-life heroes like Florence Nightingale, Mother Theresa, C.S. Lewis, Rosa Parks, the former Marine I chatted with the other day, and a little girl I know who’s confined to a wheelchair who raised money to help the refugees in my town.

While all these heroes seem totally different from each other (and different from me and you), we ALL have one thing in common:

We are all ordinary. Continue reading “Extraordinary Ordinary”

Words and a Life Lived

For Five Minute Friday, I usually write a short story. The character “magically” appear in my mind along with how they feel and what’s happening. Normally, I can see a scene—a rise in the action and the fall. (It’s a lovely byproduct of telling stories for YEARS…until someone catches you actually talking to yourself.)

But this week, the prompt speak has left me scrambling. It has, ironically, stripped me of words. Bits and pieces of thoughts & characters tumbled through my mind—images of my daughter speaking up for a fellow student, a gentle word from a friend, the struggle to tell the truth—but they’re void of the rise and fall.

And I wonder if there might be a reason for that. Continue reading “Words and a Life Lived”

Endings

Hi all! I’m hanging out over at my friend Julie Dibble’s blog today. She’s an amazing woman of God…and we met on Twitter. True story. Anyway, Julie’s on vacation and needed a blog break. So I pulled an old blog post for her where my past self was preaching to my current self. Isn’t it amazing how often we need the SAME message. I trust you’ll enjoy the message again as well…

 

We’re coming up to the end of August, and my kids will soon be joining the ranks of bleary-eyed students returning to school. Summer is ending, and I’m not sure how I feel.
I don’t like endings.

It’s dark.

I can’t quite see what’s coming next.

And my self-preservation kicks in screaming, “Run the other way, idiot!”
But as time ticks steadily down, it’s quite impossible to for us mere mortals sprint back up the time continuum.

Continue over on Julie’s site:

Endings: A Guest Post

On the Threshold: A Short Story

She stands on the threshold big toe hanging over and it makes her heart beat just as fast as the cars driving across her little house. Anything that stays in one place long enough

Anything that stays in one place long enough can’t move no more.

It’s not like Maeva Dawn wants to be stuck inside all the time, afraid of the darkness that’s outside her little dog trot house. She just can’t make herself put more than her right big toe outside her doorway.

Somehow life had made a cage for her and little-by-little she’d given up. Continue reading “On the Threshold: A Short Story”