Excuse — A Poem of Responsibility & Perspective

Excuse (ik-koos) Defined

Something my girl uses to explain away—
Abandoned dirty dishes dripping in goo,
Forgotten homework completed but not turned in,
Shoes cast off in haste where everyone walks.

Excuse (ik-kooz) Defined

Grace given to cover— Continue reading “Excuse — A Poem of Responsibility & Perspective”

The Face of the Homeless — Overwhelmed for Leo


His name is Leo, or at least that’s what he told me. He leans over the table across from me, and in mere minutes draws out a perfect manga character.

“What color should I make the shirt?” He asks me.

I hesitate, not quite knowing how to answer him. I’m careful in this world. I’m a visitor to this haven for the homeless and don’t know the rules yet. But his smooth ebony cheeks tell me he’s young, and barely a legal adult…if he’s even that old. Continue reading “The Face of the Homeless — Overwhelmed for Leo”

Discover: The Key to Life

 

 

 

 

I want to feel myself part of things, of the great drift and swirl: not cut off, missing things, like being sent to bed early as a child, the blinds being drawn while the sun and cheerful voices came through the chink from the garden. ~Sylvia Plath

This weekend my daughter and I went exploring. Not in the woods as we normally would, but dumpster diving in a car repair shop, my mom’s wood shop, and my clock repair man’s trash bin.

We were on a mission, looking for things that are one thing, but look like another—funky car parts that look like elkhorn coral, cogs that look like eyes, injector pieces that look like the mouth of a butterfly fish. She’s working on an art piece for a competition where “weird wins.”

And going out to play and discover felt oh so good.

Since April, my family’s been a little closed-in, trying to survive. Continue reading “Discover: The Key to Life”

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”

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”

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

Backstory, Life, and the Not-So-Bitter End

I am, at my core, a storyteller. So it shouldn’t be surprising that I think we all have a story. We all have a family of origin. We all have some blend of disappointments and accomplishments, loves and hates, comforts and discomforts.

It explains why I still sometimes cringe away from someone moving a quick hand and love the smell of orange-spiced tea. It might explain why the sound of moving water comforts or frightens you. Why the smell of cherry pipe smoke makes you smile or spikes your heart rate.

But that mishmash of singularities is only a sliver of who we are right now. Our stories certainly influence, mold, and shape, but we also all have a choice. Continue reading “Backstory, Life, and the Not-So-Bitter End”

Ode to In Between Places

Oh the places between here and there.

It’s not quite spectacular white winter or lush green spring. It’s that place where you’re not young or old. Neither starting nor finishing. We’re neither here nor there, but on our way somewhere.

If only I knew where somewhere was.

Continue reading “Ode to In Between Places”

When Small Things Become Big—A Book Is Born

A little over a year ago, I was walking through one of my favorite places—a local craft store—and picked up a book on Zentangles for my daughter. My girl has a distinct artistic bent, and I thought she’d have fun with these doodles.

Well, it wasn’t long until she was begging me to sit with her and try them.

“Babe,” I said. “I canNOT do those.” Big emphasis on the not.

But she persisted, batting her little girl eyelashes. So I sat my “haven’t had an art class since I was 12” self down to spend time with my girl. It was a decision based on the knowledge that it wouldn’t be long before I was too uncool to hang with the girls.

And boy was I surprised. Continue reading “When Small Things Become Big—A Book Is Born”

Beauty Defined

beauty-definedI suppose if we’re going to discuss beauty, it’d be important to be sure we’re all talking about the same thing. Definitions are slippery things…especially when you’re arguing that the thing you’re defining is of life and death importance, which we’ll get to next week.

Let’s start easy. I think most of us can agree on the first aspect. Continue reading “Beauty Defined”