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

ReCollect: a Short Story

Last weekend I attended a Writer’s Conference as part of the faculty (for those of you not familiar that means I was there working as my editor persona). The odd thing about conferences is that I tend to come away with little nuggets even when I’m not officially attending. And this one was no different.

I realized I needed to be more consistent in my writing of stories. I don’t know what that looks long term (as in for tomorrow). But for today, I’m using a prompt from Five Minute Friday. As the name suggests, I wrote without editing (Lord, preserve us all) for five minutes. So now that you know what’s going on. Here is my story about “Collect.”

I let the stones trickle over my fingers and into the grey box. 1-2-3-4-5. Smooth, cool. The thunks of the landing echoing against the cardboard where I’d stashed my mishmash collection of stones since I was a kid.

A deep red I found on the beach—Spring break with my mom. The Petoskey, engraved with strange, long dead coral—summer vacation with husband. Sea glass, quartz, …

A record without words. I tucked the box back into the shelf and leaned my head against the cabinets breathing in the rain scrubbed air. Relishing the quiet that only comes from vacation, fresh-air, and showered kids tucked in bed. Continue reading “ReCollect: a Short Story”

To Caregivers

For anyone new here or doesn’t follow me on Facebook, my daughter had surgery 2 weeks ago to rebuild the ACL in her knee. We went into surgery expecting her to be able to start walking without crutches 10 days post-surgery. That all went sideways and she came out with the additional diagnosis of 2 meniscus tears, a brace that made it difficult for her to get out of a chair unassisted, and the news she wouldn’t be able to start therapy until after the 2-week mark.

That all went sideways and she came out with the additional diagnosis of 2 meniscus tears, a brace that makes it difficult for her to get out of a chair unassisted, and the news she wouldn’t be able to start therapy until after the 2-week mark.

Well, my girl had her 2-week check-up…and more not-fun news. Because of the tears in her meniscus, she can’t start physical therapy next week or the week after…for another 4 weeks. Which means crutches more time on crutches.

To recap, she injured her knee 2 months ago and we have 4 more weeks before we can start working on getting back to normal. Six weeks. Including the time she spent waiting for surgery, that’s a total of 12 weeks on crutches. Twelve weeks.

Continue reading “To Caregivers”

Ode to Garage Sales—Mom Life


This week my friends and I hosted that glorious thing that is a garage sale—where folks paw through my abundance of junk priceless treasures to add to their homes.

It’s key to excelling in Mom Life to both host and attend one of these circuses for a bonanza of deals. So to all of you out there who pack an extra $20 bill in your purse just in case you spot a sign on the street, I give you:

Ode to Garage Sales

Continue reading “Ode to Garage Sales—Mom Life”

Never Eat Soggy Waffles—Wise Advice


A few weeks ago I told you all about the conversation jar my son brought home from school and told you I’d be asking and maybe answering some of those questions here. So, here’s the first of the bunch:

If you could give everyone in the world one piece of advice, what would you say?

Frankly, in the current political climate, that questions scares me. I thought about telling everyone to love one another or seek REAL truth no matter the cost. They’re good answers. But my 8-year-old gave the best advice. In his serious little man’s voice he said, “Never eat soggy waffles.”

At the risk of blowing off a serious question, it’s good advice. Soggy waffles stink. And sometimes we need to take ourselves a little less seriously, and give each other a little more grace.

I’d love to hear what your non-political answer to the question would be. And in the meantime, I’m wishing you a week where you give love and seek truth no matter the cost.

Hello? Is Anybody There? Finding Connection in Questions

Rest. Stillness. Community.

These are all words that I’m struggling to define…to implement. At this moment in time, you and I are probably more “connected” to our world than ever before. We talk about online community building, even creating community in our churches.

And yet, so often, we feel completely alone.

Granted social media, the core of online connection, shows a version of “it”—that something we all need/want. But, if we’re honest, the parade of connection leaves us feeling a little hollow. Continue reading “Hello? Is Anybody There? Finding Connection in Questions”

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”

Ode to Tradition

traditionThese days we are full-flung into the season of family and celebration. It’s all making me feel a little bit like Tevye from the famous musical, Fiddler on the Roof, stomping around the house crying, “Tradition!” I’m just missing the big bushy beard and belly to jiggle…OK a few other things too. But you know what I mean.

So here’s my nod to tradition:

At my house, we’ve already hosted Thanksgiving, gone to the tree farm, and trimmed our tree. We’re edging into December and we’re living in Thanksmas at the moment—halfway between pumpkins and snowflakes…Tradition!

We’ve made gingerbread houses and peppermint bark, we’re prepping for Christmas cookies and eating leftover pecan pie. My waistline might be expanding if I didn’t hit the treadmill at 5 am…Tradition!

My kids try to sneak peaks at the packages I’ve hidden on the top shelf of the closet. I’ve been bit by the same generous bug as St. Nicholas and there are presents for nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas, including a new game for us to all play together…Tradition!

Somewhere under a pile of school papers is the advent calendar. Every night, we clear space enough space on the table to avoid a fire hazard, when we light the Advent candles, and read a special Christmas book…Tradition!

We’ve smiled for pictures that are perfect. Stuffed messes away. We clean up real nice, but we’re starting to fray.

So purpose and meaning we seek, packing shoeboxes full of toys for kids who’ve nothing, put together scarves for the homeless, given presents to the local foster group home. And, while good and necessary and right, it still lacks a bit of something.

Perhaps it’s a leftover melancholy from my childhood, where traditions were few and far between. But as I sit here in the quiet, with my coffee, I wonder if meaning comes less from tradition, and more from the consistent presence of a loving friend or parent.

So yes, tradition has purpose and contributes to meaning. But it’s my presence inside those traditions that make the difference. And somehow that’s a little freeing.

Wishing you a blessed week…and one full of meaning with a side of holiday tradition.Tweet This

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Worth a Thousand Words

thousand-wordsFrom the moment my daughter was born, she was most content when not inside. As a baby, the best way to calm her colicky crying was to snuggle her in a bouncy seat under the maple tree or, when it got cold, take her for a ride in a sled.

During her early years, I spent hours in the woods trailing a toddler looking for critters under overturned logs, disguised behind leaves, and lurking in the water. We amazed at how they were created to adapt to their environment and needs.

I started photographing the animals we found and put them into a book for my girl…and those little books became board books published a few years back. (Check out the All About God’s Animal series over here.)

My girl is a tween now and doesn’t need me by her side as she builds tree forts and digs for fishing worms. And so it’s been a long, long time since I hunted the woods, beaches, and waterways for critters and nature to capture on film.

my-girlUntil now. A few days ago, my girl asked me to go take pictures with her. The little dude was at soccer practice and the field is hemmed in with fields and trees—full of natural beauty, decay, and life all mixed together for us to explore. Continue reading “Worth a Thousand Words”

Creek Water and Redemption

creek-water-redemptionThere’s just something about a creek…or, if you’re from the South or small town Indiana like my Gramma, a crick.

We had one of these magical places behind my house growing up. It was home to a huge rock, a towering sand cliff, and more horsetail reeds than a kid could possibly make into pretend salads. We hunted frogs, fish, and imaginative respite.

It was my home outside my home. So when, as an adult, I saw a creek meandering behind a beautiful house, my heart fell in love…despite the fact my husband and I were planning to move elsewhere at the time.

Weed clogged and dirty, this creek was basically run-off from all the neighbors’ yards complete with resident frogs and occasional fish. The fact that I was enormously pregnant didn’t stop me from weed-whacking the entire backyard and meticulously laying out newspaper to stop the weeds from coming back up. I still don’t know how I did it. I could barely touch my toes.

In the 8 years since we moved, our creek has filled in a bit and the frogs have moved out. My kids don’t seem quite as interested and I don’t know which came first—the disinterest or my neglect of it.

However I’m beginning to suspect that my decision to not attack the weeds and debris in our creek had a lot to do with the disinterest.

There’s reasons. Good ones. But not good enough ones.

Continue reading “Creek Water and Redemption”