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faith

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I’ve always considered myself a writer, even when circumstances, mood, expectation, and lagging self-discipline argue otherwise.  I remember reading the words “Writer’s write” on a disposable coffee cup years ago and recognizing it must be true, simultaneously balancing a mixture of guilt and challenge given the statement’s lack of sentimentality. My problem is not that I don’t write.  My problem is that my desire to write something meaningful, a piece pregnant with its depth of potential, freezes me from writing the mundane.  This unspoken presumption that I must have a matter resolved prior to stringing words together paralyzes me from exposing the inevitable angst and confusion in the midst of life process. Angst and confusion in the midst of life process.  Is that where this is going, then?  Perhaps.  I can concede that life process…the very mundane aspects of daily living…beckons me to glimpse into glowing windows in…

I’m up way too late tonight reading back through personal blog posts…posts dating all the way back to 2010. Six years of sharing home design, heart wrenches, celebrations, soul searching, holidays, kids growing, homeschooling, churching, teaching, hubby-fighting (quite literally as in MMA, cages, and the whole kit & kaboodle.  More on that another time…), chicken acquiring, and prolonged journeys of self-discovery. As I read, I sat here pining for things to be like they used to be (my kids, for one), rejoicing that other things have changed (can I say kids again?) , and all in all feeling reflective and nostalgic…while at the same time very present… in my own life. Does it seem like we spend way too much time anymore observing other people’s lives? Observing other people’s events? Spectating other people’s accomplishments? Vicariously enjoying other people’s vacations? Swooning over other people’s creativity? And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  I love spying on the…

In April, I walked away from this blog, purged my overflowing paint room, and figuratively set my creative self aside until further notice.  I encouraged myself with thoughts like: “This is the answer.  Finally God is speaking clearly through circumstances.  Today, at this moment, I know what I am NOT supposed to do.  Stop the waffling, cease the analyzing, simply march. Onward, ho.” So I renewed my teaching credentials, clicked ‘yes’ to numerous substitute jobs in middle and high school classrooms, and marveled daily that they permitted this 40-something nobody into public classrooms with vibrant young people rehearsing for orchestra concerts, molding clay on potter’s wheels, analyzing “A Street Car Named Desire,” and chewing erasers through intense Calculus finals. It has been 16 years, people.  16 years since I’ve managed a high school classroom, stood in front of little beauty queens with perfect eyebrows, chatted with athletes shuffling their weary…

Sunday after church, we are sitting over spaghetti discussing the highs and lows of our weekend.  It takes longer when given more than one day to process, but we are in no hurry.  Sunday afternoon looms large. Popular “high” answers include a visiting nephew, a successful wrestling tournament, a new driver’s license.  The unity of celebratory events does not escape me as these moments are, ultimately, the ties that bind.  String them together and they are beaded cords of days, months, years which we will one day perceive from a distance with a piercing combination of loss and joy, this dichotomy one of the most powerful emotions of the human heart. And then the “lows:” Tales of worn-out brake pads, leaving a loved one at the airport, too much homework before Monday. It is in these precious, unhurried moments of quiet listening and reflection that it dawns on me: Today,…

Way back in the dark, cold Alaskan winter of 1990, my then-fiance and I made what seemed like a very grown-up decision to become product distributors for a little multi-marketing business called Amway.Maybe you’ve heard of it? Terms like product pick-up, SA-8, Artistry and ‘going direct’ became part of our daily vocabulary as we joined hundreds and thousands of other hopefuls on a journey we believed would ultimately free us from the drudgery and mediocrity of what Amway referred to as the J-O-B.By April 1991, we were out.  With sighs of relief and our eyes opened wide, we determined there had to be a better way to succeed that didn’t involve awkward, manipulative presentations with trusting friends, surrender to up-line whose ‘Biblical’ standards were frighteningly similar to a cult, and the intense pressure to always be more, do more, dream more, sell more.We were 19 and 20 years old.  Truthfully? …

Okay, I’ll admit it.  When I originally committed to getting my house in order in Sixteen Days, I truly believed I would be done by Labor Day.Please don’t laugh.Have you ever experienced one of those seasons in which it felt like each circumstance and event was strategically lined up for the sole purpose of challenging your personal resolve and commitment?  In spite of best-laid plans, sky-high inspirations, and truckloads of work ethic, so many things came flying your way that you finally had to throw up your hands in the air, take a gulpy deep breath, and do the one thing that is ultimately.so.very.difficult.Surrender?The thing is, in the midst of surgeries, septic issues, broken garage doors, red-eye flights, bladder infections, a very sick dad, and a deeply-loved family member working her way through her own life-altering decision, one Scripture verse keeps running through my head over and over again.We can…

Fearless is not a word I would use to describe myself.Careful.  Orderly.  Responsible. Thoughtful.Good.These adjectives are more accurate.I tend to analyze situations before jumping in.  I wait and pray and ponder, questioning extensively if said activity lines up with my values, my priorities, my written goals, my faith.Does the activity I’m about to choose fit the mold for who I am supposed to be?  For who others expect I should be?For who the Bible says I should be?I weigh my time and commitments on whether or not I’m pleasing God and my husband, or whether I’m sacrificing what I believe is one of my highest callings: motherhood.  (Actually, I’ve discovered that I have clung so tightly to my role as mother ~ have taken it so seriously, in fact ~ that I risk saying no to many good yesses for fear I’ll fall short in this area.  God and I…

When we’re young, we strive to reach an ideal we’ve carried in our minds, an ideal which is a compilation of movie scenes, books we’ve read, families we’ve observed, truths we’ve learned, bits of life we’ve lived.We may not be able to accurately define this ideal early on, but its power propels us forward.  As we progress through schooling and relationships, jobs and big purchases, travels and recreation, it dances just out of reach beyond our fingertips ~ always there, yet never quite in focus ~ never quite attainable.Its drive is so very strong it carries us through excruciating tests, long hours on the job, heartache, moments of reprieve, and more striving.  It influences the clothes we purchase, the houses we buy, the activities we pursue, the way we parent your children, the way we spend money.  It drives our values, our choices, and our motivations.It inspires us.  It gives…

I just returned from a morning run and somehow wanted to capture the beauty, the peace, the inspiration His great outdoors can bring.  Such a gorgeous fall day~!Words from a poem I couldn’t quite recall kept playing through my mind as I prepared for this week….this season….this Monday morning:”….The best is yet to be…”I did a quick search and was delighted to discover, and recall, this phrase is from a poem by Robert Browning, one of my favorite poets, call “Rabbi Ben Ezra.”  A faith-filled declaration of God’s design for the life of man which inspires a new perspective on youth and aging.  Here are a few lines from the first stanza~ Grow old along with me!The best is yet to be,The last of life, for which the first was made:Our times are in His hand… If you need a dose of good literature and an ode to aging gracefully…

In my last post, I quoted the line from a design magazine: “God is in the details.” I didn’t elaborate, but my context was accessorizing and how often we stop short in this area for numerous reasons such as laziness, lack of inspiration, fear, or indecision. However, because the God I serve is such an immense God, full of glory and might and power, something in me rebels at the thought of reducing Him to accessories in a room.  The truth is, He will not be reduced by me or anyone else, no matter how hard we try. As I ponder this quote more fully, I can’t help but appreciate the truth it holds far beyond home decor. The truth of the matter is this: God IS in the details.  The details of our very lives. Every coincidence, every leaf, each and every bird, a breeze at just the right moment, a cup…