Sunday Rest?

Normally Sunday is set aside as a “day of rest”. Yet, I find myself thinking of what lies ahead this week. The busy business of appointments and getting ready for an overnight guest this coming weekend. My mind is busy planning as it seems to do without fail.

When our children were little, advice from mature moms rang, “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” Like a good student, I’d listen and try to do what they said. Did you catch that? Try to do. After the put-baby-in-the-crib-without-waking-up-baby contortionist moves, I’d try to sleep, too. Yet, my mind never quite got the sleeping memo.

My mind would not shut off. I should be doing: laundry, dishes, planning the evening meal, vacuuming, recording baby milestones, and so on and so forth. Do, do, do. We are a culture of do.

Transparency alert: Even during the sermon this morning my mind refused to stop. Yes, I followed along in scripture reading. Yes, I heard the sermon, yet, my mind wandered to and fro . . . eventually coming back to the sermon and then it would go off on another adventure. Even if I’m resting my body, my mind is a stubborn one. One I’m still trying to figure out how to control.

Am I really resting if my mind is running a marathon? How do I hear God’s voice in all my mind chatter? Perhaps upon waking is when I seem to hear from God–my mind hasn’t awakened yet?

How do you “shut off your mind” in order to rest? Or hear from God? Inquiring minds really do want to know!

Come to me

Finding My Way Out Of The Middle

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I participated in a little thing called NaNoWrMo (National Novel Writing Month) this past November. It was a dark and trying time. I’m not dramatic.

I pumped out a whopping 1,667+ each day except Thanksgiving (because come on!). I met my goal — finishing. Finishing has always been an issue for me. But, I did it. I gained confidence and a really terrible cold/cough (but let’s not talk about that six to eight week nightmare).

Allowing my novel sit in a corner and think about what it has done…wait….letting it sit for December and half of January, I finally began the first round of the editing process. I have no idea if this story will ever see the light of someone else’s day, but I feel I need to finish this first round of edits. You know, finishing. Don’t quit. And all that.

Here’s the thing. I’m in the middle. The same middle, when writing, made me want to quit. It was hard. Quite frankly, I was surprised. It was kind of like the awkward teen years hard. I assumed the beginning or end would be the worst. Silly, silly girl. That middle is not a nice girl.

Editing that same middle? I am so discouraged. I’m not being dramatic. Seriously. There are inconsistencies, dialog and more that has me questioning this whole writing thing.

Yet, this is something I MUST wade through. I must dive in deep and swim to that ending. So, I am letting it sit for a few days (not weeks) with plans to return in an attack mode; clean it up and make it beautiful.

I’m learning about myself through this process. Writing a book has been a dream since I was in Junior High. But, maybe it has never been about the book this whole time. Maybe it is the journey of writing turning into the journey of finding me.

Whatever you, my dear reader, are doing or working toward, don’t give up. Will it look like you planned? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it’s not about the finish, maybe it is about the journey in the middle. Because . . .

One needs to travel through the ugly to get to the beautiful.


The Real Struggle in the Real Hard

I never want to write anything political. It’s not me. And, I want this blog to be a place to escape from the world for a minute or two. Yet, I would be remiss if didn’t address the happens of this week, this year and sadly many years before. This post just wouldn’t let me alone, so, I write . . .

Children dying at the hand of another, Police Officers shot and some killed, shoppers gunned down, children and adults taken, and the list could go on. Our world becomes smaller every day as news and video footage of events quickly show up in our lives. Even our “safe” communities are in question.

I ache for those left behind, the parents, relatives, classmates/workmates, those who reply the scenes every time eyes shut. When will it end? When did another’s life not matter? This is not a race issue. It’s a people issue.

Let’s not give satan a stronghold in this . . . evil will not win.

The cry, “What can we do?” is real and loud. If I look at the big picture, I quickly become overwhelmed. Yet, the problem is a big-picture. Is it too late to start small? Is it too late to open up a one-on-one conversation with people next door, in our own communities?

I don’t have the answers. I have many questions. In the drowning waters of this life, there is hope we must swim toward and grab on tightly. There is faith in a loving God who is weeping along with us. A faith which believes we are not fighting against man but against the spiritual forces of evil in a fallen world. (Ephesians 6 and Genesis 3)

Is it too simple to think love and kindness are the answers?

Will you join me in praying? Praying for the people. Praying for the action He would have us do. And, the patience in the timing.

Amen and amen, Dear Jesus.


How to avoid…

It began innocently enough. Mend an article of clothing or clear a path in the snow for household members. Wouldn’t want someone to catch pneumonia from walking through six inches of snow, in a snow storm, now would I? How cruel do you think I am? Exactly.

Feed the dog and cats, then shovel. And, hey, might as well shovel a path to the cars, and clear off some of the snow. And throw a few snowballs at the dog. Nose running (you’re welcome) and the dog ready and willing to fly down the basement at the opening of the back door, we were done in more ways than one.


Mending. Must.mend. Oh, the humidifier needs to be cleaned! I missed cleaning it last week so it surely needs to be done, right now. This definitely comes before sewing. Definitely.

Then, a lull in the storm. Huh, good time as any to clean out the drive with the snowblower. Yep. After many attempts to keep said machine running, after I figured out where in the world to put in the key, I was “happily” blowing snow. The dog thought this was all for him, of course, as he thought it was fun to either catch the snow or run a head of the snow. Or get in my way — same thing.

As I was fighting the snowblower, I decided this counts as a workout. No treadmill for me today. Win-win. I mean, why double up on the cardio at my age. Oh, wait…

pexels-photo-212269.jpegWalking past the item to mend (yes, it was “only” one item–don’t judge me), I remember I threw bed sheets in the washing machine before shoveling the sidewalk. In the dryer they flew. Need to wash the blankets. If you’re going to have clean sheets on the bed, you must have clean blankies. It’s a rule.

Edit, I need to edit my book. It won’t edit itself. Oh, wait, need to read the chapters sent to me by oldest daughter who finished her book. Beta-readers unite! Quietly. So I can read. And concentrate.

I eat an early lunch because “cardio” snow-blowing and move on to editing. But, need a cup of coffee first. With creamer. Now editing. Why is the dog barking? Need to look out the window. Wait, what????!!!! I hear the snowplow coming down our road for the first time today. At noon. This requires watching to make sure it is real! It is. It does exist!

Okay, editing my book. It is going good and then I realize I should call my dad and make sure he is okay. By now it is 2:00. Prime nap-taking time if there ever was any. I take the chance. I think I woke him by the sound of his voice but he says he is making cookies and was getting a pan out of the oven.

pexels-photo-301972.jpegI ask dad if I should come over and get his mail for him. He says he can drive out to the mailbox. I ask again. He tells me the same story. I ask if Hubs should stop on his way home from work and get his mail for him. He says he can do it…a little more forcefully this time. I drop it. Obviously his ninety-year-old brain was not picking up on the I’ll come over and get your mail code which would have actually become, Give me all your cookies. Wait, maybe his ninety-year-old brain really was on to me after all.

I’ve been tricked! Do we have any chocolate in this house? Or cookies? Cupboard doors open, close and a loud sigh is heard throughout the world.

Hubs will be home in less than an hour so I begrudgingly get the item which needed mending. I get out the thread, needle, and scissors. Slowly. Sadly. Wait, the mail person just dropped off the mail in our mailbox (across the road). I need to get the mail before Hubs gets home. I can do that for him. I have the day off of work so I can surely get the mail so he doesn’t have to. Yep. I’m that good wife. And, the sidewalk needs to be cleared again since it is getting warmer and the snow stopped. Gotta get that clear.

With ten minutes to go until he arrive home, I bravely thread the needle and plunge into the mending.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is you to avoid sewing/mending for as long as possible. Or maybe how to avoid editing? Hmmm…(shrugs shoulders) either way, you’re welcome.

P.S. Did you know I hate to sew?

In the Dance

Mind and Body float in time as the dance of Life sways to its own beat.  Life’s unsteadiness wears on the gliding pair until what once was a joyful dance is now a mismatched beat of feet stepping on feet.

Life circles, smiling, taunting the couple. A tap on Body’s shoulder and Life cuts-in, twirling Mind at dizzying speed.

What once was a beautiful synchronized dance becomes slow and heavy, barely moving, barely thriving, hardly living. Is it naive to think a beautiful dance could last a life time? Or, is it pain, depression, illness, and other’s opinions playing in one’s mind the devious plan of Life.

Fiercely arguing, Mind and Body decide Life needs to be silenced in one way or another. Anything to stop the cruel dance started when Life cut-in.

pexels-photo-306825.jpegLife’s lies scream. Cold, dark, winter winds echo in Mind and whips Body. Life laughs with glee. With laser sharp focus, Hope and Joy are next in the game; bullying them as Mind and Body cower in a corner.

A sudden movement startles Life. Fear and anger line his face, screaming insults at the cause of the movement. Knowing each other for an extremely long time, Life curses.

Mind and Body huddle together, wishing the floor would swallow them whole. They jump, feeling a gentle touch on their shoulders, yet, know deep inside the owner of the touch would never hurt them. As they relax and begin to uncurl from the corner, a whisper washes over them.

“I came so you may have new Life.”

Smiling, Hope and Joy begin to twirl. Mind and Body join in their dance as The Son laughs as He, too, joins in the dance. Music of New Life fills the room and The Son joins Mind and Body as they waltz.

As the music slows, The Son gently speaks, “This New Life won’t always be easy. It will be filled with much of the same the twists and turns the old Life threw causing you to stumble and fall. If you remember your need for Me, call to Me, follow and obey Me, you’ll have the peace and hope only found through Me. You were never designed to do this on your own. Together, even in the hard dance, we’ll make this New Life a glorious dance.”





Tale of A Meteor . . . Or Perhaps An Alien Spaceship

The area is buzzing over a (supposedly) meteor fireball flashing across the sky last evening. Or as I’d like to say, “Or was it? How do we really know it wasn’t an alien spaceship? Hmmmm???” (I’ll just be over here stirring the pot if you need me)

Whatever it was, I’m still holding out for an alien spaceship because SPACESHIP, the flash of light through the darkness comes at a most advantageous time for a blog post since a couple of friends and I began reading Genesis 1 this week.

Our small group of wonderful ladies was looking for another book for our book-Bible study. We finished Start With Amen by Beth Guckenberger  in the fall and took a few months off. (side note: if you haven’t read that book…do it!) We wanted something with meat and no “canned” answers just like what we had finished. Yet, we couldn’t find a book we all were excited about. We had a novel idea — let’s read the Bible. You know, K.I.S.S. (keep it simple silly) and all that!

Honestly, I haven’t gotten far in the Bible reading. But, that is a good thing. Quick reading, especially over the familiar passages, causes me to skim over light-bulb moments.

In my Bible I circled “God created”. His first recorded act. He created — and what a beautiful world He molded. Next, there is talk of darkness and light (and just for sticking with me, this is where this post comes full circle).

As the reports and videos of the so-called meteor (and a sonic boom) began to make its way onto a screen or device “near you”, I began to think about the light God created in the darkness. Speaking it into being. I imagine Him having a little fun with the light. “Would it look better here . . . or here? Hmmm, yes, it looks beautiful right there,” He remarked while adjusting it a bit to the right. (yes, my imagination is a dangerous thing)

God didn’t just say, “Hey, light is better than dark so let’s just get rid of dark.” No, he “added” to the darkness by including light. He separated the two, like we do when children fight, but didn’t rid the earth of the dark.

Without darkness, would we truly appreciate the light? As I am writing this, a quick look out my front window treats my eyes to the beginnings of a gorgeous sunrise. Darkness and light are playing this morning.

Whether we want to admit it or not, life is this way, too. We all have moments of difficult darkness. A death, cancer, wayward children, relationship issues and the list goes on. Yet, we hold on to hope that light will overshadow that dark. Without the dark, we really cannot appreciate the light.

Now, do not get me wrong. Those dark times of life are not fun and I am not making light of the subject (I just realized I added a pun…). Sometimes that dark gets so dark one may find themselves in a deep, dark pit. Yet, isn’t there light, even if it is a pin-hole of light, invading the dark if we search for it?

We were in an underground cave a few years ago and the tour guide shut off the lights. It was a darkness without any glimpse of light. It’s a darkness I imagine Genesis 1 talks of before God created light.

As we explored the cave with the tour guide, (after the lights were turned back on) we moved closer to the opening (exit) where light streamed in. The dark was behind us. The light in front of us. We moved, with confidence, as we followed our tour guide toward the light.

The Beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.


“Go and find what it is that inspires you, go and find what it is that you love, and go do that until it hurts. Don’t quit, and don’t give up. The reward is just around the corner. And in times of doubt or times of joy, listen for that still, small voice. Know that God has been there from the beginning – and he will be there until…The End.” – The Magnolia Story.

Isn’t it sweet how the social media giant reminds one of postings from years ago even when one would like to forget how one said too much in the excitement of the early years of said giant. Read: I can’t believe how many dumb things I posted back then. La-sigh. However, today wasn’t one of those days.

Said giant reminded me the above quote was posted last year when I finished reading The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Read it again. I’ll wait. Go on now. I am the boss of you so stop arguing . . .

What is nagging you? You know, that one thing popping into your mind as you read the quote. That one thing popping into your mind when your pastor talks about listening to what God is asking of you. That one thing you’ve pushed down because of the limitations you’ve put on yourself, or you’re frightened because it takes work and a huge step of faith. Or, you might look silly. I mean, come on, “it’s not God, it’s your own thinking” (insert sarcasm).

Is that still small voice (God) getting louder? Might be time to take it seriously. Obedience and all that.

Personally, the quote popped up at the perfect time. I laugh writing that sentence. Like God’s timing isn’t always perfect!!

I’m wrist deep in editing what I wrote during NaNoWriMo in November. I sent a few chapters to a couple of friends, one of which is a published author. Okay, so I thought I was not switching point of view in scenes but obviously I had no earthly idea of what I was doing. Imagine that. Well, thanks to her I believe I can see where I went wrong. Throughout the whole book if I were to guess.

She is super encouraging and such a wonderful friend to help me see my erroneous ways. I so appreciate it. Yet, thinking of all the ways I switched point of view throughout the whole book gave a tiny sliver of doubt enough room to creep into my mind. And, that is all it takes to make me want to give up. I’m not saying this to get affirmation; just want to be honest with my journey in case yours looks similar. 

I participated in NaNoWriMo because in all of my 51 years of life, I’ve yet to complete what I’ve started. I have a quarter of an afghan stuff away in a bag surrounded by unused yarn to prove it. And, all the stories in my mind? I’d happily begin typing until about the third chapter and just give up. Who am I?!

Well, you want to know a secret? I am not giving up! I am not going to give in to all my years of self-doubt and “less than” feelings. I’m going to finish this ugly book until she is beautiful. Get behind me sliver of doubt because “ain’t nobody got time for this”!!

What is standing in your way? (Kick it to the curb and do the thing you were meant to do!!)