Writing What's Right

I kind of always thought I blogged during my best days and years because I was happy at those times. 

Looking back, I'm beginning to see that my most joyful times have been when I've focussed on the positive, been grateful about my blessings, and seen my life as something worth keeping. All things that happen when I blog.

Over the years, this has been more than a creative outlet, a documentation, or a way to share our life with my friends and family. It has been an accountability to being in the moment, making the most of everyday, listening for and to God's voice, being thankful, finding riches in the small things, remembering to remember, and proving to myself that there is goodness in each step of the way. 

I've been gone for awhile now. And I need to come back from where I've been.
I don't know where in me I'm going to find what it takes, but it is time to start again ~ to write down what's right, and let the wrong go unaccounted for.


even The Planet Keeper finds Rest

She said she could see it coming, "Three days. Three days of rest followed by something...  big". And I haven't stopped thinking of it since. Asking, wondering, dwelling on the meaning of rest.

God's Own brand of Rest. 

Zeek and I have been talking about it during school. The seven days of creation. One of them a full day of Rest declared Holy by The Maker of the universe. 

And we've talked about setting aside one of our seven days.

But where does a human find Rest?
How do we stop the train? 

Isn't it to honor Him that we dig, scrub, press, kneed, organize, feed, plan and keep? And shouldn't we stop, kneel, and offer all of this. Declare it all Holy? 

But where do three days come from the hands of a full time wife, mom, teacher, pet keeper, driver, chef, homemaker? 

Oh, but Who does Make my home? 

And Who Brings the Peace that we settle into?

And didn't He Create the entire planet? The Planet Keeper Himself.

If He can find Rest at the end of such Work... if He can find a moment to call it complete; to declare it all Holy, then why couldn't I?

He told the Israelites to collect enough manna only for the needs of their family each day. And those who tried to collect more were greeted with maggots in their surplus. But God allowed them to collect double on the sixth day in preparation of the Sabbath; the day of rest. 

So, the Israelites, who were in the desert and had a very real constant need for God's provisions, not only found His favor and miracles left and right, but even they were miraculously prepared for Rest. Plan ahead, gather double, and make way for the Sabbath. 

Aren't I in charge of what I do with my schedule? Couldn't plan ahead each week? And if the task really is as insurmountable as it feels, then couldn't I allowed myself to completely rely on Him to part the waters and make His Way?  


Walking with Scripture

 The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.

I have all that I need. 

He makes me to lie in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters.

He's providing the peace. Not me.
He's doing the leading. Not me.

He renews my strength.

...He said to me, "my grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness."

He guides me along right paths
bringing honor to His name.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil...

For You are with me...
and if God is for us then who can be against us?

For I am convinced that not death or life,
not angels or demons, not present or future, or any powers,
not height or depth, or anything else in creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
You prepare a feast before me in the presence of my enemies.

You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cups runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

and I will live in the house of the Lord, forever. 

Psalm 23
Romans 8:38-39
Romans 38
2 Corinthians 2:9


More than my Salvation

It's been cold and stale in this room, where those months just before You're Light filled every edge and shone about countless gifts and blessings everywhere my eyes rested. 

My season shifted, and I took the change in stride. Who gets to have You so close, so effortlessly, continuously, forever? 

I kept my eye on You. My heart ready to jump in where ever You called. I bent my knee and raised my face to the sky everyday. I spoke Truths to the little one, and I placed my prayerful hand on the rise and fall of the chest who still tries to carry all our burdens. I crossed through this house proclaiming our cover. Dry as the words were of Your power.

I waited, and I didn't fill with guilt. I know the Spirit is like the wind, and who knows when or from where it will come and go? It is not for me to say or to earn, that I shall never boast. It is You who decides.

Until last night, I only asked for You to pull me in nearer again. I'm afraid of me without your peace. It is scary- what I am incapable of without you. 
The difference between me and me with You is astounding. You carry me. You lift me up and you take me right where I need to be. 
I love that. 

And last night I begged for it. I took into consideration that You love that too, and I pleaded for the Spirit to move in me again. 

And today You drew near. In random world-filled moments You initiated, and we spoke, and I saw

And tonight, after a day with family, bonding and hand holding, gift buying and laughter, I filled my Sentsys with new fall scents, turned the lights low and sat down to some Ann. Ann, who once filled me and then months ago all at once read like a foreign language... as if the wind had blown the summer door closed. I read her weekend prayer, and You took me here... and I heard You. 

And I looked up into this kitchen, holy temple turned hospital waiting room- and this time I saw it. That warm glow. That halo around everyplace I rested my eyes, again. 
I blinked and shook my face and opened wider. I looked around to the half-grown puppy who came new during the stale dry spell, and I even saw the light around her for the first time, ever. 

My heart quickened. I read and re-read Your invitation. I traced over the lines of every welcoming word. I breathed deep the promise that such a still hollow season has passed, and I took heed that this kind of gratefulness and worship is the same as anything with You... from You. not me. 
I answer yes. Always, and You know this. My lover, my guide, my counselor, my strength... dare I mention, friend. 

I pray that this time with you, this pouring in is long and uninterrupted. 

And I will rest in You, oh God.   

song reference: audrey assad, restless


no talking...

I've often wondered and prayed about my talkativeness.The answer to that prayer seems to be coming in the form of a supposed virus.

Diagnosed with viral laryngitis, I've been prescribed nothing but hydration, physical rest, and no talking

No talking. 

That's like going to the gym for me.

No talking seems impossible. Whether it's words or song, I've always found it irresistible to fill dead airspace between two or more with sound. There are few special people I can comfortably sit in silence with. I am well known to out-talk the talkiest of talkers.  

Of course, I've talked about it. I've concluded in the presence of my closest of friends that I fill space because it is terribly uncomfortable for me to sit in someone else's silence. 

During the past few days of no talking for me I have learned so much more about that discomfort. And I continue to learn.  

I didn't realize how much I associate silence with bad things.
Silence speaks loud and clear volumes to me.

True or untrue, silence says to me that a person is of one of these models:

biting their tongue
holding back
punishing with the "silent treatment"

feeling unworthy
having low-self esteem

showing distain
sparing people what they really think because it isn't good

in trouble

passing judgment


I know that there are connotations that go along with chatty people.

having no control
self centered
over indulgent

But I am a little of all those things. It's true. 

And I'd rather be seen that way than to be misrepresented in silence. 

I'm not bitter, insecure, antisocial, untrustworthy, rude, or a liar. I'm not trying to hide something, get away with something, or avoid something. I am right here, available and capable. I'm for you and with you, and although I'm more careful of what I will give you than I might have used to be, I do not withhold myself. I believe you deserve the common courtesy, love, and care that I would extend to anyone created by the same loving Father.

I love to hear your stories, where you came from, what you believe and why. I love to know the details of your heart. It's a treasure to me that I keep locked away in a special place. Sharing leads to loyalty, trust, prayer, and family.

My current required silence is really stretching me. 

In the mall when a person wants to talk to me and I have to keep it short and simple, I feel like I've taken something from them. 
When my kid sits at the dinner table and no one says anything, I feel like we're missing SO much of each other. 
When the phone rings and I have to text the person that I can't talk now, I feel rude.
When a service man comes to the house and I have to stay away so as not to communicate, I feel like I've lost the chance at extending our family.  

I feel like words, sharing, encouraging, responding, engaging with interest are all gifts we offer each other. I feel like I'm wrapping gifts and hiding them in the attic to collect dust, right now.

I know there is more to this. I know that what is happening is good for me. 
I'm praying through it. Keeping my eyes and ears open. I'm looking for truth and light behind all these ideas and notions that are surfacing about my interpretations of silence vs. sharing. 

I know this is an exercise in which for me to learn and grow. 

I don't usually do this, but if you have thoughts or ideas on this, prayerfully consider sharing them with me, please. I know my ideas freshly laid out might look a little stiff, close-minded, or even dark. I'm letting them out to stretch with me and hopefully take aim in a little better direction.

I'd love to hear from you. :)

Blessings in silence. 


in gratitude for

  • an early morning playdate with puppies 
  • two boys' digging deep into a sandbox and their rekindled friendship 
  • a meeting with an old school, straight shooting, high school coach
  • God's unending love for his children
  • stopping to turn around and hold a broken one 
  • three days on the calendar for next week with my son's bff 
  • the way his new sister makes him so happy and different- fulfilled
  • google translate
  • having her beside me in the kitchen
  • teaching her to cook 
  • fresh baby lemon-basil clippings for our stuffed manicotti 
  • an early home husband
  • pandora's paraguayan radio stations
  • dim lit dinner for a family of four
  • first pickles
  • sugar cookies stacked with double berry cheesecake ice cream
  • the beautiful hum of my maid servants; dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer
  • pink and cream roses piled high from the weekend welcoming
  • school things right around the corner
  • the changing of life, into the unknown
  • waiting for the unexpected
  • knowing it will be grand again
  • something i've never seen before 


A Prayer, Please

My almost six year old son listens to Toby Mac incessantly. One of the songs I hear blaring from his room sings, 
"give me that funky Jesus music, give me that soulful gumbo."

I seriously need some Jesus Gumbo right now. I have not been passionate or moved in anything pertaining to my spirit in connection with God in too long. 
I'm not feeling dried up. He's very much here, present and involved. It's me who's lacking/slacking.

A couple of months ago time came and swept me up like a tide. And not that I'm less busy now, but I have time back again (if that makes any sense) and I just can't seem to get back "in it". You know?

I had great things rolling for a good stretch before summer. From Ann Voskamp and the gratitude project, to Walking with Him Wednesdays, to some really great books including "The Pursuit of God", to Compassion, to Women Living Well, to a proverbs 31 study which I devoured, to God Speaks, to reading all of your websites which meant SO much to me, to a James study... all right here in my home. 

Now, I'm looking out, ready, and I can't snag onto anything I remotely have a heart for. 

I should at least be DEEP in prayer, maybe even fasting right now for my family, my parents home front, my husbands work, my son's relationships, my coming FES daughter's travels and readied heart. Barb V, Dolly G, and even me. 
But I lay my hands on his deeply breathing chest in the morning and press out a few hard to find words in my half-sleep. I curl around my little one and squeak out the only thing that always comes to me when I ask anything for him -safety and health and that He will be planted deep down and soundly in his little heart, forever. Amen 

So, if you could help me if you are reading this: ask God to give me a gentle little nudge into what ever area of Him He has for me next. I want it so badly.
Pray that He gives me what it takes -motivation, fire, passion, inspiration... to get me in that water again.

If you have any ideas or are being moved by something you are in love with these days in Spirit, share it with me would you, please? 

Thanks so much for checking in on me. 
I hope that all is well with you.

Blessings and love, 


Coming Back to Gratitude (sometimes i really do forget)

Fresh vegetables from a neighbor.
My 12 year old looking stick-like body, all in working order.

Pug nails, ticking.
One Sunflower filled with seeds and memories.

Having Time back.
Love songs to Him running through my always song stuck mind.
Hot morning coffee.

Baby gates.
The rare but always beautiful landing of a particular forever friend.

Home purging.
Pushing out to bring in.
Being almost there.

Seeing Him again.
A hot summer day poolside with my own son: an old longing dream fulfilled again.

The way the light streams in.

Paper wings planted like morning kisses.

The recent discovery of a special place nearby.

This one and only. Always.

Thank You God, for all of this.


dreaming of her

My whole life is consumed by her, right now. Almost everything I do throughout the day is in preparation for our life with her, beginning so soon. 

Everything I mark on the calendar I dream of participating in with her.

When I think about going to the sentsy party at Dawn's, I can not wait for her to meet Dawn - for Dawn to meet her - for her to meet sentsy, chose one for her room, smell all the scents and decide which ones she loves.

When I think of going to Apple's class that first Thursday that she is here, I think of her riding in the front seat next to me on the way - seeing the puppy at her best, in working action - meeting Jeff and sitting with Zeek on the benches in class.

When I chop veggies for my weekly pico creation, I wonder if she'll sit across the island and tell me about her school day - if she'll want to chop with me - if she'll love pico and tortilla chips like I do - the ways she might make a change in what I throw together.

I go into her beautiful, pink, girly room and imagine her doing homework at her desk, or laying on her bed with her laptop, or picking out her outfit for a day out with her new family!!! :)

I CAN NOT STOP thinking every single thing with her in it.
The seasons, holidays, events, shows, music, car rides, Packer games, sunsets, evening walks, cooking, eating, movies, gatherings, bon-fires, showing her everything... every single last thing. With her.

Just FIVE more days! 
I am completely beside myself. 


In His Good Time

I keep expecting this summer to slow down and become something else- something more still and peaceful. But it just keeps on rushing by.

I look back fondly at the soft easy days of the season just passed- the season that was full of time and God's obvious constant presence. I smile at how I imagined it would stay forever. 

These days there isn't time to even wonder if I could re-obtain some of that sweet life.

But this summer has been fun. Full to the brim every day with projects, activities, events, plans plans plans. And I can hardly keep my heartbeat in step with the fast tune of our weeks. I feel like I will only know the beauty of what these days held when I look back. That's not easy when I so love the present of being present. I am missing some of this right now.  

But the promises keep being fulfilled. The signs and whispers and reminders still blow through and stop me for a brief moment in my tracks. I snap a photo. TRY to hold on. To muster up some feelings about now. 
Then we're quickly slapping together pb&j #482 of the summer, cramming back into the jeep for a dog class, soccer game, swim date, library run, VBS, farmers market, drop off, pick up, groceries, performance, ice cream, beach, park...
All wonderfully exciting, though a bit terribly fast. 

I have not missed noticing the women in my life. The women that God has been working on showing me. The ones who are safe and sound. Many who have been here all along. Some new who gently pull up without intentions or claws. Women who have their own lives and don't want to become mine. Women who aren't afraid to make calls and commitments. Women who take care, not suck and drain and steal. 

It's amazing how many women are living out their lives with Jesus and not just saying the words. It's amazing how I've seen Him through my time with them- through them. 

Then we spotted her as a group of four... and most recently five!   

It's all coming around. 
A little later than I expected, but in His good timing. 


Each & Every One

As I watched the people and children gather together to hula-hoop and enjoy the market, I thought of what it must have been like 50 years ago. For a moment I was transported to an older, safer, more wholesome era. 

I snapped a photograph.

As soon as my shutter reopened I felt a sadness for you as reality set in. You will never know those kinds of days. And only God knows what you will live to see.

Then I remembered how blessed we are to be in these times. When we are so clearly getting nearer to the point. Where the motivation to know and serve Him is heightened. In which the honor of being truly set apart will become so apparent.

As I flashed through a scene from the past to this scene in the now, I inhaled knowing that if given a choice all my life I would have chosen today.


Part Two of a Two Part Tail

My husband has wanted out loud to get second dog at least 20 times in the past two years.
He's always rooting for his favorite breeds: small, with flat faces and lots of wrinkles.

My stance has never wavered. We are not getting another dog.

I always had all the sensible answers to cool off his new-dog longings.
But the truth was no secret with that giant "closed for business" sign on the front door since losing Nemo. 

I didn't understand what the big difference was this time when my husband brought up the dog subject, again.
It took the whole process playing out for me to realize what happened. It was like a whirlwind.  

In hindsight I know now that this last dog conversation wasn't about what my husband wanted. It was about what he knew was good for me. It was about him knowing that I'm not quite complete without a big dog, and recognizing that this was never going to happen unless someone lovingly started pushing me through the layers of hurt that were holding me back. 

When I heard "great dane" and "mastiff" come out of his face, I knew this was some serious stuff.

My husband was not working alone, either. God's peaceful driving moved me to places (and breeder searches) I would not have sought being the stubborn girl who had already made a life decision about this big dog thing.

Apparently, the great dane and bullmastiff that I dreamed of were not the dogs for me. We can find breeders of just about any dog where we are located, and there was not a one reputable, safe-looking find that I could rest in within 150 miles for either breed.

How exactly we started looking for Boxers, I don't remember. We've both always loved them. I guess I just assumed because of their looks that they were somehow dangerous.
Once we looked into them though, all my uneducated assumptions crumbled.

A people dog
Devoted to family
Awesome with kids
Fearless and courageous
Good guard dogs
Highly tolerant
Extremely adaptable

We were able to find multiple breeders in our area.

We did our credibility research, and once we were confident about our selection we were making a call and scheduling a visit!!! My husband was being very lovingly pushy by that point.
I was shaking my head, hitting my knees, warning my husband that I may pull the chord at any second if I felt like we needed to backpedal...

and through the immediate rushing waves of fear, the memories of past, the guilt of betrayal to my Nemo, the worry that I wasn't ready to love this dog the way I wanted to love my next dog... there was such a peace and a "yes" that moved my fingers and my mouth and my feet outside of my own will.

On the way to the breeder's I slowed the reeling of my flesh and fearfully turned to God. This is one of those things between us... you know those things you don't really want to look Him in the eye over?
I sought His face, and in mid-prayer received a beautiful confirmation.

When we walked into the kennel, I knew her at first sight.

Greg had explained to Zeek that we were getting a dog for our family, but it was going to be Mommy's dog for the choosing. They stood back and honored that promise as I picked her up and lost myself.

The breeder mama described her as the most submissive of the bunch, and the largest of her litter, born double in size to her brothers and sisters. She also told me how sweet and loving she is, and how she was the one she wanted to keep for herself.

She shared with us our puppy's Mom and Dad.

Duke Rebel Hooch:

the brown one 

Sugar Diamond Christie:

I made sure my new baby said good-bye to her Mommy.

We paid and signed the AKC registration, received her medical records, took one last look at her adorable family, and walked with our dog to our Jeep.

I could hardly stand.
I held her and cried the first 10 minutes of our 40 minute ride home.

Most of the following 24 hours with my dog were spent on a roller coaster of emotion. I knew she'd unlocked the "dog love" door, I just was not ready for what it was going to feel like, walking in.

I'm going to doubt anyone in my life thought more of it than I was cuddling, dancing with, singing to and all around getting aquatinted with my new puppy. 

But the way she reminds me... the bittersweet way the love crashes into the longing and the awe and joy collide with the pain of his memory. 
The puppy's constant snuggling in, with sweet loyal attachment soothes my aching through God's healing, and the soft puppy kisses cushion the tenderness of my hurts.

And I notice how only God could have made this happen this way.
How He knew all along what I had no suspicion of.

What a blessed surprise!