Sunday, March 8, 2015

My Blog Has Moved

My blog has moved!

Since 2007, when I first decided to begin publishing my thoughts to the big world wide web, I've enjoyed using blogspot. But this January I switched over to Wordpress and I created a new site:

I packed up all of my old posts and moved them with me, only now they're easy to sort and view by category.

To my faithful followers - thanks for reading along.

See you in my new home!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Snow Keeps Falling

I clean in energetic spurts. And to the dismay of my children, I don’t like to clean alone. So this usually means an energy rush on my end, followed by a “calling all the children!” moment, and an instantaneous smashing of all whines and complaints. After a frantic thirty minutes of running here and there, I am pleased. I dismiss the minions, um, I mean kids, to whatever they were previously occupied with, and I sit a moment to rest.

Every once in a while, I get on a longer kick, where all-the-things-must-be-cleaned-at-the-same-time!

…only to turn around 15 minutes later and have dishes in the sink, new towels in the basket to be washed, and what do you know, everyone’s hungry again.

Phyllis Diller wisely said:

And then it hit me.

The snow keeps falling.

In my stage of life, there isn’t a break in the constant down-pouring of the frozen bits of water.

The snow around me falls…

  • In clothes that need to be washed.
  • In dishes that get used.
  • In stomachs that beg to be filled.
  • In weeds that fight against being pulled.
  • In dust that settles on flat surfaces.
  • In toys strewn about.
  • In brains that need to be taught.
  • In disputes that must be settled.
  • In boo-boos that ask to be kissed.
  • In imaginations that long to be heard.

The snow keeps falling. Cold and relentless.

Twenty minutes ago, in the midst of a blizzard in the kitchen, I escaped to my room to reflect. My mind was a whirl of thoughts and I couldn’t get them straight. I literally just locked my door, turned on an instrumental Christmas Pandora station, and began browsing our family photos of winters past.

Building Snowmen. Sledding Fast. Making Angels.

I smile. I breath.

I remember the peacefulness that can hug me on those rare 35 degree days with some flurries and a sun that shines brightly in the white sky. For some reason, thinking of it this way seems to settle my soul. The flakes aren’t all bad. Sometimes, they feel more like white powdery pieces of heaven, sent by my loving God.

In my thankfulness, I begin appreciating the other flakes that fall, side by side with the rest.

  • The arms that reach up to be hugged.
  • The smiles that brighten the dinner table.
  • The hands that eagerly help with meals.
  • The legs that run in circles.
  • The snuggles by a fire.
  • The intelligence that’s learning to read.
  • The fingers trying to braid my hair.
  • The competition of a game well-played.
  • The companionship while walking our dog.
  • The tears of friendship that are shared.
  • The joys.
  • The laughter.
  • The thrills.

I embrace it all.

One day, when they’re grown, there will be quiet days when the snow doesn’t fall. And I know I’ll miss the cool, individual flakes that line my lashes. The special ones that land on my heart. And the overall joy of a snow fall that brightens my day and makes my life sparkle.

So fall on, snow. And I will raise my head, spread my arms, and enjoy it for all that it is.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Waiting to Dive

I’m standing on this diving board, Lord, ready to jump in when you blow the whistle. I’ve got my suit on. There are sparkles from the sun dancing along the surface of the clear blue water. I’m just waiting for your cue.

I’m a little nervous. What if I’m not a good swimmer? But oh, I see that red tube over there on the side, and I know you’ll throw it to me if I start to sink. You’ve got this, and I’m ready when you are. Just say the word.

It’s getting a little hot out here. I’m starting to glisten – not sweat of course – just sort of shimmer with perspiration. Do you want me to jump in? Or should I take a step back and sit down on that lawn chair? I could do some journaling or read a magazine. I could even drink some iced tea and chat with a friend. So, what do you want?

I’ll wait here a bit longer. Wow, I can really feel the sun now. I should probably reapply the sunscreen soon. My shoulders will be a little red in the morning. And my nose. My nose always burns first.

I wiggle my toes, feeling the rough surface of the long white plank beneath my feet. My toenail polish is starting to chip. I blow a strand of hair off of my forehead and I reach up to the sky – reaching high – and trace the clouds that dance above my head. I stretch my neck from side to side, trying to loosen up. It’s sort of tiring, just standing here. 

And it’s getting a little awkward, really. I feel pretty vulnerable in my suit and all, but not getting wet.

I really don’t have to jump in, you know. You could call me off the board. I could take a quick nap in the shade. I could give up swimming altogether, get dressed, and go fishing at the lake. I think the pole is already baited in the shed. I could get a pad of paper and sketch the flowers in the garden. I could bake some cookies and bring them next door.

Ok, I guess I’ll stand here a little longer. I’ll wait on your timing. “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A little reflecting

Kids were in bed. Not quiet, but in bed. My husband left to fill the car with gas. I wanted to sit in my cozy fleece sheets and scroll through Pinterest on my phone.

But I cleaned up the house. It's amazing what 30 minutes will do.

I just didn't want to start Monday behind.

I don't always make that choice. I hate having to be responsible. I think Heaven will be one big pot of creativity, and we'll get to dance in the wind, finger painting the sky.

But until then, I have to learn faithfulness.

35 years and I'm still learning.

And I get frustrated that my children haven't learned it yet.

So I also need to learn gracious patience.

My dishwasher is humming. Pandora is playing. My husband will roll back in the driveway any minute.

Goodnight everyone.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I am the sunflower

After an unseasonably long winter followed by a cool summer, I'm beginning to wilt.

Bundled in a long-sleeved shirt, sweatshirt, and jeans, I went to the Indiana State Fair and saw this sad sight:

And I thought, that's a little like me, right now.

Summers of Indiana Past, I remember you.

Hot, 95 degree days. Humidity so thick you can drink it. Feeling the heat burn through your shirt and lighting a fire on your skin. Reading a book in the full afternoon sun while sipping iced tea.

I don't think I've ever complained about the heat. Even when our summer was so hot, our neighborhood pool felt like a hot tub, I didn't complain. I love the heat.

And without it, I'm starting to wither a little bit inside.

Shallow? Maybe.

And yet there are people rejoicing. My husband says this is the best Indiana summer EVER.

I roll my eyes.

And contemplate moving even further south.

Or buying a heat lamp.

You get the idea.

There are plants that thrive in the coolness of the summer. But like tomatoes. And roses. And that poor sunflower. I miss the heat.

Here's a haiku poem about it:

Indy in Summer
Remember 90 degrees
How I long for you

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Magic Ring: 20 Minute Free-Writing

20 Minute Free-Writing
Topic: A girls find a diamond ring on the bus


Bump. Bump. Bump. Screech. Our yellow bus began to slow near my stop.

Carefully peeling my legs off of the hot, plastic bench, I scooted to the aisle. Flinging my backpack over my shoulder, I stood, just as the bus made a final jerk, lunging me down to the ground. I wish I were wearing jeans, I thought, examining the small stones that had planted themselves in my knees.

Tucking my long bangs behind my ear, I went to stand up, but then I caught a glimpse of a shiny object under the seat. Bravely, I pushed through the years of dirt and took hold of a small, hard object. Brushing it off, I could tell it was a ring, but I didn’t have time to examine it.

“Are you getting off or not?” the boy behind me asked rudely. In my mind, I replied powerfully, putting him in his place. But in reality, I simply kept my tongue quiet, forced the ring into the tight front pocket of my shorts, and sauntered forward.

I was only a block from my house. I kept the ring hidden, not wanting to share my treasure with any of the kids at my stop. I passed a row of perfectly manicured homes before I saw my own – a mess of weeds and overgrown bushes. My mom always said that dandelions deserved a chance to grow, but I wasn’t so sure. I was already different. I wished our home didn’t have to be different too.

Flipping up the shabby welcome mat that had seen better days, I grabbed the key and pushed the door in with my shoulder, letting the screen door slam. Mom would hate that, but she wasn’t home to hear it.

I dumped my bag in the middle of the hallway, poured a glass of milk, and sat down at the table where the afternoon sun was magnifying its scratched surface. The ring was hard and round, with a hint of shimmer mixed with lint. I rubbed it vigorously onto my t-shirt to remove some of the grime. As the dirt was rubbed away, the ring began to glow. A smile spread across my face for the first time that day. Maybe that week.

Without hesitating, I slipped it easily onto my finger. And in that moment, everything disappeared.  


While teaching the girls creative writing this year, I'm going to be writing myself. We're using Gail Carson Levine's book Writing Magic as our inspiration, and we're taking creative liberties from there.

So far, it's been fun! I'm amazed at what the girls come up with. For this topic, A13 wrote a story around the Harry Potter series, and K11 started a mystery.

As Levine advises, "The way to becoming a better writer is to write more."

Friday, May 23, 2014

I wish I were different

I've been thinking about what I would change if I could snap my fingers and *poof* I'd be different. Not physically like my nose or my arm hair. Or the big things, like "never sin again," but just the other stuff. (Not a deep post here, folks.) This is one of the things:

I wish I woke up happy. 

I'd love to be able to wake up with a smile, greeting the world with a thankful "hello," excited to be blessed with a new day. My reality is a groan. I usually hear Lee's alarm first. And then I fall back into a dream-filled restless sleep until my alarm goes off. I grumble, hit the snooze button, you get the picture. (I'm always able to lie to myself that I'll pray during my seven minute snooze, and I can't believe I still fall for it.)

I wish this weren't the case, but I don't know how to change it.

And just for fun, here's a picture of my alarm clock I've had since 3rd grade. We've tried other clocks now and then, but they always break. This one is old reliable. Guaranteed to buzz obnoxiously just when I don't want it to.

So there you go. What comes to your mind?