Friday, January 8, 2016

Growth - New Website!

I tucked him in a little tighter and I lingered longer than I usually do, before flipping down the light switch on his birthday eve.

My youngest turned the age page this week.

He's a growing 4 now.  Somehow, that seems so much older than yesterday's 3.

He's a real kid now, all long and lean with opinions, and expressions, and wonders to offer the world.  And his Mama here is blessed, and satisfied...but serious.

Serious about not wasting moments with him and his siblings over the next decade or so.

God, help me to be present, all in, focused, open, flexible, prepared - as I raise them.  Yes.

This turning four business...has me wide awake and wanting excellence.  It has me looking around, wondering where the time went and what I did with it.  It has me squinting at future endeavors, and a bit anxious about it all.  But's always a good thing.

Any mark or movement in the right direction is something to celebrate.

So right alongside my birthday cheers this week, are blog cheers as well.  I have emerged from the dark ages, friends - and I've gotten myself a real live website...

To read the rest - head over to my new blog home, "A Ringing Bell".

I'd be blessed to see you there.

Thursday, December 31, 2015


This week here - sandwiched between the coming of a Savior and the start of a year...

It's a special one.

Just after Christ's entrance, we boot the year goodbye. 

We ponder the King-Child, and then we explore and contemplate ourselves.

Not a bad practice I'd say:

Looking at Jesus, then analyzing self - it seems smart to me.

Going into something new, fresh off the heels of considering our Savior... what perfect timing!

Because really...

We can only see ourselves clearly and accurately when we see ourselves in light of the Love that came.

I like that the new year starts right about now.

It fits.

I'm sitting at a desk, in front of a mirror, beside a window, next to a TV, under a lamp, in a hotel room.... as I write this.

I've been gifted with a few rare hours away with my husband, alone.

He has found the workout room, and I have found my words again.

One of the main points on our agenda tonight and tomorrow - is to discuss 2016.

Only the Lord knows what awaits - so we will seek Him together on this, move forward as He leads, and be all in.

One of the things that I feel might need revised and revived in the coming year, is this spot here.

I am completely aware that my blogger blog looks like it came straight out of 2005 - when blogs were new on the scene, and all the templates were the same, and fancy blog duds weren't invented yet.

I have watched sulkingly as mom bloggers like me catapulted themselves into blog bliss with new beautiful backgrounds, and professional designs, and thousands of followers because of it.

I have turned my nose up at it all - hoping that the writing was worth more than the bling - that it would attract who it should - that it would reach who it was meant for.

And perhaps it has.

But now I'm feeling a bit of a tap - to go ahead and get my act make things excellent while still making them authentic.

Because we should never let authenticity be an excuse for a lack of excellence. 

You can have both.

And Lord, let that be our aim. Let us all be open, and transparent, and honest, and real - while still attempting to live a top-notch life.

I have a fresh and somewhat ferocious feeling as we turn the page here.

There are new paths to trot and trail blaze in the next 12 months.

For us all.

Your kind company along the way means the world.

Happy, happy 2016!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Few Snapshots

I'm sitting here at my dining table with windows raised all around me.

I'm allowing the cool to loft in while it's lasting. It's been warmer than normal, so when that fireball rises to it's peak - it might get down right steamy. Is it really December?

It must be, because....

A Christmas tree all rickety and half lit from wear is situated to my left...

A washer whooshing all our clothes clean is being heard from the hallway...



As I've just sat down to write for a moment, all three of the children have come in from outside to beg me for a bike ride down to the park.

Such is the life of a writer-mama :)

I'm off to tie shoes, fasten helmets, and sail down sidewalks for a while.

More word weaving when I return.....



So it's night now....

the next day.

After we peddled our way to the nearest park, swung high and silly on chained swings, ran circles around the mulched ground, listened to cardinals singing and speaking in nearby trees - all manner of things consumed my attention until just this very moment.

It's almost tomorrow.

The living room is all set for Christmas bliss.

As it better be. Our babies will wake up and charge the gate early and eager.

The tinge of rush one feels the night before Christ's birthday - it's something you never get over.

As I sit propped up in bed, legs crossed, husband wrapping up work at the table....

Mary is on my mind tonight.

What was she feeling? Thinking? Fearing? Expecting?

The night before Light dawned in a dark world, the night before contractions would bring forth salvation, the night before this young teen woman delivered the Deliverer - what might she have been experiencing in mind and heart this eve?

It's consuming me.

Tomorrow, my guy and I will rise in the wee hours, light candles, warm cinnamon rolls, and wait for the pitter patter of feet to emerge from bunked beds.

We will sit at the table where a nativity is displayed, we will read the reason for this whole shebang, we will pray that our hearts would stay in tuned and tightly knitted to this Jesus, and then we will tear our way into gifts and glee.

I'm all aflutter over it. Even me here - completely grown!

Lots of merry coming from Mama tonight!

Lord, let me be this way more often! In the middle of the year! On an ordinary Tuesday! In the midst of all that mothering, loving, living holds! More often, God. Joy, contentment, expectation! Not always.... just more often!

Ah, now I feel a New Years post coming on.

In due time, friends :)

Hoping I can get some shut-eye after I shut this laptop lid here.

May every eye that hits this page be blessed with laughter, gratefulness, peace - as you journey through your day celebrating our Jesus.

Big, merry hugs to you all.

Saturday, December 19, 2015


As I walked passed the window a few days ago...

With our lessons completed, and dinner started, and laundry spinning...

I caught a merry glimpse of my girl-child right in the middle of twirling on the trampoline.

Her face was pure bliss - with her brothers bouncing high and happy beside her.

That blonde ponytail swishing, and that toothless grin all showing...

I was struck by the joy.

She was free.

And I thought to myself....

"Uh, I wish that was still me."

I hoisted the clothes basket back up onto my hip, walked it to my bedroom, and sunk into the sorting out of wardrobes.

To have that kind of sincere cheer again...

To have that continual opportunity to seize and squeeze everything good and gleeful right out of the moment...

To still have storehouses of laughter tucked away in your gut somewhere, giddy and ready for use.... 

What would that be like?

The next day...

I watched a sweet video put together by a friend, who was interviewing a now passed 96 year old woman - talking about her life, her beliefs, her outlooks.

I leaned in, listened.

She spoke of optimism.






A full house.

A full heart.



And it was like all my sense dawned again.

Why in the world couldn't I have sincere cheer?
Seize and squeeze opportunities?
Laughter tucked away?

Why? No reason!

None. I tried. I couldn't come up with any good reason at all.

I could have those things.

There are moments, circumstances, issues, ailments, that may make it seemingly impossible to choose joy. (Some of us need professional help with this, and yes! I urge it. If that is you, consider this your cue! Reach out for the aid you need, friend. You're wise and brave for doing so.)

But most of the time, with many of us reading here, we are actually able to choose an attitude of joyful fervor and exaltation.

It's being mature enough...

Gladsome in God enough...

Selfless enough...

Awake enough...

To live a life that rejoices.

And do we realize?

Do we realize what an immense impact this could have on our health?

Our homes?

On the hearts of those we do life with?

It changes, and lifts up, and revitalizes everything.

Especially people.

When a Mama has felicitous joy....

it jolts everyone around her back to life again.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Sometimes you have to reach up and grab your day.

Sometimes you have to lasso that thing right to you - where you can hold it, and mold it, and make things happen.

Sometimes you have to extend that appendage a little passed your normal reach, grab the 16 hours you're given with eyes-wide open, and do what you can, friend.

While there are certainly things in life that are out of our authority and realm, things that are dictated to us, things we are called to wait and wonder for....

There are also other things that are just up for the taking.

There are things we can actually decide to pick up, set down, throw away, pocket.

We use wisdom to know when is which, and we use grace when our 'wisdom' was wrong - and then we move onward.

But this day here - perhaps we shouldn't let it just happen to us. Perhaps we should hold it in our sweaty palms, and round it out, and plan accordingly, and choose what comes to pass.

We can't control everything. You'll die in the trying.

But we can control some things. And we are wise to seize this.

I wonder how our Wednesday might look different if we understood that we really can influence and impact our hours.

We aren't always at the whim. Sometimes we are at the wheel.

We have these minds, these capabilities, these resources, His Spirit! We are actually able to regulate quite a lot.

Understanding that it is God alone who can help gear things in the right direction - understanding that His Spirit lives right inside of us speaking, counseling, accompanying - understanding that we are called to take the reins while at the same time yield when it's wise to - this is paramount.

How we schedule our lives, how we organize our days, who we reach out to for humble whispers of help, how we choose to exercise discipline, how we tap into resources, how we cry out in prayer, how we steady ourselves with scripture, how we bump that bad attitude, how we allow ourselves to rest, how we decide to actually go and grab our joy back - these things.... they change trajectories.

Today, this hump right here in the middle of the week - it's begging you to simply do what you can. Fashion what you are able. Lift up the rest. 

When you lay down tonight - you'll at least know that you warred and acted and took hold of the things that you could.

And I think you'll see that things turned out a bit different, a bit better maybe - because of it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


I have to write to stay awake.

I have to punch keys and form phrases to really see, and really hear, and really know.

Understanding that I am always on the lookout...

Always mining for some golden rock of truth...

Always wanting to woo you with the wonders that have struck me - this keeps my head up, and my eyes open, and my heart fully engaged.

Capturing life to disperse it - I feel like this is the job of the writer.

So these last few weeks where words here have been few - I feel like my purpose has been too.

I wane a bit when I'm not writing. It makes me feel like my candle is going out.

So I'm here to fan the flame a bit.

It's honestly the first moment I've had to really let the ink flow. Schooling, ministry, a project, a lull- it all hit full throttle about a month ago, forcing me to drop my pen for a while.

I've been asking God to show me what my assignments, my rhythms, my paths should be when it comes to weaving words. What is the goal here?

I'm listening.

And in the mean time... I'll be living, observing, absorbing, and keeping an account of it all.

At this late evening hour - I have a vintage candle lit, the door shut, and iTunes radio streaming.

The piano piece that's playing right now, makes me wish I could sit down on the bench of a baby grand and play something beautiful.

But writers....

Writers make music, whether it's accompanied by strings and notes or not. We're always singing something - whether it's in a tune, or just on a typewriter....

All the while hoping that what we say.... makes you sing and soar somehow.

Lord God of creativity and art and beauty and truth, make Yourself known through the wordsmiths! 

Open up our ears so that You can speak to us, and then through us! 

Let us not be lazy, distracted, foolish, confused! 

Set us all in tune to You! 

Let story, verse, poem, lyric, song - sing of You and all You are and offer! 

Let us taste and see, so that we can share and distribute! 

Fill us up, so that we can leak out love to a lost, broken world! 


It's so wild how just a few quiet moments behind a flimsy white door, around a chorus of classical anthems, beneath the steady Hand that guides me....

How it all leads me right back to the sweet spot.

Just after a few moments, I feel like I'm aflame again.

Monday, November 2, 2015


It's funny how fast light travels.

Since my last post - it seems as if a few rays of hope, and truth, and goodness have made their way through those clouds I mentioned.

Beams of bravery and joy don't always seer the darkness that fast...

but sometimes they do. 

Lord, keep them coming.

I've started a new writing project that's due here in a few weeks.

It's forcing me to dive into scripture, and it's calling for some recollecting on my end.

This has proven to be quite healthy and helpful.

I've also been able to spend a few sweet moments with friends - in person and in correspondence.

Both have uplifted me greatly.

Tonight, I'm sitting here at my desk - wanting to spill words that matter....

but Mama is tired.

The husband is out doing premarital coaching for a couple he knows, the kids are confined to their room....awake, quiet, about to drift off into dreaming.

The hum of the washer has ceased.

I did laundry all the live long day, so the house sounds exceptionally hushed without it's constant whir.

Tomorrow holds piano, dance, math lessons and the like.

A hot fast shower and a quick plop into the bed - is about to commence.

But first....

Aren't we blessed, friends? 

With our washing machines, and our resources, and our clean smooth water, and our mattressed beds?


Let's be grateful for all the grace's.

As I hit the pillow tonight...

I'm praying that His truth and provision permeates all the dark areas for you and I.