Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Reason

I picked this house for the pines.

Those skyscraping trees all deeply rooted into the bed of our backyard...

they are why I signed the lease.

There are three of them there....providing shade, wind sound, bird song.

The lavender purple bathrooms...
the multicolored light switches...
the stark white kitchen flooring...
the tiny size...
the outdated decorum...

couldn't keep me from going for the evergreens.

There's something about trees in general that arouse some kind of reverence, awe, and peace in me...

but timber that is tall, and fully grown, and deeply grounded... sends me into inspiration.

Our neighborhood is mostly void of pines, actually.

Only our short spree of houses here have a few...left there, thankfully, by the developer.

Eight houses or so, lined up all in a row - have a string of these high trees dotting the properties.

And it makes such a difference.

Our back areas have shade and sun, breeze music, squirrel antics, sweet nature.

I'm so grateful.

We spend a lot of time out there... reading, playing, piecing together life... and we wouldn't if there weren't so much wood.

But as mentioned - the house has it's weak points.

Having no school room has been a challenge.
Constantly cleaning the white flooring has been irksome.
And having three homeschooled blondes all up in this small space for the full length of everyday can be.... interesting.

But all I have to do is remember the pines....remember why I picked it.

And isn't this true for more than property?

Isn't this fitting for professions?

For marriages?

For some project begun?

Going back to why we chose a certain path, a certain piece of land, a certain person...can keep us going.

It doesn't mean that tweaks and changes can't occur along the way.

Lord knows we have made a profession switch or two ;)

It doesn't mean that certain behaviors of our spouses shouldn't be addressed, or that counseling shouldn't be undertaken, or that it won't be hard.

It doesn't mean that some efforts we're forging shouldn't be reconsidered a bit.

Simply remembering why we slid rings on our fingers won't cure all marital woes.... but remembering why we said 'yes' will give us recall - to why we deemed that person worthy of the long-haul.

Right smack in the midst of some new adventure undertaken, or some fresh journey began, or some planned project rolled out - going back to the reason for it's undertaking, can boost our energies in it to completion.

It's at least worth the pondering and memory-conjuring.

I have that window open this morning...and rain is falling past pine needles out back.

And while I have to mop a smeared and spotted white floor again today...

I hear the evidence of pines here, and it gives me a content perseverance.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Poem

Daddy is doing breakfast this morning....

So Mama can have a minute to post and ponder before the day takes off and hits cruising.

I haven't felt particularly well lately. Something viral that's hopefully making its way out of my nodes and systems.

It has caused considerable yesterday, the Mama who never naps.... found herself napping midday.

Not being able to fight through it further, succumbing to the pillow and shut eye - I woke up somewhat refreshed.

And inspired.

After resting, waking, and reading this post....I picked up the pen and a poem inked out.

Just like that.

Crazy what can come from a little rest and reading.

It's also wise to note what can ooze out of a heart - when it's had a steady diet of good wording.

I've been taking in poems lately, chewing and ingesting morsels of carefully laced messages.

What's been going in, is now coming out, apparently.

Also, when a writer reads... sees...hears about some wild devastation, or some brilliant joy, or some hysterical event - words of some sort should follow...

Letting the world know all about the sorrow, or happiness, or whim.... discovered.

This poem.... reads like a rap.

Not sure how that happened.

It just flowed that way.

It's been a while since I've tried my hand at poem assembly.

And I've always been blissfully unaware of the proper mechanics in doing such things.

This might change, but as for'll have to make do with what some may consider a rusty read.

It's a vulnerable thing to offer it up and out here, but I have to start the brave sharing at some point...

Woes and Words

I don't understand the contrast
It's vast
And time I advocate through pen, at last.

Atrocities I haven't truly seen
So mean
Bodies of babes ill and filthy lean

My heart follows what I'm hearing
So jeering
These images of suffering and sick fearing

I'm here in my home in leisure
Abundant measure
All around, in every corner, pleasure after pleasure.

And they, in mire and muck and madness
Such sadness
Each bend, null and void of all gladness

I can't comprehend why I'm here
They're there
None of it seeming just,right,fit,or fair

Oh God, what am I to do?
To woo?
What can my pen and page cue for You?

I know your power pulses ink
Just think!
The change that could occur, if evil thinking would shrink

We have to put the stench before people
And steeple
To be a megaphone for the crying and crippled

Words have this punch, this potential
An ability to awaken the instrumental

They can bring before us fact and foe
We know
History's writers and abolitionist still glow
Their efforts still mightily posses
And caress 
And arouse us all to the deepening abyss

So I pass my thoughts here on paper
Dear Maker!
Move, cajole, convince the world, save her.

May your Memorial Day weekend be bright, revealing, restful, moving, and inspired, friends.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Drafts and Puddles

No matter the weather I always open a window when I wake.

No matter cloud or sun or pouring, cool or humid or hot....I shift leftward locks to the unlatch position and shove glass skyward...

So I can hear the budding of day.

So I can let in whatever the outside is offering....

Whatever it is the early hours hold out there that I don't have in here.

I want that.

I'm usually met with a bird chorale...

Those winged creatures letting the world know they made it through dark night.

When light brims the horizon - they sing out there, and the window brings that song in here.

And this is good for me.

And for my writing.

Something about the crispness of morning air, the stillness of pines at sunrise, the damp cool of the A.M being ushered in - that works up words for the sharing.

So, a window's open now.

And I'm punching keys.

And I'm thinking about how much I don't possess, that I probably need to.

I'm thinking about all the things I've been inked with lately - the possible pen journeys I may take - and the dreams I have, and I feel like I'm lacking.

I feel like I simply don't house much of the knowledge, know-how, or even wherewithal to go and do some of the things that have been laid on my heart to hash through.

I'm aware of the adage....

He equips the called.

And I nod in agreement of this. God can fill any cistern for His purposes. 

But I also think that sometimes, we have to work for the filling.

That sometimes we have to reach out for the fine-tune, for the understanding, the sharpness.

That we have to be intentional about learning what we lack.

That we have to put ourselves in the draft and catch what's breezing by.

That we have to have some open windows.

We are obliged to lift hatches and allow intellect to enter.

Especially those of us who feel like they are missing a few bits in that arena sometimes. :)

Sally says that, "A wise woman takes care of her emotional health, her spiritual health, and her intellectual growth."

She says that, "You cannot pour out what has not first been placed inside." (p.3 Own Your Life)

And that girl....that smart girl in high school...when I told her that I couldn't get the grades she gets because she was just naturally smarter than me... she said, "No I'm not. I just work for it."

Work for it.

How novel.

We are responsible.

We are the only ones who can peer out, and open up, and grab what we're needing.

If we don't cup palms to the sky... what's pouring down won't puddle anywhere.


We open windows, and crack books, and sit under teaching, and ask questions, and expose ourselves to experience, and observe the world up close.

We put on bravery and let the blouse of timidity fall.

And with the Initiator of it all pouring down power, and our own initiative to go and gain good, useful thoughts and things...

Our cups will run over and we will be capable, useful vessels.

It's noon now. The window's still propped to the open position.

And it's staying that way.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Confirmation (Post 6)

Gosh, it took a village to birth that trip.

And it took the trip to birth new passions in me.

And the part that so many people played in it all - isn’t lost or forgotten here.

I’d love to flip their palms upward and fill their generous, loving hands with all things pleasant and good.

You're treasures.

I’ve come back with a new peeked interest in the power of the pen on the whole of mankind.

And I’ve got a fresh seedy purpose...

One that feels somewhat foreign and far off and too big and kinda unknown - but deeply rooted in a sure foundation that's lasting.

For all this…. I’m profoundly bowed and grateful.

I'm about to close out this string of postings here.

But before I bid adieu to this series, I must share one more thing.

A few days ago - with Europe far and fleeing and all things home hovering and nipping...

I escaped to the back patio for a moments reprieve.

I cracked open the poetry book* I'm currently working my way through...and Steve Turner's piece Make Me Poet Laureate was on cue.

I would post it here for you, but I don't want to violate any crazy copyright laws. I'm confused on how they work and what is permissible and what isn't.

I'm also a rule keeper on things of this nature, and so I'll have to beg you to go find a copy of this poem yourself. It aligns and resonates so deeply in my spirit, and it speaks so clearly about the inklings I've been receiving about the pen.

It even mentions the very specific causes that the Lord put on my heart so fiercely while in Bournemouth.

What sweet, sure confirmation.

And the author?


He's British.


Of course he is.


*Poems for a Good and Happy Life, by Mryna Reid Grant

Friday, May 8, 2015

More Thoughts from the Flight (Post 5)

Sleep lasted all of 30 seconds.

I feel as if I’ve picked up a torch.

Not sure what torch…..or for whom exactly….. but I am up and running with one.

You can’t sleep when you feel like you are in stride in the writing world - holding a lit fire in your hands.

As I shut my eyes a moment ago, I thought of William Bradford.

The guy on the Mayflower.

I am told that I am a descendant of his - and as I focused and sought the Lord in the planning days of our England jaunt - he kept creeping into my thoughts.

This man - seeking freedom of religion from the very country I love and long for - sailed insanely over a vast hunk of water to lead a new life.

How could I not think about this as I enjoyably flew over the waters my supposed ancestor dangerously sailed?

The ease of my journey stands in stark contrast to his perilous one.

This might be the stuff of a novel at some point…it sounds a bit like a good bit of fiction….

But might it be that he….

This adventurous long ago man-relative of mine - prayed for someone in his line to go back in Spirit saturated purposes to the land he hailed from? Might he have prayed for someone along the way to have a heart for the nation he fled?


This whole ordeal feels that way sometimes. It feels deep, and old, and rich, and entrenched in my DNA.

But then again, maybe not.

Maybe that’s just the novelist in me dreaming up a story to share.

Either way - as I tromped along ancient streets and pathways through England - I envisioned my family of old doing the same thing in those very same areas.

It’s interesting and humbling to think about, eh?

We are over Canada now.

Having passed Iceland and Greenland - and heading toward our nations Great Lakes….

We are about to point south to our destination.

I like thinking about my babies waiting there for me.

And instead of feeling like I am leaving a distant nation I love, I feel like I’m carrying it with me, and heading there again soon.

Maybe with those blond babes in tow next time.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

More thoughts from the Flight (Post 4)

I should be sleeping.

I will have three blonds crawling up my body in three hours time - on a body that will surely be confused and tired from the time change.

But it seems as if trans-Atlantic flights are great for the writer within.

Flying high over sea waters - looks to be good for spinning sentences.

I’m sitting here - pondering the island I just left.

The days were full, and telling, and teaching.

The twitch I had been having in my eye - completely stopped by day two.

The digestive issues I had been experiencing for years - gave way after a few more.

Creativity returned.

Rest ensued.

I had been extremely stressed and had not realized the toil it had taken on my body.

So reprieve alone was reason enough to soar high to Europe.

But I was handed more than that.

The revelations I received there are somewhat foggy, but they are sturdy and sure and forming.

My experience in Bournemouth was paramount.

My observations were an eye-opening education.

My desire to pick up the pen with a new purpose, and a new assignment were huge.

And then having the royal princess be born while I am praying over the birth a short street drive away - well that was just sweet.

I’m bolting back to my normal life now - but things will be changing.

I don’t want to head there with the fantastical idea that a short vacation could cause the course of lives to change…. but…. that’s what I’m heading back with.

Realistically, though.

I know that house and home await and some things will stand forever…. like laundry, and hungry bellies, and squabbling young siblings.

Mama is still Mama.

And her duties still mount up and linger.

But I have some new assignments to add to them, it seems.

And unraveling what that looks like - will be something I partake in over the next few weeks.

Certain causes and courses were plopped right down into my heart while in the UK - and I need to figure out what this looks like while working out my days in the US.

I covet your prayers on this.

I’m setting the ink quill down for a moment now.

Getting some shut eye is the smart thing.

Mama needs to be bounding and ready for her babies soon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Thoughts from the Flight (Post 3)

There’s power in worded pages.

I hear Him saying this.

There’s a special force that comes forth when cracked volumes meet reading eyes. 

I’ve always loved to read and be read to.

I come from a mother who reads the whole of thick wordy books in a matter of hours.

And when I was young, every night at bed time I would fall asleep to her voice reading a mound of Berenstain Bear books to me.

Thanks, Mom :)

But only in recent seasons has it been that I have come to recognize the impact of print, story, and description on the lives of those who linger in text.

Four years ago, when a kind and knowing Ohio woman came alongside me in my parenting - she started buying my children books for their birthdays.

She purchased good, sound titles that had taught and blessed her children along the way.

And there, as I read to my kids - my love affair with books began to surge and steam.

Shortly after, a mama peer of mine suggested I read some Sally Clarkson blog posts.

After doing this, and discovering Sally’s book on wholehearted learning - I started to fully understand the immense power that lives in written language.

But not just for children. 

For mamas and daddies and grandparents and business people and diplomats and the rich and the poor and teachers and bankers and entertainers and royals and rascals and domestics and foreigners and the elite and the loathing.

All are moved and cajoled and taken someplace when books unbind themselves inside a soul. 

There is power in language sewn on pages. 

And this makes me remember the pen again.

My pen, this time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Thoughts from London (Post 2)

I look back on my junior year of college - and I cringe. 

'Idiot' is the only word that comes to mind. 

Lazy, insecure, dependent, undisciplined, and foolish fit, too. 

But idiot sums it up best. 

I was a kid with an engagement ring on my left hand - and nothing much going on in my head or heart. 

And it’s so unfortunate. Those years… they are prim with possibilities and freedoms - and I let myself slug them right away. 

Because of this, I don’t remember all that much about my third year of university. I was too busy doing noble and important things like picking out wedding napkins, being the fiance at football games, and getting my hair dyed. 

But I do remember this one day…in this one class. 

It was mid-week, and the windows along the back wall of the classroom were allowing in all kinds of sunshine.

This particular course required each pupil to write in a journal at the start of each class meeting. 

After the instructor gave us a few minutes to scribble something out about some directed topic, she would ask for volunteers to read their writing aloud. 

I always did. 

Now at this point, I wasn’t writing regularly and wasn’t really all that interested in doing so. I didn’t have much of a desire to ponder and then pen things out. ( I was busy, remember.) 

My writing was forced, average (if that), and redundant. You may think it still is. And I'm okay with that. :)

But on this one particular afternoon, I again volunteered to read my writing out loud. It was a more spiritual topic this time, yet I can’t remember the exact theme. 

After my reading that day… 

This lovely Jordanian girl, a fellow class pupil, approached. 

What she said has stuck with me for over 11 years now. 

All fully covered in black, with only her shining face showing, she said… 

“When you read what you have written, I get chills.” 

And in that moment….even in my current state of mediocrity and immaturity….

I recognized that what caused her to get chills was God Himself.

His Spirit tinging whatever I had scratched out to fulfill an assignment each class period. 

Because it dang sure wasn’t me. 

What grace.

While I wasn’t fully walking with Christ at this time, I would stroll with Him whenever it suited me - and thankfully I at least had the ability to acknowledge the Lord in this event. 

Now fast forward a decade. 

I had not thought of this day for quite some time - when I found myself on the streets of swanky London last week. 

Walking along - on sidewalks and shop floors - I couldn’t help but notice the overwhelming presence of people who were very clearly of different religions. 


Many places we were the only ones not dressed in garb revealing our beliefs.

London is where the world converges, it seems. People from all walks, continents, and religions coincide. 

When I saw all their faces, I remembered hers. 

And then I remembered the pen again.


Monday, May 4, 2015

'Wilst' in the UK - Post One

It happened when I was taking a bath in Bournemouth.

Soaking in hot England water, listening to music, reading, praying.

All these spiking images began to fill my mind:

A friend’s infant losing her young sweet life to surgery complications.

Babies the world over growing, breathing, pulsing one minute - but being pulled, torn, punctured from the womb the next.

Children sound asleep in beds being suddenly awakened by sexual predators seeking a sick, twisted thrill.

Little ones being buried alive in avalanches of concrete from earthquakes and war.

All these images and more.

Something welled up in my chest that night as the movie in my mind displayed these scenes.

It wasn’t a normal, or even natural feeling of sorrow I was experiencing in that moment. I’ve felt sadness in my heart over events of this nature for years. 

This was different. This was a deep, guttural, devastation.

One that seems to come from a justice loving Lord.

As I felt this vast holy sadness fill up my throat to bursting - I envisioned Christ feeling the same way.

My tears flowed like streams into a hot ocean below.

And I had this overwhelming desire for it all to cease.

For the suffering and madness and torture to stop!

And for a split second I felt utterly helpless.

But then….

I remembered the pen.

I remembered the change and sway that can come for the world when people become advocates by carefully placing words on paper and setting them free to fly.

This was a defining moment for me.....a giving of orders, really.

A summons. 

A commission.