Friday, January 31, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Hero

Five minutes.  Shrugging off perfection.  No editing - just thinking out loud.  I'm linking up with other bloggers over at 

This is my nephew.

He loves super heroes.  All of them.

Iron Man.

Spider Man.

Buzz Lightyear.

His daddy.

He totally thinks he's a super hero too.  He believes he can fly ... and "don't touch my wasers - they're dangewous"!

I believe in super heroes too.  Except they don't wear capes and stretchy pants ... or maybe they do, I don't know!  Hopefully only to the gym!  Anyway, you know what I mean! 

The thing about heroes is that most of them don't know they are.  You know how on the news when somebody has rescued a drowning child or helped someone out of a burning building?  When told they are a hero they often say, I just did what anyone would have done. 

I know a lot of people like that.  They don't feel like heroes.  They are just doing what has to be done. Every day.

I think of the friend who cared for her mom with Alzheimer's for five years.  And the one who is a full time caregiver to a husband who is disabled from military service and is struggling with PTSD. Heroes.

There is the single mom who moved heaven and earth to remove herself and her children from an abusive relationship.  She works hard to provide for them and to keep them healthy and safe.

I have many friends who hold down the home front while their husbands are serving our country in the military or doing contract work around the world.  I have no words for how much I respect them.

I have a nurse friend who helped me make a good decision about my daughters health.  And the youth leaders who have loved and mentored and prayed alongside with me for my children.  Heroes.

And if you are a mother, YOU are my hero.  You home school ... or work outside of the home ... or  go to school yourself.  ALL while you take your children to their activities, go to parent/teacher conferences, doctors appointments, band concerts.  You break up fights, clean throw up, rub tummies, pray, cry, discipline, love and raise little people to become big people who are kind and responsible.

You are doing what has to be done.  And it is important work.  It is significant.  

So in case you have forgotten that you are super, this is me reminding you that you are a hero and I believe in you.  Keep hero-ing on!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hope and a Future


A piece of my heart hopped on a bus and headed to Colorado last weekend.

Off to have big adventures of his own. Far away from me. 

I remember sending him off to school on a big yellow school bus and shaking my head at how quickly he grew.   He was so big and brave and excited.  I prayed for his safety and that he would make friends easily.  I wanted him to succeed and I wanted his teacher to see what a funny and bright kid he was.  I teared up as the bus pulled away, a mixture of pride and sadness that the baby days were over.  He was growing up and would need me a little less as he gained his independence as a big kid.

This time wasn't much different.

Except it was.

Because this time I knew that it would be a long time before I would see him again.  I began to pray for his safety and guidance since I first knew he was leaving.  There is nothing I want more than for him to know and follow God.  I want for him to be blessed with wonderful friendships.  I want him to succeed and I want the world to know what a funny and bright young man he is.

I cried as the bus pulled away from the station, taking my son away to begin his future.  I am proud of the young man we have raised and of his sense of adventure.  He has the ability to dream big and to create.  He is going to make his way and he is going to be alright.  And so am I. 
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

In Real Life

Eeep!  I'm so excited!  Registration for the (in)RL conference opens today!  And it's free!

The (in) stands for (in)courage, which is a place where you can put your feet up and hear from other women who share their stories of the every day, nitty gritty of marriage and motherhood and life.  The RL stands for "real life".  (In)RL brings all the content to you, where readers can come together to get to know one another and share stories "in real life", beyond the blog post or comment box. 

Watch the trailer HERE

Registration (click here) is easy and they will even help you find a Meetup (a place where (in)RL is being hosted) in your area.

If you are in the area, I would love to have you!  You can RSVP here.  We will have coffee (of course!) and just a nice time getting to know one another.  Now would be a perfect time to click on over here to get to know the women of (in)courage and some of the ladies who will be sharing for the conference.

These women have encouraged and inspired me through their blogs over the past few years.  They are women just like you and me.  They raise kids.  Some work outside of the home.  Some home-school.  They all fight to juggle it all too. They argue with their spouses and have exasperating days with their children.  Sometimes they blow it.  They are real and imperfect and beautiful.  And they are sharing their stories with us.
I hope you will join in!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five-Minute Friday: See

I've lived in Arizona my whole life but I have never been to the Grand Canyon.  The pictures I've seen are beautiful.  Everyone I know who has been there says that the pictures don't do it justice.  You just have to be there.  I won't know it's true awesomeness or feel that same sense of wonder until I see it myself.

Photo Credit

I went on a missions trip to Jamaica once.  We were working at a children's home that sits at the top of the Blue Mountains.  I will never forget the refreshing mountain air, cool and pure.  Birds of Paradise, ferns, Hibiscus and other unfamiliar tropical flowers lined the mountains ledge.  Beyond was the city of Kingston, and beyond still, the ocean.  The colors of water and sky blended in the distance and it was hard to tell where the water ended and the sky began.  Each evening, billowing clouds would roll by and the sky was set ablaze with a radiant sunset.  Unless you have made the winding fourteen mile trek up that mountain, you will not fully know what I mean in spite of my best attempt at describing it.  You have to see it for yourself.


I feel the same way about God and grace.  I wish I could paint with words in a way that you can see and understand who He is.  But words are not enough.  A person cannot fully know the beauty and feel the awe of who God is unless they have experienced Him for themselves. I want others to know grace for more than just a word.  If you don't know God, can I invite you to taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8)?  If you haven't experienced His grace, can I invite you to come a little closer and get to know Him better?  And when you have, then you will understand this awe and this love that I feel for an amazing God.  Then you will see exactly what I mean.

I've joined other writers for Five-Minute Friday at

Wednesday, January 8, 2014



We are one week into the New Year - often about the time my new resolve starts to fall apart.  This year My brother, Grabe (Gabe) and sister, Mocha (Monica) were visiting, and the five of us were children again -  loud and teasing and harassing one another.  We were complete.

We cooked together and played Uno and Take Two and talked and laughed about things that only makes sense to five kids who grew up in the same house.  There was no time for grown-up stuff like reflecting on the past year and making goals for 2014.  And it's a good thing too, because 2014 hasn't started off well in the would-be goal department.  My mom and sisters and I made a WHOLE BUNCH of cookies. Honey cookies to be exact. ... and we ate them.  ALL.  We did, however go for a run together BEFORE we baked, so it's totally OK, right?

I also caught something yucky from an unnamed individual, so any goal of getting back to working out consistently hasn't started off well either.  Looks like I will be carrying the a fore mentioned cookies with me a bit longer.  Not only that, but since I have been feeling ick, my house also looks ick.  The Christmas tree is still up and shedding.  I fear that if I so much as breathe at it, all the needles will fall into a pokey pile and nothing will be left but branches.

There are of course things that I am hoping to accomplish this year.  I do want to be more intentional about the important things.  I am not one who scoffs at making New Year's resolutions.  I am a list maker, after all, and I do like to make goals.  I just want to have goals ... with grace.  I am mostly very hard on myself when I don't feel I'm measuring up.  My recent mantra has been to do what I can, when I can, with what I have.  I also am trying to learn to hold my plans loosely, but by all means, have a plan or nothing will get done!

My usual goals for the New Year probably look a lot like yours.  Manage my time better, find a good routine for keeping the house clean, lose weight, etc. They are pretty much the same every year.  I've noticed something, though.  I have spent a lot of time beating myself up for not sticking with my resolutions, when it didn't always have so much to do with my resolve as it did with the season of life I was in.  When the kids were small I felt like I was falling short when it came to housekeeping and exercise.  Of course I was!  Sleepless nights and littles will do that to you!  Seems to me I've had my self expectations in the wrong place.  Since the kids are older I feel that I have a decent routine that keeps the house clean most of the time.  Scotty helps out a lot.  I am blessed in that way.  But we've been married for over 20 years.  It's taken us a long time to find something that works.  Sort of.  Most of the time. 

We are all learning as we go along.  When I was a little girl I thought one day when I was older, like 20 I would just know everything and be a proper adult. Ha!  I'm never gonna have it all together.  I will have times when I am doing well in the exercising department and then I'll get sick or get busy and I'll have to start over again.  Grace.  I will have times when I will follow my housekeeping routine and plan menus and make dinner most nights.  And then I'll have PMS or get reeled in by a TV series and I'll fall behind on it all.  Grace.  There will be great times with family and we will make memories and make it a point to spend time together.  And then schedules will change and we will put other things first.  Grace.  There is always Grace.  Let's not make it "all or nothing".  So this is what I'm preaching to myself: continue to pick yourself back up, renew your resolve on January 8th or June 1, or whatever day it may be.  Do what you can, when you can, with what you have.  Keep falling forward and continue to fight for what is important to you. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Five-Minute Friday: Fight

Starting off the New Year with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday!

This year I want to fight.

Knock-out. Drag down. FIGHT.  Kicking and screaming. 


And maybe I have fought my whole life.  But I want to be more intentional about it, because I only get to do this life once and I am tired of just doing what I have to do over what I want to do. 

I have to go to work.  And cook dinner.  Ugh.  There are a lot of urgent things that need to be done.  Like paying the bills and laundry and dishes and grocery shopping. 

But what I want to do are the things that make me feel alive.  Like running and writing.  Laughing and loving and worshiping.  And all of those things are part of my life now,


More time to do what I love.  It is a struggle to make time to read and write.  Sometimes I'm just too tired to think or to articulate and sort the knotted ball of thread that tangles all of these thoughts up in my head.  And it's a struggle to get up on these cold, dark mornings to run.

More of God.  I want my times with Him to be more intimate.  I want my relationship with Him to be more than behaving, because I have learned to do that well.  I already know how to do church and how to do good.  I want to accept His invitation to know His constant peace and presence over the striving to meet expectations - mostly the ones I hold over myself.  And I want to fight to stay alive and awake to the everyday graces He has given me.

I want to fight for my children and my family.  To say no to good things so that I can have what I want: MORE TIME FOR MY FAMILY.  Time to tell my son how proud I am to be his mom and to teach my daughter about love and life and God.  Time to tell my mom how much I appreciate her and time to make more memories.

And I want to fight for Scotty.  I want to be the one person in his life who will love him unconditionally.   We have fought too many battles to just get comfortable and allow our marriage to be crippled by 'just ordinary'.   I love this song by Warren Barfield.

"Love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for."
Scotty has been and always will be worth fighting for.

I understand that these here are fighting words because anything worth having is going to take hard work.  And it's worth the fight to stay awake and to live alive and to stay in love.

What about you?   What are you fighting for?