23

This is us on our Honeymoon in Lake Tahoe. We got married 23 years ago today. We were tiny babies. Everyone who met us that week thought we were teenagers that eloped. He was 25 and I was 20. All perfectly legal. 🥰 Sometimes people who know us tell us how cute we are together […]

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Paper Trails

Sailing ships and fairy wings, dragons’ hoards and precious rings, lands, languages, philosophies, broken hearts, and fantasies flit like feathers on a breeze, like ashes floating out to sea. Salt drops fall to ocean leagues like single sheets to libraries for lovers lost and battles won, for softened hearts and souls undone, for wolves that […]

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Not My Home

This world, this earth is not my home. (Oh blessed hope, oh hiraeth that quickens now my breath.)Her much hailed princes and her thrones are void of any power to change the heart or bring about shalom. The haughty eyes of man so full of plans they’re bulging out of place, cannot contain the fullness […]

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Tentacles

Trauma has no expiration date, no “use by” stamp, no certificate of death. Just when you thought, “Well, I’m glad that’s through,” its fungal rot wraps silent slithering tendrils ‘round your ankles, neck, and arms. Loose at first. Invisible at first. Like a mosquito on your neck, too small to tip a tiny scale or […]

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Portfolio

I have been unsure of where to go with my photography website for the past year or so. I am not currently pursuing photography full time as I am working full time at Samaritan Ministries. However, I did not like the idea of zapping all of my images off of the internet forever. I also […]

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Under The Dirt

This song was our comfort on one of the hardest days we have endured together. We held onto each other and cried our eyes out as this song beat its rhythm on our eardrums and hearts. It will never not make me cry because that day ripped us wide open, but it was in that […]

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No Going Back

“How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep, that have taken hold.” – Frodo Baggins Frodo was right. There is […]

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Cloud of Witnesses

The worst text I’ve ever received. The words that pull the air right out of your lungs without your permission. A year ago at almost just this time. The moment you know is guaranteed to come but you are nonetheless completely unprepared for when it does. When I think about it, I still can’t help […]

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The Countdown is On

I could never have planned how Burke’s first year out of high school would be. In a million years I would have never imagined we’d get to spend so much “bonus” time together. Never could have imagined we’d be co-workers or that he would be going to University of Kentucky or joining the Air Force. […]

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Echo His Beauty

A friend posted this passage tonight, I’m sure for much different reasons than me. It ministered to my soul though as I lay here, awakened by my dreams and kept awake by thoughts that so easily wander and wonder if God can truly be trusted over the fears and anxieties that clamor for mental center-stage. […]

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The Undertow

My heart aches this morning as I think about all that is so broken about our world, nation, cities, churches, families, and hearts. As I read the thoughts of people who think the way to prevent children from being unwanted is to violently kill them before they can realize they are unwanted. As I read […]

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Peace in the Storms

Tonight I’m struggling to hold onto this truth as I awoke suddenly from a bad dream that brought up flashes of time against my will, things I must daily bury deep at the foot of the cross. Tonight I must hold fast to the truth that peace is something that Jesus brings where there was […]

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I Got Nothin’

9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to […]

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Adoption

Adoption is a beautiful thing. It changes each life touched by it, whether by sheer beauty or by the washing of constant waves of trauma. Not every adoption story involves the same level or variations of difficulties. But it is a double edged sword, for it always involves grief, and often compounded grief. It might […]

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Strong Spotless Lamb

Exodus 12:5-6 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, 6and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. How many times have I […]

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Breaking Yokes

Isaiah 58 3‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. 4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a […]

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Jesus Math

We cannot know salvation until we know that the life we need is found only in a dying savior. Our salvation is in the confounding mathematics of Christ that to decrease is to increase, to lose is to gain, to die is to live. Minus equals plus. It goes against everything rational within us. We […]

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His Eye is On the Cardinal

And I know he watches me… This morning I watched this beautiful, cheerful little friend of ours take his last breath. We saw his lovely lifelong friend fly away after he hit the window with a loud bang and fell to the ground. We heard her calling him from a nearby perch near their nesting […]

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Counselor Cred

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. – Psalm 118:8 Put not your trust in mere people. This includes those whom you are naturally inclined to trust. Jesus is infinitely more trustworthy than any one person or entity to which you have given too much power in your […]

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Benefit of the Doubt

Do not believe everything you hear about people. Especially if it doesn’t jive with what you know from actually knowing them. We owe one another a debt of love. That debt being paid is sometimes going to be in the form of the benefit of the doubt. Owe no one anything, except to love each […]

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Spores of Eternity

What shall I cry out? All flesh is like grass. All the prophets are poets all the poets, prophets Seeing how the words add up to not enough Yet, we must stab out towards the Greatness the Infinity that calls unto our Deep Condemning our shallows Yet in the chasm between we find small tastes of Freedom of the […]

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A Winter Prayer

A Winter Prayer Good Maker, I stare at my bare branches and feel naked AshamedDid I not sign up to be Always Spring, Always Green?As I look down I can’t even see my roots All I see is leaf litter, the waste product of my past beauty – which may never come again. But as I think […]

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Master Craftsmen

This may come as a terrible shock but people are still going to die in 2017. It is right, of course, to be angry that death plays such a relentless role. And yet we are perennially shocked at its audacity. It’s like an endless game of whack-a-mole. And we hate it for its persistence in […]

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Promises, Promises

God makes promises to His people. Can you imagine, as a child perhaps, being promised something and never paying attention to what the promise is? Most kids will pretty much never let their dad forget the ice cream he promised, or the puppy, or the special time together. And they will never ever forget what […]

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Thanks

I’m thankful for God’s faithfulness through the hardest year of my life thus far. I’m thankful for my job and for the opportunity to work with people who love Jesus so much. I am thankful that I get to pray with and minister to hearts that are afraid, in shock, grieving, tremblingly trusting as part […]

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WTNFTT

The last few weeks on social media has had me going:  WT #&%*@! The sadness, fear, and rage that it stirred in me was ugly.  This media may be social, but, in many hearts, has only led to forming more polarized tribes.  (This point has been made very forcefully and eloquently by Senator Ben Sasse […]

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Sans Dad

Apartment ownership/management is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard work. I’m so proud of my mom, sister, brother in law, and nieces in their first “sans Dad” apartment turn-over. My mom found out this was going to be vacated just a few days after Dad died. I was so worried this notification was […]

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Learn to Love Like Jesus

We must learn to love as Christ loves us. Giving love. Being present for people in their hardest times. Being living sacrifices. And we must do it all without any expectation that they will be around for us in our loneliest or most painful experiences. None of Jesus’s best friends stood by him or cried […]

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Art Therapy

It’s good, in the midst of a year of deep losses, to find a thing to do that feeds your soul. I just began painting last year. I have done a few acrylic pieces. The other day I decided I wanted to learn to watercolor so I bought some supplies. I painted an apple and […]

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Trusted Sender

In Sunday School, our teachers have been leading us through the key doctrines that anchor our understanding of the Church and Discipleship. This past Sunday we were discussing the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. The main points emphasized were the Authority and Clarity of Scripture. Scripture is authoritative, not because it is a magic book […]

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Sunsets

Somewhere right now it’s sunset, the blazing end of day. The sky is somewhere purple orange and bluish red and gray. Perhaps their only onlookers are dolphins as they play, but the earth and sun their courses run, never stopping this display. And it happens every moment as night falls in planetary ballet, morning breaks […]

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Back Home

I love the place where I grew up. It has been through many iterations over the 40+ years that my parents have lived there. The neighborhood has had its ups and downs. But it is still 100% home, not only to me, but to my kids as well. My brothers and sister, and I enjoyed […]

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Courage, Dear Heart

Shawn and I went on an impromptu journey this morning to purchase a bicycle built for two. I read Courage, Dear Heart by Rebecca Reynolds aloud all the way there and back – almost four hours. The raw beauty, the depth, the unapologetic acceptance of complexity, the naming of real wounds… Several times I would […]

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Dad

February 23, 1943 – August 10, 2018 I want to first take a moment to express to you why we have chosen to honor dad’s body as we have today, because we acknowledge that it is not as common now days. It’s hard. It’s awkward. And no one really knows just how to feel about […]

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Punctuational Prayer

It’s very easy for prayer to slide into the periphery, becoming punctuational, rather than central, within Christian community. When prayer becomes merely a way to start and end meetings, we have failed to grasp our utter corporate dependence upon God. These I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house […]

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Christian Liberty

“God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his Word, or beside it in matters of faith or worship. So that to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commandments out of conscience, is to betray true […]

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21 Years Old

21 years old. (Our marriage, that is.) Yes! Our marriage is officially legal drinking age today. And one might think that, after the kind of year it’s been, a good stiff drink is exactly what’s called for! But instead of a drink to forget, we are lifting high the cup of salvation and drinking it […]

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Just Brothers

Hebrews 2:10-12 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to […]

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The God Who Sees

Genesis 16:7-13 6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her. 7 The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. […]

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On Fruit Stapling

Galatians 5 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep […]

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Thy Will be Done

“Not my will, but thine be done.” Certainly some of Jesus’s most poignant words. Do we say them to God very often? Or are we more likely to spend our time crafting arguments as to why God ought to get on board with our brilliant plans? Harder question: do we say this to one another […]

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Crucify Him

Do you think all of those who shouted “crucify him” and mocked and jeered Jesus had any idea what deeds of darkness had been done to get him on that cross? Do you think they knew of the 30 pieces of silver? Or machinations of the religious leaders? I don’t think they had any idea. […]

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Seed for the Sower

2 Corinthians 9:9-11 9 As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” 10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in […]

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Resurrection Living

This is resurrection living. We are able to lay anything and everything down in this life because we know He will raise us up with him. This is how we can fearlessly enter the dark places, the lonely places, the unknown. Because Jesus already did that to the furthest possible degree, entering the darkness of […]

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Forgiveness hurts

“To whom much is given, much is required.” Having been forgiven of so much of that for which the Father put Jesus on the cross, how can we not eagerly offer forgiveness to those who have wronged us? Forgiveness is painful and costly and means we willingly absorb the loss, the personal cost, and the […]

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Loud Singing

My favorite verse. This is how the Sovereign Lord loves his children. Yes, his willful, disobedient, hard-hearted children who are never in short supply of ways to shake their fists at him. He exults over them. He rejoices over them with LOUD singing. Do you hear that? The one against whom you have railed is […]

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Christ, Our Mediator

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to […]

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The Proverbs 31 Man

I used to kind of get irritated with Proverbs 31. (Most Christian women I know do!) But as I read it recently I was struck with the fact that I’d been reading it all wrong! I see it so differently now! And I must give major props to King Lemuel’s mother. Proverbs 31 is not […]

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The Cable of His Faithfulness

Though through the stress and strain of life my thread of trust may break the cable of his faithfulness no storm can ever shake. These ladies… each have left and are leaving a legacy that has the name of Jesus all over it. Women who have shown me how to love uncomfortably, fiercely, beyond “safety.” […]

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Spiritual Headphones

I have always been sort of unnerved when I see kids going around with headphones on. (Full disclosure, I’m listening to music on headphones as I type this, which is partly what inspired my thoughts.) While the headphones wearer may or may not also be wearing the countenance of someone lost in the sacred revery […]

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The Boys

I realized that I haven’t shared a photo of my boys on here for a very long time! If there happens to be anyone who has followed this oft-forgotten blog for 10+ years, I would be amazed! The boys are BIG. The oldest (far right) is 17 and about to graduate high school. He’s been […]

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Idol Worship

Why do people worship idols? Generally speaking, we worship idols because we believe that they will deliver something to us that we would otherwise have to leave up to chance, fate, or God (if we happen to believe he even exists.) Idols always demand perpetual sacrifice (Psalm 106:38). What are the modern day sacrifices our […]

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Living Sacrifices

Romans 12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. You may be thinking, “Wait a minute… I thought my main act of worship was going to church every Sunday… ?!” Friends, we are […]

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We are weathered

So several months back my wedding band broke (again) and I lost a diamond. Boo. I decided that instead of paying a couple of hundred dollars to have the diamond replaced I wanted to see if I could have the ring re-cast. Part of the reason for this is that I have decided me and […]

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Weinstein, You, and Me

Scratching my head over our collective disgust at Weinsteinism in a culture that typically laughs off pornography addiction and the rank objectification of women. Don’t get me wrong… it is disgusting and unacceptable. And totally not new. And there are probably a paltry few women who can’t say “me too,” but I would ask, are […]

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Mothballs

My husband just had to bid farewell to a pretty snazzy suit that didn’t survive the moths that we never even saw. We couldn’t exactly mount the appropriate offensive against them since we didn’t know they were there! But I can’t stand, hate, loathe, and despise the smell of mothballs. They cause a visceral recoil […]

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Our Shared Brokenness

How do we address all that underlies this problem? It’s a heartbreaking reality that we cannot afford to ignore, whether it lurks within us as an unwelcome fear that we don’t even want to believe we have or whether it be something more overt. This is our collective brokenness… one of so many.

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Love is Risky

There is no love existent in the light of glory that has not the shadow of sorrow moving around it. Friends, love is inherently risky. It’s dangerous even, because we know some days it will be painful. Some days it will require more than we want to relinquish. When we choose to love another with […]

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All will look

I love it that people gathered and gazed in awe at the beauty and wonder at God’s amazingly synchronized heavenly light show today. The sense of anticipation. The shouts of wonder. The laughter. Now imagine the Son of God in all of his glory… Revelation 1 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, […]

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Eliminating People With Down Syndrome

Eliminating people who have genetic anomalies such as Down Syndrome is not the same as eliminating a disease, such as cancer by finding a cure. Such seemingly benign euphemisms for the targeted killing of people with different abilities is precisely the domain of Nazis and eugenicists. Here’s what I think needs to be done for […]

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Porn: It’s not all about you

That’s the thing about porn… you may have convinced yourself that it’s all about you. It’s just your issue… how could it really affect her that much? But you are wrong. It is a deep wound that scabs over and is ripped off repeatedly, leaving not one, but two souls terribly scarred. There is only […]

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Wall Friends

Friendship used to be gabbing and laughter and knowledge. It was deep conversations about struggles and joys. A morning walk or a coffee together. It was a daily or weekly phone call. A familiar voice. A trip to the mall. It was tight hugs with weary arms and wet tears on shoulders. Now friendship is […]

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Tears will be gone

One day all our tears will be poured out of the bottle they’ve been stored in, poured like spring rain down an eternal drain and we will only sing and rejoice that all is made new and never weep again. Until that day we sing through our tears and give Jesus our fears, looking up […]

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All Things New

We humans love shiny new stuff. We want to consume it. We want to be it. To heck with this growing old business. We are dying for life to stop doing that highly annoying entropy thing. Dying for a piece of forever to make its home with us, plant its eternity seed and make it […]

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Sanger’s Many Ironies

I’ve been reading some of Margaret Sanger’s writings lately to catch the many obvious flaws but also the many ironies in her thought processes in order to elucidate the trajectory of ideas that led to Planned Parenthood in its current diabolical iteration. Ironically she nailed some real societal ills. She effectively calls out Christians for […]

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Trembling Gates

“Beloved, if it had been possible to destroy the church of God on earth, it would have been destroyed long ago.” -Spurgeon And the gates of hell quiver at her love and submission to His call. For they know she will prevail because every footstep in her humble sojourn on this ball through stormy gale […]

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My Plea for Father’s Day

To all the fathers who have abdicated your roles, repent. You can’t get back what you’ve already lost but there is still time for repentance, restoration and healing. Why are you waiting? To the women who are both mother and father to your children due to loss or leaving, we honor you today. You bear a […]

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Identity

Do my roles in life and their natural progression of changes define me? No. Do my circumstances and crises fundamentally alter my identity? No, they display what or who holds me together and pulls me apart. They merely reveal and pull back the veil exposing to light who I am at my core. Nothing less. […]

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Our March

For Kara. Oh death, how much we loathe you. How we rue the day you entered the world and with that bite that began with a flicker of a doubt that God was good we all were hurled into this breaking, into this aching, into the dark hands of the shadowlands. Oh death, enemy of […]

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Nothing to Say

Nothing to say Even though you’re here; Not an airwave Or a wire Or even a pen Or a word as it were. But a greyness descended. Our voices have ended. The music, it echoes Of laughter’s delight But the casket is closing To the silence of Earth’s long night. Your shadow grows long As […]

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Right Now

Resurfacing. My writerly muscles have atrophied. But I have to say it’s not because nothing has been happening and it’s not because I have nothing to say. We have moved! Shawn has returned to full time church ministry and is now Associate Pastor at a PCA church in New Jersey. Never imagined I’d be a […]

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Love you like a bunny

Shawn, I love you Today like I always do, Like as unto a little bunny. Your hair is fluffy, Your ears are cute, And when you’re a nut, I call you Honey. Shawn, I love you today like Nacho Loves Encarnacion. I’ll crunch toast with you, Write you love songs too And everything you love […]

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Gratitude

At work, my title is “Well-being Specialist.”  This year I have been researching “what is wellbeing and how is it promoted and recovered?”  I have personally and professionally been all too familiar with unwell-being.  We hardly know what we should target as health!  I have been helped tremendously by the insights of UPenn psychologist Martin […]

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It’s Dark

Zeph. 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Friends, if you are suffering or fearful or afraid that the trials you are facing mean He’s […]

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Good stuff and Giveaways

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post because I am suffering from Summer-induced Grammnesia. It’s a serious ailment, common to homeschool moms (and maybe any teacher), wherein your ability to find and detect grammatical errors has been temporarily debilitated due to the summer heat and sudden onset of freedom. Speaking of homeschooling, we are […]

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Readjusting

Well, if you are reading this (and if you have visited my blog for any period of time, you faithful few!!) you know that I up and moved. I had been on a self-hosted site for about three or four years. But I have since really slowed down my posting rate. Life takes over! And […]

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Christmas Fractals

During some of our recent Advent readings I’ve had some great reminders of how God shows HImself in fractals. You know what fractals are, right? Fractals are essentially self-similar repeating patterns whether you view them from far off or extremely close-up. They are all over the place in nature. They are where math and art meet. As […]

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The girls are growing up!

Look how pretty they are! Check out those long sexy chicken legs. (Avert your eyes if you’re salivating. These girls are not for your consumption, you chicken-oglers!!) Crazy Mary, So young and so pretty; It really is terribly sad. And that’s why I write this short little ditty, Just because It’s a pity she’s mad. […]

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Awww rats!

I’m not sure what happened. It’s all a blur. I went to the feed store innocently seeking a few bags of chick feed and somehow I accidentally came home with 10 pounds of chick feed, 2 little rats and 5 pounds of rat food. You are probably now EEEKing or (like me) AWWWing. I had […]

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Webs

I’m not a huge fan of spiders. I mean… I am. I like them because they are good for the garden, eating all of those pesky bugs that we like even less than spiders. Sometimes I even like to look at them. So what I’m saying is that I love spiders. Unless one happens to […]

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Din

This place is like a hollow gourd with a seed in it. tink-tink Noise. Reckless, pointless noise and chatter. Everyone come and gather so we can Blather blather blather. It’s like an empty cup of tin. Rattle, clatter, din. So loud with empty you can hardly hear a thing. It’s roaring with a vortex full […]

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Walk with me

(For my friends who grieve.) Walk with me or I walk alone. I cannot talk; There are no words. Nothing helps or heals this broken open gaping wide jagged edges bleeding on the inside. I’m like a vapor. Barely here and still I Walk walk walk. Walk with me as my covering in the black […]

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Question

Are you able to see my little robotic dog on the left? I realize that I am one of those crazies blessed with an overly large screen. I really like Rusty where he is but I don’t want others to be unable to see him!

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Best Recent Discovery: Kefir Facial

Okay friends, this is a total freebie. Kefir makes the most wonderful facial. I have been using it for the past several nights and my face is happier than it’s ever been. Seriously. It’s smiling. That’s how I know it’s happy. A few months ago when my oldest son was struggling through multiple cases of […]

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Noun Confusion

Lambs Ear. It’s one of my favorite green leafy plants. If I lived in the time before Charmin I would grow this in large amounts. Somewhere near the outhouse. Really, it’s that soft. Lamb’s Ear. It’s the ear of a lamb. Soft and downy. Deliciously floppy and waiting to be petted incessantly. (Who can pet […]

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The long awaited swing.

Summer is so lovely. I know it’s not technically summer yet but it’s acting like it so I’m going to just go ahead and go with it like I did with Calgary and winter. It may have been late May but if it was acting like winter (ie. snowing) I still called it winter. I’m […]

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