Friday, November 30, 2012


I sit in a cold barn, in my pajamas, on a hard bale of straw. I am sobbing out my heart to the Lord. Choking on the words that come from my soul through my hoarse voice, uttered in the still of the big barn.

Goats chew softly, their hay. I cry out. Weak pleading. All the ugly that is my heart spills out through hot tears and prayer.

My God hears. He knows.

He knows.

No one knows so well as He the depths of this wayward, sinful heart of mine.

How easy I see the speck in another's eye. How can I see at all? Logs protrude from my eyes.

Our human eyes are prone to see the inconsistency in others. We don't look in the mirror often enough for our inconsistency to glare back at us.

My hot breath hitting the cold air turns to clouds of fog. Hot tears barely escape my lashes before they feel cold.

I sob out loud to my Lord. I ask Him to teach me how to love those around me without condition. I ask Him to teach me how to live joy; how to live in the Spirit not in the flesh.

I hold out my heart, a throbbing, bloody mess. I ask my Savior to take it, renew it, make it new. Fashioning the ugly broken, into something God-glorifying.

He takes this filth I hand Him. He knows the dark depths of my soul.


He loves me still.

This is a miracle.

After the hot flood of tears; the surrender. My Father sends me a peace. A quiet stillness in my soul.

Later on, as I bustle to prepare something delicious for Mommy and family, who are feeling sick, Mommy thanks me for working with such a joyful spirit.

I am taken back.

I have a joyful spirit?

This is not me.

The joy, it is God.

God inside of me. God chiseling away at the ugly scab of my nature; growing inside of me His tender Spirit.

Philippians 1:6
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to comletion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Blonde Roast.

The Blonde Roast.

Starbuck's new roast. Perhaps you've heard of it? They tell you it's smooth, light, and mellow tasting. Maybe this description peeks your interest, or maybe if you're like me, you feel sceptical.
Disclaimer: to all you good people out there who happen to love this blend of coffee beans, I'm happy for you, please forgive me for what I'm about to say.
Blonde roast tastes like watered down coffee. Pathetic imitation of what roasted coffee beans should taste like. Is it a good thing that the blonde coffee tastes like it's been run through the carburetor of my car before it filled my cup? Is that supposed to be a benefit?
I'm just asking, because I'm confused.
Why do they call it a roast? Were the beans really roasted? Really? The coffee tastes like it was brewed while the beans were still bitter and green.
How do I know all of this?
Well, blonde roast happens to be the majority of the coffee beans in our house right now. 
Yes, it's true.
I'm growing desperate for some French roast. Or any other roast actually.
Something bold, robust; full.
{I have dreams of rich, dark coffee's getting bad. I know.}
Someday soon, I will drink only dark roast coffee once again.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


      Dark clouds hover, thick; ominous. Rain pounds the saturated ground, creating puddles around the stiff cornstalks dying in the hibernating garden. Days come and they go, still the clouds bubble overhead sending rain down on our wet farm. Today breaks, clouds hurry out of the way as burning sun streams through. Golden light saturates our field. Illuminating every drop of rainwater. A million prisms are created in millions of rain drops. They capture gold sun, reflecting it in bright contrast to the heavy grey clouds that loiter around the horizon. Sun comes into our house, filling our windows with white light.
      Thankfulness streams into the dark of hearts, bringing warmth and light. On the eve of Thanksgiving, I am reminded that thankfulness is not something we exercise once a year. It’s a choice we make every day, every moment, every second.
      I think of Ann Voskamp’s  book, One Thousand Gifts. God used this little book to open the dark unthankful of my heart, exposing it to the light. If you haven’t read this book yet, you should. {Go here to order the book and read her inspired blog: }
      The choice of thankfulness is not easy. It’s not what I  instinctively choose. It goes against the grain of our sinful nature. I say, “why, God?” not “Thank you, God.”
      The choice of thankfulness is a glorious one. When we open our hands to praise God, to receive everything from Him as a gift. Thanking Him for the good, the bad, the beautiful; the ugly. To stop saying why long enough to give thanks, opens the dark to let in the light. In His light is joy and peace.
Psalm 28: 7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.
      Thankful, starts in the small, the everyday. We train our eyes to see God’s hand at work in the tiny things, so that we can trust Him for the vast unknown.
My thankful starts in the everyday common.

Thank you for butter.
For rolling pins.
For sticky, flour-covered counters.
For baking pie crust, flakey and golden.
For soap bubbles.
For rain pouring.
For cold wind blowing.
For singing hymns with the family.
Thank you for my dear family who loves me when I’m the hardest to love.
Thank you Jesus Christ, my Savior, for your blood to wash me.
Thank you Jesus for your love to a wretched sinner like me.
Psalm 107: 8-9
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
Choose to live in the thankful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A meeting about, writing.

      The air is cold. Frost clings to the grass, the leaves, the trees. Fog rises from valleys in towering mountains. It haunts the river; it whispers around the metal bridge as we drive over. Our hot breath collects on the car windows.

We are on our way.

      Once in the city, the streets are crowded and small. We turn onto a small road lined with small cars. We park and walk up to a brick building. A red sign hangs over the door. We step inside to warmth. A fireplace glows. Deep armchairs surround it. Tables coupled with chairs are scattered across the wide room. The floor is smooth and dark. The walls are warm and full. Music plays in the background, bright and cheerful.

      Pulling up seats to a table in the middle of the room, we wait for our fellow writer to come. He walks in quick with a book bag slung over his shoulder.

All writers are here now; ready to begin.

      We pull out fragments of writing, and pens. I have a RED pen, of course. The two boys eye my red pen as I make edits across their pages of writing. They both wish they had RED pens.

      RED is the color of the editor's trade. And if you're a writer you're inevitably an editor and you should own a red pen.

      The three of us come to the table with different styles, different areas of expertise, and different methods of editing. We are drawn together by the love of words and the conscientiousness of the gift God gives by creating us to use them. When you set out to use the gift God plants inside you, there's a responsibility to glorify Him as the Creator of the gift. With His strength, I endeavor to do this.

      I come to the table with a distinct aversion to over-used adverbs; my pen itching to cross-out superfluous words. Once upon a time it was terrible for me to cut extra words from my writing. It hurt. I loved each word. I thought they were each perfect. I know better now.

      My companions who sit at the table are very similar and very different from each other. Both admire, sometimes emulating, the rich wordiness of Dickens, Hugo, Hemingway, and Tolkien. Both are sticklers for correct grammar usage.
      One alphabetizes his shelves of books, and he thinks we should all speak like characters from Shakespeare's plays.
      The other, of my writing companions, is obsessed with correct comma placement and he doesn't love to read out loud.

      We set to work. Words fly thick and fast over the table. One of us reads aloud, he does all the accents. Scouring the page, we look for the missing punctuation mark, the superfluous adjective or adverb, the repeated words; the missing words. We halt the reader, sometimes after just one sentence. We rip the sentence apart, tearing it limb from limb, exposing gaping holes. Or, we pause to admire the flow and sound of a sentence. The writer smiles as the other two express sincere esteem for his work. There is humility and gentleness present as we critique and inspire each other in our writing.

      The huge clock on the wall behind us ticks away the minutes, the hours. Still, we talk about words; commas; quotation marks. History, stirring music, incredible books, worthy authors, all creep into our discussion. We sip frothy lattes from large white mugs. Our time runs out. Pens and papers are put away.

Time to say goodbye.

      I step out of the warm into the light of the setting sun drawing heat from the earth. I take a deep breath filling my lungs with cold. I feel encouraged, inspired, and invigorated. I have ideas for new things to try in my writing. Commas dance before my eyes, a little clearer now. I'm excited about the writing projects of my companions.

Most of all, I am excited and thankful for this vast world our Lord has created for us to discover and express in words.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

La Pluie.

La Pluie.


Ii pleut dehors.

It's raining outside.

Et c'est beau.

And it's beautiful.

This song is about rain; it's beautiful.

And, pumpkin cookies with browned butter frosting is beautiful too.

Never say never.

I always said I would never have a blog.
I'm not really sure why, I just did.
Here's what I get for saying never.

Never say, never.

Please, don't say it.
Never say: that you'll never eat asparagus.
Never say: that you'll  never read Shakespeare.
Never say: that you'll never marry someone who doesn't like cheese.

Because it just might happen if you say it never will.