Update on My Father-in-Law

Hello, friends. I have an update on the condition of my father-in-law, Dennis.

As it turns out, results have come back that he has a cancerous tumor wrapped around the medula. Unfortunately, it is inoperable.

Naturally, though we were preparing ourselves for such news, it is a blow.

Of course, being the extremely practical people they are, he and my mother-in-law, Teresa, had discussed all the possibilities at great length. Being both strong believers, there is no worry of where he will go, so it has been decided to opt for quality of time over quantity.

Essentially, he is seeking what time is yet afforded to be with family, travel a bit, and ensure savings are not drained by treatments that would likely prove fruitless, but, rather, set aside for my mother-in-law to live on after he has passed.

Ever the provider. Quite a testament to this dear man’s character.

At this point, he is not in a lot of pain, thankfully. The doctors working with him have aided tremendously in his comfort. Very thankful for the wisdom God has granted this very kind staff.

Such gifts He gives to ease the pain of an impending loss!

Not to say this won’t prove a very hard thing to face among many things to face.

But, yet, in His strength, we face them.

The prayers are most definitely appreciated and felt. Keep them coming, especially for Dennis and Teresa, as well as for our family as we prepare for his homegoing.

I also want to extend a special request for their eldest, Suzanne, someone my heart has long had a burden for. She has been estranged from the family for years, professing atheism and a desire to have little to do with any of us. I am praying this will draw her to the Lord and back to our family’s side.

I will do my best to keep you informed and hope to dive back into creativity as time and brain space allow. I thank you so much for being here, dear friends. Much love and many blessings to you all! ❤

PS Not truly an official song-sharing post, but this one has been on repeat with me lately. I first heard it on one of my WOW Cds from a long time ago and hadn’t thought of it in years until it popped in my head. Definitely seems to suit. May it prove a comfort to you in your world, too. 🙂

https://youtu.be/27YX8bBB_Qs

Road to Zion

Hello, friends. I am sorting further through my ideas. Right now, none of my inclinations seem to want to be discarded, so my best thinking is to expand this space into a creativity blog on several levels ( Thanks, Tina, for the great verse. It really gave me a lot to think on. 🙂) .

Of course, the goal of each will be to glorify the ultimate Creator. Without His hand to guide, none of this could even be.

Now, any thoughts of how to monetize anything feel so irreconcilable with my circumstances, this blog, and just plain who I am that I have pretty much taken them off the table until or unless God shows me otherwise.

I look at you all as my friends. Any post motivated by less than just purely interacting with you for the sake of fellowship in Christ feels disingenuous to me.

Perhaps, I am overly squeamish or overly principled. I don’t know. But, there it is. I am nothing if not honest. 😏

So, leaving that aside, I will say from here you will still see much poetry, random thoughts, exhortations, music sharing…

But, interspersed will probably be some original recipes I have tinkered around with over the years. I am excited to begin introducing this venture a little down the road when I have the time to get in the kitchen and get good pictures to accompany.

I will also sprinkle in tidbits of trivia where appropriate, though I will attempt to keep myself from rambling too long. 😁

And lastly, as you will see a few clicks down, I will continue my art.

To be frank, that pursuit is something I am not so sure was necessarily what a typical blogger would call a rousing success the other day, if I sank back into doubts and stats checking. I am chagrined to admit I did indulge a bit of fretting as I looked and saw response was perhaps a bit smaller than I was used to.

That said, I do appreciate the kind encouragements I received. They heartened my soul and renewed the feeling there is something in opening the door that is God directed.

So…the following is not attached to a poem but, rather, a song. As well as inspired by an image I spotted in the video to said song.

Now, to a bit on my introduction to the artists…

Petra was another of those groups I recall my folks introducing me to via vinyl when I was very young. Their lyrics appealed to my poetic sensibilities; their beautiful voices and instruments had my little self in awe.

I may have made brief mention before of pretend concerts my brother and I would put on to their records. 🙂

Usually, in those days, it was thanks to my dad that the house had much spiritual music going at all, but it was a rare and lovely moment when my mom would want to play or talk about their song “Road to Zion”.

It was the one that really moved her and, in listening with her, a chance to see she really was seeking Him in her heart of hearts.

And so, from there, it obviously became very special to me.

And yet, over the years and all the layers they brought, both the painful and the good, I had not thought of it in a long while.

Then, for some inexplicable reason, there it was a couple of days ago, resting on my soul, playing in my head as though I were back at the old townhouse we lived in then, listening to the album on the old turntable we had.

And I just had to look it up, drink in the truth of those words. Next thing I knew, I spotted an image I thought was really cool and I picked up my sketch book and started doodling.

The following is the result. I titled it, unsurprisingly, “Road to Zion”. Hope you enjoy both it and the song. Thanks for reading, dear friends! Be blessed! ❤

Michael W Smith Missing Person

Hi, friends. I don’t really have too many pithy phrases to offer today except I really, really miss sharing my old tunes with you. 🙂

Dozens of Smitty songs have moved me from teen years on, but this one hit my heart hard from the first listen and has never left.

And it just felt right for where I have been this last little while. For it reminds me of the importance of deep, honest reflection before the Father’s throne. Only then can we find what we are searching for. Even ourselves.

I don’t know where you are in your walk with Christ or even if you have one at this point (If you have questions on this, feel free to reach out via my about page.), but I pray this touches your soul in whatever way God intends.

Have a listen and be blessed ❤

Here

Well, hello there to anyone still hanging around these incredibly silent halls.

Don’t adjust your dial (oy, does that ever date me….😏)

Yes, it’s me.

I am here….

And I’m not.

Huh? What now? 🤔

Well, I don’t want this to be misconstrued.

This is not the umpteenth “Welcome Back, Kotter” moment in my life.

Expect no sudden, prolific flow from this pitiful scribe’s brain.

Those things which I wrestled with when I closed this door continue to press in on all sides. My ability to articulate as well as just the sheer drive to do so remain largely seized up inside.

Seriously. You should see how my fingers stutter over the keys right now, trying their darndest to summon up the right phrasing.

But such is the land of living. Questions dangle, obligations loom, but still, we put one foot in front of the other.

Or one finger after another on homerow….😏

So….if this is so much like a dental visit ( the yanking teeth kind), the biggest question might be why do it at all?

Well, nothing profound really.

For there are no big “wows” in my world to report.

The family is in the thick of what it always is right now…school, music, and scraping together a livelihood.

My pain goes on, too, but, hey, there is breath in my lungs, so that’s good.

But, overall, it’s such a nothingness to share I hesitated long and hard whether I even should.

Still, something in my gut just had a longing to come and be here.

Just for a few moments.

To say hello. To say I miss you, friends.

To say I think about and pray for you often.

And to remind myself vulnerability isn’t the same as weakness.

That derision isn’t always a forgone conclusion to opening my troubled soul.

That I can still form a few paltry words here and maybe find a friend genuinely glad to see me on the other end.

For there is worth in that simple thing, I suppose.

In this all-too-often harsh, cold-shouldered world, we have need of one another.

I know this in the depths of my being but, sometimes, depression can hem in on all sides and give a pretty convincing argument to just stay in that isolated place for safety’s sake.

Admitting to it can be the challenge of a lifetime.

But, perhaps, well worth trying…

Again, where this isn’t to say I am returning to penning a lot of profound thought, there is a lovely something in being here I cannot deny.

Now, I don’t really know what awaits me following the press of the ol’ send button, of course.

And, again, no idea what the future of my work here holds.

Yet, I know I must follow the Godly hand guiding it…

So, for the first time in months, let me say thanks for reading, dear friends. Blessings and prayers. ❤

“To Know You” on youtube

Something that is likely quite easy to guess about me is my love for honest, introspective work. I mean, I don’t try to hide it much, do I? 🙂

So..safe to say, when it comes to music, when I can feel someone’s heart in their voice and their words, I am most generally sold.

Such as it was when I first heard Nichole Nordeman on my WOW CD back in the day….

Loved the rawness. Loved the honest observations.

But, I feel I must freely admit some things:

At the time I discovered her, I had also discovered another female singer/songwriter that was on the rise at the same time that compelled me just a touch more. Maybe it was because she was from my home state. I don’t know. 😏

Anyway…that meant I didn’t rank Nichole as my absolute favorite then, but rather, as just someone I dug her style and a few of her tunes enough to listen to and relate.

One of those tunes was once found worthy to hunt the split-track cassette of (Oy. Showing my age again! 😏) in order to do it for special music one Sunday back when I was less petrified to do such.

But, when that lifetime got pushed aside by divorce, some of those cassettes and CDS also got put away.

Or trashed.

A couple of them smashed, to be honest.

Oh, I had my tried and trues I’d always cling to, yes. My comfort songs. My nights tuned in to the radio so I could get a shred of sleep.

But, others? Well, they were more or less just painful reminders of the hopes and dreams that had vanished, so away they went with old photos and my first wedding dress.

Even that other home state girl? My slightly more beloved singer/songwriter?

Well, she proved to pick up her guitar and vanish from the scene herself, only to come back years later professing a sinful lifestyle in the name of Jesus. I won’t say her name, but the story lays heavy on my heart and my prayer is she will recognize her folly before it’s too late.

But, back to Nichole and why I chose to share this song today.

In my year of introspection, I have begun to revisit many things. Many times, many places, each flavored with its own sound.

This one, this which I once sang with every ounce of emotion I had, came back to me recently.

And I realized more deeply than ever the beauty of it.

That it remained the cry of my heart.

To lay it out so bare as Nichole’s lovely lyrics and voice do. To admit, yes, I struggle. I doubt.

But, above all, I really want to know You, God.

May this be the cry of all our hearts, dear friends. Have a listen and be blessed. Much love and many prayers. ❤

What’s it All About?

Hey, there, dear friends. More stops on the midlife crisis express. Buckle up. 🙂

The above is the last page from my memoir. Can’t believe I actually dug it out after all this time, opened it up, and actually gave you a glimpse. But, it’s kind of significant to this present circumstance, so…

Anyway…

I wrote that bit about 5 years ago. Ok. Probably closer to 6 or so, when you add the year of shuffling my ambitious thoughts one publisher to the next.

I read it now and it’s just…wow. There was a nice little pocket of hope back there. I forgot I had it in me.

Like this:

Greater things have yet to come. Greater things are still to be done. This is only the beginning.”

And:

“Be well and be blessed right where you are for who you are.

Oh, pithy phrases, yes. Somewhere within is still a touch of delight in the flow of the words, honestly.

And, really, it’s nothing I don’t still believe, deep down.

Yet…I look at them now and, frankly, feel a little foolish for all I have to admit I was dreaming then versus where I now sit…

Which is on a secondhand couch with a cover that doesn’t fit quite right in a house yet unfinished.😏

Countless heartaches yet unfinished.

A life…yet…unfinished.

There was a lot more I wanted to be doing now, if I am being honest.

I wanted to be that polished, well-heeled author/speaker, going from one place to the next sharing all the knowledge He’d given me.

Advocating for my autistic beauties.

Reminding others of His truth, His grace, His providence.

(Not to be crass, but seeking a chunk of that providence and, perhaps, even that oft-elusive thing called financial security through fees and sells.)

I had been on the stage for years, after all. I could kind of, sort of public speak.

I’d played everything from a busybody mom (Father of the Bride) to an early 1900’s murderess (A Rose for Emily).

I even got our high school’s version of an Oscar ( coined the Larrys) for supporting actress once.

It was exhilirating and freeing to be up there playing pretend, particularly for one whose confidence had been so diminished over the years by abuse.

( And, yes, part of me wishes I had pictures to show you, too. But, there are a lot of things on the road to divorce from your high school sweetheart/acting partner- one of which is the disposal of artifacts related to your time together. )

At any rate, with that resume, I could potentially sell myself accomplished, right?

Even if, even if…I didn’t feel it all the time?

Or, really, hardly ever? 😏

Ummm…it turns out, no.

For, I discovered the hard way, as most things with me have had to be discovered, that playing a little old lady exposed for poisoning her lover’s lemonade and exposing my own vulnerabilities are much, much different.

For one is a performance and the other is just…not.

The other is life.

My life.

A life, granted, I can call redeemed in Jesus.

Hallelujah for that!

But, still a life I felt protective over.

Still feel protective over.

With kids and events and hurts and joys I felt and still feel protective over.

Things….not for sale.

I quickly found I just could not get up there and share it with anybody.

Nor could I sit smiling behind a tower of fresh books and “hawk my wares”.

Literal agony!

So, as is my tendency when faced with agony, I shut down and dashed away, flinging aside any regrets for the sake of safety.

There weren’t a ton of offers, or something, but I did beg off some opportunities and sure didn’t go pursuing any new ones after I realized how out of my wheelhouse it all was.

It was not long till the faint buzz calmed in this little town and beyond.

And not much after that that it went silent altogether.

So…now, 5 years later, here I am.

Still facing down the same pack of insecurities, if not more.

I have my things I do, my cookies I bake, my youth I talk with and counsel a bit.

Yet, overall, I find myself in further retreat than ever.

And maybe, just maybe, nursing some regrets that got imbedded in spite of my cross-country run away from expectations.

I hate to pull out the word “failure”.

It gives me such an unpleasant, sour feeling in the pit of my stomach.

And people invariably chide me for using it.

But, for all intents and purposes, according to a lot of standards, that is the word that suits me just now.

For, I ventured out in something big, picturing one thing, and it did not, in fact, become that at all.

It failed.

I failed.

Oh, it’s all right. I need no comfort as I put those words out there.

It’s just an unfortunate necessity as I ponder my life.

Where it’s been, where He wants to take it.

And, in all this midlife crisisy mumbo jumbo I have been serving up so often lately, I have to keep asking myself one key question:

“What’s it all about?”

Writing, sharing, life….

It’s a weighty question, but a worthy one.

For, if my end aim is only to make myself feel good for a while about myself, then it’s all for naught.

A flash-in-the-pan sensation at best.

Such a feeling will never satisfy. Not even worth messing with.

But, if this pursuit is truly about honoring Him with what He has given me alone to honor Him with, then…. it’s invaluable.

For, despite how I let the world and my own massive doubts rail against me some days-too many days,

It really, truly matters not what others think of my offering or what becomes of it.

After all, no deficiencies-real or imagined- can remain where one gives purely of one’s heart to the Father.

The past cannot truly define, the present cannot truly disappoint, and the future cannot truly discourage where His truth exists…

Now, I have to chuckle at myself a bit here as I just looked back on that page once more.

A few sentences above the other quotes I shared, I also said this:

“For the message isn’t how to be a success way down the road or how to be a success at all.”

And a few phrases down, just before the “be blessed” bit:

“Don’t look too far back and don’t strain too far ahead”.

Ahem. Well, then, Lord. Using my own words to set me right, huh?

He has a real way with that….🙂

You know, all this, and I still have not a notion really what He has for me next, but I am learning, with His patient reminders, not to fret on it.

Ok. So, thanks for riding along with me a ways, dear friends. I pray wherever you find yourselves at, you are feeling His presence guiding you into all He has for you. Blessings! ❤

Rich Mullins – Hold Me Jesus (with Introduction)

Went looking for this song tonight. Really, really needed it.

Actually, I have more than one CD with it on there, but, the phone’s in the hand and the CDs are way over there…😏

Anyway, I stumbled on this version with a short clip ahead of it where Rich explains this beautiful song so… beautifully.

In such a way my heart feels reminded of His truth just when I need it most.

God always, always has a way of meeting us where we are. 🙂

Wherever you are and whatever you are dealing with, know Jesus is here to hold you, friend.

Listen and be blessed. ❤

Fight for Praise

Hey,, there. Just some thoughts born this week. Sunday, I was feeling rather adrift in social anxiety visiting a church group not my own. I will be frank-I really didn’t feel very much inclined to be there. 😏

Actually, I desperately longed for escape, but, being as I was there for my husband’s sake, I took a deep breath and prayed hard I could stay the course.

And then, there came praise and worship…. No magical cure by any means, but as I quietly pushed on word by word, I was reminded of and bolstered by His ever-steady presence.

Today as the struggle and the ponder continues, I am having to remind myself He is there…

God, sometimes, the connection

Between You and me comes

Flowing like clean and cloudless

Sunshine-

Sweet and easy and free.

And sometimes, there rolls a storm

Across the skies,

Causing in me a need

To fight for praise,

Through pensive night and drudge of

Day,

A tooth and nail session,

In order to gain possession of all

That You have granted is mine

And all that You desire for me to be.

Ah, I know it’s not You, Lord

That shifts away the sunlight in these

Times.

Rather, these moments are just

Evidence

Of the human frailty through which I

Currently ford…

Some days are darker,

Harder to find the spark for.

Then, it becomes a seeking,

A beseeching thing,

Knowing when to press ferociously

Into the fray

Or when to simply lay aside my

Sword

And rest my heart in whispered

Remembrance of

What it is to humbly pray…

Oh, how I love when the praise just

Comes

Bubbling up,

And I joyfully raise my already

Overflowing cup…

So uncomplicated by care!

Yet, I find I treasure the praise that

Much more

When it is the fiercely fought for,

And I find again Your hand to help me

Bear….

Blessings and prayers, dear friends. Thanks for the read. ❤

The Better Ground

Hey, dear friends! Last night was another Wednesday, another gathering with our youth.

We managed a little pizza making, a bit of fun, a precious piece of worship, and a life-giving morsel of challenge to persevere in walking upright and in gratitude with the Lord.

And, for myself, I even experienced a slight expansion of tolerance for some of the situations weighing so heavily on me.

It’s not major shifts in my world or circumstances, but, rather, a step by step sort of journey, as I highly suspected it would be. In other words, God is beginning to move as I begin to allow His hand on me in this season of rebirth. A few words of pondering on the process…

The Better Ground

It’s a tough and a tender surrender,

A slow ache in the soul

Of the careful pretender.

Yet, there is a deeper goodness to be

Found

As I learn my Keeper always guides to

The better ground.

Not to say there is a sudden absence

Of pain in the climb

Nor that I don’t weary of

Drumming rain and the dull drag of

Time.

But, as He ministers lifebread along

The way,

Calling out both rest’s sweet

Deliverance

And the urge to seek the crest

With feet of forebearance,

I am gratefully discovering

I am sustained yet another day….

May we each allow the Lord to keep us and guide us in the climb. And may we seek both the perseverance and the gratitude needed. Blessings and prayers, dear friends! Thanks for reading! ❤

Wherever the Road

Hey, dear friends. Wanted to be back to some in-depth writing. Didn’t want this to be a prolonged break…but, looks like it will be. I just can’t seem to summon up anything but the dreariness I have been facing…and this space isn’t intended to be about that. It’s in the byline-It’s not about me. It’s about Him.

So…all this to say this honest little bit of poetry is my final piece to you- for a while. I hope to come back down the road a ways.

Thank you for your love, prayers, and concern. Know I hold the same for you in my heart.

I can’t do this anymore…

At least, not for quite a while.

Not packing up exactly,

Not erasing these efforts as in days past

Nor leaving an empty store.

To that determination I’m holding fast.

Just…can’t keep coming here right now

With my dialed-in smile.

Feels like any could spot it as a fake

For half a mile.

Nor can I keep comfortably coming,

Wagging this laundry bag of sorrow

And try to claim it’ll be scrubbed

Bright for the morrow.

Right now…it’s just not.

And I am caught

Without a pretty phrase left to my coffers.

No ready cheer, no heady offers.

So…it’s silence for the time being.

Not sure how long

Nor what this round of solitude will bring.

All I do know is that

I know Jesus is wherever the road takes me.

All I can rest in is that He never forsakes me…

And so He never forsakes any of us.

Until such a time as I feel He’s calling me back to this space…

Thanks for reading. Blessings and prayers to you, dear friends. ❤