Closer to Love

bravery, Children, courage, Faith, family, grace, Motherhood, Peace, praise, Prayer, Redemption, rest, Stillness, Teaching, Trust, Vulnerability, wonder

I wonder if your first waking thoughts are placed there mid sleeping and waking by God as His way to say,

“Begin again, let’s go!

Follow my lead, follow your leader.

Follow your heart, your soul.”

I woke, thrilled to have slept past 7 and kept my eyes closed for a few minutes.

Did not reach for my phone.

I thought and thought again,

“Stop looking for likes.”

Then wrote it down, hoping it more deeply would sink in.

I’ve just spent almost an hour in between making breakfast and coffee and conversation about new cars with my husband, tracking down which blog post was most “liked”.

It was in 2014 and it was entitled “not knowing”. It was about my children and God and well, being okay with not knowing.

Stats show which day is best, which theme more enticing and I suppose which posts are so good that people click the little star that says “like”.

Actually, I don’t have a whole lot of “likes”. I do have a lots of views and viewers and some commenters who I always thank “for reading my words” and mean it, sincerely.

I was curious, then got weary of discerning my “likers” based on my stats.

What I saw was my life since 2014, I saw God’s guiding, his pulling me from the ditch of doubt, His rescuing me before I fall too far from the pit of pride and pedestal.

So, I’m more settled, less seeking and more set on seeing me as God sees me and

“likes” me.

Prayerful, this morning in my journal about writing for “Daughters of the Deep” and for Lisa Brittain’s “Saturday Shares” and other places my soul feels led and prompted by prayer and the Holy Spirit.

Places and people who I’d never encounter were it not for words and God, women like Nan Jones, women who write and women who don’t write; but, surely are praying. I am worried other making a list, it’s so vast, I’d surely forget one or two or three who make up my “community”.

This morning I read from My Utmost for His Highest and the thoughts are lingering and lined up, as did the other words and verses established for today.

I’m getting closer every day to the me God sees.

Not yet arrived, surely on my way though.

Noticing and embracing words like these, believing waking thoughts as God’s instruction and loving affirmation.

As you journey with God, the only thing He intends to be clear is the way He deals with your soul.

My Utmost for His Highest devotion

Closer to love.

Closer to God and speaking more bravely.

Two times last week, I believe my words came as a surprise to others (and me).

I’m so glad God brought you into my life.

Me, through God

The first time, a crowded restaurant and as a goodbye to our unplanned encounter.

The second, a parking lot after “so happy to run into you” send off.

Both times, I was sure in my saying so and both times, the ones who were with me, their smiles spread wide as the sky and we parted, all of us thinking of God.

So, if you’re reading this,

I’m so glad brought you into my life. So happy He brought us both here. me

Freedom and Light

bravery, courage, Faith, family, grace, Prayer, rest, Teaching, Trust, Uncategorized, Vulnerability

I woke with no set agenda and allowed myself the luxury of slowly becoming wide awake. 

I’m thinking a new thing today, I keep singin’ “Free your mind and the rest will follow…”

Because, yesterday a change began to be considered. I’d taken a step, asked for feedback, been honest over my angst. 

Been brave about my being afraid. 

I’m remembering this morning, the power of changes I can make, the power of asking God to help me; but, me being able to move towards the bend in the road. 

Ever the one seeking approval, yearning for affirmation, I had become overwhelmed by advisors, critical thinkers, step takers and this is how, let me show you contacts! 

I told the consultant I was overwhelmed by measuring up, by following recommendations and by being good enough in the eyes of others. 

I took a step. I discerned who to believe. Made perfect sense, she knew a little of me, why not show her more? 

I was honest. She listened and responded with a tangible and godly plan: 

i) Has become a little overwhelmed by the whole process of writing and the whole process(1) Too many voices clamoring into her head.
(2) A lot of peer pressure
(a) A lot of other good writers out there
(3) SUGGESTION: Turn off the other voices (unsubscribe, choose not to engage in self-imposed expectations) and just write the manuscript.
ii) Doubting God’s will
(1) Does not want to glorify herself
(2) Does not want to shed light on the trauma
(a) There are some dark times she had forgotten
(b) Does not want to bash
(c) Does not want to remind her family of the hurt
iii) SUGGESTION: Just Write. Do not let the fear of saying too much keep you from writing. Everything can be edited.

So, this morning I stopped counting at 30, the choice to unsubscribe to all of my advisors on writing. I’ve honed it down to five. 

I’ll follow the advice of Stephanie Haynes
(oh, I believe it’s a God thing, her name, her frame, her role) and I’ll become independent in my writing. I’ll not hold back. I’ll pour out my heart with the goal of rough draft by July of 2018. 

I reminded myself today of the meaning of independence, of freedom; but, most fitting, I believe is autonomy: the freedom from external control. 

This is where I am this morning, I’m shutting out the voices of too many well meaning and informed advisors and I’m making room to hear my own voice more clearly, more freely, more unafraid. 

More ready to shine my light unhindered by comparison or critique. 

“”You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:14-16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Greatest of Graces

Children, courage, family, grace, Motherhood

So, when Jennie Montgomery, beautifully gracious reporter with WJBF calls you a writer, you take a moment and realize, 

Well, I suppose it’s true. 
To find yourself sitting in front of cameras when most of your life you’ve been afraid to be seen is almost inconceivable. 
Watch below as I am given the chance to talk about this special book! 
I pray God uses this book to assure other moms, to comfort and encourage. 
If there was anything I could do over it would be to not get all mumble mouthed when I talked about my children. 

I’d have said something more than blessed or wonderful. I’d have said “Thank you, God for choosing me to be Heather and Austin’s mama. For, I feel the gift of them is without doubt the greatest of graces I’ve known. ”
This book is so very good and I am so happy God taught me to be attentive to opportunities and made me, grew me, equipped me to be courageous enough to say “So long little chubby girl hiding behind your grandma, it is time to be the you I made you to be!”

Click here:

Motherhood Anthology

Lovely Word

bravery, Faith, Motherhood, Prayer, rest, Trust, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, wonder

I may not do justice to the idea of this thing, the “Lovely Blog Award” thing.

I’m afraid I don’t read nearly enough.  I have five or so books bedside usually and I discipline myself to return the love when a blogger likes something I write.

Tammy at faithhopefoodlove a writer who has blessed me by thanking me for being calm and honest. She nominated me for this award called “lovely”.

Last week this time, I’d heard about a book and pushed myself through the Saturday things my mama left me, her legacy to see fit I do them.

Clean smelling house, floors and linens good and tubs and toilets scrubbed. This was our Saturday morning.

I honor her.  My daughter does too.

Striving towards being done and hoping the library has longer hours than before when we’d go on Saturday, my children and I.

I made it in plenty of time, our library now a refuge for those needing to come in and sit, peruse or just be inside.  The librarian smiled when I had no idea they’d updated the card catalog system and then took me over to show off the upgrade.

Together, we found the books, one fiction, one poetry, one non-fiction.

Later, I made my place on the couch, intentional in leaving my phone down the hall and I began to read the words of Anne Lamott. A skinny little book with only three chapters, her summation of prayer, “Help, Thanks, Wow”.

It wasn’t the book I’d gone in search of, I’d gone to find a book to help my writing, a book called “Bird by Bird”. It wasn’t there, so I considered the book on prayer.

I almost set it aside, decided to go no further. The roots of my “independent Baptist” raising clinging tightly, angry and resistant to opening.  She likes to call God “her” and she is a storyteller of stories that include things not allowed in the church of my raising. She says out loud how hard it is to get our hands on the knowledge of God and words and thoughts that get heard and things then happen. Her words are lovely, honest and true.

I do not know much about prayer, but I have come to believe, over the last twenty-five years, that there’s something to be said about keeping prayer simple. Help. Thanks. Wow.

We can pray, “Am I too far gone, or can you help me out of my isolated self obsession?”  We can say anything to God. It’s all prayer.

So, I almost rejected the value of this book for the sake of being shamed by old memories of who I wasn’t and who I could never be.

Man, those childhood things stick, don’t they?

Back to the ” lovely blog award”.  I’m told I should say a few things about myself:

1. I’m often caught between hiding and shining my light, recognition is a tad bit complex for me, being noticed while staying humble seems a contradiction. My daughter said recently, “Just say Thank you, God and be happy.”

2.  I love dark chocolate with almonds and coffee flavored gelato, peanut butter crunchy.

3. I miss my parents; but, rarely bring it up.

4. I treasure in ways no one on earth can measure, the gift of a daughter and son. I’m settled finally, loving well and good and happy to grow old with my husband and a “happy way of life”.

5. I threw away an Art scholarship because my roommate, a feisty and funny girl from England taught me how to drink and how to stay skinny.

6. I now, as of yesterday have an Author page on Amazon. I’m a contributing author in a book called “I Heart Mom”. No books have I written. I am here, thus far.

I Heart Mom

7. I pray many times a day, some days and times in a way that might resemble ritual, others like Anne Lamott describes, “Wow and Thanks and please help me, Jesus.” I pray because I can recount specific times God answered. I believe, not because I have seen; but, because I know and notice what God has brought me to and through.

Because He sees me.

So, I have a few blogs I love for different reasons.

Here we go:

Living Our Days Biblical wisdom, grace and faith conveyed.

Relax cut to the chase truth and wisdom

Live & Learn because his posts are phenomenal, especially “Lightly, child lightly” and because I imagine him a big city success, still he regularly reads my words.

Ebs and Flows because from across the ocean he sends me waves of confidence.

faithhopelovefood because of her kindness and strength.

A Simple, Village Undertaker because he is a “prompter”.

Faith Adventures because she writes gently, faithfully.

Carolina Cisneros because she is brave.

Dawn Leopard  because I know and consider her faith a model.

Each of these, a diverse group, I “follow” and return the favor of grace, enlightenment and word.

Quiet confidence, my ongoing prayer request. Keep me Lord, quietly confident.