Friday, May 28, 2010


I want to be a writer. I have other goals for my life but I know writing factors in somehow. The problem I'm facing is finding the time to write. I keep wanting to set aside a few hours each night, locked in my room with my computer so I can focus solely on cranking out the next literary masterpiece (no pressure or anything). Yet my schedule is busy and allotting that much time to writing doesn't seem all that realistic. So what's the solution? One word at a time. I read a blog the other day (the name of which escapes me) and the advice she gave was to keep a notepad with you (something I already do so I'm halfway there right off the bat) and whenever you have five minutes of free time, write. Write a sentence, paragraph - whatever - so long as you write. Take advantage of the time you do have to write instead of trying to make more time...and see what you come up with :-)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Have you ever stopped what you were doing and simply listened to the sounds around you? My freshman year of college I took a Humanities course and our assignment one day was to do exactly that. We were to go home, sit in our room, close our eyes and just listen. It's a rather interesting experiment. I think we're so used to go, go, go that we forget to slow down at times and simply enjoy driving with the windows down or watching a ladybug scurry across the pavement. We're driven to accomplish massive to-do lists and miss out on life.

This week I'm pet-sitting for some neighbors and they have an 8 week-old kitten. I don't think I've ever heard a cat purr that was sweeter than when I hold this kitten up to my face and listen to him purr. Something so simple but if I were solely focused on checking the food and water and then leaving, I would miss out on.

And if we're so busy checking off things we need to do, we might also miss out on hearing God. There's the story in the Bible of how God wasn't in the fire or the earthquake but He was in the wind. He's the whisper we sometimes drown out with our music or tv or phone. We ask Him to show Himself to us but then we're too busy to hear Him when He talks. We need to just take a deep breath and...listen.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Life can get crazy sometimes. I know that's not a new revelation or anything but it's true. We go through times in our life when nothing seems to make sense. It's at these times when the only thing we can possibly do is believe. That's it. The only other option is give up and where's the point in that? I refuse to believe God isn't working things out in my life - even if I can't see physical evidence of it. I just have to believe. Something that seems like almost doing nothing but by making that conscious decision is also doing everything.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

book review: "happily every laughter" by ken davis

“It takes a lifetime to even learn how to love another person. To figure out what brings him or her deep, sincere joy.” This book is compiled of true stories from married couples, relaying some moments in their marriages when laughter was key to survival. The stories range from newlywed moments to moments with children, home renovations gone bad, getting lost and many other everyday moments that comprise a marriage. One of my favorite stories is about John Pickerl and his wife Cindy. One Sunday morning before church, they uncover that a skunk has been living beneath their porch. They uncover this when the skunk’s spray comes through the furnace and saturates everything in their home – including their clothes. Here’s the conversation on the way to church:

Cindy (sniffing her clothes): Do we smell? I think we smell.
John (sniffing his clothes): Nah. It’s just our singed nose hairs.
Cindy: No, honey. I think that stuff got on us.
Five-year-old son: I forgot my triceratops.
Other five-year-old son: Can I have a cookie?
John: You’ll have toys and treats in Sunday school. Anyway, honey, that stuff couldn’t have gotten on us, could it?
Cindy: I think it did.
Five-year-old son: I need my triceratops!
Other five-year-old son: I don’t want treats in Sunday school!
John (pulling into church parking lot): Don’t whine! You really think so, honey?
Five-year-old son: I need my triceratops! Waaaahhh!
Other five-year-old son: I don’t want treats in Sunday school! Waaahhh!
John (parking the car): Stop it right now, you two! NOW!
Two five-year-old sons (being half-dragged into church, hands protecting their bottoms): Waaahhh!
John and Cindy (trying unsuccessfully to swat their bottoms): I said STOP IT! We’re at church!
Every other parent within earshot (thinking): I’m glad my children don’t behave like that!

And as the story continued, yes, they did smell. As they walked through the church (late due to investigating the source of the smell), they couldn’t ignore the whispers and gasps from the congregation. The point (to this story and most of the others) is to be able to be able to laugh and realize there will be good days and bad days. “Every day is a new teachable moment. If we are really learning anything, we’re learning to adapt better to what won’t change or to what changes at a moment’s notice!”

This was a fun, easy read. Even though I’m not married, I enjoyed the stories. I think the diverse experiences help shed light on the realities of marriage and show that there are highs and lows – it’s all a matter of how you handle them.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I heard this song on the radio this afternoon and though I've heard it before, it caught my attention. It's "Safe" by Phil Wickham and I think the message is one that we need to be reminded of sometimes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

book review: "God never blinks" by regina brett

When I first saw “God Never Blinks” by Regina Brett in the store, I thought it would be about how to deal with waiting on God – what to do when things don’t go as you plan. However, that’s not what this book is about. Brett was diagnosed with cancer when she was forty-one and the experience has taught her to say exactly what she’s thinking – not holding anything back. She came up with fifty life lessons she’s gleaned over her fifty-three years of life and those comprise the book. Some of the lessons are things most of us already know. For example, paying off your credit card each month. One lesson, as an aspiring writer, stood out to me. Lesson 18: A writer is someone who writes. If you want to be a writer, write. She talks about how there’s not a perfect formula to becoming a writer. How you can’t wait for everything to fall into place before deciding to pursue writing. It happens word by word, line by line. If you don’t know where to start, start somewhere.

This was an interesting book. I don’t agree with everything Brett talks about but she makes some good points about enjoying life to the fullest. I think my favorite lesson is Lesson 19: It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else. She lists things to do to re-connect with the kid in us; things that revolve around enjoying the simple things. Things such as going on a scavenger hunt, catching fireflies, flying a kite or drawing with sidewalk chalk. We only have one chance at life so we need to savor every second.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

take a break

Things have been a little busy - posting a new blog being at the bottom of my never ending to-do list. I'm currently reading a book titled "God Never Blinks" by Regina Brett. I'll save my thoughts on this book when I finish it but she talks about taking the time to enjoy life now instead of waiting until the proverbial "I'll be happy when ______." It's an important lesson. I don't want to be so focused on needing to accomplish things that I stop having fun. I don't want to be so busy that I'm letting life pass me by. The book is broken down in 50 life lessons Brett has learned over the last 53 years. Lesson 19 is "It's Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood. But the Second One Is Up to You and No One Else." She talks about doing things such as eating dessert first or playing on the swings - things to connect with the child that still reside in all of us. I like that philosophy. I can brag and say I already partake in such activities. Things like eating fruit snacks or using a Hello Kitty pen or carrying Scooby-Doo bandaids. We need to take a break from being a "grown-up" every now and then. To enjoy the simple things. To be a kid again.

Monday, May 3, 2010

book review: "plan b" by pete wilson

“What do you do when God doesn’t show up for you in the way you thought God was going to show up?”

What do we do when we feel like God’s not kept His promises? We thought we knew what God was telling us to do, the path He was leading us to take but we’ve hit a dead end. “When life isn’t turning out the way we had hoped, we almost always default to feeling as if God has abandoned us.” Looking at David’s life, Samuel told him he’d be king one day but things didn’t seem to be looking that way. “You’ve had doubts like David, right? You developed certain plans and expectations over your lifetime and as time went by you started to wonder if any of them would become a reality. Maybe you started to get discouraged. Maybe you started to lose hope. Maybe you’re feeling stuck and a little bored.” Can we not relate to David?

Pete Wilson also looks at the stories of Lazarus, Mary, Joseph and Abraham – all examples of waiting on God. He talks about how sometimes we worry about the unknown, which is a faith issue. Will we trust God even when we don’t know the outcome? “Putting it all, including our fear of the unknown, in the hands of the One who knows everything. And then moving forward because we can trust Him. Even in the dark.” Yet even when we feel like everything is falling apart, God is still with us. “He knows what you’re going through. He is right beside you, sharing your pain, even though He may not take it away. And He knows what He’s doing with your life, even if you don’t.” Wilson talks about the significance of the Saturday after Jesus was crucified. Though we focus on Good Friday and Easter, we don’t often think about what transpired on that Saturday. No one realized what was happening. No one thought Jesus would come back to life. As of that Saturday, everyone thought Jesus had abandoned them and they were all wondering “what now?” Yet Sunday was soon coming. “While our hope may be fragile, God is hope Himself.” Your world may feel chaotic, especially when you’re stuck in a Saturday, struggling hopelessly with your Plan B. But no doubt about it, God is still in control. And one way or another, Sunday is about to dawn.”

I liked this book a lot. I’m in a place where I’m going through a Plan B and I needed to hear Wilson’s words. Some of the things I already knew but the reminder was needed. The whole book can be summed up with this line: “The question isn’t can you trust God? Of course you can trust God. The question is can you wait? Will you wait? Will you continue to hope in Him even when His timing seems all off?” Wilson ends the book, wishing there was a way to promise everything will turn out as we hope but that’s not realistic. “Will we ever understand our Plan B dilemmas? On this side of heaven, quite possibly not. Does the way we respond to them matter? More than you will ever know.” Can we trust God confidently, even we things aren’t going as we thought? Even though things in my life aren’t matching the plans I once had, my trust in God has never wavered. Though I sometimes feel like He’s not listening, I know He is and I know I can hold Him to His promises. We just have to understand that our timing isn’t God’s timing. As Wilson ends his book, “God will finish what He started. Wait for it.”