Simply writing about faith, family, and life stories.

Keep Walking

   It all started in the checkout line when I was so hungry even the gummy bears were starting to invite. The guy behind me was chatty and so was the checkout worker. He said he was going camping and I didn’t listen very much because I was eyeing the Babyruth. I looked up and engaged the banter a little. My heart sank just a bit and I was sad some but after years of camping and hiking for our summer vacation, this year we opted to stay home and just go to the bay. I absentmindedly reached into my purse for my phone forgetting it was broken and I was waiting on the new one from the insurance. 

It was actually peaceful without a cell phone for a few days. It was kind of like 1982 though. I had to drive somewhere like my office or my house to make a phone call. Also there were a few folks who thought I was mad at them and therefore became mad at me for not texting them back. We made up. No worries. 

I finished with the checker and reflected on my sadness. I’m glad about our decision. It’s just different. Why do we not like change?

Did you read my book yet? It’s out there! This last year took a lot of energy and although always still up for a road trip we decided to just keep walking. Just like the old girl Tater at the end of the picture line, sometimes if you keep walking, you’ll have the time of your life. You might do Warrior 1 and 2! 
Then you might find some salt flats and a big red buoy abandoned in the pasture. And you watch with all smiles your kids as they frolick ahead of you in wonder.  Then in the middle of your “place revelry” reality pops up as your dog emerges from a hole in the ground burning your nose with the stench of skunk spray. 

Yeah, it was Dot. It was so strong we could see a green stripe where she was sprayed! She was clearly embarrassed and tried rubbing her body all over anything. It didn’t work. Two days later, she still stinks. And this prompted Matt to ask me why I didn’t tell you all the skunk story in the Waco chapter of Place Value. And I don’t know the answer except it didn’t come to me while I was writing. Excited that I had a working phone again, my children kept taking it from me to show off their photography skills. Claire took a picture of poop. It’s pretty good…for poop anyways. 

I will tell you the skunk story eventually. Maybe soon. In the meantime, keep walking, old girl. Seriously. Get out there. Don’t cry about your arthritis. Tater doesn’t…much. Dust off your shoes. Stand up straight. Get. Go on now. Keep walking.

So, I’m doing a little revamping around here since the old book is fin. Anna and I found this post I wrote a few months ago, and we laughed a lot. So, I decided to repost it for you while you are waiting not so patiently for me to finish my not so presto change-o. Enjoy!

Quoting on WordPress is weird. You can quote me on that. It looks like this.

But then you have to stop the quote. It’s like stopping the press. I’m picking up more quotes this week than the junk laying around my house. It’s been fun. Did you ever stop and think bloggers have it together? I think there are a million jillion killian blogs out there in the world. Lots. Heaps and heaps. I went to Australia once. They said heapsĀ  a lot. They don’t say bunches. They say heaps and other words like yonks. I liked it there. Anyways, sometimes I feel like we (bloggers) are all trying to offer you advice. Maybe not. Many are just offering assistance or pleasantries or lists or their two bits. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of advice. We can sound like we have it all together. I’d like to break the barrier between us and tell you something. Nope. No. We don’t. We do not have it all together.

I’ll start by telling you about the hair balls under my bed. I dropped my work name tag somewhere in my room and got down on the floor to look. You could weave a rug with all the dust and hair and dog hair under there. Yep. It’s nasty. I commented on it. Then, I put my coat on and went to work and left that hairball to gather more bulk. Also, I don’t bathe my dogs enough. And last night was one of the worst dinners I ever made. I was dishing it out and everyone was asking me what smells so bad. I was talking up this bean soup that Mattea gave me and all I had to do was warm up and couldn’t understand all the fussing until I took my first bite. Ugh. It was so gross. I had burned the tar out of it. Burned kale all in that bean soup. Close your eyes and picture how my hairball house smelled. Maile went outside. I had a loaf of wheat French bread I had warmed too, and the girls watched me amused trying to wipe the burnt nasty off my tongue with a big piece of bread. I kept eating it. I wanted to be a good example which brings me to my first quote. They were yelling at me to stop eating it. I was cringing with every bite.

Waste not, want not.

I chimed this and Maile said:

Well, I want not any of that soup, so I’m good. And please don’t eat any more of it Mom!

We’ve been doing a lot of math homework around here lately. It’s been a little painful. I just want you to know I win the prize for the best in long-division in our family. :) I was thanking everyone for my accomplishment, and then I told the girls that I wasn’t great at math in school but I loved division. I also had a great relationship with algebra. I got along great with fractions and decimals, but geometry and I just didn’t work out. I told them I didn’t find trigonometry attractive, but I did connect with elementary analysis. And then one of my daughters stopped me and said:

Whoa, whoa. What is trigonometry…is that like shapes?

And then I had a little doubt moment with our public school system. And then I remembered homeschooling Anna. And then I remembered how much I love public school. But, sometimes we still teach at home. Tonight we had a political science lesson. We watched the STOU address with the kids tonight. Lydia came in and asked me to tell her who the men were behind the President. She ran out of the room and came back with the Wii microphone and kept getting in front of the television. We were fussing at her and then I realized she was holding the microphone out for John Boehner. “What are you doing?” I asked.

She giggled all sparkly and said:

Well, you said he is the Speaker, but he won’t speak!

We all laughed. I still can’t believe she’s so funny because she didn’t talk much her first few years of life. Before bouncing back out of the room she said:

I want to be the President! Hey! I’m going to be the first girl President everybody!

You go, girl. Go on now.

We always have clothing issues. I can’t keep up with all these little bodies growing. Claire doesn’t like to give up the clothes she likes even if they are too little, and Maile’s legs keep growing. We were talking about their jeans this week, and Maile said:

I guess we all wear high-waters now. You like my high-waters? I’m waitin’ for a flood, Mom!

I appreciate her comedic responses more than I can tell you. And don’t worry we are getting new jeans. Anna couldn’t find the right socks the other day and this is what she prefaced her groan with:

I know this is like…a first-world problem and all that…but I can’t find the right socks for my Converse.

Um, make that my Converse that she stole. Hmph. I love her. If she’s going to have a global perspective, she can have all my shoes. Well, that’s going a bit too far because I really like some of my shoes. But, you know what I mean; she is growing up. We went to the high school tonight for her 8th grade preview. High School. It was interesting. Her response:

It’s hard to think about the future. It’s so unknown and I don’t like it.

I said: Yes, but the unknown is more real than the known.

And then I paused to take in my own words. She stared at me. I mentioned something about taking hold of the unknown and braving the adventure, but it’s hard. We all hate to acknowledge our lack of control. I’ve been reflecting a lot on this little blog and the point of it and all that mumbo-jumbo. So, let’s be straight with each other. I’m not really here to give you advice. Maybe sometimes, but I’m a little broken just like you. I don’t always scrub my bathtubs as much as I should. I don’t always like doing my kid’s hair. I’m not always content, and I have days just like you where I doubt my faith and I kinda wish I was somewhere else. This is honest space here. We have to laugh. I want to be real. And I want you to know that there are dark spaces that everyone goes through. There is light there too.

And God is here with us in the real unknown.

And not just in quotes.

Crazy Places


Some places you find yourself in are just crazy. I can’t believe I’m here. It’s a great place! Thanks for journeying with me.

IMG_9130Okay, so this isn’t quite like the dream where you (mortifyingly and) accidentally go to school naked. But, almost. For two years, I have dreamed, thought, planned, and even more in the last 6 months have written and written and written. And wondered. And jumped up and down. And wrung my hands. And then I jumped out of the plane. I wrote to tell you about all the places I’ve been. This book as an experience and a journey to presence in the place you are. This is an experience of my stories and the way the places I’ve been have been used to shape me. This as a peek into places. This is a challenge (a gentle one) for all of you to be present, to move into the place you are in. In the end…well I shouldn’t give it away, but guess what?

TODAY, I am happy to tell you, this thing I created, this book, is just out there! Out There! Live on Amazon. You can buy it! And here it is…

Come journey with me!

Coming Soon…

So, I haven’t been around here for awhile. Lots of reasons for that. But I’ll tell you about all that later.

I have something very exciting to tell you….its kind of a secret…

…so stay tuned. 

They’re Watching You

So, my 2nd child was bee-bopping around the house, and her sister said in an oh-so-sisterly-voice, “Maile, you look kind of like a soccer mom with your hair and everything.” I laughed. And then she began her performance. She had been going for a while when I started filming. I was crying because I was laughing so hard. In fact, I think you can hear me. Anna fell out of her chair. Matt was chuckling. Oh, man.

This video is proof that your children are watching you. Not only are they watching, but they are compiling. This is twelve years of research and inferencing, folks, and not just of me and Matt. Of you, of aunts and uncles, of grandparents, etc. Now, now don’t look so discouraged. This is actually good news, I told myself, as I reflected on how funny this was to me. I’m just wondering if we actually know how cool this is. These little women in my house are their own people for sure, but what an opportunity I have to get it right!

What an extraordinary thing this parenting is. Don’t start crying to me about the daily. I know all about it, and I have those moments too when I see the hairball in the corner and the laundry basket and the kid project we still have to finish. Just take a deep breath, get organized, and do your laundry. I don’t just mean your clothes. If something needs to change, change it. Change the order of things. And then go. Bring them along. Be together. Don’t try. Just do.

They’re watching you. It’s extraordinary. Don’t miss it.

P.S. Please don’t tell Maile I said she was bee-bopping. She might freak out.

A Rock and a Hard Place


I’m working here, but I thought you might consider this. If you ever find yourself between a rock and a hard place,

it might be….just maybe…all depending on your attitude and perspective…

a really great place

a place for a good stretching

a more expansive view

an experience of God

a spot to soak up something

a sight to behold

the place you’ve been needing.

Happy Monday!

P.S. Don’t fret, Grand Tetons Part 4 is in the works!

P.S.S. I like the word fret, don’t you?


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