Thursday, November 15, 2012

Simmering Dreams

Yesterday, during a break, I scribbled this on a piece of paper.  A LOT has happened in the past few weeks that makes me feel alive with possibility. God, loving me, reminding me that He placed this dream in my heart. This past month this simple verse keeps repeating in my head, "Be still. And know that I am God."

Sometimes dreams simmer a long time. You put them on the back burner. Let the sit. And simmer. And simmer some more. You know it's not an accident that this dream was started. And yet you wonder, has the chef forgotten? Did he change his mind? You want to believe that he's waiting for the perfect time. But time passes slowly. very slowly. simmering. 

And then one day, without you even realizing it, the heats been turned up. Way up. You swell with possibility. You bubble with hope. And you worry about the intensity of the heat. Will it be too much? You worry, will the chef change his mind again? Will he set you on the back burner again - or is this your time? The time for your dream to stop simmering, to begin cooking, to become something more -- the main dish perhaps -- for others to find nourishment from? That is after-all why you want this dream to stop simmering, why you want it to become more that just a dream -- so others can benefit from this dream. Only the chef sees the bigger picture. Your dreams are but a glimpse into the feast he has in store! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Out of the Blue

So out of the blue, at bedtime tonight, Sarah says, "Mom, I'm glad you don't work all the time." Simple.Sweet.Honest.  And I'm reminded that any sacrifice I've made, and am making, financially, pales in comparison to the benefits it brings to our family.  There are some amazing moms who work full time, but she reminded me again tonight, that I made the choice to not work full time before I ever had kids and it's a choice I will always be thankful for! These years are flying by!

Here's the girls school pics from the past 6 years. Sarah, ages 4-9. Morgan, ages 6-11.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

It's Unanimous!

So Mike walked out of the bathroom this morning and I rolled over and said, "I don't want to get up." He asked why and I said "Because I don't want to go say goodbye too you!"  So a couple minutes later I stumble out of bed (it is 6:10 on a Sunday morning!) and go wake Morgan up, and her first words are, "I don't want to get up!" So I ask her why and she says, "Because I don't want daddy to leave!"  So I do what any good mom does and promise her donuts if she gets up quickly and gets ready!  Then I wake up Sarah and she says, "I don't want to get up." So I ask her why and she responds, "I don't want daddy to go away!"   Again, I pull out my mom bribery and 15 minutes later we are on our way to get donuts and hot cocoa before dropping Mike off at the airport.  Unwillingly.  He's so good to us and we hope he has a great time at his training in Miami this week, but we are already counting down the hours til he's back home! 132 hours to go!

4th of July,flags,Old Glory,United States,US,patriotism,stars,stripes,blue,redThis morning, I couldn't help but think of my friend Lori, and her three kiddos, who will be saying goodbye to her husband and their daddy, as he's deployed at the end of December for a year. Our goodbye and parting seems so insignificant when I think of the sacrifice her family is making for the coming year.  Today I am thankful for all the veterans, and military wives  and military kids who make sacrifices all the time to give me the freedoms I enjoy here in the greatest country in the world! So thank you, veterans, and active military, on this Veteran's day, and everyday!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Influence (EEEK!)

So, as I've mentioned before, I have the privilege of writing for The Good Stuff Guide (GSG) ( - and first, I just have to say,  if you don't follow the GSG via email, facebook, twitter, or in your RSS feed - you are missing out on some good stuff (ha! pun intended).

Well, Heidi, the brilliant mind behind the GSG, sent me the following stats yesterday.
According to - we are ranked  as the 813,000 website read in the world, and 132,000 in the United States. Apparently this is really good! And exciting.

So, she went on to say, the website gets approximately 30,000 unique users a month, for a total of 1.5 to 2.0 million hits a month!! Yes, this is where I went EEEEK!!! Did you read that. Million.  What?! That's crazy! There are 3 of us writing for the GSG right now. That is a whole lot of people reading what I write!  Which on the one hand makes me ecstatically giddy with happiness; and on the other hands makes me gasp with the enormity of it.

For the past several years now, my desire to be a writer has been growing and growing.  Well, I guess if this many people are reading what I write, then maybe I am a writer. Oh, I still want to figure out a way to get paid for my writing, but for now I'm happy for the experience, the opportunity and exposure I have in writing for the Good Stuff Guide.

And because so many people read the GSG, we can now join this thing called HARO, which I'm quickly discovering is kinda a big thing in the publishing world. Major news like Fox, AP, Gannett, ABC, along with major magazines, use this resource to get ideas for articles and news stories.  In fact, today, I responded to one about marriage advice, and I heard back almost instantly from the writer of the article, thanking me for 'fantastic tips' and she said she'd let me know if she uses my ideas in a REDBOOK article! She may or may not, but just the possibility of being able to share my ideas/tips with such a large audience makes me smile.

And I'd be honest if I didn't say all this makes me slightly nervous! Words have such the potential to influence others - for good, for worse.  It is my continued to desire that the words I choose to share will strengthen families, encourage marriages, and inspire others on the journey!  And I'm glad the dreams God dreams for my life, surpass all my dreams!
Every girl should be told this.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Introverted Self and My Writing

I am by nature, an introvert.  I'll admit, at times I wish I was more of an extrovert, but I'm not. Most of the time, I am very comfortable being an introvert.  Most of the time.

The gift of the internet, of blogging, of facebook, is that it has given me a platform from which I can share more of my heart, the reality of my life, and the depth of my soul, in a bigger way than I ever dreamed possible.  And in being able to open up, to share, I've discovered, many others appreciate what I have to share. My perspectives. My ideas. God has used me to make others smile. To encourage. To inspire. I'm humbled. I'm encouraged. And it makes me smile in return.

I  love writing. I love putting my thoughts, perspectives, feelings, struggles into the written word. It's something that I can get lost in. It's a gift, really, that God has given me. I have always loved to write. Always.  I have a scrapbook from elementary that I was glancing through a few months ago and found notes written by teachers talking positively about my writing.  I don't remember them saying that to me. But I'm glad they took the time to write it, and my mom saved it into a scrapbook for me.

If I'm being completely honest, I would love to write for a larger audience. I would love for God to take my words, to lead them to a publisher, to put them in a book, and encourage others with them.  But this is where my introverted self gets in the way.  I think, "If I was more outgoing, it would be easier to approach publishers/literary agents with confidence." That task sounds too scary, too overwhelming.  It's putting myself out there more. It also means facing rejection. It's the fear of failure. I've created an entire pinterest board called: Motivation to Follow My Dreams.  It has some great sayings on there. Beautiful words. However, there's one problem: It's not motivating me.

But you know what has motivated me?!  Friends.  I have some dear friends that keep my dream on my radar. Friends who write to me from time to time and ask how my writing is going. Who offer suggestions and inspiration for publishing opportunities. Sometimes I think they believe in me more than I believe in myself.  Their depth of caring about my dreams touches me deeply. (excuse me while I pause to wipe away a tear of gratitude.) And to each of you, who know exactly who you are, thank you. I am grateful for you!

Lastly, I have to give a shout out to Heidi. A classmate from High School, who I don't even remember having one conversation with back then. However, who after connecting with me on facebook, and reading my blog, trusted me enough to give me the opportunity to write for a larger audience on the The Good Stuff Guide! I LOVE having this outlet to write!

Perhaps one day I might get paid for all this writing I do. And maybe not. For now I will be faithful to the process itself. I will keep taking steps forward towards publishing. I like this quote.

Have the courage
I want to become an author whose words help strengthen families, encourage marriages and inspire others on their journey.  "Lord, if this is not the dream you have for my life, give me a new one. Amen."