Thursday, June 21, 2018

These 6 Posts Rang Your Bell



We find ourselves just about half way through 2018.  I find that stark reality a bit hard to swallow, but it's true, isn't it.  

And no matter how disciplined our own personal social media life is, those of us who blog do keep our eyes on the stats, don't we.

And that's ok, as long as those pesky numbers don't call the shots, because they give us a peek at what hits home for our readers, what meets their needs, what floats their boats.  I'm not so much interested in page hits as I am in how the conversation goes after I hit the orange PUBLISH button.

For whatever reason, the six posts below turned out to be our biggest conversation launchers so far this year.

I find it interesting that most of these posts were written in the dead of winter when many of us were held hostage by frigid winter storms that left us with nothing better to do than hang around online.

{I left out the one with the most comments because it included a $25 gift card giveaway!  Duh.}

If you're new around here, the conversations that follow offer you a taste of what it looks like when we all gather around a topic that grabs us somewhere deep, shakes us up, and makes us re-consider or re-configure or some such thing.

And if you've been here forever, maybe you'll spot something you missed along the way.

Here's the best conversations we've had so far in 2018 ...












A Launch-Yourself-Forward Worksheet 

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How can I serve you best in the days ahead?  

What do you want to discover or uncover?  

In what ways are you yearning to morph and grow?


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you'll find me 
visiting with 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Read This Book Because You Must . . .



Our summertime bookbags are often filled with light and airy fiction, easy-to-page-through magazines, and a random accumulation of recommended volumes stacked in teetering piles around our living spaces.  That's all good ... in fact, I've been going there myself these days and loving every minute of it.

But I'm going out on a limb to say that if you read only one book this summer, may it be Kate's powerful real life story.

Everything Happens For a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved

Right off the top I'm telling you that this might end up being my favorite book of the year.

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Stunning, raw, tragic, with wisps of humor and wisdom that refuse to be quenched, author Kate Bowler gently extends her hand to the reader as she walks through the valley of the shadow of searing loss and the unspeakable diagnosis of Stage IV cancer at the age of 35 ... in the midst of caring for those she adores, forging ahead with the beloved work she's been called to do, and wrestling with broken-hearted faith.

There's something about the author's writing that is absolutely compelling ... I can't put my finger on it but I can tell you that I was totally immersed in the cadence of her words for three hours without ever thinking of getting off my chair.

It was like curling up on the sofa crying with a beloved friend, captivated and mesmerized by the sound of her voice, the enormity of her sorrow, the interwoven hope.

And if that weren't enough, this Duke Divinity School professor tucks in Absolutely Never Say This To People Experiencing Terrible Times: A Short List and Give This A Go at the end of the book for all of us that might be prone to responding to tragedy by doing nothing ... or saying the most ridiculously hurtful things.

Read this because you must.  Read this because you can't not go there.

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Listen to a wrenching snippet right here.

Kate's website is certainly worth your time - it's right there.

Read her New York Times Op-Ed piece, Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me, on 'the irony of being an expert in health, wealth and happiness while being ill.'

This is an A+ pick for your book club, friends.  Yes, yes.



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i've just got to share
this book with
Anne  .  Mary  .  Holley

Friday, June 8, 2018

In Which This Certainly Was a Topsy-Turvy Week

It's been an upside down, inside out kind of week.  Wednesday felt like Thursday and I could have sworn that Thursday night was weekend's end.  And today is almost identical to a typical Saturday.

Almost.

This was the week that the furniture in the living room and dining room swapped places, leaving me with two sitting rooms, one featuring the dining table that magically morphed into an unexpected but very fun work-desk.  And gave me what I really wanted which is wide open access to the porch.

Don't ask.  It works.  For now.

After helping me drag furniture from here to there and back again, my husband admits our new living spaces look far better than he thought they would.  He said my 'vision' was unclear to him when we completely upended the tried and true, traditional set-up.

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This was the week that my Blogger stats showed 4,405 visits early Wednesday morning.  It was a technical glitch, for sure.

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My first grand-nephew was born, weighing in at a delightful 11 pounds.  We marked the bittersweet 66th wedding anniversary of my parents, with my dad, I'm sure, looking down from heaven and smiling at his ever expanding legacy.  We celebrated a drumming concert with a grandchild at her new school.  And learned to use pencil, not pen, when filling in the ever crowded calendar squares.

Summer's like that.  And maybe that's exactly what we're longing for.

The unexpected, the unplanned, the serendipitous.




An old friend comes to call this afternoon, the family descends in all their enthusiastic vigor next weekend.

I'll be writing less, perhaps posting at odd times.  I've already written a few posts in my head while walking the bike trail this morning.

And while I'll be visiting my favorite blogs, there'll be some weeks where I'll be quiet as a mouse with nary a footprint in my wake.  I'm hoping the laptop will gather dust ... and not just because I'm a lousy housekeeper.

What's summer look like for you?



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visiting with 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Loose Ends * The May 2018 Edition


At the end of every month, I happily pull together life's most recent personal bits and pieces ... the snapshots, the links, the discoveries, the resources, all the stuff I'd want to yak about if we could put our feet up and linger together over a cup of coffee.

If this is the first time we've met, I'm so glad you've stopped in!  You can subscribe here to get this newsletter {and my other writings} in your inbox.  And yes, if there's anything here worth sharing with those in your world, please do.

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the braids


One of my few claims to fame is the heavy thick hair I've passed down to my daughters and their kids.  {My dad used to say I needed to walk through a door sideways because of my unkempt, wild-child mane.}  But these girls' rich gorgeous colors have nothing to do with me and everything to do with their ancestors on the other side of the family.

I only wish I had looked this good when I was in my teens ... and late 30s.


the song

During the last month or so, I've found myself singing 3 words repeatedly.  Every good thing, every good thing.  A simple sacrifice of praise for the smallest of God's favors in the midst of life's continued unexpected twists and turns.  I finally checked out You Tube to find out exactly what's been overflowing from my heart at the most random moments ...

the crunch


The bag of bland store-bought almonds weren't cutting it with me, so I found this recipe for Honey Glazed Almonds.  Don't forget the sea salt.  Too fabulously scrumptiously addictive.


the reads


I've read / skimmed through hundreds of posts this month and hands down these are the absolute must-reads I've been waiting to pass along to you.  Bookmark, share, do whatever you can with these gems.

Alia Joy

Beth Moore

Anne Wright

Debra Fileta

Diane Dokko Kim

Letting Go of My Instagram Addiction
Rebecca Cooper

Anne Bogel

Tony Morgan

and this oh-so-necessary 15 minute podcast
Emily Freeman


the wandering


A few months after experiencing what felt like a ton of bricks cascading onto my foot, I am happy that I am now out and about, walking without limping, exploring odd little paths and abandoned shorelines and neighborhood trails.  Spring's late late late arrival only makes every outdoor pilgrimage even sweeter.


the porch


The back porch is in its final stages of construction, but unfinished ceiling and trim work couldn't keep me from starting to introduce two new pieces of furniture to a bunch of much loved tables, chairs, plants, magazines, candles, throws, and pillows relocated from just about every room of the house.

Before long, I'll be sharing more about the emergence of my new favorite place to hang out.


the clients


Nothing makes this counselor's heart soar like an unexpected serendipitous note from a former client.  Three women connected with me last week to let me know the gratitudes of a steady journey forward, rekindled married love, and a fresh start after a tumultuous divorce.  I praise God for His merciful, healing grace ... and the powerful imprint these treasured women have left on my heart.


and just because ...