I’m writing this for me, to help me grapple with what has been an uncomfortable struggle the past few weeks. If I am transparent, I’d like to pretend that I’m not struggling, that I’m simply peri-menopausal or hormonal, but deep down, I know that I’m lodged deep in a fog, and I seem to have lost my way a bit. I feel stuck and not only find it difficult to move forward, but frankly I don’t know how.
And I’m ashamed, embarrassed, angry with myself for feeling this way. I look around and see those with much greater woes gracefully moving through life with all the balls juggling effortlessly in the air with a certain artistic flair. My balls bounce around aimlessly, some darting directly into oncoming traffic, while others are lodged somewhere underneath the couch. There may be balls rolling around in the backyard that I didn’t even realize I was responsible for. I’ve forgotten how to juggle. And even if I remembered, there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to juggle anymore. I think I’d like to leave the circus and float down a lazy river somewhere under a peaceful canopy of stately oak trees. I’m supposed to be a woman of great faith, so why am I not navigating this with great faith? Why am I struggling to lean into God?
Continue reading “Coming Out of the Mist” →
It is no secret that the past year has knocked me off my feet. I’ve written candidly about my daughter’s suicide attempt and subsequent hospitalization (here), and the far-reaching consequences of a Covid shutdown have brought our business to its knees. It is grueling to watch your daughter endure agony while your husband is deciding whether it is time to let go of a dream business and move on to a new endeavor at 45. And here’s the thing about trusting God in all circumstances….it takes an inordinate amount of faith, hence the concept. This past year hasn’t coaxed me to gently open my hand and release expectations for my life; it has wrenched open my fist and roughly yanked them from me, crushing them in the process.
Continue reading “Moving Forward” →
It’s the time of year when it’s hard to walk into any store: grocery or department and not notice a host of hearts. From t-shirts to boxes, hearts adorn most every surface reminding us that Valentine’s Day is around the corner. One favorite confection certainly speaks to the heart of Valentine’s: conversation hearts. Every year eight billion, yep, that’s billion with a B, hearts tucked neatly away in heart-covered boxes line the shelves of our favorite stores. That is 100,000 pounds of sugar, and most stores sell out within six weeks of stocking the shelves. The original hearts, from over 100 years ago, heralded pleasant platitudes like “Married in Satin, Love will be Lasting” or “Married in White, Love will be Right.” The sayings got shorter as the years progressed and “Be Mine” and “Love’s Kiss” became more popular. A recent update currently leaves us with modern versions of “Tweet Me,” “Text Me,” and “Soul Mate.” It is a fun way to communicate our affection with a favorite confection.
Continue reading “Heart of the Matter” →
My journey into fasting began nine years ago with a simple prayer after a study of Nehemiah: “Lord break my heart for what breaks yours.” What followed this simple, sincere prayer was a whirlwind of soul searching, seeking, and studying. Not a Fan, Follow Me, Interrupted, Radical, and 7 are just a few of the books I devoured. One book, 7, which was an invitation to practice 7 types of spiritual fasts forever changed my view on fasting, which forever changed my life.
Continue reading “Fasting As a Spiritual Discipline” →
But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. Matthew 14:22-33
Continue reading “Eyes Up” →
It’s the time of year when many of us reflect on all the events of the previous year: the highs, the lows, the mundane, and the unexpected. As many of us look back on 2020, we are likely to see more time spent in the valleys than on the mountaintops. Storms ravaged my state followed by a pandemic that put the globe on pause, yet despite all this year has thrown our way, one day stands alone as the most unforgettable day of the year and perhaps, my life. August 20, 2020. My family and I have kept the events of that day close to our vest because honestly, it kept us all reeling. We’ve spent months trying to put the pieces of our brokenness back together, to undo the damage of careless words, overlooked pain, and a heart so heavy and hopeless that it wanted to die.
Continue reading “The Longest Day” →
This quarantine has given us the gift of time, and in that time, I’ve been contemplating some dreams that have gotten shoved to the side in the crush of busyness that has become everyday life for so many. They’ve gotten lost amidst the grocery lists, to-do lists, work, homeschooling, and so many other wonderful, worthy endeavors. In this time of quieter days and less harried schedules, though, these dreams have been springing up like the green shoots of new life that welcome this season, and I’ve been listening and praying that if this vision of mine is shared by God for me that He would give voice to the vision.
I love stories; I love listening to stories, and I love telling stories. This love is what led me to major in journalism in college. I longed to become the next Ken Burns or Charles Kuralt or the first female storyteller in this genre of journalism, but along the way, life happened, and I lost sight of that goal. Now, with YouTube and blogs, this dream is much easier to grasp. I am announcing the birth of a YouTube channel to accompany my blog where I hope to tell stories of inspiration and overcoming. So I invite you to join me on this journey. Some coming attractions are a series on anxiety, where my daughter and I share our journey with this debilitating disorder, a series on female small business owners, book reviews, and other educational content. It is much like my blog, a place where I share what I hope are valuable lessons that I’ve picked up on this sojourn through life. I hope you will join me. Welcome to Stickseeds, the Channel
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This is a special guest post. My daughter Annie’s short story 🙂
“Today is the day” said Scarlett.
Emily raised her head up, “What’s today?” she asked through a mouthful of goldfish.
Scarlett gasped, “It’s the Easter egg hunt today, and the golden egg will be mine this year! We are going to crush those puny kids!”
“Aren’t we too old to be doing stuff like that?”
Scarlett grabbed the closest thing to her, which was a pillow, and threw it at Emily. She fell down, picked up the pillow and threw it back. Scarlett pushed the static-y red hair out of her face after the pillow hit it. She got up, grabbed Emily’s hand, and ran down stairs. Continue reading “The Tragedy of the Golden Egg” →
Can I be completely honest for a minute? This week has been difficult for so many. I know it has been more difficult for those in the frontlines of fighting this disease, and I don’t want to take away from that fight. While my troubles this week pale in comparison to that, it doesn’t diminish the financial toll this is taking on so many. My husband has spent most of his week trying to secure a Payroll Protection Loan for his company; he’s attempted to file for unemployment only to be denied. Our doors have been closed for over two weeks, and who truly knows when this safer at home order will end? We have no income, and rent for our three stores is past due; vendors are trying to collect payment on invoices. And this post doesn’t even cover the anxiety or sadness from the toll of the disease itself on so many in the world. We also have our own bills to pay like most families in America who ride this wave of uncertainty in the same boat we occupy, a boat that seems to have no captain, no lifejackets, and no oars, so we drift aimlessly until we either see the salvation of the lighthouse or run ashore and watch our boat splinter to pieces on the jagged coast.
Continue reading “What I’m Learning In the Storm” →
If you asked my children (or anyone who’s close to me) to describe me, I have no doubt their list would include:
- She loves to serve Jesus through volunteering.
- She’s clumsy.
- She LOVES to read.
Pretty accurate assessment of their mom. Anyone who knows me can attest to my love of reading and to the importance I place on reading with my children. In fact, I’ve written about how important time spent reading with your children is here. While most of you don’t doubt the importance of reading with your kids, you may be wondering where to find the time.
I hear you. Finding time for our children to read or for us to read with our children can be difficult. It seems our schedules are crammed with activities from sun-up to sun-down, but it is possible to find more time than you think to read with your kids, especially this summer. Here are a few tricks I’ve discovered to make the most of our time. Continue reading “Finding Time to Read With Your Children” →