Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Posts of 2013

In 2013, I wrote a whopping 18 posts…
Considering that's an increase of 360% from what I posted in 2012, I'm pretty stinking excited!

And that's even with a significant quiet spell from May to September, which amazingly enough was when my blog traffic really picked up.

And by picked up, I mean skyrocketed and galloped at a pace that landed me at almost 13,000 views. 

That's kinda insane.

But I'm grateful. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

When Paula Was My Phil

Once upon a time, a cook loved by millions said lots of things that a lot of people didn't like.
Just the other day, a redneck loved by millions said lots of things that a lot of people didn't like.

And somewhere between the two, I think I've learned a little.

See with Paula, I blew up social media. I had a loud, aggressive, in your face, how dare you, and yes I sure did just call you out publicly stance. It was deeply personal for me, and I drew a definite line. You're either with Paula or you're with me. There was no grey, no middle, no room for discussion or understanding.

I hurt people in my righteous indignation.
I damaged relationships beyond repair in certain cases.
I believe it played a part in a major turn of events in our lives.

My defense of my personal beliefs became more important than my relationships.

And I was wrong.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Therein Lies the Hope

Today I'm honored to be contributing to an Orphan Awareness Month series hosted by my friends, Eric and Bethany. This amazing couple spends their life recruiting and leading mission teams to Haiti with Praying Pelican Missions which ties right in with their heart for orphans.

I'll let them speak for themselves:

"Within our job at PPM, we are heavily involved in orphanage partnerships in Haiti. For me, it is my platform and at the center of my heart. These partnerships are about the pastors, pastor’s family, children and community. However, our goal in Haiti is to no longer need orphanages altogether. This month we want to equip you, our readers, with avenues to aide in the orphan crisis in the world, Haiti, America and Arkansas.
For Christ didn’t suggest we take care of orphans, he commands us."

If you know us at all, you can just imagine how much we love these two!! It has been a privilege to watch them mature into amazing servant-heart leaders for Christ.

I hope you'll follow me over to their blog to read the post that goes with this amazing photograph!

Here's a teaser:

"See, adoption is beautiful, but it is always, always birthed out of the severing of a mother’s relationship with her child. Maybe death, maybe trafficking, maybe relinquishment, maybe abandonment, maybe . . . The circumstances may look different, but the tragedy is the same.

If we only see the sunny side of adoption, the part where an older child finds a forever family or an infertile couple is blessed with a newborn or any other favorite happy ending, we have missed the whole story. And it matters too much to ignore."

Image Courtesy of Maury Draper

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Where I Am From

I am from roast on Sundays, fish sticks on Wednesdays, and pizza on Fridays
from crocheted doilies, knickknacks, and picture-covered walls
and underlined, dog-eared, scribbled throughout Sunday School books, commentaries, and Bibles.

I am from the house across the street from the church,
the brick parsonage where the fenced back yard is safe,
the front yard is forbidden,
and the side ditch catches the projects' smashed beer bottles and broken hearts.

I am from the overgrown azalea bushes
who conspired with the blue and white checked curtains
to hide a first crush carved into the corner of the bedroom windowsill.

I am from the red, white, and blue swing set
who promised the glory of Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton
waited among imaginary revolutions tossed between her
and the ancient oak whose limbs I could never reach.

I'm from church and commitment
from humble parents and hero brothers.

I'm from Christmas never at home but always with family
and popcorn and coke with our shows after church
and from couch sanctuaries for strangers in need.

I'm from God made you for a purpose
and we're moving again
and Ebony and Ivory was just a song.

I'm from an old upright piano
where boys played and boys sung and boys taught
the sister music was more than notes on a page.

I'm from Arkansas by birth and Louisiana by heart
where pillbox hats, pearls, and white gloves fall in love
with drag races, shrimp boats, and jeans
and raise babies on catfish fried in backyards on camp stoves,
lemon icebox pies with graham cracker crusts, and Jesus.

She Loves Magazine is celebrating and exploring Heritage this month. This post is part of a Synchroblog using the "I Am From" poem template adapted by Levi Romero; Inspired by "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Conjecture Rectified

Apparently, my Facebook statuses over the last few days caught somebody's, actually a few somebodies' attention. Here they are in case you missed them.

Evidently they caused quite a stir in some circles of our small town over the past few days. 

No one who has talked about them has asked me personally where the quotes were from, who said them, what they were in reference to, or why I shared them. 

They chose to draw their own conclusions, concoct silly scenarios, and share those publicly instead.

So let me rectify the conjecture in play. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Why We Walk for the Waiting

Once upon a time, two sisters and their two brothers were waiting for their forever family.

And once upon a time, a family was waiting to be made whole.

And so the mom spent a crazy insane amount of time scouring Heart Galleries, making phone calls, and sending email inquiries about sibling groups of all sizes, shapes, and colors in almost every state.

One day, not too long after her search started, the mom saw the two sisters and their two brothers in the Arkansas Heart Gallery.

And she thought they were beautiful!

But no one could give her information because the family's home was not open for adoption yet.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What All In Looks Like

For years, my husband and I have had a running dialogue about my love language or the lack thereof.

Strike it up to mood, fancy, my ENFP personality, etc., but what spoke love to me seemed to change at the drop of a hat. 

So William made it his mission to nail it down, to pin me down to one of the BIG FIVE. And alas, it could not be done. And I honestly believed I did not have one. 

Until tonight. 

William named it. 

Not in a big "TAH-DAH" moment, but in a matter of fact, pass the salt, please way.

Kids played, dogs ran amuck, friends hung out, I cooked supper, and he swept the kitchen. 

And then he said, "I know your love language. Finally gotcha figured out."

Back turned, I grinned to myself thinking, "He's going to say acts of service. Keep trying bud."

"Oh yea?"

"Yep. You just need to know we're in this together."

I turned around.

"Doesn't matter what it is, you need to know we're 100% in it together. Writing, counseling, family, ministry, whatever, you just need to know we're both all in."

And just like that, I fell in love all over again. 

So can I show you what all in looks like?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo - A Novel in 30 Days

I love to write.

I want to write.

I am afraid to write.

All of the above are true statements. The last truer than the others.

I am afraid to write because I am afraid I will write crap.

Everybody says it's all crap in the beginning, that's the way it works, and then it gets good.

When you edit, when you rewrite.

And I just. cannot. stand. it.

I don't want to spend hours churning out piles of filthy, smelly, fly-swarming manure.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Thank You Note to My Accuser

Dear You Know Who You Are,

And I mean that in the nicest way possible because even if we don't know who you are, obviously you know who you are. 

I wish I did because what I want more than anything is to take you by the hand and just simply say, 

You have no idea what you have done for our family!

Please take note of the fact I said FOR and not TO.

I'm quite sure it wasn't your intention, but you have given us a tremendous gift
albeit wrapped in lies delivered under the cloak of anonymity.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday 3/3/13

5x10 by DWest
5x10, a photo by DWest on Flickr.

Father to the fatherless,
defender of widows - this is God,
whose dwelling is holy.

God places the
lonely in families;
He sets the
prisoners free and
gives them joy.

Psalms 68:5-6 NLT

Linking up with

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Jesus is my favorite feminist.

This is happening. Feminisms Fest is happening right now. And I want to be a part of it. 

I've started 6 count 'em 6 different posts about feminism tonight.

How do you reconcile what you thought with what you now know?

How do you pretend nothing has changed when everything has?

How do you articulate to others what is stirring so deep and screams so loud?

I can't. Maybe one day. But not now.

But Jesus can. And He did.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


As the Father steps out, He reaches for the worn canvas tool bag waiting just beyond the door. 

Greeting the lush landscape with a soft smile gracing His weathered face, the large man gently strokes a leaf here, a bush there as He makes His way through His legacy coming to a stop at His destination. 

Admiring years of work, He lovingly recalls choosing the bonsai’s special container, the trimming and pruning of unorthodox parts, the uncomfortable grafting of strengthening material, and the recent slow tightening of the shape-conforming clamps, which He would remove today. 

Not all was done just for the tree's benefit, but some for those who would one day rest in its shade.

With its branches softly swaying in the warm breeze, the seemingly insignificant tiny tree bows in anticipation of the Master’s expert touch.  

written 09/10

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I don't believe in Purgatory, but sometimes I choose it anyway.

I don't have a Catholic bone in my body so don't expect a dissertation or even close to accurate explanation of Purgatory.

If you googled purgatory and got me, well, you're here so stick around anyway.

 Purgatory by Heeman

Purgatory is defined as the in-between.
The place between heaven and hell.
A place or state of temporary suffering or misery.

I don't believe in the after-life reality of purgatory, but I do see it in the here and now.

And sometimes I choose it.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Get Still

At church, in the movie theatre, in the check out line, I can't tell you how many times I've hissed those words at my kids, "Get Still!"

And yet its one of the hardest things for me to do. 

Not physically, but mentally, and especially spiritually.

Just to get still. Just to listen. Just to be.

Monday, February 4, 2013

To Quiet A Voice

I have something to say. Lots of somethings about lots of things.

I know God wants me to write. He has given me a voice. 

And I have no problem using it until I realize someone is actually listening.

There are moments when an intense knowing consumes me, and I become oblivious to everyone and everything except for the one who is supposed to hear what I must say. In those moments I feel the Holy Spirit pouring out of me, saying words I've never thought, seeing things clearly I should not know or understand. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

One Among Many

Wednesday was my birthday, and I spent the day telling people I was 39. Yea... I'm only 38. Go ahead, laugh; I did!

I think I live in a state of constant distraction and multi-tasking. Hence, I can't remember how old I am.

That is until something stops me in my tracks.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Why the Littles are STILL not in Awana, gymnastics, little league, etc....

Our littles are fabulous! They are smart, funny, affectionate, creative . . . I could go on and on because they're really that awesome! We cannot wait for our extended family, friends, church, & community to know them and love them like we do.

The kids can't wait for it either. But their reasons are different than ours. And that's a problem.

See the Littles are RAD. Not rad as in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rad, but RAD as in all four Littles have been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Release - My One Word

When the New Year hit, Twitter exploded with chatter about One Word. Clueless, I took to Google like any curious girl would which led me to Melanie's post, which took me to One Word 365!

And the heaven's parted and knowledge rained down on my late to the party self. Apparently, having One Word has been a thing for a while. Who knew?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Goodbye Grumpies, Hello Mornings

Every year starts the same - I want to be in the Word daily, be more organized, and lose weight to be healthier.

I have great ideas and make grandiose plans. I get an A in that department.

Follow through and/or completion? Not so much. Usually because I overload my plate, lose interest, or honestly just get lazy.

But this time will be different. Why? Because not only do I have access to tools to turn the tide, but I'm going to use them!