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Whatever Is Lovely

I know it is almost Spring Break, but it’s not too late to talk about New Year’s…is it?

Over the past few years, instead of selecting New Year’s resolutions which are dumped by the end of January, I have joined the growing trend of choosing a One Word focus for the year.  Actually, I have found that it is the other way around…the word chooses me.  The words become a theme for the LORD to shape and mold me.

Some of my past words have been blessed, yield, and hope.  By the end of each year these words have had such deeper meanings.  I learned that I was in fact blessed, but I was blessed to be a blessing to others.  I learned that I had to yield to the LORD so that my efforts for the kingdom would yield healthier fruit.  And I learned that hope is not a wish; it is something that we should actively be anticipating….and “that hope does not disappoint”!

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Hope That Anchors the Soul

It’s been almost two years ago now that I sat in my counselor’s office sobbing uncontrollably.  She looked across the empty space between us and simply asked, “Do you have hope?”  I shook my head no.  I have no idea what she said after that.  It’s hard to hear anything when you are in a pit of despair and a storm is raging.

With some reservations I want share something with you.  I suffer from OCD.  Not the funny “haha I like everything in it’s place” OCD.  I suffer from crippling Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  I hear people joke all the time about their “OCD kicking in”; however for those who truly struggle with this disorder, it is not a joke.

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Silence

Silence.

Not a word has flowed through these fingers onto this blog for over 18 months. Not because I don’t have anything to say…those who know me well know that I always have something to say.  Not a word have I typed because The Father has wooed me into the wilderness so that we can be alone…in the quiet…so that I can listen.

A friend once asked me what I liked to read.  I told her I didn’t read much.  She said, “But you are a writer!” I said, “Exactly!  I am a writer not a reader.  Just like I am a talker and not a listener.”  We all had a good laugh.  But looking back, I must have sounded so arrogant and immature.

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Lessons Learned from My Adult Ed. Students

What an amazing journey I had this past year!  I was given the honor to teach a group of Hispanic parents in the Springdale Family Literacy Program.  Monday-Thursday these women (and one gentleman) showed up to my little cottage outside an elementary school with one motivation…providing a better life for their families.

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Top 6 Hiking Trails in Northwest Arkansas

Growing up in rural Arkansas, I spent a good amount of time hiking through the woods around my home with my Dad.  He taught me to respect the land and how to read the various signs of nature.  He taught me to recognize different plants, trees, and animals.  When I moved to Northwest Arkansas, I got sucked into enjoying the commercial amenities that this more urban setting offered.

As my kids came along, it became very apparent how little their knowledge of nature was.  They were afraid of all insects!  So my husband and I made an intentional effort to combat this by taking regular nature hikes as a family.  Some are day long planned events while others are impromptu diversions meant to burn off some energy.

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For When You Are in a Holding Pattern

Ten years ago this spring, Michael and I visited our Pastor’s office for several sessions of pre-marital counseling.  Some things were very helpful. Most topics were very awkward as you can imagine.  We discussed finances, family history, goals…and intimacy. Yikes!

We had only been dating for a few months. These counseling sessions were revealing things that had not come up in the short time we had known each other.

I distinctly remember Pastor asking, “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” My knee jerk response was, “Published.”

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Love and Hospitality: Lessons Learned from Call the Midwife

Since starting my new job, I have found very little time or energy to write or read.  At the end of the day, I am spent.  All I want to do is plop down in my writing nook and plug into Netflix to continue whatever marathon I happen to be enjoying.  Currently, I am in the middle of Call the Midwife for the second time.

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