Where you’re at

Grateful

arms, legs, eyes, ears

meeting people I wouldn’t have ever connected with, if I hadn’t broken my pelvis

“walking” with a friend through medical testing and results

listening to a friend grieve for a loss in her family

You’re in the midst of it. Hope can seem distant. In the circumstance I meander through the woods, tromp through the muck. Persist. Then the breaking comes. The miracle of the answer. The resolve like the conclusion of an orchestra piece.

This song gives me hope. What are you hoping for? What have you been waiting for to step out in your song?

I have two projects in the works. Pray for me and open doors.

Blessings readers,

Signature

 

“At the end of the day”

“At the end of the day…”

It’s the cliché President Obama comment. It’s a great hashtag for twitter. And at the end of the election, we are all an individual, valuable, creative, talented person. And the best thing you can do, is smile and pay it forward.

“I do really well with the zero to eight demographic…Partly because my ears are big and so I look a little like a cartoon character.”-Barack Obama

On my leisurely Sunday afternoon, I stumbled across this video. Maybe you’ve seen it? I hadn’t. I’ve been busy the last, oh, eight or ten years. Watch it and see President Obama. He’s a regular person like you. Like me. Donald Trump is a regular person. Like you. Like me. They have passions, gifts, families. They are someone’s child. Someone was elated the day they were born, made an A in school, graduated high school, and learned to drive. He has a sense of humor, a sense of joy, and is grounded in the reality of not taking things too seriously.

At the end of the day, the circumstances of your life– what you look like,where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home–none of that is an excuse… where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No ones written your destiny for you, because here in America, you write you own destiny.You make your own future.

Remember why our country is great. Because you and I both have the right to pursue what makes us happy, to pursue a dream, and challenge ourselves to be better people.

So before you go back into reality of working this week, if you didn’t watch it above, check out this is a great skit with our President and Jerry Seinfeld. It will make you smile and remind you that whoever we elect to be our political leaders, local or national, they are just the same as you and me–bringing their gifts to the world, creating their own story, and trying to do right for the ones they love.

 

Now, I just need a good cup of hot Joe on this chilly November night.

 

#AtTheEndofTheDay

#WeAreOne

#AmericaIsGreat

Author Review-Laura McHugh

If you know anything about me, I’m passionate about writing and literature. It’s my main creative outlet and love (although creating and appreciating art is so awesome in any form!). I “discovered” a new favorite author and the best part is she’s a Missouri girl and lives in Tiger country! Meet Laura McHugh.

First I want to tell you about The Weigh of Blood. If you’re a Missouri girl, you grew up going to the Ozarks for anything–summer camp, Branson Christmases, 4th of July at the lake, Silver Dollar City, visiting the various state parks and historical and geological attractions, etc. Laura encapsulates all of these things into her prose and setting she creates for her protagonists, Lucy and Lila. You will immediately get a nostalgic, homey feeling. This made it easy for me to relate to the characters even though they have substantially different upbringings and lifestyles than my own.

While the story offers excitement, a mystery to solve, and complex characters to discover, Laura also pulled in the theme of how we define family. She uses many of the urgent political and or societal issues of our culture and time to speak to our emotions. She uses the characters and plot to highlight the issues of human trafficking, education, and caring for the orphans and widows.

If you love thrillers, this book thrilling. There is some more graphic language used to create the scenes for her characters. Laura shows a mastery of using this to further the story and create a story to evoke emotion and empathy for the issues I mentioned above. I respect an author who can use the icky things of life, recreate them in a scene that may trouble your spirit a bit, but it does so to make you think and confront issues of brokenness and evil in our world to bring awareness, help, and healing.

Fair warning, though, you may never want to hike the woods of the Ozarks again.

Laura’s other novel, Arrowood, is equally as enthralling. It follows the history of an old family house across its generations. The story written here causes the reader to question his or her own family “ghosts” and place in the family tree as well as the community around him or her.

If you liked the books by Kristin Hannah or Mary Kubica, pick up Laura’s novels from the library ASAP!

Here are my book reviews on Goodreads. Check them out and follow me on Goodreads to share more books and reviews.

 

Check out a great Q & A from Shelf Awareness on her first novel, The Weight of Blood. Read with caution if you don’t like spoilers.

 

The Dressing Room

You’re going to try on clothes. You usually reserve that for home, preferring to use your mirror and your lighting to decide if something fits or looks good.

The dressing room has mirrors everywhere. You walk in greeted by a half octagon entry aligned with mirrors. In the stall, there are mirrors on every side. Even when the dressing room is adorned with a charming chandelier, the hippest paint colors and trendy wall décor, the lighting is harsh and the mirrors show the reflection of every nook and cranny. They highlight the parts of you that you are disgruntled with.

Failure. A broken pelvis isn’t a failure as we typically think of it, but can seem like it when you’ve fought hard to beat endometriosis and take care of yourself. Getting the x-ray and MRI results confirming two breaks in my pelvis, elicited more testing that told the story of severe osteoporosis. It was as if I was looking in the mirrors in the dressing room and seeing the dimples of fat and a pair of jeans that didn’t quite fit right.

Since then, many have asked how it happened. I thought up this great story about trying to perfect the longest ollie while taking up skate boarding over the summer to explain the break. It’s much more exciting than the truth: My bones gave up while I was waiting at the copier.

It has taken a long time to be even remotely independent in my daily life. No work for more than two months has been both a blessing and a hardship.

The time off and the fractures caused me to reflect and plan. What will life look like now? Things I had hoped to do one day, uncertain or outlawed. What does this mean for a future? Limits are put on activities. Surfing? Horseback riding?

Compression fractures.

Broken wrists

Broken femurs

A re-break in the pelvis.

These were like accessories to the wardrobe I’d been wearing. It’s been like trying on outfits you know you should wear, but don’t want to buy and walk out of the store with because they don’t fit your personality and dreams.

These forced choices to be made in changing my exercise routine, changing my diet/supplementation, and adding prescription medication, as I waited through the healing process. The continuation of this process is taking leaps of faith to pursue my dreams now and not wait for when the children are grown up or more independent, to wait for the financial security the world says I need for it to be a level-headed, responsible choice.

Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”

I’m beginning with putting my heart’s desires in the forefront again and creating a time and place to pursue them. Welcome to the journey with me. I would love to build a community of others who are choosing to carve out time for a dream, maybe one that our culture says is crazy and not worth pursuing.

My pursuits:

Writing every day on a project

Continuing my exercise/physical therapy changes

Blogging consistently

Completing the Iowa Writer’s Workshop online course

Tragedy, disappointment, strife, and pain allow us to know how to celebrate life nor live it fully. When was the last time you celebrated your life? When was the last time you gave yourself permission to live happily in the moment? What can you do to be true to your heart to allow life to come?

 

 

Dreams

Dreams…

This summer it seems everyone I run into asks me what my dream is? I’ve been asking myself that for a little over  a year now. I cannot pick just one thing. What is even more frustrating, is feeling like I never really dreamed big as a child. I knew I’d go to college. But for what? The whole focus was just on getting in and getting it paid for. Yes I have dreams of where I’d like to live, what I’d like to be doing, how I want my children to turn out. Places I’d like to visit, etc.

But really, now what? How do I get there? I’m almost 15 years out of college and feel like I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. Torn. Torn between being the picture of a responsible adult who stays at the same job so that I have a retirement and am providing all of the American Dream for my family and following what’s really in my heart. Torn. Torn because obviously I want to provide a life for my children that is beyond just getting by, but also because I want to live in the moment and enjoy the whole beauty of the world and share that with my family. I don’t want to live in the future. Because when I do that, I’ve thrown away the present.

So here’s the list of what I’ve decided I need to do to live for today based on my priorities:

  1. Exercise.
  2. Read: Must be something I want to read, not something I have to read or feel like I have to read
  3. Play games with my family: Interactive, board games, charades, or our new family favorite, Pictionary
  4. Intentionally spend positive, life giving time with my husband (no to-do lists, discussing raising children, or politics)
  5. Rest and enjoy the beauty around me

 

I’ve not thrown out the dream of traveling or living other places to experience our world and share it with my children, but focusing so much on how or if I’ll ever get to do that spoils the current reality.

What would you put on your list to make your life more intentional and enjoying the moment?