CHANGE: Free Write Day 26

START   Before   After   . . . and everything in between.   Change rarely occurs without a lot of “in between”.   A lot of choosing—and choosing again.   We often think of “befores and afters” being things that go from bad to good, don’t we?   From inferior to positive.   Weight loss. Improved health. House renovation. Transformed lives.   I love those!   But what about when the change is from positive to negative?   From stable to unstable.   Divorce. Illness. Death.   Those are “befores and afters” too.   Change is simply part of life — but it’s rarely simple.   Change is hard, ... Keep Reading...

BECAUSE: Free Write Day 25

  START   While I may have a love-hate relationship with my cell phone, there's one part of it that has revolutionized my life.   The camera.   It's the perfect addition to my day.   The phone camera is always at the ready. Always a quick reach away.   Whenever I see something I want to photograph, it's there. No more missed moments.   While I still take my big camera with me on occasion, it's not usually accessible for the spur-of-the-moment pics. The ease has revolutionized my photography. It's stretched my artist's eye.   It's helped me slow down and live in the moments.   That is a gift!   Time is a gift . . . and so are these ... Keep Reading...

REVISE: Free Write Day 24

  Look closely at this picture. I've waited a long time to share it with you. It brings to mind a few days I've had!   Have you ever had a day (or year!) like this—when everything seemed to go wrong?   Of course you have . . . and so we all do things to try to avoid problems.   We revise.   Revise recipes to make them healthier   Revise words to make them kinder.   Revise travel plans to make them more convenient.   Recently I saw a revision that made me want to scream. Still does!   START   Flipping through the real estate listings, I saw a gorgeous Craftsman-style house. When I clicked on it, I saw a house under construction.   Oh, ... Keep Reading...

WORK: Free Write Day 23

  START   Wouldn’t it be fun if work felt like play? If work time was spent doing only what you liked — or loved!   What if you woke up in the morning excited about going to work? What would that look like for you? Would you actually GO to work (away from home) or would you simply walk to a studio or office and start your day?   How would you feel about getting paid to do what you love? Wouldn’t that be nice?   Why is it so many people are working in jobs they don’t like? Why are people under qualified (and failing) or over qualified (and bored)?   What would your dream job look like? Are you doing it?   Why — or why not?   Whatever you do, work at it with all your ... Keep Reading...

LIGHT: Free Write Day 22

  START   It’s what I look for in the eyes.   Light   A sign that “someone’s home”. Indication that interaction is taking place.   Oh, how I love to see eyes that sparkle; eyes that twinkle. Eyes that light up in recognition, anticipation, hope.   Young eyes full of life, excited to learn. Old eyes full of wisdom, still loving each day.   It’s when the light goes out that I worry. When eyes look dull, bored, hopeless. When there’s no more sparkle.   It’s a challenge: Bring light back to eyes once dimmed. Join me? Who’s first?   STOP ... Keep Reading...

GIVE: Free Write Day 21

  Sometimes giving is exhausting.   It takes energy and resources to give. Sometimes giving takes more of us than we have to offer—literally.   Sometimes we givers have to slow down and find balance.   But sometimes, we need to dig deep; to prioritize what and to whom we give.   Because sometimes our gift can literally change the future.   START   Sitting in the room with me are men and women who hail from all over the world; Brazil, England, California, Arizona, Idaho, New Jersey, Tennessee.   They are givers.   Money, wisdom, creative thinking, time. Prayers, love, encouragement.   They are the board of Hope Unlimited for Children, and for ... Keep Reading...

DISCOVER: Free Write Day 20

  START   Yesterday I opened my Instagram and saw it on a favorite blogger’s feed.   #MeToo   I read the comments—other bloggers I know telling discreetly of situations in which they had been made to feel uncomfortable, were sexually harassed or abused.   Grown women remembering things they never should have experienced.   Boyfriends, strangers, family members, friends.   I didn’t like what I discovered . . .   So many women, good women, who for years never said a word about their experiences—now discovering they were not alone. Theirs was not an isolated situation. That feeling in their long-ago guts telling them something was “off”?   It was ... Keep Reading...

BRAVE: Free Write Day 19

For the 19th day in a row, you've received a post from me. That's a lot of posts—with more to come daily through the end of the month.   Thank you for sticking with me! Thank you for supporting me as I stretch my impromptu writing skills. Thank you for helping me organize my thoughts.   Thank you, too,  for discreetly hitting "delete" if you don't have time to read a post one day. When I see "one less subscriber" notifications in my inbox, the doubts kick in. :-(   Did you know it takes a little bravery to be a blogger—or sometimes a lot?     START   I love blogging. For over seven years it’s been part of my life.   Some days it scares me silly.   Some days ... Keep Reading...

SHARE: Free Write Day 18

  START   The concept of sharing is one that’s long intrigued me.   If you watch children play, some are quick to share their toys while others pitch a fit royale if someone wants to play with the same one as they.   Is that an innate trait — willingness to share — or is it only taught?   And adults . . .   Have you ever noticed that some are quick to give to others, loaning temporarily or an outright gift . . . while others hold tight to whatever they have? The fit-throwing of childhood is no more, but the “holding on” characteristic remains.   I love to be around people who share — not because I want something from them, but because I love the kind of people they are. They ... Keep Reading...

GROW: Free Write Day 17

  START   What do you want to be when you grow up?   It’s a commonly-asked question. Children have the best answers, don’t they?   What did YOU want to be when you grew up?   The older I get, the more I realize I never really reach a point when growth ends. Grow up? Of course there’s a time when we become “grown ups”, but even then growth doesn’t end.   As long as life keeps us moving forward, we keep growing   . . . but the health of the “plant” depends greatly on our choices.   What am I still learning today—at age 57?   Listen. Be kind. Be honest with myself. Admit my mistakes, my faults, to myself—and others, when necessary. Give others the ... Keep Reading...

READ: Free Write Day 16

START   I walked into the living room and saw him: 7 years old. Long, lanky legs draped over the recliner.   Book in hand.   Intent, he read. Turning pages. Occasionally grinning.   I remembered some of his earliest days of “reading”. He’d sit on my lap, pointing to images in board books. Later we’d sit together on the couch and read his favorites.   Are You My Mother? Blue Goose Good Night, Gorilla   But now he reads “chapter books” that are years ahead of his age. He has a vocabulary that’s out of this world. He lets those books take him to places he’s yet to see.   Perhaps someday …   His little brother is following suit. He’s in kindergarten and reading books ... Keep Reading...

REMAIN: Free Write Day 15

  START   Walk with me, won’t you?   Up a few steps and through the beautiful antique doors.     We’re in the narthex. See the old saddle rooms on each side?   Up another step and into the beautifully restored sanctuary with its buttery-yellow walls and glossy white woodwork.   The organ pipes may eventually catch your eye over in the right corner, but it’s the cross in the center that draws us in.     The cross always draws . . .   Welcome to First Presbyterian Church — Jefferson City, Tennessee. For the past three years, Renaissance Man and I have been part of this church; part of this family.   Today we’ll celebrate the 150th ... Keep Reading...