STORY: Free Write Day 6

  START   We all have a story. One of my favorites began 5.5 years ago after what seemed an eternity of waiting.   Our Little Sir (second grandson) was born, and the addition of another little boy in our world was beyond thrilling.   Last night, I got to FaceTime with this little one and his big brother. It was a special “happy birthday” call to this Nonna, and I loved it! You see, those boys and I, we love reading stories, making up stories, telling stories.   Most of all, I love watching their stories unfold.   Last night, Little Sir spontaneously broke into song as “Happy Birthday to You…” poured out of his little self. He loves music and singing, but he does NOT like to perform, ... Keep Reading...

TRUST: Free Writes Day 5

  START   TRUST:  It’s a hard concept these days.   Who can you trust?   People say one thing — and do another.   Someone says they’ve got your back — then stabs you in it.   Trusting sometimes feels like a free-fall . . . and I don’t like free-falls.   Trust involves 100% letting go of control in a situation and letting someone else . . . ... Keep Reading...

HOPE: Free Write Day 4

START Would you rather have less hope — or be hopeless?   Hope is a word that evokes all sorts of thoughts, isn’t it? When life is hard, we dig deep to find hope — because otherwise we’d simply quit. And quitting isn’t an option.   Hope is the “thing” that lives in our inner beings that spurs us on. I find hope in the seasons of nature (and life) and in the knowledge that the sun will rise and set today — and tomorrow.   Ultimately, I find hope in God, the creator of all.   Can I physically see his face? No. Can I audibly hear his voice? No. Can I reach out and touch him? No.   And yet . . .   I see him in a child’s voice, a senior’s wisdom, an unexpected ... Keep Reading...

CREATE: Free Write Day 3

START   I’m a creative.   I love the elevated heart rate, the mind-racing thoughts, when I get a new project.   Give me a theme and I’ll play all week!   At best, I’m a B+ art student, but—if you don’t make me draw—I can manage to pull off a few A+ projects.   Original? Not always, but I can sure take an idea an improve upon it — or stretch it a little further — or use it as a jumping-off point.   From tablescapes to ornament wreaths to event planning, I wish I could make money playing! Instead, I enjoy the process. Once the spinning thoughts settle, I enjoy the quiet time of creating. The slow, methodical selection of colors, textures, methods.   I love seeing the ... Keep Reading...

TELL: Free Write Day 2

  START   TELL:  It's a word loaded with explosive possibilities.   Tell a secret. Tell a lie. Tell a story.   The consequences of telling could be grave ones indeed.   But to NOT tell? Sometimes grave consequences there, too.   I’ve found that telling my story—even the sometimes uncomfortable parts of it—is important. I don’t mean an “airing dirty laundry” telling, but one that shares my humanity and “real” with others.   We’re all insecure, aren’t we? We all have things in our stories that are hard to talk about.   Sometimes talking isn’t appropriate, but sometimes . . . Sometimes, in just the right setting, telling those parts of our stories is exactly what’s ... Keep Reading...

INSPIRATION & FAITH Free Writes – for 31 Days!

  FAIR WARNING:  Today begins the 4th annual 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes hosted by Five Minute Friday. My intent is to post a five-minute free write each day in October. Don’t worry… I’ll still work in seasonal thoughts and decor! This is a once-a-year event (so please don’t unsubscribe). 🙂  If you don’t want to read a day's email, you know where the delete button is.     Worship:  to honor with extravagant love and extreme submission; as a lover (Webster's Dictionary,1828). ... Keep Reading...

DEPEND: Five Minute Friday

Autumn is my favorite season; October my favorite month.   I can feel my spirit taking a deep breath of hope as cooler temperatures are expected here over the weekend.   The weekend. Aaaaaah . . . I'm glad it's Friday—and time for another Five Minute Friday free writing exercise. They stretch me! Try it sometime . . .     START   My spirit depends on the changing of seasons.   I need the cyclic nature that pulls me forward.   The Autumn season that reminds me of beauty, even in dead leaves.   Life isn’t all springtime and new birth.   But in other areas of my life, I’m very independent. I don’t like depending on others, although (lucky for me) my ... Keep Reading...

ACCEPT: Five Minute Friday

But I don't want to. Please don't make me.   This can't be happening!   My brain cannot possibly process this situation.   I don't like feeling out of control . . .   START   If we live long enough, we experience a situation that makes our insides want to scream. We cry, we fight, we grieve . . . but ultimately, our only response — at least the only one that lets us get through the situation — ... Keep Reading...

EVER-EVOLVING AUTUMN DECOR {Will tried-and-true decorating tips work in my tiny house?}

  On the day I spy the first colored leaf, my mood starts to change as this October-birthday girl's thoughts turn to cooler temperatures and emblazoned branches.   This was the view up our driveway last Fall. It will look a little different this year.     If you happen to be a new visitor here, you don't know that, after living for over a decade in the big, historic home we renovated in the city, my Renaissance Man and I and moved to the farm to build our Finally Farmhouse. This year, at the top of that soon-to-be-Autumn-bedecked hill, sit our temporary living quarters.     Autumn decorating is interesting at My Place this year!   Honestly? I was just about to put the ... Keep Reading...

SUPPORT: Five Minute Friday

When I first saw the almost century-old house, there was a significant sag in its porch roof.   We bought the house—and began a renovation.     The house was built with two support columns on each side of the front door. But when we found the ol' gal, between those two columns, the porch roof sagged.   It didn’t have to be that way.   Underneath the porch, each side had three brick support columns. You see, the house was properly designed to stand straight and tall, but at some point in the building process, someone decided to leave off the two upper support columns. The visible ones that would have supported the roof.   I suspect that "someone" was simply living in the moment, ... Keep Reading...

THE ILLUSIVE FARMHOUSE: The adventure continues

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that 9 months after selling the big, beautiful historic house we renovated in town we'd still be waiting to start building our Finally Farmhouse. It's true. September begins month #10.   Never could I have foreseen the health, work, and home-building challenges we have dealt with this so far this year. But even in the midst of all the "stuff", we're trusting it's for the best in the end.   OK, I'll admit to a few days of frustration and wanting to "get on with it", but only a few. Mostly, Renaissance Man and I look at each other as we sit side-by-side in our little fifth wheel, and wonder ... Keep Reading...

NEIGHBOR: Five Minute Friday

How appropriate that the word-prompt of the week for Five Minute Friday is NEIGHBOR.   This native Texan watched humbled and proud of fellow Texans embracing the needs of neighbors during—and in the aftermath of— the monster storm that was Hurricane Harvey. I've felt very far away here in Tennessee, connected only by technology, prayers, and a donation to the Red Cross. (Thank you so very much to all of you who have already made donations of any kind or amount. If you haven't yet, please help. Rebuilding of the Gulf Coast—rebuilding of lives—is going to take a very long time.)   I live in a small, rural town in East Tennessee—smack dab in the middle of Appalachia. The scenery is beautiful. The four distinct seasons are ... Keep Reading...

GUIDE: Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday is a weekly opportunity for this writer to "push" herself, writing five minutes on a single word-prompt. It's always interesting to see where different people's minds take them when challenged by the same word. Check out the link-up sometime.   Vision   It's a topic that's been on my mind a lot lately. Specifically, vision as it relates to seeing with the eyes. When things "go dark" for someone, they initially require assistance; someone to guide them.   Someone they can trust.     START   When life is dark, the path unclear, it does no good to look too far into the distance. I might just get tripped up on whatever lies at my feet.   I need first to ... Keep Reading...

SPEAK: Five Minute Friday

This post comes to you from the once-four-year-old flower girl who chatted her way down the aisle with the handsome ring bearer—totally forgetting to drop the rose petals.   The same little girl who, as a first grader, received her very first report card: all As—except for a B in conduct. Talks too much. She also received very clear instructions from her parents that that would never happen again!   If you have a suspicion that (five decades later) the now grown woman has had a lifelong love-hate relationship with her mouth, you would be correct.   So when I saw the word prompt for today’s Five Minute Friday—SPEAK—my mind virtually exploded in a million different directions. When I sit down to free-write for ... Keep Reading...

PLACE: Five Minute Friday

It's Friday! Happy weekend to all. :-)   Once again I'm participating in Five Minute Friday—a free-writing exercise to see where the mind takes me . . . and then linking it up with other courageous souls. You'd think this week's word would take me in a different direction, considering the name of this blog. But it didn't.     START   For some reason, when I think of “placing” something, it comes with a sense of intentionality, gentleness, perhaps even reverence.   Place a ring on a bride’s (or groom’s) finger   Place a kiss on the forehead of a sleeping baby.   Place a blanket over a squirming toddler.   Place a bulb in the garden—with hope of beauty in the ... Keep Reading...

Seriously, God . . . WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

It was an unexpected question—and one for which I had no immediate answer. Interestingly, the question referred to my quiet time with God.   When you're not in "agenda" / get-things-done mode, how does the conversation go?   Hmmm . . .   You mean when I'm not asking God for something—or checking off a list of praises? When I'm *trying* to be still . . . but my mind is anything but?   How does the conversation go THEN?   If I'm not talking, am I listening?   And if God's not saying anything, what am I doing?   And then it came to mind . . . ... Keep Reading...