Pep Talk



It’s Friday

Nine days finished

One more day

You can do this

See the end

The boys are waiting for you

There will be chocolate cake and celebration

Lucy is waiting for your lap

Books are waiting on the nightstand

One more day

It’s Friday



The Grand Entrance


They were afraid you weren’t coming.

You had been delayed it seemed.

The audience was on the edge of their seats murmuring, “It’s too late.”

But then, “Ta-da!” You make your grand entrance. The consummate actress sweeping onto the stage, arriving at precisely the moment when they felt all hope was lost.

You burst forth. A giggle of pink spilling over from a joke the moon had shared just before you took the stage.

Relief washes over, smiles return.

They settle back to enjoy the show.

Sunrise 2

My Twist


I drive.  A lot.  Most days, it’s about 4 hours a day.  Some days more.  Rarely less.  That means I have a lot of time to listen to music.  A couple of years ago, I switched to listening to Christian music fairly exclusively.  I noticed it made a difference in my attitude and how I dealt with things.  K-LOVE is a radio station that I can hear at home and on the drive to one of my schools. Certain songs speak to me more than others.  I find different lines dancing around inside my head. The other day, I was driving–6 hours this time–and I had an idea.  I decided to collect all my favorite lines from my favorite songs.  I remembered a poem Jane Yolen had written back in December 2014 in her daily poetry email.  I LOVED this poem.  She made all these references to literary characters in it and it was kind of like a game to see if I could identify the texts they were from as I read the poem.  I also remember someone doing a Found Poem for this SOLSC.  I have been wanting to try my hand at one of those.  So, this is a “twist” on both these ideas.  I created a variation of a “found poem” from some of my favorite lines from a variety of Christian songs and a variety of artists.  None of these lines are my words.  I just put them together.  If you listen to Christian music, see if you can identify the songs the lines are from.  This is the “game” part.

I sure hope this works.  🙂


I am not who I once was.

All my worries fade and fall to the ground.

You never let go, never leave my side.

I am holding onto You in the middle of the storm.

I will look back and see that you are faithful.

Your light is marvelous.

You’re the only one whose favor I seek.

You are the rain that washes me.

Your love is like a radiant diamond bursting inside me.

I have surrendered to Your design.

You’re not done with me yet.

I’m learning to be the light.




I look out across the carpet at the second-graders sitting before me.  One is picking caked mud from the bottom of her shoe.  Another is using his fingernail to press marks into his arm.  Every eye seems to be somewhere else but on me.  Lint and forgotten paper scraps are infinitely fascinating.

Deep breath.

“When a thief sneaks into your house, what does he steal?   Does he steal underwear or does he steal the “good stuff”?”

Giggles erupt from the carpet.  All eyes are on me now.  I said the “forbidden” word.

“Today, we are going to be thieves.  We are going to go into a book and look for the “Wowzer!” things Kevin Henkes has done, steal them, and use them for our writing.  Are you ready to be thieves and search for the “good stuff”?

Eyes that once were flat and resigned are now dancing with hope. They scooch closer, ready to “steal”.

I begin to read, Wemberly Worried, using my voice to draw attention to what I want them notice.  They don’t disappoint.  They notice.  They name.

We practice together and with partners using dull sentences that are all too familiar to second-grade writers.  I love my mom.  The party was awesome.  When I send them back to have-a-go with their own writing, they are chomping at the bit.  Bodies find chairs as pencils eagerly begin scratching out thinking on paper.  My little thieves are creating.

I walk around the room, reading.  I find someone who has begun to show–not just tell.  I capture them back to me with a gasp, “Writers, you have got to hear this.”  They look up.  Their ears bend toward me not wanting to miss a word.  I read, again using my voice to make the writing extraordinary.   Some nod.  Some smile.  There is a “wow” from one. More determination fills the room.

At the end of the lesson, I ask, “Tell me something you learned about yourself and your writing today.”

“I can steal.”

“I get tricked by periods.”

“I can tell more.”

They go on and on.  Then one voice says…

“I learned writing can be fun.. when you actually write.”  Heads around her nod.

My mission is accomplished.

Opening Day


My friend Elsie tried this in her blog last week.  (   She “stole” it from Rose Cappelli.  I love being a “writing thief”.  🙂  I thought I would try it out.  I’m not sure I totally have the right idea, but here is my first attempt.

Opening Day

It was a beautiful day.

It was a beautiful day for Opening Day.

It was a beautiful day for Opening Day, the first game of the season.

Relatives came, from near and far, to enjoy the beautiful day, Opening Day, the first game of the season.

Pitches were thrown.

Bases were run.

Balls were fielded.

Runs were scored.


not for our team.

At least it was a beautiful day, this Opening Day, our first game of the season.

opening day 2015



“Lucy.”  I search the yard.  Where is she?

“Lucy.”  A bit louder this time.  Maybe she couldn’t hear me over all the birds.  Yeah, that’s it.

“Lucy!”  Still no sign of my sweet, little dog.

She has done it again. I am fuming.  Why can’t she stay in the yard?  It’s huge.  There are tons of things to explore in this yard.  Why does she insist on being devious and finding ways to get out of the yard?  I don’t get it!  I give her plenty of food.  It’s not like she is looking for her next meal again like she was before.  She has a cozy bed with an old comforter to make it soft and squishy so she can burrow into it.  It’s not like she is sleeping in a ditch like before.  Why  does she run away?  Why can’t she see how good she has it and just stay here?

And then I hear a voice inside my soul quietly ask, “What about you?”

“Huh?  What about me?  I stay where I am told.  I don’t long for…


The realization hits me and my heart is suddenly heavy with the weight of it.

Images rain down through my mind and I see all the times where I have left the safety of all He provides in search for something “better”.  The times where I haven’t appreciated all the blessings I have been given because I have been too focused on what I don’t have.  And worst of all, the times I have tuned out and solely focused on me, me, me.


You don’t put up those barriers to be mean.  You put them up to keep me safe.  You don’t put them up because You love others more.   You put them up because You love me so much.  Light glimmers where once was darkness.

Now when I look at the “fence” in my life, I don’t see what I can’t have.  I am thankful for the protection it provides because it reminds me I am right where I need to be.


Meet Sam


“Are we going yet?”

“No, Sam.  Your mom is still out cold on the couch.”

I wasn’t out cold, but I was enjoying indulging in an evening nap.  Getting up at 4 am to walk was taking a toll. I could hardly keep my eyes open.

We were supposed to be going to Sam’s Club.  Scott had been to Sam’s Club last week and noticed they had raised garden bed kits for sale.  The week before, I had shared with some friends how I really wanted to have a raised garden bed and grown some veggies this summer.  He suggested we could drive over after dinner and check them out and see if they would work for me.  And because he knows his wife and son so well, he suggested we could get ice cream after our Sam’s visit.

“I’m up,” I called out.  “We can go.”  I really did want to check out the raised bed kits.

As we are walking down the driveway out to the car, I ask Sam, “Why are you so excited to go to Sam’s?”

Sam turns around and looks at me incredulously.  “You think I want to go to Sam’s and hang out with you?  I could stay here and play basketball, Playstation, or drums.  I’m going for the ice cream, man!”

And that is my son, Sam.  He is his mother’s son!

ice cream



“You will never guess what happened in study hall today, Mom.”

I look up from the lettuce leaves I am pushing around the bowl with my fork into his eager 15-year-old eyes.  The story tumbles out in a rush.

“We were sitting there, all quiet, working, and D. started singing, “I believe I can fly.   I believe I can touch the sky.”  Then A. and I joined in and sang with D. “I think about it every night and day, spread my wings and fly away.”  Then C. and L. joined us.  “I believe I can soar.  I see me running through that open door, I believe I can fly.”  And we were all singing together, from around the room, “I believe I can fly.  I believe I can fly.”   Then Mr. B. said, “Ok, enough.  Quiet down.”  It was so awesome!”


He sits at the kitchen table as I make dinner looking at cars on Craigslist.

“Check this one out!  Look at this truck.   Oh man, that would be so awesome!”  His eyes are sparkling at the thought of buying his first set of wheels.  July can’t come fast enough for him.  He and his father spend their free time sifting and sorting through all the possibilities.  I tune them out.  I don’t want to hear about the wheels that will take my son away.

From me.

From home.

To manhood.

To independence.

I prefer to be the three-year-old who covers her eyes with chubby hands and squeals, “You can’t find me.”  If I ignore the change that is coming, it will go away.  He won’t leave.  He will stay here with me forever.

I hear a whisper in my soul, “You are raising him to soar.”  My heart clutches.

I breathe deeply.  I walk to the table.  I put my hand on his shoulder, lean over and peer at the screen.  “Wow.  It is awesome,”  …just like you.



Teasingly it invites me closer,

I listen, not understanding it looks at me as a cat looks at a mouse.

It beckons me as the Wolf beckoned Red Riding Hood,

“But Grandmother, what big arms you have.”

“The better to hug you with, my dear.”

I am naive.   I believe its motives are pure.

I am captivated by its beauty,

Its magnificence.

The world looks so different when it is present.

I drive closer, inching my way along the road.

In a moment,

It swallows me whole.

fog 2      fog

Morning Symphony


No one else is awake.

Just me and the cat.

She looks at me,

suspicion in her eyes.

Her feet tiptoe cautiously across the carpet.

Gentle sounds of sleep from the other room.

The dog readjusts and the jingling of his collar adds a little music to the otherwise stillness.

The sound of fingers greeting the keys, beginning their all-to-familiar dance across the keyboard floor add their music to voice to the morning.

The clock counts the seconds away.





The refrigerator adds its voice to the melody the morning is creating.

It is the morning symphony.