From-the-blog

It’s the Little Things

There will be storms. Yes, there will. After a wild and woolly night, storms are now moving out of the area...at least for a few days. Thankfully, we didn't sustain much damage over our way, although we did lose the center of my beloved sixteen-year-old plum tree--- the same tree that's withstood countless ice storms, hail, and two major tornadoes. Ugh. Over the past year, that plum tree had started to fill out nicely, rebounding from years of hard knocks. Its branches grew, and its pretty, purple leaves looked especially hardy.  I was encouraged. (For sentimental reasons, I still hope we can save that tree.) For folks who live in the Ozarks, extreme weather is a way of life. We may not like it, but we understand this, too, will pass. We're like that compromised tree. We may get a little bent, but we won't let hardship break us. We'll dissect the emotion, suck up our grief, and plow through the disappointment. We'll
It’s the Little Things

The Heart of the Matter

Think back to your favorite characters in a well-loved movie or novel. What is it that you remember most about them? The way they dressed? How they spoke? Their personality traits---the essence of who they were and what made them unique? Granted, the story was probably the first thing that drew your interest, but without characters there wouldn’t have been a story. Characters connect the dots. They draw us in. Well-crafted characters are the driving force behind the story. They're the heart of the matter. They compel us to keep reading. In books, they tempt us to turn the pages. On the big screen, they invite us into their lives as their stories unfold. If you've watched or read The Help, you’ll remember the indelible imprint left behind by its rich cast of characters. The Help (by Kathryn Stockett) is a beautiful story of courage and friendship which takes place in the 1960s deep South. Without a doubt, despite it’s salty language, it’s one of the
The Heart of the Matter

Writing Life and the In-Betweens

As busy mom to a high school senior, the last few weeks have been a flurry of activity. Graduation countdown is officially on! Oh, my goodness. It seems surreal. I've shared some of this year's poignant moments (like this one and this one) with you. And if you're a newsletter subscriber, you've enjoyed a double dose of mama-isms. Recently, darling daughter  job shadowed a dietician, helped with community clean-up, and performed at the state choir competition. (Great news, BTW. Their group received "ones" from all judges! Now, the choir teacher, Mrs. N, has to dye her hair a fun and funky color---the exact shade to-be-determined.) Next up---the community blood drive (which NHS assists at), the spring choir program, senior trip, prom, graduation practice, and a few other things I'm surely forgetting. Whew. Where's my handy-dandy assistant to organize it all? OH---wait. I'm the assistant! That's yet another hat I wear. And somewhere in the in-betweens, I manage to carve out a little
Writing Life and the In-Betweens

Four Inspirational Thoughts for Your Weekend

Life in the Ozarks this time of year is a delicate balance of give and take. We're well into spring, and with it comes a welcomed respite from the weariness of winter. (Say that one fast. :) ) While the warmer temperatures are wonderful, the mornings are still cool enough for jackets. We relish the sunshine and warmth, but we know, too, that our weather here can change on a dime. Of course, living in Tornado Alley, we've come to expect this. (Though we still don't like it.) We're in a flurry of activity over our way. You may remember---this is our daughter's senior year in high school. Things continue to race by at lightning speed. Choir trips, class projects, NHS activities, and college prep. (Whew!) I'm ready for some downtime. :) I hope your week's been sun-filled and blessing-packed and that you're able to rest and unwind for a while. Here are four inspirational thoughts to kick off your
Four Inspirational Thoughts for Your Weekend

FAITH in Hard Places

Oh, great. As I approached my car, I saw it. The dent, scraped paint, and two-inch black mark shone like a beacon beneath the afternoon sun. Someone had hit my driver's side door, and of course, didn't bother leaving a note. I'd been in the mall less than two hours. I suspected the culprit was the maroon car with black door guard---the same car I'd pulled in next to, leaving plenty of room for the driver to negotiate her parking space. Had the deals I snagged been worth it? Hmm. Had to think about that one. I socked my packages into the trunk and wondered if the offender even gave a second thought about her actions or if she was just glad she didn't get caught. And, okay. I prayed that the person who hit my vehicle would be so convicted she'd lose her appetite...or maybe a night's sleep. Then I promptly drove home, and wonder of wonders, my beloved used a little
FAITH in Hard Places

Meet Cindy

A hopeless romantic, wife, mother, lover of the Ozarks, and passionate follower of Jesus. And that’s just for starters…
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