Five-Minute Friday: Wonder

Today I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mama for Five-Minute Friday.

Join me!

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, overthinking, or backtracking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Wonder

Sometimes I wish I could see life through the eyes of my daughter.

Because, to her, everything is wonder.

She walks outside and sees a blanket of snow covering the ground, and there is nothing more magical.

She randomly stops whatever activity she is doing, stands up and spins…around and around, arms full-on-stretched. Embracing the fullness of life around her…simply because she can.

We’ll be out for a walk in the neighborhood, and she’ll break into her toddler-sprint. Nowhere to go, just simply taking her boundless energy and letting herself fly because, well, why not?

Or, tonight, we were at a Christmas tree lighting. Happy choir music, pretty lights, people all around…and she decides to do backflips.

Hers is a world filled with wonder.

At times, I’m jealous. A little.

It feels like when I grew up (sorta, anyway!) I lost my sense of finding the wonder in all that surrounds me.

I forget that the beauty outside my window screams of my Creator.

I forget that the beautiful girl I am so incredibly privileged to spend my days with is wonder.

And in the hustle and bustle and busy and crazy of all that surrounds Christmas, I sometimes forget about the

True Wonder.

That baby who, so long ago, was born in a stable.

He was the picture of wonder that would captivate the world…and change the hearts and lives of multitudes…

One of those being me.

May I always, always remember that wonder…and pass it on to my daughter, too.

Five Minute Friday


Dreaming God-Sized Dreams

All of us…in one way or another…have dreams.

Dreams in and of themselves are beautiful things. They allow our imaginations limitless boundaries to create ideal and perfect…full of hypothetical rainbows, daisies, and smiley faces. (Well, if you’re me. ;))

It’s when we take steps to turn those dreams into reality that they can sometimes become messy, discouraging, and full of valleys we’d never planned.

For five years, from 2005-2010, my husband and I gave our hearts to a country on the other side of the world. I talk about Indonesia now with fond memories, but to tell you that it was full of those rainbows at the time would be untrue.

During those years I saw my Father take me and painfully chisel away those parts that were getting in the way of His glory.

I saw huge disappointments that caused more grief than I ever thought possible, teaching me that my joy could not be found in what I had planned for my life…but in His perfect plan.

I saw Him take a woman who thought she had it all going for her and bring her to a place where she had nothing to give but what she had in His strength.

When our Indonesia life ended and we suddenly had this brand-new(ish) American existence, I started to write.

I needed to write.

The need to process became necessary for my emotional survival in a country that was mine and yet made me feel like a stranger. I wrote about everything…from learning to park a car again to the perils of choosing a salad dressing from the mile-long aisle, and from my disdain for wearing boots over jeans (which is hilarious now!) to the dozens of coffee creamer flavors I purchased just so I could try them all. :) I wrote about how hard it was to feel alone and the joy that came from a friend who came to find me, about a heart that broke from starting over again to a Father who redeemed broken and was the Giver of all givers.

It was good processing. More than good.

And as the words found paper and I allowed my heart to bleed, there was this little dream that crept in.

Or, maybe not such a little dream.

As God began taking my stories from Indonesia and weaving them into my now-life, I knew He was asking something of me.

Something that I’ve always wanted to do, but also something that takes Bravery. Trust. Surrender.

Which are kinda scary sometimes.

And I knew it was time to write…really write…that book.

I believe what happened next was completely of my Father.

I read this site often, but sometimes I miss a day or two. And for whatever reason, when I hopped over about a month ago, my eyes fell on this blog post.

As I read Holley‘s words, I felt this little twinge in my heart, the kind that God puts there to say, It’s time. Do it. Be brave. You’ve got Me, and I’m all you need.

So, I applied.

Honestly, I didn’t expect to be accepted. Oh, I hoped…like, a million times a day, but I tried desperately not to get my hopes up.

And when I opened my e-mail on that morning two weeks ago and saw a message saying, Congratulations! I’m thrilled let you know that you’re part of the God-Sized Dream Team!…well, I walked around with a completely-founded, silly grin for the next few days. :)

In just a couple of days I have the awesome privilege of joining a team of 99 women from around the world who all have a God-Sized Dream. For the next six months we’ll travel this road together…the one of taking our dreams, placing them in the Father’s hands, doing everything we can in His strength to realize them, and trusting Him completely with those hopes that passionately consume our hearts.

I don’t know these women or their stories, but what I do know is that we’re in a similar place of dreaming BIG…and trusting God with it all. I can’t wait to get to know their hearts and to walk this beautiful journey…one of letting God move as only He can…together.

It’s going to be amazing!

Over the next six months, I’ll be sharing more with you. What I’m learning, what He’s doing in my heart, and the way He’s changing me…I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

I really have no clue what to expect, but I know that there’s a reason…and I’m SO excited!

This is a chance to be brave, and I’m ready to step forward.

Thanks for your love and prayers, friends! You are each a blessing to this heart.


So fun!!!

May I please do this in my lifetime? Pretty please?

Fantastic. That is all. :)


Christmastime is (Almost) Here…

So now that Thanksgiving weekend is officially over, I don’t feel so guilty blogging about my love for all-things-Christmas every day. 😉

Well, not every day. I typically take Wednesdays off…and sometimes Sundays. Anyway, irrelevant. 😉

I would be lying to you if I told you that I waited until after Thanksgiving to watch Christmas movies, though. I. Seriously. Love. Them. I have a few favorites that actually make up quite a strange combination…and I tend to rotate through them as the need arises for me to get myself into the Christmas spirit.

In keeping with my dorkiness, most of these tend to be older and geared more toward children. (No comments, please. ;))

A few of my favorites…in no particular order.

Prancer is one that I can watch on repeat…literally. I think it’s probably my favorite-favorite. My daddy took me to the movie when I was eleven, and I loved it. Clearly that love is still there. And I do own it on DVD should you need some Prancer magic this Christmas season. :)

I think It’s a Wonderful Life is mandatory for the list. Tobin and I watch it every year, and it just gets better every time. Love it. (And I own it, too, if you need to borrow it.)

Home Alone (and Home Alone 2) totally crack me up. I can watch them over and over and just about wet my pants every single time. Sadly, I don’t own these. (Honey??? You were asking me what I want this year?! :)) Definitely classics.

Oh, and there are more on my list…actually thinkin’ this list needs a part two…but these are at the top. And now I seriously want to sit down and watch Home Alone and laugh hysterically with no one, but I should really go to sleep instead…you know, do the responsible thing. 😉

What are some of your favorites?


For the Love of Hot Cocoa…

Somehow I think it was a winner. :)


Saturday Chatter

Laughing to myself already.


‘Cause I’m pretty sure the word chatter can be defined in more than one way today.

For instance, I woke up in Minnesota this morning, and it was eight degrees outside.

Yes, you read that right.

Goodness, it was C.O.L.D. And my teeth were definitely chattering.

We kinda half-looked at the weather forecast before we left on Wednesday, but it said nothing about snow or eight degrees. I guess we should have known, especially since we lived there for several years, that weather in that great state is far from predictable. Hence, we froze.

But I could use the word chatter and go on and on about the past few days, too. They were good.

Family, memories, laughs, lotsa food…it was a memorable Thanksgiving. Potentially the most memorable for me was Black Friday shopping. I’ve gone before, but I’ve never made a special effort to go right when a store opens for a certain deal. My sis-in-law was all about that, and so I tagged along.

AND got to watch.

Hee hee hee. 😀

While hundreds of customers at Walmart dove into piles of stuff, I stood back and watched a real-life commercial. Stuff really did fly everywhere. It was quite entertaining. After the chaos died down a little, I trotted over to the pajama section and scored myself a super-comfy pair of slippers for $6, found a couple of fun things for Mae, checked out in five minutes, and left as happy as a clam. (Are clams happy? Why do people use that expression?!?!)

Anyway, a few more stops with the definite non-highlight being standing in line at Target for 45 minutes. Thankfully the people in front of us were friendly and like to talk as much as I do. 😉

We got home at 2 a.m., and my incredibly cool hubby got up and ate pie with me at 2:30. Isn’t he great?! :)  Then, being the awesome wife I am, I went with him to Menards the next morning. (Read: later…no way was I getting up at five!) We actually enjoyed ourselves. 😉

So, that was my Black Friday, and it was…well, it was.

It was a good few days, but it’s always nice to be home.

We headed back today, making stops in St. Paul and Janesville to see friends and pulled into the driveway at 7 p.m…tired. I mean, Mae protested going to bed…for the whole sixty seconds it took her to fall asleep. 😉 I made myself do laundry and unpack tonight, but bedtime? Is coming soon. :)

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving…blessings, friends!


Five-Minute Friday: Thank You

Today I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mamafor Five-Minute Friday.

Join me!

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, overthinking, or backtracking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Thank You

Some days the thanks come so easily.

And on those days it’s often the most simple things that bring the most gratitude.

My family. Being surrounded by my hubby and my daughter and my two doggie boys. Knowing that there is love exploding in our house. ‘Tis perfect…for me. :)

My friends. Those who don’t always get me but love me despite that and are Jesus to me anyway, even if I’m having a not-so-lovable day.

Today…the blessing of a snowy outside but a blanket and slippers and legwarmers (lovin’ them!) and time to sit down to write words while my girlie watches Snow White.

Such simple blessings, but the Giver of them knows my needs…and does just that. Gives them.

Some days the thanks don’t come as easily. Disappointments, hurts, and emotions cloud what I want to be reflected in my heart, and I forget to look beyond them to say a simple thanks.

Because there are so many reason to say thank you to Him for all He has done. It certainly can’t be in five minutes, but I’m thankful that despite what may not come out in words for others to know, He knows the thanks in my heart, and I pray that those sometimes-whispers will speak more loudly than anything I could write or speak.

I am loved, I am forgiven, I am secure, I am His. I am surrounded by Love, washed in His grace, forever His daughter.

And those things are enough to make my heart scream, Thank You, for the rest of my days.

Five Minute Friday


Little Blessings (Pt. 54)

:) Two consecutive days of naps. (For the girl. I took one yesterday. :))

:) Beautiful weather for late November…I really love sweater weather.

:) Two awesome mornings for running.

:) Visits from friends.

:) Baking pies.

:) Storytime with Mae. I read her my favorite Max Lucado book tonight. She loved it. :)

:) Anticipating reunions with people I love.

:) Awesome news that made my heart SO happy!

:) My little family. I just love them so much!

:) Giving thanks…I am so extremely blessed.


Something Fun

So I’ve been having an I-miss-Indo month.

Lots of reminders here and there, I guess.

Anyway, I decided to look back through pictures, and I had totally forgotten about this.

In September ’09 we took a day trip to Jatiluhur, a lake that was about an hour from our house. (Lakes that are used for recreation are pretty uncommon in Indonesia.) It was a fun trip, and potentially the highlight (?) of the day was this.

A pedal-yourself roller coaster.

Seriously. You literally pedal yourself around on this teeny-tiny (really) track that wobbles a little too much for it’s own good.

Here we are…right before we started pedaling. I was convinced we might die. And had I known that Maelie was in my belly at the time (’cause she totally was!) I may have never done it.

This one is my favorite. See that group of people in the bottom right corner of the picture that seem fascinated with the coaster?

They’re really not.

They are, in fact, fascinated with the shrieking bule (white girl) who is convinced that this may be her last moment on earth, as she teetered helplessly far too high in the air. (Ok, so maybe I’m a tiny bit over-dramatic. ;))

At any rate, it sure made me smile to see these tonight…and say a thank-you prayer to God that I’m still alive. 😉



I found him tonight, buried in a storage bin, and I had to hold the tears back as I hugged him for the first time in over a decade.

I’ve known him since the beginning.

Brown, soft, and furry, he was always my favorite.

I named him Morky.

At first glance, he just looks well-loved. But he holds pieces of my life…so many of them.

He wears a gray sweatshirt…it hides the scars of the multiple surgeries he has had over the years. Poor Morky has been sewn and stitched back together more than most who have been around for 34+ years.

His sweatshirt also bears a panda patch, the only thing that remains of my beloved baby blanket, Smoky. When Smoky was on his last threads, my mom found a way to preserve a little piece of him.

And, he holds my tears, too. He held them, for sure, the day my friend died. He still had a special spot in my heart and in my life during my teenage years, and he held the tears for me the day I watched my daddy leave, too.

Maybe it’s silly to hang onto something…and yet, he is more than just that. Morky is a piece of who I am.

And maybe it’s just as silly…taking the time to remember…but finding him tonight made my day. :)