on writing well

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When I first started writing, I had something to say.

there was steam to blow off and pain to let go.  there were feelings to sift through and thoughts to sort out.  there were memories to record.  there were days to number.

Things are different now.  I don’t have something to say anymore.  I recently wrote to a writer friend and told her I was wondering whether or not to stop writing altogether, not forever, but just for a while, to live some more life before saying anything else.

I’m feeling the need to lay low, keep my head down, and focus.  I don’t know if it’s the stage of life or motherhood I’m in or what.  I think it was Jim Elliot who wrote,”Wherever you are, be all there.”  This is what I want right now.  There’s nowhere else I want to be.

She told me one of the reasons she writes is to partake in The Great Conversation.  She didn’t put it in those capitalized terms, she just said conversation, but I think I understand what she means.  She said that for her, writing is a way of being a friend.

Her simple words put things in a totally new perspective for me.  I might not feel like I have something to say anymore, but writing has never been all about me, as much as I’ve fought against it, and as much as I’ve tried to keep it there.  Writing moves people.

I’m in a different place.  I reached out to people I didn’t even know, and people I didn’t even know reached out to me.  The comments, the likes, the contacts, they all meant something.  It wasn’t much, but it was all we had to offer.  It was everything we had.

It was something more to say.






clover necklaces


“Beck, what would be life-giving for you right now?”

Only a sister asks a question like that.  She’d seen me come out from the kitchen, after hearing the deep sigh at the sight of the dishes and counters I’d already cleaned up three times that day.

The repetitiveness of dishes and kitchen clean-up used to drive me mad.  It can still evoke those dreaded deep sighs, particularly when I’m tired at the end of the day, but it’s no use being mad about it anymore.

I watched my daughter and my sister in the clovers.  The boys rode bikes through the pine trees on one side, played catch in the field on the other.  I watched, overwhelmed by all the beauty, feeling grateful for the gift.

I don’t know what it is.  I’ve never felt like this before.

I can’t stop feeling thankful here.

call to worship


two of my sisters are here for three and a half days. the best part about our visits, and any visit with my family, is all the talking that happens.  i call it The Great Conversation.

me and liz got to talking about our childhood backyard.  she’s working on bringing a pear tree, the peonies, and daffodils into her present yard, for her four girls to enjoy.

“wasn’t it amazing?” I asked her.  the outhouse, the barn, the oak tree, the hills, the mountains, the leaves, the jungle and electrical fence that shocked when you touched it.

i think of all the places God has given us to live, and i am amazed beyond words for all the beauty and space.  for all the world’s brokenness, there’s still the beauty of the earth.


roasted beets and marigolds

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One day a lady walked over to me after church.  She did not introduce herself.  I didn’t know who she was.  I recognized her as the blonde lady who sits in the back, the one who wears fancy suits I’d never wear, and comes to church every week by herself.

She had a question for me.

“Do you have any needs?”

I didn’t know how to answer this question.  The kids were asking about their donuts when I started saying something like, “Um, well, camp just had a work day, so that was good.  There were lots of people here to help get things ready and cleaned up for–”

“No”, she cut me off, “That’s not what I meant.”

Dad takes the kids to the donut line.

“I mean family needs.”

Apparently she’d been hearing this nagging voice in her head telling her to go talk to me.  She’s afraid I’m going to think she’s crazy, and I assure her, in no way shape or form do I think for even a minute she is crazy.  I know those voices.  I hear those voices too.

“It’s more like”, she’s still trying to explain, “It’s more like, I keep hearing; ‘You’ve got something she needs.'”  She’s got something I need.  That’s what the voice was telling her.  That’s why she asked me if I had any needs.  She’s needs to know what she has.

I can already tell by her voices what she is–

A blessing from God.

earthly inheritance

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So much of life is about showing up.

We show up, not with expectations and plans, but with hands open wide to receive the morning.  I want to think of life as a war, that every day we are fighting our battles, and every day we’re showing up on the battlefield.   But God didn’t die to make me a soldier.

He died that we might live as sons.