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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Becoming Relevant

Hi friends.  I'm missing this quiet place while I'm away in Harrisburg at The Relevant Conference.

I wish I had time to tell you how amazing and beautiful and redemptive the whole thing has been, but I am short on time and long on things to process about all I have learned and experienced here.  I only will leave you with a few words from the Five-Minute-Friday exercise we did in a session today with Lisa-Jo (live and in person!) and a short prayer that is on my heart.

Five Minutes of Becoming:

Being here has, in so many ways I never expected, been about… becoming.

About embracing and discovering and admitting and coming to a place where I realize that I am in progress.  That I, too, am, like all these other amazing and beautiful women… in process.

We are becoming.

We are becoming bloggers.  Becoming writers.  Becoming friends and family and kindred spirits…becoming beautiful and honest.  Becoming like Christ.  Becoming like us.

Becoming like me.

And before arriving here, I believed that I had a grasp on what that meant.  What it meant to be and to become.  That coming into myself was something I had already slid into, was already (sort-of) there, and that this would be about learning and networking and growing and taking a step forward.

But as I’ve been here… as I’ve soaked up the amazing beauty that is all around, and as I have remembered the sound of the whisper of God… I have realized that it was always about becoming.

Becoming a woman whose purpose is clearly defined.  Not as a blogger, not as a writer or a mother or a kindred spirit, a friend or expert, or anything that is outside of the love of the Christ that redeems this broken heart.

Being here is about becoming less, about coming more into the central love of the cross, about bending low and laying down my striving, that I would know what it is to be authentic. 

My prayer:


I remember what the whisper of God sounds like, now.  I remember how your love brings me to so much fullness, it leaks from my eyes.  I remember that you gave me this thing within, this thing that drives me and makes me discover and connect and experience and grow…and thrive and thrill and break open with joy.  And I have doubted in my abilities, but I rest now in yours.  I rest in the assurance that you know what you’re doing, that you have redeemed and ordained every word for a holy purpose.

And I thank you with a gripping gratitude for reminding me.  For whispering your breath so I can feel the wind of it.  For nodding to this frail heart and spurring me onward.  For the way you created this world to be so relational, and our hearts to delight in others.  For lighting the fire beneath my stunted heart, again.  For love, Lord, big and wide and high and deep.

That I would feel you here, *this* close, for the rest of the time here.  Thank you for the blessing, Lord, and that I would be so bold to ask for more … Bless me more, fill me more, with knowledge, with community, with connection, and with the stirring of your Spirit.

Fill me, Lord, with your purpose, your dream, your truth.  Help me siphon all the *me* out of this experience and soak up the *you*.

In your precious name,

Monday, October 24, 2011

So You Had a Bad Day...


Anyone else had that kind of day?

You know, the kind where you forget its picture day until morning and all the kids’ clothes are being washed, and you mix-up the lunch plans you made, and run around all day wondering where the time is going since nothing is getting done?  Where you try and make an easy cinnamon-biscuit dish for breakfast, but since your mother-in-law doesn’t have a Bundt pan, you substitute an angel food cake pan with (surprise!) a removable insert, and while it bakes, a river of sticky sugar-glue seeps out the pan’s crevice and floods her state-of-the-art convection oven and the smell of burnt maple syrup fills the house and trips the smoke alarm (while everyone else is still asleep)? 

A day where you wake up with a strange, itchy rash on your face and cold sores on your nose (!!!) even though this has never, ever, ever happened before in your entire life, and then the power struggle with your toddler begins before the sun is even up?  And then you bicker with your husband in the grocery store while you have to wait two hours for prescriptions to be filled, and then you have another encounter with the same oven when you burn the macaroons because you set the timer for twelve hours instead of twelve minutes, and somehow also drastically miscalculate payday and now you’re left wondering how in the world you are ever going to afford to eat during the trip you’re traveling across the country for in 31 hours for 5 days with $50 to spare after hotel costs?


Aaaaaaaaaaaand when you are in severe pain because your fibromyalgia is flaring and your head is pounding because your contacts are six weeks overdue for replacement.  When you try and fix something broken on your blog and wind up wasting hours trying to figure it all out and make the problem worse, then argue with your oldest son and give up on your youngest son halfway through bath time because there is poop on the floor and you just don't have a bathroom-floor-mopping and a hair-washing left in your soul tonight, even though it’s not even 7:30 p.m. yet, and only one of those can wait until tomorrow?

Those kind of days?

Yeah.  Me too.


I am hiding in my bedroom now, taking a breath, whispering a prayer to wash away this wretchedness.  Perhaps God is reminding me of all I will enjoy a break from this coming week, in Pennsylvania, even though I will be longing for it while I'm away.  But I am ready, tonight, to slip between blankets and shake off the day in peaceful darkness and be grateful for comfort and the promise of much wonderfulness later this week. 

What better way to combat the blues than gratitude, friends?  Counting blessings just now, even without numbers, along with Ann.

-          Leaving for Relevant in 2 days.  Can’t believe it.
-          A day off work.
-          A bit of daydreaming, today.
-          New employment, and resources to pull from in our tight times of late.
-          Twitter, and the bursts of joy it brings me throughout the day from brothers and sisters full of encouragement and humor.     
-          A husband that loves to cook (good for a girl that loves to eat, yes?).
-          A movie, to put me in the mood for Pennsylvania.
-          A work schedule I love.
-          A workload challenging enough to keep me focused but easy enough that I’m not stressed out.
-          Being back at our home church, and the sermons that leave me lingering on truth all week long, marinating and tenderizing.
-          The overwhelming joy at being home that has not yet faded.
-          A ‘welcome home’ banner that still hangs across the front porch, though we’ve been here a month now.
-          A neighbor friend for my children, just across the street, new to the area, also.
-          The hope that we’ll have our own place soon, and the fun of imagining homemaking possibilities. 
-          Beef Wellington that turned out fantastic, and the time and ability to try a dozen new recipes in the last week or so.
-          Having been able to ‘steal away’ twice this month so far for writing dates to work on my manuscript.
-          NaNoWriMo, starting Tuesday.
-          You, and your comments and input that have blessed me significantly this week.
-          The truth, in this:


Amen, and amen.

Multitudes of sweet blessings your way tonight, friend. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Introducing Myra at MyBlessedLife.net - AND - A DaySpring Giveaway!

Update:  Giveaway has ended.  Congrats Karen Logan!  You won the DaySpring giveaway!  Enjoy your tote (my birthday is in January, so feel free to send it back to me. Just kidding, of course!)  Enjoy, Karen!)

It’s no secret around here that I love {in}courage and DaySpring from the bottom of my heart.  After all, it’s thanks to them that I’ll be in Pennsylvania in a few short days, soaking up all the learning and fellowship to be had at the Relevant ’11 Conference.  The most exciting part about all this, though, is the chance to hang out with some of my favorite bloggers, not the least of whom is my new friend Myra over at MyBlessedLife.net.

Doesn't she just look like someone you want to be BFF's with?  Wait 'til you check out her blog!

Myra is a wife, stay-at-home-mom and awesome blogger who offers her readers a plethora (yes, really… a real, actual plethora) of tasty recipes, frugal home décor suggestions, DIY ideas and tutorials, delicious giveaways, and the kind of real-life goodness we can all apply to our home, family, and faith.  I particularly enjoy her always-timely reminders on living faithfully and trusting God. 

I love, love, LOVE her appliqued 'BLOOM' pillow.
White Chicken Chili?  Yes, please. 
Tutorial for Myra's adorable and funky fall napkin rings.

I could go on and on, but I'll let you go check out MyBlessedLife.net now and marvel in the gifts splashing all over the bloggy pages at Myra’s place.  You can thank me later.  ;)

And for those of you who won't be able to attend Relevant, don't forget that {in}courage is bringing the beach house right to you this April, with {in}courage {in} real life, a world-wide {in}courage conference coming to your town.  Check it out, and register to attend.  I promise, it's the least expensive conference you've ever dreamed of attending.  Go see for yourself! 


As if that weren't enough excitement for one day, here's another little sumpin' sumpin' for you, today:  A DaySpring Giveaway!

But not just any DaySpring giveaway... a giveaway of a particular little lovely that I picked out just for you, a 'Just Trust God' jute tote bag, featuring Psalm 25:5.  

Isn't it cute?!  Too bad I can't win a giveaway on my own blog, or I'd enter like a jazillion times.  Luckily for you, then, it's up for grabs for one lucky reader.  

Speaking of entering... here's how:  Do any of the below items, and post a comment to let me know.  Please post a separate comment for each item, in order to get the most entries to win the tote. 

-  Become a new subscriber of WhimsySmitten, right here
-  Become a new follower of WhimsySmitten on Twitter: http://twitter.com/WhimsySmitten
-  Visit Myra's site:  MyBlessedLife.net, and comment here, telling me your favorite recipe, craft, or DIY project on her site. 
-  Subscribe to MyBlessedLife.net, or comment letting me know that you already subscribe. 
-  Register to attend {IN}RL (that's {in}courage {in} real life) in your area this April, then comment here to tell me you did (It's only $10!!).  
-  Follow @DaySpringCards or @incourage on twitter

With that many ways to enter, you have no excuse!  Entries will be closed and winner will be announced here on this blog on Monday, October 31, so hurry!  There's not much time!  GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. 

  • Size: 18"L x 14"H x 6"D
  • Made from 100% jute
  • Lining: 100% cotton in coordinating color
  • Sturdy handles with 12" drop
  • Message and design on one side only

Friday, October 21, 2011

Beyond Perfection.

Source: Pinterest.

 A friend of mine gave me a gift recently.

It wasn’t wrapped, and it wasn’t even my birthday.  

Now before I tell you what she gave me, you should know… this girl’s got it together.  She’s always been a little better at this whole life business than me.  She nurses her babies into toddlerhood.  She sews them adorable outfits and cooks healthy, amazing meals with seemingly little effort.  She balances two babies on her hip while teaching her daughters fractions and ancient history.  She paints rooms and builds furniture and plants gardens and knits scarves in her spare time.  And she’s sweet…and funny… and pretty…and gracious.

I don’t see her often enough, as she lives in another state, but we passed through her town on the way from Texas to Oregon.  They’re in a bit of a transition, like we are, and have 4 young children living in a 2-bedroom apartment, but her and her husband offered to let us stay the night anyway and cooked us dinner, then booted her own babies out of their beds so we could get a comfy night’s rest.

We arrived after the third day of 12 hours of straight driving.  We were travel-weary and probably smelled like sweat and Taco Bell, but she threw her arms around us and welcomed us in.    

She was wearing sweat pants, which was wonderful because I was too and I just didn’t have it in me to dress like a human being for dinner that night.  The kids’ bedroom was a happy jumble of toys and blankets and blocks and dress-up clothes and magic wands.  Books and papers piled willy-nilly around the living room.  Dinner took longer than expected, and the bathtub cleaner sat beside the tub with a rag that hadn’t been used.  The bathroom was out of toilet paper, and the only hand-towel was tied around a 2-year-old’s neck, cape style, as he and Caleb and Buzz Lightyear all saved the world from the evil Emperor Zurg.  

We laughed.  We ate bruschetta by the pound.  My son dumped spaghetti on the couch while hers threw it on the floor.  We laughed harder and the kids laughed too.  She left the dirty dishes and didn’t let me touch them.  They were still there when we left in the morning.  We drifted off to dreamland that night in disassembled bunk beds with fingerprint paintings dotting the wall beside us.  I slept sound and sweet in the loveliness of it all. 

My friend gave me the gift of real living.  She let me into her honest, dusty life and it was full of grace and beauty.  She didn’t once apologize for the imperfect state of things – she just went right on doing what she did and let me stand beside her and enjoy the hours as they passed.  She didn’t let guilt or perfectionism ruin a wonderful time of fellowship, and she blessed me beyond measure with genuine hospitality.  

I challenge you… I challenge myself… to let go of the perfectionism that creeps into an otherwise perfectly imperfect you, and let others see the nitty gritty. 

Source:  Pinterest.
Give your friends and loved ones a gift, too.  Let them in.  Bless them beyond perfection

Linking up to:  Gypsy Mama's Five Minute Friday.  Blogging, too, can be full of gift and grace when you write beyond perfection.  Try it, here

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I blog for {you}

Have you had days when you wondered whether blogging was worth the effort?

I have.

As a busy working mom with a to-do list a mile long and an insatiable need to scratch my creative itch by writing (not to mention an emotional complex having me feeling guilty for every single moment I spend being nonproductive), I can get around to wondering whether the time I spend blogging is maybe, a tad bit… wasted.

I don’t have a million readers, and as of yet, WhimsySmitten hasn’t earned a nickel.  I’m often too busy to be completely “plugged in” to the blog world, and there are plenty of days when blogging doesn’t “pay off” for me the way it does for some more devoted bloggers out there.

But all this Relevant hooplah on my mind, watching the feeds and allowing my excitement to make me giddy, reminds me why I do this.

I do not blog for money.  I do not blog for stats.  I do not blog to get noticed, to make a name for myself, or because I have anything life-changing to say to anyone.

I blog for community.  I blog to reach across wires and space to tangle up inside your heart and head.  I blog so you’ll know, so I’ll know, that we’re all in this mess together, and to spotlight some of the beautiful moments on the journey, and some of the darker ones, too.  I blog because I love it more than laundry.  I blog to make sense of it all.  I blog because, along the way, I’ve discovered that you and I…we’re a lot more alike than different, and we’re all just trying to do our best and gather some wisdom as we go.

I don’t always have time to keep up with my blog subscriptions, but when I carve out time to read, in a matter of minutes or hours, I am transported to a world of kindred spirits, of creative inspiration and words that challenge my faith.  I am among friends…friends who, like me, haven’t had a shower in two days and have grape jelly in their hair, who start more projects than they can ever dream of finishing and find immense comfort in a cup of hot coffee.  Friends who love words and love Jesus and love this invisible space in the universe where we bare all to the whole-wide-world and watch the love and fellowship pour down all around us.

I blog for you.

And your comments, knowing you’ve taken the time to read what I’ve put out here, makes me smile the kind of wide smile that means all is right with the world, because I’m able to connect with amazing, beautiful you.  

Thanks for reading, friend.  You are the reason I blog. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ten Things My Relevant Roomie Should Know About Me

Ok, all you Relevant ladies.  I’ve seen this going around blogland, so it’s about time I jumped on board. 

If you’re reading this and you’re my Relevant roomie, here are 10 things you ought to know about me.

1)      Well.  Isn’t this awkward?  Umm, I hate to tell you this, but you aren’t my Relevant roomie.  Sorry.  You might wanna check into that.  You see… and for some reason, I feel guilty admitting this, but in the interest of full disclosure here… I don’t actually have a Relevant roomie**.

2)      The reason for this is multi-fold.  Mostly, it’s because I haven’t had a moment alone in ohhhh, a few years or so, and I took the opportunity this time around to enjoy this conference not just as the oh-so-amazing spiritual blogging conference I know it will be, but also as a bit of a mom retreat – a time to get quiet with myself and reflect, re-charge, and process the conference AND the very emotionally impactful last number of months of my life.  Forgive me?  I still want to meet you and spend time with you and be included as much as I can in all the Relevant festivities, but my extended pre- and post-conference nights at the hotel are date nights with my hotel desk and Bible and my manuscript-in-progress.

3)      I’m painfully shy (not to be confused with quiet, by the way).  If I’m being honest, this is also at least a little bit of the reason for #1 and #2.  I’m a little preoccupied at this point that I’ll spend the entire conference wandering quietly and biting my fingernails anxiously while everyone else talks and laughs and hugs.  If you see a wandering Whimsy, please say hello.  I promise, I will think you’re a saint for the very act of taking pity on this friendless-girl. 

4)      I am relatively new to blogging and I don’t know a single Relevant soul in person.  I don’t know a single Relevant soul very well at all, really, even online.  I am so incredibly grateful that I’ll be there with a wonderful group of women from DaySpring and (in)courage, and this gives me an excuse to get out of my shell.

5)      Despite being painfully shy, I am actually very friendly and I really, really, really want to meet and get to know you, even if the thought of making the first move and approaching people I don’t know makes me want to vomit.  Once you get me talking, I may not actually ever shut up.  You’ve been warned.

6)      I’ve been to one conference before, a Proverbs 31 She Speaks conference several years ago.  I think I managed to get through the entire conference speaking only about ten words.  I didn’t meet a soul while I was there other than the publisher I was pitching, (even though I sat next to strangers at meals and breakout sessions) and that probably is why I’m on item #6 and still talking about how anxious I am about being the blog-conference equivalent of the last girl picked for dodgeball. 

7)      Two years ago, I was living in a 5000-square-foot house/lodge on a 300-acre ranch out near Crater Lake, Oregon.  We were entirely off-the-grid, and I was 100% city girl, learning daily how to deal with hydroelectricity, manage bat and wasp infestations, hunt for elk (once was enough, thankyouverymuch), heat our home with a woodstove, and bottle-feed baby cows.  I spent my free time exploring waterfalls and eating copious amounts of blackberries.  

One month ago, I was living in Texas in a 6000-square foot house in the country, taking care of 11 children as a housemom at a Christian children’s home (kind of like a foster parent).  My best friend lived three doors down, my husband was home nearly all the time, I homeschooled my own three kids, and I spent my days in a wild flurry of handling meals, laundry, phone conferences, stinky boy shoes, and hysterical/maddening teenage antics.

Today, I’m living in a 100-square-foot-bedroom in my in-laws’ house in southern Oregon with my husband and 3 kids while we get settled, going on a month with out paychecks, starting a new job (tomorrow!) working at home as a medical transcriptionist (something I did for 8 years before we went to Texas), potty training the most stubborn 3-1/2-year-old on earth (on someone else’s carpet – yikes!), and writing a book with every spare moment I can muster.  My husband starts a new job on Saturday, too -- very grateful, and my kids are back in a public school they love.  Without a household to manage, without a ministry to call my own, without homeschooling three grade levels at once, without a dozen children to care for, and without any friends that I am not related to here, yet, I am feeling rather lost and more than a little out-of-sorts, these days.

8)      I've let on some insecurities here, so on the flip side, here are a few things I love about me, and I hope you will too:  I’m creative and my mind is generally a happy jumble of thoughts, shooting a million miles an hour in a hundred different directions (did I mention I have ADD?).  My blog is my favorite escape – a place in the world where I feel free to be me, and my sincerest goal is that you can drop by and be yourself there, too.  Let it all hang out, friend, I’ll love you even more for it, I promise.  I love to write, and often, it’s how I make sense of the madness going on in my brain at any given moment.  I am not particularly fashion conscious or stylish.  I don’t spend more than $20 on a pair of jeans.  My shoes come from Payless.  But I’m learning to be comfortable in my own skin, and I find that my home (when I have one, see previous post) follows suit.  Thrift-store chic seems to describe my wardrobe and my home décor these days, but I’m oddly comforted by distressed and well-loved stuff.  It’s more real that way, and I guess that’s what I love about it.  

9)      Whimsy Smitten is going through a bit of a blog identity crisis, and I expect that to come to a full hilt at the conference. 

10)  When I return from Relevant, I plan on tackling NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) during the month of November (which means, I’m probably going to spend the 30 most inspired blogging days drastically neglecting my blog in favor of this writing project – bummer).  I’m not actually writing a novel (it’s more like a memoir/personal narrative/creative nonfiction piece), but I can use all the motivation and inspiration I can get.  Anyone else hopping on the NaNoWriMo bandwagon?  

Ok, if you’ve made it this far, you get a medal.  Can’t wait to meet you at Relevant!!!!! 

** Despite my pre- and post-conference desk dates and such, if you or anyone else still needs a room for Relevant, I do have an empty bed and I'm happy to help a girl out, if there's any last-minute scramblers out there in need of a bed -- just let me know!   

Monday, October 10, 2011


Photo Source: Pinterest.

I am living out of a suitcase.  

My three children are sharing a full-size bed and just about all of our belongings are shoved in a 10’ x 20’ storage unit, balanced dangerously and teetering hither and yon.  To make it worse, we unloaded the moving truck in the dark and several of the items that were meant to stay out of storage (um, like, checkbooks and passports, business cards and stamps, conference tickets and cute dresses and school supplies) were packed away and buried in the rubble... and no luck so far on trying to retrieve any of it without completely unpacking the darn thing.

This is unnerving, especially because, after much scramble regarding employment here in Oregon, we’ve determined that, although we are blessed beyond measure to both be gainfully employed (and for me to work at home – hallelujah!), for several reasons, we’re better off staying put at my mother-in-law’s house for awhile.

Like, staying a few months when I was really banking on (and packing for) a few weeks.

I am having a hard time rolling with the punches on this one.

Not because I don’t like being here.  Actually, I love, love, love my in-laws and couldn’t really think of any place I’d rather have to shack up like teenage parents (which, for the record, we're decades away from being).  But living in someone else's home goes against my very strong instinct to nest (no, I’m not pregnant) and putz about, fluffing this and straightening that, hanging curtains and wall decor, introducing my DIY-creations to their proper locations... and making a home.  And my guilty conscience makes it hard to feel like I'm okay here, that I'm not being a burden, or stepping on toes, or creating a hassle for anyone. 

The antidote to living in transition is, for me, to settle down and make a home.

Alas, I cannot.

This year, I will probably not get to decorate my home for Christmas.  I will not bake in my own kitchen, or set up my office to watch my kids run around the back yard while I work.  I will find, several times every day, that the outfit or nail polish or legal document I desperately need is packed away and I’ll have to live without it.

A few tears were shed when I realized that my Bible, devotional, current Bible study, and favorite commentary also managed to get (accidentally) packed away.  Six days without my Bible was remedied by six bucks at a local bookstore, and had me sniffing the pages and holding the thing close to my heart, soaking up the Scriptures even with closed covers, filling with the words inside like osmosis, gripping the paperback make-do like the precious possession that it is.

I’ll be heading to Relevant ’11 in a few weeks, and, bummer, despite my plans for a put-together-girl on display, it looks like I’ll have to head out there with just the comfy clothes I had packed for a few weeks at grandmas.  No high heels.  No cute jewelry.  Some jeans, my camera, and a pair of gray Chuck Taylor’s are about all I’ll wind up there with, I’m afraid.  You’ll love me anyway, won’t you?

I’m taking the opportunity to prove to myself all the things I can live without when I really need to, to count it blessing that we have this opportunity and that our belongings are only temporarily in storage and not incinerated in a house fire, or vandalized in a burglary.  It’s all only stuff, after all.  So I’ll rejoice in less cooking and house cleaning for the time (since I have others to share that responsibility with here).  It will be good for my soul, too, to go to Relevant without knowing anyone, and wearing no disguise – just me, myself, and my Chucks to show y’all the real Slim Shady Whimsy Smitten, in my grubby-girl finest.  Something tells me I’ll be welcomed with open arms anyway, and that, my friends, will do a girl good.

Counting, still numberless, today, all the gifts that keep on giving.  Linking up with Ann, and all the others counting, counting away. 

-          Husband, hired!
-          Starting work myself soon (later this week, probably).
-          The graciousness of my in-laws.
-          Our anniversary on Thursday, six years of marriage, ten years together.
-          Reading A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.
-          An opportunity to learn more about simplicity.
-          Conference tickets that are re-printable.
-          Being able to afford a plane ticket to Pennsylvania and a hotel room at Relevant, even while being in between jobs and during a tight financial time for us.
-          A beautiful drive this weekend, soaking up the beauty here I’ve missed for so long.
-          Discovering an omission error in my husband’s veteran’s benefits documentation that will be $150 in our favor every single month for the rest of my husband’s life.
-          My kids absolutely loving being at their new/old school.
-          Hot, middle-of-the-afternoon coffee, and weather chilly enough to enjoy it.
-          So much peace and family time, lately.
-          My kids, getting to spend time on a regular basis now with their grandparents and great-grandparents.
-          Our boys back in Texas, apparently doing okay with the transition of new houseparents.
-          Returning to our home church again yesterday.
-          Big, busy dinners, full of laughter… and lots of leftovers.  
-          Provision, in all the ways it comes. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Love Your Dirty Laundry

I love your dirty laundry.

And not just the skeletons-in-the-closet variety, either.

Your real-life stinky socks and sweaty sweatpants, clothing piles that turn in to mountain ranges, loads that are left in the wash too long and start to mildew.

Nothing says imperfect like dirty laundry.

And these days, I am all about embracing imperfection.  I try to, as one of my favorite Curly Girl Design prints suggests: 

Live imperfectly with great delight.

And it does a heart good, in this world, to know that you have them too.  Stinky socks, I mean.  Bad days.  Dirty clothes and dirty dishes and things you mean to get to with all your heart but life just gets right on in the way and you go on living and being wildly fabulous anyway.

Because you are, you know.  Fabulous, that is.  Wildly, excruciatingly, downright God-breathed and fabulous.  

And dirty laundry is no match for fabulous you.  It’s no match for fabulous me either, as a matter of fact… and another thing about laundry… is that it waits.  Just like all the other doings that need to be did.  Some things wait.

Some things don’t.

So stop, for a moment, doing what can wait… and go do something that won’t.

Go kiss a child, make love to your husband, call your mother.  Sing a praise song at the top of your lungs, no matter who else is listening.  Send a note to a friend, shoot hoops with a teenager, take a bubble bath.  Daydream.  Make a cup of hot chocolate, or even better, make two.  {Drink one, share the other}.

{I won’t tell if you drink them both.}

 Do it.  You have permission.  The laundry will be there tomorrow.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Finding Home -or- October, in General

Tap, Tap… Are You Still There?

I’ve totally abandoned you.  Forgive me.

Everything’s been a bit of a blur this past month with the cross-country move and all.  Tears, boxes, laughter, welcome home banners, and phone calls abound.  Life is beautiful and we are in Oregon now, resting comfortably in the arms and homes of family.

We arrived on Thursday, pulling the moving truck down my mother-in-law’s familiar street to spot a parade of banners and balloons, shouting relatives jumping up and down on the pavement, puddles of happy welcome-home tears.  What a way to return to our home state… like a regular prodigal party, it was.

Now we’re still up to here with the business of getting settled – kids enrolling in school, house hunting, living out of suitcases with the mess of our life crammed into a storage unit.  But in the midst of the chaos, there is total peace… a peace I haven’t experienced in quite awhile, a knowing deep that all is well and all will be well. 

But there is a happy anxiousness to it all, also.  Relevant is upon us, only 24 days left (think I should buy my plane ticket?) and lots of excitement at hosting a Southern Oregon (in)RL meetup this April.  We’re touring houses and searching Craigslist ads like wild people, trying to find home smack dab in the middle of what is all home, this big beautiful valley where our hearts have lived for a decade or more, now, even when our bodies were absent from this place.

We miss our boys and our dear friends in Texas, miss them so bad it leaves an empty space in us, but we are right where we should be now, and that feels like the best kind of gift from the God who is gracious enough to send us home.

Counting today, still numberless, but counting all the same…

-          Getting to Oregon in time for Fall, my favorite season of them all
-          Hopeful job interviews   
-          Stolen glimpses at rivers and lakes, each and every day, here
-          Confetti birthday cake
-          A weekend with mom
-          Kids starting back tomorrow in a familiar school, among friends
-          Unexpected blessings
-          Options galore
-          Ease of travel, no break-downs or crises, even across 5 days and 2500 miles
-          October, in general
-     Being home.