Reflections

Once June hits around here, we have a birthday/anniversary/special occasion at least monthly for several months, which is pretty cool. ūüôā My birthday is coming up next month, and I have been thinking about the emotional growth spurt that I experienced recently. One¬†morning this week, before I got out of bed, I had a phrase from one of the¬†birthday songs the children of our church sing to one another¬†by Barbara McConochie: “one year older and wiser, too.”

Though wisdom might have evaded me as a child, I have considered moments from this summer which have brought me insight and strength. I have been taught in ways that I would not have imagined possible on subjects as diverse as faith or screenwriting, as connected as family is to friends. I have experienced moments of ease as well as moments of pain, moments of heartache and moments of triumph. Each day, I have been sustained by those around me and a power beyond my own.

What have I learned?

  • I am stronger, more capable, more powerful than I knew before this moment.
  • My family has the capacity to strengthen, bless, and uplift.
  • I have a voice to sing.
  • Life is filled with blessings, even as we struggle.
  • Struggling helps us (if we let it).
  • Life is good.
  • Gratitude each day is crucial.
  • I can be happy, no matter what goes on around me.
  • Prayer changes situations, hearts, minds.
  • As we work together to support each other, we’ve got this.

Till next time. xoxo

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Ode to the Washing Machine

I’m sad to let you go…

We’ve seen hours of work together, you and I
I count you among my closest friends

You came into my life when I was expecting my first child
Since then, we’ve worked together, preparing and cleaning clothing for
Many who followed.

You’ve seen me through infant twins
(and all their laundry).

You’ve been strong through it all
Stalwart, faithful

(Except for the time you broke, and then broke again)
YouTube was our lifesaver, yours and
Mine

I couldn’t count the loads we’ve carried
Together.

Now, as we part ways, I feel sadness
Mixing with gratitude

Your replacement is new and shiny, with fancy
Lights and buttons, innovative settings and a computer chip

But I will miss you.

Thank you.

Beyond Blessed

Today I am feeling overwhelmed with joy…and I wanted to pass some along in your direction.

I have a place to sleep, and it’s filled with people I love.


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My kiddos don’t notice if I cut my hair, much less if I “do” it or put on any make-up. They don’t want me airbrushed in photos. They love me for who I am.


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My husband is¬†one of the¬†most patient men on the planet. I’m convinced. Don’t try to dissuade me. We’ve stood together, ready to tackle the ups and downs of life for many years–and I’m looking forward to an eternity of more.

Us

I have a cupboard full of food, cabinets overflowing with pans, and a recipe box stuffed with the roadmaps to create our favorite foods. Plus, if I don’t feel like cooking, I have frozen pizza in my freezer or a car with gas to grab take-out.


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I have amazing friends. Need I say more?

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I can listen to favorite songs on demand. Wow. That is so cool.

(See the Spotify Playlist in the sidebar.)

Clean running water, warm showers, and painting my toe nails rock my day. ūüôā

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I can smile…anytime. Anywhere.

Karin

What are your favorite blessings right now? How do you celebrate gratitude in your everyday living?

Invisible Battles

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Jesse Owens’ words strike a chord of truth. What battles are you fighting within yourself? Maybe you struggle with making ends meet, as Jesse Owens did later in life. (For a brief biography on Jesse Owens, watch here.) Maybe you find you are not living up to your potential. Maybe you feel threatened by someone. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin. Maybe you are dealing with loss that others have forgotten.

As you consider the invisible battles you fight, please be aware that others around you are fighting their own invisible battles.

Everyone struggles. Struggling is part of life, and–as we work through our struggles, we become stronger.

Still, the struggles are hard. They can seem never-ending.

I heard recently of a middle school student who chose to take his own life due to the weight of his invisible battles. I was saddened by his decision to take his precious, young life from this world.

This morning, I heard of a dear friend’s passing following a three-year battle with cancer. She was an angel to many–always concerned with strengthening and uplifting others. Personally, she supported me with a listening ear and a loving heart through my busy and exhaustive years of child-bearing. I mourn for the loss of the beauty she brought into the world and am grateful for the joy that I feel because she was part of my life. She seemed to be sensitive to those who were fighting invisible battles themselves, lending a helping hand even when she¬†wasn’t well herself.

Working through our own invisible battles–whatever they may be–allows us to grow from our struggles. Let us remember to have hope, to carry on, and to count our blessings. Though we may struggle, we can find the supporting hand of others to help us. We can reach out to help, which lightens our own loads that we carry. We can be honest with ourselves and others regarding the way we feel.

As we face and work to win our invisible battles, we will be strengthened with a victory more precious than gold medals, more powerful than fame, more valuable than anything monetary.

We will feel whole.

#NaNoWriMo 2013 Final Results

Well, I know I posted my “I did it!” post at the end of last month…but for my records (& frankly so I can throw away the little Post-it note that kept my running total word count that bothers my husband since it’s still by the computer), I’m posting my NaNoWriMo 2013 progress here:

Fri, 11/1 – 3,443
Mon, 11/4 – 7,359 (+3,916)
Tues, 11/5 – 10,228 (+2,929)
Wed, 11/6 – 14,006 (+3,718)
Thurs, 11/7 – 17,779 (+3,773)
Fri, 11/8 – 18,873 (+1,094)
Sat, 11/9 – 20,572 (+1,699)
Mon, 11/11 – 25,038 (+4,466)
Tues, 11/12 – 26,814 (+1,776)
Wed, 11/13 – 30,506 (+3,692)
Fri, 11/15 – 34,091 (+3,585)
Sat, 11/16 – 35,562 (+1,471)
Mon, 11/18 – 40,105 (+4,543)
Tues, 11/19 – 42,529 (+2,424)
Wed, 11/20 – 43,672 (+1,143)
Mon, 11/25 – 46,838 (+3,166)
Tues, 11/26 – 50,497 (+3,659)

I have a difficult time taking credit for what I can do. Frankly, I was supremely happy and generally amazed that I could write so many words each day. I felt blessed by progress on days I applied myself to writing, and I had more than enough “days off” to balance kiddos and homework and appointments and date night and church (& all the other stuff I do in my non-spare time…)! I feel blessed to have been able to accomplish this goal, and I am eternally grateful for each of you for supporting me! I couldn’t have done this without you!!!

2013-Winner-Square-Button NaNoWriMo

Sending you all the best!!!!

Thankful for Marriage

I am thankful–with a week left until THANKSGIVING–for my dear husband. He’s still gorgeous, strong, thoughtful, tender, and loving after putting up with me for over a decade and a half…and that’s no small feat. HE IS AMAZING!!!!

Here are today’s songs:

Meiko – Stuck On You

One Direction – Kiss You

Gratitude for Nature

I had to restrain myself from posting this right away last night after I watched it. I was quite moved.


As we continue to think about giving thanks this month, I hope this short TED talk from Louie Schwartzberg will give you a few moments to reflect and ponder.

I recall an amazing experience this summer when my husband and I were in St. Lucia as part of a family trip. While there, we went snorkeling at two different reefs, and I felt amazed by the beauty and majesty of creation. I continue to be grateful for those moments while, surrounded by myriad creatures such as brilliantly colored fish and squid, I felt the blessing of being a part of God’s creation. I knew that He created this amazing earth for us–His children–and I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

When have you been captivated by nature or overwhelmed by the blessings of creation?