Friday, September 16, 2011

The Gift of the Seasons

I love the gift of the seasons, because, to me they are a beautiful reminder of so many things. Like for instance, they remind me that no season lasts forever. This past summer, suffering through the hottest summer in the past 25 years, setting day after day of record high temperatures, it felt like it would never end.  Hot. Miserable. Locked inside in order to survive the inferno days.  In fact, two days ago, Sept 13th, we once again set a record high of 99. Then today came, and while the calendar officially says it is not autumn until next week, this morning I awoke to autumn.  On my morning run, I found myself ‘drinking the wind’, a term my once two year old daughter used to describe the feeling of inhaling that cold air deep into your lungs.  The walnut trees were letting loose of their yellow leaves, as the stiff wind blew them swirling down all around me. Nature’s confetti welcoming autumn.  

In a similar fashion, the seasons also remind me that change is a part of life. I can’t make summer last longer, or be shorter. I can’t make autumn come sooner, or push it back longer. The season comes when it is ready to come, whether I am ready for it or not. And so it is with life’s journey, one season may seem to never end, or perhaps we want it to never end, and yet, the reality is, the season we are in will eventually give way to a new season.

Lastly, the seasons remind me that there is something beautiful to be enjoyed in each and every season. This morning, I enjoyed homemade snickerdoodle muffins, sipping chocolately hot cocoa, snuggling in a fuzzy blanket, and that lovely smell of turning the furnace on for the first time in a long time.  This morning marked the beginning of autumn days ahead…yes, shorter days, cooler temps, world changing colors, children’s brains being expanded with learning, children’s laughter jumping in leaf piles. Of apple cider  and apple pies. Of bundling in blankets around campfire’s warmth and fireplaces casting glows on ceilings.  Of bike rides and long walks, all the while the crunching of leaves filling our ears.  And I’m reminded to count the gifts that each new season brings, for indeed they are all around me. Here. In this moment. For me to enjoy. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Thunder Dog

I receive this book, for free, from, in exchange for an honest and fair review.  

9/11 is one of those dates, where if you were alive, you probably know exactly where you were at the moment you discovered our great country was under attack.  And while 10 years have passed since that tragic day, you probably still remember vividly watching with terror the towers tumbling on your television screen.

Then there are the thousands who actually survived this horrific event.  Some have grown bitter, some still live in pain, and others, while this single day changed them and they have found a way to survive and heal and make the world a better place. And honestly, if I lived it, I'm not sure which of those responses would be mine, so I'm not judging. But I am inspired by the story of Michael Hingson, as told in Thunder Dog.

This book, Thunder Dog, is the story of Michael, and through it's pages, Michael gives us the opportunity to know what it was like for those who had to escape from the towers. Michael finds his strength down all 1,463 stairs from the 78th floor, with the help of his guide dog, Roselle. It's a story of how he chooses to fully live his life in the here and now. And one of the great things about this book is that even if 9/11 never happened, and he was never apart of it, his life story is inspirational and uplifting.  He's never let his blindness define him - he rode a bike, flew a plane, owned companies, married, traveled the world. It's a story for all of us to consider how we look at those with disabilities - do we define them by their disabilities or by their humanness? By their limitations or by their character? It's the story of the connection between humans with their dogs. I can only imagine how much greater that connection is with service dogs; but, Michael gives us the chance to witness first hand this beautiful relationship through the turning of each page. My only regret is that the story was over before I wanted to stop reading.

Friday, August 12, 2011

KC City Lights

Oh bright moon peeking out from clouds above, shinning down on a city so bright, I am captured by your brilliance tonight. A million lights dotting the landscape below us, with a dozen and more colors -bright white, dull white, yellow, green, red, bright blue, turquoise, purple – blinking, glowing, moving, resting; and, I can’t help but smile when I behold the beauty of them all together. Yes, I am indeed alive in this moment, gazing out of this 40th floor window. I whisper to no one in particular, ‘feel it? Ah yes, I  just beheld another glimpse of eternity.’ 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Teardrops behind the Sunglasses

I awoke with hope, energy, new perspective. Monday morning washing away the 'funk' I had been in the past few days.  Being the first day of my girl's swim lessons, I grabbed my book, sunglasses, water and phone as we headed to the pool.  And it was there at the side of the pool I found teardrops sliding down behind my sunglasses.  So much for my resolve, as my heart quietly spoke,
Lord, three years since we moved, three years...and still no close friend to just sit poolside with and chat with.  Why? Why has it been so hard to make friends this time.  Oh I've met some amazing people, and many I call friends, and yet they lack the closeness I've felt in my past friendships. And I don't even have a baby or toddler that I have to go into the water with anymore, no excuse to chat with the other moms who are in the water with their little ones. Oh this growing up of my children is bittersweet, in so many ways.  
That was a week ago.  Today I left the pool feeling like I received a 'hug' from God himself.  Another mom I had worked with at the school had been at the pool last week for her kid's private lessons, and so for just 20 minutes every day last week, while their lessons overlapped, we found ourselves sitting poolside together. We chatted about our kids growing up and shared fun activities we're doing with our kids this summer. We smiled and we laughed.  And I enjoyed that sweet conversation for the joy it was.  Today was the last day of her kid's lessons, so it will be quiet again tomorrow, well unless God decides to send another hug to me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Glimpses of Heaven

So, I've been thinking, I'm going to change the name of this blog from "I Breathe, I Write" to "Glimpses of Heaven" - because really, most of the time when I pause to write, it's because something deep within me catches a glimpse and in that moment I know this is what heaven must be like. Yet it's only a glimpse, a passing moment, and it's gone.  And yet in that moment, I've never felt more alive. I believe that is what heaven will be - a constant 'feeling alive', a constant bubble of joy, a smile that never leaves my face. And really, that's why I write, because I want to capture these fleeting moments here on earth. To remember that this life is a journey, and along the journey we get to collect souvenirs we call "moments." And these moments point us towards God and life ever after.  My writings are my humble attempts to capture life's moments into words.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Women of Faith Worship: rejoice CD

I was provided this CD for free from in exchange for an honest and fair review. 

Women of Faith continues to release high quality products that both inspire and encourage women on their journey of faith.  This current CD is no exception, and if you love Christian worship music, your soul will be uplifted by the songs on this album.  I’ve enjoyed putting this CD on in the mornings as I’m waking up, to focus on Christ as I begin my day. To worship Him and be reminded that life is best lived when I’m focused on the bigger picture of who He is in the lyrics of The spirit of the Lord –“our God is greater, our God is stronger, God, you are higher than any other.”  The words in He is Exalted reminds me to give Him the glory for all the goodness I have in my life, and encourages me to live the words “let me whole life be a blazing offering…”as I begin my day. Only by Grace reminds me to ‘see beyond this moment’ for he alone is ‘high above it all’! I love the reminder that “you will never leave me in my sorrow” in the song Firm Foundation, because sometimes life does bring pain, yet, He is there and he “restores my song!”  And Lastly, The Solid Rock uplifts me with the truth that “You hold me in your hand, oh, Most High!” and reminds me that at the end of the day, I can sing of “his faithfulness at night!” Thanks Women of Faith ministries for letting God encourage others through your ministries!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


It was one of those beautiful spring days, where you just want to lay in the grass, capturing every single sunbeam that is reaching towards you. The sky so blue, you wish time would stop so you could live in this breath of time for always. As we ventured into the woods, the trees were still mostly bare, letting an exuberant amount of sunshine fall through their branches and keep us warm as a crisp breeze still whistled all around us. Everywhere I looked bright green was growing up, and out, and all over the world surrounding me. Then, as I searched even deeper, I found treasured colors hidden all around. Tiny blue flowers, no bigger than my pinky finger, silently waiting to be adored. White flowers filling a bare tree. Yellow wild flowers dotting the landscape, and purple ones too, rising up towards the sunshine. Oh and the creek, so clean, alive, rushing the spring rains downward, spilling over rocks, creating the most melodic sound. As we journeyed down the trail, we had the unexpected, delightful company of a half a dozen different butterflies. From the majestic monarchs, to the tiny purply-blue ones, that I would have missed, if we hadn’t we paused by the creek once again to look around and breathe it all in.  Yes! This is the feeling I love, spring breathing life back into my soul. Where I once again encounter the Creator of the universe – his majesty, his imagination, his wonder. My heart swells with gratitude as I capture it all in my heart, knowing that I have been blessed once again to receive a glimpse of heaven here on earth. For me, on this Palm Sunday, it was not in church where I encountered the beauty this day held; no, my heart beheld it all along a tiny creek bed in the middle of the woods. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Who Is My Shelter?

I received a copy of the book “Who Is My Shelter?” by Neta Jackson for free from, in exchange for an honest and fair review. Below is my review.
Who is My Shelter?” is a modern day story about Gabby, a woman facing mid-life, a broken marriage, new love, teenage kids,  as well as, embracing a new endeavor of creating transitional housing for homeless mothers. It’s really a story about her faith journey and her quest to learn what it looks like to have God be a part of every aspect of her life, especially in the difficulties life has unwillingly created for her.  
Overall, I did not enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. I had the ending figured out almost immediately as it was introduced, perhaps a lucky guess? Also, I have not read the previous books in this serious, so I was not familiar with the characters, so that might have had an impact on my overall enjoyment of the book.  Lastly, the book felt just a bit too ‘preachy’ and not enough ‘story’ for my fictional reading enjoyment.  
However, I did appreciate her development of several characters in the book, whom I found to be ‘real’ and believable. In particular, I loved the character of Lucy, a bag lady, with a dog named Dandy, that Gabby befriends. As the book progressed, I found myself wanting to know more about her character. I hope Neta Jackson will consider writing a book about the life of Lucy.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Glimpses of Heaven in Motherhood

Just before the twilight gives way to the morning brightness, Sarah tumbles into my room and climbs into my bed. I lay here, feeling the warmth of my sweet daughter snuggling next to me. Her hair a tousled mess, it looks like the fairies danced in her hair again last night. Involuntarily, my hand reaches up and touches her face – so soft, so tender, I simply receive the gift as it is – a glimpse of heaven here on earth. I turn her eyes towards mine – those big, brown eyes – the windows to her soul – and I look deep into them and I whisper, “I love you. Every day. For the rest of my life.” And she whispers back, “I love you too,” as her lips curl into the sweetest smile. Then, as my arms reach around her, hugging her tight, my soul whispers a silent thanks to God, treasuring once again, this undeserved gift of motherhood.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Dream Seed

Here is a slightly abstract journal entry.  

Buried beneath this thickness of earth, deep in the darkness, I’d almost forgotten it had always been there — just waiting for the right time. Somewhere in the depth of winter, I failed to remember that it’s not really dead, it’s just sitting patiently, waiting its turn. My dreams have been buried for awhile now. I look out and all I see is blackness, the dreams of my youth, lost within the soil of my soul.  And I’ve wondered, have they simply rotted away?   
Yet tonight, a friend watered this ‘dream seed’ with hope, and earlier this week, an acquaintance shined a few sunbeams down for which I could reach toward. And I am reminded that the seed, or even seeds, which hold all my dreams, are still there. Still viable. They haven’t gone anywhere. They just needed to wait for the right season. And now, the seeds are cracking with the nourishment of hope and encouragement.  Look, do you see it? My dream! It’s growing again! Oh wait, you can’t see it yet, it’s still buried beneath the surface. But one day it will bloom. Perhaps then, because of these years of darkness, I will appreciate the joy of that moment, all the more.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One Moment Changes Everything

The last two years, I paused and wrote down my own story - of pain, healing, growth. I learned early in life that one phone call, one moment, holds the power to change your life forever.  It forced me to go on a journey towards the places of Forgiveness and Healing, so that my life would not be consumed by grief, anger, pain and bitterness.  It's a story I tried to capture into words on a page, so that my own daughters will one day know the truth. And they will know that no matter what happens, healing is possible. Here is how my story begins on one December night in 1996... 

The shrill of the phone ringing at two in the morning had Lynn stuck between the depth of her dreams and the reality of the moment.  She sought to ignore it, determining it to be a wrong number. However, she quickly changed her mind, knowing if she answered it, the noise would stop and she could return to her slumber.  “Hello,” she mumbled half asleep.
“Sunshine?” Lynn immediately recognized her mom’s nickname for her. Why was her mom calling her in the middle of the night? Fear immediately filled Lynn, and the next words her mom spoke would forever change the very depth of her being. “There are two dead females at Jason’s mom’s house. The detective is here and needs to talk to Jason.”
A silent shock filled Lynn as she nudged the phone to Jason, her husband of two years.  Lynn sat there in the dark, watching the shadows of her husband and listening to a one-sided phone conversation. As he hung up the phone, they clung to each other, letting their tears intermingle, absorbing the shock of the call they just received.
“You need to call your brothers and your grandparents,” Lynn spoke the words he already knew.
“I know,” Jason nodded.
Lynn continued to sit frozen on the bed, well except for the tears which kept silently falling. Lynn knew if a faucet were available to turn off her tears, she would leave it on and running.  The tears were her only evidence of this nightmare that had awoken her. She listened to her husband make all four phone calls, hearing him somehow find the strength to say, “I just got a call from a Battle Creek detective, they have found two dead females at mom’s house. They think it is mom and Heather.”

Monday, January 10, 2011

Softly and Tenderly by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck

So I signed up for – where they send me a free book – I read it and I review it on both my blog and on a site like, or – then I can request another free book.  I love to read and sometimes struggle finding new stuff to read, so I thought I’d give it a try.  I liked the flexibility of choosing the books I read, as well as, being able to only request them as often as I wanted. So, here’s my first review.
In the book, Jade struggles with both current and past issues in her life. And as is often the case in life, several issues all converge on her at once, thus creating ‘a perfect storm’ in her life.  While she wants to go back to the way life was, life has created an impossible ‘going back’ – so she must confront the present, as well as the past, and decide what next steps to take towards her future.  Will her heart find the healing she desperately needs?
This is a story that deals with a lot of modern day issues – abortion, addictions, miscarriages, affairs – and how these decisions impact individual lives, the lives of those they love, and how they create pain even years afterwards.  I found it to be an engaging read, although, sadly, I bet it hits close to home for a lot of people who are dealing with some of the same pain in their own lives. While we want to live in a fairy-tale world, the reality of life is often much more painful. Jade’s struggles and journey towards healing is one I am certain can encourage others in their journey.  Sara Evan’s development of Jade’s character, pushes the reader forward towards the end of the novel to see if and how she can resolve her internal struggle.