good reads.

Perfectly Imperfect: Small Town Life – Crumbling Places

“Sometimes, though…

I remember.  That while I am broken, used, less, angry, worn, snappy, selfish, and ungrateful…He is in the business of healing the broken.  Maybe all God needs is for me to rest, revel even, in the brokenness.

Maybe all He needs, friends, is for us to stop holding the crumbling bits together and let them fall to the ground unhindered and bound, so he can plant them firmly with Mercy and Grace.  Maybe He will work ever so diligently to make sure we don’t wind up there anytime soon, and when we do, we are not alone.”

Conversion Diary: The Mental Neat Freak

“And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I’m a mental neat freak. You know those people who get all stressed out if their houses are messy? That’s me, but in my head (which I guess makes sense, since that’s where I live most of the time). I can stumble along for a while without mental clean-up time, but, like a neat freak living in a house that keeps getting messier and messier and messier, if it goes on too long, I snap.”

LA Times: How Not To Say The Wrong Thing

“If you want to scream or cry or complain, if you want to tell someone how shocked you are or how icky you feel, or whine about how it reminds you of all the terrible things that have happened to you lately, that's fine. It's a perfectly normal response. Just do it to someone in a bigger ring.

Comfort IN, dump OUT.”

Huffington Post: It Ain’t Over: The Business 9 Women Kept A Secret For Three Decades

“Somewhere in West Tennessee, not far from Graceland, nine women – or ‘The 9 Nanas,’ as they prefer to be called -- gather in the darkness of night. At 4am they begin their daily routine -- a ritual that no one, not even their husbands, knew about for 30 years. They have one mission and one mission only: to create happiness. And it all begins with baked goods.”

This High Calling: Dear Foster Mama

“You are different than when you began this pilgrimage, when you set off amongst the strange looks and concerning questions. You’re more tender, deeper…more sober.

And you know you are waltzing through one of the most unnatural dances possible. You trip, stumble and often feel there is no one to lead you, spin search your eyes and see the caverns that now trace deep within your heart and cause the most sporadic tears to surface.

But He is leading you.”

short takes #1

I thought I’d try something a little different, in an effort to post more frequently. The following are just a few random tidbits that have been floating around my head recently. They may or may not have any correlation to each other.

-- #1 Morning Voice --

One of the realities of working from home is that it is entirely possible that someone can call me at noon and this will be the first verbal conversation I’ve had all day, even though I’ve been up (and working!) for hours. I can’t tell you how many times someone has done this and asked if they woke me up. Apparently, I need to speak some quota of words before I stop sounding like I just rolled out of bed. So I just want to go on record as saying, if you call me in the middle of the day, it is very unlikely that you woke me up, no matter what my voice sounds like.

-- #2 Work Clothes --

On the other hand, it is very likely that I will still be wearing my pajamas, or have changed into fresh clothes that could completely pass for pajamas. When your lunch hour often involves some combination of paint, sweat, or sawdust, getting dressed first thing in the morning seems counterintuitive. I’m willing to admit, though, that the main reason is because I just like wearing them. I’m convinced that I am much more productive in my pajamas than most people.

-- #3 Foster Care --

I am absolutely certain that I am called to foster care. I know deep down in my bones and my heart that I am called not just to love and care for kids from hard places, but to engage with the whole messy broken system. Even on good days it makes me want to beat my head against the wall, but I am still sure that I am called to this.

-- #4 Personal Productivity --

My two best personal productivity/time management recommendations. First, read (and apply) Getting Things Done by David Allen. Second, use the Pomodoro technique.

-- #5 Paleo --

I’ve been eating a slightly modified version of the paleo diet for nearly six weeks now – no grains, no processed sugar, and very little beans and dairy. I basically eat meat, fruit and vegetables, and I love it. I’ve lost weight and inches, I have more energy and focus, and though this hard to say for certain, I think my immune system is stronger, too – I feel like I’m better able to fight off colds and other illnesses.