October Plans



Last year I wrote about the Real for 31 days. It was such a rewarding experience and those posts are still some of my favorite. 

I’d hoped to do a 31 days topic again this October. My topic? 31 Days of Rethinking Rest. After all, it’s kind of what I’ve been doing since January.

I had a long list of post ideas but the more I thought about the discipline and energy of writing for 31 days, gratifying though it is, the more it felt counterintuitive. Because of where I am in this season of intentional rest, I felt that 31 days of writing about rest wouldn’t really be restful, that it would subtract from my meager well instead of adding to it.

But I’ll still be writing about rest, you can be sure. Writing is very much how I process, reinterpret, share, and regain perspective. I simply won’t be writing about it every day.

Instead, I’m really enjoying reading some of my favorite bloggers’ 31 days posts while I sit on the sofa. And rest.  

I’m also hoping that October blows in crisp breezes of creativity. Yesterday I finished up a lovely project that I’ve worked on in tiny snippets for weeks now. It involves my kids, art, and a bunch of empty frames I’ve been stockpiling. It turned out even lovelier than I’d hoped and reaffirmed how much I love living with art. 

Details to come…

In the meantime, go treat yourself to a pumpkin spice latte and greet October with hopeful anticipation.

a la mode: best of 2011



I love watching all the “Best of 2011” vignettes on TV right now, the good, the ridiculous, the worst-dressed. 


Today I took my own trip down memory lane, perusing my blog’s 2011 archives. I have a tendency to forget what I write, to forget the lived-out everyday and the lessons learned in the process. 


October’s 31 Days of Real series was a huge highlight. Thanks to the Nester for inspiring hundreds of us bloggers to join in. And thanks to all of your readers who encouraged me and commented and told me to keep writing. You really did spur me on to the finish line.


Often I’ve said that I write to remember. Reading back over my year has reminded me of beauty’s persistence and God’s faithfulness.   


As we wind down this year and anticipate the next, I decided to pick out a few of my favorite posts from 2011. When I compiled them, it just happened to be ten posts. Perfect. 


So here are 10 of my favorites, listed in chronological order. They’re not necessary the most well-written or widely-read. They’re simply the ones that tugged on my heart or made me laugh or seemed worthy of rereading.







And these are a few favorites from my 31 Days of Real series:

Notice the Becoming {motherhood}


{Day 31} Why Real?


For 31 days I’ve spilled words onto a screen and hoped for the best. It’s been a terrifying and wonderful experience. And now I’m exhausted and still a bit terrified because for better or for worse, what’s written is now written. 

It’s out there for the world to see. {Small world though mine is.}

Writing real is risky. There’s no two ways about it. So many of my life’s story-lines–whether it’s motherhood, marriage, or the many vignettes in the middle–tell of a girl who’s gotten it wrong as much, well…probably more than, she’s gotten it right. Why would anyone in her right mind blow the whistle on herself for 31 days straight? 

Because she’s tasted the sweetness of grace and once you’ve tasted grace, you want to share it with the world. 

Living a right and perfect story is no longer my goal. It’s not about being impressive or lovely or strong. It’s about taking a hard look at the life I actually have, accepting it in all of its loveliness and brokenness, and offering it up to the One who makes it all lovely.

I long to live real, free, and redeemed. 

Someone lived a perfect life 2,000 years ago and He did so because I can’t. And you can’t. That man 2,000 years ago changes everything for me today. And tomorrow. And all of the rest of my days. 

Because of Jesus, there is amazing grace, unconditional love, boundless freedom and unspeakable hope on the days when I get it right and on the days when I don’t. 

He is the real truth and He’s come to set us free.

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Thank you, dear ones, for joining me for these 31 Days of Real. Thank you for your comments, e-mails, and messages. Thank you for your kindred encouragement. Really, you have no idea what a beautiful and emotional experience it’s been to write from the heart for 31 days. I keep crying over this last post because it feels like the end and also the beginning…of what yet I’m not quite sure. 

Thank you, dear husband, for encouraging me to do this and for picking up some slack when I had to get another post ready. Thank you for reading every single post on marriage and giving your blessing to publish them. Thank you for telling me to write from my heart and not with an audience in mind. That was the best advice of all. 

If you haven’t read all or any of the posts, here they are, all 31 of them. And I’ll keep the 31 Days button up in the right sidebar so that you find the posts easily in the future if you care to. 

Keep it real. 

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“Best of 31 Days Link Party” at Imparting Grace


Many bloggers {over 700!} have also written for 31 days. My friend, Richella, is hosting a “Best of 31 Days Link Party” today for any “31-dayers” who would like to link up their favorite post. I’m joining in and if you’re a fellow “31-dayer,” I hope you’ll link up as well!

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31 Days of Real