making an impact

This year has been one for making an impact, and make one, I did. But I'll also add that the happenings throughout the year have made an impact on me. My life is unrecognizable today from January 1, 2017. Many changes that I have chosen and many changes that have been thrust upon me have made an impact on the landscape of daily life.

I've had house guests for five months of the year that I could never have foreseen. Roles in my job have gotten heavy on editing, and I never expected that although it has been a time of growth for me to do so much editing. My oldest son is a working machine, so he's never home, but I'm so proud of him. It's strange to not have him around for family dinners and prayer time at night. We all really miss him a lot of the time. But that's part of the impact of time marching ahead. And it's good. Progress is good.

This coming year has many changes ahead that I can already see. I don't want to go into any of it too much, but significant change will be making its mark on us for sure.

Christmastime has been a real opportunity to make an impact on my surroundings. We've tried to be thoughtful of others and give to charity and see where we can do a little something differently to help others.

Wrapping up 2017, I am glad for the experiences I've had to choose to do something more and really help people. In helping others, I have learned a great deal about what it takes to change lives for the better—including my own. With the word impact guiding my choices this year, I have put my creative powers to the test and found unique ways to serve neighbors, friends, family, and even strangers. It's been a great experiment in stretching my character and finding new opportunities to teach my children about how to effect change in the world around them.

I have no doubt whatsoever that impact was destined to be my word of the year for 2017. I'm grateful I was patient in seeking it out.

Christmas Songs: week two

Seeing as this is Week Two, you might want to catch Week One if you missed it . . .

For this week's song, I want to dedicate "Last Christmas" by Wham! And so you know, that exclamation mark was forced on me. Why do bands even use punctuation anyway? Seriously. But I digress . . .

thoughts on destitution

where do these thoughts belong
nowhere for they are homeless
as homeless as her heart
bereft of affection that she needs
left in want for the resources
that make life smooth in this society
wherein she resides and hides
divorced from the world that functions
without distress and habitual begging

an exercise in humility
humbling and good for the heart
in the long run
left without a hand to hold
empty-handed hopefulness
without even a half measure
of the attention she needs
a beggar's heart with no home
inner turmoil with no voice

robbed of expression of truth
of a full life
with someone who wants to
offer all of the attention
never having quite enough
to feel comfortable
yet always cared for by and by
by the traveler on their
way to their own homes

passersby with something to give
the puzzle pieces that make life whole
though disjointed and dejected
put together with a bit of paste
and a whole lot of prayer
while divested of love's finery
left stark and cold with nowhere to go
on this earth for shelter
from the elements of want and woe

abandoned for emptiness
left to roam and want for
more than someone to talk to
someone who is present
for her needs and support
given self freely and fully
not borrowed for the day
someone more than glad to make room
for the impoverished love she has to give

destitution defined
painted with tools of affluence
words and emotions
not only for the starving for food
yet this exercise feels like a spit in the face
to ones who have no literal home
so with a heavy heart recognizing
there is so much more
unaccounted for

Christmas Songs: week one

This Christmas, I want to dedicate a song to each one of my children. The reasoning behind the dedications will be different and as unique as each of them. I hope you enjoy it.

Two things inspired this series. The first is "Feliz Navidad" by José Feliciano, and the second is my little son who is not so little anymore.


I keep choosing broad topics to be thankful for, but I don't believe this would be a complete gratitude month challenge without talking about love specifically.

I do not have in my life the love and support of a husband, and I will say right now that I long for it. I long for it every day of my life. I have dreams that promise me this will come. I see my friends and family enjoying the benefits of long-term support, namely the comfort/security that comes with it.

I feel keenly the absence of this love, so I believe I feel more keenly the other loves that are in my life:

Love from my children—apparent and assumed
Love from family
Love from close friends
Love from casual friends
Love from acquaintances
Love from neighbors
Love from co-workers
Love from strangers
Love from God

Because I am lacking something essential, I am able to more fully appreciate the kindness and care I receive from everyone around me.

So today, I am thankful for the love I see all around me—for the love my friends and family enjoy and for the love that comes my way.