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This Phoenix Speaks

Seven years in the making, my first published book, This Phoenix Speaks , is now a reality. The tireless and tiring work invested to ma...

half birthday

I had a half birthday last week, and I realized how weird it was for me to even pay attention to that fact.

My mom used to find any reason to help me feel special. I'm thinking my half birthday was one of her tools for that since I am conditioned to pay attention for it.

It's funny how we remember certain things about our lives, but we don't remember how it came to be. I wish my mom were around to remind me, to explain a little and take me to lunch as a silly treat on a day we pretend means something extra.

No one even noticed except for me, so it is pretty silly to even mention it now. I wonder if I'll ever find someone who will care about details such as that. Probably not, but it's nice to think about.

true love

There is such a thing as true love
It's the kind of love that waxes and wanes
The kind that gets you through the best
And the worst

True love is honest love
It doesn't have to be hidden
To exist
It just is

When you find this love
You don't always know what you have
Sometimes you throw it away
With both hands outstretched

Wishing you could reel it back in
As you are reeling from the loss
Of the song that your heart knows
Remembering who you are

True love looks like staying
Working to stay
Choosing to stay
Loving every day no matter what

As it breaks you
You become a golden god
Empowered to love more
Crushed yet invincible

True love takes you
Where you belong
Lifting you to eternal opportunities
Rise to the occasion, my love

Find me
I'm watching the horizon for you
Find us
I need you to find us

upside down

My house is a turned upside down mess that I keep referencing as a shook up snow globe. The resemblance is uncanny, and I must call it like it is. Although, it's making me crazy to not be able to just get everything put back together in efficient ways and carry on. Chipping away at a wreck of a place feels like zero progress. The truth is that I am a working, single mom with too much on my plate. Projects around the house never happen efficiently anymore. Frustrating as that is, it is my reality.

As I think about the struggle, I am reminded of my joy quest I did this summer, and pineapple upside down cake comes to mind directly after that.

Pineapple upside down cake is not my favorite. They rarely look beautiful (in my opinion), and for some reason, they just aren't that appetizing to me. I like cake and I like pineapple a lot, but putting them together has rarely satisfied my sweet tooth.

And yet—pineapple upside down cake still is a treat. When you stop to think about it, there are thousands of varieties of sweet delights to make people smile, adding that touch of something you only get from a bite of dessert. I figure my life is like that right now. I have joy for the taking even if it's not my favorite. Maybe it isn't aesthetically pleasing or the right combination of perfect confection, but it's still sweet and fresh and something to find delight in.

Being upside down and caught in a snag of chaos is never part of anyone's plan, but maybe I can find all the joy that is here for me if I will let myself partake of it.

Seeking to Become: August 2017

Not sure what's wrong with me, but I haven't been doing this thing here for a while. I've wanted to, yet it just hasn't been enough to actually get to it. And even now, it's at the last of my Sunday when I'm squeezing it in because I really want to try and not let it go down the drain.

Change is at the helm lately. So very much change. My heart is broken, family life is drastically different in surprising ways, and I feel that change is still in the air, so I'm bracing for it. I truly want some respite though, but isn't that a myth at this stage in life? Seriously. I'm pretty sure I won't get a break until I'm dead. So anyway.

You might wonder how all of these ramblings fit into my seeking to become more Christ-like. It fits because the scriptures I've been pondering and letting sink in teach me that everything will be alright.

27 Thus we may see the the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name.
28 Yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.
Helaman 3:27-28

If there is anything I try to be it is sincere in my prayers and all areas of my life even. I see the mercy of God poured out for my children and me as we travail this existence. There is so much hope in these words. I am encouraged by the promises. I need mercy. The example set here is another facet of how to be more like Jesus as well. The gate is open for all who will believe. ALL. Not some. All. Who am I to think I might not make so long as I am doing my best to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to recognize the blessings of mercy and faith better.

I want to focus this month on praying more and believing with more purity of heart. I hope you might join me.

don't even blink

Shifting things around and around
Making room for more
More of what—more change
Unsettled and unhappy as the days melt
Into each other without stopping
Joyful and energized at the same time
Two sides of a coin, some might say
But she is no coin
She can't make change on a dime
It takes something out of her
As it breathes new life in too

In the blink of an eye, change has
Changed everything
Nothing is the same—again
Every step in any direction
Takes us further from the other
The horizon is unrecognizable
Unfamiliar faces and places
All while she stands in one place
Watching the world walk past
Without her
No one noticing she doesn't want to blink anymore


Every day, there are choices before us. Every single day, I make good ones and poor ones. But I want to talk about a slice of good ones.

Being a mother is by far the most difficult thing I've ever done outside of getting divorced, and yet I have a sense of satisfaction in my efforts as my children are growing up. They are turning out to be be these people that are so amazing and easy to love. They are the best part of me.

Not all of that can be attributed to me since they have their choices, of course. But I want to celebrate the good choices I've made that have helped them along their way to making their good choices. It feels so good to see them learning and growing and discerning right from wrong.

This summer has been peppered with—even immersed in—change, and still my children keep on shining and making me look so good. My heart is full of love and gratitude for all the blessings we enjoy because of their precious hearts being so true and sure as they work out how to make good choices and recover from poor ones in the best ways.

It is all glorious to behold.

buying drinks and things

While on a late night run to the store with my youngest, I had an experience I don't ever want to forget:

My little guy and I were finishing up shopping for some random items like a new scooter since I had forgotten to bring home his scooter he got for Christmas from the park as I had promised him—and it got stolen—big surprise, and we had decided to get a cold drink last thing before checking out since it was still pretty hot outside even if it was late. Nothing too out of the ordinary there, but then he surprised me.

I chose a drink, then he chose a drink, and then as we walked toward the cash registers, he said, "I want to buy my drink with my money," as he showed me his folded up dollar bills. He had earned five dollars from selling a bean bag chair of his a couple of weeks prior and somehow still had a little bit of money left over. That's not really what surprised me most though. I was surprised by when I asked him if he was sure how he was emphatic about needing to pay for himself. My oldest son had just been emphatic about paying for a really large purchase just a few weeks earlier, and I was in awe of his drive to step up, and now my little guy was doing the same thing over a cold drink at the store.

What a place to be in as a mother. I see my boys striving to be men, and what am I to do but let them be men. I almost cried as I witnessed them stepping up each time. I think this most recent one hit me the hardest though as I had already seen one son set the example just weeks earlier on a much larger scale. I felt the ripple effect of his choices pushing his little brother along a good path.

And then, as we were walking to the car and he held his drink in his hand, he explained more of his thoughts. He told me about how awesome it felt to buy food for himself for the first time ever when he had walked to the store with his sister earlier this summer. He said that he didn't expect it to feel so good to buy food for himself with his own money. He gave credit to his sister, saying how he could understand now why she liked to buy her own food with her own money now, and that's why he wanted to buy his own drink—so he could feel good about getting something he needed for himself.

The simplicity with which he explained himself put me in awe. I was in awe of my little son for even being so mature as to hold this type of conversation. I was in awe of my oldest son's example of being assertive and insistent on providing for himself better. And I was in awe of my youngest daughter's example that was quiet, unspoken, teaching her little brother about spending money on things that matter to help take care of yourself.

My children's good hearts bless and honor me as a mother. I can hardly find words to describe the immense joy I have as I recognize my children's goodness.