Tuesday, April 26, 2016


I know as a Christian I should not *need* to see God's miracles.
But, life has been more on the "I could really use a miracle today.." side.
Today, I felt like God heard my earnest prayers.  My pleas.  My heart aching.
And he answered a very powerful prayer.
And, this short post is just to give him glory for that.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Last night, my husband and I went on perhaps one of the most extravagant dates we have ever been on.  It was a benefit for cystic fibrosis.  Everyone was dressed to the nines, my hair was done professionally, my dress was beautiful, and for the first part of the evening, I even wore heels.  We stayed out until past midnight (I know!  We are sooo crazy)  We went with dear friends, friends that we consider family.  We had our pictures done, and there also was a photo booth just for silly laughs.  We even bid (and won!) in a silent auction!  It was so fancy.  We loved it.

This morning (or perhaps early afternoon) I dragged my hiney out of bed, threw on some "not that dirty" clothes and we went for a walk.  We packed a simple lunch of a sandwich, an apple and some water.  David also brought cookies that he had "smuggled" away in his tux pocket for dessert (we are soooo classy.)  We walked about a quarter of a mile deep into the woods and sat on a bench along the path and ate our picnic lunch,  We smiled.  We sat quietly.  We observed nature.  We talked about deep spiritual questions I had been mulling over.  It was so simple.  Yet, we loved it.

One of the things I've been telling myself day by day is that life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.

And, by giving myself that freedom to just enjoy the wonder of life without expectation of perfection, suddenly every day is more enjoyable.

Now, I'm not going to say that my new little mantra has brought joy beyond measure to all aspects of my life.  That's not true.  But, what I will say is that when I'm having a sad day, or an afternoon where Murphy's Law seems to be in full effect, that letting go of perfection is allowing me to bounce back a little quicker.

It doesn't matter if my hair is gloriously held in place by twenty-some bobby pins, or if it is spilling out of a top-of-my-head messy bun.  It doesn't matter if I'm with 400 plus people, or if it's just me and David, or even if it is just me.  Joy can abound anyplace, anytime if we just keep our eyes peeled and our hearts grateful.

May the richness and the joy of Christ be part of your day today.  The sun is shining.  The temperature is pleasant (at least here in NWPA) and it's Sunday---a day to relax and connect.  Take advantage of what is given to you, and remember, even if your day is not perfect, it can be so incredible wonderful!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Introducing Friends

In our writing group we PROMISED each other to write on our blogs on Thursday.  I have started this blog seventeen times, and I keep ending up with a blank screen.
So, I did what I had to do.  I went to this website (click here!) and found an amazing list of blog ideas.  I read through them and still could not decide.  So, I let fate take over from there...
I texted my friend Alison and asked her to choose a number from 1 to 500.  
She chose #379. 
The blog prompt chosen asks a very important question:  "How do you feel about introducing friends from different parts of your life?"

Wow.  What an interesting topic...

I shared the topic with Alison and quite quickly she responded that she tended to compartmentalize.  "Work friends are for work.  Home friends are for home."

"What an interesting way of handling that," I said to myself.  

Because I'm so not like that.  

I think that Alison's way has a lot of merit.  It keeps life from getting too messy, too complicated, and too...uncomfortable.

But, as luck would have it, I'm a messy and complicated gal!

I honestly have a lot of friends from a lot of walks of life.  (I'm not bragging, I promise.  I sometimes scratch my head and wonder why people even like me, but that is another blog post all in itself..) I love lots of people, and I want all the people I love to love each other and make life super lovely! (Can someone make me a t-shirt with that on it please?) And, sometimes, without thinking I invite like forty seven people over all at once.  And, I tend to just sit back and watch what happens.  

I remember my first experience with the mixing of friends.  I think it was my ninth or tenth birthday party, and my parents let me invite several friends over.  That was the first time in my life that I remember understanding what true jealousy felt like.  My friends ended up just adoring each other.  And, as a side result, I honestly felt left out.  I'm pretty sure I pouted, cried and was miserable the entire party!

However, praise God, that as I grew older, the maturity came.  Now, when I see that happen, I consider it a 100% success.  If I can match one of my pals up in a new friendship with another buddy, that obviously tells me that my friends are so amazing that other people want to be with them too!  And, the more my people love each other, the better my life is!  

However, I'm not going to lie to you and tell you this always go so well.  There are times when certain people just don't mix.  And, while that puts me in some awkward positions at times, I also consider it a beneficial place to be.  There have been times when I have friends who pretty much can not stand one another.  While sometimes navigating those waters can be tricky, I consider it my calling to make sure that I can help them "coexist" if you will.  I truly believe that most people are worth the effort to maintain friendships with.  I try to show opposing sides that very fact.

Here is an examples of a conversation I may have participated in once or twice! 

"I'm not denying that person has been (insert not so lovely adjective here), but I will tell you that she also one of the most (insert lovely adjective here) people you will ever meet."

Oh, yeah. I may also have one or two friends that I try to "prepare" my other friends in advance for their meeting.  I mean, there are just some people that it's not fair to spring upon other people.  But, even those that take preparation...well, they are worth it.  They are genuine and amazing people.  I hope someday to grow into the kind of person that takes some explaining before meeting me. :) (And to all my friends who are reading this...don't worry...it's probably not you I'm referring too, okay?  And, if it is...well, read this paragraph again...YOU ARE WORTH IT!)

Friendship is a give and take.  It's about accepting people right where there are and loving them and helping them grow into a better person.  It's about teaching people and ourselves to find "faults" endearing instead of agitating, and to find "quirks" lovable compared to irritating.  

I love my friends.  And I think that other people should love them too!  Especially my other friends! :)  People are so very important to me.  And, friendship is one of my most valued virtues in the world.  I love the richness, complexity, wonder and insanity that comes from mixing all of my worlds at once.  And, I mean this with all sincerity---that I hope you get more mixed up in my world sometime soon!  I value people, and to me, friendship is beyond priceless.  It's a gift straight from heaven.

This. Is. Hilarious!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The music festival

I've been waiting for this weekend for months.  The thought of a lively, music infused mini-escape less than a mile from my home has pulled me through an emotionally bleak winter.
Last night, we went to check out the late night crowd at the Riverside Music Festival, and I was not disappointed.  There's nothing like walking into the main lobby and some strumming hitting your ears.  You walk into the hallway leading to the lounge and another style of music floats your way.  You can't help but peek in really quick to see who is producing such unique and interesting sounds.  
After a quick glance, I continue walking down the hallway to another gathering area.  I loved the sight we witnessed.  There were about a dozen artist, and it was obvious they really didn't all know each other, but after a brief conversation, the started playing music and it all meshed.  The rhythmic music made me tap my feet, and I leaned over and whispered to David, "This is what I have been waiting for."  The bluegrassy sound made me smile and cause some reminiscing of my younger days when family jam sessions were occasionally on the weekend schedule.  I was never part of the jamming, because the musical gene skipped me.  However, my appreciation of the sound definitely did not.
We make a right turn, walk through a series of vendors, one which included liquor filled cupcakes (something I had never even heard of or imagine before...but they went unsampled on my part...lol)  Then, we walk into the ballroom.  The music was amazing...rich, smoky vocals accompanied by every kind of string instrument I can name (which, let's face it, I was not a music major.)  We sat and watched a few people dance their hearts out, while David and I just enjoyed observing, being out past 9:00 for once, even if we were quite tired.
After a few songs, my face started to hurt from smiling so much.  We decided to avoid facial injury, got up, walked around,  and eventually made our way back to the lounge.  We sat down and enjoyed a few more artist.  We shared some laughs about inside jokes between just the two of us, and enjoyed the vibe and excitement of a place filled with music lovers.  In full Sarah disclosure, I did have a little bit more trouble enjoying some of the lounge singers, because, while their talent was impeccable, strong swear words make me sad.  (Hey, just me being me.)  But, the talent was undeniable, and the music itself, completely enjoyable. The last band we listened to was incredible, containing also a saxophone and a beat box.  I loved it, but, alas my mom ears could only handle being close to the speakers for so long, and we made our way home around 11:00.  We walked to our car, amazed by the talent we had witnessed  I'm so grateful that God made music.  And, I'm so thankful that we get to go back to the music Festival again today!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Dear Future Me

Dear Future Sarah,
I'm writing this in April.  I hope you will come read it again come June or July. I think I have some wisdom from a quiet morning to share with you.
I know you are quitting your babysitting job, and that is terrifying for you.  You are comfortable babysitting.  You love those boys as if they were your own.  You have the routine down, and there is safety in the known.
But, as usual, God quite often calls us into the unknown.  You are being shooed from a world with a rather steady income (provided all parties stay healthy and there are no big snow storms.)  into a place where there is no promise of you making anything.  You are giving up the snuggles, playtime, storytime and the quiet wonder of afternoon naptime.
Instead, Sarah, God is calling you to your next thing.  BEING A WRITER.
You have played and toyed with this idea for years now.  But, this is the time.  God is unwrapping all the circumstances, and it's happening right in front of you.  You can't deny it.  If you want to make it in the writing world, then, girl you have to write.
Let's set some goals to make sure you are on the best track when you reread this in a few months.
1.  Have you grown in your spiritual disciplines?  I know you want  your writing to shine and drip with the love of Jesus.  You can only  do that if you are soaking it in.  Are you praying?  Are you journaling?  Are you reading your Bible?  Are you reading other works by Christian people?  And, just in case you need an extra reminder...are you sure you are praying enough?
2.  Have you been taking walks?  Sarah, you know when you walk that ideas come into your mind.  You are inspired.  Have you taken your notebook down to the boardwalk and sat on the log and made notes?  I know you are kind of scared to walk there alone, but most likely you will not be eaten by a bear or a wild boar, and, if you do, well, writing is about taking risks.  Do this if you haven't!  You know the inspiration and the spiritual connection you feel with God at that place.
3.  Have you painted the "study?"  Have you switched the rooms around and made a purposeful place for you to be inspired?  I know that this will take a while and you may get overwhelmed, but don't let overwhelming feelings stop you from creating a place to express yourself!  That little room is in your house for a reason!  Let it be a place for spiritual refreshment and connection!
4.  Have you contacted newpapers?  Magazines?  Have you linked your blog on link up events?  Yes, these also take risks...but they are necessary.
5.  Please, make sure you read more about the technology of blogging.  Learn how to do more things with your blog!
6.  Have you actually read through the information you have downloaded from Compel writing training.
7.  Maybe you should finally get up the courage to ask David about taking the course from compel if you have done #6.
8.  Sarah, I want to encourage you to do word paintings.  There are words that inspire you.  Paint them.  Decorate them.  Embrace them.  Have you painted "Selah" yet?  If not, start here please.

There are hundreds of other things I want to tell you, but I don't want current me or future me to get overwhelmed.  I know you are busy.  I know you have VBS planning and wrap up, and that you will be traveling for Title 1 this summer. I know you will probably have kids crawling all over your house this summer.  But, I want to make sure you are beginning the practice of writing every single day now, this summer.  Yes, even before the kids go back to school, and even before someone commits to publishing you.

God made you emotional and expressive for a reason.  You love this world.  You want to inspire them and draw them close to a God that loves them so much.  So, get writing.  No excuses.  God has something big planned for you in the future....and maybe, just maybe by the time you reread this, you know what it is!

Pray, Love, and Live Well,
Sarah Rose

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bruce Attacks! The Top Ten List!

This is our cat, Bruce.
We love him.
We think he's adorable.
And we think no other cat on the face of the earth compares to him.
And that is a good thing.  Especially when I consider the following list...

The top 10 places that Bruce will attack

1.  When you bathe him.  He has only been bathed twice.  He came from a barn.  He smelled like barn.  It took some time to "unbarnsmell" him.  That second bath was a near death experience for us both.  Forget it cat, bathe yourself...
2.  When we are traveling on the staircase.  Bruce enjoys tackling our hands that are on the banister as we ascend or descend the stairs.  Sometimes, he's really obvious about it.  Other times, it's a sneak attack that almost makes one faceplant on the steps!
3.  His current favorite:  While I'm writing.  One minute I'm typing furiously.  The next, I'm screaming because there are cat claws digging into my back.  Uncool, Bruce.  So uncool.
4.  Occasionally the crazy kitten will make a leap attack while one of us is bent over.  Many times, he does this while I'm tying my shoes.  I believe it is his revenge for being left at home alone.
5.  This one...well, it's a little uncomfortable to write about...but it's necessary.  The cat attacks every time I make my way to the potty.  *SIGH*  Sometimes he'll run and attack my feet as I enter the room, other times he'll wait  until I'm sitting, and the next thing I know, his kitty claws are deep into my now-bare leg.
6.  This next one is very similar to the last one, except there is an element of surprise.  So, Bruce has decided he LOVES to sleep in the bathtub.  I just don't get it, but whatever.  Anyways, he'll be asleep in the bathtub, and when I use the upstairs toilet, apparently he's a little irritated about me interrupting his catnap.  So, without ANY warning, the cat will spring from behind the shower curtain, and once again, I end up with kitty claws in my now-bare leg.
7.  Bruce has an attack I call the "David Special."  The cat stealthily places himself under our bed, peers underneath the dust ruffle and will attack feet, primarily David's, as foot traffic passes.
8.  Because actually doing the dishes is not torture enough, the insane feline will climb up my legs as I clean up after dinner.
9.  That reminds me...the cat also climbs up my leg WHILE I'm cooking dinner.
10.  And my favorite "when Bruce attacks" time is when I'm holding him like a baby and he playfully wraps his whole little body around my hand.  He's so playful.  Yeah, his nails and teeth are sharp, but I just loves when he does this.  I know just the spot on his belly to touch that he will attack instantly.

So, yeah, this list reminds me of an article I read online recently how basically cats are mini-lions and if they were bigger they would eat you.  (Then, to calm my anxiety, I read another article that says that one is scientifically inaccurate.) But, really, this list is just half the fun of owning a kitty.

Over the past few days that I have been feeling so sick, and there's nothing like Bruce climbing on my lap and purring to calm me down.  I love how he stretches out when he wakes up from a sunshine nap and how he chases his own tail.  He's funny.  He's loving.  He's kind of a butthead sometimes, but he's 100 percent part of our family.  And, it's amazing that a girl who was so scared of animals just a few years ago, now allows a cat to share her home!

Being a pet owner has been one of the best things in the world for me.  And I'm so grateful for this little beast that attacks me so often!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Happiness is not my Goal

Happiness is far too fleeting a goal for me.
I'm no fool.
After all, I know what it's like to eat dinner with me.
We begin, hurriedly preparing the plates, filling water glasses, trying to sit down before dinner cools.
We say our prayers. The daily recaps begin. “So and so was mean to me at recess today, but I played with my best friend and we played Miss Mary Mack,” my dramatic daughter retells with wild inflection, grand hand motions, and endearing facial expression. As she is telling her story, part of her pork chop flies off her waving fork and lands on the floor.
I'm frustrated, but we find the humor in the situation, we all laugh, and my son begins to talk about Forge of Empires and Pokemon. I try to pay attention. I really do. I watch the freckles on his nose dance as he talks about his latest passions. He's adorable, but I can't stand either hobby.
That's his father's area of expertise. And just on cue, from my left comes my husband's deep, smooth voice, adding input to recent improvements made on their “FOE” villages. I feel a soft affection for him bubble in my soul as I listen to him converse with our son. He's a great dad.
Then, without warning, the tears flow.
So was my dad.
But he's gone now.
So, there I am, the rest of my family chattering away, and tears just start flowing down my face. “Why can't I hold it together?” I chastise myself for being 'so darn emotional' which actually makes me cry more. And before I know it, I'm sobbing into my purple cloth napkin that my daughter picked out especially for me that night.
All my family stops their conversation. My son comes and stands at my right side, gently supporting my elbow with his hand. My husband steps away from his plate as well, and rubs my shoulders as I sob from the middle of my heart. My little girl says quietly, “I miss him too.”
I cry for another minute. Everyone returns to their seats. I take a deep breath and we begin to discuss playing Monopoly as a family after dinner.
Anecdotal proof. Happiness is really short lived. Especially now, in the middle of grief. Actually, most emotions are at this point in my life. All these feelings come and go and change without warning.
All but love.
Love is right around me. I give it. I get it. I treasure it. And somehow, even in the middle of all these floods of emotions and unsteadiness, love is what I seem to have a choice to choose.
Love doesn't cure all my sadness, but it soothes it, until the next short lived happy moment comes along.
You know, like when I win Monopoly later that night.

So, win or lose, love is what I want at the center of my life, not happiness.