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When you have a vision and nobody’s home to play, make it happen anyway.

When you knock and knock and knock on doors, yet nobody seems to answer, make it happen anyway.

When nobody wants to join you in the fun, make it happen anyway.

When nobody’s there to make angels out of white space, make it happen anyway.

When nobody’s there to laugh and cheer when you try something new, make it happen anyway.

When you’re simply not sure, when you bend low to check things out, when nobody’s there to problem solve this or that dilemma, make it happen anyway.

When nobody’s yells “YEAH! Go do that thing you need to do!,” make it happen anyway.

When you’re sliding downhill, simultaneously thrilled and scared beyond belief, and nobody’s there to catch you at the bottom, make it happen anyway.

When you’re climbing back up to do it all over again and nobody’s waiting for you at the top, make it happen anyway.

When you fall off the sled, trying every which way to get back on and down that hill, and nobody’s there to lend you a helping hand, make it happen anyway.

You did it. You finally did it.

Whether they saw your vision, or not. Whether they joined you, or not. Whether they could see the thing you’re trying to make out of nothing, or not. Whether they laughed and cheered you on, or not. Whether they went and bent low with you, or not. Whether they encouraged you to GO and DO, or not. Whether they caught you at the bottom, or not. Whether they waited for you at the top, or not. Whether they gave you a helping hand, or not.

You did it. You finally did it.

You made it happen anyway.


My parents have reminded me more than once that I was so shy when I was younger, that they had to tell me to say “hi” to people.

Apparently, I was afraid of my own voice from the start.

Here’s the truth for today.

I’m battling for my voice, friends.

Perhaps I always have.

This is a spiritual battle. No doubt.

God vs. the enemy. They’re battling for lives. They’re battling for souls.

God created me. He’s cultivating a voice within me. He’s asking me to use that voice to proclaim truth and life to others. Truth and life to myself. He’s asking me to have faith in His creation, faith in the unique gifts He’s bestowed upon me.

The enemy. Forget that loser. Forget the niceties. He’s a beast, a deadbeat. He wants to kill and destroy my voice, my entire life for that matter. He wants to silence me with all his might. He’s on the prowl, up to nothing good. I renounce him and all his evil, scheming ways.

So many things have happened in the 15 months since I left my 14 1/2 year career as a speech-language therapist to stay home and pursue writing and photography. Beyond all the things that have happened, there’s been a behind the scenes. Behind the scenes, I’ve been battling a sense of identity, a sense of place. Behind the scenes, I’ve been asking big questions about work and worth. Behind the scenes, I’ve been struggling with my voice.

I’m riding a fine line between being totally confident in who and where I am, and utterly unsure.

Again, I’m certain this is an issue of faith. I’ve taken a leap of faith, and the enemy is coming on strong with his totally weak, but believable voices of doubt and fear. This is perfect timing for him to ride in on his black horse and kill God’s every plan for my life.

The enemy will not win, friends. He will not win. But he’s still trying.

After months of writing and editing, just two days before I was scheduled to present my first two children’s book manuscripts to my writing group, the manuscripts fell flat to me. Mind you, I’ve worked and reworked these babies up and down the past four months. I’ve edited, edited and edited some more. Both manuscripts have made me cry (in a good way). I’ve been certain there’s something unique about them. I’ve been certain that somebody, some agent out there, will see the beauty in what I’m trying to convey. But last Tuesday? They fell flat. Completely flat. By the time I got the manuscripts to writing group, I’d nearly talked myself out of presenting them to the group because I just wasn’t sure anymore. Fortunately, my writing group knew this presentation was coming and wouldn’t let me out of it. But today, I’m afraid to open the manuscripts back up because I don’t want them to fall flat again.

Yesterday, I published a post on my personal Facebook page in which I complained about having to wash grass stains, mud stains, and dirt stains out of my son’s WHITE baseball pants, something I’ll do 2-4 times a week for the next four months. I thought we’d gotten smarter after last year’s BLACK baseball pants, but not so much. There I stood at the sink, scrubbing for 20 minutes, followed by a several-hour Oxi-Clean soaking, followed by a machine wash and line dry. So I shared this post and it felt real. It felt like I was sharing my truth. But I’ll be honest, I fell in the Facebook trap. I put my voice out there, and then I doubted it. Was I complaining for complaining’s sake? Was I not grateful enough for all the wonderful things that come from my son’s participation on the baseball team? Should I have ONLY shared the awesome things about baseball season starting instead of this very real, but probably silly baseball mom annoyance? I got to overthinking. I got to doubting my voice. I deleted the post. I wrapped two red rubber bands around my phone so I wouldn’t go into Facebook and start doubting my voice again.

I’m doubting the internal voice that’s been telling me for years that I should get my hair chopped off. “Chopped off.” Those aren’t pretty words. That’s not the most eloquent way to say I’d like to get my hair cut VERY short. But that’s the brutal truth of it. “Chopped off.” Since we had two rounds of lice through our house three years ago, I’ve worn my hair up 80-90% of days. I haven’t gotten my hair cut in seven months. I’ve worn my hair up 100% of days since I returned from Africa. I want to wear more than ponytails and buns, especially as I approach 40, but I’m super low maintenance when it comes to hair. Even though my husband strongly prefers long hair, he’s given me permission to cut it. He knows I’ve been talking about this for three or four years, and thinks I really, truly want to do this. The haircut appointment’s made April 26th. I’m 80-95% convinced I’m going super short. But I’ve not fully convinced myself. I’m not sure I can trust that internal voice.

This morning as we were getting ready for the day, my husband initiated a conversation about shoes and clothing items he’ll need to fit in one of our upcoming monthly budgets. When he said “NEED” I assumed he’d mention dress jeans, dress shirts, and casual, but cool short-sleeve shirts he’s been talking about needing for business trip nights out. All things he legitimately and likely needs right now. Instead, he started with shoes. Boots, in fact. He has two pair of boots, both he’s purchased in the past four years, one that still seems and looks brand new to me. Needless to say, a difference of opinion on “NEED” vs. “WANT” boiled to the surface. I dove too far into detail about the condition of his current boots when all he WANTED was new boots. Things went too far, too quick. Words were said. He apologized. And I felt bad for having expressed any opinion in the first place. Why should I stop him from getting new boots if he wants them? After all, he’s the one bringing in all the money right now. And I’m not. I doubted my voice.

Sometimes I don’t know. I really don’t know.

Sometimes we don’t know. We really don’t know.


window box 3



So here I am. On the upper level of a high-end grocery store. Oddly enough, this is one of my favorite places to write. It’s fairly quiet here, but there are enough people to remind me I’m among the living.

I promised myself I’d write and work on my books every Tuesday and Thursday between the first week of January and May 10th, my daughter’s last day of preschool. I haven’t kept that promise 100%, but I’ve written most days and made a lot of headway. Where the books are going and the timing I had planned isn’t as crystal clear with my dad’s lung transplant in the wings.

More fire. More refining. More defining.

My voice. His voice.

Knock the enemy dead.

When I sat to write at this high-end grocery store this morning, I looked left to a meeting of elders. Honestly, I have no clue why they were there or what they were doing. But I kept noting this man across the table. He held a book. He read aloud. I sensed his wisdom, his kindness, even through the paneled-glass windows. I’ve never seen the man in my life.

As he exited the room, he laid his hand on my shoulder gently, far more than a split second, and said “Good Morning.”

Good morning. I see you.

Good morning. You’re here.

Good morning. Wake to the voice inside.

Good morning. Wake to your life.

Good morning. Trust God’s got this.

Good morning. It’s another day.

Good morning. It’ll all work out.

Good morning. Your voice, your place in this world is important.

Good morning.



I have to be honest. I’ve been struggling with something significant these past three months. Today, I would like to share that struggle. Some of you might relate.

Recent life circumstances have caused me to think HARD about the definition of WORK.

What is WORK?

I “stopped working” at the end of December 2014 to stay home and pursue writing and photography.

Since then, I’ve been through two months of eye cancer with my husband, two months of spring cleaning, three summer months of caring for our three children, four months of crazy-good chaos, and three months working on four books I hope to have published someday. Add to that daily care of our children, tending to and working on our marriage, kid paperwork, homework and activities, household chores, keeping up with finances, a sister who’s battling schizoaffective disorder-bipolar type, a dad who’s going through testing to determine if he’s a candidate for a lung transplant, and a mom who’s trying to help them all. Add to that a small photography business launched in hopes of it becoming something bigger, editing someone else’s book, and now, volunteer work on a mission advocacy team at our church.

I earned VERY FEW DOLLARS in 2015.

I haven’t earned ANY DOLLARS in 2016.

I’ve struggled with this definition of work, this WONDERING if I’m WORKING, this WONDERING if I’m WORTH anything, for three months hard now.

A couple weeks ago, I took a short walk with one of our neighbors. Our kids rode their bikes while we chatted. I don’t remember the details of the conversation, but one thing stuck with me. At one point, my neighbor said “Oh yeah, you don’t work anymore, do you?” I responded with “Yeah, I don’t.” The conversation continued.

I didn’t correct her, nor did I correct myself. But I should have.

Her question and my response hit home hard.

None of it was ill-intentioned.

It’s just awfully coincidental that “You don’t work anymore, do you?” was the question swirling in my mind prior to her asking. HER question confirmed MY struggle.

“Oh yeah, you don’t work anymore, do you?”

Honestly? I didn’t give her the right answer.

The better answer would have been “Yeah, I stopped my work as a speech therapist, so I’m not getting paid right now, but I AM working. I’m home watching our kids full-time. I’m also a writer and I’m working on four books I hope to get published someday. I also launched a photography business last summer and plan on doing a lot more photo shoots this spring, summer and fall.”

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to give my neighbor a better answer because I haven’t been 100% confident that my WORK is WORTH something.


I’ve been asking big questions…

Is WORK only WORK if it’s paid?

What about all the stay at home moms?

What about the worker who’s laid off and actively seeking employment?

What about all the people who do volunteer work? Don’t they call it “volunteer WORK” for a reason?

What about all the retired folks who “don’t work anymore,” but are active, fully-functioning, contributing members of society?

What about the spouse who’s providing endless hours of care for her failing husband?

What about the grandparents caring for their grandchildren?

What about the artist who’s yet to be discovered?

What about the writer who’s working on her first novel?

What about the musician who’s playing the streets of Nashville for coins in a guitar case?

What about all the staff at orphanages around the globe who work for little to nothing but a meal and maybe a place to sleep?

What about anyone else who knows in their heart they’re doing hard and worthy WORK, but aren’t getting paid for it?


What is the definition of WORK?

Is WORK only considered WORK if it’s paid?

Are we only WORTH something if our WORK is paid?

Turn these questions personal, and here’s how they sound…

Am I working? (Because I sure feel like I am.)

Does my work only count if it’s paid?

Am I only worth something if I’m PAID for my work?

Notice the difference between question two and three. ONE is about the worth of my work. The second is about MY worth. I have begun to confuse MY WORK with MY WORTH. I have begun to believe that my WORK only has value if it’s paid. Culture and recent experience tells me that WORK can only be defined as WORK if it’s paid.

But my gut, my heart? They’re revolting against this notion.

I KNOW I’ve been working these past 15 months. I know I’ve been working these past three months as I’ve been writing and battling these questions of WORK and WORTH. In my heart, I know WORK has a much broader definition than the way it’s typically defined in our culture.

I’ve not arrived yet.

But I’m beginning to realize it’s up to me.

I get to decide.

I have to decide.

Am I working, or am I not?

Is my work worth something, or not?

Am I worth something, or am I not?


I looked up the definition of work this morning. I had to.

Type it in.

Just do it.

Type “definition of work” in Google search.

(Then make sure to click on “Translations, word origin and MORE DEFINITIONS,” which is immediately below the first two noun and verb definitions of work.)

See what you find.

I thought I’d start this post with the various definitions of WORK. Little did I know, there’s not enough room in this post to share all the definitions of work. I’d have to plagiarize because there are SO many definitions, noun AND verb. “Earning an income” is just ONE of MANY, MANY definitions of WORK.

Yes, I had to do it.

I had to KNOW if WORK is more than earning an income.

I had to do it for myself.

I’ve barely been paid anything for 15 months now. But I know I’ve been working. I know I’m working.

My heart tells me so.

In this season, I’m learning about the hidden, the unseen, unpaid WORKER. I’m learning for myself, and I’m learning so I can become an advocate.

We’re working warriors.

Culture tells us our WORK isn’t WORTHY unless it’s paid.

I beg to differ.

The value of WORK is more than a paycheck.

The value of WORK lies within us.

The value of WORK lies in what we have to offer the world.

I decide.

We decide.

God decides.

Work it. Paid or unpaid.



Six months from now, I’ll be 40.

Finally…the decade I’ve been waiting for.

I know. Crazy, right? Who WANTS to turn 40?

Me. I do, please.

My 20s? They were good. Finished college. Got married. Went to graduate school. Moved a handful of times. Bought our first house. Bought a lot of stuff for the house. Had two babies. Worked and worked some more. Found a church. Made some friends. Lost touch with some friends. Went to a lot of weddings. Visited a lot of babies. Had some fun times. Went through some bad times. Began dreaming. Grew in my faith.

My 30s? They were good. Sold a house. Built a house. Worked. Worked some more. Then decided to take a break from paid work and work on a hobby, a passion, a calling, whatever you want to call it. Worked out a lot. Had another baby. Did lots of kid stuff. Spent lots of time with other peoples’ kids. Got some date nights and a couple vacations with my hubby. Didn’t get nearly enough date nights and time with my hubby. Left a church. Found another church. Made a few friends and a lot of acquaintances. Lost touch with more friends. Had some great times. Went through some very bad times. Received and processed diagnoses. Read a ton of blogs. Began a blog. Felt sure. Felt totally unsure. Had dreams come true. Continued dreaming. Grew in my faith.

And now…I’m less than six months out from my 40s.

Yes, it’s 2016, the year of my 40th birthday.

40 is first and foremost, totally respectable.

40 is much wiser.

40 is aging very well, thank you.

40 is been there, done that.

40 is I’m done playing games, I’m living now.

40 is prime.

40 is golden.

40 is no longer naive.

40 is (pretty much) half-way there.

40 is time to begin again.

40 is mid-life awakening.

40 is life.

40 is me being me.

40 is let’s settle into this.

40 is I’m tired of playing games.

40 is I don’t (want to) care what you think anymore.

40 is let’s do this.

40 is it’s time to get real.

40 is let’s rock this.


Three years ago, I was mistaken for a 13 year old when I was in the elevator with my husband on a cruise ship. I’m not. even. kidding. I was wearing a swimsuit and coverup. I wasn’t wearing makeup. Still…I hope I acted older than a 13 year old.

Two months ago, I was mistaken for an undergraduate student at a speech-language convention. Then I was mistaken for a graduate student more than once. For the most part, I looked like all the grad students I met there. Still…I hope I acted older than 18-23 years old.

I know I LOOK much younger than I am. But I’ve always FELT much older than I am. The discrepancy still bothers me. 

This year, I might be mistaken for a 13 year old, an 18 year old, a 22 year old, a 26 year old, or even a 35 year old. But make no mistake, whether I’m 39 1/2, 39 2/3, 39 3/4 or 40, I’m rocking 40 the whole year through.

40 is me being me.

40 is it’s time to get real.

40 is golden.

Eight days ago, I woke up and got dressed in a black and white work outfit with tall black boots, and put my computer in my black and white polka dotted Thirty-One bag. My husband asked why I was all dressed up. My kids did too.

“I’m leaving the house and I’m going to write. All day. And I’m going to write for six hours every Tuesday and Thursday for the next three, four or five months unless there’s a really good reason not to.”

Okay, I’m paraphrasing. I don’t remember the exact words I said. But basically, that’s what I said. That’s exactly what I meant to say, at least.


I spent five to six hours writing on January 5th.

I spent five to six hours writing on January 7th.

On January 9th, I finished Mark Batterson’s book, “The Circle Maker.” I haven’t been praying nearly enough. I haven’t been praying nearly big enough. And I haven’t been trusting myself, anyone or God Himself nearly enough. God made TWO of my lifelong dreams come true in 2015, and I wasn’t even actively praying for them to come true. I was just walking this dusty, narrow, totally unknown path called…

“I’m following my dreams.”

“I’m pursuing my calling.”

“I’m following Jesus?

What does any of this mean, anyway?

Seriously, is this work or is this not work? Am I living in reality or am I not? Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing or am I not? Because I’m confused, but I’m totally NOT confused all at once.

So yeah…


40 is much wiser.

On January 12th, I spent 1 hour 40 minutes in Barnes & Noble bookstore and 1 hour in LifeWay Christian Bookstore. I prayed. I perused. I looked. I examined. I analyzed. I wondered HOW I fit, WHERE I fit, and mostly IF I fit. I imagined. I dreamed. I took a lot of notes. And I very intentionally decided to begin dreaming bigger. Because I’m praying bigger. I’m believing bigger. I’m believing that God has more. I’m believing that God has more than I’ve visioned, more than I’ve imagined, more than I’ve allowed myself to dream.

It has to be true.


Then I remembered the dream I’d forgotten until recently, the dream I held long ago to own an Amy’s Hallmark store. I don’t want to own an Amy’s Hallmark anymore. But I have been thinking about that forgotten dream. I have been wondering if it’s more about the cards, if it’s about the words and simple, intentional, and meaningful connections with human beings in old-fashioned pen and paper form. The truth is, I still LOVE cards. A beautifully-designed and well-written card still ROCKS my WORLD. I’m still compelled to buy and send cards. I still find myself at complete peace when I’m alone (aka without kids) in a Hallmark store. Geeky AND cheesy, I know. So I’ve begun dreaming a silly little dream…what if I could land a job writing cards someday? Maybe I could fill a card niche that doesn’t currently exist? Wouldn’t that be an awesome little dream come true?

It’s a new dream.

Perhaps it’s old made new?

Perhaps it’ll come true.

Perhaps it’ll never come true.

Perhaps it’ll forever be a silly little far-off dreamy dream I shared with a few people who happened to read my January 14, 2016 blog post?

Perhaps it’s something.

Perhaps it’s nothing.

I’m open.

So I made my way over to LifeWay Bookstore’s card section and didn’t waste a second looking at anything but Karen Kingsbury’s STUNNING card collection I’ve been swooning over since it released. The collection is noteworthy, but small, so I allowed myself to handle and read EVERY. CARD. EVERY. ONE. It felt indulgent, this stopping to read a bunch of greeting cards on my third official writing “work day,” but it was necessary for my heart. It was necessary for my acknowledgement that WORDS MATTER, that WORDS MATTER to me, that MY words matter.

By the end of all that looking, I’d gathered three cards in my hand, three cards that spoke to my heart, three cards I LOVED. You know what I did next? I decided I’d buy them all as a 40th birthday gift to myself…6 months early.


40 is trusting and believing that all things work together for good, even when I feel stupid, silly, dreamy, discouraged, worthless, out of place, or totally off course.

40 is giving grace.

40 is knowing myself better than before.

40 is loving myself.

40 is giving myself what I need, so I’m better equipped to give others what they need.





In 14 days of 2016, I’ve condemned myself, I’ve disqualified myself, I’ve had disarming and disturbing dreams, I’ve had a whole lot of dreams about broken glass and ceramic, and I’ve been awake in the middle of the night praying “Jesus” because I felt my brain swirling with fear and darkness drawing near.

40 is NOT foolproof, friends.

But make no mistake, I’m rocking 40 the whole year through.


40 is braver.

40 is bolder.

40 is KNOWING there’s a reason we’ve been here, TRUSTING there’s a reason we’re still here, LIVING like we’re worth more than a passing glance, PRAYING that God can and will do all things, and BELIEVING our best days are still ahead.

40 is knowing with 100% certainty that I DON’T want a 40th birthday bash. It’s not me. It’s simply not me. But make no mistake. I bought those cards for a reason. This 40th is momentous. This 40 means something to me. I’m dreaming big for one thing, I’m working hard for another, and I’m praying hard for both. This year of 40.

40 is…




The journey became official on July 4, 1988. I was 12 years old, going into 7th grade. I cracked open my hot pink diary with an ice cream cone on top and began writing. It was an innocent act, for sure. But to me, it’s proof of my purpose.

I’m convinced. Or perhaps God’s convinced me quietly, time and time again.

Writing isn’t my hobby. It’s my calling.

I just haven’t gotten paid for it yet.

One diary turned into two, then three. Diaries turned into notebook journals. Notebook journals turned into store-bought journals. Teenage-angst journals turned into gratitude journals, love journals and pregnancy journals. Store-bought journals sufficed, yet again, post baby one and two. Then there was the seven-year computerized, therapeutic journal you’ve heard about if you’ve lingered long in this space from the beginning. Yes, all of this led to baby three and my blog launch in July 2012.

July is clearly my month of birth.


The past 3 1/2 years have been marked with tremendous personal and spiritual growth. My inner life is deep and incredibly rich. To know me well is to know that I’m much quieter on the outside than I am on the inside. 368 blog posts have been published and made public. 65 posts sit unpublished in my blog’s draft box. A leather, store-bought journal stamped with “A Penny For Your Thoughts” is nearly filled with notes and dreams of great big things, thoughts and truths I needed to speak out loud.

Some of you have listened.

Some of you have heard.

Some of you have loved my dreams.

Some of you have held them close.

Some of you have quietly affirmed.

Some of you have stood by me.

Some of you have pressed, asked and challenged.

Some of you simply don’t know.

Some of you I’ve been too afraid to tell.

Two of you called me an author last week – even though I didn’t believe it, even though I don’t believe it. “I’m not an author until I’m published.”

I’m a writer.

I own that.


But here’s the thing, friends.

I didn’t set out to become a professional blogger.

I wanted to become a writer.

I dreamed of becoming an author.

All those diaries and journals dating back to 1988? They’re proof that God was working something in me from the beginning, that He had a plan greater than my own, a plan to draw me and others closer to Him through words, through the Spirit moving in and through the everyday fabric of our lives.

The birth of my first baby marked the birth of the dream. In 2003, the dream began taking shape.

I wanted to write books.

I wanted to become an author.

I wanted to move people, to relate to people, to connect with people, to change people, to draw people closer to God and the purpose He has for their lives….in quiet and personal ways, through the written word.

I wanted to write words that make a difference, a lasting difference.

After my baby was born, I was shocked. Motherhood wasn’t anything like I expected. Heck, it still isn’t today. Motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, the hardest thing I’ll ever do. I needed to know I wasn’t alone in this mothering gig. I found solace and solidarity in the pages of real-life books on motherhood. Those books were unlike anything I’d ever read before. They opened my eyes. They helped me feel understood. They helped me realize I wasn’t alone. They changed me from the inside out.

Those books inspired me.

I wanted to move people like that. I wanted people to know they weren’t alone. I wanted to use my life exactly like that…to inspire and change people through the written, printed word.

So I began dreaming. I wrote the dreams out loud.

First dreams of authoring books appeared in my journals in 2003.

In November of 2006, I spoke my dream out loud to an established author and speaker who’s still alive and kicking today.

In March of 2007, I wrote a simple goal – to author one book on mothering. I defined the long-term vision. (It’s still the same vision I have today, only today’s vision is broader.) I brainstormed 19 book titles. No kidding. I even met with a local author for tips and researched domain names. (See, I was supposed to start blogging way back in 2007 when it was hip and new and the up-and-coming thing to do.)

The dream never went away. It just shifted.

In January of 2010, I started a blog, but never wrote a post.

In July of 2012, after being so exasperated with all the dreaming and writing in my head, I launched this blog. At that point, I’d been called to write publicly for nine years and hadn’t taken a LICK of real action. God is SO patient with us, friends, SO grace-filled. But he will gently remind you of His plan a million times if you don’t listen. After all, He’s a relentlessly loving God, too.

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In October of 2014, I was presented with the opportunity to spend 20 minutes with a highly published and highly regarded author at a writing conference. From here on out, let’s refer to her as “Mama Bear.” When I approached Mama Bear, all I intended to do was thank her for her incredible leadership of our generation. All I wanted to do was tell her that I greatly respect and admire her, that when I “grow up,” I’d love to lead, love and write like she does. I told her all of those things. But she invited me in for more. I had no idea what was about to unfold. Add another dear writer friend and 20 minutes of conversation later, we found ourselves revealing our greatest writing dreams to Mama Bear. I told her about the book I wanted to write. I told her about the other book I wanted to write. She told me which book to write first and left me with “You’re more ready for this than you know.”

I met with a literary agent that afternoon. She told me she wanted to see my book proposal. She told me “go do it.” She gave me her business card and even hand-wrote a note on it, telling me what to write in the subject line when I sent in the book proposal.

Those words have echoed in my mind for 13 months now…

“You’re more ready for this than you know.”

“Go do it.”

But I haven’t written a book proposal yet.

I haven’t believed I’m ready for this. I haven’t believed I’m ready for this at all. I haven’t believed I’m good enough. I haven’t believed I have a big-enough platform or a loud-enough voice or beautiful-enough words. I haven’t believed I’m connected enough, that I’m Christian enough or secular enough, that I’m courageous enough to write any book proposal. I haven’t believed I’m strong enough to withstand rejections and criticisms that are part and parcel of any published author’s real life.

I haven’t believed in God’s dreams for me.

I haven’t believed in the plans He began setting out so clearly in 1988 with that hot pink ice cream cone diary.

I’ve started doubting my words.

I’ve started doubting my purpose.

I’ve let the enemy creep in and try to kill, steal and destroy all the plans God ever laid out for my life.

I can’t do it anymore, friends.

It’s coming to a stop today, whether I like it or not.

I’m not playing this game of tug of war anymore.

A plan and a purpose has been playing out in my life since 1988. In case you didn’t realize, it’s the end of 2015, friends. I’m almost 40 years old. God’s been calling me to this since I was 12 years old.

Will I listen?

Or will I not listen?

Will I deny the story He’s written, the story He’s writing today?

I never set out to become a professional blogger.

I dreamed of becoming a published author of books.


When I left my 14 1/2 year career as a speech-language pathologist in December 2014 to pursue writing and photography, one of my writing goals was to publish a blog post 2-3 times per week. I’ve met and kept that goal all year.

Today, I’m making a new goal and I’m making it public to keep myself accountable. Effective immediately and until further notice, I will be publishing blog posts at a frequency of 1-2 times per week maximum. With the exception of my upcoming Africa series (which I’ll write as much as I feel called to write), you can expect me to be writing on the blog with LESS frequency.

Why all the detail, you ask?

Why make this public?

Because I’m tired of the fight. I’m tired of the internal battle. I’m tired of keeping this all inside.

I started writing in diaries and journals when I was 12.

I began dreaming of writing books when I was 26.

I began blogging when I was 36.

I’m still dreaming of writing books and 2016 will mark my 40th birthday.

I’m not getting any younger, friends.

I believe God’s still calling me, still purposed me to author books. If I don’t write those books, nobody will. With that in mind, I am forcing myself, behaving myself out of this place of disbelief and inaction. I am taking the next leap of faith and I’m making it public for the purpose of internal and external accountability.

I have one, great-big book I feel I need to write.

And who knew, I have a children’s book series dreamed up as well. One’s drafted. The second is drafted in my mind. I need to sit down and write it all out ASAP – before it escapes me. As in, it needs to get on the screen within the next week or two or the heart of it will disappear into writer’s oblivion. I’m convinced the children’s series is more than two books. I just don’t have inspiration for books three plus, yet.

There are books beyond that…on calling, friendship, marriage, mission and maybe even motherhood (the original dream). All potential. All possibility. All completely unknown at this point.

I didn’t set out to become a professional blogger. This blog is not the end all be all.

I set out to become a published author of books.

God’s been calling. It’s been persistent. I can’t work my way out of the feeling that I’m supposed to do this. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m delusional. Maybe I’m a dreamer. Maybe.

Worst case? Call me crazy, delusional, a dreamer. At least I tried.

If my daughter wanted to become a doctor, I’d tell her to try, I’d tell her to go for it, I’d tell her to do what she feels called to do. Why is it so different for writers? Why do we continue to dream in the quiet? Why do we say we’re working on “projects” when in reality we’re writing books? Why does it have to be so mysterious? If my daughter wanted to become a doctor, I can guarantee she’d have no problem publicly proclaiming she was applying to med school.

So there you go. I’m reducing my blogging time with hopes of freeing up time to work on my first book proposal. At this moment in time, I don’t know which book is first. And yes, you might call me crazy. My intention is to pursue traditional publication. (Sigh. Deep breath. We’ll work through this whichever way it goes.)

I’ll be honest. This may be slow. This may be a no go. I know this is NOT an easy road. But I have to try. There’s no more denying it. This is the next right thing to do. This is the next thing God’s calling me to do.

So if you ask me what I’m doing now, how I’m spending my time, what it’s like to be a stay-at-home mom who blogs? Yeah. Stay-at-home moms don’t sit around eating bon bons all day, that’s for sure. (Random ode and props to the bravest of the brave.) I’m not really identifying as a SAHM, anyway. I’m identifying as wife, mom, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, niece, cousin, aunt, friend, work-at-home photographer and writer who dreams of becoming an author.


  1. Keith Robinson says:

    Right with you friend! The Lord has called and equipped you, given you words and a calling, and now the resolve and critical path too. You have lots of people in your corner! Blessings!

  2. Barbara Matalamaki says:

    You have such a talent for words…Keep following your dream….all the best!

  3. Monica Anderson Palmer says:

    I would echo your mama and dear friend Colleen! The shot has rang…the race is on-GET to RUNNING! I’m so excited for you that my hearts racing! You truly don’t have any idea how brave you are! Brave to lay it all out there and be vulnerable this way. Let us be your biggest cheering section!

    Hebrews 12:1
    [ Jesus, the Example ] Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us!

  4. Colleen Schroeder says:

    Go Amy!! If God is calling you to it, it’s your responsibility to obey and leave all the consequences to Him (as Charles Stanley always says.) You’ve got this!

  5. Carol Femling says:

    Go for it, Amy!!! As you know, I have some regrets about some things I wanted to do in life. I let the years pass me by and now I definitely have too many responsibilities to accomplish them at my age. So GO FOR IT!! Love all of your writings! You must have inherited the gene for writing from your grandpa Cecil and your dad.

  6. Way to go, Amy. I love that you just put it out there, so we can cheer you on! Love this fun and awesome adventure!

    • Amy says:

      Thank you, sweet Jennifer. You are such a loving encouragement to me. My heart is at great peace knowing we’re on this journey together. You are a sweet, sweet sister.

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