NaBloPoMo Day 12: Shades of Power and Beauty

A friend asked me my favorite colors the other day, for something she is making, and it took me almost a day to answer her, I think. Favoritism in respect to color is hard! Clothingwise, it really depends on the outfit and my mood at times. There are so many shades and so many reasons.

One of my favorite shades is pastel pink. It’s feminine and flirty and fun and it brings out the pink blush in my skin, my husband says. I think it does so in my cheeks. Put a white ribbon/headband in my hair and I feel all sorts of Betty Draper lovely.

I love maroon! It’s deep and rich and regal. It’s not as brazenly bold as red, maybe, nor dark enough to be too formal. But it’s heady wine shade makes me feel womanly, which is a power of its own.

Teal is cool, makes me feel mermaidy and fluid, like I can flow through anything, surmount any obstacle, or keep graceful under any stress. I usually pair it with black to round out the sultry side of the shade.


NaBloPoMo Day 11, Part 2: Moments in Lines

Tonight I felt like writing, though I wasn’t sure exactly what to write. Thankfully, I have a handy-dandy 500 Writing Prompts book that a friend gave me two weeks ago. So I flipped it open and picked a few prompts that called to me.

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What makes you feel invincible?

A hot shower. Believe it or not, a hot shower almost always feels like it restores my humanity. Better yet, a hot shower and full moisturizing routine. Better still, a hot shower with a decadent body wash and a rub down with lavender baby oil gel immediately after I get out. When I am dry, soft, and smelling sweet, I feel as if I am armored and ready to take on the world.

In what ways are you resilient?

I believe that I am resilient in my refusal to go hard at the difficulties in the world. I dislike the person I am when I become hard, so I won’t. Being hard and being resilient are not the same thing.

I am resilient in that I will always try to get up and try again tomorrow. I fail. I fail a lot. I fail in big ways. But tomorrow is always a new day and a chance to try again. To say I’m sorry to those whom I have wronged. To ask forgiveness for my lack of love, kindness, and grace. It is always a new day to try again to be the person I was created to be, fully that person.

Now, I don’t know if this makes me resilient or just crazy but I have found, through different circumstances, that unless I am told (or it is implicated quite strongly) that a someone no longer interested in having me their life or wants anything to do with me, I will often keep reaching and trying to keep the communication lines open. Sometimes this is a painful course of action and sometimes it is a fruitful one. Sometimes those relationships work out and sometimes they don’t. But I know myself well enough to know that this is my usual course of action.

NaBloPoMo Day 11: Solid Words to Live By

As I have gone through life, I have found that there are several quotes and axioms and Scriptures that have resurfaced or repeated time and time again, often extremely pertinent, relevant, and poignant to just what I was experiencing at the time. Several of these have come to form cornerstones for me and the way I live my life. What I will include here are four of those soul foundations.

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NaBloPoMo Day 9: On Down the Road

As I peer seven years down the road, I cannot See, of course, but I can imagine. I can paint my future with shades of “maybe” and “what if”, but, most of all, I can outline and foundation it with hope and faith and love.

In seven years, my little girl will be getting ready to turn ten and getting ever so tall and beautiful. If she follows in the vein that she had already begun, she will epitomize and embody the phrase “a fierce, spiky little thing” and I will still be admiring and working to temper her fearlessness and still trying to help refine her strong-willed nature. She will be reading and writing and imagining, hopefully still singing with all her heart and dancing with all that strength and exuberance that she shows now.

In seven years, I hope to see Ben exactly where God wants him and, moreover, knowing deeply and joyfully that it is exactly where God wants him and where he is supposed to be. Even more, it would thrill my soul if that coincided with some of the desires of his heart pertaining to ministry, learning, and writing.

As for myself, I am not sure where I will be in seven years. If I am working, I hope that it will be something that will enable me to make a good contribution to supporting our family, will not be too stressful (as in not drive me to therapy stressful), and where I will be able to use my knowledge and skills to be of assistance, even if it is just my organizational and editing skills. It would also be great if it was a job that I could leave at work at the end of the day and come home to be with my family with no guilt or proverbial sword of Damocles hanging over my head and drawing my mind away from what is so very important.

A great deal can happen in seven years and while I am hopeful for the future, I am not going to try to look too far down the road and miss those precious moments and experiences that are right in front of me today and just on the other side of tomorrow’s sunrise.


NaBloPoMo Day 8: Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho!

I do not have a commute anymore, as I am currently an SAHM, but I used to rather enjoy my daily commute, especially when my husband and I worked at the same school corp. I would drive into work in the mornings and he would nap. He would drive home in the afternoons, enjoy his IPR programs, particularly “All Things Considered”, and sometimes I would nap. Most times, though, we would talk. We have some of our best talks in the car.

Now Ben makes a 40-45 minute commute each way every day alone and I miss that time with him. No doubt about it.

NaBloPoMo Day 7: Thoughts are Made of Single Words

The prompt for today asks me to write about two words or phrases that make me laugh. Truthfully, I cannot think of very many that I find that funny but I can think of several that are very profound and have stuck with me over the years.

One of them is one by Eleanor Roosevelt: “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” It might seem a little pessimistic but, honestly, it turned the tide of my mental talk in many ways. I cannot tell you where I first hear or read this quote, but it stuck with me, even if the proper words were lost and all that remained with me was the idea.

I spent a most of the first half of my life living in fear or people’s bad opinion, especially in my community. I truly and honestly believed that if people, including my parents, ever found out that I wasn’t the perfect girl they believed me to be, my life would be over. In a way, I think that fear was compounded by the thought that, if I didn’t ever leave the island and something happened that proved me painfully human, I would be stuck there. Stuck in the disappointment, stuck in the embarrassment, stuck in the whispers, stuck in all of it. Leaving for college afforded me the opportunity to forge my own life, my own path, my own reasons for believing as I believe and living as I live. Not for someone else’s approval but for God’s and, honestly, my own.


Another quote that has stuck with me is one by C.S. Lewis: “Do not shine so that others can see you. Shine so that through you others can see Him [God].” I have a ministry and purpose in life and I have been given the gifts to accomplish that purpose.  I want to reach out to the heart that is lonely or lost, that needs encouragement, that needs to know that someone is there and cares about them, regardless of sex, creed, belief system, skin color, whatever (theirs or mine). But I don’t do it because I want people to admire me. No. I do what I do because I want people to see God and His love for them. If I can be a vehicle for such love, I am all for that.


NaBloPoMo Day 6: No One but “Mister”, No One But “Missus”…

Next year,  I will have been married for ten years. My husband and I have learned a great deal about each other, yet there is still much to learn. Ben works extremely hard each and every weekday (and Sunday) to make sure that I not only have what I need but that I have the means to get what I want. He frequently asks if I am okay and if he can help me if I seem stressed or tired (which is far more frequently than I like to admit). He continues to endeavor to learn my love languages and surprises me with little gifts now and again. He encourages me, tells me how proud he is of me, how glad he is that I am in his life.

I try to keep aware of Ben’s moods, ask if he is OK, if there is anything I can do to help when he is not. I endeavor to support him, uplift him, and encourage him through his teaching and pastoring work. I remind him all the time that I love him deeply and dearly, I am here because I choose to be here, want to be here, and I am not going anywhere.

We call each other helpmeet because that is what we are to each other: we are not only doing life together, we are helping each other through it, supporting and each holding the other up through times of life that are rough. We understand that there are periods of life when one will carry a higher percentage than another. Mine was when Ben was injured in a car wreck, his ankle in a splint/cast and him on crutches/a cane for four months. When I was pregnant, Ben took on a higher percentage of everything in life. Since having our daughter, he has taken on being the sole breadwinner for our family for the first few years of her life as I have been at home with her. We understand that there are periods of life when one will carry a higher percentage than another. However, that does not stop us from being grateful and wanting to make sure that we are doing whatever we can to help each other.

We have walked this road together for almost ten years. We are still growing, still learning each other as we age and grow and change along with life. We have made a great beginning together, I believe, and I am looking forward to the rest of our lives together.

Green top, black pencil skirt, and black fascinator 2

NaBloPoMo Day 5: It’s Not You, Strawberry. It’s Me.

There aren’t a huge number of fruits that I have tried that I dislike; however, there is one fruit that I dislike in its “fruit” form and that is a strawberry.

When I was a child, my grandmother worked in the kitchen of one of the largest resorts on our island and, when I would visit her at work, she would give me either an apple or a whole strawberry. Of course, when your grandparents gives you something to eat, you’re expected to eat it. So I did. As a result, I have grown to dislike eating strawberries unadorned just by themselves. I think it’s a texture thing. If the strawberries are mixed into an ice cream (Hagaan Daz strawberry ice cream is a long-time love) or a cake, a salad, or some such thing, I am ALL about it, and I LOVE the flavor. But I simply cannot abide strawberries just by themselves.

Sorry. It’s not you. It’s me. Too much of a good thing, I guess.

NaBloPoMo Day 4, Part 2: The Little Candlemaker

This is based on a roleplay character that I played for a total of five hours. I still feel like I could have lived her up a little more and, apparently, she agrees, because she has stuck around, poking her head out of her room in my imagination and whispering to me.

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“Little Candlemaker”. She didn’t mind the title. It was usually said pleasantly, with the smile of one happy to see her. A few times it had been murmured in soft tones, a hint of pleading and want layered beneath. It really hadn’t even bothered her when the gruff old barber had called  her “little match girl”, which she knew was purposefully meant to be annoying; it was just his way. She had usually repaid it with an affected roll of her shoulder as if piqued, to satisfy his attempt.

On average, however, she did not mind the byname “little candlemaker”. It amused her on most days and she rarely distributed another thought about it.

But when one man said it, when one man called her “little candlemaker”, she found herself taking pause. Her entire form’s reaction was different when the words rolled from his lips. Skin warmed, heart thudded, gooseflesh popped up on her arms. But why was that? She had known him all her life and he had never glanced her way a second time.

But now…now things were different. Secrets were out in the open, the threads of the village drawn tighter, stronger. All were considered as family, all considered protected. Now, everyone knew.

She worked the magic of the flame without fear of reprisal and assured of protection. She filled the village homes with light and peace and faith. In the flickering blue hearts of the flames set to her candles, people breathed in calm and amity. She worked the little magic in her blood for the good of her fellows and not just herself, turning her own fortune around.

And she repaid the charity shown her in the only way she had at her disposal. Their home, their livelihood, the seat of their power was filled with her candles, burning brightly into the night, the wicks never burning down, the fat, intricately-carved tapers growing shorter far more slowly than one should expect. She never requested anything. They had saved her life, saved all their lives. She had had nothing, been in fear for her life, and their family, his family, had saved her. He had promised her that nothing would happen, that what she feared wouldn’t come to pass. And it hadn’t. She would repay them, repay him in his lady’s stead, as best she could for the rest of the days that her nimble hands could dip, form, and carve wax into light.

And she wouldn’t admit to herself how her gaze lingered on him. Not at first. How she found herself more and more often at the tavern, spending time with others with the hope of passing words with him. She gave him smiles, though she was unable to hide the color that would spread delicately over her cheeks. She knew his loyalty to his family, to his kin, the prevalence of their family line. She harbored no hope in that vein.

And yet she nursed the little spark within. Held it in her hands and brought it close to warm her like the first kiss of sunlight to appear on the horizon.

"Girl with a candle. Self portrait" by Zinaida Serebriakova (1911)

“Girl with a candle. Self portrait” by Zinaida Serebriakova (1911) .

NaBloPoMo Day 4: The Downfalls of Age

Honestly, I had never heard the term “ageism” until I saw the writing prompt for today, that instructs me to write on my feelings on ageism. So naturally, I looked it up and found it defined, most basically, as: the stereotyping or discrimination of a person or group of people because of their age (Ageism Hurts, This term was, upon its coining by Robert Neal Butler, used to refer to  stereotyping and discriminating specifically against the old but it can be and has been applied across the spectrum since 1969.

There is no leg on which I can stand to deny the truth of ageism, on both ends of the spectrum. The older are often considered “out of touch” or “behind the times”, the young considered “entitled”. Now some might not consider this discrimination but it lays the groundwork for the disregarding of the wisdom of those who have gone before and the strength and innovation of those who are adulting now. Denying someone the ability to work and provide for themselves because they would be in need of skills education is selfish and unfair. To disregard someone’s excellent work and ability based solely on their age or “lack of experience” is unwise and foolish.

Wisdom is not based undividedly on age, nor innovation singularly in youth. We all have something to bring to the table.

Now, I haven’t seen “The Intern” yet but something tells me that I am going to really enjoy this movie and the message that it brings: