A Centennial Confession

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In this, my 100th post, I feel compelled to come clean.

I have been running…and not in the good way. But, first, let me explain.

The trouble all started a year and a half ago when I extracted pure gold from my favorite used bookstore back home: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. The book was published in 1986, and I harbored strong initial doubts. Six dollars, however, wouldn’t break me, so I took a chance. And, truthfully, I have not been able to put the paperback down since.

Perhaps most striking of all in Goldberg’s inspired wisdom is the following passage:

You practice whether you want to or not. You don’t wait around for inspiration…[y]ou train your mind to cut through or ignore your resistance. You just do it. And in the middle…you love it. When you come to the end, you never want to stop.

Her message is quite simple: Keep writing.

A month after reading these words, I signed up for WordPress. Two months later, readers began to follow my writing.

And seven months later, my book found me.

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Letting in the Sunshine: 13 Questions

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My husband and I never do things the traditional way. Take, for example, our 2010 World Cup-inspired mission trip to South Africa. I mean, what better way to celebrate your first year of marriage than with vuvuzelas and chicken feet, right?

When I reflect on this adventure, I think back to the dozens of questions that the village children asked me each morning.

“I hear there is a bin for paper, plastic, and tin. Is this true?”

“How old are you?”

And perhaps my favorite of all: “Are you married to the scientist?”

The wonder in their eyes was almost tangible. And, in full transparency, their attention made me feel like a million dollars. I want to see the world this way.

But, alas, I was forced to return to my old life, my old habits, my old attitudes. And only in my matured adult years have I come to see that that perfect African sunset was never meant to be left behind – it was designed to become a part of me.

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Oh, the Decisions You’ll Make!

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Decisions can be suffocating – much like graduation robes. In May 2006, I pondered this exact thought as I walked across a very long stage. College was over, and finally my life would fall into place.

I would attend graduate school and pursue a career in education. I would marry a good Christian man who was well on his way to becoming a doctor. We would have two children, and I would perfectly balance motherhood and my career.

Little did I know that in a few short years, I would lose it all – the teaching career, the doctor, and the guarantee of motherhood. Continue reading “Oh, the Decisions You’ll Make!”

Of Walls and Dreams

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I am 30-years-old and have worked close to 20 professional jobs in my life. I have done it all – from assisting golfers to educating the homeless to refilling paper towel holders for $5.45 an hour (which, I should add, practically made me homeless). Despite all of the hours that employment consumed in my young adult life, I always found that it kept me humble and motivated me to study harder.

When I graduated with my first master’s in 2008, I could think of no better way to drain my bank account than to have my new degree, as well as my bachelor’s, professionally framed. You see, these two pieces of paper were more than simple accolades – they were physical reminders of the youth that I sacrificed for a better life.

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