Linking up with Five Minute Friday today! The theme?

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I’ve been working a lot on gratitude lately.

Do you know what? The thing with gratitude is, if you work it, it really works!

Say that fast five times, I dare you.

Gratitude is a conversation with yourself and God about how blessed you are. Here are some other things I am learning about gratitude:

  1. It’s just like a three pointer – you really can practice it and improve. Or, if you’re like me, you can practice it and get real close to the basket but feel better about it.
  2. It should be a daily thing.
  3. It should be an hourly thing.
  4. It’s really a minute by minute thing. You get the idea.

I think gratitude is my simplest way to worship. And privilege is right in there. I mean “privilege” in a good way, not in the “I’m taking over the world” kind of way.

It’s a privilege – to walk down the street every morning and teach my kids about writing and thinking (hopefully at the same time). It’s something I don’t take lightly. It has strings attached, little 18 year old souls that need more than just teaching. It’s a privilege to be with them and learn who they are and learn their stories.

It’s a privilege to relate with my husband. Notice I didn’t just say, “HAVE a husband” because we’re past that now. I have him. I done had him over ten years ago – snared like a 6 foot rabbit in a trap. A rabbit that was in looooove.

He’s still in love, and it’s a privilege to keep walking that path with him – the one where we figure out how to stay in love and work on it and screw up and keep working and on and on. Marriage, y’all. It’s hard core.

It’s a privilege to have these two boys. Red and Blonde. Don’t even get me started. They are just the sweetest, most intelligent, perfect adorable nuggets of humanity. While, at the same time, they are also frustrating and sometimes they have me at: “I don’t even know what to say here. Go to your room. Stay there for two years.”

It’s a privilege. This whole life is that. I was granted special permission by Christ, about twenty years ago, to have a life with him IN it.

And, it’s also totally not, because he never said anything like, “Well, I’m only going to offer out this relationship to a few folks. The special, super elite ones – with the good hair and a really great grasp on the the Old Testament.”

And thank goodness because I am very often 0 for 2 on the hair and the bible thing.

It’s a privilege to talk to Him every day. I ask him stuff and complain and then remember to thank him and keep on talking, and he actually listens.

I have a lot of blessings in my life – I am a healthy, financially ok, employed, white woman with a lot of perks that a lot of people in our world don’t even get to consider.

Realizing this, I am privileged. Blessed. Made alive with hope and wonder with the daily business that is faith.






Linking up with my favorite place today – Five Minute Friday.

Today’s theme?


When I first decided to walk with Jesus, instead of just waving to him from across the room, I had a few life-changing things that happened.

Ok, that’s a totally wrong. All the life-changing things happened. Like, all OVER the place. But one of  the most immediately obvious was my taste in music.

Dana, Before Walking With Jesus: Christian music on the radio? Isn’t that just Carmen and Amy Grant? It’s dork-city.

Dana After Walking With Jesus: Christian music on the radio? It must be on, all the time, twenty-four seven, dorky or no. I am praising my saviourrrrr all the day lonnnnnnnnnnng!

Still don’t like Amy Grant music though. Sorry, Amy. You are a wonderful person.

Jars of Clay, Chris Tomlin, Watermark, Phil Keaggy… I loved them. Still do. I think I even bought a few of those WOW! ALL CHRISTIAN! cd’s because I needed a bit of variety and their plastic covers were so bright and dorky. I found out something. Walking with Jesus meant I could finally stop trying to be so darn cool about everything and embrace my inner dork, and you know what? The DORK IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE.

And so, one day, I found Sara Groves.

And her music cracked me open, and then put me back together, on a daily basis. I own every one of her albums. We played her song, “Fly” as “our song” at our wedding. I reference her song, “Toy Packaging” every Christmas for those who need to know the struggle is real, with the toy packaging.

I just love her. She is my best-friend musician that I have never met. She writes songs about marriage, and fights with husbands, and family, and the bible, and all of it is threaded throughout with a voice that is strong in faith but still has a lot of questions.

This is me. I have a strong-ish faith. But I have a lot of questions. Like, a LOT.

Long ago, before marriage, before recovery (I am a sober momma, because me and wine broke up long ago and that’s a whole other story), before children, before a lot of things, my heart was broken into a million pieces by life and love that was lost. I am pretty sure that’s a thing that has happened to all of us – heartache so profound it threatens to scoop us up and throw us out with the trash. It’s that hard.

I would lay on my bed, feeling tears drip warm down the sides of my face and pool up by my ears, too tired to wipe them away. Sometimes my dog Norman would jump up there with me and snuffle the tears away. He was such a good pupper.

And I would listen to Sara’s song, Remember Surrender. 

You see, I was walking with Jesus, yes. But I was still hurting. And this song seemed to understand that. And with each listen, I got a little better.

Just so you know, there were ther things helped me get better:

Reading the bible. (Walking with Jesus now, duh)

Prayer. (Double duh)

Reading just about anything by Melody Beattie.

Going on long runs with Norman even when I didn’t want to (He always did, so he would drag me. We made it work).

Talking to friends. DUH.

Crying with those friends. And then praying some more. (Quadruple duh. And thank you, friends, for always listening. And always offering to pray with me. And gripping onto my hands hard while you did so, so hard that it almost kinda hurt but in a good way. I’m looking at you, Katie.)

And so, I would like to share this song with you today. If you walk with Jesus, but your heart is still sore and sad, and you just want something so badly, but it can’t be yours… Listen and get a little better.

This version has some pics with the video. They’re a little dorky. But, as you know, I like the dorky.

Story time.

Linking up with my favorite Friday people today. The theme?



I just got off the phone with my sister. We slipped into our easy conversations about food and planning for Thanksgiving and who will bring the potatoes. It’s what we do.

And my other sister, well I had to leave her a message. This did not deter me as I left a long, rambling message that involved me singing Stevie Wonder. Nothing too abnormal here.

My sisters and I don’t spend too much time with story-telling. We chatter on about what’s going on right now, bits and pieces of information. Mostly, we tell each other our to-do lists so the other one can commiserate and offer to bring the potatoes.

We don’t tell each other stories, because we know each other so well. Who wants to listen to a story when you can finish the other person’s sentence? Where’s the suspense in that? It’s like when I check out a book at the library, only to find I’ve read it once before. As I travel the pages I start to feel that weird deja vu, and then, it hits me: Scandalous Love is a page-turner, yes, but I already know the ending. He runs off with her and they are fabulous. And in love.tumblr_n2i1d5NmqY1r37w3co8_500.jpgOk. Granted, I didn’t really read Fabulous Love. Like, ever. Not really my genre.


Sometimes I wonder… don’t we need to ask, every once in a while…

“Hey. What’s your story?”

Even my sisters, who lived part of my story with me, don’t know it all. And I don’t know theirs.

A story can shift and change and it doesn’t end until we do. Do we really ever bother to ask? Is that just too hard or uncomfortable? Or weird, perhaps. Might be a bit weird. And I do love my chatter with my sisters. It’s comfortable, and we laugh a lot, and it’s easy. Story-telling isn’t so easy. It takes a comfy chair and a good sit down and time. It takes time.

But, I wonder. What if we asked for stories more?

What is your story? We all have one. And they’re all important.




Depend on it.

Linking up with my favorite writing community – Five Minute Friday!

The theme?


I have to admit. The first thing that came to my mind were undergarments. We’re going to skip that one, ok?

In fact, I would like to forego any attempt at something spiritually encouraging. Instead, I would like to talk to you about my cat, Steve.

Some of you know Steve. He has his following. Steve is a large white cat who came into our family a few years ago. He adopted both boys as his own, and his large girth has been a well loved pillow, blanket, toy, attraction, distraction, and mascot, ever since. And then, he became quite sick.

Very sick.

I know. He’s just a pet. Just a furry white behemoth that lounges about and kind of reminds me of a slow-moving, furry barge. But there was this moment, when I was carrying him across the room to the bath, he looked up at me with such patient love. The poor dear was in pain, and tired, and covered in filth, and I had bathed him, without incident, a few times already. He never complained. He never fought. He allowed me to lower him into the water and wash his soiled fur, and then gently wipe him dry. He allowed me to administer pills at numerous times during the day. He watched me through all of it with a sigh and shrug, like, “All right, get on with it then.”

So, as Steve and I were working on getting him well again, I was reminded how much this small(ish) creature depends on me, for his food, for a warm place to sleep, for water in which I put ice cubes every morning, because God forbid my sweet babies not have nice, chilled libations for them.

He depends on me, and I am so very grateful for that. We call him Biggie Meows. Or, Sir Meows A Lot. And he depends on us.

This is a good thing.

Steve is all well now, and seems to have gravitated to my side more so than normal. He comes to me whenever I am seated at my computer, and sits next to me, waiting for me to pat his wide head. I swear I see a smile on his face when I do so.

I just love that cat. And that’s all. I have no moral of the story, or bible verse to tie in, or a Jesus moment for you. I just have this:


Poor dear. He’s tired. And too big for the couch.

And that’s more than enough.



The sheets hit the fan.


This is not my laundry room. This is a stunt laundry room.


So, the other day, I put in a load of laundry.

I know. This post is gonna rock your world.



Anyhow, the sheets. My goodness. My mother bought me these sheets because she’s a mother and she still buys me stuff like that. It’s genetics. They buy sheets for you because you might sleep on a rock otherwise. She bought these sheets, I guess, at some really nice sheet store. They are super nice and all. And also? They weigh about four hundred pounds. I don’t know what these sheets are made out of y’all, but it seems to be some sort of bonded steel and fabric bricks, two-ply.

Also, when wet, they weigh about as much as four hundred pounds wrapped around an elephant who doesn’t want to get out of the washing machine.

The sheets, y’all. I struggle.

So, the other day, as I was pulling the elephant wrapped around an enigma known as the poundage of wet sheets, I happened to scrape my thumb. And this was the thumb that already had a blister on it because our backyard likes to go all jungle-themed every week or so.


Well. It just really stung, y’all. It hurt me. THE SHEETS WERE OUT TO GET ME.

And so of course also the laundry room was all “HA HAHA! I am gonna make this now into a totally horrible situation!” and all the hanging clothes managed to come crashing down (ok, one shirt) at my feet and when I bent over to pick it up, I POKED MY BUTT ON THE CUTE HANGING PEGS THAT I HAVE IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM BECAUSE PINTEREST TOLD ME HANGING PEGS IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM WERE A GOOD IDEA BUT NOTHING CUTE EVER HANGS ON THEM BECAUSE THERE’S NO ROOM BECAUSE OUR LAUNDRY ROOM IS LIKE THE MIND OF A TROUBLED PERSON IN THE ASYLUM.

Notice the creeping up of the all-caps, eh? Oh yea. Just wait.

So, I basically gave myself a proctology exam with the stupid Pinteresty pegs of death and then, when standing, I got a head rush and I felt old. Bending over, y’all. It’s not for old people. We might bend over and never get back up.

So, THEN I decided that I HATED everything, and my thumb HURT and I can’t even begin about my backside, and of course my dog was trying to into the laundry room because he’s like Lassie only stupid, and could hear me bellowing and was all, “Wait! Lemme in there! If I come in there I can pant on you and rub my nervous self all up and down your legs because that will HELP I KNOW IT, I CAN DO THIS THERAPY DOG THING, I PROMISE. JUST BELIEVE IN MEEEEEEEE.” And now the whole thing was all about HIM and he doesn’t even have a degree in therapy dog. We just watched a couple of youtube videos together and I nudged him a couple of times and pointed to the tv and said things like, “See? That’s what you could do if you really applied yourself,” and he would quiver and nod, and then go lick himself in inappropriate areas.

So, Mr. Lickie is all up in my business and my thumb is hurting and the sheets are all piled on the floor which is dirty so now I have wet and dirty just-washed really heavy sheets and then:

(deep breath) MY HAIR GETS SNAGGED ON ONE OF THE DANG HANGERS BECAUSE CLEARLY THIS LAUNDRY ROOM IS POSSESSED and once that gets all dealt with some of it (my hair) also sticks in my lip gloss which is SO ANNOYING. Just… SO annoying. It was like the pain of tens thousand arrows but not really painful. So, it was like the annoyance of ten thousand arrows, landing softly on my shiny lips and just sticking there.

Let me just state, if you don’t get the deal with hair getting stuck in lip gloss, you don’t know. YOU DON’T KNOW. IT’S UP THERE WITH PAPER CUTS AND THEN CUTTING A LIME LATER IN THE DAY AND FORGETTING YOU HAD A PAPER CUT WHICH IS, AS YOU KNOW, LIKE A THOUSAND ARROWS…

Well, you get the idea.

And THEN, as I smushed all the sheets, muttering and deciding this day was just so awful, like South Korea mixed with halitoses with a sprinkling of dentist’s office awful. Just the awfulest of awful, I figured this out, that maybe, it could ONLY be worse if, oh I don’t know, like…



And then, you know, I walked with the laundry basket into the kitchen, and lookie there. I HAD A KITCHEN. And also, there was clothes to put on a BED that I HAD UPSTAIRS.


And then, the cat came (one of the three billion we own) and pushed himself up by my legs like they do, a furry leg tripper warmer thingie, and I realized



And don’t even get me started on the toilet and it’s many convenience factors.


No cats were floating by.

I have warm sheets.

My mom is still buying me stuff.




Revised title of this post:


Please, pray for Houston. But don’t JUST pray. Also, DO something. Reach out. Donate. Give time. Give hope. Harvey is an a$$hole.


Don’t know where to start? Here is a good website that offers some ideas:



A Blind Guy, a Robot, and Darth Vader Walk Into a Movie…

Guys, Netflix has SO much awesome stuff right now. I have already talked to you about my love for Moana (well, the boys love it too, but mine is a deeper kind of love. I’m in a serious relationship with the song “You’re Welcome.” It especially makes me happy when the occasion merits an actual “You’re welcome” and I get to break into song. My children so love this. It’s like when they fight and I start with the “Let it Go” business. Big showstopper, that one.)

And then, there’s Sing, and I’m humming, “I’m Still Standing” on the daily as well. It’s a good Mom song. By about five pm, we moms all feel a bit triumphant that we’re still vertical.

There’s so much singing going on over here. I’m a regular Julie Andrews, I tell you. But, shouting “I’m SHINY!!” tends not bring my children in concert with me, with matching outfits and Austrian accents. In fact, most times when I start crooning they sort of sidle away with a pained expression, muttering, “Always with the singing.”  But, you know, one day they might join me and we will enter a contest and climb some mountains to flee the Nazis. Don’t even get me started on this possibility.

Anyhow. This month, I am going to give you a non-singing option to dial up for  movie night because OH MY GOODNESS IT IS REALLY GOOD.

I am a total Star Wars snob, ok? The first rule of Star Wars is that we don’t talk about the Star Wars prequels. When Jar Jar speaks we turn away.

And, we actually straight up sobbed in the theater when Han died. (By “we” I do mean me – but third person sounds cooler.) My husband actually had to put his arm around me. And then, I couldn’t speak of it for two days afterwards.

Trust me, the Star Wars is strong with this one.

So, when Rogue One came out, as a “Star Wars story,” I was skeptical. Would it just be another weak CGI’d mess with whiny characters and costumes that are more interesting than the actors? (Yes, Princess Ami-blah blah. Your hair was better than your acting).

Rogue One is so good. It’s sooooo good. It has STUFF in it that just… is SO GOOD.

Is that not a really good review? “It is so good!” They should have used this in their press release:


The hubs and I had a movie night. There was popcorn. A blind guy took down nearly twenty storm troopers because he can.

A robot stole all the best lines.

And then, there is Vader.

Chills. People. He’s in there. I might have squealed a little.

The movie has lots of neato Easter egg for the nerds who are always on the prowl about this sort of thing. Not me, of course.

But… doesn’t this look familiar?? I mean, HOW COOL IS THAT! (tiny nerd squeak)



I’m gonna tell it to you true – the good guys get hit hard in this movie. Rogue One has really intense battle scenes and some hard moments when the good guys sacrifice their lives. It’s a hard message. Love, bravery, sacrifice, family, courage. Truth. War. Faith. It’s all in there.

But, the good guys keep trying. They keep fighting the darkness, even when the odds are very high that they won’t make it. Very high.

As a mother of two boys in 2017? I need this message. I really, really do.

Save the rebellion.

Save the dream.


As a StreamTeam blogger, I get to watch Netflix and chat about it. It’s a great gig.

Here’s why I intensely dislike* my husband:


You're invited to an*Well, I was gonna say “hate.” But, hate’s such a strong word.

“Intensely dislike” doesn’t have quite the same ooomph, though.


But, I shall continue.


  1. Watching Brian eat chicken wings is the kind of experience that will put you off chicken, and their wings, forever. You know those scavenger ants that crawl all over a big cow corpse and leave it picked clean in ten minutes? Think that, but more gross.
  2. The other day I sat down next to him on the couch and said, “Guess what time I started writing today. Go ahead, guess.” And he didn’t respond so I said, “NEVER O’CLCOCK. THAT’S WHEN.” And then he said, “Why?”
  3. Whenever he goes anywhere, in any car, and it comes to a stop, it takes him like forty minutes to actually exit the car. I don’t know what he does in there, because I usually just leave. Perhaps he’s a top secret spy and whenever the car shuts off he has to reconfig his gps for the spy people. That doesn’t really make any sense. But it’s so annoying.
  4. He walks really slow. Unless I’m walking beside him. Then I can’t seem to keep up with his long footsteps. So, maybe it’s an optical illusion. Or, that he doesn’t want to walk with me. We’ll say option one.
  5. I once was having an existential laundry breakdown and flopped down next to him in bed and said, “Do you ever feel like the days are all just the same thing, over and over, and we’re all on this turning planet just milling about and doing the same thing, over and over, and it will just be like that until we die? Because I just folded and put away laundry and now that’s how I feel.”  And he said, “Yes.”

These are hateful, awful things. Deplorable.

But, that’s marriage.

Here’s my point (which I know is kinda full of snark today but it’s Wednesday, and that’s my snark day. Thursday is for serenity. Friday is for super-spiritual… I have it all written down in my bullet journal).


My husband is so annoying. Like, sometimes? Just watching him eat makes me want to stab him with a fork. Marriage is like that. It’s like a long overdue pot of rice on the stove that just BOOM bubbles over in seconds and creates a God awful mess. Simply because the rice was rice.

Here’s another metaphor for you. Marriage is like, a petri dish. Here we are, stuck together in all this goo (children), watching each other, and other things (children) and just floating about and sometimes behaving like one-celled organisms.

And it’s so annoying.

But, even with the chicken wings and the melodious sounds of snoring at night that keeps the whole neighborhood in sync- even with that. AND his weird love of Quick Trip hot dogs. AND that if he says, “I’m going to the store for some milk,” I can expect him back sometime before sundown.


I will always and forever love him. Forever and forever. Like, forever.

More today than yesterday, in fact.

Because, that’s marriage.


Happy anniversary, my sweet love. Every day’s a new day.