November Memories – 2022

November Memories – 2022

Another month, another review…

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.

george eliot

Things worth remembering

  • Sniffing 95% of the candles at Hobby Lobby (even the disgusting ones) with a sister
  • puddle selfies
  • the first real snow of the season
  • Bananagrams and peanut butter cups with friends
  • sharing music with my family at a local church
  • family time and preparations on Thanksgiving Eve
  • baby snuggles and rodent tales on Thanksgiving Day
  • surviving a painfully awkward and extremely predictable Hallmark-style movie

I’ll walk with you through the shadowlands till the shadows disappear…

from Andrew Peterson’s “Dancing in the Minefields”

What I’ve been reading

The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

Up jumped Bilbo. “Breakfast?” he cried. “Where is breakfast?”

“Mostly inside of us,” answered the other dwarves who were moving about the hall; “But what is left is out on the veranda.”

I’m still reading this one…and it’s still just as hilarious and thought-provoking as last month.

Death by Living – N.D. Wilson

Drink your wine. Laugh from your gut. Burden your moments with thankfulness. Be as empty as you can be when the clock winds down. Spend your life. And if time is a river, may you leave a wake.

This was an enjoyable read…and while I did get lost in some of the poetic nature of it all (I’m a baby poet, and too much of it loses me) and I didn’t really agree with all of Wilson’s conclusions, this book has quite a few quotable lines and provides a lovely perspective on eternity and mortality.

This Life of Mine – Victoria Lynn

I had the privilege of beta reading the second book in my friend’s series, The Chronicles of Elira, and goodness. It’s just so good. I can’t wait to share my review with you!

“We do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive!”

Daniel 9:18

From the journal…

Help me to remember truth: that You loved me eve when I was dead in sin. that You chose me before the world began. That it is grace that leads me home, not my stellar conduct.


What made your November memorable? What’s been your favorite read of late?

❤ Laurel

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

the daily choice

There’s not much to today’s post…just a little journal entry that’s masquerading as a poem today. It’s a reminder I need on a daily basis, and I hope that it blesses you, too. ❤

I choose You, Father.

Not me.

I choose Your battles. Not mine.

I choose Your weapons. Not mine.

I choose Your heart. Not mine.

I choose Your way. Not mine.

I choose Your vision. Not mine.

I choose You, Father.

I choose You.

(Also: my next newsletter comes out this Thursday…so if you aren’t signed up and would love to have some sneak peeks of Book 2 pop up in your inbox (along with other interesting randomness), go ahead and subscribe through this link!)

Carving legacies in souls

What will I leave behind?

It’s a question that’s tugged at my attention for years. As I read the stories of eternal heroes with short lives and stared at the caskets of people I held dear, the question haunted my mind.

so small and

insignificant

one breath will

blow this life away, and

what

will be the proof that

it was here?

mangled lives

and broken hearts?

friendships

that were torn apart by

hands that now lie still and cold?

oh, no!

forbid it, Lord!

A month or so ago a friend and I were wandering through a beautiful cemetery that sprawls over several acres of hills. (You know you have loyal friends when they smilingly join you on strange expeditions.) There were so many old gravestones – some tipped and sinking deep into the soil. Several were ridiculously tall and ornate, but they were so old that wind and water and time had wiped the sentimental words right off of the marker. Their attempts to leave an echo of their greatness were in vain.

Of course I hope that I leave behind me a trail of words that can point others to Christ and to truth decades after I’m gone, but paper burns. Ink fades. Files become corrupted.

If words are all I leave, I’ve failed.

For even if my words could surpass the masterpieces of Dickens and Shakespeare,

If I sang with the voice of an angel,

If the world remembers my name until the world stops turning,

But I have not love…

I am nothing.

oh, Father, keep me

on the sidelines with a loving heart

if I can’t champion the world

with outstretched hands.

Words fade. People don’t.

Let’s live our lives accordingly.

❤ Laurel

Coming soon…

Coming soon…

Cue the call to battle…we are at it once again!

As I’m looking at the above graphic, I’m thinking about how wrong it feels that 2023 will be here in less than two months…but I’m also so excited because it means this next book will be here in less than five months!

Book #2 will be another poetry book (surprise, surprise!), but as of yet, I’m not sharing many more details. There will be a cover reveal with a blurb coming soon, but for now I’m letting you guys guess as to what this next book may hold. Here’s your clue:

Book #2’s playlist

I love the way that music communicates where the written word falls short, and so I’ve been compiling a playlist of songs that share the themes I’m writing about in book #2. If you’re into music, go ahead and check out the playlist…and let me know in the comments if you have any guesses as to what the themes of book #2 might be!

Also…if you would be willing to be praying for me as I finish compiling these poems and start the manuscript on its journey to publication, I would be so grateful! God has truly been the one carrying Book #2 (and me!) through this process, and I can’t finish it on my own. I’d so appreciate prayers that:

  • I would be diligent in writing the rest of this poetry (my deadline for that is November 30th, and I have 12-15 to write yet😅).
  • God would give me the words to say and the way to say them.
  • Technology would cooperate with me! XD

Thank you so much for showing up to read and chat with me. I appreciate your support and encouragement so much, and I can’t wait to get this next book to you!!!

❤ Laurel

October memories – 2022

October memories – 2022

And so another month sinks beneath the dust of time…

Before we carry on with my typical format for this post, I want to give you some bad news, and then some good news.

The bad news: a few months ago I lost all of my contacts for my email list. (That’s why I haven’t been sending newsletters.)

The good news: You can sign up again for emails now (follow this link!)…and you’ll want to, because tomorrow I’m sending an email with some pretty exciting news that you won’t want to miss! So go ahead and sign up…as long as you don’t mind me saying hello in your inbox every month.:)

Things worth remembering

  • participating in a fun Instagram challenge hosted by my friend Victoria
  • frying up lots of apple fritters
  • jam sessions made even better with a cajon
  • an apple orchard adventure
  • walks…as always
  • raking corn stalks on a beautiful (and very dry and dusty) day
  • dozens and dozens of runzas
  • hauling silage for the last time this year
  • several deep (and some very strange) conversations
  • hikes with breathtaking views
  • a slumber party with Grandma, complete with hot chocolate and an old movie
  • pizza, more apple fritters, and Ole and Lena jokes with family

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and to discover the prisoner was you.

corrie ten boom

What I’ve been reading

Adorning the Dark – Andrew Peterson

…my expression, even if it is of the most intimate chambers of my heart, can lead the audience beyond me and to the Ultimate Self, the Word that made the world. In that grand chamber alone will art find its best end, as an avenue to lead the audience home.

Nothing to say but that several times during this book my soul has been screaming, “Yes! I’m not the only one?? Yes. Yes. Yes!!!” The truth. The beauty. Words can’t describe it.

The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

His house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or storytelling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Evil things did not come into that valley.

So begins my foray into the wild and wonderful world of Tolkien. Not only is this making me laugh with its humor and smile over Tolkien’s golden descriptions, it’s convincing me that I, like Bilbo, am most likely a descendent of both the proper hobbits and the wilder Tooks. And now I’m absolutely sure I want to create a home like The Last Homely House.

To-Do: With Love – Abigail Rehmert

If I give my best efforts only when I feel like it, or when it blesses me, then what will this accomplish? If I share my possessions with the needy, but am impatient about it, this counts for nothing. 

This post was so convicting to me. Give it a read if you can.

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.

Jesus Christ (John 12:24)

From the journal

John 16:29-30 – The moment of the disciples’ strongest confidence in their Savior was followed by the greatest test of their faith. Lord, help Thou my unbelief! Make me unwavering in my trust and help me to remain humble and ever aware of my need for grace.

Oh, Lord, You knew all that was to come upon You and You walked forward to meet it anyway. What greater courage is there than this? Thank You for paving the way for me to walk in the most selfless of loves.

…inconsistency taints the picture I’m painting for others of You.

Oh, let me not stray from the path You have laid for me, whether that leads through meadows or minefields. The world roars so loudly, Lord…may I keep my ear close to Your song.

…if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?

1 corinthians 14:8

What made your October memorable?

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

I have found the one whom my soul loves…

I have found the one whom my soul loves…

This phrase, found in Song of Solomon, has always captured my heart with its beauty and the victory it implies.

I was excited for the day when I could finally say it to someone.


This summer, shortly after my grandma passed away, a dear friend gifted our family a mug that bears those words…

and it finally hit me.


I have found the One whom my soul loves.

He sought me out before I wanted Him, seeing the beauty that could be instead of the ugliness I was.

He could have cast me aside for something, someone far more worthy. But He didn’t.

He could have let the cup of His Father’s wrath pour out on me. But He didn’t.

He took it up in weary hands and drank its dregs, giving the last breath in His lungs to rend the veil that kept me from Him.

What love could be greater than this?


Yes, I have found the One whom my soul loves.

I won’t know the full meaning of those words until I step across the fine line of eternity and see His face for the very first time.

I’m certain I won’t be able to say it without weeping…

“I have found the One whom my soul loves.”

September memories – 2022

September memories – 2022

Hello, friends!

I was going to apologize for my lack of posting for the last couple of weeks, but then thought maybe I shouldn’t…because I’m not sorry for sparing you hastily pulled-together words just for the sake of saying I posted. So…sorry, not sorry.🙃

Just because I haven’t posted, though, doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. I’ve been working again on the project I started this summer and *cough cough* another project that I will likely be announcing sometime within the next few months. There’s a lot happening behind the scenes right now, and I am so excited to be able to share it with you!

Anyway, here’s September’s review…

Things worth remembering

  • Fresh zinnias and snapdragons from our little flower garden
  • Charring an apple over a bonfire…it did not live up to my expectations. Its tumble into the ashes didn’t improve the taste. At all.
  • The lovely photos of the moon I captured
  • Learning what to do (and what not to do) when a faulty latch locks you in the tractor
  • Walks by the lake
  • Dancing the polka with my dad
  • Gorgeous road trip weather
  • Harvesting corn silage
  • Visiting a writer friend at Bible college
  • Worship in the stairwell, late night talks and laughter, and dancing in the rain on aforementioned trip
  • Wandering a huge cemetery with a friend

Be careful not to measure your holiness by other people’s sins.

Martin luther

What I’ve been reading

The Westing Game – Ellen Raskin

A most uncommon-looking delivery boy rode around town slipping letters under the doors of the chosen tenants-to-be. The letters were signed Barney Northrup. The delivery boy was sixty-two years old, and there was no such person as Barney Northrup.

This mystery both cracked me up and blew my mind. It’s the perfect autumn read!

The White Cliffs – Alice Duerr Miller

Ah, they forget they cannot write their parts; the bell has rung, the curtain rises, and the stage is set for tragedy – they were in love and young.

I read this novel-in-verse last fall, and enjoyed it so much I decided to read it again.

The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip – Sara Brunsvold

As if sensing the widening gap, Admin Gal looked over her shoulder and came to a stop. “I can get you a wheelchair if you’d like, Mrs. Kip.”

“I think a race car would serve me better, honey.”

I’m halfway through this one and am loving it so much! The dual timeline, the different perspectives in the same scenarios, Clara Kip in general…it’s just so good. The descriptions are fresh and poignant. It’s perfection.:)

To me, a lady is not frilly, flouncy, flippant, frivolous and fluff-brained, but she is gentle, she is gracious, she is godly and she is giving.

Elisabeth Elliot

From the journal

Oh, Father, may I not mourn the death of this season. May I rejoice in You, gladly giving You all of me. Regardless of where it leads me.

I’m afraid to hand my plans to You. I’m afraid to let go of hopes I’ve held for so long. It’s ridiculous because I know You. I know You always handle things so much better than I do. Lord, I choose surrender. I choose to let go. I choose to raise open palms to You, waiting blindly in the darkness…

The devil tempted Jesus with that which belonged to Him, but it was not yet time for Him to take hold of it.

Let me carve my legacy in souls, Father!

“Whoever of you does not give up all claims to personal rights, ambitions, and dreams for My sake cannot be My disciple.” (paraphrase of Luke 14:33)

What were the highlights of your September? Have you been reading anything lately?

❤ Laurel

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

Stolen words – a few poems and the thoughts that inspired them

Hello, friends!

I haven’t shared much poetry on the blog lately, so I thought I’d share a few smaller poems here with you today, along with their backstories. Something about knowing the history of a poem just makes reading the poem itself so much more fun…at least in my book!

(I do share one poem a week over on Instagram, so if you aren’t following along there, click here to follow so you don’t miss a poem!)


voice in ink

I wrote this poem after reading a passage in Isaiah and wondering if I take God’s written Word as seriously as I would take a voice from heaven.

oh, soften my heart

to hear Your silent voice

and heed the ink

as though it were Your hand


bound

Oh, goodness, I love this poem so much.😅 This one was inspired by the song “Homeward Bound”, which (fun fact) my ten-year-old self sang as my audition for a part in a stage production of “The Sound of Music”! I didn’t get a part, but the song has a special place in my heart because of that memory, and also because it really does apply to my own story so well.

(I recommend listening to the song before you read.:))

you didn’t bind me to the pasture

never chained me to the plow

you set me free to find my calling…

I returned – for I bleed rain

the wind is in my heart and soul,

and I am restless

till I’m working, my feet rooted in this ground –

you set me free to find my calling…

I returned to you somehow.


mortality

This one I wrote after reading Francis Beaumont’s incredible poem “On the Tombs in Westminster Abbey”. This is one of my rare truly structured poems, and something about it makes me feel like it belongs in an old, faded hardcover!

the silence of the grave is roaring,

catching the ear of flailing man.

in the chaos of a crowd,

no voice e’er can speak as loud

and clear as death,

whose gasping song

alone can cause a man to see

the mist of his mortality.


Do you have a favorite type/style of poetry?

❤ Laurel

August Memories – 2022

August Memories – 2022

You know the routine…let’s cut to the chase!

Things worth remembering

  • The smell of new twine and hay
  • “Getting” to hear what it sounds like when a tire blows
  • All of the music, dance, and stories shared at my grandma’s memorial service
  • Singing around the bonfire with family and hearing my grandpa play the guitar
  • Getting to see and help set up my brother’s new apartment
  • The guys and girls singing together in the hallway on the youth retreat…the closed door in between the two groups only made for more giggles and louder scream-singing!
  • Misty mornings
  • Baseball and wading in the crik with friends
  • Baby Cchini (If you know, you know)
  • Hauling silage
  • Watching the goldenrod start blooming in the road ditches
  • my brother coming home a day earlier than he said he would
  • a road trip with my grandma, aunt, and friend
  • escaping the sketchy antique store and enjoying the beauty of a much better one

A gracious woman retains honor.

Proverbs 11:16a

What I’ve been reading

The Scarlet Pimpernel – Baroness Orczy

“Mr. Hempseed shook his head with an infinity of wisdom, tempered by deeply-rooted mistrust of the British climate and the British Government.”

I’ve been meaning to read this one for years, and I finally dug it out of the darkest corner of my bookshelf and started. I’m so enjoying the humor and the eloquent writing style!

(At this present moment, I have misplaced the book. Pray that it has the courage to once more show its face.)

The Best Yes – Lysa Terkeurst

We have to put our hearts and our minds in places where wisdom gathers, not scatters.

There are some real nuggets of wisdom in this book!

Today’s choices become tomorrow’s circumstances.

Lysa Terkeurst

From the journal…

With the privilege of being a partaker of the divine nature comes a grave responsibility: to live as the royalty I am.

Keep prying my fingers away from what is good and let me raise willing hands to receive what is best.

Love speaks the truth for the good of the loved, even when it hurts like crazy for both parties.

I want to work to build a legacy of souls, whether they remember my name or not.

Love produces a formidable strength in the lover…oh, Lord, may I love You with this passion that overcomes all obstacles!

Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, you people in whose heart is my law: do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their insults.

Isaiah 51:7

Question of the day: What book/poem/movie/show (barring the Bible) has influenced you the most, and why?

❤ Laurel

What is your gift?

What is your gift?

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:11)

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the gift of writing.

It really brings me so much joy. Being able to write poetry, blog posts, and pieces of flash fiction that encourage and bless others…man, it’s honestly such a fun blessing! But a while ago I caught myself talking about it with the Lord…

There were some other things I wanted, and I was bringing my requests to Him, just like He’s asked me to. In the middle of it all I caught myself saying, with vehement passion, “God, I would give up writing for that!”

It wasn’t until a few days later that the rudeness of that statement slapped me in the face like a putrid, rotting fish.

I seriously just told the God of the universe I didn’t want the gift He hand-picked for me.

Instead of marveling at the treasure and the weight of the commission He’d given me, I held it back to Him with the wrapping paper barely touched, tears filling my eyes, begging for a different gift in exchange.

Rude. Inexplicably, so despicably rude.


Why do you say, O Jacob,

And speak, O Israel:

“My way is hidden from the LORD,

And my just claim is passed over by my God”?

Have you not known?

Have you not heard?

The everlasting God, the LORD,

The Creator of the ends of the earth,

Neither faints nor is weary.

His understanding is unsearchable.

Isaiah 40:27+28


God, in His unsearchable wisdom, set me on the path of writing. He may not choose to keep me here forever, but it’s the gift and the task that He’s set before me in this season, and I’m blessed to be able to embrace it with joy and gratefulness, choosing to set my eyes on Him and not merely on the gifts He gives.

Will I place my identity in His gifts? No. Will I choose to use them for His glory to the best of my abilities? Absolutely! And I pray that you will do the same. ❤

What are some gifts/opportunities that God has given you in this season? How are you/can you be using them for His praise today?

❤ Laurel

Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash