Friday, June 25, 2010

One Question Friday


















Every Friday I’m going to ask a question. The questions I choose might be ambiguous on purpose. The goal is to have you answer the question according to your beliefs, where you’re at in life or a circumstance that might have recently impacted you. The only thing I ask is that you provide an explanation for why you answered the way you did.








It is my hope to understand you better through this and also to gain a greater understanding of humanity and how people make decisions.

















Are you ready?
Set?
Or going?







*photos by flickr
**I’ll be on a blogging hiatus next week. Here. There. And everywhere.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Evolving in Monkey Town by Rachel Held Evans


A conversation is at risk of becoming boring if no one cares enough to ask any questions.

Rachel Held Evans doesn’t come across the least bit boring to me. In Evolving in Monkey Town, she poignantly and humbly unravels her faith journey. Rachel provides the perfect blend of humorous details and deep probing questions.

In her memoir, Rachel writes about growing up in a conservative, fundamentalist community in Tennessee, where the Scopes Monkey Trial took place in 1925. For Rachel faith was more about head knowledge than relationship. Certain triggers of compassion spun her faith into a thought-provoking season of doubt. I admire that even during this time Rachel’s inquiries only increased.
~~~
I greatly respect those who are unafraid to ask the hard questions. It demonstrates the belief that we don’t know everything, while also exhibiting trust that a greater God does know everything. Shedding skin from her apologetics upbringing, Rachel learned to embrace the value in asking questions. This eventually led her to an enriched faith, one of relationship, compassion and knowledge.

Faith changes. I can attest to this in my own life. I have the utmost admiration for Rachel as an author and as a sister in Christ.

What I’ve always loved about King David and his brazen openness before God, I also appreciate in Rachel Held Evans. Rarely do I encounter a book with the spark plug ability to generate honest thinking about spirituality. We live in complicated world where relationships are nothing if not convoluted. It’s impossible to be a devoted follower of Christ and not at one point or another struggle with questions of faith. Rachel explores her questions with integrity and a clear hunger for answers.

Finally the conversation has begun.


“We are saved by restored relationship with God, which might look a little different from person to person, culture to culture, time to time.” ~ Rachel Held Evans


*I’m thankful to have received a free copy of this book in exchange for this honest review
**how cool that this is my 300th post

Monday, June 21, 2010

For the Dogs


Ever since I started reading The Art of Racing in the Rain (a story told from a dog’s perspective) I’ve noticed I’ve been extra kind to our Samoyed. A tribute to anthropomorphism at its finest. But honestly, anyone trying to claim animals lack feelings needed to watch the show on Animal Planet on Mother’s Day about a lemur having to leave its baby behind. The ring-tailed lemur came back to check on the baby multiple times. Needless to say the special made me cry.

Anyway, we’ve had our dog, Korah for eleven years. She’s kept us entertained with her cat-like antics, hopping upon chew toys with a feline pounce. She’s added fragrance to our lives when she managed to get sprayed between the eyes by neighborhood skunks three times. And we’ve had the fine delight of discerning her diet. And like Marley from Marley & Me…she produces treasures. Unlike that lovable book (and dog) I wish I could celebrate a necklace or two she’s digested fully, but our finds include things of the less, shall we say shiny variety. Hot pink Polly Pocket pants. Baby wipes fully intact and other non-identifiable objects.

Last week many of you heard about my excursion to the doctor’s office because my youngest shoved a round Lego piece high to the heavens inside her nostril (surely she was aiming for the brain). Our wonderful grandfatherly neighbor (and when I say wonderful I truly mean it. We actually have our children call these neighbors Grandma and Grandpa J) came to inform me our sweet eleven-year-old white snowball (often compared to a polar bear) left a present in their yard to clean up. And like a good neighbor, I cleaned what needed cleaning, then preceded to take my youngest to dislodge the Lego. I lead such a glamorous life, eh?

So all this to say what? My affection for our dog runs deep. She’s been there for me in some Marley & Me moments before. I’ve had good cries lying next to her, letting her lick my hand after I’ve wiped away tears. Anything for salt. They’ll do anything for salt.

But seriously, I could not ask for a better dog. Eye allergies cause brownish-black scythe shapes to drip out of her eyes—very noticeable against her blanket of white fur (even her eyelashes are white…how cool is that?). A friend used to tease me she thought Korah looks like the lead singer from KISS. I don’t see it.

I don’t see it because when I look at her I see the compilation of all the times she’s been a faithful friend to me. I see her sniffing each of the three baby caps we brought home from the hospital and her peeing the same night to remind us of her territory. I see her drowned in tomato juice when I attempted to get out the skunk smell. I see her raspberry tongue and her wagging curled gigantic squirrel tail. I see a dog that’s endured six moves, three children and our waning energies to walk her as she should be walked.

I see our sixth family member. No wonder a book told from a dog’s perspective instigates me to lavish more love on our dog. It’s about time. And you wonder who bought the book for me?

Are you a dog person like me?

*
As a strange side note: the day I wrote this post we returned from the grocery store to find Marley & Me on our sunroom table. For the life of me I can’t remember who I’d lent it to, but it had been returned. And you wonder who got Marley & Me down off the shelf and put it on the sunroom table while we were gone? ;)

Friday, June 18, 2010

One Question Friday

















Every Friday I’m going to ask a question. The questions I choose might be ambiguous on purpose. The goal is to have you answer the question according to your beliefs, where you’re at in life or a circumstance that might have recently impacted you. The only thing I ask is that you provide an explanation for why you answered the way you did.














It is my hope to understand you better through this and also to gain a greater understanding of humanity and how people make decisions.


















Tread lightly or stomp, leaving footprints?


















*photos by flickr

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Questions I Ask Myself: Part Two


Taking a break from All in a Day’s Thought’s regularly scheduled I 8 Wednesday in order to bring you round two of Questions I Ask Myself…

Question One:

I did the jig when I read literary agent, Rachelle Gardner’s question last Friday.
What's more important? Being happy with your work, or getting it published?

Answer:

The comment I left on her blog…Digging my work. Hands down.
I didn’t worry about being judged when I wrote my answer. Of course I want to be published and I’m going to work my tazakis (not sure what those are, but I felt like making up a word) off in order to get my books published.

I enjoyed this question. I like how it challenged my thoughts and motives. I like how I didn’t feel like I had to answer it in any way other than what felt right and real at the time.

If I could expound upon my answer I’d simply provide this quote:

“Let the beauty we love be what we do.” ~ Rumi

(If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, the comments are fascinating. So many of them made me think of my One Question Fridays –my interest in how people come to conclusions.)
Question Two:

What makes you angry? What fires you up and grates on you? What issue or social crisis, etc. scalds you like a hot iron branding a horse?

Challenge:

If you’re a writer, write about such things. You might surprise yourself how powerful your voice will come across. If you are a person (I’m going out on a limb, but am guessing most of you fall into this category) do something about the issue or social crisis.

*learned recently one of my favorite short stories is going to be published in CFOM in October
**photos by flickr

Monday, June 14, 2010

Questions I Ask Myself

If you haven’t connected with me long you might not know I love asking myself questions. Today I’m going to ask and answer a few and then I plan to throw some at you.

Question One:

Why do you write ~ Wendy under blog comments when the reader can easily see who made the comment and even click on your name to link to your blog?

Answer:

I miss personal touches. Hand written letters, a how are you accompanied with silence because the inquirer really cares to know the answer…you see where I’m going with this. I write my name because I’m a fan of making authentic and personal connections in this web tangling business of writing.

Question Two:

On your Facebook profile where given an opportunity to share a little more about yourself, you wrote, "I spy with my little eye"--why did you choose those words?

Answer:

A. Because I’m a mama and moms know that not only do we have eyes in the back of our heads, our eyes are everywhere. Also, I’m constantly inventing creative games (one being I Spy) to play with my girls in order to help them pass time while they wait. And since life is mostly a wait, it’s a good thing to know how to be good at it.

B. Because I’m a writer and the same spying skill inherent with motherhood is embedded in writers. We notice things. Small things. Things the average Joe or Jane might miss. We spy and all of what we spy tunnels into our brain to a holding zone to be used at some point and in some creative way…when the time is right.



What personal touches do you enjoy?

Do you spy with your little eye?

*check back Wed. for part two of Questions I Ask Myself (this may become a theme for Mondays)
**photo by flickr

Friday, June 11, 2010

One Question Friday


Every Friday I’m going to ask a question. The questions I choose might be ambiguous on purpose. The goal is to have you answer the question according to your beliefs, where you’re at in life or a circumstance that might have recently impacted you. The only thing I ask is that you provide an explanation for why you answered the way you did.

It is my hope to understand you better through this and also to gain a greater understanding of humanity and how people make decisions.

On my daughter’s door: Sooper Shannon (with a fantastic illustration of a cape-wearing hero).
So, what’s your superhero name?




*feel free to be creative with spelling as my daughter clearly was
**photos by flickr

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lazy Eights

Every Wednesday I give you a list of eight. This Wednesday I’m revealing eight of my favorite ways to spend time during the lazy days of summer…

swinging on a hammock

sipping sweet tea

being on water (floating on a raft, kayaking, speeding in a boat)

camping out under the stars

watching fireflies light up the backyard

working on a multihued crossword puzzle

reading enthralling novels

listening to outdoor music

What do you do to enjoy the lazy days of summer?


*photos by flickr

Monday, June 7, 2010

Life at the Whack-A-Mole

I thoroughly enjoyed the book Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl by N.D. Wilson. In Notes…Wilson shares how this world is a story unraveling before our eyes—God’s story.

Just to have a little fun with you today I’m going to write how my days unravel before me like:

Life at the Whack-A-Mole

soccer practice shuffle, getting four females dressed, four ponytails cinched, looking up the word polygon so I don’t embarrass my daughter and biff 2nd grade math homework for her, tackle the lily pads of laundry on my bedroom floor, piles of paperwork to sort through, concerted effort to have special time with each child and my husband every day, cleaning something…anything, cook something edible—not to mention my die hard discipline of cranking out 1000K per day.

There’s a glimpse of my life—I might as well be peering above a whack-a-mole. On my endless checklist of things to accomplish, I complete one only to have another little mole head pop up. Little varmint teases me with his jagged smile, furry flea-ridden head…

Another this…another that.

My to-do list is on steroids.

And you know what?

I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

However, it’s imperative I march away from the Whack-A-Mole throughout the day to take time to ride the Ferris wheel. Taking time to enjoy the view. My children will only be young for a brief blip on the radar screen of life.

I need to take time to reflect on the beauty of innocence, listening intently to the sound of their laughter, concentrating on their questions, snuggling with them while they still ask to snuggle.

I attended a graduation party over the weekend. It served as a reality check. Wake-up call. Coffee grinds in the nostrils. My kids really will only be young once.

Life demands me to keep whacking those mole heads.

If I’m wise, I’ll remember to carve out time to take in the view from the Ferris wheel.

What views are you enjoying from the Ferris wheel?
*photos by flickr

Friday, June 4, 2010

One Question Friday





Every Friday I’m going to ask a question. The questions I choose might be ambiguous on purpose. The goal is to have you answer the question according to your beliefs, where you’re at in life or a circumstance that might have recently impacted you. The only thing I ask is that you provide an explanation for why you answered the way you did.



It is my hope to understand you better through this and also to gain a greater understanding of humanity and how people make decisions.






A writer calls it writer’s block. A non-writer might call it uninspired, boredom—ennui. What do you do to get the cogs moving again when things feel stuck?


*My article at Sage this month
**I finished the first draft to my fourth novel, The Partridge Sacrifice. Woo. Hoo.
***photos by flickr

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

8 Movies in Heaven

Years ago, our pastor in Lexington, KY introduced an idea I haven’t been able to shake. Movies in heaven. He threw out the potential for us to be able to sit with God and have a this is your life moment, as the movie reel spins and we gape in surprise or delight at some of the ways we acted while on earth.

Possible? Why the heck not?

All I ask is if there’s going to be a movie room of scenes from my life in heaven, I’d also love one splashing scenes from the Bible up on some massive, surround sound screen.

On this I 8 Wednesday, here’s what I’d want to watch:

Bush Burning
Sea Parting
Donkey Talking
Bones Breathing
Baby Crying
Lazarus Rising
Curtain Ripping
Angels Singing




How about you? What scene, miracle or moment from the Bible would you want to watch on an enormous movie screen?


*photos by flickr