A Year of Amazing Grace {with Guest Author, Allison K. Flexer}

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Today, I’m honored to be hosting newly published author, Allison K. Flexer, who also happens to be a member of my online writing group, the Story Circle. While Allison’s book is a gift to the single woman in particular, her message will resonate with anyone who has had a hope deferred or a dream just out of reach. Just as I’ve shared about the crazy times in my family’s life over the past year, below Allison echoes that we can trust God to save the day, even if it isn’t according to our outline and our schedule. Enjoy!

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by Allison K. Flexer

I started writing a book for single women when I was 33 and single. For the next three to four years, I wrote and re-wrote my manuscript. I pitched it to many Christian publishing houses, receiving good feedback but no publishing offers. On the single woman front, I dated a lot of guys. Things never really clicked, but I refused to settle. I felt like time was running out on my dreams, the one about getting married and the one about publishing a book for single women. Continue reading

The Line No One Else is Singing {#InfluenceConf Recap}

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When I was a pre-teen, my music minister dad opened the hymn book and sang out the second, third and fourth lines of notes to me. Ever since then, I’ve been listening for the harmony. Usually, I like to find the line no one else is singing to bring out the fullness of the chord…or maybe just to be original.

As I sat at the back of the Influence Conference meeting room last week during worship time, I kept humming out a harmony only to find it was already taken. When I tried to get in between that line and the melody, I heard voices from other parts of the room singing the same notes.

I couldn’t find a harmony all my own. Continue reading

Homecoming

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Over the trees, the sound of trumpets came to me. Drums bellowed back at mallets punching. Summer days, the marching band played like always. I could hear it from my backyard. Some days it was the sound of war, other days of celebration. I knew something was coming one way or the other.

I hadn’t known if we’d get to keep this house, this town and its music, these neighbors and our walks to school. I hadn’t known if we’d have the money to send my four year-old to preschool, the dream she’s been talking about for two years straight. I hadn’t known whether to plant my garden. But I planted it anyway, there in the backyard to the sound of distant music. Continue reading

I Don’t Fly Lightly: How a Stay-at-Home Mom Turns back into a World Traveler

Painting by Leslie Ober

June 2003. It’s the last time customs stamped my passport. Madrid. Tangier. I take my fiance along for quite a ride, then four months later, calm and cheerful, I leave behind my love of nations for the love of my all-American guy.

December 2010. My passport expires in its quiet file folder…no fanfare.

February 2013. About to bring my third baby into the world, I have nestled myself quite deep into a life of home and family. Yet, as I shared here, for someone like me who has logged all these miles in the memory bank and had her passport stamped in a dozen faraway places, the seat of the rocking chair can sometimes feel so small. Continue reading

The Soldier and the Seed

This May has been more busy than the one I wrote about below. I’ve attended baby showers, entertained a whole host of job and ministry possibilities and helped my husband prep for interviews, driven out of town to share a talk at a women’s retreat, read three books, hot-glued a polar bear habitat for my son’s school project, written an article for the High Calling, dreamed up an easy breezy summer session for The Story Circle (I need it!), taken a day trip to the Detroit passport agency to rush renewal for a crazy opportunity that got dropped in our lap (I’ll tell you more about that soon!), stayed overnight with some of our favorite people in southern Indiana and hiked the trails of Brown County together, said farewell to friends moving out of town, celebrated half a dozen birthdays of family and friends, and somehow managed not to spontaneously combust. So, once again, we’re just now getting to the yard work. The piece below, a memorial of my soldier poet grandfather that I wrote two years back, has a lot to say to me now in our current circumstance as my husband and I try to discern what dreams must die so that the most vibrant versions of ourselves can sprout and grow to fruition. I’d love to know how my grandfather’s poem speaks to you. Continue reading