Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Pittsburgh Story

Several weeks ago, our city was saddened by the tragic death of five little children who perished as their house burned to the ground. Their eight-year-old sibling brothers escaped alive but were unable to rescue their little brothers and sisters. The mothers admitted to leaving the children in the care of the eight-year-old boys while they went out for a drink.

Five little promises, snuffed out in a moment. Five little caskets, lowered into the ground. Five precious angels, committed into the arms of Jesus.

I'm not sure why but this story has gripped my heart, perhaps because our family lost our home to fire when I was twelve. Daily it seems, another story from another angle appears in the local paper. Some would say "let it go." I for one am glad people are still thinking about this.

Last week I looked into the faces of those young mothers who will forever bear the consequence of their actions, and wondered, will anyone show them any mercy? Isn't our God the God of justice AND mercy? I was heartened to read this article where at least one other person voiced his same concerns. It's so easy to mete out mental judgment on these women. Yet what if it were one of our relatives? The unthinkable can happen to any of us, something author and speaker Carol Kent came face to face with when her son stood trial and was sentenced for murder.

And then today, I was encouraged again to read this article by a local pastor who is looking beyond the sadness of this tragedy to the heart of the problem. He speaks to our naivete. How could this happen, we ask. A quick search on the web lead me to a newsletter about the ministries of this church, and it was clear he is not merely asking a rhetorical question but rather one he seeks to help answer within his own community.

I was left with the recognition that I am among the naive. But I don't have to be. All I need to do is open my eyes and look around me. And then ask God what he would have me do.

Poor in Spirit

This summer I'm participating in a Bible study on the Beatitudes. Although I memorized this passage as a child, I'll confess - I haven't given it much thought over the years.

Last week we focused on Matthew 5:3: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Someone suggested that to be poor in spirit is to be radically dependent upon God. I haven't been able to get that out of my mind this week - I love that picture.

What does it look like to be radically dependent upon God, I wonder? The Message puts it this way: You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and his rule.

What keeps me from being radically dependent upon God? Perhaps a better question would be "what else am I depending on, instead of God?" Things like the approval of others and my own intuition came to mind. So the next question I must ask is "why do I have to wait until circumstances drive me to the end of my rope?" These things I'm depending on - what would it be like to just let go of them now? What's keeping me from doing so?

Radically dependent upon God. That's where I want to be.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Lately this idea of space has been on my mind. No, not outer space. Inner space. Space for God and others. I'd totally forgotten where I first read about this idea of space, but was reminded earlier this week, in a post on another blog, while I was still kicking this one around in my mind.

In Sacred Companions, David Benner calls this making space for others the gift of hospitality. ". . . soul friends show hospitality by making space in their lives for others. Making space in my life is more demanding than giving advice, money or some other form of help. But the essence of hospitality is taking another person into my space, into my life."

I know I struggle with this and yet I understand it's part of this idea of community that God wants me to live in. Benner goes on to suggest why making space for others can be challenging: if we don't cultivate a place of quiet in ourselves, we have no place where we can invite others. If we don't know ourselves, in the way God knows us, how can we invite others to know us? And if we haven't made a place for God's spirit to work in my life, we have nothing to offer others anyways.

The beautiful thing about this gift of hospitality that we give and receive is that it first comes to us from God. God welcomes us with open arms into his space . . . his family, bestowing on us a sense of true belonging, and all the riches of his glory. How can we do any less but to invite others, as God leads, into our space?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Questions, Questions

Lately I've been impacted by the idea of questions and how important they are in our relationships, both with God and others. I spent a lot of time in the gospel of Mark earlier this year. From January through most of April, I traipsed along, reading just a few verses or a short passage each day, often rereading the same passage for several days. Of all the gospels, Mark is my favorite. When I read Mark, I can really envision being out in the middle of the raging sea and seeing Jesus coming to my rescue. Reading about Jesus getting up early to spend time with his Father makes me want to do the same.

Part way through the book, I began to notice a pattern in Jesus' teaching methods. He was constantly asking questions! Not superficial "how are you" type questions, but deeply probing ones. Here are a few I jotted down just from chapter 8 alone:

  • v. 5 How many loaves do you have? (What do you already have that I've given you to use for me?)
  • v. 12 Why does this generation ask for a sign?
  • v. 17-18 Do you not see or understand? Don't you remember?
  • v. 19-20 How many basketfuls did you pick up?
  • v. 21 Do you still not understand?
  • v. 23 Do you see anything? (asking the blind man)
  • v. 27 Who do people say I am?
  • v. 29 Who do you say I am?
Wow! Imagine being grilled like that by a friend! And yet, Jesus consistently used this method of questioning in all his dealings, from his disciples to the multitudes to even the Pharisees. He was always leading people to the truth, never shoving it down their throat or holding it up as a mandate.

Of late, I've been asked, and am learning to ask, some honest questions of myself and God. Things like:
  • What am I really afraid of?
  • What are my choices here? (as far as emotional and other responses are concerned)
  • What does that look like? (in response to living out a Biblical command or challenge)
  • What are you trying to teach me here, God?
Lastly, I've been challenged to consider the value of questions as part of my relationships with others. The other day I was so blessed to be asked this in an email: What is God teaching you? Again, wow! Imagine if we could ask and be asked those honest questions of a few people in our lives? Questions like
  • How is God working in your life?
  • I've been praying for you about _______. How are things going?
  • Is there anything I can pray for you about?
The power of a good question. What is Jesus asking you today? What are you asking yourself? What are you asking God? What are others asking you (and are you answering honestly?) And what do you need to ask those you love?

Spring Reading Challenge Recap

Katrina's Spring Reading Thing has come to an end and it's time to recap the reading we've done over the past three months. Following are my answers to some of her questions:

What was the best book you read this spring? This is hard, I read so many good ones. I'd have to say it was probably The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. It just gave me a fresh look at the grace that Christ has bestowed upon me. Quaker Summer is at the top of my list also; although it was fiction, it's still impacting me on a regular basis.

What book could you have done without? I didn't read much fiction this time around but I could have done without Miss Julia Takes Over. Possibly because the plot centered around a race car (actually race truck) venue and racing is just not my bag.

Did you try out a new author this spring? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again? Keri Wyatt Kent was a new-to-me author whom I thoroughly enjoyed. I've already ordered her book, Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life, from!

If there were books you didn't finish, tell us why. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren't worth it? I've about given up on Pride and Prejudice, sorry to say. I enjoy it every time I sit down to read it; I just never seem to make much headway. The other one I had to put aside was Surprised by Joy, the semi-autobiographical account of C.S. Lewis' conversion from atheism to Christianity. I know I probably quit right before it got good, but I just couldn't endure any more stories of English boys in their boarding schools!

Did you come across a book or two on other participants' lists that you're planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones? Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane has reviewed some fiction that I am planning to dive into this summer, several by Elizabeth Berg.

What did you learn -- about anything -- through this challenge? Maybe you learned something about yourself or your reading style, maybe you learned not to pick so many nonfiction books for a challenge, maybe you learned something from a book you read. Whatever it is, share! I think I've learned the value of reading intentionally and yet at the same time, to be flexible. I was pleased with myself for making a list and sticking to it. And yet, I'm so glad I added books like Emotionally Healthy Spirituality when they were recommended to me.

What was the best part of the Spring Reading Thing? Hearing about so many good books from other bloggers is one plus. But the best part for me was disciplining myself to finish the books I started. Making a list is definitely the way to go. It keeps my wanton Amazon addiction a little more under control. Plus there's just something satisfying about finishing something!

Would you be interested in participating in another reading challenge this fall? Definitely!

So here's my final list:

The Ragamuffin Gospel (Brennan Manning) non-fiction, Christian life
Quaker Summer (Lisa Samson) fiction
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Peter Scazzero) non-fiction, Christian life
Boundaries in Marriage (Cloud & Townsend) non-fiction, relationships
Desiring God's Will: Aligning Our Hearts With The Heart Of God (David G. Benner) non-fiction, Christian life
Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? (Philip Yancey) (blurb) non-fiction, Christian life
The Garden of the Soul: Cultivating Your Spiritual Life (Keri Wyatt Kent) non-fiction, spiritual growth
Nurturing Silence in a Noisy Heart (Wayne Oates) non-fiction, Christian life
Watching the Tree Limbs (Mary DeMuth) Christian fiction
Bridge to Terabithia (Katherine Patterson) fiction
Miss Julia Takes Over (Ann B. Ross) fiction

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Reflection on Psalm 23

A state of not wanting . . .
Green pastures . . .
Quiet waters . . .
A restored soul . . .
Paths of righteousness . . .

As I read this Psalm penned by the shepherd-king thousands of years ago, I can't help but wonder: are these phrases indicative of a literal resting we can experience today? Or are they (as I don't believe) merely metaphorical? If they are descriptive of a life available to us in Christ, then why sometimes do we insist on nurturing such a frantic pace in our lives, instead of making space for God to work?

To look at my schedule, you wouldn't think I'm going at a frantic pace. Time is not my issue. I don't need to have a booked up schedule to feel fulfilled. Neither is "stuff" so much a problem for me. My struggle is simple: I think too much. I've got too many mental projects going on. Too many ideas. Too many books (yes, I actually have come to the conclusion that it's possible to read too much!)

Space is something that's on my mind lately. How do I create space for God to work? What do I need to clear away so the good can grow? For me, it's learning to focus on one thing at a time. I can't listen to worship music, check email, read my Bible and be writing a blog post at the same time, although believe me, I've tried! I'm trying to slow down and really listen.

Maybe for you it's something different. Maybe it means clearing away some of the literal clutter in your life, as my friend Bev has drastically taken steps to do recently. Or perhaps it's as simple as better managing your time on the Internet, as Laura at Organizing Junkie has taken steps to do recently. Maybe you need to be content with leaving some space in your schedule, which may involve some no-saying. Perhaps there are some "people" issues cluttering your heart, some things you need to forgive and forget. We all have, and will always have, something in our hearts vying for our attention, taking up space that God wants to occupy.

I want to live contentedly. Satisfied and secure in God's provisions for me. Resting in his work, not mine. Refreshed by his Spirit and his Word. Focusing on just the next step on the journey. Will I trust him to shepherd my soul? Will you?

Monday, June 18, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Unexpected

I wasn't expecting this when I went to leave for work this morning! Yep, it appears someone decided they needed to bash my rear window in last night. Don't know why.

If nothing else, this is making me stop and ponder how I handle life's little curve balls. I planned to get to work early this morning and get a jump on the mess no doubt waiting for me since I was off Friday! Needless to say, that's not happening.

Well hey, I plan to use this time to catch up on some reading. You don't have to ask me twice if I'd like more time to read!

Update: The policeman just stopped by and he thinks it may just be due to the heat. Which is weird, because it clearly happened overnight, and my car windows were open all day yesterday. Hmm. Go figure! Nevertheless, I'd prefer it be a heat issue than vandalism!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Father's Gift

As a kid, I always looked forward to payday, for often my dad would come home from work with a surprise for my sister and me. A Hershey bar, a ruler or new pencils - these little gifts were ways my dad said "I love you." What kid doesn't delight in getting a gift from her dad?

Now that I'm older, one of the gifts I recognize that my father has bestowed upon me is the gift of patience. I'm generally an impatient person, not so much with others but with myself and the things I do. I want everything now. I want a blooming display of flowers but not the work associated with them. I want my house to be clean and organized and nicely decorated - now. I want to accomplish all my dreams today!

Visions come to mind of my dad and his meticulous patience in everything he does. There's a right way to do things, no matter how long it takes. He puts things away when he's finished with them, wrapping up cords, disposing of the last little bit of trash. And he always allows himself plenty of time to accomplish these tasks. I can hardly ever remember my dad rushing or fretting about things. This beauty of taking his good old time is part of this idea of patience - the idea of making room and time for patience to work.

I'm not doing such a great job here of expressing what I feel and that's possibly because it's something I've only come to realize as of late. But there's a sense of calm that comes over me when I'm doing something and I remember to slow down and take my time. And I think I have my dad to thank for instilling in me this sense of patience. It's just one of the many things I appreciate about him, and I hope I can thank him by living it out.

Thanks Dad - I love you!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

In Love, Serve One Another

I've gotten in the habit of getting up early on Saturdays and taking a nice long walk at the park. Although the purpose is exercise, I never fail to come away with a blessing or encouragement.

This morning I spied the sweetest sight - a young dad pushing his little girl in a stroller. Letting my imagination run wild, I hoped he was giving his young wife a break this morning. He was definitely the athletic type, and could just as easily been teeing off on the golf course this morning, or at least working up a good sweat jogging on the trail. But no, he was just meandering along, pushing the stroller with one hand while he munched on an apple in the other. The little girl will most likely not remember this morning. She won't appreciate the sight of a deer, wild turkey and squirrels feasting under the same tree, nor the peaceful sounds of birds dotting the silence with their songs. But hopefully she will benefit from the security of having parents who are willing to serve one another in love, putting the needs of the other above their own.

Sometimes where life is concerned, I tend to look for the flashing neon signs - the clear call, big step, God's direction written in the sky. It's easy to ignore the gentle nudgings of God, but this morning I felt the nudge: how can I serve the ones I love today? Once again, I was reminded - it's not all about me.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Year Without a Shower

Yes, it's been almost a year without a shower for me. Because of this little mess in our bathroom last summer, we've been restricting ourselves to baths, until we find the time and money to fix things properly.

But today. Ah . . . . I'm off work and have been graciously offered the gift of a shower by a dear friend! It will be just perfect after I work up a sweat on my walk at the park. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this little treat!

Two things come to mind this morning as I anticipate the water beating down on me. One, the beauty of a simple gift. Why do I always think my gifts have to be pricey and involved? How often do I miss the opportunity to give - a word of encouragement, a few minutes of my time, something I'm not using that someone else could. And two, how much I take something as simple as a shower or bath for granted. I'm sure there are children in parts of the world who are lucky to take a bath in a muddy river a few times a year.

Oh well, just rambling this morning . . . !

Monday, June 11, 2007

Walking in the Light

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. I John 1:5-8 NIV

What does it mean to walk in the light, as opposed to, as the Message puts it, "stumbling around in the darkness"?

As a kid, I memorized these verses, and always associated "light" with "good." Walking in the light = doing good (as opposed to walking in darkness = evil). As I've spent time in I John lately, light has taken on a different meaning to me. It seems there's a connection between a place of light (walking with God) and admitting my sinfulness. Light signifies a revealing, a sense of honesty and openness. Darkness, although we usually associate it with evil, conveys more of a sense of hiding. When we hide from our true selves, we feel alone and loneliness is the greatest curse of walking in the dark.

I have nothing to hide – God sees and knows everything about me. But oh, don't I spend a lot of time trying to look good? But as long as I’m hiding from myself and others, how can I grow? When others are open and honest with me, I see firsthand the transforming work of God in their life, which fuels my desire for the same. And when I’m willing to take a risk and be vulnerable with others, I am in a place I can grow.

The Message puts verse 7 this way: But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God's Son, purges all our sin.

That to me is the kind of fellowship I think God intends for us to have with one another. Not dressing up and looking good. Not pasting on a smile and replying, "Fine," when asked how we’re doing (“fine” is the f-word I’m trying to eliminate from my vocabulary!). But learning to be honest and authentic with others.* Admitting our weaknesses, identifying with others. Assuring others that we struggle with the same things. And in the light of God's righteousness, we're convicted to abandon our sinful ways. Our pride and willfulness. Lack of trust. Selfishness. Only then can we experience the cleansing that is to be had through the blood of Jesus Christ. And only then can we experience his transforming work in our lives, both individually and corporately as the body of Christ.

Bottom line: I don’t think “walking in the light” equates to a state of living we can achieve. It’s not a “side” to be on, like the children’s game Red Rover. I think it’s living in a place where we’re willing to be ourselves with God and others, secure in the fact that God loves us in spite of our sins and shortcomings.

* A great book on the topic is The Gift of Being Yourself, by David Benner, which I previously reviewed. My review doesn't do the book justice however; go check it out for yourself. And here's a great article on the topic I just read on

Friday, June 08, 2007

Tea for Two

Today I experienced a little taste of heaven, I'm certain. I instant-messaged my friend and asked what the chances were of us sneaking away from our work and eating lunch like regular human beings. Usually we eat at our desks, slopping soup all over ourselves and our work, or sometimes it's just too late before it occurs to us that noise we're hearing is our stomachs, begging to be fed. We both agreed we needed a break. I thought we'd grab something at the local grocery hot food line and scarf it down in their cafe. But she suggested a place she had seen down the road.

We walked into Sister's Special Teas and absolutely gasped with delight! The owners have succeeded in creating a spot reminscent of grandma's kitchen. An array of old-fashioned metal-top tables awaited our choosing, and the friendliest of servers greeted us as though he'd been waiting just for us. It was so charming I think we both just felt like giggling! We decided to share the special of the day, a roast beef panini-type sandwich on marbled rye with a hummus-blue cheese-horseradish spread. Sounds odd but believe me, it was to die for! We also shared a birds-nest croissant, a quiche-type dish that appealed to my breakfast-loving friend, which was served with an apple cranberry salad (think Waldorf salad with just a very light dressing). Are you hungry yet? Our beverages were served in real glasses (okay, we opted for water over tea!) and the meals on cut glass tea plates.

Between "mmms" and "aaahs", we chatted about things like an easy way to make meatballs and how we wished we'd taken more time to write down some of our grandmas' special recipes. We drooled a bit over the dessert case, and settled for a scone and nuthorn cookie to go. We left much fuller than we came, and certainly refreshed in spirit. We both agreed this is going to be our little secret (well, at least we don't plan to share with any coworkers)!

I honestly don't know what was the best part: getting away from work, the wonderful meal and charming atmosphere, or just some time spent with a good friend. Possibly the combination of all three. I apologize for sharing a secret most of you will never be able to visit, but if you can't, I hope you'll be encouraged to seek out such a place, or better yet - create such a space for yourself and someone you cherish. Those of you real-life friends who read this blog, you can bet I have a new spot to share with you!

Paradigm Shifts

Can you recall specific paradigm shifts and/or turning points in your life? I know for me, there have been several. At first, I usually don’t recognize what’s happening. All I know is sometimes my clearly defined ideas of how life should look occasionally are shattered. The shattering can be painful at times, until I realize it's God doing the shattering, and he doesn't let a piece fall by the wayside. Once I quit resisting his working, the picture usually starts to become clear, although God must know I couldn't handle the brightness all at once and it comes in more like the old TVs where you had to wiggle the antennaes to bring the picture into focus.

I read somewhere recently that the Christian life doesn't happen in a straight line. Rather, that the spiritual journey involves revisiting “territory through which we have already passed, and doing so over and over again.” It makes more sense to me to view the journey as a series of stops and starts. Another correction occurred to me; that it’s not a journey to God, but rather a journey with God. Just like in practical experience or our jobs, new lessons build upon the former ones, so it is in our walk with God. The things he teaches us or brings us through are not like lily pads, which we abandon when we jump on ahead to the next lesson. Rather they are building blocks that remain with us and which we revisit as more opportunities for growth are brought our way.

I have no idea what paradigm shifts have to do with straight lines, except to say sometimes I can’t see it all as clearly as I’d like. It’s then I just need to trust the God who sees the entire picture, the really big picture.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My Noisy Heart

I purchased this little book, Nurturing Silence in a Noisy Heart, on a whim at Half-Price Books just days before heading off to a personal retreat this past March. I mean, part of a retreat is about the silence, and so this title naturally grabbed my attention.

I often find myself craving peace and quiet. I thought I loved silence. What I did not realize is what a noisy heart I have - oh my! It never occurred to me that quiet does not equate with silence. I can be in a room by myself, or even in the most peaceful outdoor setting, and still quite a ruckus can be going on in my heart.

I really appreciated to the author's gentle, insightful style. Dr. Oates explains how to identify the noises in our heart, beyond the everyday noises and distractions in our physical surroundings. Things like trying to meet impossible demands and expectations of others, unwillingness to forgive ourselves and others, unhealthy competition and comparison, and status-seeking can clutter up our hearts. I also recognize my tendency to use my quiet times to give my thoughts free rein, to the point I swear I can hear them banging off each other in my head! I am seeing how important it is to truly be still at times, from the inside out. Meditating on a passage of scripture or a praise chorus seems to help combat this tendency. Another thing the author recommends is just learning to listen well . . . to others and what's going on around us. I think it's possible to quell the noises in our heart and cultivate a sense of silence that makes room for God, wherever we are.

Unfortunately, this book is out of print but I wanted to share just because the the realization that my own heart can be a noisy place was an eye-opener to me. This book was just one of those lucky little finds!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Come Thirsty!

I've gone and done something I've wanted to do for a while now - disable comments. Yikes! So feel free to come and read without any obligation to leave a comment. Think of it as eating out - no dishes to be done afterwards, and yet there's no need to worry about leaving a tip! My hope is that people come thirsty (or hungry) and leave blessed. Of course, my email is listed in the sidebar and you are welcome to email me at any time, about anything!

Why, you ask? Many reasons. For one (and the main reason), it's too much of a temptation for me to do posts that attract comments. Those usually aren't the kind of posts I love doing and yet sometimes I find myself giving in to them anyways. Another thing - I'm lazy (not to mention a little busy). I don't have time to read all the other blogs I'd like to, let alone leave comments consistently. So of course, I feel just a bit guilty when I don't take the time comment elsewhere and don't want anyone coming here feeling that way. A third thing, and this is the hardest to admit - although I enjoy the blogging community, it's not reality for me. I need to be more involved with a few face-to-face relationships. I'd rather have one good conversation or email exchange than 100 "great post" comments. I guess I'm just hungry for some deeper relationships in my life right now.

I have been using over the past six months or so and it's been interesting. While I only look at the stats once in a great while (seriously, about once or twice a month), what I have found most fascinating is seeing the keyword searches that led people to my blog, as well as all the different countries people visit from. You never really know who's reading your blog. It's this fact that has caused me to want to be more "missional" in my blogging and writing. Don't ask me what that means - I'm waiting for God to 'splain that one to me! All I know is it's a direction I feel pulled in.

This may be the beginning of the end for me. Or I may just continue on this path for a while. Whatever the case, I greatly appreciate each and everyone of you who've visited in the past, especially those of you who've taken the time to comment. I hope you'll continue to visit, and I'll be around to visit you!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Happy Bloggiversary UFW!

So I've actually been blogging for three whole years. Really. Hard to believe. In lieu of boring you all with 300 mostly mundane things about me, I decided to ask my good friend in real life and fellow blogger Katrina to interview me for a celebratory post. Thanks Katrina, and I hope the rest of you enjoy a glimpse into my blogging soul.

K: What do you love most about blogging? Is there something you dislike about it?
D: I love the way I feel it has sharpened my writing skills. There's something satisfying about being able to "publish" something, knowing others will read it. I appreciate the accountability that comes with this freedom. As far as dislikes go, I really dislike posting pictures and links. Mainly because working 40+ hours per week, I don't have time to do that very well.

K: Do you try to stick to a blogging schedule or just post when you're inspired? Do you ever feel guilty when you don't post or feel pressured to post with a certain frequency?
D: Pretty much I just post when inspired, although in keeping with the idea that writers write, I do try to post on average of three times a week. When I first began blogging, I set a goal to post every day for a month just to see if I could do it. I satisfied my curiousity and promptly relaxed my ridiculous standards!

K: What have you learned as a result of blogging (learned about yourself, about others, about blogging in general -- you pick!)?
D: I think I've been learning what it means to be authentic - to not be afraid to be truly myself. It's easy in blogging to project something you're not. After all, only about 4 people who read this blog know me in real life. Half the time, I don't even know me! But that brings me to this point - learning to write authentically has given me a window into my own soul. I am less afraid of who I am and of being myself, although it certainly is an area where I still struggle.

K: What aspect of yourself do you think does NOT come across in blogging?
D: Okay, nice unintentional follow-up to the above question! I don't think my humor comes across in my blogging. I have a pretty dry sense of humor, generally reserved for me, myself and I, knowing that what I am experiencing a gut-busting chuckle over probably would only draw a blank stare from most others, with the exception of my sister who always stands ready to snort alongside me! (You'd have to have been sitting with us in college chapel sessions to appreciate that one!)

K: Pick a fellow blogger that you'd like to have over for dinner and a chat. What would you serve and what would you ask her?
D: Oooh, I think that'd have to be Lisa Samson. Her fiction speaks to me and her own spiritual journey has been a personal challenge and encouragement. What would I serve? Probably ribs on the grill, and whatever else I could come up with. What would I ask her? Why, a million questions, of course!

K: How would you say your blog (or your approach to blogging) has changed during the three years you've been at this?
D: Good question. When I first started blogging, it was nothing more than an online journal. I found Robin Lee Hatcher's blog through her website, and decided to start my own. There may have been a bit of community out there, but I wasn't aware of it. I remember the first time someone left me a comment, I about freaked out! Who the heck was reading my blog? Early last year, you started blogging and I think we were each other's sole audience, and then I "met" Jennifer at Snapshot and we each had two readers ! All of the sudden, I was introduced to this whole big blogging community and I started blogging furiously and connecting with other bloggers, and it was great. But while I loved the connection, for a while there I think I lost my main focus, to develop my writing skills and express my thoughts. I think I've gotten back to that now.

K: You always post these wonderfully deep, contemplative thoughts. Do you set aside time to think these great thoughts or do they just come to you? (Can you tell I'm having trouble finding time to think these days?)
D: You are hilarious! Haven't you heard me say before "I think way too much!" I'm not much of an impulse poster; I like to chew on things (other than carpet fibers) and let God work on me about them for a while first. At any given time, I p
robably have 40-50 blog posts in draft form. Sometimes it's a month or more before it turns into a viable post. Picture cow: chewing on cud. That'd be me.

Well, cool - this is the first time I've ever been interviewed. I could get into this - it's much easier when someone else is asking the questions! Thanks, Katrina - for your friendship and making my Bloggiversary fun!