Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I looked in the mirror today and caught my eyebrows making a mad dash for my hairline. Half my eyelid was occupied territory and the battle wasn't looking so good.

I am grateful for tweezers. And for little scissors perfect for eyebrow shaping.
And for TSA agents who don't see these as a threat to national security.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Today I stood along the road in Madison, WI and waved as the President's motorcade whizzed by. It was, honestly, very cool. I could see him through the glass waving back at all of us. It the closest I've ever been to a leader of the free world...or the unfree world, I guess.

The secret service cleared out every building around the block hours beforehand and a blackhawk buzzed the area. A line stretched for a mile long before his plane landed.

Two thoughts kept zipping through my head. 1) Wow, this is seriously organized. 2) I am so glad I'm not famous.

Though I succumb to the occasional daydream about being recognized for my talent/looks/innate specialness (and in the daydream it is deserved), in reality that blessing comes with a lot of strings. I mean, I don't want people constantly snapping pictures when I'm not ready. I would miss people watching--I doubt it works very well when all the people you want to watch are watching you right back. And I would very much miss the freedom to make declasse jokes with my friends. It would be rotten to have everyone feel like they know you and can thus judge you when, in fact, they don't know you. And probably, I'd have to eat mushrooms at fancy dinners. I abhor mushrooms. Bleh.

But the most off-putting aspect of fame is that the people around you tell you you're untouchable. You're above the law.
Until you break it.
With that kind of lie being constantly shoved down my throat, I fear eventually I would swallow. I honestly don't think my soul would be very attractive on my own. It is so good to know that God won't give us more than we can manage. And that, if He so wills it, He will provide the grace to remain true. I love a lot of things about God, but today His will seems so precious.

Thank you for where you have brought me and where we have yet to go. Thank you for the freedom of being anonymous to the masses, and the blessing of an irreplaceable position amongst my dear ones. Thank you for never letting me get too big for my britches, and never letting me languish in self-abasement. You have me right where I am for your good purpose and I can't tell you how freeing and splendid that is. Keep me in your will. Thank you that I'm not big enough to mess it up. Please always grow my desire for you and for your glory and please kill the weakness in me that wants my own.

All my love!

Monday, September 27, 2010


This weekend, fall came. I wasn't expecting it until mid-November, but apparently Little Rock isn't so laid back with its seasons.

It is beautiful. I sat, two mornings in a row, in the cozy embrace of my papassan chair while leaves of red and gold whispered overhead and a little curl of steam rose from my coffee. Days like that are so precious to me. They draw out the beauty of what it means to just be. I felt no pressure, no hollowness.
And when it was done, I was invigorated and ready to make the most of the rest of my moments.

Thank you, God, for fall. Thank you for papassan chairs and coffee and novels and the way leaves get more beautiful as they age.
All my love!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Speaking of...

So, me and Dirk the Impala are listening to a book on CD read by a man. It is heeelarious....only not on purpose.

The main male hero talks like a Spanish dub-over with a sore throat. And the woman? Imagine James Earl Jones trying to sound like a sexy woman.

The story is a whodunit and I have not laughed so hard in a while.

Thank you, God, that girls and boys have different voices.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Love. L.o.v.e. LOVE!

It is an inescapable fact of the human mind that, although not bound by tangible boundaries, there are still limits to what it can contain. Left to our natural abilities, our minds can stretch to a point, but they rebound afterwards. Not to the same shape as original, for all grand concepts leave their print, but to a perspective far smaller than the concept.

I am doing a Beth Moore Bible study on the Holy Spirit. I won't even get into the nature of the Trinity because that makes my synapses hurt. No, today's concept was love. On any other Thursday, love would bring to mind my family, my niece, the hero du jour of whatever book I'm reading, and God. It would be a sweet thought like buttercream icing; a wonderful addition that makes life richer.

Not today. Today I read out of Song of Solomon. We single gals tend to avoid SOS for obvious reasons. I mean, how many diabetics hang out in a candy store? However, reading this through the lens of God writing to His beloved I mean, the book is a glimpse into the richness that God had in mind when he thought up marriage. But I also think marriage is a metaphor for His great passion for his church.

To get unapologetic, specific and passionate love notes like that from anyone would put my body soul and spirit ablaze. But to receive a declaration from the Most High God, who created stars for my whimsy and His glory, who spun flowers from nothing, who conceived all the senses, who invented color and determined the exact requirements of content and time to birth the perfect diamond, and who knows where they all lie, the God before whom none can stand, for whom angels sing unending harmonies....that God is love. And all of who He is loves me.

That is a big idea. One too big for my head. It makes me want to laugh and cry. I want to dance for joy and to just be still and revel. It is far too grand to grasp for more than an instant. But each time I'm graced to comprehend for a moment this precious and stunning truth, I am forever altered.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Download is 50% complete

Having recently returned from a inspirational weekend regarding all things writing, I've been like a woman obsessed, intent on tidying up my manuscript so I can send it out. I want nothing more than to plunk down at a cafe table in Panera with my laptop and and a refillable cup of Hazelnut coffee, and write, write, write, all the live-long day.

Alas, as I am not an heiress, lottery winner, or possessor of a benefactor or sugar-daddy, and as I have grown accustomed to creature comforts including food and shelter, I can't. Somebody's gotta pay the bills. That sneaky voice in my head tempted me to stay in PJs and edit all morning, but I put on slacks and a sweater and even makeup. My characters must wait until obligations have been met to come out and play.

Typically, I spend a workday of energy on professional endeavors, then scoop the remnants of creative juice in my palm and dribble it over my work in progress. It can be slow going at times. Thus, it was a double blessing when my workday started with the installation of a printer driver. Sounds daunting, no? In this case, no. The lengthy process left me with little to do guessed it, write! I got to start my day with Eden and the gang and my, how much we accomplished while the lenovo chugged along.
Here I was, resigned to tuck away my "other world" while I create value for my employer. And I do believe God honored my commitment by giving me the best of both worlds!

I don't expect this to happen again. I don't anticipate enjoying morning writting except on weekends. However, with this fresh fire making my bones ache with a desire to write, it was an especially bright gift. And imagine if I'd put my own desire ahead of my obligations. I would have missed out! All my creative juice would be spent before I faced off with the printer, and that would have made for a long and dull day for this cog in the corporate wheel.

The moral of this story is, do your work first and keep a notebook nearby. That way you can capture the droplets of creative juice that drip throughout the day. And, when you have to install a printer driver, celebrate!

Monday, September 20, 2010

ACFW Rocketh: Thou Shalt Write

This weekend I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers' national conference in Indianapolis. Over 600 people with my same compulsion for story gathered to glorify God by investing our Talents (see Matt. 25:14-30). There was some amazing fellowship, killer classes--both figuratively and literally--and opportunities to network with, and present our work to, leading agents and editors in the industry.
There are few places in which it is okay to discuss what body count is acceptable and where inflicting trials and tribulations upon others is a good thing. A writers' conference is probably the safest one. It was pretty cool to hear people who've been publishing longer than I've been alive talk about the craft. It was cooler still to build new friendships and meet some people who I truly admire for their skill, their stories, and their hearts for showing God's love.I got to meet my critique partners in person for the first time. We laughed and joked and encouraged and prayed over each other. We celebrated good meetings and comforted when fear or stress threatened to overcome hope.

I was struck this weekend by two things. First, God has his hand on this. But He is most glorified when I am willing to strive, sweat, and toil. My labor is part of the gift He gets when a project made for His glory is born. I have oodles of notes and techniques that I can't wait to start applying to my work. In one sense, it is terribly daunting. I mean, we're talking about picking through an entire manuscript with a literary lint brush to clean it up. But, I've seen what it can do, and I wouldn't walk around with dog hair on my bum, so why would I let my novel do so?

In a grander sense, to be with people who share your passion, who understand the unique gravity that draws you to story demanding to be told, is like finding your place in the crayon box. Our God is Creator. He spoke things into being. Jesus told stories in His sermons. For me writing is not a mere hobby, it can be an act of worship. I am reflecting my Creator God. He has not just given me stories, He has put in my heart a rhythm that beats most true through written word. To stand shoulder to shoulder with so many hearts beating in tandem is a profound thing. And it sparked my desire further to perfect this art form in the name of my God.

So, thank you, my God, for story. Thank you for planting the love of story in my soul. Thank you for the writers you have formed and those you are forming now and for bringing us together. Thank you for the knowledged, encouragement, and opportunities this weekend afforded and thank you for letting me go. You are God of all Creativity, the Word, my Lord. I love you more today than yesterday. May I glorify you always.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Who 'dat?

Technology has taken us far. There is no question. I was talking to a guy from the Sticks the other day about the olden days when folks didn't have answering machines. (I think the olden days just recently ended in the Sticks, but they, too have iPhones now.) Now you can skype with people half-way around the globe in real-time.

The next exciting techno-leap will let us actually be there in real-time. But, until the IT wizards figure that one out, me and Dirk the Blue Impala blaze trails to and fro. Dirk's kinda quiet, so I often listen to books on CD, a minor technological miracle in their own right. I'm currently listening to a book--written by a man, may I note--in which undead children live as ghosts and their ghostly bodies look like the child remembers himself or herself. If their memory gets distorted, the child's metaphysical self does too.

May I please take a moment to qualify my book choice: I'm getting to the end of Cracker Barrel's stash and this was one of the few that for obvious reasons hadn't yet made my reading list.
Anyway, as I was saying, this concept of appearing the way you see yourself probably seemed "crazy, dude" to the writer. However, as a woman may I submit that this is just a glimpse into what we deal with on a regular basis.

For instance, we all have those days when you put clothes on in the morning, smile warmly at your reflection, and sashay into the world feeling a solid point above normal on the standard ten-point scale. We smile at strangers, coo at babies, and toss our hair the way that girl does on the Pantene commercials.

Then, after a quick lunch you dart into the ladies' to find the fickle mirror has played some trick. You do a double take and an awful version of your reflection sneers back. When did my hair start looking so greasy? I swear it was clean this morning. My pores are so big you could park a Buick and still have room. Is it possible to gain ten pounds by peeing? And I thought I put on lipstick, but the only thing glossy is my forehead. Ugh.

Well, I had one of those days. Which made me so glad that perception is not, in fact, reality. I was listening to Joyce Meyer on podcast and she talks a lot about not letting our feelings rule us. She notes that a study found the voice we believe above all others is our own. The words we say to ourselves ring most true.

That's scary and powerful. It means if I let circumstance or a mean-spirited mirror color my thoughts, I will believe it. Even when it's not factual.

So, today I'm thankful that God is absolute truth. That righteousness is not a philosophy and my purpose is not a variable. I am thankful that my God is bigger than my own perception and as His child I am anchored throughout eternity to Him. I am also grateful for the principles by which he governs this world. And I'm grateful for soft stretch-cotton PJ pants. It is impossible to feel anything but cozy in stretch-cotton PJ pants.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Worshiper number 10004909

I get a lot of things from church. My favorite is the Eucharist, but I also enjoy the music, knowledge, encouragement, and snacks in the volunteer room. Somehow fun size candy bars taste better when you don't have to buy them.

This week, I received mail from my new church. I was expecting a "thank you for attending, we hope you'll get involved and feel welcome" or some-such note.

Instead, I got a barcode. Yes. Really. There was a card explaining this would help manage my family checking in and out of stuff. Being as my family right now is me, (unless I make my younger brother go to the nursery when he visits, but as he's over six feet I don't think that would fly) I don't really need a barcode to track movement.

However, I went ahead and attached the little tab to my keychain. It now dangles next to my gym barcode. The experience made me think about how convenient those things are. Can you imagine standing in line at the Kroger while somebody read little price tags and typed it in? I can't even keep track of coupons, which thanks to another plastic card I don't need to. Or having to sign your name or do a hand-reader at the gym? I mean, who knows where everyone's hands have been? Wait. Let's not dwell on that question. What about at work? I just scan my card and the door opens. No keys, no waiting to be admitted by a secretary, just beep and go.

So, while managing the body of Christ with a 9-digit number and some vertical lines seems a little sterile, all in all, I appreciate the concept. The engineer in me wants a high-five for the efficiency.
I don't have a good analogy for how this relates to the deeper things of humanity. Anyone have a thought? But, I am grateful for this small thing today.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Many good things are only good in a specific manner. Example: pudding. Only good cold.

Some are a little more diverse, like milk. It can improve a bowl of cereal or a latte.

But, among good things, there is one that is almost impossible to demean.

I give you, the grape.

Delicious fresh ( as evidenced by the naked stem I now hold). They have a unique texture among fruits, that firm skin that explodes with flavor when you bite down. Yum.

And let us not forget grape juice, nor its prettier cousin, wine. I could write an essay about the symbolic and vibrant complexities of wine, but I'll save that for another day. Suffice it to say, it's a balanced, rich drink that has the added benefit of making one feel a little fancy while they enjoy it.

Now, many things are enjoyable in their youth, but grapes and people are among the few life forms that can grow sweeter when they get dried out and wrinkled. Raisins are the grandmothers of the fruit world and who doesn't love that? They make salads and cookies all the better. Dip them in yogurt, (the raisins, not the grandmas) and it's hard to quit munching.

So, today I am thankful for grapes, for the bottles of wine resting in my wine rack, and for the fruit I'm about to get out of the fridge.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Get Connected

Do you ever have a day where it seems like your attention fixes on a particular aspect of your experience? Where as you go about the typical, you suddenly become aware of the rare and precious that has been embedded there?

This morning I drove to Stown (stown: n, the geographical area spanning the narrow region halfway between The Sticks and Town.) I got lost on my way but when I called the lady I was meeting with she just laughed and then guided me in by cell phone. She didn't have to stand on the front porch and wave. She didn't have to give her enormous German Shepherd a biscuit so he'd leave me alone, and she didn't have to be so patient. But she was. We had a great talk that mostly focused on business but ran the gamut of things familiar to us both as well.

Then, this afternoon I was leaving Starbucks when a stranger approached and with no ulterior motives, paid me a sweet compliment. I smiled all the way back to the office.

So this afternoon, when I spoke with a renter's insurance agent via the phone, I was acutely aware that on the other end of the connection was a person. A real, live person with a real life, with dreams and losses and that innately human need to connect.

It wasn't even that I was inspired to be patient, it was that nothing was important enough to make that call a nuisance. As we assembled my policy, one endorsement at a time, we chatted about regional accents, places we've lived and the great Northwest which was the only region we had in common. It wasn't a long conversation, and I doubt we'll speak again. However, instead of a mere transaction taking place, for those moments we were connected.

Human connection is a beautiful thing. A blessing in a form that cannot be replicated. And for this simple gift, today, I am very thankful. God, you have made us humans with so many quirks and foibles, needs, strengths, tender spots. And while You alone satisfy the soul, I thank you for making our hearts to interlock. All my love!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

'Tis the Season

I didn't last very long this year. I tried to hold out, I said, "Kimberly, wait another month. Just one more month."

But I couldn't.

This morning--on a Tuesday that felt more like a Monday in January, with rain dribbling down the windows and my computer processing data slower than a toaster-oven could--I hit play and held my breath until the opening refrain of Oh Come All Ye Faithful broke the shadows to smithereens with it's clarion of joy.

It was sweeter than the first drop of water after running a marathon through the Gobi.

My jaw relaxed, I smiled at strangers, I saw the beauty in the way different shades of gray swirled in the clouds and admired the romance of a million raindrops cascading endlessly upon the earth.

It's true. It is September seventh and I'm so thankful for Christmas carols! They are like chocolate chips: they make everything richer. Including Tuesday mornings.

So, thank you, Jesus, for coming to earth as a baby. For all you did after that I am grateful, but it is so precious to have a reason to celebrate that is purely, unutterably joyful. So joyful, that any day in which your birth is honored is instantly better. All my love.

And a quick shout out to my sister, Courtney, who has her actual birthday today. Coincidentally, her middle name is Noel.