My Pic

My Pic

Welcome to my little Corner

I am Barbara.

An introvert masquerading as an extrovert, a backyard gardener with a farmer's heart, a nurse by day and a dreamer by night. I am passionate about Jesus, spicy food, puppy dogs, words, compost and the aroma of desert rain. Music is chocolate to my soul but solitude feeds the deepest part of me.

And you need to know:

I have been rescued.

Several times actually. Right out of the mud and mire. My writing began as whispers between me and my God and it will always be rooted in that soil. So the plan is simple: I write. Out of the overflow of my heart, the place He has so generously chosen to dwell.

Though I am all grown up, I feel as if the handsome Prince has finally found me and the glass slipper fits. And a living breathing fairy tale has ensued.

So pull up a chair and "sit a spell", as we would say from my West Virginia roots. I hope you find His Footprints here.

Friday, July 26, 2013


I am a gatekeeper.  

Much of the time it is unintentional, but by my very existence I have the potential to usher others down the Narrow Road or push them away.  I either make Jesus attractive to the world or I don't.  This doesn’t mean that everyone will like me and want to come to my “Jesus party”.  He warned us over 2000 years ago that the world would hate us because it first hated Him.  But I never want my life to be a deterrent to someone’s spiritual acuity.

It may have been though. Tragically, I walked the broad path that leads to destruction even while I bore His name. And I wonder.  How many hearts were affected by the darkness?  How many were diverted from that gate? If only I could have a second chance, I would have so much to say!  

I would tell them that the one I showed them wasn't the real Jesus.  That knowing the Truth and obeying the Truth are not the same.  But that Jesus’ love is greater than a messed up life and He is able to bring beauty out of ashes.   And I would tell them about Grace – a word that sounds so "churchy" yet I wonder if few church people truly grasp its meaning.  Because sometimes when you are in church, you don’t see yourself like you really are.  You start to see yourself as “cleaned up” and “fixed” as if Jesus were a onetime decision.  In reality, He is an every day, every minute decision.  And the walk gets more difficult yet more glorious because He asks for more and more of us.  More emptying, more sacrifice.  But oh how sweet the life!

The road beyond the gate is marked by rough terrain and it is not for the faint of heart. By its very design, it is narrow and for the masses, impassable.  But He is calling us onward.  And He has given me the awesome privilege of telling His story laced through the fabric of my own fallenness.  

For you see sometimes the Light shines best through the broken.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pillow Talk

I lost a special little friend last weekend.  I left my pillow behind at the cabin in the North Country where we had gone with our grandsons.  I considered calling the place to see if they would send it back to me.  I can hear the conversation now: 

“Did you find an old pillow in Cowboy Cabin #4?  The one with mascara stains and drool marks on it?  Yep, that’s the one.  Hey, save that one for me, will ya.”

I decided against the call. 

But I am a little sad.  It was so comfortable and had that “Velveteen Rabbit” realness to it.  It can’t be replaced for how do you go shopping for a new pillow that comes with old memories attached? 

By nature, I am all about comfort - comfortable routine, comfortable relationships and the oxymoron of a comfortable God.  But I am sensing that along with a change in sleeping comforts, there are also other changes on the horizon.  

One morning at the first of the year, before my feet had even hit the floor, I awakened with a sentence marching across the screen of my sleep aroused mind.  It was almost palpable.

"Risk is the elimination of a dying soul." 

Risk - a word I have always tried to avoid.  I link it closely with its neighbors, fear and failure.  I was the PE student who feigned illness rather than saunter up to the Jr High sawhorse and get wedged on top.  Serving opportunities at church have to be the perfect fit so as not to expose my inadequacies.  And decisions.  I chew the options over and over again like a dog with a bone.

But since that morning revelation, I have begun to see God’s Hand gently nudging and rearranging my heart.  I am learning that only in risk is there true comfort - His comfort..  And 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 reminds me that the purpose of God’s comfort is to share it.   It is never mine to keep but is to be passed on.  

And if the One who had no place to lay His Head can comfort me, I can sacrifice an old pillow.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


My arms brim over with so many blessings I can scarcely hold them all.  But in a twist of irony, I struggle to even remember to say thank you.  Like the song says, am I “building my kingdom just to watch it fade away from You”?

Jesus told the rich young ruler that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.  Dare I assume that I am the exception to this rule?  The truth is that the likeness between us is greater than I care to admit. 

Ann Voskamp’s letter to the North American Church ( brought me to my knees.  I am hungry.  Hungry for the uncomfortable.  And I am restless.   Because I know that as I offer my gift at the altar, indeed my brother does have something against me.  For I have hoarded the world’s wealth while he goes naked, hungry and in sickness.  And isn't my abundance really holding me back from something that’s better?  Haven’t I confused having abundance with “abundant living”?  Jesus’ call was never to a life of ease but to discipleship and sacrifice.  And if I am going to take on His Name, I also want to take on His yoke.  He bent down into our world and got dirty.

Honestly, the suffering and the lost seem so far away most of the time.  And when my heart starts to bleed, I band aid the little nick with a hastily written check.   But I no longer want to stop the bleed.  Not until this insidious disease of self is reigned in. 

This will be a war but in the silence I feel the nudge.  I know there is something greater and it won’t come from accumulation but from emptying.  And I want that.  I don’t know what this will look like but I sense I am on a new journey.  Walk with me, won’t you?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Finding My Niche

I scan the pages of the writer’s blogs looking for “gray” like I’m searching for an old friend.  It’s Jr High all over again and I am looking to fit in.  All I can see are young wrinkle free faces with children running through sprinklers in abandon.  I read about problems of stolen writing time and mothering issues.  But this grandmother of five had a late season writer awakening.  How do I fit into the blog scene?  How do I offer up my years of experience all the while chronicling that which the Lord is teaching me right now and be relevant?

And then I remember Nel, a pastor’s wife whose beloved husband had already gone on to be with the Lord.  I think she had that hunger too.  She was so anxious to share her wisdom in our neighborhood Bible study years ago but we were so “in charge” and so “wise”.  I remember how we cringed each time she launched into her tirade of Biblical knowledge and experiences.  I wonder, did she go on for so long because she was afraid?  Afraid that there would be no next time?  

We should have listened more. Maybe she could have shown us how to be better wives and mothers.  And shown me how not to slip into “prodigal mode”.   And maybe, she would have eventually laid down all the right “answers” and given us a window into herself – the girl, the woman and the aged one. We might have heard not only her wisdom but the times she stumbled.  And what He had whispered in her ear and how He picked her up and walked with her and guided her.  Perhaps she would have stirred our young cocky hearts and taught us how to navigate the pot holes of living Him in this world.  Oh, we could have gleaned so very much.

I glance down at my hands on the keyboard and see my mother’s hands.  Life comes full circle.  My fingers type as thoughts spill over, filling the blank pages.  I ache to make an impact, to compel to a deeper Life and leave a legacy of Grace.  And like Nel, I hope to find a safe place where someone wants to listen.