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, October 25, 2013


The sound of restaurant dishes tangling with silverware drowned out the stillness in my heart.  On the previous night I had met with an admired Christian author in Tucson and special memories circled in my mind as my hands encircled the coffee cup I was holding. Strangers before that evening, we had come together as one Christ follower with another.  A togetherness like no other.

Still, that next morning I was alone. Actually, that's the way I like it much of the time.  And on that intentionally planned solo trip, I found myself tucked away in the corner of the restaurant while the sun beckoned to me from the window on the other side.  A gentleman next to me, sharing the cushioned bench seating, shifted his weight causing my small frame to temporarily go airborne.  I chuckled to myself but really it only increased my sense of isolation and insignificance.  And then he dared to speak.  He asked about the breakfast. "Good", I answered quickly but like a cockroach returned to my darkened corner.  And then there was silence as he settled in for the long wait to be served his breakfast.  

And now, I wonder. Did he need to see Jesus in my eyes when I cast only a sideways glance and guarded my own discomfort?  And as I safely hid in obscurity, did I not cloister the very substance of the Gospel - caring enough about another to put aside my own comfort?  Do I not know that in a routine moment, God can change a life?  I am tired of not seeing into eyes.  I think He wants more from me than that.

My new friend in Tucson made herself available to a stranger. We shared face to face.


Should I offer another anything less ?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Grace Notes

The tiny Episcopalian church was nestled at the end of Wallace Circle where we lived.  She was Catholic and I was Baptist though I‘m quite sure neither of us could have articulated the theology of the camp that claimed us.  Slipping through the unlocked sanctuary doors, we would sashay across shellacked wooden pew seats and reach for musty hymn books.  The sweet sound of little girl’s voices escaped to the towering ceilings, a soprano melded with a harmonizing alto.  Strains of Fairest Lord Jesus and Be Thou My Vision poured from our lips long before we knew the One of whom we sang. 

Often we would see or hear the priest enter the area but he never discouraged our stealth worship.  It was as if he had clearly heard Jesus say, “Let the little children come unto Me”.  And come we did.

It would be years before those hours bore fruit in my life.  But Mercy’s arms are long for the reaching.  And recently I've been thinking a lot about moments like the “hymn sings”.  God so artfully weaves those golden strands through the dirt and grind of our lives.  And like the strength of a spider’s silken web, they are capable of supporting the weight of a life wearied soul if we but only pause to see them.

I have several that I can pull out of my own archives: 

Mr LaPole, the faithful (but boring) Sunday School teacher who tried to teach the Bible to a table of Junior High kids as he mopped sweat from his brow.   But he was there and I remember his commitment.

The church camp high that I experienced, hinting that there was "something more".

My serendipitous interview, as a journalism major, with Miss Teen America that led to a Campus Crusade for Christ encounter.

The faithful friends that walked with me, spoke truth into my life and held me accountable when my feet slipped off the narrow path.

All of these are holy moments- part of the Master Architect's grand design and just waiting to be rediscovered.  What are yours?

Friday, October 18, 2013


Today I am teaming up with Lisa-Jo Baker on Five Minute Friday.  Each Friday she gives one word and bloggers from all over write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. And then we link up with her.  Here's my first shot at it!
The word today is: Laundry.
Laundry - a kind of a rite of passage in itself.  It means I am caring for myself and others in a concrete way.  For me, it’s a cleansing of more than the outer because I find it lightens the load (no pun intended).  There is something about a routine ritual that is part of living.  Its repetitive nature means there is no ultimate completion of this responsibility but for some reason, the sense of accomplishment rewards me.   Even sorting begins to release the pressure valve I experience when I see overflowing laundry baskets.  And as I work through the laundry process, there is time to think, plan and consider the things the Spirit has laid upon my heart.  It’s as if each disappearing pile gives me a more spacious place mentally to ruminate about life.

And isn't that how life is to be lived really?  Doing that which needs to be done but allowing the Lord to be part of it. 

Because laundry is what He does.  He takes that which is unclean and makes it clean.  Could there be a higher calling than that?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Paralysis of Perfection

I met with a fitness guru recently at the gym I had joined some time ago.  One visit in the past year provided little return on my money so I opted to get a little help in the motivation department.  The trainer told me that my fat percentage was 32% and considered in the danger zone. That definitely got my attention.  She lectured with authority, tossing her blonde head from side to side as she spoke.  And then this Barbie Doll further convinced me with the story of some poor soul who had worked out faithfully in the gym but never correctly.  The wrap up: Once she entered his life, fitness took hold, the pounds fell off and he lived happily ever after. 

But when the price tag attached to her little miracle making was revealed, I slumped away sadly like the rich young ruler who had been told he had to sell all he had.  In fact, not only did I not hire her, but I did nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I was so afraid that I would be that poor failure of a soul who worked out incorrectly for the world to see, that I stayed away. 

Fitness is not my only dog in the fight.  Over the recent past, I have been on a hiatus from writing. Suddenly, it seemed like all the Barbie Doll writers were everywhere and I was the poor fool doing the writing exercises but doing them all wrong. Comparison released its poison.   I was back at that all or nothing point, allowing myself to buy the lie that if I am not the best, I need not apply.

Author Emily P Freeman says that admitting someone else could likely do it better (and probably has done it better) is freeing in itself since it takes us out of the competition mode.

Really, it’s not a matter of how many talents we have anyway but what we do with what we have.  Will we bury or invest?  Will we risk the opinion of the masses and even our own insecurity for the good of the returning Master?  Whether it is the body or our words, the precept is good stewardship.

Whatever there is - little or much - don't dig down but dig in.  And offer it UP.