Friday, January 31, 2014

When a family is super hero obsessed

I'm linking up with the great community of writers at Lisa Jo Baker's blog for Five Minute Friday.  Today's prompt is "hero". It's writing for only five minutes, unedited. Otherwise, I could have included the entire list of super heroes that my family is obsessed with.

I admit it. I’m a misfit. 

An outsider. 

But I fake it well.

I married a nerd. And, we successfully raised three of them. 

They are all young adults now, but they were raised by a super hero loving dad. 

Our family at I''m sure a super hero movie

And, a mom that kind of limped along and faked her enthusiasm. At first.

I admit though, that they’ve swayed me quite a  bit.

They’ve swayed me to appreciate Star Wars even though I cannot quote all the movies like they can. My daughter even made a video a couple of years ago about her first crush. 

You guessed it. It is Luke Skywalker. (You can see her video here)

My husband has been a trekkie since he was a kid and his obsession has just grown over the years to now include obsessions over the new Star Trek movies with Chris Pine in them. 

I’m not complaining there. 

But, I still can’t quote the movies like my family can.

I’m kind of a super hero movie buff wanna be.

I don’t say much when they all geek out and my husband quotes Captain Kirk and Scotty.  

The one with the Scotty obsession

People, he named his car after Scotty!! Because Scotty is an engineer and can do no wrong and he sets everything right on that ship,

the Enterprise I think it is.

Also, Scotty has a red shirt and my husband’s car is red.
Obsessed much?

I may be a misfit, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Boldly going where no woman has gone before.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What I would tell myself and you

When I was in high school, I stuffed notebook pages full. I wrote about what this cute guy said to me and the glimmer in his eye that I was sure was there because he liked me

And, I would dream on those pages. 

I wrote about crushes. 

Oh, the crushes.

I wrote about break ups.

Those pages were my lifeline. I think part of me felt alone and I thought if I could just have that "guy" everything would be better. I would not be lonely anymore. 

If I could sit myself down at about age sixteen, I would have a real heart-to-heart. I would fill my head full with the truth that I've learned and lived in the many years since then.

Anne, you are dearly loved by God. 

You are not alone, even though it sometimes feels like it. 

You are likable, and soon enough you will have that special someone.

You are not perfect, but that's okay. God knows it and He loves you anyway.

Again, you are never alone. The God of the universe loves you with an everlasting love that is unconditional.

He will never leave you.

And, if I could sit down and have a heart-to-heart with you, friend? That is what I would tell you, too.

You are not alone. 

You are fiercely loved by God.

You are likable.

You are imperfect and you are enough.

"Do not fear for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Surely, I will help you. Surely, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." 
Isaiah 41:10

Blessings to you, friend.


I'm linking up today at Today's prompt is "You are not alone."

Friday, January 24, 2014

In praise of really good conversations

I have a quote on my fridge that says,

 “ever have a really good cup of coffee, only to realize it was actually just a really good conversation?"

These are the kind of visits I long for. Where I really think it was just the brew I’m drinking, but it was really the equal, heart to heart give and take between you and i. We, each sharing our joys, sorrows, struggles and surprises. Giving voice to our dreams of the future and our visions for where we think God might be wanting to take us next.

I see these kinds of visits happening in the coffee shops and restaurants I get to frequent. I often wonder if the two or more people in conversation are feeling satisfied with it. I mean, really soul filled, not with just food, but with the company they are keeping.

I am so blessed to say that I do have friends like this. Where the give and take is easy. There is sharing from the deep places, not just skimming the surface.  And, these are the conversations I will continue to seek out.

Next time I go to the coffee shop, I’m going to look around. I’m going to look in faces to see if I see satisfaction there. Hopefully I will. Hopefully, I’ll see face to face and not screen to screen.


I'm linking up today with other lovely writers at Lisa Jo Baker's blog for Five Minute Friday. We write for five minutes straight just for the fun of it. No backtracking! 
Come on over and visit, or better yet, join in! Today the prompt is "visit".

Thanks for stopping by,


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

You are beauty.

The more I look at you, the more I see Him.

I mean, you.

His daughters each different.

Each one with your own beauty adding to the mosaic that is the human race.

You, with your pictures engraved on your skin, 
matching the soft amber of your eyes.

You, with your weathered cheeks and hands that have seen much life, 
and whose heart bursts with love and compassion because of it.

You, with your hands that never stop helping
and your tongue that never stops praising.

You. The way you mother your children.

Not perfectly, no.

But, with tenderness and a heart willing to say I'm sorry when needed.

You. Discovering anew the gifts within yourself.
You shine.

You make me laugh. 
My life has more joy because of the way your heart comes through those smiling words.

You remind me that there is good and beauty in the world.

You who,

light up in your own skin.
shine with the uniqueness that only you can.

You are beautiful, just the way you are.

Don't. ever. stop.


Linking up today with the following lovely communities.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Encouragement is the shy girl

I'm linking up today with the community of writers at Lisa Jo Baker's blog for Five Minute Friday. Five minutes of writing just for the fun of it. No backtracking, just writing. Check out Lisa Jo's blog to join in , or just hop on over and read what others have written on the prompt, "encouragement".


To what can encouragement be likened?

She is like a shy girl who cannot be forced to be in the center of attention.

When she is asked, she retreats, in fact, she may run away.

I want her to stay and play.
To be my friend.
To make all my wishes come true.

photo credit--Pinterest

She is like a breath of fresh air in my face or the wind in my sails, but she cannot be forced.

If she is forced, she becomes something else that will darken my skies.

If Encouragement is forced, she becomes Discouragement.

How can I beg her to stay on her own accord?
I cannot.

I must trust that if she really cares for me she will stay.
She will stay because she truly wants to.

photo credit--Pinterest

I must put my trust in Someone else however.
Someone who I know will always have more supply than I have demand.
Someone who promises to supply all of my needs.

I need to trust and not waver.

If I put my trust in any other source, I will eventually be truly disappointed.
Any other source is fickle and that source may not have it to give.

I desire Encouragement to be my friend, not my foe.

She must come willingly and on her own time and in her own way.

I will trust the One True Source.


How about you? How do you see encouragment?
You are an encouragement to me.
Thanks for stopping by!


Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cultivate: One Word 2014

      you are God's garden and vineyard and field under cultivation...
I Corinthians 3:9b


I was a little girl on the plains of central Nebraska. We had winters with snow drifts the size of buses, pivot sprinklers to splash in (if we dared), and an old barn to explore. 

My dad was one of those hard-working farmers who worked from sun-up to sun-down. I never asked him outright, but I know he loved his job. He lived by the seasons and enjoyed the gifts each one brought. 

Fall, he said, was his favorite. He did tell me that. Harvest was the pinnacle of the whole years’ hard labor. 

 In winter the ground sat fallow and frozen like the tundra. 

And spring, well, spring was my favorite. The smell of dirt would be fresh in the air as the neighboring farmers and my dad would be out in the field preparing the soil for the year’s fresh crop of corn.

With a disc attached to his tractor, Dad would break up the dirt that was now unfrozen, but hardened by winter's unuse.

Then, he would hook up the planter to the tractor and there he would go. Sun up to sun down, day after day, coffee time after coffee time to plant those seeds in the good soil.

I loved this green machine with eight green buckets in a row hooked onto the tractor. In each bucket was the seed corn. In each seed corn was a stalk just waiting for God to grow it.

Next job on the list for my dad in the spring was cultivating. On his tractor and pulling this contraption, he would take to the fields to attack the weeds that were threatening to choke out the tender seedlings he'd worked so hard to plant. 

Dad wanted this baby corn to grow big and strong, so he cultivated the soil to get the weeds out. 


When I think about one word that I want to focus on for this year, there are many I could have chosen.

I've felt like I have dormant gifts that need to be unearthed. 

I’ve had rocks of doubt and weeds of uncertainty that need to be removed.

This year, I want to... 

cultivate love.

cultivate creativity.

cultivate hope.

 It's time to pull the weeds and flourish right where I'm planted.


Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you.
Hosea 10:12

And the desolate land will be cultivated instead of being a desolation in the sight of everyone who passed by.
Ezekiel 36:34


Do you have one word for 2014? If so, I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

*special thanks to my daughter Kara Landhuis ( for transforming my watercolor into a workable digital photo!



Friday, January 10, 2014

To see clearly

Things go much better when I can see clearly. 

See clearly where you end and I begin. 

When I can realize that maybe your struggle to connect with me isn’t about me at all, but about where you are at right now.

Why must I always take things so personally, like you are out on a vendetta to get me back for something?

When did this “taking things so personally” begin?
I don’t know.

I want to see your heart beyond your words.

Even if your words don’t come through clearly and I must work at deciphering your true meaning, I want to put forth that effort.

I want to understand you as I want you to understand me.

I want to show you empathy and not judgement.

I want to cultivate wonder rather than the critical eye.

So many things get in the way of us seeing each other clearly.
I must remember that.
I want to remember that.

I want to know the real you.
The things that hurt you. 
The things that bring you joy. 
The things that make your heart come alive.

This requires me to put on new lenses.
Supernatural lenses that allow me to see truthfully and not just through the foggy lenses of my own doubts and weaknesses.

I want to take off the foggy rose-colored, tainted, tinted lenses

To see you clearly.

I'm linking up with the lovely writers at Lisa Jo Baker's blog for Five Minute Friday. Today's prompt is "see". Free writing. No edits. Writing just for the sheer joy of it. Won't you join up with this great community?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Giving up the fight

I'm linking up with other lovely writers at Lisa Jo Baker's blog for Five Minute Friday. We are to write for five minutes straight, no edits. Just pure writing. Today's prompt is fight. Stop by Lisa's blog to see what others are writing!


I’m giving up the fight.

I really am. 

I’m giving up the fight to be perfect. 
To be acceptable to everyone, in fact loved by all. 
I’m giving up on being someone I was never meant to be and doing things that I’m not cut out for.

I’m done fighting all alone the emotions that sometimes threaten to overtake my soul.

I’m done believing the lies the enemy hands out to me on a silver platter and says, 

“Here, have some of this that will make you whole.”

I’m done trying to fight the enemy alone.

I cannot. 

But, I forget. 

I forget that the all powerful one who came to this earth is right beside me. 
He promises to fight my battles. 

So, I’m giving up the fight.

I’m giving up the right to fight.

To fight for peace, calm and stillness.

I want these things, to be sure and I do have a right to them as a child of God.

But, I cannot fight for them alone.
I know that now.

After trying on my own to fight and losing a fighting battle.

He says,

 “Don’t fight. 
Be still. 
Let me fight the battles for you 
while you rest."


"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."
Exodus 14:14

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What I learned in December

In honor of the passing of 2013, I've listed thirteen things I learned in December in no particular order. It's always fun linking up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky for this monthly link up! Head on over there to see what other lovely writers have shared! 

 Oh, and Happy New Year!!

Mary, Joseph and the "donkey"

1. For the first time since our now adult children were little, my husband's side of the family acted out the Christmas story. It was complete with donkeys, sheep, angels and wise(wo)men. All the adults and our adult children. Does it look like we had fun doing it? See baby Jesus lying in the manger?

The Christmas Story--Live!

2. Also, my nieces and nephews are acrobats. For the first time, we had a "feats of strength" portion of our Christmas party. It got absolutely crazy!

3. If you ask your husband to write down 10 things he would say to describe who you are, plus 10 things he wants from your marriage, it will be eye opening and a great conversation starter.

4. Sitting in row 4 of a Broadway show is immensely more fun than sitting way in the back! My hubby took me to the show White Christmas and we were so close we could see the microscopic mics that the actors were wearing. We were also so close we got "snow" on us at the end. We decided we'd rather go to fewer productions and have great seats than lots of shows and sit in the nosebleed section. We had so. much. fun!

View from Row 4

5. Just because I talk about having realistic expectations for Christmas doesn't mean I carry that out perfectly. I still had some moments of disappointment that I had to work through. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

6. I can tend to take on the negative emotions of people I'm close to. This is a problem that was more evident during December because I was around more people. I need to figure out how not to do this any more.

7. I don't care a lot for church cantatas even though I used to be in them. I can't put my finger on exactly why. Most people love them. I'd rather hear a great sermon. 

8. When I see favorite authors of mine and other admired bloggers post the books they are reading I immediately get panicky. I want to read them all too, because I trust their judgement in good books. And, because I love good books. I guess you could call it Book List Envy.

9. If you take sugar free hot cocoa and then pile on mini marshmallows, the calories in the marshmallows and the non calories in the cocoa cancel each other out. Don't ask me how I know. ;)

10. One mini candy cane makes an excellent after dinner mint. I've eaten more candy canes this year than in all of my years combined. 

11. On Christmas Day, our family of 6 plus my mother and mother-in-law did a short story writing activity. Write down five things you see in the room and then take 5-10 minutes and write a story (like a paragraph or two) including those words. So much fun! I saved all the stories, because my family is full of excellent writers! More to come on those in the near future. 

Here are five of the words that were used: ceramic owl, jogger in neon green, flash card, big toe, birdcage. Now, aren't you curious?

12. My twenty year old daughter has kept a folder on her computer listing all of the books she's read since 2005. She had a goal to read 40 books in 2013 and at 11:50 p.m. on New Year's Eve, she was reading the last couple of poems in a book written by C.S. Lewis. She made her goal for the year!

13. Our family attempted to take a selfie on Christmas Day. What I didn't know is that my mother was recording our antics on her iphone. Take a look at our silliness!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in what I learned in December!

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