RSS Thinking Out Loud … on Paper …

  • Educational Movie Nights for All
    Every day there are free or very low-cost options for viewing really great films and television programs. However, it is often difficult for people who have never thought of movies as schoolwork to make it into something truly educational. Never fear! I'm here to help you. Having home educated for over 20 years, I used movies […]
  • Foot on the Accelerator
    This evening, I sat down alone in my living room watching, "The Car" episode of "This Is Us." At the end of the episode, almost as an afterthought, the mother drives the kids over a bridge. Throughout the episode, each time they get to a bridge, she closes her eyes and squeals a bit in […]
  • Dating Looks Like Insanity at Times
    Remember when you were told as a young woman not to reveal everything to a guy, to retain an air of mystery about yourself? He would find it irresistible, we were told. He would chase us all the harder for that unique hidden gem that we wouldn't reveal until just the right moment. But in […]
  • Moving Past the Past...
    Last night, I had a really scary thought. What if I can never move past my memories, my assumptions, and my fears in order to finally accomplish a lifelong goal? What if I never move forward?Is the past so alive, real, and concrete to you that you can't seem to escape it? Like huge iron […]
  • I'll Never Do That to My Kids...
    When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a teacher. I wanted to be like those ladies who knew everything, or so I thought at the time. I wanted to have the power to help young children learn, but I also wanted to be nicer than many of my teachers. I would be […]
  • Free to Fly: A Defense of the Single Life
    When I was 15 years old, the biggest tragedy of my life was that I felt alone and disconnected. I wanted a boyfriend with all my heart. I longed for a romance that would begin right then and last until the end of time. I don't know if you have ever felt such a longing, […]
  • Taking Offense
    There is one thing that breaks my heart. Disconnected relationships. If my son and his daddy aren't getting along, I'm miserable. If my daughter and I haven't spent time together in weeks, I'm lonely. Why? Because family, and familial love, bring healing to us all.Family is the one place where we can escape and rest. […]
  • Misuse, Abuse, and Healing
    When I was a very tiny child, the people who should have cared for me the most did a lot of harm. I loved my kids. I did my best. But I messed up a lot, too. I was angry and yelling when I should have been gentle and consistent. I wasn't a great mom […]
  • Why Cultural Differences Are a Good Thing
    The best part of life consists in the experience of learning to navigate a new environment. When I've walked among people that I don't understand, I have found my inner self stretching and being renewed. Every new horizon opened to me also opened me up to a new understanding of life. When I was a little […]
  • Aches, Pains, and Fitness Goals
    I've tried for years to lose weight alone. Then, I tried again alone but in a different way. Surely, that would work? Nope. I asked people to help keep me accountable. Then, I made excuses for why I was cheating -- just this once. They would quit trying to hold me accountable. So, I'd end […]
  • Hecklers & Life Goals
    I've been trying to change my health habits. As in, I've been trying to develop some, since for most of my life, I've done stuff that should eventually kill me. I've eaten bad food and huge quantities of it. I've sat around and not moved much at all. I've snacked all day long on stuff […]
  • Fear and Love
    Today, I am dealing with overwhelming anxiety at 4:00 in the morning. It's really late. I've been up since about 1:00am, and I'm really tired. Yet, I cannot sleep.I'm not the up-all-night type of girl. For example, when my husband was having chest pains and I thought that he might be dying, he refused to […]
  • Praise, Floor Tiles, and Balaam's Donkey
    Praise Why is it that when I'm in some real tough situations, all I seem to be able to do is to praise my God? I mean, I'm not as spiritual as that sounds. I'd rather watch TV most evenings than pray. I'd much rather talk to my best friend than listen to a deep theological […]
  • Failing Big
    I had a neighbor who suffered a stroke. She was a sweet elderly lady who always waved at us and we at her. She worked cleaning houses, and she went to church faithfully every Sunday. She had a son who was mentally ill, and she walked with dignity and a poise that seemed to bely […]
  • Bikinis and Jean Shorts
    As a 13 year-old, I firmly believed that bikinis were only for supermodels, but on the day my aunt brought home a red and white polka-dotted string bikini, I became a bikini wearer. At first, of course, I decided that she must be unaware of my cellulite. I put it on to show her what […]
  • Blessings in Poverty
    I'm having a great day. I started the day having a good breakfast, enjoying time with my son, Javi, and then going to the food bank. Wait, what? Wouldn't a person be in perpetual torment if they needed to visit a food bank and essentially accept a handout? I used to believe that, back when […]
  • On Being a Former Homeschooler
    I don't think the term works -- former homeschooler. You see, I'm always going to be a different kind of parent and grandparent for the rest of my life, and much of it is due to my background in homeschooling. For example, I can imagine that everything in life will become a chance to teach […]
  • Am I Good Enough?
    I've spent my life trying to please others and to do what's expected. Now, notice that I didn't say that I was trying to be good. Yes, I've tried to be good. Of course, I've really made an effort to be godly, kind, and a generally good person. But sometimes I just begin to get […]
  • Personal Development Books
    Through the years, I've read some life changing books. "Finding God at Every Turn" by Catherine Marshall was a huge influence upon me as a woman. Even though it was about a life lived decades upon decades before my own, it resonated with me. Another one was "Battlefield of the Mind" by Joyce Meyer, which […]
  • Trusting People Is Insane
    That title had two parts: Trusting People Is Insane, but Forgiving Them Is MandatoryFaith in man has made a fool of me. Over the years, I've given my heart and my faithful friendship to people whom I later discovered weren't ready to be trusted with my confidence. It's a painful experience that we can't even […]