Posts filed under ‘Creative Growth’

30 DAYS OF BLOGGING: NaBloPoMo 2014!

BLOG - big yellow word in midst of red words

As of this post, I’ve officially completed National Blog Post Month 2014:

30 days of daily blogging

in the month of November!!!!! 

In the beginning I wasn’t sure if it was the best or worst decision I’d made in a long time. Now 30 days later, I’m definitely glad I participated. Sure, it was excruciating at times — like having to turn in 30 small term papers in a row — yet in the end, I know my writing life is richer for it.

Here are 10 benefits of NaBloPoMo I’m noticing already…

  1. Learning to write on cue vs. having to feel “inspired”

  2. Writing in small bursts vs. huge stretches

  3. Remembering how much I love to blog  

  4. Discovering unused pockets of writing time

  5. The thrill of going from idea to “published” daily

  6. Connecting with a network of fellow bloggers 

  7. Gaining new blog subscribers every day! 

  8. Interacting with readers thru blog comments

  9. “Priming the pump” for future blog post ideas

  10. Renewing blogging habits for 2015…

I’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of you who read, commented, subscribed, and shared posts on Twitter or Facebook this month. Without you I’d simply be…talking to myself. I hope your life has been enriched in some way, and I thank you for joining me as we endeavor to “find the growing edge” in Christ together.

From this point on, I’ll be blogging weekly rather than daily.

Unless of course…I decide to do NaBloPoMo 2015 next year!


November 30, 2014 at 10:51 PM Leave a comment

DAY 19: GRIEF vs. REGRET (oh what a difference!)

NO REGRETS yellow post-it




Waste time regretting yesterday’s losses


Embrace today so you won’t regret tomorrow


I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent an awful lot of time in my life obsessing over what DID happen that I wish DIDN’T…or what DIDN’T happen that I wish DID. Either way, it’s a vicious cycle.

Regret is an awful companion. It takes and takes, and never gives back. Obsession is even worse company. It blinds you to anything and everything but the one thing you don’t have. Put the two together, and they’ll eat your insides out and suck away every possibility of being present in the here and now, where life actually has a chance of happening.

Of course, grief and mourning are a necessary part of life when we experience a loss. At times grief can look strangely similar to regret, yet with one important difference: grief eventually takes you somewhere, while regret takes you nowhere but down, down, downHealthy grief helps us accept and adjust to a loss, eventually making room for new experiences and growth, while regret and obsession never give up their space in our hearts and minds – thus making new growth impossible.

A wise man once said, “If you don’t like your past, build a new one.”



Living today well paves the way for a regret free tomorrow!


November 18, 2014 at 11:20 PM 2 comments


INCHWORM - inching toward bump in branch

I think I can…I think I can…I think I can…

INCHWORM |ˈinCHˌwərm| noun
a caterpillar of a geometrid moth, which moves forward by arching and straightening its body.

Anyone who’s tackled a long-term project – household repair, creative project, or even just balancing your checkbook – soon discovers that a seemingly “doable” task can turn unmanageable pretty quickly.

Like when:

  • A 6-month remodeling project drags into endless months of “pardon our dust”
  • Writing a short e-book turns into a thousand-page extravaganza
  • Balancing your checkbook even once feels like climbing Mt. Everest

That’s when we need the power of INCHING

INCHING helps us break down the work into manageable bite-sized steps, so the whole project doesn’t overwhelm us to the point that of quitting.

It’s interesting how the inchworm propels himself forward…

He alternately arches and straightens his body by expanding and contracting his muscles.  He’s not always straining forward, and he’s not always at rest. The inchworm’s amazing progress comes from a herky-jerky combo of both motions (expand-contract, expand-contract, expand-contract) til before long he finds himself INCHING forward in apparently seamless fashion.

Not only that, an inchworm never ever takes a step that’s more than, you guessed it, an INCH long:

  • He’s not remodeling the whole house in a dayhe’s picking out the paint for the guest bedroom.
  • He’s not writing War and Peace in a weekhe’s putting the final touches on Chapter 7.
  • He’s not balancing his checkbook for life…he’s recording his latest purchase and subtracting it from the total. 

 In the picture above, the inchworm appears to be working his way toward the next knothole. I’m sure he’s got a bigger goal in mind – say, eating the leaves at the end of the branch – but for now, that knothole is the object of his focus. And inching his way toward it will eventually lead to a leafy breakfast!

I don’t know about you, but I have a growing affection for the inchworm.

He may be tiny and funny to watch…yet his quirky progress brings a smile to my face.

Maybe I can scale this mountain after all.


And soon like The Little Engine That Could, I find myself repeating…

“I think I can…I think I can…I think I can…”


November 17, 2014 at 11:35 AM 2 comments

DAY 16: SUCCESS? “Fuhgeddaboudit!”

SUCCESS compass

KEY TO SUCCESS road sign - clouds



MAKE A DIFFERENCE man building sign (red-white)


I ran across this Victor Frankl quote and thought I’d share it today. I know I can certainly use the reminder. 

Sometimes it’s easy to measure ourselves by our most recent success…


Or our most resent failure…


And forget that “success” isn’t nearly as important…


As doing something that truly makes a DIFFERENCE…


Don’t get me wrong: I’m still aiming for excellence. I work at it every day. 

I have an incredible drive to be the very best I can be – and when I don’t hit the mark, believe me, it hurts. The truth is, we’re all wired to learn and grow and achieve great things – probably bigger than we even realize much of the time, and that’s one of the exhilarating things about being alive.

Yes, success does matter…

Yet as it turns out, success alone is a really terrible ULTIMATE goal. It can corrupt, harden, and brutalize our hearts,  and ultimately the very satisfaction we think it will bring can mysteriously disappear.

I’ll let Mr. Frankl take it from here…

“Don’t aim at success–the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run–in the long run, I say!–success will follow you precisely because you had FORGOTTEN to think of it.”

-Victor Frankl

November 16, 2014 at 9:31 AM Leave a comment



GAP in freeway (with skyline)

Life in the gap…


I started this poem in 2009 and finished it in 2014. Funny how some things never change: Like our utter dependence on the Author of the story…to help us live out our particular chapter.



Though in truth wish I were

Cuz then I’d have an alibi

For why my life’s a blur


A waterloo of follow-through that never quite completes

A host of good intentions never ever quite set free


INSIGHTFUL yet unable

To apprehend the how

Of letting things I understand

Inhabit here and now


An undertow of “I don’t know” that dulls my aching mind

Til in the end I comprehend my clever sight’s gone blind



has left me broken-hearted

From jumping off high cliffs

And landing where I started


It’s time that I surrendered and found a source of strength

Beyond myself and my own will to get me past the brink



Of how the pieces fit

He knows just when to start

And when it’s time to quit


He knows which tangents slow me up and which ones spur me on

And patiently He whispers until on me it dawns


INSIGHTFUL of the plan

The one that’s in His heart

He focuses my flailing

So I can play my part


So unafraid of twists and turns is my intrepid Guide

That He can work it all for good while I enjoy the ride


EMPOWERED by the freedom

To pick and choose within

The path that I have chosen

In partnership with Him


woman leaping across cliff (blue background)

“Suddenly God, your light floods my path . . . I vault the high fences.
 What a God!” 2 Samuel 22:29

November 15, 2014 at 1:32 PM 2 comments



I’m knee-deep in projects this week so this is yet another poem from the archives, slightly revised. The original version appeared in a literary journal, my first in fact, which tickled me no end – especially given the content of the poem! 


Nothing quite right.

Nothing quite wrong.

Just endless thoughts of me and my endless thoughts.  Exhausting.


Anxiety wells up with each passing moment…


Why haven’t these “raw materials” added up to more by now?

Why haven’t you accomplished more with your life?

Quick, what can I accomplish before lunch that will ease

this crushing underachievement?


This failure to launch.


This atrophy that seizes the half-opened rose and freezes it in place.

Then slowly it dawns…

Could atrophy nipping at my heels actually be a gift?


A nagging-yet-necessary reminder that time is short and those little daily choices oh-so-precious.


Do I beat atrophy at its own game by making it my friend?


Or better still, befriending its Giver…


…who limited our time in this fallen world

as a gift of mercy in the first place?


November 11, 2014 at 3:32 PM 2 comments


maximum BELIEF stopwatch

Here’s another find from the poetry archives…

I dedicate it to my dad, who once remarked: “You seem to think faith means praying and praying until you know exactly what to do. For me, taking that first step forward IS faith.”

How many times have I nodded,
“Oh yes, I believe that too”
Yet after the fact, when push came to shove
It’s nothing I’d actually DO?

How many times have I listened
Furiously writing out notes
That sat on my desk til I cleaned out the mess
From the stories I never wrote?

How many times have I wondered
“Why isn’t God coming thru?”
When had I been listening His voice would ring clear:
“My friend, I’ve been waiting on YOU!”

November 10, 2014 at 4:06 PM 2 comments

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Writer... speaker..."growing edge" seeker


Each new day offers a fresh opportunity to learn or languish, stagnate or grow. Like all sincere Christians, I face the ongoing challenge of finding THE GROWING EDGE.


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1. LISTEN without interrupting
(Proverbs 1:8)

2. SPEAK without accusing
(James 1:19)

3. GIVE without sparing
(Proverbs 21:26)

4. PRAY without ceasing
(Colossians 1:9)

5. ANSWER without arguing
(Proverbs 17:1)

6. SHARE without pretending
(Ephesians 4:15)

7. ENJOY without complaint
(Philippians 2:14)

8. TRUST without wavering
(I Corinthians 13:7)

9. FORGIVE without punishing
(Colossians 3:13)

10. PROMISE without forgetting
(Proverbs 13:12)

2014 NaBloPoMo!

NaBloPoMo November 2014