She sang and danced her heart out every day after school, in the basement that served as her studio. (Basements= the original auto tune.) 8 track tapes blasted from her parents stereo. (google it, younguns…. think music recorded on something the size of a trashy paperback…really old  school Cd’s) “Delta Dawn” “I will Survive” And loads of Helen Reddy and other angsty belty 70’s music filled her repertoire. She was pretty sure that eventually she’d be discovered for the amazing talent she was… and she’d show everyone just how special she was.

The dance practice and singing went on all through high school. She graduated from 8 tracks to cassette tapes and a “Walkman.” The headphones made her sound even MORE amazing. Besides, now it was all Flashdance and Footloose….80’s music reigned. Someday she’d be: queen.

Except she couldn’t really sing. She wasn’t awful… just more -second -soprano- sing -the -harmony -you’re not really solo material- good. Her dance moves were party ready but, never going to wind up in a music video.

Still, she hoped.

“Someday, I’ll be discovered.”  She waited. She once heard the story of a famous starlet being “discovered” in a soda shop. The there were the stars discovered in music classes and on street corners….. “Someday.” Except: she was dancing in the basement. The only thing she was going to be discovered by was dust bunnies and dirty laundry.

She’s still waiting.

She’s me.

I gave up dreams of music and dance somewhere during my senior year. I just didn’t have “it.”

But, I discovered something I could do…. I could tell and write stories.

My dream shifted….”Maybe someday- I’ll be discovered- as a writer.”

I took classes. I read books. I wrote and submitted articles. I recieved lots of very nice rejection letters.

And then…. things got published. Doors opened. Speaking engagements became part of my norm. I went through (and go through) every door that opens. When I write- I feel like that dancing kid again….. I can do and be anything.

Almost. Kind of. Mostly.

Except for one thing: Be discovered.

I’ve been wondering why… I’ve been praying about it. Kind of whiney, actually. I keep seeing friends online (and off) that I’ve followed and written alongside, get book deals. (I’ve sinned- okay? I’m jealous.) I get good feedback about my writing from professionals. I’ve been encouraged to write more.

But, that’s as far as it goes. I  keep writing…. and waiting. To be discovered.

I set up a blog years ago and love writing here- however, I realize that I set up a virtual soda shop.  That I keep hoping that someday, someone would stop by and “discover” me. I keep hoping to open an email that (for once) wouldn’t be from an Ethiopian Prince wanting to gift me money. But would be from a publisher- or a literary agent. It would ask me to write a book. My book. The one in my heart. At least one of them… (I have a few brewing away.)

Here’s the thing: My longing to be “discovered” isn’t a dream. It’s insecurity veiled in a dream. The truth is- I dream of being “discovered” because I long to be: Affirmed. Chosen. Special. Gifted.

All of which, I already am. Affirmed by God. Chosen by Christ. Specially created to fulfill a purpose (My purpose) on this earth. Gifted- not (just) in writing- but in love and by love, in grace and by grace.

The truth is- I’ve already been “discovered.”  It’s time to stop dancing in the basement. It’s time to stop waiting and get to work- writing.

You have already been discovered too. You are not invisible. You are not relegated to waiting on a soda shop stool hoping to be discovered. God created YOU with a purpose to fulfill. God discovered you, long before you were born. He has chosen you. He affirms YOU. He has gifted you, in love and with love- in grace and with grace. It’s your choice how you use them.

Will you keep singing in the basement, sitting on the soda shop stool waiting to be discovered? Or, will you get to work and do what God has planned for you? This year- I want to leave the soda shop. I want to leave the basement. Because, I just discovered something…. I’ve already been discovered.

Will I ever be a “real” writer? I don’t know. But, it’s not good enough to keep dancing in the basement. No more soda shop waiting. It’s time to find out.

Maybe, I’m not the only one. What about you? Are you waiting to be discovered? Maybe your longing to be discovered is veiled insecurity too….it’s time to rip off the veil. We’ve already been chosen and discovered. Let’s get to work.

“4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2 

Dear Lord… this is either from you or from me… I haven’t got a clue- but you’re words are true regardless.  help me to overcome my insecurity- help me to stop waiting to be discovered- and help me to do the work you’re calling me to do. It’s not about dreams…. it’s about you- I love you lord and pray for courage for every one who reads….. let today be the day we take the first step- off the soda shop stool, out of the basement…. and into your light. amen


Not hot tea.... but this needs a pic...

Not hot tea…. but this needs a pic…

“You know, your son would probably enjoy it a lot more if you spent time making cookies with him…..” Said a voice behind me in the Starbucks line.

I turned to meet the eyes of my sudden adversary. Yes, adversary. Why? Because She may have said: “You know, your son would probably enjoy it a lot more if you spent time making cookies with him…..” What I heard was: “Instead of buying expensive cookies you should spend some time with your kid. As matter of fact, where is your kid? Why aren’t you taking are of him? You are a terrible, selfish mother.”

I was also tempted to go into a huge defensive thing about cancer and autoimmune disorders, and surgeries and just wanting to bless my kid with a treat after school. I refrained. (Well. Until now.) I wanted to yell: “I’m a SAHM. How much more time can I spend with the kid? Climb into his backpack while he’s at school?” I wanted to say: “My husband has cancer, I’ve had 3 surgeries in the past 3 years, my body keeps attacking itself in some stupid auto-immune way and we don’t know why and I’m doing the best I can to make all my kids feel loved and valued…..”

What I said was: “Well, at $2.25 I know I could make a whole batch of homemade shortbread that would be way better than this- but at 12 my kid sometimes just wants a cookie.”

By which I meant: “Look lady- I’m not sure what you’re implying- but it feels like criticism. I DO cook. I DO spend time with my kid. So, back off.”

Based on my response- internal and external….It’s entirely possible that: 1) I was feeling insecure due to my changing role as a mother and already question my value as A SAHM when my kids are in school and college. 2) I felt like judged because I was dressed up yesterday- and I think she assumed I was a “working mom.”  Which in her mind must mean I don’t take time with my kids. Which: Equally annoyed me- because IF I WERE, WHY WOULD IT BE HER BUSINESS to criticize? I know loads of working moms- and most of them actually MAKE things with their kids from their Pinterest Boards- unlike me. It’s also possible that 3) with an internal crazy pants response like yesterdays- I might be PMSY or tired and stressed.

It is entirely POSSIBLE that she may have just been suggesting it would be fun to make cookies together. It’s POSSIBLE. Right? She may miss having her kids bake with her. She may be a “cook with your kids televangelist.” For all I know, the lady was actually wanting me to ask for her super secret million dollar cookie recipe and I MISSED it. Or, she was a jerk. I have no idea. I took my cookies and tea and left. (Side bar: Kid hated the cookie. I ate it at midnight last night. True story.) 

Here’s what I do know:  I totally judged her just as quickly and harshly as I felt she judged me. In my mind- as those words left her mouth- I instantly decided she was a cranky, judgmental jerkipants. I assumed she meant the worst. I assumed her statement was a personal criticism. She was one fur coat and a coiffeur away from being the Cruella DeVille of moms. In one sentence, she went from chatty Starbucks grandma to Disney villainess.

I wonder how many times I’ve said things that felt like criticism to someone else? I wonder how many times I’ve been one fur coat shy of being Cruella DeVille, myself? Honestly? I couldn’t even count them. Some part of me believes that I am (or should be) the mom-visor to the universe. (New word- it’s like an advisor of Moms on mothering… which: is not my job *gasp. I know. Right?) I also wonder how many times I’ve assumed someone was criticizing me when really- they weren’t trying to. My guess? About an equal amount.

Today’s goal: NOT TO DO THAT AGAIN. (The over reacting in my brain like a freak thing.. not the buying my kid an after school treat thing.)

I’m getting him a donut and hot chocolate at Tim Hortons.

Dear lord- Words can hurt. MY words have hurt others. Assumptions can hurt. MY assumptions have hurt others, and I’ve been hurt by the assumptions of others. Please help me to see others as you see them- forgive me for the times I haven’t. help me to forgive others when they wrongly judge me. Help me to know I am loved and approved by you- and that that’s enough. Thank you for loving me even when I’m a jerk- I love you lord- amen. 

Your turn:

It’s often said that “Un requested advice is perceived as criticism.”  Does that resonate with you? Have you felt criticized when someone offered advice you weren’t looking for? Do you often offer advice when others don’t ask for it? How do they respond?

Confession: last night Noah and I made Salmon Wellington. TOGETHER. Take that- cranky pants. (see? I’m a jerk.) 1146622_10201551486601737_478686630_n

Opening the invitation, I’ll admit my response: “Oh no. Not one of “those” events. You know….events where pretentious people gather and pretend to care, all the while making clear how important they are by name dropping, house dropping (not as exciting as when it involves witches with stripey hose and flashy shoes. This type of house dropping is mentioning aspects of your home (s) that make your affluent status apparent.) And Pedigree dropping.(In which you introduce yourself as if you are your professional accomplishments. In my world- Pedigree is a dog food that produces digestive “issues” in my Shorkie. )

My husband is a successful sales exec. Sometimes we attend “those” events. Occasionally, I’m surprised to find someone equally not all about impressing but about connecting….often times- not. These events involve gowns and layered spanx induced and lack of oxygen. I think I have PTED- post traumatic event disorder. Between pretense and my own insecurity- (hello- my house is a blessing- and messy. The most “droppable” part is a giant master bath….. and bathroom talk is one of those things you are supposed to avoid in “polite” society. Or, so I hear. When it comes to that moment in introducing yourself and pedigrees start flying? I duck them like flying monkeys.”I’m a mom. ” Just doesn’t feel like it compares to the doctor princess barbie rocket scientist I’m usually seated next to. Yup. “those” events? The 6th circle of hell.

I thought of a thousand reasons to bow out. (I am a justification ninja. Just sayin. I have skills. I have responsibilities. Not to mention: I have: excuses.)

But…. There was something about the invite that held potential as being different. This was a donor event. For an organization I’ve loved for 23 years. An organization that had helped me learn to parent, to lead and to trust…..(if you haven’t guessed by now- yes- it was a MOPS International donor event- held during convention. Several years ago.)

Part of me wondered if it would be a high pressured sales pitch. The truth is- what we’d already given was a stretch….. I didn’t want to feel like I hadn’t/couldn’t do enough. I didn’t want to feel intimidated or “less than” in what had become a safe place for me to be: enough. Valued. Respected. The other part of me wondered if maybe…. Just maybe- it was a gathering of people who also loved MOPS…. How bad could that be?

I (mostly !decided to go. (Mostly because it made me feel special to be invited. A little like an invitation to sit at the cool kids table in junior high. Yes. I felt guilty and stupid about that, of course.) I rsvp’d. But- honestly? I wasn’t positive I’d go or not. I figured they’d never notice if I didn’t show up. I did pack an outfit I thought would work. Just in case.

The day of the event- I was nervous. I was also: busy. (I hold a MOPS Volunteer Staff position- convention – now called MomCon-During which is  MVS work in hyperdive.) During an hour break in my schedule, I walked into a shop. That’s when I saw it: a satin leopard fit and flare trench coat. I tried it on. Suddenly, I felt like I ruled the world. “Okay… In this jacket- I can attend that event.”

I checked the price. Oy.  I should have known. It was at a swanky hotel shop….. Way over priced, even if it fit perfectly and was fabulous. I bought it anyway. I felt like it was my golden ticket to acceptance. (I’m emotionally a perpetual 15 yr old. I know this.) To this day it’s the most expensive item of clothing I’ve ever bought.

I know…… Some people go into these situations wanting to blend in…. Well… I want to shine. The more nervous I am- the more animated. The more plumage I apply…. (This was a leopard print peacock of a jacket- trust me. Total plumage.)

I climbed aboard the bus to the destination feeling a bit overdressed. (It was a bit more conservative than flashy crowd. Oops.) But- my rule of insecurity: when in doubt-better to be over than under- dressed. I put on my chatty if you’re not the most important person be the most charming funny, witty- persona (thats what it was in my head, trust me.) and wore it like armor.

By the time we arrived. I was really wound up. Introductions were made. Without realizing it- I was suddenly THAT chick. The one swinging her arms and talking with her hands as loudly as her voice,
(Which is always the loudest. Thank you Italian genes.)

Which was fine. Except – the event was on a small river boat.

And as we were standing- chatting. Servers were weaving their way through the crowd to serve beverages and hors-devours (which auto correct wont correct. But, you know what I mean.) which is when I swung my arm as I turned in my satin leopard jacket and suddenly felt what could only be a handful of um…… Butt. Out of the corer of my eye- I saw a server. A male server. I jerked my hand away and tried shove it in the pocketless jacket. I wished I’d worn something ummm. Less memorable. I walked to the other side of the boat hoping to blend in or fall overboard. (We were below deck….but there was a slim chance I could be sucked out a porthole if a tornado suddenly blew in…. No such luck.)

I felt heat rise from my feet to my head. Italians don’t really visibly blush…. But I think I did. That, or I was smoldering.

The only thing I could think to do, was pretend it didn’t happen.

And sit down and shut up. Or at least, sit on my hands. Which is what I did. No one knew I was dying of horror inside.

I carried on. (waiting to see if the police were about to swarm the boar and arrest me for groping some server…) But slowly i realized that no one appeared to be either impressed by, or afraid of me. They also weren’t into “dropping” anything. They were just… There. Because they love MOPS.

I heard stories of how they each got involved and why they stay involved. I met people I’d only known as “celebrities” “Board Members” and staff…who turned out to be: people.

There was no guilt laden sales pitch – it was a thank you and here’s what you’ve helped accomplish thing. One of my favorite preachers shared a message that resonated so much that it still affects my daily life. (Thank. you, Pastor Gelinas- your message on call and respond gave me permission to share my walk with god exactly as I live it…. Call and response that’s what I share here…..his message that night was from his book- “Finding the Groove- Composing a Jazz Shaped Faith-if you haven’t- you should read it. Just sayin.)

There was no swat team when we docked. (Ha! Get it? Swat?) Honestly, the “goosing” may not have been noticed by anyone but me. The servers’ face never changed.

I still have the jacket. I think I’ve worn it one other time – for a speaking engagement- you know- when you want to be the center of attention- because its your job…..vs when you want to get away with goosing some college kid at a donor dinner.

Best part? Not long after that awful wonderful night….. was asked to become a member of that board of directors. I thought it was a joke.

It wasn’t.

I love it.

At all MOPS events- i have a personal mission-to make every mom ( person, really) feel accepted and welcomed like I was, at that donor dinner. I know what insecurity feels like. I know it wears both hidden faces trying to blend in and not be noticed or embarrass themselves so they can be accepted….and rambunctious faces who goose servers in their attempt to be noticed and accepted. And then there are people who are comfortable in their skin and want to connect with others who are equally passionate about family and mothers. I want every mom to feel like a rockstar.

Because she is.

MomCon is coming up in October. I can’t wait. I can’t wait to meet: YOU. I can’t wait to hear YOUR MOPS story. Look for me. Say hi. I’ll be watching for you, too.

But I promise to keep my hands to myself. I’m a little more comfortable in my skin than that now…. Mostly. But I usually do have some form of leopard print on…. A scarf. Bag… Shoes….something. It’s my little reminder now…. To chill out. All “events” aren’t circles of hell….. Some? Are little tastes of heaven;)

If I’m going to see you in Kansas City- speak up! I want to know!

So…..what’s the craziest thing you’ve done as an adult to try and “fit in” with a certain crowd? Satin leopard overpriced jacket? Nervous goosing? Please tell me I’m not the only one…..

Dear lord- women (and a few men) from all over, are getting ready for MomCon. I pray that anyone who’s afraid or nervous would hear my experience had know that we’re all in this together- on a common mission,. This (and all MOPS events) are not “that” kind of thing…. They aren’t about dropping things…they’re about picking up things…. Lifting up people… Truths, encouragement. Prepare us now, and help us to reach out and connect then. In Jesus name amen. Ps lord? I still feel bad about goosing that kid….. It was an accident, I swear!


How insecure did I feel?  Insecure enough to:

1)   Wear two pair of Spanx.(Caution: layering of Spanx may cause lack of oxygen to the brain.)

2)   Spend more time applying mascara than I spent on homework in ALL of high school.

3)   Use a forklift to hoist the girls back to their pre-baby positions and hold them there with a bra whose straps could be used as suspension bridge cables.

4)   Wear a black sundress to a party on the beach. (Black and sundress, is an oxymoron. )

5)   Buy a new pair of shoes on the way to the party,(literally)  because I was convinced the black, strappy sandals I’d brought be would social suicide.

Yes, that insecure. No matter how many of these “events” I go to, I feel the same way: ANXIOUS.  People and place may change, but the nervous chatter in my head is a constant.

“Do I look too fat? Do I have anything stuck in my teeth? Enough perfume?  Too much perfume? What if I say something stupid? What is his name again? Am I over -dressed?  Am I under-dressed?  I hope I’m not too loud, Why can’t I get the flu and get out of this?”

Another thing that stays the same: I never get the flu. (click to read more)


My heart is racing. My run has been over for hours.No.. I’m not having a panic attack or a heart attack… . it’s not a delayed response to the sudden onset exercise.  I’m nervous.  OK- so I’m afraid. Scared, actually.

Within minutes, one of my book proposal ideas is very casually going to be mentioned (presented) to a publisher. By someone else.

I am (basically) freaking out. I’m afraid if it’s a go, that I’ll have to actually produce content.. I’m afraid if it’s a no, I’ll be crushed. (I won’t I’ve had other no’s and handled them. Also honestly?  I think a “No” would make the most logical sense. (Not because of my writing, not because of the idea.. I think it’s marketable fresh and needed) but because of how tough the publishing market is.

Honestly, I thought about ducking for cover and not trying.  I thought about saying “It’s not ready” and fiddling with it for another 9 months. I could have made it sound very holy.  I could have said: “God hasn’t given me a green light.” I would have been lying. I didn’t.

But, I thought about it. I wasn’t even going to tell you. Why?  Cause I am afraid I’ll fail in public.

So why am I telling you?

Cause maybe YOU are afraid of something, too.  Maybe you’re afraid of a final exam, taking that last statistics class, making a life change, or taking a risk. Maybe you’re afraid that your best won’t be good enough.

Well- here’s the thing. I am too. I think we all are.

But there is only one way to find out.

By trying.

By taking the risk.

By giving it our best.

So.  Here I sit. Scared out of my mind, and wondering what will happen next, and sharing it with you.

It’s not comfortable. (I kind of  feel like throwing up, actually)  But you know what?  It feels better than living a story that ends with me chickening out and starting to collect cats and teapots. (oops- I may have watched an episode of “hoarders” to kill some time this afternoon.)

Recently Don Miller posed the question: What If….

Well, hold on, we’re about to find out. What If I actually stopped talking about a book proposal and presented one? (Or had it presented… whatever:P)

(Oh BTW.. please pray for good news..that would be good. I’m asking God for this: I’d like to write a book. (As opposed to a bonfire which is it’s alternate outcome:P)

Here is what I know.. this is my Sacred Echo… I’m sending it out to see if it resonates. PING!

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Words that are true- regardless of the outcome of any meetings- today or other days.