Soulful Sojourning

I WANT TO BE PRETTY!

I want to be pretty! It’s the screaming demand of my anxious heart and it gets my full attention. On any given day the demand can be different. I want to be loved, accomplished, adored. There is nothing wrong with any of these desires. To be cherished and delighted in is one of my favorite parts of the universal feminine spirit.  Little girls all over the globe giggle when they experience love.

It’s the foot stomping, soul-draining, toddler tantrum happening in my heart that makes me stop and take stock. I look around me, hoping no one else heard the whiny voice that bubbled up from my soul. This voice won’t be satisfied with reason. No haircut, compliment or new outfit will take the edge off this greedy hunger. It’s the black hole of desperation that helps me see it has nothing to do with beauty.

It’s fear talking, and behind the tirade, its whispering lies. “You’re not good enough, special enough, smart enough, skinny enough, stylish enough. Look around you. Has anyone noticed you today? I didn’t think so. . .”

In the echo of the ugly, I pause and listen. One of my favorite parts of experience (aka getting older) is knowing that the lies don’t have to own me. They don’t have to push me into chasing down false comfort. They do remind me to bow my head in silent momentary confession. “I’m so sorry that I was listening to that nasty little voice, Father.”

Finally I breathe in the truth. God made all beauty, and that creator is intimately at work inside of me. I am a vessel of unimaginable worth because of Him, and reflecting that value brings my heart true satisfaction. It’s the source of all that is good and lovely in my soul. As I care for my body, mind and spirit, I am free and I am loved because of him who lives in me.

“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing . . .to find the place where all the beauty comes from.” C.S. Lewis

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A Prayer for My Son

Isaac, my son. As your mother, every birthday celebrates ...

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The child of missionary parents, writing became a natural was to process my adventures across the world.

Ndjerareou means 'he who builds the road in Ngambai, Nate's tribal language spoken in Chad, Africa.

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My Insta-happenings

  • My fall flavors are carrot cake & ginger bread. But I have a confession, I don’t bake well. I rarely wear my glasses in the kitchen and I’ve NEVER followed instructions very well so my baking mistakes are epic. The precision and concentration to create confectionary masterpieces is rarely worth the time or the guilt.  Birthday cakes come from Cosco, I can make put cookie dough on a pan but I’ve even been known to mix up baked goods that come out of a box.  I do LOVE to cook.  I used to love painting but it feels the same in my brain as standing over the stove and my people are much more excited to see my culinary creations than my artwork. Go figure! .  Today, I bake to make memories. Life is moving fast and I’m always looking for meaningful ways to engage my children.  This recipe will give you those stolen moments together. For the recipe on these Carrot Cake Cookies click the link in my profile. It’s so easy even I can do it. .  #makememories #carrotcakecookies #fall #nothingisordinary #familytime #everydayadventure #nothingisordinary #ibakedit #webaketogether #frommykitchentoyours
  • "One secret of life is that the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day. Another secret is that laughter is carbonated holiness." -Anne LaMott .
I'm so thankful for my tribe @arthousedallas and the inspiration, encouragement and laughter they've brought along the way. .
Today, I got my hands on an advance copy of Empathy for the Devil, Finding Ourselves In The Villains of the Bible, by JR Forasteros. @jrforasteros .
I've had the privilege of watching this piece grow from edited pages our tribe has spoken into and over to this fantastic book. Thanks for sharing your journey with us! Look for the book Nov. 7th. .
#writersofinstagram #findyourtribe #arthousedallas #inspiration #keepwriting #writeitdown #write #findthestoryinside #findyourvoice #celebrate #books #reading #storytelling #spilledink #writerscommunity
  • Creativity is a flame that ignites the soul but just as easily the light can be snuffed out. Communities of artists become  a shelter from the storms of life or give a spark to an idea or passion. How many great works never reach the light of day for lack of courage or support? I'm grateful for all the creatives who've poured into my journey and helped me find my voice. Thank you @arthousedallas for the way you cultivate, inspire and sustain artists in our city. .
"Creativity begets creativity " Sarah Groves
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#arthousedallas #sarahgroves #creativityforthecommongood #createeveryday #nothingisordinary #arthousestpaul #inspiration #creativityfound #writeitdown #writersofinstagram #writinglife #exploreyourcreativity #aspecialnight #stewardyourgifts #arthouse #deepthoughts #encourageyourcommunity #engageyourspace #charliepeacock #creativecommunity #inspiration #wordstoliveby #comecreatewithme
  • Natural hair, it can be overwhelming, messy, imperfect and expensive but the look of confidence in her eyes when we get it right is priceless. The help I’ve received has not only helped us learn about hair but also given us a place in a beautiful community with members being added every day.  Our repertoire has grown from simple twists or braids to crochet styles and faux dreads. Afro puffs still make my heart go soft and I love the auntie that gave her blue box braids this summer with an affection only a white mama can understand.
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These days it’s special watching her grow and care for her hair on her own. But I still love separating the curls with my fingers, massaging conditioner into the root myself. Each style becomes a mother’s prayer. It’s a prayer for peace, for beauty, for strength.
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A prayer she finds her own voice in this world and delights in her unique expression of God’s glory.  For more of our journey, click the link in profile. .  #frommyhearttoyours #nothingisordinary #ndjerareoujourney #ourfamilyourworld #itsanadventure #naturalhair #herbeautyherstrength #forallthebravewomenwhovegonebefore #amothersprayer #weareallextraordinary #delightinourdifferences #exploretheworldtogether #onedayatatime
  • Three generations walking to remember my grandmother Ethel Helgeson and all those affected by Alzheimer's. We walk to remember, we walk to raise awareness, we walk to raise money for research, we walk in hopes of finding a cure, we walk to bring dignity to all those living with this disease.
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The best part of today- all the family moments that happened, we explored UTA, we told stories of past lessons and adventures, we fell into step with one another as only family can.
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Thank you to all the family that gathered for today's Walk for Alzheimer's. @kacalligraphydesign @jwollsch @bwwollsc1 and more. .
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#walkALZ #walkforacure #walkforalzheimers #wewillremember #dignityforall #wherethereislifethereishope #threegenerations #
  • "Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink in the wild air." -Ralph Waldo Emerson .
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@heleneinbetween On our summer escape in Europe I loved the epic sights but the moments that have stuck in my heart are the impromptu berry picking, carousel rides, funny faces, late night book readings, BBQ adventures, getting lost, and lazy days by the river. .
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None of it required much planning but it did require being present. Thank you Europe for helping me witness their childhood. May we never be too old to explore and play. .
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#heleneloveseurope # #helenelovesummer #welivetoexplore #traveltogther #travelwithkids #travelslowtravelfar #itsanadventure #neverstopexploring #travelinfrance #travelingourplanet #stayinspired #epictravels #discovertheworldtogether #discoverglobe #discovertheroad #addictedtotravel #timefreedom #mybudgettravel #soultravel #wildfamily #getoutdoors #staywild
  • "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." -Mark Twain
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#travelslowtravelfar #aroundtheworld #neverstopexploring #kashgar #travelwithkids #exploretheworldtogether #instatravel #silkroad #itsanadventure #itsasmallworldafterall #asia #travel
  • Not all who wander are lost. . .  in the brilliant words of J.R.R Tolkien. Sometimes we’re at home restlessly wondering, floundering, worrying if we’ll ever wander again? The time in-between adventures can be the most desolate for this mama. I struggle through the hum-drum details of a daily routine.  Auto-pilot is the danger here. I adore my family, friends and home but my nomadic heart can get lost in the daily grind.
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Thankfully, when my heart needs a taste of adventure I can wander as far as my local ethnic market. Thai, Indian, Nigerian, their colors, tools, meats, vegetables and spices can enliven any after school doldrums.  My kids get to wander the aisles and practice cultural sensitivity (Yes, it smells intense but this is the food of their culture, how do you think hot dogs seem to them?) and explore drinks, fruit or sweet treats.
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As a bonus, our finds become hospitable moments and ways to invite our friends and family into our adventures.
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For a few of my favorite recipes from my visit to Kashgar and how to make them in your kitchen click the link in profile. Join us on an everyday adventure. 
#everdayadventures ##neverstopexploring #aroundtheworld #aroundthetable #kashgar #silkroad #familyadventure #travelslowtravelfar #travelwithkids #instatravel #adventureawaits #haverecipewilltravel #armchairadventurer #notallthosewhowanderarelost