Friday, May 22, 2015

You Are Absolutely Unique . . . & the monthly blog coaching giveaway

Something special about you causes your words to soar high, to grab hearts, to make a difference.

There's a certain quality about your online space that's subtly but certainly unique.

What's drawing people repeatedly back to your place to linger, to visit, to connect?

Let's figure out your appeal . . .

My faith impacts the core of who I am in these ways . . .

My family history has shaped my story because . . .

These are the victories have propelled me forward . . .

The impact of the disasters that have stretched me is . . .

My unique personality quirks that make heads turn are . . .

The passion that gives my life meaning is . . .

I show my readers I care about them by offering . . .

My irresistible message is . . .

In each monthly blogheart posting, we go behind the scenes of our writing,
past the numbers and the how-tos, and headed straight to the heart of what we do and why.

The best part?

FREE name-it-and-claim-it blog coaching session is offered to the first reader who leaves a comment.  If that's you, simply shoot me an email at and we'll set up a time to chat. 


If you liked this, share it!


You'll find me visiting with 
Kelly  .  Mary  .  Holley  .  Lyli


quirky sea creature's photographer unknown

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

For Sale . . . Our Much-Loved Haven

All's been scrubbed and staged ... 
our best foot forward in every way we can make happen.

Some gorgeous photographs for the online listing have been snapped by Wendy
capturing the essence of this place we've fondly called home.

The real estate sign spreads the news, 
holding court along the roadside.

A lockbox stands at the ready, a willing sentry, 
an invitation to turn the key and take it all in.

We eagerly welcome browsing guests, 
confident that God has just the right family to make our home their own.

After 21 years, our beloved haven is for sale.
To say I have mixed emotions would be a great big understatement ...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

When Your 10 Year Old Sweetheart Decides to Be Baptized

The phone rings {or was it an email?} and we get the most delightful news that our tender gentle-spirited ten year old granddaughter has decided to be baptized.

In five days.

So we put the finishing touches on the house as we get it ready to sell, tie up loose ends here and there, and shift around a few plans.  After this past week's rather windswept breathless days, we pack our bags and jump into the car for the five hour trek to Annapolis.

For this, the sacred, matters.

It's right up there with the day she was born.  And her someday, far off wedding.  It's that earth shaking, that meaningful, that precious.  Yes it is.

This, her decision to honor to Christ by letting everyone know in a very public way, that her life belongs to Him and Him alone.

I will remember this evening always, surrounded by family and many friends, eager little cousins straining to catch every glimpse of water sloshing over the side of the tank.  Her story of salvation read aloud, her parents, brothers, and sisters gathered 'round the sacred pool, her dad asking her the most meaningful of questions before he oh-so-gently lowers her under the water and raises her up, symbolizing sin put to death, new spiritual life come to dwell forever.

We give her the Bible that was given to me in 8th grade, our own words of love side-by-side with the original inscription.

And all I can do is thank God for this sacred mercy, to see yet one more granddaughter proclaim her forever love for Jesus in a pool of warm water.

The tears pool in my own eyes as I smile with a peaceful joy, as I release another huge sigh of gratitude.

And for the millionth time this week, I can't help but praise the God I adore, whose blessings never seem to come to an end.

* Yes, Kathryn's our sweet girl who created that little video that just about went viral around here, the one welcoming her six month old brother Tyler home from the hospital for the very first time ...

*  Sharing joy with Kelly  .  Mary  .  Holley  .  Lyli  .   Susan

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dear Linda : : Answering Your Questions About The Transition

The Dear Linda segments around here are all about your pressing concerns.  Like a loved one's serious depression or heart-wrenching abandonment by an adult child or dealing with social media's overwhelming presence.

Serious stuff that matters.

But since this week's In Which This Is All So Very Bittersweet post, I've been getting a delightfully overwhelming response of affirming support for my transition to the Cape.  All your gracious kindness has made me feel so loved and valued.  How can I tell you how much that means to me?

And you've emailed me lots of questions.

Since I'd much rather you hear information about me straight from me than through the always unreliable grapevine, here's some random answers ...

~   note to self - do not tie bulky sweatshirt around mid-section and allow someone to follow you with a camera  ~

Should I keep my appointment with you ... will it be closure or too painful?
I'm with you, friend.  Good-byes are difficult and it's easier to just back off and not go there.  But over time, I've learned that saying good-bye gives the relationship the respect and honor that it deserves, and acknowledges that the other person has played an important role in my life.

It's all a part of leaving well.

My advice?  If you do keep the appointment, bring tissues.  Tears are ok.  Truly.

Are you going to keep on blogging?
Absolutely yes!  I'm eager to see how writing is going to unfold in the next season.  I just love you guys ... and the good part is that I can take you with me.

How cool is that!

Will you still do the blog coaching?
For sure!  My phone goes with me wherever I go and summer's a great time to re-imagine and re-configure your online space in time for autumn's debut.

Here's what writers are saying about how just 1 half hour conversation turned things upside down.  And {hint, hint} I've got a free session coming up in the next few weeks.  You'll see the heads up on the top of the sidebar.  Promise!

Can we do lunch?
Brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, supper, midnight snack?  I've never been known to turn down a meal!  Shoot me an email at and I'll be in touch with you as I can.

Can I drop in and see you at Creekside?
I'll be at the office on Thursdays, May 28, June 4, and June 11.  Shoot me an email and we'll see what we can do, ok?

What's going to happen with Creekside?
Creekside certainly is alive and well!  The house church continues to meet on Saturday nights and Bob counsels men and couples during the week.  You can call him at 845.298.0710 for more info.

Will you work at Cape Cod or enjoy a quieter season?
I'm looking forward to chilling out more ... and doing life with my parents who live just 35 minutes away.  We want to begin doing some work on the house {including an office for me above the garage that we're already affectionately calling The Nest}, but honestly, I just can't imagine life without working with women in some kind of counseling / coaching role.

I'll be continuing to work with a few current counseling clients by phone and hope to expand the blog coaching.  I have no plans to open a practice immediately, but am certainly open to a number of options.  I'm sincerely waiting to see where God leads on this.

Maybe I'll do nothing at all.  But I doubt it.

Are you taking all those incredible wooden spoons with you?
Yes, thank you very much!  I've gotten rid of a ton of junk in the last year, but the spoons go along for the ride!  Where I'll put them I have no idea, but I just couldn't say good-bye.  It's bad enough I have to say farewell to people.

Sigh ...

Come along on my journey with me!  Please?  
Simply subscribe here and you won't miss a post.

And whenever you drop in, be sure to 
check out those Shareworthy Reads on the bottom of the sidebar.  
My must-reading recommendations hold court there ...
and they can change at a moment's notice!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

In Which This Is All So Very Bittersweet

My fingernails are shot.  To the quick.

Broken and peeling all over the place.  Down to the nubs.

Not 'cause I'm nervous.  Nope.  It's been because I've been working those babies {and the rest of my bones} to the bone.


The last month has seen me trimming and digging and hauling and planting and spreading all things dirty and life-giving in springtime's soft breezes.

Scrapping and peeling and stripping wallpaper, warm glue-y water running down my outstretched arms.  And the spackling.  Oh the spackling of those million little nail holes where all my kitchen collectibles used to hang so proudly.

Decision making, scads of choices each day from the smallest details to the great earth-shaking ones have left my brain a bit be-fuzzled.  Did I tell you that Home Depot's our new best friend?  And that we've lost count how many times we've traveled out 44 to the hardware store?

Sorting and boxing up and bagging and delivering hundreds of objects that I'm not using, not loving, not keeping.  Hundreds.  The resale shop, library, thrift store, and auction house rub their hands with glee as they reap my losses.

Updating and organizing and rearranging.  And oh ... the cleaning.

Everything.  Except the painting.

The man did that ... and ALL of the heavy lifting, relentlessly plowing through our seemingly endless must-do list, keeping us laser focused and moving ahead like a speeding freight train coming 'round the bend.

After 38 years, we're moving on, friends.  

After spending pretty much our whole adult lives here in NY, we are headed to our beloved Cape Cod, Massachusetts shoreline.  We're off to do the next season of life in the haven of rest I have cherished since I was 7 years old.  My parents and sister are nearby.  A little house seemingly designed for us, the place of His choosing, nestles on a quiet wooded street eagerly awaiting our upcoming permanent arrival.

My emotions are so very mixed.  It's all so bittersweet.

We leave some very dear friends here.  It's been hard for them watching this all unfold.  I know it.  They've told me so.  I see it in their eyes.  Every minute we've shared in recent days, every conversation has meant the world.  I cherish these people.  To say that I'll miss them would be a ridiculously vast understatement.

We leave this beautiful valley where the man and I grew up together as husband and wife, have experienced our greatest highs and the deepest lows.  We've raised our girls here, welcomed our grandbabies through the doors of this very house with wide open arms.  And said tearful good-byes to far too many friends who headed off to other vistas from this very transient area.

But it's my counseling clients that I'm most concerned about.  My pastor's heart just loves these courageous, insightful women.  Together, we've ventured down into the scariest pits and reached up to heaven's heights in their paths toward healing, wholeness, and growth.  Sending out all those letters explaining what and where and when was the hardest task in this whole transition process.

I've been counseling for 13 years.  Can you begin to understand how torn I am with leaving this ministry that's nestled so close to my heart?

Pray for these dear women as I help them transition.  And if you have any prayers left over, I could use some myself.

Bittersweet this is ...

The house goes on the market.  Next week.

Would you accompany me on my transition journey?  I would so love for you to be a steady companion along the way.  You can subscribe here.

traveling with Kelly  *  Mary  *  Holley  *  Lyli

Monday, May 11, 2015

& the Winner Is . . .

the lovely Dolly at the gently inspirational Soul Stops

{Don't miss her new series, Let Grace Begin.}

She walks away with a copy of PLUMB'S new album

Thanks for the giveaway...Love how God timed it so it was what you needed...God is so good...and Plumb's lyrics resonate with me...Happy Mother's Day...praying God blesses you with a wonderful time with your family and that God continues to provide what Tyler needs as He has surrounded him with so much love :-)

& HERE'S ANOTHER SONG FROM PLUMB {that one we've sung more times than we can count} . . .

before you take off, please check out the Shareworthy Reads on the sidebar
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