Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Things I saw in the park

I needed a change of scenery. I’m sure you’ve felt that way before, right? So, I packed up my essentials:

  • My laptop
  • My bible
  • My journal
  • The July/August issue of Writer’s Digest magazine
  • Two random notebooks
  • Assorted pens (five different ones, to be exact)

Then I slid behind the wheel of the car and steered in the direction of a new landscape.

Initially, I thought I’d head to the local library for a quiet, controlled, you better do some work environment. But instead I set up shop on a park bench in front of a small, man-made lake. Water inspires me and gets my creative juices flowing. And although I prefer the oceanfront, this tiny body of water in my land-locked locale served the purpose.

IMG_3260 The canopy of mature trees waved a gentle, welcoming breeze as I settled down and tried to determine the most important task to tackle. It didn’t take long for my surroundings to draw me in.

There was so much to see in the park today. The partly sunny sky would eventually yield itself to summer storm clouds and passing rain. But until then, it provided the perfect backdrop for two photographers to memorialize this moment in time for a lovely family of four. Here’s what else I saw in the park today:

A three-legged dog (True story…His furry cuteness hobbled along contently, missing one of his front legs. I thought I was seeing things the first time around. Luckily, he and his owner passed me by again so I could take a second look.)

A crouching squirrel (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a squirrel in this position before. He looked ready to pounce!) IMG_3261 A lady in red (I didn’t think to snap a picture as she passed by, but trust me…ALL RED. I don’t know why, but it just tickled me.) A sitting duck IMG_3265 More sitting ducks IMG_3276 A nesting duck IMG_3266 A duck dynasty IMG_3263IMG_3274 A frog on a rock IMG_3273 And two lovers on a swing… I must say a special thank you to the things I saw in the park today. Believe it or not, they helped me accomplish quite a bit before the rain came.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Week 5: Be Honest

Week 5_Be HonestThis post is two days late. Despite the facts that I’m using my calendar, making my lists, prioritizing my tasks and my social media hours are at an all time low, I still find myself struggling a bit with productivity. It feels like the art of getting ahead of and staying ahead of the curve is playing a not so attractive game of cat and mouse. Although I do get things done each day, it never seems to be enough of the things I feel I need to get done – like catching up on the week’s bible study lessons, finishing the two books I’m reading or writing my weekly blog post.

This past weekend was booked solid with household chores, a visit from family members and a looming Monday work deadline. Next thing I know I blinked and the weekend went up in smoke.

I’ll be honest. I knew when I started 52 Weeks to Be Completely You that this would be more than a year of growing as a woman. It would also be a year of stretching as a writer. With all of the responsibilities that crowd into a normal day (not to mention the pesky need for sleep), it’s often hard to pinch away a smidgen of time to do one of the things I enjoy most and that’s hanging with you here in our little community.

So amidst the weekend’s activities, in the back of my mind I was wondering, “What should I write about this week?” As I reviewed my list of potential “Be…” topics, they all seemed to raise their hands at once, only adding to my confusion. In no time, I found myself struggling to decide what to write about, running behind schedule and afraid to confess either shortcoming. Then one day I heard a little voice say, “Monica, just be honest.”

The topic for this week was hidden (or maybe not so much) in that little whisper.

Be honest.

We often underestimate the value of honesty, yet it’s a critical part of every strong relationship. Just as the presence of honesty strengthens individuals and relationships, the absence of it can easily destroy them both. In the past, I’ve even been guilty of fearing what may lie on the other side of my honesty. However, experience has taught me that with honesty you win, no matter what. It is important to be honest with yourself and with others in all situations.

Honestly, this is challenging. I won’t use the word hard, but posting consistently once a week is challenging. Finding the time in a constantly fluctuating schedule to sit still, be quiet and write is challenging. I’m sure it will get easier. Maybe somewhere around week 30 I’ll be in a groove. Practice makes perfect, right? But today, not so much. Try as I might with all the effort and good intentions in the world, sometimes time escapes me and I’m behind the proverbial 8-ball once again.  

So there you have it. My fretting over a blog post served up a good reminder of the importance of honesty. And better late than never, right?

Are there any areas in your life that can use a little bit more honesty? Have you ever feared what may come out of your being honest with someone?


Monday, February 4, 2013

Adjustment and Accountability

My last post was Sunday, January 13, 2013 – exactly 3 Sundays prior to today. 4 days after I posted, my new husband and I were finally able to end our short stint of living apart and officially merge households. And you haven’t seen as much as a comma from me since then, right? Right! So much for my goal of filling my 2013 calendar with at least one post a week.

It’s not like I don’t have stuff to talk about, stories to tell or just things to say, you know? I do. I always do. Ask my husband; he’ll tell you. Lately, however, I’ve spent more time talking, telling, or saying all those things in my head (and, maybe, in a journal) but not to you. Please forgive me.


Life is sprinkled with seasons of adjustment, and needless to say the early days of marriage is one of those seasons. In addition to trying to figure out how to maintain my quirky eating habits, how to still get to bed at a decent hour and how to share a bathroom with a man (now, THAT’s a hard one), I’ve also been struggling to find a new writing rhythm that flows with the current of this new season in life.


In a season like this It certainly helps a lot to have people around you who will hold you accountable to the work they know you must do.

“You didn’t do your blog this week…” 7 little words one of my girlfriends very casually slipped into the end of an email to me.

“Do I look like a piece of paper to you,” my husband questioned as I favored sneaking kisses to the evening writing session I was supposed to have. That was one day last week. I did finally relocate to another room to try to write, but unfortunately nothing materialized from my efforts. Oh well. At least I tried, right? I’m so thankful to know there are some who have my back, though. Because of them, there was no way I was going to miss another week.

So here I am today – thinking about adjustments and accountability. So may I ask a favor of you? As I continue trying to adjust to this beautiful new season, may I ask you to hold me accountable. In the far right corner of the top tool bar is a contact option. Feel free to send me a gentle nudge or two (or TEN) every now and then if you sense I may be slipping. Every little bit helps, right?

Is there something new going on in your world that’s causing you to have to adjust? What’s falling by the wayside in the meantime? Who is (are) your accountability partner(s)? I’d love to hear about it.