Raindrops & Rivers

Raise your words, not voice. It is the rain that grows flowers, not thunder. – Rumi

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Day 8.

We all know what is going to happen here, don’t we?

As I stare out at the vast array of pumpkins showing off under the blue sky and autumnal sun, it really is quite obvious.

The search for the perfect pumpkin ensues.

Casper white
Jack O’ Lantern
Sweet Dumpling
Galeux d’ Eysines

No matter what type you are into –
more than likely, the goal is to find the most perfect specimen in the patch.

And as I strolled and hovered and scrutinized, this is what I discovered::



I stood over them for quite some time, honestly.
To my surprise, I found myself resonating with

And my inner soul proclaimed,
“these are my pumpkins!”

Somewhere, in the chronicles of time, Fall Harvest and the celebration thereof became capitalism and marketing and the pursuit of the
to sit and rot
on the front steps
of one’s home.

Of course, in all altruism, we grab one or two for Johnny and Jeannie to carve, or these days, thanks to Pinterest,
we download and trace the “ultimate”
design to adorn our perfect pumpkin,
all the while –

this guy


at the

Imperfect and riddled with rot,
yet a survivor that came to full fruit despite the odds.

The former is what is seen, yet the latter is what matters.

The former is what is SEEN,




Day 6 and 7.

** For days 4 and 5, I shared a blog post from the Archives on my Facebook Page **


Today is just a bit of a free write.
Do you ever do those?
Perhaps in a journal?

For many years, I taught at-risk high schoolers, as well as ESL.
At the start of every class period, the kids did a “free write” for 15 minutes.
Here’s the thing – I never, ever read what they wrote unless they asked me to do so. They could write about anything, they could cuss, they could draw if need be.
These journals were kept under lock and key in my classroom in order to protect their privacy, especially if they lived in home environments where these words could lead to harm.
Their grade on this consisted solely in the participation. It was very awkward at first, but by the holidays, I had very little trouble enforcing it.
We are created to create.

I am one of a million blogs out there.
I am one of a million writers.
Whereas I join the throngs of women who long to make a living at writing, I also write because I

One of my most coveted writing/journaling tools is an unlined Moleskine notebook.
I carry this thing around with me everywhere.
I use it to jot down writing ideas, to sketch, for recording important facts and dates.
For me, there is still something cathartic about pen to paper.


I have tried it in a variety of colors, but I always come back to the classic black.

After reading that the very same type of notebook was used by such artists as Van Gogh, Picasso, and Ernest Hemingway, I decided to gulp down the Kool Aid and embrace the marketing hook.

10 years later.
I have a nice Moleskine collection chronicling my life.

And that is another benefit of writing, isn’t it?
My daughters, my potential grandchildren, are not going to be embracing my Facebook feed. In fact, I am not sure I would even want them to formulate an impression of my life based on where I positioned my soapbox on any particular day.

My writing is where my heart and soul reside.
My writing is first and foremost a gift to myself, an honoring of how I am created and where my passions and DNA collide. And my hope and prayer is that I can offer it in such a way that it encourages those that take the time to read it.

I do not believe that is boastful, instead it is bestowing recognition on the Giver of All Things who created me and who desires that I live out the very person I am meant to be.

So, dear Reader.

Completely deplete all that you have to give today.





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Day 2. And 3.

I have been thinking about this word a lot lately.

Tell the truth.
What is truth?
What is my truth?
Stay true to your truth.

Over the past six months, I have been on my own journey of seeking truth.
I have been researching the history of racism in this country.
I have been committed to this, spending hours and hours researching, reading books, listening to podcasts, visiting museums, and watching documentaries.
And as I have delved into this, I have also gone through every single stage of grief.


I find, as of late, that I need to be careful how I utilize this word.
Truth is not a synonym for perspective.
Truth is not shaped solely by our life experiences, so happenstance.
I do not believe that the desire to seek out “our own truth” is necessarily complete, either.

I believe the Giver of All Things is the sole revealer of Truth for each and every one of us.
I believe the Giver of All Things longs to reveal Truth to us, and yet, I believe our nature is filled with resistance, and as a result – we create truth from fear.

We create truth from fear because if we are completely honest – asking the Giver of All Things to reveal Truth to us takes a considerable amount of courage and humility.
Most likely – what God will reveal to us will knock us off our feet.
It has the potential to completely shift paradigms we have held for most of our lives.
Most likely – seeking Truth will not only change how we see the other, it will change how we see ourselves and force us to come face to face with certain things we have held dear or we have clung to and
sudden –

we learn that

it is

         not of God.
                                                                      At all.


What then?
Let’s be honest – we do not want to go there.

Fear and Truth cannot coexist.
If one is to try to seek Truth cloaked in fear,
one will inevitably have created one’s own truth that looks quite similarly to
unyielding rightness,
even hate.

And yet Truth is what sets us free.
That is the irony.
Seeking Truth that the Giver of All Things, the Great Reconciler, so graciously wants to bestow on us is one of our most under-utilized gifts.
Our resistance is understandable because it is the ultimate letting go of all that we have worked so hard to create and barricade ourselves with, and as such –
we are bound and choked by it, and the worst part?
Most of the time we do not even know it.

Where will you seek Truth in your life today?



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31 Days

I have decided to participate in the 31 Days of Writing.

Over the past few months, I have been writing articles for publications, including READY magazine and Redbud Writer’s Guild.
And I have loved every minute of it.

Dear Reader, here on this blog,
October is between you and me.

The timing could not be more perfect.

There is so much input right now that tugs on us and imparts a sense of grief and hopelessness.

It sometimes takes everything in us to fight the good fight. Admittedly, we need to keep fighting.

My hope is that, for the next 31 days, this space will contribute to the restoration you need to keep on keeping on.

Here is a little something I wrote this past week.


It is officially here.
My favorite time of year.
I am determined to not let it pass me by.
I have allowed myself to get caught up in the maelstrom of distraction.
And when that happens, nothing is gained.
Nothing of value anyway.
More than ever, there are ways to avoid being present, avoid showing up.
Sometimes showing up requires courage because the masks come off, the layers are peeling, and what is revealed can be vulnerable and exposed.
We have voices we listen to for help and guidance in this area,
a muse or two,
but at the end of the day,
it is up to us.
It’s up to me –
to become like autumnal leaves –
using everything I have been given,
root to trunk to branch to stem to leaf
to make the world





I started swimming when I was four years old.

I joined my first swim team competitively at age 5 and for the next 8 years – I never took home a ribbon that was not 1st or 2nd place in any event.

My swim coach, Dave, was the type of coach every kid should experience. He saw the potential in every kid he coached and received no greater reward than to push until that potential was fully achieved. He loved to celebrate milestones and he did so with fanfare.

Around the age of 12, Coach Dave pulled me aside and told me that he would love to coach me year round, with the intention of getting me to the place where I could qualify for the Junior Olympics.

I lasted about six months.🙂

I joined the high school swim team my freshman year. For the first time in my nine years of swimming, I was told that how I LOOKED in a bathing suit was as important to my swimming career as my times.

The pressure to be a size 0, to only eat carrots for lunch every day, to eat a meal and then subsequently throw it up in the locker room stall brought my competitive swim career

But that is not even the worst part.


Over the past 20+ years, I can name the number of times I have been in a pool to swim laps, where there might be other people around me.

Some of you know exactly what I am talking about.

The bathing suit became a source of shame for me.
The bathing suit became a loud and persistent voice that told me the exact amount of my worth, and friends, it sure did not add up to much.
The bathing suit because the summation of the voices of other women I know who also have found it to be a source of shame,
or in their insecurity, have deeply damaged other women by their comments,
or for some it had become an ill-placed source of ego.

Recently, I found my way back to the pool.

Lap Pool

Oh, how I have missed the water!
I love the sound of it lapping as my arms hit the surface and descend.
I love the sound of it as my legs flutter kick behind me.
I even love the smell of the chlorine as it intermingles with nostalgia.

And how my body feels when I get out!
A hallelujah chorus.

I gave the voice of a coach too much power over me.
A man, who many years later was my colleague and whose career unraveled due to how he treated female students and colleagues.

I gave the voice of other women too much power.
I allowed their own issues to be put upon my shoulders and then I willingly carried the weight around for years like a martyr.

I inadvertently have been sending a message to my daughters that unless one reaches unattainable (and ultimately unwanted) perfection outwardly, one is not worthy of enjoying certain things.

If it weren’t for my husband and my daughters, I may have never been able to enjoy the pool again.

My husband, who knows my body more intimately than anyone else, who finds me to be  beautiful, who only has eyes for me, watches me swim now and says things to me like,
“Carrie – you are utterly breathtaking when you swim.”

My daughters, who tell me over and over again,
“Wow, Mom, you can really swim!”
“Mom, I just love to swim with you!”

Why did it take me so long to get to this place?
When did I replace the voice of man/woman with the voice of the Giver of All Things?
How did I allow a false narrative to replace a God-given part of me?
I’ll never know the answer to that, but friends –

I made it.
I’ve reclaimed it.
I have shed that skin of shame and lies.
And now –
It’s time to go






“Carrie – do not hold on too tight.”

I scoffed at our beloved neonatologist when he said this. We were standing over the examining table, inspecting Bella’s double lumen port that lead to her vena cava. She had just had this life giving mechanism inserted the week before and really this appointment was to scrutinize me and my ability to care for her and keep infection at bay.

For the past twelve years I have held on too tight.
I admit that.
And, to be quite honest, I am just now starting to recognize the emotional and physical toll it has taken on me.

In my weaker moments, the movie reel of the past twelve years plays in my head as I examine it frame by frame, wondering what I could have done differently.

In my more graceful moments, I am acutely aware that for over half of the years shared with her, my one and only goal was to do my darnedest to beat the odds and keep my child alive past her scientific “expiration date” of five years of age.

In my weaker moments, I glance to my left or my right to examine what other moms are doing and I find myself with longings and desires for myself and for my kids and sometimes – jealousy and envy creep in as well.

In my more graceful moments, I am aware of the gift I have been given and how it has forever changed me for the better and I am able to accept this season and embrace it.

In my weaker moments, I find myself longing for another mom’s “bad day”.

In my more graceful moments, I can extend grace as I am grateful to also be the recipient of it in spades.

And then
all of a sudden –

All of the sudden, she is wanting to do things on her own.

All of the sudden, she has friends.

All of the sudden, she has places where she excels and is receiving positive feedback for it.

All of the sudden, she craves independence and hobbies.

All of the sudden, she is taking initiative.

All of the sudden, she becomes my helper and my friend.

All of the sudden,

And all of the sudden,
I am
getting to breathe a little bit,
and start dreaming

It is probably the hardest thing I have had to do since she was born.
That sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
Well, it feels crazy.

What has defined me for the past twelve years,
what has been my role and my focus,
what has been that which has almost smothered me,

Can we say it together,
“Transition is hard”!

This weekend, we begin
The Year of 12.
We plan to celebrate all year long –
Bella’s Rite of Passage.

I have a feeling that this year will also become a rite of passage for me as well.
I look forward to it.

I think.







The roots of a tree in our backyard.

In January.

Battling the elements.

The connectors between the fruit,
the trunk,
and leaf.

The exposed roots continue underground.
You can’t see them.
The roots that seek out nourishment,
sustaining the tree –
in its entirety.



The roots of the tree in our backyard.

In March.

The roots are blanketed in moss.
Protected from the adversarial elements.
It’s as if the Giver of All Things whispers,

Rest, Beloved.
Take solace now.
Trust me as you relinquish control.
The battle is mine.






And I wonder.
Why did the blanket not come sooner?
Why did these roots need to do battle before relief comes?
Why were the roots exposed to the point of expiration?

Perhaps it will be revealed in the
brilliance of the

Perhaps it will be revealed
in the
of the
foliage in Fall.

Patience affords wonder.
Nature never lies.
Nature always reveals its Creator.

The Giver of All Things