quietly helping



That right there is a good looking cup of coffee, right? Thanks sis for the jealousy I feel toward your coffee delight.🙂

I’d love to further this page, these words within me, and this movement of equal love for all that I feel so strongly about. I don’t have any sponsors on my blog, or have ever made a penny from my words (in fact it costs me money to keep my site up), but I’d love to earn a few bucks toward attending writers conferences, and for free writing/coffee shop adventures for myself, so I can write for you all.🙂

One way you could show your support is by purchasing any oils or products through Young Living, by buying them directly through me. I don’t know nearly enough yet, but have quietly been using them on my family (and when I say quietly, have been enjoying more restful sleep because of the oils I put on my husband’s big toes to help ease his snoring… it helps, I swear!), and if you’ve heard about this stuff, then you have maybe wondered if any of it helps? I know you know I am a hippy, but I am also a skeptic.🙂 My mind is slowly being eased about these products, each time I find some relief, or some peace. We can talk privately if it’s weird I’m even bringing it up here. BUT, I have a dream of a writers conference in November in North Carolina, so, I will at least ask.🙂 And I LOVE these oils homies.🙂

Anywhoo, THANKS for your support ALWAYS, I love you all.



My Enroller ID # is: 2253556


or, you can link to the starter kit signup here:



**Picture credits to C.G.& A.G.

the crooked symphony

IMG_4661each flower is not perfect and yet we do not point out their flaws.

and each tree does not grow straight –


we curl up in their shade not caring their species but just that they give us respite

why therefore do we nominate certain people or places or things,

to become the center of our worlds?

when in fact

we all

they all

each of us

have petals and bark, roots and stems, leaves and shade

for all to appreciate :: enjoy :: care for – just the same?

our forest is lush with variety, our fields ripe with individualism

sustaining wonderful sounds

producing healing scents

magnificent landscapes

for us ALL.

let us enjoy that symphony

that color show

that splendor!

the world would be a blank, boring canvas without each flower and tree

(each/us) just as we were made.

not just some but ALL

no matter your roots, the shade of your leaves, not what makes you come alive, whether your petals stand straight or sway toward the sunlight –

will ever separate you from our shared wild love here on earth

we are each a masterpiece

let us love as one symphony of roots, petals, buds, leaves.

let us

be revered as equals

no exceptions.

much love wild ones,


i don’t have enough



love is lavishing.

i don’t ever have enough for all of you. but collectively Someone does. let’s seek out that Someone.

let’s put each other in the path of healing and nod approval to our fear-busting chops, that we together can fight this pain. this  brokenness. this inertia toward unrest.

collectively, WE can be enough for each other. WE need one commonality. WE need LOVE.

you don’t need to know what i believe in to love me, nor i to love you.

we ALL bleed red when oxygen hits, we ALL have blue veins underneath our skin.

we have the most unique pigments to our skin, that scars when it heals, and sweats when it’s too hot.

WE are the SAME bones, with various patterns and layers upon us.

THAT IS IT. please stop telling me that i cannot take care of you because of my differences.


alive and without abandon.

let us move beyond the sludge of labels, of greed, of proving something to anyone. let us prove we can love our neighbor as ourselves. let us start by dropping our ‘better than’ labels, and start with the lonely, the orphaned, the needy.

in return for your sacrifice you will be infiltrated with joy. you may try to fight it off. you are just doing the ‘right thing’ you say.



you are LIVING. we are MADE to be LIVING TOGETHER, one with each other. that’s why sports games that are nail biters are catalysts for fist bumping. it’s not because we are the actual batter or referee or coach, but we feed off of the energy:

just like church when we raise our hands in worship.

exactly like the sway you start, unknowingly, alongside your favorite crooner, their guts toppling out under pyrotechnics.

mirrored in an art installation that instantly makes you weep, or boil with anger.

public outcry means

we are not de-sensitized like

the Hungry Hippo of They

say we are.

you know why? the THEY is made up of us.

so let’s stop the madness of US verses THEM.


your neighbor. the one who insists that they’re fine, who deals alone with a sick parent, and craves a short respite from the worry.


exhausted, overwhelmed new mom who “should” be happy but can’t seem to stop crying and is afraid she will hurt herself.


frightened young teen who does not know where their next meal will come from from, but thinks hunger will be less painful than remaining in abuse and chooses to run.

our THEY is the collective.

WE have to start taking better care of THEM.

because regardless of our ‘busy’ … man, woman, child …  we need EACH OTHER to survive.

busy is bullshit.


let’s start living like we mean it.

let’s stop pretending that making our pockets deeper or more fashionable will make our hearts bulletproof to LIFE and it’s CITIZENS.

i may sound angry, but I’m not. I AM JUST WAKING UP TO WHAT MATTERS TO ME.

it’s going to be a tough road of learning, but i’d rather be about YOU and THEY than about me.

i can’t function alone, and i’m guessing that a potluck, party of 1, seems kind of stale.

let’s celebrate THRIVING and dig deeper. i know we can heal us TOGETHER.

party’s at my house.




daddy daughter u.p. trip

after hope


how you carry on after hope spoken:
you struggle.
you weep.
you laugh.
then you start.

i have never been good at finishing things. not work related things i get those finished for sure, but personal goal things.
i paint & hammer.
i cut & organize.
i disrupt myself for yet ANOTHER great idea.
to no end, with no flourishing in site.
i plant, but i forget to water.
i construct, & i forget to double check.
i ease into the OH WELL, way to easily.

& it must stop, for i want to finish this DREAM that the LORD HAS PLACED UPON MY HEART. to make things, create art, share words, & ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO LOVE EACH OTHER MORE FULLY.

i’m sorry that i haven’t written to you all in so long. i’m filled to the brim with activities, and it leaves me thirstier than when i started. i have plans for this space when i’m able. i really do. i miss the comments, and sweet gestures about what i share on here. and most importantly i miss you all. it has been a CRAZY busy year for me so far. i got a new (more than part time) job, i got engaged in june, have been pursuing my graphic design degree (for an associates, because mama ain’t got time for another bachelors), and have been cheering on my favorite girl in every game i am able to attend, (both softball & volleyball)! overall i realized that life does not stop just because you’re in love, and need to work out. HRUMUMPHPPHPH.😉

but, i’m so overjoyed that RL and i will be official later this year, that i have {almost} figured out how to use the pen tool in my programs, and that my sweet AR will be by my side on the day i marry her dad. i hope your fingers are staying warm, and more importantly, that you know how much you are loved by me, and by your Creator. Rest in that peace today friends. and send hot chocolate if you can.




joy :: day three :: personified

today was not what i planned. i was home alone supposed to be working on homework. i tried. it just was a mess in my craft/work room and that is where i needed to do work.

so my time was not wasteful but sometimes wayward.

i actually started the day at the coffee shop, but there was a young man who was insistent that we all hear whatever he was telling his date. i think i may be old. i have realized that i need silence to work or read or concentrate really. which is funny because normally i don’t like when it is too quiet.

but the reason it was not what i planned, was because i had to miss my favorite girl’s softball games, to work on my homework. which i did very little of. my viking told me she played fantastic.

so, it was a long day. i am super bummed i missed a chance to cheer her on. i cleaned and tried and was productive. but missed my favorites.

they came home exhausted and windburned and starving.

i had the blankets ready. i picked up the pizzas, and i waited on them.
just the act of taking care of them was the happiest part of my day for sure.

because sometimes joy is spoiling. sometimes good ranch and a recap of plays awesomely executed, and acknowledgment of a room well cleaned is exactly what you need (minus the stinky feet).

but mostly, when the plans of the day change, i wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in this world than sandwiched between these two snoozing beautiful people. because they are my joy, and i don’t know what i did to earn their love. but i am the luckiest girl in the world that this is my life with them.

they are my joy.

to me, they are joy personified.


joy :: day two :: in the details

photo (18)oftentimes i am too busy for the details.

my brain gets mushed into thinking that everything on the news is the only news.

sluggishly moping along

like there is no good out there.

no sparkle.

no triumph.

no joy.

i wander in and out of a pessimistic haze, unsure of my faith, too much noise,

too much hurt – intense pain for those whom i cannot help. i get depressed.

it happens more than it should to be honest.

regardless of my brain’s chemistry, i want to know more JOY.

i have more than enough love, experiences & laughter in my life to know anything but happiness.

i know my faith SHOULD be stronger than my worries, my fears, mine (others’) pain.

i know i am not alone in this warp of too much.

i cannot control everything that happens to me, only my attitude toward it.

most days, it only lasts a few minutes, maybe an hour.


something miraculous happens: i notice the joy.

photo (20)

i become engaged in being ALIVE THAT VERY MOMENT.

i pick up the details, i smell, i touch, i seek.

i am reminded that i have been given the gift of life every day that i wake up,

i need to grab hold of it with everything i’ve got.

i must seek the joy i want to wear.

hot diggity damn do i want to wear it out!

we’ve got one life folks, what message are we trying to sell, problem are we trying to fix?

what if we really LIVED in the moment, became happy to have BREATH, and sought joy in every turn?

we would hear joy, be joy, see joy, envelope the world in joy.

let’s find our joy, SEEK IT OUT. now go!

joy :: day one :: at the table

photo (16)

are we not like the earth?

the green easing into the brown?

the blue jutting against the reds, the wet rejoicing loudly against the parched?

are our souls not like the earth serged together,

as a weird, ever-changing topography entrapped with unexplainables & iridescence?

we cannot allow the distance of miles or the threat of difference

escape our very beings

of barefoot & proud

laced up & weak

regal & broken into

we are something beautiful.

we are one of each other

& of us.

your brother’s keeper is you.

your sister’s protector is us.

do you realize that the sand you throw

in the fight against our neighbor gets in your eyes too?

do we care?

we cannot hold out on love any longer.

photo (15)

just as our sphere of weird & lovely, we create a masterpiece.

one of flavors, chock full of the unexpected & the radiant.

joy is realized together, as we congregate around:

a meal

chop, dice, sear – whatever.

let’s each bring our ingredient,

who doesn’t enjoy a table of stories?

who doesn’t long for recipes?

our ingredients count.

what traditions make (made) us

who we see (saw),

what we hear (heard).

we cannot blend enough.

because in the process of the boil,

of the stewing, we are one feast.

we are love.

everyone is different – on purpose.

differences to share.

our adobe oven accepts everyone the same.

photo (17)

we are naturally like the earth yes, all the mountains, valleys, flatlands, tundras.

we are the yolks, we all can be the sous chefs.

bring your bowls.

put on your appetites.

let us be quenched by the flavors of our harvest.

let our bellies rejoice in the wisdom & laughter we consume.

let us know what joy means.

joy means we.

joy means us.

joy is

sharing love at the same table.


i am writing as a 31 day challenge joining the nester in her quest to write for 31 days straight. you will be encouraged to find her words & images if you’ve never heard of her. she’s an inspiration for sure. of course i was supposed to post yesterday, the 1st of october. would you allow some grace please? i am on board now, and i’m hungry for joy.



Confidence Can Cook :: are you ready for some footballlllll?



I am delighted to share another amazing recipe that my friend Ellen has gathered, tested, photographed (& hopefully enjoyed) with you all! Please, take it away Ellen!

During the Fall season, I always find myself craving yummy comfort food. I think it’s a combination of the cooler weather and football watching that happens in our house. While not all of these foods are always healthy, I do try my best to find some that are.🙂 These turkey meatball subs are just that, healthy, but still full of excellent flavor. I think it’s the addition of the wine and balsamic vinegar to the sauce that really made these stand out. While eating them, we just kept saying how good they were! My two little ones loved the meatballs too, which is always a bonus in my book! If you are looking to skip out on the bread, these meatballs would also be great served with pasta or spaghetti squash. I think they would still bind together well without the bread mixed in, because of the egg white. Go ahead and give these a try, I promise you will love them!




Turkey Meatball Subs
  • Sub buns
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free milk (I had to use a little more than this.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb. ground turkey breast
  • 1 large egg white
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 3/4 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce (I happen to think Delallo is the best store bought brand.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


  1. 1. Preheat broiler.
  2. 2. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell. Place torn bread from 2 of the buns in a large bowl. Add milk, stirring with a fork until smooth. Add oregano, salt, turkey, and egg white to bread mixture, stirring just until combined. Working with damp hands, shape turkey mixture into 12-16 meatballs.
  3. 3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add meatballs; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove meatballs from pan. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add wine; cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in marinara, basil, and vinegar; bring to a boil. Return meatballs to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until meatballs are done.
  4. 4. Arrange rolls, cut sides up, on a baking sheet; broil 1 minute or until toasted. Top bottom half of each roll with 3 meatballs, about 1/3 cup sauce, and sliced cheese of your choice. We used mozzarella. I broiled the sub open faced after I put the meatballs and cheese on.

Source: Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, Cooking Light


Thanks so much Ellen! I can’t wait to try these out with my meatball loving fam!🙂 (I may sneak a few pre-meal taste tests too!)

If you loved this recipe, please show Ellen some love in the comments! I love when Ellen cooks, because it is always from her heart, and that is what this space is all about.

Happy Fall Comfort Food Eating!







we are created to be wild. we are created to be soft too. to know that it is okay to ask that stranger in the seat next to us if they are okay & know that they will appreciate our concern. because i have never felt bad about asking someone if they are okay, but have often regretted not asking. every time actually. it is because we are created to be together, even though it seems we need space.

God has shown me clearly this past weekend at hope spoken that i am beautiful, i am beloved, and i am His bride. i no longer have to wait to be confident in my looks, or martial status. in my career or my weight bracket. i am a child of His, and i am your neighbor.

you are a child of His, and are my neighbor.

that is why i believe God has given me a love for being someone full of love. it spills out of me urgently, ungracefully, often at inappropriate times.

but it is love i seek to spill.

that is why i can talk to the male cab driver originally from memphis about ncaa basketball just as easily as i can talk to the lady tsa agent about her move from a rural town in the middle of michigan. perhaps not everyone can do that, and enjoy it as much as i do.

i am no longer afraid of what people will think if i mention God. i have realized that if i replace the word God or christian, or faith, or church, the word i come back with time and time again is love. it is the unchangeable word that translates to any language & is understood in halftime scores, weather updates & sweet silences between elevator rides that seem unlikely.

God has given me this blessing, that i have experienced the darkest times, (while catching glimpses of light) that allows me to relate in every way, to the people who party too hard, the waiting to be someone’s siginificant other (& thinks they will never come… they will), the stepparent who just misses their teenage baby, to the homesick cab driver, to the pothead counselor from cleveland who doesn’t understand the hypocritical christians. not because i am all of these things, or have done all of these things, or have been to all of these places.

but because i am always in the midst of seeking love.


i seek to love these strangers, i seek to love my neighbor. and i falter with every single step.

it is why i somehow truly relate to so many folks, because it has nothing to do with me, & everything to do with love.

i was given a gift to write, to be truthful, i don’t always want this gift. it has nothing to do with me. i was blessed with it. for these reasons, i am very hard to offend. He has made my soft hippy heart pliable for such situations. He has allowed the broken hearted, tender, tough, confused, lost souls to find me – because they see that openness that God has given me. i take no responsibility for it. it is a gift to me. i cherish it. i fumble with how to use it properly, and then, i fumble again. i sometimes struggle with this. do you? it seems we all struggle with our gifts sometimes, because the most apparent gifts others see in us, we sometimes are blind to our own. i wish i could say this makes me nonjudgmental, but He made me human. it usually just makes me awkward in fact.

and he made you my neighbor, so you are human too.

i am learning the more LOVE we show ALL the people, the more they will share of themselves. the more they share of themselves, the smaller this big (tiny) bad (amazing) world seems.

the light twinkles in through the pieces. the grace sings to us through each whispered ‘i’m sorry’, or ‘how are you’?

He makes this possible by allowing us all to be different from one another, so that we may hold up our pieces, our bits of wonky, irregular gifts, & piece together a love so whole it will swallow our hurts, & joy will be all we can feel.  we need to be broken into tiny pieces of love, pulling together our gifts, so that we make our own windows, & seek the lightness that love gives together. that we can feel that joy as a large, unending neighborhood, with our beautiful stained glass masterpiece.

we become whole by giving away our LOVE, our stories, our kindness & wisdom. & we become whole & healed by realizing that we as neighbors  as a world – are the same, with bits of each other reflected back. the conflict comes when we fail to listen to our neighbors stories. when we shut them out because they believe differently than us. they dress differently, they parent differently. we listen to different tunes, and drive more stable vehicles, therefore we are better.

this is WRONG.

no one is better than another. no one is nobler than another. no human has more worth than another.

there was one love that lead us to this neighborhood, and we need to remember to bring it tea, and listen to its story.

we are all neighbors. we will never have the opportunity to meet every single human during our lifetimes, it is humanly impossible.

but, we may start, by introducing ourselves to someone next door, in the office, in line at the dmv, at the pharmacy checkout. 

hi, i’m barb, & all i want it is to be loved and understood. what’s your name? where do you live? at the corner of misunderstood and alone, or at the corner of me too, and hey, i understand?

love. not misunderstood. not miscalculated for the rich, or beautiful, or perfectly coifed, edited version of ourselves. 

for you, my neighbor.

we want to be loved.

we need to share stories.

we need know that LOVE will save us.

we need to know that love is the SAVIOR.



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