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.



i will conquer the west


about my fears, i wrote the following, knowing that only by conquering my fears of beginning, will i ever know if i can. the more i wonder, the braver i become.

i am not the west.
i am the north.
i breathe the south.
i embrace the east.
but the west.
it is scary, dry, unknown, desolate perhaps.
is it sacred >> does it bring about cracks that want to envelop me?
i know nothing of its culture.
i am an immigrant in its land.
the west of what i dream and rake my future from, those west – are more than what i think i could handle if i got there.
but, what i know, in the form of fingertips and frostbite, unprepared – i’m heading there anyway.
with my cart.
because of my very horse.
the wagon of my stuff exposed – laid bare upon those cracked and hardened canvases of truth.
the west.
it is an apocalypse of fear that i will destroy with my beginning.
the fear is something erupting into my drums.
and i must march on.

to your dreams, to your hopes, to your beginnings.

i am sending out the blessing of the new year to each and every one of you. may we seek the joy in all we do, and may we spread the kindness as a living, breathing seed of good.

happiest of happy to you and yours. what is your west? go & explore it. may we find love wherever we are brave enough to travel.




push on


sometimes your keyboard is a bit too sticky.

perhaps that is your truth. or maybe your tires, or your days seem flat.

perhaps you have forgotten what life without hard work looks like.

or perhaps you need to work harder, like i’m feeling.

maybe you need a break.

a rest from the busy, or a nook from the stress.

orangey pinkness

maybe your colors are all running together, & you just feel muddy. or blue.

i am here to tell you that it happens to everyone, & that you must push on.

i don’t mean to push through, i mean push on. for there is strength in knowing when to rest.

rest if your soul needs it.

take a break in the most relaxing, or energizing way.

but please carry on with the utmost hope, as we know that the Good Guy has our backs.

his wings will shelter us from the storms of our days & longest nights.

He is always looking out for us, no matter our moods, our colors, our stories.

we must know that He is there regardless if we feel Him or not.

He is there. what an awesome TRUTH.

green eyes

this truth is something to take hold of, & wrap ourselves in daily.

He is our Great Comforter – our Great Hope.

i would be lost without my God, & His love for me.  I know He has a plan that I cannot see.

my peace in Him gives me rest, & knowing that I’m in His hands, gives me energy for the weary days.

also? coffee helps, chocolate is necessary, & hugs are my favorite.  🙂

gratefullness too.

family & friends’ honeyed voices, & pictures of lovely littles & people, sent right to my little phone.

those pictures & texts, the notes of thoughfulness – make my day. 🙂

they probably make yours too. i am going to consciously start writing more snail mail. surprise someone i know with a lovely note of happy.

all these things are sources of goodness, & in this month of gray skies & lack of color, i need that, & perhaps you do too. maybe someone you know needs that love sent their way?

so let’s go give lovely-ness to our world, & let us be grateFULL.

we can be the LOVE we want to feel & see, & we don’t even know fully the greatness of how that LOVE that will change us! ♥

push on my friends. our love is needed everywhere. our love is felt always. our love is irreplaceable.

He will cover you with his feathers,
& under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield & rampart.  PSALM 91:4

coffee shop south haven


5 :: hopespoken


one:: hi, i’m barb, and i’m going to the hope spoken conference! whoohoo! i am so blessed to be able to go. this is a picture of my mom and i from a few weekends ago on a family visit to south haven, michigan (which is an AWESOME coastal town on Lake Michigan that you should visit if you ever get the chance).

two:: i’m a student again, studying graphic design, and it is challenging me.  some days are hard, and some are so fun.

three:: i am a little nervous about my ability to talk too much and get sweaty because i realize that i’m talking too much. also, the real thing that makes me nervous is leaving anyone out. i hate leaving people out.

four:: something i am hoping to take away from the conference are more friendships, more connections, more security from God that this is the path He wants me on.

five:: i also want to let you know that i am a little random in my interests: i consider myself a hippie-cowgirl-sport lover who wants to own her own farm one day, even though she grew up in the burbs. oh, and i love everyone. and carbs. i love carbs, which is hard since i have given up gluten for health reasons (stomach problems stink!), and so sometimes dream about sesame seed bagels.

i hope to see you at hope spoken, and please give me a hug and say hi if you are! (sorry if i’m sweaty during the hug! 🙂 but now you’ve been warned).

i’m linking up with casey, one of the sweet hostesses or organizers or hopesters? i don’t know what to call her, her awesome blog link up for us is here!


gooey s’mores

*source by clickable link*

i don’t know if it is the perfectly perfect little thumbnail picture that we choose.

which statuses we “like”.  who we “follow”.

or the idea that somehow beyond the visual pixels and colors and music, that these people, be it a blogger, or fellow “pinner”, or a coworker’s jealous-inducing status updates on facebook, that make us think, when we click on their space, their intimate, well cultivated place, that somehow they have not had tragedy.

they have not had uphill battles fought hard with the knowledge of nothing, but perched upon faith.

or struggled because they forgot about faith.

i don’t know if it is the well curated photos with red lips, and beautifully hilarious children, or the personification of their personalities over twitter and instagram that makes us forget that these are real people.

they have had lives that have been altered from the brink of disaster by God’s miracles.
they have triumphed over cancer, deaths, divorces, addictions, loss, pain that is unbearable, and yet, with help from their support systems and their faith, they did bear it.

and not only did they bear it, they LAID it bare.

for us to read about here, and to comment, and to open our wounds just so that somehow they may help just.one.person.

that is why i love bloggers. not just women bloggers, not just mommy bloggers, not just fashion bloggers.

but bloggers.  of all kinds, and all categories. as long as it is positive, or i learn, or am inspired.

it’s the same really with famous folk, and the infamous ones too.

they are all human beings with stories that no one knows if we just skim, and flip through, and don’t stop to listen to.

do you realize sometimes that you are skipping the best part?

you are eating a s’more without the marshmallow.  it is not the part you want because it  oozes messiness all over your plans.  your agenda.

don’t worry, i do it too.  all the time.

while we are so intense on our focused task/schedule/life/next thing you must rush to do/accomplish/claim victory over –

there is someone in our path that needs a light.


they need our light.

the very one that we are trying to hold close, because we’re just too busy, and can’t find time.

forget the folding of the laundry for once.

give that elderly man the extra few seconds at the grocery store to tell you about his youth.

if you can, play princesses or trucks with a wee one, and get down on their level – literally play at their level.

you will see their light.

you will feel their warmth.

just by giving of your YOU-NESS, you will have affected another in a way that you may never knows is exactly what they needed that exact moment.

so, please, let us stop the rush.  especially right now.  let us stop the hunker down pace that we have set for ourselves.

because I’m guessing, just like me, you actually like the taste of a s’more.  all the gooey center.

or maybe you are the one that needs the flame? talk to someone about it.  open up just a bit.

perhaps you are craving someone to listen to your messiness?

let’s take caring out of the taboo/too little time bin, and place it right at the dinner table, the gas station, the bank, the homeless shelter.

well, my belly is grumbling.  my match is ready, the light is here for you, oh, and my mess too. 😉

maybe it is not changing the world, maybe it’s not solving all those peoples’ worries, hurts, pain, but…it starts with one graham cracker, with the messiness of goo, AND OBVIOUSLY CHOCOLATE, melted hearts, coming together with another graham cracker, in a sweet, messy, delicious hug.

let’s create a fire together, and enjoy some of life’s sweetness.

*this post not sponsored by anyone but the love i feel for humans and animals, and well, just life in general. be forever lovely my friends.*


share your blooms


if you have a gift, you are given that gift by the Creator to share.

you may be funny like ellen degeneres.

you may be kind like mother teresa.

you may be joyful like a child after scoring their first goal.

whatever it may be, it MATTERS.

a strong voice for the needy,

a gentle spirit with the differently abled,

the ability to put anyone at ease.

a sense of humor that breaks the silence of grief,

the ability to fix any old thing,

the confidence to show another how,

or a smile that would light up the depths of hell,

you are to SHARE it.

you were given that gift to show others that this life is just the beginning,

and that gift is to be passed around,

so that each recipient of your gift is aware of their own gifts.

the more we realize that we are just humans,

similar with different color skin,

various body shapes,

numerous kinds of love,

epic tales of triumph,

the closer we are to Heaven.

so share that story that seems embarassing,

it may change someones’s sorrow.

forget their judgement for a moment, and open up.

show your gift, share your passion.

see how you just being YOU can change the path of a child’s life,

help an elderly person understand a simple task,

urge a struggle artist to embrace their talent.

for if we hold our gifts,

we are like a flower that blooms only for itself.

imagine that world without the sunflowers!


without the glory of a rose with dewy petals?

without the beauty of an iris’ falls ~ it is a sad possibility indeed.

go forth ~ be KIND, be TRUTHFUL, be YOU.

most importantly::  share those gifts.

it will at the very least, double your JOY.

what YOU want

summer 20_oh_12 036

the hardest part for me about this here blog is writing for YOU my audience. i don’t know who you REALLY are. i know i have family members, and friends, and even a few strangers. so, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. for reading, especially for commenting. for traveling to this little site to hear what’s on my mind.
you may have noticed that i have been a wee bit quiet ’round these here parts. and that isn’t because i don’t want to write and share for you all…but, it means i may be over thinking it! 🙂 if you know me personally, you know that this is QUITE true in my daily endeavors. i am a bit of a crazy freak. 😉
so, i am not done with this blog. in fact, i want to improve this blog TREMENDOUSLY. so, i need your help.
i would like 1 million pennies.
JUST KIDDING. 🙂 although i could buy that expensive J.Crew army green lovely jacket that i’ve been eyeing for months….anyway…..
i want to know what you like, dislike or can’t live without on this here space. do you like the series? like the attempt at funny ones? the spiritual posts? want to see more of my mug? (Lord help us all). pictures of rl and i underwater basket weaving? what tickles your fancy?
i know i have a varied audience, and want to make sure i am creating content, so you leave better after having visited.
if you could just leave me a comment (located at the bottom right of this post), and let me know your thoughts, i would greatly, greatly, GREATLY appreciate it! and who knows, you may win a gift card of your choice for commenting!!!

(wink wink) (that means you should comment please) (so you can win something maybe) (and it’s free) (help a sister out y’all).

if you are more comfortable emailing me, you can do so at: beforeverlovely (@ symbol) gmail (dot) com.

thanks again truly lovely people!


shrinky dinks, light and kevin bacon.


My friend Tammy said this in a post from late last year on her blog Raggle Taggle: “I’m leaning into belief and drawing near to grace. I will let myself be loved. That’s my broken hallelujah.”

i am awestruck by the beauty of those words.

and it got me thinking…that every time i read something truly real from someone, whether on facebook, an email, a blog post, etc… it makes me feel more connected to them, to their fibers, to their soul.  it could be hilarious, painful, uncomfortable, uplifting, and perhaps sometimes TMI (think bodily fluids – ick!).

now, don’t take this as a negative thing, or that i’m super soberly serious (alliteration nation y’all!), but what binds us together as a community of humans, what makes us relate to the most opposite of others, is our fibers. our stories.

you know how everyone has heard of six degrees of kevin bacon? you haven’t? oh, my assumption is that you have.

and you know what they say about assumptions. 😉

it is a silly game where  kevin bacon is related to some actor, whatever movie that you name, by a connection of six or fewer people. example: movie actor apple starred with movie actor banana, who is married to movie actor carrot, who used to babysit for movie actor donut’s kids, who was an extra in a movie with actor eggplant, who was the (fill in the blank) in footloose with kevin bacon.

and now i’m hungry.  🙂

what the point of  it is:  that the  little silly game is that everyone is connected to everyone somehow, and the world keeps shrinking down like a colorful version of a shrinky dink. (and if you’ve never heard of shrinky dinks, then that right there is reason that this generation should put down their iThings, and get outside, or go bake an incredibly small cupcake in their easy bake oven).

the world gets smaller, more intimate, more saturated with beauty, with each and every conversation you have. with that coach of your child’s ping pong team, with the pharmacy tech who is jam packed with orders, with the elderly man working at the car parts store, with your memaw, your neighbor’s dad, your vet.

we all have our stories.  and you know what i’ve found after my 3 + decades upon this spinning sphere of wonder?

that i have more in common with those folks, than i ever thought possible.


duck dynasty anyone?  YES.

mac and cheese lovers out there?  YOU BET.

sunrises or sunsets?  NOW WE’RE TALKIN.

hot chocolate after sledding with plastic baggies in our boots?  OH THAT WAS JUST ME.  🙂

people are so very VERY similar.

any frustration that i may have on being “misunderstood” seems to disappear when my selfish ideas of what that person is thinking (sometimes without even speaking to them first!), or feeling, or knows, just by the Gucci bag they carry, or the smart phone that they don’t.

i assume that just because i think of myself a certain way, that that is certainly the way that others would think of me too.

i wrote a post a few days ago, and published it.  some of you may have read it, but i chose to take it down for being misconstrued.  misunderstood.  misheard. because, i had not thought about the consequences that it may have rippled to those i love.

i don’t want that to ever be something that happens again.

this space is about the light that we need to shine onto others when we see them weeping, and, basking in their light when they are projecting it everywhere, happily dancing along in their sunbeams.

IMAG0007 (1)

think about that.

we are the same.  when we hurt, we lash out.  when we are happy, we shout it on the rooftops.  when we wear oversized sunglasses in a photobooth? well, we look like pretty rocking superheros.

the world is MUCH smaller than you think.  it is smaller than polar opposite viewpoints of political, best dressed, university driven or lack thereof – minimum wage, or maximum tax.

i want the mirror that i hold, to light, to project, to shrink myself into each conversation, each oreo cookie shared.  so i can SEE what the world is trying to say, each story at a time.  mirroring ALL ITS LIGHT.

there are a lot of things you can see in a mirror.

but, mirrors don’t work in the dark.  mirrors don’t work when it’s dark.


who can you spread light to today?  who can dance in your sunbeams, or use a little warmth from your glow?  go out there and strike up a conversation with someone.

for starters?

hey, have you ever heard of shrinky dinks?  Or how about:  name a movie with kevin bacon?

i bet you’ll be surprised how warm six degrees feels.