Monthly Archives: August 2017


Brian Coaxing Llamas 8-28-11I have read reams of text, some comical, some cautionary, written by deft writer-jugglers who wrote while also doing something else–working as a chef, caring for small children, teaching all day and writing half the night. The greatest challenge in keeping everything going at once was prioritizing.  
Tonight I’m wondering if even well-known full-time writers sometimes find that life gets in the way of writing, and all the props being coordinated in the air are intentionally allowed to fall to the floor except one. I hope they do.
Two weeks ago I received an invitation from a well-known and highly respected literary agent to submit a proposal for the last book I wrote. I was excited–and thrilled! I thanked her for the opportunity and expressed my intention to submit it asap. Within the next week, however, my dear husband–the big, strong, fearless, llama-wrangling, tractor-driving, retired Christian school administrator-turned farmer, had three doctor’s appointments in our city and two surgeries in another city. Instant priority change! I let the agent know what was happening, and that my submission would be delayed. She was gracious and even prayed for him. (That’s the kind of agent I want!)
Both surgeries and most of the post-op visits are over now, and my husband doing even better than expected, so now I can start thinking about the proposal. But I’ve noticed a subtle shift. I’m more grateful than thrilled about the opportunity: I’m much happier that the surgeries were successful than that I received the invitation to submit the proposal. I hope that means that if I soon have the opportunity to juggle writing published books with the other things in my life, my priorities will be in order.

What are your greatest challenges in juggling priorities?

CONTEXT: Nine Months

14th St. Side of       Our House        10-15-12In July our older daughter and her family moved 850 miles from our city to Charlotte, NC, and she was invited to speak at the farewell dinner for them at our church.  She used the theme of 9 months.  She and her husband got their daughter nine months after they committed to adopt their first child; she carried each of the other three children for nine months (more or less); and the short stay they expected here in Quincy, Illinois, between her husband’s previous ministry in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago and his next pastorate became–yes, 9 months.

Imagine my surprise when I returned to my blog today and discovered that it has been 9 months since I posted!  And what changes the 9 months have brought!  I’m adding this particular photo from last fall to illustrate and symbolize those changes–NONE of our big, beautiful maple trees in the 2016 photo are left in 2017.

Future blogs will fill in some of the blanks of those months, but today that very particular time length seems like a promise of greater things to come!  I’m imagining a new design for my blog, more frequent but shorter posts, conversations with readers–a fresh start.  Please come along!