Category Archives: Something Different

Asking for Help

My post is a little different today. Today I’m asking for your help.

My son Sam, as many of you know, is home from college on medical leave and likely unable to return. He’s whip smart, word clever, wildly creative, quick witted, deeply loyal…and losing hope.

You can read about his days in his own words here.

My son is longing for purpose.

He’s been writing, working on spoken word pieces, and game development (two of his games released in Apple’s App Store, one retired, one still for sale), and most recently creating original designs via 3D printer.

Yesterday, Sam launched his Etsy store, Phenix Emporium, the name chosen from Middle English, because that’s just how his mind works.

Creative. Clever. Always with meaning and purpose, because, in his words, “here is where the phoenix’s signature ability to be reborn from the ashes is fulfilled in a slightly different manner, from the ashes (the empty print board and the plastic from which objects will print)….where the creativity of the mind is allowed to be set free, to be born from the melting pot of plastic, to rise like a phoenix, creativity reborn from the mind into the physical planes of reality.”

Will you help, Friends? For under $10, you can purchase a unique, made-to-order (from 64 possible color combinations!) spinning top or an adorable Balancing Bunny, or even an entire Fluffle.

Yellow Top Being Spun

Black Top Front View

Yellow Top Side View

Balancing Bunny Stack

Balancing Bunny Pyramid

Together we can lift my son, flood him with orders, and allow hope to seep back into his soul.

Will you join me?

Thank you, Friends! You are far more appreciated than you will ever know.

To order, click here: Phenix Emporium.



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Bravely Capturing Words — A Series

I know many who are bravely capturing words this year, writing memoirs, poetry, fiction, devotionals, novels and novellas, medical odysseys, writing for magazines and newspapers, even writing for themselves, spilling the words of their hearts into notebooks and art journals. I am awed by their devotion, their dedication, their sacrifice.

For we need their words, their stories. Your stories. And mine.

So…I’ve decided to encourage writers this month in a series of images. You’ll find the first five here. Each week, I’ll post four or five more.

Enjoy. Share. Print.

Use the images in any way you choose to encourage yourself or another. Downloadable versions are available via my Flickr Photostream.


“Always when we begin, we take a risk.” ~ Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies


“Listen into the silences where the best words begin.” ~ Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies


“There is, in all of us, a hunger for words that satisfy – “ ~ Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies


“A story is an invitation, and a challenge, and a choice.” ~ Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies


“…your story is the one that could set us all ablaze.” ~ Dan B. Allender, PhD,
To Be Told


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You Are…

I Am...2

I am honored to be partnering with the beautiful, grace-filled Lauren McLeod, the heart and soul behind this project, to launch #IAmHis today, the first in a series of images designed to remind each of us that we are precious, treasured, accepted, loved.

Today, we invite you to reach out and remind the weary, the lonely, the broken-hearted and hurting, the overwhelmed and over-looked, the loved one, neighbor, friend, or co-worker, of who they are and Whose they are:

accepted, loved,
of infinite worth,
and eternal value.

Because we are precious and beloved —
every. single. one.

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A Gift for You


A few weeks ago, Amy Breitmannand Tammy Hendricksmeyer of Outside the City Gate approached me and asked if I’d be interested providing photography for their first e-book, Pieces of Faith, A Mosaic of Sojourners.

Yes! Of course! Absolutely!” was my immediate reply from the rolling hills of Elkton, Oregon, where I was attending a weeklong photography workshop.

And what an honor it’s been! Tammy and Amy are, bar none, the most encouraging women I have ever worked with. They’ve stretched me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me every step of the way.

Today, Outside the City Gate is releasing this “labor of love, a collaboration of voices…not us standing in our Sunday-best, but writers and artists gathering the truthful pieces of ourselves, our stories, and giving them away. We offer them with the sincere hope that you might recognize some of your own story in the collection.”

A collection including work from:

Diane Bailey
Amy Breitmann
Tammy Hendricksmeyer
David Rupert
Duane Scott
Nacole Simmons
Beth Stiff
Kelli Woodford

“So we reach out today, to give ourselves ~ the raw and truthful words set against a backdrop of photos.”

May these words and images bless, encourage and refresh you, drawing you in, connecting each of us across the miles, each an integral part of the whole, each an irreplaceable piece of the mosaic, life and breath of the Body of Christ on this earth together.

To learn more and download your free copy of this beautiful collaboration, click here:

An Offering: From Writers, Dreamers, and Artists.

Sunday blessings to you, Friends!


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Something Different

The following is something different than I’ve posted since launching BreatheDeeply, but this week, inspired by fellow writer, Glynn at Faith Fiction Friends, I’ve decided to post my answers to the exercise found on pages 73-74 of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron as a group of us journey through and discuss this book over the next several weeks at Tweetspeak Poetry Press.

So…here goes.

Detective Work – An Exercise

1. My favorite childhood toy was: A simple three-story wooden dollhouse built by my grandfather. I spent hundreds of hours in a sun-splashed pool of deep green shag playing with my doll family, Mom, Dad, Karen, Joey and Grandpa.

2. My favorite childhood game was: Parcheesi, hands down, bar none! Yet I’ve never played the game with my husband or my own children, and I have no idea why. Hmmm…odd. Might just have to find a Parcheesi board, bring it home and introduce them all one of these days!

3. The best movie I ever saw as a kid was: The Wilderness Family – the first movie we saw as a family, left center, midway up at The Rivioli Theatre in Cedarburg, swallowed up in deep burgundy, plush velvet theatre seats.

4. I don’t do it much but I enjoy: Ice skating, a lot. I figure skated competitively for years as a child and still love the speed, the wind in my face, gliding effortlessly, cutting clean, crisp edges into swirling patterns across a fresh sheet of ice.

5. If I could lighten up a little, I’d let myself: Lift my hands in grateful praise and worship on Sunday mornings instead of clasping safely behind me. Sometimes it just takes 20 seconds of insane courage…

6. If it weren’t too late, I’d: Get my motorcycle license. Although noting is impossible with God, this side of a miracle healing of my injury, I’m resigned a cage – a tan minivan to be exact!

7. My favorite musical instrument is: Saxophone, acoustic guitar, piano/keyboard, and the human voice – with so much beauty, how can I choose just one? The blending of melody, harmony, textures and sounds makes my soul sing.

8. The amount of money I spend on treating myself to entertainment each month is: I have absolutely NO idea! Can’t be much. I bring my own tea wherever I go, and prefer to be home than away, I love Kindle freebies, don’t love food, dislike shopping, and only get my hair cut twice a year. I’m really kind of boring.

9. If I weren’t so stingy with my artist, I’d buy her: Nothing. My husband surprises me with far more than I’d ever buy for myself. ☺

10. Taking time out for myself is: Ten minutes in the backyard with my camera just taking in God’s amazing creation.

11. I am afraid that if I start dreaming: I don’t think I’ve ever stopped. I don’t work to make my dreams happen, but I’m always excited when God does.

12. I secretly enjoy reading: People Magazine. Isn’t that shallow? I indulge in the waiting room at the orthodontist while waiting for my kids.

13. If I had had a perfect childhood I’d have grown up to be: Me! My childhood wasn’t perfect, but I always knew I was loved and wanted even before I was born.

14. If it didn’t sound so crazy, I’d write or make a: Produce a whole line of Breathe Deeply products from my writings and photos, supporting good friends on the mission field with all the proceeds. I already have notecards, notebooks and pens, travel mugs and water bottles, and when/if the time is right, God will open doors.

15. My parents think artists are: My Dad appreciates true creativity, especially good writing and photography. My Mom enjoys art within neat and tidy boundaries of expression.

16. My God thinks artists are: Exactly who He created us to be — unique and beautiful expressions of His nature to all the world.

17. What makes me feel weird about this recovery is: I’m not blocked or recovering. I spent years after my injury wondering why God was pulling me away from serving in ways I loved, how that could possibly be good. Over time, I began to see that His gift is time and space to breathe, to see differently, shift perspective and begin to notice, absorb and spill my heart into words, to capture His beauty with camera and lens. From the perspective of time, I stand amazed at what God has done, at the gift I never expected, wouldn’t have chosen, and still can’t quite believe.

18. Learning to trust myself is probably: Second only to learning to trust God.

19. My most cheer-me-up music is: Powerful, evocative, gritty lyrics, real, with substance, good base, strong beat, gravelly vocals, stuff you can feel in your soul, sink your teeth into, music that turns your heart to the wind and calls your soul to RIDE!

20. My favorite way to dress is: T-shirts and denim, hiking boots or sandals cut wide across bare feet, and always a soft, cozy, warm fleece.

Now it’s your turn! Pick a prompt or two that interest you and leave your responses in the comments below or post the whole list on own blog and leave the link for us to follow.

Have fun! I’m looking forward to reading your responses!


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