Is chronic incurable?
Will it ever end? 
Those feelings of joy that long-stand in the heart,
The next day the pain that tries to rip it apart.
It’s persistent and difficult and some just don’t know,
that words, thoughts, and attitudes make the healing so slow.
The focus you have and what you seek to find,
might fog your soul and take over your mind.
Is it lovely and pure and tainted with trust?
Is it fighting each day with what seems unjust?
There are good days and bad days,
The right ways and wrong ways.
Constant comparison is acute and grave,
To overcome it, alone, makes one brave.
Smiles on the outside are still very real,
The peace on the inside tries to conceal.
It’s tough and it’s tiring trying to fight,
Symptoms that hit you with all their might.
Chronic perfection is sought through scrolling our thumbs,
Chronic indifference lingers with words off our tongues.
If you’re battling an illness stay far from the crowd,
that don’t understand hurt; only loud and proud.
To feel healthy and loved is a marvelous gift,
Fasten your faith and try not to drift. 
Grapple your grit when the pain arrives
Give thanks to the Lord for being alive.
If you feel it is getting the best of you,
Know that you’re loved…HE’LL carry you through.🤍

Have faith 🤍

Learning Curves

Curves and I go way back. Hordes of twists and turns merge in my mind.  From those thrown while at bat, to the backroads, and to the more aggressive forms like extreme soul switchbacks   One time I couldn’t hang on during a fast curve to avoid another hit.  But most times I’ve learned to lean into them.  Yes, leaning into them seems to keep me more balanced.  

Did I tell you I’m writing a children’s book series?❤ I had time “in the hole” getting to know my team. Walked “on deck”, watched, and tried to learn.  I’m in the “batter’s box” now.

Sometimes my swing is way off.   So, I just step out of the box, take a deep breath, and practice a few. I’ve felt tempted to run back in the hole. Stay in the box, Karla.

I’m starting to grasp some groundbreakers, digest details, and clutch some confidence. 

Here’s what I’m leaning into right now:

  • Writing courses (since January)- offered by Write for Kids (I’ve taken several and LOVE them).  I proudly display the Children’s Book Insider banner as a member.  Currently my curves are self-publishing, marketing, and writing for magazines. 
  • One-on-one weekly ZOOM sessions with a literacy coach (thank you, Lisa).  It takes time to prepare and propel this learning.
  • Social Media-tricky and tight curve (almost nauseating😉, but necessary).  I’m not on Facebook.   My only platforms are Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.  It’s going to take courage for me to self-market. It’s my least favorite thing to do.  I’ve completed a course on self-marketing for non-marketers. It was excellent!
  • Writing, writing, editing, and editing-you wouldn’t imagine a 32-page children’s book would be that difficult.  My niche is creative non-fiction and I’m dreaming BIG.   As a self-editor I’m constantly reviewing, nit-picking, deleting, and adding.  There are so many angles to revise and review.   I’m hoping to meet local peer editing groups (anyone wish to join? 😉).
  • Time management-this is a big one!   Several writers I follow have offered schedules, tips, and advice. My best formula is: one day on marketing/classes, one day using those tips to reach out for sponsorship, create IG posts and stories (it’s very curvy to me-almost nauseating lol), one day for WordPress, one to write and publish, and the rest of my time taking care of all other needs and nature time!  I love my new work week.  But it’s difficult to stay on schedule when I’m tightening the belt on the curves.  But it’s well worth it! 
  • Awesome announcement📣 I have an illustrator!  To say this has been a challenge is an understatement.  The illustrators have such a HUGE task of bringing the book to life.   Considering the time invested in creating Flannel with Faith, coupled with my amazing WP friends, I’m very leery of beginning a whole new author’s website.  Instead, I’ll create a new page on this site dedicated solely to Finley River Publishing and the series, “Faith and Finley—Finding the Nifty in our 50!” (Off the Grid Series).  Plus, you’ll get to meet my tremendous illustrator!

This journey of life is not always a straight road as we all know.  I’m not traveling in the fast lane either.  Although I love staying active, I’m staying on a steady course in my lane.   To avoid being added to any more injured lists, I’ll don a helmet and strengthen my grip. 

Friends, are you ready?  Keep your eyes on the ball at bat.  Lean into the curves as your travel.  Stay in your lane.  Life levels our playing field. I’m elated to be on your team.     

Afterword: I spent many days at a ballfield. That’s probably why I love dirt. Mom would watch with all the other wives. Us players’ kids formed family-like relationships. My Dad was the fastest man I’ve ever known. He could pull off a triple off with a left-handed bunt. Dad handled the curves. Mom has too.

“An outstanding leadoff hitter, Hale had great speed, a knack to get on base, and was a threat to steal a base at any time. He played first base and the outfield and his states include twenty state, twelve regional, and fifteen national championships. He also was selected to the US Sports Festival in 1979. He was a first team All-American in 1974 & 1975 and his teams won seven state and eight regional titles.”

(The Missouri A.S.A. Hall of Fame induction description, March 9th, 2002, Clarion Inn, Springfield, Missouri).

As a Mom I enjoyed EVERY trip to the fields of any kind to watch my own sons. Now, I walk dirt paths and enjoy the the scenery of nature’s curves. I’ll enjoy the future of watching my grandkids kick up some dirt whether on a field or when they’re outdoors. What a journey. 🤍

Have faith💚