For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News posted a blog about the effects of too much information on people.

I commented. Now, I give you the chance to comment on my comment.

My Comment:
This week I sent an email to a number of people asking them to delete my cell phone number from their information about me. They call the house phone. If I don't answer, they immediately hang up and call the cell phone. When I don't answer, they gripe because if I'm going to have a cell phone, I should answer. The irony of this is that both phones were sitting on my counter when they rang. I heard them ring. I ignored them as my children and I were in the middle of homeschool-my day job as I call it, and everyone who calls knows I don't answer the phone until after 2:00 anyway.

Do you remember the time when there was one phone in the house tethered to a wall, and if you called someone who did not pick up, you simply called back later because they did not have voice mail or an answering machine or multiple other options for reaching them?

The world did not end then. No one rushed home in case someone was trying to reach them. No one accused the call recipient of ignoring them if they didn't pick up immediately or within a certain number of rings or at all. We simply assumed folks were busy. We would catch them when they weren't.

The problem is we have lost the wisdom to not be busy. We have lost the wisdom to sit on the porch in a rocking chair and sip lemonade. We have forgotten the therapy of card night with friends. It isn't that we want or need more information about others. It is that we are afraid of what we might learn if we are actually alone with ourselves. So, we hide. We hide in blogs, emails, Facebooks, cell phones, and anywhere else that keeps us from aspects of ourselves we want to avoid.

It isn't about what we want to know. It is about what we DON'T want to know.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I've received several comments from different folks about Natalie's comments about Anna. I have received questions and comments for years about Anna's boldness and gentle spirit in sharing the Lord. While I could wax philosophical, I have hot dogs to boil and pictures to print for a post-production party. Therefore, I will leave you with another picture of Anna's powerfully simple faith. This piece was writtend when she was three or four. This is simply who she has always been.


When the page comes up, you'll need to scroll down some to reach the text.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Our Anna

Last Friday Rob took Anna and Robert to see Mike and Mike in the Morning again. While there, they met a young lady named Natalie. At the end of the day, Natalie had some things to say about our Anna. I try not to write a lot about my children. I don't want to bore you silly, and I wonder if folks truly believe all I write or if they filter it through the "she's their mom" thinking. However, when someone else writes about my children, it's different.

Natalie had some beautiful things to say, and I am proud to share what she wrote. I hope it blesses you.


Several wonderful folks have emailed and asked if my family and I are well. Thank you so much for checking on us. We are fine, just very busy. I am making a quick post to let you know where I've been and when to expect me back.

Are you ready?
Two weeks ago the sunroom and fireplace went away.
Last week we were supposed to get a new cement slab. Instead, we had a tornado, so the slab went in Monday of this week, which pushed renovations back a week.
Yesterday they framed in a new wall between the living room and “sunroom.”
Today they knock out the brick exterior wall, finishing some framing, and drywall the living room.
In the next two weeks:
--the blue skylight (tarp) gets replaced with a new roof.
--the new outside room and extended dining room get framed in.
--the windows and doors go in
--the existing exterior dining room wall gets knocked out.
--all walls get finished
--the exterior gets painted and gutters get put up.

While the workers have been doing that, we:
--Pulled up carpet
--Ripped up linoleum
--Pulled out carpet tack strips
--Pulled off trim
--Chiseled out kitchen tile. (Thank the Lord for Hilti!)
--Reworked the washer drain pipe.
--Planted a garden.
--Primed and repainted the entryway.

Along with that:
--We’ve had 3 hour Fiddler rehearsals 2x a week. I’ve done pictures for 3 of those rehearsals.
--We’ve had to research doors, floors, and stuff for the house. That takes an amazing amount of time.
--Oh, did I mention the week long stomach virus I had? What is up with a week of stomach virus?!
--And we still have PE and skating on Fridays.
--I spoke to a women’s group last Tuesday.
--I had my cardio checkup, which went great.
--Oh, and there is my writer’s group that took a whole Saturday morning.

You get the idea.

The next five days are nuts, but the light is clearly before us, and we will make it through.

We are home. I'm taking time to blog, respond to time-oriented emails, and sit a bit. I've already done a load of laundry and have another one ready to go when the dishwasher is done. I will get my ironing done when I'm done with this. I have to do a bit of picking up because we have family coming in tomorrow. I'm not trying to dust because there is no point. In fact, every window I can reach is open in order to air out the house because of the dust. This evening, we start Fiddler on the Roof performances for our daughter.

After that our schedule looks like this:

This evening--5:30 leave time for a 6:30 call for a 7:30 performance
Saturday—12:30 leave time for a 1:30 call and a 2:30 performance. Anna will stay there, and I will come home. Our neighbor is going that night to the 7:30 show, and he’ll bring her home. When I get home, Rob’s dad and stepmom from VA will be here.
Sunday—12:30 leave time for 1:30 call and 2:30 show
Monday—5:30 leave time for 6:30 call and 7:30 show
Tuesday—we’ll spend the day with Rob’s folks
Wednesday—Rob’s folks go from the hotel to the airport, so we won’t see them. We have no Fiddler either. I may lay out food for the children for the day and hide in my bedroom so I can write. I need to blog, and I need to get another chapter written for my critique group.
Thursday—I’ll do post production work on yesterday’s pictures and turn them in Friday at the cast party.

So that is where we are and have been. It's a good life. We are thankful we came through the tornado with nothing more than tree clean up. We are thankful we can renovate the house, and we are thrilled that Anna gets to participate in Fiddler. It is good. It is just an intense season, and I had to set a few things down for a few weeks. However, I already have a few more thoughts on being beautiful, and I look forward to sharing them with all of you.

For now, though, I need to iron and clean a few toilets.

I hope all of you are well and enjoying whatever season you are in. I'll see you soon!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ethan Powell

My heart is broken, and I am stunned beyond words. Ben and Becky is still in great need of prayers.

4th Update 12:11 pm [Ben] - This is the update that I hoped never to type. At 11:37am, Ethan left this earth peacefully in our arms. I apologize for my lack of faith and letting you down. I ask that you stand strong in your faith and please continue to pray for "Ethan's friends". I thought alot about this over the last hour orso, and I have decided to keep updating for a short time. I am so angry at cancer and I plan to dedicate my life to fighting it. We need your help to do it. Please continue to check the site to find out the next step. I am speaking for myself when I say this... no child should have to die because of a lack of cure. And I plan to find that cure with your help! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help me in this fight. I truly feel so lonely without him here, and I really need this to move forward. Please help me to beat this terrible illness.

Although the devils wants to convince me and you otherwise, I still BeLIeVe... PRAYER WORKS!!! And I hope that you do to.

Ethan has to have a MIRACLE

Pray for a miracle.

If that does not work, got to and click on the bold "updates" in one of the paragraphs.