Dan and I are dreamers. We dream about music projects and writing projects. We dream about what our kids will grow to be and how lovely it will be to grow old together even when they leave us. Sometimes our dreams are original – ideas for songs or  books. Other times we see another person’s project and recognize a dream we didn’t even know existed in our own hearts.

That is what happened when we heard about CompassionArt. Dan has long admired Martin Smith of Delirious? and the CompassionArt project was instigated by Smith as a way of uniting art and social justice. Every writer, some of the biggest names in worship music, gave up all royalty rights to the songs on this recording and turned them over to a number of charitable organizations. This is the kind of thing we would LOVE to do with our lives.

We’ve been listening to the CD for about a week. We’d like to add a couple of the songs into our regular service rotation and the idea that the CCLI royalty money will benefit the poor is inspiring. This is one of the promo videos.

Just thought I’d tell you about another thing I’ve been enjoying lately.

The Reason I’ve Been Quiet

Besides the terror of Finals Week, a humiliating Mathematics placement test, a sick child, etc., the final straw on Thursday evening was when our happy dog, Chuck, was accidentally hit by a car in front of our house. He died later that night.  I would like to consider this post an apology to anyone who has loved and lost a pet because I probably used to make fun of you. Now I’ve joined your ranks. I can’t believe how much I have cried over the last couple of days.


I’m not ready to blog eloquently about him or neatly list all the reasons why I know I’ll be back to myself soon. Instead, I’m going to take a break. Probably just a week or so, but I wanted you all to know. Don’t worry about me, my heart has been broken before, I know it mends well! It just seems like a good time to indulge in a mini-sabatical.

Some Things I’m Enjoying Right Now

I am T – H – I – S close to finishing all my finals for the semester. In the meantime, here are some things I’m enjoying right now:

1) Diet Coke Lime – seriously, I look forward to drinking this. I told Dan I think I have an idea of how people say certain wines go with specific food, only, I have that with Diet Coke. In the morning I like an icy Diet Coke Plus (it’s fortified!). With lunch I like the pick-me-up of Diet Coke Lime.

2) This blog post by my husband and his siblings. They hijacked their mom’s blog to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day.

3) The knowledge that in a few days the stress of finals (the ones I’m taking and the ones I’m grading) will be over.

See you then!

Living Your Story

Did you read all the great Seven Word Wisdom comments for graduates below? Here’s a funny thing, so many of you wrote something about “dreams” or another form of destiny chasing. Do you actually do this or is that just something we say to other people? (This is the question I’m asking myself a lot lately.)

I recently earned a copy of Donald Miller’s short DVD “Let Story Guide You.” I cannot emphasize enough how much I enjoyed this teaching session. First of all, I kind of heart Donald Miller, but, its OK because so does my husband. : ) Secondly, the ideas contained in his message about the power of story are life-changing. You can see a short clip if you click on the link.

I’ve been hearing bits and pieces of this material for awhile. In fact, I’ve kind of been nervous to listen to the entire message because I knew one of the catch phrases: “What if your life was a movie – would anyone want to watch it?” I had to be honest – I’m not sure!

Don (Can I call you that? I mean “Miller” alone sounds so high-school sports team-ish and “Donald Miller” sounds so formal. You really don’t strike me as a formal guy.) distills the elements of story into these required elements: 1) a likable but not perfect lead character, 2) a worthy goal or objective, 3) some conflict, and 4) an acceptable resolution. The sticking place for me is the “worthy goal or objective” and being brave enough to chase it.

The most powerful part of Miller’s message (high five!) is the fact that an acceptable resolution doesn’t have to be a fiary tale ending – everything doesn’t have to work out perfectly. The power of story is in its telling. For us, in its living out. Don uses the fact that narrative is the most common literary form in the Bible as his illustration, but each story doesn’t end with a 3-point sermon. Instead, we learn about living a life with God by reading the stories of others who have already lived their story.

So I wonder what you think. In the DVD Miller mentions a friend who started Blood:Water Mission. When Miller himself was first gaining the revelation of this idea of story, he spent several days alone seeking God for what his “worthy mission or goal” should be and decided on The Mentoring Project, an organization addressing the fatherless crisis in America.

These are awesome goals, but I wonder if there are other ways to live your story effectively. Ways that don’t require founding a non-profit organization? What other kinds of worthy goals or missions (don’t forget – the ones that require a good amount of conflict are the best from a storyteller’s perspective) do you think would qualify? If someone produced the movie of your life, what goal or accomplishment would you be pursuing?

Tis the Season

It is Graduation Season around here. (Soon to be followed by Wedding Season – another favorite!)

I thought we could whip out a little SevenWord Wisdom awesomeness for the occassion!

graduationLook at that Graduation Baby! Now, two years later, Claire (the one of the far right) gets a turn at Kindergarten Graduation! We’ve heard about nothing else since January, so I hope it lives up to all the hype. And don’t worry, there will be sappy posts celebrating her commencement, no doubt. Next week we’re also off to Uncle Drew’s graduation from nursing school. Then we’ll hop right into ceremonies and baccalaureate services here also. Whew!

So, I want to know. What is your Seven Word Wisdom for a graduate?

Will you be like the speaker at my high school graduation and say something practical: “Life’s hard. But trust God. Short, too.” (Seriously.)

Or maybe you are more of an optimist like me: “Dream big. Live to serve. Journey well.”


Could you . . .

. . . talk amongst yourselves while I finish up some things? Thanks!

Just kidding. I thought I’d post this super short video that Ada recorded of herself instead of leaving you unattended. She made this video on the same night that a mysterious tweet from my Twitter account was sent to my friend, writer May Vanderbilt:

@mayvanderbilt jghggh6bfvfh5vhdbdnvfbnczbnv    c cdbcnvvffhgdv n

Ada is the child of mine that most intrigues me. (I hope she appreciates this description someday; I totally say that as a  compliment to her!) What I mean is, I don’t have her totally figured out. She surprises me the most. And I love that about her. In this clip she is saying a million and one things with her face, even in just a few seconds. In the comments section you could  write a caption for what is going on in that pretty head. She’s a piece of work, I tell ya. Or maybe just watch a few times and smile.

Ada from Felicity White on Vimeo.