How to Leave a Comment

I've been hearing from some of you that you are having difficulty leaving a comment on my blog. If this is you, and you would like to comment, here are a few simple steps to do so without subscribing or following or creating a Google account.

1. At the bottom of any post you wish to comment on, click on the place where it says the number of comments. On the example picture above, you would click where it says 1 comments.

2. Where it says Comment as, select the option that says "Anonymous" from the drop down menu. Now you can write your comment in the box. If you like, you can leave a truly anonymous comment, but I love to know who you are, so if you don't mind, please sign your comment. If you don't want to leave your last name, feel free to omit that or use a last initial or "Mom", "Uncle Bob", etc...

3. Now you simply click Post Comment. Walah! There's your comment. You've shared your heart and blessed mine. Thank you so much!

Is this helpful? Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for reading Live Art.fully!


A Letter to My Daughters: Reflections on Life and Carnival Rides

The carnival at night is where reality and dreams collide. Lights, music and motion all spin together to create a fantasy, just as sugar and air become cotton candy.

When I think about the childhood memories I want you girls to have, this is one of them.


I want you always to remember your favorite ride-buddy: your sister. I pray you take each other along on this ride of life, because life goes up and down and makes you sick and dizzy sometimes, and having a sister to journey with can be just the ticket. I remember the day we found out we had lost our baby, when my world felt upside-down, and my sister, Auntie Sissy, called and talked to me through her tears, and that meant everything to me.

Hannah, don't forget how Natalie makes you laugh. Her humor will help you on a down day.

Natalie, Hannah loves to protect you. If you never need her, she will feel honored to be there for you.

If you feel alone or can't find a friend, look no further than your sister. She is a gift to you, a lifelong friend.


Bricks & Mortar: Thoughts on Raising Children

Between the physical and mental raising of our children, we must also diligently tend to their emotional needs.

Like mortar between bricks, there must be love and affirmation. 

I love you.
I'm proud of you.

These things glue the feeding and housing and education basics together into a stable structure.

Love isn't superfluous. It's not weak. It is necessary for building healthy, strong relationships.

Without love, verbalized and shown, a harsh wind shakes the bricks and what we've tried to build comes crashing down.


Ankylosing Spondylitis & the Authentic Truth: What's Happening in my Home, My Heart & My Body

It's funny how for weeks I can't think of a thing to blog about, and then all at once, I am inspired to saturation-point.

Maybe it's a new blog or two in my reader, a clean room in my house, new pages lengthening my manuscript, sunshine and how we soaked it in this week. Maybe it's fresh lemonade with strawberries made by my handsome husband, or maybe it's recognizing how tall and gangly my daughters are growing. Maybe it's knowing more summer fun & memories are just around the corner, or knowing a new year of learning at home with my girls begins soon. {I find inspiration in the school supply aisle... always have.}

Whatever it is, I want to write about it but there's so much to say, I don't know where to begin.

Balanced with all the goodness I just wrote about is the underbelly of the coin -- not so good, refreshing or inspiring. Things like doctor's appointments, frustration & confusion, more tests looming, more vials of blood drawn, a house that I can't seem to keep up with and how I have allowed that to stop me from inviting friends over for a playdate or tea party or dinner. There are stressors -- we all have them -- and so many things to try to stay current with, and that has become very difficult.

I could tell you about several weeks ago when my feverish four year-old needed to be carried from one room to the next, and how due to a back flare-up, I had to ask her to walk while holding my hand. I could tell you how bad the pain in my spine was, and how I couldn't bend to lift her, but it doesn't compare to how sad my heart was when I couldn't just scoop up my hot, miserable little girl and carry her.

I could tell you how my ribs and chest hurt so much that it's painful for my children to cuddle too close to me. I could tell you, again, that I worry about my future with Ankylosing Spondylitis and especially about my mobility.

I could explain how exhausted I am and how difficult it is to get out of bed on a daily basis. How much I yearn to be present in my little girls' lives and hearts and the guilt and sadness that can come when I can't be the mommy I once was.

No, I can't take you to the library today. 
I'm sorry, it hurts too much to have you on my lap right now.
I wish I could bake cookies with you, sweet girl, but Mama can't stand for that long right now.

My eyes are welling with tears, and this is how I know that this is the authentic truth.

The pain can be severe, but what is unbearable is what it does to our family sometimes.

I know I could tell you what chronic illness and pain give me. And I will tell you about the gifts found in all of this in a future post.

But for now, it's okay to take a moment and just admit how much I hurt sometimes when my body can't match my heart.

Bad day or good day, I thank you for coming along on my journey. I hope you find a kinship and truth here. I hope you leave inspired or hopeful. I count many of you among my dearest friends & family, my support system, cheerleaders, fellow AS journeyers, sisters of body and heart.

Thank you.
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