Tag Archives: motivation

Since I’ve Been Gone…


Well, for starters, I’ve been dutifully sending off my little picture book manuscripts. I took the next step and began another blog called barbaralyonwrites.com and joined a little social media outlet called twitter, you may have heard of it. (@blyonwrites) The twittering rules are rather vague and I don’t quite know how to do it yet. These will be more exclusively used for writing and for the purposes of building that elusive support known as “the platform”.

Don’t feel neglected, dear little solongsuburbia blog, I haven’t been writing much over there either.

The elementary school play finished. It was glorious. I was officially tapped to take over directing next year and the kids applauded me heartily which was very sweet. I miss them and when I drop off my son at school I always run into a few of the cast members who sidle up to me with large smiles on their faces. And the question on everyone’s lips is, “What play are we going to do next year?”

The week after that was Easter and I was in charge of telling the story to the kids. I tell the story and draw it with pictures. It’s something I love to do and I managed to mostly maintain their attention, a feat which is not unextraordinary considering it was about noon on Easter and all of them were hopped up on chocolate bunny ears.

And the week after that I was supposed to drive down to Clovis and visit a dear friend and enjoy her baby shower. But scary complications on Wednesday led to an emergency cesarean and a baby in the NICU. So, instead of a shower there was a rather shell-shocked Momma, a glowing Papa, and a real beautiful little three-pound baby who is doing quite well. I painted the nursery. It’s Dumbo themed.

And the next day after that was…

My first day of work!

So, you remember that dream job I didn’t get? Well, I kinda still got it. I don’t have the experience, but they needed someone, so they delegated some of the responsibility away and made me a position. And it’s perfect!

I’m a children’s ministry associate of sorts for our church! It has been a very exciting week. For one thing, there’s an office and I go in to it. Secondly, the desk is a larger space than any I have in my little apartment and it’s all mine! (Actually, I found out today that I stole it from someone else, but they all assured me it was totally ok. He’s just an intern.)

I was rather overwhelmed on Monday, but Thursday was awesome. I discovered a festival of sorts in support of families of kids with disabilities and I booked us a table! It felt so good to do something. It feels so good to do something!

And today I was pricing kids Bibles all day. And they’re not that expensive! Bibles for all the children! Talk about the perfect job for Barbara.

Also, this job has been the proverbial static comb to my stream of running creativity and given me a little slant. I’ve been writing kids’ prayers and lessons. I have this new burning desire to write a kids’ Bible … one with dark people … and Asians. I feel like a jerk after looking at Swedish Adams and Eves all week.

And I might start yet another blog with coloring pages, activities, and other parent resources. I’ll let you know. TOO MANY IDEAS!!!

On the Horse…


I am happy to follow-up and tell you that the elementary school rehearsal yesterday went very well.

I am back, as they say, on the horse. After careful review of what is going to be rehearsed on Monday I have asked for another go at blocking and choreographing the scenes. The director kindly assented.

All of this may not seem like much, but it is indicative of much growth.

Let me tell you a story.

When I was in second grade I inadvertently won the privilege of standing in front of the entire school and reciting a poem. I hadn’t known it was a contest.

So, after the kindergartener and the first grader went, I got up on stage in front of all the K-8 graders in my school and recited my poem. I then sat down to watch the rest.

I will never forget what happened then. A fifth grader got up to recite her poem. She trembled and stuttered and burst into tears and ran off the stage. The girl may or may not have vomited. It certainly looked like she was going to.

I was mortified for her. How embarrassing! I didn’t even know that sort of reaction was possible. It was horrifying.

A couple more lucky speakers recited and then, a few moments later, everyone applauded as the teacher announced that the girl from fifth grade was going to try again.

The teacher said, “How brave of her!”

I clapped for the girl, but I didn’t buy it. The girl had run off the stage. “Brave” was something they said to trick her back up there. And I remember thinking, with my advanced second grade wisdom, that if that sort of thing ever happened to me there is no way you’d get me back up on that stage.

My heart found nothing brave or admirable in that moment.

Now, I am significantly older and, as with most things, when you practice not being perfect every day you just get better at it.

My inability to fail prevented me from doing a lot of things. It’s taken a long period of indoctrination to reverse it. In fact, I now find a special pride in my ability to fail miserably, experience rejection, and try again, even if it’s an elementary school production, even if it’s a novel.

So, here we go, keeping on, practice, practice.



My dear friend Rachel Wagner’s kickstarter campaign has funded! Woohoo!

It’s not too late to be a funder, though. Follow the link and jump on the bandwagon. You’ll find a lot of happy beautiful people on there. Wink wink. Maybe if we get enough money we can actually buy a literal band-wagon. Dream big, people!

Rachel’s kickstarter page!

So, today I’m going to introduce you to a song from her last album. The song is the title song of the album called “Untold”.

The lyrics of “Untold” talk about fear and trust. Rachel and I have talked a lot about how much comes down to fear. Bringing out the wounds and confronting their ragged edges is scary. We fear rejection from others. We fear rejection from God. We fear because death is painful and death has to be the first step to resurrection. We fear that our dead places are beyond hope. And all of these come down to one insidious fear that God is not who he says he is.


“Fold it up, fold it in, tuck it away and then
No one will ever know
And the truth is alone, in your pocket of stone
And your hands are so cold

But who can you trust?
These words, are they enough?
Afraid you will say too much
So you stay untold

Looking out, looking in, looking away again
You don’t look him in the eyes
Staring down at the street, you trip over your feet
He catches you by surprise

But who can you trust?
These hands, are they enough?
Afraid you will lose too much
Will you stay untold?”


How many of our stories of healing and redemption lay untold because we let fear keep us from that first step?

I like to think back to all the times I have taken the crumpled packet out of my pocket that felt so heavy, and unfolding it slowly, letting the contents show to a compassionate God, to compassionate friends, letting the air and the light begin to heal it almost immediately. It’s something you have to prove. It’s something that you have to practice. It’s scary to unfold. And yet, how joyous to begin to be told.

Itchy Itchy…


I’ve been taking a little break.

A few weeks ago I was “angst-ing out”. That is, I was getting increasingly frustrated by my desires and increasingly ill-equipped to satisfy them.

So, I put my ambitions aside. And I took a deep breath. I made granola. I cleaned the apartment. I ate ice cream and read a book.

During the day I sat in the middle of the carpet instead of in front of my computer. I read the books that were brought to me. I admired the drawings that were shown to me. I wrestled the little bodies that stepped too close to me.

Yesterday I spent forty-five minutes making a cardboard castle with lookout towers, shelves, and a gatehouse.

And today, for the first time since my last post, almost a week ago, I got out my computer. This promptly occurred:

2014-10-21 09.54.41

My life would be much simpler if I did not need to write, if I did not wake up in the mornings with the story like a rash eating away at my brain demanding to be scratched. I would have nothing to do but be a mother and friend. My house would be the tiniest bit cleaner. Dinners would be the tiniest bit slower. And I think things would be a little more comfortable for my husband and kids. Things would certainly be more comfortable for me.

But today I woke up itchy. And so I dug out my computer from underneath the Lego ships on my dresser and established nap time firmly.

And now, I write.



A friend from Mom’s group gave me this book to read called, “Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning” by Rebekah Lyons.

I don’t normally get sucked into this type of book. But I totally did.

It’s a woman’s story about uprooting her three kids in the suburbs to move with her pastor husband to the city. I felt an immediate kinship. Of course, she moved to New York, which is a significantly higher level of urban than San Francisco.

One page in particular jumped out at me.  The emphasis is hers:

“Even more shocking is the number of women suffering depression. The more I dug into the problem, the more I realized its vastness. I discovered that we as women are 70 percent more likely than men to experience depression. One in four women will suffer some form of depression in her lifetime. From anxiety attacks, as in my case, to mood disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and so on, women are under siege. And the majority of women who are wrestling with depression fit nicely in the twenty-five- to forty-four-year-old age bracket.

We aren’t depressed because we are getting old; we are depressed in the prime of our lives.

During the years when we ought to be making some of our greatest contributions to others and to the world, we are stuck. Caught in a quagmire of confusion, hardly able to put one foot in front of the other. What is going on? And why now?” –Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons p.67

It’s no mystery to me that my best energy is required to foster new life, namely my beautiful babies. But sometimes I feel like I’m undergoing a long slow death of self while I’m busy making sure this mothering life gets done.

I wonder whether this “death of self” is healthy or unhealthy. I do have moments where I feel fully alive. But is it so inconceivable that I feel like that all the time?

Most of my days are spent with a nagging sense in the back of my brain that something is being left undone, something more than the laundry and my to-do list.  Is there more resistance at play than just my full mommy schedule?

I know I am more than a mother.  I know the world needs something from me outside of my useful womb.

But how? And what? And when?