Most of my writing these days is done at LanaVaughan.com. You can subscribe there and get my posts by email.
If you follow me on Twitter (@Lana_Vaughan) my posts link there.
If you have a paper.li my twitter post show up in your morning read.
I am currently working on a new business and new site at RenaissanceWife.com that is up and running but under construction.
Lately I have been spending a lot of time editing and curating the writings of other authors but I will be doing more of my own writing again soon. Unless, you send me a manuscript, in which case I will be working a little longer first.
More than a quarter of a century ago a woman I have only met briefly changed my life in a profound way. She didn’t intend to change my life particularly.
She set out to change the lives of a few people in her living room. I have followed her example in my own home.
She didn’t hand people the answers. She taught them to ask simple questions. As you can tell by reading my posts I became very adept at this skill.
Over the years, I have found myself using her simple process in every area of my life. I have deliberately passed it on teaching classes around my dining room table, over coffee at Starbuck’s, in kitchens of friends while their pre-schoolers napped and here to a small extent.
As I was starting dinner tonight my favorite teen came in and asked the standards, “What’s for dinner?” and “When is dad getting home?”
In my head I added the other questions that make up the set. Who? Where? Why? How? What does it say? What does it mean? What do I do about it?
It’s been almost 10 years to the day since I sat with Kay Arthur in Chattanooga. As our time together came to a close she asked me two more questions. Could she sign my Bible? and could she pray for me? Yes! to both.
So I turn the questions to you.
Who has changed your life?
And when you read this post what does it really say? What does it really mean? and What are you going to do about it?
I have a few of my answers but they always, always lead to more good questions.
There is a limit to how many hoops I will jump through to enter a contest or receive “free” materials. It’s 3. After that there just isn’t anything I want enough to keep clicking or registering or doing someone else’s social network marketing. So in the words of the great Anonymous “K.I.S.S.”
Now I’m not giving anything away or selling anything today but I’m betting it only took you one click to get here. You either saw the notice on my twitter or on my facebook and the link takes you right to my road marker on the journey of life.
Thank you for coming. I appreciate you taking the time to read what I have written and now return you to your regularly scheduled day.
There are parts of yourself that you will never see unassisted. The back of your head, inside your ears, that place behind your ears that your mother told you to go back and wash again. Your mother could see what you could not. It was still your responsibility to get it clean but without her pointing it out you would have gone along thinking it was good while bacteria was having a grand old time.
Mom told us to wash behind our ears because she cared and wanted the best for us. As adults who do you have in your life who cares and will tell you what they see that you can’t see for yourself? Who do you trust to be honest and kind at the same time? Who do you respect enough to sit and listen without interrupting? Who’s ears are you checking?
A few weeks ago we made the decision to move our youngest child to Independent Study through her school district. First lesson to be learned is that it’s more than ok to take personal responsibility for your own education and direction, something that is not only not taught but discouraged in many public school systems. Today’s scheduled lessons include Spanish with Rosetta Stone, lap swimming at the YMCA, an hour at her desk and then a trip to the library. There will be a quick cooking lesson included just as soon as the “teacher” decides what’s for dinner.
This morning I spent some time listening to Chip Ingram teach. He was talking about anxiety and offering Biblical guidance on how to deal with it. One of the points in his message was about telling God what you want. This is a question that has repeatedly come up for me over the past couple of years and the frequency has been noticeably increasing the last few months. Recently a wise woman asked me the same question and here is my “want” list answer.
Every time I come face to face with “What DO you want?” I freeze. I panic. I retreat. I hide.
And I realized that by not facing it head on I will never get what I want. So here goes…
I want to be physically healthy enough to do what I want.
I want to get out of financial debt and have enough to help others in need.
I want to be a published author.
I want to speak at one major event a month.
I want to go back to Greece.
I want to learn to read and speak Hebrew and Greek.
I want to run my own business.
I want to see my ideas become reality.
I want to make really good memories.
I want my family to miss me dreadfully when I am gone but be strong enough to go on without me.
I want to be known for healing.
I want to craft pieces of heirloom quality and meaning.
I want to be all God created me to be.
And I want to make what I want a priority.
So, my three readers…what do you want?
What many adults dream of doing 37 middle school kids just did! They are published authors.
You can order a copy of their book from their publisher, FastPencil.com at:
All I can say is I am so proud of these students. They took the challenge and met it each in their own way.
12 years ago my precious daughter came into the world. She brought with her a message from God that He loves laughter and joy and delights in innocence. She is a spirited child full of wonder and grace. I love that she was born just after Thanksgiving because she reminds me of just how much I have to be thankful for.
Today is also a day to celebrate because of what she has done. Her first book goes to the publisher tonight. This book isn’t her’s alone. It is a special project that began just 5 weeks ago. Here’s the story…
The last week of October I presented 37 middle school students with a challenge, The NaNoWriMo. The NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month held every November. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I didn’t think the kids were up for writing 50k words each but together they could do it. It broke down to roughly 1,400 words per student. The second part of the challenge was that they all had to use the same first sentence for their chapter, the same last sentence and a commonly agreed upon main character. The main character they created is a 13 year old boy named Timmy. The chapters open with “The door before Timmy was…” and end with “Once again Timmy was in front of a door.” Everything between the doors was up to each individual writer.The reward for completeing their part of the challenge was a real copy of their book professionally published via FastPencil.com.
Quick aside…We could not have done this without Mash and his incredible support team at FastPencil.com. The free upfront software and collaboration tool has given these students an opportunity that they never knew was possible. The classroom visit from “their Publisher” inspired them and showed them that this wasn’t just a school project but a real book.
This morning the score is: 63,149 words! 31 students done! 2 hours to go….
The reason I started this project was because of my daughter. Today, because of her 36 other students will become published authors. Today, because of her, 36 other young writers have cause to celebrate their own accomplishments. Today, the world has indeed been blessed by Grace.
(If you want to order a copy of “The Indigo Door 2010” paypal me $10 by 9pm tonight. That’s when the order goes to the printer. 🙂
There are two homemade pumpkin pies baking in our oven right now. That may not seem very notable or unique today. It’s more rare than it used to be but not totally unheard of. What makes these pies special is they are third generation pies. You see, on the blue and white tile counter in my kitchen sits a faded harvest gold Kitchen-aide stand mixer. It belonged to my mother-in-law. I never met her, she died before I met Matt, but many times I feel like I knew her and she knew me.
Today my daughter whipped up her first homemade pies using Gramma Vaughan’s mixer. Later today those pies will make the journey to the family cabin. The cabin was built for Matt’s Great-grandmother Nellie in the 1930’s. It has been the traditional hostess for family gatherings for almost 80 years. The women in this family have been strong, hard working, life loving girls who loved deeply and embraced the challenges life tossed at them. They are sturdy and built to last like the old Kitchen-aide. And like the old Kitchen-aide they offered sweet things to those who knew them. So another generation has stepped up and flipped the switch, added eggs and Carnation Evaporated Milk and Libby’s Pumpkin.
They say Thanksgiving is about family. In our kitchen, the heartbeat goes on. Time to peel some apples…
I was at the dentist yesterday because I broke a tooth Friday night. As I was trying not to listen to the sound of the drill “Unchained Melody” came on the radio playing in the office. Instantly my heart was flooded with gratitude and love.
The first time I heard that song was in the movie Ghost. I was a single mom at the time and remember just weeping as my heart made the agreement that I would never be loved like that. It wasn’t until years later that I would be sitting at a Righteous Brothers concert hold Matt’s hand on our honeymoon when I would heard Bobby Hatfield sing it live! My life isn’t like a movie. It is better. I am loved like that! It is real. It is my life!
Yesterday as my aging broken body was being bondo-ed back together it was because everything I needed had been provided by someone else. There was nothing I could do to fix my own brokenness. Matt provided the dental insurance by working to support our family. Dr. Comport studied and practiced for years to be able to do what he did so quickly and expertly. The woman behind the desk processes an insurance claim that will pass through invisible hands to be covered. And somewhere a station programmer decided that that was the perfect moment to play a song recorded by a man 50 years ago to remind me how deeply and completely I am loved and cared for.
You could say I have more to be thankful for than I could ever have imagined that night so long ago watching Ghost.