Spiraling Down, Inching Closer (There’s More series, pt. 6)


Image courtesy of Rawich at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It was as if an old version of me stood before the current me, whispering a lesson I’d forgotten.

I was kneeling next to my bookcase, an old Bible study guide in my lap. Moments before, out of nowhere, I’d gotten the overwhelming urge to clear through my bookcase. I’d pulled all the donatable books two weeks ago, but today, I’d decided that wasn’t enough; I had to get rid of some others. They wouldn’t be donated, just put out of sight.

Even though I was being rather fast and furious in my “everything, be gone” spree, there was one book I had the urge to flip through. I’d been doing shockingly well not flipping (as book lovers are often wont to do), but I couldn’t resist this urge as I held the old Bible study guide, even though it evoked bittersweet feelings. Continue reading

What No One Else Can Hear


ID-10011893Why do we associate silence with loneliness? Perhaps we mistake the blessing of solitude for the curse of loneliness.

Crazy as it may sound, I’ve learned that both solitude and loneliness can be good.

In the silence of being alone, the emptiness echoes a truth we don’t hear when we have people to turn to and the static of busyness to overpower the noise inside.

It’s the truth that our souls are utterly alone before God. Continue reading

Along the Back Roads


20140810_122833The woman looking at my paperwork glanced up and verified my hometown. “How’d you get here to South Dakota?” she said, almost in passing.

Picturing the miles between where I started and where I ended up, I smiled and said simply, “Via some back roads.”

Isn’t that the case more often than not? How often do we set about to do something and end up in a completely unexpected place?

As I got thinking more about back roads, I began to see ways God has used them to bring me closer to His plan. Continue reading

Clash of the Accents: “Here” vs “Hair”


Time for a humorous story! Things have gotten a little heavy around The Empty Inkwell lately, so I thought I dig deep into my abounding arsenal of awkward experiences and serve up some self-deprecation for everyone’s amusement. Enjoy a cringe on me. 😉


ID-10076950When I lived Down Under, accents got me in trouble more than once.

One instance stands out particularly well in my memory because it is forever etched with the hot iron of mortification.

It was at a hair salon where I’d never been before. Now, anything that involves hair, for me, is emotionally scarring. At that point in my life, my hair frizzed and puffed on the brink of hopelessness. Even if the hairdresser smiled politely from behind the bush in the mirror, the look in her eyes said, “I can’t do miracles, so don’t ask for any.” Continue reading

If Infinity Is the End


528264_10202086302389989_1795801970_n (1)For one moment last month, I thought I was going to die.

And now that you probably have a vision of me flipping a car or falling off a roof, I must admit it was nothing so dramatic. I was struggling to breathe, choking on a bite of food I’d hoped would give me the energy I needed before I dashed out again for a job interview. Nonetheless, when the Heimlich maneuver didn’t work for the second time and I feared making the problem worse, a thought came like a whisper: is this it?

Continue reading

Rest: Five Things I Learned on Sabbatical


I feel as if I need to reintroduce myself now that I’m back from sabbatical. I hope I’ve changed since being away, and I know The Empty Inkwell will look a little different from now on too. Check out my last post or the About page for more information about changes.

Without further ado, let’s get into it:


Rest-Five-Things-I (1)The day—okay, days—I found myself fighting tears as I sat down to write, I knew something wasn’t working. I had pushed myself to burnout. I’d ignored the symptoms for a long time, telling myself I didn’t have the luxury of a break. I was involved in several ongoing projects, finishing a course, and restarting a manuscript. Also, I’d just faced a Continue reading

Hard Decisions


ID-100159663Today, I declined an offer I’ve always dreamed of accepting.

Two months ago, when I received the email with the writing-related offer, I was flattered and excited, but for various reasons, it was not possible for me to immediately accept. There was a difficult decision before me. It was as if I’d been walking along the writer’s path, my head down in determination, when I was suddenly startled to find an intersection leading in two very opposite directions. From where I stood with obstructed visibility, either choice was Continue reading