For first-timers only


Brain things / Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

This post is for readers who have never commented in this space before. If you can’t remember whether or not you have – you’re fine. Stop being so conscientious.

If you are a regular commenter and leave a note here, I will take it down. Sorry. If you want to speak, leave a comment on the preceding post and I will personally reply to it. This one time.


Hello.

My name is Shari Zook, and I’ve been reading and writing in this space for five years. It’s easier to be silent, but I try to say something now and then, because I believe that words need to get out of our heads and into the world so they can do their job, communicating with other humans.

What is your name, and how long have you been here?

You don’t have to answer if you’re shy. I’m the shyest of the shy. You wouldn’t always know it to look at me, but I promise it’s true.

I love springtime, this time of year when all my perennials are pushing and the wind pounces on my house like a wild and living thing. It’s invigorating to be out and cozy to be in. For now I am in. My cat is curled sleeping on the rocking chair and I hear traffic going by on the road.

What do you hear? What do you love?

Oh look. She moved.

Do you know the first comment is the hardest? After that, it’s a little easier because you’re present, and visible.

This is just a quiet spot to say hi, and join the conversation.

Hugs,
(unless you’re male)
(in which case I offer a firm handshake) –
Shari

160 Replies to “For first-timers only”

  1. Hi Shari 🙂 I’ve been reading your blog for two-ish years now and enjoying every word. I enjoy anyone that makes me laugh. And anyone that makes me think, although that isn’t Always as much fun. As for why I never commented, I have no excuse…….
    I’m just inside your guess of a twenty-plus readership and not Mennonite, but almost 🙂 blessings and hugs, Ericka

  2. Hi, Shari! I’ve only been reading your blog for a couple months so I think that’s a pretty good excuse for not replying! ?I love to read about things that people love n deal with in everyday life. Spring is a favorite of mine and I’m a mommy to 2 year old Taegan. She’s a priceless gift through the miracle of adoption.
    Janae

  3. Hi Shari, I have been following you for about a year (since the writer’s conference in Harrisonburg last year.) I enjoy your writing. My kids are grown, but I can still identify with your mommy writing. I remember those days. Thanks for your transparency.

  4. Hi, Shari! I said to myself, Is that a cat on the chair? And it was. Having a cat inside is one of the luxuries of life. I’ve been reading your blog more-or-less since a wedding in your area (Oct. 2014) when I ended up at your church Sunday morning and saw this nice (think mixture of happy, and in-love-with-her-husband) lady across the way. And afterwards someone in my car load who knew of your blog wanted to meet you. One of the reasons I have had issues with commenting is that the technology can be defeating…even now there’s a very real possibility that after I’ve written all these WORDS, something will go wrong and I’ll either not get it sent or send it twice…

  5. I’ve been reading your thoughts for oh, I don’t know- 6 months? I like to hear honest people’s honest thoughts and I won’t say whether I like your style or not. Obviously I don’t hate it too bad cuz I keep coming back for more? I write too, to organize my thoughts, But I only email it to people who I know, partly because it’s less vulnerable. I can choose what to say, to whom. (I agree with the pedestal/ doghouse theory in a comment on your previous post, but when I’m IN the doghouse I don’t sit there thinking, “my, this is nice; I could be on a pedastal!”:)
    I am sitting on a chair with the taste of coffee lingering on my tongue, living in denial about all the work I have to get done yet… I battle chronic un-motivation about house work.
    I love God and the life He gave me- which is 95% Husband and son- corresponding with people, coffee, among other things.
    Keep writing!!!?

      1. I read my comment to a friend and she got a horrified look when I got to the 2nd and 3rd sentence. Do not misunderstand me- I only said that so you don’t under-rate my brain power LOL. You write well.

  6. Well, not sure if I’ve ever commented or not. If I did I doubt I left my name. Somehow when my name is attached to something it seems more weighty, almost commitment like. What if I say something people don’t like and it has my name on it? That’s not called bravery, is it?

    I’ve been reading your writings for probably a year or two now and I love your honesty. Honesty is on my list of important things to learn and some day when I grow up maybe I can be like you!

    1. I know the feeling about commitment: How badly might I pay for these words, and is it worth it? I fight my own wish to be anonymous (and not responsible for what I say) because the more of myself I bring with me, the more influence I have for good. I love your courage, Ann. Thank you.

  7. I’ve been reading your blog eagerly for over a year. I’m not exactly sure how I became aware of it, I think my sister introduced me to it. I read all your old posts, and was highly entertained, deeply touched, and mostly agreeing the whole way and enjoying the good discussions! 🙂 I was touched in a very personal way by you sharing your journey with SAD and depression – it was when I read those posts that I felt like I had found a friend who opened my door and didn’t leave me alone in the dark, and who identified in a very specific way. But I am very shy about posting publicly, so that’s why I didn’t comment. I’m still nervous about clicking “post”, but I want to step up and tell you thanks for posting about honest and real life.

    1. Thank you, Esther, for being brave enough to post. I am honored by your words about darkness, and glad to have been an unknowing friend to you in that lonely place.

  8. I’ve been reading your blog for several years, ever since a dear friend in China introduced me to it. Specifically I was interested in what you shared about SAD and depression. There’s something so comforting about knowing I’m not the only one.

    And I really do love your sense of humor as well! I will never forget the post where you dressed up in your fireman husband’s gear.

    I don’t have a good excuse for never commenting, other than I’m shy at times, and unsure about technology.

    Thanks for your patience. 😉

  9. Ok, so I have commented once before, but it was only to get into a giveaway (sheepish grin) so I’m choosing not to count that one. I’ve been reading for around two years. I’m sure I am a reader minority. 23-year-old Mennonite male, graduate of FB last spring, grade 5&6 homeroom teacher. It’s always a delight to hear your ruminations on family life, church life, and just life in general. A firm handshake to you and yours. -Tim

  10. I’ve been here too long to remember when. I’m a mom to more than a handful and I discuss your writings with friends of mine. I think we all like you because you are honest yet discreet. Know what I mean? Also because we discover through you we are all quite normal mom’s and that’s comforting in this age. I don’t comment why? I don’t know. It’s easier to read and go on my way. Or I’m reading one handed while feeding or loving or homeworking. I fall smack in the middle of your readership guestimate. Keep on writing.

    1. Thank you for using the words “discreet” and “normal:” I think that is one of the higher compliments of my life. 🙂 Glad to have you here.

  11. I’ve been reading your blog for probably 4- 6 months. I think it was my sister that told me about it. I really admire you for your honesty and transparency. I’ve known who your dad was for years and figured what you had to say was worth reading. Thanks for taking the time to blog. I’m sure it takes effort and commitment. Blessings on your life!

  12. I’ve been here, left and returned again just a few weeks ago after a friend shared a post and we rejoiced over your scandalous honesty & wished there were more people in our world with that refreshing trait. I’m mother to a darling 11 day old son and when I get brave enough to be honest & vulnerable I’d like to blog about life again.

    1. Awww! One of my favorite baby stages! though I admit it always takes me a while to recover equilibrium after giving birth. If you’re like me, give yourself lots of grace, and time… Hugs, Shari

  13. I’ve been reading your blog for probably a year & half. I always admire a writer that is so refreshingly honest & still lets others read her feelings/thoughts which I find Scary Business! My sister (who doesn’t have access to the internet) often asks me about your latest posts so I pull them up & she reads them out loud..she’s very good at oral reading btw & does justice to your posts! ? We empathize with the with the sad ones & laugh at the humorous ones ..the 1 about the high heeled shoes in particular! I’m secretly glad you find the need to write your thoughts & feelings & then are willing to share that all with us! I’m always intrigued with people who feel they must write ..I am Not Good at expressing myself verbally..I know what I feel & think but to put it all on paper..not a chance! ?

  14. I’ve been hanging around the fringes for a few years now and was drawn to your raw honesty about so many things. I lived through the dark fog of post-partum depression, traumatically misscarried our angel baby, and have a three year old and a little girl the age of your youngest. In my heart there burns a flame in the name of foster care, and it scares me silly in the middle of the night. I wonder if my heart could bear it? There is equal terror in doing or not doing it. I met your sister when we were both visiting in Ireland and she became engaged that weekend.

    1. Ooh. I have more to say about that “flame” than I ought to tackle here. Maybe in a post soon… You expressed the “equal terror” very well. Courage to you!

  15. I’ve been reading your blog, approx. 3 years. Married 30 years, 50 years old. We were blessed with 4 sons and 1 daughter.
    I enjoy reading your blog, and your intresting stories, God bless you for being free to write it like it is… ( God also bless you with good friends, who appreciate you!) ?
    The busiest stage for me was when I had 5 working men to feed n wash for all at once…. I have gray hair, earned everyone of them..? with all the stunts boys love to pull over a mom… starting- 3 1/2yrs..ago.. In 3 years time 3 sons found wonderful wives, as we are so blessed! We have grandchildren in heaven and 3 down here, 2 of them are foster.. you can email if you want the rest of the story… that explains how I found your blog.

    1. God has blessed me with the loveliest of friends! Thank you, Louise. Grand-mothering foster children is an adventure of its own, and I wish you grace and joy.

  16. I’ve been reading your blog for several years. I read it because I think your blog is interesting and it’s fun to hear about other people’s everyday lives and how they process life and being a mom to small children. I read it because I don’t get out much and by reading mom blogs I feel like I’m part of the real world and what other ladies are thinking and doing even though I don’t actually have the opportunity to sit down and have coffee with you. And I read it because I love to read and often run out of books to read. I love how you are just honest and say it how it is and you’re so good at putting your thoughts on paper. I’m scared to do that after being hurt too many times. And by the way, I read lots of blogs but I never comment on them anymore. Sometimes I think of a good comment but somebody else has already said it and the few times in the past that I commented (not on yours) it wasn’t acknowledged and that made me feel stupid and wonder what was wrong with what I said. Keep up the good and interesting writing!!

    1. Well, this is me saying you and your words are not stupid. I know the feeling though. Words are vulnerable, and an easy way to get hurt. Thanks for being brave – don’t stop. 🙂 You gain more than you lose.

  17. Hi Shari, By the time I’m done reading your newest blog post either I am laughing or crying or taking up pen and paper and writing you a letter (which never gets sent for some reason) or in this case – finally leaving a comment. I’m a MN girl and know your family from Maranatha Bible School days. Thank you for writing! A friend told me about your blog a couple years ago and I’ve been enjoying it ever since. Dawn Harshbarger

  18. I don’t remember how long I’ve been reading your blog and I think I stumbled upon it thru the homejoys blog. I’m always sad when there is long silence and love reading each post. I like reading about real life and appreciate that you don’t try to pretend it’s different. I too went back n read all your old posts and vividly remember finding your posts on SAD. I cried buckets of tears at the memories it brought back of the saddest most horrible time of my life. I’m halfway thru 30 and mother to 3, and wife to a husband who is good at keeping me out of my comfort zone 🙂 I don’t comment because that takes me out of my comfort zone!

    1. I see I will have to get better at taking you out of your comfort zone! 😉 Thank you for being honest, Wanita. The dark times are not fun to remember, and I know it well.

  19. Hello. My name is Geneva and I have been reading your blog for about a year. As I read this post I felt as if you were talking specifically to me. 🙂 I have almost commented several times and have no good reason why I didn’t. I am 22 years old and a first time mom to my little Vienna. Your honesty about depression has been so helpful to me. And ironically…. I just started my own little blog a week ago and suddenly I understand how valuable comments are to a blogger. I’m sitting here thinking I need to go back to every blog I have ever read and at least say, “Thanks for writing!” It takes courage to put words on paper and I thank you for being brave.

  20. Hi! I’m Becky and for the first half of my life I shared the same last name as you! That gives you a good guess at my age!! I came across your blogs through Gina Martins blog about 4 months ago. Went to Bible School with your husband. You may know my sister Roselyn or maybe she knows your sister!!! I’m not sure which way it is but I think she went to bible school with someone in your family! I spend a lot of time in my rocking chair with our 8th baby, 6th son!! I really enjoy your blogs and reading other people’s comments. Just don’t take time to formulate my own. Being a mom is certainly not for the faint-hearted!! Hearing your stories and thoughts are always refreshing. And it’s encouraging to know other families are like ours and other couples struggle to get enough time together!! Keep on!

    1. Well, if our sisters know each other that has to count for something… Thanks for your words. Mothering is a full-time job and then some – and I don’t have eight!

  21. Hi, I’m Sadie.
    I’ve been here for a couple years, give or take. I like your style of writing and I find your humor refreshing. I love to read, and have many subscriptions to blogs that I don’t always get to. But when your new posts hit my inbox, I always read them. I’m not trying to flatter, I’m just being honest.
    Thank-you for your bravery in building an online presence.
    Blessings to you and your family! ❤

    1. God bless you, Sadie. It sounds like have been through a great deal, and have had the courage to make changes and reach for healing. God is good!

  22. I’ve been an avid, yet silent reader of your blog for several years. But now I am taking a deep breath…. 🙂 I am a forty – something divorced Mennonite mom of four girls. (gasp!!) That “D” word is just part of the reason I have never left a comment here. It felt safer somehow to enjoy your words unnoticed. My youngest girlie, age 9, was born with a rare chromosomal deletion, along with a seizure disorder. So I enjoyed your earlier posts on training children and dealing with challenging behaviors. And your knowledge and perspective of SAD/depression is so spot on. By way of “connections”, Sheldon and Jayne Zook from MN are my brother and sister-in-law. Blessings as you continue to blog. Your honesty and your willingness to make yourself vulnerable are refreshing.

    1. You’re the one who sent me that lovely snail-mail note! Right?

      I did not gasp when you said divorced. But I can only imagine the loneliness, and I’m so sorry. God bless you as you parent alone, especially with a high-needs child… Saying a prayer for you tonight.

      1. Now that you mention it…… yes! Perhaps it was in response to your post “The Forgotten One”?
        I remember that one felt like a direct message from Jesus to me.

  23. Howdy! We’re TOTAL strangers to each other. But I think I’m getting to know you. Of course you don’t have the same advantage of reading my thoughts and feelings! I’ve been reading your blog for less then a year. I stumbled across it through another person’s blog if I’m remembering correctly. I was very intrigued to find we shared same first names! Well my full name is Sharilyn, but everyone calls me Shari! Also I love reading and crawling into another person’s brain! ? So in all, I’m glad I decided to subscribe to your blog! ?
    Just a little more about me – my husband, Wynne, and I have been married for 3 years. We have one little girl, Alanna, who is almost 22 months old. And another little somebody who is to arrive in May!
    We live in Lisbon, Ohio!
    Now I might be 10% less of a stranger to you!!

    1. Don’t tell anyone, but we share full names too. I’m not especially partial to mine, though I have friends who tell me it’s elegant. (I like those friends.) Thanks for introducing yourself! And best wishes as you wait for that precious new person.

  24. Hi Shari! I have been following your blog for a year or so after my mother in law introduced me to it. I love reading blogs and always ‘click-through’ when yours pops up on my blog reader. I really enjoy your writing style and humorous, straightforward manner of speaking. I have dreamed of doing foster care since I was a girl and have particularly enjoyed your posts on this. Keep up the great work!

  25. Hmm… What to write??? Reading your blog for probably over a year. A no nonsense Mom of five. Born to Amish parents who moved to Honduras when I was 3 1/2. Grew up there, married my husband there and now live in US since 1994. Sometimes I don’t understand the drama of Mennonites, even tho I’m one. 25th Anniversary coming up this week!

    1. Somebody told me I missed replying to you and I am sorry to see it is true! 🙁 I guess I WAS tired, and I am very sorry.

      The “drama” is a good word; I think all groups have it and ours has plenty. I would love to know what growing up in Honduras was like. Happy anniversary to you and your husband! Thanks for commenting.

  26. I’m a really new reader, maybe a couple of months. I found your blog through a friend’s blog roll, and the voice that came to me from your pages seemed like a friend worth talking to.
    I’m a 23-year-old, Mennonite, first grade teacher from southern Ontario who loves words, especially when written. I have a blog of my own that you may check out if you like. https://travelight94.wordpress.com/
    I felt with you as you wrote of your mother’s cancer. My mom died of breast cancer that spread to her brain when I was eight. I always think that it would be tougher to lose a mom now. My mother was mommy to me, but your mother is a mother and friend. I hope you get to keep her longer. 🙂
    I also appreciated your previous article. I’ve realized that since I’ve started blogging, people that saw me as just their niece or a girl at church, suddenly realized that I had a voice and would love to be their friend! I love getting that text that says that what God laid on my heart to write was exactly what they needed. Seriously, that whole article you wrote about comments was spot-on.
    Keep writing!
    Yolanda

    1. I’ve just been reading comments and now realized why I recognized your mother. I’ve met her through attending FB teacher’s weeks and summer term. I’m heading there for TAP this fall. So, if I’m reading into this correctly, I might meet you in person. 🙂

  27. I have been following your blog for a long while. If I ever commented, it’s been so long ago I have forgotten. I enjoy your posts and your honesty, but I don’t comment because I don’t know you very well (we did meet at FB about 6 years ago) and the past few years have left me feeling like I have nothing to say.

    1. I remember you commenting on my blog long ago! but I’m glad you spoke up now. I wonder about the story behind “the past few years…” and I wish you peace. And a knowledge of the worth He places on you. Hugs.

      1. There is definitely a story behind “the past few years” but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to publicly share much of it. Thank you for your kind words!

  28. I’ve followed your blog since last year when I learned about it, probably “in a Christian setting so conservative-minded that [you] figured if [you] mis-dressed or mis-spoke [you] might as well build [your] own coffin and go lie down in it, cuz it was all over.” I’m glad we didn’t need to conduct a funeral, even if we could have supplied enough clergy and mourners.

    I once hosted Sheila J. Petre without knowing who she was, and so there’s a friend we both know, and I’ve also learned to know your family slightly through a couple of friends (Herr and Herr) that went to Maranatha in 2003-2005ish, and through Single Ladies seminars years ago at DLM.

    I don’t hear anything right now–except the occasional sigh/snore from my 18 month-old son, sleeping already. My 3 year-old husband isn’t home from Bible study yet. Okay, the marriage is 3 years old. I’m 38 (and pregnant) and James is 42.

    What I like about your blog is that you don’t write unless you have something to say, which is usually the same reason I don’t comment. Write on. I enjoy it and occasionally squirm because my toes have been stepped on (in a good way.)

    1. Oh dear. If I had known so many people would recognize that venue I would not have described it in exactly those terms. Grin.

      Mutual friends are a lovely thing. Is your husband the one my husband used to hang out with? That would be a happy thing too…

      1. Don’t fret. I think anyone reading your blog knows how to take your description. And yes, our husbands know each other.

  29. I’ve been following your blog for at least five or six years, and commented before, but never to introduce myself. I’ve lived in Nicaragua since ’98 but have plans to move to the US this summer. I love good books and good writing -realness, humor, and topics relevant to my life, so I read your blog! 🙂 Can I say I love your writing style?? 🙂 And I usually have a firm rule to not get involved in the comments section, so as not to get ticked off at or bored by people’s comments, but yours is definitely an exception. Keep on writing, you make my day!

      1. No kidding. If you find those posts let me know, because I’d like to read them too! 😉

        I am glad you like my comment section. Thanks for adding your voice.

  30. Hello,
    I have read your blog off and on for a long time. Sometimes I read every post and sometimes then it will go for a while before I pick it back up again. But since moving near my sister and brother-in-law I have been a little more tuned in. They are faithful readers.
    I’m not usually brave enough to comment because I’m not the most eloquent, I rarely write for the whole world to see, or my life is a busy one and I don’t get around to doing it.
    So basically I’m commenting now to satisfy my sister. There…. Wendy does this make you happy?? ?

  31. Hi. I’m Florence.
    I think I’ve been reading your blog around two years, though I’ve never commented because I am terrified of having my words immortalized in the comments. I read your blog because it is interesting and because I like to learn from other writers. Thank you for sharing your words through blogging.

    1. “Immortalized” is a heavy word. How about we pick something like “held” in the comment section – “preserved”? – “pickled”? Oh dear, this is not going good places. Thank you for facing your terror. 🙂

  32. Hi, I suppose you know me. And if living in the same community for 10+ years counts, I guess I could say I know you, too. Although I don’t know if I ever said more than a few words to you. I don’t know why I’ve never commented except I really don’t comment on any blogs, though I follow several. Thanks for your honesty in writing, I really enjoy your transparency and insight. I am a mom of 2 and life is difficult for me in this stage. I have often come away from your posts feeling inspired, encouraged and uplifted. I am not exactly sure when I subscribed to your blog, maybe 2 years or more?? Keep on writing! Hugs!

    1. I didn’t know you were a reader! & I don’t see you often. 🙁 If it’s any comfort, having two kids was my HARDEST stage in mothering, period. I hope that will give you courage… in my opinion it does not get worse from there, and parts of it get much easier. Thanks for saying hello, Irene. I’ve always admired your gentle spirit.

  33. Hi! I’m Shannon, Heidi Martin’s SIL. One day my mother (new to the Internet in the last 2 years 😉 ) asked me, “Do you read Shari Zook’s blog?” And ever since then, I have subscribed to your posts, never once NOT wanting to read one of them. I find your honesty refreshing and encouraging, and being a mom of 2 (almost three) under 4 years, I can identify with the mothering bits that you write about. Keep up the great work!

    1. Well hi, Shannon. I love Heidi. 🙂 And moms who jump into the internet with both feet – mine is more gadget-savvy than me. Thanks for your encouraging words, and blessings to you in your busy mothering!

  34. Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now, ever since CLP writers conference last year. (By the way, I didn’t notice your shoes at all.) I loved your classes there so I went home and found your blog. I’m only sixteen so I guess I’m a minority on here but I really enjoy your writing.

    1. I am so BUMMED that you didn’t notice my shoes! What was the point of losing those toenails?!

      {wink} Just kidding. I am thrilled to hear from a teenager – Thanks for speaking up!

  35. Hi Shari- I’ve been reading your blog for about a year. Somehow I learned that you were John and Barbara Coblentz’s daughter so I figured you would have something worthwhile to say! I grew up in Hartville, OH and know some of your relatives from there. Your aunt Ruthie was my 4th grade teacher! I now love in SC. I really enjoy reading your honesty and down to earth wisdom. I am a mom of 4, and homeschool my 3 youngest children. Our oldest has graduated. This past Sept. your mom spoke at the ladies seminar in Hartwell, GA. I really enjoyed her sessions. Soon after that, I read on your blog about your mom’s cancer. I was so sorry to hear that. May God’s strength be ever present as you all walk this journey with your mother. Thank you for your inspiring blog posts! God bless you and your family.

  36. Dear Shari: My friend Hope Byler shared your blog with me and I’ve been enjoying it for maybe a year. I often find myself either laughing or crying as I read but definitely thinking and I like that. I am almost 57, a mother and grandmother and go to a Mennonite church though I didn’t grow up Mennonite so I don’t always “get” all the inside culture, but we fit best with you all since we cover and dress modestly. I’m not sure why I haven’t commented – perhaps didn’t feel I had anything significant to add to the conversation. I’ll try to be more courageous and forthright. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing.

    1. Please don’t feel pressure to comment if you don’t enjoy it, but I really value your perspective – as a grandmother and fresh-eyed churchgoer. Thanks for introducing yourself!

  37. Hi Shari. My name is Katrina Chupp. I’ve been reading your blog for several years and I love your honesty. You say things that I can relate to but struggle to put into words. Thank you.
    I am currently working at Faith Builders in housekeeping and help with 1st and 2nd grade break on Tuesday at FBCS so I’ve gotten to know your daughter Kelly. I would love to meet you sometime! Blessings!

  38. I first read your blog when a friend told me about your “single” posts in 2014. (Yes, I’m a single over 30.) I loved your perspective as a married woman. I’ve only recently started following your blog regularly, but always find it refreshing with its honesty and humor. Blessings!

  39. I’m not a first-timer, but a rare commenter. I was just thinking, as I saw your posts come up in my feed reader, how much I enjoy your writing…well, really you: your honesty and determined faith and sense of humor! I know you through your friend Anita (whom I’ve met in real life)..and I met your sister in real life, thanks to your blog!

  40. PS I forgot to mention that I’m not Mennonite. Also, it seems stingy not to mention that I relate to your courage because I’ve had brushes with depression, love people who’ve experienced it even more deeply…and because it takes me some courage to write about singleness. I also like what an earlier commenter said about you being honest with discretion. That’s not easy! It seems to take some real humility and reliance on the Holy Spirit. But honesty with discretion is so very refreshing and life-giving.

    1. Thank you, Elisabeth. You are a commenter I remember and always enjoy, and your PS was very worthwhile. 🙂 This word “determined” is a good word for faith, and one that gives me hope to go on. I love Anita and Jean, and I admire single women who are honest about singleness. Thank you.

  41. Hi Shari, I have been reading your blog going on 2yr. I always say “YES!” When I see you have a new blog post. I have a difficult time putting my feelings into words and most times your writings express well what I am feeling. Okay so I don’t always connect but I enjoy reading your blog. I admire your gift of putting your thoughts/feelings into words. Blessings!

  42. I have been reading your blog for a number of years and so much of it resonates with me! Also many years ago we were little girls playing together at MBS. ? Blessings to you and yours!

    1. Ohh! You’re that Misty?? Hi, I remember really liking you. Do you remember your dad taking us for a plane ride and me holding onto your arm “for dear life”? (Your words at the time.) I was embarrassed afterwards but I was sure we were going to go down… it was my first time in a plane and the earth was slanting at such an awful angle through that tiny window. I am happy to hear from you!

  43. Thanks for writing; I’ve been reading for maybe a year, plus a lot of your previous posts. I’ve enjoyed it so much; I love reading.I think I found your blog through another one, maybe home joys? I have two young boys, and don’t know what I’m doing (although I love what I’m doing) as a mom! I don’t know you or your family, but wish you all the best! -Heather Puffer

    1. “Don’t know what I’m going… although I love what I’m doing…” {smile} That is motherhood in a nutshell and I wish you great gladness! Thanks for commenting.

  44. I have composed several comments in my head and had various well worded reasons as to why I haven’t commented before but what it really comes down to is that I’m too scared. I have been learning many lessons about self-worth this winter and if I have a choice between jumping and dying or standing still and dying, I’d rather jump. So here goes;)
    I’ve been hiding in the woodwork for close to 3 years I think. I am 23, have been married for almost 3 years and have a 7 month old daughter. (She is the reason for most of the aforementioned lessons)
    I read your blog because: words. Silly, of course it’s all about words but written words to me are life and breath. It’s the way I make sense of life’s atrocities and idiosyncrasies. Words are like wind in pine trees or sunshine on the face.
    Please keep on writing! Some of us are not so brave as that

    1. Excuses are so much better well-worded. You did a lovely job.

      First babies are HARD, at least mine was, even when they’re so delightful too. I think if we really knew what we were worth to Jesus we’d probably explode with the wonder of it. Courage and joy and many beautiful words to you!

  45. I’m not sure how long I have been reading your blog. One reason for not commenting is fear of putting myself out there. I am a 40 yr old homeschooling mom of 6 children ages 6-18. I found encouragement thru your post on SAD when I was in the thick of it. I appreciate your honesty and courage in doing life especially fostering.
    I have never met you. I have sat in at least one Helping People in Need Seminar with your father teaching and last year in your mother’s class at REACH. I’m sorry to hear of her cancer journey.
    To answer the other questions…..I hear truck traffic over on the main route thru town and inside the playing with Lego houses by girls who should be doing school. I love the warm sunshine of spring. Blessings as you continue to write!

  46. Hi! I’m Twylene Musser and I had the pleasure of taking your Surprised By Grace workshop at Oasis Ladies’ Retreat several years ago. Your humor and honesty drew me and someone told me you blog, so I’ve been a reader since then. I can hear my 2 and 5 year olds outside right now (though come to think of it…it’s rather quiet…not a golden thing, silence when they’re that age…better check that out.) We have four children we’ve been blessed with through the foster care system…although they’re all adopted now….ages 7 and under. Thank you for taking the time to let us catch a glimpse of your wonderfully full and blessed and imperfect life! We need more mommies like you! 🙂

    1. I remember your face, and I love Oasis! I am blessed by your heart for children… You have received Jesus and the Father into your home. (Mark 9:37) Blessings as you love them every day!

  47. Not sure when exactly or how I started reading your blog. I love to read. I don’t love to write. So no comments from me. But if comments encourage you to keep writing, I will try to do that, Occasionally. I’m white, menno, female, & 45. I enjoy your blog because you seem willing to open a discussion on hard things. I wasn’t going to comment, but your cat picture made me feel safe. ☺️ I think I have commented once before, but never introduced myself to you. So feel free to delete this!

  48. I am Marsena Weaver, a faithful follower for at least 2 maybe 3 years. I Love reading your writings, they sometimes make me laugh, (which I like) and always make me think! Thank-you! Another thing I find refreshing is your lack of ‘Anabaptist/mennonite bashing. I know we have many things to learn and don’t feel in the least like we get it all right, but I VALUE what we stand for dearly. I am not offended in the least by the occasional snarky comments…I laugh at them.I enjoy the comments after your articles sometimes as much as the article. I LOVE a good debate!! 🙂 I think I might have commented before on a give away, not even sure. I will quit commenting on your writing now for fear of you ‘not liking me’. 😉 I would love to meet you in person…our husbands know each other, bless his heart for salvaging many of our pictures when our laptop got ‘infected’. I think I actually shed a few tears when he said he was able to save most of the pictures….I didn’t loose baby pics of our 2 youngest after all! I spent about half of my growing up years an hour north of you at Lake View Pilgrim church. You know to many of my family and in-laws to make much comment:-) (Matt & Han, David & Crystal, Chris & Ruth Weaver) are all dear in-laws of mine. We live in VA, and have 4 children, and enjoy many gorgeous mountain views. Another thing I love is the shorter winters, and GORGEOUS season of Spring. Come check it out sometime!

    1. I am glad Ryan could save your pictures – that would make me cry too; photos are so important. I am with you on the church bashing, for any church group – not a fan even though it’s easy to do. I’m delighted to hear from you and you are in no danger of me not liking you. 🙂 Thank you so much!

  49. I can’t remember if I’ve ever commented here or not. I think I’ve read your blog since close to the beginning. You’re one of a handful of Menno mommy bloggers I enjoy regularly reading, because I can identify with the culture and stage of life. I really miss “you” when you go silent for a time, and hope you’re just busy and not going to quit blogging. I think I faintly remember you and your sister from an SMBI family week years ago.
    I’m a mom to three. Most of my days feel very full of routine: laundry, dishes, and keeper of world peace. I love a good book (or blog!) with coffee in my few moments of quiet.

    1. Busy or going to quit blogging – it has been a toss up a few times, but thank you. 🙂 Keeper of world peace is a lovely title. The earth needs more of those, and from what I can tell they often work with a laundry hamper on one hip and a child on the other. Thanks for your words.

  50. Hello, Thanks for writing. I don’t know you in person, but I do enjoy your writing about down to earth issues we deal with as moms! I despise cats and find nothing discouraging about gray days and winter so we are not alike on those counts. But I do find everything discouraging about sunshine and hot weather – is that reverse SAD?I have 4 children – age 8 and under. I live in the middle of a city where Mennonites are few and “strange” – although I am one myself. Please keep writing – it usually makes me laugh or cry!

    1. Wait, hold on. This is a definite deal-breaker. You despise cats?! Okay, I’ll forgive you.

      {wink} I actually have a local friend who says the same thing about gray days vs. hot weather. She says she loves the gray days because they are cozy and beautiful. Fog is a gift of God, and keeps her from seeing that her windows need washing!

      Thanks for commenting, Brenda.

  51. I forgot to add – I’ve been reading for about 3 yrs and never comment because I despise writing – unless it is to make a list..

  52. I’ve been reading here a few years and haven’t commented because it feels strange to pop up out of nowhere when we don’t know each other at all! I found your blog from reading Dorcas… And yes, I’m a 30-some mom of 3. ☺️ Blessings to you!

  53. I don’t know you or any of your friends. I’ve never met a third cousin of yours, and I didn’t go to (or even recognize) any of those initials you throw out.
    But I enjoy your blog tremendously. I appreciate your honesty, sometimes I feel decidedly friends after I read a post.
    And most of all I like your relationship with the boss. It reminds me of my not the boss. We’ve got a good thing going on.

    1. A marriage with laughter is a heavenly thing. Thanks for commenting, in spite of the lack of mutual cousins and initials. 🙂 You made me grin.

  54. I am Brenda Gingerich. I discovered your blog during late night feedings with my infant daughter. She is now 4, so I’ve been a silent fan for a while.

    You and I were teachers’ kids many years ago at MBS. A thin wall separated our bedrooms in The Apartment, and our mothers were saints for making that place a home. Such happy memories there. You were quite a bit younger than I; my younger siblings probably remember you a lot better than I do.

    I’ve lived in Guatemala for the past 14 years and as I write I see flaming red hibiscus flowers and waving palms. I hear roosters crowing and the roar of the corn mill at our neighbours. I live with the love of my life who keeps me from taking myself and life too seriously. We have two biological children and have welcomed eight Guatemalan boys into our home over the past 12 years. Only one of those boys still lives with us; he came when he was five, and will be 16 tomorrow.

    I love the window you give me into your life. Your blog is diverse, thought provoking, hilarious at times, and as refreshing as a cool lemonade on a hot day. I haven’t commented before but now after the first plunge, it doesn’t look as scary to *maybe* do it again.

    1. Hello again, Brenda! Our mothers were truly saints. And you were a very Grown Up and Mature Person in my young eyes. 🙂 As an adult I’ve had most contact with Esther (through FB) and also, on occasion, Corleen. I love your glimpse of Guatemala life… It sounds awfully alluring in contrast to my gray March day. Thank you for your beautiful words. I’d love to hear from you again.

  55. Hi, Shari! I met you a number of years ago at FB but never learned to know you well. I’ve been reading your blog for a few years (not sure how many) and find your writing to be refreshingly honest and thought-provoking. You articulate ideas and experiences in a way that allows other people to “breathe” and admit the truth. I don’t usually comment on blogs and I’m trying to decide why. Putting anything on the WWW is vulnerable because people do all sorts of strange things with your thoughts and turn them into things you never intended. So I am doing something unusual today and commenting on your blog. 🙂

    As for some things I enjoy, I love hiking, biking, cake decorating, and music. Currently I’m looking at the row of desks in my classroom. I teach at a school for teen girls and they keep my life sparkling with challenge, drama, laughter, tears, and continually invite me to live authentically.

    Blessings and grace to you! -Bettina

    1. Yes. The world wide web can be a scary place. Thank you for doing what you do not usually do, and for blessing me with your kind words. I enjoyed your sparkling description of what you love!

  56. Well, I think I have commented before, but that was many moons ago… You and I were the youngest students 3rd term 2000 at MBS, back in the days when most knew me better by my rather unorthodox nickname ‘Mose.’ I have matured beyond that stage, for the most part, I think. Your blog offers me opportunities to procrastinate with my chores, yet inspire me with something deeper than the general dander that is Facebook or local news apps, and for that I thank you! I’ve been following you for a number of years, encouraged and challenged by your honesty.

    What do I hear? The constant noise of construction of a 29-unit apartment building across the street – one of the few cons of living inner city. Otherwise I fit your stereotype 30-something Mennonite wife quite well. I also hear my 3 year old daughter frenetically whispering in her bed, willing herself not to fall asleep before I tell her she can get up from her ‘nap.’

    Keep writing! I’ll keep reading…but may or may not comment more frequently.

    1. Well hi! 🙂 Those were very good days, at MBS. For being the youngest students we sure were responsible and well behaved, no? I would love to know you at this stage of life. Your word choices were delightful, especially “dander” and “frenetically.” Been there, get that. Hugs and warm regards.

  57. Hi I’ve commented once before. I’m a Skrivseth girl from Wisconsin and took a class of your dad’s at MBS back in the day. I don’t remember you from those days though. But I enjoy your writing very much. Mostly I like how you put the words together and your descriptions of real life, and even our Mennonite culture. And your bravery in writing the hard topics. God bless.

  58. Hi, I know you probably have no idea who I am, but I am Ginny Yoder’s daughter. I’ve been reading your blog for probably close to a year and I’ve enjoyed it a lot!

    1. Aw, how wonderful! I love your parents and grandparents very much. I think my memories of your mother are from when she was not much older than you. Oh dear – now I feel ancient. Thank you for being brave and introducing yourself!

  59. Well I guess it’s my turn. After seeing how brave so many others were and how nice you were to them, I’ll take the plunge. ?
    My name is Rhoda Martin and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying your blog for a year or two. I may have commented before, but just for a give away. I was introduced to your blog by my sister, Rosalie Snyder, who graduated last year at FB. I’m a 27 year old mom who often wonders how she got to be a mom!! My husband of 6 1/2 years and I have 2 girls, ages 5 & 3 and I’m 23 weeks pregnant. We live beside the never sleeping Rte 322 and have one jealous pet, a 6 year old St. Bernard who loves snapping little kitten’s necks. We’d so love to have cats!
    I find myself surrounded by women with closed hearts; therefore find your heart’s expressions very life giving! I view you as a role model, a beautiful example of a heart that’s throbbing with life and vitality. I really need people like that to speak into my life. So thank you!!! I would be so sad if you quit blogging!
    God bless you and yours!!

    1. Ooh, I liked Rosalie though I didn’t get to know her well. Thanks for your comment – it was a great introduction to yourself – and your kind words. I wish you joy in your pregnancy!

  60. Hi…I’ve been a silent reader here for 2 or 3 yrs. Not sure how I found your blog (I think through another one). I’ve never commented on any blog before. This takes me way out of my comfort zone! But I wanted to prove to myself I can do this. ☺
    I fall into your demographic. Although, I was a bit startled to find I am closer to the older age than the younger. How did that happen?!? I am 40, married and have 3 children. I very much appreciate your writings and hands-down your blog is my favorite! Blessings to you.

    1. I am proud of you! Good job! 🙂 I do things just to prove it to myself too… and usually I don’t regret it although the Roller Coaster Incident may have been an exception. Thanks for your nice words, Rachael.

  61. I fall into the category – almost 30 (not sure how that happened), married 10 years, with 4 children, mennonite by denomination…. I found your blog through another just a few months ago and have been enjoying checking in now and then. Blessings to you!

  62. Hi Shari.
    I only met you once or twice, but I feel like I know your family a little bit and I love y’all much. My connection to you was through your sis-I’m honored to have her for one of my closest friends. I’m Ashley-I was in her bridal party. I stumbled across your blog over the time Jean blogged about her cancer journey. I’ve never commented because I’m in the shy department and because I don’t understand why anyone would care about my personal life or thoughts. =} I love how your funny stories remind me to not be so serious, how your deep posts give me something to ponder midst the dishes and diapers, and how your honesty encourages me to be vulnerable. Thanks for writing.

    1. You were the most gracious expectant-mother-bridesmaid I’ve ever seen. 🙂 Jean talks about you, and I’m glad you commented. Thanks, Ashley.

  63. Hi Shari!
    Can’t remember if I ever commented or not but here goes. Evan and I have been reading your blog since we found out about it several years ago and this is basically the only blog we read.:) We laugh and sometimes I cry. I just love telling Evan, “See! even Shari’s children act like that!!” 🙂 We have 1 that reminds me of your 2nd child… I would love your blog even if I wouldn’t know you but having “grown up” with you, it makes it so much better.

    Why don’t I comment? It’s too scary! and I don’t have time.

    We have an organic dairy farm, (though we’ve had someone else to do most of the milking the past 2 years) make cheese to sell at the farmer’s market and few other places and grow some produce. We homeschool, butcher all our own meats, prepare most of our meals with things we produce on the farm and have babies! HA! HA! We have 5 children 10 and under and the TWINS are due within the next couple weeks. Exciting but you already know that twins cause even more crazy moments.
    I echo many others….keep writing and we’ll keep reading!!! Thanks for being so honest. It’s what makes it worth reading.
    Blessings and hugs ~Judith

    1. I didn’t know you read here! I’m very happy to hear from you… the last conversation I remember with you was when your firstborn was a baby. (Oh dear.) And now TWINS – I’m so happy for you!! That will be a wild ride and a lot of joy. Thanks for sharing about your life. It sounds idyllic and exhausting. Blessings and love!

  64. Hi, I’m Sherri Miller, and I’ve been reading your blog for 2-3 years probably. It’s one of my favorites. 🙂 These days, newborn cries and children’s voices are the most common sounds I hear. My husband and I, now married 6 1/2 years, have three children, ages 4, 2, and 2 weeks old. And by way of connection, I live just across the fields from Alison Hershberger. 🙂 I love springtime & being outside, along with a good cup of coffee.

  65. Hi, Shari,
    I’ve been reading your blog VERY sporadically for the last maybe to or three years. I love to read it though when I take the time. Your brain works differently than mine and to read your blog really makes me think sometimes in order to catch the meaning, and I love that 🙂 I’m actually a step first-cousin to your husband 🙂 Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  66. Hi, I don’t remember how I learned about your blog but I do remember the post on singles that got me started reading your blog. I am Joann Yoder a 42 year old single and I love reading your blog. So many of your posts speak to my heart and address things I struggle with in life. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one and gives me courage. Also my Father was diagnosed 2 years ago with acinar cell carcinoma pancreatic cancer which is terminal. He still fights bravely on but is becoming very weary of the battle. So your recent posts of your Mothers cancer touched my heart. Also the post about feeling like God isn’t there but if we turn our back on Him where would we go. Thank you so much for writing, you have a way of putting my feelings into the words that elude me.

    1. Aw, I am really sorry about your father. 🙁 I imagine there’s a whole different level of pain involved when the diagnosis is “terminal.” May Jesus give him grace and patience, and you as you support him! I appreciate your words.

      1. Yes, it puts a whole new meaning to control and submission to God when there is no earthly way to fix it.

        Your ‘Monday’s Confession of Faith’ post is so very true in so many ways! Your sentences here “And I pray please, please be real. I need you to be real. Who will I turn to instead?” is my hearts cry.

        Thank you and I hope your Mom will soon find complete healing. Blessings to you and yours.

  67. I read because you are real! When I read blogs that seem to have life all wrapped up in a neat and tidy package, I get the quivers and hope they never get a look into my life. 🙂
    But why don’t I comment? I don’t know, probably because the uttermost depth of my brain seems to be only the surface of yours. 🙂 Keep writing.

      1. Giggle. Relax, I knew what you were saying and I fixed it for you. All better. I have to fix my own bloopers, much worse than that, all the time – the other day I was texting my BFF about the griefs in my life and I said … “my mom… my first kiss…” She said, “Your WHAT?!?!” Oh. I meant my FOSTER KIDS. Silly autocorrect, and I never caught it until too late. Your correction comment made me laugh. Thank you.

  68. Hi there! I have been reading your blog for the last several months..your one on what to buy your husband for Christmas made me laugh:) Looks like you have quite a lot of silent followers like me:) I do enjoy reading your thoughts tho!(And now everyone’s comments) And such a lot of comments to respond to! I think you got them all but one:) Must have been your poor tired brain that night…LOL 🙂 or maybe I just missed seeing your response:) I hope you caught up on your sleep by now…
    Blessings to you and yours..

    1. Thank you!! I totally missed that and needed someone to point it out. Oh help!

      I hope you found something to buy your husband. If you have any great gift ideas, you know where to share them. 🙂

      1. Couldn’t resist 🙂 As the saying goes- A friend in need is a friend indeed:)……… The blog on SAD that people are mentioning..is there a way I could still read that one?

  69. Am I too late??? I read your post about an up-coming post for first time commenters, and could NOT remember if I’ve commented before. Not often, but I’ve followed your blog for quite a while so how to know for sure? I don’t remember how I found you nor do I remember how long. Going with a guess of about 3 years ago. I follow you because I like what you say. Originally I believe it was your honesty combined with your occasional unconventional / unorthodox viewpoint. And that spoke to me at a time when life circumstances placed me outside the box of many of my fellow anabaptist peers. It was a struggle to know if or how I fit…so it was refreshing to me to read from someone with a different set of circumstances than mine. I guess it showed me that we are all different in some fashion or another, so even if I was the ‘odd’ one who didn’t fit there really was space for me….that the feeling that everyone else is alike but me is false and that even IF true it’s not bad. Oh this is confusing to explain! Can we just go with I like your writing and your humor?

    1. You might find it confusing to explain, but it made a LOT. OF. SENSE. to read. Especially this line where you put it in a nutshell: “Even if I was the odd one who didn’t fit, there really was space for me.” I have thoughts on that subject too, maybe coming up in a post sometime soon. You are exactly right, and I am happy you found peace there. Thanks for putting those thoughts into words… I’m glad you’re here.

  70. This is cracking me up! It’s like Commenter’s Anonymous. “Hi. I’m Suzy, and I’ve never commented before.” And in doing this I’m breaking my own personal code of things I don’t do. Kind of like I don’t go to ThirtyOne parties. A girl’s gotta live with herself, ya know? And I never, EVER comment on blog posts. But when something gives you the giggles it kind of changes things.
    Why the aversion to commenting? Among other things, all those other readers. WHO exactly is out there reading my comment? Imagine talking to a room full of people but you can’t see them, and they may or may not be able to see you. Weird.
    Then there’s the stereotypes. The Fawning Gushing Commenter, the Horrified Offended (probably anonymous) Commenter, the Poor Pitiful Me Commenter, the Frequent Flyer…..ok, you get the point. I really, really want to steer clear of all those camps, and in my desperate, alternative route I fell into the Can’t Be Concise ditch. Sigh. And it’s very ungenerous of me to judge a person on a comment or two. We all have our foibles and trust me, mine are every bit as bad and most likely worse than the next persons.
    Seriously, though. To you and people like you, keep writing and putting the good stuff out there! If God gave you that gift, He wants you to use it and develop it, and we forget so easily that this is a freedom most people in the world don’t have. I’m a voracious reader, so I’m always reading something, and with all the worthless fodder clogging up the internet, it’s great to have something with content right at my fingertips. For real. And if there’s anything that keeps me coming back to a blog to read more, it’s realism tempered with humor, and you have a lot of that. If you make me laugh I’ll keep reading, and laughing, and reading, and coming back for more, and laughing again as my house falls down around my ears. Apparently, I have some discipline issues concerning housework and good books/writing. Whatever the case, it’s such a consolation to know others deal with the same things I do in life and relationships, and if we can laugh about it sometimes? Yes, please. More importantly, if you make me think, I’ll keep reading. Some days when it’s just me, myself, and my thoughts rattling around in this house (and a one year old daughter, who I love fiercely), I feel like my brain is rotting out and I need something thought provoking (of funny) to hold me over until my husband (who I’m crazy about) comes home and I can barrage him with the 1,000 things I’ve thought about that day. But I try to be subtle. I said all that to say, you make me think and that’s a good thing.
    So this is an impressive epistle for a first time commenter. Which is most likely the very reason I’ve never commented before. I knew this might happen. But I’m going to stop now and finish cleaning my house. I’m really going to do it.

    1. Good humor here. I enjoyed your stereotypes, and your non-conciseness. 😉 I too get lost in thoughts rattling around in my head, and my husband comes in for more than his share. He probably WOULD describe me as talkative – I should ask him. Or maybe not. Thank you for your never, ever comment; I liked it very much.

  71. Hello, I happened upon your blog one day as a teenager, and it caught my attention. I’ve been reading now for several years and am no longer a teenager but still enjoy your honest words. Because I love children, I enjoy reading about your house full of them. I also love that you are honest about your discouraging moments. I guess I don’t comment because often I don’t feel the need to (maybe because I feel like why would a wise married women need to hear from a 21-year-old?) but mostly it’s because I don’t enjoy the possibility of my words being read by a whole lot of people who could judge me only by these few words.

    1. And for my part, I wonder why anyone would need to hear from me.

      I think the world turns more smoothly when we each learn from the other… though I totally understand about the judging! Thank you for being brave and commenting anyway. <3

  72. Hope I’m not too late. I was too busy this last while to do much reading. The reason I never commented…I guess I’m too shy. I think my husband discovered your blog for me a few years ago. He was researching something about I’m not sure what anymore and came across your husband’s website and somehow through that found your blog and thought I should follow it. So I did and I’m so glad I did! Your writing has blessed me so many times. “To the Forgotten One” that you posted last summer is bookmarked and I’ve read it many times. And you might like to know that Amos Stoltzfus is my uncle. We visited your church this past August while on our anniversary trip. Thank you for writing! I find as a mom to an energetic 4 & 3 year old and another baby due in April that sometimes I just need some encouragement from other people in my shoes! God bless your day!

    1. Amos and Shaunda are very dear friends of ours! 🙂 Thanks for introducing yourself. I wish you JOY in these busy days of mothering, especially as you await your new addition!

  73. Hi Shari, I don’t know how long I’ve been reading your blog . I can’t remember if I ever commented or not. You see, I’m over 50, shhh! No, I really don’t mind. I’m still really only 25 or maybe 30, and so I really enjoy your blogirls posts. I don’t remember how I found you but I think it was through one of my friends on fb. I was a Coblentz, am still a Coblentz though I changed my last name to Kauffman almost 34 yrs ago. Your dad is my “second” cousin, I think. But I love your honesty in writing. It both encourages and inspires me. I’m not a writer though I write many things in my mind but when I sit down to put them on paper they all leave me. But, if someone gets close who looks friendly and is open, I can talk for a really long time. So I’m a talker not a writer. But I admire those who write and write well. Therefore, I admire you. May God bless you as you continue to write. I wish I had you in my life when my 4 children were little. But now, I’m a grandma, a mom of 4 adult children, and have a very wonderful husband who looks forward to getting old together.
    May God bless! Lyd

    1. Thanks for saying hello! I like the name of Coblentz, and if you come from the same bloodline I can honestly say that talking seems to run in the genes. 🙂 I’m always glad to have a few more grandmas around; I miss mine something terrible. Thanks for your words.

  74. Hugs to you too. And while Im here, let me say that I am delighted to “meet” you. We may have met in person at an FB event, I’m sure I’ve seen your face. (I remember as newlyweds a delightful late night conversation with your then fiance and another dating guy when they spent the night on a choir tour. Topic of discussion? Marriage, of course. ) I am married to my best friend Steve and we have five adorable, amazing, and exasperating sons, ages 12 to 1. I learned about your blog a few years ago when a friend was telling me about your singlehood posts. I haven’t subscribed (it feels too forward or something to ask for that from a stranger) but i find your blog and binge- read on occasion when mothering or mennonite-ness are fraying my edges and i need a sane and humorous insight, or like now when I (rashly) deleted my Facebook and Pinterest apps for Lent and feel twinges of withdrawal. Your words make me laugh, cry, ache with the beauty of life and sigh to know that there are others out there in the trenches too, facing life with courage. Your Keeper of the Seasons post speaks to deep places in me, and the SAD one spins grey fuzz out into speakable words, beautifully. And the recent one on faith? Yes, yes, yes! And your consumer comment was a (needed) kick in the pants. I won’t even list my excuses. Thanks for being an example of brave and for making me think. Thank you.

    1. Hi Arlene. I smile to picture that late night conversation. The thoughts of dating men and newlyweds on the topic of marriage must have been epic. Perhaps slightly rose-tinted, but definitely epic.

      I’m feeling the pangs of my own Lent abstinence and am glad to know I’m not the only sufferer. Thanks for your kind encouragement and thanks for reading.

  75. I’m currently living in Honduras with my husband and five children. Sometimes life gets lonely without many other English speaking moms to assure you that you are indeed normal. Currently reading on a sleepless night between silent giggles and tears. Thanks for posting. I get you. – Delores Summy

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