Word Salad

Exercise: “Breaking the Sound Barrier”
Prompt: Write a post with three made-up words in it.

Confession: I took a break from my new normal schedule of posting, two weeks off to spend time with some of the kindest people on earth: my husband’s colleagues for several days, then a few of my siblings in Ohio, then three women over dinner who made me laugh till I cried, over something as simple as bad coffee creamer. I took a break to celebrate the nineteenth birthday of my oldest child and the beautifully rich baptism of my third. I took a break to connect, to play, to cry with my mentor, to laugh out loud, to eat good food, and to grieve hard news.

My baby brother is newly diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, the same cancer my sister and other brother already walked through. (Courage is the right word for 2024.) Sometimes it feels disrespectful to go on, talking about nothing, when the world has stopped spinning for a time, but.

We have nothing if not our laughter, and our eternal uprushing life, and our Jesus.

Does anyone else feel this? A moral obligation to fix the problems of the world, to carry them sober and heavy on the shoulders, negatizing about all the hard things and wondering what I did to cause them and what will happen next?

But we are made free.

The edges of our world are still groaning for redemption. The edges of our hearts and bodies. But also we live whole and lightlimbed, baptized with grace, trusting him. We do.

My daughter was baptized on Sunday, and our family has requested space to belong at church, and my brother whom I sang to sleep in my arms is fighting for health. My heart is both full and anxious, and maybe all hell will break loose. Maybe the gremlins will rise up screaming. Or maybe life will keep flowing, one sunlit morning at a time, toward redemption.

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20 days ago

I am sorry about your sorrows and rejoice with you in your joys and am glad you took a break, though I kept watching for your words.

And I read these, your words, before I read the prompt. Then I read the prompt and thought, but I didn’t see any made-up words. Skimming down through again, I realized I had indeed noticed these three: uprushing, negatizing, and lightlimbed, though it hadn’t registered that they are Not Words.

I could make good use of uprushing and lightlimbed. (I’m not looking for new forms of negativity.). Do you think we can frindle them into the dictionary?

20 days ago
Reply to  Sheila

I’ll help you frindle them. An eternal uprushing life deserves more than one speaker and doer. (Beautiful words, Shari!)

19 days ago
Reply to  Shari Zook

After reading these comments, I was surprised to find “uprushing” in the book I was reading today! “Very near at hand a lark soared madly upwards, singing in a frenzy of joy, with the sun warm on its little back. It seemed hard, I thought, to have to be buried on such an uprushing afternoon.” (Village School by Miss Read)

I enjoy your posts, Sherri. I’m curious where your writing prompts come from?

Shari Zook
19 days ago
Reply to  Kendra

Fascinating! I’m sure it’s been used many times in the world before, but Word did not recognize it and I went with that without any further research (she yawns lazily). 😜 That’s a pretty scene from your book.

I am writing the prompts for myself.

20 days ago

I love the word “uprushing” too – it seems to me that it voice the flow of broken to redemption… the here and the not yet…Much love, dear Shari.

Shari Zook
19 days ago
Reply to  Janelle


20 days ago

Life is so full of joys and sorrows. We want the one and not the other. I’m so sorry to hear about your youngest brother! I knew about Jean, but didn’t realize you had another brother who also had it. We are on a cancer journey ourselves having been diagnosed about 6 weeks ago. It leaves one’s mind reeling! And the journey of chemo is rugged. Blessings on your family!

Kim Z
19 days ago

Beautiful words, even the made up ones. ☺️My heart hurts for your grief. I’m sorry!

Last edited 19 days ago by Kim Z
19 days ago

Oh Shari. My heart breaks with yours at the diagnosis your brother received, and at once rejoices with your daughter in her baptism. How can life be so full and yet so broken at once? I experience it much just now too. May Jesus carry you close.

Kim G
19 days ago

I am one who thinks the world needs to stop when hard news hits. How dare it keep spinning on its normal axle when people are hurting and grieving!
I’m learning, late in life, to realize how much of life is made up of things that can be held simultaneously. It’s ok to have joy, fun, good times, amidst the grief. It’s not one or the other.
I see it here in your writing . Thank you for the reminders and sharing with us.
Exciting news with your daughters baptisms. HOW do you have a 19 year old???

We are praying so much for your brother(s) and your family as you walk through it with them. ❤️

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