Author: Shelly Miller

last things

I am surprised my daughter didn’t think about what I assumed was obvious. She lifts a clean plate from the dishwasher, places it on top of the stack on the kitchen counter; among cans of pumpkin and a warm crock pot simmering with pulled pork for dinner. Holding a towel in her hand to sop up pools of water lying on the bottoms of overturned glasses she says,” I just realized this is my last Thanksgiving at home, I hadn’t thought about that yet.” “Oh, I’ve thought about it every day this week,” I interjected as her Dad chuckled from...

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when hope comes with an ultimatum

I remember 1987 as the year of desperation. It was also the year I graduated from college. Working part-time as a hostess in a restaurant to pay for tuition, I realized I was employed by the primary industry keeping the economy alive in Tulsa, Oklahoma during a severe economic downturn.  Juggling long days of classes and homework, I walked miles over the same stretch of tile and carpet; seating people at tables and cleaning up after them, while most people slept at night. It was the year Oral Roberts locked himself in the prayer tower, refusing to come down...

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creating room for impulse

I hadn’t left the house in three days. My kids morphed into independence overnight and what I was cooking for dinner became the highlight of my week. When writing turned into a meaningless task, I knew I was in trouble. In Julia Cameron’s words I had “overfished (my) inner reservoir without having taken the time and care to consciously restock (my) storehouse of images.” A heavy sigh turned into my frequent sentence. For days. Rummaging through familiar file boxes above my desk, I happened on a stack of forgotten, unfinished watercolor paintings. Perfectionism provided the padlock on my palette...

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why bloggers need your feedback

I decided to start blogging after sitting through a frustrating board meeting. After hours of listening to the founding member of a new ministry share ideas that seemed incomprehensibly irrelevant, it ignited a fire inside me. I realized that if a leader doesn’t care to understand social networking, read books on the topic they speak about or research the market on the subject for which they are writing a book, frankly, they aren’t someone I want to follow. I resigned from the board. Instead of trying to convince someone to be culturally relevant, I took my own advice, then...

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being free isn’t just a holiday

A thread unravels from the edges of her old shirt in the dryer and winds tightly around the cuff of a stray sock, collecting bits of lint like a magnet. Cupping it in her hands, she decides it looks more like a ball of yarn she accidentally threw in the dryer than a sock; an apt metaphor for her life. Lately, she is a tangled collection of incomplete thoughts, unfinished sentences, and curious questions that threaten to strangle her inner voice. Grasping her purse dangling from a hook in the kitchen with one hand, she tosses the sock on...

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on distraction {and why it may be your best friend}

Lately, distraction is my closest companion. I sit down to look up an address on-line and before you know it, I’ve read three blog posts, checked my email, responded to a Facebook message and updated my status three times. When I get up, walk into the kitchen to pour myself a third cup of tea, I realize that I have forgotten to look up the address. So I start over. The pen and letter still lay on the table where I left them, next to a half-written blog post, the grocery list, and the pile of laundry I started...

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choosing to rise above it

You are reading the RISE series. Read more from this series of articles. choosing to rise above it sale racks and sunrise glory rise and walk the storyline lessons from the kitchen {on rising} arise to the wonder of God in your life “What are you doing,” H asks me playfully as he barges through the door. We make eye contact and the smile on his face slides to a solemn slant as he pads his way slowly into the room. “Are you crying,” he asks before I can answer his first question. Curled up under blankets in my bed, I’m...

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