Tag Archives: writing

My 800th Blog Post! That’s EIGHT-HUNDRED!!!

Why I write~

Do-overs, of course!  That is why I write and why I blog.  And to inspire, to rant, to rage and to whine unabashedly.  I blog to encourage and confess, to get comments (yes, I want comments) and be snippy-if-I-wanna.

I blog to be up close and personal and tell you how adorable my grandbebes are.  I like to write about the people I love and write to the people I love.  Sometimes I’m mushy.  Sometimes I am lamenting and sometimes I have to apologize – publicly!  I get to vent, I get to express my incredible opinions, and I get to gripe if I feel like it.

I hope I have made your mouth water with my food posts and infused you with passion or zeal on some amazing topic or another along the way.  I mean, after reading Thought Collage, are you anxious to be a grandparent?  Do you want to go in deeper in worship?  Are you in love with the Word?  Do you feel better about your life because I publicly self-deprecate and tell on myself?  I hope.  I hope.  I hope!

I am so grateful for those who wade through the meaningless drivel because they know I have the occasional day of inspired, grapho-epiphanic clarity {you KNOW I made that phrase up, don’t you?} which, I am just certain, causes the angelic choirs to break out into song and lives are changed forever for it.  Yeah.  Those are few and far between.  But they happen.  Wait for it!

And, finally,  I write because I love the words.  Not just any words.  The exact words that will capture what it is I really want to say.  When, oh, when will I actually find those?….

I love blogging~


Stormie asked me what witty banter I would have for my 800th blog post?  Could she have been mocking me?  Naaaaw…surely not.

I recently saw that people on Youtube do “vlogs!”  And I was like {lightbulb moment} Vlogs?  You can do that?  Hmmmmm….


Thank-you to Tristan, the s-i-l, who got me up and running here at www.jeanierhoades.com on Novemeber 29, 2006.  Where would all these words have gone otherwise?  Thank-you for letting me say them and giving me a safe place to keep them!

{sniff sniff} Altar is out

Dave’s book did not make the top three for the final leg of the Marcher Lord Press competition.*  {sad, sad, sad}



for voting and cheering him on

and getting the word out

about it.

The funny thing is that a lot of the “hits” he got on the message boards were criticisms of things the publisher had made him do to make the book more “sellable” when in fact, his original work was probably more powerful, at least according to the dozen or so of us who’d read it.  He’ll probably change some things back now and look for another route.

Spoiler alert.

I don’t want to spoil it for you, but it is an action-packed story with loveable characters, engaging dialogue and some major demon-butt-kicking that culminates in a very tender and personal-to-Dave theme of familial affection.  Someday, soon, we hope, you will get to read it: Dave’s first novel, Altar (formerly known as Between the Altar and the Darkness, which the publisher also suggested he change).

*Dave’s and another book tied for the next place, just about 10 votes shy of making the top 3…


I started blogging 3 years ago today.

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.  ~William Wordsworth

gkerstingladybywindowwriting word-collage

It was November 29, 2006. Tristan “presented” me with my very own namesake website and I was excited, but wary, hopeful, yet afraid; I felt exposed, naked and thoroughly vulnerable – about to share my innermost thoughts, stories and dreams with the whole wide world…or at least with my mom and my kids. 

Which of all my important nothings shall I tell you first?”  Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

Just emerging ever so slightly from a very despairing place at the start of the blog, my words initially felt ripped from my guts, laying me bare for everyone to judge.  Now I read those early posts and I doubt anyone can really see how bloody and tormented they were for the darkness I was struggling to escape.  But they were what I could do at the time.  Over the course of 3 years I have both willingly divulged and unmasked my pain and faults or carefully hidden and protected myself, alternately (it isn’t my real true life, only what I allow you to see).  But I am so much less afraid of feeling now and admitting to that, caution to the wind.

A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer.  But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.”   – Stephen King

I am so blogging this!

This is my 740th post and Akismet has saved me from over 50,000 vile spam comments.  I have rambled on about my family and music and movies and silly news stories and  my failures and blessings and what I have heard God say and the dog and gardening with a heavy tomato emphasis (because tomatoes are  probably the best thing I write at all) and growing and healing and I write graphomaniacally because it is how I finally, at this ridiculous age, am finding out what I actually think about things – about anything and everything.  Most anything is blog-fodder.

I love writing.  I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.  ~James Michener

My blog is my love note to living.  It’s the depository of the bits and pieces, “the collage”, as it were, of my thoughts and feelings and silliness and words.  It is embarrassingly me

The real reason I blog like a maniac?

I LOVE the comments.  I LIVE for the comments.  Like this one from Bryan recently when I mentioned how a lot of my blog-peeps had started spending so much time on Facebook, they aren’t really blogging anymore.  Here is his response:

“OK OK I’ve had a little bloggers-block of late and I actually don’t spend as much time on line as I usually do. I will try to do better. Because your side of the internet is getting full and I would hate for the internet to tip over.”

That did make me laugh, actually, right out loud! 

And guess what my mom wants for Christmas?  The only thing she requests?  She wants a book form in paper (!) of this blog – something she could get online at any given moment of the night or day. 

Ah, yes.  I am writing for my mama.  But I am glad/honored/so grateful you are reading, too.

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood.  I’d type a little faster.  ~Isaac Asimov

images: google (woman writing, and word collage), representing the “romantic” notion of writing a blog and the messy, wordy side of it

Good Blog Read

I read the best blog post!

No kidding – I was reading some one else’s blog, who just happens to be my brother Joe’s wife, Rockin’ Robin.  And it was just such. a. good. post.  I loved it!  She wrote about blogging and all the things a blog is about it.  In one, single post, Robin journaled a Sunday in their household and she presented her recommended book list.  She shared her Christmas wish list and the secrets from her daily planner and to-do list.  She gave a lighthearted and interesting glimpse into theirs lives, these people I adore, and I was just loving it.  I laughed right out loud on some of it and was like, “Awwwww…” on other parts.  I decided about halfway through that I would recommend it to my blog readers as a peek inside the mind and heart of sweet Robin (Elise-the-Niece’s mom, for those of you who know Elise), my friend and sister, Bible teacher, women’s leader, accomplished realtor, amazing mom and wife to the Joe-Joe.  My sister-in-law love, Robin.


I just love this woman and enjoy her writing.  So imagine my surprised delight when I showed up in a list of special people in her life at the end.  I promise that is not why I am recommending this read.  I just love Robin and think you would, too! (And thanks, Robin-for the mention!  You know I’d trust you with my life, right?)

A Few of My Other Fav Bloggers~

Facebook is taking over the universe and some of my favorite bloggers have practically dropped off the face of the earth, rarely-if-ever posting.  But most people are not as graphomaniacal as me.  But among the favorites in my blog box,  some who do still blog regularly, giving me food for thought, are:


Carol Ann Kelly.  She blogs, she FBs, she tweets and she gets more done in a single afternoon than I do all week, I am sure.  Always bright, funny and encouraging, always bringing a smile, read her here.

Marie and I worked together in ministry for a brief time, but she was a gift to me and is planted deeply in my heart.  One of the most intelligent and thought-provoking women I have ever known, Marie can pierce me with a thought (whatever current truth she is personally wrangling with) so deep I think about it for weeks.  She just did it again with her post, “Delicious Ambiguity.”  Read Marie here.

Joel is a thinker.  He is ever reading another mind-boggling book or listening to the intelligesia speak and then summarizing it for his readers.  Saves me lots of time.  He also gifted me with my top book read for 2009, and really probably in my top-20 all-time books, From Eternity to Here, by Frank Viola.  Sometimes you get the right book at the right moment and Joel made that happen for me.  Thanks, kiddo!  Read Joel’s thoughts here.

Not only does she write openly, honestly and poignantly for her new ministry, For Girls Only (she is going to save this generation), Mary V. blogs the story of her little family: her love for her husband and their little boy and the challenges they have faced and overcome these past few years.  The woman blogs!  You can read her delightfully entertaining escapades here (where she also just wrote something very nice for me, so sweet- thank-you, Mary) and her passion for following and taking the next generation of godly young women with her, here.

There are more.  I will talk about them another day. :)

Thanks, blog-family (those mentioned and those on the blogroll).  Thanks for the words that inspire me, the thoughts that blow my mind, the things you share that touch my heart, the ideas I’d never have considered and for giving me a glimpse into your minds and hearts.  Thanks for baring your souls, being gentle with mine, and exposing your fears as you cheer the rest of us on.  As long as you write, I will read! …Jeanie

The Garden Alphabet

I admire poetic people, the ones who can express the deep feelings and thoughts of the soul with a new turn of a word or phrase.  I always wish I could do that, but I can’t.  If I could, I’d have written a thousand songs by now.  As it is, I can dream up the melodies, but I can’t get the words right.

But when I go to the garden in the early morning hours, my observations are downright Dr.-Seuss-like.  And they show up fast.  So today, sometime during the time I played in the dirt and pulled the weeds and watered the plants and argued with the spiders about territory and rights and got chased by wasps and picked the produce and swept the patio and plumped the pillows and drank some lemon water and de-weeded some pathway cracks, I observed this:

The purple petunias are pungent today, heavy and sweet with perfume.

The peppers are plenteous, parading in glory,  papilionaceous and pretty.

And it is not just that I have created 2 great entries for “P” for writing a children’s garden book (oh the dreams I harbor), but that those two things are perfectly and totally true today.  In my garden. 

purple-petunias colorful-ppeppers

images from google because I was just too lazy to take pictures…however, I have a lot more pepper varieties than this!

Fire in the Garden

I am writing a devotional to be included in a book being compiled for distribution for my sister-in-law, Robin’s, Women in the Word ministry seminar in April.  Tara will write one, too and she was way worried about trying to come up with 300 words (it is to be between 3-400 total), while I, on the other hand, have been agonizing about getting rid of words. 

Because I am in the garden mood, currently, I decided to use a blog post from last June as a jumping off point and have managed to take it from 569 words to about 429 and I just cannot seem to go lower.  Each time I would ruthlessly rip one sentence and delete, I would think of something else to add.  Here is where I have landed and I think I will go ahead and submit it to the editor.  She may now do with it what she will.  Be careful, please – these are my words, and I love them (t-hee)…


Fire in the Garden

Read:  Galatians 6.7-8

Excitedly leaving winter behind, the seeds are planted according to package directions at the right depth after the final frost date, assuring us they will sprout in 7-10 days. You watch, you wait…two weeks – still nothing.   You begin to believe something has gone wrong, that the cooler-than-usual nighttime weather has destroyed the promise.   You consider running to the store for another package of seeds, concerned about the time you have lost for the growing season.  Will there even be time for a harvest now, you wonder? Another week goes by and the barren soil just lies before you.   You resign yourself to running to the nursery to pay too much for established seedlings.  You don’t see any other choice.

But before you can get there on that blazing-hot and sunny day, one glance at the patch of garden where disappointment has been and you spot the tiniest of green specks.   And look!  All over: the most fragile and minute seedlings are emerging – just as you had planted them.  They have arrived!  They are here in their glory!   Hope has not been lost.  

What the good soil and tiny seed could not do alone, what watering and watching did not produce immediately, the intense, piercing heat of the sun (unlocking the moisture beneath the soil’s visible crust) rises, softening that seed.  And just like Jesus, from the tomb on the third day, risen!   Indeed!

Sowing the seed of God’s Word into our lives and homes and standing on His promises does not always bring the instant results we are looking for. We hide His Word in our hearts, we meditate on it.   We allow ourselves to be washed by it. Yet we are devastated at the barrenness in our lives in certain areas.   An unbelieving husband or prodigal child creates unbearable pain.  Health issues and financial stress deplete our hope.

There are variables in sowing and reaping.  Some seeds seem to remain latent, yet the promise of reaping what we sow is not diminished in the waiting.

Sometimes it will take a very hot day in the furnace of affliction to become the defining moment, the proof we need that He remains faithful and His Word is true. In the fiery brilliance of distress and the cry for relief, under the white-hot flames of suffering, we break-through.  In seed-shattering brokenness – new life!  His Word confirmed!

He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.  If you sow to please the Spirit, you will reap the green, life-giving things of the eternal, variables notwithstanding.

Scatter seed.  Sow.  Believe it – you will reap!…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Final frost date is May 10 (this blog post has 610 words…Now more)

Five Hundred


This is my 500th blog post!  Very cautiously and nervously entering the blog world in November of 2006, I find I can now blather endlessly about the minutia of my life, even sharing my most embarrassing moments in the mix.

blogging  blogging1

But still, I write it for my children and family.  That has always been the point.  And because my mom likes it.  But mostly for my children.

Because between the silly and the mundane, I have also exposed and cast down sin as it has been revealed to me.  I have spoken truths almost too unbearable to reveal in the light of day and I have written the things that someday they will look back on and read and see as an altar, a guidepost and landmark – the place where the truth of heaven was spoken and remembered in my life.  And it will become for them, eventually, if not now, the wisdom that will keep them on the right path.

“Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.”  Proverbs 22.28 NKJV

The coolest thing now, though, is realizing a promise of God to me in my lowest hour – that there would also be spiritual children, that I would be increased and multiplied, that I will continue to be vigorous and bear fruit in old age.  And true to His promise, my family enlarges (it has even happened through this blog!).  My capacity to love is increased.

So, for the children I know and the ones I have yet to meet, I write.  And I write. 

And I write what I have heard, what I have seen with my own eyes, what I have observed, and what I have touched with my own hands in the hopes that these things will be received in the spirit with which they are given and that they will, in some measure increase your joy (1 John 1.1-4).  May your joy be ever full!

Graphomaniacally yours…Jeanie/mom

NOTE TO SELF: “It is written…” was even for Jesus, a touchstone of proof, a declaration of the “fixedness of the divine record” to the faithfulness of God.  Make my written words nothing less, Lord…

Why I Write

1 John 1:1-4 (Amplified Bible)  1[WE ARE writing] about the Word of Life [in] Him Who existed from the beginning, Whom we have heard, Whom we have seen with our [own] eyes, Whom we have gazed upon [for ourselves] and have touched with our [own] hands.

    2And the Life [an aspect of His being] was revealed (made manifest, demonstrated), and we saw [as eyewitnesses] and are testifying to and declare to you the Life, the eternal Life [ in Him] Who already existed with the Father and Who [actually] was made visible (was revealed) to us [His followers].

    3What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may [realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

    4And we are now writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be full [and your joy may be complete].

God, deliver me from the temptation to say too much, to make the story sound better than it is, but also from leaving out the parts that are hard to say – from making it seem easier than it has all been.  Let what I write when I write and what I say when I speak be truly the things I have heard and seen with my own eyes, the things I have observed for myself and touched with my own hands.  And may theses things reveal and declare the parts of You which You have made visible to me.  And may the things I have seen and the things I have heard bring joy: full joy, complete joy, double joy, to those with whom I share.

Blog: Three Hundred

I started this blog on November 29, 2006 during a dark time when I just needed to be able to talk and was hoping I could find a place to tell the truth even when it hurt me or exposed my ugly side (as if it couldn’t already be seen). I wasn’t always forthcoming, it took awhile, but it was freeing to expose my darkness and hit “post”! There, done. Never to be retrieved. Freedom!

It took me me until September 26, 2007 to get to the 100th post, which was a full 10 months, but only a scant 6 months to get to the 200th post, for which no fanfare or mention was made and I can only guess happened on or about March 21, 2008. Here we are at number 300, just 4 months and some days later and I am barely hitting my stride! Ha!

I can make fun of myself as a blogger. I had a friend laugh that she actually got mad when people asked her how she was doing. She was like, “Well, haven’t you read my blog?” The nerve.

Bloggers realize they are graphomaniacal. We madly write a post with passion and gusto and then wait to see if anyone reads and leaves a comment. If no one comments, we think we will never write again. But we do. We cannot help ourselves.

So, I shall blog on -for the thousands and thousands of people who read my blog daily, hourly even, and just choose not  to comment, as they wrestle through the issues I have raised, are dumbfounded by the awesomeness of my thoughts, or must meditate on on the wisdom I share. Yes, I’ll continue on for all of them. Or maybe just because I know my mom wants me to. Could it be she is my only reader? Well, it matters not, tomorrow there will be another blog, #301. Tomorrow is another day!

NOTE: I am happy to report that somewhere between the beginning and now (and very recently, at that), my mom has learned to post comments.