Thursday, July 21, 2016

FB Live July 21

Tonight, tonight, tonight! So excited to circle up with you this evening and talk all things writing! Join me on FB Live at 7pm CST and let's discuss your questions and thoughts about writing, the writing process, creativity, the business side of publishing, and more!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

So You're Ready To Write That Book...

As the launch date for the release of my new book Raising An Original gets closer and closer (eeakkkk!), I've been chatting up writing and publishing and lit agents and the creative process with more and more people. So many of us have a story to tell and a book in our how do we #justwrite? Join me this Thursday night, July 21, 2016, at 7pm at my Facebook author page for a Facebook Live session talking all things writing! I'll be sharing what my journey has looked like and will be excited to hear your questions and how your writing process is going! Can't wait to see you Thursday night!

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Shameless Kid Adoration


When you're kids number seven and eight of a large tribe, there are just some things that are so much a part of the family culture that you consider as part of the norm.

Case in point.



These two have grown up with a calendar that includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and spring dance recital.

It's just part of our jam.


And the picture sessions that come with said recital? Well, as homeschoolers, we don't really have that fantastically awkward and perfectly goofy collection of yearly school class pictures (which is a homeschool regret of mine~~there's something special about those school pictorials). So dance pictures are sort of our version of recording the click of the clock of another year.

These two?


What can I say? The babies of the tribe. The hip-hopper and the ballerina.

Let's take it back a few years, shall we? Just because I need another reason to binge out on chocolate.

Here we go.

7 and 8 pose


Four years ago.

Might as well go for it...

7 and 8

I know.

My chest hurts.

So I'm renewing my view. I'm remembering to notice. To take in the moments, small and large.

And I'll keep paying for those cutesy/posed/backdropped dance pictures. Because they're our form of an hour glass. And I want to gather all the grains of sand.


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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The #MotheRing

The #MotheRing from Julie Lyles Carr on Vimeo.

It's always a joy when I get to speak at my home church of LifeAustin. It was an honor to speak on Mother's Day, celebrating all women in the family of God and the call we each have to mother someone in the family of God and to be mothered by someone in the family of God. Mother's Day this year happened to fall in the midst of several important writing deadlines and project details. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to get it all done, that I might let somebody down, that I might miss some details.

But I'm learning.

I'm learning to build in more margin. I'm learning to skinny, skinny, skinny down the slots on the calendar for availability for certain meetings and luncheons. I'm still not great at it. I still tend toward filling every single hour from dawn 'til dark with perceived responsibilities and tasks and urgencies.


I'm learning that preparation, solid preparation, takes time.

And I'm learning that it takes time to listen.

To listen well.

To listen to God.

To listen to what needs to come next on the manuscript, the teaching, the project.

I'm finally starting to learn that when I'm willing to do those things, when I'm willing to stand by a reasonable schedule, when I'm willing to risk not being seen as always on and always available, God gets stuff done. He just does.

So here's to continuing to learn and progress and listen.
I've got a plenty long way to go. But the lessons are sweet.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Living on Which Side the Tracks

(photo source)

Just. Wow.

So I want people who stop by the blog to be encouraged and inspired and to share a laugh and a smile.

And I want to be real and forthright.

And sometimes, encouraged and inspired and smiling get blasted by real and forthright.

It's been a season, I tell ya.

My precious father-in-law was diagnosed with end stage pancreatic cancer just at the end of February.

And by April 4th, he was gone.

His passing comes in the midst of several other heartbreaking situations within the scope of my ministry world in our church family and non-profit work. It's been a crazy teeter-totter of tending our own broken hearts while caring for the broken hearts of others.

And smack in the middle of all this, there has been all kinds of amazing progress and joy. The final production and marketing decisions for the book have been an exciting distraction for me with the Harper Collins/Zondervan team. An exceptional experience producing the Good Friday Service in Austin with Michael W. Smith. My husband's development of some exciting content coming together on personal productivity. Our oldest daughter Madison accepting a fantastic promotion within her company and moving to Chicago. The 2dance2dream program celebrating its inclusion at a national dance competition, in which the team brought home a major award. An adored friend with a featured role on Nashville, for whom I couldn't be more thrilled and proud.

Joy and heartache.

(Good Friday at the Erwin Center, Austin, Texas. Photo credit Shannon Lafayette.)

Accomplishment and loss.


Gratitude and unsettling questions.


Birthday parties and funerals.


Happy reunions but at the occasion of memorial services.


My pastor, Randy Phillips, was recently talking about an interview he had seen with Rick and Kay Warren about the two tracks in life that seem to run concurrently, a track of triumph and heights and a track of challenge and disappointment. These words were penned in Kay's devotional, Choose Joy, Because Happiness Isn't Enough:

We tend to think that life comes in hills and valleys. In reality, it’s much more like train tracks. Every day of your life, wonderful, good things happen that bring pleasure and contentment and beauty to you. At the exact same time, painful things happen to you or those you love that disappoint you, hurt you, and fill you with sorrow. These two tracks — both joy and sorrow — run parallel to each other every single moment of your life.
That’s why, when you’re in the midst of an amazing experience, you have a nagging realization that it’s not perfect. And while you’re experiencing something painful, there’s the glorious realization that there is still beauty and loveliness to be found. They’re inseparable.
Right now, it's enough to give me whiplash, cutting my head from side to side, trying to figure out where my heart is being broken and mended, numbed and expanded, as I hurtle down the tracks of life at what seems like breakneck speed.

And that's real. And forthright.

And I'm not sure all that encouraging.


We're still on track. Even when it feels like the wrong side of the tracks. Even when we only want to travel the track upon which the sunshine seems to beam. It's life. It's what it encompasses, the beautiful and the brutal, the merry and the melancholic, the content and the confusing.

If you're there too, living in a dual track of sunshine and rain, it's okay. Sometimes it just runs like that. It's not all good and it's not all bad. Perhaps that's exactly the point.

So for now, in this season, I'm embracing both. We're going to mourn hard. We're going to celebrate hard. We're going to cry often. We're going to laugh with abandon.

We're not going to live on one side of the tracks or the other, with either of their perceived reputation.

We're just going to take it right down the middle. And pay attention to what we learn.


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