How to Write a Sentence

How to Write a Sentence.

This is the title of the book I’m reading for the course I’m taking for the book I’m writing for the career I’m striving toward.

Studying sentences makes my head spin.  I feel like a musician, who learned to play by ear, that is now required to learn the math of music theory.

It’s like explaining a joke or dissecting a frog: once you’ve taken it apart, there’s nothing left.

At least that’s what I feel like today, as I sit in the minds of the great sentence artists and wish to know what they know.

Sometimes I just can’t put it into words.

Our New Home, Part II

There is a verse in Acts 17 that says, “He knows where we will go and he knows when we will move.”

I took it upon myself to write down every version of this verse I could find.  The words wove themselves into a quilt I could wrap around me.

He knows where we will go, and he knows when we will move.
In him we live and move and have our being.
He has determined the allotted periods and the boundaries of our dwelling places.
You make us – we do not make you.
You have determined our boundaries.
You have decided where we will go
and when we will move.
You have created plenty of time and space for living.
He set the times and places where they should live.
From one person, God made all people,
and he decided when and where each person should be.

I claimed pieces, parts, phrases and lines, and even the whole song in its entirety when insecurity swept in with fears, anxiety, and thoughts of where will we live – when will we go – and am I making the right decisions.

When I felt pressure to make a decision, to sign before my heart was settled, I reminded myself, “You have created plenty of time and space for living.”

There is no race, there is no rush.  God has determined our boundaries, he has our space in mind, and there is plenty of time.  I’m not in a competition with anyone – no height, no depth, no seller, no buyer – for the space with my name on it.

And so could it be no wonder that the home we have is perfect for us?

I drove through the neighborhood yesterday to show the boys – “that is your backyard, and see that window up there?  That is your bedroom.”  We strolled the cul de sac, the bike trails, and the hiking trail behind our home.  In a crunchy field of dry grass, stones, and dirt, he boys each found a fist-size quartz rock, a  perfect souvenir for our first visit to our forever home.  These will be our altar, our reminder.

God has brought us here.

Our New Home, Part I

My new home.

Double cul de sac.
Three streets before ours shows the No Outlet sign.
Nobody will drive down our street,
to our circle, unless they intend to.
There is a front porch;
I’ll put my rocking chairs there.
There is a beautiful entryway
that I will decorate for each season.
I will sweep the dirt and rocks and dust away,
so my guests will feel love at first sight.
There is a picture window,
perfect to display a Christmas tree –
the red, white and silver one
that made our Christmas new.
There is a family room,
perfect to display a second Christmas tree,
the one I’ve always wished to add,
the one that will hold the ornaments
of Christmases past, present, and future.
There is a dining room that we will fill with conversation and wine glasses.
There is a kitchen with sprawling countertops,
a canvas for me to set out a buffet,
or make peanut butter sandwiches for lunches,
or open pizza boxes for a football team.
There is a breakfast nook that looks into the backyard,
a backyard that’s big enough for a game of catch,
a snowman family,
a trampoline,
and a slip n’ side.
There is a double wide staircase
where two people can walk side by side,
where someone can sit to talk on the phone,
where boys will walk past the master bedroom when they come home from the homecoming dance.
There is a bedroom that is mine,
for now only mine.
A bedroom where no one has died.
There is a writing nook,
a rounded studio basking in windows
where the sun will shine
and I will read and write and write and write.
There is a living room,
a wall to host my mom’s piano,
a gift to me.
There is a fireplace for stockings.
There are built-in bookshelves for bound journals.
There is a finished basement
with a bedroom for guests,
a bathroom for their privacy.
There is a sprawling, carpeted space
for a family of three –
or a party of four –
to have Friday night pizza parties, movie nights,
chocolate chip cookies, and sleep-togethers.
There is room.
Room to grow,
room to share,
room to love,
room to bless.
We are blessed to bless.

My new home.


Tucker’s teacher recently informed me, in one of those impromptu after-school meetings that could go one way or another, and I always prefer one way over the other, “Tucker’s humor has surpassed his classmates. He catches my jokes when the other children don’t, and he’s become masterful with language.”

Dear Tricia of four years ago, who is blogging between speech therapy appointments and interpreting sign language for her son:
His first grade teacher said, “masterful with language.” She said humor. Sarcasm. Funny. Keep teaching him language and stories and even timing and expression. He’s about to make you laugh.

She added, “He has mastered sarcasm, and that’s a language all its own.”

That’s my boy.


“Tuck, I love how you make me laugh. That’s what I enjoy most in my friends: quick wit.”

“What is quick wit? Is it, like, smacking a cow’s butt?”

“It is exactly not that. But the words thing will get me every time.”

Stick with words, not so much smacking animals. Quick wit goes straight to my heart, every time.


(Masterful, she said.)

My Kids Hate My Hair

I’m big on Women’s Lib when it comes to hair. I think it’s ultimately her decision, since the hair resides, after all, on her scalp.

“But Tricia, don’t you think marriage is a team effort? Don’t you think it’s a joint decision?”

I’d say I’m 55%/45% on the percentages of authority over her hair, the extra 5% belonging to the girl.

I mean, it’s her hair. Sure, she can choose to keep it long if that’s what he loves, and if she loves it (or even likes it) long also, then that’s not really a sacrifice. And to be fair, I kept mine long for a lot of years because the man in my life adored the curly locks. So I can’t say I haven’t been swayed by the opinion

But if a girl wants to cut her hair, I think she should do it.

I made a dramatic change in hairstyle: seven inches of dramatic change. And I.Love.It.

My kids hate it.

Tyler actually booed me in the salon. “Boo, Mommy. Blech.”

“Tyler, let’s have a little talk about girls. Someday you’ll have one of your very own, and she needs to be allowed to wear her hair however she chooses. Maybe long, maybe short, maybe long and short – whatever she chooses. And even if you don’t love it, you will love her, so it’s a great idea to have something kind to say about how she looks. So, let’s try this again. What do you think of my hair, Tyler?”

He hesitated. “Boo.”

Okay, then.

Dear future daughter-in-law, I’m working hard on this for you. Taking one for the team, if you will.

Tucker climbed into bed with me that night (which, first of all, please go back to your own bed), and in his groggy state, he said, “Mommy, you just look so weird.”


I attended a stellar birthday bash last weekend for a friend’s 50th (at which there was a most charming centerpiece bouquet of Tootsie Pops with a sign that said “Fifty Sucks”), and when I came down the stairs to depart as the babysitter arrived, I foolishly said, “Well, guys? What do you think?”

They gave me a once over.

“Mommy, I just really do not like that hair. I do not.”

Well, I do. The hair stays.

The good news is, so does the girl.