Good morning friends,

Maybe you’ve noticed I’ve struggled for words lately. After starting my job as an instructor for Oklahoma State University in January, I came to the fast conclusion I can’t do it all. Surprised? I thought not. Thank you so much for your patience while I figure out how to balance work, home life, and writing! I love writing and sharing with you all, but it’s taking much longer than I thought to figure it all out.

One thing I do want to change is the format I’ve been writing in. One of the greatest gifts for me is a personal letter. I treasure each one I receive and hope there will be one in the mail box every time I open it. If you have sent me a letter in the last 25 years, I have it. Thank you letters, invitations, short notes, long letters…I have them all because I see notes as a precious gift of the sender’s time.

Before kids, I used to spend a great deal of time picking out cards. My cards from Hallmark were so well-known with my nieces and nephew they knew a Birthday card with the gold crown sticker was from me. I wouldn’t just grab one at Walmart like I do now. Instead, I would spend an hour perusing the aisles at Hallmark. Picking up and reading almost every card in the Birthday section searching for the perfect one. Even the cashiers knew me well, and I would chit chat with them as they checked me out. Now, I spend five minutes in the store. Grabbing the first card I see off the shelf and praying it’s okay. Then I rush through the checkout line before my sons can begin their “gimme” tantrums. Been there?

Even though I can’t send all of you a hand-written card, I am going to begin to write letters to you instead of more formal blog posts. Many of you have been with OverACup for the last 8 or 9 years, while others have just joined in the last year. Some of you are my good friends, while others I’ve never met; however, the time you spend reading these words is precious to me, and I want to give you the best of myself and for me, it’s a letter. I treasure your writing, too, so if you ever want to drop me a line, know I will read  every word and treasure the time you put into it.

Through this change in format, I’m also making a commitment to myself. After cleaning out my office and unpacking boxes from our move three years ago, I found my stash of journals. There’s 47 of them (I counted!) from the last 25 years and many are filled cover to cover. Though I get to do my dream job of teaching writing, I don’t want to let my other dream of writing drift away, so this month I’m working on the 500 words a day challenge with Jeff Goins. Every day 500 words. This time will help me to continue to improve in the craft I love so much and help guarantee regular posts.

I’m also using those 500 words to work on a Bible study over Galatians. It’s called Galatians: Choose Freedom! This Bible study is the culmination of the lessons God has been teaching me about living in freedom with him over the last 10 years or so. The ladies at my church are getting a taste of the study this Fall, and you’ll be able to have it in hand next year.

My prayer is this format and time commitment will continue to lead us into a deeper relationship with Jesus and each other.

I love you all! Thank you so much for meeting with me here.

Grace and Peace,

Tara