Choosing a blog name is hard. I’ve aggravated my friends with catchy and alliterative phrases so much in the last month that I was beginning to get on my own nerves. I’ve known all along what I wanted to do with this blog, the kinds of stories I want to tell you, but I had the hardest time capturing that idea in a clever little blog title. So I finally consulted the experts, to remind myself what they have to say about writing and life or maybe even the two combined. I read Shakespeare quotes and Whitman quotes until I was sure no one had yet captured the sentiment I want for this blog. And then I read Hemingway. If you’ve never, please do. The man had a way with words he did. From what I understand, he was more faithful to words than he ever was to his poor wife, but I try not to think about his scandalous ways because I don’t want them to taint my love for his writing. And more importantly, my love for how well he summed up into one beautiful line my hope for this little blog of mine. He said, “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” Life is hard, y’all. Can I get an amen??! It is. And not just my life, but everybody’s. Think about your life right now. Do you or someone close to you have a serious struggle going on? I’d be willing to bet every one of you said yes to that question. That’s life. That’s the world. It breaks us. Some of us over and over and over again. That’s certainly been my experience. I took my first breaths with both of my feet turned completely inward. A birth defect. Broken place number one. And there may not be enough blog space in the world to figure out what number I’m on now. From a severely broken childhood home and child abuse to an equally broken marriage and divorce. From several family suicides to a family tree full of cancer. From watching my Daddy die to watching my babies struggle to survive. And that’s just off the top of my head. I’ve probably been there and most likely done that, either in my own life or in someone’s close to me. But I’m not special. I imagine every one of you can identify with at least one of the things I mentioned, probably more. Life is hard. Yes, Mr. Hemingway, the world indeed breaks everyone. But the breaks are not what’s important; it’s how we handle them that counts. My Momma taught me to be strong in the broken places. She taught me where to find never-ending strength in the broken places. And that has made all the difference in my life. I’m not an expert and I won’t pretend to be. But my cup is almost always half full and I’m always willing to share, especially if sharing will help someone else heal or maybe make them feel a little less alone in their broken place. Sometimes the strength lies in knowing someone else has been to that same place and come out alive. If you know just what I mean, you might like this blog. God has generously given me a love of writing and plenty of stories to tell. Welcome to my broken places.