Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


Find the Beauty in the Brown

Find the Beauty in the Brown {Living Outside the Stacks}

Every day as I stare out my kitchen window, this is my view. Brown withered leaves, crunchy flower pods, splintered stems… Dead plants. sigh Yesterday, as I stood there preparing dinner, mentally complaining about the lack of life and color in my front yard, I started thinking about the things that are going on within me. And I realized, my problem isn’t external, it’s internal.

I’ve always been a creative person. And every job I’ve ever had has had an outlet for that creativity: when I was in the Army, I got to assist with meal planning {Have you ever planned a Thanksgiving meal for roughly 300 soldiers at a remote location? Trust me, you can get creative and have fun.}, when I was an archivist, I got to set up displays and write descriptions for the pictures, and when I was a librarian, I got to create and maintain our social media accounts… With this position, I’m all admin all the time. My days consist of paperwork, putting out fires, and making sure that things run smoothly. There’s no time or room for creative expression.

As I studied the dried plants through the window, I realized something, they’re not really dead. They’re dormant. In a few short months weeks, they’ll be bursting with color and alive with butterflies and hummingbirds. Within that dried crunchy foliage is hope and life.

Find Beauty in the Brown {Living Outside the Stacks}

So I took out my camera, and started trying to find the beauty in the brown. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” And I firmly believe that. Right now, I’m going through a dormant phase in my career. But, it’s up to me to find the beauty in the brown until I can dance in the colors.

Are you going through a dormant phase? How do you deal?

Daenel T


Be Strong {Words of Encouragement}

Be Strong {Living Outside the Stacks}

I’ve gone back and forth over whether I should write anything about the tragedies in Connecticut and China that occurred last week… How do I respond to the senseless taking of innocent lives? What words of comfort do I offer to those who’ll be left with the physical and mental scars? There simply aren’t enough words to convey the sympathy that I feel for all of those who’ve been touched directly by these tragedies.

I can’t begin to say I understand how the parents feel to lose their children in such a senseless manner, but I do understand the spirit of fear that grips your heart when you’ve been touched by the unimaginable. But God did not give us a spirit of fear, he wants us to face each day with renewed strength and courage. To those who are dealing with grief, fear, and anger I want to say draw strength from your family and friends, accept the kindness of strangers,  and lean on  the Lord.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Always.


Hope {Advent Bible Study}

The focus of this week’s Advent study is HOPE. Hope means to anticipate or expect with confidence.

Hope Advent Bible Study {Living Outside the Stacks}


John 1:12 {KJV}

But as many as received him, to them gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:


There are many who reject Jesus and His claims, but there are also many who believe His claims. And it is those who believe in Him, who will inherit the kingdom of God as His children.


The gift of life is free to those who simply choose to accept that God in His mercy and grace looked down upon this world in all of its nastiness and offered up His son as the perfect sacrifice.


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for sending your son, even though His own people rejected Him, thank you for giving me the opportunity to accept Him. Thank you for the gift of salvation. I ask that you continue to lead me in your truth and help me to walk faithfully in your word.



This month, I will be participating in the Advent Study, Keeping Our Hearts Focused on Jesus, hosted by the ladies at Good Morning Girls. Good Morning Girls are a group of Christian women who email, Facebook, Twitter and text message each other to keep them accountable for their quiet times. You can even catch them on Instagram, just follow the hashtag #goodmorninggirls.

Having quiet time in the Word is a great way to begin or end the day. It gives you time to focus on God and His will for your life as well as to renew and refresh your strength. I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day and spend some time just reading and thinking about the Lord.

If you’re joining in, please leave a comment below so I can pray with you.

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