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deborah w farris

not according to plan

stories and thoughts on love and loss

when things don’t go according to plan

there is a greater Plan and Purpose unfolding

Rough Terrain

Amidst the rough terrain, against the winds, through stormy days you bloom. Dry earth and sand and rock your bed, your splendor surpassing. Now rest, as Sun reigns in Light. Rain, like oil, anoints your fragile buds yet unseen, contents your roots beneath the earth....

For This I Will Labor

I am moving into my first fall without the burden of balancing numbers. My calendar is open and what I fill it with will be determined by how I am filled. I will ask for good balance as I begin what I used to call a new fiscal year, I have entered a new dance and I am...


A child has eyes for surprise. Innocent. Imaginative. Free-spirited. I think of these. Apple trees and cornfields. A big red barn. Double Dutch and Four Square. I think of things these things too. What I don’t often think of is how totally dependent I was as a child...

Encircling Us In Starlight

As the unexpected complexities of these days sometimes leave me in a daze As I listen to the stories of lives so young, so old, in overwhelming isolation As I think of not being able to hold a loved one’s hand or let my eyes rest on the final beat of that heart I...

Days of Small Moments

I love clothes. I do. If you know me you know that. And if you don’t, now you do. But these days I wear my favorite jeans, T-shirt or hoodie. So, for a change, I decided to wear a dress and a wide-brimmed hat on my walk. I'm trying to wake up the creative gene, spark...

Saturday Space

There is a group of people sitting on my rock by the water. It’s not really mine, I can’t claim it, I can’t ask them to move, so I move to what I can claim. Another Rock. A new spot A new space. And I need it because, well, I just do. I am reminded that I need to put...

Page by Page

June 26, 2013. I had started writing that spring, writing down Dad’s stories. I didn’t know then that they would one day become a book. I had no plan for that. I had no idea. It unfolded, one day at a time, page by page. Our time together at the cabin on Washington...

Morning Exchange

Early Morning. Silent streets. Sweet hush. New day. Whisper of gratitude, peace within, endless hope, why not?, eyes on the unseen. I fumble with the leash but it’s too late. Four feet expands into 12 and she’s over zealously greeting the Newspaper Man. “I’m so...

Second Chances

Rain. The heavens poured out on all living things, bringing buds and blooms, new growth. If you look carefully, there is a promise to be found in all this...all things made new. All things. Stubborn, broken hearts. All things. New. Things from the past that keep us...

Scattered Pieces of Faith

Shallow faith didn’t prompt the woman to walk headfirst into a crowd that had already rejected her. She believed. I believe the reputation of the good work being done in our communities will increase not decrease, but it’s another day of overwhelming. Overwhelming...
“This is what I call a Master piece in every sense. Beautifully thought and beautifully written. I am always glad for my visits here.” –Sarah
Deborah Wenzler Farris

Deborah Wenzler Farris


Farris was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She began her career in theatre, moving from Milwaukee to NYC, traveling coast to coast in an old Ford Van named Hamlet. Forty moves and one divorce later, she bumped into Todd Farris, an old friend from high school on a street corner during a snowstorm while home one Christmas. They eventually married and she returned to Milwaukee with her son, Charlie. When her parents downsized, they bought the house she grew up in, where they currently reside with their dog and cat—Fanny and Mary. That encounter on the street corner led to a homecoming that made this book possible.

Farris led Danceworks Inc., a Milwaukee nonprofit, from 2002-2020. The organization served 30,000 Milwaukee students during her tenure through Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom & Tap program and people of all ages and backgrounds through the joy of dance. She never planned to lead an organization. She never planned to dance. Her plan was to be an actor. She believes God used her in spite of herself and in leading, learned how to follow. Him. She believes new beginnings are possible at any point in life, that God has a Divine plan and purpose for each of us, and a great sense of humor. She will be appearing in her first film, a comedy, Mags and Julie go on a Road Trip, opening in November 2020.

Conversations With Dad – The Book

Layered with the author’s personal account of her walk with her parents as they aged and their health declined, Conversations with Dad grew out of time spent together—father and daughter—sharing the stories of those who paved the way for her. It is rich with memories of her father’s life adventures and career as a noted architect. Told with tenderness and humor, it is a love story—the love of a man for his wife and family, his love for his work and church, and the love of a daughter for her parents.

Purchase your copy today.

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