Tuesday, January 2, 2018


It's a shiny new year.

As I have done in years past, instead of resolutions, I have chosen a word to be the focus on my year. This time I took one of those quizzes posted on Facebook... this was a link to Dayspring. I answered 7 questions and it gave me a word. I was maybe a tad skeptical to start but once I started reading the questions I liked what I saw and when I got my word, it truly resonated.

The word was 'SIMPLIFY'

This goes way beyond talking about material things. But a de-cluttering of mind, heart and spirit, to make room for more of Jesus.

What does that look like in practical terms?

Making time in His Word a priority. Removing or limiting anything that draws my attention away from God and what His plan is for my life.  Social Media, Movies, frivolous things, top the list. Perhaps the best way to sum it up is in this verse from Matthew 6:33

Following this up, I also have a prayer for 2018: to more deeply desire God's Word, not just as a fragrant aroma, but as oxygen-- a matter of life and death.

My cat, who is quite a hunter, has been spending much more time indoors these days as it's cold and he is slowing down. But he loves to spend time in the window watching the birds come to the pan of bird seed I put out each morning. His unwavering attention is to be admired!  He will perch in the window sill; his tail twitching and his funny little mews go unnoticed by the chick-a-dees and robins.

I think I can learn something from Toddy. To be that focused, regardless of what the results might be.... Ah, but I know something Toddy doesn't. My focus will NOT go unnoticed!

Jeremiah 29.13 states "You will seek me and find me when you seek with all your heart"

Thank you LORD. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

it was a terrible horrible no good very bad day

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy

I suppose it really started last night.


While my beloved slumbered next to me, blissfully unaware of his melodious offerings, I tossed and turned. Finally, against my better judgement (but who has good judgement at 2 in the morning?) I took a sleep aid. So of course I was completely out of it come 6 am alarm clock time. I slept through my sweeties good bye kiss, through the second alarm and, oh look, 2 missed phone calls!
At 9 am as I was struggling to even sit up the doorbell rang. Now, normally I'd ignore it. But, we had insulators coming to blow insulation into the attic so I had to let them in. There was no time to try and look presentable so.... pajamas and night hair would have to do.

Pretty sure I traumatized the young man who stood at my front door.

Now upright, I made a desperate trek to the coffee pot. Thank God, literally, for coffee. As I balanced my coffee and a breakfast bar in one hand, my phone in the other I noticed how tight my low back was. I noticed because I tried to sit down in my chair and I couldn't. Yah, my back does this from time to time. It's always worse first thing in the morning and usually takes about 30-60 minutes of gentle movement to unknot and allow flexibility. No worries, I can drink and eat standing up.
Of course coffee usually motivates other things to move. That's when it started getting nasty.

When your toilet backs up first thing in the morning, you might decide to just go back to bed. Because have you ever tried using a toilet plunger when your back will not let you bend?? But fast advancing water, nasty nasty water, will force you to push through the pain barrier. 
Then, adding insult to injury, the stupid plunger broke while plunging. And let me tell you, there was NO WAY I was going after whatever little piece just fell into the bowl!

Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy... 

I don't know about that....

Finally, crisis averted, back throbbing I hobbled back to the living room where I discovered the cat had projectile vomited his breakfast all over the carpet.
When your cat throws up, you might just decide to go back to bed.

Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy...

Ever wanna tell James to just be quiet? 

When my husband called to reply to the text I sent him about needing a new plunger, he asked me to relay a message to the insulators. Oh dear. I was still in my pj's with uncombed hair and now a surly attitude.

Pretty sure I traumatized the other guy on the insulation team.

From there, the day seemed to even out. I went for a walk hoping some gentle movement might bring about relief. It did somewhat. I was able to get some laundry going, some dishes washed and the floor swept. Never mind the tidy little dust piles here and there. I'll finish sweeping those up later.

The big chore awaiting me was of course the bathroom. That floor wasn't gonna mop itself.

Around 1pm I was finally able to take a nice hot shower. And the day seemed better. I forgot about the troubles from this morning. The cat had calmed down, the insulators were done and gone and I was able to sit for short periods of time.

Then,  I went to the post office.

I have been having horrendous issues with package deliveries of late. Blame it on the holidays but it seems Fed Ex has one set of rules for package deliveries, UPS another and then USPS has another set. None are the same and mess up just one and you don't get your package. I've had just about enough grief from lost packages, returned packages, packages arriving demanding postage due in crazy amounts. Today was no exception. I might do a separate post on this as it deserves its own special venting session. For now, I'm sipping some sugar free hot chocolate spiked with Peppermint infused vodka. Because it's 5 O clock and I'm done. 

And, I have a verse to meditate on.

Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1.2-4 NLT

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Keeping it Wonderful

There'll be parties for hosting

Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There'll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of the
Christmases long, long ago

December is always a crazy busy month... or so they say.
 I think we can make it as crazy as we want  or we can pace ourselves, choose what we really really want to engage in and enjoy each moment without over doing it. 
What do you think? 

It's the most wonderful time of the year

There'll be much mistltoeing
And hearts will be glowing
When love ones are near
It's the most wonderful time of the year

Being a small business owner, I have made some concessions to the 
Christmas Craze as my livelihood depends on this time of year. 
I put up Christmas decor WAY before my birthday, 
which if you know me if almost unheard of! 
And I've been advertising specials and whatnot 
on my Facebook pages and offering all sorts of things.
 Its fun but it's also tiring.

I want to just be in the moment of the season and keep focused on the 
WHY of the season.... 
The REASON for the season...
 Christ's birth.

It's not about angels without remembering the angels who proclaimed His birth.

It's not about lights unless you recognize Jesus as the Light of the World. 

It's not about gifts unless you count the greatest gift of all, God's Son to save the world. 

And it's not about the tree unless you remember the most sacred tree of all, the cross upon which Christ was crucified.

As you prepare for the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" I hope you remember the 
WHY of the Wonder. 

Wishing you a most Merry, Holy, Blessed Christmas.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

I Saw The Light!

Winter and the long dark days ahead are not really my friend. Too many previous winters have proven that. Depression complicated by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can make for some pretty bleak and exhausting days.

 Last year I swore I would NOT go through another winter without one of those Happy Lights. True to my word, I purchased one a couple weeks ago. It's a compact size so its convenient to move from space to space as needed. I had it set up in my kitchen window sill to start, letting it wake me as I made breakfast but I found that kind of startling light that early in the morning just didn't make sense to me, non-early bird that I am. I moved it to my work space, next to my computer. I think the discipline of sitting by the light at my computer desk will double as incentive to do some writing! Brilliant idea!!

It's only been a couple of weeks so I can't speak with authority to the job its doing but I am hopeful.

As I have done in past years on my Facebook account, I've been posting each day a gratitude or what I am thankful for that day.

That's a great way to remind ourselves of all we have been blessed with in this life. Some of the things I've posted are simple: warm home, coffee, cozy socks. Some have more significance: a loving husband, friends, good health. Some have deeper meaning: God's gift of salvation, being His child, eternal life in Christ.

Whether it's elementary or complex, the mind experiences a shift in attitude when our hearts exhibit gratitude. 

Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all things. 1 Thessalonians 5.16-18

Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away. Have you made a thankful list? If not, what are you waiting for?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Hello November, Hello.... Winter??

I do love me a gorgeous Autumn. My favorite color is October.

 November rolls around and we think we are just getting into the depths of fall.

The colors have exploded during the month of October and by November have all but exhausted themselves.

 The piles of leaves lining the roadsides and yards proved a thick carpet of colors while the trees are almost bare.

 The sun, while not as hot as it was in August, shines brilliantly. You soak up every minute, relishing these halcyon days of Autumn.  

And just when you think Indian Summer will last forever, it snows. 

It snows?? Yes. It snows. Probably one of the earliest I can recall. It sure looks pretty. But I will miss those perfect Autumn days.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I'm Conquering Fears!

Left and Right! Bam! Bam! Bam!

In my last post I shared about overcoming a fear of heights to do the zipline. I rode high (no pun intended) on that adventure for weeks! I was just so thrilled to see a correlation between one day God speaking to me about "letting go" and the next actually doing that!

I knew that my fear was more about losing control than it was about heights though.

In July I traveled to Dallas-Fort Worth to attend the annual Premier Designs Rally. It was amazing.... sort of like Women of Faith (conference) meets The Price is Right. For 3 days I listened to inspiring speakers, leaders, teachers, all who said,"yep, we sell jewelry, yep, here's how to grow your business but.... what we are really about is how to Glorify God in all we do!"  WOW. Talk about a spiritual boost! I came away from the Rally on fire and ready to go to the next level in my business.

The last few months have been about testing the waters, and now, here is an intended pun! I tested the waters literally in September at our church camp out. I kayaked!

So, here's another thing about me... although I can swim, I don't like tippy things.... in water. I had a major freak out in a canoe once and decided long ago we just wouldn't do that again. Poor Bruce. He would have loved for us to canoe or kayak but I was not amiable to that! Until that Labor Day Weekend at Silver Lake Park....

Because of the gentle persistence of a couple of very sweet ladies, I caved and found myself in a kayak on Sunday evening.  It was a really wide kayak and I immediately felt pretty safe and comfortable on the water! It was amazing. We paddled across the lake and talked and laughed. It was fun! (Wish I had a picture or two from that because it would have been fun to see my face-- Bruce's face was one of astonishment watching me actually do this!)

As I said before, Fear is really more about not having control over things than it is about the actual things. I'm watching this play out in my mom's life up close. She has been in Assisted Living for the past 4 years and the last several months have seen her declining more and needing more and more help. More than assisted living is designed for. So we've begun the search for a skilled nursing facility in which to move her to.

Her mood is dark these days. She strikes out verbally and speaks of just wishing she was "dead already." She's weak and frail and needs help with just about everything. Her body is wearing out. She's depressed and angry and cantankerous but I think most of it stems from fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of  having to trust others to do for her what she's done on her own for so long. Fear of dying even though she knows the Lord and knows she's going to heaven.

Its hard to watch. It's sad. When my dad passed away, over 11 years ago, it was cardiac arrest. One minute he was alive, then next he was gone. No warning. Just that horrible phone call the next morning telling us he had passed. As shocking as that news was/is, it's how I hope I go. I'd rather live fully until that last day rather than linger, sick and weak and needy. But only God knows what or how. I have to trust Him.

I've heard it said that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. That makes sense.
So often we just fear the unknown.
We're scared of the dark because we don't know what's out there.
We're scared of heights and canoes because its unpredictable!
Will we fall?

 And we are afraid of stepping out because,

what if we fail??

But Oh! 
What if we fly?

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1.9

Friday, September 22, 2017

And Then I Climbed a Tree

Not just any tree! But a really really tall skinny tree! I scaled this tree about 40 feet up to a tiny little platform that was barely big enough for one person, let alone two! I then allowed myself to be hooked up to a device that would send me sailing through the air,suspended above the ground,  for a 1000+ feet ride, where I was 'caught' by a couple of trained individuals. 

Yep. I did the Zipline.

Memorial Weekend 2017. One week after my retreat and my experience with the duck, you know where God basically told me to quit working so hard to tread water in order to stay safe, and let go a little bit, trust Him more and let me see where the Holy Spirit would take me. We were at one of our favorite places on earth, our beloved Tall Timber Ranch for the Work n' Worship Weekend.  Climbing the rock wall had been offered one evening, the next night, the zipline.

Let me state for the record a few things.
1. I am afraid of heights. I'll say that again, I AM AFRAID OF HEIGHTS. As in I DON'T DO THEM.  Ladders, rooftops, and the like, are not my friends. No, huh-uh, never. 
2. I have been visiting Tall Timber for over 20 years. I have had plenty of opportunities to experience the Zipline. Never. Have. I. Ever. No desire, no need. 
3. Did I mention I don't do heights?

But, something came over me that evening at dinner when table mates were talking about doing the zip-line later. Without any warning I said, 'Maybe I'll do that too..." 

And Suddenly.... it became imperative that I do it! I have no way to explain it, other than a Holy Phenomenon.  It was like it was this bucket list item that I HAD to check off my list! 

Bruce scoffed when I announced I was going to do the zip-line. He said he'd believe it when he saw it. I said he better hurry up then because if I was going to do it, I'd do it before I came to my senses!

My little friend Lizzy was certainly brave!
On a dry dusty hill, below the incredibly tall skinny tree, a crowd had gathered. Some were putting on harnesses and helmets. Others were there to gawk or cheer or both. I got into my harness with the aid of my step-son. Joey has worked on staff and Tall Timber, and has a degree in Recreation. He wasn't assisting in the actual zip-line activity but he was certainly a calming and encouraging factor as he tightened and adjusted my gear. I observed several others go ahead of me and watched carefully. Curiously I realized I wasn't really fearful of the actual zip-line ride itself. I thought that would probably be quite a rush and very fun! It was getting to the platform to take off from that was the challenge. 

You see, not only was the platform from which to launch, 40 some feet above ground, but the process for climbing the tree was precarious! Into the bark of the tree trunk were hammered small hooks for which to place hands and feet. You're not just climbing, you are sort of pulling yourself from hook to hook. Now, not only did I have to conquer my fear of heights. but I had to use arm and leg strength I wasn't sure I had. (especially my arms-- those darn shoulders). I had to trust completely in the harness and gear and the guy at the other end of my rope, belaying me. 

It was a stretch, literally, that climb. Those hooks would be easy for someone really tall but for 5'3 me, I was almost not able to reach hooks above me. But I climbed. I climbed FAST. I think I just wanted to get that part over with!

 By the time I reached the top and was preparing to step off the hooks onto the platform where Nic was waiting to instruct me, I knew what it meant to be 'scared spit-less" I mean it. I had NO SPIT! My mouth was drier than cotton and I wished desperately for a glass of water (or whiskey!!!) 

When I was situated on the platform Nic instructed me to squat a little and feel the support of the harness. Once I did that and realized how firmly suspended I was I actually relaxed a little! Nic said "Whenever you're ready, just lift your feet and you'll go!"

I nodded and lifted my feet. and........



to RECAP: I climbed a tree 40 feet up. I zipped 1000 feet across the clearing to the landing. I had to deal with fear of heights, and use body strength I wasn't sure I had. I had to trust completely in the harness and gear. How like our walk with Christ! We have to trust Him to hold us and support us in those testing and defining moments.

Jesus is my carbeaner