Friday, February 10, 2017
Friday, December 30, 2016
There are always a few things on my mind: faith, family, health, finances. Add to them a few extra issues: my dad’s health is unstable right now (not good), my son is home from college for a few weeks (good), my husband caught the cold-going-around (not good), Christmas and time with family (good), my intentional approach to Advent and slowing down this year (mostly good) and now New Year’s considerations (some good, some not-so-good). A former pastor of mine used to call this situation “The pileup effect.”
I used to think of God as being a bully with these overwhelming seasons. If things are already tough, why add to them? I finally had a lightbulb moment. Perhaps I’m listening more when I’m dealing with a couple tough things. When I’m already listening, why wouldn’t God want to give me a few more situations to exercise my “letting go” muscles?
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Friday, September 30, 2016
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
This reminds me of the authentic root of my faith when I take time in the Bible and pray, as opposed to sprinkling a quick dose of an on-the-go prayer into my morning. The point of prayer is to be with God, right? It’s not about the recitation. God only knows He doesn’t need more noise in this world. The fresh, pure taste of connecting with God adds spice and joy to my life.
It’s worth the effort.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
It was slated to start at 11:11.
Friday, April 1, 2016
This mistress is a Life-changer, a Killer, and an Enemy.
I went into survival mode. Learning whatever I could about what was going on. Tests, more tests, research, doctor’s appointments. Planning for treatments, impact on our family, our financials. How do you plan what you do not know?
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Step 1: The recipe
This step took a bit of effort. The only way to get it right was to dive into that mound of dough and muscle it until the texture was just right. It was a hands-on experience, and relationships are no different. Simply being together, whether we were talking, cooking, cleaning or simply saying nothing, is what I remember about the texture of life at Grandmom’s house.
Step 3: Wait and wait and wait
I remembered thinking we’d never get to eat those doughnuts when Grandmom set the bowl aside, putting a towel on top so the dough could rise. The yeast would do its job only as long as we left it alone. Patience is probably the most important step in creating meaningful traditions, and without it the result will be an indigestible mess.
A few hours later, the overflowing bowl of dough needed shaping. We’d dump it all over a blanket of flour on the counter and roll it out, then cut into diamond-shaped portions to make it manageable. This is the only way those beauties could face the heat of the frying pan in the next step. Relationships are like this. At times, we need to cut back to shape our connections into precious pieces we can handle. It was in the little things, like a conversation about high school, or my current boyfriend, where I could ask Grandmom’s perspective on shaping and dealing with my own issues in life.
Step 5: Fry the dough
Step 6: Sweeten
A little sugar to sweeten the treat, like words of encouragement and time with Grandmom, gave the perfect finish to our tradition. The result? Heavenly perfection.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
The paperback is available on Amazon:
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
It’s not the guns themselves but the people with evil intent which frighten me, though. When I think of my daughter’s bull’s-eye competitions, I smile with pride at her skills. It takes intense focus, physical training, and a gut-level dose of courage to hit the tiny little “x” in the middle of the big, bad white paper with black rings. I also smile with joy at her shared experience with her father. Nothing will replace their special times together, in training and in competition, and my daughter’s life is blessed as a result. The guns they use in these competitions are not in the hands of people with evil intent. Instead, they are in the hands of people who love competition, who love each other and who safely handle the tools of their sport.
1) Everyone in shooting knows it’s virtually impossible to hit the ‘x’ every time.
2) Shooting professionals manage their thoughts by approaching the target one shot at a time.
3) Finally, true competitors know that each shot is a clean slate.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
I was extra klutzy one day and, not surprisingly, dropped it on the hard tile floor of the powder room. It split cleanly into two pieces, “FAI” in one piece with the emphatic “TH” separated from it. Broken faith still contains the components of faith, I thought. I just needed to put it back together. One dose of hot glue and it dried back into one piece, with only a fine line separating the ‘I’ and the T’ evidencing the damage.
I think life is like this sometimes. My faith gets broken and needs repair. Sometimes the repair line is noticeable, but hopefully, most of the time, it is not.
I had been working on a submission for “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” but had a dragging, nagging, sagging day and felt my little roots of doubt settling in. I wondered if my ideas were interesting, or if my writing was valuable, or if I should be writing at all. I hadn’t experienced a hefty dose of self-doubt in, say, two or three days, so I was due for this episode. Regardless, I managed to spend time working through and completing the article.
The next day I planned to review, edit and send the article to the Chicken Soup folks. A dark cloud of self-doubt promised to accompany me each step of the way. I started my day as usual, with my steaming cup of coffee, bible and journal. I asked God for guidance and maybe a shot of confidence to go with it.
My doorbell rang. It was a neighbor, handing me a brightly-wrapped red and white package, with a note taped to the top. “This is for you,” she said. “I saw it and thought of you.”
It was a copy of Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul.
Faith repaired is still faith.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015