Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Joyous Curveball....

Have you ever seen a curveball thrown in baseball???  Well, what happens is that it seems to be coming straight at the batter when all of a sudden - whoosh!  The ball curves to the left or right unexpectedly!!!  It truly throws the batter off and they miss the ball completely........ugh!

Have you ever missed something?  Thought life was going to turn our one way and bam! It turned out completely opposite???  Well, the good news is that curveballs even happened back in the ancient Bible days!!!  Take Zechariah for example:  His wife, Elizabeth was pregnant with a child at a very old age and Zechariah's response to the angel was skepticism, NOT joy!!!  And, this child turned out to be John the Baptist.  The messenger of Christ the Lord.  A JOYOUS curveball!!!

Melanie Rigney wrote this devotion in Living Faith:
"Change - even wonderful, exciting, almost-beyond-belief change - challenges us!  Living in that old familiar rut is so much easier.  Is it any surprise that Zechariah's first response to the angel who told him of his child's coming and all that would mean was not total joy, but skepticism??
The joy part comes when we summon the courage and faith to embrace God's plan.  Sometimes, as with Zechariah, doing that takes some quiet time and prayer.  Sometimes, it takes talking things out with a spiritual adviser, priest or trusted friend.  Sometimes, it's just a matter of pushing ahead and embracing whatever comes, knowing that God, as always, has the situation - and us and our fears and trepidations - under control."

Lord, thank you for the grace-filled curveballs you toss to shake up my complacency and deepen my faith.
Curveballs are part of the equation as a human being.  Yep!  That's right.  We miss things.......small things and big things!  We are offered an incredible gift at this time of year and everyday and many people miss it!!!
Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem and came to bring us joy, peace and unconditional love.  My prayer this Christmas each of you will recognize the gift of this JOYOUS season - Christ the Lord!!!
Isaiah 9:6 says:
"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given who is Christ the Lord!!!"

Merry, Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Triggers....

Melody Beattie is one of my favorite authors from the standpoint of learning how to deal with life!
She has written several books which have truly helped me along this path called life:
Co-Dependent No More, The Language of Letting Go, Lesson of Love, and my favorite is Journey to the Heart!  
And, while I did not grow up in an alcoholic family, we had our own variety of dysfunction.  I believe all families have some dysfunction within themselves because we humans are just that:  Humans!  We have much to learn about how to deal with others who have issues which affect our lives and how our lives affect and effect other people as well.

Here is Melody's devotion for December 23 from The Language of Letting Go book.  I pray that it will help some of you who go through a difficult time during the Holidays.  We all need to have compassion for those whose experience may not always be as happy or healthy as ours....look around and see if there is someone who may need to hear these words:

Holiday Triggers           December 23

One year, when I was a child, my father got drunk and violent at Christmas.  I had just unwrapped a present, a bottle of hand lotion, when he exploded in an alcoholic rage.  Our Christmas was disrupted.  It was terrible.  It was frightening for the whole family.  Now, thirty-five years later, whenever I smell hand lotion, I immediately feel all the those feelings I did that Christmas: the fear, the disappointment, the heartache, the helplessness, and an instinctive desire to control. (Anonymous)

There are many positive triggers that remind us of Christmas:  snow, decorations, "Silent Night," "Jingle Bells," wrapped packages, a nativity scene, stockings hung on a fireplace.  The "triggers" can evoke in us the warm, nostalgic feelings of the Christmas celebration.
There are other kinds of triggers, though, that may be less apparent and evoke different feelings and memories.
Our mind is like a powerful computer.  It links sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste with feelings, thoughts, and memories.  It links our senses - and we remember.
Sometimes the smallest, most innocuous incident can trigger memories.  Not all our memories are pleasant, especially if we grew up in an alcoholic, dysfunctional setting.
We may not understand why we suddenly feel afraid, depressed, anxious.  We may not understand what has triggered our codependent coping behaviors - the low self worth, the need to control, the need to neglect ourselves.  When that happens, we need to understand that some innocuous event may be triggering memories recorded deep within us.
If something, even something we don't understand, triggers painful memories, we can pull ourselves back into the present by self-care:  acknowledging our feelings, detaching, working the Steps, and affirming ourselves.  We can take action to feel good.  We can help ourselves feel better each Christmas.  No matter what the past held, we can put it in perspective, and create a more pleasant holiday today.

Today, I will gently work through my memories of this holiday season.  I will accept my feelings, even if I consider them different than what others are feeling this holiday.  God, help me let go, heal from, and release the painful memories surrounding the holidays.  Help me finish my business from the past, so I can create the holiday of my choice.

May God bless each of you this joyous Christmas season!!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

KISS for Christmas!

"Here we are as in olden days, happy golden days of yore..........."  Whether we like it or not, Christmas is upon us!  So, what is all the fuss about?  Why the Joy? Why the laughter? Why the big fuss???  Because it is the most joyful season we celebrate in America!!! Go out and find some JOY that fits you and your style!!!

Here are a few simple things to remind yourself this season:

The Holidays!!!

K = Keep it simple, Santa!
I = Instincts/Use them – Trust yourself!!
S = Sacred Traditions and Rituals – Healing?

S = Seraphim and Cherubim – Angels of Joy!!!

Keep it simple, Santa! 
1)                  Don’t overspend this holiday season.  
2)                 Don’t overschedule yourself in the number of events you partake of this season.  
3)                 Don’t overcommit to too many tasks and/or chores to complete.

Instincts/Use them – Trust yourself!
1)                 What does your gut tell you to do this season? 
2)                 What does your heart say? 

Sacred Traditions/Rituals – Healing?
1)                  What is sacred to you this season?  
2)                 What traditions and/or rituals make you feel the Christmas spirit the most?  
3)                 Offer a new tradition to take part in at your house!  
4)                 If singing Christmas Carols makes you feel wonderful, then sing them! 
5)                  Sad memories of not so great Christmases in the past….acknowledge them. 

Seraphim and Cherubim – Angels of Joy!!!
1)                  Ask yourself:  what one way can I offer joy to someone else this season?  

K.I.S.S. = Keep it simple, Santa, and ENJOY this very special holiday season!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving to God – I wrote this devotion last year in 2013 and it still holds true….Please read these reflections on why we all have so many reasons to be thankful and sing your own song of Praise to the God of Creation for all He has given us!!!

Praise God from Whom ALL Blessings Flow! Praise Him all creatures here below!! Praise
Him above ye Heavenly Hosts! Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!!! AMEN!!!
Find your favorite song of Praise and Thanksgiving and SING it!!! Sing it in the shower, sing it as you are cooking, sing it as you are cleaning for all the guests, sing it as you prepare your heart for ALL God has to offer you this holiday!!!

Remember these Songs?
Give Thanks
Come Ye Thankful People Come
We Gather Together
The Lyrics to the first of these songs are as follows:
"Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks unto the Holy One, Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son. (Repeat the refrain)
And now, let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say I am rich because of what The Lord has done for us. Give thanks....give thanks....give thanks!!!" act of giving thanks or expressing gratitude especially to God - wow!
The United States of America celebrates and gives thanks to God for this special day this week on Thursday – it is a U.S. national holiday set apart to give God thanks!!! YES, let's do that!!!

As I opened my Bible this morning that my beloved grandfather, "Gramps" gave me in 1962, I was blessed to find this verse and thoughts:
Psalm 138:1
"I will give thanks to you, O Lord with all my heart..." The latin word for gratitude is gratis or grace.

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving holiday??? What grace has been extended to you this day, this month, this year? Have you stopped to take note of the many blessings that are in your life? If not, why not do that today or this weekend!!!

We have so much to be grateful for in the United is truly incredible!!! I know my gratitude list swells each day as I stop, breath and think about all that God has blessed me with - a family in Ohio, Virginia, Minneapolis, Tennessee and Texas, a son that brings me more joy than I thought imaginable almost 19 years ago, a job that allows me to serve our military with honor and praise, a church that feeds my heart and soul each week, prayer warriors that support and encourage me by praying for those people and situations that God places in my life, friends that fill my life with laughter and fun, and finally, God has brought into my life this past year a very special man, named Tim, that I could not be more grateful for this year...........ahhhh..........our God is SO good!!!

I read years ago: "When we express gratitude something wondrous fills us!!! Gratitude nourishes our souls immediately and the wonder of the moment swells in our hearts." Simple gratitude brings simple happiness...simple gratitude shows us what is utterly amazing in our lives. We have been so blessed, so fortunate, so favored, so richly given abundance....and it is all by the Grace of God alone.
So, let's celebrate! Let's appreciate and acknowledge what we have been given even on the tiniest level......offer a sacrifice of praise to our Heavenly Father this Thanksgiving and KNOW how much you are loved!!!

Finally here is a fun way to say: "Many thanks" in many languages:
English: Many thanks!
French: Merci!
German: Danke Schoen!
Italian: Gramercy!
Spanish: Muchas Gracias!
Archaic: Much obliged!

And, one of the many things I am grateful for are all of you who read this blog….Thank YOU for reading these ramblings and encouraging me to continue to write this blog!!!

Blessings Abound!!!!!!!!

Look up….look around……and look for JOY!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Have you ever wondered why it is so hard to ask for help for the humans?  It is so interesting as I go farther along this journey called life that I come across person after person who just is not willing to ask for help.  In any area!  Big or small, long-term or short-term, good or bad, right or wrong - any type of asking for help seems to be an implied message that we as humans are less than, weak, not good enough, not smart enough, not whatever enough!!!  That really puzzles me...........

To "ask" is to put a question out there, to inquire, to request (of or for), to require or call for, to expect or demand, or to invite.  What in the world are we as humans thinking that this is so wrong to do?  Why is it so humbling to actually do?  What is it that makes us feel like we are imposing if we ask for help?  Hmmmm.....something to contemplate!!!

Someone recently gave me a new acronym.  (I more acronym from me, and you might croak, right?  Well, it is a good one, so bear with me!)

A = Ask and you shall find
S = Seek and you shall find
K = Knock and the door shall be opened

Unbelieveable!!!  So simple, so easy and yet so very hard..........

So,why NOT ask???????????  When we ask we are looking for something:  an answer, a solution, a direction, a new method, a new way of thinking, or, possibly, another avenue to pursue.  What is so wrong with that?  All of those things bring creativity!  All of those things bring something new to the table!!  All of those things bring an idea to the surface that might, just might, bring the answer or solution we are looking for!!! 

And, what is really interesting for me is that this acronym is from God's Word:  
Matthew 7:7 says that exact same thing:  "Ask, and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened.  For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened."

God wants us to ask for help, ask for assistance, ask for direction, ask for guidance.  Why not try it?  You may find a wonderful answer waiting just for you!!!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014


I met with a young lady this morning who is just starting college and feels like she is a "loser."  In my mind, she is kind, sweet, lovely and very adorable!  However, because of the community college where she is attending, the type of student is mostly working adults who go to school for one or more classes and then go off to work!  So, the social aspect of "college life" is lost at this campus.   Also, most of her friends went off to a 4 year college, out of state or out of the city.  So, Miss Meghan is feeling a little lost.  Her best friend is 2 hours away and they do talk each week, but the closeness that she and her friend used to have on a daily basis is gone.  This young lady does so many things:  she goes to college full-time, works at a wonderful daycare for infants that she loves, and teaches kindergartners at her church every Wednesday and Sunday. Some would say she has a full life!

So, what is missing for her???
A sense of belonging, a feeling of closeness, feeling like she fits in, being plugged in and feeling worthy of her new stage in life.  What if she realized that she was "captivating?"  What is that you may ask.  Well, the dictionary definition is:  To fascinate by special charm or beauty.  To be enchanting.  Hmmmm....has any of you read the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge?  It is a wonderful book for young women!  The authors explore the idea of unveiling the mystery of a woman's soul....sounds pretty fascinating, doesn't it?

Product Details

Here is the recap that Amazon has on their website:

Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds in her heart her most precious dreams. She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to be the beauty of the story. Those desires are far more than child's play. They are the secret to the feminine heart.

And yet―how many women do you know who ever find that life? As the years pass by, the heart of a woman gets pushed aside, wounded, buried. She finds no romance except in novels, no adventure except on television, and she doubts very much that she will ever be the Beauty in any tale.

Most women think they have to settle for a life of efficiency and duty, chores, and errands, striving to be the women they "ought" to be but often feeling they have failed. Sadly, too many messages for Christian women add to the pressure. "Do these ten things, and you will be a godly woman." The effect has not been good on the feminine soul.

But her heart is still there. Sometimes when she watches a movie, sometimes in the wee hours of the night, her heart begins to speak again. A thirst rises within her to find the life she was meant to live―the life she dreamed of as a little girl.

The message of Captivating is this: Your heart matters more than anything else in all creation. The desires you had as a little girl and the longings you still feel as a woman are telling you of the life God created you to live. He offers to come now as the Hero of your story, to rescue your heart and release you to live as a fully alive and feminine woman. A woman who is truly captivating.

I would recommend it for anyone who has a young lady or daughter in their lives!!!  And, giving it to Meghan to read at her leisure made me think about some questions to ask her next time we visit together:
What if  felt that she was fascinating?  If she knew that she had beauty and charm that was sent from Heaven above? That she was enchanting just the way she is?  I know this doesn't really cover the feeling Meghan described as being a "loser," but it made me think of how many young women who don't realize God has a great plan for their lives.  I hope you will share this book with someone this week!  Or, perhaps, read it yourself!

Friday, October 10, 2014


I am happy to report our first ReDiscovery Retreat for women over the age of 50 was a huge success!!! We had some of the most lovely ladies I have had the pleasure of connecting with in a long time, as well as, had so much fun!!!  It is fabulous to get to know one another - especially when you have never met, or when you think you know someone a little bit, and then, find out you don't know them at all!!!  

We explored things like:
What do I want to be?  What do I want to do?  And, what do I want to experience?  In sharing our ideas, we learned about these each others' passions, dreams and/or goals in life.  We explored ideas such as owning our own business, starting a Home Party business that is unique, creative and fun ways to decorate our homes, ideas about textile artists and other concepts we would like to explore at this stage in life.  And, we explored our ideas with NO boundaries!!!  We asked the question:  if there were NO obstacles in your way - no issues of confidence, no issues of motivation, no issues of money holding us back, no issues with our health, no issues of feeling scared or insecure - what would we do and be???  The answers were amazing!!!  We shared our hopes and dreams and explored new ideas of where to go from here at this point in our lives.  Wow!  What a way to explore new and/or future adventures in our lives!!!

Also, we did a lot of reflection and introspection on our own thoughts, where/what our lives have been so far, and how we got to where we are today.  We reflected on experiences and turning points in our lives.  We discussed important words and phrases that carry us through rough and good times, and how these experiences have supported and nurtured us.  We looked at patterns and threads that interlace and construct who we have was quite an enlightening day!

There are stories to be told and wonders to will be such a pleasure to keep this "ReDiscovery" theme going!!!  

My partner in crime, Julie is designing and starting a Power of 50 Website for Women over the age of 50.  Also, we are planning FREE networking events for anyone who is interested in connecting with this genre of women.   The first one is Monday, October 20, 2014 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Scooter's Coffee on College Boulevard and Antioch Road.  Anyone is welcome and we urge you to invite whomever you think may benefit from connecting with this wonderful group of women!!!  Please spread the word!!!  We will be sending out more information soon!

Stay tuned.......dear women of value!!!  Who said being 50 meant we have no life???

Monday, October 6, 2014

ReDiscovery: Anchored, Connected and Supported

You are invited to a Retreat called:  ReDiscovery:  Anchored, Connected and Supported on Friday, October 10, 2014 at the KC Campus of the University of Phoenix.

Come explore what it means to ReDiscover yourself and find new ways to move forward in your life!
Please send in your application by email or RSVP and bring it with you on Friday!

Here is the information for you:



*  Become anchored and centered
          *  Feel inspired and excited about your life
                    *  Build relationships with other women

Friday, October 10, 2014   10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.                              Join us at the 
University of Phoenix     
1310 E. 104th St., Suite 101, Kansas City, MO 64131

COST:  $50.00  ($10 extra for boxed lunch)
Retreat fee of $50 is waived for UOP students and alumnae.

Download the 
ReDiscovery Women's Retreat Application to attend the retreat with Pam Spencer and Julie Connor on 
Friday, October 10th.
Reserve your place to attend this event with other fabulous women.  Limit: 10

  DISCOVERY Women’s Retreat

Julie is a popular motivational speaker, a goals & planning strategist, and author of the goal-setting bookDreams to Action Trailblazer’s GuideShe is the founder of The Power of 50, a network to connect and inspire women over 50. Learn more about Julie at

Join the Google+ The Power of 50 community.
Check out The Power of 50 on Pinterest.

Pam is a stress management expert and shows others how toDeStress with Joy. She has a master’s degree in health & wellness. As a national defense liaison for the University of Phoenix, Pam promotes adult accelerated programs. More about DeStress  With

COST OF RETREAT:     _____      $50.00                Please mail retreat registration form,
                                                                                               retreat fee,  and $10.00 for lunch (if 
BOXED LUNCH               _____        10.00                 you would like a boxed lunch) to:
_____________________________________________              Julie Connor
                                                                                         12143 Farley St.
TOTAL:                             $_________________              Overland Park, KS    66213
Make checks payable to Julie Connor.  Cash or credit card payments accepted at the door.

Wear comfortable clothing.  Feel free to bring snacks or drinks. You can also bring your own lunch. Bottled water and coffee will be provided. Bring along a journal, a good book, or other resources you think would be valuable resources to share with other women.

Questions?  Contact Julie Connor, 913-617-9979 or for more information.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Well, here is a tough subject to address:  Hypocrisy.  What is it?  The feigning of beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess.  What in the world is feign???  Feign is to give false appearance of, or to pretend.  Also, feigning is a sham - something false or empty pretending to be genuine.  UGH!

Have you ever been accused of being a hypocrite?  Someone who double-dips, has duplicity or practices deception in their actions?  Someone who says one thing and does another?  I have.  Just this morning.
To be called a hypocrite by someone is quite humbling....and one I don't like to admit or hear coming from someone very close to me - especially my son.

Years ago, I heard someone say that the reason that they didn't go to church anymore was because it was filled with hypocrites!  I agreed.  There are many, many hypocrites in our world and in our society!  But, I also said this:  "The reason I do go to church is because I am a hypocrite!"  I know that may sound crazy, but it is the truth.  I had done and said things in my life that I wish with all my heart that I could say I have NOT done.  The truth does hurt.  But, truly, the real reason I do go to church IS because I know that I do and say things that I would like to stop doing and change going forward.  Church offers me a place to lay down my "feigning" and get real.  God offers me a new beginning every morning (and every minute) if I will admit that I have done wrong and want to change it.  I can only change what I am aware of and what I am willing to accept that I need to change.  So, how do I move forward from being a hypocrite?
Become willing - willing to admit that you sometimes do or say things that aren't really what you value. Live your values.  Show the example of what you want others to learn.  Do those things that are what you know to be true, honest, and right.

Philippians 4:8 says:  "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."
That's quite a list!  Can we do each of those things every minute of the day and every day of our lives? Probably not, but it is worth asking God to change us to be people of integrity.  People who admit when they are wrong. People who ask for forgiveness and make amends where and when they can.  And, when I ask God to change me, there is a difference that happens in my life.  Forgiveness is offered to us by God, at church and at the cross.  Forgiveness can be offered by admitting my error or wrong doing. Ask the person you have wronged to forgive you.  Humble yourself enough to show that you want to change.  Then, do it!
Forgiveness is offered to us by God when we tell Him that we have done wrong.  When we admit we have really goofed!  Forgiveness is something I need every hour of my life.
I John 1:8-9 says:
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Do I want my son to think of me as a hypocrite?  Certainly not!  But, it is a beginning of teaching him what it means to forgive another human being.  It's the beginning of showing by example how I would like him to live.  Not by my former actions, but by how God is changing me NOW.  Admitting our mistakes goes a long way in teaching the value of integrity.  Trying to hide my mistake or say it didn't happen the way it did would not teach the truth.  Be genuine.  Tell the truth.  Admit your mistake. Ask for forgiveness.  Move on and move forward.

How do you want your kids or those you love to think about you?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Exquisite sunrise.........

Have you ever seen an exquisite sunrise???  I did this week.  One of the pleasures of being an early riser, is that we have the opportunity to view God's best each morning we arise early!!!  The colors of a sunset are beautiful, however, the colors of this past Wednesday morning's sunrise was almost indescribable.  Here is my stab at that description:

Exquisite is showing a high degree of craft or excellence....also, exquisite is delicately or poignantly beautiful.  I love that word poignant!!!  Reflect on that a bit..........poignantly beautiful....ahhhh................YES!!!  Some say exquisite is even acutely discriminating (as in taste), but keenly intense.  What would you say if you saw one of the most brilliant and exquisite sunrises of your life???  I wish I was a photographer and could paste a picture of what I saw the other absolutely took my breath away!!!  There were thunderstorms brewing, the wind was blowing, the clouds were changing minute by minute as I drove toward the horizon and the colors we unbelievable - ethereal may be a better description!!!  They WERE absolutely heavenly!!!

It was truly a spiritual moment for me as I witnessed God's presence and contemplated His magnificence once again.  That Divine Creation that is set in place each morning and says goodnight each evening is one we should take note of often.  So many days, we get caught up in running errands after work or after school, taking care of this and that and we forget to look up and all around at the Divine Majesty that surrounds us every day.

Look for exquisite, poignant, ethereal things this only takes a few seconds, but the after affect lasts a lifetime!!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

An anchor for my soul..........

As we approach the end of summer and the beginning of the seasons changing once again, I find myself reflecting on what holds my life together.  What anchors me?  What allows me to be held or kept in a place of peace and/or contentment?  What holds me to a specific harbor, if you will? 

An anchor is a metal device that is attached to a vessel and cast overboard to keep the vessel in place.  To be anchored is to be held or to hold onto.  If we are talking about a ship, it is many times anchored in a harbor or moored in a specific location.

What location are you in at this moment?  Are you in a place of peace?  Contentment?  Calmness?  Tranquility?  Do you feel composed?  Do you have serenity in your soul?  What causes that in a person's life?  As you can imagine, there are many, many answers to those questions and I hope you will investigate and find your own answer....

For me, the answer is found in one of my favorite Scripture verses in Hebrews 6.  This verse confirms where my soul anchors itself to and what gives me supreme peace amongst a world torn with suffering.

Hebrews 6: 16-20 says:
"Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument.  Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath.  God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.  We have this hope as an anchor for our soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.  He has become a High Priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."

Does that verse speak to you in your soul?  Do you have hope?  Do you have a firm and secure place to anchor your soul?  Think about your answer and reflect on what harbor you may be in at the moment.

I believe there is an anchor for each soul........and, I know there is something that holds me safe from winds of adversity, sickness, fear, doubt and the troubles of this world.  There is Someone who holds me close.  Someone who never leaves me nor forsakes me.  And, that Someone is Jesus Christ.

I pray each of you will find this peace and comfort.  I pray you will find this anchor for your soul.  It is an incredible "knowing" that I am home where my "True North" is and my soul belongs.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


FUN - that's right -fun, pure enjoyment, pleasure, amusement, and merriment!!!  What in the world is merriment???  Be Merry!!! Find something that is hilarious and feel the fun loving moments of laughter!!!  Frolic - go outside and run wildly through a field!!!  GO have some fun today!!!  That's right - go DO something fun, GO somewhere fun, or do something WITH someone who is fun!!!

Pure fun..........what does that look like to you???   If you can't even remember - you are PAST due - go for it!!!!!!!!!!!

Go somewhere new, laugh, skip, giggle, or tickle yourself until you turn blue!  Take a day off soon and go to the closest amusement park!  Get on that Roller coaster or water ride just to laugh and scream all the way!!!  Go to a regular park and swing on the swings - you are NOT too old!!!  It is FUN!!!  And, here is one of my favorites lately:  consider going parking with someone special!!!  That's right - get in the back seat and kiss until your heart's content!!!  Why not???  When was the last time you had FUN???

If you are not into THAT much fun, then consider these:
Enjoy the day........walk amongst the loveliest flowers you can find.......find the sunlit glades along the way...........relish the sunshine or the rain.......look for the rainbow.....water your garden.......visit with a neighbor.........take a bicycle with your dog or a a new a funny the funnies in a REAL Sunday paper........grab a Hoops and Yo-Yo card from Hallmark and let yourself silly........get a bottle of bubbles and pretend you are six again.......tell silly jokes to your kids so that they will think you are your sister or brother and reminisce about your childhood days........

There are so many ways to find life enjoyable..........GO!  Find something new that will lift your spirit!!!
Then, email those ideas back to me so we can share them, if you are so inclined!!!

GO!!!  ENJOY!!!  PURE JOY!!!  FUN!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Trusting God...

And so, Part 3 begins......this is new ground for me, so please bear with me and forgive me if I stir up thoughts and/or emotions that might make you re-consider your views of this subject in a new way.

We started with the word Trust....then moved to Trusting Ourselves....and now, let's explore what it means to Trust God.  Yes, God.  The Creator of the Universe.  As some people say, a Higher Power.

First, do we believe God exists?  And, if so, what do we believe about God?  Do we believe He loves us, cares for us, guides us, heals us, and brings us joy?  Or, do we believe God is evasive, illusive, unforgiving, and difficult to talk to?  How about a Divine Genie who grants wishes?  Whatever your belief, consider expanding your horizon and looking at God from a new perspective.

Think on these words:  Omnipotent....a God who has unlimited power and authority.  Omnipresent... a God who is present everywhere....Omniscient...a God who has total knowledge.
Would you want to have a God like this on your side or prefer to ignore the evidence of this awesome Higher Power?

And, consider these definitions, too:  Awesome....inspiring awe - an emotion of mingled reverence, dread, and wonder.  Ask yourself:  do you feel awe for God or dread?  If it is dread, I hope you will open up your heart to find a very loving, caring, giving God.  One that you can feel awe for and revere.  Open your heart to find the wonder of His existence and Majesty.
Next, consider Divine....heavenly, magnificent, or supremely good.  Would this be your definition of God? 
If not, go outside tomorrow and listen to the birds as the morning a sunset........put your toes in the sand and watch the ocean....smell the fragrance of a meadow of wildflowers or a rose.
And, finally, years ago, I came upon this definition from a 12 Step program:  God as we understand Him.  A loving God.  A caring God.  The God of our recovery.  I like that definition.  And yet, as my faith has developed and grown, I have found there is a much higher calling for who God truly is.  And, I have found that so many people I meet need to explore news ways of thinking about God and/or finding God, perhaps for the very first time.

What image does the word "God" bring up for you?  Have you ever really explored your ideas of who God is and why?  Has your faith grown dramatically over the years, or have you been on cruise control most of your life? 

Interestingly enough, trusting God or learning to trust God may be a very provocative journey for some of us based on our family of origin and life's experiences.  I feel I have been very "lucky" and blessed to have been given a heritage of faith.  My mom and my grandparents had an extremely deep faith in God and passed those beliefs on to me.  I am truly grateful for that beginning, but I must admit, my faith has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years as I have explored a God whom I understand.

Trusting God has become my number one goal.  As I study His Word, the Bible each day, I find that trusting God is a key element to my faith growing and developing.  He asks us to Trust Him in every detail of our lives. Trust Him and don't be afraid.  Trust Him moment by moment. Trust Him in all our thoughts.  Trust Him in the depths of our being.  Trust Him with our decisions.  Trust Him with our finances.  Trust Him with our children and/or families.  Trust Him with our jobs.  Trust Him with our relationships.  Trust Him, lean on Him, depend on Him, come to Him, and allow Him to enter our hearts. 

Somewhere out there, there is an old adage that says:  "God helps those who help themselves."  Do you
believe that?  My mom did!!!  As most of you know, I loved my mom dearly.  She was one of the most loving, giving and self-sacrificing mother that ever lived on the face of this earth.  She was also one of the most self-sufficient and self-reliant people I know!!!  Fiercely independent, too!  Ask yourself:  do you try to do everything in your own strength and power?  Are you self-sufficient and/or self-reliant?  Independent?  Do you rely completely on yourself - so much so that you won't allow anyone to help you?
Well, guess what???  That old adage is Greek Mythology.  It come from Hercules!!!  Yep!  A myth, not a fact or a admonishment from the Lord.  There is not ONE verse in the Bible that says:  "Do it all yourself!"  Instead, we find that God asks us to trust Him with all of our lives......not some, not part, not most, but ALL of our lives.....would you consider laying down your self-sufficiency for a little TRUST???

What is really interesting, is that I have fought the fight of self-sufficiency myself for a long, long time.  Some battles I have won.  Some I have not.  I have displayed self-sufficiency to the nth degree in some ways and I am not saying that to boast.  I am saying it because of the God as I understand Him, and the God that I am learning to trust.  I am learning to rely on the God of the Universe who created me and wants me to learn His ways, His paths, His thoughts, and find His strength in every task.

One great verse in the Old Testament of the Bible is Proverbs 3: 5-6.  It says:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  Look to Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight." 

Acknowledge Him. Revere Him.  Get to know Him by studying His Word.  Trust Him with all of your heart.  It will be worth it.  I promise.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Trusting Ourselves....

Well, here is Part 2 on trust, as I am reminded by several responses to the first blog on the concept of trust that trusting ourselves is a key component as well to the concept of trust.

Melody Beattie (one of my favorite authors) in her book "The Language of Letting Go" reminds us that trust can be one of the most confusing concepts in recovery from life!  She has helped me to realize that learning to trust myself is one of the most important issues that I can face on a daily basis.  Many of us don't trust ourselves enough, so we go around asking other people what they think about a certain issue or topic.  We don't think we are smart enough or have enough experience to trust ourselves.  Or perhaps, we have made several mistakes in the past that have had monumental consequences, so we just don't want to take that chance again.  Think about that though - did you learn from the mistake?  Did you grow from that mistake?  Are you willing to try something new or take a different point of view based on the outcome of the past mistake?  Many times, we just need to realize that we need to slow down and have patience in making decisions or in thinking before we take action.  As you may imagine, patience is not my biggest virtue!  However, over the past 14 years, I have learned many, many things and waiting is one of the things I have asked God to teach me how to do.  It has been a hard lesson, but a very, very good one!  
I am learning to trust my own judgement now more than ever.  I used to think everyone else was smarter than me, or had more experience than I had in a particular area, or just "knew" better that I did.  Certainly, there are experts in various fields that can help us along the way, but in the basic things of life, we need to learn to trust ourselves.  Yes, it may be prudent to ask someone else how to build a deck or put on a new roof, but when it comes to matters of the  heart, you are the only one who truly knows your own heart.  Listen to that still, small voice in your head and your heart.  What is your heart saying?

I know that many people may have had trust issues in the past with a sibling, parent, spouse or someone very important in their life.  I do not mean to diminish that situation or experience.  Some people really should NOT be trusted.  Trust your instincts if that is the case!  However, did someone tell you that you could not trust yourself?  If so, did you believe them because they were older than you?  Smarter than you?  Or, because you did not realize you had the opportunity to trust yourself yet?  The process of growing up sometimes holds tenuous moments of learning things on our own.  Sometimes, we just need to learn that we CAN trust ourselves.  We ARE smart enough.  We DO have enough experience to make this decision or make that choice.  Trust is a process that we LEARN. 
Just as babies trust their parents and/or caregivers to give them the nourishment that they need, so we need to learn to trust our instincts, our thoughts, our opinions.  Not everyone else is smarter than we are.  Honestly.

And, some may be dealing with an issue right now that is detrimental to their lives or have been betrayed by someone they truly thought was on our side.  Acknowledge that betrayal.  Carefront that issue with yourself and with that person, if possible.  Then, move on, move forward.  Offer forgiveness, if possible.  And, don't forget to forgive yourself if you have made a mistake or two in the past.  We all do..........that's how we grow and learn!!!
When we learn to trust ourselves, it is a very wonderful feeling - it is also a gift that heals our heart.  Sometimes we make mistakes....sometimes we need to change our mind.......sometimes we need to re-think a decision or a relationship based on new information.  We really DO know in our hearts what is best for us - we really CAN rely on ourselves to make good decisions.  We really can trust that we will come to know the right answer for us in time.  Ask for guidance in your prayers - ask God to show you the way, then use the answers you find to move forward.  Use your own judgement as to whether or not something is right for you.  You can rely on yourself........really!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


On a quiet Sunday afternoon, I sit pondering the concept of trust.  It is defined as a firm reliance or confident belief or faith.  A person or thing in which confidence is placed, to rely on, to depend on, and to have hope in.....what is trust to you?  Who can you trust?  When can you really place your trust in something or someone?  When do you "allow" yourself to trust someone???

My brother gave me this analogy once:  Trust is a bit like a bank account.  You build it - one deposit at a time.  Just like deposits in a bank account, you add a little trust each time you do what you say you are going to do.   Or, trust is built when someone ask you to keep something in confidence and you do.  Trust is built over time - it is a process in many doesn't happen overnight.  Sometimes, trust takes a long time to build and other times, it comes more easily or readily. 

I was lucky enough to have parents who were a good source of trust.  My parents loved us kids and did whatever it took to take good care of us and keep us from harm.  They provided a secure home and a safe place to express our feelings.  They disciplined us and taught us right from wrong.  They loved us unconditionally.  I have been blessed. 

Other examples of trust may be:  When you take an elderly neighbor to the doctor and they depend on you to show up on time, drive them to the appointment and take them home.  This builds trust as you take care of their needs and allow them to get there and back safely.
Or, you show up at the hospital room while a friend is waiting for their loved one to come out of surgery or visit when they are recovering from surgery. 
Trust is built when you show up or take your kids to every baseball game, every soccer game, every volleyball game, every swim meet, every theater practice or play, or whatever activity your kids enjoyed growing up! 
Trust is built when you put your kids to bed at night when they are little - they know you are there for them.
Trust is built when your teenage kids know you will take them to dinner every Sunday as promised. 
Trust is built one step at a time, one hug at a time, one listening ear at a time, one reliable instance at a time.

Trustworthy people are truthful, believable and credible.  They follow through, they can be counted on for big things and small things.  They are reliable.  They are honest.  The are humble.  They are dependable. When others seem scarce, a trustworthy person is there for you.  You know you can call that person anytime and they will listen, give you a shoulder to cry on and a heart to depend on.

Learning to trust may be a journey for some who have not had the gift of trustworthy people in their lives.
Trust is a key concept in our lives - one we need to build and refine each day.  In ourselves and in our relationships.  It is a foundation worth building.  Be dependable, be reliable, be faithful in your duties - be that person others can count on!!! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Divine Appointments...

Divine appointments - have you ever had one?  Have you ever met someone that you feel was brought into your life for a reason?  Or, have you done something you have been longing to do and found out that you are being led exactly to what you need at the moment?  Have you been praying for direction, guidance or wisdom about a particular thing in your life and all of a sudden you find yourself right smack in the middle of where you want to be or wanted to do for a very long time?  Perhaps you have noticed that you found the avenue you have been looking for to start a new journey.  Perhaps you just met the right person to catapult you to the next phase of your life or has inspired you to begin a new adventure.  Well, if you have been feeling these feelings or thinking these thoughts, you may have found yourself in the midst of a Divine appointment!!!

A very dear friend of mine named Beth, suggested several months ago that I meet with another friend of hers named Julie.  Beth felt our "creativity" were meant to be together and she was right!

Julie and I have met several times to introduce ourselves and our ideas to one another and an opportunity presented itself to us today!  We took a journey to Timber Ridge Adventure Center off Highway 10 to tour the facility and see if we might like to host a retreat there.  Well, guess what?  We DO!

God's love surrounds us each moment of every day!  His provision is complete and secure.  God cares about the smallest things if we do!  I believe the Lord brought Julie and I together so that we could collaborate to bring fresh, new ideas to other people, particularly women over the age of 50, who want to explore, investigate and discover their strengths and goals as well as learn to refresh their spirit and rejuvenate their souls!!!

Divine - supremely good, majestic, magnificent, heavenly!
Appointment - an arrangement to do something or meet someone.  
These two things came together today!!!  The center is magnificent, serene, and lovely!  A perfect place to host a retreat and to refresh the souls of those who choose to journey with us!!!

Stay tuned...............invitations will be sent!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


My sister, Cathi, gave me a wonderful topic to blog about today = Adventure!!!  Her thoughts got me to thinking and I know she will take her adventure in a different direction than I will, but she has inspired me to new ways of thinking about this thing called "adventure."  (Thank you, Cathi!!!)

What is adventure???  Well, the dictionary definition is:  Taking risks, an unusual or suspenseful experience, a venture, an escapade, a lark!!!  When was the last time you "took" an adventure or viewed life as an "adventure?" 

Be your own hero or heroine and go on an adventure today!  Be a dare-devil to try something new.......plot out a new path........go on a journey even if it is just to the grocery store! 

My mom used to do that and I thought she was crazy!  Here is a true story:  I was home in Ohio one trip and she asked me to accompany her to the grocery, so I got in the car with her and off she goes down the road right past the grocery.  After several minutes, I asked her, "Where are you going?"  She replied:  "To the grocery."  One more question from the peanut gallery (me):  "Did you know it was just down the block from where you live?"  She replied: "Yes."  My reply was:  "So, why are we going in the opposite direction?"  Her reply:  "To look at the neighbor's garden and to see if the trees in the park have blossomed yet!" mom was on an adventure every day of her life!  And, she taught her four kids to do so as well....I believe her six grand kids "journey", too!!!  What fun, what an adventure, what a gift!!!

Now, consider this: is a carefree adventure!  (I think I like that word!!!)
Lark.........even better!  It is a carefree romp or prank!  A spree or mischief!
Venture...a speculative or risky undertaking.  To brave the dangers of.  To express at the risk of denial, criticism or censure.
Venturesome...daring, bold!

Okay, so without getting yourself into TOO much trouble, be BOLD today!  Be venturesome!!  Go on an escapade - dare to be carefree!!! 
Spread a little mischief today wherever you go!!!

And remember, God goes with you and wants you to enjoy the adventure each moment you are alive!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Frantic Panic...

Okay folks, you all are aware of my ability to put WAY too much on my plate!  Well, this morning, I did the ultimate!  I woke up early, to unpack my rental car for work and find that I had left my laptop in Wichita at McConnell AFB yesterday!  So, frantically, trying not to panic (ha! ha!)  I took out everything in my car to make sure it wasn't there in my briefcase, etc.  Not finding it, I scampered around trying to get ahold of the person at McConnell to see if the laptop was there - I left her a message at 6:30 a.m., (texted and called) and did not get a response until after 8 a.m. - ugh!!!  Yes, those were 2 hours of total panic infused with deliberate attempts to calm down and trust God to help me....When she let me know that the laptop was no where to be found, I panicked even more, of course!  I got dressed in a hurry with the intent of driving to Wichita so that I could retrieve my laptop.  On the way, I kept trying to keep calm and pray for God's guidance as to where in the world I could have left it.  Knowing all the while, I had a very important teleconference today from 12-2 p.m. on which I need to utilize my laptop to gain access and finalize topics for the teleconference.  I HAD to have my computer!  Also, in the meantime, my work iPhone was not allowing me to have access to email, so I could not even find out what messages my boss had sent me to prepare for this call!  Panic, stress, frantic-ness prevailed!!!  I was a mess!!!
Finally, after getting dressed quickly, jumping in the rental car, and starting to drive down the highway once again, I prayed one more time:  "Please Lord, help me to remember where I laid the computer yesterday.  I stopped my car in a parking lot off Lackman and SM Parkway to check the bag I thought I had put the computer in............the same one I had checked a million times earlier this morning in my driveway!  And, guess what?  Low and behold, the slick top portion of the laptop was not very visible due to the black color on the black color of the bag.  It had been there all along!!!  I had just panicked and MISSED it!
WHEW...........what a lesson of chaos and trust!!! 

My grandmother had taught me a prayer years ago when I was little that has worked EVERY time I pray it:
"Okay, Lord, YOU know where _______ show me!"  I am serious.  It works every time. 
IF ONLY I would slow down..........take a deep breath ( as I teach in my Stress Management classes!) and ask for help from the Lord of the Universe instead of relying on my own strength and frantic-ness.

Now, for the kicker!  After I found the computer, PRAISED the LORD with shouts of JOY, I came home to empty the contents of the Rental Car again.  This time, I placed my regular computer bag (with the computer in it) behind the car and took other items to my garage.  Then, I went around the opposite side of the car to get in to drive out of my driveway and return the rental car.  Klunk!!! What???  Get out of the car and see what was making noice..........Open trunk, check.  Nothing.........Get in the driver's seat, back up..........Thump!  Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch!  What?  What's that???  I pulled forward to find I had run over my computer bag - computer and all.  The bag I had left on the driveway as I carried other items to the garage.....and totally forgot in my hurried state.  My computer bag was UNDERNEATH the rental car!!!  UGH!!!  If I didn't know better, I would think that I LOVE LUCY still lives!!!  In ME!!!  Lucille Ball did NOT die in 1991 - she lives in ME!!!  YEP - these episodes actually happened between 6:30 and 9:30 a.m. today.........The good news is:  my computer is NOT damaged!!!  Once again, PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!!!

You might be thinking this could not have possibly happened to ONE person, but guess what?  It did.  All of it.  Every word is true.  Thanks to my own frantic behavior, and allowing panic to set in, I experienced one of the most stressful mornings I have had in a very, very long time.  And, all because I didn't trust.  I didn't stop.  I didn't allow the CALM presence of the Lord of the Universe to surround me.  I went on in my own strength......panicking......stressing........I did not allow the Comforting, Almighty, Loving Majestic Presence of God to fill me. CALM.  His Calm, His love, His sovereignty.

Finally, thanks to a phone call from a very special person named Tim, I calmed down.  Tim reminded me that God's love and order surrounds me.  I can trust Him.  I can rely on Him to calm me down and return me to a place where I can "Be Still and KNOW that I am God." (Psalm 46:10.)  What a gift!!!  What an incredible gift from the God of Creation.  To still the chaos by interrupting my frantic-ness with a phone call from a very special friend.  To remind me, I am loved.  I don't have to "push through" on my own.......I don't have to rely on my own strength...I don't have to "go it alone!"

Yes, there was at one point amongst all the chaos that I created today, when I calmed down and remembered one of my favorite scriptures:  Philippians 4:13 says:  "I can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens me!"  Ahhhhhhhh, yes! That's the ticket!