“I’m sorry, I just don’t have time.”

“My plate is so full, I just can’t take on one more thing.” 

“I couldn’t possibly fit one more thing into my schedule.” 

“I’m so busy I don’t know if I found a rope or lost my horse”

“I don’t have time to be this busy!”

“Let me check my schedule……..”

Too Busy?

Robert Lewis Stevenson said    “Keep busy at something. A busy person never has time to be unhappy.” 

I say “A busy person never has time to be truly happy”

Busy is that stack of paperwork and the office, the tower of unwashed dishes by the sink, the pile of dirty laundry on the floor, the meetings and the coffee dates, the kid’s ball games and concerts, zoom calls and text messages, the doctor appointments, and club gatherings, golf games and yoga class, grocery shopping, birthday parties, home repairs and study groups. The list goes on and on. Why do we do it? Why do we fill our days with all the STUFF? 


Let’s face it; We are ALL busy and we have ALL used being ‘busy’ as an excuse for not doing something else. The bottom line is that we choose our ‘busy’. Saying “I don’t have time.” is a cop out. It is ONLY and excuse, not a reason. We all have the same amount of time. Every day is 24 hours for every person. What you do with your 24 is your choice. 

It’s all about priorities. If something is important to you then you will make time for it. 

“In order to say yes to your priorities, you have to say no to something else”  


I know, I know! I hear you right now. “It’s not that easy.” ” I have to work to support my family.” I do have priorities, I just have to_________” Fill in the blank.

It is that easy. You just have to WANT it bad enough. 

One of my favorite pastors used to say ” If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.”  

Pastor Rick’s quote is so very true. The devil uses all the things of the world to distract and tempt us into a life spent living on our own accomplishments and desires. So much so that we forget who we are and who’s we are. We start to think “I can do it all” , “I can handle it all”, “I got this!”  We become so  self-reliant, and over confident in our ability to go it alone that we forget that we are NOT alone. — and THAT is exactly what the devil wants. He wants us to forget about God. He wants our priorities to exclude that which matters more than anything else—Our relationship with God the Father. 

Because friends, there will come a time when you realize that you have bit off more than you can chew; a time when you find out that you CAN’T do it all; a time when you are so overwhelmed by the obligations of this world that you don’t know where to turn, and that is when GOD steps in and holds you up. It is at the moment when you need Him most, that He will be there.  He will always be there waiting for you to realize that you need Him and when you admit that to yourself and accept His hand, then all the world’s busyness will slip away and your priorities will fall right in line. 

Life is full of obligations that we simply have to meet in order to live productive and healthy lives. We have jobs and families, friends and social activities that fulfill us and challenge us. We have things to do that may not be enjoyable, but are necessary or things that are not particularly fun or enlightening, but are practical and important to do for basic needs, civic, or community reasons. Not all of being busy is a bad thing. God wants us to be productive, to enjoy our lives and to have families, and accomplishments. God wants to shower His blessings upon us, but He wants something in return. He wants our love and for us to love others as we love ourselves. 

So, put down your phone, shut down the browser, walk away from the dirty dishes and spend a little time with God. Talk to Him. Tell Him about your day. Thank Him for the blessings in your life. Ask Him what He would like for you to do and then listen. Just sit quietly and listen. God wants to spend time with you. He wants to be a priority in your life. And then, just breathe and love yourself. Love your family, and your friends and most of all feel the love of your heavenly Father in that moment. The dishes will wait.


As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions– IT IS BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED.

       Ephesians 2: 1-5

Why Me?

I am a sinner. I admit it. I own it. Even though I am a child of God and a follower of Jesus, I am so very, very imperfect. I wish all of my imperfections away, but alas, I am who I am, and I struggle– daily—sometimes hourly–to be a better human. I feel so unworthy, and often wonder “Why me?” “Why do I get to reap the love of the heavenly Father?”   I don’t deserve it. I didn’t earn it. Actually it is quite the opposite. If the world offered up to me what I actually deserve from my behavior……             

I don’t even want to think about it. 

What is it that keeps me from falling off the edge? Some days I wonder what keeps me from JUMPING off the edge.  

I think that all of us, at one time or another have had one of those days. A day when nothing seems to go your way. Maybe you have had one of those weeks, or months, or years. Sometimes it is an hourly struggle to just dig in your fingers and hold on to the edge. 

“The moment you are ready to quit is usually the moment right before a miracle happens. Don’t give up.”




There was a time, several years ago, that I was hanging on to the edge of the cliff with white knuckles and bleeding fingertips. I wanted to just let go and fall away.   At the time, things looked bleak for a happy and fulfilled life. Inside, I was lonely, and sad and lost, although on the outside looking in, I was happy and successful with many friends and a loving family.  I was a good actor, and not just for others to see but for myself too. I created a life that I could be okay with.  I thought I could make everything work and that day by day, life would be all I ever wanted… and for a while it was. But what was actually happening was out of my control and an unsettled sadness was lurking and creeping and pursuing me until one day I couldn’t control it any more. I feel apart inside. I woke up on the edge of the cliff.  It was as if I stepped outside of my body and looked in at the mess I had made. I could see no way to clean it up without making an even bigger mess.  The masquerade was over. I had failed– completely and miserably –and there was going to be fall out.  I  was at the proverbial end of my rope. 

I don’t mean to paint a dark picture. There were many happy and wonderful times. I had so much to be thankful for and to be content and fulfilled with. Life was good to me. I was so blessed, but there was an emptiness I can’t explain, and it ate at me until one day I couldn’t hide it anymore and I cried out to God. 

You must understand that at this point in my life I was a believer in the story of Jesus. I had a little church background, but was not active in any faith of any kind. The basis of my Christian thought was that if I did the right things; if I was kind and good to people; if I wasn’t mean and hateful then I was okay with God.  I had an old King James, red letter bible on a shelf that I believed to contain the word of God, but I never bothered to read it.  I was as lost as a goose– thinking I could do it all, and handle it all, and control it all.  I was so wrong. I knew I needed help but I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone what was happening in my soul. I didn’t think anyone would understand. I just knew that I had made a mess so deep that no one would be able to show me the way out.  I didn’t know what else to do  but blow the dust off that book and search for an answer. It was my last resort. I read, and sobbed, and searched. I cried out to God for answers. I needed to know what to do and I desperately prayed for help and guidance.  I was so broken and felt so alone. 

God heard me. He reached down and pulled me up from the edge.  It didn’t know it then.  I was clueless and hopeless and still very lost. I know now that from that moment He began to work in my life- quietly and gently guiding me away from where I was to where I am today.  I know now that the moment I asked for His help He was there. He was there even before I asked, just waiting— waiting for me to give up my control and let Him take the lead. I imagine Him saying “It’s about time! ”  

His help came in the form of a stranger. A random, unexplained meeting of a person that I would have never have chosen to know; a person that was so different than myself; a person that I  tried to ignore; a person that had a  heart full of Christ and an love for people… and talking…. and listening.  A person that God intended me to meet and to know. A person that would show me the way to find hope and joy in the love of Jesus by simply listening and caring. Granted, I didn’t go into trusting in God’s love without kicking and screaming, but with patience and humor, compassion and kindness, he walked with me and sometimes carried me through the mess I had created until I came out on the other side – renewed and alive in hope. 

Once I was able to take all of my mistakes and bad decisions, my feelings of worthlessness and my desire for control, my wrong doings, and poor choices and all the other ugly in my life and lay it all down in front of God, a new  spirit was breathed into me.  It took a while for me to realize that I was lovable,  and forgiven. It took me even longer to forgive and love myself. But I did. I didn’t deserve God’s love, I didn’t deserve His grace. I certainly didn’t earn either of those things, but I was given them anyway. The hardest part about receiving a gift as great as the grace of God, is knowing that He can love you so much that there is nothing you can do accept to receive it. Receive the blessings He wants to give to you  without trying re-pay Him. You can’t. Your debt was paid by Jesus  and He is there holding you up and pulling you back off that cliff   


All you have to do is cry out for Him and He will be there.

I know.

I’ve been on the edge where you are. 

Don’t let go- reach up.


Small Town WIsedom

Old roads, old dogs, old folks and old ways still have a lot to offer in this sped-up world we all live in. 

Most everyone’s life is a hustle and bustle of getting things done every day, mine is no exception, but the last 6 weeks have been incredibly busy for me. Not with the ‘normal ‘ busy that we all deal with, but with some once in a life time sort of things that require an extra bit of energy and thought.  My schedule has been filled with graduations,  and weddings that required travel, preparing my daily life to go back to work next month (finally!!) and on top of that I have had  Covid,  lost two weeks in quarantine,  and  have moved my mother from an apartment into an assisted living facility that is located about a   12 hour drive from where I live.   

This morning as I lay sleeping on the floor of my mother’s new space, I listened to the sounds of  the midwestern farm town silence and it gave me pause.  Forgotten childhood peace washed over me; thoughts of rest and clarity, the smells of wet grass and farm dirt, and a longing for the comfort and community of small town life. 

I grew up in a tiny little town in the mid-west, where everyone knew their neighbors and their neighbor’s families.  Farmers met in town for coffee and talked about the weather and the crop prices, the high school football game last Friday, and the upcoming city council meetings.  We put our hands on our hearts and said the pledge of allegiance, flew American flags and knew how to fold them.  Families gathered with each other during summer celebrations on main street, and brought food to the homes of those suffering sickness and loss,  attended card clubs and  girl scouts, parades and church picnics, pancake feeds, and spaghetti suppers to raise money for worthy causes and organizations. We knew each other’s needs and each other’s business. As kids we could run and play outside and all over town without worry because without our knowing, the watchful eyes of the entire town were peeking through the lace curtains to see what we were doing.  We were safe. We were free to be kids. We were the lifeblood  and future of our small hometown.   

 My little home town seems so much smaller now. It IS smaller now. What few businesses are left there are struggling and a little rundown,  and most of the people I knew have passed away or moved on, but the heart of the town is still there; the sense of community and pride, the love and care for each other, the compassion to help and to laugh together. Kids still ride their bikes in the street and play kickball on the church lawn while watched secretly from someone’s kitchen window.  Society has changed the pattern of life, but the people here really haven’t.

This trip has brought me back home, to hear the stories of the mid-western women who are residents in this facility and to refresh my soul. I am encouraged and uplifted, my faith in people has been restored. I am reminded that we all really desire the same things out of life; comfort in community, compassion to receive and to give, satisfaction in a good day’s work, pride for our home and our schools, and a desire to wake every day knowing that we are safe and loved.  

I currently live in a mid-sized city.  I know most of the people who live in my neighborhood, but not many outside of that small area. By saying ” I know them”, means I know their names, and a little bit about their families or their jobs, but I don’t really KNOW them. I am involved in social circles and activities with  my church and with my place of employment , but other than that I don’t have a sense of belonging in the city itself.  I wonder about people who live in really large cities and if  the lives they live are connected with neighbors and community beyond where they lay their heads at night. I imagine they are. I imagine that people everywhere want to wake to the feeling of safety and connection with those around them.  So why do we have all the frantic chaos happening in  our nation if we all want the same things? 

I seriously do not want to go deep here. I know there are many problems that need to be fixed and issues that are complicated and weigh heavily on our leaders. I know that there are people suffering and neglected, angry and disenfranchised.  I don’t want to appear callous or to de-value the situations that are mountains before us, but I do want to make the point that we ALL are climbing the same mountain, and we ALL want to reach the summit.  How do we get there?  I think we need to look to the wisdom of the small town. We need to sit down, and shut up, and listen to the common sense that flows freely around the table of the farmers having coffee, listen to the remembrances from those that have been seasoned with age and experience and from those stories gain insight and focus. We need to go back to our roots and search our histories for the things that worked, and remember why they did. We need a resurgence of  the small town way of life to permeate society. While we advance in our technologies and our economies into the future, we need to anchor and center ourselves on the past. We need to build upon those that have gone before us. As a society, we need to learn from their mistakes, and utilize their successes, not erase or deny them.  We must remember the bad and the good and become stronger because of it. Small towns are the heart of America and I am so thankful that I have the blood of midwestern, hard working, fresh air loving, neighborhood watching, common sense filled,  flag waving, community loving  ancestors running through my veins. 

I am thankful for these crazy six weeks. I am even thankful for the Covid quarantine. I was forced to put on my brakes and slow down.  And then a return to my home town and a few days with some wonderfully wise, strong and interesting, retired mid-western, salt of the earth women,  to fill me with a renewed perspective. 

Small town.

Home town.

Farm town.

My town.


One of my favorite quotes is “Bad planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.”  That may seem a little snarky, but its true. Right?   Have you been there? On what side? When I first saw that quote it was hanging in the breakroom of the place where I worked;  a business that  provided custom made products to clients. For a long time I was on the snarky end of that statement.  I am typically a fanatic planner, but I have fallen into the front side of that quote once or twice and needed someone to bail me out of my emergency.   I think we’ve all been there. 

Bad planning can be a bad habit, and a hard one to break.   Since I am an Enneagram 8 and a very type A personality, bad planning is not something I struggle with, but I know that many do, including my husband.  He is, among other things, a college teacher, so he deals with others in the bad planner school of discipline even more than I do.  He shares  (anonymously of course) some of his student’s reasons for missing tests,  or class requirements and some of them are quite laughable. He once had a student claim that the reason she had not completed any assignments in the on-line class she was enrolled in,  was that she did not have a computer. Maybe the class description should have been more clear in the catalog that on-line classes require the student to have means to connect to the internet.  Perhaps this is the ultimate example of  bad planning, but I am more inclined to think it is a great example of how we make ourselves feel better for our mistakes by finding an excuse to cover them up.  We  don’t want to own it when we blow it. 

Walking a life in Christ is hard. 

We make mistakes. 

A lot of them.

I know I do.

Every day.

What separates those who are successful from those who aren’t is the line that is drawn between one  of two categories.  Do you own it and fix it, or do you make excuses and continue to blow it? Where do you fall? Do you walk that line in between?  More often than I like to admit, I have made excuses for my short comings or bad decisions.  It is a natural tendency to want to protect ourselves from our stupidity.  We don’t want to look like the fool that we are. So we cover it up.  The question is this– ‘ Who are you covering it up for?’  Those that you are trying to fool can see right through it. If you are hiding from God?  He knows.  So who’s left?  Yourself.  You are trying to make yourself feel better.

Does it work? 

Be honest. 

My second favorite quote is; ” I’m sorry I’m late, I got here as soon as I wanted to.”  Also a bit snarky.  But it is the truth.  This is truly  ‘owning it.’

We all make choices- good ones and bad ones, but as Christians we have to also make the choice to atone for the bad ones. We can’t make any excuses- we have to go to God, confess our sins. (little and big it makes no difference) and ask forgiveness. 

Then what?

We do better. We try again. We work to get it right. We take a step in the opposite direction from the path we were on. We repent and start over. The cool thing is that God lets us. Every time. If we are truly on the path to righteousness, and truly seeking to walk in His ways, we get a ‘do-over. ‘  Because we are simply human and destined to be imperfect,  we all need God to give us another chance to get it right., and He does.  He gave us a contract  for this forgiveness through His son, Jesus. 



The greatest thing about giving up your mistakes in confession is the forgiveness that is received.  God wants to forgive us. He loves us. Think about how you felt as a child when you said you were sorry for whatever thing you did ; tears on your little face,  scared of impending punishment; sick to your stomach; shaking in your boots,   and your parent or your teacher  or your friend  heard your apology and said  “It’s okay”  or ” We’ll work it out.”  Remember that feeling of relief?  Remember the tears being wiped away or the hug that followed?  It’s just like that with Jesus. 

Only better. 

Here is another great thing.—– It doesn’t matter what you have done. It doesn’t matter how bad you think you are.  No mistake- no sin is too great for God. Did you hear that?  You are NEVER to far gone for Him.  God is a good and merciful Father and He loves you. Let him wipe away your tears.    There is nothing that would make your heavenly Father happier than for you to come to Him  with your mistakes laid bare so that He can say ” I love you anyway.”  

So why do we see all this stuff in the news where Christians are caught doing all kinds of bad things? Why do we see  ugliness and atrocities committed by those who have been serving in churches and  Christian organizations?  People claim the name of Christ and then commit murder in His name. People claim Jesus and then  act in unkind ways to their neighbors. People preach love and then live in hate. People lie and cheat and steal and . . . . . . . . . 




We all need forgiveness.


Do better

Stop making excuses

Own it


WHere do we go from here?

Today marks 390 days since Covid 19 was declared a national emergency.  It has been 317 days since protests began in Minneapolis; 430 days since the first caucus for the election of  new leaders in our country;  91 days since protestors stormed our capitol; and 76 days since a new president stepped into  the white house. The last 13 months have been one of the most tumultuous times in our country and from the looks of things, we are not yet on the road to taming the turmoil.  Why?  Because we are divided.  We are no longer ONE nation under God, We are not united in the common good. We have been divided and the chasm that exists between us all seems to be  getting wider and deeper. 

Is this  summery negative and hopeless?   How do you feel? What issues have you had to personally face these past months? Do you feel divided from others?  Do you think there is a better way?                                                     

I feel all of those things, and I know there is a better way. 

I am not going to start a big debate. I am not going to instigate a fight. I am not going to tell you who to vote for. who to work for,  who to marry,  or what company to boycott. I  am not going to say what news program to watch or what social media platform to hang out on.  But I am going to tell you that all of this complicated political, economic, and social unrest in our country can be solved by one thing. 


Unity in Christ

  • It is that simple.
  • It is a choice.

There are a lot of people talking about unity.  We all know that is the problem. “We need to unite!”   So why aren’t we?  Because a large majority of people who are crying out to unite, are really saying “Think like me and everything will be fine.” We are declaring our own rules and our own boundaries for what others must do in order to unite with us.  We are failing to  acknowledge that there are two sides to every story and even more sides to people’s values, beliefs and commitments. We have been trying to force ‘those other people” into our box of acceptable attitudes. “You are wrong, I am right.” has been the normal format to discussions, and print articles,  media blurbs, and news broadcasts for quite some time. 


The same thing has happened throughout history.   It is human nature; it is genetic; it is socially learned behaviors; it is who we are. We are intelligent beings with minds that don’t all  follow the same thought process.  God intended it to be that way.  Our differences and imperfections are what make us perfect . We are perfectly and purposefully  mismatched so that together we can be complete.  We were meant to be different together and together united as one. Many gifts, one spirit. Many parts to the body under the head that is Christ.  One nation under God. 

As a human race, it appears that we are floundering to find a solution to the muddled mess of the last 13 months. We blame it on  the pandemic, or the politicians, or the police, or the Pope, or the protestors, or the pompous people who don’t think like us.  But we really can’t blame it on any of those things. 

Who can we blame it on? 


That’s right. It’s your fault. It’s my fault.  We have made choices that have brought us to this point. 

WE have caused this mess and it is up to us to clean it up.

How do we start?   

How do we navigate through this sea of disconnect? 


We must first find our compass.

“….until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God  and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ,  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of every teaching and by the cunning and craftiness  of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is Christ.  From Him, the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. ”  Ephesians 4: 13-16

” Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another………….Live at peace with everyone. ”  Romans  12; 9-16, 18b

I hear you. You are thinking:  “Its not that easy.” 

“There are so many important issues that we have to change.” 

“We can never agree.”   

 “We have to take control.”   





But it is that easy. 

It is a choice. 

Make the choice to love each other. REALLY love each other. Be unified in the common compass that we can get through this mire of murky madness and come out the other side in love and understanding with respect and common goals to make a better world for our children and our grandchildren.                                                                                                                       

Find your compass. 

Look up. 


“The most effective way to do it, is to do it. ” 

Amelia Earhart

“Git ‘er Done”

Anybody that knows me knows I am not the one left sitting when there is work to be done.  If there is a job that needs doing, a task left unfinished, a mess that needs cleaning, or a loose end that needs to be tied up- I’m your girl.  I am not sure why that is. It’s just the way I am. I could say I was born that way,  or maybe it’s a  learned behavior. Either way- I have this inner motivation to ‘git ‘er done.’

I have to admit, I am also a little OCD. Now, I know this is a serious condition that some people are stricken with and I don’t mean to make light of their struggles, but  it drives me nuts when things are out of place and unorganized, or pictures hung on wall are ever slightly tilted. No matter how I try to hold back and relax while someone else clears the table or to sit and  ignore a stack of unwashed dishes, I just can’t. Maybe it is my inner obsession or maybe it is that as a kid, I observed the adults in my life doing what needed to be done. My parents and grand parents were hard working, middle class people. They lived through tough times and earned a good living by rolling up their sleeves and getting busy. 

I have this need to be busy; to have a project or task to be working on. Sometimes the job that needs to be done is an unfamiliar one. Sometimes a project presents itself that requires a special skill,  or appears as an unsolvable problem that others may shy away from. Not me.   These situations? 


I will figure it out- somehow. 

I admit I have backed down from a few ‘mountainous obstacles’ and have had a good share of epic fails, but most were not life threatening. I have made a few really ugly birthday cakes that started out with great ideas, and have had to call in a ‘professional’ to fix my mess now and then, but overall I would say I have happily checked the ‘done well’ box for the most part.  

Because of my bull-headed personality to not back down from a challenge I have discovered some hidden talents and learned some pretty handy skills. I can hang sheet rock and mud a joint. I can read a blueprint and build a wall. I can re-upholster a chair, and arrange flowers in a vase. I can alter your wedding gown and use  power tools.

I can’t decorate a pretty birthday cake. 

So, besides being stubborn and accepting a challenge, what is it that has caused me to be able to do these things?  Courage?  Lack of common sense?  Determination and fortitude?  Ignoring Murphy’s law?  Maybe all of the above, but the one thing I am sure of is that I would have never learned or accomplished anything in my life if I had not have tried.  I tried because that is what I saw  the grown ups do when I was young. They just did what needed to be done. 

I am a ‘git ‘er done’ girl because I am willing to try.  I think that is all we can do, really, in our whole life. Just try.  When we are asked to step into something that we don’t feel equipped to do,  or when the task placed before us seems mountainous, or the job is over our head, perhaps all we need to do is be brave enough to say “I’ll try.” 

Do I think that we are born with certain skills and talents? Yes. Do I think we are born with certain personality traits that define who we are? Yes. Do I think that we learn behaviors from those who mentor us as children? Yes. Do I believe that we are all gifted by God for a purpose on earth? Yes.   Do I think it is our responsibility to live out this purpose using our inborn traits, and talents, our learned behaviors and skills? Yes   

How do we do that?

We try. 

                                Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

Who’s right?

Chapter 15 of Acts documents a meeting between some of the early apostles of Christ. They were faced with an issue debating the differences between the Jewish and the Gentile believers and their opposing life practices.  For example; Jewish law was such that young men were to be circumscribed on the 8th day after birth, and the Gentiles did not adhere to this practice.  This particular difference was a stumbling block for many Jews to be able to accept their brothers in Christ that were Gentile and likewise it was a serious issue for the Gentiles as well. There were several other things about the Gentile way of life that upset the Jewish believers  ; eating food that was considered unclean,  and many practices and actions that were to be followed in day to day life that were not part of the Gentile culture.  In a nutshell, the  Jews felt that they had followed the law for their whole life and now others were getting the same benefits without ever having to follow the same rules. They thought it was unfair and that in order for the Gentiles to be included in the same ‘believership’ they should follow all the same laws and be essentially converted to Judaism.  


The early apostles had the first church fight in Antioch.  I can picture the scene.  Church fights can be brutal, and I imagine this one was a doosey.   Each side wanting their voices heard. Each side wanting the other to acquiesce  and fall in line with a new way of thinking. Each side feeling righteous and everyone standing on personal superiority of opinions. I can envision  the leaders of this meeting trying desperately to keep order and peace in the midst of shouting and fists pounding punctuation to wordy speeches .  

The  participants at this  meeting reached an agreement that was beneficial to everyone. I don’t think this was an easy task. There were some serious conflicts but the common goal brought them together.  They didn’t draw the other side into their camp. They didn’t convert one culture into another. They didn’t change the law. They didn’t lessen the importance of the other’s views.  They learned. They changed their point of view. They understood each other. They agreed to love  and support each other . They reached a unity , a togetherness that bound them on a communal path.: To share the good news of Jesus Christ and to expose the world to His love and grace. 


This same scenario is played out all the time. In churches, schools, offices, street corners, family diners,  _________________(fill in the blank).  We are all guilty of thinking that we are completely right and our counterpart is completely wrong.  You’ve been there. I know I have. 


WHo wins?

When push comes to shove in your personal agendas do you give in or hold out to be ‘right’ ?  Do you stand firm or compromise?  Do you chose to love or hate?  Do you dig in and speak louder to prove your point even though you may realize you are wrong? 

Here  I stand. Guilty as charged. I admit that I am not the first to give in nor the first to admit I am wrong. That is a trait I am struggling to be rid of.  There is a time to stand your ground. There is a time to hold strong to a principal  that is powerful and justified. But there is also a time to give in and reach a common goal that is greater than yourself.  When that goal is  the love and grace of Jesus everyone wins because God meant for that power to be available to everyone. NO exclusions. NO exceptions. No limitations. 

Are there laws and rules to life that are necessary.? Of course there are. Are there  policies and cultural traditions that are important? Of course there are.  But of all the rules and laws , traditions and policies that we live under, the most important one is to love God and to love each other.  Jesus made it simple. He was sent to earth to teach us this one great commandment and then he took our sins upon Himself and died so that we can be made whole. 

Note to self:  You don’t have to be right to win the fight.  The battle has already been fought and Jesus let you win. 

– ONe day or day one- you decide-

Change is hard. It can be really hard. It can seem impossible.– So impossible that we don’t even try.  Even the thought of change can be so overwhelming that it causes huge anxiety, fear or even sever depression.  Change is scary and upsetting.  There is an underlying negative reaction to  hearing just the word “change.”  Even if you are “up for a change” there is still some apprehension in what may come next. The word ‘change’ creates stress,  so I am making the literary choice to replace that word with “growth.”  “Growth” sounds positive, right?  Growth is getting better- getting stronger- growing up and out in new and fresh ways. Growth is Spring and new birth and fresh starts. 

The other day my husband and I went for a walk near our neighborhood. After several days of rain and cold the sun had come out. The cloudless sky was crystal blue and the air was warm and dry.   The walking path we take  follows a creek and is surrounded by nature’s green and wild bushes on one side with manicured flowers and shrubs on the other.  This particular day, because of all the rain, the creek was bubbling along at a good pace- tumbling and bouncing over the rocks-cleansing itself.  There were some daffodils starting to bloom, and the green was creeping up the banks over winter dirt.  As we walked, a young deer jumped out of the woods and bounded on down the creek bank and out of view.  This sounds all storybook and picturesque, like I am creating some perfect setting for a travel ad for my town.  Right? 

      I swear it is true. I am blessed to live in a beautiful place.

I know you are smart enough to see where I am going with this. Spring–new growth- all is well- happy little flowers.  — Ya’ , you got it.

But I am not giving you the total picture. 

All along this pretty little path there were little bits of trash – plastic bags and soda bottles, paper and other bits of man made throw offs washed up into the brambles on the sides of the creek bank.  Not so much of it that it was the first thing you saw, but enough so that when your really looked you could see it.  Seeing it made me angry.  I thought to myself, and said out loud  “Why do people do that?”  “Here is this beautiful place that volunteers work hard to keep nice and then some idiot throws out their soda can!!” 

So here’s the thing.- Most of that litter  was probably not thrown out right there. It was washed down the creek from somewhere else or blown in by the wind. It wasn’t ‘fresh’ garbage. There were signs of age and distress to it; faded, torn and shabby, dirty and undistinguishable.   –Trash that had been around a while.

Despite it’ s presence I saw the beauty and the freshness of Spring taking hold. The first impressions of this setting was not seeing those bits of trash.  The new growth overshadowed the old garbage.  

Our lives are like that too.  We carry with us lots of trash that is blown in from other sources. We didn’t put it there intentionally, but it is there just the same. Some of it belongs to other people, but we carry it anyway.  Some of it is our own doing and we have carried it with us for a really long time.– So long that we can’t distinguish what it is anymore. We have issues and habits that are so deeply stuck into our life’s brambles that we no longer even see it. — but it is there.  

What trash are you carrying?  Don’t you think it is time to clean it out?  Think how beautiful your scenery will be without the unwanted bits of  garbage, other people’s problems, unhealthy habits, bad attitudes, grudges, hurt feelings, sour relationships, addictions, hate, self doubt, jealousy . . . . . . . .

It is Spring. It is time for GROWTH!   Make the choice to start over, to begin with a fresh outlook. Make the choice TODAY to grow into what God has planned for you. 

Remember when I said that I didn’t see the trash until I looked really hard?  Not everyone sees your garbage.    Our natural goodness has a way of shining through and drawing attention away from all the things we don’t want anyone to know about.  Our new growth will overshadow our old garbage, but it will remain with us unless we choose to clean it up. We all have those things- not one person is a perfect landscape of goodness, but by the grace of God we can grow beyond the waste and refuse.  

How do you start?               

Make the choice.

Decide to be  a new you.

Choose this day to be Day One.

Eyes of your heart

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”

Ephesians 1:18


HOPE is a big word.  — An outright definition is;  to desire, to trust-, to look forward to, to anticipate, to believe. 

In our human beginnings hope is self centered. As infants,  we anticipate the milk that will sooth our hunger.  As children, we hope for the toy we want most to be under the tree on Christmas morning. We hope that our parents will not notice the pile of dirty laundry we hid under our bed. We hope to win the race, or award, or affections of the one we admire.  As our world expands so does our hope. We hope for a good job, a successful career, a faithful partner, a loving marriage,  healthy, happy children, and  so on.  I would be willing to bet that 100% of us hope for world peace and an end to all illness.  

But here is the thing– Where did this idea of hope come from?  It is not taught, it is not a physical attribute of chemistry of our DNA, it is not learned from observation or caused by evolution. Hope is one of the many things written into our very being from the beginning of life.  It is a gift. A wonderful, glorious gift. A gift that gives great power to those that use it  and it is given to us by our creator.  




We can choose to ignore the hope in our hearts and fall into despair. It is easy to let go and fall into that pit of  darkness. I have been there.  I know how hopeless feels. There was a time when I thought that nothing could pull me from the grip of my great sadness. But in the darkest darkness there was a tiny light, like a door cracked partly open– a faint and tiny beam that made me look upward. The eyes of my heart saw hope. I grabbed on to that door and opened it. I didn’t know where I was going, but I trusted the light and followed it one step at a time.  I am still following that light and still taking only one step at a time, learning and growing stronger everyday with every step.  God has called me to a greater power than that of despair. He has given me the certainty that the door will always be there. All I have to do is open the eyes of my heart and see the light shining through.  He is calling you too. 

I pray that in your darkness, you can see the light of hope. Be brave! Look for the light! Open the door! Open the eyes of your heart and see what God has for you!   

I promise it is worth it! 



My first entry was a couple of days ago and it was meant to see how the page worked.  In that post I commented that ‘this’ (meaning setting up a web page/blog) is hard.  I was frustrated and overwhelmed and doubting if I could figure it all out. 

I am sort of tech savvy and had a lot of confidence that everything would be relatively easy. I did all the things you should do when stepping into something new.  First stop was Google, of course. I read all the stuff. I researched hosts and software, read reviews and watched Youtube videos until I found what I thought was the best choice and jumped in. I followed my step by step guide and at first it was fine, but then somewhere around step 5 it wasn’t and it felt like I had been thrown in the deep end of the pool with no floaties. My confidence was gone. I wanted to give up. I didn’t cry,  but I questioned my calling. I doubted. I told myself I had got it all wrong, surely I was in over my head.  This blog/web business is for the tech heads and computer geeks, not your average computer plunker like me. I shut down my computer and went to my craft world for solace. 

The next morning I turned the computer on and tried again and I made a little progress. Someone once said to me, “How do you eat an elephant?”  “One bite at a time.”  So day by day and bit by bit I figured it out. Small Bite by small bite.  I have a lot to learn about this blog world, but I know I can handle it and I know I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. What restored my confidence? I listened to that little inner voice that said “Don’t back down!” 

Good or bad, I have never been the one that backed down when I was challenged. I know that my parents were exhausted by that character trait, especially in my teenage years, but it is who I am.- for good or bad. I remember when I was a little kid, maybe 6 or so and my sister was trying to teach me how to swim. She would hold me up in the water until I floated and then let go. I sank every time and was mad about it.  I gave up. She gave up. I was mad. She probably laughed at my mad.  But one day I saw a tiny little girl, maybe three or four years old swimming under the water and all over like a fish and I decided that I could do  that too and I jumped in and swam.  

I think God works in our lives just like that. He holds us up until we float and then lets us try it on our own.  Without him we sink, but if we rely on the gifts he has given us we can swim. My stubborn unwillingness to back down has been with me all my life. It has carried me these 50+ years and I am thankful for it.  Sometimes though I feel like I might drown without God holding me up and all I have to do is relax and rest on him just like I did when my sister had her hands under my back in that swimming pool when I was 6.  I can float. I can do this.  He is there.