Daughter Reflections

As I close out today, I am left thinking about my daughters. Strong, beautiful and smart. I love them with my whole heart. Having a daughter is truly a gift from God.

Another gift from God is my wonderful daughter in love. She, too, is strong, beautiful and smart. I also love her with my whole heart.

In addition, God has gifted me with a granddaughter, and I love her with my whole heart as well. While still young, she has already shown herself to be strong, beautiful and smart.

Many years ago, God gifted me with two temporary daughters. I don’t know where they are today, but I’m betting that they are strong, beautiful and smart. And for all time I will love them with my whole heart.

But perhaps the biggest gift of all was being a daughter. I was taught early on, by example more than by words, what it meant to be strong, beautiful and smart. I knew what it was like to be loved with my mom’s whole heart.


I walked into the Soil Lab at work today. I go in there multiple times every day. But this time I stopped. I looked around realized that room is a snapshot of my sister being in my life. I thought about the many conversations we had there.

Then I was at the Master Gardener office. She used to work there and has volunteered there more times than I even know. I thought about all the times I listened in on her helping citizens and how natural she was in talking with them.

I remembered the day she told me about the job at the reception desk. That job has changed the course of my life and my family’s life.

Past the reception desk is the display rain barrel that she painted. Looking out the window, you’ll see the garden that she worked in with other volunteers.

Every day there are snapshots of her in my mind. In the grocery store, the overhead music is from the band that held the first concert I ever attended. You guessed it, she took me. The plants in my yard that I love the most originated from plants that she gave me many years ago. The gigantic wind chime on my patio was a gift from her. I could go on and on.

She has been there my whole life. Through the easy and the tough, she has loved and supported me. She has encouraged me to be better. She has shown me faith in action.

I wish everyone could know her.

“Funny” Thing

Three years ago a series of events happened that changed my life forever.  Funny thing about forever change- you don’t realize at the time that is what’s happening.

Two years ago a series of events began that I thought would bring me back to the way things used to be. Funny thing about this- things would never be like that again.

One year ago a series of medical interventions began that I hoped would give me my old life back. Funny thing about medical intervention- impossible things are made possible, but with it comes a whole new set of changes.

Through it all, I could hear God whisper to me the first part of Psalm 46:10-

“Be still and know that I am God.”

I heard it over and over again. I know that He is God, but I have been having trouble with the “be still” part. I suspect many of us do. Anyways, I am a “doer.” I need to always be working on something. I have lists for everything and see no reason why those lists can’t be completed. I am fulfilled if I have an “accomplished day.” There is no time for being still, much less knowing God deeper. Did you get that? My accomplishments were my fulfillment.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Funny thing about ignoring God- He’ll put you in a place where you can’t ignore Him.  This is not a “if you do this then I’ll do that” type of thing. Going into a deeper relationship with God does not end with getting my old life back. He has actually shown me that I never will.

Funny thing is, He is the one showing me how to navigate all of this. He is changing me for His good, and that alone is reason not to go back to the way things were. The joy of a changed relationship with God is reason enough to “Be still and know that I am God.”


A Hard Week

This week has been very sad and emotional for me. Yes, there have been a multitude of things happen this week to people I know and love. Yes, it has been a very busy week both personally and professionally. But that is not why it’s been a hard week.

I am having a hard week because of a law that was passed in New York. I never thought it would. I have prayed over this. I have cried over this. I have asked God to forgive those who had a part in the passing of this law.  Just thinking about this or reading about it, and especially seeing pictures about it has about sent me over the edge. I can barely get through writing about it.

I think about women who are already in an emotional state of mind making life altering (literally) decisions. I think about the many families who will never be. I think about my own life story and how this law would have changed the course of my whole family. I think about how many states won’t be far behind New York.

It’s awful.

I am praying God’s forgiveness on our nation. I am praying that we will turn back to him. I am praying that we won’t stand for this any more.

The Orange Frame

On a counter in my house sits THE orange frame. It’s placement had great consideration and the frame was bought with great intent. No other decorations are around it. You might say that it holds a place of honor- not in the house, but a place of honor in my heart.

For the last few years, ever since it was bought, THE orange frame has held the physical evidence of all the changes my family has gone through. But it doesn’t just show the physical evidence to me.  With my mama’s heart I can see the changes of growth and maturity. I see the changes of hard lessons learned. That’s not all I see. I see the goodness of God poured out into my family. I see joy in friendships built that started out because we’re related.

I don’t know how many more times we will be together all at once. It’s getting harder and harder due to living in different locations. This makes looking at the memories in that frame so bittersweet. It makes me even more thankful that all those years ago a little orange frame, sitting on a dusty store shelf, came home to live with me.

The Day Before

Well, it’s here. The Day Before. And I don’t know what to say or do.

How do you act when a piece of your heart is about to walk out the door? What do you say when it’s not just for “good night?”

First off, you don’t act sad. You don’t want your last moments together to be a tear fest. And you don’t say all kinds of sentimental things or else you’ll be needing to buy stock in Kleenex. But it’s the day before…

You act normal and talk about insignificant things, even though you know that each of these moments are definitely not insignificant. You try to memorize every little feature, even though there’s modern technology to stay in touch  But it’s the day before…

You let it all sink in that this long year has been so very short. And even though it’s time for them to move forward, your heart still breaks. But it’s the day before…

You understand what a privilege it has been to have a front row seat. You understand the sacrifices that have been made. You grieve a little for the changes this means for you. But it’s the day before…

And now it’s time for one last smile, one last squeeze and one last kiss goodnight.

Because it’s the day before.



The Day of Promise

Thursday has turned out to be my favorite day of the week.


Because it is a day of anticipation.

Because it is a day of promise.

A promise that the work week is about to end.

A promise of a weekend yet to come.

A promise of a payday about to happen.

A promise of new plans to be made.

I used to call Thursdays “Friday Eve.”

But now I call Thursdays the Day of Promise.

And I look forward to Thursday every week.


Starting 2018

2017 was a busy year for us. We had 3 graduations, a new grand baby, a long awaited surgery, an empty nest, a special anniversary vacation and a booming business. It was all good, but so much at one time! After all of that, life was supposed to go back to being low-key. Well, our 2018 is laughing at our 2017.

We’ve had some temporarily move back home, one left for military basic training, there are medical situations, and business is crazier than ever (in a good way). There will be a wedding, a new job for several, half of our family will be moving away, and one will come back home. It’s only March! Who knows what else this year will bring.

One day this week, within a two hour time-frame, every member of my family had called me with great news. I don’t know if you can understand this, but in that moment, the goodness of God was almost too much for me to bear. I knew that I needed to cry out to Him with thankfulness for His grace and mercy on my family. And I never want to forget that moment, because I need to cry out to Him so much more. I need to cry out to Him for thanksgiving. I need to cry out to Him for forgiveness. I need to cry out to Him for strength, hope and faith.

It is all good. So very, very good. Even the hard things, because they are what bring me to God. And I need constant reminders of this- that God is in it all. That I need to continually go to Him in both the good and the bad. That His strength is all I need.




For a Few Hours

For a few hours life was new

And a few hours later, it was gone.

For a few hours dreams were beginning to unfold

And a few hours later, they were gone.

For a few hours your life totally switched directions

And a few hours later, your life was back again.

For a few hours you wondered how it was all going to work out

And a few hours later, you didn’t have to wonder anymore.

For a few hours you held a secret in your heart

And a few hours later, the secret changed.

For a few hours you wondered what God was doing

And a few hours later, you wondered yet again.

For a few hours I want you to know how very much I love you

And a few hours later, I love you even more.

The B Team

Sunday mornings are my favorite. They have been all my life. Going to church and being around a congregated group of people who love Jesus is the best. Hearing God’s Word preached and explained elevates my relationship with God and draws me closer to Him.

But…on this particular Sunday morning I struggled to go. Adding to the struggle was that church would be a “B team” day. On this Sunday there would be a different Sunday School teacher and both our pastor and worship pastor were not there. And while I have nothing against the “B team”, it just wasn’t what I thought I needed. Silly me for thinking that worship was about me.

I figured that I knew which of the pastoral team would be preaching, and knew that he would bring a good message. Still, I fought with going. But I went.

Our Sunday School lesson was good and gave me some things to think about in my relationship with God. Afterwards, I went into service and quickly learned that we a had guest pastor preaching instead of who I thought. Great, I thought to myself. I don’t know who this guy is, but I now really wish I had stayed home. I know, I know. I’m so spiritually advanced (written with much sarcasm).

Well, let me tell you. I truly believe that God had that man come and preach just for me. It was as if he was speaking straight to me. Not only did I receive a clear message from God that morning, it has carried me through ever since. I’m so thankful that I took notes that morning instead of sitting back and only half listening.

The even greater lesson is that even if I didn’t get a single thing out of the service, someone did. On Sundays when I have left feeling empty, someone else left feeling full. And whether it’s myself or someone else receiving a special word, it is such a priveledge to be a part of it all.