Life Lessons On The Monkey Bars

Some life lessons are best caught,
not taught, 

like the ones you learn on the monkey bars.

I grew up in a little town that boasted
a city pool and a large playground.

My mom used to take us for
swimming lessons and play time.

She’d sit on a towel,
slathered in baby oil,
soaking up the rays and
reading a book
while we would splash around in the
freezing cold spring-fed pool.

The playground was comprised of 
equipment that is probably illegal now.

Don’t picture colorful plastic structures
with safety rails and seat belts.

The 14’ slide was a narrow piece of metal
pitched at a (nearly) 90 degree angle.

The swing set shuddered and lifted off the ground
as we built momentum.

The teeter-totter was so long and high that
if you were on it with a mean kid,
you could get launched into next week or
dumped on your keister so hard
it knocked the wind out of you.

We had three different types of metal monkey bars.

We had the traditional one with two ladders and a crossbar.

Another one was shaped like a dome and the
third one resembled a stack of cubes.

We played house in the dome and cubes
while we waited to get big enough
to tackle the traditional monkey bars.

Conquering those monkey bars was a rite of passage.

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Pruning Is Painful Even When The Possibilities Are Positive

Pruning is painful but necessary.

Pruning is a fancy word for the painful extraction
of bad habits,
barren branches
and wonky facial hair!

Do you have hair in places women shouldn’t have hair?
I do, and the older I get,
the furrier I become!

I’m not even talking about my legs
or armpits or
places seen only by Mr. 4-Ever.
I’m talking about the dark thick pokey hairs
on my upper lip,
growing out of my nostrils
and on my chin!

My eyebrows had completely lost their shape.
The natural arch was more like a heavy dash.
Hair was growing up my forehead
and under my brows like ivy on a brick wall.

I tried tweezing, but it took too long.
I tried waxing, but it’s surprisingly unruly and
the wax got into spots
it wasn’t supposed to go
and left me with bald spots
so shiny that no powder could cover them.

What’s a girl to do?

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Do You Believe God Has Good Gifts Waiting For You?

Do you believe God has good gifts waiting for you?

 

From the time my children were born,
I planned to give them lots of great stuff. 
I intended to shower them with opportunities that would delight them. 
I was determined to give them things that would make
their life easier or better or richer or set them up for success.

It was always my intention that they would
swim in an ocean,
ride a bike,
drive a car,
have a girlfriend.
I always had plans to
send them college,
mow the lawn with the big tractor,
use the chainsaw and
manage money.

However, I couldn’t dump every good thing
I had in my storehouse on them at once!
I didn’t want them to become
overwhelmed
or spoiled
or entitled.

I didn’t want to set my boys up to fail or get hurt.
Did you notice that most of the good gifts I had for them
required some training to appreciate and
some maturity to manage?

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Expect The Unexpected … Favorballs From Heaven

 

 

Have you ever
had a day
(or season)
when it seems like
NOTHING
is going your way?

The car won’t start.
The sink backs up.
There’s a run in your favorite leggings.
The coffee overflows.
The cat pukes on new carpet.
The computer freezes.

You get the idea.

I used to have those kind of days
All. The. Time.

I grumbled and complained
and whined and fussed
over
Every. Little. Thing.
until they became
BIG things
or the
ONLY THING
I saw.

Something had to change!

That’s when I started my book of
FAVORBALLS.

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Do You Have A Story To Tell? Speak Up!

I am often asked,
“How did you get started speaking?”

My mom would probably say
I stood up in my crib and asked,
“Where’s my spotlight!”

I’ve been speaking for as long as I can remember.
Bible study teacher,
small group leader,
breakout session speaker
and eventually gained enough momentum
to enter full-time ministry as a
conference and retreat keynote speaker.

I love to share what I’ve learned and experienced
so others can avoid my mistakes
or apply the discoveries I’ve made.

Do you have a story to share?
Would you like to tell others
what God has done in your life?
Is there a book in you that needs to get out?

If the answer is yes,
but you don’t know where to start,
let me give you 3 ideas to begin.

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Focus On What You’ve Got, Rather Than What You’ve Not!

Before I learned to focus on what I’ve got,
rather than what I’ve not,
I used to dread the Monday
following Mother’s Day.

As if the cascade of perfect FB posts on
Mother’s Day weren’t enough to create
a case of the covets,
every conversation on Mother’s Day Monday
was about
being showered
with attention and gifts.

 Mr. 4-Ever is a great husband.

If I could, I would clone him and
give him away as Christmas presents
to women who want
a Godly man with impeccable character.

But the clone would have to come with a disclaimer.
This is a good man.
He is kind, gentle, loving, fun,
hard-working, generous, and patient.
He is creative and calm in all situations.
He is a great kisser.
but …
a Harlequin Romance novel hero … 
He. Is. Not.

Rarely do flowers or chocolates show up
on my desk.
Good behavior gifts and
just because “I love you” texts
do not happen.

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Don’t Be An Easy Target

Mr. 4-Ever is an excellent marksman.

In an effort to improve his skills,
we watch A LOT o
videos on how to kill stuff.

Sometimes it’s a guy in camo
sitting in a tree waiting for his trophy buck.

Sometimes it’s a guy lurking in the weeds
with a goofy sounding whistle
trying to trick a turkey into coming closer.

Occasionally, we take a break from camo guys
and watch a nature video of a lion
hunting for dinner.

The Bible says in
1 Peter 5:8
Your enemy the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Have you noticed that lions don’t go after the 
fattest,
healthiest,
most popular
animal in the middle of the pack?

Nope,
the lion goes for the easy prey.

The weak.
The broken.
The lonely.

The one on the fringe.

If our enemy the devil
prowls after us like a lion,
we are safest in the midst of a herd.

Don’t be an easy target.

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What’s Unique About You?

  Under the odd but true category,
I wonder,
What’s unique about you?

I had every intention of taking down my
Christmas tree before Easter …
I really did!
but …
it’s still up …
and lit.

Yup, up and lit.

And, yes, I know it’s weird.

I’m always the last one on the block
to dismantle the tree,
but we had such a mild winter this year,
I just kept thinking that I would have more snowy landscapes to enjoy
from my front window as I sipped warm beverages,
listening to Christmas music in the glow of my Christmas tree.

December gave way to January, and I thought,
Whatever, just one more week and I’ll take it down.

But I never did take it down!

We laughed about
having it up on Valentine’s Day.

By St. Patrick’s Day,
I was used to it.

When the kid’s came over for Easter and said,
“Mom, the neighbors are going to think you’re nuts,”
I thought, It might be time,
but I was too busy breaking my
Lenten television fast to deal with it.

(Easter Sunday with Mr. 4-Ever)

So, here we are,
the week after Easter
and my tree is still up.

And you know what?
I’m owning it.

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Have you been to the Creation Museum?

 Girls,
have you ever been to the
Creation Museum
in Petersburg, KY?

Mr. 4-Ever and I just went for the first time.
It was awesome!

Narrated exhibits
filled with life size replicas of
dinosaurs and people,
the Creation Museum brings
the story of creation,
the fall of man in the Garden of Eden,
the building of the arc,
and what happened
during and after the flood,
into clear focus.

There’s a planetarium featuring
our Created Cosmos and
Aliens: Fact or Fiction.
There is a special effects theatre
that shows films of interest
about God and his creation.
There are live presentations
from creation experts
several times a day.

Outside, there are zip lines,
botanical gardens,
a petting zoo,
camel rides and
nature walks.

I know this sounds like an advertisement
for the Creation Museum,
but I have to tell you what I saw
so you’ll understand what I learned.

Two things.

1.

We are significant to God,
worthy of his attention
and of utmost interest to him.

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3 Things Your Husband Really Wants You to Know

As someone who has
plenty of experience
with husband(s),
I assure you …

This is what your husband wants you to know.

If you don’t know my story of being
widowed twice,
you can read it here.

1.

Your husband wants you to be
committed to him.
Not just the marriage, to him!

It’s not enough to just avoid divorce.

Marriage isn’t 50-50.

Divorce is 50-50.

Marriage takes an ALL IN,
ALL THE TIME commitment.

You won’t believe how I learned this lesson!
Let me save you the humiliation.
You can read about it here.

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