Some Things You Keep

Is your house full of sentimental treasures?
Some things you have to keep, right? 

As I put the sewing box back in closet I spotted
three big white cardboard boxes tucked so far back,
I had to crawl in to drag them out.

Each of the dust covered, shrink wrapped boxes
had a large plastic window that displayed
a wedding dress bodice hermitically sealed inside.

The smallest of the boxes contained the wedding dress
I wore to marry, Jay or Hot & Hunky as I called him.

 

It was a high collared, lacy gown with long poofy lace sleeves.
Not the least bit sexy.  Zero sexy. I can only guess that
I was trying to get his mother to approve of me since Jay
married me just months after I quit my job as a Playboy Bunny.

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How To Change “Good Enough” To Spectacular

So many women coast along on good enough
when 
spectacular is well within reach. 

What change would it take for you to stretch into a better life?

 

My boy, Eli is the son of a college football star and the
grandson of a Golden Gloves Boxing Champion.
(I jokingly say he gets his brains from my side and his brawn from his dad’s.)

By the time he was in middle school, he was already tall and bulky.
In a moment of inspired bravado, he issued an arm wrestling challenge
to all contenders sitting with him at lunch.

He unceremoniously flattened all comers.

This caused quite a stir.
Sweet Little Maddie heard the commotion and came over to spectate.
“I’ll try,” said Sweet Little Maddie.
“No way,” said Eli, “I can’t arm wrestle a girl.”
The crowd jeered, “Afraid of being beaten by a girl?”
“No,” said Eli indignantly, “I just don’t want to hurt her.”
Maddie stood there, waiting her turn, smiling sweetly.
The crowd’s jeers continued until there was no getting around it.
Madeline sat down opposite Eli.
Their hands clasped.
The referee counted to three.
For just a moment their limbs were locked in the starting position.
And then …
Sweet Madeline pressed Eli’s fist to the tabletop.

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When Your Beautiful Day Turns Suddenly Gray!

What a season I’ve had.
It’s been so busy but beautiful!

I launched a discipleship system called Journey to Trust to come
alongside women and guide them into a deeper relationship with
God and it’s going great!

I’ve had lots of speaking engagements and God
gave me inspired messages to share.  I prayed and laughed and
cried with women in cities all over the midwest.

It’s been wonderful.

Have you had a season like that, busy but beautiful?
Maybe God has moved or whispered or have you had a break through.
It makes you think he must love you more than most.  🙂 

Right after Elijah has one of the biggest God-moments in the Bible,
we find him hiding in a cave, fearing for his life (see 1 Kings 19:1-9).

What?

Don’t judge. That happens to me.  A lot.
I have an encounter with God at an event.
I experience God’s presence and pleasure in worship.
I pray with a woman and she is set free!
I have a conversation with an event planner that’s a perfect fit for my talks.
My hair turned out perfectly.  (remember, don’t judge)
Life is so good!

Then I get slammed! 

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Follow God On Your Divine Journey

Are you so busy that the idea of following God a divine journey sounds impossible?

I’m always in a hurry! I rush from meetings to projects, then to the laundry room to rescue Mr. 4-Ever’s shirts before I have to add ironing to my long to do list.

At the grocery store, I silently hum You got to move it, move it to myself as I weave around browsers or wait impatiently at the cash register.

In staff meetings, I take copious notes on one page and write a list of things I need to do when I get home on the next page.

I’ve never been a woman who enjoyed the journey. I’m more of a destination kind of girl.

But, lately I’ve been thinking that I’m missing some of the magical moments God has planned for me along the way because I’m too rushed to see them, much less enjoy them.

What if I could let myself off the hook about having to do everything quickly or that I have to do everything myself or that everything I do has to be done perfectly or it’s a complete failure?

How can I think of life as a DIVINE JOURNEY? A journey that will take twists and turns, but will make my journey interesting and create the margin in my life to feel alive and free.

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Do You Wonder If God Sees You?

Are you in a season of wondering if God cares about you or even sees you?
Do you think he led you into a wilderness and forgot where he left you?

Whenever I launch a new series of talks, a service, or book, I have a moment or two when it feels like I might have misread the signals God sent. That I am all alone and forgotten. That I will die in the wilderness.

Then God shows up in some extravagant way to reassure me that I am not forgotten at all.

When Almida said she had a present for me, I was giddy with excitement.

Almida is an interesting woman. Her wisdom, life experiences and prayers have been my life line for decades. Russian by birth, she escaped the Nazis by walking across Europe only to live in a refuge camp for months before getting a sponsor in the US. She made a living as a tailor until she married an entrepreneur who made a boatload of money as a building developer. Her husband, Willy, died at 41 in a plane crash leaving her devastated. Her grief was compounded when Willy’s business partner bankrupted the business, essentially depleting her resources and retirement.

She’s adjusted to life’s exciting twists and unpleasant turns by trusting God with an unwavering faith.

Almida is now 86, and resides in an assisted living facility. The pain in her hip is her constant companion, making an outing to any store a major ordeal. She’s frugal by necessity and was never a big believer in “good behavior” gifts. It wasn’t my birthday and Christmas was long gone, so I couldn’t imagine what gift she might have for me.

A piece of advice?
A photo of us?
A prayer? 

“What do you mean, you have a present for me, Almida?” I asked.

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Eat dessert first!

You’ve seen the tee shirts, right?
Life is short.
Eat dessert first. 

I am all about dessert first. If there are no children around to corrupt, it’s always dessert first for me.  I can doggy bag a sandwich or chicken breast, but that dessert will never taste as good coming out of a takeout box as it does on the plate in the restaurant.

The whole idea of dessert first is to go after the good stuff first. If you’re intention is to get it at the end of your meal, eat when it will taste the best.

The same can be said for the things we want in life.
Go after them now. Don’t wait till the end!

My mother-in-law was just days away from retiring. Just days away from the trip of a lifetime to Hawaii with her hubz. Just days away from realizing all the things she’d waited for until the timing was perfect.
When the kids were grown.
When the house was paid for.
When the career was a wrap.

Then, poof, her man died of a heart attack.

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God Watches Over You!

God watches over you even when it doesn’t feel like he’s there.

Have you ever felt that way?

I had to share this woman’s journey to trust God in a very difficult time of her life.
She believed in God, but needed help to TRUST him more.

Watch this 2 1/2 minute video. Click on the image below.

When it feels like you are all alone, remember you are not.
You have a God who loves you and wants you to trust him.

God, I know that I am always on your mind and in your view. Let me see where you are at work. Bolster my faith as I trust you more and more. Amen

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

 

When Holidays Are Hard, Take Heart

It’s December.
That wonderful time of year … for many.

But for some, when it seems like the rest of world
is celebrating Merry and Bright lives,
you feel overwhelmed and alone in the dark.

When holidays are hard, take heart.
God is with you.

Marilyn* watched her husband pick at his dinner.
“I need to tell you something,” he said without looking up.

There was a long pause before he continued.

As she waited, she imagined all sorts of things.
Maybe he’d lost his job.
Maybe something had happened with one of the kids.
Maybe he was sick.

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5 Steps To Get Back On Track

When you get derailed,
how to you get back on track? 

It can happen so easily.
I can be cruising along, then one little thing distracts or disorients me
and I’m out of whack. 

Does that happen to you?
When you need
answers,
peace,
direction,
or purpose,
how do you get back on track?

Take exercising for example.
 

I don’t love it, but I know I need to do it.
I’ve taken up walking largely because most of my friends
want to move instead of sit
sipping coffee and munching on an exquisite pastry.
It’s very disappointing.
But I digress.

I’m walking. 
Walking as a serious form of exercise.

This is not strolling.
This is not wandering and wondering.
This is not taking time to smell the roses.

This means special shoes with squishy insoles
and a new bra.

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