I Want My Mommy!

You ever have one of those days when you
just aren’t firing on all cylinders?

For the record,
I have no idea what a cylinder is,
but the expression means you need a tune-up.
It means you’re sputtering and stalling out.

Yesterday,
I was walking across the kitchen,
got tangled up in my own feet,
tripped and 
went sprawling.

Sprawling, I tell you.

Splat!
Smack!
Ouch!

I looked like Wiley Coyote at the bottom of the ravine
in a Road Runner cartoon –
minus the puff of dust.

After I checked to see if I was paralyzed
(I wasn’t)
or if I had any broken bones,
(there were none)
I decided the best course of action was to
sit on the cold tile floor and howl.

I’m sure it was the shock of being upended,
but I carried on like a toddler.

I cried and I cried.
I want my mommy!

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Marriage Advice From The Family Pet

Have you ever been in a season of marriage
when you thought it was doomed?

I have!

Thirty years ago,
when I was married to Hot & Hunky,
we had a season early on when I didn’t think he traveled enough!
I didn’t like him and he didn’t care for me too much either.
We were in the land of contempt on the road to divorce. 

Out of frustration and soliciting sympathy for my situation,
I confessed our mess to my friend,
who invited me to her church
to hear a speaker talk about marriage.

I thought,
What the heck, I’ve got nothing to lose. 

The speaker told her story about not feeling any love toward her husband.
Romance,
pleasant communication,
demonstrations of love,
affections of all types,
were distant memories.

That sounded very familiar…

Out of desperation to save her marriage,
she climbed into her prayer closet and
 asked God to flood her heart with love
for her hubby.

“And you know what?” she drawled.
“God did just that.
My heart filled to overflowing with a
love and desire
for my husband.”

She went on to tell how even after
1000 years of marriage
she never lost that feeling for him again.

Ugh, I thought,
Good for you, Mrs. Butterflies and fairy dust.
You aren’t married to my guy.

That would never work at my house.
And whatever a prayer closet is,
I don’t have one.

Funny thing about miracles.
They cling to your heart. 

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A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Funeral

Have you had one of those days when
you just couldn’t get your ducks in a row?

 

 You need to get resourceful on those challenging days!

Last week, I was powering through my day
as usual.

(I have 2 speeds …
Zoom and Comatose.)

Mr. 4-Ever and I needed to be at a funeral by 4:00pm
and I was behind.
There was zero time to redo my perfect messy bun hairdo,
so I looked frantically for bottom options
 that wouldn’t disturb the delicate balance that was on top of my head.

I squeezed into a pencil skirt from the back of my closet,
took a quick look in the full-length mirror, 
 and shrugged.
Tight, but it would have to do.

I grabbed my purse and jumped in the car
waiting for me in the driveway with the motor running.

As Mr. 4-Ever exited the driveway,
I realize the skirt I’ve chosen is
ALL WRONG!

It looked fine when I was standing,
but when I sat down,
it hiked up and stretched tightly around my legs.

Great choice for date night, but not for a funeral.

Don’t panic, I think to myself,
as long as I don’t sit down at the visitation,
I should be ok.

I’ll just mingle…a lot!

But then, a beam of sunlight hit my knees.
Girlfriend, it looked like a porcupine was sitting in my lap!

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Training for Team Jesus

Are you staying up late to watch the Olympics? 

Have you picked your favorite athletes?
Do you stand in front of your television screaming,
“Go! Go! Go!”
“You can do it!”
 “Don’t give up!”

I do.
I cheer.
I jump up and down.
I applaud.

When Team USA wins, it feels like I win.

You can learn a lot by watching the Olympics.

1.

You can learn about
Overcoming Obstacles.

Every single athlete has a story of overcoming obstacles.
Painful injuries.
Intimidating adversaries.
Not enough money for training or equipment.
Loneliness, separation, living apart from family while training.

Can you relate?

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You Are Not Alone

This blog was originally featured at (in)courage.  

Saturday mornings are easy at our house.

Seconds on the clock don’t count against us like they do
Monday through Friday as we scurry to school, work, and church.
Children linger in pajamas,
breakfast is eaten in random shifts, and
I putz in the kitchen while my husband sleeps through the
soft singsong of children’s television in the next room.

On this particularly beautiful Indian summer day,
when the weather betrays the calendar with 70-degree temps and sunshine,
we are beckoned outdoors for a last romp without the hindrance of heavy coats.
The trikes and pedal cars will race up and down the driveway on this last hurrah
before exchanging places with sleds and snowboards in the loft of the garage.

As my little boys search for shoes and wooden swords —
standard issue for adventures if you’re 7 and 4 —
I go to invite my husband into our activities.

This man, this husband of mine, makes my world work.
He opens my doors, my jars, and my eyes to possibilities I never imagined.
He works two jobs so I can stay home with littles.
He encourages my writing and he supports my dream of being a Christian speaker one day.
He fixes everything I break, brings home flowers for no reason, and eats everything I put in front of him.
He dances with me in the kitchen, and he plays on the floor with our children.
When he wraps me up in his strong arms and kisses me deeply,
I know that forever is not long enough to be married to this man.
He makes me feel safe and loved and secure.

Finding my husband asleep on the couch,
I lean toward him to whisper him awake.
There is no response.

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God Is With You In The Waiting

I immediately recognized the number on the caller ID.

It was my 27 year old son, Jake.
Since neither of us are “morning” people,
I knew the 8:00 a.m. call wasn’t to chat.

“Mom, I hurt my back. I can’t move.” 

This boy, this man-child of mine is so strong,
and so smart,
he thinks he’s invincible.

“What were you doing?” I ask,
waiting to hear that he’d tried to bench press a refrigerator or
push start a semi-truck.

“I was putting on my sock and something just popped.
I don’t know what to do.
Can you come over?”

Music to a mama’s ear.
He needs me.
He still needs me.

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9 Ways You Can Help A Grieving Heart

My heart breaks as I listen to the news of
killings in our country and around the world.

Regardless of who you are or where you come from,
when someone you love dies,
it blows a hole in your heart,
and
changes your life forever.

My experience being widowed twice in four years
gives me the courage to say
you can make a difference in the process of grief.

 Here are 9 ways to help mitigate the agony when
tragedy strikes close to home.

 

1.
Look for the person who is grieving.

 

Smile at them.  
Talk with her or him.
Don’t avoid them because you don’t know what to say,
or you feel uneasy.
Push through the feeling of awkwardness,
they need you.

Here’s advice from the American Cancer Society about that.

It is common to feel awkward when trying to comfort someone who is grieving.
Many people do not know what to say or do.
Here are suggestions to use as a guide.

Acknowledge the situation.
Example: “I heard that your_____ died.”
Use the word “died”.
That will show that you are more open to talk about how the person really feels.

Express your concern.
Example: “I’m sorry to hear that this happened to you.”

Be genuine in your communication and don’t hide your feelings.
Example: “I’m not sure what to say, but I want you to know I care.

Offer your support.
Example: “Tell me what I can do for you.”

2.
Pray for them often and tell them that you are.

Ask them how they need God to show up in their life.
Do they need provision? 
How about wisdom for parenting? 
What about all the decisions they have to make?

I assure you they need prayer for the grace to deal with
people who will undoubtedly say inappropriate things!

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Waiting Together, Hope and Healing for Families of Prisoners

It’s Independence Day weekend,
when we celebrate the freedom we enjoy every day.

Most of us will spend time with family or friends –
on the boat, on the deck, at the parade …
at least that’s my plan.

It’s the freedom I have that makes me want to
share a great book with you this week!

My friend, Carol Kent
has just released a new devotional for families of prisoners.

If you don’t know Carol’s story about her son Jason’s incarceration,
check it out here.

This collection of 90 devotionals is called
Waiting Together, Hope and Healing for Families of Prisoners.

Each devotional starts with an inspirational quote you can hang onto,
followed by a personal story that addresses the
challenges families face when someone they love is incarcerated.
The devotionals conclude with words of wisdom and/or encouragement and
wrap everything up with a summary of selected scriptures that
anyone can understand.

The stories are heartfelt and heart-breaking.
I have to believe this book will be a comfort and encouragement
if you have a family member in prison.

Even though my story does not include a family member in prison,
I found
Waiting Together, Hope and Healing for Families of Prisoners
to be compassionate and honest.
There’s a part of me that is so thankful this isn’t my story, but
after reading
Waiting Together, Hope and Healing for Families of Prisoners,
I’m better equipped to minister to and support these hurting families.

I admire Carol for her willingness to continue to carry on the conversation
about her family’s ongoing trial for the benefit of others with
fewer resources and little support.

Maybe you don’t have a family member in prison,
but maybe you know someone who does.

Share
Waiting Together, Hope and Healing for Families of Prisoners
with them.

Turning Tomorrow into Today

Tomorrow.
What a lovely word.
Full of promise and opportunity.

I live in an old farm house with closets the size of your refrigerator.
Consequently, I only have room for in-season clothes.
Off-season clothing hibernates in the basement. 
Last weekend, I switched out the winter layers for summer outfits. 

And I discovered a problem!

My capris and skirts and shorts were TIGHT!

The obvious solution is to shed a few pounds so that
my summer clothes will fit comfortably again.

How hard can it be? 

Then I remember we have company coming for dinner and
it would be rude to serve them rabbit food and no dessert.

I’ll start my weight modification plan … tomorrow.

The next day I remember I’m invited to an Open House
and there will all kinds of delicacies I’ll want to sample in large quantities.

I’ll start my weight modification plan … tomorrow.

The same thing happens with 
my book writing and 
my house cleaning and
my thank you notes and
my reading list and
my Bible study and 
my … 
Well, you get the idea.

Maybe you do the same thing.

Tomorrow …
I’ll start my diet.

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God’s Surprising Solutions to Prayer

From my home office, I could hear the racket.

Loud, clunking arrhythmic noises were coming from something big and mechanical.
At first, I thought the washing machine was out of balance
and trying to walk out of the basement again.
I quickly discovered the central air conditioning unit was the source of the noise.

Oh no!

It was 90 degrees outside and summer was just getting started.
I shut it off and called the repair man to look at it.
 

His assessment?

“Call a salesman. You need a new unit,” he told me.
“There’s no way to fix this one?” I ask hopefully.
“This unit is 20 years old. It’s served you well. Let it die in peace.”
“I see. Well, can you estimate what it would cost to replace?”
Without a moment of hesitation, he said, 
“I’d guess close to $3000.00.”

I nearly fainted and not from the heat!

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