3 Keys to Avoid a Meltdown

What season are you in?
Busy but beautiful? Easy and comfortable? Stressed out and crazy?

It’s fall in the midwest and that means an explosion of colors outside the window and roaring fires inside. It’s the season of comfort food simmering on the stove and pumpkins lining porch steps.

Fall launches women’s ministry and my weekends are packed with great places to proclaim the Name of Jesus and teach the Bible. I meet lots of lovely women and we belly laugh, cry and pray together.

It’s the best!

Have you had a season like that, busy but beautiful? Has God moved or whispered or maybe you’ve had a break through? Secretly, you wonder if God must love you more than he did yesterday. That’s how it feels when your passion partners with God’s purpose for you.

But then comes the attack.

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God Redeems Life’s Wreckage

When life reels out of control and the wreckage is overwhelming, where do you turn? 

September 10th is a big day at my house. It’s the day my husband Craig’s plane was discovered after being missing for weeks. Our hope and prayer was that both Craig and the plane would be recovered safely and intact, but that wasn’t what we found.

A pilot error, a thunderstorm, and a dark mountain created a trifecta of disaster. After an exhaustive search by the FAA, State Police, Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol and NASA, Craig was finally discovered inside the crumpled aircraft wreckage where he’d obviously been killed on impact.

What do you do with that kind of news? Where do you turn for answers? 

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Do You Trust God With The Impossible?

How good are you at trusting God with what’s on your heart and mind but out of your control?

Do you trust God with the impossible or do you fuss and squawk until there’s nothing you can do to make a difference and then slump into despair and worry? 

My son, Eli, graduates from bootcamp this week. It seems like only yesterday that he was toddling around the house in diapers. The years float by leaving a residue of precious memories to mark high state occasions. The first step. Every first day of school. Passing his drivers test. Watching him play football. High School graduation. His first job as a firefighter.

Each marker took Eli further and further beyond my ability to protect him. Joining the Air Force Reserves marked the final transition of my role from guardian to worrier, I mean warrior … of prayer.

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Is God Enough?

When you search for meaning in trials and demand a reason for difficulties, the question we ask is, “Why is this happening?” 

The question you need to answer is, “Is God enough?”

When life is hard and plans change, when futures seem forfeit, and life shifts unexpectedly, the question you have to settle is, “Is God enough?”

In the time before YouTube and Food Network, before Google was a noun and a verb, we used to find things to make for dinner in thick-paged volumes filled with ideas to bring tasty nutrition to the table.

These volumes were called cookbooks.

Frustrated by the time-consuming effort to make dinnertime both flavorful and healthy, my friend Jennifer bought herself a new cookbook called “Once a Month Cooking. The cookbook detailed how to prep thirty entrees in one day, freeze them, and use them throughout the month. Jen’s plan was to double everything, make sixty meals, and split the bounty between us.

Jennifer thought it was genius. I thought it was harebrained.

Until I tried it.

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The Best Medication for Turbulent Times

I surveyed the dark red, single engine airplane we stood in front of as I listened to my new husband say, “It’s absolutely ridiculous to own a vehicle you don’t know how to operate!”  

The airplane that now had my name on the title. The turbulence in my tummy was growing. I gulped. Visions of me soaring through the air filled my head … followed immediately by flashes of me crashing in a blaze of flames.

It seemed reasonable to know how to operate the radio. It even made sense to learn how to land the plane in an emergency, but to actually become a licensed pilot freaked me out.

“I don’t know,” I said. “It looks complicated.”
“It’s not hard at all. I’ll teach you.”

You can already tell this will go badly, can’t you?

There is truth in the old adage that a husband should not attempt to teach his wife to drive. Driving lessons are a lot cheaper than a divorce, but this isn’t a blog about marriage.

“Okay,” I said, more out of a desire to be cooperative than adventurous. “Let’s do it.”

Learning to fly an airplane was horribly hard for me; all the technical, weather-related, and directional stuff vexed me. To top it off, my own flying made me sick. The joggling and bouncing in the little plane while doing the training maneuvers made my stomach churn.

Dramamine was a lifesaver for me. I swallowed pieces of little yellow pills for the first forty hours of my training before I successfully completed my testing to become a licensed pilot.

Can I get a whoop! whoop!?

I’m still plagued by motion sickness if the air is turbulent or if the waves are rough. If the swings are tall or the carnival rides turn me upside down. You can tell me it’s all in my head but I am still hurling into an airsick bag.

While Dramamine commands my upset stomach to calm down,
it does nothing to change my circumstances.

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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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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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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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How to Escape Your Impossible Situation

Have you ever gotten yourself into such a mess that escaping the situation seemed impossible?  I sure have, more times than I can count.

If you have, too, I bet you’ll relate to this story. 

After an event where I was speaking, Eliza* approached me with a simple request for prayer to feel God’s love again. She had gotten into something she wasn’t proud of and her shame was heavy.

I asked if she’d confessed this issue of ugliness to God. She had, but the shame remained and the temptation to return to her junk was strong.

We prayed for her to experience the love of God. When we finished praying, I asked how she felt. “I have peace,” she replied.

“Peace is good, but you didn’t come for peace,” I reminded her. “You came to feel the love of God. To be free of the shame and truly know God loves you, right?” She nodded weakly.

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