One Person Can Make A Difference!

It’s Christmas time again, and the movies that bring tears of joy, hold you in suspense, and usher in a season of hope are being rented and shown nearly around the clock.  Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Grinch, Elf, Jingle All The Way, and Polar Express are all great choices, but my favorite is Christmas with the Kranks, based the the novel Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. 

Watch this to find out why…

I’d love to hear about your favorite Christmas movie and why.

Scripture Refresher:  So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)

Prayer: God, remind me to be a person who makes a difference in the lives of those around me. Let me show kindness, exhibit your love and demonstrate to the world that I am yours. Amen  

 

Great Memories From Unrealized Expectations

Deer hunting season means I get 42 hours all to myself.

Being a deer hunting widow means there will be no one in my house asking for food, beverages, clean socks or a back rub.  There will be no one who needs advice, an extra $20.00 or a ride anywhere.  There will be no one playing the piano badly, tracking a trail of mud through my kitchen, or falling off the jungle gym requiring a trip to ER.

It will be bliss.

Deer hunting season is when Mr. 4-Ever takes the boys north to commune with nature and other like-minded men.  They will eat bacon at every meal, sit around a fire sharpening knives to throw at trees and not change their undies for two whole uncivilized days.  

Dave at deer camp with TylerI was giddy with anticipation for their adventure and my staycation.  

I went to the video store and pre-selected the chick flicks I would rent the second Mr. 4-Ever’s truck disappeared from view.   

I squirreled away deli treats and expensive cheeses, hiding them in the recesses of the frig where no one would find them.  I bought sparkling flavored water and good chocolate which I kept hidden in the trunk of my car until the magic moment.

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What Do You Do If Your Proverbial House Is On Fire?

“Mom, I had my death picture taken today,” says my son over the phone.
“What? Your what?!?”

“My death picture. That’s what the guys call it.  We have our picture taken in front of the flag wearing our dress uniform.  If we die in the line of duty, that’s the picture they put on my casket and in the newspaper.”

“Oh,” is all I can say.

Eli’s a firefighter.

Eli in turnout gearHe’s been thoroughly trained on a course filled with obstacles designed to prepare (or purge) recruits who desire to fight fires.  To remind them of the perilous nature of the job, many of the obstacles are named for fallen firefighters. The Bob Lee Wall is a six foot high cement wall.  Bob Lee couldn’t scale a similar obstruction, was trapped in a fire and died. The Denver Drill is named for an downed firefighter who perished next to a window because his team couldn’t get him out of the fire from their position outside the building.  The Comrade Course is a series of cement tubes, 3 feet in diameter.  Recruits have to wriggle through them in a hundred pounds of turnout gear, secure a “victim” and drag them back through the tubes to safety.

It’s serious training because lives depend on it.

I hope and pray I never have to use Eli’s death picture.
But I know that fire and smoke try to kill my son on every call.

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My Elijah Moment

It has been quite a season for me!  My first book, The Widow Wore Pink launched.  I had lots of speaking engagements and God gave me inspired, transformative messages to share.  I prayed and laughed and cried with women in cities all over the midwest.

It was wonderful.

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Have you had a season like that, busy but beautiful?  

God has moved or whispered or you have had a break through.
You are sure 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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What do you do when your past tries to hijack your future?

I came face to face with my past this morning.

In an effort to purge items in my closet that didn’t fit my style anymore, or to be perfectly honest, didn’t fit my mature, more generously padded frame anymore, I stumbled across two of my dead husband’s favorite shirts.

It stopped me in my tracks.

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Remembering the First Day of School

Now an empty nester, I watch the school bus drive by my house filled with other mother’s children. While I do like my french fry & debris free car, a refrigerator from which food does not mysteriously disappear, and the peace and quiet that comes with this season, I’m reminiscing about the first day I took my oldest to school. This 20 year old bittersweet memory seems like yesterday. Maybe you can relate?

The wind blew hard today; it was a sign of the times.
A change of season in the weather and in our lives.

schoolbus sign

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Lost and Found … my keys and my temper

keysToday I’m VEXED because I’ve lost my keys.  

Also, my new barrettes (still in the package),
two socks (not a pair),
and my temper!

It wasn’t a world class Rumpelstiltskin snit;
it was a slow-burning internal squawk.

Do you do that?
Pretend it’s all good, but sizzle inside.

I do – more than I care to admit.

Here’s the issue …today.

I don’t lose things.  
I just don’t. 
I’m organized. 
I’m tidy. 
I put stuff away.

You could say I’m borderline arrogant about my organized tidiness.
There is a place for everything and everything should be in its place!
But today I cannot find my things.  

Where. Are. My KEYS!!!!!
Ugh.

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Burning Coals and Great Rewards

Do you have anyone in your life that’s a handful?
You know, really irritating?
Downright challenging?
Yeah, me, too.

One of my fathers-in-law was a cop.  He bragged about riding motorcycles year-round in the ‘60s. “Heck, yes, (except he didn’t say heck) it was cold. We’d wrap our legs with newspaper as insulation under our uniforms. The department wasn’t full of wimps, women and weaklings like it is now.” 

A real charmer, that one. 

At least when I had to be around him, his sweet wife kept the peace by buffering his insults and verbal assaults with graceful scoldings and smiles.

Then . . . his wife died. 

Suddenly, I became the primary caregiver for that cantankerous man! 

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Bathtubs and Bibles

Are you a bathtub or shower girl?  

Do you like standing under pelting water in a shower or sitting in a mini sea of calm waters in the tub?

BathtubJust from my descriptions you can probably tell I’m a bathtub girl. I take showers if I have no other option, but my preference is always a bath. Even when I’m in a hurry, I can take a “skinny” bath and get the desired result—cleanliness—which is an imperative for every day. But I much prefer a deep, hot, relaxing soak. When I get out of the tub, I’m not just clean, I’m refreshed, ready for action . . . or for bed. 

A bath sets me up for what’s next: a full day of work or a good night’s sleep. I’m ready.

Sometimes I read in the tub.  

You can’t do that in the shower! 

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Here comes the groom.

You know what’s crazy? Well, maybe not crazy, but disconcerting?  Watching your son grow into your husband’s looks, moves and dreams!

I watched Eli walk down the aisle wearing a black tux and a big smile. He married the girl of his dreams and they ate and danced and schmoozed the night away.

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And I couldn’t help but see how he is his father’s progeny.  His smile, his hands, his dance moves and his laugh were all very reminiscent of his father.

I only wished my Hot & Hunky husband had lived to see it with me.

Ours was a love story resembling a fairy tale.I was young and beautiful and Hot & Hunky was fearless and handsome. We met in college and it was love at first sight … for him.

He just wasn’t my type.  Hot & Hunky was a Christian and while I didn’t know any Christians, from what I had heard in general and seen on 60 Minutes, I didn’t think they could not have any fun.  Hot & Hunky didn’t seem to fit that stereotype. While he did have preposterously high standards: he didn’t drink or smoke or use drugs or sleep around, he
didn’t judge me for doing all those things.  He went to movies, and came dancing.  He told (clean) jokes and was easy to be around.  I liked him a lot.  Like a prince, he continuously rescued me: he picked me up when I got stranded, he took me to ER when a date went awry, he loved, encouraged, and cherished me.  He treated me with respect and adoration.

After our freshman year of college I took a summer job as a Playboy Bunny,

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