Can Too Much Togetherness Lead To Turmoil?

Is there such a thing as too much togetherness?

Dave and I just got back from a conference in Toronto, Canada. We were TOGETHER for six days. Joined at the hip together!
In the car.
In the hotel room.

At the conference.
Eating.
Sleeping.

Driving.
Learning.
Ministering … together! 

It was great, but I have to admit, I was happy to be home and get back into my routines. To have a little “me” time. You know what I mean, don’t you?

This morning (first day home) while I was having my quiet time, Dave came in and said, “Oh, good morning! Let me get my coffee and sit right next to you. We haven’t spent any down time together for a while.” 

Honestly, at first I thought, “Arrgh, I do not have time for a meandering conversation or meaningful togetherness right now! I have to unpack, do laundry, take a friend in for a colonoscopy, pick up something for dinner, write my Journey to Trust girls to see how they are doing with their studies, finish my blog and make a dessert for tomorrow night! I do not have any more time for you!” 

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Old Memories and New Legacies

What do you do with old memories? 
Turn them into new legacies!

I have outlived my mom by 27 days.
I don’t mean my mom died 27 days ago.
I mean she died when she was 61 years, 5 months and 16 days old.
I have eclipsed her life span.

In thinking about her,
remembering all the accomplishments she achieved
and all the people she served so well in her tenure as an educator,
one of the questions rattling around my brain is
how will I be remembered?

I know, I know,
61 is hardly considered old anymore.

However, I have more years BEHIND me than AHEAD of me.
Now more than ever, I want to make them count.

Time is whizzing by.

It seems like just yesterday that I was chasing children,
frantically trying to get places on time.
I was consumed with feeding, watering, and caring for other people.

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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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Sin Is Delicious … and Addictive

Sin is delicious. I wish it weren’t so, but it is.

I work with so many women who get caught up in things they never dreamed would hook them.

Prescription drugs. 
Alcohol.
Lies and deceptions. 

Overspending and debt.
Co-dependancy.
Pornography.
Abusive relationships. 

When I met with *Carolyn, she couldn’t even look up at me, but finally, she took a deep breath and started.

“I’m having an affair with a married man. We met at work and over the course of conversation and cocktails and compliments, I found myself taken in by him. At first, it was just so nice to be noticed. Not just for the way I look but for my brain and my ideas. He listened to my dreams and my problems. He helped me get promoted.

Now here I am. Three years into a relationship with a married man who will never divorce his wife. Hiding the truth from my family and friends, swallowing the pain and guilt, pretending everything is great. I’ve tried to break it off, but I keep going back.”

 

I stared at her. Why would a beautiful, educated woman get into this mess?
Because sin is delicious.

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Dance on the Stage God Has Given You

Do you know what stage you’re supposed to be on?
Do you know how to get clarity? 

Mr. 4-Ever and I, along with hundreds of others, sat in a hot, crowded auditorium for hours to watch a parade of small girls in dressed up tutus and tights wobble and hop on the stage in front of us. 

Every mother and grandma and friend of the family attending knew that the performances of the budding ballerina they came to see was likely to be awkward and poorly-executed, but we each, to a woman, swelled with pride when the little girl we came to see appeared on the stage.

In every performance, the tiny dancers took turns being out of sync, but as a group, they covered each other’s weakness, one remembering one part and another remembering another part so as a whole, they completed the number.

Occasionally, in moments of complete bewilderment, a ballerina wrangler – a preteen ballerina in matching leotard and tights – would appear from the wings to prompt and shoo her mini versions through their next step.

The sweet ballerina we came to watch, was on the stage for not quite two minutes. She was in lipstick and rouge for the first time.  She bravely swayed and pirouetted nearly on cue. She curtsied to thundering applause and cheers.

After the recital, carried her flowers in her arms as if they were her infant, careful not to bump the blossoms or break the stems. She beamed under the praise and adoration of the few of us who were there just for her.

There are no dress rehearsals for life.

That recital was packed with life lessons for all of us!

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Do You Believe There Is Greatness In You?

When God made you, he created a masterpiece.

There is greatness in you. 
I know this because there is greatness in each of us.
We are all chock full of God given gifts and talents.
The Bible says we are wonderfully made.
It even calls you a masterpiece!

I had a hard time believing it about myself so I’m guessing you might, too.

That’s why I made this 90 second video.
I want you to see for yourself what God says to you about you!
Click on the image below.

Friend, God put all kinds of great things in you. 
You can believe it!

God Almighty, I choose to believe your word about me. Help me to see the good and the great in me. I want to use my gifts to glorify you and encourage others. In Jesus name, Amen. 

Ringing in the New Year with a Dance Party!

There is nothing like a dance party ring in the New Year!
 
When you are feeling frumpy, discouraged or just old,
you need a dance party!

 
An event planner I worked with last year informed me
that I should plan to join the dance party they host as part of their retreat every year.
“A dance party?” I asked her.
“Oh yes, it’s a big part of every retreat.
The women love it!” she said cheerfully.
“To go with the Royalty theme this year,
we’ll have a ball.
Bring something with sparkles on it!”
 
The more I thought about it,
the more it sounded like fun …
if I didn’t have a heart attack!
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From Unmet Expectations To Realized Blessings

Mr. 4-Ever was at deer camp last week. It made me think of this funny story.
It happened several years ago but the lesson is as true today as it was then.

Girlfriend! It is my expectation that when daddy goes deer hunting, mama gets a staycation complete with chick flicks and good chocolate! Not that decoy candy you keep around so your kids stop looking for your stash. 

When my man goes to deer camp with the boys it 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 somewhere. 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.

Deer hunting camp is great for everyone. The boys will eat bacon at every meal, sit around a fire sharpening knives to throw at trees and not change their undies for two or three whole uncivilized days.  

I could hardly wait for their adventure and my staycation.  

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My (Practically) World Famous Apple Pie Recipe

Do you harvest or can or preserve food?
I’m up to my eyeballs in apples this week.

I’ve spent hours and hours
peeling, coring, slicing, saucing, & freezing …

I have
apple sauce,
apple pies,
apple crisp,
and
apple cobbler
ready to go!

As I’m sure I’ve told you,
I’m practically famous
(at Mr. 4-Ever’s deer camp)
for my delicious apple desserts.

So, by popular demand,
I’m sharing my best applesauce and apple pie recipes.

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