Grumbler’s Anonymous Anyone?

Do you have anyone in your life
that’s a handful?
Someone who provokes
you to complaining
and grumbling?

Yeah, me, too.

One of my fathers-in-law was
a Golden Gloves boxing champion
for the Army during WWII.

After leaving the Army,
he joined the police force in
Milwaukee, WI. 

 

He rode motorcycles year-round
in the freezing Milwaukee, WI winters.
“Heck, yes, (except he didn’t say heck) it was cold.
We’d wrap our legs with newspaper
as insulation under our uniforms.

He was a strong man
with strong opinions
and not much of a filter
if you know what I mean.

At least, his sweet wife buffered
his coarse talk
and old-fashioned opinions
with graceful scoldings and smiles.

Then . . . his wife died. 

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

Read More

Do You Expect Good Things From God?

 

Do you expect good things from God
or do you settle for the mundane
when God offers the miraculous?

 Mr. 4-Ever and I were driving home 
from an event on a
hot and sunny day.
We’d been on the road for hours
and I just had to have
a break … and a chocolate malt.

A jumbo cup of
thick, chocolatey deliciousness.

I tried to talk myself out of it
but the hankering would not go away.

Finally, I asked Mr. 4-Ever
to be on the lookout for ice cream.

At the next exit,
we followed the signs to McDonald’s.

Mind you, McDonald’s will do,
but I had something a little different in mind.

I wanted hand scooped ice-cream
and lots of malt powder mixed
with whole milk – blended together till
it was a cold, smooth concoction
fresh from the whir of a malt maker.

Just as we saw the golden arches,
I spied an ice cream stand
on the other side of the road.

“Can we go there instead?”
I asked Mr. 4-Ever excitedly.

He was already in McDonald’s mode,
drive-through quick,
inexpensive and satisfactory.

“No, let’s just stick with McDonald’s,”
was his disappointing reply.

“Ok,” I drooped,
“I have to use the ladies room anyway.
I’ll go in and get the shake.”

At the counter,
I saw a big “OUT OF ORDER” sign
on the machine that oozes milk shakes.
I was practically giddy as I asked,
“Is your milk shake machine working?”

Read More

Three Word Sentences That Change Your Life

Three word sentences
can change your life.

If you heard …
Congratulations, you’re hired!
or You are pregnant!
or You’re cancer free!
it would dramatically change your life,
wouldn’t it?

We have the option to change lives
with our own
three word sentences.

Several years ago,
Mr. 4-Ever and I joined
a dinner party group.

At first,
we just got together to
eat and play games.
We talked about the weather
or the game
or our kid’s latest escapades.

It’s grown into a safe haven,
a place to share new recipes
as well as
life’s triumphs and challenges.

It’s so special,
we don’t post pictures on Facebook
or tweet about our time together.
It would feel like a breach of privacy.

This little group of five couples
has become holy space.

Read More

Reset, Restart, Refocus

 

If you made a New Year’s resolution,
or a 30 day declaration,
are you on track or
or missing the mark?

 

 

I’m faltering,
but Heaven help me,
I want to get back on track.

Once you fail,
the temptation is powerful to chuck the
exercise program,
writing project,
savings plan,
home renovation
or diet
to the curb in utter defeat.

It’s hard to overcome
the voice in your head that says …
You’ll never win.
Nothing will change.
This will never work.
Give up!

Take heart, Dear Friend.

I hear those same recordings my head,
but we don’t have to cave.

Read More

Merry Christmas!

I feel like such an overachiever for getting Christmas cards done this year
and bonus points for getting them in the mail before Dec. 25!

I just wish everything in my life
was functioning so efficiently.

I’m months behind on my next writing project,
my bathrooms are in desperate need of a scrubbing,
my checkbook is dangerously close to being overdrawn,
I have no idea where the Christmas decorations are and
the number on my scale is at an all-time high.

Merry Christmas!
woo hoo!

Read More

The Present of Presence

 

Our holiday season got off to a rough start,
starting with Thanksgiving.

I planned to serve Thanksgiving dinner at 12:30. 
At noon, the turkey wasn’t close to cooked.

I’d calculated the cooking time,
the resting time,
the carving time,
so that everything would be hot and ready at the same time.

Tick.
Tick.
Tick.

An hour went by and still that bird was not done!

Mashed potatoes and stuffing,
sweet potatoes and green been casserole
waited impatiently in warming ovens until 3:30
when that bird finally surrendered enough
breast meat to give each person a sliver.

Arrgh!

Girls, it was the ugliest looking plate of food
I’ve ever served on Thanksgiving.
Tasty, but ugly.

Interestingly, holding dinner hostage gave us
all time to really catch up,
watch the Lions win,
play some board games with the littles
and some even took a short nap.

Read More

The Secret to Being Thankful is Focus

The secret to
being thankful
is focus.

When I learned to drive motorcycles,
I discovered very quickly that
where you look is
where you go!

Through the curves,
around the obstacles
or
into the ditch!

In this season of busyness and frivolity,
it’s easy to lose your focus.

If you’re anything like me,
you start to focus on what everyone else is
doing,
decorating,
devouring,
or delighting in.

Comparisons take up the space
in my mind and heart that
God is supposed to inhabit.

Instead of being thankful for what I have,
I focus on what
SHE has,
or what SHE does,
or what SHE gets
or how SHE looks.

I compare home decorating skills,
culinary prowess,
the number of Christmas cards received,
the extravagance of gifts,
and the size of her dress.

Read More

Trusting God with Big Changes

I don’t love change.

Anyone else with me?

In my quiet time this morning,
I realized I was sitting on 20 year old couches,
looking at walls painted 20 years ago,
dressed in pjs and robe that were,
yes, you guessed it,
about 20 years old.

Girls, change challenges me!

I barely like change even when it’s my idea!

But,
keeping things the same
is no safeguard from pain.

Things break and wear out.
Children grow up and move away.
Friends die or move on.
Opportunities evolve and disintegrate.

Change is necessary.
Change is good.
Change is inevitable.

Read More

Old Faces on New Friends

Every morning,
the “Walkers” powered past my house,
merrily chatting away as they exercised. 

Trim and fashionable in their cute outfits,
and bright athletic shoes,
this cluster of women was oblivious of
my longing to be included in their lives.

New to the neighborhood and
new to parenting,
I was desperate for a friend.

Still dressed in my pajamas,
with my hair in a wadded pony,
I wanted to holler out the window,

“Hey! I’m lonely.
Would you be my friend?”

Figuring that strategy might make them walk even faster,
I devised another plan to intercept them.

Many evenings after supper,
I put my baby in his stroller and casually traced their route
hoping for a chance meeting that
would get me invited into their circle.

Instead, I encountered Bob,
an elderly man with thick, white hair and
sparkly blue eyes.

Read More

Apple Of My Pie

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.

This week I thought I’d share my two favorite apple recipes.

Read More
Page 4 of 8« First...23456...Last »