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October 21 2021

Seeking Our Extraordinary God In The Midst Of Our Ordinary Moments

Heaving a loud and frustrated sigh, I began another Google search for a helpful tutorial. Who knew learning to format this document would be as time-consuming as writing it? After a few hours of circling between internet videos and my document, I finally found the steps needed to correctly format my headings and page numbers.…

October 14 2021

How Can I Win Against Temptation When It Catches Me Unaware?

Sighing, I bit my lip and turned my face toward the window. This always happens. Just when I think I’ve finally overcome a weakness, something like this hits me. When will I ever be free of this struggle? We all have natural inclinations toward certain sins. Mine is a sharp tongue which yields harsh words.…

October 7 2021

How We Can Live Faithfully In A Fallen World

Grinning in joyful expectation, I joined the crowd and began cheering for the Medieval Jousters. Full of good-natured dramatics and artful choreography, the horses and actors performed with expert showmanship. But suddenly they introduced a startling plot twist. The evil knight powerfully defeated the noble one. And the crowd around me let out a delighted…

September 30 2021

How We Can Choose Our Words To Help, Not Hurt

“Oh, No!” The collective roar from the passengers around me grabbed my attention. Pulling out my earphones, I asked the man sitting next to me what had happened. He shrugged, “We have to get off the plane.” Imagining all kinds of horrific scenarios, I gathered my possessions and followed the others off of the plane.…

September 23 2021

How To Make A Positive Difference In This World Today

According to a recent survey, eighty-six percent of people ages thirteen to thirty-eight want to be an influencer. By definition, an influencer makes money by promoting products and services on their social media accounts. As this trend has grown, we now identify four levels of influencers based on the number of their followers: Nano Influencers…

September 16 2021

How To Find Help When Your Heart Is Heavy

With a heavy heart and a restless spirit, I found myself wondering…why? I couldn’t pinpoint the specific cause for my distress. And yet, all around me the world continued to spin out of control. My heart breaks over situations both near and far: Several close friends lost loved ones. Others dealt with non-Covid related health…

September 9 2021

How Doubts Can Help Us Grow In Our Faith

Lord, help me believe your promises. As I prayed these words, they cut me to the heart. Shouldn’t my faith be rock solid by now? How can I have doubts? Because I grew up as an unbeliever, I tend to view any form of doubt as a betrayal of faith. But over the years I’ve…

September 2 2021

Three Powerful Reasons We Rejoice In The Midst Of Suffering

No one likes to suffer. Or at least, we don’t want to suffer unnecessarily. We’ve all heard the phrase: No pain, No gain. Although we normally associate these words with today’s exercise and fitness industries, this principle can apply to other parts of our lives.  In last week’s blog post, I shared the Apostle Paul’s…

August 26 2021

When Life Gets Hard, I Want Easy

I wish life came with its own remote control. So often in the past weeks and months, my heart has longed to “go back”. Go back to a time when life felt safe and full of hope and promise. Maybe you can relate. When life hurts, we often look back with nostalgia to easier times.…

August 19 2021

Is My Truth The Same As Yours?

Mesmerized by the stirring lyrics and musical rhythms, I remember sitting entranced as I watched the movie Jesus Christ Superstar. At thirteen years old, this movie gave me my first taste of the story of Jesus. Although I now understand the differences between the Broadway creation and the Biblical account, the words and music of…

August 5 2021

Keeping On The Side Of Truth

I still remember laughing with my young students as we read The Emperor’s New Clothes. Entertaining and engaging, this classic fairy tale from Hans Christian Anderson always pleased my young crowd. (If you are unfamiliar with the tale, you can read it here.) We couldn’t help but chuckle as the vain emperor fell for the…

July 29 2021

Can We Judge Others With Love?

Out of habit I glanced at the church’s placard as I drove home: You don’t need to judge. I’ve got it covered. God  Hmmm… nice reminder, I thought. But later that week, I realized how difficult it can be to leave judgment to God. A dear friend, one I admire and respect, decided to do…

July 22 2021

Where Is Your Treasure Buried?

Few of us can resist the lure of buried treasures. And if we thought they only existed in the past, or in books and movies, we would be incorrect. In 2010, multimillionaire Forest Fenn carefully collected historical artifacts, jewels and gold. Placing them in an ornate box, he then buried it somewhere in the Rocky…

July 15 2021

The Importance Of Praying Without Giving Up

When I married my husband some twenty-nine years ago, I had only known him for ten months. Yep, we met in August, got engaged the following April, and were married two months later. For some, our courtship appears very rushed and quick. But they don’t know the back story. From the moment I began to…

July 1 2021

Grace Motivates Us to Do More From Love

“Hey! Number Thirty-two, over here! Over here! OVER HERE!” The young teenager sitting behind me in the stands desperately tried to get the attention of the baseball player with the number thirty-two jersey. Whenever a player hit a foul ball, this player picked it up, pointed to someone in the crowd, and tossed the ball…

June 27 2021

Doing The Little Things With Great Love

Recently I agreed to help a friend with an assignment for his theological studies. The idea for his project came from the writings of a young French nun, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Known for her “little way” spirituality, Thérèse believed in doing the little, ordinary things in life with great love. My friend asked me…

June 17 2021

How Physical Training Can Help Us Flex Our Spiritual Muscles

Sputtering and gasping for air, I reached out to grab hold of the pool’s edge. When does muscle memory kick in? I’d heard muscle memory allows us to rebuild lost muscles with less effort than it took to create them. Good news for me! If true, the swimming muscles I built in my past can…

June 10 2021

Honoring God By How We Treat Others

Making my way to the cashier after a tiring day at an overcrowded amusement park, I noticed two queues and joined the shorter one. I began catching conversation snippets from the group in front of me. Huddled together, they debated the wisdom of their potential purchase. As they weighed the pros and cons, they didn’t…

June 3 2021

How You Can Ensure Your Success Through God-Centered Goals

Way before arriving at her place of business, I began to brace myself: It’s just one image. It doesn’t tell the whole story. As my hair stylist wheeled me around, I sighed. How can somebody in the beauty industry be so unaware? The angle, the lighting, and even the quality of the full-length mirror itself,…

May 27 2021

How To Save Your Memories and Create a Legacy

As we drove away from the house which had been our home for fifteen years, my heart whispered a prayer for the new owners: May their time in this house be blessed with sweet stories and rich memories.  Since we’ve been married, my husband and I have lived in five different homes. While I don’t…

May 13 2021

How Contentment In Our Current Season Helps Us Escape the Trap of FOMO

Chuckling, I watched as my three-month old granddaughter fought her much-needed nap. Just as her eyes started to close, she shook herself and erupted in an angry cry. With clenched fists, she glared at me as I continued to rock her. She must be afraid of missing out on something. I’m not sure if babies…

May 6 2021

Why We Need To Embrace God’s Word with the Humility of a Child

Recently a friend and I reminisced about children and the funny things they say. One memory continues to play in my mind. When I began my career as a Kindergarten Teacher, we started the year discussing the importance of classroom hygiene habits. I explained at length how we don’t want to share our germs with…

April 29 2021

How Can You Fight Off A Stinking-Bad Attitude?

Peering through the window, my heart dropped. Clouds hid the sun as the trees danced in the wind. Typical for a spring day, the weather had turned chilly.  A similar storm began brewing in my spirit. My husband and I had planned to attend an outdoor gathering with friends. But the thought of sitting outside…

April 22 2021

When I Trust Too-Good-To Be-True Promises

After spending a week cleaning and sprucing our house in preparation of its sale, we put it on the market. Within three days we had three strong offers. One potential buyer offered to pay an amount well above our asking price ~ in cash. An offer too good to refuse. But even as we signed…

April 15 2021

When One Suffers

“That looked like it hurt.” Unable to answer, I gripped the counter with both hands and whispered, “Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!”  Finally, I lifted my head and smiled at the customer behind me, “It sure did.” He stooped down and picked up the 28-oz bottle of Powerade and placed it carefully on the…

April 8 2021

Wiping My Seasoned Slate Clean

With aching muscles, I sat back to critically assess my work.  I’d spent the better part of the day scrubbing out dirt which had caked into the crevices of the tile squares of my floor. Then I attacked the grout using special chemicals and a tiny brush. Finally, I rinsed the whole floor with clear…

April 1 2021

Breaking Free From The Fear Of Death

“I actually think about heaven a lot.” After twenty-eight years of marriage, I thought I knew everything about my husband. But this comment, made during a recent road trip, took me by surprise. I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but heaven rarely graces my thoughts. I tend to focus on the here-and-now. Since heaven will…

March 25 2021

How To Gracefully Receive Gifts

No matter how many times I’ve seen it, I still laugh. In The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis episode of the Big Bang Theory, the character Sheldon Cooper explains his theory on gifting.  Sheldon describes gifts as obligations. Whenever he receives a gift, he feels obligated to reciprocate by giving a gift of equal value, representing…

March 18 2021

Preparing For The Unexpected

Boxed in with hundreds of other travelers and trailer trucks, my husband and I remained stranded on an Arizona highway for twelve hours. Slippery and icy roads had caused several accidents. Without notice, the Department of Transportation closed the highway. As temperatures dropped into the teens, we received no information indicating when the pass would…

March 11 2021

Seeing Difficulties As Part Of The Plan

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) From the first time I read this verse on a wedding invitation, I loved it. Its words eloquently express God’s heart toward us.…

March 4 2021

When The “Should Haves” Accuse

With a sinking heart I watched as the amount owed multiplied before my eyes. How could this have happened? I should have known better! As we prepared for our move to Virginia, I called the same governmental agency, not once, but three times. Each time a different representative repeated the same advice. Now on the…

February 25 2021

When The “Would Haves” Sting

If only… I understand why some people refer to these words as the saddest in the English language. They open our hearts to the sting of the “would haves”: If only I knew how little time she had left. I would have made the effort to go visit her. If only I listened before jumping…

February 17 2021

When The “Could Haves” Attack

Sobbing so hard she could hardly breathe, my daughter gasped out four words. The four words I heard stopped my heart and threw me off balance. “My baby just died.” Fortunately, my son-in-law intervened and clarified my daughter’s actual words. “My baby has jaundice.” Normally, jaundice itself would create anxiety. But in comparison with what…

February 11 2021

When I Find Myself Living In Limbo

Moving through my daily routine felt like swimming against a current. A restless night turned into an anxious day as I checked my phone every few minutes for an update.  A watched pot never boils. This idiom perfectly describes how slowly time passes when you are waiting for something. Or in my situation it could…

February 4 2021

How To Change The World

What did you dream of becoming when you were a child?  My answer may surprise you. I dreamed of becoming the President of the United States. Even at a young age I wanted my life to be important. Serving as the president seemed the best way. While I no longer entertain thoughts of the presidency,…

January 28 2021

When I Feel Powerless

“I didn’t realize they only accepted cash. I only have my debit card.” Turning around, I located the speaker, a young lady about my daughter’s age. Glancing at her modest bag of apples, I smiled. “We have extra cash. I’m sure we can cover your purchase.”  Chatting easily, we made our way to the cashier.…

January 21 2021

Redefining Success

Focused. Hard-working. Conscientious. Determined. Results-oriented.  These adjectives pepper my resumes and performance evaluations. They accurately describe my work ethic. For many years, I believed in this formula for success:   Set Goals + Work Hard= Desired Results For years this formula worked like magic, fueling my drive and ensuring my success. Until it didn’t. I prepared…

January 14 2021

When I Need To Extend Grace To Myself

“You sure love to beat yourself up.” Sighing, I realized the truth of my friend’s words. After stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new, I nitpicked my performance, noting every flaw and imperfection. Yet as hard and demanding as I am with myself, I can be soft and gracious with others. I…

January 7 2021

Enjoying Life During Uncertain Times

“I plan to keep living until the day I die.” I first heard these words of wisdom nearly twenty-eight years ago, shortly after my mother-in-law received her terminal cancer diagnosis. The heavy burden of her illness didn’t prevent her from enjoying the remaining days of her life. Her words always resonate with me, but I…

December 31 2020

When the Post-Christmas Blues Attack

It still catches me by surprise. All the busy energy of the Christmas season comes to a sudden stop. As the holiday slips away, the joy of advent gives way to an all-too-familiar sense of gloom. Experts refer to this as the “post-holiday blues” and it affects a surprising large number of us. When our…

December 24 2020

Cherishing All The Gifts of Christmas

As I publish this post on Christmas Eve, my family will soon participate in one of our final traditions of the holiday~exchanging gifts.  According to legend,  we give gifts to remind us of the first ones given to Jesus by the traveling magi. They offered three gifts, each of them a fitting tribute to the…

December 17 2020

Remembering Immanuel, God With Us

Mystified, I looked at the package. I didn’t recognize the person in the return address. As I opened it, a smile lit up my face. Inside lay a dainty candy cane watch~but no card.  “Do you think one of your readers sent it?” my husband asked. “You often write about your love of candy canes…

December 10 2020

An Unbeliever’s Perspective On Christmas

My good friend, Jennifer Elwood, recently published her first Bible study, Counting Up to Christmas, Twenty-four Gifts from the Gospel of Luke. Her book resonates deeply with me because I first became a believer during the Christmas season. I originally wrote this post as a guest on her blog. Please check out her website for…

December 3 2020

Making My Lists and Checking Them Twice

Last night I finally completed the list my family repeatedly asked for: what do I want for Christmas?  For someone who loves making lists~Christmas brings an added measure of joy. So many lists to create: Addresses for Christmas Cards Gift ideas for the people in my life Stores where said gifts can be purchased Dates…

November 26 2020

Why Giving Thanks Matters

Years ago I heard this story in a small Bible discussion group and it remains one of my favorites:  Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called…

November 19 2020

When You Wake Up On The Wrong Side Of The Bed

Beds ought to come with warnings: Caution: Waking up on the wrong side could be hazardous to your relationships. The origin of this idiom can be found in ancient Roman superstition. These people believed each side of the bed connected to either positive or negative forces. The side you exited determined the fate of your…

November 12 2020

Opening the Gift of Jesus the Cornerstone

Friends, today I invited my friend and fellow writer, Jennifer Elwood, to share some thoughts with us from her newly published Bible Study, Counting Up To Christmas: 24 Gifts from the Gospel of Luke. Jennifer and I became friends through COMPEL Training. Over the past year we polished each other’s writing through critiques and encouragement.…

November 5 2020

Discovering The Lost Art of Biblical Meditation

I once heard a friend say Christians have lost the art of meditation. Although I didn’t disagree, meditation, like rest, runs contrary to my busy lifestyle.  But lately this idea of meditation has resurfaced in my circle of friends.  I often associate the word meditation with eastern religions, yoga, new age philosophies and the current…

October 29 2020

A New Way To Think About Rest

For years I lived my life at full throttle, burning the candle at both ends. As a worker bee, I believed in the sanctity of work. So much so, I tended to identify rest with laziness. Thankfully, this is not God’s position. The first time we see the idea of rest in the Bible is…

October 22 2020

What’s A $1.50 Worth?

Stunned, I reread the email. Nothing bad… just not expected.  I had struggled before I made the initial purchase. Something at half the price would have sufficed. But, I liked the company and the product, so I splurged. Immediately the company thanked me with a coupon for 10% off my next purchase. Feeling validated, I browsed…

October 15 2020

Why We Can Trust This Lifetime Guarantee

This week someone blindsided me by breaking a promise. Immediately a swarm of emotions began to swirl in my heart: betrayal, frustration, disappointment, and an unwillingness to trust. Broken promises do that. Sometimes this unwillingness to trust extends beyond the person whose promises failed. Because of this, especially in business, we insist on guarantees.  For…

October 8 2020

When Promises Seem Too Good To Be True

Some promises seem too good to be true. Consider the following example: Take delight in the Lord,      and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4 NIV) During the years of waiting for a husband (you can read about this here), people often quoted this Scripture to encourage me. The underlying logic…

October 1 2020

When Disappointment Derails Our Hopes

God has a funny way of reminding us of the truths we teach. Immediately after I published my last blog post on anchored hopes, something I hoped for did not materialize. God knew I needed that lesson to process the coming disappointment.  Not every specific hope we have ties directly to a promise from God.…

September 24 2020

Hoping Against Hope

Anchored hopes never disappoint.  Can you imagine life without hope? Hopefully not. Most of us would agree hope is essential to the human spirit. Even so, hope can be tricky for me. By definition, it conjures up images of happy anticipation and expectation. But unfulfilled hope can crush the spirit. The Bible describes this reality:…

September 17 2020

When The Darkness Of The World Feels Overwhelming

His light defeats the world’s darkness. My favorite way to decorate my home revolves around lights. Twinkle lights smile at me from above my kitchen cabinets, Scentsy warmers adorn various corners, and a bouquet of lights takes center stage in my dining room. For me these lights create a cozy and comforting ambiance. A four-part…

September 3 2020

When We Follow The One Who Never Changes

Recently a friend reminded me fall is around the corner. Thanks to our recent move to Virginia, I look forward to seeing the leaves change color for the first time in several years. The colorful foliage will not be the only mark of change this year. Retirement, our cross-country move, a new church family, and…

August 27 2020

Taking Time to Consider His Creation

Greetings from Virginia! After 2,200 miles (approximately 44 hours of driving), we arrived in Virginia. My husband did all the driving while I helped navigate. But most of the time, I snuggled with Noëlle and enjoyed the changing scenery. The farther we traveled east, the more green the landscape became. These green rolling hills sharply…

August 20 2020

When Blessings Feel Like Hardships

We can learn to be content no matter our circumstances because God gives us strength. (Philippians 4:13) For me, He often strengthens me through the relationships He gives me. I learned this important lesson while living in Paris.

August 13 2020

When Love Takes The Witness Stand

The countdown has begun. In just ten days, my husband and I will pack a truck with our belongings and start our trek across the country to our new home. Life at the moment reflects a flurry of fun, yet bittersweet dates with dear friends. Saying good-bye has never been easy for me. I prefer…

July 30 2020

Discovering True Joy

Earlier this week, opportunity came knocking. My husband and I saw a way to lighten the burdens of some people we love. Although helping these people required sacrifice, the process lifted our spirits. Can I confess? I had forgotten how great it feels to sacrifice and serve others. It reminds me of one of my…

July 23 2020

Happy People Read the Bible and Drink Coffee

Hello everyone! Today’s blog post is a video: I’ve never done this before, so please bear with me as I work through all the technical details. Enjoy!    

July 16 2020

Taming My Negative Thoughts

We’d been dreading it for weeks. We put it off for days. But in preparation for our retirement and future move across the country, tackling the garage became a priority.  For most people, garages are places to park their cars. But desert sand makes basements impossible. So for people living in the desert, garages become…

June 25 2020

When A Heart Rejects The Gospel Message

When I became a Christian thirty-eight years ago, I couldn’t stop talking about Jesus. My life reflected the Apostle Paul’s words found in his letter to the Romans: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then…

June 18 2020

When You Feel Like A Skeptic

Has anyone ever called you a skeptic? When anything sounds too good to be true, I tend to build a wall of skepticism around my heart. I instinctively seek to protect myself from the inevitable hurt caused by believing a lie. Since God’s ways and thoughts are not like mine (Isaiah 55:8-9), many of His…

June 11 2020

Changing the World One Heart at a Time

I love inspirational stories. Especially those tied to the gospel. Because by changing the hearts of individuals, the gospel powerfully changes the world. The lives of both Peter and Paul testify to the transformative power of the gospel. Two brothers, James and John, also experienced gospel-inspired heart changes. In Mark’s list of the twelve disciples,…

June 4 2020

Building Bridges Instead of Walls

Our world is hurting. The words of James have guided me as I grappled with the recent events plaguing our country:  My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.…

May 28 2020

When His Blessings Don’t Meet My Expectations

Not every act of obedience brings the expected reward. Although true, this statement creates some dissonance with my soul. I always believed if I did A, B and C, then D, E, and F would logically follow. I know better. I can point to times I did everything right, but… the relationship failed. the job…

May 14 2020

When We Face Ourselves

Real transformation requires real honesty. If you want to move forward — get real with yourself.– Bryant McGill A recurring dream haunts me. A nightmare, really. The setting of the dream varies, but the theme remains the same. Sometimes in these dreams I see myself as a confident college student. Suddenly, another student reminds me…

May 7 2020

Facing Our Fears

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.– Eleanor Roosevelt Teacher Appreciation Week officially began on Monday. When asked to share about my favorite teacher, I immediately thought of Mr. Blubaugh who…

April 30 2020

When Your Attitude Stinks

Your attitude is like the aroma of your heart. If your attitude stinks, it means your heart’s not right. – Alex Kendrick Recently, I found myself struggling against a bad attitude. After months of praying over a certain situation, I still had no clear answer from the Lord. Frustration seeped into my soul and a…

April 23 2020

When Believers Doubt

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. –Saint Augustine Years ago, my doctor advised me to take vitamins for some specific health concerns. Unfortunately, the vitamin bottle collects dust as it sits on the shelf.  The other day my husband asked me…

April 16 2020

Planning in a Season of Uncertainty

The longing for certainty … is in every human mind. But certainty is generally illusion.– Oliver Wendell Holmes Lord, please just show me the plan, so I can get behind it. I can’t tell you how many times I have prayed these words. I truly believe I can deal with anything, except the unknown. And…

April 9 2020

Celebrating Easter in the Midst of the Coronavirus

As I write these words, my country prepares to face the peak of the Coronavirus Crisis, even as we make plans to celebrate Easter. I can’t help but marvel at the paradox. One event stirs fear in our hearts as we watch the number of deaths grow. The other, because it holds the only solution…

April 2 2020

Finding Peace in the Midst of Evil

Only when we stand in awe of God will we find it unnecessary to be in awe of Satan.- Erwin W. Lutzer As I write this blog post, the world battles against what many call “the invisible enemy”. Although unseeable by the human eye, no one questions the reality of its existence. Across the globe,…

March 26 2020

When We Feel Shaken

The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don’t give up. – Robert Tew Anyone feeling a bit shaken up right now? The phrase “shake up” can mean to drastically rearrange or reorganize something. I believe all of us can relate to the “shaking up” of our lives due to…

March 19 2020

He Still Calls Us By Name

Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.-Dale Carnegie When my husband and I became pregnant with each of our children, we agonized over selecting names. We searched for names which would set our children apart, yet would be appropriate for each season of their…

March 12 2020

Making Time for What Matters Most

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. – Henry David Thoreau When I announced my plans to retire this year, one response stood out against the others.  Why are you retiring now? At first this question surprised me, because my decision to retire didn’t seem unusual.  However, a recent…

February 29 2020

Turning Enemies Into Friends

The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend. -Abraham Lincoln Recently, I experienced a phenomenon called earworm, or involuntary musical imagery. The lyrics to a certain song continuously played in my mind: A wise man once told me Give a little thanks to enemies They teach me How to let…

February 20 2020

What Can Dolphins Teach Us About Jesus?

Among the sea-fishes many stories are told about the dolphin, indicative of his gentle and kindly nature…. It appears to be the fleetest of all animals, marine and terrestrial, and it can leap over the masts of large vessels. –Aristotle If you have read my “About Me” page, you know I love dolphins. My fascination…

February 13 2020

Responding with Righteousness to Unmet Expectations

Recently, my husband asked me to clarify my expectations for Valentine’s Day.  Expectations can be tricky. We learned early in our marriage how unmet expectations lead to frustration. Every. Single. Time.  Married couples do not corner the market on unmet expectations. These types of frustration play out in a myriad of scenarios across a variety…

January 30 2020

New Day, New Mercies, New Hope

Imagine if we treated each new dawn of each new day with the same reverence and joy as we do each new year.– Angie Lynn When I taught in an elementary classroom, I used a Clip Chart (created by Rick Morris) as an integral part of our classroom management. Every morning, I clipped each student’s…

January 16 2020

New Wine, New Wineskins

Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better. –Sydney J. Harris Sighing, I bit back a heated response. Glancing around the room, I saw my own frustration mirrored in the faces of my colleagues. Our…

January 9 2020

New Year, New Beginnings

The best time for new beginnings is now. – Unknown The beginning of a new year always creates the perfect backdrop for new beginnings. During the first few days of 2020, posts depicting new year resolutions or single-word targets flooded social media. I joined in the flurry when I published my last blog post.  But…

January 2 2020

Every Road Leads Somewhere

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. -Lewis Carroll This quote, taken from Alice in Wonderland, illustrates the importance of focus. If we don’t have a goal, it doesn’t matter what direction we take. By contrast, we have all heard “all roads lead to Rome”. This medieval saying…

December 26 2019

Jesus: Eloquent Translator of Truth

Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak.- Ralph Waldo Emerson Unlike many Christians I know, I did not grow up hearing the words of Jesus. My glimpses of Him came during my final year of college as I studied the gospel of John.…

December 19 2019

Jesus: Empathetic Friend

I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.– Walt Whitman Last week, my family and I attended the memorial service of a dear friend. When we first moved to Nevada, she welcomed me into our new church family. We lived in the same neighborhood and watched our…

December 12 2019

Jesus: Discerning Arbitrator

Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right. -Charles Spurgeon. Recently a colleague pulled me into a sticky situation. Claiming she needed to “clarify a misconception”, she asked me to explain a policy to other coworkers. Wanting to be helpful, I did as…

December 5 2019

Jesus: Loving Savior

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”- Lao Tzu   Even though I did not grow up in the church, I often heard Jesus referred to as the Savior of the World. The title meant very little to me then. But as I continued to read through…

November 30 2019

Jesus: Celebrator of Life

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. – Oprah Winfrey     ‘Tis the season to celebrate. Cookie and Ornament Exchanges, Ugly Sweater Soirees, Secret Santa Gifts, Office Potlucks, Caroling Outings, Tree-trimming Parties, Family Get-Togethers, Christmas Movie Marathons… the list goes on and on…   Personally, I love all…

November 24 2019

Jesus: Rabbi (Teacher)

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.- Henry B. Adams Before truly studying the Bible, I believed Jesus to be one of those enviable people who possess charisma in abundance. He just had to say the words “Follow me” and the disciples did so, leaving behind their careers and families. …

November 14 2019

Jesus: Sovereign Creator

I love Christmas. I love it because somewhere someone will ask the Christmas questions: What’s the big deal about the baby in the manger? Who was he? What does his birth have to do with me?-Max Lucado Recently, I began studying Because of Bethlehem by Max Lucado with Proverbs 31 Ministries. The words quoted above…

November 7 2019

Second Chances

Every moment of your life is a second chance.– Rick Price Years ago I heard a story about a young pastor. As he geared up to preach his first sermon, nervous excitement coursed through his veins. Finally, the moment arrived. Facing his audience, he suddenly froze. His carefully crafted sermon faded into the recesses of…

October 25 2019

Moments

Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.- Rose Kennedy Everywhere I look, I see autumn in full force. As the year winds down, the air cools and the days grow shorter. Time seems to pass even more quickly now. Sooner than I care to admit, we will be celebrating the holidays and ringing…

October 17 2019

Refined by Fire

Real gold fears no fire. -Randy Alcorn In my area of the country, fall appeared almost overnight. As the temperature dropped, we caught ourselves ditching sandals and donning sweaters.  Chilly weather invites the warmth of a cozy fire. Reading as I sit by the fireplace will always top my list of favorite things. But not…

October 3 2019

Boundaries

In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are.-Arnold H. Glasow Without a doubt, football reigns supreme during the autumn months.  I admit. No one will ever call me a football fanatic. But I believe the game can teach us some important life lessons.  For example, I recently…

September 26 2019

Pressing Pause (Again)

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana My heart plummeted as I read the freshly printed agenda. With heightened hindsight, I suddenly remembered my responsibility as a presenter at the meeting.  I glanced at the clock. 9:00 PM.  The meeting would begin in just ten hours. Not only was…

September 19 2019

Sincerity or Hypocrisy?

Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite. –Charles Spurgeon I confess. Growing up as an unbeliever, I classified most Christians as hypocrites. My judgement extended even to my believing friends.  To be honest, I often felt judged by them because my family did not go to…

September 5 2019

The Power of Yet

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. –Confucius   Standing in the parking lot of the grocery store, I fumbled with my phone as I attempted to place a mobile order using my Starbucks app.  “This should be easier,” I kept thinking as I backed out of…

August 31 2019

Transparency

 Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.– Mother Teresa Recent events led me to recall one of my heroes in the Bible. Known simply as a man with a shriveled hand, his story appears in three of the gospels. When Jesus met this man in the synagogue on the Sabbath, critical…

August 24 2019

Productive Struggle

The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.-Pierre de Coubertin. I wanted to be a better person. A bigger person. A more spiritual person. A person who didn’t struggle. Recently I fell victim to chance and circumstance. An admittedly unfair situation forced itself upon me. I was simply in the wrong…

August 9 2019

Triggers

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle “I’m actually a very shy person.” We all gaped at our friend in complete disbelief. Michelle, with her warmth and great conversational skills, befriended everyone she met. Her quick wit animated all of our gatherings and kept us in…

August 1 2019

Rest

Slow down, you move too fast- Paul Simon Not quite two minutes long, this song, Feelin’ Groovy, resides permanently in my “Favorites” playlist on my iPhone. By nature, I attack life at full throttle. This simple song reminds me to slow down. Only then can I rest, reflect, and refresh my soul. This need for…

July 11 2019

Personalities

I’m a big personality. I walk into a room, big and tall and loud. – Adele Sometimes I long for a different personality. People like Adele intrigue me. Larger than life, we all notice them. Their bold and outspoken natures instinctively equip them for leadership.  Naturally quiet and reflective, my personality paints a completely different…

June 27 2019

Lists

“We are what we think about all day long.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson While not necessarily a neat freak, I am an order freak. I like for things to be in their proper place. I need order to function, to be productive and to think clearly. So, I love lists. They help me to remember, to…

June 13 2019

Constant Change

“Change is the only constant in life.” Heraclitus “I just wish we would hear something, “ my husband muttered as he peered over my shoulder at my computer. Checking my email for the last time that day, we hoped to learn the status of my job. A few months ago, I received “the letter”. A…

May 9 2019

Ordinary People

God uses ordinary people like you and me to star in extraordinary “God stories”-real-life narratives of purpose and influence.- Pam Tebow Vividly I remember the day she walked into our office. Clear blue eyes and auburn hair created a beautiful backdrop for her dazzling smile. Everything about her exuded warmth and friendliness. I felt sure…

April 25 2019

French Connection

How far we travel in life matters far less than those we meet along the way. – Mark Twain Leaving my children to finish their tour of the Eiffel Tower, I stepped inside the enclosed observatory to sit and rest my throbbing knee. Less than one week prior we had embarked on this trip to…

April 25 2019

Translation of Mohamed Sebouai’s Testimony

Mohamed speaks of growing up in a Muslim family in the region of Kabylie in Algeria. Because his father worked in France, he was raised by his mother. She taught him: God is good, God is love and to be respectful. He attended a Koranic school until the age of 14. Even though he had…

April 11 2019

Clutter

  Clutter is anything that gets between you and the life you want to be living. -Peter Walsh Recently my son announced his friend gave him a cooking lesson. Completely on board, I shared his excitement, until I realized one important fact. The cooking took place at my house. In my completely cluttered, unkempt kitchen.…

March 21 2019

Pause

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau I confess: I like being busy. Productivity boosts my spirit. I find it hard to sit still. Fishing with my husband never quite makes my “Must Do” list. How can anyone sit still…

February 12 2019

Progress

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Frederick Douglass Groundhog’s Day in the desert was unusually stormy and gloomy. Normally I enjoy the rare change in our rather monotonous weather. But on this day, the battleship gray sky mirrored the internal struggle raging in my heart. The cause of my angst? A house…

December 13 2018

A Hallmark Christmas

Just before the holiday season began, my daughter tagged me in a FB meme. In essence, the meme posed two questions: Does every Hallmark Christmas movie have the same plot? Yes                      Will I watch them anyway? Yes OK. Guilty as charged. I cannot deny my love…

November 14 2018

Positively Joyful

“We just need to get you Tiggerized.” -Tigger (speaking to Eeyore) From childhood, I identify with the character Eeyore. I love and admire Tigger, with his positive spirit and boundless energy. But I get Eeyore. By nature, my attention is immediately drawn to problems and potential pitfalls. So imagine my surprise when my supervisor recently…

September 27 2018

Laugh or Cry?

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. -Victor Hugo “I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!” How many of us can relate to this statement? I’m betting most of us have found ourselves in these situations more than once. In fact, this experience is so common our language turned this phrase…

September 13 2018

Defining Moments

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. -Aristotle Ever have a defining moment? A moment where a pivotal decision will dictate the next direction of your life? Eight weeks after my foot surgery, the doctors removed my cast, moved me into a boot, and gave me the green…

August 30 2018

Blink!

“In the blink of an eye, something happens by chance-when you least expect it-sets you on a course that you never planned, into a future you never imagined.” Nicholas Sparks With prayer and purpose I stitched together a sweet design for my summer: • Serving as host and tour guide for the young daughter of…

August 9 2018

Balanced Equations

In 1557, Robert Recorde, a Welsh physician and mathematician, invented the equals sign, written with two parallel lines (=), because “noe 2 thynges, can be moare equalle”. I confess. A math nerd at heart, I actually enjoy solving a complex algebraic equation. I take comfort in knowing everything on the left side of the equal…

July 10 2018

God-Driven Decisions

I am often asked, “How do you know if you are following God’s will?” But the truer question is the one not vocalized: What happens if the decision I make is not in line with God’s will for me? Early in my twenties, I wrestled with a decision to move to Paris, France. I definitely…

April 26 2018

Walking with Weakness: The Devotion

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV) “Walk across if you have ever been a bully.” As I reflected on these words, I hesitated. My colleagues and I were participating in…

April 26 2018

Walking with Weakness: Back Story

Today, a devotional I wrote for a contest was published on the Proverbs 31 website. Winning that contest was another important step on my journey. The contest was sponsored by the writing training group, COMPEL (https://compeltraining.com). After subscribing to the group for a year and a half, I was on the verge of canceling my…

February 16 2018

Pressing On Toward The Goal

Have you ever whole-heartedly committed to a project, only to later wonder, “What was I thinking?” For me it can feel like I am at the top of a roller coaster ride, all strapped in, and suddenly I want to change my mind. But by then, it is too late. New Year’s Resolutions can feel…

January 3 2018

Contagious Connections

My last post was all about my love of Christmas. And every word in that post is true. This Christmas has been filled with all the things I love, ushering in the joy characteristic of the holiday. But this season also brought moments of great sadness. The daughter of a colleague was critically injured in…

January 3 2018

I Am A Rock

Paul Simon A winter’s day In a deep and dark December I am alone Gazing from my window To the streets below On a freshly fallen, silent shroud of snow I am a rock I am an island I’ve built walls A fortress, steep and mighty That none may penetrate I have no need of…

January 3 2018

No Man Is An Island

  John Donne No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of…

December 3 2017

Candy Canes and Gingerbread Men

‘Tis the season once again. I love Christmas and I always have. Honestly there is just so much to love: Christmas carols playing 24/7 Snuggling with my puppy Noëlle (yes, her name means Christmas in French) Home-baked goodies anonymously appearing in our teacher staff room Endearing Christmas concerts performed by all our young students New…

December 3 2017

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken Robert Frost, 1874 – 1963 Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And…

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