Life changes on a dime.

Last Friday morning, a beautiful woman and friend had a stroke around 7:00 a.m. Her son found her later that afternoon and called 911. Her daughter was my childhood best friend. The plan for that day was to go to the movies together, a mother/daughter afternoon indulgence. Yet, two days later, that sweet family made the decision to take their mother off of life support, sending her to glory. She was an amazing woman who loved to laugh, spend time with her family and cherished her friends. She was beautiful and a huge role model for me. Life changes on a dime.

Yesterday, some girlfriends and I went to visit a mutual friend in the hospital. She has been battling for her life….heart surgery, a collapsed lung, staph infection, and a whole lot of pain. It truly has been one thing after another for my sister in Christ. I was pleased to see her looking better than a couple of days ago, sitting up and talking. We spent about thirty minutes with her and the conversation was rich and full of love for one another. We prayed together before we left and I felt like things were beginning to turn around for my friend. This morning at 6:17, I received a text from her husband asking for prayer. You see, she has bleeding on the brain which caused a seizure. My lovely friend is now on a ventilator. Life changes on a dime.

Our time here on earth is fleeting and our days are numbered. Life is precious. We should treat each and every day as a gift from our heavenly Father. Take time to tell those around you how much you love them. Notice the beauty God has placed in your life. Take time to listen to the people who you encounter every day. Each morning that we wake up with breath in our lungs is another opportunity to show generosity, kindness, love, forgiveness and grace. Don’t hold back: laugh, dance, give the benefit of the doubt, be slow to anger, get rid of grudges, forgive and give thanks! Embrace life with complete abandonment, filled with hope and faith! Because life changes on a dime. And because our Father in heaven is good. He is faithful. He is trustworthy. His ways are right. And He is love.

Be joyful!

So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures. James 1:16-18


My man bought me a Roomba for Christmas. I love it and must admit that I find my Roomba fascinating.

Roomba has a very sporadic way of cleaning and just when you think that the he (yes, our Roomba is a male) is going to forget an entire area, he finds his way and finishes the job. Roomba returns to home base for charging, especially during a more strenuous cleaning pass. He also returns to home base when his trash bin is full and he alerts me when he needs assistance. Let’s face it, life can be tough for Roomba: wheels get stuck; doors to rooms close on him; and Lord help him if he finds his way under our bed!

I think I am a lot like my Roomba. From God’s vantage point, my life journey has been sporadic and I have taken quite a few off road detours, leaving Him wondering when I am going to find my way back and finish the job. Along the way, I have found that I need to return to home base and allow Him to charge me back up. In fact, life just seems to work better the more time I spend charging on my “docking station”.

Oh and God definitely cleans my trash bin, when I let my sinful nature take over. I also need Him when my wheels get stuck, a door closes or when I venture under a bed, where I know I have no business being. Let’s face it, life can be tough for this ‘ole gal and I need His help, love, grace, mercy and guidance daily. Hourly. Every minute.

Yep, I sure do love my Roomba. And I sure am thankful for my Father, my home base, my docking station and the lessons He is teaching me.

Be joyful!

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17‭-‬18 NIV

It’s Time to Make the Donuts…

I showed the students at our Leopards for Christ meeting this morning a very popular Dunkin’ Donuts commercial from the eighties. This commercial showed Fred, the Baker leaving his house morning and night, in all kinds of weather, to make the donuts. At the very end of the commercial, Fred actually finds himself running into himself. You see, the monotony of the daily task left him blurry eyed, confused and half brain dead. He couldn’t remember whether he was coming or going, let alone whether he actually made the donuts!

Much of daily life is the same for us. The paper work, the laundry basket, the car pool, the dead lines, the yard work, our studies, the gym, conversations, and even our time with God can fall into drudgery. Before we know it, we find ourselves simply going through the motions and finding little motivation, let alone joy in our daily tasks.

Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” I can’t think of a better way to combat the mundane tasks that confront us in every day life. When our focus shifts from going through the motion of the task to trusting God to pattern our steps and guide our understanding, everything changes! We find a revitalized soul and a purpose. (Even when it means scrubbing the toilet for the 100th time.)  Seeking God’s will each and every day, makes the day seem limitless in possibility and wonder. Our obedience to the minutiae that every day life requires can actually bring blessings we could never imagine.

When it’s time to make the donuts again, trust that God has a bigger purpose. Even the smallest of tasks can result in the greatest rewards. By simply fixing your eyes and heart on Jesus, those donuts start to look and smell amazing. And before you know it, you find yourself taking a big, ‘ole bite, thanking God for each delicious morsel of life!

Be joyful!

“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” Mark 12:30 NLT



A Game of Fetch…

Photo creds to my beautiful daughter!

My daughter and I took the angel dog to the beach Wednesday afternoon. He loves to go to the beach for so many reasons. He loves to ride in the truck. He loves to dig for shells. And he loves to play a good game of fetch with any size driftwood we find on the shore.

Wednesday was no exception. My daughter found a great piece of wood and launched it down the beach. Angel dog would go running for it, ears flopping and tail curled up. He brought it back to his mom every time. His “sister” would grab it and launch it again and again. Each time angel dog would find his way back to me. You see the angel dog likes to stay close to his mom.

My daughter finally plopped down next to me too and we chatted while watching two huge pelicans catch and eat fish. I could remember my own mom and I spending many an afternoon, in Florida where I grew up, soaking up the sun at the beach and talking about life.

There is just something about the ease and beauty of the beach: waves crashing, sea gulls calling, and the blissful feeling of the sun warming your body. Life is good at the beach. As I watched my daughter and the angel dog play, I thought about how small they seemed nestled next to the vastness of the ocean. And how I loved having them both close to me.

Our Father who art in heaven filled the vastness between Him and us with a Cross, which allows us to plop down next to Him and take in the beauty of His creation, while chatting about life. His Son warms our bodies and He fills our hearts with His Holy Spirit. He loves to watch us play along the shore and delights when we seek Him out, especially after life takes us on a run. And just like me, He loves to have His children close, under His mighty protection.

Take time this weekend to spend some time with your Father, soak up His Son and let His Holy Spirit move you. And don’t forget that after a good game of fetch, it is always best to return to Him. Stay close, for He is a good, good Father.

Be joyful!

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)



As I mentioned before, my daughter is now a driver. This past weekend, I told her that we were going to try out this new app as a family, called life360 and that the app will allow us to track each other via our phones.

Believe me, I was ready for the complete teenage “jelly fish” moment (to borrow a term from my Pastor). Those of you with teenagers know this one well…moaning, gnashing of teeth, the cry of injustice that comes from a teenager being put out by their overbearing parents. But, instead, I was met with complete obedience, almost a jovial response and the app was immediately downloaded onto her phone. I must admit I was a bit bewildered, until my daughter exclaimed, “now I will know when you are at home and simply ignoring my texts. You know that really makes me crazy mom, when you ignore my texts and I know you are just simply sitting at home.” As if. She went on to tell me that she has always wanted to see exactly what I do during the day. I started to think that this life360 app was a bad idea.

On Monday, I had a pretty normal day. I taught a class at the gym first thing in the morning, did a couple of errands and headed home to get cleaned up. I had a nail appointment right after lunch and left my phone in my car during the appointment. The last thing on my mind was life360.  I came out of the salon an hour later (with gorgeously polished nails I might add) to find a text from my daughter asking what I was having done at the salon and why I had not responded promptly, thank you very much. I responded “stop stalking me.” Indeed, this life360 app really might be a bad idea.

It occurred to me that this is a lot like how our Father in heaven must feel. He knocks, we invite Him into our heart and He “downloads” His Holy Spirit into us. The heavens rejoice and He has so many blessings in store! Then, we set out to live our lives and sometimes we forget that He has a perfect plan for us.

There was a significant season of my life that I was so busy doing things my way that I never even considered God or His plan for my life. He was there. He was tracking me. He was watching and waiting. He tried several times to get my attention, to get me to answer “His texts”. Yet, I was convinced that my way was the best way. You see, I left my phone in my car. I didn’t really need Him. I had this, thank you very much. When I finally hit rock bottom, I looked up and realized what a mess that I had made of things. And you know what? He met me there, helped me up, dusted me off and restored a new Spirit within me. Glory!

The only way this thing called life works is with Jesus front and center.. I sure do hope that you “download” the app and give your life over to Him. Life360 is only possible with His love, grace, forgiveness and mighty hand leading, watching. tracking, guiding, and protecting.

And on that note, my final analysis is simple: Jesus at the center of my life360 is indeed the only way. He is the Way. The Truth. and the Life. I hope it is true for you too!

Be joyful!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not o your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Show Me Your Muscles…


My mom is the strongest woman I know. I learned leadership from her and the importance of having a quiet, steady faith in God. She is still the most beautiful woman in any room, as far as I am concerned. She is my mom first, my best friend second and has walked me through the highs and lows of my life.

She is also my biggest cheerleader. If I sneeze, she will tell you that it was ‘the best sneeze ever sneezed’ in all of history! She is always on my side, even when I am terribly wrong. She is my PR agent. When I was a freshman in college, she dragged me across the room to meet the University President at orientation. She loves to make me laugh. One time, she stood in our front yard, showing me her “muscles” and from then on was deemed “muscle mom.” She taught me the joy of “retail therapy” and we earned our degrees in this “vocation” the year after my first father passed away.

She was meant to be a mother. God gave her extraordinary skills in this role and she has served Him mightily.

She was a Girl Scout leader, youth leader, PTA President, retail shop manager, receptionist, to name a few. She remains an avid bridge player, master gardener and animal lover. She believes in community service and involvement. She is a wife of a Pastor, which should, in and of itself, speak to her mighty strength.

My mom and first father were middle school sweethearts. When God called my first father home, she was left with two teenagers to raise. She was only 41 years old. Many nights after he died, my mom would walk around our swimming pool and yell at God. She would question him in her grief and would tell Him exactly how she felt. You see, in her grief and anger, she reached out to her Father. She knew that He could take it.

It occurred to me in my adult life what strong faith she showed during those honest cries of grief and heart ache. We do not argue or get angry or “lash out” at someone that we don’t believe in whole heartedly. She knew that her Father would hear her cries and would not forsake her. She knew He loved her and that He would heal her broken heart in His perfect timing. You see, she was in relationship with God, the author and perfector of her faith and ours.

Are you facing something in your life that has left you heart broken, angry, sick with grief or faint from lack of understanding? Your Father in heaven is only a cry away. He will never leave you. We see example after example in the Bible of times where He sees His people, hears His people, and loves His people.

He sees you. He hears you. He loves you. Trust that He can handle your grief. Your anger. Your lack of understanding.

Just like my very own Muscle Mom, He will show you his muscles! And trust me, our God is stronger!

Be joyful!

“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” Psalm 34:17 NIV

A Room full of Teenagers…..

Happening right now in our family room is my daughter’s 16th birthday party. There are 20 of them, watching a movie, eating burgers, fries and an unnatural amount of sugar. My husband and I have escaped with the angel dog to our bedroom, where we are eating skittles on our bed, drawing straws on who is the next one to “make an appearance” and make sure that things are on the “up and up.”

This morning, we were also surrounded by teenagers, this time at our church, where we attended a funeral for an eighteen year old high school senior, who died unexpectedly at his school less than a week ago. The young man who died was a strong Christian, who lived his short life to the honor and glory of his Father in heaven. He ran his race and was called home and heard his Savior say, “well done, good and faithful servant.”

Some times God provides sharp contrast in our lives. The room full of teenagers in my house right now make me crazy in my brain, most of the time. Yet, one of the boys looked up innocently earlier and said, “do you have any new batteries mom?” He is not my son. technically. But, he sees me as a mom. What a privilege!

Sharp contrasts.

There was a time in my life when I didn’t think that being a mom was going to be part of my story. There was a time in my life when the thought of a room full of teenagers was an unfulfilled dream. But, my God is faithful and His timing is perfect.

So, I consider time with each one of these teenagers a blessing. I want our home to be a place where they can gather and steal away from the pressures of life. I will cherish each day with my own teenage daughter because time is fleeting and life is short.

Oh and my husband drew the short straw!

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
    Remind me that my days are numbered—
    how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
    My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
    at best, each of us is but a breath.”  Psalm 39:4-5

And So It Begins….

“You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel. I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways. I’m going to do what you tell me to do; don’t ever walk off and leave me.” Psalm 119:2 (The Message)


I can just see my sixteen year old daughter rolling her eyes at this start. You see, she already told me that she thinks it is ridiculous when I begin a text with “greetings”. For that matter, she can’t believe that I insist on texting in complete sentences. If God has blessed you with a teenager, you know that opinions are shared, even if they are difficult to hear. Laughs are shared too, often at this dear old mom’s expense. And joy, well it comes too, when you learn to not take yourself too seriously and just enjoy the ride.

So, yes, greetings is what I have to offer as I begin this exciting new journey! I have been thinking a lot about transitions lately, because it seems that I am in the midst of a few right now: menopause, a brand new teenage driver, caring for aging family members, and the realization that my rear end seems to be growing at an exponentially alarming rate, just to name a few!

I broke down yesterday and purchased a pair of “cheaters”. I have actually needed these glasses for 8 years now. But I have simply refused to give into this part of the aging process. Giving in can be such a difficult process. Along with “giving in” to my new cheaters, came following a steady nudge from God to begin a blog. You see, I have felt this nudge for about the same time that I needed these glasses.

But, in this new year, God has been adjusting my sight. He has been closing doors and providing insights. He has been trimming away insecurities and breathing life into areas that I thought I had hidden from Him. He has been calling me to be bolder, more patient, extend more grace, practice forgiveness and not take myself too seriously.

So, I invite you to take this journey with me. I plan to share some of the things He is teaching me using this blog. The blog title provides my framework. I will talk about love. I will talk about faith. And I will definitely talk a lot about a very special angel dog that God placed in my life “for such a time as this”.