Thursday, October 27, 2011


Just call me the Teen Relationship Counsellor.


Is there pay for this?

(Need drink or vacation...)

How Tricky

Complicated. Situations where you know there's no winning no matter how "perfect" the approach. Anger for confrontation and anger for no confrontation at the same time. What to do...

Well, the good news...but sad that nothing would have or could have made things better. When dysfunction is the name of the game, the expectations have to be pretty low. And that expectation???...time and messy.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Power of Acknowledgement

Something really simple, but amazingly powerful.


I was thinking about how the storms of life...the challenges, the chanages, the losses, the offenses...can make someone feel completely alone. For all kinds of reasons the securities that normally keep us afloat seem to crumble, and we feel adrift in an ocean of trouble. So defeating. So demoralizing. So lonely.

Well, today, I noticed something...when people take a moment to "see" the suffering of another, they throw an individual a lifeline. When we say in word and deed that we see their pain and sorrow, we give them strength to face another moment.

There's no pressure to understand diagnose and fix. It's simple acknowledgement. It's simply telling them that you know they are here...and that matters.

November Challenge...Eating!

Well, my November challenge looms! My month of no spending (OK...emergencies, gasoline...exceptions). The biggest challenge, believe it or not, is cooking from scratch. Don't get me's not a challenge in the negative sense. I actually look forward to it. It's just something that takes a bit more time and thought. Just in time, one of my favorite "food" bloggers released a series of postings about cooking from scratch. It began with the essentials and has moved into a variety of "how to's". Much fun!'s to an exciting challenge!

Stocking Pantry with Flours

Stocking Pantry with Sweeteners

Stocking Pantry Essentials

Stocking Pantry with Spices

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Holiday Giving

Our family changed how we give gifts for Christmas. Many years ago, we decided to give smaller gifts to the little kiddos and take the money for other gifts to pool for donations to various charitable organizations. It's been SO amazing to see the young ones invest in others and actually see them "change the world" chicken, one goat, one small business loan at a time. :)
World Vision Gift Catalog

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sing-along Time!!

Yep...someday I'm just going to break out into song. LOVE it! ;)

Don't Stir Your Own Pot

When you stand in fear...when you let yourself be driven by stir your own pot. Why make things worse? Release love into your reality. With it comes wisdom and peace. A far better answer. :)

The Wound Cycle

In my high school Health class we've been talking about some of the reasons why we make unhealthy choices. There's definitely a variety. One of the topics we discussed this week was the Wound Cycle. It reveals how some of the unhealed cracks to our hearts can ignite reactionary beliefs and subsequent behaviors in an attempt to protect ourselves. Certainly, wisdom from tough experiences is a good thing, but in an unhealthy way and left unchecked, the festering wound can initiate a cycle that continues with reinforcements to old wounds and inflictions of new ones. We essentially become victims of our own choices.

Wound inficted...Changed belief (or reinforced wrong belief)...Choices...Actions...REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT...

Interestingly, I've found that this cycle applies to a lot of situations. The wounds don't always have to be what we would often deem "serious"...along the lines of abuse. And the behaviors from them don't always have to be "extreme" self-deprecating sexual behavior. We can see the Wound Cycle show up in our reactions to offense or rejection, revealing themselves in permitted selfishness, bitterness, withdrawal... It goes on and on and on...

This is why God's invitations to healing are such a blessing! He doesn't intend for us to survive our pasts as victims!! He makes a way for healing to happen so we can LIVE and THRIVE. Certainly, healing hurts. :( But, the wholeness is worth it...the restoration, the completion, the fellowship..

So...when a Wound Cycle reveals itself, maybe it's an opportunity for blessing... We are all definitely worth it!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Glitter-Sparkle God?

I just don't get it. It seems like a segment of the "warm-fuzzy" generation has permitted themselves a re-write of God's personality. He's the Glitter-Sparkle God now. You know...the one that only does what YOU want because YOUR will must look exactly like His! He never permits anything outside of what YOU want or would do...simply because you've decided so. He would never expect more than what's good for YOU.


While I believe that God is good and that His heart is good towards me, I won't ever decide that His reality is limited to mine. In fact, I won't apply my humanity to Him. I'm His reflection...not the other way around. He's beyond me. He calls me in His direction. His perspective is bigger. His ways are better. His plans include me but are beyond "just" me. And...His plans might not include enormous wealth, longevity, perfect health and the picket fence.

I get worried that we've hit the ditch sometimes...and wonder why we must have some of the beliefs we apparently need to have about God...and wonder what the consequences are for a journey in those directions.

As Brennan Manning says in 'Ruthless Trust'...God is BOTH immanent (so close, so relational) AND transcendent (so holy, so glorious, so beyond). As such, we know great love (the kind that says we are held close to His heart) and humility (the kind that says He leads, He sees, He knows...and we serve...come what may).

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Interesting little thing... I was sitting in Growth Groups (Adult Sunday School at my church) today and was reminded of something God said to me when I was driving. (Always watch when He has you all to himself in the comfort of your own vehicle...HAHA!) It's so easy to take the pain we've experienced and use it as a launching pad for some pretty sad things in our lives. We can grab hold of bitterness and let it take root. Honestly, it's amazing how "comforting" that bitterness can be. It makes us feel like we are standing up for ourselves, protecting the cause...a whole host of "good" reasons. What He reminded me of was this..."Bitterness isn't accountability." Holding that grudge to make a statement in defense of self only feeds a that assaults the heart of the bearer.

There's a better way...

My Hannah and Justin

Confidential there won't be details. BUT...I will say this...I was involved in a dangerous situation today. Again, tons of people came out of the woodworks to help. In the chaos my niece and nephew, who are INCREDIBLY hard workers, ended up in a corner of sorts with me. In the blink of an eye we were in some trouble, and for a split second I thought we were REALLY in some trouble. Ran like #?>$ and got out just fine. A little shaken. A little rough around the edges. But...good!!!

Without a doubt I have to say...there are no others with whom I'd rather stare down a storm than my Hannah and Justin. My Super Heroes!! :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Take Your Anxiety Med-"itation"

I don't know about you, but when I'm working with someone who is having a fear-driven moment, I completely understand. Those who know me well know that I was a seriously fearful child. Part of my "unveiling" has been a beautiful gift (and tough journey) out of that and into a place of hope. I definitely still battle it from time to time...but the point is this...I battle it. I'm less and less a captive to its power all the time.

But I know the inner terror.

The kind you can't shake.

And it gives me great empathy for someone who's in its grip. Anxiety Med...well, Meditation. ;)

Ok now, some people get a little too freaked out when the word "meditation" comes up. This is not a meditation that makes you "one" with a cotton ball or full of empty space or hot air and all that. This is a meditation that realigns a tormented heart/mind with the One that ultimately holds it in His hands. The slow repitition is calming while the words and visualization offer a proper reality for the moment. Brennan Manning, a sweet, old soul and author of many books, spoke about this type of meditation, and I've found it to be quite a powerful gift in my journey out of fear.

It's simply this.

"Abba (on the inhale), I belong to You (on the exhale)."

"Abba" is the word Jesus uses for Father-God. It literally means "Daddy". What a "near" picture of our good Father! It reminds me of the verse in Isaiah that says that God holds His lambs close to His heart. Oh, to hear His heartbeat! The awesome thing is that through Jesus' work on the cross and further explanation in Romans, He calls us to live as God's children once again and also call the Father "Abba". He's...Your...Daddy! ;)

"I belong to You." is a phrase that places us in proper position. While the storm rages, we can settle ourselves into His arms and remind ourselves that we are His. He's bigger. He's more powerful. We can give ourselves and our situations to Him. Simple but powerful words.

Sitting still (and if you want to fold your legs into a pretzel, have fun! I personally can't get back up from the floor...) and repeating "Abba, I belong to You!" over and over and over AND picturing myself in His arms while His breath blows the storm away...well, it brings me such peace. If even for the's so worth it.

So...I just felt like blogging about that today. Storms are a reality, but our minds can definitely get swept up into them more than is necessary. Our security and sense of self-worth can get too rocked by them. We become victims in the fear game...BUT we have so much more power than we know! That power is demonstrated simply in repositioning ourselves...right into God's care.

Season of Thinking

So...I haven't been blogging much. I've been in "thought" mode. A germ infestation from the kiddos helps matters too. Yep, a "perk" of education. Taking advantage of the down-time, I've been mulling some things over, reading some helpful excerpts from favorite books, and spending time with God. It's been a good time.

One of the most interesting experiences has been a section in Brennan Manning's "Ruthless Trust". I so highly recommend this, by the way. I stumbled on a section that has beckoned to my heart to step up into something more. One awesome 20/20 that my summer of grief is becoming a stepping stone to more of the relationship-generated (with the "With-God") way of life and less of the, often comfortable but very limited, self-generated way of life. Real trust. I'll blog more about that some day, I'm sure, but for's just what's been rolling around in this heart...

Hope you are having a good day! And if not...I'll pray that you'll get a tiny glimpse of the love that surrounds you.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Challenge

I think I'm going to do another "Challenge". Last year I had the goal of not shopping for a whole month. Granted, I allowed certain concessions like gasoline, but for the mostpart nope! shopping. That meant that I made all of my meals from scratch (or things already in my cupboards). It was a fantastic experience. I learned a TON and saved a lot of money. So...thinking about doing it again! I might allow the purchase of fresh fruits and veggies this time. I soooo missed them by the end, and my vitamins couldn't make up for it.

Steal My Joy

I'm in charge of when I'm robbed of my joy. Hmm...guess it's not your fault. ;)

The "Dissing" Distracts here's an interesting twist. I've seen it in a few scenarios now (secular and non-secular alike). The exact opposite result than was intended. It's a move by one individual (or group) to "help" their point by basically bashing the other side. In rallying support they "dis" (disrespect) the opponent. Man, oh it ever backfiring!! The reaction of the rally-targets???...they feel the other is hateful, bitter, insecure or not having a point. Oops!...not what they were going for! Totally counter-productive.

I wish there was a way to tell the "sides" to come up with actual bolstering their position or point. And then to discuss with respect and grace. Sigh.

It's literally everywhere. Get someone talking about immigrants, Muslims, gay people, Christians, atheists, their bosses, their spouses... You don't even know the "why's" for their just now they hate 'em. Frustrating...

So Thick

A lady at church was talking about a situation she is in that is extremely difficult. She referred to the tension as "so thick, you could cut it with a knife". Goodness, that resonated with me because I feel like I'm in one of those. I think I'm more on the periphery...but no one is talking so I really have no idea. Anyway, I absolutely hate situatons like this. Well, I don't when I don't care about the people involved. But when I do?...SUCKS! So now we just tick by the hours waiting for peace, amnesia or a parting. I'm hoping for peace.