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Friday, April 29, 2016

Share Your World - 2016 Week 10

What would you ask for if a genie granted you three wishes?
1. For every person on the planet to accept Jesus as their Savior and to lovingly live their lives as an expression of gratitude for the abundant life He gives.
2. No more death or sorrow.
3. Perfect health for everyone.

Of course, all these things will be reality in God's kingdom on earth when Christ returns. I don't need a genie when I have a God who is faithful to His promises.

What experiences are most meaningful for you?
Those shared with someone I love. Doesn't have to be a big event or a planned out activity as long as I can do it with a loved one. I enjoy experiences that stretch me. Not daredevil kinds of things, but stretch my spirit or make me look at things in a way I hadn't considered. Soul stretching experiences are my favorites.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a teacher. I think it's because of my love of school supplies and children. But I never finished my education to accomplish this and that's probably a good thing. I've found I'm not as patient as I'd need to be in a classroom. My love of office/school supplies has translated into my love of writing, which is much more suited to my personality. And my love for children has been fulfilled in my own children and grandchildren.

Complete this sentence: The best day of my life was…
The day I gave my heart to Jesus. I was eleven years old and didn't know much. But I knew I loved Jesus and that He could make a difference in my life. That was enough. I've never once regretted it.

Bonus questions: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to next week?
I'm super grateful that our renters found a new place to live so the house will be free for my daughter and her family to move into in a couple weeks. I'm looking forward to getting a haircut next Wednesday at a new salon. Should be fun!

Do any of these questions resonate with you? Share your own answer in the comments!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thoughtful Thursday - Creator and Critics

It's easy to get caught up in what people think. We like people to like us. But there will always be naysayers, those who just don't get you, or think you're not living up to your potential. They may even be right on occasion.

But regardless, keep your eyes on your Creator. It's in Him that you live and move and have your being (Acts 17:28 NIV). It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of you. You are made in the very image of God. That's gotta be good, right? He gives your life purpose and meaning. He loves you in all your imperfection, even when the critics are right. Keep looking to Him as He refines you into pure gold.

God will handle your critics. Your job is to keep looking at Him. Soon others will follow your gaze.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Timeless Tuesday - Happy Goodbyes

When I was a kid I used to think it was great fun to say the first two goodbyes on this meme, but I'd never heard the rest of these sayings.  Goodbyes aren't nearly so hard when they rhyme. It automatically ups the happy factor. With my grandkids moving back in the next few weeks, I intend to employ these happy goodbyes every time they go home. After all, if we have to say goodbye, might as well make it fun, right?

Do you say any of these? Do you know any others that should be on this list? 


Monday, April 25, 2016

26 Weeks Letter Challenge: E

Week five of the 26 Weeks Letter Challenge, where I'll post photographs of things that begin with that week's letter. Feel free to play along in the comments or on your own blog. It's a great way to use some of those pictures taking up space in your computer.

E is for:

Ethan - grandson #2
Eggs, fresh from our friends' hens



Friday, April 22, 2016

Share Your World - 2016 Week 9

Have you done something you truly want to do today?
Yep. I really wanted to get all my blog posts for next week written and scheduled and I did! And take a nap. Naps are always good.

What can you help the world with?
I can continue to guide my children, even though they're grown, in a way of love, compassion, and giving back. I can do the same for my grandchildren. I can be a soft place for people to land when they encounter difficult times or simply need a listening ear. I can share the hope that is within me, Jesus Christ.

If life was ‘just a bowl of cherries’…which fruit other than a cherry would you be?
I would probably be a strawberry. I eat strawberries every morning for breakfast, along with blueberries or blackberries and half a banana. Then I pour a bit of heavy whipping cream and sugar-free hazelnut creamer over it. Delicious. It's my cereal of choice.

Berry breakfast
Quotes List: List at least three of your favorite quotes.
“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).  That’s my life verse. Here are a few other favorites.

If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 (NIV).

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV).

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 (NLT).

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV).

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 (NIV).

You may wonder why all my quotes are scriptures. It's because they're the ultimate, absolute truth, which is what any other quote only aspires to. They are God-breathed and His Word never fails. Never. I know of no other quote, no matter how cute, pithy, or poignant, can live up to that. Not to mention that scripture is life-changing when practiced regularly in everyday life.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to the week ahead? I'm grateful for the opportunity to speak life and hope into the lives of scared pregnant girls who come into the Choices Pregnancy Center where I volunteer. I'm beyond thankful and humbled I got to pray with two of the girls last week. I look forward to a ladies luncheon on Saturday with the women from my church.

Have a wonderful, safe weekend! Don't forget to worship the One who gives you life!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Timeless Tuesday - Healing

Everyone has to heal from something, whether physical or emotional. Often, physical healing of wounds is easier, more natural. The body does most of the work without us having to think about it. But emotional healing requires an act of our will. It's easier to hold grudges. We want justice. We like the scales to balance.

Emotional healing and forgiveness go hand-in-hand. If you want to move on and not let the damage control your life, you must forgive the one who hurt you. It has nothing to do with if they deserve it or if they are sorry for what they did. It certainly doesn't make what they did okay. It's all about you and your healing, getting on with your life in the most positive way.

Forgiving is an act of self-love. It's where our life's damage control happens.

Praying the healing begins in each of us today.


Monday, April 18, 2016

26 Weeks Letter Challenge: D

Week four of the 26 Weeks Letter Challenge, where I'll post photographs of things that begin with that week's letter. Feel free to play along in the comments or on your own blog. It's a great way to use some of those pictures taking up space in your computer. 

D is for:

Dogs - Kobi and Larkin
Dearly missed Dad
Dearly loved Dad-in-law

Dutch Love
Arizona Diamondbacks, my baseball team

What begins with D in your world? Have a great day!


Friday, April 15, 2016

Share Your World - 2016 Week 8

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?
I hate cleaning the bathroom, especially the bathtub and/or shower. Ugh. So hard to reach for a short girl like me and so gross with hair in it. I'm shivering at the very thought of it.

What was the last URL that you bookmarked?
Now that it's baseball season again, I had to bookmark my Arizona Diamondbacks homepage so I can keep up with all the games, news, and most importantly, the standings. 

Close your eyes. Listen to your body. What part of your body is seeking attention? What is it telling you? 
Uh, honestly? My bladder is telling me I have to go to the bathroom. See ya!

Would you rather have a two-bedroom apartment in a big city of your choosing or a mansion in the countryside in the state or country where you currently live?
Neither, really. Mansions aren't my style, but I think the second option is my pick. I'd rather have a cabin in the mountains of Arizona where my family and friends could come visit. It would be large enough to host church retreats and special events but not overly fancy. Rustic is the name of the game. Lots of wood, a fireplace, wrap-around deck, you know, lodge-like. This one would do.
Photo courtesy of
Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I'm grateful that I was able to reach my fundraising goal for the Crisis Pregnancy Center's Walk for Life. I have the most generous friends and virtual friends! What I'm looking forward to is the Walk for Life on Saturday. I won't actually be walking because they needed volunteer help in the center, handing out water bottles and directing people to restrooms and such. Should be a fun day spent assisting this worthy ministry in its largest fundraiser of the year.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thoughtful Thursday - Practice the Pause

Pause. It sounds counterproductive to our always doing way of life. Productivity is paramount, right? Well, no. When we fail to pause, we run headlong into things. We don't take time to think things through, or figure the consequences.

Pausing may be one of the most productive things we can do. It can eliminate bad results. It avoids missteps in relationships. It gives us rest, even if for a few minutes. And when we use those paused moments for prayer? Get ready for a miracle to happen. A change in your situation may be waiting for your prayerful pause. The Miracle Worker is ready and willing to act when we pause and pray.

"Be still and know I am God" (Psalm 46:10). Practice the pause.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Timeless Tuesday - Babies Don't Keep

I first read this little poem when my first child was just a baby. It resonated so deeply in me that I made it something of my "motherhood motto" for my next thirty-plus child-raising years. It certainly was no sacrifice to relax my housekeeping urge (which, in the early days, wasn't too strong anyway) and luxuriate in the cuddling of a child.

Now my housecleaning expectations are higher. It must come with age. I can't stand my house to be super messy, though I'm not the clean-freak some ladies are. I don't have any little ones underfoot anymore, until the grandkids arrive. It's easy to clean before they come so their little crawling knees aren't black when they leave.

But may I encourage you young moms out there to take this poem to heart? You will never regret holding your child, rocking them to sleep, if that's where your heart is. You won't look back and wish you kept a cleaner house. There's time for that later. But the fact that babies don't keep is overwhelmingly true. Enjoy those soft little bodies snuggled in your lap while you can. Your life will be filled with irreplaceable riches from those sweet baby moments.

What would you say is your "motherhood motto?"


Monday, April 11, 2016

26 Weeks Letter Challenge: C

Week three of the 26 Weeks Letter Challenge, where I'll post photographs of things that begin with that week's letter. Feel free to play along in the comments or on your own blog. It's a great way to use some of those pictures taking up space in your computer. 

C is for...

My husband's invention, CabinetGuard, which protects your sink base from leaks.
Now available in a variety of sizes at
Chocolate, because really, can a blog post really have too much candy?
I keep my chocolate separate from my other candies.
Coffee. This is the brand I buy at Costco. I drink it with
sugar-free hazelnut creamer. Mmmm.
Crochet. I'm getting better at my new hobby. I just learned how to make these
cute flowers last night. They're not actually attached to this little blankie yet.
It will be given to a little 4-year-old friend, Bayleigh, who is recovering from having
a brain tumor removed and is going to have a long rehab time.
Crush. This is my husband, whose last name begins with a C and I am
so proud to share it. He makes my life better just by being in it. And he's
the genius who invented CabinetGuard.
So there you have a few things from my life that begin with C. How about you? Share you C things in the comments.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Share Your World - 2016 Week 7

1. What are you a “natural” at doing?
I'm a natural at talking to children, which I've noticed not everyone is good at. I can usually make a child feel at ease and before you know it, we're friends.
Me reading to three of the grandkids.

2. Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?
I love multi-level homes. I live in one now and love the separation of spaces it provides when we have people over. Kids can play in one place while the grown-ups play in another. Perfect. However, as I'm getting older, I can see the value in a single story house and will most likely move to one in the future. The stairs aren't as fun as they used to be.

3.  What was your favorite subject in school?
I loved reading. Trips to the school library were pure heaven. English was also a favorite. Anything having to do with words fascinated me, including spelling, vocabulary, and writing. I didn't even mind sentence diagramming and such. I'm a weirdo.

4.  Complete this sentence: If only the rain…would come a little more often in Arizona. But then again, maybe that's why I love it so much. But I wouldn't mind a monthly rain. Or maybe every two months. The last day with recorded rainfall in the Phoenix metro area was .18" on 1/31/2016. As I write this on April 6, that makes 66 days without rain. There's a slight chance for some precipitation at the end of this week, but I'm not holding my breath. But truly, I'm a desert rat and I love sun more than rain. The infrequency of the rain here is what makes it so special when it does come.
My back yard when it rains too much in Arizona.
Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the coming week? Because we all need to be reminded that there are many things in our lives to be grateful about.
I'm grateful that my brother-in-law, Torrey, is visiting from Minnesota. He came on business, but we get the blessing of having him in our home for a day or two. I'm looking forward to a birthday celebration of a dear friend and shirt-tail relative on Saturday at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Happy birthday, Kara!

Have a great weekend! Thank you for reading!
P.S. It rained last night. Apparently I should have posted about our lack of rain sooner! 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Thoughtful Thursday - Strong Women

I felt like cheering when I read this. For some reason, some women have gotten the idea they must be tough, loud, rude, crude, or downright mean, to be free. They used to call it women's liberation back in the bra burning 1960s. I understand, to a degree, why it came to this extreme. People didn't used to listen to women unless they made some sort of commotion. It was a man's world.

It makes me think of when, on occasion I'd lose it with my kids.
"Why are you yelling at me?" they'd ask.
"Because you didn't listen the first three times I tried to talk nicely to you about this. Now I have to yell to get your attention."

But ladies, the sixties were over 46 years ago. I think we can stop yelling now. We've yelled until our throats are raw and our message is distorted. It's time to let the pendulum swing back toward the side of being strong, yet gentle, humble, compassionate, rational, and disciplined. The world knows women have a lot to contribute beyond making babies and keeping a clean house. We don't have to scream it anymore. We don't have to burn our bras or be more masculine.

Let's be the beautiful, gentle creatures God created us to be. It doesn't cancel out our strength, our intellect, our fierceness, our passion, or our discipline. And it certainly doesn't steal our freedom.

Relax. Lean into the sweet femininity within. Quit fighting it. It's a gift. Embrace it, then live strong and free.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Top 10 Reasons God is Easier to Talk to Than Most People

Top 10 Reasons God is Easier to Talk to Than Most People

  1. He's always available.
  2. He never interrupts.
  3. He never gives bad advice.
  4. He doesn't condemn you when you admit your screw-ups.
  5. He loves you.
  6. He knows the solution to your problem.
  7. He's super patient.
  8. He has all the time in the world.
  9. He has the power to do something about your situation.
  10. He loves hearing from you no matter what time it is.

Monday, April 4, 2016

26 Weeks Letter Challenge: B

Week two of the 26 Weeks Letter Challenge, where I'll post photographs of things that begin with that week's letter. Feel free to play along in the comments or on your own blog. It's a great way to use some of those pictures taking up space in your computer. 

B is for...

What are some things in your life that begin with B? Sound off in the comments.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Share Your World - 2016 Week6

  1. What is your favorite word? My favorite word is probably grace. It frees me from feeling like I have to live a perfect life as a Christian. Yet it doesn't give me an excuse to not to shine the love of Christ into a hurting world. It reminds me that because of Jesus and His forgiveness, I'm enough in all my imperfection.
  2. What is your least favorite word? Judgment. I hate it when people judge others when we all have issues we're dealing with. None of us are getting life exactly right. Let's extend grace (my favorite word) and try to lead each other in the right direction by loving, not judging.
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?  Seeing someone else being creative, or spiritual, or emotionally genuine. It makes me want to follow suit. 
  4. What turns you off? I hate it when people don't do things for themselves. When people expect you to think for them, do things for them that they're perfectly capable of doing. It's as if they think their time is more valuable than yours. Boils down to arrogance, which is another one of my least favorite words.
  5. What is your favorite curse word? I'm not a fan of curse words. I think a person who uses them generally lacks creativity in expressing themselves. By never using them, I don't run the risk of offending someone with my language. I hate being offensive.
  6. What noise do you love? I love the noise of laughter.  Especially children's. 
  7. What noise do you hate? I hate most noise. I'd much prefer it to be quiet, even silent. When I'm home during the day, I don't play music, watch TV, or anything else that adds noise to my day. Too much noise makes me crazy. Peace and quiet, please.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I think I'd enjoy being a counselor to young people. I'm getting a tiny taste of that in my volunteer work at the Choices Pregnancy Center and really enjoy listening to people and trying to help them. 
  9. What profession would you not like to do? A plumber. I can think of nothing grosser.
  10. What would you like to hear God say when you meet Him face to face? You used the gifts I put inside you to bring Me glory. Your life was an extension of Me and impacted those around you. You loved people the way I wanted you to. I'm proud of you.
Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I'm grateful for the news that we have a new grandbaby (#8!) due in October and that my daughter and her family are moving back to Arizona in the next couple of months. Can't wait to hug those seven grandchildren again! I'm looking forward to a less busy weekend. The last few have been jam-packed!