Friday, December 30, 2011

My "One Word" for 2011 - Intentional

I heard the buzz in the blogosphere about focusing on one word for the new year. No resolutions, no lists or promises to make, just one word to focus on for the year.

I immediately chose the word "intention."

I wanted to focus on the moments in my life that I take for granted. And it turned out to be a great focus for the year.

I have caught those moments throughout the year sitting with my little one pushed right up against me on the sofa watching a movie, and then sitting with him in the hospital through his pain during his worst bleed ever. I most especially enjoyed the times I would drive back from Albuquerque with my oldest son and we were giggling and being silly as he kept me company, and watching him grow and tower over me. And being there for my dear husband as he struggled with issues in the church and most importantly, as he is grieving the loss of his mother.

I am continuing to learn to "stop and smell the roses." It is something that I have to work on daily. It's all too easy to speed through our lives. We have to remember to stop and savor the little things. Those are the gems in our lives that we often miss and take for granted.

Every moment we have is a gift from let's make the most of our moments.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1.  a clean bathroom
2.  an impromptu soak at the hot springs
3.  remote controls
4.  three prong adapters
5.  warm sweaters

post signature

Monday, December 26, 2011

Will Be Back Soon

I'll be back soon…..just been enjoying my family:)

I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and are looking forward to the many, wonderful possibilities that 2012 may bring.

Blessings to you all.

post signature

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I must admit, our living room looks just beautiful! We decorated in a flash this past weekend, had a fantastic time, and our efforts paid off. Our living room is absolutely warm and inviting. The most beautiful part of the whole room are the lights. White lights on the tree, colored lights on the garland hanging on the windows, and lights intertwined with the berries on the piano. I am not sure why lights are so warm and inviting during the holiday season, but they just complete everything.
The star the wise men followed must have been brighter than anything we could even imagine. They saw it and followed it without question. I wonder what kind of life the wise men each had. Did they leave their families to follow the star? Were they businessmen or teachers who left behind responsibilities?

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NIV)
Jesus did not ask us to follow Him in darkness, but in light. Christ lights the way so that we may see each of our steps...even when we turn in the wrong direction. He never leaves us.

Are you letting the light of Christ shine through you? Are you being kind, compassionate and forgiving?

When you see another set of Christmas lights, or a beautiful candle burning, remember that Christ loves you. He is with you in every thought and move you make. Imagine that light oozing out you. That through every breath you take and word you speak that you are truly being the hands and feet of Christ. Carry the beauty of this amazing season with you throughout the year.
Today I Am Thankful For:

1.  rain
2.  ornaments
3.  old movies
4.  an exceptional manicure
5.  a sleeping dog

post signature

Monday, December 12, 2011

For the First Time in a Long Time

This was a wonderful weekend. Breakfast on Saturday morning at our favorite little restaurant, decorating the house for the Christmas season, cooking for my family, baking cookies, and going to church for the first time in a couple of weeks (my husband even consecrated the elements so that our family could celebrate Holy Communion together after church). The bottom line is, my family was together.

It was the first time we have had a couple of "normal" days. Nothing earth shattering happened, it was low key, and absolutely wonderful.

My "Christian" is healing well. He is still having trouble with his ankle and has not returned to school quite yet, but all is looking better than a week ago :)

Now that things have settled down, the enormity of the past two weeks has begun to settle in. I was an emotional mess in church this morning. Just being in the presence of my church family, who has loved us through this difficult time, was almost too much.

I am missing my mother-in-law terribly and seeing my husband hurt brings back the pain in losing my mother so many years ago. We change because of our loss. We are never the same, but we move on and try to live our lives as a testament to what our parents taught us and wanted for us.
I think my husband and I are going to have a bit of a hard time getting into the "holiday spirit," but we are going to try our best. We have to remember that life goes on and the way we handle the difficult times in our lives is seen by our children. I want them to know that we are surrounded by love and that through everything, love endures all.
Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Fresh baked cookies
2. Reading scripture
3. Kleeex with "lotion" (much softer)
4. Prescription refills
5. Snuggling with my little one

post signature

Friday, December 02, 2011

The Greatest of These

There are several Greek words for love, as the Greek language distinguishes how the word is used. Ancient Greek has four distinct words for love: agápe, éros, philía, and storgē. However, as with other languages, it has been historically difficult to separate the meanings of these words. Nonetheless, the senses in which these words were generally used are given below.

• Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē[1]) means "love" (unconditional love)
• Éros (ἔρως érōs[2]) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing.
• Philia (φιλία philía[3]) means friendship or affectionate love in modern Greek
• Storge (στοργή storgē[4]) means "affection" in ancient and modern Greek

In my life, I have learned that the most important thing to grasp on to and offer is love. Agape love. The kind of love that has no boundary. The kind of love that has no fee or requirement. The love our Creator has for each and every one of us, regardless of our history.

My God has been busy at work in my life and the lives of each of the members of my family this week. Through the craziness/messiness of our lives, He has been present every moment. I want to share a couple of examples with you.

As "Christian" was at the end of a bad night in the hospital, he fell back to sleep early Tuesday morning. I started to hear him mumble then in a very clear voice said, "Granny, Granny!" I believe she was with him that morning, loving him as dearly in Heaven as she did here on Earth.

My mother-in-law worked at her church as a receptionist part-time. The pastor has been amazing to our family and invited my husband in to preside over the funeral without question. He gave my husband her personal belongings from her desk and one of the items was a compact Bible with a few of her favorite passages highlighted. 1 Corinthians 13 was one of was the scripture my husband based his sermon for the funeral...he did not look in her Bible until after the funeral.

Throughout this week filled with crisis for our family I have experienced love in such a way that my heart has literally hurt because it was so full. Old friends coming to the visitation/funeral to support my family, friends coming to the hospital to visit me and "Christian" as we have been separated from our family, phone calls of encouragement from far away, Facebook words of encouragement and understanding, our church family filling in where needed and helping us in every way possible. And the unbelievable generosity and love shown to me through my "work" family. I have been humbled and so filled with gratitude for everything this week that I cannot find the appropriate words to express the magnitude of how I have been deeply touched.

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)
Today I Am Thankful For:


post signature

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's Hard to Receive

My "Christian" is having one of the worst bleeds of his five years (started Friday night) and we are in the hospital trying to manage his pain. In the midst of the bleed, we received the phone call you the wee hours of the morning...that my mother-in-law passed away.

I immediately put my husband on a plane with the thought we would follow (drive) the next afternoon.
I am still in the hospital with Christian. We had planned on driving yesterday to get there in time for the viewing and funeral. As long as the doctor had us set up with the appropriate meds, etc.

My colleagues at work know our situation and I received a call from one of them this morning that we were having flights to Houston donated to us so that we did not have to make the 14 hour journey in the car...stopping every 2-3 hours to administer meds, etc. They are worried about us and are trying to do what they can to help us.
I had my colleague/friend who called me repeat at least three times what she had said about the donated flights. I was shocked and overwhelmed. Completely and utterly humbled. I can't hardly put words to my feelings right now because my heart literally hurts because it is so full.

Sunday was another story. My husband had to preach, so he left me in charge to take over. That was, until Christian had to go to the hospital. He reached out to one of our lay speakers and she handled everything Sunday morning and had members of the congregation chip in to help the service along. Then, the members of the church stayed after and decorated the entire church for the season. They all banded together and forged ahead.

We have been taken care of. Ministered to.

It's hard to be ministered to when you are a "minister".

My heart is full, oozing with gratitude.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Kind hearts
2. Colleagues who are truly friends
3. A good shower
4. My job
5. The moments my son is sleeping through his pain

post signature

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Great Loss

I have been very fortunate to have a mother-in-law who loved me as her own daughter. Not only did she take me in as her own, but so did all of her brothers and sisters. I have many aunts and uncles and cousins. They aren't "my husband's family," they are mine.
Heaven has another angel. Ruby Jane Jensen went home to the Lord on Saturday, November 26th. The mother of the love of my life and grandmother to my boys is no longer with us on this Earth. She was the last parent I had here to call my own.
I am going to miss her daily morning calls to check in and have her say she loved me.
I am going to miss seeing her hug my children and love them without abandon.

I am going to miss the shopping (she taught me that a woman needs more than one purse) :)

I will miss cooking for her when she comes to my house (especially making her favorite salsa).

I will miss the annual holiday decoration from Avon she would send me (you know, the obnoxious kind that talks and sings….).

And I will miss having that person to call to give the scoop on my children and/or our latest accomplishments, escapades and the like.

Early in our relationship, Ruby and I did not get along very well. My mother would fuss at me and tell me "She is going to be around longer than me and you better be nice and get along!"

I'm so glad I took my mother's words to heart and forged a great relationship with Ruby.

I already miss her. I'm so glad I had a chance to tell her that I loved her last week.

Her love truly changed my life.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Hope

2. Purple

3. Aunts

4. Road trips

post signature

Monday, November 21, 2011

Little Hearts Know

Saturday started out as a really nice day. We slept in late, went to our favorite little Mexican restaurant for breakfast, shopped for our Thanksgiving feast and walked through the local craft show at the fair barn. We were enjoying being home.

After we returned home, I felt that "dip" when my depression wants to begin. I made myself keep "doing" and not give in to lying down and sleeping. That is dangerous for me. Around 2 o'clock, I was headed back to my room, everyone was doing something, and I just wanted to sneak away. All of a sudden my little "Christian" tugs at my shirt and says "Mommy, let's make some cookies." So we put on
our aprons and made cookies. He was precious! We had a great time.

I hung on until around dinner time and finally gave in. I took a shower early and went back to my room. But who was right on my heels? Christian. He would not leave me alone. He stayed in my room with me all evening. He brought in his toys to play, we snuggled and watched a movie. He was exceptionally loving towards me. It was a huge comfort.

You don't have to tell your children everything about how you are feeling. If things are not right, they know, they feel it.

I am so blessed to have two, amazing sons. They are compassionate, caring boys. Their hearts are amazing. God has entrusted these two souls to me and my husband to raise and love with all of our hearts. How could I ask for anything more? How can I let my depression rob me of the moments I have with my family?

I just have to rejoice through my depression. Pray through my depression and in all circumstances give thanks to God so that His will is done in my life.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Band rehearsal
2. Quiet time
3. A long, awaited doctor's appointment
4. Fun jewelry
5. My mother-in-law's continued recovery from surgery

post signature

Friday, November 18, 2011


The past two weeks have been pretty difficult. My depression has been rearing its ugly head, and it tends to do that during the Thanksgiving season. It's one of my most favorite times of year, but also one of the hardest.

On a recent Friday evening, I was not doing very well. All I wanted to do was crawl into bed and go to sleep. I told my husband how I was feeling and we piled into the car and went to Las Cruces (an hour away) to do a little shopping. I needed to get some makeup so we stopped by the day spa that carries the brand I use. Again, I was feeling beyond lousy and putting one foot in front of the other was a feat in itself. The young lady working the counter told me they were out of what I needed. She asked me to give her five minutes to try something new. I looked like a completely different person! Something as small and insignificant as the shade of my makeup changed me completely! Yes, she was doing her job, but she really did not have to go out of her way to try something new on me. She could have said they were out and to come back in a few days, but she didn't. I appreciated her going the extra mile.

I kept thinking about her act of kindness. She had no idea how deeply she touched me and that she helped me find my way out of a very, dark day.

I wrote a letter to the manager and simply told her that this lovely, young woman went out of her way to help me and it made me feel better. That young lady left me a message later in the week, filled with gratitude that I went out of my way to thank her, and she even got an early bonus :) She left me a beautiful message, wishing God's blessings on me and my family.

I was so excited that I felt God's nudge on my heart that day, even through a serious bout of depression, and responded. I felt the Holy Spirit whisper in my ear. It was huge. Yes, the Holy Spirit was made known to me through a simple change in makeup, but nonetheless was real and alive.

Have you felt that nudge on your heart? Has God been impressing on you to reach out to someone by speaking a word of kindness, send card, or simply be present?

Don't ignore that feeling. You never know when you may be on the other end of what He is planning.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Suitcase surprises
2. New jeans
3. Clean laundry
4. New, fuzzy socks
5. My mother-in-law coming through surgery

post signature

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Actor's Studio

I love watching The Actor's Studio. The auditorium where the show is filmed in New York is filled with acting students. The host, James Lipton, interviews actors and gives the audience members the opportunity to ask questions of some of their idols. At the end of the interview, Lipton asks a series of questions of the actor that are the same for everyone. One of the most interesting questions is

"If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?"

Some answers are funny and others very poignant.

What would you hope the Creator of the Universe would say to you? When we think about what our lives would amount to at the end of our time here on Earth it may actually change how we are currently living our lives. For myself, I tend to think not only of how I treat others, but mostly, how I treat myself. The things I tell myself that are not true and the verbal "beating" I take on a daily basis is not very healthy. I treat others much better than I treat myself. It is time to put myself in the same category as the people I come in contact with every day.

I came across a quote which seems to sum up how we should live. .

"Give more than is expected, love more than seems wise, serve more than seems necessary, and help more than is asked." Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey
It sounds so simple, and I think to a point it is. We need to give of ourselves as much as we possibly can, love to the point of no return, serve our God and others with every part of our soul and go the extra mile for others, and ourselves.

“Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them." Matthew 22: 36-40 (The Message)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. The National Hemophilia Annual Meeting 2. rekindling old relationships
3. being in a new city with my family
4. having my boys meet other boys their age with hemophilia
5. factor to travel

post signature

Monday, November 07, 2011

A Clean Slate

I have a Buddha Board on my desk.

It is a small, stone surface that you paint on with water and after a short time your artwork disappears. The Buddha Board is based on the Zen concept of living in the moment. I use it to write words that have a hold over me.

Doubt, fear, "fat talk," are just a few. When I write them they are real and bold, but after time, they are gone. That is what I want, for those strongholds to go away and not be as prevalent in my life. I want to let go.

So often we think that January 1st signifies a "new year," a "clean slate." But the reality is that each day God give us, each day we wake up breathing is a new day, a clean slate. What we make of it is up to us.

I am tired of letting certain things take away my happiness and joy.

I am committing to surrendering each day to Christ. I may not succeed everyday, but as long as I have breath, I will do my best to give everything I have to Him and not let the enemy steal my joy.

"Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24 (NIV)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. band rehearsal on Sunday evening's
2. salami sandwiches
3. singing psalms
4. Command strips
5. Fall arriving

post signature

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Is Blood Really Thicker than Water?

My son asked me when I celebrated my favorite Thanksgiving. Without hesitation I told him that it was when we moved to New Mexico (almost six years ago). We had about 20 people over for dinner at our little rental house in the mountains and I had never felt such closeness and joy. I was trained to think that the only people you could really be close to you were your blood relatives. It has taken me years to let go of that perception. The fact is, I have a few friends who I am extremely close to. Friends who understand me for who I am and what I can offer (because I am definitely not the person I was 10 years ago….Thank You God!) And friends who accept my children for who they are with their bleeding disorder (and aren't afraid of them).

You always think that your family (blood relatives) are the people who are closest to you in your life. I grew up assuming that. You never miss a birthday or a holiday...they are the first ones you call when an important event in your life happened and when one was in need, you were there to help them matter what. I used to have that. And I miss it.

Unfortunately that changed many years ago for me. It was a terrible time. Fights, arguments, misunderstandings, letters of apology sent, continued prayer….and no response. I will admit it is something I think of almost daily.

I've experienced love like I never dreamed from people who are not "blood." It can really happen. It keeps me going. From the friend encouraging me to get back to Zumba, the friends who sent me flowers when I was in the hospital, to the friend who named my children in her will. It's amazing how people love.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Toasted pumpkin seeds
2. Wounds healing
3. Spray adhesive
4. Pretty paper
5. Cold evenings

post signature

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I had the privilege of speaking at the Sangre de Oro Family Education Weekend this afternoon. I was able to share my story of living with hemophilia as well as sharing about doubt and joy in living with a chronic condition.

They were the spunkiest group of people I have ever presented to! They were just too funny when I had them participate in a group exercise where we learned about what is most important in our lives...people, things, roles we play and activities we enjoy...I'll share more about that activity another time.

I am so blessed that for the past two weekends I have been able to share this message of "From Doubt to Joy."

And I am preaching tomorrow on 1 Thessalonians :)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Room service
2. Choir concerts
3. Naps
4. Realizations
5. New friends

post signature

Friday, October 21, 2011

Who Do You Talk To?

Who do you talk to the most? Your spouse, best friend….what about yourself? I think we spend most of our best and worst conversations with ourselves. It has made me wonder, as I have been in a weekly Bible Study on prayer, what our attitude is like when we speak to ourselves? Don’t we realize who else is listening? Yes, God. He is with us always.

Of course, we are not going to always have “holy” thoughts and we will find plenty of times where we are beating ourselves up in our head, being negative, and judging like nobody’s business. We have to think about what kind of thoughts we have and the attitude which we think them.

Are those thoughts pleasing to God?

I want to make it a goal to put a better attitude on what is going on in my head. Instead of judging the person I am walking past, I need to pray for them, because I have no idea what they may be dealing with. When I start to beat myself up because of my weight, I start to pray and thank God for my body, because it is a gift from Him and no one else is made exactly like me. I am unique and special in the eyes of God. When I get upset or angry at a person/situation, I need to turn those feelings into prayer for the person/situation at hand.

It’s not easy being a Christian. We need to work at being an example to those who do not know Christ. We want them to “want what we have” and their search may start with our example. Let Christ’s light shine through you in all circumstances.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. hotel coffee
2. waterfalls
3. report cards
4. a new truck
5. flip flops

post signature

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Speaking Gig!

I am really excited about this weekend! I'll be speaking at an event in Fargo, North Dakota on Saturday. I'll be at the "Dakotas Retreat" for famiies with bleeding disorders presenting "From Doubt to Joy - Making the Most of Every Day."

I would appreciate any good thoughts and prayers as I deliver this message to a community of people I am so passionate about.

This is the kind of opportunity I dream of and am so grateful that I am able to share my experiences with others in the bleeding disorder community.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. new opportunities
2. being pneumonia free!
3. being busy and excited again
4. new magazines in the mailbox
5. a new prayer journal

post signature

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Praying in the Messiness of Life - week 1

Last night was our first Ladies Bible Study for the Fall at First United Methodist in Truth or Consequences. Our study for this session is "Praying in the Messiness of Life," by Linda Douty. I have really enjoyed the book as I read through it on my own and am looking forward to sharing it with this wonderful group of women.

In the introduction, Linda quotes Steve Garnaas-Holmes, and if this is the only thing the women of our group take away from this study, then their time will have been well spent. I just have to share it with you.

"As you sit in prayer
and try to remain mindful of God,
failing because your thoughts wander,
remember this:
that God is perfectly mindful of you always,
attentive to your being and your doing,
never straying from your heart
not missing s single breath,
or forgetting a single heartbeat.
God is never distracted, never forgets.
Without neglecting anything else in Creation,
for all of Creation is present in God,
God is fully present to you,
seeing not from afar but from within
your journeys, thoughts and feelings,
holding tenderly your sins and wounds,
delighting in your gifts and beauties,
fully aware of what you yourself
only dimly suspect deep within you.
God is in all that you see, and in your seeing,
in what you hear, and in your hearing,
in your wondering, in your sorrow, in your awe.
God is grateful for you, and delights in you.
God longs in you, grieves in you, exults in you.
God gives full peaceful, loving attention to you
all your day and all through the night,
not controlling or manipulating,
just beholding, blessing, loving
and breathing life into you,
powerful, joyful, beautiful, infinite life,
granting you mindfulness
and mindful always of you."

Steve Garnaas-Holmes, "God is Mindful," Unfolding Light, 9/21/2010

post signature

Monday, October 10, 2011

No Control

I have been sick for over two weeks, been to the doctor three times and the emergency room twice…. I officially had pneumonia and landed in the hospital for four days. I am finally home where I belong :)

Sometimes it takes extreme circumstances to make you slow down and think. What is important? My email at work or my health? Getting a mail-out completed or my health? Running off to band rehearsal an hour away or my health?

This pneumonia has scared me. People die from pneumonia. I have a replacement for my upcoming speaking engagement if I need to cancel in North Dakota on the 15th and the English Horn part will just not get played in the concert on the 16th. I've decided to not play the concert next week.

I just need to take it one day at a time and the next right thing will happen, not in my time, but His.

I've taken a few things off of my plate for the next couple of weeks and feel a huge sense of relief. I have to get well.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. IV antibiotics
2. Rain
3. My church family
4. The clicking of my nails on the keyboard
5. A home-cooked dinner delivered by a good, Christian woman

post signature

Friday, October 07, 2011

The School Yard

I spent a lot of time at school. Not just as a student and band director, but as the child of a reacher's aide and an elementary school principal. Many days after school were spent in the workroom where my mom worked (the same elementary which I attended) and more than a few Saturday's were at the school where my Dad served as an elementary principal.

My Dad was not an "ordinary" principal. You would never see him in khakis, it was always a nice suit with a freshly startched shirt and very nice shoes. I can still smell his closet. Hanging bags from the cleaners with the smell of fresh starch. His shoes needed to be resoled constantly because he walked so much that he made holes in his shoes. He wasn't a "sit behind your desk" kind of principal. You rarely caught him there. You never saw the flowerbeds on his campus looking shabby and there was never dirt on the walkways. As for litter, you just did not see any. Inside or out, he would reach down without missing a step to pick it up. It's not that he had a huge janitorial staff (just his right hand man Walter). He just took enormous pride in his school and the people in it everyday.

His faculty and staff were some with great longevity and finding an open position to work at Burnet Elementary was close to impossible. No one would leave because he was wonderful to work for. Don't get me wrong, he was tough, but fair and very smart. He was passionate about children and education and not many men in my life can compare to him.

Now that my "Christian" is in kindergarten and I am at the school everyday, my mind often goes back to those Saturday mornings. I feel the dirt on the sidewalk and think "that should have been swept.". I see the flowerbeds needing attention and thinking "someone needs to clean those up.". And I recently saw a piece of litter dancing in the breeze on the playground and felt my Dad whispering "I love you, Sandy."

Gonzalo Campos
January 10, 1928 - October 7, 2007

post signature

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Slowing Down

So. Incredibly. Sick.

I've been in bed for four days. Four days of daytime television. Four days of keeping my distance from my family. I did work a good part of the day today, from bed, and I am exhausted. The only cure for my illness, other than some great medication, has been rest. Slowing down and resting.

The only thing about slowing down and taking yourself out of commission is that other things suffer. The kitchen is crazy, the laundry piles up, and schedules get changed at the last minute.

Yes, the world will continue to turn as I am laid up in bed, and many things will just wait for me. I have a feeling Monday will be a little crazy :)

I am preparing to teach a Bible Study beginning next Tuesday evening and have tons going on at work, including a couple of speaking engagements in October. It's a very exciting time, I am just wanting to feel 100%. I think the Lord is having me slow down so that I can "speed up" these next few weeks.

Blessings to you all.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Hamburger patties
2. Showers
3. Antibiotics
4. A husband who takes care of everything when I am sick
5. Brazil trip ????

post signature

Friday, September 23, 2011

So much….

I have so much going on in my head and heart right now that I can't even put things into words. I'll be back soon…

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Delayed flights
2. A great business meeting
3. A good steak
4. Smell good lotion
5. Polka dots

post signature

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What is Holding You Back?

Do you find yourself assuming you have another day? What is keeping you from living today to its fullest? I have several projects waiting to be started and I keep assuming I am going to have plenty of time to complete them. I have come to realize that I need to live my life with more if I was going to meet my Creator tomorrow. Recently, a couisin of mine, in his thirties, went out with his wife to a party, came home went to sleep and never woke up. He left behind a wife and two small children. It is still hard to grasp that he is gone.

I want to leave a mark on the lives of my children. I want them to remember the craziness in our house...the giggling, the singing and the laughing. I want to write letters to them to let them know how much they mean to me, so that when I am gone, a small piece of me is left behind.

What is holding me back? Maybe it's fear. Fear of what is to come after I die. I know that I will see God one day and that He has already forgiven me of my sins, and He loves me more than I can imagine...I just want Him to see me arrive at those "pearly gates" and have Him embrace me. I want to feel the embrace with every part of my being. I can't wait for the aroma of Christ to envelop me.

I don't know what plan Christ has for me, but I do know it's a big one (Jeremiah 29).

What I do know is that I need to live a life pleasing to Christ. Accepting others despite their past and living in a state of forgiveness. It's a tall order, but I am striving to surrender myself every single day to Him.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. gas station coffee
2. hearty laughs
3. basic black
4. pipe cleaner bracelets
5. cardstock

post signature

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Tooth

As the mother of a child with hemophilia, you always dread the call from the nurse at school. What in the world happened today?! Friday afternoon, with an hour of school left, I received that call. Actually, it was the school secretary (she steps in when the nurse is away from the clinic). My "Christian" was enjoying his afternoon snack and when he bit into his orange, his tooth fell out! There was not any blood and all seemed well, but I told the secretary to let the teacher know I was on my way to make sure everything was okay (mainly to ease their minds….they are still getting familiar with hemophilia). I walk in and here comes the teacher at the end of the hallway with Christian and his buddy "Jason". They were coming from outside. They were looking for his tooth that he dropped on the playground! Like a needle in a haystack :)

That sweet teacher went out of her way, and into the afternoon heat, to try and help my boy find his little tooth (so completely not in her job description). My heart was overwhelmed with that act of kindness. I reassured Christian that we would leave a note for the tooth fairy and all would be well (the tooth fairy did stop by the next evening).

I give thanks to the teachers who teach my children. From learning to sit and focus on an activity for a few minutes to conjugating the newest Spanish verb, I don't know what I would do without these men and women.

Teachers are not paid enough and not respected enough. We are surrounded by people who are giving information and pushing us to believe a certain way. But some of our biggest heroes are the men and women in classrooms day in and day out. Working after the last bell rings for the day and even on the weekends. Paying for supplies out of their own pockets and making sure every child understands a new concept. Going the extra mile to make sure each child feels special.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Playing music
2. Incense
3. Lunch with friends
4. A new playlist on my iPod
5. Plastic hangers

post signature

Thursday, September 08, 2011

A Surprising Package

A package came in the mail this week. It was addressed to my fifteen year old and it was from Disney. What in the world would he be getting from Disney? We did just come back from a fantastic vacation at Disneyworld, but what could this be? It was his wallet!

The wallet he lost that he never thought he would see again. It even had the $42 dollars he left in it! We were so surprised. When he lost the wallet and we retraced our steps in Disney, I kept trying to reassure him that it just might show up. Being the teenager he is, he wrote it off and was pretty upset that he lost his last bit of “mad money.” I tried to be positive and encouraging telling him that there are still good people in the world. “Someone just may turn in your wallet” I told him. “Why would anyone turn in a wallet with money?” he asked. I answered, “Because it’s the right thing to do.”

Yes, there are still good people in the world who have high morals and great work ethics. There are individuals who open the doors for each other, put the shopping cart in the “corral” in the store parking lot, and let the person behind them with one item go in front of them at the grocery store.

Many of us believe that the world is filled with more evil than good. Is that true? What happens when a friend is not who they seem to be and reveal an ugly side to their being? What happens when a family member disowns you and you lose contact for years on end? That’s when you have to stop and really look at what you have learned.

Perhaps new friends come into your life who truly need you and your friendship. And that family member you haven’t talked to in years may have been holding you back from your best. Despite a bad situation, good can arise if you are willing to keep an open mind.

There is good in the world. Keep your eyes open. Be part of it.

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45 (NIV)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. watermelon
2. packages
3. people taking a chance
4. the small glimpses of the changing season
5. being positive

post signature

Monday, September 05, 2011

Women's Bible Study

I have been looking for a Bible Study for our women's group and I finally found the one.

Praying in the Messiness of Life, by Linda Douty

The book focuses on praying, but not in the traditional sense. Linda tells us that "traditional" devotional time is not always the best way, or the only way to commune with Christ. We have to find ways to pray and be in devotion throughout the craziness of our busy lives. And when she presents the different types of prayer, it's amazing to see how we can truly "pray without ceasing" throughout our days.

I am loving this book. It is exactly what I was looking for.

I know I am not the only one who wants to have a special devotional time, and is not able to make it work the way I want to. I am tired of feeling guilty about not have a perfect schedule each day by waking up, sitting with my coffee and spending quality time with Christ. Don't get me wrong, if you do this and it works for you, FANTASTIC! It used to work for me, but I am needing something different and am looking forward to studying this book with other women.

What works best for you in the way of daily devotions?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. 65 degrees in the mountains

2. A spotless house

3. Scented candles

4. Digital cameras

5. Unopened boxes

post signature

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So Many Things

After a vacation, reality hits in a huge way. Getting back into the swing of life takes some time. Our vacation to Florida was truly one of the first times in a very long time that we were truly away from everything. No work email, no conference calls, nobody pulling my husband from one end to the other.

Now we face the many things in our lives that need attention.

The kids school
The work emails and tasks to complete
The hubs and "Lance" going to Albuquerque once a week for Boy Choir rehearsals
Writing for the newspaper (my little freelance gig)
Finding a Bible Study for the fall
Getting ready to start my Seminary classes again
Upcoming business trips
A speaking gig in October
Finding that quality time with God everyday

Why has that been so hard for me? To find my quality time with Christ? To stop and devote part of my day to the One who has blessed me beyond measure?

It's almost as if I am afraid.

Sometimes I think that I am not worthy of Christ giving me time. That I am not important enough. Sound familiar? The "unworthy" feeling?

I know Christ loves me more than I can begin to imagine. It's a love that is deep, real and passionate.

When we are blessed beyond measure and things are going well, it's easy to feel as if we don't need that time in devotion to Christ. That's when we need to be in full connection with the Creator of the Universe.

We tend to forget that at the snap of our fingers, our lives can change.

The next time my fingers snap, I want to know that my relationship with Him is in place. A relationship filled with friendship and an undying love for each other.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Frozen hamburgers to throw on the grill
2. My new Blackberry (for work)
3. Patient colleagues
4. A little less humidity
5. An early shower

post signature

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When You Wish...part 2

We are some tired puppies! Day two of theme parks completed! I was worried about "Christian" keeping up with his ankle problems, but so far so good. Roller coasters, simulated rides, Hogwarts...we are having a great time:) We sat down to dinner tonight (at the Give the Kids the World Village) and a huge revelation came over me. My family's biggest worry is how to get in all of the rides and attractions we want to see in the next few days (while avoiding the possible hurricane) and sitting next to us at dinner is a family with a child who is a parapalegic. Another child in the dining room is wearing a leg brace with a strap around her waist for someone to assist her as she walks and other children are wearing caps over their hairless little heads. They have and are continuing to struggle.

Yes, my Christian and Lance have their struggles too, but I will take our struggles any day and make the best of what each day brings.

Each member of my family can walk, sweat and keep up with each other while enjoying ourselves. And when we need to slow down, we do. We love each other like no one else possibly could. This "wish" trip has given me the opportunity to see true, pure joy on the faces of my children. That is a huge gift. It is something I haven't slowed down enough to see lately...and I am grateful.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Rain
2. Soft, chocolate chip cookies
3. A racing heart (after a thrill ride)
4. Bright colors
5. Swimming pools

post signature

Sunday, August 21, 2011

When You Wish....part 1

Did you ever wish upon a star? Maybe you looked up in the night sky, saw that special twinkle in the night, and wished for be famous, for a new television, to have a talent like none other.

Sometimes our wishes are big (maybe they even qualify for big dreams) and other times they are simple and unassuming.

Children with chronic illnesses struggle in so many ways and there is an organization called "Make a Wish" that helps to grant these children's wishes.

My "Christian" was referred by a member of our hemophilia treatment center and we are now in our "villa" at the "Give Kids the World" resort in Kissimmee, Florida. It is absolutely unbelievable. Not just the fact that our family is here, but the love that has been shown to us by complete strangers. At this resort, you are treated like kings and queens and for a moment in time, your child is "given the world" and in this case, "the world of Disney."

Some of these families have never been on this kind of trip and would possibly never have the opportunity to take this kind of trip. You have absolutely no worries about getting from one place to the other, food, entertainment, the whole bit.

Another amazing thing is that is takes over 1,500 volunteer time slots for one week to make the "GKTW" Village run. These people are giving their time to make our family have an experience we will never forget.

Sometimes it's just too much to accept and let sink in.

post signature

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Lately I've felt a little "hope" less. Not exactly sure why, because so many things are going well, but for the first time in a long time I am seeing glimmers of hope.

The funny thing is, is that it's not even been my depression that has sucked the hope out of me, I think it's just been complacency. Day in, day out. Off to work, back home to cook dinner, clean the kitchen, kids in the bath, etc. Sometimes I forget to see the beauty in each day.

It's that same complacency that has taken me away from my daily time with God. My life was always better when my daily quiet time was a priority. It's something I am trying to find my way back to.

I am looking forward to some time off with my family. We are getting ready to leave town to work a charity golf tournament and then off to Disneyworld! I am expecting to have some well needed, quality time with my family.

Blessings to you all. I'll be back soon.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Short, short hair!
2. Pencil lead
3. Baskets of laundry
4. Expectations
5. surrender

post signature

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Feeling Cold

No, it's not cool where I live, quite the opposite. Living in the desert with a swamp cooler during monsoon season is not enjoyable. I am pretty tired of the heat and our family is going to Florida on vacation in 12 days! I am ready for winter. I want to wear fleece and sweatpants and my fuzzy boots. It's a nice thought, but quite a ways off.

My spiritual life is what I call "cold" right now. It's kinda freakin' me out. My "Christian" has been in the hospital and I did not spend time in prayer throughout even as difficult a time as it was. Work is going very well, I am writing a monthly column for the local paper and writing some freelance pieces (and getting paid for them), we are going on a trip to Disneyworld in 12 days as part of the Make-a-Wish program….I have a lot going for me and my family, yet I have a coldness where my faith and spiritual life is concerned.

Usually someone will go about their life, all is well, and they forget to give thanks to the Creator...until something bad happens. Then all of a sudden they are on their knees pleading with the Creator to help them. I don't know why I am in this place. I know one thing for sure is that I don't like it. I know that I am in a place that can become dark and lonely.

I need to find my way back to the presence of God.

On Facebook this evening, one of my friends wrote, "I'm not perfect, but Jesus thinks I'm to die for."

Jesus revels in our presence as much as we do His. Each and every one of us.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. finished projects
2. our new dog, Betty
3. fans
4. cold showers
5. padded envelopes

post signature

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Not the Best Idea

I am no good without my family together.

The hubs and "Christian" are still in the hospital (he took over on Tuesday evening) and me and "Lance" are here at home. Lance is finishing up his 9th grade year online and I am trying desperately to catch up with work. I spent 6 days at the hospital and welcomed the break, but my heart is with him, two hours away.

I can't stand being without my guys all together.

What seemed to be the practical, sensible choice, has turned into sadness for me. I know there is nothing I can do sitting in the hospital, but I can be there to comfort my son when he is being poked while searching for an IV. I can go with him to the playroom and take him for walks to keep him occupied. I know my husband is doing all of those things, but I miss them terribly.

Our mojo is completely thrown off.

Christian is supposed to come home tomorrow.

I can't wait to hug their guts :)

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Skype
2. New cabinet doors
3. Old movies
4. Postage meters
5. Rearranging furniture

post signature

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Mind Is a Terrible Thing.....

I am sitting here in the hopsital, day number 4, and we are not leaving until Friday. I am feeling sorry for myself. Guilty for missing so much work this year (I used quite a bit of sick time for myself and my "Christian") and worried about perceptions at my work. My husband and "Lance" are teaching a camp and have no replacements, so I have to be the one at the hospital with Christian.

I just went to get ice for my drink down the hall and in the nourishment room was another mom. She was very friendly, said hello, asked how my day was and I mentioned that all was well and we were staying longer than imagined. She said, "Yes, I understand. We have been here 3 1/2 weeks……."

That's when I wanted to slap myself.

I am on a floor with very, sick children. A 6 month old passed away over the weekend. I thank God for my Christian and that he is doing well. We are here mainly for precautions, not severe complications from his surgery. I think I needed some perspective and God delivered it through that mom.

When you are alone in a hospital room with a five year old, your mind can wander and make more of situations than they actually are. You can destroy relationships and imagine the worst in a matter of minutes.

All I can say, is that I have to do the next right thing.

I have to remember that the God of the Universe loves me just the way I am.

I have to remember that there will always be work to do, but the moments we have caring for our children will slip away in an instant.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. warm socks
2. playrooms
3. styrofoam cups
4. trays
5. ice machines

post signature

Friday, July 29, 2011


The eternal question of "Why do bad things happen to good people?" is a hard one to answer.

There is one situation that comes to mind when I hear this question. It involves my best friend from school and the car accident that completely changed her life. Why did she go through that trauma? Why is her life so markedly different that what she expected? Why did this happen to her?

We lost a cousin this week. He was only 39 and left behind a wife and two young children. Why did this happen? Why are these children not going to grow up with their Daddy?

And the most significant question I have is "Why does my five year old have to suffer with his hemophilia?" Yesterday was absolutely the worst day ever with his hemophilia (you can read about it here). "Why does my precious son have to endure constant infusions, hospitalizations, and pain? What did he do for this to be his reality"?

I don't think God "designates" a person to have a medical condition or "lot" in life. It's not something we can ever understand (this is a complete other blog posting….).

What I do know is that God was present in our terrible day today. He was there when Christian came back from his x-rays to a new, red fire truck. God was there when the Child Life worker came in to calm him down while playing with an iPad. And God was with us when the hematologist looked at me and simply said "he needs a new port."

Everything happens for a particular reason and I am glad the events of the day unfolded the way they did. Even though we are in the hospital for several days, we are definitely where we need to be.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Good IV's
2. Cookies and milk
3. A shower after a day of running around
4. Darkness
5. Suitcase surprises

post signature

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Being Treated Badly

I am trying to deal with being treated badly.

The short story is that a doctor from our Hemophilia Treatment Center was beyond rude to our family, during a bleed with our five year old, while out of town. He judged us and reprimanded us without knowing our situation.

We are writing a grievance to the hospital against this doctor, who we found out is the main oncologist. The head of the department. He just "helps" out with hemophilia because he has to.

He's not heard the last from us.

One of his colleagues called us to schedule a meeting (I think more damage control than anything) next Tuesday.

I refuse to let these doctors instill doubt in me where the care of my son is concerned. Friday night I was a complete mess while at the emergency room in San Francisco because of what this unprofessional doctor had said to our family. I left the ER with a passionate doctor telling me we were doing everything right.

You never know what a person is dealing with. The kind of day they had, maybe a family pet recently died, they are having a bad time at work, they are in fear of losing their job or maybe they have been out of work for months.

You can't always judge by what things look like on the outside.

Be aware of what you say and how you treat others.

You could just make their day.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. My portable swamp cooler2. Preparing for a business trip
3. The breeze on the bay in San Francisco
4. Clean tables
5. The companionship my sweet, Sheltie, Rosie gave our family for the past 10 years.

post signature

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Journey

Every day we get is a fresh start. A new journey. Maybe it ends up being an "ordinary" day filled with cooking meals, cleaning up, going to work, taking the kids to swimming lessons, reminding the kids to brush their teeth, etc. But what about when you know your day is going to be different?

Early this Thursday, me and the family are off to San Francisco for a hemophilia conference. We are really excited, not just about the conference, but we have never been to San Francisco! My husband is excited about the fresh seafood :)

The following Friday I am off for a few days to a symposium in Chicago (and I am involved in two presentations). Another exciting journey.

I am so excited to have a couple of new adventures coming my way. Sometimes it can be scary and even stressful when you don't know what to expect, but when you take each opportunity, make the most of it, and enjoy and live in the moment, you just cannot ask for more.

In Mark 5, the story is told of Jesus raising a sick girl from the dead. Many were doubting what Jesus was able to do, and Jesus simply said, "Don’t be afraid, just believe." They doubted that a miracle could happen. They just could not put their heads around the fact that the impossible could be made possible. We doubt everyday that the amazing may never happen.

Why couldn't a miracle happen?

You never know when or where that miracle may happen.

Maybe it will be in the car on the way to a ball game, or while on a trip away from home, but we need to just "believe" that Christ is with us in all we do.

The mundane to the amazing.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Cooking for an army of VBS workers
2. Digging out old Disney movies
3. Our portable swamp cooler!
4. Completed projects at work
5. Big buckets of ice cream

post signature

Monday, July 04, 2011

My First Passion

I remember the day my sister brought my instrument home for me. Her band director wanted me to play the oboe, so I did. I was in 5th grade and haven't stopped playing since.

I taught band for 13 years and free lanced in the Greater Houston area from the age of 18 to up to 5 years ago. When we moved to New Mexico, the opportunities dried up. I only played occasionally at church.

Music was (is) my first passion. I was a "band kid" all throughout school. I went to all the auditions, the extra contests and took private lessons from a man in the Houston Symphony. Music defined a big part of who I was becoming.

I found a local group (an hour away) and auditioned for the director. The Mesilla Valley Concert Band. I have rehearsed the past three nights and will perform in a concert this morning. I've been in heaven! I've even been playing the English Horn parts which I absolutely love to play.

Sometimes you have to reconnect with a long, lost passion. Honestly, I was a little scared, but I am sure glad I walked through it and went after it. Time moves fast. We can think and dream about things that made us happy, so why not move on it and reconnect?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. The repair man in Las Cruces who got my instruments in shape
2. Good reeds
3. My double instrument stand
4. 10 minute breaks
5. Stars and Stripes

post signature

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Love After Love by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Source: Teaching With Fire

post signature

Friday, June 24, 2011

Let Go (part 4 of 4)

To "let go" is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take each day as it comes, and to cherish myself in it.
To "let go" is not to criticize and regulate anybody but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To "let go" is not to regret the past, but to grow and to live for the future.
To "let go" is to fear less and to love more.

Sometimes I catch myself thinking about the plans I have made.

Christian has an appointment on Monday.
I've made travel arrangements to San Francisco and Chicago in July.
I am assisting at a memorial service tomorrow.
My husband and I are planning a vacation next year.

Those things may or may not come to happen. Regardless, I need to live in the moment and not tie myself up completely in what is to come.

What about the things that are happening right now?

I want to truly "cherish" myself. I want to love myself unconditionally and accept who I am right now, at this moment. When I think about past mistakes and broken relationships, it is very easy to doubt my decisions and my whole being.

I want to fear less and love more. Especially to love myself.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. holding babies
2. potato salad
3. Scotch tape
4. air conditioners
5. pizza night

post signature

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nothing in this World

When you look at your children everything else you have done in your life pales in comparison.

The craziness of a project at work


Getting the house painted

Continually picking up after your family




We can make lists for days about the things that bother us, the things we want to change, the good and the bad. But if you are a parent, the bottom line is that nothing in this world compares to being part of a child's life.

Today, my family celebrates my 15 year old son, "Lance". He came into this world at 9:56 pm on June 23, 1996 and my world has never been the same.

He has taught me about choo-choo trains, bugs, coloring inside the lines, how to eat a juicy grape, watching Disney movies, art, music, bullies, hemophilia, and finding an inner strength I never knew I had.

My life truly began when he was born. I have done and felt things I never dreamed possible. The most amazing thing I've learned how to do is love.

When the doctor placed him on my chest after he was just born, I felt as if I was about to suffocate. I didn't understand at that moment, but came to realize that feeling was love in a way I had never experienced. A full, smothering, all encompassing love.

How do you love someone you just barely met?

God makes that happen.

He brings these little creatures into our lives to change us. To make us more human. To show us how He loves us.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. birthday's
2. marble cake
3. curly bows
4. surprises
5. love

post signature

Monday, June 20, 2011


There was a huge estate auction in our little town this past weekend. The hubs and I decided to go check it out. You just never know what you will find.

I was a little disappointed because I just didn't see anything that spoke to me. Not that I was looking for anything in particular, but just looking. I was standing in the middle of the warehouse filled wall to wall with "stuff" and I got a little sad. I wondered who cherished these belongings at one time. Why did they come to auction? Did the owner get sick, pass away, have a difficult ending to their life?

Then I started to think about the legacy they left. Was it all of their "stuff" that was being picked over by strangers, or did they leave a legacy of love and faith to the ones they loved?

I remember going to pick up items from my Dad's house when he passed away a few years ago and when I was leaving the house had about six boxes of "stuff" left. Mainly things my mom had held on to for one reason or another. You wonder why people hang on to certain things. Of course we hold on to things that are useful and necessary, but what about the sentimental things, or the things that were given to us by someone and we only hold on to it because they were a gift?

I am in a season of "throwing" things out. Donating what I can and cleaning house. I don't want to have "stuff" in every corner of my home that is not used.

Most importantly, I want to fill my life with love. I want it to be measured through the way I speak to my family, how I carry out my faith, and how I love others.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. single serve coffee
2. reusable water bottles
3. celebrating my husband
4. droopy plants
5. bows

post signature

Friday, June 17, 2011

Let Go (part 3 of 4)

To "let go" is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
To "let go" is not to be protective; it's to permit another to face reality.
To "let go" is not to deny but to accept.
To "let go" is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.
Being "in the middle" in not a comfortable place. I have a situation at work where I am in the middle and one person on the other side is not happy. When your gut instinct tells you to do or say something, you need to follow it! Sometimes it will help to avoid an uncomfortable situation.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. A good night's sleep
2. Excitement
3. Unopened boxes
4. Plants
5. Surprises

post signature

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Being in love...with yourself!

A new show on the OWN network started and I recorded it. Not sure what to expect, I watched it during lunch yesterday and was really taken back. It's a documentary/reality show following Sarah Ferguson, The Dutchess of York.

It was very interesting, and a little hard to watch. The show chronicles the ups and downs she has been through, most recently her accepting money to give info on her ex-husband, and Dr. Phil and Suze Orman are working with her.

This woman, who was the focus of a royal wedding, in the public eye, two beautiful daughters, Lady Diana's best friend, can't even look in the mirror at herself because she has no sense of self worth. I can identify all too well with the way she feels.

I know within my heart that God loves me exactly as I am and that I should do the same. But so often, that inner, ugly self talk will get you into trouble.

When she was meeting with Suze Orman, Suze said "I am in love with myself!" Now that is amazing. It is a lesson we should all take to heart. We need to be "in love with ourselves." God intended for us to be as we are. I'm not saying we should give up in our quest to be healthy and take care of ourselves, but despite where we are in our journey, we need to give ourselves a little grace, look in the mirror and say "Ta-Da"!

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Pudding
2. A loud television
3. Crooked pictures
4. Tee ball
5. Running water

post signature

Monday, June 13, 2011

When I Grow Up

I know what I want to be when I grow up.

The person who makes the first phone call to let a family that a wish (Make-a-Wish Foundation) will be granted for their child.

I received that call on Friday morning. It was a moment I can hardly put into words.

It started a couple of months ago when the social worker at our Hemophilia Treatment Center had given me a call and asked if I had her permission to refer my little "Christian" to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. I was a little stunned because I had always thought of the Make-a-Wish as a foundation that gave wishes to children who were dying and extremely sick. I never think of hemophilia as "life threatening" but in actuality, it is. You just make it part of your life.

When the social worker started talking about why she immediately thought of Christian I started to think about everything he has gone through with his medical condition over the past four years. It's been very hard. My older son never had to deal with hemophilia the same way as his little brother. It's been a rough few years, and thankfully he is doing well.

I agreed to let her refer him, never thinking a wish would be granted, so when I received the call on Friday, I heard this sweet, young woman telling me who she was, why she was calling and that Christian will be receiving a wish. My mouth fell open, and tears were rolling down my face. I couldn't even breathe. The fact that someone, several people, thought of my Christian and our entire family, and "authenticated" our struggle was completely overwhelming.

I could hardly speak to her through my tears.

The next step is for a Make-a-Wish team to come and visit us and get to know Christian to determine the type of wish he wants. (I can guarantee it will have something to do with trains!)

More to come on this amazing blessing.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. 800#'s
2. Unexpected, ugly tears
3. Compassion
4. Gluten free pizza (it was really good)!
5. dreams

post signature

Friday, June 10, 2011

Let Go (part 2 of 4)

To "let go" is not to try to change or blame another; it's to make the most of myself.
To "let go" is not to care for, but to care about.
To "let go" is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To "let go" is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

Making the most of myself.

Talk about hard to do!

Does making the most of myself mean being "supermom" and wife? Taking fantastic care of myself all the time? Spending time in devotion everyday and volunteering at church every spare minute? Not to forget becoming the most I can be in my 9 - 5 job?

That's where I mess up. I feel like I have to do everything well at the same time. Sometimes I just have to do the best I can and know that my heart is in the right place. That my efforts are well intentioned. It goes back to surrendering each day. Every day we get is a day we don’t' deserve. How do we spend it? We never know when our last day will be. When we will go on to meet the Father.

I plan on spending each day I get "making the most" of who I can be. It's not based off how much I do, but the spirit in which I do life.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Decluttering
2. My son coming home tomorrow from choir tour!
3. Bottled water
4. Stacks of board games
5. Hard wood floors

post signature

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Honey, Sweetheart, Baby, you have a pet name for your spouse/partner/loved one?

I tend to call my sons "Chicky" and my husband too. It's just a little pet name showing them I love them. I'm not exactly sure how it came to be, it just did.

When I read Francine River's book, Redeeming Love (a must read), I was struck by how she set off the words God spoke to the characters. The Father would call them "Beloved."


A person who is dearly loved. This is a term of affection that was used in both the Old and New Testaments. It has a depth that seems to be absent in our society. I just love this word.

My husband is my "Beloved". I love him with every ounce of my being. He is beyond what a best friend could ever be to me (I jokingly call him my "Bestie") :)

I don't know if he knows how deeply I love him.

The amazing thing is, that despite how much we love our spouse/partner/loved ones, and how much they love us in return, God loves us more.

He loves us despite our flaws. I don't think we can even image the depth of His love for us. I think when we meet the Father face to face we will actually understand the amazing love that has been given to us.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. Phone calls from my son (while on choir tour)
2. Ministry in action
3. My Sheltie sleeping where the air vent hits her
4. Netflix
5. Cucumber scented candles

post signature

Monday, June 06, 2011


What is a blessing?

The words of faith and hope a pastor speaks over a person?

A prayer?

A wonderful happening in your life?

Family and friends?

Something beautiful and more than words can describe?

Sometimes blessings are not wrapped up with a pretty bow. The biggest "blessing" in my life is actually wrapped in plain paper with a worn bow.

It's actually pretty ugly when you get down to it.


I believe that people afflicted with a bleeding disorder, or any chronic condition are pretty amazing. They are resilient and stronger than many.

The beauty of the blessing of hemophilia is in the actual "unwrapping" of the present. It's about the journey. The people whose paths you would have never crossed. The places to travel to learn. The confidence in sharing with another mom. And the strength it has brought to my marriage.

I am making the most I can of this blessing everyday with every breath I take. I thank God for blessing me with my boys and their condition. It has made me stronger than I ever dreamed I could be.

What's your biggest blessing?

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. The smell of rain
2. Impromptu menu changes
3. Family decisions
4. Extension cords
5. New tablecloths

post signature

Friday, June 03, 2011

It's Cool When You Step Out in Faith

I've talked often about stepping out in faith. Meaning, following God's tug on your heart. Going where He is leading you and taking a chance when it logistically makes no sense.

I started writing a few years ago after we moved to New Mexico because, honestly, I was a little lonely and I had a lot to get out of my head. Blogging has turned out to be very cathartic for me in a way I never dreamed.

God put another idea in my head. He encouraged me to seek out a different avenue for my writing, so I wrote a proposal to our two local papers and one called me back! They are going to publish my writing once a month! Today was my first article.

When I considered doing this I figured the worst that would happen would be that no one would call. What harm is there in that? After I submitted my proposals, I wondered why I did that. What are they going to think of my writing? I don't have a background in literature or writing, I have a Music Education Degree! There are way more qualified people out there!

But I listened and am amazed.

Have you listened to the still, quiet nudge on your heart? Don’t ignore it.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. The smell of newspaper
2. Projects going well
3. Empty boxes
4. The whir of the swamp cooler
5. Joe coming home tomorrow!

post signature

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


I was up pretty early today for work, finished what I needed to do, and considered lying back down. But I decided to go to yoga class instead.

It was one of the best decisions I've made in quite a while.

I have to get moving. I'm tired of feeling tired and having my back tight. I also need to be a better example to my children. Already I am "feeling" my muscles from my movement this morning.

I like yoga because not only are you focusing on your body, but you work to quiet your mind as well. I find myself trying to tune out the world and when I am successful that little voice comes back in trying to make me feel guilty for taking an hour of time for myself.

Why do we do that to ourselves? If we do not take time to care for ourselves we are not good to the ones who need us. I've mentioned this scripture before and in Psalm 46:10 it reads "Be still and know that I am God." I believe that I know who God is, but it's the "being still" part that gets me every time. When I do slow down enough to veg on the sofa, I start to think about other things that need to be done and get up and start doing.

I remember hearing Maria Shiver talk about her family and how when she was a kid nobody "sat around." Everyone was outside playing games, and busy all of the time. Expectations were very high in the Kennedy home and inactivity was not accepted.

I think activity is great. It helps you find purpose, but constantly running around and not resting is not a good thing.

Sometimes we rest quite a bit, maybe even become a bit lazy, but do we rest in the stillness of God? That is something I need to work on everyday. Resting in the love of Christ. Accepting and knowing without a shadow of a doubt that I am enough just as I am right now.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. my new Ninja!
2. a decent pen
3. Postal Express
4. the hum of a flourescent lamp
5. hats

post signature

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I remember when I was pregnant with my now five year old. It was a difficult pregnancy and I was in and out of the hospital quite a bit. Not only was my husband having to care for our then 10 year old son, but also our cousin who was in high school. It was a very difficult time.

Our church had a ministry that cooked meals for those in need. When the woman who headed up the ministry asked my husband what days he preferred meals to be delivered, he refused. He told her we were too far away and that he would take care of everything. In turn, she said, "When I am standing before God and He asks me why I didn't follow through with my ministry, I am going to have to tell him that Joe MacDonald would not let me." Needless to say, Joe agreed to deliveries of meals for several weeks. They helped us out so much. It was a huge blessing.

I have a really hard time receiving gifts. Sounds crazy, I know. Don't get me wrong, I love a beautifully wrapped present for my birthday, Mother's Day, and at Christmas, but when someone does something out of the blue for me, I have a hard time with it.

Tonight I received a gift that meant a lot.

A church member, who is a massage therapist, has wanted to "work on me" for several months. We finally found a time and last night I went for a soak and massage "on her." It was absolutely fantastic (and so needed)! It's not that she offered her services to me gratis, but the fact that she reached out to me. She is what I call an "oozer." She has a light that radiates from her. I describe her as an "Earth Mama" with a spirit open to the universe around her. She is way cool.

When she was working on me, I felt an energy from her. I know it was love. She gave of her time and talent freely to a person who was in need of a little spiritual renewal. I believe God tapped her on the shoulder and whispered in her ear to give of herself.

I am so glad she listened.

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. a great steak
2. smells of peppermint
3. mismatched tennis shoes
4. Fabuloso
5. magazines

post signature

Friday, May 27, 2011

Let Go (part 1 of 4)

Someone recently gave me a handout with some great words on "letting go". It is almost too much to take in at once, so I am going to unpack it over a few weeks.

Here's the first part:

To "let go" does not mean to stop caring; it means I can't do it for someone else.
To "let go" is not to cut myself off, it's the realization I can't control another.
To "let go" is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To "let go" is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
-Author Unknown

This is some powerful stuff.

Letting go is not something I do well. I am becoming more aware each day as my oldest child is about to turn 15 that he will be out of the house very soon. I am going to have to let him go.

I signed my 5 year old up for tee ball yesterday. He is growing up and I am having to let him be a boy and take risks despite his hemophilia. I am having to let him go.

All I can do is model what I think the best way to live your life is to my children and hope that they pick up a few good things and not the bad. I have to let go of what control I "think" I have.

I must admit that each day is a gift and that God has a plan. The outcome of every thing that I do is not completely in my hands. I try my hardest to surrender each day as I wake up to the Creator and thank Him for another day. ..that His will be done regardless of what I "want."

Today I Am Thankful For:

1. A spontaneous "girls" lunch
2. Hats
3. Business cards
4. Impromptu visits
5. A fresh opportunity

post signature

Speakers and Writers


Photo credits ~ Dreamstime

A 2008 Graduate of

Recommended Reading

  • Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver
  • Praying the Names of God, Ann Spangler
  • The Shack, William P. Young
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers
  • Bad Girls of the Bible, Liz Curtis Higgs
  • The Mark of the Lion Triology, Francine Rivers
  • The Mitford Series, Jan Karon

  ©Blog Design by Mary Hess Designs.

Return to top  

Google Analytics Alternative