Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Number One Rule for Building Friendships

Browsing the web this afternoon for advice on friendship, I found no shortage of advice and frilly, playful sayings. Here are a few that I found:

A true friend doesn't leave when the fun stops and things get uncomfortable.
True friendships are hard to come by and the ones that are really your friends will be honest with you.
To have a loyal friend like that is a rare find.
People come and go, but a true friend will be there to weather the storm.
Two are better than one, because they will have a good reward for their labor.
True friendship is like sounds health; the value of it is seldom know until it is lost.
A true friend is not only there to celebrate with you but also to encourage you during rough patches.

But the very best piece of advice is as old as the sun and we all heard it from our grandmothers when we were knee-high to a grasshopper:

 "If you want to have friends, you must show yourself friendly."
So I leave you with this brief piece to consider, with more friendship information to come.  We can always use a tune-up and right now before the holidays is a great time to get the attitude adjusted and the behavior practiced. We should probably get our mirrors out too...since we will be learning how-to "show ourselves friendly."

This is gonna be fun!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Desires of Your Heart

Happy Sunday!
I have been in church my whole life and have heard this Psalm many times. I always loved it because 1) I loved any verse about the heart and 2) it promised me that God would give me the "desires" of my heart.

The desires of my heart.

Really? If I just delight in Him then I will get all the things I wish for? That just seemed too good to be true. So I placated myself with the thought that it surely meant that God knew what was best and that He would only let me have what was good for me. That's child-like, simplistic thinking for you.

It wasn't until many years later, I was cleaning house and right as I stood up from wiping a wall down, I saw our ceramic wall hanging with this very verse on it. I was stopped in my tracks. I felt like I was just seeing it for the very first time. I said aloud to myself, "Why, He doesn't mean He will give me the desires of my heart! He means the desires of my, God will actually put the desires in my heart. He will give me the desires that I should have!

I know, right? It takes some people a while. But hey, it's still a good word to remember. God is not a piggy bank, or a good fairy to call upon at will. When we live as He calls us to live, we are delighting in Him and He will give us the desires of our hearts, or the passions that so fulfill our lives. He is a good, good, Father!

Delight in Him every day. Let God be your Father and fill your heart with the desires and passions that are your calling so that you will live a fulfilling life with Him like you have never known!

Friday, October 14, 2016

About Stress

I saw this meme and it got my mind thinking about how badly stress took over my own life. I would like to add that undue stress challenges our even our most precious relationships, too. Stress is a destroyer and should not be underestimated. Many of us, when asked if we are stressed, blow it off like it is no big deal. We get all macho or act all strong and capable. Hear you me...Stress is an enemy of our desired lifestyles and can attack on many fronts - ALL AT THE SAME TIME. It doesn't wait until your are ready and it doesn't allow for do-overs. Stress marches on and leaves it's marks very obvious on our lives.

If someone happens to mention or notice your stress level to you, you might just stop and take a close look. It is worth the examination as it may cost you more than you ever thought. Don't be so smart that you are dumb. Don't be ashamed either. Seek help, and it doesn't always have to be professional.. Ask for advice from your spouse, colleague, mentor, doctor. Take time off or at least away from the routine so you can take an honest look. Get your spouse or friend on board to help. De-stressing in even small ways can add up to big wins!

One of the major stress reducers? Prayer or Meditation. True story.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Kick-off Meeting Soon

KickOFF meeting is planned and scheduled for Wednesday night, October 26th from 7-8 p.m. We will meet this first time only at Starbucks on Stark Street in the Alberstons Shopping Center near MHCC. They have a long table that I will secure for us. This is going to be a planning meeting and should be lots of fun! No purchase necessary. Just come hang out and voice your thoughts on the ideas we have in mind! Don't be a Charlie Brown and miss the football but come be a part of the game plan! More news will be revealed at them KickOFF!

But Lucy, it's a Kickoff Meeting!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Real Gurl Can't Find Lost Lake

It's a true story. I couldn't find it. It's not a joke. I was lost at least four times. I will tell you all about it soon. Stay tuned!


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Of One Thing You Can Be Sure....

Change. I hate it.
In this life, they say you can be sure of only death and taxes. Well, I beg to differ. After the physically exhausting and emotionally draining weekend I just spent moving and breaking all kinds of ties that bind, there is one thing that I know for can also count on CHANGE.

I think change is more sure than death and taxes, or at least it is more frequent. I think I might not mind change so much if I knew it was coming on April 15th of every year, like our tax returns. If I could just prepare, be aware, go shopping for chocolate, get ready for the big meltdown. But such luck. Change hits us when we are least ready.

Through sickness and health, change seems wedded to me and determined to stick it out and make it work. I don't want any more change. I would like to settle in a comfy, leather lazy boy and while away the hours reading to grandgurl. Again, that brute named change just won't stay away.

So, through the aching muscles and the copious amounts of tears, the re-homing of my precious Sophie of 8 years, and the butchering of longstanding ties that bind, it appears that I have grabbed change by its lapel and hung on for dear life.

I have no idea where I will land. I have no idea where this is leading. I threw the road map out the window YEARS ago and as one country song says, I am working on tearing off the rearview mirror and giving it the heave-ho too.

I am sure there is yet another lesson in all of this. Right now I don't want to talk about lessons. Frankly, I am sick of lessons. I am tired of feeling judged by all the change in my life, the constant upheaval that no one else seems to experience. I see the eyes that roll and I can read the thought clouds over head as I begin to tell the latest happening in my life. I know it seems impossible for all these things to happen to one person. I feel the same way. Hey, I wish they didn't all happen to me, too. All I want these days is peace. I don't need any endowments, lottery winnings, or even to own land. I just want a small piece of comfort and a slice of stability. Maybe a lick of love. A hug from grandgurl.

Let me just end on that. Grandgurl. This past weekend I was blessed to move into grandgurl's home with her and her mom and dad. On the first day of move-in I needed to carry in five different baskets/boxes. With each trip I took across the threshold of the front door she was in full parade mode, yelling "yay, Gaga comed" and "Hurray, Gaga" and "Hi, Gaga" over and over to the tops of her lungs, and I felt like the biggest super star, Disney hero, or caped-crusader ever. She certainly has a way about her.

Yup. Change is one thing you can be sure of, and you may not see it coming. I was blind-sided for sure but I am happy, happy, happy to say that being Super Gaga is one great ending.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

But I Just Want to Understand!

Sometimes we just want to know why. Sometimes it just isn't fair and we want to understand. I have been stuck in this place for far too long. I DO believe there is more to my story than yesterday's mess. I may never know all the whys. My heart may never again feel the love or hear the words I long to hear. But there is still ink in the pen and paper in the drawer. And I have faith that Someone very trustworthy is holding onto the precious memories for me and the answers that I cannot understand today on this earth. Here are some of the words from a song I was listening to just today. I hope it helps you to move on past the mess and into the message of your life. There is still ink in the pen!

I believe in the rest of the story.
I believe there's still ink in the pen.
I have wasted my very last day trying to change what happened way back when.
Until someday all that's crazy;
All that's unexplained;
Will fall into place.

And someday all that's hazy;
Through a clouded glass;
Will be clear at last.
Every puzzle's missing piece rests in the hands of Someone who holds you; for someday.

Someday by Nichole Nordeman

Friday, April 1, 2016

You Just Never Know

I have believed in miracles all my life. Optimists are just born that way. My favorite saying is, "You Never Know." Because it's true. There is just no knowing for sure how each day will turn out. Hope springs eternal!

Today has been a marathon of miracles. Since the end of June 2015, on my last day of work, praying that "something" would present itself and fretting over what I was to do, I have been awaiting my miracle. The answers and potential have been ebbing and flowing over the past months. But today, LIFE!

First, an email came in this morning from a client whom I have been waiting on for nearly a month. This is like the dream client and you can't rush dream clients. This is a big deal! The email said they were interested in starting a pilot program! I am so excited.

That email came while in route to an early morning appointment with yet another big opportunity. That appointment also went great. There was good, common ground and no glazed-over eyes. (Glazed-over eyes: The kind of eyes that say "I am not interested in one word you are saying. Faces masked with pretend interest but with blank eyes, while you are pouring your heart out.) Those are the worst. But none of that here. The meeting ended with another verbal commitment for future work. Exciting!

Busy day today led to a third appointment where I really had to lay my heart on the line. I had to be completely real, explain clearly, and show my true heart for this ministry. Again, I was afraid to I would be met with glazed-over eyes but instead, I was met with the eyes of the Father. Eyes that saw the good in me. Eyes who believed and felt my hope and passion. Eyes who had seen me a few years back, broken, wounded, and seemingly in an eternal pit. Eyes now willing to hear my story and offer a hand to a nervous and scared Real Gurl.

God knows just how to bring things together. In the weeks leading up to today I was concerned that maybe I was on the wrong track. Glazed-over eyes can sure make you feel that way. When I come face to face with the glazed, bored look, I immediately know they aren't my peeps. Just like the storm troopers in Star Wars...the ones that are told by Ben Kenobi, "These aren't the droids you're looking for."  Not everybody is going to believe. Not everybody is going to get it. "Move along."

Today however, God showed me what He had been working on all along. I wasn't met with a masked storm trooper face. I was greeted with hope that can only come from God. Hope that is confirmed with the sun on my shoulders and a sweet breeze blowing my hair!

There is so much that has happened in the past couple of days that it truly is Miracle many miracles that I can't enumerate them all.

Wherever you are in life, hang on. It may be Friday, but Sunday is coming. God is watching over you and will prepare a way when there seems to be no way. You just never know when your Miracle Madness is coming! You just never know...


Friday, March 18, 2016

Day 78 ~ Not Too Late!

Day 78 of my New Year and it's not too late!

My mind travels back to January 1, 2016. I was sitting in a booth, having lunch with my friend, Rhona. We were openly sharing our lives and the events of 2015. We talked about things we wanted to do better and goals for the coming year. I had read my journal from the year before and the entries were almost identical. I was still struggling with the same issues. I was ashamed to admit that I was in the same, exact, place as the year before. There was no growth, and surely nothing exciting on the horizon. I tried to quickly cover my shame by acknowledging that I wanted this year, 2016, to be different. I talked all tough and strongly asserted that I did not want another year to pass and not have something to show for it.

Rhona, is wise as a dove. She asked all the right questions and listened with intent, until she found growth that she could point out to me. I had made amends to 9 people in December and when she heard about that, she said, "See that right there? That's growth!"

(Can I just tell you that everyone needs a Rhona in their life?)

Making amends with those 9 people was difficult, and not all of the efforts were successful. It took me aback to consider that maybe I had accomplished something after all. As always, Rhona made me see the situation in a different way. I smiled a little bit. Maybe, just maybe, I WAS moving forward.

There's plenty of time to make a change.
Today marks Day 78 of this New Year and it is time to measure for growth. Take inventory. Look for changes, no matter how small. Don't be afraid to acknowledge change. You deserve to pat yourself on the back. Any forward movement or upward tick matters, because it shows you are headed in the right direction. Things may not go the way you planned. That doesn't mean failure. It means opportunity!

Real Gurl Life started off slooooowwww and I am one of those Fast-Food Life-Change people....I want it fast and now! However, the slowness has made it better as it allowed for new people to have input making way for better decisions, fresh ideas, and new options to come to light.

As an example, Real Gurl Life has a small, but working board. Shelly Patrick and Amanda Garcia could not have been better choices to serve as directors. They have proven themselves to be thoughtful, smart, encouraging, team members. More than once I have been sweetly surprised by their offerings of support. When I have felt like, "what's the use" they have guided me back to basics and stopped me from biting off more than I can chew. These ladies share the work and we each take on what matches our skillset. Together, we made a list and I am working on it!

I am also diligently pursuing health and new relationships with others. This is very uplifting too, as I see my quality of health is going forward with purpose. I am also rebuilding old relationships and start brand new ones as well! All of this adds up to a general feeling of well-being.

What does this all mean? Day 78 in a leap year means (according to Google) that there are 291 days left.  Progress, at any rate, is progress, right? With the support of others you can accomplish more than if you try it alone. Who knows what the next 291 days could hold?
This is my best advice.
Don't try to do life alone. We all need people in our lives that laugh like fools with us, love us in spite of ourselves, cry like a baby because we hurt, and show up for the hard stuff. Doing life together is the best way! Live well, my friends. The days add up to a life. Make it a life well-lived, a life well-loved.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Real Gurl Life Clubs!

We are a women's group working towards putting Real Gurl Life Clubs (after school) in middle schools. Here are some of the details of how these clubs will work and the curriculum that is being developed.

These clubs are geared for girls 6-8th grades. The basic theme is strategic life-planning. We aim to teach young ladies to learn who they are, where they want to go in life, what's it going to take to get there, and what rules are needed to keep their life on track. We will assist them in developing strategies for facing the many tough situations that young girls face today.

Decisions made early will stick!
We will encourage planning decisions regarding their approach to education, health, friendship, ethics, safety and more. We will use journaling, role playing, guest speakers, and weekly challenges to encourage these young ladies to make choices that will lead them to the life they envision; a life that is entirely possible by virtue of their choices, attitude, standards, and work ethic.
It is our belief that youth who have pre-determined their own "rules for life" before they are faced with a bad situation are more likely to feel empowered to stand their ground and choose what will benefit their life plan.

It is part of the "dream" that these young ladies will know who they are BEFORE they are in the back seat of a car with a boy and to make sound decisions when faced with the knowledge of their friend's deep secret and are tempted to inform the entire eighth grade.  These are simple problems that can have long-lasting consequences and impact on our girls. We want to equip them with knowledge on how to make choices that will follow their life-plan and what to do if they need help or have problems facing down a particular issue.

Are you a friend of Real Gurl Life? Have you LIKED our page or FOLLOWED our website? Please help us by clicking LIKE on our Facebook page and follow our website. We want to keep you informed of our progress. We are also accepting donations towards getting this program up and running. We appreciate your support in any way....just sharing our website would be great!
Currently we are working with two school districts to see how this program can fit into the current activities of their schools. We are open to public or private schools, church groups, girls' clubs, teams, or any place a group of girls gather! This can be an on-going meeting or a one-time engagement. There is no fee. Our group and our sponsors are helping us with this outreach.

Do YOU have a girls group that you would like us to visit? Would you like to start one? Let us know!!!
Questions or Interest? Contact Laura Holzbach at and you will be contacted shortly. We look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Because! It's our March Monthly Meeting!

Hey Real Gurls!

I have been out of pocket the past two weeks with health issues. I cannot tell you how excited I am to see everyone. I sure hope you can make our next meeting. We will be hosting Interest Groups on three topics that are sure to interest you. Interest Topics are: Friendship Rules, Safety & Defense, and Dollars & Sense. Groups will be hosted by Laura, Shelly, and Mandy. 

We will be having a large group discussion regarding the word,

LOCATION:  M&M Restaurant in Gresham has agreed to host our group in their meeting room (where Gresham Rotary meets) without a fee. Orders will be taken for those who opt to eat a meal or have a tea or soda. No purchase is necessary so please do not worry about that!

We hope you will come and bring a friend. This is going to be a FUN meeting!

M&M Restaurant
137 N Main Street
Gresham, OR 97030

Monday, February 29, 2016

Change of Heart

My last post was about Joey Feek and I hope you will bear with me just one more time. I just read an update and she only has days to live. She is has been sleeping for days. Joey has said her most precious goodbyes. Her husband, Rory, says that Joey has given their baby girl her last, sweet kiss. Only a few unsaid good-byes remain.

Most of you know that I was hospitalized last week. Four days of poking and prodding and gurneys and no sleep and I thought I was having it rough. The pity-party line of well wishers were coveted and the visits, flowers, and attention were intoxicating.  Released on the fourth day, the doctors figured out the problem and sent me on my way with follow-up instructions and a new RX for life. But there were no threats to my existence. Certainly no countdown established or hushed words of the gut-wrenching variety.

I have been home for two days now and it is quiet. I got too much attention at the hospital and not too much here at home, alone. It sounds so selfish as I read back aloud what I just wrote. I want to just hit the backspace and undo. I bet some of the folks who I know currently facing a harsh reality would love a backspace button.

I am called to change my ways in a hurry. Nothing short of a switch from my Granny's bush in the Carolinas seems fitting. My heart is sad and I feel small and rebuked. What have I been thinking?When exactly am I going to learn how short it all is, how fast it all goes? When, when, when?

Love, people! Love is the thing. Love them all.

I guess it is getting morbid for some of you but hopefully cathartic for most, because here is the thing....that one thing that really, really, stuck out to me; something of particular note; a phrase said by Rory Feek of his wife, Joey. Here are his words, as they were written:

"In the 40 short years that Joey has lived, my bride has accomplished many great things… she's lived a very full life," he wrote. "But even more than that, she has loved those around her greatly and been loved greatly in return. I can honestly say that Joey's isn't just a life well-lived, it's a life well-loved." (see note)

A life well-lived...a life well-loved.

What a beautiful life.

Note: Quote was taken from ET Online article, dated February 29, 2016 by Meredith B. Kile


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

If Not Now, When?

What courage. What bravery. What commitment. What a love. Such devotion. How rich a life. So quick. Too soon.

I have had some pain in this life. Many of you have heard all about my heartaches and heartbreaks....and it's fair to say that I have had my share. But when I read the story of Joey & Rory Feek....when I listen to her perfect voice sing those perfect words of "When I'm Gone," well, I feel small indeed. 
Listen here to Joey Feek sing "When I'm Gone"

The magnitude of their grief makes mine pale by comparison, for the glaring difference between my grief and theirs is that I was able to spend 23 years married, not just 14. The pain and brokenness that ended my union was born of sheer and utter neglect. Not a dreadful, unyielding disease for which there is no cure. I was blessed to get to see my three children grow up. Their baby just turned two. As I think of the Feeks and the shortness of time they must be feeling, I realize that I am shamefully late. I have wasted too many good years that the Feeks would now give anything to have.

As I gather myself to read their blog or a headline catches my eye, I glance through the news story quickly and with trepidation, dreading the announcement of Joey's last day. Her last day. She's too young. She has a baby. Please wait. Don't go.

Joey has not treated life as a rehearsal.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Real Gurl Life Friendship

Two are better than one, as they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
~Ephesians 4:9-11

friend·ship /ˈfren(d)SHip/ noun - the emotion or conduct of friends; or the state of being friends.

Friendship is

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Voices in My Head - Talking to Myself

Recently I was reading an article about conversations we have with other people. It gave some  clinical rules of the road for social conversations. It was a bit heavy-handed and included a bunch of research and obviously sought to help others. Now, I don't want to short-change science and I am the first to admit that I have not a scientific bone in my body. I know that how we speak with others is important. Our tone, our word choice, everything comes together to create the sum of communication.

In my line of very unscientific heart-thinking,

Monday, January 25, 2016

RX: A Good Friend and Conversation

This past weekend I was fortunate to spend with a long-time friend. I accompanied her on a business trip so that she wouldn't be driving alone and we had plenty of free time to fill on the long drive and between meetings.

I have known Shelly since the beginning of high school. I have always admired her vim and vigor for life. She is one of those people that loves to be active and busy. She not only runs, bikes, and all the normal stuff but loves pickle ball and even had a skydiving adventure this past summer!  As we reminisced this weekend, we spent plenty of high school days in my orange Datsun B210 and eating Taco Bell. (Who doesn't eat Taco Bell 24/7 when you are in high school? Don't judge!)We currently live in the same city and see each other with some regularity, but now we had an entire, glorious weekend!

We talked our heads off!

Honestly, before I even got into the car

Friday, January 22, 2016

It's Your Life

At our first Real Gurl Life meeting last week we took on the challenge to raise our efforts a little bit, just one degree. We are going to try just a little bit harder, love just a little bit longer, give just a little bit more, forgive just a few more times.

Here's the thing....If you are looking for change in your life, it isn't just gonna come up and smack you in the face. Change requires something be different. There must be movement, either more or less, to create change. You will be waiting a long time for the results YOU want if you cannot choose to make a change.

Here's a great thing about change....Change brings Hope. Most people do not deal very well with change. In fact, most folks avoid it.

Ever try to get help moving the living room furniture around? Ha!

How about letting your hairdresser choose a new haircut? No way!

Just try it! You will find it to be true that Change  will make you feel alive. It brings Hope that something can be different. You either get busy changing or get busy dying, as the saying goes.

So....Whatcha gonna do? It's your life!

Change something.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My Peeps ~ I Have Found Them!

Tonight went better than in my best dreams! We had 24 friends attend and I have found my peeps! It is good to come together and share our lives, to hear something new, to get a fresh take on things. One person is very limited in information but 24 women have an abundance of experience. Thank you ladies, for being part of my calling tonight. I will never forget this first meeting. I am blessed.

Remember, it just takes that one degree of difference, just that little bit more, and the water turns to steam that can run a locomotive. Just give it a little bit more and see what happens!

Enjoy the pics!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

It's Almost Here - First Introductory Meeting!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
6:30-8:00 p.m.
East Hill Church - Kid City Bakery Classroom

Every Second Tuesday we will be holding a monthly meeting for Real Gurl Life. These meetings will be held from 6:30-8:00 p.m. and location for each meeting is posted on The Schedule on the website, for your convenience.

Note: If you LIKE our Facebook page or sign-up on the website to receive updates, you will be sure to get an invite to any activity that Real Gurl Life offers.

Real Gurl Life has a heart for women who may feel like life will never change; who may feel stuck with no way out or needing a fresh outlook; who may be looking for encouragement; and mostly to provide skills and tools to live an "authentically imperfect" life with passion. Collectively and in small groups we will search out who God called us to be and discover the joy of serving others. Friendship building is an important part of Real Gurl Life and we will offer networking activities as well as a lesson at each meeting. It's important to have friends!

Events will also be set up, mostly on a quarterly basis. The first quarter activity will be Eat, Pray, Books!  You will find out more about
this fun, networking, friendship-making event very shortly!

Real Gurl Life will also hold varying skill building classes each quarter. There are a wide variety of topics and dependent upon each woman's interest. The topics are also listed on the website under Study Series. There will Bible studies, marriage, self-awareness, parenting and more. The classes available will rotate each quarter.

You will learn a lot more about Real Gurl Life at THIS First Introductory Meeting! I am looking forward to you joining us as often as you can and please always feel free to bring a friend!

If your church would like to host a meeting of Real Gurl Life or are looking for an event speaker, please do not hesitate to let us know.

We will make every effort to honor your time and end on time. We know you are all busy ladies! Please help us by being ready at 6:30 p.m. to start the fun!

See you there! I just can't wait!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Way I See It - Day 13

The day started off better than most and I was feeling happy and fulfilled until.....the lion roared.

It is difficult to set boundaries. I hate dealing with the confusion of when to be tough and when it's not as big a deal as I am making it. I do understand how important boundaries are, and I am trying.

So I go "all-quiet" and distance myself from the situation while nursing the continual wound that keeps getting reopened with too much regularity. In an effort to get further away, I text my daughter and ask if she possibly needs me for babysitting any earlier.  How awesome to find out that she was already on her way to me to go on a ride to Salem for her work.

I quickly got ready and walked outside to the car where she was feeding the baby. Off we went down I-205 South to Salem. Weather was rainy but the traffic was not so bad. We hit our exit and were just a block away from our intended destination when we entered the left-hand turn lane with traffic signal. We had a car waiting at the light in front of us and just as we neared the car ahead, another car jumped into the turn lane....well, actually they jumped smacked into my daughter's car! Metal hit metal with the quick sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. We had been hit!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Sore Spot? Everybody's Got One -Day 12

It is tough to admit when you face a loss, a failure, defeat...Most of us cannot bring ourselves to admit we even have a problem. It feels too close to our sore spot. The spot that appeared unnoticed until that sudden knife-like pain hits us unexpectedly and makes us react with a vengeance, wondering where in the heck did that crazy reaction come from?

I am hoping you understand me here, because, gosh, I hate to be out here on my own with this stuff.

I am going to admit to you that today, someone hit my sore spot. My reaction wasn't vengeance, unless you count crying over half the day as such.

Sore spot? Everybody's got one.

As I was writing of the glories of answered prayers yesterday, today held different answers. Or, to be precise, the answers from yesterday were changed. I felt deflated. I felt it in my sore spot. The brooding and the endless questioning began. Unfortunately, I had no plans today so I had time to entertain those two knuckleheads: Brooding and Questions.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Want Relief? Relax

It was my intent to post every single day as a new year resolution but wouldn't you know it, the first weekend out, and boom! I fall off the wagon of my goal to post every day. It is very rare that I have such a busy weekend. We had a family birthday, church, family football game watch and Sunday dinner. It was a great weekend and I feel completely rejuvenated, although I have to admit that I felt guilty about the lack of posting.

When I went into the weekend, I had many things on my mind. Some of them were problems, some of them were wants, and some of them were real issues that needed answers. I have a lot of questions about the direction of my life, my health, and I do a great deal of soul-searching. I am always looking for a clue to the answer. I want answers to hurry up and get here!

As I sat in church service with my family and we sang songs to God, I was overcome with answers pouring out. The pastor and his wife also provided the message. I don't know what everyone else heard, but I heard that I need to follow my calling, wherever that may lead and no matter who is for or against me.

I also heard something else important. Many of you know that I will be revealing my Word for 2016.  You see, for the past two years I have been working on congruency. This year I have a new mantra, but I felt like God added to that mantra. He added:  Relax. (The rest  of my mantra is to be revealed at the first Real Gurl Life meeting on January 19th. Visit for details.)


As I rolled that word around in my mouth, seeing how it tasted, I could see myself from an outside perspective and understood immediately what it all meant.

You see, I am someone who sees the big picture pretty quickly. I can usually make good, solid, decisions in a moment of necessity because of seeing the big picture. I rush to answers before anyone else takes a breath. I have it all laid out and decided without any other input and while the group may eventually arrive at the same decision, I have generally alienated the group by my hasty arrival at the end result without due process or hearing one opinion.


Let it roll. Don't be the first to respond. Play it cool. Fly casual. Be thoughtful about when and how to answer.

You know, as I rolled the word around some more, it was not only Relax, it felt like Relief. What? I don't have to bear the burden of figuring it all out? That sounds good! I can let go and have some relief! A spiritual need for change: Relax.


Before the weekend even started, I received an email from a women's convention asking me to consider being the speaker for the two-day retreat this year. What? This is something I have only dreamed of doing. Speaking? I thought it would be a very long while before this would come my way. I am honored by the request and excited by this move forward in my life. A personal dream answered.

On Monday, today, following the weekend, I received a call about a health issue. The doctor called to say my surgery was approved! It was up in the air and I was hoping it would be approved. The doctor had already requested approval last year and it was denied. The doctor put through the paperwork again with my new insurance for 2016 and it was approved in a matter of days! A health issue: approved.

So in one weekend, God provided, in His own way, in His own timing, answers to:

a spiritual need for change; Relax
a personal dream; Speak
a health issue; Approved

No kidding, it felt like by letting go, not being in a hurry to answer the question, by taking the "Relax" approach, I was able to actually "Relax" and give up trying to figure it out on my own. I could let the answers come and not be in a hurry. I could be accepting of the answers because I am under God's umbrella, as is every thing and every person in my life.

Real Gurls, it is time that we let go and what we are holding onto so tightly and roll with God's plan. I am going to continue to challenge myself with the question:

What are you doing today to make this year different?  

What are you doing today?

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Control Status: Mercy - Day 7 of My New Year

It feels like nothing of any substance happened today and I am wondering what should I write about. So let me start by telling you about my day:

First, I am at the end of two weeks dog-sitting. That means for the past 14 days I have had three pups with completely different temperaments trying to share the same bowls, yard, and lap. In a way I have enjoyed the doggie daycare. It was fun watching them bounce through the white snow and learn to wrassle and get along with each other. Three dogs is different from two, and it was interesting and fun. Still, it's more than I am used to regularly handling.

We also had our regular, weekly visit from my roommate's son, who is three years old. He stays for two days and sleeps over. He is a great kid and I love him to pieces. I enjoy his sweet ways and fun spirit and there is always something going on. Spiderman, snack, play-doh, Hot Wheels, puzzles and games: he is full of constant action.

Again, more moving pieces than I am used to and I find I am grappling with...oh, dear

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Fight for the Couch - Day 6 of My New Year

Two days in a row I have started my day without first stopping to read, pray and journal! It is a rut that has deep grooves. It will take more effort to change the path to the kitchen, first thing in the morning!

But it does cause me to pause and think. We do what we get accustomed to; we set a pattern, a rut, a rhythm to our own lives; a comfort zone, if you will. Yep, we run back to our comfort zone the minute we hit

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Kerfuffled (Day 5)

I popped right out of bed this morning to begin the day with three dogs bouncing, chasing, wagging, running, whining, and just chaos in general. It was fun and joyful and we easily fell into the routine of the day: cleaning the kitchen, reading mail, and figuring out if the roads were too icy to go out. And that's when it began:


The first time I heard this word it was said by my then 7th grade daughter. She also said funny things like "cool beans"  and this one really made me giggle. It clearly says (for me) how it feels to feel like you lost your place. What was I doing? What should I be doing? Why am I in THIS room? Oh, gosh....


What had happened? I wasn't having those same confident emotions

Monday, January 4, 2016

This. One. Day. (Day 4)

Today I am stressing continuity. Just the simple act of sitting down and following my new morning ritual is changing me. I read, I pray, I journal, I restate the question to start the day:

"What am I doing today so that this year will be different?"

I will ask myself this several times throughout the day. Each time I think of it, each time I start to doubt, each time fear or sadness tries to creep in,

Facing the Future

January 3, 2016 and it's  Day 3 of my new year. I have turned my face to the future and what it holds. I am determined to put the past in its place. I will ask myself every day "what are you doing today to make this year turn out different?"  It's going to be a good year!