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Encouraging Words

It's amazing when my 5-year-old comes home talking about the history behind MLK day. When I was in Kindergarten, we learned our color...

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

A Frog Haunting

Last night, I heard rustling in my bedroom by the bed when nothing or no one else was in the room. I'm not gonna lie. It kinda freaked me out. 
When I couldn't find the source and it finally stopped - I wrote it off to a random occurrence. 
Then, at 2 a.m., my kid came to wake me up, saying there was scratching or a weird noise coming from under his bed. Again, I was a bit caught off guard. He said he wasn't scared and had even searched under his bed with a flashlight to find nothing. 

Man, at that age, if I were him I'd have been screaming for my mom but not him. He said he told me because he 'thought I'd like to know.' I walked him back to his room, not because he was scared but because I was a bit creeped out. What was making noises in our rooms??!
Then, tonight, my husband caught a squatter in our house. Yup, a squatter... but not the kind you're probably thinking of. 
This was the kind that hops and eats bugs. A baby frog was hopping in his room inside his electronics cabinet. I'm thinking little frogger was the source of all our random noises. Not too long after that, I found frog poop on my kitchen floor. Sooo... that means he's been in almost every room of our house. LOL.

We let him out to hop in our garden, which I'm hoping means there will be no more scary noises under the beds, by the beds, behind the curtains ...  noooo.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

His Timing

God's plans are so much bigger than what we could ever fathom. His vision extends further than our limited scope of what we want, need or can comprehend. If there is something in your life that you're desperately praying for, do not give up hope or faith! 

There have been so many times that I prayed for something without understanding only to be blessed 10-15 years later! When his answer finally came (10-15 years later), it did so with perfect timing, the exact fit, and completed me in such a way that I was overwhelmed with peace. If he'd said yes to me 10-15 year earlier, I wouldn't have learned half of what I needed to, gained the spiritual understanding/strength to handle it, nor would I have the same appreciation.

His timing is everything, so trust that He has your best interests at heart... even if the answer is no. It may just be... no, not right now. Let him feed you spiritually, grow you, and move you to where you need to be in order to see the big picture.

Friday, February 22, 2019

He Sees YOU

In reading Luke 5 today - here is what hit me. When Jesus performed the miracle - the gathering of fish so abundant that the fishermen's net broke, it was clearly overwhelming to those around him. After all, they had fished all night with nothing to show for it.
Some days, I can relate to this - working so hard to yield little to no results. Then, when God glances my way with a miracle that is so effortless for Him, I'm humbled at the ease that it is given. Although thankful, my first thought is that I am not worthy. Just like the first disciples, then fishermen, who said, "Go away from me, Lord. I am a sinful man." Yet, Jesus loved and chose them anyway - just like me ... just like you.
If you're working so hard that you're at a loss today, know He sees you, He loves you, and He has you.

Monday, December 31, 2018

2019 Bits of Wisdom


May 2019 find you healthy and wise.

Notice I didn’t say ‘happy?’ I chose to use the word - wise.

Wisdom brings us all sorts of benefits including the ability to find grace and peace through adversity.

We can’t be happy 100 percent of the time. It’s an impossible goal. However, we can find peace through our ups and downs.

This new year, I pray you to have more ups than status quo’s or downs. I also pray that when you do have a valley or a dip, you’re able to have peace and wisdom to guide you through.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

So Apparently, I Swear in German

Recently, my son got his learner's permit which is enough to make any parent reflect on when they started driving.  I'll never forget that period in my life.  After I took driver's ed and was about to obtain my license, my father got orders that took us overseas where I had to learn how to drive on the left-hand side of the road and read signs in another language. As if driving on in our country wasn't overwhelming enough!  
The rules of the road in Okinawa were quite a bit different than here. Over there, there was an unwritten rule that people jokingly referred to as the 'ten-car rule.'  As long as cars kept going through red lights - everyone else followed as if no one saw that it was time to stop.  By about the tenth car in line, someone would eventually obey the traffic light.  Then, there were other instances when you might have seen someone driving on the sidewalk to avoid a traffic jam - or driving down the bike lane.  So, yeah, you could say my driving skills were a bit backward.
By the time I came to college and tested for my American license, I felt like I was a pro - a real road warrior,  while my driving instructor at the DMV would say differently.  About the time I entered the 'deceleration' ramp toward oncoming traffic - my instructor flipped his lid with good reason. If I'd seen a handful of cars exiting a highway and coming for me, I'd have lost it too.

It's safe to assume that I didn't pass my first test.  I still laugh about it today and wonder how many people that instructor has told that story too.  For me, I was only doing what came natural and that was entering a highway from the left side.  I soon learned that did not fly in the US.


Now that it's my son's turn behind the wheel, I try not to react in the manner my father did when he was teaching me or my sis.  I can still recall him ordering my sister to stop the car so he could get out and circle the vehicle arms flying as who knows what spewed from his lips.  I'm sure his language was more than colorful.  When it came time for my driving lessons, I think he drove with me once before handing the reins to my mom so she could tackle the task of being my passenger.
A couple of months ago, my kid and I drove to the same DMV that I tested at and failed. Co-incidentally, it's also where my father failed his test too.  I found it ironic that my dad also had to test twice and I didn't learn about it until I took my kid.

Some great memories I've made with my son so far?  When I drove him to get his permit, he mastered the aux chord and hi-jacked my stereo system to play all his favorite 80's music. I was amazed to find out that most of his favorites are the same as mine - Billy Idol, Michael Jackson, Dead or Alive, Journey, Toto, Men at Work and many, many more ...
A big lesson I learned that today (other than the fact that my kid has awesome taste in music) is that he's the undoubtedly the coolest kid on the planet ...  He knew more trivia than I did about music from my era.  
Another big lesson I learned? I realized that highway driving may have been a bit more than we should have tackled for his first drive out of the gate. Telling my kid to slow down to 25 mph at a turnabout meant nothing to him. When we almost took the turn on two wheels, a handful of grey hair may have sprouted from my head.  

Oh and by the way - yes, you can mentally block out trauma immediately when scared out of your wits.  And .... apparently, I swear in German.









Saturday, September 15, 2018

Flo Hits Home


As a brat, our military roots had us living in many areas.  The east coast is of them.  This photos is from the era when we lived at Cherry Point MC Base which is not now getting pounded by Hurricane Florence along with New Bern, Morehead City, Kitty Hawk, and many more areas.  A lot of our military friends still live in these areas along the coast.

Our prayers go out to everyone effected by this monstrous storm.  I pray everyone had the foresight to evacuate, but I know not everyone will.  So, I pray for everyone's safety as they suffer through this crazy time in our world's history.

I love our country and the people that make it up, but this hits home a bit harder as Hurricane Florence ravages a place where I've left a bit of my heart.

Home is where the heart is, which is true as I have bits of my heart scattered throughout the world. And, the east coast has a big part of it.

God, protect our loved ones and our first responders. 




Saturday, January 27, 2018

See you soon, Susan

When my son was about three - I realized that my life had become central to just being a mom and a wife.  I looked around at my relationships and realized my best friends were my husband, mom, and my sister.

Don't get me wrong!  Those are great best friends to have.  They're all wonderful caring people who want the best for me.  But ... sometimes a girl just needs a BFF who has no family ties.

It was then that I looked at my life and realized what a vast hole was within as I had no friend to call and just 'talk' or bond with.  I had plenty of casual friends, acquaintances, and really close long-distance friends, yet there was no one at the same stage in life that I could bond with.

I soon prayed and asked God to send me someone that was in the same boat as me - someone who needed a loyal friend and that would 'fit'.  That very next day, I sat next to a blue-eyed, blond, friendly face at my son's soccer game.  Although I knew who Susan was - because her son and mine played intermural toddler soccer together - I never had really been able to connect with her.  
I'll never forget that first day we clicked on the sidelines and I realized that she was someone I could really enjoy spending time with.  I don't remember if we exchanged numbers.  I don't remember how we even started hanging out.  All I know is that we were so much alike and had so many of the same likes, flaws, personality quirks, and sense of humor that being a friend with her was as easy as breathing.  There was no pretense. Our friendship felt more like a sisterhood.  It didn't hurt that our sons were friends and our husbands were so much alike that they were often the source of our jokes.

Fast forward twelve years and I'm once again suffering from a deep hole in my heart.  My dear friend, Susan, has been gone for just over a month.  She was taken too soon and fought a very long battle with cancer.  And, I hate you, cancer ... I really do.  Even though it took her in the end, Susan still won because of all the lives she touched by being the toughest and most fierce warrior known to man.


Her bright shining smile and strong faith and zest for life left an impact on everyone she met.  Her laughter and fierce humor were magnetic to all of us that had the honor of knowing her. She would be the first person to point out any and all typos in this post, but would also be the first to tell me how much she loved what it said and how it made her feel.  She was my biggest fan and me, hers.   

She fought terminal cancer for five years when the doctors said she had months.  She shined a light on how much God gave her and blessed her with when most would curl up in a corner and cry for the life they were losing.  She got up and went to work on days when her body was convulsing with sickness just to prove she could.  She pushed through to meet her friends for coffee ... to live life as a normal mom after carpool ... when her legs hurt so bad she didn't think she could put one foot in front of the other.

But that's who she was - a fighter.  No one or thing, like cancer, could define her.  She was an undefinable, outside the box, unbeatable, and memorable person.  And if you'd spent one day with her - you'd know how blessed you were to have her in your life.

I said goodbye to my friend a few days before her passing when it was just the two of us.  Much like our first day on that sideline, we had our own language and spoke of things the two of us understood.  There was also just the girl talk that sometimes felt good just to focus on instead of the situation she was in.  She complimented me on my hair.  I ran my fingers through her short grey curly hair, that had changed from her normal long shiny blond locks of years ago and told her how happy I was that hers was growing back in.

She asked about my work ... I lamented that my full-time job kept me away from being there for her in many ways. I expressed this knowing she already understood.  We exchanged words telling each other how much we loved each other.

And when she apologized for dozing off - I smiled and told her to rest.  That's the kind of girl she was - always caring about the other person first.  It was no matter that she couldn't hold her eyes open because she was in her last few days of life - she felt bad that she couldn't pay me the attention she thought I deserved.  I told her not to be silly and to get rest - to sleep because we'd have time to catch up later.  Even though I knew we wouldn't.

Then, I kissed her on the cheek and told her 'I'll see you later.'  I couldn't say goodbye.  As a believer in God's promises, I know I will see her again.  That didn't make the walk to my car the hardest thing I've done... Walking away from her knowing it would be the last time I'd visit my bestie was so surreal filled with deep pain yet a thought still circled within of  - 'is this really happening?'


Now, I find myself pausing before I pick up the phone to call even though I know she's not there to answer. I catch myself almost texting her because something funny happened and I know she'd laugh. I have to stop myself from looking for her car in carpool because I can no longer hop in and visit. I went to lunch with a couple of our friends yesterday and it was good to catch up - but it wasn't the same without her.

I picked up my Christmas gift from her today - a Jesus Calling devotional book. Her handwriting is beautifully displayed inside with touching words inscribed with care. Tears immediately came as I read them.

When this ever-clinging melancholy wraps around my heart like saran wrap would, I have to focus on the blessings to push forward.
  • She is finally free from her leiomyosarcoma.  She is surely running around heaven with a huge smile.
  • She touched thousands with her testimony and faith through her personal journey as she battled this disease. Her strength affected so many in such a positive way.
  • She lived five times longer than she was told she would - still not long enough but longer than expected.
  • Most importantly, she is with her Heavenly Father and is able to see how her walk in life was paid in full with her everlasting life in Heaven.
I close with a note to my friend ... 



Susan,  I miss you.  And, although, I can't pick up the phone and call you - I still feel like you're here. Although you can't talk back to me, I find myself speaking to you in a room when no one is around. And I know things on your side of things has different timing than where I am.  My time will seem like the blink of an eye - just like the Bible says - while you'll have waited a short time for your loved ones to join you. I meant it when I said, 'I'll see you soon'.  For me, it will take many many years - and since I have no idea what that looks like for you - I'll just keep doing things down here in your honor that would make you proud.

See you soon, my friend. You are missed!
 #GodHasThis




Friday, December 29, 2017

Coming to a Close


With only days until the new year, I think we're all breathing a sigh of relief to start a new chapter as 2017 comes to a close.


This last year has been filled with so much negative press, political rhetoric, scandals, and media mayhem that I'm ready - like most people I know - to let it all go.


So, I'm asking you to look toward 2018 with a goal in mind.  Some call it a New Year's resolution - but I'm not a big believer in those.  I think we should make our lives better EVERY DAY not just at the first of the New Year.

Find within yourself three ways you can improve your life, the lives around you, and your community.  Approach those three goals (whether it be letting go of anger, volunteering in your church or community, or supporting a cause) with the intent to make it a year-long campaign.

Focus on what you can do to improve the world around you and LET GO of the negativity that others fall prey to.

BE the DIFFERENCE to balance out the hate and the anger in our culture.  Make a cultural shift and watch how it makes a difference in the lives around you.  And message me when you've thought of what you're going to do to make that shift!  I'd love to hear from you.




Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Pronoun users - don't fear!!!

So, I just expanded my distribution with Pronoun ... like a month ago.  Yesterday, they announced they were shutting down and yelling timber all the way.  Sigh.

To all my fellow authors or would be authors, don't fear.  Digital2Draft is a great replacement.  They've got a larger distribution channel and a real LIVE person you can talk to.

My biggest issue with Pronoun was how UN-user-friendly they were.  It was a pain in my big behind to get something to upload correct the first, second or third time.  If you didn't use the right heading style or have a page break at the perfect spot, you'd spend hours trying to wrap your head around where the mistake was without the ability to talk to someone.  All you could do was send an email for help, hoping they'd get back to you.

So, far with one day under my belt with Draft2Digital - I am over the MOON with delight.

So, if you were like me yesterday ... in a bit of shock - don't stress.  You're back up option (Draft2Digital) probably should have been your starter option to begin with.

Call them up ... ask questions ... and don't wait until Jan 15th, when Pronoun to set to delete all books from their system.  Delete them now and transfer them over.  Then, watch how much easier it is to upload your files without a blip or a hassle.  And guess what?  If you get confused, there is a live person in a customer service call center where you can actually get some real help.


Monday, September 11, 2017

5 STARS


I found my first review on Goodreads today.  I was like - YES!  People are surprised and feeling - truly feeling - the emotion that I poured into every page.

So far Amazon has 4 reviews - all 5 stars.

From the day I started writing this one - God whispered in my heart, 'This is the one.'  I don't know the extent of what that means until all the chips fall, but so far this is starting out much better than the other books I've released!

If you've never read any of my books --- YOU NEED TO START WITH THIS ONE.

It's something special ...  the synopsis tells a bit of the story, but by no means delves into the whole thing.  There's not enough room on the back cover of a book to give readers a glimpse of what truly is between the pages.

If you're able to read this one - please leave me a review.  Reviews are how other readers find me.
So, I thank you in advance!

AND THANK YOU, NELL!  I'm honored you like my books.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Book Give-away!


If you'd like a shot at receiving a signed paperback of ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES - CLICK HERE!

This contest is open to readers in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, and Australia - and will run between the dates of Sept 12th - October 15th, 2017.

Be the first to read this new book! Winners are picked randomly at the end of the giveaway.
Once you've read the book, kindly leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Also, if you enter to win - I'd love to hear from you. Message me, tweet me, or leave me a message here.  



Synopsis




After the tragic loss of her husband, Alexis Mathers packs up her clairvoyant, seven-year-old daughter and heads for home only to find that her grandmother, Evelyn Bozeman, has died in a mysterious accident. As Evelyn’s life was an enigma before her marriage into the Bozeman family, Alexis makes it her sole mission to understand who her grandmother was and the kind of life she left behind.

Although Tyler Jameson grew up on a neighboring ranch, he was a staple on the Bozeman farm, where he, Alexis, and her brother were constant companions - until the day they weren’t. His appreciation for Alexis always stopped just short of flirting, but now that she’s back in town, she’s more of a distraction that he could ever imagine.

Before they realize it, Evelyn’s secrets draw them into a power struggle with a family from Evelyn’s past. A family that will stop at nothing to keep their secrets buried, even if that means taking more lives.

See what happens when Alexis and Tyler are reintroduced after life has molded them into perfect partners whether they know it or not. Read along to learn how a little heavenly help via a deceased grandmother, helps give them a push. And, find out if Evelyn can protect her granddaughter from the wheels she put in motion before it's too late?