Thursday, December 19, 2019

Mr. Rogers Would be Sad

I have to admit. I've not watched the news in a very long time, because of how the negativity has hit an all-time high. The few seconds it may be on stresses me out, and when we are stressed - we're not at our best. It's hard to be fair or kind when your heart is full of chaos.

The below NOT a political debate, rant, or meant to start any heated conversations. You all know I stay far away from anything political when posting. This is purely an observation from the heart. So please, no comments that spur anger from anyone.

My husband and I are not straight-party voters. We look at issues on both sides of the fence to see what is right for us and how we can vote to make our world a better place. This world has become SO 'us vs. them.' that it's harmful to the process of what our country was founded on. People can't even express an opinion without backlash or being polarized as a villain if it's against popular opinion. It is no longer possible to learn from one another if we stop listening and trying to see things from other's points of view when we're so egotistical that we only care about our own.

I cannot believe how much hatefulness (from both sides of the fence) is ruling the airwaves. No matter if you're a D or an R or something else in-between, we should pray for our country, the leaders, and the ones in power so that they humble themselves and do what's best for our country (and not their egos).

This is a matter of the heart of those making or breaking the rules which have the power to know better (ON BOTH SIDES). Anyone with a heart should be on their knees, asking God that he help us because our country is ... sigh. I'm leaving it right there. I'm sad that we can't all just get along. Naive as that is - we learned it in Kindergarten, so why can't we care about our neighbors as adults? Mr. Rogers would be sad. I know I am.

Who is up for more Christmas movies? 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Designated Survivor Killed Off by the F-Bomb

My father always said that when people use swear words, it's because they're not able to hold an intelligent conversation. I never understood how true that was until I grew up and became a mom later in life.

First, let me state this loud and clear, I don't judge people if they do curse. In my younger years, I was known to let a few fly here and there - and as a military brat, I've heard my fair share.

But, as a writer, I've learned that the truly gifted writers are the ones who can spin a story with wit, charm, and fantastic banter without using curse words as a crutch. And, that's what they are - a crutch - a filler and a crass one at that.

The above scenario - the writing with wit and all that charm is what Designator Survivor used to be for its first two seasons. It was a great show I could watch with my teen and trust me, teens are not TV watchers. They're on Youtube or playing video games. Watching TV is the last thing on their agenda. For my guy to sit through a whole show says something about the plot, characters, and WRITING.

I was so hooked on Designated Survivor that I need a tub of ice cream after the season two finale. When I realized I couldn't stream another episode, I sat up, screaming, "NO!" So, I faithfully waited for another season so I could find out if Emily - played by Italia Ricci - was actually a traitor or caught up in yet another web of deceit and an innocent bystander.

When I found out season 3 was ready to view - I yelled across the house to tell my kid about it. He ran to the living room to meet me so we could watch the season opener. Within minutes, he looked at me - one eyebrow up and wincing as if in pain.

Either the show had hired a new writing team, or the previous ones started smoking crack because F-bombs were flying high as if the cast had just gotten out of basic training or were raised by a pack of wolves. My kid shook his head and said, "Nope - they ruined the show." And, I wholeheartedly agreed.

What was a fantastic show was tanked by a writing team, thinking it would be cool to use the F-word in every other sentence.

Fast forward to today, and I just saw the show has been canceled. No surprise there, but what a shame because this show had lasting power if only the show's writers had their finger on the pulse of America and not just Hollywood's. The two are vastly different, and sadly, they lost their fans in a matter of five minutes into season 3.

That being said - I loved the actors on this show. The ensemble that the casting director created in the diverse cast was by far my favorite set of characters. It's too bad the writing killed the show.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Finally, Dangerous Visions is here! Many of you have asked when Anderson's story would be here ... wait no more! 

For those who haven't read Endless Possibilities yet - don't worry. While Dangerous Visions is the second book in The Spiritual Gifts Series, it can be read as a standalone.
For those unfamiliar with Anderson Evans - here is the synopsis:

After awakening from a coma, Agent Anderson Evans struggles to see things clearly as visions plague him throughout the day. The only way to distance himself from his premonitions is to ride cross-country, where he is free from the intermittent flashes that appear from the occasional touch in the crowd. If only he could avoid the reoccurring vision of a woman struggling to survive, but she haunts him as if calling to him.
Savannah Miles never expected that by taking on another bridal client, she’d be signing her death warrant. She soon finds herself caught up in an elaborate underworld that has her fleeing for her life under the dark of night. After barely escaping with her life, Savannah calls her cousin for help, who arranges for a bodyguard. Only she didn’t expect anyone like Anderson and didn’t have a clue that the two of them would be in over their heads.  
Could Anderson’s visions become the divine intervention they need to overcome the curse in their lives? Or will the pair run out of luck, out of time, and find themselves at a dead-end?

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 two in the morning, my kid came to wake me up, saying there was scratching noise 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 only 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 bouncing in his room inside his electronics cabinet. I think a little frogger was the source of all our random noises. Not too long after that, I found a frog poop on my kitchen floor. 

So... 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 ten to fifteen years later! When his answer finally came, 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 years 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 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. The even 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 one-hundred 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 to. For me, I was only doing what came naturally, 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 my sis or me.  

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 and failed. Coincidentally, 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 fantastic taste in music) is that he's 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 photo 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 affected 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 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!

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.

Featured Post

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 colo...