Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Silly Things and Important Things

Do you remember silly social rules that have changed like never wear silver and gold jewelry together? White shoes shouldn't be worn between Labor Day and Easter. These to-dos came from society around me. Some were quite rigid. 

Now I pick the social customs important to me and decide what to teach my children. Saying “Excuse me” is a custom I hope never goes out of style. Demonstrating graciousness and courtesy is always a good thing. Saying goodbye to guests –actually standing with them as they depart- is a lovely gesture.

Nurturing respect and appreciation for one another through old-fashioned games is also an important custom in our house. At a recent family party we had an egg toss in the yard wearing black garbage bag protectors over clothes. Scavenger hunts are another favorite, also board games. You learn lots about one another and grow closer playing games.

Another custom of ours is to find something to laugh about every day. Even in the midst of our eighteen-year-old son’s cancer treatment we made a commitment to laugh every day and he came up with some great ideas like keeping a squirt gun in his bed and squirting nurses when they entered his room. Okay that didn’t last long before the staff confiscated his gun, but it was great fun for a time.

In the heaviness of life’s current challenges may we remember the forever-important rule to delight in each day!

I like to remind my family that Jesus enjoyed having fun. Getting the guys (apostles) together to talk and rest, I bet they had a lot of cool inside jokes. Jesus accepted party invitations regularly – loved to socialize. I also know without a doubt God has a great sense of humor. I often see that in the way my prayers are answered. Of course, He was and is such a great communicator and kind to the nth degree. Super role model for us all. Check out the gospel of Mark!

     This month of August I’ll be speaking at three events for Christian Women’s Connection in Fulton, Dixon and Geneseo IL.
     Final editorial edits are underway for The Windemere Affair, my next murder mystery release through Pelican Books.  I’m excited for this novel –because lots of counseling is woven midst the who-done-it.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Independence and Dependence

Celebrating Dependence

July is the month we celebrate independence from England and the birth of our nation. We Americans are quite proud to be an independent people. Might we also celebrate our dependence, equally essential for a happy life? I consider myself a strong-willed independent, dependent person. Aren’t we all?

Dependent? How? Children depend daily on parents for love, guidance and nurture. All ages depend on God to maintain our universe – to keep the earth suspended in space, and maintain the precise balance of elements like oxygen in our air. Think about the many people you depend on to keep your life running smoothly – the owner of the local gas station where you refuel, the food store that carries your favorite items, the farmer who produces those life-sustaining foods.

Fantastic family members depend upon one another for help through tough times. We all go through problems; we need each other. It’s quite beautiful the way we can depend on people and allow others to depend upon us. During this month of July as you enjoy the simple joys of summer – backyard barbecues, chatting with neighbors, picnics – you may want to focus on the people whose presence you gratefully depend upon in your life.

Most of all we depend upon God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit who are available to help us every moment. What peace knowing this brings to our lives!

Psalm 25:1 “In You O Lord, I put my trust.”

EVENTS: Lovely time in Freeport, IL at the Christian Women’s Connection speaking to the fifty ladies in attendance. In August I’ll be at speaking and book-signing events in Fulton, IL, Moline, IL, and Geneseo, IL. What fun meeting readers face to face.

July 8th Our son Dan, a super salesman, set record sales at Lake Geneva Authorfest for my adult and children’s mysteries! He’s awesome.

Rejoicing that Pelican Publisher offered me a contract for my next mystery novel The Windemere Affair. Editing is underway!!! I’m thrilled to work with this excellent company.

My Joyful Christmas Reflections book will be free on July 19 and July 20th through Kindle. Email me if you need help downloading. When you have a quiet moment you may enjoy one of the selections.

Secrets To Being a Super Grandparent will be a free ebook July 19 and 20th as well. This simple book has powerful ideas for soul-stirring grandparenting experiences – the kind grandkids will remember for years. I'm holding our first great grand, Brayden Parker. 

I so appreciate you readers.  This is my ninth year of writing Thoughts on Fun, Faith and Family. There’s not much I haven’t written about – yet I’m always seeking new thoughts for us to ponder. I so appreciate your notes/emails of encouragement. I wish time permitted me to respond to each of you.

Joyous July with your loved ones!!!

Monday, May 29, 2017


I’m proud to introduce my guest blogger today – my husband Wayne - who started writing inspirational messages several months ago. I love what he wrote about Memorial Day and I think you will too.

Both deal with life and death.  One day we honor, one we celebrate.  One day, lives were taken by another, on the other, life was given for all “others.”

Memorial Day - those we honor who lost their lives to defend our liberty and Easter, celebration day, when Jesus gave His life to bring new life to heaven, to those in Christ; to free all from death forever, whatever.  Because of Easter we have the hope of again seeing loved ones lost for now, perhaps in war. But Jesus turned death to eternal living with Him and all believers. 

Most of our military leaders acknowledge “War is Hell”.  We honor our war dead.  But even afterwards, some men and women who survive have difficulty because of the effects of war.  A good friend of ours was turned into a “killing machine” by war. He hated and loved to kill the enemy, actually looked forward to it, his heart was filled with hate. “A hating and killing machine."  Later God turned him into a “loving machine”. Instead of killing others, he saved others by becoming a pastor. God can change hearts from hate to love. There are no enemies in church pews.

Yes, God can change us into war heroes.  Memorial Day is filled with war movies on TV. “Sargent York” and “Hacksaw Ridge” are two of our favorites.  In Sargent York, God took a man who was a “drink and devil guy” into a “guts and glory” guy.   Through his gallant exploits, he became the most decorated soldier of World War II. Be sure to see it if you haven’t. A classic.

“Hacksaw Ridge,” a recent film, will bring tears, watch out.  A man, Desmond Doss, who didn’t believe in war, in taking lives, a man of great faith, joined up to become a medic, to save lives.  He never carried a gun, was disliked by most because of his disbelief in war, his love of God, and his attitude toward killing. Yet he became a giant among all men.  In one day and through the night, he saved 75 of his men from sure death by carrying them, dragging his wounded comrades to safety though wounded himself and under constant enemy fire. They enemy tried to kill him but couldn’t.  He even aided one of the enemy inspired by courage, determination, and God.  His only prayer, “Let me save just one more”.  Don’t miss it, it’s something very special.

I read that at the end of WWII, a German lady sought employment from an American woman.  In finding out the women was German, she questioned hiring her, a women of the enemy. When she hesitated the German replied, “I know your thoughts madam, but you see, ”We All Shed The Same Tears”.  Yes, we all shed the same tears!

And those silent teardrops were shared by the South when the news of Lee’s surrender came.  “We all shed the same tears.” Visiting the cemetery at Normandy in France, we were blessed reading the epitaphs of the thousands buried there, the thoughts on the graves from loved ones, similar their love for a husband, brother, friend, it was a very touching scene.  And the peace and beauty at this place of honor was striking, like a garden of flowers and love just below heaven itself.

We then visited the cemetery of the fallen German lads near by.   Guess what?  It was the same in many ways, with love poured out from German families on the gravestones of their loved ones. YES,“ we all shed the same tears”

When Helen Keller was asked what she wanted most in life, she replied: “I want people in the world to live like brothers and sisters.”  Her thoughts were not of herself, what she never, had, but of others.  Her loving soul had grown out of her shell of blindness, deafness, and dumbness to think about others. Only God can do that!!

“Loving, merciful Father, take our little loves and enlarge them into Your loves.  Our sympathies this day and expand them into Your sympathies.  As we will never forget those who gave their lives for our great country, we will also never forget Jesus who gave His Life for us, and that brings to us tears of love and joy.   Our thanks doesn’t seem enough!! Amen WTR 

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Thank you Circlemaker Prayer Team!

We gifted 508 children’s ebooks Tommy Smurlee and Dunster’s Camp of Mystery and Adventures this past month for children ages 9 and up and almost 200 Soaring As A Parent ebooks went to places as far away as Japan and the Netherlands.

The ladies I met at my five speaking engagements In Madison, Lodi, Richland Center and Monroe were delightful. Two expressed a desire to become Christians! In June I’ll be in Freeport, IL for a Christian Women's Connection event.

I had fun making pies and filling decorative planters for our Fontana Garden Club Memorial Weekend fundraiser to benefit our community. The gals work so hard to raise money for local scholarships. I'm privileged to participate.
May every day be filled with honor for those we love 
and those who selflessly serve others.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Honoring Moms

Honoring moms – and thanks – isn’t that what Mother’s Day is all about?

Thanks first to my Mom who once asked forgiveness of me because she knew her alcoholism marred a lot of our life together before she joined A. A. I know she had her challenges but she gave me the best gift ever – birth and nurture through the years when I couldn’t have survived without her care.

Besides how could I not forgive her, me an imperfect mom of four, understanding that life can be hard day by day, but we moms do our best.

Thanks also to Mary Mother of Jesus, who became a role model for me. Living holy and passionate for God she protected our Savior and ravished Him with love. How many times did her hands touch His, soothe Him to sleep? Did she ever forget for a second He was the living Son of God or not marvel He was placed in her care? That’s how I felt with each child I bore. Jesus, Creator of the universe and everything in it, chose to trust me with motherhood! Amazing.

Did Mary have that sense I’ve known a few times in my life that God’s hand was all over this, and she needed only show up and take the next step?

Was she overcome with wonder as I still am when I look at my grown children? Mary was a human Momma so she may have had times of trembling like me. Yet she walked with Jesus all the way to the cross and showed me to do the same for my children, if necessary, loving them all the way.

Being a mom is a mysterious, sacred undertaking. I thank God daily for gracing me with His help that alone kept my knees from buckling at each new event of parenting and now grandparenting seven more world-changing creations.

Happy Mom’s Day to moms the whole world over who daily take up the challenge to spark their life buds and aim to glorify God through every exciting or humdrum moment.

Honor also to those who placed their child in the hands of another woman for the child’s betterment. And to those who never physically gave birth but parent with total dedication the fruit from other wombs as moms, aunts, teachers, nurses, neighborhood mommas.

Happy, Happy Momma's Day!

To touch the life of any child is to shape the universe itself.

Holiness undefinable,
Sweetness personified,
Instigator of miracles,
Model of dignity,
Inspiration worthy of honor.
Spiritual mother to the masses,
And holy Mother to me.
From Minute Meditations©Judith Rolfs

John 14:23 "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, 
and We will come to him and make Our home with him."



Circlemaker Prayer Team:
I so appreciate your involvement in my writing ministry. I’m grateful for your prayers this month for five speaking events to lovely women at events sponsored by the Christian Women's Connection.