Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Grateful For Encouragers...


Thanks-Living. 
I’m grateful for the people who have encouraged me – literally put courage into me - sometimes with words, other times just by being there for me. Encouragers help me think right – remind me success is in the doing, not necessarily in winning or mastering a situation.
When I faced eleven months of non-stop Interferon therapy to eradicate the Hepatitis C destroying my liver, my husband encouraged me that I could ENDURE.
A few years later he encouraged me that I COULD stay facedown for three weeks at two different times to recover from two macular hole surgeries, which saved me from becoming legally blind.
Knowing my man loves me forever encourages me to step out boldly in all I do. 
Who has encouraged you?
Parents are usually the first. When we learned to walk, they say, “Yay! Your first step. Oops, down you go. It’s okay. Try again.”  I urge parents to never give up this role. A chapter in my men’s books, Man in Command (ebook) and 52 Ways to Keep Your Promises As A Husband and Father (print version) called “Being An Encourager” reminds dads their role as encouragers never end. God our Father is always our best encourager!
Perhaps this Thanksgiving it would be fun to go around the table expressing thanks for someone who has encouraged you. Or maybe a spontaneous Thanksgiving play like the one pictured above of our grandchildren and nephew acting out praying after arriving in the New World.
TommySmurlee and Dunster’s Camp of Mystery and Inventions received a new cover to excite ages eight to adult. If your children or grandchildren haven’t met Tommy yet, I strongly encourage you to give them the opportunity this Christmas.
The story of God’s miraculous healing of our son David is back in print titled TriumphingOver Cancer, A Miracle Story plus 40 SurvivalStrategies. Get it at Barnes and Noble or through amazon.
I enjoyed meeting readers and making new friends speaking at several Christian Women’s Connection events and two book-signings this November. Now I’m ready for my winter hiatus to do some intensive writing! But first - my favorite time of the year – being with family Thanksgiving through Christmas.
THANKSGIVING IS ABOUT LIVING WITH THANKS EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES. 

1 Thess. 5:11 (NIV) “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Isaiah 35:3-4 (NASB) “Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Thinking and Thanking



Isn’t thinking an amazing human process? A nice walk and a good think are two of my favorite things.

It’s true I seldom reflected when I was younger. Mostly life whirred by. Now that I have the eyes of age, I think much more.

I used to suggest to my counseling clients they set aside time for reflection daily and most gave me the “no time excuse.” I’d answer, you’re thinking all the time. Ten minutes of quiet can be packed with hundreds of thoughts, although often you pay no attention to them.  It’s energizing to use your mind consciously, to think intentionally.

How?

You might start thinking time by recalling simple blessings: hot and cold running water, cream in coffee, a good friend to meet for lunch. That’s my style, then I move on to think about problems and unresolved questions in my life.

As I think, I pause often to savor this wonderful experience of life. For sure, I treasure mine. My mom already had one abortion before she conceived my brother and two years later me. We’re the ones who got to live. I’m humbled.

Recently I’ve been pondering an important decision. Who do I vote for to lead the United States of America? Not voting isn’t an option - not when I think of the women who fought for my right to be included in making these choices.

I’ve considered all the factors, intensely scrutinized party platforms, moved beyond candidate personalities. In the end it came down to my one overriding principle. I realize this may not be yours, but it must be mine. I will vote against anyone who doesn’t respect the value of life. If this foundational premise isn’t right, how can I trust this person’s wisdom? I mourn with God the sixty million dead babies He created for this world who never saw daylight.

I think of women who give a coat they no longer want to Good Will. They don’t cut the coat to shreds and throw it in the garbage. Yet they won’t give away a baby from their womb, even at nine months…why not give the baby to a couple aching for a baby– a generous, gracious, uplifting deed of love - rather than abort it?  I’ve heard the argument of those who say abortion is acceptable if the baby isn’t “viable “ outside the mother’s body. I laugh at this having raised four children. A two-year-old is not viable outside my womb without me to feed and shelter it. Perhaps someday the government will allow moms to kill these pesky, needy toddlers also?  May it never be so!

In the meantime, I will continue to think, vote and pray for wise choices to be made by every one of us with power over the lives of others.  I will thankfully enjoy and reflect upon every blessed day of life with its simplicity and complexity.


Book News:
Triumphing Over Cancer, David’s Miracle Story Plus Forty Survival Strategies You Can Use. It’s our amazing, true miracle story of David’s healing and will encourage you whatever crisis you face. It’s available on amazon and at all bookstores Nov. 14thSee it now.

Tommy Smurlee & Dunster’s Camp of Mystery & Inventions has a newly designed cover by Zoran, a talented graphic artist from Croatia. It will be out Dec. 1 in time for Christmas gifting to delight children ages ten and up. Online or thru any bookstore.

Coming up in November

I’ll be speaking at the following events in November on Stages From the Heart To the Page. Call the organizers for more info. Would love to see you if you live nearby.

Milwaukee West Suburban CWC, Davian’s Banquet Center, Mon. Nov. 14th 8:30 a.m. -11:00 Menominee Falls, WI, for reservations call Lois at: 262-251-3841

Sheboygan After 5 Women’s Connection, Rupp’s Lodge, Mon. Nov. 14th at 6:30 p.m.
925 N. 8th St. Sheboygan, Wi More info call Terri Schmitt 920-946-9141.

Sheboygan Christian Women’s Connection, Pine Hills Country Club, Tues. Nov. 15th 9:30- !1:00 a.m. Sheboygan, WI For reservation Call Ann Keckonen at 262-457-4318 by Nov. 9th

Author Events:

Delavan Library Christmas With the Authors Event, Nov. 19th 9-12.

Author Christmas Book-signing Angelus Shop, Walworth, Wi Nov. 26th 1-2:30.

 Thanks for reading. You are precious!

Great Scripture Quotes for the Upcoming Election:Deuteronomy 16:19
Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent.

Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.




Sunday, September 25, 2016

Clothing and Contentment

Fall is time for major closet cleaning - sorting through clothes screaming with memories – 

The wool slacks bought in Door County at Whistling Swan the day after my sister-in-law died when I had college-age children too and didn’t buy myself much. I said why put off an expensive purchase when life was so short. The somber way I walked for days after her premature death is still only a moment’s thought away. I gently slide the slacks into my giveaway bag.

I see the paisley corduroy skirts, matching my own, I bought for my mom in her 80’s  to keep her looking young. The long green velvet skirt with the huge embroidered poinsettia I wore several years when giving Christmas programs at Mom’s adult day care center. How the older ladies admired it! 

I touch and lovingly fold the two suits purchased after my first radio show in anticipation of many more. A perfect dress to meet my publishers at the CBA Booksellers Convention – what dreams I had for touching millions of lives through my writing – dreams realized in smaller proportions.

Funny how certain outfits remind me of people – dear friends, business associates – I wonder did I dress with them in mind, wanting to fit in? I hope not. Clothes worn for teaching college classes, and for counseling clients - a special wardrobe in itself.

I touch the sweaters purchased to wear during my eleven months of chemo for Hepatitis C when I’d lost a lot of weight. The outfit I bought for our son Dan and Stephanie’s wedding rehearsal dinner fifteen years ago. How the years fly.

Clothes tell the story of all my days, sometimes sweet and sunlit, others sorrow-laden. Lord, it’s been a busy life, lots of outfits, many events, all lived out in love.

Clothing becomes part of my history. It’s comfortable to embrace the past of life’s passage and stay there, but these memories can be clutched for only a limited time. Lord I move forward with You in the garments appropriate for now. 




“Having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.”
 1 Timothy 6:8 New King James Version (NKJV)

Update for my Circlemaker Prayer Team:

Praise for Sept. Christian Women’s Connection speaking events in Neenah and Wautoma, WI! 
Coming up: October 8th Cornerstone Shop & Gallery, 1-3 p.m. Lake Geneva, WI
Tues. October 11th Lake Geneva Museum 2 p.m. Author Presentation
Thank you friends for praying. 

Clothing and Contentment

Fall is time for major closet cleaning - sorting through clothes screaming with memories – 

The wool slacks bought in Door County at Whistling Swan the day after my sister-in-law died when I had college-age children too and didn’t buy myself much. I said why put off an expensive purchase when life was so short. The somber way I walked for days after her premature death is still only a moment’s thought away. I gently slide the slacks into my giveaway bag.

I see the paisley corduroy skirts, matching my own, I bought for my mom in her 80’s  to keep her looking young. The long green velvet skirt with the huge embroidered poinsettia I wore several years when giving Christmas programs at Mom’s adult day care center. How the older ladies admired it! 

I touch and lovingly fold the two suits purchased after my first radio show in anticipation of many more. A perfect dress to meet my publishers at the CBA Booksellers Convention – what dreams I had for touching millions of lives through my writing – dreams realized in smaller proportions.

Funny how certain outfits remind me of people – dear friends, business associates – I wonder did I dress with them in mind, wanting to fit in? I hope not. Clothes worn for teaching college classes, and for counseling clients - a special wardrobe in itself.

I touch the sweaters purchased to wear during my eleven months of chemo for Hepatitis C when I’d lost a lot of weight. The outfit I bought for our son Dan and Stephanie’s wedding rehearsal dinner fifteen years ago. How the years fly.

Clothes tell the story of all my days, sometimes sweet and sunlit, others sorrow-laden. Lord, it’s been a busy life, lots of outfits, many events, all lived out in love.

Clothing becomes part of my history. It’s comfortable to embrace the past of life’s passage and stay there, but these memories can be clutched for only a limited time. Lord I move forward with You in the garments appropriate for now. 




“Having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.”
 1 Timothy 6:8 New King James Version (NKJV)

Update for my Circlemaker Prayer Team:

Praise for Sept. Christian Women’s Connection speaking events in Neenah and Wautoma, WI! 
Coming up: October 8th Cornerstone Shop & Gallery, 1-3 p.m. Lake Geneva, WI
Tues. October 11th Lake Geneva Museum 2 p.m. Author Presentation
Thank you friends for praying. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sweet Days of Summer

Sweet Days of Summer

I love a good time! I think God really wants us to enjoy this amazing life He’s given us. Having fun is deeply spiritual, yes, I believe that. God sometimes gets a bad rap because He’s viewed as somber and anti-fun. That’s so untrue.

I especially love playing with kids and grandkids during the summer. 

We’re mid-July – here are some activities that have worked for me. I encouraged my then ten, nine and five-year olds to put on a neighborhood block carnival on a Sat. morn. 10-11:30 to raise money for a children’s charity.  Every part of planning and setting it up was fun. They decorated flyers and  passed them out door to door at houses where they knew kids lived. One child did magic tricks. Another arranged plastic bowling pins to knock down. One activity was drawing a picture to see who could best draw our family dog. Crazy, silly games like cupcake walk. Back then we used a portable tape recorder for music – now Iphone works. For costumes the kids wore scarf capes and crazy hats. Best of all my children and their friends felt a sense of purpose and pleasure for hours planning as well as during actual event.

Often kids and grandkids just need the spark of the idea to guide them in creative play! Savoring moments with family, pausing to admire nature’s beauty, laughing over blunders are some of our favorite ways to have fun. As we make summer memories we teach life lessons that a mom, dad or grandparent can transmit best.

Our kids and grandkids hear from Wayne and me that even God’s “Do’s” and “Don’ts” are so we can keep having fun. Like this one: Don’t steal, so you won’t end up in jail and lose your freedom. Don’t steal from your friends or you won’t have any. Do rest on the Sabbath so you can avoid burn-out. Passing on our faith in God and His teachings assures us we're preparing our children and grandchildren well for life.


Hide those early back-to-school flyers until the end of the first week of August! Enjoy every summer moment! These family times can become memories that last forever. Have fun with your family in this beautiful world God made! He loves when you do!

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Writing News:
WOW! I’ve been writing my blog Fun, Faith and Family for  eight years. I chose that title  because these three F’s of Fun, Faith and Family are my life’s priorities. 

A mom recently introduced me to her eleven-year-old daughter who read my mystery novel Bullet in the Night set in Lake Geneva and loved it. I knew kids enjoyed my Tommy Smurlee books, but my adult mystery novel at age 11? This was a surprise. So if you think your child is mature enough for the theme go for it. It’s packed with good life lessons. But for sure every child will have fun with the  Adventures of Tommy SmurleeReading is one of the most wonderful interests you can give to kids and lazy summer days are a great time for developing this.


Grandparents Secrets to Being Super ebook has more ideas for fun times and for training children.  One grandmom keeps it handy on her Iphone to use whenever. My parenting book Soaring As A Parent has suggestions too.

The TWELVE EVENT BOOK LAUNCH for my new mystery Never Tomorrow has been great fun! http://amzn.to/28WR4UC  It continues 
Sat. July 30th from 10 to 4 
Lake County Authorfest - Round Lake Beach, IL. 
I always look forward to meeting readers – former and new. (Notice I didn’t say old.)


I'M POSTING MORE IDEAS FOR SPECIAL SUMMER FUN