Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Sometimes the quality of acceptance is essential. I can grit my way through things or I can peace myself into them.

The choice is always mine - the moment of selection. Shall I allow what’s not my desire and not under my control to interfere with my equanimity?

Can I capture calm in the midst of any circumstance?  It’s the work of a lifetime.
This is what I want to live and teach my grandchildren - about the living that always happens in my court of choice.

Accepting what cannot be easily changed produces serenity. And who can deny its sweetness? The lesson hasn’t been easy but over time I’ve learned God can be trusted. My frequent prayer is, Lord, help me accept what must at this moment be. But change it please if possible and fast!. May this cup pass from me. If not I shall not gulp it down but sip my way through the dregs. But by Your power – by Your grace – I shall not lose my joy.

Illnesses have come, gratefully past now, but not quickly and not without pain and loss. Lessons have lingered - gifts left in the wake - greater patience, respect for those who helped us through.

Life is not without that which must be accepted. Why? Why? Why? Oh I’ve asked that often enough. And the answer I always find is earth is not heaven, oh there may be an occasional glimpse, but not the reality and so travail comes, but it need not triumph in my soul.

I work to keep my eyes on the Christ who empowers, who changes if not circumstances, the hurry and demand of my soul.

What makes acceptance hard is that nasty, troublesome emotion of resentment. Thinking we deserve better, we shouldn’t have to endure this, others have it easier. Resentment is a strong tool used craftily by the devil to thwart acceptance of God’s will and way for our life.

We especially resent losing a loved one to death – why must we be deprived of the presence of one we love? It's hard to comprehend that death isn’t a punishment but a reward for the one who has gone before us.

Life is about filling our particular mission with joy and acceptance – changing any bad we can while avoiding our “bad” of resenting the circumstances we’re in.

Far easier to do when you believe as Einstein did in a God who has a sense of order, Who plans, creates cause and effect with purpose. I’ve learned to trust God's ultimate provision and His hand of good.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Last Day of Talking

September is slipping into October before I’ve savored enough of it. How can these days dance by as they do?

Today I enjoyed a lovely boat ride on Lake Geneva today with my honey. He fishes while I read, what a combination, and we both eat popcorn and apples.

After awhile we drifted a bit as we both napped on and off and I started wondering what I’d want to say if this was my last day for talking?

I’d probably use the LOVE word several times and maybe talk about the two books I’ve been reading - one called Radical Remission by Kelly Turner about people who achieved amazing, unexpected healings from cancer. And the other book about the history of Lake Geneva.

People who had radical remissions from cancer were not passive about life. They took charge by researching and trying experimental procedures to cure their illness. The book described not just type A and B personalities but type C who settle back and accept status quo even when it’s not good. And type C people let others make decisions God would desire they make about their own lives. I’d encourage strong living, that’s what I’d say with my last words. And good and right living, mindful of those who need a blessing that you may be able to give.

It’s no secret I love Lake Geneva (which is why it’s the setting for my mystery novel Bullet in the Night) but I never knew much of its history only lived in its beauty. I’ve been learning about the first families of this area starting in the late 1800’s.

There is nothing like history to put the present into a place of minor importance. It gives comfort and discouragement both. I read of the two world wars. Wars have been and will be again. Since the founding of this country we’ve had many.

I also read about the amazing philanthropy of the estate owners. Corporate CEO’s who carried their employees through the Depression, one set aside $1million dollars for a retirement fund for them. The holiday Camp, the original YMCA, the Art Institute, the U of Chicago, these people truly cared and planned benefits they could give to others.

Back to what I’d say on my last day of talking – I think I might begin by commenting: don’t you think it’s been a most interesting adventure? Yes, I’d say to everyone.

I can’t imagine living a life well without finding something of joy in each twenty-four hours of sixty minutes each.

The stray tree that’s completely turned color leaving the still green-leafed ones beside it looking drab. There’s always something or someone standing out that makes you gasp with awe.

Like our delicious dinner of brussel sprouts with parmesan shavings and sweet potatoes, so lovely and such perfect fall colors. BLT because it was a beautiful summery fall day and that called for a casual summer feast. And razzleberry pie from Mrs. Callender.

What I’d also say, if I only had one day left to suggest it, is NOTICE the color, the design, the motion, the sounds about you. Notice the goodness of people, and don’t trifle with the negatives you hear. Even the war talk, because you can’t change it.

My mother always kept the Serenity Prayer on our refrigerator.

Take a moment, take many moments to lift your head and laugh with the One who delights in your joy.

That’s what I’d probably say if this were my last day of talking. What about you?

I finished Ezekiel in my daily Bible reading. What naughty people lived back then - sinful, conniving, godless. And what of these days? Integrity please – today I notice for the first time the word grit inside in-te GRIT y. Grit is what it takes to hold the moral fort when all hell wants at you and doing right is harder than doing wrong.

Monday, September 8, 2014

New Experiences

I had no idea I would be taking personally my recent blog on September Newness to go beyond my comfort zone into a new experience.

I admit it was fun asking Wayne, my husband to guess what I did.  He refused to try after I said he’d never guess in a thousand years.

To his credit he didn’t even blink when I said I signed up to audit a University course in Media Arts & Game Development, but then we have been married for fifty plus years and I’ve surprised him a few times - okay quite a few.

Why this class? For a long time I’d been wanting to develop a game for my kid’s book Tommy Smurlee's adventure series. At least I wanted to learn the process so if I have someone else do it I can participate in the design.

I’m in a class with about sixty young people, the only person within forty years of my age is the instructor.

I was impressed with all the helpful super friendly students I met giving me directions here and there - I had to locate four buildings to get permission beforehand in person from the instructor and sign up at the registrar and then admissions office - all in different locations of course.

I now have a parking sticker on my car that enables me to park anywhere on campus since I’m a senior citizen audit student.

My instructor blew me away with his credentials. He has worked/taught in Dubai, Scotland, the UK and is a pioneer in visual arts education and game development.

If nothing else I told myself on the forty-five minute drive to university, I can use this experience in the life of one of my characters in a future novel.

God has given us an amazing world, with incredibly talented people and it’s fun to be around the energy they generate.

Writing News: 

Directive 99 audible book is now recorded and will soon be available. I’ll let you know when.  The reader has done an outstanding job.

I’ll be at an author event for Bullet in the Night, my recently launched mystery Sat. Sept. 13th  Cornerstone Gift shop Taste of Lake Geneva from 1-4 p.m. downtown Lake Geneva. Stop by if you're closely. Refreshments will be served.

“The Lord’s mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:23

Pictures: The sign below is on a book shelf in my office and next to it is the new Breathless Meditations book cover.

My publisher, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, an amazing fast-growing company with super dedicated professionals, has launched a new Christian Living Series and redesigned my Breathless Meditations cover for it. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Meaningful Conversation

I love to have conversations with depth.

I consider them meaningful.

Meaningful to me is hearing about dreams, ideas, career highs and lows, tiny joys in life right now - I've probably noticed the big ones. And I'm amazed how people light up when asked to share their deeper thoughts.

Let me explain. We took two of our older grandchildren out for dinner. On the way to meet them at the restaurant I pulled out my tiny spiral notebook (which I always keep in my purse nowadays) and jotted down a few questions I hoped to steer our conversation around.

One of final questions may surprise you, I know it surprised me and them. First you need to know these are two grandchildren in their early twenties and I asked what their thoughts were about death. (We had a tragic death in our family a little over a year ago.) I already knew both are Christians and believe in a joyous after-life. I won't tell you their answers but they were fascinating.

By the way have you had that conversation with people in your life when it can be a distant, interesting topic, not when someone has terminal disease.

Other questions were: Highlight of our family times over the years, describe a typical day in your life, joys of the past year for birthday dinners (which this was also) and anticipations for the future, relationships with friends, travel dreams, etc.

Just ordinary talk really but from my family counseling experience I know a lot of families don't talk much about them.

The Emotional Intimacy Reviver for spouses to ask each other meaningful questions each week is always free on my website.

Why do I like to give away the Intimacy reviver I designed and copyrighted? Why do I love giving away the ebooks I've written? Flowers are free. God's truth is free.  I've had a wonderful family life for half a century so why not share the few tidbits I've picked up along the way?

My Grandparent's ebook is free today Wednesday on amazon. A Super grandparent simply tries to love well. No one does it all super least of all me, but we can give it a go as best we can.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Beginnings

Sweet September Newness

Do you remember when the end of August, beginning of September, signaled the start of new adventure for you. School! Usually you had a different teacher, some of the same friends with a few new kids who switched-in, and always a sense of newness.
You entered with expectation.
Fresh start-overs are good. Isn’t there usually some piece of our memories, even our present, we wish to leave behind?
Anticipation is sweet, the future WILL BE better. A coiled spring within us begins to uncoil in hope, maybe a bit of hesitation too, but hesitation and hope can live together.
Okay, maybe a bit of dread along with the excitement. Where and how do you fit into this new dynamic?
The cycle of learning and teaching continues.

What if we adults used these end of summer days to reflect and re-energize ourselves from within? Where do you need a bit of newness in your life? What adventure awaits you?
As long as we have breath and days to live, we have opportunities to be a blessing and be blessed.
What did you like to do as a child that can become fun as an adult?
Did you play with cars? Help kids build derby cars.
Maybe actually return to school too, but as a volunteer – one afternoon a week. Yes, men you as well. Father figures are hugely lacking in many children’s lives.
Remember when Jesus demonstrated that being around kids was great!
Schedule a talk at the school or local library on something you love, maybe airplanes, bring your banjo and put on a brief show. Bring a strategic board game to play. If you’re uncomfortable acting alone, call a friend and do something together. (Check in at the office in advance for clearance.)
Okay if not school what?
Collect some neighborhood kids for an at home pie-baking class. Or teach three or four how to make soup, teach the boys, too. Have a neighborhood historical battle re-enactment. Teach children in your church about God during an outdoor hike.
Maybe your heart is steering you in another direction. Volunteer to be a visitor in a hospital or nursing home where people yearn for company. Anyone who can talk and listen is qualified.
What are you anticipating doing in the days ahead?

Many of you work full time and keep a home, but isn’t there an hour or two that can become sweeter in your life with an adventure that involves new people? 
Pick up the phone, start a connection process that keeps you vibrant.
 Let’s all enter sweet September with expectation.

Scripture on newness: "And He [Jesus] said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said to me write, for these words are true and faithful.  The Book of Revelation Chapter 21, Verse 5."

My mystery novel Bullet in the Night is about a man becoming a new creation, leaving prison and starting over.