Believe in You – You Will Bloom!

Believe in You – You Will Bloom!

Thursday was filled with mixed emotions.  Our youngest daughter  stepped out of her middle school never to return again as a student.  She is moving on to high school.  Being our youngest child,  it was our last 8th-grade promotion ceremony making it, as a parent,  a somewhat melancholy experience. However, on the other hand, it was our last 8th-grade IMG_0120promotion ceremony!🙂

The gymnasium was packed, completely  showing that the developers of that school building had not anticipated such a growth in the area.  Due to fire code restrictions, students could only have three tickets each and even with that restriction, there was standing room only.     Even after numerous reminders by my daughter, I still forgot our tickets which required a quick trip back home and ended with a tail end entrance to the event.   Seating was limited and to prevent being whisked away to the overflow room we had the good fortune of being directed to sit on the choral bleachers.    So instead of facing the stage where all of the kids received their promotion certificate, we sat facing the 400+  students;  a new perspective.  I watched the faces of the eighth-grade class.

The event was a well-organized program with a video commemorating the class’s year, a choral song or two, a class speech, award presentations, acknowledgments and a lot of whoops and hollers for all of the kids who had struck a chord with their classmates somewhere down the line.  During one point of acknowledgement, a teacher had students stand according to their team or club participation.  We, like other parents, waited to see our daughter stand.  The football team, basketball ball team, archery team, Beta club, choral group, band, wrestling, and on and on and on… all asked to rise.  Some groups received loud cheers while others received moderate applause.  Those acknowledgements ended with asking all of the students who had been a part of any of acknowledgements to stand again.  I would guess about 80% of the students stood and words were said about the greatness of the kids, the greatness of their representation and the greatness of the school.  Roaring applause erupted.  I watched the faces of the eighth-grade class.

Then arrived the momeIMG_0122nt in which each parent had their video camera ready, to hear their child’s name read and for some, hopefully, pronounced correctly.  It was also the same moment that many kids had been waiting for, to hear how popular they were to their classmates and how proud their family was of them.  It was very apparent as the names were read which students had left an impression on the masses.  The cheers, roars, applause and yelps were at times comical while the awkward silence that followed for the next child was almost painful.  I watched the faces of the eight-grade class.  I watched the faces of the kids who didn’t get the “high fives” on the way back to their seats.  The faces of the kids who didn’t stand because they weren’t in a club or on a team.  The faces of the kids whose only acknowledgement of their time in Middle School was their name being read with no applause following or only the applause of the three ticket holders they were allowed to invite.  It was to them I wish someone would have spoken… I wish I could have spoken.

If so, I would have spoken to all of the kids……   I would have told them;  eighth grade is not the pinnacle, nor is high school.  Work and look beyond those years. Whether you stood during acknowledgements of accomplishments or whether you sat, whether following your name announcement there was loud applause and cheers or whether the room was quiet, whether you received an award or whether you struggled to pass eighth grade, look around you… A few sitting in this room may always be your friends, however, most will only be memories of a season.  So, don’t allow your peers to measure your worth for they will give you a false sense of your value.  Those who received accolades, applause, cheers, participated in numerous clubs and teams, you have bloomed ear316634_2447057897912_1295853344_33180404_1993577937_nly but be careful, early bloomers face the danger of exposure.  Cover yourself with humility to avoid the damaging effects that the frost of arrogance, privilege, and self-importance bring.    To those remaining students, those who may not have had a moment to shine today.  It is okay.  Hold your head up!  You are a bud just waiting for the right season to bloom. Believe in yourself, be proud of who you are, who you will be and when you bloom you will have the maturity and patience to change the world!!

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Posted by on May 28, 2016 in Life Stories, Uncategorized


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Mary, Did You Know?

Never having watched more than one episode in the past seasons, I lucked into watching “The Voice” this year when a young man from Kentucky blew the judges and audience (and me, too) af5530500-58c5-0133-0b0c-0e76e5725d9dway in his blind audition.  Following Jordan Smith’s first performance, I was hooked and continued to watch and cheer for my fellow Kentuckian.

If you are unfamiliar with the show, singers audition and are then selected (or the singers select depending on the audition responses) by celebrity “coaches” who coach them through vocals, style and stage presence in attempts to win a recording contract.  Viewers vote via texting and purchasing songs on iTunes to support their favorite contestant.

Jordan Smith’s performances were consistently on the top of the charts, sometimes bumping chart staples, Adele, and Justin Bieber, out of the way.  Though he had talented competitors, it was still no surprise to me that he won during last night’s finale.

Along with his beautiful singing voice, there is something about this young man that many seem to gravitate to; maybe his humility, maybe his sincerity, maybe his faith, maybe he represents “real” people; the average Joe … whatever it is, he is a special guy. Watching his mother support him from the first show to tonight’s finale, I guarantee one thing… she knew Jordan was special long before Jordan did, long before his coach, Adam Levine, did and long before America did.  And I would be willing to wager that she held on to that fact when times were tough for Jordan.

I don’t know Jordan’s story but from a very small amount shared during the show’s interviews, I would guess that he had some tough times growing up.  He once mentioned image issues and often more times than not, those personal image issues are heightened when others tease, bully or even try to give well-meaning advice.   As a parent, I know how difficult it is to watch your child hurt from the cruelness of others and watch their self-esteem suffer, particularly when you see the greatness of that child that he can’t seem to see himself.  Probably much like the first time she noticed his great talent, she will likely hold tightly to last night’s win.

Just ask a scrapbooking, photographing, videoing or journaling everything parent, whether it is a cute story, a long sought after accomplishment or just a sweet moment in time, I think we as parents have those moments with our children that we always want to remember.  However,  we also have those rough or challenging moments; temper tantrums in public, siblings screaming because one has hurt the other, experimenting with scissors and their beautiful long hair, the day the teacher calls to tell you that your child is failing a subject, or a multitude of little (or big) imperfections that we’d like to forget.

Reminding myself of those good times and not so stellar moments makes the whole story of Christ and his life growing up that much more relevant.  Jesus’ mother, Mary,  had those moments to hold on to too.

The Bible says (in my paraphrase) that Mary listened to the words of praise spoken about her baby, thought about them, held them close and then treasured them.  Later when we read about him being a preteen, we see his parents doing what I believe is a tad bit of discipline. ( I do believe he was perfect, but I also believe he was a child and still needed parental guidance) Mary and Joseph can’t find Jesus. They search for three days only to find him teaching adults. The Bible says they were astonished, but it also says they didn’t understand fully.

The astonishment of what others think about your child, the marveling at the thoughts of the greatness of your child, the treasured moments that you want to hold onto, that just makes Jesus’  family seem like your average family. Jesus’ family could have lived right down the street with their very average but loving family life.

Mary seems to have paid close attention to the words of others and her son’s actions.   From these actions, she was able to treasure these things about her son and then hold on to them when he had to save the world and not stand in his way.

Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, an aunt, a sister, a brother or even none of these, it pays to listen to what God’s people say.   When God is ready to do a great work in the ones we love or in ourselves, to look with depth into a situation annativityscened hold on to those words and thoughts of others gives us the insight to set aside our desires and we can trust to let God do his thing.

As Mary rocked her sweet newborn,  she held to the thought that her son was special…. more than just special but a Savior.

Luke 2

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

27Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29″Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss[a] your servant in peace.
30For my eyes have seen your salvation,

31which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.” 33The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

41Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. 42When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. 43After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49″Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

51Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.


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Posted by on December 16, 2015 in Devotions, Faith


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A Pharisee’s Cheer… “Go Big Law!”

(I was reminded this morning of this article I wrote in 2009. I thought it was an appropriate read 6 years later and thus, decided to add a bit at the end and re-post it. Enjoy!)

When I was in sixth grade there was a realization that came to be in my life.  It was the fact that I was a Kentucky Wildcat. (For those reading outside of the Bluegrass State, I’m talking figuratively not literally.) I’m not sure exactly how I came into that knowledge. Maybe it was when I  traveled numerous times with the Follett family to Kentucky football games and that pride of having a car horn playing the school theme song while others cheered it on did it. More than likely, it may have just been the fact that I thought some of the Wildcat basketball team guys were quite nice looking in their Converse shoes and striped tube socks… (Yes, I signed my name Nancy “Macy” on all of my notes to friends and yes, I am showing my age.)   Regardless of how it came to be…..all I know is that sixth grade brought about my first true conversations of the University of Kentucky Wildcats, their rivals, their players and statistics. with all of mjay_shidlery friends at lunch and that had never been before been an experience.  Sixth grade was also the year that I, maintaining my tomboy image,  decorated my bedroom in Wildcat Blue and White.. I was then the envy of all of my Kyle Macy, Jay Shidler loving girl friends and the envy of all of my UK basketball player wannabe guy friends… I was, without a doubt, a blue-blooded, ‘don’t talk bad about my Wildcats’, type of follower.

As I grew older (and wiser) I maintained that passion and enjoyed watching a game with others cheering right along whether at a live game or on television…. or even on the radio.  I just didn’t want to miss a game.  However, something happened years later that began creating a bit of confusion for me…. I was speaking with a family member who lived out of state and I mentioned the coach at the time, Rick Pitino.  They floored me with their response, “Now who is Rick Pitino?”  This was a well educated, former Kentucky resident and she had no idea who Rick Pitino was nor did she have a clue that he was the UK Basketball coach!  I was stunned… You mean there are people out there who don’t follow Kentucky Basketball? You mean there are people out there who think UK means United Kingdom? You mean there are people out there who don’t schedule their C-sections and wedding plans and vacations around the Final Four or the SEC tournament? It can’t be! But it was true… It didn’t dishearten me, but it did open my eyes a bit.

ukA few years later I moved to Illinois, just a few minutes away from the city of St. Louis, Missouri.  I was completely disappointed that they rarely showed a University of Kentucky basketball game there and that there was far more talk of Cardinals baseball and Rams football than any college program…. I just couldn’t understand.   As years passed, I began to not be able to keep up with UK ball like I wanted.  I tried to catch as much as I could on the radio, internet and national broadcasts but eventually it kind of began to fall out of my interest as I started to see the fun of following the Rams or the Cardinals.  I was losing my blue.  (Do you hear the moans?)

But now we are back in Kentucky and I’ll have to say that I was excited to be back in an area where there was such passion and enthusiasm about a nonprofessional sport.  However, for me, something is different now…. it is not that I’ve become necessarily less of a Wildcat; UK is still always my top team.. it is not that I’ve become disinterested because I still love a good game. It is just that my perspective has changed.  I was once totally consumed with being on the inside of the Big Blue Nation. I sent out Wildcat trash talk with the best of them and didn’t think for once that there might be others out there with passions focused in other areas.  My thoughts were, you are either a Wildcat fan or you are wrong….My perspective has changed because I have now been on the outside looking in.  It is still fun to cheer. It is still fun to have rivals.  It is still fun to wear blue.  Still yet, my perspective is different….

Today in Kentucky there is talk of a new coach… the rumor mill (or possibly the fact mill) is telling of coach John Calipari’s interest in becoming the next UK Men’s Basketball coach.   Sports talk is everywhere… people are either super excited with the change or people are super upset with the change… regardless of their stance, it is everywhere.

(Disclaimer- I am not advocating that UK fans are like Pharisees…… this is not about “the fans”  but about one fan…. read on…)

I realized something today as I was reading about Jesus and the Pharisees…. I think my lack of ability to think outside the Big Blue realm for years could have been comparable to the faith of the Pharisees…..the Pharisees were huge “Big Law” fans.  Though the law was given as a way for salvation, it became flawed when the law began to become more important than loving God.  Those same people who were so focused on obeying and protecting the law were also breaking the law by their lack of love… enter Jesus.  He came to fulfill the law and in doing so he ruffled a few feathers and made some people pretty angry in the process.  They were so focused on their Law Love that they couldn’t really love others. They were so focused on their Law Love that they couldn’t hear the truth though it was right in front of them.  Until they stepped outside and looked in they couldn’t see that there was authority in the truth that Christ spoke and that he was offering them fulfillment of their beloved law.  He was the salvation they needed but they couldn’t get past the thought of  “You either follow all of the law… even the ones we have thrown in there…. or you are wrong”  (Are you seeing the comparison?)… I’m saying my UK fanatic ways were comparable to the fanatical ways of the Pharisee.

Jesus offered salvation to a man who was lowered by friends through a roof in order to be healed.  The Pharisees were so focused on Jesus offering salvation that their thoughts consumed them and they totally seemed to overlook the amazing fact that this man who was paralyzed was now walking.  Truth in front of them and they couldn’t see it.

Now in comparing myself to the Pharisees,…..Though I couldn’t have said it at the time, I’m glad now that I had the opportunity to step outside and look in…I appreciate the new perspective.  Had I not had to step away and take a look from another direction, I would have totally been one of those folks who would have wanted to run a coach with a poor record out of town. I would have considered it nothing other than being a loyal fan.  However, lowering myself to the level of meanness or hatred toward a coach who possibly had a bad year or two, an athletic director who has to make incredibly tough decisions, or a team of students (yes, pretty much kids) is not the true sportsmanship of a loyal fan.  Instead, it would be my blindness of not looking at the picture from the outside and considering what the correctness or truth of a fan really is.  Is it possible that the Pharisees didn’t consider their anger or hatred toward Christ as anything other than being a loyal follower of the law? ….However, it was when they became hateful and mean that they stepped away from their law and were blind to what was true….

That is what I’ll call a Pharisee moment…A time when I am so focused on one thing that I can’t see what the truth is. (And, you know what?  I’d probably even cheer my focused notion on… “Go Big Law!”)… The only redeeming thing about the Big Blue Blooded Die Hard Pharisee moment, It didn’t have an ounce of eternal value. It was just a total non-important Pharisee moment.

Here’s the tough thing though… Unfortunately, that same “Go Big Law” mentality can seep into our lives and while we are cheering it on, we miss our opportunities of seeing what Christ is showing us.  We can easily be so fired up about the law that we forget the people… the people who God placed in our lives.. the people who He saves.  We can also get so caught up in law pep rally that it turns into our own idol… and our own sin.  Thankfully, just like Paul, God loves and forgives a Pharisee too… … all we have to do is ask.

God, show me your truth.

Luke 5:17-26

17One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. 18Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

20When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.

21The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

22Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

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Posted by on September 10, 2015 in Devotions, Faith


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Conversations in the Car- It’s Now Available!

51GjaPxd0vL._AA160_After several years of recording some of our family’s conversations, I decided to compile them into a book.  If you want to smile or maybe laugh out loud, you will not want to pass up this opportunity to get yours today.  Conversations in the Car can be purchased through Amazon and the Amazon Kindle Store.  Let me know how you like it!  Thanks!- Nancy




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Posted by on July 2, 2014 in Uncategorized


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No Soliciting…. Again… and Again….

fd-no-soliciting-sign-classicWhen you enter our neighborhood there is a “No Soliciting” sign. It doesn’t work.  Beyond the neighborhood kids selling things for school fundraisers, which, by the way, don’t count, we have people come to our door who have tried to sell me magazines, books, security systems, religion, meat and candy.   It is not so bad if you are craving chocolate and someone steps on your doorstep selling M&M’s. That’s more like a miracle. However, it becomes annoying when you really don’t want the truck load of meat at a bargain price.

At our house, when we experience someone selling at our door, we point them to the neighbor across the street and say, “She usually buys things. You might want to check with her.”  Actually, she is the neighbor who gets so angry with them that she will call the police or at least threaten it. Okay, we don’t really send them her way, but when the seller interrupts something, the thought does occur.  It is not that I don’t want to help them, it is just I don’t like feeling like prey and so often that is the feeling.  However, soliciting doesn’t always involve a transaction of goods.  It can just be about asking for money.

It is not only at home and work that this “prey” feeling is often rendered, but I have been approached in public shopping areas by people with the same stories and asking for money.  I have been alone, with my husband, with my children, my co-workers and even with my mother when approached and again, the stories are all very similar.  I have had several just ask for $6 or $7 dollars and numerous ones have offered their cell phone as collateral of sorts.  There has not ever been an expensive cell phone offered but rather a pay as you go inexpensive one.  Regardless of the approach, stories and offers, so many are so close in nature that, again, they seem fabricated.

Also, in my line of work, people stop by or call our office often asking for financial help.  Each story is usually different, but oddly close enough in circumstance that it is easy to become desensitized.  It is not that I think each one is telling a false story, but when you hear the same story over and over, you begin to wonder how they all have experienced the same thing and what is real.  Naturally, we treat each story as if they are true, but also have a plan to help them get the help they need though valid resources and not so much us.

Now you know where my cynicism about these situations was born, but there is more; enter young lady.

Several years ago, after dark, a young lady approached me in a store parking lot.    She was appropriately dressed for the weather, but it was cold, rainy so I had her follow me to the store door. There was something about her that was a little different than the typical person who had asked me for help in the past.   She told me she was from a town in the region and was in town and ended up with a flat tire and didn’t have the money to get it fixed.  She gave great detail to her story which made me skeptical (yes, skeptical) but I decided to help her anyway.  I gave her $20. She thanked me and left.  I’m not sure if she asked others after me or not, but after I gave her the money, I just hoped it was legitimate.

I didn’t think anything about the situation again until one day while I was getting something inside a convenience store, my teenage daughter, who was waiting in the car,  was approached. When I returned to the car, as my daughter was telling me the story, a young lady approached my side of the car.  I quickly recognized her mannerisms and her look and I knew it was the same girl.  Her story was the same… in need of a new tire… mother-in-law and son are at the car… she had priced tires and was short 40 dollars… she had a cell phone she could give me….  I remember thinking that she probably had more money than me and that I should ask her for money… I don’t remember what I said exactly to her but I do remember that, though a bit out of character for me, I was miffed and didn’t help her.

I later shared my reunion story on Facebook with pride as I told of my refusal to help. Several comments made me begin to think about my treatment of this young lady.  Had I been too rude?  Had I shown love?  Had I helped her in any way?  I thought that what I had done was the right thing and maybe not giving her money was the right thing but I didn’t handle it with care.  Having been made highly aware of the ignorance of human trafficking, I began wondering….What if she was trapped in a lifestyle that she felt she deserved.  What if she was at one time a runaway.   What if she had been sold to someone and was working for them.  I really wish I done and said things differently.penywise_100_1480

Fast forward about 18 months to the other day.  I was in a parking lot looking for a place to park when someone flagged me down.  When I saw her face, I knew at that very moment it was the same young lady.  When she approached my car she began telling me the same story… she mentioned a flat tire, a child, offered me a cell phone…  It was then that I decided to really talk to her.  My first question to her was, “Are you okay?”   She looked at me and answered, “Yes, ma’am.”  Then I asked her, “Are you doing this for someone else?”  She said, “No ma’am”.  I asked her, “Are you safe?” She nodded.  I then said, “The reason that I ask you this is because this is not the first time we’ve met.”  She was speechless. I continued, ” You have approached me before and told me the same story.’  She apologized with an, “I am so sorry.”  I also told her that I didn’t have money to help her but I was concerned that she was not in a safe place.  With a confused look, she again apologized, said, “God bless you” and walked away.

A part of me was pretty excited that I had the opportunity to meet her again.  I could hardly wait to tell my family.  However, in the reeling of my pride, that still small voice spoke and said, “You didn’t tell her that I love her.”  He’s right.  She may have walked away thinking that someone “caught” her.  She may have walked away thinking that was a close call.  Still yet, she may have walked away thinking that someone actually did care about her, but she didn’t walk away knowing what prompted me to ask her.  She didn’t walk away knowing that God loves her right where she is.  She didn’t walk away knowing that her Creator made her and loves his creation.

Maybe I’ll get another chance.  In the meantime, if you see her, don’t forget to tell her.







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Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Life Stories


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55 Little Things That 2012 Taught Me

Who knew that a speedy little year could teach big and little lessons along the way?   Actually, I did… and I learned a lot. Some lessons were new, some just reminders, some I’m glad I learned, some not so glad, some were so bad that I still can taste it (That’d be number 1 on the list), some were bittersweet and some just plain fun…55 things… That is more than one a week for all of you non-math people.  Here we go….

In 2012, I learned or was reminded that:


1. If there is an expiration date on a food product and it is expired, particularly if it is over a year and a half after the date, it probably won’t taste good……even crackers…

        IMG_1249  IMG_1239

2. One person CAN touch unseen lives eternally which indirectly changes the world.


3. Dog “shaming” works….. just sayin’

4.Projects that seem little can explode into something big.

                               IMG_0340 IMG_0308                                                                     537622_3956235546410_1964061738_n

5. Drawing and painting on the Sketch Club app are great ways to relieve stress.

6. We are never guaranteed our next breath.

IMG_1530  Tornado damage

7. Nature is powerful.

8. When nature is powerful often human need is incredibly great.

9. When human need is great, corporate compassion kicks in and other humans become active and help.

10. While other humans help, corporate compassion fades away and we tend to forget about those who needed the help… Even if they still need it.

11. Listening to God’s people at all times and holding the words in your heart can help during rough times

12. Everyone has a story.

13. Everyone experiences hurt.

14. The enemy is very real and active.

15. Having no car payments…. nice ….having to start the car by lifting the hood and plugging up the battery…. not so nice..

16. Sometimes, it is difficult not to become discouraged, especially when you try your hardest and still mess up. (Happens more than I like to admit….oops, I think I just admitted that).

Anglin fallsIMG_1661IMG_2178  IMG_1275 IMG_1296

17. Nature is beautiful…. even in Kentucky.

18. Not everyone will reciprocate or maybe even acknowledge your kindness, generosity, care, concern, friendship or love….. it’s okay… just love ’em anyway.


19. Facebook is great for connecting long time friends… particularly when one lives in Sweden.

20. Santa Claus can come on New Year’s Eve if he wants (Just stating the facts)


21. Low carb food, like my low carb pancakes, can really taste good…..and that’s not even comparing it to out of date crackers.


22. Being healthy is important… If laughter is great medicine… My family is funny and we laugh at ourselves and each other a lot….. Yep, we are really healthy. 

23. Words, even just a few, either good or bad, can have an affect on someone for a long time  …..maybe even for life…


24. Finding wild baby animals makes you want to keep them, but they have more chance of survival if you leave them alone….Okay, we didn’t find the monkey but he was just too cute to not include. 

papa flying kites 2

25. Flying kites is completely underrated.  


26. Enjoying time on the family farm is healthy for the family.

27. Smart phone are lifelines in many cases….  but they can really embarrass you too… i.e. auto-correct  (corrected words vanilla and Ha! are the first to come to mind), sending a text to the wrong person, accidentally hitting a button on your phone and realize that you called your co-worker at 1:00am, hitting another button and calling a former co-worker at 7:00am, who now lives in a different time zone,  which of course woke him up and then also calling your boss from your pocket without knowing it until he calls you back….. more than once… 

28. Grace exemplified is amazing to see, be a part of, experience, receive and feel. It is also amazing to see a loved ones life changed because of it.  


29. Regardless of what a 10-year-old says, Butt Paste is not used to glue a baby down to prevent them getting into things.

30. Great people are a part of my church family.

31. Great people are a part of my family.

32. Great people are a part of my friendships.

IMG_2430IMG_2418IMG_2427 IMG_2324 nFjYib

33. Kids really love art… and flying angry birds

weird 1283_232_861weird 115IMG_2380

34. Destruction or neglect of buildings that once housed good childhood memories tends to make me melancholy. 

mystery machine

35. Apparently those “Meddling Kids” live in my town..

Photo Jun 18, 12 13 05 AMIMG_2596

36. Summer Camp is fun… even for counselors and directorsbut a wasp sting at camp… particularly inside the nose, hurts like crazy…….Experience talking.


37.  Surprising co-workers with their favorite something, going to support them away from work, laughing together, praying together and liking each other is not necessarily the norm, even in churches. I love and am proud of my co-workers…They may as well be family… Actually, they pretty much are. 


38. Not all American Flags are made in America…



39. Kentucky has some of the prettiest sunsets ever.


40. Kentucky’s weather is erratic… One day freezing with gloves, heavy coats, etc,

……the next day getting a tan.


41. Kentucky also can have extremely hot summers.


42. If you live to celebrate a centennial birthday, you get a key to the city, a letter from the President, lots and lots of party goers, lots and lots of cards and the whole family to gather together and if you are as sharp as Aunt Emma, then you’ll be able to talk about it for years to come.


43. Even if your child’s school has a bad reputation for being in a rough area, looks like a prison, has a history of poor test scores, has 90% or more free and reduced lunch and all in modular units while renovating….. and the polar opposite of that school is in 1/10 of a mile out of your school district……. if God wants your child to be there for the year then He will do great things with that year… and He has….

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44. There is no place like October Court Day… not sure if that is good or bad.  


45. It’s fun to reduce, reuse, recycle and upcycle.

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 46. I do NOT like politics, political commercials or political party talk… ever… but  especially not during election year.  I research on a my own and yes, I voted.


47. It becomes overwhelming when I think about children and how many of them, the same ages as my daughters, that are being lured, captured,s old into the Human Trafficking industry… It is a huge worldwide problem and there are ways to help just as we did by purchasing pumpkins where proceeds go to help girls at risk right here in our own state.


48. Traditions change, people change, plans change, scenery changes…nothing lasts forever, not even Hostess but Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.


49. One can make just about anything with duck tape and trash.

50.  Speaking of our society, sometimes I’m concerned that we are a frog in a kettle…


51. I am proud of and love very much my husband and my sweet girls.

52. Watching loved ones hurt, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually is such a helpless feeling.


53.  Bacon is the new Salsa… or maybe the new Chocolate… it’s everywhere.

54. Working with children brings home GREAT stories and lots of laughter and a melted heart when a little one learns your name and says it… Love my job.


55.  Though He may seem distant, quiet or even not there at all,  though we may question, doubt and even turn away, though we may not like ourselves, may not feel worthy or may not feel we could be loved by God, though through hatred, addictions, a lifestyle, love of things more than God, or any other thing that would create a gap between us and the one who created us, whether we fight it, make our way crawling or run recklessly … God says that when we seek him, we will find him, that is, when we seek him with all of our hearts.  That’s a promise.

Interested to see what 2013 has in store…. Well, as long as it doesn’t involve crackers…..

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Posted by on January 5, 2013 in Fun, Life Stories


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Resolutions Shmesolutions…..And Have A Great 2013

IMG_1273Taking the back roads has its perks.  Things like fewer stop lights, if any… scenery prettier than buildings and concrete… and just all around less boring…. I also like to think that they are shortcuts but often times they take just as long if not longer because of the hills and curves.  Anyway, the other morning I had stopped to grab a cup of coffee and then began rushing myself to work through the not-so-shortcut back road shortcut.  I came zooming over the hill only to come to a screeching halt….. coffee was sloshing, but no problem for me… the lid stayed tight.

I looked ahead to find why traffic wasn’t moving and there, sitting in the middle of the road, was a little bitty poodle.  He was dirty and matted and had apparently decided that the line in the middle of the road was a comfy spot.  Amazingly, that little animal was backing up traffic about 7 cars deep on both sides of the road.  The school bus that was leading the line of cars opposite of me was honking the horn…. the dog just looked up… I wondered if possibly the dog was deaf but it seemed as if he heard the noise but just was too stubborn to move.  Finally, after sitting in traffic for a bit, a lady a few cars in front of me hopped out of her and started walking toward the dog.  Still the dog sat.  The lady began yelling at the dog and clapping her hands. In essence, pushing the dog without touching him.   The dog moved…. but only a small step… she now sat in front of the bus…. the lady continued clapping until the dog finally retreated to the middle of another road.

Traffic began moving along as normal once again.  I noticed as I passed by that there was another lady who had maneuvered her way out of traffic to the side of the road to see if she could rescue this poor, little, confused, dirty, matted dog.  She very gently and slowly walked up to the dog and though I couldn’t hear what she was saying, it was apparent that she was talking sweetly in that “you’re a good puppy, aren’t you” voice.   You would think that this unattractive little dog would have been excited to hop in a warm car with a sweet person who obviously cared about its welfare, but instead it barked and growled and when the lady backed up a bit the poodle took off running into a tangled brush area just off of the road.

As I drove past I could see the look on the helpful lady’s face and I think it was one of disbelief or frustration or that of helplessness.  She had done all she could do.  The poodle made its own choice.matteddog

A part of me chuckled at the whole situation… a little dog holding up so much traffic.  He got warnings and he even got sympathy but even after he begrudgingly moved, he accepted nothing from anyone and continued on the same path that he was already on. All I could think of was what a sad, little, stubborn (or maybe dumb) dog.  And it was then that I think I got a little kick in my rear …. you know, I tend to be just like that little dog.  I’ll sit in traffic (theoretically, not technically) … as dangerous as it might be… and a warning may push me to move a little bit, but even at times when I am completely moved, I may run back to the same old routine. Are ya with me?

I usually don’t make New Year’s resolutions but the New Year is a great time to begin a new routine.  I heard on the radio yesterday morning that the average person will have abandoned their resolutions by day 18.  But I have also heard that it takes 6 weeks to create a new habit… so pushing beyond day 18 for a little over another 18 days will create a changed person.  I can imagine that if that poodle had gotten into that car, he would have been cleaned up, nourished and ended up looking like a cute, lovable little guy.  That is a good ending to a bad situation.  So what makes us stop before day 18 rolls around? Could it be fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of failing, fear of stepping out of what is comfortable?….

But you know something else… there were two women in that situation who were very important… the one who moved the dog and the one who tried to rescue the dog… Sometimes we don’t even realize we are in the middle of the road and we need a reminder, someone to move us.  I think that is where God jumps in and does the motivating that gets us to move and provides the rescuing of our lives… maybe it is a friend or family member who urges us to get help, maybe it is an invite to church, maybe it is a song or story that is heard or maybe we look up and step out of ourselves and see the lives we are affecting (just like the backed up traffic).  Then we find ourselves at a crossroad to an encouragement, a safe place, a hope…. a loving God…..or back to the same old tangled brush.

Maybe you are a like that little dog in the road…. possibly in a dangerous situation… maybe it is a habit that is killing you,  a lifestyle that consumes you,  a relationship that alienates you, an attitude that robs you,  an ailment that embarrasses you, or a spiritual neglect that is calling you… Whatever it is, you don’t have to sit in the road or run to the tangled brush… you can hop in the car and be changed.

This can be the year to not make a resolution to change but to actually change.  That’s my prayer.

Philippians 4:13

13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.


(re-posted from 2009)

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Posted by on January 1, 2013 in Devotions, Faith


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