Crazy holiday family dynamics? You’ve got this, Girl!

It’s that season again. The holidays crowded with family, friends, yummy food, laughter, fantastic conversation, Pinterest-styled homes, and the warm-fuzzies of loving relationships.

WAIT? What…?

What about the grandkids who would rather spend their time engaging with their cell phones than with you?

Or your adult children who don’t want the Christmas story mentioned? (Santa, gifts, or turkey and pilgrims are OK, but not THE Christmas story?)

AND your free-loading brother who is still living off of mom and dad and thinks their casa is his casa … and he’s 50?

Did anyone mention that every time “Aunt Matilda” gets in the same room with her brother, “Bob,” WWIII threatens to ensue?… Read the rest

How to end a friendship that isn’t working

For most of my life, I’ve felt obligated to keep close friendships. With a few of my friends, this has been easy, even if we live far apart. The love between us is tight, and distance and the passing of time only give us more to talk and laugh about.

But with some women, the friendship sours over time. I’ll stick it out for as long as I can because once I invest myself I tend to be loyal.

But staying in a friendship that isn’t healthy, for whatever reason, isn’t good for my soul or my friend’s.

And honestly, the older I get, the less time I want to spend on friends who aren’t interested in healthy relationships.… Read the rest

Healthy Friendship Boundaries That Grow Relationships

Let’s burst a myth bubble about friends. If you’re over 50, you know that a BFF, best friends forever, is rare.

You may have a best friend, but if she was there at your birth, then your relationship is truly unique. (I’d guess you are twins.)

If you only acquired your “best friend forever” a few years ago, then she isn’t a BFF yet. You still have to walk through a few more “trials by fire” together before she can qualify as a BFF.

During different seasons of our lives we will see friends come and go—including close and intimate friends.… Read the rest

How to Find New Friends When You Are Over 50

I couldn’t wait for recess. My best friend, Kathy, was meeting me by the big tree in the playground. We were going to play “Peter Pan and Windy” with a bunch of school friends.

Of course, I was going to be Peter Pan OR Captain Hook. (Did I want to be the good guy that day or the bad? A question I still deal with every morning.)

When we were young finding new friends was easy. It was the girl sitting next to us in grammar school, the new mom in our neighborhood who had kids the same age as ours, or a colleague from work.… Read the rest

Successful women don’t have anxiety, or do we?

Successful women don’t have anxiety, or do we?

One of my earliest memories is of drowning. I was a chubby, little, red-haired, bikini-clad toddler desperately trying to grab onto an empty Coors can in a vast ocean.

The beer can bobbled away as I frantically tried to keep my head above the churning water that was pulling me down to the sand below.

It’s my first vivid memory of fear.

As I toddler, I didn’t understand fear. I couldn’t explain it or deal with it.

I only knew that my world was suddenly dark with an unexplained emotion that was drowning me faster than the water.

As a woman over 60 who’s been successful at life (author, speaker, pastor, mom—raised 6 kids, and likes to have fun), it still feels like I’m drowning when my world catches me off guard.… Read the rest

How to trade fear for concern and save your sanity

How to trade fear for concern and save your sanity

Don’t you hate it when an old fear raises its ugly head and snarls at you? Me too.

When I was a little girl living on a ranch, my dad would often warn me about playing near the propane tank that supplied our home with needed fuel.

“Don’t play around that tank, it is highly explosive,” he’d say. Which, of course, put visions of a massive fireball in my mind and expertly steered me clear of the scary propane tank.

Such a tank wasn’t necessary when Tom and I lived in Atascadero for 43 years. The city provided a gas line right up to our home, so I didn’t concern myself with propane or its tanks anymore.… Read the rest

Soul Nourishment Book Review

Soul Nourishment Book Review

Whoop, whoop! Here’s my latest book review. This one is a soul nurturing book. Totally our thing, right? Soooo, here we go:

In her new book, Soul Nourishment: Satisfying Our Deep Longing for God, Deborah Haddix brings her practical wisdom, gleaned from years of experience, to women desiring to grow in the art of soul care.

As soon as I flipped through the book, I knew I was going to love it. Deborah gives you the how to stuff that makes the doing of soul nourishment enjoyable even when faced with the difficulties of life. Applying even a few of her many suggestions can add a new dimension of peace to your faith walk.… Read the rest

Facing fear and winning

Facing fear and winning

Have you ever talked yourself out of a once-in-a-lifetime, amazingly fun day because of fear? Especially since you’re not young anymore?

Tom and I had driven around the island of Korcula, Croatia, exploring villages and beaches. Particularly the beaches as we planned to spend the next day enjoying the crystal clear waters.

Pupnatska Luka won our hearts but it was located down a VERY narrow one lane, cliffside dirt road leading to a small, tight, carved-out-of-the-cliff area deemed “parking.”

Driving the road proved difficult and scary. Meeting another car meant you had to find a place to pull over along the cliff side to let the car pass.… Read the rest

Camp Grandma 2018

Camp Grandma 2018

Jeep rides, swimming, crafts, yummy food, skits, fishing, archery, and night hide and seek…

Yep, it was 2018 Camp Grandma!

Camp Grandma 2018 fun

Since Tom and I had retired in the fall of 2017 and moved to our ranch house in April, Camp Grandma had to look a little different for the summer of 2018.

Camp Grandma 2018 skit practice

We set up two tents and a “gathering place” in our front yard.

The gathering place, or outdoor living room, was necessary, since we had moved to a much smaller house.

We opted for some camping “rugs” and our old lawn furniture to expand our living space.

Camp Grandma 2018 yummy treats

Of course my older grandchildren came early to pre-camp as counselors to set up the outside area and prepare food and crafts.… Read the rest

Grandparents’ Day of Prayer 2018

It’s always a pleasure to have Lillian Penner from the Christian Grandparenting Network call us to pray for our grandchildren on Grandparents’ Day. This year it falls on September 9th. As our guest today, Lillian shares how you can become involved. (Thanks bunches, Lillian!)

Grandparents are Uniting in Prayer on Grandparents’ Day

It is a global reality that truth is under attack like never before in our schools, our political arenas, the marketplace, and even in our churches.

Parents and grandparents find themselves involved in a tug of war for the hearts and minds of their children.

It is not easy to navigate in a world hostile to truth in this post-Christian culture, is it?… Read the rest

The Dangerous Pursuit of Squirrels and Other Temptations

The Dangerous Pursuit of Squirrels and Other Temptations

“Run, little squirrel, RUN!”

I wanted that bubonic-plague carrying ground squirrel and all his cute little friends out of my yard.

Their community of underground dens covers the hills around our house. One tiny bite with their sharp, little teeth could be life-threatening—to people or dogs.

Our two babies are small Boston Terriers who love chasing any rodent, especially squirrels—even though the only thing they’ve ever caught was a lizard.

Dangerous pursuits

As part of the human race, you probably chase “rodents” that are dangerous to your mental, emotional, physical or spiritual health.

(Please say, “yes.” I don’t want to be alone in this.)

I know, I know… whatever kind of “rodent” it is, it’s probably cute and seems harmless, and it’s small—not a big thing to worry about.… Read the rest