When Pain Threatens to Mess Up Your Life

You’ve aged.

Your body has changed.

You trip over the rug, snore louder than the train rolling past your home, and you forget essential information far more than you care to admit.

You discover that a task that was once easy-peasy is now one you avoid.

Joints complain.

Muscles freeze up.

Sickness, disabilities, and unknown sources of pain can lay waste the best plans you’ve had for your autumn season of life.

Such things become a regular topic of conversation with your friends and often dominate your life.

Aging isn’t for the faint of heart or soul.

It takes courage to grow old.… Read the rest

Redemption Missiles

Redemption Missiles

When I was growing up my mom used to collect Blue Chip Stamps whenever she bought groceries. Then she’d paste them in a little Blue Chip Stamp booklet and redeem them for merchandise like fancy vases she’d use for gift giving.

I even got a few booklets of Blue Chip Stamps as a wedding present from one of Mom’s friends so I could redeem the stamps for something I’d cherish as a new bride.

Easter expands the idea of redemption to a whole new level of hugeness—the death and resurrection of Jesus that, if we so choose, we can redeem for eternal life.… Read the rest

Growing Old Is Not for Sissies

Recently I packed ten boxes of books with my left hand. I’d just had surgery on my right hand, and the doctor wouldn’t let me use it for two weeks.

So, of course, I used my left hand for everything.

Not the wisest decision I’ve ever made.

The knuckles and muscles in that hand staged a revolt, and I’m still paying the price.

The older you get, the more you realize that “old” has side effects

The days zip by. You’re celebrating Easter when you just had Christmas last week. (Or so it seems.)

  • Dreams get put on the shelf while you deal with everyday life.
Read the rest

Apocalyptic Days and Wins

Apocalyptic Days and Wins

Tuesday was an apocalyptic day. *cymbal crash*

Usually, apocalyptic days aren’t good… as in end-of-the-world badness.

We’re smack in the middle of getting the home we’ve lived in for 34 years ready to sell so we can downsize to a much smaller house.

One of the hoops we decided to jump through before putting our home on the market is a series of three inspections.

  • Yesterday we had the septic tank inspection. We didn’t pass. (Poop happens.)
  • Then the results of the pest inspection arrived via email. Again, we failed. (Termites found us.)

Mid-afternoon, as I’m discussing these results with our real estate agent, I hear a scream from the back bedroom.… Read the rest

Who is driving your car?

Who is driving your car?

One of the most fun and exciting ways I’ve helped coach my clients is to have them tell me their dreams—the kind you have when you’re asleep.

Dreams are important. They are one of the ways God spoke to His people in the Scriptures. And, as far as I know, He hasn’t stopped speaking to people in dreams.

For example, sometimes a person tells me they had a dream where they were riding in their car, but as a passenger, not the driver. This is a common dream.

Asking who is driving the car tells me a lot about this dreamer

It indicates who is in control of her life.… Read the rest

The day I forgot where I put God

I had an unusual experience the other day. I forgot where I set God.

It was a crazy, mental image that planted itself in my brain.

In my mind’s eye, I saw myself in an argument with someone that I’d just had an unpleasant conversation with.

The person had been a jerk.

(Sorry Mom. I know I’m not suppose to call anyone a jerk. But he was.)

I desperately cried out to God.

But God was missing in action

He wasn’t where He was supposed to be—with me—even in my memory of the conversation.

And then I realized that I had set Him on the back-burner of my mind when I mentally engaged with this person again in my imagination.… Read the rest

God’s cure for sleepless nights

God’s cure for sleepless nights

Sleepless nights are not my friend. After having six kids, scattered over 16 years, I thought the years of little sleep would be over when my babies learned to sleep through the night.

All too soon those babies became teenagers and stayed out late with their friends, which is one of the leading causes of midnight mother-worry.

Now that those kids have all grown up and moved out of the house, I still wake up sometimes at 1:30 or 3:00 in the morning! (And I sware it’s not out of habit.)

What if there was a cure for sleepless nights?

Something that would enlarge your soul AND ward off Alzheimer’s at the same time?… Read the rest

Do You Need a Christmas Manifesto?

This Christmas season is different because I retired from full-time ministry three months ago. I kind of thought I’d have more time for reading, pondering and celebrating. I have… some. But not as much as I’d like.

Mixed in with this is the amount of people I’ve encountered who feel that Christmas isn’t high on their radar. Some are lonely or grieving and want to get past the holiday quickly.

Others have a ton of stuff on their plate and feel that Christmas must be squeezed into the tiny margins of their schedule.

It seems that no matter where we are in our life journey, we can quickly fall into the trap of filling up of our days with to-do lists and our inner lives with the clutter of despondency, worry, negative self-talk or other unnecessary thinking that eats away at our energy, peace and time.… Read the rest

Come Explore the Hallway of Advent

Come Explore the Hallway of Advent

Don’t you hate the waiting? That long, lonely hallway between what was and what is to come? The waiting hallway filled with doubt, “what ifs,” and fear of the unknown, even though you know there’s a God promise at the end of that hallway?

We all encounter these hallways.

Some we expect, and some we chance upon surprised that we’ll have to trudge down a long, narrow walkway to get to the next part of our journey.

We usually don’t embrace these hallways. They aren’t smooth walking or lit with joy. We often see them filled with the tangled, dark, thorny branches of a scary, night forest—The Great Unknown.… Read the rest

You are incredible. Don’t forget it.

You are incredible. Don’t forget it.

You stopped counting how many holiday dishes you’ve cooked through the years.

The dishes you’ve washed after the feast are up in the millions.

The house? Oh yes, you’ve cleaned until your nails looked ratty.

And most of the time, you’ve loved every minute of cooking, cleaning, and washing dishes.

Because the people you care about are represented in the sweat of the work.

Will they say, “Thank you?”

Sometimes. Hopefully.

But, if not, you’ll still shine on the inside.

You’re wired that way. To give, nurture, and care for the people God has given you.

You are incredible

You hope everyone will get along this year.… Read the rest

When Holiday Expectations Disappoint

My dad was ticked, and he had no problem letting me know it.

For years we had spent Thanksgiving with my folks at their house.

A month later we would gather our six kids into the car and drive an hour on Christmas Eve afternoon to my mom and dad’s house again.

We’d have a big family dinner and then pack ourselves, and my sibling’s families, into various corners of the family home to spend the night.

The next morning was wild with laughter, kids, presents, a huge breakfast and, later, dinner. I spent most of my time in the kitchen along with my sisters helping Dad cook for this huge, hungry crowd.… Read the rest