Camp Grandma 2019 Zombie Apocalypse

Summer means Camp Grandma at our house. Our chosen theme for this year’s camp was Camp Grandma Zombie Apocalypse. It proved to be more prophetic than I could have imagined.

Planning for Camp Grandma and accepting extra help this year paid off. I’ve always appreciated my teenage grandchildren being “counselors” at camp. But this year I tapped into other family members and a local waterpark to round out our camp activities.

Unknown at our Camp Grandma 2019 planning meeting with my counselors a month before camp started, we were headed for a 4-day camp that would require a LOT of extra hands and hearts.… Read the rest

How to increase your influence with those you love

Years ago, I stumbled upon the key ingredient to influencing others. Amazingly, this key easily translated from my job of speaking and writing to relating advice to those I love.

It’s even more valuable to me as I’ve grown older and want to influence my grown kids and grandchildren in God’s ways.

Early in our ministry, I started teaching spiritual truths in group settings such as church or retreats. Truths that could easily be applied to everyday life.

The driving force behind my work was a passion for helping others apply God’s Word.

Unfortunately, merely presenting information didn’t grab a hold of people like I had hoped.… Read the rest

How to deal with overwhelm in under 5 minutes

Last Sunday our pastor, Andy Rock, got my attention by his comment of how much we expect retirement to be a life free of responsibility—just one long vacation—nothing to do but rest and relax.

It’s true, I thought, dreaming of a 365-day cruise free of cleaning, cooking, and bill paying — a life of someone else doing the work of thinking and doing for me.

“But that’s not retirement,” Andy said. “That’s hospice.”

POW! My bubble burst.

Since Tom and I retired and moved out to the country, our life has been full of things tugging at our sleeves, needing to get done.… Read the rest

5 soul care tips for a daily blast of fresh air

It’s an old habit, but a good one. When I wake up early in the morning, I keep my eyes closed and check the weather in my soul.

One morning recently my soul was foggy and gray.

So I put on my soul-scientist robe and analyzed the foggy, gray cloud-cover hanging over me.

It turns out it was the result of a blizzard of negative political controversy, winds of international doom-and-gloom swirling through the news, and a partially watched, late night movie serving up a storm of violent scenes.

You and I were never created to deal with evil

God had a good reason for telling Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.… Read the rest

How to avoid becoming a fossil

Are you in danger of fossilization? Harboring negative aging attitudes that hold you back from healthy change?

I’m on the planning committee for our 50th high school reunion, and guess what! Everyone posting on our reunion Facebook group looks OLD.

I still remember all my classmates as their 18-year-old-selves, except for Tom and me, of course.

So meeting old classmates will be an adventure. Will I recognize them?

Each has either grown from their struggles or become a fossil. (A fossil is something that failed to make the change.)

Fifty years of stories have swirled through their lives to create who they are now.… Read the rest

How to move forward when you feel stuck

No matter how old you get, life can be overwhelming, confusing, crowded, and you will feel stuck at times.

Sometimes it may only be one area of your life that feels stuck, but that’s enough to keep you from moving forward into what you want to be and do.

Once I retired, I thought my world would be more open, move slower, and I’d be stress-free.

Not so. My life has filled up with different pressures than before.

When those all weigh in at the same time, moving forward is like walking through a swamp in cement-lined snowshoes.

If you’re over 50, you can easily relate.… Read the rest

How to Ask a Parent to Give Up Their Car Keys

How to ask a parent to give up their car keys isn’t usually top-of-mind. We tend to assume everything is fine UNTIL something happens that says it’s not. Suddenly you know that it’s time for “the talk.”

My mom kept driving because my dad felt she didn’t have any problems behind the wheel. She didn’t disagree with him. She should have.

Dad told me he would know when it was time to give his keys up. The problem was that he never knew it was time.

Asking a parent to give up their driver’s license is one of the first tasks that signal you’re entering the parent-child role reversal phase of aging.… Read the rest

How to adjust to the challenges of aging

So… recently on my Facebook page, I asked the question, “What has been your hardest adjustment to aging?”

Here are just a FEW of the responses:

  • “Feeling the same as always but finding that my body doesn’t listen to what I tell it to do anymore (run, jump, etc.).”
  • “Time remaining. One of our most precious commodities is time.”
  • “Lack of energy and then the weight gain.”
  • “Retirement has been a hard adjustment.”
  • “Being treated older but not feeling older.”
  • “Realizing that I need to listen to my body and rest when it tells me to.”
  • “Memory issues.”
  • “The realization that I’m not where I want to be.”
Read the rest
God Throws a Party to Celebrate You!

Every December we celebrate faith, family, and friends with Christmas carols, feasting, sparkling lights, and the traditional Christmas pageant featuring shepherds, Joseph and Mary, the angels singing, and, of course, baby Jesus.

It’s a big deal.

And though we focus on the incarnation—God clothing Himself in flesh and bone and living among us—we often miss the fact that God is also celebrating.

That’s why He sent angels to fill the night sky, singing and declaring the message of the birth of King Jesus to the shepherds.

God is celebrating YOU!

It’s a big deal.

This whole Christmas thing was for us!… Read the rest

How to let go and let God be God in your life

I may know a lot about my faith, but do I really know how to let go and let God control my future? Do you?

Last weekend I slipped away for a getaway with some of my high school girlfriends.

You can imagine how much there is to talk about when 10 old friends hang out together for 3 days.

We chatted about children and grandchildren, retirement, high school memories, travel, caring for our elderly parents, our aging bones, movies … and we laughed — a lot.

But some of our girl-talk revolved around how much has changed during our lifetime—especially the amount of information available at our fingertips, thanks to the internet.… Read the rest

9 ways to create a meaningful, simple Christmas

The other morning one of my little grandsons presented me with his Christmas list along with a toy catalog that he had used to circle everything he wanted for Christmas.

He was super cute.

Of course, I immediately went into grandma mode and wanted to buy him EVERYTHING!

It took a few seconds—okay, maybe more than a few—but I did talk myself off the mountain.

I have something I’ve made for him for Christmas, and I’m choosing NOT to spend money on more gifts.

Christmas shouldn’t be about the gifts. (Especially if, like me, you have 11 grandchildren!)

Christmas is about relationships…

…with each other and with God.… Read the rest