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

Why I won’t run naked down the driveway

I couldn’t stop laughing. The unexpected encounter made my day.

Tom and I had decided to take a walk along our long, country driveway.

On this particular evening, we had our son, Daniel, and his 5-year-old son, Kaius, spending the night. They’d stayed behind to get ready for bed.

Walking with us was our oldest son, David, and his 2-year-old son, Atlas. They’d stopped by for a short visit.

We walked. And talked. And watched Atlas throw orange balls for our Boston Terriers to chase.

You know… a perfect evening with some of our kids.


…we heard a shout and spun around to see Kaius racing down the driveway to join us—dressed only in his green, flashing tennis shoes.… Read the rest

How to Say Goodbye to people, places, and seasons of life

How to Say Goodbye to people, places, and seasons of life

“You need to say goodbye. You need to bring closure to this in your heart,” my midwife said as she gently prepared to show me the son I had just miscarried.

I’ve stood crying in front of airports, dorm rooms, and cars packed with wedding gifts as each of the six children I’ve raised jumped out of the nest.

When it came time to let Mom and Dad pass away, I was more prepared. I knew they were ready. And to be honest, caring for my dad had been difficult for my sisters and I even though we loved him deeply.… Read the rest

You’re doing better than you realize

You are doing better than you realize.

Life has moved forward bringing blessings you never expected. You’ve embraced those blessings with open arms.

And yes, there are other changes the years have brought that haven’t been as easy to wrap your arms around.

In fact, you need encouragement as you grow older

Some changes have been heartbreaking. Others, an inconvenience.

  • You’re moving slower. Instead of one doctor, you now have a variety of them.
  • You’re counting your pennies more than you used to.
  • Your social circle has lost more than one friend who has relocated out of the area or even to Heaven.
Read the rest
How to find peace when life doesn’t go as planned

Unmet expectations are often the battleground where disappointment wrestles with our mental and emotional peace.

I never planned on two miscarriages.

Nor the sudden cut in pay when, as a family of eight, we really needed every penny that we earned.

Breaking my foot and the resulting surgery really messed with a long-scheduled vacation.

And a church split in the fellowship we pastored certainly wasn’t on my agenda.

You think you’ve got your plans all laid out…

  • How many kids you’ll have
  • The upward trajectory of your business
  • The perfect marriage
  • Years of retirement to enjoy
  • God’s voice guiding you in a specific direction

And then…

WHAM!… Read the rest

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