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

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