Faith, Friendship, Reflection

Nine Fruits: Part Five ~ Kindness

Kindness: a selfless, compassionate, generous, act of regard for others above your own needs.

I wonder what our world would be like if everyone practiced kindness. ALL. THE. TIME. Can you imagine what our level of social morality would be if we all could exercise kindness? I know that when I restrain my selfishness and offer my spot on the road for the car next to me, I have practiced kindness. When I choose to put down the technology and make cookies for a neighbor, I am exercising kindness. When I see that my children are giving up their beds for a visitor, they are exercising kindness.

A caveat: no one is born to be kind. Kindness is a learned trait. A baby comes into the world, and as cute and cuddly as he/she can be, babies are not concerned about being kind. As the baby grows, however, the parent can teach him how to show kindness to others. And, wouldn’t that be nice if every child learned the act of kindness and used it on a daily basis. I pray that my kids will be kind to others.

The Bible has plenty to say about showing love for one another, and kindness is one of the easiest ways to express love. Jesus said that if someone gives a cup of cold water to a stranger in need, he may have entertained an angel unaware. See Matthew 10:42

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

Kindness pays it forward, and is not expecting payback.

Kindness is the gift that keeps on giving forward to the next person. Sure, you could reciprocate kindness between two people, but more often than not it is usually a one-way road. Kindness moves forward from person to person. What does it feel like to receive an unexpected gift or letter in the mail? What do you think it would feel like as the giver? Doesn’t it feel great to give of yourself?!

Kindness is given as a free gift.


Kindness can be in the form of a smile, a compliment, giving a neighbor a plate of cookies, or even a hug. Kindness is the outward expression of love, care, and concern for a fellow human being.

May we all practice a little kindness today.

It’s good for the soul.

Give a hug. Share a smile. Partake in a meal. Put love and care into action.

And, then, the world will be a wee bit better because of your kindness.


Faith, Friendship, Health, Reflection

Strength is counted by…

… the number of scars.

I was driving down the road today when this thought crossed my mind: strength comes by the number of scars I have.

Well, that doesn’t sound too pretty. Seriously, I think that scars are ugly. They have this white-silvery streak that feels odd on the skin. Scars show damage. They are the result of injury, illness, or disease.

But, scars are a part of life. If we didn’t have scars, we really can’t say that we’ve lived much.

Who hasn’t endured the fall off the bike, the cut from the first shaving experience, or the scab of the chicken pox owie?

But, all of these scars add up. They tell a story of what has happened. They replace the healthy tissue with replacement tissue, and it’s tougher than the original. Hence, the scars create strength in the original area that was vulnerable and weak.

… the number of cords in your rope.

“A three fold cord is not easily broken” is a great statement, and it’s also a verse in the Bible. Strength is found when the “ropes” of your life are held together by two or more strands. These “strands” can be friends, family, or groups that hold you up, hold you accountable, and just plain hold you together.

How do I find/get strength?

In all honesty, I don’t feel like I am strong on most days. I tend to go through the motions of each day. I get up, get ready, and get moving. I have a lot on my plate, and those daily tasks can zap me of my strength. Here are a few examples of ways that I re-fuel my system:

  1. I make sure I get a good night’s rest – a minimum of 8 solid hours of restful sleep.
  2. I make sure I eat breakfast every day – this is necessary to rev up the metabolism.
  3. I make sure I get 30 minutes of exercise done daily. If not daily, then 4-5 times per week.
  4. I make time to find solitude – I find a quiet spot where I can read, pray, meditate, or just stare out the window.
  5. I make sure I “find” ten things to be thankful for each day – this includes positive attributes about myself.

Finding and attaining strength is not for the faint of heart. Only the few will strive for this coveted characteristic in life. Remember, no one is born strong. A newborn baby must make small moves every day to first strengthen the neck in order to hold up the head. Once the head is stable, then the baby will start to use the arm muscles to hold objects, push up on the tummy, and so forth. Eventually, in one year of life, a helpless newborn baby turns into a crawling or possibly walking toddler. Amazing!

If you can find that inner strength, that same determination of a newborn baby, to make small moves every day, can you imagine how different you would be in one year’s time? I have to remind myself everyday that I can be renewed or strengthened far beyond my current limits if I just try to make small changes every day.

Can you do it? Yes! Will you join me? I hope so!


When I grow up, I want to be…


Life. A Four Letter Word.

It is so interesting to think about life. When I was a child, I had two dreams: I wanted to be a teacher, or I wanted to be a nurse. As I approached my college-age years, I was undecided as to my future. I had no idea what I wanted to be anymore.

It has taken a long time to walk through the paths I have created, and yet I still have so far to go. But, that is okay with me now, because I have chosen to live life to the fullest potential. There used to be regret, but no more. I have changed my heart attitude about life, and I am enjoying each day as it arrives.

I am a teacher. I am a nurse.

So, I have finally decided what I want to be when I grow up. Yes, I am a teacher (not by professional standards, but I do teach my own children at home, and I occasionally substitute teach at a local school). Yes, I am a nurse (again, not by professional standards, but I do have my bachelors degree in Public Health, and I am constantly learning how to treat illnesses and prevent diseases). But, the MOST important career I have found is mentoring.

I am a Mentor.

Through experience and education I have developed enough sense of this world to come alongside a younger woman to be her mentor. I believe with my whole heart that every young woman out there needs a good mentor. A mentor could be her mother, but most of the time, it is another woman who has the passion and commitment to impact a life.

How do I know I would make a good mentor? For one thing, I have 41 years of life experience under my belt. I may be naive to some people and ideals, but for the majority of general living I have “been there” and “done that.”

  • I am a wife of almost 18 years, so I have some experience on marriage.
  • I am a mother of four children, (which includes three teenage young men), so I have some experience on motherhood.
  • I am a dedicated and loyal friend. Yes, I can give you references from my long-term girl friends.
  • I am passionate and committed to any cause that I find worth saving. Yes, that means I have enthusiasm!

As a mentor I will not be saving anybody, but rather, I am hoping to spark hope and encouragement with the young woman I will become friends. I am human, so I will make mistakes. I may let her down. I may not be able to meet all of her needs.

But, I can listen. I can share my story. I can encourage. I can laugh. I can cry.

Most of all, I can be real. It’s time to take off the mask. It’s time to grow up.

Friendship, Reflection

Two Generations of Besties

How many people can say that their child is a best friend to the child of their own best friend?

I can!


I met my dear friend Rebecca back in August of 1989, shortly after graduating from high school. I was so amazed by her outgoing and magnetic personality! She could come into any room and her presence was known in an instant! I was still going through my “trying to overcome painful shyness” period of adolescence, and I looked up to Rebecca to show me the way!

We have always kept in touch, no matter how far apart we were from each other. She would visit my parents when I was away at college in 1993, and I visited her to say goodbye in 1994, as she moved to Colorado with her family.

We spent many good times together, and one of my favorite memories was when Rebecca rented an electric blue Ford Mustang, and picked me up for our birthday celebration! We drove all the way to San Diego, and spent an entire day at Sea World. It was my first “girls only” getaway, and I will always treasure that time!

Fast forward to July 2006, and I get a call from Rebecca out of the blue. I had just given birth to my daughter, Cadence, and she was calling to check in on me (it had been a few years since we had corresponded to each other). Shockingly, I found out that she had given birth to a baby girl as well…. exactly nine months earlier to the same day!

Our baby girls are nine months apart. It took them nine seconds to become instant best friends when they met last  year for the first time!

There are friendships that come and go with the changing seasons, but then there are friendships that stick together to the very end of time.

My friendship with Rebecca is a lifetime friendship. She and I have grown closer to each other over the years, and we now call each other, “our sister from another mother.”

What a wonderful opportunity to find a bosom friend, just like Anne Shirley and Diana Barry found in each other (from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery).

Faith, Friendship, Reflection

Inside Out

I’ve been reminded that each one of us sees our own lives differently than another person’s perspective. Lately I have felt so overwhelmed with the circumstances of my life, and the consequences of bewilderment has lead me to ponder my heart. I really don’t want to be selfish, but I know that it’s natural to be selfish. I want to feel blessed, and I want to bless others. My cup of life is near-empty, and I long for a refueling of joy, love, kindness, patience, and self-control.

I’m glad that other people see my life in a positive light. It’s very difficult to always see the big picture when you’re in the middle of coloring inside the lines. For example, a ground-level view of the Earth shows the wear and tear, decay, abuse, pollution, and general breakdown of its natural resources. It is difficult to see the whole beauty of the world when you are standing in the middle of a dirty city. But, there is one beautiful way to view the Earth: from an airplane. I haven’t traveled much by plane in the past few years, but when I do get that chance, I am constantly in awe of the beauty and design of our “flawless” Earth from above. I can only imagine that God must also see us as flawless, when He is looking down on us from above.

And, so, that is how I desire to see the world: from a high elevation, where I am taking in the whole picture at once. Still, this view can also be skewed. Yes, it is awesome and breathtaking to see the beauty of the whole earth, but I also need to remember that there are many things in the world that are microscopic and too tiny to see with human eyes. In a spiritual sense, I have to remind myself that this analogy of the Earth’s beauty is symmetrical to the beauty of the person. A person may be viewed as beautiful by another person because the outside appearance is admired. But, what about the inside of the person? I’m not talking about the bones, the flesh, and the blood, but the soulful inside of a person: the thoughts, the feelings, the characteristics that make the person internally beautiful as well.

I should have titled this blog “the pursuit of beauty”, but that would have seemed a bit haughty. So, my thoughts ponder the development and refinement of internal beauty. I am in need of a major spiritual “detox” in my life. There have been so many little “things” that have crept in and poisoned my soul. I need to be cleansed on the inside first. I need to have an attitude adjustment, a thoughtful tune-up, and a heart-wrenching reconstruction of my heart. I need to cleanse and beautify the inside, so that I may reflect God’s beauty in my life. Only then will I become clean and beautiful on the outside as well.

I need so many things in order to be cleansed, but most of all I need prayer. I don’t want to be selfish, but I am asking of you, the reader, will you pray for me? Will you pray with me… that I will not have my heart trampled by the lies of the world, the guilt of the flesh, the attacks of the unseen? I need to put on the belt of truth, the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace; and I need to hold in each hand the sword of the Spirit and the shield of faith. I need to stand strong and fight this battle that is within me and the unseen forces that surround me. But, I can’t do it alone. I need you to stand beside me. I need you to grow strong with me. Who is with me? I hope you are.