Education, Gardening, Health, motherhood, Random, Reflection, Woman

Plant the Seed

We have all heard this before.

Well, maybe most of us…

Those who plant the seed may not always be the one who gets to water that seed. But, if we are blessed, we may be able to witness that seed sprout and grow in the future.

I have to slow down and remind myself to be patient. Especially in times of seed planting… not literally in seed planting, for I tend to have a black thumb.

But my type of seed planting is that of encouragement or knowledge or just… wisdom from a mid-life mama.

I have watched how my own four children have grown into some amazing human beings. As much as I want to take credit for their awesomeness, I realize that most of my “mothering” was really seed planting of their hearts and souls. I gave them consistency and intention and a whole lot of love and grace.

I believe that our society is lacking so much growth these days. The soil of our souls is depleted, and when a seed is planted we tend to grow cold, grow weeds, or just wither up and die.

We are in desperate need of a revival. A societal revival that emphasizes nourishing the soul of our souls. Taking time to find the things that make us grow as humans.






Remember, as I share my thoughts with you I am preaching to the choir. I am my own audience, too. I need to hear and see and believe these things.

For then, when my soul is nourished, the seeds that I plant in myself can grow in a healthy way. And I can bring the fruits of my labor to you, dear reader.

May you be blessed today because of your investment to become process driven, too.




Faith, Health, Reflection, Woman

Taking back my power

Healing begins the moment you choose to take your power back.

I never realized before that I always had the power within me. I knew I was strong and independent, but I allowed too many people to come in and take the wind right out of my sails.

And for years I suffered.

Why do we allow others to have this much control? Why do we cower when we feel guilt or shame? Why are we not standing up for ourselves?

The only answer that I can muster is that I was a people pleaser. I wanted to be liked. No, I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be valued.

I wanted to matter.

But, there is a cost when it comes to relationships. Whether you invest in a friendship or a love relationship there is a cost.

It will cost you your time.

It will cost you your energy.

It will cost you your heart.

Because, if you are anything like me, you truly value your investment in humans. You have a deep love for connection. You treasure the precious moments and memories.

And sometimes that investment will take rather than give.

The key is to be prepared. A healthy person must know ahead of time that other humans are gonna fail you!

YOU are going to fail you.

Yet, if you know the risks and you choose to accept the chance anyway, then failure may be an option.

But failure is NOT a permanent option.

It is a…

F – first

A – attempt

I – in

L – learning

If you allow yourself to catch some scrapes and bruises, your heart “skin” will become a little thicker. Your mind will become wiser. And your soul will become stronger.

In the journey of becoming process driven, I am choosing to take my power BACK.

I am choosing to guard my heart more, to solidify my soul more, and to still find human tenderness in the trenches.

So look out 2019!

I’m baaaaack!


Faith, Reflection, Woman

Finding my WHY

It seems that anyone who wants to be successful in his/her career, family, health, or spiritual journey must first ask the question: What is my WHY?

I have been pondering this question for several days now (if not, for several years). This persistent question keeps coming up, and I can’t seem to dodge it until I have temporarily satisfied my soul’s longing for the answer.

But, something amazing happened last night when I was pondering that question. I realized that my WHY doesn’t have to remain the same. It can change over time! As I accomplish a goal, I can determine a new WHY. Some of my WHYs are permanent, such as “I’m doing this for my kids.” But, some of my WHYs are temporary. These temporary answers can change as I do.

Discovering what you want to be or who you are is one of the most sought after ponderings in the universe. You may ask simple questions to yourself (Where would I like to be in 12 months?), or you may ask the most complex questions that never really have any black or white answers. I tend to toss and turn at night over some of these gray questions/answers. So, how do I find a balance in all of this questioning?

  1. I have to acknowledge that I do not know all the answers in this life, and that I need to LET GO of the false sense of control that I seem to have.
  2. I have to show gentleness and grace to myself, as I tend to get a little too hard on myself for not solving the problem/question right away.
  3. I have to walk away and leave it for another day, when my strength just doesn’t seem to be there.

As I look back through my journaling this past year, I know that a lot of mid-life moms must go through this period of questioning, seeking, and pursuing. We are at a point of the mountain peak, where we have journeyed for half of our lives to reach this pinnacle. But, when we look around and see where we’ve been, and then look ahead to see where we are going, we get lost in the fog. The beautiful clouds that seem so enamoring from the ground are now surrounding us at this mountain peak. It was supposed to be clear at the peak. We should know how to solve it all, handle it all, and understand it all.

So as begin the descent down to the ground of the latter half of my life, I want to have that kind of peace that surrounds me, even with the clouds. I want to know that my WHYs are not in vain, and that they have purpose for my purpose.

I hope that you’ll take the time to review your WHYs this week. Enjoy the thoughts, but don’t muddle too long on the unknown. Try and take the time to write them down, and just be content with where you are… at this moment.

For one day, these WHYs will become the mosaic of your legacy.

Marriage and Family, Reflection, Woman

Every Day is Mother's Day!


The first time I heard those words from my mother-in-law, I was taken back for a second. I didn’t quite understand what she was talking about, and I couldn’t figure out why she didn’t want to celebrate Mother’s Day. I always thought that each holiday was special, and that Mothers around the world deserved to be recognized on a special day.

She was right.

As I have become an experienced mother I now realize the validity in her point. Every single day is special to me as a mother. I cherish every moment I can spend with my children, because time is so fleeting and they grow up so darn fast. I don’t necessarily want presents or flowers everyday, but I sure do love the hugs and kisses from my kiddos.

From this day forward…

Every mother who has birthed (or adopted) a child knows how special those first few moments of meeting your new baby can be. Nothing can explain that thrill of awe, of amazement, of sheer joy, when that baby is placed in your arms. It is also the scariest of moments for the first time mother to know that she has the most vulnerable creature in her arms, and all that mattered before motherhood now pales in comparison to loving and growing this child.

From the first breath of her baby a new mother will always be… his/her mother. The biggest and toughest job of the world just landed into a woman’s lap, and she selflessly accepts the position of mother. She doesn’t quite know what is in store for her as a mother. No one will be able to prepare her for countless nights of lost sleep due to crying, illness, hunger, and comfort. There isn’t a way to explain the daunting level of exhaustion, or worry, or sorrow  to this new mother, because no one wants to know the reality of raising a child in that way.

It is easy to share all of the good things that will happen with the position of motherhood. All of the kisses, hugs, smiles, and immeasurable joy can be found in motherhood. Nary a day goes by that I don’t receive a word of kindness, a quick touch of compassion, or just plain reassurance of love from my children.

Moment by Moment

When my boys were babies I couldn’t wait until they were out of the “diapers and formula” stage. Oh, how I thought that season of parenting was so expensive! Now that they are teenagers, I really miss those cute baby days! I am learning now to take each day on a moment by moment basis.

It’s been almost one year since I said goodbye to my dear sweet mother. She was so precious to me, and I am missing her more and more as time goes by. Although I struggled with wanting to be ‘right’ when I knew I should listen to her, I realize now that she did the best job she could for me and my brother. I will always appreciate her love and time and commitment.

Not Perfect, but Passionate

My parenting style has always been on the pursuit of passionate motherhood. I want my children to know that I am passionate about loving them, training them, and “bringing them up in the way they should go.” As much as I’d like to be perfect, I fall short of that misconception every single time. As I take off my perfectionist hat, I do my best to embrace my passionate hat. I want to give 110%, no matter the cost.

Make Each Day Matter

As you continue this week and think about Sunday, Mother’s Day, remember one thing: Once a mother, always a mother. Each day matters to every mother. If you still have your mother, thank her each day for her love (if you can). She is doing and being her very best.




Random, Woman

Woman Up!

ImageYes, we can do it! We are women, mothers, daughters, girls on the grow!

Rosie the Riveter is one of my favorite icons of the 1940s. She emulates all that women wanted to be in that time (at least I hope so). She is still feminine and beautiful, but she has muscle and determination. It’s a win-win picture in my opinion. I wasn’t born in that era, but I know how hard it must have been to have lived during that time. The men were off at war, and the women had to stay home and take care of business. They had to become single mothers and entrepreneurs and instant career women. They had no choice but to be strong.

“My mom says that being “boss” and “bossy” are two very different things.” ~ Andi from Space Camp

Recently, a new slogan has been popping up in the media about teaching girls to be leaders, and to slam the word “bossy.” As much as I subscribe to the anti-bossy understanding, there may be some who could take this slogan to the extreme. I admit that I have called my own child “bossy” when I believed she was out of line and disrespectful. But I also know that I explained to her why I used that term to describe her actions. It was her actions that made her bossy, but she herself is not bossy. She is just strong in mind and speech!

No apologies! There is absolutely nothing wrong with being strong and speaking one’s mind. I am ALL IN when it comes to standing up for oneself.

This is the best time in history to be a woman by far. We have rights that rival our male counterparts. We are recognized for our strengths, our intelligence, our maturity, and our leadership abilities. I think we should speak our mind when necessary. I believe that we should exert our strengths as needed.

In a former post I had written about the difference between being feminist and having feminism. (I’ll put the link here).

Woman Up!

I believe there is such a thing as being biblically feminine. Here we go again, bringing up the Bible. Yes, those ancients text still utter truth in daily living. Some women take it to the extreme by not wearing makeup, covering up their heads, and not ordaining themselves with jewelry. Honestly, I am a little bit of a rebel. I don’t wear a covering, but I do respect those women who do. I do wear a little makeup and the occasional jewelry, but I don’t judge the women who don’t wear makeup or jewelry. By abiding by biblical standards I want to still show respect for myself, my husband, my children, and my faith by my actions and my beliefs. I have adopted the modern-day style of clothing, but on the inside I am still very much old-fashioned in my core values and beliefs.


Our American culture is so vastly different from what it used to be. The message can remain the same although the methods may change. The message, I believe, is to continue to embrace self-respect through the values by which you were raised. The key is self-respect: believe in yourself and your God-given strengths, skills, and standards. Go ahead, be a Modern Day Woman. Embrace yourself in the current culture, but be careful to not let the current culture dictate how you should live. You are the only one who can choose your methods for being the best woman you can be.

Well I hope that I made one person think about this topic. I am not anti-feminist, but rather, I am pro-feminism. I embrace my femininity, and I am thankful for all that I have been given as a woman. I hope that you’ll be thankful, too, if you are female.



Hospitality through Humility


The Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving Table

I have a confession: I can get nervous when I entertain guests. It could be an informal or impromptu visit by a friend, or it could be a planned gathering such as Thanksgiving or a birthday party. When the moment arrives, I get the butterflies in my tummy. But, the good news is that the more I entertain, the less nervous I have become.

Hospitality is a natural gift for some. I envy those who can whip up a meal on a moment’s notice, or always have a clean and ready kitchen and living room. So, instead of always having envy, I decided to change my attitude. Why? Because… envy is a symptom of pride. What I needed was a good dose of humility.

Humility is the gift of genuine love for others. It is the process of stepping aside the “me-ism” for the needs of others. It is allowing the pedestrian to have the right of way (without grumbling); it is pouring a cup of coffee for your spouse before your own cup; it is graciously accepting someone’s praise even though it may feel undeserved.

In my path toward growing up I am a late bloomer of hospitality. I have watched how other women effortlessly set a table, offer a beverage or pastry, or just open their door with a smile. My husband has been my biggest cheerleader in this area. Walking alongside his own mother during entertainment venues of his childhood he learned many attributes of hospitality. And, now, one of my sons is eagerly showing interest in the art of hospitality.

The secret I have found is combining the art of hospitality with humility. It is serving others from the heart. No matter the occasion, it is just like giving someone a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name, topped with a smile and a hug. It is taking the focus off of my imperfections, and turning the focus on to the occasion and to the guest of honour.

This is one of life’s hardest lessons I have learned. Silly as it may sound, this is true for me. I am thankful to have learned this through loving friends and mentors. I am thankful it is a gift that can be acquired, and then paid forward in love.

Faith, Reflection, Woman

The Middle of the Teeter-Totter


As a child I loved going on the teeter-totter. It was so much fun to find someone else who was the same weight as me so we could “balance” each other as we pushed up and dropped down! Oh, how I would love to do that again!

Life is so hard at times, and there are days when my world feels like a lop-sided teeter-totter. I’ve got pressing issues on one side of the teeter-totter, but the other side is stark empty. So, what happens? All of my issues sit at the bottom until something more important “sits” on the other side, and throws the weight off-balance (and throws all of those “issues” in the air)!

I am constantly looking for the middle of the teeter-totter these days. A place where I can feel balanced, have my ducks in a row, lined neatly across in evenly disbursed weights. Of course, I need to get my head out of la-la land, too, because it is rare to have a day with perfect peace.

I do know of a person (and place) to turn to when I am in desperate need of that perfect peace. It’s Jesus. I love His name most of all, but I love knowing that I am a child of the King, redeemed by his blood on the cross. I can go to Him anytime when I am feeling pressured, lop-sided, under the weight of my world. I can cry, pray, read the Bible, and rest in Him.

Yesterday, I hit another emotional wall. It seems that these walls show up at a moment’s notice, and I am always unprepared for them! But, after a good cry, my sense of clarity returned. I was able to think clearly, function better, and start moving again. Of course, I am glad I didn’t put any makeup on yesterday, or I would have looked like a bawling raccoon! 🙂

Today, I was reminded by a sweet friend, whom I have not had the pleasure of acquaintanceship (yet!), that nudged me back over to the arms of Jesus. It was through her precious words, in her book, Balancing It All, that I was able to find those words of encouragement… right when I finished the final chapter. I was planning to read through her book last weekend, but time constraints had me putting the book away with one chapter to go. God knew I needed to read that chapter this morning… the PERFECT TIME… exactly when I needed to finish it!

This little bit of non-coincidence just solidifies my faith that much more. I was meant to be encouraged through the final chapter of a book. But, more than that, it was my answer to prayer. God is always in control, and I will never let that faith waiver. I just need to walk the talk, and put my faith into action!

Life gets messy. I get discouraged. But, sweet Jesus comes along and cleans it up. He dries my tears, he gives me a spiritual hug from afar. Through His word, through a book, or even through an email or text, I am reminded daily that my teeter-totter will be in balance, as long as I ride with Him.

Health, Woman

3 survival tools for a woman: a cup, a chip, and a pill

20130724-191622.jpgIt would be a lie if I didn’t tell you that I take drugs. Yes, it’s this little oval pill that I call my “happy” pill. I also consume a daily cup of a legal stimulant that contains caffeine. And, yes, there’s a sweet little cacao bean that helps in a pinch when I can’t have the other two substances.

Yesterday was one of “those” days.

I was a woman on a rampage, and not a mission. I have my hormones to thank for that. “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman” is not only a line in a song, but it is OH SO TRUE! I felt so out of control, and all I could do was eat, whine, and be frumpy.

This is not a pretty picture of myself. I shouldn’t publicly declare my indecencies. But, I know as a human being, and especially as a woman, I am NOT alone. Every day, somewhere in this world, is a woman who is going through what I went through yesterday.

Thank goodness for a new day! I woke up this morning to a refreshing sunny day, and I took the time to put myself together enough to face the new day. I made sure I put in a 3 mile power walk before the heat of summer commenced!

I made a pot of coffee (just enough for me), I drank my morning energy shake/smoothie, and I even made a balanced breakfast of eggs, oatmeal, toast, and milk for my girl. I only ate the eggs, though.

Some days are just like that. You wake up, and there’s no warning signal. There are good days, and there are bad days. There are girly hormones that make you want to throw a fit (and that’s a gentle description). There are sunny days and cloudy days that drive your sinuses crazy. Some days are just not a good fit. But, most days are better.

So, in the midst of misery, I found my solace in a cup of comforting caffeine, a handful of chocolate chips, or in a little oval pill. I should have stopped everything, though, and just fallen on my face in prayer. But, I did doing some praying later. Oh yes, and I made a phone call to a dear friend ~ every woman needs a good girlfriend who completely understands her.

Can you guess what I’ll do the next time I find myself on a rampage? Well, hopefully, that won’t happen in the near future… but you can bet that I’ll have a cup, a chip, and a pill nearby to smooth out the edges and pull me away from the proverbial ledge of emotional despair.

PS – I am willing to give out a hug today 🙂

Education, Reflection, Woman

Vintage is in my blood


This little book has been far more valuable to me than I ever would have guessed on the day that I purchased it.

I had been on a lunch date with my husband, and then we decided to wander in the local bookstore across the street from his office. I wandered upstairs to the second level, and as I was waiting on my daughter (one of her many bathroom visits) I noticed this little book staring at me.

I picked it up and realized that I needed to purchase it. I had never heard of this title before, let alone the author’s name. But, something about the picture lured me to buy it. I was hesitant at first, but soon I realized that it would become a treasure to my soul.

I started to read the book, and I was finished within a week. There wasn’t anything spectacular about the novel per say; there were no vampires or children killing each other in the wilderness to satisfy Panem. It may or may not ever be a best seller, but it is invaluable to me for many reasons.

You see, the first time I read the book, I was caught up in the “idea” of vintage. I liked that the setting was in North Carolina; I enjoyed the main character’s role of being an “almost-college-graduate” who is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to attain in her world. But, the biggest thing that I overlooked in the first reading was why the story took place: the main character, Dora, has a beloved grandma named Mimi, who suffers a stroke.

Exactly one week after I finished reading this novel for the first time, my own dear mother had a stroke. This type of stroke was the same type that Mimi had in the novel. But, my mother’s stroke was almost instantly fatal. As I realized this unusual similarity between the novel and my own life, I realized that this book was more than just reading for recreation.

This book has become a source of revelation, or rather, a source of healing for my spirit. Since it is never expected for a loved one to pass away so suddenly, the shock is completely incomprehensible, unexplainable, and shattering to the core. Just as Dora found out about her grandma’s stroke and had to endure the inevitable choice to let her grandma go, I had to do the same with my own mother.

In the month that my mom’s life has ended, I have picked up this book on an almost daily basis, and read a chapter or two to help my soul. There are no magical words or feelings that actually “heal” my emotional wounds, but just knowing that this was the final book I read before my mom passed has helped me to connect with that exact moment of her final days with me.

I do not believe in coincidence, so this book was definitely positioned to be in the right place at the right time. God knew that I would be eating lunch with my husband on that particular day, and that we would be wandering through the bookstore, too. He knew that I would be dealing with my daughter’s seemingly incessant need to relieve herself in a public restroom, and that this book would be strategically located right next to the restroom.

Yes, vintage is in my blood. I love all things that are old fashioned, express beauty, and are girly. I love that this book is about vintage clothes in a boutique shop in North Carolina, which was my mom’s birthplace. I love that this book was about enduring love between a grandma and her only granddaughter, whom she raised.

My mom would be proud that I am embracing the beauty of vintage. Nostalgia helps me to retain what I have experienced, and vintage is a classic reminder to continually embrace the beloved things that have made me who I am today. Thank you, mom, for installing this love of old fashioned style and grace in me. I will always love you.

Faith, Reflection, Woman

The Eye of the Storm

Wednesday, June 12, 2013, started as a normal day in my home. I was preparing breakfast and cleaning up, my children were waking up to another beautiful summer day, and my mom strolled down the stairs to eat breakfast in her favorite spot. She commented on the beautiful day as she always had done, and she asked ever so sweetly, “Is it going to be 100 degrees today?”

“Yes, mom,” I replied. “It is going to be another hot, beautiful day in Arizona.” Within five minutes I knew that she would repeat herself again, in the innocence of her struggle with dementia. I decided to be extra patient with her this day, for a reason I didn’t even understand. I thought that maybe my prayers were working; I was thinking that God was granting me more patience with her as I spent day after day doing the same thing, answering the same questions, and listening to the same sweet comments.

Lunch time rolled around and there were six hungry kids at my house. Three of my own and three extra friends who came over to play for the day. My mom wanted to watch TV, but our HD converter was not bringing in a good signal. So, I decided to play a DVD that would not require any adjustment to the rabbit ears (yes, we do have rabbit ears, and no cable box).

The afternoon was moving along smoothly until I decided to wander upstairs for a small break from the hustle and bustle of children playing downstairs. 4:30 p.m. will be forever etched into my mind, as my world came crashing down with my mom’s collapse.

Frantic screams came from the bottom of the stairs, “Mom! Grandma fell down!” I flew down the stairs within seconds, to find my mother being propped up by my child, unable to communicate and limp on her right side. I knew it when I saw it: she was having a stroke.

In skipping all the gory details, my mom was rushed to the hospital with the diagnosis of a massive, irreversible hemorrhagic (bleeding) stroke. Only 20 hours later we would be saying goodbye through a flood of tears and emotions I have never felt before in my life.

As I review the events of the past week, I have so many thoughts that are hard to compartmentalize. I can only summarize how I am feeling by the title of this post: I am feeling the peace of God in the “eye” of this storm.

You see, I have been my mom’s caregiver for almost 4 years to this point in time. With her survival of a car accident to her diagnosis of dementia, I have been her “eye” in her storm. Her faith in Jesus never waivered, but her physical and emotional dependence rested on me. Just as she felt peaceful in my presence day after day, I am now learning to find that peace in my faith in God.

Everyone I know has had (or is having) a storm in their lives. Whether it is brewing at full force, or if it has finally passed, there is nothing more assuring than finding that sweet spot in the “eye.” It is a precise circle of perfect calm, in the geometric center of all the chaos, the fury, and the unexpected.

The “eye” of my storm will always be my faith in Jesus. I will not stop ever believing in his name, his mission, and his purpose. I am so thankful for my sweet mom, who has now passed on into eternity, for she was the one who showed me the way to knowing God. She was my first mentor of learning how to find that sweet peace in the midst of life’s storms.

On June 13, 2013, she took her final breath on earth, and stepped into eternal glory. She made it through her storm. She stood in the eye, waiting for exit unto salvation. As much as I miss her right now, I am so happy for her. She is finally at peace, resting in God’s arms, watching down over me to make sure I am staying strong.

I love you, mom. You will be forever in my heart.