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Those who know me well are laughing themselves silly over today’s quote. I am beyond terrified of heights.  Try to get me on a step stool to change a light bulb and you will discover just how little a person can do when she won’t let go and use both hands.  My husband has told me that watching me reglaze windows on a ladder is painful.  Yeah, well being up there isn’t a treat either, buddy!

My kid?  Sometimes I think aliens dropped him off.  Hopper window at the top of the fellowship hall won’t close?  No biggie.  Guess who does a chin up onto the roof to check it out?  Yeah, I wasn’t there when he did that one.

As much as I loathe getting both feet off the ground, I will reach when it comes to trying new things.  That’s what makes writing and yoga so much fun. There’s always something new to try.  And, lucky for me, God is always challenging us to use our special talents to help others out.

That said sometimes I still have to push myself to let go.


Has this ever happened to you? Something’s thrown you for a loop. You’ve done everything you can, prayed about it and proceeded to let go and let God… then promptly took it back. Worrying about it. Talking about it to anybody who’d listen. Refusing to let it go. 

I’ve done this so often, I can’t believe there isn’t a name for it.

Maybe we’ll call it a prayback.

You pray, give it to God, then take it back.

Listen: there are no takebacks in prayer. You don’t need to take back a problem once it’s entrusted into God’s hands. You can’t take it back anyway. It was never yours to resolve. All you can do is… all you can do.

When my son was just an infant, every so often his pacifier would fall on the floor. I’d grab it, sprint to the kitchen and run it under scalding water until I was sure it was clean. Over time, I loosened up about it, eventually just wiping it on my sleeve and saying this phrase: “Kiss it to God.” Germs build immunity!

Lately, I’ve had this phrase running through my head: “Bless it to yes.”

There are some things you can’t solve right away, but there is always something you can do to take it from an absolute no to something closer to a yes.

What part of this situation can I improve? How can I get everybody on the team (or in the family) working together on a solution? Is there anyone I can call for advice who might have something constructive to add?

If all of these boxes have been checked, keep the faith and keep on moving.

I’d love to say that I’m good at the gentle response but I have to admit that I am not.  Sharp tongued may be an understatement but I have to admit that that is the way I was raised.  Fight and argue too much and no one sat down with you to try to figure out what was bothering you.  Nope.  My family firmly believed that hard work was good for what ails you.

Personally I envy the people who can gently deal with strife.  I sit and listen and think Wow.  Just wow.

Because it really is better and calming people down.  I know that.  Now if I could pull it off.




I think this quote caught my attention because spring is finally here.  At least in Missouri.  I’ve got basil and thyme sprouting in my dining room and am getting ready to seed morning glories.  All of these will be planted in the beds that line the front of our house.  The crocus and daffodil have bloomed.  The lilies and iris are coming up.  And the herbs are coming back as well.  Sunlight and a bit of warmth have made amazing changes in the past week.

Kindness works much the same way.  Whether it’s a kind word or a smile, kindness begets kindness.  Share God’s light and love and watch it grow as it passes from person to person.



I woke this morning, as I do every morning, with a sense of urgency — ready to rush into my day. Turns out, however, that today was different. Today, my 16-year-old cat became a kitten again.

When Steven was a baby (he came to us, wild and starving, barely old enough to have his eyes open), he loved to sleep on my stomach, to feel me breathing. But I had work to do. So I donned an apron with a commodious front pocket, slipped him into the pocket, and went about my day, a human kangaroo.

Steven is dying of cancer. (Intrepid readers will remember we just lost Banshee last month. Such is life with a houseful of senior citizen animals.) Just yesterday he was morose and miserable, shying away from our petting hands. This morning, however, he woke me by squirming into my arms and purring up a storm. He wanted to sleep next to me again. So, despite the work of the day ahead, I did as God was clearly calling me to do: I spent an extra half-hour cuddling with my dying kitty.

Sometimes we are called to do God’s work in the world. And sometimes, we are called to stay in bed with a warm, soft orange cat. All callings are sacred, no matter how small. Do today what you are called to do. The dishes can wait. Phone calls can wait. But there will never be another chance to love someone at this time and in this place.

Sort of sounds like a prayer, doesn’t it?

“What’s wrong?”


“No really.  You can tell me.”

Nothing, really.”

I don’t know how many conversations like this I had with people before I realized that my resting face may resemble a scowl.  No, really.  I’m just figuring something out.  It’s no big surprise that I thought life would be easier if my resting face was a smile.

Then I noticed my son smirking in the midst of whatever.  I don’t actually remember what was going on but a smirk was not appropriate.

“Quit smirking.”

“What smirk?”

“The one on your face.”

“What smirk?”

Oh, well.  Apparently the resting smirk face causes just as much trouble because people wonder what you are up to.  Still a smile is a great way to connect with people.  When you check out, when someone takes your order, when you ask for help, look the person in the eye and smile.  Spread a bit of God’s light and love as you go about your day.



Today has been one of those days.  Is it Monday?  It feels like a Monday.  Oh, wait.  When I was a kid, Wednesdays were worse than Mondays.  Wednesday was the day I had ballet.  ::shudder::

On days like this, it is hard to remember my dreams and hopes.  It is far to easy to wallow around in the mud.

But I’m going to take a deep breath and look up.  Deep breath in.  Deep breath out.

And I am going to remember that I am His.  Perfection belongs to God.  Deep breath in.  Deep breath out.

I am going to remember what I am working for.  Deep breath in.  Deep breath out.


This right here is how I see Miss Ruth.  She’s always there to cheer someone else on no matter what is going on in her own life.

I don’t know that I always manage to pull it off but I do have my moments.  The boys don’t often get me to camp with them for good reason.  On one scout camp out, a huge thunderstorm struck during the night.  Several camp grounds were evacuated but not ours although in the morning we saw how the wind had twisted the dining fly (think tent without walls).  Skirting the sides, I discovered that the camp box with the stove, coffee and doughnuts was unscathed.  Soon the scout master and I had coffee going and breakfast (doughnuts) set out for the crew.

The camp director couldn’t believe we were all in a good mood but seriously?  Coffee and doughnuts?  I almost never get doughnuts so I was happy.  And once we were fed, we got to work.

Sure, it would have been easy to be gloomy.  It always storms when they talk me into going camping.  Or the temperature drops below freezing.  I can focus on that or I can focus on friends and fun with the kids.

I’m not as good at it as Miss Ruth but sometimes I do manage to bring along a little sunshine.


So often we let perfectionism stop us in our tracks.  I’m fiddling around redoing some things in my office and I’ve decided to paint my door with chalkboard paint.  Then I’ll attach my bulletin board to the top of the door and I won’t have to paper clip gift cards to my calendar.  I’ll pin them to the board.

“But what if you don’t like it?  Won’t chalk be messy?”

I’m amazed by the number of people who have balked.  My father went so far as to wish I wouldn’t do it.  Seriously?  It’s paint.  If I don’t like using it as a chalkboard, then I just have a black door.  And if I don’t like the black, I can and will repaint it.  This isn’t like getting a degree and then not wanting to work in the field.  The door’s a mess already.

But what if…?

What if it turns out great?  Or even just okay?

God gives us talents and inspiration.  But how often do we talk ourselves out of giving something a shot because it might be hard or messy?  Or we may not succeed on the first try?

Yes, this “whatever, let’s try it” attitude can sometimes yield questionable results.  Note:  I have a really bright green door into the back of the garage.  But in truth?  It looks way better than the weathered white paint did.  And, anyway, it’s just paint.  I could repaint it but I actually kind of like it.

Now if only it would quit raining.  I’ve got to get going on this door.



Have a Mary Little Christmas

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