Friday, September 29, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Depend - What time is it?!

It's Five Minute Friday time again!

I woke up pondering the word for today (it comes out on Thursday night) and anxious to write on it.


Depend is the word.

What time is it?

That's the question.

I recently spent some time holding my 97 year old Grandma's hand, talking, singing, and praying.
She was sitting in a room in her care facility with a bunch of other people in her predicament. It felt like a heavenly holding pattern. The preacher that comes in regularly talked of hope. Eternal hope.

My Beloved Grandma's eyes twinkled as she heard him talk of Heaven. She twinkled again when she got to sing Amazing Grace with her peers who, like her, couldn't remember all the words but hummed along.

Then we talked about Heaven and Jesus. He knows exactly when it's her turn and she can depend on Him to know what time it is, He is never late. He knows her. He loves her. She can depend on that too.


Happy Friday Everyone! I pray you will depend on Jesus to know what time it is, even if you have to wait. And while you wait, sing, pray, twinkle.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Accept

Five-Minute Friday Writing is one of my favorite things. A community that has blessed me for years.

I have to accept it. It’s real. Making time to write makes me crazy. As soon as I pull up a word document, something happens. The school calls, the dog needs outside, a sneezing fit, the other school calls, a crisis occurs, or I need to go to the bathroom. The issues aren’t original, new or even fun.

I have to accept that if I am going to write, I’m going to have to practically part the red sea of my life and just pound it out. Five minutes at a time, if necessary. That is why I do the Five-Minute Friday writes as often as I can.

I have to accept that I have a job to do. Tending to my family is my number one job. Being present for the ones God puts in my path is my next most important job. Writing is important, but not more than these, so it takes a back seat. 

Accepting my season in life, making peace with the challenges of the moment, trusting God with the words and the time to write them is stretching me more than ever before. I have a book in my head and heart just waiting to bust out of my fingertips. Some day.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Collect

I love it when the word prompt for Five Minute Friday resonates with my recent days. 

This week: Five minutes on COLLECT

I've spent several days in the past two weeks going through my parent's history, their parent's history, my history. It has been one of the most challenging things to filter through the dusty cobweb-y, coated boxes and find the treasures that are hidden among the mountains of words (newspaper, correspondence, journals, sermon notes, church bulletins, etc.), slides, photos, china, paintings, stamps, Native American antiques- carvings, baskets, dolls, etc. 

Beloved items are kept, the blessings typewritten by parents long moved to Heaven treasured and re-read, the sacred memories stirred can never be fully contained. The good items and history documented, are let go or shipped off to those who might find value there, potential treasures for others. The "stuff" - dust coated pencil toppers of silly characters, random photos of unknown places and things, and magazines galore is launched into giant dumpster with gusto. 

Memories, experiences, love, will never be contained. I am once again reminded how important it is to COLLECT and give those things that never COLLECT dust, provide homes for spiders, or take up life-spaces. 


Friday, May 19, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Truth

I always love to write with the great people on Five Minute Friday. If you want to know more about this fab group who bust out 26 letters in all forms and directions based on a one word prompt...
Click HERE...

Meanwhile... this week the word is TRUTH.

Five minutes on TRUTH... okay, here goes...

What comes to mind when I think of the word TRUTH is the sign in this picture.

I want to. Sometimes. Quit. But to what avail?

And Quit what?!

Quit life, love, people, donuts, baseball, noisy theme parks, bathing suits, and broccoli?


TRUTH is... I want to be free. Free NOT to quit any of those things. I want to enjoy them all.

Especially bathing suits, on me. Not perfection, but nothing falling, hanging or jiggling out of place. And since I do eat more broccoli than donuts, that should be good.

The white letters say DO IT.

And I will. Despite the jiggle, falling or hanging. Despite broccoli sticking to teeth and donuts sticking to thighs, baseball games that seem dull to others but awesome to me, and noisy theme parks that bring laughter and keep me from taking myself too seriously when I scream like a girl half my age until I can hardly speak.

TRUTH is .. LIFE, LOVE, and PEOPLE are worth it. So I won't quit.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Being Brave and Living Courageous

I’ve loved the ocean and water my whole life. It’s been a part of the metaphors of my battle with Depression and my battle with my weight. The ebb (low intensity) and flow (high intensity), high tide (eyebrow deep), low tide (all open and exposed), and rip currents (stuff you don’t see coming but if you fight it you sink and drown).

I’ve hated my body since I started puberty in 4th grade. Yes, that young.

I’ve been much thinner, and I’ve been fatter than I am now. Regardless, the wrestling match over my body weight has felt ridiculously long and obscenely consuming.

I’m listening to Sara Bareilles sing “Brave. The lyrics have fed my soul since I heard it for the first time – a friend sent it to me as an encouragement in a deeply tragic and painful time. I forgot how powerful it is. Therefore, I write. Honestly. Letting you in on the process.

Continuing to fight, wrestle, wrangle the weight I lose and gain and will lose again takes courage. Facing the SHAME of the decades of dieting, lifestyle changes, workout routines, planning, preparing and careful grocery shopping, and even weight rebound gains after having 85% of my stomach removed requires me to be BRAVE.

See, I know now, after doing this for my entire adult life, that I don’t hate myself, I hate the FIGHT with my body. When I back off and let my guard or my intensity down the fat rises with the predictability of the rising tide.


I know. Potty mouth.

Then I read this blog yesterday and I found all the answers.

Anywhere I look to you or anyone else for my value or identity is going to put me on a pendulum – swinging one way or another - trying to behave/live/be a certain expected/preferred/desired way. I’ve done the big “Bird” to the world before and said I don’t care, but I do. I always do.

I can’t be the only one struggling here. We all need hope. We all need to know victory is possible. If I don’t shoot for victory will you have the courage to? Maybe. Hopefully. I hope I’m not the ONLY one you look to for complete inspiration – yikes! But we should look to each other for hope, right?

And of course, some of the spiritual ones would quote the scripture from my beloved Bible that says, 

“Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5 (Amplified version-one of my favorites).

But what if I AM disappointed?

I am no Bible scholar, so this is just me talking, I’ve hoped in God’s promises almost all my life. There must be nooks, crannies, hidden passages of my heart where the disappointments hide. The abundant Love washes through my heart but doesn’t penetrate the places I’ve tucked away to hide my hopelessness and disappointment.

So, what to do?

Do I invite Spirit who was given to me to pour through even those places? I have before. It’s happened. I’m not just typing. I truly KNOW it’s real. The healing Power is real. By my own doubts, I give in to the “feel”, but I don’t stand firm on the Truth I know. Again, the tide pushes forward, sometimes only splashing hard enough to shake my balance, and other times with such might that I’m leveled. Flooded. Pondering surrender to the whim of the “feel”.

There is no easy way out. No easy solution. I am what and who I am. I like me. I don’t find me ugly or disturbing. But I am SICK OF THE STRUGGLE. SICK OF THE SHAME. SICK OF THE GUILT.

In the past I would have curled up and cried and said, “I can’t” a lot. Now, I have too much to do and I’m angry that these current things are slowing me down. I’m angry about the energy it sucks from my life instead giving life.

Now, because I’ve learned to “Own It” (take FULL responsibility with no excuses) I’m focused on moving forward despite the waves crashing at my throat. I can swim in rough waters. I can hold my breath and wait to float to the surface. I can push through yet another wave - physical, mental, or emotional, to reach the oxygen and breathe, if I stay steady on Truth.

When I don’t, I go under again. Thrashing for the surface while gasping for air.

I started my company, Live Courageous Coaching because I knew I wasn’t the only one struggling, wrestling and tangling with areas where I feel like I can’t seem to get traction. Owning, running, and LIVING Courageous keeps me honest about who I am, where I’m going and how I’m getting there. One day at a time, no matter the tide.

Friday, March 24, 2017

EMBRACE - Five Minute Friday

 Five Minute Friday

Driving west on I-90 for a joyful reunion of aunts and uncles, cousins, parents, grandparents to celebrate the life well lived of our 97-year-old Papa Ernie 
who moved to Heaven on February 22.

We will EMBRACE – hugs, memories, challenges of coordinating a zillion family members into multiple group events – Lots of opportunities to EMBRACE.

But, hopefully we will EMBRACE fully the memories and the joy of the legacy Grandpa left us with – find the fun, ponder the deep things, love God, love each other, the Gaither’s songs are still relevant, Jokes are Funny no matter how many times you tell them, know who you are, who you aren’t and most important to him: know you’re loved. Every day, all the time. Even when you do dumb stuff.

He held Grandma's hand all the time. This is the most recent picture I have from October 2016. They embraced life together. Every day they had. Together. 

My part in carrying on his legacy - EMBRACE life and EMBRACE each other.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Five Minute Friday: SAFE

As I jump back into writing, I find that Five Minute Friday blogging party is a fun way to bust out a few words, keep my fingers nimble, and not stress out too much.

This week's prompt is SAFE.

Ready, set, GO!

One of my favorite artists is Plumb. She writes songs, raw, transparent lyrics that echo my heart in so many ways. I heard her in concert the first time at a MOPS convention in Tennessee and then at our church in Idaho this past summer.

She doesn't play it SAFE. She sings with vibrant power, exposing the grief and pains of life; shaking loose all pretense and pretending.

This song has been my anthem.

Living Courageous looks like the song says... and recognizing...

My Hubby bought me this t-shirt at her concert.
He's so awesome. He knows my heart.  
Keeping it real my friends. You don't have to be ok. Just keep moving forward. One breath at a time. One hour at a time. One brave moment, admitting when you aren't ok isn't playing it SAFE but it's real. And, you'll be okay again. Probably sooner than you think.