I want credit, don’t you?

Like many others, I began a #diet journey in #January. I committed to using the Weight Watchers app. The wonderful part of the app is that when I exercise, it gives me additional points for the week. I’m getting #credit for my good choices. But when my son is headed to Graeter’s Ice Cream parlor and asks if I want something, and I say “No, thank you,” I want credit for it! By the way the “no, thank you” comes after a three-minute internal argument and justification with myself. “Well if I use my points this way, or I only get the mini cone, I’m only using this many points.” The struggle is real.

Then there are the times when I’m home alone. I’m working upstairs as far from the pantry as possible and still be inside the house, and the Oreos call out. “My precious, creamy cookie…” Or I open the pantry for a healthy snack like granola or nuts, and there they are eye-level. I want credit for not snagging the package and scurrying up to my office to devour them.

But I don’t. Most of the time. In full disclosure, I did scan the package and found out I could have two #cookies for five points. I get 23 points in a day and another 21 points to use over the course of a week. Ok, so I’m getting to the end of the week, I’ve already done my weigh-in, so why not enjoy two Oreo cookies?

Could you eat just two? It’s a slippery slope. Self-discipline has to be rock solid. There’s another opportunity for me to get credit — when I only eat two cookies AND when I do have the third one, I don’t lie when I report it on the app.

What are your thoughts on the matter of credit and #fairness when no one is looking? Kinda makes you think about the true character of an individual. But that’s a post for another day.

All the best,


BTW — I weighed in this morning, down 10 pounds!!

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Dreams coming true

Is it a #dream or a #goal? I’ve wanted to write a book and have it published for as long as I can remember. It started as a dream, but when I got serious about #writing and learning the craft, it became a goal. Writing workshops, critique groups, editing, and a lot of rewriting. Last June I pitched the book to Elk Lake Publishing. They requested a proposal, and about a month later they offered me a contract! WooHoo! That began my journey toward publication.

You are now a very important part of that journey. Below is the cover of Curtains for Maggie, my debut novel! Check it out and let me know what you think.

Back Cover

Maggie Nelson lost her identity. Nora St. Claire lost her husband. And Jen Stephens lost her job—sort of. The three friends from college, now in their forties, rediscover a special part of themselves that time and relationships have stolen.

To rediscover who she is, Maggie revisits a passion from her past. Something that was her own—acting. With this, her family begins a season of their orderly, planned, and scheduled lives becoming not so orderly. How can Maggie regain her identity without losing her husband?

Nora is an interior designer whose husband was killed in the line of duty. After years of mourning, she is ready to rebuild her life. Her career launches when she wins over a difficult client for the firm. And in her social life, she finds herself volunteering alongside a man who sparks her interest. Work, friends, dating—what will the design of her new life be?

Jen is a free-spirited personal trainer who never expected to find herself as an assistant manager at the gym. The role is a stretch, but it includes all the components of healthy living that she believes in. The rest she can learn. The transition has a few twists and turns Jen navigates well with the full support of her husband, and her two friends. And yet … is it the best fit for Jen?

Their path is messy, but isn’t that true about life? Along the way, each woman discovers that she is more precious than rubies. Even in her imperfection.

I know you can’t wait to read it. I promise you will be the first to know where to purchase a copy.

All the best,


Let’s stay connected!

Words can’t describe

#Words can’t describe this #picture. Or can they? Give it try in the comments.

You are never closer to our Creator than when you experience His creation.

Goals, to-dos, and bucket lists

#Goals, #to-dos, and #bucket lists are all very important. Here are a few things to consider. Recently, I challenged a friend of mine to set one goal. She said she had goals – clean out a closet, etc…That is not a goal, that’s a to-do – a chore. And in another conversation with a couple who are a little older than us, they described some things they are doing as “not bucket list” items, just things we want to do while we still can. I get that. Why call things bucket list, if you still may have 20 plus years from kicking it. Embrace life when you can.

Let’s break this down a bit. Goals, larger accomplishments, that may take several steps to complete, and consequently more time. SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based. Mine are broken into three categories, body, mind, and soul; allowing for me to work on different parts of my life at different times of the year.

To do’s, the stuff we must do to manage our lives – maintain the house and yard, grocery shop, run errands. I do find it satisfying to keep a list of to-do’s and mark them off. Not sure why other than I know that in life, it’s easy to go through our days and in the end wonder what we accomplished. The challenge is to not let the to-dos overtake working toward the goals. We must manage our time and commitment to the importance of each.

The #bucketlist – as our population ages, and those who are older are embracing a more active lifestyle, it seems to have a bucket list may or may not mean what it once did. As my husband and I talked recently about where we are in life and some things, we’d like to do we took notice of the elderly folks we most admire. How are they living today, and how have they lived their lives? The ones we most admire are still active. Even slowing down, they are finding activities to fit their pace. They engage their minds every day with more than The Price is Right, and 20 versions of the evening news. We talked about a list of things we’d like to do and began the conversation of what retirement years will look like. The list is varied, and why not? You can only travel so much, read so much, volunteer so much. Why not mix it up? And we realized there are items that are better done now while we’re working than waiting on for later.

So, what are your thoughts on all this? Please add a comment.


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Change — be ready

When God created the world, He created change. Most notably of which, and one we all experience is the seasons – spring, summer, autumn, winter. We know about when they will begin and about when they will end, but we have no control over them. They #change every few months, and all we can do is adapt.

Any lack of adaptability on our part really only makes us miserable. Complaining about the weather or the seasons does nothing to change it. It is what it is. The same goes for weather in general. Someone very dear to me (my big brother) recently said, “You are never closer to God than when you are experiencing weather.” We were standing in a gentle rain at that moment. It was true, we couldn’t turn off the rain, we could choose to enjoy it, or we could grumble at the fact we were getting wet. We just experienced it.

Changing and adapting to our environment promotes learning and growth as an individual. While I do believe some things in this world are black and white; some things are right and some things are wrong. Adaptability is necessary to navigate our journey and find peace — to grow — to survive.

Consider the era my grandparents lived in. My grandmother(mamaw) was born in 1896 – in-door plumbing and cars were how fancy people lived. My grandfather was a foreman on the railroad, THE way to transport goods. Mamaw passed away in 1980 when cable tv was a big deal. What would she think today with wifi in our homes, cell phones, Google Home turning on and off lights, and a doorbell that had a video camera?

These advances can be considered tools of change. Ways to grow in commerce, as a society and as individuals. We saw that during the pandemic when families did work and school from home. For this we had about a week to pivot from decades of doing work and school completely differently.

My encouragement for you, is to consider what #change is coming your way. What will it’s impact be if you deny, resist, or embrace it? If you embrace it, will you compromise what you believe in, or will you #grow as an individual?

All the best,


Listen and expect to hear Him

We are in a storm. As a world community and as individuals. Whether you are simply going stir-crazy at home or you’ve experienced some other tragedy, it’s a storm. Many years ago when I was in a similar storm, I wrote this quote from Priscilla Shirer, on the refrigerator whiteboard, “Listen and expect to hear Him.” Funny that I never erased it. It’s something we should always remember no matter what kind of season we are in.

Before some of you decide I’m nuts, let me clarify. God speaks to His children in many ways; the Bible, encouraging words or prayers of other believers, in our conviction, or in that still small voice in our hearts. Even before the storm I’m experiencing blew harder, God was preparing my heart. I didn’t see it at the time, but there was a reason a devotion featuring Job and life challenges popped up on my feed.

This morning He spoke to me through one sentence in an email from a friend of mine, Betty Owens. She’s praying for me. And a message from Liz Curtis Higgs in her weekly Bible study reminded me of how much I am loved by our Savior. Yesterday, a former co-worker encouraged me to read Psalm 20 and 91.

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.[b]
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.
Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.
Lord, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call!
Psalm 20

Wow! I needed to hear about the victory that will come on the other side of the storm. We don’t

know how long it will last. So every day we get up and do what we can do. We don’t just sit down, throw up our hands, and say God’s going to get us through. Which is true, He will deliver. But living our faith and doing what is in our control every day allows us to truly feel like we are walking in sync with God’s plan. We are praying, seeking His will, listening for Him, and doing what we can to move forward in what we are seeking. Doing so, we become very sensitive to His guidance, what is an open door, and what is closed.

The winds are whipping and howling. Stressors are thundering down. Remember friend, we are all in this together, and no matter how big the storm, God is bigger.

All the best,


Let’s connect!

Are you neat or just a freak?

There are those in this world who keep their spaces neat and tidy and those who are not. I’m not willing to agree with the research that says messy people are always intelligent. They may just be messy and confused-can’t find anything. Although I relate more to being orderly, I wouldn’t consider myself as perfect as this HuffPost article would tout.

Messy versus organized is worth exploring though. What works best for you? A friend of mine who left this world way too early had the gift of hospitality, and did not consider herself a neat-freak. I often wondered how she was always ready for friends to “just come on by.” She let me in on a little secret. Her home was always (or almost always) what she called, “first floor ready.” Her first floor was generally always tidy and ready for friends to come by. When she shared her secret with me, she laughed and said, “please don’t venture upstairs. The kids can be pretty messy and I only have them pick-up their rooms once a week.”

Maybe people are messy because their brains are being used in other ways for being creative or having bigger thoughts. Could their brains be wired differently? But I have to wonder if their space was more organized, would that free parts of their brain for even clearer thinking? One other plaguing question, when does messiness cross over the line toward hording?

Keeping things in order gives me a sense of control. I can tell where things are, and what’s going on in the room. When I walk into a messy space it’s hard to concentrate. Maybe there is too much stimuli for my brain to work well in that environment. Maybe I’m wired differently.

I know that getting organized is one of the top New Year’s resolutions. Are you doing that because it’s expected of you or because you feel like it will help you function better moving forward. Please don’t take this as a judgement, just trying to better understand those who are different than me.

All the best,


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Leaping into a new decade

Between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2029 there are three years with extra days-2020, 2024, and 2028-Leap days. Today we turn our calendar over to face 366 days. What will you do with your Leap day this year? February 29 falls on a Saturday, giving you the opportunity to plan whatever you like. How could we make the most of your extra 24 hours? Start now and plan.

What I’d really like you to consider is the 3,653 day we begin today. That is the number of days (including leap days) in the next decade. What’s fun about decades is that there is even greater potential than just considering one year. Think of 10 years! What goal could you set that is too big for one year, and so great, it could take 10? It is almost too much to take in. Let’s take a look at how much we can do in a decade in terms of age.

Between 10 – 20 years old we “survive” middle school, graduate high school, and start college, trade school, or our first adult job. Big changes in these 10 years.

In our 20’s, some complete their higher education, begin careers, some get married and even start a family. Think about it, from college freshman (18 years old) to parent in 12 years. What a huge swing in life path, maturity, and responsibility. Or perhaps marriage and family are delayed, and this is the decade you spent exploring the world, going on adventures or serving others.

In our 30’s, we have children or raise children, continue to build a career, enjoy family time and what is sometimes considered a chaotic decade. Sometimes at this point there are not so great adult things like early death of a loved one or divorce happen. It’s life’s experiences that grow our faith, shape our character, and give us wisdom. We settle into adulthood and begin to learn what is most important to us.

In our 40’s, our children are grown and begin to venture out into life as adults, this tends to grow a parent’s prayer life (funny but true). We understand and are more confident in who we are as adults and in our careers. If we’ve paid attention and learned anything from our 20’s and 30’s, we begin to grow deeper in our thinking and priorities.

I won’t venture into the 50’s, because then you might think I’m older than I am at heart. You get the idea. A decade, 3653 days, can be very important to how we are shaped as individuals and the roles we carry in this world. Each day, the way we think, the things we do (and how we do them), what we put into our minds, and what comes out of our mouths can bless others, change the world around us, continue to teach us something, move us forward in our own goals and accomplishments, or mold our fundamental beliefs.

What will the 20’s bring to your life? What is something you want to accomplish that could take 10 years to do it? How will the events of the coming decade change or grow you? What will you do each day of the over 3,000 ahead of you? What did you learn from the past 10 years that will adjust your thinking for the next? Just as the 2010’s brought many joys, and some sadness, opportunities and disappointments, we will see much of the same in the coming decade, but how we approach each will be different.

Happy new year, and new decade!!


Click to tweet: But what I’d really have you consider is the 3,653 day we begin today. That is the number of days (including leap days) in the next decade. What’s fun about decades is that there is even greater potential than just considering one year. Think of 10 years! What goal could you set that is too big for one year, and so great, it could take 10? It is almost too much to take in. 

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Making change happen

hound dog on porch


There’s a story that is told of an old man sitting on his porch with his hound dog. The hound cries out every few minutes, but the old man does nothing about it. A passerby hears the dog and says to the man, “Your dog sounds like he’s in pain. Is he hurt?” The old man replies, “probably, he’s laying on a nail and I can’t get him to move, and he’s not motivated enough to get up himself.”

Isn’t that the case for many of us? We know there are changes we need to make, but we aren’t motivated enough to go through the pain to reach the benefit of the change. Exercise is a big one that many of us struggle to make a part of our schedule every week. Over and over we hear that exercise is good for us. Exercise isn’t just about losing weight or having a buff bod; it’s about taking care of the vessel our souls must live in while on earth. How badly do we want to keep it healthy? We need to make the commitment, and then be determined to keep it.

Exercise is just one example of a self-imposed change. There many other changes that are within our control-a job change, a personal habit, or relationship changes-all need to be healthy choices for our lives.

What is one change you need to make? Don’t be the hound dog.


#doglovers #exercise #goodhabits

21 Days a habit

Punxsutawney Phil looking straight into the cameraWelcome to February – a month where we focus on love, because quite frankly once you get past Ground Hog day (please don’t make your spring plans based on his prediction, #groundhogday) and outside of Valentine’s Day, it’s a pretty bland month. It’s the “middle child” month of winter. Around here, we can have a lot of cold, grey days. BUT, it does only have 28 days. So, what can we do with this month? Create a new habit.

As part of building healthy habits, I gave up soda pop for the month. It’s 28 days. I can do this. On day 23, we will have our biometric screening for health insurance so why not purge of whatever stuff is in sodas that’s not good for me. I’ve also committed to maintain at least an 8,000 step-a-day average and start working arm strength exercises. Three W’s — water, walking, and weights.

Although I’m not one for getting headaches without it, a daily Coke (#shareacoke) has been my caffeine source. So as to not throw the system into full shock, tea, chocolate, and a little mocha coffee will be my caffeine as needed. These will also prevent any sugar meltdowns.

The walking part is easy. On any given day I can do 6,000 steps just with my normal activity. Add regular walking breaks at work and a trip or two to the gym and I’m good with an 8,000 step average.

Now for the hard part, weights. This is a little harder to implement because it doesn’t happen within my normal routines. So, I have to make this happen. Every day I have to remember to pick up my hand weights and spend a few minutes lifting and curling. Today is the eighth and so far, I’ve not done well. So, with you for accountability,  today I begin this part of the 3-W approach to healthy habits.

How’s your winter going?