The “write” mindset….

It’s Friday! and I am able to say now that I survived a call to Jury Duty this past week. 

I didn’t put anything about it on the blog because my overactive imagination, that could probably come up with some decent thrillers worthy of a screenplay, was living in fear and dread that I would get put on some kind of controversial case and then I would have let all ten people who read this know I was serving on THAT jury. 

But I escaped unscathed and the closest I got to the courtroom was standing out in the hallway for a few minutes before they sent us back in to the waiting area. 


We were released around lunch time every day and I actually managed to have one of the most productive weeks of my year. Somehow knowing I may have to be sequestered at any moment the following day motivated me to get a lot done with whatever time I had. 

One day as I took a walk, I looked for some new podcast to listen to and stumbled upon a writing coach. Her contributions average ten minutes and that was about my attention span that day, so I listened to several as I made my way around the block. 

Her name is Ann Kroeker and her podcast is

Truth is truth and one of the topics she covered was on busting the fear that you aren’t “good enough.” She talked about how it’s true…we are never going to reach perfection in writing, but we need to have the right (no pun intended) mindset. 

I found her words applicable to our faith walk as well and so I am sharing some of the nuts and bolts of her message. 

She said that we can struggle with a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

A fixed mindset can cause us to accept the place we feel we were meant to occupy OR it can hold us in a place of moderate success where we have become comfortable. 

But a growth mindset means we take the attitude of an apprentice who will never become a master of the craft – she took this from a quote from Hemingway about writing.

I certainly see how we can take those words and apply it to our walk of faith. 

It is easy to stop at any point of our journey and say, this must be as far as I can go so I will just camp here and scan the skies and wait for Jesus to come back.

Thoughts that fall into being stuck can look like:

I will never change. I will always be….fill in the blank with your deal.

This situation, person, dynamic in my life, family, workplace, community, church….will never change.

I am not gifted in that area, others do it so much better. Even though I feel a tug on my heart, I don’t have what it takes to serve there, go there, do that.

I can also think of times in my walk when I felt I had come pretty far and had reached good enough so became tempted to just camp out there. 

I have to say, God in His love and mercy has always made sure to interrupt me there and remind me He is not finished with me yet! 

It was encouraging to me as a writer to hear this coach remind me that I need to be always growing if I want to improve at something that matters to me. 

Hearing that growth means I will face new beginnings all the time and with each new effort comes a measure of some learning curve is to be expected. 

So I challenge myself and each of you to look at your walk with Christ and ask if a fixed mindset has sidelined you away from growing more into His image. 

We can become content and comfortable in our discontent or our moderate success. Stuck in a state of complacency with whatever we consider our potential growth in Him to be, we have in effect become the “master” of our spiritual life.

And as we know, always, you and I make lousy masters. 

So how about it?

How about putting on that apprentice hat and stepping out in a new level of faith today by asking God to teach you something new?

2 Peter 1: 5-8

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. NKJV




And all the moms and dads said “Amen!”

This morning one of my devotional readings centered on John 14:15 where Jesus lays out this bit of information in how to follow Him well…

If you love Me…you will keep My commands.

And as any parent knows…yep…that’s what it’s all about.

It isn’t ….

If you keep my commands, I will love you.

Not in healthy parenting.

Not in godly parenting.

Unless things are highly dysfunctional and out of whack in a home, parents love their children even when they don’t particularly like them at a given moment or season.

Even when they are not enjoying them and they joke about putting a “free to a good home” sign around their neck at the next soccer game, most parents would walk through fire for their child.

And we are imperfect and selfish and flawed and broken.

And yet we know that even on their worst days, our children simply cannot run past the tough borders of our love.

How much more God?

Who says…

I love you no matter what.

But if you LOVE ME…you WILL keep my commands.

Because if we truly know Him as He wants us to know Him…

if we really know His heart and His character and His ways.

We will keep them.

We will follow them.

We will walk out our days obeying what He says.

Wanting to do what is right, wanting to not do what is wrong.

Not to show our love…not to earn His love…but because we just will do it since we love Him and truly know His commandments are all good for all of us and for all people.


Wednesday check in <3
pc/Russ aka Papi

I have exactly 37 minutes to post this and get myself presentable to head out the door.

So some quick randoms and then the fastest transformation since Jane Jetson went through that fantastic machine that took her from bedhead to beautiful.

If you are new to the blog, this is one of those days we call “Random Wednesday”…and so in no particular order…here are the first five thoughts as I type.

<3 The above cuteness was sent to me from Papi this morning. He has kid duty up north today. Note the large sliver handle to Joel’s left. That would be a mop. I’m sure he is being super helpful.

<3  We have our first exam in Espanol tonight and I am having flashbacks of my less than stellar academic performance in far too many classes in college.

It’s all coming back to me how I can start out with good intentions and fall short.

Muey unpleasant memories.

Pray for me.

Por favor.

<3 I get email notifications from “Linkedin” frequently that inform me of the number of searches I have appeared in recently.

I cannot imagine how highly disappointed the searcher was when they found me.

I’m so sorry…probably better just to look for me here.

But after I have done that Space-Age-conveyor-belt-fix-myself-up-to-look-better thing.

<3 This is the last picture I have of our entire family all together in one place and I am just going to say it’s time for an updated one.


<3 If you ask me, this should be a perfectly healthy meal.

I think it is highly unfair that it isn’t.

I’m done.

Get out there and make today count for something good.

You are loved.

Come back tomorrow.

I will miss you if you don’t <3

Where are you Autumn?

Thanks to a local car commercial, we who live in Central Illinois will be saying much today…

It’s hot, Bob!

You have to live around here to understand…but if the surface of the sun has any kind of connotation for you, that’s what this week has been feeling to us here in Central Illinois.

The farmers out harvesting seem out of synch with weather that makes us wish the pools were still open.

For loved ones on the East Coast, though, as they wade through what used to be their streets and basements…it’s a different kind of struggle.

But still…too much.

And I am just going to say that for some sweet people I love, many are in a spiritual season of too much of the bad stuff and not enough of the good stuff and it’s hard.

Tensions keep heating up and it’s hot, Bob.

Or the waters are rising around your neck and you are just tired of dog-paddling every. single. day.

There are seasons when we cry out to God and are being as still as we can be and yet … nothing.

We have confessed…and repented…and prayed…and spoken the Word boldly.

And yet, nothing.

The silence is deafening.

Our praise and worship seems to bounce off the ceiling and mock us as it lands around our tear stained faces.

The mess not only isn’t going away, it’s multiplying.

And we cry out…it isn’t fair.

It isn’t supposed to be this way.

But this, my dear friends, is when the rubber of the faith meets the hard road of the journey.

It’s a marathon friends.

Not a foot race.

He IS faithful.

He HAS NOT forsaken us.

He WILL do and accomplish and complete ALL that He has purposed to do in YOUR life and in the life of those you love.

Hang in there.

Be strong in Him.

You are loved <3


Monday musings <3

Happy Monday!

We had a full weekend that just covered all the seasons of life. 

Prayers covered precious people who buried loved ones. Other prayers covered friends as they held vigil in waiting rooms for new grand babies to arrive. 

I survived the gamut of emotions watching the Packers and Viking’s game. 

There was a wedding thrown in and some sweet and bittersweet conversations with friends going through good and tough times. 

It was all the events of life rolled into a few days and I am hitting the ground running this sunny and hot Monday morning. 

So just a quick word of encouragement to start your day.

God speaks in themes and for the past week, just about every book, devotion or sermon has centered on Abram/Abraham. 

He was the topic of our pastor’s teaching yesterday morning and the portion of a book I marked up earlier in the week with hearts, exclamation points and much underlining. 

The part that jumped out at me and has meant the most comes from the description of God making a covenant with him. 

In Genesis 15: 9-21, God instructs Abram in what seems bizarre to us in 2018 PETA driven America. 

He tells him to gather a select group of animals – certain gender and age…and split them in half. They are to be laid in such a way that a pathway is open between the two halves. 

One of our class members shared this was the most serious of covenant’s because both parties would walk between those carcasses and symbolize their intent to keep the contract they were making. 

They were, in essence saying, may this be done to the one who breaks this covenant. 

But as we read the passage in Genesis, we see that only God passed through. 

It was God who made the fullness of the Promise, and God who keeps the promise…and when Israel…or any descendant of Abram…even an adopted daughter like yours truly here…breaks the covenant…it isn’t us who pays.

God paid with the death of His Son for our breaking of the covenant. 

When we look at the Cross, we see God paying our debt. 

To steal the words of a beautiful song…Amazing love…how can it be…that You would die for me? 

Be blessed with this truth today. 

NO matter where you go. 

NO matter what you do. 

If you are IN HIM…you are covered <3