Category Archives: Musings of a blonde brain

Lucky Charms are really not magically delicious <3

I have miles to go before I sleep today. 


I have about 34 minutes to get my face and hair looking presentable and head out the door for a full 14 hours of travel and hangs with the Fab Four…so knowing this on Monday I had mapped out what I would write each day. 

If you know anything about me, you know that I have been riddled with doubt each and every morning as I followed through with the outline but I am forging ahead in faith that this is a word for someone, even if it is just for me <3

In dealing with my various levels of trying to figure myself out over the years, I have uncovered a strange motivator for my “worry and anxiety” tendencies. 

At some point as I prayed to have God remove this from me and was blaming it on my own mom’s extreme cases of getting herself worked up to the point of needing bed rest and meds…I came face to face with the reality that while yes, I had learned some of it…I needed to own some of it too.

So as I thought back through the years to my childhood, I began to wonder when I went from the wild child with off-center pig tails who played til she dropped into exhaustion and morphed into someone who manages to drum up all the possible ways things could go wrong even if all we are doing is making plans for an outing to the zoo. 

As I prayed it through and asked God to help, I began to realize that at some point in mid-grade school I began to develop a theory that seemed to prove true all the way through my high school years. 

If I was off somewhere having fun and enjoying myself, somehow when I got home I would have forgotten the time or to check in or my mom didn’t know where I was and had been calling out for me for quite a while. 

She would be worried sick. 


And it heaped guilt on me for my thoughtless and careless ways.

However; if I worried and kept nagging doubt hanging over me whilst playing in the creek down the street or riding my bike to friends in the next neighborhood or taking an extra long time to get home because I had crammed 10 high school kids in the gray Nova and was dropping them off one by one around town…(there were pre-cell phone; pre-seat belt days my friends)…it seemed she hadn’t even given a thought to it and was surprised I was home so soon. 

So I started to equate “worry” with being in good graces with my mom. 

It’s weird, I know. 

But we do this.

We establish a pattern of the lesser of two evils and lock ourselves into a prison that Jesus blasted the door off of when we received Him into our hearts. 

We live like we are chained when we are free. 

Not free from responsible behavior. 

But free from the binding laws we have made up in our own minds that we think will keep us safe and comfortable. 

What is freeing is realizing that I will encounter trouble, but He is with me. 

That I will not be able to avoid the pitfalls of this world by following some sort of five step plan. 

I will pray and think He’s not  hearing, but He is.

I will feel alone and confused and there will be times when the rut of worry, fear, dread and anxiety will look familiar because I have run the wheels of my life down that road many a time. 

But each and every time, as I acknowledge that I am back in those well-worn tracks and I cry out for help to rise again, I will. 

That’s freedom for me. 

My mom also experienced freedom in the last five years of her life. 

Somehow in the midst of her physical and mental breakdown after caring for my Alzheimer-ridden dad for far too long, she met Jesus face to face. 

In her delirium, He broke through and she finally knew the One she had given her life to as a little girl. 

The change in her was dramatic and marked and incredible. 

I am so thankful for the kindness of God that sets us free.

Now I must be off, but I pray you know His freedom in your own areas of lock-down today <3

Mercy me…..<3

On Sunday night Russ and I attended the Mercy Me concert. It was so good and I have a zillion thoughts swirling around in my head so just sharing a few. 

First, the opening musicians were a guy named Micah Taylor who I thought I had never heard of until he sang a few of his songs and I was like….yeah…I know who you are. 

He was funny and talented and humble and it could have been a show right there and we would have been content. Turns out he is from Austin which just made me love him even more. 

Next was Crowder. 

I did know who he is and I know a few of his songs but I was unprepared for how fun and delightful he would be. 

If you are like me, and I pray for your sake you are not, when I hear a singer I tend to develop a mental image of him or her in my head. Sometimes I am spot on and sometimes I am like….wwwwwhhhhhhaaaaatttttttt????

My first visual of Crowder a few years ago was like, uh no. I don’t know who this guy is, but I am looking for the musician named David Crowder. 

But yes…the guy who looks like a cousin to the Duck Dynasty folks. 

That’s really him. 

And if you are like me, and again…my prayers abound that you are not….I tend to ascribe a personality to a visual. 

And I was not really sure what personality to ascribe to the visual of David Crowder, but after literally worshiping with him, his band and half of the arena in Champaign for over an hour…he has found a place in my heart amongst the good ones. 

He is so funny, so unassuming and so crazy talented. Again…if that had been all there was to the concert, it would have been enough. 

Then Mercy Me came out and at first I was not sure. 

They had an impressive graphic deal going behind them as they went through about three of their well known songs. The lighting was extremely cool…I know that is a lame description but the only way I can express it. 

And after the lack of bells and whistles that the first two sets had involved, I was cynical. 

I don’t need slick Christianity and I don’t like feeling manipulated into worship. 

But after their first few songs, all the hype kind of melted away. 

Through conversation and acoustic sets and more of the background creativity and such, it was again more like a worship service than a concert. 

I always wonder if people who are on a stage for a living as actors, singers, dancers, and even Christian artists..people who do the same thing over and over lose their enthusiam. 

I think about when soloists or bands have a hit and so every single concert and show for the rest of their career they are expected to sing that same song in the same way the audience loves. Do they get sick and tired of doing it? Do they lose their love of the calling?

And I have two thoughts on that:

One is, we all face that challenge on our own small stages. Every single day we get up and do the thing we were called to do. 

Every single day, you have to work up the passion and compassion to do your job – to hang in there.

Even when your days are playing on a loop, you have to show up and give it your all and find the reason why you do deep down in your soul and then pour out. 

You have to consistently show up and be the person who matters to the people in your realm of influence.

So good on you there, fellow traveler. 

Second thought: Bart Willard, lead singer for Mercy Me, answered my question near the end of the concert. 

I had forgotten one of my favorite songs was written by him. 

He started talking about his days when he doesn’t “feel” like all the things he believes and declares to large audiences and across the airwaves. 

Days when he can’t see God working and he doesn’t have that joy down in his heart and it seems like God has abandoned him. 

The song he wrote in those times expresses how he can feel like a fake standing up on a stage declaring God’s goodness…

The words echo something we all, even the people whose stories are strung throughout Scripture struggled with….David, Joseph, Ruth, Esther, the three men in the furnace….so many….

I know you’re able and I know you can, save through the fire with your mighty hand….but even if you don’t….

“Even If” by Bart Millard

That’s what faith is. 

Whether you are on a tour bus going from city to city…or walking into a corporate office each morning….standing in front of a classroom of kids…or folding the first of ten loads of laundry for the day…prepping someone for surgery…or sitting by the bedside of a love one…

even if He doesn’t appear to have shown up….

our hope is in Him and we will not be disappointed. 

My two cents… <3

As I write to you this morning, I am on pins and needles waiting for the Direct TV tech to show up. 

They have scheduled an appointment between 8 and 12 today. They will come when they come and so I enter into each task with heightened anticipation waiting for the door bell to ring. 

It seems we have some glitch in one of the boxes attached to one of the TV’s and I spent about a half hour each on Monday and Wednesday walking through the exact same steps to try and self-correct the issue.

The first phone call was with a guy named Matt and while he was fairly easy to understand, I could detect an accent and when he said the tech he was sending out was a great guy and one of their bests and he knows him personally…I did not believe him at all based on the background noise during our session.

Yesterday I received a call from a woman who wanted to try and trouble shoot the problem one more time in case Matt missed something so they wouldn’t have to send the tech guy today. 

If she said her name, I didn’t understand it. 

I didn’t understand most of what she said except “Miss Laura” which she used several times in each exchange and I found this somewhat irritating. 

I had to ask her nicely if she could repeat herself about every other sentence and we did manage to get all the steps walked through. I think. 

We were not successful and so she said she would make sure the appointment was not canceled. 

But here is the kicker. 

My position is this: I can access channels by going through extra steps on the remote. My point was that I don’t have to do that for other TV’s and haven’t had to in the past so am assuming something is wrong with that box. We pay quite a bit for this service and since I am a customer and something isn’t working properly, I should call and let the company I am paying know. 

Their position was: We understand, Miss Laura, how hard this is for you to go through extra steps so we will send someone out. 

About the third time she said that (Matt had worded it differently stating that he realized it was a “pain in the neck” and he was sorry it was so difficult for me to get to the channel) I spoke very calmly into the phone and said it was not that hard.

I said it was inconvenient, yes. And there is something wrong with their equipment but I would be fine to just continue on until it breaks completely and then they can send the tech. 

For that part, she said no I shouldn’t have to do that and agreed the equipment is faulty and they would need to send someone, but I want to address the feelings that came to me as I sat holding a remote control in front of a TV as a woman who lives in a nice house in a beautiful neighborhood and has three other TV’s she can use. 

I get that I am spoiled. 

I get that having to go through a couple of extra steps on a remote control to watch the news and complain about the weather guy is a luxury.

I understand that “hard” and “difficult” are not associated with such trivial things. 

I wanted to tell her that I know the difference between a minor inconvenience and the stuff that is really hard in life. 

I wanted her to know that I actually wonder what her life is like as she takes the brunt of our frustration that a company that is your best friend when trying to sell you the service will drop you like a hot potato when you actually need service. 

I wanted the tell her that I know fleeing from a government because of your religious beliefs or trying to put food on the table for a family when there are no jobs or having your daughters ripped away from their school and never seeing them again or raising a child with disabilities or being oppressed or trafficked or sitting in dialyses or chemotherapy or the court room in a child custody battle or standing by the grave or your young adult child or husband or best friend…and many other situations of humanity that keep me on my knees these days…those are hard. 

I understand that, as an American, I have a reputation over there in the customer service office halfway around the world of being entitled and selfish and only interested in getting my way. It’s why she thanked me repeatedly and called me “Miss Laura.” 

And it makes me sad and reflective of how much I take for granted because I live in a place where inconveniences are considered hardships. 

So there’s my two cents…and now it’s on to the next thing on my to do list that doesn’t take me out of earshot of the doorbell.

Wednesday is always good for some randoms, right?

Over the weekend someone commented that I never wore a coat despite the super cold temps.

So this morning I decided to act like an adult and dress properly for the weather.

I donned a mid calf thermal coat complete with fur trimmed attached hood and my gloves and headed out.


It’s in the mid to high 50’s.

So much for adulthood.

Here are some randoms for your mid-week perusing and then it’s off to tackle the day…coatless, my friend.

#1 – I did a Facebook live post today for Session 7 of Finding God Faithful and I totally blanked on the other brother that was left to make room for Joseph’s two sons.

I love making a mistake in front of an unknown audience about as much as I love making a mistake in front of one or more live people….or even just make a mistake that only I know about.

So here is the correction…the 12 tribes include Joseph, but the land allotted to the tribe of Joseph was given to his two sons. Joseph was given double and the tribe that was “left out” was the Levites because they did not own land – they were assigned to the duties of maintaining the Temple and the other tribes supported them.


Now that we have that clear….

#2 – We are twixt and tween seasons.

Some of our friends are already putting up their Christmas trim.

There are others who will staunchly sport the pumpkins and orange/red and brown fake leaves and flowers until the leftovers from Thanksgiving are tucked in the fridge.

Others, God bless them, are trying to figure out how they didn’t notice the Lily of the Valley stems were still stuck in a vase in the bookcase and made it through summer and this far into fall without being detected.

And some don’t give a hoot about any of it.

And you know what?

It’s ok.

Whatever your style…whatever your timing on doing life…you do you <3

#3 – I made a Butternut Squash and Risotto from Kelly Minter’s book “A Place at the Table” and it was delicious. Easy to prepare, still yummy warmed up…like Autumn soul food.

Her book is so sweet…lots of good reading and lovely pictures plus easy to follow recipes and so far all have been a hit at our house.

#4 – My cousin Betty has written and published a fun Gratitude Journal….

At $12.99 they make a great little Christmas gift or something for you to do for your own quiet time.

52 weeks with prompts gives you a year of growing in this quality of being thankful…and lots of fun and creative spaces for coloring and doodling.

#5 – I’m out of ideas for you…see you tomorrow <3

Some thoughts from younger (as in earlier this year) me <3

Aww….the Midwest. 

You never know what you are going to get weather wise, but today is looking very good with sunshine, even if the temps are dipping downward drastically. 

Sun always helps, doesn’t it?

You don’t get to be my age without learning some helpful doses of wisdom gleaned the hard way so today I am passing along something I did last year in January that is proving to be motivational to me as the year is winding down into the crazy busy of December. 

Apparently when we got our new calendar going in January, younger me wrote herself reminders at the bottoms of certain pages. 

A few weeks ago I found a note penned that read:

“Paint the kids’ Christmas ornaments early, you will be so glad you did.”

This being the voice of experience who often is still painting finishing touches on them Christmas Eve…if not New Year’s Day…

This week I found three numbered items scribbled in the Notes section of my planner. 

One was a reminder of something I was so sad I had not done with our four little grands and so I am making plans now to implement a way to make time and effort to accomplish it this year. 

Another note reminded me that I decorated more simply last year and enjoyed it so much more both putting up and taking down and just taking it in as we lived amongst the decked halls.

The third one affirmed that I had made a master plan sheet for events, activities and meals that had helped me eat in a healthy way. I noted that I did not gain weight and felt less stressed so perhaps might want to do that again. 

I am gentle with myself for I know well that I am prone to rebellion when feeling “bossed.”

So there you go. 

Maybe you would like to grab a tip and try it out this year…or share one of your own. 

Remember, I won’t post comments if you tell me not to…but it’s fun to share ideas <3