Category Archives: Musings of a blonde brain

That “be careful little eyes” thing may need a revisit <3

Good morning to you and happy Friday!

When our three were little, we loved (or at least I did…) to read a book called “The Big Snow”. 

It was just a paperback picture story about a town preparing for the forecasted snow that was to come overnight. 

Children were anticipating a snow day, people were stocking up on books to read and games to play and one little critter was baking apple pies. There was a quiet and calm to it all as the snow gently fell and in the morning the regularly scheduled programming was canceled as the neighborhood had a reprieve from daily duties and enjoyed nestling in. As I remember there was sledding involved and some pie sharing and it left you feeling cozy and longing for a good old fashioned day off from school. 

But in reality we know that a snow storm and inclement weather do not mean everyone gets to stay tucked in nice and safe. Road workers are out tending the highways, utility people are risking their lives to make sure lines are up and running. Businesses don’t stop and the challenges of the weather can make life a nightmare for logistics. Hospitals are still caring for the sick and the people who deliver the weather updates have to get to the station. And if school is canceled, all these working parents are scrambling for day care options. 

There is a huge difference between the safety zone for children and the reality of life on planet earth and somewhere in the past decade or two we have forgotten to buffer things for those tender minds and hearts that are not quite ready to deal with the concerns we adults face with an arsenal of experiences and mistakes made and lessons learned that gradually moved us from childhood to adulthood. 

I remember vividly going to the video store and trying to shield our little one’s eyes from the covers of some of the choices available as I tried to find something we could all watch together on a Friday evening. It was shocking to me to see families where kiddos younger than ours were eliminating R rated films because they had already seen them…sigh…

Recently we had a Sunday afternoon football game on as our crew was visiting and playing with toys in our family room. A commercial came on repeatedly for a show called “Evil” (I don’t mean to judge, but seriously?) and a man would hiss into the face of a terrified woman the plans he had to destroy her four daughters. Of course, we turned it off because the game was not worth the fear that could have been induced. And yes, I realize that football in itself is not exactly a non-violent sport…so don’t start a debate with me on that one, puh-leeze. 

My point is that there seems to be a sense that this is the world these kids live in so the sooner they are exposed, the better prepared they will be. I would argue that this is rather counter to all common sense. 

Our Caroline has a strong aversion to meat at this point in her life. She prefers carbs in all forms and a little sugar thrown in for good measure. So we don’t put a big hunk of steak on her little pink princess plate and expect her to eat it. Her tummy and her baby teeth and tongue and mouth are not ready for that. Instead, her parents carefully assess her food intake and make sure she gets her protein and vitamins and necessary nutrients as they carefully attempt to introduce her to meats and vegetables. 

Oh … and they pray…alot…that she will learn to eat the foods she will need as she grows and matures. 

It’s evident in other areas as well.

You don’t teach your children to swim by throwing them in a shark tank. You don’t teach them to ride a bike by putting them on a motorcycle. You don’t teach them to read by handing them Moby Dick. 

We need to be as protective and careful to guard the hearts and minds of our children. We cannot blindly accept what the culture is shoving into our homes.

To do so is not taking the responsibility for the care of young people. I am not suggesting we take on the culture but rather that we, as followers of Christ, consider well what we are watching and reading and promoting and accepting in each of our homes and lives. It takes a little extra time and effort to search out what is good and pure and beautiful, but it is worth it.

There are so many young parents who feel alone as they continue to attempt to help their children gradually figure out the harder parts of life. And yes, some children are being exposed to the reality in doses that would make us reel.

Our role as adults is to take care of the problems and to carefully and responsibly allow our children to learn and grow and mature at a pace that they can handle. I don’t see how we can do this without diligence and love and a ton of prayer. 

Not sure where that came from…not sure who needs to hear it…but there you go. 

Your word of exhortation for Friday <3 

Be blessed…make an apple pie…it’s gonna snow at least here in our neck of the woods. Prayers for safety for those who have to be out and about <3

No sour grapes…or milk <3

I have already been to the grocery this morning, have dinner in the crock pot and need to be in my car and headed north in 15 minutes…20 if I want to grab a coffee on my way through the small town 8 miles north of here. 

And I do. 

I very much want to do that. 

So here is the thought o’the day.

I don’t know if I can credit my mom, my dad or both of them or some comedian my mom heard and retold the story enough that I thought it was hers. 

But she would laugh at the concept of the way we react to milk being possibly sour. 

The joke goes that someone takes a drink of milk and then hands the glass to someone they love saying, “I think this has gone bad. Taste it.”

At our house we were all like…yeah, no. I’m good. If you think it’s sour, let’s go with that as our truth. 

It occurred to me recently that a similar thing happens in my conversations. 

Someone does something kind of rude to me or hurts my feelings and my first response is to tell someone else what happened as if to get a second opinion on the validation of my feelings. 

I am not saying we don’t need to share our feelings with others, but asking them to taste the raw bitterness so we can feel justified in our assessment of what happened is not fair to that unsuspecting friend or family member. 

God is teaching me as I age, and hopefully gain some wisdom, that He is really the only one I should take the first full cup of sour milk to and ask what just happened. 

Evaluating the situation and processing my response in His presence FIRST is a much better plan. 

It seems when I take this approach, we either work things out in a holy space and I can leave it there, or He raises up the right friend at the right time in the right way so that with a right heart, I can share my struggle without excessively maligning or highlighting someone else’s error. 

Just a thought and now I must be on my way! 

For auld lang syne, my dears <3

Happy last day of 2019!

What is your tradition or mood as we wind up a year? 

Are you all about the celebration of the New Year…or are you more interested in the reflection on the old one…or a lovely mix of both?

I find this week between Christmas and New Years to be one of looking back seeking insight as to how things went down and a sense of expectancy and hope for what lies ahead and a crazy zest to purge and clean and organize. 

While my soul-self would be content to drag this year’s journals off to some quiet retreat place, my heart and body are preparing to spend some last minute memory-making with family and friends. 

So basically…today is like every other day in my life…torn between my love of people and my need to refuel in places of solitude and quiet. 

We have miles to go before we sleep so I am just going to take a minute to thank each of you who make this trek with me throughout my daily ponderings. 

Thank you to anyone who has taken a minute to send me a note or tell me in passing that you read this. 

You keep me going. 

Thanks to my sweet family who tell me they read it and don’t ever make me feel like I shared too much or too little. They are my tribe and I love them so much, but often I love selfishly and they are so kind and forgiving <3

Thanks to my friends who faithfully like and share and don’t hold back in friendship for fear I will post about them. You know who you are and you mean the world to me <3

Thanks to my Declare Sista’s who encourage me in the professional aspect of this calling and help me understand that what I do is really a thing and not just a figment of my imagination. Your Marco Polo’s and texts and prayers are manna from heaven <3

Thanks be to God for the way He speaks to me and then holds my hands while I type so what comes out is something to you that He would like to say through someone like me. 

Thanks for the freedom I have to post my thoughts and thanks for grace when I don’t do it well. 

Thanks be to God for the year that has passed and the ways He has worked and thanks be to Him for the days yet to come. 

I pray a blessing over each of you – over your homes and your families and your lives. 

I pray that you know deep down in the farthest reaches of your hearts and minds and souls the love of Christ for you. 

Happy New Year! 

Winding down the year <3

It seems like such a long time since the last time I posted.

We have enjoyed a great deal of family time that is so precious to me I am still holding it very close in my heart and just letting the end of this fast-passing year to play slow motion across my thoughts. 

One of the Advent devotional books I purchased offered some lovely prompts to journal the highs and lows, ups and downs, joys and sorrows of, not only, the past four weeks of this Holy celebration season of Christ’s birth but also the year we are ending. 

It also sets up a place for prayer for the coming year. 

As you might suspect, I am relishing these prompts to pause and reflect and ponder. 

We have had so many good things this year – extra time with family and extended family, health, material things that make life easy and then…

like you, I would guess, I said good-bye to some things this year. 

Some needed to go and I finally came to a place where I could release them after having grieved appropriately. 

There were some things God gently removed with clear direction and then other things that were taken by surprise and yet, as I leaned hard into knowing that He had known it was coming, He has brought so much growth and healing. 

There are some other things that I have been dragging along for far too long that I would love to leave on the pages of this 2019 calendar and with His help, I will do it! 

And there are some hopes and dreams that I have talked myself out of and explained to Him are just not in the cards that I plan to pick up. I look forward to what I will be able to say was accomplished this time next year. 

If you stop here on a regular part of your day, then I suspect there is something about the way I view life and faith and this journey that speaks to your heart. 

So may I look unblinkingly and straight into your eyes and your soul this morning and urge you to take time to not just put the Christmas away and make some resolutions and move on to the next thing? 

I encourage you to fix a cup of coffee or tea or cocoa or whatever your comfort beverage is and find a quiet place in your home and reflect on the past twelve months. 

Ask God to show you the hard places that He brought you through.

Go through your calendar and note the wonderful times you had with family and friends. 

What changes happened that you kind of knew would come and then the ones that took you by surprise?

How did He show Himself faithful and kind and good? 

Where did you grow, even just a little bit, stronger and wiser and more compassionate?

Who did you help and who helped you through some things? 

Stand up then and go look out the imaginary door that is opening onto what 2020 will be for you and yours. 

What are you tired of carrying that you need to just leave with the year that is slipping away so you can walk a little more freely into 2020?

Face the truth that you have no idea what life will look like when the earth completes another full rotation around the sun over the next 365.256 days. 

Commit it all to the One who does. 

Consider how you will make your life more fertile for His work to be completed in you. 

Blessings on you as you allow God to open up your eyes and mind and heart to all He has done and all He is able to do <3

Friday thoughts and one more gift idea <3

This blog is going to be in two parts….one is the thing I sent out to my email list and so if you read that you can scroll down to my final gift idea for the week.

Part 1

Good morning and happy day-after-Thanksgiving!

I hope you had a good day of whatever fills your tummy and your heart. 

Holidays are tricky sometimes, aren’t they?

We can be right in the middle of all the good feelings when a wistful reminder of something or someone can cast a gloomy shadow and steal the joy of the moment. 

This mixed bag of emotions happens all year long, but at the holidays it seems our emotions are on over-drive with the excitement and hype that is swirling around us. 

During a particularly difficult season in our lives with extended family dynamics, I received some wise counsel from our friend and pastor. As I dealt with the loss of “normalcy” due to my father’s Alzheimer decline, I seemed to be crying all the time. I mean..more than usual, ok?

I finally went to seek some help dealing with this and our friend told me that I was experiencing a deep grief. He showed me that I was not only grieving the loss of relationship with my father, but also the realization that some things I would have hoped to be with him would never be. He called it “grieving what we never had.” 

My father loved me and I loved him. This is solid. But there were many parts of a father-daughter relationship that someone of my nature would have treasured that were just not possible for someone of his nature. 

No fault of his, please hear me. He would have walked through fire for me, this I know…and he probably did so more than I was ever aware. 

It’s just that he and I…like all of us…are flawed and we love and live the best we can, but we are broken in nature. 

This is one of the zillion reasons I am so thankful for the work of Christ to reconcile us back to God. Not only does His power save us, it helps us live better as we wait for His return. 

As we gather with various family and friends over the course of December, there may be some raw places that get rubbed. In the midst of the joys, we may sometimes have opportunities for offense. 

Perhaps we could just begin to enter into all gatherings with a reminder in our hearts and spirits that we do not and cannot fully understand the struggles and inner processes of those around us.

 Maybe we could just prepare our hearts before we go into that party or dinner or the sit-around-the-tree and take time to thank God for each of the individuals we will encounter and ask Him to help us see one another with His eyes and heart. 

Easier said than done, I understand. But let’s try, shall we? 

Be blessed as we enter the season of Advent to know that God will give us all the strength and love we need to love our people well <3

Part 2

This was a gift for no particular reason…my favorite kind.

I love it for the thoughtfulness of the giver to just want me to have it, but I also love it because it is a modern day take on living the Gospel that is grounded in the same thinking as so many of my favorite devotional authors.

In the line of Oswald Chambers and Charles Spurgeon, Andrew Murray and E.M. Bounds…so many of those authors who have exhorted me to look at and apply what God’s Word says about this walk of faith that is lived out in the daily.

I am taking my time to read this as part of my morning devotions because it is not something to tickle the ears but rather to exercise and discipline myself as I apply the “breath prayers” and applications of Scripture to the realities of being human.

He uses an “Apprentice Prayer” throughout the book as well as short prayers to breathe in and out over the course of your day.

One line of the Apprentice Prayer that has grabbed my heart for several weeks is this:

Dear Father, I ask you to ordain the events of this day and use them to make me more like Jesus.I trust you, Sovereign Lord, that you won’t let anything happen to my family or me today, except that it passes through your loving hands.

Page 4 of introduction from Your Best Life in Jesus’ Easy Yoke; Rhythms of Grace to De-Stress and Live , by Bill Gaultiere, Ph.D;

That’s a brave prayer, my friends. And He meets you in the midst of it.

Believe me.

You can purchase the book on Amazon.

Also check out the ministry of here:

Ok…when we meet up next it will be December and we will be counting down to Christmas.

The past few years I have done a daily countdown and I am feeling like I will do the same again…so fasten your seat belts…let’s start this sleigh ride on Sunday <3