Category Archives: Musings of a blonde brain

The surprising way we can be “empowered” by powerlessness….sigh <3

As I am working through two books I set up for myself to read in the month of August, I was struck by a thought in one of them that resonated with something I said myself to you all in a post on August 13th. 

I was listing some reasons I felt I had grown a bit languid in my spiritual journey and I wrote this as one of the places I could see a shift:

The quiet cloistering of Covid that made it possible to feel like I was walking by faith when in reality I was learning to walk by resignation

This week, I was reading from a book called “His Mighty Strength” by Randy Frazee and I came upon a quote that seemed to be speaking into that exact pit fall. 

Randy is discussing our feelings of “powerlessness” and the basis of his book was birthed in a time when he was betrayed by, not one, but several people.

There seems to have been a main Judas and then some accomplices. I have not uncovered the nature of the betrayal, and perhaps he will not divulge the details which is fine with me. 

Betrayal is betrayal. The damage and healing are what matter, not the blame and names. 

As he dealt with the pain of this in his life, he became depressed and empty. 


He contends that at various points in our lives we will feel some degree of powerlessness and it is usually a wake up call that we actually are quite without power over much of life, whether we feel like it or not. 

In addressing his unknown audience, he asks the reader to rate where you currently are on the scale of feeling you have a measure of power or are completely powerless and then he speaks into each of those answers. 

For the ones who admit they are powerless, he had this to say:

“How vulnerable are you in that powerlessness? Is it possible that, just maybe, you are actually invulnerable in your powerlessness? That you are living in a state of self-protection and unwilling to even consider the possibility that you or your circumstances could change? To be invulnerable is to be incapable of being wounded or harmed. To be invulnerable in powerlessness is to use powerlessness as protection – to fold your arms, isolate yourself, and erect a fortress around whatever you have left. Self-protection is a natural response to threat, but it’s meant to be a temporary measure, not a lifestyle.” 

His Mighty Strength by Randy Frazee; Nelson Books, 2021. pg. 22

Okay…first of all….


I just read a description of me when I am living under any kind of perceived threat. 

Rather than be vulnerable, I tend to:

  • Live in a state of self-protection
  • Consider that it is impossible for my circumstances to change, so I dig in and dwell right there
  • I pull back so I can not be further harmed or wounded
  • I fold my arms…literally
  • I isolate myself…physically and mentally and emotionally
  • And I totally get what it means to erect a fortress around whatever is left

I get protective of what I can still manage and I develop a microscopic view that focuses on whatever remains that might bring me a sense of joy, peace and control. 



I love that he points out this okay as a temporary measure, but not a lifestyle. 

And so I stop here and thank God for the Word that convicts me as I read and study, the people (ahem particularly my husband) He has always placed around me who pull me back out and the Holy Spirit who reminds me by nudges and stepping on my toes that it is not for setting up a homestead in this place of self-protection that I was called out of darkness.

It is good to recognize that as we are being launched out into a new way of living in community and as we adapt to so many changes; we will have some major adjustments to make. 

It is important to remember to remain vulnerable, not hardened, as we sense how little we have control over the circumstances that make up our every day life. 

It is vital that we keep our hearts tender and open to the struggles others are going through and we continue to ask ourselves how we can spend and extend our own resources to be salt and light in this world. 

And it is imperative that we remain firmly attached to the source of Life and Power that comes daily to meet us at our point of need. 

Blessings on each of you today as you receive His power to live and move and serve and worship Him in this world. 

He rules. 

He sustains.

He provides. 


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Beach life, best life <3

I should have labeled this a bunch of randoms. Also be forewarned, it is as much photos as words, but both are important so bear with me.

We stayed at Santa Rosa Beach this time and found it to be quite family friendly area. The condo we stayed in provided public beach access within walking distance, lots of food and ice cream places and miles of walking.

It is not as congested and built up as some areas closer to Destin and we enjoyed the beach area, although one day we did enjoy a beach located in a state park area.

Once again the trip coincided with dear friends and the kiddos had a blast whether on the beach, in a pool, ordering ice cream while their parents had a date night…

or stalking reptiles in the wild…eeeeek….

all good.

I pray protection over these ties that bind in the years to come and hope these two families grow up and grow old together. We have been blessed to enjoy the ride and be included in the fun.

Friendships are fragile.

Sometimes they are lost on ground that one or the other or both cannot move past.

We know the heartache of this kind of loss and we know the joy of longevity that decided there was nothing more important than the relationship.

One day we enjoyed a little “golf” outing on Zach …

reliving Rachel’s childhood.

We took our three to Big Kahuna’s back in the day and as far as we can tell they have not changed one single thing except the prices….$$$$$$$$$$

Rachel proved she still has it with a couple of holes in one…

and while we sweated off several pounds of water, we had a great time.

And this one proved you don’t even have to swing a club to enjoy Big Kahuna’s:

Russ treated us to a Dolphin Cruise again.

We did one two years ago and enjoyed it thoroughly.

The first one we did was on a smaller craft, this one was a double decker – both wonderful.

We saw a lot of dolphins and even some jelly fish which was interesting to watch.

At the end, the captain thanked us for joining the fun and reminded us that Jesus loves us.

That was a perk we weren’t expecting <3

As I looked through other photos, I realized that beach pictures can reveal more of us and our children than we need…but I am vulnerably sharing this one because it represents a most tender realization that this may have been the last year Caroline comes to tell me she’s tired and would I please hold her so she can rest a widdle bit.

I also share it as proof positive for those of you in my life who, when I say I cannot just wash my hair and go and you have told me you are sure it would be fine…it isn’t.

Now let’s all thank the good Lord I live in an age of blow dryers, curling irons and enough hair product to transform that hot mess into something that is presentable <3

We talked some with the kids and adults about the value of returning to the same place annually and landed on the fact that it is exciting to go and see new places, but there is also a kind of comfort in returning to an area and visiting familiar restaurants, doing the same night time crab hunt, ordering ice cream at the same window, hitting up the beach one night in your good clothes for a sundown pic…that feed the soul.

In a crazy world that changes hourly, there is something about the ocean that reminds me of the constancy of God.

Day in…day out…

the surf rolls in, the tides ebb and flow…

They bring their treasures up from the deep and return for more…

while we go on with the daily…

trying to keep our footing on calendars and schedules and relationships….

God is in control.

He created the vast ocean and all that lives in it and He created us.

He cares for us and He holds us together.

He sustains our lives and our times are in His Hands.

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Vacation recap: first leg of the journey

I realize that this is the kind of post that is really a diary for me, but I also wanted to give you some information on some cool things to do if you ever get a chance to visit Atlanta.

And the things to do were the only “cool” thing in Atlanta because they certainly know how to take heat and humidity to a new level.

On Russ’s “bucket list” was a trip to the College Football Hall of Fame. Thankfully the crew was interested as well and we all had a wonderful time here. The staff is mostly young kids and they were masked and yet their eyes conveyed a love for their job and an enthusiasm for college football that was contagious.

As we waited in line to get tickets a young man chatted with all of us. He asked each one who our favorite college team is.

Obviously he doesn’t know I am a stadium hopper….LOL…I told him I am more a fan of the atmosphere and love attending different games and just watching the fans enjoy their traditions. I told him we buy the team shirt and just enjoy being a guest at different places around the country.

He actually understood me.

But we did have to pick a team to go with our badges so most of us went Illini, though Russ opted for Rachel and Zach’s alma mater Millikin.

Every collegiate team’s helmet was represented and when you logged in the corresponding helmet would light up for a brief moment. So fun.

Also please note the gridiron stance of this bunch of goof balls…

Obviously Joel listened well to Lola’s only football advice given over the course of her life – be the quarterback and be so good you don’t get tackled. Ever.

The venue offers three floors, with a lot of hands on features and a wonderful movie that would turn anyone into a college football fan.

At all the displays, your badge works to personalize your experience.

These two cats had identified as Illini fans, when Russ walked up it switched to the Big Blue.

Chick-filla is the sponsor for this place so …

even this celeb knew us by name.

We had the privilege of meeting Terry LeCount. Just a tad older than us, he played for the University of Florida and was the second black quarterback in the school’s history. He also played for the 49ers.

He was such a nice man and so kind. It was an honor to read about the years he spent mentoring young students and now his work at the Hall of Fame.

While the second floor had all kinds of fun activities to do, it was the main floor that grabbed the kids’ attention and they enjoyed burning off some energy trying to make touch downs …

and field goals…

We loved the huge mural that featured paintings for all the schools and we even found the Chief.

After a trip through the gift shop where we discovered why Lola asked us not to touch the pyramid display of Hall of Fame golf balls….we let mom hold our badges…

cause she’s a team player of the finest sort…

and headed to dinner.

Russ had eaten at the historic Varsity many years ago and heard it might be moving to a new location. So we braved the long lines and lack of air conditioning and enjoyed burgers and fries…

Being a non-meat eater and worn out from the day, one of us was less than impressed…

The next day it was up and at ’em for a good breakfast and then a short walk to the Braves Stadium.

Zach had gotten tickets to surprise the kids. At the time he bought them getting to see Acuna was the big draw because Graham is a huge fan. Sadly the young player is off due to an injury to ACL, but we made the best of it.

We got there early enough for the boys to get autographs…

and stayed long enough for Caroline to down most of this gigando container of popcorn…with a little help from her friends.

The stadium is beautiful and clean, the staff was so kind and we thanked the good Lord and our son-in-law that our seats were in the shade…

On Sundays, following the game, they let kids run the bases.

Apparently this is a well-known secret as we stood in line for a sweet forever. There were moments we thought about leaving, but so so soooooooo glad we stuck it out.

As we got closer to the entrance to the field, we could see that you followed the line of families around the outfield and then the kids ran from first to home while we were urged to move along up to retrieve them.

Have mercy. I had no idea what a thrill it is to be in the outfield edge of a major league stadium.

We were snapping pictures on the run and it was making me laugh I was so happy.

I have been blessed to see the home field of the Cardinals pretty close up, but never have I walked where they catch those amazing fly balls as they crash into the wall.


And yes our boys were throwing themselves agains the wall like they were making that miracle out, until they were told not to by an usher ….oh my gosh.

How could you be 10, 8 and 5 and NOT do it???

Of course they all ran the bases, and G waited for little Miss to make it around and then took her hand to walk her back to us.

It was so much fun.

We drove on to our night’s stop and found an amazing place for dinner called Full Moon BBQ where apparently the chicken was good to the bone…

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