Contact Me

If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Plodder or Procrastinator?

I've heard it said, "If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done."
I don't like that saying. I'm not a last-minute person.
Oh, maybe I was in high school, eons ago.

But when I got older I found what does and does not work for me. And procrastinating definitely does not work.
Here's my problem with putting things off:
  • You think about how IT has to get done and IT hangs over your head.
  • You can't really enjoy the things you're doing right now because you keep thinking about the IT you still haven't done.
  • Then, when you finally get to IT, you feel under the gun.
  • You don't really have time to get IT done in an excellent way.
  • You lose respect for yourself because you did a half-baked job of IT.
  • You wish you'd started IT earlier.
  • You're exhausted and stressed because you didn't pace yourself to get IT done.

My son says he loves to do things at the last minute. Says he thinks well under pressure. That's fine for him; he's got a brain that works at warp speed.

As for me, I'm no Speedy Gonzales. So I've learned to be a plodder. I love to work steadily toward a goal. No pressure, no pushing, no reminders. Plodding keeps me emotionally healthy. . . kind of.

Which are you: a plodder or procrastinator? Why?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Patience for the Journey

When my twin brother and I were little tykes, one of our greatest pleasures was going to the pet store with Granddaddy.
My grandparents lived in San Francisco, and Stones Town Shopping Center was only five or six city blocks down the way.
After Granddaddy announced plans to visit the pet store my mind would conjure up visions of fluffy bunnies, adorable kittens, playful puppies. Oh, how I wanted to be in that pet store NOW.
"C'mon, Granddaddy!" I'd pull on his hand, trying to get him to walk a little faster.
"Hold on," he'd grip my hand harder and make me stop and listen to the lecture he always gave us:
  1. "The most important thing you've got to do is hold onto my hand.
  2. Just look at all those cars whizzing by! I'm trying to keep you safe.
  3. And what if you got lost?
  4. Next, you've got to obey the traffic signals and wait for the light to turn green.
  5. And make sure you walk. You might trip and hurt yourself if you run.
  6. So just be patient and we'll get to the pet store in one piece.
  7. Those cute animals are all still going to be there even if it takes a minute or two longer to get there.

As a worshipper of Jesus Christ, my granddad's words come back to mind when I'm tempted to rush through the process of becoming a good writer. There are some excellent parallels in his lecture. To get to the pet store. . . or to have success in your writing:

Hold God's hand and don't let go. (Micah 6:8)

Let Him guide you. (Proverbs. 3: 5,6)

Follow His laws. (Heb. 10:16)

If you move faster than you're able, you can get hurt. (I Pet. 1:13)

And finally, your patience will reward you: "The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride." (Eccl. 7:8)

I hope I've encouraged you today. Have a great day!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Yesterday Bruce whispered for me to come and look out the back window. Meandering through the field behind our house was a doe and her tiny fawn. The little thing couldn't have been more than a week old. "Ahh, so cute." My voice got really high, just like it does when I see a cute human baby.
Just a few days before, we'd driven down the canyon on Hwy 34 on our way to Loveland. In a horse pasture we saw a mama horse and her newborn foal. It ilicited the same "Ah," response from me.
What is it about babies, animal and human, that bring out the tender feelings? Bruce says it's because they're so innocent.
I don't think so.
As a mother, I'm moved to protect and nurture any creature that seems helpless. Even a wiggling worm, driven out of the ground by a heavy rain moves me to try to put the slimy thing back where it can tunnel into the earth again.
I think that's how God is, too.
He saw man's spiritual helplessness and His parental tenderness kicked in. On a huge scale.
Oh, we're not innocent.
But we are helpless.

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him." (Psalm 103: 13)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Joy of the Journey

I love being on the road. I love all aspects of the trip:
  • deciding where we'll go
  • planning the trip and studying maps
  • Getting the vehicle checked (oiled, filtered, gassed-up)
  • Packing
  • Leaving super early in the morning
  • Watching the sunrise
  • having breakfast in some small, distant town
  • listening to music
  • conversations unfettered by phones and other interruptions
  • the sights along the way
  • driving long hours to get to our destination

But even with today's modern roads and vehicles, accidents or breakdowns can occur. We need to be careful and vigilant drivers.

The journey of the Christ-follower is similar, don't you think? There are lots of parallels to the list above. You may even suffer hardships, or get lost momentarily. At times the journey may be arduous, or it may be one grand adventure. And because Jesus is the driver, he may take a route other than the one you'd originally envisioned.

But the best part of the trip is the destination: meeting Jesus face to face.
And reaching Him is guaranteed.

"Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. . . " (Eph. 1:13.14)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hey, Notice Me!

When I sit at my computer, Tidus the cat likes to keep me company. He pads noiselessly into the office, then surprises me with a wet nose to my ankle. I bend down to stroke his glossy head and he settles himself contentedly into a kitty-loaf at my feet.
Tidus is so quiet that I sometimes forget he's there. I've stood up and almost stepped on him a number of times. "Oh, good grief!" I do a little stumbling dance as my feet try to avoid crushing the unmoving cat.
He follows me into the kitchen where I pour myself another cup of hot tea. His black and white body snakes around my shins and his irresistable green eyes woo a bowl of milk from me.
After our respective libations, he returns to his place in the office at my feet.
When Tidus decides that I've ignored him long enough he reaches up and places his feet on my thigh. Then he gently taps my arm as if to say, "Hey, I'm here. Notice me."
I laugh and pet him. Then I go back to my writing.
Tidus will repeat his little tap on my arm several times. And if I don't get the message he'll jump up and stand on my shoulders. He nudges my head, purring loudly, and his tail wraps around and tickles my nose. Impossible to ignore. And so, Tidus gets a place on my lap for some just-me-and-you-cat time.
Have you ever noticed how God does that, too?
His presence is easy to ignore. He accompanies me wherever I go, sometimes interjecting a quiet, little thought into the middle of my own inner monologue. Then, at times he reaches over and gently taps me. "Hey, I'm here. Notice me." And if I put Him off, He finds a way to make His presence undeniable. He teaches me that His friendship is much sweeter, much more valuable than the work He has called me to do.
Unlike Tidus, however, God does not sit at my feet.
I sit at His. And in his Big-ness, He gives me --tiny me --the choice to respond to His daily invitation to fellowship.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Like a River Glorious

I drove to downtown Estes the other day to meet a friend at Kind Coffee. The tourist have arrived for the season so I parked at the visitor center and started to walk toward Elkhorn Avenue. That's when I noticed all the city work trucks and skads of men in yellow swarming around the river.
The previous winter's unrelenting cold had prevented any snow melt until just recently, when we finally got some very warm temperatures.
Now the banks were barely holding the water back and the city workers scrambled to line the river with sand bags.
The workers wove yellow tape through the trees bordering the river, warning visitors to keep their distance from the churning water.
After my meeting, my friend and I walked along the Riverwalk, marvelling at the power of the water. Tourists gawked and took pictures. Parents held on to their toddlers. The roar of the river made conversation impossible.
I thought, how like water is God. At times, it is the soothing "quiet waters" of Psalm 23, or the life-giving water that feeds the tree in Jeremiah 17. Sometimes, it is the dark, swift and dangerous water of Isaiah 43 through which God promises to accompany us. It is the washing water that cleanses us with the Spirit in Ephesians 5:26, or the living water that God promises will flow out of us: John 7:38.
No one word can describe water.
Neither can one word describe God.
At times He is gentle, soothing, comforting, inspiring.
At others, just like the river in Estes, He is dangerous, majestic, glorious and awesome.
That river is nothing in comparison to the majesty of God. But it makes me think of God. . . and worship Him.

"Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail. . . ? Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain, and a path for the thunderstorm. . . ?" (Job 38:21,25)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Turn Back!

Years ago, as newbies to Colorado, Bruce and I took a May hike above Bear Lake. We should have waited at least until June. Till most of the snow melted and rushed down the mountains to fill the hundred of swollen streams and rivers that water the Front Range.
But you know how it is. After a winter and spring shut in, your senses ache to touch, feel, taste, smell the glory of the mountains.
We passed Bear Lake, took the right fork --the one that leads to Bierstadt --and trudged uphill.
At that point the snow wasn't too bad. Maybe about a foot. We wore good boots and an adventurous spirit.
As Bruce and I hiked to higher elevations the depth of the snow increased. (That should have been our first warning that we should turn around.)
At Bear Lake, we'd seen new spring undergrowth. Now, all was buried by snow. (Second warning.)
We confidently struck off down our "trail" between a corridor of spruce. At each step I sank up to my hips in the soft stuff. I tried to pull my leg out, lost my balance and fell over onto my back.
It didn't hurt and I lay there, laughing at how funny I must have looked with my leg still buried somewhere underneath me.
If you're a hiker, you know that these mountain trails are marked with little metal tabs nailed into tree trunks about fifteen feet up. That way, even when the trial is buried in snow, you can still stick to the trail.
Lying there, looking up, it dawned on me that I couldn't see any metal tabs. . . not for a long way.
I sat up, feeling the first little tinglings of panic in my stomach. "Bruce, I don't think we're on the trail anymore."
Visions of our frozen bodies being discovered weeks later by back-packers forced me onto my feet. Fear hammered in my chest.
Stupidly, for about fifty more yards, we surged forward, still looking for the trail.
"Stop. Let's retrace our tracks,"Bruce called out. "We can't have gotten too far off."
One hundred yards back, we spied a metal tab. Relief flooded my stomach. We would not die that day.
As we drove back home later that day. I remarked how that snowy trail was just like life: if you ignore the warning signs --in your marriage, your children, your spiritual life, your job, etc. -- and keep pushing on, pretty soon you're in trouble.

Stop! Retrace your tracks. Find out where you got off the trail and get back on the right path.