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Romans 12:2
Encouragement to fulfill God's purpose through Practical Life Application and Navigation

Stop Fixing and Start Living

As we roll closer to the New Year, my head is filled with thoughts of a prosperous 2017. What will I do differently? Improve upon? What should I continue? What should I toss? Or keep? Whom should I spend more time with? Less? What do I want to accomplish? How do I want to spend my time? What is truly important?


2016 wasn’t bad mind you, but there’s always room for improvement.


What can I do to fill next year with more joy? More success? More meaning? More love?



Stop Fixing and Start Living!


When it comes right down to it, most of us know exactly where we fall short. We are acutely aware of the challenges that cause us to struggle. We know what hurts. What keeps us awake at night. What brings us anxiety and pain.


And in most cases, we know what we need to do to fix it.


Every single answer rests in God’s Word. He keeps no secrets and He doesn’t talk in riddles. It’s all there for the picking. God wants our lives to be spilling over with joy, success, meaning, and love, but we must choose to act. We must listen, discipline ourselves, and overcome.





It’s a choice.


With God’s guidance and your effort, you have a 100% certainty of winning. The odds are forever in your favor. No maybes. No guessing games. No gambling.


Guaranteed success.


We can’t always control the situations and people around us, but we can absolutely control how we process and react.  






My top struggles?

  1. Caring what other people think.
  2. Saying ‘NO’ when I should.
  3. Trying to control everything around me.
  4. Pain from broken relationships.


God’s Response? 

His Word tells me that I should concern myself first and foremost with what HE thinks.


  1. The world is flawed and people are sinful. To measure my standard by earthly inhabitants will only bring heartache, and in many cases, failure.

    ‘For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.’ Galatians 1:10

  2. God doesn’t want me wasting the precious, finite resources He’s so abundantly provided. He wants my time, energy, and finances used with purpose and care.

    ‘So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.’ Psalm 90:12

  3. Who is in control. Me? Of course not. The people around me who ‘seem’ to be in control? Nope. Ultimately, God is the only one in control of everything and I would do well to remember this when faced with a struggle. It is HE I should deflect to. HE is the one calling the shots and it is HIS Will that I must seek and petition.

    ‘Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.’ Proverbs 19:21

  4. There is no heartbreak or disappointment that God cannot comfort nor any brokenness that God cannot heal. Why I beat myself up repeatedly lamenting over this is beyond me, but I do. UGH!

    ‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.’ Psalm 147:3



With a ‘LET GO, LET GOD’ approach I have made significant progress with the first three areas of struggle. Number four, well, that is what I CHOOSE to overcome for 2017. I’m choosing to rest in God’s Word and in His provision. I don’t need a self-help book or 10 steps to tell me I need to check this one off my list. Sure, it’s okay, and even advisable, to gather helpful tools to aid your journey, but the truth is I KNOW what needs to happen and I simply must choose to do it.


In spite of momentary struggles, I have every confidence God will bless my heart and effort.  I know He will make the journey right beside me. I trust He will pave the way for more hope and joy than I’ve ever known. He WANTS my burdens at His feet. He desires I turn over my worries to Him. He promises to make ALL things new.


“And He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” Revelation 21:5


Sometimes the road is bumpy. I get it. Human emotions seep in and overwhelm. We can lose focus and temporarily lose our minds. Boy howdy, have I been there! But recover quickly, refocus, and listen to God. There comes a time when enough is enough. When you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. When the desire and determination to make life better is a stronger pull than resigning yourself to misery.


With heels dug in and chin up, I am determined to follow Him.


It’s time to stop fixing and start living!


Go 2017!    Go You!    Go Me!    





In the comment section below, tell us your top struggle and then post a Bible verse that speaks the truth you need to hear in order to overcome the struggle. Someone else may need it too! 🙂 



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Where in the CHRISTMAS is Jesus?

Where in the CHRISTMAS is Jesus?


Valid question, right?


I mean CHRIST should be in CHRISTmas, shouldn’t He?


Would it surprise you to know I had NO IDEA ‘Christ’ was in Christmas until I started my faith walk in my early twenties? Don’t judge me! I honestly didn’t know. Someone once told me it’s the simple things that go right over my head. While the concept is simple, however, the execution is not and can go largely unmet, by Believers and non-Believers alike.





How do we usually show Jesus?


Anyone own a ‘Jesus is the Reason for the Season’ pin? I have several and make no bones about wearing them loud and proud during the Christmas season. I’m a Christian after all!


And we display Jesus on our Christmas trees, right? I’ve got Bible character ornaments, verses, and nativity scenes on my tree. My favorite Christmas treasure is a beautiful angel tree topper which embodies the captivating spirit of the season. She lights up and holds a candle in one hand as her arms gently sway back and forth beckoning all to come. Oh how I adore her!


How about in our Christmas cards? Isn’t that an easy way to share Jesus? For family and friends who are Believers, we get a big ‘Atta Girl / Guy’ for our bold stance. And for those who aren’t Christians, well, the truth is we can get away with a wee bit more this time of year, so we sneak in a little Jesus through the back door, or hmmmm, through the mailbox actually…





Am I suggesting that pins, angels, and cards are bad? Of course not. Not at all! But are they enough? Is some Jesus better than no Jesus?


Perhaps, but there are so many more blessings to be had, both personally and for those around you, if Jesus is given all the time, love, and attention you have to offer at Christmas.




Pic for blogAnyone love a good themed party? Oh how I do! For my grandson’s first birthday, we threw a John Deer Tractor Party. Now we all know the first birthdays are more for the parents than the kids, and in this case, it was really for Boppy AKA Grampy. The cake was over the top cool, green and yellow décor everywhere, little chocolate donuts were ‘tractor tires’, rice krispie treats were ‘hay stacks’, forks were ‘pitchforks’, etc. It was so much fun to plan and prepare, so know that I’m not calling out those who love them a good themed party, but…


Might I suggest that not making room for Not making room for JesusJesus at Christmas is like throwing the ultimate themed birthday party but then forgetting all about the birthday boy!


Christmas isn’t about sharing remnants of Jesus or extending tidbit tokens, it’s about putting Jesus front and center in the celebration.





So what stops us from putting Jesus first? What distractions or hindrances prevent even the best of intentions from coming to fruition? Here are some thoughts:


Focusing on finding the perfect gifts

Trying to outdo your ex or other family members

Competing with friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.

Over-the-top decorations

Making an effort to serve the perfect meal


Does Christmas become a catalyst for you to get wrapped up in your own desires or issues? To concentrate on what YOU want. Do you crave being the center of attention? Do you have underlying jealousy issues? Do you suffer from discontentment?


Perhaps you just truly enjoy spoiling people and blessing them with delicious food, thoughtful presents, and wonderful moments.  Maybe this is simply your love language shining through in an effort to show love to those who mean the most. Well, if that’s the case, what better way to bless those very people than to share the love of Jesus in all you do by intentionally exemplifying Him in your actions and celebrations? Getting caught up in the temporal, materialistic, and surface stuff may produce a nice moment, but there are other ways to love on family and friends and enjoy wonderful moments which will impact them for eternity, rather than just for an hour or two.





Growing up, I didn’t know Jesus. In fact, I came from a Jewish background. While some of my family members attended temple and kept Kosher, these rituals weren’t taught or practiced in my life. Consequently, the holidays became an odd mix of Christmas trees and Hanukkah bushes, Christmas lights and Menorah candles. The festivities centered around family, food, and fun.


Not necessarily negative in and of itself, but certainly lacking truth and faith rooted in the birth of Jesus Christ.


It took me awhile to get it. Even though I was saved in my early twenties, my spiritual walk and growth was a slow one. But slow and steady wins the race. Overtime, as I studied more, learned more, and deepened my relationship with Christ, the true meaning of Christmas was revealed. Far more than just a birthday celebration, it’s the story of God, who loved us so much, that he sent His one and only Son to earth to save us from our sins. And this wasn’t any easy journey. Jesus was born into a sinful world, faced extreme persecution and pain, and was ultimately sacrificed to atone for the sins of those who believe. Christmas is very special indeed.





So how do we do this? How do we put Christ back in Christmas, glorify His Kingdom, and share His love? As you may have guessed, I’ve got some ideas on this too!


Create Meaningful Moments – In the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation, so much gets pushed aside. Unfortunately, those neglected items are often people and moments-to-be which, in the grand scheme of things, are far more important than the other stuff allowed to consume your energy and overtake your schedule. Take a step back, leave wiggle room on your calendar, and cultivate time for meaningful moments to blossom.


Develop A Closer Relationship With Christ – It’s natural that we develop close relationships with those we spend the most time with. Jesus isn’t any different! Talk to Him, listen to Him, draw closer to Him, and ‘Be Still’ with Him. “Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10.


Bring Glory to His Kingdom – Frankly, it’s the ENTIRE reason we are here. Our words, actions, behaviors, and service should all point back to glorifying His Kingdom. This is not only true for every single day of the year, but most certainly and especially for Christmas as well.


Walk In Obedience To God – Sometimes rules and requests are looked upon as constricting, boring, or otherwise distasteful, but the truth is when you are obedient, there is often more peace, joy, and freedom found. Submitting to God’s Will for your life also gives Him the opportunity to bless you abundantly.


Train Up Your Kids Properly – This one is a biggie parents. The responsibility to train up our kids is an enormous gift from God and one that we should take seriously. For your children, making room for Jesus at Christmas can come just as naturally as it is to say ‘please and thank-you’ and buckling their seatbelts  IF it is modeled for them during their formative years. Give them the gift that keeps on giving and foster a Christ-centered environment.




Instead of planning Christmas and then sprinkling in a little bit of Jesus, why not make Christmas about Jesus first, and then sprinkle in a little bit of life?

Instead of trying to plan Christmas


Some other thoughts….

  • Show Jesus by donating and performing acts of service.
  • Emulate Jesus by simplifying and organizing for the Christmas holiday. Ditch any drama.
  • Obey Jesus by practicing fiscal responsibility. If you’re going to shop, shop smart.
  • Enjoy Jesus by embracing experiences. Have a ‘Mary’ Christmas and make time to sit at the Lord’s feet.
  • Share Jesus by sowing into people’s lives. Share your testimony, speak truth in love, and extend invitations.
  • Make room for Jesus by Inviting Him to Christmas. This isn’t just a physical invite, but a spiritual and emotional invite into your home, heart, and life. Invite Him to be present and participate in all that you do.


THIS Christmas can be different. There’s always room for improvement, even in the best case scenario, so commit to making room for Jesus, putting Him front and center, and watch the true magic of Christmas unfold.



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Just 9 Pounds To My Fat Self!

Just 9 pounds to my fat self.


That’s all it takes.


To go from feeling fit and healthy to dragging like a sludge through life. Gaining just 9 pounds.


Since I met my husband, Lindon, my weight has never varied more than that amount, but heck, that’s MORE than enough for me. I was actually 4 pounds lighter on our first date than I am now and in the not-so-deep recesses of my mind, this torments me.

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Presidents, Politics, & Decluttering Fear

Up until last week, I had no intention of voting for the next President of the United States. ZERO! NONE! ZILCH!


Morally, I just could not do it.


But I was torn between the responsibility to vote and the inability to support a candidate I did not like, trust, or respect.





Fear had won, although I didn’t see it as such until yesterday.


Have you ever experienced a situation when someone was conveying one message, but your ears and heart picked up not only the intended message, but then something so much more?


That’s what happened.



A Message of Hope


Our pastor gave an incredible message of hope. It wasn’t some generic, feel good, send-you-on-your-way  kind of empty message, but one that had tremendous depth and meaning. Words of truth packed with a wealth of wisdom and practicality all rolled into one. A message that was intended to calm fears and restore courage and optimism.


And it hit the mark.





You see, I was ashamed to make a choice. I was scared that a choice would reflect MY character, MY nature, MY ideals, and I wanted NO part of that.


It would have been easier not to vote and not claim any responsibility for whoever ended up in office.  I didn’t want God to be disappointed in me for supporting a morally bankrupt person. I hesitated to make a decision, that if proved disastrous, would bring guilt and regret. 



Skewed Logic


But yesterday, through a message of hope, I realized that my thinking was skewed.

Abstaining from casting a vote is akin to voting ‘for someone’, but relinquishing control of saying WHO that someone is. Whether I like it or not, by not voting, I am essentially voting anyway. And voting for a third party candidate who has no shot of winning is a similar decision. While initially, it may have felt like an honorable alternative, deep down, I knew it would have been a cowardly approach. Please don’t misinterpret. A third party candidate vote is NOT necessarily a bad decision, but for me to vote for someone I knew nothing about for the sole purpose of circumventing responsibility is. 


At the end of the day, while I have a huge lack of confidence in both candidates, comparatively speaking, there is one I dislike less. The right thing to do? Declutter fear and make the best decision I personally can.   



Decluttering Fear


If decluttering fear was easy, we’d all be doing a better job of it.


We all know, however, that easy doesn’t necessarily equate to good or right, so here are the hard truths I tackled yesterday:


  • While I have a responsibility to cast a thoughtful vote, the outcome of the election does not rest on my shoulders alone.
  • Taking a stand doesn’t mean I’m making the right choice or a perfect choice.
  • There is strength in being able to make an unsavory decision.
  • Regardless of what I do, there will be those who disagree.
  • Fear is paralyzing and I refuse to succumb to this scheme of the Devil.
  • God knows my heart and will love me through any decision I make.  He knows I’m doing my best.




Back to the Message of Hope


And one more truth…


  • Jesus is the ONLY ONE who can do ANY saving!


If we are looking for a president to ‘save us’ or ‘save our country’, we are sorely misguided.


As a Jesus follower, my hope is in the Lord. He ALWAYS prevails. Good ALWAYS triumphs over evil. And it will ALWAYS be okay.


Might there be some bumps in the road along the way? Sure. Of course there will. But I know the END of the story and it is good. Very, very good.


My hope is in Him and Him alone.


Need a little more convincing? Take a listen and allow the truth of these lyrics fill and soothe your soul.




My Coming Out Party


I am voting for Trump.


There I said it.


My declaration is not an effort to win or sway votes, however after making this decision, that would be okay too. And it’s not out of obligation. My admission is actually part of my healing process; my determination to overcome fear and live by faith. It’s cathartic and liberating. It’s necessary for me.


Regardless of who you decide to vote for, my prayer is that without fear, you will indeed cast your best vote, having full faith that our Lord Jesus Christ remains in control regardless of who is sitting in the Oval Office.


Thank you Pastor Brett.



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I Was Seriously Depressed For A Day And A Half

I was seriously depressed for a day and a half.

Before you roll your eyes, start laughing, and make fun, hear me out. I’d never felt depression, nor could I relate to it, so this was an eye-opening, profound learning experience.  Brief as it was, it made a lifelong impression.

Some years back I was working through an extremely difficult situation. I was challenged by God to change the way I regarded my ex-husband. I was often quite critical of him and never viewed him through Christ-filled eyes of love, mercy, or grace. I’m not proud of this, but it’s the ugly truth. I could rationalize and say his actions earned my harsh judgment and I was justified, but even if true, his behavior shouldn’t have dictated how I, as a Christian, behaved. Ephesians 4:32 tells us to be kind and compassionate to one another; forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. This verse doesn’t tell us to be kind IF the recipient deserves it or has earned our respect. Nope, God just directs us in how we are called to act with no qualifiers attached.

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An Open Letter To Everyone I’ve Ever Offended, and Everyone Else Too!

Have I Offended You?

Are y’all lining up? I’m confident there’s a crowd forming.


After just celebrating my most recent birthday, I can now say I’ve got fifty years’ worth of time accrued offending, hurting, and otherwise ticking people off. Well, perhaps not quite fifty. I’m sure I didn’t do much damage in my first few years on earth, but when I got the hang of it, seems like I made up for lost time.


Today I ask for your forgiveness. Maybe.

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Decluttering Vacation Debt Before You Leave!

Not fully recovered from jet lag, I’m still trying to get back in the swing of things just three days after returning from a ten day vacation.


It was lovely and wonderful and all sorts of cool. We saw incredible sights, hiked, snorkeled, dined on delicious food, shopped, and enjoyed a bit of adventure too.


And guess what? When we came home, the only thing we brought with us were memories and souvenirs, NOT DEBT!


Our entire trip – flights, accommodations, transportation, food, tours, gifts, and entertainment – was all paid for with cash. No, of course we didn’t traipse around with thousands of dollars in our wallets, but we had the money for everything we bought. And it felt good. Actually great! We packed a lot of things for this trip, but guilt wasn’t one of them.

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The World Has Gone Mad

The world has gone mad, or so it seems, imploding from all sides.


“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” 2 Tim 3:1-5


So, why are we surprised?



Our pastor said, “Dark is getting darker faster.”


We know this and yet we are still shocked and dismayed. In all fairness, it’s hard not to feel overcome with grief considering the atrocities that are befalling our nation, our communities, and our churches.


Dark is getting darker

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Life Lessons in Finding Dory

Last week I had a blast going with family to see Finding Dory. It was my grandson’s first ‘Big Movie’ and boy did he love it! I don’t know if I had more fun watching Finding Dory or watching Kai. Bright-eyed with squeals of delight, he was over-the-top crazy about the whole experience.  Not only did he have his cousins there with him, but there was popcorn, candy, and even a blue Icee to boot. Life just doesn’t get much better than that when you’re three.


While I thoroughly enjoyed the movie too, I found myself watching it through Kai’s eyes. What was he thinking and feeling? What was going through his smart, sensitive mind?


It wasn’t until afterwards that I really pondered the characters and storyline from an adult perspective. Sure, there’s the obvious issue that Dory struggles with short-term memory loss, and the strong message that we should ‘Rescue, Rehabilitate, and Release’ marine life, but beyond that, there were so many valuable life lessons woven into the vibrant animation.

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Relationship Via Classified Ad

Would you agree that most people spend more time doing research for a new vehicle purchase or during a job search than they do when choosing a friend or spouse? I would!


classified ad - morguefileIn the days of old, people would pour over the classified ads, highlighting, circling, and tearing out the stand outs. Nowadays, the method might be a little different, but the concept is the same. Dig and dig and dig until you find exactly what you’re looking for.


If you’re searching for a sport utility vehicle, you aren’t going to dissect the luxury sedan section. Nope, you look in the appropriate listing and scan for details – year, mileage, engine, etc. If you’re an office administrator, you’re not going to find a job in the engineering section, so you stick to the ads specific to what you do and compare location, hours, qualifications, responsibilities, growth potential, benefits, and salary.


You narrow your search engine and hunt for exactly what you are looking for. Except in relationships.

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