Things to Remember

Finding the Wonderful When You Don’t Feel Wonderful

 

How to find the wonderful things to be grateful for, when you feel far from wonderful.Do you ever find it difficult to be thankful and find the wonderful in the midst of hard?

Hard times. Hard situations. Hard attitudes.

And then along comes a day where we are supposed to be counting our blessings. Smiling and being cheerful for the here and now. And being grateful can feel so hard. Cold. Joyless. Uncertain. Continue reading . . .


Things to Remember

Airplanes, Turbulence, and a Mantra of Reassurance

 

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantraOne thing I get nervous about, is flying in turbulence.

I know exactly when it started. We were heading into the Seattle airport. Beginning our last 30 minutes of descent. And that’s when the turbulence started.

Up and down we bobbed, like a fishing float crossing jet ski waves.

We were strapped in the last row of the airplane. And it wasn’t long before the odor of the 2 back bathrooms was wafting up the aisle. Getting stronger as time slowly marched forward.

Now two sensory items were combining to make me feel nauseous and sick.  Continue reading here . .


Things to Remember

You Are Not Responsible for the Emotions of Everyone Around You

 

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.I’m a fixer. I’m a doer. Perhaps you are too.

I see the bed unmade and I make it.

The toilet is running. I reach in, push the flapper down, and stop the waste of running water (yes, I have even been known to do this in public bathrooms! I know!).

I see someone next to me and their shirt tag is waving their size and brand, and without thinking I reach over and tuck it back in.

And if someone looks unhappy, my first instinct is to go make them happy.

I know that sounds silly. Make someone happy. Because we can’t make someone happy. They have to decide they want to be happy, but still I try. Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

Living the Dream Between Sticky Messes and Sacred Ground

 

Sometimes we forget our prayers were answered, because now we feel stuck in a mess and mired in problems.Do you sometimes look around and wish for more?  Think, is this all there is?

Or wonder to yourself, so this is how it is going to be? Does life sometimes seem more like a chore than joy?

I think we can answer yes to some of these questions, depending on the day and season we are currently mired in.

We sometimes forget that our sticky mess we are questioning, is really sacred ground. Continue reading here . . .


Guest Post

Shedding the Wallflower

We were made to be brave. And sometimes that means stepping out and doing the unexpected, especially when we are shy. #worth and identity #personal growth

When I tell my children I was shy and painfully unsure of myself during my childhood and early adult years, they question if I am being truthful. The story sounds made up, to them. But it is true.

I spent most of my first twenty some years quietly looking around, unsure of myself and the world. I preferred to watch people, instead of participate; listen to people, instead of talk.

Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

Why Flowers?

 

It is hard for me to see flowers and not be happy. They make me smile due to their cheeriness and bright colors. They remind me of sunshine and warm weather.Flower pictures are my go-to pictures. They pop up everywhere.

Why flowers, you may be thinking? Doesn’t she have any friends or know any people?

Attempting to get to the bottom of your questions, and my fascination with flowers, I conducted a Q & A.

Continue reading here…


Things to Remember

Why We Want to Be There for Others

 

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.I am about to slide into bed, when I hear my son wandering the house. The clock says he should have been asleep awhile ago. I find him in the living room.

“I can’t get to sleep,” he moans. “I have been trying to for an hour and a half.”

“Did you try and lie still? Quiet your mind? Relax with . . .?”

“I’ve tried everything,” he moans.

I inwardly groan. I am tired myself. I know I would be asleep the moment my head sinks into the pillow, but . . . life calls.  Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

15 Ways to Kill a Friendship (What Not to Do)

 

Wondering how to kill a friendship? Here are 15 things you can do to guarantee your friendships dissolve. Or you can do the opposite of this and build and encourage your current friendships.Perhaps you are someone with too many friends.

They flock to you like ants to chocolate frosting. They take your time and energy, giving little in return. Instead of being a joy, they are turning into a chore.

Well I am here to help.

Follow these 15 steps and you will kill your current friendships. Even halt future friendships. And don’t worry, these steps work on all types of relationships. Mates, co-workers, besties, children of all ages, peeps, pesky you know who’s, and neighbors. Pretty much on anybody, except maybe your loyalist dog.  Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

Another Chance?

 

Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"Do you remember hearing stories of the dead brought back to life?

It sounded good to me.

Who doesn’t want another chance at life?

To see people, they love again?

Then I got a different perspective. Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

What I Wish An Older Woman Had Told My Younger Self

 

9 things I would give as advice to my younger self. Everything from mental health to checking my iron and hormones, to setting boundaries and playing more.Like most things do, it slowly snuck up on me. There were a few warning signs, but I am not that observant. I had noticed I wanted and needed more naps to stay alert, but I was just thinking naps were one of my best friends. I had noticed I had less energy, but after all I am no spring chicken. I also reasoned I was also doing more. And I could still do hard things, like hike 14 miles on the continental divide in less than 7 hours. I had noticed I seemed to be shedding a bit more hair. But I reasoned it was spring, and I usually shed more every spring. Continue reading . . .


Things to Remember

Stop Apologizing for Your Appearance

 

Why do women apologize so much about their appearance? We need to love and appreciate our bodies, not apologize about them and pick them apart.It was one of those days. Full of plans. Many didn’t get done. Some did. I dressed in track shorts and a t-shirt, planning to change before my evening meet-up.

After waiting 45 minutes for my son to emerge from his after-school meeting, I shot home. In less than 40 minutes, I had whipped up dinner and threw it in the oven to bake. I wiped the sweet from my forehead and headed to an hour-long appointment just a few minutes away.  In my mind all my plans worked out. I expected to return home, freshen up, change into a cute outfit, and meet my friend at Panera looking calm, cool, and much better than I had all day.

Well those were my plans. And if I had been listening, I might have heard life laughing at me. Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

How to Love Unconditionally: 11 Tips for Loving Yourself and Others

 

Discover 11 traits of unconditional love. Learn how to love unconditionally, both yourself and others, so that you and others can thrive in relationships.Unconditional love is not dependent on anything we do or don’t do. It loves us no matter what. In all circumstances and in all possibilities. It is a love that does not grow when we are good or evaporate when we displease.  It is a faithful and constant love.

This kind of love is not easy. It is based upon a choice. Not a feeling.

So how can we love those around us unconditionally? As well as love our self unconditionally? Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

The Secret of Unconditional Love on You and Others

 

Unconditional love has a secret. When we feel loved and accepted just the way we already are, that's when we get motivated to change into better people.Sometimes a movie inspires you and to be a change maker. I am talking about the documentary movie about Fred Rogers Won’t You be My Neighbor. It is well worth seeing. And not just if you are a Mr. Rogers fan, but if you think this world needs a little more kindness. A little more love. A little more encouragement. You will leave inspired, wanting to spread these three things a little more. Fred Rogers had a simple message: I love you just the way you are. You are special and matter. I want to be your neighbor. Kindness and love change the world. Nothing to complicated. But it was a radical message for kid’s television. Continue reading . . . 


Things to Remember

Building a Strong Moral Compass for Your Kids and Their New School Year

5 ways parents can build a strong moral compass for kids. If we want to shape and influence them, we need to focus on the relationship.We want to influence our children. Shape and guide them to their best selves. But sometimes the school year is so hectic that our good intentions fall to the bottom of the to-do list, and even get crossed off.

This doesn’t need to happen. With a little strategizing and planning we can be a positive influence and moral compass for our children. We can help them counter and question the negative influences that they confront them at school, from their peers, and from society. Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

What do You Believe About Others? 

 

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.I think it is sometimes interesting what we believe about others.

The people floating about us that we see in public spaces and private.

These beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true. Our reality.

And the funny thing is, our experiences often justify and prove our beliefs.

A friend and I were talking over a meal and I mentioned that I thought most people were basically helpful and friendly in public.

The look she gave me could have competed with a deer in headlights.  Continue reading . . .


Things to Remember

5 Tips for a Mostly Balanced Life

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.Do you ever dream of a perfectly balanced life?

One where you are well-rested from self-care, well-dressed because the laundry has been completed and actually put away, and well-fed as dinner is tasty and on time. Family members are positive and problem free. Work is trouble-free. Your calendar and tasks are working like a well-oiled machine. No errands await. The radar screen registers at level and problem free for the next several months.

This perfectly balanced life sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?  Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

How Pride Impacts Our Relationships

Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.“I think you are angry.”

“Nope.”  I spat out.

We were in our first year of marriage and driving north to visit friends.

“Well you sure seem angry.”

“I’m not,” I said staring at the red light we were waiting on.

Just breathe, I reminded myself. Stay calm.

“There is nothing wrong with admitting you are angry,” he said, a few minutes of silence later. “Anger is just an emotion. It doesn’t make you a bad person.”

I listened a little more intently. I had never heard that before. Continue Reading . . .


Guest Post: The Better Mom

Stay at Home Moms ARE Working Women

Stay at home moms are often more valuable and necessary than they think they are.

The world would collapse without mothers reminding their children to eat their vegetables, brush their teeth, and tie their shoes; if women quit reminding their mates to take their vitamins, send their mom a birthday card, and oh yes, Tuesday is trash day; or if women quit volunteering their evenings and not-so-spare hours, countless volunteer organizations and projects would fold up and close.  Continue reading here . . .

 


Things to Remember

The Many Ways We Delay Things by Living in Fear

Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.Do you delay things?

Things you need? Like happiness, thankfulness, joy, feeling positive, or liking yourself?

Or maybe you delay using things. Your grandmother’s china. Wearing that new dress. Reading that new book.

Maybe you delay stating a new project. Using your talents. Stepping out to serve. Cleaning the house. Thanking the neighbor.

If you are like me, you delay things. Necessary things, little things, good things.

Sure, there is a reason, but probably not a very good reason. Continue reading . . .


Things to Remember

When Was Your Last Playdate?

We need girlfriends. If we all make connections with each other and share our struggles. Our lessons learned. Our stories, we will be helping each other and healing our self at the same time.I shall be forever grateful to Mrs. Smith.

She was the first person who invited my husband and I over after we were married.

It was a time of great transition. We hadn’t been married long and were busy setting up our apartment and life in a new city. It felt like we belonged nowhere. We no longer fit into the single category. And while we were married, we didn’t have kids and we didn’t feel accepted into the married category. Besides, what did we even know about marriage? Nothing. Continue reading . . .


Things to Remember

Are you a Place Maker?

Encouragement for your journey. 9 ways we can become a place maker and welcome more people into our lives.We are attracted to certain people. And not because of their clothes or appearance, but because of their attitude, their manner, and the way they treat us.

Maybe they have a smile for us. Or a simple hello. Maybe they ask how we are doing and really mean it and take time to listen to our problems if we want to mention something besides what we think of our day or the weather. Continue reading . . . 


Things to Remember

Ten Things I Learned from Purging My House

Decluttering our house can teach us lessons about ourselves. Here's what I learned through purging my house.Sorting, processing, throwing out and reorganizing our house is a lot like doing the same to our life. Not everything you come across is all bad and needs to go, nor is everything all good and needs to stay.

Somethings have served their purpose and now can be passed onto someone else (baby things). Somethings are expired (that jar of bright blue polish I never got around to wearing). Somethings you still need, and may always need (kitchen dishes), and somethings were only for a season (card making supplies). Continue reading . . .


Things to Remember

When We Are Misunderstood

Being misunderstood is hard. We have this deep need to be understood. So what do we do when we feel misunderstood?We have this deep need to be understood. To be approved of. To have others relate and agree with us. We desire others to understand what we say. What we do. And why we do what we do.

Being misunderstood is hard. It is not fun to be questioned. To be misunderstood. To have wrong motives aligned to us.

Yet there was one who was misunderstood. Who was questioned. Who had wrong motives assigned to him. It was Jesus.  Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

When Words Fail

Words can only communicate so much, and then they fail us.Sometimes words fail us.

I am telling hubby goodbye. Sitting in the car, I roll down the window and look at him standing in the driveway. He rests his hand on the edge of the window as I squint up at him.

I am leaving for a week. Heading south. On the kitchen counter lies the itinerary. The calendar. The notes and to-do’s.

He has prayed for safe travels. We have small talked. Nothing to do but say goodbye and drive, yet I linger. Continue reading . . .


Things to Remember

The Important Thing is Getting There

Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Last week I drove to Mississippi to visit my sister. I pass mile after mile of unplanted farmland. Slice across and down the state. Crisscross the corner of another state. Cross the bridge and drive over the Huckleberry Finn River, which is overflowing its banks. I touch Tennessee. I am on I-55 heading into Memphis.

I have been traveling since about 9 AM and now it is about 3:30PM. A podcast is playing in the background and I am confident and relaxed. Maybe to confident. Continue reading


Things to Remember

What’s the Plot Line of Your Journey?

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.What does your current journey look like?

Do you sometimes look around and think you would rather be on someone else’s’ journey? A journey with fewer twists and turns? Or wish your journey liked a little more like Instagram? More beach days and less mess days.

We may wish for a perfect life of calm and no major swings in either direction, but our journey through this life is messy, full of lessons, conflicts, ups and downs.

Continue reading . . .


Things to Remember

Failing with Grace

It seems opposites attract. Which includes my husband and me. He wants to arrive early. I like to arrive just on time. Can you see a problem? He will announce, “Time to go,” or ask, “are you ready to go?” half an hour before we need to be walking out the door. Even before he is ready. Me? I like to get dressed and ready right before it is time to leave the house. No need to stop what I am doing and get ready and then sit around for 15 minutes waiting to leave.   Continue reading . . .

 


Things to Remember

Will the Real You Please Stand?

Do you ever see someone else and suddenly do a double take? Maybe they look like your twin. Are wearing something you own. Saying something you would say. Have the same name and hair color. Or they have some quirky mannerism you have been teased about all your life. Anyway, you stop and stare and can’t quite tear your eyes away from them, even if you are beginning to feel a bit like a scary stalker.

We were ordering ice cream when I turned around and there was a lady walking towards us with her husband and kids. And darn, if she wasn’t wearing my skirt — the same blue pencil skirt splashed with brown and tan flowers that I had at home in my closet. Continue Reading . . .


Things to Remember

What is Helping You Survive These Winter Months?

Where I live, it is cold outside. And if I could, I would head to a warm spot to wait out winter. But I can’t. And I assume you can’t either. So, what are we to do? We need to find things that bring us happiness and sustain us now. We don't want to wait until it is spring to be happy.My grandparents headed to Arizona during the winter months, leaving me wondering why they left every year and why on Sunday nights we couldn’t visit them. Now with each passing winter, I understand more and more why they headed south. South towards the sun and warm balmy days.

Heading south is not an option, though. Even if I live where it is cold outside. So, what are we to do? Continue reading . . .


Life as it Comes: Podcast #42

Cough Notes

A humorous podcast about life.The flu never sneaks up, like a silent cat getting closer and closer. No. Wham, bam, the flu hits you over the head and wrestles you to the ground and hog ties you to the bed for days. And when you do get up, you feel like a wrung washcloth that is dehydrated and limp.

We were also left with a cough that seemed to never depart. I thought of a great way to make money on our cough, but the boys . . . well, their enthusiasm was less than great. Some people just have a hard time seeing the big picture.  Listen and find out what happens.


Guest Post: The Nervous Breakdown

Motels, Sisters, and Cardboard Boxes

Sometimes a gal needs to get away. My sister and I had been talking about taking a trip together. No kids. No husbands. Just her and me for four whole glorious days. Our first ever sisters trip. We would be able to talk and giggle all night. Walk around in our underwear. Share lipstick. See girly tourist sights and stores no male eyes want to bother observing. Go to tea or coffee and sit all day chatting about all the things that connect us and make us sisters that share the same blood and childhood so that we know each other better than ourselves. Continue reading here at The Nervous Breakdown.


Things to Remember

Free Sometimes Really Means Free

Repeatedly the company calls. I have been selected to win this absolutely free, three-day cruise. I roll my eyes, make some sarcastic remark, and hang up. Just before the voice tells me to push a button and claim my free-gift.

Momma was right. “If it sounds too good to be true; it is.” Yup, they just happened to call me (out of the all the other millions of people) to offer me a trip to some exotic place. Three days on a boat. Free.

Each time they call, I hung up and start laughing. Free? Sure? This offer seemed way to good. There had to be a catch. Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

Email Euphoria

Sometimes we do something without thinking through the consequences. And that mistake turns into a blessing in disguise. Need some encouragement and humor? This story is for you.Sometimes we do things without really thinking through the consequences. Okay, in all honesty, sometimes without even thinking. Sometimes it is just to tough to think about what we need to do next, and during those times I certainly don’t plot a straight line as to what this step will lead to all the way into the future. Especially when that thing is a little thing. Or what I think is a little thing. And especially when I am running on automatic pilot. Full steam ahead, sit back and get it done.

Well this kind of automatic pilot can sometimes get me into  trouble. Continue Reading here . . .


Things to Remember

Sometimes We Just Need to Believe

I am reading Mathew and in this chapter Jesus is healing one person after another. Boom, bam, slam. Left and right. Broken and unwell people are brought to him. He heals them. Restores them to health. Forgives their sins. The response of the healed? Joy. Amazement. A wanting to tell everyone and show everyone their restored bodies, the miracle performed on them, for them.

The response of the crowds and those who witness the now speaking, seeing, walking, and coherent healed? People are amazed. Scared. Doubting. Questioning. Angry. Believing. Hurrying Jesus out of town. Running to get their sick cousins, aunts, and uncles.

What  would my response be if I had been standing on the sidelines? Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

Relearning the Same Thing, Again

Sometimes it seems as if my life is on replay. Or maybe that it is punctuated with Deja-vu moments.

We were driving across Indiana when it began happening. My son was shivering and not feeling well. Basically miserable, he was, and I was trying to comfort him. Encourage him that this too shall pass. When it did pass. Up from his stomach and out onto his father’s coat that was lying across his body, the back seat, floor, and my shoes. Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

Imagine if You Can, How a Yes Changed it All

Can you imagine a world without Jesus?

A world where he was never born?

A world where our sins were not forgiven?

A world where grace and love were not free commodities?  Continue reading . . .


Things to Remember

What Turns You into  Screeching Tea Kettle?

Once when my mom questioned me about a fight I had gotten into with my sibling, I blurted out the classic excuse. “They made me so mad.”  If you have been alive for very long, you have either heard this excuse or used it. Because it is the classic point-the-finger-at-the-other-person excuse. The I-am-innocent-and-they-are-guilty excuse. The it-is-their-fault excuse. I remember my mom saying, “No one makes you mad, Theresa. You allowed yourself to get mad.”  Needless to say, I was a little disappointed that my excuse didn’t work.  I didn’t want to hear about and admit my own responsibility in the situation, I wanted my sibling fairly tried and executed. Or at least disciplined. Read here . . .


Life as it Comes: Podcast # 41

Houdini, the Furry Escape Artist

A humorous podcast about life.If Houdini came back as a tongue lolling, tail wagging, and chest panting dog, I know which dog his spirit would reside within. The dog our friends owned and which we babysat. List to this story podcast and see if you know a dog like this. Listen here . . .

 

 

 

 


Things to Remember

Why Getting to Know All About You is a Good Idea: 5 Benefits

I had been married for a little over ten years when an engaged friend asked for one important piece of marriage advice.  Well, this tested my grey matter. Not because I truly know nothing about marriage, although it seems I know less the longer I have been married, but because I guess no one had ever asked me this before.  One piece of marriage advice? I pondered this challenge.  Smoke must have been beginning to seep from my ears as I tried to calculate an answer. Something worthy of great wisdom. Something she had not heard before. Something she could really use. I felt like Houdini bound in chains and a straitjacket trying to wiggle free in front of an audience.  Read more here .  . .  


Guest Post: Her View From Home

Counting Blessings on a Card Table

Thanksgiving was a big deal at our house when I was growing up.  So, naturally, when I married and started hosting my own, I continued the tradition.  Time and energy were put into planning the menu, decorating, cleaning the house, pulling out the best china and tablecloths. The night before I would bake at least four desserts. I wanted to present the best food and experience for the guests.  One year, I realized that while we had celebrated Thanksgiving with all kinds of family and friends, I had not spent a Thanksgiving with my dad for twenty-some years, mainly because my mom divorced him the same year I got married. Continue Reading here . . . 


Guest Post: Mothering Beyond Expectations

Dear First Time Mom

Congratulations! You have joined the honored circle of motherhood. It may look like most mothers have it all together, but the truth is, they really don’t. Most of us are trying to stay one step ahead of our children. Remember this. None of us have children and motherhood all figured out. None of us have it all together.

Here is a partial list of things to remember as a first-time mother. Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

How and Why We Must Learn to Say No

We women are nurtures, caretakers, lovers of others, and let-me-help-you serving machines. And that is wonderful and good. But these traits can cause trouble when we start getting to many tasks on our plates and wear ourselves out. You ever done that? Over committed and burned the oil of too-much-to-accomplish on both ends of the calendar page?  I have. And not only do I suffer, but those around me suffer. I get tired and cranky and very-little-patience fits me to a tee. And then I often topple into the martyr syndrome.  Not a pretty sight. And in that not-so-pretty-state, I am not helping myself or others very effectively. Which means I am not accomplishing what I set out to do. My desire to say yes is backfiring like a stubborn car with an engine problem. And if anyone will listen, my complaints are about as loud.  So, how can we learn to say no? Read how here . .


Things to Remember

Why We Can’t Say No, But Must

We women can be focused driven work machines. We strive to accomplish more than possible, spin the gears nonstop until after the day is done, and are often multi-tasking like a pro. We can change diapers with our eyes closed while planning a mental to-do list for the next 24 hours, cook dinner and give an oral spelling test at the same time, slam dunk a presentation at work and then transition to shuttling the kids to sports. Such is the skill of most women.  We are not born capable, multitasking, accomplish-all machines, but as time passes and we reach adulthood and acquire more responsibility, we hone and refine this hurry-and-accomplish-all-that-life-throws at us skill.  And this is a good thing.  But it can also be a not so good thing.  Continue Reading . . .


Things to Remember

The Weight of Words, Because They Matter

Words can inspire. They can paint a picture of hope. They can cause excitement. Words can disappoint. They can deceive. They can depress. The words that we select everyday, the words that bubble out of our mouth filling the air with sounds, the words we use to communicate, give commands, and tell a story can take so many roles. Comfort. Shame. Empower. Guilt. Convince. Convict. Cheer. Pain. Save. Destroy. Words have weight. They can slice to the nerve or tease a smile. They can change the direction of our life and influence our perception of our self, others, and the world. Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

Changing the World with the Everyday Mundane

Dear Beautiful Important One:  Yes, I am talking to you!  Sometimes our life seems normal. Mundane. Routine. Boring.  Very little excitement is popping into our daily grind, except when we sleep through our alarm and try to get ready in less than 2 minutes. Which of course can’t be done. Or maybe you count the dog getting sick in the middle of the living room rug as a change of pace. Or the news that your child who was too shy to speak in class, is now the class clown and was sent to the principal’s office three times last week.  Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

Relaxing in His Love

Watch new parents holding their tiny newborn and you instinctively smile, slow down a little, and feel all snuggly yourself. They cradle their baby so tenderly, coo and smile and baby talk quietly, and without thinking they often start rocking and moving a little bit. It is all so precious and beautiful.
And when they hand their treasured bundle to you, you start doing the same thing. Instinctively you are gentle. And without any warning, your heart swells with love and concern for this little one. When the baby’s eyes open and look at you, full of trust and squinting at the bright lights, you smile back and whisper nonsense. And if the baby smiles at you, or at least moves their lips into some form of an almost smile, well then you consider yourself blessed and brag to everyone that the baby smiled at you.  Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

The Illusion of Control

When we were dating, my hubby-to-be said that no child of his would pick their nose. How this conversation came about, I don’t remember. Maybe we were talking about pet peeves, or maybe we were stopped at a stoplight and there in the next car was a picker. Or maybe there was a small child nearby with his finger up his nose, grossing out my hubby-to-be. I remember saying, “Really?” After all, I felt I had a bit more experience on this topic. I had a brother and sister 16 and 13 years younger than me and I had babysat little ones. In my mind my experience stacked up pretty high, compared to his lack of experience. “Yes. No picking,” he said with authority. I remember just laughing a little and saying, “What are you going to do? Put corks up their nostrils?”  Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

Misspoken Prayers

My husband surprised me. There we were in church during prayer time. The beautiful time set aside to speak prayer requests into audible formation. The time just before we have communion and are fed as part of the family. He started praying for me. Blessings on my trip and time away for a few days to connect with other writers. My heart about melts. Prayers finish drifting heavenward. We are sitting there in the slight lull, and he leans over. “Ooops, I was also going to add . . .  . . . . . and I forgot,” he says.” Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

What We All Need: Now and Forever

From the time he was little, I have tried to let my son know that he is a blessing to our family. That without him our family would be missing something. “What would I do without you?” I would sometimes ask him. “I don’t know.” He would say. “I would have no little boy to read to, or tuck in bed, or tickle until he laughs,” I would say. Or something similar to let him know he was loved. One day, when he was around 6 or 7, we were in the kitchen together and I asked him if he knew how much I loved him? “No,” he teased. “Bigger than the universe,” I said. And then I asked. “What would I do without you?”
And for the first time he didn’t even hesitate. he said, “Without me you would be sitting around the house all day just crying.” Continue reading here . . .


Things to Remember

Getting Through the Tube

Sometimes the past sneaks up and bonks you on the head with a two-by-four and you are left gasping for breath and life.
When I checked in at the clinic there was no warning sign of what lay ahead. Nor was my memory yelling stop.
Maybe because the lady who checked me in had red hair and lots of freckles. Just like me. In fact I couldn’t help looking at all her freckles and wondering who had more. When she asked me to hold out my wrist so she could slip a plastic identification bracelet around it, I joked and asked if that was because they were afraid I might faint and they needed to know who to call?  Continue reading here . .


Things to Remember

Why is There Always Something to Complain About?

There is never a lack of things to complain about. Never a shortage. Rations are not ever enforced on complaints. No little man ever pops up and says, “Ma’am. I am sorry, but you’ve used all your complaints for the day. You will have to wait until tomorrow to begin complaining again. At midnight your allowance for complaints will be refilled. Until then I need you to refrain from complaining.”
And not only do we complain out loud to our husbands, friends, children, neighbors, the cashier at the grocery store, and anyone who we think will listen and not report us to the complaining police, we even complain in our mind. Silently, we complain and whine and think, “Oh no, not again.” Continue reading  . . .


Things to Remember

How to Stop an Argument

It’s a good feeling when people agree with us. When the person we are talking to is nodding their head and confirming our opinions and ideas, our likes and dislikes. Yes, to that decision. No, to that idea and political party. Yup, to our excitingly good idea. Definitely vanilla over chocolate.  Problem is, not everyone agrees with us. Not everyone thinks our way is the right way. The better way. Or even the only way. Continue reading here . .