When You’re Feeling Small

We boarded the ship, plopped our bags in the cabin and raced out to the balcony. There I stood, leaning against the sea salt-dusted rail with my 2 BFF’s Joan and Paula. The breeze was magnificent and the fragrance of the fresh sea air was invigorating. We just stood there silently, breathing out the stress of life and inhaling the peace that only the ocean brings. We didn’t say a word until Paula spoke.

IMG_0435

“I love the ocean because it ‘rights’ me.” She captured just how I felt with those simple words.  The ocean does seem to “right” us — it puts us in our right place, doesn’t it? It reminded me of what David wrote; “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers; the moon and the stars, which you have ordained; what is man that you take thought of him and the son of man that you care for him?”  (Psalm 8: 3-4)

3 Ways God Heals

We’ve all got stuff, you know? We’ve got hurts, questions and disappointments in our lives.

I’ve got stuff. Blindness is a constant, unrelenting, challenging loss — emotionally, spiritually and even physically. I’ve asked God for healing probably a million times… but, so far, healing hasn’t come.

Blonde young girl holding hands in heart shape framing setting sun at sunset on ocean beach

My friend’s got stuff. Her daughter is fighting addiction — some days she’s better, someday she’s worse. My friend has prayed for her daughter a million times too. And, so far, healing hasn’t come.

How to Expect and Experience God’s Presence

Rose was a widow who lived in West Palm Beach, and when I was in college, many of us students visited her. My friend Mike told me how one evening he popped in on Rose at dinner time and she invited him in. They visited a few moments in her kitchen until he noticed her kitchen table was set for two. “Oh Rose,” he said, “I didn’t realize you were having a guest for dinner. I will scoot out.”

YYQ3XBYDAP

She put her hand on his arm, stopping him and told him she always set two places at her table ever since her husband died over 30 years earlier. Mike assumed the second place setting was to remind her of her late husband and he commented about how sweet it was that she remembered him in that way. Rose quickly corrected my friend saying, “Oh, no. I set a place at my table every evening for Jesus. I sit with Him, listen to Him and expect Him to be with me. This is my way of showing Him.”

How to Detox Your Faith, One Lie at a Time

As a third grader, our class project was to grow grass in milk cartons. I remember starting the project by cutting the tent-like top off the small milk carton so all that remained was a little box shaped planter. Then, I filled it with a bit of dirt, some seeds, some more dirt and a little water. The teacher then let each of us take home our small waxy paper planters and told us to sit them in a sunny place and water them every day so they would grow.

Mature Woman Choosing Plants At Garden Center

We had to write down everything we did to tend to our little sprouts in a journal and at the end of the month; we were all to bring back the grassy evidence of our hard work! I remember placing my little stump of a flower pot in the window sill in my bedroom. Like the budding Type A that I was, I checked it constantly and watered it when it felt the least bit dry. Tiny sprouts appeared and I recorded it in my “Growth Journal.” It was really growing! By the end of the month, I had a luxurious tuft of green that any golf course in America would covet!

After showing my teacher, I was allowed to bring it back home and keep it. I was so proud of my success and determined I would continue to tend to it so back to its window perch it went. I trimmed, watered, tended, watered, missed a few days, forgot, remembered and then ignored it and eventually…I had some dusty hay in a cut off milk carton! So much for my Type A tendencies — they hadn’t matured yet!

Women: Why What You Do Today Matters, Even If You Don’t Feel Like It

She greeted me when I walked into the cafeteria on Parents’ Day. Our oldest son was a freshman in college and this was the first time after dropping him off that we’d been back to visit. We’d met faculty, his resident director, and lots of his new friends. So when this woman greeted me, I asked, “Tell me who you are?”

girl sitting near rorbu and admires the beautiful Norwegian landscape at the fjord and mountains

She hesitated. I wondered if I should know her? I imagine she looked down and saw my white cane and realized I couldn’t see her, and that’s probably why she answered in a voice as warm and inviting as dark hot chocolate, “Oh, Ma’am. I’m nobody. I just clean tables.”

“You are not a nobody! You are not just a table cleaner!” I told her. “I’m Jennifer. What’s your name?” She laughed and told me. I thought to myself, “Nobody is a nobody!”

Nobody is just a table cleaner. Or just a mom. Or just a clerk or just a CPA or just a… anything!

Letting Go of What You Thought for What Is True

In 2006, I was a guest on the Dr. Phil Show. Oh my gosh, girl! It was a fantastic experience full of surprises and expectations. I expected to have a pre-interview with a producer. I expected to have a totally interesting and slightly intimidating experience on set. I expected to have my make-up professionally done there in the studio. I expected cameras, questions and lots of nerves! I didn’t expect to talk to Dr. Phil personally offstage though. And if I did get to meet him, I expected him to be hurried and professional but not as engaging in private as he was on TV.

pexels-photo-31271

Well, most of my expectations were correct. I pre-interviewed with a producer. There were cameras, professional make-up (thank you, Lord), lots of questions and even more nerves! But, what I expected from Dr. Phil personally was not what I got! I expected him to be hurried. And, even though he was in a hurry, he wasn’t rushed. He was warm and casual. I expected him to be more guarded or distant in person than he seems to be on TV. Nope, he was so engaging and genuinely personally interested in me. I was totally thrown off – he was not who I expected him to be.

How to Hear God’s Voice Through Scripture

“Are you there? Can you hear me?! Can you hear me now?” How many times have you held your phone to your ear and asked — okay, shouted, “Can you hear me?” Then, you shift positions; you move to a window, put the phone up to the other ear, speak even louder, “Can you hear me now?”

AdobeStock_83639493

If you’re like me, you’ve done that too many times to count! In fact, so many of us have had this happen that Verizon Wireless featured an actor uttering those very words over and over in their famous cell phone commercials. Remember that?

One Surefire Way to Become a Happier Woman

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Thanks for nothing!?” Of course you have. It’s usually said in a less than thankful tone of voice, right? You know what a person is really saying when they thank someone for “nothing.” Well, it’s usually a sarcastic way to acknowledge their dissatisfaction with another’s poor or insulting behavior.

pexels-photo-651212

In other words, it’s what someone says when they’re ticked off! It has nothing to do with actual gratefulness; it’s actually the opposite! It’s just a snarky insult and it’s not very nice!

Why You Need a Hero for Your Heart

As a kid, the last thing you want to hear is, “You’re a copy cat!”

Female hands holding cups of coffee on rustic wooden table background

We all want to think we are one of a kind, an original! I have often wondered where in the world that phrase even came from anyway. I mean, have you ever known a cat who copied?! Have you even known of a finicky feline who cared enough about another human or animal to even notice them, much less, imitate them?! Cats are the most independent, “don’t tell me what to do,” “I don’t need you,” “leave me alone please,” creatures I know!