Friday, April 20, 2018


My friend said with this look she
wouldn't want to mess with me.
I didn't feel CONFIDENT at all, but I decided to go for it. 

That is----I decided to ride the metro in Washington, D.C. ALONE and walk to several different businesses in various neighborhoods ALONE!  

Armed ahead of time with my trips mapped out, I decided perhaps the key was blending in. That required looking the part of a metro rider, someone coming and going with a purpose, a clear objective.

The first leg of the metro trip,  I think I rocked it! I face paced walked to the station, coasted confidently to my seat, relaxed with my phone like everyone else seemed to do, and exited the doors without event as they opened at the station.
Cute SF store front

However, I didn't fare as well figuring out which way to walk to the first business. Thank goodness for Google Maps.

At one point, a lady stopped me for directions. I guess I looked like I knew where I was going. I was just thinking of clarifying directions with her. Yet, I was able to point her to her street. 

Since I felt somewhat successful on my venture to and from these three neighborhoods, I decided to spend the later part of the afternoon strolling the DC mall with a Starbucks classic chai. I already felt like a rock star because I conquered my metro ALONE fear, walk unknown neighborhoods ALONE fear, and visit unknown businesses fear. 

I wanted to sit right next to these.
These smelled so good!
I strolled the mall, people watched and conversation eavesdropped, soaked up sunshine while reading a bit, and conversed with the capitol police all under a sixty degree sunshine blue sky near the Botanical Garden and Congress. I found proof of life (spring) and delicious smells. 

Walking alone back to my hotel, at the end of this excursion, this bit of fun banter popped up when I passed a group of slow walking people. (I almost always walk fast, but I was stealthily trying to slide around and through various groups of meandering people.)

This conversation was my second feeling like a rock star moment for the day:

Seriously, your glasses make you look like a rock star! 

That sky! That blue sky!  That blue sunshine sky!
(At the point I realize this twenty something guy strolling with his dad who I've been trying to slide by is actually speaking to me, I grasp for something to say. Might as well play along with his enthusiasm. )You mean it only takes a $7.99 pair of sunglasses to look like a rock star?

Well, your CONFIDENCE goes well, too (sly smile).

Well, thanks! (I had just been scolded by my friends in a group text to learn to take a compliment with a "thanks.")

So while I don't put much confidence in my sunglasses making me look like a rock star, the compliment was nice. The lecture on saying thanks showed me how to confidently navigate that conversation.  This gentleman's words were the second reminder of the day of the huge part that confidence plays in how we appear to handle life's situations.

I was thankful for being reminded that the desire to achieve  requires dedication. I won't always feel confident. I may have knocking knees and a doubting mind. It seems that big or small accomplishments in any arena of life need a motivation that might appear on the outside to look like resolute determination but might certainly fall far shy of that feeling on the inside.

So, this day's intimation of what I place my confidence in is important to reflect upon. It might seem my confidence is placed in external things like Google Maps and some cool black sunglasses, but rest assured, it is a far deeper resolute conviction that allows me to overcome some of my insecurity and fears:

              I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He
             who has begun a good work in you will continue to perfect
             and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.--Phil. 1:6

Monday, April 9, 2018

...When I Can't See You With My Eyes

This is a simple poem I wrote for lovely new parents of this precious newborn baby boy.   
It is written as if from their son to his parents.


When I can't see you with my eyes,
I still feel the love in your heart.

Snuggled up to your warm chest,
Your heart beats in my ear 
And settles my fears.

When I can't see you with my eyes,
I still feel the love in your heart.

My fingers grab for yours
To hold you close to me,
Securing all my needs. 

When I can't see you with my eyes,
I still feel the love in your heart.

Your whispered lullabies 
Soothe my panicked cries 
As I memorize your melody.  

When I can't see you with my eyes,
I still feel the love in your heart.

Your breathy smiles, 
Beaming joy over my face,
Shine magic into my world. 

When I can't see you with my eyes,
I still feel the love in your heart.

Your tightly wrapped hugs 
Embrace around my world,  
And I know we are blessed to be three.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


Use your words! Use your words, Use your words!
Does this sound like a mama or teacher's assertion?

And then follows my aspiration...
Choose your words! Choose your words! Choose your words well! 
Sticks and stones will break my bones...
We know that jeers and sneers create tears and broken and bruised hearts.

This is the soundtrack that plays through the background noise in my head: choose your words...choose them well for they can usher in heaven or hell.  And because of this simple certainty, this introvert tended girl has spoken many more words in her head and heart than have been shared aloud.

I'm that girl that places intense value on all words: words whispered, written, sung, slung, and even unspoken. I see the words revealed behind the blink, twinkle, and glance of another's eyes; the twitch or turn of lips; the stiff, shake, or shrug of shoulders; the measured, rigid, or swinging arms; and the poised or skittish dance stance of legs.

My heart has learned the neon caution of words. I've learned to record over poisonous words rolling through my head.  I've yielded to the caution not to fall into the dark hole of seeking and needing unspoken words. I've begged to dismiss words that weren't really meant to be heard. 

In this whole wide world of ours, our words really only need to speak a few necessary truths.

Hearts break open wide and share a divine 
healing balm when words are chosen well.
I believe in you! 
It's who you can be!  When you are up or down, I'm here with you. I know you can turn this thing around. I know you have worked hard; still keep working at what you are after!  Remember, you can regroup and work through challenges.  You can fix mistakes. I can see you are genuine and sincere. Feel free to dream and achieve. You are the only you there is, so go share you with the world. You are stronger than you know, and when you feel weak, I will be there to help you know that. You are a perfect you. I'm proud of you.

Hearts break open wide and share a divine 

healing balm when words are chosen well.

I'm sorry!
No excuses. I messed up. I was wrong. I was selfish. I didn't listen well. I take responsibility for this. I know I'm not perfect, but I want to be better. It's my fault. I'll try again to get this right. It won't happen again. I'm going to fix this. I want to get this right. I don't want to make you sad, fearful, or not trust. I hurt you; but I want to start anew. Forgive me. Give me a second chance. 

Hearts break open wide and share a divine 

healing balm when words are chosen well.
I love you!   
You are enough. You make me believe in me.  You make me a better me.  Hanging with you is like comfort and peace. You make my day. You are a gift. I'm glad we met. You make me laugh and smile. I appreciate your friendship. You see the best in me. You make a my life a better place because you are in it. 

I'm still working on choosing the words I speak, so they only say these most necessary of simple truths and say them well. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


What's the key to a successful marriage? 

I believe adhering to a Non-Compete Clause should be written into every understanding of marriage! 

Successful marriages bring out the best in people. Partners encourage each other to find dreams and work toward them. Struggles come and go in an ebb and flow, but they exist together like the moon and sun. Sometimes, dreams even collide in the best of ways like dark chocolate and red chili. 

Yet, often I see marriages that seem to look more like wrestling matches, fault finding trips with the bride and groom becoming test takers seeking the answers to questions the other devised without knowledge to the information beforehand.

No one becomes a champion in these marriages because no one champions the other.  

These love contracts need to review a basic marriage agreement--- not to compete. They need a non-compete clause with the other for status, notoriety, attention, ease of life, jobs, workload, fault, and blame.  

This is a simple pre-condition to a good relationship.  In exchange for non-competing, the  marriage is blessed without hours of arbitrary limitations and the prospect of finding new avenues to dream and grow together, not against one another. 

I've overheard words spoken to the partner that strive to gain ground, secure recognition, and demonstrate superiority for everything from parenting expertise, employment, workloads, sacrifices made, moral fortitude, and financial input, which are sadly being won only by defeating their partner.

No one becomes a champion in these marriages because no one champions the other. 

Dreamers seeking a lasting love contract need to check their heart's preconceived conditions and intentions to adhere to a basic marriage agreement---                          not to compete 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


He's at that point in his life. It's a developmental milestone! He's learning to stand up. I definitely don't want to miss watching his attempts because he's very proud of his efforts. He's loving the whole new view of the world as he plays in cabinets, finds objects on top of coffee tables, and follows others up the stairs.  

This standing up stage doesn't come without some precarious moments. There's his constant wavering effort to gain the muscle needed to hold still without tumbling. This standing life feels like a balancing act, but the view from the top is exhilarating enough to secure the climb. 

Success in this climb to stand requires a focused, teetering wire act.  It won't come without some bruises and noggin bumps. 

And from his smiling, straight leg stand, the view down appears tumultuous. As if it's an afterthought, he realizes that what stands up must find a smooth landing as his legs begin to feel weak. 

Contemplating his decent is frightening, so he thankfully relies on engrained skills of reaching, grasping, and clinging to dig in to his standing position and then release himself to trust for a gentle decent. Occasional falls find him catching himself with outstretched hands and looking around for assurance on nearby faces that all will be okay.

Lots of vocal encouragement  comes, and still it's going to require quite a bit more support, balancing, and confidence to not just stand but to take those steps to walk alone without familiar fingers holding him tight. Sweet encouraging words, hand claps, reassuring smiles bolden him to gain the ground he seeks without bended knee failure. But when the failure comes, he will rise in strong arms to soothe his aches and softly pat his bottom to move on to another venture. 

Watching my grandson in this stage of his young life, reminded me of our younger generation currently embarking on the stage today. The parallels of the stages are remarkable.

So, I also wish all this support, encouragement, smiles, and hand claps for this young generation as they begin this developmental milestone of trying to stand up. Muscling to stand up strong for principles they believe in.  Trying to grasp to ideals with confidence while teetering on new legs, balancing the juggling act of approval and criticism.

It's the stage every citizen should hope for---when their younger generation uses the skills they have been given to stand up on the tumultuous stage of public opinion and let their voices be heard.

As they gain view of the world, let us give them the confidence to walk in these new steps even when the landing may not be smooth.  Let us provide the outstretched hands and reassurance when they feel like their teetering And most of all, let us teach them that the strong arms of the Father will hold them up and soothe their heartaches and pat their soul onward for future ventures.

Monday, February 5, 2018


Silent chaos captures my heart,
Keeping tears from spilling becomes an art.
How can I change our "divided we"
Right from that shotgun seat?
No way words would speak 
The wishes, no magic was going to complete.

Those final moments sitting on the leather
Trying to make moments spent together
Seem like a new normal, 
But they feel like a wrinkled formal,
Before the long sidewalk walk 
To drop off for front-door talk.

Tennis shoe rubber marks the short path
Every single day since he went away.
Wondering if tomorrow 
Could turn back to bygone yesterdays.
His strong hand caressing my head
Leads me to the life I live instead.

The low hum of his car baits 
My faint heart begins to hate
The return of his grip on the wheel.
Wishing the car from which he'll 
Lean, wave, and drive away 
Will soon come home to stay.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Let's Make It Slow, Fast

I'm feeling the winds of time speeding up,
Blurring my eyes to the road we paved to
Build our place in this space.

Seems like I just opened the front door,
But now I'm looking at closing the back door,
And I'm not even finished with all within these walls.

The clock on the mantel ticks steady in my ear
And the hands keep windmill spinning
Collecting the moments we've been spending.

Let's make this life slow, fast. 
Slow the sunsets down. 
Find reasons to dance all around. 
Make it more a lean and stare.

Yellowed letters piled in buckets
Are traces of two hearts that tell the story
Of years finding our place together in this time.

It's like a whisper that fades into distraction,
Senses searching to make sense of
What was lost before it was found.

Driving the winding country roads, 
Blurred by the dust in the rear view mirror,
We know the past hangs close to us here.

Let's make this life slow, fast.
Slow the sunsets down. 
Find reasons to dance all around.
Make it more a lean and stare.

When we look out the window of this speeding train,
I can't hold my eye on one place.
Mountaintops and ocean skies keep flowing by.

We can't turn the clock back
Any more than we can keep stars from shining,
But we can keep after what we were getting.

It's not the destination we're after,
But rather the journey to hereafter,
One mission to hold this life longer--Together

Let's make this life slow, fast. 
Slow the sunsets down. 
Find reasons to dance all around. 
Make it more a lean and stare.

Monday, January 22, 2018


This is not a warning.  It's not a prescription.  These are sincere thoughts from the heart of a mom who watched her boy become a man seemingly before her very eyes. This is the boy I nurtured to the man that you want to share memories with or even maybe someday make a life with. 

First of all, I don't make his dating rules.  While he has been working hard to get where he hopes to be in life, he's been watching and hearing what a gentleman entails and how to attract the woman for him.  The truth is that we may never meet you because he may decide not to bring you home to hang with his clan, but while you are saying yes to hanging out, going for coffee, sharing dinner, and cheering together at games, I sure hope you think of the man he is trying to be for you. 

It's not easy being a man in today's world.  Seems like that definition keeps changing.  It's not easy as a mom, either, watching the world condemn the nature of men, especially when we know we have raised good ones.  The toxic fallout has affected all men and breaks the heart of moms and wives.

I'm not trying to discourage you, but I  ask you to look hard at him before you say yes to dating him.  In case you didn't know, there's a great deal of vulnerability for a man to risk the rejection of a "No." Saying "No" to him is certainly okay, but mean what you say and say what you mean. If he asked you out, he doesn't just want to be your friend. He doesn't need you to string him along to cradle his feelings. When he extends his hand, it's a vein away from his heart.
Naturally, he's going to wonder and adjust to what you need or want him to be. There's wisdom and truth in doing some of that. He knows he isn't one of those TV superheroes, but he may just secretly want to feel like you might depend on him to be yours. Let him be super for you sometimes.  Independence in women is a respectful goal, but no one can do everything all alone. Does your self-sufficiency clash with his need to be a champion and protector? Sometimes, he's going to want to be yours.  Here's the catch, I know.  He also wants it to be okay to fail sometimes while he's trying to wear his superhero cape.  Be gentle with his failure while he's trying his capes on for size. I can attest to the fact that he hasn't gotten everything right his whole life, but I'm guessing you haven't either.

You will see his swashbuckling bravado.  Yes, you will find these stubborn streak areas sooner or later. Those tough streams can be softened. Just don't be the reason he becomes tough. He appreciates being molded by a soft, sincere heart. Bravo to you as you figure this is the fastest route to figuring him out!

If he could do one thing, making you smile might be it. So, look for those simple things he's doing and acknowledge your appreciation for the effort he's making to see your smile. 

He doesn't need someone he has to perform for all the time.  The world keeps telling him he has to be somebody and performance is the game he is used to playing.  Be comfortable with him in his own skin.
And while he may deny he needs this, flatter him sometimes.  He will pull out his charm and humor to sweeten up to you cause those are the tools he has in his toolbox.  Just remember, uhmmm, work at grabbing his heart, not only his chest, when you flatter him. 

You might not walk down the road with him that ends up with a ring that promises he will stand by your side for the rest of your life's journey, but these are a few insights from his mom if you are wanting to date my son.

Friday, January 19, 2018

I’ve Sung that Song a Time or Two

Rollin down a two-lane highway
Not much needing to say
Hidden under a red moon sky
Listening to the radioman sigh.  

Oh, I’ve sung that song a time or two
Looking straight at you.
Hoping you’d dance to the beat
Me and you right here in our seats.

Let’s slide into a one-way trip
Rocking to the sway of our hips
Underneath the moon’s eclipse
To the song rolling off our lips.

Let the racing beat of our hearts
Rise to the squeal of that guitar.
Your crooked smile glance my way
Leaves me breathless for what to say.

Oh, I’ve sung this song a time or two
Looking straight at you.
Hoping you’d dance to the beat.
Me and you right here in our seats.

I pause to find the words to say
Before this cruising tune fades away.
Let’s keep rolling through life,
Me and you as husband and wife.

I don’t want this song to come to an end.
This time’s slow fading that we spend.
I want to dance through life this way.
Our moments taking my breathe away.

Oh, I’ve sung this song a time or two
Looking straight at you.
Hoping you’d dance to the beat
Me and you right here in our seats.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

THIS IS US--- an apology and affirmation to my kids

My daughter and my husband and I have been watching the sitcom This Is Us since the beginning of the Pearsons' existence. This imaginary family has pierced through our emotions and motivations.

My family doesn't live their imaginary life. However, like them, not all has come to what my husband and I had imagined at the outset.  We recall those moments we looked into one another's eyes at each of our three babies' arrivals and quietly resolved to be the parent we knew they would need.  We pledged deep in our hearts to cradle, to protect, to teach, to serve, and to love in our hearts.  We ventured forth through each fast paced day toward making a family life  and making life changing decisions with our words and actions, not always aware how each would mark the heart of each of our kids.

With a teacher and a policeman for parents, you have the makings of a life needing some structure and sanity. But some days, some moments, some decisions just seemed to go awry. Oh my, grace is needed for us parents from the three who were along for our ride.

We don't have the same Pearson drama, but we've still lived a life together and shaped one another. And as I've joked through some moments, "The drama of it all!"

No one parent gets it right all the time.  I know I thought I got it right at times, but now looking back, it wasn't right for perhaps everyone.  I know what looked to be wrong, at times, turned right for some, but not each one.

The raw pain and sorrow and intense emotions that flung open our hearts from the Pearsons' screenplay certainly broke open the thoughts and heart of this mom. I'm glad there is a sea of forgetfulness, but in the cases where memories echo in the hearts of kids, I am glad I have this moment to apologize for the mistakes I've made, the ones I know and don't know about.

So I ask my kids to hear my heart when I offer these words:

 My parenting must come with my disclaimer to you. If I have done things that have hurt you, I am sorry.  I have a reel of those rolling through my mind's eye. If I hurt you and didn't realize it, I am sorry.  I know that saying to a powerless kid, "I tried my best" seems to fall short at mending a sad heart.  I know that I was selfish at times.  I know that some days I gave in to the tired and weary.  I know sometimes I took the easy way out with the angry.  I know maybe I didn't always try as hard as I should have. I know I didn't always see all your needs, especially those that a kid would beg for a parent to see without having to speak them and maybe not even knowing how to express them.  I know I  wasn't a perfect parent.

I'm sure even the best intentioned mother or father can slideshow through the film of their parenting and see clips of episodes that they would beg a retake for, maybe even a second, third, or fourth retake. I know I didn't always get what I intended when I did try to be better. In fact, I know I missed areas I needed to change because my perspective just wasn't clear at the time. 

Then that's when looking back the shame can creep and sorrow seep into the picture.

I know, too, that an apology doesn't make everything picture perfect, but if moments can be reconciled for good and emotions saddled into deepened relationships, then an apology is needed. After all, this is us.

I don't want my adult kids to just memorize the lines on my growing old face but rather the lines from my mouth that speak the truth of knowing I didn't always get it right, but I'm still here listening cause I'm not here to defend my actions but defend their hearts because this is the us.

I want my adult kids to know that I'm not here to recreate a picture from my perspective, but rather I'm here to own the life we lived together, so they know that in the life we are still creating together they feel safe and comforted and not alone. This is the us.

Since we have grown older together and know our less than perfect togetherness, we find compassion for one another. We know we have been blessed beyond measure to be your parents and create a shared life with you. The love we have for one another knows that we can never hold one another to perfection, but we will promise to always hold one another in grace because, after all, this is us, and we own it!

Friday, January 5, 2018


Let's face it. I don't normally win accolades. I'm not famous for the many awards I've won.

I have never even been nominated for an award the likes of a Grammy. Nominated? Did I say nominated? Gracious me, I've never even been asked to sing anywhere besides church (and now that I think of it, not even there in a very long time...hmmm).

Except thinking back, by the way I sang my babies to sleep, I may have been nominated for a People's Choice Award if they could have been on that committee. And my dance moves while I sing along with Keith Urban to "Fighter" should earn this 52 year old music dancing fool an American Dance Award, even if my husband says so himself. 

I'm realizing that I might just have more in common with Faith Hill, well besides my obvious golden locks and great voice (choke).  I hear tell her three girls didn't realize how many prestigious awards their parents had won. Looking back into my closet of awards, mine may not be on such grand display either.    

Yet, it's a slow subtle smile that slings itself across my heart when I stare back in time and dust off the memories of those award winning moments. 

Reading the labels on my awards, they certainly were given for the lesser known categories:  

If you sit down and listen to the stories, you'd know I can make a room laugh just from laughing at my own jokes.  That's pure genius.   

I can settle a trio of kids at night (and throughout my life an entire classroom) with my voice as it makes words on the page come alive. 

I can make sense out of the storyline our lives are taking in a two hour or less phone call. 

I can bring peace and comfort to your heart because there's nothing mine would rather do. (For my grandkids, it's sometimes just a needed hold, hug, or booboo kiss.)

I can create a moment in time or painting on a page of words. I can help you do it, too, even though you didn't believe you could until we talked it out.

I can read your body language and your lips, but not your mind.  But I earnestly want to know and understand what's in it more than all that weather talk.

I can create a masterpiece salad for dinner that makes the stress of a long day seem to slide away.

I can hold my hands up in prayer for you as long as you need because I also have an army of warrior friends I'll text who will hold you, too.  

I can find the beach and walk with you to stop the anxious life from stirring too long. 

I can't paint it, act it, or write a song about it (well except that one called "Country Song" I wrote for my husband), but I have captured a lifetime of awe deep in my heart at the beauty I see in people, places, and moments.

At my acceptance speech for these awards (of which there is a blue carpet because I look better standing on that color), I  feel like I will mimic many of the other acceptance speakers that I've heard throughout the years. They felt humbled by the family, friends, opportunities, and experiences life presented them. They didn't feel they were exceptional among men or women, but for that moment they were revered as such.  

So, when in great company at my award show (That's the Average Joe Awards among which you are one of the nominees),  I'll bow and mimic at my acceptance speech, "It's just an honor to even be nominated." 

At this point in my speech, I expect there could be audience eye rolls. We have lived long enough to know there will always be critics who will wonder how in the world any performance of mine or yours is deserving of the slightest award. But who really is the critic here and whose choice is it to give an award?

So, my speech will end with acknowledgments to my family and the friends I've journeyed life with who supported me to this point, it really is an honor. 



Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Inspired by the Story of Luke 1 & 2, this writing makes parallels with our world today...


When the birth of a joyful season gives way to the next cold winter day
When the courage to live your dreams and hopes are deflated by King-sized anguish and wonderings
When the diligently searched for baby-perfect beauty is adored and worshipped, but then disappears
When the certainty of the path winds to feel like one of exile
When the burdens of life become the most significant events in the world  
When future hope and comfort are destroyed by trickery and fury
When gifts of kindness, joy, and peace become lost in boxed thinking and wrapped in paperwork.
When special care and wise words for the Mary and Josephs, the poor, the rejected, the homeless, the powerfully hungry fades to the voice of the power hungry
When the joy and warmth eye-witnessed in embracing loved ones dulls to cold receptions
When the prophetic past conceived in us is obscured by fear raising voices
When the ordinary moments of a holiday shepherded by the star struck spectacular muddies to a dark, lonely journey home

We still need to allow the weeping and mourning to turn to dancing
We still need to listen to the dreams that direct our lives
We still need to find significance in the beginning of small things
We still to be guided by the Spirit of angels in real-world clothes
We still need to escape to find our purposed journeys
We still need to serve the secret fight within against supremacy and status
We still need to liberate the recorded Word
We still need to proclaim the message of peace and goodwill towards men on earth

We still need to seek saving graces
We still need to rediscover this powerful narrative of His heavenly birth

We still need the whispered cries of a Savior to sink deep in our souls