When You Say Nothing At All


Opinionnoun – a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.


In the world of ministry, as in the political arena I suppose, your own voice becomes not your own but rather you must decide and calculate, what the cost or gain will be to actually have an opinion on something. There is a unmerciful machine that rages forward and unforgiving attitudes still prevail. Just ask Rob Bell or Jen Hatmaker two Christians who dared have opinions in our world. Books, endorsements, and speaking engagements were pulled immediately. The idea of keeping a public page on Facebook and a private page of Facebook or just getting off of social media completely is in full force. Ask people privately what they think and get a view of people who are deciding that in order to speak to everyone you can offend no one.

So I stopped writing about controversies because I didn’t want controversy in my life. I    wanted to speak to everyone about anything. I wanted to hear opinions and views that weren’t my own because that is where I either solidify my view or see a perspective I    had not seen before and thereby change my mind.

Only that goes completely against who I am. I sat as a small child at the dinner table and discussed politics and world  views with my parents. In fourth grade I wrote to President Gerald Ford and I received an answer. I don’t have an opinion because I’m a Christian, or a pastor, or a woman. I have an opinion because I have a brain who is forever learning and wants to be challenged.

“But you’re going to have to minister to people who don’t share your view and they won’t be able to receive from you because of it.”

WHY? Because we can no longer tolerate an opinion that isn’t ours. We’ve become so engrained to think that if they do not think or do things as we do then they are against us. They aren’t of our tribe so therefore they are out.

Luke 9: 49John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.” ESV

Mark 9:38“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” 39“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40for whoever is not against us is for us. NIV

Only here’s the thing: When we say nothing we say much. While quiet observation serves while opinions are formed there are also two camps forming, those who think you are with them and those who think you are against them. Ultimately this is really not about you. It’s internal strife turned outward. It’s intolerance. Sadly, it’s prevailing in America.

What would you say if opinions truly mattered and we were really a free people?


All Over Again





My son Anthony and my daughter-in-love Frances arrived on Saturday night for a visit. They are expecting their first child in May. Frances tells my husband that she bought him a book And hands him this one called How To Babysit A Grandpa. He laughed and said thank you then went to sit in his recliner and joyfully opened his book. You see, we’re about to be grandparents to our very first grandchild.

I watched him read the book and chuckle as he turned the pages. His smile filled his eyes, “Listen to this”, he exclaimed, “Snacks for a grandpa, ice cream topped with cookies, olives served on fingertips, anything dipped in ketchup, cookies topped with ice cream.”

When I posted on Facebook the cover of the new book my husband had been given, he wrote, “I can’t wait to meet my babysitter.”

I fell in love with him all over again. 

Here’s to our new adventures in this next season.

I wonder if Lulu the Wonder Dog will love the baby as much as we do? I am sure she’ll appreciate the clean up when he begins eating solids.

Despite It All


Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.

I read a post on Facebook recently how happy posts were fake because people chose to post that their lives were good despite the fact that they had real problems. It made me think about how you can still be happy and positive despite difficulties, or you can judge others in your unhappiness. Not everything in life has to be a major catastrophe to your well-being.

I am in a really happy place right now. I’m sure my life, speech, and yes, Facebook posts show that. It took me a long time to get here and I am relishing in it. I was a pregnant teen who raised children to the age of 48. I had never had an adult life where it was just me. I had never written out a monthly budget that didn’t include children’s lunch or field trip money, a college fund savings, or a extensive food budget. I can leave home on a moment’s notice and not worry about babysitters or dinner. I can clean my kitchen spotless and know when I get up in the morning it’s going to be exactly how I left it. I can turn the music on as loud as I want to and dance without fear of someone saying, “Mom! Stop! It’s so embarrassing when you act like a kid.” I can buy tickets to a concert or a play and not worry about what is being taken out of the budget.

I have a man who loves me beyond measure and is close by my side. We like the same things and we very rarely even argue these days. It’s a peaceful season in our life. My job is going well. I have a lot to do but I’m no longer so driven towards it. I am enjoying the work that I do at a new level. I have a dog that I think is incredible, she is pure love and she is a total spas, who I think has the Young’s A.D.D. problem.

Do I have problems? OF COURSE I DO!! Everyone does. My problems big and small have always been there, not the same ones but isn’t there always something? I’d be lying if I said I don’t sometimes miss being a mommy. Sure, I like the freedom, but there are those days I want to watch Sleeping Beauty with the Princess Casey. The great thing is my age and life experiences have put them in perspective. They no longer rule my every thought. I’ve learned to be content. If you want to learn to be happy, click here for an article I found profoundly useful.

Here’s the problem with judging the heart of someone and determining their motives; you aren’t always right. A person can be happy in the midst of pain. A person can be upbeat even in the midst of chaos. Happiness is a choice. Be depressed, angry, resentful, or petty, if you choose to be, but don’t expect that everyone else will be. It’s entirely up to you. As for me, I’m going to live out this last little bit of life in happiness, I’m going to let go and plunge into the deep things of life and experience freedom, despite it all.

Charles Turns 19



My son Charles turned 19 on Saturday. He came into my life when he was 7. We spent the day going to a musical and out to eat.

Here’s what I love about Charles:

He’s a great looking kid. He has a genuine smile and is funny and smart.

He’s a great musician and it comes naturally to him.

He is the drama King of our family, but he wants to be an actor so I guess that works!

He is generous.

He’s a hugger.

He knows the word of God and has deep thoughtful conversations about the bible.

As a youngest child he always falls for anything his sister tells him, then resents the fact that she manipulates him. No matter how many times I tried to tell him, he gives her another chance.

He likes my cooking, that is, when I cook.

He knows I am proud of him and accept him as he is.

He is brave and trying life out on his own.

I love you Charles!

Published in: on November 22, 2013 at 8:45 am  Leave a Comment  

The Two Dogs


A MAN had two dogs: a Hound, trained to assist him in his sports, and a Housedog, taught to watch the house. When he returned home after a good day’s sport, he always gave the Housedog a large share of his spoil. The Hound, feeling much aggrieved at this, reproached his companion, saying, “It is very hard to have all this labor, while you, who do not assist in the chase, luxuriate on the fruits of my exertions.” The Housedog replied, “Do not blame me, my friend, but find fault with the master, who has not taught me to labor, but to depend for subsistence on the labor of others.”

Children are not to be blamed for the faults of their parents.

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop’s Fables (p. 36). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

I’ve Created My Own Prison


We learn through pain that some of the things we thought were castles turn out to be prisons, and we desperately want out, but even though we built them, we can’t find the door.

Lamott, Anne (2012-11-13). Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers (p. 37). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.

Trapped verb
1. a contrivance used for catching game or other animals, as a mechanical device that springs shut suddenly.
2. any device, stratagem, trick, or the like for catching a person unawares.

That ideal that once seemed so right is now the very thing that holds you hostage to its demands. It’s a scary place to be, sometimes lonely, sometimes heartbreaking, and always a place that you can move from, but always with consequences. Consequences that will be good and bad because there is always pursuit in a prison breakout. Only you can determine when you are willing to face those consequences.

My girlfriend’s husband recently was promoted in his job. The money is fabulous but it doesn’t make up for the fact that he is working 12-14+ hour days, comes home after the children are asleep and leaves before they wake up. “This is too great a price to pay”, she told me, “I never have time with him and if I selfishly envision a date with my husband, I take a father away from the precious few moments he may have with his children.” When I asked her why he didn’t just take a step down in position she said, “We bought a new car, leased a beach house for the month of July, and put the kids in private school, we couldn’t even consider it now.”

Seemingly trapped without a door of escape.

An acquaintance who began dating a man who was still married but separated from his wife. Dating for almost two years now, but he hasn’t filed for divorce. She’s well invested into this relationship now. She loves him and he says he cares for her but he’s in counseling with his wife.

The fairytale that has trapped the princess in the tower.

My stepmom friend who fell in love with him before he met his kids and crazy ex-wife. Then thought somehow love was going to cover it all. Now everyone is miserable.

Locked in a state of despair.

Then there I stand. Trapped in an ideal, up until last year, where I thought any time sitting down relaxing was wasted time. Headaches and heartache and stress and anxiety were so normal to me.

I decided to take a Milwaukee Super Sawzall to that mindset and I cut a hole for a door to walk out of the castle I had built. I can’t tell you it was easy. I can’t tell you that I don’t still have moments of anxiety where I hear myself try to coax my body into one more activity. These days I stop and I take a good look at what the cost will be, and I pray for the wisdom to know what the right thing to do is, even when I am afraid the answer is no and I desperately want a yes.

Stepmom Appreciation


This Sunday, May 19, is Stepmother’s Day. I want to give a shout out to all the women who are working this day out today. When you come into a pre-existing family, there are rules and rituals already established that you are not a part of. It’s never easy but with some help there is hope.

As one warrior to another, let me say that you are more than enough. You not only took on a new marriage and a new love of your life, you promise to love the children that are part of the man you chose. You now represent the majority of families in America, for better or worse. Love them well and know that you are a mentor. They  have two parents and so you aren’t there to replace anyone. You are merely there to mentor, guide, and love. You can do this! Get a great support group. They abound in communities and on the Internet. If you are looking for some help, don’t hesitate to find a good therapist who specializes in step families! I am part of a wonderful group of women who not only visit each other, call each other, and support each other, they are going through the same thing. Some are further along and help you navigate the path more clearly. My stepmom friends have been an absolute godsend to me! I don’t have a clue what I would have done without them. I honestly think my marriage would have been in danger without them. They cheered me on, they loved me through it, they told me when I was wrong, they helped me step back when I was in too deep, and they brought me back from the brink many times. I love them as sisters and mentors!

Today I honor you. You are brave. You are trying. You are amazing to even take on this endeavor. Most of you are not evil, though I’ve met some while not evil, are narcissistic and foolish. That’s an ugly combo. Hopefully that’s not you. I love you and just in case everyone forgets, I wish you happy Stepmother’s Day from the very bottom of my heart!


Even Birds Do It


Think of the now ubiquitous “failure to launch” syndrome of those twenty- or thirty-somethings still living with their parents. They cannot end childhood and fully enter adulthood. But the bigger issue is often the parents’ inability to end the pattern and stop the toxic dependency by pushing the grown “kid” out of the nest. They refuse to end their “helping” role, which is not in fact helping.

Cloud, Henry (2011-01-18). Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward (p. 11). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

The book Necessary Endings will clarify things for you. I read it at a moment of desperation and eliminated and limited detrimental things in my life, even clutter both physical and mental because the wisdom penetrated that deeply. However, this thought made me stop reading for over 24 hours as I processed the concept and tried to figure out the why.

There is an idolatry of ourselves going on these days and it manifests in the control of our children. We have determined that our child is the smartest, brightest, most likely to succeed (even if I have to do it for you), brilliant, talented, moral, beautiful, and end all to all humanity. Cancer has not been remedied, nor wars ended simply because our child has not reached that age of maturity YET. But fear not world! Our child will git-ur-dun. Oh, and by the way, if you don’t like my child? Well, you’re just a hater who wishes your child was as good as mine.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only woman on the planet who thinks her children are smart and they are one of many smart children, but my measure is are they good kids? I think my kids are good looking but so are so many other people but are their hearts right with God?  I love my kids but life is life, consequences are consequences and  I knew one day I would push them out of the nest so that they can either fly, or fall to the ground. So far my stats are decent. Two have launched willingly, two have been launched, all have flown. Only, the verdict isn’t in yet because I hear sometimes they boomerang.

We could just chalk this failure to launch thing to the economy, to immaturity, to a variety of factors but the statistics are that suicides and homicides are climbing, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, drug usage, and STD’s are at an all time high among our kids. Something is wrong. What is it?

Could it be that in this consumer driven, all about me culture that we live in we fear that our children’s failure reflects on us?

Therefore, propping them up in whatever capacity we can alleviates the self-inflicted embarrassment that is thrust on us. We have to have the best kid  and provide the best privilege because we are the best parents.

If you think I’m wrong watch how it plays out. I’ve seen parents of adult children throw their grandchildren on the altar of their ego manifested in their child. We all watched it play out with the Casey Anthony case. We aren’t doing it for the child’s sake. We’re doing it for ourselves. We have created an image of ourselves and the statues that we worship resemble the faces of our children because they look like ours. None of us have to watch TV to see how this plays out. We need only to look in our own homes and those of our community to see the reality.

Will The Real Parents Please Stand Up Part 3


Read Part 2 Here

What is it going to take for parents to take a stand and raise our children? Are we afraid of our children, or do we not care? Pastor Doug says parents are too busy to stop and deal with the issues. Is that true, and if it is, what else do parents have going on that is more important than your own child?

In today’s American culture, we are so self-focused that when a woman finds herself pregnant, she plans the date of the birth of her child. We can go to our doctor and request a date to be induced so that the birth falls in line with the plan. We have six weeks of family leave and so therefore, it has be really calculated to all work out. I’m 47 and I remember women being 3 weeks late to give birth or three weeks early. Not so much anymore. If we go a few days past our due date, we asked to be induced. The clock is ticking. We need to speed the process of growing up because in our fast-paced lifestyle it has to fit in.

Then the guilt sets in for all sorts of reason. Maybe you had a terrible childhood where you had to get a job at 16, so you vow never to do that your child. Maybe you grew up without all the latest gadgets so you have to make that up to your child. Maybe your parents told you no about some activities that you wanted to do so you have to live vicariously through your child. So we make little idols of our children. How often have we heard these words, maybe from our own mouth when things aren’t going well?

My child is so smart that he fails all of his classes out of sheer boredom because the teachers don’t motivate him.

My child is so misunderstood and they pick on him because of_________ (you fill in the blank).

My child is strong willed and I don’t want to change that because he’ll need it in life. So rather than fight with him, we come to agreements.

Most people are jealous of my child because they are so (beautiful, talented, smart) that they mistreat them.

My child has been through so much in his life that he is entitled to act out.

Please realize that these are all excuses that we use to excuse not the child but us as parents from doing our job. We blame the school, we blame the church, we blame the friends, but the responsibility is ours and solely ours. In our effort to insulate our children from any bad things that may happen in life, we don’t prepare them for life. Basic life skills are not taught. Being truthful, honest, honorable, or moral may hurt our child’s feelings, so therefore we abdicate our responsibility and go on the attack of anyone who calls them on any of their behavior. So why do you think we are neglecting those obligations or why are we trying so hard to pass the buck? I’ll talk about my thoughts on this next time.

Published in: on April 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm  Comments (1)  

But What If I Don’t Wanna?

With not an inch of space to walk and the stench of a locker room emanating from the boy’s room, kitchen counters sticky from lemonade making and gently asking for two weeks daily for the sugar spilled on the kitchen table to be picked up before we were visited by ants, I finally flipped out. Granted, the sugar spills were daily in a new location and the sticky countertop was wherever the lemonade had made that day, at 17 you’d think he would pick stuff up right? Wrong!

My 17 year-old said, “You act as if we are doing this TO YOU. We aren’t. We simply don’t think about it. My teacher says you should only do what you are passionate about. Nothing else. I am trying to live that.”

I said, “Yeah well your teacher lies because he can’t say everything he does he is passionate about.”

“Yes he can, he loves teaching!!”

“He may love teaching but does he love getting to work on time, having meetings, meeting deadlines, and all that goes with that? Your dad loves preaching but he hates parts of his job. He does them because they allow him to pursue his passion. With everything you do, there are parts of it that aren’t so great but you do them to get to do what you want.”

“NO! He really doesn’t do anything he doesn’t want to do.”

“Whatever! Do you have groceries in this house?”


“Have you had them here for the last 10 years?”


“Well, I hate grocery shopping so what if I just stop doing that? Since it isn’t my passion?”

The eyes begin to look desperately for the next argument to prove his point.

“You see, you want more responsibility but you aren’t handling what you’ve been given. Until I see that you are taking care of this stuff, I can’t give you more.”

Yes, sometimes we look more like the Roseanne Barr Show than the average family.

There’s a bigger issue here. You see, we’ve created this monster, and it’s not just in our home, it’s in your home as well, and in many other homes. It’s the American spirit that has brought us to this mess. It’s this ideal that I was created to only do what I want to do and we should all live out our lives happy and entitled. Dishes should magically clean themselves and beds should come with a remote control that pull the sheets up. Work should be an afterthought or for the idiots who haven’t figured out what they were created to do.

And just to be clear here, I am not asking for perfection. I’m fine with closing the door to the kids rooms, but when the smell starts creeping down the stairs or when the dirty stinky shirt is on the kid who needs a ride in my car, it’s then that I have an issue.

There are things we do, not because we want to, but because we are part of a community and that requires the good of the whole, not the one. We need to get back to center and it starts in our home first.

Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 2:04 am  Comments (2)