Ring the Bell

Angela recently finished radiation treatments, a medical war against breast cancer, a battle she hadn't anticipated this time last year. At the end of agonizing months she was able to ring the bell, signifying victory. She stood strong and proud and rang it. I imagine tears in her eyes for winning the battle, for relief that the treatments were over, and that her pain would ease soon. Facebook friends cheered her on from all over the world.

My daughter chose a wedding gown and was invited to ring the bell.


Ring the bell for shopping?

Welcome to America: 2018 

Where we are rewarded for menial tasks. 
Where we make a much bigger deal out of finding a wedding dress than we should.
Where we have to make everyone feel important about everything.

Honestly, I was embarrassed when the salesgirl asked my daughter if she wanted to ring the bell. Yes, she found a dress to be married in. To wear for about four hours. It took forty-five minutes for the decision to be made. It wasn't …

Who Can I Trust?

"My daughter is getting proposed to tonight," I told Alexis, a friend I hadn't seen in a while. I knew she'd be happy to hear the news, "But don't tell anyone, keep it between us." She promised not to say a word.

Later that day I made a few calls and invited some people over for an impromptu engagement party, complete with cake and confetti.

"You should stop by tonight at about nine o' clock," I told Trisha, without revealing the reason for the invitation.

"Because your daughter is getting engaged tonight?" she asked.

I almost dropped the cake on the floor when I realized our mutual friend had broken the news to Trisha.

Okay, I almost threw the cake when I realized it.

A promise of, "I won't tell anyone," was record-breaking short lived. My heart dropped and I silently vowed to never tell this friend anything again. 

My list of those I can trust seems to grow shorter each day.

If Alexis couldn't be trusted with this new…

Jan's in Crisis Mode Again

My husband and I recently binged on The Brady Bunch. We watched the entire series, one groovy episode at a time.

Don't judge. 

There isn't much on television these days I can watch without feeling like I need a soul-cleansing afterwards. The Brady's are where it's at. All problems are solved with a moral lesson by the end of the show. 

Come to think of it, 2017 could use some Brady Bunch morality.

The one thing that stuck with me while we indulged was how often Jan found herself distraught. "Jan's in crisis mode again," I'd say, while rolling my eyes. Her character grated on my nerves. She. Drove. Me. Crazy.

I don't know if she's the classic example of Middle Child Syndrome, but nothing ever went right for her. She'd start out thinking she would excel at something, be the best one in her family, and her dreams would be crushed again as she ended up humiliated and went straight into crisis mode.

How often are we like that? We are never satisfied …

You've Been Dismissed

"Did you even read my email?" are words I uttered after a reply I received that felt more like a brush off than anything else. It left me feeling like I'd done something wrong and made me feel sorry I'd made a simple inquiry.

Have you ever felt dismissed? Like someone just didn't have the time to bother with you?

Several years ago I worked for a direct sales company and was winning recognition for my efforts. At a company meeting I had the chance to sit and chat with Kelley, one of the owners of the company, and as I talked with her her eyes were everywhere except for on me. I could tell she wasn't at all interested in listening to me and was sitting there only to appease me. Her eyes were searching the room for someone more important to talk to, someone else for her to connect with.

I hate the word connect. I know it's necessary and I've used it myself, but it seems cold to me. "Let's get together," has a more intimate feel than, "Let…

Suzanne's Favorite Things 2017

Suzanne's Favorite Things 2017

The slightly lesser known list of must-have items.

Hey, Oprah can share her favorite things so anyone can. 


Dean & Deluca babka. I don't care if you don't know what babka is, you need this and Dean & Deluca have mastered this wonderful loaf of goodness. 

Yes, I said loaf. This is bread, people. It comes in cinnamon or chocolate.

Just. Look. At. It.

Imagine how good it is and then trust me when I tell you it's better than that.

If you have a Trader Joe's nearby you can go there and grab a loaf of chocolate babka. Theirs is very good. So good that I had to quit buying it. But if you really want to splurge for a Christmas morning treat then head over to Dean & Deluca and order up some yum. 

These apple pie truffles from Shenandoah Chocolates in Winchester, Virginia. A creamy apple pie filling covered in white chocolate and dusted with cinnamon. #YesPlease  The only bad thing is that they don't do online ordering so you have…

Exploring the Simple Things with Suzanne Schaffer | Real Life (11/8/17) - Simple Things interview on Cornerstone Television Network

I need to preface all of this by telling you how instrumental CTV was in my life as a teenager. In the 80s most of my friends were into B94 and the Hot 100 list. I found my musical niche in the CCM arena and Channel 40 and Lightmusic was always being viewed in my home. I was into all of them....Amy Grant, Michael W Smith, DeGarmo & Key, Petra, Kim Boyce, Kathy Troccoli, The 77s, Steve Taylor, Sheila Walsh...I had a ton of records.

Yes, vinyl.

It was the 80s after all. 

I entered all of the Lightmusic contests and won three of them.

Front row to Amy in 1985 --the night the Wise Up video was filmed. And you can see my little teenage self bopping along and singing wildly. 

To sixteen year old me this was pretty fabulous. I also won front row tickets and backstage passes to Petra and Randy Stonehill that same year.

Several years later I won a trip to Nashville to appear in a DC Talk video and then was a guest on Lightmusic to talk about it.

Lightmusic and CTV were a big part of my growing up…

Lessons From My Dog

My dog is roughly one-hundred pounds less than me, yet when she has her mind set on something she can easily pull me off track and towards what she's sniffing out. She can tip me over and make me stumble. I'm stronger and I'm bigger but she's persistent and her will makes her appear stronger and bigger than she is.

1 Corinthians 15:33 reminds us, "Do not be mislead, bad company corrupts good character," (NIV)

I'm not saying my dog is bad company. She's actually quite the opposite. She's loyal, has never repeated anything I've told her, and celebrates with me when I'm happy. She's kinda the best.

What I am saying is that she is able to get me off course rather easily just because she is distracted by what is going on around her and sees a squirrel and immediately decides that the furry rodent is worth chasing. And since I'm connected to her I get pulled in.

That is how it works with our relationships. 

If we are keeping company with peop…