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How Clean is Your House?

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"Why is your house always so immaculate?" Donna asked as she stepped inside. This was the third or forth time she'd been to my house, all of them being this year. 

It didn't take me a second to reply, "Well, for one thing, I don't have six kids."

It's just the two of us now, so when I clean a room chances are it's going to stay that way until either he or I do something to change it. And I work from home, which allows me to run a sweeper or clean a toilet at any given moment. My friend has six kids (four at home), several dogs and cats, and works a full time job as a nurse. And she's a pastor's wife. #PlateFull

I think the six kids thing gives her a free pass for years.

Sometimes it's easy to see someone else's life situation as an unattainable goal. We look at our own situation and see a big red failure stamp on it. It's not wrong, it's not a failure, it's just different.

There's a time in all of our lives when we wil…

Ace Holds the Cards

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Ace wanders the neighborhood of his own volition. His mom once told me that he won't potty when he's on a leash so she just lets him wander. He meanders through each yard, doing whatever he wants, while she watches and tries to correct him.

"Come here, Ace."
"I'm sorry," she says to me as Ace approaches my dog (who is leashed). 
"No no, Ace."

And so on.

Ace is king of the hill, ruler of his house, master instead of pet. 
And Ace is only about four pounds.

Someone isn't playing with a full deck. Instead of leashing their dog they allow him to control their lives. They follow him around the neighborhood, cutting through yards, walking on driveways to get to the woods behind the houses. All because Ace won't potty while leashed. 

They are allowing a four-pound pet to control them.

If this is how a dog is being raised how are we parenting our children? It's no wonder America is in the state it's in.

Give them screens to appease them.
Apologiz…

The Point of it All

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My friends and family are used to my antics. I love music, especially music from the 80's, it makes me come alive and I will sing and dance along. No matter where I am. If I'm in conversation with you and a song I love starts playing I am no longer able to focus on our talk, I will tune you out and sing along, not on purpose, my mind just grabs hold of the music. I will be gone for three to four minutes, but you'll likely not know I've stepped away because I'm able to nod and give a mmmm hmmmm a few times. 

The grocery store I frequent plays the very best music. Last week I took a selfie video lip-syncing to Taylor Swift's, "Shake it Off," and uploaded it to Facebook for my friends to see. My husband is seen in the video shaking his head at me and admitted later to leaving me in the aisle alone. I'm apparently somewhat embarrassing.

Yesterday I shopped alone and did it again, this time to Debbie Gibson. And there were strangers in the aisle. I never…

What I Learned by Cruising to Alaska

What I learned by cruising to Alaska

I get seasick.
Curled in a fetal position seasick.  
Boat rocking back and forth. 
Watching the hangers in the closet sway.
Watching the swimming pool become a wave pool.
Hyperventilating seasick. 
Crying seasick. 
Throwing up seasick.

Being told "Eat green apple...." repeatedly.
Wanting to scream, "YOU eat green apple."
I don't like them on a normal day. 

I can nap on a chair in plain sight of myriads of people going up and down in the glass elevators when I'm seasick and under the influence of strong meds. 

Pretty sure I'm in some picture on Instagram somewhere.

There are thousands of people on a boat and they all eat at the same buffet.
I've long had buffetphobia.
Thousands of people using the same serving tongs. 
Where they put the food on their plate and then pick up a piece and eat it and then lick their finger and then move to the next set of serving tongs.

Nope.

I found a bucket of serving spoons, took one and dug out the f…

learning to say no

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"In this world you will have trouble," Jesus said in John 16:33

He wasn't kidding.

Much of that trouble we bring on ourselves. We get our opinions tossed in the blender with those of people around us. Mixed up, they get confused and tossed back at us in a way we never intended. We allow ourselves to give into temptation and find our lives unraveling as we justify our actions.

Want to know a secret?

We need to learn to say no to temptation.


"No temptationhas overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
 -1 Corinthians 10:13

The Bible is very clear that we will be tempted and that we can overcome it because God will always provide us with an escape from temptation.

Temptation leads to sin and sin separates us from God. God does not want us to be separated from Him so He offers help.

Sometimes that help is obvi…

It's Not Your Story to Tell

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A good friend posted an update online and I was able to read between the lines. I sent a quick text to check on her and she replied, "It's not my story to tell..."

Using wisdom, she asked for prayer without giving any details. At all. And that's okay. In fact, it's more than okay. It's a sign of maturity.

It reminded me of a situation I found myself in a few years ago. We had a guest speaker at church who invited everyone to the front for special prayer after he spoke. We lined up, waiting our turn. Some were singing, some were quietly praying, some were worshiping, some were...gossiping? At first I couldn't believe what was happening right next to me. We were at the altar, waiting to receive a blessing or healing from God, and they were gossiping about someone who wasn't there that day.

I didn't want to correct them. I tried to reason myself out of it. I asked God to have someone else do it. But He wouldn't let me go. 

I hate confrontation. Hate.…

The Empty Nest

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I've been avoiding this topic for six months, since my daughter married and moved out. Leaving us with the new normal known as the empty nest. 

The first few weeks were the most difficult and I found myself roaming the house, tears streaming my face. I wailed and screamed one day. I would've torn my clothes if I'd known how (let's be honest, I also didn't want to ruin a perfectly good tee). I found myself in the middle of a grief I wasn't expecting. 

The night sounds were gone. The Bachelor wasn't on my TV screen anymore. Taylor Swift's voice echoing through the house was gone. The fragrance of her perfume evaporated. 

"What's for dinner, mom?"
"Want to go to TJ Maxx?"

The choreography of living together for nearly twenty-one years stretched thin like an old rubber band and now there's silence in this home as she's off learning the dance of life with someone else.

It was hard when our son left for school and then started a life…