Safe Haven Friendships

As a women’s ministry leader I have been reminded over and over again that people want true authenticity from their leaders. However, in reality, that is much easier said than done.   While many women are social and friendships are important to them, it is rare to have those true “safe haven” friendships. You know the ones—the ones where you can truly be yourself, with all your flaws, all your doubts, all your hurts and all your disappointments. Those friendships are few and far in between.

I consider myself extremely blessed because last weekend I was able to spend time with two of my safe haven friends. They are women I trust implicitly with my secrets, my hurts, and my dreams. They don’t judge me. Continue reading “Safe Haven Friendships”

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A New Perspective

Last weekend I rode the Ducks in Branson, Missouri. For those of you who are familiar with Branson, the Duck Tour is one of the most popular tourist attractions there. It is fun, and a treat to hear the Captains of the amphibious vehicles as they guide you on the tour.

As we took in the area around Branson, we drove up up Bear Mountain. Partially up the mountain there is a rock clearing with old military vehicles. While driving through the site a narrative plays, explaining which war the vehicle was used in and the primary role of each of the vehicles. We saw tanks, Jeeps, and a various assortment of vehicles.

ambulanceI have been on the Duck tour before, but this time it took on a special significance to me and I saw it from a new perspective. That was because my brother-in-law, Steve, is a Vietnam veteran, and he and my sister were with me on the tour. Steve was a medic in Vietnam and served mostly on the front line with the ground troops. They generally used helicopters to evacuate wounded soldiers, but as we approached the ambulance, he noted it was the type of ambulance they used in other areas. Continue reading “A New Perspective”

Four Letter Words that Ruin Our Lives

Growing up, I was always aware of the “four-letter” words that I should never say.  And for the most part, I didn’t.  In high school, I let the occasional word fly just because some of my friends did. As a Christian I became convicted that curse words really did not belong in my vocabulary. However, I have learned through time that there are some four letter words other than curse words that can ruin our lives.  Here is a list of four letter words that can have a negative impact on our lives. Continue reading “Four Letter Words that Ruin Our Lives”

The Words That Made a Difference

golden apleMany of us can identify defining moments in our lives, that may be seemingly insignificant to others, but mean a lot to us.  I was a senior in high school when my choir teacher had each of us stand and sing a verse–solo.  I sat listening as each class member sang, dreadfully anticipating my turn. Finally, the teacher nodded toward me and I slowly stood and straightened my shoulders. My clenched palms were sweaty and my heart was beating rapidly. My stomach was churning as I opened my mouth and let the first notes roll forth. My nervousness was reflected in my breathy, quavering voice.

As I was singing, I heard it. Giggling. Coming from the second row. From the group of girls who could REALLY sing (one of them was Miss Teen USA and her talent was singing). My face flaming red, I finished my verse and then quickly sat down, mortified and embarrassed. I knew I would never sing in public again. Continue reading “The Words That Made a Difference”

Memorial Day

6,782. The number of military casualties during operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn casualties as confirmed by U.S. Central Command.  http://projects.militarytimes.com/valor

This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day. For many it just means a three-day weekend full of picnics, swimming, and fun.  For those in retail it means, hard work as the stores capitalize on big sales.  But for those who understand the true meaning of “memorial,’ this day honors those who have sacrificed their lives in service for their country.

They are men and women who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place by protecting the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. They sometimes fight in wars they don’t understand and don’t want. They endure great hardships, both mental and physical. The cost is high and these warriors frequently return with wounds that we can’t see and live with nightmares born from the horrors of war. Sometimes they return in flag-drapped caskets, signifying the ultimate sacrifice. The ones we remember on Memorial Day. Continue reading “Memorial Day”

Life Really Isn’t Fair – 5 ways to become a victor

Sometimes being an ordinary person really stinks!  Most of my friends and family fall in the “ordinary” (however you want to define it) category.  During this week I have friends who have had health issues, marital issues, financial issues, and  even dealing with suicide issues.  Unfortunately, life is bound to throw us all a curve ball on occasion. Sometimes we are a primary contributor to the issues, and sometimes we are are impacted by the decisions someone else has made.  In all honesty, life really isn’t fair. Continue reading “Life Really Isn’t Fair – 5 ways to become a victor”

Focus on Five – Things to do to minimize regrets

regretsTwo of the most recent events that have headlined the news for the past two weeks are the disappearance of Flight MH370 and the massive mudslide near Oso, Washington. Both of them are events that have left uncertainty, grief, and frustration for many. And once again, we are reminded of how fleeting our days can be.

When catastrophic events such as this happen, we are often forced to take a look at our own mortality. A life that is here today can be snuffed out quickly. I know this to be true. When my husband came home from work on October 27, 2009, he followed his regular evening routine as he went to the basement to lift weights. He never came back up those stairs, and met Jesus as his soul took flight from this earthly home. Continue reading “Focus on Five – Things to do to minimize regrets”

Visiting the Past

In preparation for getting my house on the market, I have been doing quite a bit of “purging” lately. Some things are easy to let go of, some are not. I am a real book junkie and have (literally) hundreds of books in my home. I gave away about 100 books to our youth minister, whose organized wife probably cringed when he brought them home!  I have donated many to the thrift store, but still have four bookshelves full of books! Even though I now put many of my books on my Kindle, I still love the feel of opening a book and perusing it’s pages, awaiting the marvelous things I discover within.

But I digress. What really started my thoughts going today is going through my “keepsake” box. You know, the kind that several of you have hidden away in the basement or stuffed in a cedar chest, or maybe in a drawer. The smell of old papers wafted to my nose as I opened the box. And so began the assault on my memories.

Continue reading “Visiting the Past”