Habits Woman with coffee and Bible

Habits change into character.  – Ovid

Whether we like it or not, our days are full of habits. They can be good habits … or they can be bad habits. Yes – we all have those, too. Some patterns are thought-out, and others come so instinctively they’re second nature to our daily routine. 

Take a minute and think about your morning routine. What’s the first thing you do when your feet hit the floor? Do you head to the bathroom and brush your teeth or make a line straight for the coffee maker to get the first cup of life-giving caffeine brewing? Whichever way you start the day – that’s a habit. 

What habits in your life would you like to change? 

According to Medical News Today, breaking a bad habit can take anywhere from 18-250 days.  That feels a little overwhelming. But here’s the good news: you don’t have to do it alone. When we set our hearts and mind on a positive change and allow God to help us do the work, we can create new and better habits for ourselves and our marriage. 

As we worked through Tim’s affair and the aftermath, our daily habits and mindsets toward each other needed to transform. Drastically! We could no longer take each other or our marriage for granted. Instead, we cultivated mindful and healthy habits that, over time, led to restoration and healing in our marriage. While it took very conscious action and effort from each of us, it was worth any number of days to break the old habits and develop new patterns that would lead us to a much higher level of satisfaction and contentment in our marriage.

As you look at your daily habits and patterns, take the time (no matter how many days!) to embrace and take steps toward the habit changes you need to make. Romans 12:2 tells us to not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. 

Do you tend to be impatient with your spouse? Start a habit of slowing down and practicing pause and patience. Has anger caused distance in your marriage? Take a moment and breathe before responding to your spouse. With time, practice, and effort – habits can change.

Allow God to shift your habits and patterns, and your mindset (renewing of our minds) toward those habits. Then resolve to make the change. Your spouse and your marriage will thank you for it.

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.


Jehovah Rapha. He is the Lord who heals.


When you are in a season of unknowns, a season of pain, where do you look for help? As we are walking a difficult journey, we can become so intently focused on our healing that we forget about our Healer. Instead, we focus on the wilderness and the seemingly endless trek back to wholeness.

While leaning into your healing journey is crucial, it’s vital to your path to seek the Healer – Jehovah Rapha, the One who heals. 

Psalm 147:3 tells us, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” This verse shows that He will heal you wholly, from your broken heart and spirit all the way to physical wounds. He is the God of complete healing, and He wants to pull you out of the pain, restore you, and refresh your weary soul.

How long has it been since you’ve felt His peace wash over you, bringing comfort and love and quenching your spirit?

The Bible reminds us over and over of His faithfulness, love, and healing – for you:


“The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.”

Psalms 146:8


He will lift your head, heart, and spirit as you seek healing.


“This what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: ‘I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.'”

2 Kings 20:5


He sees you, and He knows the depth of your pain. This verse is a promise of His healing!


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28


You don’t have to strive. You only need to go to Him, and He will give you rest (in your heart, mind, and body). 


As you travel the path of your healing process, you can lean into these verses for peace and comfort. But more importantly – trust in the Healer. There you’ll find quiet and calm for your worn-out soul.

It’s my birthday! No, I don’t want birthday wishes or anything. So, why am I telling you this? Because I’m struggling with getting older. There I said it, truth is out. I just don’t like adding another year to my age and not being able to do anything about it.

You might be wondering how old I am, or maybe you already know. The truth is, I just can’t say the number. Why? Because I don’t want to! I also have a perspective of what my age looks like. And I just I don’t feel that old.

My perspective on my age and how I feel are miles apart. For years now, I have joked with my granddaughter that it’s my 29th birthday. Every year, she plays along with me, even though she knows it’s not true. Of course, when she was younger, she was a bit confused that each year I was the same age. Going back to not feeling my age, the truth is, I feel young! Sure, maybe it’s not 29, but it’s certainly not… Nope, ain’t gonna say it.

OK, when I look in the mirror, I see that I am not 29. There are true signs of aging that just happen over time. Yep, there are wrinkles and sagging that wasn’t there when I was 29 or even in the last several years.

I don’t feel I am alone in dealing with the difference between what our perspective of an age is and how we are feeling. Haven’t you heard that 60 is the new 40, 70 is the new 50, etc.? So, if I’m the new 40, what does it mean? Well, studies are showing that people are living longer today, they’re healthier, and they’re enjoying life more. Bottom line, older people are feeling younger these days, and I am one of them!

There is even more really good news: today, the average age for someone moving into a nursing home is 81. In the 1950’s, it was 65. Also, it’s not uncommon for someone to retire earlier and then start a totally new career. Men and women in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s are running marathons. Seniors are not just sitting in an easy chair watching the news; they are out teaching and taking classes, traveling. Seniors are just getting the most out of life.

So, with all this good news, why does a number bother me so much? Being a Life Coach, I know it’s a mindset. Something to get over and move on from. But I don’t’ want to. Yes, I know that aging is natural, and age is a perspective. But I still carry the image of past loved ones who at my age looked and acted so much older. I’m not them! I feel young!

So, what do I do? Well, for today, I will enjoy the celebration that my husband and family planned. I will have some fun and hold my head high as I celebrate my 29th birthday again!

After seeing the movie Breakthrough, there were two critical points that really made an impact on me. The first is when Joyce Smith arrives at the hospital and is escorted into the ER room where her 14-year-old son lies lifeless. All life-saving measures have been stopped. John fell through the ice into Lake Sainte Louise, in Missouri. John was underwater for over 15 minutes and not responsive for over 45 minutes, while the paramedics and then doctors did all they could to try to bring life into John’s lifeless body. What did his mother, Joyce, do? She prayed! She cried out for God to breathe life into her son. The monitor went from a flat line to a beep. All the medical crew outside the curtain were in shock but immediately jumped into action to get John on all the life-supporting equipment he needed. But the journey didn’t end there. God answered his mother’s prayer—to breathe life into John—but there was still so much unknown in front of them.

The second thing that Joyce did came days later when there had been no improvement and things looked grim for John’s recovery. Joyce removed herself from John’s side and escaped to the rooftop of the hospital where she surrendered to God. She acknowledged her sins, asked for forgiveness, and surrendered all control over the future of John’s healing to God. That’s when everything changed!

I personally know this! This is my story! Many years ago, I was trying to control the outcome of my broken marriage. I was guilty of trying to fix it all on my own. Sure, I prayed, and I even surrendered, but when things got crazy again, I would jump back into the driver’s seat. I thought I knew what needed to be done to fix my marriage. Well, maybe it’s more correct to say, I thought I knew what my husband needed to do. Of course, now after being out of the crazy cycle, I can honestly say that I was causing more damage than good—something I didn’t see at the time. Things were a mess, and I was a mess! Something needed to change.

Then one day it happened: I found some emails that once again ripped my heart into a million tiny pieces and depleted me of all hope that my marriage could be saved. I cried, screamed, and wailed as I read the emails over and over. My fears consumed me: my marriage was over, and I would be alone. Then in a split second, I was on my knees, with the emails held high above my head, pleading with God to take this from me. I couldn’t do it anymore. And he did: within a few seconds, I felt everything being lifted from me and His peace surrounding me. Feeling the warmth and comfort of someone holding me and telling me I would be OK, I was able to rest in the peace of God. Those moments changed everything.

Did I still hurt? Yes! Was there still uncertainty? Yes! Sure thing. All the same feelings where there: the pain, hurt, anger, disbelief, hopelessness, uncertainty… you name it, it was there. The difference was that now I was not the one in the driver’s seat; I had surrendered to God, and He was the one driving. I learned to trust God and to call out to Him when I need help or even to just release. He was there for me; He loved me through my brokenness, the pain and the anger. He didn’t judge me; He was just there. True surrendering, when you finally give it all up, laying it all down at the feet of Jesus and not picking it back up, changes everything.

Is it easy? No! But God knows that. That is why we have His word to help us through.

Trust the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make you straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalms 46:10

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable.

Isaiah 40:28

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 9:10

I highly suggest you see the movie Breakthrough and you focus on the two things that Joyce did and how God reacted. She prayed and He answered. She surrendered and it changed everything!

A while back, I flew out to spend a week with my daughter Mia, her husband Sam and their first baby Aiden—then only two weeks old. I was so excited to meet my newest grandson! Having a newborn in the house meant there would be some big changes and adjustments for their little family. I wanted to help smooth the way for them, so I spent my time helping in any way I could, from organizing Aiden’s room to soothing him when he was crying to let his parents get a little extra sleep. It was sweet to be together and make lovely memories. The week passed quickly and the time came for me to head home.

Before my daughter took me to the airport, we met Sam for lunch.  My grandson slept while we enjoyed our food and savored the precious quality time. When we glanced at the clock, we couldn’t believe how fast lunch had been. We had to get me to my flight! Sam quickly paid the bill and I threw in five dollars for the tip. As we were heading to the car, we realized Aiden needed a diaper change, so we stopped one more time. Finally, we were off to the airport. As we got close to the airport, I realized I would need to check my bag outside if I wanted it to make the flight with me; there wasn’t enough time for me to check my bag at the counter.  Because I had thrown in a five for the tip at the restaurant, I realized I only had a twenty-dollar bill left. Now I had a dilemma; how will I pay the porter? I always tip porters but that amount seemed like too much.

My mind was vacillating. Should I tip him or not?  After all, I only have one bag. Surely not tipping once won’t be that bad, right? Or maybe I can ask for change? I knew that if I gave him the cash I had, I would not have any money for the rest of my trip! I had a layover on my way home and I would probably want a snack. A twenty really did seem overly generous for one small bag. However, time was of the essence so I had to make up my mind quickly.

Mia dropped me off and I went up to the curbside check in. The porter took my bag for the fast process and assured me that my bag would make the flight. Now what should I do?

I stood for what felt like an eternity, still unsure what to do, to just give him the money or ask for change.  I looked him in the eyes and simply handed him the twenty-dollar bill.  As he took it and it dawned on him what was happening, his face softened and there was sincere appreciation in his eyes as he said, “Aw, thank you, Miss!”

            As I turned to walk away, I said, “No, thank you”.  Even though I initially struggled with what to do, there was a valuable lesson for me to learn that day. Sincere appreciation is more valuable than any monetary value.  Giving away my last dollar was worth the cost. The simple act of giving the porter an unexpected tip made his day and his reaction made mine. Lighthearted, I walked away. Sure, I had less money in my pocket but my heart was filled with pure joy, knowing I had given an unexpected gift. The reward was in the giving and it was more valuable than the worth of the bill.

Usually I enjoy occasional travel, but last year was very different. Not only did I spend more time traveling than most years; there was an unprecedented number of delays.  I’ve come to expect holdups from snow and ice when flying in the winter. However, I mostly took flights in the summer, so it was odd and unexpected. I wondered if it was something to do with the weather or something more complicated like mechanical problems. Regardless of the reason, I found traveling that year extremely tiring and frustrating, especially as I had no control over the issues and interruptions. There were times I felt like there were more downsides than upsides to traveling.

 In June, I’d been in Colorado for a retreat with my business coach.  From Colorado I was scheduled to go to Texas to watch my 2-year-old grandson, Charlie. My son Adam and his wife Marie were heading to Ireland and had asked me to stay with him. My schedule allowed me to be there a full day before they were to leave, giving me time to make sure I knew his routine and schedule. It had been several months since I had seen Charlie and I was looking forward to having one on one time with him.

 The day of my departure started early because my flight was at six. Even so, at the airport the lines were huge. Soon I heard mumblings from the people around me that all morning flights had been canceled. I quickly got in line to check in.  After a long wait, I finally got to the counter—only to be told I couldn’t get another flight for two days. Panic set in. Wait, that won’t work for me.  Obviously a two-year-old can’t stay by themselves waiting for Grandma to get a flight. Not to mention how hard it would be for Adam to change the international flights. The agent at the counter could see my desperation and she tried all their outgoing flights and other airlines before resorting to calling a supervisor to help.  Finally, they got me on a Delta flight leaving the next day. Taking a deep breath and finally feeling relief, I left the airport.

 It had been a stressful morning. The house where I was staying had a field behind it with horses, so I decided to sit outside and enjoy the quiet and lovely view. As I sat there, one of the horses came up to the fence. I was intrigued by its beauty and got lost in the moment looking into its gentle brown eyes—when my phone rang and startled me. It was the airline calling to inform me that the flight I had been rebooked on was canceled. I spent the next several hours talking to anyone who might be able to help me find a flight that would get me to Texas in time. Exhausted and stressed, I imagined my Charlie sitting in his crib all by himself with no one to care for him. This just can’t happen, I’ve got to do something! Can I rent a car and drive?  Drive to Texas or a city with a bigger airport? I was passed on to a supervisor. Finally, some good news! I was once again rebooked on a third airline. Tired but very stressed, I was unable to sleep the night before my flight.  Would there be another delay, leaving me stranded in Colorado?  To my relief, the next morning everything went off without a hitch. I landed in Texas on time, emotionally spent but thrilled I made it.

I had a good night’s sleep, all of the weight of the last few days melting away. In the morning, I went into Charlie’s room and his face lit up. He put up his hands and reached toward me with a huge smile on his face. I lifted him out of his crib and his little arms wrapped tightly around my neck. As I held him close I felt so deeply glad that I was here. Even with all the travel mishaps, coming here was well worth it. He was worth any inconvenience.

I spent my days with my grandson reading books, building towers, and going for walks. He had an obsession with the lawn guy. On the days the crew came, Charlie had to see them out the window. On our walks he would bring his toy lawn mower with him. I’m sure all the neighbors could hear us coming. I laughed to myself as I wondered if one day he would be in the lawn maintenance business. It felt good to move fully from frustration to joy as I appreciated every minute.  Spending time and loving on this little guy was definitely worth it!

Regardless of the annoyances that my flights presented me with last year, I wouldn’t have changed any of it, because that would have meant forfeiting the experiences. I went to some really beautiful places: Hawaii, Colorado, Ft Lauderdale, and New York City. I also got to be with friends and family at my alma mater, Washington D.C., Ohio and Texas.  Traveling allowed me many privileges, but the biggest reward by far was spending time with my children and their families. Nothing melts my heart more than to have one of my grandchildren run to me with their face lit up yelling “Grandma!”

Visiting my daughter recently, I noticed she had put the cards on display that she’d recently received for her birthday. There they were all on top of her mantel. I looked at each card; some were pretty while others had a silly picture. Spending time looking at each card was peaceful and brought back memories.  I picked up the card with the golden retriever on the front. The golden has its head sticking out the window, loving the wind in its face.  It brought back memories of our two goldens, Madis and Blue.           

I loved that she, too, displayed her cards. I have always done the same.  DisplayIng cards I receive always invites me to enjoy the excitement that I felt when I first saw the envelope in the mailbox.  It feels like the pure joy of knowing someone cares. Receiving cards makes me feel special and that is why it’s important to me to display the cards. I remind myself of the truth. Yes, someone cared enough to think of me!

Any occasion that I receive cards, I put them on the mantel on display for everyone.  Not only for others to see, but more as a reminder for myself.  It feels good to remember that someone had thought enough to hand pick a special card!  Yes, a card picked just for me!  I feel so much love from people knowing they cared enough that I made their Christmas card list or they remembered my birthday.  The cards on the mantel allow me to bask in the warm feelings of knowing that someone cared enough.

Am I any different from you?  Doesn’t it feel good to know that someone cares?  Someone made a trip to the store, took the time to read through many cards until they found the exact one.  For the person buying the card it’s a simple act of thoughtfulness, but for the receiver it touches their heart, Yes, someone cared enough to let them know they are special.

As I take down the cards from my birthday, Christmas or whatever the event, to make room for the next batch of cards to come in, reminiscing while reading each card again reminding myself how blessed I am.  Making a mental note to return the kindness and thoughtfulness.  To give back the gift of letting them know that I care enough to take the time to pick that perfect card for them.

Putting the cards away, my mind drifts back to growing up.  I can see my mom placing Christmas cards on the mantel of the red brick fireplace.  Dressed with poinsettias and Christmas stocking.  A tradition has been handed down.  Three generations are carrying on the tradition of cards on the mantel.  I wonder if one day my granddaughters will place cards they receive on their mantels? 

For several years now, I have chosen a word for the year instead of making New Year resolutions.

Pause, Just Enough, Embrace Change and Bloom

These are my words for the last several years.

Why A Word For The Year


While there are many reasons that resolutions don’t work, I’m going to focus on why a word does work.  I like many others have made a list of resolutions the start of each year.  I haven’t been followed through on those resolutions.  In fact, for many years I have carried the same resolution over to the next New Year.  After many years of been stuck in the same rut, make resolutions, don’t achieve them, carry them to next year, repeat.  I decided to try something different.

Doing some research, I discovered the value of choosing a word to focus on.  Putting your focus on a single word, gives you intention and direction and gives me the power to change my life.  In trying it for one year, I saw how much possibility there was by focusing on one word. And that is why I continue to choose a word for each year.

So, how does one choose a word?  Let me share how I and my husband Tim do it each year!  On January, 1st of each year, Tim and I get out flip charts and write out what we accomplished the previous year, what we had wanted to accomplish but didn’t. Then we move on to the New Year, what is it we want to accomplish?

Built On The Word Before

What I have learned is that each year, my word has built on the word before.  For instance, one year my focus was Just Enough, the next year was Embrace Change, followed by Evolved for this year.  It’s been a progression.  There were circumstances in my life that I needed to accept that Just Enough was enough.  Once I had grown in acceptance, I was ready to Embrace Change.  I really couldn’t embrace the change if I hadn’t accepted that just enough was enough. 

Life had taken unexpected twist and turns that was leaving me feeling I was not enough, I didn’t have enough, and the list goes on.  Going through the process of resting in enough, I was able to move on to embracing change.

My life was in a season of change and it was something I was not prepared for or even wanted.  I started last year out with the word Bloom, but the truth was I couldn’t Bloom if I were stuck in the frustration of the changes that I was living. To be more accurate, I was fighting the change.  I specifically heard; you must Embrace Change before you can Bloom.

Last year, I accepted the new season I was in and embraced the changes in my life.  Was it easy? No! We all have expectations of what we think our life will look like.  It’s hard to move away from expectations and embrace the reality. I don’t think I’m any different than you.

After a year of Embracing Change, I am ready to move into my new word, Evolve. To me Evolve means, gradually develop into the person God has designed me to be.  To gradually develop my business.  I’m prepared for the process.  When I look back on New Year’s Day, I look forward to seeing how I and my business has Evolved.

What will your word be for this year?  Where will you focus be?

Proverbs 29:18 KJV “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”


Just after Christmas last year, I discovered that my checking account was almost empty!  It had been a wonderful holiday as the whole family had come to stay. Our house had been full of activities, laughter and love. Now it was empty and so was our bank account.  Entertaining and feeding a group of 17 is expensive. Add to that buying the necessities for the babies and projects to keep the preschooler busy, and it cost way more than I had anticipated. Now I worried how we would get by on 83 dollars until payday, which was ten days away. The pantry and refrigerator were both empty.  We needed groceries and I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled that would require a copay.   I didn’t see any way we would be able to make it.

My story is that for many years I have lived one step ahead of just enough.  What does that mean?  Well, I’ve experienced years of financial struggles, while an outward appearance made it seem like I had it all.  The truth is, I had options to make things look better than they were, including credit cards, an option to refinance our home or get a second, and a path to find a better paying position.  When things got tight and there wasn’t enough money, there were options. Then one day, there were no more options, credit cards maxed out, no more offers for higher paying positions, and a downturn in the market meant more was owed on the home then its value.  Options were gone; reality had to be faced.  And beyond the reality of facing no more options, I had to face the reality that I had been the one to make the choices.  Now what?  If I’m honest, facing reality is not a very easy thing to do.  I spiraled down into a tunnel of darkness.  Seeing no way out, I became withdrawn and cocooned in the darkness. The hopelessness wrapped around me, keeping me paralyzed and alone.When I was in this cocooned place, I could not move or see any light of hope.

So, did I ever get out of that dark place? After all it’s not a fun place to be!  Slowly, I started to see light, but it was a process!  A slow and painful process with hard lessons.  Even writing this blog is not easy, because all the facades, prestenses and masks had to come down.  I had become comfortable with the life I presented, facades and all.  Right now, today, there is no more false outward appearance, just the plain and simple truth. That is how I can write that I have just enough. Yes, just enough for today, for every day and that is a good place to be.

So, what happened? Well, it was only through the grace of God.  He helped me to see that I had enough, even if it was just enough.  He showed me that all I needed was just enough for today, for this minute. Have you heard a similar story? While in the wilderness, God gave the Israelites manna for each day. They were instructed to collect just enough for that day. If they gathered more and hoarded it, the manna rotted.

Even knowing the story from the Bible didn’t make it easier.  It was still a very slow process of accepting that I was going to be okay and God was in control. It meant I took things little by little, day by day. In time, I started to see light through the darkness giving me hope.  There is a big lesson here that God really wants me to learn and live by, which I’m trying so hard to grasp.  To be totally honest it’s not always enjoyable.  The most important lesson He wanted to teach me is that while I have less than I would like— financially or in any other area—I need to trust Him.  He will give me what I need, like he always has, just enough.  A second but just as important lesson is that I am not alone on this journey of life; He is here alongside me.  The third lesson and probably hardest is that He needs my story for His glory.  I’m not the only one who has struggled with whether they have enough and I need to be able to be open so others can feel understood and know that they are not alone. He is asking me to be vulnerable and that’s why I am sharing. He gives us all enough. Sometimes just enough, but enough.

I still catch myself worrying whether I have enough, yet God is right there reminding me that He is enough.  Of course, I might need to do some things differently, make some changes in my lifestyle.  All of these feel different, perhaps even scary. Although I may be uncomfortable with the shifts and there are even things I don’t want to change, in the end, it will be okay And more importantly, I will be ok.  My job is to trust and know that Just Enough is His plan! 

So, you may be wondering, what happened when I only had 83 dollars?  With ten days before the next paycheck would come in, we would receive absolutely just enough for each day.  An unexpected refund hit our account, a client called for an emergency appointment, and I even found a check that I had not deposited.  In the end we made it to payday with, you guessed it,  Just Enough!


I have thought about starting to write as a blogger. Then I questioned myself: am I a blogger?

First, I needed to find out what a blogger actually is. I did some research, and one definition I found said: “A blog is a website where someone regularly records their thoughts or experiences and stories.” Okay, with that definition, I guess I could call myself a blogger. After all, I have a website, I post on several Facebook pages, I’m an author, and I do write about my thoughts and experiences—as random as they may be.

Now what do I do? So many questions and so many unknowns. How often do I need to write a blog? Will others be interested in what I have to say? My thoughts? My experiences? My stories? Will someone really read my blogs? How do I know that they read them? What if they do not like what I write? Will I have haters?

Now it is time to do some research: looking at what others write about, the stories they share, and how they write. I have learned that bloggers often write from a personal perspective that allows them to connect directly with their readers. Most bloggers write in a very informal and conversational style. At its heart, blogging is about sharing your knowledge with the world. Choosing a topic that you are passionate about makes the process of starting a successful blog so much easier.

Well, sounds easy enough. So, decision made—I am jumping into new territory here. Yep, it’s scary and unknown. I invite you to come along with me on my new adventure of blogging. I am stepping into the arena and hoping readers will find some value in the stories I share and the things I write about. Come join me, and let us see where this goes…