To be really brave

Forsyth Park, Savannah, Georgia

You’re so brave, she says.

I tuck behind my ear a strand of blond hair that has escaped my ponytail. I wear no make-up and my feet are bare, my flip flops flipped off  as soon as I relaxed in her garden chair.

It’s a warm spring day and although there are still marshmallow mounds of snow scattered in dry, wheat coloured grass, the day calls for flip flops.

It’s a big thing for us northerners, after months of knit socks and snug boots, to bear sun-deprived feet and then don a pair of flip flops.

A piece of heaven on earth.

But I digress.

It’s easy for me somehow, I reply to my friend. Her pink nails tap her coffee cup encased in her palms that cover a Starbucks logo. But then, I elaborate, it’s really not even that brave. It’s actually kind-of comfortable.

Her brown eyes widen.

Cathedral of St. John Baptist, Savannah, Georgia

Yes, bravery to me isn’t solo travel, airline flights to new places, navigating new roads in a rental car, exploring new streets on foot, and figuring out where the Air Bnb is that you booked on line.

Courageous? Maybe. But brave, no.

No, true bravery to me (and some may not agree), is when suddenly there is a call on you, a duty, maybe even unforeseen, with no preparation, and you step in. Bravery is when the call is so strong that saying no feels disobedient, and you say yes even though your life may be at stake.

Bravery is Mary, a young virgin, saying yes to the Lord.

Mary answered, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.” Luke 1:38

Bravery is Paul, a converted young man facing those who want to execute him for his past transgressions, on the call of the Lord to speak the good news of the gospel.

“So you know Greek, do you?” the colonel replied. “Aren’t you that Egyptian who not long ago raised a riot and led those four thousand assassins into the dessert”

“I am Jew,” replied Paul. “I am a man of Tarsus, a citizen of that not insignificant city. I ask you to let me speak to the people.” Acts 21:38-39

And BRAVERY is Jesus, the son following the will of His Father even though he knows the cross he will bear will lead to immeasurable suffering.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42


I slip my feet back into my flip flops, lean back in my chair, close my eyes and turn my face up to the spring sun. What I glorious day, I say.

I feel my friend’s hand on my arm, warm and soft. Just be careful, she says.

And I still think you are being brave, she comments.

My eyes closed, the sun warm on my face, my lips curl up in a slight smile.

I sure hope so.  I do want to step into action when God calls me to something that I cannot say no to out of obedience.


When called, I want to be brave.

And be a bearer of His light in this world.

Psalm 56:3-4 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

What is bravery to you?



A forever ‘n ever inspiration

I feel like I have been a bit quiet in this place. And I thought I’d share today a few reasons why.

  1. I’m completing an additional coaching certification program.
  2. I’m designing a website (with the help of a professional designer) that intwines coaching, writing, and photography and will become my new space. My current space here will be attached, so no worries for me to loose connection with you!
  3. I’m designing a new journal to be published in May when my website will be launched.

At times it has been a bit overwhelming, and I experience moments of “what am I doing?’ and “who am I to do this?” 

But then often an affirming word comes from a friend, a teacher, or family member.

God knows exactly what we need, doesn’t He?

Someone who has always been instrumental to my dreams and visions is my child-hood friend, Rhonda. It’s been 2 years now since her passing, and even though many miles separated us during the majority of our friendship, the connection never did.

So today I thought I’d re-post a tribute to my best friend forever ‘n ever.

Rhonda, you inspire me….forever ‘n ever

A Life Tapestry (first published at Connecting Stories)

Tapestry: used in reference to an intricate or complex combination of things or sequence of events
“I wonder,” I said, my mind recalling a phone conversation just days before. “Maybe we should introduce him to Carol? She’s ready to meet someone and loves music. Rob plays in a band. There’s a common interest already!”

My best friend Rhonda, and her husband Sheldon, held their wine glasses up, gesturing a toast. I picked up my glass of water, and we smiled at each other. You know, those mischievous smiles with a sense of excitement too from a grand idea that is even better when three are involved, and the other parties don’t know!

And, yes this was a set-up. A long-distance set-up as Rob resided in Ontario, and Carol in Alberta. A set-up eighteen years ago when the newspaper classifieds were the ‘dating’ sites of the time.

And Rhonda was still healthy.

On the morning of April 12, 2015, Rhonda passed away after 4 years of a hearty battle with cancer. Always a high achiever, she didn’t let her cancer take away her ambitions and zest for life. Those four years, between cancer treatments, she participated in fund-raising events for breast cancer, traveled with her two daughters to New York, and other warmer climates,  her last trip to Cuba just this past February with her three children, husband, and other family members.

We met when we were three so do not remember a moment of my life, my world when she was not in it. She was the ‘Stand By Me’ part of my life–stomping through creeks, swimming in her back yard pool, hacking worms in half and watching both parts squirm, dolls then Barbies then boys, Holly Hobbie party dresses then Levis and Addidas. I moved west when 14 years old but we still connected, always, through letters, cards, calls and my visits back home.

And she believed in my dreams, in my writings. And if I have any regret, it is that she never saw me be published, her name gracing the dedication on the first page.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

At her Celebration of Life, attended by almost 300, I looked over at Rob, Rhonda’s husband’s best-friend, and the husband of Carol, my high school friend, another friend forever ‘n ever. And my heart filled with gratitude for that moment 18 years ago where three got together scheming the set-up of two, a part of His tapestry, the weaving the together of lives for His purpose.

Because God has it all figured out, I am woven to Rhonda, forever ‘n ever.

A schedule defined

(Today’s post, I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday. Each week a word prompt is given and you have 5 minutes to write a post, no editing, no over-thinking, just free writing. This week’s prompt is Define).


I’m off schedule this week. My Polestar Day Timer with it’s columns of work, appointments, and personal, is not really exceptionally filled-in, yet many of the penciled descriptions of items to be completed, are left unchecked.

If one was to look at my schedule, one might define it as “open” or “balanced” or maybe even “incomplete.”

Then why, only a few days ago, did I feel this heaviness in my chest as if pressured by a hand pushing, a hand much larger than mine that I couldn’t push away?

It hurt to breathe.

Even though my schedule looked open on paper, deadlines loomed over me like a cloud about to burst on my picnic. Assignments due, work appointments, inventory to make for an upcoming art show, content to be given to my designer for two new projects, family commitments, dishwasher to unload, income taxes….

And even though I dislike the definition as much prefer “full”, the word “busy” kept flashing in my mind like an irritating advertisement.

I’ve heard busy defined as “Being Under Satan’s Yoke.” And I didn’t want to be under THAT yoke.

But then one of the first verses I ever learned replaced that irritating advertisement.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29



His word defining my fullness, I begin to breathe easier.

Yes, I can define my schedule as full, and always find rest for my soul with the One who is gentle and humble in heart.


The Story behind the story….

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“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Isaiah 53:3

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7

There’s a young woman on the street corner. She twirls fingers through threads of black hair that reach her bikini topped breast. Her other hand holds a cigarette, the red ashes falling in the dim light. Her black boots click, click as she walks. Her elbows rest on a grey sedan’s open window ledge. She opens the passenger door and she gets in, rides away.

There’s a teen on the driveway. She twirls fingers through threads of black hair that reach the lettering on her t-shirt across her breasts. Her other hand holds an over-flowing bag, the red sequins on the straps flashing like diamonds. Her white converse runners squeak, squeak as she walks. Her elbows rest on the red mustang’s open window ledge. She opens the passenger door and she gets in, rides away.

There’s a child in the house. She twirls her fingers through threads of black hair that reach the collar of her pink sweater. Her other hand holds a blonde barbie, the doll’s clothes laying on the bare floor unseen in the darkness. Her bare feet tap, tap, as she walks. Her elbows rest on the bedroom’s open window ledge. She hears a door open behind her, closes her eyes and dreams of a white car and she gets in, rides away.


There’s a 17 year-old woman, her name and picture flashed up on my television screen. A public risk, they say, charged for aggravated sexual assault for not disclosing her life-threatening STD to consenting sexual partners. She is hand-cuffed, chained, behind bars.

She is bad, people are told, for having HIV.

Her story today, as told by others, is all that anyone sees, knows.


There’s a baby in the crib. She twirls her fingers through threads of a pink blanket that reach her tummy. Her other hand holds a brown teddy bear, a red ribbon around it’s neck highlighted in the moon light. Her toes wave as she giggles. Her elbows rest on the mattress. She hears a door open behind her, her eyes open wide and she waves, waves her innocent tiny fists and feet in the air, ready to be embraced.

In today’s headlines, do you question “What is the story behind the story?”

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There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are to judge your neighbour? James 4:12

(first published at Connecting Stories)

Spinning To Grace


It started when I was about 10 years old. I’d come home from school, grab a snack, and then open the door to the basement. I’d stand at the top of the stairs, nimbling on a Dad’s oatmeal cookie, and listen. Was she down there?

Yes. And if just starting, I’d hear first a sound like a hand clap, and then a whirling, like a spinning ceiling fan.

Sometimes I would take the 12 steps down, deep into the basement, red shag carpet soft on my bare feet. I’d see her, in the room off to the left, wearing hush puppy slippers to protect her feet from a cold concrete floor and the clay that splattered.  A scarf held her sand curls away as she leaned over the wheel, her hands moving up and down the spinning, wet clay. The clay would rise with her gentle hands. Sometimes, after dipping a hand into a water pail beside the wheel,  she’d press on top of the tower of clay, to decrease it, bring it down. And then, her encircled hands applying perfect pressure, she’d restore the clay into recognizable forms of mugs, bowls and vases.

She’d spin up the clay, my mother, and then flatten it down on the potter’s wheel, spin and press down, until the clay mixture was the perfect consistency to hold the mold she knew it could.

I didn’t see it then, this parallel, when watching my mother’s skilled hands,  yet isn’t that what God is doing with us too? Even in our battles, our trials, our hurts and betrayals, when we are in the depths of the valley, God is molding us and restoring us. His hands hold us, and His words are living water, replenishing and nurturing. His grace spins us from destructive habits, from shame and condemnation toward strength and redemption.

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Turn to God! Give up your sins, and you will be forgiven. Then that time will come when the Lord will give you fresh strength. Acts 3:19-20

You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

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And He rights our path and restores our soul.

He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name sake. Psalm 23:3

My prayer for you today, my friend, is that you know  He will lift you up from any depth, restore you, and satisfy you with His presence.

Can you feel Him today, encircling you with His grace and love? 




So many miracles


“It defies the world’s logic,” he said. “It’s something only God could reconcile.”

I nodded in agreement, thoughts swirling through my mind, however I couldn’t format any words into a coherent sentence.

So all that came out of my rounded mouth was “Wow.”  I twirled my tea cup, peppermint aroma gracing my senses. The sun from the cafe window warmed my hands, and imprinted tiny white stars in the blue eyes of my companion.

Sometimes there are just no words to describe what seemed impossible becoming possible. Sometimes, as in this case with my friend, there are just no words to describe a reaction from a story shared of a relationship that seemed irreconcilable becoming reconciled. Or that miraculous open door to a new beginning.

Sometimes there are just no words to describe God’s miracles.

Continue reading “So many miracles”

Seeing with the sea turtles


On my recent trip to Maui I was blessed to see these creatures of the sea–the sea turtle. Sometimes I’d spy one alone napping on an empty beach.


Sometimes I would spy a few rollicking in the waves, their heads poking above the waters for a mere second before disappearing again into the ocean.


Sometimes I would spy one bathing on the rocks of an ocean cove.


And other times I would see many huddled and resting together on rocks warmed by the tropical sun.

Whether napping as one on the empty beach, or riding with others in the waves, or huddling with many sunbathing in the coves, they seem to follow the natural order of things, I begin to see.

Continue reading “Seeing with the sea turtles”