Northwest Ministry Conference 2009

We had a successful Northwest Ministry Conference where we promoted our nonprofit organization Gabriel’s Foundation of HOPE.  Our booth had many visitors come to hear more about our mission to help individuals and families dealing with disabilities.  Steve and I presented a workshop explaining the vision of our organization.  Gabe did an amazing job presenting his C-L-E-A-R message.  This is an awesome conference with hundreds of workshops, exhibits and motivational messages.  We’ll definitely be there again next year – March 18-20, 2010.

Writing Retreat

Thursday March 26 2009 9:24 pm | Comments (0)

I spent the past six days working on my devotional book while staying at my sister’s house. It was very productive. I hope to get to do this again soon.

I will send what I have written to an editor friend for critique and keep writing.

Friday we will be presenting a workshop about our nonprofit foundation at the Northwest Ministry Conference at Overlake Church.

Gabe speaks on Saturday at the workshop about his C-L-E-A-R message of Courage, Leadership, Excellence, Attitude and Respect.

He did a wonderful job presenting this message at three schools this week in Billings. Check out his blog to read about his time at the schools.

I am on the plane ready to take off headed home to Seattle.

Anxious to see Steve. 😉

Excited to share about our nonprofit this week – Gabriel’s Foundation of HOPE
God Bless Your Heart


Write a Love Letter

Saturday March 21 2009 9:21 pm | Comments (0)

St. Augustine said “The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.”

As I study the Bible and carefully select the Scriptures to include in my devotional book, I could not agree more. Letters from home.

I have a box of letters I saved from thirty years ago when I was attending college in Maryland my junior year. They meant so much to me.

Carefully printed notes from my nieces and nephews on elementary school wide-lined paper were the favorites. These notes cured my homesick heart with each carefully written word.

Isn’t that just like the Bible? Carefully written with the intention to send some love from home. God’s Home.  Heaven.  The place where He’s got a room waiting just for me. I know I will feel like a princess there too. Like I do while staying with my sister.

Love letters from home. Who needs a love letter from you today?

God Bless Your Heart


Montana Writing Retreat!

Friday March 20 2009 10:06 pm | Comments (0) Tags:

I love Montana. I arrived this afternoon to a glorious view of the Montana big sky. The big round and warm thing in the sky was a welcome sight after leaving a dark and rainy Seattle. We haven’t seen the sun a whole lot this winter.

I’m here for a writing retreat at my sister Kathy and brother-in-law Denny’s house. Their last name is Goodheart. That name is so very fitting. They are good-hearted Montana folk.

I always feel like a princess in my room at their house. I have a desk to set up for writing. I sleep in a huge king size bed with a cozy down comforter. The stars extend to forever in the midnight sky over their hot tub. I love it.

I have a deadline for my devotional book so I’m excited to work on that this week. Thoughts have been brewing in my journal and in my heart for many months. Now I need to organize them in the format needed for this book.

My book is a called Caregivers Devotions to Go. It will be published in January 2010.

On my last writing retreat at the Goodhearts, I created the book proposal for this book. Now I get to actually work on the manuscript. There is just something so good about this place.

Being here makes me miss my mom. She lived here for seven years. Many of the devotions I’m writing involve stories about her caring heart. She was an amazing caregiver as mom to her ten children. Many friends and neighbors affectionately called her “ma”. She was a wonderful caregiver to the hundreds of students she taught for twenty-six years. As grandma, she loved and cared deeply for her twenty-six grandkids. She only got to meet some of her great-grandchildren but she loved each one.

The last time I saw Mom alive was here in Billings when she took her last breath on October 20, 2007. Even in her death she cared enough to hang on so we could fly from Seattle to be with her. She held on until just a few hours after we arrived. Just like her. Always caring for the other guy.

As I write for my devotional book this week I plan to pay tribute to the caring legacy she left for her family. I only wish I had her editing expertise to scribble red ink all over my manuscript. I miss the excellent craftsman she was when it came to telling stories. She was ruthless when it came to typos. I miss that too!

God Bless Your Heart!



Friday March 20 2009 9:18 pm | Comments (0)

I read a quote today by Corrie Ten Boom. “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

That statement rings in my heart tonight as I thank God for a good report for my sister Shelley. Although she is still in the process of receiving total healing for her recently diagnosed breast cancer, the news today was something to celebrate.

She had a biopsy on her left breast after an MRI revealed there could be a problem. Thank you Jesus….it was clear. Now we are going to believe for total healing from the cancer found in her other breast.

Tuesday night Shelley and her family joined my home group for a night of prayer. We focused our time on lifting Shelley’s situation to the Lord and asking for healing. I trust that God will continue to answer this prayer when Shelley has surgery on Tuesday to remove all the cancer from her body.

I will continue to lift her in prayer trusting this unknown future to a known God.

When you trust God, everything about your life becomes more joyful and more manageable. Quote by Neil Clark Warren.

My question today is who do you trust?

God Bless Your Heart!


Why I Write

Sunday March 15 2009 11:35 pm | Comments (1) Tags: ,

Last month during an author’s training session I was struck by a comment Jean Ann Duckworth made when describing her One Person. This is the person you are writing to when you consider your audience. She said something like “Every day that I don’t write is one more night she lays in bed and cries because she needs to hear what I have to say so she doesn’t feel alone.”

This thought has been resonating in my head all month. There are so many hurting people who may need to hear our story. A few weeks ago at my home group we went around the room and shared what is going on in each of our lives.   There is so much grieving and pain in this world that it can be overwhelming sometimes. But I have a secret – there IS hope!

So I write. I write in order to give hope to mom’s who have babies born with severe birth defects to tell them that there is hope in tomorrow.

I write in order to help people understand that even though these kids look different, they are really more like you than you think.

I write to share with moms of sons so we can learn from each other’s stories.  I love to write about my two boys.

I write in order to share the things I’ve learned along the twenty-two year journey I’ve traveled as a mom.

I write to encourage others.

I write every day in my journal to document the happenings of my life because I cherish the 74 year old journal my mom wrote in when she was a teen.   I learned so much about her from what she wrote.  Now that she’s dancing in heaven I hear her voice in the written words. I miss her.

I write with the hope that the people who read my work will be blessed.

I can’t get that One Woman out of my mind.  Who is she?  Will I ever meet her face to face?  I sure hope so.

She needs to know she is not alone in feeling forgiven for the stupid decisions she made in college.

She needs to know that the rocky times in her marriage will get better.

She needs to know that grace for the moment comes when we ask for it.

I write so I can help young teen women stay off the ugly detour I took in my youth.

Mostly, I write to point to the HOPE of Jesus.

Really, He’s the only answer. 🙂 So I write…

Mother of the Groom!

Sunday March 15 2009 9:48 pm | Comments (0) Tags: , ,

This weekend we celebrated with our future daughter-in-law Kelsey at her first bridal shower. It was so much fun to see her college and work friends. I was so blessed by “homies” from our home group and my sisters and nieces who joined in the celebration. We all had a great time.

I love being included in all of the bride’s activity. I only have two boys so I’ll never have a daughter to shop with for a wedding gown. But Kelsey graciously let me come with her and her mom while she tried on dresses. And boy did she find a beautiful gown. I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone what it looks like but I will tell you that she looks like a princess.

Boys don’t tell their moms much about the wedding. So I really appreciated Kelsey filling me in tonight at dinner on all the sweet little touches they will have during their ceremony. It’s going to be a glorious day. I cry just thinking about it. God is so good.

It’s hard for mom’s to let their sons go. At least it is for me. Zane is my first born son. He is a jewel. He used to crawl on my lap and snuggle. I loved to rub his back when I put him to bed. I’d sneak out of the room when I thought he was asleep. Just as I got to the door I’d hear his little voice. “Mommy, you aren’t done yet. One more time please.”

I miss that time. It seems like hundreds of years ago. In a couple weeks Zane will turn twenty-two. Oh how I’ve been blessed these twenty-two years. Incredibly blessed.

Zane is home for spring break. He has the flu. I don’t like him to be sick but I rather like taking care of him. When he asked me to get him more Advil and water the other morning, I stopped to think. This is likely the last time I get to take care of him when he is sick. Kelsey will do that for him when they marry. Another transition. A passing of my caregiver hat to someone else. So I’ve savored the weekend of pampering my first born.

Being mother of the groom is harder than I thought it would be. But the wonderful thing is that he is marrying a treasure. So I’m gaining a beautiful daughter instead of losing a son. I like the sound of that. God’s favor is definitely on this marriage. They have honored each other and honored God all through the years they have dated. To God be the Glory! I’m so proud.

My First Blog Post!

Thursday March 12 2009 9:44 pm | Comments (0)

Hi.  Welcome to my blog.  This is my first entry.

Since I’ve kept a journal for over 35 years I think this blogging thing is right up my alley.  I generally like to write with a pen in hand.  There is just something about seeing the words appear on the paper as I write.  It flows freely from my thoughts to my hand.  I have stacks and stacks of journals where I’ve penned my thoughts over the years.

Blogging on the computer will likely flow just as easily since I’m a writer.  I type rather quickly so I can get my thoughts down probably more quickly on the computer than in my journal.  I hope this becomes a place where I share my thoughts about life, writing, speaking.  You name it.

Most of all I hope the readers of my blog walk away encouraged.  I love being an encourager.  So stop back from time to time for a note of encouragement.


Friday March 6 2009 4:41 pm | Comments (0) Tags:

I am working on writing a Bible study about transition. Aren’t we always in some sort of transition? I find myself right now in the midst of transition into an empty nest with Gabe in college and Zane preparing to marry this summer.

I’m curious to hear about some of your transition experiences. Take a moment to send me a comment on my webpage if you have any transition stories. Changed jobs recently? Got married or divorced? Had a new baby? Moved to a new house? Has a health issue caused a transition in your life? 

 Share your transition story with me and I might use it in my Bible study.