A Tribute to Rod Halvorson

This month has caused me to take a deep breath and reflect on my life. We buried a very good friend who had a positive influence on our family for the past twenty-four years.

My husband, Steve, met Rod and his twin brother, Randy at an athletic supply store in 1992. They entered the store in their huge six-hundred-pound wheelchairs in search of softball uniforms for the women’s team they coached.

We had just received our then two-year-old son Gabe’s wheelchair. There was an instant connection about the dealing with disability. But that connection became so much more than a commonality about wheelchairs.

A few weeks later as we were loading Gabe’s chair in our van, a big red van pulled into our church parking lot. Rod and Randy rolled out.

We discovered another connection in that we all attended the same church. Our faith in Jesus drew us even closer. We shared Bible study with Rod and Randy for many years.

Our family has spent a lot of time with Rod, Randy and the whole amazing Halvorson family.

Rod HalvorsonWe learned there is a way when there seems to be no way. It may just look differently than expected.

We learned how to make the best of the situation we were given.

We have HOPE because we watched Rod and Randy live a full life even when day by day they lost more function in their body.

Rod lived most of his life with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and it was liver cancer that took him home.

But, we believe that Rod is home with Jesus in a brand new body. And I know Steve and our boys can’t wait to have a slam dunk contest when we all meet him there.

Steve and Rod Dec 2016

Steve and Rod December 2016

We are so grateful for the friendship of the Halvorson family and the lessons we have learned along the way.

Today, when you think about complaining. DON’T!

How about starting this week with an attitude of gratitude instead.

I think you’ll find that gratitude takes you much further than complaining ever will. I am grateful Rod Halvorson taught me that lesson.

My challenge to you this week – What are you grateful for?

Blessings on your week,


My Gratitude Journal is a wonderful way to track those gratitude thoughts each day. It is available on Amazon or at www.DochasPublications.com



Throwback Thursday

Thursday October 3 2013 10:30 pm | Comments (0) Tags: , , ,

One of the things I love about social media is the opportunity to stay connected with friends and family.

Often times, Thursdays are set aside for sharing old photos and the memories that go with that photo.

It’s called Throwback Thursday.

I can’t even count how many photos I have taken in my lifetime.

I have boxes and boxes of photo albums and gigabytes of online photos too.

Searching for a few to share on this Thursday evening I found these gems.

Zane - the Texan

Zane – the Texas Ranger-  Age 6 months

Gabe the pumpkin

Gabe the pumpkin – Age 6 months

My how it seems like yesterday. Now Zane is 26 and Gabe is 23!

Lord, help me treasure these precious days!

Do you have a photo you recently found that stirred a memory for you?

I hope you’ll share!

God bless you on this throwback Thursday.


Jesus is My Everything

If Jesus stood before you today and asked if you’d like to get well, how would you respond?

Especially lately, I’m challenged with this question from Mary DeMuth’s new book Everything – What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus (October 16, 2012).

I’ve been dealing with physical issues that have felt overwhelming at times.

Last week I learned I have arthritis in my back. (Big OUCH)

I’m not holding on to that diagnosis because I know that Jesus is my healer and I want to cooperate with Him to walk this out. So when Jesus asks me if I want to be well, my answer is YES, I will do EVERYTHING to cooperate to be whole.

I’ve experienced incredible healing in my soul as Jesus became my EVERYTHING twenty-two years ago when our son Gabe entered the world with multiple congenital birth defects. I learned to trust that Jesus would help us to teach Gabe how to live a successful life – even with short arms, crooked legs and a severe hearing loss.

As part of Mary’s launch team for her new book, we were challenged to make a short video to explain why Jesus is our EVERYTHING. So here goes!


I hope you’ll make Jesus your EVERYTHING too.

God Bless your heart with Everything He has for you.

Read a few sample chapters here!  http://nelsonfree.com/everythingbook

Tell me how Jesus is your EVERYTHING – leave a comment.  {HUGS}

My Message is C.L.E.A.R. Book Signing Fun

My son Gabe and I had a great time signing books at Beyond Necessity Gifts in Anaconda, MT.

MaryPat Clark and Amy Dodd prepared yummy snacks and drinks to make all of the guests feel at home.

There was a steady stream of patrons browsing the store and buying Mother’s Day gifts.

Ethan gets a signed book. Photo by James Rosien of the Anaconda Leader

We were surprised by the wonderful support we received from the community of Anaconda. Gabe and I signed almost 150 books!

Thank you Anaconda. We are forever grateful for the constant support for our family.

We made Anaconda our first book signing stop.

Twenty years ago this community helped us buy Gabe’s first wheelchair. Now Gabe was able to bless them back with his inspirational story.

Gigi chatting with her longtime friend, Lynn (Jessen) Burgher. Photo by James Rosien of The Anaconda Leader

Dee Motor Company and Glacier Bank both put a notice on their digital marquee announcing the book signing.

The Montana Standard Newspaper and the Anaconda Leader Newspaper each ran a great story.

Here is the link to the Montana Standard story written by George Plaven. I thought he did a great job on the article.


If you were unable to make it to the book signing, Beyond Necessity has copies at the store.

Or you can purchase them at our foundation website at www.GabesHOPE.org

I pray that our book touches your life and helps you to live C.L.E.A.R.

God Bless Your Heart.


Reader’s Favorite 5 STAR Review!

Hello there. I hope you are well.

I pray for you every time I think of you. Oh, how much I appreciate your support!

I’ve been busy promoting our new book, My Message is C.L.E.A.R. – Hope and Strength in the Face of Life’s Greatest Adversities, which released on April 13, 2012 on Gabe’s 22nd birthday.

We had a fabulous launch party at a gorgeous house – Serenity House – a gift from Gregg and Lafon Jantz. There were about eighty people who came to support us and hear Gabe’s “Endurance” message.

Available on www.GabesHOPE.org, Amazon or Barnes and Noble

I co-wrote this book with my son, Gabe. It was a blast writing it with him.

It is even more fun as we head out to promote it.

We leave Tuesday, May 8, 2012 on a road trip to Montana to get the word out about this latest book.

Gabe will be speaking at the Anaconda Boys and Girls Club on Wednesday from 3-4 pm.

Thursday, May 10, 2012,  he will be at Beyond Necessity Gift Shop from 3-6 for a booksigning open house that should prove to be a whole lot of fun!

We are planning other book signings later in the summer at the Barnes and Noble stores as well as a few gift shops. So the rest of our time in Montana will be spent planning those future events.


We were delighted to get a five star review this week from a book review website – Reader’s Review.


Hope to see you under the full moon sky this week. It is a SUPER moon and I think we are going to have a SUPER road trip.

God Bless your heart


I Hope it is Worth the Wait!

Happy Monday to you, my friend.

I hope you are faring well and are staying warm.

In spite of the epic storm that hit the Seattle region this week, I stayed warm and comfy.

I hope you did too.

Snow in Seattle January 2012

My job allows me to work from home so I didn’t skip a beat.

While house bound, I was also able to take care of some final work on Gabe’s book.

I am happy to say it is finished! And I hope that is the final word.

Last night I uploaded a few minor changes to my publisher’s website.

The next step is to agree on the back cover. Then it is off to the printer!


During the week, I also had plenty of time to format the e-book and upload it to Kindle and NOOK.

E-Book Cover!

It wasn’t as difficult as I thought. I learned a lot and I’ll share what I learned in a future blog. I sent the ebook to a couple of reviewers and so far everything looks good.

I get so nervous when I picture you reading Gabe’s book. It tells a wonderful story of courage and hope but it was an emotional process to tell it all.

I want you to fall in love with Gabe. He is one incredible young man! I cry every time I read it.

We really appreciate your patience and support in this long process of getting the book published.

I guess when the authors share the entire journey, the readers get a better feel for how long it really takes to get a book from the idea to print.

For me and Gabe, this has been almost a six year process!

So you understand I’m like a pregnant mom just weeks from her due date, anxiously waiting to see her baby.

It is hard to wait and wonder, isn’t it?

I don’t know what you are waiting for.

But I want to encourage you that God sees you while you wait. He knows the desires of your heart.

Just like we waited for snow plows this week to move the deep snow out of our path, God is moving obstacles to make your way clear.

He knows the perfect time to say, “It’s time to move forward.”

I pray for peace and patience in the process.

God Bless Your waiting heart. Please tell me what you are waiting for so I can pray for you.


PS – When I get the go-ahead from the publisher I want you to be the first to know. So I set up an email list for people who want to hear it from me first. If you’d like to receive an email when the book is released, please sign up below by entering your email address.

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I Can Share My Hope With You

There isn’t much that I can do. But I can share my hopes with you. And I can share my life with you. And oftentimes share a prayer with you as on our way we go. Author unknown

Hope on the Horizon

When I read this quote on my 365 Days of HOPE calendar, it reminded me of the desire of my heart for my writing.

As I write, I pray for ways to share how God has given me hope in the midst of difficult trials of life.

My current work in progress is the completion of a book I’m writing with my son, Gabe.

My Message is C.L.E.A.R. – Hope and Strength in the Face of Life’s Greatest Adversities is the story of Gabe’s triumph over trials.

Every chapter tells of God’s goodness and kindness in the face of sometimes overwhelming circumstances.

But in the midst of the challenges, I have never lost hope.

So I will share my hopes with you as I share my life with you.

I will many times share a prayer with you as on our way we go.

Have a blessed day knowing that in all things we can find HOPE on the horizon.

God Bless Your Heart with HOPE.


Please join me in prayer that I can carve out more time to finalize this project and continue with my book too.