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, 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


Love Does No Harm

Wednesday April 18 2012 10:23 pm | Comments (0) Tags: , ,

Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:10

God is Love. If you want to give someone God then give them your love. God will take over from there.

I have to admit there are some people in my life who are difficult to love. But God asks me to love them anyway. He wants me to show them I care.

What if God put it in someone’s heart to come to me for help and I do not show them love? That would break God’s heart.

If everyone had love in their heart then there would be no dark days.

The joy of knowing God and being His love to others brings light to a dark situation.

Be the light that brightens someone’s dark day today. Show them your love.

God Bless Your Heart,


The idea for this blog post came from the April 18 devotional in “God Calling” edited by AJ Russell and published by Barbour Publishing.

April 18 — my brother-in-law Gary’s birthday. Happy Birthday Gary! Oh yeah, and thanks for the SUNshine today!

Random Thoughts about Health and Lent and Love

Monday February 20 2012 9:25 pm | Comments (4) Tags: , , , ,

Hello again my friend.

It’s been awhile.

Not that I haven’t been thinking of you.

I realized tonight that I haven’t blogged in three weeks.

My time has been spent working on the marketing plan for Gabe’s new book coming very soon. Exciting times!

In addition, I have been exercising (a good use of my writing time) and eating healthy too!

The little Mii on my Wii Fit system told me I was a couch potato the other day, but I’m getting better every day.

Even though my blog time has shrunk back, I am pleased to share that I’ve shrunk back my waist line too!

When my Chiropractor reminded me that every pound I gain adds FOUR pounds of pressure to my knee, I hit the START button on my Wii Fit to get the move on.

Yes! I love results! Call me the incredible shrinking woman.

And guess what! My neck and my knee are healing too.


Colossians 2:2-3

2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (NIV)

I took extra time this morning during my Bible reading and journal time.

I’m putting together my plan for my “Lenten Love Letters.”

During the forty days prior to Easter, I ask God every day who might need an encouraging word.

I love it!

Every day two or three people come to mind and I set about touching their life somehow. Maybe it’s an email or a phone call. But my favorite is a hand written note sent US Mail.

Are you in need of a lift? Let me know and I’ll put you on my Lenten Love Letter List!

I’ve got a few more blogs planned in the coming days and weeks.

Be sure to come back and visit.

Leave a comment if you know someone who could use some encouragement and I’ll add them to my Lenten Love Letter List.

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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Trust that GPS

I was delighted to present the devotional this month at our Northwest Christian Writer’s Association meeting.

I shared about TRUST from one of my favorite verses in Proverbs 3:5-6.

Have you ever ignored the voice on your GPS system, only to find yourself at a dead end when you went your own way?

GPS Directions

This happened to us when we were trying to find a restaurant while on a trip to Disneyland a few years ago.

“Maggie”, the nickname we gave our GPS system, knew that the road ended about a mile down the road and started up a few blocks later. The illogical turn she recommended was actually necessary to get around the dead end.

After we hit the dead end, our attempt to find the restaurant on our own caused much frustration and made us later for the dinner.

Sometimes we don’t listen to God’s direction either, and end up wasting time and energy on the wrong road.

At the NCWA meeting, I shared my story of how my publishing goals changed once I stopped working on my own plan and sought God for His plan.

I had just completed a Writer’s Digest University critique review of 35,000 words of my Hope in the Aftermath memoir. One day I was praying about the next step for my book and I strongly felt I needed to put this book on hold.

I strongly sensed that my story wasn’t finished yet and it was not time to tell it.

What? But Lord, I’ve just completed this 35,000 word review! I worked so hard on rewriting what the editor suggested. It’s a story that brings You glory! What do you mean it’s not time?

After much prayer and counsel, I exited the road to publishing that book and went a different route.


Remember that when it comes to direction, there is one “GPS” that is most accurate. For me, GPS now means God’s Plan Succeeds.

The book I wrote with my son is now in the final typeset review at our publisher. It was loaded up to Amazon’s Kindle for review the other night. Tonight I’ll get it loaded on Barnes and Noble’s Nook.

Once the book is reviewed we’ll make it available for purchase.

Trust me when I say we are chomping at the bit! But we know God’s timing is perfect.

May God bless you plans with His clear direction.


Read more about it here at the blog for NCWA. You’ll see that I’m sure God’s plan was a better choice.

Peace Be With You

Thursday December 29 2011 12:25 am | Comments (0) Tags: , ,

With the hustle and bustle of Christmas that sometimes causes stress and strain on relationships, I think we all could use an extra dose of peace.

So in God’s perfect timing, I received this message today.

I’m sharing a devotional from Dr. Charles Stanley – one of my favorites!

How to Experience Christ’s Peace
John 14:27-31
“My peace I give to you” (John 14:27).

Jesus spoke these amazing words just hours before His crucifixion. His peace isn’t dependent upon external circumstances, but rather, it transcends them. Although He gives His peace to every believer as a gift, our experience of it is related to our faith in the following truths:

God is in control of everything. Without this assurance, the world is a scary place.

He loves me and will see me through every circumstance, no matter how difficult or painful it may be.

 To have Christ’s peace, I must surrender my life to Him. When I hold onto my ways and plans, I’ll experience turmoil.

 I have a limited perspective and understanding of my circumstances and God’s purposes for allowing them. His goals for me are greater than my immediate comfort.

 The Lord promises to work all things out for my good. He is continually working to transform my character into Christ’s image.

 I must live in sync with God, walking in the Spirit and promptly confessing and repenting of sin.

Scripture is my foundation for peace. It increases my trust in the Lord’s goodness, assures me that He keeps His promises, and reminds me of His sovereignty over every situation.

Sadly, many Christians live their whole lives without consistently experiencing this incomprehensible peace.

Perhaps faith and submission are the most challenging issues.

But only as we surrender control of our lives to Christ and trust in His plans for us will we discover tranquil rest for our souls.

Washoe Creek – Anaconda, MT One of my favorite peaceful places
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit
God Bless you with PEACE in your heart,

My HOPE Tree

My HOPE Tree


May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.

I love the lights on our Christmas tree.

We have two trees in our home but I’ve especially enjoyed my HOPE tree.

After we established Gabriel’s Foundation of HOPE (, we let people know of our desire to bring HOPE to individuals and families living with the effects of disability.

As a kind gesture of support, we began to receive ornaments and other gifts displaying the word HOPE.

I created this tree to display the gifts and it remains in my formal living room all year long.

I also decorated my cubicle at work with the overflow of gifts.

Now, four years later, we have quite a collection of HOPE objects.


Because HOPE gets me through the difficult times in my life.

Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything.” Sloan Kettering Memorial

My hope is found in Jesus.

  • the one we are celebrating each Christmas.
  • the one who came as a baby
  • the one who broke the chains that held me bondage to ugly sin
  • the one who gives me life everlasting
  • the one and only

Hope lights up the horizon in my dark nights.

Where would I be without HOPE?

I took photos of the ornaments on my HOPE tree as well as the gifts I have displayed throughout my home and at work too.

I added them to my photo share site. Enjoy!

Click here to view these pictures larger


HOPE reigns in my heart. HOPE shines in my home. HOPE defines my eternal destiny.

God Bless your heart with HOPE




Sunday November 27 2011 8:00 pm | Comments (0) Tags: , , ,

It is November 27th and today I’m thinking about stuffing.

Of course I’ve been thinking of the yummy turkey and stuffing I ate on Thanksgiving at my sister Shelley’s house.

But today, a different kind of stuffing came to mind. This kind of stuffing isn’t edible but it affects every area of my life.

It is stuffed emotion.

As my husband, Steve, and I work through our How We Love book, many different issues have have been exposed and we are both working toward revealing them, feeling them, dealing with them and experiencing healing from them.

Our eight weeks of group meetings with our How We Love small group ended last Tuesday. I’m sad we won’t be gathering every Tuesday with an incredible group of people who started out as strangers and quickly became friends.

We all learned about feelings we never dealt with in our youth and how they affect all of our relationships as adults. We shared our stories and encouraged each other in the journey of discovering the love imprints that harm our marriages, friendships, family and work relationships. It is such a blessing to watch the healing begin.

There are so many emotions we experience in a lifetime but today I’m thinking about one in particular.


Grief is one of my stuffed emotions that came to the surface about the second week of our How We Love group meetings.

I realized today when I wrote the date in my journal that this grief had been buried deep in my soul for the last forty-six years.

On November 27, 1965, at 2:20 a.m., my dad took his last breath in a hard-fought battle lost with lung cancer.

We were all gathered in Helena, MT for Thanksgiving. Dad was in the VA Hospital. I had not been allowed in the hospital room where my dad was dying. So none of it was real to my little seven year old mind. I was confused but had no one to answer my questions.

Early Saturday morning, I suspected he had died because I overheard my Aunt Jo on the telephone telling someone “The angels took him home about 2:20 this morning.” But when I asked my brother Bob about it, he told me I was wrong and that I should never again say that dad was dead.

No one talked about it. We packed our bags and headed home to Anaconda. There was a buzz of activity but nobody sat me down to tell me the details.

I actually heard the truth that my dad had died that day when I overheard my sister LeAnne’s friend tell her she was sorry to hear our dad had died.

I never saw my mom cry about dad’s death. I’m sure she did, but not in front of me. The way my family dealt with this grief was to stuff it, pull up our bootstraps, and move forward with that Devine smile hiding the pain.

I had cried privately many times throughout my life, missing my dad. But I know now I had never really processed the grief in a healthy way.

My dad 9-19-17 to 11-27-65

That is until eight weeks ago when, while working through the How We Love homework,  I got an email from my cousin Howie Devine. It contained the words penned by my uncle Howard (Howie’s father and my dad’s brother) where he shared the detailed account of the last hours of my dad’s life. He described the church packed with family and friends and the meaningful military funeral with a twenty-one gun salute and taps played in the distance.

He told the story of how when he got home to Illinois, the clock in his bedroom has stopped at 2:20 a.m., the hour of dad’s death.

Suddenly it became real to me. After reading this letter, I could not stop crying. Forty-six years of stuffed tears flowed. I wondered if they would ever stop.

Thankfully I was able to share this with my siblings who had similar responses to the email. And I finally felt it was okay to let the tears flow. Then at small group later that night, I shared what happened and received the comfort and support that was missing so many years before.

Back in 1965, the amount of comfort I had received from an overwhelmed mom of ten kids who had just lost her husband, was the best my mom could give. But it taught me to stuff my pain and not ask for comfort in many other areas of my life.

Not any more. I can’t tell you how this process is changing my life. I’m letting go of things that have been buried for way too long.

Now I am using tools I learned in How We Love. I came up with four easy steps to work through the process of healing from past hurts that affect present relationships.

  • Reveal: Speak up when I feel the need for comfort. I’m talking about what is going on in my heart. No more buried feelings.
  • Feel: Use words from the feeling word list available in the book. (A great tool to help you explain what you are feeling.) Let the emotions flow.
  • Deal:  I’m asking questions when I need answers. I’m sharing feelings and thoughts with Steve that I never shared with him in the thirty-five years we’ve known each other. I’m getting help from my counselor in the areas I feel stuck.
  • Heal: I’m allowing Jesus to heal those broken places. My relationships are improving and we are learning a new love imprint of the secure connector.

No more stuffing for me! I’m free!

How about you? Do you have stuffed emotions you need to share with someone?

I hope you will share your story in the comment section of this blog. Maybe we can give one another comfort in the “stuff” of life that keeps us down.

Come back to my blog where I will continue to share the discoveries we are making in our journey to love the way God intended. It is an exciting journey! We are always learning something new.

God Bless Your Heart!


Learn more about this helpful tool we are using to discover our love imprint at Steve and I plan to continue to spend our Tuesday nights working through the chapters and workbook questions in more detail. We have so much to learn about each other. It is going to be an amazing journey.

A Kiss on the Cheek from God

Recently, I was on a two day writing retreat at Camp Berachah in the Auburn-Black Diamond area of Washington State. My plan was to enter the final edits of my son Gabe’s book titled My Message is C.L.E.A.R., and enjoy some quiet time all by myself. When I arrived, I was given a tour of the grounds.

As I walked the path past the cabins, the pool, the dining hall and the sanctuary, my mind was flooded with memories of the week Gabe attended his first summer church camp at this facility. That was eleven years ago, but it felt like yesterday as emotions I hadn’t felt in years rose in my heart.

That summer of his fifth grade year, he had a wonderful experience at camp, but it was one of the times Gabe was reminded of his limitations. We had not been prepared for the disappointments he experienced when he couldn’t climb on the climbing wall. He was sad when he was unable to participate in the obstacle course. Many of the games we played in the gymnasium were too difficult for him. We had to figure out how I would help him in the boy’s bathroom without embarrassing him or the other campers.

I remembered trying to encourage him at the end of each day while I helped him get ready for bed. We brainstormed alternative ways to participate with the other campers so he didn’t feel left out. For most of the activities we found a way for him to join in, but there were some things he just couldn’t do. Gabe was discouraged and sad. I prayed with him asking God to help us figure things out.

I didn’t want him to feel my own sadness so I maintained a positive attitude whenever I was with him. At night, however, I cried myself to sleep in discouragement and disappointment at the realization of how different Gabe’s abilities were compared to the other kids. It was a very hard time for me but I didn’t want anyone to know I was struggling. I simply stuffed my pain, put a smile on my face, and moved through the days.

Even with these disappointments, there were treasured moments of seeing God at work that entire week. Gabe felt close to God as he made new friends. At most meals, a whole group of girls asked him to eat with them at their table. The camp counselors did a good job trying to accommodate our unique needs.

I call these moments when I sense God at work “kisses on the cheek from God.” These are reminders that He is with us even in the hard times.

One of my favorite memories was when the worship team led the campers in a beautiful song that encouraged them to give their struggles to God and to “come just as you are.” I watched Gabe get out of his wheelchair and walk to the front of the church. A group of new friends surrounded him with prayer as he set his discouragement on the altar before God. It was a sweet moment, and felt a little bit like heaven to see these young people ministering to my broken-hearted son.

By the end of this week of camp, Gabe sensed God’s plan for him to share his story with other kids to encourage them in their own disappointments. Even as a young fifth grade boy, He knew God would use his story to help others. Two years later, he joined a school assembly program and started sharing his story.

You can imagine the emotion welling up in my heart as I sat in my room at the camp, all these years later, finalizing his book in the very place where God met Gabe and ministered to his broken heart.

After entering the edits on the book, I took another walk around the campus and allowed God to minister to all the sadness I had stuffed so many years ago. I listened to worship music on my I-pod and let the tears flow.

It was such a sweet moment to see how God had taken all of us full circle in the process of laying our burdens at His feet. Now as Gabe speaks to thousands of people and as we near the date this book will be released, we can see that God had a plan all along to take Gabe’s disappointments and turn them for good.

I’m thankful for the healing that took place.

This photo is a perfect reflection of how I felt as the healing took place.

I pray for healing in whatever is going on in your heart today. Allow God to touch those places you’ve locked up for years. Let your tears refresh your wounds.
I am praying for you, sweet friend.
My Message is C.L.E.A.R. will be available in January 2012. I will post updates as we approach the release date. Right now we are reserving a copy of the book for you if you make a minimum $15 donation to our nonprofit organization – Gabriel’s Foundation of HOPE. These donations allow us to offer Gabe’s speaking assembly program at minimal cost to the schools. We appreciate your support!


I Speak Dragon!

Monday night, November 7, 2011, I spoke dragon at our Northwest Christian Writer’s Association meeting at 7 pm at Northshore Baptist Church in Bothell, WA.

No need to bring your fire extinquisher. It was not the fire-breathing dragon type stuff. I haven’t quite perfected that skill yet.

During the Write Start portion of the evening program, I shared my experience with Dragon Naturally Speaking, speech recognition software program created by Nuance.
Save up to 40% in the Nuance Fall Sale!

This software is SO cool! Click on the link to check out the version I currently use which is the Home edition. (Scroll down on the above sale link).

Dragon speech recognition software makes it easier for anyone to use a computer. You talk, and it types. Use your voice to create and edit documents or emails, launch applications, open files, control your mouse, and more. Quickly and easily capture your thoughts and ideas while Dragon helps you get more done faster.

My son, Gabe, started using this when he was in junior high school. Imagine how much easier it is for him to type due to his limited finger control. The product has come a long way baby since the edition he first used and now it works so slick! So I bought a copy for myself.

The Dragon Home version is reasonably priced at $99.99 and works well for all your writing needs. (even email and web searches!) Right now they are running a holiday special for $74.99!

If you spend long hours typing, this product will be of great benefit to you. I know for me personally, it has saved my neck from the stiffness and pain I often get when I’m on the computer for long periods of time.

This video explains it way better than I can! Check it out to learn more.

With Christmas coming up, this might be just the gift you are looking for!

Have a blessed week.


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