Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Need to smile? Watch a baby goat for some free joy!

When I need so smile, I drive up the road a "piece" and look at the goats in my neighbor's meadow.

The baby goats in this video not only make me smile, their antics fill me with giggles! If you need to smile, click on the link below for some free joy!

Why Are Baby Goats So Happy?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Can You Get to Your Perfect Life?

IMAGINE a perfect day in your near or far future when you're doing exactly what you want and being exactly who you want to be. Record your vision on paper or screen by answering these questions:

  •           What are you creating?
  •           Who are you with?
  •           Where are you?
  •           What would it take to travel from where you are now to that perfect day in your future?
  •           What's in the way?
  •           What support--financial, spiritual, social--would make your vision attainable?

--Gigi Rosenberg, adapted from Workout Column, Writer Magazine, June 2011, page 41

I'd love to hear at least one of your answers to these soul-tickling questions!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Can You Dream Too Big?

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of marrying a wealthy man and owning a mansion with a swimming pool, so I could call my mean older brother and un-invite him over to swim. As a teenager, I dreamed of singing opera in lavish costumes and writing books.
Most people think only one of my dreams came true. But I would argue about the definition of the word “wealthy” in relation to my husband. It’s true we don’t own a mansion with a swimming pool. But he is a faithful, godly man who cares for me more than his own life, and you can’t trade that for all the stuff in the world.  So, I contend that two of my three biggest dreams are now reality.
I let go of the other one after I realized that I love writing and being a wife more than starving myself to fit into opera costumes and practicing scales four hours a day.  Also because I don’t like opera music!

Seven down;; 93 to go!

But I have other dreams I’ve picked up along the way—things like authoring or co-authoring 100 books, traveling all over the world, and winning a million people into God’s family. I know, I know. They’re enormous dreams that need an enormous God to make them happen. That’s okay. My God is bigger than my—and everyone else’s—doubts. .

I read recently that people who write down their dreams earn nine times as much over their lifetime as those who don’t. Wow. That made me skedaddle to find a pad and pen! So far, I’ve covered two full sheets of paper, and am still dreaming. Because I know where dreams come from. Or I should say, Who they come from.

God is a dreamer.  He dreamed of the universe before he spoke it into being. He dreamed of a plan whereby his children who had lost their way in the darkness of the world could become friends with him again. And he continues to dream of the abundant life he wants to give all his kids ( Jesus’ words in John 10: 10 and the Father’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11).
Jesus' dream for you

Will you let him dream through you? Will you dare to ask him to pour some of his outrageous hopes and plans and goals into your heart? His dreams for you are high and wide and deep. He is not a wimpy, wish-upon-a-star god. He has all the power in the universe at his disposal, to make his dreams reality in your life. Will you dare to ask him to fill your soul with desires that shock even you? Will you allow yourself to dream big, bigger than you ever have before?

What would you like to do, to be, to achieve, to create? What is so much bigger than you are that it must be a God-thing when it comes true? Don’t settle for wishing on a star when you can have the Milky Way. If you are a Child of Almighty God, dare to dream with him.
How big can you dream? God is bigger!
Because the thing about dreams is, they only come true if you dream them. And if you need a pen and paper, I have extra to share.
What is the biggest dream you've ever had come true? What are you still dreaming?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

When Donuts Get Dangerous

“Honey, come quick,” I shrieked to my husband, Kevin.” That couple in the car across the road is in trouble.”
            Standing at our picture window of our living room, I clamped both hands over my mouth to keep from sobbing. My heart hammered in fear, a contrast to the serene blanket of snow on the lawn.
            When we relocated from Los Angeles to Paris, Illinois three months earlier to pastor a rural church, we were surprised at the differences in culture. The stores displayed Udder Balm at the checkout counter in place of breath mints. Gas stations sold live bait and mulch right alongside the antifreeze. People waved as we passed their tractors on the highway and spoke to us at the farmers’ market, even though we were strangers.
            But no kind greeting or wave could’ve prepared us for the harrowing scene taking place before us now. This was culture shock at its worst.
             Careening out of control just fifty yards from our house, the car was a flash of red and silver atop the frosty ground. Our eyes stayed frozen to the window for several seconds, watching the horror unfold. But, what could we do? All of our urban savvy was worthless to this couple, spinning on the snow like a child’s top. I grabbed the only weapon I knew how to use, and bawled out a prayer:         
Lord, deliver those people,” I shouted. “They need Your help right now, before they die, or flip onto the highway and hurt some…”
            Kevin placed a hand on my arm to interrupt my hysteria.
            “Wait, Jeanette. Look over there, opposite from the car. There’s another one spinning in circles, going the reverse direction. I wonder if they could be doing that on purpose. Do you think it’s some sort of winter game they play around here?”
            Squinting to focus, I realized he was right. The cars faced each other, revolving in opposite directions, like two steel monsters dancing to the music of “Winter Wonderland.” For several minutes they whirled, grinding their tires into the gravel. Picking up speed, their chrome bumpers reflected light from the pristine ground cover. When they’d reduced the snow to a slushy rut, they stopped. Paused. The drivers appeared to sigh in contentment. And off they blazed, leaving us to stare at each other, befuddled.
            The following morning, I worked for several hours before I gathered courage to ask my co-worker what we’d seen the day before. I certainly didn’t want her to discover how dumb we city transplants were. She made it easy for me by reading my thoughts.
            “You live six miles south of town, don’t you? I bet you get a lot of teenagers coming out your way after it snows, doing donuts. It’s safer out there, away from the highway” she explained.
            I shook my head and grinned. “That’s what you call it: donuts?”      

“Yeah,” she chuckled, “young people do it for fun when there’s a good snow. It’s pretty harmless. Just our method of keeping the boredom away during a long winter. I should have warned you about it. If someone from the city saw that for the first time, it might scare the stuffin’ out of them!”
            I tried to sound nonchalant as I said, “Yeah, it just might.”
            Since that first winter’s excitement fourteen years ago, I believe Kevin and I have adjusted well to rural living. We buy our mulch at the Speedy Fuel and say “hello” to people we’ve never met. But, I may never get used to donuts in the snow, rather than my coffee!

The above story is a chapter from my book Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top

Have you experienced culture shock when moving from one climate to another?
Does it snow where you live?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What Was Your Favorite Toy?

I'm doing a bit of research for a message I'm giving at two different writers conferences, and your answers to these simple questions will help make my talk more interesting:

When you were a kid, what was your favorite toy? And why did you like it so well? 

Thanks for your help! Have a splendid week!