The ground below me has liquified,
And the path no longer exists.
The voices of caution behind me,
warn of danger outsides of this.

Through the mist and wind I sense him
Standing just out of reach
But the ground below me has liquified
And a clear path does not exist.

He could have calmed the surf
He could have stopped the rain
He could have warned me ahead of time,
But that is not his game.

I’m stepping out of this sinking boat 
and leaving familiar behind.
The ground beneath me has liquified
And there are no footings close by.

I feel the warmth of his hand on mine
And my fears melt away.
He greets me with a gentle smile
That tells me it’s Okay.

The safety of my boat is gone
Along with the voices of danger
The wind, the rain, the raging surf
Threaten to take us under.

But He and I walk step in step and
I squeeze his hand a little tighter
The ground beneath me has liquified
And I am walking on water.

I finally turned 60!

I turned 60 last month. I find this funny because my birthday was in February. 

I love birthdays, not for the gifts and celebrations, but for the milestones they represent. Afterall, I’ve worked my whole life to be this old…I’m going to enjoy it!!

That has been my mantra – that is until I turned 60. For some reason there was nothing remarkable about 60. Instead, it was an arrow pointing to – the rest of your life where you’ll be able to do much less than you used to.

After months of resistance, I had a serious talk with myself. “What’s the deal? You love birthdays, why is this one different?” It typically takes 24 hours for my other self to figure it out and spit me out an answer.

And spit me out an answer is exactly what my other self did. “You didn’t prepare for this one.”

WOW – sometimes my other self is brilliant!

I hadn’t prepared for this one, I was still living the crazy decade of my 50s. And in the last 5 years, I was so focused on caring for those around me that I forgot to turn 60.

What changed?

Well, that non-sensical dream of long hair got cut off. I got a wig for when I want to pretend long hair is youthful. Short hair is awesome!

I’m filling my closet with long sun dresses and cool shoes, cause this old lady on the hill likes the way they feel and look. 

I’ve finally figured out what makes my tummy happy and it’s not yogurt, whole grains, veggies, or almonds. NOPE, it’s tri-tip steak and hamburgers. 

I’m not waiting on others any longer. I’ve spent a lifetime waiting. Get in step or don’t – I’m ok with either choice, but I’m not hanging around waiting for you to decide. 

I’m also no longer going to hesitate to speak my mind (when appropriate). That’s the great thing about being old – you clearly understand appropriate and NOT appropriate.

Shaun the Jeep is for sale! Yep, she’s served me well, but my time has come to up-grade. And up-grade I did. Shaun is waiting for her new owner who needs new beach adventures. It’s not that I’m not looking for new adventures, they are just different now.

My new love is big-ass, Mercedes Benz 450 SUV. It seats 7! I was told it’s the perfect Neenee (grandma) car because I can take so many with me (meaning all the grand-kids). And they were right. But I don’t think that is why I fell in love with her. 

She is big, audaciously big.  She is more than I need, way more. She sucks gas like there is an endless supply. She floats down the highway like the tires aren’t touching the pavement. When I need to feel superior, I can beat anyone out of the stoplight gates. 

I love her because I don’t need her, but I really wanted her. I love her because there is nothing practical about her.

I love her because I’m 60 – and I’ve worked my whole life to be this old, and I’m loving it!!

Who gets the…

What’s the secret to a long marriage? Answer: There isn’t one. 

Marriage is an adventure. It has ups and downs. Good times and dark times. Ruth Graham, the wife of most holy Billy Graham, said she never considered divorce – murder on many occasions – but never divorce. 

Jeff and I have made it through 41 years. Secrets? I don’t believe there are any. Lessons? There are many.  Here are my top four:

1. A marriage license has little staying power. The contract that I attribute to making through those crazy years of school schedules, careers, and not know exactly how you made it through each day, was this: Whoever breaks up the marriage GETS the house, kids, debts, and possible the dogs. No legal assistance needed. If a newer model was in one of our futures, they better be ready for 2 kids, house mortgage, credit card debt, and pets – it apparently worked. 

2. Protect your differences. Jeff and I are opposite. We are so opposite that he would disagree with that statement. It took me a long time to realize how important it was to protect our oppositeness. Opposites attract – but once the oppositeness goes away, so does the attraction -opposites may even find they really don’t really like each other. 

When opposites stay opposite, the attraction remains and their hearts still skip a beat when the other walks into a room – even after 41 years.

3. You will spend more years with your children as adults than as children – so raise great adults – enough said.

4. Never lose yourself. No matter the title; spouse, parent, child, career, that is what you do NOT who you are. The titles will change – and some may even go away – you have to live with YOU for the rest of your life. 

There they are – my top four life lessons on marriage and children. Be willing to let go, protect, nurture, and always work toward being the best version of you possible…it also helps to choose a great partner!

A Good Leader?

“Those dirty democrats.” That’s what my mom used to say. She grew up in Chicago in the 30 and 40’s so she came to this conclusion honestly. When Jimmy Carter won, and mom found out that my dad had voted for him, she was out of commission for 3 days. Turns out, Jimmy Carter is likely the most public servant president there ever has been. 

Mom passed a year ago, so I’m not sure how she would have responded to this election – except that I can see her wrinkling up her face, squinting her little eyes, and those same words would have passed her lips, “Those dirty democrats.” But she was in her 90s and earned the right to be a little loony.

I’m to a democrat or republican. Growing up I thought I was a republican. But that was back in the 70s when all the Evangelicals were on the “Moral Majority & Family Values” war path – this was at the same time when many Evangel leaders were – you know what-ing their secretaries – but as far as our country went, they held everyone else at a high standard. 

When it comes to election time, I look for leadership. Good leadership. A good leader will always have my best interest at heart. 

Last week someone posted a picture of our now former president. It said something like, “They don’t like him because they can’t control him.”

And that was it – it all made sense to me. Good leaders don’t need be to controlled, far from it. Good leaders are in control of themselves and thus can lead. If a spouse needs to be controlled – sorry to say, they aren’t a great spouse. If a parent needs to be controlled – they are lacking in their parental abilities and will likely raise children who will struggle in life – especially with authority. Good leaders are also not controlling -those who feel the need to control – lead out of fear.

I wasn’t a fan of Trump, never have been. Wouldn’t want to work for him, or be in the same room with him. Wouldn’t want my daughter to work for him either. He throws aways wives like they are disposable income. My husband always says, “You can tell a lot about a man when you meet his wife.” From the little I know, I believe this holds true in the Trump household. I am not sure about the men who thought Trump was the world’s answer to all it’s problems, my assumption is they must share some of his chauvinistic qualities. And my heart aches for the women who think his type of leadership is strong. You see, you can’t be a strong leader when you don’t respect most of those you are hired to lead. 

I cried when the news finally reported that we had a new president. I cried because I no longer had to be respectful of someone who was so disrespectful for so many segments of our population. During the last 4 years, I felt that I needed to be respectful even though I felt like an abused kid who still had to make weekly phone calls to their abusive parent. He was the sex offender who smiled and said, “It isn’t that bad…” I cried because I felt free. 

This is the second time in my life that I’ve had to overcome this feeling a abuse. I am an abused kid. 

I’m expecting to get responses that say I’m crazy, I’ve blown this out of proportion…but that is the same response I received  when I told people what had happened to me…so I’ve learned to not listen to those voices. 

This is my reality. 

I am grateful for the change in leadership. I’m over the moon that we finally have a cabinet of diversity. I’m excited to see what comes from a leader who isn’t afraid work along side and across from women. A man who boldly expresses his respect for what they bring to the table. I am excited to see how far our new woman leadership will take us. 

And in my head, I giggle when I think of all those men who raised Trump in high regards…cause they have to hate what is going on.

Ok – let’s be honest – I giggle out loud. 

Just a Whisper

Just a Whisper by Jeannie Bruenning

Even though I may roll my eyes when asked what growing up as a preachers kids was like, I am grateful for many aspects of it. Especially for the Bible stories I learned in Sunday school. 

One that keeps coming to mind recently is a story between an arrogant king and a rugged old man know as a prophet. 

These two very different individuals decided to have a contest to prove which of their gods was the TRUE GOD. A stone alter was built and piled high with wood. The god who would be declared the winner would be the one who would start the fire.

Ya gotta laugh at that.

How we humans feel the need to prove that we are right. These two took it even further, “let’s make god prove who is right.” 

The king called all his wise advisors – it was a crowd. They all gathered together on top of the mountain and began their rituals of singing, dancing, praying, and shouting.

Our prophet man sat quietly in the shade watching the lively exhibition. After several hours he too got into the actions and began calling out things like, “Yell louder – maybe he can’t hear you!” And “Get more people marching up the hill – giant crowds always get god’s attention.”

After a full day of singing, dancing, praying, and shouting – nothing happened except there was a large group of people who were tired, horse, and defeated. 

Then it’s the prophets turn. He got the crowd engaged by asking them to bring jars of water to pour over the alter. They were very accommodating and when they had finished dousing the wood, alter, and ground around it, they stepped back. I’m guessing the prophet instructed them to stand way, way back.

In contrast to the giant crowd gathering exhibition of the king, the prophet man bowed his head and whispered, “Show them who is the true God.” Then he stepped back, way back.

The magnitude of the flame that erupted engulfed the wood, alter, and ground around it – all from a gentle whisper.

God isn’t lost. He isn’t in hiding. God doesn’t need us to yell and shout and march – dancing is ok, but the rest is unnecessary. The only requirement is a believing heart and impossible odds, and then STEP BACK and watch the fireworks. 

Stupid Talk

Stupid Talk by Jeannie Bruenning

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

This verse is being tossed all over the place recently. So I thought it would be good to really look at it. What I found, 2 Chronicles 7:14 is about as clear as God can say it. 

If MY people 

  • that is those who believe in God.

Will HUMBLE themselves

  • Humility comes through strength, is not for the weak hearted. It shows up when someone is very aware of their abilities, influences, power, and authority and uses all of it to SERVE. Humility flows down from those who have risen to the top.

And PRAY and SEEK My face

  • No explanation needed

And TURN from their wicked ways

  • REMEMBER this is directed to the believer – oooops – apparently it’s the BELIEVERS wicked ways that are in the way. (Oh my, maybe we need to turn off the sin spotting spot lights and focus on ourselves.)

THEN…..I will heal their land.

There is no need to read between the lines here – to find the hidden meaning – to interpret to fit your beliefs. 

The equation is simple: Humble + Seek + Turn = Healing.

The bottom line is…God does what He says he will do. If you don’t feel that its happening – then there are 2 possible reasons.

  1. There isn’t enough humble, seeking, and turning going on.


2.  Your version of a healed land isn’t the same as Gods. 

The only other possible explanation is that God isn’t true to His word – and that’s just stupid talk.