Category Archives: Family

The “What if’s” of Marriage (for him)

Husband. Read. Please. This is for you.
I was going to keep it kind of light but a note from my husband was just the push I needed to finish something I started last week. When I wrote Part I, I had woken up very early. My husband left for work early that morning, and I wrote. Yesterday, he had to get up early again, but I slept. He knew bringing me coffee at 3a probably wasn’t a good idea, so he got it ready and left me a note. Husbands, take note, wives love when you do things like this!
So here goes Part II…
The other day I wrote a blog geared towards the wives but as soon as I posted it, I was convicted for not including the husbands. We all could use a little work. Although I don’t think the woman is the only one who needs to change, I truly believe a lot of times, change does start with her. She sets an example.
You see, a woman has a discerning heart that is able to forsee failure when it shouldn’t even be an option. We have a hard time letting go in situations when we sense a negative outcome. This innate ability within us compels us to DO SOMETHING when we probably should sit back, watch and wait.
Understanding the significance of this quality in your wife can mean so much if you just look at it from a different perspective. God blessed her with a desire to lead, not because He intended her to be the head of your family, but because He knows her counsel is important in the success of many situations you will face. Finding a happy medium — a place of compromise — will help you both put your best foot forward, regardless of the circumstances.

What if…

you understood that she is wired different?
you acknowledged that she takes on the weight of the world?
you believed her when she shared how her hormones sometimes seem as if they control her every move?
you reached out during those times when her emotions are high?
you thought about the harshness of your words before you speak?
you recognize that God blessed her with a discerning heart?
you knew she meant well even if every ounce of her declares differently?
you tried to see things from her perspective?
you did things her way every now and then?
you knew that what you say and do resonates much longer with her than you would ever expect?
you sent her a text to tell her you love her?
you shared a song that reminded you of her?
you wrote her a note?
you took the time to really listen to her thoughts on a situation?
you realized that she is making an effort?
you put a little extra effort forth yourself?
There are so many more questions I could ask here but the important thing is, you get it. She was built with a different set of instructions that unfortunately failed to make it into the box. Husbands are left to try to learn the step-by-step process of understanding their wives all on their own. But can I tell you a secret?
It's easier than you think!
Women often portray a rough exterior when, inside, they are struggling with something. Be it hurt, anger, discomfort, confusion, you name it. We can become so numb to what we’re feeling that a whole different set of feelings show on our face, in our attitude and in every ounce of our being. Then the other side to that are the good days. They’re definitely few and far between and they are important to us. We try our best, we succeed, we accomplish our “to do” list, and at the end of the day, everyone is still smiling. It’s been a good day! We want to hold onto it.
But then there’s that weight of the world she has to take off again, right when she wakes up.
Even if it’s your mistake, she feels it.
Even if it’s her child’s regret, she feels it.
Even if it’s a total stranger’s misfortune, she feels it.
If it doesn’t get done, she feels it.
If it doesn’t turn out as well as it should have, she feels it.
If it’s awkward and without rationale, she feels it.
Even if you try all those “What if’s”, it’s not going to take it all away but it will make it easier on her. If you look beyond the craziness of who she can be, you’ll see the blessing of who she is.

But you will also…

begin to look beyond her flaws.
see the woman you love for who she is.
remember that woman you fell in love with.
feel more encouraged by being an encourager to whom you were made one [with].
notice the little things a little more.
learn to focus on what’s important.
learn that many things you get concerned with, don’t matter.
feel better about feeling better.
I know that, like me, my husband is constantly working against the forces that try to pull his mind in a different direction — that take him from happy to ticked in 1.2 seconds. I pray constantly that I can let go of control, to be the best wife I can be, and to learn to focus on what’s important. And I know his prayers are somewhat similar. Our marriage is in a place that neither one of us would have dreamed. Two stubborn adults meeting in God’s time, there had to be a reason. We talk about that constantly, about how happy and blessed we are, wondering what the future holds for us.
But sometimes we get worn out waiting. On what, we don’t know. When God puts us in a place of rest, it’s one of the most difficult places to be for a couple who likes to accomplish things. So we have to find our peace in the piece that He gives us daily. We have to make a conscious effort to win every losing battle. I said it before and I’ll say it again, “happy couples” are are few and far between these days. I wish our marriage was the standard, but I know that’s just not the case. There are so many out there struggling and unable to find a way to mend a hurt or soften a hard heart.
Some things are just worth repeating…
There’s an enemy out there trying to do damage to marriages. He knows what buttons to push. He knows when to start and how not to stop. He knows what people don’t need to hear and stops with what they do. Day in and day out, relationships are strained because the focus went from what if to what is. People forgot to shift their minds from what’s wrong to what could be right.
What if you tried to do things a little different? What if you put a little more effort into things? What if you chose to think good thoughts? What if you didn’t point out her flaws to others, but embraced her strengths? What if you encouraged her? What if you rediscovered why you fell in love with her to begin with? What if you chose to realize that it isn’t always about how you feel because maybe, just maybe, she’s feeling the same way.
We’re wired differently. Men and women don’t think the same way so how can we expect them to act the same way? We have different personalities, different learning styles, different ways to cope or deal with things that come our way. When did these things become things that pull us apart instead of the ties that bind?
The relationships we have in our lives are so important but aside from your relationship with God, your relationship with your spouse is the most important. Your kids, your family, friends, co-workers…they take notice when you are loving, encouraging and respectful. This is part of the foundation on which they will build their future relationships. Show them the important things aren’t the silly things you tend to dwell on but the big things that brought you both together in the first place. For men, this is so important. Putting on this facade or trying to be “Mister Tough Guy” in front of your co-workers and friends is kind of like the Cracker Barrel game when you have a couple pegs left on the board, just plain dumb.
Marriage is both ways men. It takes effort on your part, just as much as it does hers. You can’t make changes for her and she can’t make them for you and you can NOT wish them on one another. Sometimes the best thing you can do is try to understand her. Even though you probably never will completely, you’ll see what makes her tick — what makes her smile, what makes her cringe, what makes her cry, and what truly makes her heart sing. I guarantee the right combination of “What if’s” is out there, waiting to do their job in making your wife smile.
She needs you. As many times as she acts like she doesn’t and even on the days she makes you feel like she can do it on her own…she needs you. But can I be honest with you? She needs you at your best, even when you feel your worst. The one who puts whatever he’s fidgeting with down to look at her when she talks. To get engaged in something she’s passionate about and show that you care. She longs for that embrace that is simply about the embrace — nothing more, nothing less — just the touch of your two hearts close together.
It really is the little things for women. The little things do matter. If you make every effort to do a few little things each day, I guarantee that, one day, they’ll turn into the big things.
Read this:
"It took effort, intentionality, sweat equity, and determination. The it took time and commitment before he ever saw any fruit from his labor. But eventually, there was a bloom...and then another...and then another."
 Immediate change may be what you want but it isn’t what you’re going to get. It’s going to take work. More effort on your part. While you’re hoping for change in her, God will be changing you.
God really does love us so much that He is willing to go to great lengths to reach us wherever we are; to say exactly what we need to hear. Men, I hope you’re hearing what He’s saying to you today! We women really do appreciate you.
P.S. Wives, if you’re reading this (good!!) please don’t throw it at your husband and tell him to read it before you share what you read the other day and what it meant to you. We have a tendency to believe they are going to react the same way we do when reading something important and heartfelt, but they won’t. If your a wife and you want to share this with your husband, share the wife’s version first, then tell him that God loves him enough that he knew he wrote him a few words as well.
P.P.S. Husbands, if you’ve not read the post from the other day for wives, you may want to look back on my profile to see what was written. You’ll be surprised at the conviction women feel about the position they hold or are trying to hold in their home. Share it with your wife, if you haven’t already. But be mindful of that weight she’s carrying. Do the same as I’ve described to the women above, and start by showing her what was written for the husbands before you dance around what was written for her.
I have a feeling there will be a Part III — for couples. Stay tuned…

The “What if’s” of Marriage (for her)

Wife. Read. Please. This IS for you.

For those who really know me or have followed my posts for awhile. you may have noticed that from time-to-time, I will get up SUPER early to write. I should tell you that 4-4:30a is my typical waking time. It gives me a chance to read morning devotions, check in on social media and read whatever book I’ve started — sometimes two.

This morning I woke up at midnight, then fell back asleep. I woke up at 1:30, then continued to lay there. I was hoping that my husband’s “early” meant that his alarm would be going off at 2a because that would give me a good excuse to just get up and get a cup of coffee! Sure enough, his alarm did go off at 2 and I walked my happy butt into the kitchen to make a nice cup of joe!

I grabbed my computer, my headphones and headed back to my room to read and write. I know God has something for me when I wake up like that so I typically try to limit the distractions while I wait with expectation of what He wants me to know, learn or share.

As I read, I started to think on something I thought I would write about. Then, when making a second cup of coffee (don’t judge, it was 3a!), two words popped into my head.

I had something — something to think about. Something I’ve already thought about, that I’ve already been working on myself. But WHAT IF someone else needed to hear these words too?

Follow me for a bit…

What if…

you picked up his dirty clothes just once more?
you didn’t complain when he didn’t do something your way?
you met him at the door when he came home from work?
you didn’t spill everything wrong with your day in the first 5 minutes he’s home?
you acknowledged his positive attributes publicly instead of ridiculing privately?
you started thinking of one reason each day that you appreciate him?
you didn’t always have to have the last word?
you didn’t choose to believe the worst before thinking the best?
you packed his lunch?
you kissed him longer than normal?
you chose to speak love into him?
you thought of him before your kids?
you focused on what he was saying, even if you don’t understand what he’s talking about?
you made it a point to not always make a point?
you loved him for who he is?
you encouraged him where he is?
you didn’t think on thoughts that are negative towards him?
you weren’t always pointing out his mistakes?
you smiled more?
you showed how much you respect him?
you didn’t complain about things that don’t matter?
you took him on a surprise date to one of his favorite places?
you planned a romantic dinner in your own home?

So many questions…but only one answer. The immediate outcome doesn’t matter. Things aren’t going to change overnight. You’re not going to suddenly have an epiphany or ignore every mistake.

But you will…

begin to look beyond his flaws.
see the man you love for who he is.
remember that man you fell in love with.
feel more encouraged by being an encourager to whom you were made one [with].
notice the little things a little more.
learn to focus on what’s important.
learn that many things you get concerned with, don’t matter.
feel better about feeling better.

I am constantly working against the forces that try to pull my mind in a different direction — that take me from happy to annoyed in 2.2 seconds. I pray constantly to let go of control, to be the best wife I can be, and to learn to focus on what’s important. My marriage is in a place that I never would have dreamed. I’m so happy, so blessed and so ready for what the future holds with my husband. I don’t often think about how few and far between “happy couples” are these days but in all honestly, I know I’m not in the majority. There are so many out there struggling and unable to find a way to mend a hurt or soften a hard heart.

There’s an enemy out there trying to do damage to marriages. He knows what buttons to push. He knows when to start and how not to stop. He knows what people don’t need to hear and stops with what they do. Day in and day out, relationships are strained because the focus went from what if to what is. People forgot to shift their minds from what’s wrong to what could be right.

What if you tried to do things a little different? What if you put a little more effort into things? What if you chose to think good thoughts? What if you didn’t point out his flaws to others, but embraced his strengths? What if you encouraged him? What if you rediscovered why you fell in love with him to begin with? What if you chose to realize that it isn’t always about how you feel because maybe, just maybe, he’s feeling the same way.

We’re wired differently. Men and women don’t think the same way so how can we expect them to act the same way? We have different personalities, different learning styles, different ways to cope or deal with things that come our way. When did these things become things that pull us apart instead of the ties that bind?

The relationships we have in our lives are so important but aside from your relationship with God, your relationship with your spouse is the most important. Your kids, your family, friends, co-workers…they take notice when you are loving, encouraging and respectful. This is part of the foundation on which they will build their future relationships. Show them the important things aren’t the silly things you tend to dwell on but the big things that brought you both together in the first place.

Although the book I’m reading is far from a marriage book, what I read at the beginning of the chapter made me think of this very message.

"It took effort, intentionality, sweat equity, and determination. The it took time and commitment before he ever saw any fruit from his labor."

She [Lysa TurKeurst] goes on to say, "But eventually, there was a bloom...and then another...and then another."

Right there is the answer. Immediate change may be what we want but it isn’t what we’re going to get. It’s going to take work. More effort on our part. While we’re hoping for change in another, God will be changing us.

I’m not sure who this is for today but you must know that God sure loves you! So much so that He woke me up at 2am, put a thought in my mind, and gave me the tools to share it with you. I think it’s so cool that we have a God that loves us so much that He is willing to go to great lengths to reach us wherever we are.

Read The What If’s of Marriage (for him)

The Constant Battle

I’m talking to you today.  You need to read this.  ~The voice in your head
It’s in my head.  This battle is daily, often hourly, and sometimes takes a minute-by-minute approach to combat.  I know I’m not the only one because I hear other women saying the same thing(s) I often think, although I sometimes question the validity of their comments because some people just like to complain.  I’m sure men deal with it too but I’ve never been inside the male brain so I can’t comment on their struggles.  
I wonder if those of us who are trying to stay positive are the only ones who recognize that this is even an issue?  
You’re probably thinking, get to the point, but right now I’m just trying to set the scene so I know you’re following…
You can wake up happy, healthy, and in an overall good mood then you realize something is off-kilter but you can’t explain what.  You instantly realize someone didn’t do something they said they would.  They didn’t act on something you had just spoken about.  You’re making changes and they just seem to stay the same.  Are you the only one who is going to stick to the plan? 
If you stop to think about it, most of the time it all boils down to things being done your way in your time.  We want people to act a certain way, feel how we feel, and think like we think. When they don’t do things the way we’d like, we get angry. We assume they know what we’re hoping for or how we feel. We allow our moods to instantaneously change when they haven’t acted on something we talked about less than 24-hours ago.  If they’re not on top of their game with a smile on their face, enjoying every gosh darn minute of the day, we start to think something’s wrong.
Am I talking to anyone here?  Okay, then let’s keep going.
It’s self-reflective really, this whole battle.  We want people to be the way we aren’t yet capable of being.  We set our expectations for others higher than we’re able to meet ourselves.  We want them to be the way we’re striving to be, yet we aren’t happy with even the slightest effort they make.

Okay, let’s stop for a second.  Are we really that bad?  No. But I’m speaking truth here.  We want the best for people but we worry too much about who they should be that we lose track of our best self.  
We allow our minds to wander about this or that, why isn’t it this way, why aren’t they seeing it this way, or doing it that? We begin to think it’s us but we blame it on them.  But what is their struggle?  What negative things have occurred throughout their day that they just aren’t sharing?  How many times have they had to talk themselves down from the ledge because people are just people and don’t understand they’re just there to do their job?
We put our loved ones in a bubble as if they aren’t going to be affected by things of this world — the day to day daunting task of going to work (or school), being around people that drag them down, environments that are less than uplifting — struggling just to keep a smile when everything around is just negative, negative, negative.  We wonder why they act a certain way, forgetting that you can’t just take that stuff off when you pull in the driveway.  The trash talk, the gossip, the momentary lapse in peace we find in our own home that was lost somewhere early on in the day.  It’s hard for any of our loved ones to strip down to the person we know they are and leave that daily baggage at the door.  
Instead of thinking the worst, why not assume the best? Why do we have to allow our minds to take captive the person we know we love just to satisfy a thought that we’ve allowed to creep in?  We know their heart.  We know we’re trying so why can’t we believe they are as well? If the struggle is real for us, why can’t it be just as real for them?  
I know this is speaking to someone today because it was the first thing I thought of this morning.  These words are for someone who’s been a little too hard on their loved one(s)…someone whose expectations aren’t being met simply because they [themselves] are not there yet.
Try taking it day by day, hour by hour, or even minute by minute if you need to.  Learn how to give benefit of the doubt.  When those thoughts of the worst try to creep in, fight back with knowing the best.  It’s okay if you’re feeling convicted — it’s only because you care.
Sometimes we need to do a lot more work than we expect because in the end, the example we set and the grace we give is just enough to be the encouragement someone else needs.  

Happy Wife, Happy Life

A wife is something special.  If she weren’t, what would be the point of marriage?  I mean, if two people love each other, what is the point in standing in front of a few (or many) people we know, exchanging rings, and saying vows to one another?  Simply put, marriage has meaning.  Therefore, your role in marriage has a significant purpose.

The cool part about it is that every, single person brings something special into their marriage.  There isn’t a gender role description out there that says, one must do this and another that.  In fact, things can be shaken up a bit with one person better at cooking and another a master at household maintenance, especially if the so-called traditional roles are reversed.

I would venture to say that many people like to put their own ideas out there based off of scripture but that’s a topic I’m not going to touch today.  But it is on my list of discussion topics — stay tuned!

Anyway, I was thinking about one phrase the other day that has taken such a negative tone over the years.  I don’t even know where it originated but I have read blogs by Christians who think that by saying, “Happy wife = Happy life” we mean that husbands should put their wife’s desires above their relationship with God.


Of course you can interpret things as you wish, but here’s how I see it…

Everyone may bring something physically different to the marriage but there is one thing that a wife has that her husband just can never “get”.  I put get in quotations because I don’t mean it’s something he won’t acquire (even though it isn’t) but it’s something he simply won’t understand.  Guess what?

No one does!

There’s a tone in your house.  It’s either positive or negative…sometimes neutral.  One day it’s hot, another it’s cold.  Some days it’s full of passion and others it’s cool as a cucumber.  It can be playful, crabby, full of tension, energetic, clean, dirty, picky, helpful, constructive and critical all in the same day.  But there’s something to say about all of those emotions.  Yes, they are all emotions.

We can safely say that when the wife is happy, there’s something in the house that smells good and it’s not necessarily because she has cookies baking in the oven!

You see, we women have this innate ability to insert a tone into a situation that doesn’t already have one.  Without us, life can be drab, mundane, colorless.  Then again, some days with us can be just the same!

I truly believe that there is some power women have that controls the mood temperature in our homes.  When we’re up, everyone’s up.  When we’re down, everyone’s down.  When we’re cranky, everyone’s cranky or they just leave.  When we’re mad, they tend to be scarce.  See the cycle?

Of course all homes are different and if this doesn’t apply to yours, your free to stop reading.  HOWEVER, over the years of friendships, love and learning about life, this is one thing that I believe with my whole heart to be true…at least in my case.  It wasn’t something I just woke up one day knowing though.  It just happened to be something my husband AND my daughter brought to my attention.

There we were, in the kitchen having perhaps the most influential conversations the three of us have ever had.  It was serious.  I was crying.  They were both looking at me with what seemed to be amazement.  They saw something that I didn’t.

I know I won’t get the words exactly right, but it went something like this…

"When you're not right, this whole house isn't right."

I didn’t know whether to take that as a compliment or an insult.  I was already crying, so why not take it as the latter?  How could they tell me I’m not right.  And why in the world were they letting their moods be dependent on mine?

That’s when they both began to explain.  What was said came with so much love.  The feelings in the house weren’t constructed because it was a nice house with all the right furnishings.  It wasn’t because we had food in the fridge and dinner on the table.  It wasn’t even because of the furry, four-legged children we brought into our home.

It was because of the people in it and my role was perhaps the most significant.  I hadn’t thought about it before but they were right.  Unintentionally, I set the tone in the house day in and day out.  When I wasn’t feeling quite myself, I often wondered what was wrong with everyone else.  Were they mad at me?  Did something happen? Was someone hiding something?  When I was tired, I often had those same thoughts.  When I was sad, the whole world was sad with me.  Happy, just the same.  And the list goes on and on.  They didn’t choose to adopt my attitude, it just happened.

I instantly flashed back — time and time again, I can remember that their reactions were a reflection of my attitude.  How can I blame them in times when I’m tender or frustrated that they too have a complimentary emotion, lending to either a favorable or unfavorable reaction.

So I probably should say that the conversation was about work and whether or not I should quit my job.  Not because I had something better lined up, but because I was overwhelmed and felt a sense of “I need to be home” but felt guilty without having a reason why.  They both agreed wholeheartedly and I instantly felt a weight lift off of my shoulders.

I contemplated what I would say to people or how I would explain being a stay-at-home-mom with a teenage daughter.   I do want to write a book. I do want to keep up with my blog.  But most importantly, I wanted to feel less overwhelmed so that I could put my all into the important role I played in my home.

Many people don’t have the option of staying home, I get that.  Believe me, I know how blessed I really am.  I have a whole list of things I could say right now to justify deserving  this opportunity but it isn’t about that at all.  Those things don’t even matter.  What does matter is that I know the significance of my role in this home.  I know what I bring and on many days, what I don’t.  One thing is for sure, I love my husband and daughter more than life itself.  They deserve to have me, the real, honest-to-goodness me, that is happy, hardworking, creative and at peace.  That’s all they want.

So you can say it however you want…

When momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!
Happy wife = Happy life

But no matter how you put it, it all comes down to knowing how significant you are.  Your influence is so much greater than you could ever imagine!

The Wingman

By definition, this word has a couple, different meanings.  I need you to get the urban dictionary connotation out of your mind for a few moments to hear this important message.

I often have words on my mind before I pray…before I even ask God for something to share.  More often than not, I will have just a couple words that end up turning into a chapter in what I hope will some day become a book.  This morning…


This couldn’t be from God, or could it?  I mean, the God whose been a part of my life certainly has a sense of humor…maybe He’s just trying to make me laugh.  I had to humor him and sit down to my computer to find out what both the silly dictionaries and the reliable ones said about this word.


Over and over again. I pictured Aubrey.  What? Yes, I pictured my daughter.  I paused and opened a letter she had written to me for just this moment.  I wrote in my journal about how I loved my husband for loving her so much.  I reflected on the wonderful day the three of us just had yesterday, which I could re-live over and over again.

That’s when it hit me.  I’m a wingman! Not in the bar scene sense.  Not in the military sense.  But in the take the military definition and apply it to life sort of sense.  WOW!

I was on to something here.

By’s definition:

Wingman: a pilot in a plane that flies just outside and behind the right wing of the leading aircraft in a flight formation, in order to provide protective support.

Her whole life, I’ve been in the lead, hoping to set the right example, taking the right steps (and sometimes the wrong ones too), giving orders (sometimes a little too often), helping her to reflect on things, learn from situations, and essentially  see things my way in hopes that she gathers enough from our deep conversations to make informed decisions in life. 

As her mom and her best friend, I don’t want her to fail.  But I’m reasonable and know that sometimes that will happen.  I want her to have the strength, the confidence, and the skills to make it through those moments where the outcome isn’t favorable, even if it is just spending money on something that you realize later wasn’t worth it.  These moments could contain BIG things  or small ones but in each lies a lesson that she will eventually pass on to her child(ren).  In some delicate way (or not so delicate if she has “off” days like I sometimes do) she will share this very situation with the next generation, maybe even a few words of wisdom I’ve given her with the flare she’s added all on her own.  It’s a cycle that is often like the game “phone” where words are passed from person to person but instead of the final person sharing a message that sounds nothing like what started off, it’s going to be something profound, life-giving and meaningful.

Every day she opens a letter I’ve written for her so that the entire 25 days we’re apart, she’ll know how much I love her, even though I’m sure she already has a pretty good idea 😉

I didn’t want to be sentimental on every single one, but I found myself writing life lessons from Day 1.  It wasn’t my intention, but it happens.

It always happens.

Whether she asks for it or not, I give advice, I share my thoughts and, if I’ve been in a similar situation, maybe even tell her what I did.  If I’m lucky, she thinks I came out alright and takes my advice.  If I’m faithfilled, I know that what I’ve shared will be taken with a grain of salt and used to do with it what will work best for her.

Ah…then there were other letters…when I realized how grown she’d become.  She’s much like me in ways such as maturity, forward-thinking and independent.  She’s a free spirit too, one that I look at and thank GOD for giving her more of the good qualities of mine than the not-so-favorable.


It’s been 15 days so far since she’s been gone and all I can think about is how proud I am, how blessed we are as a family, and how I know she’s going to be more than just fine.  You see, my job thus far has been so important.  As her mom, I was blessed with a role that would mold and shape her into someone who would more than handle anything.

She’s far surpassed that.  She’s taken what I’ve shared with her and ran with it, in such a way that she knows how to develop the right kind of relationships.  She has a faith that is strong, that she’s not afraid to share with anyone.  And for the most part, she doesn’t really care what people think of her.  Many of the lessons I’ve taught her, she’s put her own spin on to teach the teacher.  What an amazing experience!

I knew that there would be a step forward at some point, when I would realize it was time for her to take the lead.  I knew she’s been there for some time now but I failed to see that with her in the lead, there was now a new role for me…


In order for her to lead the formation of her life, I had to let her be in the lead plane.  I had to slow down and take a secondary role where I would compliment her while still protecting her.  My part had to change so hers could grow stronger.

I read an excerpt from a blog posting about being a wingman and it was SO TRUTHFUL right in the midst of our very situation.

The writer says that there are three qualities that make up being a good wingman:

  • Mutual supportThe best leaders expect wingmen to be on the lookout for threats to the formation and empower wingmen to intervene and keep the formation safe. This isn’t always comfortable, but it is always the right thing to do and an expectation that should be created in everyone. Of course, to intervene and provide support to a teammate, it’s necessary to first sense a problem.
  • Situational awarenessnot just of one’s own situation, but that faced by teammates. From the day anyone in any walk of life joins a team, no action or inaction — positive or negative — is free of consequence  for  teammates.   This means every team member must know where s/he is in time, space, and circumstance, but also remain aware of the situations confronted by teammates, and how individual actions might impact group dynamics.
  • Individual reliabilityIf each individual meets expectations and is always in position, the formation will spend less energy on mutual support and more energy on making the enemy suffer. 

Although the writer was quite literally discussing qualities of a pilot, he hit the nail on the head, explaining who was now.  It’s time for me to take a position as part of her team, but no longer leading the formation.  I couldn’t have found a better way to explain the position I am now in as her mother, her friend, her wingman.

When I got to Individual reliability, I was floored.  In that moment, God brought it all together.  He used this analogy in such a way that by point three, I was realizing that my job wasn’t over — it never will be over.  In order to be a good wingman, I have to continually work on myself as well.  I can’t slow down or lag behind.  I have to be the example, even if I’m no longer in the lead.  And I have to help my team stay in formation by taking up a role that will make us stronger to fight the enemy that tries to attack us each and every day.

He comes in the form of thoughts in our minds…but he’s different to everyone.  We are attacked where we’re weakest and trust me, he’ll never stop trying to find the weak spot in your formation.

We have an armor of protection (Eph. 6: 10-18) that we need to clothe ourselves with daily but we also need to remain in formation.

So now what’s next?  That’s not up to me.  I know my role is just as important to her now as it ever was before.  But accountability is key; moreso than ever before.  Holding myself accountable to take the position as wingman seriously will do wonders for her when it’s time for her to do the same for her daughter/son.

Deep breathe.  Sigh.  Close my eyes.  Do it all over again.

I’m confident that this shift in formation was with perfect timing.

I’m comfortable with where she is in life.

I’m blessed beyond belief to have been a part of it all thusfar.

And I’m looking forward to all the years ahead.

Baby girl, you have no idea what’s in store.  When I say you’re going to do great things, I believe it to be true!

Continue to take it all in.  Keep doing what you’re doing.  Be you.  Be the best you.  Take notes.  Love big.  Love forever.  Love life. Live life.  Judge no one.  Stay true to your beliefs.  Honor God.  Honor your family.  Use your faith to battle your weaknesses.  And always, always, always, know that I love you so incredibly much.


Mom aka your wingman

Read the full wingman blog post HERE


There I was, making guacamole, trying to pick off the perfect leaves of cilantro. When I was done selecting just the right amount, I decided to pick off all of the bad leaves or those that were going bad. I don’t know if you know this or not, but if you take the bad leaves or semi-bad leaves off of the bunch and put the rest back into a baggie with a paper towel, they will last so much longer, many times 2 weeks in my fridge! To care for this bunch that often only costs me two quarters sounds a bit excessive, I know. But who wants to have all the ingredients for a delicious salad or guacamole and fail to have good cilantro? So I take extra good care of it (I have a few other food tips if you want them too, just ask!).
Anyway, the metaphor here is simple. Cilantro represents you and your circle of friends, something we’ve been talking about quite often in youth. The bad leaves are those that could potentially cause the others to go bad. Inevitably with cilantro, they’re all going to go bad at some point, but many of those delicate leaves are going to fulfill their purpose by serving me and my family for dinner. They’re going to make us smile, satisfy our craving for guacamole, and fulfill our hunger. That’s right folks, there is a greater purpose for cilantro.
But there’s also a greater purpose for YOU! if you don’t skillfully select the people who shouldn’t be a part of your circle, there’s a better chance of things not going as they should. Those people are going to come into your life, believe me, but you have the choice as to what role they play. Will they be a part of your inner circle or will they reside on the outskirts where your kind gestures make way for a safe distance? Who are you letting influence you? What kind of impact are they having on your life? What in the world are you doing with people who make you feel worse when you should be feeling better?
There are so many questions to ask when closing off that circle of friends and even family that you allow into the depths of your life. Some people have to stay on the outskirts simply because they bring out the worst in you, other because their attitudes towards others are damaging yours.
When I was a teenager, the key was just in having friends. It wasn’t about quality friendships or even trying to choose people who knew me for….well, me! I used to be embarrassed to say that but I know now that my past is something that I can share to help others learn and grow. You see, I may have had many acquaintances, but not a whole lot of lasting friendships. I was impressionable. I was reasonable. And I gave people a chance, too often, to be a part of my inner circle when they never even worked for it. I realize now that my circle should have been smaller — so small that it would leave room for only myself, some family and a few close friends. The rest could still spend time with me but they wouldn’t see the parts of me that caused me to doubt, feel anxious, nervous, not confident, or even worse, just plain bad. Why? Because those that shouldn’t be part of my circle make all of those insecurities worse; maybe not intentionally but because they had that tendency to be the bad leaf in my bunch, I should have weeded them out sooner.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming my poor choices or lack of direction at times on anyone other than myself. However, I am saying that had I chose to close off my circle sooner and broadened the vision for my future, I may have prevented so many struggles with doubting myself and being untrue to the faith that I so desperately tried to hold on to.
Regret isn’t in my nature. I may have made some pretty poor choices and acted so unlike my true self more often than I’d like to admit, but I don’t regret a thing. If I wouldn’t have done every, single thing right and wrong in my life, I wouldn’t be here today, writing about cilantro! My path may have been full of shortcuts, detours and a few deep waters, but the other side is plush, green grass with beautiful sunsets and birds chirping in the background. Every day might not be my favorite, but my life is…because I got it back. I closed my circle and open it very rarely to let in those that compliment me. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather take out the bad leaves now just in case they try to spoil the rest…
I have a purpose, just like that bunch of cilantro I’ve used as a metaphor. And although I make guacamole, I know my purpose won’t end when I dip the chip! I have to carefully, skilfully, purposefully choose who, what, where and when each and every day. It’s a circle that is ever-changing, revolving and fresh. So before you make your next choice, maybe you should take a look at who and what is around you. Are there any leaves that shouldn’t be in your bunch?
Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." ~1 Corinthians 15:33

Are There Intentional Circumstances?

I’m a writer. It’s in my heart and, quite frankly, I’m convinced it’s in my blood. My father could write, I had a grandmother who wrote a book of poetry, and now I know that my daughter can write as well. She’s always enjoyed writing and has been very good at creating wonderfully descriptive, fictional stories when asked to in school. But it wasn’t until yesterday that I truly heard the inner writer come out.

I was running late, getting in the shower and she wanted to show me her grade on a paper she wrote for Honors English. I didn’t want to blow her off, but I REALLY needed to hurry or we were going to be late. So, I told her to read her paper to me once I was in the shower, and consequently, I’m glad I was already wet because it made the tears fit the scene. As she read her 3-page paper, I was convinced that she would continue to do just as I have, creating a bond between herself and writing, even if only for her own strength and comfort. She could go on to do more with it but, like me, I believe she’ll use it to impact whatever or whoever it is she’s helping rather than having it as a lifelong career. She’s passionate about people, even if she doesn’t feel comfortable with strangers or making new friends; which is quite opposite of her mother I might add.

Her story was self-reflective, talking about who she is, where she came from and explaining why she is the way she is. She is confident. She is awesome (she says so in her paper!). And she knows how to make her momma cry. She talked about me in a way that I hadn’t heard before. She said things that I only hoped she had felt. And she understood that, even though life is difficult at times, we are who we are because of what we do with the situations we are presented with. It was the best thing she’s ever written and I am proud. I don’t think it’s fair to get into all the details but I will tell you one thing, she’s going places.

Last night, I confessed to a room full of women that I’m scared about letting her go. On one hand, I’m worried that she’s going to make the same mistakes I have in the past but on the other, I don’t believe anything I’ve ever done is a mistake because it led me to right where I am; and let me tell you, this place is pretty cool! I explained something that I tell Aubrey often and that is, as parents, our job is to raise our children to be better than we are. When I look at her, at almost 15, I know I’m doing something right, yet I worry that she’s going to make the wrong decision. Here’s where the tears came, in front of that group of amazing women…I’m so afraid that she’s going to make a bad decision that I don’t let her get into a situation where she CAN make one. ‪#‎truth‬

At some point, I’m going to have to let her go, little by little, knowing that I did a good job. I know I’ve made an impression because of what she wrote yesterday and the choices she makes each day. It’s just a matter of convincing myself that, even if she makes a poor choice, it will be her choice to make. However, I know that she’s already far stronger than I was at her age. I pour my knowledge into her. I’m open, honest and a little less than discrete with her at times. I don’t want her to question things, or wonder, “what if?”

I can confidently say this morning, that I have done a good job; not to get a pat on the back, but just to be honest about all of the “what if’s” in my life.  Like…

“What if I would have not finished college?”
“What if I wouldn’t have put my all into being a mom?”
“What if I wouldn’t have been a single mom for so long?”
“What if I would have stayed where I was for so long because it was comfortable?”

What if, What if, What if?

Then, this morning, I continued to read a book that I’ve been getting up early for lately. I didn’t make it very far before something jumped out at me.

“Today’s choices become tomorrow’s circumstances.” ~Lysa TerKeurst

It brought me back to all of those “what if’s” and suddenly, I had the answer I didn’t even know I had been searching for. People say that we are the product of our circumstances, yet I sit here, reading this sentence understanding one very important thing…we CREATE our circumstances. Sure, there are unavoidable things that happen to us in our lives, but they do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT, dictate what our choices will be. My life would have been so much different had I not made the conscious choice to step out of a path that would have taken me down a road that I would have not allowed me to be who I was to be.

That’s it folks. It’s really that simple. My amazing daughter, is a product of the circumstances that I created for myself and I’m pretty darn proud of that. Knowing what she knows, sharing what I know with her and being surrounded by people that she is, I know that no matter what situation she’s in, Aubrey will make the choice that is best for her. Regardless of whether I think it’s wrong or right, it will be what she needs to bring her to a similar point in her life, 20 years from now. I envision her sitting on her bed, typing away in the wee hours of the morning, sharing her understanding of life as she knows it.

We have to believe that whatever it is we’re going through is either A. directly reflective of a choice we made or B. something that we will later look back on and see as an opportunity to grow, to learn, to have a story to share with someone going through the same thing later on.

Don’t feel discouraged. Don’t feel stuck. Don’t feel like you can be anything less than the best YOU. We can all make a difference somewhere, doing something but we have to first make a difference in ourselves, then in those around us before we can impact the world. As Stephen Covey once said, put first things first.

I really have no idea where this came from, but I’m certainly glad it came out here. My heart to write is evident, but it’s up to me to make the decision to share it. I choose to share. These words keep coming up everywhere I go so I’m going to repeat them again – BE INTENTIONAL. In all you do, in all you say, in all you are.

Thanks for hanging in there. Hope this helps someone today. Praying for you all.

For You, My Daughter

I want you to be strong, yet sensitive; Confident, yet humble.

I see you like me, only better, wiser, more capable of handling what life throws at you.

I love…

your personality…

your drive…

your decision to not worry what others think…

your hesitation to be the center of attention…

I know there are times when I hover.  It’s because I love you.

There are times when I tell you what you need to do in a situation, when it all actuality, you already know the right thing to do.

Your choices are wise.  You care about others, but you stand proud of who you are.  I love that about you too.

Sometimes, when I give you advice, it comes out as a lecture, I don’t mean to.

I feel like I’m talking to a younger version of myself–and that scares me.

You say you want to be like me?

Well I’d love nothing more than to for you to be where I am right now.


Because I’m happy and blessed.

But I don’t want you to go about it the way I did.  I don’t want you to face the harshness of life and see yourself making bad decision after bad decision.  I don’t want you to feel like a failure at times and struggle to make it to the next day.

But even still, every struggle was worth it just to be where I am today.

I want you to stay strong.  I want you to see the end result way ahead of time so that you know, every choice matters.

It’s just as easy to make the wrong decision as it is the right one…it’s just the outcome that is different.  

You see, I want what’s best for you and, although at times I think I know what that is, there’s someone else that knows even better than I do.

He’s got your back when I don’t even know that you need someone there.  He knows when you’re at a bridge and aren’t sure if you should cross it.  He is in your heart, on your shoulder, guiding your steps and always, always, always letting you know whether or not you’re headed in the right direction.

I may not always have the right words to say, but He does.

I may not have always made the best choices, but He has shown me the way.

I may not always set the best example, but He does.

I know you are made for so much.  I know that you are going to leave a legacy and it’s starting right now.  You have shoes to fill but God will give them to you when it’s time.

You have purpose.

You have reason.

Most of all, you have love.  My heart is yours.  My life is where it is because I wanted more for you.  God showed me the way, but you made me see the bigger picture.  Without even knowing it, you lit my path so that no one could ever take my focus again.

I wanted more for you – so I became better for you.  I won’t always be perfect.  We won’t always see eye to eye.  And we certainly won’t always agree.  But one thing is for sure…

I love you more than words can say…

I love you to the moon and back…

I love you most!

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine!

All those sayings and so many, many more, were created for you.  And this, this is for you.  My life, my love, my heart, my direction, my best.  God gave me you so that YOU can live for Him.  So that you could fulfill your  purpose through Him.

He’s showing me my way too.  Every, single day, he shows me a new direction.  He leads me down a path and gives me the opportunity to make a difference.  I chose Him.  I will continue to choose Him.  Because without Him, I can’t be who I need to be for you.

So this is it.  These words from my heart, they’re for you.  I hope you know how much I care.  How much love I have for you.  But most importantly, I hope I show you every day how important God is.

I can guide as much as I’d like but God is your go-to person – now and always.  He’s going to be there at the times when I’m not and long after I’m gone.  One day, all my words, all our time, will be a distant memory.  God will be here to see you through.  He’ll show you how to be, how to live, how to feel free.  Trust in Him.  That still, small voice in your heart will always let you know when you’re doing right.

Follow His lead.

Know He is good.

Just as He says to me when I struggle, I’ll say to you right now–these words are for you, my daughter.  Listen to them with open ears.  Watch what He can do with an open mind.  Open your heart to all the opportunities that through Him, are possible.

I love you.