Make It Happen

Make a START

even if it’s a

small start

it’s a START

because THAT sometimes

is the hardest part

then the rest will start to happen

little by little

baby steps

until you are up and flying


clean off that desk

join a weight loss support group

purchase those art supplies

order that book

register for that exercise class

call that travel agent

make that invite list

get that business license

fill out that application

start that savings account

talk to God about it

Do the whatever that first step is for you and


Because life is short

and you don’t want to get to the end of it

and regret

that you failed to


“Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.” 

Charles E. Hummel, Tyranny of the Urgent

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26




Lose the Load Lady!

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen an older lady (actually someone my age) lugging around an ginormous handbag as she approaches the grocery store entrance. Then I see her putting it on the top part of her grocery cart as eye candy for the next criminal as she goes about scanning the shelves for groceries. Not only is this not necessary, it is fool-hearty! I just want to grab ahold of her by the collar and pull her up real close to me and say:”Listen up lady, it is time to buy a small crossbody purse like mine and simplify your crazy life!” But I don’t.

First of all, she only needs a credit card to put into the little slot at the register to pay for her groceries. That and her cellphone. Two items in her handbag, PERIOD! That and her car keys.

I might add that she needs her cellphone not to answer her phone when someone calls (because they can wait until she is back in her car at the parking lot), but because she does not want to leave something that valuable in her car. Do I really want to hear her discussing her rash with her doctor while she is checking out the peaches? Two items! That is all she needs to have with her at the store, so why oh why must she have a twenty pound bag full of who-knows-what? The answer is beyond me! Does she need the makeup bag to refresh her makeup when she has gets too close to the water spritzing thing that keeps the veggies fresh? Does she need a box of bandaids just in case she gets a box cut from one of the packages she grabs off the shelf? Does she need a big envelope full of receipts from all the grocery visits she has made in the past year? Does she need the box of coupons for every grocery item in every store imaginable? Does she need a cookbook that contains a recipe for what she is cooking for dinner tonight? Does she need that box of safety pins just in case she pops a button in her jeans from bending over to reach something on the bottom shelf? Does she need the novel she brought to read in case she happens to be in a long line at the checkout? Does she need her hairbrush and hairspray just in case someone whizzes by her a little too fast and the wind gust messes up her hairdo? Does she need the mini-flashlight just in case of a power outage in the store? I don’t know! Maybe next time I will ask the next lady I see with a handbag big enough to sink a ship what on earth is in there! Or maybe, just maybe, she is preparing to go to the Let’s Make A Deal show and has loaded up her handbag with lots of miscellaneous items just in case she is asked by the show host if she has a paper clip, or a mini stapler or a postage stamp. You never know! Maybe her younger self took the two-fingered pledge at a Girl Scout Meeting to always be prepared! You tell me!

This is what I look like when I go into the store: My crossbody purse strapped on with my cellphone and wallet in it and my keys around my neck on a lanyard. Oh, and I might have a few shopping bags tucked under one arm to be kind to the planet. That’s it! The wonderfulfreedom of it! No heavy load and no worries about my purse being taken from my cart or fumbling in my purse for my car keys when I reach my car.

So give it some thought. How about downsizing you handbag to have just the essentials and not the “just-in-case” items? Why? Because simplifying your life is not only a path to joy but a practical thing to do as we age. And your chiropractor will thank you for it!

The Hero Next Door


My next-door neighbor is a hero.  She does not see herself as one.

She is a dental hygienist and a friend; and I am pleased to know her. She is a hygienist to many including my husband and me. Not all heroes wear capes; some, like my neighbor Dianne, wear thick masks, plastic face shields and protective gowns.  In March, for the first time in over thirty-seven years, she was forced to file for unemployment.  She was forced to stay home from a job she loves and excels at.  In the middle of May, she was called back to work when her dental office reopened.  While I and so many others shelter in place and retreat from the world; she does the opposite.  She advances toward it.  For this, I salute and admire her.  And I sincerely thank her for all she does.  I also pray for her strength, endurance, patience and safety every single day.



She has quiet courage that you don’t see every day.


She puts her life on the line.


She does it with a smile.


She shows up even when it’s hard.


She faces risks to her own health to keep others’ mouths and bodies healthy.


She has to work in open mouths and expose herself to a highly infectious disease.


She did not imagine her last year of work before retirement would be like this.


She has a big heart for her patients.


She has to do extra things to work at her job now.


She gets exhausted, out of breath, and very sweaty, but she does her work anyway.


She is the hero next door.




Isaiah 41:10    

 “For I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”   



“I’m okay, but I’m not okay, and that’s okay”

“I’m okay, but I’m not okay, and that’s okay”moved

Nothing can really prepare us for a death of a loved one.   Whether it be a sudden unexpected death like my son Drew’s at the age of 24 or at the end of a very long illness.   With every death, there is a loss.  And with every loss there is grief.   Grief is an untidy and unpredictable process.  The culture we live in tells us that we need to move through the grieving period quickly.  Our grief can make those around us uncomfortable.  And this causes us to sometimes hide our grief and pretend that all is okay. To put on the ” I’m okay mask”. Grieving is actually a good thing — it is what God uses to bring us back to wholeness.  So don’t be afraid to grieve and don’t be afraid to tell others what you are feeling , even if it makes them feel uncomfortable.

People ask me

How I am doing?

And then I have to think

Do they really want to know?

Do they want the

short answer


the long answer?

I really think most people

want the short answer




If they were able to see into

my heart

to actually see

the HOLE

that will always be there

the HOLE that is a result

of a tremendous loss

the loss of my son Drew

a little over 3 years ago

then they would see how I am doing

I know it is okay not to be okay

It is okay to feel sadness

It is okay to feel a loss

God knows it too

And it is He

that is the


 who can heal a HEART

But is it okay to say I’m not okay

to say I will never be okay

not until I get to heaven

and receive a big “Drew hug”?

Some people think

it is not okay to be not okay

especially after a couple years have passed

since a loss

But I know the reality

The reality

of the HEART


of a mom

who yearns

to be with her son


So many of us are

part of the


the ones who are waiting

waiting for



“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”.    Psalm 147:3

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion

forever.”   Psalm 73:26

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”.   Matthew 5:4

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:4

“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”    2 Corinthians 4:18

“The Lord cares deeply
when His loved ones die.”
– Psalm 116:15 (NLT)

“Short-sighted here on earth, bound by time, we mourn deeply the loss of those we love. We long to see into the eternal, the perfect, the home where our loves now live. Seeing clearly, not grounded to this earth and it’s tethering, our loved ones wait for us and cannot help but feel endless joy. In the meantime, here in time, the Lord sets His eyes on the mourning, promising to comfort. After all, even Almighty God knows what deep mourning feels like. He holds our precious ones living in heaven and He holds the grieving earth-dweller, never to forget either one.”   – Susie Stewart

“It hurts when they’re gone. And it doesn’t matter if it’s slow or fast, whether it’s a long drawn-out disease or an unexpected accident. When they’re gone the world turns upside down and you’re left holding on, trying not to fall off.”
Walter Mosley, Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore

“I see people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whether they’ll ‘say something about it’ or not. I hate if they do, and if they don’t.”
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
“The death of a beloved is an amputation.”
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
“Getting over it so soon? But the words are ambiguous. To say the patient is getting over it after an operation for appendicitis is one thing; after he’s had his leg off is quite another. After that operation either the wounded stump heals or the man dies. If it heals, the fierce, continuous pain will stop. Presently he’ll get back his strength and be able to stump about on his wooden leg. He has ‘got over it.’ But he will probably have recurrent pains in the stump all his life, and perhaps pretty bad ones; and he will always be a one-legged man. There will be hardly any moment when he forgets it. Bathing, dressing, sitting down and getting up again, even lying in bed, will all be different. His whole way of life will be changed. All sorts of pleasures and activities that he once took for granted will have to be simply written off. Duties too. At present I am learning to get about on crutches. Perhaps I shall presently be given a wooden leg. But I shall never be a biped again.”
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed






Getting through the HARD


When I reflect back on all the hard places God has helped me get through, I am reminded what a good God I have.  A God that knows me from the inside out. A God that has always loved me and always will.  A God that provides for all my needs in such amazing ways.  A God that I can trust even on the days that are hard to make it out of bed. A God that is the master of helping me in the hard places. A God that knows all about the hard.

God get us THROUGH 

the HARD:

the hard places

the hard times

the hard stuff that happens to us

He gets us through

In fact

“Through”  is his 

favorite word

But it won’t  be


and it won’t be


But one thing is for certain

He will use your hard

for good

He has promised that


He never breaks a promise

So go to Jesus in 

that hard place you are in

Lean hard

on HIM


He wrote the book on


and He understands exactly what

you are going through

when no one else can

and when you feel far from God

ask yourself


He is there

HE ALWAYS has been

and He always will be

He is there

patiently waiting 

for you



for comfort

for peace

for guidance

for healing

for understanding

Twenty four seven

His line

is never busy

He will never

put you on hold

or tell you to come back

at a more convenient time


He is waiting.

“When you pass THROUGH the waters, I will be with you;  and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor the flames scorch you.”  Isaiah 43:2

“Even though I walk THROUGH the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” Psalm 23:14

“Have you wept your last tear or received your last round of chemotherapy? Not necessarily. Will your unhappy marriage become happy in a heartbeat? Not likely. Are you exempt from any trip to the cemetery?  Does God guarantee the absence of struggle and the abundance of strength? Not in this life. But he does promise to reweave your pain for a higher purpose.”  

“Yet, God will make good out of this mess. That’s his job”

 from the book: You’ll Get Through This,  by Max Lucado.





Susie – A Shiny Penny

No life is too short

especially when that life gave 

so much

to so many

And that describes my friend


She packed so much into life

She was a  bright light

in this dark world we live in

She loved God and his WORD and 

she held out his WORD for all to see

I believe

it was her purpose on this planet

to display God and His glory

and she did it well

exceedingly well

She was that


in that pile of dull coins

She left a powerful legacy

of love and strength and hope

And all who were priviledged enough

to have experienced her

were trully blessed

and still are.


Matthew 25:21

His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Deuteronomy 6:5

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

1 Corinthians 2:9

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”

Psalm 86:12

I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Your name forever.

Proverbs 31:25

Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. 

Isaiah 40:3

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.



Flipping the Switch

Yes, so today is Mother’s Day. I knew when I woke up and my feet hit the floor, I had the power to make it a sorrowful day or a joyful day. It was up to me to flip the switch. I often pretend there is a tiny switch in my brain that I can switch onto positive when I need to. Today I needed to. Grieving is hard work. Sometimes I need a grief break. My youngest son Drew went to heaven three months ago. He was walking across Colfax in downtown Denver with his brother and was hit and killed by a hit-and-run driver. He is 24 years old. I don’t like to say was 24. He is still 24. I miss him so much! Today I needed a break from my “grief work”.

I soon began to mentally make a list of positives to focus on while I showered and dressed and picked up the place in preparation for my oldest son Jon and his wife Jenn bringing over food for brunch and watching a movie together. Then, I sat down on the recliner and looked at some key pictures on facebook — some of my mother Stella — and began to think of what a wonderful blessing it is that I can still call her on the phone today and wish her a Happy Mothers Day, many I know cannot. I looked at another picture — this one of my mother-in-law June who is no longer on this earth but I still have sweet memories of her and I know she is in heaven and I will see her again. Another picture was a five generation picture — my mom, my sister, my niece, my great niece and my great great niece — taken 3 years ago at my mom’s 90th birthday celebration. What a grand celebration that was. And how wonderful to have all five generations of women all living in the same town in California. All healthy and happy!

My heart smiles…

The last picture I look at is of my son Drew. It is of him giving my mom one of his knitted creations for her birthday. He is the one who won’t be coming over on Mother’s Day this year. I could stay in this sad place all day — focusing on who won’t be here or I could flip the switch and began to focus on all my incredible blessings. I began to list them in my head: our beautiful low-maintanance remodeled condo with no garage or basement or yard — how cool is that? ,the clubhouse where there is so much to offer as far as fun activities, my sweet husband who is such a support to me and rarely complains, will be getting a hip replacement next month which will hopefully change his quality of life dramatically , my good health and the fact that I am now retired and can focus on doing the things that give me joy. My many friends and family members who have supported and encouraged me and loved on me so very much — what would I do without them; and my son Jon who will be coming over soon. I can remember the first time I was talking to someone on the phone in the hospital on the day of his birth and how wonderful the sound of the word “son” felt coming out of my mouth. I thought of all these years I have had with him and have had the priviledge of being his mom. THe privilege of watching him grow into the beautiful man he is. I thought of the wonderful times we have shared. And then there is Jenn his wife — who has added such a new dimension to our family! A FEMALE —some one I can go to tea with, shop with, chat a lot with, get a pedicure with , go to the ballet with— all those girly things! I watch how she loves my son and

my heart smiles…

It is ten a.m. and here they are! Knock on the door. Right on time as always — another blessing! I open the door and am greeted by a mass of velvety red roses — my favorite flower of all time — the love color. The color of the heart. Much more than a dozen. Maybe two dozen. I am overwhelmed. Love has poured in my door — smiles, hugs, roses, food, a homemade scented oil spray, and of course a musical Mother’s Day card with actual writing on it — since I don’t like cards without actual writing on them — too impersonal. They remember this. They care. They want to make my day special. They know I am missing Drew. They are too. They love me . They want so much to make me feel good. They want my mother’s day to be happy.

My heart smiles…

It is not that we exclude Drew. Jon wears his knitted hat that was Drew’s favorite hat plus the pastel colored Easter shirt I got him last month. I wear my necklace with the angel wing and of course my bright yellow that reminds me of Drew’s new address. and then there is the lighted Drew candle. The roses are put in a vase and placed next to the candle. He is here. In spirit. In our hearts. He is loving that we are remembering him. He can’t wait to see us someday in heaven — what a grand celebration that will be! And we can’t wait to see him again! Because there is this hope,

My heart smiles…

Yes, I have flipped the switch today. I have lots of blessings to dwell on. The bible talks a lot about the power of the mind. I have two wonderful sons and a beautiful daughter-in-law. One lives in Aurora and the other in heaven. And they are both doing well! And I am doing well! Today has been a joyful day full of remembering what mother’s day means to me. It has been a good day. I was called “Mom” and that word will always be music to my ears.

Jon has written on the card “I know this Mother’s Day is hard, but I wanted to tell you that you have always been a great mom, and if Drew were here, he would tell you the same thing”. These words bring me much joy even if there are tears in my eyes as I type. I am indeed blessed among women, and

My heart smiles…

Psalm 103:2 “O my Soul, Bless God, and don’t forget a single blessing”.


My Irreplaceable Mom

Only some of us get the rare privilege of having our moms in our lives for a very long time. I am one of them. My mom is ninety six  years old this year. And she is happy and healthy!  Her name is Stella and the name fits her.  Stella means star and she is the bright shining star in our family and we all know it.




Grandma, Great Grandma, and Great Great Grandma

you are first my mom 

but forever my friend

but not just any friend

You are


I loved you since I first opened my eyes

as you held me in your arms

and now

all these years later

I still love you with that same 

“love at first sight”  kind of love

I  still love it when your eyes light up

and you say my name, “Sandra”

when you first see me when I come to visit

I love it when you don’t complain

even though you have things to complain about

I love it that you never criticize me

or point out what is wrong

I love it when you smile and remember old times

I love it when you listen to me with those caring eyes

I hate to think of the day when I won’t be able

to visit you

but then I remember that even though 

there are no visiting hours in heaven

there will be a time

when we can be together 

there in heaven

for all eternity

But for now

I won’t think about that 

I will think about the time I can have

with you

right now

on this planet

and what a blessing that is to me

and even though we are miles apart 

we are never truly apart 

maybe in distance

but never in heart.


“For you (GOD) formed my inward parts;  you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

“As is the mother, so is the daughter. ”  Ezekiel 16:44

“One of the most important relationships we have is the relationship we have with our mothers”.   Ivanla Vanzant

“No matter how old she may be, sometimes a girl just needs her mom.”    Cardinal Mermillod.

“My Mother – she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel.  I want to grow old and be like her”   Jodi Picoult