Be the Kind of Friend You Need

Be the Kind of Friend You Need

Be the kind of friend you need, and start at home. In a world where a lot of people are talking and a lot of people can hear, who are the ones who are truly listening? Good friends listen with their hearts. You can tell they are listening by their reply. Their words echo something you said, but they add meaning, compassion, validation, and clarity to them. You can also tell that they pay attention and listen by the things they do in response. Do they follow up and follow through?

Growing up, my brother had my back, and I had his. In the military, my Air Force sisters had my back, and I had theirs. I met the man who would become my husband when I was 17-years-old, wearing braces, at a phone booth. I’m serious! For those of you who don’t know what a phone booth is, Google it. And, I’m still BFF’s with my best friend from high school, but we’ve been separated by distance ever since I left for the Air Force in 1991. Needless to say, my husband has been my constant and closest friend for 26+ years. I didn’t start having more quality girlfriends until around the age of 36, and as I look back and as I look around at the Warrior Moms and Warrior Wives that surround me now, I don’t know how I ever survived without them. They inspire me to be the kind of friend I need.

Fear is a Liar Faith is a Warrior

Fear is a Liar Faith is a Warrior

Fear lies to us in order to attempt to hold us in a prison cell of self-doubt. With this doubt-filled mind-set we find the answer to our questions:

“Will I fail? Do I have what it takes? Will I lose everything? Am I destined to be alone forever?”

It yells, “Yes, you will fail; no, you don’t have what it takes; yes, you will lose everything, and of course, you are forever destined to be alone.”

Why does this happen? Because none of us like not having control. So, we ask questions and then we answer them in fear so that we will at least have an answer, which gives us the façade that we have more control. After all, at least now our questions are answered. But, if the answers we have are of poor quality – filled with doubt and fear – how the heck is that helpful? It’s not. Further, control is a façade anyway. Sure, we can control our responses, but we cannot control all the things we can’t control. When we try, we increase the likelihood that we can’t control the things we can’t control.  Essentially, we start out with bad odds and we end up with worse odds…. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! And, this vicious cycle causes anxiety and fear to taunt us all the while telling us to chase our figurative tails! We don’t accomplish anything worthwhile this way. Fear, on the other hand, is successful at effectively keeping us in the prison cell of self-doubt. And, the benefits for us is that at least the cell is familiar.

Why do we settle for Familiar when Familiar is less than optimal?! I think it’s because we like the known things – even if the current known environment is a poor quality prison cell of self-doubt. At least there’s no surprises here. Seriously? We settle for this?!

Ahhh, but Faith – Faith is a Warrior! Let’s ask Faith those same questions and compare responses.

“Hey Faith?!....

God & Coffee

God & Coffee

While working full time, going to school full time and taking care of a family, people would ask, “How do you do it all?” to which I would reply, “God & Coffee: in THAT order” with enough prayer and caffeine anything is possible.

When I was a senior at GA State University, I became pregnant with my surprise blessing of a son, Jacob. I continued to work and attend classes – that is until the day I paid my 5 bucks and parked in the 5 story parking garage only to find I was so huge, I could not get out of my car!

Turns out compact parking spots are for compact cars and people!

So, I decided to take a quarter off from college and write a book. Yes, it is entitled: God & Coffee: in that order.

But God & Coffee: alone are not enough. In order to tap into the power of God & Coffee one must be as bold as the God they seek and the coffee they drink. One must partner with God and persevere. In order to do so I encourage you to learn about and implement three principles in your life.

Anything is possible if:

1: You believe

2: You refuse to quit

3: You do the next thing

A True Friend

A True Friend

A true friend is closer than a brother. A true friend can sit with you in silence because they know that is the best that they can offer and it’s more than enough. I lost a close friend recently, and the only way I am enduring it is to focus on the fact that love transcends time and space, life and death, and everything in between.

I find peace in the fact that Love Lives:

Love lives beyond our temporary time here on earth. Love encourages in exceedingly overflowing amounts in the midst of despair; Love invites us to look up in hope and receive a peace that surpasses ALL understanding.

And the word “understanding” stops me in my tracks because I don’t. How then do I – or any of us – go on without answers?

The answer is we don’t.

Rather, we hope on IN LOVE every day, moment by moment, second by second as well as by every second thought and second thought that follows.

Not Bound By The Physical

Not Bound By The Physical

In order to know who we truly are, we must know what we are NOT.

I received profound evidence of this Truth when at the age of 7, I woke up stuck in a coma.

Stuck? You ask?

Yes, stuck – temporarily anyway.

I remember telling my left arm to move, but it would not.

I heard recognizable voices but it was a 100 times more muffled than watered down words in a pool. 

Stuck in that coma, I could recognize voices but I could not fully comprehend the words spoken. For example, I heard Mary Poppin’s voice, whom I would later learn was Julie Andrews. I knew puppets were there with her – cute friendly puppets that I could not reach out and touch.

I knew I was stuck in my body. Shockingly enough, I was not terrified. I felt Peace Beyond Understanding for the first time in my life.

The coma was 100 times more safe, loving, and comfortable than the abusing, terrifying, drinking and drug dealing step-father ruling home I was temporarily hid from inside the coma.

Bob the Bastard was his name! He used to have just a boring plane, Bob name, but at the age of 5, I heard my Grandma call him a Bastard while standing under the basketball hoop in our driveway in Everett, Washington, gripping her cigarette with her lips tighter than her clenched fist – and Bastard is what I would call him from that day forward.

How To Avoid the Comparison Trap

How To Avoid the Comparison Trap

Comparing ourselves to others begins early. But, it doesn’t always start out as a negative thing. It also doesn’t have to become a horribly catastrophic thing as long as we keep it in perspective.

We looked for friends in elementary school by comparing our likes to theirs. I remember collecting stickers and trading them with potential friends and long-time friends at recess. Who else had a blast with the smelly stickers, the raised stickers, and the velvet stickers?

Our teachers also taught us to compare when they posted grades categorized by the percentage of A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s… and F’s that were earned by the class. Turns out peer comparison tends to motivate more than authority figures merely telling us to work harder and earn better grades.

Who here ever survived basketball tryouts but didn’t make the team? I was compared to my peers in that realm and well, let’s just say, since there was not a soccer team in the little one-light lumber town my mom moved us to in 1987, I ended up cheerleading. The cheerleading realm is another place where comparison on steroids may take place.

Can I reach out to all my girlfriends out there and say, “Can we give each other a break?” Women, we compare ourselves to one another without mercy. “Is she prettier than me? Is she skinnier? I she smarter? I wish I had her calves. I wish I had her hair. I wish I had her life. I wish I had her friends. Must be nice.”

I could go on and on, but I’m trying to turn this comparison trap vehicle around to something insightful and positive. Make a woman’s day and give her a compliment. When I see a well-dressed woman or a good mom in public, I totally compliment them. But, they always look at me like, “What is she about to try to sell me?”

Feel Like Crap & Do It Anyway & Do It Afraid

Feel Like Crap & Do It Anyway & Do It Afraid

The key to anything is:

  1. Feel like crap and do it anyway, and

  2. Do it afraid.

As a kid, a student, an athlete, and Airman in the USAF, a wife, and a mom, I have learned – the hard way – that no matter how much I don’t “feel” like doing something, I need to follow through and do it, taking all things into consideration, of course. Balance is key. In General, if we wait until we “feel” like doing something, what will we actually really do in a day? We’d stay in our PJ’s, eat chocolate covered doughnuts and binge watch Net Flix – not exactly #lifechanging activities for ourselves or anyone else.

Doing it afraid is essential as well because Fear seems to hang out in my mind, on my left shoulder, in the room, and like a typical bully - IN FRONT of any opportunity that presents itself to me. Therefore, doing it afraid is as important as feeling like crap and doing it anyway.

What's for Dinner?

What's for Dinner?

The average person spends an average of 5 hours a week cooking. Since the average person lives about 80 years. With 52 weeks in a year, that equates to 4,160 weeks that we live; take that times 5 and you get 20,800 hours that we spend cooking during our lifetime. Divide 20,800 hours by 24 and your get 867 days. Divide 867 days by 365 and you end up with cooking for 2.38 years of your life. That’s a lot of time in the kitchen, standing on your feet.

When I first got married, I thought cooking was fun. I made stuff from scratch; I even made some fancy pastry with cream filling and chocolate frosting – a Bavarian Cream yummy thing. It looked hilarious but tasted divine – at least that what my still in the honeymoon phase, smart husband of 2.5 months said. I now save the “from scratch stuff” for birthdays and holidays. The rest of the time, I love my Crock Pot!

My husband and I recently bought a Crockpot/Fast-Cook combo for our son who is off on his own at college. As a working wife and mom, I’m now on my 2nd crockpot in 26 years. I used the first one so much, it finally cracked and demanded it be allowed to rest in peace – or should I say, pieces.

Reflection On: Today

Reflection On: Today

We all hope for something above the mundane and find inspiration when we commit to a cause greater than ourselves. It’s a challenge, though – in the midst of it all to maintain a good attitude, especially when we are tired, worn out and depleted. Maybe that’s why I like coffee so much. Sometimes, I get some in the middle of the day simply because the smell of it inspires me to start a new. A fresh cup brings a fresh perspective and the fuel to persevere. Coffee is my writing companion. It reminds me of rainy days in Olympia, WA, night-shifts in the Air Force, and working on early morning and late night papers for college. Coffee has assisted me in writing every chapter for every book as I experienced first-hand the content for it.


The Olympic National Rain Forrest in Washington even has several espresso coffee huts stationed strategically throughout it. I’m not kidding!  They look like porta-potties from afar – they are not. Even the BP Gas Station near my very first house behind the Hawkes Prairie Truck Stop in Lacey, WA, had a full service coffee bar. I would stop in and get a triple shot, hazel nut latte before my 12-hour-night-shift on my way to McChord Air Force Base…  


Packed Hearts

Packed Hearts

As I helped my son pack everything to move him up to Kennesaw State University this past weekend, I couldn't help but remember all the early mornings packing up breakfast and cochlear implant parts to drive to The Atlanta Speech School. I thought of all the packed lunches as he ventured to his regular elementary school upon graduating from The Atlanta Speech School. In between loads in the freezing weather in Kennesaw, GA, I told my husband, "Being a mom means your heart is never fully yours ever again."