Losing Mom in a Slow Fade

“Do you know who I am?” I asked mom. She scanned my face, lowered her eyes, shrugged her shoulders, and nodded in the negative.

I offered a clue: “I’m your daughter. And you named me after your sister.”

“You’re Elaine,” she said. “My sister was such a good person.”

I hate dementia and what it has done to my mom. For 11 years this brutal brain disease, that afflicts more than 10 million people each year, has systematically destroyed my mom’s memory. The first signs began around the time she celebrated her 70th birthday. She knew something was wrong and would often say, “My brain just doesn’t work anymore.” And now at 81, this once brilliant woman doesn’t remember who I am, only that I am familiar.

Continue reading “Losing Mom in a Slow Fade”

Growing Old Is a Blessing

I reread this post from a couple of years ago as I near my 58th birthday. I needed it today as I am missing my brother and feeling frustrated with some health issues I’m experiencing. Growing old is both a beast and a blessing.

Thee Lamppost

terrain mapWhen I turned 40, I remember looking in the mirror and grimacing at the few gray hairs that I could thankfully stay ahead of with a pair of tweezers and a box of Clairol.

Then, when I turned 50, I noted the additional aches and pains as well as the loosening neck skin, thinning mix of gray and brown hair, and deepening crevices on my forehead and around my eyes. The brown-eyed girl in the mirror stuck out her tongue at me and chortled: ‘Girl, there’s no way to turn back time! You’re stuck with this face that’s beginning to look more like a Google map in terrain mode than the sleek, smooth surface of a well-maintained interstate. 

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He Speaks in a Still Small Voice

Putting your trust in another human being sometimes takes a giant leap of faith. But placing your trust in the Creator of the universe requires just a mustard seed of faith.

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Jesus said in Luke 17: 5-6: “For truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”

I can’t honestly testify I’ve heard the audible voice of God speaking into my circumstances and my impossibilities. But I can attest to experiencing impressions that filter through to my heart and lead me along a path that requires trust, patience and faith in my Maker.

For me, those impressions are God “speaking” directly to my heart. A compassionate, merciful and doting dad who only wants what’s best for his daughter. One such example when I felt that undeniable impression unfolded for me four years ago. I was facing an overwhelming financial hardship.

Continue reading “He Speaks in a Still Small Voice”

Are You a Resounding Gong or Clanging Cymbal?

Isn’t life about learning how to love yourself, others and the Creator of the Universe?

Canva - Love Pendant NecklaceIt grieves me that people I dearly love are missing the purpose of life. If that’s not what we’re called to do as human beings on this minute planet that exists in a vast and infinite universe, then what is our purpose? To see how much wealth we can accumulate? To see how many times we can win an argument? To become famous? To trend on the internet? To see how many likes we can garner on social media? To rule the world? To isolate the people we deem inferior because of the color of their skin, sexual preferences, or political stance, so we can look superior? To see how many people we can bully, insult and abuse each week? Continue reading “Are You a Resounding Gong or Clanging Cymbal?”

Worship Instead of Worry

I wish I would have waited better.

worryHad I known what my LORD was doing behind the scenes, how He was lining things up, how He was causing all things to work together for my good, even as I grieved, wept and worried, I would have honored Him better by being still and unfettered by anxiety and despair.

But as long as I can remember, I’ve been saddled with worry. The nuns at the Catholic school I attended from first- through eighth-grade coined me the Worry Wart. I worried over some of the most ridiculous things: grades, friends, my body, my health, my home life. Continue reading “Worship Instead of Worry”

Going Silver

In a world that tries its best to pressure me to conform, I’m going to make an attempt to buck society’s ideals about what constitutes beauty and aging gracefully.

A box of Clairol, a lift here and a tuck there might help shed years off my appearance and give me a more youthful look, but who can afford to maintain it for years on end? I, for one, am tired of shelling out dough to curtail the natural aging process, and that includes buying hair dye or visiting the hair salon every month to cover up the gray. Instead, I’m going to try to allow my beautiful, shimmering silver strands to win the race as they quickly outpace my rich dark chocolate-brown hair.

going gray

The early stages of transitioning to silver!

You heard me right; I’ve decided to try to embrace the real me by going al natural. Some of my friends have called me coo-coo, but that’s OK by me. Call me crazy if you will but this is a change I’m going to permit to progress at its own pace. That’s right. I’m going to let nature take its course–or attempt to–even when I start to look like a member of the skunk family.

What possessed me to give this going-gray a whirl? Well, I am feeling very blessed to be able to walk into this season of my life. Growing old just doesn’t scare me anymore. I look at those younger than me who’ve lost their lives battling cancer, stroke, heart disease, or in accidents or natural disasters. They would have loved the opportunity to grow old. I myself have uttered, “Getting old sucks!” But honestly, getting old is an honor that too many never get to see to fruition. Continue reading “Going Silver”

Wooed by a Whisper

Could someone please turn down the volume? 

noiseNoise pollution is wreaking havoc on my spiritual well-being. The whoosh of traffic streaming by my home and office windows. A TV or radio spewing news of racial intolerance, political upheaval and unrest around the world. A voice-activated countertop device that pumps music into the room on demand and a handheld tool that connects to voices, videos, music and mayhem with just the touch of a finger. Noise! It surrounds us on every side and it is making it ever so difficult to listen for the one who longs to have our ear. Maybe it’s time to put it all to hibernate.  Continue reading “Wooed by a Whisper”

New Year’s Resolution: Live Loud in 2019

I could resolve to lose 10 pounds and exercise more, or eat healthier, or spend less money and save more in 2019. If I made any of those my New Year’s resolutions, I’d be in good company. Those good intentions are the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2019, according to YouGov.

New Year's Resolutions Word On Blackboard With Easel On Marble T

But what if I instead challenged myself to do something far more meaningful? What if the path I ventured to take is not something I do for myself but for someone else instead? Most people who make resolutions don’t stick to them anyway. So why not try shifting my focus.

I had considered resolving this year to not give any unrequested advice and vow to be a better listener. And I may decide to do that anyway because it makes good sense. Seems these days people are way too quick to give unsolicited advice or to opine loudly when they’d do better to remain silent. Speaking loudly might get you noticed, but will it make you a better person and have a positive impact on someone else at the same time? New Year’s resolutions should be about fresh starts, a new you and striving to make the world a better place. Continue reading “New Year’s Resolution: Live Loud in 2019”