Category Archives: Personal Reflections

Personal notes of reflection, encouragement, transformation, hope, or joy for the journey. :)

What’s REALLY Important?

Every now and then something happens in life that gets your attention and sheds new light on what’s really important.  That happened for me this week.

My cousin’s beautiful 21-year-old-daughter was senselessly and tragically killed at the hands of someone she knew.  This bright and gorgeous young woman had her whole life ahead of her.  Now, suddenly, she is gone.

Then it happened.  I got irritated with my own daughter (age: 20) over something silly having to do with our house.  It wasn’t a big thing, but I was upset about it and I let her know.

My daughter told me that she too was upset about it, but I was too preoccupied by my own anger to hear her.

A little while later she posted on Facebook that she was having a really rough night; she was downcast and very sad.  It was when I saw her post that the proverbial light came on.

I went into my daughter’s bedroom and told her in no uncertain terms that I was going to hug her.  She asked why–as in why did I feel the need to hug her.  I told her it was because my cousin was about to bury his beautiful daughter, and because the issue we were upset about was carpet.  I assured her she was MUCH more important to me than carpet and that I was sorry for getting angry with her.

I hugged my girl and stroked her hair like I did when she was a child, and in that moment I made things right with her.

It is so easy to focus on minor things that seem major, when the truly major things are right there under our nose.  As for me, this is one mom who is truly and deeply grateful for the opportunity to see things more clearly and to set things right with my girl.  My cousin will never have the opportunity to hug his daughter again and tell her he loves her….

Whatever you go through today, take a moment to put things in proper perspective.  Be loving toward the people in your life because they matter, and let the meaningless things fall away.  Be kind to them.  Listen to them–not just to their words, but also to their heart.  Be slow to get angry, be quick to forgive, and don’t wait to make things right when you’ve been wrong.  You never know when it may be your last opportunity to do so.

Please share your own stories (in the comment section below) of when you’ve had similar experiences.

Then go and make today great!


Simply Stated…Reflections on Handling a Hardship

I spent part of last week standing by, watching as my 85-year-old mother went through 48 hours or so of being hospitalized, tested, poked, prodded, and basically scared out of her wits. Of course, she never showed her fear. She was gracious and thoughtful toward those of us around her, showing more concern for our inconvenience and that of the nurses than her potential health risks.

That is simply who my mom is.

Though my siblings and I were deeply concerned for our mother, battling our own fears, we were determined to keep the mood light. We anticipated her needs, offered our assistance, and stayed by her side, never leaving her alone.

That is simply who she and our dad raised us to be. Family is important; you show up when a family member is in need.

In the end, the news couldn’t have been better—her heart is astonishingly healthy—and she is home, returning to her normal routine.

Crisis averted. Sighs of relief all around. Gratitude abounds!

One of the things that stood out most to me during this difficult time last week was the outpouring of love and concern of my Facebook friends (among other friends and family). So many people offered their prayers and support, asking for updates as we went along, and celebrating with us when we received good news. Some are longstanding friends I have known for years; others are simply social media friends whom I have never met face to face, never spoken to, and know little about. The connection to almost all these friends is that of being part of a bigger family, the family of God. We are brothers and sisters in Christ.

That is simply what it means to be part of His family. We pray for each other. We stand in the gap for one another. Regardless of our depth of knowledge of and experience with one another, we are bound in love, devotion, and faithfulness through the love, sacrifice, and hope of our Savior and God.

One of the questions my mom asked that first night in the hospital was, “How do people handle things like this when they don’t have Jesus?” To which I didn’t have much of an answer. Even then my mother was thinking of others, yet she was also expressing that her hope and trust is in Someone greater than herself; Someone faithful and trustworthy.

How do YOU get through a crisis? Do you know the Creator of the Universe? Do you know the One who gave His life that you might live? Do you belong to this kind of family? Do you know the One who holds you no matter what? If you don’t, message me; I would love to introduce you!

That is simply who He made me to be…. 🙂

Simply grateful,


Happy Monday, everybody!