The Whisper Within

" Believing that God powers strange coincidences and the journey that lies ahead."


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I wrote this four years ago but the lessons still hold true.

Tonight, I stroll on the beach, with my straw hat pulled over my brow hoping to get some relief from the triple digits. But not a breeze in sight as sweat drips from my forehead and pours out of my armpits, soaking me like I was fresh out of a shower. I can’t help but wish for a little ice cream or gelato to cool me off.

Ironically, this weekend was Gelato Festival in my new home town but as I passed by the tables, I did not allow for creamy colors of the rainbows to lure me in.

Why? Because I was too busy doing what adults do: being adults, prioritizing life over fun.

With each step I took on the mushy shore, I contemplated this. Why did I lose my fun nature for the routine of responsibility?

My mind drifted like the waves and pulled me back and found a simpler me, sitting on the stone wall of a little Italian town.

I recalled laughing with my mouth wide open, indulging on lavender and blackberry gelato stuck to my teeth. My daughter, thinking it was hilarious,made it part of her Snapchat story.

 

 

Seeing the video, I giggled too; embracing the image of spontaneous silliness.  Later that night, sitting on an a cobblestone street in San Gimignano, I replayed the video and laughed at the seeing the fifty year old me, feeling like I was sixteen; messy and all.

Messy is good. What was my “messy”?

Fifteen years ago I went through a divorce and months later my ex became a paraplegic. As a single mom,I could not afford a McDonald’s twisty cone for my kids let alone a trip to Italy indulging in the World’s Best gelato.

In the last fifteen years here’s seven things I learned:

1) Be real. Your family, your colleagues, your clients, don’t need and don’t want perfect – they want real.  Share your shortcoming. Be vulnerable to show your “ugly food stuck-in-your -teeth” smile.

2) Timing is everything. When the kids were little, I saved for their college, even sometimes as small as 25/ month and our fun was free concerts at the park with a McDonalds twisty cone for a treat. Only now, after years of sacrifice and knowing that their college is paid for, did I finally indulge in the big treat; Italy.

3) Admit your faults. I love food, but I am a messy eater. I don’t do pretty. But it’s funny, my friends know this and are willing to offer me a napkin and help me clean-up. Yours may too but you have to be willing to accept the help, from co-workers, friends, and family.

5)Smile a lot . Hard to be mad or disappointed when someone offers you a smile or a gelato cone.

5)Laughing is contagious; enthusiasm is too. On a hot Summer night, ice cream lines are long and get longer because of the excitement of eating together. Not as much fun, eating alone a big bowl of delight, is it?

6) Embrace the ugly. Life is not perfect. Sometimes you may need a napkin to prevent the dripping, but the next sweet taste could be around the corner. Take the bite

7) Do life like you mean it. Italians eat because they enjoy it! Kids eat ice cream with their full mouth. No tiny licks.

Are you really enjoying your life? Your work? Your relationships?

I remember my first boss at Van Kampen Investments now Invesco said I me some thirty years ago, “Don’t burn out. Find the little victories and celebrate.” My celebrations always included ice cream. Heck, my first boyfriend worked at Baskin Robbins. Back then, I would choose my cone based on the prettiest color in the case. My favorite was Daiquiri Ice – kind of like gelato. I guess the girl really hasn’t changed much except to switch from ice cream to gelato.

So tonight, as I strolled on the mushy shore of Butterfly Beach, I tipped my straw hat and thought, I am the sixteen-year-old girl trapped in a fifty-year old body. I am the best Lisa; silly, messy, and needing a friend who can offer me a napkin.

Choose with your eyes. Commit with your heart. Life, work, and relationships are messy. Embrace the messy and the kid in you; buried in an ice cream cone or gelato. The choice is yours. Let’s have the contagious joy that children have just like Jesus intended .

 

 ” Let the children come to me… ” Matthew 19:14

 

 

 


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Tonight I sat on my front porch, talking with my Chicago friend, Chris.We talked about being “empty-nesters.” Her last son left for college this week and my kids have been out of the nest for awhile. She questioned , “We raised the kids. They gave us purpose but what is next?”

We bantered for awhile,laughing about filling our days with work, pickleball, yoga, swimming, bible study groups, etc. She then said,“ Lis, I’ve read a book about when people had near death experiences, the stories are similar about Jesus telling them to love his people.” She continued, “so maybe our purpose is everyday to get up and ask God to show us how to do that.”

I quickly agreed saying, “Yes, during Covid, before I got out of bed, I would say, “ Show me what you want me to do God and I’ll do it .”

Chris and I made a pact, to ask God every morning that question and then tell each other how God uses us during the week.

So I’m taking this further ….

What if more people did this? What if YOU, asked God,“Tell me how you want to use me today ? Show me how you want to use me God?”

-Maybe it’s just smiling at someone at the grocery store.

-Being kinder to the difficult co-worker.

-Listening to a friend

I do believe, if we ask God to show us, to open our heart, open our ears to REALLY listen, to open our eyes to REALLY see others; He WILL use us to REALLY LOVE others!

I would like to challenge YOU, YES YOU, to be the “WHAT IF” in your community.

I would love to,next week, hear how God used YOU!

Open your heart. Open your eyes. Open your ears and listen to what God whispers to you. The Whisper Within.

Psalm 119:13 “Just tell me what to do and I will do it, Lord.” TLB


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It has been over a year and half since I traveled by plane. I am sure many of us feel the time lost. I close my eyes and rest my head on the headrest and a soft smile covers my face. I can’t wait to see my children. My family. My dad. I’m going home.

My mouth twitches Is Chicago home?

My lips seal like an envelope. Home?

Quickly images of my Fourth of July backyard party fill my head. I recall giving a toast to my friends, all gathered around my table. In the toast, I reference the movie Under the Tuscan Sun starring Diane Lane as Francis.In the movie, she gets divorced, buys a run-down house in Tuscany, and in moment of weakness, confesses to the realtor that she is sad but wants a wedding and family at this new house; that she was tired of being alone.

I quietly smile recalling telling my friends how at the end of movie, the realtor tells Francis, “I think you got wish.” She smiles, “ You’re right. I got my wish.”

My heart is full as I recalled telling my friends that having my table filled on the Fourth of July brought me so much joy that I feel like Francis from the movie. I got my wish! I continued to say that I had been praying for twenty years for a husband but if I met my husband in Chicago I would not be here and through all the trials and tribulations, God orchestrated a life better than I could possibly imagine and that it was only possible through him.

The evening went on, we prayed.We ate. We danced with sparklers like little kids, and yes, we watched fireworks. The night was magical.

Near the end of the night, my friend’s husband, John, gave me some parting advice, “ When you go back to Chicago, keep your eyes down. We don’t want you finding your husband in Chicago, unless he is willing to move to Santa Barbara.” I remember smirking.

I hear over the intercom, “Please prepare the cabin for takeoff.” I look out the small oval window and see palm trees kissing the blue sky and think Thank you God for unanswered prayers. You knew me better than I knew myself.

Are you willing to wait on God and trust him to provide for you ?

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4


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I have to admit that yesterday was pretty magical. I met my small bible study group for outing at beach. We played a few games of spike ball and then the real fun began.

We ran in the water, swam, and some started boogie boarding. Being a Chicago native, I was curious, I watched, and then my curiosity got the best of me. A friend loaned me hers, and with just the first ride, I was hooked. ( click on video arrow )

I giggled so hard bringing me back to my childhood.

Later that night, I was on a group text chat with my fellow boogie boarders. That was so much fun. I think I will buy myself one.

One my friends responded,Maybe Santa will bring you one .

The next morning, I opened the front door to let Kipper my dog outside and she instantly was barking. I stepped outside to find a surprise on my front porch.

I walked back in the house bent over, grabbed my stomach and start giggling . I walked outside, and noticed not one but TWO boogie boards and the sticky note read From Santa.

I texted the group right away and none of them initially fessed up but then I figured it was a young man in the group. He said, “You have always encouraged me and been like a mom to me. Because of your example, I will wait on God for Him to bring the right woman in my life. Heck if you can wait for as long as you have, I can too.” I smiled and told him thanks. He then added, “ I can’t wait to dance at your wedding.”

I ended the call, looked up at the sky and thought You do see me God.

So let’s giggle more like kids!

Love more like kids! And believe like kids not in Santa Claus but in a God that sees us and loves us !

“Let the little children come to me, do not stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are like children.” Matthew 19:14


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This week I was in the attic and found a box full of random pictures of the last twenty or thirty years.

As I scattered the pictures across my kitchen table I recognize most of the people in the pictures and thought, How lucky am I that I’m still am friends with a lot of the people in the pictures?

I grabbed my iPhone took a few pictures and sent it to those in the photos with a text saying something to the effect of, “Those were happy days. Good memories of you.”

The responses varied from sweet to silly. Some reciprocated by sending photos back to me. One in particular warmed my heart as she responded, “Thanks for the walk down memory lane.”

She then reciprocated and send a picture of her own to me.I was stunned It was like opening a time capsule.

Chrisy and I at John & Karen’s wedding. November 2002

I quickly texted back, “Love, love, love this photo. It was John Guido’s wedding. I sat with my ex at that wedding even though we were already three months divorced.”

I looked closer at the photo remembering that I was recently divorced and I asked myself Why did I look so happy? I think I was at peace and I was hopeful for the future. I believed God had good things for me.

I remembered that wedding and celebrating the wonderful couple that now been married eighteen and half years. It was a joyous occasion. I was glad that I could sit next to my ex and feel fine.

I looked closer at the photo and thought Wow! I was only 35 and now I’m 54. Never thought I’d be single almost 20 years!

Within moments a small smile covered my face. Thank God I did not remarry back then. What I wanted in my 30s is definitely not what I need in my 50s. Back then I may have had a faith in God but I wasn’t looking for a strong Christian man, let alone a warm body to sit next to me on the pew.

God was in the delay. He has been working on my heart and my desires; to be with a man who not only adores me but adores God. So today, as I got ready for church, I looked in the mirror and felt hopeful again. God knows what he’s doing.

I stepped outside and snapped a selfie and thought,I am happy. I am healthy. I am hopeful.

So today, for those of you who are single and wondering what’s taking God so long? Don’t give up hope! Believe that God has good things in store for you ! Maybe just maybe, like me, he is changing you for good. I believe the wait will be worth it !

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, in his word I put my hope.”Psalm 130:5


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Two weeks ago, on Easter, I gave a testimony of my faith. I debated on whether to share it or not. Last night, while tucked in bed, reading the Bible,I got my answer.

“But how shall they ask him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? ” Romans 10:14

I took my pen and wrote in my journal ,”Why would I keep this a secret?”

My mind quickly jumped to the second grade song I used to sing, “Hide it under a bushel? NO! I’m gonna let it shine! ” This song is about telling people about Jesus.

So in my second grade spirit… here’s my five minute testimony of how God has made a difference in my life. My testimony starts around the eight minute mark. May you discover the JOY of Jesus.


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I gotta admit, I have become a wimp. It’s raining here in Santa Barbara.I’m not used to rain and either is my dog Kipper. Neither of us want to go outside. To my Chicago friends, please don’t hate me!

After work today I did what most people do on a rainy day, clean house. I pulled down the attic ladder and within minutes start digging through old boxes.

Why did I haul so much crap from Chicago?

As I dug through the boxes, I came across an old photo of myself from high school taken after a football game and a Hornet’s win.

I didn’t think about being happy back then. I just was.

As I climbed down the attic ladder, I smiled contently and thought how much healthier and stronger I am than five years ago when I moved from Chicago and was first diagnosed with Lyme disease.

God is healing me !

I don’t think about Lyme disease everyday like I used to. I don’t wake up feeling like the flu, burning like a match, and experiencing shocks like I am plugged into an electric socket. I am laughing more, being silly, and feeling joyful.

I am feeling like the seventeen year old girl in the photo, just happy.

God is restoring my joy !

” A joyful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22




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Today started out like a normal workday making calls and following up with clients but then my normal routine took a turn.

I called a client who I knew was alone. She recently lost her son and her mother. We exchanged greetings and then I told her,”Merry Christmas. I know that it has been tough year but I want you to know that you are loved. ” She started crying and that’s what it occurred to me that there is probably many more who feel this sadness and loneliness this year with Covid that need to hear they are loved.

Here’s some of the list from my calls today:

– A client who was isolated in a nursing home

– a lonely widow

– a client suffering with cancer

One client in particular made an impact on me. I knew he recently had lost his wife of sixty years . I told him I’m sorry again for your loss and Merry Christmas. He said it meant a lot and wanted to share a quick story. He said not only was his wife the love his life but she was the only girl he ever kissed. They dated since they were fifteen. This teared me up.

His story blessed me.

So am telling you, it’s not too late! Who can you call and make a difference and share the true joy of Christmas? You have two full days. Can you make them count? Can you cheer somebody up?

” Is there any such thing as Christians cheering each other up? …”Philippians 2:1


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I got admit this happened last week but I’ve been so swamped with work, in a good way, that I haven’t had time to write. But maybe God was in the delay because the eve before Thanksgiving I have a lot to be thankful for. But what happened last week was a great reminder that God has ways to bring us joy, happiness,and the unexpected coincidences. So here’s what happened last week…

Today The Dow Jones industrial hit an all time high. As a CFP, this is pretty exciting stuff.

I got admit I love the majority my clients and really enjoy working with them but sometimes there’s a bad apple and that’s just part of life. It’s still isn’t fun.

After work, I shut off my computer, changed into a swimsuit, and after a ten minute ride in my Jeep,Kipper and I were at the beach. This beach is an off leash beach for dogs.  I took Kipper’s leash off and within seconds she was sprinting down the beach and trouncing in the water.

I couldn’t keep up. I wouldn’t dare try. I walked by three young girls and they asked,”Is that your dog?”

I nodded and one of them said,”I’d like to have half the amount of energy. Your dog is just so happy here.”

I smirked,”Ya, me too. I wish I had that kind of energy. And yes, the beach is her happy place.”

I said goodbye, walked away, found a spot down the beach, dropped my towel, drop my shorts, took off my t-shirt, ran into the water,and submerged my body under a wave.

When I came up for air, I couldn’t help but let out a happy scream. The water was freezing. Someone said today it was only 56° in the water.

After about thirty minutes at the beach, it was time for Kipper and I to go home. As we we’re leaving I walked by the girls again and waved goodbye.

One of the girls said,”You look like a little kid out there dunking yourself in the water.” I said,”I’m not a little kid I have adult kids probably around your ages. They are twenty-three and twenty-four.”

They shook their heads and said,”No way.” We all laughed, they told me their ages and their names and yes,they were between the ages of 24 and 25 right around my kid’s ages.

They asked about my kids and they said they must be full of joy to have you as a mother . My heart sunk,”I can’t tell you how much that means to me . Today was a very rough day. Someone was trying to steal my joy. It hurt. But hearing you say that I am filled with joy makes me happy. We need to really love each other and be happy . You all did that for me today .Meeting you today was just what I needed. It is a good coincidence.”

Diana said,” I don’t believe in coincidences.I believe God orchestrates these kind of meetings.”

I quietly smiled,”Me too.”

“You are a gift to me today,”Julia said “I will remember this moment for the rest of my life.”
I asked to take their picture so I could remember them and and how these three beautiful strangers change my mood,changed my perspective, and help to restore my joy. They were a gift to me and because of their easy and open conversation, and loving hearts, my joy was restored.
Kipper and I walked down the beach and I waved goodbye.
I looked up at the sky and silently whispered, “Thank you God for Julia, Diana, and Cherith.” I looked down at my furry friend,”and yes, thanks for Kipper.”
So the eve before Thanksgiving, in a strange year of missing family and friends, can you really love,show extra kindness, and share happiness to those who may be strangers but may need it more than ever ?
Can you love like Kipper?
You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 10:19




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Today I called one of my clients to review her accounts. “Hello, Bea! How are you?” After we exchange a few pleasantries, and reviewed the business at hand, Bea and I discussed how COVID was affecting each of us.

Bea explained, “I don’t like being quarantined but I have had opportunities to help others in this independent and assisted living facility.”

She explained that there was a sixty-nine year old lady who is legally blind and the staff is having difficulty administering her eyedrops . They asked Bea whether she would be willing to help out because they have heard that she is a kind soul. Bea further explained,”Do you know for the last nine years the lady has lived here without leaving her room and that she has had no friends? But all that has changed, she’s not only let me administer the eyedrops but now we walk almost everyday together. I guess that’s why at eighty-seven years old, why I’m still here. I still have a purpose. My purpose and the bottom line is to show love and care for others. And that’s what you do, Lisa. You care for me.”

I hung up the phone and later on in the afternoon, went for a walk uptown and thought about the earlier conversation. It occurred to me that last night I wrote in my journal, What is my purpose? What is your will God, for me?

As I passed a church, I saw a sign that read this :

YOU ARE NOT TOO OLD

AND ITS NOT TOO LATE

I took a picture and then smiled at the sky. Yes, that’s the purpose ! To love and serve others. Bea has it right !

It IS all about love! How are you loving and helping others ?

“It is God himself who has made us… and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.”

Ephesians 2:10 TLB


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This morning Kipper and I were on a morning walk when I saw a piece of paper laying on the sidewalk. I bent down and read the note.

It read: Tom- I love you with all I am or will ever be. You are my protector, lover, best friend, and so much more, and I am so happy that I am truly able to be your wife now too!! I am so happy to have found my soul completion. Love you forever!

Love and peace

Leah

Reading this notes filled me with so much hope. I thought Love does exist.

I quickly took a picture of the note and texted it to some of my single friends with these words, Saw this on my morning walk. Praying this perfect love for you. Feeling hopeful!

The text responses from my four of friends varied from:

Heart and peace sign! I hope Tom feels the same and he accidentally dropped it? I would keep a note like that.

But why was it not saved in a safe place by Tom?

Aww!How sweet! LOL, maybe he didn’t feel the same and threw it out his car window!

Awww.Tom needs to learn how to hold on to things like this. LOL. Leah is like, “You lost my love note?” Tom’s like oh crap! I lost her note!

My response :

LOL! He probably kept it tight in his pocket at all times but it fell out while he was walking and now he is distraught wandering the neighborhood trying to find it.YEP! I’m A HOPELESS ROMANTIC!

I looked down at the note and thought, I hope Tom finds his lost note. 

Kipper and I continued on our walk.

I threw a smirk up at the sky and silently thanked God for the sign and thought, True love does exist.

Love, Peace and Hope IS just a step away. IT IS COMING !

Can you believe God has good things for you ?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11


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Today Facebook reminded me of this key date.

Five years ago, I arrived in California. It was a dream- No! It was a prayer answered. Most days,I can’t believe that I really live here.

Last night, I watched the movie, The War Room. It is about asking God to fight our battles through prayers. The beach was just a want not a need. God answered that want. I am humbled by this. It got me thinking of all the prayers he has answered. Here’s some of highlights.

-Eighteen years ago, I went through a divorce, I worried and prayed,”Let my kids be happy.”

– A few months after a divorce, my ex became a paraplegic in a snowmobile accident, as a single mom, with my financial planning business in its infancy, I struggled financially. I know I prayed endless nights just to have enough money to get by and pay for groceries.

-As a single mom, I wanted my kids to go college but didn’t think I would ever have the finances for them to do so.

-Six years ago I became unexplainable sick. I lost about twenty pounds and didn’t know the battle I was fighting was Lyme disease and mold toxicity.

-Five years ago, I wanted a better quality of life to live life with a chronic disease and to be near my daughter who was going to be attending college in California.

– For the last eighteen years, I prayed for a husband, a companion.

So how did God answer?

He answered in HUGE ways!

Today Jake is an engineer in Chicago and Tarah is finishing college in New York.For the most part, both are happy.

Financially, we survived as a family, even though the year of the accident, I only made roughly ten thousand dollars. God provided for me and my children, day by day, just like manna from the sky for the Israelites.

He provided the dream and moved me to the beach so even with a chronic illness, I can walk everyday . For that I am so grateful. I may not completed healed from Lyme disease but am stronger, healthier, and enjoying swimming, yoga and playing pickleball. Heck, I’m even get some of my sassy pants personality back.

And about the husband… I finally have met someone …. PSYCHE!

NOT YET ! It IS coming !

God is not tired yet of me asking for the husband! He likes hearing from me and YOU!

God knows my heart and desires and I believe he will answer the small and BIG PRAYERS !

Can you trust God with the HUGE desires of your heart?

What prayers has he answered for you? I would love to hear. Comment below.

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4


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Today, Facebook reminded me of a post that I wrote ten years ago today. It read:

Headed to South Haven, MI today. Once again makes me wonder,why do I live in Chicago? I am a beach girl.

When Facebook reminded me of that memory, I smiled and quietly thanked God. He moved me to the beach.

As I waited, for my Keurig to dispense my morning coffee, I thought about this further.Moving to the beach was something I desired. It was just something I wanted. It was not a need.

As I sat at my desk, sipping my coffee, I thought, If God took care of this want, he has the big stuff.Truthfully I needed this reminder. I think through my sickness,I haven’t forgotten or doubted this. God has my needs.

He has your needs too.

What do you need?

Ask God. He never gets tired of hearing from us.

“And my God will supply all your needs…” Philippians 4:19


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This past Friday, a friend and I connected through text. Because of the Chicago rains,her house had flood damage. Ugh! The May rains! Not fun!

We texted back and forth for the next several minutes and then she said something that struck me, “…you are a joy giver but don’t forget to let others bring you joy.”

Am I joy giver? Do I not allow others to bring me joy ?

The next day I received an expected card in the mail with the simple words Thinking of you . A soft smile came across my face .

Monday, I received a text from my dear college friend, Wendy, who I haven’t heard from in over a year. Just seeing her name across my screen, warmed my heart. I felt loved.

Today, I received a voicemail from a widowed client, saying she was enjoying reading a bible verse booklet I gave her years ago and wanted to let me know she was grateful to have it in the lockdown. Hearing her voice, I closed my eyes and was filled with gratitude and thought God is with me.

Kipper and I went for a walk and thought about joy .Three times in the last few days I was showered with JOY ! I am a lucky girl !

Can you despite this season of rain bring joy to others ?

Can you bring the joy to maybe one person this week? Or maybe two ?

Please share your ideas on how you bring the joy to others.

“The joy of the Lord is our strength.” Nehemiah 8:10


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I am sitting on a bench on my front deck and even though I am outside, I still feel contained. Dont we all?

As I take a bite of my cereal, my mind starts wondering and the flood gates open.
When will I be fully- healed?
When will I get married?
When will the lockdown be over?
I’m sure you have a WHEN.
I’ll be happy WHEN this happens…
I feel with the lockdown in place many of my friends and family feel we are all stuck in the hallway without the lights on, looking for the front door to open. We are stuck in the waiting.

I take another bite-full of cereal and it occurs to me that I have to stop thinking about the waiting and just be happy today. Maybe God is teaching me patience in the waiting ? Maybe he is preparing something better for me on the other side of the doorway as I wait.

Right now, we are all waiting for the lockdown to end, but what is God teaching us in this time of waiting?

Maybe patience ?

Maybe to trust him even though the hallway is dark ?

What is he teaching you ?

For me, I know he is saying,” I got you, Lisa. Just wait.”

God has you too. Trust the day to day, even when it is hard and yes, sometimes boring.

Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10


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This blog is deeply personal and from the heart. You  have been warned.

Today is my mom’s first birthday in heaven. I woke up and felt the heaviness of the day. I called my father and cried. I miss my mom.

I went for walk and remembered all the good things about her, especially all  the things she did for the Easter holiday. Even though we did not grow up with a lot, my mom made sure on Easter that me and my sister had a new Easter dress and my brothers had a new shirt or tie. It was more than the things she did but how she made us feel.

I will always remember her huge smile when she welcomed me with my own children into her and my dad’s home.

I loved watching her say with pride, ” I made pastichio .” as she overlooked a dining room table adorned in white linen and china, set perfectly for Easter. I loved seeing her face light up as she passed out homemade Easter baskets that she made for her eleven grandchildren. I loved watching her hug them as they said goodbye.

I walk up near the Mission cross, I miss my mom. IMG_0131

I look up to the sky and cry. Happy birthday, Mom!

I feel like I  can almost see her.  I imagine her looking down on me, smiling. Healthy. No longer in pain. I cried a little more thinking You’re with Jesus, mom. Lucky girl!IMG_0146

I look at the cross and reflect on the meaning. Because of Jesus’s death and resurrection. we all have a chance to go to heaven. We just have to believe.

I walked away thinking of the crazy world we live in today with shelter- in-place. Ugh, this would not have been good for mom.   I walk down the street and think Thank God there is a heaven Thank God you are there and not here. I miss you mom. Happy Birthday!

Today I am thankful for the Cross. Oh! that wonderful Cross.

 

 


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So as I write this from my front porch, attempting to feel connected with the outside world, the phrase that keeps replaying in my brain like a rollercoaster loop is “Day by Day.” This is torture.  I don’t know about you, but initially I woke up happy. I went for a run, showered, and cleaned house. All the normal routines of a normal Saturday but then the weight of reality set in. I’m sheltering-in-place. What can I do today?

I haven’t blogged in a while; not much to say, I guess. But today, I do have something to say. As I pound on my keyboard, I see a FedEx truck start unloading packages, mostly bearing the famous Amazon symbol and I think to myself, This is hard.

Being an extrovert, I miss people. I miss social gatherings. I miss going to yoga class. I miss swimming at the Y. I miss hiking or walking with friends. I miss a simple dinner out with a neighbor. I miss THE EASY!

I know for a lot of us, this is HARD! I think the hardest part is not knowing when it will end. If you love the torture of a rollercoaster, you know eventually the ride will be over. I am remembering my own kid’s births. Yes, the delivery was painful but I knew eventually it would be over and I would have a bundle of joy placed on my chest. So how do we not lose the joy?

This morning, while still tucked under the covers, I started rattling off to God a list.

Thank you for SLEEP! Thank you for sunny days. Thank you that Tarah is here. Thank you I can still go for walks.

It is so easy with the constant barrage of news, viral feeds, and endless Facebook posts, for our thoughts to go negative. Believe me, I have had my moments of THIS SUCKS! Sitting in my wicker chair I thought I would share some of my joys and things I’m thankful for instead:

~My daughter,Tarah, is here from New York. Thankful she is not THERE but HERE.  Her sense of humor gives me hard belly laughs, plus she likes to dance so most afternoons we throw on the music and have a “dance party” on the deck. And as you will see, as I am writing this post, Tarah’s silly antics of dancing on the deck, once again has me in stiches.IMG_0065

~I am thankful for my single ladies in my neighborhood who daily we text each other or walk by each other’s house and ask to visit with each other from the sidewalk to the front porch.

~I am thankful for puzzles, endless “movie nights”, feeling the sun on my face as I walk Kipper, and pulling weeds until my hand aches.

~I am thankful for this time to Zoom with college sorority sisters, Chicago friends, and my women’s bible study group. Seeing smiles of people I love never felt so good.( I do miss hugging, though.)

I take a sip of tea, and a couple walks by my house, stop, say hello, and introduce themselves. We exchange small talk and agree that the best thing about this social distancing is that people are becoming friendlier, kinder. We all agree that we should continue this long after the social distancing ends.

Day by day, I am hopeful this will end and we will get to the other side of this mess but in the meantime how do you not lose the joy?  Please share ideas, recipes, activities, things that you are thankful for. I would love to hear how you are coping… day by day. Hoping you find some easy joy!

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Today as the light filtered through my sheers, I sent a text to a friend .

Praying your week goes easy. Love you my beautiful friend.

Within seconds I received a text back .Thank you!!! Your prayers helped me last week so keep them coming .

A soft smile covered my face as I thought, God you do hear me .

Then I silently sent my own requests. Let the stock market go up,at least let it not be crushed today, give me wisdom to guide my clients, and protect the world from the spread of the coronavirus.

I started the workday, logged on my computer,and saw on Bloomberg, that stocks were opening up positive. Most market indexes were up. I sighed a sign of relief after last week’s steep market sell-off.

Before I called my first client I prayed, God let my words be your words .Give me wisdom .

And he did .

The day went on and when I watched the ringing of the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange, I couldn’t contain my excitement as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a record gain, up 1294 points, a five percent market gain. YES!

Now, I don’t believe that God should be played like a magic eight ball and that we should keep shaking and praying until we get the right answers. I do believe; however,today that God wanted to show me that he hears me, he listens, and he is in charge. He gave me some hope and the hope was started with a text from a friend saying that her prayer was answered.

That’s the power of prayer.

What if we all took a moment to pray over our friends and see the power of prayers answered? Are you willing to see the proof of the power of prayers ?

Try it this week .Will you ?

“Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

My Hope Is Built on Nothing Lesswritten by Edward Mote.


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I went to bed last night and like a kid on Christmas, anticipated my favorite day of the year. My Valentine’s Day cards were sent by mail, some were hand delivered in the neighborhood, and others were passed out at my bible study and game night. All that was left to do was sleep and anticipate the unexpected .

But before I went to sleep, I did ask God, please fill me up with love and your joy .

This morning as I walked the Kipper my German short-haired pointer around the neighborhood, wearing a red t-shirt ( of course), a construction worker yelled out, “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

I turned back and said, “Same to you.”

A few blocks up I noticed, two ladies hugging and telling each other that they loved each other. As I passed, they wished me Happy Valentine’s Day as well and asked if they could hug me. I received my group hug, backed away a little overwhelmed, and said, “This. This is what is all about . We need to really love each other .”

I went home and start receiving and reciprocating texts filled with heart-filled messages and smiled a quiet smile.

Today random strangers made a difference in my life. What about you? There is still time to smile and say, “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

You could be the difference in someone’s lonely day. A call. A text. A hug. It’s really simple.

As I sit on my front porch and reflect on the day, my thoughts go back to last night’s prayer, to be filled with love and joy.

God does not disappoint . He does hear me and loves me. Today I was loved.

I know I desire to be married but until my husband arrives I will be content in knowing God is with me .

“Be delighted in the Lord, then he will give you all your heart’s desire.”

Psalm 37:4


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christmas-tree
    I wrote this blog a couple years ago but I think it still holds true in my heart. Christmas can be a lonely time of year. Take an extra moment to be kind, really notice and love others. May the joy of Jesus inspire you .

December, 2016

 This may come to a surprise to my friends but I don’t like Christmas. I would rather “shoot my eye out,” than walk into a mall at Christmas.  Any single person knows what I am talking about; couples walking hand in hand, fused together like conjoined twins. This week as I sat on the couch watching The Holiday, surrounded in wadded up tissue from nursing a cold, the sadness crept in; tiptoeing around my Christmas tree like the Grinch. Not even Jude Law’s dreamy blue eyes could spark excitement. The holidays can be simply depressing for the single person.

Attempting still to get in the mood, I resorted to the classic, It’s A Wonderful Life. No matter how many times I have seen it, the ending still grabs me. I feel like I am swallowing marbles and my eyes are pools of emotion every time I watch it. That’s when  Christmas hits me like Santa’s sled going full steam.
     We know the reason for the season but in a commercialized world we need to make the joy ourselves. So, I wadded up my tissue and threw them in the trash along with pity and heard God whisper down the hall. I made little booklets that read, “You have been a gift to me. In turn, I want to give you a gift of my favorite Bible verses.”
Here were some of the responses:
“Your booklet helped me this week” ~ my massage therapist
“The best gift is when you give of yourself” ~ a client
“Thank you for the reminding me, that the thirteen-year-old me had good instincts. I can’t imagine how someone from so long ago and so far away could feel as connected right now, but I do.” ~ a High school friend.
Sitting on the bathroom floor, letting the tears pour down my face, I was transported back to high school Biology class with my braces, pony tail, and all. We all want love; whether we are thirteen or a hundred and thirteen.
 There is a week before Christmas and someone you may know may be lonely. I “triple dog dare you” to reach out and make a difference. Do you bake?  Bring cookies to a neighbor. Write a note “You are loved this Christmas.”  Give an extra Christmas hug.

 Be willing to give love. “No man is a failure who has friends,” God whispered to me. What is God whispering to you?

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Philippians 2:1 “Is there any such thing as Christians cheering each other up.”
I don’t like Christmas. I love Christmas. Be willing to find the true magic of Christmas


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Tonight as I was watering my plants on the front porch, I heard, “Is this 1740?” I turned to see a UPS driver carrying a package. I turned and said, “Yep,” as I made my way down the porch steps.

The driver handed me the package and I quickly tore open the yellow envelope. “Oh, it’s my Lyme disease book .”

He questioned ,”You got Lyme disease ? Where did you get it?”

I nodded and explained how I moved here from Chicago and was bit by a tick in my backyard and contracted the disease.

His head hung low, “So sorry honey . I’ll be praying for you .”

I turned to walk up my steps but then looked back and yelled out, “Hey, what do you need prayers for ?”

His eyes lifted off his hand- held computer, “What did you say?”

I walked until I was standing face to face with the delivery man and then asked again, “I said, What do you need prayers for ?”

His head hung low, “Truthfully, I want a baby. We’ve been trying…”

His voice trailed off as he shook his head, “I don’t want to be forty and just starting a family .”

I asked his name and shared mine. We hugged and agreed to pray for each other.

I gotta admit, I have learned to live with Lyme disease but I truly want to be fully healed. I believe God can and will do that. It is the hope I cling onto.

As I walked up the stairs to my house, a quiet smile covered my face as I silently thought Hope. Hope today was delivered right to my front porch . It is coming .

I sat on my wicker chair and thumbed through my book, and thought, What If we all took the time, like the delivery man to say the simple words , “I’ll pray for you ,” and REALLY meant it .

What about you? Are you willing to do it?

We all need hope and you, like the UPS delivery man, may be the special delivery of hope that someone needs. Open your mind. Open your heart and listen to the whisper within.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1


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My eyes suddenly flickered open this morning . What the heck was that dream? I turn on the light, sit up, grab my journal and pen on the nightstand,and start scribbling my thoughts.

I just had the weirdest dream. I was drowning in a ocean. Struggling to swim in a storm. My arms were grappling at waves as my head fought to not go under. Then suddenly unknown hands dragged me to the shore. I got in my car only to see a tornado in my rearview mirror. I pulled over and ran into an unknown house and hid under a table .

I stopped scribbling and rubbed my eyes and thought, That was weird.

Morning came and I went about my workday but tonight as I walked the beach I thought more about the dream.

Dreams. They are weird, aren’t they ?

I looked at the waves in front of me and remembered that today Facebook reminded me of a memory from two years ago today. It was the day I moved to the Santa Barbara .

Moving to the beach was a dream but the lingering dream is to be cured from Lyme disease.

As my toes mushed in the sand, I thought , Last night’s dream,was that you God? Are you trying to tell me everything is going to be alright, that you have me?

I threw a ball to Kipper and watched her splash in the waves

and then looked at the sky. If you could make this dream come true … then you got Lyme disease !

I may have my beach home but I would trade it in to be fully healed. IT IS COMING !

Hope is in the hallway of this thing called life . Until the next door opens, keep trusting, keep believing. God does have the plan. He does have our dreams.


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One of my favorite quotes comes from my daughter,Tarah,” It’s just a day.”  What she means is, simply if you are having a bad day, it’s just one day. It will pass. Tomorrow may be something completely different.

Well, the last couple months, I have to admit I have been in a lot of pain. Not fun! But today I felt like the dark clouds were lifted and felt nothing but sunshine.

As I ran the streets of my neighborhood with Kipper, my running partner at my side, I almost could hear Tarah’s voice,”It’s just a day.” Yes, but today is a good day. With each step I wondered why is today different. I mentally reviewed my list.

-Was it my 9 hours of sleep?

-Is it that I started running again?

– Was it the B12 injection for pain?

-Is it my “happy playlist” on my phone?

-Was it the walk on the beach last night?

-Is it that the stock market is having a banner year?

I looked down at Kipper and commanded, “Kipper home.” As we trotted home I thought, It’s just a day but today there are no red cross-out lines across my page but a gold star next to my name. I looked at the sky and said, “Thank you God.”

So this is me, no filter, no worries, and yep, no husband YET ( It is coming! LOL.) I am trusting God’s plan, through pain, topped with a heaping pile of hope. God has us day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. It’s just a day.

“This is the day that the Lord has made . We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 TLB


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Yesterday, I went berry picking so tonight I sat on my deck plopping them into my mouth. As I savored their sweetness, I thought why isn’t life always this sweet ?

Well, because it isn’t . We all suffer one way or another and in this past week I felt my bad symptoms intensify;burning, electric shocks, vibrations. I have to admit, I did beg God or tell God,”Enough! Have mercy. How much longer must I suffer? Why do you allow me to suffer?”

As I plopped another raspberry in my mouth, I thought of who God put in front of me this past week; others who suffer, one way or another,like myself. Here’s a list of a few:

A colleague inquiring about his wife’s weird symptoms of numbness, tingling, electric shocks,and vibrations; symptoms I feel most days from Lyme disease.I told him,”Scary stuff. Let me know if your wife needs a doctor or someone to talk to.”

A client who just retired with her husband expressing joy that they bought the fifteen acre ranch in Montana ,”HE is so happy but truthfully, I am lonely.” Do I understand loneliness? Yep, you bet. I told her I would pray for HER JOY!

A parent who is having difficulty raising his teenage boy, “He’s just a jerk.” I quickly replied, “Don’t beat yourself up.They all are at the age. You will get through it and trust me they become sweet again.”

So as I plopped a black raspberry in my mouth, I thought why isn’t life always sweet? Because it isn’t. Sometimes life is painful and hurts. I know God allows suffering so that we may help, encourage and love those around us, with greater understanding. Who can you help through your trials? Be open, God may want to use you.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.


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I look at finding blue sea glass as rare, like hearing God.

Tonight, as I walked the beach, I said,” I need you God and looked down at the sand and there it was. Undeniably blue. Blue sea glass.

Keep asking. Keep looking. Keep believing in The Whisper Within.

“You will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you . You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13.


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Today I swam laps at the YMCA.  I showered, got dressed, and wandered over to the dressing room mirror. As I smeared lotion over my face like I was finger-painting, I stared at my reflection in the mirror and laughed out loud seeing my eyes circled with indentations made by my swimming goggles.

To my left, a lady asked, “What’s so funny?”

I shook my head and replied, “Look at all these wrinkles. The googles didn’t help any.”

She quickly unzipped her cosmetic bag, handed me a tub of lotion, and said, “Try this. I swear by it . It’s a miracle lotion.”

“Miracle lotion?  Ya, I could probably use some, if I’m ever gonna date.”

She touched my shoulder and asked, ” You’re single? So am I. Are you trying?  Are you on any site?”

I shook my wet head of hair. “Nope.”

“Me neither. My husband died of cancer twelve years ago and I have been raising the kids by myself since then. What’s your story?”

“Well, I got divorced seventeen years ago and shortly afterwards my ex became a paraplegic. So ya, I have been raising the kids since they were five and six.”

We exchange details and discovered both our son’s were engineers back in Chicago and New York and our daughters are here in California. We both agreed we have a good life but miss companionship and can get lonely sometimes but have to trust God for the plan.

I touched her shouldered and said, “You know what I say before I get out of bed?”

She didn’t let me finish. The New Yorker quickly replied, “I say,’ How do you want to use me today, God? Show me.”

I giggled and hit her shoulder, “You stole my line. That’s exactly what I say.”

We laughed, hugged and exchanged phone numbers.

I grabbed my gym bag, headed out the door, and smirked at the sky. You do see me, God. You do hear me.

I jumped in my Jeep, pulled down my car mirror and thought That’s some lotion. A kinda miracle lotion.  

Before backing up, I received a text ‘Great meeting you. A walk on the beach soon!’

I thought I may want less wrinkles but I need companionship. We all do. God knows my heart and will bring the one who falls in love with my heart, wrinkles and all. No miracle lotion will be needed.

“God will meet all your needs.” Philippians 4:19

God can even use face lotion to connect strangers.
Be open. Be willing. Be expectant.