The Whisper Within

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


Happy Valentine’s Day, my favorite day of the year.

I remember as a kid decorating a shoebox and excited for it be filled with paper hearts. Yep, I am the biggest hopeless romantic. Just ask me how many Rom-Com DVDs I have in my collection, I dare you.

On Valentine’s Day, I am confident of this one certainty: true love does exist. It is extremely rare but oh, so, spectacular. I received my first lesson in love from the 1974 movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Robert Redford, need I say more. My heart was swayed at the mere age of seven.

“He knew when he kissed this girl… his mind would never romp again…”   Gatsby has ruined me.

 But honestly, I wasn’t feeling it this year. Don’t know why…

My shoebox was empty and so was my heart.

But then…I came across a lone red envelope sticking out of my mailbox… And it hit me. The memories of past crushes, past loves, cutting out paper hearts, and a subtle secret kiss that no one saw. And suddenly my shoebox was filled to the top.


I walked to my mailbox and took out my cards. One struck in me in particular. “Here’s to the girls who takes on the world and fights for what they love.”

 What do I love? Who would I fight for?

 Here is a smattering of pink frosting…

  • A boy with a smirk and girl with a smile who once were glued to my hip, but now are miles apart.
  • A stranger who joins me picking up sea glass on the beach.
  • Friends who gave me a bike with a basket.
  • A kind smile across a room of yoga mats.
  • A text from a girl who shared the nickname “Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam.”
  • A girl who screams, “Riehm!” as I pick up the phone.
  • A girl who chased me with snakes but calls me Baby doll.
  • And the one who knows my heart and whispers to me…

I am loved and so are you. There is someone today who is wanting to get your scribbled name on the bottom of a Peanut’s Valentine.

To get love; you must give love. So, get busy!

“If I do not give love, I am nothing.” I Corinthians 13:2

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Would love to hear about your most memorable  Valentine’s Day memory…. Please comment below.



This week I had a birthday. I saw this little girl . I found this little girl .

Do you remember what you were like as a child ?

I do . I loved doing cartwheels . I still do ! I enjoy the moment of silliness .

Funny , I forgot I liked to make up stories about a ZONY . Yep , a cross between a zebra & a pony . It’s a real thing . Google it ! Yep , I forgot I enjoyed writing .

The purest sense of who we are is as a child . Our gifts. Our talent . Our love . Never lose that innocence & wonder .

So this week, get out the shoebox or album and find a childhood photo .

What were you like? What did you like to do ?

My hope for you this week is that you rediscover the silliness that made you , YOU !

Would love for you to comment on what made you happy . May you hear the whisper .

“… And Jesus said ,” let the children come to me ..”


A Christmas alone.

A Birthday alone?

No way. Not this year.

I love Christmas. I hate Christmas. For all my single friends… You get it! The pure joy of the season makes me happy; but if I heard one more time at Christmas, “Are you dating anyone?” I would’ve had to shoot my own eye out…

I crave companionship like a Chicago deep dish pizza. So, over the Holidays, I stuffed myself with the oozing cheese… But then I came home, and the companionship craving crept in like the flu in July; unwanted and unexpected.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have a beautiful full life but every once in while the breeze blows and whispers, “How can you be happy if you are alone?”

So, I yell at God, “When are you bringing me a companion?”

I hear his quiet reply, “You again? I already brought you your dream, the beach, and you’re still begging for more?”

So, I throw smirk at the sky, “Fine. Here’s my deal? If I’m supposed to stay single for the next five years, I want a really big sign. I want a really big piece of sea glass… and not ANY sea glass. I want the rare find, aqua blue.

So, for the last few weeks, I combed the beach. I dug in the sand. I walked miles along the shoreline looking for the rare find. I filled a jar full of sea glass; but no blue.


I gave up. AND then … YEP! One afternoon, at the bottom of the stairs, when I was not looking, I practically stepped on my precious find; a big piece of aqua blue perfectly glistening in the sand.

I picked it up and threw a smirk at the sky. Yep, I know. I know. Quit digging. Quit searching. When the time is right, you will make it easy, and put the rare find, right in front of me.

I got my sea glass AND then…IMG_4502 (1)

An email. An invite. A birthday date. Birthday Alone?

No way. Not this year.

Is he “The rare aqua blue sea glass that I have been waiting for?”

Tuesday is right around the corner and time will tell.

Otherwise… I am happy. I am content. No more digging. I will wait for His Whisper .

“I will wait on the Lord…” Psalm 130:5

lisa beach


I consider myself a fierce competitor personally and professionally. I am an athlete that would rather hobble to the finish line than quit.

In my triathlon days, my performance was eighty percent training and twenty percent affected by outside factors; rain, heat, wind, and sometimes potholes.

I have learned that outside factors are out of my control and can affect work, projects, and even love. This past week I faced resistance in several areas of my life. It was like I was competing in a triathlon. I finished the swim course with ease but as I jumped on my bike I encountered a pot hole and then a flat tire. In one situation, I was accused of using my “flowery disposition and “spirituality” to my advantage.

Wow, naïve of me to assume that kindness and a willingness to serve would be a disadvantage and attempt to kick me back to the start line.

I jumped off my bike, threw it over to the side and decided to run to the next course – the next event. Even though I am solid solo competitor, this was not an individual race but more a relay race requiring team participation. Yes, a group project and unfortunately I had an unwilling team member. The finish line kept being moved. It was time to stop at the water station and take a break.

Maybe it was time to quit asking. Quit knocking. Maybe God was allowing the resistance. Maybe God was telling me that I was taking on too many projects.

I have always said, “If the road you are on is filled with potholes, it is God’s way of saying the path under construction. Do not remove the orange cones and road blocks. God will direct you to a smoother path. You just have to be prepared to take his detour.”

Maybe the answer was no because God was clearing the potholes and leading me to a easier course.

Psalm 27:4 “I will wait on the Lord.”

In work, are you frustrated? Without purpose? Are you in the right job? Best work environment? Or does something else garnish your talents?

In projects, are you facing resistance? Is something not going smoothly?

In love, is the relationship not connecting? Is it too much work? Are values not aligned?

We live in an imperfect world but God’s timing is perfect.

God has changed me over time. I no longer run instead I walk or hike. I can’t bike since I am used to flat Chicago streets, not a hilly California course. Throw me in the pool – there I will swim like a dolphin.

In work, projects, but especially love, find your joy. Allow the easy. Know when to stop for water, change the course, or stop the race all together. Not every finish line needs to be crossed.

What is God telling you? Wait on the Lord and he will whisper to you.


27 years and 2000 miles apart.

It all started with my blog post. 10 wisdoms I learned in #Chicago.

A follower commented,” Your faith and perseverance are impressive…I should add impressively optimistic for Cub’s fan.”

I responded and then he private messaged me.

Dan: Had no idea you had this in you when we worked together.

ME: We worked together? Help me I’m getting old…

Dan: Yep, 27 years ago at Canon in Downers Grove.

What? Now I need the story

ME: How did you find my blog? How did you know it was me?

Dan:One of my buddies and I were talking about one hit wonders and the song “Rock Steady” came up. I searched it and came up with the Whispers as the group that sang it. When I searched “The Whispers”, I believe your website came up before I hit the letter “s” in Whispers. Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link. I thought I recognized the name Lisa Riehm, as someone I worked with at Canon. I have a really good memory for names and faces, I thought your face looked familiar. I went to the photos and when I saw the Hinsdale South HS photo, I knew it was the young lady I worked with at Canon.

Who would guess? Twenty-seven years and two thousand miles apart, two co-workers would reconnect.

“Since the Lord is directing our steps why do we question everything that happens along the way?’ Proverbs 20:24

Strange coincidence, maybe? But it does make you wonder. Doesn’t it?Santa Barbara sunset


A journey . A week. A moment .

So a week ago I just returned from evacuating from the fires of Santa Barbara, not excited to be heading to the bitter cold of Chicago.

I said ,”Never again am I coming back to Chicago in the Winter .” The cold. The snow . The rush .

But a friend said,” Be expectant!”

A few spontaneous meetings and chance interactions later my icy heart was defrosted .

Here’s ten gems that friends and strangers shared with me:

1. The trip isn’t about you …it’s about what you can give to others.

2. Find joy in a moment . Don’t focus on the past or crap of tomorrow . Just the moment .

3. What you want in your 20s, is not what you want in your 30s. What you want in your 30s, is not what you want in your 40s . What you want in your 40s, is not what you want in your 50s .You need to be constant evolving .

4.Love the ones that God has given you .

5. You deserve BIG LOVE; wait for it !

6. The right guy, job, or house will be natural, easy .You will feel it .

7. Be around people who don’t steal your energy but multiply it.

8. Don’t measure a year by what you’ve done but instead by how you felt or how you served .

9. Open your HEART, then lose the letters H & T . You are left with EAR. Open your ears and you will hear God speak to your heart .

10. Whatever you wish for, believe it is coming .

What number speaks to you?

Open your heart . Open your ears. And let the whispers inspire you in 2018 . Be expectant…I am !

“ Wait on the Lord . Be courageous. He will open your heart .” Psalm 24:17