Thanksgiving Thoughts~


Thanksgiving is a time to savor and reflect on all that we are thankful for; an opportunity to gather with those we love to share our hearts and a meal too large for us all!!

I thought I would try to list the Top 10 things that I am Thankful for ( knowing that 10 things would never cover all that I cherish in my heart…but I will make a brave attempt!


1.  For God~His grace and mercy, favor and care, comfort and correction. Where would I be without the Lord in my life? Cannot imagine!

2.  For My wonderful Italian husband, Greg, without whom my life would not be nearly as interesting, fun, and love-filled. Together we have weathered many seasons and assignments, all of these experiences have made us a stronger, more loving team.

3.  My amazingly smart, talented, and kind sons.  Their ideas fascinate me, their questions challenge me, and their kindness warms my heart. Nate and Dave are two special men with whom I am incredibly proud.

4. My beautiful daughter in laws.  Oh my, I love them.  These ladies are thoughtful, creative, funny, and smart. When I watch them love on our sons, my heart swells. These girls are also my dear friends and I feel very lucky for their friendship!

5.  My precious parents whose consistent love and generosity continues to amaze me.  Their ability to love deeply, pray regularly, and creatively love on all of their children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren is an example I pray I will follow.  My parents legacy in my life cannot be expressed in words. I am so thankful for them.

6.  My “extended” family~  The word “extended” encompasses so many precious people:  my incredible sisters, creative and caring nieces and nephews, Aunts and Uncles that I adore, Cousins who I care deeply for, my mother and father in law whom I love, so many people who bless my life and heart!

7.  Dear loyal friends. So many amazing people who have walked alongside Greg and I for years and years; cheering us on, giving wise counsel, making memories, and weathering storms….If I named them one by one the list would go on and on……

8.  Our Coachwell Clients (leaders and friends)~I find it simply amazing that I have the incredible privilege to work with, care for, and be a cheerleader alongside so many world-changers!  These leaders bless me more than I could ever express…but I will never stop trying to let them know how much they mean to me!

9.  Our Coachwell team.  We work with a team with such great hearts; loving towards our clients, vendors, us, and one another.  We look forward to continuing the journey with them alongside us!

10. My Church.  Our spiritual family are a gathering of kind people.  We have enjoyed 4 years of growing alongside so many folks working hard to grow in Christ and make a difference in our community and beyond.  Whether it be a teaching, worship, small group, or a women’s events~ all of it has given me opportunity after opportunity to grow! I am thankful for them.

Well, when I started this list I wasn’t sure where it would end up.  However, One thing that I have realized is that PEOPLE are what I am grateful for!  So on this Thanksgiving Day I hope you find yourself somewhere in my LIST and know that I am very thankful for YOU this year!

Have a truly meaningful Thanksgiving this year. 🙂

We are HOME!!! :-)

Honestly, I love the sound of a room full of people sharing a meal, conversation, and hearts!  Nothing fills my soul more!  It is with this heart that I decorated my wonderful new home.  I wanted a place where my loved ones felt at peace, cozy, and welcome.


It was huge for me to create a space for any children that might enter my home; a place created JUST for them.  Imagine being a child coming into a home without a place to “hang”, to play??  I created that place.


My husband and I are truly blessed to enjoy the home we have purchased; many miracles have brought us here.  Because of this we know this home will be rich with memories of laughter, tears, teaching, and prayer.


How about you? Can you see your home as a place of love and warmth? Have you created an atmosphere that would welcome neighbors and friends alike?  Consider seeing your home as a place of love and outreach in a world that often times is cold and closed!

We are the light of the world…….our homes can be a great place to shine!

We are blessed and because of that we pray that we will also bless others.

Do you have a HOUSE or a HOME?


This week I have enjoyed the unique opportunity to assist my son and precious daughter in law as they get re-settled in CA for a new life there~ a new adventure.  What I have loved the most has been watching them transform a “house” into a “home”!

Nate and Kate are no strangers to setting up house as their short married life has already had numerous moves.


Furniture, bedding, dishes, and blankets are all needed in order to set up house. However,  Pictures and memory-based items make a house a home!


As I have spent this past week alongside these two I have observed the MOST important aspect of what makes a house a home. KINDNESS.
In the midst of boxes, unfamiliar streets, new noises, and the idiosyncrasy’s of a home build in the 1920’s, I have seen these two show incredible kindness to one another.


Whether you live in Bend, OR., Seattle, WA., or Palo Alto, CA~ You can make a house a home IF you are intentional about doing so.

Today–look around your home….does is represent your family with all it’s uniqueness’s?  Is your home full of kindness and care?  I pray that it is and that your house is indeed a HOME!  🙂

No home of my own…..

After being a homeowner for over 20 years, my husband and I sold our home last June.  The home was quite large; as was the yard.  We had become  “empty nesters” and knew it was time to downsize~~ and so we did.  With a great sense of adventure we moved to the heart of the city and moved into a lovely condo.  The privacy of an internal front door, a heated downstairs garage, no yard to manage, and top of the line amenities.  We were home…………or were we???

One year later we realize how much we miss having a front door to open widely to welcome those we love, we want our very own 2-car garage to keep our personal things, we want a little dirt of our own to get our hands dirty and to watch the seeds we plant grow.  In 5 weeks we make a move to a new place with all those elements and we are grateful for what will be an easy transition due to the enormity of the downsizing we did last summer.

However, the process of feeling so transitional in our housing in this season has caused me to assess my own feelings about being a “renter” and the idea of having a home of my own.

So what is HOME?   something that is mine?  something I have the freedom to paint, change, or tear down if I want?  A place that has my official name on the paperwork?  Hmmmmm…….I have often thought that it was and so my emotions have felt a sense of uncertainty. What I love about the times I have to stop and consider these ideas  and feelings is that I am left seeing a much greater picture than I originally had.

In the past year have I opened my “home” to those I love?  Yes.  Have I gathered family for meals?  Yes.  Have I babysat children who left feeling loved and cared for?  Yes.  Have I cooked meals for friends in need?  Yes.  Have I spent precious time with my husband in laughter and devotions? Yes.  Have I created memories with our children and their wives? Yes.

So am I home?

As we transition to a new building, and to floor plan, and a new neighborhood…will I still be home?  Well, I say YES!

What I am learning in this season is that home is not a building and certainly not a mortgage, it is the atmosphere I create wherever I rest my head at night.

In this there is great freedom because I can be home anywhere.

In the year ahead I plan to laugh heartily, pray deeply, love richly, cook like crazy, welcome many, and create shared memories in my home; and I am excited!

C’mon over!!


This past weekend I went “home”.  After 18 years of living in another state. I anticipated seeing the ocean, driving down familiar streets well traveled in my younger days, sitting in my the church where I was taught so many valuable truths about God and His Word, seeing buildings that would flood me with memories of days gone by…..but most of all to see the faces of those childhood/young adult friends that got laid aside in the transition of moves, ministry, and family.

The ocean – except for erosion here and there was still as amazing as God created it to be; my heart swelled as I ran along the shore flooded with memories and emotion.  The Coffee Shop that had been a staple in my high school days Mr. Toots ( don’t laugh) looked exactly the same down to the old pillows and piano in the corner of the room.

The streets that had been surrounded by farms and fields now hosted hotels, shopping centers, and new office buildings.  Without a map I might not find my way around as so many landmark buildings are now gone.

I visited my church that had been vital to my growth for so many years.  I longed to walk in and feel those “glory days” only to find a church that looked much smaller and a little tired.

But……the people……..the precious people.  I had the opportunity to connect with friends who had walked me through my childhood, rough high school years, sent me on my mission to Calcutta, India, stood as witnesses at my wedding, befriended Greg and I in our Young Marrieds Group, and then again when we served as Associate Pastors for a season in my home church…these people, these friends hearts had not changed a bit.  Their love and care, their concern for my life, their humorous telling of shared experiences that brought both embarrassment and laughter, and their grace to forgive hurtful behaviors from past interactions reminded me what ‘HOME” truly is.

“HOME” can be found whenever you are blessed enough to be surrounded by those who are precious to you.  “HOME” is when you look a friend or family member in the eye and you know, for certain, that you are loved and understood~ no matter how much time has gone by.

Thank you Watsonville for this great reminder…….even if you did build a shopping center in front of my first little home!!! 😦