First World Problems~


Imagine my surprise when I entered the garage to get some water out of my 2nd refrigerator that holds all my extra drinks and food. Upon opening the door I saw that every drink (and there were many) had completely blown up and now covered the entire inside of the refrigerator with product and glass!  For some reason everything froze and blew up!!!  It was a mess!!!

What a  disappointment! Now I faced the frustration of having to clean that mess up!   My husband, in a wonderful attempt to show empathy said ” oh wow, that is such a bummer, will you be ok?”.  Hmmmm….. Will I be okay??  Such a telling question and  I needed to ponder my response!   I had to laugh because this was, obviously,  a first world problem.  My extra drinks in my extra refrigerator  were ruined!   Really?  Not a huge issue and, of course, I will be ok!

Isn’t it true, however, that we can often let first world problems ruin our day, discourage us, even make us mad, when in all reality these challenges aren’t really such a big deal in light of what the rest of the world is forced to navigate day in and day out!

The definition of a first world problem is this:  a relatively trivial or minor problem or frustration (implying a contrast with serious problems such as those that may be experienced in the developing world).

Issues such as :  My internet is too slow, I had to wait too long to be seated at a restaurant , my storage unit is too full, the road in my neighborhood is too bumpy, or my TV Cable is out.   May sound silly but these are things that we can allow to make us unhappy.

Perhaps in this season of gratefulness, of Thanksgiving, we can really see how blessed we are as well as being mindful of the many challenges people around the world face every single day:  no running water, no internet, poor medical care, no streets,  and very little safety.

Every day that we turn on the tap for fresh water, enter a warm building, enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables, and freely enter our churches we must realize how very blessed we are.  Our mindful approach to gratefulness can be richer this year in a fresh way if we appreciate ALL we have and we run from a sense of entitlement.

I want to wish you all a wonderful, heartfelt Thanksgiving this year ~ we are so very blessed!



Balancing my perspective~


I was 22, ready to save the world. Brave.  Adventurous. Inexperienced.

Early in the morning I boarded our plane with a team of leaders from my University.  Long Beach airport, headed to Calcutta, India.  We were ready to impact lives, meet felt needs, and return home knowing we have made a real difference in the lives of those we met in India!

I was an American girl who had never experienced poverty or government challenges. I was from a family where I was loved, and my understanding of the world was hampered simply because I had never experienced life from another’s perspective; walked a mile in someone elses shoes.

Somewhere midway between arriving in India and realizing we had 3 more weeks until we would head home to America; I knew that in my theology, expectations, and my perspectives of what life “should” look like were only an American view, not a world-wide view.

Lately, I have been pondering my thoughts as I think about this political season; the battles, arguments, and expectations.  I am watching people fighting for their rights for taxes, education, medical care, and freedoms.   I do understand the challenge; and yet I am overwhelmed by the realization that I have lived my entire life ( 57 years) with religious freedom, no fear of bombing or being arrested, I’m not concerned that I will starve to death, nor have I ever been in hiding for safety.

So many years ago I saw suffering, hunger, fear, and uncertainty.  I am reminded how blessed I am, regardless of who is running for president, and I find the need to balance my perspective.

How about you? An American perspective or a world-wide perspective?  No matter what, do you realize your blessings and freedoms?  Do you need a perspective adjustment?  I did, and I am thankful for the experience I had that changed me forever!

India changed me, I did not change India, and I think that was the plan all along! 🙂


A Posture of Gratefulness



Forever Thankful

Being forever thankful,

Is what God wants from us,

Never forgetting from where we came,

Or His boundless, saving love

All of heavens blessings

Poured down from heavens gates,

Everything we have in life,

He’s given with extra grace

We need to always thank Him

For this, and so much more

Not only for tangible things,

But because He is our Lord.

As you enter into the season of Thanksgiving, whether facing joy or pain, may you never lose your gratefulness for who God is in your life. There’s powerful hope in a grateful posture.

He sees you.

He cares.


I am always so elated when Halloween is over because it gives me glorious permission to focus on my two favorite holiday: Thanksgiving and Christmas!

This has been a year that has “rocked” my world at so many deep levels that I find myself thankful in fresh ways and for things  I may have taken for granted before.  As I sit here to reflect on all that my heart is Thank-Filled for I feel a grand list coming on:

1.  The Joy in knowing that Heaven is a real place and that as family and friends we will TRULY gather together there again for a grand reunion. Chris, I know you are having a grand adventure, we’ll join you in the journey someday!

2.  For my family with all our uniqueness~ we have love for another and will stand in the gap for each other whenever the need arises. We have weathered challenges and losses and have linked arms to help each other through. My sisters are precious , each one creative and caring.  My brother in laws are good men, and each niece and Nephew ( and their wives) are beyond precious and I am so proud of who they are.

3. For my sons and their wives who are loving, kind, thoughtful, creative and hard-working people.  I am blessed that they are also my friends. I love Sushi, Catan, River walks, coffee dates, and spontaneous connections that always fill my cup!

4. For my parents who are counselors, friends, fellow Christ-followers, and mentors: oh how I love ever moment I get to spend making memories with them. Thankful for Canasta, painting, and weekly chats on the phone.

5.  Friends.  Oh my, what special friends we have, there would not be room to name them all or express their value in my (our) life but these “heroes” have filled our life with joy, support, encouragement, laughter, thoughtfulness, good advice, and many shared memories. Absolutely priceless!

6. For the work I have been able to do and for the leaders I have been privileged to serve. I have learned so much, cared deeply, watched great growth, and celebrated incredible wins with some fantastic leaders and my life is so rich because of them.

7.  For my church which is filled with lovely people.  The longer I attend, the more folks I get to know, the more my faith in the word “church family” is restored.  Our pastor is full of integrity and isn’t afraid to speak truth with compassion. Their love and support for my family this year has been so rich.

8.  For my husband Greg who is a dear friend and a leader I admire. Greg’s love for our children, extended family, our friends, and our community is admirable. I have observed Greg lead through times of calm and in a season of storms and have watched his integrity remain in tact. I look forward to watching him soar in the year ahead. I will be his cheerleader all along the way!

9. For a Savior who meets me in the middle of the night to dry my tears.  For a Savior who carries me when I am simply too weary, too hurt, too sad, or too confused to move forward. For a Savior who gives me opportunities to learn, to grow, to stretch, and to know His heart in so many fresh way.  But mostly, for a Savior who redeemed me, freely, and gives me fresh hope every day. I am over-whelmed by Him.

I am glad the Thanksgiving season gives me a chance to “LIST” my thankfulness; having done so today has filled my heart and reminded me that I am so rich.  Perhaps just the task of creating a list for yourself would give you  a fresh perspective, and a renewed sense of Thankfulness…

…..Joy comes in the Morning……….

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.