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!



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.

Here come the Holidays~Ready or not!



Welcome to the holiday season — that whirlwind of gift-giving holidays, marketing blitzes, holiday parties and activities galore that begins right after Halloween, builds to Thanksgiving, and continues gaining momentum through the end of the year. You are probably asking yourself, as I am~ How did the holidays get here so fast? 🙂

With all the joys of the holiday celebrations there are also stresses, right?  Every year we commit to ourselves that we will slow down and truly appreciate all that the holidays represent, spiritually and relationally.  Yet, as the holidays roll around again we tend to replay the manic pace of holidays gone by.

Perhaps this is the year to experience the holidays in a fresh way by making some changes that will produce a fresh outcome:

1.  Give yourself permission to say “no” to some activities.  Choose the events you attend well so that you don’t feel like you are “running” all the time.  When you manage your schedule in a manic pace you won’t really have the energy to be present and truly enjoy the memories you have the opportunity to make!

2.  Give yourself permission to keep gift-giving within your budget.  Going into debt, no matter how much you love your family and friends, creates stress!  Think about creative ways to show how much you care.  Some of the sweetest gifts I’ve received over the years were thoughtful and simple; special thoughts,  sweet treats, homemade crafts, etc.  Knowing someone took their time to bless me really meant a lot!

3.  Give yourself permission to reflect on what the holidays mean to you.  Don’t run so fast that you don’t allow yourself to take quiet time to think about the richer meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas for you.  Beyond the gifts, the food, and the activities; What do they mean to your heart?  Take time to be thankful, reflect on all that the Lord has done for you.

4.  Give yourself permission to change old traditions.  Sometimes we can maintain traditions that are time-consuming and lack the meaning they may have had in years gone by.  Or perhaps there is a simpler way to achieve the same goal.  Consider all the details you expect to cover in the short holiday season and take an honest inventory of the “cost” of pressuring yourself to accomplish them all.

5.  Give yourself permission to bless others.  The holidays can be so fun but they are also a huge season of sadness and loneliness for many people.  Make it a priority to be mindful of the needs in your family, neighborhood, or community.  Lending a loving hand will fill your heart with the true meaning of the holidays!

6.  Give yourself permission to keep your “self-care” in tact!  Don’t abandon your healthy eating and sleep schedule whenever possible. Keep exercising; take a long walk, add a yoga class, anything that helps you maintain energy, and helps wear off those extra holiday treat calories! 🙂

This year, just tweak a few old habits and see if you can breeze through the holidays with greater joy! Happy Holidays!


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. 🙂


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.