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(4 minute read)

Following the cover page, I have included a chapter from my just released book, “Unthawed: Lessons from a Frozen Lily Pad.” Book is available on Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Kindle.

From today until August 22nd, I will donate 50% of Unthawed’s book sales to a nonprofit organization that serves working poor families. Celebrate the birth of this new book and be part of helping underserved employed families by purchasing Unthawed before August 22nd.

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Small Audiences, Large Impact. 

Acknowledgment. Humility. Acknowledged before people. Acknowledged before God. Humbled before people. Humbled before God. I thoughtfully dealt these four cards from my deck of the lily pad.

Matthew 6 and 23 teach about humbly seeking God’s hand for all provision. My Creator knows I need food and shelter. He knows I need love. He also knows I desire attention after achieving a goal. When the gospel of Matthew was written, sounding a trumpet may translate to our modern Instagram, tweets, ribbons, and certificates of accomplishment. I value handwritten cards or trip vouchers over trophies and medals (plaque-like awards lead to dusting, hanging, and storing issues for this minimalist).

Whatever recognition method we prefer, I believe people crave an occasional bugle call for accomplishments. God tells us when we receive earthly acknowledgment for deeds, that is our reward. God’s prizes are perfectly endless. He always is and will be my captive audience.

The flip side of Matthew’s teaching about kudos is that if I humble myself, God will exalt me. What if I was more in tune to welcome God’s corrections before I misstep or misspeak? When I listen to His guidance, I’m often graciously spared public humility. If I need to be humbled, I’d rather do so in front of my Audience of One than in the company of a large crowd.

Life becomes a two-sided win when I’m more one-sided with God. I’m grateful for smaller-scale humility lessons from the One who is exalted. He can elevate me to places people will not and cannot.

Creator, thank You for Your gift of One. Jesus was limited to One of the Trinity but is unlimited in grace, understanding, and love. Teach me to be fulfilled with Your acknowledgment because only You define my worth. Thank You for Your individualized lessons in meekness to spare me from potentially public humiliation.

Jumping off the lily pad with a full house of new revelation,


Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you… Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward…. that your charitable deed may be in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Mt. 6:2, 4).

“And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Mt. 23:12).


Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing


When I sort my closet, to keep my possessions to a minimum, I use a buy one, get rid of one item approach. I have a turquoise and brown dress that I bought on clearance at JC Penney over a decade ago.

barefoot basket blooming blossoming
Photo by Jill Wellington on

This past year, I have considered trading this clearance dress for a newer one. I wear it “one more time” with the intent to wash it and donate it afterwards. Sure enough, the day I wear it, several people will say, “I love your dress!” Comically, that dress has become a discussion starter.

This morning, clothed in my JC Penney “one more time” dress, I walked past a neighborhood gardener. She looked up from her flower bed and exclaimed, “Your dress print makes me happy. I needed to see that today!” I don’t know what kind of day she was having or how the dress’s design made her smile, but I know her kind words hemmed an uplifting pattern into my day.

When I wear that dress “one last time” I’m not sure if it’s still in style. However, that gardener’s response reminded me that no matter what is considered fashionable by the world’s standards, smiles never go out of style.

Stitching threads of kindness into life’s lily pad on the FROG Blog,



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I scheduled this week’s FROG Blog to post while I’m away on a solo silent retreat. When I planned this trip months ago, I hadn’t expected that my latest book, Unthawed: Lessons from a Frozen Lily Pad would release last Friday (July 17th on Amazon and Barnes and Noble).

In author world, this “should” be the week to promote this new release. However, I chose a retreat cottage that does not have internet or solid phone reception.

As a form of accountability that I’m stepping out in trust, I will use this week to believe that my pre-publishing market seeds will produce fruit while I’m gone. (Truthfully, I’m waiting for my heart and mind to catch up with that bold proclamation of faith)!


This week while I write, edit, assess, and reflect, I’m grateful for an abundance of gifts. A friend gifted me with this FROG print mask. He used material from his mom’s fabric supply to ask a local seamstress to sew a specially designed mask that fits my face. I’m grateful to all people who support me on these adventures from the lily pad of life.

Leaping gently from a quiet FROG Blog,




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trees in park
Photo by Pixabay on

I’m preparing for next week’s solo, silent, writing retreat. I’m investing that time to practice my word for this year. Decipher.

In my “new lease on life” vision, I’ve chosen to ask myself, “What is my motive?”

This motivational reflection includes all facets of my life. Money and time; relationships and community outreach; writing projects and life coaching opportunities. What is my genuine desire behind every yes or no?

In visualizing the Survivor Island show, I have voted once-important priorities and some contestants off my Emerald Isle. I’ve shifted my survivor mentality into a greener outlook.

In Emily P. Freeman’s podcast, “The Next Right Thing” she teaches about how often abundant possibilities lead to decision fatigue. Her insight helped me question if I’m being mindful or simply mind full?

When I face multiple choices, I’ve incorporated the practice of deciphering by allowing two or three options. Unless it’s a life-threatening decision, I encourage myself to choose quickly. (I can easily practice deciphering at any American store where aisles are exclusively dedicated to breakfast cereals and hair products).

I’ve asked for Spirit to grant me wisdom to decipher between go, no, slow or whoa. Go and no are self-explanatory. My challenge is in those slow and whoa answers.

To me, slow means, “yes, but proceed with methodical caution.” Whoa speaks to my inner mustang when I try to outrun my reins. The deciphering spirit graciously lassoes me back into the rodeo circle.

As I pack for my retreat I’m traveling light, staying at a primitive cottage that has limited options but ample comfort. I anticipate that I’ll survive and multiply through simplicity. One decision, two options, a trinity of abundance.

Deciphering from a FROG’s lily pad on freedom island,


“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death” (Prov. 14:12 NIV)

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News from the FROG blog! 

The following story is being considered for Tadpoles, a book in the FROG blog series. I will edit this and other projects during my July 21-25th solo/silent writing retreat. Today, I share the best version of what I have right now. 

In 300 words or less from a Tadpoles Lily Pad…

tadpoles on body of water
Photo by FOX on

I teach seminars about mindfulness. When I need to get a group to become silent, I lightly clink a glass.

One of my mindful exercises invites participants to close their eyes and identify an object that matches a sound. Even with their eyes closed, I watch facial expressions associate the chiming sound with my “call to attention glass.”

I ask them to close their eyes again. This time I tap a glass fishbowl filled with rocks and plastic frogs. Again, their expressions presume that they identify the previous glass with the clinking.

With their eyes still closed, I ask them to describe the object’s color, value, purpose, and age.  Frequently, students describe the “call to attention” glass. After collecting guesses, participants open their eyes to see the fishbowl. (Some want to know why there’s plastic frogs instead of fish in the bowl).

In less than 15 minutes into our workshop, guests have come to associate that clinking glass with a call to alertness. Here’s when I encourage a lesson about sound mindfulness.

I hear about somebody. I see someone. I listen and watch.  I don’t know their history or present circumstances, yet I draw my conclusions.  Sometimes it’s favorable opinions. Other times, it’s harsh assumptions. Only God understands past and future, with every detail in between.

He knows my thoughts, dreams, what I fear, and where I’m most comfortable. I relate to those rubber frogs in a fishbowl. The earth temporarily houses me to serve God’s purpose, but I’m created to leap and swim toward eternal freedom.

God uses His voice to design creations of love. He takes my past worst and blends His potential worth to craft someone the world may not imagine.

Creator, please tune my witness to be associated with kindness, the object of Your affection.



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Ask the Author

I’m closing in on my July 16th date to finish the rough draft of Knee Deep. This is my most courageous work yet. Details are posted in my March’s FROG Blog entries titled, “Zowie.”

crop mother and daughter preparing for roller skating
Photo by Gustavo Fring on


Today’s post is my invitation to practice courage. I post my answers from Goodreads “Ask the Author” questions.

Bravely leaping from the lily pad of life,


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Coming Soon! Unthawed!

Time to break the ice! 

cracked ice
Photo by Louis on

Thanks to Rita Reali, Red Paint Spilman, 12 co-authors and guidance from Chris Woods, we are in the final stages of publishing the latest book in the FROG Blog series

Unthawed: Lessons from a Frozen Lily Pad will be released soon. Links to the e-book and print copies will follow. Unthawed book cover can be viewed on my Facebook pages: or

Thank you to my readers who have supported my previous books and written work. Thank you to supporters who graciously contribute in numerous ways for future projects!




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Research Exposes Impact of Anger

In 500 words or less, the FROG Blog invites readers (and the author) to approach life with curiosity and discovery.

Thank you to Andrea Piacquadio who provided this photo.

woman in gray tank top
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

As a student in life’s perpetual classroom, I received a well-rounded education in science, psychology, theology, and English today.

My “class schedule” resembled this:

Science: I learned how researchers define a life-giving quarter-second as “response time between a brain’s intake and a body’s output.” My quarter-second choices to think, speak or act can determine fate. Riveting.

Psychology: I recalled how one conversation, one sentence, one memory, one decision can induce multiple reminders. Quarter-second decisions can have timeless meaning.

Theology: I read Ephesians 4:30-31 in the New King James and The Message bibles. (Cited at the bottom of this FROG Blog). Same book, same verse, different words. In both readings, the word all (“all malice,” “all backbiting”) grabbed my attention.

English: I was curious to find definitions for malice and clamor since those words aren’t part of my typical vocabulary. I went to my dictionary and thesaurus (the hard cover Scrabble version that has more than 50 years of Scrabble game experience).

Science Lab: I dissected the following words and report my analysis. Diagnosis: Ouch.

Bitterness: Piercing; caustic; cruel; harsh
Rage: Excessive and uncontrollable anger; violence fatal prevail; violently agitated
Anger: To provoke resentment; enrage; excite to wrath; ravage
Brawling: To quarrel noisily; outrageous uproar
Slander: False or malicious report; verbal defamation
Malice: Evil intention to injure others; deliberate mischief; spite; prompted by hatred.

Guidance Counseling with Dr. G. Higher Power: I have learned about quarter-second response times. I recognize I don’t want to mirror any of the connotations associated with anger. Dr. Power advises me to be aware that a series of lifetime quarter-seconds decisions may affect long-term, widespread development.

Homework (ongoing): release all bitterness, all resentment, all uncontrollable anger, all…

All means all.

My day began as a science experiment which led to a meaningful word search. That word search turned into a man hunt (or woman hunt in my case). The search was ordered from within.

There is a sequel to this FROG Blog because I also read, ‘”when you retaliate in anger, you give the enemy a foothold in your life. You offer a beachhead from which the enemy can attack you in other areas.” Ouch. One word. One lesson. One day. One quarter-second at a time.

I vote for reinstituting snack breaks, recess and nap times for all students in University Life!

Leaping with buoyancy, (Buoyant: having the quality of floating in a fluid. Not easily depressed; unsinkable characteristics).


“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:30-31 NKJV).

“Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:30-31 The Message).

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This week, I began inviting young authors (ages 7-16) to share their learning-to-trust through life’s experiences. Their adventure stories will be part of book #4 in the 5 book FROG Blog series.

Tadpoles, a smaller version of the FROG Blogs, will follow a  300 words or less pattern. Currently the FROG Blog books are written in less than 500 word stand-alone chapters. Unthawed: Lessons from a Frozen Lily Pad, is in the final stages of publishing and nearly set to print!

I’d appreciate input as this Tadpole evolves into a FROG book. As a sample, I wrote this story that will be one of the Tadpole chapters.

Thank you to Inga Seliverstova for contributing this photo.

plush toy in bed
Photo by Inga Seliverstova on

I saw a compact car with two moderately sized dents, possibly from getting sideswiped on the driver’s side. Even though the car had seen better days, it was drivable and parked in the entrance row of the parking lot.

Like that damaged car, I thought about how we, as earth walkers and drivers, have been injured. We’ve hurt and been hurt by someone or something that has caused bruising.

Some scars show up on our body. Many wounds are stored in our hearts.
I don’t know the story behind that damaged car in the parking lot, but I have a new viewpoint.

People, like compact vehicles, travel through life’s obstacle course. Some may resemble shiny heavy-duty trucks, but a look at their worn tires indicate they’ve treaded rocky paths.

Today, I see my fellow drivers and passengers through a light of universally dented vehicles. We’re navigating life’s potholes (sometimes sink holes!) during our commute back Home where highways are paved in gold.

Treading with more compassionate strokes around the lily pad of life,


“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12).

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Simple Frivolity


This comes from Knee Deep, a future book in my FROG Blog book series. I wrote the following letter to God, Creator, Higher Power, Jesus (and all other names we use to define, attribute and respect our Universe’s Maker).

As part of my Zowie project (explained in March 3rd, 13th, 20th posts on the FROG Blog) I courageously publish this chat with my Creator from last night’s walk to a nearby pond)

green frog on lily pad
Photo by Pixabay on

Creator,  Thank you for a spring filled with chipmunks! I don’t recall a year when I’ve seen so many of your curious stripers. They remind me of mini sea otters as I watch their frivolous exploration. I sit by the pond tonight and watch one little guy hop, almost with a mischievous grin. It looked like he was sneaking up on a turtle or goose on the bank.

I see rabbits, birds of several species, butterflies, squirrels and of course chipmunks living in fairly close proximity. Respecting, observing, interacting, and playing with each other. Simply doing what they were created to be: a chipmunk, a turtle. A catfish, a crane. No agenda, no competition beyond the circle of life, no bickering. No verbal communication beyond what they consider necessary to survive or create.

Thank you for their example of free-spirited character. You’ve created these animals to learn from and enjoy. Thank you for the gift of vision so I can learn through visual observation.

Love, Your Curious Daughter,