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

Anniversary Tribute

Today, my husband Tig and I celebrate nearly 30 years of marriage. I dedicate today’s FROG Blog to him.

The following photo is not our official wedding photo, but from the cover of my book, “Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens and Worn-Out Underwear.” I dedicate this book excerpt to Tig in honor of the memories we’ve made and lessons we’ve learned. 

Tig, when we wonder if our “for better or worse” vows  said, “Best or Worst,” I’m grateful  our faithful practice in this marriage game adventure has sustained us for nearly three decades! 

cover

(p. 14-15) I share a memorizing mishap when I drove to watch Tig race one weekend. We traveled repeatedly to this track and knew its final turnoff was at a specific large blue pole shed and house. We knew it as “the left turn at the large blue house.” The left turn at the blue house, as if there were no other left turns and no other blue houses in that long stretch of country road.

Typically, we ride to races as a family, but for whatever reason I drove separately from the truck, trailer, and race car crew. I allotted extra time in case I got to the track early to run a couple of miles before subjecting myself to several hours of bleacher bottom in the track stands. The drive seemed to take longer and the dashboard clock confirmed that I should have been at the track 20 minutes prior. I kept my focus toward the left turn at the blue house.

Speed read past a potentially long story of asking directions more than once, adding an hour of travel time, and sixty miles on the car, I recognized the blue house (which was now a right-hand turned for reasons you can speculate). The blue house had been painted cream with white shutters since we were at the racetrack. The story remains a family joke whenever we use landmarks as directional cues. Someone responds with an adaptation of: “Hopefully the owners haven’t gotten bold enough to paint their buildings since we drove there last time.”

Meanwhile, back from the now yellow house, formerly known as the left turn at the blue house…

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

A HARD-BOILED LESSON

crop man holding plates with fried eggs and salad
Photo by ready made on Pexels.com

I eat hardboiled egg whites and broccoli for breakfast. This morning while waiting for the egg water to boil, I found myself quickly constructing my schedule. (Mentally exercising on an empty stomach leads me to stress fractures)!

Before the kettle had even warmed, I mentally completed today’s writing project, sent it to the editor and bypassed other vital processes such as writing the headline, first draft, editing, and rewriting. The egg water hadn’t even boiled before I realized that, in my mind, I had barged through today as I expect it to evolve. What if I disregarded all time, space, and interactions this way?

As children, we used to play Backwards Day. We’d wear our pajamas inside-out, eat breakfast for dinner, use our less dominant hand to draw or throw a ball. These temporary silly days showed me how increased effort and awareness were required when I adjusted my usual routine.

Each day is different with God. He respects the shape in which He designed His universe. What would our world look like if carnations grew underground? What if elephants had babies as often as rabbits?

Jesus understood that our human behavior wants to get a sneak peek at the future. He instructed us to stay on task when He said, “Give us this day, our daily bread.” I am to trust that He will provide patience, time, people, or whatever else I need for that day.

As I prepare for breakfast on the lily pad, I respect the steps leading to the meal. Brew coffee, put eggs and broccoli on plate, thank God for farmers and food, eat, enjoy each breath of every minute crafted into this day.

Routinely practicing mindfulness “on earth as it is in heaven,”

Christina

Give us today our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).

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

TURNING ON A DIME

This week’s FROG Blog is dedicated to my sister Cathy. She and I have shared abundant dime stories that bridge the gap between the geographical miles that separate us. 

Thank you to Dmitry Demidov who provided this photo. 

brown and silver round coins
Photo by Dmitry Demidov on Pexels.com

My Grandpa Wes carried dimes in his pockets and whenever he’d take his grandchildren outside for a walk, he’d subtly toss a dime in the path of the lagging child. When we’d discover these dimes, he’d tell us that these were signs of heaven reaching down. He’d explain that when we pay attention to details, we find life’s subtle treasures.

I continue Grandpa Wes’s dime tossing tradition when I walk. Each time I drop a coin, I ask God to bring peace and hope to whoever finds it. Like Jesus, who said He left His peace on earth, I want my dropped change to invite a change for whoever finds the coin.

Often, I write about ways I practice keeping my chin up and my eyes fixed on things above. God surrounds us on all levels. Sometimes by looking down, I can find peace if I readily bend to pick up these treasures.

Other times, I can find hope simply by looking up to capture a full moon, a soaring bird or a cloud forming an unusual shape. When I am willing to turn on a dime to make a change, I can accept God’s abundant peace and hope.

Signing off with peace and hope from the lily pad of life. With bended knee and a coined phrase, “help me pay it forward,”

Christina

“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns that gold” (Proverbs 3:13-14).

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

NO FAIR-WEATHERED WALKER

This excerpt comes from Tadpoles, a future book in the FROG Blog book series. Tadpoles will include 300 word or less essays and I have enlisted middle school and high school students to share their life lesson stories.

Thank you to Disha Sheta for providing this colorful photo that reminds me to look up!

person holding white and pink floral cassette tape
Photo by Disha Sheta on Pexels.com

Each morning, I walk to the mailbox between 7:30-8:00 because that’s when many neighbors start their work and school days. As they drive past me, I make a point of sending them off with a quick smile, wave, or say “Happy Tuesday” (or whatever day it is).

This morning as I went out our front door for my mailbox walk, a torrential downpour began. I was tempted to wait until the rain let up, but instead felt nudged to move forward. I figured people may appreciate a smile even more to start a rainy day.

I choose brightly colored clothes to wear on cloudy days, especially Mondays, which often get a harsh rap. Today, dressed in a vibrant pink blouse, I grabbed my umbrella and headed to the mailbox.

On my route, I greeted one of my neighbors who was wearing a canary yellow blouse. Before she got into her car, she said, “Between your pink blouse and my yellow one, it looks like we have the same idea to use color to show positive thinking on this rainy day!”

As I walked back home, I realized that if I had stayed inside until the storm had passed, I would have missed our neighborly ray of sunshine.

Puddle jumping into the day under an umbrella of encouragement,

Christina

Now go out and encourage your men (2 Samuel 19:7).

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

Sneak Preview

Sharing a sneak peak of the cover for the second book in the FROG series. Unthawed: Lessons from a Frozen Lily Pad is in its final tweak process. Believing it to be published this spring.

12 authors joined me on this adventure to share their real-life adventure stories of courage. We’re eagerly waiting for this project to unthaw!

frozen-yoga-final

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

Violence and Victory

As I near the publishing birthday of my first FROG books in a series, I celebrate with this excerpt from The Frog Blog: Learning on a Lily Pad (available on Kindle and Amazon).  I dedicate it to my soul friend, Elizabeth who courageously practices to live this message every day!

frog hi-res

I’m reading Pastor Joel Osteen’s book, “You Can, You Will.” Pastor Osteen wrote about fixing our minds on a positive default setting. He used the example of a 2007 beauty pageant contestant who slipped and fell as she walked across stage on her way to the evening gown competition.

She was embarrassed, and the audience was unforgiving with their laughs and humiliating comments. Despite this fall, the contestant advanced to the top five for the next competition. Each contestant was to draw a random question out of a hat and answer it. She was asked, “If you could relive any moment of your life over again, what event would you choose?” Instead of verbally stumbling from her most recent fall just minutes before, she responded with her (presumed) practiced answer: she’d go back to Africa to work at the orphanage to see children’s beautiful smiles and feel their hugs.

This story stuck with me because it revealed an area I need practice. I challenge myself to embrace life’s updrafts and maneuver the down winds. Both are necessary for flight. When I read stories from the Bible, victory over violence is featured. David and Goliath’s writer could have supplied graphic detail about an intense search for the perfect sized stones to load David’s sling shot. Instead of concentrating on his projected sweat and blood, the story highlights the win over Goliath.

Noah’s Ark may have showcased the smelly animals and reminded us that the oversized boat had no sanitary waste conditions. Instead the story assures us that God is faithful to His people even after our world floods. Jesus’ birth isn’t a documentary about Mary’s labor pains and delivery process. We read about what death by crucifixion entails, but the Bible is slightly (and graciously) vague about Jesus’ cross. Biblical authors wrote victory into their climax. Those stories weren’t sterile, yet authors didn’t buy the tagline “if it bleeds, it leads.” They chose to maximize the triumph.

I’m accepting Pastor Osteen’s invitation to write and practice the highlights of my experiences. Some of my highlights came from my downfalls. None of our lives are wrinkle free, but we may have less worry lines when we give our focus a facelift. That inner beauty could reduce the fine, or not so fine lines.

Training myself to take in more light, so I can decrease the dark circles around my eyes, Christina