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


I’m Knee Deep in my next book of the FROG series. Today, I take a breath to share a section from the book that started my published author career. To honor my 500 word or less FROG Blog limit, this chapter cuts off at 500 words.

From Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens and Worn-Out Underwear (available on Amazon and Kindle).



When I originally started writing this book, my purpose was to create a collection of transparent thoughts harvested from seeds of three decades of running. I wanted to portray that a sense of humor and optimism is key to running perseverance.

The written potpourri was intended to be lighthearted and comical, sometimes filled with random silliness. A few trusted people read my first drafts and graciously guided me away from my undertone of jaded flippancy. These mercifully honest people told me the book read more demeaning and preachy. They expected my natural default to sprinkle upbeat wit into everyday situations to show up on the pages. Instead, they were met with disappointment that I wrote something that was dramatically different than who I really am when they’re around. Ouch. My heart took a sucker punch because a lot of these people have known me for much of my life.

My knee-jerk reaction instantly licked my wounds. If I was going to write a book, I wanted it to have power, to stand out with a message deeper than something they’d read on the back of a furniture polish bottle. My mission in writing a book wasn’t to portray myself as a cynical broom rider with frequent flier miles on her sweeper.  My next line of defense, saturated in defensiveness, was some people reading my manuscript had obviously gotten stuffy over the years since we’ve known each other. Maybe they no longer “got” my random sense of humor.

I felt too exposed, too volatile, too embarrassed to fight back. Those first drafts required significant sweat equity. I thought I had thicker skin and more willing to accept constructive input. Had I intersected the fine lines between quick wit, sarcasm, and cynicism?  In a wearied state, I let the book sit for over two years. Fast forwarding through a litany of internal dialogue, lengthy journal entries, and a few hundred days of living the earthly experience, I received a “wider lens” perspective. After two years of manuscript dormancy, I pulled the most recent version of my book from a stack of papers. I read comments and editor remarks through a lighter filter. I read through a filter that didn’t promote fire and brimstone pulpits. I studied through a filter that didn’t accept lack of compassion. Yikes.

Thankfully, I was gently convicted enough to admit that instead of what I originally thought was refreshing transparency was raw, unbecoming cynicism. I used a written platform to mask personal unresolved issues that bit with a “get-back-at-the-world” bitter spirit. I’m eternally grateful for those people who exposed this edgy truth with loving honesty.

In my original drafts, I covered this unexplored section of my soul, fearing that readers would think I was too “out there.” Over years of running, I have accumulated fresh insights and discovered an intensely spiritual side I had not expected or sought.  So, with sincere appreciation to my writing life coach who encouraged me to dig beyond “see” level, I write this unplugged…


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Unthawed: Lessons from a Frozen Lily Pad published in July! I’m working on Knee Deep, the next book in the FROG Blog series. Knee Deep contains material that I never expected to write about so until that book progresses, I post a piece from the original FROG Blog: Learning on a Lily Pad. My three books are available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Kindle.

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The word ‘actually’ seems to be used more frequently in many conversations I’ve had lately. I’m not sure if ‘actually’ is a version of “like” (i.e. ‘That play was so like amazing’) or if I’m simply more aware of ‘actually’ being used as a clarifying filler. For example, when somebody explains what they mean, the person may say, “actually, the situation was more eventful than…” or “it was actually most frustrating because it was something you’d see when…”

In all actuality, I ponder another phrase from the lily pad of observations. “To be honest with you.” I hear a version of this nearly every day, “This is what “x’ is saying, but to be honest with you, I think…” Or abbreviated, “Honestly? I really think she should tell him…”

When did we incorporate honesty as a clarifying statement? When speaking, do we need to credit truth with a phrase or word that assures listeners or viewers we’re being truthful? I tested a potential response I’d like to incorporate when someone says honestly. I tried this on a longtime friend who honestly has a great sense of humor and is truthful about feedback.

Speaker: “Honestly?”

Me: (mild interruption) “Yes, versus dishonestly.” (insert a wink when the speaker understands the wit)


Speaker: “She can do whatever she wants, but to be honest with you, I think she needs to…”

Me (after the honest person finishes their sentence): “Just so I know we’re on the same page, you said she can do whatever she wants, but to be honest with you…,’ When you said you were being honest with me, was there a dishonest version of this situation/conversation/opinion that you were going to share also?” (another wink and smile to indicate I’m not pontificating).

This friend cautioned me to only use this banter with discretion (translate: that could turn sideways in a hurry). I appreciate her honesty! I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If there’s truth but it won’t add value or love to someone, I will honestly remain silent.

Seeking truth in love from a lily pad in the FROG Blog,



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Reminder that until August 22, I will donate 50% of all sales from newly published Unthawed: Lessons from a Frozen Lily Pad to a non-profit that supports employed underserves families. Books are available in printed and e-book format on Barnes & Noble; Amazon; Kindle.

The following is a chapter in the upcoming Tadpoles book of the FROG Blog series. Your comments help me develop its content as our team works toward publication. Thank you for your generous support in words and purchasing any of my three published books so far!

animal bee bloom blooming
Photo by Pixabay on

According to, the average bee will make 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. As a human bee-ing, I’m stung with the thought of leaving the earth with 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey as my lifetime legacy. also states that there’s only one queen bee in a colony of 40,000-60,000 bees during spring or early summer. In human colonies, this queen bee could be described as a woman of clout.

A honeybee visits 50-100 flowers during a collection journey. In earthly business, I envision 50-100 trade shows or making 50-100 client connections in one trip.

One-third of all food Americans eat is derived from some source of honeybee pollination. Where would I be without these diligent worker bees? Their job performance teaches me that they are being what they are created to do.

Am I completing what my heavenly King Bee asks of me? If I knew that my life would produce only 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey, would I be satisfied? If I were queen bee, how would I lead a staff of 40,000-60,000? Could I handle 50-100 collection calls and at the end of the trip, return with a puny drop of honey in the bucket?

God has a role for everyone. In 1 Cor. 3, I read about everybody having a role. One waters, one plants, one gathers, but only God grows their offering.  Every job, every person is an essential worker to God. He could run the universe on His own, yet He chooses to invite us to join Him.

I’m humbled that a Being who created everything doesn’t need anything, but He wants my everything. Whether I’m queen bee or honeybee, I want to be His worker bee.

Buzzing around the lily pad on a wing and a prayer,


“So neither the one who plants not the one who waters anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and he one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Cor. 3:7-9).

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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).


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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
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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!