The Children’s Bread

The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. But Jesus replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Matthew 15:25-27

I recall a conversation I had with my sister some years ago when Puff Daddy (I believe this was before his P Diddy incarnation) was taken to court for child support. Some folks held the opinion that the mother of his children was asking for a lot, far more than she needed. But my sister said, summing up the matter nicely:

“If Puff Daddy rides around in a limousine, so should his children!” In other words, if my father eats caviar (never tasted the stuff, looks unappetizing, LOL!) so will I! That seemed like sound reasoning to me.

When my siblings and I were young, we went through what most children did of our time. You ate what mom cooked. Much of the time, MaDear indulged us and cooked what we wanted, our short order cook and waitress all in one. But I still remember the standoff she and I had over greens – I didn’t want ’em and she was determined I would try them. They were a cold congealed mess when I finally touched the fork to my lips, but try them, I did. I admitted they weren’t bad and I’ve eaten them ever since.

And then there was the showdown between MaDear and my little sister over chicken. (It was epic, on the scale of the Everybody hates Chris episode when Tanya refused to eat the surplus sausage.) The youngest, being the baby, could normally get away with murder although she never did perform anything so heinous. But our MaDear clearly wasn’t having it that day. She stood her ground and informed her baby that she would sit there until she finished that fried chicken leg. My sister wailed and insisted she couldn’t because of a phenomenon we’ve all experienced at one point or another. You know – when you bite into the drumstick and see that ugly red vein protruding – ugh. Even I, whose stomach is not so tender, must admit its appearance can be off-putting.

You will eat it, MaDear insisted, even if you have to sit here all night! 

But my sister couldn’t. Unlike with me, our mother relented when she saw her daughter was genuinely repulsed by that particular cut of meat. For years afterward, she would only eat only the breast, as it contained no obviously offending veins. This brings me to the next well-known tradition in many households, also ala EHC – Daddy gets the biggest piece of meat! The breast belongs to him! But, notice, we ALL ate chicken. If he received steak and gravy, concurrently, so did we all. And my father was a big fan of this notion. It was his habit to purchase gallon sizes containers of ice cream daily during the summer and personally see to it that we joined him in polishing it off. Sometimes I was cajoled into partaking in one of his down-home delicacies, say cornbread and buttermilk (yucky, btw) because he insisted that we eat what he ate. To feed us from his plate was his delight.

Recently, it occurred to me that this analogy held true with the children’s bread. See, my rambunctious Rottweiler Rocco, could not, nor should he, receive everything I eat. (Some of it he wouldn’t even appreciate, being a dog.) But my daughter can. And never does she have to qualify for the privilege or prove her worthiness. She eats what I eat, simply because she is my daughter. I offer it up freely; it is my pleasure. To care for her, even though she is grown, brings me joy.

Today, I thank God for this revelation because I’ve struggled most of my life with whether or not I deserved my blessings. Could I ever earn such a thing, or would I ever be good enough? My life has been a series of failed experiences in proving my value to the world. I’ve spent a good portion of my time creating accomplishments to justify my worth to man. This has been an unsuccessful effort because, mainly, the problem lay with me. I didn’t believe myself worthy. But now I know, my blessings have nothing to do with my worthiness. He is my Father. My value lies in the fact that I am His child. I get what He gets, have access to the things He has access to and I eat what He eats. Maybe He still gets the big piece of chicken, LOL! But in true Father fashion, I am allowed to eat from His plate, sup from His bowl, simply because He wants me to enjoy what He has. I don’t have to do a thing to deserve it, other than be His. Can you imagine a baby deserving a meal? Crazy, right? Think about it – a mother’s breast will excrete milk in response to her baby’s cry. We are hard wired and designed to give to our children, provide for, and respond to their need.

It has been said by some that healing, based on the context of our scripture, is the children’s bread. But I say, let us not stop there. It’s all ours! Everything God has belongs to us. Consider this: Would any of us withhold provision of ANY sort from our children? Is there any advantage we wouldn’t want to give them? And if they asked, or we saw their need, who among us wouldn’t give MORE than enough according to our ability? My children are welcome to anything and everything I have because they are mine. And so it is with God. I’m walking into this new year secure in the knowledge that my Father’s bread, is MY bread. Whatever He has belongs to me. Yes, all the cattle on a thousand hills and more are MINE.

“If you then, imperfect as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11

Happy New Year,


Love Unmasked

As a Libra, I’ve been told that we can hold a grudge for a long time. But I don’t really believe in zodiac signs all that much. My kids however, can attest to my ability to hold on to something and just not let it go. It’s sad really. So, God has been dealing with me lately about love. Real love, not that fly by night stuff that depends on your feelings. Love that is lasting, that believes all, suffers all. Yep.

See, I always thought if you love someone you’d act a certain way. Treat that person right and all that. Some people have fallen short in my eyesight. They didn’t quite treat me the way I felt they ought, if they indeed loved me. But then I realized, they were not the only one who came up short. When you love someone, it should mean more than mere words. And I think I’ve been paying lip service all this time.

There resides in all of us, another person, an ugly individual that we hope no one ever sees. A good friend will understand, forgive, and excuse such behavior. Even make you feel good about it. Some of my best memories are of friendships where the love continued after my ugly side had been displayed. One girlfriend brought me to tears, and freed me, by these words: There is nothing you can do to make me love you any less. I’m getting misty eyed just thinking about it now. That kind of acceptance of me and my flaws just floored me. Truly brought me to my knees, y’all!

But what of when I am required to do the same? All this time, I’ve been thinking that I’ve been capable of that kind of love when I’m not. Sure, I put up with another’s alter ego for a while but eventually, I decide that I’ve taken enough. The ugliness makes me flee because I felt if they truly loved me, they wouldn’t do certain things. I thought about what they should have done versus what they did and what my response should be. There was a limit to my patience and therefore, my love.

Where is the real love in that? And I pride myself on not being reactionary, normally. Maybe I need to just be more like: “I love you, friend, but you’re crazy asl! I still love you, tho!” Real love carries on DESPITE how badly we behave. It doesn’t run.

The only folks in my life that I know for sure I love beyond any disagreement, poor judgement or bad behavior are my immediate family. But God is calling me to more. When I say I love someone, to really love them. Even the ugly in them. Or to at least stop bandying that word around. It becomes meaningless if you base your love on conditions.

I heard a pastor put it like this: Love is perfect but we administer love from flawed vessels. The person we see and love is just a facade which hides that person who believes themselves unlovable at their core. So our love must go deeper than the surface, to the person they truly are and are trying so desperately to hide. My endeavor and my assignment is to love, really love, and to mean it.

So why this message of love right before Christmas? At this time of year, we dwell on it as much, or more than on Valentine’s Day. Peace on earth, goodwill towards men. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son. This season was made for love. This is also the time of year that we don’t reach out to our own loved ones and friends, all because of a disagreement or infraction. But this is the time when, likely, they need love more than at any other time. Your mission is to love someone, really love them and trust God, trust love to work out the kinks in your relationship. For it is the love of God that reconciled us to him, despite our sins. Love won. And it still does.

Love one another, as I have loved you. John 15:12

Be blessed,



Stir It Up!


There are some things that should never be stirred. Like a pot of burning food, especially when all the liquid evaporates out of that pot of greens or beans you’ve been cooking. Don’t stir! It’s the worst thing you could do, per my mother, unless you’d rather render the entire dish unsalvageable. Stirring will only bring the burnt taste from the bottom and have it completely permeate the contents.

On the other hand, you do want to stir your coffee or tea after adding sweetener. Or that big pitcher of lemonade. Stirring, in this case, will release the goodness of the sugar. Instead of settling in the base of the container, you’ll get sweetness with every sip. Ah yes!

You can make a wonderful gravy out of pan drippings if you let your grease sit for a bit after cooking. Upon cooling, those lovely pieces of meat and browned flour will settle on the bottom, allowing you to pour off the grease and get to the good stuff. Try that too soon and you’ll lose some of your best flavoring. Now once you add your liquid, you’ll want to stir, stir, stir until you have that base throughout your gravy. These images, the possible benefits and disadvantages of stirring, came to mind when I thought of this scripture:

“For this reason I remind you to stir up the gift of God …” 2 Timothy 1:6

Recently, I have been extremely busy promoting my books, which is a good thing. It seems that as I do more to advance myself as an author, I see more ways I can further my cause. I’m meeting people who can help me and finding ways I can help myself. My actions are stirring up something in the spirit. I see the atmosphere now as being cluttered with opportunities. The air around me is churning with them, somewhat like a sky is full of hubris during a tornado. I’ve never sat thru one so I have no idea what that looks like up close (terrifying, I’m sure)! But in my mind, I picture it the only way I can, like the object ridden sky in the Wizard of Oz. All kinds of things were stirred up by the winds, for good or bad – in Dorothy’s case, good, but not so much for the Evil Witch.

In Timothy’s case, Paul reminded him that gifts were embedded in his DNA, passed down from his mother and grandmother. He couldn’t let them lay dormant. Several versions put it thusly: Fan your gifts into a flame! Picture ash covered coals, dying for lack of tending or purpose, suddenly being called into action! USE THEM, the Apostle urged the young disciple, knowing these gifts were given to Timothy for a reason. And don’t be fearful or timid about it! Go forth with conviction and confidence. God has called you into service. Preach His Gospel unashamedly, boldly. Stir up the smoldering embers which were entrusted to you until it has become a full-blown fire!

A lot of us enjoyed smoked turkey on this past Thanksgiving. My brother in law made his version, injected with jerk spices. YUM! It came to mind, just now, how impossible a feat this would have been without a good fire, tended and stirred occasionally, for just this purpose.

And so it is with God and my fortunes right now. The air and the sky are full, rife with promise, just waiting for me to take advantage of them. As I recommit myself to my purpose, stirring up the gift that was bequeathed to me by those who came before me, God is meeting my efforts and redoubling them. Gifts and blessings are like that sugar in the bottom of your jar of ice tea which does no good if sweetness is not distributed throughout. It cannot lie fallow if it is to be effective. Or like the fire on your grill which needs careful attention if it is to remain active. You can’t let it die out if you want to enjoy the smoky, succulent meat. Lord, I pray that you would continue to bless me, let opportunities swirl and collect about me, so dense I cannot help but see what you have made available to me. Let me pluck them out of the sky and use them to benefit me, my family and even the world. And let the fire of your purpose continue to grow hot in me.

Be blessed,


Esau, the Hero?

img_20161110_095240I love Old Testament stories from the Bible. I know many of them like I know my own hand. I see myself in them at times. I think that’s a sign of maturity. Before, all I could do was look at them and think, “Wow! They did what?” And, “How could they not believe God if he said he would do it?” Oh, it’s easy to rail and condemn … until you’ve lived through similar circumstances. Some of my best loved and most encouraging tales are of those “rejected by man but later revealed to be handpicked by God.” (George Johnson)

I give you the example of Esau and Jacob, fraternal twins. Esau grew up beloved of their father, Isaac. Jacob was Rebekah’s favorite. Esau was wild and hairy, an outdoors-man and likely every thing a man could want in a son. He was the epitome of macho. But his younger brother stayed at home. Jacob grew up near his mother, attached to her apron strings, likely tending livestock as he would later do for his Uncle Laban. Jacob was not a hunter and rugged like Esau. But he was cunning. Jacob and his mother plotted to trick Esau out of his blessing (he’d already foolishly given away his birthright to Jacob). Because Esau’s anger was so great, Rebekah sent Jacob away fearing that his brother would kill her dearest son.

While on the run, Jacob found God and began to serve him. The Lord blessed Jacob, raining blessings that continue to follow his descendants to this day. But Jacob had to deal with his own thorn – the deceit of his Uncle Laban. From the onset Laban lied. He tricked Jacob into marrying his daughter Leah when Jacob really loved Rachel. Then Laban repeatedly changed the terms under which Jacob labored. Jacob reaped what he’d done to his brother Esau many times over and had a long while (at least 14 years) to think about it. Time has a way of doing that, causing us to soften our views and regret some of the decisions we’ve made. One day, Jacob decided he’d had enough of Laban’s lies, took his family and ran. Laban caught up with his daughters and son-in-law but being warned of God, merely kissed his family good bye. He and Jacob made a pact to not harm each other and Jacob promised to take good care of his wives.

Jacob returned to his homeland, after a wrestling match with an Angel of the Lord and receiving his new name (Israel), to find his brother, Esau, coming to meet them. “Oh, God,” he must have thought. Now, I have to meet the man I have so grievously wronged. Having been cheated by Laban, Jacob surely fully understood by this time what he’d done to his brother. He prepared to meet Esau with trepidation, dividing the women and children into camps to ensure someone would get away. He sent droves of animals ahead of him as gifts for his brother, hoping to soften him up for the reunion. Jacob was afraid, well and truly, not only because of retribution but because it was deserved. But when he finally saw Esau, something strange and unforeseen occurred:

But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. (Genesis 33:4)

In this, Jacob knew that his brother, with whom he’d shared a womb, missed and forgave him. Esau inquired of all the animals that came before the party. When told they were gifts, Esau replied, “Keep them, I have plenty.” You see, in all those years, Esau had done some thinking, too. He’d had time to come to terms with what happened. But also, he saw that whatever blessing Jacob had taken away didn’t prevent him from also being blessed. God had given Esau a good life, as well, just because he was Isaac’s son and descended from Abraham. And maybe because Esau, too, had undergone a change of heart.

I see now in this story two examples: both Jacob and Esau were rejected in the beginning by either parent. But they both came into their own blessing and gift with no need to be jealous of, or compete, with the other. Each had plenty. Many things are said of Esau in the Bible, not often good. He was despised of God, perhaps because of his haughty spirit. Or maybe simply because God wanted to turn the order of things on end, having the eldest serve the younger, as He is often wont to do. But I have learned something about Esau that is not mentioned in the Bible – his capacity for love. And I’m not just talking about brotherly love, I mean agape love, that love that forgives the ugliest of sins and offenses against us. Godly love. Who woulda thunk that the oft maligned Esau would prove to be such an example?

I said all that to say this: You never know what someone will do or who they will turn out to be. They may surprise you – in a good way. Donald Trump has been elected President of these United States, incredulously. Someone that began as the butt of jokes has turned the tables and is now become leader of the free world. I take heart in Esau’s example today, for he also began as a despicable man, the villain in the story. He eventually came to be a man able to minister grace and mercy to his offender. God is able to heal relationships and this country. Whatever your party affiliation, I suggest you pray for DT and his reign, and not in a negative way, because what he will do affects us all. Perhaps, he will prove to be like Solomon, who asked the Lord for wisdom to rule the great kingdom of Israel at the beginning of his reign. I believe and hope for the best but the truth is, we won’t know for about four more years just how all of this will impact us. Whether he turns out to be good or bad, time will reveal. But this I do know, if he is President, God has ordained it, for whatever reason. “We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.” (Proverbs 16:33) May the Lord bless and keep us all.


True Confessions

But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17

Just for the record, my public confession will never be anything but good! I like to encourage others with my life – I think that’s part of my purpose. It may seem Pollyannaish at times. People accuse me of always being happy but that’s not always true. And it’s not something that just happens, I work at it! Not the illusion or image of seeming happy but the actual pursuit of it. It’s a decision I must make every single morning. And whenever I awaken to thoughts of a previous day well spent, where I made the right choice, did or said the right thing resulting in a positive outcome or went to bed with my head in a good place, I’m good. But the flip side of that is torturous, LOL!

I continually torment myself over the things I could have done better. Yesterday, for example, I stooped so low as to wish evil on someone. My daughter rebuked me for my speech, as I would have done for her in the past. That’s a good thing – that shows her maturity. But that I even went there reveals the dark place my thoughts had taken me. I was surly and rebellious. I awakened this morning and chose to not dwell on those negative things, situations out of my control that are not going my way or people who won’t act the way I think they should act. I won’t re-hash them because it’s pointless. I’ll just continue to feel bad and beat myself up. That is counterproductive. I choose positivity because I cannot do otherwise. The world would not like that version of me, nor would I like myself!

So, I know what negative thoughts do for me, but today I am reflecting on the end result of positive thoughts and confessions. I don’t even have to look back in my journals anymore to realize all the good things that have happened to me. Things changed in my life, when I became conscious of the way I thought and spoke of myself. Lately, I’ve been doing that more often, to the point of fanaticism, but I can’t seem to stop it. The more I confess, the more good things I see for myself. And not just way in the future, I mean right now. It’s as if my words are stirring up the etherworld to give me my heart’s desires. The way I see it, God is bringing these scriptures to mind because He wants to give that life to me. The more I say it, the more I will have.

It may be grating to some, I’ll admit, hearing my bold statements of faith spoken so often. But my confidence comes from God. Right now, I know that it can be viewed as arrogance by others, but one day we’ll all look back and see these statements as prophetic, as the Lord himself, telling us what He is about to do. David once said, “The Lord said to my lord, sit on my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” (Psalm 110:1) Oh, that is a bold declaration and, one day it was true. Saul was no longer a threat; David became king over all of Israel and God gave David rest from his enemies. The Apostle Peter later quoted the psalmist and labelled him prophet when speaking to the crowd on the day of Pentecost. So even though it may sound like bragging, I will continue to say what I want to see in my life.

My confessions this morning look like this:

My beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will my future be. Job 8:7

The Lord will bless my latter days more than my beginning. Job 42:12

The present glory of my house will be greater than the former. Haggai 2:9

A friend once said to me, “I believe when we look for good things to happen, they tend to happen.” That sentiment has carried me far, and kept me through much. No, it’s not always easy to “count it all joy,” that’s for sure. But I must move myself toward that end, speaking the end I wish to have and watch it come to pass. I am more than a conqueror. I am a lioness because my Father is a Lion, LOL! I expect to overcome this world and change it with my confession. I’ll say it until it’s true. I believe and know my best days are yet to come.

Be blessed,


P.S. This would be a good time “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” in your life, too. (Luke 4:19) The Cubs just won the World Series, which means, effectively, ANYTHING can happen, LOL! CONGRATULATIONS CHICAGO! I’m celebrating with you 🙂 #CUBSNATION #braggingrights


Impossible Faith

14608673_544774999049471_343328373344812361_o“That’s an oxymoron,” said my sister. They don’t belong in the same sentence, impossible and faith.

Ah, but here’s the thing, I responded. Not that it’s only an impossible event you expect to occur, but that you have to nerve to believe it. Impossibly so. People will marvel at your faith in the face of such obstacles. Impossible faith renders life’s circumstances possible.

It’s hard to have faith when dealing with seemingly insurmountable barriers. Believe anyway. People will laugh and ridicule you. Believe anyhow. They will make you feel simple minded … until you do it. It will take crazy, unshakeable, impossible faith to reach your goals. But, once you have accomplished it, you won’t seem so crazy.

I saw a wonderful movie on Netflix, Little Boy. I  highly recommend it! It’s about believing in spite of what it looks like, no matter what it looks like. I loved it so much, I walked away from that movie with my faith in God and in my own abilities strengthened. You just gotta continue to believe! Faith is not passive, nor is it for the faint of heart. Someone will definitely come along and challenge your stance, making you feel foolish. But I take comfort in this scripture: Wisdom is justified by her children (Luke 7:35). It’s the end of the thing that declares it. So let the haters hate, the mockers mock, and the naysayers say what they will. Believe God and let them think you are crazy.


New Again


And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Revelation 21:5

I seem to have gone through more than my fair share of trials lately. Ever felt that way? Then you wonder what it is you’re doing wrong. I’ve been asking, seeking and knocking (more like banging, LOL!) to no avail. Until it occurred to me – things keep happening to me. There’s something passive about that, as if I had nothing to do with it, therefore nothing can be done to prevent it. That doesn’t wash with me. I feel there is always something that can be done. Then another word came to mind. Allow. It gave my participation, or lack of, a name. You’ve allowed these things to happen to you, Loria. What? How? Where? For the answer, I went back to the beginning, when I re-set my life.

For me, everything began anew with my divorce. That’s when I began to live. Sounds strange, right? But it’s true. At that time, I stopped letting things happen to me and took more control over my life, the lives of my children and our future. It was a glorious rebellion, a hostile takeover – it was not given to me, I took it by force. For years, I heard Oprah sing the praises of keeping a personal journal. I did not heed her at the time because I was too busy. And I thought my life was fine, which it was because I never took the time to closely examine it. A clue was given me, that something was wrong, when I went to see a dietitian about my eating habits, ostensibly, to lose weight. But that session became so much more when she made a simple request: Describe to me what your day is like. 

I found myself in tears as I gave her the details of my life. Crying, for I knew not what. I was embarrassed. I never went back. But I recognized that feeling. I felt overwhelmed, like my life was not my own. She summed it up thusly: Wow – sounds like your life is kinda on auto pilot and you’re just hanging on for the ride! She was so right. My life was happening in a way and at a pace that left me running just to keep up. I had lost control.

Which brings me to my recent revelation. I asked myself, Loria, what is different about your life now? How did it get so out of control, again? Why are you letting things just happen to you instead of taking more of an active role? This time, the answer came quickly: journaling. Keeping a journal made the difference then and has already improved things of late. My journal is more than a record of what happened during my days, it’s a diary of my prayers. When I look back over them, I see that I have all that I ever asked God for during that transitional period in my life. Prayer is like an arrow – it gives you focus and aim to better enable you to hit your target. It’s like providing direction for your life. When I didn’t write it down, I became aimless and I fell for far too many distractions.

Moreover, writing less often removed the desire for me to write altogether. So, I found myself in a cycle once again of life happening and me just keeping up with the shenanigans. Writing the vision makes it plain – that the reader may see and run with it! Write that vision, Loria! Write it down – this is too important. Otherwise, you’ll continue to tread water and spin your wheels while you wait for something better to happen. It’s not gonna if you don’t direct it. God’s plan for me is good – to give me a future and a hope, an expected end. I’ve said this before and now I write to remind myself: write the ending you expect! Write that vision, girl! What you want out of life, claim it. I was waiting on God and becoming more frustrated but as usual, turns out he was waiting on me.

I’ve got my head twisted on straight now and I’m ready to re-enter the fight. Thank you, Lord, for giving me back my drive and ambition. Thank you for mistakes I’ve made along the way. I will not regret them because they are part of the process and necessary lessons to get me where I want to go. And, get me to where YOU want me to be so that you can bless me even more. I’m not afraid anymore for my future, I know you’re already there and you’ve made provision. I’m excited to see the things you have in store for me. You’re the God of better, of more than enough. You make all things new, AGAIN. Let’s get it – LET’S GO!

Be blessed,


For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie:

though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3


Faith that Conquers

14670609_543510342509270_3669100487200880762_nOne of my favorite songs that has sustained me for years is FAITH, by Vanessa Bell Armstrong. Oh, there are many imitators, perpetrators and duplicators, but no other version can compare to her rendition. This recording is poor in quality but her voice transcends and more than makes up for it, somewhat reminiscent of Aretha Franklin. I rise with every swell of her voice, my spirits lift with her riffs until it culminates in:

Faith, that sees the invisible!
Faith, that expects the incredible!
Faith that can conquer anything!

Oh, to have THAT kind of faith! I long for it and reach for the faith of our fathers, which kept them during dark times. Faith to see my future, afar off, as Abraham did, even though it had yet to be realized. To believe God and count it to Him for righteousness, believing in His promises, that He would do just what He said. Not that I have attained, but I’m getting there. And I realize now, that it would have taken some time for Abram to get there, too. He may have stumbled at times, taken a few bad turns, or even wondered if God had forgotten the promise or if possible, reneged. When Abram found himself waiting on a son for so long that he thought it was humanly impossible for even God to deliver, he and Sarah agreed to have a child through a surrogate. That was a faltering of faith. But God came through eventually. When Abram’s wife was taken from him TWICE, any thinking person (as I’m sure Abram was) would have thought – maybe I shouldn’t have gone this way. He would have questioned, at least, if he made a wrong turn somewhere. But God used those occasions to enrich Abram. By the time God asked Abraham to give his only son as sacrifice, the father of faith was staunch in his belief. He went to obey so thoroughly that an angel had to stay his hand. And so it is with us. We’ll get there. Don’t dismay. The more He does, the more we know He will do. He will not leave us to our own devices. How do I know? Because of what He’s already done. On this, I hang my hat  and my faith. And know, I can conquer anything.

Be blessed,


Take a listen!

Joseph and the Chocolate Factory

Gene Wilder Willie Wonka
In memory of Gene Wilder

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

When I was still a young girl, my brother, Joe, embarked on a journey of The Sandlot variety. It was epic. For years we’d heard rumors of a chocolate factory nearby. It was the legend that made children salivate. Chocolate. Factory. Just the words conjured images of confections out of our wildest dreams – like a Santa’s workshop for chocolate. One day Joe and his friends announced, “We’re going to find the chocolate factory.” Ooooh. Our eyes got big. That they would even contemplate the journey was fantasy, let alone attempt it. It was daring and adventurous. The group set out like Littlefoot and friends from The Land Before Time to do, what seemed, the impossible.

We didn’t tell our mothers, my sister and I, nor did the other girls, what the boys were up to. But back then, mothers expected you to be back home when the streetlights came on. So by the time it was full dark, my mother began to worry. Before she could raise the full alarm, though, Joe was back. In his hand, he carried a red square bucket (similar to the chitterling buckets seen in supermarkets). Melted dark liquid lay in its bottom. CHOCOLATE! We whooped and crowed at the success of their venture and dipped our fingers in it, licking it off our fingers. We paid rapt attention as my brother told how this was merely a portion of the original score, as he had eaten quite a bit of it on the way home. For years to come, I would think of his story and wonder just where the chocolate factory lay. I did have an idea of the general vicinity, for whenever I drove to a certain part of town, the scent of chocolate in the air would betray its presence. Instantly, I’d be transported to that childhood memory.

The funny thing is, I’m not a great fan of chocolate. I only eat it in certain applications – like with nuts (especially with caramel) or on cake. Still, even now, that scent can get me riled. So, imagine my pleasure and surprise while I’m driving into work one day and take a different route to avoid traffic. The smell assailed my nostrils – more tantalizing and pungent than Garrett’s caramel and cheese popcorn mix. It was strong and very close. I craned my neck in each direction, eager to learn the location. Just to know, at last. Maybe then, I’d feel like I’d completed the journey, too. (I’m a terrible Chicagoan, I know – I didn’t know where the Sears/Willis Tower was located until I worked next door, LOL) And there it was, right in front of me. A beige, non-descript building with a sign that read, Blommers Chocolate Company. WOW.

I thought it ironic that I could be down the street from this iconic place and not even know it. I was looking at a piece of my history, a page out of my childhood. Proof that Joe’s story was real. It occurred to me then, the implications of what it could mean. I look for God in everything – from the secular to the sacred, the ridiculous and the sublime. I recalled a dream I once had, coincidentally, of chocolate. It was of my favorite cake that my mother used to bake – yellow cake with chocolate icing. The triangular slice was so huge that my hand could hardly contain it. My hand was stretched to the limit and I could barely open my mouth wide enough to take a bite. When I told my friend, who is a believer in dreams, she interpreted it thusly: “It means something good is coming your way. Chocolate is dessert, decadent. It represents the best things in life. You’re about to be blessed!” She was right. I received a promotion and my own office soon after that.

As I think on that dream, chocolate on the wind has come to mean more than the distant memory of Joe’s adventure. It has become an omen for me of good things to come. It means something good is nearby – maybe even around the corner or up the street. It could be right in front of me. When I catch that scent now, it bring a smile to my face every time, because it reminds me that I’m upwind of wonderful blessings that may not be seen but are surely in within my reach. Good things are on their way. The wind fortells it 😉 God has great things in store for me.

Be blessed,


Originally published on: Dec 3, 2014


ac13fa2205eceebf9a77059e9ce698d7‘See, the LORD your God has placed the land before you; go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’ Deuteronomy 1:21

I chugged the liter of water down, straight from the bottle, almost not stopping until I’d finished the entire thing. My friends looked on with disbelief, eyes wide, brows raised at the small amount that remained. I had good reason to be thirsty. I’d stood out in the hot summer sun for nearly a half hour with no shelter on a concrete parking lot as I waited for them to show, LOL! I was a little chagrined that I’d not thought to ask anyone if they wanted anything from the smoothie bar in the mall on that Sunday afternoon. Blame it on my dehydrated state. I drained the rest of the bottle.

“Wow,” said one. “You really WERE thirsty!” We all laughed. It was true. And then she added a phrase of which I reminded her, “Not a sip, not a swallow, but the whole darn bottle!” That comment has stayed with me ever since. I think God is using it to show me something about following through on the vision he has given me. The goals I’ve made for myself, I must reach. Coming up short is not an option. I shall continue on with determination and perseverance until I have accomplished what I’ve set out to do.

We know the Israelites were God’s chosen people and He made a promise that He would lead them to a land flowing with milk and honey. He did, but not without some bumps along the way. Once the fledgling nation arrived on the scene – after witnessing miracles of walking across the red sea on dry land, being led by a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night – they were presented with a dilemma. Did they have the courage to take the land God had promised them? Fear stood between them and taking hold of their inheritance. They were counted unworthy of entering into the Promised Land because they failed to ACT as if they believed He would do what He said. So once God chooses you, there is a responsibility upon you to follow through. You must do your part. If you have faith in the One who brought you thus far, you must have the fortitude to act on it.

After they’d entered the Promised Land, the Israelites couldn’t occupy it in full, immediately. God told them he would drive out the nations before them slowly so that the land wouldn’t become overgrown and taken over by beasts. So it took some time. His people camped on one side of the Jordan, not fully realizing their inheritance. They’d only successfully conquered enough area for two and a half tribes so there remained “yet very much land to be possessed.” (Joshua 13:1) God then ordered Joshua to divide the rest of the land into nine and a half territories and encouraged the tribes to make each their own. He said to the Israelites: I’ve given you the land. Be brave and TAKE IT!

My recent book signing for Immaculate was a resounding success (pictures to follow)! I’m so thankful for every opportunity and every person who came out, purchased a book and helped us to celebrate. I feel like we’re still on the edge, though. The dream has not been fully realized. We’ve got a ways to go and our work is cut out for us. But I believe in what God told me and I’m not stopping until I see it through to fruition. I’m finding that God can give you a dream, a passion and a desire to do something, be someone and to live a better life. But He doesn’t always plop it in your lap like on the Monopoly game where you find out a dead uncle left you money and you’re suddenly rich. Sometimes, he places the opportunity before you and you have to be brave enough to reach for it.

I’ve heard it said that the human brain is capable of extraordinary things and that we only use a small portion of that which our brain is actually capable. I think it’s the same with our other abilities, as well. We only do a smidgen of what we are able to truly do. Fear can keep us from accomplishing all that we are created to do, just as in the case of the Israelites. Sometimes, we need that extra push from God, that encouragement, telling us to take possession of our inheritance. How long will we sit on the periphery of our destiny, not fully occupying our given territory? I had a conversation with my son recently which gave me the confirmation I needed.

“God didn’t call anybody to be small,” he said to me one day over breakfast. “Anybody.” He went on to let me know that he is of a state of mind that he is not accepting anything less than what he wants out of life. And he’s willing to work for it. He’s not looking for life to hand it to him, but he’s coming for it. “I want the body I want, the job I want, the life I want. It’s my inheritance! I want all of it.” Wow. There’s no settling in that mindset. No compromise. No, we’ll do this and see how it works. Not just a sip or a swallow. The whole darn bottle. So I want it all! Not because I’m greedy but because it’s mine. God gave me these abilities for a reason; He wants me to give me the life I desire. I only need to have the courage to go after it.

Be blessed,