Hello, Dear Ones! I have been absent from the blog scene for a while, and with good reason. I’ve been preparing for my oral exams in the psychology licensure process. I sat before a board of eight individuals yesterday afternoon and was interviewed for about forty minutes. It was a bit intimidating, but everyone was very nice and treated me fairly.
Soooo…I am now licensed psychologist #954, in the state of WV! Isn’t that tremendous? I have felt such a sense of relief, I cannot explain. This has been 15 years in the making. I just missed my supervision requirements by six months when I had my first child. And now, ten years later I’m finally getting caught up. You can imagine the content of my prayers in the past several days, but mostly, I’ve been overwhelmed with gratitude. A year ago, I never dreamed that I would be in the position of being licensed, but God so lovingly has taken me there–one little tiny baby step at a time.
On the drive home from Charleston, a thunderstorm threatened. Before the rain came, some of the most amazing bolts of lightening lit up the evening sky. It was so gorgeous and exhilarating, and; as I sang some praise and worship with Jeremy Riddle (at the top of my lungs), I couldn’t help marveling at the congratulatory fireworks show that my heavenly Father was putting on for me. The thought made my soul sing.
Aren’t we blessed? Don’t we just have an amazing God?
So now it is time to get back into the routine. I want to update you on my first book. The Wings of Klaio is in the final editing stages. I don’t have a release date, but I am getting very excited. This is a book that is written for tweens and early teens. I incorporated much of my own personal experiences into the story, but there are a lot of differences between my life growing up and the life of the heroine. It’s the story of a young girl named Brody Whittaker, whose parents are going through a divorce. The book chronicles the many ways that Brody’s life changes with the breakup of her family. The story’s book series title (The Wings of Klaio) refers to a tiny bird sculpture that Brody treasures. Unbeknownst to Brody, this little bird is her guardian angel. Klaio was in the Garden of Eden when Satan deceived Eve, and as she flew to tell the Lord, the serpent’s eyes met her own and she was turned to stone. When Eve found the bird, she was greatly grieved; and so she named the stone creature Klaio, which is the greek word that means, “every outward expression of sorrow”. Klaio has been handed down from generation to generation, and was given to Brody by her late grandmother. Klaio works in covert ways to help Brody through this difficult time in her life.
This story is very special to me. When I look back on my life, I can clearly see how God protected me and guided me. That’s what the Klaio series is about. The books also have discussion questions at the end and would make and excellent book club selection with this age group. Email me if you’re interested in doing something like this with the young girls at your church. I would love to come and visit and talk about the book with you, if possible.
I’m currently working on the second book in the Klaio series. I’ll keep you posted on the details of both.
Keep praying for me, dear ones! You keep me going!



My Dears,

I’ve been wrestling with the “if onlys” for the last couple of days. Does that ever happen to you, and does it catch you by surprise? Do you ever find that, when you least expect it, ghosts that you believed long exorcised pop their heads out of some dusty corner and whisper “boo” at you? And not only do you jump, but you let a little bit of something else creep back into your consciousness? Maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s anger, maybe it’s regret. And if you’re like me, you let that little bit of creepiness control you for a while. Sigh.

You see, I have this amazing group of young girls that I teach on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. In these young faces, I see so much promise. I want to take all that I’ve learned in life and open their heads and just pour it in. I want to tell them about the hard stuff, the mistakes I’ve made, and all of my regrets. I want to warn them to guard their hearts above all, to stay true to their beliefs and stand firm. But I know that it doesn’t work that way. I never had someone to tell me those things, but, chances are, if I did, I wouldn’t have listened anyway. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way. So I have restrained myself. Instead of telling the girls the history of my world, I buy curriculum.

Yesterday, I went out looking for curriculum. We needed a new direction. I found this lovely series on inner beauty. It was about how we are all beautiful in God’s eyes. I got so excited just reading the lesson plans. I imagined us doing our nails and discussing Jesus (humor me, I have two sons). I so want for these girls to have an intimate relationship with our Lord. So, in the first lesson, I’m supposed to take a Polaroid of each girl, and we do a little craft with the photo. I thought it would be fun to share a preteen picture of myself with my girls. After much scavenging, I stumbled upon a small snapshot of me at the tender age of twelve.

I was not prepared for the emotions stirred within me at that image of the little girl I used to be. The picture was taken at a very difficult time in my life. I was trying to make sense of some excruciatingly painful things with the wisdom of a twelve year old. I was not a pretty pre-teen. Skinny, with long stringy hair, freckled pale skin, and big teeth. Yet, I had these eyes. Big and blue. And in those eyes, this old version of me saw the same promise reflected; the same promise that I see in the eyes of the girls that I teach. But I knew that little girl’s future. I knew of all the mistakes she would make, all the wrong choices and concessions. And I let that grief and that regret creep in.

I needed to live with it for a little while, I guess. The Lord tells us that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him. Tonight, when I was tucking my youngest son in, he asked me a peculiar question: If there was never a you, would there have ever been a me? Carefully, we traced all the requirements that came into play for my little man to be born, just the wonderful way that he is. In the quiet of my mind, I remembered many more variables. Every wrong choice made, every missed opportunity, every hurtful rejection; all of these things have brought me to where I am today: tucking in my beautiful boy.

If I could tell my girls one thing, it would be this: You are loved with a love that is greater than anything in this world.

If we know this with every ounce of our being, we act accordingly. When we are assured of our value, we act as one who is valuable.

I’m holding that picture of the blue-eyed girl close to my heart. She is beautiful. And in her eyes, I see so much promise.

True Love

Hello, Dears,

This is a crazy time of year! We have been busy with field trips and field days, WESTEST prep. and Mother’s Day, and yesterday was my wedding anniversary! Even though life has been busy, I’ve been trying to make a deliberate effort to slow down and keep my priorities. Sometimes I do better than others. Yesterday, when I got up in the morning for my prayer time, I was surprised to find a little anniversary token left for me on our kitchen table. I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t made an effort to do the same for my beloved. Starting my day off with such a special gesture from my husband turned my day in a new direction. All day long my thoughts were on him. I let my mind turn to our courtship and all of the wonderful things about him that I fell in love with in the beginning. So much of our relationship has changed over the years, but the amazing thing is, that after all of this time, the things that I first fell in love with in him remain.

Last night we watched Pride and Prejudice together. I just adore Jane Austin. Is there anything better than a story about true love? I lay my head on my pillow prepared to dream about the great passion of Miss Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. A funny thing happened instead. I began to think of my own love story once again. It struck me how the love between a man and a woman reflects the love that God has for us. And how true love glorifies Him in so many ways. The truth of the gift of love began to fill me up inside. I was overwhelmed with God’s kindness. He didn’t have to give us such depth of emotion. He doesn’t need us to swoon with passion for one another. But He so wisely illustrates His own love through our love for one another. And we are but a reflection. Wow!

Dedicate you day to love, Dear One. To the love of your life, our Lord and Savior.


Tonight has me thinking about gifts. God has given me so many gifts in my life that I am overwhelmed with gratitude. No, I am not talking about talents, or wealth, or any other abundance that is visible to the outsider viewing my life from a distance. I’m talking about hidden-behind-the-back-wrapped-up-in-a-big-red-bow-surprise-kind-of gifts. From my job, to my friends, to my husband’s recent salvation, the Lord has blessed me mightily.

This week I am particularly thankful for my mother-in-law. There is no substitute for the peace of mind that arises from knowing one’s children are well cared for. Especially when a small one is ill, it is difficult to fulfill other responsibilities. All the heart wants to do is stay and care for that child. But life doesn’t always allow for such sentimentalities. So, God made Grammys. And we have a good one.

Yes, we are very blessed. Our family has suffered some financial losses in the past year. At times, we were uncertain what the future had in store for us. In many ways, we still are unsure of the path that lies ahead. Many times I have been tempted to give in to fear through this journey. Yet, surprisingly, an overwhelming sense of assurance has pervaded. Through these losses, much has been found. We have been forced to look at our lives, to determine what matters most to us. I am so thankful for this time to evaluate and reflect. One lovely blessing of these trials has been that I now have back the man that I married. My marriage is stronger than ever, and my husband and I have grown ever closer. Our children have been blessed through this process as well. God has refined our family. Now our focus is on Him, and on one another. He put a big shiny bow on that one. I never could have foreseen the ways He would grow us through these challenges.

I read something recently that warmed my heart. In Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline he says: “Freedom from anxiety is characterized by three inner attitudes. If what we have we receive as a gift, and if what we have is to be cared for by God, and if what we have is available to others, then we will possess freedom from anxiety. “

When I find myself feeling anxious (which, if you know me, you understand that this is a demure statement of my usual physical state), all that I have to do is realize that the current situation is a gift from God, and it changes everything. I then begin to ask myself: what are you teaching me in this, Father? What joys will come at the end of this? And I begin to see with the eyes of a student, sitting at the feet of the Great Teacher.

Oh, what a gracious gift. What an amazing gift.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning. (James 1:17)

Fear and faith

Hello, my friends!

What a lovely day it has been here in West Virginia. The sky has been clear, and a crisp breeze cooled the air just slightly. As one of my sweet friends at church told me this morning: I’d like to bottle this weather up and take it home!! This is the kind of day that one just wants to savor. Sundays are usually a bit hectic for our family, but for some reason, though still busy, today felt special. Must have been the weather. And the fact that Jeff Gordon won the race! That’s two in a row. Maybe he is getting his old magic back. Seriously, I am not Nascar crazed, but my ten year old is. And, well, I like to stay connected with what he cares about. And Nascar it is. The child is obsessed. It is so wonderful to watch him find something he enjoys. What a blessing it is to share it with them. My little guy has had some trouble finding his place in this world. He is a bit different than most boys his age. He couldn’t care less about sports. He’s a little bookworm. Selfishly, I love this about him. We have read some marvelous books together. Books got me through some very lonely times when I was a young girl. So, I’m afraid I’ve failed to discourage this trait in my little guy. I remember my parents ordering me to leave the house on beautiful days like today, because all that I wanted to do was stay inside and read. My son is the same. My solution? I take a blanket outside and we lay under our pear tree and read together. I pray these will be special memories for him. I cherish the times my mom shared something with only me. This passion has not been without it’s challenges. The first thing my son does in the morning is read the paper. He has done this since he was in the second grade. Initially, I was very cautious. I censored what I let him see. But over the last year or so, I’ve grown careless. This has proved problematic. Especially since recent events. I tried not let him see the headlines following the VA Tech shootings. But he found the place that I’d stashed the front page. Of course, as it turned out, all of the kids at school were talking about it, so I was thankful that I at least had a chance to prepare him a little before he heard about it at school. But ever since, he’s been having fears at night. He pleads with me and his father not to leave him alone in the dark. He has even been waking up in the middle of the night and calling for me to sleep with him. This has not happened since he was three or four years old. It’s been very difficult. He is afraid that an adult will kill him. When I reassured him at first, he said to me, “Don’t you understand, mom? Bad things happen every day.” yes, I told him, this is true, but one of the great things about being a Christian is that we trust God to handle these things in life; to give us strength to make it through difficult times, to even deliver us if He so chooses. I don’t, he responded. I don’t trust God. I said something lame about him being young and how his faith will grow over time, but I was shaken. I was shaken by his honesty and his insight. And I wondered, how many adults would have the courage to say such a thing? And, do I? Do I really trust God? Here I have been, trying to help my son in my own flesh. Trying to reason with him and offer my own strength to him. After that day, I just began to pray. Jeff and I are both psychologists. There isn’t much that is off limits in our house as far as topics of conversation. I believe that difficult issues are a spring board for life lessons, for deeper conversations. Every night now, Teddy prays for the families of the victims at VA Tech. And I know that it is still on his mind. So I lay down with him every night. For the first time in a long time, his need for me is greater than his need to be cool. He clings to me. And instead of saying, there’s nothing to be afraid of, or pray; I tell him what a special little boy he is, and how God blessed my life when He sent me Teddy. And I feel him relax in my arms. He is closer to God, because I showed God to him. I didn’t just tell him about God. I let His love flow through me. We still have a long way to go. And I know that there will be many more battles. But I pray that these times will be his strong foundation. I pray for wisdom. I pray for strength. God is not only working on Teddy through this, He is working on me.