A Story Worth Telling!

My Daddy was a Preacher/Minister/Elder for our church, as well as working many years for the water department, in the city we lived! There are so many things I never knew about the first man I loved…he died just before my sixteenth birthday. Oh, how I wish he would’ve lived long enough to meet his grandchildren and to have the opportunity to retire from working every day! More than anything, I wish I could’ve heard more of his story!

What’s In Store…my Dad!

This is one of my absolute favorite pictures of my father! I think he looks so relaxed…simply watching the traffic drive by our home!

When I think of all the stories I never got to hear him tell, I am filled with gratitude for the ones I did!

What’s in Store…A few of Dad’s sermons!

I am so thankful to have a few of the sermons that my dad wrote and spoke. Simply seeing his handwriting makes me smile and the sermons remind me of his faith…something that he instilled in me!

I was named after one of my great aunts…Mary Jane, of course!

What’s in Store…one of my first Bibles!
Gifted to me by my Aunt Mary Jane!

These two pictures are of the Bible my Aunt Mary Jane gifted to me…I’m grateful for her handwritten note. She passed away shortly after giving this Bible to me! It’s being held together by duct tape after all these years!

Inside each of us is a natural-born storyteller, waiting to be released.

Robin Moore, Author

These are just two examples of why I am fast forwarding to this past Christmas. My daughter, Emily, and her family gave me a gift from Story Worth; I had never heard of it! Each week I am emailed a question, usually selected by Emily, but I do have an opportunity to choose my own. I type my response to the question and it is emailed to each of my three daughters. One example of a question might be, “What was your favorite toy as a child?” At the end of the year, my responses will be printed into a hard bound book for my family!

I love this idea for so many reasons. I love it because some questions will be answered for my family that they may never have thought to ask. I love it because even though they may not resonate now, one day they will be so grateful to have words I wrote. I love it enough to share it with you! If you have family members that you want to hear their stories, it’s an amazing gift. If you want to gift it to yourself, you can surprise children, grandchildren, etc., with the gift of your story! I’m attaching my referral link for you, in case you’re interested!


We all have a story worth telling! No matter how you decide to share your’s…it is important to share it! Write it in a notebook, type it on the computer, video record it…but share it for all those you love!


Are you staying ‘warm’ on the ‘inside’?

There is no denying the cold temperatures much of the country has been facing! Here in Ohio….brrrrrrr! We’ve also had plenty of snow (in my opinion) to go along with the cold!

Maybe you’ve gone sledding or even made a snow angel!

What do you do when you want to warm up?

Build a fire?

What if you need to feel warmth on the inside?

Drink something warm?

These things all help keep our bodies warm! You could even say that they return some of us to a childlike state of joy! The fun and laughter we find from playing in the snow warms our hearts!

If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.

Lucy Larcom

The cold doesn’t always come from the temperatures or the weather outside. It comes from allowing life’s circumstances to harden our hearts. What do you do to kindle the fires of warmth in your heart? Sometimes, I read devotions or sing songs that inspire me to be more loving! Sometimes…. it’s the very act of offering kindness to another that rekindles my own inner fire!

We used to sing a song a church camp…’It only takes a spark….’ Maybe you’ve heard it?! If there is the tiniest spark of light and love you can share with someone that has lost sight of the warmth in the world, share yours so they can ‘warm up to it’s glowing’…and the next person…and the next… Isn’t it worth the effort?

There was a Time I Couldn’t Pray…

In 2006, we got my late husband’s cancer diagnosis. Such. Hard. News.

I grew up with a strong faith system! A strong belief in God and the power of prayer. I have spent the majority of my life taking time to lift people and situations up to God!

When I first got the news that cancer was now part of our lives, I turned the radio on and the Beatles song, “Let It Be“, filled the room. I was surrounded by the knowledge that God would be with me.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me

Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me

Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

The Beatles

Over the next both long, and very short, ten months, I found myself in isolation. Don’t get me wrong, I had friends and family that checked on me, but we spent a lot of time in Cleveland for treatment. I was not on social media at this time, so there were long stretches of solitude.

I was in such pain, working to be strong for Tom and our girls, I could not find words to pray.

It was then that I relied on others and God to carry my family and I. The Footprints Poem became my reality. I also learned that even though I could not find the words to pray….

‘Tears are prayers too… They are words too heavy for the mouth to utter but are the perfect interpretation of the soul’s afflictions.’

You never know what someone is going through….they may need you to carry their prayers! I often heard people say, ‘you’re so strong!’, ‘I don’t know how you are doing this!’ Little did they know, I was crumbling on the inside!

I will tell you it was a long time….YEARS…before I truly allowed myself to grieve and actually work through some of the pain. It felt like, if I opened that place, I would drown in my sorrow. The grief never completely leaves, it comes in waves. The good news is…God never leaves, either! God truly does hear our cries and carry us through those times!

What’s In Store: A Time I Couldn’t Pray

I want this post to bring a smile, not tears! I want it to be a positive message of coming through the darkness and blooming! I can’t even tell you why I chose to share this today! I have to trust that somebody needs to hear it and know that God sees every tear and they are received with the cries of your heart! It may even feel like a ‘time you couldn’t pray!’ Those tears are planting seeds that will help you bloom again!

A Fresh Start…

I just received my new calendar!! Maybe it’s just me, but I’m always excited to start fresh! I get my new calendar each year about this time, as dates and commitments start flowing into the next year!!

What’s In Store: A Fresh Start

Of course, it begins in an orderly fashion, with the neatest handwriting and pretty stickers! I find myself writing more quickly and not taking time for the stickers as the calendar year progresses!

You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So get on your way!

Dr. Seuss

This time of year marks the beginning of a new school year for many children… a fresh start! A new box of crayons, pencils, pens…a perfectly clean, new notebook!!

It’s an exciting time, an opportunity to recalibrate! A time to open our minds and hearts to new learning opportunities, new friendships and much more!!

What’s In Store: A Fresh Start

I would challenge each of us to realize that we don’t need a new calendar, a new school year, or even a new day for a fresh start! We only need a new mindset!! Let’s take time to write our pages clearly, with color …and, YES!, use the stickers!!

Splashes of Joy…One More!

I’ve procrastinated in posting this Splash of Joy from my experiences this summer at our Home AWAVE from Home! Why? Well, because it requires me to take a leap of faith!

What’s In Store: Splashes of Joy

I spent a lot of time taking walks by myself and meditating on What IS in Store for me! While I don’t need to know what the future holds (Because I know WHO holds the future!), I do need to open myself up to the path I’m being directed to take! …If you recall my last splash of joy post, there was quite the ‘talk with Jesus’ about all the reasons I shouldn’t walk up to strangers and sing! (Feel free to go back and read about that!) I’m glad I took the leap and followed the call!

Wings are like dreams. Before each flight, a bird takes a small jump, a leap of faith, believing that its wings will work. That jump can only be made with rock solid feet.

J.R. Rim

I’ve been questioning whether to return to the workforce, if I should move, if I should stay…and more! The one feeling. that continually returns, is that I need to speak! It could mean that I come to speak to your group or organization about any number of things that I’ve learned about through personal experience…faith, grief, loss, love, risk, management, customer service, motivation, staying positive, interior decor (this one comes from a love of decorating…and a series of home staging courses!) It could be that I simply speak my heart, put myself out there, and see opportunities that are meant to be …present themselves to me!

What’s in store? I’ll let you know!

What’s In Store : Splashes of Joy

Remembering my Mom….

My mother taught me about the power of inspiration and courage, and she did it with a strength and a passion that I wish could be bottled

Carly Fiorina

Remembering the kindest, most determined woman that I was blessed to call Mom…. She passed away 21 years ago today.

I was at the VC Fair Livestock sale when we got the emergency call and rushed out to head to the hospital…. On the way to the hospital, I had the overwhelming sense that it was too late… My Mom was flying with the Angels. So many things left unsaid and yet somehow I know that she understood them all!

What’s In Store: Remembering Mom

Twenty-one years have passed since I looked in your eyes, but I feel your presence and love every day! I Love and miss you Mom!

If your parents are still with you…call them… Visit them…listen to their stories… Do it OFTEN and with JOY!

What is Pink…Tuesday?

When you think of pink, what comes to mind? The color? A feeling? The same could be asked about every color, but today I’m talking ‘pink’! It’s happens to be one of my personal favorite colors!

What’s In Store: Pink Tuesday!

Years ago, at McArthur SuperValu, the idea was brought to me, by a couple of super employees (thanks Amy and Lisa;), to wear pink on Tuesdays! That idea became a tradition that remained for the life of the store and was even celebrated by some vendors and other local businesses! That’s right…almost every employee embraced wearing some shade of pink every Tuesday!

I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.

Audrey Hepburn

It was a simple thing to do…and yet, Tuesdays seemed a little brighter and happier! It begs the question, what simple thing can I do (can you do) today, to make the world a little brighter? It doesn’t need to be complicated! It might even be as easy as wearing PiNK! HaPpY ‘PiNK’ Tuesday!

Splashes of Joy, Part III

It was our last night on the island. We got into our cars to drove to the point for sunset!!

What’s in Store: Splashes of Joy Photo credit to Stephen Petros

As we got to the furthest point in our walk, there it was! The real reason I was brought to that place and time…a group of four people, we had never met before, entering the water for a man (near my age) to be baptized. Another person dedicating their lives to Christ! We stood, as did others, and watched in silence….clapping for him as he emerged from the water.

As we started to walk away, I felt a God whisper to walk over to these people and sing a message. I had a momentary discussion with God about why that was a bad idea…and I was urged to do it anyway! So I did! It wasn’t my best version of the song, as my nerves kicked in, but it was a blessed song and surely, the presence of the Lord was in that place!

It was received with open arms, hearts, hugs, tears and was a blessing to us all!

God speaks in the silence of the heart.

Mother Theresa

I could have simply kept walking! God would still love me (even though he would be saying , ‘Listen, Child’) Those people would still have been touched by God’s love and I had already been blessed just by being present! BUT….we would have missed out on a something special that was meant for each of us…we might have missed the biggest Splash of Joy!

Splashes of Joy, Part II

What’s in Store: Splashes of Joy/photo credit to Stephen Petros

Today’s Spash of Joy comes directly from the excitement of a child, my grandson!

Every adventure requires a compass, curiosity, a journey, a creative mind and someone willing to play.

Shannon L. Alder

I was chill~axing on the beach, watching my grandchildren play in the water, when the oldest of the three (eight years old) reached into the water and removed a surprise from his feet!! He came running out of the water, jumping up and down, with this fully in~tact shell in his grasp!

What’s In Store: Solashes of Joy!

His excitement was contagious! I was seeing the world through the eyes of a child! I would guess that anyone that was blessed to catch sight of the moment… got splashed!

What’s in Store: Splashes of Joy

I could end this post right here! This is a picture of my daughter and her family waving goodbye! There were tears falling all around! I had an overwhelming sense that they should not be leaving! The HaPpY Dance ensued about 25 minutes later when I heard a knock at the door…and they had turned around and decided to stay a couple more days!

I have the feeling that, for whatever reason, they were not supposed to be on the road that day. Thankfully, the God~whisper was heard and the splashes of joy continue!

Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.

Eddie Cantor

Splashes of Joy…Part I

My next few blog posts are going to be joyful moments from the three weeks I was able to spend at my Home AWAVE from Home! I hope you enjoy them…may they remind us all that the most precious moments arrive in splashes of joy!

What’s In Store: photo credit to Stephen Petros

I had an opportunity to follow along while Steve and his son golfed! I drove my own cart and had plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful scenery!

What’s In Store: Splashes of Joy of course!

They were matched up, on this particular day, with Rick and Buzzy! Nice folks that are living in the area, with their families, on a part-time basis! Throughout the day, there was plenty of time for conversation. Rick asked me about where we were from, etc. I told him about the family grocery that had been such a big part of my life….and…wait for it…..Rick and Buzzy’s family had owned a small chain of grocery stores for FORTY years!! Yep….fellow grocers!

I’m telling you…that was a big Splash of Joy for all of us and we really enjoyed sharing stories from a business we all loved! It was no accident that we were all in that time and place together!

There isn’t any questioning the fact that some people enter your life, at the exact point of need, want or desire – it’s sometimes a coincendence and most times fate, but whatever it is, I am certain it came to make me smile.

Nikki Rowe

If that didn’t bring a smile to your face….maybe this little guy will…

What’s in Store: Splashes of Joy

He was standing nearby to applaud the new friendships?…or maybe the great golf? Maybe, a little angel message from my brother, Daniel? Probably….he was hoping that I loved nuts, too, and would have some to share with him! At any rate…he brought a smile to at least one person (me!) that day!

Take it slow….

After my mom passed away, I found a small turtle pin next to where she would sit on the couch! It was small and nothing flashy, but when I saw it, I knew it was a message, from Mom, saying it’s ok to ‘take it slow!’

What’s In Store: Home AWAVE from Home

Sometimes when we are in a stage of hardship and/or grief, we think we need to go full speed ahead and get to the other side of it!

I can speak from my experience…there was no way around it. It catches up to you, maybe even after most think you’re already through it! There is really no ‘through it’ either. There is a new normal. A new acceptance of a changed life.

Lately, I feel like many of us are rushing through life period! Looking for the next big event or moment, rather than relishing the present! We sometimes forget that life is what is happening right now! It’s ok to slow down and be in the the here and now!

And so taking the long way home through the market I slow my pace down. It doesn’t come naturally. My legs are programmed to trot briskly and my arms to pump up and down like pistons, but I force myself to stroll past the stalls and pavement cafes. To enjoy just being somewhere, rather than rushing from somewhere, to somewhere. Inhaling deep lungfuls of air, instead of my usual shallow breaths. I take a moment to just stop and look around me. And smile to myself.

For the first time in a long time, I can, quite literally, smell the coffee.

Alexandra Potter, The Two Lives of Miss
Charlotte Merryweather

I am beginning week three of time at my Home AWAVE from Home! Spending time with family and time to be introspective! it’s been really good for my soul! (Below is a pic of me in front of my favorite spot!)

What’s in Store: Home AWAVE from Home. (My favorite spot!)

Whether you are in a season of grief or joy, take a moment to slow your pace! A moment for gratitude to be your focus! If you, like me, don’t like coffee…take a moment to smell the chocolate! Enjoy the sweetness that comes from sharing life with people you love and people that love you!! Life is short and there are no guarantees about tomorrow! Make the most of this moment!

Don’t Miss It….

I am enjoying some extended time, with family, at our Home AWAVE from Home! It’s a wonderful, relaxing time!

My time at the beach always fills my spirit and I’m somehow able to listen more closely to the ‘God whispers!’

What’s In Store: photo credit to Stephen Petros

This picture is truly Ahhh~mazing!! The night before it was taken, my husband wanted to take his phone into the water for some pictures…I ‘strongly’ discouraged it. (‘What if you lose it in the ocean?’) The next night I didn’t go down with him for his nightly swim!! He sent this picture to me! CLEARLY it was taken from the water! While it was against my best advice, there’s no denying the beauty he captured!

The message it holds for you may be different than for me! I do believe this picture was taken for YOU to see! If it helps you focus on something beyond ‘self’ for just a moment, it was!

Sometimes, we have to be willing to take a risk to reach the reward!!

When I look at this picture, I see the lighted path leading straight to the sun…or is it the Son? For me…it IS the Son! A moment was captured and the message received! It might have been missed if the fear of losing something valuable wasn’t released!

Fear is present when we forget that we are a part of God’s divine design. Learning to experience authentic love means abandoning ego’s insistence that you have much to fear and that you are in an unfriendly world. You can make the decision to be free from fear and doubt and return to the brilliant light of love that is always with you.

Wayne Dyer

I’m not suggesting you risk losing your camera in the ocean…but, perhaps your focus could be shifted from the safety of the shore and you could allow your mind to drift away! There is more to see, more to hear, if we let go of our need to control the outcome …even just a little!

Take a shot…Dont miss it!! Don’t miss the opportunity to see the light…and to share it with others! It IS always with you… even WITHIN you!