That Hat

It was a warm day in August, I had left Walter’s hall and headed to my 10:15 class at the Moore Building.  It was a short walk I recall seeing the colors in the trees start to change as I passed a few friends and sorority sisters along the wide concrete sidewalks.  I opened the front door of the Moore Building, it was the science building you know where all the smart people went for class.

I walked into my Bio 211 class wearing white jean overalls and a black shirt underneath.  I carried my yellow Alpha Gamma Delta bag with pride.  Those greek letters were red with white polka dots trimmed in navy blue, it was a bag that let everyone on campus know I belonged somewhere.  Belonging was so important at a young age.  I entered the room and briefly scanned it, cream colored concrete block walls with auditorium style seating.  Aesthetically I would say the room was clean and cold.  But up in the back 2 rows from the top I noticed a guy with a tan hat on backwards and a white sweatshirt turned inside out.

Dr. Cupp entered the room and began his introduction.  He passed out a syllabus and gave his expectations.  I continued to be mentally distracted by the guy in the back and inadvertently tuned out of the course introduction.  Dr. Cupp adjourned.  I gathered my belongings and put them back into my yellow belonging bag and waited to follow the guy out. I don’t recall saying hello or making eye contact with the Bio 211 guy but the rest of the day he was all I talked about and thought about.  Bio 211 would meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 and we had a Monday night lab at 6 pm.  I eventually lived for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Monday nights.

I was a golfer in college, I attended Eastern Kentucky University on a full athletic scholarship, back then it did not seem like a big deal but now I realize you were basically an employee of the university.  I loved my college job.  I loved practices and training.  The only misfortune I had was having to take all early classes in college.  We had to be finished before 1 pm with all our class work. Practice was between 1-2 daily.

Our daily routine was class, practice and then play a round typically or at least 9 holes.  Golf takes time, my teammates and I had hours to chit chat between shots.  We strolled down the green fairways talking about our day, occasionally our future hopes and dreams but typically it was about our up coming test or some guy we liked or hoped to meet up downtown with at the clubs on Thursday night.  Thursday night was a special night, it was going out night.  EKU was a suitcase college, the campus was pretty close to a ghost town by Friday at 6 pm.

I still did not know the name of the Bio 211 guy, I just knew he was tall dark and handsome and wore a tan hat backwards pretty much every Tuesday, Thursday and Monday evening.  My teammates also knew him as the Bio 211 guy and continued to taunt me with their giddy sarcasm.  Who is he?  Come on does he really exist?  Practice usually began with “hey, Erica tell me what that Bio 211 guy looks like again”.   I still remember vividly what he looked like and where he sat in the classroom.

The days, weeks and months passed, I continued to talk and dream about the Bio 211 guy.  I am really not sure what I learned in that class, but I remember how much I prepared my appearance and how much I looked forward to going to the class.

I remember my hair, makeup and clothing were on point.  I recall I would not dare miss the class or the lab unless of course Golf called me away.  When you are a collegiate athlete especially at a D1 school the only reason you ever miss class is for matches or games.

I missed my first Monday night lab.  We returned late from Tennessee Tech and I could not make the class.  The following Monday in lab I decided to muster up enough courage to ask the Bio 211 guy what we did in class the previous week.

I still remember the sick feeling and the butterflies I had in my stomach.  The stickiness of the of my sweaty palms and my heart beating in my neck, it was a near death experience I think.  I cannot to this day recall his words back to me, but I do recall the look on his face.  He looked at me like I had three heads and shot my courage down with a nuclear missile.  The Bio 211 guy replied back, “ask someone else for help, I can’t remember”.

I left the lab completely mortified.  I walked out with a friend of mine who played on the baseball team.  Luke had missed as well, he was a handsome fella and luckily he had sweet talked a girl into given him the assignment.  Meanwhile, I was sick from embarrassment and realizing I lacked the charm necessary to swoon the Bio 211 guy into conversing with me.  I needed a Plan B.

I headed into Tuesday with less pep in my step on the way to the Moore Building.  Today was Bio 211 lecture and for some reason my yearning to get there was a little less after the nuclear attack on my heart and soul in lab the night before.  I stepped up the courage entered the door and he was always there, next to the back row right in front of the professor, hat on backwards.  My heart was once again in my neck.  What a feeling.

I finished up classes that day and headed to practice.  I spent about an hour on the range.  Quiet time for me.  Then headed to play nine holes with some teammates.  During the round we could chat between shots.  This was competitive time but fun as well.  Golf is one of those games where you can maintain focus and still have a little leisure conversation from time to time.  We walked and talked about all that was going on in our classes and social life. As usual Beverly and Melissa poked me with their comments of my Bio 211 guy.  I told them once again, I had no idea who he was.  Looking back now, I would have been fortunate to have had the Gram or Facebook.  Be grateful.

Thursday came and went.  I saw him again.  He still did not notice me.  The Moore Building had suddenly become my castle and prince charming was in my class.  I continued to have my heart in my neck every Monday at 6, and Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30.  He never missed class, he was always early and usually prepared.  I never once beat him to the classroom.  I never missed because I wanted to see him, looking back he never missed because he wanted to make the President’s List, 4.0 GPA.

I missed a few more classes and labs because of my golf team obligations.   I am certain he never missed me.  But I still missed him.  I knew from the time on my watch and the day of the week where he was at that time.

In early to mid October we had a quiz, somehow I sat in the row that he had to pass his paper up the row, this was purely unintentional but I used my investigative brain and made a discovery.  When the papers were passed in I could see the names on the sheets.  Dr. Cupp called for them to be passed up and I strategically and secretly flipped through the papers, I saw Turner.

I waited to exit class until he had packed up his backpack and I followed him out.  I had now entered stalker mode.   He did not acknowledge me or even make eye contact, but still yet I was not discouraged.  Crazy but not discouraged.

I went to practice that day and we were warming up for our qualifying round for the Murray State Invitational.  I told the girls on the range I had finally discovered the Bio 211 guy’s last name.  They all laughed and rolled their eyes, but Beverly ask what his last name was.  I replied Turner.  She replied, “oh my gosh”.  I replied with a “what”.  Beverly said “you said he was tall and had dark hair”.  I said “yes”.

Beverly knew him or at least thought she did.  I was about to tee off to qualify for my spot on the travel team and all I could think about was really I had a connection!  Finally I might have a connection and finally I might talk to him.

Over the next four and half hours Beverly and I chatted as I played one of the best rounds of golf I had ever played at our home course.  Focused, happy and relieved that is what I was.

The round ended and Beverly and I had planned our attack. She was going to call “Turner” and maybe find out at the very least if he was seeing someone.  I waited merely sick for a couple of hours.  My dorm phone rang and she said “he is seeing someone”.  My heart sank just a little farther than it did the time he shot me down for the assignment in lab class.  Then Bev said the words I still remember today, “he knows who you are”.  I melted, he had noticed me.  I am not sure what the exact words were after this but Beverly implied that he knew me as a sorority girl who missed class.  Great impressions and great assumptions.  I look back now on the situation and think about the movie Dumb and Dumber.  “So you are saying there is a chance”.

Turner and I would later meet at the library to study.  I was the sorority girl and he was the study guy.  I look back on this and realize you should never assume.  I was far from the typical sorority girl and apparently he had worn the party hat himself for so long all he focused on was Biology now.

We studied on our first “date”.  We went to Taco Bell and ate.   We were pretty much inseparable after that day.  It is so funny when I look back on how I felt about him,  before I actually knew him.  I loved him before I knew him.  I loved his tan hat.  I loved his walk.  I loved the fact that he really did not even notice me.

Sometimes you just know when things are right.  You listen to your gut.   You don’t give up.  When you have your heart in your neck you know there is something bigger than you touching and molding the situation you are in.  When you have that feeling you have to be courageous enough to seek it out.  Hunt for it.  Go after it.

You cannot allow a feeling that special and that intense to leave you.  You know it is right when the feeling never leaves you.   Negativity  may surround you but the feeling stays.  I know in order to  live your life on full you must always follow the feeling that leaves your heart in your neck.  Nearly 25 years later, I still feel all the feels when I think about that tan hat turned backwards.

The SunnySide

Oscar the Optimist and Peggy the Positive Thinker will win.


Did you know your brain influences your health and well being?  When facing a crisis or simple daily stress, positive thinking can actually boost your immune system.  There is an indisputable link between positivity and health benefits.  Those health benefits are but are not limited to lowering of blood pressure, maintaining a healthy blood sugar, aiding depression and boosting your immune system.

How do we improve our positive thinking?  I think first and foremost we have to be willing to work on it.  Here are a few steps to improve your positive thinking and grow your optimism.

  1. Surround yourself with people who lift your spirits.  If your person is not close to you FaceTime them.  A good laugh with a smiling face is sure to bring some joyful outlook on your day.
  2.   Write in a gratitude journal.  If you don’t have one, open up a notebook and start writing 1-3 things each day you are grateful for.
  3.   Do something for someone else.
  4. Watch a funny video or movie.

You see it is part an apple a day will keep the doctor away, but it is also a smile away.  The key really lies in your ability to block negative emotions and their impact on your mindset.  You will never be equipped to block all the negativity but you can equip yourself with the correct response to the negativity.  How you respond to negative thinking plays a huge roll in the function of your immune system.  Continued negative thinking turns thoughts in to stress, chronic stress, in turn, increases your body’s stress hormone (cortisol).   A huge rise in cortisol, in turn, decreases your body’s ability to fight off bugs, not to mention a cascade of other health derangements.

Here are a few daily practices to help you negative Nellies become positive Peggys:

  1.  List your strengths on a sheet of paper.  Besides the strength write down the last time you used it. Now go use it.
  2.   Set a daily goal and achieve it.  Make it short, simple and sweet.
  3.  List a stressor you have in your life.  Write 3 ways to change your perspective on it.
  4.  Do a daily random act of kindness.
  5. Focus on today.  Don’t focus on the past or tomorrow.  Be present.


Happiness takes work.  You have to practice it daily

The Rainbow Chaser

I love thinking about rainbows.   They are a beautiful sight to see.  The beauty in them is not necessarily the color but the fact that the beautiful colors come just after the clouds and the dark sky part and the sun begins to shine again.  When you really think about your life and your daily agenda…clouds pop up minute by minute.   The clouds can often last for hours, days and years and for some it seems like a lifetime.

I love observing people.  The best part of being a doctor is being able to talk and share in the lives of others.  The one thing that always stands out are the people that can find the RAINBOW IN THE CLOUD so quickly…and then the one’s that never seem to know the rainbow exist.IMG_4292

I love resilient people.  The people that you feel their ENERGY as soon as you are around them.  Those are the RAINBOW CHASERS…they find the sunshine and the color almost instantaneously.  I don’t think we are born rainbow chasers, I think we train to be one of them.   I think you can also be a Debbie or Dave Downer…you know what…you train for that too.  My ENERGY just got sucked out  just thinking about Mr. and Ms. Downer.

My head isn’t always in the clouds.  I take great pride in training myself to find the RAINBOW.  The real way to find it is through gratitude.  They say with age comes wisdom but I really think it should be with age comes gratitude.  IMG_5665

Being grateful for all things comes from your ability to notice, notice the good things and do the little things.  I think if we do the little things it allows those around us or those we cross paths with to be grateful and in turn have positive energy surround them.

Let’s talk about doing the little things.  The majority of us go to grocery or supermarket regularly and often the cashier is either a high school student working  while their friends hang out and do the things teenagers want to be doing.  Hence, maybe working at 16 (while good for them) it isn’t exactly where they want to be at that time.  The other cashier sometimes is the senior citizen who is tired but for either reason of choice or reason of necessity is working and they are 70 years old (golden years).

I made a small choice late last year to return my grocery buggy not just to the buggy corral but to the inside of the store.  Why?  Because I think if we do simple acts of kindness and be responsible for ourselves maybe just maybe someone will see it and smile and be grateful…and that will create a little rainbow in their cloudy day.  Does it go unnoticed?  I am assuming that little to no one notices but I certainly feel a sense of pride in doing a little something to help someone out.

Creating energy around you and in you allows others to know there is positivity and kindness around them.  That action can have a rippling effect throughout your life.  IMG_5484

We each have an image or blueprint in our mind of how life is supposed to be and often the image isn’t exactly how it turns out to be.  We start to find fault and blame others when things are not exactly how we imagined they would be.  The first step in finding the rainbow in the cloud has to be finding appreciation and gratitude in the simple things.  Do simple things and do them for other people.

Here are just a few simple things to do and simple things to appreciate:

  1. Open doors for people and be thankful when someone opens one for you.
  2. Smile at someone and be thankful when someone smiles at you.
  3. Remind people about nature.  Appreciate nature.
  4. Encourage someone and be thankful when you have someone that encourages you.

I am a firm believer that we can spend our days living positively and happily when we are a RAINBOW in someone’s cloud.  Here is to you living your Life on Full.








I assume all of us look at our schedules from day to day and think…good grief will I survive it?  The other bunch of people don’t even have a schedule…they just run and run in survival mode and then crash at the end of the day.  I am not certain which group you fit into but regardless…too many YES answers pushes us into a TIME shortage.

Your days most likely look like a typical family’s ….wake, eat and head out to school and work and once 3:00 hits…it’s survival of the fittest.  Activities abound us with kids, community and church.  If you are still at home with toddlers or a home schooling momma well your schedule most certainly looks like ants at a picnic…I applaud you!

Over the past 2 years I have realized how valuable my time is…honestly it is priceless.  Prioritizing what is important to me and backing down on what I say YES to has suddenly become essential to living a Life on Full.  I wanted to share with each of you just how important what you say YES to is.  That simple word allows you to lead a happy, positive, fulfilling life.

The greatest self evaluation you can make is knowing WHY you choose to say YES to things you say YES to.  For the longest time, I chose to say YES to things because I felt like they were expected of me or because I would feel guilty if I said NO.  I am wondering how many of you have been GUILTED into saying YES?

If guilt is the reason you are saying YES…it should most certainly be a NO.  Serving in special events at church and at my children’s school rings a bell here…I have learned to say NO.  The most recent…almost sucked me into guilt mode was Muffins with Mom at my kid’s school.  It is important here to know I think parent activities are an essential part of school, but participating is a choice.  Monday is an extremely hectic day for me….many obligations…so the thought of having to be at school for Muffins at 7:20 instead of regular drop off time 7:50 STRESSED ME OUT…by the way…you super mom’s that were there flex your bicep…I just couldn’t.  We had to stick with the traditional chocolate chip waffles at our table at home.  We pulled up we saw the moms, for a second I was thinking I didn’t measure up and Ramsie Kate said “the waffles were great mom better than muffins”.  Praise you little devil today for 3 seconds you were an angel!

Here is another reason people say YES…recognition.   If you are doing things for recognition…say NO today.  I have spent countless years thinking it was important to be recognized it isn’t…what is important is to make a difference in someone’s life.  I always think of this when coaching youth sports.  You can see the coaches that have a passion for the kids and you can also figure out real quickly the ones that coach for their own recognition.  Though this subject could be a total blog by itself one day.  The moral of the story…if you are saying YES because you want recognition…say NO!  Just serve and love people…that is what Jesus did. basketball girls

Oh and here is the granddaddy reason for saying YES …because other people are doing it and what on earth will they think of me if I say NO?   My doesn’t “peer pressure” follow us all the days of our lives.

I believe you know when to say YES.  I believe you get (though a cliche’) a warm fuzzy feeling when it is right to say YES!  You don’t have to fight with your self trying to make the decision when it is the right YES!  It is your purpose when there isn’t a fight and you feel great about your decision.  There is nothing better than saying YES or doing something when it is guilt free, serving others and you don’t give a rip about what people think.  Say YES then!!!serve others



Evaluate your YES…when it comes to living your Life on Full…time is the only commodity that is important.  Say YES to the things that allow you to have TIME FREEDOM to do the things that are most important to you.  Make your YES the best one ever.  Start  living your Life on Full today.


Ain’t that about right…

I have not been a parent long enough to forge the tween years or teenage years, nor seen my child ride off into their own responsible life…but one thing is for certain, being a momma is hard work.image

I did not realize that being a momma came with so much stress, most of which is self-inflicted.  I had what I would call a revelation this past year, a calming revelation.  A year or so ago I finally decided I was enough, and I was doing my best and with my efforts, God’s grace and mercy and Jesus’s love…my kiddos would be just fine.

Let me take you back before the revelation and share with you a few points that made me…well sort of crazy… and now they are actual family jokes.

  1. Eating Hot Dogs 2 days out of the week
  2. Eating Cereal for Breakfast
  3. The thermostat
  4. No trampolines
  5. Forgetting Snack Money
  6. MAP Test Scores
  7. Beds never made
  8. Wet towels in the floor
  9. Hair Bows
  10. Forgetting to sign the permission form

Let me start with number one.  I am a health care provider, being a good parent to me once meant being a Natzi about food and drinks.   Though I still believe our diet is 90% of our health problems, I have crossed the line and allowed Ramsie Kate to eat hot dogs.  Heaven forbid…we have had hot dogs for dinner twice in a week.  I am still a good mother.

How about cereal for dinner?  Oh my word, talk about momma failure.  A year ago I would rate eating Fruit Loops for dinner as a possible ticket to hell.  Today I don’t allow Fruit Loops (artificial colors you know), we go with the high amounts of sugar instead…Cinnamon Toast Crunch(when I am being rebellious).  If it is a night when I am feeling guilty and not enough…we go with Honey Nut Cheerios instead.  I am still a good mom.

A year ago I thought my kids would not get a good nights rest unless the thermostat was on 71.  I think this come from my compulsive husband but…now when he is not home I don’t touch the thermostat…72, 74, 75…we sleep.   I am still a good mother.

Walk a day in my shoes at the clinic and you will learn why a trampoline is a bad idea.  There is rarely a week that goes by that a kiddo doesn’t come in with some type of injury sustained on a trampoline.  Yet my BFF bought my kiddos one for Christmas 2 years ago and they are still alive.  Let them jump!  I am a great mother.

Oh my word here we go I forgot to sign permission slips and send snack money.  They will survive I have learned and thank God for those sweet administrators and faculty members for emailing me, calling me and texting me to let me know my kids said I was the worst mother ever because I did not check the RED FOLDER for the information.  Yet I know I am still a great mother.

My bathroom floor and bedroom tend to look like room 202 in the Hampton Inn on I-65 during spring break week.  Beds unmade and wet towels everywhere.  There are typically other battles to fight Monday through Friday.  I don’t have time to worry with frivolous things during the week because I am typically searching the house for that one black hair bow that Ramsie Kate just has to have.  Nothing is ever where it is supposed to be, but I am still a good mother.

I decided a few months ago that doing the best I could with what I have is all I can do.  We only have one life…eat the hot dog, throw a towel on the floor and if you kid misses out of dipping dots on Thursday he will survive.  And that super mom that remembered snack money and signed the permission slip while she was putting the matching bow in her daughters head…she fed her kids hot dogs 5 days this week.

Here is to knowing you are the Best Momma in the world!  Keep living your Life on Full.

Handling your load.

We all have a unique load that we carry, and we all carry it differently.  Our circumstances are all different and often times we cannot control the circumstances we are in,  nor can we control the circumstances we encounter on a daily basis.  We don’t always have the control but what we do have is the ability to choose how we react to those circumstances.


Our loads range from our families, our careers, our community duties, our health and last but not least …our past choices.  I love this quote by Lou Holtz, “It is not the load that breaks you down, it is the way you carry it”.   That is so true.

I decided to ask myself a few questions (aka self quiz), on how I am handling my load.  I think it helps to be honest with ourselves to see if we are really handling our loads the best way we can.   Here is my quiz, take it with me.


  1.  Do I need help or support?
  2. How do I react or respond to situations throughout the day?
  3. Do I feel resentment or play the victim throughout the day when I face a challenge?
Of course we need support.  The easiest way to carry your load is to know there are others fighting the same fight.  We all have struggles to deal with, and often it is hard to find that one person to lean on or talk to. I am fortunate to have a supporting family, great co-workers, great friends and a loving spouse,  but I still have to be willing to ask for help.  There are moments when I don’t want to turn to them so guess who I talk to?  The BIG MAN UPSTAIRS.   I found my greatest strength in God.  My kids thought I was talking to myself, but Guy recently realized I was talking to God.  He once replied, quit mumbling mom he might be a little deaf like Greatie (his Great Grandma).  I think your biggest support is voicing and getting your concerns and troubles out.  I use paper a lot as well…and guess what my blog.  Read, write, talk, or pray…do what it takes to get it out.
The biggest effort I make throughout my day is to stay positive.  You know that old saying “When life gives you lemons…make lemonade”.  I  live by it.  We are all in the people business.  Regardless, being in the workforce, a retiree or a stay at home parent you have to deal with people.  I firmly believe in the heat of every moment your reaction needs to remain positive, kind and filled with love.  The hardest part of my day is always remaining positive and seeing the goodness first.  If your perspective and your first thought in any situation is positive …life becomes a whole lot easier.
A sure fire way to avoid this reaction is to make certain you are not comparing your life to others.  We live in a world made of filters.  Social media distorts our vision of what life is really like.  I believe being honest and letting people know life just isn’t a high light reel is important.  It is easy to get caught up in comparison and if there is one take away today on carrying your load in a manner that doesn’t break you…quit comparing your life to that person on Facebook or Instagram.  I am certain that person you follow looks like a cow patty and feels like one from time to time!  Stop with your comparison.  If you need a good laugh or really want to compare yourself…check me out…I am that doctor lady with the red bandana in her hair because I am to lazy to wash my hair for three days straight…#truthbomb!
There is a lasting thought I have when I think about the load we all carry.  We were given this load because we are brave, strong and wise enough to handle it in God’s eyes.  Here is to carrying your heavy load and knowing there are other’s like you …Living their Life on Full.

Just like that…

Our kids are growing up before our eyes and asking questions often.  Those questions sometimes have extremely deep explanations, per-say adult explanations.  Guy is 9 and Ramsie Kate is 7 and of course I feel like they are still 4 and 2.  Their questions however are more like a 20 year old’s most of the time.  easter 1

Easter passed with new meaning this year.  It wasn’t about the fluffy stuffed bunnies and whether your chocolate bunny was hollow or solid.  This year it was about “adult” things.  This year like other years we chose to “Forget the Frock”.  I will share in slight detail just in case some of you have not heard about Forget the Frock, and I will also share what influenced us to forget our Easter frock.

My childhood friend Kristie O’Leary’s daughter, Sydney started Feeding the Orphans.  I have watched Kristie’s life unfold into what I would call a modern day superwoman, my modern day Mother Teresa.  She now has a family of 9.  I am certain she has her days so as I admire her and love her from a far, I pray for her.  Kristie, basically introduced our family to Forget the Frock.  Forget the Frock was founded by Emily Fox a sweet kind hearted young momma who is from my hometown as well.  Forget the Frock is all about purpose…wearing a t-shirt on Easter Sunday instead of the frilly expensive get-up that has always been our family tradition.  We chose to purchase t-shirts and help fund Feeding the Orphans.  Please visit their websites to learn more about each and

My purpose in sharing our choice with you today is what happened with my sweet little Ramsie Kate on Easter Sunday.  Ramsie is very much a lover of lipstick and high heels.  She is versatile like her mother…tennis shoes and bandanas one day and dresses and heels the next.  When Sunday comes she is searching for her high heels.  She is always ready to get dressed up.

Easter morning we rose and we looked in our baskets and instead of candy, chocolate and sweet tarts, we found a pair of running shorts and a t-shirt for school.  So started our fall out on Easter morning.    Let me just start by saying Ramsie was unhappy, she wanted a chocolate rabbit for breakfast, I assume.  We had breakfast together, her favorite chocolate chip waffles (can I get a hallelujah for having chocolate chips in the pantry).  We showered and then it was time to get dressed.  I was super excited because I was wearing jeans and flip flops and a t-shirt, an easy morning.

Ramsie was not happy…she wanted to wear her fancy dress and high heels.  We were close to a full on meltdown.  I would equate our discussion as what you might hear when two rabid raccoons are fighting.  I was sweating like I just finished the New York City Marathon and she still was not dressed.  I took a deep breathe, sighed and looked up to heaven and said “on the third day you arose and I certainly need you”.Easter 3

I picked my phone up and went to the Instagram account of Forget the Frock.  I started,  ” Ramsie Kate your t-shirt will buy food, it could buy a school book for one of them.  It might just put clean water in front of them when they have their lunch today, if they get to have lunch”.  It took a few minutes but she asked, “those are their school desk”, they are wooden and dirty.  Is this the one I am helping?  I told her I was not certain which child or whom she was helping but her shirt this Easter Sunday meant more than her high heels would.  She continued to ask hard questions, some of which I just answered with “our life is easy Ramsie and when we think it is hard, someone else’s life is much harder”.  My best and constant answer is for her to try to be like Jesus and LOVE everyone, even when it is hard.Easter 2

The past 3 days Ramsie has continued to ask questions.  This morning she told me she wanted a baby sister.  My answer was Mommy has had 2 babies and that is all that is planned (I hope).  She replied with a solution…”let’s adopt” as this week I have showed her my dear friend Kristie’s family.   Her dad and I both replied, “we can help other people raise their kiddos Ram”.  She continued to smile and laugh and tell me what she would do with a baby sister.  Guy yelled and said what he would do with a baby brother, all the while getting dressed for school.

As we were walking out the door, she leaned in and whispered as if she were trying to hide something from her Dad, “Mom can we go look for humans after school”.  I had to laugh out loud.  Sure let’s just go to the mall and look at humans and pick one.  The lesson I learned this morning is just exactly like the bible says…be more childlike.  Ramsie’s thinking is simple…some of the world’s problems can be fixed….”just like that”.  Here is to doing something small…and attempting to make a BIG difference.  I certainly hope you are living your LIFE ON FULL, full of love.

To Do List

I am the world champion of To Do List.  I feel like I have built a life off my To Do List.  If homes were built with post it notes…well I would live in Buckingham Palace.  For all you keepers of phone list and appointments through your smart phone…blue ribbon to you.  I   will have to plant a few trees in the future to make a difference in my post it note usage.

My to do lists were a multitude of task.  They range from make a phone call to run 4 miles.  They typically consist of purposeful things as well, things that are routine, say bedtime prayers and tuck the kids in.  It seems like as the days get busier and more filled with to dos I have to remind myself on the list …of those routine things as well.

Those post it notes over time become an addiction.  They become a list of do everything and do it well.  Do it all and do it without complaining.  The post notes became a list for achievements and recognition over time.  There lies the problem.  Improvements, Achievements and Recognition become addictions after a while.

Deciding what you want is not the hard part in life.  Deciding what you are willing to give up is the tough part.  I choose to live on purpose.  Which means I am going to excel at giving a few things up instead of adding to the To Do List.

Today my “To Do List” has been replaced by a “Purpose List”, thankful a friend led me to that a few years ago.  To day I cherish it greatly.

My purpose list consist of keeping my faith in God at the center of my life.  My purpose list also says to be like Jesus daily…Jesus LOVED all people.  Try loving all people each and everyday…OH MY LORT is that a JOB!!

My purpose list also consist of loving and doing for my family.  Loving my family is just not good enough…doing for my family is the real sign of loving them.  I unselfishly do my best to give every free moment I have to them.  Literally as I write…they are still asleep.  You see when they wake it is their time.

My purpose list allows me to be so much better than the “TO DO LIST” lady once was.  Growing and becoming a better person doesn’t require you to make a list of mundane task TO DO daily.  Purposeful living requires you to love and serve others.

My To Do List has changed dramatically, through living more purposefully.  Today I see living a truly good life resides in the things we choose to GIVE UP and NOT DO…to make certain the things that matter most are taken care of.  No more Post it Notes, just a small little purpose list to live a Life on Full.


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Dear Liberty serves as a noun for me today.   Ramsie Kate my first grader is teaching me it is a person, place or thing.    Growing up I always knew Liberty as a place.  Liberty is a small-town with a whopping population of 2200.  Liberty…a place where you live in a glass house.  Liberty is a place where you grow up knowing or at least assume you know everyone around you.  You rarely travel over a tenth of a mile without meeting a person on the street that you don’t know.  You drive down the road and every pick up truck you meet throws their index finger up to say “Hi”.  In the city they use other fingers…but not in our small-town.  You may want to use your middle finger, but you just cannot, it might be your child’s teacher in the car you are flipping off.

You leave your house on Saturday morning and drive down the by-pass, you know whose car is in the local restaurant parking lot…because you just know.  You often in a small-town learn people’s routines quite quickly:  where they buy gas, where they get their oil changed (if they don’t do it their self), where they bank,  where or if they go to church, heck you might just know what they regularly order from McDonald’s or Subway.  You learn this not because you go to the same places and see it, but because someone you know who works there shared it with you.    Maybe you saw their routine on Facebook, regardless you learn.

We make great assumptions out of the routines people have.  We assume we know them just by the few acts we see them do on occasion.

Liberty, the small-town allows for a sense of tradition and stability because it is small.  Liberty also serves as a safe haven for people who never take the opportunity to realize the world is a big place.  A place where people choose to live differently.

Luckily for me Liberty is a noun…a person, place or thing.  Liberty is no longer just a PLACE.  Liberty is a big THING for me now.  I think growing up in a small-town is blessing but realizing there is a big world out there gives me a sense of what Liberty really is.

Liberty is really being free from oppression, and working diligently to recognize it and work to help other’s recognize there is a big world out there.  Oppression sounds like a “harsh” word but I use it loosely.

There are so many people living their lives in a manner that allows for other’s happiness and not their own.  They are miserable in their marriages, miserable in their jobs, miserable in their classrooms at school , miserable in their churches.  They stay stuck because they are consumed with what others will think of them.  They stay stuck because they don’t know there could be another choice, another way.  They stay stuck because they don’t see Liberty.

There will always be that person that will judge, that person that will discourage and that person that will negatively react to the choices you make.  Fear leads choices most often.  Fear is like a grenade: powerful and surprisingly destructive.  Never let fear keep you from making a choice.  I am sitting at the beach today writing and watching a thunderstorm roll in.   The waves are huge, whitecaps over and over.  A decision to make a change is much like a wave…you can turn one way and it will crash you in the face but if you turn another way you can glide and relax.  Choose Liberty one time…not because it is traditionally safe and stable.  Choose Liberty because it is time to be free from fear and worry.   Decide to have Liberty from other people’s judgement and reaction to how you live your life.

Here is to living your life on full with LIBERTY.

BIP…(ending bad habits)

We all have at least one.  Often times it interferes with our day.  Sometimes it ruins our day.  It is a bad habit.  I can think of so many.  I have so many.  We all have those things that we want to change.  So why is it so hard to change or stop them.  We are human and that means we are creatures of habit.  We are also full of fear and lacking in our faith.

I so remember the days when my dad was teaching me how to play golf.  We were at our local golf club what seems like daily during the summer, walking the lush green fairways.  I was about 6 and my sister Sami was 3ish.  My parents loved to golf and I assume instead of hiring a babysitter they let us tag along behind them.

We walked the fairways while Dad drove our old Harley Davidson three wheeler golf cart with a metal steering lead (we did not have one with a fancy steering wheel yet).  Dad had taken some old clubs and sawed them off so Sami and I had junior clubs to hit with.  For those of you that don’t know there are markers on a golf course that show you the distance from the fairway to the green.  We were too young and lacking in attention so Dad had us hit from the 100 yard marker not the regulation tees.

We were at the golf course for family fun but Dad wanted us to learn how to play.  When you are “up” in golf, that means it is your turn to hit.  Dad would “quietly” you know in that golf course etiquette yell, ” hit the ball Pooh “(my nickname that at 42 he still uses).  I would step up to the ball and try my hardest to hit it.

My sis and I did it over and over again and Mom would be cheering us on as she walked beside of us carrying her 3 iron.  A little side note…Mom has never been normal at anything especially golf, she has never hit a wood (a club you typically hit off a tee), she always hits an iron.

We were allowed to do this over and over again, play every hole until we started bad habits: not paying attention, talking when we should not, going out of turn, fighting with each other.  When those bad habits started Dad would say…”BALL IN POCKET”…BIP is what the family termed it.  It was time to shut it down and stop with the nonsense.  When we were ready to do it right we could get the ball out of our pocket and try again to do something great.

I think that is what Jesus teaches us when we truly lean in on him to help us with our bad habits.  I look at my life and the bad habits I let creep up on me.  Those habits can be anything :  not eating well, not getting enough rest, addictions, judging others or maybe coveting other people’s lives, regrets,  negative attitudes.  You know what you need to change and why you need to change it.

BIP represents today a lot more than putting a golf ball in my pocket.  It represents how we often put those bad habits in our pocket and we hold on to those bad things that we have done and thought and we don’t get them out and let go of them.

We should find beauty in knowing we can take those habits and problems out and lay them on him and start new and fresh again.  That is so gratifying.  I can so remember Dad saying, “get it out and try again you will get it right eventually”.  That kept me trying to DO GOOD.

There is so much beauty in knowing that our Heavenly Father is saying the same thing.  Get it out of there and try it again, you will get it right eventually.  I know our bad habits can range from simple to great and life threatening, but to Jesus they are all the same.  Today let us start anew, lean on love, Jesus’s love and do great things.  Here is to living your LIFE ON FULL. Thanksgiving 2016