All is well with my soul

Some days, I’m really thankful for Facebook. Today is one of those. The ability to see what we’ve shared in the past is definitely an opportunity to gauge, change, or redirect today. I am so truly humbled, blessed, and covered in grace.

Two years ago I shared:

Other than the day my beautiful girl came into this world, I don’t think I’ve ever cried so many tears of joy. I’ve spent the last two weeks being off FB, which isn’t a bad thing, and it has been time well spent with family and in a state of “RE” – REst, REcuperation, REjuvination, REpurpose.

I received the best news ever this morning. My results from Monday’s procedure came back benign. This is the first time EVERYTHING removed came back benign and the first time in 6 years that there was NO signs of cancer in the polyps.

There are no words to express the love and gratitude for all the love, support, prayers, texts, messages, hand holding (and hair holding as I puked my brains out Sunday and Monday), FB posts (I have the best 20171111_191635little sister in the world), and words of comfort. I am truly the most blessed person in the world. God is great!

A year ago, I shared the above status with the added comment:

What a year it has been! People ask where I get my enthusiasm and positive outlook. It comes from waking up each morning knowing God has a bigger purpose for me than I can ever imagine. It comes from knowing that in the darkest times, He’s always been there. You only get so many second chances to truly live your life … so do/be/live/love what makes you happy / sets your soul on fire / makes you feel alive. Live a life full of adventure, stories, love, and laughter! It’s all about choices my friends!

Five months ago, which I didn’t post about, I received yet another positive (meaning good) report. It may suck @ss that I have to go in every year, but it does beat the alternative!

The reason of this post is to stop and pause and reflect. We (including myself) get so wrapped up in the day to day little things that, at the end of our life won’t amount to anything…and we forget the BIG things that have happened to us. We spend so much time in the she said/he said, drama of social media, hurt feelings, and what we feel we are owed or due that we forget what has been given to us – without any repercussions, cost, or action on our part.  So, no matter what comes up in my day to day, I am going to remind myself to reflect on what God has done for me, how much he loves me, and none of the garbage will matter in the end. The post served as a reminder today of how great life really is and how amazing God is.  Live BIG my friends!

Love, peace, and pie!


PS. If you are old enough to be reading this, you are old enough to get a well woman/man check-up. Do NOT wait until the recommended ages. Had I waited until the recommended age for a colonoscopy, I’d be dead. If you have a parent who was/has been treated or diagnosed with cancer or severe issues of any sort, it is recommended to be tested 10 years younger than the age they were diagnosed. Get over yourself, and get checked out!

In My Daughter’s Eyes

Even though I wrote this on this day in 2016, these words are just as true, if not more, today. My daughter is one of the strongest, most faithful, soulful, brave individuals I’ve ever met.

From 2/21/2016:
Cleaning out some messages, I came across a message from the BG with a screen shot of this song and a very sentimental note that I’ve since locked and saved. People comment on my faith and the depth to which I love and show compassion to others … part of it is a choice, but the biggest part of it has been seeing the world thru her eyes… including growing into the person she had always believed me to be. She has, is, and always will be the biggest part of who I am and who owns real estate in my heart. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned being her mom is that real love is neither quantifiable or proceeded by “because.” Life continually challenges us to grow or give up, love or leave, and just how fragile life is. I love you BG and am so humbled to be your Momma and am continually inspired and in awe of you.


In my daughter’s eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear

In my daughter’s eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace

In My Daughter’s Eyes – Martina McBride


Fear is a real thing, whether it is rational or not.

I remember when my thyroid disease and Hashimoto’s was at its worst… the night terrors that stole my joy and my sleep and the fear of even taking the trash out in the dark for fear something was lurking. I would chant, “if the Lord is for me, who can come against me”, over and over until I got back inside or fell back to sleep!

We all have big fears, small fears, irrational fears, and fears we don’t speak of. Fear is crippling. Fear can make you physically ill. Fear can cause you to miss out on blessings, friendships, opportunities, and the purpose God has ordained for you. Fear is NOT from God. But today, you can turn that fear over to God and move forward. Today, you can let go of the anxiety and open your hands for the peace that God has for you. Today, you can turn to God and ask him to show you ways to overcome your fear. And until you’re ready to let go of those fears, do not worry. Even in our darkest, most fearful, anxious moments, he is there to guide and protect us. He will never leave our side. However, today is the day to rise up and be strong and courageous!
#lifeonthehorizn #fearnot #mygodisbigger #believebig #faithituntilyoumakeit #heartonfire #graceinherheart #purpose2018 #purpose #fearwillkillyourspirit #fearvscourage #fearhasnopower #fearhasnoplacewithfaith

The Cowboy Rides Away

As I stood in the garage, barefoot, wearing a tank top and boxers, all I could think was, “RED, WHY AREN’T YOU FB_IMG_1499222222133_1503627357478_1503800959570PACKED AND READY TO GO?” I continued to just stand there and watch as the cowboy loaded his belongings into the truck – his clothes, bedroll, saddles, and guitar…when he stops and comes to set a saddle at my feet so that I have a good seat to take care of the horses while he’s gone. “You gonna miss me just a little?” he asks? “Miss you? Who are you?” I laugh as he wraps his arms around me.

The night before, as we laid curled up together on the bedroll, the Cowboy wishing I could go with him… I think to myself, “well, you know, I could. It would take me all about 20 minutes to throw my stuff together.” I laid there quietly contemplating my response…and praying for the right words. There’s only one place the words I was about to speak came from, because they were SO not what I was feeling!

“You know, I could go. But this is your trip. Your adventure. Of course, he interjects that it is  ‘our adventure.’ I think to myself and say out loud…”hmmm, no. This one…this trip that you’ve been called too…this is yours. All yours. You suffered through the horror and the heartbreak. This is part of YOUR healing. You go….and be open to what God has in store for you. OUR adventure will come soon enough.”

As he put the truck in reverse and drove out in the darkness of the early morning, I just stood there under a blanket of stars, wrapped in the comforting warmth that that can only come from the 4 a.m. heat and humidity. Just as I was about to call him and tell him to turn around and take me to Montana with him….an alarm popped up on my phone reminding me to pray for my partner . So, I stopped, opened the app and I kid you not…this was the scripture and prayer for the morning:

He Would Rejoice in Decreasing

The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease. ~ John 3:29-30

Far from being envious of the growth of Jesus’ influence, John the Baptist tells his disciples he like a man rejoicing at the happiness of his friend, the bridegroom. Rather than causing us sorrow or jealousy, our decrease and Christ’s increase should be a source of joy. Let us pray today that our partners would rejoice at the increase of our Savior’s glory in their jobs, relationships, home-life, and every other endeavor.
Father, it is a constant temptation to strive for the increase of our own glory, but we see in your Word that true joy comes when we decrease and You increase. You know my partner’s dreams and goals, and You gave Him the talents and abilities he has. Please give him an undivided heart, one that rejoices at each opportunity to make much of You and less of himself. May he have opportunities to use his gifts through Your power, for Your glory and his joy. Amen.

Well played God, well played.

It was reading the last three sentences that caused me to stop dead in my tracks, tears streaming down my face, and that’s when I cleared my phone out before it dialed his number.

I sent him a text telling him that I missed him already, and that he was extraordinary and had been given everything he needed to set the world on fire. And he is doing just that. And I couldn’t be more humble or proud. I also sent him this quote:

There is “hoping” your life will improve and then there is the fire. A deep obsession to change and become better, to forge a vibrant and abundant life by sheer will, daily struggle, the guts to push yourself and be extraordinary. – Brendon Burchard

What I’ve learned is:

Relationships aren’t all daisies and daylight. They are dry patches of grass and darkness. They are not 50/50 or even 100/100. Sometimes, they’re 10/90, 1000/1, or any other combination of ratios depending on where you are in your journey, life, struggles, experiences, what side of the bed you woke up on. In a relationship, especially strong ones, there should be no ratio as to who does what nor should it be measured. You do what you have to to support the other person. Sometimes, that means standing in the garage in your jammies as the person who holds the key to your heart drives away for another round of adventures. Sometimes, it is about putting their needs first. Sometimes, helping the person you love means letting go of that person so that they can find what truly soothes their soul, sparks a fire in their spirit, and heals their wounds. Sometimes, it is taking a step back and being what and who they really need, not what you think they need. Watching him drive away on this short trip hurt more than when I put him on a plane for the 40 day trip…and he didn’t have cell phone service then!

ShawnI would encourage you to check out Gus’ blog on Heroes and Horses website. After you read it, be sure to check out Heroes and Horses and how they are making a difference in the lives of our combat veterans.

Fast forward…the 4-5 day trip has turned into a 3-4 week trip, which may turn into a 3 month trip, which may turn into…who knows what God has planned for us, but I do know that God is doing amazing things and the Cowboy is finding his center. His balance. His fire. His passion. Where God will lead me to support the Cowboy in all of this while using the fire and passion He’s given me…well, I guess y’all will just have to stay tuned!
Love, peace, and pie!

Bringing Sexy Back

Before you get all excited, let me warn you…the title has nothing to do with the post. I know, what a killjoy.c7ab4cb1c8b3fe8053e4a5ba3f3b22c3 Unless you think bifocals and colonoscopies are sexy. And let me tell you…the nice little Hispanic man in the doctor’s office today who couldn’t help but WINK at me when I left obviously has some deeper issues than a blocked colon.

Sitting in the doctor’s office today (by the way, if you’re in need of a top-notch colon doctor, I have found one), waiting to discuss the health and wealth of my not so perfect colon, it was no accident that the book I grabbed on the way out was, “One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life.” Many of you know that I work to encourage others and coach them into living a life full of love, laughter, faith and family. What many of you don’t know is…

I am a self-professed bad-ass. The absolutely random stuff I’m qualified to do (like weld, cave dive, arson investigation, pull calves/palpate/float teeth, bake pies) makes me feel like wonder woman. However, what y’all don’t know is…I am truly an introvert. I could read and sew and bake and paint and hike and write and have no desire to interact with others for weeks on end.  I’m almost 45 and barely getting over my fear of the dark. I don’t like heights, talking in front of people (which is funny since I used to make a living doing so), loud crowds, flying, brussel sprouts (yes, I know that has nothing to do with the price of tea in China), roller coasters, Halloween, or scary movies. In the words of Grammy (or CA as so many people called my Momma), “pansy ass” is a much better term.  Yes, I’m getting to the point.

Living a FULL…an intentional life…one in which I step up and follow the calling God has put on my heart…scares the crap at me and I often back out of it because of fear. Pressure. Because, well…I’m my own worst enemy. I’m a pansy ass.

So, I begin reading this book today, sitting in the doctor’s office waiting to discuss what feels like my 876th colonoscopy – and no, it’s not TMI. Ladies (and gentlemen), go get your innards checked out. You are never too young! Anyway, I digress…

The first chapter of this book is titled, Living in the Dark. Oh wait..never mind, it is Living the Dash. Crap, I guess I better go get that bifocal prescription filled this week. It might as well be titled Living in the Dark because the author asks the questions : What did he live for? Whom did she love? What were his passions? What were her biggest mistakes and greatest regrets?  And I thought to myself, how often do we choose to stay in the darkness – not because we don’t have the power to move into the light, but because we are afraid of living the dash. Of living a life of purpose, of passion – a life that was unique, and fulfilling, one that was deliberate and so authentic that no one could replicate it because they weren’t called to live YOUR life?

So many times the last few years, I get inspired to move forward into the greatness that is God’s calling and so many times, I fall short. Not because I don’t have the support and love of my family and friends. Or because I don’t know what skills He’s given me. Or I don’t know how to start (because honestly, none of us know REALLY where He’s going to lead us), but because I am my own worst enemy. I overthink things. I’m overly critical of myself. Of my art. My writing. How I snort when I laugh and the fact that I am less than graceful, I always feel awkward and out of place, and am really never sure how to interact with others. There isn’t anything standing in my way but myself. I mean, with all the negative and mean people in the world, do I REALLY want to subject my heart and soul to for people to tear me down? So when I read the following excerpt, I knew it was no coincidence that THIS was the book I picked up today:

He created us and has given us another day to live – to know and experience His love, to love and serve those around us, to live passionately the life HE made us for.

The book is a 30 day challenge to which the following shifts will should occur: to live passionately, to love completely, to learn humbly, and to leave boldly. While we truly don’t have control over much, we have control over HOW we spend our time, live our lives, react to people and situations, serve others, and grow our relationship with the One who made us. One of the great things about this book are the key points at the end of each chapter to 1. Reflect upon; 2. Write about; 3. Act on.

d56d964872ef1d05f62c8922652e44bcI hope that you follow along, but more so that you find the passion and the desire to be more, do more. To live outside the box. To be a giver of love, good vibes, and strength.

A big shout out to my family this evening as I worked through a mild meltdown. The best three pieces of advice I received that I’ll cherish forever:

  • It beats the alternative.
  • God’s got this.
  • Worrying never affects the outcome, either positively or negatively.

Remember, NO ONE is YOU and THAT is YOUR superpower. Now, quit being a pansy-ass and go out there and change your world (which will inevitably change the world around you).

Peace, love, and pie.