Thursday, January 30, 2014

Reflections On An Island

Hey Friend,

Oh Antigua how I miss thee!  As my new husband and I walked our dogs in the single digit temp plus wind chill, I couldn't help but drift back to where I was just one week ago.  We were sitting on our lounge chairs nestled in the white sand beside the crystal clear teal blue waters of the ocean in Antigua.  The moderate 80 degree temperature, along with the soothing island breezes was the perfect respite after eight months of planning a wedding.

One guest at the wedding remarked that it was evident that God was/is at the center of our marriage.  I am so blessed to be equally yoked with a godly man who shares my beliefs.  The ceremony and reception really couldn't have gone more beautifully. Now here we were in this tropical jewel of God's holy creation.  Surely this was one place God smiled upon as He pronounced his creation "good"! 

Our very first day in Antigua a typical brief shower blew in, pushed the sunshine aside and sprinkled down drops of refreshment for the native lush flora and fauna.  In the islands, if it rains, just wait for a little while and it will pass.  Soon the sun began to shine once again through the rain and what did God paint across the sky, but a brilliant and bold complete double rainbow.  My heart lept inside my chest.  Surely this is how Noah must have felt - what a harbinger of God's faithfulness.  What a blessing with which to begin our marriage!

I quickly fell in love with the beautiful people of Antigua.  Their bright smiles and "no problem" attitude toward life were contagious.  Our taxi driver, J.J. summed it up well when he said, "If I am alive, it is a good day."  What an attitude of gratitude.  One day, driving into the port of St. John, one of those brief passing showers came through.  "Today is a good day, "  J.J. remarked.  During the non-rainy season, rain is a sign of a good day.  What a difference in perspective I thought to myself.  To us, rain was a damper on a good day; to the natives to the island, rain was symbolic of a good day.  Just a little heavenly attitude adjustment.

In addition to the native islanders we met some lovely people from all over the globe.  The U.K. and Canada were well represented.  I quickly adopted the phrase that I was "on holiday" instead of being on vacation.  Holidays are to be celebrated and being in this lush paradise that only God could have dreamt up was truly worth celebrating!

Another delightful pleasure was going "unplugged" for an entire week.  No television, no cell phones, no ipads or other technical gadgetry.  Instead we enjoyed the pleasure of conversation with each other and with others that we met.  I also basked in the luxury of actually reading a book while sipping on a pina colada poolside.  All things coconut are truly Heaven sent lol.  So were the papayas, mangos, passion fruits, and various assorted melons that we breakfasted upon each morning.  This java junkie also became a fan of the locally grown mountain coffee.

Outstanding were the sunsets over the ocean wherein God silhouetted the palm trees against the brilliant pinks and oranges of the clouds.  Several nights we dined watching the sun set, sipping a glass of wine and listening to the steel drum band or soothing island reggae music.  It was a rhythm that was easy to fall into.  There was no need for a watch...we were on island time and our only dispute was trying to agree on what day it was.  Ahh, pure paradise.

I've been snorkeling many times, but God had a lesson for me in this snorkeling experience.  We just so happened to pick one of the rougher days to go out, by boat, to the reef to snorkel.  The waters were white capped and very choppy.  Half of the would be snorkelers backed out due to the rough sees, but not this girl...I was going in. 

Above the water, the wind blew and the waves crashed and the boat rocked.  But, once I stuck my mask below the water, a great sense of calm came over me.  It was silent and peaceful here.  The neon and brightly colored fish swam calmly between and amongst the coral outcroppings.  Their color, beauty and diversity were amazing.  The fan coral waved gently, beckoning me to swim closer and get a better look.  Just as He is so many times, there was God - providing me with a peaceful calm amidst the swells of life.  All I had to do was trust Him and dive in.

Sadly, after a week in paradise graced with hummingbirds and hibiscus, we had to begin our long journey home - back to reality.  God had given us a mountaintop experience in order to help us venture back into the everyday world with a renewed awareness of his love and goodness.  I am so thankful to have been blessed with the opportunity to delight in this one small piece of God's glorious creation.  His creation is indeed good and so is God.  

Maybe you aren't in the Caribbean islands today, but God will show you a measure of His love and care for you if you are willing to look for it.  Will the rain, snow, sleet or ice dampen your day or will it help to make it a good day?
The choice is yours...wishing you a "no problem" kind of day!

In His love,


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Why I Write: One Year Anniversary

Hey Friend,

It is a day to celebrate...for it is my one year blogging anniversary!  I want to say a big Thanks Y'all to those who have been with me from the beginning!  You have been my steady encouragement.  To everyone who has joined along the way, I am honored and humbled that you make time to read my posts!

Congratulations to Ellen B. and LaRhonda L. who won prizes in my anniversary giveaway drawing.  It pays to subscribe and to comment :).  Ellen won a copy of Ann Voskamp's best seller, "One Thousand Gifts - A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are".  I highly recommend this great read.  LaRhonda won a DaySpring mug featuring Isaiah 40:31 and a Starbuck's gift card.  Thanks ladies!

At age 52, I am still pondering what I want to be when I grow up...anyone else feel like that?

I have done my stint as a professional in the business world.  I also taught for several years with a break in between to concentrate on my most challenging and fulfilling role as "Mommy".  A little over a year ago a complicated knee surgery sidelined me from teaching.  When I literally couldn't put weight on my leg for six weeks (can you say stir crazy), I returned to my "first love" which has always been writing. 

What greater topic to write about than our great God who created each of us and loves us with a love that our tiny minds cannot fathom.  This God of loving-kindness has faithfully walked with me through all sorts of trials and tribulations.  This blog, "Walking Well With God" is a tribute to His faithfulness and fulfilled promise to never leave nor forsake me.

I have tried my best to Keep It Real in this boat called Life that we do together.  I have dared to be vulnerable with my life experiences so that we could support each other and grow together. 

I guess you could say that my writing is my faith applied...lived out in order to bring glory, not to myself, but to God.   I am a cracked vessel through which Christ's light least I try to be.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?  (James 2:14)

As the Sunday school song favorite goes, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine."  My cup overflows with God's great love for me and He has asked me to pour out His love on you.  Do you know how great God's love is for you?  I hope that reading some of my posts has given you an inkling!!

In 2013, my little blog through God's abundant grace, has reached almost 10,000 readers across the globe.  That, my friends, is God at work!!  In 2014, I have chosen the word, "Intentional" as my word for the year.  It is my heart's desire to live each day with more intention and purpose - through my actions and my words.

I have a lot more words to share.  Are you with me for another year?  I hope so! 

I'll end this post with the mediation I always pray before I press "Publish" each week:

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight O Lord.  Amen.

In His love,


ps.  I will be taking a two week break for my upcoming wedding and honeymoon.  I invite you to catch up on my 47 other posts in my absence.  You will continue to be in my prayers...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Things I Would Have Done Differently

Hey Friend,

I'm sorry it's been a long while since I have written.  I guess you could say that life has been tugging on my heart strings.  You know those times...when life sometimes just gets too hard to bear.  I have been having to measure out tough love to my almost twenty one year old...not an easy thing to do.  Perhaps if I had practiced more on the small stuff, it would have made tough love on the big stuff easier to measure out?!

Ahh reflection.  That's what we're supposed to do when we greet a new year - reflect on the past and make resolutions on how we will make changes in the new year.  Perhaps I have been reflecting upon my years of child rearing and asking myself if I had it all to do over again, what would I have done differently?

The answers came all too quickly.  Yes, I would have done some things differently.  I think that my children exited the womb and came bursting upon the world screaming, "I want!"  Not, I need, but I WANT!!!!  You see I am a baby boomer parent and that means that I grew up with a healthy fear of my parents.  There was a certain respect granted to our parents, teachers, and other authority figures.  We had regular chores and got menial jobs when we turned sixteen and were happy for the pay that we got. 

We didn't get cars on our sixteenth birthday (I felt fortunate to be able to drive the family beast of a station wagon on special occasions).  I grew up in a small three bedroom house with one bathroom and when I graduated from high school, I didn't go on a trip to a foreign country.  I went out to Wright's Seafood Restaurant with my family (which in those days was a big deal).  In short, I had a healthy sense of gratitude which my children, and I believe other children of the baby boomer generation, do not have.  In our quest to give them everything we did not have, we have deprived them of the gift of gratitude. Look at other countries with far less than what we have in the US and their level of gratitude for all of God's gifts.

I'm sure to some, I sound like an old curmudgeon.  Perhaps if I had used the word "No" as an answer to the primal scream of "I Want" more often, I would have more grateful children.  Maybe if instead of planning family ski vacations, I had planned more trips to the local shelter to serve meals to the homeless, there would be more hope for this next generation?  Perhaps...perhaps...

I pray that God, in his goodness, will fill in the cracks where I fell short (and those are plenty). There are, I realize, some things that I would have done the same.  Such as:  I would be fully present with my children.  I would not be consumed with technological distractions.  I would often put down whatever I was doing in order to give them the gift of importance.

I would also have kept my rule of one activity per child.  None of this running every night of the week to a different activity.  On the days when there wasn't an activity, homework came first and then, wonder of all wonders, I shooed them outdoors to play.  It's amazing the life lessons you learn in a pick up game of neighborhood roller hockey.  If they got bored...all the better.  Some of the world's greatest inventions came about because someone was allowed to get bored.

Most importantly, I would have definitely wielded the sword of truth - scripture.  My children used to teasingly call me "Bible Lady" because I would quote scripture to them on all occasions since they were tiny.  I believe there is power in the Word.  We need to teach it to our children.

Teach them (God's precepts) to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, ... and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 11:19)

I believe that the Word will not return void when used.  We may not see the fruits of our labor right away (yes, I have a prodigal child), but I do believe that in time the truth we have impressed upon them will yield a great harvest.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.  (Proverbs 22:6)

Thank you for your patience with me in my sabbatical from writing and then returning with a reflective editorial.  If someone can learn from my mistakes and my victories, then let me be transparent. 

More than anything, know, in 2014 that you are loved beyond all measure by the God of the universe.  He has great things in store for you this year.  Be open to His leading and let His light shine brightly through you. 

In His love,


ps.  Even though I haven't been writing lately, I still continue to pray for each and every reader of my blog in the morning and in the evening.  Praying you will be blessed!