Love is

Happy Valentines Day, my friends. For some of you, today comes easy, as you look forward to spent time with the one who makes your heart sing.  I celebrate with you. You are blessed. I wish you a wonderful day.

For others, today is a painful reminder of a hurting heart, longing to be understood by someone, longing to know someone who loves you more than life itself and isn’t afraid to show it. I hurt with you today.

Love is…. complicated. Or maybe it’s that we complicate love.

A week or so ago, I read a passage in Philippians 1:9 and the phrase in bold has been haunting me ever since. Praying today to learn to love appropriately, as God would have me love.

9 So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings  10 so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. 

I am reminded often that Gods ways are not ours, especially as I watch life unfold. In the Old Testament is a story that exemplifies this, and Judah Smith delivers it so effectively. It’s a little long, but worth the time.

May you all feel Gods love today, regardless of your circumstances.

Love you all, my friends.


Judah Smith. The love of the Father


Snow Angels

A few years ago, my son and I made a trip in February to Virginia to visit a college. It was a weekend visit complicated by the fact that our older daughter had a scholarship interview at the college she’d be attending that fall – scheduled for Saturday of the same weekend. Since his trip was from Thursday to Sunday, that meant that I had the privilege to drive to Virginia on Thursday, stay the night, drive home to PA Friday, to daughter’s college Saturday then back to Virginia for the concert being held on campus that night and home again on Sunday – lots of miles, lots of driving, lots of adventure.  I’m always up for adventure… even in the winter.

As we pulled out of our driveway, the snow was falling and the windshield quickly needed cleaning, but when I sprayed my windshield nothing came out, so I assumed the wiper fluid tank was empty.   We stopped at the local gas station and bought a gallon of fluid, but when we went to put it in, found the tank was full.  I imagined I was crazy but we had a deadline and an 8 hour trip ahead of us, so we started out.

As we entered the PA turnpike, the roads slush and filthy, I found it wasn’t enough to rely on the snow being kicked up onto my windshield to wipe off for clear vision.  I couldn’t go more than five miles without having to pull over to clean the windshield.. and how exactly did we do that when the squirters wouldn’t work?   well..   my poor son had to get out of the car with the gallon of fluid we bought, open the jug an throw some fluid on the windshield for me to wipe off.   Honestly, it was a scary situation because in some spots, I couldn’t pull  very far off the road and there was a lot of truck traffic that day.  He said his part was far harder than my part…

After just a few stops along the turnpike, I thought to myself, this is going to be a REALLY long day.   After a couple of hours, we made it to Breezewood, then south in to Maryland.  As soon as we crossed the border into Maryland, the weather warmed up a few degrees and … you guessed it… my squirters worked.   Frozen.  I had recently had my oil changed at the local shop and apparently they Topped off my fluids with water, not wiper fluid…

From that point, it was a much more pleasant ride. Eventually we made it to campus and connected him with his weekend roommate (who was a friend of ours from home!)

I found the hotel I had reserved for Thursday and Saturday nights, and settled in.  The next morning, I attended a few of the parent meetings at the campus and then headed back toward PA.  The state of Virginia has about a million antique stores, so I took my time and stopped at quite a few along my way home. I returned home late Friday evening with a trunk full of antiques  (yikes!).  Early the next morning, the girls and I headed to college again for the scholarship interview (which went well, by the way).   We had lunch and headed for Virginia – except this time I thought it would make more sense to take a different route since we were starting from her college which is near the PA / West Virginia border.  Thus, we travelled through the Appalachain Mountains… in February… in my stupid van (sorry, Nellie, but it’s true – you’re terrible in the snow!). I’m not sure why I thought that was a good idea. Sometimes hindsight is 20/20.

I’m convinced the state of West Virginia had declared a state of emergency because there were literally no other cars on the road for many hours as we drove through – save the snow plow which was throwing the freshly fallen powder so high in the air we could see absolutely nothing! When the road cleared, we were literally on the other side of the yellow line.

This was the actual picture my daughter took. We can’t see the snow plow, but it’s in front of the giant pile of snow blowing our way.

I drove, white knuckled, for what seemed like days, up steep roads that made my driveway look like Ohio, without seeing another soul. I didn’t want to vocalize my concerns to the girls about what would happen if the van couldn’t navigate one of the hills, or if we broke down. Then, just as I was beginning to loose hope (and REALLY had to pee), in the middle of nowhere, a convenience store!

We pulled in and ran to the bathroom, the gathered some snacks and had a brief conversation with the clerk. When we got back in the car, we all agreed that it felt like we were in a Twilight Zone episode.

Shortly after our stop, we began to descend the mountains. I had been concerned about our car making it UP the hills, but to be honest, coming DOWN the mountain was even scarier. I felt like we were in a giant luge. Still hardly another vehicle on the road, we made our way down the mountain. I was never so glad to see a “Welcome to Virginia” sign in my entire life.

This weekend, my husband and I will be traveling to Virginia Beach for a wedding. I doubt we’ll take a shortcut through the West Virginia mountains! (And somehow I don’t think he’ll want to visit the antique shops!)

Be blessed, my friends!


Leave the water jar

In my post,Domino’s, I talked about the story of the woman at the well, and how sometimes we need to do the will of God so that Gods will may be done in the lives of someone else.

Today, I heard another interesting perspective from the very same story. After talking with Jesus, the woman left her water jar at the well and went into the town to Summon them to come and see Jesus.

The water jar would have been important to her, as she would need it for drinking and cooking, and other things. Yet she left it because she had something more important to do.

There are times when you have to leave your water jar to do something God is asking you to do, to leave something important to you in favor of something God has for you.

Perhaps you’ll come back to it later, as the woman probably did. Or perhaps it will become less important to you, and you may never return to it.

The point is to hold on loosely to that which you deem important and always be willing to go where God is asking you to go or do what he’s asking you to do.

Be blessed today, my friends



In previous posts, I have mentioned my youngest daughter and her faithful prayers… she has been a prayer warrior since she was a little.

One of the little girls on her list was my friends’ cousin, Khloe, who was diagnosed with cancer at three years old. Khloe fought valiantly and went into remission for five years. In 2017, Khloe’s cancer came back with a vengeance.

We struggled to understand God’s plan in this. It was so hard to accept, and so hard to watch such a precious child suffer so much.

My friend and another family member organized meal trains for Khloe and her family. As we prepared some of Khloe’s favorite meals, my daughter said she wanted to do something special.

She brought to me a prayer book my husband and I had gotten for her in 2015, when, at the age of ten, she made a decision to be baptized. (In our denomination we dedicate babies to the Lord, and save baptism for individuals who make their own decision to do. I mean no disrespect to other denominations with other practices, and only make the distinction to demonstrate my daughters choice in both the baptism and in the note she wrote)

Completely on her own, now at twelve years old, broken-hearted about Khloe’s sickness, she wrote the note below in the inside cover of the book. We took it to Khloe along with popsicles and some of her favorite meals. Khloe died a few weeks later.

We sometimes don’t know the impact of our actions but are called to be obedient to what God is asking, even when we don’t understand, and even when we don’t like the outcome.

“I accepted Jesus as my savior and because of that I know I’ll live forever. I want you to be able to live forever, too.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

I am blessed, my friends.



Cheyne, Shane, Bear, Peter, Little Carter, Miss Kitt’s Awana Group…

Cheyne, Shane, Bear, Peter, Little Carter, Miss Kitt’s Awana… part 2

Cheyne, Shane, Bear, Peter, Little Carter, Miss Kitt’s Awana…. part 3

Cheyne, Shane, Peter, Little Carter, Miss Kitt’s Awana…. part 4

Cheyne, Shane, Peter, Little Carter, Miss Kitt’s Awana part 5….

Life is a journey

Birth is a beginning and death a destination

And life is a journey

From childhood to maturity

And youth to age,

From innocence to awareness

And ignorance to knowing,

From foolishness to discretion

And then, perhaps to wisdom,

From weakness to strength

Or strength to weakness,

And often back again.

From health to sickness

And back, we pray, to health again

From offense to forgiveness

From loneliness to love

From joy to gratitude

From pain to compassion

And grief to understanding

From fear to faith

From defeat to defeat to defeat

Until, looking backward or ahead

We see that victory lies not at some high place along the way

But in having made the journey, stage by stage, a sacred pilgrimage

Birth is a beginning

Death a destination

But life is a journey

From birth to death to life everlasting

Author unknown, from the prayer book of the Shiva of my friend.

Baruch, my friends, Baruch

(Blessing, my friends, blessings)


When all that’s left of me is love…

When I die, give what’s left of me away to children, or to old men that wait to die.

If you need to cry, cry for your brother walking the street beside you

And when you need me, put your arms around anyone and give them what you need to give me

I want to leave you something, something better than words or sounds,

Look for me in the people I’ve known Or loved

And if you cannot give me away, at least let me live in your eye and not in your mind

You can love me most by letting hands touch hands,

Love doesn’t die, people do

So when all that’s left of me is love,

Give me away

Author unknown, from the Prayer book at the Shiva of a friend

Be blessed,



Last March, the world lost a wonderfully eclectic soul, Eric Cohen. He died far too young of cancer. His sister and my sister were best friends ever since they were in 7 th grade and our families got to know each other well. Eric was a fellow musician, and invited me to play in his band when I was in 7 th grade, my first band. He looked out for me as if he were my older brother. Although he never asked me personally, my mother said that when he was in high school, he asked her if he could someday marry me, and promised to become a doctor so he could take good care of me. Lol. He had multiple doctorates when he died, in sociology and psychology, though he died essentially penniless. We never married nor even dated, but he was always a friend.

Eric was a very free soul, and extremely eccentric. He was the only Jewish Mason I ever knew, and he had a giant heart for people. Here he is in Central Park. I had a poster made of this picture for my studio, to remind me of his creativity.

Last Sunday, just eleven months after Eric died, his father died of a heart attack….or broken heart.

Last night was a Shiva service for Eric’s father, at their home. It was the first I’ve ever experienced. I have tremendous respect for Jews, as they are Gods chosen people, and the service was awe inspiring. Though I don’t know much Hebrew, (I know a few key words like Baruch (blessing) and Adonai (God)), I sat quietly during the service, just drinking it all in. I could feel the presence of God as His people followed their rites. I followed along in the prayer book, where some was written in Hebrew and some English.

Toward the end of the service, they observed silence and encouraged participants to pray either on their own or to some of the prayers and poems in the service book. I hope it was ok, I took a picture of the two that stood out to me. I don’t know who wrote these, so I don’t know who to give appropriate credit to, but am trusting that it’s ok to share.

The last stanza of ” when I die” is my favorite. I will post these as separate posts because I feel their words are incredible.

Birth is a beginning is among the most touching works I’ve ever read. It speaks to me in volumes, and fits so well with my blog that I think I will stick it to my home page (if I can figure out how)

Be blessed today, my friends.