Musings · Nature · Painting · Watercolors
















Tulips are my favorite flower. I especially like them dark, enigmatic, orphic.  Though often gorgeous in delicate tones, as I painted this particular arrangement, it materialized in these amazing colors that speak to the bold side of the spirit of the tulip.

Caregiving · God's Will · Musings · Prayer · Scripture



It happens all the time.

Every time they have a medical visit, I send my residents to the doctor with a list of current medications. The physician is to look at the list, reconcile it with their list, sign it, and return it to me with a note on any changes. I then update my list and have it ready for the next visit. This is particularly imperative when the residents see multiple doctors who are unaware of what medications other doctors are prescribing or discontinuing.

As I sat with my tribe’s prayer circle yesterday, I was praying with numerous ladies who are feeling beat up by life or walking through fire. We’d opened the circle with this wonderful invokation:

       ” …We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual     wisdom and understanding.  Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father.”

As we went around the circle covering each other’s upcoming surgeries, sick relatives and friends, stressful life circumstances, etc., it abruptly came into sharp focus for me that we needed to reconcile our requests with the Word. People are sick, fretting, discouraged, panicked. A bromidic “bless brother Bob” prayer will not do. It is shopworn and threadbare at best.

Instead of agonizing over Meg’s daughter’s decision, and attempting to arm-twist her into what Meg wants for her, why don’t we reconcile it to say, “give Stacy complete knowledge of your will as well as spiritual wisdom and understanding.  Then the way she lives will always honor and please you, Lord, and her life will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, she will grow as she learns to know you better and better.”

In this way we can trust that because we are praying according to God’s will, He who sees what we can’t see (now and in the future), will do whatever is best in ways we can’t anticipate. We can also trust that even if she does wrong, He will use that to grow her in wisdom, understanding, and maturity.

Instead of or in addition to praying, please heal aunt Helen’s cancer, why don’t we reconcile it with the admonition to “have all the endurance and patience she needs, and to be filled with joy and thankfulness?” We can’t go wrong with that, and she probably needs a good dose of it at this tough time.

As the axis who collects the ever changing medication orders for my residents, I most likely have the most current and accurate orders. It’s no slam on the doctors. Unless they are all in one streamlined computerized medical system, they have no other way to keep up.  I have had doctors I had to call back and say, “Dr. Reyes changed the Digoxin dose from 125mcg daily to every 2 days, hold on the 3rd day.”

I have it in writing. I go by the book. If this doctor doesn’t like that order he can change it, or duke it out with Dr. Reyes. It’s my job to make sure our records match. It’s also his job but he only had 7 minutes to see the patient, review her charts, listen to her talk about growing up in Oklahoma, do a physical check of the pain in her gut, and prescribe new meds. Sigh.

  1. We have to constantly update and reconcile orders. If you are not praying scripture for yourself and others, you probably have some orders wrong on your list. Do take a moment today to reconcile them.
  2. What issue can I pray with you about today?

image retrieved 5/2/18 from:

Passage from Colossians 1, New Living Translation.

Acceptance · Blessings · Cows · Musings · Poetry · Tolerance

Don’t Let the Dung Pile Too High

cowpie“Without oxen a stable stays clean,
    but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.” Pr 14:4


If you have kids, you’ll have noise, sleepless nights, messes, and trouble.

Either accept that or don’t have kids.

You’ll also have laughter, delight, and a full heart.

If you want a spouse, you’ll have growth-pains, compromise, heartache, and headaches.

Mine has the hives right now ;).

Either accept that or stay single.

You’ll also have laughter, growth, partnership, and fulfillment.

If you want a oxen, you’ll have mooing, early mornings, and loads of dung

You’ll also have a large bountiful harvest and gratifying work.

But I’m not saying let the dung pile too high 🙂


  1. If a clean barn is your priority, either be about cleaning it ALL the time and doing little else, or ditch the cows.
  2. Quit complaining about what are actually godsends.
  3. Gain a healthy tolerance for messes and accept them as part and parcel of the blessings.
  4. The Bestower of blessings sends them along with obligations.

Birthday · Dreams · Gift · Lavender · Musings · Poetry


I painted this for my friend. Happy birthday Jan! May your lavender-farm dreams glow brighter every day.


What a pleasure to bestow,

a piece whose rainbow colors glow,

and show the lavender you’ll grow.

And though the process seems so slow,

and you mow through sun and snow,

Your dream will come with joy in tow,

and row after row of lavender glow.



Authenticity · Fake · Musings · Self-Disclosure

Authentic Counterfeit


I am a fake.

It stuns me to see that in writing, but it’s true. I have a major in Facade Management, specializing in External Appearances, among other certifications. I mastered at a very young age.

I had an overbearing father and an alcoholic mother. They fought constantly, coming at each other with fangs glimmering and claws retracted.  I can’t count how many times I sat in a corner and pushed my little frame into it, hackles raised and my heart pounding like a jackhammer, praying for the agony to end. Evenings were the worst and tensions mounted with the bating of day. I will spare you harrowing details.

I learned to be quiet and to stay out of the way. My life teetered between anticipating these grueling occurrences, suffering through them, and reeling in their aftermath. Then the cruel loop ran again, and again. Author Alexander says, “Every consistent focus of our attention eventually becomes hard-wired into our neural pathways.”

I then entered an authoritarian world of school where corporal punishment and shaming were the norm. I graduated in the art of people pleasing magna cum laude. I learned to be conniving if needed and to save face at all times. I had no opinion and certainly never disagreed with those around me. I was friends with all, lived in my bustling imagination, and was the most easy going person around.


In 2012 mum fell and incurred a compound fracture smack in the middle of her right humerus. There followed years of surgeries and treatment as it never healed right. She had minimal use of her arm. This was hard for a busy person who was physically healthy and was last in the hospital to bear children. The constant stress, pain, and infections resulted in hypertension.

A year in, she saw a specialist who re-broke the arm, sawed off the damaged ends and injected a revolutionary bone cement to promote regeneration. He oversaw her care for almost 2 years. Her bone began to grow around the cement and it slowly healed and regained function. Unfortunately, the hypertension got worse. She died of a massive heart attack in 2014.


 “People often shortchange integrity and values to earn a better place in their exterior, visible life, but in the act they lose their place of honor within.” says Katehakis. In my life, this shortchanging is crippling to the core. It is like a crippled arm that will unexpectedly give out on you with excruciating pain.

“This is the core of inauthenticity; our words or actions become disguised from their original intent since we choose to mask them,” asserts American author and psychotherapist Mel Schwartz. While I am a thousand times better than I was even a year ago, to this day, I can’t count the number of times I look a person in the eye and start to say one thing and then bail into some flimsy version of ineffective nothingness. I give up what I have to say and cede to things I might disagree with, to “keep the peace.” I cringe at the thought of confrontation and stand down too soon.  This loss of “honor within” today makes me just as sick as pressing into that corner decades ago!

Hypocrisy presents a lie. Hypocrisy preserves a lie. Hypocrisy perpetuates a lie. Schwartz says, “Authenticity requires a genuine sharing of our inner self, irrespective of the consequences.” There is no worse consequence than the loss of self-respect due to living a duplicitous life. Moreover this crippling is with you like a poorly set bone and it affects EVERY aspect of your life.

My road to recovery will probably last a lifetime. But I am glad to say I am well into it and I am not turning back. Christian Mihai says, “give time time to do its work.” Some things can’t be rushed. My amazing Jesus is healing me and gently holds my face in His tender hands and tells me I am loved, I am delightful, I am acceptable, and He wants to hear what I have to say, even when I am disappointed in Him, a truth I would never have owned up to till very recently.

The same God who guarded me in the fiery furnace of those nightmarish years, who could have delivered me from them but didn’t; is using my brokenness in more ways than I can imagine. It may slow me down but it does not stop me. I’ll be gimping to the finish line with my head held high by the grace of God if I have to. It may impede me, but it does not define me. I am more free today than I was yesterday. Tomorrow I will be even more so because I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me. Rom 8:37.

Integrity, honesty, honor, and authenticity have been injected into the core of who I am and my inner self is slowly regenerating around that and learning, and loving, what it is to be whole.

Accident · horror · Musings · True Story

Most People Who Hit Me…


Marian was leaving the local Goodwill after a few good scores. “I could get used to these senior discounts,” she mused. She pushed the button to roll her window down and smiled to herself. She pulled up to the main road at the end of the parking lot and stopped in front of the sidewalk. She was smiling because she remembered her previous car, the Little Red Rider, a red 1984 Datsun and how she had to crank the window manually. It would jam predictably when it was halfway down and make the most horrendous squeal.

It was a lovely sunny afternoon and the two lanes on the one-way road were busy. She was in no hurry but presently saw a break in the traffic, so she gunned the car to sneak in.

The next moments played out in slow motion.

Her head turned to the right, the direction she was turning to, in time to hear a sickening crash as a speeding bicyclist hit her and to see him flip up in the air, land with a thud on her hood, and roll to the ground. “Oh Jesus!” she gasped, turning off her engine and fumbling out of her door. “Are you okay?” she asked stupidly, as she came up to a lifeless mound, not knowing what else to say.

He started to sit up and she said, “No, no. Don’t move. I’ll call for help.”

“Oh no,” he said, suddenly scrambling to his knees and grabbing a loose bent wheel that was still spinning off kilter. He stood up and started to fall backwards.

She rushed towards him, arms stretched out to help. He was on his knees by the time she got to him. He bent over and picked up his mangled bicycle. She found herself picking up a flattened brake lever and handing it to him, a frantic look on her face. He turned around with his junk pile and started to limp away.

“Wait, ” she said hurrying after him, exasperated.

“No, no, you’re very kind,” he said over his shoulder with a shaken, raspy voice and wiping his nose with his sleeve, “most people who hit me don’t even stop!”

Insomnia · Musings · Poetry · Sleeplessness

Dreaming Right About Now


I’d rather be dreaming but I don’t know how

It was all going great till I had to pee

I’ve had Melatonin and Sleepy Time Tea

My work pile’s  a mile high and awaits only me

I’d rather be dreaming right about now.


I’d rather be dreaming, heavy hangs the brow

but a rogue thought sparked and a fire it stoked

and all the peace and quiet, is successfully provoked

though I chased it down, and wrestled it, its mercy I invoked

I’d rather be dreaming, but I don’t know how.


I’d rather be dreaming right about now

Seems 2 AM was ten hours ago, and now 3:56.

I lie here exhausted, I’ve emptied my bag of tricks,

Send a man to the moon, but this I can’t fix

I’d rather be dreaming… so heavy hangs the brow…