Sunday, December 9, 2018


"Between Stimulus and Response There Is a Space. In That Space Is Our Power To Choose Our Response." ~Viktor E. Frankl, a concentration camp survivor during the Holocaust.)

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Viktor E. Frankl
Read more at:
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Viktor E. Frankl
Read more at:
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Viktor E. Frankl
Read more at:
Essential to editing my life, is up grading or deleting some of the patterns that at one time or another were used for survival and belonging.

The trouble is that as time goes on we grow and change.
  Those past patterns may have been useful at one time.

The way I see things may not necessarily be the way things are.  So based on this perspective I find that reacting has been one of my basic problems in life and I need to amp up the responding.
You see reacting is me-centered.  It's easy.  Responding is hard.  It involves empathy, compassion, and insight.  Reacting sets me up to react in a way that does not represent a child of God.

"Reacting is hasty. Reacting is rushed, uncalculated and often done without proper thought. In anger, in fear. It’s misunderstood, misused. It’s impossible to express how you truly feel in a single sentence, or meme..(or emojis). Its even worse if you’re just sharing for the sake of it, especially if it turns out the source matter is false."

"Responding takes time. Time to review & digest the situation, to understand both it and how it affects you. It also allows you to add context to your statements so that others can learn and appreciate the situation, rather than just click a button with a thumbs-up symbol and throw it aside. Let them know why their attention is needed, rather than just demanding it."

  Scripture advocates responding over reacting.
 In fact, the ability to respond is the mark of a wise person.

 Take a look at these examples:

"... take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,"  (James 1:19
“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11)

“A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.” (Proverbs 11:17)
“Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32)
“It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.” (Proverbs 20:3)
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” (Proverbs 18:2)
"... for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks."  Luke 6:45
 Mr. Schoof likes to get me a poinsettia every year at this time.  As he hands it to me he says, "Happy anniversary, happy birthday, and any other happy occasion that comes to mind."  My first reaction, although silent was, "Salmon color?", "I don't like the color."  "Did they not have other colors?"  I had never noticed this color before.
  My favorite color are the deep maroon, red ones.  Well, I would like to say that outwardly, I responded, however, it took much restraint to overpower those silent reactions.
 I will enjoy this until it is relegated to a spot outside after the season and eventually join all of our other green thumb less failures.

Saturday, December 1, 2018


"the course of true love never did run smooth" William Shakespeare
There is something about forcing my brain to come up with, pull up, out what’s important to me.

Milestones invite reflection and I’ve been thinking about how my marriage has worked out and what nuggets of wisdom I have gleaned these past 43 years.  What has made our relationship last?  Those years just didn’t happen!

They say, “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”
So, who in the dickens am I married to?  How did I become a wife to someone who is wired differently?  I fell in love!  I must of seen past everyone’s interpretation and blindness of “LOVE”.
Our story started and I fell for him because he was different and every person uniquely reflects the beauty and glory of God.  It is important to understand that we all have a type of brain organization we are born with and some of us have different operating systems for those brains.  It was out of God’s goodness that we happened to fall in love with each other before spending too much time together.
While we experience the grandeur of the world God has placed us in, we all experience life in different ways.
Each year has brought me an ever-growing understanding of the complexities of our marriage package.
Looking into the history of our relationship recaptures the glimmers of what brought us together.  As I think about our imperfections that make our marriage challenging, yet beautiful, regardless, we are here to glorify God.  If we are fearfully and wonderfully made, if a little differently made then it is to focus on God not our expectations.

Oh, the heart aches, I could have saved had I known then what I know now.


>For years I figured that my husband should just know and pick up on clues to my desires.  He didn’t have a clue.  I discovered that if I wanted him to know, I would have to tell him.
>I chose to choose my battles wisely.
>Many times, I had to allow natural consequences to kick in even though it was an inconvenience or seemed illogical.
>It is not my job to nag ad nauseam on grounds I do not own.

>Learning not to panic when hitting the rough patches of difficult terrain.

 "But those who marry will face many troubles in this life..." I Cor.7:28

Saturday, November 24, 2018


"As you do not know the path of the wind,
    or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
    the Maker of all things." ~Ecclesiastes 11:5

 We all have stories and encounters.  While we experience the grandeur of the world God has placed us in, many of us will trek through difficult terrain as we walk the rocky road of life.  You may have had many dashed hopes.  You may have memories of churning waters that have made up your life.
You may have the heart ache that could have been spared had we not known the storm clouds brewing or spared had we known years ago.  I find myself in the already and the not yet to come.  I find myself wondering why couldn't others have been more understanding.
I find it distressing that some people just don't get it.   "Be more normal!" they scream in an inaudible way of which I am guilty of.
A thankful heart takes the sting and screwy nature out of life's trials.  God's presence is grounds for gratefulness.  He sustains me and tightly holds me and cares for me.

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). ~Matt.1:23
"...And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ~Matt.28:20

As I look forward to ending this year and beginning a new year, the most valuable lesson I have learned is that sometimes, well most of the time that changing expectations will transform perspective.  
Imperfections, human quirks and errors make marriage most challenging equal to exasperation.

However, Get it!  We are here to glorify God!
  To focus on the Lord! 

Please don't let your relationships "look like a nuclear winter."

Saturday, November 10, 2018

#3 DEAR MR. SCOOOOOF: 43 Yrs.!

“Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord?"  ~Exodus 4:11 

 Reinhold Niebuhr’s prayer,

"God grant me the serenity (faith, love and wisdom)
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."

"Marriage is vulnerable because it is an intimate union between two sinners."  ~Jennifer Smith, author
My Dear Mr. Scooooof;

Last time I checked, you WERE still my husband.   I am no longer the wife of your youth but still the wife of your not-so-youth.
  I am still the mother of your children and the grandmother of your grandchildren.
The passing of another year together is approaching.  We will be entering into another one, together.  What an accumulation of irreplaceable time. It will be a reminder of our commitment

I have had a front row seat in your life.  I at times reluctantly rejoice in what God has given you, me.

Yep, the simple fact we are two very distinct individuals expressing life and love in a language neither of us has mastered, yet.
A deep appreciation often escapes me.  My list of changes, ever changes.  These changes reminds me of all the hats you have worn throughout the years.  You carried a lot.  We frequently test the limits of our love.
Mental and emotional stamina have escaped us at times as well as living in an understanding way.  I still have a lot of growing to do.  My quest for survival has revealed how selfish I have been.
I am much more worse at times.  I have not always been a kind wife, a steadfast wife, or a very compassionate friend.

We will never win "Couple of The Year."  The "happy couple" is an illusion anyway. At least for us. Being married is a worthy adventure.  I refuse to compare ourselves to others.  Ours is unique, special and weird.

Perhaps you remember the first lines to one of Charles Dickens famous books, The Tale of Two cities.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only." 

Was I blessed because I was suitably built for it?  My feelings remain a mystery to you not because I have not shared them but because you are hard wired in a unique way.
I fight the urge of wandering thoughts, imagining what I have missed while watching other seemingly happy couples.
Social media can be very deceiving.
It's difficult, I can get in the flesh quickly thinking that forgetful, distracted, thoughtless, disorganized, zoned out, is selfish.

I'm sorry for doing such a poor job of caring and throwing so many careless words at you.
Well, regardless, one thing is sure.  You're mine, you love me, we support each other in our own hard wired way.

"She's Mine!"
  Forgive me for trying to "fix" you.  You are not broken, God made you.  I totally get it now, the tendency to understand me will be illusive.
Gratitude sets my perspective.
I may never be who I really want and desire you to be but our identity does not change who we are in Christ.  Sanctification is a process. It never ends.
I am blessed by stealing glances of an open Bible in your hands in the early morning.

Forgive me for not rejoicing in your passions.  Forgive me for the harsh words when followed into the kitchen to prepare a meal, asking questions provokes great frustration.
There are many days I feel weary and inadequate for the job as your wife.
I appreciate all the precious milestones and cannot imagine life without you.

  After years of living without making sense of some things comes the "Aha" moments, more clarity.
It's going to be okay.
  I better get sturdier sneakers, tighten my belt, and sharpen my sword skills.  (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Mrs. Scooooof

PSALM 139:

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

Monday, November 5, 2018


As Dumas wrote in his novel, The Count of Monte Cristo:
“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.” – Alexandre Dumas
 "If thou faint in the day of adversity thy strength is small" (Proverbs 24:10).

I don't like adversities!
Isn't it somewhat perplexing to consider oneself blessed when going through a trial?
  The blessed part is that in the midst of trials, I have survived.
  I have thrived!  The other blessed part is that sense of God's presence and strength through it's storms.

My life time has been full of those blessed moments, those moments that have a way of ambushing, those hours that seem so long, those days that seem endless, those months filled with difficult situations, those years of life taking on many strange experiences and struggles and trying to make sense of challenging, chaotic, turbulent occasions.

Friday, November 2, 2018


 The last thing on my mind was shopping, however, my husband whooed me into going with him to Lowe's.

So, when you are replacing an old toilet, there is so much to have to do before the purchase.  Toilets come in round and elongated and other features I won't discuss.
We found ourselves wandering up and down the plumbing isle, looking for the toilet we found on line that was discounted.  We found ourselves standing in front of the toilet display trying to figure out which one.
 We searched high and low but found not a one that met that description yet store inventory showed eighteen available.  Not that we needed 18.

Not to be deterred, we began searching for a sales associate who could provide some assistance.
This large, burly man appears out of nowhere from the plumbing fixtures isle, clueless.  He goes through all the same motions we had just completed and determines that the 18 toilets must still be on the pallet in the warehouse.  He tells us it will take 30 min.
I set my phone alarm and look for a nice quiet place to sit amongst the patio furniture in the garden department.
30 minutes later, I saunter back to the toilet displays isle, only to find out our toilet is not ready for take out, yet.

So, we made ourselves comfortable in twin soft chairs in the "make your kitchen dream" dept., facing the lighting fixture department when a loud voice calls out "You're toilet has arrived!"

Mission Accomplished

Friday, October 26, 2018


Several months ago (June 22), I set on a camping adventure in the book of Romans.
  Today I completed my goal of reading the book of Romans 50 times.  It is cause for great celebration for me.
I dedicated 16 blog posts to "Camping Out In Romans" and the adventure proved to be phenomenal. 
Of those 16, number 7 garnered the most views.  #7. CAMPING OUT IN ROMANS

Monday, October 22, 2018


"You should be able to pick up the phone and call any of those Facebook friends and say: 'Hey, listen: I'm in trouble. I need a lift, I need a ride, I need help, I need information.' ~Anon

What a wonderful thought if the above rang true of friends. 

What  have I gleaned recently from my frequent encounters with fb?
Let's talk about "friends" and what I learned from my friend lists and my friend's lists.
 It is fascinating. It measures tightly how people are connected or not.
In analyzing my network, I figured out who is the most important to me and who is important to most of my friends or not.
Simply belonging to my network reveals much about me as I tell it.  It tells what is important or not.
I tell myself often that if I was ever convicted of being a follower of Jesus, It would be easy if they follow me on social media.
The ability to remove and block those friends is very handy of which I have only done once, in my fb infancy.
However, it takes a little detective work to find out if I have been blocked,  removed, or down graded to another level.
Fb will not be telling you out rightly if someone has banished you or removed you as a friend.
It isn't the nicest thing in the world to be reporting.

It takes a little detective work to find who has unfriended but it usually follows some suspicious thing one might have said in reply to a comment or that inkling that a friend has kicked you out.

Having established what you suspect and that friend no longer appears in your friend list, you either let it go or dig deeper. 
Then check messenger.  If they are still on fb and they have not deactivated their account, their profile picture will appear under "More People" heading.  After ruling suspects out one can establish a list of former friends.

What I have found out about friends and lists was that it doesn't always bring out the best in people but it does eventually bring out the truth.
You might say, But what about family?  You would think that shared DNA would assume unconditional love and acceptance?  Well or at least tolerance.  Apparently not.
If your family can't appreciate your masterpiece comments, they probably are not your target audience.

I can choose my fb friends but I cannot choose my family.   Don't like to feel uncomfortable do you?  So when family, sadly, unfriends you, breathe, maybe you have been given a gift, accept it.  Pray for them.
I am assuming that I am the person they don't want to hear from anymore and they don't want to have you know about them.  Sadly this reveals that they were not very close to you as thought.

Unfriending is an active step that tells somebody 'I don't like you'.  'I don't want to see your stuff anymore.'
Sadly it may also reveal what someone else thinks of me.  I am puzzled at the immaturity of many.

Oh, friend, When we get to Heaven, or not, all will come out in the open.  I seriously hope that you have not unfriended God or one of his followers because they have offended you.


Thursday, October 18, 2018


“Suffering has the power to turn your timidity into courage and your doubt into surety. Hardship can turn envy into contentment and complaint into praise. It has the power to make you tender and approachable, to replace subtle rebellion with joyful surrender. Suffering has the power to form beautiful things in your heart that reform the way you live your life. It has incredible power to be a tool of transforming grace.”  ~Tripp

This week, I found myself captivated by the latest book by author Paul David Tripp.

It is fascinating because of its biblical view of suffering and adversities and infuriating to others who have been ambushed by the challenges that shake their very core of unbelief and poor theology.
Here's what he states is necessary to understand about suffering:
 "You never just suffer the thing that you're suffering, but you always also suffer the way that you're suffering that thing."
 This book impacted my view on suffering and took it to another level, deeply encouraging me.  It spoke to me personally.  His words sunk deep into my soul.
He explains that suffering should not surprise us, yet it almost always does.  "We live in a broken world."
He explores a wide range of biblical insight, identifying traps to avoid and comforts to embrace.
The paradox, "Scripture connects trials and difficulty to the good things God wants for us and is working to produce in us."  James l:2-4
Poor understanding of Romans 8:28 leads to unrealistic expectations.
The author wants us to understand that suffering is not just physical but spiritual warfare.  Suffering assaults the mind.
His purpose in sharing this book is:
" help you with the war beneath the battle, to alert you to places where you have to fight for your own heart and to help you to see the amazing ways your Savior meets you in your battle." 
He captures your thoughts through little aha moments and tidbits you want to underline.   It is the kind of book you want to share but want to keep in your library just in case you need to read it again.  Yes, it is one of those kinds of book.  Christmas is coming.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018


This morning I had my yearly comprehensive eye examination.  Halloween had taken over the large reception room that shares space with the optical shop.
Uncomfortably bright

Ghosts, skeletons, pumpkins, and fall abounded.  Ghoulish pumpkins of all colors stared at me from the counter.  A gold skeleton danced on a door.  The exit door had a Christmas wreath.
I settled into a seat to wait.  Above me was an eye chart poster draped with cotton cob web.  My husband made himself comfortable for the hour and a half wait and took a nap.

And of course, just as I decided to pull out a book to read, and jot a few notes in my journal (yes, I brought it along this time.), I was called into the small “waiting room”.

The assistant quickly left, leaving the door ajar which five minutes later from a gust of air mysteriously closed.
So I was left in this dimly lit room with the big letter “E” staring at me from the opposite side of the room.  I am no stranger to such rooms as I have been visiting such places since I was two or three.
The equipment remained silent and black, casting ominous eerie shadows on the wall.
So it is was just me, my notebook, a pen, a book, and my thoughts.
The sounds from the hall drifted in, mostly conversations in Spanish.  I felt the vibrations and muffled sounds of footsteps on the hall carpeted floors as I waited.

Vision tests these days have come a long ways.  I am very grateful for all the care I have gotten through out the years.
The assistant finally came into the room and gave me the standard visual acuity test exam.  You know, the reading of levels of different size letters and a number just to throw you off.
I also got an introocular pressure measurement.
  I was then sent back to the main waiting room for a few minutes.  Then, I was called in again, well not to a little room but to a machine in the hall way to have a keratometry test that measures the shape and curve of the outside of the eye to test for astigmatism. 
restroom key
They took my glasses away and sent me back to the main waiting room to await the next step without them!  I felt naked but fish into my hand bag for my prescription sun glasses.
After some time, I was again led into another small room where I was given the dreaded, deadly, dilation drops and again led back through a maze of hall ways just to get to the main waiting room to wait for the effect to take in preparation for the ophthalmologist doctor.
Finally, I was left again in a small similar dimly lit room to wait for the doctor.  I begin to feel like I was in a haunted mansion of some sort, waiting for the dr. to say BOO.
The Dr., in his ghostly white coat and his assistant dressed in all black, knocked on the door, like I was going to answer it, right?  You're waiting and the sound of the knock never fails to startle.

The questions he was asking me did not add up and I had a puzzled look.  He gave a questioning look to his assistant, they both did an about turn and quickly exited the room and shut the door.
Again I was left with my thoughts, I couldn’t read, I couldn’t see, but I could pray.
After about another 15 minutes, they reappeared with an apology about being in the wrong room.  To make sure this time, the assistant asked my birth date.
So the doctor did his look see and I am happy to report that my vision has not changed and I’m good for another year.

My outside world today seemed overly and uncomfortably bright due to the drops of dye to highlight the areas they wanted to look at.

  Six hours later, my vision was back to normal and I’m
blogging about today’s adventure.

Saturday, October 13, 2018


"On a scale of one to ten an opal is easily the hardest gemstone to try and value. An opal has an infinite number of variables including color, pattern, brightness and origin."

So--Your here today.  I'm here today and rain is so conducive to writing.  Yes, we have had a rare occasion of rain.  So let's enjoy this little chat.
When I began to blog, I seriously did not envision all the aspects of my life that could be blogged about.
Opal always tries to drag Earl to the fabric store

I have four brothers.  I have a special affinity towards one who continues to mine the depths of our shared ordinariness of life as MK's in Mexico.   He has encouraged me to observe more closely the delightful humorous details of life.

The fact is that God blesses us with numerous humorous events.  What I am leading up to here is that since retirement, I am observing my 43 years of "wedded bliss" from the perspective of the oddities of experiences that ring true during this season of life.
Or at Hobby Lobby

Brian Crane, creator of the cartoon, Pickles, has the knack of captivating the humorous side of older adult married life.
Needless to say, I am a Pickles fan.  I see myself in Opal.  Crane has a way of carrying us past our short comings and move us to satisfied living.
  You will just have to Google and read those comics for your selves.

Without bohemians, the world would be a complete bore. 
To celebrate our commitment we opted out of the traditional proposal.  The diamonds took a back seat as we chose a more fragile stone, the opal.  For one thing, it was a more cost-effective route to go on our tight budget.

Not to mention opals are unique.  We chose to celebrate the unique qualities of our love.  We were captivated by the unique beauty.
Matching gold rings
  Later when we got married, we exchanged wedding bands and that was it.  I did not need a huge hole in my man's love pocket.

Wearing an opal is said to bring about loyalty and faithfulness.  It was a  perfect representation of the unique spark and fire of our relationship,  a one-of-a-kind ring.
The opal's colorful history did not let us down.  Due to it's magical glow, opals have been steeped in mystery dating back to the middle ages.
 In Roman history, Caesars gave their wives opals for luck, regarding it as the most precious and powerful gemstone.
Shakespeare famously described the opal as the ‘queen of gems’ and ‘a miracle’.  So all that being said, we decided instead of worrying about the cost of a diamond ring, we'd go ahead and get an opal.
Sadly, our opal was stolen years ago when our home was broken into.
  But, I now have my diamonds.

Thursday, October 11, 2018


Giving my thoughts some space on paper.  At least they began on paper and somehow migrated here so all my fabulous followers can experience some of my journey.

The benefits of reading and writing escalate the more frequent the encounters.
It fascinates me to read posts from the past.  The blog eventually pays back as I view past events and personal thoughts of God's work in my life.  Reading my own stories offers a door way into the wonders of my past.
I am entering some of the best years.  I'm hanging on cause time seems to be going very fast, crazy and sometimes heartbreaking on this ride.  But guess what?  I'm living!  I survived, today.
Please take a moment to breath and to enjoy the beauty around you.  Look around you.  Enjoy the moment.

I have gone through things I never dreamed of.
 What’s your journey?  What's been the pathway to get to the destination?
 What kind of intentional steps have you gone to get there?   Is it a patient journey?

 Who are the people on the journey with you?  Who benefits along the way?
One of the hardest things about getting old is seeing friends and family members swept away.  Never, ever lose the actors in your life.  Treasure the memories.  Don't let the memories fade to the point, you see only black and white, or sepia.  Capture those moments in color.
If you are young and reading this, you may roll your eyes because it may seem unimaginable to be better at sixty nine than twenty one.

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."  II Cor.4:16

Facebook is a sinking ship of youth, time, selfies, and manufactured perfection.  The unseen greatest skills acquired are honesty, the importance of compassion and incredible patience.  Well still struggling on that last one.
Life is strange.

  It's Ok to not have it all together cause once you think you have it together, you get thrown a curve ball.
I have experienced tremendous highs and some tremendous lows.
Life is not about smooth sailing.
Life will not go according to plans.
Embrace the changes as they come, cause they will keep coming.
Stop expecting and learn to appreciate.  Remain "classy", vintage so to speak.  Don't be afraid to wear those pearls.

I appreciate those who ask if I'm okay.  But what do they expect?  What answer should I reply?
Today was a perfectly okay kind of day.  Having lunch with two friends today put color to my day.
I'm thankful my name was on the wake-up list this morning.
 Don't wait!  For an easier life that is.  It won't get that way.  Simpler, or better?  Don't bet on it!

The secret to my life has been learning to cultivate joy, right now before I run out of time.

 "I was young and now I am old,
    yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
    or their children begging bread."  Ps.37:25