Last year we came to help our brother with some yard work.  He’d had a surgery some months earlier and was still suffering with nerve pain.  He had been so discouraged with a slow recovery, and so we hoped to offer some moral support by helping him get his raised vegetable beds ready and planted.

Today, we are here again, only this time for his funeral.  The battle just got thicker and harder and we are heartbroken that cancer has ended the full life of a great man.

At one point in the summer, he said he felt he had walked through Gethsemane to a degree.  Pain and mind altering drugs for pain had left him at an all time low.  We had no idea at the time, but cancer was also ravaging his body, growing in his brain and in his spine.

What can I say except I am grateful for all of time and experiences we had together through the years. And how is it that we are so blind to those we love when we are all here and going through the common trials of life?

I believe that he won his battle.  And I pray I will do half as well in my challenges as time goes on.

And I hope to be wiser when we meet again.

Goodbye for now, be at peace.

Apollo Speaks-



Meet Apollo.

This little guy was something else.

Nothing like our lovable chocolate lab who let’s you know what he wants or needs by walking by you, not looking at you really, just kind of sending out dog- telepathy and waiting, occasionally giving you a few backward, sad-eyed glances.

No, Apollo let you know exactly what he needed and wanted.  And if you didn’t get the message the first time, he’d gladly give it to you again, only closer to your face each time. He was really quite hilarious! If he wanted you to scratch his back, he would jump on your lap and pick-up your hand with his nose.  If he wanted to play, he ran around the living room in circles, stopping to crouch down and look at you with his little tail wagging like crazy.

I have thought a lot about the difference in these two.

With one, you knew right where you stood and you knew what he needed when he needed it. On the other hand, I feel badly sometimes when I realize that Toby has needed something and I haven’t clued in.  Mind reading is pretty iffy.

Isn’t that the way with people too?  At times we want others to realize what we want and need, sometimes just by looking sad or hungry or tired.  (Not terribly attractive is it?)

Sometimes we want someone else to validate our need for rest or relief or reprieve.

But guess what?  We don’t need that validation when we validate ourselves. When we call for help.  When we anticipate our own hunger, our own thirst, our own need for creativity and friendship.

Most of us, I would guess, would be better off putting a little more “Apollo” in our behavior!

I applaud all of you who are asking for assistance when you need it!  For taking the bull-by-the-horns and moving yourself, step-by-step, into a healthy place.  You are my heroes!

Because, isn’t it true that a woman who gets herself in a balanced, happy place, by nurturing and caring for herself, is far better able to nurture and care for her family?

You are inspiring! 


To Honor


Who do you love?

Who do you regularly forgive?

Who do you respect and trust and obey?

Is there someone you want to remember or to imitate? 

Who do you encourage?

When we love and forgive and imitate, we honor.

Scripturally speaking, we are commanded to honor God, our parents and our spouse and then our children.  How do we do that in a simple, daily way?

Maybe it is in stopping what we are doing while we are listening, or in agreeing to start a difficult conversation again. Maybe it is when we say, “Good job!”  and “I’m so proud of you.”

Maybe it is in taking the break that will help us to find our sense of humor again on a cloudy day.  Or leaving a note in a sock drawer or writing a sweet message on the bathroom mirror. (Hurrah for dry erase markers!)

And, could it be that we honor our God and our parents and our children best when we care for ourselves and become a little truer, and a little closer to our real potential?

I wish you an honoring day today and hope that you will also feel honored yourself.  My guess is that there are evidences all around that you are.  Do a little looking, and see what I mean.

With love,



It’s About Time


I’m so excited!  My sweet friend and designer Shantel has been busy at work getting our new Lioness Home-Management System ready for print.  It will be finished, most likely, in the next week! Yay!

We’ve done our best to incorporate all of the Lioness concepts for time-blocking (time management), meal planning, and logs for keeping track of family life from addresses to self-care, into one beautiful binder.

I mention this here because using our time well is such a big challenge!  Do you know what your highest priorities are each day?  Do you have a way to stay on top of all of the different roles you play?

It is mind-boggling to think of managing a home and family at today’s pace, without knowing what the “big rocks” are in your life.

By big rocks I mean, the things on your list that are of greatest importance.  And the analogy goes that when you put the big rocks into your schedule first, the lesser rocks, illustrated with gravel, sand and water, can fit nicely most of the time.  The reverse is also true.  If you fill your vessel with lesser things, there is no room for the big rocks.  It doesn’t work.

So, how do you know what your highest priorities are?  You get yourself into a quiet, spirit-filled place and you think and pray and meditate and write!

Here are a few thoughts to get the ball rolling if time-management is something you’d like to narrow down and master.

Self-care is a big rock.  Does this go without saying?  Well, I don’t know about you but I constantly need the reminder that if I don’t care for myself, absolutely nothing else will get done!  Not the work and not the play.  Besides that, ill health makes us “irresponsible” or unable to respond to the challenges that arise in our families.  Self-care helps us to become more flexible, relaxed, more able to handle stress, easier to get along with, and I’m sure you’ve noticed that when you feel well, you don’t have to try so hard to be cheerful when things get tough!

And a side note: order matters.  What needs to be done most, should take precedence on your schedule.  First things first is an inspired notion.  If a girl kills half an hour on social media before her daily self-care tasks are accomplished, she may feel empty and without an anchor when it’s time to really get moving on tackling the challenges of the day!

Taking care of your own health and well-being is paramount to the health and well-being of every member of your family.  It is the greatest gift you will give them in the course of your days.  When you feel well, you can sing and uplift and encourage others.  Who doesn’t love coming home to smiles and hugs, to happy music and order?

Please, please, please put the big rock of your spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health at the top of your list and the top of your day! I know how it is to be down and trying to be a wife and mother.  It is extremely difficult and takes a long time to dig out of a mess like that. Besides that, even when you are dong everything you can for yourself, sometimes you still have health issues, so don’t push it!

One last thought: stress adds actual physical weight to your frame.  Consider ways to lessen stress in your life if it is weighing you down, whether it be guilt, or blame, or being overly committed to too many things at once.  Pare it down.  Focus in.  Let it go.  Build relationships.  Take responsibility.  Make things right.

Yes, there are “stresses” that are exciting and invigorating!  And yes, doing nothing and completely avoiding all risk is not healthy either.  But be wise young mothers in what you choose to take on.  Life will add it’s own pressures without you taking on the whole world at once.

There are times and seasons.  You are human.  You can only do so many things at once, even though you are strong and talented and all kinds of ambitious!  Yes, even though we are indoctrinated to believe that women can do it all…(with the implication that we can do it all at once as well,) remember that there are things that only you can give your family and there are things that anyone can do, and some that others should do. Make your choices, deal with reality and be happy!

And what if we give up some things?  Some dreams?  Some personal freedoms now for a greater return on our investment into family later on?  I testify that the late returns do come. And that they are priceless.

Godspeed you to a crystal-clear vision of the important family work that is before you. Your vision will inform your daily, even hourly choices and you will excel in your performance!

Much love,


“I live my life on purpose.  I recognize my body’s signals that tell me when I am running too fast.  I give my body time to renew.  I honor myself with spiritual and physical food each day.  I give from a place of fullness.  I know how to connect with heaven.  I thank God for my opportunity to nurture others.  I love my life!”

What About Food?


I saw a bumper sticker once that said, “The problem with life is that it is so daily.”  I don’t know why exactly, but that tickled me and still does when I think of it.

Kind of like the way the movie, Groundhog Day tickles me. We want our days to add up to something.  To learn, however gradually.  But man it takes repetition doesn’t it?

I have found myself thinking, didn’t I just have this problem yesterday and now I’m trying to figure it out again?  This daily-ness is teaching us something all of the time, over and over until we get it!

Part of what we learn has to do with our body’s daily need for sustenance. It is having to deal with food.  Every meal. Every day.  And when you are the person who does the cooking (and shopping and planning, etc.) that can be a pretty big part of life.  Understatement huh?

Add to the relentless hunger of a growing family, the political/social climate we live in where every month (or more often than that) there is a new study on what is “good” and what is “bad” to eat, what the new findings from X university is showing, or what government funded research (that may coordinate with a government subsidy that may want to encourage people to buy and eat certain things…) and we find we have real confusion about what IS best to eat!

I remember reading an article that claimed that carrots were now on the “bad” food list. That was almost 30 years ago, and when I stopped trusting “the latest research” as a good source of dietary information.  Common sense has got to factor in somewhere doesn’t it?

I love this dietary mantra from Michael Pollan; “Eat food.  Mostly plants.  Not too much.”

That appeals to me so much!  Partly, because I am witnessing levels of confusion that lead to a great deal of OCD-type behavior around food, and for some, a complete paralyzing shut down when the code seems too hard to crack!  I had a dear client who had stopped cooking and was stocking her freezer with frozen burritos that the kids could eat whenever they were hungry because she had heard so much conflicting information, she couldn’t think of anything to cook that wouldn’t be “bad” in some way!

That is quite a hopeless feeling.  And what a travesty to miss out on the wonderful array of taste, culture and creativity available to us! In many ways, food is life!  We just can’t afford to miss out on that!

But I think we can all relate to the frustration to a degree, can’t we?

So, here are my two bits.

If i’ts real, and your body can handle it, find the highest quality you can afford and eat it without worry!  And for heaven’s sake, enjoy it!

What do I mean by real?  I mean if it grows and is part of the natural world, eat it.  I hear people say they don’t want to get fat so they don’t want to eat avocados or nuts. (Know that the “fat makes people fat” trend is over.)  Be concerned if it is refined, man-made, food science-d, chemical laden, artificial flavored or colored.

If something can sit on a shelf for months or years and not get rancid or grow bacteria, it isn’t food.

Good rule of thumb; shop the perimeter of the grocery store and you’ll be getting more “realness” than in the middle where the cans and boxes with commercials printed on the labels reside.

Go for fewest ingredients possible, and those you can pronounce.

Make your own bread or find a simply made brand.  (For fun count the number of ingredients, and do your best to identify what they are, in a loaf of commercial white bread.)

Put butter or olive oil on your steamed veggies, and enjoy them!

Garnish and flavor food with meats and or make meat servings small and not part of every meal. A little goes a long way.

Get good at cooking beans and legumes and rice and keep some on hand.

Eat regularly and prepare meals before everyone is in starvation mode.

Snacks aren’t usually necessary but consider four meals a day for little ones if that makes sense for their needs.

Prepare and serve the same meal to everyone.  Grind little people’s servings in a baby food grinder so that they can break it down (without too many teeth.)  Kids don’t need separate meals of packaged macaroni and cheese and peanut butter and jelly if they are given the opportunity at a young age to eat and appreciate real food.

Model eating and enjoying real food to your children!  They are listening and watching and learning from your habits!  Do your best not to have hard fast rules about what you do and don’t like.  Give them the freedom to like things without feeling that you won’t approve. THEY WANT TO BE LIKE YOU.  Yes, this requires broadening out your own taste buds!  Experiment! Open up and take a few eating risks!

Get curious about new tastes!  I was in my late 20’s before I tasted coconut milk with peanuts, cilantro and curry, and wow, what a joy!

Learn to make nutrient rich desserts and make them beautiful too!  It is wonderful to know that there are “treats’ to look forward to eating that will help you celebrate special days and events.

We’ve got to shake loose from the worry and crazy-making rules regarding our food.  And in order to do that, it seems to me that our society has got to shut off the marketing and hype, tie on an apron and make friends with real, nourishing, family-bonding food.

I wish you every good thing!



“I love myself.  I take the time I need to cook for my family.  We love eating together.  I simplify this part of my life by planning what we will eat each week.  I love real food!”