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!”