Wednesday, October 28, 2009


photography by Joel Clements

I'm not superstitious, so please don't hear that when I say that something 'serendipitous' happened to me the other day. I say 'serendipitous' because that's what the other person who was involved in this encounter said. Me, I guess I'd call it a divine appointment. And as I wait to see what will come out of this encounter of the providential kind, I'm pretty excited, 'cause I know there's lots of potential for great things to happen.

As you know, a few days ago I told you about the reason why I was feeling low emotionally, and my struggle to be within community when I'm feeling depressed, introverted, anti-social, and want nothing more than to just fade into the woodwork… or cuddle up in my jammies at home with a book. Going out, or the thought of going out, into public places, or worse even into places inhabited by those who know me and look into my eyes and can see something is wrong, just doesn't appeal to me. I want to hide… hide all the ugly truths about who I am and what I'm going through.

So, my post the other day was a bit of a crap shoot… I put myself out there (a bit generally and maybe a bit too vaguely?) to just admit I was having a hard time. I didn't expect much to come of it, but having the friends that I do, several stepped up and reached out and cared enough to get messy with me. And I am so grateful for you, my dear friends. That alone was enough to give me courage to venture a little further out into the community again.

Monday I ventured into the community at large. I went to do some errands, some returns, and a little shopping. My serendipitous moment happened in a store, at the return desk. I had an encounter with someone I've known for years… from a time long ago when our eldest, now 16, was a little baby. So, a long time ago. Lately we've been 'bumping into each other' every few weeks. Prior to that we hadn't seen each other for years.

So this person from my past and I exchanged pleasantries, as we always do… saying things like let's get together this time… do you still have my number etc. etc. and then we headed our separate ways. I headed into the store, and she, well I thought she headed out the door. Nope. As I was shopping I bumped into her again, and that was when she said with a smile, "Of course it's you… serendipity!"

And we talked again, albeit this time our conversation went beneath the surface right away. She shared some life stuff, asked me about my life, and when I opened up about what I was doing she then said, "That's why we keep meeting!" And we talked more about what that meant, and why our paths were meeting this way, and what God intended to do with us. Then she said something that just about knocked me over… and brought tears to my eyes considering how I've been feeling isolated and depressed… she said, "Just the other day I prayed that God would send me someone… and it's YOU. It's been you all along, I just didn't know it."

WOW! I've never had anyone say something like that to me before. Wow.

You can imagine that I can hardly wait to see what happens next. 'Cause God's in the business of creating all sorts of extraordinary relationships, and I can tell that this is the beginning, no, the rekindling, of one of those.

There's this verse that I found a couple of years ago that says,

"God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us."

So I say, "Yes, God" to whatever it is that you have in mind. I want to live a wild dream… but at the same time gently.



Sunday, October 25, 2009

The reason why

An awful lot of thinking has been going on in my head lately… the neurons buzzing back and forth, and considerations being considered. I've gone from deep despair to a more moderate emotional state, and back again, all without any med's or prolonged use of vitamin supplements. And the process will no doubt continue, as that's just how I live right now. Menopause maybe, or maybe a new life season, or maybe just part of how I was made. It is what it is.

I found a few old journals lately, took them to bed early one evening and started to read them just to confirm that this isn't the first time in my life when I've felt like I've hit a wall. And, indeed, there in ink I read about other times when the circumstances of my life lined up with a case of SADD, or stress, or low energy, or grief, or even with an overabundance of time alone to think on all these things, and the result was the same… reassessment, questioning, wondering, and doubts. And it's always a downward spiral.

I believe a part of why I feel this way is due to my spirituality. There's a very real possibility that a battle is taking place in my mind and spirit because the devil would like to render me ineffective in my life. What I mean to say is, that there's a spiritual world of darkness at work against the Kingdom of Light that I confess to belong to. I'm not here to argue this… just state it as something I believe to be true.

So, having said that, the more time I spend alone, the worse these dark attacks can be. Being an introvert, I often think I don't need to be with people that much, but that's not true for me for long periods of time. Because, when I'm alone, I'm not being bolstered by the community of people that can provide me encouragement, wisdom, comraderie, and affirmation of my life purpose. This community of friends are what sustain me, share accountability with me and help me to refocus when my glasses get foggy… like right about now.

I've already begun the process of reintegration into community in various ways… by opening up this can of worms to you, to my friends, to my husband, and allowing you and them to see that I just don't have it all together… I'm human, I'm struggling, I need them to come alongside me and help me find my way. This can take the form of conversation, prayer, counsel, and plain old cheering from the sidelines as I find my way back into the race again.

I'm on my way back… taking time to write down all the clues that are being sprinkled like bread crumbs upon the path of my life. I bend down and pick up the pieces, nibble on some, and look up for the next clue.

I'm coming back… it's becoming clearer… I'm on my way… watch for me…


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spitting and spitting and spitting and spitting…

I just realized that I never did get back to my explanation of the Salivary Testing I am doing with the Women's Life Balance Program at iQuest. Sorry about that!

So here's the short of it. On my second visit to iQuest, (the one where I told Dr. Sheehan that I loved her), I was given a little cardboard box, and inside that box were three tiny plastic vials and a page of written instructions.

Marsha, the lovely young lady at the front desk, explained the process to me, and I took my little box and headed home to begin.

Over a series of 7 days I was required to fill the little vials with… spit… yes, spit! But you already know that saliva is spit. What you probably don't know is just how much spit is needed to FILL one of these little vials. Marsha had warned me, with a smile, that "the vials seem to expand when you have to fill them"… but to be honest, I didn't pay much attention to what she was saying at the time. That is, until day 1, when I sat on the edge of my bed (hubby tucked safely away in the shower) and begin to delicately spit into the vial.

The first couple of spits weren't too bad. But then my mouth mysteriously dried up. I mean I had to concentrate really hard to produce any moisture at all. I found this very funny, because when I'm at the Dentist, the exact opposite seems to happen. I can't imagine where all the spit comes from when I don't want it to be there. You know the sucking machine they use to take away spit in the Dentist's chair… well, in hindsight, perhaps this salivary collection process should have been done in conjunction with a visit to the Dentist. But, that's not what happened.

What happened was I kept spitting, I spat and spat and spat until all I was spitting were a very few bubbles. And I prayed that the definition of 'filling the vial' would include the air space that the bubbles took up… because I really didn't have anything else to deposit after about 10 minutes of trying. So, I placed the top on the vial, labeled it neatly, and put it in the freezer. Three mornings later I did it again (maybe it takes that long for the saliva to build up again???) And then, three days after that I 'filled' my last vial, placed it into the freezer with the other two, and planned a trip to iQuest to drop them off.

All fun and games aside, the salivary testing is being done to determine hormone levels in my body, and so will be a very helpful baseline of information to then move forward with recommended treatments. As opposed to blood tests which are a static sample of hormone levels, taking saliva samples over a series of days allows for a much better picture of levels, as hormones fluctuate from day to day. The testing is done by a lab out of town, so I anticipate that the results will be available in another week or so. I'm sort of excited to know, sort of anxious about whether the findings will be really out of whack!

I remember a friend who went through menopause about a year ago had some testing done (blood work, I believe) and when the results came in her Doctor said, "I can't believe you are still walking around!" Now, that's a real vote of confidence that I don't need.

Anyway, that's the process involved, and you can see by my photo that I'm still working on building up the moisture levels in my mouth again… just kidding!


Monday, October 19, 2009

The Fallen

Thoughts inspired by falling leaves, and daughters and their friends,

The leaves fall under the trees in autumn. Maple leaves under maple trees, oak leaves under oak trees, aspen under aspen.

Branches overhead reach over them in their fallen-ness as if in one last attempt to hold onto the past. Branches protecting them, albeit in a limited way, as the leaves themselves were what created shelter and shade just a short time ago.

Branches stretched out, the trees stand as silent sentinels, wetted down by autumn rain, alone in their solitary sadness as they mourn the loss of their magnificence. Maple tree mourning maple leaf.

But oh, the brilliance of those leaves as they lie there, aglow with intensity. Adorning the emerald green of summer’s fading grasses, they are more significant now in their new setting than they were in the old. Leaf tips curling up to hold the rain drops, layered upon each other in a riotous celebration of colour, each worthy of becoming a cherished souvenir of a child. Until their colours have slowly faded, and each leaf quietly taken it’s place as a winter blanket for what lies beneath...the tree’s own roots.

And now if you look up into the trees, you will see that their time of mourning has ended. On the once leaf-laden branches you will find tiny indications of life. Their glory fallen, the trees prepare for future splendor. The buds lie dormant, waiting for the day that the flow of sap will swell them into significance, burst them into beauty.

How true it is with us.

How we cling to this life with great tenacity, holding tight to the wonder and delight of all this world has to offer us through the spring and summers of our lives. Then, like the autumn leaves, we shine in all of our splendor, our colours richly displayed. Our accomplishments, our careers, our possessions, our children, our ministry, our lives. Look, we say, look at what we have, look at what we have become, look at what God has done for us. Look at me!

And we are so beautiful then that we dare not let go of the branch. Our significance is in our position on the tree, separate from each other leaf, proudly displayed and distinct. Beautiful yet isolated, we hang on.

And yet God says, let go of the branch. Trust me, trust me in the falling. Yes, my blessings are for you to enjoy, but don’t hold on so tightly to what I have given you. My blessings are given so that you may then be a blessing. Isolation, pride and selfishness are not from me.

Only in the falling do we experience the gathering on the ground. Layers of leaves, intimately joined together in rich community, only on the ground do we recognize our interdependence. We join together there, unique colours fading into insignificance as we become a rich, fertile blanket for what is to come.

The bible says that as humans we cannot conceive nor the mind understand what God has in store for those of us who love him.

Lesley-Anne Evans
Autumn 2006

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Planning ahead, I think.

Only 76 shopping days until Christmas…

… WHAT!!!

Only 76 shopping days left!!!

Now why would I be thinking about that, with Thanksgiving only 5 days ago, and the leaves still on the trees, and candy for Halloween still stocking the shelves. WHY would I fill my mind with thoughts of Christmas now? And why with only with the materialistic, consumer driven parts of Christmas? I know better than that, don't I? Of course!! I understand and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, but the shopping has become part of the tradition, and it's just not going to go away.

The gift part of Christmas… the necessary buying… is a real stretch for me. I'm not a good shopper, and I struggle with gift ideas on every occasion, especially Christmas when the perceived expectations are higher, the sheer quantity of gifts enormous (I'm including all the little things for stockings too) and the deadline is at least two weeks before Christmas for those out of town gifts that have to be sent off early.

I guess shopping is on my mind because I just got home from THE GREAT CANADIAN SUPERSTORE!!! That's our local long-term version of THE WALMART SUPERCENTRE (which, by the way, just opened here too)… just as mammoth, just as necessary to consider the type of shoes you are wearing when you leave the house, and just as prone to causing sheer exhaustion, irritability, and lack of grace. All in an effort to save a few dollars, and browse the collection of well designed, reasonably priced 'Joe Fresh' clothing that I've come to love.

So, Saturday afternoon, and rainy outside, and Claire and I head to GCS for a little browsing… and two and a half hours later we are home feeling like we just ran the Boston Marathon (not that I know what that feels like… a tad melodramatic, I know). We had a successful trip, and came home with a couple of cute tops for Claire, and a couple of things for Graeme… who hates shopping even more than I do. I anticipate that I might have to return Graeme's items, but at least I saved him from the shopping experience. I even looked for myself, but came home with nothing but a t-shirt.

All this to say, that I am so tired after accomplishing so little, that the thought of Christmas shopping and having to accomplish so much leaves me feeling drained, and certainly not in the best frame of mind (meaning I'm completely lacking in perspective).

Which makes me wonder if I could attack this whole Christmas shopping thing in a different way? A new plan, that's what I need!!!

I have a friend who shops online… and I've tried this before, but it only works for some items. The stocking stuffers still require considerable personal time in retail. And, I've tried the gift card approach, but that always seems a little cold to me… like I couldn't actually make a decision, so I chickened out and bought a 'you choose for yourself' option. And giving cash feels even worse.

So that brings me back to shopping, in person, for hours and hours until I can say, somewhat triumphantly, "I'm finished!!!" Whoopeeeee!!!

The plan this year must start with ideas… because creative ideas are the key to approaching difficult things, I think. So, here are a few off the top of my head;

• Know what you are looking for -- be a focused shopper, rather than aimlessly 'wandering' looking for inspiration.

• Choose the best time of day… first thing in the morning, during the week when others are at work, at school, in bed, or whatever.

• Break it down into manageable pieces. Keep expectations low and exceed them rather than fall short. So, if I can manage to buy one gift, I will celebrate! Thank goodness Starbucks already has some yummy seasonal drinks on their menu.

• Quit early -- head home before feet are blistered, or the attitude begins to slip.

• Shop to a budget, and take the guilt out of spending. This could include having an amount of money set aside already… although this never happens for me.

• Start early in the season with the goal of finishing by a certain date.

• Take a friend with you… this is always more fun than going alone.

• Enlist family members too… from ideas to purchasing, if your family is involved, the task seems less daunting.

• Wear your ipod and listen to your favourite soothing music as you shop. This only works when shopping alone!

OK, I'm feeling better now that I've been reminded of all the things that do and don't work, and even come up with a few new ideas. So, I guess there's no excuse now, other than mustering up the initiative to get started.

Any Christmas shopping tips you'd like to share, I'm all ears.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thoughts on Sabbath and a balanced life…

After a month of being unwell, I'm happy to report that I'm feeling more like myself and ready to start the process of catch-up on all the things that didn't get done for the past 30 days.

On Friday, I started taking a large dose of antibiotics that seem to be doing the trick. My lethargy has lifted, my cough has lightened, and my sinuses are indistinguishable from the rest of my face and forehead! I feel health coming on, and it feels so good that I want to celebrate!

But I feel like I've been living in a void for a month… with so little energy that I could only take care of the very basics of cooking, cleaning, laundry, family management and walking the dog. My voice was affected, so coffee with friends or chats by phone were out of the question. Meetings I had scheduled, about what I thought to be very important things, were put on hold once my symptoms included a horrific cough. I hardly had the energy to get up and drive to pick up my poor children, who must have wondered whatever happened to their real mother?

I've been out of the loop, on the back burner, for far too long. And now I don't really know where to start.

In hindsight, I'm thankful for the rest. I've learned that the weight of responsibility I put on myself to do so many trivial things, is really not necessary. The weeds in the garden have waited patiently for me to show up, and so far, I can still see the plants that are intended to be there surviving without my tending. The meals have been more simple, yet still tasty. Nobody has suffered from malnutrition so far. And, in those days of lack of contact with people, I enjoyed the peace and the stillness of my home. Only during the days is this possible, as my family of 5 plus a dog is certainly not peaceful and still when they are all at home doing their thing. And nobody has come down with anything nasty due to dusty furniture, or un-mopped floors. Really, we've survived this time relatively unscathed.

And I truly believe NOTHING is wasted, not even the flu, or a cold, or a virus like I had. Because of it I read more, sat more, thought more. I slept more. And the perspective that only comes with time and space came for me, taking the edge off some crazy things I thought I might do this fall, thought I 'should do' this fall, and bringing me back to the essential, important, and first things first.

Which has reminds me of the concept of Sabbath… (what I know of it, that is)… Sabbath… allowing for space in which rest, and a time of thankful introspection and peace and preparing for what is next, is intentionally placed in one's life on a regular basis. Not in a legalistic sense, as in the biblical command to keep the Sabbath holy, but one of honour and recognition that God has hard wired in a need for rest that we must recognize in order to be fully what he intends us to be.

Did I just taste some of that in my sickness? I remember part of a quote that was left on a chalk board at church, which came to mind as I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. It was something like this,

"If we do not honour the Sabbath in our daily lives, our sickness, our disease, our heart ache will become our Sabbath."

So I have to ask myself, even with my deep desire to lead a simple life, do I really understand what it means to lead a balanced life? Am I practicing Sabbath rest to honour God, and his way of balancing the various components of my life? Does my life show a healthy back and forth between work and play, activity and rest, community and solitude, and other areas?

What about food and fasting? Does my mind ever experience Sabbath rest? My emotions? Am I getting enough sleep? Do my relationships suffer from the lack of balance… and lack of Sabbath rest? Like that commercial for 'Go RVing', am I mistaking the things that keep us connected (cell phone, computer, face-book time), for the things that keep us together in relationships (face-to-face time)?

Was this time of illness a time of reckoning… or recognition that my life is not in balance, and needs to be brought into check before something else happens? Perhaps.

Whether professional, mother, teacher, artist, writer, cab driver, secretary, we all have choices in how we spend our time, what we prioritize, and how we balance our lives. We are responsible for these choices, in how they effect us, and others that we love. Some choices will have lasting impact, others minor inconveniences like colds and the flu.

So what better way to undertake a life choices assessment, than taking time apart… a Sabbath… to consider how well I am doing in this area of balance. And perhaps through making some adjustments, I will begin to live better, and be well inside and out. This lines up perfectly with my start in the Women's Life Balance Program at iQuest, doesn't it? All things considered, it's the right thing to do.

Wellness is something I've missed a lot these past four weeks. And I don't want to intentionally cause sickness to happen again, no matter the lessons learned.

Something to consider as I procrastinate over walking the dog today.


Thursday, October 8, 2009


You cup your hands as you gently lift the injured sparrow from the swimming pool water and peer down at it. Your young faces are full of concern for the creature that has flown frantically around our backyard, staying just ahead of Buddy our German Pointer - intent on obeying his hard wired birding instincts.

“What should we do mom?” you three ask, and so I say, “Let’s take it inside where it will be safe for a while. Buddy will have to stay outside for now,” the dog still searching the yard for his elusive prey. So, you and your brother and sister take over, preparing a soft, towel-lined cardboard box, and then go online to research the appropriate action to care for an injured bird.

In my heart I think the story will have a sad ending, as many birds die from the fright of being handled. But you are persistent in finding out what to do, and quickly prepare a lid for the box, punching holes in the cardboard sides and adjusting the blinds on the laundry room window to cut out as much light as you can.

We are all speaking in soft voices now, and the timer on the stove is set, just as you instruct us to do -- now we have to wait. Your sister isn’t very patient in her vigil, every few minutes requesting a peek into the box. But you know time is important, so we wait, and I wonder what we will see when we finally remove the lid and look inside?

Time passes, the box is opened, the bird flies free. Life is spared, our hearts are touched, we play a small part in something bigger. And I consider how our small lives reflect those of sparrows, eating from His outstretched hand.

Lesley-Anne Evans

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It keeps on getting better all the time…

Well, it’s not something I’m in the habit of doing. That is, I don’t usually make an appointment with a health professional to deal with something that ails me, and then blurt out ‘I love you’ in response to their suggested treatment. And yet that’s exactly what I did when Dr. Sheehan said she wanted me to start taking apple cider vinegar to supplement the acids in my stomach, and help my ongoing problem with indigestion and acid reflux. The fact that this suggestion lined up with something my very healthy and elderly grandfather had taken most of his adult life, and I was sold out.

My visit to iQuest Healthcare and Fitness Centre and Dr. Rachel Sheehan, ND, was Part Two of my Women’s Life Balance Program initiation process. Similar to Part One with Dr. Grant Pagdin, MD (that I told you about in a previous post) it far surpassed what I had been expecting. Again no BMI testing with Dr. Sheehan!

Dr. Sheehan had done her homework, reading over the lengthy questionaire I had submitted beforehand. Based upon those facts and other related questions, we sat and talked and laughed and shared and by the end of the visit I felt like I was a friend rather than a client. Why, you might ask? Well, this lady made it her business to ask very detailed questions, and listened rather than interrupted when I gave lengthy answers, and empathized with me when we ventured into areas that were personal, emotional, even psychological. It wasn’t just about figuring out how to help me in my current menopausal state, rather it was about getting to know me as a whole person, and beginning to look at ways to treat that whole.

So, for me, that meant looking at my detailed health record, of course. It included talking about my concerns surrounding a family history of breast cancer and diabetes. It involved taking a look at my predisposition toward depression and SAD. And, it allowed us to take a detailed look at my menopausal symptoms and my personal philosophy regarding bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and homeopathy.

In other words, we covered a lot of territory in that hour, and my outburst of ‘I love you’ near the end of our time together was genuine. I truly felt warm feelings towards this woman who offered me, not only an ear, not only her professional expertise, not only the beginning of a customized approach toward my whole health, but most importantly, she offered me new hope.

So, another step further along, and I’m home again with my share of Dr. Sheehan's 'tricks up my sleeve’ to better deal with the distressing symptoms of broken sleep and hot flashes that come along with my version of the ‘pause’. And I have to report that to date I have had three nights of good solid sleep, and several days with no noticeable hot flashes. You can imagine that my frame of mind is also improving, and I’m excited to discuss this with Dr. Sheehan on our next visit.

Oh, did I mention that I had to go and see another iQuest specialist after my visit with Dr. Sheehan? Well, I did. I met with Jordelle Dupre, iQuest's Exercise Physiology Expert, who led me through a ‘Strength and Agility’ testing process. Jordelle was kind enough not to laugh when I couldn’t quite figure out how to do a vertical jump without kicking up my heels, and she patiently waited while the spasm in my shoulder died down enough to continue to do a very limited number of sit-ups. Oh, and she also graciously calculated my BMI, without calipers. All this to gain a deeper understanding of my capacity and abilities, and to assess the current status of my whole health.

All in all, it was a good morning. And, you can imagine my excitement when Jordelle took a measurement of my waist circumference and announced that I was well within healthy heart measurements for women my age. Wow, now that felt really good. Another healthy dose of hope!

I was going to tell you more about my saliva, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.


Friday, October 2, 2009

October Valentine - the real story

Yesterday's posting was written as if it were a tale that could have happened to anyone, anywhere. The truth is, it happened to me. Why it happened, I don't know. But I do know it was as real to me as the leaf I held in my hand. You will just have to decide for yourself if you believe it.

This then, is my personal account of what took place two years ago, as I walked with my dog Buddy along a tree-lined pathway in Kelowna, British Columbia.

photography by Jeanine Friesen of J9 Photography.

Come and listen to what God has done in my life.

It was a bright October day, and after dropping our children at school, I decided to take my dog for a walk along the Mission Creek Greenway. It was wonderful on the path that day; the creek sparkling and gurgling beside me, and the poplar trees at the height of fall colour, illuminated in the sunshine.

As I walked, I felt a growing sense of well-being, and I thought to myself, "You are here God." I began to hum and then sing right out loud because no-one else was there but me. I worshiped God, feeling a closeness to him that I hadn't in a long time.

I looked up at the colourful trees, and wanting to somehow save this beauty, I stopped to pick up some leaves from the ground. And that is when I noticed... the leaf in my hand was heart-shaped, like a yellow valentine. And, at that very moment, I heard God say in my own heart,

"I am here, and I love you, I love you!"

So, I stood there, surrounded by the glowing heart shaped leaves, and I felt the touch of God.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October Valentine

Sharing this story has become a tradition in my life for the past couple of Autumns. In celebration of October and the tangible, personal love that God has for each of us, I'd like to share it again.

photography by Jeanine Friesen of J9 Photography

October Valentine

by LA. Evans

She walked briskly along the pathway, the dog ahead of her pulling on the leash. The sun shone brightly, illuminating the fall leaves on the trees and enveloping her in colour.

She hummed as she walked, and then began singing. With the sun warming her face and fresh air filling her lungs, she felt a deep contentment. And she thought to herself, “You are here God”.

Taking in the details of the trees around her, she admired the contrasting colours of the leaves more closely. She reached down to pick a yellow leaf from the ground, then another and another. There were so many leaves to choose from that soon she had a brilliant bouquet in her gloved hand.

It was then that she noticed the shape of the yellow leaves -- heart shaped. And, at that very moment, God spoke into her heart;

“I love you. I love you. I am here and I love you.”

She stood still, looking at all the leaves. The heart-shaped leaves surrounded her, some hanging from the trees above, while others created a beautiful carpet under her feet. She smiled. It was simple and profound and personal, and she wanted to share it with her friends.

She collected more leaves, then continued to walk and consider the depth of God’s love for her. The heart shaped leaves were from poplar trees -- fast growing, weedy trees that were not highly valued. And God chose those particular trees to display his love to her. Not the mighty oak nor the stately maple, but the humble, overlooked and often disposable poplar.

Invigorated by her walk and God’s message of love, she and her dog made their way along the pathway toward home.

May this story remind you of the One who loves you uniquely, personally, beyond comprehension.



community (7) life (7) love (7) relationships (7) God (6) death (6) family (6) menopause (6) communication (5) grief (5) depression (4) friends (4) grace (4) purpose (4) Women's Life Balance Program (3) blogging (3) faith (3) grieving (3) homemaker (3) honesty (3) hope (3) joy (3) marriage (3) perspective (3) truth (3) Christmas (2) cleaning (2) creation (2) creator (2) destiny (2) doubt (2) friendship (2) happy (2) maturity (2) mercy (2) parenting (2) passion (2) priorities (2) simplicity (2) survival (2) unconditional love (2) women (2) women's health (2) worship (2) Fall (1) Love Dare (1) Mother's Day (1) Mothering (1) Spiritual growth (1) Twitter (1) aging (1) anger (1) awareness (1) back to school (1) bad (1) balance (1) beliefs (1) believe (1) bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (1) boys (1) challenge (1) children (1) choices (1) colds (1) compassion (1) conflict (1) connecting (1) consequences (1) conversation (1) crime (1) cyber crime (1) dates (1) details (1) disclosure (1) divine intervention (1) dogs (1) eating (1) emotions (1) entertainment (1) envy (1) expectancy (1) expression (1) faithful (1) flu season (1) food (1) girlfriends (1) growth (1) heaven (1) help (1) holy spirit (1) hormones (1) housekeeper (1) husbands (1) illness (1) jealousy (1) judging (1) kids (1) legacy (1) lies (1) members (1) partnership (1) personality (1) predestination (1) pro-active (1) purposeful (1) responsibility (1) responsible (1) reuse (1) salivary testing (1) self-control (1) self-righteousness (1) sense of place (1) serving (1) significance (1) sin (1) stewardship (1) struggle (1) teenagers (1) tenderness (1) the honest scrap (1) tribute (1) truth or dare (1) vacation (1) women's health balance (1) writing (1) youth (1)