Waiting for Rain


The promise of a big storm this weekend pretty much disappointed all. When the rain did arrive, it was at night. I personally like sipping tea and watching the rain. Nighttime rain does nothing for me. I spent most of Saturday waiting for the storm. I stayed home and kept making tea. I finally gave up and ran a few errands. When it arrived, disappointment set it.

How often do we wait for something to happen before we can start living? When we are single, we wait to be married because we think then life can really start. When we are married, we wait for kids for life to really start. Once we have kids, we wait for the empty nest, and so on. We are always waiting for something in life. The wait stinks! It robs us of moving forward and living. Saturday was mostly a wasted day for me because I kept waiting for the rain. When 1:30 rolled around and still no significant rain, I moved onto living my day. What are you waiting for in your life that is preventing you from really living?

How about living in the wait? How do we do that? We run errands while we wait for the rain. We take classes to further our skills or interests while we wait. We purchase items we always wanted, even though we thought we’d purchase them with a spouse. We embrace the season our kids are in and not rush them to college. Waiting is life. Waiting is reality. Waiting is most of what we do. Live in the waiting. Don’t wait to live.

Dream Big! Pray Big!




I had my annual Oscars party last night. We completed a ballot. Had a food contest. Our winner was a Lady Bird chicken salad (because a chicken is a lady bird – loved the pun). Our runner-up was a mushroom omelet tart for Phantom Thread (you need to see it to understand). It was a fun night as we watched the 3 hour and 45 + minutes of the telecast. My party appeals to the movie lover and the non-movie lover. It’s just girlfriends enjoying good food, lots of laughter and an award show on in the background. We stop talking at each award presentation and for the songs. It is a fun night.

I have always loved movies. I grew up in a TV family where we always had the TV on. Movies drew me in more than TV (although I enjoy a good sitcom or drama). I love to watch a story unfold. I embrace getting lost in another person’s life for a few hours. I want to understand people and how they think and act. Obviously watching Dumb and Dumber isn’t going to do that for me. However, a few of the best picture nominees did that this year.

The Darkest Hour educated me not only on British history (actually world history), but on the person of Winston Churchill. He’s a fascinating man with many quirks. His eloquence with words saved the world. Truly it did. This movie showed the power and influence we can have. Our words and how we use them can make a huge difference in lives. As a writer and speaker, I strive to influence others to grow in their walk with God. The boldness of Churchill inspired me.

Lady Bird gave me a glimpse into the world of a high school senior in a specific demographic. I was plunged into her world in this movie. I related to some of the mother daughter dynamics. I heard the heart of this daughter throughout the movie. I am motivated to listen to my kids more. To respond with less knee-jerk reactions to my kids. I want to be a part of their dreams coming true and part of their fan base. I don’t want to be a naysayer in their world as this mom was to her daughter.

Phantom Thread is a weird movie with beautiful costumes. Daniel Day-Lewis is an amazing actor. The movie was weird though. It didn’t lead me to any conclusions or changes in my life. Other than, avoid people who act like these people.

3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri showed me the depth of hate and bitterness. It truly deserved to be up for best picture. The snapshot of the lives of people in pain rocked me. I felt it. I found myself praying for the characters in the movie, that is how in-depth the characters were portrayed. The bitterness and grief of the mom in this movie drove her to crazy action. When we bring our pain to God, we find mercy. We find comfort. We find hope. We may need to do it hourly, or even every minute, but we find it. Eventually we internalize the hope God provides. To have no hope, is ugly. This movie shows that. Hope is what sustains us. I don’t judge or blame a mom who has to live through the kind of grief this character did. I want to bring her Jesus. I want to sit with her in her pain and help her find hope.

I don’t want to recommend, or not recommend, these movies to you. There is a lot of language, some sex and extreme content in the movies I mentioned. I personally like to learn how others live and view the world. Movies give me that perspective. I am a better person because of the movies I mentioned (except Phantom Thread). I feel that I found mercy and understanding from my application of these shows in my life. God teaches me in unique ways. I hope you allow Him to infiltrate all areas of your life. You may just find that old movie you love to watch over and over, will draw you closer to God if you listen for His voice in it.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

The Beach


I love the beach. It’s my chill place. My happy place. My contemplative place. My rejuvenating place. My restorative place. My everything. I am a whole different person at the beach.

I went biking at Newport Beach a few years ago with a friend. We loaded our bikes in her van and ventured from our LA address to the OC. She has known me for years but this we have never enjoyed the beach together. The look on her face as I got into beach mode cracked me up. She just kept saying “you are so different at the beach.” It was a compliment. I was funnier. I was more relaxed. I was more me.

I just returned from a weekend in San Clemente. Our condo was down the street from the sand and waves. Incredible time of rest and fun and prayer. I missed Friday night’s sunset but made sure I saw the next two nights. The picture above is from Sunday night’s sunset. Gorgeous. More than that – significant. It was a time of telling God, “whatever Your will, I will follow.” His plans are still unfolding in my life. As I wait, I know whatever His steps, I will follow. I like being in this place – so near to God. I am feeling impatient even as I type this. Then I go back to His perfect timing. It’s always about His timing. Whenever I force things to move forward, I miss out on His best for me. He redirects and gets me back on the path. I am grateful. This time, I am waiting on Him, longer than usual. I am not allowing my impatience to rush God. (Like I could really rush Him.)

My moments at the beach reminded me of the “chill” we can find in life. The quiet of hearing only waves crashing. The healing power of sand under my toes. The calm of watching birds fly overhead. The delight of seeing a dolphin. I am chill at the beach. It’s easy to find “chill” there. My goal is to find it more in other places as well. I can’t get to the beach everyday but I can seek “chill” everyday. Time in God’s word. A cup of tea while I pray. Listening to a sermon online. Sitting outside and seeing the beauty in creation. Taking a nap. Talking to a dear friend at the heart level. I hope you find your “chill” today even if you aren’t at the beach.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

Grace and Frankie


Not sure if any of you who follow my blog watch this show. Personally, I love it. I am a product of the TV generation. I grew up watching TV a lot. I still watch quite a few shows. However, I don’t just watch, I allow their stories to resonate with me and I seek applications in my own life. Watching a show to escape has its place. Watching a show to learn is why I watch Grace and Frankie.

Before I continue, this blog contains spoilers so don’t read on if you haven’t finished the current season. Also, if you haven’t watched this show, I will inform you that there is foul language in the show and a married gay couple. That said, read on.

I just finished the current season which ends with (SPOILER) Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) sitting on blue Adirondack chairs in front of their recently sold beach house. The scene sucked me in. They had gone through the wringer is this last episode. They escaped from their retirement home and returned to their real home on the beach only to find a SOLD sign. The moment they sat in the chairs they held hands and sighed. When I am in the midst of tough times, I just want to sit on the beach. How much more wonderful to sit on the beach with a best friend. They have one another.

Life is hard. It doesn’t get easier. It just keeps coming. Some months, or years, it just keeps throwing punches. If you have a friend to walk through it with, it’s manageable. Of course, our ultimate friend who gets us through all things is God. He is my rock. My fortress. My comforter. My healer. My friend. My all.

My friends on earth are “God in the flesh” to me. They are the ones who hold my hand as I sink into my chair on the beach and sigh. The ones who repeat truth to me over and over again (you are going to get through this, you aren’t alone, I’m here and so is God). Do you have these people in your life? Do you have at least one? We all need at least one.

In this show, they have other friends, and even grown kids, who are in their life. Yet their bond to one another, trumps them all. They had similar experiences which is why they were thrown together in the first place. You don’t always need that to bond. Shared experiences help though. One of my lifetime friends says we are friends with history. We can start in the middle and because we know the past, we can keep up.

I just wanted to encourage you today to take stock of your friendships. See if you have a Grace or a Frankie in your life. Someone who will hold your hand and sigh on the beach when life knocks you down. If not, find that friend today. Start by being vulnerable with someone already in your life. If the water is safe, keep treading in deeper and deeper. It’s worth the risk.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

Pure Hearted: A Guest Blog


My friends – I’m excited to send you a guest blog this week. Kathy Collard Miller, author of Pure Hearted that I blogged about last week, sent me a blog to send to you. I hope you enjoy her teaching this week. Thank you Kathy.

“Jesus, Do You Care?”

by Kathy Collard Miller

God is often glorified in the eyes of others when I stand strong emotionally; when I can face difficulties and trials with confidence in God’s sovereign strength.

But that strength is often blocked by by my desires demanding affirmation of my value, assurance I’m loved, and attention so that I’m not ignored. If I don’t direct my “wanting” to trusting God’s supply (and not others), I crumble emotionally.

That’s what happened to the disciples.

On that day, when evening had come, he [Jesus] said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4:35-41

I can surely understand the disciples’ terror. Even though most of them were seasoned fishermen, this storm was obviously way beyond their comfort zone. They knew fishermen who had perished in storms like this. The boat was not just taking on water—it was “already filling.” As they looked around for help, what did they see? Jesus asleep on a cushion. The man who should have been the first to take care of them was completely oblivious to their need and fear.

I can only imagine how “they woke him.” Did they jostle him? The boat was already being jostled. Did they call to him? The sounds of the wind were already screaming. Did they grab him and shake him? That’s what I would have done. Out of terror.

Then the disciples reveal their underlying motive. “Teacher, don’t you care we are perishing? We thought we could depend upon you, yet obviously your own comfort—your sleep—is more important than us.”

How poignant, especially coming from men. Women are more prone to ask, “Please tell me you love me.” For these men to get in touch with their heart’s cry is astounding.

I think their question is often what our heart is crying out to know: do you care? We can be tempted to express it through emotional outbursts because we’re afraid we’ll hear, “No, I don’t care because you don’t deserve it.” I’ve been guilty of getting angry at Larry and only later realizing my heart was crying out, “Show me you love me! Maybe my anger, distress, or craziness will get your attention.”

After Jesus calms the storm and the danger is past, the disciples are filled with wonder and awe. They rightly ask, who is this who can calm the wind and sea? If they had asked that question at the beginning, they wouldn’t have become distressed. Because the answer is: “Even though Jesus seems to be asleep on a cushion, he hasn’t stopped loving us or caring for us because he is the powerful and omniscient God. We can trust whatever reason he is allowing this.”

When that is our attitude in the midst of the storms of life, God is glorified.

When have you asked Jesus, “Do you care?” He isn’t upset about your question but he does want you to hear him reply, “Child, I do care! Trust me. I know exactly what I’m doing and it’s for your good and my glory.”


A bit more on Kathy:

Kathy Collard Miller is an award-winning author of over 50 books that include Christian living topics, women’s Bible studies, and Bible commentaries. She is a speaker who has shared in 8 foreign countries and over 30 US states. Kathy and Larry have been married for 47 years and are the parents of 2 and grandparents of 2. They live in Southern California and often write and speak together. Visit her at www.KathyCollardMiller.com. She would love to hear from you.


This guest blog is adapted from Pure-Hearted: The Blessings of Living Out God’s Glory

Order Pure-Hearted at: http://amzn.to/2jzYdWi


Twitter: @KathyCMiller



A bit more on the content of Pure Hearted:

It is possible to have a purer passion for serving God and respond with greater godliness as a result.

Do you desire to bring glory to God yet wonder if your motives are muddied by fear, selfishness, and immaturity? Even when you’re empowered by the Lord to represent him well, do you wonder if your success has made it all about you?

Pure Hearted will inspire you to focus on desiring God’s glory and enjoy the benefits without guilt—benefits like seflessness, security, satisfaction, surrender, stability and self-control, along with others.

Filled with biblical principles, practical instruction, and motivational stories, Pure Hearted is written for women. Every chapter includes a profile of a biblical woman along with discussion questions for groups or individuals.


Dream Big! Pray Big!

Pure Hearted


Kindles are for fiction only. I can’t read non-fiction online. I need to underline, jot down questions, write notes and be able to easily go back and find a page that really spoke to me. I know there are tools to highlight and bookmark in Kindle but I need a neon green highlighter and a dog-eared edge of a page to make my reading truly sink in.

Recently, I had the privilege of reading Kathy Collard Miller’s newest book, Pure Hearted. I started reading on kindle then bought the paperback via Amazon prime. I am glad I did because it allowed me to write down answers to the reflection and discussion questions at the end of each chapter. It helped me dig deeper and apply what I had just read.

What you will pull out of the book may be different from what spoke to me. That’s the beauty of reading – we interpret it based on our own lives and experiences and situations we are facing at the moment. To me, the main focus of this book was to examine my motives in my life. Why do I do what I do? For fame? For attention? To fill a hole in my life? To be liked by others? Kathy challenges the reader to strive to pursue things in life in order to give God glory. A new mind shift for me for sure. Honestly, I didn’t understand what it meant to give God glory either.

Kathy quotes James M. Hamilton Jr. who says “I would suggest that the glory of God is the weight of the majestic goodness of who God is, and the resulting name, or reputation, that he gains from his revelation of himself as Creator, Sustainer, Judge, and Redeemer, perfect in justice and mercy, loving-kindness and truth.”

Kathy says “I believe the primary way we can give God glory is to purify more and more of our heart’s motives.” How do I purify my motives when they are so mixed up with unmet needs and past wounds? By living in the Spirit. Allowing God to speak to us and nudge us through His Spirit that lives in the heart of every believer of Jesus Christ. So when he prompts you to rethink something you are about to do, rethink it. When you sense a roadblock, pause before you try to step over it. Allow God to direct more of what you do and why you are doing it.

The closer I am to God, the more glory He gets from my every day life. He’s a part of it and He’s seen by others in what I do. I love this. My focus, after reading this book, has been to listen to the nudge of the Holy Spirit. I also am committing my thought life to giving God glory. It’s not a public thing but my actions flow out of my thought life so He will be seen in it.

I encourage you to consider getting this book. It will challenge you while inspiring you to deepen your walk with Christ.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

You can order this book on amazon.

Wide open day


I am home today with a sick kid. Poor guy. Thankfully it’s not as bad as what is out there. He just has a low-grade fever, sore throat, coughing, and is exhausted. Hoping to catch it early, rest up and not let it escalate. So, I cancelled my day to stay home and now I get to refill it. A blank slate is before me. What should I fill it with?

  • Checking on my son every 30-45 minutes – number one priority
  • Clean the house – nope – too mundane
  • Write my blog – check
  • Work on my presentation for a mini-retreat at the end of January – definitely
  • Catch up on TV – naw –  I can do that when I have insomnia
  • Take the dog on a walk – I don’t wanna leave my kid home alone plus, I’m in my indoor lazy clothes – sweats and a snoopy t-shirt.

These are just a few of the many options before me. How often do we get a day with options? Rarely. Why not? We over schedule, over book and over commit. This “free” day is a nice wake-up call. I need more of these in my schedule. Days where I truly let the spirit lead. I can say “God, what do you have for me today?” and I can listen for His answer. I know what task I’ll tackle after this blog posts, but how nice that I had time to reflect and ponder that decision. I don’t wish a sick kid on anyone. I do wish an open day at home with no agenda. (Now if this was a free day where I could actually leave the house, I have one action item – the beach – rain or shine – it refuels me.)

Look at your schedule this week. Do you have a few hours of nothing scheduled that you can protect? Can you move some things around to get a few hours of downtime? Time at home with no agenda or responsibilities pulling at you is heavenly. We always have things we “should” do when we are home – cleaning, dishes, laundry, organizing, etc. What if you took those out of the running and had a few hours to just be at home? Indulge yourself in a few moments of something you love to do in your home. You will feel refreshed afterwards. I hope you will take a few moments to scan your calendar and make this happen. You won’t regret it.

Dream Big! Pray Big!