Monthly Archives: July 2011

God Is Not Like Butternut Squash

I bought this card a while back because it reminds me of the God.  I have it posted on my “vision board” and look at it from time to time. 

Outside of card.

Inside of card.



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Filed under Faith, God, Inspiration


Nine years ago this month I lost a very close friend to cancer.  Her name was FrAn. 

I met Fran when I was in jr. high.  She moved to my small town of 300 people with her husband, BoB, who was our K-12 school’s superintendent.  They immediately became a part of our community and school.  Fran LoVeD people, music and God.  Actually, Fran just loved LiFe.  I have never met someone who was more PoSiTiVe and UpBeAt than Fran.

Due to budget cuts my senior year of high school, our music program was cut.  Fran stepped in and VoLuNtEeReD to be our vocal teacher.  She took our vocal class to music contest where we won 1+’s –  the highest score possible, not because we were incredible singers, but because we worked hard and were motivated to perform to the best of our ability for Fran.  Her love for music had RuBbEd Off on us.

The year I graduated from high school in South Dakota, Fran and her husband retired to a little resort island called “HoLiDaY IsLaNd” right outside of Eureka Springs, AK.  I was thrilled as my college plans were to attend college in Tulsa, OK, just 3 hours from Fran’s new home.  Bob and Fran extended the invitation for me to come visit them and I did so regularly.  In the course of 10 years I also took many of my FriEnDs along who, after a weekend with Bob and Fran, said they felt like they had known them all their life.  That was just the way they made you FeeL. 

Fran (and Bob) treated us like her own daughters.  She bought us “SwEeT PillS” a.k.a. pastries, made us delicious meals, let us drive their golf cart to the pool (a block away), swam with us, rented and watched chic flicks with us, washed our clothes, and had good heart-to-heart “girl talks” with us.  Sleeping-in was the norm and when we finally rose out of our room we were greeted with Fran saying, “GoOd MoRniNg MeRrY SuNsHiNe!” a phrase I now use every morning when my girls come down the stairs.

Although Fran had been diagnosed with cancer, maybe before I was even in high school, she had always been so positive and proactive in treating her disease, I never worried about it.  She always seemed to be the picture of HeAlTh.   

However, in 2001, when Bob passed away from prostate cancer I begin to notice she wasn’t quite the same.

On Friday of Memorial Day Weekend 2002, I received a call from Fran saying, the doctor’s had told her there was nothing more they could do.  She knew that she was in her final days and was at PeAcE.  A few days later I went to visit her to say  “good-bye”.  Less than two months later, I went to say my final “Good-Bye”.

Fran was an InSpiRing WoMaN.  She touched the lives of those who knew her. 

I hope I can make an ImPaCt on others like Fran made on me.


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Filed under Inspiration, Inspire, People, Relationships

Fireproof your Marriage

Whether your marriage is rOck SoliD or needing a little work, there is a movie you Need to see. Fireproof is the B E S T movie I’ve watched when it comes to marriage.  The movie was given to us as a giFt and my husband and I watch it together at least once a year.  Each time we gain something new, and each time it puts a BooSt in our relationship with each other and God.

Have you had a dAte niGht in a while? Set aside a night this week and watch this movie with your spouse.   You won’t be disappointed!


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The Over-Rated “All”

I once heard a quote that said, “I would rather ShOoT for the StArS and HiT the MoOn, than shoot for nothing and hit it every time.”  Unfortunately, I can’t relate.  My natural tendency is to say, “Give me the stars or nothing at all, BaBy”  It’s insane, I know.  But I’m working on it. 

If you have the “All-Or-Nothing” mindset, you know what I’m talking about.  You actually believe that PeRfeCtiOn is pOsSiBle, so while the world is passing you by you aimlessly grasp for the air.  Could it be that American poet Wallace Stevens was on to something when he said, “The ImPerFeCt is our PaRaDiSe”?  One way I overcome this mindset is to think about all the bLeSsiNgS in my life that I would not have had things gone according to my plans. 

What pLeAsUrEs are unknowingly slipping right past you as you pursue an illusive “All”?

Many MoOns have passed without me getting to enjoy them, but not any more.  I’ve had the ReVeLaTiOn that “All” is OvErrAtEd.  I’ll still shoot for the stars, but if I miss them, I’ll take the moon, Thank-you. :)


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Filed under All-Or-Nothing, Life

Never Say “Never”

Have you ever caught yourself sAyinG something like, “I would NEVER do that!  I would NEVER put myself in that situation or make a decision like that person!” Someone once told me that you have to be careful using the word “NEVER” because often life makes you fAce the things you don’t wish for.

Even though I grew up on a farm I always told my parents I “never” wanted to marry a farmer.  I thought I had my life Planned out and wanted to work in an office somewhere in a big city.  Sure enough, I married a farm boy but couldn’t be hAppier.

I had always maiNtained a healthy weight throughout college and marriage.  However, when I got pregnant with my daughter, I gained twice as much weight as I was supposed to.  So much for being PROUD of my weight control!

Life can be really huMbling and I’ve LeArNed to not be quick to judge or too sure of how life is going to turn out.  Having goals and expectations are gReat, but the next time you look at someone else and find yourself saying “I would NEVER…” be cAreful what you say.  Life has a way of ushering you down a particular pAth and we can’t always see the twists and turns that lie ahead.


(*Pictured above is my loving “farmer” and our sweet lab, Grace)

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Filed under Getting Real, Hard Reality, Life

Go With The Flow – The Challenge (Wk 17)

I love to watch people who are “NaTuRaLs”.  Whether it be in music, theatre, business, communication, athletics, etc, I find that these people are mesmerizing because they are so good at what they do.  They make it look EffOrtLess and in a way it is, because their gift just naturally flows out of them.  It’s as singer and actress Pearl Bailey observed when she said,

“There are two kinds of talent, man-made talent and God-given talent. With man-made talent you have to work very hard. With God-given talent, you just ToUch iT Up once in a while.”

I’m not saying you don’t have to work hard to achieve your dreams, because from my experience, hard work has always been a requirement, but I do believe that you will have to work a whole lot harder if your talent is a man-made one.

One way to find your “SwEeT sPoT” is to find out what you’re God-given talent is.  This may take some time and definitely some experimenting but it’s well worth it.

How do find what you’re good at?  Take a look at what comes easy to you, but not necessarily for others.  That is where you are going to get the greatest return on your investment, the biggest bang for your buck.  

If you are looking for your God-given talent, remember Go WiTh tHe fLoW, Baby!



Filed under Dream Big, Inspire, The Challenge

Baby Blues to Baby Bliss

As I CeLebRate my son’s 4th birthday this week and my daughter’s 2nd birthday next month, I also celebrate the amazing gift of mOtherHood.  Always knowing that being a mom was the #1 goal of my life, I couldn’t understand why I was constantly crying after I brought my son home from the hospital.  Baby blues quickly turned to full blown postpartum depression.  Thoughts like, “What was I thinking when I wanted to have a baby,” “Am I ever going to have a conversation with my husband again,” and “I just want to be me again” raced through my head.
Feelings of shame, guilt, and fear felt like they were suffocating me.  I even thought my son might be better off without me.  I thank God for my wonderful  friends, family, and doctors for Getting Me throuGh my darkest moments.  With  therapy and medication I slowly got better and became the mother I so longed to  be.

Two years later I delivered my beAutiful baby girl and like a dark cloud drifting over me, my PPD was back.  As I held my daughter in my hospital bed, I  looked at my husband and said, “It’s back.”  You would think it would be easier  the second time but it was actually worse.  I knew the scary thoughts…I had  just lived them two years ago.  “Why me” was all I could think this  time.

Both bouts with PPD lasted about 2 months.  I try not to dwell on those days as time lost with my babies, but as times that made me FiGht to be the mother I am  today.  I now know that there is No ShaMe in having PPD, it wasn’t my fault that  I got it, and with help you can get through it.  Whether you or someone you know  is going through PPD or any obstacle, remember you CAN get through it and are  stronger than you think!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)


Filed under New Jersey Robyn, RANDO•RAMA

Make it Right

Have you ever said something to someone, and after thinking about it later, ReAlized they may have taken it the wrong way and got their FeelinGs hurt?

A similar situation happened to me this week in an email message, and even though I was pretty sure this person didn’t take it the wrong way, it didn’t settle with me not knowing for sure. I decided to email her back and apoloGize if I may have come across the wrong way and eXpLaiNed my reasoning for saying what I did.  As soon as I hit “send” I immediately felt better.  Knowing that I was able to ClariFy what had happened put me at eAse versus always wondering if I had hurt her feelings.

Picking up the phone or sending a message to clear some possible confusion or tension is hard to do but always leaves you with much Relief. I never regret going out of my way to apoloGize or make sure I’m on the same page with a person.  Is there a situation you need to clear up with someone?  Often times the other person didn’t take it the wrong way and bringing it up won’t only show how much you care, but also put an end to your worries!


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Filed under People, Relationships

One Unique Gift

One of my favorite things about the internet is YouTube.  (Have you noticed?!)  At different times I will check out a favorite song.  Maybe it’s a song from the 80’s or 90’s as I reminisce about those high school and college days, a sentimental/NoStaLgiC song, a favorite love song, an inspirational song, a song to pump me up, an oldie, or a new hit.  When it comes to music there is something for everyone.  It’s for that reason I have found a new GiFt to give my friends, family, and loved ones:  a music video via an email.

Are you wanting to do something special for someone, but don’t know what?  Why not send an email with a HeArTfeLt message and a YouTube link to a song that is significant to your relationship?  Maybe it’s a funny song that you enjoyed with a high school classmate or a love song that means something special between you and your spouse.  Whatever you may want to say, most likely there is a SoNg that says it perfectly.

Need ideas?  Here’s one to get you started.  I hope you enjoy!!


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Filed under Inspiration, Inspire, People, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, Videos

Accountability Partner

It seems like I have always tried to lose weight.  When I had a baby, it was a cHallenGe to get back to my previous weight.  Even during my pre-kid days, I was trying different weight loss tactics to shed those last several pounds.  This year I’ve had my BEST SUCCESS at eating right and in moderation, thanks to one thing…my accountability partner!

In the past, I remember wanting to ask someone to hold me accountable for my weight loss.  Subconsciously though, I knew if I ever wanted to quit my diet, I could give up and no one
would know.  In reAlity, I was setting myself up to fail before I ever started!  Asking someone to hold you accountable is scary, but in the end, it will determine how serious you really are about wanting to cHanGe.

Finding the right person to share your jouRney with is important. My accountability person is someone that I don’t necessarily see often, but who I have to share my weigh-in number with every week.  We don’t work out together, but text or call each other with what we are up to (good and bad).  You must be comFortable enough with this person so you can “be real” and trust that even if you gain a pound or two, they won’t judge you but continue to enCouRage.

Is there a habit you can’t kick? Perhaps you should REACH OUT to a good friend and ask them for help.  It not only will strengthen your relationship with them, but have poSitiVe Results on achieving your goal!


P.S — A big shout-out to my accountability partner today!  Wouldn’t have the success I’m having if it wasn’t for YOU!!  Thanks :)

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Filed under Hard Reality, Health/Fitness, Inspiration, Inspire, Life, You