Thursday, November 15, 2012

Welcome! + Where I'm At + When I'll Be Back

My friend and mentor Kathi Lipp surprised -- and greatly honored! -- me by listing me as one of "5 Marriage Blogs You Should Be Reading"!  (The lemon coconut tea cakes I left with her this morning may have played some role...)

So, if you're reading this because Kathi sent you, WELCOME! Pardon me as I rush around dusting things off around here! 
We couldn't be more opposite...or blessed!...going into our 25th year!

The PURSE-onality Challenge

I've actually been doing most of my blogging at The PURSE-onality Challenge since mid-April. We did 31 days of replacing "baditude" with God's Word & gratitude in May and 31 days to a Holiday-Ready Heart in October

Feel free to head on over -- this week and next I'm giving away Karen Ehman's brand new book LET. IT. GO.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith!

A Whole New Look is Coming!

On January 1, 2013, I will be unveiling an all-new-look for my website and blog here at!  I've been working with the amazing Amy Carroll of Proverbs 31 Ministries' Next Step Speaker Services to come up with a new tag line, ministry value statements, a new bio, new talk descriptions, etc.  

And the talented Mindy at Simply Designs is putting together my all-new website. Here's a sneak peak at my banner and new tagline...SO beyond anything I could have imagined!

My Top 20ish Marriage Blog Posts

Here are my favorite marriage blog posts that I've written over the years I've been hanging out here at "One Thing I've Learned."

Most were written for Marriage Monday led by e-Mom at Chrysalis Cafe and Wifey Wednesday led by Sheila Wray Gregoire at To Love Honor and Vacuum!

21.  How a Bad Movie Showed Me the Best in My Man

20.  Submission vs. ?

19.  Do I Think Like a Mother or a Lover?

18.  Where I Stay So I Won't Stray

17.  The Proposal

16.  A Gift of Grace: A Daughter's Thanks

15.  My Husband, My Hero

14.  The Stories I Tell Myself

13.  Teamwork Lessons from a Toddler

12.  Unknown but Loved

11.  Leadership Lessons from Salsa Class

10.  Let's Build a Marriage

9.  If Marriage Was More Like Playing a Video Game...

8.  Good News, Bad News, Light Bulb Moment!

7.  He Keeps Me Mindful of P&Q

6.  He Can't Read My Mind

5.  My Finest Foot-in-Mouth Moment

4.  Trust in the Balance

3.  Healthy Marriages Major in History (NOT Math!) -- Part 1

2.  Healthy Marriages Major in History (NOT Math!) -- Part 2

1.  What It Means

I'd love to stay connected with you!  You can: 

Do these, and you'll receive my FREE eBook "Top 10 Priceless Gifts for Each PURSE-onality that Don't Cost a Dime!" 

Your Turn:

  • What specific marriage topics or issues would you like to see addressed?
  • What marriage story do you have to share?
  • Anything else on your heart!

Friday, September 7, 2012

{Five Minute Friday} Graceful

It's 5 Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker over at Tales from a Gypsy Mama!

Here's how it works:
1.   Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2.   Link back here and invite others to join in.

3.   And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun

Connect via Twitter with #FiveMinuteFriday! 

Today's word:  GRACEFUL

"Are you a dancer?"


I laugh at the idea. 

"I'm so clumsy I turn 6 inches to early and walk into walls!"

"Hmmm. Well, you look graceful on stage, the way you walk."




I am anything but "graceful"!

I am "chicken legs" according to Jeffrey Flahrety back in 8th grade.

I am "klutzy" according to my brother.

I am "hopelessly awkward" according to those who encounter me.

But he said I'm graceful. On stage. He didn't say "chicken legs" or "klutzy" or "hopelessly awkward." 

He said "graceful."
And I close my eyes and remember how graceful I was long before "chicken legs" or "klutzy" or "hopelessly awkward"...all the recesses spent trotting and cantering and full-out galloping across the playground.

Yes, somewhere inside, there is still a me that is graceful.

I reach for her. 

And I am.

Five Minute Friday TMI-Link-Up2

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Letter from Mid-Life Me to Teen-Age Me

(I've been doing most of my blogging over here since May and am working on an entirely new website where everything will be in one place!)  

Today I'm responding to a writing prompt from Bonnie Gray, one of my favorite bloggers, over at Faith Barista: Write a letter to yourself at an earlier time in your life. Sharewhat you know now about the faith journey with your younger self. 

Oh Sweetheart,

Stop trying so hard.

I know that’s hard to hear. You pride yourself in being a do-er. A hard worker. An achiever.

But you’re trying to achieve the impossible.

Trust me on this one:

Nothing you do will make Mother happy.

Your A+++ grades won’t make her happy.

Your becoming a teacher won’t make her happy.

Your marriage won’t make her happy. (In fact, she’ll be so unhappy that she’ll refuse to participate at all. You’ll plan your wedding all by yourself.)

Your children won’t even make her happy. 

Oh, she’ll enjoy them. And you’ll have a few years during which you’ll feel like you’ve finally earned her approval.

But then they’ll grow past the “cute” stage, become teenagers, and about the time you’re launching your firstborn to college, Mother will start losing her memory.

And then, for the first time in your life, you will see her happy. She will not know you, but she will be happy.

As Daddy and John comfort each other by saying that she’s “the happiest she’s been in 45 years,” it will occur to you that they knew her when she knew them and was still happy. 

You will realize then what you can not suspect right now:  Mother has been depressed for your entire life.

Her unhappiness is not your fault. 

You did not cause it. You can not fix it.

You can not make her happy. No matter what you do. No matter how hard you try. 

Nothing you do will make Mother happy.

Stop trying so hard. 

Start seeking refuge. 

Learn now–when you long for the love she can not offer–to run to Him.

Learn now–when you cry for the comfort she can not give–to hide in Him.

Stop trying so hard.

Stop trying.


Be still.

Know Him.

Know that He delights in you;

He always has, and He always will.

In His Delight,

Your 45-year-old self

Monday, June 18, 2012

What My Heart Tells Me (and Those I Love)

For the last 60 days, I’ve been watching my words. They've told me a lot about the condition of my heart. 
During May’s The PURSE-onality Challenge (and now June’s TPC “lite”), I’ve blogged almost daily about my journey of “replacing ‘baditude’ with God’s word and gratitude.”  Using my Complaint-Free bracelet, I’ve been intentional about curbing complaining, criticism, gossip, and even sarcasm. 
My goal has been to become aware of my “baditude” habits so I can surrender them to God and replace them with scripture and praise.
A Change of Heart
During the last few weeks, despite typical end-of-the-school-year chaos, I’ve been experiencing the oddest sensation.
At first, I was worried that I was “checking out” or “numbing” (both residual “skills” from my eating disorder days.)
But no, each time, I was fully present.
I’m finding a few words that seem to fit: 
Calm. Open. Spacious.

To read this blog post in full, head over to The M.O.M. Initiative!

Monday, June 4, 2012

How Parents Support (and Sometimes Sabotage) Students' Success Part III

As parents, we want to help our children succeed in school.
In my twenty-two years as a classroom teacher (twenty-one as a parent), I’ve seen parent strategies that pay big dividends.
I’ve also seen well-intentioned efforts that actually cost the kids.
Today is Part 3 of a series in which we explore one support strategy and one form of sabotage.
(Here are links to Part 1 and Part 2.)

Support #3: Help Your Child Develop Organizational and Planning Systems
One day, I came home from 4th grade in tears.
I’d been assigned a “research report” on the Yokut Indians, and I had no clue how to do it.
My mother used this report as an opportunity to teach me some much-needed organizational and planning skills. 
Here’s what she did:

(To read this blog post in full, head on over to The M.O.M. Initiative!)