Define ” Work”


Work? Optional!

If money were out of the equation, would you still work? If yes, why, and how much? If not, what would you do with your free time?


If you had asked me this question at two or three different stages of my life, you would have received different answers.  Now, I’m 67.  I’m still working three days each week, with a lovely four-day weekend. I see between 15-20 clients, usually, and that’s enough.  Sometimes, it’s more than enough. So if money were out of the equation, I probably would opt not to work now.

Big  however coming up.  I think we need to consider what work really is, because it’s different things for different people.  My husband, for instance, works all day every day on projects he didn’t have time for before he retired.  He does not consider it working, because there’s no paycheck at the other end. He enjoys himself, but then he loved his official job, too.  He likes to work, always has. It’s his fun.

My job is more than just “work” for me.  I consider it a calling.  It was a deliberate choice I made, at age 50, to go back to school and get a master’s degree so I could do this work. I understood that there would be a pretty steep student loan to pay, and that I would be working into my seventies. I accepted that and still would make the same choice again.

If I were relieved of the obligation to repay the loan, I’d probably retire.  I would, however, still work.  I don’t mean housework.  If money were no object, I would happily pay to have my cleaning, laundry, shopping and cooking done for me.  I know, however, that I would not be happy for very long to just fritter my days away with no real purpose, which is where work comes in.

I would write.  I would clear up some unfinished projects that sit in my sewing room.  I would spend more time with friends.  If Terry were willing, I’d move closer to my church so I could be more involved in ministry. I’d travel a little, especially to see grandkids.  I suspect my days would rapidly fill up with activities that would engage my interest and stretch my mind and heart, because I hate not having something to do.

I may not work for a paycheck any more, but I would work. I’m not sure life would be very satisfying, at the end of each day, if there were not something tangible that I have accomplished.  Work is necessary for the human heart and soul.

My Passion

Breaking the Ice

The internet has recently been swept up by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Is there a cause — social, political, cultural, or other — you passionately believe in? Tell us how you got involved — or why you don’t get involved.


I don’t talk much about my faith here. I have another blog for that. My passion is my faith, combined with the work I do as a counselor in a Christian counseling office. It is a privately-owned office, so I am free to use my Bible in my work. The only restriction on that would be if a client prefers not to have God’s Word incorporated into the counseling.  Sometimes, people are unaware that our office is biblically-based. They have, of course, the right to ask not to have faith or spiritual matters involved in their counseling.

Usually, however, my clients welcome the use of biblical precepts and principles as we work together.  The most successful work happens when I am able to help a client learn to think biblically about his situation.  Let me give you just one example.

Many people come to me feeling terrible about themselves.  They feel they are not “good enough,”  or they have a load of guilt about things they have no power or authority to change.  Most of the time, these people have no idea what their worth is to God, and that is what we address.

One of the scriptural passages I use to help my clients think biblically is Colossians 1:16, especially the end of the verse, that tells us that God made us for Himself. He desired fellowship. He created us for His glory, and for His companionship. That’s an amazing concept.

Then we go to Ephesians 2:10, which tells us that we are His workmanship. The word workmanship is from the Greek poema,  which is obviously the root of our word poem.  So we are God’s poem, His literary masterpiece, His prized work of art. Poetry in motion, as an old pop song declared.

There are other verses I use, but to move to the most important biblical principle, we need to understand that our value and worth to God are inestimable. For this concept, I go to John 3:16, probably one of the best-known verses in the entire Bible. “For God SO loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

God loved us so much that He allowed His perfect, sinless Son to become man, and to bear our sins on His own body, suffering in our place. The glory of that story is that Jesus rose from death so that we also might have eternal life in Him when we trust Him as Savior. It’s a wonderful story.

Jesus would not have died for something that was of no worth, no value, to God.

And that is my passion.  Helping people understand who they are in Christ Jesus is my passion.  It’s life-changing.

Can I Have More Than One, Please?

Tunnel Vision

You’ve been given the ability to build a magical tunnel that will quickly and secretly connect your home with the location of your choice — anywhere on Earth. Where’s the other end of your tunnel?


If I can have only one, then it would end on an isolated island in the South Pacific, where the weather is mild and sunny most of the time, with a few rainy days to keep things green. It would always be between 70 and 80 degrees, no mosquitos,  no hungry sharks.


There would be endless sugar sand beaches, with hidden coves where I could be alone.  There would also be an endless supply of books, and my internet would never go down.  I would swim every day and go for long walks, and my meals would all be delivered by a local caterer who would take care of my blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol.  There would be beautiful, soothing music all the time.

When I want company, I would walk into a town or village.  There wouldn’t be many of those, but they would have good restaurants and pleasant entertainment. On my island, I would be Queen for a Day now and then, with appropriate festivities to celebrate my status.

I would write.  I would complete the projects I have in my head.  I would sleep in my hammock on the beach with no fear or worries about intruders.  Of course there would be all the modern conveniences, and I would have a lovely but small home where I could have visitors now and then.

If I could have another tunnel, it would end  wherever my grandchildren happened to be 🙂


Uncanned Laughter

A misused word, a misremembered song lyric, a cream pie that just happened to be there: tell us about a time you (or someone else) said or did something unintentionally funny.

My dad, as I’ve said before, was not a funny man.  He enjoyed good humor as much as anyone else, but he himself couldn’t get a joke off the ground.  When he was funny, it was by accident.  That, of course, made the incident even more enjoyable for the rest of us.

We had just moved from Oregon back to southern Minnesota. Dad had been invited to be the pastor of a small church in a small town, and of course we didn’t know anyone yet. Nor did we know where to go for dental emergencies.

Dad’s upper teeth had all been pulled years before, when he was still in Bible college.  Having them pulled was a horrendous experience for him, but it left him with a very nice set of false teeth.  I don’t remember what had happened, but there was some kind of break in the plate that needed to be repaired. Dad decided to call the home of one of the church deacons to inquire about a dentist who could help him out.

When  the deacon’s wife answered the phone in the home, my dad said, “Hello, Mrs. X.  I have a little problem here.  I’m wondering if you can tell me where to get my falsies fixed.”

Ummmm. . . . .

10,000 Spoons

…When all you need is a knife might not be ironic, but it is unfortunate. Add your own verse, stanza, or story of badly-timed annoyance to Alanis Morissette’s classic:

What’s ironic is that I can’t think of a single thing to say. Usually I have no trouble coming up with a response to the daily prompt, but today I’m blank.  My mind is full of vast empty expanses. Nuttin’ in my noggin. So I guess I should just hush up and let smarter people than I am  do their thing.

Look in the Bedroom

Secret Admirers

You return home to discover a huge flower bouquet waiting for you, no card attached. Who is it from — and why did they send it to you?



Kaye slumped against the door frame of her apartment, letting two bags fall from her aching fingers as she dug in her tote for her keys.  “Should have dropped them in my pocket, but no, I had to dump them into the land time forgot,” she muttered. Finally she snagged them, and heaved a sigh of exhaustion as she unlocked her door. She dumped her armful of groceries onto the bench just inside the door, then went back to retrieve the two bags she had dropped.

“Finally, finally!” she thought, as she kicked off her ankle-breaker high-heeled shoes.  Her toes sang for joy as they were released from their pointy prison.  Letting her tote slide off her shoulder, she grabbed the mail out of it and plunked it down on her kitchen table. Turning to go back for the rest of her grocieries, her eye caught the corner of a dark red envelope. Curious, she pulled it out of the stack and flipped it over so she could see who had sent it.

There was no return address, just her own name and address written in neat, generic cursive script. Even more curious, she opened the envelope and pulled out what looked like an invitation of some sort.  The short hairs on the back of her neck bristled, though, when she read the short message: “Go look in the bedroom, Kaye.”

Nothing else.  No signature, nothing. The LAST thing her practical mind wanted her to do was go look in the bedroom. Visions of horror filled her mind as she tried to figure out who may be trying to scare her or play some kind of practical joke. She came up empty.  She just wasn’t the sort of person that other people tricked or terrorized.

Kaye was ordinary, or so she thought.  She was a teacher. English, a little history. Music. All things that she loved, but not all of her students did. Certainly she tried to make her teaching enjoyable and interesting, and her students, at least most of them, knew that she cared about them on more than just an academic level. Also most of them knew that she was presently living the life of an Army wife whose husband was deployed to Iraq, and they were very supportive and sympathetic. They had all sent him cards and homemade goodies at Christmas, and for his birthday.  Some wrote to him on a regular basis. That meant a lot to both Kaye and Brett.

So she stood there, indecisive and fearful. The situation just felt ominous, and she even thought about calling the police to see if she could get anyone to come and check the apartment for her. “No, that’s silly,” she thought. “They could be saving someone from real danger instead of holding my hand!”

Kaye turned, resolute but scared to death. She took a couple of deep, calming breaths. The bedroom  was only a few steps away in the small apartment. She was at the door in seconds, gripping the doorknob in sweaty, cold, shaking fingers.  As she pushed the door open, the aroma of fresh flowers flowed past her and surrounded her.  The room was banked with roses, dozens of them, spilling out of pots and vases and covering the bed. Dazed, she could only stand there in jaw-dropped amazement, waiting for her brain to catch up with what she was seeing. The roses were mostly red, with some pink or white mixed in now and then.  It was overwhelming, and she couldn’t imagine who, why. . . .wait!  How?  How had someone gotten into her apartment and done all this?  Oh, no, this wasn’t good, not at all!

Then Kaye felt the hand on her shoulder, and she sucked in her breath in a terrified gasp, turning without thinking.  She’d heard nothing, no sound to warn her that she wasn’t alone.  Her arms came up automatically as she balled her hands into fists and looked up into the face of—-“BRETT!”  She whispered his name, shaking with relief as adrenalin left her system, trembling with shock and joy as she threw her arms around his neck.

“You can’t be here!  You weren’t supposed to be back for another two months!  Oh, Brett, you scared me!”  The tears began to roll as the reality sank in. Brett was home, Brett had arranged for the flowers.  She’d yell at him later for the way he’d scared her.  Right now, all she wanted was the solid wall of his body as his arms held her tight against him, as their tears mingled on their lips and cheeks when they kissed.

It was the best homecoming ever.

Meet Corrie!

The Name’s The Thing

Have you ever named an inanimate object? (Your car? Your laptop? The volleyball that kept you company while you were stranded in the ocean?) Share the story of at least one object with which you’re on a first-name basis.


Terry has always wanted a Corvette. He never thought we’d be able to afford one, but time and circumstances made it possible a few years ago.  I won’t tell you what we paid for it, only that it was an incredible bargain.

love to drive our Corvette!  It’s so much power in such a small car.  I feel like The Little Old Lady from Pasadena when I’m behind the wheel.  For you kids out there, you can find that song on You Tube, I’m sure.  The Beachboys.  It’s still a cool song, after all these years.  Maybe I’ll post it for you.

In the meantime, here’s Corrie just before we brought her home.


I’ve tried a couple of ways to post the song, can’t seem to make it work.  Copyright issues, maybe.  Check it out on You Tube 🙂

Swimming Upstream

Matters of Taste

When was the last time a movie, a book, or a television show left you cold despite all your friends (and/or all the critics) raving about it? What was it that made you go against the critical consensus?


Are you ready for this?  It’s been a long time ago now since I decided I can’t stand most contemporary TV programs, but the one show that “everyone” loved and that I hated at first sight was Friends. Yes, the beloved Jennifer Anniston et. al., the hit show of its decade, the one people talked about  aaallllll the livelong day.  I watched a 15-minute segment and turned it off, never to waste my time again.

Yes, the one-liners were funny.  Yes, I suppose the acting was above average for a vehicle of its genre.

So why did I hate it?

Sexsexsexsexsex. . . . . . .

Take the sex out, and there was no story line. Remove the bedroom, and there didn’t need to be any other set.  For 15 minutes, I watched the boys planning someone’s birthday party, which was to be held at a strip club; I watched the girls get all excited about the idea of moving it to a male strip club instead. I was completely turned off and I quickly tuned out.

You don’t need a brain to watch that stuff.  You just need hormones and gonads.

Good grief.

Easy Choice

A Bookish Choice

A literary-minded witch gives you a choice: with a flick of the wand, you can become either an obscure novelist whose work will be admired and studied by a select few for decades, or a popular paperback author whose books give pleasure to millions. Which do you choose?


No contest.  I’d rather please most of the people all of the time than a few of the people some of the time!

What on Earth!


New Wrinkles

You wake up one day and realize you’re ten years older than you were the previous night. Beyond the initial shock, how does this development change your life plans?


Ooooohhh.  That  alarm gets louder every single morning.  Man.  I must have slept in one position too long.  I can barely reach the clock to shut the STUPID thing off! There.  That’s better. 

First stop, bathroom.  Feet into slippers, Yikes.  Hadn’t realized my toenails were getting so long and that icky yellow color.  All right, up off the bed, robe, glasses, and away we go.  Shuffle of to Buffalo, as someone said somewhere in the foggy distant past. 

Light switch. Umph. When did it get so hard to flip the light switch?  

Yeaaagh!!  Where did that old woman come from? Who’s in my house?  Hey!  How did you ge–wait, what? That’s my mirror!  That’s ME!  No, it’s my mom. . . no, no.  She’s gone. It IS me!  What’s going on here?  Good grief, my hair’s as white as snow! Those lines I could barely see yesterday?  Grooves today!  I mean, ruts!  Trenches!  And look at my jowls.  Or don’t.  Not pretty. 

What. . . did someone come into my room last night and make me up to look ten years older than I am?  Where did those hairs on my chin come from?  They’re two inches long!   Even my eyebrows are white. And look at my hands!  All swollen up, knuckles bigger than they were yesterday. . . this really isn’t funny. At all. 

Okay, let’s just stop and think a minute.  Touch my face.  No makeup, no mask, no gunk. Skin. Old skin. Age spots. Neck sag. Skin tags. Eye bags. Oy. Now I’m a poet? 

Well, whatever this is, maybe it will go away over the course of the day.  I need to get dressed, get my coffee, get to work.  Several people to see in the office today. 

So.  Had a little trouble getting dressed.  Suddenly my clothes are a little bigger than they were yesterday.  Overnight weight loss?  If I could package that and sell it, I could retire! Huh. Cars all around me that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before.  And I could swear I could see over this steering wheel yesterday!  What on earth is going on here. . . . 

Okay, ready to turn in to the parking lot.  Hope that speedy Gonzales behind me doesn’t end up climbing my trunk!  Why is he honking at me?  I slowed down, I signalled—Hey!  Where’s the driveway?  Where’s the parking lot?  Where’s the BUILDING? 

Okay, I think my heart rate is back to normal now, but this is freaky!  My office is gone! There’s nothing there but grass and weeds and a “For Sale” sign!  In fact, everything around here looks different. Wait.  There’s the diner.  I’ll go in and see if I can figure out what’s going on. They sell newspapers in there. 

Nah.  Nope.  Can’t be. Someone is playing a huge trick on me. Not possible. The date on this paper says August 11, 2024!  That’s ten years in the future!  Wait.  I don’t recognize any of the people in here, and they don’t know me, either. After all the years I’ve come here. . .

Well.  I’ve thought and thought, and the only thing I can think is that somehow I’ve lost ten years of my life. Scares the daylights out of me. I don’t know how this could happen. Did I slip into a coma?  Do I have Alzheimer’s?  Am I REALLY 77 instead of 67? 

Hey?  You know what? If this is true, then–then–I can RETIRE!  After all, my office doesn’t exist. I have no place to go to work, so I guess that means I HAVE retired!  Wow!  I suddenly feel a spurt of energy I haven’t experienced since I was a kid of 60!

I’m going back home.  I’m going to get my finances all tidied up, and then I’m going to call Jillian and see if she’s still up for a trip to the Bahamas.  Let’s see.  Clothes.  I’ll need some clothes. And I’ll need to arange for someone to watch the house and cut the grass and take in my mail. . .

Look out world!  Here I come!