Quote Me

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?


Psalm 119:165 has been my life verse for over 30 years.  It says, “Great peace have they which love Thy law; and nothing shall offend them.”

Especially in my work, I meet people all the time who are coming to me in search of two things:  Hope, and peace.  Hope that things can and will get better, and peace to get through whatever storm they’re walking through.  I almost always offer them this verse in the course of our work together.

How do I get a great sense of peace?  By loving the Word of God.  If I want to learn to love God’s Word, then I need to be IN the Word.  Often.   Daily.  More than once a day.  Nothing brings peace to my heart like finding some familiar passage that suddenly speaks to me in a whole new way.

What is the result of this wonderful peace?  Nothing offends me.  Nothing.

The word “offend” is also accurately translated “cause to stumble.”  If I have the peace of God’s Word to light my path, then no stone, hole, or crack is going to trip me up and cause me to fall.

Hot-tempered impulsivity was something that characterized me when I was much younger. Hurtful words would pour out of my mouth before I even knew what I was going to say.  It’s been a very long time since that happened, and I’m sure the folks who know me are thankful.  I just don’t get offended much these days, and if I do, I get over it pretty quickly.

Peace is a wonderful thing.  Living without a constant volcano of anger boiling deep inside is a wonderful thing.


A sanctuary is a place you can escape to, to catch your breath and remember who you are. Write about the place you go to when everything is a bit too much.


It had been a long, difficult day.  The work is not physical, but it is physically draining, especially on Tuesdays, when I’m there from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  On a full day, I see nine clients.  I insist on having an hour off at noon and at five so I can eat something and have some quiet.

Driving home that late at night, especially in the winter darkness, only increased my need to be finished for the day. I’m usually pretty good at leaving work at work, but on this particular day there had been a couple of clients whose stories were so difficult that I was having a hard time clearing my mind of the ugly details.

Driving in the dark, with very little traffic, I turned on the radio to a station that plays a lot of classical music. To my intense delight, I came in on one of my favorites from Vivaldi’s “Seasons.”  Perfect.  Joyful, relaxing, musically brilliant, the piece got me home in a better frame of mind.

It was one of the rare nights that Terry had already gone to bed.  Typically, he waited to see that I was safely home before he fell asleep.  He must have had a difficult day as well, only his pain was physical.  I quietly got into my robe and slippers, grabbed the book I was reading, and closed the bedroom door.  He never stirred.  Good.  I had no desire to talk, not even with him.

It took a few minutes to brew my favorite tea, a mix of Earl Grey and TyPhoo that I had enjoyed in England many years ago. Enjoying the sweet aroma, I carried the tea into the living room, got comfortable in “my” chair, leaned my head back against the headrest just for a few seconds, and let the peace and quiet seep into my mind and my body. I had turned on the radio to the same station as the one I’d been listening to in the car. 

I began to read, sipping my tea slowly.  I wanted these moments to last.  It was rare, now that Terry was retired, for me to have time completely alone with no interruptions.

This is my sanctuary. A quiet room, a cup of ambrosia, a good book, and soothing music. The only way it could be improved would be to take it all to a warm, sunny beach where the ocean’s sounds would accompany the music.

Love It!

The holiday season: can’t get enough of it, or can’t wait for it all to be over already? Has your attitude toward the end-of-year holidays changed over the years?


I love Christmas. Always have. Right this minute, I’m enjoying having slept in until 8:15 on this my first full day of being on my Christmas break.  What’s not to like?  I don’t go back to work until January 6.  Nineteen days!  I’m an independent contractor, so I can pick and choose when I work and when I don’t. At this stage of my life, that’s a real sweet situation.

But Christmas isn’t just about time off.  I understand, largely because of the work I do, that Christmas is the most difficult time of year for a lot of people.  Some of my clients have dreadful memories of Christmas Past that make them cringe at the appearance of Christmas Present and Future.  If you came from a radically dysfunctional family, then you laugh in derision at the song It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.  

If you are not a person of faith, Christmas may not have deep meaning for you. When that is the case, it becomes just another commercialized holiday, hyped out of reason and way overdone.  Even for those of us who celebrate the true, deep meaning of Christmas, the hullabaloo around gifting and spendingspendingspending can put a damper on the joy.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

I remember many years ago, reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s description of Christmas on the prairie, thinking, “That’s the way it should be.  There should be a sense of holiness, of quietness of spirit, of peace and hope and joy. The emphasis should be not on what I get or give, but on what the world received.”

And that, clearly, is the whole reason we have Christmas. What the world received when the Son of God agreed to be born as a human baby, to live and minister and die to get the victory over sin and death, that is why Christmas is a precious time. Let the rest of the world do as they wish to minimize this wonderful celebration’s true meaning, it has never changed for me. The holiness of the coming of the Christ Child overshadows all the glitz and glitter and get and give.

The gifts that are exchanged in our family are always delightful and fun, but we never let the gifting process become the center of Christmas. We give gifts because the Wise Men brought gifts to Jesus, knowing that He was the King of Kings. Everything we do at Christmas is based on this most wonderful fact, that Jesus was born to die that we might live forever with Him.

When we keep our sites firmly fixed on what Christmas is really about, we can keep the joy and the peace even in the midst of the craziness that can rule the season.  Yay!  the pings are back 🙂

Grown Up?

Adult Visions
As a kid, you must have imagined what it was like to be an adult. Now that you’re a grownup (or becoming one), how far off was your idea of adult life?


Not even close.  

When I was a kid, it seemed to me that all adults knew everything.  There was nothing they couldn’t solve, nothing they didn’t know the answer to.  I thought my dad was The smartest, strongest, most fearless person in the world. I didn’t know he could make mistakes.  I really believed that when I was an adult, I’d be the same way.  No more fear, confusion, or being intimidated. 

Well. That was a nice fairy tale.  Of course my dad was just as capable of blunders as anyone else. I’ll always remember the first time I realized he wasn’t perfect.  He got lost in downtown Minneapolis, taking me to the dentist or the doctor, I don’t remember which.  We walked around the same area several times, with him peering at numbers above doorways on big city buildings. I wasn’t concerned until I started to recognize places we had already passed. We did find it, finally, but it was the first time I had to deal with the fact that my dad didn’t know everything.  And it was the first time I realized that maybe NOT all adults had all the answers all the time. 

I’ve learned that as we grow into maturity and finally into old age, the problems change with us. By God’s grace, we learn to cope with what each stage of life brings. And it is His wisdom that I rely upon, not my own. As a counselor, I know better than to trust my own intelligence. It is too easily influenced by personal opinions, likes and dislikes. 

As a child, I lived blissfully unaware of the dangers and troubles in this old world. By the time I was twelve or so, I’d begun to realize that  things weren’t as wonderful as I’d thought.  The good news is that each stage of life brings its own set of problems, but along with that comes its own set of joys. And growth.  Resting and trusting in God, knowing that He has it all figured out, gives me the peace of heart and mind to keep going forward. Day by day, step by step, with the peace that passes understanding that is promised to us in Philippians 4:4-8.