Wednesday, January 26, 2022

One Size Fits All

 One Size Fits All


You’ve seen the sign in department stores. One size fits all? Not likely. 

Unless of course it’s a stretchy knit cap or a scarf.

Maybe a wrap of some sort. 

One size rarely fits “all.” Most maybe, but surely not ALL.


At least that’s what I believed.

Then I came across this shirt. 

I took a picture of it next to my Bible for comparison.

It was advertised as a “one size fits all shirt perfect for travel.” I looked at it in the store and almost laughed out loud. Okay, true confession. I did laugh out loud. But I bought it. Here is a selfie I took of me wearing this shirt.


It is rare we truly find anything where “one size fits all.” And actually, this shirt won’t fit “all.”


Then one day, I was reading in my Bible in the book of Ephesians. The Ephesians were people in a place called Ephesus. The same way I’m known as a Cincinnatian because I live in Cincinnati. I digress.


I’m reading in chapter 4 when it strikes me. The author, Paul, speaks of  “one size fits all.”  Here’s what he wrote:


“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”


He’s talking about Jesus. Jesus is indeed the one-size-fits-all.


Jesus lived and died for any and everyone willing to wear his name. 

All body types. Seriously.


Consider these body types:


Liars of every size from white lies to whoppers.


Murderers of all sizes, from those who harbor hate in their heart to those who actually commit the crime. 


Adulterers. Everyone from lust and fantasy to those crawling under the covers and, well, you get it.


All the evil acts we do or simply imagine…Jesus lived, died, and returned to life to cover those body imperfections. He is a one-size-fits-all Savior. 


You think you’re ugly and would never “fit” in with those folks who believe in Jesus? 


Try it on. Examine the seams. Read the Bible yourself. 


Yes, I know it’s a big book. But do like most people do when they hear about any other best seller. Start with the “good parts.” Read one of the first four books in the second part known as the New Testament. Those are known as the “Gospels” and each offers an account of Jesus’ life on earth. Read a little every day. Then read on. You’ll be surprised to find yourself in the pages.


And if you choose to clothe yourself in Jesus, you’ll find not only a great fit, but you’ll be more attractive to others and happier than you ever imagined.


Leave your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.




Tuesday, January 18, 2022

C is for Celebrate

 C is for Celebrate...Not for Covid


It isn’t every day a woman celebrates her 90th birthday. Nine decades of life. Nine/tenths of a century. 


My mom, now nine decades young, celebrates every day. She knows the secret to a happy life.


This past week (on Martin Luther King Day) my mom, Nora, celebrated her ninetieth year of life. She told me long ago she did not want a party. 


“A surprise party for a ninety-year-old? Don’t do it!” She told me. “If you choose, you have my permission to give me a tasteful reception when I turn a hundred.”


I pictured the reception at church held for her dear friend, Velda, when she turned a hundred-years-old. Tasteful. I tucked away a plan for the year 2032 in my mind and set about thinking how to recognize mom’s 90th.


My three daughters and I discussed several ideas. We decided to host a series of small celebrations. Each of my girls would treat G.G. to a small family dinner. We knew she would appreciate the time with each family. She loves her grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

By the way, the name G.G. came when she became a Great-Grandma and stuck. Now even people outside the family sometimes call her G.G.


We had a few other plans in the works as well, when, rather suddenly, Covid started ramping up again in Ohio. 


Plan B. Plan B was decided via a Zoom meeting of the minds the Thursday before the weekend events. My middle daughter, Danielle, and her family were Covid free. The plan was for them to travel from Wisconsin and celebrate with G.G. the weekend of her birthday. The others would celebrate when things calmed down here.


Plan C. Plan C emerged when Covid reared its ugly head and Danielle’s crew couldn’t come to Ohio due to the youngest of her clan coming down with the nasty virus.


There would be no small gathering of individual families. Instead, we played games on the computer together while face-timing on our cell phones. And yes, the 90-year-old is all into the computer games and face-time. 


Now our plans included breakfast at G.G.’s house with me (Mom and I have been around each other throughout all of this.) and my oldest daughter on Monday morning. Three of us instead of the usual sixteen.


We set up the Zoom and G.G. opened her gift box. A box filled with letters, cards, and small gifts from people all over the country who know and love my mama. I had asked people to send me cards and notes to include in the box. There were gifts as well.


·     A tiara with “90” on it as well as a sash worthy of any beauty queen.

·     A sweatshirt my oldest made that reads “God’s Favorite 90 years and counting”

·     A small hummingbird feeder

·     A suncatcher

·     A new novel by Sandra Hart

·     A bag of shuck beans


I may have missed something. I hope not. 


However, the point is simple. Remember I told you in the beginning my mom knows the secret of a happy life? 


Love people. Go with the flow. And above all else, put your trust in Jesus.


Might I add…Always be willing to embrace Plan C. After all, “C” is for Celebrate.



Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Homework? At My Age?

 Homework? At My Age?


Did that title say something about HOMEWORK?

Yeah, well, the truth is simple. If you don’t fully understand something, you need to do your homework. 


We do a quick “google search” to find out how to install closet doors. We find a book to learn what we can about investments. We ask questions of friends and study the Bible. 


Purposeful, meaningful homework is not only good… it is necessary.


I’m a teacher so I get it. I’m also a writer. I am working on a suspense novel. I offered it to some beta readers who gave me feedback. I cut and rearranged and kind of watered down some of the story, while I beefed up other parts. 


Satisfied, mostly because it was “done,” I sent it off to a publisher. 


And waited.


And waited.


The response was actually good. No, they did not want to publish the story as is, but they said they liked my writing. They gave me specific areas I needed to address. They encouraged me to do a rewrite and resubmit it to them. And…this is big…they offered to work with me.


In one of the comments the editor wrote something to the effect that I seemed to have the detectives there, not to solve the problem but to fill in missing information. Busted! That was exactly what they were doing. It was weak and I knew it.


So I embarked on doing some homework. I studied the genre, picked through my manuscript as a reader instead of a writer and started reading suspense novels both outside and within the Christian market. 


Then my homework turned to movies. Pen and paper in hand, I began immersing myself in suspense movies such as Along Came a Spider and Double Jeopardy. It was easy to get lost in the story and forget to take notes. (Sounds a bit like my high school days.)


Then a friend found an old movie he thought might fit the bill. The 1994 flick, The Puppet Masters with Donald Sutherland is a suspense albeit sci-fi film. There is absolutely nothing about this movie that would have made me choose it. But I watched. I took notes. And I learned.


Because the movie was not something I would have picked up off the shelf, I was able to readily tune-in to the elements essential to carry the story.

There is an idyllic opening scene with farms and children and a summer day. 

Then? A disturbance. In this case a flying saucer lands in rural Iowa. 

We meet a team of scientists (our protagonists) at the airport as they head off to investigate. They are introduced early in the story so we’re pulling for them to succeed.

At one point, the lead scientist says, “What we need to know is who we’re fighting and what they want.” This is the defining goal for our protagonists. (By the way, we’re talking about alien creatures that look like giant slugs.)

Each team member, at that point offers specific information. Each character has a purpose…one piece of the puzzle.

“The trick is…” to find a specific vulnerability of the aliens who are now taking over humans and wreaking havoc.

One of the researchers becomes infected with an alien. This is a twist.


I won’t go through the whole movie for you. I think you get the idea. I was able to dissect the movie in terms of story development.


I shared the experience with my daughter. She put into words what I was experiencing this way:


“I think because it’s not something you would typically watch, you’re able to see the mechanics behind it all.”


That’s it. I wasn’t so caught up in the story I could analyze how it worked.


True, but now I’m thinking about all those books I had to read in high school. Classics, they called them. Homework. Maybe there was more to it than a crazy story. Maybe they were about the ebb and flow…the mechanics of life.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Hitting the RESET Button

 Hitting the Reset Button


Be… B-E. 


That was my word for 2021. All sorts of notions about that word came to life for me. When I announced the word in January, a few friends offered ways the word might play out. One sent me a link to the Beatles song Let It Be. Others suggested words beginning with those letters such as become or because and everything “betwixt and between.”


While I appreciate their efforts, the word was simply “BE.” 


I took things in stride. I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone.  I simply had to be the person I am and appreciate the person God created me to BE.


Psalm 46:10 reads “Be still and know that I am God.”


The word served me well this year. I found rest, joy, new friendships, and through it all, a quiet strength I didn’t know I possessed. 


Now I face a new year. I’ve been praying over the word that will guide me in this season of my life. I allowed a few possibilities to roll around in my head. I paid special attention to words I encountered in my daily Bible reading. Nothing seemed quite right.


I resisted the word that seemed to pop up everywhere. Finally, I gave in and explored the word, looked up synonyms for it, and wrote it down. 


My word for 2022?



It sounds so cliché for a new year. Yet, I’ve decided it fits. RESET simply implies change, adapt, adjust, recast, revise, redesign. Those are a few you'll find. 


I think I resisted the word because I feel 2020 and 2021 were all about change and adaptation. So what is different now? 


This time, I am the one hitting the “reset” button. I am not changing or adjusting to accommodate Covid or anything else. I am making deliberate choices in every area of my life to hit that reset/ rethink button. 

To start over.

To charge forward. 

To forgive myself of my shortcomings

and move on. 



I am not sure how it will play out, but it certainly has the feel of moving in the right direction. 


What is your word for the year? 


By the way...

This Screen Shot came from a google search on RESET. Try your word out for a few new takes on how your word works for you.