Blog: Overcoming Struggles

5 Ways to Exit our Comfort Zone

Posted: October 27, 2016

We love the comfort zone of habits. Sitting in our usual church pews, visiting with the same friends, eating at our favourite restaurant and travelling the same route to work each morning take the guesswork out of our complicated life. It’s easier to stay home and watch Netflix series, lounge around in our P.J’s and converse through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Staying within our comfort zone is like a security blanket that keeps us from worrying or looking stupid. But it can also make us predictable and boring. We need to know when it’s time to let go and move into a new season. Yesterday on my walk I came across a pear orchard, splendid in its brilliant harvest colours. I was busy clicking pictures when I noticed a single pear hanging on for dear life. I could almost hear it saying: “I like it here. Leave me alone, I’m…

Posted in: Balancing life, Beauty Unleashed, Boring marriage, comfort zones, Encouragement, Freedom, Friendship, fulfillment, Good Marriage, happiness, joy, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, patterns, weeping

Read More



K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE-Untangle the Tinsel

Posted: December 14, 2015

I realize when I talk about tinsel on Christmas trees it’s in the same category as VHS and Pac man. Tinsel holds a special place in my heart because in our home the execution of tinsel had to be done perfectly. No more than three or four strands on the end of each branch, and if you don’t have the patience for that; well then go and finish your apple cider. But we had a dog. A big dog named Brutus! I can’t recall the many times we came home from an event to find our magnificent tree on the floor. A tangled mess of bulbs, candy canes, lights and oh the tangled tinsel. Trying to untangle tinsel left our family frustrated and snapping at each other. “Who left the dog on the house anyway?” “Who is going to clean up this mess?” “Come on you guys, everyone has to…

Posted in: adversity, Balancing life, Christmas, Conflict, Expectations, Good Marriage, happy, Laughter, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Peace, Pleasure, Simple, smart, Tension, untangle

Read More



THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE-Faulty Accusations

Posted: June 13, 2015

Asking good questions and find truth about other people’s actions is crucial for our happiness. If we harbour faulty accusations of “why” someone did or said something, it can build resentment and destroy a relationship. One of the greatest tools of the enemy (also called the Accuser) is to implant faulty accusations and then divide and conquer. If Satan can destroy our marriages and families, that destruction can filter down into our churches, communities, schools and government. Everywhere. Faulty accusations usually start small, and then take on a life of their own. For example: You tell your spouse you need a new kitchen appliance or a new patio set. His answer is simply “No.” You are annoyed and in your mind you accuse him of being stingy, small minded and uncaring. The next time you are with your girlfriends you tell them how he doesn’t care about your needs. Your…

Posted in: accusations, Assumptions, communicate, companionship, Conflict, Expectations, faulty thinking, Finding Truth, Good Marriage, Harmony, honest, intimacy destroyer, Listening, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Resentment, satan, Understanding each other

Read More



STEALING LILACS-Creating Beauty

Posted: May 9, 2015

I was four the first time it happened. “Mommy why are we stealing these lilacs. Do they belong to us?” The snap of the branches and the sweet aroma of those vintage purple lilacs put such a radiant smile on my mother’s face that I must have been mistaken. My quiet and tender mother would never do anything wrong. As I clung to her hand I had a bounce in my step and felt secure as we headed back to our compact bungalow nestled in a small village in Germany. World War Two had left bomb shelters, broken dreams and poverty throughout Germany. Beauty and culture was beginning to emerge from all the rubble, but we still were still poor. We had no garden or flowerbeds to call our own, but there were misplaced lilac bushes and lonely fruit trees scattered throughout the countryside. My gentle mother was confined to…

Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, Beauty Unleashed, Encouragement, Legacy, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Pleasure, resilient

Read More



THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – Negotiate Options

Posted: April 6, 2015

I attended a joyful celebration this past weekend, a wedding shower. The evening was electric with laughter, games and anticipation for a glorious marriage. I made a point of sitting with several “older” women who had been married for a long time and I wanted to hear why their marriages had been so successful over the years. Firstly, let me say that we all agreed it was more difficult to maintain a healthy marriage these days because of all the distractions, options, wants and yes…selfishness. But here are some of the things we discussed that helped to maintain the friendship, love and companionship in a marriage. Going into the marriage agreeing: “divorce is simply not an option.” There is no plan “B”, it only plan “A”. (There is a disclaimer for abusive marriages). Letting go of some selfish expectations. For example: One woman told me she had expectations of what…

Posted in: Balancing life, Commitment, Communication, companionship, Differences, Encouragement, Expectations, Friendship, fUN, Good Marriage, Harmony, Laughter, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Understanding each other, Valued, weddings

Read More



A K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – Interruptions

Posted: March 3, 2015

There is one interruption that I know would put a huge smile on my face. Imagine this. It’s my birthday coming up and my husband gives me a simple card and an umbrella. Inside the card it says this. “I hear it rains in Paris at this time of the year.” It would take me but a minute to go down into the basement and get my suitcase. Most interruptions are not pleasant and come at inopportune times and have the possibility to wreck our ideal life. I’m not talking about the little annoyances like running out of gas in the middle of winter or spilling coffee all over your new white shirt. I’m talking about interruptions that change the course of our hopes and dreams. For Instance: One of your unemployed children is moving back home. You just discovered that your spouse is addicted to pornography. Your children are…

Posted in: Balancing life, Beauty from the Inside Out, Commitment, Communication, companionship, Conflict, Encouragement, Finding Truth, Friendship, Good Marriage, Harmony, Intimacy, Laughter, Listening, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Peace, pornography, power of words

Read More



THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE-“Stuff Managers”

Posted: January 24, 2015

Let’s be honest, most of us are “stuff managers”. We go to work in the morning to make money to buy stuff. Then when we bring it home we have to find a place to put this stuff. When there is no more room, we put our stuff into plastic containers with labels on them and find room in the basement or the garage to store this stuff. Or, we might have to dig through our existing stuff so we can give it away to make room for more stuff. Or, we might have to rent a storage container or locker room to store our stuff. Often times we don’t even know what stuff to use; should we use our golf clubs, kayak, boat, swimming pool, bikes, motor home or just sit at home and linger on the deck? Or should we sit down with our day timers or phones…

Posted in: Balancing life, Beauty from the Inside Out, Communication, Encouragement, Good Marriage, Intimacy, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Understanding each other

Read More



THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE –Praying Together

Posted: January 4, 2015

Prayer is the most uncomfortable yet powerful topic for marriages.  I know it’s uncomfortable because every time I bring it up at any marriage teaching session or marriage mentoring, the room falls silent. Yet prayer is the most powerful source we have in our marriages to create intimacy, receive healing and find hope and peace in our tumultuous lives. What is it that is holding us back from embracing this supernatural FREE power that, reluctantly we know, will save most marriages? When Jack and I got married 18 years ago, we instantly became parents of a large blended family of 5 children and many grandchildren. They all lived away from us and we are smart enough to know that families run into difficulties, stresses, illnesses and they need help.  But living so far away from everyone we could not be there to help them. Jack and I made a deliberate…

Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, Communication, Expectations, Finding Truth, Friendship, Good Marriage, Intimacy, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Pleasure, power of words, Prayer, Uncategorized, Understanding each other

Read More



UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE-Kindness is like Honey

Posted: November 1, 2014

For the month of November my home church, Trinity Baptist in Kelowna, reaches out to the community with intentional acts of kindness. As I was writing an article about the different ways we can show kindness, I scoured my mind for creative and radical ways to show kindness throughout our city.  One intentional act of kindness I always do is pay for the person behind me when I go to Wendy’s drive through for their Supreme Taco salad.  I love driving away and wondering what the person behind me must be thinking. “Why in the world would that woman in front of me do that?  I wonder what she’s up to? I always drive away fast enough so that they never catch up to me or find out. I love the intrigue knowing I have brought delight into someone’s life. This morning was my time to clean out all the…

Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, Beauty Unleashed, companionship, Conflict, Friendship, Good Marriage, Harmony, Intimacy, Kindness, Laughter, love, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, power of words, Uncategorized, Understanding each other

Read More



UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE- Fighting Without Shame or Blame

Posted: September 6, 2014

Our family has a zany sense of humor and any time we need a good belly laugh we pull up a Brian Regan YouTube video. One of our favorite videos always starts with the sentence:  “I just want to get through life without looking stupid. So far it’s not working.” In light of this marriage topic, I would like to change that sentence to: “I just want to get through life without feeling shame or blame…so far it’s not working.” God designed “good marriages” by putting together two imperfect, vulnerable, insecure people and shaping them into the beautiful image of Jesus Christ.  Nothing “sandpapers, cuts, moulds and shapes” people better than when they are living in close proximity and intimacy with each other. But sometimes the shaping of this good marriage can be so painful at times that all we want to do is run. Nothing makes us run faster and…

Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, Communication, companionship, Finding Truth, Good Marriage, Harmony, Hope, Intimacy, love, messes, Overcoming Struggles, Uncategorized, Understanding each other

Read More