Apparently, I’ve been waiting for something that may never happen. I’ve been waiting to stop living in limbo and settling into life at the beach. I thought that all I needed to do was move the rest of our things from Gallup to our little house in Florida. But life has thrown a monkey wrench into my plans.

One of the reasons that we wanted to move east of the Mississippi was that we would be closer to Hank’s mom. Granny is 89 years old and Hank wanted to be able to be near enough to help Judy out by giving her a few breaks here and there.

Unfortunately, Granny took the idea of a break quite literally by falling and breaking her arm so badly that she requires surgery. Hank came down immediately. I joined him in Mississippi on MLK Day.

Hank and Judy are doing a phenomonal job of taking care of their mom. Granny cannot do anything on her own — they are changing her, bathing her, and taking her to the restroom. They serve her meals, schedule doctor’s appointments, and rub lotion on her feet.

My only task here is to help out where I can and offer Hank my support and encouragement.

If you know me at all then you know that I’m going to go to the gym whenever I get the opportunity and I’m going to do my best to eat well. My goal while I’m here is to get to the gym at least three times a week. And I’m going to offer to prepare meals for Judy. Since she’s working full time and taking care of Granny in the evenings this will be my way of helping her out while also keeping me on track.

It’s important that we find ways to take care of ourselves while taking care of others. There are so many of you out there who are the primary care givers for their parents. And some of you are taking care of your children at the same time. But I want to encourage you to find a way to take care of yourself! Maybe it’s a half hour walk everyday. Or you might be able to squeeze in several gym visits a week. But whatever it is – do it!

Choose to feed your body well, Take care of your spirit by listening to music that encourages you to draw closer to God. Exercise. And above all, love. Love those around you. And love yourself!

Better get to livin’

Just thought I’d share this song and lyrics from Better Get to Livin’ by Dolly Parton with you……

“Better Get To Livin'”

People always comin’ up to me and askin’
“Dolly, what’s your secret?
With all you do, your attitude
Just seems to be so good
How do you keep it?”
Well, I’m not the Dalai Lama, but I’ll try
To offer up a few words of advice.

You better get to livin’, givin’
Don’t forget to throw in a little forgivin’
And lovin’ on the way
You better get to knowin’, showin’
A little bit more concerned about where you’re goin’
Just a word unto the wise
You better get to livin’.

A girlfriend came to my house
Started cryin’ on my shoulder Sunday evening
She was spinnin’ such a sad tale
I could not believe the yarn that she was weavin’
So negative the words she had to say
I said if I had a violin I’d play.

I said you’d better get to livin’, givin’
Be willing and forgivin’
Cause all healing has to start with you
You better stop whining, pining
Get your dreams in line
And then just shine, design, refine
Until they come true
And you better get to livin’.

Your life’s a wreck, your house is mess
And your wardrobe way outdated
All your plans just keep on falling through
Overweight and under paid, under appreciated
I’m no guru, but I’ll tell you
This I know is true.

You better get to livin’, givin’
A little more thought about bein’
A little more willin’ to make a better way
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Keep your chin up
Just hang tough
And if it gets too rough
Fall on your knees and pray
And do that everyday
Then you’ll get to livin’.

The day we’re born we start to die
Don’t waste one minute of this life
Get to livin’
Share your dreams and share your laughter
Make some points for the great hereafter.

Better start carin’
Better start sharin’
Better start tryin’
Better start smiling
And you better get to livin’…

community found….

mels step

I almost started crying during step class this morning. It wasn’t because I couldn’t keep up. Although I couldn’t keep up. And it wasn’t because I am so uncoordinated that I trip over my own two feet. Yes, I do trip over my feet and kick the step away from me while working out. 

It was because I’ve found community in the gym. Once the ladies realized that this was my first time at the class they moved me to the center so that I could see the instructor better. They chanted the step moves as I was learning them. They told me that I was doing a good job. And they encouraged me to come back on Thursday.

Community found. It’s not a geographical location that I’ve been missing. It’s a culture. It’s women who encourage women. It’s the older ladies in front of me who are willing to teach me the basic steps. It’s the younger women behind me who have mastered the “next level” of stepping and are challenging me to join them. And it’s the ladies beside me who are my age and and are determined to fight gravity and live healthy. Like me, they are looking at the ladies in front of me and telling themselves that we are going to be just like them! Really! Who wouldn’t want to be like the 74 year old lady who does spinning, tabata, and step classes? And let’s not even talk about that lady who’s in her late 70’s who just recently hired her own personal trainer so that she could learn to lift weights along with going to all the classes including yoga. And what about the lady who told me she’s been doing these classes before I was born? Who wouldn’t want to be like her!?!?

I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they hate working out because it’s boring. May I suggest that instead of going to the gym and climbing on that treadmill one more time that you join a class? Like me, you may discover that you are uncoordinated and you might trip over your own two feet. But you might also discover that doesn’t matter because you’ve found a community who accepts you where you are and encourages you to go further than you ever thought you could!

Photo Source

no phone……

It’s crazy but my brand new phone has proven “defective.” Yes, that’s the term they used for it and now I’m waiting not-so-patiently for a new phone. Since I rarely talk on the phone I thought I wouldn’t miss it. What I didn’t realize is how much I use it as a clock,  calendar,  workout and food diary, and as my photo/video album.

What I did realize and what I’m missing like crazy is my daily FaceTime sessions with Liberty. How I miss my little girl!

Oh well, hopefully my new new phone will be here tomorrow!

I started back at my favorite Panama City Beach gym, the Rock Pile, last Tuesday. While I didn’t make it to any of the classes last week, I did get to go to the Tabata class this morning. I had planned to go to the spinning class this afternoon but didn’t make it cuz I’m already seriously sore from my leg/glute workout this morning. Patting myself on the back…… I squatted my heaviest weight to date today! Now you may not be impressed with my 75 pounds but I am! I have a goal of squatting my body weight this year.

Guess I should give that a deadline, uh?

Hank and I have been eating out quite a bit since we’ve been here. But I’ve been making great food choices in each restaurant. I try to find a good protein and steamed veggies or a salad at each place. We ate at the Olive Garden with David last night – I chose the salad and split the Rosemary Chicken with Hank. And  I haven’t returned to my ole’ southern habit of drinking sweet tea!

Now that doesn’t mean that my sweet tooth has been silent this week. No, it’s been crying out for anything it can find. When that happens, I allow myself one square of dark chocolate to satisfy the craving. If that doesn’t work it’s time for chewing gum. Now I’m not going to lie to you and say that gum totally satisfies the craving but it does keep my mouth full and stops me from mindlessly giving in to my sweet tooth.

What do you do when a bit of something will not satisfy your craving?


I entered the new year quite differently than I have in more than 16 years. I wasn’t at church. I wasn’t praying. I wasn’t looking toward the new year with the mixed concoction of hope and dread in my heart.

I was listening to live music at the biggest party on the beach. I was living in the moment and celebrating that the longing of my heart has turned into my reality.

We officially moved to  Panama City Beach on Sunday, December 28th. No longer am I a tourist or a part-time resident. I’m a local. I live here.

What I’ve not-so-secretly wanted all of my life has become my reality. And it’s totally a gift from God. You see, I had forgotten that God is interested in me. I had lost perspective and began seeing myself only as his servant or minister instead of remembering that I’m his daughter. For a long time, I believed that God was only interested in what I would do for him.

But moving here has reminded me that God knows me. He knows the not-so-secret desires of my heart. And he knows the ones that I’ve never told anyone. He knows me and he’s interested in me. In fact, he’s quite fascinated with me. So much so that He has given me the beach as my own backyard.

I’ve always related to the oldest son in the prodigal story. And like the father in the story, God is giving me the opportunity to join the party and revel in our relationship. We never find out if the son finally goes into the party or not. But I’m going in. It may be a bit hesitantly but I’m going in.

Luke 15:11-32