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Sunday, August 25, 2013


Barricade the road to Nowhere. . .I choose the true road to Somewhere. (Psalm 119:30, MSG)

I recently wrote about my birthday, and the intense soul-searching (and depression) that followed. Last night I ran across the above verse in writing My Daily Nibble blog ( if you're interested).

That's what I need to do. I felt like I was staring down the future road to Nowhere. Instead, God wants me to choose the road to Somewhere.

What or where that road leads, I don't know. I probably don't want to know, for the path there is rarely strewn with roses. At my age, I can't escape declining health and possibly mental faculties. If I didn't already know it, living here gives me a close-up view.

That sounds depressed, but I don't mean it to be. I'm saying, what else it out there on my road to Somewhere?

Part of it is purely prideful. I don't just want to make the difference in the lives of a handful of people. I never expected to be president. But I hoped for something BIG. Something as heroic as serving as a missionary. Or as grand as becoming a best-selling author. As astonishing as writing 100 books.

I do feel like I have a lot of wisdom to share with the next generation. But as is typical of our society today, not too many younger people are knocking my door down to learn from me. But there are staff members here, and fellow residents, whom I can encourage. This is my current stop on the Road, and I shouldn't ignore my family in my desire to do something big.

And My Daily Nibbles are also an expression of my knowledge and life and perhaps even wisdom every now and then about the Bible, which has been my greatest study since I was a child.

I would like my health to improve well enough for me to go to my grandchildren, to participate in family events. I don't know if I can. But I can write letters. They will know me, that way.

I have opportunities to teach writing classes online. I am training new writers from around the country, which is another goal.

In terms of 100 books. If I add the 23 books that have a story or article of mine in them, I am up to 55 books. More than halfway there. Hmm. Wow! I just might make it.

And I would like to explore of e-publishing.

So. My home. My family. Mentoring. Writing--and new avenues of writing.

And then, just possibly, something new. Something that has the possibility of being "big." Something which could take a lot of time:

Creating a website/blog for nursing home residents. Something to educate and encourage and raise awareness.

There are websites about medical problems and legal issues and government regulations. I have no desire to compete with them, but rather, to shed light into daily life, the joys and struggles.

(By the way, I'd love your thoughts about the above).

This probably feels repetitious. I guess I'm sayiing, there is plenty to feel like I'm on the true road to Somewhere.

God, barricade my mind against the road to Nowhere.

Friday, August 9, 2013


Okay, folks, I had nearly finished a post ruminating on the thought of external transformation (a la TLC's show "What Not to Wear"), the importance of looking our best, but the overiding importance of internal beauty. And it disappeared. So I will close with Peter's words, which say it best:

There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition.Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands. Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham, would address him as “my dear husband.” You’ll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated. (1 Peter 3:2-6, MSG)

When I strive for the best--inside and out--I feel better about myself, period. I can face life unanxious and unintimidated.

That's a goal I want to pursue.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Yesterday I began the sixtieth year of my life; I celebrated my 59th birthday.

Somehow sixty sounds a lot older than fifty-something. People who are 60-something are senior citizens. Young seniors, but definitely senior. I have already outlived those members of my mother's family who died in their fifties. The longest any of them lived was 78. My dad died that young as well. My health is already precarious and genetics indicate I have less than two decades left to live. Which is a short time. But if I spend all of that time in a nursing home, the years stretch an impossibly long time ahead.

I am suffering a depression that is part midlife crisis and part end of life regrets.
There is a sign in the nursing home that reads, "A hundred years from now, it won't matter what kind of car I drove or where I lived, but the difference I made in other peoples' lives."

Mentally I add to the list, "how many books I wrote."

Midlife crisis? I had big dreams as a young adult; and I'm smart enough to be able to get the answers right, at least on paper. I demanded perfection of myself and my life has been a long lesson in my lack of perfection. So, I have to accept the fact that there are certain things I will never get to do.

And an end of life accounting--have I made a difference in anyone's life? Well, I know I have. I have not only taught children in my church, I have written curriculum used with thousands of children. I have not written only for myself, but I have been blessed to have books published, books purchased by enough people for them to take a second and third and so on chance with me. Thousands of people have read my devotionals ( this year and almost 30,000 people have read this blog over the years. Hopefully my words have done more than entertain.

For that matter, I even touch people I know primarily through Facebook say that I encourage them. My birthday greetings from relative strangers called me dear, sweet,precious, beautiful.

I get to train another generation of writers through online classes and I have had a part in leading a few people to the Lord. And even in those dearest to me, my precious son and his family, God has seen fit to continue the essence of me. I see myself in my son's writing and his commitment to the Lord. I see the child I might have been apart from abuse in my granddaughter's sunny disposition and ready laugh.

So I have had an impact. Of a sort. I suppose.

So the question becomes--what do I have left to look forward to? I feel isolated. Little hope of change. Precious little joy or purpose.

But this one thing I know: God has me here, at this time and in this place, for a reason. If that reason includes daily pain and sleeplessness--so it does. He will comfort and speak to me in the pain, and He will use it to help others as well.

So after feeling bummed all day long on my birthday, today I feel hopeful that I will feel joy and hope again. Maybe not today. Maybe not even tomorrow. But the sun will shine again, and I can say, in the words of the song by Casting Crowns:

For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

by Bernie Herms