Thursday, October 7, 2010

Elders need each other...

Mary C. Morrison writes in her book, Let Evening Come:

"But in the long run, and for everyday life, most of all we need one another, we elders. We need to be together. We need others like us with whom we can laugh at our unreliable memories and collect jokes about our failing powers. We need to create communities in which we can be ourselves, in which we can all be in it together, sustaining one another, and finding a richness and quality of life that we did not know would be possible at our age. 'The old are younger in one another's company,' Gabriel Garcia Marquez says, and as we live together we find that he is right."

I found this little book in the local Senior Citizens' Center Library this morning. I thought I was there for an appointment. But the appointment didn't happen. I'm convinced God had another reason for me to be there. It was to come across this little book and minister to me that the decision we made to move my elderly mom to an assisted care facility was, indeed, the right one to make.

Go for it, Mom. Be in the company of those like you...and enjoy life with your new friends and family.

Thank you, Mrs. Morrison, and thank you, Lord!

(Let Evening Come was published in 1998 by Doubleday.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A little dose of comfort, please...

Far from my husband and far from my own bed, I lie awake in my friend’s guestroom several years ago, stuffed up from a head cold and hacking, longing for sleep to overtake me.

Instead I envisioned peanut butter and jelly sandwiches accompanied by steamy hot chicken noodle soup, foods my mother used to serve me at times like this. I could practically taste the smooth peanut butter and tangy grape jelly on soft white bread.

When I was a child, I had a routine for eating my sandwich and soup. Bite of sandwich, spoonful of soup, slight pause; bite of sandwich, spoonful of soup, slight pause. Sometimes I’d dunk a corner of my sandwich into the soup…the ultimate blend! Mmmmm. Mom's love gift to me was smooth and warm as it soothed what ailed me and warmed my soul.

Since on that particular night, I couldn’t have the coveted sandwich and soup, and since I couldn’t sleep, I decided to write about the comfort foods I remembered as a young girl. Included on my list was macaroni and cheese. Mind you, not the kind out of the box. Oh, no. Mom made hers from scratch, boiling the elbow macaroni and then smothering it with the most wonderful white sauce and melted cheese. Then there was the lemon pie piled high with meringue, still a favorite.

When I stayed home from school because I didn’t feel well, I’d listen from my bedroom as Mom rattled around in the kitchen, and I knew something special was on its way. If Mom made a trek downtown on one of those days, she’d bring me back an added treat – a Nancy Drew mystery.

I must say, my comfort foods have changed somewhat, although I still enjoy the tastes from my past. Now my husband brings me something chocolate to satisfy my soul. And Nancy Drew has been replaced by Mary Higgins Clark. But the memories linger and are comforting in themselves.

I took another swig of cough syrup, rubbed menthol on my neck, and tried again to sleep. No comfort foods that night. But, be sure, before the week was over, I made a trip to the grocery story for a good old-fashioned dose of comfort. I also went by the library to see what my friend Mary was up to.

If I ever needed some of Mom’s comfort foods, it’s today, October 5, 2010. But she doesn’t cook any longer. In fact, my sister and I will be moving Mom into an assisted living facility this afternoon.

All I have now are the memories, but how sweet and soothing those memories are. Thank you, Mom, for your gifts of love and comfort over the years. I am blessed beyond measure…and I’m so grateful!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday's Makeup Tip!

Here’s a tip from my recent Merry Notes newsletter:

Never pump the wand in your mascara.

Pumping the wand adds air to your mascara, creating an environment for bacteria to grow. Instead, brush the wand around the inside of your mascara tube and gently pull it out. Then apply mascara and enjoy your finished look!

Play it safe and don’t share your mascara…and replace it every three to five months. Check out Mary Kay’s best-selling Ultimate Mascara (in black or brown/black) on my personal Mary Kay website: We also offer Waterproof Mascara and Lash Lengthening Mascara, Eyeliners, Brow Definer Pencils and Brow Gel, plus over 30 shades of Mineral Eye Color!

If you decide to purchase, place the code "a moment a day" in the comments box and receive 10% off your entire order.

Have a great "makeup" day!

Monday, September 27, 2010


My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me

I let Him choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He worketh sorrow
and I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside. 

Not till the loom is silent,
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas,
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads were as needful
In the weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver,
In the pattern He had planned.

~Author Unknown

Today I walk in confidence knowing that one day I'll understand.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"You can do it!"

On Friday and Saturday, I attended a Mary Kay seminar in Bay City, MI. So it's appropriate to pass along some of the inspiration and motivation I received from this fabulous event.

One of the ways we were encouraged was in being reminded of what Mary Kay Ash, Mary Kay's founder, would say to the women who came to her for mentoring and advice. She would take their hands in hers, look them directly in the eye, and say, "I don't know how, but if you want to do this badly enough, you'll figure it out. I know you can do it!"

What amazing words! "You'll figure it out" spoke volumes to women, empowering them to make their own good decisions based on someone else's confidence in them to do so.

She wrote in her book, Miracles Happen: The Life and Timeless Principles of the Founder of Mary Kay Inc., that when she was only seven years old, the task of taking care of her invalid father while her mother worked outside the home fell on her small shoulders. One of her greatest challenges was preparing meals. She often would phone her mother to find out what to do. Whenever Mary Kay's mother gave her instructions, she always added, "Honey, you can do it."

Mary Kay passed along those encouraging words to the women she brought up in her business. "You can do it," she told them. I have only begun my Mary Kay business, so I was not able to meet this business legend who died in November 2001. But I am being mentored by women who did know her, women who were told by Mary Kay to "Pass it on!" And, truly, they are passing on her words of encouragement regularly, through email communications, seminars and retreats, weekly training meetings and so much more. There's a slogan in this company that says "Independent Mary Kay Consultants are in business for themselves, but they are never by themselves."

What are you trying to accomplish? Are you starting a new business like I am? Are you trying to make a decision on whether or not to move to a new locale, start a new school, leave a good-paying job to work at something you really enjoy? If you're hearing words from others that are less than encouraging, may I pass along to you the words of Mary Kay Ash:

"I don't know how, but if you want to do this badly enough, you'll figure it out. I know you can do it!"

You really can!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My love affair with words...

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

My love affair with words began many years ago when I sat nestled beside my father on the sofa, watching attentively as he worked the evening newspaper’s crossword puzzle. From time to time he’d ask my advice, as if a 5-year-old had much to offer in the way of the English vocabulary. But with enough hints, I’d guess a few words.

In addition, my daddy made speeches at his weekly labor union meetings. Occasionally, he would take me with him, where I admired him from afar as he voiced his concerns for his fellow workers. Of course, I understood little of what he was saying, but I was so proud.

Preparing for his talks, Daddy literally read the dictionary, noting words he was not familiar with. To include me in the process, he marked words with a dot and then had me list them in the little spiral notebook he carried around in his shirt pocket for easy reference.

In school, English and writing were two of my favorite subjects. I competed in spelling bees in elementary school and enjoyed writing term papers in later years. I loved reading everything from my grandmothers’ worn Bible to my mother’s recipe books, my 10-cent comic books and my coveted Nancy Drew mysteries.

Careerwise, for over 30 years, I worked with words, writing, editing, producing books, managing a daily newspaper and coaching writers. And I loved every minute of it.

Daddy’s not around any longer; cancer took him at an early age. But I think he’d be proud of his daughter. I know he’d enjoy seeing some of the fruits of his labor. When he didn’t even know what he was doing, he was training up his child in the way she should go and I still have not departed from it.

Thank you, Daddy!

(A version of this devotion first appeared in Proverbs for Busy Women: Devotions to Refresh You in Your Work, edited by yours truly, published by Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville, 1995.)

Friday, September 24, 2010


This little poem speaks to me in my current situation; I pray it speaks to you as well!

No more of light I ask, O God,
But eyes to see what is.

Not sweeter songs, but ears to hear
The present melodies.

Not more of strength, but how to use
The power that I possess.

Not more of love, but skill to turn
A frown to a caress.

Not more of joy, but how to feel
Its kindly presence near,

To give to others all I have
Of courage and of cheer.

No other gifts, dear God, I ask,
But only sense to see

How best these precious gifts to use
Thou hast bestowed on me.

Author unknown

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My morning makeup prayer...

Several years ago I wrote this meditation, not having a clue that I would someday represent a skin care and cosmetic company. Now I'm an Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant and recently shared a modified version of the following morning makeup prayer in my first newsletter to customers and friends. Who would have thought?

Lord, as I apply my foundation, I thank you for being my firm foundation, my fortress, the only one in whom I can completely trust. Remind me when forces come my way to shake the ground I walk that you are my rock that never gets shaken. I stand firm in you today. 

As I highlight my eyes with color, I ask you to give me eyes to see the needs that will come before me and ears to hear the cries of the lonely and downtrodden. And then, Lord, if there are ways I can meet those needs, show me how to do that with wisdom, sensitivity and grace. 

Brushing color on my cheeks, dear Lord, I ask for your grace and wisdom in being able to turn the other cheek and not become offended by the words and deeds of others. And if I do, please show me the root of why I'm offended.

Father, as I apply my lipstick, I ask for lips that speak only words of love and encouragement to those who come across my path today.

And then, Lord, as I apply my perfume, I ask that wherever I go, I will leave your sweet fragrance behind. When others come near, may they inhale your essence because I have come so near you in my morning quiet time that I take on your fragrance as my own.

Who would have thought? Well now, my heavenly Father knew all along, didn't He? He says in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans [thoughts] I have for you." And since I take God's word personally, I believe He knew all along that one day I would be helping to enrich women's lives through my new business.

I wonder what other surprises He has planned for me!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Meditations, motivations and makeup...

What do these three things, meditations, motivations and makeup, have in common? ME!

I love to meditate on God's word and what it says to me personally, and I enjoy writing those things down and sharing them with others. I love to motivate and encourage people, and I love to be inspired by the words of other motivators. And makeup? Well, earlier this year, I made a career-changing decision and am now an Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. After over 30 years in some form or other of publishing, I decided it was time to try something totally different. And now I help enrich the lives of the women I work with in Mary Kay and the women I serve through teaching them about the importance of good skin care and how to enhance their natural outward beauty.

Check back often, will you? I'll be sharing some special thoughts to encourage and inspire readers, and I'll be adding some beauty tips from time to time. And when you do stop by, please feel free to leave behind some of your own thoughts and inspirations!