Could Crying be Good for You? (The Surprising Benefits of a Good Cry.)

“For crying out loud!”  I grew up with this phrase and I’ve said it myself from time to time. Today, I found myself literally crying out loud.

My “good cry” started with just a few tears and I wasn’t sure what particular emotion to assign to them. I think it was, disappointment, then in crept sadness, followed by fresh grief and after that I was pleading with God. I received his comfort and it finally turned into a time of full on thankfulness.  I was still crying but they were happy tears.

adult alone anxious black and white

Photo by Kat Jayne on

I heard years ago that the chemical compounds are different in the different types of tears we cry. When I heard this, I was amazed and thought, “Of course, that’s so God to make our bodies operate that way. We cry for a variety of reasons and the tears themselves are different too. You are amazing God!”

I briefly read an article in Medical News Today- Eight Benefits of Crying: Why it’s Good to Shed a Few Tears.  *I’ll include a link at the end.

Basically, we cry and shed tears of three types:

  • Basal – tears when we blink the simple tears that keep the eye moist.
  • Reflex – tears that occur when we cut an onion or smoke blows in our eyes while sitting around a camp-fire.
  • Emotional – tears that are in response to a wide range of emotions and have higher stress hormones – so crying could be good for you.

I know I have times when I experience “tear build-up,” it’s like pent-up energy perhaps? But nothing else helps me, until I have a good cry.

I remember years ago a friend of mine told me her daughter would lament, “Mom I know I’m in need of a good cry but I just don’t have time right now to do that. I’ll come home later and cry it out.”

I truly love that! It showed self-awareness to what was needed in her body, heart and emotions.

Could Crying be Good for You? (The Surprising Benefits of a Good Cry.)

  • releases toxins
  • has a soothing effect like when a baby cries before falling a sleep
  • is a way to deal with emotions
  • can reduce pain and lead to a sense of well-being
baby child close up crying

Photo by Pixabay on


So crying is normal and has benefits too? I love that! (Of course crying too much and too often could be a sign of depression, but that’s not the purpose of this blog nor is it the type of crying I’m referencing here.)

Let me share a few verses which have been true anchors in my life.

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:17-18 NIV

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.Psalm. 34:6

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8

Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children… Lamentations 2:19 (I’m sure any parent can relate to this verse.)

So what was the scoop with me today? Well, I simply had a good cry. It was needed and beneficial. It brought me near to God. I know He heard me and like I said, it ended with a time of thanksgiving. I was truly comforted and later, rose and took a walk.

I’m certain God knows when we need a good cry and when we need to get some exercise. He designed us and I’m amazed by the way I respond to both tears and movement. My response was relief.  I felt so much better.

So how about you? How are you doing? Are you in need of a good cry?

adult alone black and white blur

Photo by Kat Jayne on

Do you think you might need some exercise? If you haven’t done either of those things in a while, I highly endorse them. Cry out! God hears you and he loves you like CRAZY!

Let me leave you with one other verse – NOT related to crying but one that I hope will encourage you nonetheless. The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8 NASB

*Eight benefits of crying



“You’ve got to be kidding me!” A Divine Appointment!

We’d been planning for years and finally the day arrived. My cousin and I were headed to Bethel Church in Redding, California. We’re both part of Bethel’s on-line community. The Carr Fire in California has been so horrible, yet gratefully even the fires near Redding did not cause a change in our trip dates, our desires or our plans. It was a go!

We flew from our perspective locations and met in Phoenix. Once we hugged at the gate we knew the fun had begun! “It’s good to see you I’m so excited!” I told Annie. We stood in line at the airport Starbucks and rattled away and giggled a bunch too.

While we were first together there in Phoenix, we prayed.

We’ve been praying for years. But that day, seated in the airport, we thanked God for safety and for being together and prayed “God give us divine appointments.”

You know how once you pray something your awareness is boosted a little bit more because you’re looking for what you’ve just asked of God?

Well both Annie and I were in heightened awareness mode. I boarded the plane first and secured my seat and Annie was going to join me.

I always pick an aisle so I can get up and go to the bathroom she came in and sat in the middle seat.

Annie blurted out quickly, “I just heard a lady say ‘Redding’ so I spoke with her briefly. I figured we are probably both headed to Bethel.” She chuckled.

No sooner had she told me when the woman came down the aisle and they visited for a minute. Then she asked, “Could I just sit with you guys in this row? I may as well take this window seat! ”

“SURE!” We answered in unison.

She sat near the window and explained why she was going where she was going. She told us she was flying to Sacramento because her daughter was going to be attending a school out in Northern California and she was going to meet her there and get her settled in a bit.

We asked her where the school was located and she told us Bethel Church in Redding. We quickly replied “Oh, we’re going to Bethel Church this weekend. That’s the purpose of our trip.” I introduced myself, “I’m Rachel.”

She said, “I’m Jill.” She later mentioned her husband and her daughter were traveling from Michigan all the way across country to Redding. “But I told them, guys…I’m gonna just fly out. That’s a long way-I’ll fly and meet you.”

During the course of the conversation we found out things about one another and then I asked, “Could I pray for you?”

“Absolutely!” She replied.

The three of us agreed together in prayer. We prayed for protection as Jill’s husband and daughter traveled across country. We prayed for her daughter’s ease of transition in going to this new school far away.

I prayed for Jill’s “mama’s heart” I know what it’s like to miss a daughter, so I prayed for her as she said goodbye to her daughter in the next few days. I don’t remember the rest of the prayer but that was pretty much the gist of it.

We visited the duration of the flight and then we didn’t see her again. It was as if she were “POOF” gone!

We secured our rental car, decided who would drive and who would navigate, strapped on our seatbelts, logged our destination in the GPS and headed to Redding.”Phew it’s warm in here!” we agreed. “Let’s start the air conditioner.” Then we snapped a photo and peeled away!

We traveled awhile and decided to stop for lunch. My cousin Annie, had never been to California so she wanted the experience of IN and OUT Burger. I mainly eat a plant-based diet so I spotted a Panda Express just down from the IN and OUT.

“Can you find somethin’ to eat here?” She inquired.

“Not really.” I pointed. I’m going to head over to that Panda Express, grab some veggies and noodles and meet you back here. We can sit outside on the patio.”

“Sounds good,” She said.

I ordered my carry-out quickly, exited the restaurant swinging my white carton of food in its plastic bag and was going to meet Annie.

Just then, our new friend Jill came walking out of Starbucks which was next to the Panda Express.

I took one look at her, and said, “Oh, my! Well hello again!” We hugged and visited for a few minutes. I found out that she got her rental car and that she was safe and was making her trek north. “Well, isn’t it funny running into you here at lunch?

“I’ve just eaten at Panda Express, so now I’m grabbing a coffee for the road. God is good!”‘Jill reported.

“Great! Well, who knows, maybe we will see you at Bethel Church on Sunday!” I said. And walked away.

I thought that was the punchline. So odd to see someone again and be able to encourage them and laugh together. Timely encounters.

We continued our jaunt north. We had the address of our Airbnb logged into Google maps. “We are almost there!” Annie exclaimed.

We were both so excited as the GPS was giving our final directives. We pulled up to the row of condominiums, double checked the address to confirm, as the phone said, “Arrived at your destination.”

I opened my door, felt the heat and smelled the smoke, stepped onto the sidewalk nearest the condo and looked up.

“What?” I clapped my hands together and exclaimed simultaneously, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” There was Jill!


I stood frozen for a second.

Our new friend from Michigan walked toward me. I looked up to see a man, her husband, carrying hanging clothes draped over his arms and a young woman, her beautiful daughter, holding a box. They were moving in!

Jill approached me and started talking super fast, “I couldn’t believe it, I went up to my daughter’s room and the room adjacent to it had a sign on the Airbnb door that read, ‘Welcome Annie and Rachel.’

I stood looking at the sign dumbfounded thinking, ‘are these the ladies I just met on the flight that I was seated next to on the airplane? These ladies are my daughter’s weekend roommates?!?’

God calmed my mama heart with his attention to detail. He brought people from the Midwest to meet me on the plane to stay in the house with my daughter during her first weekend here. I couldn’t believe it! That’s so good of God!”

She was raving and gleeful…we ALL were.

We entered the air conditioned condo and introduced ourselves to her husband. I’m sure he was spinning…three woman were all jabbering at once trying to explain the story of our divine appointment to him.

We tried to recount the story so we could tell it to Jill’s daughter. “We met your mom on the airplane today she said ‘Redding’…blah, blah, blah.”

I ascended the steps and confirmed the whole deal; our room was adjacent to her daughter’s room. “No way!”

We had prayed for the transition of Jill’s daughter as she went off to school in Redding, California and there she was right before our eyes. Her eyes sparkling as she smiled and said, “Nice to meet you guys!”

Over the course of our extended weekend, we saw them again in passing between the services as they were in line for coffee.

“You guys should try MiMi Grace for breakfast. I tried it last time I visited before I decided to come here for school.”

We had to try it because we both like avacado toast and it was called Mimi Grace…my daughter is Grace.

We had prayed for months but this is just ONE of the divine appointments we had along the way. I could share so many more. “God-incidences” But this one will have to do for now.

God is the kindest person I know. He delights to delight my heart. I’m convinced of it. This made me have a perm-a-grin.

What are the ways God has been showing up in the little details of your life? Do you have a devine appointment you’d like to share?

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” Job‬ ‭23:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm‬ ‭32:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm‬ ‭139:16‬ ‭b NIV‬‬

Custom made clothing – the tailor made suit.

I was asked to be part of a team comprised of such quality ladies in its lineup…so of course I said, “Yes, I’m in!” I was thrilled to be involved and it was truly amazing!  Although it was years ago, I will never forget our wonderful team, nor the women we ministered with and in India. While there, I spoke to hundreds of incredible women who came to the sessions.

As they filed in, the stream of them continued until the large, well-lit meeting room was packed full. I was awestruck with their beauty and by the full array of colorful garments they were clad in. It was a parade of noticeably vibrant color! Whoa! It blew my mind.

woman in sari dress

Photo by Prabhash Sahu on


I am slowly coming out of a long, dark stage of colorlessness. In other words I wear a lot of black. But I really do enjoy color!

After spending time and traveling through India, I told a friend, “It felt as if I were in a dream and an artist’s paint pallet had exploded. The result was many bright hues which remained everywhere and on everyone. It was glorious!

One of my mentor friends told me, “I remember the first time I visited Guatemala.” She reflected,”Oh, Rachel I was drunk with color!” I could relate because that’s exactly how I felt while in India, it was mesmerizing, bright and wonderfully intoxicating.

woman wearing blue traditional indian dress and silk thread bangles

Photo by Qazi Ikram Ul Haq on

I marveled at the rainbow of colorful elegant saris and salwar kameez outfits the women wore. A sari is just one of many outfits traditionally worn in India. Another is the “salwar kameez” which is worn both as an everyday outfit and in more formal settings as well.

A salwar is a pair of loose drawstring trousers that are tapered and fit more tightly around the ankle area. The salwar is worn underneath the kameez, which is the long tunic worn on top. The out fit is completed with a scarf. My dear friend told me the scarf is to cover our bumps.

man walking on street carrying metal bucket

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I had the privilege of riding through the streets observing as our driver maneuvered and obeyed the”rules of the road” which felt more like mere suggestions to me than rules. Our team of women were delightedly given an opportunity to go shopping.

man holding white sack walking beside street stores

Photo by on

It was a lot to take in. A time of major sensory overload. We witnessed so many sights, sounds, smells and colors in the streets and in the local shops. It was bustling and loud yet quite invigorating! I remember going into a bit more up scale shop, it was air-conditioned and was deep and narrow inside. I want to get an outfit from here!

The store housed so many bolts of fabric, all displayed on dark wooden shelves which lined the walls from floor to ceiling. There were hundreds of fabrics we could choose from. Oh, my gosh, look at all these fabrics I get to choose from! I’m going to get a tailor-made outfit…What?

The shop clerk attended to us and pulled many bolts off the shelves, placed them on the counter in front of us to examine and select while the others got fitted.

It was my turn. I was struck by how precise the thin tailor was as he pulled out his tape measure, took my measurements and wrote them each down on his small pad of paper he had on the glass counter top.

He finished rather quickly and I asked, “Is that it?”

He bobbled his head back and forth, then emphatically answered, “Yes! You come back in two days.”

We returned a few days later and both of my tailor-made salwar-kameez outfits were waiting for me. Each had optional longer sleeves attached with a safety-pin to the top of my Kameez. What’s with these?  It was explained to me they were longer sleeves in case I wanted to have them sewn on instead.

I loved wearing my new salwar kameez. I looked fabulous and all put together, but was really super comfortable. It was almost as if I was wearing a set of my favorite PJs. I could grow accustomed to this!

The whole custom-made clothing thing was truly amazing and a lot of fun. I’ve never had anything fit me so well. I wore my two new outfits during the remaining part of our trip.

I remember thinking, I LOVE THESE CLOTHES! they fit me perfectly.

I’m 5 foot 2 1/2 so often, off the rack pants, are way too long. Plus in the shirt category… the darts of a standard blouse are way too long, clearly intended for someone who has a little more on top, if you know what I mean. These special tailor-made “salwar-kameez’ garments fit me splendidly!

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Let me turn a corner here and tell you this. I think my life and yours is designed and being made to fit us perfectly,  by a perfect tailor. One who knows us inside and out and doesn’t even need to collect any measurements, because He is the one who designed us. I know God is fitting me for a purpose and he is fitting things for me at the same time. What a grand design!

I really believe God knows us intimately and uses everything in our lives for our good.  I mean every thing. No wasted sleeves attached with a safety-pin to the “kameez” of our lives. Nope! He uses it all. Each circumstance, situation, trial that we live through or joy we experience is tailored for us. All of it is used to make us more like Jesus.

I don’t believe that God causes the hard things. He sure does use them though. Sometimes the hard things are a result of living in a fallen world. Other times its our own decisions or pain inflicted on us, or the choice of another that directly affects us. But I do know God uses it all. Nothing is wasted.

Whatever you are going through right now, God will make it fit you so that you are beautiful as you parade throughout the kingdom. He is for you not against you and he is fashioning us day by day. We can live lives of color and display his glory!

All things can work for us and make us wear the most beautiful tailor-made garment as we love God and minister to others.

You, dear reader, are dressed by him and ready to bless others. You lead a life of color and are fitted with his grace. Let your light so shine before men, that they see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 And may your life and mine be ones of noticeably vibrant color!


Friday Night Live

“Should we go tonight? I think it would be fun! We haven’t been yet this summer and it’s supposed to be great weather,” I asked. My husband and I discussed our evening plans before he left for work. We both agreed we’d go downtown for Freeman Friday Night Live.

I could picture the streets bustling with people and music filling the air. I had a full on day-dream thinking about it in advance. As he fired up the engine and mounted his motorcycle, I was snapped back to reality and said,”Okay, just text me when you’re leaving work so we can figure out if you should come home for me or if we should meet there.”


Freeman Friday Night Live is an enjoyable recurring summer event. Our local Main Street is blocked off, police officers patrol on bicycles while people walk and dance in the middle of the street and listen to a variety of bands stationed throughout.

Each band plays a different type of music and draws a unique audience. People swarm in from all directions and sections of life. I enjoy it because I love people and I get a kick out of people watching.

Summer time is so much fun and Friday Night Live is a way to mingle with a wide variety of people from all ages. Dressed in summer sundresses and shorts, they bring their toddlers in strollers and young kids ride in wagons as they eat ice cream.  Others are with puppies or dogs on leashes. Some folks are slightly more dressed up and go out for dinner or drinks with friends then walk around and greet their friends.

person holding ice cream with cone

As my day unfolded, I hoped we’d get to ride together on the motorcycle and I wouldn’t have to find a parking spot or coordinate meeting my honey.

Then late in the afternoon, I received a text from a friend, Hey, Rachel if u are not doing anything tonight, we are going to Friday Night Live to walk around. Welcome to join us. Let us know, it will be good see u and get tattoos.

Jill always teases me about drinking margaritas, smoking cigars and getting tattoos, mainly because she knows none are big draws for me. It has become a standing joke the way she hassles me.  I texted back, Yep! We talked about it already but I need to wait until Michael gets off work. So we will see you there.

On Friday night I didn’t drink, smoke or get a tattoo, but I got my photo taken with my friend Jill so we could document the occasion of me getting close to the tattoo parlor.

J7zKwtgBRQOkSD72Tj+yyAimg_2986We had a good time. We walked and talked and saw some other friends we knew and gave them each a big hug, “We saw you ride in on the Gold Wing and I thought, that kind of looks like Rachel…Well it is Rachel and Michael!” I grinned and said, “Yeah it’s me!” We visited with them for a while and then headed home.

It is always good to be with friends and be in the community. I think summertime is one of my favorite seasons because of it.  I got my fix of people watching, chatted with strangers, giggled with friends, took a ride on the momo with my man and strolled through downtown with ease.  It was a good day and a night that did not disappoint.

Let me ask you:

  • What do you enjoy about summertime?
  • If you were to get a new tattoo what would it be?
  • What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
  • What’s your favorite season?
  • What genre of music would you stop and listen to, or dance to?

When the Going Gets Tough…

Have you heard this phrase? “When the going gets tough; the tough get going.” I’d have to admit, when things get hard sometimes I’ve just quit. Here’s a silly little example I’ll share to illustrate.

Once upon a time, in a house of a home school family, mine, a magic marker was dropped down inside a blue glazed piece of pottery with a small narrow opening to the “mouth” of it. I tried for a while to dislodge the marker. First, I turned the pottery over, attempted to guide the magic marker toward the small opening.

“Lemme see, maybe this will work.” I said. Next, I shook it, inverted it and checked the placement of the marker. Then I shoved my index finger in, wiggled it and felt around trying to grab the end and guide it out. I followed this by a feeble attempt of my pinky finger. “Rats!” I exclaimed. “I’m so close, I can touch it!”

I tried other things too, but to no avail. I remember I looked down at my young daughter and said, “Let’s just set it aside for now and have Daddy take a look at it when he gets home!” I just quit. Is that pathetic? (I am married to a man who is mo-ti-vat-ed by a challenge!)

bright colored markers colorful colors

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on

Just so you know the rest of the story. Michael took a look at it when he returned from work and did something amazingly clever to free the trapped marker. I call him MacGyver, from the television series starring Richard Dean Anderson, because he fixes most anything using bizarre methods.

I believe someone out there is frustrated, discouraged, or losing hope and I want to encourage you… Don’t give up! The stuck marker and pottery scenario seems small, but it’s the stick-to-it-tive-ness, perseverance and overcomer’s attitude and testing of one’s will or strength I’d like to highlight.

Let me start by telling you this truth. You are stronger than you think, will last longer than you know, and are capable of doing more than you can imagine. (God knows this about you and about me too.)

What’s kind of funny to me is how we love the pain and struggle, in some areas of life, and are even drawn to it.  I have a few friends who’ve done the Iron Man multiple times.  I’ve seen how we can enjoy the toil involved in sports and athletics. I know I’m hooked by the background story of the training process of dedicated Olympians. The amount of sheer determination and grit that led up to the metals ceremony amazes me.

blue and red superman print tank top shirt

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These athletes undergo rigorous training routines as we cheer them on. Their training is excruciatingly difficult, but I have never heard anyone accuse the athletes’ coach or trainer of being too tough.

Rather, the coach is appreciated for pushing the individual and bringing out their best through the hard process of testing. The coach pushes hard which makes a better athlete, period. (A few movies display this well. Miracle, Facing the Giants, Remember the Titans)

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However, when it comes to our own spiritual lives or another person’s faith journey, we don’t have the same mindset we use with sports. Instead, when faced with a difficult situation or grueling trial, people doubt the goodness of God or easily assign blame to Him. But God is good and only good. Yes, life can be both hard and good. Yet God is FOR us.

Here are a couple of truths which keep me going when the going gets tough and have helped me thrive and make it through more than I knew I was capable of enduring:

  • the example of Jesus enduring the crucifixtion ‘for the joy set before him’
  •  the fact that God promises to be with us in hard times: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor for sake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 

Going through hard things in life, a trial, struggle or a PIT of some sort often makes people doubt the goodness of God. Whether we are the one going through it or we observe someone else in the PIT. I heard Graham Cooke once say, “PIT stands for ‘Prophet in Training’ or ‘Person in Transition.'” Are you going through a hard thing? Are you in the PIT?

I’ve spent some time in the PIT  I hope to see God working to make me a prophet in training and I know I’m a person in transition. I believe God only wants good for me and He is able to do the impossible in my life. Knowing Jesus in a deeper way is the result of my time in the pit because it’s where His presence became so evident to me and my encounters with the Living God increased. So I am actually grateful for the circumstances I’ve seen in my life. We are all in process.

The other day I ran across this verse from Isaiah 42:3 NIV. It is one that ministered to me and helped me believe in God’s goodness for me years ago. But it was needed again the other day as a reminder of that fact that God is NOT out to break me nor does He desire to squash me like a bug. “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;”

So remember dear believer:

  • God is for you NOT against you.
  • God works all things together for your good.
  • God will never leave you or forget about you.
  • God lifts up his smile upon you and gives you peace.
  • God blesses your coming and going both now and forever more.
  • God promises to be with you in hard times.
  • Be strong in the LORD and the power of His might.
  • God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.

Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 New Heart English Version

When we rely on the power of God and trust in His character and rest in His promises, We are stronger than we think, will last longer than we know, and are capable of doing more than we can imagine.. “So when the going get’s tough…Let’s cling to God and get going!”

What’s Your Mindset? Your Life Moves in the Direction of your Most Dominant Thought.

I typed one final text, “Okay, sounds like a plan, I’m looking forward to it.  I’ll meet you there! See you at 1:30.” I touched the SEND arrow… DELIVERED

If I need to meet her at 1:30, I should leave the house about 1:20. I took my walk, unloaded the dishwasher, finished a few emails and looked at the clock. Yikes! I still need to shower. Oh, my word, I better get movin’!  I quickly got ready and checked the time. You’ll make it with only a few minutes to spare!

Earlier when we were trying to decide where to meet we had batted around a couple of choices. One coffee shop was on Main Street and the other just outside the downtown area. We chose the one NOT on Main…because my friend had never been there before. “It’s cute and unique, let’s meet there,” I had suggested. It’s so close to my house it won’t take me a long time but I’d better go!

shallow focus of clear hourglass

Photo by Jordan Benton on

ThankfullyI knew exactly where I was going. I confidently climbed into my steaming hot car and winced when my thighs hit the seat. I carefully touched and buckled my piping’ hot seatbelt. I pushed up my sunglasses which had slid down my nose now speckled with perspiration. I then backed out of the driveway and zipped away.

It was only a seven minute drive. I peered through the windshield down Main Street to see in the distance. There it is! I prayed, “Lord I’m sure she’s already arrived. Help me find a parking spot without having to loop around a ton of times and keep Kathy waiting.”

I scanned the street for a decent parking spot. I wanted a spot I could pull right into, not one requiring parallel parking, ain’t nobody got time for that! I glanced left and saw the store front of the coffee shop had a sign of some kind on it. What’s going on? It looks like the coffee shop is closed? Are they remodeling? I paused a bit confused and stunned.

close up photography of cup of coffee

Photo by Jason Villanueva on

We will have to make a new plan to meet somewhere else. I pulled over to text my girlfriend the news. NO, NO, no… wait a second! It dawned on me this is NOT the coffee shop where we decided to meet.  It was one of the choices yeah, but NOT the one we had decided on.

“Oh, for goodness sakes! I drove straight here! What was I thinking about? Why did I drive to THIS coffee shop? Once my mistake dawned on me, I decided not to send a text but drove off instead.

I whipped around the downtown streets navigating through some of the local construction areas and orange barrels, weaving through like one of those car chase street scenes from a movie. I began to chuckle. She’s probably sitting, patiently waiting for me at our meeting place! 

Here’s the kicker. Only moments earlier, I had passed it! I flew right by the coffee shop on my way to the downtown one.( Kathy probably even saw my car as I passed by.)

art blur cappuccino close up

Photo by Chevanon Photography on

Why did I do this? What was I thinking?  Let me walk you through my thought process. While I was driving, I began to think about inviting Kathy and a group of ladies out for the evening downtown to Main Street.

I mean I was having a full on day-dream about it. Scary, I know, since I was driving. I was able to picture it all as I thought about evening plans on Main street. Next, I saw in my mind’s eye the cute coffee shop on the downtown corner. So I zipped passed the one place and drove straight to the other one instead. (My mind moved in the direction of my most dominant thought. Literally in the direction.)

Allow me to turn a “corner” here, no pun intended, and ask…What are YOU thinking about? Do you realize you move in the direction of your most dominant thought? (I heard this quote once but I don’t recall who said it. I only remember it resonated with me.)

grayscale photo of woman sitting on chair

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So…What are you currently thinking about? Is it a positive or a negative thought? Do you feel hopeful or hopeless? Are you fearful or joyful? You will move in the direction of your most dominant thought.  I often say, “Mind your mind and think about what you’re thinkin’ about.” Ask yourself, “How did my mind get here?  What thoughts led me in this direction?”

There are many Bible verses about your thoughts. I’ll share this one:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Philippians 4:8

I like this Steve Backlund quote, “There are no hopeless circumstances just hopeless people. Let’s all move in the direction of our HOPEFUL thoughts.

Here’s a verse that has been an anchor for me. Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NASB

I challenge you to think about what you’re thinking about so you don’t find your mind, like me and the coffee shop debacle, in the wrong location unaware of how you even landed there.

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6 NASB


A True Fixer Upper Became an Amazing House Flip!

I’m sure you’ve seen shows, read articles and posts which have to do with fixer upper properties. House flipping or remodeling is such the craze now and there are ideas galore. Fixer-Upper, Flip or Flop, Property Brothers, Love it or List It, are a few that have been around for years. We’ve seen design showrooms and quality craftsmanship with Mr. Handy Man and Home improvement professionals who’ve become well-known through these reality TV shows. I used to watch Trading Spaces the way children watch saturday morning cartoons. I love the Before-and-After, don’t you?

Remodeling homes and even tearing parts down has repeatedly caused Chip Gains to don the T-shirt which accompanied his rejoicing exclamation of, “It’s Demo Day!” It’s come partly with the surge of popularity of Chip and Joanna Gains, but I believe there is something fascinating and wonderful about make-overs and the seeming “resurrection” of dead things. (Now, dead people resurrected will have to be a different blog post.)

Like you, I too have seen posts, articles and TV shows all about house flipping. Well, along those lines-there is this house in my neighborhood which was such an eyesore. It stuck out like a sore thumb. (to be fair, completely honest and vulnerable, we don’t keep our property perfect, JUST SAYIN.’ I feel badly sometimes for my next door neighbor who has to look at my yard.)

But I would walk by this one property while on my walk and think, What’s really is going on inside this home? It is becoming such a dump out here!  Yikes! No exaggeration…There was a dumpster parked in the driveway of this home for months. I’m talking about the big metal blue dumpsters contractors use when they’re replacing a roof or completing some other huge project. YEP! It’s still here! Each day I’d pass the huge dumpster until I no longer noticed it because it had sat there so long.

This huge metal dumpster was in the driveway for such an extended period of time that it rusted when it rained and the rust dripped down the entire driveway. It looked like a bloody river of orange which stained half of the driveway where it sat. The bushes and hedges were all over grown and there was definitely some exterior damage too.

I wondered, If it looks like this out here, what has happened to it on the inside? It’s kind of a scary thought. It was never abandoned and I’m not sure what the situation was. I don’t know for sure, but it was a true fixer upper.

But it has been reclaimed! A contractor bought it, flipped it and a new family has moved in!

  • The exterior was repainted from a dingy and tired yellow to a pleasing slate gray, white and black color scheme.
  • Re-roofed and the chimney was redone too.
  • There is a new fence, shutters, windows, garage door and doors.
  • Mulch was brought in and put down around the nicely trimmed trees.
  • The shaggy and overgrown bushes have been cut down.



There’s even a beautiful white rocker out front on the porch now.  I think it’s completely inviting and has sweet curb appeal. It was a true “Fixer Upper” and an amazing “House Flip.”

It’s just fabulous! I am so delighted for the neighbor across the street. His own house and landscaping have always been so pristine and beautifully manicured.

I saw a young woman out watering the plants on the front porch the other day. It just made me smile. How delighted she must be to be in her new home. My girlfriend and I walk this neighborhood and always bless the people who live in the houses. We bless  them with prosperity and health and we bless them with a sense of God’s favor and goodness to them. And now I’m just watching the revitalization happen before my very eyes! WOW! How beautiful these properties are becoming!

I have camped on this section of scripture lately. (Isaiah 61: 1-10)

God is the God of INSTEAD:

  • To give a beautiful headdress instead of ashes
  • The oil of gladness instead of mourning
  • The garment of praise instead of a fainting spirit
  • Instead of shame there shall be a double portion 
  • Instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot

Dear reader, know that you are being blessed. I pray that God is showing his favor to you. I pray you know that God is for you not against you he’s working to reclaim anything in your life that has been neglected, miss treated or is falling apart.  God is really good at DEMO DAY! He is the God of INSTEAD!

If you feel your life is in a shambles, if you feel like it’s been too long, or if you feel like there’s nothing that can be done in your current situation, know that you do not have to partner with those thoughts. That negative junk is a lie. The truth is God comes to restore and redeem.  He does it better in our lives than any fixer upper. He doesn’t desire to fix us up. INSTEAD He kills us off and starts completely over. (read these whoppers!)

  • I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20        
  • Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! (one version says the old things have passed away… Passed away means they are dead.) 2 Corinthians 5:17 
  • The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Be encouraged, be blessed. “He who started the work in you, and in me, is faithful to complete it!’ (Philippians 1:6) 



  • What is your latest home project?
  •  What is God currently doin’ in the remodel of your life?





How to Host the Perfect Graduation Party. Ha ha ha!

“My neighbor is going nuts about this graduation party she is hosting and is in a full-blown tizzy about it so I told her I’d help in any way I can.” My friend reported. “Seriously she is so worked up about it. She is stressed out and wants it to be perfect!” Her comments made me reflect about my plan for our son’s high school graduation party.

It was back in 2008 but I still remember it vivid

I had things planned for this Grad Party:

  • food
  • drinks
  • desserts
  • decortions
  • signs and balloons
  • photos and photo-boards
  • indoor and outdoor seating.

I too was excited and a bit worked up over hosting this shindig. However, all my planning and effort for a perfect backyard barbecue celebration quickly went awry when the June storm rolled in instead.

photo of columbus clouds

We had tables decorated with colorful water-filled SOBE bottles, my son’s favorite drink at the time, and helium balloons floating above each bottle as centerpieces. The backyard had plenty of seating for everyone. “This looks great! I have a few more folding chairs coming from a few neighbors and we are all set!” I told my sisters.  They’d traveled to be the ones serving our guests.

I wanted it to be a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach and had even fussed over the flower pots on my front porch. I moved them each a few inches one way or the other then stepped back to compare which position I liked better.  It was a bit obsessive. I had balloons too and it looked fabulous. “THERE! DONE!” I decreed.


NO ONE even sat at the tables or noticed the front porch flower pots due to the torrential downpour, each guest made a mad dash to get into our house as quickly as possible.

Instantly soaked from the storm they stood dripping in the entryway like drowned rats. They stood stunned for a moment. They were greeted and welcomed with bath towels to dry off.  It was chaos and a mess. We were soggy!

My husband and brother-in-law grilled chicken and hamburgers from inside the house as they pulled the grill as close to the back door as possible. Michael ran out into the treacherous conditions and collected hail and stuck some pieces in the freezer because they were so large he wanted a preserved memory.

Michael’s friends embraced the monsoon-like conditions. ” Let’s go!” They said and dashed out the front door FULL BOAR!  These high school kids jumped in the puddles and danced in the river that formed in the street’s gutter. Others were sliding down our backyard’s hill the way we sled on snow during the winter.

They scurried up the soaked hill and body surfed all the way down and repeated the process. I’ll never forget the looks on their faces as they hydroplaned down. They grinned even though the water-spray and grass hit them. Some closed their eyes as they flew down the hill. A few may have used the plastic sleds we own, I’m not really sure.  I do remember it was frantic and loud and CRAZY and FUN!

splash of water

Photo by Noelle Otto on

Because of the downpour and flooding, the interstate north of our house closed as the rain continued. This prevented guests from traveling to any other graduation open houses they had on their docket. THEY WERE STUCK. The result was we had a packed house as most lingered and filled both their plates and our home with food and laughter. Friends hung out in the basement where I never imagined them even being allowed. Some folks were up in our loft area sitting two to a chair…they seemed to enjoy it.

It was a great and memorable celebration and we all embraced it. It was quite unexpected. I still laugh at my fussing over the front porch and the other tiny details because I got a crash course in “DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF” and even though the graduation party wasn’t at all what I had envisioned or planned, it was one my son will never forget.

A bit of advice I’d give now:

  • lower your expectations
  • make people the foucs
  • expect to be surprised by something
  • you’re not perfect…but you are perfectly loved by God.
  • don’t sweat the small stuff (remeber most of it is small stuff)

The LORD’s plan stands firm forever. His thoughts stand firm in every generation.

Psalm 33:11


Photo by Pixabay on

Unplanned Celebration


Sometimes it’s when things don’t work out the way you planned that it leaves an indelible mark on your memory.


I’ll never forget!  It happened last October after hurricane Irma hit Florida.  I was privileged to spend time in Marco Island with my girlfriends.

One of them planned a wonderful beach photo shoot at sunset featuring my fabulous girlfriends each wearing my mantra T-shirts “Don’t Compare, Don’t Compete, Celebrate! ” I was touched and felt so supported by these awesome women who are all so dear to me. I celebrate them!

We were excited, “I’m going to wear white pants with my shirt, is that okay?”


“Rach, I’m just going to keep on these jean shorts with mine.”

“Yes, whatever you want to wear. The point is it can work with anything! I’m wearing these black leggings. No worries.” I reassured them.

We selected our outfits and got ready together.  It was great fun. We curled our hair, applied our makeup and selected our jewelry.  Someone texted our sweet friend Autumn, who lives in Marco, she texted back…”you might want to hurry there is a storm coming tonight.”

(It will blow over it’s Marco!” Let’s go! So…)

We piled in our rental van lookin’ good and smellin’ fine.  I was excited for this opportunity.  “Thanks for doing this you guys, these photos should be great!” I said.

We pulled into the parking area and the parking attendant asked,”What are you ladies up to tonight?”

“Lisa, our driver said, “Oh just heading  to the beach to do a photo shoot for our friend Rachel Inouye who is a speaker and…blah, blah, blah.”

He said,”Okay, great have fun and you look like a speaker.” (I shook my head and thought such a weird comment. He was probably thinking, Ya realize it’s supposed to rain, right? Goofy girls!)

As we walked down the board walk we passed a couple holding hands as they left the beach. We stepped onto the sand noticed only one other small group of five gathering their beach chairs and towels as they held on to their hats and exited quickly too.

We just stood huddled and motionless under a thatched shade hut for a second. We’re the ONLY ones here. It’s so deserted! “Not gonna be a wonderful sunset tonight. It’s cloudy and grey.” (For Marco Island, Florida that’s very ATYPICAL!)

“Hey, Rachel get out there and smile.” I stepped out from under the hut and onto the sand alone to get the first photo. It was breezy so I only posed for a few. (The wind blown look it okay, i guess. BUT No girl likes to have the wind-blown look especially if the wind causes ALL your hair to be in your eyes and face or when most is stuck to your lip gloss. At least THIS girl didn’t welcome it. I tried to pose but just laughed instead.)

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We hurried to snap a few photos to document the event and promote the CELEBRATE T-shirts hoping to invite others into the ever growing “Celebrate movement” when all of a sudden the wind came up and howled, this drastically altered our plans it caused us to hurry, giggle and panic a bit too. It was shocking and took our breath away.

As the wind blew stronger, the more laughable the thought of even attemping this endevor became. Then WIND invited its friend WATER and she joined in and made her presence known to all. We got drenched instantly.

We tried to run back to our van but couldn’t. We had no footing but slid like we were skiiing in our flip flops along on the slippery and flooded boardwalk. One friend didn’t even try to go fast because she was about to wet her pants from laughing.

She grabbed herself with both hands, hoping to help her stop the inevitable accident. She cried out indistinguishable words mixed with screeching laughter but finally made it to the shelter of the van. It was dry but very loud as the rain continued to pelt the metal roof.

These photos crack me up! I can still feel the rain and hear the roar of the wind even now! Memory made! Celebration embraced! ( Photos from FB sorry for their quality- a bit blurry, I know.)





This is a Facebook post my friend Lisa wrote at the time. Enjoy the comments too.


So let’s embrace and celebrate being together no matter what form it comes in, planned or unplanned.

Pretty sure of this!

“I don’t know much but I’m pretty sure of this…” is a phrase my father Richard has said so often when I’ve heard him tell stories or teach. Both things he is gifted in along with another special quality I’ll mention here.

In light of recent Father’s Day, I thought I’d give a glimpse into a bit of my life with my Dad. I wrote in the Father’s Day card I gave him: Dad, you are my hero! You have taught me so much about God and the nature of our “with us ” God -Emmanuel.

I love to be with you. No matter what we are doing whether it is:

• eating

• laughing

• singing

• creating

• drawing

• playing the guitar

• constructing

• thrifting

• teaching


It doesn’t matter what I am doing with my father being WITH him is what I enjoy.

The other day we laughed as we carried things from the neighbor’s yard where scads of various items lined the curb. Because of an upcoming move they were throwing out a bunch of junk aling with some treasures too.

I helped my dad search these are the treasures we found:

• 100 DVD’s

• watering can

• small guitar amplifier

• collapsable stool

• Eureka vacuum

.• nice pieces of wood

He also grabbed:

• a bicycle

• a large piece of plywood

• a lamp

• a bike rack for behind a car

• truck tire and rim.

We hauled all these things home in waves and cleaned up the items that needed it. Some items have found a home already and others will be given away.

The next day we took a stroll, and I mean stroll, back down the street again to the same house where we grabbed another gem. Dad said, “We’re kinda like Sanford and Son, right?” The gem was a perfectly good twenty foot steel pole so we hauled it home.

I was wearing white pants with flip flops so my dad asked, “Are you good to go right through the yard, Rach?” I followed behind him carrying my share of the weight and length, he warned,” Careful it’s a little muddy here ya see, so I just go like this!” and away he went up the slight hill tromping through everything.

He continued to navigate as he lead me through the trees, plants and ground cover that lines the south side of my parent’s property. My feet began to feel cool because I was tromping on the leafy plants still wet from the buckets and buckets of rainfall we’d received.

We made it to the back yard and we lifted the steel pole up over the custom-built fence my dad made years ago behind our house. I stood on my tippy toes and pushed and held it there waiting.  Meanwhile dad went around between the house and went  inside his high wooden fence.

“Push a bit more, will ya? Okay, yeah, yeah, now I see it. Keep on a’comin!'” He instructed.

“Okay, Dad that’s it! That’s the last of it and it fits!” I exclaimed.

He told me he found table saw and jigsaw in the same find one time. He also said, “I picked up a lawn mower once at the dump I just pulled the rope and it started!”It probably hadn’t been sitting there too long. I’m not kidding, I pulled the rope and it started. I gave it to my brother and he used it for twenty years!”

I’m influenced so greatly by my father, like him I always experience “a thrill in the FIND.”

I don’t know much but I’m pretty sure of this..My dad is a master of salvaging things. He enjoys cleaning up, modifying and fixing things for his own use or giving them away to someone in need.

I love to be WITH him.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 NIV

“‘My son, the father said, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.’ Luke 15:31 NIV

Father God, thank you for the good and perfect gift of my dad, Richard. I know every good and perfect gift comes from you so I acknowledge you as the giver. And thank you with a full heart that I’ve had Time recently to be with him.