If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. – Maya Angelou


Today, I am grateful for a rich and diverse circle of influence in my life. In the past year or so, several people have made such a connection in my life that have changed my outlook, my direction of thinking, my view of this life and the world in which I live. Here are a few who are on my mind this morning: 

  • Rick Johnson, a United Methodist pastor and new friend in Kentucky with whom we’ve connected through email because of a simple challenge from our pastor to write a note of encouragement. He took the time to respond, and a friendship has begun.
  • A man I do not know but who challenges me to think outside my box through his blog, a blog that a former student, Cindy Balding Glover, introduced to me through Facebook.  Here is his latest:

I’m Not Sad That Maya Angelou Died

  • 98-year-old Louene, one of my Bingo friends, and soon to turn 99, who shared with me last night a glimpse into her loneliness and her sadness and disappointment with her two grandchildren who live less than 30 minutes away but never come to visit her and rarely if ever, call. She is an avid KU basketball and Royals baseball fan, loves to play Bingo, is mentally more sharp than I, and despite having lost her only child, a daughter, to illness four years ago, is happy and content. That visit last night taught me a lot… Take the time, MAKE the time, because life is short.


  • My trainers at CASA, my experience with CASA as a new advocate before this challenge ever begins, and the fact that there are opportunities all around me to reach out and be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who have experienced such internal and external hurt and pain. My child will be a teenage girl. I now know her name. I know the basics of her story and her abandonment. I am grateful that I have a Savior who is preparing my heart to walk beside her and with her as she learns how to face a new life as an adult. I am grateful that I have a passionate supervisor who will guide me as I serve this young woman and the CASA organization. I am grateful for examples that somehow surface in the most unusual places that solidify my decision to become a CASA, like this one last night – the TV was on less than 15 minutes as I folded laundry, but this is what I happened to watch:

Jaycob Curlee


I am grateful for an extra treat this morning of seeing a hummingbird. First time we’ve seen one at the house. Time to figure out Mom’s red juice recipe.

And I am grateful for a wreath hanger that I finally found, so that I could hang my Mother’s Day wreath that Karissa made for me. The bow at the top represents her because it is her favorite “pattern,” and the giraffe patterned bow at the bottom represents Katrina, because she collected the animal when she was a little girl, and we’ve always thought of Katrina as the “giraffe collector.” I love that my wreath is now visible for the whole neighborhood to admire.




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