Monday, February 27, 2006

good stuff for always

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Ephesians 4:25

  • Learn to express appreciation.
  • Know that how we treat others shows our spiritual maturity.
  • Religious activity doesn't impress God, how we treat others does.
  • We may be thinking we're saying the right thing but pay attention to how you say it.
  • Ask yourself before you say or do something that may not be kind or gentle -- Is this necessary?
  • Never make a person feel unimportant...Be understanding.
  • Proverbs 11:17- A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.
  • Don't rely on people, on things, on education, on whatever that is not of God.
  • God is not looking at everything you've done wrong...He's looking at what you're doing right.
  • Feel good about who you are.
  • Be free from the heaviness that tries to burden you down because the enemy will always tell you that you're not doing enough, you're not good enough...Quit believing his lies!
  • When you are positive with yourself, you are in agreement with God.
  • Stop bringing up what God has alraedy forgiven and forgotten.
  • God is focused not on what you are, but what you can become.
  • People focus on the bad choices you've made, God does not.
  • You may have weaknesses but know that God is pleased with you even though you are not perfect.
  • When you feel God about who you are you make the enemy furious. You've been approved and accepted by God.
  • Some of us have come along way...So live a life that is pleasing to God, one that is full of integrity.
  • Look away from everything that distracts you from God...people, things, etc. God changes us little by little. We're all at different stages.
  • God's power shows up the greatest in our weaknesses...Lean on His strength. Ask for His help. We need to trust that he is there always.
  • Don't let the condemning voices take root...Don't listen to them! Get rid of that junk and keep moving in a positive direction.
  • Whatever you send out in life is ALWAYS going to come back to you. What are you sending out? Make sure that you're sending out good things about yourself.
  • What a tragedy to go through life being against yourself...Feel good about who you are. Sometimes we condemn ourselves so much, nobody else has to. It's okay to enjoy your life feeling good about who you are. When you don't, you can't fully experience a relationship with God.
  • We've been chosen. Don't believe the lies that only shows you defeat. Quit overanalyzing yourself and picking yourself apart.
  • We can either bless our lives or curse our lives.
  • Be extremely careful what you allow out of your mouths because your words are determining the directions of your life.
  • Are you saying good things or just negative things? When you say more negative, you are setting the limit on your life.
  • Get on the offensive instead of the defensive.
  • The best eraser you could ever find is God's word...Let go of the negative junk that goes against what He has in store for you.
  • There is creative power in your words.
  • Romans 4:17 -- (paraphrase) Don't talk about the way you are, talk about the way you want to be.
  • YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IT AND THEN YOU'LL SEE IT. Call in what you need from God.
  • Make positive declarations on your life.
  • Don't use your words to describe your situation, use your words to change the situation. Declare LOVE and declare JOY every day!
  • God is fighting your battles for you!

Friday, February 24, 2006


Be the individual God made you
Galatians 5:26; Proverbs 11:14; 1 Samuel 17:33-40

Thursday, February 23, 2006

jockamo's with candice & mike

it's all about the pictures today and the food, the food was fabulous

to love or to fear - choose

In every moment, we teach either love or fear. As we demonstrate love towards others…we learn how to love more deeply.
Marianne Williamson

By dwelling on the negative of the situation, you end up giving it power. The other day, Kathy and I were talking and she pointed out how incredibly powerful we all are and we don't even know it. So you ask yourself, "What am I afraid of?" "Where do I feel powerless at times?" It all boils down to fear...Fear sits in the driver seat way too often for many of included. Fear of change. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of making the wrong decision. Fear of not being enough. Fear of being wrong. Fear of trusting too much. Fear of not being true to yourself. Fear of not loving others the way you should. Fear of missing opportunities. BUT, when love drives us, we can sit back and smile because of what LOVE is. With love, we change and we can be okay through it because it's love. With love, we can heal no matter what the situation. With love, we can make mistakes because it doesn't stifle us it only makes us stronger. With love, we are enough, we are just perfect. With love, we are neither right nor wrong because love is bigger than that. With love, there is trust and you want more love and less and less fear to really live. With love, you find truth and you can accept who you are from the good to the bad. With love, you act in love to your friends, your family, your enemies, others, animals, creation. With love, there are endless possibilities so you experience more than you ever would with fear. With love, you are with God because that's what He is.

Love and love deeply...Hmmm...What would that look like for the world? What would that look like through the eyes of God?
Last night the VOODOO tied against team Guiness. I decided to try and fit Pilates in before the game so I ran a bit late. The stretching makes a huge difference in my energy level. When I first started on this "find my lost soccer player" journey, I was hesitant to get involved and really communicate on the field. What's crazy is that is the very thing that makes the game work and pulls the team together. We may not have won but we were having a good time and talking to one another which is what it's all about.
Ginger (yes, I am writing directly to you right here) PLEASE take care of your ankle!!! Love your ankle...Do it OR I'll get Ms. Tracy on you.

Other tidbits of my life these days include working with the best photographers in the world on the annual report. Check out Brian and Wendy are angels sent straight from God...They are committed to doing a great job and making sure everyone is treated with care. I LOVE 'em.

To add some more excitement to my life, I am getting ready for a huge test (literally) and this morning was one of the last study sessions with my partners in crime -- the triple "L" team. I hope we all get the thumbs up because we've worked too hard to not all succeed. APR here we come!!

Earlier this morning, I wrote my bestfriend Joy a card. Some days I just miss her...Not because of the activities we would be doing or the project we'd be creating together or the coffee we'd be drinking but just because of the friendship, the "okay with whoever we are today attitude" and hanging with that for however long we have. Lately, it's been limited and not just Joy and Lorelie time but that's okay because it's such a breath of fresh air to be around a friend who I can just "be" with and not have to think about being anything else. (pausing point for prayer today for Joy) I just prayed for Joy and for whatever strength or support she needs today.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

joy and passion

Get a Life...a Real Life!

This is the commencement speech by the writer, Anna Quindlen, to graduates at Villanova this year:

It's a great honor for me to be the third member of my family to receive an honorary doctorate from this great university. It's an honor to follow my great Uncle Jim, who was gifted physician, and my Uncle Jack, who is a remarkable businessman.

Both of them could have told you something important about their professions, about medicine or commerce. I have no specialized field of interest or expertise, which puts me at a disadvantage talking to you today. I'm a novelist.

My work is human nature. Real life is all I know. Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work. The second is only part of the first.

Don't ever forget what a friend once wrote Senator Paul Tsongas when the senator decided not to run for re-election because he had been diagnosed with cancer: "No man ever said on his deathbed, "I wish I had spent more time at the office.'"

Don't ever forget the words my father sent me on a postcard last year: "If you win the rat race, you're still a rat." Or what John Lennon wrote before he was gunned down in the driveway of the Dakota: "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."

You will walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree; there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a liveing. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life.

Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.

People don't talk about the soul very much anymore. It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is a cold comfort on a winter night, or when you're sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've gotten back the test results and they're not so good.

Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my profession stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the center of the universe.

I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say.

I am a good friend to my friends, and they to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cutout. But I call them on the phone, I meet them for lunch. I would be rotten, or at best mediocre at my job if those other things were not true.

You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are.

So here's what I wanted to tell you today: Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house.

Do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast?

Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over Seaside Heights, a life in which you stop and watch how a red tailed hawk circles over the water or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and first finger.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you.

And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Write a letter. Get a life in which you are generous.

And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it or those you love for granted.

Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take money you would have spent on beers and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister.

All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good too, then doing well will never be enough.

It is so easy to waste our lives, our days, our hours, our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the color of our kids' eyes, the way the melody in symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again.

It is so easy to exist instead of to live. I learned to live many years ago.

Something really, really bad happened to me, something that changed my life in ways that, if I had my druthers, it would never have been changed at all.

And what I learned from it is what, today, seems to be the hardest lesson of all: I learned to love the journey, not the destination.

I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get.

I learned to look at all the good in the world and try to give some of it back because I believed in it, completely and utterly.

And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned.

By telling them this:

Consider the lilies of the field.

Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear.
Read in the backyard with the sun on your face.
Learn to be happy.

And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
Joseph Campbell

Today was a day of reflecting on what I actually do as a professional...I was in Tampa for the day discussing development and all that goes into it -- relationship building, media relations, volunteer managing, writing and promoting your story, etc. Sitting around a table with 20 other people who are all working toward the same goal is exciting for me and confirms what it is that I strive to do on a daily basis.

On a soccer note, VOODOO won last night 2-1! J. Brown rocked and we will see lots more of that crazy Ms. Tracy!! Peace to my redheaded sister. Love the goals that happen because of a header from a corner kick. It's so text book but not as easy as it may seem. GO VOODOO!!!

Lesson learned: You gotta have goals so when you accomplish them, you can really revel in the celebration of all that it took to get you there!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Hearts!

ya tebia lublu (russian)
anne ohevet atah (hebrew)
te amo (spanish)
ich liebe dich (german)
mahal kita (tagolog)
je t'aime (french)
i love you

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Friday, February 10, 2006



I am the one who enjoys being with friends. I love their support, conversations, joys, sorrows and thoughtfulness. Friends are a powerful part of personal growth. I cherish all of them for who they are and who they help me to be each day. I love friends because they love me for ME. Each friend is different and amazing in their own way which makes having friends a great adventure.

Great book -- the Power of a Positive Friend...Here's what I know about girlfriends according to Karol Ladd and Terry Ann Kelly:

  • Girlfriends keep your children and keep your secrets.
  • Girlfriends give advice when you ask for it. Sometimes you take it, sometimes you don't.
  • Girlfriends don't always tell you that you're right, but they're usually HONEST.
  • Girlfriends still love you, even when they don't agree with your choices.
  • Girlfriends might send you a birthday card, but they might not. It doesn't matter in the least.
  • Girlfriends laugh with you, and don't need canned jokes to start the laughter.
  • Girlfriends pull you out of jams.
  • Girlfriends don't keep a calendar that lets them know who hosted the other last.
  • Girlfriends are there for you, in an instant and truly, when the hard times come.
  • Girlfriends LISTEN when you lose something important to you.
  • Girlfriends LISTEN when you get your heart broken.
  • Girlfriends LISTEN when you fail yourself or others.
  • Girlfriends BLESS your life.

Once we were young with no idea of the incredible joys or the incredible sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other.

Here's to all of my girlfriends!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

east of paris

Candice and Lorelie trying to play it cool at East of Paris on Park Ave.

Fish and chips in a Scottish newspaper! First time for everything!! I was hanging with Crazy Candice today for lunch at East of Paris, a soon to be jazz supper club. Come for the food, stay for the jazz! I mainly enjoyed the penne pasta. Yummmmyyy!

It made up for losing the soccer game last night against the white team. I must say the one goal that our team did make, was by far the best one the whole night. Go J. Brown!

Oh well, off to imperial later tonight and step with the 6 month pregnant instructor!

Lesson learned: Always pay your electricity bill on time.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006



I am the one who is happy to be alive. The one who embraces moments and cherishes every breath available.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

sermon notes: INDECISION

From God to Captain Harwell to me
Daytona Beach, Fla.

Defeating Stress - Part 4

God's Antidote to Indecision

Stress can come from indecision. Out success in life is largely based on the way we make decisions. Should I hold on or let go? Should I get in or get out?

James 1 -- A double minded man is unstable in all his ways...
The Greek translation of "unstable" is to stagger like a drunk.

We tend to second guess ourselves.

Is there an antidote for our stress? Yes, LET GOD GUIDE YOU. He will guide you on the paths of righteousness. He will help you because it's so easy to get off the right path.


1 -- Admit that we need a guide. Allow God to be our Guide.
For example, when we don't stop and ask for directions (mainly men). Sheep are naturally wanderers so they need good shepherds in order to stay in the right direction and be protected.
Isaiah 53 - We've left God's path to follow our own.
Isn't that the real problem? We don't want to follow Him.
Sheep have poor vision. They don't know if they'll be led over a cliff. We can't see the future. Seeing the present clearly can be difficult. God made us so that we don't see into the future so that we would trust Him.

Proverbs 14 -- There is a way that seems right to a man that leads to death.

We STUMBLE. David said that God guides the humble.

2 - We need to ASK in faith for directions.

James 1 says if anyone lacks wisdom...But when he asks he must believe and not doubt.

God wants us to ask. He wants to direct our lives. You must ask God. You must ask in faith expecting an answer because God works in our lives according to our faith. I want you to give me wisdom. It all depends on us!

Wisdom is seeing LIFE from GOD'S point of view. The ability to make decisions with wisdom.

3 - Listen for God's answer.

Radio waves are all around us. By their creator to pick up communication between cell phones, electronic equipment, etc.

We have been created by God to communicate so that he may receive from him guidance and direction. JOB 33:14 We don't understand because we're not tuned in. Doesn't always speak the same way. A lot of the direction is all right here. His spirit is our growth. It's nice to have a compass and roadmap (the BIBLE). Read God's word every day, every day. If you don't, it's like having the phone off the hook. If you don't learn or memorize scripture, HOW DOES IT COME TO MIND IN CHALLENGING TIMES. Have you ever felt like teachers or preachers are speaking directly to you? You could be missing out on being God's voice for someone else.

Our time of devotions are important. Communing with him alone. If you don't spend time with him, we're not serious about listening to God. TUNE IN! Are you listening? If you don't, you're going to miss God's path. When you're out of touch for a day, two days, two weeks, you can get off course. If you listen, you can stay with HIM.

4 -- TRUST God when you don't understand.
Psalm 77
Sometimes you see a dead end or a wall BUT when you trust God it could turn into a door.

to be continued...

Friday, February 03, 2006

where'd your heart go

Failure is just a way for our lives to show us we're moving in the wrong direction, that we should try something different.

For all of us who know people who are walking the planet and find out they aren't who they say they were, the grief that it stirs up is so profound. The anger we may experience through this discovery is a cover up for suffering. I continue to search for a piece of your heart that I can't find.


It is a long journey to forgiveness...particularly when someone is having a hard time GETTING how they really injured you. Trying to figure out WHY and HOW someone you love could behave in such a deplorable and harmful way...Until then, there is a huge hole...I thought I had you but you were not there.

(the above is a paraphrased excerpt from something I heard and felt run through my inner core recently)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Spasiba LACOMKA!

Simple pleasures are the best.

Lunch at LACOMKA with Candice Coleman. What's LACOMKA? Well, listen up all you people into cuisine that will make your mouth sing...It's a Russian Bakery and Deli that specializes in CAKES! Heaven on earth, my friends. The owners are total angels who bring you right into their little Ruski family. They teach you all about the love and the cabbage. I couldn't help but be taken back to my summer in Moldova. Dill, sunflower seeds, mineral water...I was blurting out the Russian as if I knew what I was saying...In some ways, I guess I do. They complimented my accent which means that I can pass as a part philipino Russian girl. Priviet! (hi) Priatna pasnikomitza! (nice to meet you) Still got it! I even remember how to write my name in Russian. It's starting to look a little insecure since it's been nearly 10 years since my trip to the Black Sea. Back to what's important, PLEASE GO AND TRY THIS PLACE! It's on Semoran in Winter Park. No diets please ALTHOUGH all the Russian women in this fine establisment looked super skinny and model slim in their extra small levi's. Yummy good and worth the trip! They gave me little Russian candies TO GO...Too sweet!! You can eat Russian cake and candy and still be skinny. I knew this would one day come true. :-)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

my heart to A Million Little Pieces

Truth is such a rare thing, it is delighted to tell it.
emily dickinson
When in doubt, tell the truth.
mark twain
If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.
virginia woolfe
The world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love.
william sloane coffin

I read A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Loved the book. Told everyone I knew to read it. I finished in three days. My goal was to watch the first interview he had on Oprah with every page devoured so I could fully enjoy hearing his perspective on "a memoir." Then, last week, applause to my DVR, I watched the second interview between him and Oprah. It was torture. Excruciating for anyone who has been flying high from reading this book cover to cover. I felt betrayed and sad that someone could present something to the world and say it's one thing and then try to take it back with excuses. I felt bad for both of them because they shared such a special moment in the first interview and now, here they were having to duke it out on why it was all so wrong. She confronted him, standing next to the truth. It made me think...What is the truth? Who decided to make the book a true story? Who's responsible? Not the exaggerations, not the what I thought would make the story better but the TRUTH. I believe in bringing the truth above anything else no matter what the cost. And trust me, it always costs something to stay true. When you're true, you're authentic, you're integrity, you're present to what life was created to be. As I watched and began letting what was being said soak in, a part of me thought about how much I enjoyed reading this non-true overly embellished book...I thought about how it didn't matter if the story was true or not because that wasn't what spoke to me in the first place. The book, to me, and I believe to many others, is about holding on. It's about healing. It's about trusting what you know deep down inside about where you are but can't trust your own choices to bring you back because you've become something you yourself don't even recognize. The whole way through the few hundred pages written in a language that was meant to get you addicted to what was happening, I was cheering for recovery, for the pursuit of truth, for love to overcome and for the chance we all deserve to come back from death in the world and become alive. That's a story we all have. It's a part of our own truth no matter the fluff or the label we place on it...We each have a truth, a love that brings us the LIFE we were given to live.