First Born

It’s amazing how difficult it is to be firstborn

The second does not understand

They see privilege



Yet being firstborn comes with so much responsibility

It’s built-in

It’s part of the job

It looks like bossiness

But it’s protection

It looks like don’t wanna play

But it’s growing up

It looks like never share

But it’s longing for something

Anything that is exclusively yours

Firstborn means

Being in your own world sometimes

It means different teachers

Different friends

Different likes and dislikes

Different experiences

Different memories

It means moving at a different pace

Moving ahead

And eventually

It means leaving and not coming back

It’s not insensitive

It’s not uncaring

It’s just firstborn

One Drop of Patience

I wasn’t feeling well. I had a terrible sore throat. I asked my husband to get me a cough drop. He quickly pulled the large bag of unopened drops from the vanity drawer. Below the seal of the bag, there was a Ziploc® closure. He tried to open the bag with his bare hands but was unsuccessful. He moved over to my vanity cabinet, which is locked to keep my two year old grandson out of there, used the magnetic key to open the door, and took out the nail clippers.

He proceeded to clip the top of the bag, inch by inch. The once smooth bag was now jagged. “Why doesn’t he just get the scissors?” I thought to myself. “Look at that bag!” The Holy Spirit said, “Don’t look at it! Remember, he’s doing this for you. Think about the lengths he will go through to open the bag and get you what you need!” I looked away and smiled as a reminder to myself to be patient.

At last, the top of the bag was severed enough that my husband could reach the closure, open the bag, and retrieve the amazing lozenge that would sooth my pitiful throat.

Once the bag was fully opened my husband dumped several drops on the counter and then put the bag away. I watched intently as he picked up one drop. “Finally!” I thought. Then he began unwrapping the lozenge. “Really? He’s even unwrapping it for me?! This man is a prince!”

Then he popped it in his mouth.


Have you ever had an encounter with a bully? I have.

Before I explain, let me share with you the definition of the word bully from the Merriam Webster Dictionary.

Bullya blustering, browbeating person especially one who is habitually cruel, insulting or threatening to others who are weaker, smaller, or in some way vulnerable.

There are only a few details I can remember about the first person who tried to bully me. I remember her name: Hermalena. You must admit that’s a very unique name. I mean, seriously, do you know anyone with the name, Hermalena?

I was curious about how many people had this name so I looked up the name on Facebook. Apparently it’s a popular name in Indonesia. I’m from Kentucky and I can tell you this, there was only one Hermalena in my school, only one Hermalena in my town and I would wager to say, only one Hermalena in the entire state!

I’m not really sure what this young lady’s background was. I don’t know how she got blessed with such a unique name. I only know that she was not a happy individual; she had a very tough persona.

Although we had a rocky start, Hermalena and I ended up becoming friends. I have a very vivid memory of us standing in her room listening to a Bee Gees record that she played on her Bee Gees record player. Talk about cool!

Fast forward a few years later…

I’m minding my own business in class and a “friend” tells me that so-and-so wants to see me in the bathroom. Talk about a tough persona. The person waiting for me made Hermalena look like a choir girl.

I left the class and went to the bathroom. I didn’t want to, but I guess I felt I had no choice. This girl was taller than me, more athletic than me and more popular than me. I remember standing face to face with her in the bathroom; well, almost face to face, remember, she was taller than me. To be real, I’m not sure if I made a remark about her that was repeated to her by my “friend” or what I did to make her angry. I just remember that no matter what I said to her that day, she remarked, “Well?” Finally I asked her if that’s all she had to say. I guess it was because she left the bathroom. No punches were thrown. There were no face slaps or hair pulling. Nothing. I stood up to this bully and she eventually backed down. It was the cat fight that never was.

Even as an adult I’ve felt bullied. I was called into a “meeting” with 3 ladies and one of them was very unhappy with me. I had no idea why. She angrily explained what I had done. I didn’t even know I had done that. I apologized and tried to explain, but she wasn’t having it! Even after we all prayed together she wasn’t ready to reconcile. I suppose she felt she had a right to hold on to her anger.

Have you ever felt like that? Sometimes we feel like people deserve punishment for the way they treat us and we are determined to be the ones to do the punishing!

The Bible does not support our mission however.

Romans 12:19 “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD.”

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used

Ephesians 4:26-27
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used

In each of the experiences with bullying mentioned here, I feel like the people involved really weren’t angry with me per se. They were just angry. I don’t know their background. Maybe they have been disappointed and disillusioned by people close to them; people they care about.

When we go through difficult and disappointing things in life we sometimes find ourselves saying things like, “I will never allow myself to be hurt like that again.” or “I will never love anyone else as long as I live.” or “I am not going to let people push me around anymore!” or “I am going to take care of myself since no one else will!”

This is self-talk and each sentence begins with the word “I.”

I recently read a quote that really encouraged me, “Instead of listening to our self-talk, we should be talking to ourselves.”

That may sound like a contradiction, but it’s not. I’ll explain. Our self-talk is our internal dialogue that is spontaneous and is influenced by many things, good and bad. However, we can override self-talk by speaking the Word of God over ourselves! Isn’t that good?! (I wish I could remember where I read it so I could give credit where credit is due.)

So listen, if you have been bullied, disappointed or disillusioned at some in your life, (which I suspect you have) go back and take a look at the edicts you’ve made. Take a look at the lies you’ve believed about people in general or about yourself. What does the Bible have to say about it? The Bible is the standard by which we determine good and evil. It is our guidebook for life. It is truth. If you’ve believed a lie, combat it with the truth. Speak that truth over yourself every time the lie comes up in your self-talk. Write the truth on a sticky note or an index card or put it on your phone’s home screen or lock screen. In other words, put it where you can see it so you can memorize it and use it when you need it!

I’m taking my own advice. I have a stack of index cards on my desk.

I Still Do

Mr. & Mrs. Grant Foster 7-27-1991

Mr. & Mrs. Grant Foster

Twenty two years ago I changed my name, my address and my life. I married a man that I admired and loved as much as my limited experience would allow me to. At the time I thought love was just a euphoric emotion. I had no idea how much sacrifice would be involved in maintaining the relationship that began with a kiss and a prayer. I had no idea how young 19 was.

My husband and I have been through a lot together over the past 22 years… job changes, address changes, sickness, the death of loved ones, the births of our two children and the list goes on. My husband sacrifices everything for our family. All the money he makes is invested in our lives. He takes complete responsibility for feeding, clothing and providing a home for our family. I am so thankful for him and so proud of him.

It seems to me that marriage is just not a priority for young people today. It seems that fewer young men are willing to make the sacrifices that my husband makes. In the 50’s, marriage was perhaps the most important thing to a young person. Here we are 60+ years later and marriage is irrelevant to many and redefined by others.

I’m not a salesman…salesperson. I will only recommend something that I have tried and proven to be good. Marriage is one of those things. I want my single friends to find their soul mate because my life is infinitely better now that I have found mine.

I know firsthand that there are people who are in bad marriages. I don’t believe anyone should stay in an abusive situation. I do believe that marriage takes three: a husband, a wife and God. God came up with the idea of marriage. He knows how His design works. He is there to provide technical support. If you’re not married yet, let God guide you in choosing a spouse and keep Him at the center of your union. If you are married and never included God in your relationship, it’s not too late.

I still believe in marriage and that ring on my husband’s finger is the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s a symbol of our young love that ventured beyond the security of our parents’ homes. It’s a symbol of our maturing love that learned how to communicate the words that are the hardest to say like, “I’m sorry.” and “I was wrong.” It’s a symbol of our intimate, trusting love that doesn’t need words, and a symbol of our committed love that is not debatable, not based on emotions and has no loopholes. It means, I am his and he is mine. If you’re reading this, Sweetheart, I love you! Happy anniversary!

Frosting The Stone

large_901849I’ll get right to the point. I am much too likely to avoid conflict and just “frost”
things over.

Do you like cake? Cake is my favorite food and I have certainly eaten my fill of it. I have feasted on cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cake tastes and smells sweet and the frosting makes it beautiful to look at. Who can resist this soft, fluffy yumminess?
Not me!

But… Have you ever frosted a stone? Here’s how:

Step 1-Find a smooth, flat stone.

Step 2- Take your stone and place it on your best serving platter, the kind you keep in the highest cabinet in your kitchen, reserved for special occasions like birthdays and Christmas. Maybe it’s china. Maybe it’s crystal.

Step 3- Using a knife or spatula, cover the stone with your favorite frosting… chocolate, coconut cream, cream cheese, buttercream… The possibilities are endless.

Even when placed on your most precious family heirloom and covered with your favorite frosting, the stone is still a stone… a rock. It’s hard and heavy, not fertile or pliable like soil and certainly not fluffy or sweet like cake.

There is a situation in my life right now that I need to deal with… a stone, if you will. My calves are tired from tiptoeing around it for so long. I got honest with myself and with God earlier this week. It’s not my concern for my adversary’s feelings that keeps me from confrontation; it is my concern for my own feelings. I’ve been honest with this person about our relational issues before; and the pattern of this feline is to present her claws, arch her back and then run away hissing. I’m worn out physically and emotionally and am in no way up to another cat fight. So I smile and keep frosting the stone.

The Bible tells me this about my current plight, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Ephesians 4:26

I am praying for the boldness to once again be honest with this person. I am praying for just the right words to say so I may present the truth wrapped in love. I am praying for God to help me to be able to see past their knee-jerk reactions, to hear more than just their venomous words. I am trusting God that one day soon, we will be able to sit at a table together and order one dessert… with two forks.