I went to church by myself, because Terry had to stay home one Sunday so one of the contractors could do a few last minute things. People we don’t even know at church, noticed Terry wasn’t with me. This precious lady took my hands and asked me, “Where is your husband?” I told her he had to meet a contractor at the house, so he was at home. She said, “You are not you without him. You are not complete without him.”
Boy was she right. But I loved the way she said it. She is from one of the islands, so her accent is already beautiful; but to hear her say it the way she did, it was just so precious. And I agree. I am not me without Terry, and I am not complete without him.
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are Read More
Terry and I were doing business with someone we both really like, a lot. We trust this person, we believe this person, we found this person to be extremely hard working and is an honorable, intelligent kind of person. We had such a peace about working with and being around him. Later on, this guy had to bring another person into the mix, and when we first met (I’ll refer to the second person as P#2) P#2, we had somewhat of a bad feeling. The timing, however, was in the middle of a ton of stress. That same day after we first met P#2, we looked at each other and said how surprised we were the person we liked and trusted was associated with these other people. We dismissed it, somewhat, thinking it was due to our own level of stress, and P#2 might not be that bad.
Fast forward a little more than a year and due to logistics and circumstances, we realized we had to deal with P#2, again. We tried, so hard, to like P#2, even giving the benefit of the doubt after Read More
We have a spiral staircase outside. The stairs were damaged, terribly, after Irma. So much so, they had to be removed and later replaced. As I walk down them now, I am reminded of what they once looked like; impossible to walk on and crumpled. Now rebuilt, they are stronger and better than ever.
We are all so much like spiral staircases that have been damaged in a storm. I don’t know about you, but when I faced emotional storms, I felt like I had been crumpled and destroyed beyond repair. But Papa is in the restoration business, to this day. And He can take what is so crumpled and damaged and repair and restore what we believed to be irreparably broken.
I like to look at our staircase every day now, because I have a greater appreciation for all we endured. Not just damage from the hurricane, but the emotional storms. In 1997, Terry and I had been dating Read More
I have created some really neat things, lately. One of Terry’s favorites has been the Chinese meal. I made shrimp spring rolls, Chinese orange chicken and spicy noodles. I have to admit, they were pretty darned tasty. So when we invited some dear friends over for dinner, I asked Terry, “What do you think I should make?” Terry replied, “Your new Chinese dishes. That’s my favorite of your creations.”
I created a Mexican casserole dish a couple of months ago Terry also really loves. I like to tweak, “the best” chocolate chip cookie recipes with my own additions. Like the famous Neiman Marcus recipe that went viral about 15 or so years ago. I double the vanilla and I use a Ghiradelli bittersweet baking bar instead of a candy bar, I use one and a half bags of chocolate chips and I add almond extract. But recipes and such … those are about the extent of my creations. I am not super crafty, as we all know and I don’t do gardening because I kill plants, herbs and a cactus.
I killed a freakin’ cactus. That’s supposed to be next to impossible Read More
When Michala was a baby and a toddler, she would go into the campaign offices with me on long evenings or weekends. She was immersed in what I did, and picked up sayings along the way. One thing she always heard us say around the office was, “Let’s dig into that,” or, “We need more research on this.” So when she was two and three years old, it was always funny to listen to her playing with her baby dolls and Barbies, saying things like, “Let’s do more research.”
When I worked on my last campaign, it was a Presidential campaign. That summer I spoke to a group of college interns about opposition research. My role in that lecture was to teach those students what opposition research was, and the basic methods how to do it. In teaching them how to do it, I had to teach them why, and what we look for, etc.
One of the interns raised his hand and asked me, “Ms. Aimee, how Read More
I have shared this before, but I am a deep truth-seeker. For years, when someone would send an email (you know the kind; the, “forward this to all your friends so they will know” email) filled with topics that were just too crazy to believe, I always dug deeper. I did research. “Trust but verify,” President Ronald Reagan once told us, so I do. I trust the person’s heart was in the right place, but I do my own research. Because let’s face it - forwarding an email takes two seconds. Looking into the subject to fact check takes longer.
Anyway, Terry and I were in bed reading the other night and he was growing more and more disgusted while reading an article by one of the news publications to which we subscribe. He forwarded the link to me, and we both decided to investigate a little further. This article just seemed too absurd. It’s 2019. No one could really do what this person was accused of doing and get away with it, I kept thinking.
But he did do the things and he did get away Read More
I keep a thesaurus tab bookmarked on my computer. When I am struggling to find the right word or want to use a word I have not used twenty times already, I type in the word I do not want to use and search for a suitable synonym.
Restore is one of those words I find to be Spirit-breathed. In my heart, anyway. But when I was reading Psalms 69, 70 and 71 the other morning, I was drawn to certain words. Over and over, David used the words, “answer me,” “rescue me,” “deliver me,” “redeem me,” and “restore my life.”
Answer. Rescue. Deliver. Redeem. Restore. Read More
Today is my sister-friend, Lindsey’s birthday. If ever a person deserved to have their birthday declared a national holiday, I would lobby it was Lindsey. She deserves to have this day celebrated on every calendar. But people don’t come to me for things like this. They don’t ask my opinion about national holidays, for some reason. So I write about it and offer, anyway.
Lindsey, as I have shared many times, is the epitome of love and grace. I’ll never forget the snowy day in December, 2008, when I drove over to Lindsey’s house and we talked, cried and just sat in silence. I dumped my heart onto Lindsey’s lap, and she told me, “This is going to get better. We are going to pray you through this.”
Those words still ring in my ears from time to time. I could not have walked through the heartache, the turmoil, the agony and the pain I endured for so long, without her. Read More
Do you ever notice how often we all say, “Praise God,” or, “Hallelujah!” when something great happens? I love that. I love how we will immediately give God the glory and praise Him with wonderful news.
But what are we doing when life is hard? When we are hurting or under spiritual attack? Are we stomping our feet and complaining while shaking our fists in anger, or are we praising Him?
There is a beautiful, beautiful worship song called, “Even When It Hurts (Praise Song)” by Hillsong United. I love the part in parenthesis. “Praise Song.” In other words, even when it hurts, we will sing songs of praise.
I do not always do this very well. The lyrics to the song, “Even When It Hurts,” made me weep the first time I heard it. Look at this: “Even when the fight seems lost/I'll praise you/Even when it hurts like hell/I'll praise you/Even when it makes no sense to sing/Louder then I'll sing your praise…”
Oh my goodness, I was almost crippled with shame when I heard those words, because I fail more times than not, to praise God. When it hurts like hell, I’m usually the first one to cry and beg God to remove the burden from our plates. To make the people who have lied/stolen/cheated us, stop in their tracks Read More
My sweet Terry cracks me up. Sometimes I find him to be exceptionally hilarious. Other times, even his dry wit will have me doubled over in laughter and pondering his sarcasm and humor. One morning while we were having our Bible study, he told me when talking to Travis (my oldest bonus son), Terry told him how he has been reading Isaiah. We both find Isaiah to be absolutely fascinating. But sometimes, it can be like a college literature course where you are forced to find the “parallel meanings” or the analogy for this must mean that. Terry told Travis, “So after reading Isaiah during Bible study, I flip over to read some of Paul’s letters, for dessert.”
Isn’t that so true of what we read in God’s word, anyway? I really do not know how I would get through my quiet times without having a study Bible. The study notes at the bottom tie it all together for me, or will reference another scripture that makes me understand what the author was saying.
I shared how Pastor Steve taught us about illuminated reading. He told us every morning we should pray, “Holy Spirit, will you please show me what you want me to read today?” Read More
My girlfriends are fierce. They fight with me and I could not wage war against the enemy without them. I sure hope you have some precious friends because they are our fellow fighters on the spiritual battlefield against the enemy. You see, our friends (not just my girlfriends; our male friends, too) have been incredible prayer warriors for and with us during this spiritual battle we have had to fight.
One of my girlfriends, Betsy, sent a song to me one day and told me, “You need to listen to this.”
The song is, “Defender,” and it was written by John Paul Gentile, Rita Springer and Steffany Gretzinger.
A lot of times when someone sends a song for me to listen to or a verse for me to look up or a video to watch, I’ll make a, “mental note” and check it out later. That day, though, for some reason, I clicked on it and listened right away. I believe the reason was because Papa knew how desperately I needed the reminder. I was “sold” on the song with this opening verse, “You go before I know/That You’ve even gone to win my war/You come back with the head of my enemy/ You come back and You call it my victory…” Read More
The other day Terry asked me to hand him one of the new Magic Erasers we bought at the hardware store. These things are amazing. Small, white erasers. I asked Terry, “What exactly do these do?” Terry grinned at me and said, “Well, they basically clean up all my messes. They erase any mistakes or messes, magically.”
I just stared at him and said, “Wow. Wish we could have one of those to magically erase life mistakes!”
Both of us have made some really big messes from mistakes we made and they are costing us, to this day. We trusted the wrong people. We believed those people would come around and do the right thing. We believed they would tell the truth. When these people showed up in life to be villains rather t Read More
I was cleared of any “wrongdoing” as nothing offensive was found.
I’m not sure if it was my love for Jesus, my love for Terry, or my love food/wine that deemed me, “offensive,” but nevertheless, I had been flagged. Overnight, I lost over 100 followers to my page and every single FB message I had ever received, vanished. Completely erased and gone. One lady wrote to me she had an “alert” that asked if she wanted to mark my devotion as offensive. Her email was how we started putting two and two together.
I had no intention of sharing this publicly, because I think the person who reported me as offensive is a coward who desperately needs Jesus, and I truly pity them. Read More
I am going to have a new scar right under my jawline. But like most scars do, this one is going to have an awesome story to accompany it. I’m going to call it my Ninja scar.
A couple of weeks ago, I woke up with horrific ear pain. It was so bad, I was fighting back tears. Not wanting to wake Terry, I decided to sneak quietly out of bed and slip down the hall to Michala’s room. My goal was to be stealth-like; to move quickly and without noise, like a ninja, out of our room.
As soon as my feet hit the floor, I knew things were about to go terribly, terribly wrong. The ringing in my ears became so loud; the few times in my life I have fainted, my ears rang before I hit the floor. I felt like I was on a ship that had capsized and I could not get my bearings. The last thing I wanted to do was make any noise getting out of bed and wake up Terry.
The crash of my fall in the pitch black darkness made plenty of noise, so that took care of that. Read More
Years ago, one of my directors walked into the studio where I was getting set up for my shoot and told me, “Hey, I read something yesterday that made me think of you.” He went on to tell me about the word, “Kintsukuroi.” Kintsukuroi translated means, “golden repair.” I wrote down the word and decided to do my own research on it.
Kintsukuroi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with a lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. You can see the repairs, yet the Japanese still find the pieces to be beautiful. Their belief is the Kintsukuroi repair is part of the history of the object, rather than something to hide/cover/disguise.
I don’t know about you, but I, myself, am a Kintsukuroi piece. You cannot necessarily see the gold, silver or platinum, but if you look closely at my heart, you can certainly see where the brokenness was and the new repairs. The broken pieces are part of my history, and Read More
It’s 9:48, Wednesday night. January 23, 2019. And I didn’t want to write this. In fact, I wanted to go to bed early tonight. But it has been a terrible day.
Earlier today, I had a breaking news alert on my phone. Another shooting. But this one took place in Sebring, Florida. Sebring is a sleepy, quiet community. I know this because one of my daughter’s sweetest and closest friends from college is from Sebring.
As I read the breaking news, I felt sick. I immediately thought of her sweet friends’ parents. We met them and had dinner with them over parent weekend back in the fall. I texted Michala and asked her to ask her friend if her parents were okay. I told Michala what happened but didn’t want her to Read More
My pastor in Franklin, Tennessee; Jamie George, during a message years ago explained how men and women think differently. He told us, “Men’s thoughts are like compartments. It’s one thought at a time. We go to a shelf, pull a box off the shelf, open it, and think about that. When we need to think about something else, we put the lid back on the box, put it back on the shelf and open another box.”
I remember being truly mesmerized by this image. I would absolutely *love* to think about only one thing at a time. Instead, I usually have 10 to 15 thoughts running through my mind, simultaneously. I think about what I need to thaw out for dinner; I think about the last thing I wrote and the four things I still need to write, and did I mail the check for the man who cuts the grass, and where did I leave the checkbook if I did write it, and what date is the credit card statement paid online, and I need to sit down and look at the statement again; (ever since someone stole our credit card information and we had so many fraudulent charges, we check our accounts daily) and how did Jesus forgive Peter when Peter promised he would never deny knowing Him, and I need to find a box for all the stuff we Read More
Today is my brother’s birthday. Ken is one of those guys who could have nearly every adjective used to describe him, yet you really wouldn’t have a full understanding of who and what he is. Have you ever had someone give you an Indian Burn? My brother used to be the best giver of those. Growing up with a big brother taught me to be tougher in many situations. I’m pretty sensitive, by nature, but Ken taught me how to be stronger … an interesting characteristic that would serve me quite well, later in life.
When we were growing up, Ken could beat the tar out of me, like big brothers do, but you better pity anyone else who ever laid a hand on me, or threatened me. Back in the day when you could do things like this; it is one of my favorite stories to tell about my brother. When I was in the first grade, I would ride the bus home in the afternoons. My big brother is six years older than I am, so he was in middle school (7th grade) when I was in first. Anyway, there was this boy who was bullying my friend and me, both. He was a much bigger kid than I was, and he would plop down on the seat next to me, not letting my friend sit next to me, and would shove me back down if I tried to get up.
One day when I got home and was telling my mom about this boy, my brother’s ears perked up. Read More
One of the wonderful things about our marriage is the depth of conversations we have. One Saturday morning, Terry got up before me and had already had his quiet time when I came to the kitchen for coffee.
When I sat down on the couch he told me, “While I was praying this morning, God revealed something to me about magicians, and how much like the world they are.”
Believe me. If you have ever seen the t-shirts and mugs that say, “No coffee, no talkie,” that pretty much sums me up in the mornings. I need a few sips of caffeine to recharge my brain, so I had no idea what in the world (pun intended) Terry meant by magicians were like the world.
He went further and asked me, “Have you ever watched a magician?”
I said no, but of course I have seen magicians. I love watching them; especially when I’m watching shows like, “America’s Got Talent,” where the best of the best are entertaining us. But I knew what Terry meant … Read More
I not only like the word, “wonderful,” I enjoy it. You know why? Because it makes me think of the way I should live. “Full of wonder.”
Pastor Steve has taught us about, “illuminated reading.” He says we need to pray each day, “Holy Spirit, will you please show me what you want me to read today?” In other words, we are to pray for the Spirit to highlight the message for us.
I don’t know about you, but I can read a scripture 50 or 60 times, but until my heart is open to God’s Holy Spirit guiding me, it is like words falling on deaf ears. Suddenly when I have submitted myself wholeheartedly to Papa, the message makes sense. It is more, “illuminated” for me, if you will.
Anyway, several months ago when Terry and I were struggling with a legal decision we needed to make, Read More