Free As a Hummingbird

Niagara Falls, Canada

I have always known that I was born to fly. As a little kid, I was the president of the clubhouse. My siblings and cousins still tease me about how I made them pay dues. In junior high I started writing articles for the school newspaper in fifth grade and ended up being the editor by eighth grade. In high school I was elected class treasurer as a freshman and by my junior year, I was class president. During college I loved my job as the activity director of a nursing home. I changed my major from computer science to gerontology (the study of aging) and became a nursing home administrator by age twenty-two. At twenty-eight, I was overseeing senior adult ministries for a church on a volunteer basis. I found it to be so fulfilling that I switched careers and became a full-time pastor. You see the pattern. I’ve never spent too much time searching for worms in the ground before something in the blue sky above catches my attention and draws me treetop-ward.

And that’s exactly what happened again last year. My husband Tim and I went on an amazing Hawaiian adventure in June. Our cruise ship Pride of America transported us from Honolulu to Maui to Hilo to Kona to Kauai. We drove the winding Road to Hana, searched for (and found) Moloaa Bay where the pilot of Gilligan’s Island was filmed, took a hula dancing class, ate coconut macadamia ice cream, and stuck our feet in the turquoise water of Waikiki Beach. We relaxed a little and played a lot.

After arriving home, I posted on Facebook: “I want to be a tour director when I grow up!” It made me smile to say it. Twenty-five years as a pastor had taken its toll on me. I was exhausted and beat down from dealing with conflicts and tragedies and problems for such a long time. Wouldn’t that be the best job ever, I thought. Continue reading

10 Great Things That Happened in 2013

Roll Tide!1. The University of AL football team won the National Championship for the third time in four years on January 7, 2013. As it is fun to be a fan of a winning team, I have become one. Tim and I went to our first game at the 100,000-seat Bryant-Denny Stadium in September. What a crazy wonderful experience. Roll Tide!


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The Tropical Stage of Life

"Hangin' Loose" at Tahiti Nui Restaurant on Kauai with Tim, Melissa, and Alton
“Hangin’ Loose” at Tahiti Nui Restaurant on Kauai with Tim, Melissa, and Alton

Tim and I were making our final Walmart run before flying away on a tropical adventure to the Hawaiian Islands. As we walked past the greeter at the front of the store, we spotted some old friends, Jeremy and Tina. We chatted about their kids for a couple of minutes, and then transitioned to news about our kids.

“Cassie got married last summer,” I told them. “She and her husband have been staying with us for a few months, but are moving into their new house next week.”

“Really!” Jeremy exclaimed. “And what about Isaac?”

“He found an apartment near the UNA campus and will be moving next week, too,” I said. “Strange how they both will be leaving at the same time.”

Tina frowned. “Oh, I am so sorry! What are you going to do now?”

I smiled really big and started jumping up and down. “Go to Hawaii!”

Every stage of life has its difficulties, but every stage of life also has its perks. Think for a moment about your stage of life. What do you have to jump up and down about?


“Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day” (Psalm 139:15-16 MSG).