I don’t care how nicely you ask, I really do not wish to go to hell, thank you anyway though.

Sometimes, I really have nothing valuable to add to the conversation and my blog lays bare for a week or more. I can’t find the funny in a week of hate mail and stalking. But I can find the blessings.

  • A well timed text message from my banjo teacher telling me I did well. (healing balm to a perfectionist like me)
  • Being unexpectedly chosen to be part of a grass roots marketing team for a book that I believe in (more info coming soon).
  • A national woman’s speaker who believes in me enough to mentor me for a year.
  • Visiting a church full of people who fully express the joy of their salvation.

I’m humbly reminded of a time where I told God he could keep his call. I wasn’t strong enough to withstand the bs. Oddly enough he let me throw my temper tantrum until I was strong enough to get over myself. It took a few years if I’m being honest.

Today, while folding laundry, I found a t-shirt I bought on hope – long before I understood it with a wooley little sheep holding the hand of Christ and it simply says “I’m with Him” — Phil 4:13

God is showing off while He gently reminds me of my very first woman’s retreat, shaking in fear, and a crazy video about sheep. In my early days of faith in Christ, I had more glimmers of hope than outright belief, and it was a glorious beginning.

I might not always remember to stop and notice God, but he sure does like to show off and let me know when He notices me.

I’m not the first person to ever receive hate mail; Beth Moore, Nancy Kennedy, Chonda Pierce, Kay Arthur, Anne Lammott, and the list goes on and on. We Christians can sure behave like an entitled bunch can’t we thinking we have the right to tell other believers they are going to hell. We really don’t have that right you know.

Scripture promises me “I will never leave you nor forsake you. You are mine!”

Got a news flash.

  • I’m not going to go to hell if I support the Chick-Fil-a boycott and I’m not going to go to hell if I don’t. I do believe I may get to heaven quicker if I continue to eat junk food, but I digress.
  • I’m not going to go to hell if I don’t let you post scripture verses speaking out against your pet peeve of a sin on my Facebook page or blog.
  • Nor am I going to hell if I support gun bans or don’t support them.
  • I won’t go to hell if I vote for Obama
  • nor will I go to hell if I vote for Romney or none of the above.
  • And I won’t go to hell if I listen to secular music as well as Christian music.

So while I appreciate the southern gentility (or lack there of) regarding this week’s invitations to visit hell, I’m afraid I have other plans.

Be blessed y’all.

Video: Brad Stine, Smokers Can’t Help it

I am an on again off again smoker. Quitting for good is the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted. My problem is I actually enjoy it. I will get there. Brad Stine is one of my favorite comics of all time. He tells the truth in such a humorous way that it is difficult to be offended. I needed the laugh.


Video courtesy of THE GRABLE GROUP.

While I am still at a loss for words and the ability to wrap my brain around the events of July 20, 2012, This author (who was present during the attack) speaks with authority. I love her inspirational words and want you to see them.  To read the rest of her story – click on the highlighted line about that says TO READ MORE….Be blessed you guys. Deana

Into Abundance

So, you still believe in a merciful God?”  Some of the comments online are genuinely inquisitive, others are contemptuous in nature. Regardless of the motive behind the question, I will respond the same way.


Yes, I do indeed.

Absolutely, positively, unequivocally.

Let’s get something straight: the theater shooting was an evil, horrendous act done by a man controlled by evil.  God did not take a gun and pull the trigger in a crowded theater. He didn’t even suggest it. A man did.

In His sovereignty, God made man in His image with the ability to choose good and evil.

Unfortunately, sometimes man chooses evil.

I was there in theater 9 at midnight, straining to make out the words and trying to figure out the story line as The Dark NightRises began. I’m not a big movie-goer. The HH and I prefer to watch movies in the comfort…

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No Friday Funny Today. Praying for Aurora, CO

The world grieves this morning as we wake up to the news of an overnight shooting rampage in Aurora CO. Everyone is in shock. While some are using this as a launching point to talk about the politics of our Second Amendment Rights, this isn’t the day for that. We live in a fallen world. Lord have mercy. My thoughts and prayers to the families and victims of this senseless act of violence. (Edited on 7/21/12 – for the best story regarding Aurora I’ve seen so far go to: http://aminiatureclaypot.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/so-you-still-think-god-is-a-merciful-god/ you will be blessed I promise.)

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, ebe strong in the Lord and in fthe strength of his might. 11 gPut on hthe whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against ithe schemes of the devil. 12 For jwe do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against kthe rulers, against the authorities, against lthe cosmic powers over mthis present darkness, against nthe spiritual forces of evil oin the heavenly places. 13 Therefore ptake up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in qthe evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.14 Stand therefore, rhaving fastened on the belt of truth, and shaving put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, tas shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.16 In all circumstances take up uthe shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all vthe flaming darts ofwthe evil one; 17 and take sthe helmet of salvation, and xthe sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,18 praying yat all times zin the Spirit, awith all prayer and supplication. To that end bkeep alert with all perseverance, making csupplication for all the saints, 19 and dalso for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth eboldly to proclaim fthe mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I gam an ambassador hin chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Just for Fun: Cowboys Give me the Hiccups

Just like good shoes, a good black dress and a lipstick that lasts all day, I believe every woman should have at least one cowboy in their lives, if for no other reason than to bring color to their cheeks during a cold winter.

I once saw a cowboy ride through a field where we were having a bon fire, swoop down and grab my girlfriend by the waist, put her on his horse and ride off with her. Talk about being swept off your feet.


She married him.

Cowboys open doors, tip hats, kill snakes with their bare hands (I’ve seen them do it) and look really great leaned up against a fence post.

Walk past a cowboy and he will look you in the eyes, tip his hat and offer a greeting so sweet it’ll make you blush.

“Hello Darlin.”




You will never EVER hear a cowboy say “sup?”

I can handle hello, or hi, or even hey. Tip your hat and say ma’am or call me darlin and I’ll blush and start hiccuping, which is really just a cover for giggling if you want to know the truth. It’s embarrassing really. I try not to react and yet I can’t help myself. Cowboys are just too stinkin charming. Fortunately for me, I married a city boy from Chicago before I met my first cowboy. Good thing too otherwise I’d be living on a ranch in the middle of nowhere feeding chickens.

Have you ever met a real cowboy?

Now, I’m not talking about Clint Eastwood or John Wayne. Great men that they are.

No, Hollywood’s version of cowboy doesn’t even come close.

I’m talking



flannel shirt,



horse riding,

cattle driving,

confidence and a swagger all their own

drive a woman to distraction


They work hard, play hard and love God and country like none other. They are loyal to a fault and will protect their family with their lives if they need to and work themselves to death in order to provide a home. I’m talking about the Marlboro Man live version.

Real cowboys make a woman lose all common sense. If you don’t believe me ask Ree Drummond. She married a cowboy and I don’t blame her one iota.

If you are from the north and have never run into such charm before I offer one piece of advice. When a cowboy tips his hat and says “Hello Darlin'” it is perfectly acceptable to look him in the eye, smile, and say “Hi Cowboy.” Just make sure you keep walking unless you want to live on ranch cooking beans and cornbread for the rest of your life.

Granted, if you are at a bon fire with your girlfriends and some cowboy (literally) sweeps you off your feet, by all means ride into the sunset with him. You won’t regret it.

The Melody of Life

“The banjo is such a happy instrument–you can’t play a sad song on the banjo – it always comes out so cheerful.” –Steve Martin

I can have a horrible week.

A heart breaking, nothing goes right, things break, family crisis, gut pulling kind of week.

A run away from home, lock myself in a cabin by the cove and play banjo for two days straight and question my sanity kind of week.

Then I walk into my banjo lesson and my instructor breaks down the songs, gets me laughing my butt off, reveals deeps secrets of the musical universe (Don’t force it. Don’t rush, you have all the time you need. Pay attention to the important things. Don’t forget to have fun.) and my soul is happy again because we’re playing a banjo and I can hear the melody.

A lot of us who do comedy for a living think we need a stage to help people feel better. That isn’t always the case. The day-to-day interactions we have with others can have a profound impact. He helped me remember that even with all its twangs, missed notes, thuds and buzzes, the melody of life can still be heard and that is a glorious thing.

Friday Funny: it’s an eye candy trifecta

I hope all of you are holding up through this heat wave that has crossed America these last few weeks. It’s so hot in Oklahoma, my hot flashes feel like cold showers. My dogs even looked at the squirrel this morning and said, “not today.” It’s just that hot.

Why not pour yourself a refreshing glass of sweet tea and set a spell while I ponder what is really causing this heat wave.

I know everyone is blaming global warming for our present circumstances. I don’t. While it’s obvious from the heat that hell hasn’t frozen over and my Cubbies aren’t going to win the World Series this year, (although rumor has it the Eagles are touring again) I have my own theory about the heat wave.

I believe We’ve hit the eye candy trifecta and our nation is on full cougar alert. You don’t believe me? Check out my count down to the top three causes of our heat wave.

3. Magic Mike hits the big screen. Woman across the country are seeking solace from the heat and flocking to theaters everywhere hoping to see Channing Tatum sell out his dignity by taking it off. The movie promises fun, and delivers a punch that no one sees coming. While this may look like cotton candy with all it’s sugary goodness, Channing has something to say about the women who treat men like meat. Much like a sugar rush that wears off too soon, expect a slap in the face with that lap dance. He should have been a dentist. The overall message? Too much sugar causes cavities. Whether temps are rising over the eye-candy or the bait and switch has yet to be determined.

2 Kate and Tom Cruise split. Okay let’s face it, we all saw this coming and while some of us are happy for Kate (yours truly included) there is still a long line of women who crave the fun-filled lollipop triple dipped in psycho that is Tom Cruise. Thus earning him slot number two in my summer trifecta.

1. the number one cause for America’s heat wave Johnny Depp returns to America as a single man. I blame this event for single-handedly raising temps nation wide. Women world-wide are singing the hallelujah chorus. The one man who would rather sit in a dark room than expose himself as a sex symbol, who thinks it too weird to think of himself as a celebrity and who is by far and large the most brilliant actor in Hollywood today is single. Oh what a Midnight Summer’s Dream. Have mercy.

While I’m sitting here on my front porch practicing slides, pull offs, and hammer notes on my banjo, I hope y’all are finding a way to stay cool.

Have a great weekend. And remember you are awesome and nobody can take that away from you.

Perfectionism is self hatred in disguise.

I would rather be naked than let you see me learn the banjo. That says a lot. I don’t do naked well. (Think Bob the tomato). Learning something new while people watch is apparently worse.

I call it being an introvert.

My husband calls it being a perfectionist.

Either way, I don’t like people seeing me or hearing me try something new until I master it.

The problem with that?

Life isn’t meant to be lived in a vacuum.

Truth is, I’ll let my husband see me naked, but I won’t let him sit out on the porch while I practice my banjo. For some reason I feel more vulnerable playing the banjo than I do in the nude.

Refusing to let my husband (he’s a professional musician on weekends) hear me play robs him of the joy of music.

I knew my anxiety level had reached an all time high when not only did I not want my husband to hear me play the banjo, I couldn’t play for my teacher either.

When we first started out with lessons — in May, I’d get so nervous that I made my instructor nervous.

That’s rough.

My husband finally offered me his great wisdom.

“This isn’t the Opry, it’s our back porch. Now lighten up and have fun already.”

I’ve been having a lot of fun since he said that. When I get frustrated (like I am tonight) I remind myself that I started playing the banjo on May 25 2012 and I missed three lessons in June because of traveling. So really, I’ve only been playing for four weeks. In those four weeks, I have learned chords, how to tune a banjo, how to read tabs, four basic rolls and now I’m learning slides.

My husband does not think less of me because I haven’t mastered this yet.

My instructor (who has been playing guitar for 40 and banjo for 3 years) does not think less of me because I’m not as good as he is.

Fact: I sing in the chorus of the second longest running presentation of Handel’s Messiah in the US. Have since 2000. I cannot read a lick of music. I’ve memorized the entire piece. That takes talent.

Learning how to create music brings me joy and will help me become a better songwriter.

Hating myself because I have the unrealistic expectation of mastering something over night (like slides) is ridiculous.

This isn’t the Opry.

It’s my back porch.

I hereby give myself permission to not be great while I learn with the knowledge that every time I try, I will get better.

What new thing are you trying to learn right now?

Are you willing to be kind to yourself while you learn?

Cycling update: Summer Heat and Mint Juleps

First off, I had no idea that a mint julep was mostly bourbon. That would explain why southern women are so genteel — they’re smashed.

“Oh honey, I have the perfect thing for this terrible heat. Here have a mint julep, it’ll cool you right down.”

Cool me down? Knock me out is more like it.

Have you ever had a mint julep? It’s Southern Tea with a Kentucky Whiskey kick you never see coming.

They taste all cool and minty like. It’s like drinking double mint gum only you get green stuff stuck in your teeth. One glass of that and you really don’t care that it is 104 outside. You just want to melt into the porch swing and have another one.

I don’t suggest having another one.  unless you want to nap for a week or so. Just trust me. They taste really good and in this heat you really do want more. I don’t know why.

In light of that revelation and the desire not to be a puddle on someone’s porch this summer I believe I’ll stick with my zero calorie alcohol free Crystal Light thank you very much. I am supposed to be on a diet and all.

Rumor has it though Mint Juleps won’t ruin your diet and they “only” have between 150-220 calories a glass depending on how they are made. I don’t know if it ruins your diet or not, but I do know that telling yourself it’s too hot to ride your bike therefore you skip say the whole month of June, since you are traveling and all will.

I gained 10 lbs last month. Add to that the 10 I gained back during the Spring and I’m up 20 and flat back to where I started in November. Pound for Pound.

I was so proud of myself on June 2. I rode in the Tour de Cure for Diabetes and could have ridden longer. I celebrated my victory with being an absolute sloth for the whole month of June. I already have the metabolism of a sloth, remove the work out part of the equation and the weight comes back very quickly.

It wasn’t intentional. I was tired. Spring was busy. The end of senior year for my son was one event after another. Then in June I road tripped it to Nashville for the CCA Conference and while I could have used their workout room, I told myself that I “deserved” a few days off. Then I came home only to leave for NY two days later and well, there isn’t a gym at Mom’s house. Then last week it was in the hundreds all week and no way was I getting out in that kinda heat, you know?

So here we are. Or rather here I am. Back at square one.

One excuse after another and I’m back where I started.

I’ve been yoyoing for a year now. That can’t be good on my body.

Re-upping my commitment I did what any red-blooded American woman would do. I went shopping for bike gear and a pretty new helmet because we all know that shopping for workout clothes is just as good as actually working out, right? Okay not really, I just like to shop. Still I have bike only clothes.

The good news though is I have five new people signed up so far for my Tour de Cure Team next year. I’m hoping for more. My husband even joined the team. How cool is that? Now I have people to ride with and train with. It’ll be fun.

I have to get back on my bike now. I can’t very well lead a team, tell them we can do the 50 and not do the work myself. And yes, I said 50 FIVE OH! Miles. I had to make it 50. Now that I know I can do 25, I need a new goal. One that will require me to train or I won’t do it.

Here’s to starting over.

I’m not the first person who ever back slid with excuses. How about you? Do you need a do over button on your fitness plan? Why not join me and hit it today.

Let’s do it!