Sunday, December 15, 2013

Come and see...

 There's something fresh and clean about a new-fallen snow that beckons me outside. The whispers of winter tell secrets in tiny tracks left for me to follow.  

Vivid colors shout their emotion when draped in its coolness. Their voices heard like laughter.

 I'll linger in this moment as my eyes travel over thousands of sparkling flakes shimmering in the sunlight, covering every flaw in the patchy lawn. 

No one, but I, knows what lies beneath the pristine, cold shawl.

As love covereth a multitude of sins the snow covers all imperfections.

And in so doing, make all things new and beautiful!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Decisive Perspective

Asiatic lily
Regardless of whether we realize it or not, everyday we choose our attitude and ultimately our day's outcome.

I recently had this discussion with a young Army soldier. I reminded him how each of us view our world a little differently. We each have a different filtering system. 
We can allow circumstances, that are usually out of our control...that we may not agree with or completely understand to negatively impact our attitude if we aren't careful.

I am of the opinion that to have a positive attitude we have to focus on the beauty that surrounds us everyday. We have to look past the glaring flaws that we see in others and most importantly, in ourselves, to see what God truly has created in us and for us. In my occupation, I catch myself every so often...okay, EVERYDAY, getting irritated with people and letting that negative emotion and those negative thoughts diminish my happiness.That's why I have to guard my heart and mind and constantly think on the things that are lovely, pure, honest, true and so on...because I know...

 You are what you think. You are what you dwell are and feel what you're most consumed with.
...and if it's a choice...and I know that it is...I choose to see the beautiful. I choose to feel the extraordinary. I choose to smell and taste the scent of deliciousness that is extreme happiness everyday, every hour, every minute that I'm alive. I refuse to give in to the temptation to dwell on the 'could have been' the 'should have been' or the 'that's not fair' mantra that keeps sneaking into my ear holes and slicing into my spirit. 
When I catch myself feeling that ugly, frown-making emotion (that usually strikes me hardest when driving...on any given interstate...on any given day) and I feel those old, hateful fingers of constant complaining tapping out a tune on my 
dashboard...I hope I'll remember to slam on the thought brakes as hard as I can and shut the negativity down before it takes control and guides my emotional vehicle for the rest of the day.

I sense you're smiling right now, but you're still skeptical. You don't think it's that easy.
You don't have to agree with my point of view, but would you be so kind as to experiment with my theory today...for just one day?
No matter what happens, no matter who cuts you off in traffic or drives under the speed limit in the passing lane, or goes out of their way to try to make you mad, sad, angry, upset, defeated, discouraged, depressed, despondent, disillusioned, dissatisfied, fat, thin, short, tall, too much or too little...would you try to shift your focus on something that makes you happy? Something positive!
Larkspur spp.
Maybe think of those beautiful, green eyes of that special person that you love or a flowery plant that lifts your mood the second you see its cheery, delicate face or smell it's sweet sweet fragrance?...will you try? If you take my simple, yet challenging challenge, I'd love to hear from you. I would benefit greatly from your honest feedback.
Just try it one day and get back with me...and if it doesn't work for you...At least you'll know it isn't my ADD that has me breathing in deeply and saying over and over..."Ahhhh, look at that beautiful  flower!"

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I Miss My Boy!

Ever feel at a loss for words? Me too. When you make a living with words; spoken or written...being at a loss for them can be frightful, darn-near painful and unsettling. That's where I've been lately. Wordless. I've had a few friends ask what's wrong. Up till now, I've said, "nothing."

I've considered writing about "this" dozens of times over the past few months, but I could never really bring myself to do it. I felt petty, selfish and self-absorbed every time my fingers clicked on the keyboard. My pain was small and inconsequential in comparison to some of my friends; I've stood and watched while they buried their babies, mine had just joined the Army. It wasn't like he was dead. I was being ridiculous, I told myself. But it didn't lesson the emptiness I felt. It didn't ease the unbelievable hurt.

So I swallowed the scorching ache that had become an ever-present heartburn and plastered that, "everything is dandy" smile on my face. But slowly, its been eating away at my insides. The truth is, I'm not okay and I feel sad all the time. I cry for no reason and for every reason and it feels like I cry all the time now. I'm lost, confused and dazed. How did 18 years pass that quickly? I feel like screaming and throwing stuff. I'm mad. No, I'm pissed, but not at any one or any thing for certain and I wish I never had to leave my house again. I'm lonely, but I just want to be left alone. I miss my boy!

He use to go everywhere with me. I took him to work with me, to Army drill weekends, shopping, Katie's or Missy's on Saturday and Mr. Lu's or The Boneyard when I'd sneak him out of school. We hung out together, wrestled (when he was much smaller) and I let him win when we played video games together (okay, that part was an outright lie.) I miss my boy!

I'm going to see him tomorrow! I can't wait to feel his strong arms around my shoulders. It won't be for long enough and I know when we leave I'll start the boo-hooing again, but I just can't help it...I miss my boy!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What do you see?

This morning I sat on the back porch, my blurry eyes trying hard to focus on the world around me and I zeroed in on some bright, orange cosmos. Their paper-thin petals glowing in the early morning sun brought a smile to my unpainted lips. As I sipped my coffee, my still-sleepy eyes wandered over the yard and I realized that there isn't a single flower in my garden that doesn't remind me of the grace of God or His goodness in my life.

I often wonder how anyone could deny the existence of a benevolent creator when we're surrounded by mirrors of His gorgeous face everyday. 

One would have to be blind to miss what is the reflection of an almighty God in the microscopic details that make up a red-hot-poker. Oh, I understand that the truth is hid to those that are lost, but it still amazes me that anyone could mistake the splendor that colors our world or changes our hearts with just a plea of forgiveness - for anything other than God's unbelievable grace. 

As I stare at the tiny trifoliate petals of the widow's tears I thank God for making all things beautiful. I thank Him for allowing me to live in this age, I praise Him for sending Jesus to die in my place and I give Him all the glory for everything I have or ever will accomplish.

 As for me, when I see all that He has created, I see the Son...and I can't help but feel humbled and blessed.

Monday, August 12, 2013

What love is...

"I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is..." Forrest Gump.

I know what love is too...

Love is the sweet scent of homegrown roses,

love is clematis in bloom,

love is blood red lilies

a forever promise...
Love eyes and dimples.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


I can feel the frown on my face; it’s between my eyes pushing against the bridge of my nose.

I know why it’s there too. There’s a sadness growing in me every day as I realize the possibility of never seeing you again. While I know it’s for the best, it means death for us. There have been some very sad days since I met you that I wished I could have turned back the clock and never done so.

I would not have this heaviness in my chest that pushes against my lungs preventing me from taking a full breath. I wouldn’t have this constant yearning to feel your warm body against mine. There wouldn’t be this unfulfilled ache in the pit of my being that keeps me from sleeping. I can’t seem to forget about you, but everything in me screams that I must.

So I’ll hold you to my lips one last time and breathe you in slowly. I’ll miss your warmth, your scent, your closeness. Then I’ll crush out your flame and let you go while there’s still a little of me left to salvage. Goodbye, my sweet corncob pipe, I love you.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

No Weapon

"Go ahead," I said, "align yourself with the enemy."

I knew that when that invisible, but devastating line was drawn, there would be no going back for "them." I smiled through my frustration.

When the enemy attacks, in the form of a supposed "friend" or team member, it's painful, but God promises us that no weapon formed against us shall prosper.
So I'll let go of any desire to lash out or retaliate when someone wishes or tries to do me harm...especially when I've done NOTHING to deserve it.

I remind myself of people (weapons) who have not only NOT prospered, but who have suffered because they aligned themselves with the enemy...and already I'm feeling sorry for their impending demise.

I've seen weapons lose their jobs, spouses, credibility, income and even lives...simply because they made that fateful decision to bear arms against a child of the one true King.

I'm not going to argue the fact that I'm Jesus' favorite broken vessel. I serve at the pleasure of the King. He loves me...died for me...I don't need to know anything else.

So go ahead, knock yourself out...because I know...NO WEAPON!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Help me, Lord!

I'm gonna tell it to you straight cause I don't know any other way to tell it.
Hold on, cause it may get hairy up in here...

There's been a sinful, seductive element lurking in the shadows near my soul lately. Tempting, taunting, terrorizing my mind...and I've nearly given in to the lusts of the flesh.

I'm a strong woman. A woman of faith. A woman of principles. A woman of God.
BUT, I'm still a woman. A woman with needs, wants, desires. I am bone - blood - teeth and a little bit of girly pheromones.

Lately, the waters of temporary pleasures have crept so close to the nostrils of my staunch principles that I've questioned the resolute ground on which they stand. I'm in pain, yet without a wound. I'm bound, yet shackle-free. I'm tormented, yet unscathed.

I feel the chilly waters begin to overtake me, clutching at my throat and ending all that I am.
So, I lift my eyes to the hills from whence my help comes...and I speak the only peace my heart has ever known...

"Protect me, O Lord. I'm falling. Your servant is weak and craving...yearning for...desperate to have...

...chocolate cake, ice cream and fudge. Maybe some pizza, a taco platter, fattening soft drinks and empty calories...she longs for fattening foods, very short walks on the beach, sunsets near a camp fire where hot dogs and marsh mellows are being roasted, she dreams of greasy cheese burgers and onion rings. Your portly, wanna-be-saint of a woman thinks of nothing more than to lay in the shade with a bag of salty chips with maybe some queso and guaco and jalapenos close by...

...Help me, Lord."

Friday, April 19, 2013

and they call this Justice?

Call me jaded, but I hope the bad guy from Boston suffered hours and hours of excruciating pain before he surrendered tonight like the textbook coward that he is. It's unfortunate that we had to provide him immediate medical attention before questioning him about his horrific crimes.

Since our equally cowardly president will undoubtedly insist that this terrorist be prosecuted by the Common Wealth of Mass. instead of treating him like the terrorist that he is...we will probably never know why - after becoming a naturalized citizen on September 11, 2012 - he decided to betray the country that welcomed him with open arms.

Now we will get to see his elmo-looking, someone's-gonna-love-on-him-in-prison face for twenty plus years as we feed, house and (undoubtedly) educate him. That's not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars of free medical and legal services that we will lavish on this cold-blooded killer before we humanely put him to sleep like a rabid dog.

So call me jaded if you must, but I hope the Boston bomber suffered just a smidge before he enters the American justice system that consistently bows down and kisses the toes of the guilty while sticking its crooked middle finger in the face of legless victims.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stop Resisting!

Nineteen years ago I attended the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training in Oklahoma City. Employed by the city of Tonkawa as their first female police officer, I was anxious to attend my basic police academy. It had only been a year since I had completed basic combat and Military Police training with the US Army. Many of the things I learned at Fort McClelland, Alabama were similar to the training I was receiving in Oklahoma City for the Tonkawa Police Department.

One huge difference though as explained by our defensive tactics instructor, Vince O'Neill, was the verbiage used when trying to get control of a non-compliant subject. The Army had taught me to say, "kill" or occasionally, "die." Instructor O'Neill was not real crazy about my constant use of these commands I screamed while I struck the large, red pads with my expandable baton.

My defensive tactics training partner was a tall, very fit, muscular, black guy with an incredibly infectious smile and an outrageous personality. He was attending CLEET while employed by the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office.

On one particular day of training, while my training partner held the pad that I was striking with the baton, I screamed, "Die" just as our instructor passed by. Instructor O'Neill stopped my partner and I. He put his hands and each of our shoulders and reminded us again that we had to train as we would fight. We had to say, "Stop resisting," not "die."

"I'm not going to say that," I said after the instructor walked away. When my partner asked why I told him it sounded like a cheer, not a command. He laughed at me and then did his best "gay guy" impression by striking a pose like a cheerleader. With a dynamic lisp that I was certain he had used many times previously he started chanting, "Stop resisting, stop-stop resisting." He clapped his hands wildly in front of his face and off to either side of his body. He swung his long arms around carelessly and threw his hips off to one side and then the other as his full lips pursed together in a large pout. A slender index finger pointed straight at my face when he said, "Stop resisting," then he flashed me a perfect, white-toothed smile. It was that smile that sealed our friendship.

I'd never met someone so full of life and crazy fun to be around. Over the next 19 years, he and I would work together many times including recently as we worked on a publication that would bring us into contact on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. When he died last Saturday, I was so stunned and heart-broken that I struggled to grasp the reality that he was really gone. For someone whose personality was bigger than life itself, it's hard to imagine that my buddy, Pete "Stop Resisting" Norwood, won't be around to share a laugh with anymore.

I'll forever treasure those hilarious memories of Pete, but I'm most grateful for one of our more serious conversations that took place only a couple of weeks ago. That's when Pete told me that he knew Jesus, but that more importantly, Jesus KNEW him.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Book Excerpt

I've been asked a lot lately about the relationship between the two main characters in my first book, "Tokens of the Liars" so I thought I would give you a sneak peak at Cat and Sullivan in the sequel, "Never Leave Me Lonely."
Feel free to share your thoughts on the excerpt.
"Sullivan was thinking about the other reason he had come to see the Carlyle’s today. He watched as Cat’s eyes followed his lips and wandered over his face as he spoke. Feeling those beautiful eyes on him caused his skin to sing. His breathing felt rushed, his body gangly and awkward. Taking her hand Sullivan took a deep breath and waited for her bright hazel eyes to rest solely on his.

“I need to ask you something,” Sullivan said.

He couldn’t believe he was asking this of her now. What was he thinking? She had already been through so much. Clint Bronson, his detective partner, had tried to talk him out of it, but here he was begging, like a dying man for water. He knew she had the power to crush his heart at her slightest whim."

Saturday, March 16, 2013

She's Never Gonna Make It!

Thursday, March 14, 2013...Oklahoma Governor's Mansion, approximately 12:00 p.m.
While on the west lawn of the mansion grounds, preparing to ceremoniously throwing a shovel of soil into the pre-dug hole for the planting of a Chinkapin oak for Arbor Day, Betsy Randolph takes up a strategic position next to the Governor's husband...the First Gentlemen Wade Christensen. Just as Betsy leaned over and dug her gold-colored shovel into the soil...the first of many mini catastrophes began.

"I give up," Betsy Randolph said after her post nasal drip began what some described as a, "leaky faucet" gone awry. "I'll never be hip," Betsy said. "Try as I may, something crazy always happens preventing me from being one of the cool kids!"

Spectators muffled laughs and sympathetic sniffles as Betsy pinched off her runny nose just long enough to toss her shovel filled with soil and scurry away red-faced in search of a tissue and a place to hide.

Friday, March 8, 2013

What, did I cause that?

I've said it before and I'll say it again...I despise stupid, selfish people!

It doesn't matter who you are or what you have or haven't accomplished in life...if you only care about YOU, I don't have any use for you and neither should the rest of the universe.

Take for example the JACK WAGON that pushed a large pile of brush (and who knows what else) into a draw, set it ablaze and left it unattended.

Your careless acts resulted in the death of hundreds of trees, hundreds of dollars of property and caused countless critters to lose their lives and habitats.

To you, Person (I can't bring myself to call you, "sir") I bestow the title of, "ALL-AROUND JACKASS" (no, that's not a curse's in the Bible.)

"ALL-AROUND JACKASS," you have undone in a matter of hours what took us ten years to establish. Your reckless, wanton disregard of the safety of others knows no today, I salute you and your unbelievable stupidity. May you sleep well, always know love and live a long, healthy life.

I hereby surrender my vengeance to that of the Creator, knowing full well that His fury far exceeds my own.

p.s.  I've heard He's fond of fire also.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Full-time gardener

One day, not too far away from now, I'm gonna hang my leather gun belt up for good. I'm gonna stumble around the garden with a coffee cup in one hand and a digging tool in the other. I'm gonna play with flowers all day, every day.

Don't look for me on the highway, I won't be there. I won't have an office, won't drive a fast car, won't wear a slash-proof, bullet-proof vest.

I'll have a pollen covered nose, dirty fingernails, muddy boots and a goofy smile on my face.

My plan? "ooh" over the Oklahoma sunrises.
I'm going to discover new plants, maybe some new trees. I may decide to try my hand at grafting. Who knows, I may actually succeed at vegetable gardening when I retire.

One day...not too very far away...I'm gonna be a full-time gardener!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

I'm nothing like you...

It amazes me that some people can cruise through life and never care about anything other than their own immediate needs, wants and desires. We hear on the news everyday how people choose to end their lives or other people's lives...and for what? Because they were betrayed, wronged or victimized?   

There has never been a person, who has ever occupied time or space in this universe that hasn't been wronged or hurt by someone.  
I'm so incredibly tired of people blaming others for their bad behavior. If you choose to break the law or break any moral or ethical code, at least be honest about it. You do it because you want to. Nothing more, nothing less. You are all you care about. Don't blame society, the government, your parents, your children or the bully on the playground.
*****News Flash*****Every single, solitary time I've ever done anything I shouldn't have...I did it because I was all I cared about at the time...but then again, I'm nothing like you!


Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Own Strength

Have you ever stopped long enough to consider what we as humans were put on this earth for?

Some never think that we are here for any other reason than for our own pleasure. I'm not one of those people. I hope you aren't either.

If I do nothing more in my time on this planet, I hope to reach just one person...for Jesus.

I don't care what you think of me. Your political opinion(s) won't change history and neither will mine. That one person that hears my story, that hears my heart and turns to the only real thing in my life...that's what matters. That's the only thing that truly does.

I've done a lot of really cool things in my life. I have accomplished so many things that "a girl" couldn't, shouldn't or wouldn't accomplish, but I haven't done a single thing on my own.

There hasn't been one traffic stop in my over 20 years in law enforcement where I was alone. There wasn't one day teaching bayonet training or land navigation to a young, eager US Army Private that I did so in my own strength.

Let me tell you about my own strength...I've hated, lied, cheated, stolen, said and done cruel things to people I should have cared about. Everyday, in my mind, I commit murder, adultery, theft and more. Still impressed with me?

Let me tell you something really impressive...a sinless, holy God loved us whom He had created. He loved us so much that He sent His only son to pay our sin debt.

Jesus is where I draw my strength, my courage. He is my everything. He alone forgives me for all that I've been and all that I will be.

There isn't a single sin that I have ever committed or will ever commit that Jesus didn't know about and pay for by dying on Calvary's cross.

Don't be in awe of Betsy Randolph, Chief Sinner. Be in awe of a sovereign God who uses a jackass to profess his miraculous love and forgiveness.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Welcome's a resolution for ya...

Happy New Year. Welcome 2013!

I'm mulling over my lengthy resolution list. Like last year, I'm grumbling to resolve to be thinner, more productive and healthier. I should be more resolute in vocalizing my disdain about resolutions.

Why don't we as a society resolve to quit being such pansies?
I miss the days of, "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

Now days you can't say anything that may hurt someone's feelings. Freedom of speech is a thing of the past. Not only can you be sued or held liable, now days, people kill each other for "unkind words."

Please, when I was a kid, mean words and deeds made a person stronger, more resilient, more resolute. If someone was mean to you, you didn't punch, shoot or stab just called them a "jackass" and went on about your business, not waisting an ounce of time or energy on their stupidity. Besides, they have the right to voice their biased opinion about you. Just like you have the right to voice your biased opinion about them.

I think my brother, Brian, was the first one I heard say this other famous phrase, "Everyone has an opinion and just like their butt hole, it usually stinks."