Sunday, December 18, 2011

WOW--Writing On the Word: Christmas Stress, Tension...Peace, Relief by Maril...

WOW--Writing On the Word: Christmas Stress, Tension...Peace, Relief by Maril...: As Diana set her coffee mug on the table, she sighed, “I just can’t do it.” “Do what?” I answered. “I just can’t get everything done. I’...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Looking for direction? Check out Marilyn's post on WOW

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Changing Seasons

Boomers are clearly in a new life season. So are those whom we love and those who love us--mothers, daughters, and in-laws. My devotional Changing Seasons was posted on Christian Devotions today. You can copy and paste into your browse if clicking doesn't take you to the site. Hope that it will encourage you.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Random Thoughts

Redeem the time; embrace today; savor family and friendship. Dismiss what doesn’t matter. Hold on to what does--it’s what money can’t buy and man can’t make. Love.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sweet Aromas

We all want our homes to have lasting fragrances. I thought I'd share my blog post on WOW with you. You can copy the link and paste in your browser to access it.


Monday, September 19, 2011

After All, What Does Mom or Grandma Know?

Just when we think we're getting caught up with a child or grandchild's creative imagination, this happens. SIDENOTE: My granddaughter, Olivia, is always making something out of nothing. With scraps of material she hand stitches clothes for stuffed animals, dolls, or anything else with legs. My daughter and I laughed about being put in our place by Olivia my 10 year old granddaughter. She shared this recently about a brief conversation she had with Olivia.

Crucial piece: "Bobo" is a small purple monkey from McDonalds that Olivia has already sewn multiple ensembles.
The chat that followed::
Olivia: "Mom what should I make?"
Her mom/my daughter: "Olivia, why don't you make a safari outfit for Bobo so he can go visit his family in Africa."
Olivia: "Mom, Bobo doesn't need a safari outfit! He is Chinese! Even if he was going to Africa he wouldn't need clothes because he is just a monkey!

When all is said and done, what does a mom know?

I was put in my place this summer, too, when I was explaining to Olivia about an upcoming trip we were taking the kids to on the Umpqua River.

I (Grandma) said: "Olivia, depending on where we are fishing on the river, you (and her brother and sister) may not be able to swim in the water." Seemed simple enough.

Olivia calmly, yet wiwth confidence said, "Grandma, that's like telling a horse not to run!"

Once gain, when all is said and done, what does a Grandma know. Very little. Neither mothers, nor grandma's can keep up? Who cares?

The humor of a child's "wisdom" is gift enough.

Add your children/grandchildren's one-liners... or more!

I love being a Grandma, and seeing life through their eyes...and imaginations!

Judy Dippel

Monday, September 5, 2011

Building Blocks

As you can see from our last post in July, Judy and I have taken a break from blogging. Each of us has taken some trips to faraway places—Spain and Alaska! And…we’ve also spent time with family.

I had some unusually large doses of visits with my family here and at their homes on both sides of the US. The grandchildren are growing all too fast! It was fun to see the changes in their communication, play, interests and interaction. Where we used to build with blocks, I now watch one of them ride a two wheeler bike without training wheels. Anxious moments of getting into a swimming pool have moved to jumping off the side of a pool or diving off a diving board. We no longer need a booster chair at the kitchen table.

Their faith is growing too. They are all memorizing scripture and love going to church. They pray at meals and at bedtime. It is sweet!

One of the greatest privileges and roles we have as a mother and grandmother is to pray for our children and grandchildren. No matter where they live, work or go to school, it seems as if there is a battle of some sort to fight and so, something to pray about. Last month, I spent some time looking at scripture to pray for my grandchildren as they began school. I came up with thirty one verses that I felt represented some principles that I hoped they would learn to incorporate into their lives. Why thirty-one? One to pray each day for the entire school year. Rather than place the list on our blog, head over to and check out the scripture. I added a brief summary of the verse too. August’s post (under Devotions and Recipes) gives you the background. Feel free to print off the list and use it to build faith as you pray for those you love.

Building faith with you,

Friday, July 15, 2011


One of the fun things about being a grandmother is seeing the milestones our grandchildren reach. We smile when we hear that they have rolled over for the first time or see them sit up alone. They advance to potty training, the first day of school and losing teeth. Milestones continue throughout life. They are not always easy to achieve' some take great perseverance. Today I thought I'd share a post from another blog that I contribute to: WOW Writing on the Word.

I hope that Keep Climbing will encourage you in whatever climb you are experiencing today.

Have a great day and enjoy a new view!


Monday, July 4, 2011


We recently had all four of our grandchildren visiting. You know from previous posts that they live on opposite sides of the US, so it was a delight to have them under one roof again for a second summer in a row. It was fun to see how they have changed as they interacted with each other or had some solo moments with me. Today on Independence Day, I thought about my grandchildren’s independence. They have become more confident swimmers, go to the bathroom without assistance :), dress themselves, and make food choices, just to name a few of my observations. Those examples of independence have been a good thing, showing their growth and maturity.

On the other hand, independence can be detrimental—as in wanting our own way when it infringes on others, when we act before thinking or when a choice isn’t good or safe for us. I sometimes heard their parents say, “Make a better choice next time.” Hmmm…. That too is a process that involves growth and maturity.

Proverbs 19:20 says, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.” Praying that they will desire and learn to make wise and good choices is on my list for them. I enjoy seeing their growth and independence in activities, but ultimately I want them to grow to be dependent on the advice and instruction from God’s Word every day.

Happy 4th!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Learning Gardens

For most of my life, a “new year” meant an academic year rather than a calendar year. I (obviously) went to school, I taught in schools, I watched my children go to school, two of my daughters work in schools, and now grandchildren are going to school. Yes, my life has revolved around a school calendar.

Last August, I posted that my husband and I helped our daughter set up her classroom. Her school was a start-up school and she entered a modular classroom that was a shell with a little furniture and few supplies. With lots of time, work and with some of her personal funds, the room evolved into a garden of learning. Her first graders have been a delight and have grown in that garden just as she had planned, hoped and prayed for each one.

Now it is time to take down bulletin boards and pack up supplies. The books that are packed away are reminders of growth in reading, math, science and social studies. The charts show changes: lost teeth (they’re six!), new words, character qualities and fulfilling classroom jobs.

The end of the year is time for personal reflection too. I know that Kate has reflected on her personal growth as a teacher. (She’s fabulous!) But as you think about August to June, flip your calendar and read through your journal, how did your garden grow? What have you learned? Have you mentored anyone or been mentored? Have you cultivated a friendship? How would you describe your learning garden?

Summer is a perfect time to grow! Making plans? Let us know.

Learning and growing,


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day

The weekend is behind us. Here in NC. our lakes were populated with boats. Many had cook-outs. Some spent time at the pool or worked in their yards. As I walked around my neighborhood, I smiled when I saw flags flying. I am glad that I am an American! On Sunday, hopefully, churches recognized those who served or are serving in the military. Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember, though many of us forget.

Remembering is a Biblical concept. The Israelites set stones of remembrance at Gilgal to remind them of God’s faithfulness. The Psalms remind us to tell our children what God has done for us and to pass it on to their children and grandchildren. Life stories and experiences are recorded in scripture for a purpose. Not all stories have happy endings, but in all of them we learn and we grow. God wastes nothing.Every experience we have not only helps us, but can be of value to others.

Have you repeated any stories to your children and grandchildren lately? How are you remembering?

Planning to share and remember,

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Dad's Influence Helps Us Age Well. Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Magical sixties! Who would have thought that being sixty-something would bring a sense of self being more fully restored...and greater fullfillment of peace of heart and mind? It feels almost simple, at least today!
To me, reaching my sixties has a realization of greater self-acceptance, appeciation for lessons learned, excitement about lists of things I want to do, and ability to magnify the blessings while diminishing the disappointments and tough times.
These are particularly fresh emotions for me this week, due to sorting through some racing things of my Dad's for a "Pedal to the Metal" display in Portland, OR. I want to state it publicly with Father's Day approaching. I was 23 when my dad was killed in practice at Indianapolis 500. I saw it on TV before I could be contacted. Today I want to focus on the blessing of having a dad who loved me unconditionally. He was loving, respectful, and gave time to me. I realize the blessing of having a dad who always made me feel special and loved. I don't take it for granted, because I know it is at the core of the feelings I have about myself in my sixties. Thank you, Dad. I love and miss you!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother’s Day will be celebrated this Sunday. The holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 as a day to honor mothers. Eventually President Woodrow Wilson declared it a national holiday. Once a holiday, it took off and become so commercialized, that Anna Jarvis called it a “Hallmark Holiday” and regretted what she had established. She actually devoted much of her life to opposing the commercialization of what it had become. According to my research, she was arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother's Day! She said that she "wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control!" One hundred years later, Mother’s Day remains one of the biggest days for gifts, flowers, cards, dinners out and long distance phone calls.

Some of us still have our mothers with us and some of us boomers do not. Judy is blessed to have hers, but I am not. Yet, I don’t need a holiday to remember my mother. Her presence is with me every day—from thoughts about a recipe to her gentle spirit, hard work and praying for me. Mom, “I thank my God every time I remember you…” Philippians 1:6

What about you? Any reflections on your mother? What has she poured into your life?

Happy Mother’s Day,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Awaiting Easter

My friend Fran composed the following poem and I thought it would give us pause for reflection during this Holy Week. Blessings to you as you reflect on and bask in the amazing love that Christ has for us. Marilyn

As we await Easter,

let us prepare our hearts

to welcome our Savior.

Let us thank Christ

for His gift of redemption.

Let us share with others

what He has done for us.

Let us contemplate with awe

the true meaning

of Christ’s death

and resurrection.

© Frances Gregory Pasch

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Judy and I had “coffee” a few days ago. We caught up on life and divided our writing assignments. Our long distance writer/friend relationship is a delight and a gift. If an organization called me for an endorsement, I’d definitely say that Judy speaks with wisdom and frankness. One such moment came when I commented about a conversation I was anticipating and she asked me, “So… (I knew something was coming based on her tone) what do you want to accomplish by doing that? What’s your point?” I laughed, stepped back and acknowledged, yes, she was right. My point wasn’t going to get me anywhere and what I would accomplish would take me three steps back. It was time to “rethink.”

Fortunately, I did exactly that—rethought, rather than have my words escape with no hope of retrieval. Sure, if my mouth ran ahead of my mind and heart, I could recycle my words to make them sound better, but in the end the words would retain their original intent. I could “re-use” and repeat the same words in my defense, but the pain would remain. Rethinking, seems to be the best choice. James 1:19 reminds us to be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” I’m glad that I listened. I’m glad that I have Judy!

What about you? Our age as boomer women gives us relationships that are across the board in age—from grandchildren to aging parents. Words can damage and tax the best of relationships Have you had any recycled or reused words? Or maybe you had accepted the gift of rethinking? What happened? Tell us your story and what you’ve learned so that we can learn along with you.


You would definitely enjoy a peaceful blog where Ann Voskamp’s music and words take you to the heart of God. Ann is offering a scholarship to attend the Proverbs 31 Woman She Speaks conference, where women with a heart for ministry will gather in July. Click on for information.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

~Good reading with your morning coffee or cup of tea~

Cindy Sproles and Eddie Jones have recently published a new devotional book. They are the founders of I have written several devotionals for their online site, which covers a number of categories from “Home” to “Finances”. You can receive a devotional in your inbox daily by subscribing.

But…their new release offers a perspective for men and women of all ages—from boomer women to those who love them. Just thought that I would pass this along.

EnJOY your day,


He Said, She Said: A Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of Passion
By Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles

Do you sense something vital missing from you relationship with your spouse, children and God? Try He Said, She Said: A Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of Passion. This compilation of 54 devotions includes scripture verses, space for journaling, individual prayers and words of wisdom from two of today's funniest and insightful Christian authors. This heart-warming collection of stories will inspire you to reach for the true source of joy: a life lived for and through God. These deeply personal devotions offer biblical insights and spiritual truths from the perspective of one man and one woman. These devotions touch the heart, tickle the funny bone and bring you to your knees in worship.

The concept of He Said, She Said devotions introduces the readers to looking at one scripture, from two perspectives—his and hers. The beauty in this unique type of devotion come when a man reads the perspective of a woman suddenly grasping a new outlook on the scripture; likewise the same for a woman to read the thoughts and views from a man’s perspective. The reader can then mesh the two together for a deeper and more intimate learning experience.

Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles have captured the essence of scripture through the heart of a man and a woman, addressing the passions of loving your spouse, your children and ultimately loving the Father deeper than ever before.

He Said, She Said: A Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of Passion is available on Amazon Kindle now!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lessons from Tea

We had a group of friends in for dinner last Sunday evening. We always have non-stop conversation which is something I totally enjoy, because we have only known these couples since we moved here two years ago. I am amazed at how God put us all together.

Since three of the people were drinking iced tea, we began to talk about varieties of tea and some of the tea my husband brought back with him from China. One of those teas was a flower tea, sometimes called a performance tea, a blooming tea or a show tea. It is a small bundle of dried tea leaves and flowers bound together with a cotton thread. So, we demonstrated it for our friends. Like kids in a candy store, they watched and waited to see what would happen next. When steeped in hot water, the bundle expanded and unfurled and a blooming flower emerged. It is a site to behold and just beautiful!

I often think of hidden potential when I see that flower emerge. No one knew the flower was hidden, but the process was just what was needed for the flower to blossom. In particular, I think about my grandchildren. Each of them has a different personality and I can see how, even at a young age, they have different interests. It will be exciting to see the flowers that emerge as they grow up.

Any thoughts as to how, we as grandmothers can be a part of that process?

Still emerging with you,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Last night my husband and I attended a "Jazzing up your Marriage" dinner/dance hosted by our church. Our pastor and his wife spoke, a delicious meal and music and great fellowship provided for a wonderful evening. The evening closed with an opportunity to renew our marriage vows. What a beautiful sound it was to hear 80 men and then 80 women repeat vows. One couple first said their vows 6 months ago and they won the prize for the couple married the least amount of time. On the other end of the spectrum, a couple won the prize for 45 years of marriage. Randy and I have been married 41 years. We spoke our vows in 1969, then at a ceremony on Feb. 17, 1980, we spoke them again with a group of couples from our church. So, last night was our third time to each other.

Earlier we talked about the special ingredient to our marriage. We each came up with the same answer: commitment. Lists of qualities, though certainly what attracted us to each other, are conditional--they may be present one day and gone the next. (I don't even like myself every day!) Lasting relationship boil down to commitment in good seasons and not so good ones, in prosperity and financial struggle, in sickness and in health,...yes til death do us part.

Read 1 Corinthians 13 today. It's often called the "Love Chapter". It applies to marriages but to all relationships.

Happy Valentine’s Day,


Monday, January 31, 2011

Same lyrics…new meaning

Judy and I had coffee together last week. Well….we each enjoyed separate blends while sitting at our desks, she in Oregon and I in NC. We played catch-up about our families, the holidays, what we’re working on writing-wise and generally, life.

For Judy, this was the first time she hadn’t spent Christmas in her own home. You know from a previous post that I spent my holidays on two sides of the US. I was thankful that we were able to fly across the country and be with family, but oh so different from holidays with my extended family who all lived in the same city. We, as Boomers, are living a new season unlike our parents. Based on crowded airports and parents lugging car seats and pulling toddlers along to catch flights, I knew that I wasn’t alone. It’s all about change. During our hour and a half conversation (and that was short for us), we reviewed some of our writing and came across expressions that made us reminisce and laugh. It was hilarious to see how the meaning of lyrics evolved for us. Jog your memory and play along with us.

“Twist and shout” used to refer to a dance…then as we established our families, we applied the expression to balancing home, work and carpool shouting, “Hurry or we’ll be late!” How do you twist and shout now?

You’ve come a long way baby”
used to refer to strides for women…from women’s suffrage to equality in the workplace. In what ways have you come a long way, baby? ? /strong>

“I’m leaving’ on a jet plane,”
referred to an old Peter Paul and Mary song with its free spirit …perhaps it later referred to business or family travel…. What does leaving’ on a jet plane mean to you now?

This is just a start. Tell us what you remember—what the lyrics meant then, and what they mean now. And…if any other lyrics come to mind that were “back in the day”, please share.

We’re having coffee next week—again in different time zones. Yes, the times, they are achangin’.



Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!!
I was away from home for 18 days (yes you read that right--18) visiting my children and grandchildren on opposite sides of the US. We all had a great time and counted ourselves blessed to be able to travel and be so welcomed in our children’s homes. But….in all honesty, it was good to be back and be in our own beds. As I looked back at our holiday and forward into the new year, I wanted to share a few ideas…really only a few because I still have laundry to do…. with you that you as Boomer grandmothers may find useful. I am hoping that you will add to the list.

Purchase or make a personalized ornament documenting the date your grandchild became a Christian. I have had the joy of purchasing two of those!

Help your grandchild make a card or ornament with his handprint, photo and date for his parents. That makes a memory for three generations!

With the start of a new year, begin a journal exclusively for a grandchild and share memories, prayers and verses for them. Present it when they are 18.

Choose Bible verses to pray for your adult children and grandchildren for the year.

We’d welcome your ideas that are “adult and grandchildren friendly” that you implemented during the recent holiday season and those as you look toward the new year. Please comment and post!