Never Have I Ever


A recently popular game, “Never Have I Ever,” seems to have caught on as a bigger trend than ever. I’ll admit it’s intriguing to hear statements from players of things that claim they’ve done or never done, although this drinking game seems to simply be a newer version of the old “Truth or Dare” we played as kids. (Yes, I’m old.)

Today, I’m going to turn it on its head.

Never have I ever stopped to make a list of all the amazing things I’ve done or experienced in my life.

The other night I had trouble sleeping and as is my usual remedy, I turned on some worship music and plugged in my earbuds. As I listened to the choir background to a particular song (a 24/7 stream from Revere if you’re interested), I was transported to my youth days of singing in the church choir. I began at age four.

But suddenly, the multitude of choral experiences I had began to play in my memory. Musical productions, concerts I played and sang in, singing my children to sleep while I played guitar in the hallway between their rooms. I remembered singing trips, leading children’s church worship time, and recording with a large church choir that included my parents.

Many memories playing guitar with my brother

And then music wasn’t the only memory.

I was a gymnast, hockey player, teacher, home school parent, business and restaurant owner. I flipped burgers, sold houses, traded commodities, and acquired financial licenses.

I write books. A childhood dream!(This one’s on sale for Valentine’s Day – get our internet romance FREE.)

Family vacations, trips to play in the snow (sometimes hard to find in Southern California), Rose Bowl Parades and football games, beach play and sailing came flying into my mind. Memories of travels across the continent as well as to England, Greece, Switzerland, Poland, Australia, and France brought a smile.

I’ve been on water and snow skis, ice skated, sledded, zip lined, and ridden horses. I owned a horse. And chickens. And dogs, cats, rabbits, mice and snakes. There’s so many great experiences I could list. Jobs I’ve enjoyed. Relationships I love.

I think you have a clear idea of where I’m going with this.

Sometimes, we’re quicker to remember all the tragedy, crises, and trauma of our lives than the good things. Trauma tends to push out positive. But as we heal from horrific situations, we make room for memories that offer happiness and joy. And as we allow those positive experiences to rise to the surface, we may be surprised at how many we have.

I challenge you to begin a list of all the positive experiences and memories you’ve had. I’ll bet as you start, the list will grow just as it did for me. Even as I write this, days later, more enjoyable times come to mind.

But what if your life has suffered so greatly or been so limited that you can’t think of many?

Begin now.

It’s never too late to make new memories. What have you always wanted to do? Where would you like to go? What experience would you like to have? Even with some current social limitations there is still so much to experience.

Share something in the chat. Maybe that will be a first thing that will unlock the door.

And above all, don’t forget to be thankful. God has been so good to lead me into places, open doors of opportunity, and bring people into my life. I don’t want to ever forget to thank him for all the wonderful experiences of life.

Everything is a Journey


Coastland Center Mall Book Signing

I had my first book selling event this week.

It came about unexpectedly and plunged me into the next step on my writing journey. A step I’ve longed for, thought about and feared for years. Now, in hindsight, it seems foolish to have dreaded (with excited anticipation) my first book event.

I’m not one of those people who hate talking in front of others. Book selling and signing goes with the territory. I want more people to know about me as an author. So what was I (a little) freaked out about?

The logistics.

I’m not even sure why. I’m asking for divine help in answering that question. But I realize it happens almost every time I find myself in a new, unfamiliar setting or situation. I’m far better now, but it still unsettles me.

Can anyone relate?

Spending hours preparing  by packing up, checking directions (a few times), re-reading instructions, listing needed items and imagining the trip or event several different ways. When I’m supposed to be getting much needed before-the-event sleep. Naturally.

Here’s the deal…

Even though I woke up with a migraine starting that morning, I quieted my heart in prayer and set about getting ready and to my destination. As I drove, I remembered that I had worked at a tuxedo shop a couple of decades ago so I attended numerous and regular wedding events. I also worked book tables for other authors.

I had experience after all. Go figure.

A nice man held the door for me as I lugged my box of books and such into the mall. Then it all came back to me once I started setting up. Arranging my books, cards and flyers was fun. I didn’t know what to expect, so I expected to wait and see what would transpire during the day.

Being at a mall, most of the sparse crowd came for specific purposes. Few stopped to browse. But both of my vendor neighbors were lovely ladies selling beautiful jewelry and handmade tote bags respectively.

We enjoyed some interesting and engaging conversation.

Later on, a couple of friends showed up to support me. I love connecting my friends who don’t know each other, but love me. Overall, I sold a few books, met some very nice people and ended up having a great experience.

All part of the journey.

It was a good day. Even the part when I drove out of the mall the wrong way and ended up circling a number of very long blocks to end up back where I started fifteen minutes later. Making mistakes is a part of learning.

I learned that everything is a journey.

We can keep moving ahead in spite of our fears or questions, or we can hold back and never start. Every new experience is just that–new. Which means we won’t know what to expect or what it will hold for us until we are participating in it.

But if we never take that first step into the unknown, we’ll never know. I’m so grateful for the experience. Every part of it (except that headache) ended up blessing me. And now I’ll be more confident the next time. I also want to keep pressing into what’s next.

Like a radio interview coming up this week.

I’m pretty excited in a nervous am-I-ready-for-this kind of way. I don’t feel ready, but I believe God opens doors at the right time. And sometimes he gives us a little nudge to walk through.

What step do you need to take today?