Molli Moments

I'm having a moment!

green leafed trees

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Can you see Aladin and Princess Jasmine flying around on their magic carpet exploring a whole new world? It’s exciting and nerve-racking to explore something new. You can open yourself up to a whole new world you never expected or thought it wasn’t possible.

For the last several years, my mom has wanted to take all of us on a family vacation. All 11 of us, together, under one roof, for 5 days! That was a whole new world. This past weekend we rented a lake house that was big enough we had space to move around in and not be on top of one another. We spent the majority of the weekend together, but also could sneak away to our own rooms when needed. The house was located on a large lake. The double decker boat dock had a slide and a place to jump into the water. We had a speed boat for skiing and tubing and a pontoon boat for cruising around. 

The house was located back in a cove. We could sit on the top deck of our boat dock and see the lake ahead of us. It was a gorgeous view. 

The night we arrived, I went exploring and ended up sitting on the top level of the double decker boat dock. Back in the cove, we were surrounded by woods with a view of the lake. I was pretty content to sit and enjoy God’s creation around me. I knew a lot more was out there, but I couldn’t see it from where I was at. At that point, I was pretty content with my current view. I had no desire to go tubing. The last time I went tubing beat me up and had to go to my chiropractor. I am willing to admit I do not have the coordination nor the desire to faceplant in the water to try water skiing. Cruising around in the pontoon boat sounded relaxing. Except I’m the one that’s sunburnt within 5 minutes of being in the sun. Sounds like I’m really going to enjoy this vacation right??

We all knew this vacation was going to be a new experience, a whole new world!

For the next three days we sped around the lake tubing and water skiing. We relaxed, cruised around the lake and went for a three hour tour without getting shipwrecked! Cheeks were sunkissed by the sun. Tubing and water skiing resulted in fun, laughter and maybe a few face plants in the water. 

Even though I didn’t tube or water ski, I rode along in the speed boat to help and witness the excitement of fun. I cruised around on the pontoon boat relaxing and enjoying the company.

The Jumping Bridge was a highlight of our trip. Yep! We jumped off a 30 foot bridge into the water. Eight of us lined up on the bridge, counted down from 3, screamed as we jumped, splashed as we landed and all came up laughing wanting to do it again. Well, except for one. He needed another countdown before he jumped! (That would have been my older brother!) We jumped several more times that day. And again the next day. It was a fun, new experience for all of us. 

I could have sat on the double decker boat dock and said I was good where I was and for everyone else to go ahead. I was content where I was at. Instead, I set aside “what I’ve always done” and explored a whole new world. 

Being in the realm of Christ is a whole new world. God reveals the realm of who He is a little at a time. We can’t handle the full force of His realm in one sitting. The amazing thing about God is that He gives and shows us the right amount of who He is at the right time. A newborn can’t eat a nice juicy steak. He needs to grow into his ability to enjoy a nice, juicy, mouth watering steak. 

God revealed a little more of Himself to me this past week and entered a whole new world of understanding the realm of Christ. 

We often talk about having the mind and heart of Christ. Having the heart of Christ is loving others and Christ loved. Having the mind of Christ is allowing His thoughts to trump your thoughts. This is all true. Yet, there is more to it than that. 

My sister and a couple of friends enjoy sending cards and words of encouragement. I get excited and speed walk back into the house to open up a card I received in the mail from them. The message preprinted on the card is nice and thoughtful. The personal note written in their handwriting is more meaningful and worth treasuring. The message they write comes from their heart. They have given me a little piece of them in the words that they share. The care and thoughtfulness that goes into sharing their heart, warms my heart as I get to know them on a deeper level.

Each encounter we have with Jesus, draws us closer to Him at a deeper level. Lately, I have been mulling over what it means to have the mind of Christ. Each time He reveals something new to me, He is giving me a piece of His mind!! Light bulb moments are Christ willingly, selflessly giving me a piece of Himself to me. Each new understanding of Christ expands my awareness of Him in my heart and mind. Therefore, more of Jesus lives through me. A whole new whole has been awakened. 

I now see Jesus as a brighter Light as I read His word, study His teachings, discuss how He is working through me and others. With each new understanding of who He is, a whole new world is revealed. I yearn to continue to seek His light, see Himself through me as I become less and He becomes more. I yearn to experience a whole new world in Him.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together, exploring a whole new world, in Him.

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

bright bulb close up conceptual

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A flourish of hugs and how are yous accompanying my mom’s arrival for the weekend. No matter the age, the grandkids are excited to see Grandma and Grandma is ready to see everyone. There is something special about mom visiting our home. A sense of home and peace envelop our visit. 

Everyone got their hugs in and gave Grandma an update on the latest and greatest. The energy somewhat calmed down and mom and I ended up on the back deck, swinging and looking over the lake. In a rare moment, I had my mom to myself! We were able to get caught up with one another without the distraction of grandkids. 

When we ran out of things to talk about, we sat, in stillness, together. We didn’t have to talk to enjoy each other’s company. Sitting beside mom, sharing the view and relaxing in the sun is as meaningful as talking about what’s on my mind or what I’m working through. 

We soon grew hungry, found my daughter and ate dinner. We got up and moved away from the swing and view, but the effects of the visit lingered and are stored in my memory and heart.

On our way to dinner, “Practice what you preach,” flashed across my mind. I have spoken many times about spending quality, quiet time getting to know Jesus and listening to His end of the conversation. Having spent quality time with my mom reminded me I need to do the same with Jesus.

That evening, I retreated to one of my quiet places. I read scripture that I have read numerous times and know it well. Yet, that night, Jesus revealed a deeper, powerful meaning.

1st Corinthians 13:4-8 is a well known passage that is quoted often. 

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance….Love lasts forever.” (New Living Translation)

In my quiet times with Jesus, I’m learning more and more about who He is, who He is to me and how He lives in me. God is love is a foundational understanding of who He is. God’s greatest gift to all of us is Jesus. Jesus is the gift of love. God sent Love to earth to live among us and be our earthly example of who God is, how He lives in us and who He created us to be. 

As I read of what love is, a light bulb brightened my dimmed understanding. 

Jesus is patient. Jesus is kind. Jesus is not jealous or boastful or proud. Jesus is not rude. Jesus does not demand His own way. Jesus is not irritable. Jesus keeps no record of being wronged. Jesus does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices when the truth wins out.  Jesus never gives up. Jesus never loses faith. Jesus is always hopeful. Jesus endures through every circumstance. Jesus lasts forever! (my interpretation) 

Jesus’ patience never runs thin when I miss what He is trying to tell me. Jesus is always kind. Not a negative word about who I am or how I am doing comes out of His mouth. Jesus knows He is all powerful, yet His heart is humble. There is no tally chart of all my wrongdoings. Jesus desires truth, not condemnation. Jesus will never give up on me. I am not a lost cause. I am His. The world around us will fail us; Jesus never will. Jesus is my biggest fan. He hopes and desires for me to be completely His. Jesus has endured the greatest pain and betrayal. He endured it so I can live a life of love and not of eternal pain and betrayal. Jesus lasts forever. Jesus is not a fad. His love doesn’t not fade with time. Jesus is forever. Jesus is Love.

Read it outloud. Pongo (our dog) didn’t mind me talking to myself. He’s used to it!! Push aside the awkward and read the scripture out loud and plug Jesus’ name in for love. What stood out to you the most? What phrase means that most to you?

God is love. Jesus is love. Love is an action. Love is a state of being. Love is a glimpse of the realm of God, of the realm of who He created us to be.

Sitting in the swing with my mom was an example of what Jesus desires to do with us. Once you get through your litany Jesus wish list, sit in His presence. Ask Him, what would you like to reveal to me today? How can I grow in my understanding of who you are? Go sit a spell, relish in His presence and take in His view. You will be in awe and at peace in His company. 

Thanks for sharing this moment with me. We are in this, sitting out the back porch together, with Him.

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

gray sand anchor near seashore

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A fellow kayaker was out fishing in his kayak and got one of his lures stuck in some brush. He was also in faster-moving water about 6 feet deep. He dropped anchor to steady his kayak so he could rescue his lure. One problem, there was no rope attached to the anchor! The anchor went down to the bottom without a rope to hold the kayak in place. Not only was his anchor gone, he couldn’t rescue his lure either! The window weight he used for an anchor is hard to come by and he lost one of his preferred lures. Rough day at the office!

Last week I wrote a tribute to my Uncle Bob. Since then, we spent time with family as the realization of his loss settled in. Previous loss is brought to the forefront of one’s mind during the funeral process and is mentally draining. Truth be told, I came home the other night and face planted on my bed. As I laid there, memories flooded my mind. The emotion of loss and time lost was weighing me down. Sadness started to sink in a little too deep. So, I “dropped anchor.”

Three things occurred as I dropped anchor. First, the tears that were shed were tears of joy. The memories that flooded my mind, brought a smile to my face. I was remembering the days that we shared together instead of the days we wouldn’t share together. In doing so, the sadness was replaced with joy and contentment. 

Second, I reminded myself that this was, “See ya later.” not a forever goodbye. I am blessed to have the promise of eternity with my loved ones that have gone before me. There is no question or doubt of their eternal home. The promise settles the sadness and anxiety and brings peace and hope for tomorrow. 

Lastly, I deeply inhaled His presence and took a step toward moments without the ones we’re temporarily separated from. The reality of living our earthly moments without them stirred a desire to keep living. Live and experience each moment, each day. Don’t just survive, but thrive in each moment. 

By definition, the anchor keeps the kayak, boat, or vessel from drifting away. All day, everyday, I chose to drop my anchor into Chrst’s ever present lap of grace and mercy. Line or no line, He will hold us steady. No matter the depth, speed of the current or drifting off, He holds us tight against Him and won’t let go. If we drift, it’s of our own doing. God has no desire to see us drift away. Even if our line is not connected at our end, it is securely knotted on His end.  

Another fellow kayaker told a story of when, after fishing a specific spot, he was ready to move on. He went to pull up his anchor and it was stuck. It was not budging. Too many times to count, I’ve dropped anchor and pulled it right back up. Instead of leaving my troubles at the feet of Jesus, I’ve picked them back up and continued to struggle. The anxiety, fear and being overwhelmed returned and I lost my peace of His strength as I started to drift. Thank you Jesus for holding on anyway. Thank you for not allowing me to drift too far. Thank you for your open arms as I turn back to You to hold me steady. 

What would it be like to be permanently anchored to Christ and never have the fear or anxiety of drifting away? This is deeper than saying and believing that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. This is deeper than Sunday morning worship and Wednesday night Bible study. This is deeper than saying your prayers every morning, noon and night. This is deeper than a 5-minute daily devotion. Deeper than your preferred podcast. How deep your anchor goes is up to you. 

How willing are you to put forth the effort to drop your anchor further into Jesus than you have ever gone before? What sacrifice will need to be made? Time is a hot commodity. Time is necessary for any relationship to grow deeper. Are you willing to sacrifice quiet time to spend getting to know Jesus at a deeper level. Are you ready to listen to His still small voice that will rock your world? Or the quiet whisper that will deepen your anchor into Jesus? Is He worth your time?

My friends, each story that I have shared, each moment that I’ve lived through has taken me one step deeper with Christ. How? My heart, mind and soul are in sync in knowing and believing who Christ is and who I am in Him. Take a leap of faith and ask Him to reveal to you who you are in Him. You will love the answer! As you understand who you are in Him, your anchor goes a little deeper and more secure in our Lord. 

You don’t have to like water, boats or kayaking to understand the importance of an anchor. We are all anchored in something or someone. May the One that you are anchored in be Jesus, your everlasting stronghold.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are anchored together in Him.

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com. Be blessed and see you next time

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Anyone else have an Uncle Bob? Through immediate, extended and bonus families, I have a few Uncle Bob’s in my world. They all seem to have an ornery side and are looking for fun (or trouble!). 

My #1 Uncle Bob was the oldest of 3 boys; Uncle Bob, my dad then my Uncle David. My Grandma had her hands full!! They grew up on a farm raising and growing everything they could. They were driving tractors long before a driver’s license. There are a few stories of Uncle Bob hot rodding a tractor. Not surprising if you knew him!

A small town farm in a remote area in southern Illinois was hard living. Papaw and Grandma did what they could, but it wasn’t quite enough. When Uncle Bob was 19 and my dad was 17, they loaded up a Uhaul truck and moved to a small town in central Indiana with cousins they only knew through letters written between their parents. Soon, my Grandma, Pappaw and Uncle David moved to Indiana as well. It became their new home. 

Over the years, the boys grew up and started their own families. I have vivid memories of spending Christmas Eve at Grandma and Papaw’s. Our stockings were handmade by Grandma, with our names on them, hung in the doorway between the living room and dining room. We would eat our meal, but the dishes had to be cleaned and put up before we headed for the Christmas tree! By the end of the evening, the cousins built the annual human pyramid in their living room. 

Even though Grandma and Papaw passed away when I was 8 and 10, they instilled into their sons the importance of family. Now the three boys had the responsibility to keep the family connected as we went in different directions. As their families grew and jobs changed, we periodically went out to eat or went to each other’s house to share a meal. Nelson Thanksgiving at my house and Nelson Christmas at my cousin’s house have been our gathering times over the last several years. We also intermingled small visits here and there with one another as well. The importance of family and staying connected carried on from one generation to the next. 

Uncle David passed away much too young due to a brain tumor. My dad passed away from the side effects of cancer. Uncle Bob, being the oldest, checked in on all of us on a regular basis. “Love ya kiddo.” and hearing his laughter were two of my favorite Uncle Bob memories. Recently, he too, has gone to enjoy his Heavenly home. 

With the three boys reunited with Papaw and Grandma, we cousins now carry the responsibility to pass along to the generations to come the importance of family and staying connected. We do so by living the example they have given us.

The Nelson cousins do not live in the same towns let alone the same state. Getting everyone together at the same place at the same time is nearly impossible. Physical distance may keep us apart but the love of family binds us together. I’ve gone to visit my cousin in Florida a couple of times. We talk and text periodically. No matter how long it’s been since our last conversation, our family connection is our foundation as we grow over time. 

Weddings and funerals have a tendency to cause us to pause and take a look around. During the time of the loss of Uncle Bob and making immediate plans, we have leaned on one another. We’ve asked each other for their thoughts and desires. We’ve turned to one another to provide what a stranger can not, comfort of family. 

Families come in all shapes and sizes. I am blessed to have a few “Uncle Bob’s” in my world. You have been placed in the family Christ desired you to have. Embrace each other and remind one another of the comfort and peace of family.

God created man and woman because He didn’t want to be alone. He gave man and woman to each other so they could create more family to love, spend time with and care for one another. We are created to have a family bond with one another. 

I am eternally grateful for my grandparents instilling in their sons the importance of staying connected with family. It’s now up to us to continue on, staying connected and loving one another as we pass along the same to others around us.

Uncle Bob, Dad and Uncle David, you are sorely missed yet I’m eternally grateful for being a part of the Nelson family.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together, connected in Him. 

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com. Be blessed and see you next time

room with potted plant near mirror and table

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What do I order at Tropical Smoothie? Strawberry Limeade. Cheeseburger at Steak N Shake: Frisco Melt. McAlister’s meal to share with my sister: Southwest chicken, Sweet Tea for her, Lemonade for me, chocolate cookie to share. Chocolate Junior Frosty from Wendy’s is a must. Applebees go-to meal: Lime Grilled Chicken. I like to go to certain places and get a specific item on their menu. The decision is made on my way. No hesitation or second guessing. I know what I want and that’s what I order. 

Going somewhere new is another story. There is much to think about. What do I feel like eating? What flavoring or spices am I in the mood for? How hungry am I? Do I go with tried and true or branch out and try the house special? So many decisions!

Daily life decisions are much the same. There are certain things I decide and do that are instinctual and come naturally. Some daily life decisions cause me to pause and look at all my options. That’s where it gets a little fuzzy.

From a young age, my son has been drawn to the happenings and workings of the military. He settled his focus on the Army a few years back. This is my 17 year old who is going to be 18 this winter. Pretty sure you see where this is going! He recently talked to an Army Recruiter and plans on joining the Army after he graduates from High School. 

Over the last couple of years, my son has spent an extended amount of time educating himself on his options and confirming what he wants to do. 

As time has approached to make a decision, he has reached out and gathered intel from different people who have had different experiences. Everyone has their own life lessons they’ve learned. Some good, some not so good. You want better for your loved ones. You don’t want them live through the tough life lessons that you lived through. So, you try to steer them away from those choices. All in love. All because you care. 

I am very proud of my son. He has listened to all the advice given and considered it valid information to think about. He had a lot of opinions and information thrown at him. He talked through the different options, but keeps coming back to his initial desire for a specific division of the Army.

It’s about to get real! I’ve already signed the consent forms and he will soon confirm with his recruit that his intent is to enlist into the Army. A year from now his life will be completely different. 

I would like to say that all decisions that I have ever made were of my own mind and not influenced by others. I have listened and followed what others thought best for me, when in the end, what I had wanted to do was the best for me. It happens. It’s called trial and error. It’s how we learn and grow. It’s how we become the person we are created to be.

I will admit that some decisions made were against my better judgement. I’ve looked in the mirror and wondered, “Who are you? Why did you make the decision?” 

I don’t dwell in front of the mirror. Once I’m ready for the day, I take one last look and think, this is as good as it’s going to get, and off I go! I glance in the mirror from time to time to check for fly away hair or food stuck in my teeth. But to stand in front of the mirror and check myself out? I’ll pass! 

I can recall the few times I’ve paused in front of the mirror and did not recognize the girl looking back at me. How did that happen? 

I’ve stared myself down in the mirror, looking directly into my own eyes. Jesus and I have had powerful pep talks looking eye to eye in the mirror. Who I saw was not who I wanted to be. Jesus knows me and knows who He created me to be. He gently revealed himself through my eyes looking at myself in the mirror, relaying to me who I am. I am His. 

I didn’t walk away from the mirror forgetting what I looked like. I walked away from the mirror with strength, dignity and His power within me knowing He created me in His image. 

My son did the same with a heavy life decision. He looked into the mirror, saw the man Jesus created him to be, and decided to follow his calling. Not an easy road. A road only a few travel. Nonetheless, he is following his heart’s desire that was placed there by our Heavenly Father.  

When I walk away from the mirror, I want to remember who Jesus revealed to me while we were looking face to face. I want to be that person all day, everyday with my mirror pep talk fresh in my mind in all I say and do. 

Do you look in the mirror and wonder who is looking back at you. Have you walked away from the mirror forgetting the person you just saw? It frightens and startles me when it does happen. I want to turn back to the mirror and see me as Jesus sees me. I want that image forever carved in who I am living for Him.

Next time you look in the mirror, smile. Smile knowing Jesus is looking back at you and loves you. He sees you and will know you forever. Hold on to His image that is in you to live the life He created you to live.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together, reflecting His image, in Him

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com. Be blessed and see you next time

To listen to the podcast, click HERE.

Just curious, what is your first reaction when the wifi goes out or your phone won’t work and you don’t have what you need when you need it? Is it, “No, worries. I need a break from it anyway. It will work again soon enough.” or “AHHH!!! I can not survive without my phone, this has to be fixed now!!” 

Technology is amazing….when it works! When it doesn’t, it’s a pain in the keister!! We are all slightly addicted to our phones and technology. Information is at our fingertips instantaneously.

Recently, I bought two of my kids a new phone. When I say a new phone, I mean, Certified Previously Owned phones. They work just as well, and are easier on the pocket book! We have a well known cell phone carrier. They make it sound so easy to transfer data from one phone to the other and activate the new phone. Not so much. Each time I need to activate a new phone, I end up calling customer service and am on the phone at least an hour and usually longer troubleshooting and waiting!

Within a 6 week time frame, I had bought “new phones” and transferred data from the old to the new. My kids tried to help, but in the end, I’m the one who has to call tech support and get it figured out. 

The first phone I activated, I called tech support first and had them walk me through every step. The second time, I started the transfer and activation on my own. Then called tech support when it didn’t work! 

Let me remind you that the new phones I’m activating are for teenagers! Do you know of any teenagers who don’t mind being without their phones for an extended amount of time? Yeah, me either! 

We had pacing, standing and staring, “How much longer?” “Is it done yet?” and my favorite, “When will you be finished?” Do you really think I want to spend hours talking to tech support and setting up your phone for kicks?? They definitely got the “Mom” look each time they asked. I finally said, “When it’s finished, I will bring it to you.” Translation, stop asking, pacing and staring for crying out loud!!

During both processes, I had to reset two different settings on the phones. Both resets reverted everything on the phone back to its original settings, back to its default setting. 

Oftentimes I tell myself I need an attitude adjustment. My attitude is out of whack and it needs a reset. Here’s the tricky part. What is your reset setting? What do you default back to?

We have two very different default options.

Default Option 1: Worldly mindset and heart. The world is against me. It’s not my fault. Why can’t anything go my way? I’m not good enough, smart enough, tough enough. Someone else is more qualified. I’m nothing. I give up. It’s never going to work out. Woe is me.

Default Option 2: Christ’s mindset and heart. If God is for me, who can be against me. This must not be the best way for me and a better option will come along. He created me in His image. In His image, I am smart, good enough, tough enough. He has gifted me in ways that will grow my skills in reflection of His love and for His glory. His plans for me are to bless me, not to harm me. I am His beloved child, in whom He takes great pleasure in. 

What if Jesus is our One and only Default? What if He is the only option we choose to turn to for anything and everything; the good, the bad and the ugly; in all and through all things? Ponder that for a moment.

In both cell phone scenarios, I knew going in, it would be a long process. My frustration came when my children were not so patient! They were excited about their new phones and wanted to personalize their phone. The constant checking to see if the phones were ready was grating on my nerves. Do you really think this is how I wanted to spend my evening?

How earnestly do you desire to live out the heart of Christ and to think like He thinks? My greatest, spiritual desire is for my default to be Christ. In all that I do, think and say; I yearn to be a reflection of Him. It’s a daily journey I am committed to walking. I stumble and trip, but His hand reaches out and steadies me every time, without fail. 

What is your default setting? How does it affect your heart and mind? Take a moment to make adjustments that are in tune with Christ’s heart and mind. Take a step closer to Jesus as your default setting.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together, defaulting to Him.

P.S. Shout Out to Customer Service individuals. You’re a Rock Star!

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com. Be blessed and see you next time.

black and white hardtail bike on brown road between trees

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Ever ridden a bike at night? As a kid, we were fearless and thought nothing about riding our bikes in the dark. Other cars and holes in the road were a challenge to swerve around and not crash and burn. The winner was the one who was still upright with the least amount of bumps and bruises. Oh the days of youth and being able to jump up and get right back at it!!

The bicycle I’ve been riding is about 13 years old. When I decided biking was going to be my source of exercise, I knew my bike needed a good tune up. New tubes, brakes and a chain later, she was ready to go. I was truly excited about this new adventure of cycling. I am, by no means, an expert and distance cyclist. I enjoy being outside and the countryside around me. I stick to back roads and avoid busy highways and country roads. I have a couple of 10 mile countryside loops I like to ride. 

My new adventure of cycling started a little over a year ago. I wanted to use what I had and not purchase anything new because I didn’t know how it was going to go. I found one of my kids’ helmets from a local bike ride fundraiser they did several years ago. A water bottle I already had fit perfectly in the water bottle holder on my bike. I did purchase a phone holder that fit on my handlebars.(I jam to my Jesus music when riding.) Over the past year, my confidence has built up. I feel more secure on my bike and I’ve ventured out for short distances on busier roads.

I have a neighbor that I ride with when our schedules allow it. My 10 mile loop is a short ride for her. So, when we ride together, I know it will be a longer ride. An organization in our neighboring town sponsored a nighttime, 18 mile loop, bike ride. My neighbor was planning on riding and asked if I wanted to join her. Let me point out, it’s a night ride that starts at 9 pm. That is rather close to my bedtime! And, it would be my longest distance at 18 miles. With apprehension, I threw my helmet in and said, Why not! 

Once the typical pre-race check-in was complete, we watched other riders arrive and gather around the starting line. During that time, I was checking out other bikes. There were some pretty swanky bikes out there. I might have experienced a little bike envy! There was a group of 4 of us that rode the route together. The three I rode with are avid riders and have put in far more miles and are more experienced riders. I felt a little out of my league! 

Due to the ride starting at 9 pm and ending at 11 pm, the officers that escorted us set the pace and kept the riders together. At the beginning of the route, a steady pace was set and I was keeping up with ease. Almost halfway through, the pace picked up and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to keep up. Surprise! Surprise! I kept up. At the halfway point, we all stopped for a snack, drink and to regroup before we took off for the second half of the ride. During the second half, I was separated from our pack of 4 riders.

Let me pause here for a minute and let you in on a little tidbit about myself. I’m near sighted, can’t see well at night and it is now past my bedtime! While the adrenaline kept me awake, my eyes were getting tired. 

I was running over sticks before I realized there were sticks in the road. 

There were a couple of experienced riders in front of me that pointed out holes and signaled upcoming turns. After a few miles, I was able to meet up with my pack, and we rode the rest of the route together. 

Our finish line treat was a well deserved Dilly Bar. Once our Dilly Bars were eaten, bikes strapped down on the car and we shared our experience about the ride, realization sunk in.

I liked it. I really liked it. I had fun on my older bike, riding with my neighbor and meeting new people. The apprehension I felt in the beginning was replaced with a stronger desire to keep riding, extend my distance and challenge myself with new routes. I had something old that helped me experience something new. 

People who thrive on experiencing new things intrigue me. “Why not?” seems to be their motto. Try something at least once. Right?? 

I have a “Bucket List” like most people. What I find interesting is, I have more joy, excitement and pleasure when experiencing something new that is not on my bucket list, something new that was unplanned. Most times fear and anxiety hold us back from doing something new that we hadn’t thought of before. 

Riding my bike at night had never entered my mind. Glow sticks wrapped around my wheel spokes and handlebars added some fun and a little bit of light to my new experience. Yet, I still had to dig deeper into myself, into Jesus, and overcome the doubts of being able to ride the distance and the weariness of my eyes and body. 

At one point during the ride, I felt anxiety. I was separated from my pack and I couldn’t see very well. I had a “It’s you and me, Jesus. You and me,” moment. I know He is always with me. He will guide and keep me safe. At that moment of peace, I heard my riding buddies come up behind me as we finished the route together. That is so like Jesus to provide exactly what we need when we need it.

Try something new today. Next time I go to Tropical Smoothie I may try the Avocolada instead of my favorite Strawberry Limeade. Venture out and try something new today. It could become your next favorite thing!

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this, experiencing new things, together in Him.

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com. Be blessed and see you next time.

photo of man sitting on a cave

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I can trip over nothing and not walk in a straight line. When we are out and about and I want to look around and not always look where I’m going, I grab the arm of the person next to me. Hopefully, I know them!! Walking along a sidewalk and walking trails can be hazardous to my health and potentially anyone in my path!

A couple of weeks ago I volunteered at a SAG station for a bike ride/fundraiser. As the bikers stopped and rested, I might have drooled over some of the bikes. I struck up a conversation with one on the bikers. The bike he was riding was one of three. His favorite was his trail bike. I laughed out loud. Not at him, but at the vision of me trying to bike trails. I rarely walk a trail without tripping a few times, let alone riding a bike! Yeah, probably not a good idea for me! 

While on vacation, we walked several trails. My son and I were walking a trail that led to a waterfall. It was a rather rocky, steep, narrow hike down to the valley. Because of my lack of coordination and tendency to trip often, my head was down watching where I was going and taking careful steps along the way. We had been trudging along when we reached a flatter area of the trail, I looked up and stopped in my tracks.

As I stood still, I could hear birds singing, leaves rustling in the wind, squirrels scurrying from one tree to the next, the rustling of unseen wildlife around me. The vision of tall trees, green foliage, the side of a cliff exposed and the openness of the valley added to my senses of beauty. 

My son turned around wondering why I had stopped. “Stop and look around. Look at the beauty you see.” I wanted to pop a squat on a rock or log and stay awhile. Being surrounded by His beauty overwhelmed me with peace, indescribable peace. 

As we continued walking down in the valley, I glanced up and saw a stream of sunlight. I followed the light up, through the trees and found the sun. The beam of sunlight cast a beautiful reflection on everything it touched. I took a couple of pictures, but it didn’t do it justice. There are some beauties that can not be reproduced and only enjoyed in the moment. 

On a spiritual level, valleys have a tendency to bring to the forefront of our minds a dark time in our life. Even scripture says, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Doesn’t sound so pleasant or uplifting. Unless, you dig a little deeper, look outside of the shadow and see His light.

Walking through spiritual valleys is unavoidable. Growth, wisdom and maturity are gained during valley experiences. Also, having the mind of Christ anchors our soul during our darkest times. The world around us can quickly tug us down and into darkness. If it’s unavoidable, how do I navigate the valley to work my way up and out into His Light?

Excellent question!

When I have entered the “rough terrain” of my mind, I become focused on avoiding the next root or rock in my path that could trip me up. While watching each step you take is a survival instinct, pausing to look up and around is just as important. When faced with rough terrain, I have a tendency to put my head down and push through. This is a life skill that might be ingrained into my being from my parental families. Some may call it stubborn or strong willed. I prefer to call it dedicated and determined. No matter the terminology, surviving becomes a singular focus. Putting my head down and watching my every step is of great importance to keep moving forward, so is pausing and taking a look around.

In my head down and push through mode, I have a tendency to get a wee bit frustrated. Looking down, I can’t see the forest for all the trees. When I finally pause and look up, I can see my surroundings and His Light gleaming through all of the trees. 

Pausing and looking around in the valley gives perspective and sheds light on how far you’ve come. I have moved further from the shadow than I realized and I’m standing in brighter light than where I was before. The valley has opened up and my path has less rocks and roots ready to trip me up. My frustration dissolves and I’m flooded with His peace. Yes, peace in the valley where I will fear no evil. 

Valley hikes are rugged, twisted, rocky, narrow and hard. Take heart, He has overcome the world. He is your Light. He opens up the valley so you can see how far you’ve come, where you are and where He is leading you. No valley is too deep or dark for His Light. The simple movement of looking up reveals His Light and your next step. 

You are never alone in the valley. He is right there with you, holding your hand to help balance your next step. And, like my son who was there with me, encouraging me to keep coming, you have others cheering you on, encouraging you to take your next step. Valleys are hard. Take a minute and look up and see His beauty that surrounds you and be overcome by His peace. 

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together, walking through a valley, in Him

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

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Our family went on vacation recently. I’m one that likes the woods, trail hiking and being out in nature. Many of my childhood and adult vacations have revolved around camping at State Parks. We have varied vacations over the years, but still come back to camping in the woods, trail hiking and campfires. 

Hocking Hills State Park was the destination this year. The trails, cliffs, valleys and waterfalls were some of God’s natural masterpieces. 

As I woke each morning, I made my way outside to spend some quiet time with Jesus. I had my journal, Bible and Bible study I was working through at the moment, sitting on my lap. I was engrossed in my study as the sun was peeking through the trees. I glanced up as a bird flew down and sat on the ground beside me. “Oh, well, hello there birdy!” I know little to nothing about birds. My experience with them is that they poop on me or fly away if I get too close. So, when the little fellow started walking towards my chair, I paused and watched. A few seconds later, he jumped up onto my chair. Okay, I thought, this is interesting.(I might have let out a little squeal. Might have!) I have not been this close to a bird before and I’m not sure what to do or expect. So, I sat and waited. Soon, he jumped over to my knee. He was looking around anxiously. So was I! I’m not sure either of us knew what was going to happen. He inched forward and took a couple of steps on my Bible. I had to draw the line there. I don’t know this birdy very well and the last thing I wanted was him pooping on Jesus! I gently lifted my Bible so he backed up onto my knee. Once again, he looked around a few times, then landed his eyes on me. We just looked at each other and relaxed. We were both calm and just sitting in each other’s presence. 

I could say this only happened once. But it happened each morning. In addition to our morning meetings, he found me at an open field a short walk away. I went for a short walk to stretch my legs. I ended up in an open field. As I’m walking around a bird flies down and lands about 20 feet away. There is no way this is the same bird!! Right??!! I slowly walk towards him. Believe it or not, I’m pretty sure it was the same bird. I bend down and take a closer look. The color pattern and feathers look awfully like the one that landed on my knee earlier. I decided to experiment a little. I got up and slowly walked away. At first he didn’t move and I kept walking. I thought, “Oh well.” and kept going. I walked a few more steps and by golly, that bird flew and caught up with me and walked beside me! Talk about crazy! I was baffled. A few minutes later, he took flight and went on his way. He visited me again the next morning. I felt like the bird lady from Mary Poppins or Snow White! Who knows what would have happened if I broke out into singing!! 

Curiosity got the best of me and I needed to know what kind of bird this was. I think it’s a Brown Finch or Wren. According to Google, the symbolism of a Finch is peace and joy. The symbolism of the Wren is watchfulness, enthusiasm for life and a happy go lucky nature. 

I find this interesting. Most animals, including ourselves, want to be around others that share the same vibes. A calm, peaceful person would rather be around other calm, peaceful people. Happy go lucky people thrive on being around other happy go lucky people. Whether it was a Finch or Wren, it felt in a safe place to come hang out with me. 

While I did not break out into song nor did birds come from all over, I did sit there, in peace, enjoying the moment with my bird. 

Couple of things came to mind as I was enjoying the presence of my bird friend. 

I am a lot like the bird when it comes to wanting to be around similar vibing people. Or at least I draw strength from people who have a natural positive outlook, an easy going spirit and a kind heart. What are your vibes and who do you want to hang out with?

What if I was the bird and it was God’s knee I came to perch on? I was cautious at first. I’m not sure who He is. Will He reject me, scare me off? Or will He allow me to perch on His knee and hang out with Him? I decide to take a chance and inch forward, get a little closer. The closer I get, my courage builds. He hasn’t shooed me away yet. I take a leap of faith and jump on His knee. Now we are face to face getting to know one another. After a while, I think I’ve taken up enough of His time and decided I better go. Off I went to the “safety” at my nest. The longer I am away from Him, the greater the desire to go back. So, I fly in search of  His peace and comfort. Once again, I find Him and pop a perch on His knee. I soak in His peace, easy going, kind spirit.

How often do we desire to perch on God’s knee and seek His shelter? At times, I think not enough. At other times, I want to stay all day and never leave. 

Well, my friends, Jesus is the “Bird Lady” and “Snow White” (figurative of course!) I don’t have to be cautious or fearful when approaching. We can have full confidence and take a leap of faith and land on His knee. I want to share in His vibes. I want to hang out and get to know Him more. Sometimes He sings to draw me closer. Sometimes His presence alone stirs the yearning in my soul to be with Him more. 

Whether you are a nature person or a city dweller, He is wherever you are. Take a look around at His beauty and soak in His presence. He likes hanging out with you.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together, perched on His knee, with Him. 

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

To listen to my podcast, click HERE.

Who’d a thought I’d be writing blogs, publishing podcasts and writing devotionals (coming soon!). It’s been over a year since I started the blogs and I’m a few months into the podcast venture. I’ve been writing and working on devotionals on and off in the background. 

My kids have already labeled me as an old mom when it comes to social media. The things I use it for and what they use it for, are somewhat different, said mildly! To prove my kids wrong ( 😉 😉 ), I wanted to keep my social media presence up to date, I called in reinforcements!

My niece just happens to be going to school for social media marketing. Hmmm, wonder who I could call for some help?? 

Several months ago, she came down to the house. I gave her an overview of what I was doing and where I would like it to go and asked her if she would be interested in helping me out. I did preface it with I can’t pay much and promise chocolate chip cookies will keep coming! She excitedly said YES!

A couple of days ago, she and I met again at a fun little coffee shop. The important things came first! We had to get caught up on what was going on in each other’s lives! I still see myself as young. Yet, to sit and listen to her tell me about her life, I thought, “Oh to be her age again!” It brought back some fun memories and stories. We also talked about areas that we both are struggling in and how we handle different situations. One of the many things I found intriguing was, we are currently both in similar situations of learning new skills and balancing different aspects of life at the same time. We are at different ages and stages in our lives, yet living through similar situations. It was a reminder that we are not alone. Even if we are different ages, we can still connect and share life experiences together. She has a laid back, easy going personality. Her easy going persona rubbed off on my slightly tightly wound self and was what I needed in that moment. I recognized the wisdom and willingly took note and received the grace of the moment.

Once we got caught up with one another we moved into talking shop! I have a dream. Yet the details of getting from here to there are a little blurry. I am willing to admit when I need help and reach out to the people who have the knowledge that I do not have. Even if they are younger than me. We both came to the table with ideas on how to spice things up a little, add in some new stuff and do preliminary work now for what we will need later down the road. We combined our thoughts and opinions and came up with a game plan. We encouraged one another and built each other up in the process. The age difference was an asset and not a hindrance. We both had opened hearts and minds to listen and take in each other’s perspectives. 

How many of you have been called a “young’un?” Or have heard a group of younger individuals be called, “You young’uns?” That phrase has a double edge meaning. On one side, it’s said to a higher energy group of kids that are goofing around and having fun. On the other side, it’s said in a way that communicates we are too young to know what we are talking about. Therefore, not taken seriously. 

At one point, some “young’uns” were trying to have a moment with Jesus. The adults around stiff armed them and stopped them from getting too close to Jesus. Jesus, straight up said, “Get out of their way. If they can’t come, who can?” (My interpretation.) It was a reminder that we all need an innocent, simplistic, child-like faith in Jesus. 

Tim was a young man with a heart of Christ who wanted to share his passion for Christ with others. His mentor, Paul, said, “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. You have a lot to give and share. Let it be evident in how you live, love and in your faith in Jesus.” Tim had an encourager in his life to remind him to not get discouraged because of his young age, but to embrace it.

Have you had someone back you up and tell others to wait a minute, you need to listen up. What he or she has to say, you need to hear. My goodness, this “young’un” had Jesus back him up!! I certainly hope that makes you pause and rethink your “young’un” perspective.

There is truth in not living enough life yet to have wisdom that others possess that have lived longer and through difficult circumstances. There is also truth in the wisdom and knowledge of our youth. They are not the voice of the future, they are the voice of today. No matter the age, we all bring something to the table that will encourage and build each other up. It is in our best interest to have an open heart and mind to all ages of wisdom and insight. 

My chronological age keeps creeping higher and higher. Yet, my age in Christ is still rather young. I am well aware I still have a lot to learn and room to grow. I hope and pray I will stay a “young’un” in His eyes and in my heart as I get to know Him more everyday. 

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this, as a “young’un,” in Him, together.

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.