Back in March

Yesterday i got dirty- really dirty- pulling weeds, moving stones, picking up two contractors bags full of broken wood, rotten logs and trash in our dog run.
I rearranged my patio furniture and gathered huge clay pots and then i carried out last summers water play things that didn’t survive too well.

As i carried things and walked across the half acreage, i found myself talking to God and thanking Him for healing me and for the people He’s bought into my life to help me do all these things.

I had another session on Wednesday with Anthony Fortier- the kinesiologist/ chiropractor that I’ve been seeing for several months and every single time, he works on me, i feel like I’m becoming more of myself, once again.

I train with Phu on Mondays and Thursdays but, in reality, i do his workouts every day.

Yesterday as i pulled a heavy rug out to the trash, i had a mental image of the program we had done last week- when he had me walk backwards with a rope across my back pulling the sled.

All the exercises challenge my neurological system and central nervous system.

And because of these two guys that God placed in my life i was able to do all this work- joyfully-patiently- painlessly- and while i got very dirty, i didn’t lose balance and fall even once!

Then this morning at 526 i carried a bag of trash out to the curb and looked up at the moon, shining directly over my house and i felt like all i could do was praise God for making all things work together for my good and His glory.

I can do all things through Him that gives me strength- and good men to help me get strong again!

Damn straight.


There are people
who will never understand you,
agree with you,
or even like you.

Mothers. Fathers. Siblings and other family members. Bosses. Employees. Spiritual teachers. Therapists. Clients.

No matter how hard you try. No matter how much you change, rage at them, contort yourself, learn all the magic of this world, and attempt to become exactly what they want and need you to be. No matter how much you fawn and “people please”, they will never accept you, love you, approve of you, validate your path and life choices. They will never celebrate your successes with you, mourn with you, meet you in deep love and intimacy. They will never get to know you, the real you, the you you so desperately want to be known. You will always feel unseen, invalidated, misunderstood by them. They will live with their version of you, their image of you, their fantasy of you, a picture in their own minds, perhaps until they die, and nothing you can do, or not do, will change that.

You may exhaust yourself, trying to get someone like this to finally SEE you.

You may try “compassion”. Being more and more agreeable and empathic and understanding. Giving gifts. Acts of service. Compliments. Giving endless amounts of time and energy to them. Working on yourself. Being “available”. Trying to be “good” for them. Agreeing with them when really you don’t. Saying yes when you mean no. Saying no when you mean yes. Ignoring all of your own boundaries.

You may spend hours and hours trying to explain your position, your views, your path, opening and dissecting your precious heart. Listening deeply to them. Being open and empathic. Rephrasing, rewording, reconfiguring yourself, trying all kinds of different tacks, trying to break through, trying to get them to see.

You may cling to the hope that one day, one day, they will change.

“If they only got to know the real me!”

But no matter how hard you try, and no matter how long you hope and wait, they won’t budge. They stay fixed in their beliefs, judgements, narratives, opinions, behaviours. They may even refuse to self-reflect, look at themselves, or even consider the possibility of change.

Why won’t they change?

Is there something wrong with YOU?

Is it YOUR fault that things are this way? Are YOU to blame for this lack of connection, closeness?

Should you try even harder to be understood, then? Be even kinder, more empathic, more understanding, nicer, more spiritual? Maybe if you offer them pure unconditional love, they will transform? Maybe if you become the best, most compassionate, most selfless, most [fill in the blank] person in the world, they will finally soften, and their love will flow effortlessly to you? It’s a beautiful dream.

But it soon becomes a nightmare.

One day you realise, you are fighting a losing battle. You are at war with reality. You are trying to manipulate and control how someone else feels, what they think, their values, their reality, their inner world. You are trying to “fix” them, in a sense, control their feelings and thoughts, alter their path, and it’s an impossibility.

If you are honest with yourself, you are doing the same to yourself too. And you actually feel exhaustion, resentment, anger, despair, even fear, underneath the whole damn project.

You are powerless to change them. Where does your power lie? In presence. In being authentically yourself. In the truth of your feelings and desires, however painful. In your courage to look within.

You discover the lost child in you that just wants to be loved, but is innocently looking in the wrong places, to the wrong people. For as much as it wants to be loved, it is scared of really being loved. For love is confused with abandonment, or enmeshment which is also a kind of abandonment, and either way, true intimacy is a threat. And that’s why it looks to the wrong people. There’s no chance of ever being seen, and so there’s no chance of ever being destroyed. It’s safe, and unsafe, all at the same time. We long for God, and we fear God’s penetrating gaze.

Some of us have mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers who will never see us.

Some people choose partners who will never see them.

In the end, you meet yourself anyway.

You discover your own wounding. And somewhere deep down, you know that love is not something you have to fight for, manipulate yourself or others for, not something that has to be won, not something you need to prove yourself worthy of.

You tire of trying to get water out of a dried-up well.

You find an infinite and holy well of love inside yourself.

And you gravitate towards other wells that give water freely.

You open yourself to the sacred water of life.

It is such a relief to not have to prove yourself anymore. To anyone.

You don’t have to be liked. Others don’t have to agree with you. They are free to judge you, tell stories about you, distrust you and your motivations, or ignore you completely.

And you are free. You are free to engage with them or walk away. You are free to love them, AND find yourself moving away from them. Or not. You are free to speak your truth, or not. To set boundaries, lovingly, clearly. Or not. You are free to be you, to prioritise self-love and to let yourself be loved and seen by others who actually do have the capacity to truly love you, and see you. To find your true friends, your true family, those who actually want you. To discover your true place on this Earth.

When others don’t want you as you are, they are giving you a wonderful gift: the freedom of yourself. You may just discover this, if you are willing to plumb the depths of your own beautiful heart.

  • Jeff Foster

Laughing With Delight

Coffee and Jesus again.
Sometimes I just laugh with delight at what my Father places in my hands. It’s clear that He knows my love language like the back of His hand.
I feel known and loved as I receive these devotionals that leads me straight to Him and what He’s up to in my life.

It’s in the details that kind of blows my mind, the way He whispers close enough that I’m able to read His lips and say “Yea, I get it, Jesus, I get it!”

This morning I was handed this from my devotional, Back Roads to Belonging by Kristen Strong,”By the
power of Jesus, God is making us more into who we are as he takes us to the people and places we belong.

Have the patience and faith to go in the crazy, it-doesn’t-make-sense direction if God is the one calling you that way. Your place of belonging is coming. In the words of Oswald Chambers, “Every vision will be made real if we have patience.”

Well, damn straight! Almost ten years ago- May will be my tenth anniversary- I went out in faith on a limb and opened Rockwall Body and Soul Massage.

I had been feeling trapped for months and would watch the cars whiz by on Ridge road, longing to get away,too.

It was time and God began opening doors for me in ways that I know was all part of His plan.

I’ll admit I slammed some doors shut because I was standing on the ragged edge, teetering with all aspects of spiritually and my own crazy ideas of what was good for my soul.

I look back and I see how God protected me from so much- including myself- because I was walking so close to the edge of falling into the wrong hands.
It didn’t make sense- not on paper anyway- for me to open my business.
I didn’t have money saved and set aside, I didn’t have a business plan, I didn’t have a fall back system.

I just believed I could, Greg Mead believed I could and God placed other people along the way that made it possible.

So I jumped in with both feet- literally- days after completing Ashiatsu training and rented one room at a bungalow on Fannin.

Two months later, I had the whole house to manage and God sent the right people to share space with me.

Along the way, though, I begin to lose bits and pieces of myself and my reasons for going out on my own.

In the beginning, I would sit outside surrounded by the trees and create handwritten cards, write in leather-bound journals, and have long, intimate conversations with clients and friends.
I would stroll the square and listen to music, grabbing food to bring back to the studio.

I was very in touch with my body and my soul but I was also longing for more…..

I thought that more meant more success, more therapists, more space, more recognition and applause.

I wanted to prove that I could do it all- as a hard of hearing woman that had people actually try to discourage me from going solo because “It’s hard enough for a hearing person to make it, it’ll be almost impossible for a deaf person”.

So I begin attending networking functions, chamber functions, and putting myself into situations that didn’t align with my spirit but that got me attention and recognition and then recommendations.

My business grew and I relocated to a much bigger space and from the outside looking in, all looked good- really good.

Except it wasn’t.

I was too busy to do what I longed to do- I couldn’t sit outside and create cards, and handwritten letters gave way to quick texts and emails to everyone. I didn’t have time to linger with clients on the porch because I had another one walking in right away. I attended events and functions for all the wrong reasons with people that were only using me just as I was using them.

I had drama- constant soul draining drama- from the women that worked with me. Instead of making things easier, they made it harder and I spent so much time and energy trying to create harmony and peace and frankly, walk on eggshells half the time.

Until the day came that I pulled on my boots and decided that I would be damned if I walked on eggshells in my own place!

Sometimes God just pulls you aside to let you catch your breath and reminds you of who you are and what your supposed to be doing.

It sure wasn’t walking in eggshells!

To make sure I learned that lesson well, about a month later, I caught Covid and it hit me like a two ton truck.

I fell down and I fell apart and all the things I had chased after didn’t matter near as much.

This was what it took to get my attention, and to make me take a good, hard look at who I was becoming and what the tarnation I was doing.

And you know what?

I didn’t exactly like it.

I realized I was becoming selfish and self-centered. I was trying so hard to fit in and belong that I was forgetting that I was set apart for a damn good reason.

My deafness was what set me apart and it’s what made my relationships with others intimate and special but I had lost that.

I had become what I didn’t want to be- another woman putting her family on the backburner.

That’s one of the many lessons I learned while knocked flat on my back with a swollen knee and no sense of balance whatever.

God made sure He got my attention-the hard way.

My Mema used to always say I was too hard headed and stubborn as a bull so it took a lot to get me to pay attention.

She was right.

Of course, she was.

Now, it’s been a long, hard journey but you know what?

I needed this.

I ain’t gonna lie and say I wanted this. I sure didn’t and some days when my legs give out and I fall down again, I get all riled up and aggravated.

But I get riled up and aggravated at myself not anyone else.

Not at God, that’s for sure.

He’s shown me that these things happened for a reason .

I needed to get off my high horse merry-go-around and take a good, hard look at myself and who I was becoming and just as importantly, who I wasn’t being.

I wasn’t being present and in awe of the blessings in my life. I was taking those that mattered the most to me for granted while filling my schedule with those that made me walk really close to the ragged edge.

That’s why I laughed and cried just a little when I read this part in that devotional once again.

“ By the power of Jesus, God is making us more into who we are as He takes us to the people and places we belong.”

Damn straight.

For me, that means coming back to what I love to do- creating handwritten cards, writing in leather- bound journals, lingering with people in intimate settings and really listening to the stories they share.

It means gathering things to sit outside surrounded by trees and feeling the peace that comes from being in the presence of the Creator.

Several months ago, Jesus placed this scripture into my hands and carved it into my heart.

““For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43‬:‭19‬ ‭NLT‬‬ “

Something new!
A way in the wilderness.

Sweet Jesus, speaking my love language to me.

Right before that verse is another that He’s made sure I get,too.

I’m not cherry picking, it’s being handed to me clear as day.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43‬:‭18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I gotta forgive myself for my mistakes and hope like the dickens that those I’ve hurt, will forgive me, too.

I’m not going to beat myself up about it because He sure isn’t. I’m gonna let go and let God do a new thing, make a way in that wilderness and I’m going to sit and let that river water wash over my toes.

Kinda sounds pretty good to my soul and it’s gonna feel pretty good to my body.

More into who I am created to be and more about the people and the places He’s put into my life.

For a damn good reason.
He knows what’s He’s been doing all along.

That’s why I’m laughing with delight and anticipation of what He’s going to be doing next.

Hold on to your horses, I got a real good feeling about this!

jeannasoul #myownwords #925ngoliad #writingmyheartout


Only a handful of people know about my journey with Covid.
I just want to say this .. I don’t “deserve” this and this isn’t “what I’ve been asking for” and I’m not here to have anyone say “I told you so’ .
This has been tough but you know what I’ve found òut? I’ve found out that I’ve worked so hard so much but when I couldn’t work, my team came through for me in ways that j couldn’t have expected.
I’ve found peace during the storm, comfort from people that I didn’t expect as well as silence from ones I expected to hear from.
I’ve fought hard to get my body where I wanted it to be and, those that really know me, know this isn’t what I expected from my body but this means I have to slow down and listen to my body and to my soul in ways that I am haven’t done in a long time.
I’ve pushed myself.. but I’ve also pushed away others.. I’ve pushed God to the back burner because I’ve been hurt by people….
Well, this Covid journey has bought me back to God in ways that I can’t quite explain .. I have never been much of a ‘worrier” and I’ve just let go and let God take the wheel and I’ve been at peace ..
I really have… There’s been pain.. sleepless nights… Many falls… But I just keep getting back up and stepping out .. pulling on my boots, so to speak.

I wouldn’t wish Covid on my worst enemy… and come to think of it.. I don’t think I really have any ‘enemies” although I’m pretty sure that there’s people that couldn’t care one way or another if I’m still around… But you know what?
This Covid journey has shown me how blessed I am…. Before my husband, Greg Mead , could come home to me for a week.,. my daughter, Kateley Lyons , took care of me.. my sons, Gregory Mead and Hunter Mead had to pick me up and carry me from the bed, to the kitchen and to the bathroom
I’ve felt the love and prayers from so many people…
I didn’t “deserve” Covid .. but yes. I did dance at the music on the square… I did love on my bundles and my girls.. I did go out to dinner and lunch and breakfast…. I did go to work and massage my clients… I did go to Legends Fit and workout with my trainer. Phu Lam ..

I lived and I loved., And I don’t regret any of that.. because I made memories

Beautiful, sacred. Wonderful memories… And I’m still making them.
I’m making time to heal my body, nourish my soul and this journey with Covid has taught me some powerful, profound lessons that I know I needed to be learn
So maybe I didn’t “deserve” this.. but I’m determined to find the good in all things and to make the best of the situation I’m in
I’ll be back at Rockwall Body and Soul Massage as soon as I can walk up all those stairs
Thank you so much for your prayers..
I will always remember the prayers that soothed my soul while I was on this journey.

Better Than That

Jesus and Mema talking again…
I can hear her voice,” Don’t be acting ugly, Jeanna “ and when I would try to justify myself, she would place her hand on my thigh and say, “ You can do better than that…just because they are acting ugly, you don’t have to act like they do.”

Damn, Momma, your words are craved into my heart.

So when I read this Bible devotional, I felt her words and the words of Jesus stirring in my heart.


Letting Another Off the Hook

One thing I have discovered while walking with many people toward the freedom God offers us is that—somewhere along the way—forgiveness almost always has to play a part in the healing. In life, others hurt us. Unforgiveness toward them is like a cage.

You may feel, even now, as though you are in a spiritual prison—tormented and tortured. Whom do you need to forgive to release yourself? You may even need to forgive yourself, intentionally doing away with what seems like perpetual self-hatred that has kept you from allowing God’s love to heal your heart. You will be amazed at the freedom you find as you forgive those who have hurt you.

Of course, forgiveness isn’t a magical potion. It’s an act of our free will that begins a process of healing, reconciliation, and freedom in our lives. We may not feel it immediately.

I don’t know what you’ve been through or who you need to forgive, but forgiving is necessary for our freedom and a natural overflow of the grace, love, and forgiveness that have been extended to us. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (ESV).

You don’t have to, but you will be forgiven as you forgive others, so it’s probably a good idea to forgive even if you don’t feel like it. Remember Matthew 18:35: “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart” (NIV). Ouch. Now that’s some truth with a big love stick that we all need to be hit with from time to time.

Notice it says from your heart, not simply with your mouth. Forgiveness is a matter of the heart; Jesus came to deal with the root of our problems, not just the symptoms. He came for a revolution in our hearts and consequently our entire lives. This revolution won’t happen without heartfelt forgiveness as a turning point.


I had to wrestle hard and long with this one. I chose to forgive a man that hurt me deeply that left scars across my heart and one way I knew I had forgiven him and overcome the past was when I no longer went tumbling back down the hell in my thoughts when I smelled cigarette smoke or saw flannel plaid.

I chose to forgive and open my heart to a relationship that most people would consider crazy but I’m dammed if I’ll live in fear of what was and what could have been.

I chose to forgive the hurts that others did because I realize that hurting people hurt others…and I need to know their stories and listen to them before assuming anything.

I chose to forgive the one that has told me that my decision to not get vaccinated makes me dangerous and unethical.

I chose to forgive the one that’s made it clear that I’m no longer welcomed in their life because I believe differently than they do.

I chose to forgive myself…and that was really really really hard to do. I had to dig deep and see where I had built up walls, and acted selfishly and ugly and hurt those I love, just like I had been hurt.

I had been doing exactly what Mema told me not to do.

She used to tell me, over and over
“Don’t you dare give up, Jeanna’, don’t you dare give up…you keep on loving to pieces and you keep on doing your best”

So here I am- loving to pieces.
Piece by piece…. Jesus and Mema.., don’t give up on me.

Bigger and Better

I’m going to share this right here because I,too, fell into the trap of “ bigger and more”

I originally started my business.@ Rockwall Body and Soul Massage because I felt trapped where I was… not because I didn’t love Susan Gamez Balderas but because business was growing and my heart missed the intimacy that was formed when it was just me and Susan and one other therapist…as it grew bigger with more therapists and more personalities and more drama, I would stand in the front of my windows and watch the cars go by on Ridge Road and wish I was going someplace- any place.
The more people in the little house, the less I heard and the less I felt known and loved and needed.

I left and went solo and it was lonely at times but I could also write poetry and letters and send clients handwritten cards. I would bake cookies and muffins and sit outside with clients enjoying those things with a glass of wine.

Then Laura Bjeles came into my studio and instantly we connected and I felt an intimacy with another therapist that I hadn’t felt in so very long.

I was her mentor in the beginning but in many ways she was mine…as I taught her what I knew, she taught me to let my wall down and trust the moment again.

Then I got cocky- there’s really no other word for it- I hired another therapist and we had to juggle rooms and time and although it was good, it was also stressful.

We moved into a bigger place and I had three rooms and three therapists and that worked out for awhile and then I began my “ learning experiences”

One therapist lasted 3 weeks before I told her not to come back.

Then there was constant drama from the other one-bringing on stress to the point where I was checking her schedule and making sure to walk out of my room when I wouldn’t run into her.

I felt trapped by my choices and in the place where I couldn’t just step out of my room onto the porch .

But still I continued the same path- believing bigger was better-and I hired another therapist which added more personalities and more drama and more stress.

And then I got Covid-bad- and while I couldn’t do a damn thing at my studio, Laura pulled on her boots and took over for me.

The intimacy and trust we had formed was such a blessing. I had no choice but to let go and let God and He made sure Laura had what she needed and Kateley Lyons stepped up even more to keep the books filled and things done.

“Be still, woman” was what I felt God telling me…. And I wrestled with Him until I realized He was right.

In my pursuit of “bigger and better” I had lost what really set my soul on fire- intimacy With family, with friends, with clients.

I had traded time with those I loved, To time spent trying to grow my business- I networked and joined things that made me feel trapped and sapped my energy and my passion.
I hustled and posted on every social media platform and I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off.

That had never been my intention and I believe that’s a reason I got so sick and so weak.
I was just plain worn out trying to be who I wasn’t naturally.

during the hardest days, my old people came back- giving me love, giving me strength and giving me grace again.

Susan of EveryBody Massage Rockwall pulled me out of the house, outside on a massage table because she knew me well enough to know that I needed the sun and fresh air as much as I needed her touch and knowledge.
And as I’ve recovered- five steps forward and three steps back- over the last year, I’ve learned some profound truths.

Bigger isn’t always better.

Time is precious and sacred.

Love is essential.

Always, we begin again.

After another very short try with one other therapist, Laura and I leaned against each other and decided we will go back to the beginning- just the two of us.

There’s beauty in this chaotic world that we see best when there’s only us- we dance so good together and it shows.
While we can’t accommodate the vast number of clients we could when there was more of us, we are able to give the clients we do see our full attention and show them how important they are to us.

We get to create an intimate bond with our family, our friends and our clients.

We aren’t trapped anymore.

God is making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert and I’m learning to become who He’s created me to be.

A boat was docked in a tiny Calabrian fishing village.
A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and… asked how long it took to catch them.

“Not very long” they answered in unison.

“Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?”

The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.

“But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“We chat in the piazza with friends, fish a little, play with our children, and enjoy time with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs.

We have a full life.”

The tourist interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?”

“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.

Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Milan, London, Los Angeles, or even New York City!!! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?”

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years.” replied the tourist.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the tourist, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fishermen.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, play with your children, catch a few fish, enjoy time with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends.”

“With all due respect sir, but that’s exactly what we are doing now. So what’s the point wasting twenty-five years?” asked the Italians.

And the moral of this story is:
Know where you’re going in life, you may already be there! Many times in life, money is not everything.

“Live your life before life becomes lifeless”
Credit: Unknown


A few years ago, before Covid reared it’s ugly head, I was at Kroger the day before Thanksgiving and I saw this elderly man pushing his cart.

He had a single Swanson Turkey and dressing frozen meal in there and a single slice of pumpkin pie. I watched as he walked slowly to add a can of green beans and a package of rolls.

I wanted to place my hand on him and invite him to come eat with us but I was not hosting at my own house.

I was picking up a few things to make dessert and a salad to take to my aunt’s house where we had gathered since Mema had gone to dance in Glory.

I have not been able to get that man off my mind and in the last few years since, so much as changed.

Shelter in Place, Covid, fear and other things have kept the tradition from continuing.

It isn’t the same anymore.

So, there’s about to be a new thing…do you not perceive it?

Jesus and Mema have been talking to me for months now, reminding me of who raised me and who I am and who I’m called to be and what my gifts are.

So I’ve been praying about having the gatherings at my home and I felt the gentle push from Jesus and Mema….” Go ahead, this is what you love to do.. this is what you are created for “

So I started off by contracting with Craig Tatum to bring my dream to reality- a home that reflected the Texas sunset that I love so much.

Then Greg Mead and I started planning and inviting and making a list of desserts and favorite foods.

Two weeks ago, I pulled out my Mema’s cookbooks and the handwritten list of her Thanksgiving menu fell b into my lap.

Mema always made everybody’s favorite desserts. She made sure Ryan Johnson had fruit salad without marshmallows, she made sure there was buttermilk pie, chocolate pie, pecan pie and just about every cake she could come up with.

She loved doing this and we all felt her love.

So I started making my own list/ German Chocolate cake for one friend, cheesecake for another, apple pie for one

And my heart just kept dancing.

My daughter in law requested deviled eggs and I looked for a recipe and found a hack I’ll use.

We decided to have two gatherings- one on Thursday, the actual thanksgivings day and another on Saturday because some very important people can’t make it Thursday.

I am not going to assume anything about anyone .,, I’m not going to assume they have a family to go to or a place at the table…I’m going to open my heart and my home.

If I see someone at the grocery store with a frozen Swanson meal and sad eyes, I’m going to invite them to come on over.

This makes me remember another man at Kroger…in his motorized wheelchair, he asked me to reach an item that he couldn’t and as I handed it to him, he said,” can I ask you for another thing?”
“Of course.” I said, thinking he wanted another can of food.
“Would you hug me, please?”
I reached down and hugged him and felt his hands quiver as he held on.
When I stepped back, he had tears in his eyes and told me that since his wife had died several years ago, that was the first hug he had. He told me that they didn’t get to have children and so he was alone and waiting for his time to go but he sure did miss getting a hug.

Sometimes it’s so very simple, one small act of kindness can touch a heart, one invitation can start a tradition, one glance can begin a friendship.

“ I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert”

There You go again, Jesus, telling me that you aren’t getting rid of the wilderness but You’re going to make a way through it and You’re going to make streams in the desert and that just might be sweet tea and cold beer served to a bunch of people that are gathered together giving thanks!

Please, if you don’t have plans or if the plans don’t feel good to your soul but feel like an obligation, please send me a message and let me know

Come, just as you are…hungry and thirsty is best!

I know what I am

☕️💙 coffee and Jesus this morning and spending this time with an open heart and praying.

I have so much to do this weekend but I’ve learned that I do so much better when I begin my day curled up with my coffee in bed reading the Word .

My cousin, Rhonda Loden Hill, and I were messaging about songs and I asked if she remembered this old one that my Mema- her Aunt Nancy- used to sing around the house and while driving.
“Lord, help me Jesus
What have I ever done
To deserve even one
Of the many blessings
You have given
Lord help me Jesus
I’ve wasted it so
Help me Jesus
I know what I am

“I know what I am”

Right here…just like Rhonda Gail said- it hits hard.

Here we are expecting other people to be better, wiser, kinder, more sensitive, more compassionate Etc and we might not be looking at ourselves very clearly.

I know what I am.
Lord help me Jesus. Sometimes- many times- I fall on my face and say all the wrong things at the wrong time but I know what I am and that I’m trying to become a better woman every day.

Years ago, my friend Aletta Joy Henderson and I were having margaritas outside at a little Mexican cafe when a man and his wife came up asking if they could pray for me that my hearing would be restored. .
I got a little attitude with them and so did my Allie Joy…and I told him that he could pray for me but he needed to pray for my heart and not my hearing.

I told him the story of my Aunt Dorothy who had been blind since childhood.
Dorothy had gone to a tent revival and the preacher man had called her forward and starting laying his hands on her eyes asking God to heal her sight.
She let him do his “show” which is what she called it then she said,
“I don’t need my eyes healed. I need my heart fixed. I can be mean and hateful and unforgiving.I can be jealous and act ugly.I need to be more like Jesus,,, pray for me to be kinder, to have patience, to love more. The first thing I’m going to see when I can see is the face of Jesus and that’s good enough for me.”
Then she laughed “but if you can make these glass eyeballs see- that will REALLY be a miracle!”

She knew what she was and so do I.
Sometimes people look at my deafness and think it must be so hard not to hear, but it’s not…
It’s not my hearing or lack of that’s the biggest problem…it’s what people see- although I have to wonder how that preacher man couldn’t see the glass eyeballs -but Jesus sees our hearts and He knows who we are and loves us anyways.

That’s one of the reasons this devotional hit me hard on the day before I paint my kitchen and dining rooms.

Jesus and Mema have been talking to me all year long about who I am and what I’m created for…to be an open invitation to others to come inside and be a part of my heart. Just like Mema..just like Jesus.

It’s a risk. It’s a chance, Lord, help me Jesus.I know what I am but most of all , I know who YOU are.

Pour on the love Jesus…I can do all things through YOU and for YOU!

☕️💙”You may not feel it today, but relationships are worth the risk. Still, risk-taking doesn’t mean indiscriminate bonding. Risk should be cloaked in wisdom (Ephesians 5:15-17).
Before Paul closes his letter, he informs Timothy of those with him who sends their greetings (2 Timothy 4:21). That seems odd. Where were these individuals in Paul’s dire moments? How does he possess a courageous vulnerability to trust again? We can’t know for sure, but Paul shows he understood some relationships were worth the risk.
He embraces the biblical warning against a haphazard seeking of companionship (Proverbs 13:20). Though he might be lonely, there were a select few on the shortlist worth the risk of future disappointment or abandonment. This is oh so important to note. You and I cannot hope to escape all the ills in relating with others, but we can circumvent toxic relationship trauma using discretion when filling our social calendars.
What should we look for in a friend?
Some people leave you better for being with them (Proverbs 17:17). This is your tribe. Look for those who are reliable (Proverbs 18:24), who are supportive of your joys, and loyal in your defeats (1 Peter 4:8). Pursue women who encourage you as a person (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Yes. There are people like this who will love you.
Pray about who God will send. When you find yourself in social settings, get off your phone. Instead, ask questions like, ‘How did you come to be in this group?’ or ‘What does your family do on X holiday?’ Ask about a favorite quick recipe or how they survived Covid.
Asking questions of people shows you value them, and it allows you an opportunity to learn more and determine if this is a relationship to pursue. Let this experience embolden your faith to believe God for your good in relating with other people.
Building adult friendships requires courage only God provides. Start with what you know by remaining close to Jesus. Remember that hunger for relationship is God’s idea, and He is working His plan for your good. There are people out there who need what you offer. Trust God to equip you and aim your efforts toward what endures. Then ask Him for the grace to become the friend you need.
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
We hope this plan has been an encouragement. For more Gospel-centered resources from Cheri Strange, visit

Hey there

I’m reading this devotional and it always amazes me how God places the right devotional into my hands when I need it the most.

Greg Mead and I didn’t pack up and move but we did pack up our heartache and created walls which left openings for things to happen that hurt us both spiritually and really hurt our children, too. As we lost our circle of friends at church, we filled the void with selfishness and that almost broke us.

We both turned from God as if He was the one that pushed us away instead of other broken people that were trying to follow rules they were comfortable with instead of listening to God and loving us where we were.

From Hey There, Girlfriend

💙☕️” Years ago, my husband and I packed our family into a moving truck, sold the house, and left no forwarding address. We showed up at the new location with bright smiles in our attempt to leave the pain behind. Inside, we remained battered and bruised emotionally because of deep relational hurts we packed up along with our furniture.

Still, God was working. We found ourselves drawn to a couple at church. She knew everyone, having lived in that town all her life, sporting inner and outer beauty and sophistication. He was a coach and the understated but hilarious life of the party. A sweet relationship developed in time, and I have never been more thankful.

After we had been friends for a long time, I found the courage to ask how they had room for us. Our need was obvious. Friendless, broken, and desperate for relationships defined us. Why did they befriend us?

Tears flowed from my put-together friend. She never explained the tears, but I realized they needed us just when we needed them.

Experience has taught me that when I feel alone and need a friend, I am most likely not the only one. God is working in someone’s life who needs a friend as well. This is the juncture at which we find Philippians 4:18 at work.

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Most adults have room for a new friend. We are not alone in our sense of isolation and friendlessness. Rich, true, and loyal friendships require that we believe God is preparing just the right friends for us; people who will like who we are, love us despite it and even need us because of who we are.

Good and lasting friendships bloom when you and I are mutually encouraged by each other’s faith (Romans 1:11-12). Therefore, these relationships transcend decades, seasons of life, or favorite pastimes. Forget selecting people who are like you, or even your same age. Some of the dearest friends God has ordained for you may be thirty years older than you or the same number of years younger.

Remember, you are not alone in your loneliness. Ask God to prepare your future friends as He prepares you to be women who mutually encourage each other’s faith as you experience life together.

☕️💙 more of my pondering

Last August, I was really weak but Greg pushed my walker to the patio of Jennifer Marie where she had graciously offered her home and pool for Luke’s birthday party.

I watched with gratitude and tears in my eyes as my daughter, Kateley Lyons mingled with her friends- some decades older, some her age – all showing great love and understanding and kinship for each other.

I watched as one friend helped my granddaughter, and another one grabbed towels and yet another one walked over to include me all while looking out for each other and all the children.

My Momma heart almost exploded with love because Kateley was the one hurt the most by the crumbling of the circle and it’s taken her years and years to find friends again.

In the same way, I’m opening my heart up again- stepping outside the walls and setting up the table of hospitality to see what and who God will bring to me.

I am not confined by age, or hobbies or similarities. Instead I’m looking at those that I can be myself with and become all God wants me to be.

I have a handful of 3 a.m friends that I can text and know they get it…. I have friends I pray for and I know they pray for me.

I’m writing this while wrapped in the prayer shawl that was handmade by Janet Mary Rozdil Moltzan, one of my decade older friends that has spoken words of wisdom that are etched into my soul.
I find myself drawing love and laughter from my decades younger friend, Jay Elle Pugh.. who just gets me and we share the same name and an easy kinship.

I’m friends with some people that others don’t think I should be and so is Greg but I’ve learned a few things the hard way and that’s that God uses every person and every thing for His purpose and His Glory.

I know that if the circle hadn’t crumbled, I wouldn’t be the woman I am now and this woman I am is becoming who God wants me to become

Broken open and poured out, overflowing with love and grace and maybe, just maybe sitting around a turquoise table sharing Jesus and Mema

It’s taken me long enough.. I’m opening the door. Come on in , pull up a seat, let’s see if we are meant to be.


Morning Glories and Simple Words

There’s something on my mind and it seems like writing is the best thing I can do to let it all out.

A few days ago, I walked outside to go to work and saw this morning glory growing outside the rock boundaries and I just smiled and took the picture.

Morning Glories are one of my favorite flowers. I love the way they open up to greet the day and how they seem to keep on coming back in unexpected places…they never give up.

That’s kinda how I feel about my life…I’m never giving up or giving in.

A few weeks ago. Greg went to BJJ with Luke and Riven and I decided to go to The Rustic Warehouse next door . There was a steep incline and then a gravel lot to cross but River grabbed my hands and said,” We don’t give up!” and so we walked in through the back loading dock and all over the place and then when it was time to check out, the store had internet issues so we had to wait.
By the time we got out, Greg had left to run to Lowe’s for parts and so Riven and I stood outside, talking and waiting.

And it dawned on me that this was precious time and I was doing something that I couldn’t have done a few months ago.

Climb an incline. Walk across gravel. Stand and wait.

Simple things that I used to take for granted but I don’t anymore,

Like Morning Glories that grow in unlikely places, finding strength to do simple things becomes extraordinary.

And extraordinary things are actually so simple, really.

During this past year, as I’ve been trying my hardest to regain strength and balance and clarity, I’ve came to realize some things.

There’s been people that have continued to come to me for bodywork even when I could barely stand without falling. These people believed in me and encouraged me so much.
When I saw their names pop up on my schedule, it was like a gift, a standing round of applause, a pat on the back and so much more.

One guy sent me texts every so often with just these simple words “ One Day At A Time”
and he kept coming to me m because he knew that each session I would be a little bit stronger.

Another guy has been coming to me since 09 and there was a day when he looked at me and shook his head and almost carried me down the stairs into Laura Bjeles car so she could drive me home.

He didn’t give up on me and as I’ve gotten stronger again, I feel him cheering me on every time he sees me.

This is some of the things that make all the difference in the world.

The texts, the appointments, the words and the support.

There’s been days when I wondered if I could keep my business running while I wasn’t at my best and the people that showed up for sessions, showed me that I could.

They didn’t give up…I wouldn’t give up.

So here I am…. Making new goals for my body, new plans for my business, new intentions for my family.

After a busy weekend, I cleared out my buffet and restocked it with arts and crafts supplies after realizing I really needed more things for the kids to create with when they are over.

Simple as that.

It’s time to let go of the old things that doubted me and kept waiting “ for a better time” instead of sticking with me through the dark days and believing in the best to come .

God has been making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert one day at a time, one step at a time,

writingmyheartout #jeannasoul#rockwallbodyandsoulmassage #BecauseOfJesus #trainlikealegend