Second Birthday

He’s so sweet. How bad is it for him to say, “This is MINE!” And that’s the whole cake!

I picked my two-year-old grandson up from daycare right before his second birthday. I learned his new favorite word is “MINE!” And that is with emphasis! At first, everything he touches is MINE! His parents and grandparents (including me) are trying to figure out how to help him understand….

So when his paternal grandma and her fiance came to see him, he began with MINE. So I mentioned that is his new favorite word. Fiance quipped back, “It’s my favorite word, too!”

I do like my grandson’s daycare. They really are experts in handling behavior issues. So I asked about this possessiveness. My husband and I don’t remember this stage with our daughter. Maybe it’s a boy thing? I was told it is a normal stage children go through. “He’ll grow out of it” I was assured.

Second BD cake

And then he dove into the cake! Yikes, he wasn’t very happy when we had to remove it from the table….

It's his and he gets to eat it, too!

Until, we set this before him. It’s his and he gets to eat it, too!

Around this same time, I read this blog about an adult claiming MINE, over a red car.  An excerpt:

How many things that are not ours do we regard as ours?

I talk about “my life.” It is not really mine. I did not make it, buy it or earn it although it may be registered in my name. It is a gift of God. My husband and my children are also gifts. So are all my talents and accomplishments. My blog and my books only exist because God has gifted me with certain talents and opportunities.   God can take them back at any time and no doubt I will then also accuse Him of being mean.

No, I don’t think we grow out of it. But what my faith teaches me is to allow the Lord to take selfish traits from me. So as I spend lots of time with my grandson and hear how many times he says, MINE, I examine myself and ask the Lord, “am I still clinging onto things that are really yours?”

Then today, a friend posted this on FaceBook:

When everything seems to be falling apart and you don’t think you can bear it- when you want so badly to grab control- to grasp at straws- remember that nothing comes to us without His permission and His will- His justice- His goodness will be restored in His time. When your power is diminished it’s because His power is the only true power – the only true way to find peace in trial and joy that doesn’t quiver is to surrender to His path. It’s hard to not become weak or to trust Him with it all- but only then can you truly put on the Robes of His blessings.

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for. “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.”
Matthew 5:3-8 MSG

and I have to ask, “OK, Lord, you’re serious about my behavior.”

To what am I clinging? I’m a minimalist, so it’s not material things. I’ve dedicated my finances to the Lord (a long time ago and blogged about it here), so it’s not money. My daughter and I cut our cord long ago, although we are very close. It can’t be my time because every day, I ask the Lord, “Where would You have me go today?” AND “What is my assignment for today?” My time isn’t mine as I never seem to do things “just for Debbie.” Although I’ll admit, I’d like to – but really what would I do different each day?

Is there something that makes me feel I am at the end of my rope? What am I struggling with?

Let me look at my posts and see if I see if there is anything else. It can’t be my grandson, could it? Could I be clinging to him too tight? Do I realize he really isn’t mine? Now that we have a second one, surely, I’ll begin to love and cherish him as much! “Won’t I, Lord?”

What do you think? Can we love our children and grandchildren too much? I know too many parents who have buried a child. My heart aches so much for them. But I remember how my own dad told me he KNEW I was on loan to him from God.


We want him to say, MINE, about his baby brother!


do I really dare to change?

TODAY, I figured it out. My blog transformed from “My Spiritual Journey” to “How Can I Help You?” To “Let’s Help Each Other.” And today as I read posts about Autism, it hit me. I enjoy posts and posting about real life.

So my new title inspired after reading http://ntnoway.com/autism-what-is-it-anyway

I hope to post more now that I’ve figured out my identity, an assignment in I never could complete in Blogging 101 in July or August.

So what is new? Nothing. I’m just more focused. I know what I like and I’ll follow more real life blogs. They share Love, Inspiration, Freedom, Encourage and Educate me. And, to me, that’s what LIFEE is about. (Had to add another E)!

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭


My pet peeve! @#%!& (Intended for spiritually mature individuals)


I’m not sure if the term “pet peeve” is actually accurate. I did some research and couldn’t really find a better term. Hopefully, whoever is reading this can help me come up with a better term after you see where I am coming from. Here is the definition:

Pet peeve: a continual source of personal annoyance." Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K DictionariesLtd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

So then I looked up annoyance….it didn’t help much. Oh well…..

I don’t know when I decided I didn’t appreciate being around people who use curse words. I do know I went through a stage where I may have used some curse words myself.  I was immature and trying to sound cool. In fact, I have warned people if you hear me cursing, you know something is REALLY wrong. I call it “righteous indignation” if I do curse. And then look out….

Perhaps I decided I didn’t like to listen to foul language while I was in college. I began to learn a whole new vocabulary and wanted to sound intellectual. When I hear people who curse, it makes me think they are poorly educated.

Or maybe it happened when we heard our then two year old daughter shout out a curse word in a restaurant. At that time, I didn’t curse, but my husband still did….and sadly, my parents also cursed. They watched her a lot so I really think it was their influence as much as my husband as he rarely cursed in the home….mainly at work. It was so embarrassing, but everyone laughed…but we never heard her or my parents use a curse word again (while she was little).

Or maybe it happened when I took the DiSC personality test in my early 40s. I discovered that negativity is my arch enemy….it makes me crazy!

Usually, people who are around me, don’t curse, thankfully. Or if a curse word “slips” out, they apologize and say they’re under stress….or something or other. I actually love it when that happens – the apology. But I wonder why most people clean up their language when around me? Maybe the Lord’s protection as it grieves my spirit.

This weekend, there was a big event at our campground. It was about cars, trucks and camping. And it brought in a lot of people. We had our two year old grandson staying with us. His mom just gave birth to his baby brother and it was a good excuse for him to stay here again.

Attitude Check Twenty 15

Initially, we were concerned it would be such a high traffic weekend, he shouldn’t stay with us. We were assured, it would not negatively impact us. For the most part it didn’t.

Scoping out the job
Grandson in training. He pulled the seat up to the wheel, got the clothe and began shining away!

There were two young (between 18-22) couples staying near us. We heard them all going to and from the bath house frequently. Initially, as they walked by, they commented about how cute our grandson was (he is a charmer and outgoing). I never really heard much else. But my husband was working outside while our grandson was taking his nap. After he woke, he went outside to “help” his pee-paw. So my husband had heard lots of conversations peppered with curse words while grandson was inside. Really obnoxious talk. But he bit his lip and hoped our grandson wouldn’t hear them or pay attention.

The next morning, we dropped our grandson off at his home, then went to church. After church and over lunch, the subject came up about the cursing. And it was my husband who brought the subject up! We are really under conviction that we want to make an impact upon this world, for the sake of our grandsons, but to help people see the Lord in ordinary people like us. It was so great to hear my introverted and pacifist husband want to take the bull by the horns!

So I googled “cursing” to see if I could find some inspiration for this blog. And I found a post by a writer and teacher that really explains the use of cursing from a Biblical perspective. Bottom line, he said it’s not the words that are so bad, it’s the intent of the words, it’s how the words are used. But even as I read the words in his post as just words, it still rankled me a bit.

To me, curse words are like weeds, seeds of unhappiness and misery. They just fly around without any real purpose….and they infect others!

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

UPDATE: It is six years later as I write this and revisit some harm that came from my writing this as well as how my intention of writing it did not protect my precious grandson. First, a relative took GREAT offense to this post. This relative thought I was insinuating I was name calling when I stated I believed “uneducated people curse.” My dearest mother whom I love and cherish did not finish high school. And she was the one who cursed around my daughter until she heard my daughter yell out that curse word in a public setting. Anyway, I wish I had saved the specific response my relative so I could have better understanding today. Second, my grandson has been around more and more cursing the past two years. He just turned 8 years old. And now he has language can put a sailor to shame – but only when something triggers him.

My heart aches for his future with this much unhappiness and misery in his life. And that was the point the relative missed. And now after the Covid shut downs, etc., it seems as if people of all types are cursing more than ever. So now I have asked God to help my heart to find ways to better express my thoughts and opinions. But for now, my lesson is that I was very much in the flesh, or carnal, when I wrote this. Paul addressed the Church he helped found in Corinthians about their “fleshly” or carnal behavior. My intention was to protect my grandson while I expressed my own “righteous indignation.” This post is meant for those who have a personal relationship with our Living God. If a person does not have this relationship, then their colorful language does not appear to be a problem. And I must live and let live. In the meantime, how do I help my grandson?

Brothers and sisters, when I was with you I found it impossible to speak to you as those who are spiritually mature people, for you are still dominated by the mind-set of the flesh. And because you are immature infants in Christ…”

1 Corinthians 3:1a TPT

Parenting versus Grand-parenting


My Christmas present in 2012 announcing I will be a grandma!

It’s so interesting how the cycle of life works. We know it’s best the way it is, but we’ve noticed a few things as we have now spent so much time with our daughter and son-in-law. BTW, he’s the BEST as he never complains about us spending to much time with our daughter and grandsons.

While I think most parents do think a little about the day they may become grandparents, we never really dwelled on it or pressured our daughter. Although we may have mentioned once or twice that we were getting older and may not have much energy to be grandparents. Maybe, maybe not….guess I need to ask her.

They caught us by surprise by giving us the news via a Christmas present. The “I love Grandma” bib. Needless to say, I cried and my husband was speechless!  Fast forward two years, and we are absolutely ga ga over our now two year old grandson. He’s so much fun and we love looking at the world through his eyes. And the fact that he loves us so much in return, by asking for us (he’s been known to stand at the closed door and shout our names, hoping we will appear) and running to us when we come over is just icing on the cake.

Then last Christmas, we had another surprise announcement! Our 18 month old grandson came running out of the other room wearing this tee-shirt!


AH, more tears!!! And now we have been blessed with our second grandson. We are a bit nervous, do we have the energy for two rambunctious little ones?

I always thought I was destined to be a career woman, but I did want a child. So I asked my barren aunt who had a career but no children, what was her opinion was about having a career but no children. She said it was awful and to absolutely have a child! Of course, my mom encouraged me as well. But she was a stay at home mom and I just didn’t think she understood about a career. Sadly, my aunt died soon after she gave me the advice. But I also became pregnant right away. I wanted to name my daughter after her, but at the time, Esther was not very popular. Oh, how short sighted I was as now there are a few VERY special young women in my life named Esther. And of course, I love the book of Esther in the Bible. Most famous line from her life was her Uncle Mordecai told her,  “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

Throughout my career, a number of young women had the same conversation with me and I highly encouraged them to have a child, two is even better. You see, I made it impossible to have another one when I hit the age of 35. So I lived to regret that decision. Anyway, a number of babies have been born thanks to my encouragement.

But one friend didn’t take my advice. She was very justified in her thoughts, but 30 year later, she now lives to regret her decision as she watches me with my grandsons. Next post will be on making decisions….how do we make such decisions and not have to live to regret them?

Sorry, I digressed! Our observation between parenting and grand parenting is we now have the extra money AND time to lavish our grandchildren. When you are younger and during your child-bearing years, you don’t seem to have enough money nor extra time to focus purely on your child. Granted, the mundane issues of life can be overwhelming: laundry, house cleaning, yard work, paying bills, doctor/dentist appointments, grocery shopping, returning items you bought that were broken, etc. So after you retire, guess what, you still have all of these same things. But the joke amongst us retires is that we wonder, how did we ever have time to work? And now, instead of working, we have time to focus on our grandchildren.

Now, those few spare hours after all the mundane tasks, we can focus our attention on our grandson 100%. I use the singular tense as our new grandson is only days old! But here is the rub. We don’t have the energy to be able to focus 100% 24/7. We did keep our VERY active toddler grandson for two days and two nights.  And that is why God does have the younger generation having the babies and allowing us older folks to just enjoy them!

IMG_7322 (1)

Number 1 Grandson’s second birthday

Our blessing after an upside and downside life, from Job 12:13
“True wisdom and real power belong to God; from Him we learn how to live, and also what to live for.”

Making a decision….I’m staying here!

UPDATE: thanks for all the feedback and input! I’m keeping things as is. Looking forward to Blogging 201 and more wifi!

Should I phase this blog out and move everything over to The TumbleLees, our travel blog? See poll below. If you have any solutions, please comment.

I started blogging in 2011. First as a way for my husband and I to share about our marriage as we have a story to telI. We tried to be very transparent about our trials and tribulations. As we began to rebuild our marriage and our family, we began to travel more, so some of our marriage stories include travels. Our favorite place in the USA became the Rockies in Colorado, so there are a few blogs about it. And we discovered we both loved to hike, so we began to incorporate our hiking adventures. We never dreamed we would sell everything and begin to travel full time and hike a lot. But that happened to us over the past two years. So that blog became about our full time travels, but was done in our voices. While we do nearly everything together, and we can complete each other’s sentences, I needed another outlet for my own personal journey. And this blog was born. But it has floundered.


photo courtesy of pixabay

blogging. helps!

Enter Blogging University hosted by WordPress. What a great experience this has become, but I have not been able to focus much time or energy on this blog. And it seems our travel blog interests more people. So now my dilemma. Shut this blog down and just focus on our travel blog and just make it more my voice? In reality, my husband doesn’t write at all, we just bounced ideas around and I never published until he proof read it and offered suggestions or improvements.

So I have been through a process of trying to brand this blog, but it seems I am splitting myself in two. Coupled with the fact that I don’t have unlimited wifi – as a full time travelers, we have to pay as we go.

I’ve wanted to create a blog to share about all the bloggers I am following. They have enriched my life and I have “borrowed” some ideas from many. And as the August Blogging 101 ends, I’ve sensed a closeness and something very unique. And then I learned a core group decided to make an Alumni Group. What a great idea and it is presently open so you can enter and decide to become part of the group. Here is our fabulous Blogging 101 Community blog roll by categories!

A few observations about what makes a really good blogger to me and the ones I follow fit that category:

  • A good sense of humor, to be able to write in a humorous way. What a gift! Sadly, I don’t seem to have that ability to share in my writings. So far…..
  • Blogs about real life journeys.
  • Sharing about spiritual matters. While I am a born again Christian, I want to know about others spiritual journeys. I am so excited about following blogs from others very passionate about their faith, but whose faith is very different from mine. In fact, i am sensing a key to world peace is if we just share our faith more and what is GOOD about our faith and how we have many similarities.
  • As a fitness buff, I do enjoy inclusion of any health tips, and especially other hikers.
  • And as a traveler, I also enjoy other travel blogs.

It’s amazing how many bloggers I have chosen to follow these past two months. I actually have spent more time reading their blogs and commenting than focusing on my own blogging. And I’ve learned so much!


Feeling accomplished!



In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Creepy.”  Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on a blogging prompt.

I didn’t want to use the Creepy prompt for our Blogging 101 assignment as I really didn’t like the picture in that prompt. But we were challenged, if we didn’t like it, say why. Then I read someone else’s response and thought, well, I did just have a creepy experience! And I did blog about it already, here. But what I didn’t do was describe the creepy guy walking towards me….and this is what I thought I saw, but he had a rope in his hands and was reeling it….

I was on the phone with my husband at the time….He knew to not be alarmed, but gave me a warning. I was also walking with Jesus at my side and in my heart, so how could my imagination run so wild? After I passed him, I saw that he was only a young teen and had a twig in his hands!

So how often do we get creeped out by things that are not really there or we see something else than reality? I said my hikes are like my spiritual journey but I never addressed that! So here is one thought about it.

I like comfort in my spiritual walk, and I like routine. But life is anything by comfortable (all the time) and rarely is it routine (every day is different for us now that we are retired and travel full time.) So when things are uncomfortable, like in a new location and we just get creepy feelings where we are staying. But we have each other to decide, “stay or move on?” That is such a wonderful feeling to know we help each other!

And as for routine, when I worked, I had a pretty regimented routine to get out the door. And I always made sure I had planned by workout and packed my gear. But now, again, retired, our routine is challenged a lot! But again, we help each other cope and adapt!

And that is what my Lord and Savior does for me in my journey in life! Yes, I have an awesome husband, but he’s not perfect….and as with my hike that day, he wasn’t there. And as some friends, my mom, my sister, my mother-in-law, know, death may rob me of my husband one day (unless I go first). So what to do? Make sure the Lord is always with me as my spiritual partner. He guides both my husband and I!

So my scripture for this post is from Romans 5:1

Peace and Hope
5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

Getting to Know YOU

1. What do you prefer to be called?  I prefer to be called Debbie.
2. What is your favorite memory? Helping my daughter deliver her first child.
3. What is your talent or quirk?  No talents, but my quirk is that I turn on contemporary Christian music whenever I am alone – or with someone else who will enjoy it with me.
4. In one sentence, what is your blog about? I have two blogs: TheTumbleLees.me contains my husband’s and my journey after we remarried (from divorce) and where we now travel full time in our motorhome. The second one is my own personal journey, http://LifetimeofForgiveness.wordpress.com. It’s about my journey in life where I want to share LIFE, by Love, Inspiring, help (to have Freedom) and Encouraging others.
5. What did you want to be when you were a child? I wanted to be a nurse by the time I was 12. But when I nearly failed biology in the 10th grade, that dream was gone. While in college, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer, but I couldn’t afford it when it was time to apply to law school. I held numerous great jobs until I finally grew up at age 32 and became a Federal Law Enforcement agent.
6. What do you want to accomplish before you die?  To be cherished by my grandchildren when I am old and they are mature adults.
7. What is your greatest strength? I am an encourager.
8. What are two things you would like others to know about you? I have lived in three countries, lived in 6 different states in the USA, traveled to and visited more cities in the USA than I can count, and I have traveled to (work related) Bangkok, Thailand; Manila Philippines; Jakarta, Indonesia; Islamabad, Pakistan; and have been “laid over” in Tokyo, London, Singapore and Abu Dhabi! What a life!
9. Is there anything else? I have really enjoyed Blogging 101! I may not have picked up too many new followers (but more than I imagined) but I have begun following a total of 62 blogs-last count! YIKES, no more time to blog if I pay the attention to these amazing people like I would like. But I am WIFI deficient and my 15 GB plan is too expensive to add any more. Continue reading

I’ve been nominated ….

I’ve been nominated ….

liebsteraward-e1439238598144What a challenge. I have been nominated for an award! I’ve seen opportunities like this, but never really wanted to participate, until this time! Thank you Dark Writer for nominating me. This blogger has captivated me with very creative writing….and we both love pineapples! Please check out his site.

Another nominee found the definition of Liebster: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome!

Let’s add the purpose of this is to help new bloggers, or old bloggers like me with a newer blog that needs some love, be discovered. My sole purpose in wanting to be discovered is my prayer to be able to touch another person and perhaps encourage them, give them hope or make them smile. Or as my tagline is supposed to mean – share LIFE: Love, Inspiration, Freedom, and Encouragement.

With the below 11 questions posed to you, I would like to nominate the following bloggers:

  1. Since the rules say I can, I will re-nominate Carlos, author of “Thoughts of a Train Wrecked Pineapple.” I met him in July’s Blogging 101. I guess it was the pineapple…We are probably very different, but we sure seem to have a lot in common and I enjoy his unique writing style. And now I have more questions for him!
  2. This award is about finding new blogs. And thanks to this award, I’ve discovered Catherine Mullaney’s blog, Disarmed by Love. Oh, how I relate to her and look forward to following her posts!
  3. One of my favorite new and young bloggers is Jessica, whose blog is “Where the Lord Leads.” While I love to find people who are really “different” from me, this precious young lady is also my sister – In Christ.
  4. I don’t know how many followers Miryam Leah of “The Well Balanced Soul” has, if more than 200, disregard. If less, I hope you participate. I’d love to know more about you. I really like your writings and where you are coming from!
  5. I also nominate Audrey Cunningham, a relatively new blogger that also is very much like me…and we both love Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches and Jesus!
  6. There are a few more bloggers I want to nominate, but I either have misplaced them or am not sure how many followers they have….If I missed someone, I’d love to include you here!


Once you are nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post too.
Nominate 5 -10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.
Ensure all of these bloggers have less than 200 followers.
Answer the eleven questions asked to you by the person who nominated you, and make eleven questions of your own for your nominees or you may use the same questions.
Lastly, COPY these rules in the post.

Questions posed for me:

If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
My husband and I travel full time! So we go where ever we want. But my favorite place right now is near my daughter who has blessed us with an adorable grandson…and we are currently waiting for our second grand child to be born….any day now!

What is the simplest thing that makes you smile?
When I pick my grandson up from day care. He drops whatever he is doing and comes running to me….it doesn’t get any better than this!

What do you like about your hometown?
I have several hometowns….my dad was in the military, so we moved frequently. Then my husband and I have moved frequently and now we travel full time! Technically, my home of record right now is Sebring, Florida. I do like so much about this wonderful, rural town. For one, we moved there for the weather….and family lived there. It was really the one hometown where I was able to become a volunteer and really participate in making life a little sweeter….

What is the best meal you can prepare?
This is really a joke in our family. Once upon a time, I was a decent cook. Then my husband took over and now I am learning to follow directions as to what to cook and how to do it. But I don’t think anything I could list would be considered the “best meal.”

What’s your favorite chore to do at home?
I keep up with all of our financial matters, pay bills, run our household office.

What’s your favorite book?
I read my Bible daily, so that means it must be my favorite! It keeps me encouraged that the Lord is real, He loves me, He keeps me from harm and He quenches my thirst for life!

What’s the very first thing you would do if you won the lottery?
Pay off the mortgages of our daughter, nieces, and nephews!

What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable?
I’ll agree with my friend, Dark Writer, I love pineapple and I do eat it every day! Well, when we can get good ones…..but with our lifestyle, the way we travel, we usually find good ones year around!

How many times have you fallen in love?
When I was six, sixteen and finally found the love of my life at age 21!

What was your favorite game or toy as a child?
Hide and seek!

What’s your favorite beverage?
I’m boring….I drink water with all my meals and throughout the day! I also enjoy coffee, chased by water!

Nominees – here are my questions for you, answer all or pick and choose which ones you want to answer:

1. Who or what inspired you to write books/blogs?

2. If there is one event in world history you could change, what would it be?

3. Staying with world history, what is the time period you would most like to live in?

4. If you could invite one of the world’s most famous person to dine with you, who would it be?

5. What is one talent you would like to excel at above all others?

6. If you could interview one of your favorite and famous authors, who would it be?

7. What is your all-time favorite film?

8.  What is your signature dish or favorite meal?

9. What is your favorite song?

10. What makes you a happy person?

11. Where in the world would you most like to travel to?