Wednesday, December 19, 2007

All I Want for Christmas is my Car Keys!

Do you tend to lose things...important things...vital things like car keys? When I'm at home, I have a special place for them and I always know where to find them, but when I'm out and about shopping with a million things on my mind, they tend to wander into different places. But I have to admit, this time I really did it! I mailed my car keys to Harrisonburg, Virginia (by accident of course).

Today, I'm blogging on Boomer Babes, so you can read all about it. If you have done something "crazy" like mailing your car keys or maybe something more embarrassing, let me know...I'd love to hear about it.

My son arrives home from college today, so I'm out to stock the refrigerator! He's passionate about FOOD and I don't want to hear the words, "There's nothing to eat here!"

Happy Shopping Everyone (and don't forget your car keys!).

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Christmas Giving!

Yesterday I got back from the mall and thought, Now I know why I do my Christmas shopping in October! I got shoved, bumped, and tripped. And all I wanted to buy was a pair of fuzzy warm know the kind? They are microfiber and feel like a scarf on your feet. I bought the confetti ones (they look as good as they feel)!.

When I emerged from the chaos inside the mall, I thought I was home free, except I couldn't find my car (a few hundred more cars moved into all the little slots where I thought my car should have been). I wandered aimlessly pointing my key chain "gizmo" to every white-colored car (do you know how many people have white cars?). As I pointed and clicked, I prayed that somewhere out there, my car's headlights would "wink" back at me. No such luck! I finally had to stop at Starbucks to receive "nourishment" before I continued on my journey!

To help lessen your burden, so you don't get shoved, bumped, tripped or bruised at the shopping mall, I'm offering my holiday gift package to you: Five FREE books and a Josh Groban CD. I started a ShoutLife page and all the details are there. So here's what I'm giving away:

Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover's Soul (strange huh? Soup in your coffee?)

Living The Serenity Prayer by Adams Media

The One Year Life Verse Devotional by Tyndale House

God Allows U-Turns for Women by Bethany House

A Cup of Comfort Devotional For Mothers by Adams Media

CD: Noel by Josh Groban (if I have the courage to part with it!). Thankfully, it's all wrapped up!

(Just let me know if you want the books autographed!)

Go to and sign up for my free newsletter and you will be entered into the contest. Deadline: High Noon on Saturday, December 15, 2007 (EST). Under the "Contact Us" link (type in book bundle giveaway!). That's it!

Happy "Shopping"!

P.S. I know what I'm asking for Christmas...a GPS device (one for inside the car and the other on my key chain!).

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Today I spoke at Cedar Grove United Methodist Church on the subject of friendship at their Ladies' Day Retreat!

The scenery on the way to Deale, Maryland was breathtaking. Several times I swerved off the side of the road or rolled down the window to take a picture. Everywhere I turned there was another photo grabbing for my attention.

After the reatreat one of the ladies, Sharon, took me on a tour of Deale. If you ever get a chance, don't miss this gem of a town. With a view of the Chesapeake and quaint shops and cottages surrounding the yacht clubs, it's a haven of rest for the weary soul.

I stopped off at charming coffee shop on the drive home and almost stayed; it was the best cappuccino I ever tasted. I ended up giving one of my books away: "Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover's Soul" for the best brew in town!

Who can beat a good cup of java and friends? Click here to view the slide show.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fall Splendor

I had the privilege of being the retreat speaker this past weekend at the Traber Center. Fall came a little late to the East Coast, but arrived in its full splendor the weekend of Nov. 2-4. Although I missed the morning walks at 7:00 a.m., I found the retreat leader, Terry Ferguson, enjoyed my passion for photography. We snuck away for an afternoon photo shoot. Walking over a suspension bridge provided the perfect view of the river, lakes and ponds that painted a canvas of God's magnificent creation.

The food was awesome! Chef Mark prepared some of the most amazing meals I have ever tasted. One night for dessert we had ice cream with two types of homemade sauces: chocolate with cayenne pepper and butterscotch with walnuts. My personal favorite was the chocolate: spicy hot and sweet!

But the laughter during the weekend burned off any calories we might have gained, and the fellowship was tremendous. The ladies of First Baptist Church of Phillipsburg in New Jersey are an awesome group. I spoke on "Living the Passionate Life" and many found their passion that weekend and are taking steps to make them become a reality.

I came home renewed and refreshed because of the rich fellowship and the pictures found in nature that surrounded the Traber Center.

Click here to view a slide show.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Laughter is the Best Medicine

I had the prilvilege of being the keynote speaker at Bensalem Country Club this week addressing breast cancer survivors. As I looked out at the sea of pink, I realized just how courageous these women are; in fact, they are warriors. All the ladies were laughing and having a great time looking through their gift bag of goodies.

Eleven years ago, I sat at my first breast cancer survivor luncheon and wondered just how many more times I would get to attend. It was a feeling of joy to know I had made it a year, but it was mingled with nagging fears of what lie ahead.

But laughter is what got me through (along with a lot of prayer!). Today I'm blogging on Boomer Babes about a funny thing that happened to me on errand day (yesterday). Laughter and tears cleanse the soul and can de-stress even the most difficult days.

When I heard the ripples of laughter among the cancer survivors on Monday, I knew they were well on their way to healing.

Laugher truly is the best medicine!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Life-Changing Words

I just got back from a speaking event in Hagerstown, MD and it was supposed to be a Women’s Conference, and that evening I was the keynote speaker on “Living the Passionate Life” geared just for women. And since it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I combined my “Touched by An Angel Story” in the new Chicken Soup book. When I got to the Four Points Sheraton, I saw men in the conference room—thinking they were there to set up. No, there were “men” in the audience and my speech was geared strictly for women. I quickly poured over my speech and wondered what I would need to change. Suddenly, my “passion” started to fade and I thought, “Lord, help me, this is not the target audience I was intending to speak to—I thought it was going to be ‘all’ women.” As I got up to the podium, I realized that all of us have to be ready in and out of season and that it’s never me speaking anyway, it’s God who speaks through me. After my speech a man came up to me and said, “My wife and mother both have breast cancer and I needed to hear what you had to say tonight!” With tears in his eyes, he shook my hand and said, “I wasn’t going to come this evening, but now I know I was meant to be here.” How many times have you been in a situation where you thought, Oh no, now what do I do? This wasn’t what I was expecting, but God worked it out for good!

When I came home, I received my author copy of the book, The One Year Life Verse Devotional by Tyndale House Publishers. My story is titled, “Passing the Tests.” My life verse is Phil. 4:13, “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” I didn’t have the time or the strength to re-do a speech in five minutes to be appropriate for my new target audience of “men,” so I used what I had prepared and God went before me and used it for “good.”

We will never know the impact of our words in the lives of others, and yet sometimes we are fortunate enough to get a small glimpse into lives changed by Christ through our words. That's the miracle of it all!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Angels Among Us?

Today I'm blogging on Boomer Babes about an experience I had 11 years ago that convinced me that angels keep watch over us!

My "Touched by a Coffee-Loving Angel" story is featured in the newly released book, Chicken Soup for the Coffee-Lover's Soul. It will stir you to think about the times in your life when you were protected and saved from harm's way because angels were sent to guide and protect you!

Tune into Inspire Radio to hear my interview with Carolyn Gross at 1:00 PM EST; 12:00 CST, and 10:00 AM PST on Wednesday, October 17, 2007.

If you have an angel story that you would like to share, I would love to hear it!

Blessings to you all!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

High Mill Retreat - Sept. 7-9, 2007

This past weekend, I had the great pleasure of being the women's retreat speaker for High Mill Church at Beulah Beach, Ohio (right on Lake Erie). The Lord blessed our time together and knit our hearts together as one. What a blessing to minister to such a great group of women.

To view the slide show, click here.

Blessings and Joy,


Monday, August 27, 2007

Interview with Allison Bottke

As promised, I have Allison Bottke with me today discussing her new novel One Little Secret, so grab a hot cup of something, and join us as we find out some secrets behind the scenes of this boomer-lit novel with an attitude!

Allison, welcome to Living Life Passionately. I finished One Little Secret in one sitting; I just couldn’t put it down. For those of you who don’t know by now, One Little Secret is about no ordinary housewife and mom who is surprised by an opportunity to pursue her passion. It was such a fun read with unexpected humor and tears. Was this a dream come true for you and what prompted you to write this book now?

Thanks, Connie, it’s great to be here with my boomer sister. You probably already know part of the background for this book, but the original idea was for a movie screenplay. I had the cast of characters—especially the lead actress already plotted in my mind. Then, when Bethany House requested a second novel as a follow up for A Stitch in Time—my debut novel—I dusted off the unfinished screenplay and the rest is history. Of course, I had to add a few more subplots and think how each scene would play out in a movie—so there was more creativity involved—but it was all a dream come true!

I have to say, Allison, I loved your first novel, A Stitch in Time, but I fell in love with One Little Secret. There’s a clear message that resonates throughout the entire book—that we as boomer women have all felt at one time—that our dreams aren’t taken seriously! What do you have to say about that?

Yes, you’re absolutely right, Connie! So many “boomer babes” are complacent about living out their dreams. They have held them under a bushel along with their God-given talents. We have taught our children to strive to be the best they can be—right? We have told our children they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up—correct? Yet, when it comes time for us to pursue our dreams and passions, we hold back. I think the healthiest thing we can do as parents is to allow our children to see us working toward our dreams. When those we love see us fulfill life-long passions and desires of the heart, we will be taken seriously!

Allison, tell me a little bit about the author behind One Little Secret. What things do you love to do when you’re not writing and what’s the one quality you hold most dear in a friend?

As you may know, I’m quite the homebody—I love being home, working in my garden or spending time with my husband. One of my favorite pastimes is, of course, reading and watching movies. I could stay all day at the cinema—starting when the doors open and watch back-to-back movies until midnight. As for friendships, unquestionably it would have to be loyalty and confidentiality. Privacy is extremely important to me!

Allison, you and I have never “officially” met; however, my story “Living the Passionate Life,” was published in God Allows U-turns for Women. Later I blogged for one week on the U-Turns blogsite, and then you asked if I would like to take part in the “Boomer Babes Rock” blogsite. It’s been quite a ride! Can you tell me what makes you so passionate about the U-Turns ministry?

Wow, Connie, that’s a loaded question! The only reason why I’m here is because of God’s amazing mercy and grace in my life. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe that my life could make a U-Turn. I was 35 years old when I finally came to the end of myself and willingly gave my heart over to a relationship with Jesus. I’ve never looked back. My purpose is to share with others who are lost and searching how they can fill that God-shaped void in their life. As my friend Michelle says, “Every test is a testimony and every mess is a ministry.” My life has been filled with so many tests and messes that I have to believe that God wants me to use my testimony as a life ministry.

It’s been such a great pleasure to have you on Living Life Passionately. Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers that I haven’t asked you about?

I guess one of the main things I’d like to ask is that your readers please pick up a copy of One Little Secret and read it—and then let me know what they thought of it. I really want to grow as a writer and obtaining reader feedback is vital for that to happen. Also vital is the word-of-mouth recommendations readers can make about books they enjoy. If your readers like One Little Secret, I pray they will share it with others—and encourage their local bookstores to carry my work. I’d also like to invite your readers to visit my web sites where they can sign up for our free monthly Dream-zine, see my Blog Tour schedule, and read the Writer’s Guidelines for the next volumes in the God Allows U-Turns series. Here are the web site URL’s: , and

However, more important than that is my final word of the day…and that is for your readers to take the risk and reach for their dreams! God has placed a desire in your heart—He has given you special gifts—and he wants you to use them. No matter how old we are—there is still time to discover God’s purpose for our life—and to make the choices that will change the story of our life.

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to interview here at Living Life Passionately. And be sure to check out my review of One Little Secret at

Thanks so much for having me!

FREE GIFT: The first person to post a comment on Living Life Passionately wins a copy of One Little Secret, And if you’ve always wanted to win a free trip to Hollywood, be sure to check out the One Little Secret Casting Call Contest. Click here:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Breast Cancer Awareness

Today I'm blogging on Boomer Babes Rock about the "Pay-Off" which has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm about to say.

I am passionate about a cure for breast cancer. Why you ask? Because I'm a survivor of 11 years and I know how devastating this disease can be and what it can do to a family. So how can you help?

Today Jan Parrish made a comment to my post on Boomer Babes and I checked out her blog (best thing I ever did!). She has a great idea that combines friends, coffee, chocolate and mammograms--not necessarily in that order! To find out more about Jan's brilliant idea, log on to her site at:

Remember: October is breast cancer awareness month! My story, "Touched by a Coffee-Loving Angel" appears in the Chicken Soup for the Coffee-Lover's Soul coming out November 2007. It's really my breast cancer story rolled up into a coffee bean.

If you'd like to know more about being a breast cancer friend, check out Jan's site.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Crossing Bridges

Yesterday I crossed over a bridge…I celebrated my 52nd birthday…one I thought I would never see. After a cancer diagnosis at age 40, I have learned to celebrate the preciousness of life. While my peers lament the fact that they are growing older, more out of shape, and counting gray hairs and wrinkles, I’m profoundly thankful to be alive and pursuing my passion.

One of the things I’m most passionate about is speaking to cancer survivors because they “get it.” We understand what’s important in life, we cherish the moments in between birthdays, and we pray for many more.

Yesterday, my husband asked me what I wanted to do on my birthday and my response was to “LIVE THIS THING CALLED LIFE.” I can’t do it alone—I need God, my friends, and my family.

Read more of my thoughts on Boomer Babes Rock about “This Thing Called LIFE!”

P.S. A great birthday gift came from Dotsie Bregel, founder of NABBW (National Association of Boomer Babe Women), who reviewed my book Trading Ashes for Roses: From Pain to Passion in her monthly newsletter. You can read about it here.

Reviewed by Dotsie Bregel, Connie carefully traipses you through her cancer storm with honesty and a deep sense of spirituality that immediately makes you want her as your role model should you ever be diagnosed with cancer. While it must have been a horrendous venture, she gently unravels the bad and the good in a way that makes you trust you'd have the courage to follow in her footsteps if ever necessary. Should you know someone with a cancer diagnosis, this is the book for both you and them. In addition to sharing her perspective of what it's like to be the patient, she genuinely offers appropriate suggestions for caregivers to understand suitable ways of treating their loved ones with a similar diagnosis. She offers an attitude that may allow them to approach the disease from a healthy perspective while telling you the best actions and words to offer them. Connie also sells lovely baskets jam packed with goodies of hope for cancer survivors and caregivers at most reasonable prices and ships anywhere in the country. Each basket contains all kinds of pleasantries that any woman will appreciate. I've already sent two and the recipients were most grateful. I highly recommend anyone with a cancer diagnosis, or a loved one with the same, to visit Connie online at . I have a feeling you'll make a new friend.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

World of Messages

Do you ever feel like you're in your own little world when you're at the computer?

Sometimes I lose all track of time--like this week--when I have deadlines pressing in from all angles. It all gets done, but this week I received a clear message about how and when I should be doing my work.

I'm blogging on Boomer Babes Rock today and I'll share the message that rocked my world and made me realize...get out from behind the computer and smell the roses!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Today I'm blogging on Boomer Babes Rock about "Pen-Less Thoughts." For some reason, I can't think unless I have a pen in my hand. I've been known to grab someone else's pen to write down my thoughts and others have been known to grab my pen to write their thoughts as well (I share one such experience!).

The comptuer is great...we can get our thoughts down faster (sometimes!), but I still love the pen to paper experience. For this writer, it's essential that my thoughts first flow from pen to paper and then to my computer.

Speaking of writing, Allison Bottke is starting her International Blog Tour for ONE LITTLE SECRET and you can catch one of 40 interviews this month. Today she's on Randy Ingermanson's Blog: I'll be blogging on Monday, August 27 (right here!). Don't miss it!
If you have some "secrets" to writing your thoughts, feel free to share them.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

God Encounters

Did you ever have an experience that touched your heart so deeply that you were a changed person. You look back on that day as one that changed your life? I had such an experience last week...I got a new pair of "God eyes." It was so significant that I wrote the date in my Bible. You can read about it on Boomer Babes Rock--I'm blogging there today.

I believe "God Encounters" happen for a purpose. If you have one you would like to share, I would love to hear about it!
Living Life Passionately,


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Empty-Nest Vacation

Today I'm blogging on Boomer Babes Rock, so hop on over and check it out. I'm talking about the joys and sorrows of an empty-nest vacation. Yes, we have come to that phase in life where our "boys" take their own vacations and report back (via cell phone) just how great it is. There's joy and sorrow mixed together: we're not paying for it, but we're missing all the fun!

Life is bittersweet. When they're growing up, you wish they would hurry up and grow up. When they're gone, you wish they were back. So what we're left with are precious memories of vacations we took every year of their lives: trips to Acadia National Park, Yosemite, Disney World, the California Coast, Virginia Beach and Colonial Williamsburg, and my favorite--Bar Harbor. There are Creative Memory albums filled with precious photos and when I need a vacation, I pore over the pictures and re-live the God-given moments that come only once in a lifetime.

The empty-nest vacation is one of the best vacations I've been given--knowing that we left memories with our "boys" to travel the journey of life and hopefully carry on the tradtion with their families.

Living Passionately,


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover's Soul

I just heard that I was accepted into Chicken Soup for the Coffee-Lover's Soul.

Everyone who knows me, realizes I'm passionate about coffeee--can't wake up without it. And for someone who has more coffee stories than you can imagine, it was a thrill to have my favorite "coffee tale" accepted: "Touched by a Coffee-Loving Angel." I'm not sure if they'll be serving my special brew in heaven, but this cup of coffee literally saved my life!

Look for it in stores in the fall, although it's available for pre-order now at

If you have a coffee story, you would like to share, feel free to send it to me at, and whoever has the most hillarious or heart-wrenching story, I'll be sure to send you an autographed copy when it's available.

Passionately yours,


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Secret Garden

Today I'm blogging on Boomer Babes Rock about my "secret" place. About four years ago, I read about the "Best Kept Secret in Lancaster County," and realized it was just down the street from where I live. From the months of June-September on Wednesdays from 1-7 p.m. the Conestoga House is open to the public. The Steinman Sisters have lovingly restored the mansion and the gardens.

I'm passionate about all things natural and green, so this is my respite. It serves two purposes, it gets me out from behind my computer and enjoying the beauty of nature. And then when hubby gets off from work, he meets me there for a light picnic at one of the designated areas. We have date night and quiet time together in the lush background of tropical gardens and waterfalls.

Sometimes the best places to visit are in your backyard. I urge you to search out what's available in your city; you just might be surprised. There might be a secret garden waiting for you.

Living Passionately,


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

No Longer a Stranger

Today I'm blogging on Boomer Babes Rock about the grandmother I never knew. Recently some lost letters emerged that gave me a glimpse into the life of the woman that has remained a mystery for most of my adult life.

I'm the family historian and love collecting and saving cards, letters, and photos. I was the original scrapbooker before Creative Memories came along. I have literally hundreds of albums and continue to collect more. It's one of the things I'm most passionate about.

Our hectic 21st century living precludes us from preserving the past because we're just too busy. But one day, our children and our grandchildren will want to know what we did, what our passions were, what books we read, and how we spent our days.

Sure, we now have "blogging" which has pretty much taken the place of the journal and writing letters, but there's nothing like feeling and touching a letter--see the handwriting and looking at the stamp (it makes it more real).
If you've been putting off writing a letter to someone you love, write it today! What greater day than the Fourth of July!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Do you have to Suffer to Be Beautiful?

Growing up I heard the phrase a lot from my mom, "You have to suffer to be beautiful." Well, I do remember placing ice cubes on my eyebrows the first time I plucked them and thinking, Why would anyone deliberately do that?

I'm passionate about a lot of things, but plucking my eyebrows just isn't one of them and neither is curling my eyelashes! Today I'm blogging on "Boomer Babes Rock" about my recent experience with the eyelash curler that opened my eyes to suffering in a new way!

Painful circumstances always teach us a valuable lesson and most of us want to hide from pain--I know I do! But as I reflect on my life, there wasn't a lot of growing spiritually when things were going smoothly. In fact, just the opposite happened--I digressed.

The most passionate people I know have suffered some great tragedy, pain or loss. Some have experienced more than their share. It's not the degree of pain, it's what we have learned from the experience that makes the difference.

God has allowed some great suffering to occur in my life, but the beauty I see comes from within--a spritual awakening to what's truly important in life.
So my mom really was right, "You have to suffer to be beautiful!"

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Meet the Dream Team!

Today I'm blogging on Boomer Babes Rock...about my passion for dirt biking that led to some undesired results. Sometimes this 50-something "babe" doesn't realize she isn't 20 anymore!

Thankfully...we learn from our experiences and we don't repeat them again (most of the time!), and I plan to stay closer to the ground in the upcoming months.

This experience allowed me to realize that I probably won't be doing #27 on my passionate to-do list (parachuting out of an airplane) for quite some time.

That's okay...there are a lot of other things for this "boomer babe" to do that don't require lifting too far off the earth. And if I happen to drift...there's always the dream team in the wings to put me back together again!

Living Life Passionately (with both arms!),


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

101 Uses for Things!

I'm always amazed---shocked really--at the multiple uses for "one" thing--like baking soda and Coke. Did you realize the beverage "Coke" can clean your engine, polish the chrome on your car, clean your toilets, and who knows what else?

Read about more startling discoveries on Boomer Babes Rock...I'm blogging there today. Let me know what "double-duty" uses you've come up with and which ones you're most "passioante" about. The first one to respond to this blog, will receive one of my favorite "products."'s a surprise!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"The Wind Beneath My Wings"

I'm posting on Boomer Babes Rock today, so check it out! I'm revealing something about myself I've never told anyone except my husband and my mom (watch out!).
And because I've been "tagged" by my dear friend, Susan Kelly Skitt, I'm also revealing a few more things about me which we will call: 7 Random "Me-Me" Facts!
Unfortunately, I lost the list (I wrote them on a napkin at Starbucks), so this is the new and revised version.
1. I can "fly." Fly on over to Boomer Babes to read the rest of the story!
2. Japanese is my third language (actually fourth!). The first three and half years of my life were spent in Japan and so it was my "play" language. Strangely enough, it comes back to me in "song," like "London Bridges Falling Down." If you want the Japanese version, feel free to e-mail me!
3. I love to take "midnight" walks (around our neighborhood)! I'm a night owl, so I love the stillness and quiet, the moon, the stars, and now the "June" bugs!
4. My favorite flavor of popsicle is "banana." They are hard to find, but when I find them, I buy them in bulk!
5. The smell of the earth after the rain...I guess that's why I love waterfalls too!
6. My dad was in the Air Force for 15 years and so that makes me an Air Force Brat. I never liked that term, but I was fortunate to have lived in many cultures in my lifetime (a world traveler at a young age!).
7. I won a spelling bee in fifth grade (before the days of spell check!).
Okay, now watch're next!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What matters--really?

On Sunday I spoke at Grace Baptist Church in Millersville in the morning service! I felt right at home because while growing up I attended Sunnymead Baptist Church in Southern California. It was there that I received Jesus as my Savior at the tender age of five. So many warm and precious memories flooded my heart as I spoke. I thought about how differently my life is now...I was once a "shy" little girl (ask my family?). I almost didn't graduate from Bible College because I didn't take Speech 101 and was willing not to graduate rather than take the course. So where did I end up? I had to take "Homiletics" (with a bunch of preacher boys--I was the only girl in the class!). That taught me to get over my fear really fast--sink or swim! In fact, they changed the entire structure of the program because of me (I was to give "sermonettes").

As I spoke on Sunday about "Taking Off Our Masks: Developing Christ-Centered Relationships," a woman came up to me afterwards and said, "What you said was so meaningful...we needed to hear your message." I hugged her and said, "Thank you, but it wasn't was God speaking through me."

Today I'm blogging on Boomer Babes Rock (jump on over and check it out!). I share how walking through the local cemetery keeps my life in focus because my desire is to always point others back to God. I may be the writer, speaker, author for a short time on this earth, but my "heavenly" purpose is to always points others to the "Jesus" I found when I was five years old in a little Baptist Church in Southern California.

What really matters on this earth is allowing others to see "Jesus" in me and that's what I'm really passionate about!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Taking Ten Minutes

The backyard is my favorite place, but more so lately with limited mobility. To get you caught up to speed: While visiting my family in California I went dirt bike riding (not on my passionate to-do list) and a tree jumped out in front of me! A torn rotator cuff—among other things—was the end result. I'm in physical therapy twice a week, which has slowed me down quite a bit...something I needed.

But I'm back to taking pictures and that is my passion, something I discovered through my tragedy, pain and loss with cancer eleven years ago. Now I'm re-learning what I've always known...whatever you are going through in the "pain" department it opens your eyes to things you might have missed along the way! This sunset started out with the clouds rolled back as a one of my favorite hymns. So guess what? I sang the sunset down! And because I was patient…I got this picture. Oh, I’m glad I waited 10 minutes!

Saturday, April 14, 2007


I just returned from California—the Bay Area—where my family lives. And I got to return to one of my favorite places—Santa Cruz. After a lovely meal at the famed Shadowbrook Restaurant (a must for anyone visiting Capitola), we walked along the beach—watching beachcombers, jugglers, children building sandcastles, and surfers gracefully riding the waves of the Pacific Ocean.

This picture caught my eye and tears glistened on my sunburned cheeks as I remembered my childhood in Southern California—countless hours on the beach with my sister, Mom and Dad. Now that I can count the age spots on my face, I probably would have used more sunscreen (but what did we know back then!). It was a blissful time, frolicking in the sand, jumping waves and allowing them to wash over me—threatening to carry me away. I, too, built sandcastles and watched the ocean swallow them up. Precious memories, made more special, because for the first time in eighteen years I spent Easter with my family. We all went to church together (taking up an entire row!), had an Easter egg hunt in the front yard, and shopped until we dropped. But the best part was spending time with each other—talking about the things that really mattered.

One of my favorite times was spent looking at lost treasure (not in the sand), but in the tiny back room in the garage where all my memorabilia lay: old love letters, photos from high school, yearbook albums, birthday cards, books from high school (who could forget reading Crime and Punishment from Sophomore English?), diplomas, reports cards (one from Miss Wheeler in third grade: "Connie is an excellent creative writer"). Umm . . . .

I took what was most important and left the rest. My mom is going to send me the box and I look forward to poring through all the treasure once again (cross-legged on the floor), and re-living memories of when there was just the four of us at 5018 Concord Blvd. in Concord, California (before baby brother, David, arrived!). But that's another story!

To be reminded of what's really important was so refreshing: the love of family and friends, the deep love that God has for all of us, and memories that can't be washed away like sandcastles on the beach.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ready for Spring?

Spring has arrived--almost! Today it was 58 degrees and almost melted the two glaciers in our backyard. Green grass is starting to perk up and I saw some tiny yellow flowers as I took a 5-mile walk/jog/run today. Maybe they were weeds, but who cares? It was something other than "snow." This has been a long winter and I'm passionate about spring (new birth) that I can't wait for the daffodils and tulips to emerge from the cold, hard earth. Lately, I've been filling the house with fresh flowers--like the roses you see in this picture--just to remind me that there is a cycle to life: fall, winter, spring, and summer. Some of the seasons last longer than expected--like this winter.

To help me get in the mood faster, I'll be flying to California to visit my family for Easter. A much welcome change (the trees are in full bloom there!). If I need to, I'll bring my glue gun and put the blossoms back on the trees while I'm there.

If you're passionate about a certain season, let me hear about it (but please don't say "winter")!
Living Life Passionately,

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Living Outside the Box

This is our kitten's favorite place—an empty water container box. Several times now I've tried to throw it away, and she "cries" until I bring it back (three times now!). She loves this space—comfortable inside—looking out at the world. Sometimes she even pounces on it and it squishes to a flat piece of paper and then she "cries" some more until I build it back up to the way it was before. I'm not sure if she will "outgrow" it or if it's part of our new decor, "Bianca" style.

But isn't that they way we are? Take us out of our familiar surroundings and we feel unsettled. Some of us flourish in an environment that's new, but others of us flounder—"take me back to my box!" But think for a moment what your life would be like if you were forced to stay inside your “box”? There would be no growth, no stretch of the imagination, and worst of all, how would your passions survive?

Several years ago, I ventured outside my box. Comfortable in the medical field for years, I was like Bianca—it was safe. It was a sure thing: retirement with benefits, great pay, steady hours, and guaranteed work!

After living 10 years with a cancer diagnosis, I realize there's no guarantee of tomorrow—I just have "today." And I consciously choose to "live outside the box." Was it risky? Absolutely yes! Would I change anything? Are you kidding?! I have the best of both worlds: I can still use my medical knowledge to write articles for medical magazines and journals and best of all, I am “living” my passion daily—speaking and writing!

Ask God what it would take for you to live outside "your" box?

Monday, January 15, 2007

God's Coffee!

A dear friend of mine, Judy Dippel, from the CelebrateMoms team sent this great analogy about coffee. Pour a cup of coffee and "ponder" this thought:

A group of alumni, highly established in their
careers, got together to visit their old university
professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints
about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the
kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an
assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic,glass,crystal,
some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite -
telling them to help themselves to the coffee.
When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the
professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking
expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain
and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want
only the best for yourselves, that is the source of
your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the
coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in
some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you
really wanted was coffe e, not the cup, but you
consciously went for the best cups... And then you
began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money
and position in society are the cups. They are just
tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we
have does not define, nor change the quality of Life
we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail
to enjoy the coffee God has provided us." God brews
the coffee, not the cups.......... Enjoy your coffee!

The happiest people don't have the best of everything.
They just make the best of everything.

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak
kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Living Life Passionately,

Connie Pombo

Visit my post today at Boomer Babes Rock with Allison Bottke!

Friday, January 05, 2007

A Portrait in the Sky!

The other night I was coming home and saw this beautiful sight: layers of sky, moon, and a landscape from the "Tuscan Sun." I'm passionate about taking pictures, which is why I "always" keep a disposable camera in the glove compartment of the car. I swerved off the side of the road, ran into a newly manured field to take this shot. (I later had to throw those shoes away, but it was worth it!) I am a sunset watcher only because I don't see the sun "rise" that often, but now I'm a moon watcher!

Living Life Passionately,