Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.


live out loud


Some songs are as powerful the 99th time you hear it as it was the first time you heard it.
“I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.”
Psalm 136:3 (NKJV)
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever:”
“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.”
Psalm 136:4 (NKJV)
“To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His mercy endures forever;”
Our God is so creative!
Psalm 136:5 (NKJV)
 “To Him who by wisdom made the heavens,
For His mercy endures forever;”
When was the last time you looked up at the sky and thought about how vast it is?
“I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance. Never settle for the path of least resistance…….. And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance — I hope you dance.”
Don’t fear those mountains. Keeping things in perspective reduces stress. Does it really matter? Is it worth getting frustrated? In the scope of the next five years – will it even be remembered?
Have a heart of gratitude. Take time to pause.
I don’t want to miss out on living because I was too busy to notice. I don’t want to settle for good enough.  I want to dance!!
I challenge you to stop, look around you, and really take in the moment. Allow yourself to be right where you are, not looking ahead to the next thing on the agenda or playing the “I’ll be happy when” game.   Dance!
til next time
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August 3, 2017 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, life lessons, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


God satisfies the thirsty!   Are you thirsty?  He fills the hungry. Are you hungry?

I am.  I am thirsty for more of God and less of me. (John 3:30) I need Him. On my own, I can surely make a huge mess of things in a quick hurry.

I am thirsty.  I need God.  I trust Him.  (Romans 15:13)

Have you taken time today to give God praise?

“Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
For he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9 (NLT)

His fingerprints are everywhere.

In February of 2014 I started a gratitude journal. It is helping me to cultivate an awareness of the presence of God in my ordinary every day life.   (One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp is a great book on this concept.)

Right now, in this moment, I am praising Him for loving me.  I just have to break out into song:   “He is a good good Father … and I am loved by Him…  He is perfect in all of His ways…

My heart cries out — thank You God!

til next time

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January 11, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

standing in the gap

When I tell someone I am praying for them, what that really means is I am standing in the gap for them, their marriage, their children, their health, our friendship, (whatever is going on at that time in their life) and asking God to help them press on. (Phil 3:12)

“We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,” Colossians 1:3

Give thanks – having a heart of gratitude makes a difference in how we handle life. When we begin giving thanks to God for people, it affects how we treat those very people.

Giving thanks is a part of prayer. Are you a thankful person? When things are good, it is easy to be thankful. Even when things aren’t good, God is still with us. He is helping us and that right there is cause enough to be thankful.

Praying always – (1 Thess 5:17 “pray without ceasing,”) means to become aware of the presence of God. God is everywhere. “We should be cultivating an awareness of the presence of God.” Pastor Curtis

Prayer should not be our last resort. “Praying always” means getting to the place where prayer is our first response. Prayer becomes as natural as breathing. Have a problem? Pray. Have a ‘just so happens moment” – give thanks.

How’s your prayer life?


til next time

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November 25, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Uncategorized, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s will?

What is God’s will for your life?  1 Thessalonians tells us three things that are God’s will for every believer.  I have room for growth.  How about you?

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NASB)

Rejoice always – when things are going great it is easy to rejoice. Even when things seem to be falling apart we can rejoice in the knowledge that Jesus holds all things together. (Colossians 1:17) We are not alone. (Matthew 28:20) God loves us! (John 3:16)

Pray without ceasing –  Being aware of the presence of God in our day all day long – God is with us. His fingerprints are all around us. May we continue to cultivate an awareness of the presence of God.

Give thanks – Thanksgiving is approaching. A time set aside to remember and be thankful. While I enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, giving thanks should be a daily thing for us as believers in Christ. A heart of gratitude expressed through our words and actions is a powerful demonstration of what Christ is doing in our lives.

Let me say that again.

A heart of gratitude expressed through our words and actions is a powerful demonstration of what Christ is doing in our lives.  (gg)

God’s will for your life is to rejoice, pray, and give thanks.Whatever else He leads you to do, these three things will be part of it.

til next time

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November 23, 2016 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

merry little christmas

The Christmas program is over.

Now that may not seem significant to you, but (for me and many other worship pastors out there) this day is right up there with a snow day!!   Actually it is even better than a snow day.

We have spent countless hours putting things together, praying that it turns out the way we see it in our heads,  practicing with various groups (in my case – the first time my children’s choir was all together was the day of the performance)  and trusting that it all brings glory to God.

I posted this on a worship ministers page Sunday night.

 ” Anyone else just really glad your Christmas service is over? I know some of you have already looked ahead to Easter but I am just resting in the fact that today is over. I only heard good things but it sure seemed like chaos to me. It was one of those days were I could have used a larger platform. smile emoticon Very proud of my kids choir and the adults did fabulous also. I went with an older theme — even had a couple poems (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Martin Luther) read by kids. But I am really really glad it is over!”

A couple things about Sunday.  The mom (of a good number of the kids involved in our program and she herself was in it) had to deal with her son having over 150 seizures  before coming to church.  He is a survivor of shaken baby syndrome.   He teaches me so much about worship, but that is a topic for another blog.

Would it have been easier for her  to just stay home than do what was necessary to get 9 kids to church while her heart is breaking over her son’s condition?  Think about that the next time you don’t feel like doing something.  Ouch!

Ten days ago I had surgery.    Three of my five health issues are worsened by stress.  As much as I love Jesus and know that His grace is sufficient, there is no way to get around stress when you are the one in charge of the program.  News flash — these things don’t just happen.   Long before Thanksgiving, I started working on the Christmas program.

All of this to say, I am grateful.

Grateful to God for:

-seeing me through the whole process
-the ability to have joy in the journey
-the grace to press on in the midst of physical pain
-my husband, who held my hand and prayed over me more times than I could possibly count throughout this whole process
-the clarinet and trumpet duet – new talent rising up
-the Sunday school classes reading of Martin Luther’s A Christmas Carole
-the kids who read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Christmas Bells
-our worship team – they do make my job easier
-our adult choir – this was their second performance of the year and what a fantastic job!
-my kids choir – their enthusiasm is contagious
-being my strength in weakness – (2 Cor 12:9)
-pain, because it is really a blessing least understood – truly the outward man is perishing BUT the inner man is being renewed day by day (2 Cor 4:16)
-being my ever present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1)

What are you grateful for?

Here is a small taste of our program.  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas — some words have been changed.



til next time


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December 22, 2015 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


674 and counting

Awhile back I was at a PW retreat and was challenged to start a gratitude journal.  I have great respect and admiration for the woman who challenged me.  She even went as far as to supply us with journals.  I had no excuse.  (Shortly after that I read the book  1,000 Gifts by Ann Voscamp.  I highly recommend this book.)

The idea behind the journal is to list three things that you are grateful for each day – no repeating.

My first three:

1. The love of God
2. My husband
3. My children

I am up to 674.  While that is a lot, if I had in fact listed three each day there would be so much more.  However, this is not about guilt or self- condemnation when I don’t write in it for a few days.

It is about getting me to focus on what God is doing in my life.  It is about keeping a record of the little things that I would have missed if I wasn’t looking for the beauty around me.  It is a tool to help me cultivate an awareness of God’s presence in my day.

“Let us cultivate an awareness of the presence of God.”  Curt Girod

Another benefit is that on those days when life seems to have kicked me in the teeth, I can open up my journal and read through it.  I can’t adequately express just how encouraging that is!

“God is good.  Life is good.  Life can be hard but God is still good.”  Curt Girod

What about you?  Do you find yourself rushing through each day?  Is it easy for you to be dragged down in negativity?  Do your days seems to be ‘same old, same old?’  Do you recognize the fingerprints of God in your day? Do you struggle with gratitude?

I encourage you to grab a pen and notebook.  Start your own gratitude journal.  If you keep at it, it will change you.

Here are a few of my entries.

Sand between my toes,
Greenish blue water meeting the bright blue sky, dotted with white fluffy clouds (just reading that takes me back to that moment -makes me smile)
Vastness of the ocean,
White keys –black keys flowing into music,
Smell of the air after a downpour,
Great hair day,
Bad hair day – have hair!
Alexander snuggles,
Encouragement of a friend,
Tree lined highways,
Cake for breakfast!!
Belly laughs,
Crisp bacon,
Wading across the Mississippi,
My husband’s smile,
Alexander’s really long hug while my tears flow – life is precious!
Peace in the midst of sadness,
Heating pad,
Apple fritters that remind me of mom,
Just so happens moments – when God lines things up (there are many of those listed)
Peppermint mocha creamer,
Crying with a friend,
Alexander walking in my shoes,
The sound of my children laughing,

What are you grateful for?  Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  What a great time to start your own gratitude journal.

til next time


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November 25, 2015 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


I woke up this morning and I knew before I ever got out of bed that I was emotionally depleted.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It is what it is.

psalm 61It can be the result of  a good thing as it can mean that I have had a schedule filled with all sorts of wonderful activities and been traveling on an emotional high.  I am reminded of Elijah in the Bible – 1 & 2 Kings.   This weekend my victories were not on the same enormous scale as his were, but there are similarities.

It can also occur due to a torrential downpour of “issues”  bombarding me.  Those things that try to squeeze the life out of me and never seem to come one at a time.  Instead they seem to come out of nowhere or where I would least  expect there to be a problem.  I am reminded of Paul addressing his troubles in 2 Corinthians 1:8 & 11:26-28.

Physical pain/sickness can also cause emotional depletion. Some days it seems like I am on the top of a teeter totter and the other person has just jumped off the bottom.  Other days the pain doesn’t even phase me.  Personally, I am so ready to have my life back.   The longer pain lasts, the greater toil it can have on your emotions.  Yet, greater trial – greater victory!

Then this morning I go and read this in Mark Batterson’s book “The Grave Robber”

“A few months ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer, and we’ve been praying for spontaneous remission — the medical term for miracle.  Unfortunately, further tests were trending in the wrong direction at his first follow-up visit.  When my friend called me, it was tough to know what to say.  And the truth is, it’s better to listen than to talk.  But then I felt like I needed to remind him of a simple yet difficult truth.  “I’m going to keep praying for your healing, but healing isn’t the ultimate goal.  The ultimate goal is God’s glory.”

The goal is God’s glory!praise  (see John 9)  Sometimes I forget that.  Sometimes I act as if the goal is pain free, problem free, financially free…

Last night we had a powerful praise service.  Kneeling before the Lord is one of my favorite positions.  Yet, it’s been almost 11 weeks since I messed up my knee and have not put any weight on the top.

During this song  my desire to kneel before God was strong.  (to listen to the song – click on the title)   This is my desire   

I did a one knee kneel at first but then it was as if God was prompting me to ‘go ahead – kneel with the other knee too’  So I did.  No pain!   Still numbness but no pain!

restIf your heart is overwhelmed please recognize that you have a choice.  You may try to ignore it but that won’t help.  Blaming something or someone won’t help either but you can choose to go that road and stay miserable.


You don’t have to remain overwhelmed.  You can recognize it for what it is and then go to the Rock (Jesus) and wait in His presence.  Take the time to immerse yourself in His Word.  Allow Him to fill you up again.  Take time to quiet your soul.

flower message

“May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you will overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  (Romans 15:13)

In closing, remembering God’s goodness is vital to dealing with the sense of emotional depletion/exhaustion/being overwhelmed.  A tool available to everyone is to start a gratitude journal.  I recommend it highly.  I don’t write in it every day but I try to regularly write in it.  The key is to not repeat something – be looking for treasures.    It does open your eyes to the beauty that is all around and the big and small ways God works in our lives.  (A great book to help you get started is “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voscamp.)

I am confident that nothing takes God by surprise.  My life is in the palm of His hand.  He has a plan that will turn ashes into beauty, give me joy instead of mourning, and my praising Him will overtake any heaviness that tries to rest on me.  (Isaiah 61:3 my paraphase)  He will do the same for you.

til next time


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August 31, 2015 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

perspective – gratitude – wonder

live out loud

Some songs are as powerful the 100th time you hear it as it was the first time you heard it.    I hope you  still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.   PERSPECTIVE, GRATITUDE, and WONDER!

the Badlands of SD

“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.”

This year we took our ’83 Yamaha on a Parks Run.  There weren’t any oceans on this trip.  There were lots and lots of mountains, hills and prairies.  I still felt small.  PERSPECTIVE, GRATITUDE, and WONDER!


thought I was going to have to slide down on my behind but my knight rescued me!

thought I was going to have to slide down on my behind but my knight rescued me!

I did some climbing and found that the Badlands are made up of lots of loose rock.  It was a snap to climb up, but it was getting down where the challenge came in.  PERSPECTIVE, GRATITUDE, and WONDER!

Mt Rushmore

Depending on the angle that you are viewing  the presidents and whether or not you have binoculars – will determine how big they seem.  PERSPECTIVE, GRATITUDE, and WONDER!

in comparison

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance.  Never settle for the path of least resistance…….. And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance — I hope you dance.” 

I take lots of pictures because pictures are right up there with my most favorite things.  Pictures tell the story.  Keeping things in perspective reduces stress.  Does it really matter?  Is it worth getting frustrated?  In the scope of the next five years – will it even be remembered?    Don’t fear those mountains.

Every time we take a long motorcycle trip, God does a deep work in me.   It is one of the things I love most about our trips.  — 13 days of just me, my hubby and God!  It is the closest thing we seem to get to a sabbatical.

blue skies, green grass and gorgeous scenery

blue skies, green grass and gorgeous scenery

“Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along.  Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone………”

I don’t want to miss out on living because I was too busy to notice.  I have heard it said that “life is what happens while you are making other plans.”   I challenge you to stop, look around you, and really take in the moment.   Allow yourself to be right where you are, not looking ahead to the next thing on the agenda or playing the “I’ll be happy when” game.  This is a flower from my garden that was blooming whether or not I took the time to notice.

look what was hiding

PERSPECTIVE, GRATITUDE, and WONDER!  The flower is now in a vase on my dining room table.

mighty close


“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.”

We had a number of these close encounters with Bison.  He is just out for a stroll.  I have not lost my sense of wonder.  I am ever grateful that he kept strolling.  It certainly put things into perspective.

be careful where you stand

be careful where you stand

There were many signs warning you to stay on the path because the earth was unstable.  There were many places at Yellowstone where I felt small and would just stand quietly in awe and wonder.   What a vast area of land filled with beauty that words or pictures just don’t do it justice.  Our God is so very creative.  PERSPECTIVE, GRATITUDE, and WONDER!

postcard perfect

beautyOn one side you could view the top picture.  The next picture shows the view on the other side.  So many thoughts filled my head as we would walk the trails viewing the upper and lower falls.  I have not lost my sense of wonder.    Have you?

elkLast picture.  This one I had to climb over fallen trees to get to a spot where I could truly capture the beauty.  Sometimes in life there will be  obstacles that  stand in our way.

I received a bracelet from a friend that says “When God guides, God provides.”    He will enable us to conquer the mountains that come along our path.  2 Samuel 2:30 and Psalm 18:29 both say that — For by Thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.    Sounds like taking life by storm and making the most of all that God has for us!!

If you haven’t listened to this song in a while – here it is.  I hope you Dance!

Til next time


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August 3, 2014 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, motorcycle, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

this past week –

This past week-

I have put together all of the receipts, forms, and information for our tax guy.  This is no small feat.  As ministers, Uncle Sam allows us to take advantage of what is called a housing allowance.  The important thing about this allowance is that we have to document everything and all the receipts have to equal more than the allowance.  In addition, both my husband and I are considered self-employed with our jobs at the church and then we also have jobs where we are considered employees.  What that boils down to is lots and lots of paperwork.

In this past week-

I was blessed to spend Thursday night through Saturday evening with five great women.  That alone would be wonderful but it is made even better because I call these women my friends!!  It was  girl time.  It was God time.  It just doesn’t get any better than laughing and crying with your girlfriends.  In amongst all the fun was the knowledge that God is doing some awesome things.

In this past week –

my son made a trip to MN on his bike.  On the way home he broke down and his brother and friends had to trailer his bike home.

Here is what happened.  On his way home Saturday night he had an experience that could have turned out so much different.  Tooling down the highway at 80 mph (he did not learn that from his mom or dad) his bike shut off.  As it was slowing down he managed to get it to start again.   However, there was still a problem.  His bike shut off and this time the back tire locked up.  Praise God he wasn’t going 80 when that happened.   He managed to keep it upright and get it safely off the road.  I know he had help from above!   Also God sent an officer  who told him that even though the exit was only a mile ahead, the nearest town was 7 or 8 miles beyond that exit.  He gave Chris a ride in the opposite direction to a truck stop where he could eat and watch a movie while he waited a few hours for the guys to get there.  Isn’t God good!!!

In this past week –

I have been lacking adequate sleep.  I am so grateful to God that I can place my kids in His care and sleep.  Yes, even though it was 9:30 at night when Andrew left to get Chris, I slept wonderfully.  Of course before falling asleep I did have to ask Curt to pray with me twice –  Not because God didn’t hear us the first time but because I was still bound up with worry and fear.

In this past week –

I went to my first tea party (complete with real tea cups) to celebrate a precious little girl’s birthday. Maggie keeps me in stitches and gives me plenty of hugs.  While blowing out the candle on her cake she wished for another tea party soon.  How precious is that?

In this past week –

while I absolutely loved the tea party, it did stir up some emotions in me that I haven’t had to deal with in quite a while.  (Before we got married, my friends made sure that Curt agreed to 12 kids.  Yes 12!  Ever since I can remember I wanted a large family.) The fact that even with the doctors help, we were unable to have any more children is something I have had to come to terms with.  Most of the time I am fine with that and always I am very grateful for my twins.

I know how blessed I am!

Other times though, something is said and I am reminded of just how deeply I longed for a girl or I get a glimpse of what it would have been like to have a bunch of kids.  and Bam Pow! – there is that old desire with renewed strength and must now be dealt with again or it shall surely steal my joy.  Once in a while I am caught off guard and this past week I had to deal with that ache in my heart on a couple of occasions.  God tenderly and lovingly heals the heart that hurts.

This past week –

the challenge to stick to water as my only beverage was tested.  So far so good.  🙂

This past week –

I heard from my brother and the time has come when they will no longer be taking care of our mom who is battling dementia.  We have three months.  The emotional roller coaster is trying to start-up again.  Truth is I have no clue what the right thing to do is.

This past week –

has been an example to me of the goodness of God.  In the midst of whatever we face, good or bad, God’s peace is ours if we will just accept it and let God be in control.

This coming week –

is in God’s hands.

til next time

April 2, 2012 Posted by | dementia, living in a fish bowl, perimenopause, relationships | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments