Beyond Words

Words, Wit and Wisdom for Today's Style and Decision Makers

The New Dream Girls January 31, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 5:08 pm


“You know you’re living right when you wake up, brush your hair, and confetti falls out.”

Katy Perry



Katy Perry.  She who kissed a girl and liked it, woke up in Vegas, and is every boy’s teenage dream.  Okay maybe not, but according to her song lyrics, all of those are true.  Perry is also one of the most popular and successful pop artists in the world right.  Google her and you’ll see she’s “trending.”  Not because she loves glitter and all things cupcakey, but because she will be the half-time entertainment at tomorrow’s Super Bowl, an uber-highly coveted spot by any and all entertainers.  Sing maybe less than 10 of my biggest hits on sports’ biggest stage and be seen by more than 100 million viewers?  I’m in!  In other words, Katy Perry has scored big on this one and is the winner of the “where would I like to sing this year” contest.  If she were playing in the big game, she’d probably wear this Nicole Miller Helemt:





Katy Perry is also something else.  She is a “Manic Pixie Dream Girl.”  Say what?  Yep, a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, or a MPDG.  I heard about all this from my amazing niece Tessa months ago and was so intrigued by the concept.  What better time to explain it all to my followers and friends than today….thanks to Katy Perry tomorrow.


Coined by Nathan Rabin of The Onion AV Club after seeing the film “Elizabethtown” (one of my all-time favorites BTW), which features actress Kirsten Dunst in a role now dubbed a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.  According to Rabin, a Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a character type in films and TV shows who is forever positive and unabashedly girlish.  She is almost always the love interest of a grumpy, unpleasant male who learns he simply can’t resist her charm and allure.  These girls love life, love their man, and aren’t afraid to show either.


doris day


And before you get your feminist panties in a wad, know that these dream girls do things their way.  It’s just a way that others simply can’t or won’t pursue.  More power to them.   Much like many a Doris Day character, they may seem a little goofy or odd, they are fun and they don’t hurt anyone, and in the end they are tough cookies…albeit probably ones with icing and sprinkles. I think they live by one of my favorite quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson:




Think about it, don’t we all want to be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl is some way?


Many have “played one on TV” and others like Katy Perry seem to live the Pixie Dream in real life.


“I rock a lot of polka dots.  I have touched glitter in the past 24 hours.  I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person.  I hate your pantsuit.  I wish it had ribbons.”

Jess on “New Girl”


One of the most often identified MPDG is actress Zooey Deschanel.  (the perfect name for a MPDG I must say!)  Her characters in films like “Elf” and “Failure to Launch” were spot on and have you seen her in the hit TV series “New Girl?”  It’s textbook MPDG.  In a way, Deschanel also seems to meld her MPDG characters with her real life.  Not only is she a sought out actress but she is a very talented singer.  (Remember the scene in “Elf” when she so delicately nailed “Baby, It’s Cold Outside?”)  One half of the indie duo “She & Him,” Deschanel sings and plays ukulele (a MPDG instrument if there ever was one!) while M. Ward sings and plays guitar.  Yep, she’s got my vote as a solid MPDG.  (And has anyone else noticed that Perry and Deschanel look remarkably alike?  Coincidence?  Creepy?  Both?)




 Holly Golightly



“When I first moved to New York I was totally broke.  Sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner.  I felt it fed me more.”

Carrie Bradshaw, “Sex and the City”


I immediately think of two of my favorites:  Doris Day and the Carrie Bradshaw character on “Sex and the City.”  Many would say Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was probably the original Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and the quirky character was indeed a MPDG but ironically it’s another famous actress with the surname Hepburn that is credited for originating the MPDG model.  And it may surprise you.


Katharine Hepburn, known as Katharine the Great for her immense acting talents, probably does not come to mind when thinking of girly glitter loving roles, but  her scatter-brained character opposite the brooding Cary Grant in the 1938 film “Bringing Up Baby” is recognized as being one of the earliest examples of a lovable MPDG.  The Hepburn and Hepburn coincidence is one thing, but there’s even a second generation MPDG line with Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn!  Who is more MPDG than Goldie?!


Other examples that you might make you say “oh yeah, right” include:

Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like It Hot”

Winona Ryder in “Autumn in New York”

Many a Jennifer Aniston role and of course Phoebe on “Friends”

Kate Hudson in “Almost Famous”

Hudson’s mom Goldie Hawn in “Butterflies are Free”

Amy Adams in a number of films

Mila Kunis in “Moving McAllister”

Geena Davis in “The Accidental Tourist” and Grace’s sister on “Will & Grace.”

Jaime Murray on Dexter

Charlize Theron in “Sweet November”

Dharma in the hit TV series “Dharma and Greg”

Natalie Portman in “Garden State”

Even Belle in “Beauty and the Beast!”


Maybe Dr. Seuss was onto something all along when he wrote…

Dr. Seuss     Stand out


So just when you thought Katy Perry was just a cuh-razy singer with blue hair and a weird wardrobe, now you know she’s more than that.  She’s a dream girl!



Friday Funny January 30, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 2:57 pm


Happy Friday!


Think About It Thursday January 29, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 11:00 pm



So very true, right?  Above water, people may only see the finished product and your image, but underneath that water what they don’t see is all the effort you have put into your success.  I’d like to add to that underwater list integrity, unselfishness, team player, honesty, respect, knowledge, loyalty, fairness, and even a little humility and humor.


At the same time, we are all sure to run across many who project an image that is anything but genuine and yet achieve success without exhibiting few if any of those underwater truths.  The real truth is, swim on, swim past them, dive in, and enjoy getting a little sand in your toes!


Success is never an easy road, but it can be an exciting one.





Thought for the Day January 28, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 8:34 pm



Awards, Crowns, and Ball Gowns January 26, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 8:59 pm

Let’s just say last night was one royal evening on TV.  What, with Miss Universe, the Screen Actors Guild awards, and Downton Abbey competing for viewers, it was the perfect evening to play favorites with who wore what.


At the SAG awards, Emma Stone killed it once again, this time in Dior.  The girl knows how to pick them and she knows how to work it.  Love this about her!

Emma Stone in Dior


For the most part I thought the SAG gowns failed and that Jennifer Aniston’s breasts were again saggy (maybe it’s all those years of not wearing a bra on “Friends,” but something has taken its toll on her otherwise perfect bod.)  In addition to Stone, I died for only three other gowns:


Camila Alves looked dropped dead gorge again in a stunning eggplant Donna Karan Atelier mermaid with train.  Hash-tag she gets it every time.



I also think Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting looked beyond sweet in her tomato red Romona Keveza.



I loved, loved, loved the pale pink and oh so simple yet stunning Balenciaga column on Felicity Jones.  Perfect hair.  Perfect jewelry.  Perfect bag.  Perfection.

Felicity Jones




Meanwhile in Miami, the Miss Universe contestants were throwing down their best starlet imitations in gowns that put many a SAG star to shame.  My faves?


Miss Jamaica not only reminded me of a brunette Jennifer Lawrence but was also so poised and I am crazy about her super short hair.   The back of this red stunner was to…die…for.



Miss USA also looked radiant in red, as did Miss Russia…

USA  Russia



Miss Korea and Miss Hungary blew me away in blue…

Korea Hungary


Miss St. Lucia and Miss Czech Republic went for the gold…and scored big in my book…

St Lucia Czech Rep


I’m all about glitter so I loved Miss Peru’s sparkler but I also found Miss South Africa’s classy white number a real winner…

Peru SAfrica


I have a love-hate feeling about Miss Ukraine’s busy and bright pink friller but Miss Guyana’s emerald green gown was a gem.

ukraine Guyana


I love watching these shows and I love picking my favorites.  I wonder if you do too?  Please share!


Sunday Scripture: That Special Child January 25, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 4:57 pm


If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

It seems like more and more people I know have kids who are either special needs or just needing some special medical or educational care.  I work with children, all of who have different needs, and I have a talented and beautiful daughter who has special needs uniquely her own.  It’s tough seeing your child struggle but God is there every step of the way.  God also thinks YOU are very special as He gave that child to you and only you.   I don’t know about you, but I consider that a huge honor.  He trusts you and supports you, as this poem someone gave me years ago attests.  It made me feel better way back then, and it still does to this day.  Here’s hoping it helps whoever else needs it.


Heaven’s Very Special Child

A meeting was held quite far from earth

It’s time again for another birth

Said the angels to the Lord above

This child will need much, much love

His progress may seem very slow

Accomplishments he may not show

And she’ll require extra care

From the folks she meets way down there

He may not run or laugh or play

His thoughts may seem quite far away

In many ways she won’t adapt

She might be known as handicapped

So let’s be careful where he’s sent

We want his life to be content

Lord find the parents who will do

A very special job for You

They may not realize right away

The special role they’re asked to play

But with this child sent from above

Comes stronger faith and richer love

And soon they’ll know the privilege given

In caring for this gift from heaven

Their precious charge, so meek and mild

Is heaven’s very special child.





Up In The Air January 24, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 10:13 pm

Fox News FB


I just read in the paper today that Expedia bought Travelocity from the Sabre Corp., which is the big system that companies work with to sell airline tickets, hotel rooms, and rental cars.   My family is a big fan of Expedia so I found this interesting and read on.  Did you know Expedia also owns and Hotwire?  News to me.  I was under the naïve assumption that all the sites competing for not only ad space but travel dollars are separate and competing entities.  Silly me.


And it’s not just Expedia.  Priceline, another big booking site, also owns, Kayak, and Open Table.  I couldn’t find anything on Orbitz or new player Trivago, but I’m sure they’re next.  In fact, Orbitz is rumored to have a “for sale” sign on it.


I don’t know about you, but I use these sites to find competitive airfares and to book travel packages that include flight, hotel, and rental car.  I’m not sure how to feel that many of them are one big happy family.  Doesn’t seem like much competition to me, and competition makes prices drop, right?


Flying is not fun anymore and no one will tell you this more than my husband, who has travelled for years on business and wants nothing to do with it even for fun.  I get it.  Flying is a pain in the tail and I don’t care what exotic locations you “get” to travel to for your job, my lack of envy will be sitting with me right at home.


Don’t get me wrong, I do still enjoy a trip or two, but my list of “gotta see” places continues to decrease mainly due to the hassles of flying.  If it’s a driving road trip you’re talking about, I’m in.  Boarding a plane that’s not non-stop?  Eh, lemme think about it.




A Flight Attendant Comes Clean

This all made me remember a book I read some years back titled “Cruising Altitude.”  It was written by Heather Poole, who was/is a long-time flight attendant for several major airlines.  I loved reading the dish on what flight attendants and only flight attendants know and thought I’d share some of it with you.  Fasten your seat belts, put your tray tables in the upright and lock positions, and enjoy the ride!


First and foremost Ms. Poole wants everyone to know that we are not receiving “bad service” these days but “limited service.”  (Tell that to the passenger who gets Ms. Grump-a-Lump serving her on her expensive and crowded flight!)  She vows flight attendants are doing the best they can with the limited and decreasing tools they are given.  She says that you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat a flight attendant, who, by the way, lives and works amid one of the most serious ranking seniority around.


In fact, you might say seniority is everything in the flight attendant world.  Those on domestic flights tend to get the least amount of respect and work the least wanted routes.  If the plane you board has two aisles, is an overseas flight, and/or is a long flight, you more than likely will be served by the most senior of flight attendants.


Those long flights are often the calmest of flights, as passengers are least likely to carry-on big bags.  Being away for a long period of time means more checked bags and a much calmer boarding time.  According to Poole early morning or “red eye” flights also tend to be quieter, as passengers sleep during the flight, and as she says “a quiet cabin is a happy cabin.”


I prefer booking morning flights for perhaps another reason:  in case of the dreaded (and more and more common) cancellation or delay of connecting flights, the odds of catching a later open flight are much greater than if your original flight was a 2:30 p.m. flight.


I have a very dear friend who is a flight attendant.  She flies only international and is as sweet and professional as can be so I hate to even include this fact, but if you ask me, flight attendants just aren’t very friendly anymore.  She, Poole, and probably any other FA will say that their job is not to make us happy but to keep us safe, but it seems like asking one for anything is like asking for a million dollars.  I get it, it’s a stressful job full of probably very rude passengers, but without us there would be no flight attendant jobs.


Want to make one of those snotty flight attendants unhappy?  According to Poole, order a Diet Coke from the bev cart.  What?  Yep, Poole says that for some mysterious reason the fizz in only Diet Coke doesn’t go down as quickly as other carbonated drinks so they are considered the most annoying beverage.   Note to self!


Both Poole and “Conde Nast Traveler” report that nothing is more annoying than the NYC-Miami flight.  Both say it’s “one of the most difficult routes in the system” and Poole added NY-Vail as well, claiming “every single person sitting in coach truly believes they should be in first class.”  Then buy a first class ticket princess!


As a whole, business class passengers are Poole’s least favorite, and probably those of most flight attendants.  Called “the most demanding passengers on an airplane,” they are usually given the most junior attendants.  It makes sense, as coach passengers don’t expect much of anything anymore and first class passengers get all they want.  It’s those middle business boogers who consider themselves better than coach but won’t or can’t ante up for first class.


The most challenging flyers are also those who feel entitled.  Everyone is all about being a “gold status gazillion mile frequent flying champion,” but who isn’t today?  The days of flashing your mileage reward card and impressing anyone are long gone.   You fly a lot on business?  Well unless it’s for your dream job, I feel sorry for you!



Everyone, me included, has always thought flight attendants live a charmed life and should smile from take-off to landing.  That is not necessarily the case though.  Their jobs are hard and they are a grind.  Yes, they have the perk of flying “non-rev,” but have to do so stand-by, usually in the middle of the week and rarely for holidays, and getting a seat with family members flying with them is almost unheard of.  Okay so the flight is free, but how would you like to fly everywhere stand-by?  Think about it.  You really can never check a bag and you will more than likely spend hour upon hour waiting at a gate.  This is the case for even the most senior of attendants.


Until you have reached that coveted senior status, your personal life is literally and figuratively “up in the air.”  As Poole wrote, single flight attendants find it difficult to have relationships as their schedules and availability are erratic and they are generally fairly independent people.  Saying “good-bye” is an everyday thing for a flight attendant!  Maybe that’s why today’s flight attendants last either only a few months or a lifetime.  Veteran flyers consider flying not their job, but a lifestyle.


I always figured New York City would be considered the “end all” of flight attendant base cities, which are where their flights begin and end, but it’s actually considered a junior base and is home to many a newbie.  In fact, many NYC flight attendants permanently live elsewhere, which somewhat explains the line of motor homes and campers along the back fence at JFK.


If they do permanently live the New York City area, it’s probably in what’s called a “crash pad.”  These multi-level and multi-room houses are where flight attendants merely “crash” between flights and do so with several fellow attendants.  Queens is a popular location for them as it’s centrally located between LaGuardia and JFK.


All this seems much different than the old days, when flight attendants were called stewardesses and were considered glamorous, like on the recently cancelled TV show “Pan-Am,” which I loved.   They were also required to be childless and single and of certain height and weight.  Today there are some clothing regulations regarding how flight attendants wear their airline uniforms,  but other than that the only height and weight restrictions are that they must be able to sit in the jump seat without an extended seat belt and fit through and emergency window exit.  Oh yeah, they’re also officially only on the clock when the door closes and the plane backs away from the gate so delays are just as aggravating to them as they are to you!  Add to that having to deal with demanding passengers, standing on your feet all day, being one of very few people who say “thank you” when someone hands you trash, and you quickly realize that flying the friendly skies isn’t all that friendly for anyone anymore!


Pilots have it a little different but are under probably even more stress.  I cannot even imagine.  A few fun facts about pilots that Poole shares are the fact that they often keep a family photo under the brim of their hat to distinguish it from those of other pilots, captains have four stripes on their sleeves while first officers have three, the heavier and bigger a plane pilots fly the more money they are making, and pilots on one flight are never fed the same thing on board as a precaution against food poisoning.  Good to know, right?!


All of this may bore you (and if so, you probably have read this far anyway!), but it fascinates me.  Here are a few other random tips Poole gives:


  • Because of lower oxygen levels on a plane, the same amount of alcohol goes a lot further so please drink wisely!


  • Afraid of flying? Tell the flight attendants right away. They are there to help you. Also, the back of the plane is always bumpier so avoid sitting there if possible.


  • Count the number of rows from your seat to the closest emergency exit. Keep in mind that if an emergency does occur, it will probably be dark so you will need to feel your way to the exit.


  • Those seat blocking device that you can use to prevent the seat in front of you from reclining look like great carry-on ideas, but they will be confiscated by a flight attendant so don’t bother buying one.


Yes, airlines have taken the fun out of travel with smaller seats and carry-on bag charges, but in most cases don’t blame the flight attendant unless he or she is extremely rude or unfriendly.   Maybe they could all take a page from Southwest Airlines flight attendants who almost always are nice and happy.  Amazing too, being that the majority of their flights are short ones.  We’re all paying a lot of money to fly and withstanding a lot of irritations do so too so is it asking too much to ask for a simple smile and common courtesy?  Or maybe even a snack or a blanket?  I think not.



One last thing:  SkyMall magazine, that fun little “seat pocket in front of you” magazine that contains all those things you really don’t need but seem to want at 20,000 feet, has filed bankruptcy.  Seems on-board TVs, laptops, and notebooks have taken the place of the in-flight shopping catalog that has been a cabin mainstay since 1989.  Although I always have a book, my own magazines, and my tablet on board, I will miss browsing through SkyMall.  Will you?



New Year, New Hair Do? January 23, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 12:23 am



My co-worker and I were talking about hair today.  She was looking forward to her hair appointment after work and we shared our joys and our woes about styling and coloring our hair.  I feel pretty confident in saying this is a typical conversation topic among women.  It’s no secret that a good hair day makes for a good all around day.


Our hair is our most prominent and permanent accessory and we stress over it a lot.  Those with curly hair want straight hair.  We go short only to grow it out or add extensions.   Our bathrooms border on beauty salons when it comes to hair styling tools.   Guys think we’re crazy but also admit they all wish their ladies had Julia Roberts-style locks.


We all know those girls:  the ones with perfect hair.  My friends Julie and Jeannie.   Jennifer Aniston and Kate Middleton.  We love them but boy do we hate the fact that their hair always looks great.


We also know those celebs whose hair has set the style world on fire at one time or another:  Farrah, Hamill, Rachel, even Halle.  Say “Lisa Rinna” and you not only think of ginormous lips but you probably also think of that same hair style she’s had for years.  Everyone loved Meg Ryan’s tasseled waves but does anyone else remember the TV havoc caused when Felicity chopped off her famous curls?


A New Norm for Hair

That’s why I was so pleased to recently learn that “normcore” hair is in and in a big way.  What the heck is “normcore” hair?  Well, it’s the hair style sister of last year’s normcore fashion, essentially studied yet decidedly dressed down style.  Boyfriend jeans paired with  (gasp!) Birkenstocks, men’s ware at formal affairs.  Over polished became so over and even make-up was less done.  Bare faces were all the rage last summer and the trend is expected to continue this year.


When it comes to hair in 2015, less is more.  Less styling.  Less blow outs.  Less extensions.  Less color.  Less everything.  According to hair stylist to the stars, Marie Robinson, it’s simple hair with natural color.  Your natural color.  Ombre is out, extensions have extended their welcome, highlights are has beens, and platinum is past tense.


Robinson credits one particular celebrity, Jennifer Lawrence, for triggering this back to basics trend.  “Even though she’s had different variations of cuts, her color always stays believable,” Robinson says.   I Googled the fashionable and friendly JLaw, and found this to be spot on.  Judge for yourself:


Jlaw long ??????????????????? JLaw pixie


This toning down of hair color opens the door for more options and possibilities with haircuts.  The thought being women will take bigger risks with their hair cuts if their hair color is toned down. “Don’t over accessorize” applies also to hair so if you have a “look at me” shade you probably want to keep your style simple, or vice versa.


“We’ve been stuck on this middle-long safe length for such a long time and I’m hoping people are going to get more daring,” says Robinson when it comes to choosing a hair style.




Most hair stylists would agree, and many admit, that trimming long hair can get pretty boring, but a fun shorter “do” is way more fun to do.


About the time I learned about this normcore hair trend, I came across’s site where you upload a photo of yourself and “try on” a variety of hairstyles, even those of celebrities.  I had so much fun with it and found the site not only highly entertaining but highly addictive too!



Do we like a bob…

3 3Selena Gomez   1Kiera Knightley


Short and sassy…

6 12 Shaelene Woodley


Long and flowing…

7 16  Katie Holmes


Mid-length moxie

4Jessica Alba 10 14


Or…Kate, Katy Perry, blonde Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, the “Rachel” or Whitney Houston?!

Kate Katy Perry Miley Cyrus Rihanna The Rachel Whitney


So.  Much.  Fun!


Try it out yourself at  I’m guessing you’ll have as much fun as I did and you may just find that perfect hair style you’ve been looking for!





Choose Wisely

When choosing a hair style, there are many things to consider.  Nothing can change your look more than a new ‘do but just because your favorite celebrity can pull off the style of the moment doesn’t mean you can.  Study the shape of your face and the texture of your hair.  Both are paramount in deciding what hair cut you decide on.  Also think about how much time and effort you like to spend doing your hair.  I have a lot of hair that grows fast and I could easily have long, flowing locks but I just am not good at or enjoy spending lots of time styling my hair each day.  I also have an oval face, which styling experts say is the most versatile face shape, but as the photos above prove, bangs don’t work on me because my forehead is narrow.


If you also have an oval face (think Julia Roberts or Beyonce), many different cuts will work for you but regardless of length, ask for cheekbone, lip line, or chin-length layers and avoid short layers on top.  Skip blunt cuts all together if you have thick or curly hair.


Long faces (think Sarah Jessica Parker or Liv Tyler) work best with chin-length cuts or bobs.  Bangs can also work on this face shape, as does either straight styles or curls.


Heart-shaped faces like Reese Witherspoon and Michelle Pfeiffer should focus on long layers if the cut is short and side-swept bangs for both long and short styles.  Stay away from blunt-cut bobs.  Subtle layers and playful pieces work best.


Square-faced beauties like Keira Knightley and Julianne Moore should avoid blunt-cut bangs at all costs and opt instead for cuts that soften their prominent jawlines.  Focus on face-framing layers, spiky crops, or sleek long looks.


Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams both boast round faces, and if you do too you’ll want longer, geometric cuts with angled layers.  Pick cuts with more volume on the crown than on the sides and stay away from blunt styles that end above your chin.


It’s not true that blondes have more fun so most importantly, have fun with your hair whether it’s brown, black, red or even pink.   Just think:  it will always grow back!




Tuesday Tip January 20, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 11:24 pm

Jackie O



Listen Up January 18, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 6:13 pm


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6


Speak Lord, your servant is listening.


That line is in one of today’s mass readings and it’s also in a song we sing right before the gospel.  I’ve always loved it.


I am His servant and I am listening.


Sometimes it’s hard to hear what He is saying though; really hear.  We often hear what we want to hear and shy away from what He might be telling us.


People in general just aren’t good listeners.  We would rather be talking, texting, reading, or doing something else.  Listening is an art.  It’s a skill and something we have to work on being good at.  We all know the empty feeling of talking to someone we know isn’t really listening and yet we are guilty of doing the very same thing.


Even during sermons in church.  We fidget, we look around, we let our minds wander.  But, we should be listening to the Word of God with open hearts and open ears.  It is a true blessing to listen to God.  It is how we obtain His blessings and improve our relationship with Him.  Yes, we also pray to Him, but praying to God is not the same as listening to Him.  Prayer is how we speak to God but it’s not how He speaks to us.  He speaks to us through His word and in many little ways throughout our days.  It’s up to us to hear those words.


Throughout the bible there are examples of those who did not listen to God from the outset.  Eli.  Nathanael, and even Samuel until God called to him, saying “Samuel!  Samuel!”  Then, Samuel finally replied, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”  After that, God spoke to Samuel regularly and Samuel listened.  He eventually became a prophet and is a shining example for us all.




Every morning the first thing I do is read my “Jesus Calling” devotional.  Today’s reading was so timely as I grapple with listening to God and wondering what His plans are for my life even as I always repeat “the will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.”  God also said “Follow me” (John 21:19), so it was with an open heart and open ears that I read:



Jesus Calling: January 18

I am leading you along the high road, but there are descents as well as ascents. In the distance you see snow-covered peaks glistening in brilliant sunlight.  Your longing to reach those peaks is good, but you must not take shortcuts.   Your assignment is to follow Me, allowing Me to direct your path.  Let the heights beckon you onward, but stay close to Me.


Learn to trust Me when things go wrong.  Disruptions to your routine highlight your dependence on Me. Trusting acceptance of trials brings blessings that far outweigh them all. Walk hand in hand with Me through the day.  I have lovingly planned every inch of the way. Trust does not falter when the path becomes rocky and steep.  Breathe deep draughts of My presence, and hold tightly to My hand. Together we can make it.


Concluding Prayer Father, thank you for your great love and care for me. Thank you for the promise of directing my paths. Lord, help me to be open to new heights. I want to serve You with all my heart and I pray that You would direct me to the best place for me to serve You.  Lord, I don’t know if I’m the best place right now.  It’s providing for me and yet it is very empty.  Do you want me to change?  Is there another path you want to direct me towards?   Things won’t always go the way I want them to and when this happens keep me connected to You Lord. I feel my road is steep right now and I admit, I think the answer often is for me to run out and solve a problem in a way I only think it can be solved.   Do I think that you really can do something beyond my understanding?  Lord, I want to trust you. I want to believe You.  More than I know myself.


“Don’t be anxious about tomorrow.  God will take care of your tomorrow.  Live one day at a time.” 

Matt 6:34


Reading all of that as I woke up from a restless night gave me both chills and peace of mind.  It literally and figuratively woke me up.  What an amazing God we have who asks us only to listen.  Let’s all try to make “Speak Lord, your servant is listening” our goal and our motto today and every day.