Are you too hard on yourself?

I must admit I find it so much easier to support and encourage my friends and family than to offer the same considerations to myself. My desire to do or say the “perfect” thing overshadows my ability to remember that God does not ask us to be perfect, instead to give the best we can and let Him create out of it what He wants it to be. I have to remind myself of this every time I write. Will my words capture the experiences, ideas, and emotions I want them to? Will they inspire those who read them?

Do you struggle with this? Does your drive for perfection cause you to procrastinate, putting things off until later when you might be able to do better with it? When “later ” arrives, is it easier to make it perfect? Usually my repsonse to this is “no” and now I have to rush to get it done because I waited! We read in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness”, and in Psalm 138:8 “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the work of thine own hands.” God just asks us to be willing to give our best so that He can make it perfect for His purpose.

Please plan to stop by the Spotlight on Local Authors event at Covered Treasures Bookstore 105 2nd Street, Monument, on Saturday, March 14, 1:00-3:00. There will be several authors sharing their work, refreshments, and of course BROWNIES!!!

Love to have you visit with us March 14. Blessings! Nancy and Denny.

Local Author Event

Love to have you come, Saturday, March 14, 1:00-3:00 p.m., Covered Treasures Bookstore, 105 2nd St. in Monument. Local authors will share their lives and stories with you, and YES, I will serve brownies!!

Look forward to talking with you!

Blessings! Nancy

Empathy – Care That Makes a Difference

“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Empathy is putting yourself in the place of another and understanding their perspective. It is identifying with them such that you feel what they are feeling and are moved to respond compassionately out of genuine care. These behaviors create attitudes of acceptance and validity, nuturing relationship building Empathy is lacking in our world today and the evidence of its absence is everywhere: on our roadways, in our shopping centers, etc. So many folks feel underappreciated, undervalued, and undersupported in their work, for the work is viewed simply as the means to the end goal. In education, this equates to higher standardized test scores. Sadly, it seems that we’ve come to measure success (and worth) predominantly from data.

As an educator for nearly forty years, I tried to model caring, respect, and trust for my students. The simple idea of being a team, encouraging and supporting each other so that everyone could achieve applied to students, parents, and colleagues. Listening, truly hearing the needs of others, shows that we care and encourages and empowers children and adults to be their best, but more importantly to be happier, more engaged, and more caring of others. Feeling connected and cared about influences how we connect and care for others. The excerpt below is from my book, Full Immersion:

                     Brownies (Little Silver Packets) Because Everybody Needs a Cheering Section

                   Don’t let your job define your happiness is a saying I have heard before but never applied to my life prior to the last few years of my career.  Teaching was my life, my passion, my hobby, my identity.  I thought about my students more than their parents did in some cases, and continuously worked to improve my instruction.  I began to see many of my colleagues increasingly frustrated, overworked, and exhausted.  Most of us were feeling underappreciated in our school and devalued by parents and society as a whole.  I could see burnout eminent for several of my teammates.  

     Joyce Meyers states, “Happiness is not a feeling, it is a choice.  To be happy, one must choose to be happy, not respond to a circumstance that now controls your happiness.”

     Hoping that I might bring encouragement, if only briefly, I began doing something that I love – baking (Remember the zucchini?)- specifically brownies.  I started by bringing them for special events: birthdays and Friday treats. This escalated into movie nights, bake sales, classroom achievement celebrations, etc.  I honored requests, but sometimes would simply show up with a little foil wrapped package for someone having more struggle than usual.   This little treat was enough to make a smile appear every time.   What a sweet surprise to walk into your classroom or office and find a small silver packet waiting for you!  Smiles of recognition would greet me as I walked through the building with these treats and I developed a following –- literally, a following! Eyes would follow me down the hallway until I was out of sight and the realization settled in that the treat was for someone else.  I was told that I had become famous for my brownies. One of my administrators said: “I am a happy man” as he realized he had been the recipient of the coveted silver packet.  Students called me the “brownie teacher” and requested being in my classroom when they reached 4th grade.  I have received more smiles, hugs, and tears of joy over little silver packages than I can count.  I was told that a parent, at a movie night, offered five dollars for the brownies that remained on a plate on the dessert table! This simple idea took on a life of its own.  One person can make a difference – one little silver brownie packet at a time! Everybody needs a cheering section.

     Just prior to Christmas of my first retirement year, I scheduled a time to deliver multiple pans of deliciousness to the teachers’ lunch room. You never know the impact you’ve had on others until you are not there any longer and suddenly pop in for a visit. To see my colleagues struggling with exhaustion, work overload, and frustration with too many needy students was difficult, yet providing them with a treat, words of encouragement and hugs, hopefully made the day a bit easier.  My former students, now fifth graders, were gone on a field trip so I did not get to see them…good reason to make a return visit.  It seemed odd to walk down hallways that were still so familiar to me, to peek into the classroom that had been mine for twelve years, and to see it rearranged and filled with another teacher’s things.  Remembering the struggle of trying to meet all the needs of students and all the requirements of assessment, I was flooded with gratitude that I did these things to the best of my ability and ministered to the kiddos as if they were my own, but that those days were in the past.

Was it worth it?  Yes.  Did I make a difference? Yes.   

My purpose in being there, again, was to share friendship, inspiration, and little silver packets of brownie happiness!   

Was it worth it? Yes.  Did I make a difference? Yes.  

“Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)

Empathy is caring enough to make difference. We all can do something!

Full Immersion is available at and Barnes & Noble stores.

Please visit me at:,, my Amazon author page (Just click on my name under the book title.), and email me at

Watch for information about my upcoming author event at Covered Treasures Bookstore in Monument, Saturday, March 14, 1:00-3:00.


Who do you know who needs encouragement? The list of names coming to mind is probably huge. In reality, we all do. Often people appear to be strong, brave, moving forward unchallenged in their lives, however, if you asked them honestly to say how they are doing you might be surprised at the response.

Scripture tells us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 In my own life, I can definitely testify to needing power in weakness.

I recently began having a constant ringing in my ears after a cold created inflammation. Two courses of antibiotics took care of the inflammation but did nothing for the ringing. I tolerated this for about a month until my annual doctor’s appointment. My physician suggested a referral to an ENT specialist, whom I saw a week later. An exam and an audiogram revealed my Tinnitus was related to my hearing loss. Being aware that my response to a good deal of conversation at home was, “What?”, I did not realize that hearing aids were in the near future. After a significant financial investment and multiple appointments for adjustments in the digital settings, I have improved hearing and some Tinnitus relief. Who knew that there was such a thing as Tinnitus maskers (like white noise) in hearing aids now? Who knew how prevalent this ringing ear, annoyance is. I am not alone. Many other folks are dealing with this every day, too. For me somedays are better than others. Somedays I pray for strength to cope looking to Phil. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Experts say your brain habituates/acclimates to the sound so that it is less intrusive – still waiting for this.

Who do you know who needs encouragement? We all do, even when we don’t seem as though we do. Thankfully, it is often the simplest gestures that encourage…a smile, holding a door, asking someone how they are, listening to what they say, and offering to help. Caring enough to notice is an encouragement itself. See what happens!

Encouraging and helping one another.

Please visit:, Author Link, and email me at Full Immersion is also available at Barnes & Noble stores and online.

Work continues on my second book, Not as Planned, which explores the lives of three women who impacted my life in ways they never anticipated simply by caring enough to encourage me. My grandmother Nellie, my mother Lorraine, and my aunt Helen. Each had challenges to overcome and decisions to make demonstrating strength of character, perseverence, and a dedication to doing what is right. Watch for updates!



Merry Christmas!!

The holiday season is here, again. I realize that some of us are saying “finally” and some are saying “already”!?! Whatever your reaction is, I pray that you are able to make time for what is important to you; family, friends, church services, but also time for yourself. Don’t forget to stop and take in the abundant beauty all around. Share a smile, a handshake, a hug…you may be surprised how much these gifts are valued.

Love this…so true!

Thank you for your friendship, encouragement, and prayers for my journey with Full Immersion during these past months. I have received wonderful feedback, been fortunate to reconnect with friends and family that might not have been possible without the experience of sharing the book. If you were blessed by my story, book reviews are always welcome!

Blessings and Love,


Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with the best of friends, family, and of course, food!

As the Christmas season approaches and the “To Do” list gets longer, I want to suggest that you make a bit of space for yourself. Prioritize and ask for help with the essentials. If you give yourself permission not to take responsibility for everything this holiday, you will be much more likely to enjoy the celebrations rather than work through them.

Just a quick reminder…I have one remaining book signing event this coming Saturday, December 7, 11:00-3:00 at the Barnes and Noble, Citadel Mall store, 795 Citadel Drive East. Books will be available as will brownies!! Looking forward to seeing you then!

Merry Christmas!

Please check out my Amazon author site. Just click on my name on the Full Immersion page. My eBook is now available, too!

So grateful to all of you for sharing your journeys with me!

I have been blessed to meet new friends and reconnect with others who have been such a powerful part of my life for sometime. So many folks shared that they are in the midst of care-giving for loved ones themselves or are looking for ways to support friends who are there. The place to begin is to make your needs known – ask for help from a friend or another family member. Sharing the responsibility, if only for a brief time, so that you or your friend can have self-care opportunities is hugely impactful. Reach out for help or offer that help if you can!

Please join me at the Citadel Mall Barnes and Noble store, 795 Citadel Dr., on Saturday, December 7, 11:00-3:00, for a Full Immersion book signing event. Books will be available. Brownies will be served!!

My Amazon page for Full Immersion now has an author page attached. Simply click on my name next to the title (it will be linked directly to my author page). You can still go to: and to

Sorry, ice cream not included!