Pen to Paper

*originally written January 7, 2019

Week 12: I’m back in the library today. I love the quiet and being surrounded by books. I think of all the words that had to deliberately be put to paper–on purpose–by so many different minds. Books don’t just happen.

It’s already a week into the new year of 2019. This is a time when people do a lot of thinking, reflecting, and proclaiming. Unless we mentally, emotionally, and physically do something about those thoughts and proclamations, then nothing will change. A thought doesn’t just become a book automatically simply because the person thinking it wants it to be a book. It takes putting the pen to paper and a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Isn’t it like that with anything we want?

What are your dreams? What are the desires of your heart? Have you prayed about it? What are you going to do? What is your “pen to paper”?

Feeling a Little Sassy

*originally written March 25, 2019

It’s kinda late, I didn’t write my #LibraryThoughts today, and I’m maybe feeling kinda sassy, so I’m going to take a moment to say thank you to those of you who are supportive of me in my business endeavours. When you see my business posts, you know I’m talking to you about houses and health supplements… #HealthandHome. I have nothing to hide. I never beat around the bush. I will always be up front and transparent with you. I know most folks don’t want to see me waving a banner all the time, and I respect that. I won’t throw my website link at you as you go by. I’ll give it to you if you ask for it. I won’t throw prices all over the place because it’s tacky, but not because I have anything to hide. I want YOU to feel comfortable “creeping” my timeline and sending me that PM when you’re ready. I don’t want you to wonder what I’m up to. I want you to KNOW what I’m up to and then to ask questions when you’re ready. No pressure. I’m in no hurry. I’m in this for the long haul. I want to do this with the right people; people who think outside the box; people who dream big and work hard; people who can capture the vision. I love what I do, and I do it unashamedly and with pure abandon. I just want you to know I care. I want you to know you’re invited to watch what I’m up to. You’re invited to decide if this could be for you. If you think this post might very well be an open door, then maybe you should step on through.

Family Roots

*originally written March 18, 2019

I thought I knew what I wanted to say today, but then I looked up and saw the genealogy section with the Williamson County cemetery inventories, death records, obituaries, and then “veterans”. It look me all of 30 seconds to find my 2 times Great Uncle, Walter Clyde Sherertz, in the WWI record. He was in the Army during WWI and died during the Spanish Flu epidemic. His mother, Anna Davis Sherertz, outlived her three sons and was survived only by her daughter. As a mother I can’t even imagine the pain her heart endured. Her daughter was my Great-grandma, Addie. Anna, her husband, and her three sons are buried at Union Grove Cemetery in Pittsburg, IL.

It has been a couple of weeks since I’ve written my #LibraryThoughts, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking of writing them. I’m finding that there are many times when something is happening or I’m hearing something really good that I find myself thinking, “I should write about that.” All too often I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants doing the #FullTiltBoogie and don’t make it happen. This morning the Monday morning rush was on, and I knew I would get to the library and need to send messages and answer texts and hoped my treasured quiet time wouldn’t be overrun. My texts won’t send, and my phone says I have no service. So, if you’ve sent me a text, I’m not ignoring you. 😉

Have you researched your family tree at all? Have you given any thought to who all those people were and where they all came from? Have you watched any of the programs like Finding Your Roots? Have you submitted your DNA to Ancestry or 23 and Me? I’m amazed by how if anything had happened differently 100, 200, 300+ years ago, I wouldn’t even be here. I think of my ancestors who boarded big boats and crossed the Atlantic. If they hadn’t left Europe, would I have even been born? And if so, would I currently be living somewhere in Europe? Then there are those who landed on the east coast and migrated around ultimately landing in Southern Illinois where they planted roots and set the stage for my being born here and my children and grandchildren too.

I think of the butterfly effect and how one little shift could have changed everything, and also how the choices my ancestors made did change everything. I’ve stood over many graves and whispered, “I remember you. Thank you.”

After writing this blog post, I joined the Williamson County Historical Society. You can find out more at their website …

Where are you? Where are you going?

*originally written April 1, 2019

Can you know where you’re going without reflecting on where you’ve been? Reflecting doesn’t mean set up a tent and live there, but recognizing how certain events have led you to where you are today. And it’s equally as important to realize that where you are today is a stepping stone into your future. Small, everyday decisions determine your trajectory. One foot in front of the other, a journey of 1000 miles, eating the elephant, and all that. There are also times when we take a giant leap. It can certainly be scary, and more often than not, very scary. But worth it. Always.

“What if I fall?”

Get up, dust yourself off, and learn the lesson. The only way you get from point A to point B unscathed is to never take a chance. Imagine a life with no bumps or bruises. Without the pain, could we ever appreciate the pleasure? How could winning be sweet without ever tasting the bitterness of losing? It would just be something else we take for granted.

My favorite (and often photographed) coffee mug says, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” and it’s true. I suppose a baby bird could sit safely in the nest, but that’s not what the bird was created to do. Birds were created to fly. One day that little birdie had to stand on the edge of the nest, the precipice of all it has ever known, stretch its wings beyond any point they’ve stretched before, and step out on faith. How many soar the first try? I don’t know, but I’ve seen many a baby bird hopping around on the ground below the nest while its parents cheer him on and protect him from danger. They don’t do this so he can now live on the ground forever. They’re encouraging him to continue to push to be what he was created to be.

Ask yourself this: When was the last time you stretched beyond your norm? When was the last time you climbed out of your rut? Anxiety, sweaty palms, risk, and possible failure live out there, right? But you know what else lives out there? Possibility. Hope. Adventure. Your future. So, take small steps if you must, or maybe work up the courage to just take a giant leap, but do SOMETHING.

Now…where are you going? Hmmm…well, what are you passionate about? If you take some time to daydream, what comes to mind? If you could do anything you wanted, what would it be? You don’t have to tell me or anyone else. Your dreams are yours. But once you begin taking steps toward those dreams, one foot in front of the other, it becomes easier and easier. Before you know it, you might find yourself ready to JUMP.

Spiritual Warfare Take 2

*originally written April 15, 2019

Last Monday was the Mondayest of Mondays. I have a saying, a motto if you will, complete with memes and a hashtag>>>


But last Monday threatened to take me down. And it wasn’t just me! As the day progressed, everyone seemed to be caught up in the same storm!! Looks of exhaustion and exasperation were aplenty.

Life has been very busy, and I was looking forward to my library time to settle down, reflect, and see what came to me in the form of #LibraryThoughts. There were many distractions, but I was able to write what turned out to be pretty good, I thought, and certainly unexpected…and then a distraction lead to my accidentally deleting the post. It was frustrating, but I shrugged it off thinking, “Well, maybe I wasn’t supposed to share that after all.” The day went downhill from there. . .

The post was about spiritual warfare. Then I knew I HAD to write about it no matter what.

I had previously posted about Enemies & Oil. You can find that here>>>
I’d become consumed with Psalm 23:5.

Psalm 23:5, NIV
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup overflows.

I don’t know why, but the hyperfocus was on. I was thinking about how I don’t currently have a particular beef with anyone. If someone has a beef with me, they haven’t given me the what-for yet. So who is this enemy? The Lord is preparing a table before me in the presence of…who? But then time went on with me having these words on a loop in the back of my mind, “You anoint my head with cup overflows”… when suddenly I became aware that the message is that the enemy is not flesh and blood. This wasn’t about a beef with a person. This is about spiritual warfare all around. I was reminded of 1 Peter 5:8 and Ephesians 6:12.

1 Peter 5:8, KJV:
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Ephesians 6:12, KJV:
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

These are familiar scriptures to me. It’s not like it was the first time I’d heard of this, but yet it was. It was like hearing it for the first time with fresh ears. This is why we hide the Word in our hearts; so it’s there to call upon when we need it. It was like scales fell from my eyes, and I was able to see all that was happening around me through that lens.

So, what’s the solution? What do we need to do? We’ll, I’m not preaching to you, because this message is clearly to me…but maybe it can serve as a reminder to you as well. The solution is also found in Ephesians.

Ephesians 6:11-18, KJV:
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Psalm 46, KJV:
46 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Read Spiritual Warfare: Part 1 here…

GOOD FRIDAY: Ch-ch-ch-changes…

*originally written April 19, 2019

It’s Friday night; Good Friday. The weather has been its typical, unpredictable self this week. Yesterday started warm and muggy, and I ended the day of showing properties in the cold wind and drenching wet. Then today, wearing jeans and a flannel shirt and still needing a jacket, I got to thinking about how change is hard. It really is, and the weather is no exception. It doesn’t suddenly change seasons. It’s a process, and it never comes easy. In life, it always comes at a price. I began to think that this could be my next #LibraryThoughts and that I need to do some studying of scriptures about the seasons.

That’s when it hit me….BAM!

One of those moments where I was flooded with a vision of Change that brought tears instantly to my eyes. Y’all, I was driving down the road and had to get a grip. Seriously.

Jesus left his throne in Heaven to come to this earth as a human baby. How’s that for change?

He lived a perfect, sinless life in this smelly, vulnerable, human flesh knowing that he came to fulfill prophesies of the past and change the future forever.

He TORE THE VEIL between man and God. People, do you hear me? Do you grasp the enormity of that? He was crucified. He spoke the words, “It is finished.” The earth trembled. He had fulfilled what he came to do; to be the Ultimate Sacrifice for mankind. The veil was torn. TORN from top to bottom! Time was split into a new era!! How’s THAT for CHANGE?

Then after three days in the grave, the stone was rolled away. It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming. A lot can change in three days. . .

Back on His Feet

2 feet = 2 shoes

It has been a long haul for this first foot, but from this end of it, I’m surprised it has gone so quickly. Time really picked up once he got into the walking boot. Once his mobility was back, there was no stopping him. Those two weeks flew right by. Last Friday’s appointment was the one we were looking forward to. It was the one where he was to bring his shoes.

The Bullet & The Wedge
And that FABULOUS Arch!

Dr Brazis took one look at that x-ray and patted herself on the back. She told Nate his foot belongs in a text book. This is the first weight bearing x-rays since the “before” shots.

Flat Foot…Very Flat

We were expecting the next step to be four weeks in athletic shoes. One of Nate’s concerns was whether or not he’d be able to walk around the house without shoes, or if he’d have to be wearing them to walk. I told him he’d have to ask Dr Brazis when we get there. Before he even had a chance to ask, the first thing she did was have him walk around so she could evaluate the situation.

First Step
Checking the Achilles
“Lets take a walk.”

I promise that I’ve tried REALLY hard to get the differences between the two feet to show up in the photos. The transformation is profound! It’s more than just the arch; the whole shape and structure of his foot and toes are different. His foot, ankle, knee, and hip are all in proper alignment. He’s amazed by the way it feels too!

“My shoe goes on really easy!”

We’re now on Day 5 of walking in shoes, and yes, barefoot in the house, and there has been some fatigue from the foot being unused and immobilized for two months, but it’s mostly back to Helicopter Mom tendencies. Now I need to make sure he isn’t going to hurt himself because he feels so good. Sheesh.

He has told me how good it feels to walk on his whole foot and to feel the arch and Achilles stretch. He’s amazed by how his foot points forward on its own and his whole foot doesn’t touch the floor when he walks through the kitchen. He can also stand on one foot and then the other and show me how he’s going to be taller once both feet are finished. . . and he can’t wait!

Back on Both Feet
Dad Carrying the Boot

Protection & Foundations

A couple of weeks ago I had a notification on my dash that my tire was low. Twenty PSI when it should have been more like forty. Well, I contacted my client and told her I was going to need to reschedule. I didn’t think being on the interstate was a very good idea that day.

My husband got home from work, looked it over, and aired it up. It still had air the next day, and I was off on the #FullTiltBoogie as usual. And I just kept going. . .

If I back up to two oil changes/tire rotations ago, I discussed my tires with the Service Dept Manager, Tyler. He assured me they were alright, but next time we’ll need to discuss them again. Next time rolled around, and he told me indeed the time was drawing nigh. Well, he didn’t word it that way. I thanked him, paid him, and went about my business.

Let’s be clear. I was aware that I was very soon going to need to drop some big money on tires.

So let’s go back to that 20 PSI warning. I drove and drove and drove, then suddenly, one day while driving down the highway, the notification came back up on my dash: 23 PSI. I still had a long way to go to pick up my son at my daughter’s house. By the time I got there it was 22 PSI. My son-in-law was home and aired it up for me. It had held air for ten days at this point. Slow leak? No biggie. Off I go!

The next morning I was exhausted and didn’t have any appointments. I worked from my phone and computer and stayed in my jammies. My kids and grandkids all came over. When my husband came home from work he said, “Your tire’s flat.” I was devastated that the day had come! I mean, last time it held for ten days! I walked into the garage to find that it was a different tire. Not cool. I had an appointment the next day 45 minutes away. This one couldn’t wait. And now neither could my tires.

I was screwed. Literally. One tire with a slow leak and another with a screw. The time had come. $$$$

When my husband and son took it off to patch it, they found that they were worse than we realized. I drive A LOT.

The patch held overnight, and my husband took my car the next morning for a whole new set. ($$$$) My daughter drove me to the appointment. We had all the boys, so we went out to eat and made a day of it.

Ahhhh…look at that tread, will ya!

My maiden voyage on my new tires felt like I was driving a whole new car. I couldn’t even believe the difference.

Some things occurred to me on that drive.

  • It’s easy to be complacent in our busyness and take things for granted.
  • Sometimes inconveniences in our lives are actually Divine Protection. You’d better believe I realized how badly things could have gone down out on the road.
  • I’m a Realtor and a homeowner. I know the importance of a good foundation and the dangers associated with a bad one.
  • I was experiencing how good it feels when the foundation of my car is solid and secure.

A scripture and a song came to mind; an old hymn…

“On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand”

24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

Matthew 7:24-27 NLT

I’m so grateful to have been protected from my own foolishness by some annoying inconveniences. I’m so glad there was no “mighty crash” as a result. I’m so grateful for Divine Protection and a Solid Foundation.

The Year of Nate

Are you a fan of the TV sitcom “The Middle”? We’re huge fans in our family. If you’ve never seen it, just know that my family can relate way too much to the Heck family living in Indiana, working their tails off, raising a family, paying the bills, eating too much fast food, and all the dysfunction and shenanigans that go along with those things. The daughter, Sue, is the most optimistic teenager who ever existed. She always looks on the bright side and knows things will always get better and declares the new year “The Year of Sue.” It’s all very funny, I promise. And they all love each other very much, and I cry at the end of every episode.

Anyway, the first time I watched the show it was already a couple of episodes into the first season. A friend told me I just had to watch it, because these characters are just like us. Well, first of all, I gathered they’re the Heck family. Hello, Heck/Eck…ert. Then the mom called the dad Mike. Excuse me? Mike Heck/Mike Eck…ert? If that mom’s name was Amy, I was gonna FALL OUT! Nope, it’s Frankie, but she and I could eat some nightstand cookies and have a good conversation about the state of the world…or where we lost our car…or the time we left the snack bag behind again…or whatever. But anyway, such good memories of the family watching the show together through to the final episode.

“It won’t cut you you.”~Nurse Brittany

So, back to The Year of Nate. Mike Heck, er, um…Mike Eckert and I keep referring to this year as The Year of Nate. It’s a long process for the flat feet. The poor guy is such a trooper. He has now been through the first surgery, ten days of the half cast, hard cast #1 (blue) for two weeks, hard cast #2 (orange) for two weeks, and now he’s finally in the walking boot for two weeks. After that, it will be four weeks in a sneaker. Next step is to start all over with the other foot.

Just hanging out at the library

When this whole thing started I wanted to get him a knee scooter. He insisted he wouldn’t use it, so I didn’t spend the money. I’m no dummy. I know when a hard headed thirteen year old says they won’t use something, they won’t. Take their word and keep your money. Then it rained incessantly. That makes it difficult to go anywhere on crutches. The last thing we needed was a fall. Once it quit raining a bit, we began to venture out. That’s when he realized just how sore you can get on crutches and that maybe that knee scooter wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Late on a Sunday night we ordered one from Amazon and had it Tuesday morning. He was so excited and put it together himself. Rock and Roll!!

It feels funny! Can’t wait for a BATH!
The new digs

I misunderstood the gravity of the time frame of this thing. I thought it was a three month ordeal. I had wondered how you go from not using one foot to that foot becoming the primary, weight bearing foot so quickly. Well, it’s not that quickly after all. (It truly IS The Year of Nate.) That’s where you insert the four weeks in a sneaker …oh, and TWO weeks in the boot instead of the one week I was thinking. In true Frankie Heck fashion, I can think only so far in advance with all of this life stuff and #FullTiltBoogie swirling around me at all times. One day at a time, sweet Jesus. Or at least one step at a time. At this point I know the next step is to go back and see Dr. Brazis again after two weeks in the boot. Whew! Well, the best news is he hasn’t had any pain since the first few days. He has had some pains on Day 2 of the boot as he’s adjusting to putting weight on that foot again for the first time in nearly six weeks. For the most part though, he said it feels good to walk on it and he can feel his Achilles tendon stretching. Goals, my friends. That is what we want and need. We’re setting and crushing goals. That’s how the Eckerts roll.

The Hem of His Garment: One Touch (Press)

This is kind of a long passage of scripture to quote, but I feel like we need the context rather than just a line. This has been heavy on my heart lately.

Mark 5:22-43 King James Version (KJV)
22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,

23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.

24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.

25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,

26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.

33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

There’s a song from several years ago by Nicole C Mullen called One Touch (Press). It’s about the woman with the “issue of blood”. She had such faith that she just knew Jesus would have the answer. She went to find him. He was going somewhere else, so she really didn’t want to be a bother. The crowd was so thick. There were so many needs.

She knew she needed to get near him. She knew that if she could just touch the hem of his garment that she would be healed. In the song, there’s a line that says, “If I could just press my way through this madness”… Do you ever feel that way? The madness is swirling around all the time. The One who brings peace and healing is there in the midst of it all. We only need to reach out to Him in faith.