I was born the only girl in a family of 5 children. My first memory of being a woman, different from man, was in Kindergarten. I sat across from a boy who intrigued me. He played with toys I’d never seen before and spoke a different language. In my mind he seemed stronger than me and more adventurous. Like most little girls who grow up, this comparison, over time, becomes even more evident and confusing. When I read books on courageous women like Wilma Rudolph, I took notice of the instinctive courage of women. In 1960, Wilma Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field at a single Olympics. I dreamed of being courageous and strong like Wilma.

Born on June 23, 1940, in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee, Wilma Rudolph was a sickly child who had to wear a brace on her left leg. She overcame her disabilities to compete in the 1956 Summer Olympic Games, and in 1960, she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field at a single Olympics. Later in life, she formed the Wilma Rudolph Foundation to promote amateur athletics. The Olympic great died on November 12, 1994, following a battle with brain cancer.


You and I could list all the women since the beginning of time who have overcome the odds and made the difference. Queen Esther, Mary the mother of Jesus, the woman who washed the feet of Jesus with her hair and tears, Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mother Teresa, Malala Yousafzai, Ruby Bridges, Corrie ten Boom…..  When you read the New Testament, you will discover how tender and loving Jesus was to women. He not only came to offer salvation to all, but, it seems to me, He came to set the record straight on why God made women.

There is a Hebrew term used in the creation of woman, “ezer” and  is used 21 times. The word “kenegdo” in the creation of woman is used once.

The Hebrew words used here to describe woman as a helper are ‘ezer kenegdo. The word ‘ezer means “helper” and is never used in the Old Testament to refer to an inferior or to a subordinate. In fact, the word is used in reference to God as our helper (Psalm 10:14; 30:10; 54:4; 70:5; 72:12; 121:2). Kenegdo is a Hebrew preposition and adverb meaning “corresponding to” or “face to face,” so it is best understood as meaning that Eve was a fitting partner for Adam, for she was like him. Eve was created as an equal to Adam. She was given equal authority and dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:28).

Ezer translates as helper, or succor. Kenegdo translates as face to face.

What does that mean to me as a single woman or a married woman?

As I’ve walked womanhood for over 50 years, I’ve discovered the succor in the souls of my sisters. Women are warriors who “assist in times of trouble and distress” (succor). Despite our pain and struggles, we look outside ourselves and nurture the world. We notice the little things and provide a hand or a hug. We recognize injustice and rally around a cause. We go to bed weeping for the souls of all children, and we pray for a change. We ask ourselves honest questions, and we step into battle knowing that God will fight the battle for us.  We give up and let go even when our hearts are aching to hold on. Women have stood their ground despite the test of stereotyping, biases, and dismissal. We are the first one on the scene, just like Mary at the tomb of Jesus. We show up, provide, do, and face the judgment of our imperfect actions with courage and grace. Every day we fight the battle of the media god who depicts us as flawless beauties or nagging wives who over-do motherhood–control freaks.  Women, created by God to stand face to face with man, fights for this position despite exhaustion. We may retreat for rest, but we never give up.

God has placed within woman the same ezer that comes from Him to help His beloved. We could never love as perfectly as God, but we are the hands and feet of the One who loves perfectly.

My sister, know that you are allowed to rest. Close your eyes and imagine your childhood. God’s woman looks to her future with laughter and joy, but she also is the same little girl who needs to be nurtured and loved. We pour out, so we must fill up. No matter your age, position, role, color of skin, or background, women must unite and recognize our position of worthiness.

Fill up by acknowledging your position as woman–a God created being of strength and love. Go to Him and talk about your womanhood, and what lies you’ve believed, which have caused you to think less of yourself. Examine your history and believe that you are face to face, not behind or above. Women of all ages please have compassion on your sisters, knowing that our battles are different, but we are linked together by our Creator. No comparison, jealousy, or falling prey to the media god. Step up and out, holding the hand of God while encouraging your sister.

As a mom, I look back and would love to rewrite a few lines of my messy, God story. As a grandmother, I am hopeful for my granddaughter’s future. Looking back…..Moving forward……Creating the tapestry, and noticing the threads…

Sara Bareilles wrote a song “She Used to be Mine”.  In my simplicity, I thought the song painted an honest look at how I felt inside. My longing to understand my childhood as “woman”, and my understanding of who I am right now as mother, wife, daughter, and sister. It’s messy. God loves a mess. I don’t think this side of heaven the mess will disappear, but He promises to keep polishing us from glory to glory.  He sees the broken and spends every moment alluring her into the wilderness, so He can speak tenderly to her. (Hosea 2:14)

This video has the song by Sara Bareilles, “She Used to be Mine”  Creating the video was a creative, healing space for me.

My sister–You are stronger than you know. God is with you.



Self-esteem is defined as “confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.”  The difficulty with self-esteem is who or what deems you worthy? If we try something with great confidence but “fail” in the eyes of our family, boss, or self, we begin to judge ourselves to only be good or bad. Today, I’m good because I nailed the pitch.  Today, I am bad because I lost the account.  Self-esteem also becomes tricky because, with some groups of people, you may be a success, and, with other groups of people, not so much–they dismiss you. What group do you listen to?

With self-esteem, self-importance, self anything, you place yourself center stage and await the applause, the silence, or worse–the rotten tomatoes and boos.


Anna Hebb, November 13, 2016


In this desperate pursuit to feel confident and win favor, we have become a society with dangerous coping strategies. We are taught and teach our children strategies that “puff ourselves up”, compare ourselves to others, and put down those we feel are competing against us. The harsh reality of that last sentence is sobering. At times, it’s evident, and other times, the coping strategy is subtle or encouraged in a positive way.

If you look on the book shelf, you will find several books on Narcissism. We typically use that term to define an extremely self-absorbed person who can’t seem to look outside himself to understand the needs of others. It’s all about them.  What is so interesting is that the very movement of self-esteem in our home and schools that we thought was such a powerful tool to increase success and self-worth in our children has caused poor coping strategies that have led to narcissistic tendencies. These tendencies have been rooted in bullying, excessive gossip, prejudices, depression, and negative self-worth. I’m never good enough. Dr. Kristin Neff has studied this trend.

After a personal battle of the mind with negative thoughts, I wondered if anyone else in the world was struggling, too.  In my research, I stumbled across Dr. Neff and a few other women who had similar concerns with self-worth.  What I found to be comforting and a paradigm shift is the term self-compassion.

Through Dr. Neff’s research, she discovered three core components to self-compassion.

  1. Relating to yourself kindly regardless of flaws and failures. Speak kindly to yourself.
  2. Common humanity. How am I the same as those around me and in my world? We are ALL imperfect.
  3. Mindfulness. Be okay with suffering and struggle, acknowledge it, and speak kind to yourself.

When we feel threatened we release cortisol and adrenaline. God gave us this so we can protect ourselves in a threatening situation. We will either fight or flee. When we constantly feel threatened by low self-worth, we are not only the attacker but also the attacked. Years of this will cause significant mental health concerns and poor health.

Imagine your child in a dilemma of failure or struggle. They come to you for help. Do you say to them, “What a loser! You should have known better! You’ll never amount to anything!” However, we often make these comments to ourselves after an epic fail, or we may blame others (putting someone else down). God not only gave us cortisol and adrenaline, but He also gave us oxytocin and opiates. These are released in us when we are approached with warmth, gentle touch, and soft vocalizations. What calms the crying baby? Remember wrapping your baby up in a warm blanket, kissing her face, and rocking her to sleep with a lullaby? Perhaps, more recently, it’s the calmness you feel when a loved one, or a spouse takes your hand and speaks gentle words to you.


“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.” Hosea 2:14

The misnomer about negative self-talk is that it produces motivation. Maybe in the short-run you’ll pick yourself up and try harder, but when you spend years with this pattern, you begin to add the events up and become hopeless. The opposite is true. When you connect with God and His love for you and have self-compassion, you will be more motivated toward creativity and change.  You will also create space for mercy and kindness towards others who are not very nice to you.

Therapist have found two extremes. Clients may struggle with a low self-worth, or, in some cases, feelings of guilt, because they are experiencing thoughts of superiority.

The center-stage self needs to take her final bow and exit stage left, please.

Once you exit, imagine yourself not as others define you, or how you’ve defined yourself based on how you think others define you. It’s you, your God-given soul, and the woman or man God is growing in you from glory-to-glory, or piece by piece. You could be in the midst of a mountain top experience, or in the valley of the shadow of death–your Shepherd is right there. My goodness, maybe you are in the mundane of the day-to-day.  Live right there, in that moment, forget self, and cling to God.


Reflect on a time that God has given you immense opportunity to bask in creativity or love. These times are like the moments you lose track of time and all you experience is the moment. We have these incredible moments during a creative activity, yoga, rock climbing, intimacy, prayer, worship, etc.

We are purposeful and mindful.

I recently created a video which brought home the “how”.  The video was a reflection of events that brought great focus on love, peace, connection, and purpose but also the known backdrop of our reality–the situations each of us were dealing with as humans–“we are all imperfect”.

God gives us a symphony in life. His masterful hand is creating, fine-tuning, and providing a cacophonous symphony of promise and redemption.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

If you take the time to watch my video, please listen to the song–the words reflect my purposeful intentions. Our family is imperfectly living together. We are just like you in that our life is filled with ups and downs, blessings, stress, habits, struggles, and disappointments. My favorite is my husband humorously waving the peace sign during a dinner date, in which, we were both struggling in a decision from God to make life-changes. The struggle; the symphony. Peace. I am worthy. You are worthy. Live NOW.

Natalie Grant, “Symphonies”  Album is Be One


We can be addicted to safety.  What makes me feel secure, at all cost, I will establish. We spend money, resources, and time in an effort to bring stability and a sense of control.

If you are a parent, you realize the importance of stability and predictability.  Children need stability to survive and grow into adults who can successfully function in society.  Perhaps that is why we, as adults, get into a routine and find it hard to risk.

What if God is calling you out, to stretch, to move, to stop being addicted to playing it safe?

Peter walking on the water is the perfect story from the Bible that we often study to convey the importance of getting out of that potential sinking boat and into the great unknown, doing something crazy, like walking on water.  He did it.  For just a little while he walked on water, and when he fell, Jesus was there. I have to imagine that events like this gave Peter greater confidence later in his ministry when Jesus was no longer walking beside him, but the Holy Spirit was guiding him.

Even though I know, due to experience and logic, that any risk has its consequences, I’m such an optimist.  If we take the feelings surrounding “this is good” or “this is bad” out of the risk, we are more apt to go forth and stay the course.

Paul in I Corinthians 16 shares an amazing opportunity–a door wide open for Him to go through, but he acknowledges, up front, that he will also have many adversaries.


That’s my first reaction.  How about you?  Don’t you start listing pros and cons? What if God is calling you out of “safe” to muddle through the cons?


Anna Hebb, November 6, 2016

This stepping out of the boat could be anything God is using in your life. We often think of a job or a move, but I think God calls us more to the day-to-day things, like relationships, habits, health, getting involved in community or local worship, changing your attitude, or showing up in someone’s life.

James 1: 5-8 is a great passage.  Basically, God is saying ask and receive, don’t ask and doubt.  He gives generously and without rebuke. That’s the other place we give up.  We make mistakes on the journey of risk-taking and figure God is disappointed in us. You don’t have to be perfect.  He only requires for you to accept His love and allow Him to work in you and to trust that He will provide the right resources at the right time.

What pleases God most in this risk-taking?

John 6: 28-29  Belief!  Believe in the One!

Your first step into the great unknown may seem unfamiliar and dark, but God’s light will shine in the darkness and step by step He provides a way.


Anna Hebb, November 6, 2016

In my years of experience in stepping out into the unknown, I have discovered that God requires upfront faith and work.  You must take the steps without knowing outcomes.  The practical side of this looks like filling out the paperwork or application, reading books and God’s Word on the attitude adjustment you are working on, showing up and giving it a try, making the phone call, spending the money, making mistakes, etc…..

These steps turn into opportunities and doors that will open.


Anna Hebb, November 6, 2016

Oh how beautiful and exhilarating when we are offered an open door! We have learned not to judge this opportunity as good or bad, but acknowledge that with all opportunities, adversaries will exist.  We embrace both. We ask and receive the promise that He will never leave us, nor forsake us.

Cajun Pork Chops with Cheese Grits


Recipe created by my personal chef and husband, Parish.


4 Thin Cut Pork Chops, boneless or trim off the bone

Enough of your favorite oil to coat the pan generously

Enough flour to coat your pork chops

Zatarain’s Creole seasoning to taste, or your favorite Cajun style seasoning

1 medium onion

Bob’s Red Mill Polenta Corn Grits, or your favorite style of grits

Water with chicken bouillon cubes, or chicken stock

1 cup of shredded Cheddar Cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste


Pound the pork chops thin if they are not already.  A piece of plastic wrap over the meat keeps the meat juice from splashing around. I made them about less than a half of an inch.

Dredge the pork chops in the flour. Put a generous amount of oil in the frying pan.  Heat the oil to medium.

Cut the medium onion into thick rings, and then cut the rings in half.  Saute the onions until soft in the medium heat oil. Remove the onions and save for later.

Put flour-coated pork chops into the savory onion flavored oil. Cook them two minutes per side.  You are not cooking the pork chops all the way at this point. Take the pork chops out of the pan and place on a plate, set aside.  With the remaining oil in the pan add 2-3 Tablespoons of additional flour, turn heat up a tad to medium high, stirring until bubbly.  After it’s bubbly, turn the heat down to medium low.  Let the flour in the oil turn to brown while stirring. Add a half a cup of chicken stock (or chicken bouillon with water).  Cook  down until it’s a thick gravy.

Toss the pork chops back into the thick gravy.  Add a generous shaking of the Creole seasoning in the pork chop, gravy mixture.  Cook the chops 2-3 minutes per side. This allows the chops to get coated with the gravy.


Make the grits according to the package.  Stir in the cheese once the grits are done.

Make the grits along with the pork chops so they finish at the same time. Grits typically take about 5 minutes.

Place the grits in a deep, single dish bowl. Place your yummy pork chop on top of the warm grits. Add extra gravy to the top, and place a serving of onions as a finishing touch to each serving.  If you love seasoning, place a little more of the Creole seasoning on top of the dish.


This savory, Cajun dish was a great recipe for a Sunday brunch. A great breakfast in bed with your spouse.


Our youngest daughter had a sleepover, in which, they enjoyed a lovely picnic breakfast in my prayer garden.



As a little girl growing up in a rural area, the dump was a place you visited often. This sounds so strange, but I loved riding with my dad to the dump. As an adult, that’s the last errand on my list of favorites. Perhaps it was the time in the car with my dad, or the unbelievable process of getting rid of “stuff”.  I can conjure up the smell and the visual. I felt a sense of pride of helping my dad and doing something other than house chores like dishes and dusting. One particular visit I saw a toy. Oh my goodness, Toy Story 3, the movie, just popped in my mind.


How could a toy be at the dump? Trash, refrigerators, and lawnmowers, well, okay, but not a toy! I asked my father if I could take it home. I still remember his look of astonishment and concern. I had to rescue that toy, and I would not take no for an answer.  He humbly asked the man, who worked the area, if I could have the toy. Equally confused and with a knowing, father smile, he gave dad the two thumbs up of approval.  I rescued this toy.


Recently, in a training for work, the process of taking out the trash was applied to our emotional well being.

Emotional trash does not need to be reexamined and reexamined. In the course of living, we collect emotional trash. It just needs to be cleared-much like you take out the garbage in your home. You don’t go through it again and again. You just put it in the trash and throw it away. Dr. Ruby Payne

I thought about how many times I sort through the trash. A memory appears in your mind, a situation occurs, and you thought you moved on or healed, but there you are at the dump rescuing something–rummaging. It’s colorful and sentimental; yet, as you rummage, you start to realize this stinks.

As a therapist, I believe in the power of voice and sharing your story in a safe place. In the telling, processing, and re-framing you heal piece by piece. Emotional trash is what happens when we stay too lung at the dump, or allow the enemy to keep us in a cycle of throwing out, going back, throwing out, and going back.  If you are in this pattern, it’s time to stop going to the trash and rummaging.

Instead of going to the dump, go to the Deliverer.

God is really okay with your hurt, pain, anger, or resentment.  Don’t you dare go to that trash can or dump and start digging up dirt.  I don’t care how colorful and sentimental it is, go to God and His perfect love.  Instead of filth, He offers to clean you in mercy and loving-kindness. He loves you right where you are.  You see, the garbage has things like rotten messages of “This is where you belong”; “You will never heal from this”; “You are different and alone”; “You don’t belong”; “You thought you were strong, but here you are again. I told you so”.

Here’s the hard part. People around you are not God. You are not God. I’m stating the obvious, but do you realize how much power we give others to measure how good, well, or righteous we are? Also, we can expect too much of ourselves and others in the healing process. People and self will never have the capacity to restore and redeem you–that’s God’s job alone. He uses people, but God is the perfect healer.  He created you.  I think He knows what to do.

Rest there. Perfect rest.

‘I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.’ Phil. 4:11  God is in control. When a job is terminated, a mate quits, a friend deserts, God is quietly but sovereignly at work for your good.  Rest in His ability, and contentment will follow. Charles Stanley

What state are you in? My girls laugh at me when I refer to the infamous, “Crazytown USA”. That’s a state of mind for me at times, or the way I describe a happening–“That’s Crazytown USA!”  Regardless of your state of mind or happening, you are right where God wants you to be. All He asks is for you to not head to the trash and start rummaging. He is all sufficient, and He is enough. I dare you to consider the “right now” as known by God and a perfect place to be. That’s easy if you are on vacation in the tropics, but more challenging in a difficult marriage, a severed relationship, or a loss. God’s aware of how hard that is. He just asks for you to come to Him and to consider it, and piece by piece, day by day, and, sometimes, moment by moment, He will change you from glory to glory.  Just do the next, right thing, and He will lead you home. And if the word right just messed with your mind, that’s okay,too. God knows that doing the right thing all the time is impossible this side of heaven. His servant, Paul, talked about how hard he tried not to do something bad, and, by golly, he still did it.  His mercies are new every morning. Each new day brings an opportunity for you to draw closer to your Creator, heal, and do the work.

Clean by Natalie Grant video with words.  Please listen and worship.  There is nothing too dirty that He can’t make worthy!  Great artist!  Her new  album Be One is a great download!

Farro & Broccoli Salad


We bought our first bag of farro at Aldi grocery store!

The farro grain was introduced to our home on a cooking show.  The next day during our first trip to Aldi grocery store we found this magical grain!  The recipe below doesn’t seem like much, but you will fall in love with the texture. I loved how the grain absorbed the olive oil, lemon, and feta flavors.  ENJOY!


I cup of Farro & 3 cups of water with 2-3 chicken bouillon cubes
I cup of broccoli cut up small, you can saute with oil, salt, and peper to slightly soften (like a quick stir fry, so it’s soft but firm)
1/2 cups feta cheese crumbles
2 ounces of fresh Parmesan shaved, large pieces
1 Tablespoon of dehydrated onions (re-hydrate them in water)
lemon (about 2 Tbsp juice)
1/2 cups olive oil
tablespoon Dijon mustard


  1. Cook farro according to package instructions.
  2. While the farro is cooking, saute broccoli in 1 Tbsp olive oil for 2-3 minutes, just to soften.
  3. Mix together vinaigrette: lemon juice, zest, ½ cup olive oil, mustard and salt and pepper, whisk
  4. Combine farro, broccoli, feta, onions and dressing and toss to combine.
  5. Salt & pepper to taste.