Snapchat Tutorial (for old people)

I’m still having fun with Snapchat. 

That is an actual snap that I sent to my daughter, who replied to ask how I did the writing. But she is a semi pro who has passed tips along to me, too. 

One day, beside my daughter’s name, Snapchat said that we were *best friends*. There is a baby’s face beside everyone else’s name. This made me smile. 

And one day, next to my daughter’s name, there appeared fire. đŸ”„ 


My daughter and I were discussing this and other phenomena via Snapchat when the teenager came home. Coming up the back steps, he saw me through the window, phone facing him.

“Oh, your’re Snapchatting,” said the teenager.  “Cool!”

(They don’t want to be spied on, but I suspect they spy on us.)

“And I see you’re on a hot streak with Lauren. Nice,” he added with a smile. And he nonchalantly walked up the stairs.

So that’s what the fire means. Smarty pants.

I immediately explained to my daughter, and I sent her a snap something like this:

I can’t post the actual snap, since I didn’t  save it. I now have at least that much sense. 🙄

Translation: once you send the snap, unless you save it, it goes bye-bye.

So, there you have it: my first Snapchat tutorial. All you noobs take notice. You now know some basics, plus what a hot streak is. 


(Shaking my head. Do I have to drag you people into the 21st century?)

Now, don’t let me intimidate you with all of my technical  knowledge. I got most of it from Google and an 18 year old. And I made some embarrassing mistakes along the way. 

Next time, maybe I’ll show you how to use Bitmoji.

Byeeeeeee. 👋

Note: the teenager admits he only knows what a hot streak is by Googling. I mean, while we’re being real. 

Translation: We’re all in this together.

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Technology (Oopsie)

Well, that didn’t take long.

Snapchat is dangerous. And that’s what I get for posting that arrogant last blog.

I sent a Snapchat to my daughter yesterday morning from a hotel bathroom. Doesn’t this sound shady already? I took an unflattering video of my poor hubbs in the doorway. I said to my daughter, “I’m dangerous on Snapchat. There’s no telling what I’ll accidentally send to whomever.”

And it’s true. The evil isn’t in the thing. The evil is in me.

Here’s what I’ve learned in the past 48 hours:

  • Social media is a black hole.
  • There are about a bazillion ways for me to be to be led astray there.
  • I need to be more adept at using Snapchat before I tap one more key in that app.
  • Videos and photos from Snapchat are saved to your camera roll. 😳

(Well, they are when you don’t know what you’re doing. 😂)

Yes, my clan keeps it squeaky clean on social media. But Snapchat gives a false sense of privacy. And I still would not want those no-makeup, bathroom shots to get misplaced while traveling through all those servers, even if they are fully clothed.


After purging my camera roll of all those um, Snapchat things, I have a new sense of respect for the peace, quiet and safety of life unplugged.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I still use technology. But I’m going to strengthen my fences a little. 

And I’m going to remember the message from this song:

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Due to technology, I am blogging while riding in a car near the outskirts of Dallas.

Thank you, technology. I like that.

I am 56 years old. I’ve heard other people’s opinions about technology, and I’ve had a few myself. But as I change, my opinions change. It’s a good thing…a growing thing.

It’s like other growing things in my life. Good things. Things that stretch me and teach me. Make me better. But if I listed some of those things, you might not think they were good at all. 😄

But they are, and that’s the real point of this blog.

As for technology, since I know all things work together for my good (that’s in the Bible somewhere), and that sometimes, those things don’t feel good to my human nature, here is my policy regarding technology, and other things that might feel outside of my box:

  • I don’t like change, but sometimes, (erm) often, I need it. 
  • I should handle all things as unto God, and not to men. (That’s in the Bible somewhere, too.)
  • The evil is not in the thing. (Credit here to an excellent, classic read for Christian parents of teens: Age of Opportunity, by Paul David Tripp)
  • I use technology, and I make myself do the hard work of learning how without asking someone else for help. (Secret tip: Google đŸ€)

All that said, I’ve been having fun on this drive playing around with Snapchat. My kids, family and other BFFs are my Snapchat friends. We keep it squeaky clean. I just posted my first real Snapchat story. I did it without any help.

And I have a feeling of accomplishment. 

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Death in the Grave

Reading a friend’s blog today reminded me of this song. ♄

I loved Erin’s words. She’s experienced the death of several people close to her, as have I. It’s hard.

But as she said so well, HOPE.

Thank You, Jesus.

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Oh, Netflix…

This screen accelerates my heartbeat these days when I see it:



It’s embarrassing, really, how closely the relationship between me and this screen mimics an unhealthy one. It’s startling how strong the pull is. It’s an addiction.

Currently I’m plowing through seasons one and two of the Blacklist without much self-control. The process may or may not involve potato chips and too much caffeine. I know better than this. My body, which has a relentless inner clock, and wakes with the chickens no matter what time I go to bed, is paying the price, and I don’t seem to care. The series is wonderful and awful at the same time. I’m just trying to get it watched as fast as possible so I can get my life back on the other side.

I used to be quite judgmental of my sister who struggled with addictions. Why? I’m certainly not superior in any way, and I don’t hesitate for one for second to state that fact here, on the record. She forgave me before she died, like the cool sister that she was. I loved her and I miss her.

This morning, the strangest thing happened. As I stumbled around, bleary-eyed, at 5:30 a.m. trying to find my clothing quickly so I could get downstairs and brew some legal stimulant drug to overcome my sleep deficit, these words from the apostle Paul came vividly to my mind:

8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “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.10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

(2 Corinthians 12: 8-10, ESV)

What beautiful thoughts for me this morning. And when I went downstairs to start my usual routine of time with God, He gently cut me loose so fast it made my head swim, so I could get about my business which has suffered in the wake of the red letters on the black screen.

What grace, and there’s the beauty of it all.

There’s not one thing I can do to earn this unspeakable gift of being set free by the sacrifice of a loving God, who paid the price himself, with his blood. It’s not about who I am, or even who I am not. It’s about Who He Is, and what He did.

A breakthrough for me today was the lack of guilt I felt, after kneeling in submission to let Him have this, too. I accepted His grace today with joy and peace. And I stood up and went about my day.

And I think that might be a first.







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Myrtle the Miracle Dog (Part 4: The Marks of Abuse)

Possibly because of our dog Myrtle’s early abuse, she often acts indifferent to people. In spite of all our love, and in spite of Myrtle’s good life, she responds the same way to us. And it pains me to realize that before my Miracle, there were parallels in my own life.

I will not say I was abused as a child, but tragic things happened. And although it was nobody’s fault, the rocky path had the same effect. It left scars.

At times in my life, I was as unresponsive to God as Myrtle is to us. But not anymore. And I don’t ever want to go back there, either.

Myrtle’s scars are completely healed over now, and covered with the gray hairs that are her crown. Symbolically, the same is true for me. Although I will not know perfection until I reach heaven, Jesus, the Truth, healed me here on earth. He’s the Lover of my soul, my Valentine. The fact that I am alive and well, and not buried beside my sister, is proof to me that wonders happen. In some ways, I am a walking miracle.

My current screen saver says “loved” and is a reminder of this truth:

8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 ESV)

While I was bad (and still am when my flesh wins out), Jesus Christ, driven by and embodying the only fulfilling kind of love there is, died as the solution for my inherent problem. I don’t ever, ever want to forget that beautiful truth.

To think that my Miracle dog is a maddening animal that points out my flaws is strange. And to think that my new life was born in a cemetery is ironic. But I’m thankful for both things. It feels rather full-circle, and that’s a good place to stop.

So, I’ll end with a photo of where it began, and will end again for me some day–at Myrtle Cemetery, where I found Myrtle, the Miracle Dog.

Thank You, Jesus.






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Myrtle the Miracle Dog (Part 3: Prone to Wander)

This is the hardest part of the story of Myrtle the Miracle Dog to tell, because I’m not sure I can find the words to explain my Miracle.

Remember my walks at this place? Doesn’t it look the isle in a cathedral?  Honestly, during those walks here, there were times I felt like a bride.


Myrtle Cemetery, on the road where my family is buried.

I’ve been pondering how those walks were possibly a form of living prayer. I just showed up the first day, and said, “Okay, God, I’m here. Teach me?”

What I wanted to learn was how to walk with Him just for the pleasure of it, because I’d walked with Him for just about every other reason but that one. And somehow, I knew that reason was the key.

Quite simply, I just kept showing up. I came every chance I got, and I walked with Him, in the person of Jesus, and talked to Him like a friend, about everything.

And that’s when the Miracle began.

I learned to worship in that cemetery. My relationship with Him became intimate. And via a Bible study I was doing in conjunction with my walks, I learned not to run or turn away when He shined light in my dark places, but to remain and let Him have everything. I learned about repentance. It was a key to freedom.

John 8:32 became my life verse:

32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (ESV)

The truth was about me, and addressing that changed everything.

So, how does Myrtle the Miracle Dog connect? Often, after Myrtle was our adopted pet, I would take her on my walks. But Myrtle was a hassle–a distraction. She dragged me along, always wanting to go beyond the limits of her expandable leash. If I turned her loose, she would not come back when I got ready to go. And even at home, although she had over a half acre of fenced back yard, interesting in shape, with huge trees to wander through, it was never enough. Myrtle dug out at every opportunity.

At age 15, Myrtle still digs.

Myrtle Death Hole

One of Myrtle’s “death holes”, as my husband calls them.  This one is about 2 feet in diameter, and 1 foot deep.

It’s as though Myrtle serves as a mirror, because I am prone to wander, too. And I don’t like my fences, either.

“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it! Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.” 

(Come Thy Fount of Every Blessing)

I often think of how we want to bless Myrtle with more outings to more wonderful doggy places than she can currently imagine, such as my husband’s fishing excursions, which would be heaven to her. But we can’t take Myrtle, because she will not obey. In frustration, I think of how our rules are for her good, and for her protection. If she could only know that!

With God and me, the same is true. Why can’t I see that?

At this point in my life, I’ve decided to practice seeing that, and to practice obeying despite my urges to the contrary. It’s hard, and I often fail. But I’m not giving up. I can say with the apostle Paul:

12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.  

Philippians 3:13-14 The Message (MSG)

Already, with my feeble attempts, blessings surprise me. But I often wonder why I’m surprised, especially when I’ve been given a reflector that lopes along beside me, and especially when I understand the beauty that is the Gospel message, as well.


Next post:  The Marks of Abuse



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