The Tale of the Chevron Shirt

Posted by on Jan 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

I was going to title this post ‘It’s all About that Shirt’ but I think the internet is just slap tired of the ‘It’s all About …’ references.  Not to say that I’m tired of them or of the song It’s all About that Bass.  I LOVE that song!  It makes me laugh… ’cause I ain’t no size two, either.  Not really sure that I can Shake it, Shake it.

But back to the shirt.

It’s just a chevron top.  Nothing special — unless you factor in the vertical chevron striping — and I love a vertical stripe!

The only special thing about this top is it is the very first thing I bought when I decided to have weight loss surgery.  I ordered it back in January of 2014 — two months before surgery was scheduled.  It was to be the item that I would wear once I lost my weight — my inspiration piece.  My goal.  My something special.  When the box arrived I rushed to open it and out came this adorable black and white top.  I loved it from the moment I saw it online, but the reality of it was even better.   BUT it was way too small.  Certainly, I knew it would be too small.  After all it was the top that I hoped to one day fit in…. but after looking at it I thought “NO WAY!  This will NEVER fit me.  EVER.  Why did I order a medium?  Why not a large? and WHY oh WHY are the sleeves so tiny?”  I hung it in the closet and tried to forget it existed.

Surgery came and went.  My weight dropped.  My clothing size dropped.  But I still couldn’t fit into the ‘inspiration’ top.  It just hung in the closet with it’s SUPER Skinny sleeves (who are these SUPER SKINNY armed people who wear these tops?) and seemed to mock me.

I went on with life — I worked, laughed, loved my family.  Worshipped God.  Served in my church. Released a bible study (with my two DEAREST friends, Melinda and Karen).  Life marched on.  And you know what happened?  I just didn’t care about that inspiration shirt.  I bought it as a symbol of what I wanted to achieve — but my life is about more than just a goal or a number or a scale or a top with skinny sleeves.

Life is about the God you serve.  Life is about the people you love and about the time you spend with them.  I decided to LIVE life and guess what?  I finally fit into that inspiration top — but those sleeves are just too tight, still!

So I encourage — embrace the adventure of this life.  Love people.  Love God.  Laugh.  Have fun. Let a life well-lived be your inspiration… not a skinny sleeved chevron top!




That’s All Folks… well, that’s all of 2014

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in adventure, blessings | Comments Off

BEACH 2014Is it just me or doesn’t it seem like we just welcomed in the year 2000… and know we’re racing toward the year 2020.  By the way 2020 may be my favorite year because who doesn’t love the whole 20/20 vision thing — can you just imagine the sermons that will preached about seeing 20/20 in 2020?!   But I digress, as I often do…. back the the end of the year 2014.

It’s been a heck of a year… it was my first year without my Dad (he passed away in November 2013).

I spent the majority of the year as an official 50 year old (I turned 51 in September).

My girls turned 21 and 28 this year — AM I really old enough to be Mom of a 21 and a 28 year old… apparently I am.

My grand boy turned three!  And we celebrated at Disney World!

I had a blast at my job — but then if you’re visited here before, you knew that.

My Mom got diagnosed with ovarian cancer — she’s battling it like a trooper!

Had a bible study published (along with my two besties, Karen & Melinda) — which caused me more anxiety than anything I’ve ever written, but it’s also the most favorite thing I’ve ever written.

Cruised Alaska with my man — best cruise EVER!

Had a great trip with my two dearest friends — never laughed so much in my life!

I lost 56 pounds — and have never felt better.

Spent more time with Jesus and dug deeper into His Holy Word.

It’s been a year of UPS and DOWNS — great highs and tough lows.   But through every step, God has walked with me and often carried me through.

Now it’s time to shut the door, close the book, slam the window or whatever on 2014.  It’s leaving.  Never to return.  But 2015 is coming and with it comes a fresh new year!  A year filled with promise, hope, and great expectation!  I don’t make resolutions — too much pressure for my rebellious soul.  I just make changes.  This year I’m letting go of some things– a few more pounds and a lot of stuff.  I’m decluttering my life, but more on that later.   Happy 2015!   Let’s make it a GREAT year!!

Heart Wide Open Christmas – Listen for the Holy Day 21

Posted by on Dec 20, 2014 in Bible study, blessings | Comments Off

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December 20th!  Only four more days until Christmas day.  I’m traveling today — after a week in the sun, I’m heading home to family and fun.   It’s an odd time to take a friend vacation, but it worked for me and my girlfriends.  Crazy timing, but what a blessing.  I’ve spent the last seven days NOT focusing on the crazy of the season, but on the blessings of Christ.

This life in Christ is incredible, amazing and so overwhelming.  To think we GET TO live out this life in Him is almost more than I can imagine.

So grasp onto the GET TO and cling to the promise of Christ that HE came so we could have life, and not just any ol’ life but an ABUNDANT life!


What a BLAST I’ve had being with you for the past five days!  I hope you’re listening a little closer for the Holy.  I hope you’ve slowed down just a bit and have taken time to rest in the joy that is in Jesus!

A Heart Wide Open Christmas – Listen for the Holy – Day 20

Posted by on Dec 19, 2014 in adventure, blessings | Comments Off



I’ve been on a cruise ship for the last six nights — tonight is my last night onboard.  I’ve met some amazing people on this cruise –as I often do when I travel.  We’ve exchanged phone numbers and become fast facebook friends.   I could chalk up these new relationships to luck or chance – after all these are just people I met on a cruise.  BUT I know the God of the Universe is never casual or flippant.

I know that His Word teaches me to EXPECT the unexpected.  I know that God has a plan for every single person that I come in contact.  God loves each one of us — and for some reason He has allowed me to connect with a few new children of God.  Some of them know Him well and walk with Him daily.  Others do not know Jesus and have only heard the His name.

Today, I’m walking in the knowledge that God is doing something amazing in and around me — and you.  He is always up to the amazing, let’s just take the time to see the wonder.


A Heart Wide Open Christmas – Listen for the Holy – Day 19

Posted by on Dec 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off




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Dec18_day19_MarySynder_PrintableScreenShotONLY Six more shopping days until Christmas!  My oldest daughter loves to announce the days until Christmas — she usually starts when they are over 100 days!  She loves Christmas!  And the girl LOVES a countdown.  Me?  I’m not big on countdowns — they freak me out!  When I hear X days until Christmas I immediately go to a list of what I’ve NOT done.  But not this year!

This year I’m focusing on the birth of the Savior and not the marketing of man.

This year I’m loving this Advent season because it reminds me that God loves me so much He sent His son to die for me.

This year I’m listening for the Holy — do you hear it?  Shh, listen…. can you hear it?  Don’t let the noise and the lights distract you, God is with us!  He is here.  He has a  plan for you and for me.  He knows us better than we know ourselves and He loves us more than we can imagine!!


Find the printable for today here