Tag Archives: best of friends

Believe in your nuts!

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Have you ever had one of those days where you’re feeling so bad you just don’t ever want to get up again?

For the past several weeks I’ve been under the “instructions” of a physician on what I can eat and what I need to stay away from,  and it seems that my new frequent favorites are “nuts”.  All I have to do is pick a nut: a walnut, peanut almond, brazilian! As long as it’s a nut. I’m free to eat.

Anyway, last week I was having a really bad day and as I went to reach for a walnut, for some reason my heart really missed my grandfather, so within the simplicity of how my heart works, I looked up to heaven and asked God to simply tell my grandfather I said hello and that I love him.

A few hours later my friend, Gina Aponte, sent me an instant message on Facebook asking  if she could send me some shelled walnuts, and I knew… God was letting me know that my grandfather was saying hello and that he loved me too.

How did I know that?

Because… when I was in high school my grandmother used to paint pictures and then each weekend she would take her paintings down to the park and she would erect them on easels and wait for someone to come along and appreciate them. Now, while she was waiting for customers, my grandfather was waiting for her, and he would take his newspaper and sit in the park and read. Then one day he noticed  a woman had set up a booth and  was selling something unusual:  painted walnuts that looked like strawberries. She wasn’t selling any so my grandfather walked up to her, purchased one, and tried to tell her how to sale them. But, when the woman didn’t care to listen to what he had to say,  my grandfather decided he would go home and make his own. The following weekend he would return with his painted nuts and show the woman how it was done.

Strawberry Nut Ornament

And, “done” he did. Within 10 minutes my grandfather had sold every one of his “red” creations, and when the woman saw that he sold them so quickly she immediately came running to his table and asked, “What’s your secret? How did you do that?”

His reply…

“Lady, you’ve got to believe in your nuts!”

I never in my life thought I would be sharing that “I believe in my nuts”,  but I do! Because if God can go so far out of his way to put it on Gina’s  heart to send me a box of nuts… Can you imagine what He’ll do for YOU!

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14)

Gina Aponte, “And you thought you were just sending me a box of nuts!”

Onward with a SMile!


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Last night I was chatting with my husband and his friend when I commented that my life always seemed to change when I wasn’t looking. What started the conversation was when I said:

“I found my husband when I wasn’t looking!” (Wasn’t going to get married again!)

“I gained an extra 20 pounds when I wasn’t looking!” (At the scale!)

“My dog ran away the other day when I wasn’t looking!”  (As the gate closed!)

“The engine in my car blew up when I wasn’t looking!” (At my gauges!)

“My first husband left me when I wasn’t looking!” (Walked out when I was sleeping!)

“My health failed me when I wasn’t looking!” (Not paying attention to the warning signs!)

I went on for about 15 minutes about all the things that have happened within my life when I wasn’t looking, and through my laughter I realized how much truth there is to not looking!

All morning I’ve been thinking about how much my life is changing. All the things I used to be able to do I will now have to learn to do them differently, and all the things I wanted to do… I will have to “look” for a different way to do them, but what I did find in the midst of not looking  was I realized that God saw everything. He knew everything that would transpire during the moments within my life when I wasn’t looking and what I can “see” is that the most important thing that I’ve ever “looked” for is the truth, because at this exact moment within my life if I didn’t know with all my heart that after, looking into Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God… Hebrews 12:2 

Than what would I look for?

Okay. Today is July 30, 2012, and it only took me 35 minutes to make my bed, nearly 2 hours to take a shower and get ready, and another 30 minutes to put my dishes away, but you know what? I did it! And for the first time I noticed that I was “looking” at how important it is to appreciate the small moments within my life.

Now, I have some work I have to do today, and to the best of my ability I’m going to sit upright, smile, and enjoy the fact that even if I can’t see what the rest of my day looks like, God’s already been there and has shown me that  life is much like the weather. It can start out sunny, but by the afternoon it may become slightly cloudy with a chance of rain! And if it happens to storm … that’s okay. There’s always a rainbow right around the corner.

And if anyone happens to read my tiny appointment with God today my prayer  is that YOU find your smile at the end of your rainbow!





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The other day I was listening to the radio when someone made a reference to Oprah Winfrey and the effect that she had on the world. For the past few days I’ve been thinking about that statement and in some ways it’s true.

In 1986 I was watching her show and she had this amazing woman on who had done incredible things and Oprah said this, “People need to turn off the television and stop watching others do great things and do them!” At that moment I turned off Oprah’s show and vowed to never watch it again until I had accomplished something “grand” and I even said, “I won’t watch Oprah’s show until after I’ve done something grand with my life and then Oprah will call me to be on her show because I will have something interesting to share!”

When last year arrived I was talking to a friend and she asked me if I had seen the last Oprah show and my reply was, “In 1986 I vowed to never watch her show again until after I was on her show, and to my surprise… Oprah’s people never called my people, so ‘no’ I haven’t seen her show since 1986!” We laughed, but in many ways Oprah was right. She was successful not because of her knowing everything, but because she was smart enough to know that she didn’t know everything and added guests to her show that knew more on a subject than she did, and they in turn shared their knowledge with her viewers, and so on and so forth!

For me… If I were to have spent the past  26 years  spending one hour out of each day  (that’s 9,490 hours)  listening to stories of other people  I would have missed that “one” extra hour a day that I had to do something “grand!”

The interesting part was I realized today that I’ve always used that one hour spending time reading the Bible. So, in some interesting and odd way I do the same thing that other people were doing when they tuned on the Oprah show… only instead of watching and listening to what other people have done I’ve spent my days reading about what other people have done.

What have learned from Oprah?

I learned that God used Oprah’s voice to speak directly to me that day, and that because of her words I’ve truly used those hours to find my heart, and in many ways I would like to personally thank Oprah for being bold enough to tell people to turn off the television and do something, because that day, even through she lost “one” viewer,  “God” gained “another” friend.

There are only 24 hours in each day and I believe that the one hour I spend each day with the Lord is what has given me more time…

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

Because eternity is what was added!

It truly is amazing how every person’s life affects another, and just in case Oprah’s been trying to get in touch with me… I’ll leave my number so she can give me a call, because truth-be-told… each person is “grand” within God’s eyes, and it’s too bad it only took me 26 years to figure that out!


One never knows!




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A few days ago my aunt and uncle came for a visit. The last time I saw them was a few years back when their son passed away and they filled me in on how his wife and daughters were doing. They continued on by sharing how my cousin, Gail, was holding up with her family and the new events that transpired within their lives. It’s interesting how at times… families can be so close, but then age and distance can  turn families into distant friends.

As our conversation continued my aunt shared a story about my grandmother and the story went like this.

“Gina, nearly 15 years ago your grandmother called me at work. Two young girls had knocked on her door asking if she had lost a White Poodle. Your grandmother took one look at the dog and immediately thought it was my dog, so she replied, ‘No, I didn’t lose a dog, but I know whose dog it is.’  And she took it.

A few moments later she called me at work and said, ‘Pat, now don’t you worry I have your dog and I will keep him here until you get home!’

Now, at that moment I began to worry because my dog was sitting at my feet and I said to your grandmother, ‘Mom, now I am worried and I will be right over.’

When I arrived at your grandmother’s house I walked in and saw a poodle that was supposed to be white, but was completely brown from trying to find his way home. The moment I walked through the door he immediately ran to my dog and was so happy to see him, that I decided since the two dogs got along so well I would take him home, clean him up and then work hard to find who his owners were.

For weeks I tried to find his home, but with no luck I became the owner of another poodle and the two dogs remained the best of friends for nearly a decade. When my poodle eventually died, the other one died within 24 hours, and within 24 hours and one minute I was left with nothing more than the beautiful memory of how one lost dog found his way home to a place where he would be reunited with his own breed, and a loving home!”

My aunt laughed and teared as she shared the story because she  believes that God blinded my grandmother’s eyes from seeing the dirt so that the dog wouldn’t be turned away, but would find his way home.

For the past few days I’ve been thinking about that story and how many times within my life I’ve been accused of not seeing what other people see, but now I believe that there are times within our lives where our heart sees what God wants us to see so we too can find our way home.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

When I think of the story of one lost dog I now see how God orchestrated that meeting between the girls, my grandmother and my aunt, and if God will make a way for a tiny little lost poodle He will certainly make a way for us!

16 This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters,  17 who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: 18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:16-19

Praying everyone a beautiful day. There’s nothing grander than being reminded that God knows which doors He wants us to open.




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I just took a sip of coffee before I started typing. Seems I needed a little something to help swallow my tears.

Each day I pen my Appointments with God so that I can remember the day in which I saw Him. It seems that He’s always showing up allowing me to write something today that I may need to refer back to months from now. That’s what happened to me this morning. Today I scrolled back three months and God reminded me that He knew all along what was going to happen yesterday.

Three months ago I was praying for a friend to help with my non-profit and in November, God introduced me to Kelly Barker. Kelly lives in Michigan and I live in California, and during this time the two of us have become the best of friends but… have yet to meet face-to-face.

Yesterday my dear friend Kelly, lost her brother, Russ in an accident.

I’ve always called “accidents” appointments.  I have never believed that accidents happen. I’ve always believed that the day we are born God makes an appointment with each of us and He appoints us each a day in which our souls will enter heaven. Most appointments within our lives we make. We make appointments with doctors. We make them to get our hair and nails done. To get our cars serviced… the list goes on and on, but we don’t make an appointed time for the day we are born, nor do most make an appointed time for the day we move onward into heaven.  It’s God’s appointed time.

Within my life I’ve lost many people whom I’ve loved. I went looking for God because I actually lost someone who I loved very much, and I wanted to one day see him again.

During the past three months that Kelly and I have been getting to know each other,  I’ve also had the pleasure of getting to know her brother. Each day she would tell me a story about him, and this is what I know. Kelly was 10 years older than Russ and she loved him like a son. The two of them were in business together, and what Russ couldn’t do, Kelly would do, and what Kelly couldn’t do, Russ would do! Russ loved his business, and everyone he did business with loved him. Russ was engaged to be married, and on the last day of his life he went Snowmobiling. God made sure that when Russ’ appointed time arrived that he would be doing what he loved to do.

Today my prayer for Kelly and her family is that God will bring them peace and comfort during this time.

I love this passage that Jesus shares in John 7:33, It’s such a grand reminder that from where we came from, we will return.

Therefore Jesus said, “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me.” John 7:33




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This morning I got up early, woke my husband to say, “Happy Birthday” brought him his coffee and then went to my computer. I had a 9:00 a.m. meeting, so I needed to make sure that a few things were taken care of before I left. When I turned on my computer my computer wouldn’t turn on, and then when if finally did it wouldn’t allow me to enter cyberspace. For a moment I felt disconnected from the world.

So, I decided I would do a few chores and then head to my meeting. As I was pulling into the parking lot the woman called me and asked if we could reschedule. “No worries!” I said, and flipped my car around to head to the Post Office.  When I arrived at the Post Office I went to my PO Box and there was a notice that I had a pick up from the window, so I got in line and a man walked up behind me and started talking.

“I came to the Post Office the other day, and the line was out the door, so I left and came back today.” He said.

“Yes, I know. This Post Office can get quite busy.” I replied.

“I don’t like that we always have to wait in line for so long.” The man shared.

“I don’t mind, because I work from home, and it allows me time to get to chat with people while I’m waiting!” I said.

Within a few moments the man and I became the best of friends.

“Well, I’m getting ready to leave to the country to work on a film and I need them to hold my mail.”

“Oh, are you a movie star?” I asked with a smile.

“No, and you’re pretty!” He said with a smile.

I smiled and realized that what makes women pretty is when we ask men if they are a movie star. Women take note. If you want a compliment… give one!

Anyway, we kept talking and before  I knew it we seemed to know everything about each other. I knew what he did, and he knew about OwieBowWowie.  We kept talking and then he said, “Hey, I can help you. I know someone who is looking to work on projects that matter, and this would be right up his alley.”

When he said the name of the man he wanted to connect me with, I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been trying to get an introduction to this company for years. I even called once, and because the woman on the other end never heard of Gina Gippner-Woods, she wouldn’t connect me to anyone.

But, this morning God made sure our two hearts would meet. He cancelled my meeting, and made sure that there was a line out the door over the weekend, so that the man who I met would arrive at the Post Office the same time I did. I’ve always said that there are no accidents in life, only Appointments with God!

Now, I have to be patient and wait for this man to introduce us. I have no idea what the outcome is going to be, but I’m so excited that there is now the possibility of an opportunity!

Before we left I hugged him and thanked him for being so kind to share his friend with me. When I got in the car my phone rang and it was my friend, Lisa. I told her what happened and how this man was so willing to introduce me to a friend, when Lisa said, “Gina, you’re so funny. I read your Appointments with God each day, and that’s all you do. You seriously write them not because you don’t know who Jesus is, but because you want all your friends to know who He is too.”

Wow! I actually write my Appointments with God because I want to remember all the wonderful things that Jesus has done within my life, but she’s right. I want everyone to know Him too. I want everyone to know that they matter, and that they are beautiful, talented, gifted, and loved. So, if anyone who is reading this today doesn’t know Jesus, I would love to introduce you to Him. He’s my best friend, and I would love for Him to be yours too!

John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.





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