Your Ceiling, Their Floor

On Thursday evening July 14, I sat in a local church listening to the heart of a missionary couple. This couple, William and Larisa, called to the Middle East, does grass roots ministry with the flexibility and nimbleness of a four year old on a jungle gym.

And they have eight children in tow! Yes, eight!


During the question and answer period, Larisa shared about her greatest passion—seeing her children walk in their family values by following Christ through adulthood.

Then she explained. Frequently, while doing deputation work, her family stays in the homes of church members along the way. In one home after another, she hears the stories from these Christian couples about how one, two or three of their children walked away from the faith. Larisa seemed puzzled by how this happens. She does not want her children to abandon their faith.

On Thursday evening, July 21, I sat in front of my computer screen watching the Republican National Convention. I listened to the speeches given by the four adult Trump children over the week. Like so many, I am all astonishment observing these bright, intelligent, contributing members of society with whom their father has entrusted so much of the family business. I read that dad’s office is on the floor above theirs. Theirs are all in a row.

What is my take away?

The Trumps have developed family cohesiveness around shared work/life values that many evangelicals can only dream about.

So let me ask you a question.

Why is one of his children not living in a tent in Glacier, WA?

You say, excuse me? Where did that question come from?

green fireworksLet me explain, two years ago I gathered my tripod and camera and we headed for the truck after the 4th of July fireworks in this tiny wide spot on the Mt. Baker Highway. Suddenly, I was confronted by a young man wearing a hoodie.

He got in my face rather unpleasantly. I got in his face, too.

After the first few bumpy exchanges, I asked him what his big dream was. He boasted how he lived in a tent not a quarter of a mile from the center of Glacier. I asked him where he was from. He told me Cape Cod and then sneered asking if I knew where that was? Without missing a beat, I asked him if he knew the Kennedy’s? Without missing a beat he said the one with the brain tumor was kind. Back and forth the tennis ball flew.

I pressed deeper about his big dream. It seems his big dream is to be a ski bum wherever the skiing is good. He has no further aspirations in life.

Later, I spoke with some business owners and full-time residents of the area. I discovered many trust fund children dropout in Glacier. This is more normal than one would expect. I learned the namesake of a renown radio personality lives just down the road running as far as he can from daddy and wanting nothing to do with his father’s God.

You might ask, why Glacier?

Answer. There are no five star hotels or resorts close by so mommy and daddy won’t come visit. Glacier is the last community along a highway that terminates in a parking lot at the base of a mountain. Some call it the best kept secret in the state of Washington. 

So why isn’t a Trump child living in a tent in Glacier next to the rich kid form Cape Cod?

After all, their great grandfather spent some time in the now abandoned mining town of Monte Cristo up in the Cascades east of Everett.


Donald Trump saw something in his kids and teased it out with focused determination so that each one would rise into the full potential of his or her God-given brilliance. Trump’s kids were all adolescents one time, too.  Have you ever raised a teenager? Apparently, dad kept them busy mentoring them and keeping them mentored by people in work clothes whom he admired.

So back to my last two Thursday nights.

A missionary is saddened by the stories of the loss of children to other life styles and values.

A real estate developer bent on saving America showcases four adult children who are extraordinary and highly accomplished human beings.

When it’s all said and done, the most important thing you can do with your life is walk side by side with your children so they want to follow in your footsteps and absorb your values.

Duplicate yourself in them so that your ceiling becomes their floor.

Bring them on board early and plant in their hearts a life-changing dream.

It appears that Mr. Trump has done that. Donald Trump, it would seem, has the inborn strength of a developer. He develops real estate and he develops people.

If his children are any example of his adeptness at developing potential, I, for one, will be voting for him for president of the United States of America. I’m looking for a candidate who looks at America and sees potential. I’m looking for a developer who can bring out the brilliance of the people of the United States of America. I am looking for a man who is color blind and gender neutral. His daughter, Ivanka, is said to be the closest person to him. He did not send her home when she had babies. Her office is right there in a row on the same floor with her brothers’ offices.

Look at a parent who shows respect for his children and you will see children who show respect for their parents.

Look at the children and you can tell a lot about the parents.

Shared values come from standing shoulder to shoulder facing the challenges of seeing possibility where others see despair.

Larisa, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Your children will be just fine!

Marlee Huber ~ For Your Flourishing Life!

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A Pop of Red

The power of red is unmistakeable.

Recently I read about a photographer who entered many photo contests and never seemed to win. He did some visual research of the winning entries and noted they all contained a pop of red. What to do? He started entering photos with — you guessed it — a pop of red.

Interestingly, color theorists note that in every culture the names of the colors are repeated in the same order:  red, yellow, green, and blue.

Living on the wet side of Washington — as I have done for more years than I ever thought I was capable of — leaves my camera begging for something besides the green.

A walk in Narbeck Wetlands Sanctuary is such an experience.

Take a look at these pictures.

A pop of read-2 A pop of read-4 A pop of read-6

Pretty ho-hum, huh?

So now let’s replace the little berries that I cloned out. Don’t you love digital photography? Draw a circle and out they come. Whoosh!

So bring on the pop of red.

A pop of read

A pop of read-3

A pop of read-5Where does your eye go?

Amazing what a little red can do. So what do you do with this information?

Go get red shoes.

You heard me! Get some red shoes.

I had some in college. I used to call them my dancing shoes. They were bright red Mary Jane’s with a slightly raised heel. I always felt like I floated down the sidewalk between buildings when I wore them. That was a very long time ago and the memory of the feeling remains! There must be something to it.

Recently, my friend, Linda, gave a presentation on how to be exquisite like the French women. She said, “Get a pair of red shoes.” In fact, Linda went on to reveal that when her daughters graduated from university she instructed them to purchase a pair of red pumps.

I failed as a mother! I knew how red shoes made me feel in college; I never passed it on to the next generation. I just thought it was a quirk. Apparently not.

Go buy red shoes.

You’ll grab attention. Your future may depend on it. You just might step out of the background into the limelight! Limelight?

Hmmm! Isn’t lime green?

Marlee Huber ~ For Your Flourishing Life!

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Highlight Of My Day!

This week I have been attending a photography workshop on creating a Fine Art Book. Yes, I am capitalizing those three words. What I am learning is beyond just printing up a book of pictures. Oh yah! Streeeeeeetch! Do you hear my brain stretching? It is…

We are meeting at the Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stewardship in Coupeville. Today I went into the office to inquire about the stewardship of this 179 acres in the center of Whidbey Island. To my amazement, I discovered that the tree I had noticed out by the road with the exotic cones is a Cedar of Lebanon.

This may or may not mean anything to you. If you have ever read the Old Testament, you know that the Cedars of Lebanon are renown. They grow tall and lofty. Their spread equals their height. They were used to build Solomon’s Temple. Actually, the whole economy of the Middle East flourished because of these magnificent forests that created their own eco systems.

I have researched them for teaching and was always so disappointed in the pictures I found on line. I regretted not looking for some when we visited Turkey. You can imagine how delighted I was to find one almost in my backyard–well a ferry boat and a pleasant drive away, but still near.

Please enjoy the images of this marvelous species. If you have any ideas on how to propagate seedlings. Let the institute know. They are interested but have observed no little guys popping up below big mama.

Cedars of Lebanon-3

To the left is a Sequoia. You can almost see the house!

Cedars of Lebanon-2

Looking up into the tree I was very glad I now own a very wide angle lens, the Fuji 10-24mm.

Cedars of Lebanon

Elegant cones remind me of the street vendors in Turkey who carve off the big leg of lamb that is impaled on a rotisserie spindle. Looks very similar.

Cedars of Lebanon-4 Cedars of Lebanon-5

Marlee Huber ~ For Your Flourishing Life!

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Invitation to a Selah Moment

sunset extreme “The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth

from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.

sunset 1

From Zion, perfect in beauty,

God shines forth.

Calla lily

Our God comes and will not be silent;

a fire devours before him,

fire devours before him

and around him a tempest rages.

Feminine warrior 2-17

He summons the heavens above,

and the earth, that he may

judge his people.

A swirl

Gather to me my consecrated ones,

who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.A covenantal relationship

And the heavens proclaim his righteousness,

for God himself is judge.”


Sunset enhanced

Photos by Marlee Huber for YOUR FLOURISHING LIFE.

Scripture Passage:  Psalm 50:1-6 NIV

Photo 1, 4-9 Naomi Carlson, Flagger at Destiny Life Church, Everett, WA during worship at the May, 10, 2016 Women of Destiny Experience

Photo 2: Grand Avenue Park, Everett, WA, May 10, 2016

Photo 3:  Calla Lily, Private Garden, Everett, WA

For more photography by Marlee Huber go to


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Making That Cell Camera Practical

We are checking into a busy RV campground on our bicycle adventure across America and the clerk asks for the license number of our truck which is parked quite some distance away. Another person in line suggests that we take a photo of the plate and carry it in our cell phone. Duh! Why didn’t we think of that?

Head out to any public place and observe how many phones are being used as cameras? It will astound you.

Now observe what people are photographing? Is it a selfie? A Sunset? Kids at play? Your meal at an Irish pub? Or do you notice people using their camera like a notebook to refer to later?

There are many fun applications for cell phone usage, but that camera can save you a lot of time and make life a whole lot easier. Here are some ways to use your cell camera to save time later.

Photograph your

  • License plate for checking into hotels and RV campgrounds.
  • Recipes so you can purchase all the ingredients.
  • Recipes so you can make it at your cabin or campsite where there is no internet and you don’t want to carry a bulky book along
  • An envelope for sending a thank you note later
  • A website that you notice when out and about and want to check out later
  • A gray arm chair at IKEA to see how it will go in your own sunny sitting room
  • The cover of a book your friend is reading and highly recommends
  • Notes from a class for studying without dragging along your notebook
  • Favorite quotes you see hanging on the wall at your favorite coffee shop.
  • Model numbers from a broken appliance so you can take the photo to the parts store and secure the replacement part.
  • A broken piece that needs replacing. Match it up at the hardware store
  • Your chandelier so you can go to the lighting store and buy additional lighting to match the finish and style.
  • Picture frames that you have at home so you can buy the same style at Hobby Lobby
  • A wild flower in the forest so you can identify it later
  • A photo of a home construction project so you can send it to the handyman to see if he’ll take on your project.

Recently at a dear cousin’s memorial, the family passed around his well-marked Bible. I grabbed my cell and began snapping pictures of page after page to ponder at a later time what touched him at a deeper level.

While writing this, I was talking with my daughter about a small remodeling job needed for her craft room in the garage. She is replacing a small high window with beautiful french doors salvaged from an interior designer’s current project. We found a connection to a remodeling hotline. I suggested my daughter snap a photo of the project that needs to be done inside and outside and send it to the hotline. That way hopefully a handyman match can be made sooner rather than later.

Consider your cell camera a tool to make your life easier. It will save you time and frustration.

And if you have some other applications not mentioned above, please leave them in a comment below.

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It’s a Mystery!

Recently, I sat in my friend’s beautifully appointed living room while she made a buying decision.  She was ready to add some fine art to her home. She wanted one of my landscapes to hang above her mantle.

She pulled up and connected her laptop to this huge flat screen TV. You know, like the one at your house. From the choices, she selected a photo gallery and clicked the almost invisible ‘slide show’ button on the top right. Suddenly the tiny thumbnails burst forth filling the room with grand landscapes and intimate close-ups, bold color and decisive compositions. It was like we were right there—back on that icy mountain, standing before that rushing waterfall, taking in all that moist greenery.

Misty falls

Her house is eye candy, this room especially—cozy, warm, inviting. My eyes traveled from the sofa to the arm chairs, from the lamp on the side table to the basket holding a soft green Aran Island quilt. Each piece had been chosen with care. I found her landscape-selection process both humbling and daunting. I was trying to imagine my landscape resting on her mantle. Would she choose a photo from our recent trip to Ireland, where we had become fast friends? Or would she select a Northwest scene for her Alabama home?

I’ll keep you guessing.

Just let me say, I would never have thought to do this, but she did. What a brilliant way to make a choice. Look at the options in your own room—with your colors, with your light, with the ambience you are crafting. Make it big! Ease into the scene before your eyes from the comfort of the room where it will hold a commanding presence.

The photos slid past in four second intervals. One after another.

Suddenly, a distinctively NW image played across the flat screen. I remember the evening well. Swirling fog greeted our group of Washington State photographers as we attempted to show our Southern California friend our mountain paradise. We would drive up the mountain, even if it wasn’t visible. Maybe just maybe, we would get a peek. After our picnic lunch by Glacier Creek,  we grabbed coats and headed up Highway 542 arriving in a swirl of fog and light mist.


Peering out from beneath my hooded raincoat and an old umbrella, I put a silly grin on my face and aimed my camera in the general direction of Mt. Baker. Nothing. After a few large gestures flailing our arms toward the general direction of where on a clear day one might ooh- and ahh- over Mt. Shuksan or Mt Baker, we grabbed cover in our car. Disappointed we started down the narrow mountain road. Fog swirled. It was probably just as well our guests could not see the sheer drop off at the edge of the road. No heart failure. Please! Coming around a hairpin turn someone jabbed their finger towards a teasing promise of blue overhead. Easing into a pull off, we stopped, grabbed our cameras and caught a couple shots before the fog absorbed the whole scene in a combative shade of gray.

This was that photo.

I love this photo. I love its mystery. I love trying to trace the road up the rocky face of the cliff. I love guiding my eye along the highway. Even though I have traveled this road countless times, I tremble when peering in the general direction of that sheer drop off. I love the swirling clouds, the fog, and the almost heart-shaped bit of blue sky dancing overhead.

My friend stopped the slide show. This was it.

She had chosen her landscape. Apparently the mystery of that moment got her as well. A 24” by 36” canvas landscape is on its way to her southern home. 

What a way to make a choice! What a selection to add some mystery to her mantle. Remember this–every room needs a little mystery.

In the spirit of mystery pop on over to my website. Open up the Photo Gallery and select the one called “Land and Sea.” Can you find the landscape that she chose for her lovely sitting room? Would it work in your room? Leave me a comment. Let me know your favorite.


Thanks to Donna Edman for the photo of the drenched photographer. She did make it down the mountain without mishap. Go check out her stunning and surprising photography at

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Something Wonderful is About to Happen!

Wednesday morning found me winding my way down Mukilteo Boulevard toward a favorite trailhead. It is mostly a residential neighborhood except for one cluster of commercial buildings. J-Lee Floors has been there for years. In front of this store is a signboard that read, “Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.”

I like that. Just home from vacation, I had to face some business issues that did not make my heart sing. In fact, the approaching end of the month filled me with dread. I had a choice—throw in the towel or rise up and pursue possibility.

These words replayed in my mind, “always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.” My husband has been reading Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book Switch on your Brain and told me that the Think and Grow Rich book is right on target with the way our minds work.

Hmmm. What if I daily practiced this recommendation? What might happen both in my business and in other areas of my life? What if I could find a few people to join me in this experiment? We could do a thirty day trial. Think about it.

Reflecting some more, I noted that the outcome of receiving the Wonderful involves a critical component—belief. 

A gratitude jar sits on my counter. You probably have one, too. It had been quite some time since I put anything into it. How about yours? It’s not that I’m not thankful, I am. Gratitude is great, but belief followed by results, that is wonderful! It reminds me of faith.

Faith pleases God.

Faith works by love.

Faith is setting your mind, your heart, your intentions on an expectation for good and not for evil.

What if I renamed the Gratitude Jar? I’ll call it, uh, the Something ‘Wonder’ Full jar?

Why will I spell it that way? Because it spotlights the word “wonder.” Wonder is that element that little children possess when they run to show mommy a first-time discovery. 

Recently I read that the Fear of the Lord is more about wonder than dread. Most people think dark thoughts about God when they hear this phrase. It inspires fear, so they recoil.

What if the fear of the Lord really is ALL about wonder?

I sure like wonder more than dread. Don’t you? I like hiking the woods and discovering hidden treasures like blooming trillium or giant back-lit leaves or rushing waterfalls.

blog waterfall

North Carolina’s Glen Falls

I like to be plumb full of wonder at the lovely surprises my Heavenly Father has tucked away for me to discover.

So I have renamed my Gratitude Jar. It is now the Something “Wonder” Full Jar. Today, I sat down and began to write out the wonder-filled experiences and opportunities that have come my way since I decided to “Believe that something wonderful is about to happen.” I have even had some business wins!

Would you like to join me? Try it for 30 days. Re-label your gratitude jar. Let’s see what exciting opportunities and warm affirmations begin to emerge as we apply belief—that old fashioned faith—to possibility.

Something Wonderful IS About to Happen!

Let me know if you are up for this experiment because wonder has far more to do with experiences and opportunities and insights than does dread.

I don’t need more dread; I need more wonder!

How about you?


To view more Wonder-Inspired Photography by Marlee Huber go to

blog white flower.jpg

Discovered in the National Arboretum, Washington, DC


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