• old town

    Family History Miracles: How my Love for Stories Led to an Important Discovery

    I often have difficulty doing “official” family history work because it feels rather overwhelming. However, I do love reading the stories and viewing the pictures that are found on familysearch.org. One afternoon several weeks ago, I was researching the documents of a particular ancestor who lived in the early 1800’s. One document, entitled “Our Family’s Seventeen Miracles” caught my attention and I became fully entranced as I read the recorded miracles that had taken place in their family. Several of the recorded miracles happened to a family by the name of *Welazski (*name has been changed), and I include those experiences below: FAMILY MIRACLES “My aunt made sure my father told me this story about the Welazski family in Poland in hopes…

  • hero

    Emotional Connection: The Missing Puzzle Piece For Boys And Men

    For the past decade, I have been passionate about bringing women together in a spirit of friendship, unity, and authentic connection. For me, this was a divine commission. Together, women of all ages and in all walks of life have been reminded that we are not meant to walk this life alone, that we were made for connection, and that the small things in life are really the big things: eye contact, a friendly smile, a listening ear. We also discovered the power food has to bring us together. Potluck dinners, lunch dates, and tea parties fed our bodies and nourished our souls. Surely, few things are as powerful as gathering together around a table. No words can adequately express…

  • kiwi fruit

    Gifts And Talents And Kiwi Fruit

    Truth is, sometimes I feel like a kiwi fruit.   On the outside this small fruit appears rough, dull, ordinary.   “That’s me,” I sigh with my best Eeyore impersonation, “rough, dull, ordinary“.   Yet, shockingly, this “rough, dull, ordinary-looking” fruit is actually a powerhouse of nutrition, providing, ounce for ounce, the most nutrition value in a fruit!   According to one source, “just one serving (two medium sized kiwifruit = 1 serving) is…   An excellent source of vitamin C under FDA definitions, offering 60 milligrams per serving. A good source of dietary fiber, with 4 grams a serving, 16% of the RDA. A good source of potassium, containing more than 10 percent of the recommended dietary intake. A…

  • flowers

    Seek Ye First The Kingdom Of God: Living A Life Of Faith, Devotion, and Charity

    The Apostle Paul led a less than perfect life. Remarkably, he became a fearless minister, full of wisdom, testifying of Christ through thought, word, and action, in an increasingly hostile world. When Paul proclaimed: “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” (Philippians 1:20) it was as if he were saying, “I desire to give my utmost for His highest.” How does one give their utmost for His highest? By seeking first the kingdom of God. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and…

  • change

    Change: My New Friend

    Bright sunlight filtering through the bedroom drapes was the first thing I noticed as I awoke from a restful night’s sleep. Rolling over and climbing out of bed, I made my way to the kitchen for a glass of water and a quick glance at the clock. 8:56 a.m. Today was my own since my children were spending the day with their grandparents. The thought of my cozy bed quickly lulled me back to the bedroom; however, before I had a chance to climb back between the sheets, I had a curious thought: “Today is the perfect opportunity for change.” The prospect of incorporating a few changes into my daily routine was appealing to me, so, rather than lounging in bed all morning, then quickly dressing, grabbing a bite…

  • paintbrush painting

    Painting Your Life In Color: In Honor Of Suicide Prevention Week

    You long to fly away from this dark, broken, cruel world because…   you can’t breathe, nor do you want to, everything is bleak, you welcome the night.   Hope is gone, not even a flicker, the light you sought, forever gone.   All is lost, there is no use in trying, the endless tears, they fall in vain.   This numb existence suits you well, curled tight in a corner you hide, the pain turning you to stone, betrayed, abandoned, left alone.   Blinding sorrow, deep raw pain, the ache won’t go away. Promised help nowhere in sight, left alone to whither,   hard, cold, breathless, broken.   But, wait, friend. Don’t fly away just yet. Hang on for…

  • smoke fire

    Smoke And Mirrors: A Letter To Our Local Firemen

    Fall is, by far, my favorite time of year. However, fall is also my nemesis, for it is usually during this time of year that I fall prey to the temptation to do all things creative. For instance, one fall season, this is what was simultaneously taking place at our house: Holiday Craft Boutique preparations Reading Fair preparations Geography Fair preparations Allow me to paint a visual for you, lest you think these preparations just magically occurred in the peace and serenity of our immaculately clean home. Picture in your mind, if you will, a normally half-put together house turned COMPLETELY upside down. Imagine yourself entering our front door and standing in our living room, gazing in one direction, then another, trying unsuccessfully to see the…

  • eyes

    Bringing Joy To The Brokenhearted

    It was his eyes that made me do it.   The soft smile on his face did nothing to mask the deep loneliness in his eyes—the type of loneliness that comes from experiencing the death of a beloved spouse.   “Would you be interested in joining our family for dinner and Family Night this week?” I asked him, as we sat with a small group of people who had gathered for the evening.   It was a spontaneous invitation, really, and for a moment I wondered if I hadn’t been too impulsive. After all, with my urgent need for rest, and the paralyzingly social anxiety I’d been battling for the past year and a half, I had good reason to…

  • Nurturing Authentic Friendships With The Help Of God

    Nurturing Authentic Friendships With The Help Of God

    Relationships matter to God. Our relationship with Him, as well as our relationship with others, truly matter to Him. With His help, we can nurture relationships with the richest of feelings. When was the last time you experienced the hand of God in the mist of your relationships with family, friends, or strangers? For me, it was a Wednesday evening in the middle of the dinner rush, and I couldn’t have been more grateful. To read more about how God blessed my life that evening in the most unexpected way, head on over to Be Thee Inspired, where I’m guest posting today.

  • The Power of Social Media

    The Power Of Social Media: Connecting Families One Person At A Time

    THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA   Slowly opening my iPad, I went to my Facebook account and typed in her name.   Christine. (*Name has been changed)   My 1st cousin. A cousin I have never met.   “How do you approach a cousin you’ve never met before?” I wondered.   Putting my uncertainty aside, I sent her a private message.   “Hello, Christine! We’ve never met, but I’m your 1st cousin. It would be fun to hear from you sometime. I hope you are well.”   “There,” I thought. “I did it!” It wasn’t much, but it was a start. I had finally reached out to my long, lost cousin.   With anticipation, I waited for a reply. To my great…