• 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…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • Freedom isn't free

    The Fight For Freedom Deserves Our Last Ounce Of Courage

    The evening began with bowls of warm chili and trembling, nervous tummies.   True, my kids had spent the past few weeks in great anticipation of this Chili Dinner and Talent Show, but now that their turn to perform was quickly approaching, they were having second thoughts.   “What have we gotten ourselves into?” they wondered aloud. Their apprehension was palpable.   The time soon arrived.   All three of them nervously gathered around the piano to perform their piano trio, which went off without a hitch.   One down, one to go.  …

  • hands free mama overcoming technology addiction the family friendly way

    Hands Free Mama: Overcoming Technology Addiction The Family-Friendly Way

    Some time ago, our family sat around the table and discussed Technology Addiction.   My husband and I confessed to our children our particular addictions (which may or may not have something to do with Craigslist and an iPad). The kids shared insightful suggestions on how we might have a more balanced approach with technology, suggestions like:   Don’t use it when we’re in the room   Use it only at certain times of the day   Don’t carry it with you   Have tech-free days   Then we ate…

  • Authentic connection

    Authentic Connection: We Are All Brothers And Sisters

    A few nights ago, my neighbor, who attends a different church, is nearly 80-years-old and almost blind, made her way across the street after dark with oxygen in hand to knock on my door and ask me how I was doing. We sat in my living room for an hour sharing with each other our trust in the Lord and how He has carried us through our most recent trials. We read scripture, swapped recipes, and encouraged one another. I walked her across the street when we were done visiting,…

  • The Ultimate Guide to Strength, Hope, and Peace {A Three-Step Plan}

    The Ultimate Guide to Strength, Hope, Peace

    “Mom, why are all the flags around town at half staff today?” my daughter asked, gazing out the car window. It’s a question I hear on a regular basis these days and, quite honesty, I’m tired of hearing it. I’ve grown weary of sharing with my children all the negativity that is taking place in our country–mass shootings, violence, death. Instead, I’ve decided to focus on the positive, the possibilities, the things that can fill us with strength, hope, and peace. I’ve chosen to tell my children that whenever they…

  • A Celebration Of America

    Celebrate America: Patriotic Roundup

    July will be here before we know it and with it a desire for those in America to celebrate the birth of our nation—-Independence Day! Below are links to my favorite resources to inspire you and your family during our most patriotic month. Enjoy!   ACTIVITIES Celebrating America On Independence Day: How an activity I threw together in a pinch turned into one of our favorite holiday memories   What better time to ensure Safe And Happy Neighborhoods than during the summer months?!   FASHION  This ADORABLE patriotic vest and bowtie onsie by…