• 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 AllThatGlittersBaby on Etsy ** This post may contain affiliate links. You can find my disclosure HERE. HOME DECOR   Our Flag Box Sign   Pledge Allegience Box Sign    Patriotic…

  • Seeds to plant A Call To Practice Hospitality

    Seeds To Plant: A Call To Practice Hospitality

    The Bible teaches much about hospitality. Think Abraham, Sarah, Lot. While much has changed since biblical times, hospitality has a place in our lives too. We have many opportunities, both inside and outside our homes, to extend hospitality.   Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking, in her post “A Call To Practice Hospitality”, shares some wonderful insights into this subject:   “God has beautifully designed each one of us to be His Ambassadors…his hands and feet to carry His love to those around us. Ultimately, hospitality is not limited to a space or time. It matters not how large your home is or how generous your table settings. It is rather a lifestyle of generosity.   It asks with each purchase: “can…

  • Connection

    Summer Barbecue

    I loved the Facebook message I received in my inbox recently from a friend who has a heart for connection: We are are BBQ-ing this evening and want our friends to join us! We’ll have homemade ice-cream too!! Here are the details: Time: 5pm  Address: ***** Bring: Your own meat and buns for your family and a side to share. We will have watermelon, potato chips, and chips and salsa. The kids can jump on the trampoline and play. It will be fun to see you!! Comment or text me if you intend on coming. Thanks!   Thanks for the inspiration, friend! I’m already plotting how I might incorporate a similar idea into my summer schedule. Family. Friends. Food. Fun. Necessary…

  • chocolate bar raspberries

    Seeking To Do Good: Turning Our Deepest Sorrows Into Blessings

    SEEKING TO DO GOOD   In his book, Meaningful Work, Shawn Askinosie details his journey from competent criminal defense attorney to successful chocolatier. Leaving the stress of his law practice behind, he set out to build a successful chocolate company from the ground up using his unique set of visioning tools, tools that can be used by each of us to create a life of meaning and purpose, no matter what work we do. In addition to building a successful company, he and his team at Askinosie Chocolate have been a positive force for good throughout the world. How exactly do they go about blessing the lives of so many? Often, it begins at their work meetings, where they turn…

  • dog

    Making a difference

    MAKING A DIFFERENCE   She came prancing right up to us, a pink bow placed perfectly behind each ear, and my kids couldn’t have been more delighted! She was the prettiest dog I’ve ever seen––small, fair, silky long hair. She swept across the floor of the store with what appeared to be great dignity and purpose. “Reach down and pet her,” her owner invited, holding the dog’s pink leash in his hand. “I had her registered as a service dog. Now she goes around making people happy. That’s her job.” My kids reached down to stroke the silky, soft hair. “What’s her name?” I asked the friendly owner. “Precious Jewel––PJ for short.” “That’s the perfect name for her,” I replied…

  • Simplify the season

    Restore The Wonder

    The holidays are approaching—a time for family togetherness, love, laughter, wonder, and the making of special memories. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! Not long ago, however, I made a surprising discovery—the wonder of the holiday season was missing from the eyes of my children. This discovery saddened me and I immediately set myself on a mission to restore the wonder—the sense of anticipation and joy—to the eyes and hearts of my children. To read more about my mission to restore the wonder of the season, CLICK HERE to visit the Simplify The Season Blog Party where I am guest posting today and sharing some of our family’s favorite holiday traditions.    What holiday traditions bring…

  • Profound impact of one's name

    The Profound Impact Of One’s Name

    Have you ever stopped to wonder about the beauty and power of a name?   Each name has a story.   Perhaps you were named after a grandparent, your moms’ best friend, or a character in your dad’s favorite movie. Or perhaps you weren’t named after anyone at all. It could be that your name came after months of debating seemingly countless options or in a pressured moment of decision a day or two after you were born. Perhaps your name’s origin is largely unknown, its significance lost to you. Regardless of the details of the story, your name and its story are uniquely your own.   The Sound Of One’s Name   Just the sound of one’s name commands immediate attention.…

  • life changing shared stories

    The Life-Changing Effect of Shared Stories

    Our Beautiful And Painful Stories   Some time ago, a friend mentioned that she loves sitting with people who are authentic and vulnerable, showing her what love looks like. I soon found myself doing exactly that, and loving every minute of it! It was a weekend of authenticity, connection, shared stories, and vulnerable confessions from the heart with friends, family, neighbors, and strangers. One of my favorite moments of vulnerability from the weekend was when a woman I’ve known for many years shared with a large group of women a few of her past personal struggles. Over the years, I’ve often driven by her gorgeous home and thought to myself, “She has the perfect home and the perfect little family.…

  • The actions that define us refugees

    Refugees: The Actions That Define Us

    Some time ago I found myself in the company of twenty-one refugees, and individuals who, in one way or another, are assisting refugees. Being a refugee may be a defining moment in the lives of those who are refugees, but being a refugee does not define them. Like countless thousands before them, this will be a period—we hope a short period—in their lives. Some of them will go on to be Nobel laureates, public servants, physicians, scientists, musicians, artists, religious leaders, and contributors in other fields. Indeed, many of them were these things before they lost everything. This moment does not define them, but our response will help define us. ~ Elder Patrick Kearon   What a blessing it was to sit in council…

  • recycle gratitude

    Recycled Gratitude: Thoughts On Recycle Bins and Authenticity

    It was a typical fall morning in my neighborhood as I walked to the curb to retrieve our recycle bin. I paused for a moment, noticing a simple note taped to the top of the bin. “What’s this?” I wondered. Removing the note from the green bin lid, I began to read, Great job! When it comes to recycling, you don’t monkey around and we are impressed! Thanks to residents like you, last year our city recycled more than 32,000 tons of material that would have otherwise been sent to the landfill. We appreciate all of your recycling efforts. Thanks for helping to keep our city clean and green!   Something inside of me began to swell, and a smile…