• The Connecting Power of Food

    The Connecting Power Of Food

    Food. It requires much of our time and effort.   We prepare it. We eat it. We clean up the mess.   Was all that effort wasted, or was it time well spent?   The preparation and eating of food—and even the cleaning up of the mess—has the power to connect us in ways that nothing else can.   We can choose to put love into our meal preparations and invite others to join us in that space. Natalie from www.everydaynatalie.com shares a special memory she has of food and family HERE. She even includes a recipe!   The memories that are created as family and friends gather in a kitchen to prepare a meal together are priceless.   Conversation.…

  • Treasure chests of words

    Treasure Chests of Words

    The scriptures are a treasure chest of words that we can turn to when in need of instruction, inspiration, or encouragement.   Jesus, the perfect communicator, provided us with:   WORDS OF INSTRUCTION PARABLES TO INSPIRE COUNSEL TO ENCOURAGE   What a blessing these words are for us!   I have my own treasure chests of words.   When someone emails me a special thank you or a thoughtful compliment, I stash it away in a special file folder in my email account. When I receive a written note in the mail, I add it to the growing collection of kind words carefully kept inside a ziploc bag. When someone says something meaningful to me in person, I hurry home…

  • Eyes window to soul

    The Eyes Are The Window To The Soul

    Our eyes, the window to the soul, have the power to build or to destroy.   Recently a young man posted on social media that he is struggling with severe isolation. In addition to being neglected by friends and family, he feels invisible when out in public. He’ll walk through crowds of people and not one person will make eye contact with him, let alone offer a friendly greeting. His story is all too familiar. Perhaps you can relate.   It’s no secret that we live in a fast-paced world where oft times our only connection with others is through social media or our phone.   Sadly, we’ve grown comfortable with this type of connection. It’s fast, convenient, and non-committal.…

  • Authentic life

    31 Days To An Authentic Life

    Welcome to 31 Days to an Authentic Life!   Authenticity. We crave it. We long for relationships that are authentic–genuine, real, true– but are often unsure how to go about creating them.   How does one actually LIVE an authentic life on a day-to-day basis with the people in their lives? How can one create a close, abiding relationship with God? How can we connect with family members in powerful, lasting ways? How can we be strengthened through friendships? How might we connect with neighbors and strangers in convicting ways? How can we be true to ourselves?   These questions and more will be addressed in my posts this month. I hope you’ll join me in creating a more authentic…

  • storm clouds A personal witness

    A Light In The Storm

    My entire life was caught up in a storm.   At least that’s how it felt as I slowly made my way through the front door of the grocery store, grocery list in hand. One challenge after another in recent days had me feeling that the sun may never shine again. What I didn’t know then was that by the time I exited the store, through those same doors, in just 20 short minutes, my perspective on life and light and storms would change dramatically–all thanks to a stranger. I meandered down the aisles, filling my cart with groceries, then headed to the checkout line. As the guy at the register scanned my items, he asked how I was doing.…

  • generous books

    Books That Inspire A Generous Heart

    A generous heart is not an easy thing to create in a world so filled with entitlement.   Take me for example. It seems I’m reminded of things I want or “need” at every turn by friends, television, social media, the “Jones” next door. Clothes, toys, entertainment, comfort food—I’ve always got something on my wish list, something I “can’t live without”.   This entitlement attitude of mine has turned into a problem in our home, a problem that is multiplying rapidly, for no matter how often I ask my children to do what I SAY rather than what I DO, they just won’t listen. Why is this? Why on earth is it that my children always end up doing what…

  • Neighborhood park bench

    Friends And Neighbors

    Do you know your neighbors? A stroll to the park this evening with my children led me to cross paths with a neighbor I haven’t seen in a while. She and I visited on a park bench while our kids kicked a soccer ball back and forth on the grass behind us. We began with the typical chit-chat: “Beautiful weather!” “How’s school?” “How’s work?” and ended an hour later with a discussion about Bible Study Groups. She’s Catholic; I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We both enjoy studying the Bible at home and at church.  I mentioned the devotional I had read that morning on the verses found in Romans 5:3-4: “…glory in tribulation…”,…

  • Introvert

    Thoughts On Courage From A Lifelong Introvert

    I’m an introvert through and through. And when I say introvert, I mean: I’m uncomfortable in large groups. It’s extremely difficult for me to make a phone call. I love to be alone. I love going to movies by myself. I love to eat in restaurants alone, with only a good book, or a pad of paper and pen in hand. I love to spend time in nature–just me and my trusty sketch book.   If people eye me warily because I’m ‘going it solo’, I’m completely unaware; my book and notepad and deep thoughts have my full and undivided attention. Alone time creates in me an energy that more extroverted activities tend to drain away. While family life has…

  • At Work In Our Neighborhoods

    Not long ago, in the midst of the divisive election, came an invitation from an unknown neighbor to meet at the park and pray for our country. Our family went, unsure of what to expect, and completely unaware of the inspiring events that were about to take place. Jay (the name has been changed) was right where he said he would be–sitting at the picnic table wearing a bright orange shirt. While my kids played on the playground, I hesitantly approached Jay, wondering how long it would be before someone else arrived. I sat at the picnic table and introduced myself. The conversation began slowly but intensified quickly as we recognized immediately just how much we have in common. I’ve…

  • The Kindness of Strangers

    “There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met.”– William Butler Yeats The Costco parking lot, as we all know, is a zoo right before Thanksgiving, and I was having the time of my life finding a parking spot for my long bed truck. Inching my way past the row of vehicles, I was forced to step on the brakes as a car in front of me pulled out of their parking spot. The person in the car next to me, unaware of why I had stopped, honked the horn in impatience. I turned to look at them and realized they were hoping to pull into a parking spot that my truck was blocking. Understanding their frustration, I…