• heart-crafted

    Heart Crafted: Connecting with Others in Meaningful Ways

    Nearly twenty years ago, I felt impressed to step outside my comfort zone and connect with the people around me in meaningful ways. As an introvert, I found this to be extraordinarily difficult. But I was up to the task.   Around that same time, God put into my heart…

  • Family Traditions

    Family Traditions: Making This Holiday Season A Special One

    He was from Germany. His English was limited, but he needed assistance, so he made his way to the church where my father led a congregation. After a short visit with the man, my father learned that he was alone in our country, his family still in Germany. After making…

  • house flowers

    Broken: We All Have Both Hidden Wounds And Hidden Strength

    It was broken, of that I was certain.   My arm, grasped firmly by my friend, throbbed at the pressure being forced against it.   A group of long-time neighborhood friends had gathered in the middle of the street to play a game of Red Robin.   Two teams facing…

  • last ounce of courage

    The Fight For Freedom Deserves Our Last Ounce Of Courage

    The evening began with bowls of warm chili and trembling, nervous tummies.   True, my children 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?”…

  • Strengthening families through storytelling photos

    Storytelling: The Return Of A Lost Art

      Isn’t it about time to bring storytelling back into our lives?   A couple months ago I watched a free webinar on the lost art of storytelling and was inspired to increase the amount of storytelling that takes place in our home. It occurred to me that I could use the…

  • Words that encourage purple flowers

    Words That Encourage

    “You’re very special!”   Those were the last words I whispered to my daughter as I gave her a squeeze and prepared to send her off to bed. When her body stiffened noticeably and she became quiet, I wondered if perhaps those words had made her feel uncomfortable. Early the…

  • Courage Born Of Fear: It’s Time To Be Brave

      “Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.” (Bethany Hamilton)   I knew the moment I shared this quote with my daughter two days ago that she had had a lightbulb moment; I saw it in her eyes, in the way she…

  • Comfort Zone

    “Mom, is it a good thing to step outside my comfort zone?” asked my daughter.   “Yes,” I said, giving her a cautious motherly glance, “as long as there is little risk for bodily harm.” “Oh, no need to worry about that,” she giggled.   {silence}   “It’s just that stepping outside your…