• meet your neighbors

    Meet Your Neighbors: An Adventure Awaits

    Meet your neighbors.   It sounds intimidating.   Trust me–I know!   As an introvert, I get all nervous and shaky inside when it comes to introducing myself to strangers.   Nervous as Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden. Shaky as a lone brittle leaf hanging from a gnarled…

  • the-profound-impact-of-ones-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.   Maybe you were named after a grandparent, your mom’s best friend, or a character in your dad’s favorite movie. Or perhaps you weren’t named after anyone at all. It could…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • Judge Not: A Hard Lesson Learned

    “Thou Shalt Not Judge” is a lesson I tend to learn over and over again.   The following experience happened to our family last year and still weighs on my mind: “Here’s my money, Mom,” my daughter said, smiling as she handed me two large bills, “I want to give…

  • hope for bad moms everywhere

    Hope For Bad Moms Everywhere

    A QUESTION “Do all moms think they are bad moms?” my eight-year-old daughter asked me, her eyes full of innocence.We were sitting around the dinner table; I was telling my family about a talk I had heard at a Women’s Conference earlier that day.The speaker, a woman with beautiful long…

  • freeing-ourselves-from-barnacles-learning-to-forgive

    Freeing Ourselves Of Barnacles: Learning How To Forgive

    THE BARNACLES IN OUR LIVES   He was a sailor. He loved the ocean and the ships on which he sailed. And despite the rough and temperamental seas, he always managed to arrive home safely. He was my children’s hardworking and adventurous great-grandfather, Benjamin O. Of all the threats to a…

  • Safe and happy neighborhoods

    Safe and Happy Neighborhoods

    Some time ago I sat with a city councilman and other members of the community to discuss how we might improve our neighborhoods.   “We need more police presence in our neighborhoods,” someone suggested right away. Most everyone agreed. I sat back in my seat and listened to their argument.…

  • For the sake of the children girl

    For The Sake Of The Children: A Life-Changing Conversation

    It was a life-changing experience for our family, an experience that my daughter and I have discussed in great depth. She feels it is an important message to share with others—for the sake of the children. So, with the hope that this might benefit a family or two, we share the following with…