• 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…

  • 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 storytelling tactic to increase our family’s enthusiasm for family history work, improve our public speaking skills, and practice hospitality all at the same time.   My husband and I immediately set to work telling our children stories about their ancestors. We pulled out the family histories and family photos, which had been packed safely away, and started going through them.…

  • Blog

    A {Cookie} Recipe For Connection

    **This page contains affiliate links. You can view my full disclosure HERE.   Cookies and connection go way back.   Throughout the generations, apron-covered grandmothers, relying on their superb homemaking skills, spent one afternoon after another baking cookies in their old-fashioned kitchens. Why? For the sole purpose of warming their loved-ones hearts with a plate of fresh cookies and a tall glass of cold milk. Sitting down at the table next to you, Grandmother would ask, “So how was your day?” Food binds us together in ways that little else can. In the Bible, Jesus was often found sharing food with others; filling stomachs and filling hearts was always part of His…

  • 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.…

  • Neighborhood park bench
    Authentic Connection

    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…

  • Authentic Connection

    Time For Tea

    Spring is just around the corner, making it the perfect time to start planning a tea party–a simple, relaxing occasion perfectly designed for the creation of genuine connections. Shiloah of Thehomemaking-cottage.com shares her tea party experience here:  Time For Tea Doesn’t her scone recipe sound delicious?!

  • Authentic Connection

    The Secret of Hospitality

    The planning of an event is always unpredictable, with unexpected twists and turns along the way, but, somehow, through means I don’t fully understand, the event always turns out perfectly. The planning of a recent Fall Potluck proved no different. Case in point. The glass jug of apple cider I was excited to serve during dinner fell and shattered on the sidewalk while being transported from the car to the house, leaving our front yard smelling like apple juice for the rest of the evening;  I completely ruined the homemade ice cream (don’t ask!), although my children, never ones to let food go to waste, insisted on eating it anyway;…

  • seeds
    Authentic Connection

    Seeds To Plant

    A CALL TO PLANT SEEDS AND PRACTICE HOSPITALITY   The Bible teaches much about hospitality. Abraham, 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 show/extend hospitality:   “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 this be used to bless…

  • renaissance celebration infused water

    Renaissance Celebration: A Celebration Of Learning

    Each year our family throws a history celebration in our home where we display the things we have learned that year for friends and family to enjoy. This past year we learned about the Renaissance Period, so in September we threw a Renaissance Celebration. Previous years’ celebrations have included The Ancient Times, The Middle Ages, and The Pioneers (1800’s).   Throwing a history celebration takes some planning, but it’s always worth it!   We spent much of the year working on a Renaissance Unit Study, which contained many fun projects for the kids to work on. We displayed these projects on a large table for our guests (friends, family, and…

  • door green closed story
    Authentic Connection

    A Story To Tell

    Everyone has a story to tell, though I didn’t always realize it.   There was a time when I hid in my house behind locked doors, blind to the happenings of others. Why? Out of shame for my own story. Shame for certain things in my life that I preferred to keep hidden. “Yes, remaining hidden would be best,” I thought. Until one day…   One day, a peculiar thought entered my mind. I felt I should invite someone over for dinner. And I knew exactly who. There was a young family at church who had a child the same age as ours. I would invite them. I would somehow…