• Safe and happy neighborhoods

    Safe and Happy Neighborhoods

    **This page contains affiliate links. You can view my full disclosure HERE. 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. When they were finished discussing the idea of increasing the police force in an effort to curb the crime, speeding, and other safety issues in our community, I sat up in my seat as someone said, “That’s an interesting perspective. What if, however, we were to approach the…

  • Hope for the downhearted heart

    Hope For The Downhearted: A Story Of Life, Loss, and Hope

    The Downhearted   “What’s going on?” I asked my neighbor, startled at the sight of emergency vehicles lining our street. “It’s Bob,” he said, shuffling his feet in the grass.My heart fell to my stomach like an anchor in the ocean. My head, my heart, my stomach suddenly felt heavy, so heavy. “Oh, no, not Bob.” I thought to myself. “Not Bob,” I repeated in a whisper.The heavy feeling intensified, as a tear slipped down my cheek.I felt like I was drowning. Life Memories of the past 10 years swirled around in my mind and, like an undertow, pulled me into a seemingly endless abyss of heartache and regret.Bob had lived in…

  • An Adventure Awaits Taj Majal

    An Adventure Awaits

    **This page contains affiliate links. You can view my full disclosure HERE. Each day is an adventure waiting to be discovered.   It was a hot afternoon when my children and I stepped outside our house, flyers in hand, and peered down the street.   “Which houses should we visit?” I asked. Our first choice was an easy one–the house across the street. Charles and Judy, our adopted grandparents, are some of our favorite neighbors. We invite them to everything. They never come, but they always appreciate the invitation. This time was no different. They were gracious when we presented them with an event flyer, but really came to life when…

  • child swing a child shall lead them

    And A Little Child Shall Lead Them

    **This page contains affiliate links. You can view my full disclosure HERE.   …and a little child shall lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)   It was getting late, it was uncomfortably warm outside, and I was tired, but that didn’t stop them.   “May we PLEASE stop at the park and play for a few minutes?” the three of them begged, ganging up against their dad and me. We had gone on a last minute family walk around the block and I was anxious to get home and start our bedtime routine. “Fine,” I relented, “you can play for ten minutes.” The kids cheered and ran for the playground equipment; my…

  • Neighborhood sunset senses

    My Neighborhood: A Feast For The Senses

    My afternoon walk around the block was a feast for the senses.   After working on my to-do list all morning, I decided to take a quick walk around the neighborhood. The weather was so beautiful, and the neighborhood so still, that I slowed my pace and began noticing the things around me.   Perfectly clear blue skies. The warmth of the sun on my face. The sound of birds chirping. The smell of fall in the air.   Sight. Touch. Sound. Smell.   “What about ‘taste’?” I wondered. One glance at the homes around me provided the answer. Let me explain. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 17 years.…

  • 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 next morning, she stood near me and in her soft voice whispered, “Mama? You know last night when you told me I was special?  I liked that. No one has ever told me I am special before.” That was a bittersweet moment for me. On one hand, I was grateful that she felt comfortable enough to share her feelings with me.…

  • 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…

  • Neighbors Table
    Authentic Connection

    A Neighbors Table

    This is amazing! A Neighbors Table. This is my dream. I will make it happen, I will, I will!! Both the article and podcast are awe-inspiring…if you’re into this sort of thing. I love that Sarah is an introvert (like me!), that she has ugly orange Formica countertops (mine are an ugly blue), and that she doesn’t have a lot of money to spend (I can relate). Anyone else find this idea of A Neighbors Table appealing? Learn more about this fun way of building community and genuine connections below:   Podcast How One Woman Created A Community Out Of A Neighborhood The Neighbors Table

  • Authentic Connection

    Where Do I Even Start?

    Connecting with others can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. If you haven’t stopped by Heather’s blog at Beakersandbachblog.com, you should. She has a beautiful way of putting words on paper–words of inspiration, healing, and hope. In her latest post she shares three simple ways to create community. Which idea might you in corporate into your life this week? https://beakersandbachblog.com/2017/02/07/3-ways-to-create-community/?fb_action_ids=10155726308758776&fb_action_types=news.publishes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=[1327888143921595]&action_type_map=[%22news.publishes%22]&action_ref_map=[]