• 31 Days

    Abide with Me (#write31days-Day 4)

    As I began planning posts for this series, I wrote the title of this one on Sunday afternoon. Each hour, the bells at church play a hymn. At noon on Monday, the bells played “Abide with Me”. I heard and sang this hymn a few weeks ago with a group of my fellow professional church workers. It is one of my favorite hymns, although I’ve more often than not sung it at funerals.  As we sang it, tears formed in my eyes, as I resonated with the depth of the words in a new way. v. 1: Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;  the darkness deepens; Lord, with me…

  • 31 Days

    What Do You See? (#write31days-Day 2)

    I heard a wonderful children’s message yesterday at church that gave me hope in how I see people everyday. This little coin was shared with each child. The front and back together share a quote from Mother Theresa, but that’s not the part of the message I resonated with. I don’t remember the exact words spoken, but the pastor had the children look through the coin and asked, “What do you see?” He shared how when we look at someone through the cross, we can be reminded that Jesus died for that person. The ways we often judge someone: skin color, economic status, clothing or how they look are non-factors for Jesus.…

  • 31 Days

    31 Days of Hope (#write31days-Day 1)

    When asked on a recent trip out of town, “How was your summer?” The best I could muster was “OK.” The reality is that it was rough. Our summer included physical, mental and emotional health struggles for both me and my husband. Surgery and recovery, depression, anxiety and a lot of difficult situations. Tension and distance made it challenging to repair broken family relationships and even as time has passed, there aren’t really answers on how to fix them. In addition to all of that, the general challenges of being an adult added stress to our daily life. So, yes, it was just “OK.” As I began contemplating what to choose…

  • Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    It’s Time to Speak Up

    I have many thoughts swirling in my mind this morning (and it’s now afternoon, which is how long it took me to write this post). I hope I can share in a way that is concise, but there’s so much to say. Just yesterday, on my early morning run, I listened to a sermon that was convicting in how I am to love those who are hardest to love. That has been a real challenge for me in praying for our national leaders. And then last night, when I had hoped to go to bed, resting in the knowledge of an extra day off from work, I hear the news…

  • Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    12 Years Ago…

    This week’s focus on Hurricane Harvey and the catastrophic events in Texas have taken my thoughts back to where I was and what I was doing when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. 12 years ago, today, I was writing a weekly devotional, which would end up continuing for 7 more years. I had just begun my junior year of college: little did I know how that devotional writing and hurricane would change my life. Below is the devotion I wrote on September 2, 2005. God’s love is…AMAZING! “Your love is amazing, steady and unchanging; your love is a mountain firm beneath my feet. Your love is mystery, how you gently lift me.…

  • Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    Meant to Be

    We were late. We had been driving back from Michigan the day before and not arrived home until after 11pm. When we fell asleep at 1am, we decided that 7am was too early to leave in the morning, so we pushed it back to 9am. We were having a leisurely morning and so we didn’t end up on the road until 11am. We were headed to Charlottesville. My spouse had been planning to go for a few months. It was his birthday wish to be there, standing up against hateful groups, who had planned a rally for noon. While I hadn’t ever been to a protest like this, I took…

  • Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    Body Shaming, Politics & Authority

    How often do you wrestle with an issue? How often are you pushed out of your comfort zone or willing to reflect on a bias you hold true? In the last six months,  I’ve gained more info on topics I knew very little about.  As an American citizen who thought she was informed, I realized I hadn’t really done my homework in previous experiences. I’ve done my best to really identify how new information might change my perspective. Tensions have risen, relationships have become more fragile and tears have been shed. Yet, I know all the effort is not for naught.  The best way to continue the conversation is share our stories:…

  • unexpected blessings

    My Why

    Last weekend I got to check Utah off my list of states I haven’t yet visited. While I was there, I attended JamCon (a conference for a company called Jamberry, which I’ve sold nail products for as a hobby for over 3 years). I am glad I finally had the chance to go. It was the first time in a while that I planned a trip for myself. I took vacation from my full-time job, and even though it was considered a professional conference, it was the opportunity for fun and personal growth for me in an inspiring setting. Each person who had joined Jamberry has a unique reason why.…

  • Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    Rest & Gratitude

    The human body is amazing. And in recent months and weeks, I have realized the fragility and resilience unique to each person’s body. I had a sudden and severe bout of allergies about a month ago, and instead of pushing through, I took a day off. I was amazed that the next morning, while not 100%, I felt significantly better because I had taken the time I needed to help my body recover. In the last three weeks, I had a visit to the ER, a significant change in my diet and a surgery to resolve a “minor” issue.  (People and professionals seem to talk rather casually about this type of…