• Inspired,  unexpected blessings

    Generation Z

    Last week another tragedy hit our country and shook me. It shook a lot of people. I dove into the news coverage, afraid after 24 hours it would get buried under other less than important stories. But something extraordinary happened. Teens who were experiencing all the emotions that come with such a horrific event, were speaking with confidence, clarity and grace. I remember when Columbine happened. I was in 8th grade. The most significant event I remember prior to that was the Oklahoma City bombing. But now I was a teen and individuals just a few years older than me were dying in their school. It was scary and something…

  • Lent

    Speaking up in the Messy

    The next post I had planned to write was sharing all the wonderful insights from my experience in NYC at #VoxCon.  There’s so much to process and it takes time. My biggest takeaway from that event was to “Keep writing and speak up…especially in the messy.” Today was already a unique day. This is the first time I can remember that both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday have fallen on the same day. It’s a powerful expression of love on display. A friend posted a sad status on Facebook and I knew right away that I needed to check the news. Not again. My heart immediately sunk. The live stream…

  • blog update,  Inspired,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    I wasn’t ready for 2018

    When the clock struck midnight on a new day and a new year I thought I was ready. 2017 had been a hard year for me, for us. In fact, I knew many people who were glad it was over. But the thing about time, is that it doesn’t stop. There’s no chance to recover. There’s no chance to pause and take a breath. And when Jan 1, 2018 hit, I wanted to be ready, but I wasn’t. I had picked a theme phrase and Bible passage and I was looking forward. I was waiting for a trip to NYC and the opportunity to attend a conference to start my year. While…

  • Inspired,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    My Focus for 2018

    I’ve joined in the practice in selecting a word at the beginning of each new year. Most of the time, I have forgotten the word (as we forget or fail at resolutions), but I feel like it’s still an important exercise to end one year and begin another. A few days ago a friend posted a helpful resource, which helped me begin to think ahead for a word for 2018. I thought about this past year and how challenging it has been. Many words came to mind: listen, strength, attitude, etc…As I thought about all the different aspects of life in which I wanted to feel differently or more positively…

  • Faith & Life,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    2017 Year in Review: Reaching the Depth of My Soul

    In this final post about 2017, I refer to several previous posts that do a better job of describing this aspect of our year. The first 2/3’s of the year were a blur in many ways. My spouse spiraled down into a depressive state and I did everything I could to maintain what needed to be taken care of while also doing my best to emotionally support him. He did an amazing job of being supportive of me in my own struggles as well. We really worked as a team, even when circumstances were tough. I am so thankful each of us have had counselors that could be our sounding…

  • Faith & Life,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    2017 Year in Review: A Huge Learning Curve

    I am very thankful for high school US history and government classes for giving me a basic understanding of our democratic system here in our country. But this last year has been a huge learning curve for me in regards to what happens every day in each of our three branches of government and how it impacts so many lives. I will admit that since I became a voting member of society, I had chosen to be ignorant. I didn’t like watching the news. The brokenness of our political system was too much to bear. It was easier to remain ignorant. …Until I realized how human lives are affected. No longer…

  • Faith & Life,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    2017 Year in Review: New Adventures

    2017 brought some new adventures, with travel to some new places, visits with family and friends and meeting new people! We had family visit from Michigan and got to experience a few of our favorite places (and some new ones) through the eyes of our 4 year old nieces! Jack and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary with a short trip to Rehoboth Beach. We had heard rave reviews about the beaches in Delaware and we loved it! 8 days after surgery (Dr. orders were a week on the couch), I got on a plane and headed to Salt Lake City for a Jamberry conference! I have been a consultant…

  • Faith & Life,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    2017 Year in Review: Physical Endurance

    I am planning to send a few Christmas cards this year, but they won’t include a review of 2017 from the Phoenix family. So instead, I thought I would write a few blog posts (and include pictures) to review the year. I came across a note I wrote to myself for individual priorities for this year and thought that I would reflect on some of those across a few posts. I have been blessed with great health in my mere 30ish years of life, but the last couple had been a bit of a struggle, with no real answers on what exactly what was going on. It was rather frustrating…

  • Faith & Life,  unexpected blessings

    Forgiveness

    This weekend I was struggling with forgiveness in regards to processing several particularly difficult situations. In a conversation with my spouse, he shared some Scripture and a devotional exercise. I am used to being the one leading the Bible study or devotion, so it was nice to listen and also a surprise, as he is not religious at this point in his life. Yet, we talk about God and faith quite often, and I am thankful for his perspective. A Bible passage that has always resonated with him is the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant in Matthew 18. 21 “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times…

  • Advent

    “Come & behold Him…”

    In the middle of November, our Sunday school curriculum focused on Jesus’ journey to the cross, death and resurrection. While this is typically the focus around Easter time, it is also the crux of our Christian faith, so I love that we were studying and highlighting this portion of Scripture together. I used a technique called “Lectio Divina” to read a section of Scripture with students. They closed their eyes as a passage was read once, and then the 2nd time they followed along and circled words and phrases that caught their attention. We took turns writing those words/phrases on the board and had a discussion about what we saw.…