Creating Value in Thanksgiving

Yesterday was ThanksgivingLiving Day. I’ve been thinking ….. We can give thanks or we can live thanks. We can celebrate Thanksgiving once a year or we can add value to every day by living with an attitude of gratitude. ThanksLiving.  I know …. finding ways to be thankful even when we have to drag in the excavation crew to clear away the crud to shine a light on fresh perspective. It’s possible with the right tools. Here’s one of them. Ready crew? Have you ever had a perplexing decision to …

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Here’s why ONE is not the loneliest number

When I was in high school the musical group Three Dog Night sang from every juke box in the country convincing us that, “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.” If you know the lyrics, you will remember that life doesn’t get any better with two because something bad divides them. Who listens to all that repetitious dark agony? I mean – on purpose? Apparently, I did, since that’s the very first thing that popped into my mind when I heard the Five-Minute Friday writing prompt for this …

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Relief and joy from whole hearted trust in God

“It’s hard being so far away when things like this happen.” Those words have been on repeat this last week. When someone we love is thousands of miles away and we can’t go to them, helplessness is its own form of trauma. Waiting through a medical procedure, wondering but hoping the prognosis isn’t as bad as once thought. Standing by while decisions are made about ‘what happens now’. Fearing the outcome of attempts at reconciliation. I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty powerless when I want to do …

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Life is Basically a Repeat Action

A few weeks ago, while hiking a trail in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Upper Michigan, I noticed how effortlessly our group traversed the winding paths over rocks, under broken branches, through groves of trees, and along the water’s edge. What would have been a challenging route a hundred years ago, today required little more than the ability to walk upright. As the trails twisted left or right, signs along the way pointed toward destinations of our choosing: South Shore, North Trail, Parking Lot I noticed as we trudged through wooded …

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Let’s Talk

Once Upon a time – and the story has a beginning. Do you ever wish for a place to let down all your defenses, a place where every curtain could be opened, a place where you could say whatever is on your mind, a place to be at peace? Where is that place for you? Where would you begin to pour out the contents of your soul to someone who listens at heart level? Walking the trail in my neighborhood is a lovely, tranquil escape. It winds four miles alongside the Thornapple river …

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The Voice of Inspiration

Three years ago, I was inspired!  I shared dinner around the table with a children’s book author. I know. You’re ready to click ‘done’ and move on. I hear you.  “So, what?” you ask. Stay with me here because I promise you, there is something remarkable about author, Lori Hastings. Can I have just 90 seconds of your time? Lori has authored three books for children, each of them tells a poignant story on topics pre-school and elementary school age kids might struggle with. Blue Bear with No Hair is …

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A Healthy Prescription for Comfort

Two years ago, if you had said the word opioid in my presence, I would have thought you were talking about a new kind of breakfast cereal. Then I read a book titled, Less Pain Fewer Pills: Avoid the Dangers of Prescription Opioids and Gain Control over Chronic Pain by Beth Darnall, PhD. It was about that time, I also started hearing that there is an opioid epidemic in our country and it has reached a crisis magnitude. I don’t watch the news and it would be a rare conversation …

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We Hope Because We Love

HOPE: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen According to the dictionary, that’s what hope is. Expectancy. Something better is up ahead. Anticipation of good things yet to happen. After all, when was the last time you heard someone say, “I hope my car breaks down.” or “I’m planning my next vacation in Hawaii. I hope I get disgustingly sick on Maui.”  Seriously?  When we hope, our minds overflow with ideas of something better yet to come. We say things like, “I hope you love your …

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Settle on Belonging

What settles you? How would you answer that question? We are warned to seek best, don’t settle for just good enough. So, let’s get beyond the negative connotations of the word settle and explore why settling is a good thing. We are comfortable around people who are a lot like us. We feel settled when we are in the company of those who share our ideas, vocation, faith, and vision. Being settled creates a sense of belonging. When we go to the local high school football game, there are hundreds …

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Refining Grace