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Second Chances

Every moment of your life is a second chance.– Rick Price Years ago I heard a story about a young pastor. As he geared up to preach his first sermon, nervous excitement coursed through his veins. Finally, the moment arrived. Facing his audience, he suddenly froze. His carefully crafted sermon faded into the recesses of…

Moments

Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.- Rose Kennedy Everywhere I look, I see autumn in full force. As the year winds down, the air cools and the days grow shorter. Time seems to pass even more quickly now. Sooner than I care to admit, we will be celebrating the holidays and ringing…

Refined by Fire

Real gold fears no fire. -Randy Alcorn In my area of the country, fall appeared almost overnight. As the temperature dropped, we caught ourselves ditching sandals and donning sweaters.  Chilly weather invites the warmth of a cozy fire. Reading as I sit by the fireplace will always top my list of favorite things. But not…

Boundaries

In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are.-Arnold H. Glasow Without a doubt, football reigns supreme during the autumn months.  I admit. No one will ever call me a football fanatic. But I believe the game can teach us some important life lessons.  For example, I recently…

Pressing Pause (Again)

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana My heart plummeted as I read the freshly printed agenda. With heightened hindsight, I suddenly remembered my responsibility as a presenter at the meeting.  I glanced at the clock. 9:00 PM.  The meeting would begin in just ten hours. Not only was…

Sincerity or Hypocrisy?

Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite. –Charles Spurgeon I confess. Growing up as an unbeliever, I classified most Christians as hypocrites. My judgement extended even to my believing friends.  To be honest, I often felt judged by them because my family did not go to…

The Power of Yet

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. –Confucius   Standing in the parking lot of the grocery store, I fumbled with my phone as I attempted to place a mobile order using my Starbucks app.  “This should be easier,” I kept thinking as I backed out of…

Transparency

 Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.– Mother Teresa Recent events led me to recall one of my heroes in the Bible. Known simply as a man with a shriveled hand, his story appears in three of the gospels. When Jesus met this man in the synagogue on the Sabbath, critical…

Productive Struggle

The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.-Pierre de Coubertin. I wanted to be a better person. A bigger person. A more spiritual person. A person who didn’t struggle. Recently I fell victim to chance and circumstance. An admittedly unfair situation forced itself upon me. I was simply in the wrong…

Triggers

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle “I’m actually a very shy person.” We all gaped at our friend in complete disbelief. Michelle, with her warmth and great conversational skills, befriended everyone she met. Her quick wit animated all of our gatherings and kept us in…

Rest

Slow down, you move too fast- Paul Simon Not quite two minutes long, this song, Feelin’ Groovy, resides permanently in my “Favorites” playlist on my iPhone. By nature, I attack life at full throttle. This simple song reminds me to slow down. Only then can I rest, reflect, and refresh my soul. This need for…

Personalities

I’m a big personality. I walk into a room, big and tall and loud. – Adele Sometimes I long for a different personality. People like Adele intrigue me. Larger than life, we all notice them. Their bold and outspoken natures instinctively equip them for leadership.  Naturally quiet and reflective, my personality paints a completely different…

Lists

“We are what we think about all day long.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson While not necessarily a neat freak, I am an order freak. I like for things to be in their proper place. I need order to function, to be productive and to think clearly. So, I love lists. They help me to remember, to…

Constant Change

“Change is the only constant in life.” Heraclitus “I just wish we would hear something, “ my husband muttered as he peered over my shoulder at my computer. Checking my email for the last time that day, we hoped to learn the status of my job. A few months ago, I received “the letter”. A…

Ordinary People

God uses ordinary people like you and me to star in extraordinary “God stories”-real-life narratives of purpose and influence.- Pam Tebow Vividly I remember the day she walked into our office. Clear blue eyes and auburn hair created a beautiful backdrop for her dazzling smile. Everything about her exuded warmth and friendliness. I felt sure…

French Connection

How far we travel in life matters far less than those we meet along the way. – Mark Twain Leaving my children to finish their tour of the Eiffel Tower, I stepped inside the enclosed observatory to sit and rest my throbbing knee. Less than one week prior we had embarked on this trip to…

Translation of Mohamed Sebouai’s Testimony

Mohamed speaks of growing up in a Muslim family in the region of Kabylie in Algeria. Because his father worked in France, he was raised by his mother. She taught him: God is good, God is love and to be respectful. He attended a Koranic school until the age of 14. Even though he had…

Clutter

  Clutter is anything that gets between you and the life you want to be living. -Peter Walsh Recently my son announced his friend gave him a cooking lesson. Completely on board, I shared his excitement, until I realized one important fact. The cooking took place at my house. In my completely cluttered, unkempt kitchen.…

Pause

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau I confess: I like being busy. Productivity boosts my spirit. I find it hard to sit still. Fishing with my husband never quite makes my “Must Do” list. How can anyone sit still…

Progress

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Frederick Douglass Groundhog’s Day in the desert was unusually stormy and gloomy. Normally I enjoy the rare change in our rather monotonous weather. But on this day, the battleship gray sky mirrored the internal struggle raging in my heart. The cause of my angst? A house…

A Hallmark Christmas

Just before the holiday season began, my daughter tagged me in a FB meme. In essence, the meme posed two questions: Does every Hallmark Christmas movie have the same plot? Yes                      Will I watch them anyway? Yes OK. Guilty as charged. I cannot deny my love…

Positively Joyful

“We just need to get you Tiggerized.” -Tigger (speaking to Eeyore) From childhood, I identify with the character Eeyore. I love and admire Tigger, with his positive spirit and boundless energy. But I get Eeyore. By nature, my attention is immediately drawn to problems and potential pitfalls. So imagine my surprise when my supervisor recently…

Laugh or Cry?

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. -Victor Hugo “I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!” How many of us can relate to this statement? I’m betting most of us have found ourselves in these situations more than once. In fact, this experience is so common our language turned this phrase…

Defining Moments

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. -Aristotle Ever have a defining moment? A moment where a pivotal decision will dictate the next direction of your life? Eight weeks after my foot surgery, the doctors removed my cast, moved me into a boot, and gave me the green…

Blink!

“In the blink of an eye, something happens by chance-when you least expect it-sets you on a course that you never planned, into a future you never imagined.” Nicholas Sparks With prayer and purpose I stitched together a sweet design for my summer: • Serving as host and tour guide for the young daughter of…

Balanced Equations

In 1557, Robert Recorde, a Welsh physician and mathematician, invented the equals sign, written with two parallel lines (=), because “noe 2 thynges, can be moare equalle”. I confess. A math nerd at heart, I actually enjoy solving a complex algebraic equation. I take comfort in knowing everything on the left side of the equal…

God-Driven Decisions

I am often asked, “How do you know if you are following God’s will?” But the truer question is the one not vocalized: What happens if the decision I make is not in line with God’s will for me? Early in my twenties, I wrestled with a decision to move to Paris, France. I definitely…

Walking with Weakness: The Devotion

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV) “Walk across if you have ever been a bully.” As I reflected on these words, I hesitated. My colleagues and I were participating in…

Walking with Weakness: Back Story

Today, a devotional I wrote for a contest was published on the Proverbs 31 website. Winning that contest was another important step on my journey. The contest was sponsored by the writing training group, COMPEL (https://compeltraining.com). After subscribing to the group for a year and a half, I was on the verge of canceling my…

Pressing On Toward The Goal

Have you ever whole-heartedly committed to a project, only to later wonder, “What was I thinking?” For me it can feel like I am at the top of a roller coaster ride, all strapped in, and suddenly I want to change my mind. But by then, it is too late. New Year’s Resolutions can feel…

Contagious Connections

My last post was all about my love of Christmas. And every word in that post is true. This Christmas has been filled with all the things I love, ushering in the joy characteristic of the holiday. But this season also brought moments of great sadness. The daughter of a colleague was critically injured in…

I Am A Rock

Paul Simon A winter’s day In a deep and dark December I am alone Gazing from my window To the streets below On a freshly fallen, silent shroud of snow I am a rock I am an island I’ve built walls A fortress, steep and mighty That none may penetrate I have no need of…

No Man Is An Island

  John Donne No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of…

Candy Canes and Gingerbread Men

‘Tis the season once again. I love Christmas and I always have. Honestly there is just so much to love: Christmas carols playing 24/7 Snuggling with my puppy Noëlle (yes, her name means Christmas in French) Home-baked goodies anonymously appearing in our teacher staff room Endearing Christmas concerts performed by all our young students New…

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken Robert Frost, 1874 – 1963 Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And…

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