Hearts, Flowers & Valentine’s Day

It’s widely held that Valentine’s Day honors a third-century, Roman priest named (you guessed it) Valentine. According to one account, he performed secret weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. Another narrative asserts that an imprisoned Saint Valentine sent a letter to the woman he loved, signed “from your Valentine.” Either way, the lore surrounding […]

Cup of Life

What if you fill your cup of life? Not overfill it with boring or uninspiring activities or meaningless possessions. (Do you ever fill your life with tangible stuff to drown out the lack of real stuff?) Not overload it with placeholders that scream “my cup’s full!”. But, rather, fill it to the brim with the wholeness of […]

Joyful Presence

Like every year, the week before Christmas was a whirlwind of activity. Before the 25th, there were presents to still be wrapped (not part of my typical reality since I like having things done ahead of time), groceries to be bought, a table for sixteen to be set, music selections to be chosen (yep, just a […]

The Present of Presence

This post was originally published in 2014. I had it on my calendar to post again today (8 days before Christmas 2018) and coincidentally (or not, since things like this happen all the time), it was the topic at church yesterday. It’s eight days before Christmas! Emails regarding last-minute presents flood our inboxes. Anyone we’ve […]

Unpacking Christmas

I’ve been unpacking boxes of Christmas ornaments. In the boxes, there are the little drummer boys that Sara and Erin made with their grandmother thirty years ago, fragile glass ornaments and precious works of art that say, “best Nana ever”. There are gifts from friends and special pieces Mom gave me. Some are many decades […]

The Perfect Christmas Tree—An Annual Retelling

This is the annual retelling of the ninth post I wrote in 2013. It still brings me to tears and reminds me of how incredibly blessed I am.  Stories about Christmas abound. Some of those stories are filled with the sadness of missing a loved one. Others retell a time when we were far from home, […]

Premeditated Kindness

We often have a myopic view of the world, which limits us from “seeing” outside our own—frequently very limited—life. This narrow perspective leads to behavior that can be anything from inconsiderate to downright mean. We get so caught up in our reality that we don’t “see” how we sometimes behave. I truly believe that “nice” is underrated. I also believe […]