Power of an Envelope

As a little girl, I joined Focus on the Family‘s pen pal program and wrote to another girl in California. We swapped girly stickers and simple stories about our lives and anticipated each personal letter we’d receive in the mail. And though I can’t even recall her name now, I still remember the blissful excitement […]

Holding Accountable vs. Being Judgmental

Although we share core values and convictions, my husband and I were created with different personalities. He’s more compassionate and easy-going, while I tend to be more outspoken and critical. Sometimes I get tunnel vision and need his perspective to channel in my focus to the core truth. I have blind sides. We all do. […]

How to be a Friend to an EGR

Whether we’re talking about a church, Bible-study group, work environment, or school setting, nearly every crowd has at least one E.G.R. (Extra Grace Required). You know the one: dominates the conversation, always has the right answer, never lets others talk, or feels the need to ramble on and on about their personal problems. In other […]

Caution: Authenticity vs. Oversharing

A few nights ago, I sat outside with some long-time friends, talking about kids and life. The question was posed, “How does a parent teach a child to be honest without disclosing too much (especially negative stuff) to everyone?” One friend shared this insight, “You have to discern whether the person asking ‘how you are’ […]

Anesthetizing with the Box

Although people claim they are more busy than ever before–soccer games, violin lessons, swim meets, church, volunteering, committees, and overtime–on average, we somehow manage to watch 4-5 hours of tv a day! Back when our grandparents were doing life, television remained a novelty, turned on for specific times, when the more important things were done. […]

Erin Go Bragh but Forever His

Whew, all those words and harmonies. Love the tradition and passion of Irish songs, do you? My family weaves together from German and Irish roots, made of Kuenzles, Guenzlers, Mitchells, and Shannons. Now married into the Hanley clan (originally with an O’ at the beginning), my connection to Ireland grows deeper still. Fourteen years have […]

The Beauty of a Circle

Today I get to share the words of a creative soul sister, Lindsey H.: she’s a writer, photographer, pianist, and lover of Creation. All the photos shared in this post are her stunning work.  She writes… When I saw the Facebook post that I had been randomly selected in Kristin’s drawing, I actually chuckled out […]

I’ll Be There

During a recent conversation with my baby brother–actually, he is a grown man now–we discussed the frustrating dilemma of feeling like few people value loyalty or follow-through anymore. We aren’t talking about marriage here, or the lack of commitment in dating relationships; we are just pondering the words that people speak without true regard. “I’ll be there.” […]