“Music can change the world because it can change people.” – Bono Music is powerful Here’s something I’ve been re-learning recently: music is powerful.  I mean, I’ve known this for years. And I’m not the only one. Research has told us that music: Reduces pain and anxiety. Relieves stress. Improves memory. Helps aid brain injury recovery (like strokes). In fact, several years ago I worked with a client that was focused on music therapy. If you do a quick Google search, you’ll see that this type of therapy can help improve communication, promote physical rehabilitation, enhance memory, alleviate pain, and

I’ve been thinking about my choices lately. Do they reflect what I say is important to me? What do they show as important to those around me? What examples are they setting for my kids? My choices, good or bad, will guide my kids in the choices they make, too. Choices Deal in Either Life or Death I was struck by something Richard Dahlstrom wrote in his book, The Map Is Not The Journey . On pages 83-84 he wrote: [While hiking the Alps] I learned . . . that nearly every choice I face deals in either life or

This started as some thoughts from Thanksgiving, but as I wrote them down, they kept expanding. I feel so grateful for what God has done in my life; it’s more than I asked for, more than I could have imagined, and more than I deserve. Thank you . . .  For my three little blessings, who make me laugh, think, wonder, learn, and cry. For the man I’ve grown alongside for more than 14 years, who keeps loving, respecting, encouraging, challenging, and teasing me—even when I don’t deserve it. For our parents, who keep offering us wisdom, insight, and encouragement

You never know when God is going to point something biblical out to you. For me, it recently happened at a strategic communications conference I went to for work. There was a Q&A session where an author was explaining the importance of including the human element in innovation, specifically three characteristics that make the difference:  Strategic kindness Optimism Curiosity These three points immediately made me think of three biblical themes God repeated throughout the Bible: Kindness Hope Listening Strategic kindness I’m not sure how “strategic kindness” is different than just plain ordinary kindness. But here’s what we’re told, biblically: Ephesians

Looking back Sometimes I miss the past. Running around outside, playing with the other neighborhood kids.  Softball tournaments. Marching band competitions. Youth group. Common ground. College life, living with my friends and no “real adults.” The inside jokes among friends that stayed up until the wee hours of the morning together.  The thrill of the boy I liked looking in my direction. The first time he also showed interest in me, asked me out on a date, held my hand. The first kiss. A party with all our friends to celebrate the most significant words I’ve ever promised in public. 

Sometimes I really don’t like my limitations. I want to do everything I want to do, and I don’t want limitations like the number of hours in the day getting in my way. It’s like I think that if I want something enough, it won’t take any time at all. I’ve been thinking about this lately while ruminating on what Duffy Robbins said this year at Mount Hermon : Discipleship is a magnificent ‘yes’ wrapped up in significant ‘no’s. Defining discipleship Discipleship comes back to your relationship with Jesus. Who do you say he is? Duffy read Luke 9:18-26 ,

Have you ever felt like a change was coming, but you don’t know what or when? Like you’re just waiting for the next step? Our Family’s Recent Change Almost a month ago, our family moved an hour north to live in the community where my husband became a pastor back in March. This was an answer to many prayers and a long period of trusting that God was directing us somewhere, and waiting for His timing.  Looking back, we started feeling a change was coming more than 5 years ago. As time went on, we felt less and less settled

Back when my husband and I got married, my parents gave us a copy of Love and Respect to help us build a strong foundation to our marriage. Of course, with the distractions of life, it took us a while to get around to opening it up. But now, 13 years and 3 kids later, my husband picked it up and started reading through it. I haven’t had a chance to dive into it yet, but my husband has been telling me about it and video blogging what he’s been learning. Although he’s talking to gamer dads, there’s a lot

As you go about your day, how often do you stop and really focus on the person in front of you? This is an area I’ve been trying to improve at work, turning away from my email inbox and giving whoever I’m talking to my whole attention–it’s easy to let yourself get distracted when you’re in virtual meetings! However, virtual meetings aren’t the only place I get distracted. It’s so easy for me to be focused on the to-do list in my head that I don’t stop and really listen to what my kids are trying to communicate. And being

I’ve been working on praying. I’ve always felt comfortable going to God with requests, but as I shared in a previous post, lately I’ve been trying to be more consistent and deliberate as I pray . Lately I’ve been trying to view them as daily one-on-ones rather than reactions to whatever circumstances I find myself in. This was a topic we covered Ephesians 3:14-21 at church on May 15 . In this sermon, Pastor Matt suggested hiding from those you live with to hang out with God and pray (watch at 32:29–34:58 ).  Some of you might be thinking, I