Faith and Inspiration

Sweet in the Middle: She Loves Her Sandwich-Cookie Life

Today’s guest blogger is Robin Steinweg. I love how she has found sweetness in the midst of her life experience as a caregiver and then after losing her parents. She shares some helpful tips if you feel stuck in the middle. Stuck Sweet in the Middle by Robin Steinweg Do you ever feel you’re in that awkward, in-between stage? I sure do! I recently spent years stuck in a crushing middle. Round and round I turned from the growing needs of aging parents to those of growing sons to those of work. I’d carve hours from sleepless nights to write, compose, […]

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Grinning through Hurricane Harvey and Beyond

My guest blogger today is Kathy Carlton Willis, the Grin Gal. Kathy wrote this before Hurricane Harvey hit the town where she lives in Texas, yet if you knew her, you’d have solid evidence that she does live what she says. Kathy grinned her way through a week without electricity and water, which means without air conditioning in the Texas heat. She continued to look for positives, even when dealing with health problems and more in the midst of the storm. Where Does that Grin Come From? by Kathy Carlton Willis I’m often asked, “How can you keep grinning despite […]

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Savoring the Not-So-Perfect Life

by Michelle Rayburn When I was young, my mother cooked most meals from scratch, baked six loaves of bread every week and canned enough vegetables to feed the neighborhood if we ever had to retreat to a bomb shelter. But on occasion, we had TV dinners when she worked the evening shift at the hospital and my dad had to feed us three kids. September 10 is National TV Dinner Day, and it has me reminiscing about those foil-covered aluminum trays with frozen mystery meat and gravy, blobs of mashed potatoes, corn and chocolate pudding—because who doesn’t cook their pudding […]

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Memorial Brings Healing and New Purpose

My second guest blogger in September is Dana Bridges Stout. She shares her story of how she found healing when she named the son and daughter she never held. Dana shows how she turned something difficult into an opportunity to help other women heal. That’s life, repurposed. Honoring the Unborn by Dana Bridges Stout “You want me to what?” I said as my defenses exploded in anger. “No way, no how! I purposely never wanted to do that because I knew it would be too painful, too real.” My Abortion Recovery Bible study facilitator assigned us to name our aborted babies […]

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Blessings…What Does that Really Mean?

How do you sign your e-mails or your letters to people? I sign many greetings with “Love, Michelle.” That’s because much of what I write is to family and close friends. Business correspondence, I sign with “Regards,” or “Sincerely.” But what about the in-between communication? Sometimes “love” is too familiar, but “regards” is too stuffy. Then what? Warmly? Maybe. Best? That could work.  Often, I sign my greetings with “Blessings.” What does that mean? Do I use it too flippantly, without giving it enough thought? I hope not. To me, it says: An abundance of peace to you. May God […]

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What Message Might Christian Signs Send in Between the Lines?

Wherever you stand on one side or the other of a hot-button issue, how do you feel about how a Christian ought to present their side to the world? Should we sit back and ignore the other side of an issue, or should we be “in your face” about it? I believe the tone we convey is the more poignant message than the message we spell out in words. The best-intended thoughts are wasted if our tone conveys something opposite from our intentions. What do you think about the following examples? This isn’t a debate about the issues, so it […]

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When Life Hands You Crumbs…

I saw this basket of cookies at a place called Mana Sushi Teriyaki Wok in Port Orchard, Washington and it made me smile. The “misfortunate” cookies are broken fortune cookies wrapped in plastic. Isn’t that a perfect example of what we can do when life hands us crumbs? We can choose to get upset, feel discouraged, or quit. Or, we can turn it around into something clever. That’s a #repurposed and #upcycled life!

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Five things I figured out in Branson, Missouri

This month, I had the opportunity to take a bus ride to Branson, Missouri with the music students from our local high school. It was an opportunity to learn how puffy my feet could get and how stiff my back could become during an all night, all day ride. I learned how to operate my iPad, dig through a backpack, eat a snack, pick up a dropped cell phone from the bus floor, and more while keeping my elbows within my 18-inch allotted space. But, that’s not all I figured out during the five-day trip.1. Despite statements people might give […]

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Becoming, Not Finding a Soul Mate

I met my husband when I was 15 years old and we started dating the summer I turned 16. We were young, and immature, but our relationship is nearly three decades old. How did I know my husband was the right one for me? I didn’t know from the moment our eyes locked across the church sanctuary. Nor was it love at first date.I ran across a blog post recently in which the author declared that her husband is not her soul mate. The author’s observations about marriage and the daily commitment it takes are precisely right. But the concept […]

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