If We Could Capture A Memory In Less Than 1/2″…

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 Can we catch a memory and put it into a box?

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This small piece of plastic, a simple souvenier  from a theme park, holds a memory in it’s aqua casing.

From the outside, it appears ordinary. [Read more…]

When Your Child Wants To Travel The World (but you don’t want to let go…)

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My youngest daughter wants to travel to Guatemala.

Her walls have long been plastered with maps of the world. Her globe lamp shines above her as she reads and dreams in her chair. Bookshelves hold rows of neatly organized National Geographic magazines.

And now, her hope is set on a mission trip to a country the size of Tennessee, with a population of 14 million people.

The problem of course, for me, is that mixed in with her young woman features is the face of my little girl. My baby. That I have kept near and relatively safe.

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My oldest daughter is choosing to not go to college at this time. She wants to travel the world too.

Her childhood dreams included being a Missionary pilot, or mushing dogs in Alaska.

She is saving money. For dreams so much bigger than my own. So different.

11 countries in 11 months is what she aims for with a worldwide missionary adventure.

The problem of course, for me, it that her woman-self that gently smiles down at me, mirrors the eyes and face of my firstborn. My baby. That I have kept near and relatively safe. [Read more…]

Awesome Book and DVD Giveaway

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Allume had some very generous sponsors this year! I toted home so many gifts, that I am sharing with you.  I threw in a few DVD’s too, just to help you relax this holiday season.

Whether you decide to keep them,or this helps you tackle your list of presents to buy, I pray you will be blessed.

Here’s what the winner will receive:

[Read more…]

Being A Real Friend In A Social Media World

Being a real friend in a social media world is rare.

We follow and tweet and share. All the while imagining that these virtual exchanges are enough.

That they create relationship.

Yet, I still hear the heart cries of people longing for true and deep friendship. Loneliness that echoes with hopeful reverberation as they take a chance to reach out to someone they’d like to know better.

People can dialogue all they please with quips and commentary under 140 words. That isn’t relationship. But it is a start. (tweetable)

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Thankful For Grandmas

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There is no treasure quite like a grandmother.

In my own life, my grandma has been a constant source of support and unconditional love.

As a little girl until I was fortunate to live close to her. We had special things we did, just us. If I came to spend the night we’d drive to the Alpha Beta grocery store and pick up supplies for blueberry pudding and blueberry pancakes.

Blueberry pudding is really a cake with a warm lemon sauce poured on top. At nights when my grandparents were asleep, I ‘d sneak into the kitchen and carefully slice off just a little more. And a little more. [Read more…]

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I Didn’t Expect To Meet Garcay In Greenville

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While in South Carolina last week, I had the pleasure of an afternoon outing with friends. Caryn Christensen and Brianna Wasson are also writers who’d come to meet up at Allume.

We’d brought our cameras and were exploring downtown Greenville together.

The weather was warm and the people friendly, but I think the best shot was quite unexpected during a quick afternoon stroll to before going home.

Garcay took me by surprise…

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Pumpkin Memories

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My family spent a fun evening carving pumpkins last night.

Jack 0’lanterns appearing from soft, orange, autumn canvases.

This simple time of creation took me back decades in memory of doing this activity with my own parents.

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Traveling Towards Hospitality At Allume

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This past week I traveled to South Carolina to attend Allume. It wasn’t what I expected.

Being a blogging conference, I’d anticipated there being lots of workshops specific to, well, blogging.

It has taken several days to begin to process what it was really about for me.

A bit of backstory- for my entire adult life hospitality has been a driving force. My passion. I felt so strongly that as a society we’d forgotten the importance of welcoming people into our lives, our homes. Making them feel special and wanted and rested.

A series of events began to crush that desire, leaving me confused and dejected. The love of hospitality began to flicker out in my spirit. [Read more…]

Abandoned America {Country Barn}

Coming down a country road, there it was…statuesque and dignified in its disrepair.

A large barn, beckoning…..come notice me, there are lots of memories to share with you.

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People We Would Rather Ignore

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On a cross country flight, I glanced up to see a man walking down the airplane aisle.

The man who if we were honest, we’d admit that we all hope didn’t sit by us.

Disheveled, smiling around at no one in particular as he unintentionally knocked his bag around. When he stopped at my row, I felt guilty for these thoughts and looked up to smile at him.

I do not want to judge people, strangers I know nothing about, just put off a bit by their appearance. That is not who I want to be. So, I smiled. (Tweetable)

That committed me for the flight.

[Read more…]