Showers for Singles

At a recent wedding shower, while watching the bride-to-be open a tissue-stuffed box filled with her brightly-patterned dishes, I considered that she already has plates in her cupboard.  I was at her apartment recently for dinner and her plates were just fine. Yet here are lots of new ones.

She’s 34 and has lived on her own for quite some time, so owns many of the standard items she’s now receiving. When she really needed the gift shower was after her college graduation as she moved into an apartment.  Instead, she, like me, got pans from her mother’s cupboard (her mom’s wedding gifts, in fact), hand-me-down cooking utensils and old, chipped serving platters.

Bless This House

While house blessings are a tradition in many religions, the idea was new to me when I moved into my first home and wanted somehow to mark the occasion and ask for God’s protection and peace. After talking to friends, researching the idea, and remembering a sermon about how Joshua walked the perimeter of his property and asked for God’s blessing (Joshua 24:15), I decided to do the same for my new home.

I discovered that Los Angeles pastors reported a rise in house blessings, especially following an earthquake or natural disaster. Although earthquakes weren’t much of a threat in my Texas town, I gathered a few friends and family and prepared a simple ceremony using Bible verses and hymns.

Sleep Sweetly

Two friends of mine have been fighting sleep for weeks. Desperately wanting to drift off as their heads hit the pillow, they just can’t.They’re in misery. Our bodies are designed for rest and quiet to restore, replenish, and recharge. They’ve tried warm baths, herbal tea, SleepWorks (great stuff, normally), and reading. But at 2 a.m. they’re still awake–minds darting to and fro.

Their bleary-eyed tossing leaves me sad. I’ve prayed for their rest and shared with them this little poem, which has been a gentle reminder for me throughout the years when I’ve found myself desperate for sleep but allowing my worries and fears to swirl untethered.

Letters to Read on a Bad Day

My first job out of college I worked for gifted entrepreneur Dale Hanson Bourke at her consulting firm, Publishing Directions, Inc. She taught me so many things about running a business, client relationship development, and a brilliant method for proofreading and catching mistakes on a page!

One day in a file drawer, I spotted a folder labeled “Letters to Read on a Bad Day.”  She created it after receiving a nice letter on a bad day and decided to save it.  More than 25 years have passed, and she still has the file and uses it!

Hello 2012

As the calendar page turns over a new year, the flipping feels as fast as the commercials zipping by for Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Lifetime Fitness, and Charles Schwab Investments….” A New Year, A New You” we’re promised. Blog posts boast the 5 ways to make resolutions stick and how to kick those recurring bad habits.

Motivating perhaps. Inspiring—maybe. Experience, for me, has borne out that focusing on a few areas and considering what might be possible these next 365 days can have a profound effect on what actually happens throughout, rather than just hoping the new year turns out better than the last. Asking, “What do I/we want this year?” “What are my goals?” “What needs to change?”