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Beauty in a Box

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A magical way to get rid of wrinkles...

I don’t like wrinkles. Lucky for me, my clothes dryer has a nice feature on it called wrinkle prevent. Once the original drying cycle is complete and the dryer stops drying, the wrinkle prevent feature kicks on. This feature is intended to prevent wrinkles from settling into the clothing. Within a few moments, the dryer powers up again and tosses the clothing inside around and around with the goal to keep them wrinkle-free. The dryer continues this intermittent process for a very long time.   The magical intent of this feature helps me when I know I won’t have the chance to empty the dryer once the cycle is complete. It’s a feature I use often. However, while this feature is really nice, I’ve noticed that it doesn’t completely deliver on its promise. Some wrinkles still happen. Perhaps not as badly as they could if left sitting in a heap for hours, but still, they are there. I can choose to live with the wrinkles or try to smooth them out. One takes work, the other not so much. It give

A Silly Little Prayer

Years ago, for the very first time, I read the gardening section of the newspaper. I found myself attracted to an article about hummingbirds. According to the article, it was hummingbird season and time to keep an eye out for these tiny creatures. Fascinated with the information, I found it hard to believe that hummingbirds existed in my corner of the world. I had seen them in movies or TV specials, but never in person. And so, I sent a short, simple prayer up to Heaven. “I would love to see a hummingbird, Lord.” I forgot about my prayer until a few days later. I was admiring the flowers I had planted outside my door. I planted beautiful impatiens that spilled out of two large terra cotta pots. I was excited with the results, excited because the flowers actually grew! I was pleasantly surprised with my beginner’s luck. Suddenly, without warning, a tiny, green bird flitted magnetically to my flowers. I had to take a second look. Was it a hummingbird? I wasn’t sure. I kept look

Frustrated or fulfilled?

Discovering how God created you leads to living your  purpose and mission with strength. Frustrated or Fulfilled?  That was the question I heard on a radio program years ago, and it caused me to stop and think. At the time, I wondered…which am I and why am I feeling this way? Admittedly, I was both. Frustrated because I knew there was more and oddly, at the same time, content with the status quo. But that little frustration part was bugging me. Why was I frustrated? When I thought about feeling frustrated, it wasn’t in the material sense. Rather, it was a persistent sense of knowing that there was more to life. Could there be more? Was the best yet to come? And yes, of course, Heaven is the ultimate “best to come,” but how do you get to that “more” in the everyday? How do you get to a point of relishing each day instead of just trying to get through it? I am reminded of the lyrics in Steven Curtis Chapman’s song,  More to This Life . In it he sings, “Make the most of your own journey f

Living a disrupted life

  Living a disrupted life Everything has changed. Our lives have certainly been disrupted. And if you really think about it, nothing over time is new. When I think about the many changes and challenges from the beginning of time, I am led to several of the stories in the New Testament where peoples' lives were disrupted by many things, especially as Jesus appeared on the scene.. When Christ showed up, it was a definite disruption to the life and culture of the day. He created a stir and things changed. People tried to figure out who this man was. Many recognized that he was "The Way", but there was so much to learn and sort through. There was mystery and misunderstanding. Did he come to break the rules or give new ones? Jesus crashed into the lives of people who were outcasts, hopeless, and in desperate need. He fought the establishment and made a way for those who needed love, compassion, and grace. Stepping in when the culture was ready to convict those same people, Jes

Bring it to the table - a different Thanksgiving

Things are different. As Thanksgiving approaches, typically our thoughts might revolve around family and friends. Of gathering together, of food, food, more food and yes, thankfulness. Thanksgiving, the holiday that helps us push the pause button and reflect on what we are thankful for is hovering in our midst and we’re not sure what to do.   Every November, we immerse ourselves in traditions. Often, these traditions help us reflect and bring to the surface the things we are thankful for. Yet, we have been told to shrink this holiday into a small number, a computer screen, or whatever.   I don’t even know. Is it that simple? Not really. During this usual time, I wonder what I can contribute to the family gathering besides a hearty appetite. Usually, it’s a dish to bring to the table where we gather to break bread and together celebrate the welcomed pause with a bit more intentionality. The pause happens at the table. It's when all the preparation is presented for everyone to

Inside Out Transformations

The email was from retail icon, Lord + Taylor. The subject line simply said, “All Stores Closing…”. For most, this will not be a big deal. For me, it was a startling read because this is the place my father diligently worked as a tailor for over twenty years.   This is where our family's bread and butter came from.   And even though my father has been retired now for many years, it’s really an end of so many things that symbolize the work of his hands. From an early age, I was surrounded by fabric. Physical fabric, but more importantly the fabric of hard work, the fabric of dedication, and the fabric of learning what quality looks like.   So, when I saw the email from Lord + Taylor, my heart sank. I took his skills for granted. When I shopped, I could buy an article of clothing that didn’t fit me properly, knowing with confidence he could transform it. Magically.   And it did seem like magic because he would measure and fit me and within a few days, the altered garment was read