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Posted on 7.11.2014 by Jody Noland

When I was 16, I landed my dream job. I was hired by “the” jeweler in my home town of Annapolis. This place was a small town version of Tiffany’s, the exclusive spot where Rolexes and fine jewelry were sold. I can’t remember exactly WHY that job seemed so appealing. Maybe it’s because my work life to that point consisted of babysitting hellions and selling T-Shirts to impatient tourists.

Posted on 7.04.2014 by Jody Noland

One Sunday last summer, our pastor had a “selah” moment at the end of his sermon. He instructed each of us to pause,to sit quietly and to listen…and to see if there was anything we sensed that God was whispering to us. 

One word came to my mind. The word “JUMP.” It was as though I had an inner billboard and the letters were big and bold and red and emblazoned across my mind. JUMP. And I knew exactly what that meant.

JUMP meant:

let go of thinking you aren’t “ready”

let go of thinking you aren’t thin enough

let go of fearing success

Posted on 6.27.2014 by Jody Noland

An astute and loving grandmother provided that response to last week’s post about parents of special needs children: Unsung Heroes. But that grandma was right. The siblings of special needs kids can easily be forgotten. And they, too, deserve to be celebrated.

Even the best of parents have limited capacity. We’re all human. And caring for a special needs child can be all-consuming physically and emotionally. It’s easy to assume the other children are on auto-pilot and doing fine. 

Posted on 6.20.2014 by Jody Noland

The challenges of life ebb and flow for most of us. Seasons of extreme stress are often followed by periods of renewal. If you’ve been on that roller coaster, you probably have vivid memories of both the highs and the lows of life. I certainly do. I remember wondering if I would make it through one more day when feeling crushed under an emotional burden, and recall the incredible sense of gratitude for the seasons when God allowed a time of refreshing.

Posted on 6.13.2014 by Jody Noland

Have you ever heard of macular degeneration? It’s the most common cause of blindness in the elderly. To understand it’s impact, try holding a clenched fist up in front of your eye. You have peripheral vision, but can’t see straight ahead. That means you can’t see faces, read, drive, or participate in sports you once loved…like golf.

Posted on 6.06.2014 by Jody Noland

Last week, my daughter and I took a drive. A 1500 mile drive from Atlanta to Colorado. She has a summer internship with the US Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs which requires her car. My protective mother genes thought that was much too long of a drive to make solo. 

1500 miles provides lots of time for talking and listening to tunes, and lots and lots of time for thinking. (And yes, even for occasionally fussing at each other. Gotta be real here.)

Posted on 5.26.2014 by Jody Noland

Are you on “the back nine?” No, not the second half of an 18 hole golf match. The second half of your life! If you’re a guy over 39 or a gal over 41, then based on average US life expectancy, you’ve “made the turn.”

That’s not meant to be depressing. As the sands of time fall through the hourglass, it’s completely natural to wonder if the best of life is behind you.

In one simple word: the answer is NO!

Posted on 4.29.2014 by Jody Noland

Fear.  So often it stops us in our tracks. Causes us to turn back, to worry, to wonder, to weigh the pros and cons and to play the “what if” game for way too long.  Sometimes, we can evaluate decisions for so long that the choice or opportunity no longer exists.

So fear wins. And we lose. Sometimes, the world loses too.

Posted on 4.24.2014 by Jody Noland

Mother’s Day. For many, it’s a bright, sunny day of celebration. But for others, it’s a day of great heartache.  If you’ve suffered the heart wrenching pain of losing a child, infertility, or the very loud ticking of the biological time clock, Mother’s Day can be rough. And for those who have recently lost their own mom, Mother’s Day often churns up fresh waves of grief.

So what do you do with this approaching holiday? How do you not just endure the day, but embrace it?

Posted on 3.27.2014 by Jody Noland

 

Ever have one of those days when you gained a whole lot of perspective in just a few hours? That happened to me several years ago, and the message is still seared in my brain. 

It was a beautiful spring day, and it began with a group of fellow mothers. Our girls were classmates, and we were meeting for coffee at one woman’s lovely new home. This wasn’t just any home. It could rightly be described as a “megahome.” Huge. Beautiful. Completely decorated and accessorized. All of the contents seemed brand new.

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