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Posted on 3.12.2014 by Jody Noland

 

If there’s such a thing as a “perfect day for a funeral,” Tuesday was it. Bright blue sky. Temperature warming. The certainty of Spring evident in the daffodils, the bright green grass, the trees beginning to flower. An absolutely glorious day. So glorious that it seemed to provide a foretaste of Heaven.

Posted on 3.06.2014 by Jody Noland

It’s time for hospice care.” Those words initially hit like a sledgehammer on the hopes of a patient and their loved ones. Translation: “prepare for death.”  Yet what initially seems like the worst possible prognosis also offers the possibility of an incredibly meaningful time because it gives people the chance to say goodbye.

Posted on 2.26.2014 by Jody Noland

We’ve all got one. That person who is “hard to love.” It might be a family member, neighbor, co-worker or fellow church member.  When you think of the individual, the image of a porcupine comes to mind: the closer you get, the more painful the relationship becomes.

And the thought of writing a letter of blessing and affirmation to a person like that seems...well….hypocritical and phony.

Posted on 2.18.2014 by Jody Noland

 

 It’s miraculous, really. The way that seeds travel and eventually sprout. Some seeds (like the unwanted dandelion) have wings like a glider. Some are carried by birds. Some “hitch” a ride on animal fur. Some are carried by water. Countless ways for one little seed to be carried to a new destination and germinate, and perhaps to eventually bear much fruit.

Posted on 2.06.2014 by Jody Noland

 

 

Ever heard the term “deer caught in the headlights?” It’s an analogy for being so frightened or surprised that you can’t move. And boy, have I been there lately. As I’ve tried to understand my paralysis, I’ve realized that because of uncertainty about the best way to move forward in pursuit of my dreams, I’ve allowed myself to just stop moving. 

Posted on 12.14.2013 by Jody Noland

 

Ready to throw in the towel on your dream? Voices telling you that you aren’t good enough,  that you’re a loser, that you don’t have what it takes to pull it off? Perhaps my story will help encourage those of you suffering from “dream fatigue.”

Posted on 11.21.2013 by Jody Noland

Do you ever feel like George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life? Defeated by financial struggles, with each step forward offset by two steps backward? With the holidays approaching, the financial pressure continues to mount. Wanting to demonstrate love for our families, we easily succumb to the temptation of spending money we don’t have for gifts our loved ones don’t need. 

Posted on 11.07.2013 by Jody Noland

 

 

Half empty or half full? Each new day, we have a fresh choice of how we look at our lives, our circumstances, the “hand we’ve been dealt.” What are you choosing?

We all know people that look at life through negative lenses. They see the shortcomings in every situation. Yes, they might make great quality inspectors looking for defects on a manufacturing line. But in terms of life, it’s a draining perspective for everyone in that person’s world. And most of all, it’s a slow emotional death for the person themselves.

Posted on 10.24.2013 by Jody Noland

 

Let’s face it. A father needs big shoulders. Many responsibilities...pressures...demands. Most men I know seem genetically wired with a tremendous sense of responsibility for protecting and providing for their families. 

Are you a dad? Then I’ll bet you know what I mean.

The day to day pressures of life can seem overwhelming. The tyranny of the urgent so often outweighs the longer term, more “important” things. How do you even think about your legacy when you’re not sure if you can pay this month’s bills?

Posted on 9.25.2013 by Jody Noland

 

“A day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day.” Ever feel that way when it comes to parenting? I know I have.

So much of the early years of child rearing is repetitive. Feeding, diaper changing, naps, more feeding, more diaper changing, more naps. It’s easy to forget that life is moving forward and not in circles. Then, you blink twice and your child is entering kindergarden, middle school, college. And you wonder: “Where did the years go?” 

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