A mother understands what a child does not say.

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"Christ died for men precisely because men are not worth dying for; to make them worth it."
~ C. S. Lewis

"Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow."
~ Langston Hughes

"Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June."
- Al Bernstein (American actor)

"What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what gets you out of bed in the mornings, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything."
Pedro Arrupe (1907-1991)

"Death and taxes may be certain, but we don't have to die every year."

"When they finish a new hive, bees have a house swarming party."

"Had I not seen the Sun, I could have borne the shade."
~Emily Dickinson

Spring House Cleaning!
There's a saying that in spring a young man's heart turns toward what a young girl has been thinking about all winter long! That refers to romance, but let's turn our hearts toward something less romantic that we can make more fun! Spring house cleaning! Stop saying, "Oh can I can I can I?" You can do more than sweep the room with a glance when it comes to spiffing up the area in which you spend tons of time, important up and down time! Think WHY you do this. Override the "have to" tapes in your head with wanting your living area to be fresh and clean, a little less cluttered. Open your windows and...

  1. Turn up the music
    Some of us can't remember our moms cleaning the house without a soundtrack. [Maybe some of us can't remember our moms cleaning the house. That's another topic!] As a kid, my mom let me do Saturday chores to my favorite music! Nice motivator. The 7 Dwarfs whistled while they worked. Why not us? Pop in your favorite CD, use your iPod, whatever it takes to get you moving with the rags, the broom and the supplies.

  2. Beautify your beautifiers
    Finally....what my daughter-in-law sent me from London years ago is catching on here. Fabulous rubber gloves, with exaggerated jewels or cuffs and your name if you like. Brooms are even fun now. Create your own signature feather duster by tying a ribbon on the handle! Or tie on balloons if you want to go crazy and annoy your pets! That takes "tying one on" to a new level! See how these tiny add-ons lighten your load!

  3. Challenge yourself
    Make it a game. Challenge yourself to how many misplaced items you can correct in five minutes, or time how fast you can clean the bathroom. And then of course, hop on our Facebook page and share your successes!

  4. Take breaks
    It's easy to get overwhelmed and burned out when it comes to cleaning an entire house from top to bottom. Every now and then, give yourself a minute to kick back and breathe. I like to do this after completing a room so as to enjoy its tidiness (especially since we know it won't last forever!)

  5. Organize the mess
    If you have a bunch of things that need to make their way back to the kitchen, put them in a little pile together and take it all in at once. This will save you multiple trips.

  6. Focus on one room at a time
    It's easy to fall into a pattern where you make a trip from the room you're cleaning into another room and become absorbed in cleaning it, too. Don't do this! Focus on knocking out one room at a time, or you will be hours into it without seeing much of a difference over the entire household. Seeing the sparkling progress you've made on one room can be the best motivation to continue to the next.

  7. Reward yourself
    I literally treat myself like I'm training for the seal show at the zoo, when it comes to spring cleaning. I love it when it's all done, but don't love jumping in initially. I hang in there for the treats! My treat is to skype with the kids and grandkids or take a walk or catch up with a friend on the phone. Oh yeah...then there's that edible reward stashed somewhere easy to find. Chocolate or a fresh fruit drink from my juicer.
    Have fun rewarding yourself. You deserve it and you'll probably get some high five's for a job well done when others notice. Did I mention...if you're clever enough to involve the "others," they get a reward, too!

"4 Ways To Say I Love You!"
It's February! Why not surprise your Valentine with a special little reminder of your love? Here are 4 ways that you can say "I Love You!"

  • Leave a love note somewhere unexpected i.e.. a coat pocket, lunch bag or car dashboard. It can simply read, "Let me count the ways..." with 3 top reasons you're crazy mad for him. Keep a few numbers blank with "to be completed in person!"

  • Add something special to dinner: candles, fresh flowers or a special dessert in which you wouldn't normally indulge.

  • Pick one thing you know your "love" dreads doing and take care of it, like paying the bills or cleaning the bathroom.

  • Have a quiet moment just for the two of you at the end of your day. Ask him about a favorite topic of his, a sports figure or a car he's pointed out on the road. Be sure to tell him something about himself that impresses you. This is a chance to catch up on what you missed out on the last 12 hours and also assure him of your devotion to him and what he means to you. Doesn't have to be gushy, just genuine.

Have fun with this! After all, nothing says you care like a clean toilet!!

New Year's Resolutions
So many of us bring in the New Year with hopes of improving some aspect of our lives with the famed New Year's Resolutions. But how many actually see our goals through to the next year? Or even the next month? Hopefully these tips will help you find success in this year's annual aspiration.

  • Choose Wisely
    The most common New Year's Resolution, of course, is to lose weight. And that's fine for some people. But remember, the point of your resolution is to improve your life, not to make you feel bad about things that may be out of your control. Instead of putting pressure on yourself to lose weight, perhaps you might simply want to be more active, such as taking walks more often, or eat healthier foods. In any case, don't choose something that you're going to beat yourself up over down the road.

  • Be Specific
    In the business world, no plan is complete without a goal. The more specific that goal is, the better chance the plan has of success. So instead of saying you're going to "lose weight" this year, tell yourself how much you want to lose, how soon, and with what method. Break your goal into manageable pieces. Instead of "Going Green," get a recycling bin, use less paper towels, and unplug your cell phone charger when you aren't using it. These tasks are much more controllable when defined.

  • Be Realistic
    When choosing a resolution, don't pick something that there is no chance of obtaining. Goals are wonderful, but if you're reaching further than is really possible, you're bound to be discouraged quickly and give up. Think reasonably about what results would make you stick with it, and don't put unneeded stress on yourself while trying to improve your situation.

  • Remind Yourself Daily
    Never underestimate the power of daily affirmations. If every day you are looking into the mirror and telling yourself that you working toward your target, you are less likely to fall off the path. Results are not instant, but that doesn't mean they're unattainable with some persistence and confidence.

  • Enlist a Partner
    Of course, a little outside encouragement is nice, too. Ask a friend to join you in your quest for self-betterment, as this kind of partnership could be of great benefit to both people involved.

  • Don't Give Up
    Generally, by February most people don't even remember their resolutions. If you are serious about improving something in your life, make a commitment not to abandon that conviction. Sometimes the process is slow, but it is always worthwhile in the long run.

Peep-Proofing Your Presents

Use these tips to keep prying eyes from spoiling the Christmas surprise!

  1. Use lots of ribbons and tape (duct tape works great for boxes underneath the wrapping paper!)

  2. Put wrapped presents inside gift bags and tie or tape the handles together.

  3. Add extra weight to packages to throw off guesses.

  4. Pad the box with something like a sweater to prevent "shake" guesses.

  5. Use large boxes for tiny gifts or gift cards (may be used in collaboration with #3).

  6. Use small boxes for large gifts, with notes about where the present is hidden.

  7. Put presents inside of presents, so that when they unwrap the gift and open the box, there's another wrapped present inside that goes to someone else.

The label on a bottle of hair styling solution amuses me. Who comes up with this stuff? Under the product name it reads "Texture Twist. Here's the new way to show your hair who's boss! Redesign it. Move it. Place your hair any which way! To use, run through damp or dry hair. Style, piece, and send hair on its way." It's written in French and English, so it must be for French or English hair. Sorry about that! Other products de-stress hair, give angry hair peace, tell naughty hair to mind its manners, soothe worried hair. Maybe once I show my hair who's boss I can get to the other rebellious parts of me! After all, working from the top down is effective leadership.

For today I think I'll put my mind on things above, following the directions on the "label" language from the Bible in Colossians 3:2 -- "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." The idea is to turn away from worldly things that separate us from God, that stress and worry us. It doesn't mean we just go with bad hair days. It points us to something bigger, grander, and more uplifting than any hair product in any language. That something bigger is God's love for us through Jesus Christ as He strengthens us in life's circumstances to reveal Himself as a loving "Boss" who redesigns us and moves us to be more Christ-like and send us on our way -- His way!


From my friend,Christi Heisler
Personal Shopper, Neiman Marcus, St. Louis, MO

Pick one or two to update your wardrobe with a fresh new look without breaking the bank!

  • Green- It's the go to hue.

  • Fur- As a trim or statement piece, the look is luxe!

  • Pantsuits- Feminine details modernize menswear cuts.

  • Pearls- Layered or alone, it's the seasons wisest choice!

  • Structured Handbags- Architectural silhouettes carry the day.

  • Lace- Fall's feminine touch.

  • Feathers- Take to these flights of fancy.
  • Boots- Step out in a variety of heights and heels.
  • Capes, Ponchos, Vests- Chic outerwear is everywhere.
  • Military- Break rank in commanding colors and details.

Tips I learned on vacation this summer!
Tip #1
I saw this with my own eyes, so I now believe it's true! Last month while on vacation, my son-in-law accidentally dropped his cell phone in Lake Michigan. He quickly retrieved it from the shallow waters and came into the cottage looking for rice! I tried not to scoff. It ruins the MIL image! But I did watch him take the cell phone apart and place the battery and the phone front into the rice and set it in the sun for 4 days. It worked. Seeing is believing. I hope you don't have to use this trick...but just in case, now you know.

Tip #2
Young children sitting in beach sand for hours a day, even with sunblock protection!, can get a rash on their bottoms. It takes a long time to get rid of the rash once it takes hold. I have not figured out a way to prevent that, except the obvious, to have them sit on towels, yeah right, but just be aware of the first signs so you can cut back beach time or at least have them wear clothing rather than swimsuits.

Tip #3
Nothing like vacation to teach us to double up with camping or vacationing neighbors! It builds commaraderie and can also save a few bucks! I hope it's not against the law, but when I'm not using my allotted 5 bags of trash pickup at the cottage, I offer neighbors the chance to put theirs with mine. I know, "one man's trash is another man's treasure," but in this case, one of these things is not like the other!
I know someone who had a backyard installed just because the neighbors did. No kidding, when the pool people measured the neighbor's yard, he wandered over and asked if they'd discount both yards for putting 2 in. And they did! One good splash deserves another!

The Important Things in Life
"I felt something impossible for me to explain in words. Then, when they took her away, it hit me. I got scared all over again and began to feel giddy. Then it came to me..I was a father. Unforgettable!" Nat King Cole about his daughter Natalie

"Life was a lot simpler when what we honored was father and mother rather than all major credit cards!" Robert Orban

"I watched a small man with thick calluses on both hands work fifteen hours a day. I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet, a man who came here uneducated, alone, unable to speak the language, who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example." Mario Cuomo

Encouragement and Assurance
* * * * * * * * * *

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." ~ Mark Twain

* * * * * * * * * *

Cadet Sign

When my brother was a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy, there was an overhead walkway with a sign reading "Bring Me Men."

As my parents were touring the grounds during Parents' Weekend, they could tell that some of the cadets were homesick. The sign had been changed to "Bring Me Mom."

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke

Begin 2010 With Forgiveness!
In one of her books, Corrie tenBoom tells of some Christian friends who wronged her in a public and malicious way. For a while she was bitter and angry until she forgave them. But in the night she would wake up thinking about what they had done and get angry all over again. The memory would not go away.

Help came from her Lutheran pastor to whom she confessed her frustration after two sleepless weeks. He told her, "Corrie, up in the church tower is a bell which is rung by pulling on a rope. When the sexton pulls the rope, the bells peal out - ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong. But if he doesn't keep pulling on the rope, the sound slowly fades away. Forgiveness is like that. When we forgive someone, we take our hand off the rope. But if we've been tugging at our grievances for a long time, we mustn't be surprised if the old angry thoughts keep coming for a while. They are just the ding-dongs of the old bell slowing down.

I want to begin the new year with as little bitterness and anger as possible. Don't you? This lesson Corrie learned will be a good start. We might also pray for those who wrong us, as the Bible teaches us to do. Then the ringing bells can remind us of the power of God in us to forgive others, just as He forgives us. What a way to lighten up in 2010. Remember, we're not in this alone!

Curbing the Tasting Temptations
Fall and winter offer lots of tasty temptations and indulgences. When you are indulging yourself here and there, remember to keep up with at least a couple of healthy every-day practices, to keep the treats from staying with you until the spring!

While eggs were on my never/seldom eat list, my mom was right: eggs for breakfast serve up protein (hooray!) and they deliver a bonus boost later in the day by helping you say no to the junk food grazing before supper.

Also, it turns out that our taste buds love it when we actually eat three meals a day. If we skip a meal, they jump into gear and demand sweets or salty snacks. I don't know why, and I really don't care why; I just want to curb the unhealthy a little bit so that when I have a sweet or salty something, I don't overdo it.

Notice how more restaurants are serving brown bread with olive oil than with butter? My Greek and Italian friends have taught me that trick to cut back on the hunger SOS from my brain! Try that one out at your own holiday meals this season!

Powerful Prunes
My mom taught us with food! She was a great cook, made things "from scratch," and shared recipes with friends. I took it for granted until I fed six people myself three times a day! Here's some wisdom from my mom: consider the prune. Mother served prunes cooked with apricots in sugar water until just tender for breakfast once a week. She probably intended to keep us "regular," but now we know that prunes, or dried plums if you prefer to call them that, are making straight A's for their potassium and copper. Eat ten and you'll have 20% of that daily requirement, 14% of your iron, and 10% of your manganese and zinc requirements. Plus, prunes serve up plenty of the essential vitamins A, C, E, and B-complex, including folate, and are a great source of fiber.

You don't have to cook them in sugar water with apricots like my mom did. Just enjoy them straight from the package. Your kids will find them as sweet as candy. Stick in your thumb and pull out a plum... a dried plum, that is!

Take Losing Lightly!
I have a friend who's lost thirty pounds several times. After cycles of yo-yoing, she's kept it off now for fifteen years. Her secret? She puts a tiny bowl of little candies on her desk or kitchen counter and when she gets a craving for sweets pop a few and that'll do it. Maybe that works for her, but not me! All that bite will do is remind my taste buds that I want, need, must have more and more and more and then the entire bag of the sugary nothings is gone and it's still not enough.

Ok, I'm addicted to sugar. I've known for awhile that the best way for me to not cave in to my craving is to avoid sugar altogether. I don't have it in the car or the house -- no stash anywhere to jump out at me! The good news is that when I do this, when I have no candy bars and cookies for five days or so, the craving begins to abate. After ten days, I'm good with healthy foods, and fresh juices and fruits satisfy my former craving for the unhealthy sweets.

I assumed I was alone on this one, that everybody else can just grab a few little candies and be satisfied. So I was kind of relieved to read some research reporting that even just a nibble on those treats triggers the craving for more just twenty-five minutes later. Somehow it awakens a need for more goodies, and then we get on the "more is always better" ride! It is typical, just like in my case, that once you go down that path, you will eat the bad-for-you stuff until your cravings have been satisfied. When you do indulge, though, remember: you can always go back to healthy eating!

National Smile Week
The second week of August is National Smile Week. We know it always feel good to have a good laugh, but did you know that while smiling looks good on your outside, it has great health benefits for your inside as well? Here are just a few great reasons to crack that smile, even when you might not feel like it:

1. Smiling can actual trick the body into thinking it's in a good mood.
2. Smiling is contagious! It not only makes you feel better, but also those around you.
3. Smiling helps boost the immune system; it can even help prevent colds and the flu.
4. Smiling can measurably lower your blood pressure.
5. Smiling releases endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin. Together, these three make us feel good and can even help keep away depression and stress.

And the best reason of all to smile is that is makes you look younger! The muscles you use in your smile actually lift your face. Considering plastic surgery? Try smiling throughout your day instead!

Early Christmas Shopping!
This is the month I save on my Christmas shopping! Oh yeah! By watching for sales -- and they've never been better than they are this year -- I take my gift list and pick up great deals for just about everybody. If I have time, I even wrap and tag them, making sure I note where I put the list, of course! I not only save time, but enjoy shopping at leisure without the last minute rush. I also save my sanity because when Christmas comes, I get into the spirit of things like baking and concerts and cards with notes to friends. Best of all, I celebrate the Christ child who came to save us! No more squeezing too much to do into too little time to do it. I hope you'll start this month by at least picking up a few gifts on sale. Once it becomes a habit, you'll be sold on the idea!

Stress Reducers
We could all use new ways to lower our stress and re-energize. One of my favorite morning energizers -- since I've never tasted coffee (I know. It sounds crazy, but it's true) -- is to juice a pound of fresh carrots, with a fistful of fresh parsley and half an apple. I just throw them into the juicer, and I have a natural energy drink. The pectin-rich carrots are the secret. Grapefruit juice and grapes give the same sort of result. I have friends who do this when they're upset or angry to get back to their more reasoned, seasoned, and sensible selves.

Here are two additional ideas I've received from Alicia and Helen, respectively.

To calm myself when under extra stress, I grab a handful of calcium-rich almonds. They do the trick.

My nutritionist suggested drinking more water to balance out my mood swings. She said hydration is the key to our emotional stability. Whatever the reason, I keep doing it because it works.

Mother's Day for Your Mother-in-Law
You and your mother-in-law may adore each other, or perhaps you just agree to disagree most of the time. Still, there are many ways to include her in your Mother's Day celebrations and to honor her for having produced your spouse!

Try these simple suggestions to make Mother's Day special for your mother-in-law:

  • Consult with your spouse about his mother's likes and dislikes to help find the perfect gift.

  • Have your children make a card or gift for their grandmother. Include a recent photo of the children.

  • Invite your mother-in-law to dinner, lunch, or brunch. If she lives out of town, send a care package instead.

  • Ask your mother-in-law how she'd like to celebrate Mother's Day. Perhaps instead of the traditional meal, she'd like to go to a movie or on an outdoor adventure.

  • Global Work & Witness Volunteering
    The Global Work & Witness (GW&W) program gives volunteers a chance to participate in global outreach efforts through short-term overseas mission trips. As part of a GW&W team, volunteers take on a variety of service projects that allow them to share the love of Christ with people who may otherwise have never known it. They may be helping to construct a building, do general repairs, or conduct Vacation Bible School for children. To read about a recent GW&W trip, check out the LHM International Blog. To find out about current GW&W trip opportunities or request more information, visit the LHM Global Work & Witness Trips homepage.

    National Women's History Month
    March is "National Women's History Month", so take some time to learn more about notable women who have made an impact, including important women of the Bible--Rahab, Ruth, Naomi, Esther, and many more. Here's a link for secular notable women: http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/women/notable.htm.

    Increase Your "Love Life"
    A few lovely tips for increasing your "love life" this month:

    1. Expand your idea of the term "love life" to include caring for people, places, and things you relate to on a positive level. It also includes being in love with someone, of course!
    2. Expect surprises and create them. Buy a bright green bunch of fresh parsley, trim the stems slightly, and place it in a glass of water on your kitchen counter. The burst of color will make you smile, increasing the feel-good chemicals in your brain.
    3. Fill a wooden bowl with bright oranges, offering a burst of Vitamin C to passersby. Even the color will brighten their day -- the color orange is said to inspire feelings of happiness and warmth.
    4. If you've still got that Christmas tree up, use the needles to make a sweet smelling sachet pillow that will last for years. Cut two pieces of fabric out of scraps and sew the pieces together back to back on three sides, leaving one side open. Turn the pieces right side out and stuff with pine needles from the tree. Hand stitch the open end shut, and you're done. This works with short-needled aromatic pines. I'm removing the dry needles from a gorgeous balsam wreath a friend sent from Maine for this project. You can take a shortcut by placing the needles in a pretty dish or jar to bring the woods indoors!
    5. Send someone a note with "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!" written on it, and include a list of those ways. Even if you only come up with three ways, it will mean so much to the recipient. Help your kids make these and send them out with red hearts drawn around the edges of the paper or with lipstick kisses here and there on the page.
    6. If you or someone you know longs for a silver lining in the cloud over life right now, please read Lynn Mackenzie's book The Tear Catcher: God's Hand in Your Heartache. It's a deeply touching and profound look at the author's journey through the pain of losing first her father and then her young husband to cancer. She captures her journey of grace from unspeakable fear and grief to abundant peace and joy in a way that inspires and comforts.

    New Year's Resolution
    Choose a 2009 New Year's resolution in the form of an inspirational saying. In 2006, instead of something like "lose weight", I chose a saying based on a Bible verse. "Be anxious for nothing!" (Philippians 4:6) It worked so well, and I used it so often, that I now use the same one every year! It reminds me that God is in control. Saying it silently to myself or out loud has a calming effect, so it works! No surprise.... That's how God is--true to His Word!

    Enjoy breakfast!
    Enjoy breakfast! The Brain Guy, Dr. Joel Robertson, advises oatmeal with blueberries and milk to jump start your day! Visit his website, Robertson Technologies, for self-care tips tailored to your specific needs.

    Mother Knows Best
    It's official, AGAIN! Mom really does know best; what my mother gave us for sore throats and coughs is now being recommended as a "new" find. It's honey! RealAge.com, an excellent source on natural ways to keep yourself feeling younger and healthier, offers some practical information about using honey to subdue those winter maladies. Try a couple of teaspoonfuls in a cup of ginger root tea; the two combined are wonderful for warding off some common seasonal ailments. The honey is great for soothing a scratchy throat, and the tea fights colds, as well as nausea and tummy aches. Also, honey and lemon juice make a good scratchy-throat soother as well. I take it straight or stir them into my tea. [Of course, no honey for little ones under age 1!]

    Give Yourself Permission
    Give yourself permission to laugh even when no one laughs with you. Make that, especially when no one laughs with you. I have a very funny daughter who brings down the house - any house, whether it's Monday night at Children's Hospital in St. Louis, MO with the seriously ill children whom she makes laugh or with family, friends, or strangers; everybody laughs with Hannah! So, naturally, I run some of my lines past her. Recently, I was driving to the airport to fly out to Seattle to do a retreat on a ranch. (Read about the ranch retreat here.) Speaking on the phone to Hannah, I said, "I'm going to tell these women I've worked diligently to bring them the information and inspiration they need, and I just hope I brought the right 'ranch dressing!'" I laughed so hard I almost pulled off the road. Then came the review from the speakerphone on the seat next to me: "Mom, that's not funny. Seriously, don't even think of using that line. Sorry."

    True confession: I'm a firstborn child and, as you know if you are one or married one, we have a component part that makes us prove we're right. So I worked the "ranch dressing" into the opening, and it got a big laugh. Maybe they were being polite, but at least I remembered the punch line!

    God Loves Lucy and So Do I!
    If you're looking for an easy, low key discussion on why believing in Jesus for salvation makes sense, check out God Loves Lucy and So Do I! The authors, Kori Sosnowy Voorhees and John K. Sosnowy, use some good sources when presenting their points on the reliability of Scripture and the character of Jesus. Their sources include Dr. Paul Maier, who was a Woman to Woman guest this December. (Click here to read more!)

    Lynn Jarrett, The Life Balance Chick
    I caught one of Lynn Jarrett's workshops recently and was really impressed with the amount of "I get it!" information she can share in an hour. I left feeling empowered! I want to share her website, The Life Balance Chick, with you. Just like her workshops, it is filled with empowering information. Click here to check it out.

    Kathy Peel, America's Family Manager
    What mom doesn't need an upgrade in the chaos-management department? Unfortunately, there's still only 24 hours in a day and 27 hours worth of stuff to do. You want a happy home, right? Do you get sidetracked? Sure. Who doesn't? Kathy Peel, AOL's Family and Kids Coach, is known for her "use 'em right now" tricks for creating a happy, low-stress homes and building strong family teams. In her books, Desperate Households and The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home, she gives you tons of tips to help leave the chaos behind and enjoy your family, your life, and your home again. Cathy has been a favorite of mine ever since she helped me be creative with four kids! She's a mega-idea woman who passes on the best! Click here to get started managing your home more efficiently every day, all year long. The payoff is huge!

    Diane Meyer Blog
    Diane Meyer stayed at home during her kids' growing up years. She held down the fort while her husband traveled with his work and served the community in many roles including being elected to City Council. Now, her husband, the Rev. Dr. Dale A. Meyer, is President of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and Diane continues her community involvement, reaching out through her blog, www.respublica.typepad.com, addressing issues of interest on family, faith and future.

    Where do you go for a "tune-up" when the song in your heart is a little off key?
    Where do you go for a "tune-up" when the song in your heart is a little off key? Anguish, disappointment, exhaustion take their toll on the soul. I'm always on the lookout for a "tune-up" and have options to make that "song" change keys or quiet down. Nibbling, actually wolfing down, chocolate is nice' playing piano tunes me up a bit. Taking a walk is good. Exploring life issues with a friend always helps. Click here to learn more about a "tune-up" for your heart!

    With Jesus You Can Face Anything
    My mother taught me the world is a scary place where things don't always work out. My father taught me to imagine and reach high. He believed in me and said I could become anything I wanted to because "With Jesus, you can face anything!" They were both right.

    Understanding Your Moods When You're Expecting
    If you're expecting, or know someone who is, make sure you check this out.

    Green Tea
    Here's an important tip from the kid across the street from me, now all grown up into an MD! It sure makes me glad I'm into green tea. Try some and see. Thanks, Kevin! Click here

    Deb Wolf Blog
    Deb Wolf, whom you'll meet on the "Risking Love" show, is the mother of three now adult children. She shares how she and her family adopted a child and spent some great years falling in love with her! Ultimately, although Deb didn't sign up for a lesson in risking love...she was thrown into a post-graduate course on the subject! Stay tuned if you've ever risked loving someone, and who hasn't? Deb's blog is www.countingmyblessings.typepad.com.

    Jean Werth
    Jean Werth can go deep with women whose children have died. She draws from personal experience. Writing is a passion for Jean, but she counts her greatest role in life being a mother to three sons. As an Air Force wife of 40 years and moving 19 times, she learned to be very resourceful. She believes this enables her to appreciate the relationships of many people the Lord has brought her way. She has worked closely as a volunteer in the community and the military. She edited and contributed to the Crisis Response Handbook for Military Commanders of the U.S. Air Force.

    Her closeness to Christ deepened when her 13-year-old son went to heaven in 1989. She began to focus on helping other families deal with the same loss. She facilitated support groups for parents who had lost a child at " A Place That Warms the Heart ," the family bereavement center in Shreveport. She also conducted grief support groups at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Illinois. She has published an article, "The Master's Child," for the Lutheran Woman's Quarterly and has created "Suggestions for Response," a booklet for physicians and clergy administering to parents who have lost a child. Jean's book, There's Someone in Your Kingdom, Lord, was written to help families deal with everyday pangs of grief and give them hope for the day ahead. Jean has appeared in television interviews on the topic of the loss of a child. She has also attended and participated in a teleconference on sudden loss with Cokie Roberts and other distinguished experts on grief issues. Jean is the President of Faith Petals, Inc. Her books, poems, and gift items are expressions of encouragement for today's Christian family. Her mission in life is based upon 1 Peter 3:15 which states, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." Her address: jean@faithpetals.com

    Melanie Wilson Blogs
    Melanie Wilson, PhD is a home schooling mom of 6. She both inspires and cracks us up with her wisdom on Woman to Woman's "Change Now: Here's How" show. A prolific writer, she is a contributor to Women's Day magazine and recently published her first book, So You're Not Wonder Woman?: How Your Super Power Can Change Your Life

    Find her at www.psychowith6.typepad.com and

    I Taught My Kids...
    I taught my kids from my weakness that the world invites us to try lots of stuff, some good, some bad. I wanted them to understand how their choices greatly determine their circumstance. I taught my kids from my strength that when they are weak, He is strong; to choose this day whom they would serve because He's their best shot at tomorrow. But I don't know if they will or not.

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