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How Long Does it Take to Grow Up?

“Mommy, when you are a hundred, will you be as tall as the clouds?” This, my little daughter asks me from her seat on the swing in our backyard. Her sweet up-turned face looks past me to the billowing clouds overhead. To her, growing up means growing taller so she can reach the monkey bars unassisted and ride all the rides at the theme park. Surely 100 years should be enough to reach those clouds, she concludes. While our growing taller comes to an end during our teens and early twenties, ... Read More »

The Microclimate of Community

It was such a joy to share the sermon at Floris UMC this Sunday that I wanted to share an additional story that didn’t quite make the cut. For those of you who weren’t with us (or need help remembering), the main point came from John 13:31-35, in which Jesus told his disciples about a new commandment to love one another as a distinctive marker of Christian community. The disciples had a role to play in developing the climate in which they would continue to exist, grow and thrive in ... Read More »

How are You Called to Serve?

When I was growing up, the calendar in our kitchen was always full of Mom’s notes about her volunteer activities. She was active in the PTA for a while as well as multiple nonprofits and regional committees related to causes she was passionate about. My dad’s way of supporting her passion usually involved helping to set up or put away chairs at an event or making endless pots of his signature chili beans and cornbread for potlucks and fundraising events. Given their examples of service, it’s no surprise that I ... Read More »

Why Bother?

On my morning walk I decided to take a different path to spice things up so I turned into Middleton Farm. As I walked deeper into the neighborhood I saw a monument sitting on top of a small hill. I felt a nudge to walk up and take a look. The monument read “At Rest… Bradley” and there at the base of the monument lay a yellow carnation. Just as I had done the day before in Maryland, someone had stopped by this grave and remembered the lives of those ... Read More »

Dear Graduates,

Dear Graduates, It is so refreshing to see your newly decorated caps and gowns, photos on the quad and smiling announcements on social media. Whether from high school, college or graduate school, graduation often symbolizes new beginnings and bright futures. However, I also remember a fair share of anxiety around these milestone moments. As we prepare to honor our graduating seniors at Floris United Methodist Church Sunday, June 4, I want to take a minute to address some of the stress and anxiety that so many experience. Our culture tends ... Read More »

Reflections

If you haven’t been able to tell by the hyperactivity of your children, the longer and warmer days or the “senioritis” that seems to be hitting people of all ages, the end of another school year is quickly approaching. For many, December is often a time of year for reflection and introspection. But those with children or working in the education field often save this transition time for the close of yet another school year. As we move into the summer and begin making plans for next fall, I often find ... Read More »

Surprising Moments of Grace

Have you ever been surprised by a moment of God’s grace? Maybe you haven’t been bopped over the head by a tidal wave of undeniable grace, but what about a precious moment? Living with our hearts and eyes open helps prepare the soul for an encounter. I had one recently. It happened so fast; I wasn’t prepared. But it was definitely God’s grace. I’ve been volunteering at Hutchison Elementary School with the PALS program since it’s inception nine years ago. (This program matches elementary students with adult mentors once a ... Read More »

Do We Actually Want Authenticity?

It’s okay to not be okay. This is a quote from a wonderful email a friend of mine sent recently. It even serves as the introductory line to a popular Christian song on the radio. However, do we believe it? It is ironic that we live in a world begging for others to be authentic. But in my experience, I don’t believe we are truly comfortable when people actually live into authenticity. It’s raw. It’s messy, and quite frankly, people are generally uncomfortable when sitting too closely to another person’s ... Read More »

Be Good, Be Strong, Be Brave

When our daughters were growing up, my husband often traveled out of town for work. Over the years, the girls and their daddy developed a ritual for saying their farewells, which they still observe today as the girls leave for college each semester or when it is time to say goodbye after a visit. Each time they part, Steve will kiss the palm of each of his daughters’ hands, and the girls will then hold their palm to their face for a moment while they say out loud: “Daddy loves ... Read More »

Yoga Pants and Green Socks

I was thinking recently about one of Rev. Barbara Miner’s past sermons at Floris UMC—the one where she encouraged us to take a picture first thing in the morning before any attempts to beautify our appearance. Her point in this challenge was to remind us that we are already masterpieces in God’s eyes, so we don’t need to make ourselves look good in order to be worthy of his love. She encouraged us to embrace all of our imperfect perfection and try to love ourselves as we are, like God ... Read More »

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