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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 »

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 »

I Chose Forgiveness

Editor’s Note: During Floris UMC’s February 2017 sermon series, “Unburdened,” we asked congregation members to anonymously share their stories of forgiveness. The following is one of those stories. My life changed in July of 2010. I’d quit my job and uprooted my kids from their school and home to move out to Virginia. I took a call halfway across the county from my husband, who had moved a month ahead of us, that left me reeling. He didn’t love me anymore, and my future had suddenly, to me, gone sideways. ... Read More »

Forgiving Family

Editor’s Note: During Floris UMC’s February 2017 sermon series, “Unburdened,” we asked congregation members to anonymously share their stories of forgiveness. The following is one of those stories. When it comes to family and money…I would have never thought that my family would choose money, but they did. More than 20 years ago my aunt passed away without a will. My aunt had substantial wealth. She owned several homes in the area and lived on a big farm in Luray, Virginia. This was my mother’s sister. So, when mom was ... Read More »

Seven Creative Christmas Activities for Parents

As you may have noticed, Christmas is right around the corner. For those who have children or grandchildren, the holidays can be a great season of frenetic activity, parties, lights, decorations, shopping and more. But sometimes you want to spend quality time together that doesn’t involve leaving the house and won’t break the bank. What’s a parent to do? Below are seven activities you can do with your children when you have an afternoon free or when you’ve cleaned up from dinner and want to do something different to celebrate ... Read More »

Is Anybody Listening?

I found myself a part of a fiery conversation one night while visiting relatives. One of my family members and I often find ourselves on opposite sides of the political spectrum. While we both come from a similar place in terms of our devotion to our Christian faith, we disagree on pretty much everything else. In an effort to keep the peace, we successfully avoided controversial subjects for the majority of the visit. Emphasis on “majority.” The last night, things finally got heated. For whatever reason, both of us felt strongly and ... Read More »

Adjusting My Expectations

Life is full of expectations. We plan, organize and anticipate, but often what we expect to happen does not. The older I get the more I learn to not have too many expectations. The younger me would figure out everything and then be desperately disappointed when it didn’t “work out as planned.” The older me is learning to let life happen. In preparing for my trip to France to visit my daughter, Anna, I didn’t spend much time thinking about what it might be like. Not because I wasn’t excited ... Read More »

What a Blessing

A few years ago I signed up for what was then called Respite Care at Floris UMC to babysit a friend of mine’s three special needs children. I thought that it would be nice to watch my friend’s kids while she and her husband went out for the evening. Little did I know what a blessing Respite Care, now called Family Support Ministry, would be to me. The children that I have had the opportunity to spend time with, from two different families, are living joys. They each have their ... Read More »

Volunteering as a Family

“How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.” – Anne Frank Think for a moment about someone you know who is a whiz at math or puzzles. You might also know someone who can whip up a meal from a jar of pickles, Cheez Whiz and some stale potato chips. Then there’s that neighbor who can listen to the strange noise your car is making and diagnose the problem within seconds. We all have gifts that God has given us. Some are visible, such ... Read More »

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