Find Your Tribe: Love Them Hard

I wore one of my favorite shirts today. I don’t love the color (it is black) and they style is the stay at home and lounge kind of look, but I love the words on it!

Find your tribe. Love them hard. — Danielle LaPorte

I feel empowered when I wear it. I have found my Tribe, and I have learned to love hard. I haven’t always been good at loving hard, and I am not good at it in every moment, but my Tribe knows I am committed to loving them hard!

I wonder what resonates most powerfully in these words:

Find: If you haven’t found them keep looking. If you are losing hope of finding your Tribe, don’t give up. We are created for relationships, and I would guess there is an abundance of people in your circles. Your Tribe might be family, but it might not be. Your Tribe might be small circles of people or one larger circle. There is no right or wrong Tribe. 

Your: Yes, your, don’t latch on to someone else’s and stalk them. Claim your people and let them claim you. Tribal work is about commitment, loyalty, and deep and delightful love for one another. 

Tribe: It took me a while to fall in love with the word. Now I find myself fascinated by the concept of Tribe. Name, Claim, and Celebrate your Tribe

Love: I think this means love in unique and creative ways. Know them, what makes them tick, where they struggle, what their longings, dreams, and fears are and love them. Let your love be a verb, an act of kindness, a gentle presence. But love hard!

Them: this isn’t about keeping track of kindness. This is about loving Them. Give yourself entirely, pour yourself into them. When a tribe functions well, everyone is loved as the generous giving and receiving of love is life-giving and abundant

Hard: loving your Tribe isn’t a wimpy kind of love. This is loving on good days and bad days, when we feel offended, insulted, or annoyed. This is loving one another at our best and our worst. 

It sounds so “easy” and “perfect” as I write it out, but it is messy and wonderful, and when I am with people in my Tribe, I feel the freedom to be at ease and fully myself. 

If you have your Tribe be grateful. If you need to find them, do not give up. It is worth it!

Blessed be His Name,


a piece of paper….

Today I got a piece of paper in the mail. It is an essential piece of paper, but I was struck by how it really is just a piece of paper. This document has my name and an ID number, a license number, and an expiration date. I am not showing it to you for a good reason, but it is my social work license.

As I thought about the power in this document, I was reminded that I am not a good social worker for everyone I meet just because I am licensed. Just how every Dr is not suitable for every patient, every Pastor is not right for every congregant, nor is every builder right for someone who needs a house built.

I hope that you are someone who takes the time to interview anyone you are entrusting something to. It might be your physical health, mental health, spiritual health, or the landscaping of your yard. Still, I believe that anyone you enter into a relationship with benefits from time spent together first.

In my counseling practice, I would offer free first sessions as I believe it is vital for the client/patient/consumer to interview the professional before committing to working together.

I hope you will consider taking the time to get to know the people you entrust yourself to. It is important. It invites honesty, accountability and speaks to your willingness to venture into conversations that bring clarity.
Remember, neither a degree nor a license is the most crucial aspect of a relationship. How you feel in an individual’s presence and how you feel after you have been with them will provide you clarity about engaging professionally with them.

Just a few thoughts from a middle-aged woman with that piece of paper!


Hard conversations…they matter!

I have had a few weeks of facilitating hard conversations with families to navigate options for aging parents. Tonight I want to commend every family who finds time to talk about hard things related to aging or illness.

I am always fascinated and amazed by the many layers of conversation that surface during these times with families. Often there is not just a straightforward question. People are complex. There is so much to consider. There are finances, quality of life, end-of-life considerations, individual preferences, identifying options and level of care needed, and so much more.

I am passionate about creating the space for hard conversations to unfold. I will write more about this in weeks to come but tonight, let me leave you with this:

Lori RoeleveldIf you have hard conversations about aging, death and dying, end-of-life wishes, or resuscitation orders (Do not Resuscitate), I commend you!

If you know you need to have these conversations, I encourage you to act courageously and start the dialogue.

If you want to have these conversations, reach out to share your mind and heart with someone who cares about you.

I believe we grow in the process of conversation and community. We are not meant to struggle alone. I hope you have someone for you and with you to navigate these spaces with.

Blessed be His Name.


The man by the window…

Joy (and movement) on the journey

Hey there, my friends. This is one of those check-in blogs.

I committed to blogging every day in 2021. I want to write about whatever is resonating in my heart at the end of each day. Sometimes I sit down to write, and I have to wait and see where I land. Sometimes I think throughout the day about something that I could write about as it is unfolding. And sometimes, at the end of the day, I forget what that great idea is!

This morning I received a notification that I am on a 59-day streak! Thank you to those who continue to check in to read my musings. But what struck me in that is, wow, 59 days into 2021 already. I began to think about what I am hoping for this year and have not yet given time to allow it to unfold.
I am often struck by my reflection at the end of any given year. There is always so much to be grateful for. There is still places where my heart ached for myself or someone I love. There are always memories of laughter and time with my family. Often, I realize at the end of the year that I can not name a lot of areas where I saw growth because of a commitment to daily discipline.

I believe there are lots of different reasons for this. Some are personality and how people choose to live. Some are strategies and what is implemented. Often my areas of intention are in relationships, and I celebrate that strength in me.

This morning, I was struck by day 59, and I began to consider where I have not yet made an intentional movement towards what I hope for 2021. I want to cook more meals and eat more greens. I sat down tonight and found a few recipes I want to try with various veggies in March. I want to find 2 or 3 favorite recipes each month and in December spend time cooking the ones I really enjoyed.

I have not spent time on my own emotional journey like I want to in 2021. I believe that we can always work on understanding God, ourselves, and others in new ways. I am not unhappy emotionally, and I want to grow in my insight and understanding. I was able to tell someone today how refreshing it is that my journey is personal but not private. There is no shame in saying that I would like to find a counselor and spend some time twice a month being curious and dialoguing about my strengths and struggles.

I am looking forward to Spring. Willa and I plan to bike to work most days. I decided that is a Springtime goal to venture into. Not sure I am rugged enough yet for cold-weather biking.


And so I wonder what your thoughts are as you think about the first 59 days of 2021. It is easier to name things we feel good about sometimes than be honest about what we yet need to move into.

I write this to encourage you to name a few things, be specific, be intentional, and be creative. Life is too beautiful to let it pass us by. Take time to marvel at all that is good and dare to move into the spaces that need nurture, curiosity, change, or truth. I believe in you,

Blessed be His name,



The birds will sing in the morning!

Today I changed a picture on my blog. The picture that comes up when I post has been the same for a while. It is always a challenge to know what image you want to lead, as I want it to reflect a current message of where I am at in this season of my life.

The birds will sing in the morning has been my theme since my Dad passed away in May of 2018. These words have been repeated often when we need to be reminded of the promises of God. These words are words that remind us of what my Dad believed, that even in hard times, when our hearts may be broken, God will continue his work in us and through us. God’s unique creation speaks to us, and in it, we are promised that His greater plan will be carried out.

This is the note that explains how these words came to be in our family. They are honest and hopeful. They acknowledge the deep pain and the never-ending promises

And I leave you with the beautiful image that is engraved on the stone at the cemetery. I wonder what meaning these words have for you today. Hearing the birds invites me to look upward, marvel at the beauty and the song, and remember that in the music of the birds, there is hope and promise!

Will you share some goodness this week?

I have been thinking a lot about this lately. 

Words of affirmation are any spoken or written words that confirm support, uplift, and positively empathize with others.

I know that words of affirmation are known as a love language. I do believe in the power of love languages. I also think we have to acknowledge that words of affirmation and appreciation are imperative to all people, no matter what your love language is. 

This blog tonight carries a simple message and invitation:

Name 2 to 5 people each week that you will intentionally speak words of affirmation or appreciation. They might be people close to you or maybe someone who crosses your path regularly. (mailman, janitor, neighbor) I have been resistant to my heart’s desire to thank the DTE guys working on our street for the last many weeks. I think I will stop and thank them this week for their hard work. You might choose to speak words, send a card, make a meal or be creative in some other way. If you were intentional each day with appreciating one person, you would encourage 30 to 31 people a month. 

Be aware of how you feel in the sharing and how the recipient is at receiving. Often when we attempt to affirm someone, they dismiss or downplay the gift you are offering them. Stand with gentle persistence and say, I want you to hear my words of appreciation for you. Are you a good receiver of affirming words? Are you able to say “Thank you” and allow the gift offered to rest in your being?

Challenge yourself to appreciate or affirm someone you find more challenging to spend time with. Consider people from your past who have impacted your life in ways they may not be aware of.

I know there are many significant hardships in our daily lives right now. Words of affirmation and appreciation will not resolve all of them. Still, perhaps you can bring some hope and confidence in merely being intentional and generous with your words this week.

Here is a little cheat sheet chart if you need some words to spice up your affirmations!

Buttons with colorfull smiles


Life is not just amazing, it is so much more!

I wonder if you have ever read this piece by LR Knost?
It is a piece that resonates with my soul.
There is just something about amazing, awful, mundane, and routine. May be an image of text that says 'Life is amazing. And then it's awful. And then it's amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful it's ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the oridinary. That's just living. Heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it's breathtakingly beautiful. -LR Knost'There is just something about how this all flows through each living and honest person.

There is something so honest about the heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, and awful ordinary life.

I am grateful to share this journey with each of you in some small way.
May grace and gratitude be yours in abundance every step of the way!

Blessed be His name,


The taste of spring

I find it fascinating how warm 37 degrees feels during winter. The sun is out, the icicles are melting, and there are dangers of the black ice in the early morning and later evening.

Even my five-month-old puppy seems to sense the hope of Spring as grass peeked out from the snow piles along the sidewalk. Willa’s curiosity about green grass, mud, and mud puddles caused me to wonder if even our pets anticipate the change of season.

As I was driving today, I glanced upward, and my extra-large glass roof in my car was spattered with bird droppings. I caught my groan before it was fully expressed and thought, just another sign of spring.

I received a text recently that my friend and landscaper were ordering flowers for spring porch pots, and I felt my heart rise with hope.

Yes, it seems as if we are getting a taste of spring, as I saw two Robins this morning as well. It feels hopeful, and the reality quickly sobers me that March has a way of tormenting us with the taste of spring but can be slow on the delivery.

I will not yet hold my breath, but I will not give up hope. For of this, I am confident, Spring is coming, and in that, I find anticipation and delight!

Do you have an Uncle Bob?

I have the privilege of working with aging individuals in my work at Visiting Angels. There are attributes to aging that I admire more all the time. Life is not simple, and aging can bring a new set of realities to everyday routines.

There are a few people who have modeled aging to me for whom I have great respect. My Dad and Mom are two of those, and the third would be Uncle Bob. There are others who I admire, and there just may a blog or two more about those who age well and continue to embrace God’s call in their lives.

Uncle Bob is 87 today. Life has not always been easy, and he can tell you stories of uncertain times in his life. But even when he shares those, there is a perspective he brings to the table about lessons learned or how he grew in the process. Uncle Bob is a storyteller and always has a joke or a perspective that makes you smile or laugh out loud.

Uncle Bob is a man who is committed to learning.

He is a student of scripture and spends time with other men of faith in the Word weekly.

He is a student of technology and has learned so much about email, online classes, live streaming worship, and games on the Ipad. He has acclimated to a smartphone and can answer his phone through his hearing aids. He doesn’t say I don’t know how, he says I will learn how.

He is a student of creative work in his carving. He loves to learn new techniques in carving and will practice until he has a completed project.

Uncle Bob is a lover of people and community:

He loves his Church community, the carvers and car club community, his Buist community (where he is a faithful volunteer), his family community (where immediate and inlaws are all embraced equally! Uncle Bob is faithful in his relationships.

Uncle Bob is a man with a grateful heart. He gives God the glory for all his blessings. He has a hospitable spirit and regularly prepares a meal and sets the table for a shared meal.

I hope you have an Uncle Bob in your life. I only knew him to be alongside Aunt Anita. Now that it has been almost six years since she passed away, I have grown in my deep love and appreciation for him in a new way. When he lost his bride, after caring for her so faithfully through her cancer journey, he could have hunkered down and lost zest for living, but Uncle Bob is committed to living life fully in action and attitudes, until his last breath.

I have bolded the words that represent some of who he is and who I hope to be. We don’t have to wait till 87 to be like Uncle Bob, but my hope and prayer is that I will remain like him when I am 87 and dealing with the complications of life and aging.

Happy Birthday! I love you, Uncle Bob. You have my whole heart. I am glad you live well, enjoy learning, share generously, and profoundly believe that life is a gift until Jesus calls you home!

Blessed be His Name!