Wordless Wednesday: Cultivating Generosity.

As part of our gradual move toward a more minimalist way of life, we decided to part with a few of the outdoor toys we'd neglected to play with. In an effort to get the kiddos involved in the process, my husband invited the boys to wash each item and offer it to one of our neighbors. Much to my surprise, they enthusiastically accepted. 

And when the time came to present them to our neighbor and her little boy, Ash and Ike could hardly contain their own excitement to be passing along their treasures. I have yet to find the words to convey how proud I am of my sons. They immediately understood what we were trying to do and embraced it more readily than I'd imagined. 

10 Affirmations for Content Creators.

positive statements for creatives

I am a big fan of embracing artistic expression. I believe all of us have a creative force within, yet so many are unable to—or are actively discouraged from—pursuing their endeavors. To me, that is a tragedy because the world needs you! There is no one else like you on the planet, therefore no one can reproduce what you create. I developed these affirmations as a way to encourage those of us who create content on- and off-line. Thanks to the ubiquity of the comment section, social media can be a particularly brutal place for creatives, but I urge you to continue to chase after your dreams. I hope these positive statements silence your inner and outer critics because every single one of them is true.  

1. I am endlessly creative.

2. My ideas are valid.

3. I am uniquely, fearfully, and wonderfully made.

4. I can overcome obstacles.

5. My setbacks are temporary and do not define me.

Wordless Wednesday: A Hole In The Hand.

Last year, my husband and sons decided to do a few science experiments over the summer. All three of them enjoyed it so much, they've made it an annual event. Here's a graphic of their most recent exercise. 

5 Ways To Support A Friend In Crisis.

When we're younger, the notion of friendship seems is easy. To the very young, it mostly consists of playing in the same area and learning to share toys. As we get a little older, connections deepen, but can remain stubbornly fickle. A best friend one day can be an enemy as quickly as the words "You're not my friend, anymore!" are uttered. After a short cooling off period, however, amends may be made and the relationship resumes.

As we age, though, our affiliations can take on much more nuance and significance as the rites of adulthood bring both unbridled joy and tremendous pain.

It is in this space that I've noticed many of us simply do not know how to be a friend to someone in crisis. Of course, the sad irony is that hard times are precisely when a kind ear is most needed but often denied, in favor of an insincere platitude ("Everything happens for a reason"), ill-timed appeals for logic ("Two sides to every story") or an immediate distancing from the person altogether ("It's too messy and I shouldn't get involved").

Not only have I seen this sad turn-of-events play out, but I've been on the receiving end. Both scenarios are truly horrible. I've observed that nothing really brings to light who your friends are like going through something unpleasant. When one's very presence reminds folks of their own mortality, the grinning facades quickly fall away and reveal the true nature beneath.

And yet, there is hope. Oftentimes, some well-meaning and sincere people simply do not know what to do and could use a little nudge in the right direction. After much thought, prayer, and traumatic personal experience, I've come up with this short, but potent list of uncomplicated ways to offer love and support without judgment.

1. Believe. 
I swear this is the simplest step and somehow, it is the one humans tend to screw up the most. To someone who has been hurt and has finally found the courage to share their trauma, a genuine response of "I believe you" means everything. Conversely, questioning their validity can have devastating effects.

Wordless Wednesday: Me and My Best Gal.

I make weird faces, sometimes. 

I seem to have passed this practice on to my progeny (and I'm totally okay with that).