Posted on 7.17.2013 by Jody Noland


“Look Mom, you don’t even get to take your slippers with you.” That poignant observation was made by my then-16 year old daughter right after her father died and the undertakers had left our home with his body. A cozy pair of fleece lined slippers sat alone beneath the hospital bed in our family room where my husband had spent his last  days on earth.

Posted on 6.24.2013 by Jody Noland


There is a physical heaviness that often accompanies grief. I liken it to the feeling of the leaded apron used for x-ray protection at the dentist’s office. And I’ve come to know that heaviness all too well over the last several years from loss in my own life. 

This past week, grief settled in on me again as I learned of the untimely death of author Vince Flynn at 47.

Posted on 6.12.2013 by Jody Noland


Posted on 6.05.2013 by Jody Noland


True confessions. I do have a pet rock. 

Fellow baby boomers might remember the Pet Rock craze from the mid 1970‘s.  A marketing genius (from California - where else?) grew tired of hearing friends complain about their pets and decided to create the perfect pet: the “Pet Rock.” He bought stones for a penny at the local building supply store, wrote an instruction manual for the care of the “pet” and created a cardboard carrying case, complete with air holes and breathing straw. The Pet Rocks sold for $3.95 each. Over 1.5 million of them! That fad lasted about six months. 

Posted on 5.23.2013 by Jody Noland



The language of encouragement and affirmation does not come naturally to most of us. It’s far easier to say nothing...or even, to point out another’s faults and weaknesses than it is to tell someone what’s “right” about them. Often, we feel awkward or insincere, or fear that our motives will be misunderstood. 

And yet, there’s nothing quite so energizing for most people than to be told what someone special really values about their character. It’s like a B-12 vitamin for the soul.

Posted on 5.11.2013 by Jody Noland


Doesn’t motherhood give a woman the God-given right to worry? Once you hold that baby in your arms for the first time and realize the weight of your new responsibility, worry seems to bubble up as a natural by-product.

Posted on 5.04.2013 by Jody Noland


Prepare to be bombarded. The ads will be coming from every direction over the next week with the things that Mom just “can’t live without.” Really?

What does a mother really long for? It’s not more “stuff.” It’s knowing that she is making a positive difference in the lives of those she loves. Moms don’t do it for the thanks. But every mother I knows is encouraged when her family takes the time to express their gratitude. 

Posted on 5.02.2013 by Jody Noland

What is it about a mother that equips her to give and give and give? Nearly every mom I know consistently puts her family’s needs ahead of her own. Yes, there are a few self-centered moms out there, but they are the exception and not the rule.

Posted on 4.24.2013 by Jody Noland

The A-Word I’m talking about is AFFIRMATION.

And why is it so important? For most people, receiving words of affirmation has the same impact as pouring water on a thirsty plant. People stand up taller, smile more broadly and often project a greater sense of confidence when they hear affirming words.

There’s an important, but subtle, distinction between AFFIRMATION and another A-Word: APPRECIATION.

We tend to appreciate what someone does for us:

-Cooks a good meal

-Runs an errand

-Gives a gift

-Makes a sale

Posted on 4.20.2013 by Jody Noland

Question: What kind of difference can one person’s encouragement make? 

Answer: Immense. The ripple effect can literally impact thousands of lives.

Recently, I’ve been asking the question: “Who encouraged you? And how did they do it?” The answers are inspiring, and are a great reminder of the positive influence we can have on others’ lives. I’ll be sharing these stories in a series of posts entitled “Profiles in Encouragement.” My hope is that you will be inspired and challenged to accept the high calling of being “an encourager.”