Posted on 1.28.2017 by Jody Noland

Have you ever made a “reduction” when cooking? It’s the process of simmering down the liquids in a broth with the intent of concentrating the flavors.
Apply that to your life. What is the essence of what you believe? When you cull out the extraneous, what remains? And how do you live that out on a daily basis?
Recently, I was challenged to reflect on those questions after attending the funeral of the indomitable sports broadcaster, Craig Sager.

Posted on 1.13.2017 by Jody Noland

We’ve all got them: those special people who cross our paths and impact the trajectory of our lives. 
I call those encounters “divine appointments,” believing that God is ultimately responsible for the meetings.
One of the most significant “divine appointments” in my life happened in 2013 with Jaye Watson.

Posted on 1.06.2017 by Jody Noland

Perhaps you’re already hunkered down for the weekend, preparing for snow. Here in Georgia, our Governor declared a State of Emergency 24 hours before the first flake was scheduled to fall. The grocery store shelves look like they have been attacked by swarms of locusts.
Lots of anticipation and preparation for what might happen in the days ahead. That’s almost reflexive.
But what are you anticipating and preparing for in your life in 2017? Good things or just another year of survival?

Posted on 12.30.2016 by Jody Noland

Have you worked on a jigsaw puzzle over the holidays?
If so, you’ve experienced a great metaphor for the challenges and uncertainties inherent in this New Year.

Posted on 12.23.2016 by Jody Noland

Do you ever struggle with self-worth? If you’re human, the answer is probably yes.
Granted, for some, it’s an ongoing, seismic struggle. For others, it might be a much more occasional flickering of insecurity.
Self-worth can be affected by so many things: relationships, finances, career, appearance, health. We so easily gain a false sense of worth from our accomplishments and lose it just as quickly with setbacks or failures.
Talk about climbing the ladder of success and realizing that it’s propped up against the wrong wall!

Posted on 12.16.2016 by Jody Noland

Ten days before Christmas. A million and one things to do. And water had begun to leak out of the bottom of my washing machine.
Seriously? It’s been a year of “what will break next” in my world of home ownership. Water heater. Garbage Disposal. Sprinkler system. Air conditioner. Dryer on it’s last legs. And now…the washing machine. Ugh and double ugh.
Yes, my first inclination was to whine. But I quickly remembered what it was like in Uganda helping to hand-wash and hand-wring sheets. That quickly shut down my choruses of “poor me.”

Posted on 12.09.2016 by Jody Noland

Sometimes, I want to cheer. Maybe even have a dance party.
I get exuberant when the message that is at the heart of Leave Nothing Unsaid is shared in a moving way.
Recently, I was dancing and cheering after seeing a new Minute Maid video entitled “The Holiday Store with Nothing to Sell.”

Posted on 12.02.2016 by Jody Noland

What kind of difference can you make with an investment of 47 cents?
Plenty, when that money is spent for a stamp…and that stamp is affixed to a hand-written note.
We live in an age of the digital and the immediate. Text messages have replaced love letters. Email has become the standard for communication. Yes, it’s an instant way to share our sentiments.  But something is lost when all of our interaction becomes electronic.
When was the last time you received a hand-written note? Think back about how you felt.

Posted on 11.24.2016 by Jody Noland

The family had gathered at their Gulf Coast beach cottage for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Everyone in the family needed the renewal and refreshing they gain from spending time there together: talking, sitting in the sun and staring at the aquamarine water.  A time to just be, not to do.
One evening, as they reclined in Adirondack chairs around a crackling fire, their college-aged son posed a question to his parents:
“Would you give a one-word description of each of us?”

Posted on 11.18.2016 by Jody Noland

Words a homeowner never wants to hear.
Especially when the aforementioned “leak” meant that a lot of water was pouring into my carpeted basement due to a failing hot water heater.
Over the last few months, I’ve had a seemingly endless stream (no pun intended) of unexpected home repairs. And this was just one more.