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Posted on 2.19.2016 by Jody Noland

Why is the thought of failure so terrifying for most of us?
 
Why does it keep us from launching out into the unknown, from trying new things, from taking risks, from pursuing our dreams?
 
Is it because we have allowed our self-worth to be based on our performance? Do we think the only way we’ll be accepted is if we never fail? Do we communicate that message to our children, too?
 
Has perfectionism or “playing it safe” unintentionally become a god?

Posted on 2.12.2016 by Jody Noland

So much about a wedding is public these days. Social media allows the story of the romance to be shared. Photographers often capture the “private” moment of the proposal. The wedding ceremony takes place in front of family and friends. And wedding photographs and videos provide a lasting and public remembrance of this time of answered prayers and dreams come true. 

But there is also a sacredness about the joining of two lives that provides the perfect reason for the bride or groom to write a letter to their betrothed.

Posted on 2.05.2016 by Jody Noland

The memory is seared into my mind from a trip to Uganda in 2012.
 
I had asked a beautiful group of orphaned students about their dreams.

Actually, what is seared into my brain is not the question.
It is the rapidity, the passion and the strength of their answers.
 
 I heard things like “astronaut,” “doctor,” and “teacher.”
 
The girls’ eyes glistened as they enthusiastically shared their dreams.

Posted on 1.29.2016 by Jody Noland

“You’re never too old to dream a new dream.” This wisdom from C. S. Lewis was foundational as I launched Leave Nothing Unsaid back in February of 2013.
 
With wobbly knees but a heart full of faith, I set forth on an uncertain journey.
 
Unfortunately, there was not a How to Launch Leave Nothing Unsaid for Dummies book available. No “10 Steps to Success” that guaranteed this seed of a dream would germinate and flourish.
 

Posted on 1.22.2016 by Jody Noland

Have you lived a perfect life?
 
Me neither. Not by a long shot.
 
The images, the expectations and the dreams we have for our lives can often be shattered by unexpected circumstances or our own poor choices.
 
Cancer strikes. Businesses fail. Children rebel. Marriages end. We violate our own moral code.
 
And our plans are broken into 1,000 pieces. The beautiful images we have for our future are destroyed.
 
What then? How do we pick up the pieces of life and press on? How do we find hope in the midst of brokenness?
 

Posted on 1.17.2016 by Jody Noland

Imagine yourself standing at the water’s edge.  Your objective is to arrive safely at a distant shore, and a boat will take you there. It’s you and you alone. Captain of your own ship.

Posted on 1.08.2016 by Jody Noland

How often do we move through life, repeating the mantra “I’m fine…really…I’m just fine,” when really, we're not?
 
So often, we buy into the lie that self-sufficiency is the ultimate accomplishment. It’s as though we are trying to be our own little gods.
 
We pretend that we are “fine” and, as a result, miss bountiful opportunities to receive from others and even from God.
 
Yes, Jesus did say: “it’s more blessed to give than to receive.” We’re not intended to be human sponges, just absorbing all that life has to offer.
 

Posted on 1.01.2016 by Jody Noland

Question: “Why do we have two ears and one mouth?”
Answer:  “To listen twice as much as we talk.”
 
 If you’ve ever been to a class about healthy communications, you’ve probably heard that quote.
 
Listen twice as much as you talk.
 
Great advice when dealing with people.
 
Even greater advice when communicating with God.
 

Posted on 12.25.2015 by Jody Noland

Mail a package at the Post Office.  What’s your reaction when that’s on your to-do list for the day?
 
Do you grimace and brace yourself for long lines and less-than-optimal customer service? Or do you smile with anticipation that your day is about to get a little brighter?
 
I smile, because I know I’m likely to see my friends, June and Rhonda. They are Window Clerks at my local Post Office in Marietta, Georgia. And they should be used as role models for great customer service for the entire USPS. 

Posted on 12.18.2015 by Jody Noland

 

Oh, the things we take for granted.

How often do we succumb to grumbling about the little annoyances of life (like lines at the Post Office or traffic nightmares) and overlook our myriad blessings?

As parents, how often do we focus on our children’s shortcomings? And ignore the countless things they do right? Has it become easier to list their faults than to recount how uniquely and wonderfully they are made? 

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