Posted on 9.17.2015 by Jody Noland

I have a confession to make. It’s a deep, dark secret that few of you know.  But in my ongoing quest for authenticity, I am going to reveal it today.
Drumroll, please.
I have Formica countertops in my kitchen. Yes, I said it…FORMICA! Even worse, the backsplash is of the same dull, cream-colored Formica. Circa 1970’s. Circa bland and boring.
Please don’t judge me.

Posted on 9.09.2015 by Jody Noland

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Ask a young child that, and the answer is likely to be filled with promise. The sky’s the limit.  Answers might include: “The President!” “A movie star!” “A doctor!” 
As that child becomes an adolescent, the dreams often become smaller, “more realistic” or might have even vanished.
Why is that? What happens to those big dreams?
Sadly, dreams are often squashed by a few discouraging words from a parent or authority figure.

Posted on 9.04.2015 by Jody Noland

These words of wisdom were spoken to me when my husband was dying of cancer. He was at home, under hospice care. Anyone who has walked that path knows how exhausting the role of caregiver can be.
Sleep is intermittent and anxiety is high due to the uncertainty of what each day will bring. Although friends might offer to come and help, it never feels right to leave a loved one who is dying.
As a result, the caregiver often gets more and more exhausted, more emotionally fragile, more likely to get sick themselves.

Posted on 8.28.2015 by Jody Noland

It happens with birds. And it happens with people. That phenomenon called “pecking order.”
Have you ever watched birds taking turns at a feeder? Just spend a few minutes observing, and you’ll quickly understand the concept. And you’ll see how much it reminds you of life!
 Next to the screened porch at my home hangs a Yankee Flipper feeder filled with the equivalent of “bird caviar.”
And it provides a fascinating study in behavior.

Posted on 8.21.2015 by Jody Noland

Today, I want to celebrate friendship. Bountiful, beautiful friendship.
When you press “pause” and take a few minutes to reflect on life’s greatest treasures, doesn’t your mind almost always go to the people in your life?
Not the things, the trips or the trophies.
People.  Your people.
Picture a magnificent, mixed bouquet of flowers.
Every flower is unique.
Every flower is beautiful.
Some flowers last longer than others.
Some flowers have a few thorns.

Posted on 8.13.2015 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 8.10.2015 by Jody Noland

Someone needs to hear this message today.
If you are in a wrestling match with fear, this is for you.

Posted on 8.07.2015 by Jody Noland

Imagine not having a way to communicate with your family. No cellphone. No ability to text. No Internet access. Not even any paper for letter writing.
Imagine being in the midst of war. Thinking of the ones you love. Praying for them. Bombs going off around you. IED’s exploding. Imagine watching brothers being severely wounded and doing your best to save them. Some making it. Some not. Imagine praying for God to protect you and to get you home safely when your mission is completed. Just imagine.

Posted on 7.31.2015 by Jody Noland

Writing letters. It seems so passé. So old school. Something done by our parents or grandparents.
Why write a letter…on paper…when we can send a text, write a birthday greeting on Facebook, or tag someone on Instagram? Those methods of communicating are so immediate and so efficient. And instant communication can be so gratifying.  To us.
Why would anyone waste the time writing a letter?
Because the written word matters forever. Especially to the recipient.

Posted on 7.24.2015 by Jody Noland

Most people would not consider a hike that began at 3am as “fun.”

Well…”fun” might not be the best way to describe the experience.

“One of the highlights of my life” would be more accurate.