Starting Something New? What a Baby Reindeer Can Teach Us About Pushing Through the Initial Awkwardness into Confidence and Grace

Starting Something New? What a Baby Reindeer Can Teach Us About Pushing Through the Initial Awkwardness into Confidence and Grace

With what appeared to be every ounce of his strength, the newborn reindeer calf pushed himself to a standing position. His spindly legs trembled and his entire fuzzy, brown body shook with the effort of remaining upright. Close behind, mama reindeer hovered protectively, keeping watch over her baby’s progress. The calf took one halting step forward—then tripped and tumbled to the ground.⁠..⠀

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Not Sure Where to Start on Your Goal? Feeling Overwhelmed by Your Dream? Here’s One of the Best Pieces of Advice I’ve Ever Heard for Moving Forward

Not Sure Where to Start on Your Goal? Feeling Overwhelmed by Your Dream? Here’s One of the Best Pieces of Advice I’ve Ever Heard for Moving Forward

There have been many days when I’ve felt dwarfed by the enormity of my dreams and skeptical of my ability to accomplish my goals. When those days roll around I like to encourage myself with something Theodore Roosevelt once said…

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The Truth About Your Setback

The Truth About Your Setback

As I shared last week, Fairbanks got a lot of snow in April. After having our warmest March on record (which resulted in the snow being almost completely gone by the end of March), it was a bit of a letdown to have such adverse weather in April. But, by the time I wrote my last post, which was less than a week after our last big snowfall, almost all the snow had (re)melted…

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Jesus Saved Me From a Life of Self-Hate

Jesus Saved Me From a Life of Self-Hate

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I used to write mean things about myself in my journal. This week, I decided to get really real and share a few actual quotes.

So (deep breath), here’s a peek at what my 15-year-old self was saying:

“Why am I like this…?”

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When You Don't Like How You Look: 7 Ways to Learn to Love Your Body

When You Don't Like How You Look: 7 Ways to Learn to Love Your Body

As a child, Amy Carmichael was bitterly disappointed by her brown eyes. She so longed for blue eyes that she prayed repeatedly that God would change her eyes from brown to blue. To her dismay, He didn’t.

But, years later, Amy developed a newfound appreciation for how God created her when she became a missionary to India. There, Amy worked to rescue young girls who were enslaved as temple prostitutes…

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How Disliking Your Appearance Paralyzes Your Progress and Disempowers Your Purpose

How Disliking Your Appearance Paralyzes Your Progress and Disempowers Your Purpose

I used to write mean things about myself in my journal. Mostly, it had to do with dislike for my appearance. I look like Carina, and, deep down, I believed that wasn’t okay. I thought I should look like the models splashed across magazine covers and the movies stars on TV. It wasn’t hard to see all the ways I didn’t measure up, and, somehow, I thought that body bashing would magically transform me into what I wished I could be…

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Do You Want to Learn to Draw? Sing? Play the Guitar? Here are 7 Ways to Grow Your Skills in Any Artistic Endeavor

Do You Want to Learn to Draw? Sing? Play the Guitar? Here are 7 Ways to Grow Your Skills in Any Artistic Endeavor

Every once in a while I get asked what steps I’ve taken to grow as a writer. After the most recent query, I realized that the things I’ve done to nurture my skills as a writer are applicable to many types of artistic endeavors: drawing, singing, playing the piano, woodworking, pottery, photography, calligraphy, sewing…You name it, these steps can probably help you hone your skills…

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In the Beginning: 3 Principles From the First Year Ever to Set the Stage for Your Best Year Yet

In the Beginning: 3 Principles From the First Year Ever to Set the Stage for Your Best Year Yet

Despite being the dead of winter, January is one of my favorite months. The year lies before me as wide open as the creamy pages of my new calendar. My imagination is free to run wild. The air is full of newness, excitement, and possibilities.

I think one reason new beginnings are so exciting is that they almost always carry an element of creation…

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The Physical, Emotional, and Relational Benefits of Keeping Gratitude Going All Year

The Physical, Emotional, and Relational Benefits of Keeping Gratitude Going All Year

 What can help you have

  • A stronger immune system

  • Increased quality and quantity of sleep

  • Decreased feelings of loneliness

  • Better relationships, including more feelings of connection and generosity

  • A better sense of self-worth

  • More feelings of  happiness and joy

  • More resistance to stress

  • Less pain

  • And greater life satisfaction? …

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The Story of how I Meandered My Way to My Calling, the Epiphany that Changed My Life, and Encouragement for Your Journey

The Story of how I Meandered My Way to My Calling, the Epiphany that Changed My Life, and Encouragement for Your Journey

Do you ever wish God would appear to you in a vision and explain with perfect clarity what your calling is?

I can relate. Over the years, there have been many times I wished that my direction was more clear cut. But my path to understanding my calling has been more like a meandering river than perfectly straight railroad tracks leading from point A to point B.

Yet, in spite of all the meandering, there have been moments of clarity and even epiphany.

Today, I’m sharing a bit of my story…

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Times of Transition can Feel Awkward and Uncomfortable. These Five Things can Help You Get Through with Grace

Times of Transition can Feel Awkward and Uncomfortable. These Five Things can Help You Get Through with Grace

Our state bird here in Alaska is the willow ptarmigan. I think they are so adorable with their kind, watchful eyes and their legs and feet covered in feathers, like little built in bird snowpants.

They also have the wonderful ability to change color with the season. They are snow white in the winter and brown in the summer. And in the spring and fall…well, they’re in between…

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Feel Like You Should be Further Along in Your Goals than You are? Here's how Celebrating Milestones can Encourage Us, Mark Our Progress, and Move us Forward

Feel Like You Should be Further Along in Your Goals than You are? Here's how Celebrating Milestones can Encourage Us, Mark Our Progress, and Move us Forward

Today I’m celebrating a milestone: the one year anniversary of launching my website and starting this blog!

One of the beautiful things about milestones is that they’re an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. (The term milestone actually comes from ancient Rome, where the Romans used actual stones to mark the miles along highways. A traveler could both see how far they’d come along the road as well as how much farther they had to go to their destination.)…

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Fruits and Vegetables are Best when They're in Season. So are We.

Fruits and Vegetables are Best when They're in Season. So are We.

Have you noticed how fruits and vegetables are so much better when bought in season?

Here in Fairbanks, fall is the only time of year to get freshly harvested local carrots. They are so bright, crispy, and deliciously sweet they seem to be a different vegetable altogether than the imported variety we get the rest of the year.

And if I want squash, I need to get my fill now, because come March, though there may be a few lingering in grocery bins, they’ll be dry and shriveled.

I know not to buy summer fruits like tomatoes in December because they’ll taste like nothing, and if I want non-mealy nectarines I’ll need to wait until June.

Depending on where we live, seasons affect not just what we eat but often where we focus our time and energy as well…

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Tired of Leaving the House in a Frazzle? Here’s What I Did to Make Getting Out the Door a More Serene Experience

Tired of Leaving the House in a Frazzle? Here’s What I Did to Make Getting Out the Door a More Serene Experience

One sunny morning last summer, I found myself in a big hurry to leave my house.

I had an appointment with myself at the coffee shop to write, and I was determined to arrive before the lunch rush. Like a cat chasing a laser pointer, I darted around collecting this and that. As I raced up the stairs to get one last thing, I could feel my heart pumping and the unpleasant buzz of adrenaline coursing through my limbs.

But it wasn’t until I stepped out of my car at the coffee shop that I realized just how hurried I had been…

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3 Key Questions to Help You Craft Your Own Purpose Statement

3 Key Questions to Help You Craft Your Own Purpose Statement

You have unique passions, values, gifts, and skills. Do you want to make the most of them and fulfill all God has created you to be? If your answer is yes, I highly recommend creating a purpose statement. This powerful tool can help you keep your priorities straight, gain a clearer sense of identity, and make the difference in the world that only you can make.

This week, I’m sharing three questions that will help you create a core purpose statement…

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One Secret to Connecting with God in a Deeper Way

One Secret to Connecting with God in a Deeper Way

I’ve always loved journaling. I’ve been immortalizing my thoughts in notebooks since the tender age of nine and have found it to be a great way to sort my feelings, clarify my thoughts, and process my experiences.

As a young adult, I noticed something. Whenever I went through a phase where I wasn’t journaling much, I didn’t feel as close to God…

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Worried or Frustrated? Use this Shift in Perspective to Turn Your Problems into Opportunities for Growth

Worried or Frustrated? Use this Shift in Perspective to Turn Your Problems into Opportunities for Growth

It took years of prodding, but about a year ago my husband finally persuaded me to incorporate strength training into my work out routine.

Strength training involves subjecting muscles to resistance, such as laying down and pushing yourself off the floor with your arms (aka the dreaded push-up) or lifting your arms while holding heavy weights…

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Dandelions are Reviled as Weeds, but I want to be Like One. Here’s Why.

Dandelions are Reviled as Weeds, but I want to be Like One. Here’s Why.

My husband is waging war against dandelions. And, so far, the dandelions are winning.

What started out as a patch in our lower lawn has turned into a full on invasion, and our yard is almost completely covered. Slowly but surely, like a rising tide, they creep closer and closer to the house…

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Want to Promote a Positive Environment? Think About This

Want to Promote a Positive Environment? Think About This

I came across this acronym the other day: T.H.I.N.K.

T: is it True?

H: is it Helpful?

I: is it Inspiring?

N: is it Necessary?

K: is it Kind?

Apparently it was created to encourage people to think about what they say before posting on social media, with the aim of preventing internet bullying…

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