Archives for May 2014

Roots Revisited

Hoy family

*With Memorial Day coming and with my mom celebrating her birthday in heaven for the first time today, family roots are on my mind and heart this week. I hope you enjoy this encore presentation from Oct. 2012 as you prepare for your Memorial Day holiday celebration.

Ancestors. Genealogies. Roots. We all have them. Some of us can trace them back for centuries and others of us are lucky to have information on three or four generations preceding ours.

Whatever our time frame, we find our personal history interesting, don’t we? We look at photos of family members who were long gone by the time we entered the world, and we see resemblances to ourselves, our parents, or our grandparents. We hear stories about the generations gone before, and we take note of jobs or interests that are similar to those in our family today. We become aware of our roots and feel a bond.

Recently I discovered my writing roots. Thanks to Mom and Dad’s recent move and the packing that preceded it, reminders of other writers before me in our family came to light. Reminders in the form of diaries.

As far as I know, I’m the first in my family who has pursued writing for publication, but I’m not the first who has shown an interest in writing.  My Grandpa Hoy and my Grandma Barnes, both kept five-year diaries—the ones that were popular so many years ago. My dad kept one as well when I was growing up. I even started keeping one when I was young, but I didn’t stick with it. I do, however, have several journals in the works now :)

I’d say writing is in my blood. Seeds for my desire to write were planted years ago by grandparents on each side of my family. Not only did they plant the seeds with their faithful recording of the daily weather and happenings on their farms and in the lives of our family, but I like to think they passed down an aptitude for writing as well. I’m just the one who has finally let those seeds take root and grow.

My writing roots are just one aspect of the total root system of my life. I also have Irish and Scottish roots, farming roots, homemaking roots, musical roots, and spiritual roots—and the list goes on. I’m especially grateful for the blessing of the Christian heritage in our family that lives on now in our lives and the lives of our children.

Let’s all take a few minutes to consider our root systems and say a prayer of thanks for all those who have come before. And then let’s consider what seeds we are planting today. What kind of roots will future generations be able to lay claim to because of us?

“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children . . .” Proverbs 13:22a

What kind of inheritance do you hope to leave for your children and grandchildren?

*The photo above is of my great-great Grandpa Hoy and family, possibly taken in 1896. He is seated in the center (has a gray beard and wearing a white shirt). He came from Ireland around 1854, stowing away on a ship with his brother when he was sixteen years old. They got separated in New York City after arriving. They never saw one another again.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Wedding Shoes: Sneakers for the Party!


Heels look gorgeous for the wedding ceremony, but when it’s time to party, why not break out the sneakers! Just look at the bridal party above. Cute and comfy, too. Those girls look ready for some serious dancing, don’t they?

To make it more fun, the sneakers could all be in matching style and color. The example above shows the bride sporting one of the wedding colors and all the bridesmaids in a coordinating color, and that looks super cute for photos and also continues to set the bride apart as special from everyone else.

Mother of the Bride, why not give your daughter this suggestion for her bridesmaids? After all, when it’s time for everyone to let their hair down and party, they might as well let their feet get down in comfy territory, too!

*And just for you, MOB—read this post about comfy shoes for you!

 *The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by soundman1024, Creative Commons License

Midweek Morsel: Prayer for Wisdom and Direction


Are you—or someone you know—in need of wisdom or direction right now concerning a specific matter? With all the situations life throws at us, this can be an almost continual need, for either ourselves or loved ones, can’t it?

I’ve found no better place to turn for such wisdom and guidance than to God. As we pray and read his Word, he will give us the direction we need.

Here is my prayer for you or your loved ones today. I pray it will help you voice your desires and that it will encourage you in a special way.

Lord, I bring these dear ones before you today and ask that you grant them the wisdom they need for their current situations. Help them to desire and seek your will above all and to wait on you for your answer. Please guide them clearly, Lord, and give them peace as they follow your leading. Help them to keep their eyes on you and to trust in you with all their hearts. Be their Source and constant Supply. Be their Shepherd and their Guide. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

*Flickr photo by Brian Smithson (Old Geordie)Creative Commons License

*How has God guided you in the past?

 *The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Strengths and Weaknesses: Where’s Our Focus?


I ran across a description of the ostrich recently while reading my Bible (Job 39:13-18), and that poor monster of a bird seems to have more weaknesses  than strengths.  In the span of six verses of scripture, at least five negatives are highlighted, compared to only one, maybe two, positives.

The ostrich’s weaknesses include: her wings flap joyfully but can’t compare to the pinions and feathers of the stork (v.13), she lays her eggs on the ground where they might be stepped on and crushed by man or beast (v. 14-15), she treats her young harshly—as if they are not even hers (v. 16), God did not bestow wisdom upon her (v. 17), nor did God give her an ounce of common sense (v. 18). Nothing like having our shortcomings laid out there for the whole world to see, huh?

But in spite of these weaknesses listed one after the other, the passage about the ostrich ends by highlighting her great strength. Verse 18 says, “Yet when she spreads her feathers to run, she laughs at horse and rider.” In other words, the girl can run. In spite of her many faults, her strength shines above all. Yes, God has given her a special talent, a special ability.

I don’t know about you, but like the ostrich, I have a lot of weaknesses, too—lots of things I’m not very good at doing, areas where I have very little talent at all. Some of the weaknesses are even character flaws or problems with sinful attitudes or reactions. I could make a list of my weaknesses here to rival and go beyond the length of the ostrich’s, but I’ll spare you the gory details.

That’s not the end of my story, though. Just like the ostrich, God has given me a few special talents and abilities. I don’t have to be mired down in my weaknesses and inabilities. I can choose to focus on my strengths and use them for God’s glory. Like the ostrich, I can run with what God’s given me.

Will you join me in focusing on the strengths God has blessed us with? As we do so, we will surely flourish the way he intends. Let’s not highlight our weaknesses. Let’s shine for him!

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 KJV

 *What strengths and abilities has the Lord given you?

*Flickr photo by flowcomm, Creative Commons License

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Cool Planner Option: Wedding Journal by Moleskine


Mother of the Bride, if your daughter is not a fan of the big binder-size planners that dominate the wedding planning book market, Moleskine’s Wedding Journal is an option she may love. Its streamlined size and delicate beauty may draw her in—and then the inside features may seal the deal.

If you click over to the Wedding Journal page on the Moleskine website, you can see more photos as you scroll down the page and get a better idea of what the journal looks like inside and out. It’s really quite pretty and also small enough to fit into most purses.

In addition to its perfect size and beautiful cover, it features ribbon bookmarks, tabbed sections, labels, a 12-month foldout timeline, and a back pocket with a hidden bonus (read about it when you click over). Special page templates also help in recording your information and staying organized.

Does this look like an option that would appeal to your bride-to-be, MOB? If so, maybe you can gift it her with it asap. I’m sure she’ll thank you!

*You might also like to read this post that ends with some links to more bridal planner options

*Photo credit: @moleskine

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!