Carla's Column: Write It Down and Run!

Carla's Column: Write It Down and Run!

Memories can be a bit sketchy.  Sometimes it's hard to remember important details.  Join us for this month's Carla's Column discussing the value of vision, the need to record them, and the pursuit in chasing them!  It's a perfect message for your New Year! 

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Where Are We Going?  A Post for The New Year.

Where Are We Going?  A Post for The New Year.

Three focus points hit my heart regarding my approach to the New Year when I was recently driving in some unfamiliar territory.  I pray you take a few moments for me to share them with you and that you continue to join us in 2018.  We are so grateful for your support!   

Thank you to our incredible sponsors!

GUEST POST: Goodbye Tulsa, Hello South America

GUEST POST: Goodbye Tulsa, Hello South America

The perfect post for Christmas!  Sometimes love looks a lot like movement.  Jesus left Heaven to come to us!  Someone who knows about being moved by love are missionaries.  My Aunt Carolyn is our December guest post and she has a beautiful message to share through her story of being called into the mission field. It's a story of obedience, sacrifice, provision and life investments.  Whether at home or called abroad, realize the immense beauty of the light and example you reflect in this world as you read this post.

Thank you to our incredible sponsors!

Carla's Column: The Privilege

Carla's Column: The Privilege

Carla's Column confronts the realities of a crisis in her post this month.  Maybe we desire to know the plan, or we question if there is goodness for our lives.  Fear or doubt, worry or despair, inadequacy or insecurity, there is light at the end of the tunnel and there is One who walks us through it.  Be comforted and encouraged as you read these words she shares with our hearts.  

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An Empty Shell

An Empty Shell

Do you feel like you’ve just run out? Have you given all you have within you? Join me for this vulnerable post about some things I'm gaining from my empty-shell experiences of my body, my writing and my husband's physical health.  

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GUEST POST: The Morning of March 3rd

GUEST POST: The Morning of March 3rd

Our November guest post is from Stephanie Shingleton sharing her and her husband's stories of surviving burn injuries, the challenges in the days that followed, and the happily ever after in store!  Theirs is the most beautiful love story, a Thanksgiving post you will want to read!

Thank you to our incredible sponsors!

Carla's Column: What's In Your Hand?

Carla's Column: What's In Your Hand?

This month's Carla's Column asks us the question, "What is in your hand?" What do we have available to use for the benefit of others?  How can we serve the needs of those around us?  Putting aside training, education and credentials, we all have something in our hand to be a blessing.  Consider the gifts you've been given as you read this encouraging post!

Thank you to our incredible sponsors!

Opinions Are Like Belly Buttons

Opinions Are Like Belly Buttons

When is expressing our own thoughts and opinions a problem?  Please join me for this post evaluating our tendency and ability to do so.  I pray it challenges all of us to look at where our words may land in the life of another.

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GUEST POST: Mighty Marriages

GUEST POST: Mighty Marriages

Our October guest post is from Dianna and Lynn Wheeler.  They are getting real about marriage, challenging us to evaluate our motives and our expectations, and sharpening us to implement three steps in strengthening our relationships.  Take a few moments to draw inspiration, reassurance and insight from this beautiful couple sharing this valuable message.    

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I wrote this guest post for The Essential Life.  In this post I share my story and what it was to live tarnished, the realities of grief and the darkness of depression.  Thank you to The Essential Life for contacting me to contribute.  I never know how these guest pieces will unfold, but I believe these words are for those in the midst of their toughest battles desiring to know there is a hope for tomorrow.

Thank you to our incredible sponsors!

Big People Get Scared Too

Big People Get Scared Too


Do reports of bad news sit heavily on your mind? Do current social circumstances weigh on your heart?  Do you you feel anxiety over what may happen and anticipate worst-case scenarios?  

I encourage you to read this week's post on how to overcome fears when we big people get scared too.  

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Carla's Column: It Is Time

Carla's Column: It Is Time

Our dear friend, Carla Holtz speaks into our hearts regarding the everyday ways to show love and speak into the lives of those around us.  It can even be as simple as our commitment to a daily exercise routine.  Find encouragement and inspiration exploring new purpose in those everyday events through this month's

Carla's Column!

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GUEST POST: How God Sees Our Big Mistakes

GUEST POST: How God Sees Our Big Mistakes

Ever judged someone?  Or been judged by another?  Or cast judgment on yourself?  Have you ever determined the outcome of a mistake?  This post from our guest, Jayne Patton, will bring encouragement, hope and inspiration to your heart, sharing what God sees, even in our mistakes.

Thank you to our incredible sponsors!

Bless My Little

Our youth pastor has this phrase he prays before we give in the offering.  “Lord, bless our little and make it much.

Bless our little and make it much. 

Do we ever feel like we have a lot to give? 

I sure don’t.  I guess that’s why this phrase really speaks to me.  Sometimes I only have such little to give that it doesn’t seem it could be used to accomplish anything significant.  And this isn’t just about money.  It’s about all of our resources.  Yes, our money, but it’s also about our time, talents and callings.  And sometimes, what the Lord challenges us to give Him may seem so small we miss our opportunity to give it.  Like I nearly did this past January. 

It was the end of service.  I can’t even tell you what our Pastor preached on that particular Sunday morning, but I can tell you what he didn’t preach on.  He did not preach on trotting yourself across to the other side of the church to pray with someone that didn’t even ask for prayer.  No.  He did not preach on that.

However, as the altar call was given and people were invited to find a place to pray, I sat back down in my seat and reverently bowed my head for a time of personal reflection and prayer.  While I can’t remember, all these months later, what the message was about, it’s my routine to let the message sit with me awhile, asking the Lord to evaluate my life and my heart in light of it.  But this particular Sunday morning the minute I sat down a thought came into my mind.  You should go pray for so-and-so. 

It was just a thought.  And I could have dismissed it, but something, or rather, Someone in my heart, made me pause to the notion that it wasn’t just a thought, but rather a nudge to go pray for this so-and-so

Obedience is in constant development for me, and I regret to tell you my initial response.  I’ll just pray for so-and-so right here.  I can intercede for her right here.  And I even began praying!  Then came an interruption to my well-intentioned intercession.  I felt the Lord speak to my heart, “If I can’t trust you to do the little things, how can I ever trust you to do the big things?” 

Oh the little things. 

The little things like this blog here.  My writings I offer out of obedience to what God has placed in my heart. 

Oh the little things. 

The little things like public speaking.  My messages I offer out of obedience to what God has placed in my heart. 

Luke 16:10 jolted me with the challenge to be obedient in what God had stirred my heart to do.  “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”

It may not have seemed like much of a challenge, but I didn’t want to come across to so-and-so as weird.  Nevertheless, I felt there was a bigger picture I could not see, but I trust that God desires to piece that picture together in my life.  A piecing together that requires me to be faithful in the little things. Like praying for someone who I had no clue would want or need my prayer.

I made it through the awkward walk across the sanctuary to this person.  She was standing, with her eyes closed and singing.  And here I was, to interrupt her and inform her God nudged me to come pray with her. 

Gently, I laid my hand on her arm.  She opened her eyes and there I was.  Can we say, “awkward?”

I started with, “So-and-so, I have no idea why, but the Lord laid you on my heart to pray for you.  I began to pray for you at my seat, but He challenged me to come to you to pray for you.  Is there anything specifically I can pray over with you?

You know her answer, don’t you?

Well, if you think it was a divine confirmation of a need she desperately desired someone to agree with about and encourage her in, then I would have to tell you that that is not how it unfolded.  No.  Not at all.  She said, “Well, I can’t think of anything, but I’m always glad to have someone pray for me.” 

Oh dear.  Did I miss the boat?  Or worse.  Did I miss God?

I proceeded to pray for her.  I prayed for her health, for her walk with the Lord that she may continue growing in a renewed passion and love, I prayed for her marriage, for her teenager, for her finances and her opportunities to minister to others.  Gracious.  I prayed for any and everything that possibly popped in my mind.  And when I finished, I hugged her and said, “maybe one day we’ll know what this was all about.”  Meaning maybe one day we would realize why I needed to walk over and pray for her for a need she didn’t even have.

I’m still not sure how it unfolded on her end, but the Lord has been so kind to connect the dots on what it meant for me on my end.

It was all about faithfulness.  It was all about giving Him my little so He can make it much.

I don’t know about you, but I know for me, it’s a little easier to be faithful when I can see and know what’s going on.  Taking blind steps forward, when things don’t quite make sense to me is a little more challenging.  But if we had all the information, it wouldn’t have anything to do with the root of that word.  FaithFaithfulness is doing what God prompts us to do, without having all the information, knowledge and understanding.  It’s getting in the car with Him in the driver seat, having no clue where He’s taking you.

And I would have never imagined Him driving me here, to a place of multiple writing projects including two children’s books, a devotional book, a cookbook and the project my heart continues to beat out with words, my memoir.  Never would I have imagined Him blessing my little in such a way that would require a change to accommodate growth.  Growth.  My little.  Growing.

This growth has presented a question.  How? 

How to cover the cost to:

·      Revamp of our website in order to offer these projects on our online home?

·      Pay for Service for our Website?

·      Print our Brochures?

·      Develop Media Material from Events?

·      Provide Education- to develop me into a better speaker and writer?

·      Buy Pens, Magnets and Chocolates for Speaker’s Table at Events?

·      Have Funds for Giveaways for our Subscribers?

·      Purchase ISBN numbers?

·      Hire an Editor?

My little. 

Again, sometimes I only have such little to give that it doesn’t seem it could be used to accomplish anything significant, or even cover the cost to grow the little.

But God just wants my little, and for me to be faithful in that little. 

So there He nudged me again, yes, to the point of feeling like a weirdo and facing the possibility of rejection.  By the way, side note: faithfulness looks a lot like getting rid of ourselves by humbling ourselves.

In order to continue on with my little, God challenged me to ask for advertisers.  I know that life is about personal connection, and that the Lord works through His people to accomplish His plans and purposes, but good grief, this was an incredibly awkward act of obedience.  I’d have rather walked across the sanctuary ten times over than to ask people to support my speaking and writing endeavors.

You know the story.  It goes right along with what happened when I was nudged to pray for so-and-so.  I wrote a letter to ask businesses to purchase an advertisement on our new website.  I kept the letter for nearly two months.  After finally printing them out and addressing them to the ten people I had on my heart to ask, I held the pile in my hand and asked the Lord to help me understand why I didn’t want to mail them out.

And it came right back down to my little.

What if? 

What if no one responded?  What if not one person would want to purchase an ad after knowing what the ad would provide for me to do? 

Would that mean what I’m doing is not important?  Would that mean what I’m doing has no value? 

And here was my biggest question.

Would I continue doing what God has called me to do, even if not one person sees value in it?

After I resolved to be faithful in the little things, regardless of the outcome of those letters, I mailed them.

Would you be surprised if I told you I mailed them on a Friday and had an ad purchased by Monday morning?  No.  You wouldn’t be surprised.  Because God simply asks us to be faithful in the little things.  Faithful.  Bless my little and make it much. 

I’ve had a few full-on ugly cries by how the Lord orchestrates the details and provides for needs, so personally and creatively.  He brings His people together.  And I would like to introduce you to these people who have come alongside me providing for our growth.  Their ads will run here on our website and be featured on our speaker table for a year. 

I’m so honored to have them here.  Please take a moment to read below who these people are, and why I reached out to them.  These aren’t just advertisers.  This is our online home meaning those you meet here are the type of people you would meet in our actual home.  There is a consistency in the messages you read here and the people you would choose to do business with here.

I pray each of them are blessed in their businesses for allowing the Lord to use them in blessing my little and making it much.

Be brave, humble and faithful.  He wants to do the same in you.

I pray this post spoke to you.  Would you consider supporting this site and our upcoming projects by subscribing to our blog and sharing with others? We can’t grow without you?

Meet Our Advertisers!

Chris and Marcy Leffingwell-

Sometimes I’m at a loss for words.  And when it comes to this couple, it’s just hard to summarize them into a paragraph.  Chris and Marcy have been friends of ours for over twenty years.  They have spoke into our marriage, before our marriage even began, and into our family through celebrations and loss, and now here on our online home with a message reflective of their own life.  Ducis per Ministerium.   The service leader.  I’ve observed this couple in ministry and in business.  Chris began his first business venture out of the same building where my Dad had his office.  To say they were close is an understatement.  My Dad had a strong admiration for Chris’ ambition and integrity, and he knew Chris would be successful in his endeavors because his priority for others was in place.  A true service leader.  Chris specializes in bringing technology to businesses with quality, affordability, performance, and efficiency.  His business represents his service leader principle through the courteous well-trained technicians his company values and provides.  I am deeply honored to have he and Marcy represented here on our online home.

Dr. Nathan Rapp-

Having a baby is one of the most exciting events in life.  It can also be one of the scariest.  As a couple who had four high-risk pregnancies, Brandon and I remember the uncertainty we experienced and the concern we encountered. I also remember how much confidence we had in our doctor.  The peace-of-mind knowing he had the expertise, experience, skill and demeanor to safely deliver our baby was a blessing in those years of our life.  Doctors make all the difference.  Finding the right one is a great treasure.  That’s why I’m so proud of our friend for the gift he is and has been to so many families. I love the instances I’ve been able to hear families and nurses brag on Dr. Rapp.  I feel so proud to say, “He’s a good friend of ours.”  Exactly how I feel regarding the honor of having him advertise on our online home.  In addition to knowledge and skill, Dr. Rapp brings good communication between patients and the staff involved in the patient’s care; he is compassionate, respectful and has a gentle and calm nature. He’s the type of physician families want to walk through the season of bringing their precious miracles into the world.

Trevor Randall, Farmer’s Insurance-

My Dad was an insurance agent and I remember him making comments about how we hope we never need our insurance but are glad we have it when we do.  Brandon and I have experienced that exact circumstance.  We went over sixteen years of our married life never needing to use our insurance, and then back-to-back years we had claims.  I’m sure we could probably shop around for cheaper rates, but we truly get what we pay for with Farmers.  After a severe storm hit our area, we heard numerous families at a loss for what they thought was covered but in the extremely unfortunate moment, found out so much wasn’t.  Farmers has taken care of us.  When life is in disarray because the home is, it’s a blessing having an insurance company help put it back together.  That is how we feel about Farmers.  And this agent is to thank.  Trevor is not only married to my lifelong best friend, practically counted as family himself, but he is the picture of professional.  He conducts periodic reviews of your policy to make sure you have the coverage you need.  Anyone who answers the phone in his office is going to be first and foremost friendly and informative.  Each of them knows insurance and are available to keep it as seamless and simple as possible.  They are Farmers.  (Apologies for any jingles now stuck in your head.)

Dr. Kevin Duffy-

When the topic of orthodontics came up in regard to our first child, Brooklyn, we chose to have her evaluated by someone who came recommended.  Several families in our community had seen Dr. Duffy for orthodontic treatment, and one of our dear friends even worked for him for several years.  Everyone who knew him gave him the highest compliment and the greatest recommendation.  Dr. Duffy saw Brooklyn through braces, and now Jaron too.  He’s also evaluated Caden and Gavin and advised us on the best approach for losing those baby teeth allowing for their permanent teeth to come in.  I wished we would have had Brooklyn and Jaron evaluated earlier, but I can share with you if you have an eight, nine, or ten year-old, call Dr. Duffy for a complimentary assessment.  It may not be time for orthodontics now, but monitoring with a game plan in place can be a fabulous benefit for the treatment process.  And be prepared to meet one of the nicest, most gentle people on the planet.  Dr. Duffy and his entire staff are warm and friendly throughout the entire office.

Byler Media-

There were so many reservations I had about starting this online home.  First, I questioned if anyone would ever even read the writings I had to offer.  But mostly, I hadn’t the faintest clue on how to navigate the technical side of it.  My friend Rhonda came to my house to get us up-and-running nearly five years ago, but she couldn’t hold my hand through every step, and I had a lot of steps to figure out.  It’s been on my prayer list for someone to bring their talents to the design and function of our website.  And God opened the door to Marshall.  Over the last year or so, when I came across websites I liked, I’d jot down the designer.  After having a list of names on my dry eraser board for so long, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to check into one.  I didn’t have the faintest idea what it would cost, but I figured I’d never know until I asked.  Marshall visited with me on the phone about my website, how I use it, and what I wanted to accomplish through it.  And he even offered the suggestion of advertisements.  What’s more is, a few hours after we had ended our call, he sent me an email and said he’d be the first to purchase one.  When it came time for design, I told him I would be a real easy customer, because I didn’t have a creative direction on how it needed to look.  I just knew I wanted it to be easy to navigate and look clean, not too busy.  It’s funny.  I’m sure after we got started Marshall wondered how someone with no direction could be so opinionated.  But he was the absolute best to work with.  He’s been incredibly patient through the transition of re-developing our site, spot-on with my main goal to make it clean, functional and easy to navigate.  I’m honored to have Byler Media represented here on our online home. He has the qualities of integrity, professionalism and creativity.  If you’re considering a web designer, give Marshall a call.

Joanna Ford, Coldwell Bankers-

Brandon and I built our home on family land.  The place we decided to build our home and raise our own children was where I had been raised from birth.  But right after my Dad passed away I had this basic, non-dramatic desire to move.  My husband was supportive and we decided to list our home.  We called someone recommended to us who is the picture of a go-getter, Joanna Ford.  Joanna continuously showed our home, and showed us homes.  She was committed to helping us explore where we needed to live.  After much time on the market, with some hopeful buyers that just never panned out, Brandon looked at me and said, “Babe. We keep praying for the perfect family to buy our home.”  I nodded in agreement and bewilderment as to why it wasn’t happening.  He paused and concluded this thought that rang confirmation in my heart.  He said, “I believe we are that family.” He was right.  And I’m so thankful God kept us right where He wanted us.  And I’m equally as grateful He sent Joanna to walk that season of exploration with us.  She is the link to many homes selling, but she’s not just about the sale.  She is about people.  Joanna genuinely cares about finding the right fit for your family.  If that means selling your home, or helping you buy a home, or even building a home, she has the heart of someone you’d want to walk you through it.  I love most how Joanna says it herself, “I am successful because real estate is not my work but rather it is my joy.”  

Thank you to our incredible sponsors!

NICU Nursing Gifts: Letter From A Family

Everyone has a way they receive love.  Gary Chapman covers the topic thoroughly in his book The Five Love Languages.  From what I remember of the book, and from what I identify in myself, is that we receive from all of the five ways love is expressed, but each of us has a primary love language. Evidently, my primary love language is quality time.  My secondary is acts of service.

But one thing I love so very much are words.  I love written words and spoken words.  I love the bridge words create connecting one person to another.  And recently, I received the most beautiful words from a beautiful family.

This family gifted each nurse who took care of their baby with a rustic cuff and the letter below.  I've changed a bit of the letter to protect the family's privacy, but wanted to share because of the insight it provides.  Sometimes we get so focused in, we forget how much value each of the little things holds in the hearts of those we as nurses get to care for.

As I read through this letter, the following passage of scripture was stirring in my thoughts.

Matthew 25:34-40 NLT Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me."  Then these righteous ones will reply, "Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?" And the King will say, "I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!"      


NICU Nursing Gifts: Letter From A Family

Hope- a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen, a feeling of trust. 

We were so excited when we finally had our son on that autumn day in 2016.  He was beautiful and sweet and just perfect.  Then two days later we were told he wasn't going home with us and that our perfect little boy wasn't medically perfect.

Our emotions leapt from total joy and excitement to fear and confusion.  The next few days are totally lost in our memories, and the following weeks were so emotional and draining.  There is nothing to prepare you for the sadness and complete helplessness you feel as a parent with a child that is sick to any degree, let alone in and ICU where we weren't sure what the problem was or what the solution would be.

The things we do remember are the people who were there to take care of our son.  Upon arrival at the NICU, a nurse had prepared our baby's bed with personal bedding and had placed the sweetest blue knit cap on his precious head.  Within the first few days, our little man had a handmade name tag on the door to his room.  A few days later, a nurse brought in an outfit and said, "Let's dress this sweet boy!"

Being such an emotional time, I had never even thought to put clothes on my baby!

November arrived and our little turkey got to make his very own first craft!  A turkey!  Made using his little footprint.

Nurses who had taken care of him before would stop in on their shifts just to check-in on him.  We really felt as though the nurses here cared for his health and loved him as all children need to feel loved.

Although we as his parents were not the patients ourselves, we felt cared for.  The nurses here engaged in conversation with us both medically to keep us updated and socially to keep us feeling sane and a part of the world outside of that room.  Each night, a nurse brought in fresh bedding for us to sleep on and always asked if we needed anything else.  We received comfort in the form of positive words or encouragement, friendly smiles and even a few much needed hugs.

You are what gave us HOPE.  We desired for our baby's health to be taken care of and we had to trust that it would be.  In some cultures, blue is representative of hope.  The shade of blue we chose is the same shade of blue as the knit hat he received in his first night in the NICU.

When you wear this bracelet, please remember that what you do matters.  You give hope to a lot of families.  Your kindness, patience, and individual care matters.  We are forever indebted to this staff and this facility.

Love, a NICU Grad's Mom & Dad


I pray this post spoke to you. Did you know I’m writing a book?! Crazy, right?! Would you join me in supporting these endeavors by subscribing to our blog and sharing with your friends and family? We can’t grow with out you.

Thank you to our incredible sponsors!

Thank You Notes

My great aunt and uncle lived in North Carolina and would come to Oklahoma once or twice a year for visits. Mostly I remember them visiting over the summer, but I also have some holiday memories tucked in my mind, visualizing a Thanksgiving one year and some Christmases too.

Although this sister and brother-in-law to my Grandma lived in North Carolina, I very much knew them. Aunt Venita and Uncle George were not the great aunt and uncle my mom forced me to hug or demanded I talk to. Actually, none of my great aunts and uncles were unfamiliar to me. I had the opportunity to build my own relationship with siblings on both my grandparents’ sides of the family. And one thing I knew about my Aunt Venita and Uncle George is that they liked Thank You Notes.

It was a pain as a kid having to write them.  Although, I did love what they’d send me for my birthday and Christmas. I even remember my seventh birthday specifically. Aunt Venita mailed a pretty pink spring dress. I opened it and could not wait to wear it.

Seriously. I know we say that as a figure of speech, but I really could not wait, made evident by what transpired a few hours after I opened it.

I’m certain I tried the dress on, although I don’t specifically remember. What I do remember is getting in bed with such excitement to wear my new dress the next day that I could hardly go to sleep.

But I did.

And then I woke up. The fact that it was still dark outside didn’t mean anything to me. It was usually dark when I got up for school.

However, the fact that my mom was still there did mean something to me. She was usually gone for work by the time we were supposed to wake up.

In the moments before I realized this, I got out of my bed, wide awake and ready for the day, put on my dress, and my shoes, and exited the room feeling dressed to the nines, because in my mind, I was. Entering into the hallway I could hear Mom’s voice. Curious as to why she was there, I walked over to my parent’s bedroom door to see my mom in her pjs! I assumed something was wrong.

Oh something was wrong. Mom wasn’t late for work. She was going to bed!

I had such anticipation of wearing that dress that I had hardly slept and woke up round about time for the ten o’clock news!

I wish I could tell you I was just as eager to write the thank you note.

I wasn’t.

Nevertheless, over the years I learned how much a simple thank you note meant to the people who received it, and I began to feel that it was the least I could do for the gift of what they gave to me.

In fact, I screen shot this Facebook post back in May. A friend wrote, “I love getting thank you cards in the mail. It makes your gift seem appreciated. It’s becoming a lost art.”

She’s right. But not in The Meadows Home.

I’ve had this post stirring in my heart, and portions of it sitting in my folder for over two years. I took pictures of Caden writing thank you notes after his 9th birthday. At nearly every age I’ve had my kids write thank you notes. From the time they only had the ability to sign their name, to copying a formatted example I provide, to getting the gift list and writing them independently, each child has been raised with value placed on expressing gratitude in a note. 


I know a lot of people approach it differently, but here’s a couple of my personal goals when writing thank you notes.

  1. In the event the receiver didn’t physically hand me the gift, the note communicates the gift arrived whether by mail or passed along from another person. It doesn’t leave the giver wondering if I ever got it.
  2. My goal is to communicate consideration of the cost. We live on a budget in our house. And thanks to Dave Ramsey, regardless of our future earning potential, I imagine we always will. With that in mind, I envision each gift given to me coming out of a budget. That means someone chose to take money from something else to purchase something for me. Furthermore, it cost their time. To spend time working to make the money, then to spend time using that worked-for money to buy a gift for me, to spend even more time to wrap it, package it, mail it or bring it to a celebration which takes again, more time! I aim to communicate how valued I feel by acknowledging the value of what was given- time and money.

And for a little cake topper here, Thank You Notes are a keepsake. For the words person like myself, a special note can be retrieved on the difficult days, and in the trying times, to be the much-needed reminder of the goodness in life.

But there’s one more. Yep! Bonus material right here on 

I wouldn’t have thought about it, but now I know it—Thank You Notes can open doors.

Because my routine for writing Thank You Notes was established years ago, it was natural for me to send on a note of appreciation in 2014 to Video Revolution for their help in getting us set up with a camera to record some of our speaking events. That little Thank You Note led to a connection with Stevie Fernandez who invited us to share our story for Explore Tulsa a year later, and giving me his card for InVision Media Group.

Fast forward to 2017. Stevie created an incredible speaker video from Saint Francis’ Hospital Week for me, potentially opening even more doors to share not only my story, but the messages this story has written.

I’d say Aunt Venita and Uncle George developed something of great value in me from their expectations of a Thank You Note. If they were here today, I’d write them one to thank them.

Proverbs 18:16 NLT Giving a gift can open doors; it gives access to important people!

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