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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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February 18, 2021

One of the Healthiest Fruits on the Planet

We are on week #33, counting down with my expectant friend. As some of you know from experience, she is getting pretty uncomfortable. My prayer for he

February 11, 2021

Fun with Jicama

At week #32, baby is a jicama in size. That’s right, a jicama. Starts with a J and sounds like an H. Jicama is a globe-shaped root vegetable with pa

February 4, 2021

Sumo, Coconut, and the Birth Month

If you’re an orange lover, I have some REALLY GOOD NEWS! The Sumo are here. Sumo oranges, that is. I wrote about them last year. If you missed that

January 28, 2021

5 Reasons Why Your Snack Bar May Not Be Your Friend

In a recent conversation, the topic of cereal/granola/protein bars came up. They appear to be a healthy snack, especially for a very busy person who i

January 21, 2021

Getting Back on Track

Baby size at 29 weeks is a butternut squash. And, like last week’s eggplant, butternut squash is technically a fruit. Since I wouldn’t care to eat

January 14, 2021

The Surprising Truth about Eggplant, and a Recipe

A large eggplant. That is the vegetable size of a baby at week #28. Oh, but wait just a minute. An eggplant is actually a FRUIT because it grows from

January 7, 2021

My Least Favorite Vegetable and a Challenge

At week #27 baby is the size of… …a head of cauliflower. Most of you know that I do not care for this vegetable. I’ve tried. Truth is that cauli

December 31, 2020

Cheers to Scallions and a New Year

At week #26, baby is the size of a scallion. The first question that popped into my head is: What’s the difference between a scallion and a green on

December 24, 2020

The Hope and Excitement of a Baby

A bit of background for my new readers: I’m taking the produce journey along with my good friend who is expecting. As we track the progression, we l

There’s just something about dinner

I was conversing with some friends yesterday, and it became very clear that some pretty big decisions are made while dining together.  Not just about superficial “how was your day” talk, but meaningful things that have the potential to change lives.  Like:  deciding to make a retreat;  becoming a community volunteer;  or coaching your child’s sports team.  Why is this?  Perhaps it is because we have time to really think as we chew, taste and swallow that bite of baked potato seasoned with real butter and a smidgen of sour cream.  Maybe our brain goes through a similar process to make a decision.  Maybe it’s because we are forced to look into our friend’s eyes and see what is honestly happening in their life as we sit across the table.  Or is it because we have chosen to take the time to just be present to the moment at hand?

Think about the significant things in your life and you’ll see where I’m coming from on this.  When we get together to do just about anything, there is food available.  Example:  business networking usually takes place during the breakfast or lunch hour.  Yes, some of that is because we are all very busy and stressed and we have to multi-task to fit it all into our day.  However, there is just something really comforting about eating while we talk about important stuff. 

I often joke about how it is all about the food.  It is.  Food sustains us.  It is tangible and comforting and hopefully, delicious.  (Healthy will be another “thought” on another day.)  So, the next time a friend invites you to meet for dinner, be careful what you sign up for.  You might find yourself in a situation that you never expected….and it could be a very good thing!

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”                                                                                  1Cor 10:31 NAB

After the Turkey

We had spent Thanksgiving eating our family favorites….deep fried turkey, real mashed potatoes (with lumps as proof), sweet potato souffle, cranberry jelly (can rings included), and stuffing.  Blessings and abundance and love.  What could be better?

The day after the eating frenzie, we drove south to a state park and met dear friends to hike off the calories.  An unseasonably warm, sunny day added glory to the streams and rocks that glaciers had carved out so many years ago.   Laughter, slipping in the mud, remembering stories we had written….now called our life, and feeling so very thankful for so many reasons.  Some of us felt challenged by the trails marked as “most difficult” but not one of us turned to take the easy trail.  Sure, we joked and thought about it, but when it came to the moment of decisive truth, none of us caved.  We just kept climbing and pushing our way forward, laughing to ease the pain and encourage one another.  Were we crazy?  No need to reply.  This is the trail.  This is life.

In a world of chaos and frenzy that searches for the best deal or cyber-sale, what relief we found…together, after the turkey, on a November day filled with uncharacteristic splendor.  Many other families did the same.  Gratitude.  Abundance.  Friendship.  Another story written, to recall another time. 

“He climbs highest who helps another up”  Zig Ziglar  

When the rain won’t stop…

It is the kind of autumn day where it seems as though the sun will never shine again.  Dark, damp, rain…all day.  Isn’t life like this too sometimes?  Too often?  We begin to think everything will be fine.  We’ll find not just any job, but the Best Job, with great pay, and all those bills that have piled up will magically be gone.  The children will behave, all at the same time, and not one will have a cough or runny nose.  Our dog won’t run off the minute the front door is opened because there is a squirrel going up the tree in the front yard.  Oh, and the sadness over our sick loved one will subside since there really is a cure for the disease, or the memory will certainly return…if only the rain would stop.

But it doesn’t stop.  One day seems to just flow into the next like a giant wave, with no distinction, no break, no sun.  Circumstances beyond our control.  Tough to face and impossible to change, to fix, to heal.  We do, however, have the ability to choose hope.  We can decide to be thankful for the little glimmers of sun that are cast into the day. 

Glimmers…it is still a job, and although it may not be the Best Job, it will suffice while a plan is made to find the Best Job.  In the meantime, to choose to be the very best in the current circumstance, while seeking out others who may know just the right person to contact.

Glimmers…the children are generally healthy and happy and quite silly and loud most days.  They are the sunshine with their smiles and carefree spirits.

Glimmers…the dog.  With all the stuff that accompanies owning a pet, the dog makes the owners laugh at her silly ways.  Her morning “doggy yoga” stretches, waiting at the kitchen door for any morsel to drop on the floor or land in her bowl, sleeping the day away, because dogs can do that.

Glimmers…as long as there is breath, there is hope.  We lean on those who help us, love us, through our pain.  This lifetime is but a brief moment in time.  We are promised more…we are promised that the rain will stop.  We are promised an endless sun.

“When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”   Micah 7:8 KJV 

Something to think about…

As we direct our focus on the tragedy that took place 10 years ago today, we are overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed with disbelief, sadness, gratitude and the spirit of community.  As we viewed the steel beam that was delivered to our town from New York City, the small tattered flag on one end spoke volumes.  The bent piece of steel that was salvaged from the World Trade Center, is symbolic of our American spirit.  We mourn great loss, but we are still here.  Scarred and tarnished, but strong.  So many lives have been changed forever, and the rest of us are called to love them through their pain.  As brothers and sisters, that is simply what we do.  Of course, we wish we could fix the broken hearts that refuse to heal, bring back parents, children, friends.  Snap our fingers and make it all disappear.  Don’t we?  Wouldn’t we love to be able to heal all wounds so easily? 

We are changed from every event in our lives.  We grow into the person we are today because of history.  Our history.  Today, as we think of all that we have witnessed and all that we are, let us be thankful that we can.  Let us be thankful for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and those who would do so without thinking twice.  I am blessed to know such people.  Thank you.

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13 NIV