Did you grow up in an urban or a rural community?  I grew up in a small farming community in Southern Indiana and the longer I live, the more I realize growing up in a small town was a blessing.

I’ve had the same friends from kindergarten to now. I didn't realize this was a rarity until I went to college. Many communities today have multiple schools. Therefore, from kindergarten to first grade and then into junior high and high school, a child could constantly be split up from friends they made the prior year.  

Growing up in a small community I had many mothers. Moms of friends constantly looked after each other's children. I want to make clear; I had the best mom in the world. I wouldn't have asked for anyone different. My mom set an amazing example for me.

My mom taught me the importance of:

1. Working hard, as she was a working mother.

2. Lifelong learning,  as she is always taking classes and learning new skills.

3. Being a giver and helping those in need.

4. Taking care of our bodies by eating healthy and working out.

But besides my own mother, I was surrounded and loved by my friend's mothers. Their moms not only loved their own children but showed me lots of kindness.

I had mothers that:

1. Cared for me during the summer while my parents worked.

2. Toted me around to basketball games and track meets.

3. Made homemade pot pie, just for me.

4. Gave great hugs.

5. Listened when I talked about life's happenings as a teenage girl.

The list of all these gifts that mothers have shown me over the years is a mile long. Thank you to all the mothers who love not only their own children, but all children in their lives.

I encourage you to send a thank you note to a mom in your life that made a difference during your childhood. I know it will brighten their day!



Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

"The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life"

This water stinks!  Oh, this is horrible.  I can't stand the stench!  These were all the thoughts flowing through my mind as water rained down on my head.

For months the water at our lake house smelled bad. We'd called an expert to help and he told us the problem was most likely a corroded anode rod in the hot water heater and once replaced, the smell would go away.

As I stood complaining, I stopped myself and thought about a post my friend, Temwani, from Malawi, Africa made.  She is currently in the US and said, "No walking to get water, a very good place to sleep and good food. The world is so different."

I had no business complaining.  And I immediately gave thanks.

  • Even though smelly, I'm grateful for inside plumping and access to water at the turn of a knob.
  • I'm grateful for a hot water heater and the money to repair it when it breaks.
  • Homemade specialty soaps, shampoo and conditioner that lined the shower ledge, cleaned me and I'm grateful.

I kid you not, the pungent odor dissipated. I'm sure the water still smelled but my focused changed. And later that day when my husband changed the anode road we were back to odor free water.

Over the years of practicing gratitude, I've used it as a tool to change my bad attitude and you can too!

I'll leave you with this picture and words from my friend Temawani.  I've made it the background of my phone, as a constant reminder of all the blessings that flow into my life.  

"So many children got new clothes and food today, but this homeless boy said the new clothes are more than a home."



Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of

“The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life”