Connecting With the Heart

Love, Joy, Peace


Malice, Anger, Envy


They all spring forth from the heart.


Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23


From the heart our emotions flow. They can either course gently like that of a stream or crash violently like a torrent of raging rapids. And this rush of emotion isn’t isolated to adults. Children can experience intense emotions.  So how do we reach theirs heart so that loves flows freely from them?


[bctt tweet=”Connection is the KEY to unlocking the hearts of children.” username=”inspiredfully”]


When we reach out to children with gentleness and humility we create an atmosphere ripe for connection. And connection is an essential part of the human experience. Research Professor, Dr. Brene Brown says,


“We are hardwired to connect with others, it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives and without it there is suffering.”


Jesus was a Master at connection. We see Him do it time and time again. He’d ask a question as a way to gently invite people into a dialogue with Him. We see Him ask the Samaritan woman for a drink. We see Him ask His disciples why they were afraid.  He asks Peter who do you say I am.  He even asks the Father why He’d been forsaken.


Children must know we care and caring is found in connection. Connectedness occurs when we purposefully seek to engage in their world. Connectedness is about doing life together.  Doing life together not just a popular hashtag for marriage but is a powerful illustration of engaging and connecting with the hearts of children.


Just as readily as we’d dispense rules and expectations, we ought to be even more vigilant about engaging with them around the things that are important to them. Do you know who they eat lunch with at school, what they’re afraid of, what makes them smile the most? Do you know what they’d do with a million dollars, where they’d travel if they could visit any place on the planet and what one thing has caused them the deepest hurt?


Perhaps you have a child that is forthcoming and readily shares with you.  No matter your child’s temperament, the onus is on you to be PURPOSEFUL in connecting hearts with the children in your circle of influence. And while it’s necessary, it isn’t always easy to carry out.


Enter the Kai Kai Brai Shared Journal to help you along the journey.



Shared journaling is an effective strategy for connecting hearts. And the benefits of journaling are immeasurable. From increased intellectual ability to enhanced emotional intelligence, writing down our thoughts and feelings is an activity that yields a high return. Journaling is a stress reliever, confidence booster and self-esteem builder. In journaling you have an opportunity to confirm identity, self worth, and value. It is a safe place for your child to share with you. From what made them smile today to their deepest fears, a shared journal gives them a trusted place for connection.


In my book Purposeful Parenting, the chapter on Connecing With the Heart ends by advising the parent to begin a shared journal. And my go to journal of choice is the Kai Kai Brai Shared Journal. This journal is perfect for mom & daughter, mom & son and also for trusted adult & child. Not always sure where or how to begin journaling? This journal has already figured that out for you. With journaling prompts, fill in the blanks, about us info and more, you don’t have to feel like the topics are forced but have a smooth entry way into getting the child to open up.  And the journals are perfect for children of any age. They are beautifully designed and durable too!



The creator of the journal and I are both so passionate about you connecting hearts with children that she’s made a special offer available to you. And for the creator this is not just a business venture. This mom of 3 is committed to showing children love in ways they can perceive and receive and she’s taken up the call to help others purposefully connect with children. When you order your journal, enter the coupon code Parenting10 to receive 10% off your purchase.


The journey of Purposeful Parenting calls for us to be intentional, to be PURPOSEFUL in our interactions with children. Just think, if every child knew in their heads and felt in their hearts, unconditional love from caring adults…


As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!


Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Chasing Community, Grace and Truth

What Can Happen With A Changed Heart?

In order to give people the love they need and deserve, one’s OWN heart has to be transformed.  That change requires us to do the hard work. The work of deep excavation. But if you are willing to do the work, the reward will be immeasurable. The ripple effect of love has the power to heal our land.


Love Triumphs.


With a heart transformed, you are free to love without fear.  So much of parenting is done from a place of fear; fear of what they’ll do and who they’ll become. But when we illuminate our hearts with love, fear is cast away and we are free to give them the love they need and deserve.  When we love children wholly, we truly have the ability to change our world, one heart at a time.


This is just one nugget from my recent interview with Joy Williams. Come on over to hear the rest.


What are you waiting for….CLICK HERE to jump over to Joy’s where we’re sharing hope for the heart and joy to the soul.


As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!


How Do You Reach A Child’s Heart?

So much of parental life is consumed with meeting temporal needs. Endless piles of laundry, shuttling children to and from activities, cooking meals, you know the drill. Not to mention adding in the amount of time, energy and effort expended in trying to get children to DO things they really could care less about or to get them to STOP doing things they are perfectly content with. Perhaps you’re ready to blow a gasket because you’ve told your pre-teen boy for the millionth time that he needs to shower daily. And you can’t recall how many times you’ve told your toddler not to jump on the furniture. While requests for showering and not jumping on furniture are reasonable, they do not serve as an investment in connecting with the hearts of our children.


The job of parenting finds us doing many seemingly important things for our children. But we want to be cautious to not miss out on the needed thing. Just as Jesus affirmed that Mary had chosen the better part, let us choose the better part and that is connecting with the hearts of our children.


Shuttling kids to soccer practice, hurrying up to get them to choir rehearsal, and rushing them off to bed, may be required at times but can have a way of choking out meaningful interaction. So how do we connect with our children when most of our daily interactions are moving them through to the next activity? We’ve got to be PURPOSEFUL!


Nobel Peace Prize recipient and novelist, Toni Morrison appeared on an episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass. On the show, the prolific author dispensed this wisdom,

“It’s interesting to see when a kid walks into the room… does your

face light up? That’s what they’re looking for…when my children used

to walk in the room when they were little, I looked at them to see if

they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or their

socks were up…so you think your affection and your deep love is on

display cause you’re caring for them, it’s not. When they see you they

see the critical face…what’s wrong now? …But then if you let your face

speak what’s in your heart. Because when they walked in the room I was

glad to see them. It’s just as small as that, you see.”


She so eloquently illustrated the difference between meeting temporal needs and maximizing on the opportunity to connect with the heart. Oprah went on to say that one of her biggest learning lessons of the early 90’s was that the common denominator in the human experience is that everyone wants to be appreciated or validated. Given that, what are we teaching our children by spending so much energy on things that may not matter in five years, much less ten? How many moments will we have missed? How many hugs would not have been shared? How many smiles would have been deterred?


Will our children feel connected, loved, if the words we dispense are focused on what they haven’t done right, what they aren’t doing or what they’ve done wrong?

“You haven’t…”

“You aren’t”

“When will you ever…”

“You can’t…”

“You won’t…”




Yup, I’ve said them all too but I’m learning to do better. It requires reframing the dialogue. “Well what CAN I do then?” That’s what their hearts want to know. Purpose to fill their hearts with what they CAN do. Let us connect in ways they can perceive and receive. Research Professor, Dr. Brene Brown says, “We are hardwired to connect with others, is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.” Will you help minimize suffering by proactively connecting with the hearts of your children?


We connect with children by being adults who are vulnerable, humble and gentle.


We reach them through open communication, connectedness, inviting them, listening with the heart, knowing them and encouraging them.


Let’s pray!


Eternal one and lover of my soul, thank you for always extending yourself and seeking to connect with my heart. I pray that you will open the eyes of my heart so that I will be available to my children. Enable me to connect with their hearts through purposeful interactions. May I present myself gentle, humble and vulnerable so that they feel I am approachable. May I keep my eyes and ears open so that I can learn who they are and know them deeply. May my words be filled with grace. May I be intentional in maximizing upon opportunities to communicate with them. Knit me closer to my children now and evermore.


For the practical steps on how to reach them, order a copy of my new book PURPOSEFUL PARENTING, available now on Amazon.


As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!


Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Chasing Community, Grace & Truth

Ever Been Let Down?

His dress shirt was getting soaked through. The brown leather of the shoes growing darker too as the rain pelted harder and harder. He was supposed to be on the way to a meeting, instead here was my husband, trying to assess why the car wouldn’t start. The school door would be opening shortly so we needed to be going.


We got the car to start and I proceeded to head to the school only to have it stop again. Start/Stop, Start/Stop, Start/Stop. So went the morning. But my dear husband, who knows  there’s always a way when I think there’s no way just FIXED it. Because that’s what he does.  He’s a fixer. He’s a doer. He’s reliable. I can count on him. And he’ll in throw some jokes in to keep you smiling through it all.


After we fixed the car, two days later, back to the same thing.  Only this time my husband was 20 miles away, at work, unable to run to my aid.  But with my cell phone in hand, he was right there with me. “Put it in neutral, start it, then put it in drive.”  Wouldn’t you know, that worked! I was at least able to make it home safely with a car full of children and not stuck on the side of the road. Again, the hubs came to my rescue.


My hero.

My protector.

My friend.


Then it hit me. Slammed me in the chest so hard it nearly took my breath away.  It’s something when you get struck with the blinding flash of the obvious…..


Day in and day out, God does the VERY same for me.


God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1


Day in and day out God comes to my rescue. He stands out in the rain for me, deflecting the enemy’s fiery darts. He fixes the issues in my life.  And He has the ability to bring me joy even in trying circumstances.


And not only does He come to our aid, He loves us y’all! He’s smiling over us. He’s rejoicing over us. He delights in us.


The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17


So friends be encouraged today. Every step you take, every move you make, your Heavenly Father is with you. He has promised to never leave nor forsake you. He said He is with you wherever you go. He wants you to be reminded that He is with you even until the end of the age. He said that nothing will ever separate you from His love. In your mountain top experiences He is there. In your valley lows He is there. In your jubilation He is there. In your grief He is there. Even at this very second…




His Spirit dwells within you. Leading you, guiding you, teaching you, comforting you and if necessary correcting you too.


Isn’t that good news? So be reassured today that The Father is here. And He won’t let you down.


As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!


Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Chasing Community, Grace & Truth


P.S. Have you heard? I’m an author! Click here to find out more about my upcoming book!






A Love Revolution {Spoken Word}

Vile speech, aggressive action, violence and calamity. Our world groans in agony.  Yet there is a cure.




So in light of National Poetry Month, here’s my ode to love.


As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!


Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Chasing Community, Grace & Truth

The 5 People You Need In Your Tribe

“Long as I got King Jesus, I don’t need nobody else”.


So goes a line from an old gospel song. We all got a good chuckle in church yesterday as our Pastor sang and danced to the song. While the dance was cute, he was making a profound point. He was uncovering the flawed theology in the song. Indeed Jesus is MORE than enough for any need we have. [bctt tweet=”Jesus did not design us to walk the journey of life alone. We are wired to do life together.” username=”inspiredfully”] It just makes the going a little easier.


So who’s on your squad?


These are 5 people we need in our tribe.


Oldie But Goodie

This is your faithful friend. An old crony, running partner, tried and true blue friend. Even if they haven’t been your friends for a long number of years, it feels like they’ve been around always. The total opposite of fair weather friend, they are there in time good and bad. They are familiar and comfortable like your favorite old robe. You don’t have to explain to them what you’re feeling and why, they just already know.


Tell It Like It Is

We appreciate our friend who agrees with us and takes our side. But we NEED the friend who will tell us like it is. She will check us. She will point out when we have erred. Without bias, she will carefully assess a situation and present it to us. Argh! She may rub you the wrong way from time to time but you need that. The sandpaper of tell it like it is, is what makes you smooth.


Zena Warrior Princess

Ok, back in the day this would have been the friend ready to fight for you on the playground. She would have been quick to stop gossip and slander about you. Today, she’s the first one on her knees interceding on your behalf. She’s willing to go Peter slicing ears off for you. Fortunately she knows how to channel all that fire into prayer. Even right now she may be found interceding for you.


Party Girl

You know the fun girl. The witty friend. The self-deprecating one that brings a smile to your face. Sometimes I can be WAY to serious. I’ve never learned how to tell jokes (my timing is off and I can never recall all the details of the story). For me doing life mostly means “handling business” so I desperately need this friend to lighten me up, to help get my drawers out of a bunch, to simply be silly and laugh.


The Coach

Who’s challenging you to grow? Who encourages you to go to bed early and to rise early? Who’s on the sideline cheering you on? Who’s holding you accountable? Yup, we all need that coach friend. Your sister friend who will not only remind you of your goals, but the one who is right there as the dream is fulfilled.


So who’s in your tribe?


For you these may actually be 5 different chicas. For some this may but that one special treasured friend. If you don’t have these sisters represented in your starting lineup, I’m praying God brings the right people into your circle and I pray your heart is open to receive them. One way God expresses his love to us is directly through our relationships so I pray you are blessed with true sisterhood. Friendship and sisterhood are critical to our emotional well being and personally near and dear to my heart. You can find me sharing more on the topic here:




We’ve been called to:

~Love one another

~Bear one another’s burdens

~Pray for one another

~Comfort one another
~give preference to one another

~Forgive one another

~Be kind to one another

~Serve one another

~Speak truth to one another

~Encourage one another


It is my prayer that you’ve got people in your tribe that will love you, encourage you and serve you. We all need a squad who will speak truth to us, bear our burdens and give us comfort. Take confidence in knowing you’ve got me on your squad, holding it down in prayer.


As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!


Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Grace and Truth

Sisterhood: Soul Therapy

Tears of joy.


Smiles a plenty.


Hearts wide open.



All found in the uninhibited exchange between sisters.




I’ve heard it said, “I don’t ‘do’ women.” What that screams is, I’ve been hurt, I’ve been wounded, I am afraid. Women are wired to be in relationship with one another. There is safety, comfort and joy found in sisterhood. From styling one another’s hair to delivering babies, from sharing the deepest secrets to holding bridezilla while she has a meltdown, women are designed to nurture one another.


[bctt tweet=”The soul is nourished when the heart is embraced in sisterhood.” username=”inspiredfully”]




I met a woman once who confided in me that she didn’t have a female in her life that she considered a trusted friend. I was deeply moved by that and my heart went out to her. Wouldn’t you know, 4 years later, we are friends. She is lively, funny, loyal and giving, a good recipe for being a great friend. Yet my sweet friend had spent time without the beauty of sisterhood.


[bctt tweet=”Soul therapy is found in the sacred space of sisterhood.” username=”inspiredfully”]


Careers, schedules, children, husbands, fears, and just daily living can have us trapped in silos. Our ability to nurture meaningful relationships becomes subject to the captivity of solitary confinement UNLESS we intentionally fill our prescription of soul therapy and demand our RELEASE.


I’ve always treasured friendship and I’ve been blessed beyond measure to do life with some amazing women. They teach me, challenge me, love me, help me, and flat out make me smile. I’ve also been hurt by a few but my heart remains open. For what is life without love? What is life without hurt? Is a life truly lived if it isn’t felt?


Recently I shared hearts, laughs and tears with a sweet friend. She literally radiates sunshine. We filled our prescription of soul therapy over a mutual love, COFFEE. You can find her talking about all things coffee over at EspressoTrips






For my birthday I was blessed to share excellent food, great conversation, hopes and dreams with two of my favorite gals.




As a homemaker, the nature of the job can have me riding solo often. Then add in being a wife and mama to 6, my time for nurturing meaningful relationships with my sisters can be hampered. So I have to be purposeful and intentional in my connections. Relationships are dear to the heart of God. I think He illustrates this so beautifully through relationships in the bible, from David and Jonathan to Jesus and the beloved disciple, that we’ve been called to do life together. And if relationships are meaningful to Him then they should be meaningful to us and we should cultivate them.


I pray you find love, encouragement, safety and acceptance in the sacred space of sisterhood. If you are carrying the hurt of having been wounded by a sister, I pray that your heart be mended,  and if necessary that you find forgiveness. I pray you open your heart once again to the possibility of true sisterhood.




What are you doing to ensure your sisterhood soul therapy?


As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!


Happy to connect with others sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, #LifeGivingLinkup,Purposeful  Faith

Feature Image Photo Credit

Lift Up Your Head

As I was driving the other day, I saw a man walking with His head slung so low, he looked like the headless horseman. It immediately made me think, “LIFT UP YOUR HEAD!”



Lift up your heads, O you gates!

And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!

And the King of glory shall come in.

Psalm 24:7


Then I began thinking about various trials I have faced this year; things that could have caused me to hang my head low, things that could have caused me to believe that the King of Glory was nowhere in the vicinity.


But God! Through it all He was indeed the lifter of my head.


Lift up your heads, O you gates!

Lift up, you everlasting doors!

And the King of glory shall come in.

Psalm 24:9


Mentioned twice nearly back to back in this chapter so God wants you to get this. These verses were most likely sung by the choir as the ark was carried into the temple.


Let it be your song too friend. Do not be disheartened. Do not be dismayed. While the trials you face may be difficult, while we see our world being ravaged by darkness, death and destruction, be of good cheer. The kingdom of God is at hand. Lift up your head.


“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

Luke 21:25-28


Just as the gates were lifted and flung open to receive the King of Glory, lift your head, and open your heart to receive ALL that Jesus brings when he comes into your midst.


When Jesus comes into the atmosphere He brings:













[bctt tweet=”Friends it is not enough to just welcome Him into the door of your home but you’ve also got to welcome Him into your heart.”] Allow Him to walk through every crack, crevice and recessed corner of your heart. Even the Pharisee welcomed Jesus into their home, but a true disciple welcomes Him into their heart.


Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Revelation 3:20


So lift up your heads and open your hearts, for the King of Glory stands at the gate, ready to enter.


Will you receive Him today?


As always, I pray that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!



When I sat to write on the subject of family, I thought elegant prose would flow freely from my fingertips. Instead, there is a delay, a pregnant pause of sorts. I am deeply disturbed by this hesitation to flow on a subject that is so meaningful to me.


When I think of my immediate household, my immediate family brings a smile to may face. I chuckle when I visualize a picture of us thinking, “Wow, that sure is a lot of people”. There are seven of us, my husband, our five children and myself. Never did I imagine having such a large family. They are quite entertaining and the source of endless laughs as my husband and I sit back and observe them interacting with one another. Even now as I type in the wee hours of the morning, the 3 boys are already up, playing with Legos, going on wild Star Wars adventures.


I think of my dad who is one of my best buddies. He is not only father but also friend.


I think of my closest girlfriends who are not merely friends but are family. I treasure these relationships and thank God for the extension of family.


A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24


And I can’t leave out my in-laws with whom I felt instantly connected.


But there’s a deep gnawing, a raw pain that also comes when I think of family. I miss my sisters who are hundreds of miles away. I long to be knit closer to them in distance and tied closer in heart. I miss my aunts and older cousins some of whom are hundreds or thousands of miles away. And then there’s that place that carved out little niche, that empty space labeled MOM. A space nobody but Jesus can fill since this gal’s mamma has long since passed away. This void that cries out with a hollow echo. This place that has been patched over, stuffed then excavated again. This space I thought was mended but is still quite fractured.




The thought of family brings joy. The thought of family brings tears. I give thanks for ties that bind. I pray my children will always remain close to each other. I see myself growing old and gray with my sweetie, my husband. We know that family is close to the heart of God as He Himself came to earth through the context of family. I pray for love, joy, peace and unity in families across the globe. Thank you Lord for the sacred institution of family.


[bctt tweet=”Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1″]


What immediately comes to mind when you thinking of family?


As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!


Happy to connect with Five Minute Friday  & #DanceWithJesus on the topic of Family


Into The Thick Of It

To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness in and health, to love, cherish and to honor til death do us part.


It’s easy to hold when your sex drive is high and your spouse is giving it up daily.


Everyone is happy when times are better, bills are paid and food is plentiful.


Richer days are appreciated when two incomes are flowing and income is steady.


When both parties are in good health, the world is theirs for the taking.


What then becomes of the marriage when the storms of life hit?


How do you feel about your spouse when you are into the thick of it?


The most immediate, fleshly reaction is to probably resist your spouse instead of fiercely clinging to them.


It’s difficult to hold when you know a spouse has been unfaithful.


It’s challenging when being married delivers more worse days than best and you are like two ships passing in the night.


The tension is palatable when accounts are overdrawn and credit cards are to their limits.


How do you cope with a spouse that is sick? The drug addicted or pornography addict spouse? The mental ill or the physical ill spouse?


When these times occur feelings of love can turn to hate and some may even consider to death do us part by their own hand.


If you’ve ever felt that way, can I get an amen?! If you feel this way right now just stick with me for a few more lines.


I would venture to say your spouse has probably had to deal with some of YOUR mess too.


[bctt tweet=”Maturity in marriage calls for one to relent. For another to repent. For one to say, “I’m sorry”.”]


For one to determine not to walk away. For one to forgive.


Thank GOD….


Our agape love for Christ enables us to do virtually the impossible.


When HIS love floods our hearts we are able to love those who have mistreated us, betrayed us, and berated us including our spouses.


I give thanks for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, teaching, direction and the power that supersedes the flesh. My husband works MOST of the time. He works 2 jobs, 7 days a week and has done so for 12 years now. Over the years I’ve prayed for family time today. Well last week he was off work so I had that family time that I so diligently prayed for….BUT….his presence interrupts “MY” flow. He asked the children to do tasks in the middle of homework time, he let them play video games on a school night (cringe), he’s made us leave out later in the morning, though we were still on time for school.


Yes I was all up in my feelings. Again, but GOD! The Holy Spirit bought my own prayers for family time back to my remembrance. So the flesh had to bow down while the spirit rejoiced and gave thanks for answered prayers.


When your prayers are answered, be ready to receive them.


This weekend I was in Marshall’s with my husband and children. At the checkout we had laughs with the cashier as she tried to understand how all these shabby chic wall collage items were going into a man cave. My husband left before me to load the children in the car and the cashier asked me,


“You really love him don’t you?”


To which I replied,


“Mmm, yes. That’s my MAN. I love him. I do. I do indeed”


My marriage has faced many days of the worse and it seemed that better wasn’t even on the horizon. With no examples of marriage, we came into our union reckless and unprepared. Based on what we’d seen growing up, our solution was to battle it out. We were two rams with locked horns. But we had to learn marriage and self-centeredness are incompatible.


[bctt tweet=”True love is not self-seeking. It gives and gives and gives some more.”]


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8


Happy to be running into the thick of it securely tied to MY MAN as we run life’s two legged race together.


[bctt tweet=”There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage. ~Martin Luther 1566″]


As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Life Fully!


Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News #LifeGivingLinkup, Purposeful Faith, #Grace&Truth, #DanceWithJesus