Tag Archives: Christmas

Recipe for Resilience (and the New WOW)

This recipe has been through A LOT…yet the stains and markings comfort me.

In a year that has been tumultuous (to say the least), Mom-Mom’s Raisin Bread recipe, (which I wrote down when I was a teenager) is proof of resilience, endurance,                  bounce-backability and most of all, the prevailing power of LOVE.

This recipe has traveled with me to at least ten different homes and each year when I get to baking I think about how Mom-Mom packed love into every loaf.

I already burned out one Kitchen Aid mixer in 2014, because this dough is NO JOKE.  It’s thick and sticky and clings to EVERYTHING.  (This includes my walls, my bowls and me.)

Each year the list of people I send the bread to grows.  It’s my one claim to fame; a tradition that honors my Mom-Mom and lets the people I love know they RATE when the package arrives.

So this was what my first UPS trip looked like:

I needed elves to bake, wrap, address, package, tape and ship.

All I had was me, myself, and I.

But I had the recipe for resilience!  L-O-V-E.

Every moment that I felt like waving the white dish towel, I conjured up thoughts of the dear people on the receiving end of these packages.  When a friend saw my war zone of a kitchen covered with flour, he kindly observed, “These are loaves of love.”

Yes, they are.

I talk more about how love fuels resilience in this week’s video, but before we go there, let’s make your mouths water:

Yep, they are crunchy sweet golden brown outsides with soft, cake-y, raisin-filled insides.  This treat is best served toasted and SLATHERED with butter.

Sorry to tempt you so.  But you are resilient!  And here’s more on that topic:

Loving and embracing the TRUTH with you this week!

And loving YOU.  It means so much that you are out there.



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Getting Your Hopes Up (and the New WOW)

Are your hopes UP?  Or are they DOWN?

The nice thing about hope is that it is elastic enough to spring UP when it has been in a deflated state.

If you are like one of those inflatable Christmas ornaments that sits in a puddle on the front lawn during daylight hours…it’s comforting to know they don’t stay there.



Here’s a little funny:  I didn’t realize that those puffy Santa’s and snowmen intentionally deflate during the day.  For years I decried the horrible Grinches that slashed them, ruining peoples’ decorations and rendering them flat.

Then I discovered it was just how those decorations roll.

So it is with life.  You might feel like a puddle on the ground, but mark my words, you’ll only stay there if you commit to the fallen state.

A good word, a card in the mail, a compliment from a stranger…next thing you know, your vibe is high again.  Or, for the savvy CEO of their own love tank, you talk nice to yourself. You give a stranger a compliment.  You bake a loaf of bread and welcome your new neighbor to town.

Voila!  Your love/hope/faith tank is full again.  You’re doing the Snoopy happy dance again.


What is the quality of your hope?  Is it an “oh me oh my” Eeyore kind?  Or is it a Tigger-ish “yippee it’s on the way!” kind? 

Both are in a waiting mode.  One is just much happier waiting.

All of my single years (two whole #$%@in’ decades) were spent in Eeyore mode.  Instead of enjoying the freedom of being un-beholden, I focused on “What was WRONG with me????” Too many woe is me holidays were spent feeling “less than” because I was unattached.  I didn’t enjoy the love of those that WERE around me because the love I WANTED hadn’t yet arrived.

The older you get, though, you realize that life is too short to waste on sad yearnings.  

You get busy loving the ones you’re with…and that gratitude spills over and next thing you know promises keep popping up fulfilled without a single tear shed!

For the hope-filled (who are the faith-filled), life is a profusion of blooms.

That’s why I say, “Get your hopes UP!” Expect something wonderful to happen.

Here’s a bit more on that topic, and a new WOW that is the peanut butter to FAITH’s jelly:


Let’s all be rubber bands this week, shall we?

If you are traveling, be safe.  Sing carols at the top of your lungs instead of screaming at the traffic.

Enjoy the journey.

You may not be there YET —- but you ARE on your way.



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‘Tis the Season for Believin’ (and the New WOW)

I’ve got the spirit of the season.

Like an onion, it happened in layers.

First, it was an exasperated,  “How am I going to get everything done!!!!????” which totally saps any Christmas spirit from your to-do list.

Without any HUGE chunks of unassigned time, I had to approach shopping, wrapping, baking, shipping and decorating in teeny increments.  The “baby steps” seemed ineffectual at first, but (just like in the move “What About Bob?”) ended up coming together (synthesis!) in an explosion of silver and gold and peacock colors along with the smell of raisin bread wafting through the house. (Twenty loaves have been shipped out so far, with more to come!  It’s an homage to my beloved grandmother and a tradition I started about ten years ago.)

Here are some highlights:



And here’s a spot in the dining area, ready for a house full of guests later today!


Yep, we decided to have a PARTY – our first Christmas Party in Sarasota, which was a great incentive to get my #$%@ in gear and get things done EARLY.

Worrying about everything coming together doesn’t make it happen.

But those little baby steps are magical steps of faith that can move a mountain.

Which is a perfect lead in to the new WOW!:

You know, ya gotta love content that includes a Jesus story and a George Michael musical interlude in the same video.  It’s that crazy juxtaposition of me-ness, and I’m so glad you appreciate it.

Here’s some thoughts about FAITH:

  1. It works by LOVE (not fear)
  2. You don’t need much to get great results (even as small as a mustard seed!)
  3. What you HEAR over and over affects your faith level (do you have faith for the NEGATIVE?  Are those the messages you’ve been giving space to?)

I think that’s why I love that portion of the movie The Help so much.  The main character is the caretaker for the neglected little girl, and she says to her over and over, “You is kind. You is smart.  You is important.” What a powerful deposit into that little girl’s soul!

Let’s all deposit some powerful messages into our hearts this season and watch our faith GROW!



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