Unplan, Unpack, Uncomplicate Your Life

By Samantha McKenzie If you don’t live and breathe by your calendar entries and your alarm clock, this message is not intended for you. If you don’t write to-do lists and accumulate post-it notes that remind you to check your to-do lists, you are welcome to skip past the rest of this blog. If you…

Grateful and Blessed to Be Alive

“Why is it that gratitude is often silent while ungratefulness demands to be heard?” – Dawn Onley By Dawn Onley I love the holiday season. The beauty of the season always enraptures me, the smell of food, the embrace of family, the festive decorations and crackle of the fireplace, the timeless holiday classics on TV,…

Butterflies, Caterpillars, and Cocoons

By Samantha McKenzie To become a butterfly, a caterpillar must first digest itself. Let that sink in.   The cells that survive this process turn into a soupy substance that later forms the eyes, wings, antennae and other adult structures. The job of the caterpillar is so depressingly complex that its metamorphosis can only be…

The Tortoise Wins the Race, Eventually

By Dawn Onley I have much to say, and nothing at all. I went to bed depressed last night, after watching returns come in for Florida and Georgia, Texas, Ohio and my home state of Maryland. I wondered how in several of these states, Republicans could be rewarded for their antics just over the past couple of months let…

What’s Your Personal Best?

By Samantha McKenzie I’m a long-time lover of track and field and of super heroes, like my friend Dawn Onley, who takes on big challenges like running a marathon. My oldest daughter ran track (400m and 800m) in middle school and my youngest daughter is trying out for her high school track team on Wednesday….

Drop the Addiction to Pain

“I just read something powerful: ‘Healing is a decision.’ You don’t have to walk around being broken. You can make a choice, and choose forgiveness, and be healed from brokenness. The choice is solely up to you. Are you choosing what brings you closer to an abundant life or what is going to bring you…

Life is Full of Itself

By Samantha McKenzie “There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” William Barclay  Life is full of itself. It’s full of work and meetings and schedules and things to do. It’s also full of things you have to do for other people…

Be Broken for a Season (if need be), but not a Lifetime

By Dawn Onley Never get comfortable being broke. I’m not just talking about finances. I’m talking about broken relationships, broken health, broken life choices and broken spirits. Being financially broke may be just a natural end result of all of the other brokenness. Most of us will eventually experience seasons of brokenness, when we are unemployed and can’t…

Reconnecting with life’s joys

By Dawn Onley I slept for 6 hours and 27 minutes last night. I know this because my FitBit recorded it. I also know that I was restless six times and during one of those restless bits, I lay awake for 17 minutes. Technology is smart. It’s nothing short of amazing that it can capture…

‘Tis the Season of Mediocrity

By Samantha McKenzie “By the time! Surely man is in loss, except those who believe and do good, and exhort one another to truth, and exhort one another to patience.” Holy Qu’ran, Chapter 103 I don’t like mediocre, ordinary, uninspiring, middle-of-the-road, lackluster, amateurish, unstudied, indifferent anything. I don’t like the spiritless, almost done, unrehearsed, passionless,…