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Forever friends are always close by

“You’ll always be my friend… You know too much.” That was the saying embroidered on the quilt I gave to a close friend of mine for Christmas a number of years ago. This lighthearted sentiment is similar in tone to another phrase that’s often given as the definition of a friend, which is that a friend is someone who knows everything about you – and likes you anyway. Both these sayings came up as part of a talk I gave last week to a women’s [...]

By |January 27th, 2017|Buried Treasure, Columns, Faith, Professional Speaking, Values|0 Comments

How others see us can open our eyes

I had just finished a presentation for the staff at a Senior Living Community, when one of the attendees came up to me and said, “You know, you could be a pastor.” I was flattered by her words, and more than a little surprised. No one’s ever said anything like that before. People have told me they were inspired or motivated by my programs, or that I gave them a new way of thinking or looking at things. Some later told me of changes they [...]

Speaking of dreams, a familiar one returns

It happened again. I taught a class one evening this week, and it was a presentation I’ve been preparing for and looking forward to for quite a while. But two nights before the program, I had a dream in which the class was about to begin, and I suddenly realized that I didn’t have any of my notes or materials with me. In a moment of panic, I briefly considered driving home and returning with everything I needed, but I didn’t have enough time to [...]

Gifts are everywhere when we take time to notice them

It’s a gift. I think I’m going to adopt that saying as my mantra from now on. Sometimes it will be in a joking way, as when I’m talking about being directionally impaired and getting lost or turned around very easily. But mostly I will be serious, and it will be a reminder – to myself as well as to others – that we do indeed have many gifts in our lives. And when we take the time to realize and acknowledge this, our lives [...]

By |January 25th, 2013|Columns, Faith, Professional Speaking|0 Comments

Love and loss were intertwined this Christmas

My brother-in-law passed away on December 23. He had been very sick for quite a while, and as Christmas approached, we learned that he wasn’t expected to live much longer. That doesn’t make it any easier to accept or to live with when it happens, especially when it’s around the holidays. “I was hoping so much that he’d be able to hang on till Christmas,” my sister sobbed when she called us from the hospital. We were prepared to drop or significantly alter our holiday [...]

Igniting a dream through Fire of Hope

Although I often write about what’s going on in my life and the various activities in which I’m involved, I try not to do too much self-promotion in my column. Today I’m doing a little of both, however. I hope you won’t mind. I’m going to be speaking at an event at the State Theatre in Minneapolis on January 18 and 19, called Fire of Hope. It’s being promoted as a “Girlfriends’ Getaway for God,” although men are welcome to attend, too. The program I’ll [...]

By |January 4th, 2013|Coaching, Columns, Professional Speaking, Travel, Uganda|2 Comments

Hitting the big time starts with hitting the small time

The first order of business this week is for me to let you know when you can watch the episode of “It’s a Woman’s World” that I mentioned in a column a few weeks ago. I was one of three writers on the panel that day, and in addition to discussing writing issues and attitudes, we each read an excerpt of our recent work. I read one of my Villager columns. If you’re in the metro area of the Twin Cities, you can see the [...]

By |November 30th, 2012|Columns, Professional Speaking, Writing|2 Comments

What to do when it’s difficult to give thanks

“Finding the Treasure in Our Gifts from God.” That was the title of my speaking program in Uganda this year, and it’s one I’ve been invited to present several times since coming back to the States. Part of the program focuses on our talents and traits – the skills and abilities that come naturally to us that we don’t always appreciate and sometimes don’t even realize that we have. Another part of the program calls attention to the gifts that are all around us – [...]

By |November 22nd, 2012|Columns, Holidays, Professional Speaking, Uganda|0 Comments

Find your voice – and use it!

“I found my voice. Now what do I do?” That was the subject of a session I presented at the Toastmasters District 6 Fall Conference last Saturday, and it’s a question I spent a long time trying to answer for myself. When I first joined Toastmasters, one of the reasons was that I felt I could express myself fairly well in print, but not when I was speaking out loud. I didn’t have any noble or global ambitions at the time, I just wanted to [...]

By |October 26th, 2012|Columns, Professional Speaking, Toastmasters, Uganda, Writing|0 Comments

A fearless weekend generates new experiences

A few things I did last week that I have never done before in my life: I walked – and was photographed on – the red carpet at a Hollywood Gala; I attended a baby shower at the home of a Ugandan family living in California; I flew on an official “red eye,” leaving LAX after midnight and returning to Minneapolis just after 6 o’clock on Monday morning. Something I did last week that I have done before – and, in fact, have been doing [...]