In need of a miracle, and of people who care

This column was first published in the Chanhassen Villager on 11/17/11, shortly after I returned from my first trip to Uganda. The young women I wrote about have become the focus of most of our work in Uganda; our goal is to help them build a better life for themselves and their children. You'll hear more about them after I return from this trip. They are beautiful young women. Girls, actually, with many of them between the ages of 18 and 25, and some even younger. They [...]

An act of kindness cuts both ways

I saw a story in the news last week about a waitress at a Waffle House restaurant in Texas who went above and beyond to assist a customer who needed a helping hand – literally. The elderly man was having trouble cutting up his food, and told the waitress that his hands were “not functioning too well.” She immediately picked up a knife and fork and cut up his food for him. Another customer saw this act of kindness, took a picture of it, and [...]

By |March 23rd, 2018|Columns, Respect, Values|2 Comments

Miracles in Uganda

“The day was filled with miracle after miracle.” That’s what my friend Tabitha told me on the phone the other day. She was calling from Uganda, where she’s doing some prep and planning for the work we’ll do when she and I – along with several others – go back in a few months. For those who aren’t familiar with my work or my story, Tabitha and I have been on a mission ever since she read an article in a Ugandan newspaper about a [...]

By |February 24th, 2018|Columns, Faith, Making a Difference, Respect, Travel, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

Oprah for President?

Like many people, I watched the Golden Globe Awards last Sunday night, and was blown away by Oprah Winfrey’s speech as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement. It was inspiring, empowering, and it made me feel as though, yes, a new day is dawning, and the world is about to change for the better. At no point did it occur to me, however, that this was a political speech, or the launch of a political career for Oprah. That changed the [...]

By |January 12th, 2018|Columns, Gifts and Talents, Respect, Values|0 Comments

Three thousand miles led to a world of difference

I logged in almost 3,000 miles this week, starting with a two-hour drive to the Atlanta airport, then a flight to Minneapolis, and finally a scenic drive from there across the Canadian border and on to Winnipeg. There I spoke - along with two other women - for approximately 20 minutes to the Rotary Club of Winnipeg. After the meeting, we got back in the car and did the trip in reverse. Not all at once, but over the course of a few days. It [...]

Can’t we calmly agree to disagree?

You can disagree without being disagreeable. This has always been one of my firm beliefs, and it’s something I’ve always tried to live by. It breaks my heart that it’s a practice that seems to be getting less and less common every day – and in everyday matters, not just hot-button topics like religion and politics. Still, we’ve had more than our fair share lately of evidence in that last category. That’s why an experience I had last week was so refreshing and reassuring. It [...]

By |November 18th, 2016|Columns, Respect, Values|0 Comments

An airport experience shows a lack of courtesy

My husband and I were returning from an out-of-state trip. Our flight home was late Sunday night, after a long and busy day. As we approached our gate at the airport, we found just one seat open in a row of seven seats. Gentleman that he is, my husband motioned for me to sit down. I did, and as I looked around, I could feel my temperature rising. It wasn’t from the weather, but the fact that three of the seven seats were occupied not [...]

By |July 29th, 2016|Columns, Family, Respect, Travel, Values|0 Comments

It’s the children who will rescue us – from ourselves

I’m going to get the “Full Disclosure” business out of the way right up front.  Since my husband and I grew up in the Chicago area and still have family ties there, it’s Chicago sports teams that we cheer for. Also, I’m not a super-sports-fan to begin with. I enjoy watching the games with family and friends, but it’s the social aspect, not the sport itself, that I’m most interested in. All of this is to explain that even though I – like so many [...]

By |January 22nd, 2016|Accountability, Columns, Respect, Values|0 Comments

Don’t just tolerate – celebrate!

Before last Sunday, I had never been to Lake Elmo. I also had never been to a Lutheran church service. Later in the day, back at home in my own church, I was chatting briefly with one of the deacons about the religious, racial, and cultural differences many of us can find not only in our communities, but among our friends and even within our own extended families. “Our differences shouldn’t just be tolerated,” he said. “They should be celebrated.” His words were music to [...]

By |August 21st, 2015|Columns, Faith, Music/Singing, Respect, Uganda, Values|2 Comments

All fired up from an inspiring dream

This is going to sound like something I totally made up, but I swear I’m telling it exactly as it happened – in a dream I had a few nights ago. It was early morning, actually, because my alarm went off and woke me up before it was finished. But that was good, because it kept the dream fresh and vivid enough for me to write it all down before it drifted away. In the dream, I was attending a meeting of a women’s networking [...]

By |July 24th, 2015|Columns, Respect, Values|0 Comments