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Advent – Anticipate With

Advent – Anticipate With 2900 2900 Nicole

Make Advent meaningful. Anticipate the celebration of Emmanuel’s birth with another. Designed to guide you into personal, centering prayer during the Advent season, and intentional prayer for a young person (or anyone, really!) Download the pdf document to share and write in, or link to the eBook version. Start today! It is 4 weeks until…

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Use Your Brain

Use Your Brain 2705 2446 Nicole

As I delve into research and writing today, Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s admonition is a beautiful reminder to consider why I do this work in the first place. Am I more concerned with merely gathering facts and data for my own self-worth or promotion?

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Being Still at Camp

Being Still at Camp 3000 3000 Nicole

This past week was summer camp for the children of Downers Grove First UMC. It is the fourth time Howie and my boys participated since Howie joined the staff.

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Why Wait for Peace?

Why Wait for Peace? Nicole

Great wisdom from The Doctor: “The only way that anyone can live in peace is if they’re prepared to forgive.” Someone needs to be first. And there are no guarantees that forgiveness will be reciprocal. But if I do not forgive, I can guarantee that I will not know peace. So, is it worth the…

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An Authentic Life: Keep It Simple

An Authentic Life: Keep It Simple Nicole

With Parker Palmer, I don’t really like being told what to do. I am so glad, in this instance, that he overcame his issues with authority and shared these instructions from Walt Whitman on how to live an authentic life: “This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise…

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What’s In a Name? Part Two: Protector of Children

What’s In a Name? Part Two: Protector of Children Nicole

The Latin, Diana, is of unknown origin and thought to mean “godly” or “divine.” In Roman mythology, Diana is the goddess of the hunt or wilderness and is the twin sister of Apollo. Her Greek counterpart is Artemis. She is the fierce protector of children, and as such is also associated with life-giving fertility and…

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What’s In a Name? Part One: Victorious People

What’s In a Name? Part One: Victorious People Nicole

The name Nicole is of Greek origin and means “victorious people.” It evolved into a French feminine of the masculine, Nicolas. The surname Nicole originates in Netherlands where it was notable for its various branches, and associated status or influence. It seems it was derived from the goddess Nike who, in Greek mythology personifies victory, her Roman counterpart, Victoria.…

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To Remember is to Be Human

To Remember is to Be Human Nicole

Memory is a funny thing. We remember certain details of an event over others. The memory of a thing will change over time, or at a retelling, or at hearing the perspective of another who experienced the same event. Sometimes we remember someone else’s experience as our own. Sometimes it is a choice – I…

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Have Courage, Wait – Day Thirty-Nine

Have Courage, Wait – Day Thirty-Nine Nicole

The Aracuraria Chilean Pine Tree can live to 1,000 years, with its upside down paintbrush-like shape that might have prevented plant-eating dinosaurs from grazing the forest’s floor. Tasmania’s Trakine Forest is home to the 3,000-year-old Huon Pines, and rivers that nurture lobster-sized crayfish in its currents. And the Japanese Cedar, or Yakusugi, thrive and have…

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Walk This Way – Day Thirty-Eight

Walk This Way – Day Thirty-Eight Nicole

And when you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear the word behind you saying, ‘this is the way, walk in it.’ Is30:21 Getting my bearings, a sense of direction, has never been much of a problem for me. In fact, it is often easier for dyslexic processing brains to…

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