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Powerful, Remarkable, and Beautiful Truth About Easter



Posted by on Apr 20, 2019 |

Today is Easter Eve, though I’ve never heard it called such a thing, and I’m finding myself on a sweet stroll down memory lane. Won’t you join me?

What characterized the Easters of your childhood? What made this cherished church holiday special for you? A brand new outfit? Waking up to an Easter basket brimming with goodies? A sunrise service or Sunday afternoon feast with your family, close and extended? A city-wide egg hunt ablaze in color and chaos? Day-by-day deconstructing a Resurrection egg set to examine tiny symbols that represented the life of Christ?

With a big grin and a bit of horror, I recall the coordinating pastel dresses my sister and I wore when I was about four, complete with crunchy crinoline skirts, white bowler hats, and shiny patent leather shoes. “Fancy” is relative, yes? I also remember being a beast when it came to hunting for Easter eggs. Never was I more fierce or competitive than when a contest for most eggs found or a golden egg was at stake. It was in your best interest not to get in my way because you just might come face to face with a 35-pound steamroller determined to win a prize.

Are your earliest Easter memories similar or something entirely different?

Fast forward many years to when I became a mother with three children of my own. It never occurred to me until right now how closely the practices of my own childhood inspired Easter traditions for our family. New, coordinating outfits for our daughter and two sons; maybe not crinoline for Rachel, but all three matchy-matchy (until I finally learned that didn’t actually have to be a thing). Baskets filled and waiting right outside their bedroom doors. Attending church somewhere, wherever we happened to be that morning. A glorious lunch with our extended family (or friends when we had to be apart), anchored by glazed ham, potato salad, deviled eggs, and way too many sweets. And an egg hunt — always an egg hunt — except now my competitive beast mode for finding the prized or most eggs was proffered for my babies.

Memories are golden when they connect our present to happy or special moments from our past, aren’t they? While it’s unhealthy to live in the past or to become stuck in a rut of longing for the “good ol’ days,” telling and re-telling the stories of our lives can build unity, familiarity, and identity among family members. These are good things.

Easter traditions, in terms of norm and practice, vary from family to family, church to church, denomination to denomination, and even culture to culture. How we commemorate this holy holiday doesn’t matter a bit, but why we celebrate Easter is essential. 

Please continue reading The Powerful, Remarkable, Beautiful Truth About Easter over at (in)courage. And, please, do share your thoughts in comments!

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I believe in magic (& I bet you do, too!) :: Traditions & Sacred Space



Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 | 1 comment

The kitchen table is a special place - by Robin Dance


With all my heart I believe in magic. Oh, how I hope we’re the same, you and me.

Not rabbits out of hats or the dark and mystical, only in the sweetest sense of the word. The things that steal my breath, explode my heart, and make me want to burst into an ovation of gratitude; seriously, those closest to me know I clap (or jump) in the presence of magical delights– How a bird gathers twigs and twine and puzzles them into a home…

The way a firefly strobes on a warm summer night…

Rainbows after storms, skies striped in lightning, a wave’s thunderous applause…

And what happens around my kitchen and dining room tables.

mag·ic (‘majik)
noun: quality that makes something seem removed from everyday life,
especially in a way that gives delight,
something that has a delightfully unusual quality. adjective: wonderful; exciting

It doesn’t matter if we’re with family or friends, time is suspended when we gather at a table

We eat, we drink, we give and receive, and for those few extraordinary moments, we’re removed from a sometimes harsh world in a way that wholly celebrates life.
A table is a special place, a sacred space, where heart, soul and body are nourished. It is home alter and first classroom, where we learn to serve and be served.

Thanksgiving is within spitting distance and Christmas is right around the corner, both when traditions scatter deep and wide.  I love that about the holidays, don’t you? The older I get the more I appreciate the value in our family’s traditions, the practices my people have learned to expect year after year. I’m convinced traditions aren’t just important, they matter for a lot of reasons. It’s never too late to begin a new tradition, and the holiday season seems to have many anchored right around the table.

gracetablelogoPlease click to continue reading On Magic, Traditions and Sacred Tables over at Grace Table today! I’m thrilled to be part of this incredible, beautiful online community where you’ll be immediately drawn to a collective heart for hospitality. What you’ll find is that doesn’t always look like what you think. Today I want to hear about your family’s traditions, which may or may not be about the upcoming holidays–and be sure to share your favorite recipes! I’m still looking for a few new things to add to our Thanksgiving meal!!

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The happiest thing on the internet today (& probably any day)



Posted by on Dec 31, 2011 | 3 comments

From the first time Jovi’s voice met Buddy the Elf’s in “Baby it’s Cold Outside, I’ve had mad love for Zooey Deschanel’s jazzy vocals.  Mmmmmm, velvety, musical butter.  Delicious.

What a treat for she and 500 Days of Summer co-star and long-time friend Joe Gordon-Levitt to team up for this darling duet, crooning Nancy Wilson’s “What Are You Doing New Years Eve?”  

Aren’t they adorable?

ZoeyDeschanel_JosephGordonLevittUnrelated, if I could bottle and sell Joe’s dimples, I’m pretty sure I could buy World Peace.  

Happy New Year, y’all.


Photo credit

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Red, white and blew



Posted by on Jul 14, 2009 | 16 comments


This is exactly the picture I was trying to capture, timed perfectly with the slip & slider in the background!  I’ve always had a soft place for pinwheels…I don’t know if its their twirly spin or color blur, but their simplicity registers childhood delight every time I exhale one into play. 
Is there a childhood toy in your past that evokes the same
happy-memory fascination?  Do tell!  

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No trombones led the little parade



Posted by on Jul 11, 2009 | 6 comments

DSC_4315 Our neighborhood resurrected a years' old tradition last week, born of Mayberry and family and simpler times:  a Fourth of July parade.

We don't have 76 trombones or 110 cornets or a thousand reeds, but we do have air horns and car horns and I think a kazoo or two.

white convertible VW on July 4th

red suv july fourth red mini cooper july 4th

Crowds don't fill the streets, but neighbors come out of their woodwork or brickwork to cheer for the red, white and blue…

DSC_4207 DSC_4222

Patriotically-embellished lawnmowers replace tissue-laden flatbeds, golf carts putter street-side instead of brobdingnagian floats suspended overhead, and characters aren't cartoonish giants, they're pint-sized or daddy-sized.








Slices of All American Apple Pie:  John Deere tractors, Radio Flyer red wagons, Harley and Rolling Stone tee shirts on middle-aged men, and a little surrey with the fringe on top.  They all bless my born-in-the-USA heart.


Fouth of July decorated golf cart   

S i g h…how can you not love a home grown parade?  Since we don't have a riding mower or a golf cart or a tractor, I figure I could still "participate" by taking pictures of those who do…although a few rabble rousers asked me if they needed to sign a release.  To teach them a must-needed lesson, I added 10 pounds to their weight in Photoshop. 

You can have your Macy's Thanksgiving Day or Rose Parade…I'll stick with the party in the 'hood :). 



How do you celebrate Independence Day?  Is this the quirky kind of thing you think of when you consider the South?  If you live in a neighborhood, do y'all have any community get-togethers?  If not, why not initiate a new tradition!!!

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