Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What we want most this Christmas

What can you do NOW? What do you control and what is your concern but out of your control?

These are things to ponder during these days of gatherings and special moments. Even good things can bring stress--the stress of self-imposed expectations
--threats on self of perfectionism.

KNOW that you are enough.
You. Are. Enough.
Even if you did nothing else but be you, 
you are enough.

BOW--Bend the knee to the One who made you and calls you by name.
He loves you.
He came for you.
He died for you.
He rose for you.
He's declared you good. Very good.

Rest in that knowing in gratitude.

ALLOW people to be exactly who they are. No more, no less.
This is harder said than done, but will decrease stress and promote inner peace in your soul.

Isn't that what we want most this Christmas? Without our health and peace, we have nothing.

Allow yourself space
--to think
--to dream
--to know you're loved
--to know you're enough

on this crazy spinning ball called earth.

Stop off for some moments of calm and 
and allow.

Blessings and thank you!!


Thanks for stopping by. Linking up late to Five Minute Friday with a tribe of writers each week at Kate Motaung's blog. Stop over there to see what others have written on the prompt, NOW.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Surrender to a moment

Linking up late for Five Minute Friday over at Kate Motaung's blog. This week's prompt is "surrender". 

God, thank you for Mr. Cardinal who just swooped by and flew to a branch in Mr. Evergreen. He's been sitting there for at least a minute, bobbing up and down on the tree branch swaying in the wind.  It's definitely as if he's there on assignment from You to me. 

He's still there. In all of his red gloriousness. 
Feathers standing out against the green back drop. 

Now, it's close to two minutes. He's still there. 

What is he thinking about? Does he know he's brought me to tears because of his presence? I surrender to this moment in time where this beauty has flown in and perched right in my view.

He's still there. It's got to be three minutes. 

My tears are flowing freely in gratitude for this gift that has lifted me out of rumination to gratitude and awe. He's perfectly content in his world. Surveying in silence and stillness, he looks to be the King of his kingdom. His feathers puffed out in contentment, he must feel safe.

Probably almost four minutes now, of his presence in my evergreen.

His contentment and presence startles me. 

Startling me out of negativity and into joy and peace and the thought that all is well and all will be well.

He knows he's enough just as he is.
I know that I'm enough, too.

This pause has unraveled anxiety about what is to come. I've been instead invited into the moment that is.

I surrender.


Blessings to you, 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It's time

It's time for more beauty and less chaos.
It's time to watch the birds
flitting at the feeders
It's time to smile at the squirrel antics and stop scolding them for stealing the bird seed.

It's time to show compassion to animals and people.
Even people I disagree with.
Compassion and joy and enjoyment of all that is around me.

It's time to surround myself with 


These have become my dearest friends.
Friends who encourage the best in me. Friends who gently guide me.
Friends who lead me to truth.

It's time to believe the truth about myself and others.
It's time to give myself the worthy messages I'm so deserving of.

If I don't celebrate my worth, who will?
If I don't celebrate and believe my worth, how am I capable of celebrating yours?

I am worthy of all good things.
I am worthy to be treated well.
I am important and my gifts are important and worthy to be shared.

And so are yours.

Let's celebrate beauty
let's celebrate worth
let's celebrate with love and compassion all that is good within us and in each other and the world.

We'll be so much better for it.


Thanks for joining me today for Five Minute Friday! I'm joining with other wild and free writers over at Kate Motaung's blog. Come on over and check it out and even join in. We write for five minutes on the prompt of the week. This week's prompt is enjoy.

Blessings to you today,


Friday, October 7, 2016

taking the test

The months since June have felt like one test after the other. Tests of character and resolve.

Tests of integrity and living by truth. My truth.

More than ever, there have been tests. seemingly endless. Moments for tea and breathing and living in-between. But, tests.

I've been learning more about myself since June. I'm learning old patterns and unlearning them. 

Learning new patterns of self-care and self-compassion.
Learning new ways to give myself permission.

Permission to be alone.
Permission to heal.
Permission to be myself....

to create
live my own life
beat my own drum

and listen for what's next.

Is there ever a time in life where we know, without certainty what's coming next?


Sometimes we have an idea. We've dreamed a dream. We've made our best laid plans. 

Oh yes, we. do. plan, don't we?

But, in reality, the only thing we know for sure is what is right now. What's right in front of us.

Taking personal tests of bravery, courage, fortitude, steadfastness, creativity, longing, looking, learning and more have been in my recent past.

I'm guessing more of those things are coming right around the corner.

I know I'm up for it, good for it. Gonna show up for it.

How about you? What tests are you facing these days?

Thanks for stopping by!

Blessings to you.


Linking up with other writers for Five Minute Friday where we write for five minutes straight with no fancy edits. Stop in over at Kate Motaung's blog to see what it's all about! This week's prompt is "test".

Saturday, September 24, 2016

When I'm five

I'm at the table for coffee time. I'm with my parents and the old people. 

I'm always with the old people. They are my dad's aunt and uncle. But, these old people are like grandparents to me. They raised my dad from age 16 after he came to the New Country from the Old Country. His aunt taught him English.

I love my great aunt for that. She is nice. She is lovely.

I'm five. The adults at the table are dunking their rusks into their Sanka, which has been laced with a sugar cube or two. I can still hear the clank clank of the spoon sliding against the side of the coffee cup (always a cup on a saucer) as they would stir in the sugar. Rarely cream.

I'm five. Life is good. I am an only child so far. My brother would be born the next year. I get all the attention from my parents and the old people who we are with. A lot. I get all the attention from people at church.

I have a farm with a swing set. I like to swing. Alone.  I fly high into the air, but always come back down. Only to fly again.

I am five and I don't know what's coming soon. 

I don't know that my bedroom will change from the one that I've always known. The one with the yellow sweet peas on the walls, my white four poster bed, and where my brother's crib is on the opposite wall as mine. 

The bedroom where the house is so old that corn cobs were used as insulation. 

This would be the reason my mom, in the coming years, after the tornado came through my life and I was moved out of my farm, 
then moved back, 
and then back and forth...

this would be the reason my mom buys fancy fire detectors for our ceilings, so that she can feel like I'm safe. 

Because she is not with me.


Blessings to you!

Thanks for joining me for Five Minute Friday. Today, I took the prompt "five" into mini memoir mode. I'm linking up with other courageous writers over at Kate Motaung's blog. Come on over and see what other writers have written for this week's prompt!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Listen to your heart

You should do what people want
Listen to your heart.

You should be more helpful.
Listen to your heart.

You should care more about what others think of you.
Listen to your heart.

You could live your life pleasing other people, forget your dreams.
Listen to your heart.

You should bury the hatchet and pretend nothing ever happened.
Listen to your heart.

You should follow this career path, not that one, because it's more suitable.
Listen to your heart.

You will only be hurting yourself if you don't do what they say.
Listen to your heart.

You'll be sad and all alone if you choose that.
Listen to your heart.

You won't be liked, admired or respected.
Listen to your heart.

You're not good enough to do what other people do. You'll see.
Listen to your heart.

You should take care of others, even when they can take care of themselves.
Listen to your heart.

The voices.
They are loud.
They are many.
They arrive unannounced and uninvited.
They laugh.
They sneer.
They try to manipulate and control.

But, I won't listen to them.
I won't.
I will not.

I will listen to my heart.
It's there that I'll find truth and integrity.
I will listen to my heart.


Sharing on a theme that's been ringing in my ears this week. Linking up with other writers for Five Minute Friday. Last Friday's prompt was "listen". I listened and wrote. Come on over to Kate Motaung's blog to read what others have written on this prompt!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

the path to wholeheartedness

Linking up today with other brave writers for Five Minute Friday, almost a week late! The link up is over at Kate Motaung's blog. So, hey there! The prompt for last week was "path". It took me this long to decide which direction to go with it. What path are you taking these days?

There are myriads of paths to take. Even with this prompt, I'm tempted to give up even before I begin. 

Know why?

So many choices! How do I decide where to take this?

What path will I choose for this week's prompt?

The path that comes to mind over and over again is wholeheartedness. I think that's been the theme of this blog.

My dream and desire is to take the path of truth, both to myself and to others.

The path that might be the less worn, but the path that leads to wholeheartedness.

Sebasco, Maine

Being brave in the face of fear.

Facing the fears or enemies of peace head on.

Protecting myself from danger when possible.

Leading my soul to greener pastures that promote peace in the midst of chaos.

Pointing my spirit to the One and only One who can point me to truth, peace and all other good things.

This I believe. 

This I want to live.

Wholeheartedness and truthful living means that I might find myself *face down in the mud, in the middle of the arena more times than I would like.  It means that I'll have to remind myself that I'm not alone. That I am a warrior, living out my messy story. But, it's my story to live. No one else's.

I'll have to remind myself that I can get back up from the mud. That with my fellow brave warriors around me, I can survive and thrive the tough stuff. I can wash up, get up and try again. That I'm not alone in this.

I've got friends.
I've got fellow warriors.
I've got myself.
And, I've got the God who made me.


Blessings to you, friend. Thanks so much for stopping!!


*references to the "arena" are from author Brene Brown's book, Daring Greatly, which has had a huge influence on my wholehearted journey. You can click on the Daring Greatly tag at the bottom of this post to read other posts I've written on daring greatly and wholehearted living. :)

Friday, August 19, 2016

when you're picked last

Do you remember grade school recess? I do. Some were fun. Some, not so much. 

I wasn't very athletic, and I was a little chubby. I was pretty much one of the last to be picked for the team, whatever game was being played that day. 

Funny, how most of the games that were played in grade school involved running. I think about that now, and I wonder why? 

Hmm. Thinking out loud here.

Sometimes i can feel "picked last" as an adult. 

Oh, it's not the same. I'm not playing kickball or Pump Pump Pull Away, but I can feel picked last anyway.

I'm realizing that this feeling is something I've carried over from childhood. Digging deep, I realize that by being picked last for games, and coming in dead last at the annual "Fun Day", I started to equate being last with my worth.

Not a good combination.

I started reading a book this week that has begun to heal this feeling of being "picked last", or to put it another way, low self-esteem.

The grocery store clerk isn't always silently mocking me. People probably aren't talking behind my back.

Lysa Terkeurst used the term "live loved" in her book Uninvited. 

 I soaked that phrase up like a damp sponge.

I think that's the key to kicking the feeling of being "picked last" in life.

I'm going to start reminding myself that I'm loved deeply.
I'm going to say, "live loved" to myself a lot.

I hope you do, too. Because it's true.

Blessings to you, friend. Let's live loved.


Linking up today with other writers for Five Minute Friday. Head on over to Kate Motaung's blog to find out about it, or join in. Today's prompt is "team".

Friday, August 12, 2016

lift the hand

Linking up today with other wild writers at Kate Motaung's blog for Five Minute Friday. We write for five minutes and don't do fancy edits. In fact, today, I didn't even reformat. Just added a photo. That's really wild. Today's prompt is lift.

What if you don't know what to do, but you know you have to lift your hand to do it. 

Anything you want to do has to have effort behind it, and initiative.

Is there a dream burning a hole in your pocket?
Have you had dreams come and weigh heavy, and then vanish into thin air?

Have you wondered what to do with the rest of your life?

What would you do if money were no object?
What would you do if happiness was the result?

Sheer happiness with no strings attatched?

Sometimes it takes some deep soul searching.
Sometimes the hand is heavy and sluggish.
Sometimes the hand doesn't know which way to go, so it's paralyzed, so to speak.

Paralyzed by inaction.
Oh, the ability is there. 

But, the initiatve and motivation are lacking for some reason.

That reason may be unknown.

Lift your hand.

Lift the pen.
Lift the brush.
Lift the saw or hammer.

Lift your eyes to possibilities.
They are truly endless.

Why don't we think this way more often?

The freedoms we have to create and make something beautiful from nothing are here. They are right in front of us.

What will it take for us to lift ourselves out of the un-initiative, the un-motivation to start?
What makes us stuck?

What if the doing something big (or small) is just in the "getting started". 
The lifting of the hand.

Thanks for stopping by for Five Minutes of crazy free writing!

Let's lift our hands and do our happy work!


Friday, August 5, 2016

choose the happy

Linking up with other amazing writers at Kate Motaung's blog today for Five Minute Friday. Five minutes of writing for the fun of it without fancy edits. Today's prompt is happy

Sometimes it takes work to find the happy. Life isn't always as you want it to be, nor how you planned it to be.

Is it possible to be happy even though?

Sometimes it takes work to find the happy.

But, sometimes it's in the work, or in the looking for happy that happiness is found.

I find that the older I get, the more intentional I need to be about finding my own brand of happiness.  I mean, the only things I get to choose in line with finding happy are 

my thoughts and my behaviors.

I cannot control those around me and "make" them "make me" more happy.

Can I?

I cannot control them. I can only control me.  I can only control ME and my happiness and my way of being in the world.

What will I choose to fill my mind and my days with?

What will I ruminate on? I can choose. It is my privilege to choose my thoughts.

I can either choose to ruminate on a disagreement I had with someone, and what I could've done differently. 

Or, I can choose thoughts that lift me higher. Choose the happy.

Painting makes me happy.
Smiles and good times with my family make me happy.
Writing makes me happy.
Having a cup of tea makes me happy.
Watching birds outside my window makes me happy.
Thrift shopping with my daughter makes me happy.

I get to choose what to focus on.  Sure, life is not always happy. What happens to me on a daily basis doesn't always make me happy.

So, I have to CHOOSE my happy.

How about you?

Blessings to you, friend,


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Five simple ways to create space for yourself

Linking up today with other writers over at Kate Motaung's blog, Heading Home. We write for five minutes straight. No fancy edits, just writing for the fun of it. Today's prompt is create.

Do you ever feel like life is closing in around you. Like the demands for your time and energy are more than you can manage, and you're getting more and more resentful?

Maybe it's time to take a little "me" time. Time for some self-care. Time to slow down.  Below are five ways you can create more space for yourself. 

1.  recognize your limits.  We all have them. Another word for these are boundaries. We can set a simple boundary for ourselves by saying the simple word "no". Boundaries and limits protect our time, treasure and energy.

2.  be aware of how you're wired.  Are you an introvert, gaining energy by being alone? Or are you an extrovert, gaining energy by being with others? This is a very important piece of data to have about yourself. Know yourself and you'll find out quickly if you should say no to that party or YES, I'M all in!!

3.  Julia Cameron (author) advocates "artist dates" for yourself. I'm advocating a "take time for yourself date". What do you like to do?? Museums? Swimming? Coffee? Walking? Learn to be content doing things alone.

4.  Create. I cannot say enough about this. Create and your heart will be happy. Create and you'll feel free in your soul. I've written many posts about this and I've become a firm believer.

5.  Write yourself a letter from your "highest self". I mean this. It sounds weird, but it's not. It's totally legit. You'll be surprised how your higher self just "knows" something that your emotions have been overriding. I highly encourage this for emotional freedom.

Most of all. Listen to your intuition. Listen to your gut. It's going to be right. It knows what's right for you.

Blessings to you, friend.


Friday, July 8, 2016

If you're feeling small

Linking up with other writers today for Five Minute Friday. Find out the skinny on how to join in over at Kate Motaung's blog. And check out what others have written on the topic "build".

Dear You,

Have you been made to feel small this week? Less than? Unimportant. Even invisible?

Sometimes that happens when those around you are wounded themselves and they can't see past the pain, to see you.

This doesn't reflect on you at all, even though that's the ditch you often fall into. 

Time and time again, you think the way they treat you is all about you and your not-good-enoughness.

Think again.

It's when these feelings and thoughts of others come at us, and even from our own selves, (the wounded parts), that we must build ourselves up.

Our highest self must come to the rescue of the hurting, invisible, small version of ourselves and build ourselves up.

Our brains only listen to us.

That's right. Your brain will hear the words of others and try to make you think that you are the smallness that others say.

But, if your brain tells you the truth of who you are, that you are enough, those other voices will be silenced.

Good will win over bad.
Light always puts out the darkness.

It will always start with us, and it should end with us, too.

See, God created you. He loves you. He's always near you.

And, he's given you YOU!! 
Cherish the loved one that you are.
Cherish your gifts.
Accept them.

Tell yourself you are enough. Because you are.

People may come and go from your life and they will say what they will. But, you don't have to listen.
Instead, listen to the voice deep inside of you that is in tune with the voice of God.

You, my friend, are enough.

Blessings to you today, friend.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

What is your "right now"?

Joining in late for last week's Five Minute Friday post over at Kate Motaung's blog. The prompt for last Friday was "lose". 

In 2012 I got accepted to a grad school in Seattle into their Counseling Psychology program. I would have been a non traditional student, for sure, but I have felt called to help others in this way since my college days.

Because of circumstances beyond my control, I was not able to move from Iowa out to Seattle, WA with my hubby to attend grad school. 

Four years later, I am now unsure if I even want to go to grad school.

What gives? What makes you lose your focus, the purpose that seemed like it was burning a hole in my heart and (soon to be burning a hole in my pocket)?

I don't understand it at all. 

I have no desire right now to look into local programs. 

I read something from the Tiny Buddha website yesterday that one of my Facebook friends posted about purpose.

That nothing has to be done in a hurry. And, just because we don't know what to do right now, doesn't mean that "right now" doesn't have meaning.

That, to look at what is "right now" beckoning me, or calling me, is what I could do, that the "right now" can be my purpose.

Right now, my intuition, my gut is calling me to paint. I've been experimenting with acrylics and mixed media for a little over a year. 

I love what I've learned both on and off the canvas as I take bold, brave, courageous steps to make something out of nothing.

I'm not sure where this is leading me, but this is my "right now".

What is your "right now"?


Blessings to you!


Saturday, May 14, 2016

a friendship beyond words

I've never felt I was good at dialogue, but in this post I tried it. Not perfect by any means, but a conversation with a new friend stuck with me this week. 

Joining in with a flash mob of writers for Five Minute Friday, where we write for five minutes straight. No fancy editing or rewording of text. Come on over to Kate Motaung's place to see what others have written on the prompt "grow", and to join in yourself!!

Setting the timer for five minutes.

Elaheh, my new Iranian friend was at ESL group again Thursday night. She missed last week because she was so busy with work. Her English is very broken, but she's growing and learning. 

She had emailed me that she was sick. When I checked in Thursday night with her, she assured me she wasn't sick, just busy. 

Oh, the intricacies of language. Work and sick don't sound the same, but I think she got them mixed up. 

She invited me over to her house this next week for lunch. I said I would bring my own lunch this time (because I am gluten free). There were awkward silences and stares. I think she didn't understand "bring my own lunch." With a few more tries and hand gestures, I think she got it.

After group I asked her about her work. 
She said, "work is my habit."

Confused, I said, "habit? Not sure I understand. Is your work something you do because you have to? Not because you want to?

"No", She said. "A habit, like smoking or something."

I smiled. "okay." I said.

She then said "I don't think about my family in Iran as much."

"oh", I said. "Going to work helps you not to miss them so much."


Understood, my new friend. Understood.


Thanks for joining me today!
Blessings to you,


Friday, May 6, 2016

What I learned in April

So, for the past few months, I've either been delinquent here, or not shown up at all for the What I Learned post. Oh, I know it doesn't really matter if I write these silly or not so silly things I learned in April. But, I really WANT to, so here goes. Even though it is already a fourth of the way into May.

Things I learned in April.

1.  I've realized that I've done a "180" with mugs in my cupboard. I remember not too long ago, I bemoaned the fact that none of my mugs matched and I had a cupboard full of unmatched mugs. 

Yorkshire Fog tea in York, England

Funny. Now, I seem to be collecting ones that I love. See, I am addicted to tea, whether in tea cups and saucers or in mugs. I bought two mugs in England. A Kath Kidston mug which is floral and I adore, and a London mug with little red busses and Buckinham Palace guards on it.  I even have a thrifted mug with cowboy boots. I've become a mug-aholic.

2.  I've declared that I love immigration movies. Hubby was on a trip to Europe in April and I rented Brooklyn on redbox. Loved, loved it! I wonder if my fascination with immigrant movies has to do with the fact that my dad immigrated from Sweden when he was 16. Yes, most likely.

3.  A hair straightener does more than straighten hair. At my April hair appt. I told my stylist I'd really like a perm, like soon. She said they didn't offer them, but she said I could get more texture in my very straight hair using a straightener to put some "bend" in, and maybe even get some curl. 

What? I went out right away and bought a low expense straightener from Target and wallah, I had textured and slightly curly hair. Took ten minutes and I'm hooked.

4.  I also watched Room while hubby was in Germany. It was intense, but great great acting. I realized only after watching, that Brie Larson, the main character won best actress for her role. SO WELL DESERVED!

5.  Typing the word "cross" in my phone makes an actual cross icon show up. I had no idea.

Well, folks, I know I learned a ton more, but I'll share more in the May post, because, you know. I just keep learning stuff! Isn't that the beauty?

Blessings to you,

Linking up over at Emily P. Freeman's blog for the What I learned link up.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The sacredness of paying attention

How many times do I pass by things without giving them a notice at all? Just the other day, I was heading home from an errand on a commonly used road and missed my turn. Why? I was lost in my thoughts. I wasn't paying attention.

Last month, my husband and I toured Buchenwald Concentration Camp near Weimar, Germany. This was on a weekend between business meetings and we went here at my request.

When I passed through these grounds on foot, where thousands of people once suffered and many died, I was paying attention. I wasn't just passing through nonchalantly. 

standing in a concentration camp barrack space I looked down and saw 2 hearts

Everywhere I stepped foot in this place, though many of the original buildings were long gone replaced by rubble, I felt I was walking on sacred ground.

There was a peace there that is hard to describe to someone who hasn't been to a place like this. A place of suffering, and yet there was an eerie peacefulness there, a hush. A holiness that I can only describe as God's presence there. 

God in his grace and infinite mercy, present there to honor the memories of those who suffered. Those who were tortured and killed just because of who they were. They hadn't done anything wrong.

Before we left the grounds, we took a meandering path that led to an "ash grave". Supposedly where ashes from the ovens were buried.

The birds were singing the most beautiful songs in this place I've ever heard. I stood in my silence and looked up at the treetops. I saw no birds flying, or sitting on branches. Yet there was loud singing.

Could God have sent heavenly birds there to sing as an everlasting memorial to those who had gone?

I believe so.


Blessings to you, 


Thanks for stopping by today, friends! It's been awhile since I posted for Five Minute Friday. I'm happy to be back! Joining a flash mob of writers over at for five minutes of free writing. No fancy edits. Head over there to see what everyone wrote on the prompt, "pass". 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

What I learned in March

This is going to be the fastest "what I learned" post in the history of my "what I learned in a month" posts. Emily's link up closes in about 20 minutes and I desperately want to join in because, well, I learned a lot in March.

Joining in a bit late for Emily Freeman's "What I Learned" link up at

It's going to be a bulleted list, and who knows, maybe I'll elaborate on some of them in future blog posts.

On March 14th, hubby and I left for Europe and we were gone for 20 days. We traveled to Denmark and Germany for his work, toured a bit in Germany over a weekend, spent a day and a half in Paris, and then went on to England to visit our daughter who's on a Gap Year there doing youth work.

Here are some things I learned on our travels throughout Europe in 20 days.

1.  I have more stamina than I thought.

I didn't prepare near enough in the walking department. I barely squeaked out a mile or so every other day (if that) in preparing for walking to sites. My hubby's iPhone app told us we averaged 7 miles a day of walking and 20 flights of stairs/day on our travels!! What?? I did that??!! (p.s. I could feel it)

2.  I like London better than Paris.  I'll explain more in a future blog post.

3. Paris was still awesome. Arch de Triumph was breathtaking coming up on the escalator from the subway. O.M.G.

And, the Eiffel Tower. I need say no more. Astonishing and beautiful.  Seeing it at night was icing on the cake.

4. Our Paris Hotel was very old and very Parisian. (lol) The gal at the desk said, "we upgraded you to a suite, but it's on the 6th floor and the elevator only goes to the 5th floor. Are you okay with going the extra floor with stairs?"  

Huh? Before I could protest, hubby said sure. He carried our bags. And, the stairs were crooked. Oh, but it was the cutest place.

5.  Europe knows how to do gluten free bread. Oh my gosh. I was in roll and bread heaven. Too bad I couldn't bring any back with me.

6. Seeing my daughter's smile in person after 6 months of just seeing it on video chat was priceless.

7. Our son met us in London on our England visit to see his sister. Seeing our son and daughter interact again was pure bliss.

8. I love Yorkshire tea. Anytime of day. And, I'll take it with milk, or half and half please.

9. First ever double decker bus ride that I can remember (in London). We sat on the top and even at my old age, it was a thrill. 

10.  We traveled in Denmark, Germany and France and England and met friendly people in every place. People that spoke English well, and People that struggled with English. 

Our world got smaller.

Well, this is all I have time for right now, but I feel I could write a book. Maybe Emily could give me tips on how to get started.

"Out of Shape Iowa girl goes to Europe for 20 days and Survives", or some title like that.

Thanks for joining me today.

I have so much more to say. Talk about an inspiring month.

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