LIFE: on our street

Why Can’t I Hear Angels Sing? The Twelve Labors of Christmas

By Dr. Penny Freeman

  1. List everything you think people in your life want that will bring them ultimate joy.
  2. Try to find these items cheaper (anywhere) by checking all the search engines and local merchants within a five-mile radius.
  3. Stop and drag out all the decorating stuff. Trim the tree to surprise your spouse. Put all the boxes away to keep house tidy.
  4. Maintain a good attitude.
  5. Create a Martha Stewart-type menu to feed eight hungry adults and three [...]

Holidays Make Me Blue for Something…

By Dr. Penny Freeman

I am still full and none of my pants fit. The table was lovely and the food came out perfectly. We drank eggnog, consumed food we only see once a year, and everyone was in a good mood and on time (except for a two-year old who can’t help being two right now).

Leftovers were abundant, and people went home to sleep off the food coma. My weary body crawled towards bed. [...]

Hillary and Donald Aren’t Coming to Thanksgiving

There was an eerie silence in Times Square November 9th. In the city that never sleeps, you could hear a pin drop at 1:00 am. No one spoke.

“God has given us another chance” I read in a post the next day. “I don’t think I can forgive them for voting for Trump,” said another. “How can we possibly believe in the same God while holding such opposing views?” “Maybe they aren’t really Christians.” “81% [...]

By |November 18th, 2016|Shari Thomas|5 Comments|

How Do We Experience Inner Soul Rest?

Is it possible to live with rhythms of work and rest in today’s society? More importantly, how do we experience inner soul rest? These questions surfaced after my last blog post, “Too Much.”

We’re not the only ones asking these questions. Time’s cover story last week was dedicated to the rising depression and anxiety in teens. The drama in junior and senior high school is magnified to a tipping point as teens struggle to [...]

Too Much….

This summer I began writing on a life-long interest, survival and resiliency, only to discover that my friend Penny Freeman was doing the same. Here are her thoughts:

I am learning about resiliency for my new life stage (sixth decade of life, fourth decade of marriage, having less energy, a weaker body, and grandchildren who expand my heart and my desire to run until I am dead).  Resiliency fascinates me because I am staring down [...]

What is Bothering You Today?

Are you overwhelmed? Anxious? Are there too many pending deadlines weighing on you?

I went on vacation this summer intending to work several hours each afternoon. We arrived at the beach Saturday afternoon. I planned to begin writing on Monday. For years, I’ve been reading and meditating on rhythms of work and rest. Sometimes I even practice what I’m learning. It took me a full day and a half, however, to recognize the humor of [...]

By |September 27th, 2016|Shari Thomas|3 Comments|

Longing for the Perfect World

September 2001 was the beginning of another church calendar year, school year, car pool schedule, fall sports, children’s church, new member lunches and the revolving door of people who came through our home. We were heading into the fourth year of our church plant drawing a unique group of skeptics, de-churched and addicts. Visiting families didn’t usually come back. Our struggling children’s ministry experienced more kids leaving then joining.

And I? I was the frantic [...]

By |September 12th, 2016|Shari Thomas|1 Comment|


We met for a simple summer lunch, both showing up in our straw sunhats. I had barely slipped into the booth before we both started talking at once. “Let me tell you the idea that came to me last night.” She announced. “I’m getting edibles.” My mind raced, trying to make sense out of what she was saying. I asked a few questions but she couldn’t hear me. “I forgot to put my hearing [...]

By |September 2nd, 2016|Shari Thomas|3 Comments|

Reentry & Group Stages

“I caught a taxi and I’m heading home” I texted my husband after our leadership intensive. John was waiting to hear about Parakaleo’s newest training event and I knew he was eager to discuss how he could use it in his work.

We both travel so you’d think we’d be accustomed to the rituals of reentry. But even with the best of plans it always requires more work then we expect. After John’s own full [...]


Backpack, beach bag, exercise roller and a sun hat large enough to shade two completes my traveling ensemble, and I head to the airport.

I’ve prepared for and anticipated this trip more than most. I’m heading home to Cuba. I haven’t been back in over eight years. And this time I’m going with my daughter, who is working on doctoral research, and my one-year-old grandson. I can’t wait to show him off, to speak Spanish, [...]