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Stack of envelopes tied with string You know that stash of special letters you've tucked away?

I'm collecting examples of letters or notes that have impacted people's lives to include in a book I'm writing. If you have one you're willing to share, please scan and email it to me: elizabethc (at) heartspoken (dot) com, along with any explanation and your name, city, and state -- or it can be anonymous if you prefer. If you'd rather send it by mail (and I'd love to get a handwritten note from you!), send to Heartspoken, P.O. Box 81, Maurertown, VA 22644.

How Walking Has Opened The Door To A Beautiful New World

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Walking for exercise became walking for exploration Back in early March, when I bought myself a Fitbit Flex Wristband, I had no idea I would be unleashing my inner naturalist. A Fitbit is one of those little thing-a-ma-jiggies (see picture and Amazon at the bottom of this post) you either clip or strap to your body to measure how […]

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7 Spiritual Growth Lessons Learned From My Grapevines

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Grapes at Cave Ridge Vineyard photographed by Rod Shepherd and used with permission For years, we had lush and lovely grapevines growing along a wood-and-wire fence behind our country home. We pruned, watered, and fertilized them, enjoying the sweet, luscious grapes and turning them into juice, jam, jelly, conserve, and even pie. Having lived with grapes and grapevines […]

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What Will You Do With Your Next 24 Hours?

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http://traffic.libsyn.com/considerthismoment/339_24_hours.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download Every day holds the potential for amazing opportunity, growth, and accomplishment. My guest today, Connection Messenger* Annette Petrick, challenges us to use our next 24 hours to be all we can possibly be. Use the audio player above to listen to this 90-second show…or enjoy reading the transcript below. I […]

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Self Discovery: I’m Not Cut Out For A 30-Day Challenge

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30-Day Challenges are all the rage They’re extremely popular in my world of internet marketing and online business. I find them extremely alluring for several reasons: They don’t require a long-term commitment. They offer the promise of some form of self-improvement or progress. They provide instant accountability by declaring your goals to others in the group. They theoretically […]

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A Better Connection

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Today’s guest is Connection Messenger* Esther Miller. From the vantage point of a family member’s porch steps, she enjoys the late afternoon and finds a connection far better than WiFi and television—a connection with nature. Wireless connectivity is almost non-existent in this little midwestern town where we’re celebrating family and history on the Fourth of July. My usual nightly […]

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Heaven Is Closer Than You Think: A Book Review

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Miracles from Heaven: A Little girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and Her Amazing Story of Healing Written by Christy Wilson Beam Reviewed by Elizabeth H. Cottrell I was approached by this book’s publicist to read and review it (with absolutely no compensation or pressure for a good review), and while I was somewhat skeptical of […]

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Make Someone’s Day Today

Never, ever underestimate the influence you have on others. You may not even remember the biggest impact you’ve ever had on someone. Whether you remember it or not, you have made someone’s life better by something you said or something you did, and you can do it again and again. In the video above, Drew […]

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Have You Hit A Rough Road In Your Life?

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It’s inevitable You’re driving happily along life’s highway, enjoying sunny skies and beautiful scenery, when all of a sudden… BAM! You get slammed with an unexpected turn of events, a setback, perhaps even a tragedy, scary medical diagnosis, or loss. Suddenly everything changes and you’re floundering for a way to cope when all you want […]

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The 1957 Letter That Encouraged Me To Write

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The envelope above held a later letter from my grandfather postmarked 1965. I didn’t have the envelope from the 1957 letter described in this article. My grandfather, Robert Beverley Herbert, was 78 years old when he wrote the letter below to me, his seven-year-old granddaughter in Virginia. He was a busy attorney in Columbia, South Carolina, yet he […]

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Let’s Be Bridge Builders

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I was returning Sunday afternoon from a remarkable connection experience at the Word Shark Writers’ Conference in Newark, Delaware, with several women, all writers, who had in common that we’d each worked with editor Karen R. Sanderson, the Word Shark. We had crossed virtual paths, but had never met in person, and in the two-and-a-half days […]

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Belonging: The Ultimate Connection

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I welcome The Very Rev. Alexander D. MacPhail, Connection Messenger* and today’s guest blogger. This piece appeared in a recent parish newsletter, and I share it with his permission. It speaks beautifully about three of the essential types of connections that we focus on here at Heartspoken: connection with self, connection with others, and connection with […]

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Tree Swallow Attack: Mothers Are The Same Everywhere

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Curiosity was my downfall There’s a precious birdhouse in our backyard that my sister and brother-in-law gave me a couple of years ago. We mounted it on a wooden beam in the yard that used to hold a bug zapper (which we removed because it attracted more insects than it zapped). For the second year in a […]

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Movie Explores Our Strange Connections With Money

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I’ve been meaning to write a series of blog posts that encourage readers to explore their attitudes about money—their money mindset, if you will—and the impact money has on their relationship with others. Money is often at the root of family strife, marital disagreements, sibling rivalries, and intergenerational greed. Seen through the lens of Connection, I believe it’s […]

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God Uses Us Wherever We Are

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Inspired by a song of praise I heard a rich, melodious contralto voice the moment I got out of the car at my aunt’s nursing home about 8:30 yesterday morning. From her wheelchair, a black woman’s song of praise to God filled the morning air from where she sat, just outside the facility’s doors, and lifted the […]

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Memorial Day: A Connection of Remembrance and Gratitude

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Memorial Day: A time to remember our fallen heroes The beginnings of Memorial Day are believed to go back to shortly after the Civil War, May 5, 1868, when Maj. Gen. John A Logan, the head of an organization of Union veterans, established “Decoration Day” as a time to recognize the war dead by decorating their […]

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Rain, Wind, Fire, and Flood…And How They Affect Foods At Your Local Grocery Store

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Dry, parched hills in central California, 2015 (Photos courtesy of the author) Today’s guest blogger, Esther Miller, is also our Nature Connection Messenger.* From her new home in central California, she sees miles of dry, parched hills that have suffered four years of drought, and she reflects on the effect of rain, wind, fire, and flood, and the impact weather in […]

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Habits, Good Or Bad: They Impact Our Happiness

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I’ve been thinking and reading a lot about habits and the role they play in our behavior, primarily because I’m determined to cultivate better health habits and squash as many unhealthy habits as possible during 2015. It’s become crystal clear to me that understanding and knowing myself—connecting with myself, if you will—is critical to having a baseline […]

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Learning To Hear Our Shepherd’s Voice: Jesus, The Good Shepherd – John 10:11-18

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I preached this sermon at two services at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Woodstock, Virginia, on April 26, 2015. I hope it will bless you and expand your thinking on this familiar and much beloved passage of Scripture. A most comforting image Today is Good Shepherd Sunday, and there is probably no other scripture more comforting or more beloved than the […]

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Our Words Matter

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http://traffic.libsyn.com/considerthismoment/Program_497.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download I can certainly remember words spoken to me by adults when I was a child. Most were warm and encouraging. Some not so much. My guest  and Connection Messenger * Annette Petrick, creator and host of the Consider This Radio Show, reminds us how much of an impact our words […]

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Organic Gardening…Not Exactly By The Book

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As spring advances, gardeners in Virginia have already started planting their cool weather crops. It seemed the perfect time to bring you this wonderful post by Esther Miller, Connection Messenger* and today’s guest blogger. This delightful reflection about her early experiences with organic gardening appeared originally on her Moments In Time blog, and it is reprinted here […]

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