Blessing Boxes


Image by by New Life Church CollingwoodCollege students shouldn’t have to think about whether or not they will have a meal during the day. But that is a scenario that many face, and most of the world isn’t aware of the struggle. In 2014, Feeding America, the USA’s largest emergency food assistance network, calculated that around 10% of its 46.5 million adult clients attend school, including 2 million full-time students1.

These are people who are better themselves, putting all their time and resources into educating themselves so they can contribute to the world, and have a better future for themselves.

A Watertown, NY man realized the need for food college students while working on a project for his own studies, and he did something about it. Army veteran Roman Vezpinoza set up a Blessing Box in his yard, and the idea is catching on. Good Housekeeping has an inspiring article on his mission.

Brilliant. And so inspiring.

*This post is written as part of the We are the World Blogfest. Come join us as we spread inspiring stories 🙂





inspirational, thankful

Kind People Running Coffee Shops

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When I visit Europe, it somehow seems magical. Although I know that the people there are the same as the people here, the parks, restaurants and homes seem to have a bit more enchantment. As a result, I am now deliberately seeking similar spots here in the United States. To my delight, I’m realizing that it’s not too difficult. Charming places abound — such as this great little coffee/bagel spot we found in Oakville, Ct. The kindness of the people there was inspirational, and I’m also thankful for the experience.

Chris and I had to kill a few hours while our new-to-us car was getting touched up, and the mechanics at the dealer recommended a place up the street where we could work and grab a bite to eat. We headed up the road, past an old mill  that seemed steeped with  history.


Shortly after that, we stood on a bridge to watch some geese swim. Locals have clearly been feeding them since they all started swimming towards us as soon as we stopped.


We made it to our destination and were welcomed like family. The food was freshly cooked, and the Internet was strong. Sometimes when I work at a place of hours on end, I feel a bit intrusive. But at this place, the woman who was running the place actually came over to us and thanked us for working there. She told us that it was so nice to see the place being used like that (then she offered us free coffee–isn’t that amazing?).

As the hours drifted on, we ordered lunch there as well. Equally as good as breakfast. They even has fresh old-fashioned-style ginger beer.


People drifted in and out — each person welcomed sincerely. Some brought gifts such as fresh herbs from a local farmer’s market. The small-town “let’s all work together to make each other’s life better” vibe was certainly strong.


The woman running the place stepped out with a patron for a moment, and they graciously posed for a picture for me.

If I’m ever back in that area, I know I will be stopping in at Baked and Brewed.



Park, Sleep and Fly


Holiday Inn Express

This year we made a brand new discovery. Park, Sleep and Fly packages. We had to leave our car for a month on our recent travels. For around $100 cheaper than staying at the airport parking area, we got a night in a hotel before our travels, a breakfast and a shuttle to and from the hotel. We even got a jump when we came home to a dead car battery 🙂

While we had a fabulous stay at the Holiday Inn Express, and plan to go back in the future, there are other places people can use such as the ones found on I’m very thankful for that find.


Extra Coins

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Euros - Image from
Euros – Image from

We are winding down our month of living in Portugal. As with any trip to Europe, we’re doing all we can to use up those euro coins since they are awkward to hold on to and aren’t necessary back in the United States. I was mentioning this to a friend, and she had a great suggestion.

Every  time she leaves a country, she takes her left over cash and stashes it in unique public locations in the area. There is always a hope that it will brighten someone’s day when it’s discovered. Perhaps buy a meal or inspire someone else to leave cash stashes around for others, too.

Inspirational thought, eh?

Euros - Image from
Euros – Image from

Perspective on Limitations

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“But just then, for that fraction of time, it seems as though all things are possible. You can look across the limitations of your own life, and see that they are really nothing. In that moment when time stops, it is as though you know you could undertake any venture, complete it and come back to yourself, to find the world unchanged, and everything just as you left it a moment before. And it’s as though knowing that everything is possible, suddenly nothing is necessary.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander


Thankful for Online Church Services

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It’s my first Easter in a seriously long time where I can’t attend services at my home church (the one I attended before I moved). Today I’m in a hotel working before traveling again. Such a gift to celebrate Easter with my loved ones from my former home.

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