Connie Gochenaur

Blessed To Do Art With My Favorite People

“Those paintings look so different,” my sister said when I showed her a recent photo from a Cookies & Canvas session.  That made me laugh because although Cookies & Canvas … Continue reading

May 23, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Sandwich Generation – A Slice of My Life featured on The Perennial Gen

Recently I discovered a wonderful new blog, The Perennial Gen.  The creators of this blog hope to reach out to women in mid-life and beyond.  I copied part of their … Continue reading

May 4, 2018 · 2 Comments

The Wonder Years by Leslie Leyand Fields – Book Giveaway!

  I attended a conference recently where I had the privilege of listening to a dozen women recite the essay they contributed to Leslie Leyland Fields’ newest book, The Wonder … Continue reading

April 26, 2018 · 3 Comments

5 Reasons Why I Love To Paint With My Mother

If you are following my blog, by now you know I’ve fallen in love with this simple painting class I facilitate at my mother’s assisted living home.   I didn’t want … Continue reading

March 25, 2018 · 3 Comments

Painting Atomic Age Art Stirs Memories For Seniors

During the last class in February, as I was setting up the art supplies, the administrator asked if she could talk with me for a minute.  As I laid the … Continue reading

March 12, 2018 · 3 Comments

3 Ways to Cultivate Your Identity as Your Children Fledge (Guest Post & Give Away)

I invited my friend Brenda Yoder to join me here today to talk about ways to cultivate our identity as we release our kids.  I know I floundered for quite … Continue reading

March 7, 2018 · 4 Comments

Living Between the Summits

A few years back, we visited my daughter and her fiancé in Colorado Springs.   It had been a few years since we had seen Pike’s Peak, and we decided to … Continue reading

February 22, 2018 · Leave a comment

Assisted Living Residents Color Valentines for Their Sweethearts

The forecast for Friday was daunting.  The news was calling for a winter storm with 14 inches of snow threatening our area.  I texted my husband on Thursday afternoon, saying, … Continue reading

February 19, 2018 · 1 Comment

Snowmen, Firesides, and Bookmarks — Assisted Living Art

A Snowman picture just seemed appropriate for the first art class in January at my mom’s assisted living facility.  The roads were snow-covered and the trees glistened with ice.  Brrr.  … Continue reading

February 5, 2018 · 4 Comments

Assisted Living Residents Paint My Life With Joy

As I was setting up for our first art class since the holidays, Phyllis came into the room, saying, “Connie, I want you to see something.”  As she got closer, … Continue reading

January 24, 2018 · 4 Comments

God Is Choosing You

I am an Old Testament girl. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to live under the law!  I’m all about God’s amazing grace, but oh, how I love that … Continue reading

January 21, 2018 · 2 Comments

Senior Artists Accept Whimsical Turkey Challenge

  There were only a few moans of apprehension when my class of assisted living artists saw my example of a whimsical turkey.  “You want us to paint that”?  But … Continue reading

November 20, 2017 · 1 Comment

Seniors Embrace Art Classes

“I turned down a birthday party invitation because I didn’t want to miss art class.”  That’s what Phyllis said as she took her seat at the table.  “Oh, Phyllis, I’m … Continue reading

November 15, 2017 · 2 Comments

This Series Was For Me

When attending a writer’s workshop, I heard an author say, ‘writing a book is like birthing a baby.’  And now, even after just  17,000 words, I get that.  I have had … Continue reading

October 31, 2017 · 5 Comments

We Should Be Better Prepared

As I sit here at my keys, thinking about the last couple of posts I need to write for this 31 Days series, my fingers are silent.  I promised to … Continue reading

October 30, 2017 · 3 Comments

61 Lessons from 31 Days of Searching to Belong

Write 31 Days Challenge:  Do You Belong Top Quotes & Highlights I knew when I chose this topic that I would not be able to explore the depths of the … Continue reading

October 29, 2017 · 3 Comments

I Am Like Them and They Are Like Me

Today is Day #28 in this Write 31 Day challenge, Do You Belong, and I’ve invited a friend to speak in my place.  I first met Elizabeth Murphy two years … Continue reading

October 28, 2017 · 1 Comment

25 Ways to not BE-long

Be the center of attention Be a conversation stealer Be thinking of your answer Be a bad listener Be thinking about yourself because it’s ALL about you Be bossy Be … Continue reading

October 27, 2017 · 1 Comment

It’s Good To Be Me

One day I had lunch with an old friend, and we were catching up with everything our young adult “children” were doing.  We had been close when our children were … Continue reading

October 26, 2017 · 1 Comment

Afraid To Be Me

Is fitting in the same as belonging?  It might be interesting to “unpack that bag” and see what we find.  I’ve quoted Brene’ Brown several times during this series, but … Continue reading

October 25, 2017 · 1 Comment

Let’s Buy Some Whimsical Pillows

As we look around and search for our place of belonging, the world can be a very confusing place.  How can we find a place to belong when people are … Continue reading

October 24, 2017 · 1 Comment

Get Out There and Meet REAL People

This past summer, I attended a writers/speakers conference in Grand Rapids.  Throughout the two days duration of the conference, we were able to schedule one-on-one conversations with authors, speakers, editors, … Continue reading

October 23, 2017 · 5 Comments

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

My grandson loves an app called Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  Do you recall that name?  It’s a spin-off from Mister Roger’s Neighborhood (1968-2001) hosted by the endearing Fred Rogers.  Funny – … Continue reading

October 22, 2017 · 1 Comment

What Makes You Tick?

Recently I was challenged to define my core values.  I mean really define them.  Put them on paper, and explain in detail why they define me.  I’m not good at … Continue reading

October 21, 2017 · 3 Comments

12 Tips To Make That New City Your City

I read recently about a woman who was raised in Houston, and knew that city like the back of her hand.  A job promotion moved her family to Dallas, and … Continue reading

October 20, 2017 · 1 Comment

Don’t Steal Someone Else’s Perfect Place

I walked into the church cafe, and as I poured my coffee, I saw a woman who is normally in my small group on Sunday mornings.  “Hey,” I said, “we … Continue reading

October 19, 2017 · 2 Comments

Everyone Loves Good Fruit

You will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:16       The Fruit of The Spirit   As I continue with this series, Do You Belong, I am reminded … Continue reading

October 18, 2017 · 1 Comment

Maybe Kindness is Within Our Reach

I typed “bullying” into the search engine on YouTube and over 9 million videos were listed.  9,360,000.  I just sat there and looked at that number.  Next I turned to … Continue reading

October 17, 2017 · 1 Comment

Where Shame, Mercy and Grace Collide

Shame.  Mercy.  Grace. How do all these words tie together?  And do they have anything to do with our sense of belonging? These are deep concepts that are hard to … Continue reading

October 16, 2017 · 2 Comments

When Your People and Your Place Are New to You

During this two day hiatus from the Write 31 Days challenge, I’d like to share two books that are valuable resources if your place of belonging has actually changed to a … Continue reading

October 15, 2017 · 1 Comment

Once You Are Real

On this 14th day of the Write 31 Day challenge, I am sharing a quote from Margery Williams Bianco’s book.  It is a wonderful reminder that it is always easier … Continue reading

October 14, 2017 · 1 Comment

Does That Shame Really Belong in Your Baggage?

When I was a sophomore in high school, a boy decided a good nick-name for me would be Tank.  That’s right, Tank.  Just what every 15 year-old girl wants to … Continue reading

October 13, 2017 · 4 Comments

Its Time To Put On Our Capes and Be Brave

I’m working on being brave.  I’m working on my courage.  I want to be a superhero. My granddaughter is one of my superheroes.  She can see the kids on the … Continue reading

October 12, 2017 · 10 Comments

I Tend To Hug The Wall

You don’t have to search long to find a discussion about the differences between introverts and extroverts.  It’s a popular theme of many blog posts and articles.  Even Facebook has … Continue reading

October 11, 2017 · 2 Comments

Her Head Knows, But Her Heart

I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about this blog post.  And to be honest, I thought the best thing to do was to just delete the … Continue reading

October 10, 2017 · 3 Comments

I Am Never Enough

I am finally typing.  I’ve been resisting all morning.  Finding so many ways to procrastinate.  Facebook.  Online shopping.  Email.  What else can I find to do before I hit the … Continue reading

October 9, 2017 · 2 Comments

It Wasn’t Ever Going To Be My Home

The table was cluttered with scraps of colorful fabric and long lengths of ribbon.  Thread clung to my shirt and littered the floor.  I am a messy seamstress.   In the … Continue reading

October 8, 2017 · 3 Comments

If We’re Honest

Sometimes we build the walls that keep us from fitting in.  Walls nobody can get through. Sometimes we’re pretending to be somebody we’re not. Only when we are transparent enough … Continue reading

October 7, 2017 · 1 Comment

All I Know Is I’m Not Home Yet

On Day 2 of this 31 day writing challenge, the title of my post was, This is NOT Where I Belong.  Ever since that post, I can’t get this song … Continue reading

October 6, 2017 · 2 Comments

Is Green Acres the Place for Me?

Recently a new friend, a mentor actually, confidently said, “I have a deep need to belong”. My first thought was, ‘Wow, did she just say that out loud?’ I, too, … Continue reading

October 5, 2017 · 6 Comments

The Pages of The Story Keep Turning

So here we are, real characters in this ‘grand epic’, this amazing story of God’s.  But do you ever feel like you didn’t get here at the first roll call?  … Continue reading

October 4, 2017 · 4 Comments

A Grand Epic

When I am looking for a good summer book to read, I like to find a nice long novel.  I want to hold the actual book in my hand, and … Continue reading

October 3, 2017 · 2 Comments

This is NOT Where I Belong

Adam and Eve were placed into the Garden of Eden.  It was where they belonged.  One wrong decision changed their lives, and set them on a different course.  I left … Continue reading

October 2, 2017 · 2 Comments

Created Into Community

Right from the get-go, man had community. Once upon a time there was a man named Adam and…  well, the animals.   That’s a community, right? There is a bit more … Continue reading

October 1, 2017 · 1 Comment

Just a Simple Magnifying Glass

I wasn’t prepared for the reaction Phyllis had when I set the magnifier in front of her.  “Oh my!  Look at that! Can you believe it?  Wow.  I can see … Continue reading

September 24, 2017 · 1 Comment

“Follow Me” Was Coined Long Before Twitter

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks, or the church … Continue reading

September 23, 2017 · Leave a comment

Encourage the Artist in your Life today

  Some of you, who are artists, might recognize this picture.  It was one of the very first drawings I did as an adult when I rekindled my interest in … Continue reading

August 25, 2017 · 1 Comment

Color Or Paint? Assisted Living Art Class Update

In my last blog post, I promised to keep you updated on the art class at my Mom’s assisted living facility.  We have had two classes since that last post. … Continue reading

August 22, 2017 · 2 Comments

Children Feeding Children – A Short Story

It was an early Saturday morning in September, and Aubrey, Gage, and Levi were eager to get inside the building. Each of them carried a small plastic baggie filled with … Continue reading

August 19, 2017 · Leave a comment

How Art Lessons For the Elderly Teach Life Lessons to Me

“I want to come back, Connie.  Whatever it takes, I want to come home.” It has been almost 2 years since I put “pen to paper” about my journey with … Continue reading

July 19, 2017 · 5 Comments

Hebrews 10:35-36

Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have a need of perseverance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. You will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.