Connie Gochenaur

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 · Leave a comment

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 · 4 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 · 2 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 · 2 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 · Leave a 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 · Leave a 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 · Leave a 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 · Leave a 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 · Leave a 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 · 4 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 · Leave a 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 · 2 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 · Leave a 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 · 1 Comment

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 · Leave a 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 · Leave a 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 · 1 Comment

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 · Leave a 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 · Leave a 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 · Leave a comment

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 · 4 Comments

Marriage Is About Pulling the Weeds in Your Own Garden

I read an article last night about yet another prominent Christian woman ending her marriage after 25 years. This woman has a world renown ministry.  She writes books and speaks … Continue reading

June 16, 2017 · 1 Comment

What’s In A Name?

Have you been to one of those “gender reveal” parties recently? They seem to be popping up on social media almost daily.   Couples use pink or blue props, usually … Continue reading

May 27, 2017 · Leave a comment

Don’t Judge A Pie By It’s Name

Oatmeal pie?  That was the question in my head the first time I was offered a piece of oatmeal pie.   The only oatmeal pie I knew about came in a cellophane … Continue reading

April 6, 2017 · 4 Comments

Chase Fear Away By Remembering God’s Faithfulness

Always about this time every year, I begin to get nervous about our upcoming  FMSC MobilePack.  It’s kind of like planning a wedding — so many details!  And if everyone … Continue reading

August 14, 2016 · Leave a comment

Releasing Ownership — It’s Not About Me (Meals From Michiana)

I pulled my car into the parking lot for our first FMSC Prayer Walk of this year.  A Walk for our 7th Feed My Starving Children Mobilepack.  We, the core … Continue reading

August 6, 2016 · Leave a comment

Moving Past How Are You, I’m Fine.

I’ve been meeting with a group of women from my church over the past several months as part of a Women’s Leadership Team.  What does the woman of 2016 want? … Continue reading

June 30, 2016 · 1 Comment

Community Team Walks and Prays For Starving Children – Meals From Michiana

We are now in the early stages of planning our 7th local Feed My Starving Children MobilePack, Meals From Michiana.  I became the coordinator for this event in our Northern … Continue reading

April 20, 2016 · Leave a comment

Like Any Good Exercise, Practice Makes Perfect: Write 31 Days

Day 31 of 31 Days of JOY.   Am I going to Grumble?  Or Trust? When I go back and count, I only posted 13 days out of the 31!  … Continue reading

October 31, 2015 · Leave a comment

“A Babushka Pirate Named Maude”

A babushka pirate named Maude.  What? I cannot even begin to tell you the meaning behind the title of this post. Well, let’s see… It is the last comment of a group … Continue reading

October 24, 2015 · 3 Comments

The Best Gifts Don’t Come With a Barcode: Write 31 Days

I watch my grandchildren 2 days a week while their Mama works.  I love knowing her sweet babies in such an intimate way, and I enjoy keeping them.  By allowing me to care for her kiddos, … Continue reading

October 21, 2015 · Leave a comment

Celebrating the Farmer In My House: Write 31 Days

NATIONAL FARMER’S DAY Oops, I missed National Farmer’s Day.   Did you?  It was 3 days ago.  I’m sure I’m not alone as most of us didn’t know October 12 was … Continue reading

October 15, 2015 · Leave a comment

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.