Category Archives: Friends


What Do Your Feet Tell You?

Happy June! Hope you are finding time to curl up with a book and relax. (Check out a suggestion and book giveaway at the end of this newsletter.) We continue to have more rain than normal here, which does always make me think about reading.

I discovered a book recently: Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People  by Joe Navarro with Marvin Karlins, Ph.D. Mr. Navarro worked as a special agent for the counterintelligence division of the FBI and much of what he writes about involves investigating suspects and trying to determine if they are telling the truth.

He seems to pay particular attention to feet: “If you want to decode the world around you and interpret behavior accurately, watch the feet and the legs; they are truly remarkable and honest in the information they convey.”


He explains that a person who stands in an L-position, with one foot pointed toward you and one pointed away from you might stay and chat for a few minutes but clearly also wants to move on.IMG_1588

A person who spreads her feet, planting them firmly, likely wants to establish authority, claim territory. (And, yes, this was a posed picture, with thanks to my husband and one of my nieces.)

I’m guessing you need no explanation of feet pointed directly at you. (And yes, Ringo’s turned head indicates he was not giving his full attention to my niece!)


Interesting, right? And useful as we relate to people.

The other day at work I went out to the lobby to talk with a patient and happened to take notice of my feet. One pointed directly at the patient; the other pointed back at my desk. My feet revealed what I felt. I wanted to chat with this patient, and yet I also knew that I had to get back to my desk and the work there.

I want to continue to watch my feet this summer. What do they tell me about how I connect with people? Am I taking the time to truly see and hear the people around me? I want this to be a summer of pointing both my feet toward people—a summer of saying, “I see you. I want to learn more about you.”

Building relationships takes much effort and thought, doesn’t it? And, of course, it doesn’t all come down to feet.

Lately I’ve noticed how prayer helps me connect with people. As I slow down to pray for other people, I think more about them. What struggles do they face? What joys have they recently experienced? How can I act as Jesus’ hands and feet to encourage them? So often my prayers for others lead to a quick text. Or an email. Or a phone call. Or a date for a cup of tea.

How like our wise God to call us to something–prayer–that gives us courage and comfort but also pulls us to connect with others.

Feet and prayer–two remarkable friendship-building tools.

I would count it a privilege to pray for you this summer. You can leave me a comment here on the blog and then we can chat more via email. And I would be grateful if you would pray with me about a second book (on building friendships). I have a finished proposal and three sample chapters and need wisdom to sort out next steps.

Cheering you on this summer as you seek to connect with others. May God give us strength and courage to keep our feet and our prayers pointed toward others even when that connection poses challenges. :)

A Giveaway and a Request

Looking for a summer read? I have a copy of a book I’d love to pass on to one of you: The Wonder Years:51U6rcmcTYL (1) 40 Women over 40 on Aging, Faith, Beauty, and Strength. Leslie Leyland Fields edited this essay collection by women, including Kay Warren, Elisa Morgan, Shannon Etheridge, Madeleine L’Engle, and Luci Shaw.

In exchange for a freebie book, I’d love to get one of your favorite recipes and permission to feature it on this blog and on my Pinterest account next month.

If I hear from more than one of you, I will find another book to send you. My office shelves overflow!


Happy In(ter)dependence Day

Perhaps you will attend a parade today or a block party or family barbecue. Interesting, isn’t it that all the activities we typically participate in to celebrate July 4 involve people?

For several years now I’ve wished we could rename this holiday and call it National Interdependence Day—seems, really, to describe the day more accurately. Those early settlers needed each other to draw up and execute their plan for a life in America.

When I think of the word independence, I think of a sturdy, determined two-year-old proclaiming, “Do it self!” But no single person among us is smart enough, strong enough, capable enough to do life alone. Maybe we know that deep-down and that explains, in part, why we celebrate Independence Day surrounded by others.

If you read my blog last week, you read my musings on playing second clarinet and friendship. I talked about the idea of playing a supporting role in friendship and letting others shine. I think I missed a piece of the puzzle, though, the idea of working together for the greater good of the whole no matter what your role—first clarinet or second clarinet. My clarinet-playing friend, Roberta, commented on the blog and beautifully explained this.

As you think this weekend about independence and interdependence, let me leave you with the wise words of my friend Roberta. (Oh, and she found a yearbook photo of us holding our clarinets—too funny!) And I also leave you with a short sentence that has become my favorite: “Let’s do it together.”

Roberta writes:

If given the choice, I, too, like to hide in the back. It was a challenge to be “first clarinet” sometimes. But it was so much fun to be a part of something “bigger,” like a “music team.” God calls us to use our talents to support each other, just like the Body of Christ. My favorite part of our musical journey was playing clarinet duets with you. Loved the harmony. We can challenge ourselves to be our best, whether it be in the lead or a supporting role. Together we are more than the sum of the individual parts. And I am glad that you had the opportunity and challenge to be first chair our senior year. You have grown and blossomed from the experience.

Thank you for your continued friendship!


 1979 All State Band Roberta, Mike, Afton