15 November 2017

What to do when the gifts are too generous

“Mom, people want to help,” admonished our daughter, Summer, visiting from New Jersey. “And they want to do it in meaningful ways.”


Photo by John-Mark Kuznietsov on Unsplash


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12 November 2017

How to manage fear when cancer shows up

For some people, the unknown carries anticipation. A job transition, for example, that could mean new opportunity, new friends, a new community, the excitement of pushing away from the dock and pursuing far-reaching, blustery adventures.

For others, the unknown causes anxiety. Leaving the safety of the familiar shore, being swept out into uncharted waters.


Photo by Daniel Delle Donne on Unsplash


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29 October 2017

What mismatched socks taught me about living

My husband, Gary, and I were back in Hospice House after breaking out for two weeks. Love found us there, because there is no hiding from love.

Visitors, food, chai tea in cheery red cups, gift baskets. And these groovy mismatched socks with the manufacturer’s tag that read, “Life’s too short to wear matching socks.”


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13 October 2017

8 tried-and-true beauty secrets

If we’ve lost something of incredible value — our health, a way of life, someone who is precious beyond words — then it’s important to grieve. To take our time and grieve in our own way.

At some point, though, it will be to our advantage and good health to set aside our sorrow and take a stab at living again. And while we’re learning to live again, see if we don’t become more attractive in the process.


Photo by Caique Silva on Unsplash


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8 October 2017

How to experience peace in sorrow

Not too long ago, I stumbled across an email sent in November 2014 as an update to our kids and siblings two weeks before my husband, Gary died:

“We’re home from Hospice House,” I wrote. “Gary’s still pretty sharp, his sense of humor is still intact, but there’s been quite a bit of change in the past week.”


Photo by boram kim on Unsplash


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3 September 2017

17 things I lost when Hubby died

A blog reader recently sent email about his wife who died too quickly after a cancer diagnosis. “I was unprepared and now alone. My awesome wife and friend … was now missing from my life,” he wrote.


Photo: Gary Johnson


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13 August 2017

How gritty are you?

I met him this past week at the coffee machine in my son and daughter-in-law’s Tucson apartment complex. We exchanged pleasantries and then I asked – shamelessly – how long he’d been in a wheelchair.


Photo: Marlys


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20 June 2017

How to live with knowing the future

For a second time, I’m reading When Breath Becomes Air by surgeon and author Paul Kalanithi. At age 36 and on a career path that was spiraling upward, Dr. Kalanithi was rudely interrupted. By a lung cancer diagnosis.


Photo credit:


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2 June 2017

Maintaining bonds with our deceased loved ones

Recently, the title of an online article, “16 Tips for Continuing Bonds with People We’ve Lost,” caught my eye. Maintaining bonds with the people who have died? Really? Doesn’t that sound a bit communing-with-the-dead-ish?

But then I read the article and was surprised to discover I had done several things on the list.

Photo: Pixabay

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15 May 2017

Putting dreams on paper

I’m at a coffee shop—one of those fabulous local places where the high ceilings thrum with industrial pipes and funky lighting, and a large garage door is open to let in the mountain air—waiting for two of my creative team members.


Photo: Unsplash


Jim and Michelle are meeting me here to brainstorm over some needed changes to website, brand name, tagline, purpose. Who do I want to reach? What’s the best way to get there?

Which means, stay tuned for some exciting changes!

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About Me

Hello, my name is Marlys Johnson Lawry. I’m a speaker, award-winning writer, and Chai tea snob. I love getting outdoors; would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping. I have a passion for encouraging people to live well in the hard and holy moments of life. With heart wide open.

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