Friday, November 22, 2013


Welcome to Friday Friendly Focus. I am excited this week to introduce my friend and purveyor of hope, Kathe Wunnenberg.
Kathe and I met a couple of years ago when I attended  a writing conference in the Arizona mountains sponsored by her ministry, Hopelifters Unlimited. It didn't take long for me to note that Kathe wears her heart on her sleeve―a
heart of overwhelming
compassion which resonates throughout every fiber of her being.  I was privileged this summer to be included as a contributor in her latest book and continue to be inspired by her sincere example of being the hands and feet of Christ to those who are hurting.

Thank you, Kathe, for being my guest and for sharing your "recipe of hope" just in time for our Thanksgiving feasts. Kathe serves up a dish you will want to pass around.
by Kathe Wunnenberg

One Thanksgiving I surprised our neighbors with a gift I called “Hope Rocks.” It included: a bag of rocks, a sharpie, and a glass bowl. I could tell by their puzzled look I needed to explain. So I shared about our family’s outing the previous Thanksgiving when we exchanged formal dining for quad riding and a picnic in the desert complete with turkey sandwiches and pumpkin pie. During our wilderness adventure I wanted to create a fun family activity to express our thankfulness. But what? As I pondered and prayed about what to do, the Lord brought to my mind the story of the Israelites trekking through the desert and the miracle Jordan River crossing.  

And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, "In the future when your descendants ask their parents, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them, 'Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground' " (Joshua 4:20-22).
That’s it! I thought.
“Gather rocks!” I directed.

Within a few minutes our family returned with their stone treasures and placed them in the center of our lawn chair circle. I handed each person a marker and asked them to write on their rocks what they were thankful for, share them with the group, and then place them in the bowl. Dad, mom, fire trucks, sunshine, baseball, Jesus and the police were a few “hope rocks” I remember.

After we returned home I placed our bowl of rocks on the kitchen table as a centerpiece. On days when I needed extra encouragement, I picked one up and remembered our circle of thanksgiving in the desert and hope returned.

The next time I saw our neighbors, they smiled and said, “Thanks! Hope rocks!”

What are you thankful for? Consider starting a new tradition to express your gratitude and remember what God has done for you. Grab a rock and a marker and start writing!
Kathe Wunnenberg lives with her family in Phoenix, Arizona. She is a speaker, writer, and leader known for her creative compassion. She believes God can transform anything you offer Him-your possessions, people, places and personal life experiences-into hope to help others. Kathe embraces this daily hopelifting lifestyle and encourages and equips others to do the same as the Founder and President of Hopelifters Unlimited. Learn more about her and her newest book, Hopelifter: Creative Ways to Spread Hope When Life Hurts at 

I invite you to  leave a comment for Kathe. We would love to hear about something you are thankful for, your Thanksgiving traditions and/or a creative way in which you choose to share hope.

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving! 

Starr and Kathe


  1. Thank you Starr for allowing me to share. I appreciate you and all you do to spread hope to others through your writing, photographs and more.

    1. You are so welcome, Kathe! My pleasure. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!