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Sara's Shorts

Sara's Shorts

By Sara Dagen
Pocket-sized stories for the soul. Sara's Shorts is the podcast version of my blog, All Things Work Together, where I tell life stories with a purpose. Often faith-based, usually humor-laced, always worth a listen. Or that's my goal, anyway! Some of my would-be-faithful readers suggested I create a podcast so they could listen as they do life. Thanks for joining me! You can visit my blog posts at saradagen.com.
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This Is How I Want to Age Well

Sara's Shorts

This Is How I Want to Age Well

Sara's Shorts

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Hoodie = hoodlum?
This is a throwback to March 25, 2012. In this post, written shortly after the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, I explore the role fashion played in his death. The young man was wearing a hoodie on a chilly, wet evening when he was shot by a self-appointed neighborhood watchman.  This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2012/03/25/hoodie-hoodlum/
07:27
June 23, 2022
Just being honest…
This is a throwback to March 24, 2012. My youngest son was still playing baseball (at times frustrating), and my only daughter was newly married and speaking truth into my life. But, as she shared, sometimes truth doesn't need to be spoken in the moment. Maybe it needs to be spoken after the moment -- and our anger or frustration -- has passed. It is something to consider. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2012/03/24/just-being-honest/
06:29
June 16, 2022
If Your Spouse Doesn’t Share Your Faith, What Do You Do?
Today's podcast is an answer to Elle, a friend who has joined me in a topical Bible study. She's asked me a list of questions I'm trying to answer using Scripture. Some of those studies will become blogs and podcasts. Elle and I are married to believers, but the way we pursue God looks completely different from how they do. It seems we don't share the same faith because we don't practice it the same way. Maybe you can relate? Here's what to do if you find yourself in that situation. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/06/14/if-your-spouse-doesnt-share-your-faith-what-do-you-do/
13:20
June 14, 2022
Freaky Friday…
Throwback to March 17, 2012, when my youngest son Adam was playing varsity baseball and my only daughter Laura was newly married. I was playing schoolteacher, mom, baseball team chauffeur, and score keeper -- and, as it happens, the biographer, capturing in the written word what we experienced this Freaky Friday on and off the field. Anything can happen in baseball, it seems, and on the road to and from the games. Enjoy this #ThrowbackThursday. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2012/03/17/freaky-friday/
08:17
June 09, 2022
This Is How I Want to Age Well
It was the one rose that remained of the exquisite bouquet my husband had given me, but it was enough to impart the message. This new podcast is short, sweet, and inspirational -- for those of us who are aging, anyway (which is everyone, of course). Reminiscent of Dylan Thomas' "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," but less poetic, less direct, and more direct at the same time.  This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/06/07/this-is-how-i-want-to-age-well/
03:32
June 07, 2022
Totally unprepared am I…
Throwback to March 12, 2012, to a blog post published on my website, All Things Work Together. It was a day as a teacher when I stood in front of a classroom of students completely unprepared. I had tried to meet this mishmash of students "stuck" with a somewhat remedial English class the last period of the day instead of taking P.E. or an elective. So I started the period with prayer, and God took over from there and made it beautiful.  Enjoy this #throwbackthursday. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2012/03/12/totally-unprepared-am-i/
05:41
June 02, 2022
This Is Why We Should ‘Leave It Better Than We Found It’
This was a post I spoke into my phone's Otter.ai app as I walked the beach on my last day of vacation. Sunrises on the East Coast of Florida offer a unique beauty and time for me to interact with the God who created it, but this morning was filled with distractions, namely trash and more trash. Hence, this blog and resulting podcast. I plan to be part of the solution. How about you? This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/05/29/this-is-why-we-should-leave-it-better-than-we-found-it/
11:16
May 31, 2022
STuCK…
Throwback to March 10, 2012, to a blog post published on my website, All Things Work Together. Apparently, I was swamped with school (teaching) and grad school (learning) -- plus parenting, wife-ing, housekeeping, and everything else, because I had a gap between my last blog post and this one. And today, this day, I was done. Stuck, in fact. So stuck I titled my post that -- in all capital letters except the u. Not sure why! Enjoy this #throwbackthursday. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2012/03/10/stuck/
04:15
May 26, 2022
When It Seems That Nothing You Do Matters, Know This
Why do you do the things you do? Are you hoping for "likes" or applause or just some appreciation for your effort? I was -- until I was reminded I should do this. Maybe this message will encourage you, too.  This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/05/24/when-it-seems-that-nothing-you-do-matters-know-this/
10:01
May 24, 2022
If You’re Wondering How God Could Use You, Maybe This Will Help
God can use simple — and beautiful — experiences to impart inspiration and life lessons. Today, I had that privilege. I hope it touches you, too. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/05/19/if-youre-wondering-how-god-could-use-you-maybe-this-will-help/
07:04
May 22, 2022
Experience or Witness Trauma? PTSD Could Happen to You, Too
My post-traumatic stress disorder, diagnosed after my first husband Bill’s death, made me fear what Satan would drop into my life to strangle me, to make me pay for my complete surrender to God. This is my account of how PTSD impacted my life. You don't have to be in the military to experience this serious disorder; I hope my story gives you hope.  This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/05/10/experience-or-witness-trauma-ptsd-could-happen-to-you-too/
13:40
May 22, 2022
Not so “over it”…
Throwback to February 6, 2012, to a blog post published on my website, All Things Work Together. As I read through these words I wrote 10 years ago, I can almost hear "The Princess Bride's" sword-fighting Spaniard, Inigo Montoya, say, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." He would use the word phrase rather than word, pointing to my use of the phrase "over it." I'm not sure I have made as much progress as I'd have liked in the decade of time I've had to truly get "over it." #throwbackthursday This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2012/02/06/not-so-over-it/
05:14
May 19, 2022
Competitive nature…
Throwback to February 5, 2012, to a blog post published on my website, All Things Work Together. Funny, but I wrote this post as I was coming off an illness and struggling to find my usual zest and energy for life -- just as I am today. I was a grad student in educational technology, and one of my dearest friends in my course of study was Lala. But on this day, Lala was challenging me to be better. It wasn't what I wanted, but it was what I needed.  #throwbackthursday This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2012/02/05/competitive-nature/
05:11
April 28, 2022
The Most Important Fabric of My Gym Life Is Made of Yarn
Ironically, I'm publishing this on a rare day when I didn't go to the gym, but Connie is good with that. I'm sick, and she wants nothing to do with whatever virus I'm fighting at the moment. (I don't either, but I don't seem to have a choice -- other than not to share it.) Connie became a close friend because of our shared love for step aerobics and aqua Zumba but remained a close friend even after those classes disappeared from the gym's schedule. Would I be as faithful at the gym without Connie? Probably. I went without her for a year due to the pandemic. But am I happier at the gym WITH Connie? Absolutely! I recommend you get your own Connie if you can!  This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/04/26/the-most-important-fabric-of-my-gym-life-is-made-of-yarn/
09:02
April 26, 2022
Who Knew Their Hunt for Eggs Could Have Eternal Significance?
It was an"eggsiting" day at the Dagens house on Easter, time for the annual egg hunt. We were determined that this egg hunt would be joyful and equal -- and tear-free. But would we get to that result? And what means would we use to get there? That is the story!  This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/04/22/who-knew-their-hunt-for-eggs-could-have-eternal-significance/
10:57
April 23, 2022
These 3 T-Shirts Tell the Story of Easter Past and Present
This is a throwback to Easter Sunday 2020, when we were in lockdown mode, unable to go to church or even gather as families. It proved a time of reflection for me, and my mind went back to two T-shirts in my past and one my daughter was wearing at Easter. Their message, combined, tells the whole Gospel story, the reason why Easter is so significant. Today I changed the title from "This Easter, Why Not Become a 'Whosoever'?" to "These 3 T-Shirts Tell the Story of Easter Past and Present." Past because Jesus accomplished the T-shirt message in the past -- for us. Present because becoming a whosoever could be your choice today. Happy Easter, my friends!  This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2020/04/12/this-easter-why-not-become-a-whosoever/
13:13
April 17, 2022
Deep offerings
Throwback to February 4, 2012, to a blog post published on my website, All Things Work Together. In this post, I reflect on the little drummer boy and Eric Liddell, the great Scottish runner in the 1924 Olympics, and wonder if my gift of writing is enough for God -- and do I dare write? If you're struggling with your own deep offerings, give this a listen. You may find encouragement in my wonderings.  #throwbackthursday This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2012/02/04/deep-offerings/
04:55
April 14, 2022
Out of All the Memories I Could Keep, This Was the One
When I was a young girl, my mother was a reporter for the local newspaper and some local magazines. In that role, she often took me and my older sister along for interviews, when that interview would include a tour or activity she knew would interest us. And so I saw my mother on the job -- and the damage she could wield with a pen. Recently, I found I could do that, too, and so begins my reflection of my mom. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/04/12/out-of-all-the-memories-i-could-keep-this-was-the-one/
11:47
April 13, 2022
Speechless…
Throwback to February 2, 2012, to a blog post published on my website, All Things Work Together. This post takes me back to my teaching days at a small Christ-centered school that did not afford me the luxury of substitute teachers ready to swoop in and save the day when I was sick. So I worked sick -- and shared the joy. Just as other teachers had shared it with me. I give them a nice shoutout, at least as loud as my laryngitis would allow.  #throwbackthursday This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2012/02/02/speechless/
04:25
April 07, 2022
I’ll Hide My Face and Let You Guess My Best Hairstyle
Today's episode takes us back to 2020, when COVID-19 was the great unknown that made us wear masks that kept us unknown to others. (It was also the year when I got bags under my eyes and serious crow's feet -- just in time to showcase everything above my mask. Yay!) This was when I switched hairstylists and just wanted to show my face -- once -- to get an appropriate haircut. Two years later... the big reveal did not give me the results I expected. That's all. This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/04/05/ill-hide-my-face-and-let-you-guess-my-best-hair-style/
08:08
April 05, 2022
FAT enough?
Throwback to January 29, 2012, to a blog post published on my website, All Things Work Together. This post takes me back to when my health and fitness center welcomed new equipment -- X-Force weight-lifting machines -- and a whole new weight loss program to go with it. The first participants got to participate for free -- but you had to meet the qualifications, part of which was to be fat enough. Would I make the cut? #throwbackthursday This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2012/01/29/fat-enough/
06:21
March 31, 2022
Even a Purple Pinky Toe Can Teach You a Life Lesson
Today's episode is about my purple toe, which reminds me that we need all our body parts healthy and whole and working  -- and we need to follow God's instructions first and foremost. Why is my toe purple? Well, that IS the question, isn't it? I guess you have no choice but to listen.   This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/03/29/even-a-purple-pinky-toe-can-teach-you-a-life-lesson/
08:34
March 29, 2022
‘That’s what friends are for…’
Throwback to January 29, 2012, to a blog post published on my website, All Things Work Together. At the time, I was an Ed Tech grad student and struggling with my research course. In this post, two friends came to my rescue, and I am reminded how wonderful it is -- and perhaps how simple it is -- to have and be a friend. #throwbackthursday This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2012/01/29/thats-what-friends-are-for/
05:27
March 17, 2022
May I Put My Positive Spin on Christian Privilege?
Today's podcast is one of those "do I dare publish this?" It was longer than I wanted. It touched on a hot topic politically, which I always try to avoid. But the hot spot in my heart said, "Yes, dare to publish because this is right." So here it is, my take on Christian Privilege. The short story -- because this is Sara's Shorts, right? -- is that being a Christian IS a privilege and, truly, the more the merrier. I hope you're enjoying this privilege too. Thank you for listening! This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/03/16/may-i-put-my-positive-spin-on-christian-privilege/
15:47
March 16, 2022
Procrastination…
Throwback to January 26, 2012, to a blog post published on my website, All Things Work Together. Clearly, this is dated, as I mention both being a student and being a teacher -- and having a 15-year-old son at home. He was my youngest and is now 25 -- and I still think he'd do better if he were assigned something via YouTube or videogame or, more likely, Tik Tok. However, my struggle in this episode of my life was finding quality articles for an annotation due for my research class in grad school. However, I can manage to relate "procrastination" to any task I'd rather not do -- or seem to find hard to do. How about you? #throwbackthursday This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2012/01/26/procrastination/
05:35
March 10, 2022
Ping Pong and Purpose Softened My Heart for Jesus
Today's podcast reflects on a pivotal moment in my youth -- one I had accepted without much wonder as a teen but now fills my heart with gladness. I hope it touches your heart too.  This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/03/09/ping-pong-and-purpose-softened-my-heart-for-jesus/
09:34
March 09, 2022
OCD Action News…
Throwback to January 25, 2012, to a blog post published on my website, All Things Work Together. Clearly, this is dated, as I mention both my daughter's wedding just passed and a hair straightener. Laura's been married a full decade now -- and I've given up on pristine, straight hair. Curls rule the day. However, the struggles with OCD -- never diagnosed -- are as real today as they were that night I returned to my classroom. Just to make sure I'd done something. Do you relate? #throwbackthursday This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2012/01/25/ocd-action-news/
05:55
March 03, 2022
You Might Have Had Me at Hello, Except You Never Said It
It was a simple thing: hello. Yet it has made a world of difference. This story from the gym encourages me to initiate a conversation with that little word, even when I'm wishing someone would say it to me first. I can already imagine myself in my next networking event, breaking the ice with hello. Speaking of it, hello to you, dear listener! Thank you for taking the time to listen.  This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/03/01/you-might-have-had-me-at-hello-except-you-never-said-it/
07:39
March 01, 2022
Where have all the timers gone?
Throwback to January 24, 2012, to a blog post published on my website, All Things Work Together. Funny, though the situation has changed -- my children have flown the nest, I've changed careers, we no longer misplace timers -- the theme has stayed the same. Frustration may rule the hours and seem to make them disappear without purpose, but the Time Giver remains the true value of our day. I hope you find a blessing in this podcast.  This episode is also available as a blog post: Where have all the timers gone?
06:32
February 17, 2022
My Cat Understands the Power and Blessing of Her Master’s Hand
Sometimes God's lessons are so easy a cat can teach them! In today's podcast, I share how my cat models behaviors I should do. (Better sharpen my nails! Just kidding.)  This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/02/16/my-cat-understands-the-power-and-blessing-of-her-masters-hand/
06:34
February 16, 2022
What More Could You Want Than Text and Audio From Your Favorite Blogger?
Yes, me! (I am your favorite blogger, right?) I've jumped into podcasting -- clearly. Here's the story of why and how my first podcast was received -- by one faithful friend, anyway. Thanks for joining me here as I learn and, I hope, get better at this form of communication. Feel free to message me, reach out on social media, or comment on my blog. I'd love to know how I can improve and make this podcast a part of your routine.  This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2022/02/08/what-more-could-you-want-than-text-and-audio-from-your-favorite-blogger/
08:23
February 08, 2022
The call of duty…
Throwback: My first blog post, circa January 2012. I started writing a blog at the encouragement of my classmates in grad school. At the time, I was teaching full-time, had a few children still living at home, and was frustrated by the futility of cleaning my kitchen. Ten years later -- after a full decade of blogging, a change of career from teaching to communications, and the emptying of my nest -- the call of duty (and the kitchen of work) remain. Perhaps you can relate?  This episode is also available as a blog post: http://saradagen.com/2012/01/22/hello-world/
06:38
February 06, 2022
Correction Equals Love in God's Math
I don't handle criticism well. I aim to be perfect so I avoid criticism. I aim to be perfect; I don't reach perfection. Which God knows. And (oh, my wounded pride) so does my husband.
08:31
February 02, 2022