Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Slow but Steady

I always liked the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. I liked the moral of the story that even if you were slow and steady, that you would still win in the end. Today was an accomplishment for our RECNAC GIFTS, Lauren and I met with the staff at one of the Imaging Centers.  They had heard of our gifts and wanted to see more. They are going to have our RECNAC GIFTS available to their patients soon, in their imaging center. That would be a perfect location too because it is there at the Imaging centers that you have your MRI's, mammogram's, and biopsies done. Our seat belt covers, treatment pillows and cards could certainly be a big help and support to their patients. It was at an Imaging Center that I had my cancer diagnosed both times. That is where most people of diagnosed. It is not usually diagnosed in the hospitals, but after your tests and imaging... then you are referred out to all the different Oncologist's and Surgeons that you will need to see and talk to.

Even though I was going there today for a good reason, I could feel my stomach churning a bit from just going back there again. As we walked in, one of the nurses took us back to a conference room where we were to set up our RECNAC GIFTS to show them. She took us through the room where I had my MRI's done just a month ago. I looked through the big windows and saw the women laying there either, in the MRI machines or just coming out of it. I don't know if they saw us but I have to tell you when I walked through that room, I had the strongest feeling like I was being disrespectful as I just casually passed by. I mean, I remember all too well what it felt like to be in there, not knowing if what the results were going to be, wondering what this lump was? I just almost felt guilty that I had made it to the other side and am now sorta living a normal life now. I wanted to go in and tell each one of those ladies to hang on, don't give up the faith, don't let fear cloud your decisions, remember it's your body and your life...you have to make the right decisions for you. I wanted to hold them and let them know that someone was there and cared. Many of their loved ones were probably there in the waiting room,  because they are not allowed back in imaging areas. Even though the waiting room is just down the hallway, it felt like Jeff was miles away from me. I just wanted him by my side. Yes, walking through there brought back a flood of memories and emotions.

So today reminded me for two reasons of the story of the tortoise and the hare. One ...because even though our RECNAC GIFT BUSINESS hasn't really taken off very fast, I realize that I need to be patient and hopefully the help and support that we need will come soon. By November we will have our gifts available in two major places, so that is great, slow but steady. The second reason is... that even though my cancer diagnosis was almost a year ago, and the surgery pain and treatment pains seemed to heal slow and would be never ending. I realized that I am still on the right road and that I am making progress. I don't know that I will ever forget the fear, devastation, worry and confusion that came with my diagnosis. But I pray that I will never forget those who are going through it for the first time now, or that are still in treatment. Their lives will go on...but never quite the same. I hope some day that our RECNAC GIFTS will be out there and available to every person that has to face this awful disease called Cancer. I hope that these gifts will truly help them heal and also help them to have hope and courage. I really think our goal is possible, it just seems that we are going very slow but steady right now. Wish me luck!

mail Here is the logo that my son designed. It shows you that one survivor made these gifts for the next survivor. The word RECNAC is  cancer spelled backwards. And our tag line is... when you call it RECNAC instead of cancer, that you are taking fear and power from the word. RECNAC is a word, it is also a verb, because it is an action. Good night dear friends!

"SUCCESS IS STEADY PROGRESS TOWARD ONE'S PERSONAL GOALS"  ~Jim Rohn

"NO IDEA IS SO OUTLANDISH THAT IT SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED WITH A SEARCHING BUT AT THE SAME TIME WITH A STEADY EYE"  ~ Winston Churchill

" SLOW BUT STEADY WINS THE RACE"   ~ Aesop

 

 

Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Harvest!

Yesterday my granddaughter Angie and I just had to start putting up Halloween decorations. We waited as long as we possibly could, but once Autumn began... we couldn't wait any longer. Angie is so excited now that her pumpkins are ready to pick, here is a photo of her first pumpkin and her first ear of corn too!

What a neat thing to teach kids, to plant and take care of something and watch it grow. Then after a lot of watering, watching and especially waiting, you are finally able to pick your harvest. There is a scripture in Proverbs that says...“As you sow so shall you reap”. That is true with many things in our lives, we can not expect to reap the benefits of something if we did not put the time and effort into it. Here is a cute story that goes along with this theme tonight. I hope you enjoy it! Night!

THE SEED OF HONESTY  ~ Rutagengwa Claude Shema


  A King was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his children, he invited a group of young people from his kingdom and told them, "It is soon time for me to step down and choose the next king. I have decided to choose one of you." The children were shocked, but the king continued, "I am going to give each one of you a seed today - one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from   this seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next king."


 One of the boys, named Liang, went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot filled with soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Liang kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Liang didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by   -- still nothing in Liang's pot. He knew his seed had died. Everyone else had trees or flowers, but he had nothing. Liang didn't say anything to his friends, he just kept waiting for his seed to grow.


 A year finally went by and all the youth of the kingdom brought their plants to the king for inspection. Liang told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But his mother asked him to be honest about what happened. Liang felt very uncomfortable, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. He was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes. Liang put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other children laughed at him. When the king arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Liang tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown," said the king. "Today one of you will be appointed the next king!" Suddenly the king spotted Liang at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Liang was terrified. He thought, "The king knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me punished!" When Liang got to the front, the king asked his name. "My name is Liang," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The king asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Liang, and then announced to the crowd, "The name of your new king is Liang!" 


Liang couldn't believe it. He couldn't even grow his seed, how could he be the new King? Then the King said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take   the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds that would not grow. All of you, except Liang, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Liang was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new king!" If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Memories

 

One of my sister-in-laws lost her mother this past week. I have had a sudden rush of sadness come over me as I realized what she must be going through. I remember all too well, flying home and being with my mom the last few hours that she was here on earth. She was in a coma by the time I arrived, I had never seen anyone in a coma, I have always heard that they can hear you so I tried to talk to her like normal. I was scared, saddened by how much weight she had lost and by the smell in the room. But I knew that I needed to be with her and let her know that she didn't have to do this alone. I was there and as soon as I told her why I came, she began what they call the Death Rattle. I listened to her struggle to breath like that for almost 12 hours, it was a long night and even though I wanted more than anything for her to just magically get better, I also wanted her not to have to suffer too long. I don't actually think she was suffering at all, they had morphine going in her 3 different ways. I think the suffering was being done by my dad and I. Dad was hurting so bad that he couldn't even be in the room with her, I was afraid of that and so I knew I needed to go home and do this with her.

I prayed in my heart the whole way there, would I be strong enough to be able to do this? I wondered in my heart... how do you ever prepare yourself to lose someone as important as your mom? Who do I call on my hardest days? Who will I call for help with my recipes? Who will I talk to about my children and other concerns as a mom? Who will worry about me or know me any better than my mom? How do you go your whole life without a mom?

As I think of my sweet sister-in-law, I wish that I lived closer to help in some way. I know that she is probably holding up well right now. The first little while you are running on adrenalin and shock. There is a lot of family around, a lot of support right now. There are letters, cards and flowers coming in...which are all a reminder of love and support from so many. The toughest days though still lie ahead of her. The days when all the phone calls stop. The days that there are no more cards in the mail. The day that she wants to ask her mom about a certain recipe. The day when everyone else seems to be going on with their lives and you don't want to, at least not without your mom. Yes, those EVERY DAY MOMENTS are the hardest I think.

I read a sweet story from the book Chicken Soup for the Soul, it is long and I won't share it all with you tonight but will give you the title and the author in case you want to look it up yourself. I will also share with you the quote that came with it and the poem from the mom to the daughter. The jest of the story is that her mom got cancer, for a year she fought the battle but now she was losing it and while she is in the hospital room with her mom, she keeps remembering some of their fondest memories as a family. Most of which took place at the beach near their cabin at the ocean. Then her mom passes away and they are at the beach holding her funeral service there where they sprinkled her ashes on the water, as she requested. Here is the end of the story...

"As the funeral concluded and people began to drift away saying words of comfort to my father and me, I stayed behind to say my final farewell to Mother. I carried her favorite shell that brought her so much comfort while she was in the hospital and unable to hear the sounds of the ocean. I put it to my ear and the sound of the ocean seemed almost muted. I looked into the shell and was surprised to find a piece of paper stuck inside of it. I pulled the paper out and read its words:

To my daughter, I will always love you and be with you.

A name in the sand will never last,
The waves come rolling into shore high and fast.
And wash the lines away,
But not the memories we shared that day
Where we have trod this sandy shore,
Our traces we left there will be no more.
But, wherever we are,
The memories will never be far.
Although I may not be with you,
Know that my love for you will always be true.
Those memories will last forever,
And in them we shall always be together.
Hold them close to your heart,
And know that from your side I will never part.

As I crossed the beach, I stooped and wrote my mother's name in the sand. I continued onward, turning only to cast one last lingering look behind, and the waves had already begun to wash my lines away."    A NAME IN THE SAND by   ~ Elizabeth Stumbo

 

"Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy."  ~inspired by an Eskimo Legend

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Things aren't always as they appear!

I believe that it is getting harder and harder each day to make the right choices. It seems like some choices aren't quite as clear cut as they used to be. I wondered why that is? I believe it is because THINGS AREN'T ALWAYS AS THEY APPEAR. Now this is just an example, not a life threatening example... but one none the less.

I was using my hair conditioner today and I realized that I was running out of it. I thought I had quite a bit more to go but when I looked CLOSER at the bottle I realized that part of the bottle was the same color as the conditioner was, therefore it gave you the illusion at first glance that there was at least a few more ounces in there. I was disappointed to realize that. Then when I bought some protein drink the other day, I was automatically drawn to the bigger container because the price was so good at least compared to the smaller one. I did check the ounces so it still was a better deal to get the larger one, but when I opened it up the container was only half full. I wondered why they would waste money on that big container when they could have easily put it in one half the size? Maybe for the same reason that I was drawn to it, it looked too good to be true. Once again THINGS AREN'T ALWAYS AS THEY APPEAR.

Isn't that true in life with a lot of things though? I think choices are getting harder and harder. I realize if you don't pay attention you might not get what you paid for. You have to look and see how things are packaged, marketing is a huge thing. Presentation is half the selling technique. If someone can present something to look bigger, fuller, better than it really is ....then why not do it?

I feel like every day, not only do I have to watch things more carefully and be way more attentive on what I am choosing, but I also have to continue to teach that to my kids. Even though they are teenagers still, I believe that we have to constantly be more attentive because THINGS AREN'T ALWAYS AS THEY APPEAR! It is important to not judge your worst self against other's best self. It is vital to see what the advertisement is really for, or notice the side effects which are usually worse that your problem is to start with. It is important to not get caught up in the compliments of the world, they many times will tell you what you want to hear so that you will follow a certain path. Jeff and I saw a concert while we were at the fair. I liked the singer and the tickets were quite cheap (they told us that they were bleacher seats and in this case THEY WERE WHAT THEY APPEARED!) I was saddened by the fact that this singer had changed quite a bit. I liked her stuff years ago when she first became popular, but now she seems to have fallen into the same mentality as many in the showbiz world and she was a lot less genuine than before. I guess a bit hardened it seemed. I haven't kept up with what has been going on in her life the last few years but...her concert, her performance is not what I thought it would have been. The songs were a bit bitter and harsh. Yes, SHE WASN'T WHAT SHE APPEARED TO BE.

I hope that every day we will try to be more attentive, not only about the things we shop for but more important ...the things that really make a difference in our lives. Don't be fooled because it looks so attractive, colorful, exciting and too good to be true. Because as my mother always said "if it is too good to be true then it probably is".  Just some food for thought.  Good night dear friends!

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time."  ~ Abraham Lincoln

 

"Any seeming deception in a statement is costly, not only in the expense of the advertising but in the detrimental effect produced upon the customer, who believes she has been misled."  ~ John Wanamaker

"OUR CHOICES WILL CHANGE THE WORLD!"   ~Unknown

A day at the Fair

It was another beautiful FALL day and Jeff had the day off too! That is a great combination. We decided to go to the Fair, it was so fun. I love to just watch all the people. I wished in a way that Angie could have been with us, but by the evening when I saw all the little kids crying and so tired from being there all day, I was glad that we hadn't brought her. We were worn out and that would have been too long of a day for her.

There were so many rides that I couldn't ride, that I sorta felt sorry for Jeff. I did agree to one and that was a big mistake (FUN) but a big mistake. As we were spinning around so fast in the air and laughing and screaming Jeff tried to say to me " I think....you ...will have ....to goooooooo...see Keith ....after ..THISSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!" That is our chiropractor, we were laughing so hard but I thought my neck and back would never recover from it. I then ask Jeff if he wanted to ride the Ferris Wheel ( my back could handle that) but he said that he isn't that fond of heights...so I guess we both had our issues. It was just fun spending the whole day with him, he is an amazing man and how blessed I feel once again, to be married to my best friend!

I saw so many people with different handicaps there at the fair, I was so impressed that they got to come and that their caregivers would take all the energy to bring them there and take care of them. I personally know how much work that takes, our niece is handicapped and I have watched for years all the time and effort it takes for my brother and sister-in-law to get her dressed and ready for the day, much less take her out somewhere. But if you have ever spent time with one of these SPECIAL KIDS you will realize that you are the one that has been blessed by spending time with them. They truly are ANGELS on earth.

"Every child can learn, just not on the same day or the same way." ~ George Evans

Well, I am writing my post this morning because I was in too much pain last night to do anything but ... I did get to go to the FAIR, now I just pray that I don't have to pay the price for it (with my body) for too many days. Health is such an important thing, for all of you that have yours....please don't ever take it for granted. And probably more important...try to make the best choices to keep your body healthy and strong. I truly don't think that many of us really realized how important our health was was until we lost it. But isn't that true with so many things? Have a great day!

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~ Abraham Lincoln

"Live every day as if it were your last, because one of these days you will be right." ----Unknown

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Name sake

When I was a little girl I asked my parents how they came up with my name? They told me that I was named after my dad's nephew BOYD LYNN ( also my cousin ). I don't think I ever knew why they chose him to name me after? He was older than me and didn't live near us, therefore I didn't get to know him very well. I liked the name Lynn though and so I was satisfied. Now when Jeff and I were expecting our children, we tried to come up with names we loved and ones also that was named after someone that we thought the world of. That's hard to do when you have so many good friends and family.

Before I was married but had moved away from home, my sister-in-law Shirley had her first baby.  They named her Cristina Lynn after me. I was so humbled by that to know that I had a name sake and for some reason it has always made me want to live the type of life that she would be proud of. Now this week Cristina Lynn just had her first baby and it is a girl too. She named her Hannah Marian after her grandmother ( my mom) who had already passed on. I can't tell  you what a neat feeling that was when I heard that. Now that Hannah Marian is here, I feel like a part of my mom has come back. I know my mom would have been tickled, actually I am sure she is!

I actually have one more niece who is named after me Erica Lynn, she is another reason that I try to live up to my name. Really it is an honor to share my name with such wonderful people. I talked to a dear friend a while ago that I lost touch with many years ago. As we talked and tried to catch up on all that had transpired throughout those years that we missed, she surprised me and told me that they named their youngest daughter after me Meagan Lynn.

Now I am not telling you this to brag, but to remind all of us that we share names and lives with many of our loved ones and I think it is a great reminder to us to live the best life that we can. To live up to those names that mean so much. I love my nieces and nephews. I have tried hard throughout the years to keep in touch with them and at least let them know that their Aunt Lynn loves them. As there gets to be more and more of them, it is getting harder and harder, but I am crazy about them.

So tonight I will leave you with a few quotes that remind us of this very subject. Thanks dear friends for the great lives that you live and for your examples to me.

"FROM OUR ANCESTORS COME OUR NAMES, BUT FROM OUR VIRTUES OUR HONORS" 

"Our names are labels, plainly printed on the bottled essence of our past behavior."  ~Logan Pearsall Smith

"OUR GREATES RESPONSIBILITY IS TO BE GOOD ANCESTORS"   ~Jonas Salk

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn is officially here and so are we!

Yesterday was the first day of Autumn and for us in Seattle, it was HOT! But still the nights and mornings there is a snap of cool air. I really love Autumn, maybe because of all the Seasons that come with it and also because of the brilliant colors that seems to be everywhere! I read this quote and thought it went perfect with today's post...

"EVEN IF SOMETHING IS LEFT UNDONE, EVERYONE MUST TAKE TIME TO SIT STILL ANS WATCH THE LEAVES TURN" ~Elizabeth Lawrence

I looked on my calendar this morning to see what all I needed to do today and saw that it is the 23rd. I then remembered that it was exactly 21 years ago today that we moved here from West Virginia. We just had 2 kids then, but we knew that we needed to raise them some where, other than West Virginia so that is what we did. We took everything we owned and moved here without a job or anything. Jeff came first and after 2 LONG months secured us a place to live and a job. I can still remember the kids and I that morning, Amy was 5 and Brad was 2. They had their little back packs ready to go the night before. My mom bought them new little sweat suits to travel in and after tearful good byes to my mom and dad, we were on our way. They were excited about the new adventure and plane ride but the real excitement was seeing their dad again. I was never so glad to have my family reunited, 2 months apart was too long! We also had my brother, sister-in-law and 3 nieces and nephews waiting for us too, so to say the least we were ready to go and excited.

That was a huge decision that Jeff and I made, quite a daring one too! Now that I am a little older and a grandmother ( nana) I realize why my parents were so concerned about us. The problem is we were young, full of hope and didn't realize how many chances we were taking. We just knew that we needed a change and a big one at that and it felt right. I love living here, I wake up every day thankful for the opportunity to live here and raise my family here. I love the rain, the clouds, the mountains and the water here. We are truly blessed. So today I will remember to count my blessings more and especially the day 21 years ago, when we moved out little family clear across the United States to Seattle!

"DREAMS ARE LIKE STARS...YOU MAY NEVER TOUCH THEM, BUT IF YOU FOLLOW THEM THEY WILL LEAD YOU TO YOUR DESTINY."

"IT IS YOUR MOMENTS OF DECISION THAT YOUR DESTINY IS SHAPED" ~Anthony Robbins

"ACTIONS ARE THE SEED OF FATE, DEEDS GROW INTO DESTINY"  ~ Harry S. Truman

 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

RIsing to the occasion!


"We become more adept at rising to the occasion each time we see ourselves doing it. Every time we cope well with whatever real life throws our way, it's another deposit of confidence, creativity, and courage in our self-esteem account... When you need to rise to the occasion, do it with style. Do it with a knowing smile. Confound them. Astound yourself. Make it look easy, and it will become so." ~Sarah Breathnach

I found this quote and thought about how true it is. Every time we make a deposit of the 3 C's ( CONFIDENCE, CREATIVITY AND COURAGE ) it really does build up our self esteem and that has to be a good thing.

It is late and I think that I am just going to leave this quote with you, it's a bit deep but...I love it, it makes me want to take that challenge, to face whatever life throws at me. Thanks for supporting me, when I was too weak and scared to support myself. That's what friends are for right?    Night!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rising above your circumstances

I would imagine that many of us grew up in circumstances that were not always positive or the best for us. I always wondered why certain things were a certain way in our home and I also remember what my mom said to me when I would question why certain things were done certain ways in our home ... " that's just the way things are Lynn", then I would proceed with the all too famous line of " but why?" No matter how well my mom explained it, it didn't make sense to me and as a little girl, I wish that I had a voice ....so that I could explain how I thought things should be. But at last, I was just a girl and so I didn't have much leverage. I remember distinctly as a teenager thinking to myself often... that someday when I get married, things were going to be different in my home. I was going to try and change the things that upset me so much and ...that became a driving force for me throughout my dating years.

When I read this story it made me think of how grateful I was that I never believed it always had to be this way and that I couldn't change things. I truly expected my home would be different and it is. I am so grateful for that little "POT STIRRER" attitude that I had (even though I know it worried my mom). I am grateful for a knowledge that I am a child of God and that I didn't have to settle for anything less (although I did come very close to doing that a few times). I am grateful to be able to have kids who believe that they can be anything they want to be. I am so proud of them and their goals, determination and attitudes, it was definitely more positive than I had. Don't get me wrong, we had a lot of good things in our home and my parents are the ones that gave me that knowledge of who I was, but like any home not everything was perfect.

So hopefully you will read this story and remember to take time out to see your potential and not go your whole life... not living up to that potential! It is vital to remember who we are!  Thanks to so many of you, who have reminded me of my value and importance during the  many times throughout my life when I couldn't remember it for myself!

 

Song of the Bird

A man found an eagle's egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eagle hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life, the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet in the air.

Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. it glided in graceful majesty among powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings. The old eagle looked up in awe. "Who's that?" he asked. "That's the eagle, the king of the birds," said his neighbor. "He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth-we're chickens." So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that's what he thought he was.  ~ Anthony DeMello

"To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness."   ~ John Dewey

"Men only take their needs into consideration, never their abilities." ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

"Work while you have light. You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you."                    ~ Henri Frederick Amiel

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A little child shall lead thee...

At church I am called to work in with the children. I love how honest, sincere and yet curious they are. I always felt very blessed to be among them. They don't have the many hang ups that we adults have obtained throughout  the years. They are innocent and happy. For years I worked at a preschool, both just a regular one and then one that was for handicapped children. I loved my job, I loved being with those kids every day. I felt like they taught me more on a daily basis, than I taught them. Today once again at church I watched the children. They are too cute. So tonight I am going to share with you a couple of cute stories about kids that will hopefully bring a smile to your face. I also hope that it will make you want to take time out to spend the day with a child, then... you will really see the world for what it truly is. Good night dear friends.

Little John the Baptist

Matt. 18:4-5
"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. "

Johnny's Mother looked out the window and noticed Him "playing church" with their cat.

He had the cat sitting quietly and he was preaching to it.
She smiled and went about her work.
A while later she heard loud meowing and hissing
and ran back to the open window to see Johnny baptizing the cat in a tub of water.
She called out, "Johnny, stop that! The cat is afraid of water!"
Johnny looked up at her and said,
"He should have thought about that before he joined my church."

 

At a church dinner, there was a pile of apples on one end of the table with a sign that read, TAKE ONLY ONE APPLE, PLEASE. GOD IS WATCHING.

On the other end of the table was a pile of cookies where a youth had placed a sing saying , TAKE ALL THE COOKIES YOU WANT. GOD IS WATCHING THE APPLES! 

"Children are our most valuable natural resource." ~ Herbert Hoover

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Finding your Happy Place

I have so much to be happy about. The season is changing into fall (which just so happens to be my favorite one),some of my dear friends are moving here from back East (and are staying with us right now). I have a wonderful family, good friends, a job, a nice home... and yet today I struggled to find my Happy Place. Why?

Well, a few days ago I put a couple of ribs out, just because I used the roller and tried to help my daughter paint her room. ( I know that doesn't sound like much but welcome to my fragile body!)  After struggling with the pain for a few days, I finally got to the chiropractor and he adjusted it for me. How nice it was to be able to turn my neck without pain and also being able to take a deep  breath without pain ...is a good thing. For 2 days I was getting better until I lifted something that I shouldn't have yesterday and now I am back in a lot of pain again. Once again I went back to the Chiropractor this morning and got adjusted and tried all day to rest so that the ribs don't come out again. It has been a tough day and the pain has worn me down. I have tried to put up a good front and have a happy day but I am really hurting. So I will leave you with a couple of good quotes and one of my daughter's inspirational photo cards.  I will  just check this day off, as one of those BIGGER THAN ME DAYS! I sure hope tonight I can sleep and tomorrow is a better day. Good night dear friends!

"YOU HAVE TO HAVE FAITH THAT THERE IS A REASON YOU GO THROUHG CERTAIN THINGS.  I CAN'T SAY I'M GLAD TO GO THROUGH PAIN, BUT IN A WAY ONE MUST, IN ORDER TO GAIN COURAGE AND REALLY FEEL JOY."       ~ Carol Burnett

"THE HUMAN SPIRIT CANNOT BE PARALYZED. IF YOU ARE BREATHING, YOU CAN DREAM."  ~ Mike Brown

"IN THE MIDDLE OF EVERY DIFFICULTY LIES OPPORTUNITY"  ~ Albert Einstein

"GREAT OCCASIONS DO NOT MAKE HEROS OR COWARDS; THEY SIMPLY UNVEIL THEM TO THE EYES OF MEN. SILENTLY AND IMPERCEPTIBLY, AS WE WAKE OR SLEEP, WE GROW STRONG OR WEAK; AND AT LAST SOME CRISIS SHOWS WHAT WE HAVE BECOME."  ~ Brooke Foss Westcott

Friday, September 18, 2009

Compliments go a long way

Maybe some of you have heard this story before but it touches me every time I read it so if you have a minute, take the time to read it. And remember to give more compliments and praise, it goes a lot further than criticism, trust me!  Good night dear friends, how grateful I am to have you in my life!

Excerpt from: The Heart of a Teacher,
by Paula Fox
He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary's School in Morris, Minnesota. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, he had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful.
Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving. "Thank you for correcting me, Sister!" I didn't know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.
One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often, and then I made a novice teacher's mistake. I looked at Mark and said, "If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!" It wasn't ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, "Mark is talking again." I hadn't asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it. I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark's desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned to the front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. That did it! I started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to Mark's desk, removed the tape, and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were, "Thank you for correcting me, Sister."
At the end of the year, I was asked to teach junior-high math. The years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He was more handsome than ever and just as polite. Since he had to listen carefully to my instruction in the "new math," he did not talk as much in ninth grade as he had in third. One Friday, things just didn't feel right. We had worked hard on a new concept all week, and I sensed that the students were frowning, frustrated with themselves and edgy with one another. I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers. Charlie smiled. Mark said, "Thank you for teaching me, Sister. Have a good weekend." That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual.
On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" I heard whispered. "I never knew that meant anything to anyone! I didn't know others liked me so much." No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another again.
That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were driving home, Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip, the weather, my experiences in general. There was a lull in the conversation. Mother gave Dad a sideways glance and simply said, "Dad?" My father cleared his throat as he usually did before something important. "The Eklunds called last night," he began. "Really?" I said. "I haven't heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is." Dad responded quietly. "Mark was killed in Vietnam," he said. "The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend." To this day I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told me about Mark.
I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was, "Mark, I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to me." The church was packed with Mark's friends. Chuck's sister sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral? It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual prayers, and the bugler played taps. One by one those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water. I was the last one to bless the coffin. As I stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to me. "Were you Mark's math teacher?" he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin. "Mark talked about you a lot," he said.
After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates headed to Chuck's farmhouse for lunch. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting for me. "We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it." Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which I had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him. "Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it." Mark's classmates started to gather around us. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. I keep it in the top drawer of my desk at home." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album." "I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary." Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said without batting an eyelash. "I think we all saved our lists." That's when I finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.
The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be. So please, tell the people you love and care for that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.

"Love isn't blind, it just only sees what matters"

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." ~ Leo F. Buscaglia

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Don't forget to read the fine print

Last year, I had a ticket to go back east to visit a few dear friends. Just a few weeks before my visit, I had to do a recheck on a previous mammogram that I had prior. Those type of things always worry any woman, but are especially worrisome to a cancer survivor. I was had almost made it to my 7 year mark as a survivor. Then on October 31st 2008 I was diagnosed again with Breast Cancer, in the same breast as before. I had to immediately cancel my flight plans and began the long road of fighting cancer once again. When I called the airlines to ask what to do, they told me that my money would be on credit for one year and that I could use it toward another ticket. At that time, I didn't even know how bad my cancer was and if I would even make it for another year. I have to admit when I talked to the Airlines I was still in shock.

Fast forward almost a 11 months later and I am trying to plan once again a trip back East. As I was trying to purchase my ticket yesterday, I found out that my ticket or credit, would expire at the end of September instead of the first of November like I was told. I called and talked to a representative and they explained that the credit is only from the day that you made the reservations, not from the day that your flight was booked. My question was... but how was I suppose to know that and then the famous response came..."did you read the fine print?" I had to go back on my ticket receipt and low and behold there it was in fine print ( I would actually say that it was smaller than fine print, maybe a font size of  - 12 ! Anyway, I asked what I could do they then gave me another number to call today and plead my case. I did this morning and after I faxed over medical proof that I had cancer around that time last year, then they said that they would refund me the money. Of course it would cost me but at least I was able to purchase another ticket and have something wonderful to look forward to.

I really think that life is a lot like those important papers that we get with everything, even on every sale that we see, any special offer ....there is always a FINE PRINT that you need to be careful to look for and read before you get more than you bargained for. I think it is the little things that can make you or break  you in life. I have always told my kids to remember NOTHING IS FREE IN LIFE! When we get something in the mail or a phone call saying that we have won something and we didn't do anything to get it... then there has got to be a catch!  Some fine print that we  haven't read yet. So let's try to remember to do that, pay attention to the little things, both good and bad in our lives, because I think that is where all the difference is!  Good night dear friends!

 

"Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden..."

 

"Small events and choices determine the direction of our lives just as small helms determine the directions of great ships."
-- M. Russell Ballard

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Too Busy?

My whole life I have struggled to find that balance between being too busy and feeling like I am not doing enough. Then as I got older, with more kids and more responsibilities the struggle got even worse. When I got into my late 30's my body started rebelling on me, I guess it got tired of all the time I miss treated it...all in the name of being TOO BUSY. I didn't have time to stop and rest, there was always so much to do and so many others who needed something. I didn't help being a pleaser either, all those years. I hate to let people down, for some reason I felt like I personally should have been some type of superwoman so that I could help and serve all. When my body gave up, I really didn't have any choice other than to slow down and re-evaluate my life and changes that I needed to make. The sad part was that some of those things with my body did not restore themselves after such neglect. Now mind you I didn't neglect in every way... just certain ways. Everyone seems to have certain things that they feel passionate about, the struggle though is balance and there in lies the problem.  You are probably wondering if I have ever had any counseling for this struggle? Yes, I have and believe it or not, I have even counseled others on how to take care of themselves. The trick is...like anything else in this world, you have to keep working at it, some times daily reminding yourself to do a BALANCE CHECK.

Some areas in my life I was better at than others like I was very aware of my food and I tried hard to remember to eat only what was good for me and I planned meals out that were good for my family too.I was always very concern about the moral decisions and principles that we were teaching our kids and making ourselves. But sleep wasn't one of those things that I actually believed in, it seemed like such a waste of time. So I only sleep 4-5 hours a night, that way I COULD DO MORE!  (Balance ...yeah, I wasn't very good at that ). Isn't it funny how it is always easier to see the mistakes and wrong decisions of others, easier than recognizing them in yourself? Or how it is easy to take care of yourself in some ways and neglect others.

Tonight I just got up from a nap, I was sooo tired and hurting that I felt sick. All day, I probably should have laid low but I didn't. I was out of balance yet again! I sorta feel like a slow learner, I know that in order to serve and help others, that you need to pace yourself and listen carefully what your body is saying to you. Today I must have had a relapse because I could feel the wall that I was hitting with my fatigue and pain and yet I didn't stop, I just kept going. I think I even said to myself "Lynn, you don't have time to be this tired or feeling sick, you just don't have the time." When the truth was.... I have as much time as everyone else in the world, I just need to prioritize and stop when I need to stop. Why is that such a tough thing to understand and learn?

Anyway, I am going to head to bed again, maybe I can start feeling a bit better if I do. Please take notes from a lady that truly knows... but has a hard time following through. Don't push through that wall, it is not worth it. ( I am not talking about all your runners and the wall, I am talking about the wall that signals to  your body when you need to stop and relax.)  You will have a lot more to offer others if you take care of yourself first and you will be a lot happier; the feeling that you are always letting someone down or not meeting their need is a negative one and will not serve you in the end. Thanks for listening and for caring for me, even if I am a slow learner!  :)

Painting by Jeremy Wilson

Busy

Once upon a time a very strong woodcutter ask for a job in a timber merchant, and he got it. The paid was really good and so were the work conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work. The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees "Congratulations," the boss said. "Go on that way!" Very motivated for the boss words, the woodcutter try harder the next day, but he only could bring 15 trees. The third day he try even harder, but he only could bring 10 trees.Day after day he was bringing less and less trees. "I must be losing my strength", the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on. "When was the last time you sharpened your axe?" the boss asked. "Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees..."  Stephen Covey

"The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is on the contrary born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life.
When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything
else - we are the busiest people in the world."
- Eric Hoffer

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Learning to celebrate yourself!

I did sports most of my life and this quote "your best defense is a good offense" was repeated to me by many of my coaches. Now that I am out of school and on my own in life it is still a wonderful reminder to me of how to make the best of myself and my life. I read this article and thought it actually went along with my post last night. They were great suggestions, I am going to go and try some of them right now, how about you?

How to Celebrate yourself  ~Patricia Spadaro

The biggest roadblock to success in life is self-doubt. Doubt makes you susceptible to the critical voices--inside and out--that whisper negative affirmations such as, “I am not worthy, good enough, or capable enough to achieve my dreams.”

Don't let doubt stop you in your tracks. To keep doubts and doubters at bay, learn to celebrate the magnificent, shining part of you--even when life's storms momentarily eclipse its brilliance. Here are eight simple, but powerful, strategies to help you honor your inner radiance and keep voting for yourself--no matter what is happening around you.

Write Yourself a note...

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Pretend for a moment that you are your own greatest advocate and cheerleader. Now write a supportive and encouraging note to yourself as if you were cheering yourself on. Then pop it in an envelope and mail it to yourself. When you are traveling, send a postcard with an inspiring message to your home address. Right before shutting down your e-mail for the night, send yourself a note of appreciation so that you will see it first thing when you download your e-mail the next day. Develop the habit of applauding your own greatness in tangible ways.

Personalize Your Screen Saver

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Set the screen saver on your computer monitor to show images or affirmations that counteract the negative or doubting voices within and without. Be specific. Address what you are currently focusing on in your life. For example, you can set your screen saver to display a sentence or phrase that reminds you of your most important intention, such as “I take great care of myself because I deserve to be happy and healthy,” “I choose to spend my time in ways that energize and uplift me,” or “I listen to my own feelings when making decisions.” You might want to just use the simple phrase, “I honor myself every day."

Keep a Childhood Photo Nearby

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Choose a photo of yourself as a child that reminds you of your innate joy, sweetness, curiosity, or love of life—a photo that reflects who you really are at heart. Buy a beautiful frame for it and place the photo somewhere where you can view it often. Every time you see it, let that heart-opening image put you back in touch with the precious part of yourself that reflects back to you your real nature.

Hang Out with Supporters

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If you allow yourself to be pressured or pummeled by someone who doesn’t appreciate your gifts, you will only be in a constant battle that will eat away at your energy and enthusiasm. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone or justify your dreams and plans. Your job is to be you. Steer clear of critics and worrywarts. Surround yourself with friends who will champion your self-worth, cheer you on with both hands high in the air, and make you feel good about yourself—people you, in turn, can wholeheartedly support.

Turn On Your Windshield Wipers

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You may not be able to stop the rain that falls into your life, but you can turn on your windshield wiper to clear away the frustrations, criticisms, and self-doubts that, like a drenching downpour, can obscure your vision and make it hard to see where you’re going. When you’re feeling upset or when others aren’t valuing you, what helps you see clearly again? Taking some time alone? Meditation or prayer? Journaling? Exercise? Walking in nature? Watching an inspiring movie? Talking to a supportive friend? Scheduling a massage or a session with a life coach? Make a list of the tools that work for you so you don’t forget to put them into action when the storm clouds let loose.

Pull Out Your Feel-Good File

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To help you celebrate who you really are (not what others say you are) save all the cards, e-mails, and letters people have sent to thank you or express what they value or love about you. Save other mementos that bring to mind your strong points, your accomplishments, and the joy you have given others. Put them in a special box or file folder. When you’re beset, upset, or have lost sight of your smile for a while, pull out that collection. Read what’s inside to remind yourself that the drama or trauma that happens around you is not who you are.

Develop and Give Your Gifts

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Every one of us is wonderful in some way. Yet it’s so easy to concentrate on our shortcomings rather than applaud our positive qualities. Remember that you energize whatever you focus on. So why not focus on the part of you that shines? If you were to act on your greatness—the part of you that is meant to light the way for others—how would you give your gifts? What would you do to increase your capacity to give? Write down the answers to those questions and then ask yourself each week: What one step can I take, even if it’s a small one, to celebrate my greatness, develop my gifts, and give more of myself to others?

Create an Arsenal of Affirmations

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The best defense is a good offense. Doubts and detractors may try to unseat you, but you can be prepared ahead of time with the truth. Write down two or more affirmations to say aloud or to yourself to counter doubts and criticisms that may well up inside of you or come from others. Maybe you need to affirm “I am a magnificent being in the process of becoming ever more magnificent,” or “I have something important to say and I say it with confidence and ease,” or “My job is not to be perfect but to be the best I can be right now.” Keep these affirmations handy and, when the barrage comes, turn to your list and fire away with conviction in your heart.

"To the question of your life you are the answer, and to the problems of your life you are the solution."          ~Joe Cordare

"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through.  Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it.  This is a kind of death."  ~Anaïs Nin

Monday, September 14, 2009

Search and Rescue

In a book that I am reading about self worth, I was impressed with how the author describes trying to find the real you, the person of great value and worth. In one of her chapters she compares it to the type of work that people who are on a Search and Rescue Team. Here is what she writes..."They have been out many times to help find someone who is lost; often in the mountains. And they have learned through experience that they are more likely to succeed if they follow a certain  protocol. Here are some of their search and rescue guidelines:

~ First, be prepared. Take necessary supplies, such as radio contact, a GPS device, beacons, and know night signs.

~ Watch our for your own well-being. Then, watch out for and always stay with  your team members.

~And, finally, do all you can to find and help the victim--the object of the mission.

This order of priorities is often difficult for the family of the victim to understand; but, as it was explained to me, the team takes great care to assure there will not be more victims as a result of the search.

Follow this basic strategy on most calls: Determine the nature of the problem by gathering available information then decide on the plan of action and possible alternative. Carry out the plan. Continue to reevaluate.

These rescue guidelines were prepared for a physical search and rescue."

She goes on to compare this search and rescue to a spiritual rescue of ourselves and truly understand our divine worth. She says that the one real difference in our search is that we are often both the victim and the rescuer. And the better we get at the rescuing, the less of a need we will have to be rescued. 

FINDING THE ANGEL WITHIN  BY PAMELA H. HANSEN

Finding our real selves can be pretty hard, especially when the world is so loud on reminding us of who they think we should be. We are part of a team, with family, friends and your Heavenly Father, we need to remember we are never alone. But much of our rescue depends on us and how bad we want to find our true self and our true worth. How much we are willing to change. I know it is worth the effort and the more you do it, like she said...the less often you will need rescuing.

So hopefully we will follow this basic strategy and determine what struggles or problems we are having with ourselves and our lives. Then make a plan of action and carry out the plan. We must also remember not to forget to reevaluate our situation and progress from time to time...because life is a Journey.

Thanks for helping me in my search and rescue efforts of myself. Thanks for being part of my team.

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you'll discover will be wonderful.  What you'll discover is yourself."  ~Alan Alda

"Never mind searching for who you are.  Search for the person you aspire to be."  ~Robert Brault,

"He who knows others is learned;
He who knows himself is wise."  ~ Lao-tzu Tao te Ching

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Hug and a Smile

 

Our newest granddaughter is one month old tomorrow and just a few days ago she began smiling at her mom and dad. I still can't believe the miracle of these little ones, what a blessing they are. This is a photo of her when she was 3 days old and we caught her smiling in her sleep (don't you wish you could know what they were dreaming of?). But now she is more alert and looking around and can respond to us, it is something else. No matter how bad my day has been going, those hugs and smiles can keep you going.

Today was a tough day for me physically. I am sure that I move so much in my chair at church, that people wonder if I have two spirits in this one body. :)  It's just that I can hardly get comfortable in any position. After church I am pretty wiped out for the remainder of the day. Today was another BIGGER THAN ME day. I have had a couple of them close together lately, probably because I am in a lot of pain. I had a pity party for myself and no one was invited except ME, MYSELF and I. Even that was too many, I laid down and cried for an hour, just feeling sorry that I can't do what I would like to do. Upset because I hurt so often and that seems to wear on me and my outlook. Tired of having to hurt for hours after doing something, such as going to church. I am so thankful that I can go to church but, I hate paying the price later. Oh yes, I was a sad case indeed. Then I got a phone call and a dear friend of mine told me that she just had her baby.

So tonight, I decided to go see her and the baby. Her husband went home early with their 2 little girls and so I got to stay and visit with her and hold the baby for 2 hours, what a treat! It made me feel better to hold and hug this new little one. I watched her smile in her sleep and thought, my life is good...not exactly what I would choose, but it is good. I am so grateful that I left my pity party and got to share a neat evening with a dear friend. It certainly helped me a lot.

The Hug

There's something in a simple hug
That always warms the heart;
It welcomes us back home
Makes it easier to part.

A hug's a way to share the joy,
And sad times we go through,
Or just a way for friends to say
They like you 'cause you're you.

Hugs are meant for anyone
For whom we really care,
From grandma to your neighbor,
Or a cuddly teddy bear.

A hug is an amazing thing-
It's just the perfect way
To show the love we're feeling
But can't find the words to say.

It's funny how a little hug
Makes everyone feel good;
In every place and language,
It's always understood.

Thanks for sharing my blog with me, your support and encouragement help so much. Good night!

 

"A smile can brighten the darkest day."  ~Author Unknown

"Hugs are the universal medicine"  ~Author Unknown

 

"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." 

~Mother Teresa

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Knowing the Shepherd

A young friend of mine just got his first Bible last year, and I think I mentioned before that for his 12th birthday we sent him 12 of our family's favorite stories from the Bible. It was a great thing for us too, because we were able to go back and reread and talk about them and why they meant so much to us. I don't know why this shocks me every time that it happens, but it does. When I re-read my scriptures I am always surprised to learn something new, not that I have them memorized or anything like that, but that I keep learning something new from them... that I never knew before. I am sure that is why it is important for us to study them so often. I shared my experience with this young friend of the importance of reading and learning about the Savior Jesus Christ. Understanding who He is and what He did can make a profound difference in our lives, especially if we try to emulate Him more.

When I read this story, I thought I need to send this to my friend also. It is a great way to remind us that it is important to truly know the Shepherd. I hope you enjoy it, good night dear friends and thanks for all your love and support.

I know the Shepherd

There was once a Shakespearean actor who was known everywhere for his one-man shows of readings and recitations from the classics. He would always end his performance with a dramatic reading of Psalm 23. Each night, without exception, as the actor began his recitation - "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want"..the crowd would listen attentively. And then, at the conclusion of the Psalm, they would rise in thunderous applause in appreciation of the actor's incredible ability to bring the verse to life. But one night, just before the actor was to offer his customary recital of Psalm 23, a young man from the audience spoke up. "Sir, do you mind if tonight I recite Psalm 23?" The actor was quite taken back by this unusual request, but he allowed the young man to come forward and stand front and center on the stage to recite the Psalm, knowing that the ability of this unskilled youth would be no match for his own talent. With a soft voice, the young man began to recite the words of the Psalm. When he was finished, there was no applause. There was no standing ovation as on other nights. All that could be heard was the sound of weeping. The audience had been so moved by the young man's recitation that every eye was full of tears. Amazed by what he had heard, the actor said to the youth, "I don't understand. I have been performing Psalm 23 for years. I have a lifetime of experience and training - but I have never been able to move an audience as you have tonight. Tell me, what is your secret?" The young man quietly replied, "Well sir, you know the Psalm... I know the Shepherd." 
- Author Unknown 

 

“There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it” ~ Charles F. Kettering

" Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand" ~ Chinese proverb

" To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to."  ~ Kahlil Gibran

Happy birthday

Today is my daughter in law's birthday, which made me think of this quote it is one that we should put in every birthday card for every woman in the world. It goes like this...

"There are two important days in a woman's life-the day she is born and the day she finds out why."

~ Elaine Cannon

I have said this on more than one occasion, that it is important we find out what our mission and purpose in life is and also, to recognize how Satan works on us. I learned a long time ago that Satan can not tempt me with smoking, drinking, gambling,stealing etc. but where he seems to hurt me the most is... my self esteem. I daily have to work at that and remember no matter what I see in the mirror, that I am a daughter of God and I have great potential. Everyone has there weaknesses in life, it is suppose to be like that so  we can learn and grow. But it is vital to be aware of exactly what your weaknesses and temptations are, so that you can stay far away from them. Keeping your eyes open and watching for those, I think is a great way to help protect and nurture  yourself.

So today my birthday advice for my sweet daughter-in-law would be this...

~know what your mission is in life

~learn to love the person you see in the mirror and love others

~forgive yourself and others (remember know one is perfect)

~enjoy each day to the fullest

~ learn to listen to your body and take care of it

~ and remember your are a Daughter of God with great potential!

I guess this is great advice for all of us to remember. Hope you have a wonderful day!

"It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes."  ~ Sally Field

"The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others." ~Dr.Sonya Friedman

"It's surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others." ~ Sidney J. Harris

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We are one!

Well, today was not the best day for me, so I am going to go ahead and write my post about tomorrow. Some days (which I call my Bigger Than Me Days) come along and it seems like no matter what I do, it is still a tough day, this just happened to be one of them ...for several reasons.

I found this poem written about  September 11th, it will forever be in our memories and hearts. I think everyone can remember where they were that day when they first heard the news, I certainly do. I will never forget the  feeling of terror and sadness for all the people who were involved and witnessed it first hand. One good thing I remember is, how quickly the nation pulled together, how easy it was for everyone to believe in God and ask Him for help. For weeks every day there was some heroic or compassionate story on the TV of how people were helping each other. It was hopeful and inspiring. We certainly don't get that on a normal basis through the TV or radio, what a difference it made. It made us believe in each other, made us appreciate what we have, it made many people change their lives around for the good. So I hope tomorrow we can all remember to appreciate life, be grateful to be Americans and be there for each other...without a tragedy. And I also hope that we will never forget all those people who lives were forever changed because of September 11th.

ONE

As the soot and dirt and ash rained down,
We became one color.
As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building,
We became one class.
As we lit candles of waiting and hope,
We became one generation.
As the firefighters and police officers fought their way into the inferno,
We became one gender.
As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength,
We became one faith.
As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement,
We spoke one language.
As we gave our blood in lines a mile long,
We became one body.
As we mourned together the great loss,
We became one family.
As we cried tears of grief and loss,
We became one soul.
As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heroes,
We become one people.

We are ...
One color
One class
One generation
One gender
One faith
One language
One body
One family
One soul
One people

We are The Power of One.
We are United.
We are America.

When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time
."
~Author Unknown

"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."  ~Dale Carnegie

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The glad game

One of my favorite movies is Pollyanna, my kids just tease me because they think it is so corny but I think deep down they really like it. I love it because Pollyanna even though her circumstances weren't the best ...she seemed to find the good in everything. Life is tough and there is truly a lot of things that can make you discouraged and depressed but once again, it is our choice on how we want to handle each day and each circumstance.

I receive through my e-mail  inspirational thoughts and offers for books and movies from Mac Anderson the founder of Simple Truths. Here is summary of a book they are now promoting, it went along with my theme tonight so I thought I would share it with you. I hope it makes you want to start playing The Glad Game...right away!

Play the Glad Game...

In her wonderful book, The Wealthy Spirit, Chellie Campbell describes how, when she was a girl, her mother taught her to play "The Glad Game." On days when Chellie came home from school complaining about something - a bully on the playground, a harsh teacher, a skinned knee, or difficult homework - Chellie's mom would hug her, kiss away her tears, and then suggest, "OK, enough complaining. Let's play 'The Glad Game.'"
"The Glad Game" is another name for a Gratitude List. The Glad Game helps you focus on what's right in your world today, instead of what's wrong. Chellie's mom was a very wise woman, teaching her that no matter what your troubles, there are still plenty of things to be grateful for: a sunny day, good food to eat, a loving family, a house to live in, a family pet to love, a handful of friends to enjoy, and much, much more.
Chellie would follow her mother's suggestion:
"I'm glad I have you as my mom."
"I'm glad the weekend is almost here."
"I'm glad I have some nice clothes to wear to school."
"I'm glad I don't have to share my room with my sister anymore."
"I'm glad I get to watch TV when I finish my homework."
"I'm glad we have pie for dessert."
Playing "The Glad Game" is a terrific way to change your attitude in a hurry. We all slip into self-pity once in a while - after all, we're only human. The important thing is to cut the pity-party short and shift into gratitude. An attitude of gratitude will get you much farther in life than complaining and self-pity. Try it and see.
This is one of many short chapters in Learning to Dance in the Rain...The Power of Gratitude.
Dancing in the rain isn't something that most of us are born knowing how to do. We learn it. We learn it from others; we learn it from Life. The more we dance, the better we get at it. With practice, dancing in the rain becomes almost automatic. We no longer seek to run from storms...instead, we toss back our heads, throw out our arms, pick up our feet, and DANCE!


"Maybe you are here on earth to learn that life is what you make it, and it's to be enjoyed."
Dick Sutphen

"The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things."
- Henry Ward Beecher (1813-87)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

lessons from a rainy day

I found this story and loved it because I am a firm believer that just a note, a letter, a phone call or email can make all the difference in someone's day. This story is proof of that. So after reading this I pray that we will put forth more effort in doing the Little things that truly are the BIg thing!

August 26, 1999 is a day that many New Yorkers would probably like to forget. However, this New Yorker will always remember that day because that is the day that I learned what a powerful gift appreciation can truly be. On August 26, 1999, New York City experienced a torrential downpour. The relentless rain caused the streets to flood. New York City's subway system came to a screeching halt as the subway stations were inundated with water. Unfortunately, this happened during the morning rush hour. Many people who were going to work were stranded and forced to go home. Some battled with fellow New Yorkers to hail a cab or to get on a bus. Still others braved the storm, walking miles to get to work. I happened to be one of people on her way to work that morning. I went from subway line to subway line only to find that most service had stopped. After running around like crazy and making my way through crowds of people, I finally found a subway line that was operating. Unfortunately, there were so many people waiting to board the subway that I could not even get down the stairs to the platform. Undaunted and determined to get to work, I decided to take the train uptown several stops and then switch back to the downtown train. It was a hassle, but it paid off. However, the train got more packed at each stop. People pushed and shoved. I was constantly hit with elbows and bags. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the train reached my stop. But the journey was not over yet. I would still have to walk several blocks to get to my office. The rain had intensified, and no umbrella was enough to withstand the forces of Mother Nature. When I finally got to work, I was completely soaked and left a puddle of water everywhere I sat. I was also exhausted and discouraged from my commute. My coworkers and I spent most of the day drying off. When 5:00 rolled around, I was ready to go home. I was about to log off my computer when I received an email from Garth, my Deputy Director. I opened the email and found the following message: I would like to thank all those associates who made the effort and eventually reported to work. It is always reassuring, at times like these, when employees so clearly demonstrate their dedication to their jobs. Thank you. As you can see, Garth's email was short, but I learned more from that brief message than I ever did from a textbook. The email taught me that a few words of appreciation can make a big difference. The rainstorm and the transit troubles had made me miserable and weary. But Garth's words immediately invigorated me and put a smile back on my face. Garth's actions also made me realize that words of appreciation not only make you feel good but it also motivates and inspires you. After reading his email, I felt that coming to work that day was an accomplishment that I should be proud of. Suddenly getting drenched and the extremely long commute did not seem so bad. As a matter of fact, his email made the whole subway ordeal all worthwhile. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our lives that we forget the magical power of appreciation. Garth had been caught in the rain like the rest of us. He had to tend to his responsibilities. He also had to cope with the numerous absences in the five areas that he manages. And he had to take on his boss' responsibilities, as she was unable to get to work. Yet, he still found time to send an email thanking his employees for their dedication and the extra effort they had made to get to work. Garth taught me that I should never be too busy to show people my appreciation and to acknowledge the positive things they do. This was the most valuable lesson that anyone could ever give me. And for that, I will always be grateful to Garth. August 26, 1999 may have been one of the darkest days in New York City history, but it was one of the brightest days in my life thanks to Garth.

"No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves."  ~ Amelia Earhart

 

"The truest greatness lies in being kind, the truest wisdom in a happy mind."  ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel."  ~ Harold Kushner

Monday, September 7, 2009

Laughter

My brother and Sister-in-law left today. It was so fun having them come and visit, over the Labor Day Weekend. I have to say ...it must be good for my health to have Shirley ( my sister-in-law ) around, because we always are laughing. I mean really laughing, where you can hardly catch your breath and tears fill your eyes. I know that I have read many things about the importance of laughter and how healing it is. So I think I probably healed a lot  this past weekend being around her, what a dear friend she has been for all these years and the sister that I never had. We started out as friends and then became roommates. Then I began to think "wouldn't it be great if she could be in my family?"  So I introduced her to my brother and the rest is history, and we have been together ever since. It was hard to say good-bye to them today. It is always a treat to have more family around.  I have never been very good at good-byes. But I need to be grateful for the time we did have and all the laughter that filled my home. Yes, laughter is good medicine.

In church I heard one of the speakers talk about something that happened to his daughter that they all still laugh about to this day, I thought I would share the his story with you. Good night dear friends and remember to spend time with people who make you laugh...really laugh!

Learn to Laugh

I remember when one of our daughters went on a blind date. She was all dressed up and waiting for her date to arrive when the doorbell rang. In walked a man who seemed a little old, but she tried to be polite. She introduced him to me and my wife and the other children; then she put on her coat and went out the door. We watched as she got into the car, but the car didn’t move. Eventually our daughter got out of the car and, red faced, ran back into the house. The man that she thought was her blind date had actually come to pick up another of our daughters who had agreed to be a babysitter for him and his wife.

We all had a good laugh over that. In fact, we couldn’t stop laughing. Later, when our daughter’s real blind date showed up, I couldn’t come out to meet him because I was still in the kitchen laughing. Now, I realize that our daughter could have felt humiliated and embarrassed. But she laughed with us, and as a result, we still laugh about it today.

The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable.

"Laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life"

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."  ~e.e. cummings

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Prepared or Afraid

Ever since I was a little girl I was deathly afraid of storms. I used to watch the news at night to see how high the winds would going to get and if a storm was coming in. Now with my background of abuse, I had way more fears than a normal child should have had, but nevertheless...storms were a big deal to me. Our family lived with my Aunt in her home for my first 10 years, she too was scared of storms and if ever a big storm came up when I was upstairs in  her apartment with her, we would have to stop whatever we were doing and go sit in the middle of her bed. Then she would take out all of her hair pins because she was afraid lighting would hit her, and there I would sit with her shaking like a leaf and holding me until the storm stopped. That probably didn't help my fears either.

It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized that my faith was pretty darn weak to be that afraid of anything. I really hadn't relied on God like I should have. That was something I began to learn and truly had to put to the test when I became a mother, because I didn't want my kids to be scared of everything like me. It was probably one of the greatest lessons that I learned. I finally after reading scripture after scripture about not being afraid, realized that I just needed to always try and to the best I can and leave the rest up to God. If I was to be protected and taken care of...I would be. What a comfort that has been as a mom, because there are sooooo many things out of your control when it comes to your children. So many times, I have had to ask the Lord to take care of them, when I knew there was no way I could be with them or protect them.

So today in church I got this sweet story and I thought as I watch out the window tonight at the storm coming in with the wind blowing hard, that I should share it with you. It is simple but direct, we can either have faith and be prepared or we can be constantly afraid.  I hope we can choose faith rather than fear! Good night!

 

(Painting called Stormy night by Don Cook)

A farmer was looking for some hired help and he interviewed a dozen or so men until he found the last one with the qualifications. He asked him one final question, "why should I hire you?" and the man said, "because I can sleep when the wind blows." The farmer thought that was a curious answer, but hired the man.

One night a terrible storm blew in and the farmer was worried about his live stock and crops. In the middle of the night he bundled up and went to make sure everything was alright. As he walked around the farm, everything was already taken care of. The animals were safe and secure as well as the crops. The farmer was astonished and went to look for his worker. He arrived at the barn to find his worker peacefully asleep. The farmer finally realized what he meant when he said " I can sleep when the wind blows".

      2 Timothy 1:7  "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear..."

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live."  ~Dorothy Thompson

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Dream come true....

I think that all of us would love the opportunity to be famous for even a moment. There is an old saying that goes "Everyone deserves their 30 seconds of fame", or something like that. Well, yesterday our was our son's Bradley's birthday. He got his 30 seconds of fame and more, this past year at Brad's college they have a band festival or battle of the bands so to speak. It is called Guitars Unplugged. Brad and a few of his friends put together a band and decided to try out and they made it to the semi finals and got to perform on stage in front of 5000. They sang and played the song...Johnny Be Good. So here is a photo of our FAMOUS boy on stage ( he is the one on the far left, playing the guitar.

This story seemed fit for the theme of today...

Grandma Moses and Me

I'M TOO OLD AND IT'S TOO LATE, PLAYED OVER AND OVER IN MY MIND. I WAS DISCOURAGED AND EXHAUSTED AFTER ENDING MY MARRIAGE AND MY LAW CAREER AT THE SAME TIME. DESPITE MY INTENSE DESIRE TO BECOME A WRITER, I DOUBTED MY ABILITY TO SUCCEED AS ONE. HAD I WASTED YEARS PURSUING THE WRONG GOALS?

I WAS AT A LOW  POINT WHEN  THE VOICE ON THE RADIO BEGAN TELLING THE STORY OF GRADMA MOSES. ANN MARY MOSES LEFT HOME AT 13, BORE 10 CHILDREN AND WORKED HARD TO RAISE THE 5 WHO SURVIVED. STRUGGLING TO MAKE A LIVING ON POOR FARMS, SHE MANAGED TO PROVIDE A BIT OF BEAUTY ON HERSELF BY EMBROIDERING ON CANVAS.

AT 78, HER FINGERS BECAME TOO STIFF TO HOLD A NEEDLE. RATHER THAN GIVE IN DEBILITY, SHE WENT OUT TO THE BARN AND BEGAN TO PAINT. ON MASONITE PANELS SHE CREATED BRILLIANTLY COLORED, PRECISELY DETAILED SCENES OF COUNTRY LIFE. FOR THE FIRST TWO YEARS, THESE WERE EITHER GIVEN AWAY OR SOLD FOR A PITTANCE. BUT AT THE AGE OF 79, SHE WAS "DISCOVERED" BY THE ART WORLD-AND THE REST IS HISTORY. SHE WENT ON TO PRODUCE MORE THAN 2,000 PAINTINGS, AND HER BOOK ILLUSTRATIONS FOR  "TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS WERE COMPLETED IN HER 100TH YEAR!

AS I LISTENED TO THE RADIO, MY MOOD CHANGED. IF GRANDMA MOSES COULD BEGIN A NEW CAREER AND SUCCEED AFTER 80, MY LIFE STILL HAD HOPE AFTER 30. BEFORE THE PROGRAM ENDED, I CHARGED TO MY COMPUTER TO WORK ON THE NOVEL I'D NEARLY ABANDONED.

IT WAS PUBLISHED EIGHT MONTHS LATER.   ~ Liah Kraft-Kristaine

 

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." ~ Anatole France

"If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream." ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

The Trumpet of Conscience