Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What I wished I had known when I was sixteen!

I have shared with many of you my one of my favorite authors….Jason F. Wright. Today I read his weekly article and it struck a cord in me. You might ask why? Because when I was sixteen years old, I was engaged to be married, it wasn’t a prearranged marriage but….close.Smile  I know I was in the wrong culture for that, but still the pressure was on. I had known this guy for a couple of years and he was a very nice person.  He was 5 years older than me and had a good family. The problem was…I was too young! I still had a year of High School left. My Mom and his Mom already had their dresses made, the Women’s Club had already been rented and the material was bought for my dress to be made. However one night when a friend of ours was starting to measure me to make my dress,  she began to ask me some really important questions. Ones that I really didn’t have the answer for, like where we were going to live, or what he was going to do for a living. She also reminded me that IF we didn’t completely get along now…chances are it won’t get any better. So after that conversation and staying up all night crying and praying, I broke off the engagement the next morning. It was actually easier to tell him than it was my Mom. She actually struggled hard for years about my decision. Still I knew that it was right and how grateful I am, that I had the courage to do that.

So when I read this article that Jason Wright wrote for his daughter who was turning 16 today… I was both happy and sad. I was happy to hear the love that he had for his daughter, and yet a bit sad because I never had much of a relationship at all with my Dad. Plus, it reminded me once again the importance of a Father in a girl’s life. How happy I am that my girls and granddaughters have that, it truly is a blessing!

As for what I wished I had known when I was 16, was almost everything that Jason said in his article. I might have added for me these things…

That sixteen years old, is way too young to get married.

That just because someone is family, doesn’t automatically mean they can be trusted (they have to earn that trust ).

That my opinion was important and that I deserved to be treated well.

That I could trust my gut feelings.

That I was an important person,  and that I had much to share with the world.

And most of all that if I would wait a few more years, I would find the man of my dreams, and that he would literally be my best friend, be trustworthy, be a great Dad for our kids and a man that served the Lord.


Had I known that at 16…I probably would have broken off the engagement sooner!

A good reminder of this is, the silver band that this young man  gave me as an engagement ring, is still in our family. I asked my girls to wear it as a daily reminder to…marry the right person, at the right time, for the right reason and at the right place! So if I could go back and thank that young man for not marring me…I would. I actually think he would feel the same way
How glad I am that my Heavenly Father and so many friends were watching over me as a 16 year (who was not in a good place in her life ).

If you get a minute…read his article, he is a great writer! (He wrote one of our favorite Christmas books called… THE CHRISTMAS JAR)

http://jasonfwright.com/column/what-I-wish-Id-known-when-I-turned-16.html

Good night dear friends!

'The best birthdays of all are those that haven’t arrived yet."   ~ Robert Orben

"You were born an original. Don't die a copy."    ~ John Mason

“Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!”     ~Lydia M. Child

“Any man can be a father.  It takes someone special to be a dad.”     ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I’m going to love you through it!

I heard this song on the radio the other day and it made me cry. It was something that I related to all too well, since I have been diagnosed with Cancer two different times in my life. I love the relationship that the woman in this song had with her husband, family and friends, because that is exactly what I had. I had my husband, kids, family, and friends who all loved me through it! I felt blessed to have that much support and that made all the difference in the world!  Isn’t that really what life is all about … helping each other through it? There are many people who don’t have that much support, and that is why I think it is vital for all of us to help anyone who has to battle Cancer. No one should have to face it alone!

Well, it has been 3 years now since I beat Cancer once again. I remember well the feelings that were described in the song, you knew that who ever wrote it either had had cancer, or had a loved one that did. I could never thank all of you or Jeff or the kids enough,…for loving me through it!
But I will spend the rest of my life trying to and  loving others through it!
Take a look at the video below! Good night dear friends!
(These two cute red heads, keep me going! )

Martina McBride – I’m Gonna Love You Through It Lyrics

She dropped the phone and burst into tears
The doctor just confirmed her fears
Her husband held it in and held her tight

Cancer don’t discriminate
Or care if you’re just Thirty-Eight
With three kids who need you in their lives
He said I know that you’re afraid and I am too
But you’ll never be alone, I promise you

When you’re weak, I’ll be strong
When you let go, I’ll hold on
When you need to cry
I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes

When you feel lost and scared to death
Like you can’t take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it.

She made it through the surgery fine
They said they caught it just in time
But they had to take more than they planned

And now it’s forced smiles and baggy shirts
To hide what the cancer took from her
And she just wants to feel like a woman again

She said I don’t think I can do this anymore
He took her in his arms and said
That’s what my love is for

When you’re weak, I’ll be strong
When you let go, I’ll hold on
When you need to cry
I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes

When you feel lost and scared to death
Like you can’t take one more step
Just take my hand, together we can do it
I’m gonna love you through it

Oh baby

And when this road gets too long
I’ll be the rock you lean on
Just take my hand, together we can do it

I’m gonna love you through it
I’m gonna love you through it

I’m gonna love you through it

 

“Never worry about numbers.  Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.”     ~Mother Teresa

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”   .  ~Anne Frank

”Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.”     ~William James

Monday, November 28, 2011

Homeless

Today as I was coming out of a shopping center, I saw a young homeless girl on the corner. I thought she looked familiar and as I got closer…I realized I did know her. She is the daughter of a dear friend from the past. I just recently saw this friend, after quite a few years.  She shared with me about this daughter. It broke my heart to hear that she was still making bad choices, and had all 3 of her children taken from her. It was a very sad feeling for me to actually know the story behind a Homeless person. Most of the time I don’t know anything about them and I am asking myself questions like…are they really homeless, where is there family, does their family know that they are homeless, are they hungry, do they really have a family, are they an addict, what happened to their life, what could they be thinking…standing there for hours every day? All these questions  go through my head and I never know the answers, yet today I did, and for some reason I felt even worse. I know this girl’s family, they are wonderful people, but they have tried for years to help her and still she makes bad choices. They can’t change that. What a heart break that must be to my friend as a Mother!

I wanted to put her in the car and  ask her about her life and why she was choosing to do this? Still I knew that there wasn’t anything I could really do, so I drove past and said a prayer. I prayed that some day she would have the desire to change and become a healthier and happy person. I also prayed for her children and for her family...that their hearts would be healed. It also made me realize how grateful I am that my children are all safe, happy and making healthy and good choices…that is no small thing!

Good night dear friends!

 

”But I will say that the drugs are much more ferocious then they used to be. There are people wrecking their lives with addiction, which seems much more severe.”   ~Armistead Maupin

“Once you choose hope, anything's possible”.  ~Christopher Reeve

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

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Did you know?

I did not know this story before about O’Hare Airport. I like the fact that we can change and because of that we can make a huge difference in the lives of our children. I have always said that “each generation should get better! Read it and enjoy! Good night dear friends!

 

Butch O'Hare

During the course of World War II, many people gained fame in one way or another. One man was Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. One time his entire squadron was assigned to fly a particular mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. Because of this, he would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to leave formation and return. As he was returning to the mother ship, he could see a squadron of Japanese Zeroes heading toward the fleet to attack. And with all the fighter planes gone, the fleet was almost defenseless. His was the only opportunity to distract and divert them. Single-handedly, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes and attacked them. The American fighter planes were rigged with cameras, so that as they flew and fought, pictures were taken so pilots could learn more about the terrain, enemy maneuvers, etc. Butch dove at them and shot until all his ammunition was gone, then he would dive and try to clip off a wing or tail or anything that would make the enemy planes unfit to fly. He did anything he could to keep them from reaching the American ships. Finally, the Japanese squadron took off in another direction, and Butch O' Hare and his fighter, both badly shot up, limped back to the carrier. He told his story, but not until the film from the camera on his plane was developed, did they realize the extent he really went to, to protect his fleet. He was recognized as a hero and given one of the nation's highest military honors. And as you may know, O'Hare Airport was named after him.

Prior to this time in Chicago, there was a man called Easy Eddie. He was working for a man you've all heard about, Al Capone. Al Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic, but he was notorious for the murders he'd committed and the illegal thing's he'd done. Easy Eddie was Al Capone's lawyer and he was very good. In fact, because of his skill, he was able to keep Al Capone out of jail. To show his appreciation, Al Capone paid him very well. He not only earned big money, he would get extra things, like a residence that filled an entire Chicago city block. The house was fenced, and he had live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. Easy Eddie had a son. He loved his son and gave him all the best things while he was growing up; clothes, cars, and a good education. And, because he loved his son he tried to teach him right from wrong. But one thing he couldn't give his son was a good name, and a good example. Easy Eddie decided that this was much more important than all the riches he had given him. So, he went to the authorities in order to rectify the wrong he had done. In order to tell the truth, it meant he must testify against Al Capone, and he knew that Al Capone would do his best to have him killed. But he wanted most of all to try to be an example and to do the best he could to give back to his son, a good name. So he testified. Within the year, he was shot and killed on a lonely street in Chicago. These sound like two unrelated stories, but Butch O'Hare was Easy
Eddie's son.

 

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Mark Twain

It's easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you're a winner, when you're number one. What you got to have is faith and discipline when you're not a winner.
Vince Lombardi

First Day of Christmas!

I have probably told you this before, but I work at a Quilt Shop. I know…I am very blessed to work doing something that I actually LOVE! One of the things that we are doing to help promote business for the holiday,  is I am doing the 12 Days of Christmas for the ladies. Each day (except for Sundays) I will be teaching a free Demo on a gift giving idea for Christmas. Today was day ONE. I was so nervous, you would have thought I have never done this before. I even dreamed that no one came today to my class and I had to go home early! Smile My daughter Amy works on Saturdays so it was extra special having her there. But I a glad to report that we had a wonderful turn out and everything went well, better than I could have imagined. Yes, I love teaching, I love the ladies, I love creating… so it is a win win situation. I don’t know, just the feeling that you are sharing something that you love with someone is just the BEST!

Now I realize it is still November and I am not trying to rush it, but when you have a store you have to prepare a bit earlier so the ladies have time to actually make these gifts for Christmas. But since we are talking about Christmas and it isn’t too far way, I have decided tonight to share with you one of the best stories I have ever read about Santa Claus. ( I share it each year )

If there are any doubters out there…this will change your heart!

Good night dear friends!

 

Santa Claus

I remember my first Christmas party with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,” she jeered. “Even dummies know that!”

My grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon buns.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything.

She was ready for me. “No Santa Claus!” she snorted. “Ridiculous! Don’t believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let’s go”

“Go? Go where, Grandma?” I asked. I hadn’t even finished my second cinnamon bun. “Where” turned out to be Kerby’s General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.

As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. “Take this money and buy something for someone who needs it. I’ll wait for you in the car.” Then she turned and walked out of Kerby’s.

I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobbie Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock’s grade-two class.

Bobbie Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he never went out for recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobbie Decker didn’t have a cough, and he didn’t have a coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobbie Decker a coat. I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

“Is this a Christmas present for someone?” the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.

“Yes,” I replied shyly. “It’s … for Bobbie.”

The nice lady smiled at me. I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons, and write, “To Bobbie, From Santa Claus” on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobbie Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa’s helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobbie’s house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. “All right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.”

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobbie.

Forty years haven’t dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my grandma, in Bobbie Decker’s bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

… Author unknown

“Santa Claus is anyone who loves another

and seeks to make them happy; who gives
himself by thought or word or deed in every gift
that he bestows; who shares his joys with those
who are sad; whose hand is never closed against
the needy; whose arm is ever outstretched to aid
the weak; whose sympathy is quick and genuine
in time of trouble; who recognizes a comrade
and brother in every man he meets upon life's
common road; who lives his life throughout
the entire year in the Christmas spirit.”

~EDWIN OSGOOD GROVER

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

Well, it has been a long but wonderful day, and I am just going to say Happy Thanksgiving and share this sweet story with you. Good night dear friends!


The Greatest Thanksgiving

"Are you going grocery shopping today?" my husband, Roy asked when I picked up the telephone.
"I plan to," I answered.
Thanksgiving was only a couple days away. Everyone in our family would be coming to our house. My funds were limited, therefore my box of coupons awaited me in the car. I knew I had to be creative in my shopping that day. I had to stretch every dollar.
For a few seconds, Roy sat silently on the other end of the line. "Why do you ask?" I uttered, fearing what he might say.
"Nancy, there's a family with a half dozen kids that will not have anything to eat for Thanksgiving. The little one is only five-years-old."
"So what are you saying?" I whispered.
"While you're at the store could you possibly buy something for them?" Roy's words echoed in my heart. Groceriesa five-year-olds eight in the familyMy head began to spin thinking about the fifty dollars I had reserved for our family's Thanksgiving dinner.
In the back of my mind I counted the hungry guests who would be coming to our house for dinner. I put my head down on my desk, already feeling defeated.
There's no way possible, I thought. But the compassion I heard in my husband's voice struck a nerve inside me.
"Sure," I replied. "But only if God helps."
"Thanks, sweetheart," Roy whispered. "Just do what you can." He then hung up the telephone. I finished my work and prayed all the way to the nearest grocery store.
I entered the parking lot. I noticed a big sign in the grocery store window: Turkeys - 29 cents a pound.
"This is the place, Lord" I whispered. I grabbed my box of coupons, went inside, secured two buggies, and headed to the frozen foods. The turkeys were indeed on sale, but I discovered one big problem. When I read the sign posted on the freezer door my heart sank. "Limit one."
"But I need two," I uttered to myself. I decided to find the manager. I explained the problem. He made an exception.
After tossing a turkey in each buggy, I began my shopping fury. It was amazing how many buy-one, get-one free items were being featured that day. The first item went into one buggy. The free item went in the other. In addition, I had all the right coupons to get exactly what both families needed for a hearty Thanksgiving dinner. I proceeded to the register and held my breath while the cashier rang up my groceries.
To my surprise, I had enough money. I was even able to purchase a package of cookies for the five-year-old who had stolen my heart, even though I had never met her.
Later that afternoon, Roy and I made a special delivery to a home filled with children of all ages. I will never forget the smiles on the six kids' faces, as they made several trips from my car carrying numerous bags of groceries inside.
This event reminded me of a story. Even though He only had a few loaves and fishes, Jesus multiplied them and fed five thousand people. And to top it off, there was food left over. I wondered if God was doing the same thing that day.
By far, that was the greatest Thanksgiving Day of my life. My entire family shared a hearty meal with us. We had plenty to eat. We even had enough food left over for the evening meal.
That afternoon, when I had time to think about what had happened, I imagined a home, not far from where I lived. There was a mother and a father and six children sitting around the kitchen table, laughing and rejoicing. They enjoyed the same meal that our family had shared together that day.
Then I realized that miracles happen when we step out in faith and in steps God. For with us, some things are impossible. But with God, all things are possible.
~ Nancy B. Gibbs ~

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Family to Be Thankful For

Wished I would have read this story when my kids were little! I am sitting here tonight and wondering why I am not running around doing something. I am tired, we had pizza ( not homemade ) for dinner and I am actually enjoying the moment.

Anyway, please know we are very grateful for each of you in our lives, you are one of our many blessings that we are especially grateful for this year! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day tomorrow and remember what really counts…you already have! Good night dear friends!

I knew putting together a traditional Thanksgiving dinner would take extra organization, what with four kids (two still in diapers) and my husband, Jerry, working long hours. So I wrote a to-do list and stuck it on the fridge at the beginning of the week. I figured I’d cross off a few items each day.

But now it was the day before Thanksgiving and nothing was done. Not the fresh cranberry sauce. Or the homemade dinner rolls. Not even the most important thing on our family’s menu—the pies. Pumpkin and apple, made from scratch using recipes passed down from my mom and Jerry’s.

I put Halley and Casey down for their naps. Now I can start the pies, I thought, setting the ingredients out. The phone rang. Justin, my 13-year-old.

“Mom, can you bring my basketball uniform to school? I just found out we have a game tonight.”

“Sure,” I said, stifling a sigh. I hung up and saw that a stack of newspapers had been dropped off in the drive for my nine-year-old, Corbett, to deliver. The papers were bulging with Thanksgiving ads. Corbett couldn’t carry them on his bike. I’d have to drive him.

I took out the trash, hauled in the papers, then cleaned sticky fingerprints from the fridge. There, practically smirking at me, was my to-do list. I checked my watch: 3:45 already?! The door slammed. “Hi, Mom,” Corbett said.

“Corbett, your brother has a game so let’s get your paper route done,” I said. I bundled the babies into their car seats, then ran back for Justin’s uniform. I looked at the apples, pumpkin and spices on the counter. “Guess I’m not making those pies now,” I grumbled.

Jerry got out of work early enough to go to the game, but by the time we got home, ate dinner and tucked the kids in, it was almost 10:00 P.M. The sight of the pie ingredients on the counter made me want to cry. I sat down and buried my head in my arms.

“What’s wrong?” Jerry asked.

“I wanted Thanksgiving to be perfect,” I moaned, “but I never even had time to make pies!”

“Don’t worry, honey. I’ll just buy some,” he said.

“We can’t buy Thanksgiving pies!”

“Sure, we can,” Jerry said.

“But they won’t be our family’s pies.”

Jerry gave me a hug. “The kids won’t care. They’ll eat anything. You’re so busy taking care of everyone. Let the boys and me take over this Thanksgiving.”

“Fine,” I said, too tired to argue.

The next morning I surrendered the kitchen to the guys. Six hours later Corbett came to get me. I followed him into the dining room. There on the table was a Thanksgiving feast. A beautifully browned turkey, Jerry’s handiwork. Cranberry sauce and hot dinner rolls, both straight from a can and proudly prepared by Corbett. Sweet potatoes topped with melted marshmallows, and instant mashed potatoes, whipped up by Justin. And on the sideboard sat the pies—apple and pumpkin, store-bought.

We sat down and Corbett said grace. “Dear God, thanks for all the food, especially the yummy pies. Thank you for a great mom who does so much for us. Thanks most of all that we get to be together. Amen.”

I opened my eyes and looked around the table. Corbett was right. Being together was what mattered. I’d gotten my perfect Thanksgiving after all.        ~ Cynthia Cutts, Lincoln, California

 

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.”      ~Meister Eckhart

'’As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them”.      ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Missing my friends!

It is always this time of year that my thoughts turn to my friends and family, of course that is only natural! Still how I wish I could just get on a plane and go visit them or better yet, buy them a plan ticket so that they could fly in and we could spend the holidays together.

I had to go to the Doctor today because my cold has settled in my  chest and I just wanted to check and make sure that it hadn’t turned into pneumonia…it hasn’t thank ! Then the Doctor (who has become a dear friend to our family) just smiled and said “Lynn you need to slow down a bit and get more rest”. When I told him what my calendar looked like, he smiled once again and said “ then at least get some rest, you know how much your body can do “. He knows me all too well. ( I think he is also smiling because I am living life again, it wasn’t that long ago I was sitting there telling him I didn’t know if I would ever have enough energy to do anything again! )

Well, I don’t have a Mother to call and ask her to tell me what I need to do or how I will be able to handle the crazy schedule that is coming up. I could always call a dear friend though, I know they will be honest with me and yet not quite so brutally honest …like my family will be Smile. Still I am grateful to have family and friends close to my heart this time of the year. To quote a song…IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! Good night dear friends!

 

  
 
 
Happiness keeps you Sweet,

Trials keep you Strong,

Sorrows keep you Human,

Failures keep you Humble,

Success keeps you Glowing,

But .... Only Friends ....

Keep You Going!!!

“A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.”   ~Arnold H. Glasow

Even though we've changed and we're all finding our own place in the world, we all know that when the tears fall or the smile spreads across our face, we'll come to each other because no matter where this crazy world takes us, nothing will ever change so much to the point where we're not all still friends.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Power of a Quote!

I found this article today…loved it!  Enjoy yourself!

 

What is it about a short quotation that carries so much power? Anyone who has ever been moved by "I have a dream" or "I think, therefore I am" knows that a single, simple quote can change a day, a life, a world.

For those who suffer from depression, words of uplift and inspiration are always welcome. Explore these quotations and see if a few simple words might change your day, your life, or your world.

 

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them -- every day begin the task anew."

"A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl."

"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."

Thich Nhat Hanh

"Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keep friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment."

Greenville Kleisser

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

Helen Keller

"Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

C.S. Lewis

"The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being."

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

"What you thought before has led to every choice you have made, and this adds up to you at this moment. If you want to change who you are physically, mentally, and spiritually, you will have to change what you think."

Dr. Patrick Gentempo

"Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime,
Therefore, we are saved by hope.
Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
Therefore, we are saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore, we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own;
Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness."

Reinhold Niebuhr

"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 Buscaglia

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The gift of a BEAR!

About 8 years ago, a friend of mine called and asked if I had time to counsel with a  13 year old girl. When I asked for the details, she said that this little girl had been abused by her Father for years but finally got someone to believe her. The Father was just put in jail and the whole family was falling apart, with no income… and the from the whole mess. I asked about the Mother, did she know about the abuse ( which in most cases they do ) and how good of a support was she to this daughter? Their story is like so many others I have heard throughout the years, the Mother keeps telling the kids how great their Daddy is but that he just made a bad mistake. So she is part of the problem. I next asked if the girl had been to counseling, to which my friend replied yes, but the Mother insists on going in with her, and never stops telling her what to say. So the girl doesn’t want to go back to counseling. She had mentioned to the girl that she had a friend she could talk to and asked her if she would be willing to meet with me.

I have done counseling for over 25 years now with victims of abuse ( no I am not a counselor by schooling but life, my position has always been to just try to help them enough to get to counseling.) It is never easy, but I have to admit the younger the child… the harder it is on my heart. I am sure it is because I can relate soooooooooo well. Although it was my Grandfather that abused me, incest is still incest and does a number on your ability to TRUST!  I remember getting down on my knees and asking my Heavenly Father to guide my thoughts and words in such a way that it would help this sweet girl.

Well, the day came and I went out and met her Mom but asked if she could stay in the car with my friend, so I could speak to her daughter alone. I also mentioned that I would stay by the window so she could see me, just in case she didn’t feel comfortable with me being alone with her kid, for whatever reason. I just needed to let this girl talk from her heart without her Mom telling her what to say and think, and yet I know the Mom didn’t know me at all…so I stayed by the window. When the girl came in and my friend introduced her to me, you could just feel what she was thinking by her mannerisms. She had her arms folded across her chest, she had a look on her face like… who are you, and why do you think you can help me? I asked her if she would like to sit down and then I just started asking some basic questions to break the ice, like …so where do you go to school? How many kids are in your family? What do you like to do for fun?  It was during that time that she asked me why I had so many teddy bears? You see I have been collecting Teddy Bears ever since I became a Mom. I always loved stuffed animals and bears seemed to be my favorite. I knew that for all the holidays that the kids would want to get me something, so I started collecting Teddy Bears. It is something that I would have liked to do as a child but because of my abuse, much of my childhood was lost…the bears remind me to help give that childhood to every child I meet. Plus, they also seem to remind me to take care of myself and encourage others to do the same…surround yourself with things that you love!

As I began explaining to her about the bears and my childhood, you could see her whole body relax and get comfortable. She somehow knew she was safe and with someone who had truly been there and could understand. Our few uncomfortable few minutes turned into an hour and half, and she asked if she could come back again. We got to meet I think 2 or 3 times again before their family had to move. Since her Dad was in jail, they had no income and so they were going to go live with her Grandparents… who she assured me, were good people that she could trust and be safe with. I was sad when I heard how soon they were going to have to move. I tried quickly to think of a gift for her that she would always have and would remember me by. As my girlfriend and I were tossing around some of those gift ideas, we finally thought that we should go to the store called BUILD A BEAR and make a bear for her and her sister ( who had been abused too, but wasn’t ready to talk about it ).

The day to go to BUILD A BEAR came, and we had so much fun picking out just the right bear for my dear friend and her sister. One of the options that they had there at the store was …if you wanted to you could buy a little voice recorder to be put into the bear. That was just what we needed, it was perfect. Well, we at least thought it was until we tried to say all the things we wanted to these girls, in just a couple of minutes. We went to the back of the store, because we had to keep re-recording our message because the beeper would go off before we finished. We both were crying when we tired to record how much we loved these girls; and as we told them how important they were. It seemed just as we were about to finish and tell them that we would always be there for them ….the beeper would go off again. It was funny but  not really. We laughed each time we got beeped, and then we would cry every time we tried to share out thoughts with this young victims. We must have been there over an hour, when finally the manager came back and asked if there was anything we needed. I am sure she was a bit worried about us, if she had been watching us the whole time. As we explained our story to her, she got tears in her eyes and told us that she would like to give the bears to us, as part of her way of helping. I can’t remember if I sent her a thank you note or not, I hope I did.  I still remember the kindness of that stranger. So Build a Bear has always had a special place in my heart. Years later when that girl was 18 years old, she sent me a Thank you letter. She told me her life was good and safe, and then she shared all the things she was planning for her future. She said that she loved herself now, for the first time in her life. She told me thanks again for the bear, and what that meant to her throughout the years.

Now you can imagine how excited I was when my son Lee came home a few weeks ago and told me that he had just got hired on at Build a Bear! I was thrilled. I am going to have to take Angie there and make a bear that we can give to someone in need this Christmas. She of course thinks about all the things she wants for Christmas but… she has always had that sweet spot in her heart for others who don’t have as much. I think that will be a great Christmas tradition to do with my Grandkids. Jenny is too young to understand but maybe by next year, she will be ready? I can hardly wait to go. Sorta glad that we don’t have to do the voice thing this time, I still think I would cry no matter what I said! I probably shouldn’t do that, it would really embarrass Lee in front of his co-workers! Smile

A Day in the Life of Teddy

I don’t have a photo of a Build a Bear but…my daughter Lauren has a teddy bear that she has had for years, and has photographed and made cards from them. So you can see Teddy Bears have a special place in our hearts around here for a long time!     http://wwwlifeofteddy-lauren.blogspot.com/

"Age simply doesn't enter into it! The older the friend, the more he is valued, particularly when he shows so visibly the characteristics that we all look for in friends. You have only to look at a genuine teddy's face to see at once the loyalty, common sense, and above all, dependability behind it."      ~Peter Bull

"Wake in the deepest dark of night and hear the driving rain. Reach out a hand and take a paw and go to sleep again."     ~Charlotte Gray

"There's just something about a Teddy Bear that's impossible to explain. When you hold one in your arms, you get a feeling of love, comfort and security. It's almost supernatural."   ~ James Ownby

"In a world where everyone seems to be larger and louder than yourself, it is very comforting to have a small, quiet companion."    ~Peter Gray

Good and Bad Day

It was a good day… because the sun was shining and you could see all the fall colors outdoors. It was a bad day… because my cold is heading down into my chest. Our whole family (including Amy, John and the girls ) have been battling something for a couple of weeks. There were a few days where I thought I was getting something and then I got better, then there were days like today where it is getting the better of me. So even though I didn’t go outside and enjoy the sun, I still loved looking out of the window. It was also a good day, because I realized that one of my radio stations is playing continual Christmas music now…that is a good day!  It is also a good day because I purchased a clock from Hallmark that plays a Christmas song every hour. My family is going crazy that I have it but….obviously they just don’t have the spirit yet, give  them about a week and they too will think my clock is the best. ( Plus, it was only $12.00 )

I think even though I get teased a lot for listening to Christmas music all year long, that it really does help me to count my blessings and to remember good things from my childhood. The bad things are just so easy to remember even though I try to forget them, but when I listen to Christmas music, I forget all those things and remember all the happy times we had as a family. I remember all the fun things for Christmas that we have done with our kids when they were little and all the fun they had with their cousins living close.

Yes say what you want, but Christmas music seems to help me be more grateful. Well, my clock just rang and so it is midnight, I need to head to bed. I am sure all of us have had bad and good days, but I will head to bed and hope that tomorrow will be a bit better.

Good night dear friends.    P.S. There were 3 clocks to pick from, I got the Thomas Kinkaid one, what an artist!

 

“There are good and bad times, but our mood changes more often than our fortune.”     ~Thomas Carlyle

“If it weren’t for sorrow and bad times, every day would be Christmas”     ~ Lithuanian Proverb

Friday, November 18, 2011

Grateful

Heard another beautiful song this week…the words are amazing, and soooooooooooooo true.

I too am grateful!  Good night dear friends!

lyrics to the song Grateful :

(John Bucchino)
I've got a roof over my head
I've got a warm place to sleep
Some nights I lie awake counting gifts
Instead of counting sheep
I've got a heart that can hold love
I've got a mind that can think
There may be times when I lose the light
And let my spirits sink
But I can't stay depressed
When I remember how I'm blessed
Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed And duly grateful
In a city of strangers
I got a family of friends
No matter what rocks and brambles fill the way
I know that they will stay until the end
I feel a hand holding my hand
It's not a hand you can see
But on the road to the promised land
This hand will shepherd me
Through delight and despair
Holding tight and always there
Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed And duly grateful
It's not that I don't want a lot
Or hope for more, or dream of more
But giving thanks for what I've got
Makes me happier than keeping score
In a world that can bring pain
I will still take each chance
For I believe that whatever the terrain
Our feet can learn to dance
Whatever stone life may sling
We can moan or we can sing
Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed And duly grateful
Truly blessed And duly grateful


Autumn_Quilt

“You can always tell when something is going wrong in someone's life cause they stop being grateful for what they do have”  ~ Unknown

“Never let a day pass without looking for the good, feeling the good within you, praising, appreciating, blessing and being grateful.”  ~ Unknown

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Most Children BELIEVE!

I have always been taught that we need to be more like little children, in thought, deeds, beliefs, honesty and actions. I think it is because they are so innocent, plus pure and haven’t been filled with prejudices and selfish ideas yet. When I listen to my granddaughters pray, I am always amazed at the simplicity and yet straightforwardness of their prayers. They pray from everything from …thankful for the strawberries, leaves on the trees, Daddy to be safe at work, to help my sister not be mean to me any more… and share her dinosaurs with me, and on and on.
Yes, they pray from their heart, they believe from their heart, it is refreshing to listen to them. 
When I read this story, I thought how sweet and true it is …that children do have great faith!  It made me take a look at my own heart and how much faith I really have.
Hope you enjoy it. Good night dear friends!    
 
 
A little child’s prayer!

(This is a story written by a doctor who worked in Africa.)
One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter.

We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive; as we had no incubator and we had no electricity to run an incubator. We also had no special feeding facilities.

Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in.

Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates). ' And it is our last hot water bottle!' she exclaimed. As in

the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.
'All right,' I said, 'put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm.'

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with many of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby.

I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died. During prayer time, one ten-year-old
girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children.

'Please, God' she prayed, 'Send us a hot water bottle today It'll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon..'
While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, ' And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You really love her?'
As often with children's prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say ' A men?' I just did not believe that God could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren't there?
The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home.
Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!
Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses' training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the veranda was a large 22 pound parcel.

I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly Excitement was mounting.
Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly-colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked
a little bored.
Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - that would make a batch of buns for the weekend.
Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the......could it really be? I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle.
I cried. I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could. Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, 'If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!'

Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully-dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted! Looking up at me, she asked, 'Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really
loves her?' 'Of course,' I replied!

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator.
And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child – five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it 'that afternoon.'
'Before they call, I will answer.' (Isaiah 65:24)

   '” Little Johnny was softly saying his night prayers kneeling down, and his mother was beside him. "Say your prayers louder, darling, I can't hear you," Said Little Johnny's mother. "But I'm not talking to you" was the instant reply. “

   “ A little boy's prayer: "Dear God, please take care of my daddy and my mommy and my sister and my brother and my doggy and me. Oh, please take care of yourself, God. If anything happens to you, we're gonna be in a big mess."

   “ A five-year-old said grace at family dinner one night. "Dear God, thank you  for these pancakes." When he concluded, his parents asked him why he thanked God for pancakes when they were having chicken. He smiled and said, "I thought I'd see if He was paying attention tonight."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Friends, Baby, plus Neighbors = Fun!

Tonight as a neighborhood… we had a Baby Shower.  It was for one of our new neighbors who moved here 7 months ago. They don’t have friends or family that lives near, soooooooooooo we decided that we should have a Neighborhood Baby Shower, to make sure they feel comfortable and welcome here. It is always amazing to me how much PEOPLE WHO CARE can do. We had 16 out of 19  ladies there, that was a wonderful turnout!  It was nice for her, but also for all of us. Some of us are old timers in the neighborhood, but we have quite a few new and young families that have just moved in. I love all the diversity we have and yet, we had so much fun together tonight. Everyone wanted to make sure that our new neighbors knew us, and would feel comfortable calling us if ever they were in need. 

I have always said, “it is good to get to know your neighbors, for one thing if there is a disaster…that is who you are going to be spending your time with. Plus, it just makes life more enjoyable to have so many wonderful neighbors  around that you can call friends”.

So for this new little girl that will be coming soon, … she can rest assured, that there will be a lot of us waiting… just for her to arrive in the neighborhood!

Crochete_Boots

Tonight, I am going to leave you with things you should know, from one of the greatest neighbors anyone could have…Mr. Rogers!

It was a very interesting article, and one that all of us could benefit from, if we were that type of a neighbor….http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/5943

Monday, November 14, 2011

Is he coming home or leaving?

I have to laugh at my kids, they are so crazy and creative at the same time. This was a photo of Lee’s face and Matt Damon’s body from the Bourne movie. Haven’t seen that movies all the way through, much to violent for me, I am a Disney girl! I just don’t like all that other stuff. Anyway, Lauren is trying to teach Lee how to use Photo shop and this was the result. Funny huh?

I wonder some times how it could be possible that Lee is old enough to head to college in January with Lauren? It seemed like yesterday that he was in High School and coming HOME every day. We will officially be Empty Nesters by December 30th, I just have to take a deep breath and remember that this just doesn’t get any easier, even if it is my 4th child.

Now he is ready ( very ready ) and excited to head off on his own, as all the kids were. Jeff and I are still worried, and wondering if we have given him all the tools to make it out in the world? Some of those tools are common sense tools, some are social tools, some of survival tools, but the most important ones to us are the spiritual tools…does he have all of them and know how to use them? I pray that he does. All the kids have done well in life, they make the world a better place by them being in it, so we  couldn’t really ask for more.  Still my heart is aching to have these two crazy, fun and neat kids ready to head out of here after Christmas. But I am sure that I will be ok… won’t I ??????

For those of you who still have your little ones at home, cherish each minute, because before  you know it, they will be grown and leaving home… just like Lee!

 

matt_damon_finished_2

“ Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-rearing, they are unemployed”.  ~ Erma Bombeck

“A mother holds her child's hand for a little while but holds their hearts forever.”
-- Author Unknown

“ When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they're not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of cap less shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They're upset because they've gone from supervisor of a child's life to a spectator. It's like being the vice president of the United States.”  ~ Erma Bombeck

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Through Heaven’s Eyes

Just watched a Christmas program tonight where Brian Stokes Mitchell performed this song, it was incredible. Read the words and if you have the chance go watch the you tube video of it.

Good night dear friends!

Through Heaven's Eyes lyrics
A single thread in a tapestry
Through its color brightly shine
Can never see its purpose
In the pattern of the grand design
And the stone that sits on the very top
Of the mountains mighty face
Does it think its more important
Than the stones that form the base?
So how can you see what your life is worth
Or where your value lies?
You can never see through the eyes of man
You must look at your life
Look at your life through heavens eyes
Lai-la-lai...
A lake of gold in the desert sand
Is less than a cool fresh spring
And to one lost sheep, a shepherd boy
Is greater than the richest king
If a man lose everything he owns
Has he truly lost his worth?
Or is it the beginning
Of a new and brighter birth?
So how do you measure the worth of a man
In wealth or strength or size?
In how much he gained or how much he gave?
The answer will come
The answer will come to him who tries
To look at his life through heavens eyes
And that’s why we share all we have with you
Though there’s little to be found
When all you’ve got is nothing
There’s a lot to go around
No life can escape being blown about
By the winds of change and chance
And though you never know all the steps
You must learn to join the dance
You must learn to join the dance
Lai-la-lai...
So how do you judge what a man is worth
By what he builds or buys?
You can never see with your eyes on earth
Look through heavens eyes
Look at your life
Look at your life
Look at your life through heaven's eyes

 

“ We have every reason to be optimistic, if we follow the path that leads to that happiness.”   ~ Richard Edegly

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Three years and counting!

Well if I had only had cancer once, I could say 10 years and counting! But since that is not the case…I had to start the whole number, counting thing all over again. But at least I am still here to count. It was three years ago today that I was in the hospital having my mastectomy, I was so scared  and I wasn’t sure what the future would hold? Wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to have a future, only days after the surgery… I was pretty sure that I didn’t even want a future if I had to go on living… looking and feeling  like I did.

Here I am now, I go out shopping in front of others, still doing my motivational speaking, I am working part time now and best of all….I am living again! I am so grateful that time  heals things, it truly does. But 3 years ago I wasn’t so sure if I believed that or not. I wondered how my family would handle my surgery, how Jeff could ever find me attractive again, what would my grandchildren think of me and on and on. The thoughts were things that I couldn’t for see, I was sure my life wouldn’t be the same and it hasn’t been; but not the way I thought…it has been better.

I wake up every day grateful to be alive, to still be here with family and friends. I am grateful for the hardships because they truly have given me  a much broader and sweeter view of life….what a gift!

So yes, I am three years and praying to count a whole lot more!

Thanks for your support, prayers and encouragement for me, what a big difference it made in my life! I am vey blessed!

Good night dear friends.      

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Six ways to make people like you

I don’t know about you, but I like to make new friends. Actually I think my kids get a bit surprised if I go anywhere without making at least one new friend. I thought about that yesterday when I was in the Surgical Center. The nurse who was taking care of me was especially nice. We talked about everything from children, grandchildren, neighborhoods and what we were going to do for Thanksgiving. I was grateful for her kindness, I was a bit nervous, I actually did well until I got in there, and they started putting in the IV and such. It was then that I realized my nerves were getting the best of me. That is why I began the conversation about our families and such with my nurse. She really was amazing and such a nice lady. I was grateful for her kindness, she could have done her job without connecting with me at all…we all have probably had that experience, where they are just doing their duty. How much nicer it is when we connect with people. I found this on Six Ways to Make People Like You…and I really agree. The only thing  I struggle with sometimes is remembering their names, I usually have to ask more than one time ( that could be my age, I realize ). But I do believe people can see right through you if you AREN’T GENUINE. So I hope we can all read these six things and remember them.  Because on this road we call life…couldn’t we all use a few more friends? I know I could.

Good night dear friends and thanks again for your thoughts and prayers, glad that test is over and the results were good! What a relief!
Also I am grateful for my Lauren writing my post last night, she is so funny and good…maybe I should have her do it more often?

Six Ways to Make People Like You

Dale Carnegie


Rule 1:  Become genuinely interested in other people.

Rule 2:  Smile.

Rule 3:  Remember that a person’s name is to him or her
              the sweetest and most important sound…

Rule 4:  Be a good listener.


              Encourage others to talk about themselves.

Rule 5:  Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

Rule 6:  Make the other person feel important—


              and do it sincerely.

“Blessed are they who have the gift of making friends, for it is one of God’s best gifts. It involves many things, but above all, the power of going out of one’s self, and appreciating whatever is noble and loving in another.”  ~ Thomas Hughes

“The happiest business in all the world is that of making friends. And no investment on the street pays larger dividends. For life is more than stocks and bonds, and love than rate percent. And he who gives in friendship’s name shall reap what he has.”  ~ Unknown

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Right of Passage

    Today my mom accomplished a right of passage. (This is Lauren her daughter by the way, who is also a nurse and a short order cook for the next few days.) She asked me to write her blog tonight because for one she woke up during her procedure (colonoscopy), so they had to drug her a second time. And second…actually I should have let her write it…she is so drugged out it would have way more humorous if she did! Though in all honesty any kind of procedure with her is always a bit nerve wracking because of her previous cancer experiences. But the procedure went great and everything is alright…a huge relief.

Yesterday at the last minute the hospital called and told her to bring her living will. She freaked out a little, but to cheer her up all us kids called in what we wanted from her will. Amy called the piano, Brad the antiques (who assured my mom that he has matured and won’t sell them for monetary value. I doubt that :), me the hope chest and the sewing machines, and Lee wants the crocheted bed spread of our great grandmother (probably because it was the most expensive thing in the house; he was kind enough not to say that out loud). My dad finally said, “What do I get?” To which I replied, “The right to re-marry.” She didn’t think it was as funny as we thought, which was evident of the bedroom door slamming. :) I was quite proud of myself, I usually can’t think of those come backs till later.

So for now it looks like Amy and I don’t have to make three thousand quilted tissue holders, like she requested, for her funeral. Thank heavens for that. (But she did come home, completely out of it, and have my dad write down all the names of the nurses so she could send them all a thank you card. Go figure. Only my mother.)

I know my mom usually puts a picture with her blog, but the only ones I have that are relative are the pictures of her colon that Dad brought home. Didn’t think that was quite appropriate to be that open. So for the heck of it we have a picture that has nothing to do with anything, but it is a inside joke of the family. This is not the last meal she ate but an family pet that my brother thought he’d have some fun with. IMG_0006

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” ~Don Williams Jr.

A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles” ~Tim Cahill

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Prep for test!

   Well, I must be getting old, because it is time for me to have a colonoscopy. I really don’t think that I am that old but then again, I am a grandmother so….I guess I am not young as I used to be . I remember when my grandmothers were alive, back then they really didn’t go to the Doctor that often. One of my grandmothers never went, but always took Tylenol ( or something like that )every night, she said it was  just in case she did have a pain or something wrong with her. It always made me laugh when she said that.
   Both of my grandmothers lived to be in their mid nineties. They both said that they didn’t start getting sick or feeling sick until the Doctors got ahold of them, I guess they did do pretty  good on their own.

   So I decided I should write my post now while I could.  Someone asked me if I am nervous about the test? I actually am a bit, now that I met with the DR. before that I wasn’t it. She told me that two things that concerned her was that my Dad had colon cancer and that I have had Breast cancer twice. She said there can be a big connection between Breast Cancer and Colon Cancer…I did not know that.  Still I have 4 things in my favor she said and those were…I have never smoked or drank. I don’t eat fatty foods and I rarely eat red meat. Those were positive things , but the other two were not in my favor. So I really thought when I went in to meet her that this would be routine, and it still will be… but she will be looking at me a bit closer ( as she should ). I really liked her and the only thing I would have changed is how many times she mentioned the word Cancer. If you are a survivor, you realize that you don’t like when people use that word a lot or so casually. I know many of you have already had a colonoscopy and it is no big deal at all. I can’t wait till after it is tomorrow when I can report the same to you.

Still I am a bit anxious, but don’t have any gut feelings that anything is going to be wrong. Like I have said before, that anxiousness is just a side effect of cancer. No test is just routine any more, once you have cancer…it just isn’t !   I am trying to stay positive and pray that everything will happen as it should.

I will write again tomorrow when all this is behind me ( quite literally )Smile 

 

“A healthy attitude is contagious but don't wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.”  ~ Tom Stoppard

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  ~World Health Organization, 1948

The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they'll ease
Your will they'll mend
And charge you not a shilling.
~Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields

Monday, November 7, 2011

Simple Abundance

Today my granddaughters and Amy came over for a visit. As Amy was putting the finishing touches on dinner this evening, the girls curled up on my lap and we just sat there and talked. One of the things we talked about was what we were thankful for, I went first, I told them I was thankful for our family, that we all have each other and no matter how far we live away from each other, we will always be there for one another. Jenny of course just repeated anything we said, but she did sit there and snuggle and sorta listened. When I asked Angie next, what she was grateful for….she said “I am thankful for my toys”. Honesty, that’s what you can count on kids for! Smile 
Then I said, well lets see what we have that maybe we could give or do for kids who don’t have as much. Angie immediately carried the rest of the conversation about what we could make or buy and give to other kids. She definitely has a big heart and her little eyes lit up when we talked about all the things we could do. She even remembered last year when we made and bought a few things and took them to a store to donate to the kids in foster care. She was so excited to talk about doing something like that again.
I realized that compared to some people…we don’t have very much ( such a things or money ) but then it only takes a moment to realize, compared to many others…we are rich!   All I know is that my biggest dreams as a child, have come true. I am married to an incredible man in whom I love dearly and trust. He is also a wonderful Father and Papa. We have our faith which gives us purpose and hope. We have 4 great kids, kids that I couldn’t even image loving this much and who are making the world a better place by the way they live their lives. We have a  son and daughter in law that we love dearly. These two cute granddaughters and a grandson on the way!  We have our health, neighbors and friends. And we have a beautiful home which is a safe place for us all,  and we have all  the necessities that we need. Yes, I would definitely say that we have Simple Abundance in our home and a lot of it!

It just reminded me today, that I need to be careful this Holiday Season to take the time to do things with this two cuties and also my kids and Jeff. I know like everyone else that December seems like a blur, but every year I pray that the days will go a little slower. I need to remember that! So easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and that isn’t even what Christmas is all about. Yes, these few minutes with the girls on my lap, was a great reminder for me to stay focused on the Simple Abundance in my life, especially during this holiday season!

Good night dear friends!

Make a Memory

Make a memory with your children, Spend some time to show you care;
Toys and trinkets can't replace those Precious moments that you share.

Money doesn't buy real pleasure, It doesn't matter where you live;
Children need your own attention, Something only you can give.

Childhood's days pass all too quickly, Happy memories all too few;
Plan to do that special something, Take the time to go or do.

Make a memory with your children, Take the time in busy days;.
Have some fun while they are growing, Show your love in gentle ways.

Written by Elaine Hardt

“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into”.  ~Wayne Dyer

“Whatever we are waiting for-peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance-it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready
to receive it with an open and grateful heart.”  ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.’   ~ Wayne Dyer

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A grateful heart

Today at church, one of the lessons was on GRATITUDE. I have to admit, even though it was a topic that we all have talked about many times; still I learned a lot.
Here are a few notes that I wrote down today and wanted to share with you tonight. Plus, a special thank you for a dear friend who shared this beautiful photo with me!

Joy's_tree_014_-_Copy

Gratitude has been defined as:
            A positive experience that comes from recognizing gifts or blessings and feeling thankful.  It's also an attitude, a way of perceiving life in which individuals are willing to receive and acknowledge the beneficial acts of others on their behalf.  It's a habit, causing one to focus on blessings.  Finally it can be a coping response to challenging or difficult circumstances

If I offered you a gift that could -
            Reduce symptoms of mild depression and anxiety
            Increases optimism, vitality, happiness
            Bring a sense of well being
            Add greater satisfaction with life
            Create positive memories
            Be more empathetic and supportive
            Be more forgiving
            Helpful
            Generous
            Better relationships
            Better health
            Find hidden blessings
            Unlock the doors of heaven
Would you want it???  What could it be?     
A GRATEFUL HEART!!!

Wow, the lesson was short and sweet but really made me stop and think. I need to EVERYDAY be more grateful and aware of my blessings. This lesson was a great reminder and I am thankful for that. I only will leave you with one quote tonight, but I think it is more powerful than 3 or 4 quotes. Read it and then re-read it…let it sink in and see how you feel!

Good night dear friends!

“What if we woke up today, with only the things that we thanked God for yesterday?”

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pornography!

The other day my son went to help a family (in need), move from one apartment to another. I was saddened to hear that while he was there helping and serving, he said there was pornography all over one wall. And of course it was in the very room where they were moving the big items.  Now I realize that pornography is every where, but I am still a Mom… and hate that someone’s choice to view pornography spilt over into my son’ s life ( especially when he was doing a good deed! I know that a lot of people out there say… “Oh you are just too sensitive, you are trying to live in a different world”. Yes, I am very sensitive. I am sick and tired of all the garbage that comes over the TV, radio, bill boards, magazines and the internet. Some very sick people are getting rich because of our tolerance to pornography.

For those of you young Moms that still have young kids, I would encourage you to start limiting that type of stuff that starts coming into your home. Your home should be the one safe place for your kids, and for you and your husband. Filtering isn’t easy, it isn’t even popular… but I promise you it’s soooooooooo worth it.  Nothing good comes from pornography, never has and never will!  I was reading a quote about it the other day, and it was really good. So good that I will share it with you tonight. 

 

   I am concerned that there is a great war going on for the souls of mankind.  We have all know that , but I think we are witnessing it with greater clarity and force than ever before. Professionally, I come from the printing and publishing industry, where I have seen examples of the deterioration of the printed product. In Los Angeles some of the largest lithographers have as their number one priority in the printing of pornography. I am sickened to see some of the finest printing machinery in the world spewing forth millions of copies of pornography to corrupt the souls of men.

   In contrast, I like the bold attitude of the one lithographer whose sign in the window said,  “ We are lithographers, no pornographers.” Nonetheless, today there is an avalanche of printed pornography, beautifully done as far as the quality of printing is concerned, but totally degrading as far as its content is concerned. We who are on the Lord’s side of the ledger have to compete ever more diligently to offset that which is on the devil’s side of the ledger.  ~ Thomas S. Monson 1988

“If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.”    ~C.G. Jung, Integration of the Personality, 1939

“A child, like your stomach, doesn't need all you can afford to give it.”    ~Frank A. Clark

Friday, November 4, 2011

Out of Balance again!

Life is all about balance. Realizing there is a time and place for everything that you do. As a young Mother, I used to get out of balance a lot. Thinking every day that if I did just a little bit more, then I would be the best Mom in the world to my kids. I am sure that my kids could tell you memories of crazy times in our lives. Most of those are probably when I was trying to do it ALL! As we get older and wiser ( sometimes ) we realize that we can’t do it all, we quit comparing ourselves with others and just do the best we can. We pray daily for guidance and strive to do what needs to be done for today only.

The last couple of days, I have been trying to do it all and have failed miserably. I tried to create something that normally would have taken a month or so, but I tried to do it all in one day! Those of you who know me are smiling right now! I love to get things done, I like not to have to spend a lot of time at it either but…when I do one of those crazy marathon days, I pay for it royally! For the last two days, I have been pretty much down. I have been hurting and not really able to accomplish hardly anything, why do I do that? I guess that is the age old question? Why am I such a slow learner?

So today, I once again had to look at my NEW Goal Chart then recommit myself to slowing down and trying to find BALANCE again! Funny, just a few years ago I was praying that I would feel well enough to do something again. Now look at me, I am doing a lot of things and really enjoying the fact that I am participating in LIFE again. Still there are those days and weeks that I get out of balance. Lucky for me, my body won’t let me get by with that crazy stuff too long before it just stops and I have to lay down and rethink my actions. Still I wonder why in the world it takes me soooooooooooooooooooo long to learn the same thing? I guess that is called LIFE, that is called being HUMAN…that is being reminded that I am NOT SUPER WOMAN… but just a normal woman, once again trying to find my BALANCE!!!

Good night dear friends, this unbalanced woman is going to be early and try to stop my body from hurting. Thank goodness for tomorrow, I get to get up and try again!  I will also remember a quote from one of my favorite movies Anne of Green Gables, where she is told not to worry…. “Tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes in it! “

 

“Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.”   ~ Thomas Kinkade

“Wisdom is your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other.”   ~ Steven R. Covey