Monday, December 31, 2012

Out With the Old - In With the New!


2012 is almost behind us and I can see we all survived the Myan theories.  2013 is knocking at our doors. 

What will you do in 2013 to be different? better?   What are your resolutions?

We've had a bumpy ride in 2012 - how will 2013 be different?  As we near the new year and the fiscal cliff hangs over our heads or should I say as we stand on the edge ready to fall over, what will 2013 bring? 

Why not start off 2013 with a resolution to make this a year where a difference is made.  Start a charity, help the homeless, become a volunteer, spend more time with family - just to name a few. As we see the years fly by - what do we do to make a difference in someone's life?  When our time is done, how will we be remembered? 

So many folks are caught up in jobs, family suffers.  Then there are those that finish working, only to come home and be engaged back in electronics, tv, games or whatever that family still suffers.  We buy so many toys, games, etc that children do not even know what to play with.

Let me take you down memory lane...for those of you who are older and for those of you who are not - - read on - you'll experience something here...

There was a time when presents were just for Christmas and maybe birthday.  We waited all year to get those special items.  And, when we got them, it may be one - three items.  It wasn't a lot.  And we cherish these items so much.  We finally waited until Christmas.  We were good girls and boys and we were rewarded and it was great!  That one wonderful gift.  You'd play with it all year long.  Still might even have it to this day.  Now days, children are receiving so much - what is cherished?  Will the hold onto any memories and toys like we did?  I doubt it.  Why?  because it is a constant flow of things into their lives.  After a while, when is enough enough?  We learned the value of a dollar because things were not so freely handed.  And imagine - how much they would have in a savings account if only they were not bought all the expensive items and it were put away for their future?  Do they really need all of the things we give them?  No.  Put a child in the middle of the floor with all the high tech fancy toys and put a cardboard box in the middle or pots and pans.  They will play with a box or pots and pans longer.  Why?  Imagination.  We want to give them everything but really they only need a little and a lot of imagination and love and attention. Not to mention discipline and rules.    So many people I talk with today have complained that workers only want to text all day.  They don't want to work.  Well, we are raising them into that society.  Give, give, give - give them lots, give them more, have no rules, go watch or do something and get out of my way - I've had a hard day.  The value of the dollar, morals, work ethics are going by the way side.  Every time I watch Supernanny on TV, the kids are out of control. Parents gave them everything and the children are running rampid.  When she comes in - the one thing she does every time is give them structure, discipline, and rewards.  The children always fall in line and are much happier.  So why is it that our society now needs Supernanny to help out?  Are we so out of touch that we've lost how to give structure etc. to our own children?
2013 - why not scale back a little?  Do you have enough? Do your children?  Do they really need everything all the time?  Maybe a couple of special gifts. Start a gift list instead of just buying.  Everytime they see something they want, tell them you will put it on the gift list for when birthday or Christma comes.  Don't just run out and buy it.  Then right before birthdays or Christmas, have them go throw the list again and mark down their number 3 toys and mark off things they no longer want.  You will find that a lot of the items they craved and "had to have" at that impulse second, no longer even interest them.  Do you have to play games, be on ipods, phones yourself when you are home?  Why not pull out some board games and spend some time together doing something fun the whole family can enjoy?  Go on a campout in your livingroom.  Do smores in the microwave, put out sleeping bags - even pitch a small tent.  Go on nature walks, teach your children to fish, fly a kite, bike ride together, etc.   Show them the beauty of a sunset, the stars in the sky, show them the world around them.  How leaves float down, the sounds of crickets - things they can latch onto and remember.  Take a camera - spend a day outdoors.  Do a picnic. Plant a garden and let them watch it grow. These are things children can not only have fun doing, but something that gives them purpose and meaning and not just another toy thrown on the floor.

Lets get back to roots and bare basics and use any of that extra money instead of buying all the latest and greatest - why not use some of that to help someone in need?  Tithe?  Save?  To much is given, much will be expected.  Our money is given to us to sustain us, but extra should be given to help others and do things more meaningful with it.  Scaling back will also help the family if times get rough and children will adapt better during those times too then. 

We may have not gotten much when I grew up, but I still remember my special gifts and still have them to this day.  When we get little - it means so much more when we get it.  They meant more when you had less.  Try it...make 2013 the year that you scale back on things and scale up on quality, family and such.

Have a great 2013!  ...until next time....

Friday, September 28, 2012

Ducks - #1 in Teamwork and Life Lessons!

photo credit: scenicreflections.com

Ducks - #1 in Teamwork and Life Lessons!

I know - you may be thinking - what can ducks teach me about teamwork and life? Everything.  If you've heard of this before - great - read it again as a great reminder and if you've never heard of it - then please read this - you'll be pleasantly surprised.
 
What we can learn from ducks is a valuable lesson.  Do you know that there is a reason they fly in the V shape?  You see the front duck takes up the leader role and takes the brunt of the wind for the rest of the flock.  As the other ducks line up behind, the drag on them is lessened. An uplift is created as each duck flaps it wings.  You see it takes everyone stepping up to do hard tasks at times.  If a duck gets off track, it will quickly get back in the formation because the flight is easier in formation for it.  So you see alone, we cannot get far.  We need others around us.   They quack and honk during flight thus giving the leader encouragement.  When was the last time you gave encouragement to someone around you that is a leader?  When the lead duck tires, it falls back to the end of the line and the next in line steps up so to speak to take the leadership role.  So the leader knows when it is time to step down and let someone else take the reigns.  A good leader.  A good leader allows his team to step up and take control and trusts them to do the job.  Did you know that if a duck is ill, two others will go down with it and stay with it to help protect it and will stay with it until it regains it's strength to move on or it dies.  Two other ducks allow it to stay at the rear of the pack while sick so that they can take turns taking the lead and the brunt while it can take the easy route.  This teaches us that when someone is down and out, we should step up and help them out and allow them to have a pass for a while.  And, it tells us to stay by them until they are better or healed.  Wow.  I don't know about you - but ducks are a great role model!   When the ducks take off again, they rejoin a flock if able.  They know that more can be done with teamwork.  The more they have on their team, the further they can go. 

This reminds me of a quote by Helen Keller: "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."

We definitely need one another - for laughs, strength, encouragement, help and so on.  It takes us all to pull together - for a team, for work, for life in general.  God has made us all special and unique.  No two people are exactly alike - not even twins.  Twins may look alike, but there is differences in personality, capabilities, talents, etc.  We are all unique.  That doesn't make someone bad because they aren't just like you, but we should learn that we can benefit each other in doing good.  We can each bring strengths, encouragements, ideas.  Everyone is needed.  If we could all just work together like ducks do - what an amazing world it could be.  Now here is my quote for you.  It;s part of a poem I wrote as a youth in school  I think it holds true still today.  "It's too bad that we can't realize that we aren't on different planets cast into space, but on one planet...under God's grace."

Take this lesson and see how you can help others and be a good team player at work, at home, in life. 

Do you have any special stories to share?  Help inspire us and send them in.  You'll get credit for your stories so give me a shout! 

Until next time....God bless you and keep you!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Live Today Like It's Your Last!

photo credit: James Dean/google images.com
 
I have to admit, I don't hear country music too much as I'm always listening to either christian or soft rock, but there is a song that I heard by Tim McGraw call "Live Like You Were Dying"  the lyrics spoke to me - the chorus was this:
 
"I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying"
And he said
"Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying"
It made me think - we should all be doing things now and living like we were dying because we aren't promised a tomorrow.  What would you do if you actually knew your time was up?  Would you laugh more? Forgive more?   Sing and dance and love more? 
 
We all get very busy in our hustle and bustle and we just think - I'll do it tomorrow.  But we never know.  I had a very loving chihuahua puppy I called Chloe. She was my girly girl and would always greet me when I came home, sat in my lap while I watch tv and curled up with me.  I truly loved that pet.  She passed away this past weekend and I've been so lost without her.  With no children of my own, she was a replacement that I could nurture and love and now that is gone and I think, I wish I could have sat with her more the day before, given her a special treat, petted her longer, etc.  It has been a sad time for me.  But it also made me reflect on that song and it made me remember, tomorrow is never promised.  So what can we do especially if money and things don't permit you to really live life like you could if you could?  Well, I personally have to rely on what can I do to make a difference to someone?  It can be so easy.  Compliment a coworker you normally wouldn't, ask for forgiveness from someone you've wronged, buy lunch for an elderly person, a volunteer, or someone out of the blue you see at the restaurant, pay the toll for someone behind you, pack up brown bags with water and fruit and pass them out to those on the street needing food, find someway to enhance someone else's life and you'll see that your life will be enhanced because when you make someone else smile - you'll be smiling yourself.    Be sure to let those around you know how much they mean to you because one just never knows.  Live with no regrets.  Forgive everyone you can - life is too short to hang on to grudges and for things like grudges - well, that can just pull you down and steal your joy.   I miss Chloe with all my heart and I'll never have time back with her.  Put together your bucket list and see what you can cross off, but perhaps make the list more about others than trips and things you can take.  Make it a helping others type of list...like bring fire fighters lunch one day, buy toys and bring it to an orphanage, find a rest home/nursing home and adopt an elderly grandparent there, you get the jest.  Live for others and then you'll live too!  Let me know if you've done anything that has changed your life lately.  I'd love to hear your comments!!
Until next time.....


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

ARE YOU READY?

Are you ready?  Time - it is a constant and whether we are ready or not - it continues with or without us.  There are so many things we have to get ready for - - work, school, events etc.  Sometimes we get very lost in our days and we forget those things that are important.  Are you ready?  God tells us to be ready even though we do not know the time or day of his coming, but we should be ready.   So, thinking about that, how many of us think we have more time than we actually have to be ready?  We take for granted that we have all the days ahead of us when in reality, we could only have this one.  I know I have not readied myself enough. We are given a lot of parables in the Bible to ready us, but do we catch them? read them?  Noah had to prepare for the flood; Joseph and Pharoh were prepared for the seven lean and seven fat years.  They stored up during the fat years for the lean to come.  You know we have all heard the news, watched tv and should know by now that crops are not doing well and prices of groceries are climbing and we get less for our buck these days.  Perhaps we need to watch the signs in front of us today and prepare our families for harder times too.  Maybe having a stash of items - extra groceries, first aid, etc. can help us in these harder financial times.   Some may say - that could be greedy but who is to say you would use it all for yourself?  Perhaps if you have more, then you can be the cornerstone in your neighborhood to help others if the time arises.  God tells us in the Bible that we will face harder times as his time nears.  Bread will cost a day's wages.   Some people say, God will take care of me.  Well, he will, but that reminds me of the little story of the guy who is trying to escape flood waters.  A truck comes by to evacuate him and he says no thanks that God will help him.  As the waters rise, he is now on his roof and a boat comes by and he says no thanks God will help him and then a helicopter and same story.  The man drowns and when he gets to heaven he says God, why didn't you save me?  The reply comes - well I send a truck, a boat and a helicopter.... The way I see it is that God gives us a brain to use and the ability to help ourselves too and the ability to seek his will and his wisdom.  So if Noah was prepared, and Pharoh prepared, then why don't we? We can ready our spirit and hearts by reading his word, but then prepare our families and others by perhaps enhancing our pantries when we can.  Buy when on sale, a little more than normal.  The worse thing is that you'll have extras later on you can donate to food pantries, or homeless, but what if the droughts, rains, fires, earthquakes worsen and what you save today can help you later or those around you?  By reading and getting into his word, then we can be more prepared for the time we need to be.  I know I am not near ready...Are you ready?  
Let me know what you may be doing  - I'd love to hear from you!
Until next time.....

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Birthdays - - weren't they fun when you were young?

I recently had a birthday and though not everyone remembered, the day passed just as any other.  Birthdays were fun when we were young.  Presents and cake and balloons.  As I age I really only get presents from my spouse, there are no balloons and no cake. The day just sort of passes.  When did I get this old?

As time passes it seems I get more emotional about things around me.  Visits are more precious, calls and cards mean more.  I now know I'm getting older.  I think about how much my life has past and wonder - how much will I have left?  Already some of my classmates have passed away - how can that be? Inside I still feel very young - but my body and aches tell me otherwise. 

No, birthdays aren't as fun anymore as I now find it reminding me of my growing age.  It seems it just sneaks up on you.  Why in the world didn't I realize things when I was younger? Done things differently?  Do you ever think like this dear reader?

Birthdays also remind me as I age, I take things more in appreciation too though.  Visits mean more, people mean more.  Less is taken for granted.  That is a good thing so I guess with age does come some wisdom (and not just gray hair!)  I now also don't need to impress anyone or live my life a certain way for anyone - another plus for aging. 

You know God never promised us a tomorrow though we live our lives like we are going to live forever.  So today, whether you are young or older, start living today like it is your last.  Learn to forgive those you need to, call someone you haven't talked to, tell someone what they meant to you, take a walk with your best friend, but live.   Don't wait for tomorrow for tomorrow may never come.    Help someone, do something to make not just a difference - but a good difference.  As you age, what will your mark be on the world?  Those around you?  Those closest to you? 

Some people get depressed as they have another birthday, but do what I do - celebrate the fact that you and I survived another year - look at it like the TV show Survivor - you are surviving life.  You are given another day, year etc. to make a difference.  

Now go out and celebrate you - don't wait for others to remember or celebrate you - do it yourself.  Be kind to you - take some time for you and enjoy the fact that you have every opportunity to make a difference to someone.   Actually each day we have on this earth is like a birthday when after each night we go to sleep that we wake up and have another day.  I thank God each day for the next day he has given me.  Start appreciating the days you are given and you may find that life can become more meaningful.

So happy birthday to you!  (now where's that cake?!)  : )

until next time....

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nature - Take Time to Notice

When is the last time you took time to truly enjoy nature?  A sunset? The stars? The singing of birds?

We are so much in a society of hustle and bustle that we forget to stop and take time.  God has placed so many items around us that we now take for granted.  Have you stopped lately in your prayers to thank Him for the beauty that surrounds us? 

Start to notice things around you.  As we keep getting more and more concrete around us, we tend to limit the nature around us.  So many houses have recently come up in my area that deer are now seeking food and solice.  They are now being found in the middle of roads because that used to be their grounds.  We are continually pushing out nature in lieu of concrete and houses.  Truly I can't even believe that so many houses are still being built when so many are up on the market in foreclosure.  When is enough enough?

Take time along your busy day to stop and look at the sunset or sunrise, watch some birds in flight.  Set out a bird feeder or bird bath and enjoy the sites.  Then be grateful that you may have the eyes to see it all or the ears to hear it all.  At a moment's notice, anything can be taken away.  This goes for people in your lives too.   Stop the hustle and bustle for a bit and take time to enjoy family.  Families used to gather at the grandparents house every Sunday.  Now, we are lucky if we get a phone call in to them.  Children used to love to play outside and were creative. Now many sit in front of a computer screen.  Take a moment to step back in time.  Take them outside and fly a kite, show them the stars, enjoy life together.  It goes so fast - don't let it pass you by.  Be part of of it and not just in it.  Has someone inspired you or made an impact on your life?  Tell them.  Compliment someone, help someone.

We always rush through life thinking we'll do this or that tomorrow.  What if there is no tomorrow?  Live today.  Make moments count.   Even if it is taking 10 minutes to just sit quietly outside and enjoy the movement of the trees, the twinkling of stars or the singing of a mockingbird. 

Let me know if you have done something that inspired you from this blog. I'd love to hear from you!  Until next time...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Traditions - What's Yours?

I can't believe it is already March!  Where does the time fly? Do you ever find yourself asking that same thing?  Easter is right around the corner. 

My family has a family tradition at Easter time in that all the young children build Easter "nests".  The purpose of the nest is that is where your "special" items are placed from the Easter bunny and then random eggs and candy are still all around the yard.  But the nest would hold stuffed animals, or maybe an Easter outfit or a special basket.  When I was really young, one year, my nest held a real white rabbit in a cage!  I remember saying to my mom that the note with the bunny looked very much like my brother's handwriting!  Who would have guessed they wrote so much alike?! ; )

To build the nests, the young children are taken with family for a walk down the road to pick flowers.  We used to have all sorts of wild flowers in the ditches out here ranging from Buttercups or Evening Primrose, to Indian Paint Brushes or Indian Blankets just to name a few.  We'd pick flowers and then bring them back home.  Then we would arrange them in a shape on the ground that usually my mom would pick out the spot for.  The shapes ranged from circles to hearts or diamond shapes.  This would usually be done the day before or the morning before.  As luck would have it, the flowers would wilt and not look as pretty the next day.  So off for a walk we would go again to pick some more flowers to "spruce it up".  But, to our surprise every year, as we went for that second walk - the Easter Bunny had come and we'd run to our nests to get our special gifts and then the hunt was on!  It is a tradition that seems to be continuing now as my nieces have children and I hope one that continues.  It is part of our heritage and traditions my family brought over with them. When my dad was still livng, he would have fun with the grandkids and build a nest of his own, but the Easter Bunny would usually leave him a rock or stick which would make them all giggle as he discovered what he had in his.
Of course Easter has a much greater meaning than the Easter Bunny so another tradition is attending church.  When able, the sunrise services were held at the local football field and it was always a favorite of mine to watch the sun rise as service was held.  But now that I have great nieces and nephews, I'd like to start some sort of tradition to teach them the true meaning of Easter so it becomes more to them than just a candy day.  A church I attended made a cross and covered it with a wire and the children would come up and put live flowers through the holes in the wire. Once done, you couldn't see the wire but a cross of flowers.  I think it would be a neat idea for my family to build a smaller version and on that second pass of picking flowers, the new flowers could be placed on the cross. This could be a small cross that could be placed or stood up in the yard during Easter. Another thought I had was placing a wooden cross in the yard and having them put a scarf of purple around it and read the story of the Resurrection from the Bible.  It's a thought - but we'll see if I get it executed!  Time flies - remember?! 

So don't let time fly by too much.  Take time to smell the flowers and reflect on the true meaning of Easter.  Start a tradition with your family too - the memories will last with them just as mine have.

Do you have any traditions or ideas that you want to share?  If so, send them my way and if you know the background on how it got started include that too - I'd love to read them as I'm sure the rest of the readers would too.  

Until next time....

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hurry Up...And Wait

The waiting game..don't you just love it?  I always said when going to an appointment, I rush to get there and then they have you wait.  Hurry up...and wait.   Sometimes the wait is worth it - I got a job!  Yeah!  It pays less, but it is closer to home and less stress.  It was worth the wait.  But sometimes, you are in a hurry and everything seems to stop you and you get frustrated and feel like the character in the cartoon image above.  Here's a waiting scenario I know you will appreciate below....

Yesterday, I finally clocked out on time for a change and was excited to be on my way home.  I got to my car and reached into my purse for my cell phone.  I reached again, and again.  Where's my phone? I pulled things out, looked in my lunch kit, in my bag - where's my phone?  Oh no, I must have left it at my office.  I leave everything locked up in the car, go inside and up the elevator, around to the side that is still open (as my side locks and I don't have a key) and back around to my office.  My heart became heavy as I saw no phone on my desk.  I looked inside the drawers, on the floor;  where is my phone?  All I could think of is that I left it some place and someone could be having a wonderful time calling Alaska, China, Brazil - who knows?  I rush back out to my car.  I look again - no phone.   Okay, I thought ... I'm taking everything back upstairs with me and dumping it all out and looking again. So back up I go to my office.  I reach inside my purse - feel around everything - nothing. I look in my bag, my lunch kit, my desk drawers again - nothing.  I stop and ask God for help finding my phone as at this time, I'm in a panic.  I calmly go through the routine again and this time, my phone is right there in my purse.  Why did I not see it or feel it there before?  Why did it not vibrate when I called it before?  How would I have missed that?  I load everything back up and go back outside again and now I have wasted about 20-25 minutes.  Getting in the car I thought to myself how crazy I was not to have seen it before.  Now I'm getting frustrated because it only takes me about 25 minutes to get home and all I could think is gosh, I could have been home already if it weren't for that stupid cell phone missing!  I kept replaying that thought in my head.  I finally reach the long road I have to turn down that has the most miles on it and get just a piece down it when a sheriff has the road blocked and is detouring us down a long about country road.  Great, I thought.  Now I'll be home even later!  Ugh!!  But as I drove down this long road in the country, something came to me...my light bulb went off in my head so to speak.  Perhaps I was delayed with my phone dilemna to avoid the accident that was on the road I would be going down.  Maybe there was a reason I was delayed.  Maybe God had his hand upon me and delayed me.  That could be me right now in that accident if I left on time like I had planned.  I thanked God if that were the case and the feelings of being late home dissappeared and now I was happy I was delayed.
So if you are going through life and something keeps delaying you - take it as perhaps there is a reason.  Sometimes it pays to hurry up...but wait!  Perhaps we don't always know the reasons we are delayed, but take it that there is a reason and thank God for it.  Enjoy the view along the way!

Thank you all who have commented in and wrote me for prayers on the job, my lupus and such.  May blessings be upon you all who read this and to those you pass it on to.  I lost track of the blog while searching for my job but now I am back and ready to inspire you so stay tuned.  Let me know if you've had any hurry and wait scenarios that you were glad happened!

Until next time...