I’m excited to let you know I have another essay appearing in the current issue of AlexandriaLiving magazine!
It’s always a thrill to work with the kind folks at the magazine and as an Alexandria, Virginia resident it was especially fun to contribute.
Below is the link to my piece in the online version of AlexandriaLiving. Check it out, and if you like, please comment on the magazine website in the space just below the essay. We would love to hear your feedback!
My blog, “Loving One Another” is all about how to love, encourage, and inspire one another. Cristian Mihai of “The Art of Blogging” says we need to be able to express in 6 words or less why we blog and what we blog about.
I answered his query saying, “I spread love and inspiration daily.” That’s six words.
I augmented my answer by adding, “I plan to inspire, inform, entertain, and encourage.”
If we want to shine, to inspire and encourage others, to be unconditional, effective lovers, are there some tips we need to keep in mind?
Yes, I believe there are habits that lovers of people, lovers of animals, lovers of nature and of God, need to develop. I think they include these SEVEN HABITS OF EFFECTIVE LOVERS:
1. Listening with Intent
Effective lovers perk up their ears and really hear the voices, the sounds, the cries and laughter, the heart of everything around them.
2. Seeing non-judgmentally
Effective lovers look for the best in others. They see what they’re looking for. They see the person, animal or object as the Creator intended them/it to be. They imagine perfection, wholeness, beauty. They bring out the love that’s embedded in what they see.
3. Feeling with Compassion& Empathy
Effective lovers feel what others are feeling. They are compassionate and empathetic … not sympathetic. They don’t look at someone or something and say, “Oh, I feel so sorry for you/it.” They try to put themselves in the others’ shoes. They look for solutions. They offer real help. They fertilize the dying bush or bring the parched animal a drink.
4. Reaching Out
Effective lovers extend a helping hand without being asked. Their “feelers” are out looking for ways to help. They have a servant’s heart.
5. Taking Time
A habit effective lovers develop is the act of taking time for others. Whether it is visiting a friend who’s sick, caring for a pet while its owner is away, watering a garden, going to a nursing home, building a birdhouse or helping to complete a project, the effective lover is ever ready.
Knowing your own power is limited, knowing we’re all imperfect mortals who need divine guidance, effective lovers pray for others, pray for world peace, pray for endangered species and help in times of disasters and seemingly insurmountable struggles. Effective lovers reach for help beyond themselves.
We know our own limitations, and we know our own weaknesses. We know we do not always exhibit the kindness, patience and gentleness that effective lovers need. So, we ask for divine guidance and help from the One who strengthens us.
Effective lovers have staying power. They are tenacious. They are in it for the long haul. They are not quick to let go. Instead, they continue to love through thick and thin.
Like this beautiful spider web that is covered with snow, but hanging on for dear life as the wind howls outside my sanctuary, this web has a job to do. It will capture any insects that survive the storm … it will provide food for the spider that created it. It hangs on and fulfills its given purpose.
Being an Effective Lover involves listening, seeing, feeling, reaching, taking time, praying, and being tenacious… and it’s worth all that effort because you know:
“What you bring into the lives of others comes back into your own.”
Do you agree with these 7 habits or qualities for “Effective Lovers”? Do you have others you might add?
You’ve been a very good month –
Messages each day.
My take-aways were
Great daily inspirations –
Always carry them!
When glancing to the right,
You see numbers 1-15,
Next page to 30.
Every day I write
The take-away to carry
In heart to guide me.
It provides a list
That inspires me to live
Thankful for blessings.
Please strip me of me
Until nothing remains but
These are my daily prayers.
It was an inspirational
Daily Guideposts take-aways for each day of September –
Carry these with you:
Thank God for my family and friends
God bless all our laborers
Thank God for our “hood”
God is Always with me
Stay Connected in Love
Rely on God’s Strength
Walk in Step with Jesus
Listen to God’s Wisdom
Lord, Increase my Insight
Trust God with my Dreams
Never Forget 9-11
He walks with Me
Give Love Unconditionally
Jesus Forgives “Missteaks”
Be Consistent; and Treasure People
Use Your Gifts to Praise God
Live in the Hope of the Lord
Focus on God’s Grace
A Hug Includes Letting Go
Bless my Former Students (Thank You, Lord, for giving me chances to positively influence others)
Lift my Hands, Heart & Voice to Praise God
I Am at Home in my Soul with God
Make Wise Choices
Lord, Hear my Prayers
Serve with Compassion
Pray for a Cancer Cure
Thank God for His Gift of Peace
Take Courage in All Circumstances
Lean on God Always
Many of these daily themes in Daily Guideposts were the inspirations for my daily blogs.
The end of the “Daily Devotions for Living by Faith” called These Days features three coloring pages. I will write about them tomorrow … telling about the way coloring can relieve stress.
As September ends and I send this book off to my grandson, I thank God for the people who write these daily messages – and for the way in which they inspire my life. I hope they inspire yours today, too. Thank you for sharing!God bless you!
“As the weeks, months and years roll quickly by, we observe how the world around us widens the separation of people, organisations, countries, opinions, beliefs… all warring against each other. Extreme opposites and deep conflict is being forged. Yes – No, Light – Dark, Good – Bad, Right – Wrong, This – That, Mine – Yours… each side adamant they are correct!
So who is correct, which side do we choose, which way do we go?“
Barbara Franken went on to say,
“Choosing for oneself means choosing love.
Love has no sides, no conflict and honours all.”
It’s interesting that I was reading her blog right after relishing the words of Wm. Coffin and Joanna Macy in Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat’s book, Spiritual Literacy. They quoted Coffin and Macy who wrote:
Yes, we ARE radically interdependent. The actions of each of us has an effect on the rest of us. And there ARE absolutes. There IS right and wrong. And when we see things headed the wrong way:
hate vs. love
dark vs. light
bad vs. good
wrong vs. right
destruction vs. enhancement
falsehood vs. Truth
broken vs. working/productive
criminal vs. just
immoral vs. ethical/principled
… then we know it is time to step up to the plate and do what we can. Do you think, “The problems are too big; who am I to make a difference?”
If so, just look at Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who is leading global protests demanding action on climate change.
Greta was quoted as saying,
“We will do everything in our power to stop this crisis from getting worse…”
God bless her! Today’s Bozeman Chronicle carried this article about her:
You all know I love honey,
And bees are dear to my heart.
How can we protect these pollinators?
Where do we even start?
We begin with our children
As we teach them the value of bees.
We show them how to protect
The insects around us – such as these.
We show them up close pictures
And let our fascination spread
To the next generation
As we substitute awe for dread.
There’s so much we can learn from these
Social insects who do so much good.
Let’s open our minds and our wonder
To help others do what they should.
Enjoy God’s nectar, the honey,
And thank the producers, the bees.
Let’s do all we can to protect them…
There are no more important life form than these!
It’s a message worth teaching
It’s a message worth preaching.
Do your part!
Thanks for visiting…
Have a great first week of Autumn.