Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘gratitude’

What is Health?


What is Health?

Health-think:say

Health is about what you’re doing,
It is about what you’re thinking,
It is about what you say…
And what you don’t say.

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Health is the greatest gift
From us to ourselves.
Sometimes we can control it…
But sometimes we can’t!

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If you have your health, my friends,
Treasure it!
Guard it!
Never take it for granted.

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Health is a state of mind
and of body.
It can  be a spiritual,
psychological state…

Thank God
Even as our bodies are decaying.

Focus on your blessings!
heart of love
See ya tomorrow!

They’re All Carrots


They’re All Carrots

orange carrots on table

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

In My Devotional Today

Rick Hamlin likened our act of praising God to the act of munching on a handful of carrots.

Rick said he ate carrots as a kid not because some adult said they were good for his eyes or his health, but simply because he liked them.

“Whoever said the things that are good for us
have to be hard or come as a result of great struggle
or simply taste yucky?” Rick Hamlin asked.
“Think of… the carrot, not the stick,
about how people are motivated by rewards
rather than threats or punishment…
Praise, thankfulness, enthusiasm,
kindness – they are all carrots, not sticks.”

Carrots in the Classroom

When I was in my last two years of teaching, before I retired (from public education, but not from working) in 1999, I had a group of second graders that I had taken on from first grade.

Our classroom “Discipline Plan” was a set of rules with rewards. They were as sweet as honey! Our classroom theme was a garden. Bees (with the students’ names on them) flew above, in, and around the bulletin board garden. In the soil were listed rules such as “Bee Courteous,” –  “Bee Honest” – and  “Bee Helpful.” A favorite one was “Lettuce Carrot for One Another.”

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Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

If a student was caught BEEing good, exhibiting one of the characteristics mentioned in the rules of conduct, their bee would “fly” into my apron pocket – the pocket with a heart on it. A heart would be drawn on their bee’s body. At the end of the day, the bee flew back into the paper garden, and the thoughtful child added a paper seed to their garden plot on the bulletin board. At the end of the week, all bees that had hearts on them would have their seeds traded for a plant – a vegetable or fruit or flower to “grow” in their plot. (I wore a different colored apron each day of the week – inspired by Patricia Mckissack‘s book, “Ma Dear’s Aprons.” It’s one of my favorite children’s books.)

 

Just that little act of recognition – taking the bee down, tucking it into the heart pocket, and saying, “Thank You for BEEing ________,” – encouraged more students to do likewise.

Carrots in Our Daily Walk

If we “carrot” for one another on a daily basis, we will find ourselves munching on praise, thankfulness, enthusiasm, and kindness. Our gardens of compassion will grow, and we’ll bee happier people. Guaranteed!

We need to carry lots of “carrots” – and eliminate the “sticks”  – on our daily walk. Thank and praise God for the acts of kindness and compassion shown to us each day. Bee caught BEEing good!!

 In today’s devotional in Guideposts,
Rick Hamlin went on to say,
“God likes us to praise Him because it’s good for us.
It feels good.
The words are sweet in our mouths,
nourishing, crunchy, and satisfying. Irresistible.
Like munching on a handful of carrots.”

vegetables market basket carrots

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Praise God! And thank Him for His wonderful blessings.

Then go out and pay it forward.
Remember you are blessed to be a blessing.
It’s all a bunch of carrots!
Meant to be shared…

Munch on love!

heart of love
See ya tomorrow!

Taste the Source


Taste the Source

“Jesus is not our sauce,

He’s the source,”

Pastor TC Mooney reminds us.

I knew that, of course.

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Mooney says we often push God

To the back of our fridge shelf.

We only take Him out to sprinkle

Some on our lives – to flavor ourself.

Sometimes we forget He’s there.

We leave Him in the back too long.

But, unlike sauce, the Source

Never expires; His flavor’s never gone.

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I can taste the love of Jesus

Without worrying about the date

He might get stale. He’s always fresh.

My reach is never too late.

 

Jesus is not my sauce.

He’s The Source.

I Drink from His

Everlasting Fountain of Love

Every Day!

Do you?

Thank God

Happy Father’s Day weekend.
You’re part of the Goodness.
You know that, right?
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Spread the love!

heart of love

See ya tomorrow

Life is a Book


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Life is a book;
Each day a new page.
The story’s not written
By some far off sage.
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You write it each moment;
It comes from your heart.
Today’s page is blank
‘Til you get up and start…
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Start by breathing deeply;
Thank God for each breath.
Begin each day with gratitude –
From your birth to your death.
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Praise God for Creation.
Look around and then start
To praise Him for His presence
In your life – every part!
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Ask God for His wisdom
To help you every minute
As you choose your day’s tasks
And the JOY He puts in it.

man in red crew neck sweatshirt photography

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Have a joy-filled Tuesday, my friends.
Write this page with intention and love.

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See ya tomorrow.

Quote

Increased LOVE, like FAITH, takes EFFORT


I wrote this blog in 2012…
It is sooo pertinent to what I wrote today!

Check it out: via Increased LOVE, like FAITH, takes EFFORT

Mom Was an Okie


Let me take a break this Mother’s Day weekend from my A-Z series and talk instead about moms. Okay?

How would you describe your mom?

My mom was an Okie.

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Hmmm… How dare I?!

How dare I use such a derogatory term! “Okie” was a term used by those who thought they were better than those Dust Bowl transplants who moved to the west coast from Oklahoma to find a way to make a living when years of drought forced them from their homes there.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is a classic book that told the story of Tom Joad, the father of a migrant family. Tom left the Oklahoma dust bowl for promised land in California, only to face new and daunting challenges. It was made into an award-winning movie starring Henry Fonda.

Wrong Assumption

My father’s sisters erroneously decided Mom was a west-coast migrant from Oklahoma. Unlike those Dust Bowl transplants from Oklahoma, my mother, Elizabeth Totten, had ancestors who migrated in the late 1800s from Ireland and Scotland to Iowa and then to the state of Washington at the turn of the century. Mom’s family owned a farm in Fall City, Washington. Her dad died when she was in her early teens. My grandmother guided her six children to work hard to keep the farm operating without my grandpa to lead the way.

After Elizabeth graduated from high school in 1933, she worked in Fall City at a creamery to help the family survive and retain the farm. She moved to California after she met my dad, Sal DeAngeles, a handsome, suave, dark-haired young man, 4 years her senior.

Early Days in Mom’ & Dad’s Marriage

Elizabeth and Sal eloped to Reno, NV in 1937 and kept their marriage a secret for awhile. They were aware that his family might have trouble accepting her.

Many times Mom told me the story of how Dad’s Italian sisters (he had 5 of ’em) were resentful of her intrusion. She said they called her an Okie. (To her face? I hope not!) She was not Italian. And worse yet, she was not Catholic! And to add insult to injury, Dad’s mother (my Grandma DeAngeles) loved Mom as if she were one of her own daughters. There may have been some jealousy at work there.

Mom thought Dad’s sisters had a friend, a local Italian, Catholic girl picked out for their brother. Mom said she believed they were shocked and rather put-off by his decision to marry this outsider.

Whether her perception of their non-acceptance was true or not, it colored our family’s relationship with my dear aunts forever! It may have been one of the reasons I recall our family going on Sunday afternoons to visit Dad’s sisters at their homes, but rarely inviting them to come to ours. What a shame!

Who was Mom – – – really?

Elizabeth (later nick-named Betty) was the fourth in a family of five children born to Laura & Ralph Valentine (RV) Totten. She was a slightly built, blond, blue-eyed girl with three older sisters, one brother, and a younger sister. She adored her father, whose untimely death (he fell off a barn roof and died of a brain injury), left her devastated.

She was a good student, particularly talented as an “elocutionist” (public speaker), and would have loved to attend college. Financially it just was not an option. She was good at math as well, and eventually became Dad’s secretary/treasurer in his business. In her retirement years, she kept herself busy playing Bridge and participating in the women’s organizations of Eastern Star and Rebekahs.

What do I Remember Fondly About My Mom?

Mom always told me I could do and be whomever I decided I wanted to be. She believed in me. She gave me confidence, and encouraged all my various endeavors. She made sure I got accordion lessons when I showed an interest in that instrument. She helped me get a clarinet when I wanted to join the elementary school band, and she drove me to weekly accordion and clarinet lessons fifty miles away.

Mom helped me develop my writing skills and encouraged my ventures into art and school leadership. She convinced Dad that I should be able to go to college – and made sure they managed to finance my college expenses so that I could concentrate on my studies. “Your school work is your job,” she explained when I was contemplating a job to help with college costs. Unlike most college students today, I graduated with a BA of education in four years – and was debt free. What a gift!

Mirror Images

Mom’s spit-fire personality sometimes caused us to be at odds with one another. I see her in me now and blame her for all the parts of my personality that annoy me. I look in the mirror and see her arms hanging from my shoulders (when did that happen?). I see her impatience in me when I am being less than kind. I look up and shake my finger at her when i am too outspoken.

Thank You, Mom

But at the same time, I thank my mom for all the ways she helped me become the  “Child of God” I am today. She made sure my sister, Sally, and I got to church each Sunday. She was 100% honest and she taught Sally and me to be morally responsible, dependable, hard-working young ladies. I am grateful to my mom for her role modeling, her work ethic, and her unconditional love.

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Family is So Precious!

The picture below is 53 years old!! That’s me on the left, pregnant with our first child. My husband, Bob, is standing next to me. Next is my sister, Sally, with her husband, Dave, holding their eldest daughter, Denise (both of whom are now deceased). I thank God every day for life – and for the life of my children – and count my blessings that they are alive and healthy, productive adults today. I never take that for granted.

My mom and dad (Sal & Betty) are in the foreground. The best gift they gave to me was their love for one another – and their love for our family.

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Happy Mother’s Day
to all those wonderful moms out there
who have impacted their children
in such important ways –
and continue to do so everyday…
some up close and personal,
and others as they lean over the
Heavenly railings and watch over us from above.
***

What do you remember most about your Mom?
And what do you want to thank her for?

 

Optimism Brings Positivity


Thanks for joining me on our A-Z journey
to find ways to
Add More Meaning
and
Discover Clearer Purpose
in Life

Today we’ll explore the letters “O” and “P”
Optimism and Positivity

Optimism Brings Positivity!

Or, is it the other way around?

Does Positivity bring Optimism?

I couldn’t separate these two!

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Like so many of the concepts we’ve explored in this A-Z series, these two (optimism and positivity) go hand-in-hand.

When you live with the “Positivity Potion” in your life, optimism is a natural by-product!

I am reminded of a story I have read more than once in various places. It’s about an elderly lady who is being guided down the hallway of a nursing home. The CNA (certified nurse’s assistant) says to her, “Your room is at the end of this hallway.”

The lady smiles at her and cheerfully exclaims, “I like it!”

“But you haven’t seen it yet,” the CNA responds.

“Oh, I know, but I like it.”

This lady had more than a sprinkle of acceptance.
She had more than a hint of gratitude.
She lived with more than a feather of hope.
Her positivity potion was overflowing with optimism about life and her future.

She is someone you’d like to have as your roommate
should the day come when you need to move into a nursing home.

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These items of advice don’t suddenly become obsolete when you’re retired and don’t have to get up and go to a job every day. In fact, as a person who is aging (aren’t we all?), it is more important than ever that I remain positive in order to be happy.

When I was recovering from a knee replacement and struggling with more pain than I anticipated in the recuperation process, it was more important than ever that I remain positive, keep hope for a better outcome ahead, and work hard to remain happy.

Challenges keep coming.
Life is not a bed of feathery frolicking through the tulips!
It is more important than ever that I continue to work hard
(find meaningful work to maintain a sense of purpose),
and give my days reason to hope.
Not just a feather of hope,
but the whole chirping, red-breasted robin!

animal avian beak bird

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I never can let myself become so rigid, and set in my ways, and sure of my own way of doing things that I grow beyond the need to accept criticism. I must always keep learning. With a positive attitude, I can thank the one who offers the criticism –  thank him or her for sharing an opinion with me – for caring enough to speak their words of correction. Take it in – try the shoe on and see if it fits! And weigh its merits. Keep learning and looking for ways to improve. Always!

With an attitude of optimism
and a demeanor of positivity,
I will attract happy, warm, and generous people.
And I will be one of them.

What better way to approach my 80th birthday – and the days ahead?

 

Bring Optimism and Positivity with you into your tomorrows!

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