Posts Tagged With: Faith

Reflections of Joy

My 7-year-old, Parker, has been writing stories lately. These stories are always wildly imaginative. Her latest story is entitled, “The Zoo is the Greatest Place on Earth.” The zoo in her story is not just any ‘ol zoo. Oh, no, it features special animals like polka dotted polar bears and pink penguins. Who wouldn’t love to visit a zoo like that?

My girl is a natural storyteller. When she shares her stories with me, great joy can be seen in her eyes, and heard in her voice.

Her joy of telling a story got me thinking about my 2013 One Word: Joy. We all seems to be quick to move on these days. We’re busy, busy, busy. We move on to the next big thing, leaving little, or no time for reflection.

It’s important that we “stop and smell the roses” on occasion if we truly want to understand where we’ve been, how far we have come, and to see the road ahead more clearly.

2013 Joy |  I think focusing on the word joy for 2013 made me stop and look for it intentionally. Having joy takes effort. It’s a choice we make. And, I chose joy (most of the time).

I took time to do things that brought me joy, of course, but I also took the time to look for joy in the little things around me everyday. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to find. See, looking for it does work!

Joy

Reflecting…

I found Joy in glorious sunrises out my back door. Joy in nature. Joy in autumn smells, color and weather. Joy in His word, usually when I wasn’t looking for it. Funny how that worked. Joy in my children’s’ laughter. Joy in watching the girls grow into the young ladies they are becoming. Joy in the mess of craft days. Oh, yes, there is joy in glitter, everywhere. Joy in photography, and trips to the mountains. You get the idea…

So, before you rush into 2014, take a moment to reflect on the last 365 days you’ve lived. That is a lot of days. Were they well spent? Did you use them to your advantage? Did you accomplish what you wanted in 2013; where did you fall short? How have you grown personally, professionally, or spiritually?

Before we can see where we’re going, we need to know where we’ve been.

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Forget Resolutions, Choose One Word

The beginning of a new year is traditionally a time of reflecting and setting personal or professional resolutions Or goals.

DID YOU KNOW | One-third of those who make a “resolution” for the new year dump it within 2 weeks, and 50% of the rest say “forget about it” within 2 months.

Anyone who has ever failed at a diet made on January 1st knows resolutions are hard to keep. There has to be something better, right? Something to hold your focus for 365 days.

I have followed Ali Edward’s method for One Little Word for the past 5 years. However, this year I found this awesome website called One Word 365. This is a social site, that is quickly becoming a movement. At One Word 365 you can get word ideas, share your word with others, and find your tribe to help keep you focused for the next 365 days. Pretty cool.

THE CONCEPT | Live purposely. Live your life; who you want to be, what you want to do, what you want to focus on. You can choose any word, so long as it is a word that means something to you.

Choosing just one word allows you to focus year around on your goal. I would suggest displaying that word around the house so that it is always in front of you.

steve jobs quote

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Let’s face it, life gets busy. We “forget” what our goal/word is for the year. It gets shoved to the bottom of the to-do list. If your word is ever present, in front of you, you are more likely to “remember” and not lose your focus.

This could come in the form of a framed quote centered around your word. It could be a hand-stamped word necklace you wear. It could be in the form of home decor sitting on a shelf, or hanging on your wall. Put you word written on sticky notes. Tattoo your word on your forearm. Whatever works for you; I won’t judge.

Some of my One Words that I have chosen in the past:

2009: Be, as in “just be in the moment.”

2010: Faith

2011: Nourish

2012: Explore

2013: Joy

Most years my One Word has “spoke” to me. This year, not so much.

I have chosen to expand this little blog of mine. It’s something I have been wanting and working towards for a few years now. There is a lot to take care of when moving a website. I started blogging to satisfy the voices in my head; the voices that could not speak, but could write. More about my voices later…

It takes a leap of faith that all the writing I have been doing for the past 6 years will pay off. Or, leap off a cliff…

So, after much pondering, my word for 2014 is focused around that goal. Some words that were contenders: Forward, Refocus and {One} Step. But, one word was a clear winner.

My word for 2014: LEAP.

leap quote

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In the coming weeks I will share this LEAP of expanding this blog. It’s going to be joy-fear kind of thing. You know, when you feel the joy of realizing a goal and the fear of failure collide? That’s joy-fear.

What is your One Little Word for 2014?

***** Add some inspiration to your home decor in 2014. Prints of these, and other, inspirational quotes are available in THE SHOP.

Categories: Faith, Leap, Life everyday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Blessings

Christmas Blessings, faith, christmas verses

Christmas Blessings

Let us never forget that we are truly blessed. Not by the number of presents under the tree…but by His grace. Merry Christmas!

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Something to Ponder this Weekend.

SOMETHING TO PONDER THIS WEEKEND | Recently I wrote about how our family loves the reality show Duck Dynasty, here. I typically do not write about things that would cause a fight. That is not what this blog is about. However, with the recent controversy surrounding what some are calling homo-phobic comments by the shows patriarch, Phil Robertson, to GQ Magazine, I feel I need to put my two cents into the mix.

The big question for me is whether or not Roberston expressing his religious beliefs and quoting the Bible can be labeled as Hate Speech. But first I must know: What exactly constitutes Hate Speech?

Hate Speech Law and Legal Definition: “Hate speech is a communication that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group, especially in circumstances in which the communication is likely to provoke violence. It is an incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and the like. Hate speech can be any form of expression regarded as offensive to racial, ethnic and religious groups and other discrete minorities or to women.” {source}

Simply put, an opinion (religious, personal, or otherwise), other than your own, is not Hate Speech. The statement must carry an expression of hatred to be labeled Hate Speech. You may find it to be vulgar, disgusting, repulsive, or intolerant, but that doesn’t mean the opinion/statement carries the intent of hatred.

There seems to be a fine line between personal opinion/beliefs and hate speech these days. Sometimes those lines get blurred in this social media world we live in. And, sometimes we have a knee-jerk reaction to a statement, and rush to label it or that person as racist, a bigot, or anti-whatever.

Phil Robertson was not expressing hatred of a group; he was expressing his American right to his religious beliefs. He was asked his opinion of what he believes is sinful. Like it or not, he gave it.

Never ask a question if you’re not prepared to hear the answer.

This is my opinion: Tolerance on both sides is a must. A group cannot demand tolerance from another group without showing tolerance themselves. We must be quick to love, slow to judge. In this country we still (for now) have the right to express our religious beliefs. Simply expressing what is stated in our Christian Bible is not hate speech. You don’t have to like it, but you have to allow it.

Personally, I choose to base my opinion of someone by how they treat me, strangers, their family, co-workers, etc. It is not my place to judge. I will let God sort that out. I stand behind everyone’s right in this country to speak their mind.  Whether I agree with it, or not. 

Before you throw a stone at Phil Robertson with the media, read GQ the article for yourself (don’t read just the quoted excerpts, which are misleading). Then read the Robertson Family response.

Author Note: I am not defending what Robertson said, only his right to say it. Remember, just because you have the right to say it, doesn’t make it right. Hate-filled name calling does not contribute to the conversation, it only serves to fuel the fire and make you look stupid.

mother teresa quote

Categories: Life everyday | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

3 Gifts of Verse

Continuing our month of giving thanks intentionally…

give thanks quote

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November 10: 3 thing read in the Bible

1 Corinthians 10:30-31

30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks? 31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

I turn on the Today Show. How can I give thanks when half a world away a projected 10,000 people are dead from a typhoon? When every time I turn on the TV I am met with tragedy, and  senseless violence? So many things that I feel are out of my control. My little list means nothing in the grand scheme of the hurt of the world. Is it “right” of me to think that coffee is something to be thankful for when people pray that they have a blanket to cover themselves tonight? My head hurts and just because of the news.

Ecclesiastes 3:10-12

10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.

And, what can His plan be for the suffering? What is beautiful about the bad news seen every day? How can I be happy with so much hurt in the world? Some days it is so hard to be happy. I am not in a happy mood today.  I have been suffering with severe allergies for two days (and nights) straight. I am in no mood to write down any thing I am thankful for. The TV is too loud. It makes my head hurt more. My head is going to explode…give thanks in that?

Genesis 3-5

“In the days you eat from it your eyes will be open…”

From the beginning, Adam and Eve were not thankful for all they had. They let Satan deceive them into thinking that to eat the fruit is to see the truth. When in reality to eat the fruit is to be blinded. So blinded by all that is bad and wrong in the world. Blinded that they (we) don’t see the good. Blinded so much that we don’t give thanks for the little, happy things.

The first sin in the history of mankind was ungratefulness.

Adam and Eve where ungrateful for what was given to them by God. They tasted the forbidden fruit and wanted more. They didn’t see what they had because they saw everything, good and bad. Satan side tracked them.He filled their head with lies.  I don’t want to pull an Adam and Eve. I want to be grateful…even if it is for my little cup of morning coffee. I push on in spite of my headache.

These 3 verses were read today in unexpected places; when I wasn’t looking for verses. God can be funny that way.

Sometimes thankfulness comes when you least expect it…and in a time when you most need it.

give thanks printable

Printable by Positively Splendid

Get this lovely and FREE printable here.

I am also thankful that I could go back to bed this morning for an hour…for little pink allergy pills that finally took my screaming headache away…the ability to shop at a grocery store (I went to 3 different stores today! *Insert eye-roll here*)…and that my old mini van took me there.

>>> A month long giving thanks fest brought to you by the Joy Dare. What are you thankful for? Studies show that people who write 3 things they are thankful for every day are 25% happier.. >>> Giving thanks quote prints now in the shop. Prints are as low as $6.60 and greeting cards are as low as $2 each.

Categories: Faith, Joy, Thanksgiving | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A month of giving thanks

thanksgiving quote

Scientific research shows that giving thanks for just 3 things a day makes you 25% happier.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s the calm before the rushed craziness of December. It’s a time of family and friends. It’s a time to openly give thanks for all we have…even if you are struggling financially, have health issues, emotional problems, whatever, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. And, November is the perfect month to celebrate that.

November 1 : 3 gifts eaten

  1. Larmar’s chocolate donuts
  2. coffee
  3. breakfast for dinner

November 2: 3 gifts worn

  1. winter coat
  2. Halloween costumes
  3. gloves on Halloween night

November 3: 3 gifts that start with N

  1. sewing pal Neighbor
  2. Nighttime
  3. November

November 4: a gift gathered, given, good

  1. food bank donation (1. Gathered–food; 2. Given–money; 3. Good–good food, not stuff in the back of my cupboard that I won’t ever eat.)

>>> A month long giving thanks fest brought to you by the Joy Dare. What are you thankful for? Write it down…and get happier. >>> Giving thanks quote prints now in the shop. Prints are as low as $6.60 and greeting cards are as low as $2 each.

Categories: Faith, Joy, Thanksgiving | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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