Sunday, January 5, 2014

Encouragement and Fortitude

Vess Barnes wrote that the purpose of life is,
"To encourage, to comfort, to awaken, and to stretch those who find themselves riding this big ball as it screams thru time in the silence of space. To be a bridge, not a barricade. To be a link, not a lapse. To be a beacon and a bolster; not a bragger or a bummer. To help bring the corners of life's lips to their summit. To be a friend to those who find their fit a little awkward in this chaos society calls living."    ~From How Heroes Endure Hard Times
I have done many difficult things in my life- things I never anticipated and would most likely have shrunk from if I'd known before hand just how hard they would be.   But, this is life!  It's not always smooth sailing- we grow by leaps and bounds when we meet challenges and either plod, plow or sashay through them.   My life's challenges may pale in comparison to another's, but they are tailor-made for me.
Looking back over the hills, mountains and valleys of the past, you see a beautiful pattern- a tapestry being woven.  One hopefully, of love and fortitude, graciousness and growth, forgiveness and strength.
I believe everyone has greatness within them.  We all have courage and kindness.  We can use our gifts to encourage and uplift,

en·cour·age

give support, confidence, or hope to (someone).


synonyms: hearten, cheer, buoy up, inspire, motivate, invigorate, embolden, fortify



 to give peace to those who are fearful,

 peace 
 Freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations
 Inner contentment; serenity: peace of mind.
 In a state of tranquillity; serene: 
 Free from strife: 

and to comfort those in need.

com·fort  
 To soothe in time of affliction or distress.
 To ease physically; relieve.
 A condition or feeling of pleasurable ease, well-being, and contentment.
 Solace in time of grief or fear.
Help; assistance
 One that brings or provides comfort.
 The capacity to give physical ease and well-being:

Forgetting about yourself and focusing on others or greater purposes can bolster the soul in difficult times.  A wonderful article to read is: How Heroes Endure Hard Times by Stephen Palmer.  I highly recommend it.  You can find it HERE.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Parenthood- The Joys


Aah, the joys of parenting.  Too numerous to count and, at times, too humorous as well!

I'm getting a kick out of seeing my daughter and her husband experience the...well, EXPERIENCE.
Here's a great video to enjoy!
If the frame is partially cut off, watch it in its entirety Here.




Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Pathways


























 “When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open.”
~ Alexander Graham Bell

Having lived in many different places, I have come to deeply understand how you can leave some of yourself behind when you move away.  Memories become just that- no longer living in a certain home or town, you can't look to a spot and say, "That is where we picnicked."  or "Remember when she took her first steps right there?" 

 There is a beauty in living in one town or home or area from the moment you marry and begin to raise a family.  Your family and children can have deep roots and combined memories of that place- because virtually everything happens there.

 While we have had many adventures in different states, for the most part we can't visit those places and reminisce when we feel like it.    It's rather sad, honestly.

I have always enjoyed the art and thoughts of Mary Engelbreit.  Her artwork above struck me recently.  I realized that it really is easy to look back, regretfully and longingly on closed doors and past roads.   Does this add to my life in any way?  To long for things I no longer have, to wonder what life would be like now if we had chosen differently?

 That, my friends, is a recipe for misery.  

We all make mistakes, life throws us challenges and new opportunities. 
 We carefully make choices based upon the knowledge we have at the time they're presented.   
That's truly all we can do.  



 The last home we left was amazing.  We were so blessed to be surrounded with the comfort and beauty of the place, the peacefulness of the land that filled our souls.   I've had many a pang of regret for having left.  

We made choices.  We chose to move closer to family, to move back to an area where we have strong roots and are surrounded by good people. 
 Because those things really matter.
  Has it been easy?  Definitely not 
I have longingly pined for my past home as we waited almost two years, living in a furnished rental.    I have missed my Ponderosa pine trees and green grasses and snow-covered hills as we've tried to wrestle out an existence in a drier, wilder climate.  
Every step of the way, this new place has been difficult.  We've had our doubts and have wondered, why?  
Why is everything so hard, when we felt sure of our plan to return here?

Little by little, we are being comforted.  God is revealing that His plan for us is better than what we thought we wanted.   As we've let control of the details slip through our fingers a little at a time, we are shown more and more that He is mindful of us, He knows what will make us happy and if we just allow it, He will take care of things.

I can't tell you how good it feels- to let go of the reins of life somewhat, get out of my own way and know that my Father is caring for me. 
I am learning to look forward to doors that are opening, new pathways being cleared.  
I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Simple Things





I have found such joy in simple things;
A plain, clean room, a nut-brown loaf of bread,
A cup of milk, a kettle as it sings,
The shelter of a roof above my head.
And in a leaf-laced square along the floor,
Where yellow sunlight glimmers through the door.
I have found such joy in things that fill
My quiet days: a curtain's blowing grace,
A potted plant upon my windowsill,
A rose, fresh-cut and placed within a vase;
A table cleared, a lamp beside a chair,
And books I long have loved beside me there.
Oh, I have found such joys I wish I might
Tell every woman who goes seeking far
For some elusive, feverish delight,
That very close to home the great joys are:
The elemental things--old as the race,
Yet never, through the ages, commonplace.

--Grace Noll Crowell

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How to be Happy



Sourced from weheartit.com
With summer winding down and fall and winter approaching, (oh, how I love autumn weather!) I want to remind myself of these great truths about happiness.
 

A reminder for us all, inspired by John Bytheway's 'How to be Totally Miserable'

“If you're trying to be miserable, it's important you don't have any goals. No school goals, personal goals, family goals. Your only objective each day should be to inhale and exhale for sixteen hours before you go to bed again. Don't read anything informative, don't listen to anything useful, don't do anything productive. If you start achieving goals, you might start to feel a sense of excitement, then you might want to set another goal, and then your miserable mornings are through. To maintain your misery, the idea of crossing off your goals should never cross your mind.”
“The Imagi-Nation is a little country in your head. When you're young, you go there to play. When you get older, you go there to worry.” 
 John Bytheway, How to be Totally Miserable

So, in order to be happy, follow these suggestions:

-Don't worry about things you can't control
-Count your blessings and be filled with gratitude
-Forget yourself, think of others
-Let go of bad memories (don't relive them!)
-Be kind to yourself and find things to praise
-Be happy and content with what you have
-Learn new things
-Sing!
-Smile!
-Laugh!
-Have faith and courage- don't take counsel from your fears
-Have adventures 

 Here's to a happy life!

Sourced from http://wisesass.com

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