Ho, ho, ho and …

Ho, ho, ho and Merry Christmas.  As we prepare our hearts may we keep the spirit of love in our minds and deeds.  We are celebrating the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.  He gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we may know true peace and love.  So that we may enjoy a blessed life in eternity.

I realize this event has become quite commercialized however the spirit of hope is still growing strong.  As we walk thru this life we will always encounter the Grinches and scripture can shed light on these dark corners of the world.  I especially like;  “Do not judge so that you will not be judged” Matthew 7:1

It is hard to pray for those who have wronged us or hurt us but it is absolutely essential to our Christian growth.  I have been especially challenged this holiday season and I continue to have great faith in the goodness of people.  We all have the capacity to help each other and to express love.

May this be the foundation for all things ahead of me.  Thank you God.

Merry Christmas 2011

 

 

 

Post Hearts Day

It’s never too late to thank your sweetie…..it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Actually the small things may be highly underestimated and appreciated.
For instance, I love the fact that my husband takes out the trash, washes the cars and always makes sure they have gas in them. These are the most loving gestures that I TRULY appreciate and for the most part are much more meaningful than flowers which wither in days. Don’t get me wrong I like the flowers but its important to notice the everyday loving gestures all around us.

They are there…..we may just have to look a little harder.
Take a moment – thank your sweetie on days beyond Valentines Day..
I think you will be amazed at the response.

Smile and the world smiles with you!

Holiday Pep Talk?

Are you feeling it?

As I undertake all of the my errands during this season…it’s just not feeling like Christmas.  I don’t know what it is but this season feels different to me.  Could it be the ads that start running well before Thanksgiving or the fact that holiday decorations are now crowding out the Halloween stuff in October?  The extension of Christmas well in to October can be exhausting.

The tree is up and the lights are on the house…I am playing the Christmas Carols but something is missing.  Could it be snow?  I guess that is a possibility.  I have a feeling the root may be a little closer to the heart.  This is my first year without a child at home fulltime.  Notice how I qualified that.  I have a wonderful son going to school in Omaha and he blesses me nearly weekly with a visit and we talk on the phone frequently.  My daughter is 3 hours north of me completing her first semester of college.  I see her on occasion and am proud of her maturity this fall.  This is my first season with no children living at home.  It sounds like heaven – right?

The house has been very quiet this fall.  They refer to this as an empty nest….I think it’s a weird reference.  I thought I was ready for this change.  In some ways I was…. but in most I was not.  I miss the entourage of friends coming in and clearing the refrigerator or getting ready for the big event.  I can remember many events when I walked in to a cloud of hairspray and glitter as the girls prepped for their “big” night.

Now there’s Saddie, Sully and Lucy.  They are my other 4-legged kids and they do fill in many of the voids.  They are entertaining, warm and cuddly.  However, it’s still not the same.

I have a new appreciation for parenting during this season.  Our window of time is so short with our children and it is a blessing in so many ways.  For the holidays, I have adopted a family and many other children to help during this holiday season.  I know turning my attention to others is the first step in helping me to get in the spirit.  I am also going to re-read a couple of my gratitude chapters and focus on ALL that I have been blessed with.  Family, friends, wonderful neighbors, a nice place to live, a fun car to drive, laughter, smiles, and above all else:  LOVE!

As I am weaving through my gratitude list I want to make sure it starts with prayer.  I pray for guidance, wisdom and the heart to express love to everyone I come in contact with. 

It’s starting to feel more like Christmas……join during this time of spiritual renewal.

Moral Fiber?

Did the title of this post catch your attention.

When you think about the term moral fiber you may immediately think of religion or something spiritual.

I would agree that moral fiber is spiritual.  I believe it is part of our internal wiring.  How we are made.  As I think about gratitude and the many things I am grateful for I realized many of these values are woven in to my moral fiber.  If I lose sight of the things I am grateful for my disposition changes.  It is not a good feeling.

Realizing that gratitude serves as my compass for thoughts and actions has been powerful.  Gratitude has grown far beyond a card with sentiments written on it.  If you were to use the same tool for your compass where would it lead you?

I am grateful for the laughter of children – this leads to a happy heart.

I am grateful for the love of my husband, my children, my family – this leads to contentment.

I am grateful for the dawn of a new day complete with heavy raindrops, mist and fog – this leads to new birth and renewal.

Where can gratitude lead you?

In His Honor

Tonight I attended a memorial service for a young man my son went to high school with.  This young man was taken from this earth after 22 brief years. 

At the memorial service there were pictures of this young man at all phases of his life with his unique smile.  He fought a rare disease for the last 8 years of his life. 

He did not complain. 

He did not whine. 

He surpassed all odds. 

He continually surprised the people closest to him.  His integrity, determination and pure love of life are an inspiration to all of us.

The church was packed.  It does indeed take a community…a community of love and support to raise children, to support the elderly, to laugh at the daily shenanigans life presents us.  What has happened to our sense of community in the last 10 years? 

Do you know your neighbors? 

Do you wave at people as you drive through town? 

Do you greet people with a smile and a warm “Hello” when you enter the office?

Community.  It is the glue that keeps us human and builds the bonds of love.  In the end it’s all about the love.  I heard stories about a 22-year-old man today…they were filled with laughter, tears, sniffles and above all else LOVE!!! 

Tomorrow is his funeral.  I am inspired by the legacy of love I am witnessing during this time of grief.

Will you join me in renewing a vow to act a little kinder, speak a little nicer and above all else…LOVE MORE?

I Do!

I attended a family wedding this weekend and relished in watching a young couple pledge their eternal love.  Isn’t it amazing how powerful 2 simple words can be – I Do.

It was also a living reminder of what is truly important.  I flew home late Friday and knew I was looking at a long car ride on Saturday to get to the wedding.  To say I was jet-lagged was an understatement.  I had a thousand reasons to not go and contemplated not attending.  As I looked at the piles of laundry and mail I felt defeated.  Where would I even begin to dig-out? 

Well after my 30 minutes of self-pity I packed my bag, put a smile on my face and got in the car.  The car ride was a bit tense and thank goodness I have a patient husband.  We arrived at our hotel.  It was beautiful.  My disposition started to shift and in one fell swoop I finally got my head around the basis of the event.  We had the honor in sharing in the celebration of love.  The fragile union of two souls witnessed by friends and family. 

I was teary-eyed as I watch to two young hearts profess their love and exchange vows.  I met new family members and felt such a warmth from the dinner and reception. 

It was a perfect night.  Their perfect night.  Mr. and Mrs. Adam Ahern. 

I was honored to be a part of their celebration and all of my concerns from earlier in the day simply faded in to the sunset. 

Dancing, laughing, smiling ~> it was the perfect medicine for my ailments.

If you have the opportunity to celebrate love – take it…no matter how large or how small – CELEBRATE.  In the end….it is the most important thing we have.