Well…..I am 11 days in to my 30 day challenge.
I have to say I have not been faithful in reading the book on this topic however I have been faithful in actions which reflect living in the moment.
I have had a few unexpected events surface this year. They include; a dear friend with a tough health issue, greater insight on a family relocation as well as news of financial strife being suffered by someone very close to me.
Like most of us, I have been watching the weather more than usual. Some days the forecast makes me laugh, other days it makes me sigh. I am glad to share the blustery cold with more of the country.
Usually Nebraska and the Midwest are the central location for bad weather. This may come in the form of tornadoes or this time of year – snow and ice storms. We have had plenty of both this year as well as a few days of sub-zero temps….
In summary – the weather has provided frigid fireworks throughout the country this year.
I share all of these data points as potential points of light for my 30 days of living challenge. All of these points present me with opportunities to give and to help. Make a contribution.
I will share a few things that I have done in hopes of stoking just a little inspiration for YOU.
Right now the stores are clearing out their winter clothing. It’s a great time to purchase coats and blankets inexpensively. ALL of the shelters are in need right now and I know they would greatly appreciate anything you would bring in.
Have you ever adopted an animal cage at your local animal shelter? I didn’t know this was possible until 2 weeks ago. Again, this is a nice way to support a worthy cause. If you don’t want to do this solo, perhaps you could entice co-workers or members of your church family to join you?
Lastly, I am going to embark on a project to help others who are living in squalor….yes, I am talking about Haiti. I heard about ladies making dresses from pillowcases to send to the children of Haiti and I am going to join this cause. I am not exactly sure how this will take shape…I am in the planning phase – the fact that I am not a seamstress will also make this interesting.
I will keep you posted on progress….
As I close out this entry let me encourage you to send a card, call a friend, take cookies to a neighbor…..do something to show others you care. It’s just the RX you need during these cold winter months!
I am still going through my 30 day exercise and so far so good. I must admit I will probably have to stretch 30 days out to a minimum of 60 but the results will be worth it. The one thing that I am finding a constant is a “shift of mind.”
When I am thinking of others first my days and moments go much better. I have an exercise for you to try…the next time you are in a REALLY rotten mood I want you to think about who is at the center of your thought processes. I have a feeling you may be surprised. For me – the negative mood is radiating from a selfish streak where I seem consumed in a thought pattern solely focused on me. You know the ones….
oh I hate how this feels
I hate my hair today
I can’t believe they did that to me,
The list goes on and on…..these are by far the worst of times for many of us.
Try changing direction with your thoughts….what is there happening around you that is good? Isn’t it great to see another day. Are you glad to have hair albeit – wild? When someone strikes out at you, do you turn the other cheek and refuse to let the situation bring you down? In retrospect when someone approaches you negatively have you ever noticed it usually isn’t about you at all?
Back to my 30 days….let’s try a little retrospection – think of others and your surroundings…how would they appear if this were your final 30 days?
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.
It gives us just enough time to unwind and laugh. I did a lot of laughing this past Labor Day weekend. All of our kids met us at the lake and they all brought friends. It is amazing to watch them grow and develop in to adults. We had a small army for the weekend.
These young adults form unique opinions on everything from politics to parenthood. They aren’t afraid to express themselves either. I had to cover my mouth and resist laughing on many occasions. Life is indeed an adventure.
We also played games. This proved to be most interesting. The competitive spirit came out in everyone.
I am also proud to tell you we all survived and laughed – a bunch.
The weather was cool and the smell of autumn was in the air. It was a terrific weekend. It also stirred gratitude in regards to family, friends and the blessings of a good laugh.
There is not a better stress-buster – laughter is fantastic.
Recently actor Henry Winkler was interviewed about Tenacity and Gratitude. In this interview he said: “As virtues, tenacity and gratitude are nice to have; as behaviors they are a strong combination found in many successful individuals.”
It is my wish that everyone I was blessed to spend time with during the weekend understands the virtues of tenacity and gratitude. May the memories created during the long weekend sustain the laughter and the smiles we shared.
Wow you just never know when it’s going to hit you.
Someone very close to me recently went skydiving. I was nervous and excited for her. It also called my faith to the frontlines. Faith in her judgement. Faith in the people helping her. Faith in the tools being used for the jump.
I never thought about it much outside of the context of day-to-day areas like health & well-being. I realize well-being and skydiving may not seem like obvious twins but in this case they both challenged my depth of faith.
As my baby flew in to the horizon for her great adventure, my faith was called out. I had to give it all up to God. This wasn’t easy. The situation was completely out of my hands – literally. I decided to envision God was with her holding her in the palm of his hand gently guiding her moves and ultimately her landing. Sounds a bit like everyday life doesn’t it?
I am happy to report, the jump was a huge success and my daughter is back on the ground.
She was exhilarated and I was blessed.
My children head to college this week and it gives me yet another opportunity to have faith.
Children present us with many gifts. I am grateful for their presence in my life and relish all of the lessons they bring.
I recently returned from the city of lights; Paris.
The history and culture of this fine city was incredible. I made this trip with my 18 year old daughter and it was interesting to watch her reaction to the different sites. It reminded me that appreciation sometimes requires maturity. There is no replacement for experience and education.
The expansion of art and architecture was unmistakable. The sidewalks had brilliant mosaics and doorways were anything but square. I left for Paris with great anticipation in regards to the food and I would not be disappointed.
The first place we ate at ended up being our favorite. Angelinas.
If you have been blessed to try this eatery you have enjoyed the savory confection of sugar, cream and chocolate. While this tea room restaurant is known for its African Hot Chocolate, we tried many of their cheesecakes and cookies. each bite was delectable.
We also met a delightful lady there on our last night in Paris. She was a native to the area and absolutely wonderful. She told us she was a well-known patron and each restaurant employee greeted her with a smile and several kisses.
She shared with us that he birthday was coming up however she also told us she was “20” in her heart and mind therefore any other number simply didn’t matter. One can only hope to have this same level of optimism as our exterior matures.
Our encounter with her was a delightful last chapter to our Paris adventure. We had a lovely time during our vacation however the old adage still holds true – there’s no place like home! I am grateful for the experience of Paris. Travel provides a tremendous opportunity for growth and appreciation for many things. Have you had a summer adventure? Bask in the glow of the final days of August…..where summer gone?
I wish you the spirit and decadence of a great cup of cocoa!