Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I would love to hear some comments on what you do that is funny, tacky or different during Christmas.
First, as I stated in my last post, we sang Christmas songs at one of our gatherings, in one of the songs "We wish you a Merry Christmas" it says,
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding; Oh, bring us a figgy pudding; Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer We won't go until we get some; We won't go until we get some; We won't go until we get some, so bring some out here
for some reason I needed to know what "figgy pudding" was......I asked the group and no one knew or seemed to care in fact they all looked at me like I was a little strange to even ask (maybe I am) ....so I went home and googled it and found the most fascinating facts about "figgy pudding" . Here is the site I found that had the best info on 'figgy pudding" http://news.holidash.com/2009/12/24/what-is-figgy-pudding-exactly/.
So now that this was taken care of the other Christmas issue was, is it ok to be a little tacky at Christmas. Well, years ago when I was younger I was always the person with the flashing earrings and necklace and the sweater with all kinds of Christmas stuff on it but as I became older and more "refined" I began to be more sophisticated in my Christmas dress.....but this year I realized the real me is the fun, tacky Christmas person I used to be and the more sophisticated person was who others wanted me to be so this year as you may have noticed in my previous posts....I pulled out the cheap target Christmas earrings, I wore a shimmery Christmas top and topped it all off with reindeer antlers. I decided I would rather be me, have fun and just enjoy myself than worry about what other thought - next year I may even pull out the light up necklace! Just some Christmas thots........ :)
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I was reading my niece, Chayil's blog this morning, http://lifeandtimesofchayil.blogspot.com/ , which by the way is a great blog to follow - she is a young mom that has great insight on life, family and God. Anyway, she posted a song by Selah called, "Unredeemed" and it got me thinking of all those who have lost someone or something this year. This Christmas may be different, someone may be missing, so I have listed some tips to help those in those situations this year.
1. Don’t put excessive expectations on yourself. Don’t expect the holidays to be the same.
2. Rest. Cut down the Christmas clutter and limit activities
3. Rearrange furniture to reduce “absence” reminders.
4. Avoid sugar highs and lows because they naturally induce emotional lows. Also, steer clear of overeating and under-sleeping. Eat well-balanced diets. Some mood enhancing natural foods include yogurt, green tea, omega-3 rich foods (i.e. salmon, cod liver oil, etc.), and lower sugar dark chocolate.
5. Talk about your loved one. Spend time talking about the memories, the times they were with you, the funny things they said and did. This is the best way to grieve is to talk and laugh and enjoy your memories. I few tears are ok too as you reminisce.
6. Admit grief. Trying to move forward while denying the reality of grief causes one to fall face forward. Does your face smile while inside you are crying? Give yourself permission to cry. Jesus wept. Weeping releases excessive tension.
7. Forgive and receive forgiveness through Jesus. Release everything to the Lord, including any so-called regrets about your departed loved one. If there are those who have hurt you this year or you are estranged from those who previously spent Christmas with you - choose to forgive and let go.
8. Reach out to others that are going through hard time and hang around kids this Christmas. It may not feel easy. It may even feel impossible. Ask Jesus to love through you and get your eyes off your problems and on to Him and others.
9. Understand the concept of new normalcy. New traditions and expectations may seem hard if not impossible, but God gave you your previous normal. Ask Him to give grace/hope in the face of the new normal.
10. Remember: Trials don’t indicate a reduction in God’s love for you. He loves you and promises to make things right in the end. Spend time focusing on His unchanging love for you. This is a hard one but I can tell you from experience that it is so so true.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39, ESV)
Holidays include lots of grief for relationships/loved ones that left, forsook, or died. But let's focus on the essence of Christmas: the present of Jesus' presence in our lives!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
But for many of us, the holidays mean stress—and lots of it. Over-eating, over-shopping, over-spending, over-committing, and generally over-indulging can put you over the edge. Even seeing “beloved" family members can spark conflicting emotions and threaten the peace.
Consider these top holiday stressors from a 2004 survey by the American Psychological Association (APA):
- Lack of money (61%)
- Pressures of gift-giving (42%)
- Lack of time (34%)
- Credit card debt (23%)1
See stress for what it is. It’s no wonder that 93% of Americans say that perceptions, thoughts, and choices affect physical health. How we perceive stressful events can set us up for health or harm.
Stress happens. Viewing normal life events as uncontrollable, personal attacks can drive up your blood pressure, and jeopardize your health. But seeing normal life events as—well, normal—empowers you to better manage stress for your health.
Eat, drink, and be merry—within reason. The holidays are meant for celebration, not overindulgence.
Exercise for your heart’s sake. When the stress seems overwhelming, take an exercise break. Just 30 minutes a day—a brisk walk, a run on the treadmill, or strength training—gives you a powerful tool to fend off stress.
Exercise not only helps you manage weight and is good for your body, but it can help you de-stress and clear your mind. And with a clear mind, you can make better decisions about what’s good for you this holiday season.
Rein in the shopping. Instead of searching out the latest gadget or this year’s “must have" toy....just stop. Limit your gift-giving to an important few. Stay home and shop on the Internet. Or go to the mall at the least busy times.
Better yet, give the gift that everyone treasures: time. Plan a family vacation, treat friends to dinner, take a little one to a favorite museum. Memories are not found in things, but in the time you spend with those you care about most.
Give unto others. Smile at a stranger, donate food and clothing, help at the homeless shelter, wrap presents for children who would otherwise have none. Take the focus off yourself and put the spotlight on someone else.
Get the attitude for gratitude. Make a list of everything you’re grateful for and add to it every day. It doesn’t have to be big, just meaningful. Holding a kitty, watching a sunset, giving someone a hand, keeping your sanity—just be thankful for the opportunity to live!
Make it real. Even though Hollywood has convinced us otherwise, Christmas is not about creating the perfect family holiday. It’s about enjoying what’s here and now. Keep expectations real, and don’t try to solve long term issues at the family dinner. Allow your gathering to have its own life—as individual and genuine as your family is - whatever that may be.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
So a few days after my son moved out my daughter called me to let me know they suspect their smallest daughter may be allergic to the new kitty their family has just bought. So we have agreed to have "Boots' stay at our house for two weeks to see if that truly is the problem.
So for now, Johnny room now has kitty toys, a kitty bed and a little box in it and I have a little companion that makes some noise, I can feed and keeps me company when I'm at home. We will see what happens in a couple weeks - I'll keep you posted. But for now I thought I would share this: (Sorry all my dog loving friends and family but truth is truth!) :)
The Top Reasons to Own a Cat
- One of the best things about cats is how clean they are. They never really require much grooming beyond brushing . The fact that they keep themselves very well groomed makes them easy for anyone to own a cat because one is not required to set aside time to bath and groom them like one would have to do with most dogs. They are quite easy to keep looking wonderful, and most of that is done by them.
- They know instinctively when their humans need more attention or would like to be left alone. A cat will rub against your legs or jump in your lap for cuddling to take your mind off your problems. Rubbing a cat’s silky soft fur is an excellent stress reliever.
- Dangling a yarn strand for your cat and watching as they chase the string can help keep human’s from sitting in front of the television frozen for hours at a time. When the household cat decides to catch a mouse and puts it out of its misery that is also a plus.
- Not only do cats know how to out wit mice and dogs, but they are very intelligent about what to eat and not eat. They know they are a carnivore. They are not like dogs and will not be tricked into eating unhealthy food.
- Dogs will pester people into petting them whether you are in the mood or not. Not a cat. They instinctively know when to pester, and when not. They knows whose lap to jump into and whose not. They know who is receptive to cuddling, and who is not. They interact with humans in a way that is consistent with the human’s behavior.
- They have been known to fall out windows from seven floors and survive. They can leap and climb tall trees and usually find their way back down to safety.
- A research scientist and a bio-acoustic specialist who has done studies on various animal sounds. Her findings are absolutely amazing, and demonstrate that the frequency of a cat’s purring is good for healing muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones. It is also thought to be beneficial for other types of healing and stress relief. More information can be obtained from logging in at Fauna Communications Research Institute.
- There have been many stories of cats that have tracked their human families down and joined them after being separated. There’s a one liner that goes something like “A dog has an owner, but a cat has a staff” but it is not really that simple. There is lot more to a cat than its aloof reputation.
- So next time your cat jumps in your lap and wants a little attention stop and think about what a wondrous creation a cat really is.
Monday, November 30, 2009
- That accountability really works - it is amazing when you know someone is checking up on you, how diligent you can be
- That a habit is really created in 30 days. Although this last week was the most difficult to keep up with this blog - it had become such a habit that it was never a thought that i wouldn't do it. It has become part of my routine.
- Thirty days to a healthier life
- Thirty days to a better you (character building)
- Thirty to a more organized you.....
- Any day that caused me to consciously encourage or make someone happy
- the "dance" day - Go Wiggles!
- I loved the plant something day because so many of you got involved
- I loved doing something I had never done before
- Any day that gave thanks or gratitude to God and every day of looking for scripture that encompassed our subject for the day.
Day 2 - Be VERY aware of having a positive attitude. Watch for any negative thoughts or talk and correct it immediately. Look at the good in everything.
Day 3 - have a day of gratefulness. Spend time all day reflecting on all the things in life to be grateful for.
Day 4 - Make three people smile today
Day 5 - spend time with someone under 6 and think about watch how they view life.
Day 6 - Start a conversation with a stranger today
Day 7 - clean one area of clutter in my home.
How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! Psalm 116:5
Sunday, November 29, 2009
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Tomorrow - A Day of Reflection - I will be reflecting on these 30 days of Happiness.
Friday, November 27, 2009
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.Proverbs 11:24
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
So here are my Blessings I'm counting today
- I'm thankful for God and all the patience and love He shows me everyday
- I'm thankful for my husband who helped me wash the floors tonight to get ready for tomorrow
- I'm thankful for my daughter Debbie who came over to my house today, knowing how busy I am, and cleaned my house and put together all my flower arrangements for tomorrow.
- I'm thankful for my son and his sweet wife to be
- I'm thankful for all of you!
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Ephesians 1:3 (New Living Translation)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.
Then people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons: things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
24 There are “friends” who destroy each other,
but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
Tomorrow: Notice a way that God has blessed you today
Monday, November 23, 2009
Affirm - to state or assert positively; maintain as true:
Compliment - an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration
The person I affirmed and complimented today was my hubby, John. No, this was not just an easy way to fulfill my challenge but a much needed and deserved affirmation. I will try not to bore you with the details.....but we had remodeled our kitchen after 18years about 6 mths ago. I love the remodel but there was one little problem. There is a old sliding glass door that goes form my kitchen to the outside. Now that I had a new kitchen the door was sticking out like a sore thumb. So we have been negotiating our next step and finally decided to put a door where the sliding glass door is. As we have been nearing the Thanksgiving holiday which I host at my home I have been 'badgering" yes...badgering my poor hubby to get the door done. Well, about 3 weeks ago he got it - and I'm thinking you just put the door in in a few hours and your done. Wellll.....number one I never really realize the extent of work in these types of projects. Number 2 my hubby is a perfectionist so.....do I need to say more. Anyway, he has labored over this door for days and weekends. Has been working on it every spare moment between work and moving our son into his new home and wedding plans and Thanksgiving plans and me reminding him it needs to be complete by Thanksgiving...poor guy...you really need to pray for him.....well, tonight it is complete and as always he did an amazing job. His perfectionism drives me crazy until he finishes a project like this then I love that quality.
So all that to say I affirmed and complimented him and his workmanship over and over and over again and meant every bit of it!
I also had a few people e-mail me and call me today and affirm me! Not sure if it was because of the blog but it was especially needed today in the mist of all I have going on - so to those of you who blessed my day - THANK YOU!
Another thot about affirmations is that affirmations are not always just verbal, the Five Love Languages, is a great resource for learning some new strategies for affirming others. It talks about physical touch, time and attention, gifts, words of affirmation, and acts of service as other ways to affirm others.
If we observe people closely we can learn the favorite love languages of the special people in our life, and make a point to include loving acts and words in daily interactions with them. In the times we live we can all use a little extra affirmation.
You will show me the path of life: in Your presence is fullness of Joy: at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
Tomorrow - Tell 3 friends how important they are to you (you can do this through e-mail,a card, or phone)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. - Mark 1:35 (NIV)
If you read the gospels, you will see that Jesus lived a very busy life. Crowds flocked to him, to hear him speak or to be healed. Even when he was not surrounded by throngs of people, the twelve disciples were with him 24/7. It tells us a lot that Jesus, needed time alone. But for Jesus, alone time was not simply a time for being alone – far from it. His time alone served a purpose – he prayed. In these quiet moments, he was able to connect with the Father – for strength, for comfort, for direction.
If Jesus needed times of quite, how much more do we need it? A great deal more, I would think.
The two primary challenges of finding quiet times are:
1. Establishing an appropriate time and place.
2. Learning what to do with our quiet time.
It can be frustrating to simply find an appropriate time and place for quiet. We’re surrounded by distractions and noise from every direction – TVs, computers, ipods, cell-phones, car radios, even other people – the list goes on and on. It takes discipline to set these things aside, even for a short time. Equally challenging is finding time for quiet time.
So, if you come to the conclusion that you need time during the day for quiet communion with God, you will need to find the time that best suits you. Some people are early risers while others are night people, find the time that is best for you.
A consistent place is helpful as well. If at all possible, try to avoid a place with too many distractions or temptations. If weather permits, going outside might help. Remember that Jesus had to leave where he was staying and walk a bit to find quiet.
Let’s assume you’ve established a time and an appropriate place of quiet. Now what? To be honest, the first time you really enter the quiet zone may seem strange. We’re so programmed to hearing back-ground noise that quiet may be disturbing. I would simply say, talk to God as you would talk to a friend, listen and meditate on His Word.
Be still, and know that I am God. – Psalm 46-10a
Quiet time allows us to focus and hear from God – through our prayers, through reading and pondering upon scripture, and by simply listening and waiting upon Him. You will find your quiet place to be a refuge – a place of peace where you can not only hear from God, but you will get to know Him better. The effort to find and maintain your quiet place is well worth the effort.
Tomorrow - Compliment or affirm someone today
Saturday, November 21, 2009
- Grace Family Church
- Faith Outreach Center
- Salvation Army
- Metropolitan Ministries
Tomorrow: Do you have a special place you meet with God at? If not, today start one, or if so then spend some time there today.
Friday, November 20, 2009
- Get adequate sleep and rest
- Smile and have laughter in your life.
- Feed your body, mind and spirit
- Approach each day with a purpose
- Avoid being self-critical
- Be sure to build in your schedule time for relationships and fun
- Start a Journal - instead of keeping our thoughts and feelings inside, get them down on paper. A journal helps in venting thoughts and feelings.
- Take responsibility for your own life. Life is about choices. Understand yourself, your behaviors, your thoughts/beliefs and your motivations.
God arranged for a broad-leafed tree to spring up. It grew over Jonah to cool him off and get him out of his angry sulk. Jonah was pleased and enjoyed the shade. Life was looking up. Jonah 4:6 (The Message)
Tomorrow: Donate food, clothing, money or time to somewhere that is helping people in need.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
- experience rapid healing
- Stress reduction
- Improved mental performance and vitality
- Become more social
6 You formed the mountains by your power
and armed yourself with mighty strength. Psalm 65:6
Tomorrow: Self-Care Day - Do something for you!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Day 18 - Make a list of your gifts and talents ( and don't be modest)
We live in a world that can give us a lot of negative and hurtful messages. The media tells us that our bodies are not perfect enough, all those childhood messages that we still occasionally allow into our thoughts, and even friends and family (although not meaning to hurt) will occasionally say or do things that cause us to feel bad about ourselves. Just by our nature of being human we can get 5 compliments in a day and one criticism and it will be the criticism we will dwell on all day long.
So how do we keep from allowing these negative messages from destroying our self-confidence and making us unhappy - After all this is a happiness challenge blog!
Here are some tips on how to give yourself the gift of positive messages:
- Make a list of the good and positive things about yourself - What you like about yourself, what others have said they like about you. Write as many as you can think of, then go through your list and acknowledge it and accept it.
- Encourage Yourself - In Samuel 30:6 David encouraged himself - Be aware of when you do something good like being kind to someone, feeling compassion, accomplishing something whether it is big or small....then give yourself some praise.
- Allow "real" compliments and affirmations to sink in - This is something you have to consciously do - if you have a hard time remembering the good things people say about you then write them down and look at them often.
- Put scriptures that tell you how God sees you all around you - write or type out scripture that speak who you are to God...His daughter, the apple of His eye, His workmanship, made in His image.
- Quickly turn around negative thoughts about yourself - the moment you notice you are thinking something negative about yourself - turn it around to a positive.
Here are a few of the things from my list:
- I have the wisdom that comes with age and experience
- I have a great smile and laugh
- I have empathy and care for people
- I am open to change
- I love life
Tomorrow: Nature Day - spend some time with nature - enjoy this one! Nothing like being outside in weather like this - whether it's in the garden, going for a walk, to the beach
(Bev ) or just sitting on your porch in the evening.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
7Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. Philemon 1:7
Monday, November 16, 2009
She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard. Proverbs 31:16
Tomorrow - call someone you haven't talked to for awhile (not e-mail or facebook!)
Sunday, November 15, 2009
- My car is going on it 11th year and for the first time in my life I don't care - I'm not striving about it - we will get a better one when we need to.
- I always wanted a two story house and a pool - don't have one - probably never will - I was thinking how Ok I am with that now.
- I always felt I had to have some important title to be happy - I don't and I'm happier than I've ever been
- I want to travel more - I still want to travel more - but instead of stressing over it like I used to I take it as it comes and I'm thankful for the times I can and I'm thankful that I can just enjoy my home and family
- Contentment is learned, we are not born with it. Paul said, "I have learned to be content"
- Contentment is an attitude, it does not rely on our circumstances but comes from knowing what is important in life.
- Contentment is relational - comes from a true and real relationship with God.
and it's probably too late now.
But I don't worry about that much,
I'm happy anyhow.
And as I go along life's way,
I'm reaping better than I sowed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.
I haven't got a lot of riches,
and sometimes the going's tough.
But I've got loved ones around me,
and that makes me rich enough.
I thank God for his blessings,
and the mercies He's bestowed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'cause my cup has overflowed.
I remember times when things went wrong,
My faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke,
and the sun peeped through again.
So God, help me not to gripe about
the tough rows that I've hoed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.
If God gives me strength and courage,
when the way grows steep and rough.
I'll not ask for other blessings,
I'm already blessed enough.
And may I never be too busy,
to help others bear their loads.
Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)
Tomorrow: Plant Something - this is a very easy one for a couple of you! :)
Saturday, November 14, 2009
- Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
- Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
- Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
- Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
The Challenge continues!!!!
Friday, November 13, 2009
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-40 (New Living Translation)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (New Living Translation)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
3 Praise his name with dancing,
accompanied by tambourine and harp. Psalm 149:3 (New Living Translation
Tomorrow: Do something different today - (something you haven't done in awhile or have never done)