01/4/18

First week of the New Year. Really?

Here we are just a few days into the New Year.

Already I have been blind sighted by events  or information that shocked me.

Events that are so unfair, even thought I know life is unfair,

I really didn’t need proof of this so soon in the year.

 

After the holidays are over, a little time to breathe before facing challenges would be expected and welcomed.

As you and I know, not always do we get what we expect.

As I am writing this blog, Ms. Kitty (new cat) and I are looking out the double windows of the cottage.

An unexpected snowfall yesterday, January 3,  left about  2 inches of  the beautiful white stuff.  The sun is coming out and glistens on the snow,, but it’s still very cold out. Ms. Kitty is looking out wistfully anxious to get out again and chase those squirrels around. 

 

 

Snowfall in the blue light of evening.

 

 On a more serious note, my daughter was given life changing news on the second day of the year. Although my heart is with her,  we are over two thousand mile apart. Any mother knows how heartbreaking that is.  She is sorting out this unexpected news and making plans to get her life on track without her mother by her side. We talk several times a day. It’s not like being there, but I trust  God to put the right people in her life as she navigates  drastic changes in her life.

I can’t help but wonder about my chosen word for the year. “Inspire” was the word and my ability to be inspiring seem to go right out the window the very next day. Whatever your word, don’t be surprise if you’re challenged on it.

I looked up the definition again today of inspire, to be sure I really knew the meaning of the word.. One of the definitions is to encourage. 

There it is! I am called to encourage whether it be next door or two thousand miles away. When the mother bear in me wants to lash out at those who are hurting my child, I know that is not the way to live an inspired life. I can encourage and impart God given wisdom and know that she is in God’s hands. My job is to encourage (inspire) her to know and feel she is going to be OK. Really, she is going to be OK.

What a very real start to where this word is taking me.

And yes, Ms. Kitty, the snow will be gone soon and you can enjoy the yard again..

 

 

 

 

01/1/18

2018 Challenge

The ball has dropped, we have drank the champagne and toasted  to a New Year, The fireworks have been silenced and the gloomy, cold days of January have settled in. Days and days of 2018 are staring  at us. Do we stare back with question marks in our eyes or do we look at them as days and days of opportunities?

Opportunities,  not to make resolutions that may be broken before the month is over, but deliberate plans to get the most out of this wonderful gift of life.

In December, I had not given much thought to 2018. I was holidaying it with friends and family. Out of the blue my daughter said “Mom, I know what your word should be for 2018.” 

“Really?” I said.” Seems she had thought more about it than I had. “Inspire”, she said.  She went on to explain why this would be a good word because of something I do on a regular basis to speak into the lives of others. (blush blush).

 Umm inspire. Inspire Indeed.

I tucked that away in my thoughts and found it coming to the forefront of my thinking when I least expected it. 

How many of us do things daily without thinking if it’s inspiring or not? I do!  After the conversation with my daughter, I have become more aware and more purposeful of my deeds and actions. She also gave me a Hallmark Hummingbird ornament 2017 named  “inspire”.

A few days later, I got this as a gift from someone else

A hummingbird feeder? Coincidence? I think not!

Hummingbirds are fascinating and fun to watch. While I have not had the pleasure of having them in my yard (no hummingbird feeder) I have watched them hover around the feeders my sister puts out  in her yard every year.

So now, what am I suppose to learn from hummingbirds and what does that have to do with “inspire?”

Thanks to the internet …. my research showed

…………Hummingbirds INSPIRED the design of drones. Maybe you knew this.  I did not.     Hummingbirds…Did you know?

It has something to do with the construction of their wings and the way they’re able to hover.

The hummingbird generally symbolizes joy and playfulness, as well as adaptability. Additional symbolic meanings are:
……Lightness of being, enjoyment of life
……Being more present
……Independence
……Bringing playfulness and joy in your life
……Lifting up negativity
……Swiftness, ability to respond quickly
……Resiliency, being able to travel great distances tirelessly.

Inspiring Indeed!

What would my list of inspiring qualities look like? What do I want them to look like?

Hummingbirds come into the world with instincts to do what hummingbirds do.

Its seems there are those who are just being themselves and in the course of being themselves, they inspire others  such as Mother Teresa.

I think it is possible to decide that you want to be an inspiring person and act on it..

The opportunities are limitless.

 

Every encounter is an opportunity to inspire or be inspired. And there’s blogs, face book, twitter, pinterest etc.

What if we would be the one who nurtures and builds.. Be the one who has an understanding and forgiving heart…

The one who looks for the best in people and be the one who leaves people better than when we found them.

Hug the hurt…kiss the broken….befriend the lost…..love the lonely.

You can’t be inspiring without a positive out look on life.

I believe our ability to be a positive influence starts with  cutting down on the negativity in our surroundings..

If we are on websites, social media or TV programs(news) that are mostly negative in nature, a positive outlook on life is not likely to happen.

When we limit our time doing that, we free up time to do and be something positive.

I’m not suggesting putting our heads in the sand. But really, do we need non stop depressing news?   

Our country is so divided.  Participating and arguing with those who have opposing  views does nothing to bring us closer together. It only widens the gap and allows hatred and bitterness to thrive.

I’ve complied a short list mapping the journey as we take on the challenge to being an inspiration.

These are some things inspiring people have in common

…..they have created  a positive environment to have positive thinking

…..fearlessness. They may feel fear, but they approach a project with purpose to see it through.  It’s that important. 

…..focus. We live in a distracting world. It’s easy to goof off  on the internet for a few minutes that turns into hours. The clock is ticking. Time doesn’t wait. A book you want to write, a song waiting to be written, a painting to create, a meal to be taken to someone in need or a phone call to encourage someone. Where should your focus be? Your heart will tell you.

…..drive, willingness and determination. Working through the discomfort, stepping outside the comfort zone. Challenging yourself and  stretching yourself even when you may not see results right away.

 

  Inspire others by expecting the most from them. Most people rise to the expectations of the people who believe in them. Encourage them and let them know you have faith that they will achieve what they set out to do.

The challenge for 2018… To be inspired and be inspiring.  

Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try. Start there.

Welcome 2018 and welcome opportunities waiting on us to be the best you and me we  can be.

 

09/11/17

Always look for the JOY

Remember August 21, 2017? 

It was just a few weeks ago when  we were excited about the total solar eclipse within a band across the United States.

Remember the joy surrounding this rare event? Not only were scientists overjoyed, but businesses and schools announced closings and provided  special glasses for safe viewing. People gathered in large stadiums for eclipse parties to view this spectacular rare occurrence.  All eyes were on the sky and there was no mistaking, this was a joyous occasion.

Since then, there have been several major disasters and the joy has been obscured. We are in the middle of hurricane season and it has been a very active season. Such destruction like we’ve never seen. Along with hurricanes, have been earthquakes, fires and tornados. All uncontrollable happenings that have us scratching our heads to wonder, what’s next. 

 

We are just a week away from fall and it already has been a time when looking for the joy has been an almost impossible task. 

Finding joy doesn’t minimize the sadness and the devastation that is left behind after tragic situations.. 

We feel guilty for even thinking of continuing to find enjoyment in our lives when others are suffering.

Tragedy can tear us down or build  us up. We can dwell on it and keep living it day after day. But that activity keeps us from moving forward.

Through and after a tragedy, we can grow, learn, be compassionate, love and be loved. 

The joy is in finding the love and kindness that can always be found during the devastation.

Life’s challenges are not suppose to paralyze us. Joy is a healer and pushes us forward.

 

There are simple ways to bring back the joy that has seeped out through personal and/or other tragedies.

Enjoy your children or grandchildren. Children have periods of sadness and then just as quickly they can laugh and move on. Adults…..listen up.

It’s hard to be sad around a giggling child. 

A change of scenery is a way of putting the joy back in life. I don’t know about you, but a trip to the mountains does it for me. Just a few hours of breathing the air and gazing on the magnificence  makes me smile.

 

And always there is joy in helping someone else.  As we’ve heard countless times, its more blessed to give than receive.

Whatever you give, you will receive more in return. May sound like a cliché, but is so true.

Learn and study something new.

A few years ago, after a personal tragedy, I enrolled in a line dance class. Now that’s something  that requires focus  and concentration.

I didn’t want to be the one in the line that stood out because of all the mistakes my feet might be making. Line dancing became one of the ways  to help me find the joy in moving forward. 

 

I can’t leave this out. I find joy in decorating and redecorating. If you look at how many times I do this, you would think I am the most joyful person on earth. 

Find that activity that allows you to open up and find a renewed passion for life.

 When sadness comes, allow your tears to flow. And then your smile to shine.

When you have a choice…………always choose JOY.