Tag: friends

Christmas 2017

Some Christmas ideas for the less-motivated

I talked with a friend yesterday who said she’s having a hard time “getting in the Christmas spirit”. So I wondered if some of my readers might be having a hard time getting motivated.

So here are some pictures to inspire you. These are plaques are from Dollar Tree. They are really cute. I use my Dremel tool to “etch” in the lines. If you look closely, you can see the indentations. Then I wiped a stain over the whole thing because it was too white.

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017

 

Here’s how I used them this year. I’m not nuts with the location but I couldn’t find anywhere else to put them.  If I have time I will mount them on some wood so they have more of an impact.

Some Christmas ideas for the less-motivated

Some Christmas ideas for the less-motivated

This is not my usual arrangement for the top of this cabinet. Here’s what it looked like last year.

Christmas village/2016

All of these were handmade for me by a dear, dear friend and because of Rambo, I don’t want to take any chance they would get damaged.

Anyway, hope this helps you get in the mood.

God bless and have a great day.

what makes you happy

what makes you happy?

google images

google images

I wonder how many people have asked themselves that question. I know that I hadn’t until the last few years. I think we don’t ask ourselves that because we’re afraid it makes us sound selfish and self-centered. After all, it’s not always about us and our “happiness”, is it? And that is true.

To always be concerned only for ourselves and our own happiness would indeed make us self-centered. But to never ask that question is to invite self-pity and depression.

We are so much better for ourselves and others when we seek a healthy balance. But that’s not usually the case. Most people don’t even know what makes them happy. They’ve never asked it of themselves so how could they?

Now before I go any further with this, there have been many studies to document that there are “universal” activities that bring most people joy. The most important one is being of service to others. I think that’s true of everyone I’ve ever talked to. We almost always feel better when we give of ourselves, even if it isn’t well received or appreciated all the time. We also feel happy when we’re around the people we love. But beyond that, the activites that make us happy are as unique as each of us.

For me, I like getting on my elliptical. It makes me happy to know I’m doing what is right for my health. I feel happy when I don’t overindulge in wrong eating. (which isn’t very often, by the way).Other things that make me happy:

  • Painting——anything and everything, pictures, walls, furniture. etc. Being creative in any way makes me happy.
  • The first cup of coffee in the morning practically makes me giddy.
  • Snuggling in my warm bed in a very cold bedroom.
  • Sitting on the beach
  • Decorating my home and the homes of anyone else who will let me.
  • Butter pecan ice cream and pizza. (not necessarily at the same time)
  • Wandering aimlessly in a book store, especially a used book store
  • Traveling
  • Flying
  • Collecting seashells
  • Sitting in a coffee shop
  • Books
  • Sitting in a library
  • Digging in the dirt
  • Comfortable clothes
  • The color yellow
  • The color aqua. (I guess it’s really all colors. Be it in fabric, paper, paint, etc.)

It’s important to know what makes us happy because when we’re dealing with some “blue” days or depression itself, or when we’re stressed, it’s good to know what we can turn to that might spark some joy. Sometimes just thinking about what we enjoy brings relief.

You notice I didn’t list things like God, family, friends, etc. Those are a “given” for most of us.I wanted to list some totally frivolous activities so you can be encouraged to do the same and not feel guilty. I’m not.

By the way, it’s OK to know what makes you happy.

It’s not just OK. It’s highly recommended by many mental health professionals.

I would love to hear from you. What really makes you happy? Not what you think you should say. Not what you think is the right thing to say. In case you don’t know where to begin, consider this. What causes you to lose track of time? Anything that causes you to lose track of time (it’s called being in the “flow”) is probably an activity that makes you happy. Give it a go. Just the act of writing it down is therapeutic.

God bless and have a good day.

How to be someone else’s prayer “voice”

Luke 5: 17-20:NIV

17 One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

Don’t you just love the “right in front of Jesus”? How often do we bring our family and friends right in front of Jesus? 

We don’t  because we forget that we can. But if it was OK this time, it’s OK anytime. We can bring our loved ones and place them right in front of Jesus. I love their tenacity, their boldness. We should show those same attributes.

When my mom was so ill, my friends took me there. They took my prayers and placed them at Jesus’ feet because all I could do was shoot up one-sentence prayers. (I call them arrow prayers.) They knew my efforts had to be elsewhere.

We are called to pray on behalf of others but also to step in for them, praying their requests when they can’t. And it often seems that when my life is in disarray, theirs isn’t and vice versa.

When I pray in their stead I remind God that I am praying because they can’t. I know their concerns so I simply echo them. They do the same for me.

I hope you have family and friends like that. I am blessed because I do. Today they had to step in for me again. It was such a comfort to know they did.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

 

 

moving on

Looking forward to new memories as I grieve the old

If you read yesterday’s post, you know what is going on. If you haven’t, you can find it here. 

My friends, near and far, have been very supportive. One of them sent me this and I wanted to share it with you and add some remarks.

F.B. Meyer:

“It’s a mistake to be always turning back to recover the past. The law for Christian living is not backward, but forward; not for experiences that lie behind , but for doing the will of God, which is always ahead and beckoning us to follow. Leave the things that are behind, and reach forward to those that are before, for on each new height to which we attain, there are the appropriate joys that befit the new experience. Don’t fret because life’s joys have seemingly fled from you. There are more in front of you. Look up, press forward, the best is yet to be!”

I would guess this is based on Philippians 3:12-14

I like what Meyer said very much but I think he was wrong in one area.

There is a difference between living in the past and learning from the past, a big difference.

I would go so far as to say that unless one examines the past they can’t move on. There is a lot of Scripture to support this. It’s one of the reasons the disciples got in trouble and had a hard time with their trust. They hadn’t looked back and reflected on the miracles Jesus performed or the words he said. At one point, Jesus chastised them by basically calling them “dense”, “Haven’t you learned anything?”, he asked after the feeding of the thousands. In other words, “Why haven’t you been looking back on what I’ve done?” (Mark 8:17-21)

There are three kinds of people in this world,  who

  • those who quickly move on without reflection on past mistakes
  • those who stay stuck (another way of saying, as Meyer did, always looking back) in the past
  • and finally, those who reflect and learn from the past and then move on to greater joy.

The first often leave a “wake” of hurt people in their path. They refuse to take responsibility for their actions and are always searching for the next “thing”, “experience”, or “person”. I know a number of people like this.

The second are those who stay stuck in the past. I know a number of people like this as well. One, who when I first met her, told me she was grieving for her father. I asked her when he died. To which she responded, “Seven years ago.” As far as I know she’s still stuck.

Then there are those , the third group, who are willing to face the past, evaluate their failures and successes, and are to look at past relationships so the future ones are better.

I think Meyer would agree.

That’s where I am today. Grieving the past, wishing things could be as they once were. We are supposed to grieve over losses. Jesus certainly did.

My mother has not died physically but she left me in many other ways. We will never again have coherent discussions. Oh, they might get better as time goes on and she recovers from her head injury, but they will probably never be back to where they once were. (Did you notice how I used the word, “probably”. Hope springs eternal, doesn it?)  Besides, she is not going to do that hard work. She is tired of living.

I hope I never feel that way about life but I haven’t walked in her shoes and experienced some of the things she has.

So today she does not go to Assisted Living as we’d hope. She’s too frail. She needs rehab and then maybe we can take her there. Could she come home? A sliver of a chance but I’ll cling to that for now.

I’m not looking forward to today but she is be transported via a medical service so she will probably be OK.  We didn’t want to be the ones transporting her because she would then think she’s going home.

We will be there to greet her and try to explain what’s going on. This is one time I’m grateful for a little confusion because that might actually make the transition easier. These next few weeks will be tough but God is good.

Would I go so far as to say, “God is in control of everything?”. No. I have a different way of looking at God’s control.

God is in control of me. He is in control of any follower of Christ who has asked him to be. He will be in control of the final outcome when “every knee will bow and every tongue confess, he is Lord.” Philippians 2:10. 

My mom is safe now for a while and that give me comfort.

moving on

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

do good anyway

Why “anyway” can be a great encouragement

do good anyway

 I read this book a few years ago and I thought I’d share some of the precepts over the next two days.

  • “People are illogicial, unreasonable, and self-centered.” Love them anyway.
  • “If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.” Do it anyway.
  • If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
  • The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
  • Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

God bless and have a good day.

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