Tag: joy

Alexandra Stoddard

May I introduce you to………….?

I’d like to introduce you to an author that you may not be familiar with.

Her name is Alexandra Stoddard. I read her books many years ago and found a couple of her books recently at a thrift store. I’d forgotten how much I love her writing. She is primarily an interior decorator and while her books are older they, of course, don’t show the latest trends. However, if you’re following trends, then you need to read her books because she gives advice that is timeless.

She also writes inspirational books as well. I find she speaks to me in many ways. Especially this first picture. I didn’t read it until May just shortly before my mother died.

Alexandra Stoddard

These are from her book called “Grace Notes”.

Aren’t they great?

Here are some more books. I’m reading “Open Your Eyes” and I have found it very helpful when I evaluate my own decorating efforts.Alexandra Stoddard.

 

Here is a link to her newsletter. It’s a very sweet and inspirational read. http://wwhttp://www.alexandrastoddard.com/newsletter.asphttp

God bless and have a great day.

Joshua 2016

Today is the first day of an exhausting week.

Today begins a week with our seven-year-old grandson. This is is third summer visit. He is quite something. Kind of an old soul in a kid’s body. He says and does the funniest things.

Last year he asked us if he could watch a certain movie, can’t even remember which one now. I asked him, ” What do you think your mom would say?”

He replied, “Well, you’re the adults in charge so it’s your decision.”  Remember, he was six at the time.

I need to let you know it backfired on him later when I told him no about something and he told me, “My mom lets me do it”. And, of course, I reminded him that I was the adult in charge. Hah!

It will be a fun-filled week of gorging on popcorn and cheese puffs. We’ll have an ice cream cone every day.  We’ll fish. We’ll hike. We’ll go to the beach. We’ll watch movies. We’ll do crafts. I have a bunch of stuff ready.

We will head up to the cabin on Wednesday where there will be mostly fishing and his favorite activity which I unwisely came up with last year and now it’s
“thing” with him.

We have a rope hammock set up between two trees. We pretend it’s a ship and we’re on the high seas. There are holes in the hammock where we put our “oars”, which are two long walking sticks that we have painted. We are chased by pirates, almost eaten by Pirhana, shipwrecked, you name it. Anything that can befall our vessel does. We have to paddle really fast to stay ahead of all the dangers.

I worried that I wouldn’t be up to this year because of my mom’s recent death. But I have decided I am going to give it my best shot. I’m telling myself it will be good for me.

cabin Joshua 2016

 

Joshua 2016

 

Joshua 2016

joshua cabin 2016

I was thinking today about life, how as one life ends somewhere another is beginning somewhere. Even though we grieve our loss, we must always remember that it’s our loss.  And our loss doesn’t mean someone else can’t be happy. I can remember when my husband had open heart surgery and it bothered me a lot that people in the waiting room were laughing and talking while I was scared to death and going through hell wondering if our life together was over.

I look back and realize I was wrong. Sadness and happiness are always happening simultaneously. That’s the nature of life. I think when we can step back and look at the big picture it helps us cope. It doesn’t take away the pain, of course, and I don’t think it should because:

Without pain there is no happiness. You can’t recover from something;  you can’t get over someone until you pass through the valley.

I wish it weren’t so but it is.

So this week I’m going to be a kid again myself. I’m going to give my grandson the best of me. His life is just beginning. I want it to be filled with as many good memories of his time with his Grandpa as we can give him.

But do think of me. When the week is over, I’m going to be exhausted!!!!!

God bless and I hope you have a calm week.

looking for happiness

TIAABB. Do you know what that means?

It means:  There Is Always A Bigger Boat. We could say it lots of different ways.

  • There is always a nicer house.
  • There is always a prettier woman.
  • There is always better hair.
  • There is always someone with more money.

OR

How about:

  • There is always a worse house.
  • There is always someone not as pretty.
  • There is always someone with worse hair.
  • There is always someone with less money.

This all came about because of a funeral I went to. It was the brother of my daughter-in-law’s. It was a big funeral, estimates coming in at about seven hundred. He died after a battle with cancer. He was only fifty-six. My daughter-in-law and he were very close.

But even with all the sadness I couldn’t help but notice how many “beautiful” people were there, men and women alike. I mean the clothes, the hair, the Spanxed midriffs, the jewelry, and the purses. Oh, and the shoes.

I wore a casual dress which if I’d had cool shoes would’ve been so much better. But instea, I wore my frayed and worn sandals. I simply have not had time to go out and find cool shoes with heels. Oops, just remembered, I do have a pair. I forgot I bought them because I’ve only worn them once. Now, I remember them.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter anyway. Because this post really doesn’t have anything to do with shoes.

It has a lot to do with comparisons. Boy, are we quick to do it. At least I am.

Then I came home and came across that acronym, TIAABB.

I don’t even know why I was comparing myself to them. I’m as content with my life right now as I can be considering my mom died about a month ago. Maybe it’s because I think I should care more about such things than I really do anymore.

Besides envy has a pecking order. Did you know that?

There is the top-level. These are the people you think couldn’t possibly envy anyone else because they already have it all. And yet even with them, there is someone who has a bigger boat.

The hierarchy continues on down.  Most of fall somewhere in the middle.

No matter what level a person is on there are those below them envying what they have. I have a wonderful plaque in my bathroom with the words:

“Someone else is happy with less than what you have.”

But let’s not make the mistake thinking that all poor people are happy and are wealthy people are unhappy. That’s ridiculous but we do it all the time. There is nothing noble in being poor any more than there is nobility in being rich.

The point is we each have to find what makes us happy. That might take some serious looking.

looking for happiness

And it’s never about things. It’s almost always about people and experiences. The joy of acquiring things doesn’t last that long. It’s amazing how quickly the charm fades. My first cup of coffee in the morning makes me happy; my second cup not as much, and so on.

So often we try to justify our envy by saying, “Well, I could’ve had my hair done. I could’ve bought an expensive purse and shoes, I could have had a pedicure and manicure, etc.” But I didn’t. Why? Because those things don’t bring me joy.

What did bring me joy was hitting some garage sales earlier in the day and finding some things I could really use.  What brought me joy was showing up at the funeral for my daughter-in-law. What brought me joy was knowing I had prayed consistently for this family for over two years now. And that maybe, just maybe, that’s one of the reasons he made it as long as he did.

The next time you’re tempted to compare yourself with others remind yourself that someone else is probably envying you.

Our pastor mentioned a book by John Ortberg that I read a few years ago, “It All Goes Back In the Box.” I highly recommend it. It is just another way of saying you can’t take it with you, it all goes back. We take nothing with us when we die but can leave a lot. And I’m talking about money.

Anyway, take it easy on the comparisons. God bless and have a good day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

igger boat.

cooking making

Making good memories even when we’re sad

I’m feeling a little sad today.

I am a follower of Christ and I believe in praying in faith and confidence that God answers prayer.

But let’s be clear. People get sick. People die. Circumstances change.  In other words:

Life goes on. Life changes.

My granddaughter and I are baking cookies with my mom today.

Christmas cookies

I will have a hard time choking back the tears, because I’m almost certain I won’t be baking cookies with her in her own home next year. That  would be a miracle and I pray every day for exactly that. But recent events almost certainly guarantee this won’t happen.

I’m not being pessimistic. I’m not not showing faith.

It isn’t faith to ignore reality. Faith is praying in the reality that surrounds us while clinging to the fact that God can exceed our wildest requests. It can seem like an oxymoron at times.

Of course, there are times we pray outside what we see. I do it all the time. I pray that God will do what seems impossible. And he often has.

But my mom leaves me more every day. Can I be frank and say that sometimes I don’t want to visit her because it’s such a vivid reminder of how much I’ve already lost.

I know there are many of you that find Christmas hard. This year, I do, too.

But I will bake cookies and take pictures today and try to carve this time into my memory forever. I will be grateful I still have a mom to worry about. So many of you don’t. I will be grateful that my faith is being stretched to the max these days (not to mention every other part of me.)

So I’m thinking of all of you today for whom Christmas means sadness as well as the gladness. But remember, no matter how sad a time it is for you, peace can be yours because of the sacrifice God made my bringing his son to earth.

For me, the message of Christmas is all about peace, joy, and hope.  We can be sad and still have peace. We can be sad and still have joy. We can be sad and still have hope.

God bless and have a good day.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all my followers

Happy Thanksgiving to all my followers.

Thanksgiving

I was thinking this morning how I wished I could meet each of you and hear your story. Especially if you struggle or have struggled with depression, anxiety, OCD, etc, what I could learn from you.

I would love to know what has helped and what hasn’t. What I haven’t focused on enough, what I should focus on more.

I know for sure that some of you are not going to have a great Thanksgiving. I can remember some that weren’t so great myself. Depression had stolen my joy. I can remember just wanting the holidays to be over.

tumblr_m8zknkLTgw1r16x4po1_500

There’s almost nothing worse than seeing everyone else’s happiness while you feel so empty inside.

I am praying for you. I am praying for you to find something in your life today for which you can be thankful.  I know that gratitude can be a wonderful mood-lifter.

laugh

For those of you who have been able to leave mental illness in the dust, I pray for your continued progress. For those of you still struggling, I promise to continue writing messages of hope and encouragement.

For all of you, I pray a day of peace from worry, anger, anxiety, fear, etc. I am truly grateful for each of you and say thank-you to all of you. I know there are many of you lurking in the shadows as my stats show that. That’s OK. I know you’re there and I am grateful.

God bless and Happy Thanksgiving.

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