Sparks #21

IMG_5385 (1)My friend Annie at McGuffy’s Reader started a wonderful blog hop called Sparks with the intent to share an inspirational thought each Monday, and she’s invited us to join her. I think this is an awesome idea, and a great way to start the week!

I chose this quote by Mandy Hale for my Spark this week because perspective has played such a major role in my life.

When we are young we have all these wonderful dreams and ideas of what our life is going to be like when we are finally grown up. Then we reach that longed for stage and discover that it isn’t all it was cracked up to be. It can be hard to come to terms with the realities of life.

What I’ve learned over the years is that we have choices about how we respond to what life brings us. We can be angry, bitter and resentful, and drag our feet through life grumbling and feeling sorry for ourselves.  Or, we can acknowledge that often our own choices have brought us to where we are,  and we can accept what transpires as lessons to be learned.

We can choose to open our eyes to the gifts we’ve been given and find the positives in our present situation, even if sometimes we have to look a little harder.  There is always good, always something to be thankful for!

When we learn to take life as it comes, and to be at peace with it, good things begin to happen.  I can assure you from my experience living here that flowers do indeed bloom in the desert!

Come and check out Sparks, find your inspiration for the week there, and maybe share something too!

untitled (51)Many of you are familiar with the “Thought for the Day” posts on my Facebook page that carry more messages of hope and encouragement. I post a new one each morning, drop by and check them out.  🙂

Advertisements

Ten Things of Thankful – 2/24/18

Ten Things of ThankfulThis year sure is bringing its share of struggles and challenges already, ‘m hoping that if we get them over with now the remaining months will go more smoothly.  Hey, I can hope! 🙂  Today I woke up sick, having a hard time breathing, and hoping it’s not some crummy virus and just an allergy/asthma issue.  Taking it easy, but sad because we were supposed to attend a play tonight and had to cancel our tickets because I don’t feel well. At any rate, when life is being ornery, that’s the very best time to start counting your blessings to give your attitude a boost.  So here goes….

I am delighted and thankful for all the little birds that are visiting the new bird feeder and bird bath, along with the doves and rabbit that are enjoying what spills!  We live in a dry climate, so I appreciate any critters that can sustain live here, and I’m happy to help them out.  We  also have an adorable roadrunner that’s frequently in the yard.  They are so cute, I hope he finds a mate!

I was so thankful for God’s timing yesterday when I went to Home Depot to return some unneeded items and received $14 in credit.  Then I went to purchase more birdseed from them and the garden center cashier offered me ten pound bags of premium birdseed for just $1 per bag, since the birds in the garden center were poking holes in them and they had to clear them out.  I came home with ten bags… 140 pounds, for fourteen dollars! BIG WIN 🙂

I am thankful for the little mom n’ pop sausage shop we found in Slaton, Texas on our trip to Lubbock for my birthday. We are enjoying breakfast sausage patties, German sausages, Irish bacon, and cheese, and will return in the future for ground beef as well! The smell of smoked meat in the little shop was wonderful, and took Papa Bear back to his childhood on the farm.

I am thankful for the lovely books, purple scarf, and fringed shawl jacket I was given for my birthday.  New things to enjoy are always a treat.  It was a very nice birthday.

I am thankful for the new pair of Skecher GoWalks I got at the outlet store in Lubbock. My old ones were past worn out.  As my friends know, I buy one pair of shoes and wear them till they fall apart, then buy another, the same for sandals in the summer. Not only was I happy to find comfy ones in the wide width my chubby feet require, but Papa Bear also found a pair to fit his giant bear feet, and that’s unusual.  Also, it was buy one pair, get one pair half-off, so we came out with two pairs of new shoes for a wonderful price! I love sale shopping!  This is his first pair of GoWalks, and I know he will fall in love with them for casual wear when not at work.

I am thankful for the waitress at a restaurant in Lubbock that went out of her way to find information on the best movie theater seating/pricing. We saved considerable money because of what we learned from her, and totally enjoyed our movie in comfy recliners.  They are such a blessing compared to tiny, cramped seats with narrow armrests shared by two!

I am thankful that Papa Bear’s oldest grandson who lives in Arkansas will be working in the oilfield in our area for the next few months and we got to meet up with him last Sunday for supper. We may again tomorrow if I feel up to it.  He has grown up to be such an intelligent, hard-working, respectful and friendly guy, and looks so very much like a younger version of his Grandpa.  It was fun to visit!

I am thankful for the fun of watching Winter Olympics events on TV. The opening ceremony was wonderful, and it does the heart good to see young people from everywhere coming together and competing in a spirit of friendship. It gives us hope that there is still tolerance to be found in the world, even in that troubled location.

I am thankful for the perfect writing-table I bought used on Let Go for $20 this week! It’s long and narrow,  fits perfectly in my writing room, and has just enough space for my Surface tablet, my phone and iced tea mug, and a cushion at either end for furkids to keep me company, which they always do. As I move from room to room in our little house all five follow me!  My previous writing desk was a small one that my mother had made for me when I was sixteen… so it almost qualifies as an antique. 🙂 I am going to refinish it and use it for a sewing table as I did years ago, then my sewing machine won’t have to reside in a box on the shelf, and maybe I’ll take on a new sewing project!

Last, but never least, I am thankful for prayer partners and for prayers answered again this week, some big ones too! Every time I begin to feel doubtful about life, God just amazes me with wonderful blessings and peace, and my faith grows ever stronger.

Blessings to  each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Click on the blue button below to view the other links and add your own…

Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 94

FFBadge (2)

Each Thursday, Annie of McGuffy’s Reader and Ellen of 15andmeowing provide four fill-in statements, and on Friday we post our answers and join their  link-up to share our responses.

The fill-ins for this week are:

1. My favorite president is                       because                      .

2. This weekend, I have plans to                        .

3. I                   my                     .

4. I believe                         .

Here are my responses:

1. My favorite president is Abraham Lincoln because he was truly a man of the people, who showed great wisdom, leadership, and perseverance in very difficult times. He conducted both his public life and his personal life with integrity.

2. This weekend, I have plans to attend a play at the Globe Theater at our local college. They will be doing a performance of The Miracle Worker about Helen Keller.  I haven’t been to a play in a long, long time. Papa Bear enjoys plays as much as I do.

3. I love my new writing table that I found on Let Go and bought for $20 this week. It is long and narrow and fits perfectly in my writing room. The long part is necessary to accommodate a cushion at both ends for furkids who like to keep me company while I write. Today Tiggy and Gracie are here beside me. 

Until now I had been using a small desk that my mother had made for me when I was sixteen years old. That almost qualifies it as an antique! 🙂 I am going to refinish it and use it as my sewing machine table, and maybe start a sewing project, something I haven’t done in a long time.

4. I believe that learning to be kind to one another, and to discuss things calmly with an open mind, could solve most of the world’s problems.

Come and join in the fun at Friendly Fill-Ins!

Sparks #20

IMG_5238 (1)My friend Annie at McGuffy’s Reader started a wonderful blog hop called Sparks with the intent to share an inspirational thought each Monday, and she’s invited us to join her. I think this is an awesome idea, and a great way to start the week!

The Spark I chose to share today makes me smile, because it seems to be our human nature to want to improve upon others in the way we see fit, often expending more energy on those efforts than we do on improving the person we see in the mirror. It is easy to think we have clear and simple answers for everyone’s life, yet we struggle just to implement a few basic changes in our own lives, which is where our focus really should be.

It’s not only that it is difficult to get other people to change, it’s that it really isn’t our right or our job to try to change them. If someone asks for input or help, awesome… go for it; but other than that, become a good listener and encourage them as they work to effect the changes they want to make in their lives and to become the person they want to be.

None of us really has the answers for anyone else, we all have our own journey. The very best way to help others is to be the best version of ourselves that we can be, that way we will be an awesome friend and everyone will be a lot happier than if we try to push our agenda for improving them.  Accept people as they are, love them as they are, and that will encourage them to grow and become more!

Come and check out Sparks, find your inspiration for the week there, and maybe share something too!

untitled (51)Many of you are familiar with the “Thought for the Day” posts on my Facebook page that carry more messages of hope and encouragement. I post a new one each morning, drop by and check them out.  🙂

Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 93

FFBadge (2)

Each Thursday, Annie of McGuffy’s Reader and Ellen of 15andmeowing provide four fill-in statements, and on Friday we post our answers and join their  link-up to share our responses.

The Fill-ins for Week 93 are:

1. My Chinese zodiac animal is                     .

2. My zodiac sign is                   .

3. Income tax season                   .

4. In hindsight,                         .

Here are my responses:

1. My Chinese zodiac animal is a wood horse.  The characteristics of a wood horse are supposed to be “irritable and sentimental, with an abundant imagination and insightful analysis of issues.”  I guess that fits me pretty well.

2. My zodiac sign is Aquarius.  The characteristics of Aquarius are supposedly “truthfulness, just, curiosity, affectionate personality, frank and imaginative. Also, unpredictable, detachment, tendency to go off-track, and inefficiency.” I am a cookie-cutter Aquarian, this description fits me to a T.  I have yet to meet an Aquarian that I couldn’t relate to.

3. Income tax season wasn’t as bad as we anticipated this year. We were blessed with enough of a refund to be able to pay some bills, and we are happy about that. Our refund arrived yesterday…. and it was gone by bedtime.  Such is life.

4. In hindsight, there are many things I wish I would have done differently in my life, but I learned a lot from each of those decisions, so in the end it’s all good! 🙂

Come and join in the fun at Friendly Fill-Ins!

Sparks #19

IMG_5105

My friend Annie at McGuffy’s Reader started a wonderful blog hop called Sparks with the intent to share an inspirational thought each Monday, and she’s invited us to join her. I think this is an awesome idea, and a great way to start the week!

The Dalai Lama said “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” I think that sums up my Spark for today perfectly.

Unkind people can be so difficult to deal with, especially if they hurt us.  We want to fight back, to retaliate.  But that never improves the situation, and it never resolves anything; it only creates more conflict and more hurt. So often the person who is being unkind is doing this from a place of being hurt or damaged inside that we can’t see and aren’t aware of.  We never know what someone else has gone through or is going through that is causing them to be unkind.

I think it is very possible to respond to all situations with kindness.  That doesn’t mean we have to accept being treated badly, or approve of someone’s behavior if they are being unkind, but we can show them through our response that there is a better way, a higher way, the way of love.

You never know, our kindness might just make a difference in their lives or at least give them something to think about,  and it will most definitely help us keep in line with the kind of person we want to be… unruffled by people and events in the world around us.

When you find yourself in conflict with someone, stop for a moment and ask yourself, “Am I being kind?”

Come and check out Sparks, find your inspiration for the week there,  and maybe share something too!

untitled (51)Many of you are familiar with the “Thought for the Day” posts on my Facebook page that carry more messages of hope and encouragement. I post a new one each morning, drop by and check them out.  🙂

Ten Things of Thankful – 2/09/18

Ten Things of Thankful

Tomorrow Papa Bear and I are heading out of town for an overnight at a nearby city, a birthday/valentine get away that is relaxing for us both and involves crab legs, my favorite! 🙂 So, I thought I’d get my TToT post written and linked up on a Friday for a change. 🙂  Usually Friday is a quiet day at the TToT, so I was happy to see Missy already there and waiting for us to join her! 🙂

I am not a big sports fan, but I make an effort to stay somewhat aware of what’s happening with Papa Bear’s favorite teams (all teams Texas of course), and my son’s (who’s been cheering for Boston teams since he was two years old.) You might find it rather strange then, that my first thankful this week is that the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl.  It was an interesting match up since my son cheers for the Patriots, and his father was born and raised in Philly and is of course Phildelphia loyal.  I was thankful the Philly’s won because my ex has waited his entire life for his team to win a super bowl and he is sixty-nine years old!  I was very proud of my gracious son who texted that it was ok if the Philly’s beat his beloved Patriots because they played better and deserved the win.  I am thankful for my son’s maturity and always gracious heart.  I am also thankful that over the years I have learned to be happy for someone when good things happen to them, even if I’m not particularly crazy about the person.  I know that my ex’s  team winning made his day.

I am thankful for the photo updates I received of both my kids this week.  Getting pictures from them can be like pulling teeth!  My son shared a really cute one of him, his girlfriend and her son in their Patriots t-shirts ready to watch the game, and my son-in-law sent a beautiful one of my daughter that he took while they were dining out at their favorite place.  I have awesome kids, and they have awesome partners, I blessed and I am so thankful for all of them!

I was thankful, and very relieved, this week when our monthly electric bill arrived and had returned to the normal amount.  We live in an all electric home, and last month our electricity provider began using a different utility source which resulted in an electric bill twice our normal rate, “due to the change over”.  We were not happy, it was a big chunk of money we didn’t have laying around, but they assured us it was a one time thing and this month would return to normal (we use an averaged payment plan which stays the same all year long).  We were worried that the higher rate would be the new norm, and weren’t sure how we were going to afford that.  It was a tremendous relief to see it back to the right amount!  I still think the whole switchover excuse for the double amount last month was kinda crappy and not really justifiable though. Oh well.

On much happier notes, I celebrated my sixty-forth birthday this week, a low-key day by choice. I am thankful I am alive and well, and God has brought me safely through another year.  I always celebrate birthday, I think everyone should, I’ve earned every candle and gray hair and I am proud of them.  I am a survivor!

I am thankful that Papa Bear surprised me and took Wednesday off work to spend the day at home with me so I wouldn’t be alone.  That was extra nice! ❤  He is thankful that we will be the same age for the next four months (until he turns sixty-five in June), so I can’t call him “old man” for the time being. :-))

I am thankful for the many birthday greetings I received on Facebook and in the mail. Facebook makes birthdays so fun! I am thankful for the awesome gifts I received from family and friends, I felt very spoiled. ❤

I am thankful for the beautiful birthday cake my daughter ordered from our best bakery here and had me pick it up. It was/is delicious!!  We indulged in a sugar overload and have several pieces wrapped and in the freezer for treats later on (though I doubt they’ll be there too long). Papa Bear loves sweets as much as I do and this was a real treat, and such a kind thing to do.  I also got restaurant gift cards for nice dinners out.  My kids are the best!

I am thankful for the Amazon boxes that my furkids love to play and nap in. They get so excited when a package arrives at the house, and each one has to try out the box, sometimes waiting their turn patiently and sometimes not so much. 🙂  Sometimes our house is an obstacle course of boxes, kitty trees and tunnels and toys.  I am certain that my father is grumbling about it in Heaven. 🙂

I am thankful for a two hour phone visit with my younger sister yesterday.  I am not a phone visitor, so we visit daily via text or Messenger, but only connect by phone once a month or so to catch up on the longer stories in our lives.  The afternoon passed quickly and it was fun to catch up.  We are so different and yet the caring between us is strong, and we grow more in the understanding of each other as the years go by.

Last but not least, I am thankful for friends who trust me with the important issues and concerns in their lives, just as I trust them.  That kind of support is immeasurable. When you have lived much of your life without any close friends, having them is a real gift.

Blessings to  each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Click on the blue button below to view the other links and add your own…