Gratitude

Gratitude.

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Gratitude

A friend told me that she saw a sign a few days ago that has been on her mind ever since.
“What if tomorrow you woke up with only the things you had thanked God for today?”
What a thought provoking statement.

When we really stop and think about all the things in our life, our prayers of gratitude to God would be innumerable. But so often we go throughout our day with a spirit of complaining instead of with a thankful spirit.

But then as you think deeper into this statement, would you really have enough time to say thanks for all the things in your life? I don’t think there are enough minutes in the day. So you have to make choices and prioritize. What are you willing to let go of? What are your most important items?

Realizing this, I immediately thought of air to breathe, food to eat. You know those things we cannot live without. But I quickly moved to the people in my life. As I began thanking God for them, the material things of this world began slipping further and further away.

I hope you will spend your day “Thanking God for all of the things you want to have in your life tomorrow.”

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Friendship

I had a great discussion with an old friend last week. Not only did we talk about friendship in general, but we discussed our friendship. Yes, we know we have a special bond that goes beyond the normal friendship protocols. In that discussion we talked about how having that bond has helped each other through many struggles. You see, we are real with each other. We have a trust and understanding that we love each other enough that we can lay the truth out and not be upset about it. See we help each other not only understand our side of an issue, but we depend upon each other to point out the other side’s view trying to understand that as well. A great friend will keep you grounded in the truth. They will pick you up when you are down, but in a truthful way that will help you see if you’ve erred. They will encourage you to do the right thing, all while loving you and forgiving you for messing up. The challenging part is the two way street, you’ve got to accept the truth in what your friend tells you, knowing that they want the best possible outcome for you.

It reminds me that God is the same way. Studying God’s word we are often confronted with the truth. Our mistakes and shortcomings are pointed out when we truly examine ourselves with His Word. We have a choice, accept God’s truth and move forward to do the right thing, or get mad, turn away and try to shift blame. God wants the best possible outcome for us too. So much that he sent His Son to die for our mistakes. It would be a shame to turn your back on friendship like that….

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Favorite time of the year

What’s your favorite time of the year? I always have such a hard time answering this question. My first response is almost always the season we are in. Like right now, I would say spring. It is so easy to love spring. To watch the renewal of the earth from winter as the grass begins to turn green, when the trees and flowers begin to bloom your heart opens to the wonderful sights before you.
But then I begin to think about summer, oh how I love summer. Camping at the lake, basking in the warmth of the sun. I love the long days. Summer is filled with watching fireflies, drinking lemonade, playing outside, eating fresh garden treasures.
But then I begin to think of Autumn, oh how I love fall. When the summer heat gives way to the crispness of the air. Bonfires in the evening, the brilliance of the changing leaves. I love Autumn, the shorter days with cooler nights. Fresh Apples and pumpkin pies.
But then I begin to think of winter, oh how I love winter. The winter wonderland filled with snow. Time spent reading a good book, or watching a movie snuggled up under the covers. Drinking Hot Cocoa and decorating for holidays. I love winter,enjoying the stillness of fresh fallen snow. Building snowmen and making snow cream.
How can I choose a favorite? Maybe instead of picking a favorite, I will just be content in the season I am in. I pray that we will all chose to live in our favorite time of the year, everyday.

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Forgiveness

May you receive the gift of forgiveness…

Forgiveness is the action or process of having a debt canceled, to pardon an offense or an offender.

We all walk through this life in need of forgiveness.  We are painfully human at times, we cause offense to others and to God.  Even when we try not to offend, sometimes we do.  What shall we do then, do we give up?  No, I hope we do not.  I hope we are able to give and receive forgiveness.

Forgiveness is such a powerful gift, not only for the recipient but also for the one who gives it. As the recipient, you feel the strength of love.  That love is such a motivator.  You strive to honor the forgiveness with giving your best in return.  As for the giver, you feel such a connection to that love, you feel it wash over you, encouraging you.

Maybe that is why God want us to have His forgiveness, maybe that is why God wants to give us His Forgiveness.

I hope you will search your life, seek to give and receive forgiveness.

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Sacrifice

May you receive the gift of sacrifice …

Sacrifice is the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.

Sacrifice is not something that many people like to do. We don’t seem to want to give up things. We tend to want to hang on, even to a sinking ship. I have learned that through sacrifice we sometimes end up with something far better. I am reminded of a wonderful story I have heard many times. A little girl spent a couple of dollars for a stand of “pearls” at the discount store. Of course they were not real, but she loved them all the same. She would wear her pearls every day. Even though the “pearl” finish on the beads was beginning to wear, she still wore them. One day her father asked her if she would give him her “pearls”. Of course she said no, she loved her “pearls”. He talked with her and told her he had a gift for her, that he loved her and he only wanted her “pearls”. After several weeks of her father asking her for her “pearls”, the girl decided she loved her father and she would give him her precious “pearls”. She turned them over, slowly, with her a hands lingering, hanging on till the very last moment. Her father then pulled out his gift to give to her. The box was so beautifully wrapped, but for a few moments her heart was so grieved over the loss of her “pearls” she couldn’t bring herself to open the box. Her father patiently waited. He knew what was in the box. He knew the gift he had for her all along. Then finally she opened the box. Laying beautifully inside the box was a strand of real pearls. They were laying there, a perfectly matched strand just waiting for her to wear.

How many times are we like that we hang on to things we thought were “pearls”? When our Father has the real pearls just waiting for us. Can we make the right sacrifices in our life?

Our Father sacrificed His Son for us, will we accept His gift?

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Teamwork

May you receive the gift of teamwork…

Teamwork is the combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient.

I hope you have the opportunity to be a part of a great team, the opportunity to participate in teamwork at it’s best.  To be a part of a group working together towards attaining a goal can be very inspiring.  The greatest of teams will set aside their individual interests for the combined interest of the team.  Each person on the team contributes in their role unselfishly, working together towards the goal.  When each team member is willing to do their part in harmony with the others and without self-promotion goals are attained, people are inspired to work together.  Together we can accomplish so much more.

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Self-discipline

May you receive the gift of self-discipline…

Self-discipline is the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.

As we mature we should be developing the ability to have some measure of control over our feelings.  Young children wear their hearts out on their sleeves, while it is good to have a big open heart in our life.  It is not good for us to allow our feelings to be hurt over small insignificant matters.  How many times do we allow trivial things to expand into fights and holding grudges.  When we allow these types of feeling to control us we find our self controlled by this type of weakness.  I hope that as you continue to grow and develop that you will seek to overcome your weaknesses.  Sometimes it is hard for us to examine our lives and find our weaknesses.  Once we spend some time really examining ourselves against what we know to be right, we can grow beyond petty disagreements.  We will begin to act instead of reacting.  We will do things in an orderly and efficient way.  We will take charge of our life and we will enjoy the things that truly matter in life.

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Resolutions and Virtues

Resolutions

With the upcoming new year, I’ve been thinking about resolutions for a while now.  Of course we all have our standard every year resolutions.  I’m going to eat better, exercise more, lose weight, etc.  I’ve been thinking about what can I do to make 2012 different.

I’ve decided that I want to take 2012 and dedicate this blog to my daughters.   I want to give them the gift of several virtues.  This year I will have two teenage daughters which will be a first for our family.  It is hard to believe sometimes that they have grown so fast.  I hope that they will be able to read these posts and learn something that will help them during the years to follow.

Stay tuned….

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Christmas bedroom decor

I thought I would do a few posts on Christmas decorations. I usually have a few people come over to the house and ask …”How did you do that?”

Usually I say, that’s easy…. Most of my friends know I like to do things the easy way.

So, let’s talk about an easy way to make your bed look festive for the holidays. Take a printed fleece throw and put it on the end of your bed. Use a solid color comforter and bed skirt and sheets to make the holiday print stand out. Next take the same printed throw and wrap your pillow sham pillows. Use safety pins to make it easy. Next take a coordinating print and make a bolster pillow. Just roll up an old blanket or sleeping bag, use your imagination. Wrap your printed throw around it, again securing it with safety pins. You can fasten the ends using a ponytail holder.

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Easy as can be, using fleece throws make it no-sew. If you find them on sale it can be very affordable. I decorated my bed for only $20. I used 5 throws at $4 each.

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