Create

A drive or a journey…

So what do you call your travel to and from work each day? Commute…Travel…Drive…Madness…Stressful?

I use to consider mine a “commute”. I’d drive ten minutes out of my way to catch the expressway for the 36 minute drive in. It was easy, I could put the cruise on 70 and coast to work, saying the morning prayers along the way. It became routine, humdrum, monotonous, tedious…boring. I was looking at concrete and watching mile markers tick away.

Then came January 1st.  In Illinois that meant the tollways almost doubled and I vowed to put my money in my tank and not in the tollways system.

So onto the direct route. Stop and go for 160 blocks. But I was determined to make the best of it and what I discovered surprised me!

I did not want to handle the madness on LaGrange Road filled with busy shopping centers and towns, so I opted for Wolf Road and Willow Springs Road. I know what you are thinking…that way is single lane all the way!

But what I discovered was sheer peace.
First – it only took me on average 5 minutes longer (fewer miles but slower traffic)
Second – the traffic was not as bad as i thought and I liked that I wasn’t having to drive 70 to keep up with traffic

But most importantly is what I noticed.

Driving through Mokena’s quaintness each morning. Flags in front yard, stopping guards and children, churches welcoming signs, flowers beginning to bloom. The slower pace was a welcome addition to my morning.

My prayers were less rushed because I was less rushed. I took time with the Lord and was much more thankful for situations around me.

In the 160 block, I pass eight churches! I love being reminded of the importance of God in my life every few blocks.

Then after a short pass through the outskirts of Orland, I head into the Cook County Forest Preserves and the beauty of peace begins.

Traveling for miles and miles of nothing but lakes, trees, forest…green surrounding me, engulfing tree branches over the road, God’s design for our pleasure. Ducks lazily floating in the water, bikers and jogger enjoying the paths of nature, the warmth of the sun filtering between the trees into my sunroof, the deers grazing by the golf course.

I notice the greatness around me.
I bask in the beauty of creation as I reflect on my day.
I pray for those in need and my family’s needs.
I begin each day in peace.

My drive has been transformed from a commute to a journey, my thoughts are filled with positive energy and love. I never am bothered with a slow driver, because it just means I get to see something I might not have seen otherwise.

May you experience a beautiful, creative palette of splendour as you drive to work…and may it forever wonderfully affect your attitude!

Categories: Balance, Create, God | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Book of James 4

The fourth chapter of James begins with “Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members? You covet but do not possess.” What are you willing to fight for? Is it because you are coveting something?

I was talking with someone the other day who shared her struggles of constantly being judged by neighbors. What type of car I drive, what type of house I own, what type of clothes I wear, what type of achievements I have achieved and so on. Within our own circles there are inner “wars” of envy and jealousy going on. People do covet, they try to keep up. Children with cell phones in elementary school, iPads for Christmas and cars on a 16th birthday. A life of privilege? or just a life trying to keep up the facade of privilege? My children didn’t have cell phone until they were driving and no one in my family has an iPad yet…and we are surviving just fine!

Our passion should be for our hearts, our morality, our dignity, our good name.
A good name does not come with what we have but from who we are.
How we treat others and how we reach out to those in need.

This youtube show a selfless young child thinking of others and standing up for what we believes in, it’s worth a watch.

The Girls that silenced the world

James also tells us “you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

Life is good! There are so many blessings each and every day.
Seek them, embrace them, share them. Speak up, as this young woman did and be a mist for good in the world.

We spend time and energy on emails, texting Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Ancestry and endless hours on just surfing the web. Can we put some of that energy into releasing the things we covet and embrace the goodness of life?

We need to use these vices for good! I know they have for me!
Emails and texting have improved communication, I know when my father was battling Lymphoma, my siblings and I communicated through emails, cell phones and texts through every day with status on Dad’s outlook.
Facebook has reconnected friends and families, I have cousins and friends all over the world that I now am able to experience their children’s lives through messages and pictures.
LinkedIn and Twitter is a great was to share updates about your life also.
Pinterest and Ancestry have been my new passion for about six months now. On Ancestry I have found birth certificates, naturalization papers and census listing family members that are long gone and giving me a glimpse into their lives. Finding relatives of cousins from California to Italy. And Pinterest is a wonderful place for me to post all the website I discover and want to save for later, a much more creative and attractive way than using the favorite button. It’s also a great way to share my tastes and dreams and to see friends boards too.
So I’m a FBer, Tweeter and Pinner – all for good, positive sharing.

We don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
Worrying about how others judge you is useless, that will only spark conflict in your life.
Rise above those that covet and embrace the joys of life – share your dreams, allow others to share theirs, in whatever way works (techy or not).

Stand tall in knowing that your mist is only here for a moment, but for that moment, it provided comfort to another.

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Creation

This morning you set forth a series of events that will affect so many other lives. Did you know the power you have to create that affect?

Every decision made throughout our day effects someone else, and usually more than one person.

When we made a decision, we create a reality that will be played out. We create circumstances that create reactions and feeling within those around us. And that effects the next decision we will make. We have the amazing ability which was divinely given to us in which we use our energy and imagination to create. Have you ever thought of each decision as power? Do you realize what the outcome will be for you? for others? Do you know that each of your decisions will trickle to people everywhere, because those around you are altered and then their decision affect others and so on. What power and responsibility we how within us.

It’s impossible to think every single decision we can consciously consider this, but we can be aware of the decisions we make should be supportive, honest and kind.

In the simplest way, begin by stopping and thinking, before I say that.. Is it truthful? Is it kind? Is it necessary?

This would stop so much of the harmful creative decisions we make. This would stop the office gossip and the bathroom buzz.

Let everything that we create with our speech and our actions, be beautiful and everything around us will become brighter.

 

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Welcome March!

“Today is the day when bold kites fly,
When cumulus clouds roar across the sky.
When robins return, when children cheer,
When light rain beckons spring to appear.

Today is the day when daffodils bloom,
Which children pick to fill the room,
Today is the day when grasses green,
When leaves burst forth for spring to be seen.”
–  Robert McCracken, Spring 

 

What I love about March
       * having to get out my sunglasses when driving;
       * seeing the snow, originally so pure and white, melt into warmth;
       * watching the brown dormant grass turn the green of new life;
       * the flowers pushing through the ground, grasping for growth;
       * hearing birds singing as they return to nests;
       * going to The Creamery for the first ice cream cone for the year;
       * shedding our winter coats for spring jackets;
       * donning spring nail colors on open toe sandles; 
       * Spring break and visiting family staying at the house;
       * celebrating St. Joseph’s and St. Patrick’s Day and so much more!!

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”
–  Robin Williams

Categories: Balance, Create | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Coloring…release your inner child

 This week I got to do something I have not done in years – picking up crayons and COLORING!!

It was only a bookmark, but crayons in front of me, I flew back to the days of my childhood. Staying within the lines I carefully chose the colors I wanted and began to fill in the bookmark. The act of coloring released an inner child.

I remember the box of 96 crayons with the sharpener on the back. All the colors available to choose from. All the colors I could imagine. All the imaginative names of the colors.  Like Burnt OrangeCadet Blue, Olive Green or Laser Lemon. Now there are over 400 different colors, but I was blissfully happy with my box of 96. You can see what are America’s top 50 Crayola colors by going to crayola’s site: http://www.crayola.com/colorcensus/americas_favorites/index.cfm

Then last night, I met up with some girlfriends I have not seen since before Christmas. As we exchanged Christmas gifts, lo and behold, in one of the bags was a candle, a book Laugh Anyway Mom and a downloaded Laugh Anyway Coloring Book!  The coloring book is a 10 page invitation to COLOR! What do you think the Lord is trying to say to me? Maybe to open the doors to my creative side again. My mother and three wonderful sisters all scrapbook, stamp or quilt. I have not taken the time to discover my crafty side (although I use to sew and really miss it); so maybe it’s time for me to color! and find it!!

Instead of doing the same that has always been done, at work and at home, we need to look with “new eyes”.  Be open to new ideas and new colors

And why do we need to stay within the lines? Aren’t the most creative minds those that color outside the lines? There are no steadfast laws that make us stay in the lines when being creative. Consider the Creator…all the different flowers, animals, even each of us are uniquely different. God did not worry about staying in the lines! He challenges us to use the creativity he gifted us with and SOAR!!  

 Today is a blank page for you…
      Tomorrow is a blank page for you…
           so grab a box of 96 colorful crayons…
                and COLOR EVERYWHERE!!

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