Getting past the storms to Pure Joy

As I lay in bed, listening to the storms in the early morning, that have finally come to relieve us of our 100 degree July days, i think about the storms of our lives. How do we survive? How do we move forward each day in the storms? I know with each storm comes green grass, flowers and new growth. So here are some of my thoughts for moving past the storm and into the light!

1.  PRAY – only when we begin to awaken do we realize that we were asleep. Sometimes we need to be alone to reflect on life, take time to pray and take care of yourself inside.

2. SMILE – as much as possible, whether life is joyful or not, a smile will lift your day as well as others. You can change someone’s day, as well as your own with a simple smile. You are always free to do what makes you smile because a smile shows the true depth of your soul.

3. ATTITUDE- be positive, never allow a bad day to change your mood. Don’t look at what you’ve lost, look at what you have.

4. GRATEFULNESS- focus your energy on what you have in your life, not what you have lost. Remember there are others with much less than you.

5. SHARE – your happiness with others, through your actions and your words. You will never regret helping someone else’s life.

6. COMMUNICATE – talk to others and release your worries and anxieties so that you can move past anything that is weighing on your heart. Then you will be able to move beyond it to a brighter life.

7. HAPPINESS- can be created in your present, don’t think it’s something you’re planning for your future. The happiness you experience each day is determined by the love you share. Be yourself, it’s the best way to be happy.

8. GOOD FRIENDS & FAMILY- are worth their weight in gold, treasure those healthy relationship and trust in their love for you.

9. FREEDOM- to walk away from negative situations, be in tune with your feelings, don’t question your gut just walk away for your happiness. One of the greatest freedom is not caring what others think. If you worry about what others think of you, they own you. Be your own self.

10. TEMPER – your anger, words can hurt so much deeper than physical pain, stop and think before speaking in anger. You are always in control of your thoughts, be confident and kind, not mad and insecure.

11. CHANGE – something you don’t like, if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Let go of the need to always be right and you will change to be happy.  Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. Sometimes being open to change will allow a magnificent event to come into your life.

12. DREAM – about what you want to be, then go do it.  Good things come to those you pursue it with happiness and love. What you believe has more power than what you wish or hope for.  You become what you believe. Be open to dreams, hope and joy.

13. FORGIVE – yourself and others, it takes time and patience, but you can heal emotionally to create love in your life.

14.WEALTH – can’t by happiness, it’s nice to have material things, but don’t loose track of the things money can’t by, those are the true treasures in life.

15. LAUGH – because life will never be perfect, but it is wonderful. Don’t try to control everything, relax, breathe, let go, live in the moment and laugh.

16. KNOWING YOURSELF – is truly believing and living as yourself. With so much social conditioning and pressure in our society, we can forget who we are. Stay true to yourself in all situations.

17. BLESSINGS – fill your life, learn to see blessings in everything. The close parking spot, the unexpected call from a friend, the food before you, the smile of a stranger, or the hug of a loved one, embrace every blessings and share them with others. Satisfaction is not always the fulfillment of what you want; it is the realization of how blessed you are for what you have

18. PASSION – in our lives is important, discover what you are passionate about and do it. Whether it be crafting, fishing, dancing, reading, cooking or meditating, discover it and summerge yourself into it to give your life passion

19. EMBRACE – people, situations and life as it comes…storms or bright days. Each day has a lesson for us to learn. Always learn the lesson and grow.

20. LOVE – it’s all you need, time spent on worry and hate sucks your energy. Center in love and know that you are loved, write your own love story every day. John and Paul had it right…the love you take is equal to the love you make.

Categories: Balance, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Balancing Life and Faith

Balancing life and  Faith has been the name of my blog for over four years and this stunt really puts those words to the test.

Last month, Nik Wallenda completed something no one has ever done. 116 years ago, someone did walk across Niagara Falls on a tight rope, but never this close to the falls. With the water misting and affecting his vision and the winds pushing Nik more than he anticipated, he accomplished what no one else have ever attempted. But as a seven generation tight walked he was up for the challenged and worked years to make his challenge a reality.

He balanced his life and prayed the whole way across. Truly, physically balancing life and faith, or maybe balancing your life by faith.

When Nik was interview with ABC and the image of him praying before his wall was a beautiful image we need  more of on television. With God all things are possible and with faith mountains can be moved, it’s great to see that on tv too.

What is your Niagara Falls , what is your mountain?

Maybe it’s a challenging job or teenagers in your home. Maybe your mountain is an illness or family discontent, whatever the mountain, even with faith the size of a mustard seed you can move mountains.

Don’t ever give up on your goals in life, be vigilant  in prayer and bring all your petitions to the Lord. And you too can cross the gap and balance your life and faith.

Categories: Balance, God | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Returning to our roots

This past week I was able to drive past the house that I called home for the first 6 years of my life.
The house is just off the corner of 92nd Street and Stony Island on the south-west side of Chicago, so I don’t get there much.
But this week I was driving from the National Shrine of St. Jude at 91st and Commercial Avenue and said to my children who were with me, let’s drive past it…and we did!

Although it’s a very urban area, the small section of three blocks that the house was on was filled with well manicured lawns and up kept homes. My father designed many homes in this area and the area surrounding known long ago as Pill Hill. Pill Hill contained many homes of Michael Reese doctors, one house was even lived in by the infamous Ernie Banks. It was so refreshing to see individual, unique homes where so many city homes are the same one right after the other. It was like a suburb in the city.

Seeing the home brought back memories of the winter of 1967 that buried us deep. But my sister and two brothers found it nothing but exhilarating! I remember digging tunnels through our front yard and forts for boys and girls that protected us from snow ball fights.

The house itself was a multi-level home, with a beautiful entry way. I mostly remember the basement with was finished like a big family room. The large Italian family would gather in the basement and was filled with laughter and love. The backyard filled with all the cousins during these times and we never tired of running in the alley.

I remember sharing a room with my older sister, who I looked up to (still do) and we had the most beautiful white and gold canopy bedroom set. I’m sure everyone thought there were so cool. We felt like such rock stars with the canopy above us while we slept. Okay, maybe we were kooky kids, but I enjoyed those beds!

We moved to the southwest suburbs in the late 60s and discovered much more grass and larger homes, but there will always be something special about the house on 92nd Street.

Memories are treasures that we store of our life and help us to remember the events of life. I hope your memories are filled with grace, happiness and laughter.

Do you remember your first home as a child?
Does it give you good memories?

 

Categories: Family, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Connecting

Have you ever looked at the internet tab as you are waiting for a site to download? Did you notice it says connecting and swirls until it connects to where you want to go?

Day 5 - Lunch at Panera Bread

Photo credit: ohdearbarb)

Connecting…

Sometimes the internet connects quickly and we are so happy we did not have to wait and wait. Sometimes is seems to take forever to connect.

Are we like that too? Do we connect quickly with others or is it hard for us to connect to others? Can we slow down our lives to make time for others? This past few weeks I have spent so much time connecting and reconnecting with friends. The visits and talks we have had over tea, lunch or dinner have been amazing. And the meals delicious!

My best friend from grade school and I had lunch last week after years of a Christmas card friendship as our children were growing. Even though we only lived twenty minutes apart our life path took us in different directions. Thank goodness for the connection of Christmas cards each year. She picked me up and I don’t think we stop talking and catching up for the three hours we visiting and ate Panera’s soup and sandwich.

What about Facebook? Sometimes a “friend” uses FB as an outreach for help through a rough time, sometimes it to share good news or daily moods, and sometimes it reconnects relationships. Summer of 2010 was a high school reunion year for me. The committee posted the reunion event on Facebook for all the classmates to respond. It was so good to see so many classmates at the reunion and then to keep connected with them through their posts and pictures. I love celebrating the pictures of some that are already grandparents (unbelievable, since I don’t feel old enough to be a grandparent) and some that have children graduating. I enjoy FB for the way it connects me to near and far away friends.

Connect through calls, visits, and cards. Share a comment on how you connect with those in your life.

So now the next time you look at the internet tab that is swirling around waiting to connect, pause and realize how many connections you have in your life and how you can foster those connections each day.

Call a friend and have a Panera lunch…
Embrace life and laugh with someone…and CONNECT!

Connecting..

 

 

 

Categories: Balance, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sharing the sun with my sister in Shanghai

bartonstravels

This week we had great weather in Shanghai. I was riding my bike when I realized I am spoiled. Weather like this week is common-place in Colorado. Colorado claims to have over 300 days of beautiful weather. I like it here. I could live here longer. But I love living in Colorado. I am spoiled.

I did feel like the warm weather made everyone here happier. People seemed to be smiling and enjoying life. Does better weather make people happy? Or does it make me happy so the world looks brighter?

Chinese people are pretty serious and with nicer weather they are definitely outside joining being outdoors more. Why do they like to be outside? It is very social to be outside. People still go for a stroll or exercise by walking briskly and slapping the sides of their bodies to help with circulation. (at least I think that is…

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