Posts Tagged With: Gifts

Pride and Humility

Pride – one of the seven deadly sins.

But wait – I am so full of pride as I watch my children become wonderful, productive, gracious members of society. Both college graduates and filled with optimistic views of the world.
So is it wrong to be proud, since pride is a deadly sin?
Being proud of others can help you to have humility in yourself so I know in my heart it’s not a deadly sin to be proud of others.
What’s more important is our actions to the things we are proud of. Do I move throughout the day talking aimlessly about how wonderful my children are? NO! Do I burst into a room to announce a new achievement they have done? NO!
Do I share good news humbly with those that know and love my children, YES!
Humility is a virtue – it’s the virtue opposite of pride.

I am humbled that the Lord has blessed me with two amazing children. I am proud of who they have become.
I am humbled with all that my family has been given and am proud of how we treat others in Christ.
I am humbled by His grace flowing through all we do and am proud to be a witness of the Good News.

So what are the Seven Deadly Sins and their opposing Heavenly Virtue?
Pride                     Humility
Lust                       Chastity
Gluttony              Temperance
Greed                    Charity
Sloth                     Diligence
Wrath                   Forgiveness
Envy                     Kindness

Take your temperature…where do you lean in your daily walk?

Do you live in an area that is over-indulgent and vain about “keeping up with the neighbors”? Do your children have iPads and cell phones in grade school? Is that what is expected and the norm? Is there really a need? Are we just adding to the stress levels children already feel with their groups of friends – the right clothes to wear…the right technology at hand…the right activity programs…the right group of friends. WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

Children can become who God wants them to be if we break down the societal barriers and free ourselves to BE ourselves!
Our children will not remember that Mom was always dressed to the “T”s or we always had the best of everything on our street – they WILL REMEMBER that their parents were in love and treated others with respect and gave freely to those in need and they spent time with them and they will feel LOVE.

Life is not about looking good (by who’s standard) or being the most involved in the neighborhood. It’s about being humble, showing kindness, being charitable, leading a pure life, resisting the temptation of the love of money, forgiving others and LOVING ALL!

Let’s go reach back into our FAITH and balance our life with the Heavenly Virtues – lead by example – LOVE!

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

What’s on your Christmas list?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…every where you go!

And I’m not just singing the song, it really is looking like Christmas. Chicago has only gotten a snow dusting for one day so far, but it was enough to get you bundling up and preparing for the long winter nights.

I love the change of seasons, the cool brisk air, the scarves pulled over your face, the warm Ugg boots and the cold “puppy dog” nose. With winter weather comes the joy of Christmas. It is a time of hope, when miracles seem possible. It is a time of peace, where neighbors share good cheer. It is a time of love, where greetings are sent and hugs are delivered with family and friends spending time with each other.

I pray for all those families that are spending this Christmas without a loved one. That empty space at the table can only be filled with memories and stories of times spent together. May each of those families feel the warmth of Christ as he holds them especially close through the holidays. I am wishing that they too can see the hope, peace and love of Christmas.

Christmas time is filled with decorating, baking, celebrating, shopping and gift-giving. My children always ask for a list of ideas that they can get me – and they are always eager to send me what they would like as gifts. So what on my list?

Two weeks with both my children home
My husband’s homemade French Toast
Game nights together
Dinner and a show Downtown
Snuggling on the couch watching movies

My favorite gifts are never store bought…they are always heart given…memories that last forever, love that never ends.
This Christmas, I am forever grateful for my incredible family, our good fortune of health and home.

May the brown paper packages tied up with string under your Christmas tree be filled with JOY!!!

Categories: Balance, Family, Gratefulness, Holiday | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bring me balance

The turbulence of life can plummet at us in an instance.
Our lives can be turned upside down without notice.
Normal today is not normal tomorrow, change is inevitable.
How do we balance all the pain, suffering, heartaches with all the joy, happiness and love through the transitions of life?

The past two weeks have been a roller coaster ride for my family. If ever there was a time that we are out of balance and flooded with uncertainty it’s now. Often when we feel most comfortable and content is when we are called to reach deep into our hearts and deal with the storms of life.

Last week started with my husband being called in Monday morning to cutbacks and his job eliminated. Devastating to any family, especially in this job market. We discovered by the end of the week the unemployment will not cover our losses – less than 20% of his income, since our children are not dependents the rate drops rapidly. Friday we left for Phoenix to move our daughter into her apartment where she is teaching with heavy hearts, the reality that she will no longer lives with us sinking into our consciousness. Our baby girl has grown up. As we returned home we discovered messages from the doctor wanting to see my husband for follow-up to his blood work. The dark thoughts began to seep in.

BALANCE – TRUST – GRACE – GIFT – PRAYER

People get pulled into darkness and despair and believe me, I could see the black hole spiraling next to us.
But we looked upward and saw the light.
This world can be seen through a negative lens if you choose to.

What do you choose?
I choose GOODNESS,  I choose LIGHT,  I choose LIFE,  I choose FAITH!!

But we are so blessed with a loving family, supportive friends and a faithful Father that will never leave us.

“He will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you.
So do not fear or be dismayed” Deut 31:8

GOD IS GOOD!!
The doctor’s visit was fine, some improvements in his counts…good news
Friends and colleagues writing letters of recommendations and getting the word out for open positions…grace
Learning that although unemployment is over 9% now, in the technology job market, it’s only 3%…hope
Seeing our daughter in a safe, secure, lovely apartment; meeting her students and seeing how she is living her dream…delight

BLESSINGS in the storms…GOD’S GRACE in time of trouble…

After experiencing this initial period of storms and understanding there are most likely more still to come, I can understand how people can fall into despair and depression. It’s an effort every day to see the goodness and love that is in front of you.

We have a choice to balance our lows with our highs…or we can sink into loneliness and fear.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I found myself sinking with the onset of so much evil so quickly sent our way. But I sank to my knees in prayer.

I looked to someone who could actually do something to help me. And I find peace in my moments of doubt in His love.

Years ago, we decided to close our retail shop and although we both had jobs waiting for us it was still a transition. A loss. A change.
I was constantly drawn to Proverbs 3:5 through out that period

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
on your own intelligence do not rely;
In all your ways be mindful of him,
and he will make straight your path.

We survived that transition and we will survive this too.

I have always prayed for those unemployed and under-employed, but now I pray in unison with them.

The mantra I am drawn to find balance and peace with today is in knowing that: “Jesus I trust in You!”

Can I get an AMEN!!

Categories: Balance, Family, God, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Pick up and read

Okay, I love books! My family will tell you there are piles all over my house of books I have read and books I am planning on reading.

I love the feel of books in my hands, so full of knowledge, wisdom, love, history, fantasy or excitement. I always use bookmarks and NEVER dog-ear a page. I feel the author would want me to care for their labor of love and treat it with respect. Some spiritual book I do underline passages or ideas I want to remember, but always in a straight line being careful not to allow my pen to dip into the words on the page, but underline and accent the words. I’ll admit I usually use a ruler to get the line I want. Okay I am not OCD, I just like it the way I like it.

I mostly read spiritual or autobiographies, but the occasional novel can be found in my stacks too. Well for Mother’s Day this year, my children gave me a Kindle. I know, I should be pleased. But the Kindle is not the same as holding a book and I was skeptical – although I know so many people who LOVE their Kindle’s.
And I do sometime buy books and read them, never to open them again.
And I do buy books impulsively, that I have had for years and not read.
And then there are the trees that are cut to provide me books, when there is a totally doable alternative.
In addition, I did not want to return such a thoughtful gift and decided to give it a try.

I enjoyed paying less than my first book, My Lucky Life, in and out of television; by Dick Van Dyke – it was a great story, you could hear his smile through his words.

And I discovered it was okay to read on the Kindle. No I’m not marketing the Kindle, I actually downloaded Google Books to my phone for free and read Promise Me, by Nancy Brickman. Her sister was Susan G Komen and the book is about their lives, battles with cancer and building the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I read that on my phone…pretty small, but great to be able to read in waiting rooms and free moments. With Google Books you can read from your laptop or phone, but the versatility of an eReader like the Kindle has its advantages.

So for someone who loves books, but has a hard time finding time to read books…I have found myself on my fifth book since receiving the Kindle in June, (we celebrated Mother’s Day on Father’s Day because neither of my children were home on Mother’s Day). I don’t think I have ever read 5 books in 45 days!

I have rediscovered my passion for reading and am now trying to read through the stacks of books on my tables and bookshelves and then I reward myself with a new Kindle book to read. Well, I can’t give up on beautiful traditional books, now can I?

Actually, it’s already both…my daughter asked me to read Ken Follett’s “Pillars of the Earth”. She loved the storyline yet – do you know how thick that book is!! YIKES!! I thought I would never be able to do it. But I told her I would give the book four chapters and if it intrigued me I would attempt to finish it.  Well on page 120, I got on Amazon and discovered it was only $6.99 to carry it on my Kindle! And that HUGE book can not be carried in your purse…so I gave her the hard copy back and will finish it with my eReader.

Guess I got use to the ease of the Kindle fairly quickly…and I’m reading more, what’s not to love about that!

Rediscover your passion for reading – or discover it for the first time – Pick up and READ!!

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

What’s your Passion?

I am inspired and humbled by people who are living life with passion.

Passion…doing what you love, being who you are meant to be, spreading your joy to others!

I have a dear friend who is an incredible teacher and administrator. She has been praying and waiting for an opportunity to share her passion with preschoolers after a management change found her without a job. And lo and behold prayers answered. Check out Christi’s passion…she is creating a preschool at St. Peter’s United Church in Frankfort. Her brochure can be found at http://www.stpeters-preschool.com/. Christi is kind, compassionate, creative, child-focused and an incredible gift to all the children she has taught over the years. Her passion is preschool children and it shows in her attention to detail and planning. She begins everything with the child in mind and will build a wonderful preschool. I admire her passion!

Some are lucky and their passion becomes their job, so they get paid for doing what they absolutely love –  AWESOME!  But your passion does not have to be your job, it can shine through your everyday actions.

I have a friend that works full-time, is raising two young child and then finds the time for her passion. Jen’s passion is helping to protect our precious resources. She takes time each day to share a “homemade bug spray” concoction or a new recipe that she has discovered. Her blog can be found at http://greenmomintheburbs.wordpress.com/, she is intelligent, funny and committed to making the world better. I love her passion!

So I will ask again, What are you passionate about?

Maybe your passion is sports or babies; maybe it’s crafting or singing; maybe it’s your relationships or reading, acting or cooking…
It can be anything, because you can love anything. Discover your passion, learn new things, try new things until you discover your passion.

You are a uniquely created individual with gifts and talents that are screaming to come out of you, be used and shared by you, discover them!

Just be true to who you are,
live your best life,
throw your worries into the wind
and be PASSIONATE everyday!

Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.
Harvey Fierstein

Categories: Balance | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: