Too blessed

City Park, New Orleans

City Park, New Orleans

We are finally home from vacation and although I had a wonderful time and wouldn’t take back the beautiful visit and fun times and laughter, I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.

I was browsing facebook earlier and saw that a very wise, young lady posted a status that said, in essence, ‘lighten up, everyone has depressing statuses today”.

Her status reminded me once again how very fortunate most of us are.  I had to stop and reflect on this trip and how many times I made silly negative comments about a late cab or a long drive or even (as ridiculous as it may seem) about eating too much.

As soon as these utterances leave my mouth, I regret them.   I think of the family living in a car because they have lost their home, or people who can’t afford to go on vacation this year because they have too many medical expenses.  What about the starving children?  What if they could be a bug on a wall as we rubbed our bellies, filled with all manner of delicacies while exclaiming, “Wow, I did it again; ate way too much”.  I would be embarrassed.

So what can I do?  I can start by making sure that I voice good things, that I focus on the positive, and that I remember at all times how very much I am blessed.  For me, it’s about remembering from Whom I get my strength, hope and peace.

I truly believe that what we say can influence for good or bad.  If I grumble and complain, that propagates more of the same.  And seriously, isn’t life arduous enough at times without me broadcasting the bad like the ratings-hungry news media does?

So, once again I vow to try to remember those less fortunate than me when I find myself in a far from horrid situation that beckons a complaint or murmur.  I will silence the fuss with praise or a blessing!

Serenity

IMG_2247 (2)

Salty summer breeze offering little comfort

Warm rays of sunshine caress everything within its vast reach

All is quiet, except for gentle waves lapping against the boat

The occasional seagull cries out in his quest to find dinner

My eyelids are heavy with a lovely, peaceful drowsiness

My book falls to the floor as I give in to slumber…ahhhh

By Lisa

Next season please

Sure sign of Spring - Robin - Bird

To everything there is a season,

A time for every purpose under heaven:

 A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

A time to break down and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

 A time to gain, and a time to lose;

A time to keep, and a time to throw away;

 A time to tear, and a time to sew;

A time to keep silence and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;

A time of war, and a time of peace.  Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about seasons this week.  It’s so funny how they do parallel our lives.  The bible even says to everything there is a season.

When I’m asked what my favorite season is, I often say fall and winter.  I think this has always been due to the accompanying holidays and knowing I’ll be spending quality time with family and friends.

However, after contemplating it more carefully, I have realized that my favorite season is the one that’s around the corner.  The one that isn’t quite here yet, the one I’m currently longing for.

Take right now, for instance.  We’ve had our fill of winter (some more than others, depending on our locale); the cold, dreariness, the bare trees and raggedly looking lawns and landscapes.  We are ready for spring.  We desire something new; the flowers, the birdsong, a change in the weather, some refreshing showers.

I remember at the end of last summer, I was dreamily desiring the arrival of fall.  I could almost taste the fall flavors of pumpkin and apple cider and smell the cinnamon and feel the slight dip in temperature.  In my mind were visions of scarecrows and carvings and leaves turning and descending to the earth.  It was something to look forward to and thinking about it filled me with anticipation.

When the temperatures began to drop and I began my Christmas shopping, I was already giddy with excitement for winter and the hopes of seeing snow (if I traveled out of my home state).  Bring on the sweaters and scarves and boots.  The love of Christmas and thoughts of enjoying more time with those I care about made me anxious for this glorious season.

And around it goes, year after year, season after season.  I guess the old saying is true, “we always want what we don’t have”.  We eagerly anticipate the next chapter, the next season.

It’s like our Creator to know this would suit us; the changing.  We change; our lives are lived out in seasons.  Our short lived attention spans and longing for more is somewhat satiated by the change in seasons.

So on this last day of winter, I say,  bring on the spring!  May yours be filled with a spring in your step, March madness and April showers, Easter and excitement over things to come and abundant love, joy and peace!

Love the you that God created you to be!

This morning my facebook post said, “Thankful that I’m comfortable in my skin, with who I am, how I look, what I believe in and how I live – All the thanks goes to God ♥”.  I wrote it, walked away and began to get ready to go pick up some Christmas things.

For some reason, I was thinking…I wonder if people will in any way think that was vain, especially the part about being happy with how I look.  I’m hopeful people won’t take that the wrong way.

To elaborate, maybe I can take you back to high school.  Was anyone ever insecure, trying to “fit in” or mold yourself to a ever changing standard?  Did you think you were too fat, too thin, too quiet, too loud?  Were you jealous?  Did you secretly wish certain people liked you more, paid you more attention?  Were you a part of the ‘in” crowd, but too scared of the ramifications of reaching out to those who weren’t?  Did you morph yourself into every boyfriend you ever had taking on their likes, dislikes as your own, turning yourself into someone you didn’t recognize?  Everyone had their own set of issues, fears, concerns.

I don’t remember when things really began to change for me, maybe in my thirties, about the time I renewed my faith.  Coincidence?  Not for me.  I also know that the many things we go through in life also mature us and change us. 

I just know that one day I realized that I was no longer bound to what the world and the magazines and whoever was the most popular told me was socially acceptable or a worthy goal.  I am very capable of deciding how to dress, how to please my husband and raise healthy, happy children.  My guidebook is the bible, not Cosmo, and strangely enough, I’ve done well.

If I could give a gift, all wrapped up in a BIG RED BOW, to all of the younger women I know, I would tell them this.  Love the you that God made you to be.  We were not all created to be cookie cutter images of each other or of some pop culture icon.  Be healthy, exercise self-control, give much, love more, and cherish moments, not things (can never say this enough), be happy with your body; take care of it as you will need it for a long time, but don’t make it your God or an obsession.  After all, beauty is fleeting.  It’s what’s on the inside that’s going to last and make the biggest impression, good or bad.

Find that peace that comes with knowing who you were created to be.  Recognize your unique gifts and talents and use them to promote love, kindness and peace.  Keep the faith!

Be Blessed!

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