Sunday morning Word – Celebrate with praise

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Celebrate Good Times.”

You receive some wonderful, improbable, hoped-for good news. How do you celebrate?

There are a few things that would fall in this category that I am currently praying and believing for.  When I get the good news, the first thing I will do is praise God for His abundant mercy and grace and for hearing and answering my prayer.

Secondly, I will share the news with family and friends who have been praying with me.  They have been with me through the thick and thin of things and will share the joy with me, as they have also shared the pain.

Me being a quiet, not too excitable person, there won’t be a loud, noisy celebration.  No cakes, or banners or trips to the mall to treat myself.  The things I am praying for have been watered with many tears and I’m looking forward to exchanging the bitter ones for tears of joy.

In all states of dilemma or of difficulty, prayer is an available source. The ship of prayer may sail through all temptations, doubts and fears, straight up to the throne of God; and though she may be outward bound with only griefs, and groans, and sighs, she shall return freighted with a wealth of blessings!

Charles Spurgeon

Deposits in our children

Ayda at Disney 2011

Ayda at Disney 2011

As I look back on the past 47 years of my life, I am convinced that of all of the lives I have touched, the biggest impact has been on my children.

Knowing this, I contemplate the failures which sometimes seemed as plentiful as the successes.  For this, I can promise, you will fail at times, more than once or twice.  You will find though, that how you handle the failures is the most important part.  There is no shame to be found in saying, “I’m sorry”; this is teaching your children to do the same.  You also have to forgive yourself and move forward.

I recall many times that they called me out on something that I had taught them not to do or also the times when I beamed with pride at the awesomeness of their character shining through.  There were times I was impatient and didn’t give them the chance to explain, or completely misread a situation and found myself at their bedside asking forgiveness.  There were also times that I know I rocked; that I gave them praise and their smile and hug told me I had got it right.  Those are the times your heart feels as though it will burst.

I have found that patience is mandatory throughout their lives; not just during the terrible twos and sassy teenage years.  Your complete and undivided attention is a must and forgiveness a necessity.  Praise is essential and should be used in far greater quantity than negative remarks.

The words that are spoken should be carefully chosen, the looks you give always filtered by love and the example that you set should be stellar.  If it hasn’t been thus far, make the rest of the years count!

Yes, there will come a time when they will make their own choices.  However, you will want them to make good ones, based on the things you have taught them and shown by example.  The little sponges will soak it all up, so make your choices wisely.

After all, you want to look back with more good memories than bad ones and you want to know you have done your very best.

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!

The little, big things

Ayda and the red marker experience

Ayda and the red marker experience

This afternoon after reading Psalm 67, I just can’t help but think about all the things I have to be thankful for and how that thanks should turn into praise.  Some things we just take for granted like the fact that we woke up today.  Many didn’t.

There are so many little things that make me happy and bring me so much joy.  They seem small but if you contemplate each of them, one by one, they are really enormous gifts that life would be so dreary without.

For instance, I’m thankful for smiles in general, but especially the smiles that start way down deep inside, the ones that pass through the heart and soul and burst forth birthing more smiles.  Imagine a world where no one EVER smiled, not ever.

And what about laughter?  Laughter is such a beautiful thing, differing from person to person, but always fitting the personality.  We’ve all had those friends with the deep belly laugh, the modest snicker, the snort and the cackle.  Can you imagine the world without it?

I’m grateful for the sense of touch; the fact that I can reach out and comfort my husband or my child with a simple touch, a hug, or a kiss.  What is it about feeling that presence of another that can give you strength or courage to keep going sometimes?  I think about those denied the touch of another and how dreadful that would be.

My point in this little snippet is that we are easily thankful for the big things.  Every day, I thank God for my home and family, job and church, friends and neighbors.  The praise can get routine and not as heartfelt sometimes.  Today, I’m reminded of so many little things that are really big things and of how I take so much for granted in my very blessed life.  This is a reminder to me to be grateful for the seemingly little things and to help others to notice them too.

Be Blessed!

A word fitly spoken

what are word for?

I am enchanted by words.  I always have been.  Words allow us to express our innermost thoughts in written and oral form.   They are bountiful and can be captivating, refreshing and motivating and without them we would feel frustrated when trying to make a point.

Words can nurture or destroy, hurt or heal, soothe or stab, wound or caress, tear down or buildup and curse or praise.  They can spew forth venom or honey, love or hate, admiration or disgust, lies or truth.

We forget their magnificent power and influence.  I’ve been contemplating that power this week, keeping my eyes open for illustrations and proofs of that power.  We truly wield a mighty weapon or a gentle touch depending on our use of them.  Words last….once spoken they aren’t easily forgotten.

Sadly, I watched stricken faces, fear, tears of hurt, heads hung low and shoulders slumped due to mere utterances.

Thankfully, I’ve also encountered smiles brimming up from deep inside a happy heart, having felt the love and encouragement behind a simple phrase.

The other thing I’ve reflected on is how our words present us to the world.  We say a lot about ourselves, our personality and our beliefs by our actions, but our words have a great impact as well.  As the bible says, our words come from deep inside and reveal much about us.

When my granddaughter was younger and would try to express her frustrations, wants and needs with grunts, shrieks and screams, my daughter would remind her, “Use your words”.

I’m going to steal that phrase and add one more important word to it.

Use your words WISELY.  You will be remembered by them.

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