Sunday, March 1, 2015

Be Grateful for Small Daily Miracles

Sometimes I go rushing around through life, exasperated that I have so much to do and so little time to do it. At the end of the day I'm irritable, exhausted, and feeling depressed.

What to do about it?
How do I improve my quality of life?

Every morning when I get out of bed, I take a few minutes to give thanks the small miracles of my life.

Health: I breathe in and out, and I'm grateful for healthy lungs.

Light: I feel the warmth of the sun streaming in my bedroom window, and I'm grateful for light.

Service: A dear friend—an older lady—passed away. I knew and loved her for many years. The person from our church who usually made arrangements for the funeral luncheons was out of town, and I was asked to take care of the details. God knew how much I loved this dear departed friend, so He allowed me to serve her this one last time at her passing.

Friendship: A lady came up to me at a book signing last week and said I looked familiar. I recognized her as a co-worker from twenty years ago. We rekindled our friendship and enjoyed getting reacquainted. The blessings of friendship are all around us if we look.

Love from the past: I received an old letter yesterday saved by a family member. It was written by my grandmother at the time of my father's death over sixty years ago. I was a small child at the time of his passing so I was grateful to receive the details of the events surrounding his death. I'm thankful that my grandmother took time to write the details so many years ago.

Love from the present: My granddaughter sat on the grass and read a book yesterday.

Find the small miracles in your life. Give thanks for them. 

Daily gratitude enhances and enriches all our lives.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Give Your Kids the Gift of Love

February is the month of Love. Valentine's Day can last all month if we let it. Love in the family can be the greatest. Joy comes as we watch our children grow and develop. 

Let's look at our family and refocus our lives to set goals to help our family become a little better than we are now—to become our very best.

1.                  As parents, plan what you want to teach your children.
2.                  Set a goal to help each of them become their best.
3.                  Plan activities to accomplish your objectives
4.                  Hold family meetings to create an atmosphere of open communication.
5.                  Highlight the good in your children at these family meetings.

Here are some fun ideas that will help your kids know they are awesome.

1.         Create a "Guess Who" game for your family night. Post clues around the house during the week to keep everyone excited. Give little known facts about the person—good things they have done and service they have rendered. At the end of the week at your family meeting, share the things everyone knows about the person being highlighted. Fix their favorite dessert and play a game of their choice. Plant a tree or some flowers in honor of this family member. Have several "Guess Who" nights until you have highlighted everyone and have a garden that includes the entire family—even the family pets if you wish.

2.         Hold a "Secret Pal" activity for the week. Put everyone's name in a hat and draw names.

Each person must keep the name they draw a secret and do special things for them. During the week they can:
            Make little surprises
            Perform an act of service
            Do one of their family chores
            Be extra nice to them
            Anything they choose

At the end of the week hold a family party, give your Secret Pal a small gift, and play some games. It's also fun to ask each family member what they learned during the week and what their favorite part of the activity was.
3.         Give a family night lesson on service to others. Plan a "Caught You Being Good" activity for the week.

 Make up your own rules. For instance, everyone can put a post-it note in a jar when they see someone doing a kindness of another family member. At the end of the week hold an activity of your choice. Talk about what service means to each person and what they learned during the week.

Create your own games and learning activities. Choose what is best for your family. 

There are more ideas in Family Talk, How to Organize Family Meeting to Solve Problems and Strengthen Relationships by Christy Monson.
Available on Amazon;

or at

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Making a Difference in the World

Each morning the first thing I do when I arise is ask God to help me make a difference in someone's life for the day. Because I have made this commitment to myself, I'm always looking for things I can do for others.

·         Complement those you come in contact with.
·         Tell the presenter or your teacher or your boss you enjoyed their presentation.
·         Read or play a game with a child.
·         Listen to a friend.
·         Put a positive message on your social media.
·         Help in your community. Tell the grocer you like the display. Thank the pharmacist for quick service.

Create a list that works for you. Most of these things take less than five minutes, and unexpected benefit of this come back to you an hundred fold.

·         If I smile at someone they smile back, making my day happier.

·         When I give a complement, seeing the delight on the person's face gives me joy.
·         I smile at the thank you that comes when I tell someone 'good job.'
·         Spending time with a child fills my soul with love. There is nothing more rewarding than adding light to a child's life.

·         When I listen to a friend, my life is enriched as I see their strength in struggling through difficulty.
·         My positive social media messages bring retweets on twitter and views to my blog. Maybe someone has connected with my words.
In short, the benefit of the positive energy I give to the world enriches my life a lot more than it does others. It's a great way to live.
What happens when I fall off the wagon and get upset? I:
·         Take a deep breath.
·         Tell myself it's okay.
·         Look at the positive energy I've put into my life that wouldn't otherwise be there.
·         Give myself an attitude adjustment.
·         Smile and start over.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Twisted New Year's Resolutions

Many of us set goals at the beginning of the year, only to forget them before the month of January is gone. Most of our goals center around bettering ourselves. We want to lose some weight, read more books, cook healthier foods, grow our business, etc. 

Would we be more consistent in keeping goals if they were centered on relationships? What would happen if we twisted our goals so that we focused on others and not ourselves?
The joy that comes from being with others could motivate us to persist in keeping our goals. And when we find happiness in others, we make ourselves better.

Twisted Goals:
*To lose weight, find a friend to walk with several times a week, or take a partner to the gym during your lunch hour.
*To read more books, start a neighborhood book club. Ask people to join who would like more interaction with others—like your workaholic neighbor or a shut-in who is lonely.
*To cook healthier foods, make a new dish to share with an unsuspecting friend.
*To grow your business, focus on the helping aspect of your service and work to enrich the lives of others.

Why will this method work? Each goal includes a relationship. We are much more likely to succeed if we involve others in our actions. We benefit and so do our friends.

Friday, December 19, 2014

English Toffee

This time of year I love to make gifts to take to friends and loved ones. This candy is fast and easy to make. AND everyone thinks you're a great cook because it tastes so good. (Butter and sugar always melts in your mouth.)

2 cubes butter which is half a pound (must be AA grade. Lesser grades of butter have water in them and the candy will separate.)
1 cup sugar
5 T. water
1 t. vanilla
Chocolate – use good quality, your favorite
Nuts – any kind you wish.

Put the butter, sugar and water in a frying pan and turn the heat up high. Don’t turn it down. Stir the whole time. It takes about 10 – 15 minutes to make. Cook it until the color turns caramel.

You can see little puffs of smoke coming from the caramel-colored bubbles. Take it off the heat and add the vanilla.
Pour the candy over the sliced almonds or chopped walnuts. I have a marble slab that I pour the candy on, but you can use a cookie sheet set on a bread board. The candy gets so hot, I wouldn’t put the cookie sheet directly on Formica. It might burn through. If you want the candy covered with chocolate, sprinkle pieces on top while it’s hot and let it melt. Spread it out.

Cool, break it into pieces and enjoy. Plan on making several batches. My kids can eat it faster than I can make it.

Happy Holidays! Enjoy!