For Better Or For Worse

Wedding vows are spoken before God, our families, and our friends. Sadly, wedding vows are also broken before God, our families, and our friends. I found the following story in a devotional, “The Word for You Today,” from Immanuel Bible Church, Springfield,Virginia, and wanted to share it with you today. It’s refreshing to read about men and women who honor their marriage vows until the end!

“For Better Or For Worse” : On a busy morning, a nurse in the crowded emergency room seated an elderly gentleman who had come to have stitches removed from his hand. He said, “I’m in a hurry, nurse. I have an appointment in an hour.” As the line of patients ahead of him moved slowly, he kept looking anxiously at his watch. Knowing he’d never make his appointment, the nurse led him to an examination room, checked his vital signs and evaluated the condition of his wound. Seeing it was well-healed, she consulted with one of the doctors and got clearance to remove the sutures and re-dress his wound. She asked, “Are you hurrying to another doctor’s appointment?” He said, “No, I’m on my way to have breakfast with my wife at the nursing home.” She asked about his wife’s health and learned she was a victim of Alzheimer’s disease. “Will she be upset if you’re late?” The old man told her she hadn’t recognized him in five years. Surprised, the nurse asked, “And you still go to see her every morning, although she doesn’t know who you are?” The old man smiled, patted her hand and replied, “Oh, yes. She doesn’t know who I am, but I still know who she is!”

Loving “for better or for worse” means being committed to each other in every season and circumstance of life. It’s how Christ loves us: “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34 (nlt)

There are many seasons and circumstances that will come into marriage. The one thing in life that is constant – is change! Being committed to each other in the good times and in the bad times is so worth the effort!

Thought for the Day: Take every opportunity to make good memories – for yourself and for others.

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Smoke and Mirrors

Have you noticed that most people want what they don’t have? If our hair is brown, we wish it were blonde. If our hair is curly, we want it to be straight. If we are tall, we want to be shorter. If we are short, we want to appear to be taller. If we have light skin, we want the dark skin. You get the point…Well, because of the advancements in the fashion world, we can actually have whatever look we want. My hairdresser said her job is really like smoke and mirrors. She gives people the look they want and makes it appear to be natural, when in reality it is very unnatural.  She’s really good at what she does and her clients keep coming back for more.

We have the ability to make ourselves look taller by wearing heels. We can change the color of our eyes by wearing colored contact lens. If we want to take drastic measures, we can set up an appointment with a plastic surgeon and get a new nose, higher cheekbones, larger breasts, a tighter derriere, and the list goes on and on. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

God (for some reason) chose to copyright our fingerprints!

Celebrate your uniqueness!
Be proud of what makes you stand out from the crowd!

The truth is, no matter how good we look on the outside, it means nothing if we look bad on the inside! How about your heart? Is it right with God? That’s the thing that really counts today and everyday! When you live a double life, one that appears to be one thing when really it is another, do you find yourself hiding things from family and friends? Do you lie in order to keep up the appearance of good? This can be exhausting and can cause you to have mounted anger, guilt, and bitterness.

It’s fun to change our hair color, skin tone, style, and overall appearance from time to time. But, let’s not get so caught up in the superficial that we neglect taking care of the essentials: Our spiritual well-being, mental well-being, and our relationships!

Thought for the Day: This life is short. It’s the next one that lasts forever!

Humor for the Day: Middle-Age Fashion Faux Pas – the following combinations do not go together – A nose ring and bifocals! Spiked hair and bald spots! A pierced tongue and dentures! Bikinis and liver spots! Miniskirts and support hose! In-line skates and a walker! Ankle bracelets and corn pads! A belly button ring and a gall bladder surgery scar! Unbuttoned disco shirts and a heart monitor! Hot pants and varicose veins! Midriff shirts and a midriff bulge!  –Martha Bolton



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It Is What It Is – But Does It Have To Be?

Do you know people who are set in their ways and refuse to change? They squeeze the toothpaste tube from the middle and leave the cap off when they finish using it. Or they throw their clothes on the floor when they take them off instead of placing them in the hamper. Then there are those who place dirty dishes in the kitchen sink without rinsing them off, and never return to wash them. These things can be very frustrating if you are a neat person. No matter how many times you ask them to change, they refuse to do so. In the whole scheme of things, these are minor issues. They certainly aren’t things that should cause constant friction among your family and friends. Some things will never change – don’t let these minor things ruin your day!

There are some issues I would consider to be more along the lines of “major” as opposed to “minor”. One such issue is the way people are looked down upon because of their gender, race, social status, educational accomplishments, or occupation. Just because someone is different than we are does not give anyone a right to look down on others. We are all children of God and He loves us all equally! Unfortunately, some people will never change and they will continue to treat others in a demeaning way.  Shine your light for all to see by treating everyone with dignity and respect. You never know what effect this could have on those around you.  Some things may never change, but if we choose to always take the high road and not the low road, others just may come along side of us. Some people will never change – don’t let them keep you from doing what is right!

Do you know people who have made dishonesty a fine tuned work of art? These people have been telling lies about things for so long they can’t distinguish their own lies from the truth. It has become a habit of life for them. It saddens me to say that more and more people find it easier to lie than to face the truth. Getting caught up in a habit like this will destroy the person’s reputation, and what little trust they have built up with others will soon disappear. Honesty is always the best policy! When you are at work and can’t take a phone call, please don’t have others lie for you. Don’t have someone say you are in a meeting when you aren’t. It’s okay to have them say you are unavailable to take the call. If you have others lie for you, you are putting them in an awkward position and setting a bad example. If you are honest, it reflects positively. If you are dishonest, it reflects negatively. Notice, I stated, “Honesty is the best policy.” It’s not always the easiest policy. Choose the path of honesty and others may follow. Some people will never change – do your part to make this world a better place by telling the truth!

You will be given many opportunities to make a difference today. Some people will never change, but you can make a positive difference if you choose to be the exception and go against what seems to be the norm. We live in a world of compromise. As you go through this day, don’t get discouraged. Stay connected to God. Chisel out some time to read your Bible and pray. We have a heavenly father above who loves us all very much and is pleased when we choose to take the “high road”.

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Give Something Away

It’s time to take a good “hard” look at a few things that could be robbing you of joy.  Do you know someone who rushes around all day, trying to please everyone?  From sun up to sun down, they are busy, busy, busy. At the end of the day, they are exhausted, grumpy, and have missed out on the things around them that bring joy. It’s fun to make people happy. It can be very fulfilling to know that hard work paid off, and everyone had a good time at the event you planned. It’s nice to be needed. But, last I checked, your super hero cape didn’t really exist.  One person can’t do it all – all of the time. Besides, it’s not fair to others who may want to showcase their talents every once and a while too! I purchased a candle holder from Curly Girl Design a few years ago in Saint Augustine, Florida. It has a picture of a woman riding a bicycle with the word wish on the front of a basket. Below the picture, it reads… “I am fairly certain that given a Cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world.” As much as we’d like to think we are capable of doing it all – we’re not! To make life better for everyone (including you), it is necessary to give others a chance to shine.

We are all good at some things, and not good at all things. When we try and force ourselves to do what others are better at doing, it can be very frustrating. I have realized that I am a “big idea” person. I’m not afraid to try new things, and I see every glass more than half full. What I have learned (many times the hard way) is that “big idea”, “visionary” people are not always the best at taking care of all the little details.  If you want to bring the idea to life, it is best to have a team in place, and not try and do it all by yourself. I know I need to give some of the responsibility to others who are much better at those things.  Putting a team around any project works best. It also gets others excited about the idea when they get to claim some ownership of the project.

How are you in the kitchen? Do you allow others to help you when preparing a meal for your friends and family? My grandchildren love to help in the kitchen. Giving them jobs to do really excites them, and allows me to make memories that will last a life time. When a friend or family member asks what they can do to help – instead of saying, “Everything is under control”, give them something to do. They may not do it the way you would, but it’s okay! After you’ve done this a few times, you’ll begin to see the joy that comes from sharing your kitchen with others. Give others a chance to help you. Especially if they want to clean up after the meal! You worked hard to prepare the meal, it’s time to put your feet up and relax. They may not put things back in place the same way that you would, but it’s okay!

When you see a talent in someone else, encourage them to step out of their comfort zone and mentor them along the way. It is very satisfying to watch others excel, and to know you were able to use your experience to help them shine. I know it is easier to just do it ourselves, but helping others shine is really fun.  Remember when your child was at the age where they wanted to do everything themselves? You would try and put their coat on and they would say, “Me do it myself!” So you would let them try, but the harder they would try, the more frustrated they would become, until finally you would step in and help them. When you held the coat up for their little arms to slide through the sleeves, it became much easier, and immediately a smile would appear on both of your faces. You wanted to help, but they resisted. Once they gave in, you were able to work as a team. That’s the way life is supposed to be!

Thought for the Day: The Holy Trinity consists of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. What does that tell us about the importance of team work?

“I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby

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So Much To Celebrate…Let’s Get Started!

It’s time to celebrate! There is so much to celebrate and so little time to do it. So, let’s get started….Did you see the sunrise this morning? Celebrate the gift of sight! Did you hear the birds singing? Celebrate the gift of hearing! Did you touch the hand of someone you love? Celebrate the gift of touch! Did you taste a strong cup of coffee? Celebrate the gift of taste! Did you smell something yummy, baking in the oven? Celebrate the gift of smell! Did you hear a funny joke? Celebrate the gift of laughter! Did your heart melt when the one you love, said “I love you”? Celebrate the gift of love! See what I mean?  There is so much to celebrate, and so little time to do it!  With so much to celebrate, there is no need to fill your brain space with anything negative.

There are only 24 hours in a day. And there are only 7 days in a week. Which means we only get 168 hours per week to celebrate. When you subtract 49 hours for sleep, it reduces your time of celebration to 121. Be careful with your time! Choose your words wisely, keep your attitude in check, live out your passion, be grateful for what you have, and do your best to be a positive role model for others to follow!

It’s Fun Filled Friday!!

Celebrate the life you’ve been given!!

A fresh start begins with a positive approach to life!

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Will The New You Please Stand Up!

Happy New Year!! It’s a great day to be alive! New Years Resolutions have been made, and we’re off to a start of a brand new and improved way of life, right?  The kids started back to school today, and the traffic on the freeway was just as congested as it was “last year”.  So, what’s really going to be different about this year? The only way to make it a new and improved year is to make a commitment to stay true to yourself. Decide who you are going to be, and feel good in your own skin. If your New Year’s Resolution was to lose weight, and to live a healthier lifestyle, then stay on track, and surround yourself with others who want the same thing for their lives.  Was your resolution to change your spending habits, reduce your debt-load, or to save more money? Practice saying “no” to yourself, over and over. If you have a hard time controlling the plastic, then lock it away or cut it up!  Because that’s what it will take to accomplish this goal. How about relationships? Was your resolution to improve your relationships this year? In order to improve your relationships, you will need to take time for others. Ouch! These are all really good resolutions, and can be accomplished. You will feel great if you stick to your plan all year long, but life has a way of getting in the way, and if you’re not careful, everything goes back to the way it was the year before.  If you have the “want to” I know you can accomplish everything you’ve set out to do!  There are two steps you need to take right away to stay committed to your goals.

1.  Be comfortable in your own skin! Don’t let criticism and cynicism of others keep you from doing what is best for you. Changing habits will not only take you out of your comfort zone, but it will do the same for others around you. Once you make a decision to change for the better, stay the course.  The end results will far outweigh the criticism along the way. Even when you have setbacks, don’t be discouraged. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again! It really will be worth it in the end. Remember, you didn’t get where you are overnight, it will take time to see results. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you, and don’t give up!

2.  Follow the directions! Haven’t you heard people say, “I just wish life came with a set of instructions?” It does! It’s called the Bible. By nature, we would rather produce excuses instead of providing results. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Take time each day to read the Bible and pray-seeking God’s help and guidance in all you do.  If you’ve never tried it, this is the year to start.  It works….I guarantee it!

Remember that people overeat, drink excessively, spend extravagantly, or seek another release because of their inability to acquire disciplined emotions. The key to mastering any problem is to master you. With determination, supportive friends, and God’s guidance, you can accomplish all you have set out to do this year!

I want to hear from you throughout the year.  Let me know how you are doing. I’m here to cheer you on, and will offer tools to keep you going. I can’t wait to hear about your accomplishments. I have areas that I will be working on this year too. Let’s do it together!

Thought for the Day:  What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” – Fredrich Nietzsche

Humor of the Day: Morris: “Did you get any interesting cards this year?” Lonnie: “Yes, we received a card from the savings and loan bank where we have our mortgage. It read, ‘Merry Christmas from our house to our house.’ ”

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Merry Christmas!

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Holiday Planning Check List – Week Six

Christmas Plans:
Review calendar, prioritize invitations, programs, and other commitments.
_ Place final on-line orders.
_ Cook and freeze appetizers for parties.
_ Finish all wrapping and hide presents or place them under the tree.
Survivor Tips:
_When attending a party, there’s nothing wrong with buying bakery or deli items.
_Take time everyday to enjoy some Christmas music.
_ On Christmas Eve – attend a Christmas Eve church service.
_ Pick a night during the holidays to go for a drive and enjoy the Christmas lights.
_ Set out pretty bowls brimming with holiday potpourri; the whole house will smell like       Christmas!
_ Fill a basket with nuts to place on an entryway table.
_ Candlelight adds so much to Christmas settings. Use them often during December.
Recipes: Whether you are hosting or attending a party, these recipes are easy to make, look beautiful , and taste great.  I hope you enjoy them as much as my family and friends do!

Dump Cake
1 yellow cake mix, 1 can (29 oz) sliced peaches with juice, 1/2 to 1 stick butter-thinly sliced
. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Spread half the cake mix in bottom of pan. Pour can of sliced peaches and juice evenly over the cake mix. Cover the peaches with the rest of the cake mix, then slices of butter on top. Bake 50 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cherry-Chocolate Cake
1 chocolate cake mix, 1 cup water, 1 egg, 1 can (21 oz) cherry  pie filling. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, mix together cake mix, water, and egg until smooth. Fold in cherry pie filling. Pour into a greased 9×13 inch pan. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched.

Peppermint Cake
Cake: 1 white cake mix, 3/4 cup water, 2 egg whites, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 crushed peppermint candies.
Topping: 1 can (16 oz) vanilla frosting, 2 1/2 Tblsp crushed peppermint candy.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, water, egg whites, and oil until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup crushed candy. Pour batter into a greased 9×13 inch pan. Bake 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely. Spread frosting over cooked cake; sprinkle with crushed candy.

Christmas is a wonderful time to celebrate family, a warm home, and the joy of the holiday season. Enjoy it with all your heart, and may you have a wonderful holiday season. Tiny Tim said it best, “God bless us, every one!”

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Fun Filled Friday!

Congratulations on all your accomplishments this week! It’s time to celebrate another day of living!

I ran accross this prayer, and thought I would share it today:
“I want to thank you, Lord, for being close to me so far this day. With your help I haven’t been impatient, lost my temper, been grumpy, judgmental, or envious of anyone. But I will be getting out of bed in a minute, and I think I will really need your help then. Amen.”

Need some ideas of things to do to make this a Fun Filled Day?
Here you go…Call a friend on the spur of the moment and go to a movie…Meet a friend in the wee hours of the morning for a walk…Volunteer at your local church for two hours…Attend a sporting event…Have a romantic evening with the love of your life…Host a game night with friends…Greet everyone you meet today with a smile…Surprise your children by stopping by an ice-cream shop on the way home from school…Kidnap someone you care about who’s had a hard week, and take them to their favorite restaurant for dinner…Surprise someone in your family with a “just because I love you” gift…Treat yourself to a pedicure.

Why not bake something for your friends and family to enjoy?

Take time to laugh – here’s something from my humor file…Enjoy!!
Six year old Emily came home from school one day, and declared to her mother in a disgusted tone, “I never want to have kids. To get children you have to have sex!” Her mother, shocked that her youngest of four children was even aware of the facts of life, let out an audible gasp. Emily saw the shocked look on her mother’s face and said, “What? You didn’t know?”

Thought for the Day: Enjoy yourself. These are the “good old days” you’re going to miss in the years ahead.

Have a Fun Filled Friday!!

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Keys To Living A Simpler Life

Enjoy every moment you have with your family and friends. Sometimes we don’t realize what we have until it’s gone. Savor the moment and make every effort to strengthen your relationships.

Be Content with what you have:  A few years ago I discovered I was a “below average woman” because I don’t have nearly enough shoes in my closet! The average woman has 90 pairs of shoes! I was sharing this fact with a friend of mine, and she admitted that she has 120 pairs of shoes. Keeping up with so many shoe boxes and finding a place to store them can make life very complicated – Some people are clearly obsessed with “stuff” and have allowed the accumulation of “stuff” to take the place of the most important thing in life – spending time with God!

Want to live a simpler life? Here are 5 keys to unlocking the “Simplify Door”:
1. Do your best to live at peace with everyone.
2. Pay your debts on time.
3. Stay away from sinful lifestyles.
4. Take your physical well-being seriously.
5. Choose your friends wisely.

“When your goals are in harmony with God’s plan for your life, you are bound for a happier and simpler life!”

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