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Posts Tagged ‘#mondayblog’

list 1

Today’s list challenge:

List the best choices you have made in your life so far

  • Captain Cavedweller – Choosing to take a chance on a blind date led to marrying the man who still makes my heart pitter patter.
  • Faith – Choosing salvation and following my faith has seen me through the worst and best times of my life. Without it… I don’t even want to imagine what my life would look like without it.
  • Writing – Choosing to finally try writing a book then choosing to pursue it as a career has been one of the most fulfilling, amazing choices I’ve made. I am so blessed to do something I love so much!
  • Believing – Choosing to believe in myself when others did not led me on some pretty great adventures in my younger days. I’m glad I didn’t let anyone talk me out of following my heart.
  • Kindness – Years ago, I stood at a crossroads and had to make a choice. I could go down a road of bitterness and sadness, or I could do down a road of kindness and forgiveness. Being witness to someone who had already gone down the bitter road, I chose kindness. And I try to keep choosing kindness, every day. A word spoke in kindness isn’t one we’ll likely ever regret.

Is there a choice or two you made in your life that has brought you joy, or given you peace?

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books and barnwood

This week’s list challenge:

List the things that get you out of your head.

We all have those days when we just can’t seem to get our focus headed in a positive direction. We second guess are decisions. We worry about our choices. We fret over outcomes. We can’t get that nagging, nasty voice in our head to shut up.

So here’s a list of things that help me get out of my head and move me into a place of happiness and / or peace.

  • Captain Cavedweller – The man makes me laugh. So much. It’s hard to be tied in knots when you are laughing so hard your eyes are watering. He’s also fabulous at pep talks. Sometimes all we need is to hear someone we love or trust telling us “You’ve got this!”
  • Reading – Sometimes, just escaping into a great story can change my perspective. Even thirty minutes of reading a book I love can completely turn things around.
  • Get Crafty  – I enjoy doing craft projects, but rarely make time for them. If I’m struggling to get my Negative Nelly voice to be quiet, I find working on a craft project relaxing.
  • Get Cleaning – Sometimes even the most mundane activity, like dusting or folding laundry can help put things in perspective and draw me into a better frame of mind.
  • Go Outside – There’s something about fresh air – deep, big lungfuls of it – that helps clear the mind.
  • Get Moving – Go for a walk or spend 20 minutes exercising. Physical activity forces my brain to shift gears.

At the bottom of the list it says to plan an hour this week to do one or a few things that put your mind at peace.  I think I can handle that.

How about you? Are there things that help you get out of your head and find peace?

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grace-favour

A hundred thoughts tumble around in my head as I write this last lesson in grace today.

Mostly, I can’t help but think about the outpouring of grace I’ve received this year. It leaves me humbled and teary-eyed, and feeling so incredibly blessed.

Truly, 2016 has been a year of grace in our home and in my heart. (And to the awesome friend who sent me an ornament that says such – I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me!).

To recap some of the lessons I’ve learned this past year:

grace letters

Grace (like attitude) changes everything. Everything. Maybe the circumstances haven’t changed. Maybe the people around us haven’t changed. But when we accept grace, when we freely give it – it changes absolutely everything everything.

grace carried

Sometimes there is grace in letting go. Other times we find grace in hanging on. One thing is for certain, though… grace will not fail us. Not ever.

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Grace can arrive in an overwhelming, emotional, more-than-you-can-imagine kind of way. And sometimes it arrives softly, simply, in some tiny little detail or nearly missed moment.

Busy with everyday life, I am horribly guilty of passing by sweet little moments of grace — of stopping to watch the sun set, listening to the happy song of birds in the backyard, taking a minute just to smell the lovely fragrance of a rose.

On the occasions when I do indulge in those moments (and that is all they are is a few moments), my heart is lifted and my soul lighter. I need to be more mindful of savoring every sweet little moment of grace that comes my way.

standard of grace

We all need to give ourselves measures of grace. We need to grant permission to relax and do nothing. Go on an adventure. Take a walk. Sit in quiet peacefulness. It is in those moments when we are seeking peace and not perfection when we find what we need to continue.

everyday is a second chance

 

I love new beginnings and I love the idea that every single day is a second chance to get things right. No matter how badly I might have messed up yesterday, or last week, or last month, or last year, the opportunity for a new beginning exists every single day.

 

give away love and grace like you're made of it

The more grace (love, forgiveness) we give to others, the more we find poured out on us. There is no limit on grace, especially when we’re giving it away. So give it away freely, along with a heaping helping of love.

joy and grace

I love this quote for many reasons, but perhaps the biggest is because it combines three such important things: love, joy, and grace. Love is spoken in our home. Loads of love. Love is spoken in many ways… not just verbally, but through actions, through hugs and smiles. That is a blessing for which I am grateful every single day. Every one. Joy is also chosen in our home. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you probably surmised by  now that Captain Cavedweller is a bit of (okay – a whole lot of) a tease and jokester who is rarely serious.  There is much laughter every day, but there is also joy that bubbles up from our hearts from the awareness of how fortunate we are in this life. Grace is given in our home to each other, and to those who might not reside within its walls, but reside in our hearts. Grace is extended to those who are strangers but in need of it. And ever so slowly, I’m learning to give myself sweet measures of grace.

And I like to think I’m learning to give grace instead of judgement, to see with love instead of anger (frustration, envy, hurt, etc.) Sometimes someone who is angry, bitter, spiteful or cruel just needs a little grace. And sometimes that person might even be us.

Even the tiniest measure of grace can go such a long, long way.

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Life is a very precious, beautiful gift that many take for granted. It’s important, so important to be grateful for that gift. To cherish it, value it, treasure it. And to honor it by filling our hearts and lives with grace, courtesy, gratitude, kindness, and love.

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More than once this year I have been greatly disturbed by the emphasis put on looking beautiful. Beauty fades, prettiness ages, but the things of real value only improve with time.

Rather than encourage young women to be “beautiful” we should encourage them to be smart and witty, clever and creative, interesting and intriguing, resourceful and captivating, graceful and kind instead of focusing on having just another pretty face.

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Beauty without grace  – you see it time and again. True beauty, the kind that comes from the heart, walks hand-in-hand with grace. Be your own kind of beautiful.

 

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Gratitude and grace do such amazing things! They clothe the soul with beauty and the heart with joy.

In fact, joy is going to be my theme for 2017. So if you enjoyed this year’s grace lessons, check in on Monday’s next year as I journey through a year of joy.

Thank you all for the amazing, inspiring, heartfelt moments of grace you’ve shared with me this year. I appreciate you all so much and wish for you sweet moments and measures of grace each and every day in the coming year.

 

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11-28-grace

This quote is so lovely and perfectly fit my thoughts today.

Thanksgiving always makes me think about all the many things I have to be grateful for. I know I am abundantly blessed and sometimes in the busyness of everyday, I forget to be as thankful as I should for those many blessings.

But my thoughts over the weekend have centered on being grateful, being filled with thankfulness, and the grace that seems to go hand-in-hand with gratitude.

What a lovely thought – to envision gratitude and grace clothing our soul with beauty and our heart with joy.

May it be so for you this week!

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Boy, did I need this reminder.

Lately, I’ve been feeling completely, thoroughly, and utterly overwhelmed.

With my “book stuff” alone, I have three new books in various stages of getting ready to release. I also have four audio books in production, two facebook parties I’m hosting, two big online book tours, and a myriad of other things that need my immediate attention.

In fact, to try to get a better handle on it all, I typed up a list of everything I could think of that connected to the release of those three books that I need to finish before the release dates.

I ended up with two and a half single-spaced typed pages. Just looking at it, sitting on my desk, makes me want to freak out.

Instead of pulling a blanket over my head and hiding in a corner, though, I went to Captain Cavedweller and asked him if he could help with a few projects. Of course, he readily agreed to take on the tasks.

That made me wonder why it is we so often feel like we have to do everything ourselves. It isn’t a sign of weakness to ask for help. There is grace in realizing we don’t have to handle everything on our own and allowing others to lighten our burdens.

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For the most part, I’m a shy introvert who likes to stay home and hide out in my writing cave with my imaginary friends – aka my book characters. (And yes, I did just say that.)

I spent the past four days away from my writing cave around a bunch of fun, interesting, exciting, adventuresome, talented, amazing people. (And I’ll write more about that later this week.)

But what I noticed during the course of the weekend, was how good it felt to let go of all the “need to dos” and “don’t have time fors” and just enjoy a new experience (that will ultimately benefit my writing in ways I can’t possibly foresee).

There were so many moments of grace, so many little blessings, I came home with a very full and thankful heart.

Sometimes, it’s a good thing to abandon our routine and find ourselves in a place where we can enjoy those little moments of grace. I don’t think it was the fact that I was somewhere new and different that inspired those moments as much as it was the fact that I decided ahead of time to open my heart and mind to whatever might come my way.

As you go through this week, may you find many special moments of grace that touch your heart and bring you joy.

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There are some lessons I seem to keep repeating. The quote above is a lesson I’m still trying to grasp.

Captain Cavedweller and I have been working on a huge yard project. The latest part of said project was to haul ten tons of paving gravel from our driveway to the backyard. Due to our sand-filtration septic system, no vehicles can drive in the backyard, so all that gravel had to be hauled one wheelbarrow load at a time.

After the second evening of helping haul rock, my carpal tunnel roared to life with a vengeance, so I begged CC to get some help.

He’d asked a coworker to help, but he wasn’t sure he’d be able to.

Under the assumption he wouldn’t be coming to help, I continued working on my current writing project and didn’t bother to do things like clean house and run to the grocery store.

Then CC’s friend called and said he was on his way.

Aaackkk! My house was a mess. I was a mess. I didn’t have a single thing prepared to feed this guy a hearty lunch (which he’d need after helping haul all that rock).

Frantic, I tossed, a pork roast in the oven, made CC vacuum while I speed-cleaned the kitchen and guest bathroom, then raced to comb my hair.

While the guys moved rock, I rushed to finish cleaning the house and prepare a decent meal from what I had on hand.

In the midst of my self-imposed chaos, I thought of the quote above, took a deep breath, and decided other than putting food on the table, the rest of what I was trying to accomplish wasn’t that important. CC’s friend wouldn’t care if the piano had a high shine or a dust bunny or two hid beneath the china cupboard.

I’m sure I’ll need reminded of this lesson again (and again), but I’m going to strive to do better about holding myself to a measure of grace rather than perfection.

 

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