Encouragement

A Blue Moon

 

 

We hear the old saying that somethings happens only “ONCE IN A BLUE MOON.”

  • There was A BLUE MOON last night.
  • I decided to get up before day break to see it.
  • When we truly examine ourselves, it seems like more often than not we tend to sleep through unusual events that occur in our lives.
  • We may miss entirely the lesson that is being taught.

If we are alert to her message, nature all around us speaks about life.

  • She has words that apply to both your life, and mine.
  • There are lessons to be learned, if we are observant enough to see them and listen to what is being spoken to each one of us.

The definition of A BLUE MOON means an extra full moon.

  • Whether one month has two full moons or one quarter of a year, or a season has four instead of three.
  • This month just passed, July 2015, there was a full moon on both July 2nd and 31st.
  • A BLUE MOON comes along about once every two and one half years.
  • The last one was in 2012 and the next one early 2018.
  • They are not extremely rare, but happen infrequently.

What was the lesson of July’s BLUE MOON?

  • To me, it was to be alert and watchful.
  • Don’t just cruise through the events of your life.
  • Pay attention to the occasional happenings you experience.
  • Whether the times are difficult or joyful: observe, make good decisions, and put to practice in a positive manner any new lessons learned.

Sometimes we are so asleep with what preoccupies our time that we miss the small things of life that are before us.

  • The companionship of a family member or friend.
  • A phone call to someone that is important to our lives.
  • The pleasure of playing with a young child or spending time with a teenager.
  • Sitting with a loved pet and stroking them.
  • Listening and enjoying the words of a beautiful song.
  • Turning the television your tablet or phone off, and giving your full attention to someone who may need it.

In short: giving our time to someone else.

  • Don’t let this be a rare or infrequent event in your life.
  • Some opportunities only come along “ONCE IN A BLUE MOON.”

 

“What am I to do?

I expect to pass through this world but once.

Any good work, therefore, any kindness, or any service I can render to 

Any soul of man or animal, let me do it now.

Let me not neglect or defer it,

For I shall not pass this way again.”

–An Old Quaker Saying

Advertisements
Standard
Encouragement, Poems/Songs

A Strong Tree

 

THE STRONGEST TREE is not found in the shelter of the forest, but out in the open where the winds of every direction beat upon it.

  • It is bent and twisted until it until it becomes a giant in stature.
  • This is the TREE which the carpenter wants his projects made of, and the furniture maker seeks.

THE OAK TREE* 

A mighty wind blew night and day.

It stole the oak tree’s leaves away,

Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark

Until the oak was tired and stark.

But still the oak tree held its ground

While other trees fell all around.

The weary wind gave up and spoke,

“How can you still be standing, Oak?”

The oak tree said, “I know that you

Can break each brand of mine in two,

Carry every leaf away,

Shake my limbs, and make me sway.

But I have roots stretched in the earth,

Growing stronger since my birth.

You’ll never touch them, for you see,

They are the deepest part of me.

Until today, I wasn’t sure

Of just how much I could endure.

But now I’ve found, with thanks to you,

I’m stronger than I every knew.”

 

Always, always, always believe that no matter what crosses your path of life….

  • If you have  deeply planted roots…you will make it through.
  • I believe in the deepest part of my being that time heals a broken heart.
  • But, the truth of this fact depends upon what YOU CHOOSE to do with your time.
  • Determine to plant your roots deep.
  • Then you will be able to bend when the strong winds blow….and not break.

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

*Poem, Author Unknows

Standard
Encouragement, Poems/Songs

Life Happens

 

It is the middle of the night and here I am writing to whomever may read this.

  • Many loved ones (friends and family) are on my mind right now.
  • Life has happened to me and to them.
  • Life has effected even you.
  • We all are on this road that has twists and turns, beautiful scenery but also stormy, difficult and sometimes devastating roads that must be crossed on this journey called Life.

We make a plan, start our journey, see our goals being met and are peacefully enjoying the trip.

  • Suddenly out of nowhere we stumble across obstacles on our pathway.
  • So much of the time, this is the way Life goes.
  • There’s a line from a song that comes to mind...”I didn’t promise you a rose garden.”
  • With roses there always come thorns.

When this happens, what do we do?

  • Some of us too many times make poor choices.
  • I feel safe in saying that all of us at one time or another have wanted to choose what really is a selfish way out.
  • We take the easy road and quit.
  • We give up or make a wrong turn.
  • We live in denial.
  • We grieve and have a life long pity party.
  • We seek escape by working too much or indulging in too many pleasures.
  • We may hide ourselves in front of our electronic devices.
  • We blame ourselves and withdraw from life.

When this happens, what SHOULD we do?

  • The poet Robert Frost put it this way: “The best way out is always through.”
  • We pick ourselves up and STAY ON THE ROAD.
  • Choose a good support system: faith, prayer, family, friends.
  • Talk to yourself in a positive manner.
  • Fill your mind with the things that encourage you.
  • See the beauties of nature and listen to the message she teaches us all.
  • Put the words angry and bitter out of your life.
  • Leave dreary, negative entertainment alone.
  • Always believe in yourself and others.
  • Be of help to someone else.
  • Let your life and love shine.
  • Count your blessings.
  • Keep on, keeping on.

The good news is: no matter how disturbing and restless the night…

  • The morning always breaks through to dispel the darkness.
  • This truth was brought home to me in a very significant and powerful manner.
  • It was a long, painful and tortuous night.
  • At times I felt my heart would burst and I would not survive the approach of a new day. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5 kjv).
  • You will make it through.

When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high

And don’t be afraid of the dark.

At the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky

And the sweet, silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind.

Walk on through the rain.

Though your dreams be tossed and blown.

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your heart.

And you’ll never walk alone.

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your heart.

And you’ll never walk alone.

You’ll never walk alone.

(You’ll Never Walk Alone: Rodgers and Hammerstein 1945 from the musical Carousel)

This Song has been an important part of my thought life for many, many years.

  • I heard it for the first time when I became a member of the seventh grade choir in Junior High School.
  • The music and lyrics have stayed with me since that time.
  • The words are beautiful, true and challenging.
  • “You’ll Never Walk Alone” has in many ways been my “go to” song when Life Happens.
  • I know I don’t walk alone.
  • That thought has been my constant companion through the rough times; the darkest of nights.
  • It can be yours. 

“The strongest people are not 

those who show strength

in front of us, but those 

who win battles we know nothing about.”

–Anonymous

Standard
Encouragement

Gems

Down through the centuries there have been many precious elements in this world that we have heard tales spoken of.

  • King Midas and his thirst for gold comes to mind.
  • At times they have been used for their monetary power.
  • The status of gold, silver, and precious GEMS often has been alluring to men and women down through the ages.

All GEMS wether precious or semi precious are found disguised by the common things of earth.

  • They are crystals.
  • Most, before their inner beauty is revealed look like rocks: ie diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.
  • Sapphires are found in the sediment surrounding rocks.
  • Pressure is the key to forming the beautiful GEMS we all admire.

Real rubies and emeralds will have a flaw or flaws in them called inclusions. 

  • An emerald that doesn’t have a flaw in it is considered to be of lesser value.
  • An inclusion also is the cause of the star shape that is seen inside a ruby or sapphire.

Diamonds are the hardest element known to man.

  • They are carbon and are formed in the deepest parts of earth.
  • When cut properly, a diamond will shine brilliantly and maximize the light within through it’s facets.
  • Traditionally diamonds are the “go-to” choice for engagement and wedding rings.

My husband and myself were high school sweethearts.

  • We laugh at ourselves about being sixteen and seventeen years old and putting a set of wedding rings in lay-a-way.
  • We regularly went into the jewelry store to look at “our rings” and sometimes upgraded to another set.
  • It’s a wonder that the owners had so much patience with this “pair of kids,” but they did.
  • Two years later the engagement ring was paid for, and in another year the wedding ring.

We all at one time or another have passed by a jewelry store and stopped to admire the valuable items on display.

  • A skilled artisan makes numerous beautiful items of jewelry that brings enjoyment to the eye.
  • Perhaps you have looked at a specific piece of jewelry and eventually decided to purchase it.
  • Ladies, we must all confess to a certain amount of personal pleasure in wearing a beautiful piece of jewelry, set with precious GEMS.

For each one of us there are principles and applications to our individual lives seen in the works of nature.

  • A GEM must be cut, shaped and polished by a master workman, to reveal the beauty within.
  • It takes much time, external forces and patience to create a precious GEM.
  • How true that is of our personal lives also.
  • The Master molds, cuts and refines us to be of valuable use to Him.
  • Always keep in mind, others are touched by the way we live our lives and respond to the circumstances we experience.

There are the well known; along with the lives of those who are never in the spotlight that teach many lessons about being a beautiful GEM.

  • Where they are today is due to the “cards they were dealt” in life.
  • Struggles, experiences, broken hearts, pain, loss are all some of the pressures that many times are designed to erode the core of selfishness; which we all have.

The truths we practice in life display to the world who we are and what we believe.

  • There are so many adages to apply to this post.
  • Do I see the rose or the thorns?
  • Do I make lemonade when life deals me lemons?
  • Do I see the forest or the trees?
  • Am I looking at just this moment or do I have the bigger picture?

IT’S ALL ABOUT ATTITUDE.

“When we long for life without difficulties,

remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds

and diamonds are made under pressure.”

–Peter Marshall

Standard
Encouragement

Read The Constructions

Today we are treasuring the life of a very unique little boy.

  • He was five years old this past Wednesday, but today is the BIG celebration of the GIFT of his arrival to a special family.
  • He has brought joy, laughter and so much fun to those who love him.
  • He was such a happy baby and is now a happy little boy.

Why is he so happy?

  • Because so many people love him.
  • Starting with Mom and Dad….adding Grandparents, Great-Grandparents, an Uncle and soon to be Aunt, a Great-Aunt, Second-Cousins, Friends and an adoring Little Sister.
  • The list could go on and on.
  • He is an infectious little man.

He is smart, clever, adventurous, tough and at the same time tender-hearted and affectionate.

  • He tackles life full force; there’s no such thing as holding back with him.
  • Whenever I think of him….I smile and chuckle to myself.
  • I don’t believe I’ll ever forget or cease to laugh at the first time I heard one of his word phrases: “Read The Constructions.”   

A couple of Christmas’s ago our family group had gathered around a table to play a board game.

  • It had been a year since we had all been together and had a great time learning a new game.
  • It was a crazy and silly game.
  • All of us laughed a lot as we enjoyed each others company.
  • There was a loud debate as we were trying to refresh our minds on the rules of said game.
  • None of us had the method of play quite right.
  • I was vocally remembering some rules of the game.
  • Suddenly, this precious toddler who had quite a vocabulary said: “Nana, Read The Constructions.”

That simple phrase has stayed with me since that day. 

  • It’s good advice to each one of us.
  • Life gets complicated.
  • The times in which we now live seem to be all about ME and I.
  • How many times do we hear these two words from our top leadership on down to our homes.
  • Do you ever think that maybe it’s time to get outside of ourselves and get back to the basics?

READ THE CONSTRUCTIONS is good advice for all of us.

  • Be a faithful friend to those who have a need, and expect nothing in return.
  • Every day do a good deed anonymously.
  • Keep a smile on your face and a song in your heart
  • Challenge yourself and try something new.
  • Forgive those who have angered or hurt you; make an effort to be of help to them.
  • Seek your passion.
  • Be kind to those who serve you whether in private or public places.
  • Practice good driving habits. In Texas we say: “Drive Friendly.”
  • Don’t be so quick to judge another individual. You don’t know what they are going through.
  • Stop and think before you rashly open your mouth.
  • If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all.
  • Always be open to learning.
  • Do more than is expected of you.
  • Learn to accept yourself and like who you are.
  • Practice good manners…..say please and thank you.
  • Find your purpose in life. You will then feel fulfilled
  • Laugh a lot, especially at yourself.

Most of us as children learned the Golden Rule. 

  • “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
  • Those few words define a life style that works for everyone.
  • The best Book of Constructions is Scripture.
  • Read it, practice it’s principles for they are the keys of life.

Life goes by fast. 

  • In this day and age it seems so hectic and full of stress.
  • People get impatient, irritated and sometimes discouraged.
  • Remember it isn’t only about you. In the words of a very smart now five year old…
  • “READ THE CONSTRUCTIONS.”

“There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding,

and that which is lost by not trying.”

(Anonymous)

    FYI: Today’s fortunate Birthday Boy is the son of “A Memorable Mom.”

Standard
Encouragement

Lest We Forget

 

This past Monday our nation celebrated MEMORIAL DAY.

  • It is observed in many different ways.
  • It is a day to reflect, to remember those who sacrificed.
  • So that we may celebrate the privileges they have provided for us with gatherings of neighbors, friends and families.

The history of this day was started on May 30, 1868.

  • It was called Decoration Day and originally set aside to remember those who died during the Civil War.
  • The name and the date remained the same through the years until 1966 when it was renamed Memorial Day and moved to the fourth Monday of May.

For several years we lived near our Nation’s Capitol.

  • Many times we visited the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery.
  • All of these places move the heart; speak of those who have gone on before and gave to us a challenge, a spirit of thankfulness.

THESE PLACES OF HONOR ALL HAVE A STORY TO TELL.

  • I have read the names on the wall, walked up and down the black granite and touched those names. 
  • I have see the incredibly beautiful statue of three brothers from different ethnic groups, arms entwined helping each other through battle. 
  • I have seen the rows upon rows of thousands of crosses at Arlington National Cemetery; all in a straight line in any direction you choose to look. 
  • I have visited the tomb of the Unknowns and watched the respectful changing of the guard many times. 
  • I have been to Valley Forge, the scene of suffering and sometimes desperation of those who fought to establish a new nation of individual freedom and respect. 
  • I remember an uncle who never really recovered from “shell shock” after World War II. 
  • I am in awe of the men, women and their families who gave themselves for our country.

We love the hearts of the young men and women who continue to serve today.

  • Our family has a thankful sense of pride for a nephew, now retired, who had deployments both to Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • And…for two grandsons who are now in the Military.
  • One in the Marines and one in the Navy.

One of the most powerful places to visit in this country is Gettysburg National Battlefield and Cemetery. 

  • There is an overwhelming sense of history and dedication at Gettysburg.
  • An individual cannot help but be moved by the aura which permeates the area.
  • You cannot go there, follow the three day development of the battle, feel it’s atmosphere and not be moved.

On November 19, 1863; Abraham Lincoln rode through the battlefield on horseback to the official dedication of the new National Cemetery there. 

  • His brief but heartfelt speech still echos down to today.
  • As I reread it, I was challenged, especially by the end.
  • May these words become fresh in our hearts today: 

“ It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”   To some these days are times of confusion.

  • Much has happened to our Nation in a few short years.
  • We must remember our heritage, our foundation, those who have given everything so that we may have security and prosper.
  • Many still have a desire to serve.
  • They have a sense of honor, dedication and a willingness to be of benefit to others.

On May 16th, one of those young men gave the commencement address at the University of New Hampshire: Medal of Honor recipient, Staff Sargent, Ryan Pitts. In front of graduates and their families, he talked about his past. “I understand that this is a celebration, but I felt the best advice I can offer you comes from the most challenging, tragic day of my life.” He described July 13, 2008, the day he fought off attackers during the war in Afghanistan. “I had taken grenade shrapnel to my left heel and calf, my entire right leg — hip to foot, left arm and forehead.”  Despite his injuries, Pitts continued to fight and guided air strikes that helped ward off the attack. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions that day, a day he lost nine members of his platoon. “I crawled around and it was at that time I discovered I was the only man left alive at the position. My brothers did not abandon me. They saw their duties through to the very end.”  Pitts said it was the most terrifying moment of his life, but as he looks back now, he knows he learned so much from his fellow soldiers who risked their lives. “Be courageous and appreciate courage in others who take action in the face of fear. Courage cannot exist without fear, and fear is everywhere in life — fear of failure, loss, rejection. The key is to deny fear’s purpose, which is to hold us back.” He also encouraged graduates to celebrate even the smallest steps they take in life. “You must pay attention and appreciate these sometimes seemingly insignificant accomplishments. Treasure the fact that you have just exceeded your horizon. Search for the next one and never back down.”        ** Words for us to etch in our minds as we go forward in this journey called LIFE.

  • Words lived out by those to whom we owe dignity, respect and lives that strive to reach their full potential.
  • Not just once a year on Memorial day, but frequently pause and remember those to whom we owe so much.

LEST WE FORGET !

“And I’m proud to be an American,

Where at least I know I’m free.

And I won’t forget the men who died,

Who gave that right to me.”

              (– Lee Greenwood) 

  ** WMUR News, Channel 9, New Hampshire

Standard
Encouragement, Life's Journey

Storms

It is now shortly after 4:00 a.m. and a STORM is raging outside of the security of my home. 

  • The winds are howling, the thunder clouds clashing, the lightning flashing, the rain assaulting the four walls that provide shelter for myself and my husband.
  • For about an hour now; this Storm has raged on and on.
  • It started with a loud clash of thunder, brilliant lightning and the sound of wind chimes working overtime.
  • Our power has jumped on and off a couple of times.
  • We’ve already had two inches of rain.
  • This Storm is coming in waves; sort of like the tides.
  • It loudly announces it’s presence, after a while it seems to silently fade away only to return again with more force.

Many times I sleep through a Storm in the night, but this one said; “not tonight, I have things to say to you.” 

  • It spoke of the security of my home….of my life, and of Storms passed.
  • I was reminded, again, of a Stormy night many years ago when I thought my heart would literally break in two….a night I might not even survive.

This Storm of nature, just like the Storms that come into our lives, arrived on the heels of a good day, a day of blessings. 

  • When we’re on the mountain top, we must be aware that the trip down can bring us into a valley.
  • Storms can do that.
  • They effect our lives for the good, and if we let it we will be influenced for the worst.
  • The out come is determined by our personal perspective.
  • Will you let your spirit drown in the Storm, or will you rise above it?
  • Your times and choices are in your hands.

This Storm reminded me of something I observed one time as I was making a drive up into the Rocky Mountains. 

  • Before our destination was reached a strong Storm erupted.
  • We hadn’t been in the rain very long when I noticed a corral with about eight horses in it.
  • What caught my attention was the fact all of these horses were tightly huddled together in one corner of the pen and every one of them had their noses pointed in the same direction.
  • This group of horses were all facing directly into the wind….they were all turned into the Storm.

That’s what a ship at sea will do…..turn into a Storm.

  • The bow of a ship is designed to cut through the waves, to give it more strength.
  • The strong forces of the waves are more easily dispersed along the sides of the ship.
  • When the stern faces a Storm the craft itself is more exposed and may take a damaging blow to itself and makes all who occupy it more venerable to harm.
  • We too have more strength when we choose to turn and stand in the face of the Storms that come into our lives.

Sometimes, as with the Storm outside of my home tonight, we have a warning of it’s approach. 

  • Yesterday the air was hot and heavy….you knew something was going to break in order to clear things out.
  • But, at other times, we are hit with a Storm we were not expecting and possibly not prepared for.
  • It can come from an unexpected phone call or just about any other avenue that you have experienced.

Tonight’s Storm told me “I was safe and secure, that I had nothing to fear. My home and my life has a strong foundation. All this uproar will pass. Tomorrow will come. The air will be fresher and the sun will once more make an appearance. There will be more Storms to come, but you have grown in strength with each one that crosses your life. You can make it through the Storms of tomorrow because you depended upon ME to make it through the Storms of yesterday.”  In Scripture there is a well known account of a Storm. 

  • I have applied this story many times to my life experiences, and shared it with others when they were in the midst of their Storms.
  • As Jesus and His disciples were on the sea, a great Storm raged.
  • Most of the time the emphasis of this account is on Jesus sleeping, His disciples’ fear, Him calling for peace and calming the Storm.
  • What encourages me is the beginning of this story.
  • In Mark 4:35 Jesus has a journey to make to the other side of the sea.
  • He says to his followers: “Let US go to the other side.” 
  • In Matthew 8:23 the Word says “When He entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him.” 

Take time to reflect on this:

  • He knew there would be a Storm.
  • He entered the boat first.
  • He was with the disciples (US).
  • There was a purpose to be fulfilled across the sea and He knew that all would arrive safely.
  • If you have a personal relationship with the Savior, you can depend upon the fact that He is with you in your Storms.

Last night’s Storm is now over. 

  • The air is cool, clean and fresh.
  • As you read these words, know that you too can have a freshness and renewal in your life.
  • If you would like to know more about surviving and growing through the Storms, please thoughtfully read my blog of this past February entitled “OPPORTUNITIES.”

“In fierce storms,” said an old seaman,

“we must do one thing; there is only one way:

we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there.”

(Streams in the Desert)

Standard