It is the circle and changing of the seasons that keeps me located in the upper Midwest. The brilliant greens and coming alive of all the flowers each spring are so refreshing. They call us outside to hear the returning birds and see the budding vegetation. It is truly a time of awakening for birds, rabbits, and people. Add in, the liturgical changes with the season of Lent and Easter time; these increase the lively desires to improve our health. Spring adds great joy to our lives!
Then comes the awesomeness of summer and fall. No extra foot coverings like boots to wear or coats to lug around when the temperatures rise to the 70’s. The plants and fresh vegetables call us to eat better and more wholesome foods. Our gardens thrive on the rains and warm sunny days. We tend to gather with one another. We walk more and have outside picnics. We share our vegetables and come out of the cocoons we have tucked ourselves in!
By Fall, the colors are so rich in warm golden tones, oranges, and crisp brown leaves. The crunchiness under our feet and the falling acorns send squirrels fetching food for the long season ahead. The days may be warm, but the afternoons call us to put on coats and head gear! The circle of change is becoming apparent as we bring in the plantings that are too tend to embrace the cold nights.
Which takes us to this time of year. Yes, we are now in the season of Winter. Winter officially started yesterday. The chilly damp air, the bouts of snow, sleet, and fog dominate the news. We are rearranging our schedules to accommodate safety issues like traveling and/or avoiding to slip outside. We add moisture to our homes to protect ourselves from bloody noses and dry throats. We celebrate many holidays with one another. That means gatherings, where we share traditional foods, cultural kindnesses, and colorful decorations. We listen to each others stories and give one another meaningful gifts. Often they are gifts of love and time. We listen to musical sounds. There are bells from the local churches, songs on the radio, and hymns sung around the house. We decorate our homes and offices, bake, call one another, and shop till we drop!
It all comes full circle like this outdoor wreath. May you enjoy this time with loved ones and later enjoy the new books you may have received. Relish in the quiet moments after the long days and the year comes to an end. Don’t forget to call your friends and stay in touch. Those are the moments that make life worthwhile. May these minor moments grace you with Mini Miracles. May the one phone call or visit put you on the escalator of a new friendship. Relationships are the cornerstones of life.
Bring Color to Your Life.
The colors in nature are often the best to ignite us with hope and joy. The dress designers look to the greens, blues, reds, violets, and earth colors for rich palettes. We look to the horizon for life giving and often calming blues. Our senses take in the warm tones from the sun and elevate our spirits so we can soar and grow.
It has always enriched me when the leaves of trees begin to fall. Suddenly they call my name. As a child, I would gather the leaves and press them in the pages of our telephone books. Weeks later they would be flattened and ready to use for cards or to press between wax paper for temporary place mats. To this day, the falling leaves open up the opportunity to dress in flannels and warm cottons as we usher in the winter days.
As a designers helper, the rainbow of colors upon the earth, help us decorate our homes. We are very lucky to have a variegated pattern of many textures from nature as well. The smoothness from bark or the clay earth. We get the gritty look from the dirt and ferns. There is the rippled effect from water or slippery look from ice. How fortunate we are to collect these hues from our environment and to duplicate them into our lives.
So bring for the colors of your world and put them into practice. They will elevate your spirit and help those who look at you to feel elevated too. Blessings for your day. Be passionate this week and dress in red. You’ll be glad you did!
Thankful for Minor Moments
I am truly thankful for minor moments of grace and I am going to share them with you now. Today I tried a new gas station because the ‘price was right.’ The man in charge greeted me and answered a few questions. I was in and out in minutes. I saved money and the car is set for the week.
I ran into Sam’s Club for fruits and vegetables. Used the self check and a clerk volunteered to help me. Bingo, I was done in a few minutes, rolled the cart across the parking lot, loaded the car and took off.
Next I stopped at the local Post Office. The parking lot was empty. Only one other car with mine. What? I walked in and saw the other person at the mail drop so I walked in and asked the clerk if they were open. He answered, “Oh yes, just no one if here.” Wow, usually the line is out the door, so I was able to mail two out-of-town packages! Even bought some stamps.
Praise God, these seemingly unusual gifts of ease in getting chores done were such a blessing to me. I got to the office and since time was on my side, I pulled out the Christmas decorations and set up the tree. I felt an excitement to get it all completely finished. It was only 9:45 am and I was able to proceed with the scheduled appointments.
I made a call to check on an order of CD’s I had placed 3 weeks ago. The man saw the order on his side and said they had a glitch. He apologized refunded the payment and then gave me a lesser price on the cost of the items. Wow, now that’s service!
In addition to being thankful for family and friends, I treasure having a home and business, and times like this morning! I don’t think these things are random, rather a gift from God. I hope you have some of these random moments of joy that pop up for you. I think they exist and often we don’t recognize them!
Blessings to all as you go into the Holiday Season. May you have many good times peppered into your days!
Will it may sound rather odd to enjoy visiting a cemetery, there can be great peace there. I guess for me it began as a child. We often would go to visit the graves of family members and place flowers at the sites. I always thought it was neat to see my mom and dad lug the flowers from the car along with their garden tools. We’d walk along and read the inscriptions on the tombs and notice the decorations. There was a sense of pride in taking of the graves and a time for silent prayer. We’d learn funny or kindnesses about the people buried there. I think it gave us an identity of sorts.
When it came to learning to drive, Dad would take us to the Cemetery where my grandparents are buried. We’d practice making turns, backing up between garbage barrels, and driving around. I don’t live in that area anymore, but I still recall the layout of the cemetery in my head.
When we have a physical death in our families, it is a time of loss for sure. The person we are parting from has moved on and we are left alone. There is an emptiness and unrest for those of us who have to carry on all the business and decisions alone. We are often surrounded by our family or friends, but the person who has died can no longer share in decisions, conversations, or memories. That is the hardest part.
The finality and loss of the person influencing our life becomes so real as time goes forward. Knowing we will all die at some point keeps us kind, open, and sympathetic to one another. We offer our respects, we remember those who pass in prayer, and hopefully we reach out to those grieving with invitations and kindness.
As we approach the Holidays, think about those who are alone and how you can reach out to them. How can you be a source of comfort? How can a simple gesture or action bring out the best in you and the joy in another person?
One simple step can put you on the escalator of success in helping others go forward and heal from a loss. Please take that step forward. You will be glad you did and the person who receives the kindness will have a good day.
Losses leave us broken and feeling detached from everything. We grabble to make sense of it all, as our minds are invaded from memories, songs we once held dear, and guilty feelings of what we did or didn’t say. We try picking up the pieces and they seem to crumble in our attempt to do so.
When my mother died two days after Thanksgiving, I was consumed with sadness. Not only was I feeling empty inside, but desperately looking for the right words to tell my dad. He was at home, but unable to do very much on his own. He had suffered a stroke a few years before and it didn’t take much to bring him down.
Here I am some 35 years later and still I can feel the grief. Little did I know how close I was to losing my father too. 90 days later I was arranging for his funeral. He was literally broken hearted and wanted to be with her.
If you have lost a loved one, you know how suddenly your clarity and vision are clouded. So I share these ideas as we move into the Holiday Season. Grief traps us now more than at any time, because the holidays are meant to be happy. Somehow the grief consumes us and locks out the permission to be joyful. Even after one gets past the “it isn’t fair” syndrome, our emotional balance is unsteady. Picking up the pieces is like a puzzle that takes time.
Over the years, I began to focus on the beautiful loving things my mother did for us. She patiently wrapped each Christmas gift with tissue paper and added holly to the curling ribbon bows. I only wish I had someone to walk through this journey with me to help me recognize these better times. I wanted so to relish in the beauty and show my respect to her, but I didn’t know how.
For all our loved ones who have died, maybe this is the ideal time–“the holiday season, that is,” to pass on some of their characteristics, their stories, and their attitudes to the next generation. Feeling the feelings and moving them aside in their honor is a good thing.
Listen in the coming week to our podcast, as Kate and I share our ideas to “Self Care during the Holidays.” Enjoy the week and have a Blessed day!
Welcome to a short, but “jam-packed” episode on How to Live Life Fully. To bring anything into your life, Richard Bach says that we need to imagine that’s it is already there! Every step of our lives is a journey and keeps on changing. In this episode of Mini Miracles from Minor Moments, Linda discusses a few ideas that you might want to journal on this week. Maybe these are things that you want to imagine are already there.
“If you’re like me, you have a pretty busy schedule. It is a schedule that has a time frame revolving around work, appointments, deliveries, and sleeping.” Linda shares about how sleep is the first thing to be sacrificed when she has a lot on her plate for the day! Sleep is that important commodity to be removed and replaced by other priorities.
Our daily obligations and commitments to others can be a great source of enjoyment. Today’s short story is tucked into a 3 hour window. Linda spends time with an older Granddaughter that she realizes couldn’t have been spent in any better way. It is the unexpected visit in this daily moment that one feels so invigorating. She was thankful to encounter this brief time in her day. This spontaneous visit was indeed one of those remarkable times. It was nothing special, but yet it was so important in being close to those we love.
Welcome to this weeks Podcasts on Resilience and being encouraged to heal. We all need support from one another. Often it is the trying times that come out of nowhere, like natural disasters, that remind us of that. Healing and trying to move forward is hard. Daily issues are hard enough, but the major things put fear into us and paralyze us. Those moments of being frozen and unable to progress calls for the reinforcements of other people.
God has given us all so many wonderful talents and opportunities to use our gifts. We need to share them. Linda quotes Mel Robbins from one of her recent talks. “If you have a problem that can be solved with action, you don’t have a problem!”
So this weeks Podcast “Resilience” hopefully will help you to take action and resolve your current problem. Our yard was in complete chaos this week as we had word done to break down and remove a waterfall that was in place for over 40 years. It was built with rebars, mesh, and concrete. Along with many boulders, the pond was dismantled and removed. Today you would not recognize the spot or the gardens around it.
As it progressed, I kept thinking of all the rebuilding that goes on constantly around the world. We all contribute to enhancing our world or making it a better place. Enjoy this short podcast and blessings for resilience!
Peace for you day and have a great one.
It has passed my mind several times in the last month that solutions come together when many people are affected. As a child, I watched my mom suffer from Lupus. She was vigilant about keeping connected with the skin doctor, monitoring herself, and taking time to rest each afternoon. She would say she was a guinea pig during the war to find solutions. Unfortunately some of the trials used on her actually did harm. I used to say that when someone famous had the disease, more research would be done to help find solutions. In the last 35 years since she died, I have seen more attention brought to this disease, although I am not sure there has been enough to temper the disease.
Well with the many weather related problems like hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires, people rally around. People come together from other parts of the country to find remedies. Yesterday trucks from Com Ed were lined up from Illinois to go to the Florida area to help restore downed lines and help in restoring power. Many homes were effected by the horrific winds and damage due to Irma so the help will be good. The solution to many problems is in keeping connected.
On a humanitarian level, people are still helping send relief to the Houston, Texas area. Financial and material items certainly help to replace and rebuild homes & businesses, but the post traumatic stress on individuals will be significant. People deserve and will need attention long after the environment improves. These natural disasters have long term impacts on the pocketbook and patience, but natural disasters can also affect people for longer periods of time. We need to keep building relationships and contributing whatever we can to help one another. The smallest kindness can do so much. Listening to others share their stories is essential.
On the West Coast we are hearing of fires. I have a cousin in Oregon who told me last week they are still using masks, because of the air quality. With so many parts of the United States having problems, it is hard to know where to place your attention. The Power of Prayer helps us connect with others. It may seem like nothing is being done, when in fact we are sharing our passion and love for one another.
I have been involved in the online program called the Power of You with Mel Robbins. The group joins together on Facebook and supports one another as they proceed forward using Mel’s 5 Second Rule. (https://melrobbins.com/5-second-rule/) Staying connected with people who understand the principle she teaches has been empowering. I much rather be using a group like this rather than one created due to catastrophe. That is another reason that books and book studies are so good. They connect us and help us sort through our thinking.
The idea of being connected and unified is key to resolution. Scientists share their findings, teachers share their methods of teaching, and circumstances bind us together. Let us all use the greatest wireless connection there is, namely prayer to support and love one another. Have a great day and don’t forget to reach out to others. Begin with a smile!
Being the week before Mother’s Day I began to think of all the things my mother did and gave up for me. Her time to prepare my clothing, to set an example of how to be in relationship, and of course teaching me to learn the rules of how to be safe. She was with me most of the time when I was a toddler and in my formative years, because my dad had a late night shift with the United States Post Office in the City of Chicago. He would sleep mornings, run a few errands for my mom since she did not drive, and he’d be gone for the afternoon and evening. Mother liked being a homemaker and she took her job seriously. She was always cooking, cleaning, sewing, and walking with us.
I was also listening to the radio today and heard that the Bible contains 247 references to the Good Shepherd. That got me thinking about an experience I had in Ireland watching a Shepherd with his sheep. He was quite the caretaker making sure the animals were sheltered, protected in the fields from prey, and rounding them up after eating and exercise. The Good Shepherd is of course Our Lord who is vigilant and present for us at every turn. We go through our day often unaware of His presence just as we are often unaware of the caretakers who have watched over us.
So when did you begin to care for yourself? Were you pretty independent by the age of 21? Are you still in need and appreciative of the shelter from a loved one now? It is often necessary because of finances, health, or circumstances that we are dependent on others at various times in our lives. That isn’t all bad because we are encouraged to rely on one another.
Having fun with one another is essential for good health and to keep a smile on our faces. Welcoming one another back into the fold when circumstances change is also essential. Look around today and reach out to family and friends.
Like the Good Shepherd and our parents, we are called to pass on what we have learned. We are expected to spread joy and love. We need to care for one another and prosper. Be excited for the advancements people make and encourage them. Have a good day! And don’t forget to thank your Mother this weekend. If possible be with her and give back a hug or two. You will be Blessed.
Hang on as we go through this week for more on reaching out to others. “Delight in Living!”
Well I thought this morning was no different from any other. It began with my taking Rosy outside. We usually go out the back door of the garage and while she is meandering around the yard, I check out the house, particularly after blustery weather. Today I had trouble opening the door. It turned out that the sandbox area that is surrounded by railroad ties had flowed into a 6 inch pile behind the door. Apparently the heavy rains had washed it around the railroad ties, blocking the door. So I got out the “kids” toy scoops and began to move the hill of sand. Probably would have been more functional to get a flat shovel and clean it up that way, but I didn’t realize how much sand had shifted; it was substantial. That line in the sand is where the gutters had overflowed. So what has overflowed in your life?
It made me think of all the things that pile up for us to do. The pile of papers that are receipts for Quicken always seem to be just a few, and then voila I have a major chore of putting them into the computer. Or the laundry seems to be just a few things and suddenly I have two loads. How does that happen?
Last night I was adding a few requests to my prayer list and I realize that has grown too. Too many people are sick or hurting. So “tell me something good” is going to be my mantra this week. We all need to refocus and eliminate the many piles we have accumulated. I declare that things are going to improve for all of us in our offices, homes, and cars. We are going to focus and clean things up. Why?
Well to begin with we all want to be successful. We want to succeed with a project or two. We are driven people who want the best for ourselves and all those we love. Life is too short to dwell on the negative. Although admittedly, we do want to still be realistic and acknowledge the pain, grief, and concerns around us. So let’s embrace this week boldly and in a spirit of cleaning up the things we can take care of and think of something good to share!
Here are a few to kick off the week:
- Today I overheard a small child of 2 declare to the world that his grandfather was his! He said, HE IS MINE! Too cute and ever so sweet.
- Then I had a friend text me that she had a new puppy. It is a source of hope and laughter for her.
- As people in the south parts of the United States recover from a tornado, the good news is no one was injured.
- And our family will be united for Mother’s Day in two weeks. Yes, great fun just to be all together and seeing one other!
Hope your week is filled with wonderful things to share. Look for the mini miracles; they are around!