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Being Kind May Be the Most Important Thing You Do Today

You may have heard this story before but read it today with an open heart and open mind toward being the person who makes a difference in someone’s life…and your own.

A NYC taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly..

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now’.
 We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one

Unknown Author

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Love the Season You Are In

Do you sometimes wonder what life will be like for you in one year from today, or five years, or ten years? If you are in your 50’s , you may have heard people, who are older than you say, “It’s all down hill from your 50’s.” I don’t know about you, but that is something that concerns me. The reality of life and what could be ahead creates a certain urgency in my heart. My greatest fear is to live a life of unfulfilled dreams. I beat myself up for not doing something everyday toward being all I can be.

I realize that this mindset is not healthy. The most important thing in life is to know God and care for others. I believe I am successful in this most important task. I strive to know God better everyday and I show love and empathy to others. I am realizing that this is where my fulfillment should come from, not from a job or education or how much money I can make. My fulfillment should come from becoming the person God created me to be inside. Yet it is difficult when my life is at a stand-still and I feel as though I am not moving forward. I know there are some of you that are feeling this same way , especially right now as we are all faced with uncertainty and change.

I am reminded about what Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says:

” For everything there is a season , a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to harvest, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to give away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Each season of life has a purpose. I am learning to be content in the season I am in right now and make the best of it. If you are in a slower season of life, take time to reflect and time to rest. Take time to listen to God, others, and your own spirit. Be thankful for this time of refreshing, because just as the winter turns to spring, your life will blossom and produce beautiful fruit in your next season. If it wasn’t for the time of renewing your spirit, you might not have the energy needed to do what the “spring” season requires.

If you are in the busy season right now, be as productive as you can be. Make the best of every opportunity to make a difference, to move forward, take chances, and do your best in all you do. Stay strong, don’t give up, and know this season will end and there is a season of rest ahead.

So love the season you are in knowing that there is new exciting season coming

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Be Bold.. Be a Compass

No traveling allowed ! No camping allowed ! Anyone else going through withdrawals? As some of you know, my husband, Doug and I make it a priority to travel about every 2-3 months. We take anywhere from three days to two weeks off to explore and be in nature. We love to tent camp. It gives us a way to be a part of our beautiful surroundings.

Camping and traveling are not only fun past time activities for us. We consider them an avenue for our ministry. Before we leave on an adventure, we pray that God brings across our path people who need encouragement or prayer. We also ask that we meet people who will encourage and pray for us. Doug possesses the God-given boldness to approach complete strangers and strike up a conversation. Sometimes the conversation leads to prayer and sometimes its just good ole conversation. We have been blessed to meet some amazing people and experience some inspiring stories throughout our travels. Below is one story that still brings me to tears when I think about it.

It was late in the afternoon on a cloudy October day as we drove into the familiar town. We were at the end of a six hour drive to the cozy mountain house where we have stayed many times before. We stopped in town to get groceries and continued on our way. Doug saw a sign for an estate sale and wanted to stop. I protested. We were only three miles from the house and I just wanted to get there. We turned onto the road where the sign pointed and parked at the top of the steep driveway. At the bottom of the driveway was a small house. The yard was full of household goods, tools, children’s toys and clothes for sale. Inside the house, all the furnishing and appliances were also for sale. A young lady approached us. Soon her and Doug began talking while I browsed. She confided in him that she was going through a difficult time and had to sell everything. Doug told her about when he had been thorough a similar situation. Tears flowed down the young woman’s face. Doug asked her if we could pray together and she agreed. After we prayed, I hugged her and told her she is a daughter of the Almighty God who loves her immensely. I could feel her frail frame melt into mine. Through tears she whispered ” Thank You” as we walked up the driveway towards our car. As we sat in the car, tears flowed down my face and I thanked God for my husband who listens to the leading of the Lord despite my protests. We often wonder what ended up happening with this young woman, but God knows.

Although , I do miss the mountains, the lakes, the waterfalls, the pine trees, and even the squawking birds that wake us up in the morning, I realize that I miss the connection that is created with the people along our travels. I believe that it is not just a coincidence that we cross paths with the people we do and end up going to the places we go. We pray for God’s guidance and He becomes our compass. In turn, we become a compass for others through boldness and humble willingness to be used by God.

So Be Bold…Be a compass toward hope

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A Mother’s Heart

The heart of a mom doesn’t stop caring once her children move out of the home. In fact, at first, it aches even more as she realizes that those sweet faces who she use to see everyday will not be a part of her life in the same way ever again. For so many years, our children depended on us for everything and then gradually, day by day, and moment by moment, we see them building their own life. We experience all kinds of emotions: sadness, joy, pride, worry, and sometimes loss of identity. Our job is done, right!?

Our job as a parent is never over, it just changes. It is now time to take a more passive role. Support them in their endeavors, be a listening ear, give advise when asked and most of all, pray for them. As a parent , our tendency is to rescue our children so that they will not suffer any pain or heartache, but part of the process of building maturity is for them to learn how to emotionally and mentally deal with situations on their own. When parents rescue their children, they are robbing them of the essential confidence and character that is needed to handle future problems. So as hard as it is sometimes , we parents must also go through a learning processalso. Learning to let go. Allowing our children to make mistakes. Then watching them soar. Be proud of yourself and embrace this new role.

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate motherhood, but for some people Mother’s Day can be a time of heartache. Maybe your mom or your child is not with you either through distance or through death, maybe you are estranged from your child and there is an ache for their love, or maybe you were never able to have children. If there is a void in your heart this Mother’s Day, acknowledge your feelings. Express these feelings through tears, writing in a journal, doing something in your loved one’s memory, or saying a special prayer. Think good thoughts, cherish memories, smile, and let your heart be light. Allow the peace of God to overwhelm you. My heart goes out to those whose hearts are hurting this Mother’s Day for what ever reason. Let us all remember to lift these women up through compassion and in our thoughts and prayers.

A mother’s heart loves forever and likes for always

Quoted from the book” Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch- Great book to read about a mother’s love

Image result for Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Make sure to have tissue
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Focus on Focusing

Maybe it is just me, but does anyone else feel scatterbrained these days. I go to start a task and get distracted by something on my phone, or I start daydreaming. Am I a victim of too much time on my hands or just an unstructured life? I believe I am suffering from a lack of focus. I also have a problem with procrastination so I put off things that I should do to do things that I want to do, then I don’t finish either task. Yes, that sounds confusing. That is how it has sounded in my brain for the last month.

I realize that I am more productive when I have a plan to focus on for my day. I give myself a little time in the morning to sit, have coffee, and eat breakfast while watching a morning devotional show on You Tube called Above Inspiration. Then I get DRESSED. I realized that when I stay in my PJs, I do not feel as motivated to get going. Taking a shower helps to get the blood circulated. Then I sit at the kitchen table and write out my plan for the day.

I write down even my smallest tasks such as water the plants or check the mail. I focus on the most important tasks first and then include the want-to -do tasks at the end. I am able to check off the tasks as they are completed and those that I didn’t complete I can add to tomorrow’s list. Doing this gives me a sense of accomplishment. I am realizing , like many of you , how easy it is to waste my day away by allowing myself to get lazy and distracted. Many of us are use to getting up for work and leaving the house. We are able to stay focused on our jobs, but staying focused while staying at home everyday takes a whole new mind set. It takes developing and utilizing the discipline of “focus” while in your new situation. I don’t make a list everyday. Sometimes I will just do what I want to do, but for those days when I need some structure in my life in order to be productive, I practice focusing on the task at hand without being distracted, and ,yes, it all begins with a list.

Develop the discipline of focusing on focusing

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Who You Are Matters

During times like these when everything feels a little “wonky”, it is sometimes hard to feel like what you do on a daily basis really matters. You get up in the morning, fix breakfast, clean the house, start a project, work from home, teach your children, make lunch , make dinner and clean again. Then the next day you do everything all over again because the house is dirty again, and everyone in your household has needs…again. You miss the days of being able to get together with family and friends, going away for the weekend, sitting in a pew worshiping with other church members, or just going to your favorite clothes store to buy a new outfit. The things that use to bring you joy throughout your days of mundane tasks seem to have faded away.

Despite all the changes in your world, YOU are still YOU. Your heart, your passion for life, your laugh, and all the aspects of who you were two months ago are still in you. It look a lifetime to develop and mold you into the person you are today. Don’t allow these few months to diminish the amazing person God has created you to be. Take this opportunity to stretch yourself and discover new ways of creating a sense of release for your soul.

Remember that even though you may feel what you do doesn’t matter, the people around you get through their day because of what you do. When you clean your house, wiping down surfaces, do the laundry, and make meals you are creating an environment where your family can stay healthy and safe. When you teach your children , you are relaying the message that you support them in their education and in who God created them to be. When you talk to your family about uplifting stories instead of complaining, you are creating a sense of security and strength. Children need your strength to help settle their thoughts and calm their fears. When you smile at others , you project positivity in a world where negativity is all around. Your world needs you to be YOU.

No one else can make a difference in the world exactly the way you can so don’t miss your opportunity

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Impress Yourself

Are you waiting? Waiting for your big opportunity? Waiting to get that perfect job? Waiting to meet that perfect person? Waiting for your life to regain traction? It is easy to get into a “funk” while waiting. It is easy to sit around and mindlessly watch T.V. I know because I am guilty too.

One thing that I found that helps me be patient while I am waiting is learning something new. YouTube has so many channels where you can learn how to do practically anything. For example, my husband Doug and I have been talking about turning our vacation videos and photos into inspirational videos with songs and scripture. I looked up how to start a YouTube channel on YouTube. It is easier than I thought. Then I looked up video editing programs on the internet. It took some time to find one that I felt comfortable with and suited what I needed but after I played around with creating a video, it was fun. So now I am in the process of creating videos, so when we start our YouTube channel, I will have lots of videos already to post. The videos are turning out really good. I actually impressed myself.

Another project I started was wire wrapping stones and agates. When Doug and I are on vacation, we collect stones and agates mainly from different beaches along our travels. Yes, we are becoming “Rock Hounds.” I bought a rock tumbler ( which I always thought was just for kids), and we tumbled rocks to make them smooth and bring out the colors. Then again I went on YouTube and looked up how to wire wrap the rocks to make jewelry. I bought the wire and tools (cost around $40) and started practicing while I watched TV in the evening. I gave my first completed necklace to my sister for her birthday and she really liked it. Again, I impressed myself.

I don’t tell you these things to brag, not at all. I still have a lot to learn. I mention these two projects to encourage you to not waste this time of waiting. Think about something you have always wanted to do. What do you have a passion for? Maybe you have wanted to learn a new language or how to quilt or crochet ? Maybe there is something in your house that needs repair. There are DIY videos on YouTube and other places throughout the internet. If you can’t think of anything, just browse YouTube. You can search a subject and watch all kinds of videos on that subject. Just remember these people are not experts on what they are doing their video on but they usually have experience and knowledge about the subject. Most importantly, get up off the couch. Push the funk away and get busy doing something.

Knowledge is king. Once you learn something, that knowledge can not be taken away. Learning enhances your skills set, exercises your brain, and boosts your confidence. It makes you feel good.

So go ahead…. Impress Yourself!

I will soon post a link to our new YouTube channel when I get it up and going. I would love your feedback once you view it. As always, thank you for reading my blog.