Happy Good Friday?

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He suffered and died on the cross, so that we would be free from death.

The alter was stripped of all it’s adornments last night at the church service.  The choir sang the 22nd Psalm, hauntingly beautiful voices hung in the air.  The lights were dimmed making the usually bright sanctuary feel small and oppressive.  We sat in silence watching the black drape rise to cover the image of Christ.  It is a very somber service.

Tonight we will attend the Good Friday service.  The alter will still be barren.  The lights will still be turned low.  The feeling in the air will still be of sadness. 

Why then should we celebrate?  Because this is not the end.  This is the beginning.  We know He died for us!  We know that His death brings us eternal life!  That in these somber remembrances, our lives are forever changed!

Happy Good Friday!  

Where The Birds Glide

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It is nothing short of a miracle to witness the lightening of a loved one’s soul. You see pain etched on the lines of their face. The light in their eyes is dimmed. Their shoulders carry an invisible weight only they can feel. Then, slowly, gently or sometimes all at once, their burdens dissapate. The shoulders that were drooped, are lifted. Their eyes glimmer with love and mischief like you remember. The lines on their face are softened to better represent the soul you love.

I traveled yesterday to The Holy Family Shrine in Nebraska. This was my second journey to this site. In the early spring this year I ventured there with a tour group. I loved the serenity it inspired in me. I wanted to linger. I desired a sanctuary where my heart could heal. I yearned for peace in my soul, even if it was just little bandages holding it together for a few more months. My overall impression was pure love.

As I stood in the chapel overlooking the Nebraska prairie, watching vehicles dashing back and forth on the six lane interstate, I began reflecting on my own soulful journey to this moment from the last time I stood in this place. I am stronger than I believe, I am the beckoning light for others, I am gracefulness emboldened. I stood a little straighter, glanced to my beloved traveling partner and said a silent prayer for her continued strength. Her inner light is back, full of promise and determination, just like always.

We stood together watching the birds outside, gliding on the blustery winter winds. Hovering, dipping, soaring, twirling, appearing to have no reason for their flight except pure joy. Taking the wind and making a playground for themselves. As I moved out the doors of the chapel, I pulled my coat tighter around me against the gales and glanced back one last time at the feathered campions of our visit, they continued their joyous arial acrobatics, using what they were given for happiness not sorrow.

Travel well my friends.

Manic Monday Morning!

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Are you KIDDING!?!?!?

It was only a 3 hour time period!  I am going back home and crawling back into bed!  This is ridiculous!

Let’s just list it out: (this began at 6:15 am)

  1. Accidentally called my Fiance’ after he texted at o-dark-thirty this morning
  2. My body aches
  3. Stayed up too late
  4. Had to clean snow off my car
  5. “Service Airbag” notice is on in my car
  6. “Low Tire” notice is still on in my car
  7. I am almost out of gas
  8. Running late for an appointment
  9. Dealing with “Senioritis” infected teenager
  10. Dealing with above mentioned teenager’s school
  11. Heard a loud pop while driving, to see the small crack in the windshield is now more than doubled in size, across to the drivers side of my car
  12. Scraped my brand new bumper of my car on the curb
  13. Forgot a necessary work flash drive at home
  14. Forgot the keyboard for my iPad at home

Oh my gosh this is too much for me to handle so early in the morning, especially Monday morning.  It is now 9:15 am.  I feel like I should call for a “do over” like when I was a child, learning a new sport, trying to swing a bat at a tiny white baseball flying at me.

But wait….

Let me look at this list again….

I reached my daily stress level quickly but were those incidents really stressful?  Or will I be better served changing my perspective, just a little?

Here is my blessings list for those same 3 hours:

  1. I was able to wake up to my Fiance’s voice this morning.
  2. My body aches!  I am alive!  I am blessed with a body that still moves.  Although it is difficult sometimes, I now have more knowledge about how I can help relieve my pain.
  3. I had an indulgently fun late night!
  4. I did not have to drive over the weekend while it snowed.  The snow was fluffy and beautiful, which is why I love this season!
  5. My car is smart enough to know something is not right with the airbags that could potentially save my life and my passengers lives if they were ever needed.
  6. My tire is still low but has not gotten any worse which means it is still fixable.  Plus it wasn’t completely flat!  WIN
  7. I have enough fuel to get where I need to go. This afternoon I can fill up the tank in the warm sunshine.
  8. I’m frequently late recently and the world has yet to stop spinning because I couldn’t choose which boots I wanted to wear this morning.  🙂 (let’s not forget having choices in footwear is another wonderful blessing)
  9. My firstborn son is a senior in High School!  I am so proud of every one of his accomplishments! His graduation may be one of his top ten achievements in his lifetime!
  10. I am so blessed to be involved with a school system that is attentive, organized and engaged with my son’s educations.
  11. The crack in my windshield is in the driver’s direct line of sight, which can not be avoided.  I can’t put off the necessary repair now.
  12. I have a new bumper! After years of wear and tear, then the selfless sacrifice of a brave raccoon. The scrape left no visible damage to my bumper and I will be more careful in the future.
  13. I know right where I left my flash drive.  I know the information on it is safe.
  14. The keyboard for the iPad is a luxury and I will manage today.  Plus I can pick it up when I return home to pick up #13.

All of my stress has melted away.  I am ready to tackle the rest of my day.  I only needed to change my perception.  Yes these events happened, but the way I looked at them was my stress, not the actual incident.

Our lives need to refocus on the positive, the bright lights, the blessings, the joy.  Let go of your worry.  Redefine your outlook.  Allow your perception to reflect all the blessings in your world.  Share your joy with others.  Your joy may be the light to someone else’s Manic Monday!

Travel well my friends!

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Find your calm.  Let the winds of chaos settle into calm breezes!

Thankful Joy

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It is Veteran’s Day here in the USA.  It is a day to remember all who served in our military and all who lost their lives.  Some look on this day as somber.  A day to morn all we have lost when it comes to, sometimes senseless, violence.  It is not easy to lose someone you love.  It is heart wrenching to see a friend, a family member or a mentor suffer.  Their struggles can be intense.  The lives and security of millions were resting on their shoulders at one time or another.  I cannot pretend to understand. All I can say is thank you.  From the bottom of my heart thank you.  For the freedoms you fought for, for the time in your life you dedicated, for the commitment you gave to strangers, I thank you.  This is a day of thankfulness and joy.  Joy that someone I love, cared enough to love unknown people and serve this nation I call home.

A beautiful day of remembrances around the world. Let us never forget the sacrifices made by our loved ones and yet, let us live joyfully in honor of their service, both in the past and present.

Thank you!

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Thankfulness

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Thankfulness fills my heart.  I am not just looking at my world but I am seeing my world. An oppressive fog has lifted like a veil gently pulled back from a bride’s face.  Joy infuses with the light shining down on my face.  Love seeps into every nuance of a smile, frown, laugh and tear. Let your heart be light.  Let simple joys give you a thankful peace that embraces your life!

Travel well my friends!

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Surround Yourself

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Whatever it is that makes you whole, surround yourself.  Whatever it is that lifts you up, surround yourself.  Whatever it is that drives you to be better, surround yourself.

For it is not in the world that defines us. It is inside us that defines who we are and what we become.  We are challenged to be more than what we were yesterday.  We are inspired to be more than what we were.  We are created to be us, the very best us we can be.  Do not dwell on the negative, the hurt or the fear in your life.  Brush those things aside and be…more!

Surround yourself with love and love will surround you all of your days.

Smile

Put a smile on your face and feel it in your soul!

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The smile you wear is not for the outside world, although they enjoy it.  Your smile is for you!  It is impossible to genuinely smile and retain sadness or anger.  The joy your body resonates when you are smiling will carry you through your day.  It helps you to see the positive in your activities.  The traffic jam feels less irritating, the negative co-worker is more tolerable, and everyone will wonder what on earth you are smiling about!  Smiles are contagious, the kind of contagious you want to be infected with.  So put your smile on your face, embrace the world and have a happy day!

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Joy

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My heart knows no bounds.  The love, pride and joy I feel can not be hidden.  The joy that seeps into my heart, penetrates my soul like the warm sunshine on my face.  Being prepared or organized can only take you so far.  The passion, enthusiasm, determination, and desire, propel you to the culmination of success.  My joy knows no bounds.  From the far distanced support of friends and family to the ones standing lovingly by my side, thank you.  My joy that is stemming from success can not say thank you enough.  My happiness transcends any doubt and fear.   Be joyful in all you do. 

Travel well my friends.

Purchasing Memories

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My life has been filled with highs and lows, like most lives, I am sure.  I have experienced the joy of horseback riding at dawn, cold spring water on my naked toes, my children’s radiant smiles, candlelit Christmas Eve services, so many moments of pure happiness.  I have endured times of great sorrow that darken my heart and leave me feeling empty.  When I think back on the life I have lived I am grateful for all of the highs and lows.

I recently have been pondering what defines my happiness.  I will think on the joyous times in my life, wondering how I was so lucky to have been blessed with such bliss.  Remembering events and occasions that put a smile on my face.  Everything, from watching a serene moonrise in the country to the births of my sons.  Joy I couldn’t duplicate if I tried.  Don’t get me wrong I am not a happy-go-lucky all the time kind of gal.  In fact, I sometimes struggle with my own personal positivity, trying to remain happy.  I have been looking back at my short existence on this planet, thinking what things help me to be happy. 

I have never thought to put a price tag on happiness.  I believe your monetary status does not define how happy you are or are not.  Yet, if I want to be perfectly honest with myself, it does.  I am not interested in buying the latest gadget or fancy vase for my home.  I do not acquire stuff just to fill the void of sadness.  I do however know many of my happy memories were purchased.  The value of a tank of gas, and a tent.  The reliable car to put the tent and gas in.  The financial ability to purchase food, a map, and incidentals for a weekend road trip.  A weekend away with the man I love creating our own memories required money. Even if the monetary contribution is minimal it is still required to some extent.  Why haven’t I traveled to every corner of the world?  Not enough money.

My memories of happiness are not returnable.  I have purchased them.  They are mine.  Money did not always purchase them because my happiness is strictly dependent on my attitude.  Money helped to purchase situations and events, so in a way I purchased memories. 

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