A Million Reasons to Stay

Inspiration from Lady Gaga’s Song, A Million Reasons
If you can, listen to this song!

 

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An anniversary card my husband gave me a few years ago.

 

This song touches my heart and seeps into my very core. It seems that it’s about a failing relationship and that she is about to walk away but needs one good reason to stay. When listening to it a few weeks ago, I had an inspiration. From an opposite perspective, I thought of a million reasons to stay.

 

 

 

 

I stay in my marriage for a million reasons, too many to count. That doesn’t mean that our union is perfect by any means. Just because I always post positive aspects, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have shortcomings or miscommunications, LIKE ANY MARRIAGE. I simply choose to focus on the good and anything that needs to be worked on is our business. Any marital relations that are aired on Facebook or the media doesn’t aid the situation but may make it worse. I suggest that if you want a healthy marriage don’t tell others details about your issues. It’s no ones business and that may complicate things.

 

 

 

 

 

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A snapshot of Tom and I in Florida. 

 

 

 
My man is a hardworking fella, someone who would take his shirt off his back to clothe you. He means well with everything he does and thinks of others when he acts and speaks. Tom is a great reason to see all the good in the world. Sometimes good has a quiet voice and we all have to listen intently for that. Just because he has a soft nature and doesn’t scream from the mountain tops, doesn’t mean anything. It means that he has class and kindness and I look up to him for that.

 

 
I stay here for a million reasons, one of them being that I chose this road. Like many, I married out of choice and chose love, commitment, and family. I vowed to support Tom through whatever we go through and sometimes spouses need to be reminded of that vow. No one said that marriage would be a piece of cake and easy as heck, but it’s promised that whatever energy you invest into it, you’ll get the same results.

 

 

 

I have a million reasons to stay…friendship, kindness, laughter, so many little and precious things that have enriched my life. I wish that others would focus on the good in their marriages and build it up instead of tearing it down. If couples would work on their relationships and stick together, they would see many rewards in the end. Obviously not every marriage can be saved and some spend years trying to change his or her spouse when it’s not going to happen. If you are in it for the long haul, I believe the key is to accept your spouse’s shortcomings because we all have them. Focus on the good and if it’s meant to be, it will steer you in the right direction.

 

 
Do you stay for a million reasons?

 
Hello readers! We are presently on our way back from a wonderful and special trip to Florida. Give me a few days and I’ll share our adventures with you. Thanks for stopping by and God Bless you all.

 
All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

Happy Easter

 

Happy Easter! 

 I’ll be busy hosting a little family gathering for the holiday and wanted to wish you all a joyous day tomorrow!

He is risen!

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One of my favorite photos of a sunset! This is in our former yard where sunsets were an everyday blessing. Sunsets remind me of God’s blessings.

 How grateful I am that He is and that I am building a relationship with God and trusting him on my personal journey!

Sending blessings and love to you all!

God Bless you.

Heart and Soul

 

 

 

Letters to God: The Movie

My husband and I watched a really great family movie recently, Letters to God. It was based on a true story about a little boy who fought brain cancer and the fight he and his family battled. The message in the story is all about faith through a pouring of prayers to the Lord. I feel that it’s fitting because it will be Easter tomorrow.

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Taken from Movieguide.org

Tyler had a habit of writing letters to God. These little prayers scrawled on a notepad and with a stubby pencil were this boy’s mission. He wrote of his sickness but mostly of his thoughts and prayers for his loved ones; his mom, his best friend and her grandfather.   The boy would hand his stamped envelopes to the mail carrier, who was a new man on the route. His puzzled looks kept me wondering about what he would do with them.

Taken from YouTubemaxresdefault

It turns out that God had placed this particular man on this route because he needed help. You see, he drank too much and had made a devastating mistake in his past. If anyone needed God’s interventions and his presence, it was Brody, the mailman.

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Taken from Christiancinema.com

I won’t tell too much more about the movie because seeing it would be better. I strongly encourage you to soak up all the good in this movie, despite the childhood cancer and sickness. There are lovely pressing lessons about faith, renewal of life , forgiving yourself and second chances. It reveals the strength found in a little meek boy and his mom, who feels like she can’t do it anymore but shows up anyway. God gave her the precious gift of mothering and nursing this child. He gives her the strength to continue the fight for her son.

 

 

The flick touched us and started up a meaningful conversation about God’s plan in our lives. After the movie, I talked with my husband about how God has a unique plan for us and will strategically place all of us in the path of others for good and to help those people as well. Once you see paths intertwine for a reason, you’ll know deep in your heart that He hand picked and placed those people there with intentions to heal, disperse love and kindness.

 

 

Did you know that you can write to God? Why not? I have a little notebook that I jot down my prayers in. I note people in my life who need prayers. They may be family, friends,  co- workers, acquaintances or people I don’t know but are in need. I don’t do it everyday but a few times a week and this is a supplement to my spoken prayers that I murmur at day or night. It takes my faith a step further, a pen pal who will answer in mysterious and exciting ways!

 

 

This movie inspired me even more to live the way Jesus would and to try to make a difference in people’s lives. No matter how small a token, it may affect in a monumental way. I’m working on trusting Him more everyday and giving up needed control of my life. I hope that you will watch the movie and think about this post.

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Being Rich

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As an adult I’ve never cared about having money or in our case, the lack of. I do like to keep our bills paid and have emergency money if we ever needed it. But beyond that, Tom and I feel rich in other ways. We both would give things away before we sold them for top dollar. We are plain simple people, with no agenda, airs about us or greed for money.

 

 

 

Our wealth securely lies in our marriage, a family we both hold dear to our heart and our jobs that we are so blessed with.We are rich in health and with a few exceptions.  All these things are priceless without any doubt. I know that many people wish for all these precious things all their life and never obtain them and that makes it even more special.

 

 

 

There was a brief time that we got hooked, though. Do you remember the Megabucks last year when it hit a billion cash prize? In our area there was a frenzy and buzz around town about pooling money, buying tickets and racing to convenience stores to hopefully buy the life changer. We sat at the dinner table and played out our dreams. We would definitely make sure our sons would be all set in life, share with family ( although this is a tough decision because where would you draw the line?), go on vacations more often, continue renovating our house and maybe hire contractors to finish it so Tom could rest.

 

 

 

Throughout all this money planning and dreaming, my humble thoughts transformed into ones I didn’t recognize! What if we won, we asked, unlike any spoken words we’ve ever given breath to. A twinge of greed consumed me for a few days and I had to give it to the Lord to rid it for me. The drawing came and went. We didn’t even stay up to check but went to bed like anxious and excited children at Christmas time.

 

 

 

In the morning the dream fizzled and we plunged back into reality…without a big lump of money that would take care of us for life. But I’m truly relieved that we didn’t win, for we have richness in love and family and money can’t buy that! I believe deeply in my heart that God answered my prayer and the result was that we lost.  It’s nice to pay the bills and have a cushion to lay back on, but money causes many problems, feuds, resentments and brings out the worse in people. I don’t want to jump into that chaotic world where we could transform into strangers and not truly be ourselves.

 

 

 

Now we don’t play the lottery except for  a few scratch tickets on New Year’s Eve for fun. We’ll  keep it lighthearted and continue to bask in this terrific simple life! Money is okay to have but not a necessity for us. 

 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

Most Days

Most days I breathe with positive intentions

and think optimistically …

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I have a few books from Norman Vincent Peale about positive thinking. This picture was taken from GratitudeHabitat.com

Most days I feel peace in my heart

and want others to feel it just as deep

I am quiet but loud

quiet in reflection but loud in thoughts

Most days I long for affection in small ways

A hug, a held hand or a warm friendly smile

Most days I love with acceptance and unconditionally

 I hear people out and sympathize

Most days I love life and it’s simple offerings

 I mostly see subtle signs of tranquility 

 I give my very best

whatever it is…

because that’s how I want to be,

positive.

My friends…what are you, most days? Are you happy, content with this life?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul >3

Family Dinners

 Most of my married life, my family has sat at the table for dinner. That’s what our families did when we were young and we don’t know any other way. We believe that a meal together is strengthening and family building.

 

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The family devouring a meal together is just one element of the sit down. It’s a time for conversation, laughing and catching up on everyone’s day. 
It’s a family connection and relationship builder. If there’s a problem, it’s spoken and another member may solve it. If you learned a new joke, share it with the family for a hearty laugh! 

 

 

 

 

Would you believe many young families don’t eat meals together? When do they talk, laugh, share or problem solve? I firmly believe that you need to use this precious time to build your family to be as strong as you want it to be. I think all our meals together helped raise our sons into thoughtful people and hopefully they will eat their meals at the table, together with their families someday.

 

 

 

 

 Years ago Dylan brought his phone to the table and I felt that it violated our personal time. After saying no, it never was an issue. He respected my wishes and I’m really grateful for that. If I had given in to it, dinner time would never be the same again. I know that many families won’t see cell phones or iPods at the tables as an issue. If your family freely uses them at the sit down meal, I have one question to ask, do you all still talk to each other? Chances are the answer is no and that blame lies on the device…it’s invading your family connection time.

 

 

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My husband and sons at Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

As most of my readers know, our sons are out of the house living their own lives and having dinner on their own. Now Tom and I feel like we paid our dues and this means our dinner time can change the way we like. This winter has been drafty and cold and we long for eating our food in warmth. Many nights we eat dinner with tv stands in our livingroom, just a few feet from our cranking stove. We’re happy to relax and talk over a movie or show on Hulu.

 

 

 


I don’t feel guilty for abandoning our tradition because it continues when the boys and Lexie are home. We eat dinners at our dining room table and celebrate birthdays and eat cake and ice cream with Branden’s funny stories. They are special times and I wish that for your family. It’s these moments that make my husband and I truly happy, catching up with our kids and enjoying their company. Whenever we are all together or have family or friend guests, there we will eat, at the table. A place to connect, share and laugh.

 

 

 

 Do you think mealtime together forms a strong unified family? Do you have a no cell phone policy at the dinner table?

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

One Lovely Blog Award

Hello readers! I’m beyond excited to have our spare room project almost completed! Dylan and Lexie came for lunch today and helped us move furniture from the garage storage into the house. Be looking for a future post soon on the results!

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Yesterday morning I was thrilled to find out that a lovely blogger friend nominated me for the “ One Lovely Blog Award.” I’ve learned that this award honors and supports fellow bloggers in their endeavors to share our stories with each other. Tammy from Faithhopelovefood has nominated me as one of her chosen bloggers.

I’m tickled pink about it and her blog! Tammy devotes it to inspirational topics and her relationship with a God. It has been one of my constant go- to sites where she has insight and scriptures about life and I really find it helpful to me in my personal journey. I want to thank Tammy for nominating me and the other wonderful blogging sites!
With acceptance of this award I need to share 7 facts about myself with you.

1. Family is priority in my life, period. My family that I was born into, the family that I married into, and the family team my husband and I created all hold a special place in my heart!

2. I work at a little school, helping young children read. It’s an amazing job where I get to teach, laugh and listen eagerly to the things kids say! It’s the best and most rewarding job that I’ve ever held and yeah, I love it too! It’s like I’m living in a dream because I longed to be a teacher as a child.
3. I have written since third grade. I’m not sure who inspired me but I remember seeing cut out magazine pictures and dreaming up stories about them. Many years I wrote fictional stories but now I find that I prefer nonfiction and writing about my life and experiences. I still have a few notebooks from seventh and eighth grade.

4. Like Tammy, I love music too! Thanks to my son who told me about Spotify, I can listen to my chosen songs in playlists. I have a quiet playlist for those serene moments, old favorite pop and rock songs for happy dancing and current pop hits to listen to while baking or doing housework.  Lately I’ve been listening to ” A Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga, Prince’s 80’s hits ” When Doves Cry”, ” Let’s Go Crazy”, Third Eye Blind, Little Bigtown…just to name a few.

5. I was named after my maternal grandmother, Mary Elizabeth. My grandmother and I are not the only Marys in my family. My  great grandmother ( whom I never met), my cousin on my mom’s side, another cousin on my dad’s side of the family are all Marys. When I was young, my aunt and her family and grandparents nicknamed me “ little Mary”, while my cousin was older. I have an old fashioned name but I cherish it and am proud of it!

6. I lived in Boston for three months in 1988. I thought that I wanted to go into television work and attended Newbury College. My dorm was on Commonwealth Avenue, just a few blocks from the Prudential on Boylston. I worked part time at Mrs. Field’s Cookies and sold a cookie for $2.00, which I thought was outrageous for a mere cookie!

7. I have faith in God but do not attend church. I did go to a Congregational church nearby for a few years but stopped going. It seemed that there was politics and man made rules that clouded things and stressed me out. I do need to learn more about Him and eventually find a good fit church locally. Until then I will continue to believe, pray and read my Bible.
Now as part of this nomination, I will nominate fellow bloggers who have inspired me. Check out these wonderful blogs, ones that I follow everyday.

Thecreativelifeinbetween
Thegrizzlegristmill
Thethankfulheart
Deborahtheclosetmonster
Aftertherain

ThismuchIknow

Nominated bloggers, if you choose to accept the One Lovely Blog Award and pass it along, you will find your instructions below:

Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog
Post about the award
Share 7 facts about yourself
Nominate at most 15 people ( I did only 6)
Tell your nominees the good news!

#onelovelyblogaward

All My Best,

Heartandsoul