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

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

The Stories You Keep

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taken from Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

“ Forty three years old and the war occurred half a lifetime ago and yet the remembering makes it now. And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it last forever. That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories for those late hours in the night when you can’t remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, where there is nothing to remember except the story.”

From The Things They Carried by Tim O’ Brien

 

 

 

 

A few years back my son Dylan had a school assignment to read the prolific and passionate work, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. He wasn’t enthusiastic about it, for he dislikes reading unless it’s about baseball or hunting. Since I’m an avid reader and lover of books, I dove right in and got myself a copy too. I figured that I could read it myself and maybe have meaningful conversations with Dylan about it.

 

 

 

 

 

I think as he read O’Brien prolific words, he started to think about war and the emotional and human cost it bears. We would talk about certain parts and I think that helped him with his assignment. As this progressed, I started writing notes from the text, fascinated with O’Brien’s words and feelings. It placed me in a soldier’s boots in Vietnam and into their fascinating but terrifying world. I loved O’Brien’s writing because it stirred up feelings inside my gut and that’s when you know it’s good.

 

 

 

 

Aside from war stories, I believe everyone has a distinct story. Every story is special , whether it’s heart breaking, life changing or remarkable, it doesn’t matter. It can reveal truths and explain why someone is the way he is. A story can trigger forgiveness and understanding. It can connect you to another time and place and that can be as exciting as being in the present. These tales need to be told to family members, friends and acquaintances for in life, a simple story can change everything.

 

 

 

 

Stories can sometimes be nightmares, told of horrors and indecencies that we would never wish upon our enemies. Yet even these stories need to be told, for they connect the past and present.If they weren’t told or recorded, then they would fade away and it would be as if they didn’t happen. When they are spoken from generation to generation, it remains real and  it can teach lessons. We can always learn from events in the past and make sure our story is enacted differently.As Tim O’Brien says, stories are sometimes all we have when we forget how we got from where we were to where we are.

 

 

 

 

If you or your family has a special story, make sure to share it with others. Write it down in a journal or publish it for others to enjoy or learn from. Embrace the art of storytelling…around a dining room table or a cozy campfire. It doesn’t matter where you tell it, as long as you do!

 

 

 

 

I highly recommend this book, From the Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. It brought me right there, in the thick of the fight and I truly felt the misery and emotion. I loved his descriptive writing and it made me think about war and dying and a soldier’s sacrifice. I’m eternally grateful for all American soldiers and all that they have sacrificed for our way of life and our freedom. 🇺🇸

 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

 

Being a Mama

 

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This was written long ago in 2006 when my boys were much younger. I found this in my journal recently and wanted to share it with all the young mothers and older ones too. If you’re a mom or dad, you know these feelings!

 

 

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Being a Mama
It’s the best gut wrenching, yet exhilarating feeling
that can suck you breathless and your mind reeling
It sometimes makes you entirely ecstatic
And other times a complete fanatic
But in the hushed moments of the night
I hear their soft breathing, they’re all right
As they toss their little heads
On their pillows long after being fed
This love that I hold is the most giving
I know this intensity is truly living

 

Being grateful for this little family of joys
I feel so much pride from my two little boys
I’m proud of their dimpled smiles and loose teeth
Even their messy hairdos with little ears beneath
Their uncombed hair and one son’s hilarious cry
To skip any combing, that look in his eye

“ Mom! Really! No one combs their hair!!!!!”

I’m so happy that I recorded this in one of my journals from a few years back. I would’ve forgotten those famous words and may have to remind my son that he spoke them. Haha. Thanks, Dylan for reminding me of what’s important!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul❤️

Taking Care of Yourself

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This was shot on our mini get away in Maine. I really took care of myself that weekend.

Good Morning! This post is dedicated to women everywhere who tend to get wrapped up in taking care of their house and family, but who don’t find the valuable time for themselves. We all practice this, maybe you aren’t aware of it or you just settle because you have no idea how to start taking the time for yourself.

 

 

 

I got the idea for today’s post by events that are really happening to me, which led me to believe there may be many other women in my shoes. Perhaps if we ponder over this dilemma, we all can help each other overcome this problem of finding time for yourself and your needs as a woman.  You see, my kids are living their life on their own,one in college and one living in his own apartment with his lovely girlfriend. My husband and I are the only ones at home,yet I still have a hard time finding the precious time to devote to myself and my physical and emotional well being!

 

 

I believe this distraction of being drawn to housework and chores is just a way of life. For twenty years I’ve been a busy mom and wife, always doing something for the family and house. Once a woman has established this routine, it’s awfully difficult to break the cycle, even if self growth is at hand.

 

 

 

Guilty feelings have always plagued me when I took time for myself. When I paused for a break when the boys were little, something at home always waited for me. Maybe it was a mess with my name on it or a sink full of dishes, yet when I left it had been empty. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not blaming my husband or kids, but that’s what my brief time off handed me, more work. At some point I started ignoring the mess and realizing that didn’t matter and it could always wait until the next day.

 

One of my summer- to – do wishes was to go to a yoga class. A few women at school go once or twice a week. I’ve always yearned to go and better myself, get in shape physically and align my heart, mind and body. Summer came and went and so did my dreams of yoga. Every week I intended on going ( and even placed my clothes and water bottle in a strategic place in the kitchen), I chickened out and opted for the familiar, house duties. One week the flimsy excuse was the garden( as if a mass amount of weeds would grow while I was away for two hours), another one was vacuuming that had to be done. My point is I couldn’t and wouldn’t walk away from my old routine.

 

 

Now I’ve actually joined yoga and went to my third class yesterday. Even just yesterday I almost ditched it because we need groceries. But instead I told myself I could shop today after school and that yoga was important. It’s vital for me right now  to find myself, to explore this new idea of being me…not a wife or mom but me. I think somewhere along this journey of marriage and raising boys, I lost or truly never learned who I was.  I wanted to invest in my children and husband and make their life wonderful without remembering to invest in myself. Yet, If I could go back in the past, I wouldn’t change a thing!

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Who am I behind this mask of mom and wife?

 

 

 

 

This is a woman’s plight…when you find yourself in an empty nest you are faced to really peer in the mirror and see yourself. You try to learn who you are, for along the way you took care of your family as your first priority and forgot about you. It’s an Earth shattering lightbulb moment when you stop and realize that you lost yourself over time. That’s when you pick yourself up and vow to learn. What makes me happy? What can I do to find myself and invest in my being? How can I continue to give to others but also give to myself?

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As I start this self discovery journey, I invite you to ponder over your situation! Have you lost yourself along the way? Are you experiencing the same procrastination I practiced with taking care of yourself? For now I’m loving my new journey, writing in blogs and going to yoga. I’m excited what other new activities or hobbies I’ll explore and how I grow as myself during the process.

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

The Magic 100!🎉🎉🎉

Hello WordPress Family and Friends!

On a frosty January Sunday morning I started writing this blog, on a pure whim. I didn’t know how it would work or even if it would last as long as it has! I just knew in my heart that I had to write, whether it was good or terrible, it had to burst forth on paper ( in this case on my trusty I-pad). It still amazes me that people would want to read about small town country living, coming from me, an ordinary mom and wife. Yet, it is all truly happening and I am beyond thrilled to keep plugging away and sharing my stories!

 

 

Now I announce that I have 104 followers with email subscriptions and WordPress friends! With the magic 100 followers I vow to write the best I can with honesty and grace. YOU all have made a difference in my life and given me a valuable project to foster and grow! As I reflect on the last several months I am humbled and grateful for all your involvement, comments and love. There is so much goodness here and not a stitch of negativity to discourage me. This was one of my huge fears, that someone would question my skill and that would’ve crushed me.

 

Thank you all, once again for believing in me and reading my posts. It means the world to me to have you all here, sharing my life and giving me positive feedback and love.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

 

 

Nine Months

 

Today a special message popped up on WordPress, something that surprised me to the core. I’ve written 100 posts since January! It doesn’t seem possible that this is true! I want to thank everyone who have read my posts and commented as well. It’s motivated me to plug along, even on the darkest days when a writers block hung around me like a dark storm cloud. Someday I wish to compose many entries and compile them in a book. The challenge is to blend them together to complete a story about country life. This life includes family, gardening, nature, wildlife and much more.

 

With this morning message I am compelled to think of my blog’s birth. I know what you’re thinking! Oh no, another birthing story! This story is about something that was given birth to and swaddled with care…yet it’s not my  two birthing stories… I’m celebrating writing this blog for nine months! Like a new born baby, this was born in January with my fondest hopes and dreams with an apprehension of uncharted waters.

 

When I was a new mother, I felt so much love for my child yet had profound  insecurities. I compare starting my blog to this because it is similar to that cherished experience. I’ve always been a writer but got discouraged from negative feedback at one point and didn’t recover for many years. I think this was pushed aside when I learned of my sister in law’s book project. This fueled my desire to continue my writing. So thank you dear Bev, for your writing helped me get back into it!

 

With an open heart and strong backbone, I’ve plunged into this world of blogging. This experience has already taught me that tapping into your heart and soul and pursuing your passion is the only way to live! It’s not only the way to honor my true self but share this with you and the world. As I grow in this project, I challenge you to be true to YOURSELF. Is there a talent or interest that you have been hiding? Do you long to go out on a limb and take big chances but fear holds you back? If so, take the plunge and don’t think about it. Just do it…you don’t need to think it over or worry about what ifs! Be the best person you can by honoring your God given talent!

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

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