Be Still

 

Life in modern times is a go-go- go marathon crammed  full of workdays, commitments, and appointments. As an empty nest mother my routine has changed a bit and slowed down, but not as much as I expected. There are still work and house chores that must be met and then the rush takes over, especially when I’m working five days a week. Now summer is upon us and with that is the joy of our youngest son home from college. Summer days will run slower than the school year but even so there is always work and commitments to fulfill.

 

 

There are times I have to remind myself that the rush of life isn’t healthy or meaningful. We all need to practice being still. Just existing without being entertained or worked is difficult because we are not taught this. It’s an essential habit that we must learn. I am working on living this and it’s not easy because I’m used to loudness and being busy.

 

 

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I notice that our American culture is focused on entertainment and keeping busy. Just look at most families and their practices with their children. Many families schedule clubs, sports and commitments intertwined with school. Ballet classes, soccer games, karate meets, and the list goes on!  With hectic schedules, what are we truly teaching our children? That they have to be scheduled and entertained? That being on the go is much more valuable than being still?

 

 

I disagree with this mindset and wish that mothers and fathers would wake up. I do realize all this activity is born out of love for their children but is it healthy? What will our society turn into if no one is taught to be still and live in the moment. Is it such as bad thing to stay home on weekends and sit in the grass or look up at the clouds? How about simply listening to nature or reading a book?

 

 

 

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Here are some small ways I’m attempting to live in stillness and live with meditative intention:

 

Be still in the wee early hours of the morning. Drink your coffee or tea in peace. You don’t always need to talk, just savor it and quiet your mind. I like this time of day to pray or quietly reflect on life.

 

Be still when you are sick. I have a hard time with this one and don’t always  listen to my body when I should.  When you are sick, you need to rest. Everything else can wait, including work, family and  commitments because if you don’t rest, then it’ll take longer to join the rat race.

 

Be still in silence when praying. Clear your mind of that day’s happenings or what someone said to you in haste. Focus on your prayer intention. In the silence of the evening I practice prayer for family, friends and people I don’t know who need to be lifted up with His promise.

 

Take this tranquil pill everyday when you can take the time for you. It doesn’t matter when it is, whether it’s in the early morning or late at night. Close your eyes. Clear your thoughts and judgements. Breathe in and out, listening to your chest inhale and exhale. Simply be quiet and you will feel relaxed and reenergized. It’s a time of renewal for yourself….to just be. Do it for your well being everyday!

 

Sometimes it can be a true challenge but I attempt stillness in different ways everyday. It’s a form of meditation that’s good for your body and soul!

 

All My Best,

 

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

 

Mother’s Day: Grateful For These Women💗

On this Mother’s Day I’m reflecting upon special women in my life and their roles. I’m extremely grateful for these moms!  As a mom myself, I wish to honor them, for how can I truly enjoy this day without paying homage to my loved ones who have made a difference and influenced my mothering?

 

 

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Thank you to my mom, who has supported me from day one and loved me unconditionally. I owe so much to her for helping me grow and overcome so much, when I was younger. She was my go to person, who I could always  count on, until I stood on my own two feet. What I love about her is that she has always listened to me no matter what. When I’m down and out she whispers sweet little prayers for me aloud. It does my heart some good to know that mom is still looking out for me, even though I’m grown and a mother myself now. Happy Mother’s Day to the lady who gave birth to me so long ago with love.

 

 

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There’s another sweetheart in my life who befriended me at work so many years ago and brought me to her home for a hot meal and loving conversation. That day I met her only son, who happens to be my husband now.

 

On this special day I can’t write this post without mentioning Theo, my second mom. I’m so thankful for my mother in law and her friendship. She’s always been there for me and a champion for our family. We’ve done baseball games together, camped with the kids in the summers and spent several Christmases cooking a meal. She’s been an outstanding grandmother to her grandchildren and has always been there for her four children. That’s the kind of lady who sets an example and someone I learned from when I was starting out. Happy Mother’s Day to her with love.

 

 

 

I must mention my sons today as well. There’s not a day that doesn’t go by without my grateful feelings for my two sons. Being a mother has been the most learning, humbling, exhilarating and rewarding experience of my life!❤️ If I would want to be remembered for anything once I pass on, it would be that I was a great and loving mom and that I was happy doing it. I have no regrets, even with mistakes I made because I know I made up for them with love. Also that’s what makes me human!

 

 

Last but not least, I’m extremely grateful for the group of women I work with. We all work in an elementary wing and every teacher and para there are kind, like old friends who support each other with love. I have to thank Laura, Carol, Anne, Brittany, Beth, Darcy, Aimee, Joanna and Donna who work together with joy, their main goal is to teach children, support them and provide a safe loving environment. These special women are all mothers in one way or another through their nurturing and loving actions with the school children. Kudos to these heroes I know, who are teaching our future leaders with a grace and confidence that’s impeccable!

 

As I wrap up this post, I challenge you to think of the special women in your life.  Have you made the time to visit them, message or call? Most importantly, have you told them that you love them? That means the world to mothers , coupled with tight hugs and lots of kisses.

 

Happy Mothers Day to all you moms out there! I hope you receive precious time with your children and hugs too!

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Angel Sent to Me

This post is dedicated to all angels and their believers!:)

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A photo from the farm, where we use to live and caretake. Whenever I see a sunset I think of God and angels.

 

 

 

 

As my ears popped and my belly stirred, we sat on a Southwest flight to Tampa. High above the clouds and riding with the wind, I was proud of myself for having the bravery to endure it and face my anxiety. I haven’t flown much in my life, two trips to be exact (one to Florida and one to Dallas to see my brother) and the last one was  6 or 7 years ago. I’m not sure but I’m surmising that my apprehensiveness is due to the unknown or if it’s because I’m not firmly planted on earth.

 

 

 

When you fly, you give up your control. Do you know that need to control everything around you? I do, which I think is common for many women. Here’s my reasoning… most of the time women are in charge on the household and that means making sure the housework is done and the house is organized. It means the calendar is full of written commitments. When your children are home, your the taxi driver, nurse, psychiatrist, cook, cleaner and you have a firm clutch on how the children are raised. Sometimes it feels like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, doesn’t it? Yet, even so,  there’s a choice you can make to rid your life of that pressure…do you know what my choice was?

 

 

 

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Another one of my favorites from our old house…such beauty and peace. The same feelings I feel when I pray and trust God.

 

 

 

I chose to follow the Lord and to pray. Believing in him gives me peace and restores my control. Even if I’m out of that strict hold, God has it, a firm grip on everything. He is in total control of your life and we go along for the ride. That doesn’t mean that our choices don’t affect things because I believe it matters.

 

 

 

It’s a free feeling to let go and trust. Completely trust God, for he is the ultimate soul in control. He watches our every move and blesses us as we go about our day. I know deep in my heart that he protects us and watches over. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be trials and tribulations in life, but through it all he carries you, teaches you a lesson and happens to leave his calling card.

 

 

 

I’m always watching or listening for a sign or angel sent to me from God. This time He did his tremendous work through a lady from our state. She sat on the aisle seat in our row. I talked lightly with her in the beginning and found out that she was a nurse at a school in the Concord area. We went about our ride, her watching TV on her tablet, Tom mesmerized out the window ( he saw clouds, fields, water, really interesting) and I wrote on my blog and reading from my book.

 

 

 

 

While the plane was descending, the kind lady, Laurie, started talking with me. She told me of how her family traveled all over the world, Caribbean islands, Greece, Italy and Ireland to name a few. I mentioned how Tom and I were empty nesters and of our dreams of travel once or twice a year. Laurie suggested various get always, travel tips and places to steer clear of. Being immersed in this interesting conversation while Tom watched out the window, I totally forgot that we were landing (a source of anxiety for me, as well as taking off).

 

 

 

Suddenly our plane touched down and the pilot heavily laid on the brakes. A few jolts and bumps and within moments it was over and the plane glided on the runway, waiting to approach the terminal. As I thanked Laurie for our talk and travel hints, she laid her hand lightly on my shoulder. “ I knew that you were anxious, honey, about landing and that’s why I kept you occupied.” Right away I felt in my heart that God had used Laurie as an angel to help. He does listen and answer prayers in many ways!

 

 

 

Have you had special experiences that you know there was divine intervention? ❤

I feel blessed that I can spot these signs and gain the ultimate comfort when doing so. These powerful occurrences just reassure me even more of God’s presence in my life.

 

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 ❤

Prayer Flags

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Prayer flags show the things we want all the world to have,

Something to make everyone happy,

the flags are hung  together and hung where we can blow prayers to the universe and grant the wishes of the flag’s maker.

It is said that hanging the prayer  flags will produce greater peace, happiness and health for ourselves, our loved ones and neighbors as well as the strangers around us.

– taken from a Prayer Flag at Flatbread Company

North Conway, NH

The other day while lunching at a great place in North Conway, New Hampshire,  something hanging from a rafter caught my eye. It was a colorful flag or banner and it had words inscribed all over it. Filtered sunlight shined on it and it seemed to have a peaceful glow about it. I immediately fell in love with the idea of a prayer flag, a way to spread peace and hang it for all to enjoy!  I decided that after we finished our delicious late lunch, I would attempt to snap a photo to capture the words.

 

 

Have you ever heard of prayer flags? I haven’t but they intrigue me so I had to do a little research. According to thepeaceflagproject.org, the history of prayer flags date back thousands of years ago. In Tibet native people flew these flags using the colors of the five elements, blue for the sky or space, white representing air and clouds, red for fire, green for water and yellow stood for earth. Later when Buddhism was born in the 7th century, monks would create the prayer flags with beautiful pictures and symbols. Flying them in the wind would send blessings to all and spread good throughout.

During this time, in our undivided country of the United States of America,we all could use unity and good feelings for each other. Let’s look away from politics and political parties for a bit and spread peace and goodwill throughout our hurting country. First of all, I believe daily prayers to God are in order for all of us. Praying for peace and understanding may help us get through our days, days of confusion and worry about where our government is headed. If you support what is going on in our government, perhaps you could try to make peace with people who find fault with it. We all have differing backgrounds and opinions and that what makes our country great. 

 

 

 

How about creating a colorful prayer flag for your home or garden? I plan to do so and have already researched do it yourself prayer flags on Pinterest. They come in different colors and sayings. You must create your flag knowing your heartfelt thoughts and words that mean something to you. Next, fly it in the wind, be sure to place it where the breeze can blow all the blessings around. You could make a string of flags, promoting peace and goodwill in your neighborhood.

 

 

Once I make mine, I’ll share it with you all. I plan to hang it in my garden but not sure how I’ll do it yet. Now do you think you’ll make a prayer flag? What meaningful words would you inscribe on the cloth and what colors would you choose?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul >3

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Think good thoughts…what a nice saying to read while lunching!