“T” is for…

Tidbits – Because they’re fun! ūüôā

Top Ten I liked while searching:

10.)   In the I Love Lucy episodes in which Lucy was pregnant, each one had to be reviewed by a minister, priest and rabbi in order to ensure that they weren’t offensive to the television audience. (What in the world happened between then and now??)

I Love Lucy

9.)  Mark Twain dropped out of school when he was only 12 years old, after the death of his father.

8.)  The only painting Vincent Van Gogh ever sold was to his brother.

7.)¬† William Shakespeare had his¬†tombstone inscribed with a curse that reads, ” “Good friend for Jesus sake forbear / To dig the dust enclosed here! / Blest be the man that spares these stones, / And curst be he that moves my bones.” (Hmmm…sense of humor perhaps?)

6.)¬† James Michener’s last TV interview was for the History Channel and was about his¬†experiences as a hobo during the Great Depression.

5.)¬† Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens, and Rudyard Kipling all suffered from insomnia. (Maybe that’s how they produced so much?)

4.)  The book Les Miserable contains a sentence that is 823 words long!

3.)¬† Sidney Sheldon didn’t start his writing career until he was in his 50’s. (Proof that we’re never too old to start. Age simply means we’ve lived more years from which to draw experiences.) ūüôā

2.)¬†The author of The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum, wrote his first book about chickens. (Lions and Tigers and Bears…and chickens? Oh my!)

1.)¬† Ernest Vincent Wright wrote a 50,000 word novel, Gadsby, that doesn’t contain one letter ‘e’. (Is that even possible?)

“S” is for…

S.P.E.A.K.

This past Saturday I participated in an event near and dear to my heart.¬† The Youth Commission in my city hosts a S.P.E.A.K. (Suicide Prevention Education Awareness and Knowledge) week each year and one of the events is a 5K walk, which was Saturday. Having been touched–and devastated–by suicide¬†with a friend several years ago and again with my step-daughter almost nine years ago, the number of people who showed up to band together and walk for this cause¬†made my heart¬†swell with a kinship to others who have had to endure such a traumatic event in their lives.

Suicide leaves  those left behind in its wake with so many questions.  Did I fail?  Was it my fault?  Should I have seen it coming?  Could I have seen it coming?  Could I have done something to stop it?

It also leaves us with so many “What if’s.” What if I would only have answered that one phone call.¬† What if I would have followed my gut and made that one last follow-up visit to check in.¬† What if I did/said something that triggered it.¬† What if s/he had wanted to open up to me and I wasn’t emotionally available.¬† What if

The fact is that all the questions and the what if’s will not bring someone back.¬†The day I was finally able to release all of¬†those questions¬†to God, the healing was able to truly begin.¬† And it was important to me to know that healing does not mean forgetting.¬† To me, healing¬†is the ability to be able to let the guilt go and use the experience to help others.¬† To bring awareness to a tragedy that brings so many people to their knees.

And it was when I was on my knees with grief that I was able to find God.  Right beside me, holding me up from falling onto my behind.

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Our guardian angel, shining bright.

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Letting those balloons fly high into the sky, each with the name of a loved one written on it, watching until they were no more, was beautiful and symbolic to letting our loved ones fly to the heavens. As the balloons disappeared from sight, we knew they were still there.  Just as our loved ones disappeared from our sight, we know they are still there.  And I found such comfort in that.

Peace.

“R” is for…

Rahab

One of my very dearest friends named her dog Rahab.  One day when we were out for a walk, she was telling me the story of how her son thought it was terrible that she named the dog Rahab.
“Why is it terrible?” asked my friend.

“Mom!” He looked at her as if she were dense.¬† “Rahab was a hooker.”

She knew he was talking about Rahab from the Bible. The same Rahab who was a prostitute¬†had also given a safe place to stay to the spies secretly sent by¬†Joshua¬†to scout out the fortified city of Jericho.¬† She risked her life for men she didn’t even know, putting their lives ahead of her own well-being out of loyalty and faithfulness to her God.

“Son,” she had told him, Rahab was a prostitute, yes, but she was a good person.”

While the fact that she was a prostitute remained in the forefront of her son’s memory, her goodness is what remained in my friend’s memory.¬† Though I can’t say that surprised me, because she saw the good in everyone.¬† It was she who taught me that just because someone does something unfavorable, it doesn’t mean that person isn’t redeemable by God’s grace.¬† When I was complaining about something my husband had done–or didn’t do–it was she who said, “Remember what he has done for you and given to you.”¬† And when she felt frustrated with her husband about something, she didn’t get angry.¬† She voiced her thoughts, smiled and said, “But he’s my husband and I love him.”

That friend was brought into my life by a loving God who knew I needed exactly her and her outlook on life.  He knew her words and wisdom would guide me long after she moved out of state to far away Tennessee.

The story she told me about her son’s reaction to naming her dog Rahab taught me two important lessons.¬† It’s wise to be careful what we do in life because they may be remembered for years afterward.¬† And the second is, when I see a person, do I choose to see the bad or the good?¬† I hope and pray that I show enough love and grace that the good I do is what will be remembered.

Peace

 

“Q” is for…

Quotes

I love quotes! They contain so much wisdom, motivation and inspiration in so few words.  They prove that less is often better when it comes to words, and that those few words can pack a powerful punch.

My ten favorite are:

10.)¬† ‚ÄúThe way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.‚Ä̬† -Norman Vincent Peale

9.)¬† ‚ÄúIt may take place in a foreign land or it may take place in your backyard, but I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone. To love someone the way Christ first loved us, to spread His light. This is the dream, and it is possible.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Katie J. Davis

8.)¬† ‚ÄúYou have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.‚ÄĚ -Dr. Seuss

7.)¬† ‚ÄúA professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.‚Ä̬†–¬†Richard Bach

6.)¬†¬† ‚ÄúWhen you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you‚Äôre done, you have to step back and look at the forest.‚Ä̬† – Stephen King

5.)¬† ‚ÄúThe past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.‚Ä̬† – Thomas S. Monson

4.)¬† ‚ÄúChange your thoughts and you change your world.‚Ä̬†¬† – Norman Vincent Peale

3.)¬†‚ÄúWhat can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.‚Ä̬† – Mother Teresa

2.)¬† The perfect description of a mom:¬† ‚Äú…because “Mommy” is forever. It’s such a powerful name. Mommy means “I trust you.” Mommy means “you will protect me.” Mommy is for shouting when you need someone dependable and for laughing with when you are excited. Mommy is for crying on and cuddling with when you are sad, or giggling and hiding behind when you are embarrassed. Mommy is the fixer of boo-boos and the mender of broken hearts. Mommy is a comfort place – a safe place. Mommy means “you are mine and I am yours and we are family.‚Ä̬† – Katie Davis

1.) “Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.  Life is beauty, admire it.  Life is a dream, realize it.  Life is a challenge, meet it.  Life is a duty,  complete it.  Life is a game, play it.  Life is a promise, fulfill it.  Life is sorrow, overcome it.  Life is a song, sing it.  Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.¬† Life is an adventure, dare it.¬† Life is luck, make it.¬† Life is too precious, do not destroy it.¬† Life is life, fight for it.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Mother Teresa

As we write our stories and what’s in our hearts, may we always remember the importance of the words we write, the impact they have on another, and the joy they bring to many.

Write On.

 

“P” is for…

Prayer

I created a new page on my blog for those wishing to participate, to write prayer requests, for me and anyone who reads¬†the page.¬† If you want to request prayer for someone you know who’s going through a difficult time, emotionally or¬†physically, or would like to request¬†prayer for yourself, it’s¬†an open¬†place to ask.

“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.‚ÄĚ Matthew 18:20 (NASB)

Nothing is too small or insignificant to ask for prayer.¬† Whether there is someone in your family who is ill or¬†experiencing a time of grief, if you are feeling in need of strength or serenity, or simply in need of inspiration for your next book/article/essay…

“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” Mark 11:24 (NASB)

It’s my belief that unanswered prayers aren’t the same as unheard prayers. I believe God hears all, but chooses to answer according to the complete picture that only He can see, and according to what’s in our best interest. I’m extremely grateful He didn’t answer all my prayers the way I wanted Him to.¬† Yikes! I wouldn’t be in a very good place right now.

If you choose to participate, feel free to leave your name by your prayer request, or not. It’s completely up to you. All prayer requests will remain on the page so¬†those who listed requests can re-visit from time to time as a reminder of how¬†their¬†prayers were answered.

Peace.

“O” is for…

open

I try to live life openly. Open-minded.

To new ideas.

To those whose opinions are on the opposite end of the spectrum than mine.

To an alternate, unfamiliar way to reach an end to something.

Open to new experiences, and revisiting old.

Open to change.

Open to accepting the unacceptable, loving the unlovable.

I try to be open to receive that which others have to offer, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

Open to creating from my heart, writing words from my soul, and drawing strength from life.

Open to living freely and completely.

I try to be open to embracing difficulties and heartache, practicing dependence on God.

Open to whatever the day ahead brings rather than the way I would have it unfold.

I try to be open to the unfamiliar after the door to what is familiar slams shut.

I never said I was successful, simply that I try.¬† And when I try I sometimes get it right. ūüôā

‚ÄúWhen God closes a door, he opens a window, but it’s up to you to find it.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Jeannette Walls

Open Window

Peace.

“N” is for…

Namaste

Namaste is a form of respect, often said as a customary greeting when coming together or a farewell upon parting, commonly used by the people in  South Asia, as well as in the Yoga community.  Just saying the word brings me peace.

Aadil Palkhivala’s explained it well in Yoga Journal:

“The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.””

There is a spiritual significance to the word ‘Namaste’ in the Hindu population, which is recognizing a belief that there is a life force, the Self or the God that is the same in all.¬† By acknowledging the oneness by placing the palms together, they honor the God in each other.

“I honor the place in you where Spirit lives. I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, then we are One.”¬† -Ancient Sanskrit Blessing

As I close, I bow and say to you, “Namaste.”