Friday, January 30, 2009

Tough Call

I had to do a tough thing today. I work at a retirement community. One of our residents has a bad health condition that has left him quite scared. He's basically attached himself to the hip of those wonderful ladies who work at our front desk; often not getting the hint when others need to conduct business in a private manner.

A lot of deliberation and prayer went into my decision to finally speak with him today. I shared with him how much we all loved and liked him and how much we loved to kid and joke with him. Yet, we needed him to position himself more in the lobby instead of behind the front desk as some private business needed to be conducted.

He quietly went into the lobby to sit, but then soon went to his home. My heart hurt. He's lonely. He's afraid. And the beautiful ladies who work at the front desk are so good at loving. Yet, the good of others was being compromised.

I've told the receptionists we need to make a concerted effort to love on him an extra especially. I don't like playing the bad cop.

Trying to be fair,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How to Simplify Your Life - Part 3

Clean out your basement, garage or your office. If you're not using something, get rid of it. Put an expiration date on items when you can't decide to keep them or not. Get rid of them when the expiration date arrives.

Quit organizations that aren't contributing to your advancement, your network or your fun. The organization might be just right for someone else, but is draining you and not filling you. Find those things that fit your core values.

Automate repetitive, clerical, mechanical tasks. For instance, set up automatic bill payments. Include your automatic savings plan as part of your monthly spending.

Getting clearer,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Don't we all need a little validation? Just think...When we have a little of it, we can give a lot.

Tea with Tiffany has a great video. It is 15 minutes long. I know, that's eternity in bloggy world. But, I can tell you, it's worth it. Just, just give it a try. I promise you'll be glad.

You are wonderful, thoughtful and inspiring to others!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

God's Emerging Mosaic

I don't know about you, but as hard as I try, it seems like "life" is either good or bad based on the kind of day I've had. If I'm tired, emotionally, physically, spiritually, then "life" feels like that.

If it's been a nutritious day (like today), "life" is wonderful.

But "life" isn't just one day. It's a series of days, moments, breaths and events. My hubby and I have chosen to see what God is doing with us and contemplate life as more of a mosaic, if you will. A dark tile has a place in a mosaic just as a yellow tile does.

So, I had this idea. I'm keeping a calendar to see what our days' colors look like. I don't expect any type of picture to emerge, for sure, but it will be kind of like a journal of sorts...allowing us to see a little more clearly this mosaic called "life."


Friday, January 23, 2009

How to Simplify Your Life - Part 2

I hope you were able to find something useful in the last post. I'm constantly on the lookout for organizational/simplifying tools. Here are a few more.

Stop being a slave to communication tools. Do you really need an office phone, a home phone, a cellular phone, pager, fax, e-mail and internet ICQ technology?

Give away clerical tasks to others who can handle non-priority activities.

Stop spending time to save money. Instead, spend money to save time. Don't drive across town to save a few cents on a grocery item. It's not worth your time. Do hire someone to do chores you're not fond of.

Cancel subscriptions to magazines you never get around to reading. Only read one newspaper per day.

Cut back on television time. Only watch those shows you decide on beforehand. Circle them in the television-listing magazine. Then turn off the television when the program is over. Cancel extra cable television packages for channels you rarely watch. Go for broke. Give up watching television altogether. Think of all the time you'd regain! DVR things you want to watch and then schedule to watch them.

Simple, but not easy,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How to Simplify Your Life - Part 1

I got some of these ideas online. I can tell you it's a lot easier to write about simplifying when you are an empty-nester! But these ideas are for everyone!

Think about your values and write down those that really matter to you. What is most important?
  • Time with family?
  • Great wealth?
  • Getting closer to God?
  • Expressing yourself?
  • Learning new ideas?
  • Experiencing adventure and travel?
  • Maintaining excellent health?
  • Socializing with friends?
  • Contributing to the community?
You can't do them all. Cut out activities that aren't consistent with your core values.

Write a list of goals you'd like to achieve. Focus on doing a few really well, rather than a lot in a mediocre way. You can't add hours to the day, but you can cut down on activities.

Say no instead of yes. People agree to requests from others because they like to please them. Instead, realize that you have a right to say no. Creating plans or policies makes saying 'no' easier. "I'm sorry. We already have a plan for giving to charities." Last week I heard someone say, "Thanks so much for asking me, but I really don't want to!" wow.

Simplifying a day at a time,

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Unbelievable. THIS is why I'm decluttering!

They got $13,000 for the garage sale, but think how much money she spent on that stuff. Again, wow...

Getting a clearer mind,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Confess - I'm an Organizationaholic Wanna Be

All a magazine has to say on the cover is "Organize Your Life" and I'll plunk down the money in hopes of finding one organization tool that will help. Have you ever noticed just how many magazines have this on the cover? Most of them!

Life is so much simpler now that we are almost empty nesters, but still I long for ultimate organization...whatever that really means.

I've planned this grand Queen Mother of garage sales 3 times now and have canceled it every time. Why? It's a lot of work. Will I feel better after it's over? Yes (well, a week or two after it's over.)

I love the idea of some of my old treasures finding a new home. I think what I really love is the idea that I can start with a fresh slate and get new treasures! HA!

I'm really pretty organized for the most part. But, there are certain parts of my world that aren't. Why is it that when we get everything organized, our LIVES feel in order, too? I'm heading up to clean out Blue Heaven a little.

I'd LOVE to hear your organizational tips. I'll share some of mine later, too. Just think. We won't have to plunk down $5.95 for a magazine to tell us what to do!

Thinking orderly thoughts,

Monday, January 12, 2009

Since I've Been on an Organizing Kick

I have a technique I've used "successfully" for 27 years for folding a fitted sheet. I actually take the fitted sheet, wad it up, then flatten it down. Then to neaten it up a bit, I put it under the folded flat sheet so that no one can see. :)

I ran across this video. I haven't tried it but I sure will. Does anyone else have any success with folding a fitted sheet?

Willing to try,

Friday, January 9, 2009

Just for Today

Several years ago I read this almost daily. When life got too challenging, too busy, too too, I'd read this and remember that all we are given is the day. That is enough...more than enough. I hope this will touch you as much as it's touched my life.

Just for today
I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires, I will take my "luck" as it comes, and fit myself to it.

Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count. I will do a least two things I don't want to do--just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.

Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice low, be courteous, criticize not one bit. I won't find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.

Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself, and relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective of my life.

Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

Just for today,

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

1. What are your 5 favorite words?
  1. laughter
  2. love
  3. journey
  4. grace
  5. serendipity

2. What are your 5 least favorite words?
  1. today, the word at the top of my list would be vomit (I've had a nasty virus!)
  2. hate
  3. stupid
  4. unaccepted

3. What sound or noise do you love?


4. What sound or noise do you hate?

loud arguments

5. What turns you on creatively, emotionally, spiritually?
  1. Creatively--spending time in "my blue heaven" room and quilting, reading, etc.
  2. Emotionally--times spent with my husband
  3. Spiritually--quiet introspection with God - journaling oftentimes

6. What turns you off creatively, emotionally, spiritually?
  1. Creatively--being too busy
  2. Emotionally--having too many commitments
  3. Spiritually--not any "down time"

7. What profession, other than your own, would you like to do?

Now, that's the million dollar question!

8. What profession would you not like to do?

Anything scientific

9. What is your spiritual gift?

seeing the good/possibilities in others

10. What are the first words you'd like to hear God say when you arrive in heaven?

"Oh, here comes my Susan!"


Monday, January 5, 2009


Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

I believe this is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. In fact, I think this is my new year's resolution. I KNEW it would come to me!

Thinking lovely thoughts,

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I remember several years ago seeing the saying, "Wouldn't life be much better if we could be like a VCR and just fast forward through the yucky times?"

Sometimes I think life would be better if we could just hit delete and move forward.

However, the other day I heard a story about a pear tree. It's stayed with me.

A father told his four children to go in search of a pear tree. He sent each of them out in different seasons.

To the one who went in the fall in search of the pear tree, they returned telling the father of how lovely the tree was with the tree's leaves a beautiful hue of gold and orange.

To the child who searched for the tree in winter, they returned in despair. They said the tree was nothing but branches and it looked dead.

The child who sought after the tree in spring was elated to find the tree with beautiful and fragrant blossoms. They knew that their sibling must have been mistaken about the dead looking tree and he certainly didn't see any gold or orange leaves. The leaves he saw were a beautiful and lush green color.

Yet, when the child who hunted for the tree in summer returned home, he shared his delight saying that the tree had delicious and sumptuous fruit.

The father said that all four children were correct in the way they described the pear tree. The pear tree goes through seasons looking differently and responding differently in each of those seasons.

So it is with us. While we want to remain beautiful like the pear tree in spring time or useful and purposeful like the pear tree in summer, sometimes we have to go through autumn or winter to prepare us for "the next right thing."

What would be the point in deleting winter if there would be no spring? Let's stay the course through the good and the bad, remembering God's faithfulness in all things.

Showing my autumn leaves,

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Are You Sure, Lord?

Ever have one of those times when you sense God is leading you somewhere but you think to yourself, "are you sure, Father?" I had one of those moments the other day.

I've never heard God in an audible voice, but like many of you I've discerned God's voice through scriptures, meditation and prayer, my husband, my sister friends and sometimes when my heart starts pounding. I believe there are times like those that the spirit is leading. Other times, I believe God has gotten my attention through dreams. When we are looking for him, he is definitely there! (Even when we aren't, he is there.)

I had gone home for work to check on our oldest daughter. She had had some events happen that had rightfully thrown her into some grieving. As she and I spoke she quietly cried. My heart ached for her hurt. I asked God for guidance on what to do and the thought came that she and I should go out and "pay it forward." I shared this thought with her and she acquiesced but I think was wondering if her momma was out of her ever-loving mind.

As we drove around the streets of Abilene, she sat in the passenger seat, ever so silently, while tears streamed down her cheeks. My heart was breaking in two! Yet, I felt compelled to drive on and see what God would reveal.

We ended up at the Greyhound bus station where a young woman was standing outside all alone. We pulled up beside her and after assuring her we were o.k. I told her that I had been very blessed and wanted to "pay it forward" and give her some money. She told us she was on her way to Dallas to see her children. I told her to do something nice for the kids.

Now before you go and think how noble and kind I am, DON'T! I was desperately trying to find out what God would have me to do because I simply didn't have a clue. (Still don't if truth be told.)

We pulled out of the parking lot and I began looking for another "pay it forward" recipient. We drove and drove and our eldest sat quietly while tears streamed down . . . still. Finally, I uttered to God, "why am I driving all over our city trying to pay it forward when our eldest is hurting right here in the seat next to me?" At this point I turned around and went home with her just to spend some time.

The next day our eldest told me she had used some other money to pay it forward and how great it had made her feel. She then went on to tell me she is considering the Peace Corps. Well, sometimes when drastic things happen in our lives, drastic actions need to happen, too.

I'd sure appreciate your prayers for direction for our oldest daughter. She has such a beautiful, passionate young heart. We never know what will happen when we follow God's leading, but I know one thing for certain. God is faithful. The end.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Looking for the Divine in 2009

This year will be a year for divine love. The dictionary defines divine as "connected with worship, relating to the worship or service of God; pleasing attractive or well performed."

Do you make new years resolutions? I don't really do that in the truest sense of the word. However, I do try to make some tangible goals for myself - - both personal and professional.

I'm running a little behind on working on those goals this year. I'm going to have some prayerful contemplation today to consider what those goals might be in 2009.

Yesterday as I thought back over 2008 I was struck with how many challenging, hard and at times crushing events occurred. I made a list of the things that instantly came to mind. Yep, there were some bad things in the year.

However, then I made a list of the things I counted as blessings in 2008 and you guessed it. That list outweighed the other list. In fact in a couple of instances, the "bad list" and the "good list" sometimes had the same items on it!

I wish for you this year...
~ God's peace in trials
~ Utter awareness of blessings
~ Inexplicable joy
~ Clarity of divine love expressed

This is my heartfelt prayer for you,