Sunday, August 29, 2010

Awesome Things

Jekyll Island, GA 2010

A few weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast online and during the show one of the panel members mentioned a website called 1,000 Awesome things. There is a published book called "The Book of Awesome" on which this website is based.  The idea is that they will add each day another item to their list of awesome things until they reach 1,000. I, of course, had to check it out and I so enjoyed reading through the ones posted so far.  I then started my own little journal of awesome things.  Many I'm picking and choosing from the lists on the website but I'm only writing down the ones that I would consider in the awesome category.  I thought it might be fun to keep this as an ongoing post that I add to now and then and start my own list of awesome things.  These are things that make me smile, give me peace or were just "aha" moments where I learned from someone else. So here we go with my list of awesome things:
1.  The laughter of my children
2.  My husband's smile
3. Sunsets and Sunrises on the beach
4.  The first snow on the mountain tops
5.  The smell of rain on a hot sidewalk
6.  A room full of Christians singing praises in harmony to God with enthusiasm
7.  A glass of iced tea with lemon on a hot summer's day
8.  Walking through a wooded trail to the music of the birds
9.  Letters in the mail from friends
10.  A new scrapbook store to explore
11.  Puppies and kittens
12. A clean house
13.  Freshly washed fabric softened sheets
14.  Walking at the edge of the ocean.
15.  Looking at the view from the top of a high mountain
16.  Phone calls from my kids just to talk
17.  My husband's arm around me when we're sitting together
18.  Watching the groom as he first sees the bride in a wedding.
19.  Sleeping during a thunderstorm knowing that God is in control and watching over you.
20.  Chocolate Chip Cookies Fresh from the oven.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Attitude is Everything

David Kiefer aka Ol' Buddy Dave
I love to be inspired by other people's lives and attitudes towards their trials.  I've seen this video posted on facebook several times and it still touches me when I watch it.  We all are faced with some kind of imperfection in our bodies that can either consume us with self-pity or teach us strength and tolerance. Even those who seem to be the most perfect people in either appearance or life story have their own challenges to overcome.  We sometimes put ourselves in a "me pity party" as if no one else has ever had to face things as rough as we do but when you see videos such as this one, it always makes me feel ashamed for ever complaining about any trivial flaw in my own life.  I'm so very impressed with the attitude of this man.   He is making the most of what he has been given in life and not wasting his time with feeling sorry for himself for what he doesn't have.  I love it.  I'm putting it here so that I can find it again the next time I feel a little worthless.  This video will kick me in the bum everytime.  I had a friend that I met in college with whom I spent quite a bit of time with in my single years.  His name was Dave and he had lost a leg in a motorcycle accident at about 18 years old.  He chose not to use a prosthesis because it limited him too much so he used crutches to get around and hopped the rest of the time.  He made it a point to put people at ease with his handicap upon meeting them.  I remember introducing him to a friend I worked with who was skiing.  We had stopped by the local ski resort to buy his lift tickets and I had tagged along.  As we came out of the lodge we saw my co-worker Julie who had just come down the run and I introduced her to Dave.  He looked at her and asked her if she ever had problems with her skiis crossing over.  She said, "yes, all the time".   He just smiled and said...."I don't".  She told me later that she didn't know how to respond to that but from that time forward she never felt uncomfortable joking with him about his handicap.  Another time we were traveling home from college and he would stop at every IHOP restaurant we passed and go in and ask if they had a tee shirt with the restaurant label on it.  Finally one waitress got bold and asked him why he wanted one of their tee shirts so badly.  He just flipped his one leg up while balancing on his crutches and said "Because I Hop."  Once again, he stunned her and left her with no reply.  I learned a lot from my dear friend, Dave.  You have two choices when life hits you with something can let it defeat you, or you can face it head on and let it strengthen you to be a better person.  I'm thankful for people like Dave and Nick who inspire me to find my strengths and focus on those rather than my weaknesses.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fall Classes- More Inspiration Comin' My Way.

Big Picture ScrapbookingI'm taking a new class at Big Picture Scrapbooking in September with Cathy Zielske that I'm kind of looking forward to. I've seen it offered before and have talked myself out of it several times but this month they were giving a 10% off code for any class so I decided to try it this time. I'm already planning what I want to do and hope to change it up a bit. The class is called "me- the abridged version" and is based on the book "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life". I just got the book out of the library and have been enjoying reading through it. It's giving me many ideas to use in my own book. I think the change I'm going to make is to change the "me" to "us" and do the book on Russ and I. I've already done several "me" books so I don't want to do another one on me just yet so I thought the "us" book would be more fun. It will basically be a little alphabetical book about us, encyclopedia style. I still haven't decided if I will do it digitally or traditional but at this point am leaning more towards traditional. I need to get to Archivers for an 8.5 by 11 album soon. In addition to this class I'm also going to try to keep up with Shimelle's "Learn Something New Everyday" class. I've taken it several years ago (2006 i think) but as a past student we can still participate again each year for free. I'm thinking I may try to blog my entries this time just to get in the habit of blogging more. Then, if I choose I might still make it into an album or add it to my other album. I'm looking forward to September and a few new challenges to keep me inspired to record our lives one scrapbook at a time.

It's Something That We Do

A friend just shared this song by Clint Black on facebook and it really spoke to me. I love a song that speaks some words of wisdom or speaks of something I've learned along the way. The chorus of the song says: "Love's not just something that we're's something that we do." and "Love isn't something that we's something that we do." and "Love isn't something that we have, it's something that we do." Love isn't just those words we said, it's something that we do and not just someplace that we fall. It's something that we do. As I sit here contemplating my almost 27 years of marriage while watching friends young and old, marry and divorce all around me, the song really expresses well something I've tried to tell others. About a year or so ago, Russ and I were at Chimney Rock in North Carolina and had climbed the trail to the top. While there a young couple asked us to take their picture and told us that they were on their honeymoon. We told them we were about to celebrate 26 years. The girl asked as I handed her camera back to her. "What's your secret?" I didn't have a ready made answer and I can't remember what we told them but it really wasn't the reply I would have given if given the chance to think about it more. This song expressed it all so well. Many Many people live with the notion that you fall in and out of love and that saying I love you is all that matters. It's not something that we say, find, fall into or we're "in"'s something that you do. I think I will have to keep that response in my memory banks for the next time that I hear that question..."what's your secret to a long marriage?" Just always remember, Love's not something that you're's something that you do. LOVE THAT! When you stop working at it and putting it before anything else, that's when marriages fail. I think that same sentiment goes for other aspects of our lives as well. We can say "we love God" but when we don't do anything for God, it's really just words. Maintaining a long-term relationship with our God is something that we do. Friendships are the same. Friendships die out when one or both of the friends neglect "to do" anything to keep the friendship alive. Yep, love isn't something that we say, it's something that we do.