Beauty is Only Skin Deep

beauty

When I was in high school and college, I worked in a grocery store as a checker. I met a lot of people during those 8 years and it allowed me a deep schooling on people. I saw all walks of life, from my "regular" customers, to the homeless and poor who came in with dirty change and recycled can money. I got to know people who were on welfare, I met people who drove nice cars, and I got to flirt with the cute firemen. I talked with old people, young people, pregnant ladies, step-parents, single parents, high school drop outs, con artists...you name it. It was a wonderful time of life, filled with a lot of growth and contemplation. I learned that if you look into the eyes of people, you can read their story. I saw a lot of worry and hurt, I saw insecurities, walls put up, anger, … [Read more...]

Fully Present

Now

I think a lot of people yearn to be fully present. They want to live in the moment and breath in life as it is happening. Some people believe this is one of the keys to living in peace, to being truly joyful, to appreciating everything, to being grateful! In our fast paced lives, I don't think too many people even know how to be present. This is a very hard thing to do, because, in this busy life we live, we are constantly planning for whatever is ahead of us, worrying about the future, regretting the past, and planning accordingly. We are making appointments, checking our schedules, looking at our watches, running late, worrying about this and that, and trying to live up to unrealistic standards. To be fully present means that you are living in the moment. You are experiencing … [Read more...]

Impact and Influence Others

Be

Funny how it is…well, it's actually quite sad…we usually are more concerned about how other's words and actions will affect us rather than being concerned about how our words and actions will affect others. We've all been there, we've all done it. In class, at work, at a party, we think to ourselves or voice to a friend, "OH NO, there's so-in-so! Whether they speak too loudly, drink too much, are negative, are obnoxious, rub us the wrong way, etc…we would rather not interact with them. They make us feel uncomfortable, we have to make small talk, and we can't wait to be released from their presence. We don't like the way their words and actions affect us. We even do it with strangers…if someone looks different or "weird" we don't want to … [Read more...]

True Love

True Love

LOVE is the most powerful emotion of all. It's at the very top of the Emotional Guidance Scale, and rightly so. We all strive to LOVE and receive LOVE. LOVE protects, it heals, it nurtures, it teaches, it endures, it brings people together, it sets us free, it encourages, it lifts us up, it comforts. "LOVE" is found in the Bible (NIV) 551 times…it must be important and powerful! We are instructed over and over to LOVE one another, to LOVE ourselves, to LOVE God. It seems that if you are ethical, honest, moral, and LOVING…you will get that right back in return. Proverbs 21:21 – Whoever pursues righteousness and LOVE finds life, prosperity, and honor. This past week, unfortunately, we had a terrible family emergency. Without going into any detail, my … [Read more...]

Be a Blessing

go-and-be-a-blessing

We've all seen them…dirty, disheveled, smelly…and HOMELESS. As we drive by, we watch them…partly out of curiosity, partly out of compassion. We wonder; how did they get to that point? What is their history? Where is their family? When did it get so bad? Are there drugs involved? Were they abused? Have they been arrested? Are they hungry? Where do they sleep? Do they need medical attention? How long have they been on the streets? Unfortunately, we also are skeptical. Is this a scam? Do they make more money than I do? If I give them money, will they just buy alcohol? Is this an act? Am I being a "sucker"? Why don't they clean up and get a job? Where did they get the materials to write that cardboard sign? Some people hand them money out … [Read more...]

Fearless

emotions-4-faces crop

The word "Fear" keeps popping up all around me this week…in emails, Facebook postings, songs, a speaker at my mom's group, etc. I decided that if this word keeps appearing to me, it is for a reason, and I need to think a little deeper on it. Fear is often said to be the opposite of Love. I believe that, because it is also known to many that you cannot experience Fear and Love at the same time. As I was thinking and digging, it dawned on me that in the Bible it says a whole bunch of the times that we are to "Fear the Lord"…hmm…I always thought that was odd, because to me God is pure LOVE…why would I fear LOVE? I then went to good old Webster and found this: Fear (n) – Profound reverence (honor and respect) and awe (wonder and … [Read more...]

Comparison is a Dangerous Act!

Comparison

“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown Comparing yourself to others is a really bad idea!  I think we do this consciously and unconsciously...but when we do this we are ultimately judging ourselves.  We rarely compare ourselves with someone less fortunate and feel blessed.  What is more common is we compare ourselves with people who do or have more than us and we then feel inadequate. I think this is so detrimental and so unfair to do to ourselves!  We all come into this world with different strengths, talents, and struggles, and they need to be embraced and celebrated.  If you love to get weekly massages and it results in you feeling relaxed and energized, is it fair to compare yourself to someone who never … [Read more...]

Loving the Unlovable

Beauty

It has been said that the people we are most turned off by or the most offended by are the ones who need our love the most.  Their behavior may seem rude or crude or loud or ugly.  They may be physically not pleasing to look at.  They offer us nothing.  These are the people who are most hurting and crying out for love and attention and acceptance. It's easy to love people who are attractive, fun, and pleasing in their mannerisms.  But that's not what we are called to do. We are to "Love your neighbor as yourself"...it doesn't say, "Love your neighbor only if they are pleasing to you".  This is a challenge, I know.  To look past someone's physical attributes, to ignore their crass behavior, to really love them is arduous.  We are to look into the heart and soul of people. We are to … [Read more...]

The Heaviest Thing You Can Carry…

Grudge

The heaviest thing you can carry is a...Grudge!  We all have one or two or more of them...someone who has done us wrong, has made us look bad, or has cheated us in some way. Think back in your life, I'm sure a few come to mind pretty quickly.  When you think of these people and situations, does your blood boil? Does your heart rate pick up? Does your breathing become more rapid? If you don't feel anything but a sense of calm...congratulations, you have forgiven and have moved on!  If you do feel some of these negative emotions...then you are carrying a grudge!  Sometimes that person can even be ourselves,  a relative, or God. Why do we hold onto grudges?  It certainly doesn't make us feel good.  In fact, it is a huge, heavy stress ball that we lug around day after day.  It weighs us … [Read more...]

What We Learn From Little Children

Ava

WOW...There is so much we can learn from little children!  If we really take the time to stop and observe and listen to these little beings, we can acquire a great deal of knowledge.  I'm not talking about them teaching us how to change a tire or something of that sort...but rather we can learn from them about humanity, humility, true love, courage, and the like. Little children lead a genuinely great example. Two people I admire and try to consistently emulate agree that children are fabulous and  are great examples...these two people are Jesus and John Denver (I know...funny twosome, huh!?): Matthew 18:1-4 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a little child and had him stand among them.  And he said: "I tell you … [Read more...]