The Joy of Reading

reading is sexy

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. It is wholesome and bracing for the mind to have its faculties kept on the stretch." - Sir Richard Steele When I taught third grade, I included this quote on my student's weekly homework sheet. I believe that a huge part of my job was to instill the joy of reading into the young minds I had the privilege of shaping. I saw it over and over again; the students who enjoyed reading excelled in school! So many young children believe they don't like to read, and it was my mission to help them discover what a wonderful world awaited them through the words written in books. Many people I speak with concur with these young kids I taught, in that they do not enjoy reading. I have learned that their negative attitude toward reading is … [Read more...]

Follow Your Passion


As I talk with people, I realize that most children have a passion and most adults have forgotten what theirs is. I have concluded that most adults were once filled with passion for something, but after getting married, having kids, etc…their passion has fallen to the wayside. Some adults are not married and/or don't have children, but they are married to their work…and their personal passion has become nonexistent. Why is this? Why do we veer away from the things that bring us the most joy? It's sad to see so many people working so hard to make ends meet, while doing something they don't even enjoy. It hit me one night about five years ago: My husband and kids were out for the night and I had a rare several hours alone. I didn't know what to do with myself. Yes, I could do … [Read more...]

Fully Present


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


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...]

Word Power


I belong to a fabulous Mom’s group! I am also one of eleven on the Leadership Committee for that group. The eleven of us have been trying to live intentionally with "JOY" as our focus this year. That tiny 3-letter word, JOY, has so much power! Our goal is to find joy in the normal, the everyday, the frustrating, the sad, the unbelievable…it is a challenge that we all have taken very seriously. There has been some stumbling, some failure, but also a lot of success with this exercise.   Although we are still intentionally finding joy in each minute, each day…a few weeks ago another challenge was presented to our group. We were to each pick a word that was unique to us individually. This word was to have special … [Read more...]

Making a Dream List


"In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it."-Robert Heinlein, Novelist Are you enslaved by your daily trivia?  Do you numbly move from task to task without much thought?  Are you bored most of the time with your duties? Are you feeling like there has got to be more to life than dirty laundry, runny noses, and Dora? Or maybe you feel like all you do is go to work, come home and work, and do it all over again each day. It is very easy to get stuck in this tiresome routine of parenthood/daily grind.  The days turn into weeks and then before you know it, your kids are grown and you don't know who you are or what you like to do, or what in life makes you excited and happy! To avoid this trap, we all … [Read more...]

What You Look For is What You See!

happy face

Have you ever noticed, that when you start your day with a grumpy attitude, the rest of your day is grumpy as well.  You run into mean and impatient people, you get tripped up and frustrated easily, the weather is just not right, you are uncomfortable in your own skin, people annoy you, and on-and-on! On the other hand, if you start your day with the right attitude, things just seem to move more smoothly.  You waltz through the day with a song in your heart, and bothersome things don't seem to get you down.  When you come to an obstacle, you are better equipped to conquer it. I think this is true, because whatever your mindset is...that's the attitude you are focusing and fixating on.  If you are frustrated, it seems things will frustrate you more than if you were not already feeling … [Read more...]

If the Mountain Were Smooth, You Couldn’t Climb It!


Oh...think about that..."If the mountain were smooth, you couldn't climb it!"  WOW, powerful statement!  What does that mean to you?  Does that put some things into perspective?  It sure does for me.  Trials and tribulation in our lives are inevitable, but if we can change our perspective on them, we can realize that they are stepping stones to our maturity and growth.  If we never had trials, what kind of shallow, compassion-less, impatient people would we be? We are all here on this journey we call "life" to learn, grow, and become better.  We are here to experience this earth and all the emotions that we are blessed with.  Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace are a few of the top emotions that we are constantly yearning to get more of...but the other not-so-comforting emotions that we try to … [Read more...]

Comparison is a Dangerous Act!


“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...]

The Heaviest Thing You Can Carry…


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...]