Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Gift of Laughter...

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Ahhh... the sweet gift of laughter.
Now, I KNOW I have talked about this before.... that laughter - as in, the easy roll-from-the gut sort of laughter does not come easy for me.   :(

I do like this gift.  Because when it happens... it sure feels good.   I have kiddos' that laugh really, really easily, especially Jayne - which I love!!! It makes me chuckle to hear it flow so easily for them.   In other words  - it blesses me. :)

As in, that is my style of laughing... I chuckle silently; simply snickering or smiling...

I am blessed to have a husband, that keep me laughing, as well as, other friends, which is so welcomed.
Oh, how I need them ALL in  my life.

You know when and where there is a deep-seated JOY in one's life... there is great peace.
And we know a peaceful heart gives life to the body.

I know that - because of that - it is when laughter naturally spills out.

Laughter is the best medicine...for ourselves and for others.  Amen??


Click HERE to catch up on other post in this series.


Have a Blessed Weekend!!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Gift of Affection...

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Are you a naturally affectionate sort of person?  Good for you!!  I struggle in this area... and in particular when my kiddos' beg for a dog... it's simply not in me!!

Affection.  A trait I wish I was gifted in.

Every year - at Christmastime - I pull out the decorations and out comes this book...The Tall Book of Christmas!   One of my favs.

There is one story in here that is a must-read for my little family.  It chokes me up, each time - I read.  Which, on one hand, surprises even me.   Obviously - affection is a gift!!

I thought I would share part of this story with you here today... as a way to share in this gift of affection.
You may have heard of the children's story called;  The Puppy who Wanted a Boy, by Catherine Woolley.  

I'll simply paraphrase the story, just a bit...

It's a sweet story of a puppy, named Petey, who wanted nothing more than a boy for Christmas.  He was a good puppy that year - well, sorta.  He only frightened the cat a little and he only chewed on a shoe a teeny-weeny... but his mother said alright.  She guessed he could have one and she would look for a boy!!  
When there were simply no boys to be found...
Petey decided that other gifts offered by his mother would simply not do. 
 He had to have a boy.

He decided to venture out on his own.  He had to find a boy.  Perhaps another dog would give up his boy for Petey.
But when Petey politely asked the collie, who's boy was riding a bicycle, if he would give up his boy - the collie dreadfully growled he definitely didn't want to.

Next he saw a Setter playing ball with his boy.  Then a Scotty carrying a package, for his.  "Oh, if only I had a boy to play ball with or to carry a package for.." thought Petey.  Yet, for each dog he found he mustered up the courage to ask if they would be willing to give up their boy - and each one would answer... "NO!" - they definitely didn't.

Where would Petey find a Boy?  His tail fell limp.  His ears began to droop.  He was so tired from looking e v e r y w h e r e...
Mother was right.  There were no boys to be had.

As he heads home, that Christmas Eve, and on the way at the very edge of town... He sees a sign hanging over a door. that reads.

Orphans' Home

Knowing what orphans are (for they are children who have no dog to take care of them) Petey decides to see if there were any boys here...
He pads slowly up the sidewalk barely able to put one paw in front of the other.
He stops because he hears music.  Looking through the window he sees a lighted Christmas Tree and children singing carols.

But, here... sitting on the porch... he sees a boy, looking all sad and lonely.  Petey forgets about being tired.  He leaps onto the boy's lap and wiggle-wag goes his tail.  Licking the boy with his warm, wet tongue...
How glad the boy was to see Petey!  He puts both arms around the little dog and hugs him tight.

All of a sudden the front door to the Orphans' Home opens and a lovely lady calls for Dickie, the boy, to come on inside to the Christmas Tree...

Dickie looks up at the lady and says, "I've got a puppy.  Can he come, too?"

Of course he can...

Before Petey knows it - he is inside - and the crowd of boys who were playing around the tree all rushed at Petey.  They all wanted to pick him up.  They all wanted to pet him.
Petey simply wags his tail and his fat little body is frisking about... kissing every boy who came near.

"Can he stay?" the boys asked.
"Yes," said the lady. "He may stay."

"Come on, puppy." Dickie said, "Get your supper."
"We'll fix you a nice warm bed!" cried another boy.
"We'll play games with you." said a third.

"Who ever would think." said Petey to himself, "that I would get fifty boys for Christmas!"

Ahh...this story... the epitome of affection.  Everything I am not and all that I want to be!
I can't say - "I want a dog."  I KNOW my kids, do - especially my eight year old daughter.  I just wonder if I could or would have the same response as the Lovely Lady... for she is who I would want to be.  She is who I like to think I am... saying "yes!" But sadly... well, I am ..uhhh... and, I think you know what I'm going to say...

All that to say - it really is a heartwarming story... full of dreams, desire and discovery all garnered through means of... affection.  Can we say it delivered?

Thank you for reading along in this eight-gift series... Click HERE to read the other posts in this series.

Tell me.  Are you one who easily gives the gift of affection?

What is it that you are longing for this Christmas?

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Gift of Listening...

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To fully give someone a listening ear is the best thing someone can do for another.  It's not easy to stop and always give someone the full, apt attention they need, or that they're asking for. 

As a mom... this following quote-for-thought has given me pause.

Do you listen to understand?  Or, do you listen to reply?

I can remember my youngest - Jayne - a couple of years ago.  Imagine, the baby, seeking to "be heard" amongst everyone else's chatter and clamoring...
She'd be sitting on my lap and would try to be telling me something... then, because I wasn't listening, she would take her chubby little hands and grab my face - turning my whole head towards her own... so that I would really have to LISTEN to her!!  

I can remember on more than one occasion my own "demand" for a listening ear.  I had a dear friend who would willingly take hours into the night, sometimes, just to listen...to me ramble and pine and dream...
It was a season, for sure.  One that didn't last forever.  And yet, I'm sure that I took way more of her time than necessary.

But, she had a gift.  The gift of listening...
Her friendship was dear.  And, still is.
It's something I'll never forget.  A blessing I'll cherish long into forever!

I do want to be this "gift" to someone else.
Willing and ready to set life aside; to truly listen to someone - with where they're at.  With kind understanding.  Listening with questions that draws them out even more...
Obviously, for this mom, this starts at home!! 

In all of that, though, the above mentioned quote - reminds me of how and where I need or want to grow.  I realize I reply to readily... and am not patiently listening.

I'm so quick to be thinking of a reply - my reply - while someone else is talking - that I really miss what they are saying.  It's humbling to have to go back (within seconds of the conversation) and say, "I'm sorry - what did you just say?"   I've done this on more than one occasion...
I have so much room to grow...

So - this Christmas Season... with this Gift of Listening... 
To master this...what do you say we slow down and really turn our gaze to the one who truly LISTENS!  I know I need His help.

Listen to what the psalmist David says in Psalm 5:1-3...

Give ear to my words, O Lord, 
consider my sighing.
Listen to my cry for help.
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you 
and wait in expectation.

The Psalms are full of examples of prayer and petition... to the Lord.  Here's another, of David's words, found in 

Psalm 27: 7-9
Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; 
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, "Seek his face!"
Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me, 
O God my Saviour.

Oh friends...in JESUS, we have the greatest example; the Gift of Listening!!!

Doesn't that give you such peace?
**On a side note...
Have you ever stood outside on a snowy night and truly took in the quiet of the moment.  Snow softly falling.  If you hold your breath, pause.. and truly listen.  I promise, you can almost hear those snowflakes falling...one right after another.

That too is such a gift.  Try it sometime, you'll see... it stills you and all is right with the world!!

Click HERE to follow along with the other posts in the series..

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Eight Gifts That Do Not Cost You a Cent!! {mini series}

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Hello Friends... are you ready?  Christmas Time's a Comin'.  The season we all love...of gift-giving, celebration, family and friends and yummy food!  Of course, Jesus is the REAL reason for the season (the Greatest Gift) and I don't say that lightly.
 He is mine for sure...

I got to thinking what this particular season may look like for our little family.  Our kids all know that Christmas will be a little "light" this year, in terms of (tangible) gift-giving, simply due to the fact that we're wanting to buy a house.  It makes it easier to explain all of that, and abide by it- since we're all a part of the impending decision. :)
It also marks one year that our landlord passed away... which adds its own dimension in and of itself.  It's now a season with even more (raw) mixed emotions and change... but God is so good!!

In the past - here on the ole blog - I had a couple of meme's that I would do for and throughout the month of December.  One year was of sharing favorite Yuletide Carols (2013), another was the December Photo Project (2011)...or, of course there were favorite Holiday cookies sprinkled throughout.   Do you remember any of those?  lol..

This year, I thought I would dust off the old keyboard and share my thoughts regarding Eight Gifts that don't cost a thing!!

Not one single cent.

So, over the next couple of weeks - hopefully, I can keep up and get them all in before Christmas - I'll be posting a little more often (smile), as I share these eight different gifts that have made a difference either in my life or that can be given to bless someone else for this Christmas-time of year!!

Do you want to know what these gifts are?

1. The Gift of Listening
2. The Gift of Affection
3. The Gift of Laughter
4. The Gift of a Written Note
5. The Gift of a Compliment
6. The Gift of Encouragement
7. The Gift of Solitude or Time
8. The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition


So, do you think you'll join me - as we reflect on this gift-giving season? ** these may or may not be coming to you in this order...

Perhaps, you can think of a few gifts yourself - that won't be costing you a cent.
I would like to hear your thoughts..

To him that gives generously... He himself will be refreshed.  
~ Proverbs 11: 24-25 (paraphrased)


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

More Each Day!

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I needed this gentle reminder today....

Today you know more than you did at this time yesterday.  
Today you are one day closer to becoming the person you were meant to be.  
Today you have more experience, and more wisdom than you did just one day ago.
So, what's the best thing to do today?  More!

You are more today than you've ever been before.  
What a waste it would be to ignore that!
What a waste it would be not to make full use of it!  
Now that you've become more, it's time to do more.

Right now, you have what it takes to put more effort into your work, more love into your relationships, more discipline into your actions, more passion into your life.
The tools and opportunities available to you have grown.  
So use them to improve your results and make your life grow, too - not next week,
 not in a few days, but right now.

What can you improve just a little bit today?  Those little improvements add up, compounding each on each other until you've soon forged your life into a masterpiece.  
You have more today than ever before - so make more of this day than you've ever done.

Today is a truly golden opportunity
 to let your life shine
 more brightly with each passing moment. 
~ author unknown
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