A Better Way To Live~Day 9

There is nothing more heart wrenching for me than to meet someone living in the past. Regrets while walking this earth. Not seeing what this day has in store because they’re looking behind them.

loveLive this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find “tomorrow” on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday’s defeats, and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. All you have. Make it the best day of the year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, “If I had my life to do over again…” Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day!

It’s difficult for me to wrap my mind around this day being my last. Even though, I hear stories daily of people younger than me leaving this world. I do know, this day will come to an end, so I need to make the most of it.

I tend to do small things continuously throughout the day. Instead of tackling something large, it’s a smoother journey to make a tweak here and there. Last year was my first Christmas as a single Mom. My daughter loves Christmas lights, but I could not get motivated to hang them. I bought two Christmas trees and decorated them, thinking that would work. Well….that was okay, but looking back, it didn’t fulfill either of us.

This weekend she was with her Dad, and I had some colorful icicle lights in a box from years ago. God even made sure I had clips, so there were no excuses. It took me less than an hour to hang those colorful strands around the roof of the front porch. I’m no roof climber, and I wasn’t out to prove anything masterful. When she comes home Monday evening, the look on her face will be more than worth it.

So, if I wouldn’t have been given this day, my daughter could have sat on the front porch and seen that Mama left her a world of light and love.

A Better Way to Live~Day 8

There was a time when I was so busy all the time that it seemed I had a full life. Then I learned the following lesson. There is a big difference between ‘full’, and ‘fulfilled’.

Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busy work. No more hiding from success. Leave time and space to grow.

somedayOn a  continuous basis, I glance at my plate. Does it look like it was overloaded at a recent buffet, or is everything evenly distributed? The goal is for everything to fit, but not run together. Some helpings may be a little larger than others, but it’s what my daily life consists of, and I want it to be balanced.

Sometimes things ease onto my plate and it starts getting overcrowded. With that, one of two things will happen. I look closely at my plate and make sure I like what I see. If something has been there a while and not appetizing anymore, it may be time to remove it and make room for the new thing to help me grow.

It works best for me to remove something and pray about embracing the new, opposed to continually piling on. If I look at my plate and everything is balanced, working in sync and complimenting one another, then it’s time to say ‘No’ to adding anymore for now. Say ‘No’ without giving a reason. One of the perks of adulthood, because it’s your life. Savor every bite.

 

A Better Way To Live~Day 7

One week ago, I celebrated 16 years of sobriety. The first thing I do each morning is to thank God for waking me up sober. Each day is truly a gift, and waking up without a hangover, is an absolute miracle.

Each day is a special gift from God, and while life may not always be fair, you must never allow the pains, hurdles, and handicaps of the moment to poison your attitude and plans for yourself and your future. You can never win when you wear the ugly cloak of self-pity, and the sour sound of whining will certainly frighten away any opportunity for success. Never again. There is a better way.

Serenity PrayerI had to let go of the person I was so familiar with, and open my heart and mind to who I could become. There was no room for negative thinking, or feeling sorry for myself for all the years spent drinking. The pain and hurt caused by my actions were in the past, and I was ready to make amends and embrace the present.

By accepting there is a higher power greater than myself, I was willing to follow His plan for my life. After all, my plan had placed me where I was and that was not desirable anymore. It was time for a new life, and a new me. Thank you God for waking me up sober, and thank you for my new life.

 

A Better Way To Live~Day 6

This took a long time to learn.

Let your actions always speak for you, but be forever on guard against the terrible traps of false pride and conceit that can halt your progress. The next time you are tempted to boast, just place your fist in a full pail of water, and when you remove it, the hole remaining will give you a correct measure of your importance.

handandactionI’ve made a lot of promises throughout my life. After a trail of broken promises, words ring empty. Leading with the best intentions, until life get’s in the way. Nike has been saying it for years, “Just Do It”. It was time to stop saying and just do.

Instead of saying what I was going to do, if it’s within my power, I would just do it. When the person I did it for sees it’s been done, they are pleasantly surprised. Sometimes they don’t recall asking, it’s just something I remembered they wanted. It’s much better to do a task silently, and be thanked, than making empty promises.

I’ve also learned not to take credit for anything. All the glory goes to God, and trust me, that was a painful lesson. If something fabulous manifests through me, then it’s God working His will. I am only a vessel. Just do the next right thing, and God will do the rest. Lesson learned.

 

 

A Better Way To Live~Day 5

We are what we think we are. What we think about most, usually comes to fruition. The type day we have is seen through our perception. You wanna have a bad day? Think negative thoughts. You wanna have a great day? Wake up grateful, and think pleasant thoughts. Expect a great outcome, and consider the active role we have in choosing our thoughts and what we experience.

Build this day on a foundation of pleasant thoughts. Never fret at any imperfections that you fear may impede your progress. Remind yourself, as often as necessary, that you are a creature of God and have the power to achieve any dream by lifting up your thoughts. You can fly when you decide that you can. Never consider defeat again. Let the vision in your heart be in your life’s blueprint. Smile!

always-do-your-bestWe have all had the experience of seeing how what we dwell on becomes magnified in our lives.  Like a garden our lives will bear the fruit that we tend.  The garden, our lives, is going to produce something, there will be some net result to show as the sum total of the choices we have made.  Poor choices or no active choices made at all and the unattended garden will yield weeds.  Tended, cultivated and paid attention to the garden that is our life will produce in abundance.

A Better Way to Live~Day 4

I was sitting in my home office, gazing out of the window, contemplating my business for the day. My 15-year-old daughter being 5 at that time, came running around the corner and hurried out the front door. Reaching the sidewalk she started skipping toward her friend’s house next door. She spotted me at the window and stopped, turned around and raced back into the house. Bursting into my office, she ran up to me and said, “Mom? You’re my hero!” I have never forgotten that moment, or the seed she planted that day…..

Always reward your long hours of labor and toil in the very best way, surrounded by your family. Nurture their love carefully, remembering that your children need models, not critics, and your own progress will hasten when you constantly strive to present your best side to your children. And even if you have failed at all else in the eyes of the world, if you have a loving family, you are a success.

a-heroI’ve had many home offices situated in beautiful homes. This started years ago when I thought, “Make money and be happy.” Many people work at a job they may not even like, because it pays well. The vision of a material world is not our topic today. This day is about being a hero.

My daughter has watched me overcome some monumental obstacles in life. Actually, she has watched God pull me out of poor choices, and be better because of them. It didn’t matter to her how much money was in my bank account. She was watching to see if I came out on the other side better than I began. Am I a good role model?

When I first noticed her watching me, she would emulate my actions. Putting things back in the proper place when finished, doing little things the same way as I would. Every child does this so pay attention!

ibelieveinyouToday, she is 15 and it’s amazing how the years have made her self-sufficient. She will cook dinner, set the table, and clear the table in a style of her own, but she would do so in a certain order. Sometimes we walk toward the door to leave, and look at one another only to find, we are dressed the same. We are similar in many ways, but twinsies we are not.

She has seen the Mom that makes a lot of money and drives a Mercedes, and is seeing the Mom doing what she loves and driving a truck. If you ask her about her childhood, she doesn’t remember much. She remembers the time I put her in timeout during a dinner party for wanting my attention.

While I was focused on making money to give her everything she needs, all she needed was a Mom that would be present. I encourage you today to spend time with your family! When you leave the office, leave everything there and be present. Be a hero and be worth watching.

 

 

 

 

A Better Way To Live~Day 3

Sitting at my desk looking out the window at the pier, thinking…”It looks cold out there.” I remember standing on that pier over a year ago, in the cold, crying and begging God to help me. To wrap His loving arms around me and just hold me. That was last fall, and this is a new one. Thank you God for new seasons.

Today’s suggestion for A Better Way to Live is a good one. It breaks my heart to see people looking behind them. Our Creator put our eyes in front for a reason!

Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don’t look back at it too long. Mistakes are life’s way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit, your turn will come.

prayThis is a highly motivational piece of advice. It would be easy for me to give you a big rah-rah speech on brushing yourself off and trying again. Life is not easy, but there is one thing I know. God has a plan for me. That is all I need to know. He has a plan and it is for my good.

Yes, I can make wrong choices, but even then He promises to turn them around for good. Sometimes choices place me in painful situations, but that is where growth happens. When I’m in pain, worry and fear, God is there watching and waiting to see my next move. This is where I’ve learned to hit my knees, or stand before Him and seek HIS plan, not mine. You might recall, my best laid plans got me a 16 year sobriety medallion in AA.

definesusMaybe you’ve heard the song Kelly Clarkson released years ago, “Stronger.” It’s a harsh statement for my vocabulary index, but it makes sense. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!” My outside circumstances had left me dying on the inside. When we start cleaning up the mess on the inside, our outside starts looking better.

A lot of people think what they have material wise, or on the outside, will bring them ultimate joy. Guess what? Wrong. C.S. Lewis says, “Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.” We never physically ‘lose’ ourselves. I’ve been emotionally lost, but my body was still with me. Our spirit dwells inside our body, so everything we truly need cannot be lost. Unless you don’t take care of yourself, and that’s another blog!

I encourage you today to shake off what life is throwing at you and begin again! Every moment is new, and we only have the exact moment that’s in front of us. The past is gone, and the future is not here yet. The choices we make right now, are what paves the path to the life we want to achieve. Make it beautiful.