Thursday, July 29, 2010

Being Sneaky...In a Good Way!

So, I did something really, really sneaky this week.  I heard something.  I thought "I could help with that".  I decided I would help with that.  But I just wanted to do it, not explain it, or take credit for it.  So I decided to do it anonymously.  I told no one, just did it.   I'm hopeful that I will see the a tiny glimpse of the hopefully positive impact this thing had.  But if not, I know it was good enough, and that makes me happy.  Period.

But today, another result of this thing, completely unexpected, snuck up on me and smacked me in the face with happiness.  Truthfully, I had even forgotten I did this thing.  Then, someone indirectly related to this, (I asked person X to do thing Y for person Z, and made it possible.....can you follow that?), person X, found out what I did.  Not that it was me, but just what I did.  And this person was blown away.  I just happened to be there to see the reaction of this person to my little random act of kindness. My intentions were to spread happiness to person Z.  I had no idea that the goodness would also touch person X, and T, U, & V.  How cool!?  And I'm not mentioning this here to toot my own horn.  Really, it was a small thing I did.  I hadn't planned on saying a word, but now that I see how many other people it touched too, it is so exciting!  You've just got to try this for yourself!  And I think being anonymous it the best part.

Pay it forward, people!  It's so fun!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What's your quirk?


An awesome friend and I had lunch together yesterday while out shopping, and we were talking about all the different quirks people have.  Talking about how "normal" we are.  No, that sounds bad.  Really, we were wondering out loud what other people must see as our  little quirks.  You know, like some people just can't make up their minds, ever.  Or someone else who has an easy time making up their mind, but has trouble seeing anything from another point of view.  Those kinds of things.  It's kind of hard to pick out what your own quirk is, because it is just so much a part of who you are.

Well, I figured mine out today. (Or at least one of mine!)  And it might not be so much of a quirk that other people see, because I'm pretty darn aggressive about hiding it.
But, I'm trying to 
Embrace Life
and that means 
this quirk, which means I need to 
quit hiding
it and 
get over it!

So.... here goes.  I let things paralyze me with fear.  It might start out little, something I just don't want to do.  Then I start to dread doing it.  Then I let it pile up so long that I'm embarrassed I haven't done it.  Then I start avoiding it.  Then I pretend it doesn't exist for awhile.  Then the denial bubble pops and I have this huge stress attack over it.  To the point where I am completely paralyzed by fear and embarrassment when I could have,  should have just sucked it up a long, long time ago and avoided all the secret stress and shame that I've been hiding for years.  Yes, years.  I can't believe I just said that in writing.

Okay, so there are two things I have let do this in my life.  And I've promised myself to stop that. I've been praying (for awhile now) for some strength and courage to face these quirks of mine.  These enemies of peace and balance.  One of the things I've been slowly working on, but I've been letting factors, outside my control, kind of let me slide back into that denial and procrastination bubble.  I'm going to be more aggressive about knocking out this quirk of mine.  It's not something internet appropriate, but I will say that it's somewhat "work related".

The other thing, is a personal thing, and I'm just too ashamed to tell you what it is, or how long I've let it slide.  BUT, I took the first of many steps today to knock this one out too.   I found out some info, admitted my issue, and scheduled a time to get it handled.  Wahoo!  Actually, I thought I would feel better already, just getting that scheduled time on my calendar, but I'm still feeling pretty paralyzed.  I'm guessing that the stress has built up over time enough that it's going to take awhile to fall away also.  But I'm working on it.

So, am I alone in this crazy quirk of mine?  Have you ever/do you now... let anything paralyze you into fear and inaction? If so, I'd love to know I have some company!  Give me a shout in the comments (you don't have to let me know the details...) and let me know if you're fighting the same battles I am.  I'd love to support and encourage you.

May you have a blessed 
and Fear Free day!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Letting Them Know

I found this HERE and wanted to share.  Yes, it's one of those emails that goes around, but it's a good one.  It's a wonderful way to EMBRACE life and bless others:

I’m not sure if the story is true, but either way – it has meaning… Many people do care about you just as you care about them. Maybe it’s time to let them know…

Here’s the story:

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.  Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.  That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. ‘Really?’ she heard whispered. ‘I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!’ and, ‘I didn’t know others liked me so much,’ were most of the comments.  No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.  The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.  As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. ‘Were you Mark’s math teacher?’ he asked. She nodded: ‘yes.’ Then he said: ‘Mark talked about you a lot.’

After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.  ‘We want to show you something,’ his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket ‘They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.’  Opening the bill fold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times.. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.  ‘Thank you so much for doing that,’ Mark’s mother said. ‘As you can see, Mark treasured it.’

All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, ‘I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.’

Chuck’s wife said, ‘Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.’

‘I have mine too,’ Marilyn said. ‘It’s in my diary’

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. ‘I carry this with me at all times,’ Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: ‘I think we all saved our lists’

That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don’t know when that one day will be.

So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.

Remember, you reap what you sow. What you put into the lives of others comes back into your own.

Have you taken the time lately to let people know the nice things you think about them?  Commented on a blog lately that inspires you?  Thanked the store clerk for being so helpful?  Told your pastor how much you enjoyed the sermon this week? 

Here's a challenge for you.  
When you find yourself thinking something nice about someone, LET THEM KNOW!  In person, in an email, a letter, or even a blog comment or tweet.  Pass the nice-ness around, and watch it come back to you...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Embracing Life...Cherish Even THIS Moment

Awhile back, my friend, SomeGirl, posted about the purpose of her blog.  She has a very clear vision and purpose, and it fits wonderfully with her blog.  (That's the point of having a purpose statement, right?)  She made me think about this blog of mine,  (she's always making me think, and I love her for it...)  and the only thing I could think of in my purpose for it is that it's for me  to whine to think about how I'm trying to balance things in my life so that the important things keep from getting neglected.  I don't want it to be all about me.  I want it to have a larger purpose, and I hope that something from it helps someone else out somewhere along the way.  But I've been at a loss as to figuring out just how to do that.

Until this weekend, that is.  Several things all happened that helped me realize what I really want this blog to focus on. (And I started to write out all the details, but it was just going to be waaaayyyy to long for you to read, assuming anyone is reading, right?  So, I'll just skip to the point.  If you really care to know the details, I'll be happy to share them, just ask.) 

I want this to be about EMBRACING LIFE.  Cherishing each and every moment, no matter how big or small, awesome or awful.  Yes, even THIS moment, when my kids are screaming at each other, and making an awful mess, and getting-on-my-very-last-nerve.  THAT moment is as important as all the good ones.   Because it's the not-so-great moments that show us the true beauty and miracles of the great moments.  

Life can end, or change radically, in an instant...
for me, for you, or for someone we love. 

Life is a gift.  

Don't waste it.