Saturday, October 27, 2012

Positively Wonderful

(I thought my clown bell looked jolly, until
a family member said it just looked creepy!
Oh well ... 'tis the season!)

Three Ways to Improve Your Outlook

Positive Books:

I'm halfway through the new book Change Your Words Change Your Life by Joyce Meyer, and it's a keeper (for me). The longer I live, the more I become convinced that there's definitely something to replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. This book sheds more light on that process:

   

Positive Songs:

Happy talk, keep talkin' happy talk,
Talk about things you'd like to do.
You got to have a dream,
If you don't have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true?

Talk about the moon floatin' in the sky

Lookin' at a lily on the lake;
Talk about a bird learnin' how to fly.
Makin' all the music he can make.

Happy talk, keep talkin' happy talk,

Talk about things you'd like to do.
You got to have a dream,
If you don't have a dream
How you gonna have a dream come true?

If you don't talk happy,

And you never have dream,
Then you'll never have a dream come true!

(part of the song Happy Talk from the musical South Pacific by Rodgers & Hammerstein)


Positive People:

Photo Credit

Hear Paul McCartney sing "Accentuate the Positive".

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine" ... how do we get a merry heart?  Change our words (and thoughts) to happy talk and accentuate the positive!  Hanging out with ... and learning from ... positive people helps, too.

Have a positively wonderful weekend,
Bess (joining in the many prayers for everyone in Sandy's path)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dainty Little Stitches



Photo Credit

"She picked up her embroidery and began setting dainty, precise little stitches, possible only to certain women."

(description of Mrs. Comstock, who was waiting for her daughter Elnora;
 from the 1909 book A Girl of the Limberlost)

Embroidery isn't for everyone.  The little stitches of handmade embroidery, quilting, and needlepoint require much patience.  For some, such handiwork would be utter tedium, but for others it's creative therapy.  I'm thankful there is so much choice among all the wonderful activities out there for us to enjoy:  something for everyone.

For we are God's handiwork,
created in Christ Jesus
to do good works,
which God prepared in advance
for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

Lots of good works to choose from, too!  I hope your weekend has a good work or two- and some creative therapy just for you!

Enjoy!
Bess

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ah ... Tea





"When in doubt the answer's always tea,"
said Sister Chiffinch.
(from Close Quarters by Angela Thirkell, 1958)

And, of course, trusting God.  Tea and trust ... the pause
that refreshes.

Jesus is your Answer,
Bess
(Just read my first Angela Thirkell book ... I like her writing so I will get more through interlibrary loan.  I would guess Close Quarters mentions many characters from previous books, so although I liked it, I would recommend reading several of her others first.)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Conundrum of Pursuing Joy




"But I cannot understand these people I hear about who live only for their own amusement. Perhaps it is very great; I'll never have a chance to know. To me, it seems the only pleasure in this world worth having is the joy we derive from living for those we love, and those we can help." 
(Elnora Comstock in A Girl of the Limberlost
by Gene Stratton-Porter)


(Well, I think there needs to be at the very least a modicum of "me time." If we only live for other people, never doing what is "just for me," then I think we burn out.)

"When we neglect what matters most to us,
that then becomes the matter with us."
(Paula Reeves, as quoted by Joan Anderson in
A Weekend to Change Your Life)

(On the other hand, it's not all about me, me, me! Some of my most joyful times have been when I was able to help someone else. Joyce Meyer says [and I paraphrase] that of all the things she's tried in an attempt to be happy, being a blessing to others is the only thing that has really made her so.)

"... Betsy, remembering all the precepts about doing something kind for someone else when you're feeling down in the mouth, offered to help Margaret dye Easter eggs."
(from Betsy in Spite of Herself
by Maud Hart Lovelace)

(Seems like a conundrum, but not really:  Taking some time to do what we expressly enjoy is part of loving ourselves, and then that fills us and fortifies us to love and help others all the more.)

For the whole Law
[concerning human relationships]
is complied with
 in the one precept,
You shall love your neighbor
as [you do] yourself.
Galatians 5:14   Amplified

Enjoying a fresh evening breeze floating in through my bedroom window and wishing you a joy-filled weekend,
Bess

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Prayer from Mrs. Comstock

Photo Credit

Mrs. Comstock, upon watching a newly emerged rare moth:

"Young people," she said solemnly, "if your studying science and the elements has ever led you to feel that things just happen, kind of evolve by chance, as it were, this sight will be good for you.  Maybe earth and air accumulate, but it takes the wisdom of the Almighty God to devise the wing of a moth.  If there ever was a miracle, this whole process is one...."

"There never was a moment in my life," she said, "when I felt so in the Presence, as I do now.  I feel as if the Almighty were so real, and so near, that I could reach out and touch Him, as I could this wonderful work of His, if I dared.  I feel like saying to Him:  'To the extent of my brain power I realize Your presence, and all it is in me to comprehend of Your power.  Help me to learn, even this late, the lessons of Your wonderful creations.  Help me to unshackle and expand my soul to the fullest realization of Your wonders.  Almighty God, make me bigger, make me broader!' "

(from A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter, which I just read for the first time and is now one of my favorite books!)

For since the creation of the world
God's invisible qualities--his eternal power
and divine nature--have been
clearly seen, being understood
from what has been made,
so that people are without excuse.
Romans 1:20

Brrrr!  Had to break down and turn on the heat!  :o)
Bess