Monday, December 19, 2011

Delight in the Little Things

Sunday evening I went with my husband and two of our children to the church for a Christmas Chorale and a Reflections of Christ exhibit. We walked through the exhibit - one word: amazing. (I encourage you to see the website for a little part of that experience). We then settled in the chapel to wait for the Chorale to begin. Beautiful orchestra music--played by young and old--surrounded us, getting us in the spirit of the season.

Two old couples sat on the pew in front of us. Both ladies and one of the gentlemen of aforementioned bench were members of one of the performing choirs. After the couple participated, they didn't return to their seat, but the one lady came back to sit by her husband. She was tiny and wrinkly and she had this light about her. I had watched her sing. In my opinion, it was enthusiastic and cheerful yet still reverent. I thought to myself that she was having a great time.

Now, come with me, if you will, to the row behind them and about twenty minutes later. My young son has sat through about an hour and as young children go, has had enough of this good time. He laid on the floor and rolled under the pew in front of us. At least he was quiet, right? I did worry a little that he would accidentally hit or kick one of the frail folks seated above him, so I'm monitoring things to make sure he does not.

Of course, it happened. The old man leaned forward. Aaah. I'd failed. Then the most delightful thing occurred. This lovely old lady's face lit up, she leaned forward a little as well and said to her husband, "Is it a child?" as if they were gold panners and he'd just found an enormous nugget. Bless her forever.

It was a wonderful reminder to me to find joy in my little ones and the beautiful little blessings I am showered with every single day. I love you my friends and wish you the most blessed of Christmases.

Monday, December 12, 2011

100 Percent Responsible

"If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves."
     --Thomas A. Edison

There is that old saying, "Aim for the stars, and maybe you'll hit the moon." In my writing group's last goal challenge, I aimed for the stars and only made it to the moon. At least I made some progress, right? But I have to evaluate why I wasn't able to complete the goal. It was definitely an achievable goal. Sure, I could blame it on life. Life happens, right? Husbands, kids, community responsibilities, business responsibilities, email, feeding the crowd, high school dances, those kinds of things pulling at bits of my time.

But ultimately, I am one hundred percent responsible for how I spend my time, where I put my priorities. My good friend Connie recently reminded me that my full-time role as wife and mother takes precedence over my part-time role as writer/author wannabe; even if I have these fabulous goals I want to achieve. I am grateful to be wife to an amazing guy (and the inspiration behind the heroes I write about) and mom to really great kids (which is true, I'm not just saying that because I'm their mom). When they need me, I will be there. 100 Percent.

Jack Canfield, co-creator of the famous 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' has a great book titled, 'The Success Principles.' (You can visit his website for wisdom and some great offers.) The very beginning of the book talks about changing your life by becoming 100 percent responsible for everything. When we take on that mentality, we empower ourselves. We have to give up ALL excuses and realize that we are in charge of the outcome. Now, what are we going to do about it?

I am going to reach my goals. Only I can do it. No one can do it for me. But, in order to do that, I have to learn to juggle life a little better. I have to make the changes. I will do it. I will be 100 percent responsible for my life and I will reach my goal.

No more excuses. Write On my friends.