Enjoy some of my favorite quotes, sayings, songs, verses and more that will give you inspiration and encouragement when you need it the most. 

“There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them.
But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.” ―
Paulo Coelho
Christmas songs (stories) like you've never imagined.  When you put yourself in the place of those involved, you kind of look at things a whole new way and you see what an interesting time this was as it was unfolding.  I know you will enjoy these...

You are who you are for a reason
You are who you are for a reason.
You're part of an intricate  plan.
You're a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God's special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You're just what he wanted to make.
The parents you had were the ones he chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom designed with God's plan in mind,
And they bear the Master's seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you  so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into his likeness you'd grow.

You are who you are for a reason, You've been formed by the Master's rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!

Russell Kelfer-
    Every single day, no matter who you meet in the day - friends, family, work colleagues, strangers - give joy to them. Give a smile or a compliment or kind words or kind actions, but give joy! Do your best to make sure that every single person you meet has a better day because they saw you. This might sound like it is not connected with you and your life, but believe me it is inseparably connected through cosmic law.  As you give joy to every person you meet, you bring joy to YOU. The more you can give joy to others, the more you will bring the joy back to you.  - From The Secret Daily Teachings

Do all the good you can, By all the means you can,

In all the ways you can, In all the places you can,

At all the times you can, To all the people you can,

As long as ever you can.

John Wesley (1703 - 1791)

There are few things more satisfying than seeing your children have teenagers of their own. 
-Doug Larson
The Highest Human Duty is to Encourage.
Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home.
-Bill Cosby
A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.   -- Washington Irving
A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.   -- Agatha Christie
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”  ― Oscar Wilde

Worry is the dark room in which negatives are developed

“May you live every day of your life.”  ― Jonathan Swift

“Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"

“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.   " Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, 'Wait and Hope.”   Alexandre Dumas

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”    Martin Luther King Jr.,
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life."   John Lennon

“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you're going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends - they'll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything - they're your true best friends. Don't let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they'll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them - actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can't give up because if you give up, you'll never find your soulmate. You'll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.” ― Marilyn Monroe
  • “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”  ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go! 
  • “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” ― Thomas A. Edison
  • “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
  • “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”   ― Oscar Wilde
  • “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”  ― Mahatma Gandhi
  • “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  ― Eleanor Roosevelt,  
  • “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”  ― Mahatma Gandhi
  • “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ― Albert Einstein
  • “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”  Marilyn Monroe
  • “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”   Bil Keane
If you make time daily to list all the things you are grateful for, and you milk the feelings of gratitude, you will feel amazing every day. Your frequency will be high and you will move through your days so happy to be alive, bringing joy wherever you go, positively affecting one person after another. When you live a life like this, everything you want will come before you even ask. 

Here is an article I just wrote for Chicagoland Scrapbooker Magazine.  I don't know how it will be edited yet...

Photos -  What you need to know b4 you place your next order...
There are many things to consider when looking at how to get your pictures in your hands.  Let me open your eyes and explain a little about what happens when you order your photos and what options you have.
First, the difference between “developing” and “printing”.  
•    Developing is done using a "wet lab".  This is how pictures have been developed and "proven" since the 1800's.  They obviously last a very long time as we still have beautiful photos from long ago.  In the last 40 years, the process has been compressed and made more efficient into what is called a "mini lab".  It takes a qualified person, that knows what they are doing, to use and maintain one of these.  Lots of chemicals and physical labor are both needed.  Your digital images go through a computer, adjusted if needed, and then past a laser that exposes the paper.  It is then put through a chemical bath, a developer, bleach and stabilizer before it goes to the drying area.   With all of these steps, it takes a little longer to print a photo but oddly enough, it is the most economical.  The advantage to us is that there is proven longevity,  great quality with rich, vibrant colors as well as many surface choices like glossy, matte, metallic and luster. You can print as small as locket size up to a 10x15 in a mini lab or 24" in a regular lab.  Wet labs also handle slides and negatives.  Not many places offer this great option anymore as they take up about 45sf of floor space and stores put priority on retail space they free up with other options. If you are looking for places that do this you need to ask if they have a "wet lab".  
•    Printing is the other option and can be done by inkjet or by dye-sublimation "dye-sub" - these are called "dry labs" or to some extent, even at home.

  • o     Inkjets are found at local stores or online and can print on canvas, as glossy, satin, or metallic.  They can be a little more expensive as the cost of the ink and papers is higher but they can be done while you wait.  They can be scratched fairly easy so be cautious when stacking.  Sizes generally go up to 24" but specialty places can print up to 60".  If you do inkjet printing at home just be sure to use the suggested ink and paper that are meant for your machine as they are all formulated to work best together.   There is NO industry standard for using the word "archival" so don't be mis-led.  They started using the word “archival” many years ago when photos only lasted 7 years.  Manufacturers say inkjet could last as long as 70 years but my source doubts the "archival" quotes associated with this type of printing.  
    Inkjets" can use 2 different products to give the color
  • •    "dye" which offers lots of colors and vivid pictures.
  • •    and“pigment", which is more resistant to fading but not as vibrant.  It does not absorb into the paper as well as dyes.
 o    Dye sublimation is what most places offer as takes up little space in stores yet it's a more costly option for us. These machines are generally a kiosk or as a table top option and are done while you wait.  These papers contain plastics and are covered in a clear coat of plastic after 3 different colors are deposited on the paper.  The downsides for us scrappers is cutting these is very different and tearing them for technique is an impossibility. There are not many surface choices or sizes.  They have just medium image quality and medium fade tolerance.  

There seems to be a lot of marketing hype when it comes to HOW pictures are "developed" or "printed" and WHAT is used.  Some on-line and local places I contacted were great at avoiding my questions that were geared towards wanting my pictures "developed".  I got all kinds of fancy talk like “we use the highest quality inks” and “we use the best rated papers” etc. but what it came down to was that it seemed they did not want to say they do not use a "wet lab."  This is my personal preference just because it's time-tested and proven.  You need to decide what is best for you however, and ask direct questions. “ Wet lab” or “dry lab”.  If a dry lab, you need to get more specific using the information above.   Before you find a place and stick with them I would suggest you order a single print but with different options at different places.  Try different papers, finishes, enhanced, not enhanced etc. so you can compare and see if what you are paying is worth it.

A little more wisdom:

•    You NEED to be able to develop/print your photos - My philosophy is that if you can't hold them in your hands - they don't exist.  Too many times I have seen my clients precious photos lost forever because of technology.

•    Many places will "white box" orders that come to them.  This means that they will send your order to a regional lab that works for them, This means your pictures can be done at a different place each time and may be inconsistent.  

•    Some labs offer to "enhance" your photos.  This sounds great but if your pics were taken in different lighting situations you could end up with the first few (that they set the rest of them from) looking great and the rest being a little "off".  Having your photos done in a lab that is a little more personal may mean that you have someone taking a little closer look at your pictures to adjust them properly for you.  A personal test of mine showed no visible difference when I compared my enhanced and non-enhanced pictures.  
•    When framing larger photos, you need to think about how gravity will affect it over time.  After a while they will probably sag or warp in the frame.  Professional places generally adhere your photo to foam core to keep it secure and "safe",  
•    Sun is the worst fader of photos as are spotlights on your pictures.  Glass with a UV coating slows it down but does not prevent fading.
•    Pictures that have gotten wet and stuck together will be a challenge but my professional recommends using a toaster oven set very low to dry them out 4-5 minutes at a time.  Carefully remove the outside ones first that are dryer and re-heat to remove them in layers.  Be cautious you do not burn them and know this is not foolproof but has worked.      
Danita Bergrud has been the owner and operator of Weekends Away Retreats since 1995 and believes her retreats, that gather women together, are using her spiritual gifts and is one of her missions in life.  Her prices are set so that any woman can afford an escape for a while to enjoy the fellowship and support of other women.  Danita feels blessed to be writing  articles for this magazine  to share with others.  Most all of the information contained in this article is courtesy of Kevin Beasley, the owner/operator of Fotohouze in Downers Grove Il.  He has been in the industry since 1985 and offers personal assistance to his clients whether on line or in person.

Here is the article I wrote for a scrapbook magazine on organizing your digital images.  I hope it inspires you...  I have also done one on choosing the right scrapbook retreat and I'm working on one right now about photo developing versus printing.  That one should be awesome too! 

As you are.
Stronger than you know.
More beautiful than you think.
Worthier than you believe.
More loved than you can ever imagine.
Passionate about making a difference.
Fiery when protecting those you love.
Learning. Growing. Not alone.
Warm. Giving. Generous.
Quirky. Sexy. Funny. Smart.
Flawed. Whole. Scared. Brave.
And so, so, so.much.more.
Be Strong. Be Confident. Be You. ~ Copyright: Tia Sparkles Singh, 2011.
If you don’t like being a doormat then get off the floor. – Al Anon.
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. – Maya Angelou.
Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize. Your words are the greatest power you have. The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience. - Sonia Choquette.
Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is! – Anne Frank.
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming….. WOO HOO…. What a RIDE!” 


I will pamper myself

I will plant a flower or a tree

I will eliminate waste in one area of my life

I will think before speaking

I will end gossip when it reaches me
I will take the first step in restoring a relationship
I will clean up after myself
I will refuse to pat myself on the back
I will spend more time with an elderly person,
I will  compliment someone on a job well done
I will enjoy sight
I will push the plate away before second helpings

Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go;
they merely determine where you start.

The JOY you give others is the JOY that comes back to you
When you ask for happiness and a beautiful life, ask not just for you, but for everyone.
When you ask for something better,

ask not just for you, but for everyone. By all means ask for abundance and health for you,

but also ask for it to be given to everyone.         

Can you imagine what would happen if six billion people asked for these things for you?


Trying to change someone is a waste of time. The very thought of changing someone is saying that they are not good enough as they are, and it is soaked with judgment and disapproval. That is not a thought of appreciation or love, and those thoughts will only bring separation between you and that person.

You must look for the good in people to have more of it appear. As you look only for the good things in a person, you will be amazed at what your new focus reveals.  


Rhonda Byrne  The Secret... joy for billions




The law of attraction cannot change anything in your life that you hate, because hate prevents the change from coming. Since the law is giving us exactly what we are putting out, when you hate something the law must continue to give you more of what you hate. You will not be able to move away from it. Love is the only way.

If you focus completely on the things you love, then you are on your way to a beautiful life. 


Rhonda Byrne  The Secret... joy for billions
Be aware of the big difference between inspired action and activity. Activity comes from the brain-mind and is rooted in disbelief and lack of faith - you are taking action to "make" your desire happen. Inspired action is allowing the law to work through you and to move you.
Activity feels hard. Inspired action feels wonderful.  


Rhonda Byrne  The Secret... joy for billions



Sometimes our kids make bad choices.  Irregardless of what we taught them, shown them, explained to them and impressed into their souls.  Here are some prayers, one for everyday of the week.  Simply insert your child's name and remember to pray deeply and faithfully.   These prayers are designed in a way that we do ask God to go against his will of giving us freedom of choice.  We are praying like Jesus would pray basically.  I would recommend printing out a number of copies and keeping them throughout the house to pray no matter where you are.  Maybe even give some to give to your closest friends asking them to pray with you...  

Monday -  Lord, will You destroy every deception and lie of the enemy. Bless every bit of Your Word that has been hidden in their hearts. Don’t allow them to deceive themselves regarding sin and rebellion. Make them clearly see the reality of their sin. Let them see all the consequences of their sin, immediate and eventual. Do not let Satan, the god of this world, blind them.
Tuesday -  Lord, let them experience all the ugliness of sin now rather than later. Take from them every pleasure of sin and shorten the season of sin’s pleasure. Let sin taste like ashes in their mouths. Make the taste of the prodigal’s corn husks unbearable. Let the emptiness of sin and the world gnaw at their stomachs until they long for the true bread of life and water of eternal life that only Jesus can give. Let them get caught in their sins.
Wednesday -  Lord, fill the quiet moments of their lives with Your voice. Speak to them through everything they see and hear. Let the song of every bird and the fragrance of every flower call them back to You. When they “consider the lilies of the field,” let them hear a call back into Your kingdom. Let the memory of Your love and goodness create a holy homesickness for their true home in Christ.
Thursday -  Lord, surround them with people who intentionally or unintentionally will point them back to You. Bring about divine encounters with Christians at unlikely times and in unlikely places. Open the door for me and other Christians to establish loving relationships with their friends and effectively share the gospel.
Friday -  Lord, let the Holy Spirit faithfully convict them of sin. Keep their conscience tender and alive to right and wrong. Let every sin that grieves You sadden their own hearts as well. Cause them to long to be cleansed of sin, guilt, and fear.
Saturday -  Lord, protect their lives from death, accident, and injury, and have mercy on them. Keep them from foolish decisions whose consequences will have lasting and tragic consequences. Guard their lives from Satan’s attacks and surround them with Your mercy.

Sunday -  Heavenly Father, be unrelenting in the pursuit of Your purpose for their lives. Permeate their daily lives with Your presence and reality. Let Your call be ever before them.
  What is your purpose in life?  We were each given certain gifts.  Certain talents. Certain things we are good at.   Follow this link to find out what yours are.  If you are not a Christ follower or believer -  do not fret.  Just answer the questions accordingly and honestly.  THEN - tally your score and you may (or may not) be surprised to see how your gifts make you who you are  Think about how you can use those gifts to the best of your ability.  I have found that when you choose a career centered around your top three gifts, you will be most happy as this is your calling.  Many use their gifts to bless others and this is what makes some of us even happier.  It gives some a sense of purpose.   These gifts that you are now aware of - are what you were meant to be doing.  Yes, we can make some bad choices in what we were called to do - but those choices are ours to make or not make, right?  I hope that this insight leads you on some pretty awesome journeys!  My journey has been most enlightening, eye-opening and satisfying...   

Don't compare your insides to another's outsides.
Simply explained...  What we see in someone -  them and their life - is only what they want us to see.  We are not seeing the whole story.  We basically see all the happiness, good times and care free attitude.  In our own lives, we see all our challenges, imperfections and things that go wrong.   How fair, and right for that matter, is it to compare their outsides to our insides?  We should learn to be happy with what we have and not always believe that everyone is better off than we are...  Here is a wonderful story I know that just hits this home...
This man was struggling with all that life throwing at him at the moment and he called to God for help.  He said that it was just too much for him to handle.  God made him an offer.  He took him to a huge room that was full of all different crosses of all shapes and sizes.  God told him to look around and choose the cross he wanted to bear.  "Any one?" he asked.  God said, "Yes, you can choose any one you want."  The man was so excited.  He ran into the room and looked everywhere for the one he wanted to take on.  He was surprised at how large some were.  Some were so heavy that he couldn't even move them.  Then, way far back in a corner, he found this tiny little cross.  He grabbed it up quickly and called to God. "This one right here.  This is the one I want to bear."  God smiled and said, "My dear child, that was the one you came in with."  
  • There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying - Francis Bacon
  • The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it - Jean Moliere
  • He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals - Benjamin Franklin
  • They who give have all things, they who withhold have nothing - Hindu proverb
  • A man's faults all conform to his type of mind.  Observe his faults an you may know his virtues. - Confucius
  • Goodness is the only investment that never fails.  - Henry Thoreau
For parents of teens...
No matter how old we get, the need for acceptance never goes away. Consciously or not, we are all drawn to the places and people where we feel absolutely and unconditionally welcomed, approved and believed in. But there may be no other time in life where the pull to feel this acceptance is as strong as the teenage years.

Justin Young, a motivational youth speaker puts it this way, “Acceptance is never more important than during the teen and preteen years – when they are clamoring, ever so awkwardly, toward adulthood and on their way to the summit of self-actualization (their true potential)”.


This may not be new information, but as parents to teenagers, it is critical information. As our students approach ages where the need for acceptance is felt more acutely than ever before, the stakes are higher than ever. Because if we aren’t offering the acceptance our teenagers are desperate for, they won’t just live without it—they will look elsewhere for it.


Which is why it is so important that our kids feel the acceptance they need from us primarily. But before addressing what acceptance may look like, let’s talk about what it is not. Acceptance of our students doesn’t have to mean approval of unwise choices. In Young’s article “Change a Teen with Unconditional Acceptance”, it’s said this way: “Accepting a  teenager unconditionally doesn’t mean you have to accept their reasoning, the premise of what they’re saying, their poor behavior or bad attitude, their disrespect, their playing the victim card, or their oft-times poor sense of judgment … But the simple act of showing them that you accept them for who they are, as a person – their weaknesses, strengths and all – is the first step to helping them build their own self-acceptance”
In addition, acceptance, from our end as parents, should not be a reaction. We shouldn’t be taking our cues from our teenagers and gauging how to respond to them based off of how they are treating us. In fact, the opposite is true. Though this is a stage of life where they may be naturally pulling away and sending every nonverbal (or verbal) message of how they don’t want us around, this is the time when our communicated acceptance is the most crucial. In offering this, even when your student is communicating something different, you are creating the space for change in their behavior to happen. And whether their behavior changes or not, creating a place where they feel accepted is always a good idea.
So, how do we begin showing unconditional acceptance to our teenagers in actual, tangible ways? How do we put our “I love you” in a language they can really understand?

Social scientists John DeFrain and Nick Stinnett asked 1,500 kids, “What do you think makes a family happy?” What was their most frequent answer? Doing things together.                                                                                           
Here is a list of seven creative ways parents can demonstrate their love and acceptance to their children.
1.  Plan to hang out with your student once a month—and let them choose the activity.
2.  Take them unexpectedly for a walk or a meal.
3.  Write something encouraging on a Post-it-note and stick it on their bedroom door.
4.  Spend an hour listening to their favorite music or watching their favorite TV show with them.
5.  Find something about your child’s appearance to compliment. 
6.  Do one of their chores for them.
7.  Sit down with your child and start asking questions … and then listen to them.
Pick one—or all seven—and be intentional this week about showing your student that you love and accept them, just the way they are.
Every single thought - whether positive or negative – goes through the same cycle when it forms. Thoughts are basically electrical impulses, chemicals and neurons. They look like a tree with branches.
As the thoughts develop and become permanent, more branches grow and the connections become stronger. As we change our thinking, some branches go away, new ones form, the strength of the connections change, and the memories network with other thoughts. What an incredible capacity of the brain to change and rewire and grow! Spiritually, this is what we call renewing the mind.
As you think, your thoughts are activated, which in turn determines your attitude, because your attitude is all of your thoughts put together and reflects your state of mind. This attitude is formed in the chemical secretions that are released. Positive attitudes cause the secretion of the correct amount of chemicals, and negative attitudes distort the chemical secretions in a way that disrupts their natural flow. The chemicals are like little cellular signals that translate the information of your thought into a physical reality in your body and mind, creating an emotion. The combination of thoughts, emotions and resulting attitude impacts your body in a positive or negative way. This means your mind and body really are inherently linked, and this link starts with your thoughts.  - JOY!
Thinking, talking and worrying about what you DON'T want will never bring you what you DO want.
Thinking, talking and worrying about what you DON'T want will never bring you what you DO want. Job 3:25 says that we are warned - the things we intensely fear have a tenancy to become reality. What we receive will be the result of what we believe.
As a person thinks in his heart - so is he.
The secret to living an exceptional tomorrow is purely a matter of thinking strong, joyful thoughts today
The way you think and multiply or shrink your gifts and talents
You cannot think negatively and live positively any more than you can plant an apple tree and expect to harvest oranges.    - the 4:8 Principal
Communication with our spouse or partner is soooo important.  Here are some notes for a Weekend to Remember Couple's Retreat I attended recently.  Only 7-10% of communication is verbal.  Body language, tone and volume is what makes up the rest.  Anger can sabotage communication so be careful.  Even when angry, find the est way to communicate.  Satan wants marriages to fail!!  Don't let him!  Give each other grace and work things out.  Many people want nothing more than for people to listen to them. 
Here are some tips...

  1.  give focused attention
  2. listen with acceptance and understanding
  3. ask clarifying questions and make summarizing statements
  4. focus on WHAT is being said and not the WAY it is being said.  
Then express yourself appropriately
  1.  Think before you speak
  2. Not everything you are feeling needs to be expressed
  3. Ask and make sure you are being understood
  4. Speak in a way that encourages
Enjoy the video advertising Hearitol.  If only men would hear what we are saying...
“Young girls today are very mistaken to be thinking that their sense of self-worth and their acknowledgment of their beauty depends on whether a man will give that to them or not. Such naivete! And so what will happen when the man changes his mind about her? Tells her she's not beautiful enough? That she's not good enough? Cheats on her? Leaves her? Then what happens? She will lose all her self-worth, she will think she is not good enough, she is not beautiful enough, because all of those feelings depended on the man in the first place! And along with the loss of the man, it will all be lost as well! Mothers, teach your daughters better. It pains me to see such naive innocence right under my nose! Such naivete does no good for any girl. It is better for a girl to be worldly-wise and have street-smarts! That's what a girl needs to have in life! Not wide-eyed delusional innocence! The sense of self-worth and acknowledgment of being beautiful must not come from a man, it must come from inside the woman herself, men will come and men will go and their coming and going must not take an effect on the woman's sense of worth and beauty.”    
“It's not very easy to grow up into a woman. We are always taught, almost bombarded, with ideals of what we should be at every age in our lives: "This is what you should wear at age twenty", "That is what you must act like at age twenty-five", "This is what you should be doing when you are seventeen." But amidst all the many voices that bark all these orders and set all of these ideals for girls today, there lacks the voice of assurance. There is no comfort and assurance. I want to be able to say, that there are four things admirable for a woman to be, at any age! Whether you are four or forty-four or nineteen! It's always wonderful to be elegant, it's always fashionable to have grace, it's always glamorous to be brave, and it's always important to own a delectable perfume! Yes, wearing a beautiful fragrance is in style at any age!”   ― C. JoyBell C.
  • We cannot eliminate poor choices but we can use them as a life lesson. 
  • Don't repeat the same poor choice over and over -  THIS is called insanity. 
  • If you always do what you've always done ...  You will always get what you've always gotten...
  • Where you don't have a choice in a matter - You still have the choice how to respond.
  • Choosing not to choose is still a choice

Decision Making. 
1.  Weigh the pros and cons.

2. Seek out wise counsel (not agreeing counsel.  Maybe even your bible) 

3. Take out the emotion.



Model the next right choice - Our kids watch us all the time and they believe what they see and not what they hear.
Encourage the next right choice - Applaud the process and not just the the product.  The process is what teaches them
Guide the next right choice -  Allow them to make decisions. When they make a bad choice we need to teach them how to recover from failure. 

"Give every person more in use value than you take from them in cash value."


Remember this, and never take money from anyone without giving more in use value than the money you are receiving. In people's lives, ...this is one of the main causes of lack of money, unsuccessful job experiences, and failed businesses. Give more value than the money you are receiving; in your job, in your business, and in every part of your life.


“The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her; but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.”     -Joybell

“Inside every woman, is a crazy girl. And we all know what I'm talking about. That part of you that is entangled with insecurities, fears, and absolute insanity! The art of femininity lies in the molding, pounding, and defeating of that crazy girl on a daily basis! Look at any woman, and you're looking at a woman fighting a daily battle, wielding her weapons in war, every day! I have said it before and I'll say it again: it is never easy being a woman! And if we could only pound that crazy, insecure girl out of ourselves, it would make such the difference!”   - Joybell
From The Secret Daily Teachings
Happiness is a state of being, and comes from the inside of you. By the law of attraction you must become on the inside what you want on the outside.  You are either choosing to be happy now, or you are making up excuses for not choosing to be happy. But there are no excuses for the law!

Here is the secret of happiness!!
If you want to be happy for an hour, go watch TV.

If you want to be happy for a day,  go to an amusement part.

If you want to be happy for a week, take a trip.

If you want to be happy for a lifetime, serve others.


Make a difference in the life of an at-risk child.  Don't forget - They are the future. 
Show a child some love that they may not get at home. 
Show them how to be responsible and lead them.  They may not get this from friends or adults. 
Spend one on one time with them which they most likey don't get at school.  
If you don’t have the time to do it right – You must have time to do it over.
Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. 
It means you should just try harder…
There are two ways you can like your life. 

One as though nothing is a miracle.  The other, as though everything is…  Albert Einstein
Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. So...  Here you go... 
These are some quotes the clothing supplier at my retreats can print onto your items...


Maturity is overrated  *  I do what the voices inside my wife's head tell me  *  Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes  *  I'm NOT with stupid anymore  *  Women who behave rarely make history  *  I'm still a HOT babe  *  People like you are the reason people like me need medication  *  Everyone is entitled to MY opinion  *  I'm sorry but I don't know any words small enough for you to understand  *  Dogs have owners.  Cats have staff.  *  If it weren't for physics and law enforcement -  I'd be unstoppable  *   Who needs a therapist?  I have my sister  * 'Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.
"How do I stop my negative thoughts?" - is a question that I have been asked many times. If you have ever asked this question then you will feel such enormous relief in knowing the answer, because it is so simple. How do you stop negative thoughts? You plant good thoughts!

When you try to stop negative thoughts, you are focusing on what you don't want - negative thoughts - and you will attract an... abundance of them. They can never disappear if you are focused on them. The "stop" part is irrelevant - the negative thoughts are your focus. It doesn't matter if you are trying to stop negative thoughts or control them or push them away, the result is the same. Your focus is on negative thoughts, and by the law of attraction you are inviting more of them to you.


The truth is always simple and it is always easy. To stop negative thoughts, just plant good thoughts! Deliberately plant good thoughts! You plant good thoughts by making it a daily practice to appreciate all the things in your day. Appreciate your health, your car, your home, your family, your job, your friends, your surroundings, your meals, your pets, and the magnificent beauty of the day. Compliment, praise, and give thanks to all things. Every time you say "Thank you" it is a good thought! As you plant more and more good thoughts, the negative thoughts will be wiped out. Why? Because your focus is on good thoughts, and what you focus on you attract.


So don't give any attention to negative thoughts. Don't worry about them. If any come, make light of them, shrug them off, and let them be your reminder to deliberately think more good thoughts now.

The more good thoughts you can plant in a day, the faster your life will be utterly transformed into all good. If you spend only one day speaking of good things and saying "Thank you" at every single opportunity, you will not believe your tomorrow. Deliberately thinking good thoughts is exactly like planting seeds. As you think good thoughts you are planting good seeds inside you, and the Universe will transform those seeds into a garden of paradise. How will the garden of paradise appear? As your life!
  • A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.
  • If you tell the truth -  You don't have anything to remember
  • It is not only what we do, but what we do not do, for which we are accountable.
  • The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out...
  • Children have more need of models than of critics
  • You cannot do a kindness to soon because you will never know how soon it will be too late.
  • The person that loves you the most is the one that tell you what you don't want to hear.
  • It's not a crutch to have people that want to help you .  It's a gift.
Our fabulous pastor had a tall glass vase, about 5 large stones and 2 pitchers of small pebbles at the last service.  The glass is our lives. The same -24 hours for each of us. The large stones are the main priorities in life. job, family, friends, GOD etc. The small pebbles are the small things that fill our time but still important. emails, errands etc... When he pours in the the 2 pitchers first and puts the stones on top, there is no room, the stones are overflowing the vase. BUT... when we put the priorities and important things in life in first, both pitchers of the pebbles just fill in all around the stones and there is room to spare. What an amazing visual this is.    Click here
A Brother's Gift...
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz, who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes, I'll do it if it will save Liz." 
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in the bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color return to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?"
Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood...but he did it anyway.       Author Unknown     
It's not a daydream if you decide to make it your life.  Train - "She's on fire"
Your greatest fear should be...   Succeeding in something that really doesn't matter.
See the MESSAGE in the MESS
This too shall pass.  (now would be good)
Optimists creed
Promise Yourself...
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature you meet.
To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.
To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.
- 1912 by Chistian D. Lars Larson
Positive thinking makes such an impact in your life...  How can you NOT do it?

Every time you verbally declare something -  you are moving towards it.
  • I'm going to be really happy today!
  • I have the BEST life!!
  • I will not lose patience with my kids!
  • I'm going to score well on my tests this week!
If you want to know what you'll be like in 5 years...  Look at what you are saying about yourself today!
Don't use words to describe a situation -  Use them to change a situation. 
  • I am having such a terrible day becomes Today is going to be awesome
  • I feel like a failure becomes I'm going to do some great things today!
  • The weather is bringing me down today becomes I can't wait to see what great thing is going to happen today
In spite of how you FEEL - you should declare that "everything is getting better"




Friendship quotes

True friends are like diamonds, precious and rare. False friends are like leaves, found everywhere

True friends are those who are there for you unconditionally. Never do they question, but always offer support no matter what the circumstances are. Best Friends are the people worth living for.
-- Author Unknown
True friendship is like sound health, the value of it is seldom known until it is lost.  -- Charles Caleb Colton
Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher.  -- Oprah Winfrey
The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.  -- Author Unknown
Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.  Albert Camus
Friendship... is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything.  Muhammad Ali
“That was the thing about best friends. Like sisters and mothers, they could piss you off and make you cry and break your heart, but in the end, when the chips were down, they were there, making you laugh even in your darkest hours.”
A true friend is someone who is there for you when they would rather be someplace else.
-- Len Wein
A friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself.  -- Jim Morrison
When it hurts to look back, and you're scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there.  -- Author Unknown
Loving your spouse From a conference with John and Kendra Smiley
  • First things first.  Love first the Lord, then your spouse, kids.  Your Kids will grow and learn when they see you love your spouseYou can love your spouse properly and the the way you should when you love the Lord.  It all works together. 
  • Woman want LOVE and a husband should work on understanding her as much as he can so he can love her.  A man wants RESPECT and we should show him that as much as we can.  We are so different but God designed us this way to be a team making up for each others weaknesses. 
  • If you understand each others personalities, you can learn how to work with each other.
Do this LOVE LANGUAGES quiz to see what language you speak.  Kids can also do this test.  When you find this out, you and your family will be able to show love to each other in the way that means the most to each of you. 
As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.  Prov 23:7
  • The power of like and death is in one's tongue.
  • Out of the mouth - the heart speaks
  • Commit to realizing the power of words and use them in a Godly way
  • The right words spoken in the right way can be life changing
  • Our words go into our own ears as well as other people's.  Then they drop down into our soul where they either bring us joy or sadness
  • We can depend on the type of words we've spoken to increase our own joy by speaking the right words
  • Where the mind goes -  the mouth will follow
  • You don't have to say a word out loud for them to bring you up or down.
Click Here - Change your words - Change your life - Joyce Meyer
“The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her; but the strength of a woman is  measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.”   C. JoyBell C
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so  long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”   Helen Keller, 
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” Anne Bradstreet
“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”  Margaret Fuller
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived  through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt,
You Are Amazing
As you are.
Stronger than you know.
  More beautiful than you think.
Worthier than you believe.
More loved than you can ever imagine.
Passionate about making a difference.
Fiery  when protecting those you love.
Learning. Growing. Not alone.
Warm. Giving. Generous.
Quirky. Sexy. Funny. Smart.
Flawed. Whole. Scared. Brave.
And so, so, so much more.
 Be Strong. Be Confident. Be You.  

 People are like stained-glass windows.
They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in,
their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.  Elizabeth Kübler-Ross.
 “The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her; but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.”  
“If you find a man who trusts you, who isn't afraid, who sees you for who you are, and if it feels like he knows you for who it is that you simply are, and thinks all of that is beautiful; know that you have found a rare thing.” 
“Some girls need men to take them places. Others just click their heels, spread
their own wings, and fly.” 
“Young girls today are very mistaken to be thinking that their sense of self-worth and their acknowledgment of their beauty depends on whether a man will give that to them or not. Such naïveté! And so what will happen when the man changes his mind about her? Tells her she's not beautiful enough? That she's not good enough? Cheats on her? Leaves her? Then what happens? She will lose all her self-worth, she will think she is not good enough, she is not beautiful
enough, because all of those feelings depended on the man in the first place!  And along with the loss of the man, it will all be lost as well! Mothers, teach your daughters better. It pains me to see such naïve innocence right under my nose! Such naïveté does no good for any girl. It is better for a girl to be  worldly-wise and have street-smarts! That's what a girl needs to have in life!  Not wide-eyed delusional innocence! The sense of self-worth and acknowledgment
of being beautiful must not come from a man, it must come from inside the woman herself, men will come and men will go and their coming and going must not take an effect on the woman's sense of worth and beauty.”       C. JoyBell C.
To change your life...  Change the way you  live.

Words of affirmation (to tell yourself every day)

Today  God gives me favor everywhere I go.

I am merciful and slow to  anger.

God is my vindication and he will deal with my  enemies.

I'm expecting something amazing to happen to me  today.
I will do what I can and God will do what I  can't.
Enjoy what you have; Let the fool hunt for more
Put you mind into gear before you put your mouth into motion

Visualize better days ahead

Be the solution

Winners are willing to do what others are not
Regularly examine your motives
We are sometimes taken into troubled waters not to drown but to become stonger
Understand the difference between being at work and working
Your character is your destiny
Be afraid of standing still
Never underestimate the power of simple courtesty
Converse to please others - not yourself
Love all, trust few, do wrong to none
I will let someone know how much I love them
I will do something fun with a child
I will give to a worthwhile charity
I will get in touch with an old friend
I will clean a messy area of my home
Anything that God is involved in ends up BEAUTIFUL.  If it's not beautiful -  He's not finished yet.

From the ashes of sorrow comes the beauty of a rose.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent - Eleanor Roosevelt

The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you - Bette Midler
What a wonderful life I've had.  I only wish Id' realized it sooner - Colette
Don't compromise yourself, You're all you've got - Janis Joplin
You may be disappointed if you fail but you're doomed if you don't try - Beverly SIlls
If you think you can - you can.  If you think you can't - you're right - Mary Kay Ash
It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere - Agnes Repplier

Do not judge -  Lest you be judged.  Do not condemn- lest you be condemned.  Forgive and you will be forgiven...  Luke 6:37
* Do you want your life guided by what someone did to you?

* Whatever happened to you - turn it over to God to take care of.  He was there.

* Wanting revenge is telling God that he's not capable of dealing with it

* As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly. Prov 26:11  Certain people can be toxic.

* Forgiveness means that you wish a person "well".  If you can't do this - you are not forgiving them and you are waiting for them "to be paid back"

Judge Gilliam's letter appeared as follows. Open letter to Teen-ager
Always we hear the plaintive cry of the teen-ager. What can we do?...Were can we go? The answer is GO HOME! Hang the storm windows, paint the woodwork. Rake the leaves, mow the lawn, shovel the walk. Wash the car, learn to cook, scrub some floors. Repair the sink, build a boat, get a job. Help the minister, priest, or rabbi, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army. Visit the sick, assist the poor, study your lessons. And then when you are through - and not too tired - read a book. Your parents do not owe you entertainment. Your city or village does not owe you recreational facilities. The world does not owe you a living...You owe the world something. You owe it your time and your energy and your talents so that no one will be at war or in poverty or sick or lonely again. Grow up; quit being a crybaby. Get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone, and start acting like a man or a lady. You're supposed to be mature enough to accept some of the responsibility your parents have carried for years. They have nursed, protected, helped, appealed, begged, excused, tolerated and denied themselves needed comforts so that you could have every benefit. This they have done gladly, for you are their dearest treasure. But now, you have no right to expect them to bow to every whim and fancy just because selfish ego instead of common sense dominates your personality, thinking and request. In Heaven's name, grow up and go home!      Read more here

Fathers                   Mothers                     
Frequently              Making

At                           Others

The                         Time

Home                      Here

Enjoying                  Earth

Rest                        Really

I posted this earlier but I came across it again and once again I was wowed.  You need to listen to the explanation of this song.  Jason is one of those amazing people that speaks with a studder yet their music is flawless.  I wonder how that happens. <grin>  "The Sound of Our Breathing"  Tell me what you think. 

Can you imagine a world without men?  No crime and lots of happy fat women...  "Sylvia" Nicole Hollander
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent - Eleanor Roosevelt
The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you -  Bette Midler
What a wonderful life I've had.  I only wish I'd realized it sooner. - Colette
Don't compromise yourself - You are all you've got - Janice Joplin
To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work.  - Sister Mary Lauretta
You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.  - Beverly Sills
Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose - not the one you began with perhaps, but one you'll be glad to remember. -  Anne Sullivan
Whether you think you can or you can't -  You're right.

"Don't make compromises to get what you want before God is ready to give it to you"
A healthy body produces energy. Likewise, a healthy mind produces joy.

If you want to experience vibrant health and abundant energy, it is essential that you consume certain foods and drinks and refrain from consuming others.  You have to say yes to the foods that lead you toward your goal and no to those that lead you away.  Progress toward joy begins the same way, with a firm decision to cut back on joy-reducing thoughts and increase joy-producing thoughts. In short, you have to change your mental diet. You have to think this, not that. After all, joy is the sum and substance of emotional health.  Look over these two lists and see the differences!

25 Joy-Reducing Thoughts

1.  I’m never going to be that happy again.

2.  That’s just the way it  is.
3.  This probably won’t work.
4.  I don’t have what it takes.
5.   That always happens.
6.  I hate myself.
7.  I am not worthy.
8.  I could never do that.
9.  I have to accept my limitations.
10.  It's the story of my life.
11.  I don’t need this.
12.  I can’t.
13.  That’s typical for me.
14.  If such and such happens, I’m going to be sooo mad.
15.  It’s  never going to work out.
16.  It isn’t my fault.
17.  I used to have so much energy.
18.  That’s just my luck.
19.  That’s just who I am.
20.  It’s never going to be like it used to be.
21.  I’m living proof of Murphy’s Law.
22.  I’ll just have to put up with this.
23.  Nothing good ever happens to me.
24.  Everything I eat goes straight to my waist.
25.  It’s hopeless.

25 Joy-Producing Thoughts
1.  I expect the best, and it shows!
2.  I trust God; my faith is strong.
3.  I am responsible.
4.  I take deliberate action to reach my goals.
5.  I now accept the best that life has to offer.
6.  My metabolism works effectively.
7.  I believe in the most perfect outcome of every challenge in my life.
8.  I am healthy and strong.
9.  I have boundless energy!
10.  I surround myself with winners.
11.  I experience abundance now and forever.
12.  God has great plans for me.
13.  Everything I need, I already have.
14.  My brain works perfectly.
15.  I change what I need to change.
16.  My memory is crisp and vivid.
17.  I’m making progress.
18.  I control my thoughts.
19.  I can improve this situation.
20.  I ask, and I receive.
21.  I am supercharged with joy.
22.  I am ready for a breakthrough.
23.  I am lovable.
24.  I will think about what is good, just, and gracious.
25.  I am learning a lot through this experience.
For a deeper understanding - The 4:8 Principal
"We either have to love together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools" 

The greatest of these is LOVE.  Read this passage and listen to the song below... 
Things happening in the world right now will come to mind and you'll see why choices that some make "in the name of God" are so completely wrong. 
A prayer for a husband and wife
Dear Heavenly Father,  I am so grateful that you have given me a   husband who pursues me.  Thank you so much for my husband and my marriage.  I  pray that I would be inspired to creatively pursue my husband.  Give me  the  energy and give me great ideas on how to do this.  I also pray for  other  couples who are married and passionately committed to serving  each other.  May  you also inspire them to pursue their spouse in loving and  gracious ways.  We  need to be more adventurous and more awesome  in our marriages.  We can do this  as we pursue our spouse.  So my  prayer is that husbands and wives intentionally  pursue each other in grand ways  in Jesus name AMEN!  
I will let someone else get credit for my work
I will forget my troubles
I will overlook a slight, intentional or not
I will do something uplifiting for someone less fortunate
I will direct my thoughts towards others and not myself
I will listen more than I talk
I will refrain from criticizing others
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”       Charles Dickens
“We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give.”    Winston Churchill
“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”     Amy Wilson-Carmichael
“For it is in giving that we receive.”      St. Francis of Assisi
"Give freely to the world these gifts of love and compassion. Do not concern yourself with how much you receive in return, just know in your heart it will be returned.”   Steve Maraboli,    Life, the Truth, and Being Free
Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.  Deuteronomy 16:17
                                 Give what costs you nothing yet means everything...
                                                            Your TIME... can match you up with listings by zipcode looks for work related talents to be utilized - even from home... helps align company's resources with community needs to help military families
Click here to see what organizations my family is personally involved in.  Go down towards the bottom of the page and click on highlighted organizations.  I'd be happy to tell you about any of them...
 From a class I attended - Forgiveness, Passion and Love.
People that are verbally abusive should be looked at as having a handicap. Give them grace and understanding as you would for someone physically handicapped.
You just may need to set boundaries. 
Remember- God loves our enemies as much as he loves us.
 Choosing Friends
Guard your heart and choose friends wisely. 
Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl. 
They can stretch your vision or choke your dream.
Those that don't increase you will decrease you.  
The less you associate with some people -  the more you life will improve.
 If something in a relationship goes awry - simply ask, "Can we have a do-over?
Memories are made daily.  Slow down and enjoy them...
Do what you can.  He will do the rest...
Valentine / Love Quotes
Remember -  Valentines Day is not only to be celebrated with someone of the opposite sex.  It is for those we truly care about.  Out parents, children, siblings, best friends, neighbors and even our pets.  If you are not in a relationship -  or even if you are -  try to remember the forgotten "others" we sometimes neglect. 

  A heart that has truly loved never forgets.     A life without love is no life at all.    

All mankind loves a lover.   Got him stuck on me like bees on honey   

 I have no sense of direction, I get lost in your eyes.  
Owl will always love you!     There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. 
A hundred hearts would be too few To carry all my love for you. 
For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my
lips you kissed, but my soul. Judy Garland
Love is a beautiful dream. William Sharp
We were two and had but one heart. Francois Villon
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. Aristotle
 There is no remedy for love but to love more. Thoreau
Love sought is good, but given unsought is better. Shakespeare
I love you, not for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.  Roy Croft
 Love is, above all, the gift of oneself. Jean Anouilh
 The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even
touched. They must be felt with the heart. Helen Keller
 A life without love is like a year without summer. Swedish Proverb
We want God to deliver us FROM our circumstances...
but He wants to deliver us THROUGH our circumstances...

 “Do not fear failure. Do not let negative experiences — and there are always plenty — get in your way. In your life, many things — especially the biggest heartbreaks — will only make sense as you look back, not as you are experiencing them. Many of what seem at the time to be your biggest setbacks will end up leading to your biggest opportunities, and in ways you can’t predict. So don’t let that voice of doubt — the obnoxious roommate in your  head — have the last word.”   There are many terrible things in my life; but most of them never happened.   Arianna Huffington

Tips for listening

 . give focused attention
.  listen with acceptance
. ask clarifying questions
.  focus on what is being said and not the way it is being said.
Tips for expressing yourself...
.  think b4 you speak
.  determine what and when you want to speak
.  not every feeling needs to be expressed
.  ask to make sure you are being understood
.  speak to encourage
Remember that your spouse is NOT your enemy and they are a treasured gift from God


Do for one-  what you wish you could do for many.  There are many times we choose not to do do anything because they can't do it all.  Doing something is better than doing nothing...

If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll  fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you?  Not much.
The  key is to keep company only with people who uplift you,
 whose presence calls  forth your best. Epictetus
Even  if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.
It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace.  When we understand the other fellow's viewpoint, and he understands ours, then we can sit down and work out our differences - Harry Truman

Communicate love and admiration for your spouse in front of your children

My notes from Weekend to Remember 2012  Click here for a link to about half off your registration.
7-10% of communication is verbal.  The rest is body language, tone and volume.  
Tips for expressing yourself...
Think before you speak.  A man has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timley word.  Prov 15:23
Not everything you feel needs to be expressed.  When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.  Prov 10:19
Ask to make sure you are understood
Speak in a way that encourages.  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouts, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  Eph 4:29
Examine your heart.  Are you trying to retaliate?  Restore?  Punish?  Pursue peace? 
Remember that your mate is not your enemy.
Take 10 minutes...5 to decide why you are upset and 5 to ask yourself why the other person is upset.  Then start to talk about it.  Lovingly confront and then speak the truth IN LOVE.  Choose your words carfeully and remember that your goal is to restore oneness.       
Let us not grow weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it:  Your words, your dreams, and your thoughts have power to create conditions in your life. What you speak about, you can bring about. 
If you keep saying you can't stand your job, you might lose your job.
If you keep saying you can't stand your body, your body can become sick.
If you keep saying you can't stand your car, your car could be stolen or just stop operating.
If you keep saying you're always broke, guess what? You'll always be broke.
If you keep saying you can't trust a man or trust a woman, you will always find someone in your
               life to hurt and betray you.
If you keep saying you can't find a job, you will remain unemployed.
If you keep saying you can't find someone to love you or believe in you, your very thoughts will
              attract more experiences to confirm your beliefs.
Turn your thoughts and conversations around to be more positive and power packed with faith, hope, love and action. Don't be afraid to believe that you can have what you want and deserve...
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny...
 “Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.”    Joseph Conrad
“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”    Brigham Young
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”    Nora Ephron
It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a
limited time on Earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up
that we will begin to live each day to the
fullest, as if it were the only one we had.
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.
 If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the  moments that take our breath away. - Maya Angelou.
 There are two ways of spreading light. To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.
– Edith Wharton.
It’s not your job to like me, it’s mine. – Byron Katie.
 When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’. – Erma Bombeck.
The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. - Ayn Rand.
The Four Way Test

Is it the Truth?

Is it fair to those concerned?

Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

Will it be beneficial to those involved? 
I like to think about this little test to help me decide the right thing to do.  
As we all know though - sometimes there is no right choice.  Do the best you can... 

Try to look on the bright side of any situation.  Sometimes we have to dig pretty deep to find the good in a bad situation I know.  Our car accident, my mom's death, a job loss...  so many terrible things happen every day but work hard to find any good.  Then focus on that.  It will make your days happier and set things up for a more positive experience even in the midst of a bad one. 

I believe in not pre-judging people.  This is something we all so every day and so easily.  By the way someone looks, the way they talk, the way they dress, where they come from, what they drive etc.  I have found many friends in places I thought I never would.  Give everyone a chance.  And on their own merit too.  Many times we judge someone by what others say.  Don't let this dissuade you from finding your own truth. 

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.  William James 
(I suggest checking out The 4:8 Principal for this amazing philosophy)

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself.   Harvey Fierstein
Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.  Will Smith 
A baby is God's opinion that life should go on. Carl Sandburg
Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. Albert Einstein
Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't.
 “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it's in hot water.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.

Friedrich Nietzsche

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.

Mignon McLaughlin
Don't marry the person you think you can live with;
marry only the individual you think you can't live without.
James C. Dobson 
Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.
                                     Martin Luther                                   

People with clenched fists can not shake hands.  Indira Gandhi

There are two ways of spreading light.

To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.  Edith Wharton

Courage is like a muscle.  We strengthen it with use.   Ruth Gordon
The best index to a person's character is
a) how he treats people who can't do him any good and
b) how he treats people who can't fight back.
Abigail Van Buren
When an old person dies...  it's as if a library has burned down.  African saying

What cancer cannot do...

 It cannot cripple LOVE
It cannot shatter HOPE
It cannot corrode FAITH
It cannot eat away PEACE
It cannot destroy CONFIDENCE
It cannot kill FRIENDSHIP
It cannot shut out MEMORIES
It cannot silence COURAGE
It cannot reduce ETERNAL LIFE
It cannot quench the SPIRIT
Author: unknown
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.”

 You can do anything!!!  Remember, the equipped are not chosen...  The chosen are equipped.

It's hard to forgive when someone has have hurt you, huh?  It's even harder to forgive when someone hurts someone you love, I know.  We have learned that forgiveness is not for the other person.  It's for us.  Our well being and our peace of mind.  Forgiving does not mean forgetting however and it certainly does not mean that if we are being abused that we forgive the abuser and go back for more.  Having feelings of hate can eat away at you and take your joy.  Don't let this happen.  We were made to have joy filled lives.  It's our birthrite.  Here is a beautiful song about ultimate forgiveness.  I think you'll like it.  It was written about a mother who offered forgiveness to a drunk driver, a 24 year old man, who killed one of her twin daughters.

If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is.
But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be,

he will become what he ought to be and could be.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes,

but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.
Dorothy Height
You were not born a winner, and you were not born a loser.
You are what you make yourself to be.
Lou Holtz
It is good to have money and the things that money can buy,
but it is good to check once in awhile
to make sure you have not lost the things that money cannot buy.
George Horace
The Sound of Your Breathing by Jason Gray

What if this were true??  I was able to attend a amazing
concert of Jason and Todd Agnew.  Two of my favorite artists. A very intimate venue with maybe like 100 people.  We got to meet them both, talk to them and even get autographs.  They are both amazing men.  I met them both for the 2nd time and once I'm again...  I'm inpressed.  Ever since the concert last week I can't get this song's explanation out of my mind...  I hope you enjoy it. 

Change your thoughts and you change your world. 
All saints have a past and all sinners have a future.
Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go;  
they merely determine where you start.  Nido  Qubein

The 5 Love Languages

Here is a link I know you'll appreciate.  Taking this "test" allowed my husband, children and I to see what our "love languages" were.  This is the language you respond to best when someone wants to let you know that you're loved and cared for.  Before this, I was showing my husband that I loved him in the way I thought he needed to be shown.  Wrong-o!!  Now I know what everyone in my family responds to the best and this is the language I speak to each of them.  I know this will make a fabulous change in your life...  Here is the book this is from that discusses the languages and shows you how to use them...
Do for one what you wish you could do for many
HOPE is much stronger than fear

Nothing tastes as good as NOT having the weight feels!!


Some time ago, a few ladies met to study the scriptures. While reading the third chapter of Malachi, they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse:  "And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver" (Malachi 3:3).  One lady decided to visit a silversmith, and report to the others on what he said about the subject.  She went accordingly, and without telling him the reason for her visit, begged the silversmith to tell her about the process of refining silver. After he had fully described it to her, she asked, "Sir, do you sit while the work of refining is going on?"
"Oh, yes ma'am," replied the silversmith; "I must sit and watch the furnace constantly, for, if the time necessary for refining is exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."  The lady at once saw the beauty and comfort of the expression, "He shall sit a a refiner and purifier of silver."
God sees it necessary to put His children into the furnace; but His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for us. Our trials do not come at random, and He will not let us be tested beyond what we can endure.
Before she left, the lady asked one final question, "How do you know when the process is complete?"
"That's quite simple," replied the silversmith. "When I can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is finished."

Has anyone ever hurt you or let you down???

"I can't believe what she said

I can't believe what he did

Oh, don't they know it's wrong

Maybe there's something I missed

But how could they treat me like this"
Click here to hear an amazing inspirational song...
Lost someone special? Having trouble coping with a loss? 
"There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, no more fears
 There will be a day when the burdens of this life will be nore more..."
This was the first song I heard on the radio when I got into the car after my mommy died. 
It touched me deeply as I knew it was being played just for me... 
We want God to deliver us from our
circumstances.  HE wants to deliver us through our circumstances.


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