Monday, October 7, 2013

Gratitude Journal Monday

Start saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Stars are aligning for you and I can't tell you how good things are going to turn out for you, just like I've always known they would. But receiving always begins with giving. No matter how you fight it, there's no denying the unquestionable Law of the Universe: what ever you send out will come back to you! I wish you would just try it and see what I mean. It's a Law more true than a cloudless blue sky. It's more pure than a baby's giggle. Once you choose to accept this Law as truth, you'll have so much fun anticipating what the Universe is planning for you as you spread joy, love, and gratitude. Be thankful that you're about to get something to be thankful for. Anticipate it and it will come. As long as you're giving with a pure heart, you will be taken care of and you'll receive so many unbelievable blessings in your life. Just be thankful for the big, be thankful for the small, be thankful for the miracles, and be thankful for the simple.

506. I am thankful for the prettiest blue I've ever seen blanketing the sky this morning.
507. I am thankful I have the eyes to see such beauty in nature.
508. I am thankful I have the right heart to be able to enjoy the simplicity of life, to notice the little things, and not take the basics for granted.
509. I am thankful that I am forgiven on the days when I fall short, forgetting to look up at the sky and notice its color and enjoy its beauty.
510. I am grateful that my heart is changing little by little each and every day and I am beginning to see all that I have, not all that I have not.
"Only by grace and gratitude will the heart become strong enough to change the mind."
- Lilly Slater, LOVD

Monday, September 30, 2013

Gratitude Journal Monday

The weather is fully aware that it's Monday morning. Cloudy and gray, the rain falls, not in droplets, but in a constant mist that surrounds your entire face, hair, and body as you try to get your morning walk in. I think about how much this same mist treatment facial would cost at a ritzy spa? I knew I should have done my morning walk in a bathrobe and slippers. Maybe next time.

Happy Monday to you all! Now, let's get to some gratitude...

501. I am grateful for ordinary days.
502. I am thankful for the warm cup of coffee I hug between my hands this misty morning.
503. I appreciate the good smells that hit you when you enter a home that just made apple crisp.
504. I am grateful for the start of Autumn.
505. I am thankful for the nice weather promised this week; upper 70's and sunny!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Gratitude Journal Monday

Maybe things didn't turn out quite the way you had anticipated. You're not alone. The majority of people in this world seldom see their plans work out as they hoped and wished they would. But, that's why they're called dreams; an intangible goal that is so sweet to the spirit it entertains us on our journey while we try to capture its reality. Sadly, there's a lot that goes into converting dreams to real life. Sometimes it doesn't matter how hard you work or how long you struggle, the dreams you've been dreaming may not be yours to hold. Some times it's bad luck, some times it's poor timing. Some times the dream is not worth the compromises that must be made to attain it. But, those are only excuses to why we aren't living our dream. The real point is, we may be chasing after the wrong dream.

Has your dream gone stale? Every so often we have to take stock and reevaluate what it is that we're so busy chasing. We need to remind ourselves that it's OK to change a dream we visioned years ago, when we were different people, not the person we've become. Change the dream to fit your new goals. Say a little silent prayer for the death of an old dream and rejoice at the prospect of trying to take hold of a new one.

Lean in close, friends, because I want you to hear this. Whether or not you ever achieve your dreams just doesn't matter. What matters is the attitude you have during your chase. Don't get depressed, upset, or feel devalued because things didn't turn out the way you expected. The true dream we all should be striving for is enjoying the chase and being flexible to handle the turns, be strong when we are on the downward slope, and be humble and thankful when we find ourselves on the upswing.

I know even the most positive people get down at times when things don't seem the way they should be. This is when my declarations of gratitude get real nitty gritty, down to the most simplest of thanks. Will you join me?

496. I am grateful for my life, just as it is.
497. I am grateful for Super Hubby and Kiddo, just as they are.
498. I am grateful for my parents' love.
499. I am grateful I can pay my bills.
500. I am grateful I have a fridge filled with good food.

Happy birthday, Betty!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

You Will Eat Your Words

Every so often I do a little exercise a couple months out of the year with life's good ol' instruction book, The Bible. Proverbs is perfectly sectioned into 31 chapters and if you dedicate time to reading a Proverb a day, you will receive in return a month rewarded by peace and contentment. I'm not kidding, try it. Nothing soothes the soul like a month of Proverbs.

So, earlier this week on the 18th of September, I turned my well-used, broken-in Bible to Proverbs 18 and halted my inner voice on Verse 21. I read it over and over again until I was inspired to share with you its message meant for us all:
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it (for death or life)." - Proverbs 18:21
To all of you who, like me, have eaten our words a time or two in our lives, I invite you to dwell on this Verse. Recite it over and over again until it begins to sink in deep within the caverns of our soul and roots itself into the core of our being. Until we realize the power of our words, we will not want to tame our tongue. When we speak, we are either giving life to future blessings or we are squashing them. When you speak badly of someone or something or if you fill your mouth with negativity, you are damning yourself. The worst part is, if you're paying attention, you know it. That strange weird feeling you get in the pit of your stomach is conviction, knowing that what you are speaking is not good for anyone, and especially not you.

The sour words we speak will, no doubt, deliver to us a bitter result. But, if we speak words of encouragement, the blessings will be sweet. We have free will, we get to choose. Gain control of your mouth and you can gain control of your life through the promises of God. Think about it.

To keep my mouth at bay, I use this little checklist for "THINK". I committed it to memory and when I have an opinion to share, I immediately go to this list first and it helps me to not be in a position where I might have to eat my words later. I have a sweet tooth so let's leave any bitterness at the gate of the throat, not allowing it to spill out over the tongue.

THINK not only applies to how you speak to others, but how you speak to yourself. If you're spouting words like "I'll never be happy" or "I'll never see my dreams come true" or "I just can't do it", then, you know what? You are right. You have spoken those words and the power contained in those words make it so. When you start speaking to yourself in an inspiring and kind way, you will begin to believe that you can do the things you are speaking so positively about. The power of those words will begin to work on your mind to believe in what you desire, which will translate into seeing good results in your life. Watch those powerful words and choose them wisely. And always remember the choice we sometimes forget we have: silence.

Have your words ever gotten you into trouble? Are you ready to take control?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Gratitude Journal Monday

Good Monday to you! To refresh your memory, I like to take Monday's to rejoice in the peace and plenty of my life. 490 gratitude declarations ago, I began my Gratitude Journal. Click here to see my beginnings and my reasons for getting started. My hope is for you to be inspired to begin your own Gratitude Journal.

This is probably the most important post I write all week! It doesn't matter what you are going through, gratitude is the key to happiness. Gratitude is your missing puzzle piece to peace. Gratitude is the spark that ignites joy, love, and understanding. Gratitude is the root of all things good.

There may be days when getting out of bed is a challenge. You're probably sitting there at your computer right now saying, "Oh, Lilly, you don't know my problems." I may not know your specific burdens, but I do know that issues are a part of everybody's life. I know that troubles will always be in our paths, even on our bestest of days. But, stop your complaining and start saying thank you for all that is good in your life. Declaring thanksgiving and abandoning the negative perspective on your life is a natural lifter of spirits. There is power in that action!

What if your life is peachy keen and you're sitting there thinking, "Life is good. I can't complain. I'm thankful enough, even though I don't officially declare it." Uh-oh! Don't be fooled by a complacent attitude of gratitude. You've got to record your blessings and tuck them away for when you truly need a reminder of all that you're thankful for. It's when times are bleakest that we truly forget our good fortunes and our simple blessings. It's in those times when we can't get our minds off ourselves or our problems that we must take out our Gratitude Journal and begin to be reminded of what's truly important and how the darkness we may find ourselves in will be unveiled by grace and thanks.

So, you see, it doesn't matter. In bad times, give thanks as much as you would in good times. It's a habit you want to own. See how wonderfully blessed your life becomes when you make gratitude a priority in your life. I hope you give it a try. Nothing is too big or too small to declare!

491. I am grateful for apple picking season - love those Honey Crisps!
492. I am thankful for my family's understanding, grace, good humor and patience.
493. I am grateful both surgeries that occurred last week on my grandmother and my father yielded successful outcomes - thank you God!
494. I thank God for giving me the strength in the morning to get myself out of bed and spend time with Him through His Word.
495. I am grateful we arrive to and from school safely and without too much trouble.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Such a Tease

Reader, please forgive me. It's been a week since my last post. After a beautiful 2-months off during the summer, I was back last Monday. Then, the next day, crickets. The silent treatment continued throughout the week until broken by today's post. Many of you thought you were experiencing Internet problems, or perhaps your Feedburner subscription went haywire again? But, no, not this time. It's not you, it's me.

With few exception I've written a blog post every week day for the past 2 years. That's a lot of posts! Writer's Block isn't an ailment I've had luxury to use as an excuse for not posting on time. I'm filled with opinion and am willing to share with all who are willing to endure. But, I have fallen victim to time management. As Kiddo gets older, I find I have less, not more time to sit at the keyboard and type. I have and always will clean my own house, do the family laundry and ironing (yes, ironing), prepare home-cooked meals, cut the lawn (although I've wrangled Kiddo into doing it recently), and devote some time to service. 'Tis the season for college applications so I've been busy with clients from my college admissions consulting business. Whew! After all that, I'm surprised I was able to be as consistent as I was these last few months!

The last month of my blogging everyday got me to start thinking about the quality of my posts. I had all this self-inflicted pressure, not to share meaningful, heartfelt, well-written and equally well thought-out ideas, but rather to just post daily. Posting everyday regardless of content became the goal and that was wrong. I began to feel the blog was an obligation and that was wrong.

It was evident to me that I got burned out by blogging daily, hence the 2-month summer break. I re-evaluated the blog, its purpose and mine within it, and I've come to a conclusion. First, I love writing and the fact that so many visit this blog to read what I've written is as humbling as it is awesome. So, I'm not going to stop writing and sharing with you, dear reader. Second, I respect and love the people who take time out of their busy lives to sit awhile and read what I've written. Because of that, I believe the LOVD reader deserves nothing short of the best posts I can give. That may come daily for awhile, or it may come in spurts. Regardless, you will only receive my best going forward. Excellence is my new obligation.

Of course, excellence doesn't mean perfection (thank goodness). It means going a little bit beyond what you know you can get away with otherwise. Imagine a world where everyone could do just that, go a little bit beyond. Mediocrity has become the world's new standard and I don't want it to become mine. If you're not careful, you can easily catch this contagious disease. I choose to be better than that and I choose to apply excellence to every facet of my life, including this blog. You deserve it just as much as I do.

My posts my be sporadic in the future. You don't have to point out that my blog name is feel LOVD "EVERYDAY". Yeah, I know, but sometimes life is ironic like that. You don't need a blog post to feel "loved" everyday. If a post from LOVD happens to be a new one for you to read upon your visit, well all the more love to feel that day! Just know that when you read future posts, you're getting my most excellent best.

With future posts being inconsistent, I'd hate for you to lose out on any new writings. Please consider subscribing to feel LOVD everyday so each time I write a new post, it gets delivered to your Inbox as an e-mail. If you'd like to sign-up, just enter your e-mail address in the box to the right under the heading "Feel LOVD Everyday by e-Mail". You will receive an e-mail from Feedburner to which you will have to respond to by clicking on a link for verification. That's it, just a two-step process and you're done! Thanks and LOVD tidings, Lilly

Warning: the verification e-mail from Feedburner ususally ends up in your SPAM folder so check there to get the verification e-mail.

And, if all else fails, there's always Facebook. If you "Like" LOVD, you'll know each time a new post awaits your loving attention. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day in a Whole New Way

Summer 2013 = Lots of friend-time, baseball, golf, sparklers, movies
Hey, LOVD readers, I'm back! My hope is that you've had a fantastic summer and there's not one item left to cross off of that seasonal bucket list of yours. My summer respite was filled with hot, sticky, and, more times than I care to admit, very rainy days where time was not part of our vocabulary and commitments to any type of schedule were scoffed at. No, this summer was brilliant in a different way that many wouldn't understand. There was no spectacular vacation of a lifetime. The days didn't consist of lounging at the local pool hours on end, not this year. Instead, we eased into the day each morning without alarm clocks, sat leisurley at the breakfast table while reading this book series aloud together. We'd linger a little while longer on the back deck, soaking up the East-rising sun before heading inside to get ready for a day that promised nothing but time, rest, relaxation, and rejoicing life. Ahhh, now I know the meaning of a lazy summer. You have to experience those every once in awhile. 

And so, appropriately, I'm back on Labor Day. Not for more R&R, but rather to mark the beginning of my own labor. It's time to get back to the work I love: writing, sharing, discovering, growing, connecting with you. It's time to birth some new dreams ("labor" - get it?) and breathe life into forgotten ones. The contractions are beginning. Will you stick around with me here and see what we get? Welcome back, LOVD readers.

Happy "Labor" Day!!!!

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