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October 31st, 2009 by stephanie

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Feeling a Wee Bit Weary?

October 31st, 2009 by stephanie

If so, you’re not alone. These days, we can wear out faster than we realize. The amount of incoming messages alone can zap your energy by the end of the day. Let’s face it, these bodies and minds of ours can only take so much. I know, not a popular train of thought for the Type A’s reading this today. But truth none the less.

So this poem caught my eye, and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. 

Dear Child, God does not say today, “Be strong;”

He knows your strength is spent; He knows how long

The road has been, how weary you have grown,

For He who walked the earthly roads alone,

Each bogging lowland, and each rugged hill,

Can understand, and so He says, “Be still,

And know that I am God.” The hour is late,

And you must rest awhile, and you must wait

Until life’s empty reservoirs fill up

As slow rain fills an empty upturned cup.

Hold up your cup, dear child, for God to fill.

He only asks today that you be still.

– Grace Noll Crowell

 

This poet/writer was new to me. But she must have been a busy person, to be able to pen those words.  With a few clicks, my thoughts were confirmed. Here is what I found:

In the early 1940s Grace Crowell was called “the most popular writer of verse in America.” Dale Carnegie called her “one of the most beloved poets in America.” Magazine and newspaper articles often commented on her widespread popularity, on the visitors from other parts of the United States and abroad who stopped by her Dallas home, and on her massive correspondence with grateful readers. Her husband quit his job to manage her career. She published over thirty-five books of poetry, stories for children, and poem and prose devotions. Her Songs for Courage went into twenty-five printings. In 1977 a reprint of her 1965 collection of poems appeared as The Eternal Things: The Best of Grace Noll Crowell

Yep, she was a busy gal. But she knew that her Creator didn’t demand or expect as much as the demands she probably placed on herself. Re-read the poem Grace penned. And may it bring a sigh of relief and a lowering of those shoulders that are currently up around your ears.

😉

Just my thoughts,

Stephanie

And Comes Autumn…

October 28th, 2009 by stephanie

A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summers wave good bye . Can you name that poet? Or writer?

Though Autumn is about past, and for some, it is deep fall, when the quote came to me in an email, I have to admit, I was not familiar with it. But it struck me immediately. Some people are just gifted. And as I came to find out, those lovely words were crafted by one of those talented wordsmiths: the man John Donne. With a few more searches, I learned that the quote was actually part of a complete poem. I couldn’t resist sharing it with you, this very fine Autumn day.

When autumn wind goes running It does some magic things

It gives the shadows dancing shoes It gives the bright leaves wings

When autumn wind goes running

It curls the bonfires tail of smoke

And shares a little whispered joke

With cornstalks who delight to prattle

It turns a seed pod into a rattle

When autumn wind goes running

Leaves in the Fall come tumbling down,

Scarlet and yellow, russet and brown,

Leaves in the garden are swept in a heap,

The trees are ready for sleep.

A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summers wave good bye.

Wherever this fine Autumn finds you, be sure to take at least a moment to note the gorgeous colors that may be on display in your area. If you are in the desert or tropical areas, there will less to note, however, do take a moment to ponder this symbolic time of year: The season of change.

Perhaps more than Autumn is changing in your life at this time. If I may encourage you, life, like seasons come and they go, and they come again. Acknowledge, notice, ponder, and prepare. Autumn’s change brings new colors and exposes new landscape we haven’t seen in months. Take note. And wave good bye to sweet summer.

Just my thoughts.

S.

You is what you is.

October 19th, 2009 by stephanie

There is nothing like a good dose of Yogi Berra quotes to put a smile on your face, a twinkle in your eye and a moment of thought provocation for the brain.

Not knowing how your week is going, I just couldn’t resist sharing some good ole fashioned, all American vernacular wisdom with you my special friends. Sometimes, the heart and mind just needs a good Yogi Berra moment.  I call them mental vacations. Find one that applies to your situation this week. Learn. Love. Laugh.

Enjoy:
“I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house.”

“You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.”

“It ain’t over till it’s over.”

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”

“We’re lost, but we’re making good time”

“I never said most of the things I said.”

“The future ain’t what it used to be.”

“If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.”

“We made too many wrong mistakes.”
“Slump? I ain’t in no slump. I just ain’t hitting.”

“I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.”

“Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.”

“He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.”

“Always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise, they won’t go to yours”

“I will get it when I die”

“No one goes there anymore – it’s too crowded”

Just his thoughts,

S.

Where your treasure is…

October 15th, 2009 by stephanie

One of the definitions of the word “treasure”, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is “to value highly.” I have been impressed of late to take a deeper look at the people that I invest my resources in and spend time with.  Now, mind you, don’t get the wrong impression of my intent here. Let me divulge my wisdom of the ages (of late) upon you. If you will humor me.

 

Think about it.  If you are spending precious moments and energy with people who “need” you and do not invest back into you, I’d bet you are pretty tired at the end of the day or week.  If you find that you socialize mostly with people who drink heavily, you are probably finding that your bar tab is higher than you’d realized or even liked.  If your time on the phone consists mostly of those who see only the negative, you probably aren’t feeling too bubbly and chipper when the calls end.  You get my point.

 

Who we spend time with, invest in, and adore, really matters. Take the Olympic athletes for instance.  If they spent most of their time with people who eat junk food and don’t exercise, it would most likely limit their resources and their energy. I highly doubt that those fast–food friends would be the ones that drive them “closer to the gold.” And so it is with you.  If your goal is to save money, and you find that your weekends are spent burning up the credit card out of mere peer pressure, you’re in for the shock of a lifetime down the road. You and I both know that.

 So, if you want to head in a particular direction, you really need to sit down and take stock of the people in your life that you invest the most time and resources in.  Make a literal list.  Write it out in front of you. And stare at it. Then make a a list of your passions, goals and dreams.  Are the the people that you are investing the majority of your time and resources in truly moving you farther down the path that you personally want, or know, that you should take?

 

Just my thoughts,

Stephanie

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…

October 10th, 2009 by stephanie

Most of us like to hear stories  from the past about great adventures or victories won against all odds. But we tend to perk up a bit more when we hear the actual  words that came directly from folks who lived during a particular time or were eye-witnesses to the occaision that we might be researching.

Naturally, when I came across a few journal entries of Christopher Columbus, I had to stop and take a look. I did know some trivia on the man. Like the fact that he turned fully gray by the age of 33. But other than that, these days, we don’t hear a lot directly from his own words.

With that, here are a few I was able to locate in honor of  this holiday weekend named after the famous Discoverer.

Journal of First Voyage of Columbus

 

Columbus’ actual journals have been lost, but two of his companions, his son Ferdinand and Bartolome Las Casas, recorded abstracts of the original journal. At places they quote Columbus and in other places they summarize his journals. (2)

 

Wednesday, Dec. 12th… A large cross was set up at the entrance of the harbour, upon a beautiful spot upon the western side, “as an indication” in the words of the Admiral, “that your Highnesses possess the country, and principally for a token of Jesus Christ our Lord, and the honour of Christianity.”

 

Wednesday, Jan. 23rd… The sea all the time smooth as a river, “many thanks be to God,” says the Admiral.

 

Letter of Columbus to Rafael Sanchez

 

After his arrival in Lisbon, Columbus wrote a summary account of his voyage as a report for Ferdinand and Isabella. It was written as a letter to Rafael Sanchez, Treasurer for Ferdinand and Isabella, and clearly reveals Columbus’ Christian motivation. The following quotes are from this letter:

 

(In his voyages, Columbus discovered many islands) “I named the first of these islands San Salvador [which means holy saviour], thus bestowing upon it the name of our holy Saviour under whose protection I made the discovery.” Other names he chose included Trinidad [for the Trinity], and Monte Cristi.

 

I love the parts where he gave the natives bright hats and other lovely items he’d brought from Spain. Their delight and gratitude is touching. He goes on and on about what delightful people he has discovered along his way.

 

We hear a lot about Columbus these days. But many times, what we hear is what someone, centuries later, wrote about him, felt about him. I like to know what he really said. What his colleagues wrote and what the courts documented. Much more fascinating, in my opinion.

 

Obviously, one can spend days looking over the data. Perhaps this small bit will be a cause to pause for you this weekend to see what you can unearth about the historic adventures of the man from Spain. Just be sure to check your sources. Always default, when you can, to get it from the horses mouth. Someone that was really there- 0r spoke with someone that was.

 

Have fun.

S.

 

1 The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, Washington Irving, (New York: Belford Company, n.d.,) pp. 632-633.

2 The following journal excerpts and quotes of Columbus are from the work of Las Casas, printed by Albert and Charles Boni, New York, 1924

 

 

Nothing like a lab…

October 9th, 2009 by stephanie

There  truly is nothing like a Labrador Retriever. Well, to us lab owners anyway. But it may be your precious pup, or kitty, or bird, or bunny. Whatever the creature,  at some point we all find ourselves asking, “Just who owns who around here anyway? And who runs this house? Wait, don’t answer that!” We wail as we stare them down with a smirk.

As many of you know. I am a proud owner of a very lab mix. Judge has provided numerous stories for my new book, and that book and those stories prompts others to write to me and share their’s.

 

So today,  I couldn’t resist sharing this story that was sent to me about “Molly.” It’s  a great way to say “Happy Friday.

I slept in after working a very late night and came around the corner to find my most precious Lab sprawled out on MY couch!  Our eyes locking–we both froze.  At this point not knowing what the other would do or what could happen next, Molly slowly moved towards the direction of the FLOOR. While I slowly walked behind her asking….”What Were You Thinking?”

After NO answer to that question, the only response I did receive was the gaze of those most adorable brown eyes. At which point the matter was completely dropped.  No need to go on….Her Actions upon retreat back to HER BED in the bedroom said it all.

 I still couldn’t help but laugh after it was all over.  I don’t think I saw those pretty brown eyes until about 1pm again that afternoon!  Every little moment writes a new  memory!  The Joys of owning a Labrador!  

 

No matter what your precious pet. We can all relate. They simply are gifts to us for sure while we have them. Enjoy yours this weekend.

Ciao.

Stephanie

The Preamble to…my State?

October 6th, 2009 by stephanie

You may have seen that email floating around about original preambles to state constitutions. So I did a bit of homework. Seems a lot of folks these days don’t even know their state has it’s own constitution, let alone a preamble. So, ever the educator (I to have a Teaching Credential, and, as you may have noticed, love to share information) I thought we’d have a bit of a history lesson today. Enjoy.

Alabama 1901, Preamble
We the people of the State of Alabama, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution…
Alaska 1956, Preamble We, the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land…

Arizona 1911, Preamble We, the people of the State of Arizona, grateful to Almighty God for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution…

Arkansas 1874, Preamble We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of government…

California 1879, Preamble We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom…
Colorado 1876, Preamble We, the people of Colorado, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of Universe…

Connecticut 1818, Preamble. The People of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good Providence of God in permitting them to enjoy…

Delaware 1897, Preamble Through Divine Goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences…

Florida 1885, Preamble We, the people of the State of Florida, grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, establish this Constitution…

Georgia 1777, Preamble We, the people of Georgia, relying upon protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution…

Hawaii 1959, Preamble We , the people of Hawaii, Grateful for Divine Guidance … Establish this Constitution…

Idaho 1889, Preamble We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings…

Illinois 1870, Preamble We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil , political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors.

Indiana 1851, Preamble We, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to Almighty God for the free exercise of the right to choose our form of government.

Iowa 1857, Preamble We, the People of the St ate of Iowa, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of these blessings, establish this Constitution.

Kansas 1859, Preamble We, the people of Kansas, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges establish this Constitution…

Kentucky 1891, Preamble.. We, the people of the Commonwealth are grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties…

Louisiana 1921, Preamble We, the people of the State of Louisiana, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy…

Maine 1820, Preamble We the People of Maine acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity… And imploring His aid and direction…

Maryland 1776, Preamble We, the people of the state of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty…

Massachusetts 1780, Preamble We…the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe In the course of His Providence, an opportunity and devoutly imploring His direction…

Michigan 1908, Preamble. We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom, establish this Constitution…

Minnesota, 1857, Preamble We, the people of the State of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberty, and desiring to perpetuate its blessings..

Mississippi 1890, Preamble We, the people of Mississippi in convention assembled, grateful to Almighty God, and invoking His blessing on our work…

Missouri 1845, Preamble We, the people of Missouri, with profound reverence for the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and grateful for His goodness . Establish this Constitution…

Montana 1889, Preamble. We, the people of Montana, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty establish this Constitution…

Nebraska 1875, Preamble We, the people, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom…Establish this Constitution…

Nevada 1864, Preamble We the people of the State of Nevada, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, establish this Constitution…

New Hampshire 1792, Part I. Art. I. Sec. V Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience…

New Jersey 1844, Preamble We, the people of the State of New Jersey, grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing on our endeavors…

New Mexico 1911, Preamble We, the People of New Mexico, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of liberty…

New York 1846, Preamble We, the people of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings…

North Carolina 1868, Preamble We the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations, for our civil, political, and religious liberties, and acknowledging our dependence upon Him for the continuance of those…
.
North Dakota 1889, Preamble We , the people of North Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, do ordain…

Ohio 1852, Preamble We the people of the state of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and to promote our common…

Oklahoma 1907, Preamble Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessings of liberty, establish this…

Oregon 1857, Bill of Rights, Article I Section 2. All men shall be secure in the Natural right, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their consciences …

Pennsylvania 1776, Preamble We, the people of Pennsylvania, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and humbly invoking His guidance….

Rhode Island 1842, Preamble. We the People of the State of Rhode Island grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing…

South Carolina, 1778, Preamble We, the people of he State of South Carolina grateful to God for our liberties, do ordain and establish this Constitution…

South Dakota 1889, Preamble We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties…

Tennessee 1796, Art. XI..III. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their conscience…

Texas 1845, Preamble We the People of the Republic of Texas, acknowledging, with gratitude, the grace and beneficence of God…

Utah 1896, Preamble Grateful to Almighty God for life and liberty, we establish this Constitution.
Vermont 1777, Preamble Whereas all government ought to enable the individuals who compose it to enjoy their natural rights, and other blessings which the Author of Existence has bestowed on man…

Virginia 1776, Bill of Rights, XVI Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator can be directed only by Reason and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love and Charity towards each other…

Washington 1889, Preamble We the People of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this Constitution…

West Virginia 1872, Preamble Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God…

Wisconsin 1848, Preamble We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, domestic tranquility…

Wyoming 1890, Preamble We, the people of the State of Wyoming, grateful to God for our civil, political, and religious liberties, establish this Constitution…

Now in all honesty, many of these originals have been up updated/altered to remove the “God” part, but again, today was a bit of a history lesson, and well, it never hurts to know one’s history now does it.
Just my thoughts.
S.

IF YOU CAN’T SAY SOMETHING NICE…

October 3rd, 2009 by stephanie

Most of us will admit, we grew up hearing that statement. If it didn’t come from our mothers it came from some other well meaning soul that wanted to help us along our way.

As we munched on our nachos, I spent the entire time debriefing my Friday. She sat across from me quietly listening, nodding, encouraging. It wasn’t until we decided to walk a bit of the mall and found a resting place that the hurt began to show in her day. In time, it was her turn to spill. As she shared a particular incident, all I could think of was, “Why do people have a need to be ‘mean’?”

Sometimes, it’s not even the saying of anything that hurts –it can be simply the actions. More times than not, I can remember where someone didn’t have to say a word. They were just “rude” or cruel in their behavior. I think you follow me on this one.

I was assisting a friend with a project awhile back. There were some other folks involved and for some reason, they just didn’t seem to like my presence. Rather than explain what the problem was, they decided to just, oddly enough, be rude. It wasn’t the words they chose necessarily as it was the tone, or their body language when they said it.

It’s amazing how people can say something like “Pass the stapler” and make it sound like you just cut them off in traffic, they have to be at their destination in five minutes-and they are still 20 minutes away. It never ceases to amaze me when people in that frame of mind take out their anger on the person in their space and make them feel it is their fault. Strange.

And too, sometimes people seem to have the need to let you know that the color or style of the shirt that you’re wearing, “Just isn’t workin’ for ya today.” Or, that perhaps you might want to rethink that “idea” you had. For whatever reason, they need to let you know, in some way, that you are a bit less, or inferior to them. The thrill of the “jab”, I call it.

I don’t know how their treatment of you and me in those situations makes them feel better, but alas, I guess it does. Someone hurt them, they are still wincing from the pain, and they will make someone pay. And today, that someone will be you-or me.

With that, regardless of the odd-bird whozits or whatzits in your life today, remember this old saying too: misery loves company.

So, don’t keep company with the miserable. Leave them alone. Let them go their way. And as for you and me, my friend, if we can’t say something nice back, let’s just not say anything at all.

Just my thoughts.

Stephanie

Prov. 15:1

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