Tag Archives: Joy

Celebrity for a Day!

I posted this on Facebook and then remembered the only way I knew how to post it on my other social media places was to post it on my website. Therefore, my Facebook friends received it twice. My apologies.

Celebrity for a Day

Last Monday was a special day for me. Emmanuel College, University of Toronto,  Alumni Association presented me with a service award for my writing and speaking ministry. I was humbled and delighted. As all of you know, I have been writing and publishing my books for the last fourteen years. I love the writing and publishing. Speaking engagements are great fun as I fly on the Spirit. The messages both in my books and my talks are peace, love, and acceptance of self and others.

Selling the books is not quite as much fun. One of the blessings of this award, is that the general public tends to buy books written by an award-winning author. So, I remind all of you who have enjoyed my books and my speaking over the years, to tell your friends about my books and my availability as a guest speaker. Of course, don’t forget that my books make good gifts for your friends and family. They will entertain and could begin a journey of faith.

I’ve posted a few pictures from my day. Years ago, there was a TV show called “Queen for a Day”. Well the name was something like that. I have titled this blog, “Celebrity for a Day”. I did feel like a celebrity. Everyone was wonderful. Best of all, my daughter and grandson, and three of my friends came to celebrate with me. It was truly a day to remember.

President of Victoria College, me, and Principal of Emmanuel College

All of us. It was a great day. I am truly grateful.

There shall be showers of blessings.

When I sat down to write this article, my eyes were drawn to the front window. I looked through a sprightly bouquet of tulips and iris, flowers brought by friends. “A touch of spring,” she said when she handed them to me last week. Past the tulips, I saw the leaden winter sky setting free snow that filtered down to thicken the blanket that already covers our yard. More snow, I thought, yuk. My eyes slipped back to the tulips lifting their blooms toward the window. I smiled. Thank you God for this touch of new life, a bright spot in my day. Thank you God for friends.

A little earlier that morning, I had driven our granddaughter to high school. Her happy smile greeted me as she ran down the steps and opened the car door. On the way to school, I told her that I had kissed Grandpa’s sleepy forehead and reminded him that it was his turn tomorrow. We laughed. Her eyes alight with fun she teased, “Guess I was up before you two. I was making porridge at six o’clock this morning.”  My thought was, Oh, how I love you. Thank you God for our Ellie. She is always a bright spot in our day.

Two gifts from God rest in my heart, blessings for this day.  In winter, I can easily overlook  blessings. So often I throw on my coat, leave it unzipped and ignore my hat and mitts left behind waiting on the cedar chest at the door. Once outside, I shudder and repeat my mantra to God, “I hate winter.”

Today, as I run my errands, I will snuggle into my long-johns and down-filled parka, pull my wild striped hat down over my ears and my warm cuddly mitts over my arthritic fingers. I don’t want to be distracted by the cold and discomfort. I want my soul open to more of those blessings that God has prepared for me.

I recommend we all endeavor to bring this attitude to our lives all year long. Whether it’s the weather that is uncomfortable, or our lives that have been tainted with misery, let’s do what we can to alleviate its effects. We can set our hearts and souls free to receive the love God offers us each day. Let’s notice, accept, smile and give thanks.

There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.

Lyrics by Daniel W. Whittle 1883

 

Another Super Day

Beach Volleyball – Lovely South African Summer

We’re tired tonight mostly because we spent most of the afternoon sitting in the sun, watching our amazing granddaughter Jenna, play beach volleyball. We are proud grandparents. Jenna is an elite athlete. It’s always fun to watch her participate in her sports. The tournament was held at the German International School of Johannesburg. Among other things, there was a beautiful 25 meter pool, with lanes delineated ready for racing. Today, there were no races, so I had a swim between Jenna’s games. Jenna must have inspired me, because I swam 500 meters – 20 lengths of that pool. We didn’t bring a towel. In this beautiful African weather, the solar dryer did the trick.

Before the tournament we shopped in the Rosemount Rooftop Sunday Market. We are slowly gathering together our souvenirs of this trip. When we arrived back at Dave’s, we were thrilled to have almost an hour long conversation on Skype with Bonnie , Boris, and the children Lise and Alex. Another dose of home which was needed. Supper required little effort, as we had heaps of leftovers from last night’s party.

Now we’ll crawl into bed early. Those night’s are needed. Tomorrow, we return to being tourists as we travel to the Lesedi Cultural Village, a world heritage site.

My moments of joy started with Joanne our amazing daughter-in-law. She volunteered to drive us to the rooftop market, making herself late for Jenna’s tournament. She helped with the bargaining when we purchased something. While I was swimming, she went back to the city to get us all some lunch. She brought me rice cakes iced with yoghurt that are delicious, cheese and a gluten free granola bar. She always ensures that there is food for me without gluten. I know that requires extra effort. She is special and caring and very kind.  Of course, there is Jenna. Watching her, talking with her, just being able to spend time with her, is a total joy. I have to include the swim. It felt so good to stretch out my muscles in the water.

Lots of light emanated from me today. I am truly grateful.

Jenna’s solid serve just over the net, difficult to return.

The First Day Is Over!

Share Your Gifts. Bring Light to the World.

The first day is over. It’s 11:54 p.m. at home. As we glide past Ireland it’s already morning. The flight attendant smiled and handed me breakfast. I haven’t actually slept yet. Sunday night, adrenalin kept me awake almost all night. This is going to be a tough transition. Oh well, everything else is great.

At the airport yesterday we talked with several “neat” people. At one point, Colin, a Trinidadian from Indianapolis, entertained the lot of us with his violin for over an hour. He wasn’t a busker. He was a happy youngish man who just loved to play his violin.  Of course, my Tom was drawn to the music. Before long he and Colin had become a musical duo as Tom sang along. They were two extroverts having a grand time.

While I worked away editing the first page of my book, Colin told Tom of his near death experience. He was working on an oil rig when it exploded. “They tell me I had no vital signs for 17 minutes. I’ve been on the ‘other side’.” He rolled up his sleeves to reveal heavy scarring on his arms. His hands, protected by his gloves, weren’t harmed by the flames.

“I learned two things,” he said. “I wasn’t going to work on the oil rigs anymore, regardless of the great pay and my dad’s objections.” Today, he makes his living using his precious hands to entertain folk in night clubs and casinos.

I’ve decided this was the moment I had been watching for. His obvious joy, along with Tom’s, brought smiles all around. They certainly added to the goodness of this world. I forgot to take a picture. I’ll do better tomorrow.

 

 

 

“I Want to Pass It On!”

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Some people pay big dollars for preference plates for their cars in order to advertise their business or to express their personalities. When my husband Tom worked as a sales rep for “Sexauer Plumbing Supplies”, his company paid for his preference plate. They thought “SEXAUER” on Tom’s license plate was great advertising. Tom thought it was a delightful pun. When Tom and I were first dating, my adult children looked at that license plate and asked, “who is this guy who has latched onto our mother?”

My license plate of many years is “BBLY 888”. For many people of Chinese origin the number 8 is considered very lucky. If I could sell my license plate to the highest bidder, I’m told it might go for $1000 or more. The government doesn’t allow us to sell our license plates, and that’s a good thing, because I might be tempted.

You see, I enjoy my license plate. First of all, it’s easy to remember. That helps. Second, the “bbly” feels good. It reminds me to relax and let my bubbly self be free to love life, because I do. I want the world to know that a life of faith brings joy and peace. I’m not superstitious,  but having the Chinese lucky 8 repeated three times brings to my mind the extravagance of God’s love that surrounds me. In my down times, God has blessed me with compassionate people who have cared for me and supported me. There has been, is and will always be so much to celebrate in my life. Yes, my license plate is superb advertising.

This morning my special license plate reminded me of the last line of a camp song,

“I’ll shout it from the mountaintop, I want my world to know the Lord of Love has come to me. I want to pass it on!”  (It Only Takes a Spark by Kurt Kaiser 1969)

Joyful Moments

river cruise boat

Today we packed. Tomorrow we board the plane for Amsterdam. Our Scenic River Cruise adventure has begun. For four years we have dreamed about this trip. Last year we bought the tickets. Tonight, both excitement and nervousness rattle through my being. Will we be safe? Will I be able to keep up with the others on the excursions. For me this is the trip of a lifetime.

Writer Michael Singer says, “The greatest gift we can give to God is to be pleased with God’s Creation,” (p. 294 Untethered Soul).  For me, our entire world and all that dwells within it, is God’s Creation. Too often we rush through our days, focused on past problems, present tasks, or future worries and miss the joy that surrounds us. Moments of joy can last only a few seconds or minutes. They’re rather like a rainbow that appears, it’s beauty overwhelming us, and then fades even as we stare at it. I believe God wants us to expect Joy.

For the next three weeks I will be opening my heart and all my senses to the joyful moments I believe God has in store for us on this trip. Every night that we have internet available to us, I intend to post a description of at least one joy-filled moment, along with a picture. I encourage you to check out my blog each day. Share in our journey.

Today’s moment came this morning. Greg Phillips, of 404 Small Business Solutions called to say, “Your book has been uploaded. We’ll order the proof copy this morning.”

Cover4 for Create Space

The second edition of “Can I Hold Him?” is right on schedule. It will be available this fall. We did it. I am truly grateful to Greg. His wisdom, determination, and patience has made this task fun. I am pleased and happy and satisfied. We met our deadline. Tonight I’m still smiling as I write this.

Search out and soak in your glimpses of Joy. Every day open another of God’s gifts of Joy.

 

 

Will you leave a trail of joy behind you

Experience the Joy!
Experience the Joy!

Tonight, I am very aware of the preciousness of life. I’m not sure why. This has been a good day and a rather quiet day. This morning we said good bye to our Montreal friends. I did some work on my novel. This afternoon I baked pies for the talent auction and bake sale at Keene church this Saturday.  All good things, but nothing particularly momentous. Still, tonight I feet called to remind you, my readers, regardless of your responsibilities, or the state of your health, to practice the following routine:

  1. Every evening, take a few moments to think about your day. What goodness have you received from others – young or old? What was the best part of your day? Did you notice your surroundings – see and feel the beauty of Creation.  Give God thanks for all the goodness in your life.
  1. At the beginning of each day, identify one way in which you can “pay forward” your blessings. That could be as simple as a smile for a grocery store cashier or as difficult as forgiving a friend who has caused you pain even before they’ve said they’re sorry. Ask for God’s help. Check your daytimer and look for the possibilities of being God’s blessing for at least one person.  Give God thanks for the privilege of spreading joy.

It’s important to be intentional about our living. God has given you these twenty-four hours. Live them wisely. Leave a trail of joy behind you.

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“This commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 14: 12)

Thought for the Day

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May the Joy of 2015

be the spark you need for

Joy in Your 2016

It seems to be human nature to focus on the tough times and let the good times slip away unnoticed. I refuse to let that happen to me. I know it’s my choice. So, today, today as I think about the end of 2015, I’m focusing on the good times. Tom and I have celebrated a grade 12 grad in which grandson Zachary was valedictorian. We’ve had a wonderful journey to the west coast in which we enjoyed family and friends. I launched a new book, “Dipping Your Toes in Planning Small Group Devotionals” that has sold wonderfully well. And there is so much more. My list of joys in 2015 is long.  Yes, there’s also been bumps in the journey, dark times, some of which are not yet resolved, but for today, I’m giving joy my priority.

On this eve of a New Year, I recommend you take some time to let your mind drift back over 2015. Pick out the good moments no matter how small. Relive them in your mind. If you wish, write them down.

Here is an example: Last week Connie, Chris and Ellie were at our house for dinner. We had a lovely evening. At one point Connie played a Utube video for us, that gave us all laughter. At the time, Ellie said, “Grandma, I’ve never seen you laugh so hard”.

Savor each memory on your list and give God thanks.

Now, before you dive back into getting ready for tonight or whatever, let your mind slip ahead to 2016. Give thanks for the possibilities of joy that lay ahead. Ask God for strength, courage, wisdom and laughter in this wonderful New Year. After all we know that life is fragile. We need God’s help in handling it with care.

 Happy New Year!

 

Thought for the Day

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Joy is an action as well as a feeling.

There are times when the craziness of our lives overwhelms us, when the problems of our loved ones leave our hearts aching, when the pain of this world – the destruction of the environment, the violence erupting around us feels like a burden too heavy to bear. During the times when we feel only sadness. we ask, “Where is our joy?” Beth Richardson in her book, The Uncluttered Heart, says, “It is in these times that we learn that Joy is not just a feeling. It’s an action.”

Monday afternoon, (I think), on CBC radio an interview concerning research on the joy of giving caught my attention. (I tried to find it on line this morning but failed.) What I remember was, an experiment to discover if there was more joy in buying a gift for someone else than for myself. Statistically significant results showed that giving a gift to someone other than self,  brought more joy to giver. Actually I didn’t need a scientist to give me this information. I learned this fact years ago. What’s new for me is Beth Richardson’s words describing this fact, Joy is an action as well as a feeling.

Why do we love the Christmas Spirit? Why does our joy tend to increase during the Christmas season? I believe we find joy in our Christian Christmas celebration because it pushes us to action. The tradition of giving gifts to others, that is based in the story of the Wisemen bringing gifts to baby Jesus, is the action that can bring Joy into the darkest parts of our lives.

Your thought and mine for this day is:

Today, I will act to bring Joy to at least one person because

Joy is an action as well as a feeling.

 

Listen for Sounds of Joy.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

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Listen for Sounds of JOY.

Yesterday morning I worshipped in the Unitarian Church of Montpelier Vermont. When we stepped inside the church, I wondered if it wasn’t already Christmas Eve. People poured through the doors around us. Joy filled my heart, this is church, I thought. Children and adults obviously excited about gathering for worship, feeling at home. God must be celebrating today.

Joy surged forth again when Rev. Joan quoted our Canadian PM Justin Trudeau as he greeted the first contingent of Syrian Refugees with “You are home!” Tears filled my eyes as pride in our country welled up within me. This too is Joy, I thought.

During coffee hour we all stopped and formed a circle around a departing member as she sang her farewell. When she began the last verse we spontaneously began to hum along, and then joined in on the last chorus. God’s Spirit touched each one of us – although I’m sure many hearts were aching at the goodbye, I experienced God’s Joy in the wonderful feeling of family and love that was shared. This is church, I thought. This is what Jesus intended when he said where two or three are gathered there will I be also.

There are so many sounds that bring us joy. When our grandchildren were little there was nothing sweeter than the “Grandma, Grandma” I heard as they ran to greet me with their huge hugs. The purr of the family cat as we snuggle her close, the deep belly laugh that comes when something has truly touched our funny bone are sounds of JOY.

Today, as we make the long drive home, eight hours or more, I will listen for sounds of joy from the radio, in the service centres, in Tom’s voice. I know that the most welcome, the most joyful sound of all will be the silence as we shut off the car, and open the door at home. The peace, the security of home will envelope us. Our hearts will fill with joy and thanksgiving.

Today list your sounds of Joy and soak in God’s blessings.