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Life has not always been kind to me. Much of it was my own fault for making wrong decisions. I still make some wrong choices, but hope a lot fewer.

Through it all I have been richly blessed by God, who loves me unconditionally. The greatest gifts He blesses me with are all the wonderful people He puts on this path I walk through this life.

I didn’t ask to be born and I almost wasn’t. There were times when I wished I wasn’t. Many times I wonder why I was born! I am growing in wisdom. And, glad I was born.

Learning to be grateful for my life, in all its ups and downs has been, and is a blessing. Still not sure what my purpose here is, but I pray I’m doing some things right.

Life IS Good!

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My Thoughts on this Labor Day 2017 as I am happily spending time in my local BN Café.

The only men in my life who really loved me. My Dad, and my high school boyfriend Johnny. And, the one who is alive…my brother, John who is also a best friend.
Johnny and I met through our church youth group while in high school. We became fast friends. He had asthma, and this was back in the 60s when there was no medicine for it like there is now.

He lived, probably a good 5 miles from where I lived. Usually one of his parents would drop him off at my house so he could spend time with us (me). When they couldn’t he would walk the miles to come see me; one day even in the rain without an umbrella! Some times when he could not come because of his asthma he would call and we would talk a long time on the phone. And, he would often play the piano for me over the phone. He was an amazing pianist and even wrote a beautiful piece which was going to be recorded! It reminded me of a beautiful waterfall. It was never recorded because the next summer Johnny died. I was devastated.
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Each time I come to BN Café lately I read a few pages of the latest issue of BELLA GRACE. Right now I can’t afford to buy it. I just turned the page to the next article “You are Loved!” Recently I have been sensing a feeling of what it might be like to have God’s best man for me in my life; almost as if it could actually happen. I don’t feel any need to have one, and definitely not looking. So it is strange to get this feeling just out of the blue.

A moment ago inside of a bubble of sensing something wonderful there was a hint of a tear in my soul. Don’t know if a sad tear or a happy one.
Even with my headphones on listening to music from Pandora I love watching the variety of people who come to this popular café and vaguely watch and listen to life going on around me.

Couples sitting together, but doing their own thing i.e. reading by whatever means they have chosen, doing crosswords etc. Some writing, working on a laptop or tablet, daydreaming, or chatting with others. Such an interesting mix of people. I love it all.

I like sitting next to the window wall. Often when a parent is walking past with their children, a child will look at me and smile as she is passing. Of course I smile back. It warms my spirit.

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Reading the Touchstones of Happiness, 75 of them from various individuals reminds me of some of my own.

My morning cup of French Press coffee with Jesus.

The day my brother came to us, only a few days old as a foster child. And again, when our parents brought him back home from a hospital in Virginia where is biological mother had left him, then decided to let us adopt him. We got him back before his first birthday. Thinking of him makes me smile.

A sweatshirt he gave me which I wore until it was nearly in tatters. I was able to save the front of it and a friend made it into a small pillow cover. Now I can hug it lovingly, like I am hugging him.

Fresh flowers bring me joy, especially tulips, calilies, and daisies.

Books, books, books.

My Tiffany Bracelet from Becky. And remembering how I met her…at my Tiffany Reception hosted by the Regional VP of Tiffany’s for my newly published book.

Walks along a sandy beach at the ocean.

A fresh new legal pad of paper, a favorite pen…and the beginning of a new writing.

Or a clean white Word doc writing with the keys on my tablet as I sit in the Barnes and Noble Café.

Quality time with friends, face to face.

What are some of your touchstones of happiness?  Would love to read yours.

http://bellagracemagazine.com

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I wrote this early December 2016.  I thought it would be a longer piece of its own, but it seems like it was the beginning of a new journey!  Maybe!

Currently I am reading Heaven by Randy Acorn, Mere Christianity by CS Lewis, for Church – Divine Renovation by Father James Mallon, and finished Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
This fits in with my #3 Strength – Intellection. I love reading and learning, and much of it inspires my Futuristic strength. I don’t like to rush through reading these types of books. As I read a little at a time I sometimes find similar or identical thoughts by the different authors, even when the theme of their books differ.
I’ve been transitioning within myself most of my life. I’ve lived in many places including abroad, and travelled quite a bit, so I think I have a little gypsy in me. A few years ago I realized I must have been searching for HOME when I happened on Greenville SC. I thought it was just a great place to make day trips and occasional weekends away from where I was living at the time. Then one day I realized it was THE PLACE where I felt AT HOME. A few years later I was able to move here.
Greenville is not perfect as a city, not paradise, but it is a wonderful, blessed place to live; and make wonderful new friends and friendly acquaintances.
The various temp jobs were great while waiting for a great permanent part-time job. They afforded me the joy of meeting more great people. I don’t need to be rich, but I do need to have the extra quality personal time to read, learn, be inspired, and write.
Where do I go from here?
I continue to transition into better habits and see my path to a more creative life.
It’s a busy time of year. In addition to the normal life things to deal with there is a new lease contract to read through, and health insurance notices/updates for the coming new year to read through!!! Those are not things I like doing, but they have to be done. There are things at church I am involved in, social responsibilities, and working full time contract work with the City of Greenville again until some time next year.
Until things settle down within the job and life stuff I find it is difficult to take the quality time I need to get through more reading, and back to writing on a regular basis. Oh well the time will come.

Until next post..love and blessings to all.  May you all find your own path.

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Lovely Entrance Exit by Ann Marquette

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Dedicated to all who have been, are, and will be a part of my patchwork life.
What an amazing life
Like a beautiful patchwork quilt
Various shades of colors
A variety of designs~

Family, friends, acquaintances
Some famous personalities
Some only whispers
Some a passing breeze
Some who stay forever,
In this life and beyond~

Traumatic painful times
Soft and quiet hours
And oh yes…
Miraculous, magical moments
Peaceful, wonderfully loving moments~

The most beautiful patches
All the special people
Happy times
Magic moments…
But, every single one
Sewn together
To match, blend, highlight, contrast
Every Blessed piece
Make up this…
Wonderful patchwork life of mine~

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Thank you Robin for letting me share your very profound post.  

Inspiration, honesty, courage, who am I?, Robin Korth

I Cannot Give to Another What I Do Not Have for Myself

All that I am—all that I wish to be in power, purpose, meaning and love—arises from inside of me. I must choose to create this person that I am with each thought and breath, with each action, ache and need. This means I must pay attention as I seek to grow towards life from within my own heart and soul. Then, I can truly give of myself to others.

To be kind—I must know first how to treat myself well. I must know that I am human and frail, that I shall falter and stumble. Let me cherish the “not perfect” parts of me with clear eyes and a willingness to set them aside. Let me be kind to myself as I learn that this is a day-after-day thing. Getting rid of my faults is a lifetime affair—for newer and more subtle ones will always take the place of the ones I think I have laid down. This keeps me humble, active and aware. When I know true kindness within me, I can give it to you.

To be self-honest—I must first know what honesty really is. It is not the convenient truth, it is the brutally real truth of who I am. Self-honesty means I don’t duck my motives or dance around the corners of my actions. Let me have the courage to own the inside-truths of me within the mirror of my spirit. I already know them, anyway. To wander around pretending I don’t is a fool’s errand. I waste time in the spiritual growth department, I confuse myself and I keep the light of my “beingness” shunted dark. When I am self-honest within me, I can reveal who I am to you without fear because I already “know the worst”—and it has set me free. I can share my smile with you in laughing authenticity and self-honest grace.

To be compassionate—I must understand that compassion is the “working side of love.” Compassion starts with me loving who I am with that kindness and self-honesty that I already live within. Compassion means I don’t judge or condemn. I purposefully get in the trenches right beside you as I work with acceptance and courage to be a better person. I can then also reach my hand out to you with openness and love. I am you and you are me—human, flawed, beautiful and brave.

When I willingly and consciously seek to know and learn, to create and accept the bounty of who I am as a soul upon this earth, I can then share this “me” with “thee” and neither of us are alone.

Photo: www.sampaikini.com

Dear readers,  Please go directly to Robin’s post to leave comments for her.  http://www.robininyourface.com/i-cannot-give-to-another-what-i-do-not-have-for-myself/

 

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Peaceful by Ann Marquette

Peaceful by Ann Marquette

You can read this here, but please click this link to visit Jane’s blog directly and make all comments there.  Thank you for stopping by.

http://janefriedman.com/2015/01/19/10-resolutions-saner-internet/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+JaneFriedman+%28Jane+Friedman%29

For me, the hardest thing about being online is remaining focused on creative endeavors important to me. The multiplicity of voices—and the community that you care about—can make you forget your center. You get sucked into other agendas that could be worthy, but are never what you intended to get mixed up in. Sometimes, it’s hard not to play. You love the networks you’re a part of. You want to connect and contribute. You want to pay it forward.

But then it becomes hard to extricate yourself. You react and sometimes let it dictate your schedule. More and more often, you look up and realize that nothing you’ve been doing for the past few hours (or days or weeks!) much related to the underlying purpose you have for your own creative work.

There is so much to do, so much to participate in, so much to respond to—so many opportunities. It is a double-edged sword. Who doesn’t want more opportunities? But when the online community starts writing your to-do list, what happens to your own vision?

I’m not necessarily better at dealing with this than anyone else. I have periods of discipline, and then I don’t. I often gain back my discipline when I have moments away—to allow my own perspective to return. Some of the things I try to do:

  • Focus on reading or creative work first thing in the morning, for 3-6 hour stretches.
  • Stay off email for 8-12 hour periods—sometimes 24 hours.
  • Stay offline after dinner.

Sometimes I feel guilty about these things. What if students, colleagues, or clients need a response quickly? Is it OK to disappear for a full business day? I try to tell myself: Yes. And to also set others’ expectations so I don’t feel guilty.

All of this is a long prelude to 10 resolutions put forth by L.L. Barkat at Tweetspeak Poetry, as part of a movement called “Citizens for a Saner Internet—and Life.” Consider me one such citizen; want to join me?

10 Resolutions from Citizens for a Saner Internet—and Life

  1. Consider sharing three beautiful posts for every negative post we feel we must share.
  2. Share angry posts only if they significantly contribute to an important conversation.
  3. Understand anger as important, a red flag type emotion, that loses its strength if all we ever do is feel angry.
  4. Write headlines that are intelligent, witty, or intriguing without exhausting our readers by frequently playing the “outrage card” to get click-throughs.
  5. If we feel we want to listen to an angry Internet conversation for what it may be able to teach us about a subject, we resolve to do so silently for a “waiting period,” in a stance of learning rather than one of defense and counterattack.
  6. We will not link to attack journalism from our websites, so as not to give more power to the writer or website of said journalism. Related, we will not link to or re-share iterative journalism, which is a sloppy form of journalism designed to deliver a “scoop” that may have no foundation yet in truth.
  7. Consider ways to move beyond the “page view model” of Internet sustainability (which is one reason attack or sensationalist journalism is often pursued by individuals and websites, because it can result in high page views, which can translate into staying financially sustainable).
  8. Get offline for periods of rest—optimally, one offline day a week and getting offline by a certain cutoff time in the evenings—and use this time to cultivate face-to-face relationships, read, exercise, or otherwise interact with the world around us.
  9. If we are unsure about our own angry or sensationalistic post on a subject, we will first pass the post by trusted friends who come from different viewpoints, in a more private setting, before deciding whether to hit the publish button.
  10. If we have been online for hours and are finally simply “surfing” because we feel lonely or unfocused, we will get offline and spend time with people face-to-face, read, exercise, play, or delve deeply into a new interest area—one that will seriously challenge us and open up new avenues for our learning and our lives.

Sometimes, anger isn’t as much the issue (for me) as feeling buffeted by the concerns, egos, and ambitions that can be baked into social media interaction—where our moods and attitudes can be influenced who’s following, liking, responding, or connecting … or by who’s getting recognition or not … or by who’s agreeing or participating or not. Getting stuck in that thought pattern is a sure sign you’ve lost focus and probably control over what you’re trying to accomplish.

All that aside: I tend to have a bigger problem dealing with email distractions than social media distractions. Social media is easy to compartmentalize when needed; I’m still working on that with email.

As Laura says at her original post, feel free to take the 10 resolutions above and publish them on your blog. The resolutions are a community thing, and they belong to you if you want them to.

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