Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti - A Love Revolution

I was running errands today and I was hungry. I stopped at Starbucks to get a variety of pastries - 9 total. I had wanted to bake a cake for my mom for her birthday but decided on the pastries instead (my husband's idea- probably because I usually try to do too many things and then stress myself out). After Starbucks I was on my way to the gym, still hungry, with two bags of pastries sitting right next to me on the passenger seat. I thought, "Mmmmm.... maybe I'll just eat one petite vanilla bean scone. I am so hungry, I haven't eaten in 3 1/2 hours!"

Then, I suddenly felt bad for thinking I was hungry because I thought about the people in Haiti. I have been reading articles in the newspaper and online about the tragedy that happened last week in Port-au-Prince. I have been praying for the people in Haiti and everyone involved in this tragedy. It makes me sad and even frustrated that the people of Port-au-Prince who survived are so desperate for food and water, some going days without food. So, I was driving in my car here in Omaha Nebraska thinking about how grateful I am to live in this country and always having food available. I can't imagine having no way to get food, money, or shelter. Even the homeless in our country are privileged. I thought about how there are hungry people all over the world. I thought about how most people in our country have so much and just want more. I've been wondering what I/we can do to help.

I got to the gym and started to read a new book called "The Love Revolution" by Joyce Meyer. I only got through the Introduction of the book and I was amazed how it related to what I was thinking about. It felt like the book was part of the answer. Here is a small section of the Introduction of Joyce Meyer's new book:

"We need to overthrow the dominance of selfish, self-centered living in our lives. ..... If every person on the planet knew how to receive and give love, our world would be a radically different place. I think we all know something is wrong in society and that it needs to be fixed, but nobody seems to know what to do or how to begin making changes. Our reaction to a world out of control is to complain and think, Someone should do something. We think and say that perhaps God or the government or someone else in authority needs to take action. But the truth is, each one of us has to do something. We must learn to live life from a totally different viewpoint than we have had. We must be willing to learn, to change, and to admit that we are part of the problem."

So, there IS something I can do. There is something WE can do. I look forward to reading more of the book "The Love Revolution" to give me more insight and wisdom on living less selfishly, taking action and helping others. We all have a unique purpose in life and I believe that part of that purpose is to love and help others. Using our gifts and talents to love and bless others produces joy in our hearts and that joy expands into the hearts of many.

My husband and I sponsor children through an organization called Compassion, and one of the children is from Port-au-Prince. It may be awhile before we find out if he is alive and okay. I got out his letters last Friday and read through them. I cried. He is 10 years old and very sweet, loving and inspiring. In the last letter we received from him he wrote:

"I am so glad to talk to you in this letter. How are you doing? I hope you are very well by God's grace. I always go to church and pray to God. I pray God to bless you. I do love you so much. After the bible, what kind of book do you like to read? Last year I was doing very well in school. But I have not received the report card yet. I hope to get my passing grade into grade 6. Please pray for me so that God can keep me healing. God bless! Michael"

If you are looking for a way to donate to the Haiti fund, here is a link to donate through Compassion. Thanks for reading my blog. Bless you!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Daily "Thank You" List

This morning I decided to list out the things I am thankful for throughout the day as I experience them. Here are several things I am thankful for today.....

1. I can breathe.

2. Proverbs - very inspiring and life-changing.

3. A note from my husband that says "Awesome!" with a smiley in response to a journal entry I wrote last night.

4. Our washer and dryer to do laundry.

5. My friend who I spoke with on the phone this morning.

6. Our pet bunny named Bunny who is so soft and likes to lick my nose.

7. Being organized by writing out my daily tasks and what I do each hour (I learned this last week and it's an awesome way to get lots done).

8. My family.

9. The 40 degree high today that will hopefully melt lots of the snow so I can park in the driveway instead of a block away and so the squirrels and bunnies can find more food.

10. Leftover pizza.

11. Live music at home - my husband practicing guitar in the other room.

12. My new Cookie Lee catalogs that finally arrived today because the fedex truck could make it down our hill. Yay!

13. Watching David, my husband, try to hold Bunny - adorable.

14. The sky - especially around 5:30pm - what a beautiful array of colors!

15. Gym membership and the motivation to get there.

16. A tip I learned in a magazine on how to get organized and declutter - spend 10-15 minutes a day doing a power declutter.

17. My grandma.

18. New jewelry that I ordered and I'm so excited to get AND the money to pay for it.

19. My nightly handwashing dishes by candlelight.

20. The privilege and power of prayer.

Making a 'Gratitude Journal' is something I've heard is good for a person's well-being. I have much to be thankful for but sometimes do not realize it, especially when I am more focused on the 'bad' and instead of the 'good'. May you be blessed by seeing good things in your life!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

How to Have a Cheerful Heart


Here are some quick and easy tips that could help minimize stress and bring more joy to your life:

1.  If you feel stressed out or you're having negative thoughts, stop and take a deep breath.  Now, think of some things you are thankful for.  There are always things to be thankful for.  Focusing on the positive is a way to stop the bad habit of negative thinking.  Allow thankfulness to trample over grumpiness.

2.  Help someone else out.  It feels good to do something nice for others.  And when we stop focusing on ourselves and focus on others and how we can help them, it minimizes our own problems.  Having a giving heart produces joy!

3.  Do things you love.  And if you have forgotten what you love, I've heard that you should think back to when you were a child.  For example, if you loved art projects when you were little you may love doing something artsy or crafty as an adult.  Doing things you love lets the child in you come out; the real you comes to life.  This is freeing!

4.  Ever hear that laughter is the best medicine?  I think there is truth to that.  If you're feeling blue sometimes a good laugh is just what you need. Find humor in the simple things of life. There's a Proverb that says "A cheerful heart is a good medicine".

5.  Try working out.  This can be a major stress-reducer.  Not only is it good for your physical health, it improves your mood, your self-confidence, and gives you more energy.  Even a quick work out is good. For example, a 20 minute walk.  Exercise is great for your heart and your mentality.

6.  Be loved!  Many times we have a hard time allowing ourselves to be loved.  Learn how to accept compliments, accept gifts and love from others.  Cherish the moments, let people love you, and remember all gifts of love come from above.  Embrace the love that comes your way!