Thursday, June 16, 2016

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE


 
The Gratitude Diaries...

Well, hello there...after a break I'm back...six long months!  So much has taken place, so many changes in our lives...ever so much of everything.  Perhaps you've missed me...and then again, perhaps you haven't.  Either way, I'm hoping to be back in the groove...so to speak...whatever 'the groove' is!  We'll see.
 
I've prayed and pondered about what to write...so many things to write about but what first?  I keep coming back to 'gratitude'...so gratitude is it for this first post of 2016.
 
I discovered this poem...it's lengthy but I'm thinking it's worth reading.
 
Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
Author Unknown
 
 
I'm thankful that I don't have everything I desire.
      Gives me something to dream up...for M.
      Well, M sometimes wishes we had a car,
      but wow, he's discovered how fun his golf cart is!

I'm thankful for the difficult times.
     God has provided opportunities for growth...
     I don't want to be 'little person'...I want?  A big heart.

I'm thankful for my limitations.
     God is providing opportunities for improvement.
     Patience is becoming my middle name.

I'm thankful for each new challenge.
     God is providing me with ways to improve my strength
     as well as my character...one challenge is met,
     another is waiting in the wings!

I'm thankful for my mistakes.
     God is providing me with wisdom to realize I must move carefully...
      to bite my tongue & be gracious, speaking kindly.

I'm thankful when I'm tired and weary.
     God is teaching me more about compassion and tenderness...
     giving me the opportunity to share.

I'm thankful for the good things in life.
      God is showing me how to be thankful for the setbacks...
     showing me that we are definitely not alone!
    
Skipping a proper definition of the word 'gratitude'...here's what an 88 year old lady said, when asked the secret to her good health.  "Always be happy and to be happy remember these words...Attitude and Gratitude".

So...Michael and I are changing (aren't we all); we aren't 'growing old'...oh boy, we're just old.  However...we're not finished just yet...that's what we keep saying.  We think God surely has something else in mind for us to do. 
Attitude is important and we have it...anyway,
my attitude for life has definitely become one of great gratitude...
that's what I'm about. 

"Father,
I need nothing for myself...nothing, for you have so richly blest me...all my life.
You've helped me through the many ups and downs...and helped me smile through it all.  How wonderful that is.  Michael and I have some problems but they aren't bad problems because you've held our hands through the dark times and turned on the lights.  How wonderful that is.  I am most grateful, most thankful to you for everything.
In your son's name, Amen."

From my grateful heart...to yours,
Vasca   

Saturday, December 12, 2015

LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA...FOR SOMEONE...



      
Sigh...looks like you're it, little tree. 
         Only tree left on the lot so...guess what?
                                I choose you!
 

 
Hey, I didn't mean you were ugly...you just looked
awful lonely out there by yourself. 
Here, take my blankie...
you'll like it. 
Now there, is that better?
 
 

 
 
                             
I knew it, I knew it...you just needed some love!
       You're the prettiest tree in the world!  Wow!

                                       
* These three pictures of Linus and the little tree are taken from Peanuts by Charles Schulz.  Some of the words are mine combined with some of Schulz's thoughts/words. 
Thanks to him for his genius!

This time of the year is wonderful, in ever so many ways.  I feel like Christmas is every day ~ for many reasons but mainly because of the great improvement in Michael's health.

Add to that the birth of our very first great grandchild, and a girl at that.  This part of the Beall clan has been loaded with males...now we've girls.  M said it would be amazing if our great-grands would all be girls...sure would.  Ellie is a week old and of course she is beautifully gorgeous.  Why not?

Another blessing is a healthy and contented family...on the whole! 

Looking around...reading, listening brings to mind others who, at this particular time, are not so fortunate.  Sickness pops up at very inopportune times...as it did with us last Christmas.  We had great plans to spend a few days with our family a couple of hours from here.

Didn't happen...Christmas Eve Michael was very ill and just couldn't make it out of bed.  So, we spent Christmas at home, medicating and meditating.  By Sunday he was hospitalized until New Year's Eve.  Hey, we had a wonderful series of late celebrations and everything ended well.

Stuff happens!  Right?  A few years ago one of our sons was given the unpleasant task of terminating an employee just before Christmas.  He shared with us his feelings that day...said he drove around the block several times before he could go in to break the news of someone's termination.  How sad is that?  And yet, it happens quite often.  Bleak news to cast a pall on a beautiful holiday!

For some, it's a Christmas...
their first Christmas...without a loved one that passed on.  
For some, it's a Christmas...
one of many...w/out their loved one who is serving our country.
For some, it's a Christmas...
of being homeless.
For some, it's a Christmas...
of being in Rehab.
For some, it's a Christmas...
of being a Scrooge.
For some, it's a Christmas...
of sharing and caring.
For you, it's a Christmas...of...?

I have everything I can think of...I want nothing.  Others may have nothing and I'd never know it.  I try to keep my eyes wide open, searching the faces and actions of others ~ who knows what's going on inside...behind those eyes?

It doesn't need to be some big deal...it doesn't.  Think of people you know who might be going through some difficult times...think of those who might want or need a little happy thought, a touch, smile, card...opportunities are endless, right? 

I'm often the recipient of little things.  Like what?  I encounter the nicest people while grocery shopping...I actually enjoy the grocery experience.  This week there was a elderly gentleman behind me in the check-out line and before I could begin he totally unloaded my cart...very meticulously! 

Same day, a tiny little lady couldn't find gingerbread mix...no wonder; she was so short she just couldn't see that high up!  We had a fun time selecting it; she was charming and appreciative.  Also met another one of those big, policemen and was able to tell him how proud/happy I was of how the police protect us...he was so nice.

Sometimes people simply want to share very personal feelings; it does us good to share and express how those things affect us...you never know! 

I am reminded that Christmas isn't a date, it's a state of mind...24/7. 
Something I am trying to practice...God, please help me do this.

In closing, since these pictures are from Peanuts and Charles Schulz, here's a quote from the talented gentleman:
Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone." 

Merry Christmas...A little something from my heart, to yours! 
 

Vasca





Thursday, December 10, 2015

THE LIST...



"Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate."
 
November along with Thanksgiving is gone...my goodness, time has flown and Christmas is sweeping in.  Hard to believe we're almost into 2016!

Hopefully politics will play it low-key for a few weeks; unlikely but one can hope!  Someone said it would be wonderful if we could bottle the holiday spirit and have it year-round...wouldn't that be something?
 
I really love the time of year from Thanksgiving thru' New Year's Day.  There's just some magic in the air; the music (brings tears to my eyes...love it), smiles, decorations...more love, lots of love and happiness.  Stores are filled with shoppers...families shopping together...guys shopping w/o a female advisor...females flocked together...comparison shoppers!  You name it...they're out there. 

I don't have a Christmas list...so I'll have fun being surprised on Christmas morning and I love surprises.  If you have a 'Bucket List' for Christmas...you might get it, how 'bout that?

Along that line, here's a bucket list from Facebook this week...gave me some things to think about!  
 
 
BE PRESENT:
Most of us try our best to be with our families;
 but there are times when it isn't possible.

I've guilty feelings around holidays
because I know there are so many
who have no loved ones around
to spend time with...or maybe they have no family period.
 
What do they do during holidays?                                        
Many people issue a blanket invitation
to anyone who has no plans for Christmas...
come and join them.  Times seem a bit               
dangerous these days and we're all a bit
skittish around opening ourselves to
those we haven't a clue about.   Must be a way!

 
WRAP IN HUGS: Hugs are a 'dime-a-dozen'...in other words they're always available and right handy!  I'm a hugger...now I know there are those who do not hug and that's okay.  They are safe!  Actually I don't usually hug strangers but on occasions I've encountered groups who were out and about 'mass hugging' to make everyone's day.  It was fun and heart-warming at the same time.  Don't be afraid to give hugs! 

SEND LOVE: 
How would you...how do you send love?                                          
Not specifically by mail...
there are other ways! 
It is nice to receive a note by snail mail, e-mail,
messaging by cell or land line. 
But, how about body language? 
Well, let's not get too personal...
don't want to be offensive, do we? 
I sort of send love with my eyes...
think it transmits pretty well. 
We say much w/our physical actions!  Yep!




DONATE FOOD:
Wow...there's lots and lots of food
around during the holiday season.
Sweets galore, everything in
abundance and plenty to share!
Opportunities abound to help
see that it gets around to others
who maybe don't have enough.
Sharing is a thing this country
does well...thankfully!


 
MAKE MEMORIES:  
Michael and I have no traditional
things for holiday times.                                                  

Don't ask why, we just don't.  I  remember my dad always brought
home bags of oranges,
apples and lot of nuts. 
We each had one gift under the tree...
oh my, such happy memories. 
Michael's family was always dressed
to the hilt by his mother and grandmother...
for formal pictures. 
Those ladies were very proper! 
And for Christmas dinner out came the special dishes;
china, crystal and sterling silver!

 
 

BE THE LIGHT: 
Have you ever been panic stricken and prayed for light...any light?  I have and I was immobile and terrified.  Then there are times when I simply needed someone to look at me with light in their eyes...giving me a quiet, reassuring message...you ever been there? 

Christmas time can be especially stressful for people...think about it.  Just this week I read of a mother and her son walking home and he was begging her to buy a Christmas tree; she told him over and over they simply couldn't afford one.  Another 'walker' was listening, watching...stopped the woman and got them a tree.  'Walker' was a light. 



Thank you, God...for lighting my life and giving us the reason for this season...your Son.  That's what it's all about.

P.S. I agree with you, Charlie Brown...right on target...thanks!

From my happy heart...to yours, Vasca

*Pictures by Charles Schulz 'Peanuts'