Guidance in 2023

I’m always excited about what the new year may hold and am looking forward to 2023!

A few things I’m looking forward to:

  • Better health
  • More creativity and inventiveness to finish products
  • Better career opportunities
  • More Fun travel and flying
  • Completed home repairs
  • More Wonderful times with family and friends
  • More occasions to Learn Exciting things
  • Buy and plant more flowers
  • More Good News throughout the entire universe – more kindness, wisdom, and beauty for our planet, and in society

Since 2014, I‘ve had a word or phrase to guide me.

  • 2014 Guard Your Heart
  • 2015 Streamline Peace
  • 2016 Be a Blessing
  • 2017 Goals
  • 2018 Rest in Hope
  • 2019 Common Sense and Common Decency
  • 2020 I am a Light-Hearted Idealistic Pragmatist
  • 2021 Re-Imagine Work and Hope
  • 2022 Dream, Believe, Achieve

I enjoy these words or phrases. They mean something to me, they help me focus on what’s important. They’ve gently steered me in the direction I wanted to go in that particular year.

This year I choose Guidance as my word.

Placing my hand on my heart, I’m asking for Divine Guidance in everything I face and everything I aspire to do.

I’m in need of guidance for my health, career, and many other areas of my life. How can I make my life the very best it can possibly be? How can I reach my highest potential? How can I best help people and the planet?

Image from our local Winter Wonderland Holiday Light display. This is a tradition we enjoy with our grandbabies. We drive through the gate, we turn on our radio and listen to Christmas music while looking at gorgeous lights.

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Snowy Evening

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

BY ROBERT FROST

Whose woods these are I think I know.  

His house is in the village though;  

He will not see me stopping here  

To watch his woods fill up with snow.  

My little horse must think it queer  

To stop without a farmhouse near  

Between the woods and frozen lake  

The darkest evening of the year.  

He gives his harness bells a shake  

To ask if there is some mistake.  

The only other sound’s the sweep  

Of easy wind and downy flake.  

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,  

But I have promises to keep,  

And miles to go before I sleep,  

And miles to go before I sleep.

Our home is snuggly nestled behind those low, snow-laden branches in the photo below.

Kindness of Christmas Past

I love sharing this story.

One of the kindest experiences I had at Christmas time, happened several years ago. I was Christmas shopping. While waiting in the checkout line, the lady in front of me suddenly announced she was going to pay for everything in my cart!! At first, I was embarrassed. “No, no, that’s fine,” I said, shaking my head no. But she insisted and continued insisting. She suggested I could pay the kindness forward, if I’d please let her pay for my things. So, I acquiesced. The happiness that spread around to others during that exchange was awesome! All the faces around us went from gloomy and frantic, to soft and smiley.

I then kept my eyes open to pay it forward. While in another store, I heard a girl ask her mom for a doll on the shelf. But I heard her mom say they didn’t have enough money for that. I discreetly pulled mom aside and gave her every dollar I had, which wasn’t much. But she seemed so happy and immediately went back to her daughter to exclaim, “We do have enough to get that doll!”

Oh, it was so fun!

And while near the exit, I was smiling so big I thought I might burst, when suddenly a store employee noticed my smile and exclaimed, “You have a beautiful smile. Hey, look at her smile. Isn’t it gorgeous?”

That was an awesome day! I wish every day was filled with such Giving, Happiness, and Smiles so Big your Face Hurts!

This is what makes the holidays fun!

If you want your Christmas Tree covered in Christmas Spirit, may I suggest hiring decorators in this age-range, who still believe in Santa Claus. They are the adorablest!!

Displaying Christmas Cards

I love receiving Holiday Cards. Most often people send cards with photos of their families. And those are so gorgeous! It’s so fun to see how everyone has changed from one Christmas to the next. We have some relatives who send hilarious cards. I can hardly wait to see what crazy 2020/Covid ideas they come up with to put on their cards this year!?!

Over the years I’ve tried many different ways to display these awesome cards. I’ve hung them on the fridge, tied them to a yarn display, put them in a large container. I’ve tried paper clips and laundry clothespins. I’ve taped them to the wall. One year I hung them on my Christmas tree.

The best thing I have done for the last 5+ years was wrap a thin piece of cardboard in Christmas Wrapping, and hang it on the wall in the hall. I stick the cards on this big rectangle Gift Box, with a sticky tack that easily releases and leaves no residue.

I leave my cards up all year long. I love to look at all of my family. I’ve kept my grandbabies updated on all their relatives through these Christmas cards.

I keep all the old photo cards in a large tote. And I recycle some of the generic cards for projects to work on with my grandchildren.

One of the Best Healthy Gifts I’ve Received

One of my best friends from high school, gave me a lifesaving gift, (well many life-saving gifts actually – like the gift of her friendship, but I had a different gift in mind to discuss today). We’ve been best friends for nearly 40 years.

Many years ago, I was labeled with Celiac Disease. I chose to go on the Gluten Free diet and see if I felt better. I did feel better after a few months.

If you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, you know it takes a lot of organization just to get safe food in your belly.  

I am so blessed to have a friend who understood my frustration. For Christmas one year, she sent me two books by Bette Hagman. One is entitled, “The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods”, the other is entitled, “The Gluten-Free Gourmet Makes Dessert”. There are more than 200 recipes in each book. They have been a meal-saver when I’ve run out of ideas.

But more importantly than all the Gluten Free recipes in these two awesome books, my BFF ‘tweaked’ the recipes by adding uplifting quotes and notes between some of the pages. Those notes are a wonderful surprise each time I open the books and look for a new recipe.

A few examples include:

“Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.” John N. Mitchell

““Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” Dr. Seuss

The purpose of life is not crystal clear, especially when the path is sometimes paved with fear…

If you forget that you are strong, unique, gifted, funny, blessed and so entirely loved by everyone who knows you, give me a call, I’ll remind you…

Not only are these books good for my physical health, the quotes and notes are great for my mental/emotional health. And the gift of Friendship outshines them all! I have the Best BFFs!!

Cherish Every Special Moment

As a Grandma, I know how important it is to Cherish those Special Moments.

I wasn’t always a grandma. I was once a child with the same wishes and fears as most children. As a child I wished that I could get everything I wished for. I also boasted about being afraid of Nothing.

I have been a teenager, a young adult, a college student, a new employee at an important job, a new wife, a new mother, and a new grandma. All of these stages held their own wishes and fears.

I wish some of those moments could last forever –

  • The day I graduated college and felt this sense of pride, duty, and ability to change the world.
  • The day I started my first important job and felt the seriousness of really getting down to business in changing the world.
  • The day I held my newborn son and found a love so powerful and overwhelming, it opened my eyes and heart to a determination I never had before.
  • The days I held my newborn grandbabies and fell in love with their photos, and imagined their wonderful future, and realize how love just grows and grows.

I fear these moments can’t be replicated. My son will never be a newborn baby again. I’ll never have that first job again. My grandbabies are getting old so fast – one day they’re born, cooing, and snuggling: the next day they’re 10 years old.

In the year 2020, our focus could be on the virus, the election, the protests, and tons of other miseries.

But instead, it should be on the people we love and the moments we’ll cherish.

This Christmas season has me Cherishing all those Special Memories.

And even though most of us can’t be together:

  • I cherish each call, text, email, letter, and photo received from my son, grandchildren, family, and best friends.
  • I cherish all those photos of all my smiling babies, and smile back at them as if they’re here.
  • I cherish each Christmas Card as it arrives.
  • I cherish all the days I’m in my true love’s arms, sharing all these Precious Memories.

The Christmas Star

According to multiple news sources, the ‘Christmas Star’ will be seen on the longest night of the year, which is the winter solstice, Dec. 21, 2020.

The ‘Christmas Star’ is not actually a star. It is the closest visible conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Together, those two planets will create a bright light that looks like a star.

The last time such a close pairing was observable to the naked eye was nearly 800 years ago, in 1226.

The event in 2020 can only be seen right after sunset. Sunset in our area is about 4:30 p.m., the ‘Christmas Star’ should be visible within an hour after that time. We’ll only be able to see it for a little while. Look to the Southwest sky. The current weather forecast predicts the sky will be partly cloudy here so we may not be able to see it. But weather forecasts aren’t always correct, so we’ll see what happens on that evening.

This celestial event won’t happen again until the year 2080.

The Season of Kindness

Some people do an exemplary job at being kind. Kindness and decency radiates out of the very golden center of their being. These people are such a delight to talk to, to be around, to spend time with, and to model ourselves after. What an awesome world we would have if more people were like this!

Some people are Secret Agents of Kindness. They secretly give money, pay bills, pay for stranger’s lunches, pay for a repair, or buy gifts for children. These are people who don’t make it obvious how kind they really are. We won’t see them donating time, money, food, or clothes. They will do it without an audience.

Secret Agents of Kindness are all around us during this season. If you keep your eyes open, you might catch them. But you have to be sharp, they’re very good at ‘being kind and dashing away’.

If you would like some different ideas on how to spread kindness, go visit the “Random Acts of Kindness Foundation”. https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/

They have so many amazing ideas on kindness. They’ve created a Kindness Calendar for 2021 – it’s an entire year filled with ideas for deeds of Kindness! I downloaded my copy. They also have so much more information to share – quotes, posters, blogs, stories, ideas for the classroom, and tons of other kind things are waiting to be discovered on their website.

They can even give us tips on how to reframe the scary year of 2020.

It’s never too soon to learn more about kindness and how to spread it! We can change the world with acts of kindness.

The Season of Forgiveness

This is a great time of year to look in our hearts and see if we can find forgiveness for others. Forgiveness is one of those topics that’s not always popular. It’s not easy to do. If it were, everyone would have done it already, and our world would be way better than it is.

I try not to carry anyone else’s baggage around. Those minor annoyances of disrespect or rudeness, those are easy to forgive. Go on your way, and I hope you feel better soon.

I hope that if I offend others, they are quickly able to forgive me. I try to stay aware of my behavior and apologize if needed.

I’ve forgiven lots of people. But there’s still a few situations that I do not yet know how to forgive. Or perhaps, I’m confusing forgiveness with a dogged determination to change systems and to find a better way? There are a few large agencies, like the medical community, that have harmed my family deeply. I don’t know how to forgive big, bulking, impersonal, dysfunctional agencies.

Because I’m not an expert at forgiveness, I found some people who are.

The Elders along with the Templeton World Charity Foundation, are holding the inaugural Forgiveness Forum. The Forgiveness Forum is a free, hour-long virtual event being held on 16 December 2020, 10:00AM EST.

I signed up to receive email updates from the Elders. The Elders are a group who was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007. They are independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights. The email they sent out, included information for the Forgiveness Forum.

https://www.forgivenessforum.com/

This world is in desperate need of more forgiveness.

It’s not always easy. It is a personal choice only you can make. And often it takes more than one time of saying “I forgive you.” But it is freeing, to take one more weight off your heart and mind.

The Season of Hope

I’m not going to preach to you about why Jesus was born. You can read the Book and decide what you believe yourself.

I am going to talk about the more universal reasons why people find Hope in the Christmas season.

People struggle in this life. It’s no secret things are crushing for everyone.

This world is full of difficulty and corruption.

People work their fingers to the bone trying to make things work out.

In spite of some of our hardest work, we still suffer great losses.

And sometimes we get off track. We get lost. We feel like no one cares. We try to drown our pain any way we can. Bad people try to break us.

There are some things in our life, where we get no decisions. Whether it’s a matter of where or how we were born. Or whether a big impenetrable agency makes decisions with no regard to how we feel. Accidents, viruses, elections, death of loved ones; some things we just don’t get to decide.

There isn’t always a great choice in front of us. Sometimes there’s only the lesser of two evils.

But there are still choices. Our choices are what makes the life we will live.

Each day allows us to make little choices. What emotion will we use to face today? What actions can we take to make the most of this day? Repeating those little best-possible choices and building on those choices makes things better.

Sometimes people reach out to us to lend a hand.

Sometimes we suddenly remember who really loves us and is still there, in our corner, no matter what dark path we went down.

Here is where we find a New Beginning – a New Hope.

I can tell you stories of broken people… Who found Hope. Who made tiny little best-choices daily until they found a way out, or a better way to deal with pain and confusion. I and nearly every other human can share their story of being broken and finding a new way. I’ve had to work harder than I ever imagined just to outrun my brokenness.

We refuel and retackle this life with more force, with our teammates beside us. And we start to smile more than we cry each day. We start to see possibilities. We start to make a plan for something better.

Hope is Reborn during this season, like no other time in the year. Keep building on that Reborn Hope! Keep Hope Alive!

The Rebirth of Hope wipes out so much misery and enables us to lift our heads, look up, and look forward.

Here’s Wishing you a Rebirth of Hope and a Clear Path to the Best Life You Can Imagine! May you have Lots of Opportunities to Do Interesting and Exciting Things With Great Success!