Archives for August 2013

Hold My Hand

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A couple of weeks ago in church, the pastor asked everyone to hold hands with the people next to them while we prayed.  It just so happened that Oldest Daughter was sitting next to me!  As she reluctantly put her hand in mine, my heart jumped a little in my chest as I realized it had been quite a few years since I had held her hand!  Sitting there with my eyes closed and feeling her hand in mine, I wondered where the years went!  In three years, she will graduate from high school and then she will be leaving home for college!  So as we sat there praying, I just enjoyed holding my “little” girl’s hand.

Thankfully, I have Little One who still loves to hold my hand.  Whenever we are out and about walking in a parking lot or a public place, we both instinctively reach for each other’s hand.  Her little hand tucks nicely into mine and all feels right with my world!  After the church hand holding, I cherish holding her hand even more and even though Oldest Daughter doesn’t hold my hand now, we have our special moments, they are just different than when she was a little girl.

We all get very busy in our day to day lives (myself included) and tend to go through the motions without always remembering to stop and live, like Jules said in her last post-with our eyes wide open.  I want to really take time to mindfully appreciate all of the people  in my life that are most important to me and not take anything for granted.

So friends, if you have little ones at home, cherish the moments when they still want to hold your hand.  Time slips away and all too soon they no longer need or want to hold your hand.  We want our children to grow and mature into responsible adults, so it isn’t a really a bad thing, it just leaves me feeling somewhat melancholy.  Looking at Jules and watching her enjoy her grandchildren, I realize that God is so good because just when we think our holding hand days are over, He gives us grandchildren to enjoy!

I encourage you to seek out a child in your life, take their hand in yours and feel your heart soar!

~Blessings,

Jen

Living With Eyes Wide Open

 

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It does make a difference what you call things. –Kate Douglas Wiggin…… Most of us think of dandelions as weeds. We buy special tools and poisons when they crop up and complain about them as surely as we welcome the spring that brings them. Yet is there anything more lovely than a sea of yellow dandelions by the side of the road in June? Or as remarkable in transformation as the filaments of the mature dandelion blowing on the wind? Sometimes we let someone else define for us what are weeds and what are flowers. We don’t have to. Much of the beauty of the world is that we ourselves decide what is beautiful according to our own feelings. How lucky we are that, when we choose to, we can open our eyes and see! Can I see the beauty in those around me right now?

I found this as part of a daily meditation that gets sent to my email. I really thought the words were inspiring. As many of you know I am a mental health therapist. I work with people every day trying to help them see that feelings are just feelings. Nothing to be afraid of….and did you know that most feeling change about every 20 minutes. I work to help people look for the positives in their life and most important to create a list of things they are grateful for. I think this would help ALL of us to do every day. (Sometimes I have to put myself in the other chair to remind myself what I need to do!!) So I challenge you today. What are you looking at as a weed? Or are you letting someone else define for you what are weeds in your life! Take charge of your life and your feelings and look for beauty in even the simplest of things. I like to call it “Living with Eyes Wide Open.” When you really start looking…sometimes “weeds” can be the most beautiful thing out there!!

I hope you have an inspiring, inspirational, lovely Wednesday!!

Julie

Back To School Inspiration- An Organization Idea

Hi Friends!  As a teacher, my summer officially comes to an end today.  Although I am very sad to see the laid back days of summer end, I have to admit I am a little bit excited to get us all back on a regular schedule.  I haven’t posted many organizational ideas to our blog yet, but one thing you will learn about me is that nothing makes me happier than an organized space!  It brings me peace to have a clutter-free environment and I feel like it frees up my mind to think inspirational thoughts!

This inspirational back to school idea I have for you today is one I found last year on the web (I can’t remember exactly where I found it…).  If you have kids in school, you know one of the biggest issues to manage is the amount of paperwork that comes in the door (newsletters, permission slips, art projects, homework and on and on and on….)!  It can be overwhelming, especially at the beginning of the school year.

So, to tame the clutter, I purchased a pack of wall mounted file folder holders from the local office supply store.  The one I bought came as a three pack.  I only have two kids, so I saved the third in case one ever broke.

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I used large Command Strip hangers instead of the enclosed hardware so I did not have to drill holes in the wall.  They have held up for a year and are still going strong!  Before mounting them on the wall, I taped a picture of each girl on the inside (face out).  Oldest Daughter got the high spot and Little One got the low spot on the wall so she could reach the slot to file all of her papers.  I chose silly pictures from our Disney vacation because they remind me of a fun family time. Notice the Mickey ears and silly faces! (Who doesn’t need a reminder of a little fun when filing school papers!)

IMG_2791 back to schoolFinally, I purchased some cute file folders and each girl was assigned a color and two folders in their slot.  One folder is for extra-curricular papers and the other is for school related items.  Little One also uses this space to store her homework folder and library book (no more scrambling on library day to find her book).  She is really good about unloading all of her school papers into the slot, then I go through them when I have a moment and toss what we don’t need and file the rest.  This system is located next to the door where we exit and enter the house so the papers all stay contained in one place.

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This whole project took me about 10 minutes from start to finish and has been a real lifesaver in managing the truckloads of paper that come home from school!

Do you have a favorite back to school tip?  We would love to hear your ideas in the comment section!

I wish everyone a smooth, happy, organized and inspirational new school year!

~Blessings,

Jen

 

 

Inspirational Photo

Inspirational Photo Sun sets on the fair

Here is a little shot of the sun setting on the fair. Just wanted to share!! Why? Because I can!!!!

Have a great Saturday!

Julie

Old Fashioned Fun!

Take a step back in time with us today! Any of you have memories of your local country fair? Never been to a fair? Still enjoy going to a good fair? This week is our local 4-H Fair! This is just a little bit about what 4-H is….I can’t think of anything more inspirational!!

Turning ideas into action, 4-H youth are becoming everyday heroes who persevere through challenges to leave lasting, positive impacts on their communities. Through the work of caring mentors, 4-H – a positive youth development organization – is cultivating a growing number of America’s youth to lead us in a Revolution of Responsibility. Their commitment challenges us all to join the movement toward meaningful change.

 

Midway at night fun

 

The fair rides all lit up at night is a beautiful sight to both old and young alike!

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Some good eats!

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Learning about animals in the Miracle of Life Tent

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4-H Kids showing their animals

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And of course the rides!

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Hope you have some fun still in store for you this summer!!

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons in Powerlessness

Hi there website world. This is Julie. I have to thank Jennifer for covering for me the last week. My back put me totally out of commission for several days. Lets put it this way…I got a bonus vacation this summer…from Wednesday to Saturday I was in the hospital trying to get things under control (thank GOD it settled down.) Adding insult to injury was the fact that my birthday was on Thursday.For once I had laid out a full day of birthday plans for myself!! I was going to go to the beach, and then head to the Armada Fair to hear my favorite country music star Mr. DeWayne Spaw in concert! So Thursday, the big day, arrives and I still can’t walk. Well..you all know I’m an inspirational kind of lady hence the website :), and I decided it wasn’t going to depress me. So I picked out the positive things of the day. Number one…I was served not only breakfast in bed…but lunch and dinner too!! And it was quiet…no demands, nobody needing me for anything. And they gave me very nice things to help me relax. And my family didn’t forget me or my birthday!!! The day ended with my husband, mom and my two youngest girls and their families showing up with cupcakes and presents. Not the day I had planned, but hey it worked!!! I truly learned the meaning of being powerless last week. Powerless is a topic I talk about a lot in my job. How we sometimes have to just accept that things are what they are and we just have no control. I could have been whiny and pouty or accept what was and deal with it. I chose to deal with it and it made all the difference in the world! So…I guess I am growing too. Now this story kind of has a cool ending because today I was well enough to go to the beach. Doctors orders were to rest and relax and what better place to do it than the beach!! I spent some quality time with my sister and niece and even got to introduce my niece to a little rock collecting (I think I found my rock hunting buddy!!!) We ended the day with a girls only bonfire and smores!!! So while it wasn’t my birthday today, we took the opportunity to just enjoy “being.” It’s important to find time just to “be”!! I encourage you all to try it!!! Hope you all have a wonderful week!! Check out the pictures of our great day!!

Blessings

Julie

Beach day I truly learned the meaning of being powerless last week. Powerless is a topic I talk about a lot in my job. How we sometimes have to just accept that things are what they are and we just have no control. Beach hats Julie and Jen bonfire Liza at Beach