Archives for July 2014

Important Lessons

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This is probably one of my favorite local places to hang out at. The beach at Lake Huron. Just a few short miles from my house and I can enjoy the fresh lake air, hear the laughter of children playing and the call of seagulls. It’s a peaceful place for me. Yesterday was Friday, my day off. I had nothing on my agenda that seriously needed to be done. I have spent most of July recovering from pneumonia, so my summer has felt very limited. As the week was coming to an end I prayed that it would be a sunny day as I had decided I was going to go to the beach! It was a little cool in the morning, but the sun started warming things up as the day went on. By noon I had my chair set up and my book ready to go. I think for the first time in a very long time, I went to the beach when I wanted, did what I wanted when I was there, and came home when I felt like it, not someone else’s agenda. I have to tell you, it was a very healing and therapeutic day. I took several walks along the shore, about ankle deep, and of course I had my eye on the rocks…always looking for something good. (I did find 2 Petosky stones, something I never have found at this beach!) When I decided I was ready to go home, I pack stuff up and headed towards the car. I started noticing, my knees didn’t hurt, my back didn’t hurt and the headache that had been lingering for weeks was gone. So a day of rest and relaxation is what it takes to help take the aches and pain away.  Well…it did for a little while.What an important lesson for me! I believe it is a really important lesson. We can’t get rid of every bad thing in our life. We can’t always avoid the aches and pains and sorrows that comes with life. But sometimes……sometimes we need to just step out of the world for awhile and just be.

I hope you can find some time to do this for yourself. I promise it will be worth it!

Have a great weekend!

Julie

 

How to Organize Your Jewelry

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Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Looks like it is going to be a scorcher today in Michigan! Glad I work in air. I recently dealt with a bout of pneumonia. With all of that down time resting I decided to get my jewelry organized. Somehow it had become a piled mess everywhere. I started with the necklace board. I took a trip to my favorite crafting store, Hobby Lobby. There I purchased a large bulletin board, some chevron fabric and some heavy duty tacks. Once I gathered my materials I painted the outside frame of the board. I chose gray to match my fabric. It’s really easy to do because it doesn’t matter if you get it on the cork board because you will be covering it up. I used spray glue to attach the fabric to the board. I then pushed the tacks around the edge of the board, not only to make sure the fabric doesn’t peel, but it decorated it up a little. I had some fancy looking, large push pins and I just lined them up on the board. Now I can clearly see each and every one of  my necklaces. I can tell you, I found a lot of necklaces I didn’t even know I had!

Now to organize the earrings. I went into my craft closet and started thinking. I saw an embroidery hoop that I no longer used. I had enough fabric left to put in the hoop. After getting the fabric in the hoop I ran some hot glue around the back of it so it didn’t pop off. The earrings nicely just pushed through the fabric. It was pretty easy and once again I can see my earrings nicely arranged. It was a good job accomplished and so far I have managed to keep it as neat as when I created it. Just an idea to share on a summer day.

Stay cool!

Julie

 

Through The Lens of Love

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“He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Luke 10:27

The school where I teach has embarked on a leadership program entitled “The Leader In Me”, based on Steven Covey’s book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. As we plan and implement this program, one of the statements made was that we need to look at everything we do through the lens of leadership. This would be the focus that guides us.

I thought about the idea of looking through a lens to bring things into focus. Sometimes I feel so scattered and stressed and I tend to lose focus. I also find myself judging and feeling frustrated with people from time to time. If I had to pick a lens to focus my life on, I think it would be to try to see things through a lens of love. When I focus on loving and serving God and others, it brings everything into focus. If I look at difficult situations through a lens of love rather than impatience and frustration, it changes my perspective. Who knows why that sales clerk was grumpy or that co-worker snapped at you. Could they be privately dealing with loss or heartbreak? Responding in love could just be the thing that turns their day around. I challenge you to try to see things through “The Lens of Love” and see if it changes your day for the better.

~Blessings,
Jen

 

Friends

To start off with, I would appreciate some prayers for Jules, she has been down for the count with a bad case of  pneumonia.  She is doing better, but it is slow going.

 

I recently had the opportunity to get together with some friends I used to teach with years ago.  We all carpooled to work together and oh the conversations we used to have in that 30 minute drive!  I think it was better than therapy!  We usually only see each other once a year, but you wouldn’t know it when we get together because we never run out of things to talk about.  When we first met, we were all at different life stages.  We ranged from a new college graduate (me) to a Mom starting a new family, and a Mom with high schoolers.  Despite these differences, we hit it off and have been close friends for over twenty years!  Now I am the one with kids, one is a recent empty nester, and one a grandma.

What a gift from God friends are!  I have been blessed with so many dear friends throughout my life. I have  my family including Mom, my brother, sister, sister-in-law, nieces and nephews, childhood friends, college friends, work friends, friends from our military days, playgroups and neighbors that have become friends.  It isn’t always easy to keep in touch with all of them, but I really try my best because these connections, these people are so important to me.  Each has brought something special to my life.

Social media has made re-connecting with friends a little easier, but there is still nothing better than seeing a friend in person.  When I got together with my friends over tea and treats, I could give them a hug, hear their laughter, see their smiles and look into their eyes and I felt really happy!  Sometimes it is hard to coordinate schedules and make it work, but I never regret getting together with friends.  It makes me feel alive, connected and joyful!

So whatever life stage you are in, I encourage you to nurture your current friendships and be on the lookout for new friendships.  That person sitting in the next cubicle, the new neighbor or classmate may have the potential to become a lifetime friend!

We haven’t shared any music in a while and this is one of my favorites with the theme of friends by Michael W. Smith:

~Blessings,

Jen

10 Reasons I Love America!

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10 Reasons I Love America

Happy Independence Day!  I hope it is filled with family, fun, food, fireworks and thankfulness to be living in a country blessed by God!  I was reflecting on how much I love living in America and the freedoms we enjoy.  I realize  our nation is not perfect and we have many things to learn from the mistakes of the past, but I can’t imagine living anywhere else and I wanted to list the some reasons I love America.  Feel free to add your own reasons in the comments section.

10. Wide open spaces!

9. Thanksgiving and 4th of July Holidays

8. A mix of cultures coming together as one nation

7. The boundless natural beauty from Sea to Shining Sea!

6. The brilliant blue Great Lakes (I am a Michigander after all!)

5. The many freedoms we enjoy.

4. BBQ anything

3. Walt Disney World

2. The American Soldier

1. The freedom to worship and share the Good News about Jesus freely and openly!

 

~Blessings,

Jen

 

God Watches Over You

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I attended my childhood church this past weekend.  As I listened to the words of this song being performed for the special music, I found myself tearing up.  The woman singing this moving song, also sang it twenty-six years ago in the same church, at my Dad’s funeral.  I found myself focusing on the words and realizing the profound truth they portray.  If you have not heard this song here is a link:

God was watching over my family and me that sad day long ago and he continues to watch over me every single day.  His comforting presence has seen me through some difficult times and He is ever faithful!

Whatever you are going through today, I want you to remember that God is watching over you and He loves you very much!

~Blessings,

Jennifer