Make A Difference!

Make A Difference!

As a new year approaches, I think most people are inspired to take the opportunity to make the upcoming year better than the last…but rather than just focusing solely on what we might do to improve our own habits and circumstances, I’d like to suggest that perhaps this year, we try just as hard to make a difference in the lives of others, as well.

Make A Difference!

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”  Mahatma Gandhi

Make A Difference For The Better!

I have been very fortunate in my life, to rub shoulders with passionate people who are dedicated to living well and making a difference for the better…not only in their own lives, but in those of their family members, neighbors, work associates and communities.  Their selfless actions are contagious and always inspire me to up my game, so to speak, as I try to be a better influence for good myself. 

Make A Difference!

“Be who God meant you to be…and you will set the world on fire!”  Catherine of Siena

Three Doable Ways To Make A Difference!

I am a big believer in the power of one…one unique person, one simple idea, one kind action…each can cause a ripple effect that makes a big difference.  This simple concept can change the trajectory of many lives–including our own!  Here then, are three ways I think will help us all make a difference as we celebrate a new year!

1.  Daily Devotions!  

In trying to better catch a glimpse into the “big picture” of my life…I tend to face the day with better perspective and more focus on others when I take the time to acknowledge a higher power.  Whether through meditation, scripture study or prayer, inviting God into our lives seems like a sure way to start the day off right, helping us to be more genuine in our actions as we associate with others.

Daily Devotions!

“The purpose of life, of course, is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate; to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

2.  Do Good!

As we strive to reach out to one another with a more dedicated desire to do good and with a certain level of excellence, we can’t help but inspire each other to do better and make a difference as we work together to make our journey in life more joyful!

Abraham Lincoln quote.

My father used to tell a story of an elderly man who was a forklift operator at a big warehouse.  “The man would ride the forklift around with a big smile on his face and always exuded great passion for his job.  Knowing that most of his younger co-workers would eventually move on from this menial labor, he often felt compelled to remind them to do good and be the best at the job they were doing…no matter where life took them.  The man made everyone feel good.”  After reciting the story, my dad always asked a question: Do you have a special person in your life that you think of when you interact with others…someone that reminds you to always do good and be your best?  Most of life is simply showing up and putting your heart, mind and soul into whatever it is you are doing, no matter how mundane.  Showing up in life and doing good allows you a committed chance at making a difference every day for the people you love, the people you will meet, and the person you will eventually become!

Reach out and do good.

“Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others; step forward, reach out and help with graciousness.”   Pablo

3.  Dare To Dream!

If there was ever a notion that my husband and I  wanted to impress upon our children, it was that they should dream big, work hard and surround themselves with good people.  Most “overnight” success stories that we hear of, are often about people who are persistent in achieving their goals despite having to wrangle with many trials and errors along the way.  These individuals show great thoughtfulness in making decisions and are always willing to learn; they also seem to have equal parts of depth in character and humility of heart…making them a powerful force against the words and actions of naysayers who would tell them that their dreams are impossible!

“I am always blown away by the good and dedicated people who help hold our society together with their dreams.”  Jeff Chaplin

Make A Difference In The New Year!

I believe that we are put on this earth to realize God’s plan for each of us and make the world a better place.  As we look forward to the New Year, it’s my deepest desire that together we will raise the standard of living well by implementing more fully the power of our beliefs, the decency of our actions and the fulfillment of our collective dreams!

God's plan for you quote.

“Stand for something.  Make your life mean something.  Start where you are with what you have.  You are enough.”  Germany Kent

Please inspire us with some of your dreams and aspirations for the coming New Year.  

–Best wishes, Mary 

 

I Believe!

I Believe!

It’s hard to believe that Christmas day is almost here!  If you’re at all like me, it’s easy to find yourself speeding through December with a certain degree of panic as you get caught up in all the “busy-ness” of the holiday season.  Luckily, there are always thoughtful reminders around that help me turn my heart towards Christ and refocus more on what really matters most, as well as the basic fundamentals of what I believe that make life more meaningful…not just this time of year, but all year long.

I Believe!

“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”  The Polar Express

What I Believe…

I believe… in God and His son Jesus Christ!  I believe in God because I have experienced His goodness and mercy; I know He believes in me too!

I believe...in God!

“For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16  

I believe… in the power of prayer.  I believe that prayer is the most powerful weapon against trials, the most effective medicine against sickness, and the most valuable gift to offer for someone you love!

IMG_8781

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in sincere prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  Mark 11:24 

I believe… in working hard.  My parents taught me early in life that if you work hard and are kind, amazing things happen!

I Believe...I can do all things through Christ!

“Some people dream of success…while others wake up and work hard at it!”  Winston Churchill

I believe… that forgiveness is the ultimate act of love.  It takes a strong person to say sorry, but an even stronger person to forgive; and perhaps the person we need to forgive the most–is ourselves!

Forgiveness quote.

“Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”  Luke 6:37 

I believe… that with hope all things are possible.  One of the first things I learned in nursing school was to never give my patients a reason to lose hope; with hope your spirit soars and miracles happen!

Hope quote by Pres. Dieter Uchtdorf.

“Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.”  Romans 12:12

I believe… that most people are good!  If you listen to the nightly news, you might lose faith in mankind–but I choose to see the goodness in others…until they show me otherwise!

Ann Frank quote.

“Do to others whatsoever you would like them to do to you.”  Matthew 7:12

Mostly, I believe… in love!  As I’ve gotten older, I have come to realize, more than ever before, that time has a way of showing us that what really matters most is opening our hearts and loving genuinely–everything else is just extra sprinkles on our ice cream sundae of life!

I believe in love!

“Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in love.  Honor one another above yourselves.”  Romans 12:9-10

Merry Christmas everyone, and best wishes for the happiest New Year!

What are some of the beliefs you hold dear in your life?

–Mary 

Sunday Morning! Taking Time To Nurture Our Souls!

Sunday Morning!

Sunday morning always seems to have a special feeling…whether I’m attending church, going to work as a nurse in the NICU, or enjoying a leisure breakfast with my husband, I love the unique pace of a beautiful Sunday.  More than ever before, it has become a day to reflect and take the opportunity to truly be grateful for all the many blessings I enjoy.  My cute hubby, who is a news junkie of sorts, has also deemed it a good news day–a much-needed break from the grind of the regular work week and a day to nurture our souls so that we can be better fortified to live our best lives.  For some time now, we have recorded the CBS news show, “Sunday Morning” that used to be hosted by veteran TV journalist, Charles Osgood.  The unique stories shared on this wonderfully produced program, spotlight the innate goodness found in most people and their genuine desire to serve and uplift others.  After all–when it’s all said and done…isn’t that what life should really be about?

Sunday Morning! Nurturing Our Souls!

“Wishing you a happy Sunday!  Let’s do what makes our souls shine!”  Steve Hartman on “Sunday Morning”

Taking The Time To Nurture Our Souls!

In today’s society, we tend to have the need to constantly push ourselves to achieve and always show strength–and while these are admirable attributes in and of themselves, we run the risk of making life more about accomplishments and less about being loving and doing more of those things that bring us happiness.  If you’re feeling a bit stretched to your limits–you just might find that any given Sunday morning is the perfect time to be a little introspective and take a personal inventory of the things that nurture your soul and create more joy in your life.  My husband is a financial planner and makes the analogy on occasion, that if you don’t make regular deposits into your bank account of life, so to speak, there will come a time when you won’t have anything left to withdraw.  Wise insight!  How then, do we go about nurturing our souls so we can open our hearts and be more caring?

♥ Count Our Blessings

It’s sounds a bit cliché, but perhaps one of the best ways to find more contentment and joy in our lives is to really recognize what we have to be thankful for…whether you write these things down in a journal or just take time for a moment or two of thoughtful meditation, acknowledging our blessings seems like one of the best ways to nurture our souls!

Sunday morning! Taking Time To Nurture Our Souls!

Most anything from generic spiral notebooks to small pocket planners work well for jotting down some thankful thoughts, but if you’d like a special gratitude journal, Rifle Paper Co. has a good variety of unique ones!  

It goes without saying, that a personal thank-you is always the best way to express gratitude!

Showing gratitude.

My mom always used to say, “Gratitude unexpressed is not gratitude!”

♥  Unplug And Look Up!

I know this seems to be the “catch phrase” of this generation, but with the influx of information from all the technology readily available at our fingertips, it does seem that more often than not, our eyes are constantly looking down at our phones or they’re affixed on some other sort of screen.  As I’ve made a conscious effort to put my phone away during those times that I’m playing with my grandkids or out for the evening our with my husband, I can vouch for the fact that a big part of nurturing my soul has come from looking up and being truly present in the moment when spending time with family and friends.  In fact, I’ve even gone so far as to find excuses to plan special occasions with family and friends, where we get together and socialize the old-fashioned way with fun games, good food and lively conversation.

Nurturing our souls.

I think every family has a few favorite games that they love to play together, but if you want some great ideas for some hilarious and technology-free fun, then check out the “Unplug and Play” game book by Brad Berger!

♥  Create A Home Sweet Home!

I’m a firm believer that your home should be that comfortable safe haven from the outside world; the place you go to surround yourself with the people and things you love the most!  While I don’t necessarily adhere to overly strict rules when it comes to keeping a nice house, one of the first things I learned in nursing school is that a neat environment lends itself to our overall well-being!  The rhythm of a good weekend where equal parts of work and play are enjoyed, always serves to help me nurture my soul, especially when a little quiet introspection while relaxing at home on a lovely Sunday morning is included!

Home sweet home pillow.

“A Sunday well spent…brings a week of content!”  Old Proverb

♥  Strengthen Our Body And Minds! 

All too often, we prioritize everyone and everything else in our lives except for time to care for ourselves, leaving us feeling a bit exhausted and overwhelmed.  As a result, we find we’re living in a state of chronic stress without fully realizing it.  Living this way can take a huge toll on our physical health, as well as our mental state of mind.  Recognizing that our bodies and minds…and ultimately our spirits are all connected, gives us a powerful incentive to do better at including some regular physical exercise and mindful creativity to help us live a more balanced and vibrant life style.  Taking time to do these things helps us to have a sense of inner peace, which is key to nourishing our souls.  Creating simple routines to include a little self-care is obviously a very individualized process, but taking care of ourselves is integral to being more fully present for others.

Nourishing our souls quote.

“A happy life is manifested in a more balanced union of the body, mind and soul.”  Tribute Journal

♥  Love More Fully!

Ultimately, when it comes to nourishing our souls, I think you’ll agree, that loving with a generous heart is what seems to matter most.  In her article, “Rx For The Soul” psychologist, Dr. Judith Rich, states that “the soul is here to learn to love it all, even and perhaps especially, those things the ego thinks are unlovable.”  Maybe by loving the unlovable parts of ourselves and others, we’ll see the good and decent parts of one another more clearly and our souls will find peace and a greater acceptance of people from all walks of life!

Nuturing our souls.

“At the end of our life, our questions are simple:  Did I live well?  Did I love fully?”  Jack Kornfield

As I close this post, I want to share a good news story by TV journalist, Steve Hartman, on a recent “Sunday Morning” episode.

Happy Sunday…and best blessings to everyone!

Sunday blessings

“Do not face the day until you have faced God in prayer!”  Bible Quotes

Now it’s your turn…what do you do to nourish your soul?

–Much love, Mary