Chocolate Made Me Cry

“Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you are going to get.”
– Forrest Gump

Last month was super stressful, I’m not going to lie.

I had been working on paper after paper, assignment after assignment with no downtime for 3 weeks straight. I was losing sleep over all that I had to do – the whole thing was a nightmare.

Ophelia.jpg

I feel ya Ophelia.

All the strain culminated on a particular Wednesday when I had my big Shakespeare presentation – a presentation that was freaking me out on for the several days preceding (it was on Hamlet, which I am sure was half the problem right there: not a happy play).

I had good stuff, I was just worried about pulling it all together. Working on it late into the night for a few nights in a row, I could hardly do anything else without dread following me everywhere like an attention-starved puppydog. I even prayed to Heavenly Father that if only ONE THING were to work out the next day, please let it be the presentation. Everything else could go wrong, but please let the presentation go well. Continue reading

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Giving Thanks

black-pearl

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
Maya Angelou

Ah, the season of Thanksgiving. Yes, I know it’s an American holiday, but the world could benefit from gathering and breaking bread and reminiscing on things for which they are most thankful. The great thing about gratitude is that you don’t need a feast to inspire you, just an open heart and observant eyes.

We touched on this subject in a lesson for one of our investigators here in France. The topic: Faith in God can shift our perspective to see struggles as actual blessings. Continue reading

Hinge Moments

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“It has long been an axiom of mine
that the little things
are infinitely the most important.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

“Let me tell you something big:
Give importance to little things.”
Mehmet Murat ildan

“Sometimes the little opportunities
that fly at us each day
can have the biggest impact.”
Danny Wallace,  Yes Man

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My son, Connor, loves cars.  One of his favorite shows is Great Britain’s Top Gear (and we thoroughly enjoy the show along with him). Whenever I point out a car on the road, “Oh, that’s a pretty car,” Connor will chime in with the make/model/year, gas mileage, perks and quarks, and if a competitor’s version is better or worse.  He’s no expert, but if you hang around Connor long enough, you gain an appreciation for fine cars.  Maybe that’s why this car caught my eye. Continue reading

Are You Overlooking a Buried Treasure?

Hoxne Hoard

Hoxne Hoard displayed in the British Museum, London

Where your Treasure is,
there will your heart be also.
Luke 12:34

Professional farmer, Peter Whatling found his life changed on 16 November 1992 when he discovered a treasure he didn’t know he possessed.

On his farm near Suffolk, England, Whatling somehow lost his trusty hammer in the field.  Not wanting to suffer the loss, he asked good friend, Eric Lawes, to bring over his metal detector and help him look for it.  Lawes was more than happy to help.

As the two friends set about the task of slowly scouring the field, it wasn’t long before the metal detector began pinging and buzzing like crazy.  Must be the hammer, they thought. After a little digging, the men discovered, not a hammer, but remains of an oak chest. Inside the chest were smaller wooden boxes with locks and several fabric sacks.  With a little further inspection of the contents, they realized they had just uncovered a legitimate ancient treasure!

This was the real McCoy, folks.  They were stunned. Continue reading

Today is a Good Day for a Good Day

Smileys Show Happy Cheerful Faces

“People always tell me ‘Have a nice day!’
Well, what if I don’t want to?
What if I want to have a crappy day?”
George Carlin

“Write it on your heart that every day
is the best day in the year.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

So many of my friends are having bad days. I’m not talking – the baby spits up on your best shirt, kids are squabbling, someone cuts you off on the freeway, you burn the toast, you’re late to work – mild inconvenience days.  No.  I’m talking extra troubling days.  Those kind of days when hope is broadsided by crisis.  You know what I mean.

The funeral
The lay off
The accident
The grim diagnosis

These are lousy, how-am-I-going-to-get-through-this, no good, down-right bad days.  How do we deal with them? Continue reading

Gratitude: Appreciating the Scenic Route

LaurenNef-MontanaThe week before finals this semester was interesting, to say the least.

Usually, in my vernacular, interesting does not necessarily connote enjoyment.

Wednesday, my lymph nodes swelled to the size of ping-pong balls. The same night, I started to feel ultra sick. What made things worse was that I had to go on field trip for my natural disasters class the very next day, and I was not happy.

That night, a combination of pain, insomnia, and homework only allowed me to get 3 hours of sleep. I awoke early the next morning, got ready, and drug myself to the field trip.

Then I was stuck on an overheated, over-crowded bus for 7 hours seated in front of a girl with the voice of an annoying 12 year old who would. Not. Shut. Up. Continue reading

Life with Real Intent

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“An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

“Be not simply good, be good for something.”
Henry David Thoreau

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.”                                    Michelangelo

I know, I know. Most of us have hit the post New Year’s resolutions slump, the pre-Spring blahs, and are now riding the daily doldrums escalator wondering if we’re ever going to arrive. While slumps are normal, if we get caught in them for too long, we could lose direction, wandering down avenues that strip us of so much more: joy, energy, inspiration, hope, faith, loss of purpose. Where’s the reward in that?

So, let’s turn it around. If aimless living has no rewards, then targeting each day should get us out of the doldrums and in a better direction. At least a direction. Hows about we take aim at living each day with Intention. Continue reading