Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘learning’ Category

My Brilliant Headline – following Cristian Mihai


  • OKAY, Cristian Mihai, I have a positive mindset! I am going to follow the advice you gave in your recent blog: “10 Easy-to-Follow Steps to Writing an Amazing Blog.”
  • And you can see my brilliant headline… up there.

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    Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy on Pexels.com

  • You can tell that I’ve opened the door to this blog with confidence, right?

Open like a boss.

Now here I am… the BOSS! (No I’m just lyin’ – I don’t really boss anybody!

black and white animal boss zoo

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

  • Well, I DO kinda boss my dear husband sometimes. But he is rarely receptive to that tone! I can use persuasive words. That’s a better approach … persuasive words spoken in love!
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Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

It’s important to click on Cristian’s tips here to learn more. His links are just a click away. I NEED to persuade you to GO to his blog often to learn important skills that will improve your blogs and bring you a greater following. That’s one of your goals, right? Of course it is! See the underlined red words? Try moving there, but be sure to come back!!

I NEED your following! Join my blog!

  • Don’t forget to write like yourself.

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    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

  • Use all the tools at your disposal!
  • Bullets help
  • So do colors. (I don’t know how to make my words different colors the way Cristian does… I’m still learning) … but I can add colorful pictures to enhance my ideas.
  • It’s okay to cut and paste and use the ideas of others
  • That’s what I’m doing today. It spices up your blog!salt-1914130__480.jpg
  • Insert killer bullet points. Of course you noticed them here… I know you did!
  • Use Old Posts of Your Own 

    Using Cristian’s ideas helps me clean up old posts and make them more appealing, more readable. This old one was a perfect example:
    http://www.janbeek.wordpress.com/you-color-my-world   – Check it out. I reblogged it from a 2013 post!

  • Subheadings Draw Eyes Forward

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    Photo by wendel moretti on Pexels.com

  • Create fantastic subheads.  So, I created that subheading and your eye was drawn to it, right?
  • Tell a seductive story.
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    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

    Can I seduce you into sitting a spell and sharing a story with me? One that will draw you in and keep you turning pages?

    Cristian wrote: “Start the story with a seductive sentence.”

    I have written a memoir. I have not published it yet. It is titled, “All My Marbles.” The beginning sentence is,

    “I want you to know that I am a rather strong-willed, sometimes too outspoken, retired career woman who intends to live to be ninety-plus with all my marbles in place.”

    Would you be tempted to turn the page? The rest of that first paragraph reads:

    “Right up to the last, I want to smell good and wear dangling earrings that match my outfit for the day. I hope my children will get the message that there’s no need to get twitter-pated about getting older. As long as you keep your eyes on the NOW, your sense of humor tuned, and allow your style to be uniquely YOU, it’s likely that (unlike my cantankerous mother), you will wear your shirt right-side-out and still ‘give a shit’ at 89!”

  • Pay attention to the details. The details of my memoir include chapters about each of my seven grandchildren after some introductory chapters titled:

    Chapter One –   The Courage of Our Ancestors             8

    Chapter Two –   My Parents’ Confidence                        17

    Chapter Three – The Wisdom of Bob’s Parents              26

    Chapter Four – Love in Us

    (Chapter 4 tells about how my husband (of 57 years now) and I met … and how we managed to stay together in spite of a beautiful but rocky start. The details of this chapter include this lovely wedding photo.

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    That was 57 years ago, February 11, 1962, and today we are more in love than ever.

    Would you be tempted to buy my Memoir if I published “All My Marbles”??

  • In my blog, whose subtitle is “Love One Another,”
    I share daily ideas (130 days in a row now) from my life.
    I’ve been blogging since 2012,
    but just within the last 130 days I became serious
    about making it a daily habit.The Art of Blogging helped me make this commitment.
    Thank you, Cristian and Jason.
  • My life is filled with blessings –
    and I pass along tips for how to
    fuel your life with blessings, too.

    Come to my filling station often.
    My heart is overflowing… WITH LOVE TO SPARE.

    Sometimes I have to pinch  myself to know this is real.
    But –  – – it is!!

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Have a blessed day!

That’s not a command. It’s a request! I’m not a boss who carries a big stick. I’m a co-worker who is journeying this path called life with you. If I can lift your spirits and point you to the ONE who brings me blessings, I will have succeeded with my mission for today.

Be Led, Not Driven


The Purpose Driven Life

I have an affection for Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life. It has so many words of wisdom – and it helped me as I was trying to define my purpose for living. I had recently suffered a burst appendix and had almost died. Prayer, God’s grace, a skillful ambulance driver, and a careful surgeon gave me back my life. I looked earnestly for clues about how I might live purposely for God to thank Him for my survival.

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This book of Daily Inspirations is a complement to The Purpose Driven Life. I used it as a devotional and as a journal, writing in the margins and at the top and bottom of the pages each day.


Soul Feast

But recently I read a quote by Marjorie J. Thompson in her book, Soul Feast.

Thompson wrote, “I admit I do not care for the language of ‘driven-ness’ in recently popular books and seminars…” She went on to explain “… it is significant that the Bible likens us to sheep, not cattle.”


My Haiku

Giving overtime thought to Marjorie J. Thompson’s  quote I wrote the following Haiku:

Live from a posture
Of profound trust and deep love
Be sheep, not cattle

 

Deep Conversation

My husband and I had a deep conversation about life and death, purpose and the difference between being led and being driven. When I am weary, Jesus leads me beside still waters. He refreshes my soul.

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Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Cowboys here in Montana drive their cattle to the next pasture and farmers in Switzerland drive their cows in the springtime up to fresh grass from the lower meadows where the beautiful animals have spent the winters.

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Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

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But Bob’s point as my hubby discussed the difference between being driven and led, was that cattlemen drive their cattle for the same reason shepherds lead their sheep. They have their best interests at heart. (Well, they may be driving them to market!)

There is a connotation to the word “driven” in our American culture. It seems to imply push-push-push, a relentless effort toward getting to the top.

 

Hope for the Flowers

I was reminded of a book for adults and others (including caterpillars who can read)  titled, Hope for the Flowers, by Trina Paulus. It was copyrighted in 1973, but it is as pertinent today as it was then (and it still is available on Amazon.com).

As I recall the story, the caterpillars in this clever little tale are climbing over the top of each other, creating a  “caterpillar pillar.” One little creeper is on the outside edge, getting tired of the climb, wondering if it’s worth it. She asks a fellow climber as she looks at the daunting distance to the top, “What’s up there, anyway?”

“Just other caterpillars pushing each other off so they can be on top,” her climbing companion explained as one of the fuzzy creatures came tumbling down and crashed to the ground.

(How sad, huh? I am fascinated by these wonderful creations and their metamorphosis.)

caterpillar close up hairy insect

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Right about then the disillusioned climber caught the eye of a beautiful butterfly cruising by. “Climb on down,” he encouraged. “Spin yourself a chrysalis, rest inside, and eventually you will emerge a butterfly like I did. Then you can join me.”

(Of course those quotes are from my memory, not the actual book. I loaned it out to someone…. don’t remember who… but I have ordered a new one. Hope for the Flowers is a terrific book to have on hand as a reminder of my journey!)

Moving Down the Administrative Ladder

I discovered this beautiful, child-like, but profound, paperback when I was working as a curriculum coordinator in the district office at a school district in central California. My office was waaay too far from the children. I had been an elementary teacher for over 20 years and the principal of a K-6 school with over a thousand students for nearly a decade. The “caterpillar pillar” (that ambitious climb to greater “success”) led me to the district office. I knew after only about three weeks that it was not where I belonged.

I stuck it out for two years. Did the best job I knew how. Wore at least a half a dozen hats (Federal Programs director, language arts and music coordinator, in-service leader for new teachers, mentor for new principals, etc.) I learned a lot, and am glad I did it,but generally, I was not happy. My love & my gift was teaching children and helping “my staff” grow to be their best selves. I loved the interaction with the students, the teachers, and the parents.

As I climbed back down the “pillar” and announced that I was going back UP to the classroom (as soon as I rested a year and earned my butterfly wings), I was told, “What are you doing? That’s the wrong direction!”

Some warned, “You can’t go back down! People will think you’ve been demoted!”

“Yes, I can,” I insisted. I slid into my chrysalis, listened to The Voice of Reason and Transformation, rested, and devoted more time to my family, myself and my God.

I emerged a happy butterfly and was led back UP to a group of first graders. At the end of that year I led them on to second grade. What joy! I still hear from some of those children twenty years later. Several of them are my Facebook friends!

Best move I ever made!!

antenna beautiful bloom blossom

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


The Voice

Contemplative time
Creates vessels of vision
Hear the “still small voice”

.
Let God fill you up
with new creativity
Receive fresh insight

.
I encourage you
To let contemplative time
Be a microphone

.
Let unstructured time
Be a transformative time
Listen to The Voice!


Take time to rest.
Build your chrysalis.
Listen to your heart.

Find your True Purpose!

You may want to consider getting Rick Warren’s, The Purpose Driven Life,
and the accompanying inspirational/journal:

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and look for Hope for the Flowers. It’s out there…

Be Led, Not Driven

Successes


Want to know the secret to multiple successes?

marketing school business idea

S  ee Your Goal

U  nderstand Obstacles

C  reate a Positive Mental Picture

C  lear Your Mind of Self Doubt

E  mbrace the Challenge

S  tay on Track

S  avor the Task and Pray for Wisdom

E  njoy the Conclusion

S  tart Again!

close up of human hand

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now you have it!
Go get it!

Boneheaded Decisions


Ecclesiastes

Assures us in chapter seven

Faith flows eternal

If faith’s eternal,

Shouldn’t my faith lead me straight?

Why do I wander?
.

Are you always right?

All your decisions are great?

You’re delusional!
.

All of us at times

Make boneheaded decisions.

Thank God for His Grace!
.

All the rivers flow

Into the eternal sea,

Yet it never fills.
.

My river of faith

Is evolving to follow –

Not because of me
.

God’s got me covered

In spite of my boneheaded

Circuitous routes.
.

Lord, lead me into

Your sweet everlasting sea;

Guide my faith river.

aerial photography of water beside forest during golden hour

Amen

Renewing Creativity


Contemplate rhythm
Renew creativity
Establish practice

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Patterns of nature
Reminders of importance
Seek repetition

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Frisky animals
Reminders of  neediness
Practice playfulness

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Elegant creatures
Constant reminders to seek
Beauty in our lives

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Stillness in nature
Wonderful reminder, yes,
To find perfect rest

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Rest is an essential part of renewing creativity.
In “The Book of Creation,” J. Philip Newell wrote,

“The extent to which we are divorced from the complementary
rhythms of restfulness and creativity is the extent to which
we are cut off from patterns of well-being
within ourselves and our relationships.”

J Philip Newell went on to explain,

“If we fail to establish regular practices of stillness and rest, our creativity will be either exhausted or shallow. Our countenance,  instead of reflecting a vitality of fresh, creative energy that is sustained by the restorative depths of stillness, will be listless or frenetic.”

Are you sometimes feeling listless or frenetic? 

J Philip Newell concludes,
“Creativity without rest,
and productivity without renewal,
leads to exhaustion of our inner resources.”


Want to renew your creativity?

  • Contemplate rhythms of nature
  • Practice repetition
  • Be playful
  • Seek beauty
  • Find rest
  • Count your blessings

 

Remember the Elements of Creativity

According to Christine Valters Paintner in her book, The Artist’s Rule,
“Creativity is an essential and life-giving practice that (in order to flourish) requires:

  • Spaciousness
  • Attention, and
  • Intention”

 

What will you do today to increase your creativity?

How will you give yourself
the spaciousness
to call attention
to your blessings, and
to your intention
to write your next blog
more creatively?

 

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Plan ahead… Give it a rest… Think about it…

 

 … and write a comment below, will you?

 

It helps me to know I’m not “blowin’ in the wind!”

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

 

Change is Challenging


Change is inevitable
Change is challenging
Resist or embrace?

May as well embrace
To resist change is futile
Change is inevitable

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This is my grandson, Chris. I told you I would write more about him. He has been the center of life for Bob and our family since he arrived in the USA from Switzerland last Thanksgiving. When you first met him (if you have been following my blog), this is what he looked like:

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See the change?

And when you first met that pup he has under the blanket in his lap up there, this is what TazE looked like:

HappyTazE

Well, he is so covered up in that first picture up there, you can’t really see the gray in his face and the change in his body, can you? But, trust me… now at age 8 1/2, he has changed from that frisky guy you see there. Here’s a current one that shows you what I’m talking about:

TazE in bed

Yes, change is inevitable! And it can be scary. And it can be very exciting. But it does not do any good to resist it. Much of change is healthy and invigorating. It’ll happen whether you bid it or not. May as well plan for it!

When our grandson came last year, he knew he was in for a year of changes. He had the courage to fly into a new life here – with new opportunities – different in countless ways from his life in Sierre, Switzerland.

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Today we are driving in Montana snow (really came down yesterday… and more is expected today) from Ennis to Anaconda. It’s about a two hour drive. We will stay overnight there, hoping to find a place that will allow pets. TazE will go with us.

We are taking Chris to the Job Corps in Anaconda. He will check in at 8:00 AM tomorrow morning. He has qualified (US citizen between the age of 16-24 with a clean record who is interested in training in one of 7 manual labor areas that are deemed understaffed by the Federal Government) and has been accepted into the program.

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We took a tour there in December and we were wonderfully impressed with the site, the program, the facilities, the instructors, the equipment, the ambience, and the students. About 200 young people are there. More than 75% of them are from out-of-state. Chris will be the first who was born and raised in another country. (Our daughter is his mom… and as such, Chris has dual USA-Swiss citizenship).

There are 4 dorms, 3 for men and 1 for women (that’s the ratio of the students). Not surprising since the trades they are learning include:

  • Heavy equipment Operating
  • Heavy equipment Mechanics
  • Welding
  • Painting (buildings inside and out – not oils, acrylics, watercolor, etc.)
  • Carpentry
  • Culinary Arts
  • Brick-laying

Chris will have a month to explore the various options and then he will select the one he wishes to concentrate on. Each student is self-paced. The training could take as little as three months and as much as a year, depending on prior experience, work ethic, skill, etc.

Stay tuned. I am sure our grandson is in for changes he cannot even imagine at this time.

We are excited for him.

Aren’t you glad to know our Federal Government is supporting this kind of internship/apprenticeship program for young people?

 

US Stamp Price Increase


Heads Up!!

usa stamps

Have you purchased your USA stamps before the prices go up?

Domestic mailing: First class mail letter (1 oz) rate for postage will increase by 5 cents from 50 cents to 55 cents.

The change in prices will automatically occur on-line and at post offices on January 27th.

Go on-line to stamps.com and see some of the other changes that will go into effect.

I bought 100 at Costco yesterday.
If you are in the United States, get on top of it…

Get yours before the 27th!

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