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Posts tagged ‘kindness’

To Give Or Not to Give…

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I’ve heard people debate whether gift giving is celebrating Christmas properly or not. Is it Christ like or is it not honoring Christ? I can honestly see both sides. In the end though, this is how I feel….

I don’t believe that’s how God intended we celebrate His son’s coming into the world, however, I do think it is Christ like to give to others. I think when we put others ahead of ourselves and give to others, we’re continuing His legacy of love.

I also don’t think we need to go overboard though, shouldn’t have to fight crowds, spend so much we’re in debt, or feel the need to impress anyone. We could give simply and it would still be wonderful, if given from a place of love and light in our souls.

Whether or not you put up a tree, lights, and other decor doesn’t dictate whether you celebrate the Christ in Christmas or not. Honestly, neither does going to church on Christmas Eve. A church goer does not a Christian make. How you dress, what you give or if you don’t, where you go, etc doesn’t truly matter at the end of the day either. In my soul, what I think matters is how you treat others and the love you give, Christian or not.

I will not put another down for feeling or celebrating differently. All I ask is show me kindness, respect, and love and I’ll do the same. I will not hide my love for Jesus and I’ll gladly share His story with anyone willing to listen and His love with everyone I can, but I won’t berate you if you don’t share the same feelings or beliefs. I’m going to say Merry Christmas to all. If you say something else, like Happy Holidays or perhaps nothing at all, that’s fine. Be true to your heart and I’ll be true to mine. ❤💚

Thoughts of the Day

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Why be weird alone when we can be weird together??

Though if we’re both weird, does that make us normal?

Words can heal or they can hurt, use yours wisely.

Looking for a miracle? Everyday is just that.

Storms change us, sometimes for the better and other times not, but they will change us.

The good things in life will change us too.

Alone, we’re wonderful, but together, we’re so much better.

Beauty isn’t or at least shouldn’t be defined solely on one’s looks. For me anyway, it’s not about how much make-up someone wears, the brand or style of clothing worn, the amount of bling someone wears, how their hair is done, how much they weigh, etc. Upon looking at someone that has outter beauty, I can definitely appreciate it. However, if I see that they’re cold, stuck up, cruel, etc, it’ll be hard to appreciate their outward appearance. Looks fade, but money can’t buy you a moral code or kind heart.

We are not solely one thing. We aren’t easily defined. We are not our pasts. We are not our illnesses. We are not our mistakes. We are not our jobs. We are not the various titles others give us. Yet we are all of those things combined and a lot more. We are made up of our dreams, flaws, strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, talents, emotions, thoughts, lessons learned, pasts, presents, ancestral roots, memories, and choices.

There is often not a “right” time to do things. Sometimes there is a wrong one. Many times though, we just have to decide we want something bad enough that we make a go for it.

Words like always and never should be used carefully. Also, the words love and hate carry a lot of weight and should be used only when truly meant.

Forgiveness isn’t necessarily about freeing someone else, it’s about freeing us from the anger and pain. Both can consume us, many times without realizing it. Forgiveness means letting go and moving forward. It means not bringing it up in the heat of an argument. It means not letting the pain or anger blindside us. It means truly letting go, even when we feel we’re in the right to stay angry and hurt. Free yourself….

We can have different political views, religious beliefs, come from different backgrounds, look different, act and think different, etc and still get along.

I disagree with the statement that respect should be earned and not freely given. I don’t set out to disrespect someone who has not caused me to do so. So, I feel it’s important to give respect first. If it’s not returned, I will still try to be the bigger person. I don’t always win that fight in my head, but I try.

The debates on what foods together make me laugh. You may not like pineapple on pizza or ketchup on your eggs, which is fine, but it’s also fine to like those combinations. It’s all a matter of personal preference. Why are we always finding ways to disagree and make others feel weird for being different? 😉

Art comes in many forms. An artist isn’t simply one who paints, draws, or sculpts. An artist can be a musician, singer, actor/actress, chef, fashion designer/seamstress, software engineer, web designer, interior decorater, teacher, etc. Art lives within us all, in our own ways. Live your art!

Be kind. You never know what another is going through.

Be you. Don’t settle for being like someone else. You’re not meant to be an echo. You’re meant to be you in full force.

Those are my thoughts today. I hope even one of them made you smile, think, or find inspiration. Go out and live the rest of the day to the fullest!

 

 

There Are Always Ways to Help…

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Some think the only or best way to help is by giving money to causes, people in need, etc. I have learned something over the years, money can do a lot of good and I would never discourage anyone from giving to worthy causes or helping out someone who is truly in need, BUT there are more ways to help.

Sometimes people aren’t in a position to help financially and feel like there’s nothing they can do. However, we can give our time, energy, and effort to others by volunteering, teaching, mentoring, tutoring, helping people by giving of your services like babysitting, cooking a meal for someone who just had surgery, helping someone move, etc.

Going through our things and giving what we don’t need or no longer use to others who could use it often helps people as well. How many of us have things in storage, stuffed in the back of our closets or the garage, etc that we know we’ll never get around to using again or maybe just bought because it was on sale or thought it would be a good idea at the time and then never used at all? Some can donate blood, which is always in need. Some physically can’t give, but many can.

And let us not forget, sometimes all someone needs is someone to listen without passing judgement. Sometimes people don’t want or need anything of monetary value, they just need a friend to listen, give advice, a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to make them laugh. Sometimes people just need to be reminded how special and loved they are and that there is a reason to go on.

One or many of these things may not be doable, but don’t be discouraged. If you want to give back, pay it forward, or make a difference, there are always ways to do it.

All Lives Matter

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With everything that has happened in our country, one would think there would be some unification. Instead, there seems to be more division than ever. The level of violence, intolerance, and hatred makes me both sick to my stomach with grief and so very angry. We are Americans, we should start acting like what a true American should be, instead of what we’ve become. This statement is about our country as a whole, I do realize there are many individuals that show the level of love, compassion, integrity, and honor that many expect, but not nearly as many demonstrate.

Some preach things like, “Black lives matter” or “Gay lives matter.” You know what? They most certainly DO matter. The things that people do to one another simply because they don’t like one’s color, religion, political views, sexual orientation, and so on is sickening. It is downright awful that people assault, rape, vandalize, and more in the name of “their people”. We are in a country where we are supposed to be free to be who we are, but how free are we really if we have to fear for our lives for being true to ourselves? We don’t have to like everyone, but we should at least be respectful and decent to one another. It is possible to co-exist.

Why do we feel the need, as the human race, to tear one another down? Why, since the beginning of time, have we felt the need to control, dominate, and do whatever it takes to get what we want, no matter who we hurt? Why do we pick a race of people and say they’re either inferior or superior? Why do we attack others for believing in something other than what we do? Why? And why do we have to continue to divide, among our own citizens and throughout the world?

I am one that will never pick one group and think they’re better or worse than another. I will not put them down or attack them. I will not put another down for having different views or faith. I am human and I am not perfect, but I will do my best to love everyone, regardless of color, faith, political views, etc. I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgender, etc. What matters to me is how you treat me, treat those I love, those around you. If you show me respect, I will do the same for you. There are many out there who feel the same way that I do and to you, I tip my hat. Let us stand together and show everyone that love’s power is infinite and our voices can be heard. Let us continue to show love in the face of adversity, compassion in places where it seems to have vanished, and kindness to even those who hard to be nice to.

Let us show the world that ALL lives matter, that the senseless violence needs to stop. Let us show the world that we don’t need to hurt those who are different from us. You can be who you are and be accepted, loved. I get why some say things like, “Police lives matter.” They’re simply standing up for a group of people that have been wronged. I loathe all senseless violence. I respect the views people have and do stand on the side of making things right. It’s just that for me, I think separating people into groups is causing more division, instead of banding us together. So, I will continue to say,”ALL LIVES MATTER!” Let love be the force that is heard today, showing others that we do matter and that coming together is what we need to do, not drift further apart.

Perfect Parenting

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Many parents have their idea of what perfect parenting is, a style they feel works best and it will often vary from another’s. The thing to remember is just because someone’s views on how to raise their kids is different from how you raise yours, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong or less of a parent. So many sit in judgement and it’s not okay.

It doesn’t matter if you, say, breastfeed and other moms don’t. What some don’t understand is not everyone can do it. Some moms just don’t produce, no matter what they try, some babies refuse to latch, etc. And even if someone can and chooses not to, it doesn’t make them a bad parent. The same goes for whether someone makes their own baby food and another may choose to use the prepackaged stuff, such as Gerber. Either way, the kids are getting their nutrients and are developing just fine. What about potty training techniques, how one might get their baby to sleep, disciplining, how they teach their kid to read, whether or not their kid gets paid to do chores or not, how early they start helping out around the house, curfews, whether their kids go to private or public school, or perhaps neither and they do home schooling, and many other parenting topics.

I’ve been the parent that has had others point, stare, and whisper. I have also had the nosy moms that don’t know the situation butt in while at the store, throwing their unwanted two cents in and have seen it happen to others. It is infuriating to have another try to tell you how to raise your kids. If we don’t like something, fine, it’s our right to disagree. However, just because we can verbalize our difference of opinion, doesn’t necessarily mean we should. Sometimes it is best to keep our thoughts to ourselves. And honestly, where do any of us get off judging another because we don’t give into a child’s tantrum, because we let them have McDonald’s once in awhile, are on a different sleep schedule, decide to home school our kids, bottle feed, or use a different method of punishment for acting out? If the child in question isn’t being abused or neglected, it is really no one’s business how they’re being raised. If there’s genuine reason for concern, fine, but then go about it in the proper manner. If not, it is usually best to butt out.

Sometimes we will ask for advice or help, I mean, they say it takes a village. 😉 Sometimes too, we see someone struggling and we want to be there for them. That is all well and good, but then when we’re coming from a place of kindness and not a harsh or judgmental one, we need to still respect our boundaries. Never put the parent down and don’t make it all about you and how you raise your kids and ALWAYS listen, be respectful. Parenting can be challenging at times and it makes it that much harder when we have others essentially bullying us because we’re not doing things “right”. We want our kids to turn into well rounded, kind, smart, and hardworking adults, which is made easiest when we have a good support system and try our best not to judge one another. These are just my thoughts on it today and not just in parenting, but in life. We should lift one another up, not tear one another down. ❤

See the Beauty & Be the Beauty

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If I could only paint you a beautiful picture

Showing you the wonders that await you

So I choose to use my words instead

No rhymes and maybe less than eloquent

But, perhaps you’ll still see the beauty within

 

Spacious mountains and crystal clear waters

Beautiful flowers, statuesque trees, & cute animals

I want you to see it all over the years

As they all change and grow, so will you

I hope that you see the beauty that surrounds us

 

More than just what you can see with your eyes

I hope that you can see and appreciate much more

The beauty within the souls of those in your life

May you see the kindness, gentility, and grace

And may you also possess these traits yourself

 

May you show kindness to others, even on a rough day

Show compassion and understanding to those who need it

And yet be firm when the situation calls for it as well

See the beauty all around you and be the beauty for others

That is my sincerest prayer for you, my darling daughter.

Inner Beauty & the Beast

 

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Today’s topic is about being able to see beauty more in someone’s character than in their outward appearance. There is nothing wrong with admiring one’s outward beauty, but so many times, people are overlooked because they’re not as “fetching” as others. It’s more than that, often times, too. Some can be outright cruel to those they don’t find beautiful.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it’s true. This applies to both inner and outer beauty. What boggles my mind though is why it is seemingly more difficult to appreciate the inner beauties and strengths. As I mentioned before, there’s nothing wrong with admiring someone who is outwardly attractive to us, but shouldn’t we do much more to admire what lies within as well?

I have seen many memes over the years that say things along the lines of, “It doesn’t matter how pretty you are on the outside if you have an ugly heart.” How true those words really are! I have met many people that I find pleasing to look at, but not to talk to or to know. Just because one is lovely to look at doesn’t mean they are equally pleasing to befriend. And just because one is plain, average, or maybe ugly in our eyes doesn’t mean they’re ugly within either!!!! That old saying, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” should carry more weight.

Yet, first impressions do hold much sway over us and what are the first things we notice when we meet someone? We notice how they look and how they carry themselves. Oh but were I like Sherlock Holmes, able to detect so much from seeing so little and so quickly too! We’re all guilty of looking at someone and coming up with conclusions without really knowing someone, but often, we don’t know as much as we think we do. There is so much more to someone than what we see in a single encounter or even a few meetings.

Were we to delve more into one than how they dressed, their hair, whether they slouch or stand up straight, or even their mood that particular moment. Sometimes we get or give the worst and then depart with unpleasant thoughts about one another. We, as humans, are both simple and complex beings. Why are we so quick to judge? Why are we unable to see the beauty within someone simply because we don’t find them appealing to look at? When we have one bad experience, why does it leave such a bad taste in our mouths that we don’t want to give someone another chance? Maybe they just had a bad day and acted too rashly, but perhaps are really an amazing person. Haven’t we all taken our bad days out on someone?

There is so much beauty surrounding us and sure, I mean nature, but I also mean people. If we were to open our minds, expand our horizons, and be more willing to see the beauty where perhaps we once didn’t, what a grand place this might really be. That lady over there who is a little too heavy for your tastes might have the most beautiful voice you ever heard or maybe if you looked closer, you’d find her smile to be stunning. The guy you think is nothing more than a lazy hippie may actually be brilliant and have the softest heart you’ve ever encountered. The black girl you don’t want to notice because of her color may be seen as gorgeous if you’d see beyond your prejudice. The man who has been losing his hair and not dress so sharply might have the kindest laugh and sweetest demeanor. Can we not try to see more in what we see? Can we find the beauty within ones we normally might not at first glance? May we look again? Might we stop being the beasts we sometimes are and show the beauty too that we have to offer?

Author Joanne Reed

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