“My Friend A Part Of Me”

Growing up in a military family, you move around every few years. While it’s exciting to experience new cities, states and even another country, it takes a toll on your relationships, especially friends. As young girls, my sister and I did our best to make new friends and adjust to our new location throughout our school years. As we grew older, it became more difficult emotionally when we had to move again and leave friends behind.

For four years, our family lived in a little town in central Illinois where my sister and I attended high school. I think from the first time I met Lori, we were friends. We took the same classes, even got sent to the principal’s office together. We spent countless hours together on weekends and during summer breaks. We played the piano together, baked chocolate chip cookies together, listened to “Dark Side Of The Moon” trying to figure out the meaning behind every song. We even got our driver’s licenses together.

Not long after high school graduation, our family moved once again. Even knowing that graduation sends you and your classmates in different directions, you hope to stay close enough to see each other every now and them. Some go off to college, some start careers, some start families. . . Despite your good intentions, it becomes harder to stay in touch. You become absorbed in climbing the corporate ladder, raising children, maybe raising grandchildren, and chasing your dreams. And yet, there are some people who stay with you throughout all of life’s changes and challenges.

Today, I found a book that Lori sent to me many, many years ago called “Flowers of Friendship”. There is a poem on page 67; she addressed it to me and signed it, “Your friend, Lori”. Despite all of my travels and life’s twists and turns, she has remained my friend, never judging me nor abandoning me. What a blessing for me to say that I have a life-long friend . . .

“I am a part of all whom I have met,”

So, friend of mine, you are a wholesome part;

Our precious visits, lingering with me yet,

Are flowers in the garden of my heart.

Your smiles like violets, sweet beyond compare,

Your words, carnations, cheering me on my way,

Your deeds like roses, rich with perfume rare,

Bring faith and hope and love every day.

So, friend of mine, thou’ you are far away,

Between us may stretch mountain, plain, or sea,

Yet by my side you walk and talk each day,

Because you are a precious part of me.

~Charles Elmer Chapler

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GivingTuesday God-Wink

Jesse and his helper arrived at 9:00 a.m. and rang the doorbell. I opened the door, and he stepped off the porch and told me they were here to install our fence. He said it would probably take two or three hours. I thanked him, and closed the door.

I watched out the back patio doors as they carried the materials to the back yard. They made several trips and brought their post-hole diggers on their last trip. They turned on some music, and they went to work.

Every now and then I would look out the doors to see the progress. As I do every day, I stepped out on the patio and spoke to John, hoping he was watching over me. Again, I asked him to speak to me somehow; let me know he hears me.

Jesse and his helper continued to work, never taking a break. By noon, it was obvious they would be there longer than three hours. They made several more trips back and forth to their trailer as they brought more materials to complete the fence.

For the last hour, I watched Jesse and his helper finish the fence. They even raked the dirt and grass along the fence, and I was grateful that I didn’t have to ask them. As I watched, I started getting glimpses in my mind of our other home projects and two major relocations.

  • We had our house painted in IL. John provided water and Gatorade to the painters, and even tipped them for a job well-done.
  • For our move from IL to NC, we had a great moving crew. John offered a grill and several pieces of furniture to the movers that we were going to donate anyway. When the truck arrived in NC, John provided water and Gatorade to the guys, and then tipped all three as a thank you for their help.
  • For our move from NC to FL, we had the same crew load in NC and unload in FL. John bought lunch for them, and gave all four envelopes with cash before they drove off. They had to drive around the neighborhood to head back out. As they drove by our house, the driver honked the horn and all of them waved with big grins on their faces.
  • We had our house in FL painted last year. One of the guys even offered to repaint our outdoor lights so that they were freshly painted along with the house. John gave each worker cash before they left our house.
  • In June this year, we had to replace our refrigerator. The two guys who delivered were terrific and even mopped the floor as they changed out the water line. John called the store manager to let him know what a great job the two young men had done with our delivery.

It was then that I knew John was speaking to me, touching my heart. I grabbed two bottles of water and some cash. It was after 1:00 p.m. when Jesse rang the doorbell. When I opened the door, he again stepped off the porch and let me know they had finished. I held out the two bottles of water and told him the fence looked great. He smiled and said, “oh, you already saw it.” Then, I handed him the cash and told him to go buy lunch for the two of them. He smiled even bigger, thanked me again and said God bless.

I closed the door and tears flowed. I thanked John for touching my heart, for giving me inspiration that I desperately need. It was another small God-Wink and so very appropriate and timely for “GivingTuesday”.

Will You Be My Warrior?

It was mid-afternoon, sunny and breezy, a very nice May day. I sat on the metal bench waiting for the valet to fetch my car out of the parking garage. Since I like to people-watch, I sat, eyes behind my sunglasses, and watched. Some people dropped off their cars to be parked. Others, like me, waited for their cars to be retrieved from the garage.

The striped red-black-white dress caught my eye, something that I would wear. The lady in the dress was an attractive tall, model-thin lady, and wore nice black-heeled sandals to match the dress. She held the tell-tale large brown envelope with x-rays. Beside her was her daughter, who looked to be 11-12 years old and was almost as tall as her mother and just as pretty! Another lady, who looked like her sister, also stood beside her as they waited for their car.

While the lady’s dress caught my eye, her lovely English accent caught my ear. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but they stood close enough that I could hear their conversation. She said, “you know, there are angels around us everywhere we go.” Through my sunglasses, I saw the tears rolling down the young girl’s face. This lovely lady, like all patients in this hospital, is here because this is the best chance to beat cancer.

I heard the young girl say “I’m so scared” as she sobbed. Her mother held her close and wiped her tears. She said, “It’s only four months, and it’s going to be alright.” Then she turned to her sister, touched her forearm, and asked, “will you be my warrior?” Her sister nodded yes. She turned back to her daughter and held her face in her hands and asked, “will you be my warrior? I need you to be strong for me.”

My car showed up as my own tears rolled down my face. The question haunted me for quite a while. To me, a warrior is someone who shows great vigor, courage, aggressiveness. There isn’t a cancer patient in this hospital who isn’t a warrior; they are fighting every day with courage and perseverance to endure tests, x-rays, treatment, biopsies, waiting, hoping. So why did this lady ask her daughter and sister to be a warrior? Can a loved one, friend, family member be a warrior, too?

Well, yes, because in any battle, there are “non-combat” warriors – advocates, guardians, supporters. These people provide strength, encouragement and care for the battle-worn . . . As I reflected, I realized our personal warriors . . .

  • Mow the grass, edge the sidewalks every week without being asked
  • Pick up the mail and watch the house
  • Show up on Saturday to clean out the refrigerator and kitchen
  • Bring a delicious chicken potpie and fresh fruit tart, just because you don’t have time to cook
  • Give you an “Angel of Prayer” to sit by your bedside
  • Provide company while I wait during the biopsy procedure
  • Bring “care packages” of fruit, snacks, hand-sanitizer, books, magazines
  • Spend Saturday mornings pulling weeds, trimming hedges, fertilizing the yard
  • Pray, have faith when we are weak

So, how will you respond if asked “will you be my warrior?”

“Will you be my warrior?  I need you to be strong and bea positive…”

Here’s to a Happy 2015!

With the new year just hours away, lots of people are trying to figure out their resolutions for the new year.  How about “let’s really have a happy new year”?

Here is a list of 9 things that Happy People tend NOT to do.  So, here’s to Bea-ing Positive and Happy in 2015!!

Happy people stay happy because they:

  1. don’t blame others for their problems.  So that means taking responsibility for your actions and your choices.
  2. don’t overact to the present moment.  Remember, “this too shall pass”!
  3. don’t use negative language.  Bea Positive!
  4. don’t feel trapped.  “There is a great future in front of you; you can leave your past behind.”  Joel Osteen
  5. don’t focus on a single passion or relationship.  Diversify and Bea Open to new things and people!
  6. don’t dwell on past failures.   As Joyce Meyer says “I may not be where I need to be but I thank God I am not where I used to be”!
  7. don’t spend more time than necessary around unhappy people.  As they saying goes, “misery loves company”, which is truer than you might believe unless you’ve experienced it!
  8. don’t gossip.  Keep your word and confidentiality.
  9. don’t procrastinate.  “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”  William James

 

See http://goo.gl/6TJAET for the entire article “9 Things Happy People Don’t Do”

From our house to yours . . . Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Did you know?   (Source:  Wikipedia Thanksgiving)

  • In 1621, the Pilgrims with the help of Indians, survived their first bitter winter in America and yielded a bountiful harvest. They celebrated with three days of “thanksgiving” observance.
  • On November 26, 1789, President Washington proclaimed a nation-wide thanksgiving celebration in America “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”.
  • In 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed that Thanksgiving would be celebrated by all states on the same day, the last Thursday in November, to foster unity across the North and the South.
  • In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed Thanksgiving Day from the last Thursday to the fourth Thursday in November.

Historically, Thanksgiving has traditionally been a celebration of blessings of a bountiful harvest. Over the years, the holiday traditions have changed and been updated.  Of late, Thanksgiving Day is just another day off wedged between Halloween and Christmas.  I suspect if Jesse Watters did an interview for FOX’s “Watters World”, most people would probably say it’s “the day before Black Friday”.

In our house, Thanksgiving is still its own, special day.  We are fortunate to be able to spend another year with family and friends, celebrate and enjoy our blessings and share our bounty and blessings with others.

So, here’s to enjoying turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, Le Seur peas, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, football, naps, left-overs and wishing we hadn’t eaten that last bite!

But, most of all, Bea Positive, Bea Thankful and Bea Blessed!

Love With No Strings Attached!

It’s so common these days to hear about people and families struggling financially. Recently, a friend of mine experienced a financial set-back due to no fault of her own. She shared her recent experience because she said it was a perfect “Bea Positive”!  The story follows and shows that while pinching pennies herself, she shared a small token that will return many blessings to her and her husband — I Bea-lieve!

She shops at Sav-A-Lot to save a few pennies on her weekly grocery shopping trips. Her husband is working overtime trying to earn extra money. Not sure if any of you are familiar with Sav-a-Lot, but you bag your own groceries to help them provide lower prices.  So she had her bags with her.

While checking out, the cashier asked if she would like to have help bagging her groceries from two young boys at the end of the check-out. The boys had paper bags already set up waiting. Thinking they might be Boy Scouts trying to make some money, she let the boys bag her groceries.  While she had already decided to tip the boys, she noticed one of the boys was wearing a church T-shirt.  When she reached into her wallet, all she had were a couple of One’s and the next was a $10.00 dollar bill. The thoughts that came immediately to mind: “my husband will think I’m nuts”, “we don’t have much money and are having to start over” . . .  Despite the thoughts, she handed them the $10 dollars and asked the boys if they could split between them. Their eyes lit up like they were getting gold!

When she got home, she realized they actually packed the groceries quite well. And then at the bottom of the bag she found a little card:

“We hope this small gift brightens your day. It’s a simple way of saying that God loves you – no strings attached.”

God loves you -- no strings attached!

God loves you — no strings attached!

There are some people you know that even after many years have passed, love you for you . . . no strings attached.  “Bea Positive” that even a small gesture or token can impact someone’s life forever!

It’s Possible!

My self-proclaimed motto for life is “Bea Positive”!  Throughout my personal and professional career, I have overcome and experienced many wonders that most people considered impossible.  In fairy tales, there are fairy godmothers.  In life, there is the Trinity with whom “all things are possible”.

There is a cute little song written by Rodgers & Hammerstein from “Cinderella” called “Impossible”.  If you know the story about “Cinderella”, she was ostracized by her step- sisters, and laughed at for her “silly dreams” about living as a princess.  I sing this little song to remind me that  Impossible things are happening every day! Just Bea Positive and Bea-lieve! 

I hope you enjoy!

Lyrics from Rodgers & Hammerstein “Impossible”

It’s Possible! For a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage!

It’s Possible! For a plain country bumpkin and a prince to join in marriage!

And four white mice are easily turned to horses!

Such fol-der-ol and fid-dle-dy dee of course, is quite Possible! It’s possible!

For the world is full of zanies and fools Who don’t believe in sensible rules

And won’t believe what sensible people say

And because these daft and dewey-eyed dopes keep building up Impossible hopes

Impossible things are happening every day! It’s Possible!

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