Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Charles Dickens was a wise man. Long before I ever started this blog, Blessings from Above, and before I was even a twinkle in my parents eye, Dickens knew the premise of what I am saying - looking for the blessings in your life. He said,

"Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some”

This is so true. Everyone, men and women, have problems in their life. That's unavoidable. Inevitably you'll have health issues because of your environment or genes. Financial problems will come you way. Your job will give you a hard time. It's just the way it is. But don't focus on solely on these issues. Look for the good in your world.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

A Schedule for my blog, "Blessings from Above"

As I delve deeper into this new world (it's new for me anyway) of blogging, I am learning quite a bit as I go along. I've read more blogs than I can remember and have been reading "Clear Blogging," by Bob Walsh which I'd highly recommend if you are new to blogging (and even if you are experienced!)

Much of what I've read and seen says it's important to set up a schedule for everyday of the week rather than just posting things at random. So here goes....this is what you'll now find on Blessings from Above:

Monday - Dee's Blessings - people who know me well call me Dee and you can too. Here you'll find the many blessings in my life in hopes of inspiring you to recognize these things, and others, in your own life.

Tuesday - Blessing Others - suggestions how you can be a blessing to others.

Wednesday - Blessing Inspirations - Insightful quotes, Bible verses, and poems on the topic of Blessings.

Thursday - Blessing Experts - here's where I will share with you what Christian leaders, authors, musicians, and speakers, have to say on blessings. My post about Joel Osteen would fall under this category.

Friday - Biblical Blessings - This will focus on blessings found throughout the Bible and how they can apply to our lives today.

Saturday and Sunday - A breather from the week with an occasional posting - anything goes on the weekend!

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Joel Osteen Says Bless Others

Joel Osteen, a Christian author and Pastor of Lakewood church, a church with 38,000 people in attendance every week, recently published the book Become a Better You. You can get it in most bookstores or online as an audio version through iTunes as I did. Everyday, Joel and I work out together while he ministers to me.

In the chapter titled "Being good to people," Joel suggests waking up and not only looking for blessings in our lives, but to be a blessing to others. He believes that you'll end up with so many blessings of your own, you won't know what to do with them all. His thought it that if you bless others, God will bless you.

And it doesn't have to be some monumental thing. Simply holding the door open for someone else or complimenting them can be a blessing to them.

Joel is right. We're all on this merry go around of life together so why be so selfish or self-centered? Why not help someone else along the way?

In an effort to walk the walk, I stopped to talk to a person I know from church in the supermarket. I don't know her real well, but that doesn't matter. I knew she was new to our church and I wanted to make her feel welcome. I even complimented her on her newly done hairdo which looked particularly good that day. Hopefully I brought cheer to her day in some way.

Give it a try. See how many ways you can bless others and then take note of all the wonderful things God does for you as a result.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cardinal Blessings

This past Thursday, February 21st, 2008, I put a post on how to recognize a blessing: slow down, take it one thing at a time, and write down all the good things that have happened to you.

Now I'd like to share in this posts, and in future posts, the many blessings that I've recognized in my life that you may not think of as a blessing.

I love the color red. Anything red catches my attention. So, it was no surprise, when I opened up my bathroom window while my bath water was running, I saw a pair of red cardinals sitting in a a leafless tree on our property. My bathroom is on the second floor and sits up pretty high. The tree itself has grown pretty tall as well making it as high as our house. The two birds, male and female, were perfectly placed just outside my window. One was facing me and the other was facing the other direction. But, both were in my line of site. I know they were perfectly placed there by God for me to admire. Fortunately, I noticed them. Sometimes it only takes a minute to appreciate these little things. Had I been rushing around like I often do, I probably would have missed them.

What piece of God's art work have you noticed lately?

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Prayers Please

Please pray for a friend of my cousin Stacey's. Her friend's 3 year old child has been diagnosed with Leukemia. Just be with the family and give them strength to get through this. And pray that the children makes it through with a clean bill of health. May this family be blessed from above.

Thank you for your kindness.

Wishing You "Blessings from Above."

Wear Sunscreen by Mary Schmich

When I found this little book written by Mary Schmich, I was thrilled. It includes the lyrics to a very short-lived song, by Baz Luhrmann, that I think we could all stand to hear. It offers basic advice in life that we should all live by. Thank God for these talented writers and singers for bringing the words before us.

Again, these are lyrics, as written by Mary Schmich in her book Wear Sunscreen. All the credit goes to her. Enjoy!

Wear Sunscreen

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense that advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.
But trust me, in twenty years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future.
Or worry,
but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.
The real troubles in your life
are apt to be things
that never crossed
your worried mind,
the kind that blindside you at
four p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts.
Don't put up with other people who are reckless with yours.

Don't waste your time on jealousy.
Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind.
The race is long, and
in the end,
it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive.
Forget the insults.
If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters.
Throw away your old bank statements.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn't at twenty-two what they wanted to do with their lives.
Some of the most interesting forty-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll divorce at forty, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on y our seventy-fifth wedding anniversary.

Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either.
Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body.
Use it every way you can.
Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it.
It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines.
They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents.
You never know when they'll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings.
They're your best link to your past
and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends
come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
because the older you get,
the more you need the people
who knew you
when you were young.

Live in New York City
but leave
before it makes you hard.

Live in Northern California
but leave
before it makes you soft.

Accept certain inalienable truths:
Prices will rise.
Politicians will philander.
You, too, will get old.

And you do,
you'll fantasize that when you were young,
prices were reasonable,
politicians were noble,
and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund.
Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse.
But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair
or by the time you're forty it will look eighty-five.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patience with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia.
Dispensing it is a way of
fishing the past from the disposal,
wiping it off,
painting over the ugly parts, and
recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

By Mary Schmich

Thursday, February 21, 2008

How-to Recognize Blessings

It's easy in the everday scheme of things to get lost in all the hussle and bussle, making it difficult to recognize the blessings that exist in our lives. So how do we go about it? Here are a few easy tips:

  • Slow down - for whatever reason the world has programmed us to believe that we must do things at lightening speed. Well I am here to tell you that that really isn't necessary. If something, short of providing life saving medication, doesen't get done, I promise life will go on. We need to slow down and stop barreling through life to see things a little better, including blessings.

  • Take it one thing at a time - we're surely going to miss a blessing if we're talking on the phone while checking our email, or driving while text messaging (which I DO NOT support by the way!). If you are a multi-tasker and the thought of slowing down the pace to doing one thing at a time drives off a bridge, give it a try at least once in a while. You'll feel less stressed and your mind will be clearer to pick up on the nice little things that God does for you that you may not realize.

  • Write down all the good things that have happened to you - choose a time period, whether it be a day, a week or a month, and just write down every good thing that happened to you. The visual list may help you to stop dwelling on the bad and start focusing on the good. You'd be surprised at how many good things are in your life. Start zeroing in on these things and spend time enjoying them.

Look for my list of blessings, coming as a post sometime soon.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above!"

Monday, February 18, 2008


When I went to Steven Curtis Chapman's concert this past November, he played songs from his new album, The Moment. I fell in love with many of these Christian songs and I was thrilled when I realized that he posted two of my favorites on his homepage.

The first, Cinderella, is about how he'll "dance" (symbolic for spending time with) his daughters before they grow up and move out of the house. He knows not to miss a moment of time with them. The other "The Moment," for which the album is titled, talkes about how we need to live in the here and now.

Both are fantastic inspirational songs and I'd like to invite you to listen to them. They can be be found off of Steven's homepage. Click "Cinderella" to listen. Be warned, though, the first song is a real tear jerker! Get the tissues ready and enjoy!

If you want to know more about this click on the "Cinderella Video," to hear in Steven's own words, why he choose to write this song. It's very funny and is so relatable! And the photographs on the page are precious.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Friday, February 15, 2008


My husband and I have a Corvette that we've always wanted. Not because of how nice it looks or how fast it goes, but because of the places it takes it. We love all our cars for the same reason. They give us independance.

Because of our cars we can:

  • Go places we wouldn't get to go otherwise

  • See family and friends we wouldn't be able to see.

  • Learn new things

  • Get goods for our everyday lives that we wouldn't get near our home.

As much upkeep as cars and other modes of transportation can require sometimes like oil changes, keeping pressure in the tires, and other bigger maintenance jobs. It's worth it for the freedome we get from cars. Next time you are at the gas pump stressing over the cost of gas, be thankful for the car that God gave you. It's really a great invention.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"