Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring has sprung

Well spring is upon us. Birds are tweeting all around my house and the rabbits are out and about. I know it won't be long before we see baby bunnies! My favorite!

Our beautiful daffodils have pushed their way up through the ground and are now showing their beauty. Some are all yellow while others are yellow with little orange faces. When we planted all hundred and some bulbs I thought I was going to pull my hair out in clumps. That was just way too tedious of a task for me! My husband had no problem doing it though because of the anticipation of the beauty he knew we'd see. I am so glad now that we planted them. I really enjoy admiring the flowers whenever I drive down our long driveway. The daffodils, along with the hyacinths that are keeping them company, welcome me home from work everyday.

I marvel at the beauty God placed around us. He really had a good time when he was creating all these colorful things. It's such a shame that we so often miss out on appreciating it. We're too busy zipping from one place to another, picking up things, doing errands. It's just not worth it. Take a moment out to stop and enjoy the beauty of smell the roses as the saying goes.

What are you missing out on today? Take a look at your window and note all the gorgeous things God put there for us! Don't miss out on it another day!

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Secret Sister

I've recently started a Secret Sister program at my church and almost 50 ladies have signed up. I've traded their names and gave them a Secret Sister that they are to pray for, and if they want, they can send cards and leave gifts. Someone else has their name and does the same for them. This program will last for six months and, of course, the sisters are to remain a secret. At the end of the program, we'll have a luncheon where we'll get to meet each other and hopefully we'll remain friends from that point forward.

What a blessing this program has been to me and the other ladies of the church. I was thrilled to see an entire large table filled with colorful gift bags and cards for other Secret Sisters for Easter. People that aren't even participating in the program received gifts. And the kindness keeps on going - several women haven't heard from their Secret Sister so others in the program are taking on the responsibility. No one wants anyone to be left out.

I've been very fortunate to have a very active Sister. She seems real detailed oriented and somewhat crafty. She's left me a scrap booked bookmark, a Christian inspired book, a colorful mug with a matching journal. Even the gift bag and the curly ribbon matched! Best of all though, she's written in her cards that she is praying for me daily which means more than anything. I love that I don't even know this women and she is taking time out to think of me. That is a hard thing to find now days in a world where we are always tied up with things that have to be done. And it is most appreciated.

If you are interested in starting a Secret Sister, visit my article on on how to go about it and how to plan the lunch at the end of the program.

Starting the program:

Planning the lunch:

Enjoy! Blessings!
Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Monday, March 24, 2008

What to Do When You Don't Feel Blessed

Let's face it. We all have times in our lives when we just don't feel like things are going our way. We focus on the negative and dwell on it. It becomes hard to see the good amongst all the bad. But you can't live your life that way and be happy. And if you are a Christian, there becomes this nagging little feeling inside that how your feeling just isn't right. Believe me, I've been there and done that, and still do it on a occasion. I really have to work at staying focused and positive, and since I am human, I don't always succeed. The result? A pity party with me as the guest of honor. So how do you work your way out of the pit of despair? How do you count your blessings when things feel so hopeless? It's not easy, but here are a few things to try:

  • Make a list of positive and negative things in your life. Split the column vertically and brainstorm. List everything you can think of. I think you'll see that your positives are a lot lengthier then your negatives. Dwell on that for a while.

  • Stop and think about all the people you know that have things so much worse than you do and then be grateful for what you have. Before you move on, remember to pray for those less fortunate than you.

  • Read the Bible. It will give you hope and remind you of those that suffered far greater.

  • Say thank you and give praise to everyone who makes you happy, including our great Creator. Make a conscious effort to say thank you to everyone for every good thing they do. You'll begin to hear yourself sounding like a broken record in a good way, helping you to realize how much you have to be thankful for.

  • Change within. While this make take a little more effort and results may take a little bit longer, this one's worth it because it helps to make a long term change. Sometimes we have to stop and realize that the problem may not lie in the outer world. It may be within us based on negative things we've learned growing up or because of negative people in our lives. Sometimes our reality isn't the real reality. It's only what we think and we can change our thoughts to be more positive. Realize that your life may not be as awful as you think. It's just a matter of perception.

  • Pray. Ask that God make a change in you to help you see things more clearly and to improve your circumstances.

Just a side note: please don't think that I am perfect and that I have all the things master. Quite on the contrary. I can use this list just as much as any one else. I get down too.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Today is Blessings Inspirations - quotes and Bible verses on blessings.

Today's quote:
"Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles."
- Maltbie D. Babcock

This is true so why is it that we focus on all the problems in our lives or things that aren't even problems, but that we perceive that they are? Let's stop dwelling on the negative in our lives and start being thankful for all the wonderful things that we have. Once you start, it's hard to stop.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bless Others at the Office

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

The work place can be a tough place to be if you don't have nice co-workers to pass your time with. Why not be one of those nice co-workers? It's easy to be a blessing to others at work. Sometimes you can offer help that will require a big effort and will really benefit those around you. Other times all you really need to do is make minor effort to make a major difference.

Not long ago a co-worker I don't even see all that often blessed me by simply opening the door to the training room at the University where I work. I was in a real jam because I need to conduct a technology training session, but I couldn't get in the room. I am part-time so I can't have a key and those I usually rely on where out for the day, either sick or off for the working holiday. When I finally found my co-worker Mike, who just happened to be in the office rather than out on the campus, I was thrilled. You see, he did more for more than just open a door. He saved me from the stress of trying to get into the room and be flustered for my training and he kept me from being embarrased from not being able to get in the room. Small things are bigger than we realize.
Here are some simple things you can start doing to today to make those around you happier:

-Simply say hello in the morning.
-Bring coffee for a co-worker you are friendly with when you stop to get your own.
-Don't rat someone out for their error. Noboday's perfect.
-Leave a note or card of inspiration on a co-workers desk. (Keep it clean and don't get too personal!)
-Send someone an inspirational email.
-Hold the door open if you see someone with their hands full.
-Offer positive input on a project a co-worker is working on, particularly if they aren't real happy about it.
-Offer to help with something even if it isn't your job.
-When you send an email, sign it with "Have a wonderful day" and/or include a positive quote under your name.
-Just be cheerful in general. It can be contagious.
-Change the water bottle for the water cooler when it runs out.
-Clean up the fridge every once in a while.
-Leave a note on the door to the bathroom if there is no toliet paper
-Organize an after work social to get to know your co-workers better.
-Decorate your cubicle so it's a pleasure to visit you.

Have any suggestions? Post a comment and let me know!

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Gift of Travel

Today is "Dee's Blessings" which focus on the wonderful things that have happened in my life.

As an adult, I've become quite the traveler. My husband and I travelled extensively long before we ever married or engaged. It's one hobby we truly enjoy together. Eleven countries, um, about six Caribbean Islands, and I don't know how many of the United States later, we're still planning trips. This year brings the possibility of Missouri and Rivera Maya (the Mexican Riviera) not so far from Cancun.

We've truly been blessed with the gift of travel. Thus far, we've had the finances, the desire, and the health to support these trips. And I've been truly enriched by all of the places we've been. We only one bad vacation which was to the British Virgin Islands of Tortola and Virgin Gorda and even that trip blessed me. It helped me to realize how good we have it in our homeland of America. And it helped me to appreciate my home that much more when we finally did hit that ground. You can expect some interesting tales about that trip in future posts.

The other trips enhanced my life and I am sure trips you have taken have too. Have you ever thought about that? onsider this:

  • I've become closer to my husband during the time we were away.

  • I've learned about other cultures, firsthand, not just in writing.

  • I've experienced other foods.

  • I've seen some of the most beautiful things.

  • I have memories to share with my future family.

  • I've written articles on my experiences traveling, some of which have inspired others to go for a visit, while other articles have earned me a little extra money.

  • I've met interesting people at my destination that have impacted my life (more about that in future posts!)

  • I've grown more flexible. Hey I've pottied in some strange places and I use to be afraid of Seaplanes (you know the ones that take off and land right on the water and look like you are going to crash right into sea?!) Well, not anymore! I conquered that fear on our trip to St. Croix. (more about this in future posts as well!)

I bet you never thought of all the wonderful things that your travels have done for your life. Travelling truly is a life altering experience. If you haven't been anywhere in a while, get out of the cubicle and get going!

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Blessing Inspirations

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

I fell upon this wonderful quote by Willie Nelson while I was researching content for my blog. It's really the premise of my whole writing:

"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around." --Willie Nelson

It's true. When you change your perspective on life and start to recognize all the wonderful things that God has for us, your life very much improves. You see things in a whole new light.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above"

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

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

Learning is one of my favorite things to do - it's become quite a hobby actually. I've been in school in the structured school setting for my Associate, Bachelor's and Master's degree. And all the while I was taking those classes, I was taking classes for fun in my spare time. My life was and sometimes still is, one big class. Basket weaving (yes, seriously!), Financial planning, photography are among my top favorite.

After I achieved my Master's degree in Writing in May of 2007, I swore I'd never take another class. Those who know me well knew that wouldn't last long. Before I knew it I found myself in a training class to be a volunteer at a local animal shelter and I often attend trainings at my job (at a University of course!) that I am not even required to take. Then of course there are wine classes and the possibility of glass blowing courses in my future. Like I said, I really love to learn.

But what does this have to do with blessings? Well for starters, God has given me the ambition to learn new things and better myself. Without realizing it my life has really been improved because of these classes. I've made new friends, embarked on many social outings, written articles on my new found knowledge, and created beautiful things I can be proud of and pass along to future family.

I am also very future that we have access to such wonderful things in our country. Many in other areas of the world are struggling just to survive and here, I have so many things to take advantage of. I don't have a long enough life to explore all of the things that I could!

And finally, and post importantly, I blessed by those who have the knowledge and better still, are willing to share it. Today's theme is how to be a blessing to others and that's exactly how you can do it - by taking the time to share something with someone else that could ultimately help improve their lives, get a better job, or maybe just make a new friend. To you it may just be transferring knowledge from your brain to someone else's, but to someone else, that knowledge can be life alter.

And you don't need some biggie big skill to teach others. It can be a simple as teaching how to do domestic chores efficiently or grocery shopping 101. It really can help someone else. Be a blessing to others - be their teacher in some way.

Thanks to all the wonderful teachers that I've had and that are currently in my life. You are a blessing.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Dee's Blessings - Blog Blessings

Monday (ok, this is a little late!) 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.

Dee's Blessings is something I usually like to do on Mondays and in case you have't noticed, today is Tuesday. But hey, better late than never right?

This may seem like an odd thing to consider a blessing, but that's what this blog is to me for so many reasons.
  • It gives me the chance to express myself
  • It gives me an opportunity to write and showcase my skills
  • It requires me to step up and be a better Christian by forcing me to recognize my blessings.
  • It helps me to point out the blessings in others lives which hopefully impacts their lives in some way.

It's so ironic that not all that long ago I couldn't possibly understand what benefit a blog could be to me. It was only after I started playing around with one and falling upon uses for it that I found it of such value.

I love that it's such an instantaneous thing. I can have a thought and see it online immediately. It's the way to go for me. And although I still try and find writing jobs in hard copy publications, I find it frustrating. I still haven't heard from a few of the publications that I contacted last year, despite emails from the editor expressing a vague interest. At least with the blog I have control over what I do and when I do it. And this way I don't have to pester an overwhelmed editor to get my work seen by the public!

Thank God for this wonderful technology. When it is working properly and utilized properly, it really is a useful tool.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Friday, March 7, 2008

Biblical Blessings - The birth of Jesus

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

While the Bible is filled with many blessings that apply to our lives today, I thought I'd focus on the birth of Jesus Christ with Easter just around the corner. That's when we lost him, but we'll focus more on that when we get closer to the holiday.

For now, let's remember just what a blessing it was for all of mankind that Jesus was born. God cared enough about us to send his one and only son to forgive us of our sins. Now we can live sin free and can have fellowship with God because of Jesus.

And think how miraculous his birth was. God planned his birth for centuries prior to it's actual happening. He orchestrated so many things it's amazing. And then he planted Jesus in a virgin, Mary, and gave her the responsibility of giving birth to him. And there was nothing King like about the night that he came into the world. He was born in a manager and didn't even have a bed to sleep in. Yet he made such an impact on the world he lived in and the rest of humanity to come. Millions and millions will have been blessed by his prescense.

Why was Jesus a blessing for me and for you?

  • Now you can converse openly with God.

  • Once you accept Jesus into your heart you are saved and will go to heaven to enjoy eternity with God.

  • He saved us from our human sin.

  • His life was an inspiration on how we should live and treat others.

  • We can live because he died.

Thank God for the blessing of Jesus and all he did. We should be so thankful!

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Today's Blessing Expert - Leslie Sansone

Thursday - Blessing Experts

Everyday I "walk" with Leslie Sansone to try and shed some pounds. Leslie is the creator of the Walk at Home program, a wonderful exercise routine that allows you to "walk" in the comfort of your own home. If you keep up to the pace of her music, you'll have "walked" one, two, three, or four miles in your own living room.

I love utilizing these DVD's because first, I stay in the comfort of my own home. This works out nicely when I the weather is bad, it's dark out, or I truly just don't feel like getting out of my jammies to walk outside! Second, Leslie is such an uplifting blessing to my day. She's enthusiastic and encouraging.

Leslie's Walk the Walk series is a spiritually focused workout set to positive Christian music. During the exercise routine, comprised of four basic movements, Leslie praises her Creator and counts her blessing.

So what does Leslie see as a blessing? She only says three blessings during her Walk the Walk tape (yes, I've had these tapes for a long time!), but boy they are big ones:

Her customers that walk with her - without us she wouldn't be in business and wouldn't be as successful as she is - at least not in the exercise industry.

Her health - this is truly important and is something we should all be grateful for. Your health is one of those most precious gifts you can have and often we don't realize that until we're sick. Once you become unhealthy, particularly if you have an lifelong ailment, it can make the day-to-day routine extremely difficult. Perhaps the illness keeps you from working on a regular basis or maybe it isn't life threatening, but just down right inconvenient. Either way, getting through the day can be tough. While you are healthy, enjoy every minute of it. Live your life to the fullest because you never know what our bodies have in store for us.

Her family and friends (everyone you love) - it's smart of Leslie to recognize that the people she holds most dear are a blessing. They'll be there during your darkest hour and will help you when you just need a little lift. They are the people that are most likely to stick with your through thick-and-thin. Don't take them for granted. They are important and they can be gone in a flash.

Leslie is a wise woman and I am blessed every time I workout to her DVD. She truly is a blessing in my life. She's helped me lose weight in the past and she's working with me again to lose what I gained in recent years from medication.

Check out her website if you have time. Leslie is bound to be a blessing to you too!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Blessings Inspirations - Psalm 128:2

Wednesday - Blessing Inspirations - a look at Bible verses and quotes on the topic of Blessings.

I love what Psalm 128:2 in the National International Version (NIV) of the Bible says. It reads:

"You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours."
- The Bible (NIV version)

I believe that verse is saying to us that if we work hard at whatever we are doing we will be blessed in many ways and will really enjoy those blessings. As my previous Pastor, Pastor Russ, use to say, "Bloom where you are planted," meaning that we should work hard at whatever we are doing and do it well. As we can see the Bible says, in so many words or less, work hard and God will reward you.

I can see this reflected in my own life as I've worked hard at establishing a new home within the last few years, I've gone on to obtain a Master's degree in Writing, I've worked hard at establishing relationships at church and on my job, and I've taken on the role as a wife. After approaching these things with positiveness and determination (most of the time anyway!) God has blessed my with a wonderful part-time job at a local university that I've always wanted to work at, has given me the time to start on a new goal of freelance writing, has provided me with many new and wonderful friends, and has given me a really great marriage.

What things have God rewarded you with for all your labor? Do an inventory and I bet you will see a lot of things God has done for you.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Blessings Others - Dog Sledding

Tuesday - Blessing Others

I've been away for several days in the Poconos Mountains in Pennsylvania so I haven't been able to blog for a while. That's ok though. I had a great trip and was richly blessed while I was away. This works nicely since Tuesdays are "Blessings Others" day on my blog.

While Nick and I were away we did several fun activities including snowmobiling and dog sledding - that latter being my favorite! What a wonderful thing to do that you can't find every where. When I found out they run a business at the Pocono Manor Inn Resort, I just had to do it. Sure it was a little pricey but that didn't matter to me. And I am glad we did it! We were blessed to have had the chance.

Seven sweet Siberian Husky dogs and their owners took us out on the snowy terrain for a fun-filled ride that lasted a little over an hour. We heard a little bit about the dog's past and had fun watching as their owners picked one-by-one who would be the lucky ones that would have the honor pulling our sled. Each howled and scratched their paws in the snow to signal they wanted to be one of the chosen ones.

After all six runners were in place, the lead dog took his place in the very front to do the leading, but not before checking out who was part of the pack! He checked everyone out to see who he was leading.

Not only were we blessed by this wonderful experience and these sweet dogs, we were blessed by an act of kindness from the owners of the business. You see, the day we went, the sun was shining and it was 50 degrees. Much of the snow had started to melt affecting our ride and slowing down the dogs. Although we weren't complaining a bit, the owners felt bad and decided to give us a free ride next season. How very nice! We'll remember them and surely go back.

They blessed in a tremendous way by giving us memories and by offering a chance to make more memories, free of charge. See? Small acts of kindness is all it takes.

Next Tuesday we'll take a look at identifying ways to bless others.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"