“The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”
- Allan K. Chalmers
Hard work, compassion, and faith: a recipe for peace of soul almost too simplistic to believe yet transformative enough to turn mere existing into thriving when determinedly adhered to from present moment to present moment.
“We have no more right to put our discordant states of mind into the lives of those around us and rob them of their sunshine and brightness than we have to enter their houses and steal their silverware.”
- Julia Moss Seton
Sometimes, like when when we wake up in a horrible, no good, very bad mood, love looks like a mouth shut tight keeping sarcasm, snarkiness, complaining and gossip at bay.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
How soberingly powerful. Am I prepared, via prayer and inner vigilance, to bravely choose faith and light over hardness and despondency upon facing trials and tragedies throughout my life here on earth?
Oh please, let it be so!
“Beauty shouldn’t be about changing yourself to achieve an ideal or be more socially acceptable. Real beauty, the interesting, truly pleasing kind, is about honoring the beauty within you and without you. It’s about knowing that someone else’s definition of pretty has no hold over you.”
― Golda Poretsky
Oh I promise, the sooner you learn this, live this, the more freeing and extraordinary your life will be! Create, Explore, Discover, Love, Laugh! Just say NO to squandering your precious time and God-given talents on envy and insecurity! Rise above, my beautiful, beautiful friends!
“We are the windows through which our children first see the world. Let us be conscious of the view.”
― Katrina Kenison
To my fellow parents striving right alongside me to teach love and mercy, courage and resilience, determination and humility to their sons and daughters, in spite of our many imperfections, I offer you this prayer. It’s a really, really great one! xo
O Heavenly Father, make me a better parent. Teach me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say, and to answer all their questions kindly. Keep me from interrupting or contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me. Forbid that I should ever laugh at their mistakes or resort to shame or ridicule when they displease me. May I never punish them for my own selfish satisfaction or to show my power. Let me not tempt my children to lie or steal. And guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honesty produces happiness. Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me. And when I’m out of sorts, help me, O Lord, to hold my tongue. May I ever be mindful that my children are children and I should not expect from them the judgment of adults. Let me not rob them of the opportunity to wait on themselves and make decisions. Bless me with the bigness to grant them all their reasonable requests and the courage to deny privileges I know will do them harm. Make me fair and just and kind and fit, O Lord, to be loved and respected and imitated by my children. Amen.
“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
― Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968
It is precisely our collective brokenness that makes the transmission of light unstoppable. We can be put down, beat down, let down by circumstances outside of our control, but nothing and no one have the power to extinguish the spark of hope in our souls. An ardent belief in mercy and redemption lived out boldly and unselfconsciously, irrationally even, has the potential to spread like wild fire among those aching for a bit of wholeness and healing in their lives. Light or darkness, hope or despair: The choice is always, always ours!