The Gift of Silence

The fruit of silence is prayer, The fruit of prayer is faith, The fruit of faith is love, The fruit of love is service, The fruit of service is peace. Saint Mother Theresa, nun and missionary

Is there more silence in your life than usual? There sure is in mine! I used to be one of those people who left the house everyday attending meetings, gathering with friends, being a part of various groups. My life was anything but silent. But now, with silence permeating my life, I have a better chance to hear the birds sing in the morning and the frogs at night, the ticking of the clock, and “the still small voice” within. 

As Mother Teresa suggests, faith, love, service and, finally, peace all begin with silence. Let’s embrace this time of expanded silence and perhaps we too will hear “the still small voice” of God more clearly. 

Affirmation: I embrace the silence.

Coaching questions: How are you coping with fewer activities and more silence? Is the idea of “the still small voice” within meaningful to you (see 1 Kings 19:12 for more information)? What can you do to embrace the silence? 

Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash

Wishing You Peace, Love, and Comfort

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. Agnes M. Pharo, author

On this Christmas morning, I truly hope that someday every path will lead to peace. For Christians the world over, today has significance beyond the gifts and glitter. The story of Jesus’ birth is about love—God’s love for His creation.

Although it is a sad, even heart-breaking, day for many, I hope, Dear Readers, you will find a slice of love and joy in your life today. Please know that if you’re grieving, sad, or lonely— I’m thinking of you and I’m wishing you a Very Blessed Christmas!

Affirmation: Someone cares about me.

Coaching questions: What will you do to acknowledge your sadness while celebrating joy to the world? This is one day out of 365. What will tomorrow be like?

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Let Us Fight For Peace

The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. General Douglas MacArthur

Like most citizens in the United States, I’m thanking Veterans on this annual Veterans’ Day. My relatives have fought in all the USA wars (except the Spanish American) since and including the Revolutionary War. I currently have a step granddaughter serving in the US Army. I have profound gratitude for their sacrifices. 

I believe the best way to honor our military personnel is to work for peace. Peace within our families, our communities, our country, our world. If we could find a way to eliminate the need for armies, what a wonderful world we would have. I know this is Pollyanna thinking as there is much hatred and greed in the world. However, if we don’t think it, wish for it, pray for it, peace has no chance. 

Affirmation: I believe in peace.

Coaching question: What can I do to bring peace to my corner of the world? 

 

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When Is Enough Enough?

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. Mark Twain

In the United States, today is Memorial Day, a day to remember those who served in the military. As much as I love honoring veterans and active service members, Memorial Day is, more specifically, about honoring those who lost their lives in service to our country.

The greatest loss of life for the U.S. was in our own Civil War where brother fought brother killing 623,026 when our population was only thirty-one million.  

In total, 1,316,771 American lives have been lost to war. In addition, I shutter to think of the millions of men, women, and children who have been killed in wars worldwide. What can we do to stop the killing, maiming, and emotional trauma? 

Affirmation: I will seek peace.

Coaching questions: Thinking of the loss others have experienced is helpful in dealing with our own losses. Who are you thinking of today? What was their contribution to our freedom? What’s one thing you can do to promote peace in the world? 

Below is a photo of my dad. Although he served in both WWII and Korea, he was one of the lucky ones who returned home to live another fifty-six robust years working in a Veterans’ Hospital.

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Celebrating Women

A woman is like a tea bag—you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water. Eleanor Roosevelt

March is National Women’s History Month. The 2019 theme is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” This year women will be honored who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society.

For generations, women have resolved conflicts in their homes, schools, and communities. They have rejected violence as counterproductive while stressing the need to restore respect and justice. In addition, they have given voice to the unrepresented and hope to victims of violence and those who dream of a peaceful world. Let’s celebrate these visionary women and strive to become one.

Affirmation: I am a woman with vision and the ability to make a difference in the world

Coaching question: What’s one thing you will do this month to be a champion of peace and nonviolence? Let me know how it goes. 

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Peace To The World

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. Agnes M. Pharo, author

On this Christmas morning, I truly hope that someday every path will lead to peace. For Christians the world over, today has significance beyond the gifts and glitter. Jesus’ birth and life are about love—God’s love for His creation.

Although it is a sad, even heart-breaking, day for many, I hope, Dear Readers, you will find a slice of love and joy in your life today. Please know that if you’re grieving, sad, or lonely— I’m thinking of you and I’m wishing you a Very Blessed Christmas!

Affirmation: Someone cares about me.

Coaching questions: What will you do to acknowledge your sadness while celebrating joy in the world? This is one day out of 365. What will tomorrow be like? 

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From my house to yours, Merry Christmas!

Thank a Veteran

The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. Douglas MacArthur, United States General 

Tomorrow is Veterans Day in the United States. This annual observation honors military veterans and coincides with similar days celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Major hostilities of WWI were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. 

I’m honored to have many veterans in my family including my dad, ex-husband, former husband, step granddaughter, and ancestors going  back as far as the Revolutionary War. Join me in honoring our veterans the world-over. Our freedom is precious, military veterans make it possible.

Affirmation: I appreciate our veterans.

Coaching request: If you know a veteran, thank them. If you are a veteran, thank you. If you no longer want an accumulation of veterans, work for peace.

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Finding Peace

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.  Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970), American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter.

It feels as though our nation and our world are in unprecedented turmoil. The power of love is definitely not overcoming the love of power as Hendrix was suggesting. As much as I believe in being an informed advocate for what we believe, taking a breather from it all is valuable as well.

Take a moment and consider the swan. Her life may not be as peaceful as this photo from my local park portrays, but the image gives us a focal point on which to rest our minds and our hearts. Now, if only for a few seconds, take a deep breath and just BE.

Affirmation: I am at peace.

Coaching questions: What helps you keep peace within yourself? If you feel harried, what is one thing can you do to feel more peaceful?

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Looking For Peace

What we focus on expands. The more were complain, the worse things get. It’s a universal law. OprahWinfrey

Remember the last time you considered buying a red sedan and everywhere you looked there were red sedans? The same is true of negative thinking, negative social media, negative cable news…more, more, more and the worse things seem to us.

Even in our personal lives, the more we focus on the negative and complain, the worse things seem to get. My step mother, Sylvia, used to say, “This too shall pass.” And sure enough it did/does. Yesterday some friends and I were remembering Hurricane Irma and how it brought out the best in so many people…the compassion, the caring. It renewed in us the sense that the world is mostly filled with good, caring people who want to take care of their friends, neighbors, and even total strangers. Focusing on the positive brought each one of us a sense of peace and hope for the world.

Affirmation: I choose the positive.

Coaching questions: What outside sources are feeding you? What have you done lately that shows your compassion to another? On what are you focusing?

Good Morning!

If you want to be reminded of the love of the Lord, just watch the sunrise.  Jeannette Walls, author of Half Broke Horses

Usually we have breakfast in the shade of our front porch after the sun has come up. Today I got up early so we were able to have breakfast on the back porch and watch the sun come up over Barfield Bay. What a glorious way to begin the day!

How we begin our day matters. If we sleep late and spend the rest of the day “catching up”, we only add to our anxiety and stress.

Starting the day with humor and a smile is also gratifying. So, in an effort to add more levity to my life (my new goal is to cultivate humor), here’s a quote from one of the funniest people I know, Tina Fey, from her book, Bossy Pants, “I was a little excited but mostly blorft. ‘Blorft’ is an adjective I just made up that means completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum. I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.” Tina Fey definitely needs to watch the sunrise while eating avocado toast.

Affirmation: I start my day with peace and, sometimes, humor.

Coaching questions: How do you start your day? Is it working for you? If not, what’s one thing you’re willing to change to make it better?