Category Archives: Giving

Week 24 – Are you valuing your gifts?

flower crown

Often in life we think that we must give something of financial value for it to truly have a value.

My daughter spent her birthday at the park with her friends.

Many kids her age expect a rented room, limo, catered meal, fancy cake, party planner, fancy decorations…

We used a picnic table at the local park. (We had to get there early to make sure we got one.)

I picked up those who needed a ride in my 2006 Jeep.

A few days earlier, we went shopping and bought all her favorites and a few healthy options.

We went to the Dollar Tree, Goodwill, and Value Village to buy everything needed for the table.

She wanted to make her famous brownies.

We stayed up till midnight making flower crowns for each person in their favorite color. (We both have the blisters from the hot glue.)

She invited her close friends.

They all seemed to have a great time.

The food was simple and went quickly.  She had rolls, meat, cheese, fruit, vegetables, chips, dip, cookies, candy, and brownies.  Grab and go foods.  I bought them 2 liter soda bottle, but they went for the water bottles instead.  This shocked me.

She had some small beach balls that they threw at each other, mini golf, bubbles, and Frisbees.

My hidden talent is making balloon animals (puppies mostly).  I wasn’t sure if they were too old, but I spent a few hours doing them.  Most of them went to the little kids that were visiting the park.  The giraffes were the big hit.

My point is this:  You have gifts inside you that do not cost money.  They are more valuable than anything that can be bought.  Share them with others.  You may be surprised at how much value you possess.


Week 19 You Miss 100% Of The Shots You Do NOT Take!

wayne gretzky

By going through life censoring what we think and do, we miss many opportunities.

Have you ever not tried to do something because you knew you would never succeed?

I have!  I now realize that if I challenge myself, I often achieve the unachievable.

Why do we limit our self?  Often, others around us have helped us create our life box.  We know where the sides are, and we have learned to stop when we get there.  We are given expectations, and we meet them and stop.  We have quit pushing the boundaries, and we live up to but not beyond our expectations.

As a substitute teacher, I spend a lot of time with our youth.  I have observed many students who have given up.  This week, one student was obviously not working on his computer class work.  When I asked him about it, he said “I never do anything.”  I replied “I would like you to do something today.”  He said, “I just don’t do it.”  I replied, “I have faith in you, and I would like you to do something while I am here.”  About 15 minutes later, he announced he had completed some work.  I gave him my praise, and he was off in a game again.   I have to remind myself small steps.  He did more than he usually did.  Why did he do some work?  Why did he not do the work always?  He could do it.  He just chooses not to.  What expectations were given to him and why were they so low?  Who set them?  Why was he not taking the shots?

Why do some people shoot for the moon and others are happy with just being?

I want you to start thinking outside the box.  Take the Shot!  Succeeding doesn’t matter.  You are a winner by trying!

trying jesse helms

Week 17 A – Are you a gift?

gift to god 2

Often we go through life not taking the time to really look in the mirror at who we truly are to ourselves and others.

Years ago, I purchased a needle point that someone had donated to Goodwill.  It caught my attention because the maker spent hours making it, and it was now being sold for $2.99. It said “What we are is God’s gift to us – What we become is our gift to God.”

As this person created this needle point, they spent hours, days, or months. I can imagine that they spent this time thinking about this saying.  Did they make it for them self or someone else?  Why was it now at Goodwill? We are a gift to ourselves and others.  When we make a difference in others’ lives, we are that gift.

You have everything that you need to make a difference.  Often we think if I only had more money than I could …  We work many hours and sometimes dismiss those whom we love the most.  The idea that we live doing things to make our loved one’s lives better by sacrificing our time is a lie that we tell ourselves.

Think back to the best time in your life as a child.  Was it something that you received or did? I have realized that I can spend money on my kids or I can spend quality time with them.  Simple things like watching a show with them or taking a walk are free.

I now am treating my life as a gift.  I am a gift to myself and others.  When I look in the mirror, I like what I see.  I am still changing and recognizing my weaknesses, but I also see my accomplishments and gifts.

Take a look in the mirror and start to love that wonderful person that is looking back at you.

dog in mirror2


quote change

In the past weeks, my blog would have been up for days.  This week, I have found it difficult to choose what to write about.  So here it goes.

I spent most of the week suffering from vertigo.  It has been years since I have had issues with it so this was not a pleasant experience; and yet, it gave me so much time to think.

Has my life changed over the past 17 weeks?  How have I changed?  Has this experience changed my family?

My life has changed so much.  I now recognize when I fall back into my old ways.  I have learned that this is called my old blueprint.  My old blueprint consisted of self doubt, procrastination, and bad decisions.  My new blueprint is “Do it now;” “I am nature’s greatest miracle;”and “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy.”

As I go through life, I look at things differently.  I take my time to smell the roses.  I appreciate the small things that in the past I ignored.  I forgive those who do not appreciate my slower pace and often honk their horn at me.  I mentor those who live within a negative lifestyle.  I appreciate all that I have accomplished and do not dwell on what I could have done better.  I realize that making mistakes allows me to learn.  I no longer try to be the perfect mother, wife, sister, and daughter.  I also no longer expect perfection of others.  I appreciate their differences and imperfections.

I look at my family differently.  I see the changes that they are making as well as things that get done without my asking.  The appreciation for what I do that had been missing is now evident.  As I appreciate them, they appreciate me.

WOW!  Give more-Get more.  This is another concept that has been taught in MKMMA.

I am the one controlling my life.  I choose what I do, who I spend time with, and where I want my life to go.  No more excuses.  I deserve all that I dream for myself.

Take a good look at your life and where you are going.  Do you need a change?

Week 16  What is Kindness?

kindness picture  kindness

KINDNESS –  (noun)

  1. The state of quality of being kind
  2. A kind act; favor
  3. Kind behavior
  4. Friendly feeling

I found myself telling the students to be nice.  During a discussion that they were having, someone said something negative about another student not in the room.  It was a comment that I was guessing meant that the young lady was overly friendly.

When I was young, my mom told us not to say anything if you can’t say something nice.  I truly believe that this is a lost art.  Where has the kindness gone?

This week in MKMMA, we were asked to watch for and record acts of kindness.  It has been interesting to see just how kind people are as they go about their lives.

Here are a few examples that have been shared in my class and by my family and friends.

  1. A woman fell on the sidewalk and a lady in a van backed up to make sure she was ok.
  2. A man put all the shopping carts that were in the parking lot in the cart stall.
  3. A youth held the door open for others to go through.
  4. A mother took the neighborhood kids to school so they would not be soaked by the rain while walking to school.
  5. A friend quietly listened while their friend told them about their troubles.
  6. Someone gave a hug to someone that was down.
  7. A customer took business cards to hand out to others.
  8. One student helped another student when they were lost on their homework.
  9. The audience clapped and cheered for the performers.
  10. One student vociferously moved a large group of students out of the way so the custodian could clean the floor after lunch.

As you read my thoughts, I hope that they inspire you to look for the kindness in others and yourself.

Make an effort to perform acts of kindness.  Need some help?  Smiles, hugs, and complements are a great start.

Consider doing anonymous acts of kindness.  My kids shovel snow for the neighbors after the snow plow comes through to make sure that they can get out of their driveway in case of an emergency.

Tell me what acts of kindness you see or do in the comment section.


Week 14 – What? Where? Why? When? How?


What is your story?

Where are you going?

Why are you staying on the same path?

When should you stray from what you are doing?

How can you make a difference in your life?

Could you answer the questions?  14 weeks ago, I would have said “NO.”   Today, I can say yes.

Today, I was shopping with my daughter.  We really were not in a big hurry, but I did need to make it home for my class.  We were in the frozen food isle when an elderly lady came up on an electric cart.  She was just staring at the case in front of me.  She started to struggle to get out of the cart. {Decision time} [Ignore her and be on my way or help.]  I asked her if I could reach something for her.  She said she wasn’t sure what type of pizza she wanted, but she liked the thin crust.  I proceeded to pull out all of the thin crust pizzas available.  She chose and asked for two more pepperoni pizzas.  They were on the top shelf, and she would have never gotten them down on her own.  We left with a Happy New Year to each other.  I did not get her name and probably will never see her again.

My story – I was hurrying to get my shopping done.  I was getting my last items and off to the registers.  I could ignore everyone around me and continue on my way.  I chose to stray from my path and help someone else.  I chose to give without expecting anything in return.  I had a warm feeling because I helped someone.  I also set a good example for my daughter.  I saved the lady from a struggle.  In about 3 minute’s time, I made a difference.

What is your story?

Every day we live our life sometimes on auto, and we have tunnel vision.  Think about what you want in life.

Where are you going?

People live each minute reacting to what comes across their path.  Choices are made based on what is expected of them.

Why are you staying on the same path?

Often we live each day just like the movie “Groundhogs Day.” We do the same thing each day.

When should you stray from what you are doing?

Today is a new day!  Stray today!

How can you make a difference in your life?

Take a good look at yourself in the mirror.  Are you the best you?  Make a difference in others’ lives, and it will make a difference in your life.

My gift for you today is to ask you to take the time to look at yourself and where you are headed in life.

Bless you on your journey!


Week 13 – How do you describe yourself? I CHANGE LIVES!

butterfly                          eye purple

During the last two weeks in my MKMMA class, we were asked to write down on 3X5 cards descriptive words about ourselves.  What do we do?  I thought that this would be easy.  I WAS WRONG!

During week 12, we were asked to complete 30 cards.  We placed them in two plies and looked at them throughout the day.

During week 13, we were asked to complete 30 more cards.  No duplicates allowed.

I had no problem with about 40 cards, and then I started to find it difficult to think of things to write.  (Loving mom, devoted daughter, cancer survivor, caring friend, blogger…)

I asked my son for help.  One card that he suggested was “miracle worker.”  I thought he was joking with me.  He went on to explain. When I face a challenge, I find a solution.

WOW!  This was an eye opener to me.

I often go through life putting out fires.  I never realized that my children were watching what I do that closely.

They say the best way to a moral decision is to “Do and say things that you could do or say in front of your grandmother/mother.”  I had no idea that my moral compass was my children.

I try to live my life as a “life changer.”  I have said, “I change lives”!

This week, ask yourself a few questions and share your responses with me.

Are you living this way?

Are you a good role model?

How do others describe you?

How would you describe me?