I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Make promises instead of resolutions

fireworksWhat is a New Year’s resolution?  The MacMillan dictionary states: “a decision that you make on the first day of the year about the things that you intend to do or stop doing during that year”.  Wow, that’s a mouthful!  So a resolution is a decision that you make about things you intend to do or not do.

What is the definition of a decision?  It is the process of making a choice after thinking carefully.  Now in my opinion a decision is something that is not really definite and it can change according to our daily choices.  So if we make a resolution, it isn’t really a firm commitment to doing or not doing anything.

I think I would rather make a promise to myself instead of a resolution.  A promise is, “something that you will definitely do or make happen”.  This sounds like I would be more likely to follow through.

Instead of making resolutions this year, try making some promises to yourself.  Promise to stop doing something that is harming you and promise to start doing something that will help you.  Here are some ideas:

  1. I promise I will stop making excuses and start taking action.
  2. I promise I will stop complaining and start appreciating.
  3. I promise I will stop judging other people and start accepting them as they are.
  4. I promise I will stop thinking about what I don’t have and start being thankful for what I do have.
  5. I promise I will stop comparing myself to others and start liking myself for who I really am.
  6. I promise I will stop blaming others and start taking responsibility for my own actions.
  7. I promise I will stop being afraid and work on becoming confident.
  8. I promise I will stop focusing on the past and start focusing on the present.
  9. I promise I will stop holding onto grudges and start forgiving people who have hurt me.
  10. I promise I will stop thinking negative thoughts and start thinking positive thoughts.
  11. I promise I will stop trying to control other people and start trying to control myself.
  12. I promise I will stop trying live up to other people’s expectations and start living up to my own expectations.
  13. I promise I will stop trying to impress other people and start trying to impress God.
  14. I promise I will stop trying to be perfect and start being the best imperfect person I can be.
  15. I promise I will stop being dependant on other people for my happiness and start being independent.
  16. I promise I will stop trying to live in my self-imposed box and start stepping out into the unknown.
  17. I promise I will stop looking at myself through the eyes of the world and start looking at myself as a unique individual.
  18.  I promise I will stop focusing on my weaknesses and start focusing on my strengths.

Can you add some of your own?  Give it a try and have a Happy New Year.  God bless!

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Counting down to the new year

fireworksOnly one more day left in 2013.  Are you ready for the New Year to begin?  Have you made any resolutions for 2014?

Almost half of American adults make one or more resolutions every year.  One of the most popular resolutions is to lose weight which is done through healthier eating or exercising.  Another popular resolution is stopping a bad habit such as smoking or drinking.   People also try to save money by budgeting and spending less.

The problem with resolutions is that most people get discouraged and give up by the end of March.  Everyone wants things to happen quickly but it takes time and commitment to stop a bad habit or correct a problem.  We gain weight over a period of months and years and then hope to lose it in a few weeks.  Not feasible.  We develop bad habits that are reinforced over a period of months and years and then hope to correct the problem in a few weeks.  Not possible.  We get ourselves into money problems over a period of months and years and hope to become financially secure in a few weeks.   Not realistic.

If we want to change something in our lives, we have to be patient and work hard every day at making positive changes.  We also have to correct the problem that is causing the problem or any changes will only be temporary.

If you are trying to lose weight, ask yourself why.  Is it because of low esteem?  Are you really overweight or are you judging yourself through the eyes of the world?  Maybe weight isn’t the problem and what you need is to build your esteem so you can feel good about who you are and accept your flaws and imperfections.

If you are trying to stop a habit, ask yourself what caused the habit.  Are you depressed, trying to run away from something, trying to mask a painful situation?  Breaking habits is almost impossible to do by yourself.  You need support from others.  Join a group of people who are struggling with the same issue or a faith-based study group so you can deal with the underlying issue.

If you are trying to save money, what is the reason.  If you aren’t in financial distress and just trying to save for a home, car or other investment, then that’s a great idea.  But if you are trying to save because you have maxed out all your credit cards, used up any savings and are getting deeply into debt, then you need to ask yourself what got you into this situation.  Do you have an out-of-control spending problem?  Do you have a family member who is running you into debt? If you have more bills at the end of the month than you have money, you seriously need to contact a financial planner or credit counsellor so you can figure out how to deal with the issue.  Counselling can also help when there is an addiction to spending.

There are many different resolutions that we can make but there is no point making any if we aren’t going to keep them.  Instead of making a resolution, make yourself a promise.  Promises are harder to break than resolutions, especially if you write them down and keep track of them on a daily basis.

Get yourself a journal, day book or calendar and write down your promise or promises every day for one month, then cross it off each day as you keep your promise.  Research shows it takes about 21-30 consecutive days to create a new habit, so this will get you started.  If you are trying to break a bad habit, it will take a lot longer so keep going month by month until you feel like you have your promise under control.

This won’t be easy, but if you really want to do something, set your mind to it, and NEVER give up, you CAN DO IT!    Believe and have faith!


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Our problems are not really problems

BOY THINKINGIs there anyone in the world who doesn’t have problems?  Of course not.  Problems happen to everyone, good or bad.  They are an inevitable part of life and we can’t do anything to stop problems from happening.

However, the problem is not usually the issue.  It is how we handle the problem that is the issue.  If we have a positive attitude, we can deal with almost any situation and make necessary changes so our lives will be better.  If we have a negative attitude, we won’t be able to deal with the situation and we will likely just complain and be miserable which won’t help us at all.

Problems are wake up calls, telling us that there is something that needs changing in our life.  When we have a problem, we also have a choice as to what we will do.   This is where our attitude comes in.   Will we deal with the situation with a positive or negative attitude?

Eldridge Cleaver once quoted, “You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem”.  Problems will never disappear from your life so why not deal with them in an effective way by having a positive attitude and be part of the solution!

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How did you celebrate Christmas?

Girl Decorating Christmas TreeChristmas is over and its time to slow down and relax.  All the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season should be behind us.  We work ourselves into a frenzy trying to buy presents, make meals and entertain guests.   Weeks of stress and pressure are funnelled into a couple of days and then what happens?   Often we feel let down and empty.  Why?  Because we are not celebrating Christmas the way it was meant to be.

If we don’t have the Christmas spirit in our hearts all year long, we can’t really appreciate what the season means.  Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace and joy when Christians everywhere celebrate the birth of Jesus.  We shouldn’t rush around like crazy spending money and wasting time on things that won’t last.  We should be spending time with our families and friends, sharing our love and creating great memories that will last.

How did you celebrate Christmas?

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happy birthday, jesus.

This is so inspirational that I wanted to share. Happy birthday Jesus. There are so many reasons to love You.

There's a Spirit

Dear Jesus,

I wanted to make sure I took a little bit of time to tell you happy birthday. There’s something I like to do for my friends and family on their birthdays. I like to list reasons that I love them. Sometimes I list 50 and other times I list 100. But for you I want to list 25. Because tomorrow is the 25th of December. So here goes,

25 Reasons I love Jesus Christ:

  1. Because of Jesus, I know that I am never isolated from the people I love- not even in death. Even in the times I feel alone, he reminds me that I live in constant communion with those individuals in both heaven and on earth. He calls me to live in community with others, and welcomes me into his family that I might answer this call.
  2. Jesus saved me when I was lost. Even…

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Happy birthday baby Jesus!

December 2013 - Nativity - Wallpaper

Today Christians all over the world celebrate the birthday of Jesus.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.  Here is a link to a version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah sung by the Canadian Tenors who appeared on the Oprah show back in 2010.  They got a surprise they weren’t expecting.  Beautiful song!  Enjoy!


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What do you expect from your children?

scratching headWe all try to live up to someone’s expectations and we all put expectations on other people.   Whose expectations are you trying to live up to?

  • your husband
  • your wife
  • your parents
  • your children
  • a teacher
  • a boss
  • a friend
  • the world

Expectations can be positive or negative depending on the effect they have on a person.  Positive expectations can encourage people to move ahead and reach their goals.  Negative expectations can discourage people and stop them from reaching their goals.

Parents will often put the expectation on their children to follow a certain pathway, such as being a doctor, teacher, singer, etc.  This can be a good thing if the child has an interest in that field and they are being encouraged to do well.  However, if this is the parent’s dream and they push their child, who has no interest and doesn’t do very well, the child may feel like a failure.

People can also live up or live down to an expectation.  If a child is continually told they always do well, that they are a winner and nobody is as good as they are, they will live up to that expectation but will eventually fail because they can’t keep being a winner.  If a child is continually told that they can’t do something, they are a slow learner or they are worthless, they will live down to those poor expectations and probably not try to succeed in life.

Spouses often have unrealistic expectations of each other.  They think the other person understands how they feel and what they are supposed to do.   Then when they don’t fill each other’s expectations, they are disappointed and this leads to marriage breakdowns.  Friends are the same.  Their unrealistic expectations lead to relationship issues.  Everyone is different, but we expect people to think and act like we do.  We need to listen to each other and learn how to accept our differences without judgement and conflict.  Good communication is the key to understanding each other.

We need to put realistic and fair expectations on a person by:

  • acknowledging their unique abilities
  • not expecting them to do the impossible
  • helping them accept their mistakes
  • showing them how to learn from their failures
  • encouraging them to try harder
  • never comparing them to others

What do you expect from your children?  What do you expect from other people?  Is it realistic and fair?




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Throw out your negative thoughts

sadNegative thinking is the cause of most of our problems.  When we look at life with a negative perspective and dwell on our problems we will struggle.   Our negative thoughts will turn into negative words and actions and this will bring negative results.

When negative thoughts come into our head, we have to consciously throw them out and replace them with positive thoughts.  Not possible?  Of course it is.  With effort and patience, you can change your thinking.  There are numerous documented cases of people and I personally know people who have done this, including myself.holding stop sign

How can you throw out your negative thoughts?  First you need to consciously be aware of what you are thinking, then stop yourself and replace the thought with something positive.

If a fly flew in your face, what would you do?  You wouldn’t just let it sit there, you would shoo it away.  If a car drove by you in a rainstorm and splashed mud on your pants, what would you do?  You wouldn’t just let it stay there and look dirty, you would wipe it off.  If you tried on an outfit in a clothing store and it didn’t fit, what would you do?  You wouldn’t just leave it on and buy it, you would take it off and try on something else.

So why would you allow negative thoughts to remain in your mind?   You need to take action and get rid of them.  You can’t have a positive life with a negative mind, so work at throwing out those negative thoughts.

Take care and start doing some positive thinking.  It really changes your life and you can actually be happy most of the time!  Happy thinking!smiling hugging tree

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Who are you waiting to see?

Where's the Line to See Jesus?During the Christmas season, the malls are full of shoppers rushing here and there trying to get all their presents bought.  At almost every mall, big box store and even on some street corners you can see Santa in his big chair waiting for children to sit on his lap and share their list of wants with him.   Having an imagination is a good thing for children as it helps them develop ideas but how many children do not even know why we celebrate Christmas?

When I was a child, I learned about different religions and how they celebrate different holidays and special occasions.  I was taught to respect the beliefs of other people and always thought they would respect my beliefs.  I knew there was a Santa Claus and as I got older I realized that he was just imaginary and that many people dressed up to play his role.  I also knew that Christians celebrated Christmas to acknowledge the birth of Jesus and this was not imaginary.   It seems that over the years, many people have lost the real meaning of Christmas and there is more importance placed on Santa and receiving gifts.  Children are encouraged to ask Santa for expensive toys and lots of them which just encourages greed.  Then the parents go out and spend lots of money on presents thinking this will make their children happy but this only creates false happiness.  Children soon tire of their presents and then want more.  It would be far more beneficial to spend more time with their children and less money on presents.

At Christmas time, are your children waiting for Santa so they can have more presents?  Or are they waiting for Jesus and celebrating his birthday?

A singer and songwriter, Becky Kelley sings a beautiful song that was inspired by her four-year old nephew who knew that Christmas was the celebration of Jesus’ birth.   While he was watching the line of kids waiting to see Santa Claus and he asked his mom where the line was to see Jesus.   Becky’s dad wrote the words, Becky sang the song, they did a video and before long they song became reality.   Here is the link to the video:

If you want to read the entire story about the song, click here:






Who are the happiest people in the world?

group clappingThe happiest people in the world are the most active.  This doesn’t mean people who try to jam 18 hours of work or activity into 12 hours.   I’m not talking about workaholics or multi-taskers because they are often overstressed or burnt out.  The people I’m talking about are those who:

  • live life to the fullest
  • always do their best at work and play
  • enjoy leisure time
  • spend time with their family and friends
  • take daily quiet time to reflect and meditate
  • take care of their health by eating properly and exercising
  • help others with their time, talents and treasure
  • keep learning and growing
  • maintain a positive attitude
  • have faith

People who spend their days focused on their problems, thinking negative thoughts, feeling sorry for themselves and not taking care of their health will not find happiness in their lives.   I know because I lived that life and it doesn’t work.  Don’t allow any negative thoughts to stay in your mind.  Do whatever it takes to chase them out.  Turn on some lively music.  Sing out loud.  Get up and dance.  Expand your mind by reading some inspirational books and listening to motivational materials.

The best advice I can give to anyone who struggles in their daily lives is to keep your mind and body active.   It works great and you will be happier.

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