imconfident

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.

My favourite quotes about God

Jesus and doveNo God, no peace.  Know God, know peace.  ~Author Unknown

Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.  ~Garth Brooks   God enters by a private door into each individual.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Any fool can count the seeds in an apple.  Only God can count all the apples in one seed.  ~Robert H. Schuller

Every evening I turn my worries over to God.  He’s going to be up all night anyway.  ~Mary C. Crowley  

God understands our prayers even when we can’t find the words to say them.  ~Author Unknown

What we are is God’s gift to us.  What we become is our gift to God.  ~Eleanor Powell

You can tell the size of your God by looking at the size of your worry list.  The longer your list, the smaller your God.  ~Author Unknown

God:  The most popular scapegoat for our sins.  ~Mark Twain

People see God every day, they just don’t recognize him.  ~Pearl Bailey

Let God’s promises shine on your problems.  ~Corrie Ten Boom

God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.  ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle.  I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.  ~Mother Teresa

Are you wrinkled with burden?  Come to God for a faith lift.  ~Author Unknown

Peace on the outside comes from knowing God on the inside.  ~Author Unknown

I would rather walk with God in the dark than go alone in the light.  ~Mary Gardiner Brainard

Exercise daily.  Walk with the Lord!  ~Author Unknown

 

 

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the day a scale gave me more than a number.

This is a very well written post about beauty from Erin at There’s a Spirit. Woman all need to be reminded that we are all unique and wonderful just the way we are.

There's a Spirit

Today, I ran across a scale that I found to be pretty incredible. Underneath the top where it would read your weight, it said the words “you are beautiful” in purple script.

Okay, so I’m a total sap. I accept that. But it turns out that I’m the kind of sap that just about sheds a few tears in HEB. Because, honestly, this really stuck me. I think that as women we really need things like this in our lives. Because, if you’re anything like me, you probably forget.

I forget that weight is just a number.

I forget that it’s a number only I can see.

I forget that that pound or two fluctuation that I see in my weight isn’t evident to the human eye.

I forget not to let petty things like a number weigh in on my heart.

And I forget…

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Keep your kids out of trouble

reading newspaperI love reading and often I buy books at yard sales or second hand stores.  My lending library is continually growing and I often lend out books to my friends and coaching clients.

A few days ago I was reading a book on parenting and there was an article stuck in the back that was cut out of a newspaper from Sept 1999.  The article was from an advice column, “Ann Landers”, which I used to read when I was younger.

Many people, including myself, thought the column writer was named Ann Landers, however the column was created by another woman, who named it ‘Anne Landers’ to conceal her identity.  When the writer died in 1955, Esther Pauline Friedman took over the column as the new writer and the name was left the same.  Esther Pauline had an identical twin sister who was named Pauline Esther.  This must have been confusing!  Her sister also wrote an advice column under the name, ‘Dear Abby’.  Both columns were very popular and the sisters were always in competition with each other, causing problems with their relationship.

The article that I found is a bunch of comments made by young men who are telling parents what they need to do in order to keep their kids out of trouble.   Unfortunately many parents don’t use these principles in raising their children and this is why problems arise.  Parents need to be positive, loving role models who put proper boundaries in place.  Here is the column from Wednesday, September 29, 1999:

Dear Ann Landers: I found this column of yours in my desk drawer. It was dated April 1985. I can’t remember why I clipped it, but the message is one that needs to be repeated. People have a tendency to forget. I hope you will run it again soon. Thanks, Ann. — A.P. from Upstate New York

Dear A.P.: With pleasure. Here it is:

The Rev. C. Galea was assigned to the Guelph Correction Centre for his summer work. While there, he developed an excellent rapport with many young lawbreakers.  He asked the boys for clues as to WHY they had ended up in that institution. He then asked them to draw up a code for parents to follow, zeroing in on specific areas where THEY had failed. Here is what emerged:

1. Keep cool. Don’t fly off the handle. Keep the lid on when things go wrong. Kids need to see how much better things turn out when people keep their tempers under control.

2. Don’t get strung out from booze or too many pills. When we see our parents reaching for those crutches, we get the idea that it is perfectly OK to reach for a bottle or a pill when things get heavy. Children are careful observers and great imitators.

3. Bug us a little. Be strict. Show us who’s boss. We need to know we have some strong supports under us. When you cave in, we get scared.

4. Don’t blow your class. Stay on that pedestal. Don’t try to dress, dance or talk like your kids. You embarrass us, and you look ridiculous.

5. Light a candle. Show us the way. Tell us God is not dead or sleeping or on vacation. We need to believe in something bigger and stronger than ourselves.

6. Scare the hell out of us. If you catch us lying, stealing or being cruel, get tough. Let us know WHY what we did was wrong.  Impress on us the importance of not repeating such behavior. 

7. When we need punishment, dish it out. But let us know you still love us, even though we have let you down. It will make us think twice before we make that same move again.

8. Call our bluff. Make it clear you mean what you say. Don’t compromise. Don’t cave in. And don’t be intimidated by our threats to drop out of school or leave home. Stand up to us, and we’ll respect you. Kids don’t want everything they ask for.

9. Be honest. Tell us the truth no matter what. And be straight-arrow about everything. We can take it. Lukewarm answers make us uneasy. We can smell uncertainty a mile away. The bottom line is that we want you to tell it like it is.

10. Praise us when we deserve it. If you give us a few compliments once in a while, we will be able to accept criticism a lot easier.

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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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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!

http://youtu.be/zDQyvLtAaQM

 

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Where did the idea of Santa originate?

Our modern day Santa did not originate from a round and jovial figure with a long white beard, dressed in a red suit.  Instead this idea was influenced by a simple Christian bishop who loved God and loved people.  His name was Bishop Nicholas who later became a saint and was referred to as St. Nicholas.

The story began in Lycia, which is now a province of Turkey.  A merchant, who had 3 daughters, had lost his fortune and was unable to pay for their dowry, so they were unable to marry.  In those days, unmarried and penniless women were often forced into slavery or prostitution in order to survive.  (Just a side note – sadly, many women are in this same situation today).  The father prayed for a miracle and he got one.  Bishop Nicholas was a wealthy man and he found out about the merchant’s situation.

In the middle of the night, the bishop secretly brought a bag of gold to the merchant’s house and put it through a window, which allowed the oldest daughter to get married.  Later, another bag of gold appeared at the merchant’s house and the middle daughter got married.  The  merchant wanted to discover who was bringing the gold, so he watched every night until the third bag of gold was dropped through the window.  Then he followed the man and caught him going down the road.

The merchant recognized the bishop and wanted to thank him, but the bishop made him promise that he would not tell anyone until after his death.  He believed that good deeds should be done in secret and he didn’t want to receive any praise.  After he died, the world discovered how many people Bishop Nicholas had helped throughout his lifetime.  It is due to his generosity, that the tradition of giving gifts began.  In Europe, people began leaving nuts, fruit and sweets on windowsills, the hearth or even in shoes.  This custom gained popularity over the years and many changes have taken place.

The kindness and generosity that was displayed by Bishop Nicholas has been replaced by greed.  Doing an act of kindness for those in need has changed into seeing how much stuff we can acquire for ourselves.  Finding simple, inexpensive gifts is now a competition to see how much money we can spend and how many possessions we can accumulate.    The sweet, loving bishop has turned into a silly, laughing man in a red and white suit.

You can probably tell that I’m not a fan of Santa.   When my children were small, I did the Santa thing.  We went to the mall, took pictures and I always left presents under the tree from Santa.  Now I’m not so sure this is a good thing.  Imagination is good for a child, but what are we teaching them?  Do they even know what Christmas is all about?

Commercialism and consumerism has destroyed Christmas.  It is no longer fun.  I see people spending so much money on stuff they don’t need and they teach their kids to ask Santa for things like computers and TV’s.  Kids don’t need a lot of presents at Christmas.  They need our love and our attention.  We need to stop spending more money and start spending more time with them.

Christmas is a time for peace and joy but many people are stressed and unhappy.  Take time to stop and think about why we celebrate Christmas.  We received the best gift over 2000 years ago and it still brings hope and love into our hearts if we just take the time to remember.

 

 

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Thanksgiving in Canada and the US

thanksgiving medleyIn North America, Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated to give thanks for a bountiful harvest.  Canadians have already celebrated this wonderful occasion in October and this week the Americans will begin their celebration.

So what are the differences between a Canadian and an American Thanksgiving?   Actually, except for the dates, not very much.  I have joined forces with Kendra Thornton, a travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mother of 3 to compare the differences between my Canadian Thanksgiving and her American Thanksgiving.  You can follow Kendra at  https://twitter.com/KendraThornton.

Both Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with family gatherings, sharing a  huge meal, watching parades and football games and attending Black Friday shopping sprees.

When it comes to food, the popular choice is turkey, accompanied by mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, corn, fresh rolls and pumpkin pie.  It makes me hungry just thinking about all those yummy foods!  Of course, everyone  likes something different and there are many variations in choosing foods and how to prepare them.  I’ve been to homes where the choice was Thanksgiving ham, chicken or meatloaf.  It seems weird to me, but it depends on what people like and what their family traditions have been.             

When my youngest daughter prepares the meal, she goes to a lot of trouble to make something special every time, just as I did when my girls were growing up.  Sometimes she will have pumpkin soup, mixed veggies or tossed salad and cheesecake or pudding for desert.  I usually stick to the traditional dishes now as it doesn’t take a lot of thought and I like preparing easy meals so I have more time to visit.

My favourite part of Thanksgiving is getting together around the table to pray,  give thanks and share a family meal that has been prepared with loving hands and hearts.   After the meal, we usually sit and chat, then watch a good family movie together.  Nothing beats family time and sharing.  I’ve also had the pleasure of taking part in both a Canadian and an American Thanksgiving as both my husband and myself have sisters who are Americans.   My son-in-law also has an Aunt with whom we shared a second Thanksgiving two years ago when we were visiting her in Florida.
cornucopia
Now let’s hear from Kendra with her thoughts on Thanksgiving.  She has titled her post,  It’s a Thornton Thanksgiving from the U.S.!
Autumn is here once again with crisp days, chill nights and warm, cozy family evenings. Besides thinking about football, campfires and pumpkins, here at the Thornton house, the cooler fall weather gets me started making plans for the upcoming holidays. Because of its emphasis on gratitude and joy, Thanksgiving has to be one of my very favorite holidays. This year, the Thornton family will be having all our family come to our house in Chicago for Thanksgiving. I am so looking forward to this time of togetherness, memories and family fun!Kendra Thornton Picture

Pinterest has completely changed the way that I plan for Thanksgiving. I love having visuals to go along with recipes, and I love getting feedback from my friends on how well the recipes worked for them. Now that the kids are getting older, I like finding recipes for desserts and appetizers https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=thanksgiving%20appetizers&rs=ac&len=16  that they can help prepare. While they enjoy creating yummy new recipes, it seems that everyone disappears when it’s time to clean up the kitchen. That is why I am choosing recipes with few ingredients and easy instructions.

Although I love a traditional Thanksgiving with a turkey and all the trimmings, this year I have been hunting unusual new recipes to go with our stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. After all, while Thanksgiving is not really Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie and turkey, so there is no reason that you should not try some new flavors to keep things interesting. I found a fabulous article on Gogobot http://www.gogobot.com/blog/2013/11/01/five-decadent-thanksgiving-dinners/ that gave me some inspiration!

Pumpkin SoupI will be using these ideas as a launching point for some Thornton culinary creativity. I hope that everyone loves them, but even if these new recipes are not everyone’s absolute favorite foods, I think that having some new dishes on the table will spark some great conversations and liven up our holiday. The Orlando Waldorf Astoria will be serving up an elegant pumpkin soup to guests who are visiting on Thanksgiving Day. At the Thornton family Thanksgiving table, this velvety dish will include a little bit of lobster for an indulgent, pre-dinner treat. I can just imagine the faces of my family as they savor every drop of this amazing dish. I think that soup is the perfect way to warm everyone up on a snowy Chicago afternoon.

After figuring out the menu for Thanksgiving Day, I need to give some thought to which specific thing for which I am most thankful. Each year, one of the Thornton family traditions is to go around the table, allowing each member to share one thing that they are grateful for. The difficulty that I always have is narrowing down my choice because there are so many things that I am so very thankful for! If you are looking for a new family tradition, we won’t mind if you borrow this one. Remember, Thanksgiving is about more than turkey, football and food. It is about gratitude, family, love and sharing what we have with others who are less fortunate. I would love to hear what some of your traditions are – hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving already in Canada!Thanksgiving Table

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Remembrance Day

Inflandersfieldslestweforget01.JPGToday was Remembrance Day in all  Commonwealth countries, a day to remember all the members of the armed forces who died in the line of duty since the First World War.

There have been numerous wars and battles in countries around the world for centuries, and we should all take some time to remember the thousands upon thousands of men and women who have died trying to bring freedom.

We should also be praying for peace in the world.  Here is one that was written by William Temple   (1881-1944).

Prayer For Peace Among Nations
O Almighty Godthe Father of all humanity,
turn, we pray, the hearts of all peoples and their rulers,
that by the power of your Holy Spirit
peace may be established among the nations
on the foundation of justice, righteousness and truth;
through him who was lifted up on the cross
to draw all people to himself,  your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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