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.

Handling stress during the holidays

Christmas is a wonderful season but it can also be a season of tremendous stress.  If you want to really enjoy the holidays, it is important that you take care of yourself and find ways to handle the added pressures that can take away any peace or joy.

  • Consider what Christmas is all about.  Why do we celebrate?  Is it just a holiday or is there something more important?
  • Don’t try to make everything perfect.  Nothing in this world is perfect so stop trying to do the impossible.  If something doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, just make the best of things and enjoy yourself anyway.  A burnt pie or a forgotten gift doesn’t have to ruin the day.
  • Don’t spend all your money on unwanted or frivolous gifts and end up in debt.  Make a budget and stick to it.  Those wonderful gifts don’t seem so wonderful when you are paying for them months later.  Spend your time instead investing in the people you love and create some great memories.
  • Take time for yourself and don’t neglect your health.  Eat healthy, exercise and sleep well.  Relax with a good book, take a bath, listen to music and meditate.  If you don’t exhaust yourself, you will be able to enjoy the holidays.
  • Have a good attitude and be forgiving to the people around you.  Try to resolve any differences and work on repairing strained relationships.  Be a positive role model and express thanks for all the great things you have.
  • Plan creative but simple meals.  Get family and friends to help instead of doing everything yourself.  Share the load so you aren’t overburdened.
  • Try to include someone who is lonely in a family experience.  There are many people who don’t have family or friends to share Christmas with.

Christmas can be the most wonderful time of year.  It can be a time of peace and joy.  It can be full of love and warmth.  It all depends on what you focus on.  Remember what Christmas is all about.  Jesus came into the world to bring us hope.  Hallelujah!!


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Do you have damaged emotions?

We have all been hurt at one time or another.  Being hurt is unavoidable and just a normal part of life.  The problem is, many of us have difficulty processing our hurts in a positive way and our emotions become badly damaged.  It is important that we address our hurts and deal with them so they can’t continue to cause pain in our lives.

Here are some steps we can take to heal any damaged emotions:

  1. Face your problems dead on.  If you try to avoid them, deny them or hide them, it won’t work.  Pushing the pain away may temporarily relieve the pain, but in the long run, the hurt will keep coming back.  Take an honest look at what happened and talk to someone you can trust.
  2. Take responsibility for what happened.  Be totally honest with yourself.  Did you play any part in what happened?  Most of the time, there can be blame placed on both sides.  How did you respond?  Did you show anger or did you try to understand the situation?
  3. Ask yourself if you really want your damaged emotions to heal.  Sometimes people use their problems to get attention and to make other people feel sorry for them.   They get stuck in a bad habit and become comfortable struggling with their problems.  This is really not a good way to live as it never allows any possibility of peace or happiness.
  4. In order to heal, you must be forgiving.  First you need to forgive the people who hurt you.  This does not mean that you are telling them it is okay for them to hurt you because it was certainly not okay at all, it means that you are giving up the hold they have on you.  As long as you have unforgiveness for a person, you are tied to them and they can continue to hurt you over and over again.   Tell the person you forgive them for hurting you and then forgive yourself and move on.
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How do you manage your emotions?

The way we manage our emotions affects the way we live.  If we allow our emotions to control us or just ignore them, they will create chaos in our lives.  However, if we learn how to control our emotions, we will have less stress and more peace in our lives.

Emotions are important.  They can tell us that something wonderful is happening and provide us with much pleasure and happiness or they can be a warning sign that something is wrong and needs to be addressed.  Think about the warning lights on the dashboard of a car.  When you see a red light flashing, what action do you take?  You can do one of three things:

  1. ignore it or even cover it up so you can’t see it flashing
  2. smash the light with a hammer and stop it from flashing
  3. take it to a mechanic and find out what the problem is

What would the first two actions accomplish?  Ignoring the problem or breaking the flashing light won’t make the problem go away and it won’t fix anything.  Your vehicle will eventually be damaged and stop running altogether.  The last action is the only way you will discover what the problem is and how to correct it.

If you handle your negative emotions by ignoring them or allowing them to explode, this will certainly not fix anything.  You will damage your relationships and your own health.  The best way to take care of your emotions is to deal with them and learn how to control them.  It isn’t always easy but if you pay attention to your emotions and consciously try to calm yourself, it can be done.  Here are some ideas:

  • try to avoid situations that cause your emotions to get out of control
  • never react immediately – practice taking a deep breath and count to 10 before having an out-of-control emotional reaction
  • try to focus on something positive
  • pray for guidance
  • leave the situation if you are struggling to maintain control and come back when you have calmed down
  • practice using positive self-talk and looking at things from a different perspective
  • vent your emotions in a positive way –  write them down on paper or talk to someone you can trust
  • examine your feelings and make positive changes in your life

It takes a lot of practice to manage your emotions but if you are consciously aware of your thoughts and work hard to stop yourself from reacting immediately, you will soon develop a habit of self-control.  How do you manage your emotions?


How to have a perfect Christmas

book and candlesIf you want to have the best possible Christmas this year, try the following:

  • spend lots of time with your family and friends (and not lots of money on worthless presents)
  • give thanks for what you have (and don’t be unhappy for things you don’t have)
  • show love and kindness to everyone you know (even those people you don’t particularly like)
  • forgive people who have hurt you (and forgive yourself for hurting others)
  • think the best of everyone (not the worst)

Most importantly, remember what Christmas is all about.  We are celebrating the birth of Jesus and praising God for His wonderful gift to the world.   May you all experience peace and joy in this Christmas celebration.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas!



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Use your energy to build confidence

Everything we do takes energy.  It takes energy to get up, get dressed, go to work/school, cook, eat, clean, take care of the family and the list could go on and on.   How we feel about ourselves also uses energy; emotional energy.  Feeling good about ourselves is positive energy and it will give us the confidence to move forward in life.  Feeling bad about ourselves and looking at life with a negative perspective takes an enormous amount of energy.  It literally sucks the energy right out of us and destroys our confidence.

Do you have positive energy or negative energy?  Answer these questions:

  • Do you complain a lot?
  • Are you critical about yourself and others?
  • Do you blow little things way out of proportion?
  • Do you look for the bad things instead of the good things?
  • Do you believe that you can’t change or control your life?
  • Do you blame others for what happens to you?
  • Do you feel like nothing ever goes right in your life?

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, you have negative energy. Your confidence and self-esteem could use a good boost.  This can be done by changing your perspective.

Instead of using your energy to dwell on your problems and feel bad about yourself, use your energy to work on building confidence and increasing your self-esteem.  It takes the same amount of energy to feel good or bad about yourself but the results are much different.  Feeling bad results in stress.  Feeling good results in peace.  Try to surround yourself with positive people, places and things and focus on what is good in your life, not what is bad.

Visit my website at for ideas on how to build confidence and increase your self-esteem.


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Who has hurt you?

blue sad faceEveryone in this world has been hurt in some way.   In fact, many of us could probably write a best-selling movie depicting all the pain we have been through.  It would describe how we were abused, rejected, disappointed, neglected, abandoned, ridiculed, deceived, betrayed or humiliated.   But how would the movie end?  Would it show us still struggling with our pain or enjoying our new-found happiness and peace?

In order to get over past hurts and no longer be negatively affected by them, we have to face the pain and work through it.  It is like being trapped in a room that is surrounded by fire and the only exit is on the other side of the fire.   The only way out is to find a way to get through the fire and get to safety.   This means that we get a little burnt and feel more pain, but real freedom is only found when we go through our pain.  You don’t have to dwell on past pain.  It is only a bad habit that can be broken with patience and commitment.

Unfortunately, many of us are not able to get over past hurts that easily and they often become a burden that many of us carry right through life.

  • Some of us try to forget what happened and hope that the pain will eventually go away.   This might work for a while, but the pain will keep surfacing from time to time and cause more suffering
  • Some of us try to pretend that it doesn’t matter anymore and that we are just fine.   This also might work for a while, but when the pain comes back it will remind us that we are not fine.
  • Others keep thinking about the pain and it continues to destroy us a little at a time.    Living in our pain every day is not a healthy way to live.

If you want to get rid of your pain, the first thing to do is to open your heart and express your feelings.  You have to be totally honest with yourself.    Find someone you can trust and talk to them.  If you don’t have a trusted family member or friend and you are struggling with some serious issues, make an appointment with your family doctor or pastor who can discuss some options with you.

The next thing you need to do is start focusing on the positives and developing a thankful attitude.  Think about all the good things in your life and be thankful for the small joys – sunshine, a smile, good friends.   Once you have created a new habit of being positive and enjoying your life, past pains will no longer have a hold on you.   Writing is also very therapeutic.   Get a journal and write down your thoughts and feelings.   Make a gratitude journal!

Work on building your confidence and esteem.  When you are secure and feel good about yourself, you won’t allow other people to hurt you.

Surround yourself with people who are caring and supportive.  Listen to them and believe it when they tell you what a wonderful person you are.  People who have been hurt will often feel worthless and think they have no value.  We may think we deserve their cruel actions or unkind words but we should never believe these lies because we are all valuable in our own way.  Many times when people hurt us, it is because they are hurting themselves in some way and are just acting out to release their own pain.

Most importantly, you need to let go of your pain.  Holding on to the past is no good for you.  It just keeps you stuck and struggling.   Forgive those who hurt you.  When  you forgive, you are not letting them off the hook or saying it was okay that they hurt you.  Forgiveness is releasing your own pain so you can heal.

You are the only one who can decide to let go of the pain.  Do you want peace or pain?  The choice is yours.

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Boost esteem with kindness

clip couple looking at cardWhen someone treats you with kindness, how do you feel?  Does it fill you with warmth and happiness?   How about when you treat someone else with kindness?  Does it produce the same results?  Kindness has benefits for both the receiver and the giver.

Research shows that acts of kindness can actually cause a “helpers high” due to a release of endorphins which are the body’s natural pain-killers.  After the rush of euphoria, there is a period of calmness and feeling of emotional well-being.  This can improve health issues, lower stress, increase energy and create a positive outlook on life.

Kindness is a good way to help boost esteem in others.  If we say kind words and do nice things, it will make people feel good about themselves.  It shows that we care about them and that they have value.  Here are some ideas:

  • Smile and say hello
  • Make a sincere compliment (Your hair looks lovely today/I like your outfit.)
  • Send them a handwritten card or letter
  • Give a meaningful touch (gentle hug, pat on the back, handshake)
  • Say something good about the person in front of others (John did such a good job helping me clean the garage today.)
  • Be encouraging and supportive
  • Help them with a task

Kindness can also boost esteem in yourself.  Always use positive words when talking to yourself (either out loud or in your mind).  Never criticize or tear yourself down.   Here are some ideas:

  • I’m not very fast but always do the best I can
  • Helping other people makes me feel good
  • I made a mistake, but I learned something new and I’ll do better next time
  • I may not be good playing sports, but I sure like watching them.
  • People make fun of my clothing but I like my own styles and I feel comfortable

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.  ~Author Unknown
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.  ~Mark Twain
Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.  ~Author Unknown
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” ~ Aesop
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.  ~Seneca


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Don’t Curse the Darkness

This is a beautiful and insightful post about dealing with grief. For most of us, grief is extremely difficult at first, but gradually we accept our loss and even thought it is still in our minds we can move on with life. For some people, grief is so overwhelming that it takes over their entire life and cripples them. It doesn’t matter how much support they have, they stay stuck in a dark place. Misifusa describes how this feels and how we have to just keep supporting each other until they see the light.

Misifusa's Blog

76604911_It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. 

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

I spoke to a dear friend yesterday.  She called to thank me for a small gift I had given to her.  Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure if she would accept it, but I gave it to her anyway.  You see, you can really never be quite sure if someone is ready to take that next small baby step and no matter how tenderly I may feel I am being with my friend, it could have done more harm than good and in turn, gone terribly wrong.

It happened to me once.  A dear friend spoke heartfelt words to me and I wasn’t ready to hear them.  Instead, I was terribly hurt and distraught by what she said.  I retreated and so did she.  We spent months skirting the issue ~ wasted time in which we could…

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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 Desiderata of Happiness


This well-known poem was written by American writer Max Ehrmann in 1927.  It gives some great advice.  Enjoy!

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

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