Our choices change us, to make life better we have to make better choices.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Remember, the choices we make today shape the people we become tomorrow. Victoria Osteen

Are we lifelong learners, or did we quit learning anything new long ago? What counts as learning something new? Does doing something we’ve never done before count more than increasing our knowledge in areas in which we are already competent?

Do we not change things we’d like to change because we think it will make others uncomfortable? Do we worry if we change it will affect our relationships negatively?

Have we ever found ourselves doing something we thought would make the other person happy, and they were doing the same, but both would prefer something different?

This happens with my husband and I, we will be watching TV and he’s not watching something he wants to watch because he’s trying to watch something he thinks I will enjoy, but I’m not watching to watch, just being there spending time together.

He has started cycling and I’ve borrowed my sister-in-law’s bike so I can try it without a big commitment. I watched something on YouTube with my husband telling us there is no need to spend more than $6,000.00 for a good bike.

$6000.00 for a reasonable bike, I was thinking of picking one up at Canadian Tire. Am I out of touch, or is the YouTuber speaking to such a specific group that I have no business watching him?

I was reading a book talking about how too much research and wanting to buy only the best of the best can lead to less satisfaction. The author divided people into two groups, the maximizes who want the best of the best and are rarely satisfied, because there is always something better to find, and the satisficers who are content with good enough.

There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you. John C. Maxwell

When we are only going to buy once it is easy to think we want the best we can get. I’m reminded of a speaker I heard who said she had a choice of two houses, one she liked because it was pretty, and one she was told would be the best investment. She went with the best investment, then house prices declined, and she always regretted that she didn’t at least get to live in the pretty house.

Life is about choices, and we make them every day about how to spend our time and money. We might look at our lives and think we can’t make changes we want to make, but who is stopping us from taking up a new hobby, learning a new skill, or making some other change we’d like to see in our lives?

We are our control board, the decisions we make will determine our lives. There is a good deal of luck in life, and we aren’t in control of whether the book we write is found by someone who will publish it and make us famous, but we are in control if we write it.

Decisions we make daily can make our lives better or worse. Do we make bad things worse, bad things better, good things worse, or good things, better? If we make things worse we might end up bitter and wonder how so much bad happened to us.

Do we have a choice to make, can we make the best choice with the information we have, and then move on to our next choice?

No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse. At the same time, it is often within your power to make them better. Randy Pausch

Take responsibility for your last bad decision, and then let it go. Don’t blame others or make excuses for yourself. Deepak Chopra

Exploring how you could make a hard situation worse can sometimes tell you what not to do. Harvey Mackay

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Don’t worry, be happy, but do your due diligence and pick a leader.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be. Unknown

“It’s okay, don’t worry.” Our two-year-old grandson says to us.” Does he know what he is saying? It is some of the best advice because what does worry do? If we have a problem we need to fix worrying about it doesn’t help.

If we don’t look after the things we need to look after worrying about what we didn’t do won’t help. If we take care of everything worrying won’t help. Often, I worry about things that aren’t in my control which is not an effective use of mental energy.

We worry about the weather, the economy, and how our cities and countries will be run, but when we have the hard task of deciding who will lead them do we get out and make the difference we can make?

If we manage our lives effectively does that mean we will worry less? Isn’t that what all the books are telling us to do? Take care of what you can today and don’t worry about tomorrow because if we look after today, tomorrow will look after itself.

Too often I spend my time thinking about what someone else should be doing or not doing instead of cleaning my doorstep. It’s time to vote for a new mayor in Mississauga, and I have no idea who to vote for. One candidate came to our door and spoke to me. He asked if he could put a sign on the lawn and I said yes.

Putting his sign on the lawn doesn’t mean he has my vote, it means he’s contacted me. But as the days get closer to the election I seem no closer to knowing who to vote for. Everyone seems to be in the same boat at an event on Saturday. We probably have a competent group running to be Mayor but which one will make the best Mayor?  It’s my job to cast my vote, and everyone else’s to cast theirs and whoever gets the job will guide us forward.

Choosing one’s leaders is an affirmation that the person making the choice has inherent worth. Linda Chavez

We are lucky, people want to take on the often thankless job of leadership. No leader will make all the people happy. We know in our own lives we don’t always make the best decisions, we don’t always act in the best way, but what we do is not scrutinized by everyone.

What if someone scrutinized every word we said, every action we take or have ever taken, and spun our words into saying things we didn’t mean? It takes courage to be a leader and leaders often pay a heavy price.

One of the mistakes we make is expecting more of others than we do of ourselves. We are all flawed humans, so our leaders are flawed as well, but they do the best they can, with the information they know to help the most amount of people. Will everyone be happy, of course not. What do we do with competing interests that are not compatible?

If we are lucky enough to have the chance to vote for our leaders we need to appreciate the privilege and responsibility we have, and we need to appreciate the sacrifices they’ve made to take on the mantle of responsibility.

Don’t worry, be happy, but do your duty and pick a leader, knowing they won’t be perfect, but chances are they will do their best, at great cost to themselves to lead a city, province, or country.

Leadership has a harder job to do than just choose sides. It must bring sides together. Jesse Jackson

The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability as opposed to resilience and hard work, we will be brittle in the face of adversity. Joshua Waitzkin

If there is dissatisfaction with the status quo, good. If there is ferment, so much the better. If there is restlessness, I am pleased. Then let there be ideas, and hard thought, and hard work. If man feels small, let man make himself bigger. Hubert H, Humphrey

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The challenges of life can make us better or bitter, is patience bitter, but its fruit is sweet?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Either your troubles make you better, or they make you bitter. We must always examine what’s going on in our hearts. T. D. Jakes

I’m looking at my garden and the squirrels are eating the beans. My neighbor’s beans look untouched from my vantage point. A duck has set up her nest in our backyard. We’d never seen a duck in our backyard until Saturday when she stood on the fence for a long time, yesterday the dog chased her, and then my husband noticed a nest. Our daughter is thinking how cute ducklings will be, and we are wondering how big of a headache is this going to be.

Nature in all its glory is around us and as we take over animal’s habitats they learn to live among us, to our delight and dread depending on the animal. Even in small gardens, we find surprises, a nest of bunnies, or a plant we bought that never bloomed, and when it does it is spectacular.

A red peony blooms in my garden. Years ago I bought peonies on sale and they didn’t do anything but stay alive. One that was struggling I moved and it is finally thriving and blooming huge red blooms. Our garden can disappoint us when we don’t get the expected blooms and delight us with the unexpected.

Our gardens teem with life and my grandson was excited to see earthworms. He loves the rabbits, birds, and squirrels. Watching him I think how much fun it was growing up on the farm, and how much he would have loved it. Is it my age or is it the personality he has that reminds me of a little farm boy with a shovel, rake or watering can in his hand?

He is quick to say, “I do it, I help you, and it’s your turn.”

We can worry about the things we cannot change, and listening to the news makes us wonder what kind of future a wonderful little boy or girl has. If we look back over the years there has always been something looming in the distance, some things materialized and some didn’t, but we have moved on as a society.

Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy. Aristotle

If we can continue to think life will be good for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren it is better than if we get disillusioned with the future. The future is coming and if we can face it with hope and optimism we will be better off than if we get disillusioned.

We don’t know what hard times we might face in our lives, we might not even know how hard they were until they are over and we look back and wonder how we managed. Our job is to deal with what is, keep life in perspective, and give our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren the strength to know they can deal with what comes.

Life is a garden our thoughts are the seeds, we can plant flowers or we can plant weeds. Just like weeds will choke out what we want in our garden, negative thoughts can choke out what is good in our lives. When does negative thinking meet realism and realism meet optimism, and how do we keep a balance? Where we make a mistake in my opinion is when we focus on what we have no control over, and we don’t take control of what we can. 

When I listened to Mom talk about the hard times, some people made the best of what there was, and some made things worse than they had to be. Can we make what we control better, or do we let the things we can’t control make us bitter? It’s our choice, and no one gets to control everything in their lives, but we can control our attitude, and that is what will make the difference in whether we become bitter or better. Is it anger without action that makes us bitter?

Events in life will make you bitter or better. That one letter difference is up to you. A. Dodd

Bitterness is a result of clinging to negative experiences. It serves you no good and closes the door to your future. Leon Brown

You either get bitter or you get better. You either take what’s been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you. Josh Shipp

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Luck and good management, sowing and reaping, and where preparation meets perspiration.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant. Robert Louis Stevenson

Where does luck play in our lives and what role does god management play? When we hear about the lives of the rich and the famous it does seem they were at the right place at the right time, and they were prepared to take advantage of the luck that came their way. What were they doing to make that lucky break possible?

My son showed me a short video last night of a mother and her daughter taking an ice bath, the daughter looks to be about three. If we are willing to take ice baths what else might we accomplish in life?

I love to hear stories of how author’s books were discovered. A book has to be found, opened, read, and thought to be worth the read to become a great book. But, no one can find the book if it hasn’t been written, and no one can take our great invention, discovery, or idea and turn it into something bigger if we didn’t do something with the small kernel of an idea when it came to us.

How often have we seen something and wish we’d thought of it, but how often have we seen something someone else is doing and we did think about it, but didn’t do anything with the idea?

How many thoughts have we had that if implemented would have elevated our lives? We can’t do anything about opportunities that came in the past we didn’t take advantage of, but what would our life look like if we took advantage of the opportunities as they come in our future?

What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action. Meister Eckhart

What if we fail? What if playing it safe is a big failure in life? What if living a life with audacious goals is living the good life? What if we regret what we don’t do more than what we do?

We might write a book that doesn’t sell, but we’ve still written a book. We might start a business that doesn’t become a big success, but we still started a business, and if we’ve started one we can start another, just like we can write another book. What if collecting failures is something we have to do on our way to success? We have to get in the game to win the game, and too often we sit on the sidelines waiting for someone to do something, but if anything is going to change, we have to be the ones to change it.

How often do we think about what we could have done differently in the past, but what if we start thinking about what we can change in the future? We have no power to change the past, but what if we have a lot more power than we think to build our future? We have however much time we have and it will pass whether we do anything with it or not.

This is the month to plant a garden, and those who don’t plant now won’t enjoy the benefits of the garden later. Life is all about sowing and reaping, but we can’t reap what we didn’t sow!

What seeds can we plant today to reap in the future? What seeds are we planting that we won’t reap, but our grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren will reap?

You cannot hold on to anything good. You must be continually giving – and getting. You cannot hold on to your seed. You must sow it – and reap anew. You cannot hold on to riches. You must use them and get other riches in return. Robert collier

Life is an echo. What you send out comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you. Zig Ziglar

If you don’t like the crop you are reaping, check the seed you are sowing. John C. Maxwell

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Mother’s Day without Mom, but she’ll always live in my heart.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

There is something about losing a mother that is permanent and inexpressible – a wound that will never quite heal. Susan Wiggs

Mother’s Day without our mother, for some of us happens early, and for some of us it happens late, but for most of us, there will be Mother’s Days without Mom. I feel for so many people who lose their mothers too young. If we are as lucky as I have been to have gotten from Mom all she had to give, for her to have gotten from life all there was to get, it is not the same as those cut down in life when there is still so much to experience.

There are conversations I would still like to have, and trips to see her I would still like to take, but here we are and it’s okay. But I say that as someone whose mother lived to ninety-nine. She got to meet all of her grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, and some great-great-grandchildren.

Even when we no longer have loved ones with us we have memories. We are blessed if we have fond memories of our mother and can reach out and touch her with a hug or a phone call. We are also blessed if while we could we made the best of the time we had with her.

We have to be careful we make the effort to stay in touch with family, it is easy to be involved in our own life especially if they are far away and not in contact as often as we should. There is no way to be a perfect mother, but there are as many ways to be good ones, as there are good mothers. We may wish we handled certain parts of motherhood better, just like we may wish we handled parts of life better, but if we did the best we knew how to do then what more can we ask of ourselves?

My mom is a never ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune. Graycie Harmon

If we have relationships that need repair and we are capable of repairing them we should attempt to heal the breach. Maybe we need to forgive ourselves for being the frail human we are, we made mistakes, we hurt someone, we misjudged, we wrongfully accused, or we expected more than they were capable of giving.

If we expect too much from people they will disappoint us, if we expect too much from ourselves we will fall short, but expecting more from ourselves and less from others instead of the other way around will lead to a happier life. We can keep trying to become who we want to become, but trying to get someone else to become who we want them to become will not end well. We need to accept people as they are, we can encourage them toward the great things we see they could do, but the life we see for them, and the life they want for themselves may not be the same thing.

The hardest part of being a mother may be giving up control of our children’s lives. When they are young we control everything, what they wear, what they learn, who is part of their life, and who isn’t. It doesn’t take long before they start making their own decisions, and part of our job is not to tell them what to do, but to let them grow and develop to take control of their own life and their own decisions. We will see them make mistakes, we’ve made our share, but if we believe we’ve learned more from our failures than our successes, so too will they.

We may wish families stayed together when we hear of a young family fractured, young children spending time with each parent separately instead of as a family. But, what if what is important is the love from each parent, not so much the love each parent has for each other? In an ideal world, everyone loves everyone and stays together forever, but we don’t live in an ideal world.

Expecting everything to be ideal is part of what disillusions us with life. Life is messy, relationships are messy, and when hard times come some pull together and some will pull apart. We might hope we are the ones that will pull together, we hope we can heal the breaches, we hope we can become stronger in the broken places, but we only control our side of the relationship, and if we are a mother watching our children living their lives, we have no control at all.

What we can offer as a mother is comfort, wisdom, understanding, and being there as much as possible without trying to take over. Our children grow up to take their place in the world, chart their course, and navigate the difficulties of life. We need to trust we’ve given them enough to become self-reliant, strong, and resilient people who can deal with what is theirs to deal with.

If we are lucky no matter what the distance was between us and our mother we had a close relationship, and even though one day she’s gone she still lives in our hearts. We are blessed if we have a good mother; it is our gift to our children and the world to be one.

Mom, you are the most beautiful memory I kept locked inside my heart. Narin Grewal

One day we will remember how lucky we were to have known their love, with wonder, not grief. Elizabeth Postle

Whenever I am missing you. I also remember how fortunate I was that you were in my life. I wouldn’t trade those moments for the world. Cindy Adkins

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Living life, making choices, and asking questions.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spring flowers, trees in bloom, and getting out into the garden, what a wonderful weekend. The plants at my local store look lovely, and it’s time to plan what to plant.

This year we are making a little garden for our grandson. Four tires are in the backyard waiting to be painted and then we’ll assemble three on the bottom and one on top. Once we fill it with soil we can take him to pick out what he wants to plant.

I can hear him now, “This one, this one, and this one.” He happily played in his sandbox while I gardened on Saturday, and he was having so much fun when his father asked if he wanted to go to the park he said “No.”

I think about how Mom and Dad managed the farm when we were little. But when I was taking the tires out of bags, I had my grandson sit on the step and each time we went back for another tire he’d sit on the step.

He’s a big helper; he wants to help with everything. He helps crack eggs for breakfast, peel the garlic, and put it in the garlic press, and his favorite is to spin the lettuce.

Mom always said, “If you don’t let them help when they are little they won’t want to help when they are big.” It is so much fun watching him develop, and enjoy the little things in life. I hope he remains exuberant and willing to do things all his life. Is there a better motto for life than, “I do it.”

We don’t see things the way they are. We see them the way we are. Talmud

Watching him I wonder where my, “I do it,” went. That whatever is out there I could learn, master, and go on to the next adventure. I think of things to do, then think of the effort and cost, and wonder if it is worth it. We censor ourselves which is good and bad, we need good judgment to live a good life, but we also need a sense of adventure, getting out of our comfort zone, and doing things we haven’t done.

It might be true that a library and a garden help us lead a contented life, but is there room in our lives for adventure? Are we trying new things, going to new places, eating new food, and meeting new people? Fitting everything into our life is a challenge. We can’t do everything, see, and experience everything, but could we do more? Is it time for many of us to decide what is important to do in the next few years?

Is there one thing we want to do in different areas of our life we haven’t done yet? The best time to do it might have been twenty years ago, but the next best time is now. Spring is a great time to think about who we want to be, what we want to do, and what is possible.

Is there an adventure in our future? Do we need to get out of our comfort zone? What do we still want to do we haven’t done?

Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live. Anne Sweeney

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. Albert Einstein

Sometimes the questions are complicated, and the answers are simple. Dr Seuss

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Directing our days is directing our lives. We are where we are because of the choices we’ve made.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

It is not enough to be busy… The question is: what are we busy about? Henry David Thoreau

Are we saying yes to life? As opportunities come along do we say yes or no to living an adventurous life? We might think adventure never knocks at our door, but is that true? Aren’t there always things we could be doing, learning, and experiencing?

One of the things I do is look at things I’d like to do and say, “That’s too expensive.” But at some point in our lives, it becomes do or don’t do, we’ve put off the things we want to do so long it is time to make it happen or know it will never happen.

Travel is one of the things we’ve wanted to do but haven’t done much of. But next year we are planning a trip to England. Many people are well-traveled but we’ve always used the excuse that it is hard to get away from a business – which it is, but every time we’ve taken time off it has worked out well.

Living a good life is up to us to interpret in our way, no two lives are the same, and we’ve made choices that have brought us to where we are. What would we like more of and what would we like less of in our lives? Would we like more fitness and health, that might mean less chips and ice cream, more walks, and less TV.

Do we want to go through life hand in hand with our partner, or do we have individual goals? Does one want one and the other partner wants the other? How do we make it work if we want to be out doing things in the world and our partner thinks we should be happy at home?

This weekend I said no to a walk with a friend, because my sister-in-law was coming over, or so I thought. But in the end, I did nothing on Sunday afternoon. I could have had a lovely afternoon walk, laughed, and stopped for tea.

It is easy to put off going for a walk, calling a friend, trips we want to take, exercising, and reading the books we say we want to read. The things we have to do, we do, but what about the things that feed our soul, expand our mind, and benefit our body? They often wait patiently, and if we aren’t careful they might never happen, because they aren’t urgent so we must fit them into our lives deliberately.

What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important. Dwight Eisenhower

How good are we at sorting out the important from the urgent? We get to decide what we do with our time, but if we don’t decide what to do with it others will decide for us, or the time will fly by with nothing accomplished.

Somehow we need to balance our lives between the urgent, and the important, our goals and dreams, and our partner’s goals and dreams. Today is the day we have, to plan and schedule the life we want, to make the most out of what is possible. It takes a plan and a schedule to get things done, and we should stop and smell the roses along the way.

Is there something we need to put into our schedule that we haven’t found the time to do?

A plan is what, a schedule is when. It takes both a plan and a schedule to get things done. Peter Turla

Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days. Zig Ziglar

Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week. Anonymous

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The rich life is about more than money.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Some people are so poor all they have is money. Bob Marley

Everywhere we turn we need more money. Is it true life is harder now for young people than it’s ever been? Comparisons are odious and comparing the hardships of one generation to the hardships of another generation, especially by someone of a generation with fewer hardships might be worse still.

We are who we are where we are and each generation has issues to deal with, but we have to be careful we don’t blow things up in our minds and scare ourselves into thinking the possibilities we do have, don’t exist. Do we suffer from unworthiness, thinking we don’t matter and that our lives are too small to be successful? What makes a successful life and how do we get one?

Robin Sharma in his new book “The Wealth Money Can’t Buy” will tell us how to live our richest life. I bought his book yesterday and am excited to read it and see his perspective on living the good life.

We say we aspire to the good life, but have we figured out what the good life is? There are eight aspects to wealth according to Robin Sharma, and money is one of them, growth and self-improvement, health and wellness, happy family, good work, fifth on his list is money, community – no one is an island, adventure and exploring, service – do unto others.

Stories help us to make sense of the world. We relate to stories, we are touched by stories, and a good storyteller gives us lessons in bite-sized pieces and spurs us on to implement what we read into our lives. The more we read the more wisdom seeps into our mind. Something we’ve read might pop into our mind at a time when we most need it, we might say something to someone that impacts their life, we might encourage someone who is discouraged, we might become an example of what is possible, we might try something different.

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free. Frederick Douglas

We will never be the best we can be, but we can make it our goal to try to be the best we can be knowing as long as we live there will always be something big or small that can be improved, and who would want it any other way? Life is what we make it, and we will never see all the opportunities open to us because we don’t know what we don’t know. Reading books can help us learn what we don’t know and becoming a lifelong learner is one of the best ways to grow.

When we go to the bookstore there is an array of books, some will speak to us while others don’t. We can pick up whatever book speaks to us and find hidden gems. The more we read the more we will know, and the more we know the more we can apply it to our lives to live our best life. It is up to us to make the best of the life we have, who is going to do it for us? Don’t we hate it when someone else tells us how we should improve? Don’t we want to look back over our lives and see growth, how our life became deeper, richer, and impacted others in a good way?

You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive. James Baldwin

When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young. Maya Angelou

Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift. Kate DiCamillo

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How high can we go if we work on being better today than yesterday?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If we are growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone. John C. Maxwell

Last night I listened to John Maxwell as I painted, he said he was told if he spent five years learning anything he could be a master at it, and he chose leadership. Halfway through his five years, he started seeing progress; people began seeing him as a leader. He changed his question from, “How long will it take, to how far can I go?” That question changed his life, how far can he go? How many more books can he write, and how many more people and organizations can he help?

What if we asked ourselves the same question? How far can we go, how much impact can we have, what difference can we make? Some of us may have a broad reach touching many lives, and some may have a deep reach where we impact fewer people but impact them mightily. We may have little impact outside of our family, but our impact may reverberate, and what seemed small and insignificant may have a wider impact than we think.

The family is the building block of our civilization and we are each part of a family. Do we lift others when we can, encourage them when needed, and help someone get back on course? Are we there in the good times and the bad, with them in glad times and sorrow, can they count on us for an encouraging word and a warm hug?

Success is a continuing thing, it is growth and development. It is achieving one thing and using that as a stepping stone to achieve something else. John C. Maxwell

At the Writers Group on Saturday one of our members wrote what he thought was the perfect book, and he gave it to his editor, who said, “I don’t think there is a market for this.” How great must it be for a writer to think they’ve written a perfect book? He’s written several books and didn’t get into what made that one perfect, but I’m assuming as he wrote each book he tried to make it better than the last until he thought, I don’t know how to improve on this one. It would be a great feeling to develop oneself to that point even if said book never becomes a commercial success.

We don’t know what something will become until we do it; we need to be willing to do something poorly if we ever can do it well. We will make mistakes, fail, and try again to make progress. This is the lesson we can teach our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. Play on at whatever we do, and start new adventures throughout our lives.

Mom didn’t start quilting until she was in her eighties. Grandma Moses was in her late seventies when arthritis made continuing with her embroidery difficult, it was suggested she start painting instead.  Her last painting “Rainbow” was completed when she was 101.

If there is something we want to do, or something isn’t working for us anymore and we have to find another creative outlet, why not figure out how to make it happen? We may think it will take ten years to become good at it, but what can we accomplish in those ten years?

What is possible for our lives? We won’t know unless we take the steps to make something happen.

Courage isn’t an absence of fear. It’s doing what you are afraid to do. It’s having the power to let go of the familiar and forge ahead into new territory. John C. Maxwell

The only one you should compare yourself to is you. Your mission is to become better today than you were yesterday. John C. Maxwell

The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one. John C. Maxwell

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Can we all make a difference, are we doing the best we can with the resources we have?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how our life’s story will develop. Dieter f. Uchtdorf

Yesterday we went to the baptism of our daughter-in-law’s sister’s baby. She was not impressed with the event but we were thrilled to meet this little person. Last Thursday our grandson turned two. It is wonderful to be surrounded by babies. I won’t amass the number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren my mother did but if I can create happy memories for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren and leave them with a belief that the future can be as good for them as it has been for us, that is my wish.

On our way home our trusty truck sprung a leak in a hose and steam was spewing everywhere. A young man came up to the truck to tell us we had a problem. Sometimes I have to pinch myself because even this problem happening on our way home from the event happened at a better time than it could have. It could have happened on our way to the event and ruined our day, or happened when we had our grandson in the truck.

As our son and daughter-in-law drove me home, and my husband went with the tow-truck driver my son said, “I am thankful every day for the life I have.” He told me he gave a lift to a homeless man on Saturday and heard his tale of woe, and from the sounds of it, when things could get worse, they got worse, and people our tax dollars pay to help, aren’t doing a very good job. Some of the people down on their luck and homeless would accept help, but it seems real help is not easy for them to get.

Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Unknown

I’m not in the trenches, I don’t deal with the homeless, but I’ve heard stories, maybe we are trying to help the ones that don’t want to be helped, while the ones we could help to get back on their feet we let slip through the cracks until they too are beyond the little bit of help that would have been needed to tip them back into a life that would give them pride of independence.

We say we give people help, but when we speak to the people who are supposed to be receiving that help, we find they have to fight against a system that appears to kick them when they are down, withhold payments they are entitled to until we take all dignity away from them, and then we wonder why they become bitter and defeated. Is there a communication problem between those helping and those needing the help?

This is a tale told to me by my son, of a homeless man asking him if he thought he could get a job in the industry my son is in. He would need some training but it is an industry looking for workers and skilled work with a future. If he gets a hand up will he take it? How many people we see are looking for a hand-up, not a handout? How could we use the money we spend on the homeless to make a real difference? Are we making a real difference now but not hearing the success stories?

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate. To have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. Helen Keller

Be someone’s strength. Be someone’s inspiration. Be someone’s reason to never give up. Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. Please come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you for reading my books, and a special thank you to those who leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. if you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.