Happy New Year with all the promise it brings. Have you found your passion in life? Do you trust the magic of beginnings?

Have you found your passion in life? Do you trust the magic of new beginnings? Happy New Year with all the promise it brings.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The best time for new beginnings, is now. Unknown

Yesterday my husband and I were watching an uplifting TV show. One woman built a cupcake business with the last five dollars she had, and the order for cupcakes from her neighbor across the street.

A woman lost 200 lbs in eighteen months and became fit and active after living her entire life overweight.

A man at seventy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and started painting fourteen years ago. He wanted to be an artist but his dean told him anybody could spit on a canvas and call it modern art. He calls himself The Parkinson Painter and his work sells upwards of $20,000. He’s also written a book, “Spit on A Canvas: The Journey of a Parkinson’s Painter,” by Norman Greenstein. He got a new lease on life when he took up painting. He could have thought what can I do, I have Parkinson’s. Instead, he says, “I only have Parkinson’s.” His message is simple: don’t give up – do what you can, and then do more.

There are inspiring stories everywhere of people taking their life in their hands and doing what they can. There are so many heartbreaking stories out there but aren’t we all inspired when people turn heartbreak into something good. They turn their scars into stars, what could keep them down they find a way to use to boost themselves up.

He didn’t start painting thinking he could sell his paintings for $20,000.00 he might not have thought any would ever sell. The woman with the cupcakes didn’t know the order from her neighbor was the beginning of an empire. The woman who lost 200 pounds didn’t know where her journey would take her and is looking forward to what the future brings.

The beginning of a New Year is a great time to start something new and set some goals. Often big accomplishments don’t start with a big goal; they start with a small decision and making a change in a new direction. Small steps lead to big things. We don’t need to know if picking up a paintbrush, lacing up our runners, or singing in a choir will take us somewhere. If we have something we have longed to do, something calling our name, some adventure we want to take, we can start where we are, take small steps, and see where it leads.

And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings. Meister Eckhart

When we see someone trying something maybe we can place one of the first orders that boost them toward success. It isn’t about selling a painting for $20,000.00 although that is nice, it’s about painting and finding the joy in life. We are now hearing about Norman Greenstein and his success but he’s been painting for fourteen years. The cupcake business has been going for thirteen years. Where can we be if we put ten, fifteen, or twenty years into something?

And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been. Rainer Maria Rilke

Change can be scary, but you know what’s scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing. Mandy Hale

Man is never alone. Acknowledged or unacknowledged, that which dreams through him is always there to support him from within. Laurens van des Post

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back again and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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

Thank you to everyone that reads my books. 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 from the Amazon affiliate program.

New beginnings have magic in them. Happy New Year with all the hope and promise it brings.

Happy New Year with all the hope and promise it brings. New beginnings have magic in them.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all. Josiyah Martin

For those of us that celebrate Christmas, it is over for another season, but the reason for Christmas is with us always. The reason for Christmas may not be the same for each of us, but it gives each of us something. Is it a lift in the midst of dark and dreary, hope for mankind, a time to meet, mingle, and connect with loved ones? Whatever it is we get from Christmas it happens because someone makes it happen.

Most gifts don’t magically appear under the tree although we are told some do. The biggest gifts are the gifts of the spirit, we are a little warmer at Christmas. We go out of our way for others and feel good about it. We are more generous, kind, and forgiving. Christmas brings out the best in us.

How does it feel for those who don’t celebrate? Do they get caught up in the hustle and bustle that takes over our lives and shopping malls? Do they get caught up in the gaiety and excess of Christmas? Even if we don’t all believe in Christmas a New Year is coming for all of us. We may not all recognize January 1st as the beginning of a new year but it is the calendar most of us follow. Aren’t we looking forward to a new year with all the hope and promise it brings? Who will we help on their journey this year, who will help us?

A candle loses nothing of its light by lighting another candle. James Keller

A new year is a time to set goals, plot our course, and set our sails towards the future we hope to achieve. Do we have big dreams for this New Year or small victories we hope to achieve? Are we willing to speak our goals or keep them quiet? Sometimes we keep our goals to ourselves because we aren’t sure how to articulate them, are afraid of failure, or aren’t fully formed yet. It isn’t always important for others to know what our goals are as long as not telling others doesn’t keep us from going after them.

Some of us have goals that require a lot of work and commitment. We have to be willing to put in the work if the goal is to come to fruition. As long as we have control over moving toward a goal we can break it down into steps to make it happen. Sometimes our goal, dream, wish, hope, and prayer depend on the stars aligning. We don’t have any control over whether our children get married and start a family although for most of us this is one of our prayers, hopes, and dreams as parents.

Many parts of life are beyond our control but we have dreams, hopes, and prayers for them. As we go into this New Year our hearts are full of hope for health, happiness, abundance, and joy. Wishing you every joy in this New Year almost upon us.

Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. Carl Bard

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. Seneca

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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

Thank you to everyone that reads my books. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Happy Thanksgiving Day! Can we count our blessings every day and live each day with a grateful heart?

Can we count our blessings every day and live each day with a grateful heart? Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance. Eckhart Tolle.

Happy Thanksgiving Day. We have so much to be thankful for. We all have some problems, sometimes they can be overwhelming but if we can find and focus on what we have to be grateful for instead of the problems, life is better.

We are more fun to be around when we see the sunny side of life. Gratitude magnifies the good in our life and ingratitude magnifies the bad. If we get what we focus on then choosing what we focus on is very important.

Is it easy to be grateful when we live in a land of peace and plenty? I hear a lot of grumbling and even grumble myself some days.

The opposite of lack is abundance. Having a grateful mindset doesn’t mean we have everything we want, it means we are grateful for everything we have. How often have we said we can’t afford something when we mean we don’t choose to buy it? Are we grateful we have the choice? I’ve heard people lament over the amount of choice they have in the marketplace. Really, this is a complaint because with all that choice we don’t know what to choose.

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around. Willie Nelson

We are told to focus on what we want and be grateful for what we have. Living this way makes the best of what we have and the future. This makes sense. There are times in my life when I wanted to be a writer but I didn’t want to focus on it because then I had to act on it. I would be accountable for the amount of writing I did or didn’t do. We can’t call ourselves a writer if we don’t write. I don’t feel bad that I focused on the kids and not my writing because now I focus on my writing and the kids (adults) can focus on and manage their own lives.

It is a joy to have art and writing to focus on in this stage of life. Creativity may be an antidote to some of the negativity that is being focused on. Is it good to live in our own little bubble of positivity? Dealing with only what is ours to deal with? If we do our civic duty and vote then isn’t it the job of the people voted in to run the country to the best of their ability and if we let them do that it may be better for everyone. Why wring our hands over decisions that aren’t ours to make when we have so much of our own business to manage. Business, that often doesn’t get managed when we are trying to manage everyone else’s. What if we each got our own house in order before criticizing others? What if we are thankful for all the abundance in our lives?

Don’t we feel grateful every morning when we turn on the tap, flush the toilet, make coffee, or cook something? Just think what it would have taken for all of those things to happen not that many years ago. Many of us haven’t lived with having to haul water, go to an outhouse, or start a fire before cooking. It isn’t that many years ago that was the reality of life. Most of us don’t have to kill something before we can eat.

Sometimes we worry about what the future holds, but the future for many of us has gotten better and better? We are problem solvers and if we each solve the problems in front of us and let others solve the problems in front of them, we will continue to move forward making life better.

Worrying doesn’t do anything but being grateful for what we have, that’s a game-changer.

It is better to light a candle, than to curse the darkness. Chinese Proverb

When you focus on what you lack you lose what you have. When you focus on what you have you get what you lack. George McKeown

The thankful heart opens our eyes to a multitude of blessings that continually surround us. James A. Faust

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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

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Happy Canada Day!

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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

Today dawns overcast with raindrops glistening on the leaves. I’ve always loved Canada Day. Being Canadian is being part of something, a great experiment, an idea, and a promise.

We cannot see the world through someone else’s eyes. We see through our eyes and everything that has happened in our life colors that vision. I grew up in Saskatchewan with big beautiful skies, glorious sunsets, and wide-open spaces. I rode my horse with the wind in my hair and a song in my heart. It was an idyllic childhood in a large loving family on a farm, in a valley, near a small town. Why was I in such a hurry to leave? I don’t have an answer to that question even though I have been asking it for over forty years. I was compelled to leave that warm wonderful incubator like a freshly hatched chick who didn’t know what adventures or misadventures she might meet, but like the fool in the tarot deck went off to seek adventure.

My quest for adventure didn’t take me far. I never become the world traveler, never back-packed across Europe, or saw the seven wonders. My husband and I have built a wonderful, happy, loving family. We have a business that keeps body and soul together but never affords the rich life we dreamed of when we started. Maybe striving toward a goal is better than reaching it too quickly, or is that what those who don’t reach their goals say? On the farm, my parents always said, “This is next year country.”

The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow.  Sow an act, and reap a habit: Sow a habit, and you reap a character: Sow a character, and you reap a destiny. James Allen

Living in next year country is a great way to live. No matter how good this year is, or how bad, we must prepare to make next year as good or better. We need to get our seeds ready for planting for next year’s crop even if this is the best crop we’ve ever harvested. On a farm there is no resting on one’s laurels and nor is there in the rest of life. We always need a new goal when an old goal is reached.

If we want to pick a watermelon on a hot day we better have thought about that when we were planting our garden. Of course, we are so blessed in most parts of Canada we can go to the supermarket and buy whatever we want without planting anything at all. Even if we don’t literally eat what we sow the law of sowing and reaping is evident in our lives. We do not get to ignore the law of sowing and reaping because we live in the city and not on a farm. Even the thoughts we think are subject to the law of sowing and reaping. Our mind is a garden our thoughts are the seeds, we can plant flowers or we can plant weeds is a cute little saying but if we take it to heart it may help us monitor the flowers and weeds of our thoughts. 

This Canada Day it seems we are on the brink of getting back to normalcy. That means different things to different sectors, different people, and different businesses.

I’ve sat on a grassy knoll and watched fireworks with my husband, family, and friends beside me. People from everywhere part of the experience of watching fireworks go off celebrating Canada Day. If we were lucky and the line wasn’t too long we would get ice cream. A band would play before the fireworks and we would feel oneness with those around us, experiencing what we were experiencing and watching what we were watching.

This year the local fireworks celebration doesn’t look like it is happening. It was always a crowded event and social distancing is still the order of the day.

Wherever you are, have a wonderful day. If Canada is your home, was your home, or is a home you dream of, it is partly a dream we hold in our hearts for all of us. Canada is a Camelot that we are building, a story we are telling ourselves and a reality we are living. We are not all telling ourselves the same story, we are not all living the same reality, but we are all under the same sky with the same sun, stars, and the same moon and the hope that tomorrow will be better than today or at least not worse.

One of the great joys in life is picking the flowers we’ve planted. When we harvest bitter fruit we need to go forward better.

Happy Canada Day!

You always reap what you sow; there is no shortcut. Stephen R. Covey

Words are seeds they do more than blow around they land in our hearts and not the ground. Be careful what you plant and careful what you say. You might have to eat what you planted one day. Unknown

Good or bad you will always reap what you sow – you will always harvest the consequences of your choices. Randy Alcorn

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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

Thank you to everyone that reads my book. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

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Fathers are our unsung heroes the builders of our society, and pillars of our lives.

Fathers are our unsung heroes, the pillars of our lives, and builders of our society.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, and singers of song. Pam Brown

Yesterday was Father’s Day and we ended up celebrating it twice. It is sad when we no longer have our fathers to celebrate with, call, or visit. That is a reality that will come to all of us in time. We aren’t all lucky enough to have had time with our fathers because of circumstances beyond our control. There is no other way to look at it than we missed out.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I was blessed with a great mom and dad. Some people have the idea that we shouldn’t celebrate because not everyone has someone in their lives to celebrate. Father’s and Mother’s Days aren’t only about the reality in our lives but the potential. Even if we didn’t have the best role model in our life we can be the best in our children’s or even in other people’s children’s lives.

How someone else conducted themselves, we can’t control. We may wish they were different but they were or are who they are. What we have control over is ourselves and how we navigate our world. We can encourage, uplift, look on the bright side, and accept the difficulties of life with grace. We can be an example of not giving up when the going gets tough. We can be an example of pursuing dreams so others will believe they can pursue their dreams also.

We can be good friends, co-workers, and family members. We can be up-lifters, encouragers, and happy people who live our lives with grace and gratitude. We can make time for others and invite them for dinner, conversation, and laughs.

Is there anything as wonderful as sharing a meal with family surrounded by the warm glow of conversation and laughter? We’ve had two evenings of this sitting outside enjoying being together. Spring turns into summer today and just as it isn’t noticeable as the seasons change from day to day the seasons of our lives change.

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong. Charles Wadsworth

We were children, then young adults, new parents, parents of adult children, and soon we hope grandparents. Some of us are lucky enough to have our grandparents in our lives for a long time. Some of us hardly knew our grandparents; some of us hardly knew or didn’t know our parents.

We can think life isn’t fair when we don’t get what someone else got. In my art class on Saturday, it was led by a young woman who is sight-impaired. She is an artist and sees the world differently. She is making the most of her abilities by producing beautiful art and teaching others to do the same.

If we don’t make the most of what we have and instead focus on what we don’t have how does that serve us? It doesn’t make us get what we want; it just makes us not appreciate what we do have. What we don’t have maybe abilities, family, assets, or belonging to groups, but we can make the best of what we have. People who make the best of what they have inspired us.

Father’s Day can be sad if we no longer have our father or it can be happy because we remember him and appreciate all he did for us. If he wasn’t in our life maybe someone else took the father role. When it became our turn we can be a good father or do our best to choose a good father for our children.

As women, this is one of the biggest decisions of our lives. Who will father our children? As men what kind of father will we be? We watch our children make these choices and if we are lucky we will watch our grandchildren make their choices. Some are even lucky to see great-grandchildren make these choices. This is the legacy we leave behind.

As we celebrate the fathers in our lives, the unsung heroes, the builders of our society, and the pillars of our lives we are blessed. It is our job to be blessings to those coming after us.

What makes you a man is not the ability to make a child, it’s the courage to raise one. Barack Obama

The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family. Reed Markham

A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society. Billy Graham

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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

Thank you to everyone that reads my book. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

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Enjoy the moments that make up your life. Dwell on the beauty of life.

Dwell on the beauty of life. Enjoy the moments that make up your life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A good life is a collection of happy moments. Denis Waitley

Mother’s Day is past and for some, it was a hard day. It might have been hard because this year they couldn’t see their mother because they were keeping their distance. Some people couldn’t see their mother because she is no longer alive. Some people never grew up with their mother because of death or circumstance.  Some people have strained relationships with their mothers. Yesterday was a reminder of their failure to heal the breach and create a good relationship.

Yesterday my Mother-in-law, husband, daughter, and I went for a walk in a park beside a rippling river with trees and flowers in bloom. It was a wonderful day full of warmth, love, companionship, and laughter. We ate ice cream in the fresh air. My son and daughter cooked dinner and we drank wine and laughed.

I called Mom and we had a wonderful conversation. I called to order flowers from a florist I’ve built a relationship with, in the city Mom lives. She told me even though she bought more flowers than last year she could take no more orders for flower arrangements. Instead of a bouquet, I had them deliver a hibiscus plant. When it arrived it was full of buds and when I spoke to Mom on Mother’s Day four salmon-colored flowers had opened up.

I’m thankful for today’s little moments because they are tomorrow’s precious memories. Unknown

On Saturday a friend and I went for a long walk. We talked about the long-distance relationship with our parents. We both left home at a young age. We marveled at some of the conversations we have had over the phone that never seemed to happen when we were sitting at the same table. The immediacy of the phone call created an intimate relationship that physical closeness did not.

Moments in our lives are fleeting. We need to enjoy them while we can. Go for that walk in the park with someone you love. Hold their hand as you stand on a bridge over a babbling brook. Lean your head on their shoulder as you watch a sunset. Give them a hug. Make the moments count. They are moments that will not come again. You will never watch that sunset again. You will never go for the same walk. You will never eat the same dinner with the same wine, and the same laughter.  

Are we dwelling on the beauty of life and enjoying the moments?

We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are. Bill Watterson

If you worry too much about the future you will miss the present. Unknown

Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in our hearts. Winnie The Pooh

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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

Thank you to everyone that reads my book. A special thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you click on the picture and purchase an item through the Amazon link I receive a small percentage of the sale through the affiliate program.

2020 a year in hindsight. Triumphs and struggles. Looking forward with great expectations.

Looking forward with great expectations. 2020 a year in hindsight. Triumphs and struggles.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny. James Allen

Wow! As we ring in the New Year how will we feel about this year just past? It has been a mixed bag for me. At the end of November, I received my first royalties from my book “Secrets and Silence”. Now I have that to look forward to at the end of every month. I moved some mutual funds into dividend stock and it has been fun watching the dividends come in. I don’t want to get like John D. Rockefeller who said, “Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It’s to see my dividends coming in.” There are so many things that make life worthwhile. I can’t wait until my husband and I can go out for coffee again. We still go out, but sitting in the truck drinking it, just isn’t the same. We will laugh about this time in our lives for years to come.

Yesterday a friend and I went for a walk along a pretty street with pretty stores we couldn’t enter. We still had fun, we laughed and talked, bought peppermint tea, and made plans for our next walk.

If we think we should wait until we have a big enough amount to start saving, investing, or tithing we may never start. Small amounts grow into big amounts. Nothing grows if we don’t start. I hope to have a herd of pigs “passive income generators” over time as I add more novels to my catalogue.

I laugh to myself as I write, “Catalogue” we think things can’t happen but they can. We can plant seeds that grow. It’s all about reaping and sowing but we have to sow before we can hope to reap.

Many of us will look back over 2020 as a year that changed our lives. Many of the changes that took place in mine weren’t started in 2020. Just like any harvest, there was a time of more importance. Harvest time is the evidence of things unseen. Things we put into motion that create a harvest.

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

One of the most exciting times of the year is spring, watching new life emerging. When we plant seeds we may look every day for signs of growth. Finally, we see a green shoot. We may wonder what people are looking at if they are looking at the bare ground, but we don’t know if they’ve planted something. If we haven’t planted any seeds we don’t look at our bare ground the same way as someone that is waiting to see growth.

We need to build our lives in such a way that we are looking for growth. My daughter is being watched carefully now she has been married for two years. If she doesn’t feel well she gets a phone call. “Are you feeling better?” But, of course, that is not all that is being asked. People are waiting expectantly for news.

If we think of spring we can get through winter. One of the joys of winter on the farm was new calves were born. I remember walking with Dad on bright moonlit nights to check on the cows. There are many little joys in life we may overlook because we are waiting to be hit over the head by bigger things. A healthy calf suckling at their mother was a joy to behold. A litter of new pigs, kittens, or puppies was life-affirming. Birth brings joy but also sometimes heartbreak.

As we enter 2021 are we getting ready to plant new seeds? We can’t expect a harvest without preparing and planting. We can spend winter thinking about what to plant. Paging through seed catalogues is a great pastime. What we plant in our life will grow and we need to choose what that will be. Even our thoughts are seeds and perhaps the most important ones.

As we go into 2021 the choices we make will impact our lives. What we plant will be what we harvest. We may not think we are reaping what we are sowing but what else could we be reaping?

Life is a garden our thoughts are the seeds, we can grow flowers or we can grow weeds. Unknown

In your deeds and in your works, don’t expect to start reaping just as you start sowing. Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

Words are seeds they do more than blow around they land in our hearts and not the ground. Be careful what you plant and careful what you say. You might have to eat what you planted one day.  Unknown

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Sowing and Reaping [Annotated, Updated]: Whatever a man sows that shall he also reap. – Galatians 6:7 by [Dwight Lyman  Moody]

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Happy New Year! 2021 a year of hope. Interesting times are ahead.

2021, a year of hope. Interesting times are ahead. Happy New Year.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on its own wings. Always believe in yourself. Unknown

It is time to take stock of the year that is ending. This hasn’t just been another year of the same old thing. No, this year has brought some of us to our knees. The aftermath of this year will be felt for years to come. We have a war and a war effort has produced vaccines that we hope will stop this pandemic and we can get on with our lives.

Are there gifts we will be left with as we move on to a post-pandemic world? Will we have more home-cooked meals going forward? Will we evaluate our lives and decide that we must put first things first? Have some of our priorities changed? Do we feel an urgency to get on with the important things? Is our list of what is important becoming clearer?

This year many of us may feel diet and exercise will be even more important in our lives. Some of us have not been to the gym in almost a year. Have we managed to stay in shape at home, or are we facing a bigger challenge in our fitness as we go forward into the New Year?

Are we further ahead in our goal setting or are we behind? Have we read more books this year, or less? Do we feel as mentally strong? Are our relationships as good, better, or worse than last year? Are we on track to meet our goals? Is our life filled with gratitude?

This morning as I write this the news is saying we may not get back to normal until September when enough vaccines have been given. Holding on until then may be challenging for many, certain sectors are much more affected than others. We say we are all in this together, but of course, we aren’t all affected in the same way. We can’t possibly all be affected in the same way.

Things money can’t buy, manners, morals, respect, character, common sense, trust, patience, class, integrity, and love. Unknown

Challenging times create opportunities for some, fortunes are made and lost. The Wheel of Fortune has shown up in our lives. For some of us, things will never be the same again. Is life ever really the same from year to year? Don’t we always need to grow, adapt, and change with the circumstances in life? Opportunities may present themselves we never thought possible. Are we willing to grab hold of the opportunities that present themselves? Are we willing to go forward into the unknown?

Do we have a choice? Don’t we always have to move forward and get out of our comfort zone? My parent’s generation didn’t have a comfort zone for a good part of their lives as they went through the depression and then World War ll. I’ve lived my whole life in a comfort zone, and I still do. Has it been too comfortable to take big risks?

People who become great don’t usually live in a comfort zone. Circumstances shape our destiny. We are leaving the year of The Emperor behind and if we look at some world events doesn’t that explain some of what has gone on? The year of the Hierophant is coming and some say this represents organized religion, established entities, methods, and traditions. It would not surprise me if going through a pandemic makes people turn to religion and a higher power.

It is with gratitude for all the abundance in my life that I look forward to 2021 with all its blessings and challenges. May a happy, prosperous, and healthy New Year be yours.

Interesting times are ahead. Happy New Year!

Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized. Terry Pratchett

Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once. Paulo Coelho

It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. Rumi

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Make Lasting Changes: The Science of Sustainable Behavior Change and Reaching Your Goals by [Peter Hollins]

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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Peace and joy, glad tidings to all.

Glad tidings to all, peace and joy.

Photo of 2020 Gingerbread house

Frustration is built by unmet expectations. John Lund

Are we filled with peace, joy, and glad tidings?

Christmas Eve dawns and for some of us, this seems like a disappointing Christmas. Our expectations are not being met. A lot of expectations over a lot of lives over the centuries have not been met.

When we read of the birth of Jesus, the expectation was not that he would be born in a manger. The people of the day did not want the savior they got; they wanted a King that would put the Romans in their place.

How often do we not get what we want but instead get what we need? Is such a time upon us? Without all the trappings of Christmas we are used to, the big gatherings, the huge meals, we may find more meaning than we’ve previously had. We may be making an effort to connect with people we’ve been taking for granted. We may be enjoying the little things we’ve overlooked.

We might remember this Christmas more than any other Christmas, it will stand out in our minds partly because we have been going along happily or unhappily but not really taking stock of our lives. This is a year to take stock. For a lot of people, this is the year that will change everything. This might be the year we say “Never again.” Never again will we be in a situation where we are this close to the margins. Never again will we take our relationships for granted. Never again will we be just sleepwalking through life. Never again will we be caught with our proverbial pants down. Never again will we expect someone to do for us what we have to do for ourselves. Never again will we let the little things destroy our relationships. Never again will we be waiting for people to tell us what to do in our life.

We can go forward as people making plans and goals. We can go forward repairing the relationships in our lives. We can say never again will we not talk to people because…

What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be. Unknown

When we hear how some businesses have found ways to manage in this time it is uplifting and empowering to see the resilience they are showing. A fancy restaurant is now a meat shop selling fancy cuts of meat and sides to prepare at home.

Tough resilient people are created and this year will be a defining moment in many people’s lives. It isn’t easy times that create strong people. No one wants to live through hard times, but it is because of the times they lived through that we call the “Greatest Generation,” what we do.

Have we come through “The dark night of the soul” phase? Do we still have lessons to learn? We are on a hero’s journey and we are the hero of our own life. We are told that all we have is all we need. Are we grateful for all we have?

There are many disappointments and my nephew was to have his fiftieth birthday celebration. He is still turning fifty today, but the celebration will be different than he hoped for. I hope his birthday is filled with peace, joy, and glad tidings. Is it our choice to feel blessed, at peace with ourselves and the world regardless of circumstances? Even though we don’t get to choose the circumstances in our life is the power in our attitude and mindset?

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas full of peace, joy, and glad tidings to all.

Unmet expectations are tough when it’s your wife or your husband, but it’s really tough when it’s God. And yet, it can be a time of growth and a time of faith, a time of understanding who God is. Max Lucado

When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think they should be. Mandy Hale

And then it happens… One day you wake up and you’re in this place. You’re in this place where everything feels right. Your heart is calm. Your soul is lit. Your thoughts are positive. Your vision is clear. You’re at peace, at peace with where you’ve been, at peace with what you’ve been through and at peace with where you’re headed. Unknown

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Finding Christmas Paperback – Picture Book, Oct. 1 2017

by Robert Munsch  (Author), Michael Martchenko (Illustrator)4.8 out of 5 stars 183 ratings


Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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Canada a work in progress. Happy Canada Day.

Happy Canada Day. Canada a work in progress.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty expanse of Canada with its virile, aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people. Winston Churchill

Home is one of the words that touch our hearts. We’ve all had a home, longed for home, dreamed of going home again, left home, and arrived home. Home is where the heart is. Home isn’t just a physical place, home is the place our dreams become reality.

If Canada is our home or was our home we are tied to it no matter where we live or what we do. When we come home after a trip no matter how great the trip was we are glad to be home. When we have driven through parts of America on trips back and forth to British Columbia we have only had good experiences and yet when we hit the Canadian border we feel more at ease. We are on home turf even though we are still hours from home.

What a year it has been since last Canada Day. We were on a high, the Raptors were the champions. This year we are struggling with an unseen enemy. We have to be careful we don’t turn against each other as we get back to normalcy. We have to find a balance between rights and responsibilities, what we expect other people to do to protect us, and what we do to protect ourselves. A balance needs to be found between being responsible and letting fear rule our lives. We may have to choose between the best of two good choices or two bad outcomes. Do we choose the economy over health or health over the economy? Is there no health without a good economy? We have walked the razor’s edge and hopefully, the worst is behind us.

A beautiful day dawns and we are lucky to be able to appreciate it. Today is a day when we celebrate Canada our home and native or adopted land. We may have ideas about what would make Canada better, we may work toward that end and indeed we should. No matter what changes we work toward everything in life will not go smoothly. We will still have disagreements; we will still end up in situations that don’t turn out how we hoped, expected, or even understand how they became what they did.

We often take for granted the opportunities we have and some of us don’t notice the opportunities that are there until we see someone else take advantage of them and become wildly successful. Do we dream big enough dreams? Do we ask for what we want and go after it? Do we even know what we want? If someone said you can have your wildest dream come true, what would that be? Do we have an answer? So many successful people will tell us that opportunity shows up as hard work. It isn’t just about working hard, many people do that but to what end? What are we working hard toward?

Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. Jack Layton

What if life is a bit like a vending machine and when we put our money in we have to choose what we want. Do some of us put our money in but not choose and we walk away wondering why we didn’t get the prize. We didn’t choose a prize. Do we know what the goal is we are working toward? Can we name it? Do we need to name it, to claim it?

The advantage of people who come from somewhere else is they had to make a decision. They had to have some sort of goal to impel them forward to make the move. Moving somewhere new gave them the belief they were taking their life in their own hands. We don’t have to move somewhere new; we can bloom where we are planted. No matter where we bloom can we quit looking at how everyone else is blooming and appreciate ourselves for who we are and appreciate others for who they are and together build something great?

In the garden of life are we a daisy, rose, sunflower, oak tree, or grass? Can we appreciate our contribution and the contribution of others that create a beautiful garden?

We are blessed to live in a beautiful country. If we woke up in Canada today we are some of the luckiest people in the world. Do we count our blessings or our problems? Do we look at what is good or what needs to be changed? Are we part of the problem or part of the solution?

We are blessed, and even though we may quibble over what our government does, or what other governments do, we still live in peace and plenty. As we live our lives we must do our best to make life better, socially, environmentally, economically, and politically, if we want Canada to remain what it is, a safe haven of peace and plenty.

Happy Canada Day! May we forever be a work in progress.

Love of country is like love of women – he loves her best who seeks to bestow on her the highest good. Felix Adler

I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong or free to choose those who shall govern my country. John Diefenbaker

We have it all. We have great diversity of people, we have a wonderful land, and we have great possibilities. So all those things combined there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. Bob Rae

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Canada Hardcover – April 30 2019

by Collins Canada (Author)3.9 out of 5 stars 5 ratings