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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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



Celebrating fathers on this father’s day. A day to remember and celebrate our fathers.

A day to remember and celebrate our fathers. Celebrating fathers on this fathers day.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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

Father’s day is a bittersweet day for many of us. We’ve lost our Dad’s or worse yet they were never in our lives, or the relationship wasn’t good.

We all have a father; we couldn’t be here without one. He occupies a place in our heart or leaves a hole in it. We can’t ignore our father’s impact on our lives. This year if we are lucky enough to have our father in our lives we may gather around the barbecue, laugh, tell stories, and bask in the warmth of our family circle still unbroken.

For those of us whose family circle is broken through death or other reasons, a tear may come to our eye. It comes to mine, as I write this. If we were blessed with a father who was there for us when we did well and when we made mistakes. If our father encouraged us, warned us of dangers, and let us know he believed in our ability to make good decisions we were given a foundation to build our lives on. We take what he taught us and in turn teach that to our children.

If we didn’t have the blessing of a good father it is still our blessing and burden to be a good parent to our children and be or provide a good father to them if at all possible.  Even good and great fathers aren’t perfect. They will make mistakes. We might not see what they were trying to teach us until later.

We might not see eye to eye on politics or changes we would like to see in the world. Conversations may get heated as polar opposite opinions are voiced. We need to try and see both sides, even if we never come to the same conclusions there are points to be taken into consideration. Can we try and understand where each other comes from?

By moving so far away I deprived my children of knowing their grandparents well. They could have learned so much from Mom and Dad. We visited but that isn’t the same. Mom and Dad had already left the farm before my children were born. It is a side of life I wish they would have had a chance to experience, even as visitors.

Having a dad who is there for us, a constant fixture, guiding and encouraging us is a blessing. We were given examples of how to deal with life and we went into the world and built a life. Often fathers are a moral compass in our lives.

Mom always told me the best gift you can give your children is to love their father. Now as I see my children taking their place in life. One married and the other planning a wedding it truly is the best advice. If we can be happy from the moment we find out we are to be a mother or father that we feel it truly is the best gift we can be given, what a blessing. It is a blessing to us, our partner, our children, and our society.

A father should be his son’s first hero and his daughter’s first love. Unknown

Being a father is a lot more than just being a sperm donor. It comes with a lot of responsibility but also a lot of gifts and blessings. Jordan Peterson tells young men to take up a load, do the heavy lifting in life by getting married, having a family, and providing for that family.

When we can look ourselves in the eye, our partner in the eye, our children in the eye, and society in the eye because we’ve done the heavy lifting in life, we’ve carried our responsibilities to the best of our ability we can be proud of ourselves, our children, and our contribution.

I’ve been blessed with a father that I can be proud of and that counts for a lot, it helps us be proud of ourselves if we can be proud of our parents. It gives us a jumping point in life. We have more to offer a partner if we don’t have a gaping hole we can never fill, left by a father who was never there. Sometimes things happen and that father is not there through no choice of his or the mothers. That gaping hole will still be there and a burden to carry.

To all the fathers, without your contribution, we couldn’t exist.  Much of the advancements made in our society have been made by men trying to make things better for women they loved, for their families, and the betterment of society.

Happy father’s day. Dad, you played such a role in my life, you’ve impacted it in ways I can’t even express. I am so grateful for having a strong, loving, steadfast father who was there for all of us, and whose presence and, impact we feel still.

What you teach your children, you also teach their children. Unknown

The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature. Antoine-Francois Prevost

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person. He believed in me. Jim Valvano

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12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

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12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos  Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Jordan B. Peterson (Author, Narrator), Norman Doidge MD – foreword (Author), Random House Canada (Publisher)4.7 out of 5 stars 10,775 ratingsAmazon Charts #9 this week

Making each other happy. Does our husband know what would make us happy? Why are we keeping it a secret? Do we expect him to be psychic?

Does our husband know what will make us happy? Why are we keeping it a secret? Do we expect him to be psychic? Making each other happy.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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

Much of what ruins otherwise perfect days is our expectations of them. We want them to be bigger, grander, and more special than they can possibly be. Our spouse may be loving, kind, generous and do their best to make us happy, but if it doesn’t meet our expectations we will be disappointed.

It sounds like the worst thing in the world to lower our expectations. When we do we can be happy with what we have. When we go through something terrible and survive we often feel the most grateful, the most alive, and exhilarated at our good fortune. The barn is gone, but I can now see the moon type of experience.

We might be grateful we can see the moon because the tornado that came through only took the barn, we still have all of our family, and a house to live in.

This Valentine’s Day reminds me to grab hold of my husband and hold him tight because I can. He is still here, and I’ve been to too many funerals lately leaving wives behind whose only wish is they could hug him one more time.

If we are lucky enough to have a loving spouse in our lives we are blessed. We woke up to our Valentine and looking into his or her eyes over coffee, tea, or anything this morning should make our heart swell.

My husband and I joked about going to the store and exchanging cards, then putting the cards back and leaving the store. Cards are written to tug at our heartstrings, to put into words what we would like to say, we feel, but don’t express openly to our partners. We don’t want to be vulnerable; we don’t want to wear our heart on our sleeve. Somehow a cold hard exterior seems better. We never think its better when we see that cold hard exterior on someone else, why would we think it is better on us?

One of the recipes for a happy life seems to be to expect more from ourselves, and less from other people. What can we do to make our partners day, instead of what can they do to make ours may be the recipe.

My husband and I are blessed to be in a long, loving relationship. We all have disappointments, unmet expectations, irritants and areas where we don’t see things the same way. We didn’t marry ourselves, we married someone who can help us see things from the other side, experience things in a different way, and help us smooth our jagged edges as we help them smooth theirs.

Sometimes we may think we should have made different choices, but we are on the road we are on because of those choices, we have to make the best of them. We don’t get a do-over.

Two things can destroy any relationship: unrealistic expectations and poor communication. Unknown

I suggest we try to create for someone else what we would have liked someone to do for us. Unless we know what they would secretly like, and then do that. Do we wish they would ask us out for breakfast, ask them out for breakfast? Is there a particular type of chocolate we love, get them some fabulous chocolate.  Do we want them to want to spend time with us, let them know we want to spend time with them? Would we like to watch a movie, ask them to watch a movie?

One of the mistakes we women make is not letting our husbands know what we want. How can someone give us what we want if we don’t tell them? If we want a particular dress and our husband says “let’s go shopping.” But, we never take him to the store that has the dress we want, how will he even know it exists. We may think, it’s too expensive, it’s too impractical, it’s too sexy. What are we afraid of, he won’t like it, he won’t think we look good in it, we ‘ll show him a side of us we are trying to hide. We might not even want the dress once we try it on. We’ve lost an opportunity to let him make us happy, and to share who we are when that is exactly what he wanted.

How often does someone ask us where we want to eat and we say, “I don’t know?” We end up where we least wanted to go because we wouldn’t make a decision and let someone know what would make us happy.

I’m going to try when I am asked what I want to have an answer. My son asked me what I wanted for dinner for my birthday. I told him, I want to not have to decide what dinner will be. That is partly right. But, really I couldn’t make a decision about what I would like someone to prepare for a special dinner? How can they possibly choose the right thing, because everyone has some expectations about their birthday dinner, even if they don’t voice them?

Women, can we give our husbands a clue about what they can do that will make us happy? Can we let them know that they are a big contributor to happiness in our lives? Most of our happiness comes from our family. This weekend starts with Valentine’s Day and ends with Family Day. It should be a complete love fest for the whole weekend. After all first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby carriage. At least for many of us, it goes in that order.

Can we be easy to love? Do we let people know what pleases us, and what would make us happy? Or do we keep that information locked away, so only a psychic could figure it out?

Every criticism, judgment, diagnosis, and expression of anger is the tragic expression of an unmet need. Marshall Rosenberg

Art of true relationship: To love without condition, to talk without intention, listen without judging, to give without reason and to care without expectation. Unknown

Understanding the other person’s needs – does not mean – you have to give up on your own needs. Marshal Rosenberg

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Things Will Get as Good as You Can Stand: (. . . When you learn that it is better to receive than to give) The Superwoman’s Practical Guide to Getting as Much as She Gives Paperback – Apr 6 2004

by Laura Doyle (Author) 4.7 out of 5 stars 26 ratings


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Cherish Study Guide with DVD: The One Word That Changes Everything for Your Marriage Paperback – Jan 24 2017

by Gary Thomas (Author), Bethany O. Graybill (Contributor) 4.5 out of 5 stars 38 ratings

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