Patience is not passive. Patience may be the ingredient we need in our lives to make everything work out for the best.

Patience may be the ingredient we need in our lives to make everything work our for the best. Patience is not passive.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Patience is not passive, on the contrary, it is concentrated strength. Bruce Lee

We want things to happen now but we have to be patient. Being patient is hard. When we paint our nails, not letting them dry before we start doing something often wrecks our nails.

We are painting our kitchen cabinets white. To practice, we are doing a test on bathroom cabinets. The prep is important to a nicely finished paint job. They must be degreased, sanded, and primed. The primer needs to dry for 24 hours. When I realized I missed some spots on the drawers. I should have waited another 24 hours to let that primer dry, but I didn’t have the patience and I hope I don’t end up looking at that spot on the drawer as a reminder to be more patient. I wanted the first coat on so I could do the final sand today and apply the second coat. I am hoping I don’t need three coats of paint.

Choosing the white paint to paint white cabinets was a huge decision. White is white, right? No, definitely not, what undertone do we want our cabinets to have? My sister, “The Kitchen Whisperer” tells me she has clients call her up and tell her they didn’t get the right color of cabinets. She has even looked at the cabinets in their kitchen and agreed until she compares what they got to the sample and it is the correct color. It doesn’t look like what they thought they were getting under their lighting and the other colors in their home. The direction our windows face will also color our paint color.

Decorators talk about warm whites think yellow undertone, and icy whites think blue undertone. I finally chose Chantilly Lace, an icy white. The kitchen is now painted Hawthorne Yellow and the trim is Hi Gloss Manufactured White. The Chantilly Lace looks exactly like I want it to with one coat of paint on the doors. I can’t wait to see the doors with the second coat on. This is where patience comes in. I was going to go with a warmer white but next to yellow that might not have looked white enough. So far I am happy with my color choices.

Our patience will achieve more than our force. Edmund Burke

Color is important and we feel better surrounded by color. All white homes are a trend right now that doesn’t appeal to me, although in pictures they do look beautiful.  When I see white sofas I shudder to think what they look like after they’ve been lived with for a while. I always feel better when I wear certain colors. Orange/Red is one of the colors I often wear on zoom calls. I look better on zoom in orange/red than any of the other colors I wear. A friend had her husband paint their garage door in three different shades of Hunter Green. I don’t know if she was finally happy with the color or if he refused to paint it a fourth time.

My daughter wonders what color battles might be in her future. Her husband likes grey and she loves color. Creating a color scheme for a home is a huge decision. We have to live with our, and sometimes someone else’s choices for years. Colors come in and out of style but we aren’t changing our flooring to match trends. The choice of the aqua carpet when we bought this home is still a choice we live with on the second floor. Some day it will be gone but it is a process, a long-drawn-out process.

The process of painting the kitchen cabinets might try my patience but in the end, if they look as good as I think they will it will be worth it. It’s amazing what a little paint, patience, and perseverance can do.

Patience is the best remedy for every trouble. Plautus

Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind. David G. Allen

Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is “timing” it waits on the right time to act, for the right principle and in the right way. Fulton J. Sheen

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Power of Faith, Patience and Perseverance by [Justin Vedasiromony]

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

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Don’t worry be happy. Everyday courage means living our lives with gratitude, integrity, and purpose. Finding joy and happiness.

Everyday courage means living our lives with gratitude, integrity, and purpose. Do'n't worry be happy. Finding joy and happiness.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. George Sand

Don’t worry, be happy. We worry about so many things that don’t happen. What if we could just take life as it comes, accept each new opportunity and day with gratitude, joy, and love? What if we quit worrying about what could be, what should be, and found a way to be grateful for what is?

We can’t control other people; we can’t control a lot of circumstances in our life. Our attitude is what we can control but, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Just don’t think that thought, means for sure we’ll think that thought.

A local politician has filed an ethics complaint about herself. People are grumbling about her hiring someone under contract. She sounds like the kind of politician we can respect. No denying, excusing, or defending, let the chips fall where they may.

We are living in a time when we can’t be good enough – or is that an excuse we make for not being as good as we should be? Coaches are being fired for using words when speaking to players they should never have used. How do we tell our kids, just don’t let what they say bother you.

Things have been said to all of us that shouldn’t have been said. But, some things really should not be said, there is no place for our coaches to use racial slurs against a child they are coaching. They may hear things from their peers that shouldn’t be said, they shouldn’t hear them from their coaches.

When I was growing up we were told “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” We were told this as armor against words that do hurt us, but it gave us a mantra. Negative words don’t always keep people down, sometimes being told we can’t do something puts us in overdrive to prove we can, we’ll show them.

Being happy is something that each of us determines. It is not something that we find outside of yourself, it is within us and our choice. Catherine Pulsifer

We have to be careful to not let words have too much power because then we give our enemies more ammunition to use against us. This is why women embraced the “slut walk”. Not because they are acting badly, but because the term was used to belittle, demean, and put them in their place. That said we have to be our own control board all the time. We can’t count on someone else to look after us if we get too drunk to control ourselves.

The other night I was speaking with a young woman who ten years ago went to spend a year in Australia. She went by herself, she knew some people in Australia but many of her adventures were solo. My youngest sister took a solo trip to Australia. I’ve never taken a solo trip anywhere, I admire those who have.

I understand it is getting to be a thing, for older women to travel solo. They’ve wanted to travel their whole lives and find themselves single and so they are traveling. There are websites devoted to giving single women travelers tips and tricks for navigating the world solo.

Living our lives with courage, determination, and integrity will give us a better life. Worrying about what might happen, could happen, instead of focusing on what we have where we are, and what we want going forward. This is our life, and it is going by fast.

I was talking to someone last night whose husband is 87 and they still travel to Florida for six weeks a year. His health insurance is getting expensive but they are living their life. We need to live until we die.

While we are alive if we can enjoy our days, our family, friends, dreams, and goals we are living, not waiting. We wait for what, for someone to come along and tell us what we should be doing with our life?

Not everyone wants to travel the world. Not everyone wants to start a business and work 18 hours a day. Not everyone wants to get up in front of an audience and speak, sing, do a comedy routine, or act. It isn’t for us to decide if someone is living their life enough. It is only up to us to think about what we want to accomplish, see, do, and experience in ours.

Can we focus on our business, not someone else’s, and not God’s? This is our life, the only one we’ve got, and it goes by fast, what do we want to do with it?

If you would find happiness and joy, lose your life in some noble cause. A worthy purpose must be at the center of every worthy life. Jack H. Goaslind

You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream. C.S. Lewis

You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. C.S. Lewis

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The Sorites Principle: How to harness the power of perseverance by [Gibbs, Ian]
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Finding our purpose. Being the person we know we are to be, courageous, strong, and facing our fears.

Being the person we know we are to be, courageous, strong, and facing our fears. Finding our purpose.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives. Albert Schweitzer

The other day I picked up a book Wild at Heart Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul by John Eldredge. In it, he quotes Robert Bly from Iron John. “Some women want a passive man if they want a man at all, the church wants a tamed man – they are called priests, the university wants a domesticated man they are called tenure track people, the corporation wants a …… sanitized man, hairless, shallow man.”

Is the heart of men driven out of them by our society? John Eldredge says in the heart of every man there are three deep desires that when disregarded cause men to lose their souls. These three desires are a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.

My brothers got toy guns and loved them. My son never received a toy gun, but he made them out of lego and other things. One of the questions in this book is if Jesus was so dangerous he needed to be crucified, was he the kind of man portrayed to us?

Jordan Peterson talks about meek not being what we think. He tells us meek is something like, those who have power but have sheathed their swords. I think of people who are ready to defend themselves and stand up for what is right. This is one of the problems we have in our society. The meek, who are ready to do their duty, defend their families, and build a society, are the law-abiding citizens until they feel the laws they are asked to abide and defend are unfair and unjust.

When asked what was the most important virtue Maya Angelou replied, courage because without courage we won’t be strong enough to live any of the other virtues. It takes courage to take a stand in life and many of us find it admirable when people stand up for what they believe.

It is one of the reasons getting guns out of the hands of some people is a cause they will die for. They believe in holstering their gun, sheathing their sword, but they do not agree to be disarmed.

Freedom is useless if we don’t exercise it as character making choices… We are free to change the stories by which we live. Because we are genuine characters, and not mere puppets, we can choose our defining stories.  We can do so because we actively participate in the creation of our stories. We are co-authors as well as characters. Few things are as encouraging as the realization that things can be different and that we have a role in making them so. Daniel Taylor

One of the problems is trusting those with sheathed swords or holstered guns to have discernment when to unholster, and unsheathe. We aren’t good at trusting others, and the news programs show us many incidences where unnecessary force and violence is used. If everyone has sheathed swords, and holstered guns have we made it a safer society or a more unsafe one?

It makes sense it is more unsafe. If you have a gun, I need a gun mentality will develop. If you don’t have a gun, I don’t need a gun is a far safer society.

The problem is there are so many examples in history where people needed to take up arms to deal with the tyranny they were subjected to. People worry tyranny may return and more likely to return to an unarmed populace than an armed one.

I grew up with parents ready to deal with whoever came to our door. Force was never required. We can overreact. The first night we moved into our house a young man put his hand through our sidelight. His friends were joyriding and overturned their jeep. He was looking for a phone in the middle of the night and only three homes were occupied in our neighborhood. We probably didn’t hear the doorbell, because we were dead beat. We woke up to the sound of shattering glass. What if the first thing we did when we heard shattering glass was shoot?

Are we courageous, and finding our purpose, or living lives of quiet desperation? Do we need to become more powerful in our own lives?

She was right that reality can be harsh and that you shut your eyes to it only at your peril because if you do not face up to the enemy in all his dark power, then the enemy will come up from behind some dark day and destroy you while you are facing the other way. Frederick Buechner

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Are single childless women really the happiest? What is the definition of happy?

What is the definition of happy? Are single childless women really the happiest?

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The most precious jewels you’ll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children. Unknown

Single women without kids are the happiest group in the world followed by married men.  I’m looking at an article by Harriet Minter and she says this is news that could only shock men.

I understand that the day to day looking after children is not liable to rate high on the happiness chart. But, the moments of intense joy one gets from our children can be had no other way.

We are told that expecting things outside of ourselves to bring us joy is the almost guaranteed way to feel disappointed. Unmet expectations make us miserable. Do no expectations make us happy?

I find it hard to believe that I would have a more happy and fulfilled life without my husband and children. This evening we will gather around the TV and watch what we hope is a winning basketball game. We will revel in laughter, togetherness, and the hope our team will end up champions.

Thinking of shared trips with our children across the country, and our daughter’s wedding less than a year ago. All of these great experiences would not have been possible without the sleepless nights of early motherhood.

Girls just want to have fun, didn’t we all dance to that song? Didn’t it ring in our hearts as part of what we wanted? Single childfree women have moments of doubt about not being married and having a family. There may be some mothers who also doubt the wisdom of their choices.

The hard work of motherhood brings the joy of grandparenthood, which childless women will never know. Holding someone’s baby is a joy, holding our own is without words, but holding our grandbabies I can’t even imagine. how that will feel.

The more we put into life the more we get out of it. Marriage and children are not for the faint of heart, it is not for those who just want fun and easy. It may not seem like joy when your day is filled with crying babies and dirty diapers. What these single childless women don’t know or don’t want to admit, is when they talk to their girlfriends who were part of their single childless club their girlfriends never want to go back to it. Yes, they miss the tidy life they had, where they could go tripping off wherever, with whomever. Yes, they might miss the candlelight dinners where men were trying to prove they were worthy of pursuit.

Some of courtship and weddings seduce us into something that if we knew the whole truth of, we might not dare to go. If we have a life with all its drama, messiness, sleep deprivation, and demands that don’t look on the outside as good as someone’s neat and tidy life it doesn’t mean it isn’t happy and fulfilling. In the stillness of our heart we know we have something worthwhile, something bigger than tidiness, and fun, something real, something of lasting value.

A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for. Anonymous

It is with a degree of sacrifice we bring the next generation into being. Guess what, we will not still be svelte and firm even if we don’t have kids.  At sixty I can’t tell the figures of the women who’ve had children from those who haven’t, but there is joy in children and grandchildren you can’t buy at high-end stores or get from traveling to far-flung, exotic places. At sixty we can all be footloose and fancy-free. The heavy lifting of parenthood is over but the joy we get from it is ours forever.

If anyone is looking at their life of no commitments and fun, and wondering if they made the right choice, they probably didn’t. When you look at your children with their accomplishments or challenges it is something, and something is better than nothing.

Easy doesn’t make the best lives. Not having to learn how to live with someone doesn’t bring more joy into our lives. It may bring less conflict but conflict can lead to growth. Being married and having children is a growth experience.

Not having children to me seems a little like just living on the periphery of life. It doesn’t seem better to never take the chance to dive in deep, to feel deeply, to give more than you think you can, and to love with your whole being.

Is it happy in the moment, or deep joy, contentment, passion, and purpose that we want in our lives? I doubt the happiest people in the old age home are the ones without family. When I look at people who have lived good lives, they are proud of, they weren’t just easy and fun, they were doing the hard work of making society work, families work.

I can’t think of any women I know who regret having their children. Even relationships they are no longer in brought something to their lives. When we are on the outside of life and looking in, even if what we see is messy, and has its miserable moments, it is real. If we are going to accomplish anything in life it will have its messy parts, its miserable parts, and its times of unbelievable joy. We can’t just have the unbelievable joy.

Only when we are willing to live through all of life do we reap the rewards of a well-lived, productive, joyful, passionate life.

I’m waiting to meet the fulfilled single women without children of a certain age. Maybe I’m biased, I chose marriage and motherhood, and maybe I feel the need to justify my choice. Instead, it seems to me the justifying is by the single childless women, trying to justify why they are happier without love in their lives. Friends are great, but I don’t think they take the place of a loving partner and the depths of love we have for our children.

When we don’t create a family of our own we miss out on one of the great joys of life. We get our partner’s kooky relatives and they get ours. We are connected to people, and we form our own tribe.

It doesn’t matter how much I read about how great it is to be single and childless; unless at the moment I read it, the mess is overwhelming and the angst of motherhood and marriage overwhelming, I will always believe I made the better choice.

I think that enduring, committed love between married couples, along with raising children, is the most noble act anyone can aspire to. Nicholas Sparks

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