Tuesday, August 25, 2015

MAKE THE CHASE MORE PRODUCTIVE







"You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need." -- Jerry Gillies
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I remember young hopefuls I’ve interviewed for a job before. As I listened they tell me of their frustrations..... that they have so many plans, so many dreams, and yet never seem to know which one is the right one for them. Confused and bewildered they keep on hammering at a wide range of choices believing that the right one will eventually surface and that somehow things will break and they will hit gold. Well, maybe and maybe not. I’m not convinced with that method.
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It’s not always smart to spread yourself thin over a wide range of prospects.... quite unthinkingly. 'Suntok sa buwan' as a local phrase calls it. Besides that will wear you out faster than you can ever recharge yourself after. Pretty soon you will find yourself simply dragging your feet from one place to another with nothing much achieved. That’s a candidate for frustration and disappointment and a waste of precious time and talent – one which you can’t afford to lose.
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On the other hand, I have seen others take on a well-thought out and planned approach. They start out with a well-defined and definite sense of self and purpose..... equipped themselves with the proper education and training..... studied their prospects..... sorted out those which they believed will be a sure fit. They don’t bother with anything which would not fill the criteria they have set down. In such a way they succeed to narrow down the choices to the best of the crop. (This is what employers do, too) Once this has been decided, then and only then do they gear up for the pursuit and journey. Armed with a clearer vision of who they are.... what they have and.... what they hope to achieve thus the chase becomes more productive.
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Amazingly, the required enthusiasm energy and imagination needed to see it through did spring out or burst forth in unexplained measure. Sometimes even surprising one's self. And further down the journey the same enthusiasm energy and imagination would gain even greater momentum as the goal becomes closer and closer to one’s view and reach. This serves to affirm and confirm that you are indeed on the right track.
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Think. Plan. Hope. Believe. Execute.
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"Start believing now that we can be who we are." --- (Anon.)
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God bless you and your dreams.



Monday, August 24, 2015

TALENT CAN HELP YOU BECOME A LOT MORE OF WHO YOU ALREADY ARE





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"Ala.. ala ako niyan." (I don't have that.) My friend was referring to 'talent'. With an apple in one hand I was on the phone with her listening intently to this morning's whining. It was only mid-morning but already she felt so bored with her day. (Oh but I can understand that. I also have my boring days. Everybody does, right?) So I suggested a hobby or something else similar which she could do to ward off boredom. And she gave me that reply..... "Ala ako niyan." Well, to cut a long story short, the chat ended with her boredom unresolved and it led me to my laptop.... thinking.
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No talent? I don't buy that. Aside from the god-given gifts of abilities and skills used for life and living we also are equipped with talent. My friend has talent though she doesn't know it yet nor have tried to find out. I hope she does soon.
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Life has taught me that talent or aptitude, capacity, knack, flair or other similar names it is called can be or make that difference to your day and life. The combined work of your ideas, energy, effort, and time can renew that sparkle in your eye.... recharge your spirit.... and rouse other interests for creative effort. It helps ease the weariness and seriousness of daily life. It's an equalizer which gives you that feel-good feeling in spite of worrisome concerns of the day or of life in general. It helps clear the cobwebs in your mind..... allows rest for your physical body..... and peace to your weary heart.
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It's all the good reason to want to indulge in it.
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So how do you know that you have talent?
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First off, believe that you do!
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Then, seek it doggedly until you find it. It's like job-hunting knocking on many doors until one is opened to you. Talent is just there inside of you waiting to be found... waiting to be released out to the universe. So find it... and
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When you find it, know that it is uniquely yours; appreciate it as God's wise gift to you.
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Then work to hone it, expand it, harness it. In return the universe will happily respond to your effort and help you blossom to bigger and better things... to a better you.
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Whatever God gives us is meant to make us better; better than we were yesterday everyday.
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Blessings, folks! 
 
 
 

Monday, August 17, 2015

A FAMILY IS NEVER PERFECT - BUT IS GOD'S PERFECT GIFT TO US



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Just got back from my early morning walk. Actually, it's already 8morning now and I consider that quite late for a morning walk. The Philippine sun is already out from behind the mountains of Antipolo which does not entirely contribute to a comfortable cool walk around the village. Plus the fact that the village dogs are already out on the streets also getting their morning exercise.... vocals and paws. Maybe next time I will have Scruffy my pet dog along to ward off these pesky four-legged bullies. Now that seems to be a good idea!
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This weekend that passed was spent in the lovely home of my daughter and her husband. It was a pleasant stay made so by the couple ... the loves of my life. Another love (youngest daughter) was there with me and another love (oldest daughter) stayed home with the pets and a much deserved me time. That is smart. We all do need ‘me- time’. I do. Yes, four loves of my life. My family.
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Old folks say that you can’t choose your family. Some families tell of dysfunction within the home which cause so much pain and heartache to its members. Others add to say that you only get the family you deserve. That could perhaps also be true. Everybody is a story and has a story for us to listen to – tales of happiness and woe. And, life being what it is, shall continue to send us lessons for our learning. Much of these lessons are learned in the home with family.
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Mother said these long ago….......... ‘A family is not perfect. It never is. Because each one (in it) is a different person... of different temperament... is shaped by its own acquired set of experiences- insights- perceptions… with his or her own good and bad… traveling his or her own road… and creating his or her own life story. In the natural nurturing order of things, they will expand or develop and in that process increase becoming finally their own person.... one day by Divine design.’
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Now we know why God created families. It is the perfect environment for growth and the only thing that can bring this about is … love.  Where else in this big wide world can this great love be found... but with and in the family.  It's the greatest love of all. Truly God's perfect gift.
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God bless all the families in the world!
 
 
 

Monday, August 10, 2015

GRATITUDE AND THANKFULNESS - THE GRACE OF SEEING GOD BEHIND EVERYTHING




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"We don't need more to be thankful for,
we just need to be more thankful."
Author Unknown 
Gratitude as defined is .....
the quality of being thankful;  readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Thankfulness is .....
warm friendly feelings of gratitude, appreciativeness, gratefulness, gratitude.
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As you can see, they are close cousins and run on the same engine of appreciation. I still recall what my mother pointed out to me some years ago when I was just a kid in pigtails with a glaring gap up my front teeth... she would say ----
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"Always be thankful, not only because you have to, but because you see beyond the gift --- to the true Giver of the gift."
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Thank you is not just a word nor a show of politeness and good manners. It is understanding and seeing far beyond the person standing before you doing the good you receive. Because in truth, he is simply the carrier, conduit, or channel of good and blessings and miracles which a Higher Presence wants to gift you with. Thank you is acknowledging the power of the Divine.
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And because we also know that the same Higher Being works in ways beyond our limited knowledge, so when things come to us wrapped in awe and magnificence way beyond our human understanding, these entirely and without a doubt point our eyes, minds, and hearts back to Him. Gratitude is the grace of understanding His magnificent work in our ordinary tiny mundane lives.
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As mom would simply put it --- 'We are simply tools for good in God's loving hands.'
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On this note, I would like to thank you -- my blogspot family and community -- for being there and tirelessly appreciating what I do. I hope that you enjoy the writing as much as I do writing it.
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May God bless you and your family with everything good far more than your hearts can hold. In Christ I pray. 




Wednesday, August 5, 2015

TODAY IS EVERYTHING. LIVE IT WITH GRATITUDE.








Today is a new day .... literally a new day. Yesterday is gone ... no matter how much you may want it to stay because you had a great time with it ... it can't because it's time is done. Like everything else in life has its own appointed time and too has its beginning and its end.
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But admittedly we live our days like we own it and behave such that if it should end it will when we feel it should. So thus we continue to ... waste time instead of organizing it... waste resources instead of building upon it... waste opportunities instead of nurturing it... waste moments instead of making it count... all with and in gay abandon. Parang wala nang bukas. Que sera sera.. whatever will be, will be. Our wrong. Our bad.
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Maybe nice because, as many believe it, it can relieve us of a few if not all unnecessary and perceived stress and anxiety over the unknown future which we fear so much. Yet have you ever tried to think that those worries and anxieties of the past are no more in the present? Check it out; you'll find most of them gone. Though some of them may be valid when it comes to life's basic needs but the rest of it .... just plain worry and anxiety creating mountains out of mere mole hills.
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Life and time stops for no one. It moves on and along with or without you and me, like it or not. But it does leave the big choice to us whether we want to come along... or just stay where we are and as we are. A friend once said to me that it is something we have no control over. Agreed but only on things which require age or aging. But in the area of growth, development, progress, and maturity is a choice which we each have to make for ourselves alone. How often must we be told that?! Nobody can do it for us. Time won't do it for us either because it is not its business to make us grow inside out .. as we are expected to by a higher authority and divine design.
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So what's my point? What I'm trying to say is this.... hold on to your today with your best! Treasure it... savor it... relish it... love it... make it count... be grateful for it... fill it with worthy things... learn whatever there is to learn from it... create good memories... be the best person you can be TODAY...... for yourself and for others, too. We do not live solitary lives; we all stand connected in many ways, tangible or intangible.

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Allow me this quote from my favorite book (as you all may well already know -- 'Good Morning... God') ......................... "The heart of gratitude is one of My most priceless treasures. The heart of simple childlike thankfulness. How I respond to such a one. How I delight in doing all things well for that dear person. The one with the grateful heart!"
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Also .. Philippians 4:6 reminds us.............
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
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Unquote.
 

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Today is a gift.... God's wonderful gift. Let's do with it what we usually do with something we love...... handle it with care!! Love it for it may never come again. Today is for today, not yesterday nor for tomorrow.
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God bless you and your dearest ones.



Sunday, August 2, 2015

OF BLOGGING... STORIES.... AND STORYTELLERS

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There is a diversity of reasons why people do what they do. In every area of our lives -- the whatever-however-wherever it may be -- is what makes up your story. Every bit and piece in it is everything that tells the world who you are. Because everybody is a story.
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But -- that is just one part of the whole..... Completing that is the listener. One is nothing without the other. Somebody tells -- somebody listens. Somebody writes -- somebody reads.
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Try cruising down a blog site, stop awhile and visit a blog or blogs and you will know what I mean. You will begin to appreciate such display of diversity, of interests, and the wide range of expression in telling it. The thing to remember is that it's not just all about words or pictures but it's all about people and their stories. and how it's told.
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Some people, as I have heard them say, remark that it's a frivolous or flippant world and is such a waste of time. I will disagree to that. If some blogs do appear as such it does not necessarily reflect the site or the activity itself but rather it simply points you to the person writing it. The work is reflective of its creator.
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Each day adds another page to our life story. Make it count, make it matter. Learn whatever there is to learn every time the learning comes to your doorstep. Recognize and appreciate the carrier of the lesson -- acknowledge its presence... the person who is simply sharing his or her own story. As you have yours and share it too in your own special way in your own corner of the world and universe.
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Blessings to you and your dear ones. Great day ahead; enjoy! God bless you.




 #learning   #writing   #blogging   #storytellers   #blogworkshop 
The What:  Blissful Blogging Workshop
  
The Where:   Tweedle Book Cafe
The food --- but of course!
  
The organizers.. and speaker.
The storytellers.
 
New friends.. seatmates.. teammates.
  
#TheLearningJunkies

 

Friday, July 31, 2015

DON'T WHITTLE YOURSELF AWAY


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I thought that I had lost Mr. Quote Man (and worried a bit there) for there weren't any quotes in my inbox for some weeks. But this morning I got one from him with a brief explanation that he had just recovered from the sick bed. Not serious but enough to get him resting as advised by his doctor.
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Now the quote...... "He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away." --Raymond Hull (1919–1985) - Canadian playwright, television screenwriter, lecturer, and author.
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Unquote.
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Does this strike you as something familiar? But before we come to that.... In a popular sense, trim would be something like trimming a bush, a hedge, or a small tree in trying to remove run-away branches or leaves which are considered unnecessary or not helpful or useless to the overall aesthetic appearance or value. It's almost the same in the human world at the work place where companies retire or fire people they consider unproductive or liabilities to the grander common objective or goal. Sad but true.
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When I was in my early teens, I remember being so insecure that I would give my allowance (a pittance compared to that of my best friend who seemed to receive a fortune from her dad everyday) ... to whoever could make me the big superstar on the school campus. But none volunteered for the job as they too were being busy trying to be one themselves. Well, high-school is just the perfect setting for the battle of insecurities from one teen to another in every time or clime.
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Hilda (not her real name) was your ordinary teenager but a notch different from the rest... in a strange kind of way. We sat in the same class so I practically had her under my microscopic sight wherever-whatever. At one time she acted like a bitch because her gang of cool chicks acted like one. Then again when she hung out with a bunch of nerds she practically borrowed books from the school library but which she never really read but held in her arms as she chatted with the nerdy bunch. When in the company of boisterous rowdy school mates she talked and laughed the loudest. She was everything you wanted her to be it seemed.
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You think that's being adaptable? Naah... she looked more like peeling off parts of herself to fit into the group she was wanting to belong to. Whether she was peeling off much or too little isn't the whole point of the story. What she was doing was trimming herself too much just to fit in or be accepted until nothing was seen left of the original to thrive, nurture, or survive. She was shaking off values which started off her young human life and throwing away the potential to be someone worthy of life. She embraced the superficial thinking that it would lead her to better things and better times. But did it or does it? She was many persons other than Hilda.
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But it's not just teenagers who do that; adults do it too. And I have learned from life that if you really need to trim out anything .... just make sure it's something you are better off without permanently. That it's loss should not diminish you but rather would transform you into your best potential. By Divine design.
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Have a great week, folks! Be blessed. Stay blessed.



Saturday, July 25, 2015

PRAYER IS A PATH WHERE THERE IS NONE





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Have been reading a book this past few days. A book I have read a dozen times before. Why do I keep coming back to it? Because it IS good. Not only that but also because it is short, only 113 pages composed of 43 chapters... short chapters. I have an array of 'shorties', which I call them, lined up in my mini library. Long stories and thick books have no place in it except for an encyclopedia or a family album. Written in simple English .... (as a rule I shy away from long big complicated words; have always believed that there is always a simpler less complicated way to express yourself verbally or in writing) ..... so simple that if I gave this book to my seven-year-old nephew he would be able to read it in one sitting. Except of course when he needs someone to guide him through the wisdom parts of the book. --
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"JACOB THE BAKER -- General Wisdom For A Complicated World" Author Noah BenShea --- Here in the author's own words is a brief description: -------- "Jacob is a poor but pious baker who lives an anonymous life in a timeless world. While waiting for the ovens to rise to baking temperature in the morning he writes little notes to himself trying to make sense of life. Unknown to Jacob, one of his notes falls into the mixer and is baked into a loaf of bread. It is then sold to a woman, who comes upon the note, reads Jacob’s thought, is dumbstruck and rushes to the bakery to see who wrote it and where it came from.
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Soon word is out that there is a special person in the community who has been ignored, and now everyone near and far comes to see Jacob with their questions about life, prayer, love, family, growing older and…and…Without any sense of hubris, Jacob answers the growing line of visitors with his parables and stories. Even the children come after school and sit on the flour sacks to listen to Jacob."

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Unquote.
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I finished the book in just a few minutes (yes, that short and will pick it up again another time you bet) and went through every piece of wisdom like I was seeing it for the every first time. Wisdom never grows old; we do. And if you are wisdom's good student, it always seems new each time you meet it.
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Like this one on page 36 -- PRAYER IS A PATH WHERE THERE IS NONE
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Is there anyone out there who has not acquainted himself with prayer? No matter your color, race, or creed....... no matter how independent you believe yourself to be....... no matter your titles or string of degrees attached to your name........ whether male, female, young or old, rich or poor........ you have spoken a prayer sometime somewhere there in your life. Probably it was just a sigh, a tear, a whisper, or simply a thought of God when you suddenly find yourself in a place similar to this.....
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"What if neither my heart or mind can help me find a way?"
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And Jacob answered, "Prayer is a path where there is none."

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I end this post with that thought. And I pray that prayer leads you to the path or paths to your dreams... essentially to His Throne. God bless you. Have a pleasant weekend, friends! 



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A DAUGHTER MAY OUTGROW YOUR LAP... but SHE WILL NEVER OUTGROW YOUR HEART



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Each day which unfolds in my life brings with it lessons and I appreciate that. Always has been back then and still is now and I guess will continue forward as life moves me along with it.
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As family comprises about 80% of our full existence, most of the lessons are thus packed into it undeniably by a higher divine intent and wisdom. If you will pay close attention you will discover that to be true. Therefore, it behooves me (and so would everybody else I believe) to strive to see or better yet understand the lessons sent within that mold, sphere, and environment. Could it be that all these are really intended to serve the higher divine agenda of becoming a better human being.... the goal of our temporary earthly lives?
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Have you also thought about this? That the goal comes forth for two reasons. Firstly, for the development of the self (quite obviously) .... and secondly, to serve others with (this though not often well understood). You may have also read this somewhere in the Book... of what use is new knowledge or talents, insights or experience which undoubtedly enrich our lives (the lessons aim to achieve that) if it be not used to serve others with too? Correct? So then whatever is gained from the learning is not meant solely or exclusively for self-consumption. Although for awhile it may be and is by all intents but you will be nudged on to move forward with it sooner or later. In that context, self is just one part of the learning. The other part is service. One isn't without the other. And it's in the realm of family that initially one gets some serious practice.
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You might think that after churning out two posts on family that I would now run out of things to say for a third post. (Did it on another site. Sorry.)  Well, on the contrary and at the risk of losing your interest I will venture out to write another sequel on the subject. Because I love the subject of family.... I love my family. And this is like the tons of family pictures I see posted on Fb everyday by countless people of different race-color-or-creed over the various important milestones in their lives or over simple ordinary mundane things as eating a cone of ice cream or of baby taking her first step. And.... honestly -- it's all great because I see people who in their own special ways love their families tremendously and show it. Carry on, people, it's a beautiful life with family!!
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I have written about two members of my family God has so generously blessed my life with. There's a third one to whom I dedicate this post.
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Well, she loves springing surprises on her family like swooping down with goodies .. or a birthday cake where there isn't a birthday .. or a trip to some place never-been-there-before .. or shopping for nice stuff when you least expect it .. or a gorgeous bouquet of roses delivered to your doorstep! Further she's a bundle of crazy antics which always brighten up the house anytime she turns it on. And oh boy how she turns it on full blast everyday!
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With her older sister now married, she without any further ado stepped into her shoes or rather should I say glided into her shoes with ease like a ballerina with her ballet shoes. Gracefully, responsibly, with hard work and with her heart all over the place you simply can't miss it. She provides, nurtures, supports, protects her family with everything she is and has. (Proud is this mother!) Furthermore, she is an 'encourager' -- a beautiful soul who inspires one to be more or better than one could ever be. She helps nurture dreams.
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Again my thoughts and heart run through awesome once more! All three blossoming into their fullest potential under God's careful watch. Makes me think how sometimes God sends in trials but not to defeat you ---- but to make you stronger. That's what He did to my girls. I am a happy and proud mother because God blessed me with my three Steel Magnolias!
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I suppose you will ask 'What's a steel magnolia?' As I have read it somewhere, it is this  ---- Combining the contrasting images of steel (strong, durable, unflinching in character) - and magnolia, a beautiful flower. Steel Magnolia is beauty which shines from within and without.
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By God's design.
What a wonderful God we have!

Friday, July 17, 2015

LOVING YOUR JOB IS THE PREREQUISITE FOR A JOB WELL DONE





Many years ago when I was in my first job, I would often sit by myself wracking my brains dry trying to figure out the what-and-how of doing a great job. One day Mom, having noticed my bewilderment and anxiety, came to me, sat down, and said............. 'The only way to do a great job is to love it and give it your best shot. Even the geniuses of men with all their brilliance won't make it if what they do is simply out of the exercise of competition and rivalry. That would simply be a display of lame motivation. Because the truly motivated person knows that only by genuinely loving your work..... being passionate about it..... by learning something everyday..... and sincerely caring enough to put out the very best can performance be said to be truly outstanding. So whether you are a simple janitor, street-cleaner, salesperson, the office clerk or the president of your company, loving your job is the prerequisite for a job well done. The rest will follow.'
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I still miss her today as I did that year she left me and my brother. Life would have been so much lighter and grand with her by my side and with her bottomless stack of wisdom and care. She always had the right words, encouragement, strength, hope, faith, and positivity when my own failed. I remember best what she would always say to me............ 'Press on, Honey, got you covered with prayers.'   That made a great deal of difference in my life back then. But I have with me all those wonderful memories she left behind. I can say that with those golden memories inside my backpack, my life journey would be a breeze.
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"Older and wiser voices can always help you find the right path, if you are only willing to listen." -- Jimmy Buffett