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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

New Year, Bright Beginnings

Last Sunset of 2011

Another new year to make decisions, view my opportunities, and find happiness within the various struggles and stumbles of life. I know I like the idea of new beginnings. I like that moment to pause and reflect and rethink my goals, so celebrating the New Year with friends offers that opportunity.

As I stood on the waterfront and watched the last sunset of the year of 2011, I will admit it was a beautiful sunset to observe and collect my thoughts. I realized that each year adds building blocks to move forward. I may have some years that I could dwell on the struggles, the troubles, and the regrets, but I have discovered it’s best to concentrate on the achievements, the strengths, and the successes I have made working through the difficult times. I am grateful that each year I become a better person surrounded by the love of family and friends. I have moments that made me laugh. I have experienced events that I will treasure. I continue to have the ability to dream. I have hope that situations work out for the best. I have faith that something bright will be heartwarming.

Many make resolutions and then eventually get frustrated that they couldn’t make the change. That is something I welcome…Change! It can be scary at times, frustrating that it may take me away from my comfort zone, but it always seems to bring something bright. To me, it’s like when I decided to paint the bedroom. It was frustrating to move the furniture and clean. It was scary financially of how much it cost for paint and new carpet. When the project was done, and I was able to rest for a day, walking into that new room, well I was satisfied, and it made me smile. It didn’t happen overnight, and it sure was work, but isn’t that what life is all about? Making the decision, planning the steps, accepting the work and looking forward to the reward of satisfaction and I will add, sharing the experience with those you love.

Yes, the economy has been down, unemployment has been an issue, but the joy I have received this past year with family and friends, the travels I have made, the dreams I have pursued, and the choice to focus on the good, has given me this past year sensational experiences to add to my journey of life. I welcome the New Year and look forward to 2012.

Year to Year
Minute by minute,
Day by day,
The choices I make,
The plans I create,
Give meaning I say,
To live life this way!
SGW

The Heart Believes

Let the Magic Begin

Years come, and they go, but the memories they generate can have a lasting effect. When I was young I truly believed in the spiritual magic of the Holidays. My birthday is six days before Christmas and usually landed on the last day of school before Christmas break or on the weekend when all my friends and family could attend my party. It was the start of a warm feeling that seemed to grow. My grandmother would travel to be with us on my birthday and stay through till Christmas, and sometimes New Year’s. My favorite cake became the homemade, delightfully delicious red velvet cake that my mother made from the recipe passed down from my grandmother. In the kitchen, a baking aroma for that week would fill the house with sweets, breads, and a variety of scrumptious goodies for the Christmas Eve Swedish Smorgasbord. The twinkling of Christmas lights, the sparkling ornaments of silver and gold, and well known colors of red and green became my birthday decorations. It became a week of so much joy to be surrounded by family and friends.

As I grew, leaving home for college, I faced the various struggles and stumbles of life, but that one week in December, seemed to make a difference and remind me never to give up on hope. I treasure those memories and especially the feeling within my heart. There is still a spiritual magic today, and I still cherish the moment when it warms my heart and enlightens the experience of the Holiday season. I may have moved away from home and years have passed as I traveled on my journey of life, but that spiritual magic has never left.

This year, turning a half century, I still woke up with that excitement, that feeling of anticipation and took in the glow that the Christmas decorations offer and received the love that family and friends can offer. What I discovered this year, that unexplained, cannot touch, spiritual magic is still here even as an adult.

At times, I listen to other adults share their memories and sometime state how things were different when they were a child, but they don’t feel or believe in the unexplained Christmas magic today. It’s not for the child only; it is for anyone with an open heart, willingness to be a part of that season which God gave the ultimate gift. A gift that I cannot touch, I cannot concretely see, but believing…I can feel in my heart, I can observe on the faces of others, I can share with others, and it seems to grow the more I allow myself to participate beyond the Christmas season.

Merry Christmas to all and May the Spiritual Magic of the season be in your heart!

Celebration of Blessings

Autumn Gold

The last three months of the year seem to be my favorite. They are filled with celebration and fun, and yet be the most stressful times of the year too. I enjoy the changing of the leaves, full of bright colors and a cooler breeze that encourages outdoor activities. The kids seem to enjoy the creative ideas of dressing up, be it scary or humorous for Halloween treats.

There are more days out from school, and kids seem to look forward to the mini vacations. Thanksgiving rolls around and families come together. Folks engage in cooking scrumptious desserts to accentuate an incredible and delicious meal of turkey or ham, potatoes, beans, salads and so much more. People seem to share, smile, and think about others too. It’s a moment in the year to reflect and actually evaluate the gifts acquired throughout the year. For me, it helps me to focus less on my troubles or struggles and appreciate the growth, changes, and achievements that my family has made that have made me a better person.

This year, I am so proud of my daughters and the choices they have made and the love they share with my grandchildren. I am so grateful to my parents for guidance and love they continue to offer unconditionally. I can add more to the list, and I am grateful for that in itself. This time of year can warm the heart even if the temperatures are falling along with the leaves. I know I have observed many of Scrooges and Grinches this time of the year, but it’s my choice to choose how I want to celebrate. I like the warmth from within, when the temperatures can be cold, so I’m thankful for the blessings I have been given and want to share beyond the last month of the year.

That last month of the year, my grandson counts the days from Thanksgiving to Christmas for that school break again. Folks come out and about shopping and decorating for the season. Even with the economy and unemployment, folks seem to want to please as they struggle financially. Some folks can become extremely creative with gift ideas and crafts to share with love ones. People give toys, food, and other things to those less fortunate. It’s a time to be with family also and again share a moment of Thankfulness. I know I get detracted with holiday stresses, but I believe Dr. Seuss stated it well in the story, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, when the Grinch had not stopped Christmas from coming, and the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

Blessings to all!

Creativity Brings Awareness

Crew: Here to Help

There are so many ways to be creative, and I am amazed how one’s innovative ideas or projects can touch the lives of others. During the month, the month of October, I know many saw “Pink” and I have heard that some felt overwhelmed by the color. But I can say as a Breast Cancer Survivor, being told you have cancer can be even more compelling. I remember hearing the diagnosis, my mind racing to reflect on unfinished business, and the whys. I became scared of the unknown expectations of treatment, and the experience was blinding to other things going on around. It was as if I had become frozen in time while others went on living. I know there are many that continue to battle and hold on to the hope of one day saying those words, “I’m a survivor.” From my gratitude, fighting the battle, the color “Pink”, well, it has become one of my favorite colors. I have become appreciative to various opportunities to be creative, to be expressive, to give back and fight with prayer, hope, and fund raising to support others affected, encourage better treatment, a cure and even prevention. I so enjoyed the opportunity to participate as a crew member for the walkers of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this month. I observed the various staff or groups of crew members who worked the rest stops use creative themes to get the word out, inspire the walkers, and promote a positive message of awareness of Breast Cancer. It’s a disease, like so many, that affect not a person, but the family and community. Becoming more aware doesn’t mean that one becomes aware of cancer but aware of how to support, not only the various charities that help financially, but those affected by this cancer or any disease. The month of October, with all its pink, was to bring awareness on how to be able to communicate and assist them or their family in meeting their needs from the moment of being diagnosed, during the battle, and life as a survivor. It can be lonely, friends and family are saddened, unsure, and some stay away. I’m sure it is more of “a lack of how” to offer support and communicate that keeps them away, but to the one struggling and battling, it can be confusing and distressing. I can share, when someone took the time to call to check up on me, listened and allowed me to vent, provided a meal while I was going through treatment, or even expressed gladness to see me when I was out and about, that kind of support gave encouragement and strength. Positive emails, book suggestions, and cards were uplifting. So, when I see “Pink”, when someone gives financial support during these struggling economic times, so I can be a crew member or a walker for a foundation that supports Breast Cancer or even a hug from a family member or friend that seems glad I can participate…Well, then I’m proud that pink is getting the awareness out.

Pink

As Avon Walk for Breast Cancer states, I am IN IT TO END IT! I am in it to end a lack of support to those in need, I am in it to end others feeling overwhelmed and lonely, and I am in it until there is a cure or even prevention to this cancer and other diseases.

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

Recycling of Creative Ideas

Enhancing the Old

I know everyone has heard the phrase, “Out with the old and in with the new.”  There are times when something does not live up to its purpose, being out-of- date, too slow, or the cost of repairs cost more than a newer model.   Before tossing, remember there is another saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”  There are times too when something old can provide new or additional meaning to develop ideas to move forward.  Could it be that creative ideas are recycled, and the enduring ideas over time had more to offer than a product?

I needed some ideas and started searching through old pictures taken with an older camera.  I was one of those folks that thought a newer camera would give me better pictures, so to speak.  I was amazed at what I found.  With the matter of angles and lighting, I had done pretty well with that old camera, but what I discovered, I had captured some memorable times with family and friends.

What I discovered was I have those moments when I get caught up in the product, the achievement, the competition of the matter and forget the purpose, the results, and the reward of the moment.  There are so many sayings posted today giving excellent advice to slow down, absorb your surroundings, and appreciate right now, before it’s gone in a second.

I think, those creative ideas that I search for to complete a project, to improve a skill, or enhance productivity are stimulating motivators to pursue a dream, but there needs to be a balance with the old that helped and supported the foundation to carry on the weight of the new.  There needs to be several pillars of support that treasure each moment of the creative journey of life.

 

Renewed Notions

It may be a theory in time,

Accomplishments in history,

A dream in each season,

A way of life to learn,

Meant to be developed,

Its value to be respected,

An endless journey to behold,

To one another, passed on, it’ll grow.

SGW

Believing Gives Strength to Creativity

Morning Reflections

With each sunrise I observe, it always gives me the peaceful reassurance that new opportunities are on the rise.  There are times, I have had a new adventure that came knocking on the door, and other times, I have had to use my creative imagination to develop and unlock the door to optimistic opportunities.  The key has been with me, never to give up on hope.  To believe and absorb the wonder of the artistic splendor that is shown as a new day begins.

Each day brings on new challenges, new definitions to experiences, and new adventures to explore.  I have my days when things seem scattered like an unfinished puzzle, and moments when a piece seems to be missing, but stepping back to appreciate the newness of a sunrise gives hope that I will creatively find that piece as the sun begins to glow and completes the picture I set out to dream.


Journey to Living

Opportunities develop out of storms,
To cope, to struggle, makes new skills,
Treasures gained, the trust of a friend,
Faith, hope, and love are strengthened,
A better me in the development.
 
The storms of life may seem tough,
Pressures to restore may seem scary,
Feeling… too tired to make the climb,
Faith, hope, and love are strengthened,
A better me in the development.
 
Experiences, confirmation to living,
Some troublesome with a lesson,
Some pleasant with a gift to treasure,
Believing in the passion of dreams,
A better me in the development.
 
The heart has known hurt,
The body has known failure,
The mind has known forgetfulness,
The soul has known loneliness,
Yet, I develop into a better me.
 
God’s touch has been soft,
God’s reach has been comforting,
God’s hand has been strong,
God’s grace has been lifting,
God develops me into a better me.
 
Laughter has given strength,
Crying has drained the weakness,
Each day has been a journey,
Each moment of reconstruction,
Developing me into a better me.
 
I absorb and map the circumstances,
Calmly rejoice for who I am today.
I will witness results of my creativity,
Empowering me to move forward,
Developing me into a better me.

SGW

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Essences of Creative Living

Creativity Begins

In my arms, I snuggled you,

In my arms, I breastfed you,

In my arms, I cuddled you,

In my arms, I thanked the Lord,

For a blessing has been born.

 

I gave you unconditional love to last,

I gave you guidance on your path,

I gave you my time, all that I had,

I gave you smiles when you were sad,

For a joy you had become, my child.

 

I released you to understand freedom,

I released you to grow in life’s education,

I released you to pursue your dreams,

I released you to seek your meaning of love,

For a proud parent, I’d become, my young adult.

 

As you grew in height, I grew in experience,

As you grew in friends, I grew in trust,

As you grew in thoughts, I grew in acceptance,

As you grew into me, I grew into my parent,

For all the gifts shared, I am thankful!

SGW

Each experience in the journey of living adds an essential contribution to being creative in life.  As days and even years pass, time has been filled and developed with opportunities, to imagine, and express an original thought that can grow in the cycle of sharing.  It’s astounding how creative some of the natural things are in life. Lately, I have had the opportunity to observe and reflect on the beginning of many of my creative adventures.  In my opinion, however viewed, my family has aided to the motivation of becoming the person I am.  Through love, laughter and tears, in my view, I have been one of those that have been fortunate to have a supportive family that strives to provide inspiration, encouragement, and joy.  They had and continue to guide me to follow my dreams, aided me with strength when I have fallen, and defended me to grow into the vision I believe.  Those gifts they shared came with unlimited rewards.  It was only the matter of taking responsibility, nurturing the gifts, and allowing them to be shared through me to others.  My creative inspiration comes from being grateful for truth, love, devotion and acceptance to grow from the heart.

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