Focus On The Family

     I saw a commercial on television the other day for a crisis hotline. Anyone could call in for help or just for someone to listen. The commercial offered several different scenerios; loss of a loved one, parental concerns, depression…etc. I’m glad this kind of service is offered, yet it saddens me. Where is today’s supportstructure? Where are the family and friends that we need guidance and sympathy from? In today’s society,why do we need a hotline available so that when we are in need of someone to listen, a total stanger will do it? I believe it is in a sense what we accomplish with facebook. We let everyone know our status, how we feel or what we are up to. We ask for prayers, likes, shares, or comments. Typing on the computer gives a false sense of security and sometimes we share more in our words than we would ever actually say to our 214 friends.  Keeping in touch via facebook or email is much easier and faster, but is it really keeping in touch with someone? Just how distant is technology making us? Maybe I should call the hotline and see if they know.

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Staying Focused

Staying Focused.

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Staying Focused

Staying Focused.

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Staying Focused

I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t blogged in  long time. I apologize. While I struggle for the extra time to write on my blog, I assure you I have been writing. I have received two rejection letters so far for my novel Pop. I didn’t hesitate to send it out to a third publisher and am now waiting for a response. I am doing some writing for the commemorative booklet that is being printed for Princeville’s 175th Anniversary. This has so far been very rewarding. It is great practice for me and I have throuhly enjoyed learning about Princeville’s history and the founding fathers’ stories. Very interesting stuff. I highly recomend that each of you make sure you get a copy.

On another note, I have just finished a rough draft for a short story contest. It is for young adults, and I must admit, I felt very old when trying to make my main character ( a girl of 15 years old) sound like a teenager. When did I become so uncool? Now I am just a nerdy mom who is trying to sound hip. (Yes, I know….quit laughing, “hip” is not the right phrase anymore either!)

In the meantime, I will make more of an effort to keep up with my blog. I now have four cleaning jobs, too. For some of you who have previously read my blog on being aware of paying compliments and being appreciative for those being of service around you, my newest cleaning job is for a woman 93 years old. I promise I will write more on that soon. Funny stuff!

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Crocus Writing

As each winter begins to fade, I wait anxiously for signs of the Crocus that I planted in my front yard. This flower is considered one of the first of spring blooms. After enduring the bitter cold winter, spring takes on a redemptive quality for me. The dull grey clouds and white frozen ground give way to sunlight and fresh greens. It’s an awakening for nature from it’s long winter’s sleep, and I find myself perking up as well.
Sunshine, fresh air, warmth, and budding plants fill me with hope and anticipation. Even the smell of an earthy spring rain jumpstarts my outlook. My days seem to be more purposeful, and my attitude more positive. I feel happier and more energized as if my life has a greater sense of balance.
As spring quickly approaches, I hope my writing will grow as well. As a struggling author, I still feel the icy winter wind in my work. I look foward to the day that my written word will bloom with the brillinat resiliance of a Crocus; ignoring the leftover chill of winter, stretching toward the warmth of spring, and accepting the beauty of just being me.

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Awareness

Stop. Just Stop. Take a good look around you. How aware are you of the people who are working hard or servicing others? I can hear you now, “I work hard.” I’m sure you do, but forget about yourself for a minute.
In order to contribute to our family finances and stay at home with my daughter, I have three different cleaning jobs. Out of these three differnt places, I have two people who consistently tell me what a good job I’m doing and how much they appreciate it. Two people out of three very public places and one of the places is at a church!
This got me thinking. First, let me say that I am not begging for compliments. In fact, just the opposite. I am guilty of not being aware of the efforts of others, too. I realized this last week. A young boy held a door open for me and I made sure I acknowledged his efforts.
“Thank you. How sweet. What a gentleman you are.” In turn he smiled and his mother actually thanked me for complimenting him.
A patron entered a business I was cleaning and told me how clean it smelled. I thanked her and told her something I’d noticed.
“You always look so pretty and put together every day.”
She froze mid-step and said, “Thank you. That’s the best compliment I’ve had all year.”
These two episodes have shown me how much people appreciate a compliment. I decided to investigate a little further. Of the two people who show their appreciation for my cleaning everytime I see them, one is a minister and the other is a president of a bank. I am employed by neither. Yet their prominent positions in town and their professions have conditioned them to be more aware of others.
After speaking to several others who clean for a living, it is interesting to find that very few people offer thanks. In fact, it seems the few people who go out of their way to point out something you might have missed (yes, there are those people, too. One person today told me that the cleaner I was using stunk!) never tell you thank you or give a compliment.
And still another group of people (the majority) have the attitude “That’s your job,” or “That’s what you get paid for.” What exactly does this constitue? If you’re getting paid, you don’t deserve a compliment or thanks? It’s your job to clean it up even though I made the mess or I can’t be bothered to pick something up myself?
Last week, I was hauling around a large garbage bag, emptying smaller cans. I was shocked when a patron waiting in line ( a white haired gentleman) grabbed the smaller can and emptied it into my bag for me. I was actually so taken aback that I blurted out, “Thank you. You are so sweet,” before I even thought.
I haven’t forgotten it, though. What causes these few individuals to have such a heightened awareness toward others? I think it has more to do than just having good manners. I’m not sure what it is, but I want to join this elite group.
Instead of pointing out a negative, expecting service just because it’s someone’s job, or neglecting to appreciate the efforts of someone else, I am working on becoming aware for a start.
Stop. Just stop. Take a good look around you. What and who do you notice?

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Forgiveness

Personally, I believe understanding goes hand in hand with forgiving. Until I was able to understand that my parents were not perfect (no one is)I wasn’t able to forgive them. I believe each person is just doing the best they can to get through life. Some people are better at it than others, some have better luck, make better decisions, or even have better attitudes. When you are a child, you believe your parents know everything and should be perfect. It takes maturity and your own short-comings to realize no one is perfect. Understanding this helps a person be able to forgive more readily. And, forgiveness is so very important. By not forgiving someone, you carry that burden like dead weight wherever you go. It doesn’t neccessarily hurt the other person, but it does hurt you. It really lightens your load to let go of the hurt and anger toward someone else. I am also a firm believer in praying for your enemies. This also lightens your load. When you are open and forgiving, your conscience is more free to accept the positive. It is easier to pursue your own happiness. The only person you can change is yourself. So, make it easier on yourself: FORGIVE.

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