Love Factually

I recently had dinner with Sandra (pseudonym), a woman who personifies love and joy.  And not the Pollyanna kind.   Over her 60 plus years, Sandra has battled cancer more than once, heart disease, brain surgery, and broken bones.  She’s the mother of two boys with special needs, now approaching their 20s, her constant companions..

But despite her challenges, Sandra is always on the lookout for others in need. She smiles a lot and basically, shows off God.   “Tell me about your life,” she says.   “How can I pray for you?”

During dinner Sandra brought out her ring of Bible verses on Love which she and her sons are memorizing – Verses for Purses.

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Her son, Mike, with hand signals and guidance from his mom, quoted the first verse on the ring — Romans 12:10 –  “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”   Mike returned to his video game and Sandra beamed with pride.

Later that night, sitting in my car, I reached for the keys.  Wouldn’t you know it – Sandra being Sandra – had slipped her Purse-Verse ring into MY purse!  I smiled all the way home marveling at this woman who honors others above herself.  (She also enjoys wine and a good joke, by the way — lest you think her too angelic!)

So how to be more like Sandra, a Baby Boomer who is relishing her life even in the midst of weighty challenges?

 

Back to Verses for Purses.   Be devoted to one another in love.

But to be devoted to one another, we may need to love ourselves first.  And that takes intentionality.  Best selling author, Louise Hay, has written a book called Mirror Work which entails a 21 day program for learning to love yourself better – without slipping into narcissism.  One reviewer writes,

“Our experience of life mirrors our relationship with ourselves; unless we see ourselves as lovable, the world can be a dark and lonely place. Mirror work—looking at oneself in a mirror and repeating positive affirmations—is Louise’s powerful method for learning to love oneself and experience the world as a safe and loving place.”

 

OK, apologies to Ms. Hay, but I will not be looking in a mirror and saying affirmations (a la Stuart Smiley on SNL).  However, I will give myself the occasional talking-to, especially on Valentines Day.

I am a child of God.  I am dearly loved.  I am also a work in progress!  And today, I will smile more, love more, live better – because the days are short and life is a precious gift.

And I will also look for someone else’s purse to drop a verse ring into.  (I ordered an Amazon shipment!)    So when we’re together, if you’d rather not find a surprise the next day, may I suggest you keep your purse on your lap!

Today’s Takeaway –

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Happy Valentines Day, Loved Ones!!

Enjoy the ride

xox Barclay and Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

YIPPEE Moments

Joy and I are big fans of Maria Shriver.  We look forward to reading The Sunday Paper – her inspirational essay that comes to us each week via email.   The writing style is engaging, the voice authentic, and the content both mind stretching and heart warming. Oh and it’s free.  (Click here to subscribe.  You will love it!)

 

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A couple of weeks ago, Maria talked about celebrating life’s daily “Yippee!”  moments.  Even in the midst of a dark season, such moments are there to be discovered.

“We all need more joy in our lives,” says Maria. Yippee-Joy, she defines as “a moment you consciously celebrate. It’s a moment where you decide that you get to feel joy-filled.”

Maria suggests we  recognize these Yippee’s at least once a day.  And the reason we DON’T do this, she adds, is a matter of where our focus is.

“Most of us are so bogged down getting through life and attending to life’s never-ending stream of responsibilities that before we know it, we aren’t playing anymore. We aren’t celebrating anymore. We aren’t thinking “yippee!”

Instead, we have our heads down in our computers or phones. We’re dealing with evolving relationships, changing kids, sick friends, our own health, aging parents, and bills. Lots and lots of bills. Sure, you can stay on this path and say, “well, that’s just life.” Or, you can consciously decide, like I have done, to find a daily “yippee!””

And in case you’re not in a Yippee mood, check out this research study from 2003.  There were three groups – one listed blessings; one listed hassles, and the third did nothing.  The results showed that the gratitude group reported improved happiness, increased motivation, and better sleep! It turns out there’s a causal relationship (not just correlational) between an attitude of gratitude and a better life.

The Bible tells us to “Rejoice always!” .  If we didn’t quite get the message (since we were too busy worrying), it reiterates, “Again, I say, Rejoice!”   Sounds rather like a command, doesn’t it?

So in the words of Becca, the Bachelorette, “Let’s do the damn thing!”

Here goes…

YIPPEE!  Spring is  here!  Buds are bursting from seemingly dead branches.  I’m seeing colors of unspeakable beauty, fat robins flitting and chatting.

YIPPEE!  Yesterday my husband AND my grown daughter took a walk through Millennial Park in 80 degree sun and then shared a meal at Veggie Grill.

YIPPEE!  I have 3 new library books sitting on my bedside table ready to befriend me.

YIPPEE! I am now enjoying 3 racket sports (pickleball, paddle, tennis) that provide the company of wonderful women – and cold beer.

YIPPEE!  Kacie, a cranky shih tsu lies at my feet, chilling in the morning sunlight.  Codie, of Golden love, stares me down, saying “Let’s do THIS damn thing!” Meaning, I should give over my damn cereal bowl so she can lick the remaining Grape Nuts.

These knucklehead doggies exude yippee-ness!

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So let’s embark on a 14-day YIPPEE Challenge.  Join Joy and me in the discipline of listing YIPPEE moments each morning.

AND THERE’S MORE…

If we also smile broadly while compiling our lists, then we will be exercising our facial muscles and REDUCING wrinkles. Some call this Face Yoga.   (Check out our post called, Exercising Your Face – It’s a THING!” )

The only response to that is YIPPEE!

 

 

Today’s Takeaway-

– Life is short.  Claim all Yippee’s while you can!  And then don’t forget to subscribe to The Sunday Paper. Click here.

-Maria’s essays are now compiled in a best selling book called, I’ve Been Thinking.  Click the book image below to order from Amazon.  $11.99 well spent!

 

 

Enjoy the Ride

xox   Barclay and Joy