Thursday, October 28, 2010

Better Me Epiphany ~ Reflect and Giveaway!

modern letter received!, originally uploaded by lesterhead.

I have been super busy lately! You have probably noticed from the sparseness of my blog. I got a second job! 40 hours as a social worker and 30 something as a server. It really has been great though because it has allowed me do some things that I couldn't have done without the extra money. The main thing that I had been putting off was traveling (even close by). Since I started the second job I've been on 2 trips! One trip to NYC and the other to Asheville NC. Never the less, I am very busy. I think we all find ourselves finding ways to fill up our days with things to do. We work, eat, grocery shop, read, watch tv, and so on and so on. I've noticed with all this busyness that sometimes it’s hard to enjoy the living part of life. We end our day and are so exhausted that we go straight to sleep, scrape ourselves out of bed and do it all over again. That is why I think reflection is such an important part to living our best life. Everyday we should stop and take something in. Our lives are teaching us something everyday but we have to stop and take notice of it. I would encourage everyone to find a few moments each day (when you are coherent and not trying out the newest sleep aid sedative) and reflect on your day. What did you do, what did you learn, what did you love, and where will you go from here.

So I have come up with a challenge! A letter writing challenge! Other than for work I have not written a letter to anyone in years, but I must say I think that the act of writing is important. I believe that writing is one of best tools of communication because it (usually) requires reflection and thought. Good writing conveys a message in a way that the reader feels the message rather than just hearing it. What better way to reflect on our lives then to sit down and tell someone else about it. So I propose for each of us to find someone that we don't talk to regularly and start a pen pal relationship with them. Each week or month take the time to fill someone in on your life and I promise you might find yourself filling your own self in on some things. We could just write in our journals (it’s the same concept) but I know I never follow through with it... so I decided to find someone to hold me accountable. ~ I just have to find out who it will be...any takers? ~

I hope you will do the challenge with me! I will be doing a giveaway for stationary. Leave a comment with who your reflection pal will be (by next Friday!) and I will do a random drawing so you can get some stationary starters! Here is what the stationary will be! I think it's awesome!!

Better Me Epiphany ~ I will take the time to stop and reflect on my great life so that I can savor every last drop of this grand experience that we call living.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A New Book Club!

I am excited!! A group of friends and I are starting a book club!! We will all have a chance to offer up a selection and then have a month to 6 weeks to read it. I know six weeks is a long time! But the group is full of Mommies(the fullest of the full time jobs!) and the two jobbers! So…… that is understandable! The only thing we have left to do is find a name. What would the book club with a bunch of social workers be called? Any ideas?

Of course this means that I will be reviewing at least one book every six weeks for y’all!!! Maybe we bloggers could have an online book club! What do Y'all think?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Book Review ~ Same Kind of Different as Me

Here we go! I recently finished reading Same Kind of Different as Me written by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lyn Vincent. It is a true life story about two very different people, one a homeless man and the other an international art dealer.

First off let me say that this is a Christian book. I normally don't read or haven't read Christian literature. I was very pleasently suprised by this book. The story is told through two voices Ron Hall and Denver Moore. We follow them through their lives and see how they end up intersecting. It was really a touching story and it made me think about a few things.

One of the best parts of the book are the little bits of simple wisdom that Denver, the homeless man, sort of just offers up casually. Denver and Ron were talking about the cars that Ron owns and Denver was amazed at how many he had. He asked Ron, "Are you sure you own them, or does they own you?". This gives a small glimpse into who Denver is. He has a different perspective on life and the things in it. Our society places a lot of importance on things, so it comes as no suprise that someone who doesn't quite fit into society at large would have a totally different view. I think we could all learn something by trying to get into his frame of mind.

Another thing that Dener said was when he was talking about a good friend at a local mission. Her name was Miss Debbie. He said that she never asked questions like why are you homeless? Where you been? How many times have you been in jail? She just loved him, no strings attached. This got to me and made me think if I do that with anyone. Loving with no strings attached is a hard thing to do for some reason. So many times churches want perfect parishioners and if they are not up to par then they are unwanted. it's the same with us, we love our friends until we find out something negative about them. I don't think it should be like that. We want others to love us inspite of our flaws so shouldn't we be willing to offer the same?

Lastly (though not the last bit of the book that we can learn from) was the quote, "I know when somebody you love is gone, that's the last time you feel like thanking God. But sometimes we has to be thankful for the things that hurt us." When I read that all I could think was WOW. This is coming from a homeless man, a former sharecropper, someone who has experienced tragedy after trajedy. But he wasn't angry, he wasn't bitter. He knew that through it all life was teaching. It's so easy to get stuck in the moment and stuck in the pain, but Denver (and we should too) looked outside of it. He probably didn't understand the why of it all but he did see that it was teaching or touching someone. I call these moments of pain and hardship growing pains. We all get them and they ALWAYS hurt, but they aren't the end of it all. We have to look outside of it and learn or see where the ones around us are learning from us.

Needless to say it was a wonderful, thought provoking, and inspiring book. It is a unique look at the mindset of our nations homeless and a wonderful history of how each of has the power to affect each other for the better.

P.S. Disclaimer Booksneeze has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Better Me Epiphany ~ Motives vs. Action

We all have moments in our lives where something just clicks. Whether it’s when we are walking down the road, talking to a friend, listening to a song, or reading a book and all of the sudden our mind opens up and we see something differently than we ever have before. I call these moments Better Me Epiphany’s and I wanted to share a major one with y’all.
Growing up I lived in a very religious household. I grew up in the church going every Wednesday and Sunday. The school I went to was a part of my church and basically everyone I knew or came into contact with was a Christian. I am grateful for my upbringing because it made who I am today. The thing I remember most about my high school days and church was that I spent a lot of time working. I worked on being the perfect person who didn’t cuss, drink, smoke, talk about people and so on and so on. I had the mentality that if I wasn’t perfect then God wouldn’t love or bless me or whatever. So I was stuck in this way of living. I never wanted to make mistakes because I didn’t want to be a bad example of what a Christian should be and I didn’t want to make a mistake and go to hell. I can actually remember certain times riding down the road and thinking what if the rapture happened right now? Would I be left here? I would then go into a deep evaluation of everything I ever did wrong and repent(apologize). This way of living is very stressful and it is wrong.
After I went to college a started going to a different church (I had to I was 4 hours away!). that’s when my epiphany happened! My pastor, Kenneth A. Dean, said, “God is not held by the constraints of time. When he forgave you he wasn’t limited to just seeing what had happened yet. Jesus Christ died for your past your present and your future.” That’s when it clicked and I realized that I had limited what God could do and ended up stressing myself out with that. That was the first time I realized that when I accepted Christ that it was forever and that I couldn’t lose it. That is quite an Epiphany!
So after that mind-blowing revelation I started to evaluate my way of doing things before and my motives for doing them. I realized that while I was living the “perfect” life, I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. I was trying to manipulate God by doing all the right things. That is just plain wrong. I believe that our motives count just as much or more than our actions. I was supposed to be living this life and doing the right things out of love to God not to try to get on his good side. So I urge everyone to do the best things in life but do them for the right reason, because it matters!

P.S. I’d love to do a every so often spot on here where someone shares one of their Better Me Epiphany. If you have something you’d like to share email me at Let’s help each other out!


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