Saturday, October 22, 2016

Indian Summer

Another beautiful Saturday!  This morning the temperature was in the 30s and by two o'clock this afternoon the temperature was in the 80s.

October has been spectacular with the fabulous weather and the outstanding fall colors!  I do believe we will get through October without snow.

I would say that this month has been an Indian summer.  This is a period of unseasonably warm, dry weather that occurs in the autumn.  The weather conditions have been sunny and clear with above normal temperatures.

I enjoyed several walks on this impressive warm, clear day.  As I walked around the neighborhood, I could hear this shrill cry in the distance.  As I got closer to a barren tree, I noticed a mother and infant hawk.  I stood in the distance so that I wouldn't disturb them.  The infant continued to squawk as the mother paid no attention to the infant.  It is amazing the enjoyment of listening to these hawks and such a peace of enjoying these birds that God has created.

It was a beautiful day to enjoy nature!

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Lesson of Pearls

Happy Friday!  This was my first Friday at home in a long time.  I spent the day going to the bank; booking doctor and eye appointments; going to the grocery store; filling up the car with gas; making phone calls; getting a massage, etc.

It has been a good day and a good week.  The one thing I have learned as I get older is that I need to go with the flow of the day.  I always have to remember that God is in charge of my day and not myself. I do make lists and plans on a daily and weekly basis.  It just helps me to keep focused on the tasks that I need to complete.  

Even though I have my list and plans, there are days that I don't complete anything on the list.  I have learned to make that okay.  God is pleased with how I manage my time, but He also is concerned with how I control my temperament.  How do I adjust to changes or to situations that don't turn out the way that I feel that they should?  What is my character like?

I once read a story about an oyster and its pearl.  I want to share that story so that you can see that "all things do work out for a reason".

"Pearls are the product of pain.  For some unknown reason, the shell of the oyster gets pierced and an alien substance--a grain of sand--slips inside.  On the entry of that foreign irritant, all the resources within the tiny, sensitive oyster rush to the spot and begin to release healing fluids that otherwise would have remained dormant.  By and by the irritant is covered and the wounds is healed--by a pearl.  No other gem has so fascinating a history.  It is the symbol of stress--a healed wound...a precious, tiny jewel conceived through irritation, born of adversity, nursed by adjustments.  Had there been no wounding, no irritating interruption, there could have been no pearl."

Every time I wear my pearl necklace, I know that the beauty of the necklace is due to the trials and circumstances that the oyster went through.

Next time you have a day that doesn't go the way that you wanted it to, just remember the story of the "pearl".

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Denver, State Capitol

This has been a short week for work this week.  I didn't have to fly anywhere.  I was able to drive into Denver, which is the state capitol of Colorado. The hotel where I had the event was close to the capitol. There were about 15 cosmetic consultants that attended this event.

Denver is only about 55 miles south of my home.  One of the attractions of Colorado that I enjoy seeing is the capitol.  The golden dome is one of the prominent features in Denver's skyline. The building is made from Colorado rose onyx, which is a type of stone so rare that all known reserves were used in the capitol's construction.  The capitol's original signature dome was made of copper, but was swapped out for gold in 1908 due to the copper's tendency to oxidize.  Also the gold was added to commemorate the Colorado Gold Rush.

The capitol was constructed in the 1890s and was opened in November of 1894.  The capitol sits at exactly one mile above sea level.

When you are in Denver, there are several things to do besides visiting the capitol.  There is the Denver Mint, Denver Art Musuem, Union Station, Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception(picture attached) and the Molly Brown House.  Molly Brown was known as "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" because she survived the sinking of the Titanic.  She was also a philanthropist, socialite and activist.

If you have never been to Colorado, you need to put this state on your list to visit.  Make sure you tour the capitol and the other sites.  Also, you need to venture out of Denver and go south towards Pike's Peak or north to the Rocky Mountain National Park.  You will not be disappointed on your visit.  And you will understand why Colorado is one of the fastest growing states in the country.

Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Full Moon

This morning as I laid wide awake at about 4:30, I could see outside and I noticed it was light enough to read. I crawled out of bed and I peaked out the window and I could see a full moon.  It was so big and white.  The light from the moon was reflecting off the galvanized table.

I laid in bed for about another hour and then decided it was time to get up.  I turned on the coffee and sat in my rocker and looked out the big glass window that looks out into the wetland area.  I was in awe of the moon.  It is not everyday that one can see such a beautiful sight.

As I thought about the full moon, it is always amazing to me what God has created and how everything is in place.  To think that the full moon occurs each month when the sun, earth and moon line up, with the moon on the opposite side of the earth to the sun.  It is at this time that the earth-facing side of the moon is completely lit up by sunlight.  This is so powerful.

As I looked at the moon, I thought of the movie, "It is a Wonderful Life".  George Bailey told Mary, "What do you want, Mary?  Do you want the moon?  If you want it, I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down for you.  Hey.  That's a pretty good idea.  I'll give you the moon, Mary."  George would have been able to lasso this moon.

As the sun began to come up, the moon was still shining bright in the west.  I put on my tennis shoes and headed out into the 40 degree temperature to get in my steps.

The sunrise was as beautiful as the moon.  May your Sunday be as blessed as mine!

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  You have set your glory above the heavens."  Psalms 8:1

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Cincinnati & Indianapolis

It was a busy week with airports, hotels and presentations.

Monday morning, I flew to Cincinnati, Ohio.  It was a beautiful day.  I sat next to the window on the plane and I noticed that we flew along the Ohio River as we got closer to Ohio.   I noticed the barges and power plants and I thought about the first pioneers that came along this river.  I googled the Ohio River and found out that the pioneers built flatboats and canoes to travel down the river.  The Revolutionary War was over and the Constitution was being written and settlers wanted to venture out into the unknown and go west and to begin new lives.

The Ohio River is 981 miles long, starting at the confluence of the Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and ending in Cairo, Illinois, where it flows into the Mississippi River.  The Ohio River flows through six states:  Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  There are 20 dams on this river.

I arrived in Cincinnati and went straight to the hotel to get ready for the next day.   Twenty four consultants attended the seminar on Tuesday.

I did not have time to sight-see in Cincinnati.  One of the main attractions is the Museum Center at Union.  This was originally the Cincinnati Union Terminal, which was built in 1933.  After the decline of railroad travel, most of the building was converted to other uses and is now a museum, theater and a library.  The Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball team.

Wednesday morning, I drove to Indianapolis, which was a 2 hour drive.  Arrived at the hotel and made some phone calls, etc.   The training seminar was on Thursday.

Indianapolis is home of the state capitol of Indiana.  I was told that I needed to come back and visit the capitol as well as the Indianapolis 500 Museum.  The Indianapolis 500 is an automobile race held annually.  The first auto race held here was in 1911.  The theme at the Indianapolis airport was the Indy 500.

Indianapolis is also the home of the Indianapolis Colts(football) and Indianapolis Indians(baseball).

As I travel to these different cities, I always like to read about the cities and to find out what the main attractions are.  Just like people, every city has it's own personality.  This is a great way to learn about the other cities throughout the United States.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Our Lives are like the Seasons

On my walk today as I looked at the snow on the mountains in the distance and I observed the various colors of the trees where I walked, I thought about how our lives are like the different seasons.

It is October and the season that I am enjoying is autumn.  During this season, the leaves are changing colors and dropping off the trees and crops and fruits are being harvested.  This is my season to reflect on the past months and to begin to get ready for winter which is only weeks away.

I enjoy the fall season with the cool nights and warm days.  It is a season that people are back on schedules.  When I think of fall, I also think of football and Thanksgiving(a time of giving thanks). Autumn reminds me of when my life is going smoothly without any major issues.  It is a time to enjoy!

As I looked at the snow on the mountains, I know that winter is only weeks away.  Winter means colder weather, snowy days and shorter days of light.  The holidays that I think of during the winter months are Christmas, New Year's Eve and Valentine.  Winter months can also mean a time to slow down. Sometimes during the winter months, we feel alone, depressed and we begin to wonder if it will ever be warm again.

Just like there will always be different seasons(fall, winter, spring & summer), there will also be different seasons in our own lives. Each of the seasons allow us to look and think about our journey in life.  

A verse came to mind from Ecclesiastes 3:1 - "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."  The footnote for this verse said, "timing is important.  The secret to peace with God is to discover, accept and appreciate God's perfect timing.  The danger is to doubt or resent God's timing.  This can lead to despair, rebellion or moving ahead without his advice."

Whatever you may be going through, know that there is a time for everything.  During this time, allow God to give you the wisdom and insight that you need to enjoy each of the seasons.  These seasons were designed for a reason.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Joy vs. happiness

Yesterday, I talked about encouraging others.  Today, my thoughts are on joy vs. happiness.

Mr. Webster says that joy is "a feeling of great happiness; success in doing, finding or getting something; a source or cause of delight".  Happiness is "the state of being happy".  Happy is "feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.".

Joy is so much more than being happy.  One can have joy even during hard-times. To me joy is lasting.  It is knowing that God is in control and that He will be with me even during difficult times. Happiness is temporary because it is based on external circumstances.

As I was researching joy, I came across some quotes:

"Focus on the journey, not the destination.  Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but in going it."

Mother Teresa stated that "joy is prayer; joy is strength, joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls".

In the book of James 1:2-3, "consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."

So often we ask people are you happy?  Maybe the true question is "do you feel joy in your life"?

With so much negative going on around us, I feel that people are forgetting to find the joy in their lives.  There are so many things that I need to feel joyful about, such as my health, my job, my family, that I can walk, that I can see, that I can hear, etc.  It is the little things in life.  So often, people feel that they need to be financial wealthy, they need to drive a certain car, they need a designer handbag, live in a mansion and the list goes on, before they find happiness.

My prayer is that people will find the joy that will give them life and not a temporary happiness that will only last a moment!