A REAL smile starts deep inside, almost a butterfly feeling, somewhere in the pit of my soul and spreads until it reaches my lips. I really believe that it starts in my sacral chakra - which just might be the pit of my soul - and tells me that I am worthy of all good - of all abundance - of all well being. This is a real smile.
This morning as I listened to a recording of Esther Hicks, she spoke the words "Praise Only" meaning ONLY say good things about life, about others -about everything. All day long I have been questioning if my words are praise - striving for that balance of always looking for, seeing and speaking praise. Praise for my life. Praise for love. Praise for family. Praise for me.
Definition of Praise
to express warm admiration or approval of
to express one's respect and gratitude toward
the state of being approved or admired
Joy is expressing warm admiration and approval of life, love, family and myself.
I always love to read new books and find inspiration in the words an author puts together. I am taking on a new 30 day practice of Self Appreciation. Thirty days of finding something new to appreciate - and appreciating fully. I know this practice will awaken a sense of Appreciation never experienced before!
This morning as I left the house at 5:00 to walk, I noticed a few sprinkles as I stretched. I wanted to be outside so much that I hoped the rain would hold off for at least one lap. Just 15 minutes was all I needed. I walked the neighborhood. I stood with arms opened wide by the swaying trees, and then, just 30 seconds away from home, the rain blasted me, blowing sideways, skimming and dancing across the road, soaking me from head to toe as I ran for the front door. As I changed into dry clothes, I was feeling extreme appreciation for the morning, the walk, and the soaking rain. Joy is a morning with spring showers!
Sunday turned into such a wonderful and busy day that I did not write my Joy. Thanks goodness I still get to experience Joy. Liz, Tucker, Rollin, Fynneus, and Tim and Becky joined Jim and I for breakfast. But before we could eat we had to let the little guys look for eggs and treats. It is so fun to watch the innocence of children. So eager to believe good things. Eager to be happy - eager to feel good.
I want my Journey of Joy to be filled with that same eagerness. Eager to find Joy. Eager to be happy, to feel good, to believe good things, and to say good things. Eager to love, and to be loved. Eager -every day- to live this wonderful life.
Jim and I celebrated 37 years tonight. We were married in Michigan City, Indiana on April 20, 1974. Seems like a life time ago, and to tell the truth it is. A life time of loving. A life time of history. A life time of cultivating. A life time of building. A life time of co-creating. A lifetime of giving. A life time of courage. A life time of adventures.
We are enjoying this ride and looking forward to all the adventures that still lie before us.
Rollin spent the night with us last night and this morning when he came out to the kitchen he ran to me, wrapped his arms around my neck, his legs around my waist and laid his beautiful head on my shoulder. I could not Not sit and hold him.
So I wrapped him in a small, soft blanket and held him in my lap for several minutes. Gazing into his eyes, letting him say the words that fit his morning at my house. Unfortunately, quiet time does not last long enough and soon I was off to fix him breakfast. After he had breakfast I gave him a slice of fresh apple pie. He was delighted and told me that if he had two Nana's, I would be his favorite one. But he is lucky, He told me he has a Grandy, who is his favorite because she makes pancakes that look like "R". MeMe is his favorite because she makes rice krispie treats - every day that he is there, And I'm his favorite because I give him apple pie for breakfast. All of Rollin's favorite grandma's cultivating love.
We had our lake perch fish fry today. Liz and Thad and their boys joined us for dinner on the patio and everything was perfect. Our good friends, Deb and Steve, from Michigan provided the lake perch when they visited us several weeks ago. Tonight as we ate dinner we remembered good friends and good times and at the same time we knew we were making memories of good times with family.
When our daughters were small, I often made their Easter dresses. Usually matching, and sometimes I made one for me too. Ruffles and lace and ribbons - all the good stuff and a Bonnet with matching trim. Jelly shoes and little white gloves and off to hunt easter eggs.
The holidays have changed since that time. Now we celebrate Happy Spring with eggs and baskets and kites and chocolate. Jim and I still make Happy Spring baskets for our daughters as well as our son in law and grandsons so I have been busy making plans for next Sunday. Jenn lives so far away that mailing her basket is usually required so I will pack her box tomorrow. However, reminiscent of the earlier times, I have been sewing ruffles today. I am making Jenn a ruffle apron as part of her Spring celebration.
I laid the fabric out just this morning pinning pattern pieces and cutting along the lines. I changed the thread on both my sewing machines, turned on some really cool Law of Attraction music and jumped in. Everything seemed to be so in sync. My machines sewed perfectly. The ruffles ruffled just right, the seams lay smoothly, and wah lah! A beautiful apron - effortlessly! That is when I knew that creating this wonderful thing was the perfect thing to do today!
A rainy (thunder and lightening) morning changed my walking plans this morning. So I slept a little longer than usual before heading to the kitchen for that morning cup of steaming looooove. I spent most of the day in my office looking at old family pictures, unpacking prom dresses from Jenn and Liz, looking at many different houses we have owned, and smiling at the changes in all of us.
Life is so very good. I do not want to go back to those days, but I am very grateful that life has manifested this way. All are happier All are healthier. All are wealthier. All are wiser - for the ride that we are on!
Jim and I enjoyed a quiet dinner with a glass of wine this evening and began talking about our upcoming wedding anniversary. In less than a week we will be celebrating 37 years of marriage and I am already marveling at the time given to this passage of our lives together.
I do believe that Jim and I intended this life together long before our births. I do believe that the people who have touched our lives are not mere coincidence - but perfectly timed for our growth and expansion. I do believe in a love that lasts. I do believe in Jim and I do believe in Me. I Believe!
Every day I make choices that contribute to my happiness. Choosing to speak kindly and to smile. Finding Joy in life's every day miracles. Loving myself and others. Taking time to meditate - to align with my Source. Blessing friends and family - and people I don't know yet. Appreciating the prosperity of the Universe. Choosing to see the cup half full! It really is up to me. It really is my choice.
I have spent the day, after coffee and quiet meditation, focusing upon loving myself. A simple thing really, to love myself, therefore, able to love others too. I have smiled many times today thinking of this love, this approval, this appreciation that I have for myself. And I have, at the end of the day, loved myself more than ever before.
This morning, after a quick stop at Starbucks, I drove to Liz's house to find the boys watching Toy Story 3 with Mom and Dad still sleeping peacefully. I joined the boys on the sofa and watched the movie with them and watched how beautiful they are. They all have had some sun now and are beginning to brown up like little hazel nuts. Their skin glows, their eyes shine and their smile widens when they see me. As each of them greeted me this morning I was thinking of how I have worked to cultivate this very moment.
I try always to love them unconditionally. To accept them as they are. To listen to their words. To respect and appreciate their uniqueness. To watch their beauty with awe. By doing so, I have cultivated a relationship with these little guys that is going to last a life time. I realize that changes will come as they grow older, and I will have my own changes, but this love and acceptance that we are cultivating now will last forever!
Joy is a day with family. Oh, and I love that it was sunny and warm and that Jim took me to Starbucks this morning, and John Wayne played with Koda and lunch on the porch at Liz's house was so nice and I looked up definitions in my 1946 dictionary and I made herbal Raspberry Tea to share with Tucker and Rollin and Fynn and now the stars are shining. What a beautiful, glorious day!
It's Saturday night and I am having a wonderful start to the weekend. Last night we had our first dinner on the patio. Grilled steaks and all the works. This morning I sat outside drinking my coffee - marvelous. Then we were off to watch our grandsons play a double header in T-Ball. We bought more flowers at Home Depot and I spent the afternoon planting. We had dinner at the Commissary in Germantown and now we are settling down for a quiet evening.
Even with all of the activity today, I have been looking forward to Sunday. My quiet day. While we plan to go help Liz work on her landscaping tomorrow morning, I know I get to sleep in (at least until 7) I know Jim will bring me coffee in bed after he attends to John Wayne. And I know I am going to have a wonderful day, just like every day!! Life is Good!
April 7th is always a special day for me. Our first daughter, Jenn, was born on this day and we are blessed to have her in our lives. She is a beautiful, strong and courageous woman whom I adore. She has caused us to love more than we knew we could. She has caused us to live more than we thought possible. She fills our hearts and our lives with Joy and we treasure every moment we get to be with her.
Jenn, I love you more than words can say. Happy Birthday my beautiful daughter! I'm glad you have chosen to ride with me!
I love that Jim is always cheering for me. Tonight I received a much needed pep talk to keep up my writing. Pointing out my good qualities, my strong points, my determination, and my goals. Reassuring me that I had made the right decision a year ago when I chose to stay home to write and get this off the ground. Stating firmly that he still believed, like he did from the beginning, that I can do this thing. Declaring again that this is all leading to something wonderful for both of us.
Joy is Jim cheering for me - without fail, without doubt - and with tons of love!
Rollin turned 6 today. We just returned from his birthday party and I am remembering his birth day. He was born in Florida and his older brother, Tucker, spent the day with us while he was making his entrance. Tonight as Liz recounted his and her birthing experience, other moms recounted their stories as well. And as they all talked about their young children, I thought of my own daughters' births and how every wonderful detail is cherished, recounted, and held lovingly for a lifetime. My daughters are grown now, but the Joy of their births last forever.
Tonight, as I look as Rollin and marvel how quickly the years are flying, I know his mom will cherish his birth forever. And we will cherish this wonderful child who chose to join our family.
Each evening as I sit to write my Journey of Joy I am reminded to feel gratitude for my day. And I do feel appreciation for all the things that have filled my day, however, my gratitude does not end with nor are they based on the things that happen or things that I do. My gratitude for this Journey of Joy that I live each day goes beyond the activities. Gratitude for breath, for beauty, for life, for courage, for compassion, for abundance, for health, for prosperity..........
I am grateful for the opportunity to express my Joy each day. I am grateful that the more I look for Joy, the more Joy I find. I am grateful that writing my Joy each day has multiplied my Joy in a thousand ways. I am enJoying this beautiful ride!
Can I just say I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Sundays!! That's all! I Love Sundays! I love the sleeping in day. I love the great coffee in bed day. I love the no plans day. I love the moving slowly day. I love Sundays!
Jim and I have driven 8 hours today to deliver his Mom back to Arkansas and to bring us back home alone. Our home always feels so different when someone leaves after a wonderful visit. As we adjust to being alone again, we know we have lovingly added history to our home and to our lives with the time spent with Sarah Elizabeth!
It is April 1st and the days are getting longer and just a little warmer. This is Granny Great's last day before we take her back to Arkansas and we have had a wonderful day. We went to the Three Dog Bakery and picked up snacks for John Wayne and her dog, Abby. We stopped at Starbucks for another Mocha Latte and then we spent the afternoon with Liz and the Boys. Telling jokes, playing pranks and April Fools, and enjoying the time together.
Life is good with family. April 1st is always good with family, jokes and laughter.