- Who was the First Roman Catholic saint (wiki.answers.com)
Volunteering makes me happy to not get paid.
Through a plethora of doctor appointments for my daughter, God shows me my purpose.
I’m never bored because my brain needs exercise .
My favorite time of the day: reading books to my girls at night.
After all these years, I finally appreciate my parents.
Knowing time and apologies heal all wounds.
I never let a little titanium in my body get the best of me.
I can find poetry in anything.
My siblings rock.
I saw a commercial recently for an anti-depressant drug supplement to take with the antidepressants we’re already taking. Depression is of course a real condition, but I wonder if it’s so rampant because we aren’t doing anything creative for ourselves?
Creative projects not only entertain but produce joy within an individual. We have God given talents but we hide them by filling up our days up with things to do for other people. Here are a few ways toclear the fog:
1. Make a list of what brought you joy as a child. My senior year in high school was the year I did exactly what I wanted to do. I was editor of the school newspaper, co-captain of the pom pon squad, sang in the choir, acted in plays and won awards for my art.
We need to go back to the place that thrilled us. Love the smell of clay in the art studio in college? Thrilled to see the shiny clean floor in the gym and hear the echoes of a basketball and the squeaks from your sneakers? Take a moment and drink it in.
2. Start small and cheaply. More into doodling than taking notes? Then grab a cheap notebook and doodle away. Visit your store’s Crayola section and find the new stuff they put out since we were kids. There’s more than just those boxes of 64 colors like periwinkle and thistle with the sharpener in the back.
Don’t know what to draw? Draw what’s on TV. Make your child joy list colorful. Don’t worry about showing it to anybody.
3. Visit the children’s library. When we’re short on knowledge, we have to become like children learning for the first time. Because that’s when learning was new and exciting.
4. Tour stores like Michael’s and Jo-Ann Fabrics. Invest in some starter kits like scarf crocheting or needlepoint. There are also kits to build model cars and airplanes. And latch hooking is not just for girls. My husband says he loved to hook rugs as a kid. These are perfect for keeping hands busy while listening to podcasts or watching TV.
5. Found a niche? Take some classes. My daughter recently discovered she loves sewing which she learned at school. She started with a pattern and then branched out on her own. She’s already made stuffed animals and a small pillow that’s behind my neck now as I write this. It’s the best birthday present I ever received.
Michael’s and Jo-Ann Fabrics also offer classes for kids and adults at all learning levels. If you’re a little skittish about shelling out for a class, look to the library again. Notice I say the library and not the internet. True, you can find a lot on the web but there’s nothing like the peace and silence the library offers us to focus on our tasks.
6. Pick up a schedule of recreational activities at your local community center. Our passion might lie in performing arts. Community centers might offer classes for beginners. Anyone who honed a talent had to start somewhere. And don’t compete. We don’t have to better than everyone else in the class.
Some people push away creativity because if they don’t get it right then why bother? Talent is a journey of progressions. We have gifts but we have to unwrap to use them.
7. Try out online courses. I still study writing through Gotham Writers Workshop in NYC. I may have graduated with a BA in English but it doesn’t mean I learned everything I need to know about writing.
Online courses, like college, don’t come cheap so make sure you have a budget for education. We don’t need to go into debt over our creative journeys. Debts only bring unnecessary burdens to succeed. When we don’t succeed we give up.
Creativity improves our mood and ability to focus. Without it, we get so lost in the details of life that we forget what makes us happy. Just like those days after the rain clears and the sun finally comes out, our attitude changes. We treat ourselves and other people with respect.
Have fun on your journey.
If you’re familiar with the poem “Footprints in the Sand,” this image replaces it.
As told in Footprints in the Sand, God carries us through the roughest times though it feels like we are all alone. In the above image, the otter mother carries her baby across the river. The baby sleeps, unaware of any predator dangers or rushing waters. It’s like the time before car seats when as kids we lied down in the back seat as our parents drove long hours into the night. We didn’t have to worry about anything because someone always took our burdens away from us.
This is the first thing we need to know yet it’s the first thing we forget when trouble hits us.
Hunter Thompson died five years ago this week. Here are my favorite quotes:
A word to the wise is infuriating.
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.
I feel the same way about disco as I do about herpes.
I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people – including me – would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.
If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.
In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.
No man is so foolish but he may sometimes give another good counsel, and no man so wise that he may not easily err if he takes no other counsel than his own. He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master.
Politics is the art of controlling your environment.
The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.
1. If I speak in the tongues[s] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.
~1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 3
There’s nothing a child can say that’s insensitive when we lose a loved one. A few of the cards read, “I hope your family is all right.”
Another card read, “God blesses you.” Not “bless” but “blesses” because he’s already done it. Other kids wrote “Happy Thanksgiving” with pictures of turkeys because they didn’t know what to write, which is also perfectly okay.
It’s when we reach adulthood we feel we have to have the most perfectly chosen words to say to someone suffering a huge loss. I have that problem too even though I lost a brother myself. I can talk to children, though. Words come a little easier when comforting kids.
As our pastor read the cards, one girl who lost her dad 2 years ago held him crying. I requested a hug from her. And then I felt like her daddy embracing her. As we shared tears, I said, “Your daddy is SO proud of you.”
The thing is, I never knew her dad. He passed away shortly after I started attending this church. I wasn’t sure how he passed away, I knew it was fast like my brother’s passing from a brain aneurysm.
Grief is God’s way of making us remember. If we had no grief, we’d lose the memories of those who’ve passed on. If we fight the sadness then it’s just like closing the door or forming a wall around these people. If there’s a way for me to keep those doors open and avoid the bricks and mortar, then I’ll do it. Consider me a carrier pigeon.
Another girl walked up to us and wanted to know why the girl I embraced was crying. I said, “Because she misses her daddy.”
The girl asked, “Why are you crying?”
I said, “Because I know how much she misses her daddy.”
Our senior pastor lost his son to murder last year. I never knew what to say to him in person. I knew how to form his words into poetry, but never knew what to say in person. Until Wednesday night, I only managed “Hello.”
This time, I had an excuse to talk to him. I grabbed a few trays of cupcakes I brought for the kids and walked into his classroom where he was about to teach his adult class. I peeked in and asked, “We have way too many of these things for the kids, it’s too much sugar. Would your class like them?”
“Sure,” he said.
Maybe it wasn’t exactly what I thought I’d say. Instead of saying, “I’m so sorry your son left this earth this way. If he were here, I know he’d tell you how proud he is of you of not only carrying on with your work as a church pastor, but standing upright. He’d say you’re a great example to everyone out there who suffers such horrible losses,” it came out as, “Um, do you want a cupcake?”
Not quite his son’s carrier pigeon message, but still, I broke the silence.
After the class I came and picked up the treats, all seven trays of cupcakes under my chin, feeling victorious for finally breaking the ice and falling through.
God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are too full to receive them. ~St. Augustine of Hippo
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