scrabble-resolutions

As New Year's day approaches, many of us turn our minds and thoughts to resolutions. We use this time of the year to reflect on the year gone by. Actually, I encourage all of us to spend time reflecting on this past year, as long as your reflections aren't focused solely on the negatives nor used as a time to chastise yourself.

Mindfulness is about living in the moment (more about mindfulness). The past no longer exists, but in our minds. Reflecting on the past, when done non-judgmentally, allows us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves from our past experiences and choices. We can celebrate those moments when life was wonderful, and we can look at those moments when life didn't go well to decide what we can do different now

St. Francis, nativity, Christmas, peace, Jesus, life, journey, stress, meditation, perspective our family nativity with St. Francis Assisi

Christmas has arrived!  That magical time of the year when all seems to be at peace.  That time of the year when nature seems still, wars paused, enemies celebrate together, kids believe in magic and the hope of treasure.  A time when most of us recall how we spent the season as a child, longing once again for that simplicity of life.  Amidst all the secular commercialization, this time of the year still seems

Christmas, nativity, creche, Jesus, hope, peace, serenity Reason for the Season (credit: blog author)

Christmas Eve, for me as a child, was one of the longest days ever! As an adult, I find this day to be one filled with anticipation and excitement, for spiritually I know that tomorrow we commemorate the birth of Jesus my Lord. But today the birth is not my focus, rather, my focus turns to His mother, Mary. Mary, an unwed teenager from a small town in a desert is asked the impossible; to trust so deeply in God when asked to bear God's son. I

winter, snow, farm, peace, perspective, joy, life, serenity Winter Scene (Credit: unknown)

"In winter we lead a more inward life. Our hearts are warm and cheery, like cottages under drifts, whose windows and doors are half concealed, but from whose chimneys the smoke cheerfully ascends."

Henry David Thoreau

life, journey, blizzard, snow, anxiety, stress, meditation, reflection, God, Jesus, hope, wonder My house after the first of two blizzards to hit in 2010 (credit: Blog Author)

Today, our planet is tilted in such a way that half of us will experience the shortest day of the solar year, the Winter Solstice. Personally, this is my favorite

This time of the year is typically a time for joy, family, holidays and traditions. A time when many of us reflect upon our childhood wonder when the world seemed magical. Unfortunately, this time of the year is also one of increased stress because of all the activities we feel we need to accomplish. Our desire to make this time of the year perfect increases our expectations and so causes us to overwork ourselves in our planning efforts.

Norman Rockwell, Christmas, stress, anxiety, cope, holidays, family, peace, lifesjourney, Chris Shea, life, inspirational "Preparing Christmas" Norman Rockwell

Growing up I

Overboard, Christmas, depressed, peace, serenity, zen Overboard comic strip

Do you hear that sound? What sound, you ask? The sound of calm after the holidays.  The moment when we realize that most of the guests have left and the errands are complete.  The moment when we finally look around and notice all we have missed while immersed in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the holiday.

Personally, the days between Christmas and New Years are mixed emotions days for me.  I tend to relax in the glow of Christmas and the

St. Francis, nativity, Christmas, peace, Jesus, life, journey, stress, meditation, perspective our family nativity with St. Francis Assisi

Christmas has arrived!  That magical time of the year when all seems to be at peace.  That time of the year when nature seems still, wars paused, enemies celebrate together, kids believe in magic and the hope of treasure.  A time when most of us recall how we spent the season as a child, longing once again for that simplicity of life.  Admist all the secular commercialization, this time of the year still seems to hold a special place for us.

The

Christmas, nativity, creche, Jesus, hope, peace, serenity "Jesus is the Season; We are the Reason" (credit: blog author. Taken at a local store)

Christmas Eve, as a child, was one of the longest days ever! As an adult, I find this day to be one filled with anticipation and excitement, for spiritually I know that tomorrow we commemorate the birth of Jesus my Lord. But today the birth is not my focus, rather, my focus turns to His mother, Mary. Mary, an unwed teenager from a small town in a desert is asked the impossible; to trust so deeply in God when

winter, snow, farm, peace, perspective, joy, life, serenity Winter Scene (Credit: unknown)

"In winter we lead a more inward life. Our hearts are warm and cheery, like cottages under drifts, whose windows and doors are half concealed, but from whose chimneys the smoke cheerfully ascends."

Henry David Thoreau

life, journey, blizzard, snow, anxiety, stress, meditation, reflection, God, Jesus, hope, wonder My house after the first of two blizzards to hit in 2010 (credit: Blog Author)

Today, our planet is tilted in such a way that half of us will experience the shortest day of the solar year, the Winter Solstice. Personally, this is my favorite time of

Dalai Lama, peace, joy, mindfulness, perspective, peace, serenity Surprised by Man

This quote from the Dalai Lama is one of the reasons why I so often speak of the importance of living in the moment. Young children tend not to want to nap or sleep, struggling to stay awake in fear that while they sleep they may miss something.

Why can't we learn from our childhood and once again be child-like? Try it and let us know what happens.

 

 

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As I was reading the latest edition of MAD Magazine (yes, I fully admit to this behavior, begun when I was a mere child) I came upon this cartoon. Instead of laughing, the cartoon gave me pause. I paused as I realized that I am guilty of similar actions throughout the year. How many times have I missed what is happening right in front of me while I was preoccupied with my desires and my intentions, my wants? I dare say I am not the only one who has acted in this way.

Christmas, MAD Magazine, peace, gift, joy, serenity Perspective Shift (Photo

life, journey, blizzard, snow, anxiety, stress, meditation, reflection, God, Jesus, hope, wonder An angel in the sky? (Credit: Blog author)

Those who know me know that my main hobby is meteorology and severe weather forecasting.  Yet weather, in particular severe storms, has not always been my "friend", for as a child I was deathly afraid of storms.  Many children are afraid of storms, but for me it seemed to be a fear greater than the fear felt by my friends   Why?  I really can't say.  It's not as if I was ever taken up in a twister or struck by lightning.  But for me, in my perspective

Do you hear that sound? What sound, you ask? The sound of calm after the holidays.  The moment when we realize that most of the guests have left and the errands are complete.  The moment when we finally look around us and notice all we have missed while immersed in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the holiday.

Personally, the days between Christmas and New Years are mixed emotions days for me.  I enjoy and relax in the glow of Christmas with the expectation of a new year and new

St. Francis, nativity, Christmas, peace, Jesus, life, journey, stress, meditation, perspective our family nativity with St. Francis Assisi

Christmas has arrived!  That magical time of the year when all seems to be at peace.  That time of the year when nature seems still, wars paused, enemies celebrate together, kids believe in magic and the hope of treasure.  A time when most of us recall how we spent the season as a child, longing once again for that simplicity of life.  Admist all the secular commercialization, this time of the year still seems to hold a special place for us.

The

Christmas holds different meaning for different people. But most of us look to Christmas as a time to reflect on our past, our family, our faith. We look to our traditions and hope to pass them along to the next generation.  But as we look to our past let's look even deeper into the past; into the time of the birth of Jesus.

Jesus was born to a poor teenage girl in a stable in a small town in the far reaches of the Roman empire.  He was born to a girl who took a leap of faith and trusted in her

Christmas Day is less than a week away!  Are you ready for it?  Have you bought all the gifts, decorated homes and offices, and planned the meals? Many of us interpret and envision this time of the year as the season of joy, peace and harmony! Feeling any of that yet? If you aren't you're not alone since this time of the year is one of the most stressful we encounter.  Why? Simply put: we place too many unrealistic expectations upon ourselves and others, and when we don't live up to those

Lautermilch, journey, life, tragedy, Newtown, shooting, stress, sorrow, hope, God, Jesus Artist: John Lautermilch

One year ago today our nation was rocked with the news of tragedy; the senseless murders of innocent children.  On this anniversary let us remember and honor these young souls by making a difference in the world.  Simply recalling the event doesn't do justice to the young lives lost.  How does this event, and too many like it around the world, cause me to take positive action?  How can I stop evil by replacing it with goodness?  Can these events cause me to be

As I write this reflection more than half of the USA is covered in snow, the most coverage at one time in the past 10 years!  Where I live it has snowed the past couple days, somewhat of a rarity for my area.

weather, snow, USA, peace, perspective, serenity, joy, Christmas Snow Coverage in the USA as of Dec. 9, 2013

Those who have followed my posts will know that my main hobby is meteorology and severe weather forecasting.  Weather, in particular severe storms, has not always been my "friend".  As a child I was deathly afraid of thunderstorms.  I know that

The holiday season has begun, and for many of us that means mixed emotions.  Not everyone finds this time of the year to be joyous, and for those who struggle to cope with this time of the year they may feel lost and out of control.

The following reflection is written by a guest blogger, sharing with us their insights on struggle, and how they learned to take that struggle and turn it into strength.  This is a reflection about hope:

struggle, hope, Oprah, strength, perspective, serenity, peace Oprah quote about struggle

Believe me when I say that the BEST

As 2012 comes to a close I was reviewing my yearly blog stats and was humbled by what I saw. I started this blog in July as a way for me to have an outlet and collect my thoughts. I am more than pleased to see so many people interested in my thoughts as I journey through life. A I originally mentioned, this blog is a reflection of life from my viewpoint. I encourage everyone to share their lifes journey along with mine. As a community we can learn and grow together. You can also find me

St. Francis, nativity, Christmas, peace, Jesus, life, journey, stress, meditation, perspective our family nativity with St. Francis Assisi

Christmas Eve has arrived!  That magical time of the year when all seems to be at peace.  That time of the year when nature seems still, wars paused, enemies celebrated together, kids believe in magic and the hope of treasure.  A time when most of us recall how we spent the season as a child, longing once again for that simplicity of life.  Admist all the secular commercialization, this time of the year still seems to hold a special place for

As I write this I recognize the importance of this date, December 21, 2012.  For  some time now this date is all we have heard about; the Mayan calendar and the end of the world.  Even though there are many times in a year that someone calls for the end of the world, this date seemed to resonate.  I think part of the reason this particular date stuck with people is that it corresponds to the equinox  the day of the year for me in the USA to experience the shortest day of sunlight and the

Christmas Day is less than a week away!  As we prepare for Christmas I wish to offer short reflections over the next few days.  I encourage you to share your reflections of the holiday with us so we all may enter into our shared lifes journey of this holiday season.  Feel free to join the conversation here, on Facebook or Google+ (search for lifes journey to "like" the page).

My short reflection today was sparked by the following quote from Huston Smith's book "The Religions of Man".

Lautermilch, journey, life, tragedy, Newtown, shooting, stress, sorrow, hope, God, Jesus Artist: John Lautermilch

As I posted yesterday, a day of such tragedy, there are no wise words or explanations for the families and friends effected.  Most importantly, we need to cling to loved ones, turn to our God, and support each other as best we can.

My faith and relationship with my God offer me comfort and a hope, but it does not explain the "why".  I don't feel it is proper at this time for me to post a detailed discussion on what I mean by the "why", but suffice it to say, I urge you

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