Tag Archives: Reflections

Finding Focus and Balance Through Reflection

My life is out of fous.  There are too many loose ends leftover from the Christmas Holiday.  There are too many new projects vying for the front burner.  All of which deserve and need my attention.  Some are more urgent than others…but each one carries its own weight of importance.

 

The other aspect of my life that is out of focus but has the ability to bring clarity to the lens I view the new year with is the time I spend taking stock of this past years accomplishments and short comings.  The accomplishments are the jumping off point for an exciting new year.  The short comings will channel my goals.

I know I am looking for balance in the coming year…balance between my spiritual life, husband, home, work, health, hobbies and relaxation.

Sometimes you have to say no to a really good thing in order to say yes to a really great thing.  Where do I draw the line?  What gets the yes?  What gets the no? Do I continue to blog 6 days a week? Should I submit that article to the paper? How often should I go to the antique center to fluff my space?  What about exercise…Where am I going to fit that into my already over crowded schedule? How can I balance all of my online time…with my need for real people interaction?  What about that special quite time to get my day started off on the right track? What about Hubby time?  What about house cleaning and gardening?  The dogs need to go to the vet for their shots?  The list continues but I think you get the picture…I only have one day off a week and I am having a little trouble working out the balancing act in order to get it all done. 

Just this week alone I have read at least three blog postings that have inspired me to think about this coming year with a different focus. 

JannaT wrote in her Sunday blog about digging deeper into her spiritual life.

“My Sunday posts are the most challenging ones for me to write because I’ve committed to “dig deep” and ask myself questions like: What made me feel ‘full’ this week? Why might I feel ‘empty’? In what ways have I stumbled? How could I feel closer to God next week?”

My Pajama Days is adopting a theme for the year to help her stay focused on her really big goals for 2012!!“

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” – Kahlil Gibran”

Miss Mustard Seed has landed on a single word to inspire her in 2012…Celebrate!!!  Miss Mustard Seed has so much to be thankful for and to celebrate. 

Sometimes we get so busy doing life that we forget to slow down and enjoy the life we have worked tirelessly to create for our family and  ourselves.

So…I am thinking I will spend time each week reflecting on the deeper meaning of life…did I say no to good things so that I could say yes to great things?  I will start each day with prayer and thankfulness reading God’s Word. I will say no more often to the computer calling my name so I can spend more face to face time with my BFF, my beloved Husband.

I have chosen my theme for the year; Faithfulness, Family,  Fuel and Fitness.    I will focus on taking care of me by feeding my body good nutritious natural foods and exercising to build a stronger healthier me. 

My word for the year is Balance.  The rest is just the proverbial icing on the cake…

How do you maintain balance?

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Filed under encouragment, Healthy Living

Hopes and Wishes for 2012

My Hopes and Wishes for 2012 are simple.  To live the life that God has planned for me…a life filled with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness,  and Self Control.  Galatians 5:22-23 

I hope to love without fear of heartache.

I wish to laugh until it hurts.

I hope I will never stop trusting that I am on the path that will lead me to a life everlasting.

I hope to offer up grace and mercy to those who cross my path.

I wish for everyday of the new year to include random acts of kindness, so much so that they become a part of who I am and not something I do.

I hope to live my life above reproach so that my actions do not cause others to stumble.

I hope to have the faith of a child..to believe in the wonders of the world without question to why or how.  “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

I hope to continue to grow a spirit of gentleness that has only come to me through stopping to consider the other persons situation before reacting.

And lastly but certainly not least of all…I hope to continue to grow in my understanding that self-control does not come from my self-centered mind-set but a mind centered on the Spirit that dwells within me and the small quiet voice leading me, guiding me through all that is my life.

I hope to continue to live a life filled to overflowing.

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

This past year has been filled with many blessings. My husband blessed me with his unconditional love and support without fail or hesitation, he is my biggest fan.  I have watched my son treat his girlfriend with love and respect that can only come from the example set by the way his Dad treats his Mom.  Although a few friends have passed away from this life my life is richer for having known them and called them friend.  I have enjoyed a renewed love and passion for writing.  I have realized a long time desire to have a little junk resale business of my very own.  I have entertained my friends and family in my home.  I have seen my prayers answered when the Doctor finally found  a treatment for my Dads Parkinson’s that has given him back his quality of life.

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” unknown

This past year has been filled with many new friendships.  I have met their families; rejoiced at the arrival of precious little ones and experienced heartache over their losses.  I have enjoyed a cup of tea as well as delicious desserts at their kitchen table.  I have watched the sun rise and set from their decks and patios.  I have heard them sing in church and I have celebrated their anniversaries and birthdays.  I have even traveled with a few of them on their wonderous and amazing vacations. I have come to appreciate the differences that make each of us unique.  But it is our uniqueness that draws us together and links us together.  Our camaraderie comes from our willingness to “just write”.    My friends have shared their lives with me yet we have never met in person.

Here are some their reflections of the past year as well as some of their hopes and wishes for 2012.

Making Room (emjayandthem’s blog)

“Your closet should contain 3 categories of clothing: clothes you love, clothes that fit you now, and clothes that garner you compliments whenever you wear them.” Peter Walsh, organizational expert.

View Outside My Window for 2012 (This Man’s Journey)

“I wish for 2012, more love, inner peace, loads of smile and laughter, of happiness that comes from a contented heart for me, for my family, for my friends but more importantly for those whose 2011 had been covered with anguish and struggles.”

Zen Living for Idiots (Spirit Lights the Way)

“As we cultivate mindful awareness, we begin to view the world with alert curiosity, rather than through the distorted lens of stale judgments, attitudes, and opinions.  We start to see things as THEY are rather than as WE are.”

Failure Succeeding In the Opposite Direction (Janna T Write’s Blog)

“My relationship with God is the glue that bonds me as a wife, mother, friend, writer, employee, leader, and compassionate human being. Sometimes I feel like parts of me threaten to peel away, but I want my life to be held tighter than crazy glue between fingertips.”

Reflecting on… this past year, today and the coming year (Pocket Perspectives)

May those of us who might be reflecting during the next few days…

review with clarity
ponder with insight
consider with love,
gentleness and forgiveness

appreciate with heartfulness

prioritize with wisdom
wonder with depth and imagination

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Filed under Blogging Challenges, postaweek2011, Thoughts on Blogging

Looking Back at Post a Day Challenge 2011 meme…

I am looking back at Post a Day Challenge 2011 as the end of 2011 is fast approaching.  Many of us are taking stock of the past years accomplishments and challenges.  I have been thinking about my January 2011 commitment to the post a week challenge.  Then the good folks over at The Daily Post offered up a post to help evaluate 2011 blogging and 2012 goals.

Here are the 11 Questions from the Daily Post to help break things down to bite size pieces.  I turned it into my first meme.  It took me all year to figure that one out.  Oh well, better late than not at all…Right? Right!

  • Why did you start the Post a Day/Week Challenge?

I began the Post a Week Challenge strictly as a way to stay focused on blogging.  I had been blogging for just less than a year and I wasn’t very consistent. 

  • Describe the state of your blog at the time you started the challenge.

In December of 2010 I was averaging 3 posts per week, 21 daily views, 9 total comments for the entire month, half of which were from my family. 

  • How did your blog evolve over the course of the challenge?

I can honestly say that my blog blossomed through the Post a Week Challenge.  I quickly met other bloggers who were committed to supporting bloggers involved in the challenge.  Their comments were supportive and encouraging!  My blog has quadrupled in followers and views.

  • Did you post as often as you had hoped? Why or why not?

I signed up for the Post a Week Challenge but found myself posting on an average of 5 days per week.  There was an incredible amount of encouraging and creative ideas being shared by bloggers that helped to keep the creativity flowing.

  • What type of blogging strategy works best for you?

I found that mixing up the type of posts helped to keep things fresh and interesting.  I participated in the Weekly Photo Challenge, the 30 day A-Z Challenge and Wordless Wednesday in addition to my general blogging topics.

  • If you could go back to the beginning, what would you do differently?

I definitely would have given more thought to the name of my blog.  Originally it was just “Jeanne’s Blog”.  I added nolagirlatheart later on and it really has become my blog name. 

  • What are you most proud of accomplishing this year?

The WordPress Challenge helped me find my voice and rekindle a passion that was smoldering under the surface.  I am a writer!  Even if it is only in my own mind.

  • Name 3 great blogs you discovered through the challenge.

NOLA Details  Carla takes me on a tour of New Orleans neighborhoods through her snapshots.  She loves New Orleans as much as I do.  This blog is always colorful and fun just like my beloved NOLA!

Incredible Lightness of Seeing Teresita hosts an incredibly beautiful photoblog.  Her posts are always beautiful with a dose of inspiration and a sprinkling of daily gratitude.  This blog is a quiet peaceful place in a world of noise and confusion.

This Man’s Journey This blog is the path of a man whose past has carried him to his present on the way to his future.  He loves his family and he has a unique way of sharing the depth of love in his heart while respecting the privacy of his sweet family.  I am always amazed at the thoughtfulness of his posts as well as the way he uses his photos to give us a glimpse of all that is his life.   

  • What surprised you about the challenge?

It was much easier to “just write” than I thought it was going to be.  When my creativity waned I found inspiration in the simple everyday experiences.  Especially the weekly photo challenge.  It became a game for me to find ways to think outside of the box when interpreting the weekly topic. 

  • What advice would you give to others who want to blog regularly?

Make a commitment!  Be consistent!  Just write!

  • What are your blogging goals for 2012?

I am hoping to figure that one out very soon.  I am considering committing to 3 or 4 focused weekly segments.  One being a photo from the same place, day and time of the week for 52 weeks.  I am also considering a weekly post highlighting a vintage find from my junking adventures.  I haven’t figured the rest of it out just yet.  I am hoping to find inspiration from the same place I have found it this past year…from my blogging buddies!

That’s my look back at the Post a Day Challenge 2011…How did you do?

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Filed under postaweek2011, Thoughts on Blogging

Long Live the Spirit of Christmas!!

Are you already thinking about packing up your Christmas decorations?  I am not quite ready to tackle that project just yet.  However, I have been thinking about a few things…Keeping the Spirit of Christmas with me through the year…Long live Christmas!

I have been thinking about how much I love this time of year and what it would be like to keep Christmas close at hand every day of the year.

What might that look like?

Long Live the Spirit of Christmas!

Christmas lights up on the house for the 4th of  July…Christmas decorations sitting dusty in every room of the house…and jingle bells playing on the radio at Halloween.  I guess there are people who love the Christmas Holiday so much they would consider embracing these ideas.  But I think NOT!

However, what I am thinking about is the Spirit of Christmas…the Spirit of love and laughter, the Spirit of giving…the Spirit of Peace on Earth and goodwill toward mankind.

Here is someone who I think keeps the Christmas Spirit in his heart day after day, year after year and now even decade after decade.  Meet the Bicycle Man of Fayetteville, North Carolina.

For 20 straight years, 72-year-old Moses Mathis has been playing Santa Clause to Fayetteville area children.   In the past 2 years he has given away 2300 bicycles!  Mr Mathis accepts donated bicycles and restores them to give away at Christmas to families that can not afford to purchase them.  He says that as long as he has a building to work in he will continue to do this.

Why does he do it?  He carries the true Spirit of Christmas in his heart.  He doesn’t unpack it from a box in late December.  He keeps it with him always!  Working diligently throughout the year like one of Santa’s elves…getting  the bicycles ready for the big day in December when he gets as much joy from giving the gifts as do the children who receive them.

“To see the smiles, the kids’ laughter, the hugs, the kisses. That’s why I do it.,” he said.

Long Live the Spirit of Christmas!

I won’t be packing up the Spirit of Christmas with my forever tree and all the decorations…instead I will pack it deep in my heart and carry it with me through 2012.  Loving, giving, sharing and rejoicing every chance I get.  I imagine it will make an amazing difference in my Spirit!!!

Long Live the Spirit of Christmas!

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Filed under Christmas Traditions, encouragment, postaweek2011

So Long, Farwell, Alveterzane, Adieu, Au Revoir, goodbye…2010

Well it’s that time of year.  The time when I pause for a moment and reflect on the  passing of another year.  I take time to think back on the years short comings and accomplishments.  I think back to this time last year and the New Years Resolutions that were made.  I  think about the passing of time and people. 

2010 was a very interesting year. 

After this pause in my otherwise busy life, it’s time.  It’s time to look forward to the coming year and all that comes with it.

FAITH, FAMILY, FRIENDS AND of course BLOGGING ABOUT IT!

Happy New Year!!!! 

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Filed under Christmas Traditions