GRIEF, IS IT A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD?

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GRIEF, IS IT A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD? Recently, we have lost a very dear loved one and some of my close friends have experienced the same loss. Emotions have run high and even though some of the departed have lived full and happy lives, we grieve their departures. As so many life events start my blogging mind to turning, the thought of how we handle grief or how it handles us makes for an interesting blog topic.

grief
ɡrēf/
noun
  1. deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death.
    “she was overcome with grief”
    synonyms: sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, distress, heartache, heartbreak, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, woe, desolation, dejection, despair; More
    informal trouble or annoyance.
    “we were too tired to cause any grief”
    synonyms: trouble, annoyance, bother, irritation, vexation, harassment

    This is the definition of grief as Google search defines the word. What I would like for all of my blog followers and readers to consider is “IS GRIEF ONLY THE MENTIONED DESCRIPTIONS?” or “IS GRIEF A MULTI-COMPLEXITY OF A LOT MORE EMOTIONS THAN THIS LIST?”

    sorrow, misery, sadness, anguish, pain, distress, heartache, heartbreak, agony, torment, affliction, suffering, woe, desolation, dejection, despair

    Of course, emotions of this nature are part of the grieving period and I feel confident most of you at some point after a significant loss of a person have felt most or all of these emotions.  One other emotion can easily be anger, common when the death is unexpected or a tragic death. These emotions are one side of the double edged sword of grief. Now let’s look at the other side of this emotional sword.

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    What about the focus of being positive about a loved one’s passing? I am sure that you are wondering how this is possible. The following excerpt is from an article which focuses on healing and how being positive can help in this process.

     

    DEALING WITH LOSS: 11 steps to a more positive outlook after losing a loved one

    The bottom line is that in order for you to heal after a loss, you must at least attempt to focus more on the positive aspects around you. This isn’t always easy, especially after losing a loved one! However, it’s important to understand that your main thoughts are creating the dominant feelings you are having, not the other way around. So it makes sense to say that when you deliberately change your thoughts from negative ones to positive ones, you will begin to feel better as well.

    But how can you focus on the positive and not focus on “what is” as you are going through the grieving process? Here are some small, but very significant steps you can take to help you to change your thoughts and feel better at this very difficult time.

    1.  The first step is to notice how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling badly, chances are you’re thinking negative thoughts. If you’re feeling happy, you’re probably thinking good thoughts. The more powerful your thoughts are, whether they’re good or bad, the more they’ll affect your feelings.
    2.  Again, the key is to deliberately try to think more powerful, positive thoughts. However, if you feel you’re just not able to think positive thoughts, try playing the “Yes, but” game.  That is, after you think a negative thought, follow it with, “Yes, but,” and add a statement of something good that came out of it. For example, you may be thinking of how much you miss your loved one. Then follow that thought with, “Yes, but we had a wonderful life together.” And then continue with even more positive thoughts, such as, “I’m so grateful he or she was in my life.” If you can, follow that with some funny memories you have of your loved one. Then continue to think of more and more positive aspects and memories. In this way, you’ll be focusing on your love and the good times you had with your loved one, instead of the absence of him or her.
    3. Speak to others about the good times you and your loved one had together. You’ll be so surprised how this helps you to feel better. You’re thinking about him or her anyways, so bring those great thoughts to the surface!
    4. Ask your loved one for guidance as to what you need to do now.  Then make sure to listen to your gut feelings and act upon them. You should receive answers and wonderful words of wisdom that come as thoughts and feelings.
    5. Focus on finding the right people who will help you to heal. You will see how the universe will then work in ways to make that happen! They may show up in your life unexpectedly; friends or relatives may talk about those who have helped them; you may read about local healers in the newspaper; the list can go on and on. Just make sure to pay attention to all those who are coming into your awareness. Then trust your instincts about whether or not these people will be able to help you.
    6. Pray! Ask God and the angels to help you. When you pray, expect the help that you’re seeking. Instead of begging God, thank him, even before your prayer has been answered. For example, say, “Thank you so much for helping me to feel better.” In other words, have complete faith that your prayer is answered now—not some time in the future.
    7. Meditate! Praying is talking to God, but meditating is listening to him. As in any relationship, it’s important to listen as well as speak. When you quiet your thoughts and meditate, you’re in a better position to feel your connection with God, the angels and your deceased loved ones.
    8. Repeat positive affirmations throughout the day. Make sure they’re in the present tense and you feel good when you say them. Some examples are:  It’s OK for me to heal; I’m able to feel my loved one whenever I choose; I always receive signs and messages from my loved one; I choose to feel better today; It’s good for me to pamper myself as I heal; I discover new strengths in myself every day; God is healing me more and more every day; and I’m willing to be happy again.
    9. Try to maintain peace in all of your relationships and in the situations around you. Make a point of being with those who lift your spirit and refrain from doing anything that overwhelms you.
    10. Pamper yourself and do anything that makes you happy. Sometimes that may mean just petting your dog or cat, going for a walk, listening to your favourite music, going out with friends, sitting quietly, reading a good book, or anything else that puts you in a better feeling place.
    11. Have an attitude of gratitude. Really take notice of all the good things in your life each day. If you have time, sit down and write a list of all of your blessings. Then, whenever you begin to feel sad, make sure to take out that list and redirect your attention to these positive aspects once again.

    In order for you to feel better, it’s very important that you begin to focus on how your deceased loved ones lived, not how they died, on the blessings in your life, on the happy times, on the things you love, and on positive goals ahead of you. At first it may seem very difficult to do, given all that has happened, but after awhile of deliberately changing your thoughts to more positive ones, it will get easier and easier. Writing down your blessings, goals and memories is a great way to start. Repeating affirmations throughout the day also helps immensely. It doesn’t matter how you choose to do it, just that you make the choice to feel better! Remember, according to the Law of Attraction, you get what you think about most of the time. So, it makes sense to begin to focus on more positive, loving thoughts throughout each day.

     

Berta

I now come to why I felt this was an important message. While I see people surrounding me fearing grief, I also see another approach, a more positive one to grief. Yesterday, we attended what I would consider the sweetest funeral I have ever attended, my husband’s sister Berta Davis who was 84 when she died. I know her passing wasn’t from a sudden death but developed over the past couple of years of watching a wonderful lady who experienced a full life encounter a life which required a lack of mobility. As both ministers spoke at the service, they didn’t dwell on the grief but how she loved travel, cooking, enjoying a good meal, working with children, and most importantly how she loved her God and family. They told humorous tales and sweet memories. As much as we will miss her, they reminded us that she lived her life the way she wanted to live and she had made the decisions of how she wanted to die on her terms without machines and feeding assistance. Berta, without knowing it, inspired those of us sitting there as to the importance of living life to the fullest. She chose to live in her faith by her heart desiring a closer walk with her Lord. She chose to enjoy food and was a magnificent cook and baker. She chose to be generous to people and her church. She chose to be a teacher and mentor to children. She chose to devote her love and kindness to those she loved and touched strangers’ hearts as well. She chose to travel and explore and even take risks. I remember the minister saying she had suffered great personal losses and she grieved. What really spoke to my heart was even though she grieved, she chose to keep living and loving.

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For those of you who have also suffered losses through death and even divorce, I want to give you a thought to ponder. In all of the topics of her life, they mentioned all of the choices Berta made but they didn’t dwell on what she did for a living even though Berta was a well respected medical lab specialist for over 30+ years. That was not what she chose to be recognized at the end of her life. It was all of the love, service, charitable acts, adventures, and challenges of living beyond the loss of her lifetime sweetheart who was her only husband and the early death of one of her children. I hope you keep it in mind that it is okay to grieve but do not live to grieve but live to live and love.

LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT EVEN WHEN THE DOUBLE EDGED SWORD OF GRIEF SWINGS BY YOUR LIFE.

(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to the original location if known. Photos are not exclusive property of Sipping Cups but are sourced if known.

 

This blog is dedicated to Berta Smith Davis and respectfully we will grieve our loss of this wonderful, sweet lady but we will smile and laugh too. She would have wanted us to do that very thing.

Obituary for Berta M. Davis
Funeral services for Berta M. Davis, 84, of Thomasville will be 2 PM, Monday February 19, 2018 at First Newark Baptist Church, where she was a member. Rev. Steve Brooks and Rev. Mike Keown will officiate and interment will be held at Laurel Hill Cemetery. Mrs. Davis passed away February 16, 2018 at Camellia Gardens. Born January 25, 1934 in Ashburn, Georgia, she was the daughter of the late Henry Grady Smith and Ruby Wynn Smith. She was married to Donald Davis, Sr. for 38 years, who preceded her in death. She retired from working in the lab at Archbold Memorial Hospital. Mrs. Davis was the past director of the Thomas County Baptist Association WMU for 12 years and past director of the library at her church. Her hobbies included ceramics and quilting. Survivors include son, Donald E. Davis Jr. and wife Kim of Boston; grandchildren, Donald E. Davis III, Caleb Russell Davis, and Lauren Grace Davis; brothers Gordon Clyatt and wife Martha of Cairo and Greg Miller and wife Arlene of Tifton, numerous nieces and nephews and her best friend for 62 years, JoAnne Zeigler of Thomasville. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Barbara Denise Jones; Brother Gerald Smith; Sister Dee Crutchfield. The family will receive friends on Sunday, February 18, 2018 from 4 PM until 6 PM at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be sent to Wounded Warrior, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8517 or the Baptist Children’s Home, 8415 Buck Lake Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32317. Guests are invited to sign the online register at www.allenfh.com.

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Coming Soon…Back to Blogging

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Good morning my blog readers!

This is a quick message to let you know Blue Eyes will be returning soon for a weekly blog posting. I received a great report from my optometrist yesterday and with an addition of a new drop to lower the pressure in my left eye, he said I was progressing very satisfactory….excellent to be precise.

The photo above is the in between time frame when one eye, right one had been operated on and corrected and the left one still to go. The difference is significant. The featured photo is after both surgeries. I took a photo and it is below that shows my eyes before the surgery with the cataracts. I think you will see they change the eye color as well as block clear vision.

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I want to catch up with my work this week and then share my experience with you. I found out a lot during this period and of course I apply it to life in general.

Stay tuned….I will be back…..Arline Miller

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS WE TREASURE

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS WE TREASURE…and I should add THE MOST. Even though I am living in a blurry world right now until I have the cataract surgery in a couple weeks, I was reminded how much little things are huge in our world. I am focusing on some personal memories for this message but I want to exemplify the message by pointing out the “feel good” messages and news. They warm our hearts when we hear or even reach out to a total stranger and lend a helping hand. Right? You are going through your memory bank at this moment and pulling one or more of those “feel good” memories and your heart is beginning to warm even if it is freezing outside.

This inspiration started when one of my FB friends posted a video which I am linking for you to take a minute or two and realize how much we can touch another’s soul or have that same person touch ours. Please look and let it soak in before I go into some little, but huge tugs at my heart:

 

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I added this because this was the second point of inspiration for this message and I want to share what was so beautiful and inspiring from our Mom’s actions. Momma lived on a fixed income so extra money was not available so she found ways to help others in the most creative ways. Until close to the end of her life, Momma would find out what her neighbors favorite dishes were and asking a place to eat that had to discard unsold leftover food to “bag it up” and when she was not able to load or unload it, those sweet workers would load her trunk with the otherwise discarded food and off she would go to several homes and she would blow her horn and tell them where she had their portions placed. Yes, it cost her a little in gas and time but she thrived on being a gifter and seeing them smile.

Another time when she was younger and working, she would bag up the leftover sweets and drive over to a home which had a lot of little ones who would yell, “It’s Aunt Bea” when they saw her smiling face. She would hand the bag of goodies out the window and drive off to another one. It gave her so much happiness to share what was available.

Momma grew up in the depression and she had the memories, not stories, of doing with little and any kindness from another was welcomed and appreciated with all of her heart. She never forgot one person who had helped her, cared for her, or sacrificed for her.

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I could tell countless stories about Momma but I was doubly blessed with a Daddy who had a heart that was irresistible to babies and small children. He would give when he didn’t have it to see that little children had a little treat or gift. I will share this story which was posted by a family member who remembers to this day Daddy’s visit to their home:

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Mark Lott is with Cynthia Lott and 2 others.

THE CHRISTMAS SANTA WAS A DAY LATE

Christmas is a time of giving and a time of receiving in the eyes of a child. After the gifts are open and Santa is gone it is a time for playing and excitement for many little boys and girls. There was a Christmas that two special parents were unable to buy gifts for their four little angels. It was Christmas day and these little ones were not allowed to go out and play with the neighborhood children. Their mother did not want the other kids showing off their toys; causing her to have to answer questions as to why Santa did not come to see them. As parents it was difficult not to have the money to buy your children gifts on Christmas.

There was a visit from the children’s uncle that day. The uncle cared for his brother’s family very much. The children were always excited to see their uncle and their faces would always light up. He asked his brother and sister-in-law that Christmas day, “Where are the children’s toys?” The stressed parents replied there was no money for Christmas this year. The uncle smiled and said that he understood. He said they may have to stay in today! But as soon as the stores open tomorrow, Santa will come to see them.

The day after Christmas Santa did stopped by. The children were excited and ran and played just like children should on Christmas Day. There were toys, crayons, paper dolls and little trucks and cars. Uncle Arlie and Aunt Bea helped Santa out and witnessed four little children jumping with excitement. Uncle Arlie and Aunt Bea were as special to the children as the children were to them.

Christmas is a time for caring, sharing, loving, forgiving and remember what family is all about. It is a time to make a child smile and helping those in need. All this comes from having Jesus in your heart. With knowing Him personally comes the true meaning of Christmas. Without him you will never experience how special Christmas can be.

To all of the Uncle Arlie’s and Aunt Bea’s out there I want to say thank you and Merry Christmas.

All of these stories can be matched by your memories too as I am sure there are the Aunt Bea’s and Uncle Arlie’s in your families and this brings me to the focus of this message:

Please grant me the blessing of gifting to others. Please grant me a charitable heart. Please allow me to share the bounties of this life. Please, Oh God I pray, let me follow in the footprints of YOU and my parents to share love and hope to all of those who are in need. LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by giving little things and time so that others will think of us and smile.

Until We Read Again…….Arline Miller

(c) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third Party Material sourced if known for reference credit. Photos may or may not be exclusive property of Sipping Cups and sourced if known.

 

TAKE ONE LAST LOOK AT OURSELVES

LOOKING DEEP INSIDE may be the selfie post for me. I think deep but don’t dwell on any one thing for any length of time. The way my mind works is to move quickly from one thought to another and this helps me multi-task pretty doggone good. This morning, however, I thought this might not be as great an asset as I require. How many times have I started to think about my inner self, my inner health, and my inner wealth? In those times, did I exhibit the focus on each subject to accomplish change or a peaceful resolution concerning them? So, selfie on looking deep within myself became the blog message this morning. I found an interesting blog article on 6 Reasons to like yourself so I thought I would concentrate on each one to delve deep about my inner self for today.

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6 Reasons to Focus on Liking Yourself, and How to Do It

by HENRIK EDBERG

adsense#Twitter“Nobody will think you’re somebody if you don’t think so yourself.”

African-American proverb

“Self-love is not opposed to the love of others.”

Dr. Karl Menninger

“Happiness is: Looking in a mirror and like what you see .”

Author Unknown

People have a need for affection and being liked. But it’s very easy to make a mistake here and go about it the wrong way. Because while trying to get others to like you may seem like a simple and common solution there is an alternative. One that I find works better.

It is to focus on liking yourself more rather than trying to get people to like you.

Here are six reasons why I put my focus in that place. And after that a brief guide to how you can increase how much you like yourself.

1. Liking yourself gives you power and strength.

If you go for trying to get people to like you you’ll most likely come off as needy and desperate a lot of the time. This is a bad position to put yourself in. Because liking and respecting yourself goes hand in hand with people liking and respecting you.

If you bend to other people all the time then they may like what you do for them. But they may not like you on a deeper level because there is a weakness and lack of confidence and personal power there.

2. People like people who like themselves.

What is attractive to a friend, an employer or a potential partner? To me, it seems like a lot of this boils down to people liking people who like themselves. Someone who likes him/herself is positive, confident, takes care of his/her health and opportunities in school/at work/in life.

3. More inner stability, much less of an emotional rollercoaster.

Getting compliments and being liked is wonderful. The problem is just that if you rely too much on validation from others then you let the outside world, other people, control how you feel. And that can be a real rollercoaster.

Because if you really need the positive validation from people then it’s hard to avoid listening to their negative input. Or you may feel bad when there is a temporary lack in the validation. So what do you do? You let go of focusing on needing that input and replace it with focusing on validating and liking yourself instead.

4. Life becomes more fun and relaxing.

If you like yourself then it becomes natural to just be your best self and let people like the real you. Doing the opposite and trying to get people to like you leads to a lack of honesty in any kind of relationship and life becomes a like walking on egg shells while using different masks with different people.

5. What you think and feel about yourself flows over.

The more you like yourself, the easier it becomes to like, help and be kind to other people. How much you like or do not like yourself flows over into your world.

6. You minimize self sabotage.

If you don’t like yourself, if you deep down don’t really think you deserve what you go after then you will tend to sabotage for yourself. Perhaps in subtle ways. You may get a gut feeling that this success is wrong and so you start doing stuff that screws things up. If you like yourself there will be a lot less self made obstacles in your mind to overcome on your path to success.

How to like yourself more

So, the benefits sound pretty good. But how do you go about changing how you feel about yourself?

Here is a brief but in my experience very effective guide that works in real life.

Do the right thing.

I write about this a lot. That’s because it’s simple thing to keep in mind and if you live it then it can bring your awesome results.

When you do what you think is the right thing then your self esteem goes up. If you just coast then you tend to feel kinda lame about yourself. So do awesome stuff and you feel awesome about yourself. Do ok stuff and feel ok about yourself. This is not always an easy thing. But people who do the right thing get fine inner rewards (and often outer rewards too). What you do tends to correspond to what you get in the long run.

What is the right thing? Well, that’s up to you to decide and it can vary from life to life and situation to situation. Some of the things I think is the right thing to do is to keep my life in order and organized, to workout regularly and take care of my health, to be positive and open, to spend time doing things I really like doing, to get out of my comfort zone and face fears and to be a person of action.

When you do the right thing you like yourself more and so the self sabotage decreases. The standards you set for yourself flows over to your world too. What you accept or don’t accept from yourself is what you tend to accept or not accept from other people.

And what you think and do to the world around you – for example being judgmental or being open and kind – is how you tend to think about yourself and treat yourself too.

Don’t take yourself for granted or focus on the wrong things. Appreciate yourself.

What you do or do not do has a huge effect on how you view yourself and how much you like yourself. But what you focus on in your mind is also important. Because if you do good things but then focus on small faults or failures then that won’t help you.

So make a habit of focusing on appreciating the good things about yourself. Take two minutes right now to think about positive things about you or good things you have done and accomplished. Or take a few minutes tonight to write down five good things about yourself in a journal.

This extends to what you focus on in the world around you too. Because as I mentioned in the previous tip, what you focus on in the people around you tends to be how you see and treat yourself. So you may want to add five or ten things that you appreciate about the people around you to those journal entries and two minute appreciation sessions.

The more you do things like these, the more this kind of thinking will naturally pop up in your everyday life too. You are changing how you think about yourself and what you have a tendency to focus on.

If you found this article helpful, please share it with someone on Twitter and Stumbleupon. Thank you very much! =

Number 6 struck a chord and not necessarily for just me. I decided to paste it again for us to slowly read it and allow it to penetrate our inner self deeply:

6. You minimize self sabotage.

If you don’t like yourself, if you deep down don’t really think you deserve what you go after then you will tend to sabotage for yourself. Perhaps in subtle ways. You may get a gut feeling that this success is wrong and so you start doing stuff that screws things up. If you like yourself there will be a lot less self made obstacles in your mind to overcome on your path to success.wishes 2

I somehow feel better about digging deep because I have learned to like myself even with my flaws and yes, even with my difficulty in allowing myself due diligence on searching within myself without self sabotage. Today, I think I like me enough to concentrate on tearing down any doubts, conquering any fears, and building good foundations for the future. LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LOVING YOURSELF AND OTHERS TOO!

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(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party materials are sourced to original location for reference credit.

WHEN WE COME TO THE LAST DAY

WHEN WE COME TO THE LAST DAY is the topic for the blog and with the end of the year approaching at a fast pace, I thought it might be a good day to look at “The last day”. It may give you a little food for thought.

How many “Last Days” do we have?

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Last day of school:

On the last day, a variety of emotions may originate in the form of sadness, gladness, confusion, sentimentalism and either of these can be disguised in the form of over jealousness. A good way to look at the last day of school is like going to the dock and waiting for the cruise ship to arrive for your next adventure.

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Last day of work:

Sometimes, the last day of work can be trying with everyone celebrating your departure and a little confusion can rise. Are your co-workers enjoying your victory of leaving or are they happy you are leaving? Retirement is a milestone in life to recognize your dedication, commitment, and successful completion of your career, so look at retirement as the same as a rescued pet leaving the shelter, happy to go but wish you could take all of your buddies with you. Stay active; you are retiring and not dying.

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Last day before marriage:

Thoughts and more thoughts; questions am I doing the right thing and is this the right person to spend my entire life? This is a powerfully strong emotional day but step back and remember a week, month, or even years ago and how much you wanted to share every minute with this very person and relax. You will now have millions of those minutes to share.

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Last day before giving up a habit:

Research shows that it takes 21 days to develop a habit. That’s 21 days of going to the gym every day or exercising in some way every day, 21 days to meditation, 21 days to eat healthily, 21 days doing, 21 days of anything.

When you want to start a habit, don’t tell yourself you are doing it for life, tell yourself (your conscious brain) that you are going to try it for 21 days. For example if you want to start the habit of meditating tell your conscious self that you are trying it for 21 days. Now, when you have completed this for 21 days your conscious mind has the choice of stopping it or carrying on, or so it thinks. Your neural pathways have formed already and you will more than likely continue with your new habit, you will have seen the benefits along the way your unconscious will want to continue if it has been beneficial.

This can also work when trying to break a habit, however research has shown that the neural pathways to any habit could be lifelong and a cue or a trigger can cause us to start back up an old habit, like smoking.

(Excerpt from an article  Health
A new habit
by Steven Aitchison)

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Last day before having a child:

This is the last day of your former life as life is never the same as before you are engaged in a lifetime of loving, caring, educating, supporting, and inspiring a baby from the birth, through the “first of everything”, teenage challenges, young adult strides and growth, and the ups and downs of letting go and allowing them to experience life as an adult. No day will ever be the same as the last day before having a mini-me entering and taking center stage. No day will ever be filled with love as the days which will follow this day.

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Last day before commitment to a relationship, faith, community project:

This should be a day of release of prior thoughts, relationships, hesitancy felt in consideration of making this commitment. A commitment is a mental reward of sorting through all of your choices and selecting what suits you the best. The questions and concerns should fly out of the window as commitment is a necessity for success. Grasp the opportunity and let go of past reservations. 

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Last day of life:

I will leave this one as the thought provoking text. What does this day mean to you and to me? Does it mean defeat or victory? Does it mean that you have lived life to the fullest and have seen your dreams to rendition? Does it mean you leave this world feeling fulfilled or empty? Does it mean you have the faith to believe there is more after this life? This is the only last that I cannot help each one of you through. It is a personal thought by design. I am led to the scripture “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.”—Php 2:12-13.

I leave this message with you and hope that you will not only think of the “Last” but think of the “First” as I say LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by experiencing all of this beautiful life before it becomes a LAST.

(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material/photos are sourced to original location if known. Photos are not exclusively the property of Sipping Cups unless notated.

WHAT DID YOU WISH FOR THIS YEAR?

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WHAT DID YOU WISH FOR THIS YEAR? As the gift giving and receiving season is here, I had a thought about what we wish for? A new car? A new piece of jewelry? A new wardrobe? Or did you wish for world peace, love, charitable means or having the time to volunteer for the down trodden? Did you wish for our military’s safety and ability to come home and rejoin their families? Or did you wish for nothing for yourself and wish for others’ wishes to come true? Today, let us consider what we truly should be wishing for whether it be for Christmas, birthday, or anniversary.

wishing
According to Google Dictionary, the definition of WISH is the following:
wish
verb
  1. feel or express a strong desire or hope for something that is not easily attainable; want something that cannot or probably will not happen.
    “we wished for peace”
    synonyms: desire, want, hope for, covet, dream of, long for, yearn for, crave, hunger for, lust after;More

    noun

  1. a desire or hope for something to happen.
    “the union has reiterated its wish for an agreement”
    synonyms: desire, longing, yearning, inclination, urge, whim, craving, hunger;

     

    As I looked over the definitions and it gave me pause for thought. I began to think wishing for things doesn’t necessarily mean we wish for good outcomes. I looked at the meaning of the verb and the covet, lust after, meanings hit me in the face. So wishing might be used for selfish and ungodly purposes. Hmm? Did that cause you to think a little more about what we are wishing for?

    When I took a step back from my wish list, I wanted to re-think my wishes:

    Yes, I hope and wish for peace not only for our world but inner peace. When I was young and foolish, I welcomed confrontation. Now, I don’t like confrontation at all. I love peaceful moments and sharing positive thoughts instead of concentrating on things over which I have no control. I think I have received my wish of inner peace and maybe I should wish it grow stronger as years go by.

    Yes, I wish for prosperity and could say I desire a feeling of security as I age. When I was younger I wanted to be wealthy and I find I have accomplished success. But when I refer to wealthy and success, I find my definition of both of those words have dramatically changed. I want to be rich in my faith and soul. I want to be successful in my relationship, my family environment, and above all, I want the mansion in the heavens, but I will settle for a tent in Heaven. (see poem below that I wrote about this very topic.

    A Tent in Heaven

    I would gladly give up my mansion on earth for a tent in Heaven.
    I am blessed and I have more than silver and gold.
    But when it is my time to leave I won’t need time to pack.
    I’ve been told what you come in this world is what you take.
    God will provide for me with His Goodness sake.

    If before I die the mansions are completely filled in Heaven.
    I’ll take any old tent and joyously live my existence forth.
    I’ll be happy to live in any corner and lie in a sack.
    To live in the neighborhood in the light of Our Holy Lord
    My heart will sing and my soul will joyfully live.

    I have been promised if I faithfully make it to Heaven
    The Lord has prepared me a wonderful eternal home.
    But my blessing would have been given when I was forgiven.
    I have received my gold and silver and don’t have to roam
    Over the streets of gold so a tent could be my heavenly home.

    God you have provided me with a soul which wants to go to Heaven.
    I’ll be happy if I can sit on the floor at Your Heavenly throne.
    Dear God you can give those who had to mightily struggle.
    I will gladly see my loved ones in their beautiful mansions.
    If you fill the mansions before I come, a tent can be my eternal home.

    Written by Arline Miller 09/17/2014

    Yes, I wish for good health but again I wish and pray for others more than myself since God will bless us as we wish for a closer walk with Him and once we figure out the more we help others who are struggling, our inner strength and faith heals our being. 

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    I will finish this blog message on a positive note. I have wished and hoped for many things, but this year I want to wish for something not to be given. I wish for hate to disappear in all forms. I wish for rudeness to become extinct. I wish for selfishness and greed to convert to charitable thoughts and deeds as well as a uniting of spirits for the betterment of ALL mankind and womankind. These are my Wishlist items this year and hopefully God is listening.

    LIVE LIFE; LOVE LIFE; AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by giving the most and asking the least for ourselves.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for all of my readers.

    (C) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material if known is sourced to original location. Photos are not exclusively properties of Sipping Cups unless stated.

     

    wishes 2

DON’T FORGET TO STIR THE GRITS

 

 

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DON’T FORGET TO STIR THE GRITS should get the talking pot a little hot with discussion points. I am diving into my southern heritage with the anticipation some of my readers have never tasted this food staple of the south. As usual, if you stay with me throughout this message, you will find a life lesson recipe but you can learn how to make a great pot of grits.

Southerners use grits to enhance a meal as many people use potatoes. It is a filler and sticks to the “bones” filling the person up. It is a great breakfast dish but is also the ultimate staple for a fish and/or seafood recipe. I want to take you back to my childhood for a few observations on how I learned to love grits.

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My mother’s father, Cecil Holt, was the head security guard at a local prison camp in Irwin County GA. He was a tall man and walked with authority. With earned respect, he did his job without any obvious fear. Somehow, all of his grandchildren were attracted to him and I like to think he had charisma along with a disciplined personality. We would visit him and our step grandmother and I have to say she was a wonderful cook. However, I looked at my plate during breakfast and was not immediately drawn to the pile of white blah looking grits with over easy eggs and fried bacon. They were so white except for the pat of butter on the top. I wasn’t sure I wanted to eat them but then Granddaddy introduced me to how to make them delicious. Not everyone will agree with this method as I have continued to eat breakfast grits the same way……mix the eggs into the grits and crumble the meat in there too. It may not suit your fancy but Granddaddy scored a big point with us and grits became a delight.

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On one of my special Mother-Daughter vacations, Missy and I went a five star resort in Florida. We ordered grits with our breakfast and were introduced to a plate of grits unmatched byany other grits we had eaten. Have I ever told you I am not shy (lol) so I asked if the chef would tell us how she made those delicious grits. I explained that I was not interested commercially but praised her on her five star or maybe ten star grits. I will say her secret was cream and butter and lots of stirring. It works and when my daughter comes home for holidays or vacation, we make long cooking, creamy buttery grits and believe me, we stir the fool out of them.

As the grits cook, it is a requirement to stir them on a regular basis or they form clumps and are not smooth consistency. Having stirred many pots of grits that turn out smooth from the stirring process and also the episodes when I was distracted and seeing the clumps form, I have given this process some thought. Life is similar to a pot of grits and let me share why I have come to this conclusion.

POT OF GRITS

Life starts as an empty pot. We develop experience as we begin to figure out what we want to cook or be in life. We throw in our education and everyday encounters the same way we addbland grits, salt and pepper (if desired) and water (which I like to think is our faith in a higher power). As in faith, water is not a solid matter but a fluid that is there but we can’t hold it in our hands freely and it has to be placed in our hearts the same as we need it to cook our lives the same as the grits need it. We begin the process of life, going about the normal routine, and sometimes forgetting we need to stir things up. We need to give attention to those who make up our lives, stirring requires work and so does life. If we regularly stir our lives by helping others, inspiring those who are not as strong, sympathize or empathize (I call this adding seasonings), the grits or life begins to get thicker which represents a fuller life which can include marriage, friendships, and a successful career. At this time, when the grits seem to be bubbling away and a lot of stirring or interaction occurs, an opportunity to make our lives delicious and filling is presented in the form of adding the cream and butter (the finer things or accomplishments in life). Life can be ordinary as grits can be bland if the cook doesn’t take the time to add the extra or as I like to say, “go the extra mile by adding the things or activities that give you happiness and fulfillment.” One more bit of advice…..Stir the grits because no matter if you add the cream and butter, life will be lumpy and clumpy if you don’t take the time to pay attention to what is going on in your pot of life. Enjoy!

(C) Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced if known. Photos are not exclusively the property of Sipping Cups unless stated.