30 Day Facebook/LoveBook Challenge

Tomorrow, June 1, I will begin The 30 Day Facebook/LoveBook Challenge. I originally heard about this from Amanda @ kind over matter. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be taking the challenge to update my Facebook status with a positive comment about somebody I know. They’ll be tagged in the comment so they can receive the encouragement. Others in our Friendsphere can  agree with a  “Like” and/or a comment. One click at the encouragement multiplies. This is a great idea from Scott Stirling. Click on this link if you want to join the challenge too!

Not on Facebook? No worries! You can write little notes of encouragement to others and leave them anonymously, send an email individually or to an email group, or you can leave your encouraging comments in the comment section below and then send the link to your friend! The important thing is to achieve 30 days of encouragement!

Leave a comment if you are in!

30 Days of Encouragement

It is there, if you look…

A Word From My Sponsor~ May 29

Psalm 91:4

Saturday Digest~May 28, 2011

“Yes, you are good enough. You matter more than you have ever allowed yourself to know. There is someone out there right now thinking of you and loving you. You are worthy of so much love, because you are love. You are a gift. A precious gift. Your existence is a miracle. You are a miracle!”

I love the loving permission in this post: Embrace Your Vulnerabilities

Remember you don’t have to figure it all out but you can create with intention

 
Just Listen. Yes. Just Listen.  And quietly click here to read this 

We just returned from a great trip to New York. This timely post from Zagat perked my attention: 8 Things You Can Do to
Make Your Server Hate You

Friday Fun~ My Superhero Self-Portrait

if i was a superhero

If I was a Superhero…

Day 16~Playfulness~ Be Gentle Be Love

I am on vacation. This is my first time off since December. I saved Day 16-Playfulness~for these vacation days in Manhattan. Yup. I scheduled my playfulness. I made a playdate with myself.

And once I thought of all the things
I needed to do,
And should do
And should see
And should hurry to find

then…

I remembered Amanda’s gently coaching in Be Gentle, Be Love~

 “Don’t ever let yourself keep yourself from having a good time.”

So I stopped. I stopped hurrying. I retreated and sat down in front of the New York Public Library. I settled down. I quieted down. I noticed my fingers continued to lightly tap a type of manic Morse code on my vacay ToDo list. I concentrated on redirecting my fingers off of the To Do list. The wind relocated the list and then I noticed the reflection right in front of me on the little round table.

playfulness

"Playfulness" Photo by Helen Teague

….A reflection of trees growing upside down, trunks up and an office building standing on its head. But the sky was in the same place. And it occurred to me that my playdate is not the wild adventure of child’s play but the intentioned embrace of Playfulness.

An echo of sincere times floats to me along with the tiny tree blossoms. I enter the library, retrieve the book and read it just as I did decades before~~~

…and Pooh, sitting wakeful a little longer on his chair by our pillow, thinks Grand Thoughts to himself about Nothing, until he, too, closes his eyes and nods his head, and follows us on tip-toe into the Forest.   The House at Pooh Corner

Playfulness Too

"Playfulness Too & Pooh" by Helen Teague

 They let me buy the book. The tiny petals in my hair also remain.

Stages of Healing

It starts out as a caterpillar; the only “cute” creepy crawly insect I know. Next stop, cocoon, and finally the caterpillar fulfills her destiny as a butterfly. We humans transform too. And one way we track our progress is by the way we work.

Using nature as our guide, let’s look at three stages in professional development. helen’s note: or healing:

1. Caterpillar – Lay low, slowly and deliberately explore the landscape around you. helen’s note: i.e. wander, current focus word
2. Cocoon – Keep still, hang out embrace the peace of waiting for change to happen. helen’s note: be still and know…
3. Butterfly – Take flight, land softly, you are appreciated by those around you. helen’s note: sometimes you are appreciated by those around, but always you appreciate yourself.

It’s clear there is an order to pursuing our life’s work. There’s holiness to be found in a job promotion, just as there is humility to be gained in unemployment.

Recognizing every stage of the path to professional transformation is… transformational! You will surely become who you are meant to be. Celebrate your inner butterfly yearning to be free.

By Susan Diamond

A Quieter Life

c s lewis

Quote originally found @ A Holy Experience

In The Middle

And aren’t we all in the middle between somewhere and Home?
In the dark I whisper a name.

Jesus.

And suddenly I don’t feel so alone.
He comes to us in our middle places.
Between fear and security.
Between brokenness and wholeness.
Between the ache and the healing.

Sometimes our hearts jolt awake because life startles us.
And we ask ourselves the hard question in the night, “Where am I?”

Then He whispers,
“You’re in the middle of My love.
The middle of My grace.
The middle of My plan.
And no matter what, I will make sure you get Home.”

I drift back to sleep, blankets around my body, everlasting arms around my heart.
The light comes, in the blink of an eye, and it’s time to fly.

Home.

To read the entire post, gently click here

A Word From My Sponsor~May 22

Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by
the hand. ~Psalm 37: 24

Saturday Digest~May 21

*I really like this thought: “Break away from results oriented thinking and simply enjoy love oriented living”–Bonnie Gray Faith Barista, a new blog on my linkroll

*New Angle on Optimism…”optimism can be just as guilty of wanting things simple and in our power as the downside view. Neither is real. maybe the deal about unwavering optimism and pessimism, both those sides of ourselves, is exactly the reluctance to transform, to deeply trust and live in continuing transformation.”  To read the entire post, gently click here

*Thanks to Amanda, at Kind Over Matter for these free, printable “i like you” facebook cards

*Just in time for the end of school: Michelle Traudt writes about getting rid of anxiety.  Gentle Click Here

*It’s time to “be still and know” God’s love. “Vacuum in the joy and the glory and the beauty of this world. Look beyond all circumstance. Put your mind in neutral and rest in Him. Talk to Him. Tell Him how lonely you feel. Tell Him how much you long for the love that He alone provides, that He alone can restore and renew in your heart, soul and mind. Cry out and ask Him to rain down His love upon you so that yours may “abound more in knowledge and in all judgment”. Open the Word and read till you hear His Spirit speak to your heart. From Him you will gain insight into those things which are excellent–the way He’d have you go. He would not have you to be insincere with anyone, nor give any offense for which to account on the day of Christ’s return. He wants to fill your life with the fruits of righteousness…a natural production from a heart nourished by Christ Jesus, Himself.”  To read the entire post by Hariette Petersen, gently click here 

Friday Quote~ Jane Seymour

I have many friends who do not believe in luck; they believe in blessings. Likewise, I do not believe in coincidences; I believe in miracles.
~Jane Seymour

Prayer Quote

Quote by Lewis Carroll

Quote by Lewis Carroll
Design by Helen Teague
From a graphic at The Graphics Fairy


 

Excellence Reading List~ Day 17~ Be Gentle Be Love

Perhaps if you become what you think you may also become what you read. Toward that goal, here is my Excellence Reading List.  

Healing Reading List

Question: How do you practice Excellence?

Day 17 in the Be Gentle, Be Love Class

Amazon.com: Spiritual Notes to Myself: Essential Wisdom for the 21st…
$1.24 – amazon.com

Please Note: Books link to Amazon but I do not receive any monetary value if you buy them there.

Day 15~Compassion~Be Gentle Be Love

compassion

The Practice of Compassion:
* I notice when someone is hurt or needs a friend.
* I feel empathy for the pain of others.
* I take the time to reach out to those who need help.
* I care for others by listening deeply.
* I refrain from judging.
* I have compassion for myself.
* Because of Grace: I treat everyone with dignity and worth
* Because of Grace: If possible, I ask if i may pray for others
* Because of Grace: I pray for others

Compassion is the absence of tunnel vision

tunnelvision

Brandon Heath sings movingly about pushing through tunnel vision in “Give Me Your Eyes”


“…give me your love for humanity” Help me avoid the tunnel vision of believing what I think and feel defines the truth.

Please read this post by Ann Voskamp: How we treat the weaker is our treating of Jesus

Day 17    Be Gentle Be Love eCourse

Items in bold from The Practice of Compassion list were found originally on the Weekly Virtues Project Reflections blog

Junko Tabei

From The Writer’s Almanac:

On this day in 1975, Japanese mountain climber Junko Tabei (born September 22, 1939) became the first woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Tabei began climbing in college, where she was an English major. And when she graduated, she became an avid climber who was well known in Japan.

Two years later, a Japanese newspaper sponsored a team of women to climb Everest. Tabei and 15 other women were selected for the trip and began to train extensively. In early 1975, they began their ascent, but were struck by an avalanche while camping at 6,300 feet. The whole party was buried under the snow and Tabei lost consciousness for a few minutes. Miraculously, the Sherpa guides saved the whole party and even though Tabei hurt her back and legs, she continued to lead the team of women up the mountain. Twelve days later at 12:30 p.m., she reached the summit.

In 1992, Junko Tabei became the first woman to climb the Seven Summits, and today she has climbed 69 of the world’s tallest mountains.

“Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top; it is the willpower that is the most important. This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others..it rises from your heart”

WOW! Reflection: Junko was buried under the snow! She lost consciousness! She was injured, saved AND CONTINUED TO LEAD HER TEAM!

My Question: What do I have in my life that holds this same level of commitment for me????

Word(s) from My Sponsor May 15

Amelia graduated yesterday! (sound of two hands clapping)
happy dance

Here are verses I collected for Amelia’s college graduation.
They are secured in a vintage book called “Short Stories of Famous Women” that I found at a thrift shop. I unholstered the glue gun and hot glued an old letter press tag and a pinwheel on the front.
graduation book cover         grad card sentiment

I put my graduation wish for her in the front and then on the next page added familiar and still important Bible verses that I have read or we have read together over the year . They are facing opposite of the Preface since graduation is a type of  Preface for her.

commencement Bible verses

The verses are:

James 1:25~ be a woman of action
Galatians 6:9~do not lose heart
Zephaniah 3:17~God will also quiet her with His love
1 Corinthians 10:13~she will never have more than she can handle
Exodus 14:14~she can be still and know God is with her

Amelia liked the book, especially the part about the idea of using the book since she loves books so much.

There are other pages in the book. I would love to have you make Bible Verse suggestions so I can include them.

For Amelia On Her Graduation and Day 14

Dear Amelia:

Tomorrow, you will graduate.

For weeks I have been shopping for graduation cards. Thought I would get an early start. It is not very hard to find cards. What is difficult is finding the right sentiment inside the card. So many cards say, “Be Happy” and “I wish you all the happiness in the world.”

Problem is… I do not want this for you.

I really don’t.
I want more, much more for you than a minimalistic “Be Happy” or an elitist “all the happiness in the world.”
I don’t want to minimize you in that way and saddle you with a search for a slippery ethereal.

                                                  I want more for you.

Always have.

Of course, I probably went too far over the years. It probably would have been ok to read to you from Mother Goose instead of the biography of Marie Curie. Should have nursed you to lullabies instead of Firing Line reruns. Probably would have been ok to teach you the names of the seven dwarfs and Christmas reindeer instead of the members of the UN Security Council (but I gotta say, you rocked running around saying “Netan-yahoo!” at age 4!).

Happy, Schmappy.

My graduation wish for you is to~~~

~be thankful for every day
~say “Why Not?” frequently
~work confidently on things bigger than yourself ~ this will be your legacy
~combine confidence with compassion.
~resist pity parties- this  indicates a focus on self and away from God
~continue to see the connection between effort and results
~confidently rely on God who calls you Beloved
~continue to remember you are Love and Loved
~forgive as quickly as you are authentically able

Some people will smugly say, “well, doing all these things will make you happy.”

So will eating a pizza on the couch in your Underoos.

Please don’t fall for it.

Oh, and one more thing: Here is The BIG REVEAL

Sometimes doing all of the above  is hard, unhappy work. And, sometimes….. not….. (sshhh)… fun.               Or Happy.

Pursue them anyway. They are worth your investment. The way you feel and the way you view yourself, relationships, and circumstances often indicates whether you are living to pursue self or living to pursue God.

Fickle concepts named “happy” and “success” masquerade through people, and status, and things. They don’t deliver long term. Their promises are ever-elusive, ever-changing.  Your confidence will take a hit if you put too much faith in them. And while you heal from the pain, you won’t be able to fix the problems my generation has left you.

And My generation needs for you to fix these problems.

Happy Graduation, Amelia!

 Now, kindly, Commence!

*****

Day 14: Confidence: Be Gentle Be Love

The Best Hours~ Repost by Tara Sophia Mohr

“I think we all have unique biological rhythms that impact when we have the physical, cognitive, emotional energy to create, and when our spiritual channel is most open. My mother is also an early morning creator, and we both turn off, mentally, at about 9pm.
 
For all of us, there are “best hours” for whatever important things we do in our lives. There are best hours for creative work. Best hours for the work that requires sharp focus and deep thought. There are best hours for being present to and generous to our loved ones.
 
For me, the dance is to honor that, and not get too caught up in it.
 
It is to arrange my life so that I get to do things during their best hours. That means speaking up for my needs, setting boundaries, establishing routines, and often, departing from the herd – doing things on a different schedule than friends or clients, and being okay with that.
 
But my work is – just as much – to not beat myself up or panic when it I don’t get to do things in their optimal times – when I end up sending emails during my best “big picture thinking” hours, or using my most alert and creatively inspired hour to wait for the repair man, because hey, that’s how things worked out that day.”  Tara Sophia Mohr

To continue reading this post, please gently click here

Day 13~ Mindfulness~ Be Gentle Be Love

mindfulnessrounded

Mindfulness Dissolves

It happens when I forget

When I forget to return

Then things spiral outward and mingle with what consumes

And does not Radiate

mindful reunion

Reuniting

Returning to mindfulness equals returning to breath.

Breathing with the heart

Hearing rampant Love

Day 13 Be Gentle Be Love

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