Thankful Thursday: Gratitude

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Gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful”…..or I think this one better “an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has”.

I will admit this has been a struggle for me.  There have been moments when I have appreciated what I have, not comparing myself to others or wishing for something better or different.  For many years, I never lived in the moment – I was always planning the future or regretting something in the past.  Over the last 18 months, life has become very different.  Recovery is teaching me (again) how to live in the moment and be grateful for what I have.  Do I slip into those moments of comparing myself to others?  ABSOLUTELY!!!

Every night as I relax and reflect on the day, I have been thanking God for the blessings he has given me.  Even on my worst days, there is a blessing to be had or a lesson to be learned.  Taking a gratitude walk through my day has helped me to appreciate where I am instead of regretting the past or wishing for the future.  It helps me to not miss out on the special moments of the day.  Have you ever taken a gratitude walk?

November is the kickoff to a season full of gratitude.  Some feel they have nothing to be thankful for.  Others are too busy trying to fit into a role others have set for them to appreciate what they have.  Some are dreading the holidays as this will be their first holiday with out their special someone. Some are just thankful they have lived to see another day. What ever your frame of mind is, I am hoping this video clip from Kid President will make you smile – I know it always brings a smile to my face.

How many of these have you forgotten to say sometimes? As we approach the holiday season and begin to consider our blessings, maybe it is also time to add some of these “words” back into our everyday conversations. It is amazing what a simple “thank you” can do to change a person’s perspective on a day. What was your favorite one?

Have a blessed day!

Thankful Thursday: Labels

Thank you  for inspiring today’s message…..
Who are you? I mean your “identity” beyond titles, labels and your history?  For me, this is a tough one because I never knew who I was so I was always used a “label”……

 

“Who are you?” is a really powerful question.  With so many of us are looking for personal growth you would think it would be an easy one to answer.  What is the first thing you think of when you are asked this question????

For me, I would usually answer: what I did – mom or social worker or now retired.  Occasionally I would say self-employed.  I have friends who would answer with one of these:

  • what we are working, wishing and hoping for (nope this one wasn’t for me)
  • who means the most to us and
  • where we’ve been and how we got to where we are

But, who are you? Think about it for a moment. Can you answer the question without rattling off your rank, title or accomplishments?  I know I can’t or at least I couldn’t before walking back into the doors of NA 16 months ago.  I was always a label, never knowing who I was.  A pretty scary thought.  I may not have an answer but I am working on one…https://deanafarrell.com/do-you-know-who-you-really-are-beyond-titles-labels-and-history/

I’m a wife, a mom, retired social worker, MS warrior, grant writer, Jesus lover, entrepreneur, reader, blogger, daughter, sister, friend, encourager, crafter, recovering addict,  jean wearing, often a hot mess who is making progress to being a better version of me! If I really thought about it, I’m sure the list could go on and on…. just like yours, right?

My list reflects my story,  labels given to me by others, some I cherish while others I struggle with.  I remember (vaguely) a time when I had it all right – years ago my first time around in recovery.  I was confident in who I was and where I was going.  I didn’t let what others think control who I was or what I was doing.  I realize when I had my identity right, everything else fell into place.

Is who you are defined by labels or are you defined by the core values you cherish?  Are you a reflection of who you were created to be or are you still struggling with finding yourself?  I will admit, I was eager to work my fourth step because it I wanted to get to gut-honest.  I wanted to take a “searching and fearless moral inventory of myself”….. be careful what you wish for.  LOL. I may be struggling through the process but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I know once I can identify who I am beyond the titles, labels and my history – I will be a better strong version of myself able to make decisions – even the touch ones.

I love these words from Deana:

You will find yourself very clear on the direction you want to go, even if you’re not sure of what it will take to get there, because you know WHO you need to be in order to get there.

Stop trying to fit in. If nothing else today, take some time to ponder this BIG question “Who are you?”.

I know by continuing on this journey, I will become the person God meant for me to be.  Believe me, I am right there with you Working on making progress toward what I need to do in order to live out who I was created to BE !

Have a blessed day!

 

Real-Time Relationship

Thank you Elisa Pulliam for today’s message.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony – Colossians 3:12-14, NLT

I expected my usually happy teenage daughter to bounce into my office singing VBS songs from her morning spent serving at church. Instead, her sullen face conveyed another story. She was battling feelings of betrayal, insecurity, and jealousy after receiving a message from a friend about something that was happening in a completely different place.

Let’s just say this mama llama wanted to spew more than a few unpleasantries about social media and towards the adult involved behind the scenes. Yet I could feel God urging me to not be so easily offended. I’d been down this road enough times before to recognize what was happening.

Satan was busy writing the story in my head according to his own agenda.

Can you relate?

The Holy Spirit prompted me to take hold of my thought life before doing or saying something I might regret. While I’ve been practicing taking my thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and asking God to align them with His truth (Romans 12:2) for the last decade, I’ve come to see that I have a harder time doing this when a relationship is at stake. It’s hard to find your voice when you’re already wounded and fear more rejection. Yet, avoiding conflict never leads to relationship restoration.

So I skipped the easy-out texting approach and took the risk with an old-fashioned phone call. I put into action the best communication tactics anytime conflict is brewing. I prayed for God to speak through me and asked the open-ended questions I’ve been trained to use as a life coach. It worked! As I listened and affirmed my commitment to our friendship, her voice softened. Her defenses dropped. And the truth rose beautifully out of it all.

Turns out that there was no reason to be offended. There was no intention to hurt my girl or betray us. There was no ill will. There was a perfectly good explanation that social media failed to capture. I should have known!

Satan is the King of Drama ready to destroy every relationship God created for His glory and kingdom purposes.

Maybe that’s why Paul urges the Colossians and us to clothe ourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, making allowance for each other’s faults. Yes, it’s always beneficial when we choose to seek forgiveness and extend it. It’s God honoring when we put on love in the pursuit of unity.

When we live according to God’s design, we get to experience a whole lot less drama, along with the blessings that come from real-time relationships restored by His love and extravagant grace.

Have a blessed day!

Tasty Tuesday: Grandma Tillie’s Cole Slaw

Today’s Tasty Tuesday is about an amazing product I round at the Brick Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago.  I LOVE cole slaw but since I’m not able to have dairy and eggs, I haven’t been able to find the perfect one.  I was offered a sample while strolling one Saturday morning.  OMG!  It was amazing.  The perfect blend of ingredients. Their mission is a world of longer, heart healthier lives. They take pride in their product!

Here are some facts about them:

  • Just 6 Ingredients.
  • Better Taste, Better Quality!
  • No Mayonnaise!
  • Great For The Calorie Conscious! Only 50 Calories Per Serving!
  • Long Shelf Life!
  • At Grandma Tillie’s We Stand By Our Product!!
  • Our Packaging Is Tamper Resistant, Safe And Secure To Arrive Cold!
  • 10% of the purchase price of each container will go to Tackle Kids Cancer

Here are the nutritional facts.  I absolutely LOVE putting it on my salad – no need for dressing.

Here is the story behind the product straight from their website.  ……..Grandma Tillie was born in Warsaw, Poland on a potato farm. She was one of four siblings. After the family traveled to America, to Ellis Island, Tillie began her educational studies, and by the time she was ten years of age, she had mastered the English language. Her  entire life she helped out her parents in terms of financial support, as when she sought full time employment, to help her bed-ridden Mother.

Tillie’s rule in life gave her an understanding of the value of family ties and to cherish life instead of focusing on problems. She enjoyed dances in her town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and spending time at Coney Island and the Jersey shore.

Tillie met my Sicilian Grandfather while working in a cigar factory in Newark, New Jersey, who she later married.

The downside is they will no longer be at the farmer’s market in Brick….BUT you can call to place orders or find out where you can pick some up. Their number is 908-330-5717.  Check at their Facebook page too:

Packing lunch, this makes a great side for any sandwich or add it to your salad.  Need a NEW lunch box??? Try Thirty One’s Lunch Break Thermal (one of my favorites).  It is the stylish way to take your lunch to work or wherever you and your family go. Great for school, the pool, sporting events, day trips, flights and dozens of other places. Extended handles allow you to tote this cooler bag over your shoulder so you can stay hands-free. An interior thermal lining keeps your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket gives you a useful place to put your cell phone, keys or wallet. Makes a great gift for teachers, neighbors, friends and anyone else who loves to lunch!

Have a blessed day!

Teacher Solution Sets

I can’t believe Summer is almost over.  It won’t be long (maybe a week or so) before many will be leaving the sunshine and sand while they head back to school.

Summer may be leaving BUT  it isn’t so bad when there’s so much fall fun to look forward to! Cozy sweaters, leaf piles and of course the hustle and bustle of back to school are right around the corner. I can see many moms doing the happy dance now.  LOL!

Who knows more than teachers about starting the school year off right? From classroom heroes to bus duty buddies, here are eight of  Thirty One’s top styles to create save-the-day solution sets for the ones who put the cool in school (or anyone else who needs to get organized)..

For taming the desk mess

From paperclips and pencils to staplers and snacks, teachers ask a lot of their desks. Make it more manageable with the desktop organizing combo of a Littles Carry-All Caddy (or two), Get Creative Slim Pouch and Get Creative Rectangle Pouch.

This durable, wipeable caddy is perfectly sized to fit a small box of tissues or extra coffee pods for your morning brew, while its exterior mesh pocket can stow paperclips, sticky notes and rubber bands at hand. Pop your markers, pens and pencils into the slim pouch, and use the rectangle pouch for large index cards or to keep loose bits and bobs in one place. Plus, both pouches are made of clear PVC, so you’ll always be able to see what’s stashed inside!

 

For manic mornings and laid-back lunches

One of a teacher’s many superpowers is getting up and ready before the sun, so make mornings a little brighter with a tote-ally perfect pairing that’ll pull double duty. The Crossbody Organizing Tote is one of our top styles for the season, and teachers know why! With all the pockets you could ask for and a spacious design, this tote is an organizing dream. Perfect for the ones who have to take their work home with them (we’re talking grading papers galore), plus the adjustable crossbody strap means hands-free organization, even on the go.

This functional work tote only gets better when paired with our tried-and-true Thermal Tote, its lunchtime partner in crime. Make lunch hour sweeter with an insulated tote in tons of fun prints, and add a personalized embroidered design for a thermal tote that’ll be the talk of the teachers’ lounge. Getting up early might be tough, but packing your lunch in the morning doesn’t have to be!

For classroom clutter

With kids comes mess, but that mess doesn’t have to equal stress. Meet your new all-star organizing team: the Large Utility Tote (our #1 style for the season!) and Double Duty Caddy. With its top handle and two side compartments, the Double Duty Caddy is just the structured sidekick teachers need to store cleaning supplies, art materials, papers or even plates, napkins and plastic utensils for classroom parties!

You already know there are a thousand uses for the LUT, so here are just a few ideas fit for the classroom. And don’t forget to add a custom embroidered message or design in Thirty-One’s personalization studio – just click the “personalize” button under Large Utility Tote to see your design come to life!

  • Stash toys and stuffed animals for indoor recess
  • Fill with books for a portable classroom library
  • Stow pillows and cushions for story circle time
  • Tote playground equipment to and from recess
  • Organize craft supplies for art projects
  • Make a portable lost-and-found!

For after-school fun

When the backpacks are packed and students are on the bus home, it’s time for teachers to take some time to unwind and focus on themselves. No matter the after-school destination, whether it’s a dinner out with the family, running to a yoga class or going out for drinks with the girls, the Boutique Backpack and Perfect Cents Wallet are your go-to duo.

Backpacks are perfect for the ones who are always on the go, and the Boutique Backpack’s faux leather finish elevates it to a statement piece that can also hold all your essentials with ease! And we can’t forget a coordinating wallet to keep your cash, cards and ID neat and organized.

For even more great back-to-school solutions, browse our hand-picked collection of school-ready gift ideas!