Friday, December 18, 2009

Bit #43: Be Mindful

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 43: Be Mindful

The older I get and now especially that I have children, I am constantly aware of other's actions and words that are around me. I worry about what my children will be exposed to in public. I work hard to set a good example for my children and I want to teach them the appropriate ways to handle things and behave. I also want to cocoon them from ideas, words, and actions that they are much to young to explore and see.

I am amazed at how people give NO thought to who might be around when in public. Words are used, screamed, and continually repeated with younger ears around as well as certain actions or ideas that my children are being exposed to and I really have no control over.

So, obviously the crude behavior is not appropriate, but also be mindful of ideas that you are exposing and passing on to younger ones in your life.

A good friend and I had a long email chat one day about her niece. Her niece's mother is always talking about how fat she is, etc. and now this precious little girl is saying that she is fat too.

The Golden Rule comes to mind here: Treat others as you would want to be treated.

By being mindful of others, you are treating others with respect.

Think before you speak and act.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bit #42: Don't be THAT gal or guy

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 42: Watch how you behave

You know exactly what I was talking about from the title. We have all seen THAT girl or guy at an event, party or other social gathering. People are always watching.

I am not talking about THAT girl Whitney who pops over here every Monday. Feel free to be her everyday.

'Tis the season for holiday parties for work, neighborhoods, church, or other social groups and there will inevitably be THAT person that drinks too much and does really silly and embarassing things (or atleast embarassing the next day)...Don't be that PERSON!

To answer your question-yes, everyone will talk about you and make jokes behind your back. No, everyone was not doing the same things.

These parties that don't just include your intimate social circle are meant to be fun and festive, but there is a very deep "line" that you are not to cross. If you are thinking "ooooh, just one more." Chances are that is a good sign to stop.

This being THAT person doesn't just include drinking, although most of the ridiculous behavior will stem from the drinking. Don't start gossiping with people that you don't really know. You never know how people are related or intertwined and the first impression that someone has of you shouldn't be that all you do is talk about other people.

Everyone can picture Elaine from Seinfeld dancing and giggle at the thought of it. If God didn't grace you with a really good set of feet, keep it simple and SUBDUED on the dance floor at the soiree.

Those tales being told at the watercooler the next day-you don't want them to be about you. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bit #41: Lessons in Lyrics~"You Change your passion for glory"

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 41: Go the distance!

You will certainly have this song and beat in your head for days and most will be able to picture Rocky III.

Reading the lyrics really makes you see the motivational lyrics.

"Eye of the Tiger"

Risin' up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive

So many times, it happens too fast
You change your passion for glory
Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

Chorus: It's the eye of the tiger, it's the cream of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he's watchin' us all in the eye of the tiger

Face to face, out in the heat
Hangin' tough, stayin' hungry
They stack the odds 'til we take to the street
For we kill with the skill to survive chorus
Risin' up, straight to the top
Have the guts, got the glory
Went the distance, now I'm not gonna stop
Just a man and his will to survive chorus T

he eye of the tiger (repeats out)...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bit #40: Finding that Girl~Anyone can Pay It Forward

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 40: Paying it forward can be fun!

{Editor's Note: As usual, "Finding That Girl" has provided us with an inspiring and enlightening post. This is a wonderful idea and just shows that there are so many ways for us to "Pay It Forward" and it can be fun too. What will you do this week?}

This week I want to tell you a story about someone else paying it forward. It's such a good story and I feel honored just to know it to be able to pass it along to you.

When I was little, like in elementary and middle school, your birthday party was everything. I mean like your social standing rested on how well your birthday party went. Sometimes, the fact that I always had absolutely amazing beithday parties was the only thing keeping me from being a total outcast back in the elementary school days.

My brother is in 7th grade and he goes to a very small private school here in Memphis. They only have one class per grade and so the kids have grown up together and are all pretty close. That's why we were a little surprised a couple of years ago when some of the kids started having birthday parties and not inviting certain people. It was like a guessing game to see who would be on these newly exclusive guest lists. Of course there was always the girl who wanted just a girly sleepover party and the boys who wanted to play full contact laser tag, which was a no brainer as to why some people were left off those guest lists. This year - this past weekend to be exact - a girl in his class had the most exclusive birthday party to date. Only 10 kids were invited and they were handpicked by the birthday girl herself. The only instruction was to show up at the Wolfchase Mall at 2pm on Saturday.. To say that I was intrigued was an understatement.

The party turned out to be called "Shopper's Challenenge" and each child received an envelope with instructions on what kind of outfit to select and $25. Then came the kicker - these outfits were going to be donated to underprivileged children as part of their Christmas gifts! I was completely taken aback that a 7th grade girl would choose this for her party! This is literally all they did - shop and eat a cakie in the mall food court. And that's what she wanted. Talk about paying it forward - this little girl has got me beat by at least a mile! I still can't get over such a selfless act of giving at what is supposed to be all about you - a birthday party! It sure makes me feel selfish for all the years I made mine all about me. But maybe next year I'll take my cue from one of Evan's classmates and pay it forward a little bit to some who have little when I am receiving so much.

Love, Whitney

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bit #39: Put Thought in to the Gifts You Give

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace #39: Put thought in to the gifts you give!


We ALL have received the "bad" and completely random gift. As the holidays approach, I thought we could take this opportunity to talk about gifts.

Have you gotten the air mattress and coordinating manual air pump, sunflower button shirt (I am not even kidding), meat dehydrator, article of clothing that was so hideous, the dog hid and was also 2 sizes to big/small, socks, etc.? I'm sure we could compile our gifts and create an emporium of those "bad" gifts.

The older I get, the more I cherish gifts that is obvious that the giver put a lot of thought and effort in. It is not at all about the cost or size of the gift, but the thought.

I LOVE when I find something for someone that is perfect. They immediately pop in to my head when I see it or sometimes before a birthday or the holidays I will start thinking about what would be perfect for that special person.

We all have gifts, talents, hobbies, and awesome personalities and even the most hard to buy for person has thoughtful gifts waiting for them. So put your "thinking caps" on this holiday season.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bit #39: Finding That Girl~You Never Know When the Goodwill will hit you

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 39: You never know when the mood will strike you to do good!
"Blessed are those who can give without remembering, and take without forgetting." ~Princess Elizabeth, Asquith Bibesco
{Editor's Note: Yay for Whitney! Last week she challenged us to pay it forward once a week during the holiday season. Bravo for her pay it forward deed. I did mine too.}
This week I had an epiphany in the clearance racks at Hollister.Did y'all know it's Christmastime?
Well, I went to the mall Saturday and it was just beautiful and everyone was so polite and nobody flipped anyone off or cursed anyone out and nobody stole any parking spaces and I just felt like I was right in the middle of a Thomas Kincaide painting.
Except for not.
It was the craziest thing I've ever seen - and I've worked in retail at Christmastime y'all. There's almost nothing I haven't seen - all in the name of getting a cashmere sweater at 50% off. (By the way I love cashmere, and there's a cashmere sweater on my Christmas list if y'all wanted to get me something. Just saying.)
Anyway, back to my epiphany.
So, I was in Hollisters and I generally hate this store because it's all kinds of loud and the associates are all approximately a size 00 and 16 years old and they all look at me like I'm a walking member of the viral plague entering into their store, but I was on a mission to find some jeans for my sister and I had it under good authority that they had some on clearance. So I walk into the store and make my way to the clearance section and I'm seriously about to faint from the close proximity that I have to every other shopper in the tristate area as they are ALL in the store with me at that very minute, when I all but snapped the head off the sales clerk who couldn't answer my questions and also appeared more ambivalent about her job by the second.
That's when it hit me.
My epiphany, I mean.
All week I've been worried about trying to get done Christmas shopping and stressing over finding everyone the perfect gifts that they'll just love and talk about for years that I neglected something. Remember my post from last week? Yeah, I believe I set out a challenge and then totally ignored it myself. I hadn't done a single shred of anything for anyone else all week long. Go me.
Anyway, I realized that while this girl may not have had more than a leaf of lettuce for lunch she was most likely doing the best that she could during what was probably her first experience working a holiday season in retail. So, I walked my butt out of the store and up to Chik Fil A where I purchased a few $5 gift cards. I pulled out a notecard and envelope from the stash in my purse, inserted the gift cards and a little note wishing a Merry Christmas, and took it back to Hollister. I handed it to a very bewildered looking young man behind the cashier's stand and walked out. My hope is that the employees were able to use these gift cards to relax a little bit on break, because it's stressful to do what they do at any time of the year - much less Christmastime. It wasn't a huge gesture, but hopefully it's something that made a small difference to their workday and holiday season.
Did you have the opportunity to pay it forward this week?
Love,
Whitney

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bit #38: Lessons in Lyrics~Wonderful Time of Year

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 38: Take time to enjoy this most wonderful time of year
This song resonates in our head each year. It is a lovely song that always makes me smile and sing/hum for days.
The song was written in 1963 and originally performed by Andy Williams. I hope you all take some time this holiday season to reflect on the joy that we all have in our lives.
What makes this time wonderful for you may not be the parties for hosting, marshmallows for roasting, or the mistletoeing, but I do hope your "hearts will be glowing" as you are surrounded by people and things you love. We all do have so many things to be thankful for and this time of year, although hectic and crazy is a wonderful reminder that life is good.
Enjoy singing and humming this song all day long. :)
"It's the Most Wonderful Time of Year"
It's the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you
"Be of good cheer"
It's the most wonderful time of the year
It's the hap-happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call
It's the hap- happiest season of all
There'll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There'll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago
It's the most wonderful time of the year
There'll be much mistltoeing
And hearts will be glowing
When love ones are near
It's the most wonderful time of the year
There'll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There'll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago
It's the most wonderful time of the year
There'll be much mistltoeing
And hearts will be glowing
When love ones are near
It's the most wonderful time
It's the most wonderful time
It's the most wonderful time
It's the most wonderful time of the year

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bit #37:Finding That Girl~Pay It Forward

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 37: It's all about giving and we all have a helping hand to lend
"Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more. " ~Anthony Robbins
{Editor's Note: I love this week's Finding that Girl post and will definitely follow Whitney in this quest and pay it forward as much as I can this season. We ALL can do something. I also will add the minis in the mix. My son is just starting to "get it" in terms of giving back and learning what this holiday season is all about. Thanks Whitney for challenging all of us!}
I've been decorating for Christmas all weekend, listening to Christmas music and just generally getting in the holiday spirit.
I've had my first official "Christmas" Starbucks in the red cup, seen mothers fighting over the last "My LifeSize Doll" in the WalMart toy aisle and waited in a checkout line longer than the number that represents the federal deficit.
The official holiday season has begun, y'all.
Last night while I was going to sleep I was thinking about last Christmas and I remember one post from a blogger that really stood out to me. I had just found Gwen's blog and this was one of the first posts I had read, but it had such an impact on me.
This is what the holiday season should be about - giving. Even if it's something small, no matter how much it makes a huge difference.
So, I'm going to make a pledge and a challenge.
My pledge is that at least once a week, I'm going to pay it forward to someone. It could be someone in line behind me at Starbucks, my struggling co-worker, a fellow blogger - I won't know until the moment strikes me.
My challenge is to have you join me. Once a week, give to someone who least expects it. And make it a spur of the moment decision. Sure, it will make you feel good but I guarentee you it will make the recipient feel even better.
And little by little, that will make for a better holiday season for everyone!
Oh, and let me be the first to wish you Merry Christmas!
Love,
Whitney
"If you can't feed 100 men, just feed one." ~Mother Teresa

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bit #36: Use Your Imagination

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 36: Don't Leave your Imagination at Home
I stumbled upon this piece by Ellen Phillips in a book entitled 50 Things that Really Matter. We always emphasize on the use of imagination in children, but sometimes I can get lost in my imagination and daydreaming like thoughts.
Dr. Seuss is a classic and wonderful example of someone who used his imagination in his work and sparked a love for reading and imaginative thoughts in children.
Here is the excerpt from Ellen Phillips:
"But Imagination for each of us is about more than physically seeing-it's also about 'seeing' connections between seemingly unconnected things. We may pick up the colors of a favorite scene in the yarns of a sweeater or scarf. (And the peaceful, repetitive nature of knitting is ideal for freeing our minds to imagine other things, too-like an attractive arrangement for next summer's garden or a new recipe for cookies.)
Ultimately, whatever way we use our imagination, we are telling a story. And the more unusual connections we see, the richer and more interesting our creations-our stories will be."
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bit #35: Be Curious

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 35: Keep a Curious Mind

"Curiosity is a gift we each can share. Harvesting it is simple: Just be like a child. Wonder, play, pretend, and live in the moment. Then watch with amazement as the world unfolds around you." ~Kara Messinger

The most famous and smartest people in history that have gone on to achieve great things had a very curious mind!

Albert Einstein-clearly curious to sit around and figure out that E=mc2 and the other "over my head" mathematical business.

Michelangelo-Curious! "Why couldn't you paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? I mean it looks so boring just being white."

Thomas Edison-Thanks for being so curious and inventing the lightbulb

Serget Brin and Larry Page-The Google creators were very curious and thanks to their curiosity for creating the search engine to learn about ANYTHING, they can help fuel our curiosity.

I have a curious child and sometimes it can be exhausting. He must have 1004 questions for a minute detail of a story, movie, why the refrigerator just made that weird noise, or homeless man we passed in the car on the way home from preschool. Even during those times of frustration mixed with exhaustion, I must remember to take a deep breath and see it as an AMAZING mind at work and foster that love for learning and knowing more about how the world works, surroundings, and why things happen.

The list above of famous curious people could go on and on. The moment we stop being curious, the moment we stop learning. So ask questions, think of different perspectives, and look for the hidden beneath the surface answers.

The mind, like the rest of our body needs to be exercised. So, go on...get your curiosity on.

"The important thing is not to stop questioning...Never lose a holy curiosity." ~Albert Einstein

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bit #34: Lessons in Lyrics~Smile

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 34: There will always be a reason to smile
"Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful." ~Thich Nhat Hanh
"Smile, even if it's a sad smile, because sadder than a sad smile is the sadness of not knowing how to smile." ~Unknown
This week's Lessons in Lyrics comes from Nat King Cole. You'll be humming and singing this song for a while which will undoubtedly make you smile.
Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bit #33: Send Thank You Notes

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 33: Always send Thank You Notes

"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." ~G.B. Stern

We live in a fast paced world where we forget common things and we rely too heavily on email and text messaging to communicate with the outside world.

When you are given a gift, WRITE A THANK YOU.

A handwritten thank you note is a necessity and is forgotten by many. Don't send a email or text, and don't decide to not write one because you forgot and it's been too long.

With the holidays approaching you are going to be showered with gifts, baked goods, and other acts of holiday cheer, so you need to get your "thank you note caps on." (Doesn't it just scream that I was an elementary school teacher in my previous life before children?!?!?!)

ALWAYS WRITE A THANK YOU NOTE!

There is an easy formula with 6 points that should be included in every thank you note. It is easy to do and should be memorized, used each time, and passed on to others that might not know.

Get some stationery to keep on hand so you will have it when a lovely and thoughtful gift comes your way.

1. Greeting~Don't forget the greeting. Dear Aunt Mary, works perfectly.

2. Express Your Thanks~Actually show your gratitude and thank the person(s) for the gift and name the gift/gesture in which this note is to express thanks for.

Thank you for the lovely cashmere throw

Etiquette Tip: Don't ever mention the amount of money that is given. Just say kindness or generosity.

3. Talk about Use of Gift~Say something nice about the gift and how you will put it to great use in the future. If it was a monetary gift, you can write how you will use it. Also, if it was a gesture such as being a guest in someone's home, you could say something like "It was so nice to have such a comfortable and welcoming play while we explored New York."
I look forward to curling up on the sofa during those chilly winter nights with the throw.

4. Mention the Past, Allude to the Future~This one is the one that I have found people have the most difficulty with. Make a mention of a recent visit or an upcoming party or trip. If this is someone you never see, you can write something like "I'm thinking of you and hope you are well."

It was so nice to see you at Grandma's house for brunch and I look forward to seeing you at the family reunion next month.

5. Gratitude and Grace~Show your gratitude one last time.

Thank you again for thinking of me.

6. Closing~Make sure to include a closing and signature to your note.

Regards,

Cate

Thank you notes should be written as soon as possible, but don't worry if you forget or something comes up. Better late than never...

YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bit #32: Finding That Girl~Roll With the Punches

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 32: Sometimes You Just Have to Roll With the Punches
{Editor's Note: Of course, I love all of Whitney's posts, but this week's "Finding That Girl" column rings oh so true. Oprah calls them "aha" moments and we all have them. The question is, do we always listen? We all know that will hand us lemons. Thanks Whitney...we're proud of you for making that lemonade. Have a great day!}
If you're a planner like me, when something throws you off course you immediately begin to make another plan. You start weighing all your options, lay out possible scenarios and you might even make a pro/con list for your decision making process. That's what I started doing when I found out my hours were cut at work.
I knew that I couldn't make it on what my new paychecks were going to be, so I knew I would have to start figuring something out. Right away I decided I would get a part-time retail job at night, sell what I could on Ebay and re-work my budget cutting out any and all completely unnecessary expenses.
Then, I couldn't find a part-time retail job. My availability isn't all that great due to my full-time job, nobody could pay me what I need to be paid and every store wondered why someone with my retail experience was trying to get a nighttime register position.
I didn't know what to do; my plan had failed me.
Then, I had a "lightbulb" moment.
Do what I know.
And what do I know how to do more than anything else?
Shop.
In college I did mystery shopping on a very part-time basis for extra money, so why couldn't I do the same thing now only not so part-time? I checked back into one of the old companies I worked for and then found some new ones that were looking for independent contractors. I've been back at it for a little over a week now, and while it doesn't completely replace my missing income from my regular job I'm at least making it. And I get to keep my flexibility and familiarity that I love so much.
And that's a lesson I re-discovered this week - roll with the punches. I'm not always going to make the best or right plan, things aren't always in my control and I just need to take what comes my way and make it work for me. That's hard for a type-A, control freak, fixer like myself but it really puts me in my place.
And sometimes, we need to be put in our place and learn to roll with the punches.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bit #31: Believe

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 31: Have Something to Believe In
"Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail." ~Charles F. Kettering
Believe in love.
Believe in your dreams and goals.
Believe in joy.
Believe in the abilities and gifts you have been given.
Believe in success.
Believe in your own intelligence.
Believe that laughter really is the best medicine.
Believe in happy endings.
Believe that you are beautiful.
Believe in humanity.
Believe that revenge doesn't solve any problem.
Believe in others.
Believe in forgiveness.
Belive in "mind over matter."
Believe in honesty.
Believe the compliments you receive.
Believe in God.
Believe that hard work will always pay off.
Believe in miracles.
Believe that the sun will always come out tomorrow.
Just believe.
Having something to believe in really does make LIFE SO GRAND!
What do you believe in? Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bit #30: What is a Grown-up???

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 30: Being a Grown-up doesn't mean you have all the answers

"There's no point in being a grown up if you can't be childish sometimes." ~Unknown

Growing up, I always thought I would have all the answers. Iwould be so mature and by the time I brought children in to this world, things would fall in to place and I would just "get it." Moms and Dads are supposed to know everything.

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!

The older I get, the more I realize that I don't have all the answers and perhaps as I grow and life gets more complex, I have even less of the really important answers.

Things happen to people everyday that aren't fair or can be explained. People work hard and still get laid off, fired, or don't get to reap the benefits of their labor.

I love this quote above, the more I grow up, the more I want to be a child again. It is so fun and so necessary to give in to some of those childish likes and desires. I think the children actually may "get it" the most. Take some time to watch children and copy their outlook on life...innocence, a great desire to explore the world around them, and they act/dance/do silly things not worrying about how they look to others.

Don't hurry through life just trying to make it to being a "grown up."

As I grow up, I do know that while I don't have all the answers, LIFE IS GRAND!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bit #29: Lessons in Lyrics~My Wish

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 29: Make a Wish and Plan for yourself and those you love
I love this song, "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts and thought it was a great choice for Lessons in Lyrics. I know that country music isn't everyone's taste, but these lyrics are just fantastic. We often spend so much time stressed about money, social status, jobs, etc. that life just passes us right by.
"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you'll look back and realize they were big things."–R. Brault
There are so many things that I wish for my children. I want them to have the best life possible and grow up knowing they are loved and have confidence in their gifts and abilities. I also want them to appreciate everything and enjoy the little things that life has to offer.
I also have many wishes for my own life and the lyrics in this song pretty much sum it up.
"My Wish"
I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
and each road leads you where you want to go,
and if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
and if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' 'til you find the window,
if it's cold outside,
show the world the warmth of your smile,
but more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can haul,
and while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.
I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
all the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
and you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
and always give more then you take.
But more than anything, Yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can haul,
and while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can haul,
and while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.
this is my wish
i hope you know somebody loves youmay all your dreams stay big
(Repeat)
(Chorus)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bit #28: Finding That Girl~All Emotions are real

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 28: Mad is still an emotion

{Editor's Note: This week's Finding That Girl column from Whitney is so honest and true. All emotions are real and need to be worked through. Sometimes it take a while to "wipe the smile off our face" and the same goes for those not so happy and rosy emotions. We spend time telling our children that it's alright to be mad and sad when things don't go just their way, but as we move in to adulthood, the common mantra is "get over it." While I agree that it is more fun to be happy, all emotions are a process...Thanks Whitney for making us realize that it's ok! We love you!}

Thanks to everyone for their sweet comments on last week's post and in my email inbox. I love the title that Mrs. Molly Lou gave the post.

Sometimes it really is best to take a leap of faith.I had a post all planned to write and then all of the sudden it seemed irrelevant to me. Suddenly all I wanted to do was pout and whine about my work situation. While I don't condone 24/7 whining and pouting, I can tell you that I learned a lesson this week about that very thing.

What was the lesson?

Glad you asked.

GET MAD.

That's the lesson.

GET MAD.

You read right. Yell, scream, cry, whine, throw a pity party for 100 people....do whatever it is you need to do to move past the situation and get on with your life.

We hear all the time, "be grateful for what you have" and "it can always get worse" and "lot's of people have it a lot worse than you."

And I agree. I agree 1000%.

BUT, should we not show emotion? Should we not be honest about what we're feeling? EVERYONE gets mad and when you try and hide that anger or hurt it only turns into resentment - which is even worse. I've heard so many times, "there's no point in getting angry." Now that statement I couldn't agree with less. There is most certainly a point in getting angry. When you mask your emotions and don't address them, you can almost count on the fact that you will be dealing with your issue for a lot longer than you have to.

That's why I knew that when I was so angry last week about everything that was going on, I just had to be that way for a while. I knew if I tried to push those feelings down they wouldn't go away, rather they would get bigger.

Now let's be clear here. I'm not saying you should go slam your fist through a door, slam your head against the wall or punch anyone in the face (although I can't tell you how many times this week I've wanted to punch my boss, I mean someone this week). Rather, just let yourself go through the healing process. Don't force yourself to not be mad or hurt - let it happen. Because ultimately, the natural emotion is much healthier than the forced one.

I'm still slightly angry. I can't help it, but I'm moving on and understanding that there is nothing I can do but be proactive about the situation I'm in. Had you told me to feel that way on Monday of this week I might have done one of the things in the former paragraph because I needed the time to just be plain mad. And that is something we all need from time to time.

Love,

Whitney

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bit #27: Drink Water

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 27: Drink Plenty of WaterI know this is a straight forward and perhaps boring bit today. Kids, listen up...DRINK WATER!!!
If you don't do anything else to improve your health, drink water. Drinking your daily dose of water does wonders for your body! Drink extra water when you are exercising or playing sports or in extremely warm weather.
Keep water handy and accessible. Use stylish and fun bottles that you take with you, keep out or on your desk. If it is near you and "staring you down," you are more likely to drink it. If you get sick of BORING old water, spice things up with lemon or other natural flavors.
PS-Drinking that "cool," expensive water, doesn't make you cool. Regular old tap water is the coolest and cheapest. Filter your own water. You can save that Fiji water money for something fun and new!
(thanks flickr for the water image)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bit #26: Lessons in Lyrics~Be the Bridge

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 26: Be the bridge for your loved ones
Yesterday, the bit talked about surrounding yourself with cool people; relationships with people that will lift you up, make you feel good about yourself, support you, and add something to your life.
We all need those supportive crutches in our lives and the lyrics from today's song beg you to be that person for a loved one in your life. This week's Lessons in Lyrics features a song I have sung so many times in my life. I will have this familar tune stuck in my head for days now, but what wonderful and calling lyrics they are.
I hope that we can all be the bridge for a loved one in our life as I know that we will need a few bridges laid out for us. Have a great day!
"Bridge Over Troubled Water"
By Paul Simon / Sung by Simon & Garfunkel

When you're weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
I'm on your side.
When times get rough
And friends just can't be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
When you're down and out,
When you're on the street,
When evening falls so hard I will comfort you.
I'll take your part.
When darkness comes
And pain is all around,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Sail on silvergirl,
Sail on by.
Your time has come to shine.
All your dreams are on their way.
See how they shine.
If you need a friend I'm sailing right behind.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bit #25: Surround yourself with cool people

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 25: Surround yourself with cool people that make you feel good!
"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company." ~George Washington
What George Washington said is perhaps somewhat boring, but oh so true. Relationships are so important and are the foundation to just about everything we do in life.
We have relationships with just about everyone we come in contact with and in all social and professional settings.
Relationships take constant work and "nurturing." This is often put off to the side.
As said above, make sure you are surrounding yourself with "cool" people. People that make you happy, feel good about yourself, encourage you, support you, and inspire you.
Obviously, make sure you are in a good place internally. You need to have a solid personal foundation before you can extend to other relationships.
"A loving relationship is one in which the loved one is free to be himself - to laugh with me, but never at me; to cry with me, but never because of me; to love life, to love himself, to love being loved. Such a relationship is based upon freedom and can never grow in a jealous heart." ~Leo F. Buscaglia

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bit #24: Sometimes it's best to JUMP and follow your heart

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 24: As scary as it is, make sure you are doing what you have a desire and passion for. JUMP and make those things happen.

{Editor's Note: Welcome back Whitney! We are so excited to have you and look forward to all you have to say. I know I speak for all of us...we love you, support you, and know you will be oh so successful.}

“The indispensable first step to getting the things that you want out of life is this: decide what you want.” — Ben Stein

...I love Ben Stein. I swear, the Visine commercials get me everytime.

And come on - "Bueller....Bueller....Anyone....." How can you not crack up?

However, whether you love the man or not you have to agree that his quote hit the proverbial nail on the head.
How can you aim without a target?
Duh. You can't. You'd just be shooting blindly.

And you can't get what you want out of life without first knowing what you are trying to get.I have been struggling with this problem lately. I've felt as though I'm at a standstill in my life. I'm single, no kids and no real attachments except for the fact that I must speak with my mother at least 95846 times. I'm at what I feel like is a crossroads in my career. I've gone as far as I can possibly go within my company; I busted through that glass ceiling a long freaking time ago. So where should I go? What should I do?Should I keep picking glass out of my hair and just stay at my current job? Should I look for a job in an economy where people are pretty much not filling the type of position I'm looking for? Should I go back to school and start a completely new career? How do I know what the right decision is? I could ask for advice from my family and friends but the problem is that I already know the answer.

I once heard that when you ask for advice you're really just asking for a confirmation of what you already know, but don't want to acknowledge. See for me, feeling comfortable and familiar is a big deal. I've stepped out on a limb so many times in my life and fallen hard, so having the familiarity of my current job is a big bonus. Plus, my hours are relatively flexible and that's very important to me. But, I'm not getting anything out of it. I don't ever feel fulfilled at the end of the day; like I made a difference or did something that mattered. And that's important to me. I never wanted to be the type of person who woke up everyday and had to go to work, rather I wanted to be the type of person who woke up everyday excited to go to work. Yet here I am in a job that I hate, working for someone who is a less than desirable boss (trust me, my stories would shock you) and yearning for the weekend with every passing minute. Which is exactly what I always told myself I wouldn't do.

So, here I am on the threshold of a decision. What do I do, where do I go?Well, you know how sometimes you wait too long to make a decision and it ends up being made for you? Anyone? Beuller?Well, last week something happened at work. Something that was my decision maker. You see, my work has been heavily affected by the economy. Business has been terrible and earlier this year my boss was forced to cut our hours, some people more than others. Because of my position in the company I was fortunate enough to keep more of mine than others, but it was still a struggle. Well, last week my hours were cut again.

At first I just wanted to cry. I wanted to pout and whine about my hours and my money (or lack thereof) and make everyone feel sorry for me. Then I realized something: a decision had been made. You know that corny phrase "when one door shuts another opens"? Well, a door was shut and what do you know? It blew another one open for me.

I'm not sure of all the details yet, but I'm going back to school. Just when I thought I'd taken my last college class, God whispered "not so fast" into my ear. I'm going to be an Early Education major with a concentration in Remedial Reading.

To say I'm excited would be an understatement. For the first time in a long time I feel at peace about everything; I feel settled. I have something to work for and I'm going for it with everything I have in me. I know it's not going to be easy, or fun at times but I have never felt better about a decision in my life.

So now I know what I'm working for and what I want and I only wish it hadn't taken me this long in my life to determine that. But I know it was for a purpose....everyone's path is different.

Love,

Whitney

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bit #23: Choose a mate wisely

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 23: Choose a mate wisely and remember that Mom is always right.

"Choose your life's mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 percent of all your happiness or misery." ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


There should be a class in school on picking a good mate. This is such an important choice in life and so many people make the wrong ones over and over again or go into marriage or life commitment without really thinking and deciding if this is what is best for him/her.

Again, I hope my children will read this many years down the road, so remember that MOM IS ALWAYS RIGHT!!!
Remember that saying "love is blind." If your parents, family, friends, support system don't think the person is right for you, chances are they are right. LISTEN TO THEM!
Make sure you know the person well.

Do they make you happy?
Are they fun to be with?
Do you have the same morals and values?
Are you compatible?
Are you attracted to your mate?
This goes much beyond physical attraction...looks fade quickly and the rest is what you will have for life, so be sure you like what you have.

Have those often difficult conversations about money, religion, or parenting BEFORE you marry. Trust me, you will have them MANY times after marriage too, but starting off on the same page will help tremendously.

Take your time...don't be in a rush to find someone and settle. The right person is out there and you will be so glad you waited when he/she comes along. It will make all of those "WHAT WAS I THINKING?" relationships worth it and put everything in to perspective.

All relationships are a constant struggle and one that needs daily attention and efforts. Make sure you are working together and not against each other.
There is no such thing as a perfect person, but there is such thing as a perfect person for YOU!! Enjoy the journey in finding each other.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bit #22: Lessons in Lyrics~Let It Be

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 22: Let it be!
I know we have all heard this song by The Beatles many, many times, but take a moment to read these lyrics. You will also probably be singing this song all day. (You're welcome or sorry about that.)
My children who hopefully will read this many years down the road. We have a children's Beatles CD and we listen it to it in the car just about everyday. My son loves to sing along to this song and I hope he thinks about this song and it's meaning, but with happy childhood thoughts...Let it be, let it be!
"Let It Be"
The Beatles
When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.

For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be.

Let it be, let it be. Yeah
There will be an answer, let it be.

And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me,
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be.

I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be.
There will be an answer, let it be.

Let it be, let it be,
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

The idea of letting something be is something that I struggle with on a daily basis. It is hard for me to relinquish control on somethings that are ultimately out of my control. And as humans, we have this innate desire to be right and sometimes it really is best to "let it be."


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bit #21: Be part of the Team


Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 21: TEAMWORK!


Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. ~Henry Ford


We've all heard the saying "there is no I in team." How true!



Working as part of a team will be something you will be required to do your entire life: school projects, school plays, clubs, organizations, sports teams, work department teams, spousal/parenting teams, etc.

The only way to be truly successful and "climb the ladder" in all the roles of our crazy lives, we must be an active and willing team worker and plater. It takes constant work and attention when working in a team. So many times I have thought "this would be so much easier if I did it myself" or "I should do this by myself," but then we are always thrown in to team work situations and we must adapt. Working in teams can be a wonderful experience. People bring different view and areas of expertise to the table.

Be sure that you are looking within and evaluating your own skills as a team player and worker...you want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Be a good and gracious member of all teams you are on. Everyone will appreciate it!

"No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it." ~H.E. Luccock

{Thanks to flickr for the picture.}

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bit #20: The Material Myth

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 20: MAterial Things Do Not = Happiness

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." ~Frederick Koenig

(Feel free to hum or sing along to this song snippet. If you find yourself singing it all weekend, I am either incredibly sorry or "you're welcome.")

....Living in a material world
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl...

Oh, Madonna is so wise! (What's that? That adjective isn't in the first 100 you would use to describe Madonna???)

We do live in a material world and the term "keeping up with the Joneses" is so true in this crazy world that we live.


I have lived many days of my life thinking (and I still have those days) when I believe that those material things will make me happy and make my life perfect.

If I only had a bigger house with the perfect yard or that newer and nicer sport utility card, I would be just so content!

Oooohhh, I MUST HAVE those shoes, that fabulous new Kate Spade handbag, that necklace is just perfect, oh I need those expensive clothes for the minis (even though they will outgrow some that that currently have before they wear more than twice).

Me to husband: "If I could just have the entire Pottery Barn catalog to outfit that new, bigger house, I won't ask for anything again."

The list, conversations, thoughts, and scenarios could go on forever. We all want something else and covet what our friends and neighbors may have. "They have it, so should I or "That is the perfect ______...just what I need."

It can become an addiction, but if we sit back and think about all of those things that we have acquired thinking they will make us happy, we will realize that the "happy high" is short lived and then we are seeking that next thing.

We could get deep in this little thought process and idea, but let's not dive that far down and I am certianly not an expert on this.

I do know that we can all be rich. Rich in friends, family, health, love, and HAPPINESS.

Happy Weekend!

Bit #19: Finding That Girl...

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 19: Find Yourself in Life-it takes time!
{Editor's Note: We are super excited to have my dear friend Whitney write for us each week. She has stumbled upon a great idea here and I can't wait to read what she has to say. She is fun, funny, witty, smart, honest, and kind. I think we can agree that we all have some form of "identity" issues. As life changes around us, those issues are different, some more complex and indepth than others, but always apparent. I hope you'll welcome Whitney with open arms and tell a friend about Good Will Grace. Thanks again Whitney...you're the best!}
"Finding That Girl"
....lessons in life, love and the pursuit of happiness{whatever that means to you}.....
Hi! I'm Whitney and you probably know me from That Girl & Her Pug. If you don't know me, then you must go check out my blog. I'm super fun!
I first want to thank Mrs. Molly Lou for asking me to be a guest poster on this blog, it's such an amazing thing she has going here and I'm so thankful to be a little part of it. We all need these daily reminders in our lives.
My segment will be here every Monday, and as you can see from the title it will be about finding me. But not just me - we're not playing "Where's Waldo" here - but finding you, too! You see, whether we are young and single, old and single, young and married, married with children, single with children, 65 and retired or any combination of those things we all struggle with identity issues. If you don't, then well, you should probably win an award. And teach a class. Because to me, there isn't one woman out there who doesn't have questions, reservations or even doubts or fears about where she is in life and where she is going.In this weekly segment, I'm going to talk about life's lessons; things that I want to learn, things that I have learned and things that I'm learning right now.
Please know that I am not trying to be condescending or act like I have it all together, because I don't. This weekly post is just as much about bettering myself as it is anything else. I believe that through this blog and this series of posts, women of all ages and statuses can come together and help each other deal with life's hardest lessons. And we all know that the hard ones are the ones we really need to learn the most.
So, I'll be here every Monday! Every other day I'll be here as a reader because I cannot get enough of the little "bits" of wisdom Mrs. Molly Lou throws at us! Don't you agree that especially in this day and age we need every single reminder we can get?
Love,
Whitney

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bit #18: Take Pictures...

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 18: Take pictures...you will cherish them later

They say a picture is worth a thousand pictures and how true! Take pictures, have others take pictures, be in pictures, document your life!
Our lives are full of so many wonderful moments and some at the time, we don't think are big moments. Having pictures is such a wonderful posession and reminder of this crazy road we are travelling.
One of my favorite things is to sit for sometimes hour and look back on pictures. It is fun to relive some of those memories and events, some that I had forgotten.
Pictures are such a wonderful history that we can leave for loved ones. Pictures tell the stories of our lives, but also those that we love and hold close. They will last for years and you will thank yourself one day when you have your life in pictures.
Take funny, serious, loving, spontaneous, adorable, exciting, compelling, compassionate, or somber pictures...just take them.

"A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people." ~Annie Leibovitz

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bit #17: Lessons in Lyrics~How You Live

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 17: Live life to the fullest...you are the only one to choose how you live.
"Quit hanging on to the handrails . . . Let go. Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it every day." ~Melody Beattie
Thanks so much to my dear friend, Whitney for sending this fantastic song our way. What a perfect lesson in lyrics for this Wednesday. This song comes from a Christian band, Point of Grace and is appropriately titled "How you Live." Putting religious beliefs aside, this song is awesome and so incredibly beautiful. Read over the lyrics a few times.
Wake up to the sunlight with your windows open
Don't hold in your anger or leave things unspoken
Wear your red dress, use your good dishes
Make a big mess and make lots of wishes
And have what you want, but want what you have
And don't spend your life looking back

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances and let it all out
'Cause you won't regret it
Looking back from where you have been
'Cause it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did I
t's how you live

So go to the ballgames and go to the ballet
And go see your folks more than just on the holidays
Kiss all your children, dance with your wife
Tell your husband you love him every night
Don't run from the truth 'cause you can't get away, no
Face it and you'll be okay

(Chorus)

Oh, wherever you are and wherever you've been
Now is the time to begin
So give to the needy, and pray for the grieving
Even when you don't think that you can
'Cause all that you do is bound to come back to you
So think of your fellow man
And make peace with God, and make peace with yourself
'Cause in the end, there's nobody else

(Chorus)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bit #16: Remember the Golden Rule

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 16: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Follow the Golden Rule. There is a reason it has stuck around for centuries.
This is really an easy one that ties everything we have been taught together. Stop and think before you act or speak on if this is how you would like to be treated.

(Photo courtesy here)

Check out this amazing photo. Last week, a year's worth of rain fell in just 6 hours in the Phillipine capital. This photo embodies the Golden Rule and all that we should strive to do. People are working together to help rescue those boys from the flood waters!

We are all humans and will make mistakes, but just think of how fabulous the world would be if we all followed the Golden Rule.

Would I want to be yelled at by someone because their drink wasn't exactly correct? "No, so I better not yell at this poor girl. I have already screwed up 7 things this morning."

Would I want someone to be rude to me because they are mad about something completely unrelated to me and the situation that I am dealing with them? "No, so I should remember that the next time that I am having a bad day."
Would I want to hurt someone's feelings by saying mean things? "No, so I should remember that and try to always lift someone's spirits."
Would I like to be shot today? "No, so I better not shoot anyone else."

See it's REALLY EASY. Stop and think about it each day and eventually it will become a habit and will stick to others too.

Have a great day!
{Editor's Note: Here's a little history on this idea. The Golden Rule is also known as Ethic of Reciprocity. Thanks to wikipedia for the 411. Ethic of Reciprocity is an ethical code that states one has a right to just treatment, and a responsibility to ensure justice for others. Reciprocity is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights. A key element of the golden rule is that a person attempting to live by this rule treats all people, not just members of his or her in-group, with consideration. It exists in both positive (generally structured in the form of "do to others what you would like to be done to you") and negative form (structured in the form of "do not do to others what you would not like to be done to you"). While similar, these forms are not strictly the same; they differ in what to do with what you would like to be done to you and the other party would not like to be done upon it. The Golden rule appears to have an evolutionary basis. The golden rule has its roots in a wide range of world cultures, and is a standard which different cultures use to resolve conflicts; it was present in the philosophies of ancient Judaism, India, Greece, and China. Principal philosophers and religious figures have stated it in different ways, but its most common English phrasing is attributed to Jesus of Nazarethin the Biblical book of Luke: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The "Do unto others" wording first appeared in English in a Catholic Catechism around 1567, but certainly in the reprint of 1583.

Versions Of The Golden Rule In Different Religions _________________________________________________________________ HINDU: This is the sum of duty; do naught unto others which if done to thee would cause thee pain.
ZOROASTRIAN: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself.
TAOIST: Regard your neighbour's gain as your own gain, and your neighbour's loss as your own loss.
BUDDHIST: Hurt not others in ways that you would find hurtful.
CONFUCIAN: Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you.
JAIN: In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.
JEWISH: Whatever thou hatest thyself, that do not to another.
CHRISTIAN: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.
ISLAMIC: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
SIKH: As thou deemest thyself, so deem others.}

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bit 15: Bring on the Manners

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 15: Use your manners.
"Good Manners will open doors that the best education cannot."~Clarence Thomas
As the world grows and the pace of life increases, it seems the worse manners become. Good manners become even more important as this happens and should be practiced daily.
Manners start with respect. When you use manners, others know that you RESPECT them and yourself.
Common courtesies such as holding a door open for someone, saying "please" and "thank you," and allowing an elderly or disabled person to go to the head of the line all make the world a nicer place to live in.
Good manners do not cost anything, and it takes little extra time to practice them.
You've heard the saying "talk the talk, walk the walk." Check your own common courtesy routines and habits in order to help pass them along to others.
People remember manners and as Clarence Thomas said above, they really open doors. It is the smallest gestures that make all the difference to people.
We are afraid to share things with others, but manners will never make you sick and can only make you feel better after you have shared with someone else.
PLEASE go out there, show the world that you "weren't raised in a barn" and use those manners that your mom, dad, grandparents, friends, siblings, neighbors, teachers, aunts and uncles have taught you.
Everyone will THANK YOU!
"A man's manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait."~JohannWolfgang von Goethe

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bit #14: Read.

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 14: Read. Read. Read.

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." ~Dr. Seuss
Read. Read. Read some more. Reading really is the most powerful tool and can take you anywhere. Reading is such a powerful tool in this crazy world. Reading fuels the imagination and gives you the power to think and share ideas on a higher level.
Create a passion for reading. Read magazines, newspapers, classics, novellas, articles, short stories, best sellers,"chick lit," historical fiction, non-fiction, biographies...just read.

Take time to read the classics. In school, you will be required to read certain books that you may think you won't like. Take the time to read them as you will appreciate them and re-read them as an adult.

Read children's books even as an adult. The stories and pictures make for a great combination and can take you back to those lovely childhood days. Read to children if you get the opportunity. When you read to a child and see that love of a story, it really is electrifying.

Allow yourself to get lost in a library or bookstore. You never know what you will find when browsing those aisles.

"Today a reader. Tomorrow a leader." ~Margaret Fuller

Here is a link to Newsweek's Top 100 Books list. Looks like I've got some work to do!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bit #13: Lessons in Lyrics~It Won't Be Like This For Long

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 13: Take time to enjoy even the smallest things as "It Won't Be Like This For Long"
We all know how powerful music is and there are fantastic life lessons found in music lyrics. Each Wednesday, we feature a song's lyrics that express a life lesson we want to share. Have a suggestion for a song that has a special meaning or life lesson you think should be shared, please email us.
I love Hootie and the Blowfish. I grew up in Columbia, SC where they started and it during those teenage years that I could so "relate" to their songs. Now, Darius Rucker has started a new journey and has a fantastic song, "It Won't Be Like This For Long."
This song touches on those precious moments with your children and how quickly they pass. This is so true. I have really tried to make a conscious effort to enjoy my children, but already have a hard time wrapping my head around how quickly they are growing.
This song also relates to everything in life...time really does fly. We all should take a deep breath and take some time to enjoy those small, but precious moments in our life. Here are the lyrics:
He didnt have to wake up
He'd been up all night
Lay'n there in bed listenin'
To his new born baby cry
He makes a pot of coffee
He splashes water on his face
His wife gives him a kiss and says
It gonna be OK
It wont be like this for long
One day soon we'll look back laughin'
At the week we brought her home
This phase is gonna fly by
So baby just hold on
It wont be like this for long
Four years later 'bout four thirty
She's crawling in there bed
And when he drops her off at preschool
She's clinging to his leg
The teacher peels her off of him
He says what can I do
She says now dont you worry
This will only last a week or two
It wont be like this for long
One day soon we'll drop her off
And she wont even know your gone
This phase is gonna fly by
If you can just hold on
It wont be like this for long
One day soon she'll be a teenager
And at times you'll think she hates him
Then he'll walk her down the aisle
And he'll raise her veil
But right now she up and cryin'
And the truth is that he dont mind
As he kisses her good night
And she says her prayers
He lays down there beside her
Till her eyes are finally closed
And just watchin' her it breaks his heart
Cause he already knows
It wont be like this for long
One day soon that little girl is gonna be
All grown up and gone
Yeah this phase is gonna fly by
He's tryin' to hold on
It wont be like this for long
It wont be like this for long

We're back...

Good Will Grace is up and running AGAIN! We apologize for the lapse in posts, but life takes crazy twists and turns sometimes. We are excited for the future here at GWG. We have some fabulous things in the works.

Help us spread the word of Good Will Grace to your friends. If you have any suggestions, ideas, comments, thoughts for any posts or Lessons in Lyrics, we would love to hear from you. Email us at goodwillgrace@gmail.com!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bit #12: Work Hard

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 12: There is no escape from HARD WORK!
"Hard work certainly goes a long way. These days a lot of people work hard, so you have to make sure you work even harder and really dedicate yourself to what you are doing and setting out to achieve. " ~Anonymous
There is no simpler way to put it than you must WORK HARD in order to succeed. No one truly succeeds without it. Let's look at some greats (these are merely just a few examples):
Sports: Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods, or Michael Phelps
Business: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Warren Buffet
Art: Picasso, Van Gogh, or Georgia O'Keefe
Arts: Tom Hanks, Yo Yo Ma, or Mikhail Baryshnikov
Greatness isn't handed to anyone; it requires a lot of hard work.
NONE of these people achieved their success without hard work and determination. Sure, they had some natural gift, however, with determination, practice, and a passion anything really is possible.
Success doesn't happen overnight either. Don't think that there is a magic potion or spell that you can do...the only magic is going to be from yourself-WORKING HARD!
Find out what interests you. If you aren't excited or interested in what you are doing, it will show and you will never be able to reach the top. Create experiences and surround people with similar interests and ideas. Create a support system of peers, friends, and family that will be there as you explore and work towards your goals and success.
"Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven't planted."
We believe in you!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bit #11: Use your words wisely

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 11: Use your words wisely!
Words are an extremely powerful thing. Be careful what you say as they can never be taken back.
My Uncle Stan is a true saint. He is such a gift to this world and I am so blessed that I have him in my life and have his fun and loving spirit. I can only hope that he will be around for many years and that my children get the same opportunities to know him that I did.
One day a few years ago and he was telling me a story that he had told his grandson. How fitting and how true:
There was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

The boy then understood how powerful his words were. He looked up at his father and said “I hope you can forgive me father for the holes I put in you.”
Use those powerful words to lift someone's spirits!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bit #10: Lessons in Lyrics~Dream Big

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 10: Dream Big
We all know how powerful music is and there are fantastic life lessons found in music lyrics. Each Wednesday, we will feature a song's lyrics that express a life lesson we want to share. Have a suggestion for a song, please email us...thanks so much for your help and support.
A few years ago when I was pregnant, Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband came out with the song, "Dream Big." This song immediately brought tears to my eyes and was the epitome for what I wanted for my child in this crazy world they were about to enter in to.
Dream, just dream! Dream about anything and work hard to make it happen.
When you cry be sure to dry your eyes
'Cause better days are sure to come
And when you smile be sure to smile wide
Don't let them know that they have won
And when you walk, walk with pride
Don't show the hurt inside
Because the pain will soon be gone
And when you dream, dream big
As big as the ocean blue
'Cause when you dream it might come true
When you dream, dream big
When you laugh be sure to laugh out loud
'Cause it will carry all your cares away
And when you see, see the beauty all around and in yourself
And it'll help you feel okay
And when you pray, pray for strength
To help you carry on
When the troubles come your way
And when you dream, dream big
As big as the ocean blue
'Cause when you dream it might come true
When you dream, dream big
When you laugh be sure to laugh out loud
'Cause it will carry all your cares away
And when you see, see the beauty all around and in yourself
And it'll help you feel okay
And when you pray, pray for strength
To help you carry on
When the troubles come your way
And when you dream, dream big
As big as the ocean blue
'Cause when you dream it might come true
When you dream, dream big

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bit #9: Laugh

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace #9: Laugh often, laugh much!
"Carry laughter with you wherever you go." ~Hugh Sidey
Laughter really is the best medicine. It can turn anything around and really is what makes the world go 'round..
I love to laugh. I am looking forward to the laugh lines on my face when I am older...each one will have a story tell on the great times, good friends and family, and memorable life experiences. We laugh all of the time in my home and with my family.
Surround yourself with people that make you laugh and feel good about yourself.
Be able to laugh at yourself. We all have "those moments" and the key to being a great person is having the ability to laugh at yourself from time to time. Those laughing with you should be people that love and respect you too.
Here are some quotes that are fun and funny in terms of laughter:
"Laughter is an instant vacation." ~Milton Berle
"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people." ~Victor Borge
"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul." ~Yiddish Proverb
"When people are laughing, they're generally not killing each other. " ~Alan Alda
"There can never be enough said of the virtues, dangers, the power of a shared laugh." ~Fran├žoise Sagan
"I've always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, 'Ain't that the truth.'" ~Quincy
"A man isn't poor if he can still laugh." ~Raymond Hitchcock
Take laughter with you...it's fantastic and free for all! Have a good laugh today and pass it on!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bit #8: Savor the simple things

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 8: Savor the simple things in your life
{Editor's Note: Thanks so much to my dear friend Whitney for writing this fantastic post. I have so enjoyed getting to know her. She is fun, funny, kind, intelligent, loving, and honest. I adore this post and have been thinking so much about it since I received it. I am going to write my "simple things" list to put them in a special box that is my FAVORITE THINGS box. I can look back on these lists years down the road and relive these favorite things and parts of my life. It is so important to remember those simple things. I am even thinking of doing a "Happy Favorite Day" holiday in our home. I hope you all will take a minute to think of what your favorite simple things are in your life. Thanks again Whitney...you are so fantastic!!}
"Hi, my name is Whitney and I'm materialistic." <----- this is where you all collectively say "Hi, Whitney!"
I admit it. I love things. All things. Clothes, makeup, magazines, new furniture, pretty place settings, top of the line hair dryers - these are all material things.
My mom has been trying to get me out of the material world for a loooong time now. She hasn't succeeded. Because I'm a girl that likes stuff, I always will. But, in the past few years it has become apparent to me what really matters in this life - and it's not anything you can buy. It's never at a Macy's "One Day Sale" or at Saks "Buy Some Get Some" event. I can't find it on Etsy.It's the simple things. The things that often get overlooked or taken advantage of.I walk in my neighborhood every night. As I was wlking last night I started thinking of all the simple things in my life that I would miss if they were gone, so I decided to make a little list and then give y'all a challenge.
Here are my "simple things":
*How excited my dog is when I get home from work. I swear, if anyone was half as excited to see me as Ida Claire is when I get home from work I would be so flattered. There is nothing like seeing her running around in circles, wagging her tail and jumping around almost begging me to put my stuff down and sit so she can just up in my lap and lick my face. I love it.
*Mornings with my mom. Each morning since I've moved back in with my parents there have been about 20 minutes that my mom and I have where we are the only ones awake in the house. We just talk about whatever is on our minds, sometimes we watch Good Morning America, but we are together and no one else is there. I don't get a lot of that time because my mom is so busy. She works, takes care of two other children, takes care of my daddy's parents and helps her parents so I understand that a lot of times I go on the back burner - although she never makes me feel like it. But if I hadn't moved back, we wouldn't have this time and I cherish it.
*My grandma's junk drawer. It's like a little treasure trove. She has little things in that drawer that are over 80 years old. Buttons, scraps of fabric, all kinds of thread.....I love going over to my grandma's house and getting in that drawer and hearing the stories about where everything came from.
*My daddy's sense of humor. This is something that bugs my sister, but I relish in. My dad is a hilarious person, but not in the "knock knock" joke or stand up comic kind of way. He likes to bug us by calling us little names like "sugarbutt" or "sweet pickle" and sometims he'll call us the wrong names on purpose and then get "fake" mad because we won't answer. He's been doing this since we were little and I love it. It's like a little game. My sister was complaining about it the other night and my momma quickly reminded her that she would miss it if it was gone. And it's the truth.
*Sunday afternoons.I love Sunday afternoons. They are just the best. I could spend all day running errands or lying around the house or shopping or cooking - whatever - but there is just something about Sunday afternoons that seems so safe. Ok, so now for the challenge part. I want you to come up with 5 things that are "simple" to you that you would miss if they were gone. They cannot be material things, they can't be something that you can purchase. You can share them or keep them private, whichever works for you. Just take a litle time today to remember the things that you look at everyday but never actually see.
You know that saying {and the song - couldn't forget you Janet} "The best things in life are free...."I have to agree.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bit #7: Take Adventures!

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 7: Don't be afraid to take adventures and "walk on the wild side."
Some of the best things in life are the unplanned adventures and little detours from the original plans.
"I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it." ~Rosalia de Castro