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 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

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bit #6: Know You're Loved...

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 6: Know you're loved, Be Proactive, Don't Settle, Make New Friends, Take Time to Reflect
{Editor's Note: My dear friend Ashley from Perfectly Pleasant posted this on her blog a few days ago. She found this letter on her computer when she was cleaning out some files. I loved it and asked if I could post here. I think it is fantastic and so valuable. We could all learn from some of the lessons and ideas that she touched on. I also think it is a great idea to reflect periodically on life and write letters to ourselves frequently. This helps us take our life experiences, events, choices, and lessons and really LEARN from them. Think of all that would be included in those letters if you wrote one to yourself every year. Thanks so much Ashley for sharing this. }
A letter to myself at 18…
Hi 18-year old Ashley, it’s 24-year old Ashley. I’m here to offer you some advice. Trust me, I know you can do it on your own (I’ve been there and survived). But I think I might be able to help you out.
First off, don’t worry so much about which chair you’ll be in at graduation. It won’t matter once you start college anyways and by the time you’re my age you won’t remember the exact chair number anyways. Volunteer more; it will make you a better person which is really what matters at the end of the day. And don’t just do it for your scholarships, do it because it’s something you care about. Speaking of scholarships, apply for more of them. And while you’re at it, apply for more schools. And don’t rule out schools close to home, you’ll miss it more than you think. When you do pick one don’t feel like you’re stuck, your family will understand if it doesn’t work (and they miss you just as much as you miss them.) Spend your first year or two doing lots of different things so you’ll have a better idea of what you want to do. You’ll still change your mind and that’s okay, but you can rule some things out. Be proactive about your education. When you get to college go out more, you can always do some homework 5 minutes before it’s due (just don’t make it a habit.)
Make more friends. You shouldn’t be so quick to judge people; they could turn out to be one of your closest friends. Trust people, they aren’t all bad.
It’s not okay to settle. It’ll be hard, but doing it will not be a mistake. And if you decide to stick it out know it won’t last forever and it’ll hurt like hell but you’ll be okay. You’ll learn through that experience how strong you really are how much better you really deserve. There are much better people out there, you won’t be alone forever or be a cat lady.
Most importantly, have fun! There will be a few bumps in the road, but at the end of the day they will make you a better person.
Oh, and ALWAYS know you’re loved!-A

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bit #5: Don't be afraid to ask for help!

Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 5: Don't be afraid to ask for help once in a while. We all need at different times in our life and it can be hard to reach out a hand. Think of when we were children and needed help doing everything, then we started to get older and want to show our independence and didn't want help with ANYTHING. It might have taken us 10 times longer, fallen numerous times, or the moments when we were so frustrated that it brought us to tears.

Determination, independence, and the "do-it-yourself" attitudes are great, but don't be afraid to ask for help once in a while. People are in our lives to help us from time to time and there are people who have jobs that can help us do things that we might not be able to.

Asking a friend for advice or help with a problem is also a great way to get a different opinion and see the same situation, project, assignment, or problem from a different perspective.

I am a very stubborn and "do-it-yourself person and the older I have gotten and more responsibilities put on my plate, I have learned the importance and value of help from others. One can't do everything alone.

It is truly a life lesson that takes a lifetime to master.

Don't forget to extrend the helping hand to others too.

"Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work."
(thanks to photobucket for the picture)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bit #4: Give Back

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 4: Be a philanthropist any time you can!
"It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it." ~Albert Einstein

Give back! Just as the title of this site suggests, help spread good will and grace as much as possible! We all have so many blessings in our lives and we can always give back to other in need. Life is like dominoes and we are all intertwined...if someone needs help, lend the helping hand and it will come back to you in the end.

This does't always mean by giving money, although it is a fantastic way to give. Charities need funds to run and can put financial donations in to the places within their community that can be most helpful.

Phi*lan*thro*py (n.): altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, property, or work to needy persons, by endowment of institutions of learning and hospitals, and by generosity to other socially useful purposes.

There are thousands of ways for you to give back to others: volunteer at a soup kitchen helping to serve meals and get to know some of the people eating their meals there, teach someone to read, read to children, help someone pick up packages, groceries, or books that were dropped, help someone cross the street, write encouraging and supportive cards and letters to patients and soldiers, donate goods both new and used, listen to a stranger that might need a friend, reconnect with a loved one, adopt a family or person during the holidays, coordinate your own food drive or similar charity and help get others involved, pick up trash along the road or in town, take a volunteercation where you go away domestically or abroad to help others by building, teaching or working, and the list goes on and on.
There are fantastic charities out there for you to get involved in. Like I said before, before I became a mother, I knew that I wanted my children to grow up to be loving compassionate, caring, and giving people. A charity that I LOVE is Spirit Jump. This is a fantastic charity that teams up "spirit jumpers" with cancer patients and sometimes their family members. This charity can certainly use monetary donations, but this one is one that you can solely give back with your time and perhaps a stamp or two.
It is never too early or too late to get started giving back in various ways. What are you waiting for? Get out there and see what the big world has to offer.
"No one ever became poor from giving." ~Anne Frank
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." ~Winston Churchill
"Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege." ~John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
(thanks to Reader's Digest for the photos)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bit #3: Sing!

You know the famous Mark Twain Quote:

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 3:
“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like its heaven on earth.”

Do all of those things and love it! I am the world's worst singer, but I loved belting out a tune that is playing on the ipod while dancing around the kitchen with my children. Life happens fast and if you sit on the sidelines worrying about how silly you might look or what others may be thinking, then you will miss the opportunity to find your hidden musical talents and have some fun.

Warm up those vocal cords and sing, sing, sing. Don't just sing in the shower, sing everywhere and all of the time. Take some time to belt out tunes like "Singing in the Rain," "Margaritaville," "Sweet Home Alabama," "Jack and Diane," or MAKE ONE UP!

What songs will you sing out loud today?
(thanks to for the photo)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bit #2: Dance in the Rain

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace 2: Learn to Dance in the Rain

"Life's not about waiting for the storms to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain."
I love this picture and so hope that in your life you take a similar picture doing the same thing. I don't have one of myself, but need to add that to the top of the list.
Life is full of so many experiences and some come unexpectedly. There is never going to be a perfect time to dance, so you can either sit on the side and search for that perfect time or you can take what situation you are in and jump out there and "boogy."
This doesn't just apply to dealing with difficult times, it is also about waiting for that perfect time to "take the plunge" and do that big project/endeavor or break out of your comfort zone and try something new. Take the plunge and hit the dancefloor working on those abandoned hobbies, weight loss goals, new career path, or writing that bestseller or screenplay.
"When life hands you lemons, make lemonade."
{Photo courtesy of}

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bit #1: Tomorrow is a NEW Day!

Little Life Lesson and Bit of Grace #1:
Tomorrow is a NEW day!
Things happen and not everyday will be "sunshine and roses," but remember that tomorrow is a new day and it is up to you on what you do with the gift. Put the past behind you, put a smile on your face and get to it.
(Note: You'll be singing this all day) The movie Annie had that contagious song, but it is perfect for this little lesson.
The sun'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun!
Just thinkin' about
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!
When I'm stuck a day
That's gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And Grin,
And Say,
The sun'll come out
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow
Come what may
I love ya
You're always
A day
A way!
The "sun" will always come out tomorrow. Seize the day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Welcome to Good Will Grace

Welcome to Good Will Grace! There are many ways to define the words goodwill and grace and here are just a few.
good*will (n.): an attitude of kindness; benevolence; cheerful acquiescence or willingness
grace (n.): favor or good will; a pleasing or attractive quality of endowment; mercy, clemency, or pardon

Before I had children, when I dreamed of having children, I knew that I wanted my children to grow up to be loving, compassionate, caring, responsible, intelligent, helpful, and graceful citizens of this world. I am in no way a perfect mother, wife, or person, but I do know that we can all grow when reminded of bits of grace.

There are so many things that I want my children to know and understand. I, now have two children and have realized how important these little life lessons are in teaching them to embrace those positive attributes and many more in this life.

Seeing the world through a child's eyes is an amazing thing. Children have innocence and an unconditional love. They have not yet been tainted by terrible things that can happen.

My son ran over to help someone he didn't know pick up some books they dropped at the library. He found such utter joy in picking out a present and drawing a picture for a little boy he doesn't know that is his age that is battling a terminal illness. He still talks about his friend that he made the train tunnel picture for. It's these little instances that can remind us all what is important in life. You know the saying "it's the little things in life that make living so grand."

People can talk about the right things to do and ways of living, however, we all must "walk the walk and talk the talk."

Good Will Grace is a place to be reminded of those life lessons, daily reminders, and bits of grace to make all of our lives better and we hope to do it in a creative and fun way.

We would love for you to join us. We are looking for "little life lessons" or bits of grace from all of you. Each day we will share one idea. You can send in suggestions, pictures, anecdotes, quotes, or even a joke. Email us your ideas and stories to We look forward to hearing from you.

We'd love for you to become a "Friend of Good Will Grace" and tell a friend. Have a great day!

"Life is just a chance to grow a soul." ~A. Powell Davies