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?

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