The Intention of My Blog


Welcome, my beloved readers!

In case you're wondering, it's not a typo up there for you see the definition of goodly is:

used as an adjective to describe something
1. of ample or good size, ex: a goodly amount.
2. of a fine appearance, ex: a goodly young man.
3. Archaic. of good quality, ex: a goodly gift.

I am a mother who home educates her children; I would be pleased if you'd look around. You never know if I might have something to your liking. I've blogged about different topics. I hope you enjoy your stay here. May God bless you with peace, a renewing of your mind, and rest as you read my posts.

Please remember to subscribe to my blog, using any variety of methods, which are below to the right, including Facebook.

Thanks to all for your patience as I have been on the mend. I had double heart bypass surgery in February of 2013, and I needed to focus on my recovery, which has been in steady progress. Thanks for your kind consideration.


Thanks for visiting!



Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Resolutions for My Blog

I've enjoyed blogging.

What is in the future for my blog?

Every time a year is ending, I start pondering certain things.  I reflect back on the year that is fast expiring.  I think about what I've been through, and what I can learn from it.  I also look forward to the future and what it holds.  I usually write out my thoughts, and I've been doing this since I was a teenager.

This year, I blogged almost everyday.  Yes, I skipped a few days in November and this month of December 2011.  Still, I know that I blogged for more than 300 days.  I am very proud of what I have accomplished.  I am proudest that, with God's blessing, I attempted to create quality-filled entries.

I thank all of my loyal readers.  Without you, I wouldn't have kept at it.  I know that many of you would have liked to respond to my blog entries, and I tried to provide different ways for that to be possible.  Since I have taught myself how to set up my free blog (through templates and online tutorials), my knowledge has been limited as to what I could actually do with responses.  Still, I am glad that I was able to do what I did do.

It has been a fun challenge to try to blog everyday, but alas, my energy has petered out.  I feel, though, that my objective to create the best entries has been accomplished.  For the new year, I will continue to create quality blog entries.  I could not write something if I didn't think it was polished enough.  I couldn't just write a few lines this year on any given topic; I had to flesh it out.  I hope you, my readers, will agree with me, that I did that to the best of my ability.

I cannot say that I will blog everyday in the coming year.  I have yet to figure out what my new plan will be.  I don't plan to neglect my blog, but I do know that I will step down the amount that I write.  I would like to work on the novel I created back in November for NaNoWriMo.  I would also like to write a few children's stories for my six year-old.

I also need to spend some time monitoring my children's learning in their home schooling.  I have some reorganization to do within my household, too.  These will shape future blog entries, which I look forward to creating.  In addition, I want to write more about my spiritual walk.

One thing that I don't want to do is to use this blog site for financial gain.  If I want to make any money at blogging, I will likely create a new blog.  I am still debating that.  I also want to visit other blogs more in the new year.  I have some of my favorite blogs that I have followed throughout the year, and I hope to highlight them in a future blog entry.

This coming February will be the one year anniversary of this blog.

Again, thanks to you, my loyal readers, for keeping up with me.  Please forgive me for not blogging for these past few days.  I hope you appreciate the varied blogs that I have provided this year.  I look forward to being a blessing to you all in the new year.  God bless us all in the new year as we seek out to accomplish new goals.


Thanks so much for reading this entry about my new year's resolutions for my blog.

If you enjoyed this entry, please share it with others.
I would appreciate that very much.


How about you, my readers?  Are you a blogger or a writer?  If so, what are your resolutions or plans for your writing/blogging for the new year?  What would you like to see for the new year as far as blog entries?  I would encourage you to evaluate your writing to see what you can tweak for the new year.  It's important for our readers to get the best of our writing.

May God bless you all with His wisdom and peace.

This entry is part of the Family Fun Fridays series.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Anniversary to My Hubby

Lights installed onto grill of van.

My husband went and did it!  He actually put lights on the grill of our van.  It's so hilarious.  I wondered where our giant wreath went.  Well, he let me know after the fact.  I just shook my head.

I love my hubby.  He's a funny guy.  He has a wonderful sense of humor as you can see.  I feel very blessed to have my hubby in my life.  He has brought me lots of jolly moments like this one.


This is the doohickey job for the outer lights of the van.

My hubby loves to create things like trailers and storage sheds.  He also loves to create a wonder-filled atmosphere.  I guess in that respect we are alike.  Where we have differed, I firmly believe it is to complement each other.  He is very energetic and out-going, while I am a homebody, who is more comfortable with writing about our latest adventures.

I am very grateful that God has placed my hubby in my life.  We have spent 17 years married to each other.  There have been challenging times, yes.  There have also been lots of fun times.  I pray that we get to enjoy a lot more years together.

Happy anniversary to my hubby, Frank Villanueva.  My life is richer because you are in it.  May God bless you with more patience with me.  You are like a saint in my eyes.  You've been through a lot with me, and I thank you for bearing with me through all these years.

Enjoy the following pictures of the Christmas lights that my hubby used to decorate our home:


My hubby used more than ten strings of lights.
Hubby even decorated the gates.
Hubby usually makes a runway out of the sidewalk.

Thanks so much for reading this entry about my jolly anniversary with my hubby.

If you enjoyed this entry, please share it with others.
I would appreciate that very much.



How about you, my readers?  Are you married?  If so, is your anniversary close to or on a holiday? How do you celebrate?  I would encourage you to praise your spouse for helping you enjoy life.  It's important for our spouse to know how proud we are of them.  It's a great way to boost their self-esteem.

May God bless you all with His wisdom and peace.

This entry is part of the Family Fun Fridays series.

A Teachable Moment: Forum Etiquette

My teenage daughter loves to visit online forums.

Let's face it: We, as parents, would love to shield our children from every hurt and boo boo that they come across.  Unfortunately, that is impossible.  Yes, we can pray for their safety, and we can equip them to deal with others.  What happens when our children want to join forums at websites?

My daughter and I were recently discussing her visits at an online forum.  I won't mention the website because she asked me not to.  Anyway, she was telling me that there was an individual who jumped into one of her conversations.  The person was downright rude to all of them.

We discussed the need for mercy in the face of such rude individuals.  Perhaps the person was having a bad day.  Maybe the person was mistreated in some manner.  My daughter then realized that the individual could be an eight year-old.  It was a teachable moment.

The important thing to remember is that we cannot control what others say or do to us.  It's up to us to figure out how to treat others, even in the face of adversity.  How should we respond to such persons.  Should we be rude right back at the person or remain calm?  I think the latter is the better course.  Why do we need to add fuel to the fire, when we have the power to diffuse the situation?

I was glad that my daughter let me know of the situation.  She admitted that she was so mad that her body started shaking.  Do I feel badly that she went through that?  Yes...but I feel that she needed to go through that to learn from it.  She also, in her young years, has realized that what the rude person provided was "unnecessary drama."


Thanks for viewing this entry about using a teachable moment, when discussing etiquette for participating in forums.  I hope I've given an idea of what can be used in the home school to teach strategy.

How about you, my readers?  For those of you who visit forums, do you read the rules before jumping into conversations?  How do you deal with rude participants?  I would recommend reading the rules and regulations before joining any conversations.  Also, if your children will be visiting forums, discuss with them that there are difficult people in all sorts of chatting formats.  That way, they are not stunned when they meet with online bullies.

I pray that God helps us all, whether we are homeschooling or are thinking of home schooling.  May God bless us all with His wisdom and peace, as we teach our children.

This has been an entry for Thorough Thursdays.  If you liked it, please consider sharing it with your friends and family.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Spreading the Wealth: My Contemplation of Verse 53 of the Tao Te Ching

Dr. Dyer's book is Change your Thoughts--Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao.


 Today, I am focusing on verse 53 of the Tao Te Ching:

 If I have even just a little sense,
I should walk in the Great Way,
and my only fear would be straying.

The Great Way is very smooth and straight,
and yet the people prefer devious paths.
that is why the court is corrupt,
the fields lie in waste,
the granaries are empty.

Dressing magnificently,
wearing a sharp sword,
stuffing oneself with food and drink,
amassing wealth to the extent of not knowing
what to do with it,
is being like a robber.

I say this pomp at the expense of others
is like the boasting of thieves after a looting.
This is not the Tao.


The straight and narrow path is one I should follow.  What does that mean?  What is my responsibility to others?  Can I bury my head in the sand when there is need on this earth?  Or should I share of my wealth?

This verse challenges me to look past my own wants and needs.  How can I eat my own meals in peace, when there are others who are starving?  How can I spend oodles of money on expensive clothes, purses, and shoes, when my own children have outgrown their pajamas?  How can I ignore the fact that there are homeless people in my own city?

My responsibility is to spread the wealth.  How many people are actually thinking in these terms?  I believe a lot of people down others who want to spread the wealth.  Guess what they are being called?  Socialists, radicals...individuals who want to tax the rich.
The Bible asks us to reach out to our fellow man who is less fortunate than us.  People like to dress that up as un-American, even though our Founding Fathers shaped our nation's laws on biblical principles.  This country has long been known to be a place where you can realize the American dream.  Unfortunately, that dream has become a nightmare to countless individuals who have lost homes, cars, and jobs.  What are we as citizens of the United States to do for each other?

Are we to hog up all the wealth we amass?  Or should we share it with others?  Can we really be that greedy?  Do we dare allow others to call us un-American when we push the idea of everyone deserving healthcare?  Doesn't everyone deserve the dignity to be cared for when in poor health?  

During this holiday season, and as we walk into the new year, may we strive to be more Christ-like.

May we emulate Jesus, when He healed the sick.  May we strive to feed the starving like He did.  May we be merciful when we meet with those who are less fortunate.  Let us not turn them away but instead help them.  After all, aren't we really celebrating the birth of a loving God (clothed in human form), when we deck the halls with boughs of holly, don our gay apparel, decorate the Christmas tree, and exchange presents?


Thanks for reading this entry about the need to spread the wealth.  
I appreciate you taking the time to read it.  


My beloved readers, I'd like for you all to answer the above questions and these: Are you willing to spread the wealth?  Or are you going to hog up your wealth?  Are you willing to help the less fortunate?  Or are you going to insist that you don't need to help others?  Are you going through the motions of celebrating Christmas, without acknowledging why the holiday exists?  

I pray that we all would seek wisdom from the Source of everything--Our Heavenly Father, God.  I pray that we would ask God for His help to experience a deep, loving relationship with Him.

May God bless us all with His wisdom and peace, in Jesus' name.  Amen!

This has been an entry for Wisdom Wednesdays.

I am currently drawing inspiration from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's book and the 81 verses of the Chinese wisdom book the Tao Te Ching.

A Family Favorite Movie, Iron Giant

Iron Giant is a family favorite movie.

Iron Giant is now available to view through Netflix.

Many years ago, we bought the movie, Iron Giant, (an animation of a story by Ted Hughes) in VHS format.  Over the years, we have watched it countless times.  Yes, it has been a family favorite.  It is a movie that tugs at the heart strings.  Our copy is now so old that some of the scenes are distorted.

In fact, we have often discussed Iron Giant.  We love that the metal giant sacrifices his life.  We have often wondered if a sequel would ever be created.  It doesn't seem like it, which is disappointing.  My children have researched the movie online and have hit brick walls with regard to finding out if that could ever happen.  

We have deduced that perhaps it has not been cost effective to have created a sequel.  The movie did not receive enough media attention when it came out.  That is our opinion.  We have wanted for the Iron Giant to come back to the boy, who befriended the giant. 

It could be that according to past standards, the movie may have been violent.  Yes, it could be considered as such because it deals with weapons.  I believe that ten year-olds would be better equipped to understand the movie's theme which covers the need for caring for all of creation.  Younger children would need their parents to explain the concept of what weapons can do to people.

The movie ends with a cliff hanger in that there is a possibility of the giant coming back to the boy.  Who knows?  That's why we have often discussed what could happen later in the boy's life.  Will Hogarth meet the giant when he is a father?  That's how wonderful the movie is; it provokes questions and discussion.


Well, thanks for reading this entry about our family favorite movie, Iron Giant.  
I appreciate it.

How about you, my readers?  Have you ever seen Iron Giant?  If so, did your children enjoy watching it?  Does your family have any particular favorite movies?  I think movie nights are a wonderful way to bond and discuss a movie together.

I pray that God gives us all His wisdom and peace.

This has been an entry for the Technology Tuesdays series.  Please visit my Technology Tuesdays webpage for a list of my previous entries.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One New Year's Resolution: Ask God to Renew My Mind

My 6 yr.-old's Christmas note.

Yesterday, I had my cryfest.  I was feeling very sad.  I was reeling from an insult I had received.  I felt trapped because I didn't understand why the person felt compelled to compound the insult again and again during a conversation.  I was shocked and paralyzed.

I have tried to be a good person, but it hasn't been easy.  Being a Christian, whether around Christians and/or non-Christians, has been difficult.  Because I am kind, I am considered a doormat; I grew up with certain values, and among them is to respect others.  Still, how should I respond to such insults?

It is difficult to stick to my values when I have people questioning them.  There are those who love to test my patience.  Yes, it's been a challenging year for me.  It has been a balancing act to remain a loving person in the face of rudeness.

Should I return evil for evil?  No.  In the Bible, particularly Proverbs 25:22 says that I should heap coals of shame on those person's heads, and I will receive my reward from the Lord.  It's just hard when all I want to do is pounce with my feet on their heads.  I'd like to knock some sense into their heads and yell at them, "Look, I don't have to be nice to you, but I'm not gonna stoop to your level of behavior."

The best I can do is to ask God to bring positive people in my life.  

Perhaps I've been around people who have been too negative.  I'm the type of person who enjoys being a positive influence to those around me.  I love to encourage others when they are going through hard times.  I love to congratulate people when good things happen to them, too.  I have just felt so drained because I also need the same encouragement, which hasn't been coming my way.

In the midst of my sadness, my daughter wrote me a beautiful note (pictured above).

Lately, I have felt the blahs.  It's been hard to shake that off.  That's why I'm turning to God like I did last night.  I prayed to God because I felt like I was at the end of my rope.  I thank God that He stepped in when he did.

It was lovely to receive something in my stocking.  My youngest child had placed a note in there.  It really lifted my spirits that she, my six year-old, would get what I have been about as a mother.  It read: 

"to mama.  By Kaelyn  I love you Because you cook For us. ind Because you turn on the lights."

I think she has a wonderful head on her shoulders to notice my efforts to make Christmas a happy time for the family.

I plan to dig more deeply into the Word (Bible) next year.

With all this in mind, one of my New Year's resolutions is to ask God to renew my mind.  I want to look at people and circumstances through God's eyes, even if those people have wronged me.  In fact, I especially pray that God will help me with those difficult people in my life.  I also pray that He will give me resolve to be assertive when dealing with them.


Thanks for reading about my decision to ask God to renew my mind.  I hope this blog encourages someone to improve their own mind.

How about you, my readers?  Are you thinking of any New Year's resolutions?  Do you have any new mental health goals for next year?  How have you handled difficulties this year?  How do you plan to handle difficult people next year?  I encourage you to assess your attitude towards others.  It's a great opportunity to adjust your attitude to improve your lives.   

If you need to improve your health, in any form, please ask God to help you; He will, if you pray for His guidance.

This is an entry for Medical Mondays.  For past entries, click here.

Disclaimer: The viewpoints that I discussed here are just my opinions.  Please consult your physician before altering anything relating to your health.  I am only suggesting here to take charge of your health.  Don't just leave your health in the hands of your doctors; become your own advocate.  You know best how your body is doing.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Our Limited Wisdom

The Bible says that our wisdom is limited.

16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.  18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.  19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written , He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.  20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.  21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;  22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present , or things to come; all are yours;  23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.  --1 Corinthians 3: 16-23 KJV 16 Don't you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?  17 God will bring ruin upon anyone who ruins this temple. For God's temple is holy, and you Christians are that temple.  18 Stop fooling yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world's standards, you will have to become a fool so you can become wise by God's standards.  19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, "God catches those who think they are wise in their own cleverness."  20 And again, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are worthless."  21 So don't take pride in following a particular leader. Everything belongs to you:  22 Paul and Apollos and Peter; the whole world and life and death; the present and the future. Everything belongs to you,  23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.   --1 Corinthians 3:16-23 New Living Translation   What should my conduct be in this life?  What do I bring to this world?  How do I process what has happened to me throughout my life?  How should I react to others around me?    How do we deal with those who propose that they are wiser than us?  Do we respect them and their differences?  Or do we claim that we are right?  Do we give grace to others who might not know all the details about a topic of conversation?  Condemnation, through judgment, is detrimental to a Christian's mental health.  A judgmental attitude against me from fellow Christians has perplexed me.  To understand this situation, I consulted my Bible.  I have long looked at the above verses in one light, but I have learned something new.  I used to look at these verses as referring to my body being a temple of God, in terms of the physical health of my body.  This second look is helping me to understand that it could also refer to the mental health aspect, too.  My mama said that if I knew everything I had to know, I wouldn't need to learn anything new (in college).   I have said it before--I am not perfect.  I have never claimed to be the smartest, even within my own family.  In fact, even during my university days, I was regarded as a know-it-all by several individuals.  In many ways, I have merely challenged myself in many areas of my life.  I am always on the lookout to improve myself; that's why I read my Bible.  I humbly say that I, in no way, see myself as the wisest person on this planet.  According to the Bible, King Solomon was the wisest man, and even he claimed that to know everything was not enough.  In verse 18 above the apostle Paul says that if anyone of us humans claims to be the wisest, he/she should realize that it is foolishness.  The thing about being human is that we don't see all of the different viewpoints in a given situation.  Only God can claim that.    I liken this situation to a person being inside a box.  This person can only see whatever is inside the box.  Now, imagine a giant looking from outside of that box.  The giant can see so much more.  I truly believe that we should try to be like the giant, who can see all the angles of any given situation (or inside the box).  We, who are Christians, belong to Christ, even though we have limited wisdom.  The next time I am judged for something I say or do, I will try to remember that my persecuters are basing their opinions about me with their limited wisdom.  I should give them the same grace that I want from God.  I will aim to, in other words, "cut them some slack."  After all, we are, as Christians, constantly striving to become more Christ-like. 
I think God's word below sums up my situation (my limited wisdom is my weakness):  Each time he [God] said, "My [grace] gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." So now I [Paul] am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me.  --2 Corinthians 12:9 New Living Translation 

Thanks for reading this blog entry about our limited wisdom.  I appreciate you taking the time to read it.
 How about you, my beloved readers?  As Christians, do you understand the idea of our limited wisdom?  Are you willing to give grace to someone who isn't as smart as you?  Or are you willing to be uncharitable by withholding grace?  Remember this: If you want God, the Father, to forgive you of yours sins (or shortcomings), you should also forgive your fellow human beings, too. I encourage you all to read different versions of 1 Corinthians 3:16-23 to understand what the Bible says about our limited wisdom affecting another person's mental health, which is part of a Christian's body (temple of God).   May the only true God of all gods bless us, my dear friends, with His wisdom and peace.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!  
This has been an entry for the Spiritual Sundays series. 


To compile this mini- bible study, I visited: http://www.biblestudytools.com/
  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

How to Make a Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House Kit--ingredients visible

Years ago, we had bought a gingerbread house kit.  The kids enjoyed it so much.  I wanted to give my kids an opportunity to put one together again.  I even asked my eldest to join in the fun.  He gladly joined in.


Backside of gingerbread house--the instructions
Decorations for gingerbread house

There were gumdrops and peppermint candies in the kit.  I added other ingredients like the colorful M&M's, chocolate chips, and candy canes as an option.  I wanted the kids to pick and choose whatever they wanted to use.  I put each ingredient in different cupcake holders so the kids could slide the ingredients around on the table.  That took away a lot of the fussing.


Assembly of gingerbread house

My husband poured the glue, while my oldest put the walls and roof together.  The glue was some super gooey cream.


Hubby adding glue to gingerbread house
Kids decorating gingerbread house

It was finally time to decorate the gingerbread house.  A lot of the glue had been set on the roof, windows and doors. 


Finished product--one awesome gingerbread house

There was no right or wrong way to decorate the house.  I didn't criticize the kids for where they put each candy piece.  I gave a few suggestions, but they did a wonderful job.  They even made a path from the house.  I love what they came up with.  More important, I love that all four kids worked on it together because they need to know how to work within a group setting.


Well, thanks for reading this entry about how to make a gingerbread house.  
I hope you liked it.

How about you, my readers?  Has your family ever made a gingerbread house?  If so, did you make it from scratch or did you buy a kit?  What would you add or subtract from this gingerbread house?  I would encourage buying a kit and letting the kids work on it.  It's a wonderful project for the kids to use their creativity. 

This has been a Saturday Spreads entry.  I hope you liked it.

My Two Daughters Are So Much Alike

Sisters caught being alike.

I love my daughters.  They are very close to each other.  They do a lot together.  They share a room.  They do their school work in their room.  Even when one of them is working on one project, the other one might be in there doing something else.

Now, you can see that they eat together, too.  They like eating chile with saltine crackers.  It's something easy to throw together for lunch.  They are very independent. 

I came out the other day and saw this scene I just had to capture it.  I loved it!  They were doing yet another thing together.

This is why I love home schooling my kids.  My kids get to spur each other to positive habits, like reading.  Okay, I know they shouldn't be reading at the table while eating a meal, but I am overjoyed they love reading.  By the way, they don't read at the dining table during dinner.  It's a big no no because that's our family time.

I am very proud of my little gals for being able to read.  Look at the youngest reading a comic book about Donald Duck.  She's reading at six years-old.  Just look at what the teen is now reading: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (which I recently bought at a thrift store).  This is a book that my sixth grade teacher had wanted me to read, and I never did.  I guess you could say it's part of my bucket list to read it after my daughter is done with it.


Thanks so much for reading this entry about my two daughters being so much alike.

If you enjoyed this entry, please share it with others.
I would appreciate that very much.


How about you, my readers?  Have you seen your daughters doing something positive?  If so, do your praise them for it? I would encourage you parents to praise your girls when you catch them doing something like getting their own meals and/or reading.  It's important that they know we are proud of them.  It's a great way to boost their self-esteem.

May God bless you all with His wisdom and peace.

This entry is part of the Family Fun Fridays series.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Free Christmas Coloring Pages

Every contribution helps the holiday to be a jolly one.

I thought it would be fun to look for some Christmas coloring pages.  My six year-old had requested some pages.  The occasional candy cane and stocking picture is fun to color.  This is a wonderful opportunity for children to learn about Jesus and why he was born.  I hope this list proves to be useful during the holiday season. 

Here are some websites which offer free Christmas coloring pages:


Free Coloring Pages


Christmas Coloring Pages


Papa Jan.com Coloring Pages


Crayola


thekidspage


kaboose


freechristmascoloring


coloring-page


ministry-to-children


dltk Christmas Story Advent Coloring Book



This entry is part of Thorough Thursdays.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Living With An Open Mind: My Contemplation of Verse 52 of the Tao Te Ching

Dr. Dyer's book is Change your Thoughts--Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao.


Today, I am focusing on verse 52 of the Tao Te Ching, particularly these portions:

 ...Keep your mouth shut,
guard the senses,
and life is ever full.
Open your mouth,
always be busy,
and life is beyond hope.

Seeing the small is called clarity;
keeping flexible is called strength.
Using the shining radiance,
you return again to the light
and save yourself misfortune.

This is called
the practice of eternal light.


I've been known to hold my anger in.  I've also been know to blow up.  Sometimes, I can control my anger; lately, it's been getting harder.  One important fact, though, is that I don't want to take it out on my kids and husband.

This verse of the Tao Te Ching suggests keeping the mouth shut.  When adversities come, and they undoubtedly do, we should minimalize how much we say.  I already heard this twice since I read this verse.  It was two older men who advised this.

What happens when we open our mouths?  Have you ever heard of the phrase: Lose lips sink ships?  Yeah, our words can get us into trouble.  In the Bible, it has been mentioned that there are times for peace and times for war.  There are times that call for silence.  Then there are times in which we must speak up about injustices.

Can we truly keep our mouths shut?

The difficulty comes when we are confronted with difficult people and situations.  It is best to be assertive.  I'm not calling for aggressiveness.  I'm not saying we should be passive and allow people to step all over us.  I'm not even saying we should be passive aggressive and whisper under our breaths when someone angers us.

I'm saying that there is permission to address a difficult situation with calm.  There is no sense getting into a huff and a puff, like the Big Bad Wolf.  It's okay to call a truce and say, "Let's agree to disagree," if there is no common road.  If an intelligent conversation cannot be had, then it's best to table it.  There are those times, though, in which we encounter someone who won't ever see our point of view; in that case, it is best to move on to another topic of conversation.

We need to be tolerant of each other's differences.

Then again, what do we do about people who cross their arms and are adamant in their viewpoint?  Well, I say that there is close-mindedness involved.  That person will not listen to what we have to say because they are not receptive, as their body language suggests.  They are not willing to see our point of view.  These people merely want to "put us in our place" even though they might or might not be wrong.  I would not engage in conversation with those type of people because they don't want to learn with and from us.  In fact, I've simply walked away from people like that.

I firmly believe that for me being a Latina, who has a university diploma, it is difficult to hold conversations.  I'm not saying that I'm a better conversationalist than anyone else.  It has never been my intention, you know, to show somebody up.  That isn't my style.  No.  It is difficult, rather, in that there are individuals who would like to trip me up.  If I don't know something, these very persons have said to me, "And you go to college?  You should know that!"

I'm trying to be flexible with difficult people and circumstances.

I don't think it's fair for me to be mistreated just because I am learned.  What does God really want me to do about that?  Am I supposed to turn the other cheek?  What lesson am I teaching my children, when I allow people to treat me like a doormat?  Should I stand up for my right to happiness in my own home?

I'm standing my ground!

These are the questions that run through me, ever the soul-searcher, as I try to keep an open mind.  I don't know all the answers, and I don't want to lead anyone astray.  I am simply venting and explaining the plight that I suffer through every day.  One day, I think I'll just blow up with anger.  The next day, I decided to be nice.  On yet another day, I decide I will feign indifference.  One thing I won't be doing anymore is walking away because I deserve to inhabit all the rooms of my own home with peace in my heart. 

In reading the Bible and the Tao Te Ching, I am seeking clarity.  I want to know what to do when the dilemmas in life come along.  I pray that God, the Father, gives me the answers I need.  Ultimately, I want to do as God wants.  I want to please Him, and I want to treat those who trespass against me with the same mercy I seek from God.


Thanks for reading this entry about my living open-minded.  
I appreciate you taking the time to read it.  


My dear readers, I'd like for y'all to answer the above questions and these: Are you treating your family and friends with respect?  Are you willing to keep quiet when it's most appropriate?  Are you willing to seek the truth of a given situation?  Do you want to know the truth for what it really is?  Are you willing to consider another person's point of view?  I'm not talking about sacrificing your religious views.  I would never ask anyone to do that.  Rather, I'm asking for people to respect one another without bashing and belittling. An intelligent conversation can be had if all parties are willing to be open-minded about different topics.

I pray that we all would seek wisdom from the Source of everything--Our Heavenly Father, God.  I pray that we would ask God for His help to experience a deep, loving relationship with Him.

May God bless you, my beloveds, with His wisdom and peace, in Jesus' name.  Amen!

This has been an entry for Wisdom Wednesdays.

I am currently drawing inspiration from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's book and the 81 verses of the Chinese wisdom book the Tao Te Ching.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Family Move Night With Kung Fu Panda 2

Kung Fu Panda 2

I had been waiting patiently to watch Kung Fu Panda 2.  Ever since my hubby had taken the kids to watch the movie, they have counted the days until I could watch it.  They were excited for me to see it because they loved it.  I had been informed that it would be available for rent today (Tuesday) through Redbox.  

I was already in bed, when I shot up.  It was minutes until midnight.  I felt like I was going to bid for something.  I went to the website and saw that it wasn't available yet.  A few minutes later, it became available.  I snatched it up and in it went into my shopping cart.  Then, I had to run our debit card several times until the transaction went through.


One scene of Kung Fu Panda 2

My hubby picked up the movie, Kung Fu Panda 2, from the kiosk just before heading to work.  I let my kids know.  They were so excited.  My younger son had kept wanting to tell me about the movie, but I insisted that he not ruin it for me.  I didn't want him to spill the beans about the movie.  Guess what...he doesn't want me to spill the beans for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.


Wonderful ambiance for movie night

This evening, we ate our delicious dinner and settled down to watch the movie.  We had a warm and loving environment with the glow of the Christmas tree and lights.  My living room area is so tiny we were crowded, but I loved it.  It was wonderful to be surrounded by my loving family.  We became very emotional during some of the scenes, and we laughed at other ones.

I think my children enjoyed our family night.  In fact, the time went by too quickly.  I look forward to more movie nights.  I loved hanging with our family.  It was a great time of bonding and discussing the moral implications of the movie; this one seemed to say that we are not shaped just by our past and we must rise above it.


Well, thanks for reading this entry about our family movie night with Kung Fu Panda 2.  I appreciate it.

How about you, my readers?  Have you ever seen either of the Kung Fu Panda movies?  If so, did your children enjoy learning about the morals of the stories?  Does your family enjoy movie nights?  I think movie nights are a wonderful way to bond and discuss a movie together.

I pray that God gives us all His wisdom and peace.

This has been an entry for the Technology Tuesdays series.  Please visit my Technology Tuesdays webpage for a list of my previous entries.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Determining to Be Jolly

My jolly environment--a Christmas scene

How do you deal with anger?

Have you ever been so angry that your body started to pulsate?  Have you ever been so mad that you couldn't think about anything else but what angered you?  Have you ever felt that you couldn't move beyond anger but knew you had to?  What helped you get through to the other side of the anger?

Last night, I could not sleep.  I kept playing scenarios in my mind.  I kept thinking about how I should react to the next rush of rudeness aimed at me.  What should I do?  How should I react?  What should I say?

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.  --Proverbs 15: 1 NLT

I spent too many hours thinking, thinking, thinking.  I thought about doing the crazy bit; you know, pretend I'm crazy and go lethal with my metal bat.  Hey, I'm just being honest.  Walking away hasn't worked so I came up with respectfully verbalizing my grievances.  Yeah, sure; that's the best idea I've got so far.

I'll tell you what happened next.  I pictured my youngest daughter.  You see, a while back, I was having problems with who is now an ex-friend.  My older, wise daughter, Iris (who was a tween back then) gave me some wonderful advise.  She told me to think of Kaelyn (who makes me feel happy), when I was dealing with difficult people; needless to say, I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

Since I've been in such a funk lately, I've had to be proactive.  One thing I've done is to take my Valerian Root.  It usually helps some.  What isn't helping my situation is the gloominess of the weather.  It's been overcast for too many days in a row.

I resorted to asking my hubby to put a few strings of white lights on the walls of my living/dining area.  It is so bright now at night time when we turns those lights on.  It's beautiful, cheery, andwhimsical.  I love creating a dreamy scene.  It is something we love doing for our children.

It is difficult at times to remain cheerful.  It's easy to keep harping about all the problems we have.  That's easier.  It's challenging to be jolly when the economy is down and some loved ones are no longer with us. 

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.  --Proverbs 15:13 KJV  Choosing to be happy, on this holiday season is just that--a choice.  We can choose to be sourpusses or happy, jolly people.  The choice is ours; however, I reserve the right to call you out on it, especially if you come to my house.    
Here's what I'm planning to post on my front door:  Ho ho ho!Be prepared to be jolly or...turn around and leave.


Thanks for reading about my decision to be jolly.  I hope this blog encourages someone to improve their own attitude during the holidays.

How about you, my readers?  Is your mental health poor?  Do you have any new mental health goals for December?  How have you handled setbacks to your mental health?  I encourage you to assess your current mental health.  It's a great opportunity to adjust your life to improve it.   

If you need to improve your health, in any form, please ask God to help you; He will, if you pray for His guidance.

This is an entry for Medical Mondays.  For past entries, click here.

Disclaimer: The viewpoints that I discussed here are just my opinions.  Please consult your physician before altering anything relating to your health.  I am only suggesting here to take charge of your health.  Don't just leave your health in the hands of your doctors; become your own advocate.  You know best how your body is doing.


The Three Wise Men

Three wise men visited baby Jesus.

1 Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking,  2 "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to worship him."  3 Herod was deeply disturbed by their question, as was all of Jerusalem.  4 He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law. "Where did the prophets say the Messiah would be born?" he asked them.  5 "In Bethlehem," they said, "for this is what the prophet wrote:  6 'O Bethlehem of Judah, you are not just a lowly village in Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.' "  7 Then Herod sent a private message to the wise men, asking them to come see him. At this meeting he learned the exact time when they first saw the star.  8 Then he told them, "Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!"  9 After this interview the wise men went their way. Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.  10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!  11 They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  12 But when it was time to leave, they went home another way, because God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

--Matthew 2:1-12 New Living Translation


Can you imagine a star being created in your honor?  That's just what happened when Jesus was born.  

Now imagine being sent on what could only be described, by humans, as a fool's errand.

The star was so awesome that the Maji, priestly astrologers, were entranced by it.  They followed the star until it lead them to the baby Jesus.  The wise men knew that the baby was special.

The three wise men didn't come empty-handed.  They came with gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh, which would later come in handy.  These items would provide the finances needed for Mary and Joseph to protect, and care for, Jesus.  You see, God, the Father, thought ahead to what His only begotten Son would be needing while here on earth.

It is my firm belief that God sent the three wise men for a specific reason.  I believe God wanted three knowledgeable and respected men, from distant lands, to witness the coming of Jesus.  After all, what would compel three learned men to travel a long distance to visit a baby?  The child, who was born, would be the king of the Jews.

Even a prophet of old knew that a king would be arriving someday.  He foretold of it in the scriptures.  King Herod was deeply upset by this because, in his mind, he was the only ruler of the land which surrounded him.  Men like that are greedy with power and control and aim to keep it at all costs. 

I, for one, am very happy that the baby Jesus was born.  To me, He grew up to become the King of all kings.  I bow down to Him, even though He is not here on earth.  The Holy Spirit of God is here to counsel us, while Jesus is away.  Jesus is currently sitting at the right hand of God.

Thanks for reading this blog entry about the wise men who visited the baby Jesus.  I appreciate you taking the time to read it.
 How about you, my beloved readers?  As Christians, do you understand the idea of Jesus Christ being visited by three wise men?  If you are a Christ-believer, are you willing to share this message with others?  Are you bold enough to remind others about the true meaning of CHRISTmas?  I encourage you to read different versions of Matthew 2:1-12 to understand what the Bible says about the baby Jesus' visit with the three wise men.    May the only true God of all gods bless us, my dear friends, with His wisdom and peace.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!  
This has been an entry for the Spiritual Sundays series. 


To compile this mini- bible study, I visited: http://www.biblestudytools.com/
 

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