Weekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week. It is brought to you, me and everyone by the lovely Lotus, aka Sarcastic Mom. Visit her site and find all the participants. See some amazing photos brought to you by bloggers around the world. Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!
We had a major snow event this week in Nashville, and of course I had to take lots of pictures of its cold, soft beauty. Between the snow and my Project 365, I bring you more photos than usual.
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I haven’t written anything about the Arizona shooting last week, primarily because I was “off line” and “out of touch” through it. I followed a little but about it via Twitter on my phone, but on a whole… I was pretty clueless until the last few days.
My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones that day — even the shooter’s parents, who, essentially, lost their son, too. The ripple of grief goes far and wide to family and friends of those victims.
Those injured, some still lying in hospital beds, will have long lasting scars from the events, and their friends and family too are worried, saddened, but also filled with hope for recovery.
We as Americans are left to wonder how this will effect our government. How will it effect our interactions with others? Will we make positive changes to help others with similar violent tendencies or mental issues? Or will we keep the status quo and believe we see no evil, hear no evil… until it is too late.
Some of my favorite stories to come out of this tragedy are the ones of positive changes being made by our youth. This news article out of Chicago details out some of those changes and events, all with a nod to the youngest victim of the shooting, nine-year-old Christina Green.
“Students in Tucson have already started Christina’s Challenge, during which they promised to recognize random acts of kindness,” the report says.
There is a ripple of positive going out from this tragedy, and its by our youth. As adults start pointing fingers, blaming politics, guns, and even violent video games, its our youth that show us that perhaps its not by pointing fingers that change is brought. It is instead by finding a positive ray of light to follow. It’s by making positive changes in life that true change is made. Not by pointing fingers and writing new laws. But by holding out a hand to a stranger.
As you may see on the right of the screen, I am a member of the BlogHer network. I received an email today that one of our members was one of those injured in the shooting. You can read the post about the shooting here. BlogHer has also set up a survey asking your thoughts on the shooting and how it will impact you and our democracy (yes, it does address the political angle as well) . Anyone can join in the survey, and you’re invited to do so here. The survey is completely anonymous.
Our recent move was overwhelming at times. Unpacking and setting up our new home has also been overwhelming.
I look around and see nine hundred things that need to be done, and I feel like I will never get it done. On top of that, I know that what I see is only part of the things on my plate. I have a web-site to do, a business card to edit, and ads to create (among other things). I’m keeping up this blog, and doing my 365. I have bills to pay, but I can’t sit down to work long enough to make the money to pay them.
Suddenly, as I let those realizations sink in, I get that feeling. The one in the pit of my stomach that says, “I’ll never be able to do it all!” Then I get a headache and dizzy, and then I have the urge to just sit down and cry.
Its in that moment that I sit back and I tell myself, “Yes, you will. One thing at a time. You will do it all.”
Life can get overwhelming. Life IS overwhelming in general! And we all have our moments when we fee like the world is crashing down around us. Deadlines to meet. Social events to attend. Bills to pay. Chores to do. Appointments to make. It is all just too much.
I know. I feel it, too. Often.
But, ultimately, one thing at a time. It’s all you can do. Sometimes, just realizing that will make you more productive! I know any time I’d get overwhelmed with the move, if I would just stop and remind myself to take it one thing at a time (or, okay, I’d text my Mom and she’d remind me to take it one thing at a time)… I’d end up getting twice as much stuff done. If I didn’t beat myself up that I “couldn’t do it,” I’d literally just do it.
I know, I’m simplifying things, but sometimes simplifying things is exactly what makes anything possible. So anytime you get overwhelmed and it all just seems too much, take a moment to remember to take one thing at a time. You can only do what you can do. And that really is enough.
Going into this year, I said time and time again how the new year had to be better than the last. Moving would be forcing us to make big changes, and it would also give us a new place from which to leap into the year.
Here we are, 12 days into the new year, and as I talk to friends (or as I skim Facebook) I find that a strong majority of my friends and family are also using 2011 for new beginnings.
I know of at least four weddings this year, if not five. I know of several pregnancies. Friends are also packing up and making big moves. Still others are looking for new jobs. Some have even opted to go back to school.
Everywhere I look, I see everyone with something new… even if its simply a new life motto. It’s almost as if we all took 2010 to try to “fix” things, while 2011 is instead a reboot for us all.
As I look around me, I still see so very many problems in my country and in the world. But I’ve always believed big change happens after individual changes are made. It only takes a spark to start a fire, after all.
And perhaps, instead of trying to fix problems, or instead of looking at the big picture and how “dismal” things are (because, c’mon, last year we looked at the big picture a LOT with government deficits, etc.), if we all just take the initiative to fix things individually and internally, we can start to see some changes to the big picture. Even a forest grows one tree at a time, after all.
I don’t know! Maybe my optimistic self is starting to bounce back these days, but I am really feeling hopeful for this year. Not just for myself, but for all of my friends and family. For everyone who is making changes, no matter how big or how small. Dream your dreams. Make your new goals. Make those crazy changes you’ve been afraid to make. You’ll never know what kind of positive change it could be until you try.
Growing up in Texas, I really didn’t see snow. Not enough to talk about at least. We got ice with a little bit of snow, usually only enough to make a four inch tall snowman. So, upon moving to Tennessee, snow was a mystery to me. Magical, even.
- As it falls, snow glistens and sparkles in the street lights. It comes down around you without a sound. It somehow turns even the ugliest locations beautiful.
- Snow turned everyone into kids again. Grown adults reach for the closest thing they can find to turn into a sled. Snowball fights break out. Snowmen get made. Someone is bound to flop over backwards and create a Snow Angel.
- People forget how to drive in the snow. My husband used to joke that in Tennessee, people see a snowflake and run into the nearest tree. Sadly, he’s often not far off. You CAN drive in snow (if you HAVE to), but the rules are different and it is going to take you longer to get where you are going. So many people forget this, and news reports end up littered with accident reports.
- Because of the last point, people feel the need to empty the shelves of bread and milk. Always its bread and milk. At least get eggs to make French Toast! How about a little fruit? Or some meat?
- Coffee and hot chocolate just taste better when there is snow on the ground.
I wouldn’t want it to snow all the time; a few more days of it I’ll be tired of it. Ready to move on again. But, as the snow continues into today, I’ll continue to marvel over its curious, magical nature. I’ll continue to enjoy its beauty outside of my window.
When I opened Faithful by Kim Cash Tate for the first time, I never expected it to suck me in as hard as it did. I read half the book in two days, and I became so wrapped up in it that I had to literally force myself to put it down and live my own life!
The individual and entwined stories of Cydney, Dana and Phyllis made me think of my own girlfriends, appreciate my marriage, and see God’s love through all things — even in the most trying times of life.
Tate fleshes out the stories of these three women who are all at different stages of life — one single at 40, one dealing with an unfaithful husband, and another struggling with her husband’s lack of faith in God — with a care and realism that can be hard to find in any type of fiction, much less in romantic fiction. Furthermore, the religious side of the book never felt heavy-handed. It is instead woven into the plot line with an ease and realism that I really appreciated, and that also made it a key factor in each woman’s story.
I was drawn into the story completely, always wanting to know what happened next, wanting to see how these women dealt with each of their “issues.” The characters became like friends to me, and I found myself going through their many emotions right along with them. That fact alone is the mark of a great book and a talented author. As such, this book is definitely the a short list of books I am sure to read again and again in the future!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”