Tag Archives: inspirational

God Unplugged & In Real Time

For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love others as you love yourself.” But if instead of showing love among yourselves you are always critical and catty, watch out! Beware of ruining each other. Galatians 5:14-15 Life Application Bible.

Recently, and after a long separation from God I have returned to my faith. More will be written on that journey in future posts, however reading back through this blog will provide a snap shot of the last few years journey.

This morning I am reflecting on the above Bible passage and its real life possibilities and implications.

To love others as we love ourselves always confused me, because as someone who really doesn’t feel a whole lot of love for myself (but I am getting better) I wondered why on earth I would want to treat others the way I treat myself.

Since reading and studying more on this passage I have come to understand it this way. We all have, an inherit instinct to preserve ourselves. The need to eat when hungry, sleep in a warm bed when tired, and live in a decent clean environment. These are our basic needs we love to take care of for survival. And this is the very minimal way we can show our love and support for others. We all know a person lacking in any of these carnal needs will find it very difficult to feel or learn about love and compassion.

The second verse of the above passage warns about being critical and catty. This truth I have come to know on a personal level through interactions with many people and God willing I can summarize effectively below.

Having met with different types of people and knowing we take away grains of their beliefs I noticed something very interesting. There is a multitude of people who tend to be flippant, catty, critical and manipulative (the language of shame) in their approach to correcting what they perceive as a “wrong”. When met with one of these people I notice it triggers feelings of defensiveness and shame in those who do not understand their true identity in Christ.

This type of council leads to thoughts of rebellion and can cause the receiver to act out in ways opposite to the message the sender was trying to convey. Rebellion is part of our natural instinct so it is probably unhelpful to trigger that instinct when attempting to
help someone who’s actions are harmful to themselves or others. This is evident in cases of bullying that lead to feelings of depression and in extreme instances, suicide.

There is a second type of person who takes an entirely different approach to supportive correction. They are kind, loving, humble and and supportive (the language of guilt). While they offer critical direction and support toward growth, they are not critically judgmental. This type of teaching tends to stick and produce a real and positive change for many (myself included). Guilt when used as guide post to help us correct our wrong actions is a great way to improve the lives of ourselves and others.

Of course this is all dependent on the receiver. If a student desires to be kind, loving humble and supportive their natural sense of rebellion will not be triggered by someone who is using the language of guilt vs. the language of shame.

I know myself I tend to ask more questions of the second type of person, and take a curious interest in what sorts of things helped shape a person of this caliber. A person who is humble enough to realize they have no worthy judgement against anyone.

Sheila Walsh – Guilt tells you, you’ve done something wrong. Shame tells you, you are something wrong.

Anyway the two extremes are just examples and for discussion purposes. I think many of us are somewhere in between and can be catty and sarcastic one day and more loving and supportive the next. It is all part of the human experience.

For me returning to faith in God allows me to read, study and meditate on these simple nuggets of truth. And when I find myself putting them into practice more and more frequently in my life I thank God. I thank God that it allow me to reach out in loving, kind, humble and supportive ways more effectively.

So there it is in a simple grape seed. “To be catty, smart mouthed and critical is human while actions of humility, love and kind supportive correction is divine.

Blessings

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Frugal & Creative

This winter was a long and cold one. And actually it was perfect weather for one of my favorite hobbies, crocheting. Not only is crocheting creative, it can also be quite inexpensive.

Below are pics of some items I made over the winter:

485552_213434898866098_601066370_n 971886_210003905875864_463550576_n 988475_218713511671570_5441330476542192490_n 1498005_218946074981647_3653091506292146424_o 1511732_170263979849857_1455914344_o 10015062_218945944981660_3459898313074354460_n 10171292_213137945562460_686363748_n 10249711_218499638359624_472578492736908865_n 10250253_218750348334553_8046801952445703678_nCheap can be very good!

 

I’m An Orphan

I realized tonight it has been quite sometime since I lasted posted to this blog. Normally I enjoy posting inspirational, uplifting and of course frugal pieces here.

Tonight I would like to share my current situation as it will (I am sure) lead into more positive and motivational words in the near future.

Just over a month ago on February 13th 2014 my father passed away. This was not really a shock in terms of suddenness as he had been sick for some time. It was more a shock in the realization that I was now parent less having lost mom 5 years ago.

When my mother passed it hit me pretty hard as it was unexpected. It took a few years to really come to grips with the loss. Sadly, I guess it is true what they say, we can pretty much get used to anything because I find myself accepting the loss of my father far more easily and with less pain and confusion.

I find my thoughts fluctuating these days between the sense of losing both parents and the feeling of peace that comes after facing such a tremendous fear as the death of ones parents.

I am beginning to sense a sort of wisdom and patience I didn’t previously have. It is the belief that so many little things just are not that important anymore, and certainly not to be feared. I go through my days with greater clarity of the things that need to be done, and get them done.

Is there a metamorphosis occurring here? I guess time will tell. But for my readers I just wanted to touch base this evening and share where my head, heart and spirit are currently residing.

Be well all, there is lots more to come!

The Frugal Gardener

Radishes, lettuce, rabbi, beans, green onion, beets, pumpkins, peppers, carrot and assorted flowers.

20 bucks:

SAM_080380 plants:

SAM_0809If half of these seeds take the savings over traditional nurseries will be huge. Add the new blooms to a fusion garden (low water usage) and save even more. Enjoy the fresh veggies over the summer and save on groceries. Finally if the weather cooperates and the harvest is good share with friends, neighbors and family.

A cheap and fun, win/win/win/win… priceless.

Share your tips on how you save money on gardening.

And Happy frugal gardening!

The Christmas Credit Card Bill

Yes it arrives just after we ring in the New Year without fail. Time to pay the piper for the excessive celebrating right?

Two years ago I asked myself that question. Is this really the price I need to pay every year in order to enjoy celebrations with friends and family? My answer was “no”.

I asked myself a few questions.

1. Am I willing to give up the Christmas fun to save money?

2. Is there any other way I can stop the pain and anxiety of that horrible bill that slides into the mail box each January to destroy the holiday high?

To the first question I answered no way. And so in January of 2013 I started budgeting for Christmas so as not to increase our debt load further and at the same time still enjoy the season.

I am no brain surgeon, and clearly those who know me will readily agree 🙂 But I did make a smart move a year ago. I pre budgeted for Christmas 2013 in January of 2013.

The results:

SAM_0620With this successful result under my belt, next steps blog about and implement a weekly/monthly budget plan.

I read somewhere that millionaires actually plan out their weekly spending. This got me thinking, why on earth shouldn’t we do the same?

Happy New Year and stay tuned. We are on the way to becoming debt free!

Christmas Ice Storm 2013

The area where I live was hard hit by an ice storm on December 22nd 2013. It was like nothing we have ever experienced, and honestly I hope to never see again.

Saturday December 21, 2013 was the first hint I had that there might be an issue. I was watching the weather channel and getting ready for Christmas. The weather person said, “a 1-2 degree fluctuation in temp, once the precipitation begins could be the difference between freezing rain capable of reeking havoc on the area, or merely rain that  can wash away the accumulated Christmas snow. I looked out the window. A tree in the backyard had lost a branch.

The backyard:

SAM_0440“It’s only one branch, maybe the tree was dead,” I reasoned. Most of us are happier being complacent and taking on a “wait and see” attitude when it comes to weather predictions. I mean what else can you do with news like that, right?

I slept restlessly that night and kept waking up to vague noises coming from the park behind the house. I needed sleep as Sunday was going to be a very busy shopping day. Although the Christmas presents were ready to go, well most of them anyway, there was still a lot of fresh produce, meats and fishes to  purchase for Christmas Eve/Day festivities.

I awoke Sunday morning and stretched expecting to find a few downed trees outside the house. I sat up and looked out the window. Something was VERY different. Why was I looking at grey sky when I should be seeing the branches of the 50 ft Maples splayed just outside the windows across the horizon. Disoriented I got up and went to the window.

I started to cry as I tried to comprehend what I was looking at.  Each of the tall trees lining the back yard and those beyond in the park  had shed many of their large branches and were lying on the ground. Not just one or two , but most of them. Everywhere I looked the beautiful mature trees had lost many of their branches.

The park:

SAM_0451The Backyard:

SAM_0508I have a lower roof that obstructs the view of the backyard from our bedroom window. Feeling a little disoriented, I went downstairs to get a better view. What I saw when reaching the windows brought a fresh flood of tears. The backyard and garden I write about in a gardening blog was completely devastated. Large branches, the tops of the missing skyline trees I usually see from the bedroom, were lying across the yard creating an impenetrable barrier between me and the garden. Thankfully the house was spared from damage.

The Backyard:

SAM_0470“Oh no,” I thought. “What about the old maple tree on the front lawn?” I opened the door and peeked outside, not really interested in seeing a branch laying across the car in the driveway.
I experienced a moment of relief. Although caked in an inch of ice, the maple was intact. Its branches hung precariously under the weight of ice but were still attached to the main trunk.

The Front yard:

SAM_0529 We started calling around and checking on the kids and friends/family to ensure everyone was o.k. My daughter along with our granddaughter came over and we spent the day together as my husband went out with the rest of the guys to help with the removal of trees from roads and driveways. Honestly I was quite upset at the sight of the storms devastation and so happy to have them there with me. They are wonderful girls and I want to say thanks and “I love you and guys!”.

We had coffee and watched the news. Hundreds of thousands of people across the area were without power. No serious injuries or fatalities had been reported. I said a prayer for all to stay safe.

While we tried to carry on with some degree of normal routine it was impossible. Branches were crashing down outside, bouncing off roofs and hitting fences. With each thud, I jumped out of my skin. If I never hear that noise again it will be a blessing. It begins with a crackling of ice as the branch starts to give way under the weight, turns into the harsh sound of wood tearing as the branch separates from the tree. Next the sound of ice chunks falling and hitting the frozen snow, and finally ends with a sound I can only describe as similar to a traffic accident.

The Park:

SAM_0500 Each thud made my heart sink. I wished I could stop it, and knew that wasn’t possible. For a few hours the branches were breaking off every few minutes, and we just watched helpless to do anything about it. I was terrified one of the branches still clinging to the tops of tall trees in the backyard would come down on the house or car.

After a coffee we dressed and ventured out to see how neighbors were doing. We kept to the middle of the street avoiding trees full of ice on front lawns. I was amazed how much debris had barely missed several cars.

The Street:

SAM_0455SAM_0460People were outside shoveling and trying to clean up the mess. Everyone we spoke with was safe and had amazing stories to share about the storm.

Sadly we heard on the news the next day of several fatalities related to improper use of BBQ and generators during the storm. A result of those without power doing their best to keep warm. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost loved ones due to the storm, or its aftermath during this holiday season ice storm.

We Canadians are for the most part a hearty bunch able to withstand and recover from Mother Nature’s quirky whims and furious temper tantrums.

The following day my husband told me to look out the window. I really didn’t want to see the devastation again. He coaxed me over to take a peek. What I saw was a beautiful, stunning and blinding sight. The sun had finally come out and its rays were hitting the ice covered trees turning it into something beyond a scene on a Christmas card or anything technology can mimic or cameras can accurately capture. It was absolutely glorious. Each and every branch covered in twinkling diamonds of ice. It was so brilliant we had to shield our eyes in order to see it.

The Backyard & Park:

SAM_0539There is beauty in everything, or so they say. The beauty of our Christmas Ice Storm 2013 is in the way community came together and supported each other and the stunning view the storm left behind in its wake.

After loosing December 22nd to the Christmas Ice Storm, we were still able to pull off our Christmas Eve/Day celebrations. We lost Sunday which created extra work, however Christmas arrived, storm or no storm just as it always does!

I want to wish friends, family, fellow bloggers/readers and all who stumble upon this blog a wonderful and safe holiday season and only the best this coming year has to offer.

Santa’s Bag is a Little Lighter This Year

SAM_0423
Over the summer our daughter’s cat had kittens. We were able to successfully find homes for all 7 kittens. Recently one of them was returned to us because the child in the home is allergic.

I have been under a lot of pressure to allow the kitten to stay and finally relented. He is an adorable little guy. I must be honest the decision wasn’t that hard to make.

So this frugal Mama was sitting around today worried about Christmas budgets and also costs associated with having the  kitten, who will be 6 months old in January, fixed.

We can take him to the local SPCA and, at a cost of $60.00 have the procedure done. However, the wait time is 3-4 months on average and if for any reason (which you will never be aware of) they don’t receive your phone message request for appointment, you may never get a call back. At $60 this is the most cost effective way to go, but I am uncomfortable with the uncertainty of the process.

The next option is our local cat clinic. This thought strikes terror in my cheap little heart. Costs associated with veterinarian services here are through the roof or so I am told.

Finally tired of worrying about the unknown price, I made the call. Better to gather the information to help make the best decision, not only for the kitten, but the bank account as well.

Through a very polite, courteous and helpful person at the clinic I was delighted to learn the price tag was a mere $110. Here I was stressing an astronomical amount I had learned of through the rumor mill and internet for no reason at all. Can you say happy dance?

The frugal tip here, is make the calls and do your own homework.

As an aside for those interested, females are significantly more expensive to fix because the procedure is more complex. Just an FYI for those considering adopting a furry feline friend at some point.

I am one happy lady over here. Come the new year our adorable little Tigger2 will be all fixed up and good to go!

Please have your pets neutered/spayed. I have just heard too many horror stories of what happens to these unwanted little ones.

Thanks!

Oh, and pun in title. Totally intended on every level 🙂