Posts Tagged ‘loveyourworld’

ThanksGIVING

I love watching my little boy get excited when he gets something he wants (even if that is something as simple as sweet tea from Chick Fil A — when was the last time YOU jumped up and down when you were offered sweet tea as a drink option?)

What I love more is seeing him get so excited to give to others. On Christmas morning last year, he couldn’t wait to give me my Christmas present. He wanted to give me my present before he opened any of his. It was so sweet.

We try to make the holidays just as much (if not more) about giving than about getting. Today, we went shopping to fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. We had a blast browsing Target’s amazing dollar section and toy section looking for little items to put in a shoebox. (Well, actually, we bought a plastic bin there as well).  When we came home to eat lunch, he couldn’t wait to show his daddy all of the things we had bought for another child halfway across the world.

Today, I feel incredibly thankful that I am able to give to others. Sometimes, I feel I don’t have much to give, especially monetarily (and then the guilt kicks in that I am richer than 75% of the people in the world).  Sometimes, I feel like I should be giving more than I do in other ways.  Should I be back in the work force counseling families?  Should I be volunteering more of my time (however that can be done with a preschooler in tow)?  I struggle to find the balance between giving and having time to recharge and meet my own family’s needs.  However, it is a huge priority of mine to make sure that my child knows that he is blessed.  It is a huge priority of mine for him to help us help others — whether that is by filling a shoebox, sponsoring a child, sharing his toys (we even talked today about how we were putting in some duplicate items so the little boy receiving our box can share if he wants to), or comforting or listening to a friend.  So far… and certainly not all through my own doing or example… I have a little boy who loves to help others and reminds me of how wonderful it is to give.

I’d love to know what you are doing this holiday season — or any time — to teach your children the value of giving to others and of giving thanks for what they have!

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W is for Writing, Wisdom and Wonder

A number of years ago, when I was a new college graduate, starting a new career, and already missing being in school (I’m weird like that), I took my first class in Wisdom Literature (covering Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes in the Bible).  One of the class requirements was to keep a wisdom journal.  Another was to memorize a set number of proverbs.  I often combined the two by meditating in my wisdom journal on how I saw proverbs played out in or applicable to my life.  That journal serves as a testimony to me of some parts of life from that time period.

One proverb that I opted to memorize vividly stands out to me: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9)… Similarly, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)  Twelve years later… I am still struggling to learn the truth of those in my life.  They are so much easier to quote than to remember when life doesn’t turn out as (I) planned.  My course may not be God’s course… or even if it is, he may be placing steps in my life to get to my overall goal… even when I can’t see how that path will get me to where I want to be.  And yet, even the times I chose not to validate in writing led me to where I am today — a relatively good place.  A place where I am seeking to find understanding and glean wisdom from past and present experiences.  A place where I am trying to live in the moment and be satisfied with the here-and-now instead of always looking to the past and the future.

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Having a four year old around makes living in the moment easier.  I love looking at the world through the eyes of a preschooler.  Sticks become “worm seesaws”, a rose in bloom is a cause to celebrate, dandelions are precious treasures and symbols of love.  Frogs are cherished and named.  Sometimes I feel that, as adults, we are chastised for that sense of wonder at creation.  And yet, looking at this world fills me with wonder.  Sunrises (not that I see many of those!), sunsets, ocean waves, green trees. autumn leaves — what an amazing world we live in!  God, help me to remember on those discouraging days just how much wonder is in the world.

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Writing is often my way to sort through life… search for wisdom… and capture the wonder.  And I often feel that writing validates that I had a certain experience (even though I intellectually know that I don’t have to write something down for it to have happened).  Not sure if that makes sense outside of my head…

Leaving you with a classic song to celebrate the wonder of our world:

And a poem from e.e. cummings as well:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings;and of the gay
great happening ilimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any – lifted from the no
of all nothing – human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Is Your Blog Carbon-Neutral?

According to a study by Alexander Wissner-Gross, PhD, physicist at Harvard University and environmental activist, an average website causes about 0.02g (0,0008oz.) of carbon dioxide for each visit. Assuming an average blog gets 15,000 visits a month, it has yearly carbon dioxide emissions of 3,6kg (8lb.). This can mainly be tracked back to the immense energy usage from (mainframe) computers, servers, and their cooling systems.

The Arbor Day foundation is planting trees in Spring 2010 to help neutralize the carbon dioxide emissions from blogs (they have actually already begun).  For every single one of the participating blogs, “Make it Green” and “Arbor Day Foundation” are planting a tree in Plumas National Forest, which was damaged from fire in 2007.  With your support, we are helping reforest Plumas National Forest with as much trees as possible. In the spring of 2010, Douglas-fir, red and white firs, and incense cedars will be planted alongside ponderosa pine and sugar pine trees. These new trees will help prevent soot and soil runoff into Plumas’ precious water supplies.

I can’t imagine that my blog gets 15,000 visits a year, much less in a month… but planting trees can only improve the environment that I help pollute in other ways and allow more people to be thankful for green.  If you would like to join in, see http://www.kaufda.de/umwelt/carbon-neutral/how-you-can-join/ for more information.  (Some information from that site was copied for this post as well).

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