Friday’s Fave Five July 21

Share your Fave Five from last week to help you change the channel to gratitude & peace.

I am trying to walk twice each day. During one of the times, I listen to something. This week I listened to  Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.

Below is one great idea to hold onto.

“And whenever I’d complain or was upset about something in my own life, my mother had the same advice: “Darling, just change the channel. You are in control of the clicker. Don’t replay the bad, scary movie.” ~  Arianna Huffington.

I am linking this gratitude post to Living to Tell the Story where Susanne hosts Friday’s Fave Five. I am taking firm control of my clicker by recounting five faves from this past week. Three of my days were a study in contrasts.

ONE. Information about crisis and then doing something that prevents it.

I attended an 8 hour Crisis Intervention Training. “The training will provide students with an understanding of the basic symptomology of mental illnesses, considerations and tactics for communicating with mentally ill subjects and will provide an awareness of the community resources available.”

My sister, brother-in-law (both work with Youth for Christ) and I were the only non-law enforcement personnel taking this class. It was an excellent resource. I plan on taking the three day course in August.

I put all the savory fixings on tortilla chips and apple slices. Both were tasty.

That night I met with G.I.G.G.L.E.S (Girls in God who enjoy Growing, Loving, Eating, and Sharing together). We had a nacho bar: savory and sweet (as in Apple Nachos). And then we watched the movie about Mother Teresa, The Letters. Getting together frequently with others (especially with those who have my back) is a way I stay sane. Otherwise I start to believe and act on the lies I tell myself.

TWO. Celebrating someone in death and then another someone in birth. 

One morning I attended a memorial service. Eric passed away too young. However, it was a true celebration of his life. Folks wore tie dye or Give Blood tee shirts (2 meaningful things in his life). Beach balls were tossed around the sanctuary. There were many stories of helping, silliness, and friendship. He loved well and was loved in return. And most importantly, there was a definite peace about Eric’s  final destination, Heaven.

I am celebrating with Frederick’s auntie, Christina.

Later that day, I attended a baby shower. This was a true celebration of life, too – for the baby that is coming, mama, papa, and big sister. There were introductions and conversations about this happy occasion. We played games and laughed and ate delicious mexican food and fresh fruit. And most importantly, we relished in knowing that soon Frederick would join us and be very, very loved.

THREE. Ice cream for breakfast, salad for lunch – all in the company of friends.

#NationalIceCreamDay – Ice cream and church do go together. … In full disclosure, ice cream was eaten in the making of this advertisement.

Sunday was National Ice Cream Day. We celebrated this at my church. Folks brought boxes of their fave ice cream bars. And yes, some of us did ENJOY ice cream for breakfast. Most had it as a morning snack. In any case, my church friends and I were cool. We had fun together. And we ate ice cream together on this once-a-year national day.

Then I went to lunch with one church friend. We both had a salad. Mine was topped with salmon. Not only was the meal nutritious, so was the company. Since I stopped over-seeing KidMin at church, I haven’t visited with Heather. We both ENJOYED our time together and made plans to meet once a quarter.

On one column, I will write in my appointments. I don’t know what the other two columns will hold. Ideas?

FOUR. Turning more dreams into reality via a planner.

“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” Douglas H. Everett

Last week I attended a planner class. Bea and her friend, Katie, gave an Introduction to all Things Planner. I REALLY want to turn more of my (many, many, many) dreams into reality. And I learned that you can also use your planner as a place to document memories. Wow – I’d love to be able to do both in one place.

So the first thing I want to figure out is how to make it work best for me. I have three weeks left of summer. And I want to see if using my planner can help me accomplish more of my Summer Bucket List. And I hope to document (via photos) what I do.

FIVETime for dinner, TV, and a walk.

Julie and I finally made time to spend time together. She recently moved into my apartment complex. Julie made a casserole with quinoa, chicken, broccoli and cheese. YUMMMM. After we had our fill of food AND conversation, we watched 2 episode of a new (to us) series, Time After Time. It involves (time travel (naturally), HG Wells and Jack the Ripper. It is clean and suspenseful. I give it a one scream rating (that is how many times I gave a little, involuntary scream).

This STEP App is addicting. I am loving how motivating it is to compete against myself.

Julie and her two dogs walked me home. Once home I checked my STEPS app and realized I hadn’t made my step goal for the day. Since there was a cool breeze, my daughter willingly joined me and we made time for stepping out.

Well, that’s all the time I have for today. Leave your faves in the comment section below. Or write a post and link up to Friday’s Fave Five.

What I Wrote this Week . . . How Ice Cream is Like Church

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How Ice Cream is Like Church

#NationalIceCreamDay – Ice cream and church do go together. … In full disclosure, ice cream was eaten in the making of this advertisement.

“Ice cream brings people together.” ~ Doug Ducey

“Summer would not be summer without Ice-cream. Ice-cream is the favorite currency of love.” ~ Puck

“Ice cream is the perfect buffer, because you can do things in a somewhat lighthearted way. Plus, people have an emotional response to ice cream; it’s more than just food. So I think when you combine caring, and eating wonderful food, it’s a very powerful combination.” ~ Jerry Greenfield

We had all kinds of ice cream: Fudgsicles, Firecrackers, Magnums, ice cream sandwiches, It’s It, cups of vanilla and swirl, and Outshine fruit bars to name a few.

#NationalIceCreamDay is on the calendar once a year. For 2017, July 16th is that day. Since that day is a Sunday, CNC celebrated National Ice Cream Day. Why?

  • It brings people together.
  • It is fun.
  • It is cool. (Pun intended.)
  • It really IS A currency of love. (I grew up in a home where food = love.)

I love that we encouraged people to bring a box of their favourite ice cream TO CHURCH. I like that we encouraged folks to take photos and post them on social media with the appropriate hash tag. And I believe that celebrating ice cream is like celebrating church.

  • Church brings people together.
  • Church is cool.
  • People have an emotional response to church. (Love is just one response.)
  • Church is more than a building or a body of people. It is a place full of God’s presence.

This daddy-daughter duo is cool as they celebrate this National Day.

Church and ice cream have other similarities. Going to church, like eating ice cream, can be a bad experience because . . .

  • The people or ingredients could be rotten.
  • The experience of either/both didn’t meet expectations.
  • There is a bad fit.
  • Someone is just not in the mood for the ice cream or church.

And to that last remark I say a resounding, “Hogwash!” I am always in the mood for ice cream (either Breyer’s Natural Vanilla Ice Cream or Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia). And I am always in the mood for church. Well to be more precise, I am always in the mood to savour God’s Presence.

When we are consistently not in the mood to go to church, let’s PRAY and talk with someone. When our church experience tastes rotten, doesn’t fit our expectations, or isn’t a good fit, let’s PRAY and talk with someone, someone wise. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Although church is filled with people who are imperfect (like me) and who do selfish things (like me), church can still be a positive, uplifting, loving time with God and the people there.

You can eat ice cream in the sanctuary, Rudat Hall, or even in the kitchen.

There are so many GREAT churches in my area. There are a lot of great churches in your area, too. Have you prayed about what to look for in a church? Read 5 Reasons I Love My Church.

And I am adding a 6th reason I love my church. We do silly, fun, connecting things like celebrating National Ice Cream Day.

Next year, come join us! Or better yet, celebrate church with us every Sunday. Join us because it is inclusive, cool, loving and a place FULL of God’s Presence.

Messy is a good look when it come to “ice cream” messy.

Your Turn . . . 

  • How did you celebrate National Ice Cream Day?
  • What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
  • In your opinion, how are ice cream and church alike?
  • What are some favourite things about your church?
  • And if your name is Becky, come to CNC this Sunday.
  • Amanda, thanks for this “messy” photo.

Advice from Jerry Greenfield (co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s  Homemade Holdings, Inc..

“You should not be replacing more than one meal a day with ice cream. We do not consider a pint or a tub of ice cream to be a single serving.”

This is advice I may or may not take.

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Apple Nachos

I am a hypocrite. I did NOT chop my pecans at all. I just threw them on top of everything right out of the bag.

Sometimes I want to adapt a recipe so that my gluten intolerant daughter can eat what the rest of us are eating. Here is our version of APPLE Nachos.

Ingredients

  • 3 red apples (I used Gala)
  • 1 green apple (I used Granny Smith)

You can use any combination of apples or use all one type. I used red AND green for the colour. And I only used one Granny Smith because I am not a fan of tart.

  • 1/4 cup caramel topping (I used Smuckers Salted Caramel)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup pecans

Directions

  • Wash, core and slice the apples. Arrange them on a platter. (I used two plates.)
  • Chop the pecans into coarse pieces. Set aside.
  • Pour chocolate chips and coconut oil in a mug. Put it in the microwave until melted (1-2 minutes). Spoon the mixture over the apples. Do so in lines.
  • Heat up the caramel sauce in the microwave (1-2 minutes). Pour in dribbles on top of the chocolate dribbles. NOTE: If you heat and pour from the glass jar it comes in, be very CAREFUL, the jar is HOT.
  • Sprinkle the pecans on top of the apples with the bi-coloured dribbles.
  • EAT. You might need a wet wipe for your face and fingers. Just saying.

Your Turn . . . What was the last apple dish you had? . . . Have you had dessert nachos before? 

Related post . . . Recipe Index for Fruitful Words

 

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Uncovering History with an Address Book: The C’s

Read on to see what I see in the C’s.

I am going through an OLD hard-backed address book. I am writing letters and praying for these people from my past.  Some folks are also part of my present.

Last Wednesday’s post was all about the B’s. Next week I will share what I uncover in the D’s. To find the landing page with all the posts, go here. It is after the jump at the bottom of the page.

Writing to the C’s

ONE. What I’ve most enjoyed in this letter, the C’s, is praying for the folks and businesses listed. I’ve felt a sense of connection. I know that my prayers are the most effective and important thing I can do especially when I don’t know what’s currently happening in their lives.

It was also exciting. It was exciting to hear where my prayers went for each person/family/business. I knew that the Holy Spirit guided my prayers. And I could sense that my prayers joined the many, many, many other prayers for these same individuals/businesses. And I knew that even if if I prayed only this one last time, that my prayers were part of something important. Something big. Something eternal.

ACTION ITEM: I want to be more diligent about praying for the wide range of folks and businesses in my life. After I finish with my address book adventures, I will ponder what this means.

TWO. Writing letters is hard work. Perhaps because while I know the feeling I want to convey (gratitude), I am at a loss as to HOW to do that in an eloquent way. I wonder if that is why I am not historically good at sending the cards and letters I’ve finished. I am good at buying them and writing them. But for some reason I am not good at sending them. Could it be because I feel inadequate?

ACTION ITEM: Just send the letters and cards. Stop over-analysing their quality. I made a deal with myself; if I wrote it, I have to send it within 24 hours. Finish the job and move on. And limit the amount of time I spend writing, 15 minutes is usually sufficient.

I tell myself that it is okay to make mediocre arts &  crafts. After all it isn’t archival art. I want to apply the same principle to letter writing. They aren’t masterpieces going to auction.

THREE. Some folks would rather have a visit than a card. I’ve heard back from some people I’ve written to. And while they were happy to receive a card, they would have been happier to receive a visit. This was not conveyed in a snarky way.

If my intent is to bless folks, then I want to be open to expressing that gratitude in a way that most impacts them. In other words, if I know their love language, use it. The five are as follows: acts of service (devotion),, gift giving, physical touch, quality time, and words of affirmation..

ACTION ITEM: Take the extra time to figure out how to best bless folks in my life. And then do it.

FOUR. I’ve been impacted, deeply, by people and businesses each place I’ve lived, mostly in a good way. I am who I am because of these experiences. I want to stay open and mindful of these experiences.

ACTION ITEM: I want to express my gratitude (and pray for them) in an ongoing way instead of waiting years. And if the impact has been a negative, I want to deal with that in a timely manner, also, instead of waiting years. And that expression doesn’t have to be a full-blown letter. It can be a specific compliment right after the deed or a sentence that says “Ouch! That hurt.”

FIVE: I have a lot of memories connected to each person and place. Unfortunately I have also forgotten a lot of memories associated with the same. And some of that information could be transformative (to me and others).

How much personal history is passed down from your ancestors and forward to your progeny? Is this even important? If you are a writer or the family genealogist, you probably would agree it is important.

ACTION ITEM: I do agree. But what exactly is the best way to do that? After I finish this project I will look in this.

  • I know one person who scrapbooks the important history of her family.
  • I know of a gentleman who is writing the history of his family members by using family and official documents.
  • Until I take up such ambitious projects. I will continue blogging. This is one reason I have a blog, to share my life. Maybe some future progeny will understand themselves better because of reading something at Fruitful Words.

I wrote 7 letters. And I prayed for 3 businesses (my lawyer in CO, Christian Booksellers Association and CO Homeschoolers)  and 11 people (or the families of the ones who are deceased).

Your Turn . . . What history have you uncovered in the C’s of your address book? . . . Are any of my action items applicable to you?

Related Posts . . . 

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Friday’s Fave Five July 14

ONE.  One-year-old birthday. My youngest grand-daughter is now one. Sienna has a mellow, happy, busy attitude. Mama made her a watermelon cake because Sienna doesn’t prefer sweet. So this cake was very appreciated by our one-year-old. I’ve never had a fruit cake before and I must say I also appreciated it. EDITED TO ADD: Here is the watermelon cake recipe.

The tire is completely gone.

TWO. Two flat tires. How is this a fave? On the passenger side both tires went flat … while I was going west on Hwy 80 … at 65 miles an hour … where traffic was congested! I didn’t hurt myself, anyone else, or my car – other than tires and a rim. … The other tire lost all the rubber but there was no damage to that rim.

The two sisters have matching outfits and LIKE it.

THREE. Three matching dresses. My 4-year-old grand-daughter picked out items for an Operation Christmas Child  shoebox. … I bought 3 matching tee shirts (2 size 4’s and one 12 months) and 1 yard of material. A friend (Lucy) turned the tee shirts into dresses. … One of the 4T dresses will go into the box. … I snapped a photo of my two grand daughters in the other dresses. And I will include that photo with a note in the box as well.

I will make this for Cheryl soon. This is actually a photo of Sienna’s birthday cake.

FOUR. All play and no work for four. Last Sunday the women’s ministry team met just to play, (Bip, Cheryl, Lina and me)! We’ve never done that before.

We had a lovely BBQ, garden grown veggies, and potluck. One of the fave dishes was an asparagus salad (with LOTS of avocado). I bought red skin potato salad from the store and it was surprisingly tasty.

We each gave a one minute speech about something we are passionate about. And we ended our time in the pool. It was a refreshing, encouraging, fun time.

Share your fave moments from this week. Share them in the comments or on your blog.

FIVE. (almost) Five hour meeting with a mentor. I met my mentor, Nancy, in Modesto last week (half-way point for both of us).I had 14 questions I wanted her input on. She said she had all the time I needed. I was so surprised that we talked and prayed for almost 5 hours.

One of the cool things is that she brought up topics, before I did, that were on my list. I.e. How to stay “topped up” for ministry … Chaplain hints (she has been a chaplain for many, many years and I am starting such a program at my church) … and how to love God better.

One way that helps me to love God better, is to stay consistent with a gratitude practice. Friday’s Fave Five is one thing I incorporate into my gratitude practice.

Your Turn . . .  Leave a comment about a fave or anything you read.

What I Wrote this Week . . .

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Uncovering History with an Address Book: The B’s

ZZZ

 Addresses have history. As I am going through an old hard-backed address book, I am uncovering old memories.

  • I have memories for folks who’ve passed on.
  • I have memories from two states (CA and CO) and two countries (Canada and England) I lived.

I have more memories than these. Read on to see what I discovered.

Writing to the B’s

1. Deceased. Two people have passed away: Denise and Laurie. They both impacted my life. I am reminded that it is important to tell folks, when they are alive, how important they are.

  • Denise Burton and her family were fellow homeschoolers when we lived in CA. At one point we organized a homeschool science co-op. Denise was a godly woman who was fun, intelligent, supportive, wise and loving.
  • I met Mrs. Byrd when we lived in Suffolk, England. Mrs. Byrd, Laurie, was the wife of my ex-husband’s boss. She epitomized inclusiveness, creativity, poise, and calm. Her friendship helped me to figure out how to settle down in a brand new environment.

2. Memories. I have the address to the Black Forest Camp and Conference Center in CO. It was basically across the street from where we lived in Colorado Springs. This was my daughter’s first job (outside of babysitting). This is also the place where our homeschool group held its annual promotion celebration.

3. Extra information. Sometimes I wrote down children’s names (of my friends), birth dates, anniversary dates and favorite color. Writing in this extra information all in spot, helps me to remember important information pertaining to my friends.

4. Where are you? I tried to locate current addresses of one couple. Don’t you hate it when Google search says it’s a free search but really you have to pay. You know the info is out there somewhere for free. But how in the world do you access it?

5. Incomplete. For some I just wrote a phone number but no area code. Several people are listed by their first names. This is curious since I do know their last names quite well. So I have no idea why I did that.

6. Business memory. I have addresses for three businesses: Black Forest Camp and Conference Center, Berean Book Store and Banfield Pet Hospital. There are many, many memories associated with Banfield hospital. I used to have an apricot, miniature, toy poodle named Chip. He had health insurance from Banfield. The care from there was always excellent whether it was for well check visits or for Chip’s end-of-life care.

7. Personal friends. I notice I have very few church or homeschool friends in my address book. That is because for both groups I’ve had another address book for them; one that came from that organization. I did, however, write in two folks from these places in my personal book. like Denise and Reva. These are ladies I regarded as FRIENDS.

I wrote 6 letters.

I prayed for 10 people. I prayed for the families of those who are deceased.  I took a chance and even wrote a letter to an estranged family member.

Last Wednesday’s post covered 8 things I learned from the A’s. Next Wednesday I will share what I uncover in the Cs. To find the landing page with all the posts, go here. It is after the jump at the bottom of the page.

Your Turn . . . Take a look through the names in the B section of your address book. Are you currently in touch with all those folks? . . . Any surprises? . . . Is there someone you will contact today?

Related Posts . . . 14 Memories Involving My Dog Regret at Grave Over the Undone

 

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Simplicity Day Reminds Us of the “Simple” Life

Today is #National  Simplicity Day. When was the last time you looked to simplify your life in terms of goals, balance, meaning, and social media?

Answer the questions below to get you started on this reflection.

  • How balanced is your life between the various areas like sleep, work, and recreation?
  • Are you spending quality time with the important people in your life and on projects that advance you towards your goals/dreams?
  • Is your spiritual life a relationship that you cultivate?

GOALS

One of my goals for this summer is to finish unfinished projects. And one of these projects is decluttering. Yesterday, with the help of my daughter, I went through ALL of my clothes. I tried on everything and only kept what I really liked or loved. The rest is in the give-away pile.

I have given myself a month to mend (mainly shorten) the clothes that need it. Otherwise they, too, will be given away. And after a month, I will check to see what I’ve actually worn. My tentative goal is to do something like Project 333.

I still need to do more work in my closet. I am surprised at how many non-clothes items are in there. I am also surprised at how many scarves I have. Tons, I tell you, tons!

“My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.” ~ J. Botherton

BALANCE

I tend to work too much. As a result I neglect the important people in my life. That is one reason I wrote a Summer Bucket List. I want to make sure I have friend-balance in my life. So far this summer I have done well with having “dates.” Read #4 for an update.

These non-romantic times have been fun. I’ve eaten, chatted, walked, viewed vacation photos, and crafted. It may seem weird to some to have to schedule in dates, but I am finding that works for me.

MEANING

One thing that gives meaning to my life is a relationship with God. I want to and need to spend daily time reading and meditating on Scripture. I need to and want to spend time talking and listening to God. And finally I need to and want to spend time at church and with the people of the church. This type of focus keeps me maturing and balanced.

Also to add meaning to my life, I am thinking about what’s important to me. I am listening to an audiobook, Thrive. Arianna Huffington wants us to consider four areas to get back to living a life that counts: wonder, giving, wisdom, and wellness. I want to focus on these as well.

Joelle from 21 Delights wrote a list (of 21 things) that brings meaning to her life. Her top 10 are as follows … her husband … her children … her relationship with the Divine … Her extended family … witnessing goodness … life stories … friendship … solitude … Music … and art. Go here to read the complete list and post about why she wrote it.

I haven’t written such a list yet. What would your list include? What do you want to do more of? Less of? Read how a STOP DOING list is helpful.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media use can, at times, consume way too much of my time. I go on for just a quick minute. And then an hour later I am still on there. I want to and need to declutter that area of my life, too.

 It’s good practice to look at your social media use the way you would closets full of stuff. Ask yourself: Am I using social media intentionally or out of habit? What benefits does it bring me, what are the trade-offs, and do I need to change anything? If I cut back on social media, how else do I want to use that time? ~ Ellen from Simplifying at Home: Living Better with Less

In conclusion, in honor of National Simplicity Day I am reading a real book and not something from social media. I am reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau. He was an advocate for living a life of simplicity. If you’ve read this book, what are your take-aways?

Your Turn . . .  How “simple” is you life? . . .  Where would you like to make a change in the areas of GOALS, BALANCE, MEANING and/or SOCIAL MEDIA?

Related Posts . . . Check out the article that was the brainchild of this post: NATIONAL SIMPLICITY DAY from the National Day Calendar website.

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