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Archive for February, 2013

022413-01When I was a little girl, the car door slammed shut on my thumb—I remember it well. My mom and dad rushed me into the house to put my hand in cold water and they hugged me to quiet my cries and give me comfort. Years later when my father removed the training wheels from my bike, I thought I was all grownup until I ran the front wheel into the fork of an oak tree 😦 . My parents hugged me to let me that they loved me and they assured me I would heal and return to riding. When my great aunt (my best friend) passed away, my parents hugged me to give me comfort. When I had seizures and then migraines and accidental overdoses of medicines, and other things along the way my dad would sit with me, hug me, hold me, and make sure I was alright. My mom did the same if he wasn’t there. My father passed away when I was 21—when I was all grownup. My boyfriend hugged me to let me know life would continue and that my father was definitely in a better place. 

 

Over the years there were also hugs of appreciation, hugs of joy and love, hugs ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye,’ and there were hugs … “just because.” Hugs continued in life as I received and then I gave. When the car door slammed on my oldest daughter’s hand, I hugged her, put her hand in ice, and told her it would be ok. I ran over the younger one’s hand at the local home improvement store with one of those heavy metal carts (not on purpose—she reached down to pick up a bug and I could not stop). I grabbed her up and rushed her to the local emergency care location. I hugged her as I watched the doctor “yank” off her thumb nail and felt pain because I knew she hurt. I have hugged my children to say goodbye when they left on trips and I hugged them harder when they returned. 🙂 And, I have hugged them more in the past year than all of the years that came before to let them know they are loved more than anything.

 

There are times when we need hugs and times we need to give hugs. I commented a few blog posts back about giving hugs and taking an extra one just in case it is the last time you see someone or hug them 🙂 . Hugs make things better. If you are reading this and there is something in your life that is bothering you or perhaps everything is fine, here is a hug from me (HUG) !

 

May your day be blessed and filled with goodness! Happy Gardening! 😀

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If you look up the word “gift” in the American Heritage Dictionary you will find this:  “Something that is bestowed voluntarily and without compensation.” To me this says that a gift is something that is shared freely and without reservation with no attachment and no expectation. 🙂Gift

 

I can no more expect to receive a gift than I can expect to receive a “thank-you” from a gift I give. A true gift is free—nothing more. There are advertisements that say, “Get your FREE gift today.”

 

Gifts are free. If a gift is not free, it is no longer a gift. The very special gifts come from deep within the heart. Be careful not to judge a gift. The value is not in the gift itself but in the giver and in how it was given.

 

May your day be so very blessed and may your gardens grow with exceeding abundance! Happy Gardening! 😀

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The following is taken from one of my morning devotionals–this one is today’s and comes from Dr. David Jeremiah. Some years ago I began listening to his radio show in the mornings as I was on the road. I could not wait for the next day to hear his message. Though this one is not by him, I think it has a great lesson.

To note:  I have temporarily dropped out of the blogging world as I regroup and attempt to find my footing. I spent a year growing in God through adversity. While I have more peace now, I am not complete and have more growing to do, but don’t we all? 🙂  I hope to be back to blogging soon. I really miss it…the reading of people’s blogs, sharing of thoughts, and connecting with people.

Have a great day and … HAPPY GARDENING!  –  Amy

Wednesday, February 20The Unusual Path to Maturity

It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.Psalm 119:71

Recommended Reading — 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

A man who heard someone refer to a “pair of docks” had to be corrected — the discussion was not about two identical places to tie up boats. But a paradox does involve two ideas that seem to be contradictory when contained in the same sentence. And the Bible is filled with them: We receive by giving, we become great by becoming small, we live by dying, and more.
One particularly unsettling paradox is that we learn more from adversity than from prosperity. A person who wants to grow deep and wise in spiritual things puts himself in the position of welcoming trouble into his life. The contradiction is that prosperity provides peace and calm — surely we can focus on spiritual growth better in such an environment. But the essence of spiritual growth is growing in faith, learning to walk by faith instead of by sight. And we do that best when things are hard. If Jesus “learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8), it is likely that we will, too.

Don’t create or look for adversity. But when it comes, embrace it as an opportunity to deepen your walk with Christ.

There is a certain kind of maturity that can be attained only through the discipline of suffering.
— D. A. Carson

May your day be abundantly blessed in everything you do!   HAPPY GARDENING! 😀

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Each child is precious, important and valuable—a true treasure. Losing one is like ripping away physical parts of yourself and you would rather have the pain at times as opposed to living in the reality that they are gone. The question that haunts your mind more than anything is this… “Why?” I am speaking of death but specifically suicide. I have not lost a child in that manner but it has come close at times and with the empathy I feel, I know what it would be like though I don’t know the full effect.

 

We live in a society that is so fast paced that children today have problems keeping up with everything. A few weeks ago, a boy killed himself and some days later another one. This is right here—not in Augusta. Some in the school system want to re-evaluate the policy on suicide. It is almost like our schools will not acknowledge death of any sort but suicide…there is no preventative program or mental health encouragement. I have wanted change for a long time. A child is precious. The school superintendent doesn’t want to glorify suicide and believes the best defense is having the teachers report when children talk about suicide or threaten, but it has been my observation that the ones who need the quickest intervention are the ones who are silent.

 

Story… A few days ago, a man was on an overpass in Augusta threatening to jump and kill himself. People began making comments that he was worthless and he needed to jump and quit wasting people’s time. Over and over I read these comments. I am unsure if anyone in the area may have said the same to him but it messed up traffic for hours. These are adults that were saying these things. It is the attitude found all around and in the homes of children here.

 

I am sending a letter to the school system. Why? Because they or many of them at the top want to sweep another suicide under the rug and ignore it. Rather than feel that people are not valuable, not a treasure, why do we continue? If we cannot be the best of humanity, why are we trying to educate our children? And, what are we teaching them?

 

Good morning! It has been my experience that we’ve never been in a preventative mode for suicide as death of any sort was frowned on about being discussed. I understand what it means to glorify suicide but I also know that suicide can be preventable in many circumstances. HOWEVER, it takes a community, not just one school, not just a few people, to all come together and work for the good. And, that is the good for our students, each and every single one—not just a chosen few. This isn’t going to happen unless something changes because of the stigma with suicide and the way people so quickly denounce issues plaguing our students. These attitudes are widespread and do not begin in the school. They run rampant in homes and spread like wildfire on the internet. Look at the man who was threatening to jump from the bridge in Augusta. People were leaving comments for him to jump and quit wasting “our” time. Not just one or two…over and over without knowing anything about the situation.

 

We cannot take this attitude and another one is when it only matters to win at all things and not just sports. Everyone is affected and condemns others—creating a divide. This divide is what is wrong with a lot of our social issues. Bandaids only stop the bleeding for a time and often, it will not stop the gushing. Fixing the problem is what is needed and has been needed for so long. That tough guy image…hurts us all. We each need to step in the shoes of others and walk and quit criticizing everything and everyone.

 

Death is nothing to make fun of or take lightly. It is permanent whether it is suicide or something else. There are many other issues that are glorified in our schools—drugs for one, alcohol, and the really hurtful one, “I am better than you.” As long as we have an attitude that no one has the right to tell my child what he or she can or cannot do, things will remain the same. And, as long as parents and individuals will not get involved things will not improve. It takes more than just asking individuals to get involved—both have to work together. When students are treated unequal this will continue, too.

 

As for suicide…mental health professionals should be integrated into the school system and in some way each person who has contact with children should be trained. Many children who are vulnerable will not say things to their teachers or exhibit these big warning signs because they are the ones who are suffering inside—they do not want attention. They are the most at risk because there is silence. Then there are the ones who want attention—crave it—and need help. The attention seekers need help just as much but they are hurting the chances for those who are at risk under the present program of dealing with this issue. No one or group should take precedence. It is a tough fix.

 

Each child is special and should be treated as such. Every life should matter. Each person should count. When we dismiss others we are hurting all of us. It starts at home and should continue in school and that is the way we value others, the way they see things, no matter who they are. There are many problems. The guidance counselors in place are not the answer. They are not trained for this and I speak from personal experience as a parent who knows. The teachers while on the frontline cannot perform miracles. And, the attitude that each child is of great worth needs to come from the top. Too much time is spent bickering. Too much time…  Ask the parents who have lost children to suicide how much is “too much” because they do not have any more time.

 

I beg you to not only do something about suicide but about how we treat those who pass away. Just because someone dies doesn’t mean their life was not of value. We do a disservice to all when we ignore. I plead with you…

 

Solemn words for this Friday. Be blessed and Happy Gardening! 🙂

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To be humble to me is to act gracious and to even bow or become “lesser” or of less importance such as bowing before God. When someone does something for me or maybe says something that honors me I become so very humbled…I will bow my head, smile not just on my face but deep inside my heart and usually…I will tear up 😳 . My heart will feel as if it is in my throat and my breath becomes a little cumbersome. I have had quite a few of these moments the past few months and they happen more frequently as time goes along. These are not tears of sadness but of great appreciation, even tears of joy.

 

020413-1I have written about some of my humbling experiences such as when my neighbor lady who is handicapped came over to clean my yard…not little things but big things and this wasn’t helping but taking charge. This is such a testament to how people reach out to help others. Sometimes we do a great job and sometimes…we need improvement. I planned to write in detail about how I changed the way I see things in a humbling manner—how a lady years ago said very hurtful things about my mom who had become paralyzed due to a major stroke—saying how she hoped the stroke would humble my mother. This was my mom who was a very gracious person to start with so I was so shocked even to the point I could not ask what she meant. I gauge my humble attitude by this incident. I have not always done so, but I try. It brings me back to earth.

 

I did not understand how someone could say such but as the years passed, it appeared that she was the one who needed to know what it was to be humble as she left our church each time she could not get her way and is no longer there today. That is how it appears but we cannot judge others in this manner. I can no more say you need to be more humble than you can tell me the same. For me to do so means that I know your heart and how humble you are (or how loving, caring, etc.). I do not know and I do not have the authority to say anything.

 

So, to me…to be humble is to be filled with understanding (wisdom) and grace. To be humble is to act with self-LESS-ness. To be humble is to not to be selfish. I think of the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus preached—“Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” — Matthew 5:5 (KJV)   Being meek and being humble—meekness and humility…I think the two have a lot to do with the other 🙂 .

 

I bow to you. I get up to give you my seat. I give you my book with the pages marked. I make room at the table for you to sit. I offer to you before I take. I share with you. I thank you for all you do. I give expecting nothing in return…

 

Humility–graciousness–some people work a lifetime to achieve it and others are naturally humble. 🙂

 

May your day be blessed beyond measure and may your gardens grow with great bounty! Happy Gardening! 😀

Note:  I was going to post this last week after “Courage” but then did not…glad I didn’t because it was rewritten. 🙂  Take care and be blessed!

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