Thoughts on Memorial Day

Decorated graves at Arlington National Cemetery    Photo: Arlington National Cemetery

Decorated graves at Arlington National Cemetery Photo: Arlington National Cemetery

I often think how blessed we are to live in the United States. The freedoms we have, the opportunities and the ability to do whatever we want. We are only hampered by our imagination and our drive.

People often confuse Memorial Day with Veteran’s Day, or treat them both the same. But it is important to note that Memorial Day was designated as a day to honor those that laid down their lives for our country and for our freedom. So, really, there should be no “happy” in Memorial Day, but instead it should be a day to contemplate the sacrifice that those men and women made when they gave their lives for us. And also to remember the families who are missing their loved ones on this day.

John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”

This is a powerful verse, but remember, these men and women laid down their lives for people they didn’t even know - for you and I!

This also brings to my mind what Christ did for us when he died on the cross. He laid down his life; made the ultimate sacrifice, so we would be forgiven of our signs. That is love.

So, we still have the Fourth of July and Veteran’s Day to celebrate. I think the least we can do on Memorial Day is pause to give thanks and remember all those that have died to protect our freedom.

Blessings,

Kim



My Thoughts on Valentine's Day

Photo taken at Jessica’s wedding 5 years ago.

Photo taken at Jessica’s wedding 5 years ago.

Valentine’s Day means gifts. When I was newly married I was often disappointed by Valentine’s Day. David never forgot it, but it just wasn’t a big deal. Today, I looked through all the photos of Valentine gifts shared on Facebook and Instagram and I am glad that there was no social media years ago!

David and I have been married 30 years this month, and as the years have past, I have come to realize that I have the best Valentine. A true Valentine is always being able to lay your head down at night and know where your partner is. Not having to worry about where he is, who he’s with or what he’s doing. That’s truly a gift.

A true Valentine provides for his family and meets his obligations, no matter how hard. A true Valentine dotes on his children and makes you fall in love with him all over again and again when you see him with them. Even when being hard on his children, you know it is done in love and out of a desire to make them good citizens.

At times during our marriage, David has certainly carried more than his fair share; like when my mother was dying and we had two small children at home. He picked up where needed and allowed me to spend every precious moment with my mother. This was repeated years later with my father.

So, this year I got the obligatory box of candy and a card, and let me say, I was thrilled. Thrilled that I have someone who thinks about me and thrilled that I have someone to give the yearly bag of peanut butter cups.

So, enjoy your gifts and flowers and dinners out. My hope for you is that 30 years from now you can feel the same way about someone.

That, ladies, is truly a Valentine

Blessings,

Kim

A January Day

The pond on Bullocks Road

The pond on Bullocks Road


“Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in everyday”

Last Saturday morning I came home from my sister’s house after having coffee and was looking for something to take photos of.  Usually, I can find something to take a photo of on Bullocks Road, but not this morning.  It was a dreary January day.  The fields were dull and brown, the trees bare of their leaves and even the pond just looked so plain. 

I found a small empty bird nest, which was just about how I felt. So, I snapped a photo of it and then I took a photo of a small girl statue in the yard.  Both were pretty depressing.  No color, no life. 

An empty bird nest

An empty bird nest

I went about my day, but it bothered me that I couldn’t find something beautiful that morning. 

On Sunday morning, however, the snow covered the ground and the world was transformed.  It was a beautiful winter wonderland.  I grabbed my camera and got a few beautiful photos, including the pond.  It struck me as funny that snow, of all things, would spark my photographers’ eye. 

I know most everyone hates the snow, except for me and teachers, but I love how it makes the world so pure and white in that little space of time before life begins to intrude.  The world is so quiet and still, then cars begin to go by, David plows the driveway and cleans the sidewalks, the dog runs around in the snow and suddenly all the magic is gone and its just snow. 

It’s hard to find something good in every day.  Some days we really must look hard, especially when things are just not going your way.  But even when it seems the world is against you remember how blessed you are.  If we remember to be thankful for all the things we have or that we are even able to get out and move around its easier to find something good. Not everyone was able to wake up this morning safe and warm and go on with their day as normal. 

Be thankful that there is a God and that he loves you. 

Looking back, I’m thankful for that dreary January Saturday otherwise, I might not have appreciated the snow day as much! 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Time ...

time.jpg

“Time marches on”

“Times flies”

“Time is money”

Time is my word for 2019. 

Since I just turned 60, I am more acutely aware of time. I have come to realize that I probably do not have enough time left to do all the things on my ever growing “Bucket List” 

However, instead of letting this get me down or make me sad, I am vowing to make the best use of the time I have.  In preparing for this post I read lots of quotes about not wasting time, keeping busy, etc. but I happen to think that there is something wonderful in a lazy afternoon nap or spending an hour scrolling through Facebook to keep up with my friends near and far.  Or how about an hour or more spent having coffee with your sister or a friend, I don’t feel like that is a waste of time.  Certainly, the time I spend with God is not wasted.

I’m thinking positive and trying to re-prioritize the things I want to do.  I want to get myself to a place where I can accomplish some of them. 

When I think about the things I really want to do, they boil down to about four. 

1.     Travel more – I have some specific places on my list

2.     Make a larger impact on my Church

3.     Make a difference in my friend Ernst’s life; helping him educate his children and improve his situation in Haiti

4.     Get my finances to a place where I can accomplish these things.  I guess really this should be number one, but just isn’t as much fun as the others.

My goal for the month of January is working toward increasing my income and decreasing my spending while paying off debt and setting up a spending plan for the rest of the year. I plan to meet with a financial planner to help me.

A favorite quote of mine is: “When you realize that you are in charge of your life and your time is limited, your choices become more important. You'll care more about what you say yes to and what you say no to.” 

I think this just about sums up my approach to 2019.  I talk to God constantly about my finances and my plans.  I know, I know, make all the plans you want, but God is in control.  That doesn’t mean He isn’t interested in my hopes and dreams.  I know He wants to hear my inner most thoughts and if what I plan to do is not in His plan, he will direct me where I need to be. 

What’s on your bucket list for 2019?  Did you choose a word for 2019?  Let me know.

 Blessings,

 

Kim

Here’s what 60 looks like!

Here’s what 60 looks like!

End of Year Review

Instead of New Year’s Resolutions how about a year-end review?  That’s right -- let’s not put ourselves in the position of setting unrealistic goals that we will not achieve and then become discouraged.  What’s wrong with us the way we are?  Of course, I’d love to lose weight and I will use the beginning of the year as a time to start that, but I’m not making a resolution about it.  I need to spend less money and pay off my credit cards, but I’m not going to resolve to do it.  I’m going to try to make more time in my life for God and in that time ask for guidance and the strength to do the things I need to do and make the choices I need to make. 

I follow author Tim Ferris ( https://tim.blog ) on social media and he suggests making a year-end Positive/Negative list. To do this take a notepad and make two columns.  Positive & Negative.  Then go through your calendar or review the year in your mind.  Think about the people, activities or commitments that you had last year.  Did those trigger any positive or negative emotions?

For positive things, book more of them for 2019.  Make plans with friends, schedule actives, plan trips, etc.  It’s not going to happen until you put it on the calendar.  Then take your negative list and make it a Not to Do List.  Keep this where you can see it often.  Do not put these things on the calendar.  If there are people that create negative emotions, or events that you are just doing as an obligation or out of guilt, don’t do them!  Now, I know you will have to do some things you don’t want to do, like go to a funeral or family obligation, but handle them as they come.  It’s important to schedule and plan those things that are uplifting and bring you joy. 

So, no New Year’s resolutions for me.  I’m going to take my positive list and go forward from there.  I’ll handle the negative things as they come, with prayer and patience. 

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Blessings,

Kim

New Beginnings ...

Women's Connection Photo 2.jpg

The first of the year is a perfect time for new beginnings.  This year for Christmas, my daughter Jessica gave me a new blog page set up.  This is something I have wanted to do for so long. I have started and stopped and started and stopped so many times.  But, this time, I am going to do it. The hard stuff has been done for me, now I just need to write the blog posts.

Those of you who know me know I have so much to say!  So, I am going to strive for a new post a minimum of once a week, but hopefully more often.  

My new blog swag!

My new blog swag!

The blog is womensconnection.net and I will post on the Women’s Connection Facebook page when there is a new post as well as on Instagram.  If you are interested, there is an option for an email when there is a new post.

I sincerely hope you will follow along with me on this new adventure!  

Blessings,

Kim

P.S.  I hope to use this as a way to grow the Women’s Connection Blog.  If you have comments or suggestions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Check out my title!

Check out my title!