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How We Feel is up to Us, Choose JOY


We finished our week at church as we do most weeks.  Our pastor asked us how our week was and I really had to think about how to describe it.  

We had a week with a lot of mixed emotions.  Our week was:  my dad had minor surgery, our grandson is healing from an ear infection with an allergic reaction to his antibiotics, we learned of the death of one of my dad’s friends, a cousin announced she was expecting, Doug spent Saturday fishing with our son for a stag,  our daughter threw a surprise baby shower for a friend, the daughter of friends of ours passed away and she was only 21, we learned of a new baby born to another friend who had a tough pregnancy, and that was just the large emotional events.  As I was recalling all of these events, our pastor continued to explain that regardless of what happened, how we felt was up to us and we should choose JOY.

Oh, my that was very powerful for me.  There were moments of sheer joy this week and then moments of sheer pain.  I had moments of so much anxiety and then such relief.  But in the end, with so many different feelings, I was left just whirling.  So I decided that I was going to choose my emotions for this coming week before anything happened and see how I responded.

I have always been a firm believer that you can choose whether you will have a good time at something or not.  When my kids used to groan about going to something or doing something that they didn’t want to do, I would tell them that they were going to have a good time if they chose to.  If you enter an event with the attitude that you will have a lousy time, then you will get just what you expected.  If you want to have a good time, you will find the joy in that event and you will have a good time.

It comes down to how you choose to look at things.  Are you that glass half empty kind of person or a glass half empty kind of person?  I really think that there is another kind of person.  The kind of person that sees that there isn’t a top on the glass and so you can fill it or empty it, if you want, you get to choose.

I am not going to sit here and tell you that it is really just that simple because it is not always that simple.  But, we don’t always have weeks with such turmoil.  Most of us have such bland weeks that they tend to blend into each other and all of a sudden an entire season has passed and it was just a blur.  So if we actually are having a time where there is nothing spectacular going on, then choose Joy.  Make your time filled with joy.  It may take a little practice like anything else, but it will always be worth it.

I have always played ball.  I started as a girl of twelve and over the years have played slow pitch, fast pitch, orthodox pitch, on teams that were really stressful because the win was the only thing that mattered and teams where the drunker the players were, the better they played.  I have played in rec leagues and church leagues. I have played with people the same age as my kids, with my kids, with people a lot older than me, with people I had never met, and people that my friends were on the other team.  This week I played with some people that had been playing together for four years and I learned how truly patient I needed to be.  They had in all that time never actually won a game.  Oh boy.  But, all I wanted to do was play.  Just play.  So I did.  There were so many errors that I couldn’t even count, but these were the most fun people to be around.  

  • I chose Joy.  
  • Hooray, it was not raining.  
  • Hooray, I got to play again.  
  • Hooray, the other team was all young enough to be my kids, and we still played.  
  • Hooray, we actually scored against them.  
  • Hooray, I actually hit well.  
  • Hooray, nobody got hurt.  
  • JOY.  

You can find it in anything if you look.

So this week, focus on Joy.  It may take a little work.  Some of us are going through some really tough stuff.  But, Joy can be found in even the smallest detail.  Remember that your mind can’t tell the difference between a fake smile and a real one, so just smile and you may feel the Joy that you want.

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. – Nhat Hanh


10 Trendy Foods That Can Help with Weight Loss


One of the biggest things about choosing a healthier lifestyle and in particular a healthier diet is to enjoy what you eat when you are choosing healthy food.

 Most people assume that to eat healthy, you eat really boring.  This list of food is the farthest thing from boring.  I am not a huge fan of following the trends, but I am a fan of doing some research and trying different things.  Some of these foods are going to be way out there on the different scale, but try them.  Trying something different helps to keep boring away from your meals.

Try one, two, or more of these foods and let us know what you think.  


How Old Are You, Really?


I have had this question in my ideas folder for a long time.  Doug and I had a weekend away last summer and while walking along a lazy river we passed a couple going the other way and this was the question we heard them say.  If you didn’t know how you were, how old do you think you would be.  

This has been sitting a long time because I have had several blogs written, in my mind, but none of them were even close to how deep this question could potentially be.  We seem to think that the years that we have spent on earth is our actual age.  When you think of celebrities and athletes, their chronological age seems to be something that society has decided that we want to know.  As if knowing how many years that they have been alive actually matters to the things that they have achieved.  Stop and think about it, when the news, entertainment reporters, even friends and family all put an age with an achievement.  I am not sure why this matters but it just seems to.  Well at least to ‘those’ people.  

So, I asked myself that very question.  How old am I?  Not how many years I have been on this planet?  Not how many birthdays I have had. But, how old am I?  I know people that I have no idea how old they are.  I have a guess, but I really don’t know.  Part of that is that they don’t behave the way a person of “that” age should behave.  Part of that is that they seem to look ageless.  Part of that is that their appearance and their attitude don’t match.  You know who I mean.  Sometimes a full grown man is acting like he’s a teenager.  Sometimes, though, it is someone who seems to act like they are already preparing for a senior’s home and you know they are at least 30 years away from considering that.

I had an uncle that nobody really knew how old he was until he passed away and everyone asked how old he was.  His age was a mystery because he was always on the go.  He always had so much energy and he rarely complained about physical ailments.  Sure, sometimes he was a grumpy old man, but as he would tell you “ at this age I can do what I want” and you just couldn’t argue with him.  But we never really knew what ‘that’ age was.

There is a lesson there.  Does it really matter what our chronological age is?  If you are 17 and killing it in the pursuit of your dream, good for you.  If you are being downsized from the place you have worked for years, is it really too late to start over?  If you want to try something new, who cares how old you are?  If you feel young at heart and full of energy, should somebody else tell you what to do and when to do it?  

As I think about this question I think there are some basic questions to ask yourself.

  • How old does my body feel?
  • Do I have energy? How much?
  • How excited am I for each day?
  • Am I still eager to learn?
  • Do I still yearn to try new things?
  • Am I happy?
  • How often do I laugh?
  • When was the last time I laughed?
  • When was the last time somebody asked my age?
  • How old are the people I like to spend time with?
  • How old are the people I actually spend time with?
  • At what age did I feel my best?
  • Does my age actually matter?

Whether you are 50 or 15 does it really matter if you are still pursuing your dreams?

 Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning.

Ecclesiastes 4:13New International Version (NIV)

Is Organic Beer Really a Thing?


Beer is not one of my favorite topics.  Over the years, I have tried to like beer.  

My husband Doug, likes beer.  When we first started dating he had a hard time because I did not drink beer, scotch or coffee.  Over the years, I have learned to drink coffee and I love it, but the others, not a chance.  Having said that, in Vancouver, craft breweries or micro-brews have become a huge growth industry.  I understand the appeal, they are made in small batches, can be changed frequently and can be customized.

We have several in our area and although I don’t drink it, their atmosphere is fun.  But the idea of organic on top of local, seems like a great idea.  I have a feeling that although this article was published not long ago, it will soon need to be updated as these breweries grow in numbers.

So, raise a pint, and enjoy.