Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mother's Wisdom

“Live simply so others may simply live.”
(Mother Teresa)

Her words speak volumes. Her wisdom challenges one to change, to grow, to develop, to spiritually love—beyond what is normal.



“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
(Mother Teresa)

She once said, “if I had to start all over again, I would do the same thing.”

How many of us can say those same words?

By her actions she showed the world how it is possible to bring peace and love in the lowest of places. She asked us point blank to bring the same peace and love into our lives and spaces.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
(Mother Teresa)


I didn’t set out to change the world, but Blogging for a Better Life has changed me.

It has changed me in ways that I didn’t realize I needed to be changed. It has brought me closer to God—which is primarily one of the changes I so needed in my life.

For the past four years I’ve opened up my heart and poured out its contents for all to view. I’ve shared my joys, my tribulations, my high hopes, my melancholy, my humor, my regrets, my questions, my fears, but mostly I’ve shared my faith.

I got way more than I ever gave. I’ve gained more meaningful relationships, deeper love and a whole lot of lifelong friendships. I’ve come to the conclusion that it really is a small world and we are within reach.

Because of the accessibility of the World Wide Web, I can say thanks to readers as far away, (but not limited to) Norway, China, Germany, France, (and Latvia—wherever you are located!!!!!!!!!).

Thanks to all you readers! Thanks for supporting me, encouraging me, urging me, promoting my messages, for letting me know my thoughts and feelings often coincide with your own.

It has truly been a blessing to share what started out as nothing more than a whim hanging on by a prayer.

Blogging for a Better Life has existed because of the support from so many—I wish I could name all of you!

Thanks again for reading my blog posts . . . you are in my prayers as I leave Blogging for a Better Life to start a sabbatical.

I can’t come up with any decent words on my own to say goodbye, so I choose to leave you with these wise words from Mother Teresa.

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

Godspeed.
Sincerely,
Rose O'Donnell
Blogging for a Better Life!


(Thank you Cullen O’Donnell for the unlimited use of your beautiful photographs!!!!!!)




Sunday, March 27, 2016

A God Promise

“I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to Me, for I have paid the price to set you free.” (Isaiah 44:22) 


  
Wishing you a Blessed Easter.






Photo credit courtesy of Cullen O'Donnell

Monday, March 21, 2016

When

Lately there seems to be a lot of moments in my life when something of great significance happens when I’m least expecting it.

Like at lunch the other day, I sat and stared at a picture of a tempting shamrock shake that I couldn’t have because I gave up ice cream for Lent. I thought about telling myself shakes and ice cream are two different things, but I knew if I actually ordered one I’d regret it.

I’d beat myself up for being so weak; I’d be disappointed by my insufficiency of self-sacrifice.

Still, I really wanted that shake, and to make matters worse, I read in small print, “offered for a limited time only.” I know that most likely these shamrock shakes will not be available after Easter, which made me reconsider for a minute if ice cream and shakes really are the same in one. 

I touched the cross necklace I was wearing and remembered what it represented. I thought of Jesus, hanging on a cross, offering His life for ours, so that we could have eternal life. I looked at the small print that read, “limited time only” and I no longer desired the shake as I thought about eternal life with Christ.

I began to remember other significant things that Jesus has done. It made me think of the saying “when misery meets mercy.”

How many times had I’d been given a second chance when clearly I didn’t deserve one? How many times did Jesus pick me up off the floor where I felt I belonged, embarrassed and ashamed? How many different times did I start to sink and feel the arms of Jesus pulling me up, saving me, bestowing mercy upon me?

God’s mercy is bigger than any mistake, any error, any sin, anything that we possibly are holding onto to by thinking we don’t deserve mercy.

It happens when we least expect it.

Misery meets mercy.








Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day

“A good friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have.”
 Irish Proverb

True.

I’m lucky to have good friends and yes they were hard to find. I know how precious they are to me and like a fragile four leaf clover, I keep them is the safest of places. My heart.

A good friend knows you better than you know yourself.

A good friend knows when you need a boost and gives you one on the spot.

A good friend knows when to step away and when to step in. True friendship is often a juggling act of give and take. It changes and remains constant—both at the same time. How? I suppose it has to with the dynamics of earned trust, forgiveness, fellowship, and love.

To have friends you can trust, means to have friends you can rely on. We all need to have someone we can count on and believe in; someone we can go to without worrying about our vulnerabilities being exposed.

A good friend is something I never want to lose. I know from experience how hard they are to find.

I think it is best to keep them in your heart . . . you know . . . so they’ll always will be safe and sound.

good friends are like stars,
you don't always see them,
but you know they're always there!
(an old saying)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!










Monday, March 7, 2016

As the World Turns

So, as the world turns and twists we get tossed troubles and heartache. No we can't toss them back. What we can do is reflect and find comfort in these words taken from the Gospel of John.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 
(John 16:33)
Words Jesus spoke. 

Pain, suffering, misfortunate, struggles, tribulations, more pain, constant battles, misery, burdens—these are some of the types of troubles we should expect as we journey out our lives in this world. And, if this is all we come up against we should consider ourselves lucky. There are worst troubles—no doubt.

But take heart! To take heart means to feel more hopeful. To become confident and courageous. To receive comfort from some fact—in this case the fact is that Jesus has overcome the world!

Jesus is bigger than any problem we may face. Jesus is stronger than any struggle we possibly could come up against.  

Do you believe in His triumph?



“Now, there are many other things that Jesus did. If they were all written down one by one, I suppose that the whole world could not hold the books that would be written.” 
(John 21:25)












What's not to believe?















Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Frozen

Considering how much ice cream I consume, I’m totally perplexed at how I still manage to get ice cream headaches.

Will I never learn?

Why is it so hard for me to comprehend that if I were to slow down and savor my cold treat then I would not be so susceptible to constant brain freezes.

It is so simple yet so hard. 

Reminds me how very similar to another type of brain freeze we know how to cure, but more often than not we allow ourselves to become victims. We forget about God’s all abiding love thus allowing ourselves to become frozen in fear.

Fear of the unknown.

Fear of the known.

Fear of the past.

Fear of the present.

And, fear of the future.

Raw fear—gnawing away at our faith, little by little.

Isaiah 41:10 reads “ . . . fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isn’t it about time we learned to let go of that which causes us to remain frozen in fear?

Have you had enough?


 God says, “Fear not.”


(Photo Credit Courtesy of Cullen O'Donnell)