INSPIRE YOUR HEART WITH ART DAY

TL 1-31 INSPIRE YOUR HEART WITH ART DAY

I’ll bet if I were to ask each person individually what real art is, I’d get as many answers as there are individuals.  That’s the beauty of art – there are different types of art because there are so many types of people with varied tastes.

Today is INSPIRE YOUR HEART WITH ART DAY!!!

When I think of art for my heart, I imagine myself not in a gallery, theatre, cinema or music venue – but in my prayer closet.  You see, if I was to go to one of those other places, I could soak up the art and it would be pleasing to my mind for a short while – but that is short-lived and I am hungering and thirsting for more.

 Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.  – Søren Kierkegaard

If I seek the Lord in my prayer closet, it’s a wonderful conversation.  Unlike the shocking art you see more and more in our world, God’s love is soothing to the mind and heart.  I’m reassured of His love and it makes me feel secure to know He will not change, no matter how much me and my environment do.

EXERCISE FOR YOUR HEART

Life is short, and Art is long.  – Nathaniel Hawthorne, London, September 29, 1855,  Passages from the English Note-Books, 1870

We can’t be sure what we will experience from man, but we can be very sure of what we will experience with our Father in heaven.  He loves us so much and wants only the best for us.  I think the key to getting the most out of this day is being selective about the art – and the art form we choose.  I choose prayer because I cannot imagine that any other venue could possibly do my heart so much good.

The art that does my heart the most good is by Thomas Kinkade.  Mr. Kinkade died on April 6, 2012 under very sad circumstances.  I’m not his (or anyone else’s) judge, merely an admirer of his work.  His art and writings live on to encourage and inspire my heart and the hearts of many others.  My favorite painting is “The Bridge of Hope”.  It reminds me that I was on one side of the bridge with my family, but they have gone on to heaven and I’m still here.  I’m here on the other side of the bridge now without them, but I know God is by my side and He will give me just what I need, when I need it – to live a life pleasing to Him.  One day I will cross the bridge too. 

 

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INANE ANSWERING MESSAGE DAY

TL 1-30 INANE ANSWERING MESSAGE DAY

1-30 WHAT'S THE POINT

Inane means lacking sense, significance, or ideas; silly.  This is INANE ANSWERING MESSAGE DAY!!!

The answering machine is a device for answering telephones and recording callers’ messages. On a two-cassette answer phone, there is an outgoing cassette, which after a certain number of rings plays a pre-recorded message to the caller who rang the number. Once the message is complete, the outgoing cassette stops and the incoming cassette starts recording the caller’s message, and then stops when the caller hangs up.

We have a choice to make on this day.  I know, you hate choices before you’ve had coffee – so drink your coffee first and then make your decision.

Ready???  Ok…  (hey, that sounded like a cheerleader!)

You can either use this day to be more professional with your answering machine message – you know, try to not giggle or spew pop through your nose in the middle of it.  This would probably be a good idea if you are leaving a message on your phone at work – or if you are in the process of trying to find a job.  Jus’ sayin… 

If there is too much personal information on your message, like, “You guys KNOW I’m always out for my daily walk at 3pm every day.”  Yeah – well the world doesn’t really need to know that.  Make your message short, sweet and complete without a lot of double-talk.

Yes, I know I’m the queen of double-talk.  I reign proudly, thank you very much!

Under certain circumstances, your message should be as professional sounding as you can make it.

It’s so hard when I have to, and so easy when I want to.  – Annie Gottlier

But…  here is choice number two.

If you are out of the workforce and free as the breeze, not waiting for the phone call from a potential employer, you could make your answering machine short and sweet, but creative, funny and silly!

Let’s face it – answering machine messages are dull and boring.  Why not liven them up a bit today???  Although this annual “holiday” was created by Wellcat back in 2001 to encourage us to “change, shorten, replace or delete those ridiculous and/or annoying answering machine messages that waste the time of anyone who must listen to them”, I think making them more creative would do away with the “boring” factor.

You’re the only one who can assess your situation and decide if it’s time to starch and iron that answering machine message – polish it up – or loosen your collar a bit and make it a little more crazy.  The message doesn’t have to go on forever – it can be short and sweet and complete either way.

Here’s an idea…  you could call someone and leave a totally inane voice message for them!  That could be fun!

Today you may change that outgoing message on your machine – and make it a fancy tux or a purple polka-dot frock, or leave a lime green slime message on a friend’s answering machine.  Wink!  😉  It’s totally up to you.  🙂

 

 

 

CURMUDGEONS DAY

TL 1-29 CURMUDGEONS DAY

1-29 MAKE A CURMUDGEON LAUGH

In this day of high prices, high taxes, high debt worldwide and in our own country, it is such a temptation to have a bad attitude.  If one was given to such moods, cynical and sour, today would be the day to show it.  But that would be taking the easy way out.  We don’t do that here on the blog, do we?

Is it possible to celebrate CURMUDGEONS DAY without being grumpy yourself?  Well, of course you can.  I want to challenge you to make a curmudgeon laugh!  It may be the largest challenge you’ve received all month, but I have faith that you can do it.  I see you scratching your head and saying, “Linda, you must be crazy!  You want me to go out and FIND a grouchy curmudgeon and make him / her laugh?”  YES – that’s what I’m asking you to do!

This day is not like Hermit Day when we stay inside all day and do nothing.  There’s a great big world out there and it is, unfortunately, filled with curmudgeons who need to snap out of it!

A self-proclaimed curmudgeon, Charles Murray, wrote a book called “The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead” for young people just getting started in the workplace.  I would recommend it to every young person who wants to get ahead in the business world.  Mr. Murray said the book started out as a way to “vent” about the mannerisms of millennials (I understand completely). 

I enjoyed LIKE watching this LIKE presentation he gave and LIKE hope you like it too… LIKE.  I quite literally rolled out of my chair when I heard him describe vocabulary with the overuse of the word LIKE as a LIKE TIC.  LOL!!!

It is not a day to excuse bad behavior and become grumpy yourself – no, but nice try.  If you are a grouch, it is not something to be proud of, but a mood that needs to be overcome.  We won’t be celebrating grumpiness on the blog today, but we will be the ones who go about spreading sunshine and the love of Christ to those who are downcast for whatever reason.

Have you ever crossed paths with a curmudgeon who seemed determined to frown back at you no matter what?  Don’t be discouraged – just keep smiling.  Whether they want to admit it or not, your smile is probably the best thing they could possibly receive.  Don’t give up!

A smile confuses an approaching frown.  – Author Unknown

If you are not typically a negative person, you could play a little trick on your family.  You could purposefully act grouchy around your loved ones – but make sure when you’re finished they know you were just joking!

 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.  – Proverbs 17:22

Wouldn’t today be a great day to sit around the table with your family and make a list of blessings?  Appreciate your life and talk about why you really should not be grouchy and grumpy and difficult to live with.

If you belong to God, you are blessed and have no reason to be anything but happy and appreciative and smiling.  🙂

DATA PRIVACY DAY

TL 1-28 DATA PRIVACY DAY

1-28 PRIVACY PRACTICED

Today we observe DATA PRIVACY DAY!!!  In a world where nearly everything is accessible, it gets more and more difficult to keep anything private.  While some people can’t wait to spill everything they know via social media, some of us like to keep a few things to ourselves.

I was so thankful when HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was passed in 1996.  Even though you might think it’s silly for me to want my privacy protected when it comes to my health (after all, I blog about it every day), the point is, I want the info to come from me – not from someone who took a peek at my records.

Of course, Title I of HPAA protects health insurance coverage for workers and their families if they lose their job or change jobs.  Title II of HPAA is known as the Administrative Simplification (AS) provisions and requires national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers.

But back to privacy issues.  I enjoy a certain amount of protection where my privacy is concerned.  Bloggers like me have made no secret of health issues, religious preference or to a certain degree political preference.  I’ll reveal as much as I’m comfortable revealing about myself, but I believe in this high-tech world (where there are questionable characters sitting behind computer monitors), I do need to guard my heart.

 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.  – Proverbs 4:23

It’s unwise to tell everything you know.  At 53 years of age, I hope I’ve learned that lesson.  Sometimes I still put my foot in my mouth (my very large size 8 1/2 foot), but the instances of “hoof and mouth disease” seem to be fewer as I get older, I’m happy to report.

May God help all of us to use wisdom in our daily lives.  May He help us to say what we should and not say what does not need to be said.  May He help us to be still when we should and just listen.  May He guide us in directions that will please Him always, and may He always help us to guard our hearts. 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (17)

1-27 PRAYERS FOR MY FRIENDS IN THE EAST

When it seems as though we are brought to a halt, by an act of God or by circumstances in life, may we always remember that God is the architect, the Master of our lives.  He is the one who performs miracles, great and small, every day.  If we lean fully on Him, we will be brought through all situations and shine brightly on the other side.

The East Coast already looks like a snow globe thanks to winter storm Juno, but the worst is yet to come.  Thousands of flight cancellations and everyone is required to stay off the streets except emergency personnel.  It sounds so scary!  I just want you to know that little ol’ Linda in Kansas is praying for you.

 Lord and Master of all seasons,  I pray for everyone affected by winter storm Juno.  Protect them every one from the elements, for Father it sounds so very dangerous.  Protect the animals as well I pray.  May they instinctively find shelter from the brutal cold and strong winds.  May the sick have enough medicine and may the elderly have enough blankets and food.  Bless families everywhere with real moments during this time to have conversations where normally they wouldn’t.  Help them to make the best of this situation and reconnect as a family unit.  May everyone show genuine concern for everyone else during this time, and may we all be better people after the storm passes than we were before it came.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Major impacts from the storm are expected in the Big Apple.  I pray that everyone has shelter and all the animals have shelter.  They are calling this storm historical because it will leave some areas with up to 2 feet of snow in a very short time.  There will be blizzard conditions and winds are expected to gust up to 65 MPH so it is definitely deadly out there.  Please stay indoors. 

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you…. In spring, summer and fall people have sort of an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.  – Ruth Stout

I pray you have enough to sustain you and that you do not experience power outages or any other devastating conditions.  I read stories and saw photographs of empty shelves in grocery stores and very long lines at checkout counters.

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Empty shelves at grocery stores

So…  If nobody’s supposed to go out unless they are emergency personnel, how do all these TV people in N.Y. get to work to do their anchor jobs???  Huh…  huh???  Yeah – good question, right???  They had better not shut Fox News down – I mean – it would be like – well – like I have DISH or something!  LOL – I had to say it!

May you have everything you need to ride out the storm, and may God Himself see you through it.  ❤

 

 

 

BUBBLE WRAP APPRECIATION DAY

TL 1-26 BUBBLE WRAP APPRECIATION DAY

 

1-26 I CAN'T STOP SNAPPIN'

My husband hides his bubble wrap from me (for obvious reasons).   I can’t be around it – it’s just too much of a temptation.  Those little air bubbles must be popped, and I’m just too willing to be the one to do it!  Sometimes I pull it through my fingers and make it sound like a cap gun.  Often I just pop individual bubbles in a row across – starting at the top, working my way down (never from the bottom working my way up).  Am I the only one who is disappointed when I try to pop a bubble and it is under-inflated to begin with?  You don’t get that solid POP from it – barely a release of air – it’s a total waste of effort when that happens!  Oh come on – you know what I’m talkin’ about!

You think I should get a life, don’t you?

Oh card makers…  did you know there is a bubble wrap technique you can put on your handmade greeting cards?  Check this out:

Let’s see what else we can do with bubble wrap.  Hmm…  this looks interesting, and by interesting, I mean crazy.

Did you hear that guy when he got up – ???  He said he was a little dizzy – um…  really???  Can’t imagine WHY!!!  LOL!

We interrupt this popping good time for an important message:

Well – I know where to go to get my fix – yes – and it’s free!!!

Now back to the fun!

How do you snap bubble wrap???  Is there some psychological significance behind the way we choose to pop it???  I have a preferred size of air pocket.  I wonder what that means?  The clear bubble wrap is fine, but I really get excited when I find light green or bright pink.  I see those around Christmas time.

Am I thinking too deeply???  YES!!!  I think the fact that I’m addicted to this stuff is reason enough to seek professional help.  Did I write that out loud?  Hmm…

Not long ago I received a gift from a friend through the mail.  It was one of those brown envelopes lined with bubble wrap!  I don’t know which I enjoyed more, the bubble wrap envelope or what was inside!  It felt as though I received two gifts!  That envelope kept me entertained for a long time!  I get so excited when I get my own personal bubble wrap since my husband won’t share his with me.  :-/

Although the average diameter of the bubble is 1 cm, the bubbles can be from 6 mm (1/4″) to 26 mm (1″) or more, to provide added levels of shock absorption during transit.

Did you know that the Torninova Corporation in Italy makes bubble wrap that has heart-shaped bubbles?  Wouldn’t that be a sweet treat for your favorite sweetheart / friend / bubble wrap popper???  You know, some of us are not supposed to indulge in chocolate.  LOL!!!  Heart-shaped bubble wrap – oh, how romantic!!! 

 

 

 

 

 

A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN DAY

TL 1-25 A ROOM OF ONE'S OWN DAY

1-25 ROOM TO BUD AND GROW

Today we celebrate the extended essay by Virginia Woolf entitled “A Room of One’s Own”, based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women’s colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928.  It is considered non-fiction and a feminist publication since it advocates space, both literal and figural, for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.  – Ecclesiastes 9:10

I’m sure we all agree that women have made their literary mark since the late 1920’s, early 1930’s.  We’ve come a long way, baby (and I’m not selling cigarettes either).  Even the toughest writing gig of all, journalism, has seen women break in and break through to the top.  I admire women like Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer and Connie Chung because when they started it was still a man’s world and they had to work so much harder to get anywhere.  They were and are such intelligent and savvy women.

When I was taking journalism courses, I remember reading articles about all 3 of these women, and wishing that I too could poke a hole in the ceiling one day.  I read all of the interviews they gave and did a lot of daydreaming about how I would be the next woman who knew the pulse of America and would eagerly show up to report about the condition of the patient.

I guess life happened and my priorities shifted.  I got married and…  well…  my dreams became a little more attainable and I took the easy way out.  But I still had a desire to write.  It’s a gnawing feeling that won’t leave me alone no matter what.  Every article I read I’d say to myself, “I could have written that better.”  Every interview I listened to, I’d say, “I would have asked this question” – or, “I would not have asked that question.”

I’m sure “Judith” would have had a very rough go of it to become everything that William became – back then.  As I say, in our time, you have to be smart and keep your wits about you, but it’s not the lack of opportunity to learn that would hold her back.  It would be her own limiting thoughts – and perhaps the fact that she keeps comparing her own talents to that of William.  She needs to focus on being the best writer she can be!

While thumbing through a magazine one afternoon at work, I spotted an advertisement that said, “Write Children’s Books”.  I tore it out and kept it in my desk for a long time.  Once in a while I’d take it out and look at it, but it took many months before I did anything about it.  I thought and prayed about what to do.  Finally one day I mailed in the application.

Within about a week I received my first assignment.  As I completed each step, something inside me was beginning to spark.  I don’t think I had enjoyed learning so much in my life.  For the first time in my life, I was learning and enjoying every minute of it.  My corrected assignments came back to me.  I made minor mistakes, but those are the ones I learned from and carried with me to the next level.

When I read the name of this special day, my mind went back to the time when I had all the time and all the space I needed to write.  I worked first shift and my husband worked third, so I had plenty of time to write.  My dad made me a special area where I could have a typewriter (no technology back then) and keep my journals and poetry within reach, as well as the class assignment I was working on.

Have you ever wondered why writers choose the subjects they do?  I wonder why Stephen King writes some of the creepy stuff he writes.  Here’s my answer:

You know, sometimes people say to me, “Why do you choose to write that creepy stuff?”  And I usually say, “What makes you think I have a choice?”  – Stephen King

Serious writers need a lot of time to write.  We need time alone to think, and we need our own space.  Today I keep everything on my laptop, but I still have the same needs I had back in the 1980’s.  Time to write and a room of my own – or at least a little nook.  Wink!  😉