A Favorite Holiday

One year ago I blogged about the “National Day of Encouragement” (you can read it here) that falls every year on September 12th, made official by President George W. Bush. I enjoyed it so much last year, I’m inviting you all to join me again in the fun of dishing out boatloads of encouragement, in words and/or actions, this coming September 12th.
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Truth … we all need to give, and receive, encouragement. We have the opportunity to be a “Barnabas” to someone. If you are not familiar with who Barnabas is, you can find out about him in Acts 4:36-37. Let me know in my “Comments” section what deeds of encouragement that you are planning, whether big or small. The “National Day of Encouragement” just might turn into one of your favorite holidays!

 

Life Is Like the Game of Golf

Do any of you out there play golf?

Maybe you do, or maybe some of you are more like me and make a valiant attempt to play the game.

On the flip side, my husband is passionate about chasing a small, dimpled ball around a lovely expanse of green turf. He’s quite good at it, too.

I’ve played (I use the term loosely) with him on occasion. Pictures like the ones below are reason enough for me to endure the humiliation of being a high scorer. (Sidenote: Having the highest score in golf is not a good thing!). But, these scenes make it all well worth it.

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Recently, my husband singlehandedly invented a fundraiser for our local golf course. He challenged himself to play 500 continuous holes of golf without leaving the course until he was finished. He collected pledges for holes played.

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I’m happy to say he achieved his goal in only five days, playing an average of 100 holes of golf per day! I’m whooped after only 9 … oh, the mental strain! Golf is a mental game, ya know.

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Aside from missing hot showers and sleeping in his own bed, he said the golfing was the easy part.  He had supportive friends playing with him from sunrise….

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…. to sunset.

Besides my husband’s goal of raising money for the local golf course, where our ties run deep, his biggest takeaway of the whole experience?

He summarized it like this: “Life is like the game of golf … when you get a double bogie on one hole, just pick up your clubs and keep going.” Kinda like life, eh? Keep swinging!!!

Love, grace and peace,

Willie

What Our World Needs Now

There’s a lot of hype before Valentine’s Day.
“Will he pop the question?”
“Does she like me as much as I like her?”
“Where should I take my significant other for a romantic date?”
“I wonder which she’d like better … chocolate-covered strawberries or red velvet cupcakes?”
Will you embarrass yourself and do the big-time Valentine Day fail, scaring her away by presenting a giant stuffed green frog with a fuzzy pink “Be Mine!” heart sewn to its chest?
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Perhaps you’ve done a Valentine no-no like I did one year when I wrote on my husband’s truck window with white shoe polish: “Wild Thing … You Make My Heart Sing!” (My husband has a fantastic sense of humor, but it just didn’t kick in the way I thought it would that time!)
Let me ask you, though … what happens after Valentine’s Day?
What if we keep loving every day, not just on Valentine’s Day?
What would the world look like? What would it look like for the people in your sphere of influence? What if we commit to do loving things, say loving things, write loving things, buy loving things on a consistent, daily basis … more than once a year?
I don’t think we can overdo it in the love department, do you? Love is what the world needs now … and everyone in our world needs love more than ever.
So, this isn’t a belated “Happy Valentine’s Day!” post. It’s Valentine’s Day every day.
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Love, grace and peace,
Willie

It Takes a Millennial

When I was a young mother to my son and daughter, I was very conscientious of their small eyes watching my actions. I thought I had to be a good example for them, so I tried to do the right thing. Sometimes I failed.

On some very bad mothering days, I failed miserably.

Then, my little boy and sweet daughter grew up.

I grew, too– into an older and wiser adult.

And now?

Now I know a few things. Wisdom is priceless. Getting older is not a bad thing at all when you learn some truths in the journey. One truth is this — sometimes it takes a millennial for us to see the light.

See this little card nested in my Christmas tree?

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My daughter made this card months ago, but its meaning is so significant to me that I keep it in my kitchen where I can see it several times a day. And what does the message mean to me now in the Christmas season?

We made an intentional effort to simplify Christmas this year. Thanks to a  very wise millennial, I think it’s going to be a very good season, and a very good new year.

Love, grace and peace,

Willie

 

 

Embracing Simple Living

“Love people and use things because the opposite never works.”
Joshua Fields Milburn, The Minimalists  

I write this post on the heels of Black Friday and the upcoming holiday season.

Although the season is supposed to conjure up warm, fuzzy feelings, spending time with family and partaking in all things Christmas, it’s a time of stress for more people than you’d think.

We all want that picture-perfect Christmas. The holiday parties, the presents under the tree, the homemade food at Christmas dinner. But those holiday parties, those presents, that Christmas dinner? They kind of stress you out. They stress me out too.

You’re suckered into buying a cheap Dirty Santa gift that the recipient likely won’t even use. You’re spending hours in the kitchen baking holiday treats rather than spending time with family and friends. Or you’re stressing out at the store, attempting to find the perfect gift for someone…

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Encouragement for September 12th

Guess what today is? I’m sooooooooooo excited! Do you want to get on board and spread some sunshine in the world today? Yes? Awesome!

Did you know that September 12th is National Encouragement Day? Since 2007, every September 12th is celebrated as a special day to pour some encouragement into the lives of the people with whom you come into contact on National Encouragement Day. This could be friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, the mailman, store clerks, the trash pick-up service (what would we do without them?!), the babysitter, your bus driver, the bank teller, YOUR DENTIST!!!! Yeah…..don’t you ever wonder what it’s like to see sour faced patients come into your office for their bi-annual cleaning?

Here are some simple things to get you started thinking about how to encourage someone today.

1.)   Take your neighbor some baked treats.

2.)   Call your spouse in the middle of the day and say something nice.

3.)   Tell your adult children how wonderful you think they are.

4.)   Write an encouraging note to someone.

5.)   Take someone to lunch.

6.)   Pay for someone’s coffee or meal in line behind you.

7. )  Mail a card to someone who you know needs a “lift”.

8. )  Compliment someone on the long ride up in the elevator…or at least say “hi”.

9.)   Buy the receptionist in your building her favorite candy.

10.)  Take some flowers to an elderly person.

11.)  Before you are tempted to say something snide, rude, negative or discouraging to anyone, whatever the situation…..bite your tongue!

There…..isn’t this fun?  BE ENCOURAGED! And by the way….keep rowing your boat….you’re doing great!!!! Don’t give up….I know you can do it!

Love, grace and peace,

Willie

Second, Comes Marriage!

Hi, y’all! Happy second day of September!

My very first post was about love and since that is such a delicious theme, I do believe I will carry on with that, if that’s okay with you. I suppose June is traditionally the month when weddings are on our minds.

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Around our house, however, things are shifting into the next gear because our son’s November wedding is only nine weeks away! I am one of those people who love weddings. ( I also am one of the few who love graduations and all those speeches and watching the graduates walk across the stage, but that’s a topic for another day…..).

This second day of September is the day my parents were married in 1951. Those were simpler times back then, but the love, faithfulness and commitment vows my parents made was the real stuff upon which a lasting marriage is based. Dad wore a nice suit and mama had a pretty sage green wool ensemble and they stood in front of the piano in the front room of my grandparents’ house to say their vows.

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My husband and I love both our parents and since both couples were married in September just five years apart, we likewise thought that would be a fine month in which to park our own wedding, hoping to emulate their example. Perhaps their good vibes did rub off on us, because September 4th will mark 35 years of married living for me and mine! WOW! A few of his finest qualities that first attracted me to him is his outgoing personality and that he is easygoing, fun to be around, hard-working, patient and forgiving.  In some ways, we still feel like we’re the 23 and 22-year-old couple we were wayyyyyyyyyyy back in 1983!

As hubby puts it, “Time flies when you’re having fun!” I agree.

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This is our newly married daughter and son-in-law recently having their own version of “time flies when you’re having fun”! They share their newlywed adventures over on her blog Tale of Two Thompsons.

Here’s to marriage and all the engaged couples saying “I do” in 2018! Who in your life can you celebrate today?

Love, grace and peace,

Willie