Who you are today has generational impact~

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Over the weekend we had the joy and privilege of celebrating my parents 60th Wedding Anniversary.  What a meaningful time.  There were tears, laughter, dancing, and lots of love expressed as the evening went on. One of our guests pointed out a very obvious fact; if my parents had not met and married 24 of us would not be here today!  Think about that; all of our lives stem from their love!!

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As four generations gathered together it was clear to see the impact my parents have had on all our lives; their rich committment and love for Christ and one another has produced a family built on those same commitments.  Their willingness to work hard in the trenches to build and maintain a loving marriage was not easy and yet they forged ahead through good times and bad. The marriages of their daughters and grandchildren are built on those same commitments; we all plan to celebrate our 60th wedding anniversaries~ Lord willing. 🙂

Here’s a truth for us all~ the choices we make today impact the next generation. Whether you are married or not, have even experienced divorce, we can make a committment today to live a life of legacy.  Our choices, words, commitments, and behaviours will trickle down into the generation that will follow us.  Whether we are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling, or friend~ our choices today will have lasting impact.

“No matter who we are, where we live, or what our goals may be, we all have one thing in common: a heritage. That is, a social, emotional and spiritual legacy passed on from parent to child. Every one of us is passed a heritage, lives out a heritage, and gives a heritage to our family. It’s not an option. Parents always pass to their children a legacy … good, bad or some of both.”  by J. Otis Ledbetter, Kurt Bruner

It was a proud weekend for us as we all gathered in a circle to pray a prayer of thankfulness for our heritage~ and now the responsibility is on our generation to carry the legacy we’ve been richly given on to our children and grandchildren.

“The choices we make about the lives we live determine the kinds of legacies we leave.”Travis Smiley

 

 

An Apple A Day~

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“An Apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a famous old saying but rings true! Keeping proper nutrition is essential to having a healthy life. It’s not about non-fat this or low-carb that~ it’s simply about giving your body all of the nutrients it needs and eating in mindful moderation. It’s so valuable to incorporate dark leafy greens, vegetables, fiber and protein into your daily diet! Eliminating processed foods and drinking lots of water, fresh juices, and teas  ( yes, coffee is acceptable!!) will be incredible beneficial in your goal of being healthy and vital.

There are some simple tricks to use in helping to make good health choices.  Total deprivation from yummy deserts or snacks simply isn’t a sustainable way of life.  Moderation, however, is sustainable.  Instead of a whole brownie…slowly enjoy a fourth of one.  Some say a little dark chocolate can be good for us! 🙂 Roasting over frying foods is a great “better” choice.

A challenge many of us experience is not preparing at the start of our week for success.  Taking a bit of the weekend to shop well, cut vegetables, grill chicken, and create a quality menu for yourself and your family, will make all the difference in your healthy success.  We’ve heard it so many times: “If fail to plan, you plan to fail!”

Spring is upon us and outdoor activities will abound in the months ahead; give yourself the gift of healthy eating.

Simplify:   don’t be overly concerned with calorie counting, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness.  Incorporate a few new items monthly and experiment with new recipes.

Start slow and allow for changes over time:  Trying to change your entire diet overnight isn’t realistic. You don’t want to think of a healthy lifestyle in terms of “being on a diet”.  Simply begin to make changes that make sense:  good salad vs. a bag of potato chips, use Olive oil over butter, have fruit for dessert rather than a bowl of Ice cream.  Once you incorporate this simple changes to your food routine you will find that it will become a healthy lifestyle.

Remember,  Every change you make to improve your diet matters: You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods your enjoy to have a healthy diet.  The long-term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of illness and disease.  Don’t let one misstep derail you~~every healthy food choice you make is a win!!

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Can I really make a difference?

“The Purpose of life is not ultimately to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make a difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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It’s a new year, full of new opportunities, choices, and chances to use our lives in a meaningful way. There is never a perfect moment to begin to make a difference in the world and it’s important to understand that all our “little efforts” each day truly count.

However, if you, like me, want to use this year to be more intentional in your efforts there are a few things we all need to understand:

1.  No contribution is ever too small.  The quote ” Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something”  really sums this up.  If everyone found small ways everyday to assist, encourage, mentor, or physically help others daily, imagine the impact of those combined efforts!!

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2. Help with a Hand-up rather than a Hand-out.  Benjamin Disraeli says ” The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.”  This lines up with the idea that if you “give a man a fish; you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime!”.

Empowering another to develop skills, find their talents, or providing resources for someone to soar in a new venture…….. these can make a huge “lasting” difference.  My mother is a fantastic artist with a huge heart. For years she has taught students, very young to wonderfully mature, and has drawn amazing talent and self-esteem out of them. I firmly believe that what she has willingly poured into their lives has impacted the confidence they have in their lives today!

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3. We can put our money to great use!  There are so many fantastic organizations that can take our contributions and use them for “amazing” good:  Kiva.org, Samaritans Purse, polarisproject.org, World Relief,and Compassion International are just a few…..there are so many more. Locally, the FAN program in your city reaches out to help children and families who are homeless and facing painful challenges.  Do some research and find an organization that lines up with the passions in your heart then begin to contribute!! Get involved!

Start doing whatever is within your ability today. Every effort counts, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to you! Just do something, and do something good!

A meaningful quote from Ghandi says this:”It’s the action, not the fruit of the action that’s important.  You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there will be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing.You may never know what results can come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”

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“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving”  Mother Theresa  Enough said.  🙂