Spring is almost here. Amazing how quickly time passes. Valentines day is quickly approaching. It makes me wonder how we allowed all of our holidays to become so commercial. I love Valentines day candy and the stuffed animals and treats are pretty cute, but it’s a lot of hype for “showing love,” that shouldn’t be limited to one day of the year.
I like to keep my family all “loved up.” My kids know they are loved every day, not just one. We tell each other on a regular basis, show each other often and have fun just being together.
Valentines day is great and of course another day to enjoy sweet treats and pampering, but sharing love is something that never gets old.
Take a moment to show the people in your life you appreciate them, tell them, do something nice, and let them know they are loved.
Cherry Coley (c)
It is finally here, 2013, a new year holding unlimited promise for a bright future.
I can’t say that I was sad to see 2012 go away as it was a challenging, hard and often depressing year.
The holidays proved to be one of the hardest times I have ever lived through, the grief was hard to keep in check and some days I simply could not do it.
So on New Years Eve I made a promise to myself that I would again do the burning bowl ritual.
I wrote all my excuses, grievances, fears and regrets on pieces of paper and offered them up with much thought, a prayer and burned release at midnight.
One by one I let go of all that was holding me back, keeping me down and blinding my sight for the future. I am free. The ashes of what once was are gone, scattered in the wind. I am thankful. I am at peace where I am, with who I am and with my past. I am ready to move forward, to embrace the future whole heartedly.
What are your goals? Have you made New Years resolutions? Have you created a calendar, set deadlines to meet along the way?
This year I decided resolutions are not enough. This year I made commitments to myself instead. I will eat healthier. I will exercise regularly and take my health seriously. I will take more calculated risks. I will be involved in community and charity work. I will make a difference. I will take an active part in life and not just exist, but live, really live.
Whatever you resolved to do, or change this year, take a moment to reflect, to plan, to decide, to set goals, and celebrate when you reach those goals, find ways to hold yourself accountable, or find a partner so you can encourage and hold each other accountable along the way.
Life is more than just struggling to make ends meet. It’s more than going to work and coming home at the end of the day. Life is more than routines and schedules. Laugh, play, strive, struggle, encourage, have faith, love, and reach out to help others along the way. Live. Happy 2013, may this new year bring you more joy than you’ve ever known.
Cherry Coley (c)
“He who is not thankful for little, will not be thankful for a lot.” – Chinese Proverb
I am thankful for holidays and especially for Christmas. I am thankful Christmas symbolizes the birth of Christ, although according to Jewish calendars I think he was actually born around passover. Still the music is beautiful, the images are wonderful and the peaceful, quiet that comes in winter with the cold weather adds to a sense of peace.
I love everything about Christmas. The trees and beautiful decorations, the sparkling lights, the candles, the dishes, the spirit that comes to inhabit the homes of those that welcome Christmas. I’m not talking about the commercialism and greedy parts that Christmas has grown into, I’m speaking of the true love and caring spirit of Christmas.
What I really wish is that this spirit of Christmas would stay with us. Not the rush, the hurried and frantic parts, but the quiet peace that is Christmas that settles after everything is done, all the presents are unwrapped, everyone is fed and happy, and content. The quiet hush that comes after a day of excitement, sharing, celebrating and being with people that we love.
I used to love to watch my kids sleeping among their new stuffed animals at the end of the day, smiling and cuddling a new toy. We are blessed, truly blessed.
Today and every day we can capture a little of the spirit that is Christmas. It doesn’t have to be a holiday to show someone you care. It doesn’t have to be Christmas to contact loved one’s you don’t talk to that often. Kindness doesn’t have a season, thankfulness doesn’t have a limit.
In everything give thanks. Thank you, God for giving us another day, let us use it wisely.
Cherry Coley (c)
It’s Christmas time. Yesterday we had snow, just a light dusting, and it was beautiful. There is a chill in the wind today, it makes me want to stay home by the fire and drink hot cocoa.
I have been looking at Christmas decorations, but they don’t seem quiet as sparkly as they used too. I have been avoiding Christmas music for the most part. I simply cannot listen to much of the Christmas music yet.
I am trying, but the truth is I just don’t feel the Christmas spirit much this year. I try to remember last year, but all I can think of is that my days with my mom were running out and I didn’t know it. Instead she and I stayed up late talking on Dec. 11th. We were talking about how everything was going to be different without dad, and we should try to make new Christmas traditions.
We had a long conversation that night about past Christmas’, about new plans, about the Bible and our beliefs, about my kids and our family. Mom and I talked late into the night enjoying each others company. I missed her, I had not seen her in a week or two since Casey was working and using my car more.
Now, the song that best describes how I feel is “Where Are You Christmas?“ The answer is, I am not sure. I think Christmas is the same, the spirit is the same, it is me that has changed. I am still healing, still searching for answers that don’t exist and longing for conversations I will not get to finish until I see my mom and dad again someday.
This Christmas is a little better than last year, but it still hurts, aches. Yet I know that time, faith, and hope will eventually heal the hurts, though they won’t fill the gaping hole left in my heart where my parents once lived. I miss them.
If you’re parents are still here, take the time to go see them. If they need you, listen, and be there for them as they were for you. If you have family you haven’t talked to in awhile, here’s your chance, your excuse, break the ice, heal the rift and share the love while you still can. Christmas is about love and that is the greatest gift of all, don’t miss out on this free and wonderful gift.
Cherry Coley (c)
Today I am thankful for music. Music is a feast for the senses, especially with modern technology. It’s quite a treat to be able to turn on your favorite tunes at will, sing along if you want and feel the rhythm of the music.
Music is a language all by its self. Often when I am feeling blue I will turn on some music to either cheer me up from my blue mood, or some soft music to go with the mood. Music can be used to wake us up and get us moving, to entertain us while stuck in traffic, to keep us company while on a road trip, to remind us of events and people in our lives.
We have music to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and music for parties, and to celebrate just being able to get up and dance. We have soothing music to sleep by, and lullaby’s to sing to our children. We have love songs to say the things we feel when we can’t find the words, and sad songs for the same reason.
Music helps us to express ourselves when we don’t really know what to say. There have been times when I felt sad about circumstances in my life and listened to music because the words to the songs were describing exactly how I felt at the moment.
I can remember when I was very young, my dad singing me the anthems for the Navy, Air force, Army and Marines when I wasn’t feeling well and he was trying to cheer me up. He had a song book with the music to many songs from the old South and war times. He would go through the book picking out songs here and there and singing them to me while I lay beside him listening.
I remember hearing the chimes from the church bells ringing early on Sunday mornings. One of the most haunting sounds came from an Irishman that lived several blocks over in our neighborhood, he would play 2-3 songs on the bagpipes every now and then at sunset. My dad said his son died in the war and the man would play when he was missing him.
I am thankful for the variety of music that is available and the ease we have to find it now. I am thankful for the magnificent songwriters out there that put the music together, and then share their creation for others to enjoy. I am thankful for Steve Jobs who created the ability to “put a thousand songs in your pocket.”
I am not sure what a world without music would be like, but I don’t want to find out. Music is such an important part of life that the impact of losing it would be devastating.
Cherry Coley ©
If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been. ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
Mother’s day is a holiday that became official in 1914, and is not celebrated all over the world. Why not, being a mother should be celebrated and enjoyed.
My mom was an older mother. She wanted to be a mom all of her life, it was something she yearned for from the moment she got married. Yet, nature’s idea of “when” is not always the same as what we think it should be. She hated going to church on Mother’s day.
Each Mother’s day the church would make a huge deal of recognizing different mother’s including; the oldest mom, the mom with the most children, the newest mom, the mom with the most generations present, and the mother with the most grandchildren. They would ask them to come down to the front of the church and give out flowers, bibles, or pins.
My mom hated the entire ceremony, mostly because she sat in misery for years wishing and wanting children and wasn’t able to have any of her own. She threw herself into working in the nursery, vacation bible school, teaching, and everything else to do with children. Yet, there was a vacancy in her life. Finally, mom was able to have children and fill that space in her heart, but what about the many women that can’t?
I love Mother’s day. Yet, I have to say that my life has been filled with so many wonderful women that were mentors to me, many of which were not mothers. Instead they were teachers, choir directors, drivers, artists, writers, story tellers, bosses, and entrepreneurs.
Women generally are the nurtures, the tender touch, the comforters and gentle guides by nature, whether they are mothers or not. So be kind, not just to the mother’s tomorrow, but to the women in your life. We all play a part in each other’s lives each and every day, let us use this time as a reminder to appreciate and look for the best in each other.
Cherry Coley ©
It’s Easter time! Easter is one of the most significant times of the year for Christians. It is when Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice for mankind. God gave the ultimate sacrifice in allowing His son to take on all the guilt and shame of the world that was not his, so much that He could not look at His son, and had to sit silent and allow Him to be judged and die. Easter is the celebration of the resurrection and defeat of evil and death.
I know all that, grew up with it, wrote plays about it, sang songs, took part in feasts and revivals over the years. While Christmas is the birth of hope and joy, Easter is the birth of forgiveness and faith.
Easter is also about the Easter bunny. Oh sure, there is a debate, but really, should there be? I mean come on, it’s a bunny that hides eggs, is there really a contest? It’s just for fun people, live a little, have a scavenger hunt, play with your children you know they will only be young for a little while and childhood just doesn’t last long enough now days.
So why is this year different? Well, for most people it’s not, other than it is later in the year being in April instead of March. For me, it is different this year because this year, oddly enough, Easter falls on April 8th which is my mom’s birthday.
Though I try to get into the spirit of the season, I confess to having a hard time this year. It’s not that I don’t want too; it’s just a sort of hollow, bitter-sweet thing at the moment, yes, even though I know the wonderful promise that comes with Easter.
Still, the bluebonnets are beautiful this year and the kids have had lots of fun hunting eggs, the music is beautiful as always and the weather has been exceptional. Me? I will keep putting one foot in front of the other, feeling the sunshine and waiting for the warmth to be more than just skin deep. I have so very many things to be thankful for, and spring always brings new growth, beautiful flowers and birds raising their voices in song. Nature celebrates and renews in spring and so shall I. Here’s to a new start, a renewed spirit and a rebirth of hope and faith!
Cherry Coley ©
I occasionally work on the weekends doing demonstrations and handing out samples at Target. I started working this job for several reasons: extra money, meeting new people, expanding my horizons by doing something different, and my favorite thing – people watching.
My favorite part of this job? Sure, I like seeing the parents hand their children the little bunnies and watching their faces light up, but more than that I LOVE giving those little bunnies out to the older people.
There were three older women, probably in their mid to late 60′s that were just plain giddy when they were handed the bunnies. One of them laughed and clapped her hands before taking the bunny. Then they all started talking about Easters from their childhood, hunting eggs, going to church on Easter Sunday and the tricks they used to play on each other.
Yep, that’s what I enjoy, the interaction with people of all ages and just for a moment, getting a small glimpse into another life. It makes me want to gather a whole lot of eggs and Easter bunnies and head to the nursing homes or children’s ward of the hospitals to wish them a Happy Easter. How wonderful to have an opprotunity to share a smile with someone else for a moment. I know it really made my day.
Cherry Coley (c)
To be honest, Valentine’s Day has never been my favorite holiday. Charlie Brown and I share a lot of the same experiences, although, I think he beat me in not getting a single one. I was always a little mad at Snoopy for not giving him a Valentine; after all he DID feed the dog.
The more I talk to other people the more I’ve realized that this holiday doesn’t hold fond memories for many of us. Some of the places I’ve worked made a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, going so far as trading the little Valentine’s and pinning them up on your cubicle walls. It was (like in elementary school) a popularity contest. Those who didn’t receive a lot of Valentine’s felt left out or disappointed.
So this year, toss out the old thoughts about the holiday. This year take Valentine’s Day back and remember what it SHOULD be. Take this and make it not just one day, but the first day of the year to celebrate the love of life. It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you are, or who you’re with, take the time to celebrate those you love and care about in your world. That’s what it should be about. No more grieving over lost love, or longing for someone, just realize that you are here, you are still alive, you still matter and you can still make a difference. Do something fun and silly! The girls and I celebrate by getting valentine pj’s (goofy one’s) every year. Another idea is to take this time to pamper yourself.
So on Valentine’s Day get up and put a smile on your face, remember that this day is a great day to do something nice for someone else. Start a tradition of caring and sharing. If you do have that special someone in your life, you should show them each and every day what they mean to you, not just one day. A good attitude and kind behavior is contagious. What a great way to remember the day and you don’t even have to buy candy!
Cherry Coley (c)