There are mornings that things on the way to work just make me smile. For example, yesterday morning I passed by a pasture where a Shetland Pony was standing under the low-hanging branch of an apple tree, happily munching an apple that was within reach. He was stretching his little neck as far as he could to get it, taking the apple between his teeth right as I went by. I started to smile, thinking about how happy he must have been to crunch on the sweet, crisp fruit. The second thing that made me smile was passing by someone waiting at a bus stop. They were enthusiastically dancing to whatever song they could hear through their earbuds, obviously not caring that everyone who passed by was looking. I looked, and I smiled, and I felt a little bit of envy at their personal comfort level. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of us felt that at ease in our own skin? Sometimes the things that others do to express happiness in the moment they are in, can give happiness to those who observe, and possibly hope that a release of inhibitions can lead us to grab a piece of low hanging fruit off of a random tree (as long as it’s ours or we have permission) or dance to whatever tune makes us happy. Not sweating the opinions of others can bring us great joy and release us from chains that lock us in place, rather than giving our feet the freedom to move to the beat. What makes you smile as you start your day?
Verse of the Day
October 17, 2018
The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
Where does true deliverance come from? Only from God. Deliverance is found in God through deep reverential respect for his holiness and might, through living in covenant relationship with him, and through maintaining our focus on him. Any other roads to deliverance are false and ultimately prove themselves to be a snare. Like the tight rope walker whose eyes are not on the ground or the surroundings, but on the rope in front of him where he will walk, so too our eyes must be on the Lord. Only by looking to him will he lead us to safety.
Food for Thought
Yesterday was my first Boss’s Day with my new boss. I stopped and picked up a coffee for her – when I got one for myself – and a few flowers. She seemed to be pleased. The day turned around though, and rather than being about the boss, she made it better for me. You see, while doing all of that smiling on my way to work, I turned my head to look out the window and my neck gave a big pop – but not in the good way that I enjoy. A migraine started and by about 10:00 I was beginning to feel sick. She saw what was happening, brought me an ice pack for my neck, and bought me chicken Pho for lunch. She found some Advil for me, and generally made my day more pleasant. I commented that it was Boss’s Day, this day was supposed to be about her. Her response was that she was the boss, and since it was her day she got to decide what she was going to do, and she’d decided to make me feel better. Even in the middle of feeling miserable, I found myself smiling.
Information Overload Day – Mute your phone, don’t check your email every single time the pop-up box appears on your computer screen, and here’s a concept, pick up the phone if you need something done quickly. Today is Information Overload Awareness Day. Technology and Efficiency experts are urging people to take stock of how the always increasing flood of digital data is slowing down their personal and professional lives. Between emails, text messaging, social-networking sites like Facebook and good old-fashioned web-surfing, the amount of information at our fingertips each day can be overwhelming. It is both a blessing and a curse, because it is wonderful to be able to communicate to anyone, anywhere in the world in seconds, but it also keeps us plugged in 24/7 and that can be emotionally and mentally overwhelming. A good idea is to unplug when you get home. Turn off the phone and spend at least some time away from the computer and just let your mind relax.
Mulligan Day – So, what is a “mulligan”? The term is believed to have originated in the game of golf. In the context of golf, it means to re-take a shot that was hit poorly the first time, without a penalty. Over the years it has come to be used as simply being a “do-over”. The purpose of Mulligan Day is to encourage people to give others a second chance. Do you have anyone you know who might benefit from a second chance? Maybe you would consider giving them a mulligan! You never know, you may need one yourself someday.
National Fossil Day – This is a fun one, especially if you have a museum near you that has a display of fossils that is from your area! The National Park Service and the American Geosciences Institute are celebrating the 6th annual National Fossil Day, organized to promote awareness and stewardship of fossils, and to build a greater appreciation for their educational and scientific value for the public. Fossils in our national parks range from primitive algae found high in the mountains, to the remains of ice-age animals found in caves. Public lands give visitors the chance to observe fossils in the same place that the animals and plants lived millions of years ago. We have a little museum about an hour away from us that has these really amazing mammoth bones and other fossils that were found right in our area. It’s a dusty little place that doesn’t get many visitors, but I found it to be a really great place to go.
National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day – When my kids were little there was one day a year when I went to their school to eat lunch with them. It was the one time I insisted on taking the day off from work because it was important to them. Fortunately, MOST things, like the Science Fairs, plays, and open houses were in the evenings, but lunch with the kids obviously had to be during the day. I thought it was just something our local schools did, but apparently this is a National celebration that allows parents to go have lunch in the school cafeteria, with the goal being to learn more about what our kids are eating in school, and to open the lines of communication between the parents and the schools about what makes up a healthy lunch, and give parents a voice to that end. If your school doesn’t host an event like this, it may be a good time to contact your school officials, or maybe through the PTA, and get one set up. It really excites the children to be able to have their parents, grandparents or a family friend come and eat with them. It still gives you the chance to have lunch with your children, see the disgusting swill they are eating, and be encouraged to pack your child’s lunch for yourself at home! Most importantly, having you sit with them in the lunch room brings them such joy! The years I was able to attend with my children there were a few kids who didn’t have anyone come to eat with them. My heart just went out to them. I ended up being a surrogate “Mom” to them during those meals – warmed my heart to be able to do that. We shouldn’t let this opportunity pass us by just because we grow up! Switch it up and take your parents to lunch – bask in the ability to spend time with your folks while you have the chance. It will give you precious memories for the future.
Wear Something Gaudy Day – This is a fun one! Today is your day to wear something gaudy – to really stick out in a crowd! The word “gaudy” refers to something that is bright, cheap, showy or outlandish. This is one you can REALLY have fun with! For just the one day, ignore fashion and style and look for something to wear that is really wild and wacky, and will stick out wherever you go. If you don’t have anything like this in your wardrobe, maybe ask a friend! The most interesting thing about this one though, is who started it. Do you remember the 1970’s TV sitcom “Three’s Company”? Well, the guy who played Larry (actor by the name of Richard Kline), declared October 17th to be Wear Something Gaudy Day! I have to wonder what his motivation was behind it
This Day in History –
1931 – Mobster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Pasta Day – Mmmmmm . . . Pasta. Are there really that many people who DON’T like pasta in one form or another? From something as well-known as spaghetti and meatballs, to macaroni and cheese, pasta has been enjoyed by young and old for centuries. As a matter of fact, archaeologists have found evidence that noodles were first made in central Asia many thousands of years ago. Pasta comes in almost 400 different shapes, and many have more than one name. For example, wagon wheel pasta can also be called wheels, ruote, routine or ruote de carro. Some other interesting facts are: the average American eats 20 pounds of pasta each year; pasta is very affordable, costing an average of only $1.45 per pound; and Americans eat more pasta than any other country in the world, accounting for 24 percent of consumption globally.
As you head out for your day today, look for something to smile about. Really pay attention to the people and things you pass and find something that makes you smile. Come back and tell me about it! I really want to know what put a smile on your face and a happy feeling in your heart today. God bless you and I’ll see you (and hopefully hear from you) tomorrow!
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Celebration list sources: