At least once…

At least once.

As the sun sets,
and this one day ends…

can I look back and say
that at least once…

I was kind to someone,
I let someone be kind to me.

I was strong,
I was gentle.

I smiled and laughed,
I made someone smile and laugh.

I knew when to talk,
I knew when to listen.

I learned something,
I taught something.

I did something for someone,
I did something for me.

I told someone “I love you.”

I remembered to love myself.

As the sun sets,
and this one day ends.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

The Right Path

Backyard Path - Mars, PA August 2017

Backyard Path – Mars, PA August 2017

The Right Path.

If it was done with kindness,
It it was filled with love,
If it took humility and courage,
If it made you laugh,
If it made you jump out of bed in the morning,
If it brought tears of joy to your eyes,
If it caused a lump in your throat,
If it made you sweat,
If it required sacrifice…

You are likely on the right path.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

On Hospitality

Pineapple Watercolor 11x16 Artistico Fabriano 140lb

Pineapple Watercolor 11×16 Artistico Fabriano 140lb

On Hospitality…

“True Hospitality
is when people leave
feeling better about
themselves –
not better about
you.”
– – Shauna Niequist

My hope is that all who enter my home leave feeling better about themselves.
Better because they felt welcomed….. loved…….. and comfortable.
Better because their bellies were filled with yummy food.
Better because we shared good wine or good coffee.
Better because we laughed.
Better because we could be our authentic selves.
Better because we shared and created memories.
Better because they know they are always welcomed back.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Watercolor Pineapple – a sign of hospitality – using Daniel Smith Cadmium Yellow, Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Umber, Olive Green, Perylene Green on 11×16 Artistico Fabriano 140lb Cold Press.

 

It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts

I received one of the most precious gifts yesterday from my BFF, Jill…. this darling little clutch purse for the wedding.

What is so special about it is what is on the inside.

From the outside, it is absolutely gorgeous!

But when I opened it up, I burst into tears.

The lining is made from a photo of hubby and me with our soon-to-be-groom son (taken at our oldest son’s wedding from 3 1/2 years ago!)

Isn’t this such a beautiful gift?  What a wonderful idea for brides, bridesmaids, mothers of brides and grooms!  Such a unique and personal gift.  Jill ordered it from AngeeW’s ETSY shop.

And clever, beautiful, kind Jill, wrote this beautiful note.

I don’t know how I hit the lottery on most amazing BFF and friends, but I am so grateful!  And what a wonderful reminder to all of us that it IS indeed what’s on the  inside that counts.

Especially as we grow older and all the “lovely” saggy, wrinkly, things begin to happen we need not discuss, it is especially important to remember who we are on the inside.

No matter our age, gender, ethnicity, physical appearance – we all have the ability to exude a bright, loving aura.  Have you ever noticed how a person who is maybe just average looking but has a bright, positive, happy, loving disposition seems so much more beautiful?  And sometimes people who are especially physically attractive, but not kind people can become unattractive?

I love how Jill expresses it….  she sees a person’s “aura!”

Let’s make a focused effort this week (and always) to look for a person’s aura – and remember that it is what’s on the inside that counts.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Smile

smile-perylene-green-watercolor

Smile…

I know that this may sound cliche,
but won’t you give it a try today?

When you see someone whose eyes are dim,
greet them with a wide, happy grin?

Show those dimples and pearly whites,
it may just be their day’s highlight.

A smile is contagious and fun to spread.
Just do it, you’ll see – full speed ahead!

It could be the cure that heals the blues,
maybe even the common cold and flu.

It’s easy, and it is free to give.
it can even be a kind forgive.

A simple smile can spread some light,
and be the way to make a day bright.

It’s a gesture, it’s a gift,
it can be a huge lift.

If everyone tried this once per day,
imagine how lovely… imagine how gay.

You can turn the world on with your smile
You can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

RIP Mary Tyler Moore – Your smile will be remembered

 

Everyday Heroes

homeless-bags-from-everyday-heroes

Everyday Heroes
are everywhere.

I was talking with a friend/work colleague
on the phone just yesterday.

She was driving into town for a meeting,
and we were discussing the agenda.

All of the sudden, she interrupted our conversation,
“Hold on…. Hold on!”

And then I heard her shout in a friendly tone,
“Sir!  Sir! Here you go?”

“My hands are so cold!”
I heard a male voice say.

“There are gloves in here
and some food and a little bit of money.”

My friend – an everyday woman on her way to the office –
swerved to the side of the road to hand a homeless man a bag.

You see, she carries several with her in her car at all times
and hands them out when she sees someone in need.

Everyday hero –  that’s what you are!
My friend, you never cease to amaze me.

And we can all be heroes…
everyday heroes…

It only takes one small act of kindness
to spread a great amount of love!

What can you do today?
What WILL you do today?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Finding Purpose: Why I Blog

meaning-of-life-purpose-of-life

Everyone needs a purpose in life.

The older I get, and the more I experience new life (like the birth of my first grandchild), and the deaths of those I love (like the recent loss of my brother), the more I ponder my life’s purpose….  the legacy I might leave behind…  how people will remember me.

When I started this blog two and a half years ago on May 18, 2014 – just for fun and on the encouragement of my BFF’s daughter (my McHendy daughter, Jackie), I wasn’t sure what I was doing or what to expect.  I think I secretly thought I might be the next Ree Drummond or Rachel Ray and get rich and famous.  It was all about me.

But after posting daily for almost 1,000 days, it’s become something very different.  It hasn’t brought me the kind of fame or fortune I clandestinely fantasized about in the beginning.  But what it has become – is a purpose…  a personal mission of sorts…  a small way of giving to the world…  a place to encourage (and maybe even inspire) people to embrace the simple moments of life to cherish… especially those “in between” moments.

I have a very fulfilling career and full-time job I love that keeps me busy as the Director of Strategic Projects and Office of the CEO for a hospice and home health company.  I have a husband of almost 35 years, two grown sons, an amazing daughter-in-law and another soon-to-be, and a baby granddaugher that bring such joy to my life (and of course there is also Charlie!).  I have the most amazing BFFs a “girl” could ask for.

Yet, I still believe I need to have something that is my personal legacy, and that is what my blog has grown to be for me.  When I consider my few talents and gifts, I have often been told my greatest is that of an “encourager” or “influencer.”  I’ve taken many a DISC Personality Asssessment, and I am always an out-and-out straight High “I.”  I have taken “Spiritual Gift Assessments” that tell me I have the gift of “exhortation” or encouragement.  Hubby tells me I have the gift of “gab!”  So why not use that gift – one that comes so easily to me – to benefit others?

I have never had difficulty talking with strangers.  My goal in any situation, whether it be greeting the receptionist at an office, the UPS delivery person, the garbage collector, or a less-than-happy cashier at the grocery store, is to leave them smiling.  Not sure why it is important to me – but it is.

And that is my goal here too.  The goal of this blog is not to “show off” what I have or what I can do or to make you think my life is all peachy and perfect.  My life is not perfect.  That is not what I want people to think.  In fact, my life is far from perfect… like all of ours are!  I have an estranged relationship with my mother, I was separated from my birth father for 39 years until six and a half years ago, my brother struggled so severely with alcoholism that he took his own life by stepping in front of a train…  I struggle with my weight and have always been “chubby,” I’m not particularly attractive, I have no musical talent whatsoever….  the list could go on.  I tell you this not for pity or sympathy or for you to disagree.  I tell you this so that it might allow you to know that despite life’s challenges and adversity, we can still seek to find the joy.  We can still be kind.  We can still feel love.  There are still many, many moments to cherish…  And we must seek them, and we must appreciate them.

So no matter how busy my day, and knowing there is no monetary or fame reward or prize to be given for posting every day, I still make sure I do.  I spend a bit of time, often late at night, writing a post that might encourage you, that might make you smile, that might inspire you to bake or cook something new or paint something, or just look at something differently.  It might be a few words that will remind you of something that makes you happy.  Sometimes I am typing it at 11 pm with only one eye open.  Other times I get ahead by four or five posts and give myself a break.  But I still make it a personal goal to post something everyday (that appears at 6am EST) for my dear followers to either start their day (if they are living in my part of the world) or end their day (for my cherished blog follower friends in Latvia or Ireland or Australia or Japan).

So even on my toughest days, I seek to find something good and encouraging, because in encouraging you, I am rewarded in an even more profound way than could be achieved with fame or fortune.  I feel my life has a personal purpose.  I feel I am giving something of value to the world.  I feel I might be remembered… for being kind.  I might be creating my legacy.

Do you think about your life’s purpose?  Your legacy?  What you will be remembered for?

None of us know when our last year or day or breath will be, so my simple message is: Cherish the Moments!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Today I will choose to be kind

white-rose-bereavement-bouquet

Today I will choose to be kind –
most especially and intentionally to those who are not.

I will remember how precious and fragile life is –
and seek to cherish the moments.

We may not remember days or weeks or months,
but we remember moments.

And life is made up of moments –
ones that bring joy…

And others that bring grief
and sadness and loss.

I will cherish those moments too
and allow myself to feel them.

For a heart that cannot grieve or feel sadness or loss
cannot also feel the fullness of joy and love and hope.

Today, and every day, I will seek to choose to be kind,
and I will also embrace the kindness of others.

For every moment
is what makes up a life.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi