Planting Sunshine

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Planting Sunshine
By Bernadette A. Moyer

rose

During Covid-19 isolation when so many writer friends were writing books and articles and blogs, I had nothing. I had nothing to say as I watched in horror how the pandemic was affecting all people. I was stunned and shocked and just like a train wreck that you really do not want to witness, I could not stop watching.

Then came the civil unrest and the full force of BLM and the war against all cops. Once again, I sat wide-eyed and unable to write or even string two sentences together. I was sad and horrified at how humans were treating one another. It was not at all political for me, it was witnessing the basic lack of humanity and complete disregard for life. The cop who stole the life of an African American man who did not deserve to die.

It was all the aftermath and witnessing the destruction of property, the property of innocent people that had nothing to do with George Floyds untimely death. Destruction as a way of expressing, “I am angry, I am mad” and again I watched in disbelief as innocent people were hurt.

There were no words, they did not come to me, because first and foremost I did not have the answers.

What I know for sure is that you put out into the universe, comes back to you. If you want more love you lead with love same for anger and fear, they grow out of anger and fear. You cannot give what you do not have.

The pandemic and all the time that I sat alone afforded me with much time for self-reflection. What is in your heart? Are you planting sunshine and love or darkness and hate?

Over the weekend my husband drove through a toll where the car in front paid his fee. It took him a moment to understand what the toll taker was saying and then he responded with the cash he had in hand and stated “please use this for the car behind me” it really is that simple. One good deed responds with another good deed.

I am acutely aware of all the unrest that is going on in the world today, what can I do? I can keep my own heart in check. I can plant sunshine both literally and figuratively. My garden is well tended this year. It is receiving more love and care and it shows. My garden is life. People are life. When we treat life with love and care it grows. It grows healthy.

The answers are not outside of us but within our own hearts and souls. If each one of us worked on ourselves and took personal responsibility for our thoughts and actions rather than blaming others? What a world we could/would live in.

Many decades ago I was in therapy, probably the late 70’s, a placed called Confront and that is exactly what we did, it was there that I learned “you are only a victim if you choose to be” that doesn’t mean that at times in life we may fall “victim” but rather that we choose if and when we stay in victimization.

We could all declare ourselves a “victim” of this or that but at what cost? Stuff happens. Every situation whether deemed good or bad affords us a chance to 1) learn from it and 2) turn it around for the greater good. Our choice. Our free will.

“If you do your best in the search for personal freedom, in the search for self-love, you will discover that it’s just a matter of time before you find what you are looking for.” from The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

What is in YOUR heart? It begins and ends within each and every one of us …

Treat others as you wish to be treated and where and how can you plant more sunshine?

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Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Writing Prompts and Reflections … Mental Health Awareness Month May of 2020

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Writing Prompts and Reflections … Mental Health Awareness Month May of 2020
By Bernadette A. Moyer

Mental awareness

May is mental health awareness month.

Recently I read a post from my previous employer (The Children’s Guild) about mental health awareness month with some writing prompts. During this period of “stay at home” and “stay safe” with the COVID-19 I haven’t been motivated to creatively write much until reading these prompts.

So here goes …

The best news I have heard recently is: witnessing students that are posting their prom pictures and graduation signs both from my alma mater and schools that I follow. Young people willing to dress up and show their formal attire and graduates that are sharing their college destinations. It makes me happy and proud to see them. Life goes on and although this surely wasn’t the way they believed prom and graduation would turn out, they are making the best of this difficult time.

The things or people I can always count on to make me laugh are: Easy one! Without a doubt it is my husband Brian. He consistently shares memes, comics, funny writings and stories with me. Laughter truly is the best medicine for all that ails us and I can always count on daily doses from him.

The best compliment I have received is: “You have the best heart and are always so generous and giving.” More than one person has said this to me in my lifetime and I finally accept it. Giving is for the giver and I love to love and to be in a position to give.

My favorite way to relax when I am stressed out is: I have more than one! 1) a bubble bath 2) uplifting music 3) prayer 4) a drive 5) the beach 6) gardening 7) visiting with friends and loved ones 8) swimming 9) working out 10) a good movie 11) a good book and the list goes on …

A way I can show gratitude to others is … telling them they are loved and appreciated either verbally or with a card, note or gift.

A small “win” I have accomplished today is … sitting down at my desk and writing this when I haven’t been inspired to write creatively for several weeks now.

Something positive in my life that I didn’t have a year ago is: Time! All this time at home due to COVID-19 is definitely something I didn’t have a year ago. And a brand new beach house!

The things I hope will happen in the next year are: A cure and/or vaccine for COVID-19. Health and wellness in our country and the world, physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. That the greatest takeaway from this time in history is to love and to appreciate and to live life fully. Personally I hope for success at work and some travel time too.

Answering these prompts was fun! Feel free to share yours with me … and Happy Mental Health Awareness Month!

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Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and B&N

#gratitude #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawarenessmonth

Adjust and Adapt

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Adjust and Adapt
By Bernadette A. Moyer

adapt

We must learn to adjust and to adapt as life is ever changing. To stay stuck in yesterday, and the news is like living from behind. Most people hate change. It throws their equilibrium out of tune. I have always embraced change. I love new things and I love to learn. We are all evolving.

History is great but that is exactly what it is, history, the past. Every aspect in our lives depends on how we adjust and adapt to change. Life changes when we leave home, when we get married, take on a new career job, purchase a home and have children. It changes when we embrace new relationships and when we let go of old relationships.

We adjust to that new baby or new work place environment. We have to figure it out and to learn again. Many people will suffer a sort of “norms crisis” with their new environment. That new baby cries and disrupts our previous peaceful past. We work with new people that we instantly gel with and others that we may barely tolerate. But we learn from all of them.

I’ve always been the “change charger” in our family and my husband the “slow and steady one.” Together we make a balanced couple as a result. A guy that has worked for the same organization for 35 years and then stays in the same career for several more years and lives in the same house for 28 years is not a guy who easily embraces change. Being with him for over 28 years now, I love that about him.

When our kids started leaving home, I had the hardest time. The number one job that meant the most to me was in being a mother. I soon learned to take my career and my writing more seriously. These things are what makes me, me. Being a mother was only a part of me not my total being.

Adjusting and adapting to letting my kids go wasn’t easy but now that I have, I feel free again, with less responsibility after more than three decades of being responsible for so many others. It feels great. Life is easier with less people to please.

I never thought I would be so happy with less people in our home and I am. I think you get to an age where all you crave is peace. It is so easy to fill our lives up with everyone else and their drama and issues but often at what cost? Perhaps the cost is in denying ourselves and our own needs and wants.

When my husband took an early retirement six years ago, I never witnessed him smile so much! At the end of his career he had reached the highest level that he had wanted for himself, as a General Superintendent. At that level the demands were great and time was a commodity that he often didn’t have. You could physically see what that job was taking out of him. Meetings and more meetings and always on 24 hour call back for the past 6-years, every waking moment checking his communication devices. He was needed and worked hard to fill the needs.

He allowed himself a much needed break for about three years before returning to the same line of work. At first the changes that came with an early retirement was welcome just like a vacation but after 6-months it wore off and although he adjusted to it, he felt like he was missing out and wanted to work again. Next month he will begin his fourth year at the job that he took after his short lived “retirement.”

But the truth is that if we drop dead today, life goes on, not one of us is irreplaceable. What is the line “People plan and God laughs” COVID-19 has changed the world for all of us. Not just in our work schedules but in our personal life and how we deal with our family, our friends and even strangers. We are told to “socially distance” and “self-isolate” all foreign concepts for most humans.

We are embracing our future and looking forward to making all the necessary adjustments and adapting to the newness of what comes next. Not one of us knows what comes next, but I sincerely believe if we embrace it with an open heart and eyes wide open we will still manage to feel and see the best and most important life experiences and lessons.

Adjusting and adapting, that is both the beauty and the secret of life. Adjust and adapt … it makes everything and all of life’s many changes just so much easier.

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Just Because

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Just Because
By Bernadette A. Moyer

dining room flowers

Today after about a month of “social distancing” I decided to start this weekend off with a nice dinner/drinks/dessert at home and in our dining room. I wanted to make it nice and special but also support local businesses that have supported me through my years in the nonprofit arena, work I have done for more than two decades.

So I opened up the china cabinet as I thought “why don’t we use this pretty stuff and why is it just for company?” so I took the inserts out of the table and made it more comfortable for two people. It would be dinner for two at Chez Sahm!

The crystal champagne ice bucket and champagne glasses reminded me of all the special occasions that we used them for and toasted with in the past, and I thought why not now? Why not celebrate “just because” and I pulled them out and cleaned them up. I thought about the people that gifted us those crystal pieces during much happier days. Warm and welcome thoughts embraced me. It felt good.

I had placed a grocery order days earlier that would be coming from Wegmans through Instacart and I decided our table needed flowers. I wanted to support Radebaugh’s Florist in Towson. Normally I would go pick out my own floral arrangement partly because of the added expense of delivery and partly because I enjoy picking out exactly what I want. But in “isolation” and “social distancing” I ordered online.

As I was placing the order I was asked if it was a special occasion like a birthday, thank you, thinking of you etc. and it was not any of them but rather “just because” just because we are going to be home all weekend and I wanted to celebrate being home, life and living it with my husband. Midway through the week he expressed feelings of depression. And I wasn’t in a much better place myself. You can call it what you want but often it does feel like “home detention” and given that we normally lead very active and social lives, it was sad and heavy on our hearts just like everyone else.

Just because my husband is “essential” and works really hard and he deserves it. Just because it is Friday, the start of the weekend when we would normally be going out for dinner and drinks. Just because my husband mentioned late last evening that I might consider getting “gussied up” since I have been wearing tattered old worn sweat clothes for several weeks now. Honestly clothes that even Good Will wouldn’t embrace accepting. Just because I might consider wearing something a little nicer and not my I am cleaning the house attire.

Next up I wanted to support Fairgrounds Discount Beverages in Timonium, again a liquor store that has supported many of my special event fundraisers. So I ordered champagne, the good stuff, the champagne we normally only drink for truly special occasions. Again tonight’s dinner theme is just because! We often run around town and beyond a lot and never truly appreciate our pretty dining room that has been here with us for almost three decades now.

I knew that like myself, my husband needed some joy, some happiness and a night when we didn’t grab dinner from the kitchen and rush to the family room so we could watch endless hours of the news regarding COVID-19. We needed a break and to celebrate life, just because we still have a life to celebrate.

Many of my followers and readers know that I have written about death and about estrangement and many sad stories tied to my life and life experiences. Brian and I share coming up in poverty, he was city poor I was country poor. We knew losing a spouse to death and having adult children estrange. All of our parents are long gone. We have experienced extended periods in our life with deep sadness and sorrow.

One of the great gifts of grief is getting through it and to the other side. One of the greatest gifts is learning that your happiness comes from within and not from other people or things or places.

We have lost much in our lives and have learned to view each loss as a gift, we learned to be better people and to never take life or the quality of life for granted. We learned very early on that life can change in a moment with no advance notice.

Today we appreciate everything we have and share as much as we can with many that are in need. I am a firm believer that giving is for the giver.

But last night was giving to ourselves, taking care of ourselves and one another. We talked for hours without the interruptions of the news and electronic devices. We paused and looked deep into ourselves, each other and our home where we have lived for over 28 years. We are God people and believers who know that like everything this is temporary and will pass.

Last night was so fun, we ate a nice dinner with a few drinks in a pretty dining room with pretty china that we seldom use. We prayed together and we played together. We dusted off our old vinyl records and Brian played DJ as we listened to music from being teenagers and forward. We played games and even danced together.

During this pandemic I have thought deep and long about what is happening. I continue to work from home making phone calls and sending notes and cards to many supporters. Everyone has been thankful to hear from me. People want to talk and to connect.

The hardest part for a person like me who loves people (most people) is the inability to be with them. But maybe that is exactly what this period in time is all about. How do we treat others? What are we saying about them and doing to them to this planet and to the earth? We have a lot to think about and the time to reflect.

We have many friends with many views on life, on religion, on God and on politics and many that are not necessarily on how we view things but we enjoy hearing and seeing from different perspectives. I try hard to see the best in people even the ones that are adults and resort to name calling our political leaders. In my mind, though, I think if you don’t like it and you can do better join forces with others who believe as you do and be the change that you want to see. Sitting back on your sofa and making fun of or calling leaders names does not bring about change.

Peace is so important to me, inner peace where I can be alone with myself and accept myself warts and all, and that came after years and years of working through so much grief, loss and heartaches in my lifetime.

I have nothing to complain about, all in all I have lived a very full life and I don’t want to die of COVID 19 or any other disease, but if I did and when I do, I don’t want to regret not living each day to its fullest no matter where I am and what situation I find myself. We need to appreciate everything and celebrate all that we have no matter how much or how little … just because … it is not over until we take our last breath.

At age 23 I was widowed and I learned the single most valuable lesson, life is for the living, live it, just because you still can …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

The Title of Your Life

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The Title of Your Life
By Bernadette A. Moyer

bird

She lived, she loved and she learned! I was reading an article about what would the title of your life story be and how would you define it.

The very first phrase that came to mind was “she lived” and then she loved and boy did she learn. Today as I write this we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and most of us are self-isolating and social distancing. We are alone with our inner thoughts and have the time for self-reflection.

As I made my bed this morning, (yes I still start each day with making my bed) I looked out the window to the bright red bird feeder surrounded by birds. There is a tiny red cardinal among the others. It stands out for me as I do believe in the folklore that suggests that red cardinals are like angels and messengers from those that have passed.

This is the week that nine years ago my mother passed and then a week later her mother my grandmother passed. I don’t dwell on these dates and am aware of them due to legacy.com e-mails that remind me.

Who we are and how we live and have lived our lives is centermost on my mind these days with death dates and rampant illness all around us. I am also Catholic and thinking about Easter and Christ and his last days before he was risen again, and about spring, renewal and rebirth. This year more than ever they are not just words but point to my inner being and how I have lived my life.

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I am certain turning 60 just 6-months ago has also been a catalyst on my life and how I have lived it, and continue to live it. What will I do with the remainder of my days here on earth, these days I have the time to truly think about my best life and how it has changed through the years and what it may look like down the road.

If nothing else I have been true to myself and where I don’t live in the past I do trip down memory lane and look at myself through the years and with so many lessons learned. What made me who I am today, for some reason I thought about my school uniform and how I received a “demerit” for wearing a non-regulation sweater over my blue wool jumper with the peter pan blue collar blouse. This was during my senior year in high school when I was pulling away from family, becoming more independent and trying to figure myself out. I have always been a bit of a rebel.

One of the greatest gifts with aging is the quiet that rolls over you where you have a thought, a feeling, or a comment but do not feel the need to share it. You become more accepting. You enter less battles.

I live in gratitude for all the living that I have behind me and in excitement for what I hope and pray lives ahead for me. There is nothing that I view as all good or all bad just what is and what was, I never view life as what happened to me but rather as what happened for me.

Every time I thought that I was losing, it always turned out to be a win. What was let go was replaced with new and better. Today I look at this Easter as a profound time in history to practice grace, gratitude and peace and to remember each life is different and unique. We have but this one life and how do we choose to live it?

What would the story of your life be called? Who would the characters in your story be? What work would you do? What belief system would you hold? Who would you love? What would best life living look like?

For so many people this pandemic will create loss and yet an opportunity to begin again, a time for renewal and a time for rebirth.

For this Easter and always I pray that you are living true to yourself and taking the time to ponder and to decipher what would the title of your life story be called?

Peace and abundance of all that is good …
Bernadette

This Sucks!

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This Sucks!
By Bernadette A. Moyer

greengrass

This sucks and I am not going to put lipstick on a pig and say otherwise. This is NOT the “American Way” as we enjoy freedom, our ability to work and travel and share exchanges of hugs and handshakes. Whatever routine you have, this is most certainly, NOT it!

But what are we learning or have we learned so far? Mostly just how vulnerable that we humans are in life. That one virus could stop us, literally dead in our tracks. That no matter how much we have if we don’t have the right mindset and the right spirit to handle whatever we must face, we fail.

Like many people I suffer from anxiety and we all know that there is much to be anxious about these days. What am I doing about my anxiety you ask? Breathing and keeping busy. My grandmother was famous for saying “idle time is the devil’s workshop.”

Simple things like cleaning and cooking. I hand washed and neatly folded something like 15 scarves that I own. I wear a scarf all year long. To me it is like an adult version of a baby blanket. It comforts me and keeps me warm even in the summer when the air conditioning in many places is a deep freeze. I love having a scarf on. And I have NEVER hand washed them before. Each scarf has a memory and they are all good memories of places we travelled or occasions that we celebrated.

What else am I learning, well I think, how I look at my life during this period in life will help define how it plays out for me. Believe me I think to myself, so this must be how “home detention feels” but then I quickly think about all the rest/sleep that I am getting and how thankful I am for my husband our home and our precious pooch. Thankful that we both have the ability to work from home. Thankful for the time for self-reflection and self-analysis, thankful for a chance to re-boot and re-connect with myself.

I think about how little we really need in life, certainly if we are staying home, why do I need dress clothes or dress shoes? And yet I can’t wait for the day to put them back on and march out the door with a purpose and with work and to see friends, co-workers and other people.

It continues to amaze me just how much can be delivered to me at home, pretty much whatever we need can be dropped off at our front door. I am also mindful of those that don’t have and make a point of giving and donating even more that we normally do. Even in the best of times, I hate to see people do without having their basic needs met.

It is through the struggle that we find enlightenment and I certainly believe that most of us will survive this with a greater understanding of who we are and what makes us tick. In the meantime I pray that our leaders lead us quickly and safely out of this and that we can all work together to re-build what has been lost and worthy of coming back.

In the meantime, let us all agree, “this sucks” and then get up, take our showers, drink our coffee or tea, share what we know and what we have with the ones we can, and pray together for the people most in need of our prayers.

I pray for the caregivers and the sick and the most vulnerable but I am also praying for you, for all of us that we remain calm and kind and look to the future. Today I look out my window and I see the morning sun shining and the green grass and new growth in plants that are coming back from the dead of winter.

Just like those plants coming back to life, so will we, we must believe and we will receive!

God’s peace and prayers,

Bernadette

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
Books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

A Good Cry

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A Good Cry
By Bernadette A. Sahm

daffodil

Like most of us facing the new altered state of living, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and “shutting” down of places of gathering and our instruction to “social distance’ I found myself near tears. I was fighting back a good cry. Toughen up I told myself, soldier on, life goes on, we are all in this together. You are a leader and leadership demand that you … (fill in the blank)

But the truth is/was that I just wanted to cry, cry out of fear and out of frustration. What on earth is going on in this world? No church service, no Saint Patrick celebrations at our local restaurants and bars, cancelled meetings, stay 6-feet apart, don’t congregate in groups. What do we turn to in times like these? How do we get through it? I dislike most catch phrases, but I find myself saying “these are unprecedented times” and no “norm” to follow. Thank God, I have God and I have faith.

How do we get through this? For different people there will be a different answer and for me I am fortunate to have a wonderful husband who I enjoy spending time with and our favorite little pooch Chipper. The ocean gives my soul the peace and ability to just breathe, so fortunate to have a place to run too and appreciate the beach even more. And here at home, I have work that I enjoy and keeps my mind busy, and much can be done with my computer and telecommunications. I just came out of a very busy period.

Maybe just maybe I am supposed to relax and take in this “social distancing” for some soul searching and re-connecting with myself and all that is close to my heart and I hold dear. So thankful that we are experiencing an early spring in moderate temperatures and I can’t wait to work in the garden this weekend. Weeding and planting and fertilizing sounds extra special and even more comforting this year.

After over a week of feeling like I was constantly on the verge of crying I finally confided this in a dear friend and I was surprised at her quick response, “that is what I did yesterday” she said. She cried for all her good friends and family in Italy that have been hit so hard by this virus.

There have been many times in my life that I good cry served me well, like when Randy died and left me widowed to raise a toddler alone, or when our children made decisions that were heart breaking, when my dad died and years later when my mom passed. Life altering events that would bring tears to any human being. But this was different.

This was just inner sadness that covered me until I finally let the tears of anger and tears of frustration go, and then a long night of sleep. Extra hours of sleep that allowed me to awaken stronger. So far yesterday ,was one of the rough days for me. My coping skills were diminished, and I wasn’t feeling well, a small stomach thing that seemed to become more irritated by the news. Constant e-mail from stores I frequent and restaurants, churches, city news, county news my neighborhood news, my support group, my professional group and friends, co-workers and others communicating what they were doing in regard to handing this new situation we all found ourselves living through … even if I wanted to escape it, communications about it were every place that I turned.

I was reluctant to just cry but the truth is that was what I needed most, I needed to grieve the loss of all that was normal and try somehow some way to accept what is right here and right now.

“This is the day which the Lord has brought about; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” PSALM 118:24

One of the most important lessons in life is to enjoy every day of our lives as we look forward to the future. Tomorrow is the first day of spring, certainly something to look forward to and I can already see the signs of spring with the blooming of trees and the daffodils pressing through the earth.

Maybe this is the time for a good cry and grief and a time for a reset with Easter being just around the corner. Perhaps we are supposed to remember not to take things for granted. A literal cleaning and disinfectant might just be really healthy in all areas of our lives.

I know that just like the way the rain cleanses the earth, my good cry and those tears helped me to shed my grief, my upset and disappointment. As I finish writing this Country Music Artist Gary Allan’s Every Storm Runs Out of Rain comes on the radio, reminding me that this shall pass and the sun will return and shine even brighter after that healthy good cry!

So here is my short list on what I plan to do during “social distancing” where we are encouraged to stay home.

1) Deep clean my entire house
2) Sort through the closets and give to the needy
3) Clean out my office
4) Communicate more sincerely and with much love
5) Sketch out the garden
6) Prepare the garden for more plantings
7) Open the pool earlier, it’s just prettier open
8) Read more
9) Write more
10) Make food from scratch
11) Paint a room
12) Tackle a home improvement project with my husband (the deck)
13) Work more from home where/when I can
14) Retreat …
15) Self-reflection time
16) Personal care
17) Q & A like what does my best life look like now/today?

Cheers! And remember we are ALL in this together … life is for the living, live it!

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
All books by Bernadette A. Moyer on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

We Choose

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We Choose
By Bernadette A. Sahm

Choices

We choose how we think, how we feel and how we respond. Every situation in life affords us choices. Do we want to respond with love and in peace or with anger and hatred. If you follow me and read my blogs you know that I have experienced my share of loss and hurts, it hasn’t always been easy nor did I ever expect it to be smooth sailing. A full and rich life is about gathering as many lessons and experiences as you can. It is about knowing love and knowing hurt, it is the ability to know up and down.

Not every day is going to go your way. Just like we will come to know sunshine we will come to know a rainy day.

A few days ago I had a special event fundraiser, it happened to fall on the same date as the anniversary death of my first husband. Of course I thought of him, I always do, he has been gone for 37 years now. I remember that day so clearly, it was a Tuesday morning when I would learn of his accidental death. He had a seizure in the shower and drown to death in just a few inches of water. His death was shocking and completely unexpected. It taught me much, most of all that life is for the living, live it!

I was only 23 when Randy died, very young and inexperienced in life. I had this idea that my bad days and ugly hurts were behind me. I had that experience and believed the rest of my life would be happy, smooth sailing and full of joy. That was not at all realistic.

Through the years my life would be impacted by abuse, by family estrangement and family diagnosed with mental illness. More life, more living, more experiences. What did I learn? I l learned that regardless of what I am facing and experiencing in life, I choose how I will respond. Do I wish to be a victim or a victor? It is and always was my choice.

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How we view things has so much to do with how we respond, and when we make the choice to respond with love and with peace then whatever we are facing allows us to move forward in humility and kindness. The only way I know is what my faith in God teaches me. I choose to see the face of God in every single person, I believe we are all created by God Almighty.

When I see an act of violence or hatred in people, I think what happened? What happened to that person who thought it was okay to rob someone or rape or murder. What caused them to make that choice? I may never know the answer to that question but what I do know is that everything we do in life, every decision we make is our choice.

Through the years I have learned to look at the people in my life as either a “teacher” where I am to learn from them and the experience or a “lover” where I am to give love and/or receive love. The choice to see even the most difficult people in my life as a “teacher” gives the situation value as opposed to being a negative. Certainly I could have done without the “haters” in my life, but then I would not have learned the lessons.

I choose to view my life as being filled with blessings, I am blessed. For the past 28 years, I have lived in the same house with the same man. My husband loves me and in that unconditional love I have healed from many hurts.

“… the Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.” –EXODUS 14:13-14

There are plenty of people who are bitter and unhappy they carry a grudge and grievances, and then wonder why they have the life that they do? It’s a choice, it’s all a choice. Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you. What we choose ultimately determines the outcome. I am happy and it isn’t by accident. I choose happiness and I choose it over and over again …

We witness ugliness and unattractiveness in life and for me, I choose to combat it with healthy relationships, more God, more love, more kindness, more generosity. And sometimes when I feel low I reach out to God and others, and a few flowers, chocolates and pretty things don’t hurt either.

Simple pleasure are often the best! Make good choices … make a good life and one that you can reflect back on and be proud of how you handled yourself and all the situations that you found yourself in … all we have is this moment in time, why not make the best of it with good solid heartfelt choices?

Peace and much love…
Bernadette

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It is Valentines!

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It is Valentines! Share your story …
By Bernadette A. Sahm

BB wedding

This is ours …

How we met: His former mother-in-law introduced us as I was babysitting his pre-mature newborn infant twins so that the family could attend his wife’s funeral.

Where was your first date: Oriole Park at Camden Yards (he took me to a baseball game to thank me for babysitting his twins)

Age difference: 32 days, he is older!

Who was interested first: he would say he was and I say I was but more as a friend

Who is taller: Brian

Who said I love you first: Brian

Most impatient: Me

Most sensitive: Brian

Most crazy: Both in different ways

Loudest: Me

Most stubborn: Brian

Falls asleep first: Me

Cooks the best: Me

Better morning person: Me

Best driver: Me

Most competitive: Brian

How long has it been: Married for 23 years, together for 28 years

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Gone to God … Gone to Glory

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Gone to God … Gone to Glory
By Bernadette A. Sahm

glory

When I go to God
St. Peter gives a wink and a nod
When I get to Glory
They already know my story

At the pearly gates of heaven
I hope this is what I will hear
You did good your heart is pure
God is ready now be rest assured

When I go to God
I will have passed through this life
When I get to Glory
God knows no more strife

St Peter leads me to God’s grace
There are angels abound
Now we meet face to face
Calm cool and quiet, not a sound

Heavenly Father embraces me
Once again I am whole
The songs they are singing
Pierce my angel spirit soul

As I move forward, who do I see
To my right and to my left
All those before, that mattered most to me
God stands before us, He is our host

When I go to God
When I get to Glory
I won’t have to speak a word
God knows my story

The Lord is my light and my salvation
So why should I be afraid?

The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger
So why should I tremble? PSALM 27:1

When I go to God
When I get to Glory