It’s a Wonderful Life

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It’s a Wonderful Life
By Bernadette A. Sahm

wonderful

For Christmas I received an authentic Bevin Bell. I love it! It reads “It’s a Wonderful Life” and beautifully etched into the silver bell. The sweetheart card shows the picture from the movie. The bell sounds beautiful and what is the line “every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”

I can’t help but read it and think of the movie but also that I have a wonderful life! The movie is a favorite Christmas movie in our home. My husband insists on viewing it on Christmas day.

There are many small towns that we frequent that have that same It’s a Wonderful life feeling and look, Rehoboth Beach Main Street is just one example. This past year this is where we spent the Christmas holidays. It truly was/is a “wonderful life.”

Most people might see the bell as a Christmas decoration and one that should be put away after the holiday ends, and then bring it back out again for future Christmas celebrations. However, I have decided to keep it out and in sight all year long. What a great way to look at the New Year and every day after that and do so daily. Imagine saying that to yourself, ‘it’s a wonderful life!”

How could it NOT be if that is what I am projecting out into the universe? It just sounds so good and makes me smile every time I say it.

It’s a wonderful life! It’s a wonderful life! It’s a wonderful life …

(Thanks Nancy B for such a neat new gift, I love it!)

What can YOU do to create a wonderful life? What are you doing that creates a wonderful life? What does a wonderful life entail and look like to you? How would you define a wonderful life?

Happy Healthy 2020, make it your own version of a “wonderful life!”

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

Reflection

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Reflection
By Bernadette A. Sahm

reflection

Today I had an opportunity for reflection. It was work related and prayer filled. You can call it regaining my center or re-connecting with my soul or a spiritual awakening. I knew I was bone tired and disconnected from my core. I’ve been busy, very busy not just in my work projects but in my home projects as well. And it’s the holidays, his birthday, my birthday, Thanksgiving, two big special events and a new home purchase. Ongoing family drama that never ceases to end. Spinning plates and managing life putting one foot in front of the other, moving forward, always moving forward.

I have been completing one task after another picking off my “to do” list for the past 11 months with no real stop and time for reflection. I haven’t written in weeks and probably more like months unless it was work related. My last blog was months ago. I felt choked up and uninspired. I was going from pillar to post. I was getting it done. But at what cost?

In quiet reflection I regained my sense of self and my spirit was re-awakened. I went to Chapel and choose NOT to take my cell phone. Then I chose to stay put in the same seat for 2-hours. The first hour was inter-active with others the second hour was alone time. What a tremendous gift this was to me. A gift that I was not aware that I needed until I was fully immersed in thoughtful prayer. I could hear my inner voice I could sense clarity that I was unaware of inside me.

I thought about Advent and I thought about the Blessed Mother as a young girl deciding to take on the birth of Jesus. I thought about my own motherhood experience where I married so young at age 19, became pregnant at age 20 and gave birth just days after I turned 21. And when I learned that I was pregnant I didn’t run to tell my husband but rather ran home to tell my mother. I remember gasping and saying, “I’m pregnant! What should I do, I am not ready.” And I thought how young Mary must have been and how did she decide to give birth to Jesus. Was she scared or brave and fearless? Who did she tell?

I prayed Hail Mary and Our Father, my fall back prayers and then meditated on colors. Black and gray colors to release any anger or ugly issues and breathed in white for holy and pure thoughts. Then blue for peace and green for health as I breathed in and mediated on healthy colors and thought, I released all the bad in black and gray. This went on for a good ten minutes until I prayed more.

Then like magic I have 2 new blog ideas and the desire to complete one that was started weeks ago. I felt new and refreshed and ready to go again. All it took was some down time and much needed time for reflection. I didn’t enter with any expectations but rather with a desire to re-connect with my soul, my core being was neglected and I didn’t even know it!

Reflection – what a wonderful gift to give myself during this second week of Advent.

Peace and blessings …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

My Rose-Colored Glasses

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My Rose-Colored Glasses
By Bernadette A. Sahm

rose-colored-glasses

It is a gift and a curse, I admit it, I wear rose colored glasses! I see the best in people, I see the best in places, and I see the best in most things. I always see the potential and the gifts and talents of most things in life.

I love my rose-colored glasses until I don’t love them. It is hard for me to see the ugly and the hate and the anger in people. I have a hard time with those who are afforded with genuine gifts and talents and fail to utilize them. It is difficult to witness people with self-inflicted wounds or the ones with the need to be perpetual victims.

My rose-colored glasses hold my attention, where I see the dream and the goodness that God has granted to so many people that I know and love or knew and loved. But then I am also wise enough to know that each of us learns and grows and uses our talents hopefully when the time is right and at our own pace.

I am guessing that if offered the choice to do away with my rose-colored glasses and/or keep them? I would opt for keeping them. Any disappointments or any ugliness that I have witnessed is far less important than my ability to see the beauty and the best in all things that life offers. And just like a rose with thorns, rose-colored glasses also come with the ability to view some ragged edges.

And as the Italians say, “non c’e` rosa senza le sue spine” “there is no rose without its thorns.”

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.bernadetteamoyer.com

Now what?

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Now what?
By Bernadette A. Moyer

flower garden

You get older and you have been there and done that! You have known those big moments in life, experienced those grand celebrations and big parties and trips and travel, so now what? What to do to celebrate, what to do to feel excited and inspired? How to make this period more special than the last? These are the questions that my good girlfriend and I posed to one another as we were just about to turn 60 years old.

I am not big on going “out” for the holidays, mostly because I grew up in the hotel bar and restaurant business where I worked most big holidays. People in the business tend to call New Year’s Eve, Mother’s Day and most celebrations out as “amateur night” most sane people stay home! Prices are higher, crowds are larger and service just not as good.

At a certain age what you are looking for can’t be purchased in any retail store and doesn’t exist out “there” but rather inside our own hearts and souls. Peace, love and purpose become the greatest gifts that you give to yourself. These are the only places where you find pure joy. For me this is where God lives …

In another conversation with my 86 year old “Other Mother” she states, “you have an outstanding way of forgiving”  I have forgiven much and I have forgiven often, especially when it comes to family members. Let’s just say I have had a lot of practice beginning with early childhood and forward.

I have the hardest time understanding why anyone hangs on to anger and hatred, why would you do that to your own heart and soul? Hate and love can’t co-exist and I choose love and I do my best to choose it over and over again.

Forgiveness truly is the gift that we give to ourselves. There is no peace, no love nor true joy without the grace of forgiveness. So often it starts with forgiving ourselves and only then, is it possible to forgive all others …

Since beginning this blog my 60th birthday has come and gone and it was a memorable milestone birthday and one that I will never ever forget. There was a really big gift, I will write more about it later, but the truth is that without peace, love and purpose there could not be any gift that would have brought me such joy.

On my birthday, I was remembered by so many and in so many ways, that my peace, love and joy ruled the day.

What else could any 60 year old birthday girl really wish for … all the many blessings that come with peace, love and purpose where there lives joy and an abundance of blessings!

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

Writing

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Writing
By Bernadette A. Moyer

writing

I’ve been writing for more than two decades now. My first published piece was titled; A Parent Dies, It was published in a medical journal. It was about being widowed, marrying a widower and raising three children who all lost a parent to heaven.

It took more than fifteen years before I had the courage to share our story and write about it. It was immediately affirmed by a large number of readers. Death is a subject that we will all come to know and most of us prefer not to talk about it.

I hated writing in school and I loved to read and loved words but my grammar was not good, my spelling was great and always came easy for me. So early on I had a love-hate relationship with writing. My shortcomings in grammar made me feel ashamed and caused me to avoid writing and writing projects. Teachers become so fixated on grammar that kids like me end up feeling it isn’t worth the constant correction.

As an adult I created writing vehicles for children. I didn’t want kids turned off before they were turned on to the written word and their ability to communicate and to create. The first book was Caesar Salad and I Like It and the second If I Were President. The children wrote and they were creative and then the adults edited for grammar. If was a positive experience for all involved.

Most of my writing has been about personal experiences and what I learned as a result of them. The gifts were that so many others connected to me as a result and I loved it!

I have written about life and love and joy and also about death, estrangement and abuse. My family doesn’t like when I openly share our family dysfunction. I embrace it, it is who and what made me. It has been said that “97% of families are dysfunctional” I am still waiting to meet that other 3%. If we are honest we can own that we all have our own issues and brokenness. It is called life. We weren’t made to be perfect we are human and come with our own strengths and weaknesses. I have learned that for me, owning my stuff is healthy and allows me to be open to growth and change.

Then there is the professional writing that I began over 20 years ago in my many positions in nonprofit work. It may have been an article or a newsletter, a brochure or flier and often it was a full-fledged grant. My grant writing has secured over two million dollars for a variety of nonprofits that I have been associated. Professional writing with others has opened my eyes to many styles of writers.

I have met the ones that go long and are wordy and others that cut and edit to the bare bones. Grammar was usually key, however I am proud of a new magazine that I have been included in that basically states things like 1) forget the rules and 2) make up your own words and 3) you don’t need an opening paragraph the reader will figure it out!

Everyone has a book and a blog today and yes I have been there, few get rich and make the New York Times Best Seller list unless they have a big machine and lots and lots of marketing and public relations behind them.

Many things have changed throughout the years for this writer, I have learned much and yet the two things that resonate most with me and for me is the Stephen King quote “there is no such thing as writing, there is only rewriting” almost everything written can be improved upon. And I write for the connection to others and the shared life experiences. Most often that is the best paycheck.

Just today a reader found me online and wrote, “My jaw has dropped finding you.” She has read my writings. It really doesn’t get much better than that!

Read … write … communicate … connect … that is what makes this writer deliriously happy.

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

60 Gifts and Blessings for 60 Years

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60 Gifts and Blessings for 60 Years
By Bernadette A. Moyer

60th-Birthday-Card

This fall as I am about to turn 60 years old and to begin the celebrating I thought that I would make a list of all that I am grateful and all the many blessings I have had throughout my life.

One blessing or one gift to represent every single year. I hope that in sharing my list you think about creating your own “birthday blessings” list …

1) God who has never once let me down
2) For my parents Bernie and Inez who gave me life
3) My Italian heritage
4) My Irish heritage
5) My Catholic roots and faith beginning with Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation
6) The healthy genes I have inherited
7) Love of reading
8) My writing of poems, blogs and books
9) Connections through my many written words
10) Friends that are like family
11) Childhood in a neighborhood where I could walk to the park, stores, friend’s houses
12) My private Catholic education
13) First loves
14) Broken hearts
15) Laughter
16) My Soul
17) Sense of right and wrong
18) Ability to see both sides of most situations
19) Giving birth
20) Raising adopted twins, a son and a daughter
21) Experience of motherhood
22) Becoming widowed young and learning the value of life and living well
23) A second marriage
24) My loving life- long husband and partner
25) Love of good food
26) Ability to cook from scratch
27) Baking of cookies, cakes and pies from homemade
28) Decorating
29) Party planning
30) Fundraising
31) Driving long distances and enjoying every stop along the way
32) Live musical concerts
33) Theater
34) New York City at Christmas
35) Going home to the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market
36) Connecting with my high school friends
37) Continued education through classes, workshops, seminars and more
38) Learning just for the sake of something new
39) Gardening
40) Growing roses
41) My beautiful hydrangea bushes
42) Growing up on a farm
43) My love of animals
44) My precious pooches
45) Finding and enjoying meaningful work
46) My sphere of influence
47) My intelligence that I am certain came from my mother
48) My creative and artistic side that I am certain came from my father
49) Living through abuse and becoming a full-fledged survivor
50) Our history with our second home at the beach
51) Looking forward to whatever the future brings
52) Giving up control for peace
53) Living a peace-filled and love filled life
54) Enjoying the many beach destinations that we frequent
55) Becoming a wedding officiant
56) Mentoring young people
57) Swimming in the warm ocean waters and swimming in our private pool
58) Saving money and saving memories
59) Our home where we have lived for almost 30 years
60) This big fat beautiful God blessed life that I have enjoyed for 60 years!

Follow Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

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

Not Afraid

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Not Afraid
By Bernadette A. Moyer

Flower-Fields-HD

This coming October I will turn 60 years old! I just can’t believe it and how quickly the years have passed by for me. For most of my life, I have been afraid – afraid of this – afraid of that.

When I was 50 I wrote a book titled Halfway Home, the first 50 Years and during that time I wrote about my fear of death. Today I no longer have that fear, I imagine death is very much like giving birth. You go with it and you don’t control it as it takes over you. I suspect that death is the same. It takes over you and you just go with it.

One of the greatest gifts that comes from not being afraid is giving up the need to control. There is no anxiety when we finally learn to live and let live. Living without fear and without anxiety allows you to be present in the moment and enjoy the here and the now.

My faith in God allows me to live without fear as I know that He is in charge and with God all that is good and all that is possible is born in life and in death.

I can’t help but think of Kenny Chesney’s song; Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven but not right now… I Ain’t Ready! He sings.

There is still a lot of life in me, but I know that much life is also behind me. People that I know or have known die every day. And life goes on without skipping a beat.

Each day, each year, every season, every birthday I am reminded of the miracles and the blessings associated with life and in death.

I am not afraid. “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” A famous FDR quote about how fear just makes things worse. For all the years of fears, aging has taught me just how senseless being afraid truly is and the many negative ways it affects our living.

Be not afraid … and John 14:27, my favorite reads; “Peace I leave with you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”

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