Fear vs Fearless


Fear vs Fearless

By Bernadette A. Moyer


Children are fearless! I watched a little boy about 5 years old run through our house yesterday. He had never been here before; he jumped on my bed and ran downstairs through the basement. The entire house was new to him and yet he ventured from room to room completely fearless. He was not afraid.

In 1989 I was single and dating. A male friend came by for a drink. My daughter was sleeping she was just nine years old. The only bathroom in my tiny two bedroom house was upstairs where she slept. When he had to use the bathroom I waited outside. During these years I learned not to trust any men around my child. In a way I had lost my innocence and my ability to trust. It only took one bad experience and one person to change me. But I was forever changed.

It only takes one bad situation for us to become fearful. We can fear people and places and things that are unknown to us. Women learn to be weary of dark corners and traveling alone. We learn that we can easily become the target of assault and rape.

The Catholic Church, The Boy Scouts, schools and most places that deal with children and youth operate on the “Buddy” system. Children are treated differently now that we are aware of the amounts of abuses that can and have occurred with children being the target. We have become afraid. We are afraid of what might happen and what could happen because of what did happen with child abuse.

Our society teaches us to be cautious in dealing with new people and people that are different from us. Our country has been assaulted by terrorists both locally and internationally. We used to be more trusting and somehow we have lost that trust to those that use terror to control us.

In the 1980’s I was in my twenties and frequently traveled an airline called, People’s Express. It was a budget airline and you literally paid your fare once in flight. There was none of this security and full identification required as there is today. We didn’t know of nor did we fear terrorism back then. We were unafraid and we were fearless.

Today we fear getting on an airplane not just because of a possible accident but because we learned through tragedy that people can use an aircraft just like a bomb.

A child comes into this world dependent and fearless; they are filled with trust and with wonder. Life has a way of taking that innocence and scaring them into becoming fearful.  But what is fear? How much is good for us and how much fear stops us from being all that we can be?

It has been said that “The only thing to fear is fear itself.”  President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

One of the most powerful statements we can tell ourselves is, I am not afraid!

There is something so innocent and fresh about being fearless and having confidence to forge ahead unafraid. We can fear most anything and anyone. Just like we can be fearless in anything and with anyone …

Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Our Love Anniversaries


Our Love Anniversaries

By Bernadette A. Moyer


Do you have “love” anniversaries? You know from your first date day? Or first kiss day? Or when you officially became a couple day? Your wedding date?

My husband remembers them all! I try to be as good as he is with them. Of course I remember our wedding date but I admit I do have to think harder when it comes to the date that we met or when we moved beyond just being friends.

We celebrate most all of our “love” anniversary dates. We celebrate as much love as we can and it starts with the day that we met and where we met and what we were doing. We would be introduced when I was holding his baby daughter as I was babysitting so he could attend his wife’s funeral. Hard for him not to forget that date. And yet we both feel so God blessed to have met one another.

Then we remember when we first went out and when we moved past just friends. We celebrate the anniversary date from when we purchased our family home and brought two fractured families together to begin again as one.

The biggest love anniversary is our wedding date. This summer we will be legally married for 18 years, although we have officially been a couple for almost 23 years now.

It just amazes us how we got together and how much we have been through together until now. We have a history that goes on for more than two decades and we celebrate every day that we wake up together.

Our love has been all over the map with the highs and the lows that any couple that manages to change and to grow together can and will endure. We have known the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. We grew together in our thirties and our forties. We raised our children and we succeeded in our careers together. We said good bye to our parents and hello to older age. We navigated through the busiest and challenging of times and fought the good fight and surrendered to those that weren’t worth the fight. We did it together and we did it with love.

One of the things that keeps us going is that we don’t take each other for granted.  We celebrate the every day’s together and build upon our love anniversaries. Love anniversaries are important as they help us assess and gauge how we are doing. We reflect back as we look ahead.

Recently I was receiving Physical Therapy and my husband sat in the waiting room for almost two hours. When the therapist was done with me he commented on how much patience that my husband had while in his office. I said I knew that as it is his norm and I know just how lucky I am.

Love begets love and the more that we celebrate our love, the more love that we create to celebrate. It is a wonderful circle of love and of life. Remember your wonder “love” anniversaries and celebrate them all and you will never be without love.

Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Where Does Your Heart Live


Where Does Your Heart Live

By Bernadette A. Moyer


Where does your heart live? Does it live in the light with a desire to make the world a better place? Or is it bitter and unkind?

I am so proud of my friends and my peers, most of them are giving back, and just about every one of us has a favorite charity or two. Most of us have raised kids that were honor students, Eagle scouts and set up for success. Today was our local Komen for the Cure run supporting breast cancer. There are so many of my peers who are involved in this cause by running, giving and doing. They are happy to be in a supporting position.

“It is in giving that we receive.” St. Francis of Assisi There were many years when I was a young mother, widowed with a child to raise that I had very little to give. My energy was spent on my career and on raising my child; however I always found ways to make contributions. Often I would bake for the school and church bake sales, I didn’t have much money but my baked goods were always a hit and helped to raise much needed funds for our church and school. If I made pie, I made two of them and found another family to give one of my pies too. I learned early on that giving was for the giver, and that everyone has something to offer.

We can trade our piano playing skills and teach piano, we can teach cooking and reading and writing. There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t have a gift and a talent that can be shared. Some people can give time and others are afforded the gift of treasure so they donate money.

If someone is unkind and unhappy you can usually see where they have stopped focusing on others and become focused solely on themselves. I heard a story a few weeks ago about a truly wealthy woman, she was a doctor and in a thriving practice. When she learned of her terminal illness she didn’t go off on a vacation or head to a tropical location, instead she volunteered her time to a soup kitchen and encouraged reading to all the adults and all the children she encountered. Her last days weren’t spent being miserable but rather in giving back to society. She wanted her life to matter and to make a difference and it did.

I have also known a few people that can best be described as “sour grapes” and “haters” they may have had a difficult time along the way but they have made the choice to stay miserable and self-focused, I call them the “eternal victims.” They waste their lives by deceiving and hurting people with lies and manipulation.

When I think about it … it is all a choice, where do you want your heart to live? Do you want to give back and make something good of your life? Or do you choose to be the “hater” who thrives on hurting others?

My heart lives in a place of giving and doing and trying my best to take even the most hurtful situations and turning them around and finding the gifts and the goodness in them. Last week I met a man, he is homeless and has no teeth and no clean clothes, after he ate a warm meal and acquired some gently used clothing I took a few minutes and chatted with him.  He pulled a folded up piece of paper out of his pocket and shared with me a drawing he had created, it was a picture of a little girl sitting on a park bench eating an ice-cream with a bird over her shoulder and a sunshine skyline. His drawing was special and it drove home for me that I can’t draw to save my life, the best I could do was stick people. He was truly gifted and talented and yet he was broken down poor.

When I finished chatting with him, he gave me that piece of art that he had created. He wanted me to have something of value and what he gave me was far greater than that piece of art. It was the realization that every single one of us has something to offer and that we need not judge, each person deserves to be treated with dignity. We are all children of God.

There isn’t a person alive that shouldn’t have enough food to eat, clean clothes to wear and a safe place to lay their head at the end of every single day. I couldn’t help but think about Luke 12:48 from the Bible that reads; “to whom much has been given, much is expected.” Most of us have so much and have so much to give. We are so blessed.

Where does your heart live …

Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Our Good Health


Our Good Health

By Bernadette A. Moyer


For most of my life I have been afforded good health. On my mother’s side of the family there were many health care providers like nurses and doctors. We were encouraged to stay healthy and to stay away from hospitals. Hospitals were where sick people were and we weren’t sick.

Last Saturday morning I woke up with severe pain in my right arm and shoulder. Pain that I never experienced before. It was startling. I couldn’t raise my arm up. I could feel tingling and shooting pain from the shoulder all the way through my hands. It was so scary.

Turns out I had pulled muscles and some nerve damage, all from resting on my arm in an awkward position for over an hour during a long car ride. I went from ice packs to heating pads to many doses of anti-inflammatory medication.

I couldn’t function since the pain was so intense. Little things like taking my clothes off and putting my clothes on and showering were painful everyday tasks that I normally took for granted. My husband had to help me. He had to comb the knots out of my hair and come every time I needed something that I normally could do for myself.

Today after not writing for days, I am using my left hand and yes it is awkward. The first day was probably the most painful. It would also be the day our little dog would be sick with a cold and runny stool. A normally house broken dog now eliminating all throughout the house and of course just moments after my husband had walked out the door. One day he went to CVS four times to get my mediation and other items to try and comfort me. This would also be the day that Chipper left messes all throughout our home. As painful as it was I cleaned it up. I wanted to get mad at my husband for leaving at just the right time so he didn’t uncover the mess nor have to clean it up.  Like it was his fault.

I can’t say that I have taken my normally good health for granted as I have always appreciated it. But today as I sit at my desk pained by an arm that isn’t fully functioning I surely can appreciate those who have alignments every day of their lives. We wonder why some people aren’t happy and smiling but I can see where when you are gritting your teeth to fight back the pain that smiling is the last thing you are thinking about doing.

My husband and I talk about how we are getting older and less attractive and how our health won’t always be the best as we continue on the aging path. I love being healthy and being slowed down to almost a complete halt is no fun at all.

Today I pray for all those who are suffering with health issues and that includes me with what my husband lovingly refers to as my “bad wing.”

Prayers for healing for all who need them …

Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

O’Connell Girl … Happy St. Pat’s Day!


O’Connell Girl … Happy St. Pat’s Day!

By Bernadette A. Moyer


When I was growing up along with my four sisters we were often referred to as “The O’Connell Girls.” Growing up with an Irish father and an Italian mother was our natural heritage. Both sides were very proud of their roots. The Italian side of our family was bigger and louder and more readily available to us when we grew up. Back then and to them being Italian meant everything! Unlike our society today where cultures are so easily blended my grandfather would have preferred that his daughter, my mother not just marry an Italian but an Italian Catholic. Oh how the world has changed.

It wasn’t until after my father left home and began his new family that I witnessed his pride in being Irish. I had gone to visit him, I was teenaged and I was happily shocked how well decorated his home was for St. Patrick’s Day. There were shamrocks and green decorations all throughout his home. If I never knew it before I knew then just how proud and happy he was to be Irish!

With a name like O’Connell I wasn’t going to fool anyone or be able to deny my heritage even if I had wanted to deny it, clearly we were an Irish Catholic family. I was always proud of my heritage, I often said, “I am Irish and Italian and I have the temper to prove it.” Today I might modify “temper” with the word “passion.” Both Irish and Italians are known for their passion, their spirit and their pride. I certainly have mine.

St. Patrick was the patron Saint of Ireland, although it is said that he came from Britain. He had several messages he believed came from God and ultimately he became an ordained priest. It was through his own struggles and adversity that he came to be a religious man.

Prayer of St. Patrick

May the Strength of God pilot us

May the Power of God preserve us

May the Wisdom of God instruct us

May the Hand of God protect us

May the Way of God direct us

May the Shield of God defend us

May the Host of God guard us

Against the snares of the evil ones

Against temptations of the world


May Christ be with us

May Christ be before us

May Christ be in us

Christ be over all!

May Thy Salvation, Lord

Always be ours,

This day, O Lord, and evermore.


When Irish eyes are smiling, sure tis like a morn in spring. In the lilt of Irish laughter you can hear the angels sing. When Irish hearts are happy all the world seems bright and gay, and when Irish eyes are smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.”  – Chauncey Olcott and George Graff, Jr.

I’ve been to Chicago when they turn the river green and I shared my share of green beer and Irish whiskey but the one tradition that sticks for every single year is a pot on the stove with corned beef, potatoes and cabbage. Right now, I can smell it cooking as I write this blog.

One of the great things about St. Patrick’s day celebrations are the parades and clovers and shamrocks and the luck and spirit of the Irish that goes along with it, and on this holiday we can all wear our green (the color of health) and we can all enjoy the spirit of the Irish because there is nothing better than when Irish eyes are smiling.

And one of my Irish favorite sayings is “May you be in Heaven a half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”

“Anyone acquainted with Ireland knows that the morning of St. Patrick’s Day consists of the night of the 17th of March flavored strongly with the morning of the 18th.” Author unknown

Celebrate wisely and Happy St. Patrick’s Day, now pass the beer, and the corned beef and cabbage please … And may the luck of the Irish be with you too!

Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Job Interviews and Blind Dates


Job Interviews and Blind Dates

By Bernadette A. Moyer


Does it seem like job interviews might just be a tad bit like a blind date? Where we don’t know what we are getting until that actual face-to-face occurs and we are looking at this person, the candidate? In one setting we are looking for a professional relationship and the other for personal reasons but either way, we are looking at the potential candidates to fill a void, a slot or a position.

For many years I held interviews to fill a variety of positions from assistants to managers to directors and interns. My gut instincts were almost always right on target. In the dozens and dozens of professionals that I have engaged in employment, few times did I ever sense that I made a bad call or that I made a bad decision.

Much of the decision making came from my ability to retrieve the answers to questions like did I view the candidate as someone that I could manage and work closely with and did they carry themselves professionally. Could I trust them to do their job and what kind of trouble shooter were they? When faced with a challenge could they work their way through it and find answers? Or did it stop them in their tracks? Were they self-motivated?

It has been decades since I have dated or even been on a “blind date” but it seems like when we bring people into our circle whether it is for professional reasons or personal ones, we want to make sure that it is a good fit.

Last year a friend went out of state for a big job and a big interview when she returned we were discussing her interview. Her read was that she didn’t get the job. She was 100% certain it was not going to go her way.  We were actually talking about it when the call came in and she was offered the position.

What she thought and what actually happened were two completely different outcomes.

In the past few years I have interviewed for new jobs and interviewed with potential clients all the while being “on” and knowing that you are being ranked and judged. Can this person fit the bill? I have asked the key questions and been asked the key questions. “Why do you want to work here?” “What can you do for this position?” “Why should we hire you and work with you?” and the classic “Where do you see yourself in 5 years and 10 years?”

Last year I interviewed in a panel interview after making it through several screens. They did their homework as it was one of the most notable interviews I ever faced. I left there uncertain as to the outcome. Within hours I was called and accepted the job. I loved the panel that interviewed me.

About a year ago I interviewed almost across the street from where I live, I immediately knew I did not like the person nor did I want to work with them and for them. I am certain she sensed it too.

My answer when people asked me how an interview went is always the same, and it is the same when I am interviewed by potential clients, “I gave it my all and you never know what the competition is and who else they are looking at to fill the position.” As a result I never take it personally if I don’t get the job.

Last month I interviewed for an hour and a half with an Executive Director, I liked him, I liked the mission and the location. I had a great tour of their facility and I learned so much.  It is coming up on a month and I haven’t heard a single word. What I know is that he had four candidates and that I thoroughly enjoyed our time together and I learned so much more about the work that they did. It was a good interview whether I got the job or not and I would be willing to financially donate to their cause. They are doing such greats works with a mission that is both near and dear to my heart.

Today my newest job interview was cancelled due to a snow storm. This will give me a longer period of time to study their works and to imagine myself working there. What I know for certain is that I always end up right where I am supposed to be and if it is meant to be it will be.

I do think though that job interviews like first dates and blind dates have some things in common. We are looking to include or disqualify the potential candidates.  We do judge people by how they look, how they carry themselves and what type of education do they have, we want to know that they can handle what they are signing up for whether it is for a job or a relationship.

Our social skills and our communication skills are tested when we interview just like they are tested when we are dating. In the final analysis, interviews and dates are very much alike when it comes down to it because we never really know what we are getting until we risk engaging that potential person.

So here is to all those that are taking risks in relationships for both securing employment and finding love and companionship. Just putting yourself out there and going through the process adds to our skill set. Each encounter offers us something new to learn. We learn about others and we learn about ourselves.

Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

Why This Mother Loves Snow Days


Why This Mother Loves Snow Days

By Bernadette A. Moyer


I love snow days! They are nature’s holiday and when God is saying, “Slow down and breathe and just take it all in and take it easy!” My family is safe at home and all together and that is why I love snow days. We are all together and under one roof.

Our son left for work this morning and returned home about an hour later as his place of employ was closing due to the 8 to 10 inches of snow that we were getting here in Maryland. My 11:00 appointment in the next county was cancelled due to the snow.

So we all came together and enjoyed our home and each other’s company. I made food. My husband shoveled some and we took turns taking the dogs out and each one of us working out on our exercise bike. It is peaceful and quiet. Together we watched a cooking show competition for kids.

I decided to put together a meal with what we had in the house and it was pork chops, oven brown potatoes with chives, baked beans that I doctored up with a favorite barbecue sauce and yellow corn. I found a frozen loaf of bread in the freezer and got it out and defrosted in time to make fresh warm bread.

At dinner we made jokes and I laughed so hard I had to leave the table! We all laughed. I made a Hershey’s cocoa cake from scratch and there is a fire burning in the woodstove. The dogs are good company and my husband has started to sip the homemade lemon liquor that we just made today.

We are doing laundry and preparing for the weekend and our week ahead. There is something so wonderful about being a mom, and a snow day and having the people closest to you all together and at home and truly enjoying just being together as a family.

Thank you God, thanks be to God!

Bernadette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

People Always Remember the Way You Treat Them


People Always Remember the Way You Treat Them

By Bernadette A. Moyer


I’ve heard it said, “People may not remember your name but they will always remember how you treated them and how you made them feel.” I believe this statement to be true.

When we are treated well by other people whether it is our family, our friends or our work associates and others, we remember that and feel good about ourselves and about being around those people. The opposite is true as well; when we treat others poorly we will be remembered for that too.

The golden rule states; “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12) Simply put, treat others as you would have them treat you, it seems so simple and yet many people treat others badly and wonder why they are not wanted or included in their life.

Our son called us one night when someone from his past just showed up at his job and wanted to see him and talk to him. He warned me about this person years ago and I didn’t want to believe him. I thought better of her. According to him, she tormented him for years, spread rumors about him and never lifted him up. Then months later again he called to tell me she was stalking him again. He finally went to security and they told him her actions were “on the job harassment” and “stalking” they advised him to take legal action.

When he tried to get away from her she berated him with comments like, “is that how a 20 year old acts and look at your little mall job” and inferred that he was a loser and her path was better. Her behaviors were exactly how he remembered her, tearing him down and bragging about her own accomplishments. Stepping on him to try and lift her up. He says, “She made me feel bad the entire time that I knew her.”

You can tell so much about a person by how they handle a break up. A friend has recently broken off her engagement and now the other party is acting out in all kinds of destructive ways. Some of it is pointed at my friend and meant to make her feel bad.

A few years ago I had another friend of almost three decades encourage our teen daughter to lie to me, and to be “mysterious” this former friend wouldn’t like it if I did the same thing to her. It’s astonishing how people treat others in a way that they themselves would never want to be treated. How they can’t see themselves. Then too what they do and say to justify their own poor behaviors, rather than own what they did.

You can lift people up or you can tear them down but when you choose to tear them down you can’t be surprised when they want nothing to do with you. We are supposed to love and/or to learn from every single relationship that we have with other people. The Buddhist belief is “every single person in our life is either a lover or a teacher.”

There was a time when I worked with a teenage girl who was dating and sexually active at just 15, I couldn’t believe what I witnessed, at least three times that I knew of she had a boyfriend that she was intimately involved with and simultaneously sleeping with his best friend behind his back. This same teenager showed outrage when she was betrayed? Now a fully matured adult, she has continued this same behavior.

Sometimes it is not until it is our own experience that we see what someone else may have witnessed all along. I have learned it is best to wait until people have their own experience rather than to try and warn them about what I experienced.

As mothers, we know not to drink, do drugs or smoke during pregnancy, and we can’t be surprised when women do this and have babies born with disabilities. Simply put, why would any mother treat a baby in utero in such an unloving and uncaring way?  Would they want the same things done to them?

There is always a loving way and a responsible way to respond in life and when in doubt a simple question of, “how would I want to be treated?” should help with the right answer.

When we lie and cheat and deceive people we know that these are actions we wouldn’t want done to us. It is easy to forgive someone when they are sorry and when these ill behaviors do not continue. However when we treat people poorly when we do things to them that we would never want done to ourselves, and we continue with these poor behaviors, we can’t act like we are surprised when they want nothing to do with us.

The golden rule is always applicable and one that I do my best to live by, treat others the way that you would want to be treated. It’s actually pretty simple and tried and true, and when we do this people will want us in their life. People always remember how you made them feel.  Make them feel good and you will be most welcome.

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

5 Minutes with God


5 Minutes with God

By Bernadette A. Moyer


Recently I read a blog about what the writer would say if they had 5 minutes alone and face-to-face with God. For several days I pondered this question. Funny thing for me, there wasn’t one thing that I could think of that I would say in those 5 minutes. There wasn’t one thing that I could think of to do or to say that I haven’t already said to God.

Not one single thing! I talk to God every single day, sometimes I tell him I am sorry and I ask for forgiveness, sometimes I ask if I am getting it right and doing His will. Other times I tell him I’m not getting this at all, please help me to understand. Many times, I thank Him for all my blessings!

My prayers aren’t that complicated either, same old tried and true, Our Father and plenty of Hail Mary’s. For me it doesn’t have to be so complicated. There is no question I have screwed up in my lifetime and I suspect that no one knows it better than God himself. Most of the time, I know that I am living true to God because I have been true to my own heart. A heart that I believe He gave to me. For most often I do get it right and I try hard as I can to make this gift of my life, count as much as it possibly can for the something good.

Another writer wrote about the meal they would have and all that they would do if they knew it was their last day here on earth. I didn’t have that “list” either since I already have the people I love closest to me and the ones who aren’t here anymore I have wished them well. I pretty much eat healthy and fresh and do the things that I enjoy. I have learned that this is it. This is my one life to be lived like it was our last day. There are no guarantees in tomorrow, so I take what I get today and try and make the best of it.

So if and when I get my 5 minutes alone with God, I’m pretty sure I know what I would say. It probably would go something like this, “Hi it’s me again. Sorry for all my screw ups, I tried and I’m still trying. I understand the lessons about this and that and I get it. As you know I’m still struggling with this one particular thing. Is this the time? The time that it is revealed to me, what I was supposed to learn and why it happened? And again I am sorry for the times I fell short and I truly appreciate all that you have given to me. And thank you for taking the time to see me.”

And in parting I would ask, just so I was clear “What will you have me do now? What do you want me to do next? Thanks again for seeing me, and for never forsaking me. Thank you God!”

Then I imagine that we would pray together, pray like we have so many times before. I have had many 5-minute sessions with God. I feel His presence in my life and I know that He sees me and loves me and it looking out for me. I know that I have been God blessed. And that doesn’t mean that everything has gone my way or that my life was easy. It actually means the opposite, I have struggled, I have hurt, I have been hurt and at times lost. Yet it was always God that took me back, God who embraced me, God who gave me the strength to carry on …

God is with me every single day, He lives in my heart. Where it might be nice to have that 5-minute face-to-face meeting with God, however, if by chance, we don’t, I know that I have already had it.

God be with you …

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